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Unified Endpoint Management Enters the Mainstream

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Unified Endpoint Management Enters the Mainstream

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

Once upon a time, there was anti-virus. Then anti-spam, adware, malware protection, ransomware protection, mobile device protection, and on and on. As new threats appeared, the vendor community came out with a fix.

According to Gartner, the big trend these days is to bring all, or many, of these tools together in one integrated package. Known as Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), Gartner analyst Dan Wilson says UEM is entering the mainstream. It has achieved a market penetration of between 20% and 50%, depending on the vertical and the size of the organization.

“Unified endpoint management (UEM) tools provide agent-based and agentless management of computers and mobile devices through an employee-centric view of endpoint devices running Windows, Google Android and Chrome OS, Apple macOS, iPadOS, and iOS,” said Wilson. “UEM tools apply for data protection, device configuration and usage policies using telemetry from identities, apps, connectivity and devices. They also integrate with identity, security and remote access tools to support zero trust.”

In essence, UEM consolidates a disparate collection of tools to bring greater simplicity to endpoint management. It streamlines a great many manually intensive tasks and processes across multiple devices, platforms, and operating systems. And the field continues to evolve. Beyond unified management of a few tools, it is heading more closely towards complete integration of identity, security and remote access services while beginning to a role in support for zero-trust security initiatives. Further, analytics, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are also gradually being incorporated to further the goals of end-to-end automation of scanning, deployment of agents, software, updates, and patches, and remediation of threats and other issues. This not only reduces IT overhead, it helps to improve the overall employee experience while greatly improving the organizational security profile.

Gartner listed some of the advantages:
• Location-agnostic endpoint management and patching.
• Enabling the anywhere workforce.
• Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) of managing endpoint devices.
• Simplification of device management and support processes.
• Reduced security risk through support for more device types and OSs
• Enhances policy management.
• Integration with identity, security, and remote access tools.

“IT looks to simplify and streamline endpoint deployment, management and patching to enable provisioning of new devices for remote employees, improve device performance and reliability as well as visibility across the endpoint estate, and reduce security risk,” said Wilson.

Market Evolution
There are signs, though, that the market is evolving yet again. Two distinct branches are appearing.

• UEM tools focused on endpoint management and bringing together a diverse range of tools.
• Unified Endpoint Security to unify multiple security tools under one umbrella.

Syxsense Enterprise takes things a stage further. It unified UEM and UES to create the world’s first Unified Security and Endpoint Management (USEM) solution, delivering real-time vulnerability monitoring and instant remediation for every single endpoint in your environment, as well as IT management across all endpoints. This represents the future of threat prevention as it brings everything needed for endpoint management and protection onto one console. Breaches can be detected and remediated within a single solution. The Syxsense platform can scan for all vulnerabilities on any device, block communication from an infected device to the internet, isolate endpoints, and kill malicious processes before they spread. It can automatically prioritize and deploy OS and third-party patches to all major operating systems, as well as Windows 10 feature updates. IT and security teams can use Syxsense Enterprise to collaborate on the detection and closing of attack vectors. It offers management, control, and security for any and all desktops, laptops, servers, virtual machines, and mobile devices.
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Passwords Will Get Hacked: Be Ready

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Passwords Will Get Hacked: Be Ready

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

May 5th of 2022 was celebrated as World Password Day. News stories were everywhere about how to improve password security, the best ways to implement multi-factor authentication, why a stronger password policy was needed, and what tools to use to better educate users. All represent vital actions and approaches. But they won’t be enough. According to a Google study, 24% of personal and professional accounts have used “password,” “Qwerty” or “123456” as their account password. “Admin” is another popular one. And, of course, people often use their date of birth, or that of their spouse, children, or grandchildren – all of these are easily hacked.

The same Google study found that only a third of users change their passwords frequently. Most of the rest hope to never have to change a password ever again. When forced to do so by adding yet more digits as well as capitals, numbers, and symbols, they often feel resentment. Instead of enhancing security, such security policies often have a contrary effect. Some users get even sloppier: Post-It note reminders in open view; and writing down passwords in a log, or in a document in a computer file.

