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6 Simple Rules for Securing Your Endpoints

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

6 Simple Rules for Securing Your Endpoints

It's never been more critical to manage and secure your endpoints. Here are six important rules for protecting your organization from IT security threats.

1. Always Be Patching

Managing software updates—and specifically patching endpoints—secures your organization from known threats. The appearance of new endpoint types—such as Internet of Things (IoT), Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and other operating system and software vulnerabilities—requires countless patches. Always be patching if you want to stay ahead of the bad actors.

2. Seek Out All Endpoints

Think about your company’s network—how many devices are out there? Is the number of staggering? You had better give it some thought, because endpoints account for the vast majority of security breaches—estimates put the number at about 70 percent. And if you don’t know you have them, you can’t secure them.

3. Stay Current

You must adapt to the increasing complexity of hackers and their cyberattacks. Bad actors never sleep—they continually work to improve their cyberattacks, constantly evolving the threat landscape. Your organization, therefore, must deploy endpoint security solutions that will keep up with the deluge of malware that can be expected in the future.

4. Be Resilient

Experts suggest that companies must aim to be resilient, assuming that breaches are inevitable. Since endpoints are said to account for about 70 percent of all breaches, being able to find and fix an attack at an endpoint while continuing to operate your business effectively is the key to resilience. A threat or breach to an endpoint must not be allowed to demobilize your entire business.

5. Be Strategic

Many organizations have an inconsistent approach to endpoint security. Companies, today, must manage endpoint security strategically and begin to fully comprehend the risks associated with all endpoints. Not doing so can result in inadequacies in processes and procedures leaving endpoints open to attack and breaches.

6. Make It a Priority

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

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Whitepaper: Avoiding Patch Doomsday

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

Whitepaper: Avoiding Patch Doomsday

In order to avoid Patch Doomsday, it is important for every organization to implement a strong patch management process.

Patch Management is More Critical than Ever

IT problems of any kind can have a negative impact on business success. At the same time, it can be shocking to learn that unpatched operating systems and application software are often responsible for the most IT problems.

Patches that resolve these problems are available—they are simply not being applied.

To reduce all of these issues and avoid Patch Doomsday, it is important for every organization to implement a strong patch management process.

Whitepaper

Avoiding Patch Doomsday

Unpatched applications and systems not only expose security risks, they also open the door to data loss and corruption, as well as performance and availability issues. Read our whitepaper to explore our best patch management practices and strategies.

Download PDF Guide

Experience the Power of Syxsense

Syxsense has created innovative and intuitive technology that sees and knows everything. Manage and secure your environment with a simple and powerful solution.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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Microsoft’s February 2020 Patch Tuesday Fixes 99 Security Issues

By Patch Management, Patch TuesdayNo Comments

Microsoft’s February 2020 Patch Tuesday Fixes 99 Security Issues

The official Patch Tuesday updates have arrived for February, including 99 vulnerability fixes. Catch up on the latest news from Microsoft and start patching.

February Patch Tuesday is Here

Microsoft have released 99 patches today. There are 12 Critical patches with the remaining marked Important.

Support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (including R2) was officially ended last month, but there are plenty of updates released this month for customers who have purchased an extension agreement.

Zero Day Weaponized Bug for IE

CVE-2020-0674, which carries a Critical vendor severity and High CVSS score, has been documented as being Publicly Aware and actively Weaponized.

This is as close to a Zero Day as you can get, and we encourage all users still using Internet Explorer to update this as soon as possible. This vulnerability affects Windows 7, which officially ended support last month, and Windows 10 through Windows Server 2008 to 2012.

Robert Brown, Director of Services for Syxsense said, “If you are still using Internet Explorer on Windows 7 and have not purchased the CSA / ESU extension, you may wish to consider uninstalling IE and replacing it with another browser immediately due to the critical nature of this vulnerability. It has huge potential to be used to install Ransomware or other software simply by accessing an infected website. Customers using Syxsense Manage or Syxsense Secure will be able to deploy all new Windows 7 content to your licensed Windows 7 systems.”

