Author Archives: Seqrite

What to consider before investing in Cloud Security Competency?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

American market research giant Forrester estimated in 2017 that the value of the public cloud market would reach at least $191 billion by 2020. This surge in the valuation is driven by the growing acceptance of cloud computing by enterprises in this decade.

Organizations are increasingly embracing doing business on the cloud for the various advantages it offers. They are attracted by the fact that cloud computing offers a way to reduce costs in their information technology department by eliminating physical infrastructure and leveraging the cloud solution provider’s resources.

Cloud computing offers many benefits

By hosting the business on the cloud, enterprises can be leaner and more flexible, with employees being able to access essential data, information and applications from wherever they travel. In summation, the next decade will see many more enterprises move to the cloud as we enter the era of the gig economy.

However, there continues to remain legitimate concerns about the security of cloud computing which inhibits many enterprises from exploring this course of action. By moving to the cloud, enterprises do embrace flexibility but also open themselves up to a whole new set of cybersecurity challenges, involving:

The possibility of a data breach

When enterprise data is stored in the cloud, there are fears about the possible repercussions of a data breach. Since the data is stored on a cloud provided by a third-party provider, questions are always asked about the downtime involved and the backup methods used.

The question of compliance

Enterprises from different sectors have to grapple with various regulations on the storage of data. This is a problem that gets compounded when it comes to storing such data on the cloud.

Hacked interfaces and APIs

Almost all cloud services now provide APIs (Application Programming Interface) – APIs are required by organizations to manage and interact with the cloud service they are using. Therefore, the security of the cloud service largely depends on the security of APIs. These are the most vulnerable part of the system as they are directly exposed and are accessible via the Internet.

It’s these security considerations that are major factors for an enterprise looking for competency before investing in the cloud. Before shortlisting a cloud security provider, enterprises should consider the following pointers:

Multi-factor authentication

Enterprises must check whether their cloud security provider provides the functionality of multi-factor authentication. As mentioned earlier, data breaches pose a significant threat to cloud computing but turning on multi-factor authentication is a credible defence against this threat.

Access control

Working on a cloud environment does not take away the threat of insider breaches. To protect an enterprise from insider threats, cloud security must also provide access control functionality, limiting the access users have to the system.

Data storage

Before investing in cloud security, enterprises must be aware of how their data is being stored in the cloud. Whether these are malicious attacks or natural disasters, cloud data should be ideally distributed in multiple locations. This serves business continuity as well as data recovery in case of an unfortunate event.

Offers both security and compliance

An investment in cloud security should enable the enterprise to enjoy both top-of-the-line security and also comply with territorial and global regulations.

The era of cloud computing promises to unlock productivity and efficiency for enterprises, provided they ensure the investment has been made in the correct security competencies. Seqrite Cloud provides an integrated solution that allows the management and regulation of multiple Endpoint Security and UTM products deployed at different geographical locations.

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How to build a battle-ready cybersecurity team?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Organizations and the people who run them are slowly perceiving cybersecurity to be a slightly different ball game than information security.

As global organizations grapple with cyber threats and aim to keep their enterprises safe from malware, hackers and other forms of threats, their understanding of this domain is getting richer every day.

Cybersecurity management cannot happen in isolation – appointing one security officer to handle everything in cybersecurity is not going to make an organization efficient or secure.

There needs to be a specialized team whose sole task should be to manage the entire paradigm of cybersecurity for a business.

If you are a CEO or a senior leader of an enterprise, reading this and agreeing to this, the next question you should ask is how to create a solid, efficient & battle-ready security team?

The following tips may help:

  1. Look for specialized resources and hire them

A Frost & Sullivan report observed that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfulfilled positions by 2020. This indicates that there will be a substantial hiring gap when it comes to dealing with cybersecurity and enterprises must be aware of that. To build a good team, there cannot be any gaps. If you’re a CISO or even a CEO, go hunting for specialized specific cybersecurity skills in the market and don’t leave any stones unturned till you find them. Make it clear to the organization that this is a hiring gap that needs to be filled at any cost whatsoever. Once the skills are identified, swoop in quickly and hire the personnel as soon as possible, before someone else gets to them.

  1. Assign responsibilities

There are different facets to cybersecurity and if the hiring has been correct, then an enterprise has hired people suited to those facets. But roles need to be assigned properly as well keeping in mind your employee capabilities – ensure that there are enough people looking after essential cybersecurity behaviours like patch updates, firewall protection, endpoint security, insider threats and regular audits. Once people are aware of their roles, it is easier to form a plan and act accordingly.

  1. Conducting regular Red Team Assessments

Think of cybersecurity personnel as virtual firefighters or disaster management specialists – most of their training takes place as simulations in the hope that when that one incident happens in reality, the personnel will be perfectly trained to take the appropriate measures. The same is true for your cybersecurity team. Regular assessments and Red Team Assessments (which are basically mock trials of cyberattacks) must happen regularly to inculcate absolute readiness into your team. This will help make them battle-ready when an inevitable attack takes place.

  1. Keep upskilling

You have assembled a great cybersecurity team with perfect readiness to tackle the next cyberattack. Work is done, right? Not quite. A team tackling cyber threats is only as good as today. Tomorrow’s cyber threats are continuously evolving as criminals constantly innovate in their desperation to hit targets hard. Cybersecurity is that critical function which needs continuous upskilling in the form of training, self-education or anything else. The learning never stops in cybersecurity.

  1. Empower cybersecurity personnel

Security personnel cannot be lame ducks in an enterprise. In such a situation, all their skills and endurance will be wasted giving way to a high-risk factor to the enterprise. These personnel must be empowered by their managers to act and take decisions in a field as dynamic as cyber attack prevention.

To complement a battle-ready security team, Seqrite offers a range of security solutions providing complete enterprise security. The company’s Endpoint Protection was recently awarded as the best in the world by AV-Test and comes preloaded with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for advanced endpoint and data protection.

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Prioritizing Data Security Investments through a Data Security Governance Framework (DSGF)

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

A shift to prioritize data security investments through a Data Security Governance Framework (DSGF) was among the top seven security and risk management trends identified by global research & advisory firm Gartner in 2019.

Breaking it down, the report observed that the changing paradigm of security meant that enterprises were required to identify other frameworks for protecting data. The first step involves the understanding of the data generated by asking questions such as:

  • Why was this data created?
  • When was it created?
  • How will it be used?
  • Is this data compliant with the regulations my business needs to adhere to?
  • Can the original owner of the data make a request to get it deleted?

