Is Your Business at Risk?
With the explosion of security threats worldwide, companies can no longer afford not to be proactive on their security measures.
Organizations are now being forced to spend more money on investigations, notifications and response when sensitive and confidential information is lost or stolen. As reported in the 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, the average cost to a company was $3.5 million and 15 percent more than what it cost last year.
But how do you evaluate the effectiveness of your network security infrastructure? Waiting until a hacker exploits your system and causes a major data breach is not the ideal way to find out it’s time to up the ante on security measures.
So what can you do to protect your business? Leading expert on Information Technology Security Paul Wartenberg from WNDE’s IT solutions provider Enhanced Technologies Group has a few recommendations. Information security is all about creating layers of security no different than what you would do to protect your home from intruders. Alarm systems, security doors, surveillance cameras and even a dog would be similar to having firewalls, anti-virus/malware protection, intrusion detection and vulnerability scanning. Companies need to be proactive and evaluate their risks to determine the appropriate level of security they should have. Below are some key recommendations:
Improve Your Endpoint Security
What is an endpoint? Firstly, an endpoint is any internet-enabled device on a TCP/IP network – whether it’s a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, printer or even a point-of-sale terminal or smart meter.
Endpoints need to be secured as they can provide access to a company’s network and confidential data. This is because ‘dark’ endpoints – devices that are off the network, lost, stolen or operating without security controls – are potential breeding grounds for security breaches.
A lack of visibility across applications, data, devices and users presents ample opportunities for hostile outsiders and even insiders to perpetrate attacks. Security experts agree that network security policies for endpoint devices should be in place before they are granted access to network resources which might also include restrictions for certain devices and users. It is therefore essential to ensure that all endpoints used for business purposes, including BYOD, are registered and are configured in accordance with your business’s OS and security policies.
Make sure all endpoints comply with corporate security policies before allowing them to access your network. This starts with basic steps, such as ensuring endpoint OS, management tools, anti-virus, encryption, VPNs and the like, are updated and working as they’re supposed to.
Protect and Detect
Once you have awareness of all your network endpoints – regardless of device type or location – you need the ability to quickly detect and respond to threats. Identifying and containing infected ‘patient zero’ devices is paramount. Containment then allows a compromised device to be quarantined from the corporate network to prevent further spread.
Software interacts with a company’s firewall to block web traffic to and from compromised devices faster than manual efforts. Firewall rules should also be consistently monitored and recreated or repaired if a user tries to modify them.
Once an unacceptable level of risk is reached or a device has been compromised, your endpoint security needs to be able to perform a range of critical tasks:
- Notify the user and IT team.
- Lockdown an infected device.
- Restrict access to files.
- Wipe a compromised device.
Most endpoint security software will automatically block malware. If a new malware or ransomware threat is not blocked, then endpoint security should detect malicious behavior, such as unauthorized file encryption, and take appropriate remedial action. This includes alerting administrators, blocking or isolating the threat, removing files or rolling back changes made by malicious software.
Using tools like a Penetration Test Assessment can help your business identify high-risk vulnerabilities that may be difficult or impossible to detect with scanning software to keep your network protected from potential threats.
Integrating a mix of manual and automated testing techniques, a Penetration Test will attempt to gain access to information without the knowledge or permission of its owner. The assessment can be used to evaluate your external security perimeter and to provide recommendations for strengthening the security infrastructure to reduce the possibility of an external hacker compromising your information unknowingly.
Identify Your Weakness to Gain the Upper Hand
- Intelligently Manage Vulnerabilities
Penetration testing provides detailed information on exploitable security threats so they can be prioritized for remediation, security patches applied and resources allocated where they are needed.
- Meet Regulatory Requirements and Avoid Fines
Detailed reports can help organizations address some of the requirements of HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI-DSS and more.
- Avoid the Cost of Downtime
Testing helps to avoid financial costs of remediation efforts, legal activities, lowered productivity and more by identifying and addressing risks before breaches occur.
- Preserve Corporate Image and Customer Loyalty
Penetration testing helps customers avoid data incidents and protect their reputation and trustworthiness.
With malware and ransomware threats on the rise, having the right network security solution is vital for any organization seeking to protect its valuable data. If you need assistance with a Penetration Test Assessment or any of the above suggestions, contact Enhanced Technologies Group at [email protected] for a complimentary security consultation.