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Mobility Linked to Surge in Cybercrime

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Mobility Linked to Surge in Cybercrime

An endpoint ecosystem study by Mobile Mentor found a direct correlation between the rise in mobility and a recent surge in cybercrime. How can IT teams better manage the trade-off between endpoint security and the employee experience?

An endpoint ecosystem study by Mobile Mentor found a direct correlation between the rise in mobility and a recent surge in cybercrime. With the pandemic forcing people to work remotely and to rely on devices beyond the traditional desktop, the study found that cybercrime has jumped overall by 500% since the start of the COVID-19 era. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets became the tools of choice of the work-from-home (WFH) brigade. And this led to a much greater security risk, particularly in highly regulated industries.

The report highlighted a big area of difficulty for IT: the trade-off between endpoint security and the employee experience (EX). At one extreme, things can be made so secure that almost no one can access systems or communicate to anyone else. At the other end of the scale, everything is so easy to access that criminals waltz in unannounced and undetected, steal valuable data, take over user identities, gain administrative privileges, and drain corporate bank accounts.

Researchers make the point that the explosion in mobility and WFH overstretched the capabilities of many IT departments. Security, in particular, fell badly behind in an increasingly distributed and autonomous workforce world. Not only are companies getting hacked in far greater numbers, but employee frustration has risen sharply. They are resigning in greater numbers than we have seen for decades. A talent crunch is emerging right at a time when more staff are badly needed across all functions. IT and security teams are threadbare in many cases. And good IT team members can’t be counted upon to stay loyal as headhunters are always looking to lure them elsewhere with higher pay.

Study Findings
The study discovered that relatively few employees are aware of security risks and corporate policies addressing these risks. 27% of employees only view security policies once per year or less. Similarly, 39% receive security awareness training less than once per year. Out of sight, out of mind appears to be the case. Instead of constant reminders, they get a quick dose of security training or policy awareness which is soon forgotten.

In any case, 41% believe security policies restrict the way they work. They just don’t accept that they shouldn’t use a USB drive or that they should be deprived of convenient online services. For example, 53% consider that they are more efficient using Dropbox and Gmail than their approved corporate tools.

Passwords came up as another major bone of contention. 31% of people use a password management tool. The other 69% select passwords that are easy to remember. There is a link here to EX. Most users have countless passwords, pins, logins and security safeguards they are supposed to remember. For work, most have dozens of passwords when you factor in HR, production tools, financial systems, payroll, benefits, corporate intranet, VPN, and email. And then there are personal accounts which often have to be accessed during work hours such as preferred hotel sites, airlines, personal banking, personal email, and more.

The policy may require 10-character passwords and that Xd! must be included – and must be changed every month. But when so many passwords and characters are in play and password managers aren’t trusted due to being a single point of failure, sloppiness is inevitable.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) reared its head as another area of big risk. The study found the use of BYOD has surged over the past two years. These days, 64% of people use personal devices for work. Unfortunately, less than a third of organizations have instituted a program to enhance BYOD security. On top of that, shadow IT has become an even bigger issue. IT has lost control of the use of the approval process for apps. As they often don’t control the devices, they don’t know what’s been put on them. Even when they do have some control, the accessibility of cloud and SaaS resources can make it hard to know if some department head or staffer has subscribed to online services. Some may be very secure. But many aren’t.

Bottom line: 72% of employees values their personal privacy over company security. In such a climate, security must rise to the challenge. It must be comprehensive, but it must also not inhibit the user from performing their duties. By automating security and delivering it over the cloud, Syxsense Enterprise provides real-time vulnerability monitoring and instant remediation for every single endpoint in an environment. This represents the future of threat prevention. Breaches can now be detected and remediated within one endpoint solution, Syxsense.

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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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Case Study: How Organizations Can Affordably Gain Security Technology and Expertise

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Case Study: How Organizations Can Affordably Gain Security Technology and Expertise

Business Email Compromise (BEC) breaches are turning into the go-to strategy for cybercriminals. What actions should you take?

Faced with a shocking increase in security threats – a 500% increase in cybercrime in the last two years, according to one study – many organizations have responded by making a firm decision to hire experienced IT security personnel and acquire the latest and greatest security tools. But the price tag for top talent and feature-rich security suites quickly makes them reassess their needs.

Yes, they want the very best and most experienced security executives. Yes, they need to manage their endpoints, deploy patches, make their mobility options more secure, and be able to quickly spot potential vulnerabilities. But how do they afford it?

One approach that is gaining serious traction is to outsource many of these duties as possible. That can come in the form of “hiring” a virtual security executive or using a managed service provider (MSP) to take care of many IT security functions or doing both.

H2Cyber, for example, offers virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) services in addition to cybersecurity and risk management services. This cybersecurity executive management firm operates a highly skilled and experienced team of security consultants. This wealth of talent is at the disposal of anyone paying a monthly fee to gain their own vCISO. And it’s a lot more affordable than a full-time security executive. The average salary of a CISO is $273,030 in the U.S, and states such as New York and others are now requiring organizations in certain markets must assign someone to that position.

“It is merely a matter of time before a regulatory body or threat actor comes upon your business,” said Paul Horn, Founder & CEO of H2Cyber. “Regulators will be looking to make sure you have basic cybersecurity measures in place to reduce the risk of a cyberattack as well as having required safeguards in place to protect client and customer information. Threat actors, on the other hand, will look to exploit the lack of basic safeguards regardless of your company’s size.”

H2Cyber helps its clientele avoid breaches by delivering vCISO services and offering cyber-strategy advice.

“A vCISO allows the organization to navigate through the increasing number of cybersecurity regulations by building a comprehensive cybersecurity program accounting for compliance and security,” said Paul Horn, Founder & CEO of H2Cyber. “Just because an organization is compliant doesn’t mean they are secure: it is a game of risk management.”

H2Cyber’s team makes its money in C-level advice and expertise. Its focus is squarely on the strategic and executive side of security, not on the nuts and bolts of applications such as backup and patch management. Yet its customers typically want more than a vCISO to advise on strategy as well as how to streamline interaction between business and IT. They also want recommendations about the right security tools and services to deploy to take care of potential incursions and threats such as ransomware. For that side of the business, H2Cyber outsources services to other MSPs. This enables its trained resources to focus on vCISO duties and other core competencies.

“Our customers want to know what works; they don’t have time to research and evaluate the different solutions out there, so they expect us to find the best MSP services for their needs,” said Horn.

His company operates a relatively lean infrastructure consisting of cloud services via Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). It augments a small data center with MSP services, leveraging white-labeled products where possible. These services include cybersecurity compliance, antivirus, and cyber security support.

Syxsense, for example, is used by H2Cyber for vulnerability scanning, and other IT security services that help its clients remediate software and OS vulnerabilities such as incorrect or misconfigured settings. Patch management services, too, are provided by Syxsense. Horn noted that there are many patch management solutions to choose from. However, many require assets to be on-premises, only patch Windows-based systems and don’t offer management of mobile devices.

“Syxsense allows you to manage not just Windows, but Linux as well as Apple,” said Horn. “The Syxsense Secure platform allows the pushing of patches automatically and provides the necessary security and vulnerability discovery within our systems.”

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

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

Schedule My Demo