A framework for better data security

By answering these questions, enterprises can create a Data Security Governance Framework (DSGF) to better utilize and protect data. The research recommends this approach over acquiring data protection products and trying to adapt to them to suit a business need. A Data Security Governance Framework (DSGF) provides a blueprint that is organization-centric which classifies data assets and provides the bedrock for data security policies.

In this framework, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every enterprise approaches data security on a case-by-case basis, trying to understand their unique data security requirements in the hopes of finding unique solutions.

The need for better alignment

The framework helps to provide a balance between the business need to maximize competitive advantage and the need to apply appropriate security policy rules. Adopting this framework will require greater collaboration within an enterprise’s Information Security Team regarding aligning approaches for data classification and lifecycle management. This involves classifying data according to unique requirements – which dataset is the most important and requires maximum security?

Different businesses use different methods for protecting data –

Data Masking

A method through which data at rest or in motion is masked which protects it but also ensures that it is usable. It helps organizations raise their level of security for sensitive data while conforming to privacy regulations and other compliances.

Data Audit and Protection

This method uses active data control, monitoring and logging to check and detect suspicious activities.

Unusual behaviour and anomalies are detected and flagged and acted upon instantly by stopping suspicious users from accessing critical data and flagging network administrators about this behaviour. Data is separated from users as per their roles.

DSGF can be a useful tool for enterprises to plan their data security investments and allocations. The framework helps an enterprise understand their own requirements clearly and helps enterprises to make better decisions on investment purposes. Some of the key details that DSGF can help in are in:

  • Volume, veracity and variety details of each type of dataset
  • Business risks and financial impacts of each dataset
  • Data residency issues affecting each dataset, specifically as there are different data privacy laws for different geographies and jurisdictions
  • Asset management data
  • Consistent access and usage policies for different datasets

Rather than using technology to solve their data security issues, enterprises must ideally use the Data Security Governance Framework (DSGF) to understand and identify their own business requirements. Once the identification is conducted and a framework is created, it would then be prudent to identify the appropriate technology solution for an enterprise’s own data needs.

However, if you want expert consultation on your current framework, please contact us and we will be glad to advise you.

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What is the kill chain and the seven steps involved in it?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The term ‘kill chain’ originated in the military as a concept to outline and define each stage of an attack. It has found its way into cybersecurity as well as a means to understand the structure of a cyber attack and disrupt it. There are seven defined phases of the kill chain with each phase having a specific utility to the attacker.

For enterprises waging a relentless war against cyber attackers, it is essential to understand each stage of the kill chain to make guided interventions when required and block the attack. In 2013, Lockheed Martin, the global American military giant, used this model to stop a SecurID attack.

Here are the seven phases that comprise the kill chain:

Phase 1: Reconnaissance

This phase involves both, passive and active reconnaissance on the part of the attacker. Identification of a vulnerable target is the most important objective of this phase and in pursuit of the objective, attackers will try and gather as much data and knowledge they can on their targets. This is a preparation phase before the launching of a cyber attack.

Phase 2: Weaponization

Once the Reconnaissance phase is complete, the attacker will move on to the next phase which is Weaponization. In this phase, the attacker will decide on the best type of tool they have at their disposal to carry out their attack on the target. This decision will be based on the findings of the Reconnaissance phase. The attacker could use methods like a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, a botnet attack or malware to attack unpatched systems.

Phase 3: Delivery

The Delivery phase involves the attacker to deliver the attack through a malicious payload. This payload can be delivered through a variety of means: a phishing email, a drive-by-download attack or spear phishing.

Phase 4: Exploitation

At the Exploitation phase, the attacker exploits the vulnerability that has been discovered to carry out their attack. The targeted system is typically compromised and the attack enters the system. At this stage, the attacker has already gained a foothold and may try to make further intrusions by installing other malware.

Phase 5: Installation

After the Exploitation phase, the Installation phase involves the malicious software being installed and multiplying inside the breached system. Users may unknowingly install and spread the malware on their systems by taking actions such as sending infected emails to other users. The breaches may multiply across the affected network.

Phase 6: Command & Control

At this stage, the attacker is in full control. After successfully gaining entry and breaching an enterprise’s defenses, the malware can be fully commanded and controlled by the attacker who can use it for any malicious purposes. This can include sending back confidential information, passwords, emails or anything else the attacker seeks.

Phase 7: Action on Objectives

This is the seventh and the final stage of a cyber attack. This phase is defined as the ‘Action on Objectives’ phase and refers to the final actions which an attacker takes on conducting a successful attack. An attack could have various goals – to extract a ransom through a ransomware attack, to sell data on the Dark Web or to leak confidential information to a rival enterprise.

It is important for enterprises to understand and remain prepared for each phase of a cyber attack. As outlined above, every phase is different and requires the corresponding action.

Seqrite’s solutions enable better protection at every stage and ensure enterprises stay secure against cyber attacks.

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2020: A new paradigm in Cybersecurity

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As we enter a new decade, it is important to look back and learn from the decade that is about to end. From 2010 to 2019, cybersecurity moved at a furious pace. Threats erupted in multiple new vectors, spreading far and wide and shutting down thousands of organizations at the blink of an eye.

State-sponsored cybersecurity threats became an imminent danger with governments waking up to the sheer horror of the scale of damage it caused. Social media giants were increasingly viewed with suspicion by regulators about how they use the data of their users.

The terms ‘Dark Web’ and ‘Deep Web’ have become common among not just cybersecurity specialists, but also regular users.

A new era of cybersecurity

Looking at that pace of change, one thing is quite certain – 2020 and the start of the next decade will bring about a new paradigm in cybersecurity.

This paradigm shift is likely to be driven by the fear of the damages cybersecurity attacks can cause. One figure estimates the cost of cyber attacks to the world to rise to $6 trillion by 2020. A key figure in that calculation is the unprecedented rise of connected devices.

As the world moves to an Internet of Things (IoT) era, an increasing number of devices will be connected to the Internet, enabling a more customized user experience. That, however, also increases the number of devices at risk of cyberattacks. Gartner estimates the number of Internet-connected devices to be 20 billion by 2020.

The role of the state will increase

Expect the role of the state in regulating cybersecurity to increase mainly because cyberattacks are starting to affect nation-states on a larger scale. The biggest countries in the world have instituted cybersecurity departments, recognizing the need to defend themselves against cyber warfare. Experts speculate that cyber threats could pose all sorts of problems for countries, with physical repercussions as well – imagine a cyber attack on a national power grid by an enemy state, wiping out the power system of thousands of homes and causing an emergency.