Microsoft released a security advisory for an unpatched IE code-execution vulnerability.

Another Adobe Headache

Adobe released 42 updates today—the largest of the year so far. They have fixed bugs in Framemaker, Experience Manager, Adobe Digital Editions, Flash, and Acrobat and Reader. Both Syxsense and Adobe recommend these Critical updates be deployed within the next 7 days.

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Endpoint Security vs. Antivirus

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

Antivirus Software is Nice, But It’s Not Enough for Full Endpoint Security

Are your current security measures enough to protect your network’s endpoints? Explore the key differences between antivirus software and EDR tools.

As we previously pointed out in our “Endpoint Security 2020: What Your Need to Know” article: “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.” Given the news of late, there can be no doubting the importance of this..

You probably already have information-security measures in place in your organization, such as firewalls and antivirus software. But you might be wondering if what you have in place is sufficient to properly protect all of your network’s endpoints.

Unfortunately, the question—and answers—might not be that simple. As pointed out by SolutionsReview, it’s important to understand the historical significance of antivirus software. Such tools—the origins of which date back more than 30 years—represent the wellspring from which other, more sophisticated, cybersecurity tools and techniques would emerges.

The late 1980s and early 1990s marked the debut of antivirus products from developers such as Symantec, McAfee and Sophos, in addition to the founding of cybersecurity research groups such as the Computer Antivirus Research Organization.

Now, three decades later, antivirus tools are part of standard operating procedure for virtually all professional-grade desktops and laptops—as well as a considerable number of the smartphones and tablets used by enterprise staff. Plenty of consumers also use such applications.

The Inherent Limits of Antivirus Control

In the majority cases, antivirus software exists in the background, only showing its presence when a threat is detected. While certainly valuable, there is a clear limitation to antivirus software: it only functions as a defensive measure when an active threat has made itself known. It does not have much in the way of counteroffensive tools, nor does it have the broader scope of functionality available through endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools.

Additionally, many legacy antivirus programs—and even some of the more recent versions—are all too often limited to detecting the presence of signature-based cyberthreats. While a significant number of the well-known malware and exploit tools used by modern hackers have signatures embedded in their code that an up-to-date antivirus platform can identify, there are also plenty that haven’t had their signatures cataloged yet. Malware that lacks signatures altogether is also becoming increasingly common, according to TechTarget.

Perhaps most alarming of all is that many cyberattacks today eschew files entirely. Instead, they use innocuous-looking links to trigger garden-variety programs such as Flash and Windows PowerShell, the latter of which can be compromised through remote manipulation of the command line with relative ease.

As CSO explained, these collect data from the victimized machine and relay it to the hacker who originated the attack, allowing that interloper to seize further control of a device and subsequently deliver more exploits. An entire network could be devastated this way, and many antivirus tools would most likely have never seen it coming.

The Ponemon Institute’s 2018 State of Endpoint Security Report noted that 35% of that year’s malware attacks were fileless, while projecting that figure to increase to 38% for 2019. In the years to come, it’s entirely possible that fileless exploits will constitute a significant majority of the cyberattacks deployed against all businesses and public-sector organizations, leaving antivirus tools even more in the lurch.

Moving Ahead to Endpoint Protection

Back in 2015, in a guest blog post for Politico, engineer and futurist David Evans estimated that about 127 new endpoints were being added to the internet of things every second, all over the world. More recently, Gartner projected that IoT growth had reached the point at which there would be approximately 5.8 billion endpoints in the global enterprise and automotive markets alone by the end of 2020, marking 21% growth from the previous year.

According to the SANS study “Understanding the (True) Cost of Endpoint Management,” 61% of the respondents said their organizations had more than 1,000 user endpoints, while 5% claimed to have 100,000 or more. And the risk to small businesses is no less real and significant than that facing medium-sized and enterprise-level companies. Per Verizon’s Mobile Security Index 2019, 88% of firms with 500 or fewer workers acknowledged that endpoint security was a serious hazard to their operations, and that it will only get worse.

