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Users Continue to be the Weakest Link

By BlogNo Comments

Companies invest millions to implement the latest and greatest security tools, yet bad user habits continue to expose them to cyberattacks. Users, it turns out, are the weak link in enterprise security.

According to research from Incogni:

· 74.1% of the company’s user base has heard of antivirus software, yet only 57.6% use it. · Only 31% of internet users have ever used a VPN.

· More than 40% of users are not using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)as they believe that it is too cumbersome for them.

· More than 75% of internet users are re-using the same password on many websites at least once. They prefer passwords as short as possible despite the fact that the longer the password, the harder it is to crack.

· Users continue to fall prey to phishing attacks at an alarming rate. Some studies say as many as 20% of users have clicked on a phishing email over the past year.

Clearly, users remain a weak link in enterprise security. Here are some steps to take to guard against user slipups and policy violations:

Implement password managers

Users now have so many logins to so many apps, sites, and systems that manual setting of passwords is no longer workable. Letting users continue to set their own passwords opens the door to password reuse, writing passwords on Post-It Notes, and other security violations.

The inconvenient truth on passwords cracking is that those of eight characters that include upper and lower cases, special symbols, and numbers can be broken within less than a day. Password managers can extend that to 18 characters which is essentially uncrackable. They eliminate the burden of remembering lengthy passwords.

Insist upon Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of user verification beyond a password. A text to a phone number, entering a code, or some other method is used to validate user identity. Though not infallible, MFA cuts down the changes of a breach considerably.

Continue to Use Antivirus

Antivirus gets a bad rap. Yes, it is fallible. Yes, it is somewhat reactive in that virus databases don’t contain the very latest malware signatures as they need to be added to the database. And yes, the technology is never enough on its own. But antivirus

catches a lot of malicious traffic and should always be included as part of the security arsenal. As there are more than a billion

malware strains now in existence, having AV in place guarantees catching a good percentage of the total.

Firewalls Make a Difference

Like AV, firewalls are not enough on their own. But they form one essential element of comprehensive cybersecurity defenses. They can protect systems from malicious connections and unwanted traffic and prevent lateral movement on the network should a breach take place.

Patch Management

Not only are users a weak link, those responsible for enterprise security can also sometimes let the team down if they are overworked or are held back by manual processes. Take the case of patch management. Organizations sometimes take months to deploy urgent patches. Why? Internal IT processes stall patch deployment due to laborious testing protocols, queuing systems that are incorrectly prioritized, or lack of enough manpower to distribute patches throughout the user base.

Patch management automation is the answer. Priority patches should be distributed within hours. IT managers should be able to deploy patches to all systems within a few clicks.

Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability scanning is another weak area within the enterprise. For whatever reason, some businesses only perform a scan at a set period such as once a month. But what happens if a vulnerability appears the day following that scan? Cybercriminals have four weeks to wreak havoc if it is exploited. Like patch management, vulnerability management systems should be automated, should continuously scan, and ideally should have automatic remediation features built in.

Syxsense Enterprise takes care of patch management, vulnerability management, and so much more. It is an advanced enterprise security solution that provides coverage for all devices. It offers complete cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices, with mobile device management (MDM) included at no additional cost. Those managing it within IT can do so without the need for coding due to an extensive library of pre-built Cortex remediation workflow templates that can be deployed at the push of a button.

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Endpoint Security 2020: What You Need to Know

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

Endpoint Security 2020: What You Need to Know

Endpoint security and cybersecurity need to become a top priority in your enterprise’s business plans in 2020 and beyond.

The Challenge of Endpoint Security

From all accounts, dealing with endpoint security is only going to get harder. In fact, according to an article on SolutionsReview, by Ben Canner, it “looks poised to become more complex” in 2020. What new elements can make it even more challenging to implement?

For one, organizations must adapt to the increasing complexity of hackers and their cyberattacks in 2020. Hackers never sleep; instead, they continually work to improve their cyberattacks, constantly evolving the threat landscape. Therefore, “your business must deploy an endpoint security solution that can keep up with this deluge of malware,” explains Canner.

What’s more, companies must adapt to the changing technological landscape when considering cybersecurity. Different devices and network connections require different endpoint capabilities to protect them. “After all,” writes Canner, “the threats facing these new technologies won’t resemble the threats of the past.”

Louis Columbus, writing on Forbes, goes even further, suggesting that protecting endpoints will be paramount in the future. “Attacking endpoints with AI, bots, and machine learning is gaining momentum with cybercriminals today with no signs of slowing down into 2020, making endpoint security a must-have cybersecurity goal for next year.”

Cyberattacks are Getting More Sophisticated

Cyberattacks are growing more complex and difficult to prevent, and this will only accelerate in the future, thus making endpoint security a top goal in 2020. Cybercriminals, he explains, are using structured and unstructured machine learning algorithms to hack organizations’ endpoints with increasing frequency. “Endpoint attacks and their levels of complexity will accelerate as cybercriminals gain greater mastery of these techniques,” he notes.