Recognizing the risks, governments will try and bring in more regulations for domains that have traditionally operated much freely till now. It will be a challenge for enterprises to stay abreast of regulations and maintain compliance.

Data privacy and the questions around it

Very few other organizations had a more action-packed decade than Facebook. As a social media behemoth, Mark Zuckerberg’s company rose to dizzying heights before being engulfed in scandals which caused it to be viewed with suspicion. The lesson from this debacle is clear – there is now a renewed awareness of the importance of the data users provide to enterprises. Don’t expect this trend to subside any time soon – enterprises will have to deal with more questions on how exactly and what exactly they are doing with the data they collect.

The race towards automation as a tool to prevent cyber attacks

Automation is already being explored as a tool to combat cyber attacks. A 2019 Ponemon survey observed that 79% of respondents from 1,400 IT and IT security practitioners across the UK, US and APAC were in organizations which currently used or planned to use automation within the next three years. These respondents also said that log analysis would be the most common type of security activity that would be automated in the next three years, followed by malware analysis and threat hunting.

Automation will help reduce the load on an Information Security team which is already suffering from skill shortage and help enable the fulfilment of time-consuming, manual and mundane tasks.

Artificial Intelligence – in attack and defence

Artificial intelligence will be a double-edged sword in 2020 and beyond. AI-powered cybersecurity solutions in coordination with human intelligence will continue to be extremely useful when dealing with large amounts of data. AI solutions can analyze this data to find patterns and anomalies, helping to understand the environment. This way, it can understand concepts such as normalcy and false positives and flag when there are events which are not “normal”.

In the same vein though, the usage of AI in launching cyber attacks will also increase. Cybercriminals also use AI to run their own research and find loopholes in enterprises. Cybercriminals can also use AI to scan through huge tracts of data quickly and find Personally Identifiable Information (PII) which can be a major cybersecurity risk.

The year 2020 promises to mark a paradigm shift in the world of cybersecurity, giving rise to new solutions, new threats and new means of tackling them.

To share actionable insights on Cybersecurity at the dawn of 2020, Seqrite has put together an exclusive summit for knowledge sharing on the future of Cybersecurity.

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Effective methods for enterprises to detect and prevent network intrusions

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Enterprise networks are susceptible to brutal intrusions – some of these intrusions could be in the form of systems on the network running unauthorized applications with vulnerabilities and backdoors. When such vulnerabilities are exploited, unsolicited access to the network occurs which can have a range of unpleasant consequences for businesses.

To prevent such unauthorized intrusions on the network, it is essential to deploy a security solution which can detect these events and work actively towards prevention. An Intrusion Detection System (IDS) monitors all incoming and outgoing network activity and identifies any signs of intrusion in your systems that could jeopardize your business. Its main function is to raise an alert when it discovers any such activity and hence it is commonly known as a passive monitoring system.

Nowadays, IDS systems have received a facelift. We now have an advanced solution viz. IPS that is helping enterprises in a huge way to cope up with the menace of cyber-attacks that happen through business networks.

IPS is part of and a salient feature of Unified Threat Management (UTM), a highly effective product to block threats penetrating via business networks.

What are IPS and how does it help in the prevention of network intrusions?

An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is a step ahead of IDS with its capabilities. The system detects and blocks anomalies on a company’s network. It does that through:

  • Monitoring routers, firewalls, key servers and files and matching intrusions with a signature database in the event of a breach
  • Raising an alarm with targeted notifications at key personnel when there is a breach
  • The number of false alarms is low because of the cross-verification with a signature database
  • Detecting patterns by identifying various types of attacks and providing insights on administrators for further protection
  • Maintaining regulatory compliance by providing greater visibility across the entire network

How does UTM as a whole help in defending your business network?

Seqrite’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) offers a one-stop solution for all enterprise security needs which includes intrusion detection and prevention as a standard feature.

UTM’s in-built IDS and IPS components keep enterprises safe by:

  • Monitoring, evaluating and catching threats in real-time
  • Preventing Denial of Service (DoS)/Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Preventing the discovery of open ports by attackers

Seqrite UTM’s IPS acts as a security barrier against unwanted intrusions into your network and forestalls a broad range of DoS and DDoS attacks before they penetrate the network. Deploying this level of protection can benefit an enterprise in various ways, including:

  • Providing a snapshot of network security at one glance
  • Protection of enterprise assets within the network
  • Triggers raised on detection of any suspected breach or activity in the network
  • A holistic approach towards prevention of intrusions

Apart from its powerful Intrusion Prevention System, Seqrite’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution is equipped with other key features like Gateway Antivirus, Web Filtering, High Availability, Centralized Management System (CMS), etc. to ensure it acts as the first line of defence against all network attacks.

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Five questions every CEO should be asking about cybersecurity

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As the captain of the ship, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) plays a very important role in how an enterprise addresses cybersecurity issues and concerns. When the CEO provides a buy-in towards making enterprise security safer, it trickles down as a new mindset for the entire organization.

The 9th Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study 2019 revealed a significant statistic – the average cost of cybercrime for an organization increased by $1.4 million to $13 million in 2019.

More than anything else, this is the most important statistic which illustrates why cybersecurity is one of the most important issues that a modern organization must deal with. It is no longer a question of IT or Information Security – it is a business issue as important as anything else which leaders need to deal with urgently.

But to create that mindset, what kind of questions should a CEO be asking? Here are five important ones:

  1. How prepared is the enterprise right now to handle cyber risks?

The CEO, as the most important leader in the company, must know and that too, in minute detail, about his company’s preparedness to current threats. The leadership must have detailed visibility of how the enterprise is dealing with these risks, what measures they are taking and also, what threats are slipping through the net. This question is the first starting point for the CEO and the answer to this question will provide a complete understanding of where the enterprise is currently placed when it comes to cybersecurity. On the basis of that, plans for the future can be made.

  1. Does the senior leadership buy into the current cybersecurity framework? If not, why?

CEOs head organizations but they can never be a one-person army. Great organizations surround CEOs with a team of competent leaders who come together to form one unified front. It is in the same way that a company’s senior leadership team comprising the C-suite must also showcase a united stand towards cybersecurity measures taken by the enterprise. This helps in better compliance and inculcation of a security-first mindset among employees. However, this is easier said than done and that is why a CEO must ask this question.

If the CEO finds out that this is not the case, the first step is to get the entire leadership team on board.