Meanwhile, the bad guys have gotten smarter, faster, and more devious. They have password guessing algorithms that can crack soft passwords in no time at all. That’s why users are regularly prompted to add to more digits to their password. Six digits were once enough. Then eight. Now it is ten or more.

As the number of passwords increases and they become more and more complex, the current industry solution is to use a password management tool. But Google found that less than a third of people use them. Many don’t trust them as they have then no idea about any of their passwords should an emergency arise such as losing their phone or laptop. Thus, more than two-thirds of users continue to select passwords that are relatively easy to remember. Made to use ten digits, they often choose 1Password! to get around the latest security policy inconvenience.

Helpful tips are everywhere attempting to explain to users why they must change their habits. These tips all make sense: Don’t use sequential numbers or letters, avoid the use of your birth year/month/day; combine letters, numbers, and symbols and use unrelated words; avoid the names or words found in dictionaries; use a password manager, and don’t reuse passwords. Yet user habits are proving hard to break.

Password Breaches Are Inevitable
No matter the security policies set, the number of digits demanded, or the multiple authentication factors demanded, there is one sad, inconvenient, and inevitable truth. The bad guys are going to crack a password somewhere in the enterprise – or convince some gullible person to click on a malicious link or attachment. There is no avoiding this fact.

Despite that, organizations must continue to set good password and security policy, enforce it tirelessly, and add as many safeguards as they can to minimize the chances of password breaches. But they must understand, too, that a password somewhere or other will be hacked – and maybe it already has.

That’s why organizations must regularly scan the network and all devices for potential vulnerabilities. Vulnerability scanning is a proven way to prevent cyber security attacks. Scans will quickly detect any signs of a breach: where a password has been compromised, the back doors and ports re-configured by hackers, and any signs of data exfiltration attempts. IT can then prevent serious damage. By scanning authorization issues, security implementations, and antivirus status, vulnerability scans offer insights into any misconfigurations or compliance violations that may be present. By addressing these rapidly, the organization greatly reduces its attack surface and minimizes the chances of a breach.

The Syxsense vulnerability scanner is not only a complete security management package, but it is also effortless to employ with a user-friendly interface. As it is automated, that allows IT to focus on priority tasks while it scans and secures the system. Decide how often and for how long it should run, and the scanner runs monitors and secures the entire network at the pre-determined frequency and time. It also is available in an automated and integrated suite that includes patch management, mobile device management, and IT management.
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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.

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Facebook Hack Makes Vulnerability Scanning More Important Than Ever

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Facebook Hack Makes Vulnerability Scanning More Important Than Ever

Facebook's recent data breach shows the importance of having an automated and thorough security vulnerability scanning strategy.

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Facebook Data Breach Impacts Billions of Users

A recent data breach compromised the data and personal information of more than half a billion Facebook users. If your name or your company Facebook page was included, then information such as phone numbers, Facebook IDs, names, dates of birth, and more have potentially been exposed.

Those luckless half-billion individuals had this personal data posted on the dark web. Many of them could experience hacking of their Facebook accounts. In some cases, it could open an attack vector into organizations due to Facebook links into other applications and website, as well as sloppy habits such as using the same password and user ID on multiple sites.

From a personal standpoint, changing Facebook password is a wise move. But on a broader scale, it emphasizes the need for comprehensive vulnerability scanning in the enterprise. This hack may well open side doors into systems that IT may not be aware of.

Any company with American or British employees should pay particular attention. More than 30 million U.S. accounts were exposed as well as more than 10 million in the UK, and hundreds of millions more all over the world. Anyone using offshore software development resources, therefore, should also be vigilant. If any of those users have compromised Facebook accounts, they could present a channel for hackers to utilize to burrow into enterprise systems, or worse, enter hidden code into applications under development.

Be Warned and Scan

Be warned that these lists of Facebook data are actively been sold on the dark web. Further, the exposed data is invaluable to criminals as they engineer strategies for ransomware and CEO fraud attacks. If a top exec or someone in the finance department has a hacked Facebook account, hackers have a goldmine of data from which to compose sophisticated phishing emails and other scams.

Case in point: If cybercriminals find out from Facebook that someone is overseas, email or Messenger traffic can be used to solicit emergency funds. Alternatively, if an exec is overseas on a business deal or has travelled to another country to secure a merger, data from Facebook could be used to convince the finance department to wire major sums into fake bank accounts. Such things can and do happen.