Simple economics come into play, as well. Some sources say that cybercrime costs the global economy $400-plus billion a year, with the cost of an average data breach expected to exceed $150 million by 2020. The cost of cybercrime will continue to increase as more businesses and consumers migrate to the cloud, notes an article on World Wide Technology.

In response to all of this, observes Columbus, endpoint protection providers are adopting machine learning-based detection and response technologies; providing more cloud-native solutions that can scale across a broader range of endpoints; and designing in greater persistence and resilience for each endpoint.

He also points to a recent IDC survey, Do You Think Your Endpoint Security Strategy Is Up to Scratch?, which says that “companies should seek to build resilience—on the assumption that breaches are inevitable—and look for ‘security by design’ features that facilitate or automate detection and recovery.” IDC surveyed 500 senior security executives globally.

Protect Your Organization from Threats

WWT suggests that “the easiest way to examine endpoint protection solutions is to look at those designed to secure endpoints before an attack versus those focused on containing a breach after an attack. An endpoint protection suite (EPS) covers the window of compromise between vulnerability and breach and is the best defense before a breach occurs. This suite will deliver the critical security components, while providing security intelligence, operational availability and maximising business productivity.”

Another survey, this one from SANS, shows that, while conventional devices such as desktops and servers represent the largest segment of endpoints connected to the network, come 2020 and beyond, the number and variety of endpoints will grow quickly. “Building security and control system devices are being gathered under the umbrella of endpoint management, and business needs are driving the inclusion of both employer-owned and employee-owned mobile devices,” SANS reports.

Organizations are still being compromised, it says, with the primary target data being logins, access control, and sensitive information. Accordingly, the most common device targets will be desktops, laptops, and servers, since they are most likely to contain that kind of information. Regarding the future: “As mobile devices become more prevalent on company networks, these devices are likely to become targets more often.”

How to Manage Endpoint Security in 2020

What needs to change in 2020, according to the IDC research, is that many organizations must manage endpoint security strategically, have an inconsistent approach across different endpoint types, and begin to fully comprehend the risks associated with all endpoints.

Not doing so “results in inadequacies in processes and procedures, such as failing to include security capabilities in endpoint procurement requirements or retaining legacy devices even after they are found to have intrinsic security vulnerabilities,” IDC writes.

Organizations, in the coming years, need to understand that when acquiring new devices, security must be a primary consideration, after factors such as cost and performance. “What organizations fail to appreciate,” states IDC, “is that once an endpoint has been compromised and provided an entry point to their network, the cost and damage to the business can be far greater than the savings they made or gains they achieved.”

So, what are some of the issues to be on the lookout for as we begin the ‘20s in a couple of months? The IDC research offers up these:

  • Threats to endpoints come at all levels (firmware, BIOS, OS, application layer)
  • Firmware-level malware infections threaten all endpoints from PCs to printers
  • Intrinsically vulnerable devices should be retired according to strictly enforced policy
  • Start with good security hygiene across PCs and printers
  • Incorporate endpoint security within overall cybersecurity strategy and ensure you remain up to date with threat trends
  • Include all endpoints equally in the endpoint security plan, not just PCs.

What Will Threaten Endpoint Security in 2020?

Finally, Solution Review’s Canner list some specific examples of what can threaten endpoint security in 2020:

Internet of Things (IoT): The IoT market continues to grow as more enterprises incorporate it into their networks. IoT attacks look to grow exponentially over the next year. In 2019 alone, endpoint security provider F-Secure found threats to IoT devices increased by 300 percent. Given the reality of IoT devices, next-generation endpoint security can help protect these devices in 2020. In fact, modern endpoint security can help you discover IoT devices which may otherwise become blind spots in your network.

Proliferation of Mobile Device: According to Verizon’s Mobile Security Index 2019, mobile device security threats grow faster than any other. Of course, mobile devices not only proliferate in enterprise IT infrastructures—they thrive. Bring-your-own-devices cultures (BYOD) have become popular in businesses of all sizes. Endpoint security must be ready for all of this in 2020.

Ransomware, Fileless Malware, and Other Penetrative Threats: Malware continues to plague enterprises, even as cybersecurity focuses on identity-based attacks. Ransomware, Fileless Malware, Cryptocurrency Mining, and other threats could damage your business processes and your long-term reputation.

New Year, New Priorities

Endpoint security and cybersecurity overall need to become a priority in your enterprise’s business plans. Cybersecurity doesn’t just protect your business; it preserves your reputation, reassures your customers, and streamlines your business processes. Without the necessary prioritization which cybersecurity demands, your endpoint security will most likely fail.

Syxsense Manage and Syxsense Secure can easily resolve vulnerabilities across your entire environment. Start the new year with a powerful solution that you can confidently and consistently rely on.