  1. What is our plan for responding to cybersecurity incidents? How regularly has it been tested?

Cybersecurity is not a zero-sum game – there is always a scope for malware to sneak through despite the best possible measures. This is why an Incident Response Plan comes in handy as it details the actions to be taken for different kind of incidents. The CEO must be aware of every intricate detail of this plan as in times of a crisis, they will need to show that they are in control. CEOs must also keep themselves abreast of how regularly this plan is tested so that they are aware of any shortcomings in it.

  1. Do the employees have a cybersecurity mindset?

Employees are the single biggest factor in cybersecurity preparedness for an enterprise. The CEO must be aware of the current culture of cybersecurity in the organization – are employees aware of the dangers that cyber threats may pose or do they still remain blissfully unaware? If the answer is the latter, the CEO must immediately put in place a plan to create a mindset of cybersecurity in the entire organization.

  1. How does the enterprise handle insider threats?

Cybersecurity is not always an external affair – in many cases, danger lurks within the enterprise in the form of insider threats and disgruntled employees. It is not just the InfoSec team that has to be aware of this  – the CEO must ask leading questions about this dangerous type of threat and the kind of the measures the company is taking to tackle this threat.

Creating a cybersecurity culture in an enterprise is not easy but investing in a strong enterprise solution goes a long way in protecting an organization from the varied threats that exist. Seqrite’s range of solutions enables security and greater productivity in the cybersecurity journey.  

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Understanding five of the best algorithms leveraged to encrypt data

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

With the advent of data protection regulations like the GDPR in the European Union, the Data Protection Bill in India and the POPI Act in South Africa, enterprises are turning to robust algorithms that build encryption solutions to keep valuable data safe.

Encryption is a process through which data is encoded in a unique way via which only authorized users can see this data – for unsolicited users this data will appear as gibberish. Encrypted data going outside an enterprise network can be set to be viewed by a decryption key.

Enterprises understand the importance of effective utilization of data and ensuring it remains safe and secure.

There are various different algorithms which are used to encrypt data.

AES (Rijndael)

Advanced Encryption Standard (Rijndael) is a type of encryption standard which is used by the government of the United States since 2001. The key sizes can come in 128, 192 or 256 bits. It replaced the earlier Data Encryption Standard (DES) which came into existence from 1977. The keys of 192 and 256 bits are used for encrypting extremely important information and is largely considered impervious to attacks from criminals.

RC6

RC6 is another type of symmetric cypher which was developed to meet Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) requirements. It was first published in 1998 with a block size of 128 bits and supports key sizes of 128, 192 and 256 bits. It is a proprietary algorithm patented by RSA Security.

Serpent

Serpent was also a finalist in the competition to replace the earlier Data Encryption Standard (DES) in 1998. It also has a block size of 128 bits and supports a key size of 128, 192 or 256 bits. It ranked second to Rijndael in the contest. It is a strong cypher but is considered slower than the AES. Since Serpent is in the public domain, it is free to be used by anyone.

Twofish

Twofish is considered among the fastest encryption standards and is hence favoured for usage among hardware and software enterprises. It is freely available and hence makes it popular. The keys used in this algorithm may be up to 256 bits in length and only one key is needed.

Blowfish

Blowfish is a flexible encryption algorithm which is widely used among different e-commerce platforms for various purposes, including password management tools. It is known for being fast and effective with criminals almost finding it impossible to decrypt the information. Since it is available in the public domain, it can be easily used.

Seqrite Encryption Manager (SEM) offers a robust encryption solution for business data by protecting corporate data residing on endpoints through the usage of strong encryption solutions like the ones mentioned above. Full disk encryption supports Microsoft Windows Desktops and Laptops and prevents data loss occurring from loss/theft of endpoint. Seqrite Encryption Manager encrypts the entire contents on removable devices such as Pen Drives, USB Drives and makes it accessible to only the authorized users.

The key major features of SEM include:

  • Full Disk Encryption – enabling encryption of entire hard disk inclusive of user files, system media files, operating system files, etc.
  • Secure Data Access – enabling access to encrypted files on the move through removable storage on a system with an encryption agent
  • Fail-Safe Mode – allowing blocking of a machine in the case of unauthorized access with the network admin also receiving a notification
  • Optional Suspension – Allowing an administrator to temporarily suspend client boot protection while keeping data encrypted

These are just a few of the powerful features which enable Seqrite Encryption Manager (SEM) to ensure data is protected from unauthorized access enabling privacy and efficiency.

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Investing in Enterprise security is a necessity, not a luxury

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

In the current ‘digital-first’ environment that organizations and businesses operate nowadays, success and failure can often depend on enterprise security solutions. Businesses operate in an environment where the threats from the digital sphere can often outweigh the threats from a physical sphere. The list of threats is huge and ever-expanding – malware, phishing, ransomware, cryptojacking, data breach, hacks, financial fraud, password loss and a lot more.

Neglecting cybersecurity has both financial and reputational damages. A study estimated that the average cost of a data breach rose 12% over the last few years to a staggering $3.92 million. And as some of the biggest organizations in the world like Equifax, Marriott International and Yahoo realized, threats have repercussions on brand value as well, affecting customer trust and reputation in a way that may not be possible to value monetarily but certainly leave a lasting impact.

That is why an increasing amount of organizations are waking up to the fact that enterprise security is no longer just an investment – it is a necessity and a requirement in today’s day and age.

Global research and advisory firm Gartner estimated that worldwide information security spending would exceed $124 billion in 2019.

How does treating enterprise security help benefit an organization? There are many ways but some of the most important ones are:

  1. Your data is substantially safer

No organization is completely safe – cybersecurity is one of those sectors where every second, there are new threats to the organization. Such an environment demands to have a strong enterprise security framework to keep organizations safe.

Most cybercriminals use basic tools and strategies which are already identified and blocked by most enterprise security solutions helping your data, your businesses and your employees stay safe from cybercrimes. In fact, Seqrite’s range of enterprise security solutions allows administrators to see the number of breach attempts and different cyber threats repelled to understand how the enterprise is staying better protected.

  1. Helps to meet compliance and regulatory requirements

For any organization operating in the digital world, there are various regulations, depending on where the enterprise is operating from and which countries its customers are based in, that one needs to comply to.

Non-compliance with these regulations (GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc.) can result in hefty fines – in extreme cases even destroy businesses. But enterprises who have utilized a cybersecurity solution will be in a much better position to meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

  1. Build cyber trust

The impact of cyber attacks can be disastrous – affected reputation, decrease in customer base, legal liabilities etc. are all by-products that can undo the great work done by SMBs, SOHOs & enterprises and possibly floor these businesses.

