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Cyber Security

How the Disposable Nature of Tech is Putting Your Businesses Data at Risk

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Written by Rick Vanover, Senior Director Product Strategy at Veeam

It has become common practice for people to chase the latest technology trends. As tech becomes part of our everyday life, the lifecycle of our devices becomes smaller and smaller. This is posing a huge issue to the sprawl of data.

With the lifecycle of tech shortening, many are abandoning old devices at second-hand stores (thrift shops) and selling them to new owners without thinking about the data and personal information that is left on there. Many people are now working from home and opting to use a personal computer to get work done. This is making the challenge of controlling and managing your organisations data near impossible. With data now sprawling across the company and personal devices, there is no control over it, especially when it is sold on to its next home, left behind at a second-hand store, or thrown away.

To add to this, workplace trends like BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) are gaining popularity and making it harder for organisations to keep track of data. IT teams have less control over employees’ personal devices and so protecting the data on them becomes a challenge. Things like a lack of encryption or outdated operating systems can lead to potential hacks and data loss.

This is something organisations need to consider when implementing a cyber security strategy. This means educating staff in understanding the risks involved with discarding old devices and setting up the right protections within an organisation.

Educating staff
The first step in managing this is for IT teams to educate employees about the risks involved with using personal devices for work purposes and then eventually discarding it. Employees should be trained in the security practices of an organisation and also understand how that translates to personal devices.

Part of this should be educating staff on how to properly wipe the contents of their phones if they eventually discard it to a second-hand store. This is not something that is considered by most organisations.

Employees also need to be briefed to understand how to identify potential malware, phishing, or ransomware attacks on their personal devices. If employees are able to identify these threats, it mitigates risk of data being lost at all.

Protections
If educating staff fails, there are some protections IT teams can manually put in place to mitigate risk even further.

  • Constant software updates – if employees opt to use their devices for work purposes, this has to be under the precedent that the phone is updated regularly. Be sure to provide employees with the support necessary to deliver these updates.
  • Password security – to minimise security risks, roll out a compulsory monthly password change. Also ensure that you are putting up restrictions around the type of passwords employees are using, making it less obvious to potential hackers.
  • Encrypt data for protection – smartphones and tablets have encryption options that will provide protection of storage. Smartphones that are encrypted have a lower risk of being hacked.
  • Clear all phone data – if employees decide to move on to a new device or stop using their current device, ensure you manage the deletion of all data from that phone and a strict policy around discarding devices.

As work from home has become the new normal this year, it is becoming increasingly complicated to manage the sprawl of a company’s data. While these agile work trends had been predicted for the next 5-10 years, organisations were not prepared for them to become so mainstream in 2021. As we look to the future, this is only going to become more and more complicated.

It’s important for IT teams to understand all the risks as their companies take on more flexible working arrangements in the new future. A huge part of this is of course understanding the risks that come with using personal devices, particularly in the process of discarding them or sending them to a new home.

Cyber Security

Group-IB Unveils Unified Risk Platform

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Group-IB has today unveiled the Unified Risk Platform, an ecosystem of solutions that understands each organization’s threat profile and tailors defenses against them in real-time. Every product and service in Group-IB’s now consolidated security suite is enriched with information from a Single Data Lake, which contains 60 types of sources of adversary intelligence. The Unified Risk Platform automatically configures your Group-IB defenses with the precise insights needed to provide the best possible defense against targeted attacks on the infrastructure and endpoints, breaches, fraud, brand, and IP abuse.

“At the heart of the Unified Risk Platform is a Single Data Lake that has the most complete and detailed insight into threat actors. Group-IB has collected the industry’s broadest range of adversary intelligence, with 60 types of sources across 15 categories,” the company said in a statement.

The data is gathered by and exclusive to Group-IB, providing customers with unprecedented visibility of threat actors’ operations. The raw data is enriched with context, converted into actionable intelligence, and added to Group-IB’s Single Data Lake. The patented technology is continuously refined by state-of-the-art research, science, and modeling conducted by Group-IB’s dedicated analyst teams spanning 11 cybersecurity disciplines.

The modular architecture of the Unified Risk Platform allows additional capabilities to be easily activated, providing increased protection from cybercrime without friction. A range of out-of-the-box integrations and flexible APIs enable the Unified Risk Platform to easily enhance any existing security ecosystem. When organisations need specialist support, Group-IB’s comprehensive suite of services is available for any purpose, from one-off red teaming exercises or incident response to in-life managed detection and response.