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Why Cybersecurity is a Challenge for Highly Distributed Enterprises

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

Why Cybersecurity is a Challenge for Highly Distributed Enterprises

Most enterprises are becoming highly distributed, and they must find a way to secure and defend their businesses.

There is no longer any doubt that one of the major challenges for enterprises of all sizes as we enter the ‘20s is information and network security. Simply put, “enterprises have a lot to worry about,” according to a recent article on InformationAge. And the job of dealing with cybersecurity continues to get increasingly complex.

To compound the problem, in today’s digital economy, an enterprise’s traditional boundaries are constantly being stretched. For instance, it’s estimated that there are more than 1.6 million remote or branch offices in the United States. And especially highly distributed enterprises must secure systems and data scattered across, not only these remote operations, but headquarters, the cloud, and elsewhere, as well. According to the article, every perimeter and endpoint must be protected, and networks must be continuously monitored to detect and mitigate attacks.

“This growing legion of remote offices and employees accessing systems and data on corporate networks and in public clouds . . . are creating opportunities for cyberattacks by exposing new entry points and unsecured devices, data, and applications,” writes Nick Ismail, the author of the InformationAge article. IT departments typically put a lot of focus on protecting the networks and systems within the four walls of their company HQ, he explains, but the branch offices and remote employees can introduce risky exposures that, if breached, can cause a great deal of damage.

Identifying Security Processes a Struggle

While companies agree that it is in the organization’s best interest to invest in solutions for all their offices and remote employees to prevent breaches, they struggle to identify straightforward and workable network-security processes. Often, remote workers and branch offices get short shrift. This is dangerous, says Ismail, since attackers often target the weakest link in an organization—including remote offices—in order to get to the larger corporate prizes. Given the many challenges involved in securing highly distributed enterprises, organizations must choose carefully when it comes time to select a security solution.

Bob Violino, writing for Security Boulevard, explained further: “A recent report from the Infosys Knowledge Institute (IKI) provides a clear picture of how important cyber security has become:

‘In today’s hyperconnected and digitized world, cyber security has become an important strategic imperative owing to the sophistication of cybercrime. Digital businesses require complex and distributed interactions among people, applications, and data—on-premise, off- premise, on mobile devices and in the cloud. The result is an increase in the attack surfaces that are hard to protect and defend.” In other words, most, if not all, enterprises are becoming highly distributed, and they must find a way to secure and defend.

Further, according to the IKI study cited, to help address these threats, organizations are deploying products and services such as security incident management, risk and compliance, and security awareness training.

To overcome some of these challenges, more than half of the organizations are focusing on adopting integrated security platforms and are working with technology and service integrator partners. Network segregation, threat intelligence platforms, and advanced threat protection are the most commonly implemented security tools.

Among the top trends that will shape the future of cyber security, according to the survey, are artificial intelligence; privacy and personal data protection; and blockchain and deception technologies.

Operational technology (OT) and the Internet of Things (IoT) “massively expand the scope of security strategy and operations.” As the enterprise perimeter continues to diminish and all enterprises become highly distributed, the study concluded, visibility into the environment will become tougher.

The Simple & Powerful Solution

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Experience a complete solution to manage your environment anywhere, anytime. The intuitive features include software distribution, patch management and more—start your free trial today.

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Enterprise Security Trends that Will Rule 2015

By NewsNo Comments

From 3D printers that can replicate the intricate details of the human heart to wearable technology that tracks everything from blood pressure to incoming emails, 2015 shows great promise in becoming “Year One” of the new digital world order. But before we get too distracted, it’s worth paying attention to—and learning from—the past, which has consistently revealed where even the most established industry giants stumble: enterprise security.

Last year alone, the U.S. witnessed colossal data breaches in both the public and private sectors—from home improvement, to health care, to the entertainment industry—including the highly publicized Sony attack. While it may have been the latest wake-up call, the Sony scandal was by no means the most significant. A string of breaches, including Home Depot, Target, Goodwill Industries, Dairy Queen and JP Morgan, which single-handedly affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses, sent shockwaves throughout the world.

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Enterprise Infrastructure

If 2014 was the year of the hack, it’s logical to conclude that 2015 will be the year of fighting back. As diligently as an enterprise works to innovate groundbreaking advances in products and services, so too must they implement enterprise security solutions. Recent breaches, including leaks of users’ personal data and credentials from popular services like Dropbox and Apple iCloud have once again identified cybersecurity as a harrowing issue that requires immediate attention from both users and enterprises. Rather than focusing solely on prevention, however, today’s enterprises are now proactively beginning to use monitoring techniques for quick identification of and response to any kind of potential infiltration before it occurs. This trend, say analysts at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit—which takes a comprehensive look at the entire spectrum of IT security—will expand and evolve organizational roles to include a digital risk officer (DRO)

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