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Cyber security: How to prepare your business for 2021

Improving your organization’s cyber security has probably always been on the agenda, but covid19 laid bare the gaps of what many thought they knew about protecting their data and their organization’s actual capabilities.

“We must look beyond basic protection decisions and improve organizational resilience through innovative approaches to detection and response, and ultimately, recovery from security incidents.”, said Brian Reed, Sr. Director Analyst, during the virtual Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, 2020.

What we learned is quite clear: it is important to anticipate threats, take stock of existing security strategies and test our response to defend against constantly changing cyber-attacks.

Which leads us to our first point:

Reviewing security of your remote workforce

Organizations have been able to better manage their remote workforces since early 2020 but it is prudent to run a risk assessment often to review any changes and determine if existing security measures are still effective.

SecurityStudio is the premier risk and digital safety assessment tool in the world. With an easy-to-use interface, information security risks can be assessed and managed for individuals (consumers and employees/personnel), organizations (public and private sector), and their vendors.

SecurityStudio’s S2Org is an organizational information security risk management tool where you can determine exactly where the most risk is in your organization with a simple scoring methodology.

You don’t need to be an information security expert to understand S2ORG. Once completed, it will identify critical vulnerabilities, control gaps/ deficiencies, and applicable threats to the security of your organization.

Employees with bad personal security habits can compromise your organization’s information security unintentionally. SecurityStudio S2 Team solution gives organizations insight into employee information security habits at home without violating their privacy, so that you can identify risky behaviours and provide suitable security training.

There is also a Vendor Risk Management Program, S2Vendor, to defend your business against third-party risk. Based on best practice risk scoring methodologies built from industry regulations, The results will help your organization to safeguard against any risk created by your vendors, and against lawyers, regulators and customers if a breach occurs (that comes at a costly price tag: $3.9 million is the average cost of a data breach, according to IBM).

The best part?

There are FREE assessments on their websites to get you started.

Prevent targeting of networks

Now that there is an overall improvement of organizational security, experts speculate that hackers will focus on exploiting vulnerabilities in network appliances such as unpatched VPN gateways.

With many working from home, more companies started to rely on a VPN setup in their business. Not all remote-work security solutions are designed for an entire workforce, and cybercriminals exploit unpatched VPNs by stealing personal information and harvest user credentials through real-world social engineering approaches such as voice phishing (vishing).

Cyber criminals have used AI software to mimic the voice of a senior executive, tricking him into transferring more than £240,000 into a bank account controlled by fraudsters; another gained access to government networks by combining VPN and Windows bugs.

While some are focused on ensuring compliance and stopping hackers, consider enabling secure remote access technologies which have a much larger business impact:

Zero trust technologies, which trust no device, individual or location until verified, is ideal for remote work. It works on the principle of ‘least privilege access’, which is designed to selectively grant access to only the resources that users require.

Netskope, which has been named a Visionary in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant, is a modern remote access solution built on the principles of zero trust that can provide secure access to private applications.

Netskope for Private Access enables secure access to SaaS, IaaS, web, and private applications and data in hybrid IT environments, while reducing risk and simplifying Security Operations (SecOps).

This protects private applications and other network assets from malicious insiders or compromised accounts, while safely providing employees with remote access to apps in public clouds and data centre environments without needing to expose them publicly.

Passwordless authentication

Despite their weaknesses, passwords are still widely used. Commonly used (those who use “password123”, I’m looking at you 👀 ) and reusing passwords makes data vulnerable to cyber-attacks and is not enough to protect sensitive systems and confidential information.

Further, employees may be using the same password for their work computer as they do for their personal accounts, which it is a risky habit that leads to credential stuffing attacks where criminals exploit them by taking large amounts of compromised account details and inputting them to various sites to test if they can access any other accounts using the same password.

Passwordless authentication eliminates the problem of using weak passwords. It also benefits users who now do not need to remember passwords. For organizations, there is no need to store passwords, leading to better security, fewer breaches, and lower support costs.

Here are 2 ways to implement passwordless authentication:

  • Biometrics – this could be a fingerprint scan, or facial recognition in order to establish a user is who they say they are

Kanguru’s Defender Bio-Elite30™ flash drive uses your fingerprint to access the encrypted files, is OS platform agnostic, and has no battery or fussy pin-pads to worry about, making this fingerprint flash drive an exceptional data security solution for all types of environments. The robust AES 256-Bit hardware encryption also provides superior security against leading software encryption fingerprint drives.

For remote workers, there is a robust, optional remote management capability that allows a security administrator to control their organizations' entire fleet of Defender hardware encrypted drive(s) from anywhere in the world.

The administrator can remotely wipe and/or delete drives that are lost or stolen, manage device configurations (passwords, policies, and activity), and ensure drives are in compliance with security policies.

  • Multi-factor authentication – this is a combination of factors provided by the user such as a PIN, security questions, and contact information.

Swivel Secure’s award-winning multi-factor authentication solution prevent unauthorised access to applications and data through a variety of authentication factors.

One of them is the Risk-based authentication (RBA), a dynamic feature designed to automatically request the appropriate level of authentication to access applications, whether the user is connecting through a VPN, cloud, or on-premise. Based on parameters set, RBA will request the appropriate level of authentication to access applications based on the user, their device and the application.

Parameters include:

  • Group membership

  • Application being accessed

  • IP address

  • Last authentication

  • X509 Cert

  • Device

  • Physical location (GeoIP)

  • Time / date / day

This policy engine allows you to create new rules and combine existing rules, as well as providing a mechanism to support a range of scenarios with increasing complexity.

Still unsure how to #WorkFromHome safely?

We can help and get you set up with a trial run for the most effective solutions.

Chat with us 👉 here


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