Enterprises need to work hard to avoid this kind of a situation and win the trust of their users and stakeholders by ensuring them that they are taking the best possible measures to keep data safe. Once stakeholders and customers are convinced that the organization they are interacting with and entrusting with for their valuable data are serious about keeping it safe with the help of enterprise security, it helps to build trust and can be a key differentiator in customer loyalty.

  1. Preventing the loss of business

An enterprise that suffers a data breach or cyber attack suffers a loss in business. Client data is compromised, confidential data may be leaked and the data, if backed up, may take months to recover. In the worst-case scenario, if data is not backed up, it may be irretrievable.

All these contribute to a major loss of business for an enterprise which they can avoid to a certain extent by investing in an enterprise security framework.

Organizations can consider solutions like Seqrite’s Endpoint Security, a simple and comprehensive platform to protect enterprise networks from advanced threats, and Unified Threat Management, a one-stop solution for all enterprise security needs.

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Eight great habits that enterprises can practice for bolstering cybersecurity

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Efficient cybersecurity is built on the foundation of good habits practised by internal customers. Enterprises may think a great deal about implementing effective cybersecurity practices and have plenty of meetings, but it’s actually not that complicated.

An effective framework is the first step but more importantly, is ensuring effective habit-formulation.

Unfortunately, enterprises are populated by humans who like to take the easier but riskier way out. Whether it’s setting the same password across all accounts, leaving data freely available or using company devices on risky Wi-Fi networks, bad habits can be problematic.

Here are a few tendencies that should be eliminated as soon as possible.

  1. Weak passwords

The problem with weak passwords is an issue that plagues an entire organization, from the top to the bottom. It’s not enough to have a policy about strong passwords – it’s also important to run regular campaigns across the entire organization with real-life case studies to educate employees on the importance of using strong passwords and how to do so.

  1. A lack of a security policy

The lack of a single unified security policy is an extremely bad enterprise security habit. A proper policy keeps all information and strategies in one place, becoming a one-stop repository in case of crises. Without a security policy, it is difficult for enterprises to remain protected.

  1. Taking shortcuts

When enterprises underestimate the damage cyberattacks, the propensity is to run towards shortcuts. This means being reactionary to attacks and not taking cybersecurity seriously by running the most basic of solutions and not investing too much time and energy. This is a recipe for disaster – cybersecurity is an extremely important function of an enterprise today and needs to be taken as seriously as any other function.

  1. Forgetting to have cybersecurity drills

Just like fire safety drills, it’s important to have regular cybersecurity drills. This inculcates preparedness into employees and gives them an idea of what happens during a cyberattack. But many organizations go for months and years without having one. This makes them extremely unprepared in the event of an actual cyber attack.

  1. Delayed patching and updating

Vulnerabilities in different enterprise software are often found every day and patches & updates are released to keep businesses safe from a cyber strike. But organizations can often be guilty of not being up-to-date on patching software for vulnerabilities. Hackers and cybercriminals are aware of this and often use these vulnerabilities to enter systems and cause immense chaos.

  1. Not investing in backup

An enterprise security framework goes a long way in enabling protection and strong solutions can also play a part. But it’s always important to have a fallback plan and that is where backup comes in. By backing up critical data at regular intervals, enterprises can ensure they have something to fall back on, in case of critical situations. However, many enterprises neglect this important step and as a result, put themselves at great risk in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Underestimating social engineering

Many enterprises can slip into the notion that cybersecurity is purely a technological problem and putting in place, a strong cybersecurity solution can solve all problems. But that is not the case – social engineering is as big an issue as cybersecurity, nowadays. The only way to solve this is to ensure that employees are as well- versed in cybersecurity issues.

  1. The problem with access control

Access control is an issue almost every organization struggles with. They may have the strongest firewalls but it can be sometimes of no use if every user in the organization has access to everything. That makes the company very susceptible to insider breaches. This also means that, if a hacker manages to gain control of a system with access to the network he can break the entire IT infrastructure.

Seqrite’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) provides a one-stop solution for many of the problems identified above. It acts as the first line of defence providing IT security management, a safe working environment, high productivity, regulatory compliance in a cost-effective way.

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The healthcare industry’s largest cyber challenges

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A 2018 national audit of healthcare preparedness observed that only 45 percent of businesses followed the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, a policy framework for cybersecurity guidance for private sector organizations in the United States.

No wonder then that the healthcare sector sees a tremendous penetration of cyberattacks year-after-year. A recent example of this is the theft of personal information of 14,591 patients that received medical care through Los Angeles County’s hospitals and clinics. Moreso, experts are now saying that the monetary losses to the global healthcare industry are mounting into billions, courtesy cyberattacks.

When it comes to the operational end of healthcare, the consequences of a cyber attack can be catastrophic. A cyber attack on a healthcare system can be dangerous and life-threatening – imagine critical care patients being locked out of the system. Also, considering the fact that industries in this sector store potentially vital personal information, it is even more worrisome that this sector is not investing a lot in cybersecurity.

The industry needs to act swiftly.

For stakeholders, here are some of the top cybersecurity issues facing this sector –

1.     Ransomware

Reiterating, healthcare data is a thriving breeding ground for hackers all over the world. Healthcare data primarily consists of hyper-confidential patient care details, insurance information and financial data. This information can be kidnapped and sold to an array of buyers – pharmaceutical behemoths, insurance bigwigs and banking juggernauts are just some of them.

Hence, ransomware is the preferred tactic for cyberattackers to sabotage the healthcare industry at large. Typically how this works is that hackers gain access to systems and encrypt data locking original users out. These users are then threatened that the encrypted information will be deleted or leaked unless they pay a ransom (mostly in the form of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin). Hackers are specific to state that the data will only be freed post-payment.

2.     Insider Threats

Insider threats are certainly not a new risk anymore but their threat potential is increasing as we speak. Data is now routinely being stored in the cloud which means employees of an organization have a lot of access to sensitive data within the organization. This is compounded by the fact that humans can often be the weakest link in any cybersecurity framework.

3.     Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)

Advanced persistent threats refer to malicious campaigns where attackers breach a network and then stay there, quietly gathering intelligence about the target. They can sometimes go undetected for months or even years. The main aim of APTs is to steal sensitive confidential data. They enter an organizational network, expand their presence slowly and gather data before finally exiting. Data from the healthcare industry is exceedingly valuable – and hence cybercriminals know it’s worth it to think long-term in terms of securing this data.