EDR to the Rescue

EDR solutions emerged as a means of addressing the security issues created by increase in endpoints, IoT-relate or not. They are deployed according to the software-as-a-service model. Rather than continuously scanning the network and its various interconnected viruses for clear signatures of malware, EDR tools monitor user behaviors, looking for actions and operations that are out of the ordinary. This is sometimes referred to as “suspicious activity validation.”

The best EDR tools perform all of the classic functions of their cybersecurity predecessors, but leverage new methods to do so, including the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Furthermore, they are not limited to checking for conventional signatures to look for signs of potential malware intrusions; they also examine URLs, IP addresses, file hashes, and other data points.

How EDR from Syxsense Keeps you Protected

Cyber-attackers are not exactly the kind of folks who will limit their intrusions to business hours. Whatever they are up to—from monetary gain to state-sponsored intrusion—bad actors are always on the lookout for weak spots to take advantage of. IoT endpoints are among their favorites. Your organization deserves an EDR solution that is as constantly active—and aggressive—as cybercriminals are.

Syxsense Secure and Manage both provide enterprise users with the sort of always-on protection that is necessary to mitigate the broad spectrum of cybersecurity threats out there today. By allowing for comprehensive and real-time visibility into all endpoint activity, reporting on device inventory, quickly quarantining detected threats, and automatically patching all of your devices—be they Windows, Mac, or Linux—Syxsense solutions represent an efficient and meticulous approach to information-security needs.

Experience the Power of Syxsense

Syxsense has created innovative and intuitive technology that sees and knows everything. Manage and secure your environment with a simple and powerful solution.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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Why Endpoint Detection and Response is Getting Harder in 2020

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

Why Endpoint Detection and Response is Getting Harder in 2020

As the severity of cyberthreats increases, the demand for endpoint detection and response solutions across the globe is growing.

The demand for endpoint detection and response solutions across the globe is currently quite strong, with no signs of slowdown any time soon: Recent research by London-based firm Technavio predicts that the market for this type of cybersecurity software will grow by $7.67 billion between 2020 and 2024, representing a compound annual growth rate of 10%.

Why such robust growth in this space? The answer is both simple and unfortunately discomforting. It’s becoming more difficult for businesses, government departments and other organizations to feel secure with the endpoint protections they have in place.

No wonder, given that the severity (and sheer number) of cyberthreats out there is constantly growing. Today, we’ll take a look at what challenges organizations aiming to bolster the effectiveness of their information security may face — and how they might be able to overcome such hurdles.

More Devices = More Potential Weaknesses

Analysis from the researchers at Gartner projected in August 2019 that there would be 5.8 billion open endpoints to the internet of things around the world by the end of the following year: a 21% uptick from 2019’s number.

There’s no denying the utility and communicability that the IoT fosters for so many, but while marveling at those positive attributes you must also note the risks it poses. As the number of endpoints increases across your network — both inside and outside of the IoT realm — so do the potential points of weakness.

In fact, Infosecurity magazine reported in October 2019 that there had been more than 100 million attacks on IoT-connected devices in the first half of that year. Applications run on such devices can be particularly vulnerable.

According to TechRadar, facing up to the security threat represented by IoT device proliferation requires use of an endpoint security solution that can offer comprehensive visibility of all internal and external vulnerabilities. This vigilance must be constant and in real time.

Mounting Danger of New and Established Cyberthreats

IoT-focused cyberattacks, while relatively new in the cyberthreat landscape, have already done plenty of damage, with Wired citing the Mirai and Reaper botnet attacks of 2016 and 2017, respectively, as major examples of such malicious campaigns. The latter of those infected more than 1 million networks. The new versions of the threats coming through IoT endpoints will have the ability to be even more devastating, manifesting as complex dedicated denial of service attacks.