In addition to the services, every Group-IB product is powered by the platform to provide complete coverage of the Cyber Response Chain:

  • Group-IB Threat Intelligence provides deep insight into adversary behaviors. Threat Intelligence was independently evaluated as creating a 10% increase in team efficiency over alternative vendors and in a case study generated a 339% return on investment.
  • Group-IB Managed XDR enables organizations to respond 20% faster to threats according to an analyst study.
  • Group-IB Digital Risk Protection allows organizations to reduce the risk of brand abuse, piracy, data leaks, and more with best-in-breed protection. Group-IB has been benchmarked as detecting pirated content in 30 min on average and taking down 80% of the content within 7 days.
  • Fraud Protection was calculated by consultants to reduce the rate of false-positive fraud cases by 20% and enable 10% to 20% more fraud attempts to be detected and prevented. Furthermore, Group-IB identified 30% more one-time password fraud.
  • Attack Surface Management continuously discovers external assets to identify shadow IT, forgotten infrastructure, misconfigurations, and other hidden risks. As part of the Unified Risk Platform, the solution provides a threat actor’s view of the attack surface so that weak spots can be quickly and proactively strengthened.
  • Business Email Protection defends corporate email from sophisticated attacks. The solution monitors for indicators of compromise identifies malicious behavioral markers and extracts artifacts to identify risky emails before they reach their destination.
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Cyber Security

Genetec Announces Availability of its Synergis Cloud Link PoE-Enabled IoT Gateway

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Genetec has announced the immediate availability of a new generation of its Synergis Cloud Link PoE-enabled IoT gateway for access control. Manufactured in North America to mitigate supply chain delays, Synergis Cloud Link addresses the increasing demand for non-proprietary access control solutions and provides a safe and secure gateway to a cloud or hybrid deployment.

“When modernizing an existing security system, Synergis Cloud Link’s open architecture allows organizations to leverage their current access control infrastructure and easily upgrade to a secure IP-based solution. Synergis Cloud Link provides a more efficient approach to multi-site deployments and replaces the need for servers, reducing the cost of ownership.  The Synergis Cloud Link IoT gateway has embedded functionalities that keep an organization’s access control running even when the connection to the server is down,” the company said in a statement.

“The new generation of Synergis Cloud Link provides more features, enhanced cybersecurity, and helps future-proof security installations. Synergis Cloud Link features enhanced cybersecurity such as encrypted user data, Secure Boot, and an EAL6+ industry gold standard Secure Element that stores cryptographic elements,” the company added.

“The need for non-proprietary access control solutions has never been greater,” said Thibault Louvet, Access Control Product Group Director, Genetec Inc. “Our new generation Synergis Cloud Link enables us to provide organizations with a powerful, secure, and intelligent gateway to the latest technology while allowing them to easily connect to hybrid or cloud access control environments and keep their existing security investment including hardware, wiring, and infrastructure.”

The device is compatible with non-proprietary access control modules from the industry’s most established manufacturers including HID Global, Axis Communications, ASSA ABLOY, Mercury Security, Allegion, SimonsVoss, STid, and others. A single Synergis Cloud Link device can support up to 256 readers and electronic locks, 600,000 cardholders, 150,000 offline events, as well as monitor hundreds of zones and alarms.

Synergis Cloud Link features a new firmware design, improving reliability and lifecycle management, and updates management. It also opens the door to containerized approach for operating software on the device, expanding its future capabilities.

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Cyber Security

Surge in Ransomware Attacks Has Made Effective Cyber Security and Defence a Top Priority

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Emad Fahmy, the Systems Engineering Manager for Middle East at NETSCOUT, speaks about the evolving threat landscape in the region

How has the security threat landscape evolved in recent months?
According to a 2021 survey by PwC, cybersecurity is a growing concern for organizations, with approximately 43% of Middle East CEOs planning to increase investments in cybersecurity and data privacy by 10% or more over the next three years. Moreover, 41% of these leaders think that their organization should be doing more to measure cybersecurity. The ever-evolving threat environment has made it increasingly necessary to be vigilant.

Cybercrimes continue to grow in terms of both complexity and frequency. Among the businesses that identify breaches or attacks, 21% lose money, data, or other assets, and 35% report being negatively impacted in other ways and suffering from wider business disruption. As such, it’s vital for enterprises to ensure the security of data, applications, networks, and critical business processes to stay competitive and thwart attackers. Depending on traditional security solutions and methodologies isn’t enough to combat the sophisticated attacks that target businesses today.

Is ransomware still an issue?
It is, unfortunately. The unprecedented surge in ransomware attacks has made effective cyber security and defence a top priority in today’s world. Every day, new ransomware attacks are reported by businesses and government authorities alike, not to mention the attacks that go unreported, and it seems like no one is immune.

Threat intelligence is vital to combat ransomware attacks. Threat intelligence is the study of the bad actors who perpetrate these attacks, along with the tactics and tools they use. This involves unveiling the bad actor’s attack methodologies and why they are targeting those victims. This knowledge is then turned into actionable insight that enterprises can access and comprehend. Empowered with this knowledge, enterprises can learn about their network’s vulnerabilities to actively defend against ransomware.

Companies have been trying to protect the endpoint for years. How can companies make sure endpoints are protected and monitored for attacks and mitigation?
As service providers increasingly focus on cloud services, edge computing, end-users, and endpoint devices, the traditional approach of utilizing distributed detection solutions in concert with centralized mitigation centres within the network is no longer enough. However, mitigation measures that are distributed out to the network edge necessitate both infrastructure and intelligent defence capabilities that are capable of working hand in hand across locations and platforms.

A more modern threat mitigation strategy involves distributing both detection and mitigation functions throughout the network to intercept threats nearer to the source. In this way, network operators can stop attacks upstream, instead of having to incur the cost of peering and transit link traffic that is only going to be discarded once it reaches a centralized scrubbing centre. By conducting the scrubbing as close as possible to the threat source, service providers can reduce any potential impact on traffic, helping to ensure high-quality service.

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