4.     Mobile devices

According to statistics, 68% of healthcare security breaches were due to stolen/mobile devices. Healthcare providers are routinely using mobile devices for services such as submitting patient data, submitting bills, scheduling appointments, etc., increasing the amount of patient data being disseminated. Lost or stolen mobile data were one of the leading causes of healthcare data breaches.

5.     Spear phishing

A variation of phishing, spear phishing is a big threat to healthcare industries – just like APTs, it gives attackers access to valuable data. Hackers send a targeted email to an individual which appears to be from a trusted source. The agenda of these emails, like any other cyber fraud is to either gain access to the user’s system or obtain other classified information. Spear phishing is considered to be one of the most successful cyber-attack techniques because of the superior level of personalization done to attack users which makes it highly believable.

Stay protected against all these threats by employing Seqrite’s range of solutions which are defined by innovation and simplicity. Through a combination of intelligence, analysis of applications and state-of-the-art technology, Seqrite provides the best defence against myriad cybersecurity threats.

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The banking sector’s top cybersecurity challenges

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

While most industries around the world are affected by the looming danger of cyber threats, the banking sector has always been the worst hit. Naturally, this brings upon considerable damages due to the very environment that the banking sector works in – they deal in billions of dollars every single day, trading with a plethora of people and businesses all over the world. They also deal in an incredibly important and vast financial information from multiple customers, making the banking industry a veritable goldmine for cybercriminals.

Recently, a cyber attack on Cosmos Bank in Pune, India resulted in Rs. 94 crore being stolen. In 2016, Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, was hacked and the hackers successfully stole 81 Million USD. The hackers used the bank’s SWIFT credentials to transfer money into various banks across the globe before the heist was discovered. Hackers had used a combination of social engineering and viruses to obtain employee credentials and access the bank’s network to make the transfers. Fortunately, the transfer of 800 Million+ USD was stopped after the discovery of the breach. These incidents make it clear that the negligence of cybersecurity can have severe consequences on the banking sector.

  1. Insider Threats

Insider threats refer to current or former employees who may have been responsible for security breaches in an organization. This is a major issue for banks – in 2015, Morgan Stanley fired a financial adviser in its wealth management division who stole data from 350,000 clients or 10% of its customer base. In fact, 82% of financial organizations considered insiders with legitimate access as the main threat to cybersecurity.

  1. Not investing in the best cyber defence

At times, banks can lag behind when it comes to following the latest cybersecurity measures, which can bring about a catastrophe. Merely investing in the best and most powerful solutions does not always work – cybersecurity is an ever-evolving threat and even banks need to be proactive and conduct a continuous risk assessment and intelligence gathering.

  1. Dependence on legacy banking systems

Cybercriminals love targeting banks because they are aware that banks are not very keen on upgrading to modern systems from their legacy systems. These legacy systems have plenty of loopholes and issues which cybercriminals are aware of, ensuring that they use these channels as their primary attack routes.

An Indian survey suggested that there was a 350% increase in cybercrime in India which happened through legacy systems.

  1. Malware & frauds

Banks and financial institutions are extremely vulnerable to various forms of cyber attacks and online frauds. 40% of banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) businesses have been attacked at least once and there has been a multifold increase in credit and debit card related frauds.

With the majority of mobile banking transactions happening on personal devices, this is also likely to increase.

  1. Non-patched systems

A major survey of over 7,000 financial firms found that more than 1,300 of them had at least one patched security vulnerability. Given their cumbersome infrastructure, most banks work with applications that contain unpatched, known security vulnerabilities.

Seqrite helps to mitigate such threats with its range of dynamic, scalable and future-ready solutions: Endpoint Security, Data Loss Prevention, Unified Threat Management and mSuite with powerful features like Patch Management, IDS/IPS, Device Control, Gateway Protection, ensures the provision of a strong cybersecurity setup.

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The Information Technology industry’s major cybersecurity challenges

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The Information Technology (IT) sector has snowballed into an extremely profitable and revenue-generating entity in a relatively small amount of time. IT is single-handedly responsible to initiate and implement digitalization ensuring that a very large amount of information gets converted from a manual to a digital format. The industry’s involvement, especially in the avenues of processing data has automatically made it a sought-after target for cyber attackers.

Typically, cybercriminals like to target industries where the repercussion of a cyberattack will be immense and the stolen data will be valuable. By targeting the IT sector, they naturally suffice their purpose of attacking large industries with a huge workforce – something that can impact an entire nation’s economy.

The growing threat is confirmed by the numbers itself – according to Seqrite’s Quarterly Threat Report from the second quarter of 2019, IT/ITES companies were the fourth largest target for cyberattacks at 6.15% of the total malware attacks for that quarter.

But this risk can be significantly averted if the IT sector empowers itself to tackle this growing threat. The first step is assessment and hence, the IT sector must ensure it is in the position to deal with some of the biggest cybersecurity threats that plague this sector.

  1. Skills gap

According to a recent workforce assessment survey, 59% of organizations had vacant cybersecurity positions – Frost & Sullivan forecasts a shortfall of 1.5 million by 2020 globally. This statistic sharply illustrates a major problem the IT sector is facing when it comes to cybersecurity; the daunting and ever-increasing skills gap.

Skilled cybersecurity personnel are in huge demand but the supply doesn’t seem to keep up. That is why organizations in the IT sector must keep exploring ways to overcome the skills gap by investing in regular training and upskilling programs.

  1. MaaS as an Advanced Persistent Threat

As per the analysis of Seqrite’s annual threat reports, it is predicted that the evolution of RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) which is a form of MaaS (Malware as a Service) is pointing towards the future possibility of an ‘As a Service model’ for Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).

What this would hypothetically mean is that malware authors could quite likely pivot to searching for generic loopholes in high-profile sectors like IT/ITES. These could then be sold as a well-organized attack vector to those willing to pay. Governments or anti-state actors could take use of APT as a service to get information or infiltrate different departments of IT companies.

  1. Data breach

Remember the huge Equifax data breach in 2017? Apart from major reputational and operational damage, it was also responsible for major financial setbacks.

Recent reports suggest that the American organization will have to pay about $700 million as part of a global settlement over the data breach. Recent, Indian IT company Wipro also admitted that they had suffered a high-profile data breach.

Companies in the information technology sector must take cognizance of this growing threat as the amount of valuable data they possess makes them very vulnerable to this threat.

  1. Insider Threats

The IT sector witnesses a constant flux of employees – an endless cycle of attrition and hiring. Employees, current and previous, are instrumental in many instances of accidental or purposeful data leaks. This phenomenon is commonly known as insider threats.