Other attack styles that are even more well-established, like phishing, are becoming even more dangerous in similar ways, according to Security Boulevard. Malicious actors have diversified and variegated the former’s capabilities so that these social engineering scams are no longer confined to emails that are relatively easy to detect: They can be deployed via text messages and even phone calls. AI plays a significant role here, as hackers are using it to mimic an organization’s in-house jargon and speech and thus make phishing expeditions harder to discover.

Last but not least, ransomware looks to pose a more grave threat than ever before. The extortionists using this malware saw plenty of success in 2019, attacking local governments all over the U.S., including Atlanta, Baltimore and New Orleans.

In one particularly brazen, widespread attack, hackers simultaneously hit the municipal networks of 22 Texas cities and towns, disabling countless web-based civic services and operations.

Although not all of those attacks netted hackers the ransom sums they demanded, the disturbing effectiveness of such efforts has likely emboldened cyber attackers, so bigger and more devastating ransomware campaigns are surely on the horizon for 2020. The same is almost certainly true for IoT-based and social engineering attacks. Only the strongest, most versatile threat detection and solutions will be capable of meeting major cyberthreats head-on, be they new attack types or updated versions of old standbys.

The Need for Quicker Responses to Threats

Opinions vary on how long it takes cyber attackers to breach a target that they’ve picked to bear the brunt of their hacks. Some say it falls between 15 and 10 hours, while others consider it more a matter of minutes, according to TechTarget. Either way, that’s an effectively minuscule time frame.

In an interview with Dark Reading, Dan Basile, executive director of security operations at Texas A&M University, noted that it while it’s ideal to find cyberthreats before they can do any harm — like removing a tumor before cancer metastasizes uncontrollably — this perfect-world plan of action isn’t always possible. Therefore the focus switches to quickly directing infosec defenses at a detected threat before permanent damage occurs. EDR needs to be a part of a quick-response strategy, along with application firewalls, network traffic analysis and other systems.

EDR Can’t Do It Alone

That last sentence in the section above represents another key point: EDR is (and will continue to be) more difficult if you expect it to carry the weight of all infosec responsibilities on its own. It must be deployed in concert with firewalls, encryption, multi-factor authentication, threat hunting and other tools. The support of an organizational culture aware of and focused on the gravity of contemporary cybersecurity threats is also essential.

Choosing Syxsense as your EDR solution gives businesses a considerable head start on their journey to crafting a reliably secure environment for your digital assets. Coupled with our comprehensive managed IT and patch management services, Syxsense can provide your organization the peace of mind it deserves. Contact us today to learn more or sign up for a free trial.

Experience the Power of Syxsense

Syxsense has created innovative and intuitive technology that sees and knows everything. Manage and secure your environment with a simple and powerful solution.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

Schedule My Demo
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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.

Experience the Power of Syxsense

Syxsense has created innovative and intuitive technology that sees and knows everything. Manage and secure your environment with a simple and powerful solution.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

Schedule My Demo
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How to Boost Your Team’s Efficiency by Automating IT Processes

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

How to Boost Your Team’s Efficiency by Automating IT Processes

Given the demand for timely action in today's business landscape, automation can help organizations and their IT teams operate more efficiently.

IT teams are responsible for making sure that all technologies and devices used in the workplace work. And, thanks to the widespread adoption of technology by businesses, almost all tasks and processes now require their participation and involvement.

Organizations are shifting many of their workloads to the cloud. So, aside from tending to the on-premises infrastructure, IT teams also have to perform other tasks such as support and monitor access and subscriptions to these cloud services. The explosion of affordable hardware, mobile devices, and the Internet-of-Things is also adding more endpoints to their custody. The prevalence of cyberattacks has also placed added burden on them to secure the network and mitigate threats.

Then there are the seemingly minor daily concerns such as requests for password resets, printer toner replacement, or complaints on slow internet from their colleagues that could pile up. Between 20 to 50 percent of help desk tickets are password reset requests.

IT management has become a monumental undertaking. Fortunately, IT teams are able to manage all these tasks through automation. IT automation is about using tools that monitor the network, watch out for certain conditions, and trigger actions that would readily address issues.

