Take control with Endpoint Security

An IT network may have a Next Generation Firewall(s) in place to help keep out the malicious attacks but, it is advisable to have a layered approach to IT network security, like adding a layer of endpoint security.

Similar to Next Generation Firewalls, ‘Endpoint Security’ is an enhancement of traditional anti-virus as it is an all-in-one security suite where it will protect user devices (endpoints) on the network from viruses, worms, malware and offer security enforcement features and much, much more. Whereas anti-virus is designed simply too detect and destroy viruses and worms.

Why Endpoint? I hear you ask – Advances in technology has led to the changes in the corporate network demands i.e. increase usage of social media and employees working remotely, through the internet or different devices. So, it is becoming a critical element for corporations because it offers that extra layer of security by protecting the end-user devices and offer more control for the IT administrators to the IT network.

Some of the Advantages of Endpoint Security:-

  • Provides Security and Protection for devices
  • Central Management Control Console
  • Ability to Set and Enforce Security Policies
  • Web Content Control
  • Application Control
  • Email Protection and Encryption
  • Mobile Security
  • Anti-Virus and Malware
  • Etc.

But, you need to keep in mind ‘Endpoint Security suites’ features will vary depending on the brand. So, businesses need to decide which are the most important features and evaluate the different Endpoint offerings before deployment.

For advise on Endpoint Security Suites, contact us today.

Business of Cybercrime Part 1: With everything turning digital, why not crime as well?

Cybercrime is on the increase as we generate more and more digital data on a daily basis, this is especially the case within organisations. It was found in government reports cybercrime cost the UK economy £27billion pounds where £21billion was cost to businesses. They describe cybercrime as ‘any illegal activity that uses a computer or the internet as its primary means of commission to include any activity that uses a computer as a storage device’; as the Cabinet Office suggest ‘Technology has enable old crimes to be committed in a new and subtle way’.

Typical examples of business cybercrime:-

  • Information Theft
  • Extortion
  • Corporation Identity Theft
  • Reputation Attacks

Data is an organisations key asset and we generate more everyday whether it is from a simple email or the creation of a new contract – data is invaluable and in the wrong hands things can take a nasty turn.

For example: In May 2012 ‘Hackers Blackmail Belgian Bank with Threats to publish their Customer Data’. The company experienced a data breach, where the hackers claimed to have captured login credentials and tables with online loan applications holding details such as full names, job descriptions, contact information and income figures. Hackers demanded payments of around US$197000 and they would not publish the data. According to the hackers the data was stored unprotected and unencrypted on the servers. Luckily for the company, hackers did not follow through with the threat.’ – Source: CIO.com  

This case is classical example of a business being victims of information theft and being extorted for their security vulnerabilities. Would you be able to predict what it would cost the business if a cybercrime incident occurred? What if your IT infrastructure is hacked, data is stolen and the Information Commission Office imposes a hefty fine? What if a hacker decides to ruin your company reputation?

Cybercrime affects different businesses in different ways and it is unpredictable; so, when it comes to cybercrime precautionary measures are necessary in order to decrease the risk of becoming a victim.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Friend or Foe to Businesses?

IT consumerization has increased the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ momentum recently but, there is an on-going debate on whether it should be an organisations best friend or worst enemy.

In a recent survey, it has been found 92% of the companies interviewed, reported certain employees were already using non-company issued devices for work but, it is not the company norm which is reflected by the findings that only a small number of companies have introduced a BYOD policy.

With these results the BYOD trend definitely have room to grow, especially when it can offer a number of benefits to an organisation like; mobile workforce enablement, reducing costs, workforce empowerment and improve productivity.

On the other hand, many consider it as an enemy as an employee personal device can be seen as a foreign object on an IT infrastructure; with an unknown history, unknown level of security measures on the device and no control over the level of access = business risk!! Worrying about the level of business risk that BYOD entails is a norm, as it has been found more than ¾ of CIO interviewed had this type of concerns.

It is true, business risks can be caused when a non-structured approach is taken; it can potentially weaken a company data security barrier, cause compliance issues and increase vulnerability to cybercrimes.

However it is not a trend we can ignore as IT consumerization will continue to fuel this trend; although you cannot completely eliminate certain issues and risks by introducing a BYOD policy, with a policy in place at least employees know the organisation is flexible and open to new trends, can feel empowered so, when and if they bring their own device they will inform the IT department…in theory.

BYOD is certainly not a case for see no evil, hear no evil… Yes, BYOD offers a wide range of benefits but, policies and a structured approach is required to protect your business.