Insider threats pose a major problem for the IT sector, thanks to the number of people with access to confidential data. Employees may switch between different projects for different clients which means they have access to confidential client information.

If this information gets leaked either advertently or inadvertently, it could pose a huge problem for their respective companies.

Keeping all these threats in mind, it is imperative that the IT sector embraces the challenge and keeps upgrading its cybersecurity solutions. They can consider investing in solutions like Seqrite’s Endpoint Security (EPS), a simple and comprehensive platform to protect enterprise networks from advanced threats, and Unified Threat Management (UTM), a one-stop solution for all enterprise security needs.

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The manufacturing industry’s major cybersecurity challenges

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Until recently, the manufacturing sector as a whole rarely took cyber threats seriously. This was primarily due to the domain’s outlook that it was a highly specialized industry and hence would not be on the radar of cyberattackers. The outlook started to change after annihilating cyberattacks such as spear-phishing attacks on Saudi Aramco, Stuxnet and the LockerGoga started to surface.

Citing one of the latest cyberattacks, Airbus faced a threat this year when it reported that it had detected an attack on its information systems which resulted in a data breach. Though it did not affect their operations, Airbus did admit that employee-related details had been lost in the breach.

It was events like these when this industry realized that it too is equally prone to cyber threats that can shut down entire production lines and have ramifications throughout the supply chain.

In fact, according to Seqrite’s Q2 Threat Report, cyberattacks are on the prowl in manufacturing, especially in the automobile sector.

We discuss key channels for attackers to target the this industry.

  1. Data breaches

Manufacturers store a vast range of often specialized and classified data on their systems. This ranges from the projects they are working on, blueprints for future products that companies would like to be secretive about, confidential financial data and a lot more. Hackers are aware that this data is a potential goldmine putting manufacturers at risk of data breaches which can lead to disastrous consequences. Manufacturing companies must recognize that the risk of data breaches actually exists and work hard to plug the gap.

  1. Internet of Things and connected manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is increasingly moving towards an era of smart manufacturing where the shop floor and the supply chain are progressively getting interconnected. This helps to speed-up production and time-to-market but also creates an ecosystem where there is a reduced division between different stages in the manufacturing lifecycle.

Although beneficial, this increases the risk of a cyberattack in multitudes – the risk of a single cybersecurity breach can have a deep impact on a manufacturing plant.

Furthermore, with futuristic technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) seeing enterprise adoption at lightning speeds, manufacturers, now, have to deal with an added cyber threat channel.

  1. IP theft

Intellectual property is the manufacturing industry’s key asset and prized possession. Hence, it is obvious that if it goes in the wrong hands, this could cause immense reputational and financial damage to a manufacturing company. While most companies in this sector have strict rules for employees on the information they can disseminate to external sources, enterprise stakeholders do not consider that the risk for IP theft can also come from cyber attacks, whether it’s data breaches or insider threats.

  1. Falling behind in the skills gap

Mostly, the manufacturing industry collectively understands the importance of specialized knowledge and hiring people with expert skills to solve the problems they face in day-to-day operations. However, considering the current dangerous scenario of enterprise cyberattacks, this needs to be extended to resolve their cybersecurity problems as well.

After all, cybersecurity is a specialized issue and it requires specific people with the correct training and knowledge to tackle it. The manufacturing industry must look beyond a conventional IT department to tackle cyberthreats.

  1. Regulation and compliance

The manufacturing industry has mandates to comply with regulations at a national and an international level that currently encapsulates cybersecurity as well. Most manufacturing companies nowadays operate under some sort of regulatory control for their data. Often this information is stored in the cloud with very limited access and under strict regulations.

If this data privacy is violated, it can have serious consequences and is a factor to be kept in mind when considering a cloud network security strategy.

Keeping the above in mind, it is important for the manufacturing sector to prioritize cybersecurity and invest in solutions like Seqrite Endpoint Security (EPS) and Unified Threat Management (UTM) to ensure they remain protected in this day and age of sophisticated and tailor-made cyberattacks towards the enterprise.

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The retail industry’s major cybersecurity challenges

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The retail sector has always been at the risk of cyberattacks. The industry has already seen high-profile data breaches, some of which have happened in the recent past at large retail brands, lucrative to cyberattackers, such as Target, TJX and Home Depot.

One of the major reasons for these attacks is the fact that the number of vectors is huge. This industry sees a large volume of cards, cash, POS and online transactions on a regular basis making retail a sought after target for cyberattackers.

Especially nowadays, the retail sector is increasingly moving towards digital and while this will bring a plethora of opportunities, the risks of cyberattacks also automatically become immense. The numbers for various surveys have said it aloud – a 2018 report found that 50% of retailers have been breached in the past year. The monetary consequences for retailers can also be major – according to a KPMG study, 19% of customers said they would completely stop shopping at a retailer over a hack while 33% said they would not shop at the same retailer for more than three months.

These are increasingly troubling statistics and hence, it is important that retailers fix various cybersecurity issues such as:

  1. POS Security Vulnerabilities

One of the reasons why POS systems have a high-security risk is due to the soaring stakes involved. These systems collect data for hundreds of transactions every single day, making it a veritable gold mine for hackers. These systems are also more vulnerable to malware because of the very nature for what they are used for.

As a tool which is used extremely regularly, network administrators do not get the time to ensure that the correct updates and patches are run on the system, making it vulnerable to new and advanced threats.

  1. Malware-as-a-service

Of late, malware, especially ransomware – is readily available for download from the dark web. Even amateurs, armed only with criminal intent can access vulnerable retail channels and launch an attack. This naturally raises the sheer number of possible attackers, and that increases the need for retailers to bolster sensitive points in their network. Network security along with endpoint security is extremely vital for retailers and products such as Seqrite’s UTM are proven to safeguard retail enterprise networks.

  1. Human factors

An enormous amount of cyber risks arise from human factors. In the retail industry, these human factors may not always be controllable, as it employs a large number of low-skilled workforce with high attrition rates, along with a considerable amount of third party interfacing through the supply chain.

  1. Increasing integration with Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT), which essentially connects devices like refrigerators, TVs, other home appliances and even cars to the web, is seeing a heavy adoption. Its potential in the retail industry is immense with companies trying to integrate in-store cameras, sensors etc. with the shoppers’ smartphones.

With multiple devices connecting to an organization’s network, the risk of having unguarded entry points to the system increases. Some of the cyber experts refer to this phenomenon as the ‘Internet of Vulnerabilities’ and if appropriate measures to shield from attacks are not undertaken, the retail industry is nothing more than a fertile hunting ground for cyberattackers.