Firewalls and safe email policies can prevent many attacks, but hackers can just as easily gain access to your information through un-patched, out-of-date software. Each of your software tools should be updated regularly to mitigate potential risks. Automating patch deployment can ensure that no update slips through the cracks.

Take the case of software updates. Performed manually, IT staff of a medium-sized organization could be looking at working on hundreds or even thousands of devices. But through automation, these updates could now be configured to download and install as scheduled, minimizing the work for teams.

Most IT processes can be automated and companies should consider leveraging this capability to boost their IT team’s efficiency and effectiveness. Here are other areas of IT management where automation can be used.

Asset Discovery and Tracking

IT can be one of the more expensive investments companies can make. As such, it’s important for IT teams to be able to track all their employees’ digital assets including all hardware, software, and appliances. Knowing the specific assets available to them can help organizations better deploy resources.

IT management platforms can help quickly build such lists through capabilities such as automated network discovery and inventory. Devices connected to the network are automatically profiled including all hardware specifications and the list of installed software in each device.

Knowing what assets are assigned to staff could also encourage accountability from end users. Hardware loss and theft is quite common. One study revealed that 84 percent of businesses surveyed reported losing laptops. Having a historical record of inventories can also help companies track if certain devices become missing.

Software and Patch Deployment

Keeping software and hardware up-to-date is considered good practice. Application developers and hardware manufacturers periodically release updates and patches to their products which may contain new features and functionalities or address vulnerabilities.

Deploying software and patches typically requires identifying affected endpoints and installing the updates. Doing this manually can take quite a lot of time considering patch deployment is a time-critical task.

Fortunately, the process can likewise be automated where management platforms can used to automatically check for updates from developers, identify target endpoints within the network, and deploy the patches.

Backups and Recovery

Data is the lifeblood of most organizations these days so working without data backups can be a disaster waiting to happen. Work can be set back months, even years, should company data become lost or corrupted.

Conventionally, backups are done through scheduled remote uploads and redundant storage. However, workplaces are changing. Businesses can generate and process large volumes of data within a day so even scheduled backups may not be enough to ensure data protection. Teams may also involve workers located offsite making on-premises storage inadequate to store data coming from external sources.

New solutions such as continuous data protection (CDP) can be used to automatically detect any changes to work files and folders and back these changes up to a secure location in real time. CDP solutions even keep revision histories of these files so users can revert back to a previous version in case there are issues with their current version. This way, all company data are safely stored. In addition, these solutions can be used with mechanisms that initiate failover and recovery in case of outage or downtime.

Security Monitoring and Response

Cybersecurity has become top a priority for IT teams given how rampant attacks have become. Attacks can happen any time especially now that attackers are also using automation to launch breach attempts.

IT teams now need to actively monitor and respond to threats. Unfortunately, capable security talent are rare and expensive. More than half of organizations claim that there’s a worrying shortage of cybersecurity skills. To bridge this gap, organizations can rely on automation to help them deal with threats.

Automation has found its way to various security tasks. Anti-malware tools not only perform real-time scanning of devices but they can also automatically quarantine or even send samples for analysis. Security platforms like Syxsense can also detect and block malicious traffic from accessing networks. Automation can also be used to take machines offline in cases they are affected by recently discovered vulnerabilities. This way, any potential damage can be avoided.

Conclusion

Given the demand for swift and timely action in today’s business landscape, automation can truly help organizations and their IT teams operate more efficiently. Automation doesn’t only help accomplish tasks faster but it can also minimize human error where lapses, incompetence, or fatigue, could lead to significant issues. Automation of a wide variety of IT tasks also frees up the team to refocus their efforts on more strategic and creative initiatives.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

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How Endpoint Management Can Keep Your Workplace Secure

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

How Endpoint Management Can Keep Your Workplace Secure

Your workplace can be more secure with a solid IT security strategy.

This article originally appeared on The Hacker News

Workplaces have become highly connected. Even a small business could have dozens of devices in the form of desktops, mobile devices, routers, and even smart appliances as part of its IT infrastructure.