Why You Should Scan for Vulnerabilities

In uncertain security times such as these, vulnerability scanning becomes all the more important. Regular scanning inspects the points of potential exploit to detect security holes, classify system weaknesses, and offer suggested countermeasures.

Such scans are generally done against a database of information about known security holes in services and ports, as well as anomalies in packet construction, missing patches, and paths that may exist to exploitable programs or scripts. Strange traffic patterns, unusual spikes in activity at atypical times would also be detected.

Vulnerability scanning can either be performed by the IT department or via a managed service. However it is done, it must be automated and thorough.

How Syxsense Can Help

Syxsense Secure is a comprehensive vulnerability scanner that includes IT management and patch management in one console. Syxsense Active Secure is the managed service version. These tools only show you what’s wrong, but also deploy the solution.

Gain visibility into OS and third-party vulnerabilities like defects, errors, or misconfigurations of components, while increasing cyber resilience with automated patching and security scans.

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Start Your Free Trial of Syxsense

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

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Vulnerability Scanning vs. Penetration Testing: What’s the Difference?

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Vulnerability Scanning vs. Penetration Testing: What’s the Difference?

While vulnerability scanning finds potential vulnerabilities, penetration testing takes a different approach. What are the key differences?

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The Difference Between Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing

There is often confusion about the purpose of vulnerability scanning compared to penetration testing. Stated simply, vulnerability scanning deals with finding potential vulnerabilities, while penetration testing attempts to exploit them.

Both play an important role in the fight against cyberattacks. Numbers tracked by Kaspersky Lab show an average of close to a billion attacks per quarter launched globally from around 200 different countries. Investigators found more than 100 million unique URLs recognized to be malicious, as well as hundreds of thousands of attempted infections by malware, either designed to steal money via online access to bank accounts, or to shut down data access and demand a ransom.

In the mobile area, as many as a million malicious installation packages are being detected each quarter. These statistics highlight the importance of both vulnerability scanning and penetration testing.

Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanning deals with inspection of potential exploitation areas to identify vulnerabilities. Regular scans detect and classify system weaknesses. In some cases, the application offers predictions about the effectiveness of countermeasures. Scans can be performed by the IT department or via a managed service. Typically, scans are done against a database of information about known security holes in services and ports, as well as anomalies in packet construction, missing patches, and paths that may exist to exploitable programs or scripts.

Some vulnerability scanners detect vulnerabilities and suggest possible remedies. Others attempt remediation and mitigation across the environment. Some provide strong support for audits and compliance via reporting, or are geared towards security standards such as PCI DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley, or HIPAA. Others specialize in the discovery of web-based holes or problems with authentication credentials, key-based authentication, and credential vaults.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is quite different from vulnerability scanning. Pen testing is about exploiting vulnerabilities rather than indicating where potential vulnerabilities may lie.

The vast majority of security incidents are due to attackers taking advantage of known software bugs. In other words, the security hole or bug is known, a patch has been issued, yet the organization has failed to take advantage of it. A lack of regular patching, a failure to inventory endpoints, or the illegal download of rogue applications, provide hackers with an avenue of entry.

It’s no wonder, then, that pen testing tools have emerged to help developers test code by checking it against known vulnerabilities and security holes. They are also used to audit organizations for security compliance, and to unearth problems lurking within the enterprise.

However, there is no single way to conduct such testing. Some scan ports, others scan for Wi-Fi vulnerabilities. Some test applications, others focus on the potential web encroachments. It is common for such tools to use lists of known vulnerabilities and problems. They probe in those areas to see if they can breach the defenses. Most organizations utilize multiple pen testing tools, both proprietary and freeware, rather than relying on a single solution.

Vulnerability Scanning by Syxsense

Syxsense Secure is a comprehensive vulnerability scanner that includes IT management and patch management in one console. It not only shows you what’s wrong, but also deploys the solution.

Gain visibility into OS and third-party vulnerabilities like defects, errors, or misconfigurations of components, while increasing cyber resilience with automated patching and security scans.