  1. Security on mobile devices

Mobile phones are ubiquitous and are becoming one of the top tools for shopping. As per a Deloitte report, the younger generation especially 25-34-year-olds are heavily inclined to use mobile devices for browsing, shopping and purchasing.

With a rise in usage of the same by employees within office, a company’s network is suddenly under a deluge of connections some of which might be host to dangerous malware.

This in turn suddenly puts, not only the network under threat but also all the connected devices.

The retail industry is in a vulnerable state and is a target for attacks by organized cybercriminals as well as opportunistic hackers. It is the retail industry’s onus to protect its own operations as well as the critical information of their customers.

It is essential that retailers make use of well-established security practices, frameworks, and solutions like Seqrite to safeguard their customers’ data and their business operations.

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The transformation of enterprise security from 2017 to 2019

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The nature of enterprise security is such that it continuously keeps evolving. Trends change, threats vary and morph into different entities, approaches that seem relevant get outdated in six months or sometimes even lesser. For enterprises looking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cybersecurity, staying stagnant is not an option. The need of the hour is to keep abreast of the latest new trends and technologies to stay safe.

Thanks to the speed of transformation, enterprise security has seen multifold changes in the last two years, some due to need and some due to necessity. These changes can be summed up through the following pointers:

A move towards a zero-trust network

More and more organizations are moving towards a zero-trust model where no one and nothing is trusted. Introduced by American market research giant, Forrester Research, the zero-trust network model eliminates the concept of a perimeter and calls for enterprises to inspect all network traffic without any classification of ‘internal’ and ‘external.’. Basically, no user or traffic is considered ‘authorized’ and all access to a specific network is governed by the same set of rules.

The evolution from 4G to 5G

In 2017, enterprise security needed to understand 4G – now, network technology has evolved to such an extent that the world is embracing 5G. It is a trend which enterprises must also embrace but at the same time, be aware of the security tradeoffs. As with the advent of any new technology, cybercriminals will also join the bandwagon to ensure they create chaos and profit. 5G will likely have different types of phones, different networks and a completely different kind of technology which will open up new vulnerabilities – early adopters should be extremely careful.

The rise of cryptojacking

An important trend which has caught the industry’s attention is the dangerous threat of cryptojacking. This is a threat which will only become more widespread as the usage of cryptocurrency increases. It works by hackers sending unsuspecting targeted emails with malicious code in them -or they embed this code into sketchy websites. The attack succeeds if malicious code is accessed by unsuspecting users – this malicious code works in the background, silently mining cryptocurrency. This takes up a lot of computer resources and can often lead to slow system performance.

Spear phishing

While phishing is a tactic that continues to be used, it has an upgraded, even more dangerous avatar, popularly known as spear phishing. In spear phishing, users get meticulously personalized emails from a trusted source or a company you’re familiar with and interact quite often. This could be as scrupulous as an email from a friend, colleague or your boss asking you for access to classified information. Attackers are now closely examining their targets and gathering as much information about them to ensure their email is as believable as possible. This is done by employing Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) to entire systems, gathering humongous amounts of data about enterprise and customer habits, and then using this data to launch a spear-phishing campaign.

Certainly, enterprise security has seen a lot of changes in the last two years which is a natural state of affairs in this sector. It is important for enterprises to invest in solutions which continue to evolve and stay attuned to the latest cybersecurity trends to ensure they are not lagging behind. Seqrite’s range of enterprise security solutions is continuously updated to enable enterprises to remain safe from the ever-evolving threats in today’s digital age.

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Are you taking your enterprise mobility management seriously?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

A stark contrast to yesteryears with strict office hours, today’s business trends are permitting employees flexibility when it comes to office hours, remote working and devices through which they can work from.

It is in this context, many leading enterprises all over the world have adapted to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy – employees can use their own devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) to connect to enterprise networks and work on their deliverables.

And, employees love BYOD because –

  • Own device familiarity
  • Increased productivity
  • Ability to work in a preferred location

From an employer perspective, the cost of procuring new devices for each employee is saved which leads to higher cost savings for an enterprise.

The flipside to this otherwise brilliant arrangement is the security lapse that may occur if BYOD policy is not formulated properly. A weak BYOD policy significantly opens enterprise networks to cybersecurity challenges considering traditional enterprise security norms on devices do not apply anymore. This can snowball into a disaster!

Mentioned below are some of the common risks if enterprise mobility is jeopardized.

  1. The Risk of Data Loss

The risk of data loss rises exponentially when it comes to employees using their own devices to access and work in the business networks. Enterprises, typically are not able to deploy the same level of data controls on personal devices as they can on enterprise devices. This leaves personal devices susceptible to data loss through malware, ransomware and various other threats.

  1. Insecure usage

Personal devices are prone to be used in plenty of insecure ways if unsolicited users gain access to them- something which is difficult to do for enterprise devices in a conventional business security ecosystem. Personal devices connecting to potentially risky public Wi-Fi networks (airports, public restaurants, etc.) or shared within other people can cause huge risks to business-critical data.

  1. Personal & professional data on the same devices

An increasingly grey area in the context of BYOD, since personal devices contain both personal and professional data and are used for both professional and personal purposes, important business details are threatened. Humans commit mistakes – for instance, sending professional information accidentally to unwanted users.

  1. Increased risk of sabotage

All enterprises face the risk of sabotage by disgruntled employees – it is a serious risk with enterprises addressing it through various means. For companies permitting BYOD, the risk of sabotage through angry or dissatisfied employees is high. A former employee may still have access to company data on his/her device – leaking it to competitors or any other sources could create havoc for the company.

  1. Lost devices

Mobile devices facilitated by businesses operating in the business network can be safeguarded from a plethora of threats by applying policies such as frequent backups, encryption, etc. However, the same may always not be true for personal devices which make it a big risk in cases when employees report a theft of personal devices.

  1. Unrestricted access

All enterprises have content policies which regulate the kind of content their employees can access. While this can still be easier to regulate and moderate on work devices, it may not be possible on personal devices allowing employees to access and view all kinds of content. This opens up wider enterprise threats in the form of malware, ransomware, etc. which is notoriously hidden in unrestricted content.

The key to managing BYOD is deploying an Enterprise Mobility Management solution which understands and addresses the aforementioned risks. Enterprises can consider Seqrite mSuite which increases the productivity of enterprises by mobilizing the workforce while ensuring that critical data remains absolutely secure.

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