Unfortunately, each of these endpoints can now be a weak link that hackers could exploit. Hackers constantly probe networks for vulnerable endpoints to breach.

For example, systems and applications that are configured using recycled user names and passwords can easily be hacked given the availability of leaked credentials online.

Password management service LastPass noted that 59% of users use the same password for multiple accounts.

Malware and malicious processes may also target workstations. Cybersecurity firm Symantec found a 1,000 percent increase in PowerShell script attacks in 2018. These attacks use cleverly disguised malicious processes that appear legitimate at a cursory glance. This is why the IT security career is quickly evolving into a huge market.

However, because of the number of devices in workplaces, keeping networks safe from hackers has become quite a massive undertaking. Fortunately, organizations now have access to a variety of tools that help mitigate these threats such as endpoint management solutions.

Diane Rogers, Product Manager for Realtime Security of Syxsense, shares:

“It only takes one compromised endpoint to bring a whole network down. Even for smaller businesses, the loss of data, theft of intellectual property, and downtime could cost tens of thousands of dollars to deal with.”

“This doesn’t even include potential losses from government fines and negative publicity. Therefore, it’s critical for administrators to have control over the devices connected to their networks. One way they could do this is through effective endpoint management.”

Here are four ways endpoint management can help secure the workplace’s IT.

1 – Device audits

IT teams should know exactly what hardware and software comprise their infrastructure. But thanks to the surge in the cloud and mobile computing adoption, there’s now what’s called a “shadow IT” in workplaces comprised of unsanctioned applications and devices that workers use.

Using endpoint management solutions, IT teams can automatically discovery all devices connected to the network, their specifications, and the systems and software that run on them.

Having this list allow administrators to review and vet these applications and devices to see if they are free from risks. This way, administrators can then restrict and regulate the use of these technologies.

Audit results can also be collected over time. Audit histories can be used to check and verify the changes that happen to the network including the potential loss and theft of devices.

2 – Process tracking and termination

Hackers continue to use social engineering attacks such as phishing to trick users into downloading and installing malicious scripts to their devices that are designed to steal information, cause disruption to operations, or destroy data across the network.

Users may not be aware if their devices are already compromised as many of these malware are designed to run silently in the background.

By enabling remote access to endpoints, system administrators can review active processes and readily terminate dubious ones.

3 – Automated patch deployment

Fortunately, developers continuously release updates to fix bugs and flaws in their products and services. Previously, administrators have to judiciously keep track of security and update bulletins to know if there are new patches that need to be downloaded and deployed.

Today, endpoint management solutions can automatically detect available firmware and software updates for each device connected to the network.

These patches can also be automatically deployed across devices, including to Internet-of-Things devices. Updates can be performed as soon as fixes become available even during off-hours, minimizing the IT team’s workload and the downtime caused by patching.

4 – Accurate information and real-time action

System administrators must also be able to decide immediately on what actions to take should threats manifest themselves. Endpoint management solutions can reference audit results to identify which endpoints are affected.

By having the most up-to-date information about the system, administrators would also be able to recommend the right actions to decision makers.

For instance, critical vulnerabilities without available fixes may require affected endpoints to be taken offline.

Through audits, administrators and decision-makers would have the information they need to assess the impact on the business end such as the number of potential workstations affected and expected downtime. Knowing these, they could work on contingencies.

Syxsense, for instance, enhances administrators’ capabilities to monitor and respond to threats.

The platform provides absolute real-time visibility of devices, allowing IT teams to instantly check affected endpoints based on audit histories and timely patch reports.

This way, administrators can perform immediate actions to remedy vulnerabilities.

The platform even features voice and artificial intelligence-powered controls that allows administrators to issue human language instructions which further simplifies threat response.

Covering all bases

These said, securing workplace IT requires more than just endpoint management. This should be combined with other measures such as using firewalls, identity management, and data protection.

Workplaces should also educate end users regarding the proper use of IT resources and how to avoid social engineering attacks.

But by using comprehensive management solutions, administrators would be able to cover the many bases required to keep their workplaces’ endpoints secure.