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Start Your Free Trial of Syxsense

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

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Do You Really Know How Vulnerable You Are?

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Do You Really Know How Vulnerable You Are? Vulnerability Scanning Plays an Essential Role in Modern Security

How effective is your IT security strategy? Even with 70% of breaches starting at the endpoint, many IT professionals have become complacent.

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How vulnerable is your IT security strategy?

Sometimes you can get too cozy behind well-built fortifications and imposing defenses. The ancient Trojans offer a vivid example. The Greeks could do nothing to breach the mighty walls of the city state. After a decade-long siege, the people of Troy knew with certainty that their kingdom could never be successfully attacked. Yet they were defeated by a small group hidden inside a wooden horse.

The point is this: Have you become complacent with your own firewalls, intrusion detection systems, AI-driven threat detection apps, and safeguards?

Avoid Complacency

Cybercrime statistics demonstrate that vigilance is never ending. Billions of cyberattacks are launched each year from all around the globe.

Automation and a thriving dark web economy have spawned an army of hackers — they are constantly probing for any weakness, especially at the endpoint. With 70% of breaches originating at the endpoint, all it takes is one vulnerability to enter the network.

However, another reason for potential complacency could be the high volume of breaches that are caught. Security teams may be high-fiving daily at the number of probes and attack vectors they thwart. At the first sniff of an unusual traffic pattern from a port, they pounce and plug the hole. When a serious breach is detected, forensic and remediation teams scour the enterprise to ensure all areas of compromise and weakness are resolved.

Yet these stark facts remain: There is a 28% likelihood of a recurring breach within two years; and it takes 197 days on average for IT to identify a security breach. Clearly, there is no room for complacency. Like sentries on the perimeter, all it takes is a few minutes of inattention or napping on the job and the game is up.

The Need for Vulnerability Scanning

Hence the vital nature of vulnerability scanning. Malware and AV apps constantly detect malicious infections designed to steal money via online access to bank accounts, ransomware attacks, and corrupted installation packages on devices. While keeping all defenses in place, and even reinforcing them, this is no time to be without comprehensive vulnerability scanning.

Vulnerability scanning is all about inspecting points of potential exploit to identify security holes. The scan detects and classifies system weaknesses. Some tools predict the effectiveness of countermeasures. Typically, scans correlate the details of the target attack surface to a database of information about known security holes in services and ports, as well as anomalies in packet construction, and paths that may exist to exploitable programs or scripts. Therefore, scanning databases must be complete and constantly updated.

Some scans are done by logging in as an authorized user while others are done externally and attempt to find holes that may be exploitable by those operating outside the network. Both kinds should be deployed. It is all about constant alertness. And a willingness to remain willingness and overcome any tendency toward complacency.

Complete Security Management

The Syxsense vulnerability scanner is the most complete security management package on the market. It is effortless to employ, has a user-friendly interface, and effectively enhances the security of IT systems.

As its automated, security personnel determine how often and for how long to run the scan. This gives IT the ability to detect and secure vulnerabilities and security weaknesses exposed by open ports, disabled firewalls, ineffective user account policies, and security compliance violations from remote workers and those on the corporate network.

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Start Your Free Trial of Syxsense

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

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Watch the Webcast: Securing Work-From-Home Devices

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Watch the Webcast: 5 Strategies for Securing Work-From-Home Devices

As many organizations navigate the realities of remote work, our webcast shows how to get a clear understanding of how vulnerable your work-from-home devices are to attack.

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Reduce Your Attack Surface from Home

Whether you are heading into week two or three of COVID-19 isolation, your IT landscape has undoubtedly changed.

Our webcast explores the best way to get a clear understanding of how vulnerable your work-from-home devices are to attack. Explore the top five strategies to harden devices, reduce your attack surface, and find peace of mind.

We’re bringing industry-leading IT management and security strategies right to your desk. Our webinar covers:

  • Setting up security scans—because patch scans only do half the job
  • Using security scanning results to block brute force attacks
  • Confirming antivirus is installed, running, and definitions are updated
  • Quarantining and troubleshooting a device you suspect has been breached
  • Checking and deploying patches for zero-day vulnerabilities
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View the Webcast

5 Strategies for Securing Work-From-Home Devices

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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.

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