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Network Map: Visualize Your IT Security

By Patch Management, UncategorizedNo Comments

View Any IT Issue at a Glance

Syxsense’s Network Map puts the answer to the IT’s burning questions in a single screen. Can I see every device connected to my network, and how vulnerable to attack are these devices?
Through color coding, critically vulnerable devices alert you to weak links in your security infrastructure.

With a click of a mouse, start a task to immediately patch “Red” devices. Mouse over any device to see exact numbers of how many critical, high, medium or low vulnerabilities you have. Double click to view inventory, a timeline of any changes on the device, and patching history.

By setting up a regular maintenance window, your devices will be fully patched, and a glance at this global network map confirms your compliance. It gives auditors, executives, IT directors and most importantly, you, peace of mind that hackers, phishing, or ransomware cannot exploit your business.

Why choose Syxsense?
1. Detection: With Realtime security information, Syxsense displays the current state of your devices and software. This is a reflection of right now; not minutes or hours ago.
2. Roll Back Patches: Not only can you deploy updates with a strategic method, but the Patch Manager can also uninstall updates. The task can be configured to remove a specific update, or group of updates, from all devices or just a selection of them.

3. Task Status and Reporting: Along with that Realtime data display comes accurate task status information. You can follow along as the task runs and analyze which devices succeeded or failed to implement the update. From there, our reporting section organizes vital information into easy to understand reports. These are perfect for emailing out to prove needed work has been completed effectively.

The Power of Realtime Security

Syxsense Realtime Security manages devices inside and outside your network, roaming laptops, Servers, Desktops, and IoT devices. With Realtime Security we’ve added both this network map and the ability to see and kill virulent malignant processes acting on your network.

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Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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Instagram Takes a Peek: October Third-Party Patch Update

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

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Even celebrity status can’t protect your data

At the beginning of September, a news story broke that Selena Gomez had her Instagram hacked. Why does the Instagram of a celebrity matter this time? Because this hack goes much further.
Instagram won’t confirm just how many accounts were affected, but the hackers claim they have information on 6 million users. They used this information to set up a site called Doxagram, where you could pay to search for the private contact information of these users. These accounts included almost all of the 50 most followed Instagram accounts. People like Rihanna, Emma Watson, Floyd Mayweather, and even the official account of the white house.

Kaspersky Labs reported to Facebook that there was a flaw within the Instagram mobile app password reset option. However, it was in a 2016 version of the app, so if you have kept Instagram up to date, you should be protected.

This is just another lesson why it’s so critical to keep up to date on software patches. Any vulnerability, even in an unsuspecting, non-business software like Instagram, could lead to a major breach.

CCleaner adds malware to your devices

Avast, the parent company to Piriform, discovered that two of their products had been compromised. Hackers breached these two products and added malware into the new version. Then anyone who installed CCleaner also got this malware that allowed hackers to control the infected computer.

Affected Piriform products:

  • CCleaner v5.33.6162
  • CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191

The software has since been updated to remove the malware, but the damage has been done. Piriform says that they fixed things “before any known harm was done” and that no sensitive data was collected. While that might be true, it doesn’t mean the hackers didn’t accomplish their goals. They go access to a massively used software and that, in turn, gave them a back door into businesses that use it.

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Third-Party Updates

Every month we see a bevy of new third party updates, and are always enhancing our library of supported vendors. Special requests and additions are welcomed. This month’s releases include:

Below are a list of third-party software updates for the month:

Vendor Category Patch Version and Release Notes Link:
Adobe Media Software Flash Player 27 and AIR 27: https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/release-note/fp_27_air_27_release_notes.html
Google Web Browser Chrome 61.0.3163.100: https://chromereleases.googleblog.com/2017/09/stable-channel-update-for-desktop_21.html
Ivo Soft Misc. ClassicShell_v4.3.1: http://www.classicshell.net/history/
Peter Pawlowski Audio Player Foobar2000_v1.3.16: http://www.foobar2000.org/changelog
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