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Seven Trends That Can Help Make the Modern Enterprise More Secure and Agile



Sajith Kumar, General Manager – Enterprise from Cloud Box Technologies summarizes possible technology and strategic measures in 2022 that can help transform security for the enterprise.

For the Boards of global and regional organizations, cybersecurity and managing digital transformation alongside, are promising to be amongst the most challenging. While Boards are doing a lot to bridge the gap between themselves and the CISO and the security organization, here are some other technology and strategic measures that can help make the enterprise more agile and secure.

Trend #1 The big policy reset
What is the biggest and most immediate change required in an organization’s security policies? It is the fact that majority of its employees are no longer employees but more like remote workers. Or in other words, remote workers are now the workers and remote work is now the organization’s work. In other words, enterprises need to reset their entire security policies and tools to be able to manage risks from this new organizational reality.

Trend #2 Managing workers
How will security be deployed for the modern hybrid organization, where workers are switching between multiple modes of working. At times they will be onsite inside the office firewall, at other times mobile and on the move, and at other times working from home. All the while accessing the wireless networks, Internet or private VPNs. How will an organization’s security architecture continuously adjust for its workers as they move across its fabric?

Today’s enterprises are being turned inside out with these challenges of managing workers requiring multiple modes and levels of security access. All organizations will need to have a defensive posture and well-defined security policies and risks with regard to onsite, remote, and mobile workers. One of the approaches is to develop and deploy a cybersecurity mesh, which enables a distributed enterprise to deploy and extend security where it is required the most.

Trend #3 Managing enterprise assets
Other than the pandemic, digital transformation is also responsible for connecting industrial, operational, IT assets that are distributed across the fabric of the organization. These assets could be located at the edge, inside the network, at the core, and even inside other networks.

Gateways and middleware are now effectively and efficiently connecting disparate networks inside enterprises that were not feasible a decade ago. To manage all these challenges, security needs to be flexible, agile, scalable and yet robust enough to deliver for workers and protect for the organization.

Trend #4 Just who is an employee?
As workers move across the enterprises’ security fabric, their security access levels need to keep changing. More importantly so should their identity-based security, with zero-trust being a dominant requirement. While zero-trust identity access is not new, it gains renewed importance in the face of hybrid worker access as well integration of disparate networks driven by digital transformation.

Social engineering to gain identity access is a dominant activity for sophisticated global threat actors. Hence, identity management techniques and practices need to be further elevated in terms of importance. Along with human identities, we also have machine and robot identities, that are adding additional complexities in the overall identity access management operations.

Digital technologies such as robotic process automation are driving automation of processes and each of these automated process or Bots requires a sign-on into the network and application stacks. APIs are another vulnerable hot spot where access is granted to users across multiple applications via APIs. To better manage digital transformation, enterprises need to relook at their end-to-end identity credentials across all humans, Bots, devices.

Trend #5 Board improves communication
Boards are now alerted to address the challenges thrown up by ransomware, advanced persistent threats, and other supply chain malware that are having disastrous effects on some global businesses. Board members have been in the spotlight for being unable to speak the same language as CISOs and therefore unable to bridge the gaps from top to bottom. Now they are forming dedicated committees headed by security experts and selected board members to bridge the gap and address the challenge.

With this initiative, CISOs can expect much better information flow with the Board, as well as much deeper conversations about security spending, policies, proactiveness, risks and governance, strategy.

Trend #6 Proliferation of vendors
An ongoing challenge that continues into the next year is the complexity of security tools that are being managed by CISOs and IT managers. Global surveys by research firm Gartner have found that 78% of CISOs are managing 16 or more tools across their cybersecurity vendor portfolio. While 12% of CISOs are managing more than 46 tools.

The harsh reality is that cybersecurity organisations have far too many tools, from far too many vendors, leading to complex management routines, continuously high demand on skills, and increasing security headcount.

Under these circumstances, CISOs need to begin extended vendor consolidation activities, realising that such activities take time and there is no short-term solution while heading in this direction. Another reality check is that reduction of capex spending may not be a direct, realisable benefit, but rather reduction of indirect costs and increase in operational efficiency are more achievable and realisable targets.

Trend #7 Testing and validation
New tools are being added to the portfolio of solutions that can be used to validate an organization’s security vulnerabilities. One such area is breach and attack simulations that do continuous testing and validation of security controls and test the ability to withstand external threats. It also highlights risks to high-value assets such as highly confidential data.

Another area that is developing is the ability to protect data while it is being read and used, in comparison to protecting data in motion or at rest. This enhanced security allows secure data processing, secure sharing, and cross-border transfers without risks.

Expert Speak

Don’t Brush It Off – Plan Your Incident Response Now



In business, impermanence is the only certainty. An example is how organizations addressed the COVID-19 pandemic. Within a few weeks, many developed a plan to run their businesses remotely.

More than three-quarters of organizations worldwide don’t have an IT incident response plan in place because most believe they have little risk of becoming a cyberattack statistic. Unfortunately, that’s still likely to happen.

According to africanews, in the past year, Kenya has experienced a concerning rise in cyberattacks, with a remarkable 860 million incidents documented in 2022.

As wisely expressed by Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” Let’s explore a strategic incident response plan for your organization.

Create a Backup
Business networks are complex and large, and oftentimes, a network outage results in financial and reputational repercussions, including disgruntled clients. It’s imperative to create a backup of critical data and systems that you can’t run your business without, and store it in a safe location. When the inevitable breach occurs, your business will be able to recover as quickly as possible.

Never Say Never
While a workforce continuity plan might seem unimportant and nonurgent, the pandemic prompted IT departments worldwide to quickly realize the importance of being able to rapidly change the way their organizations conducted business.

Here are a few steps to help you draft a business continuity plan to address the next disruption:

  • Form a team with representatives from each department and understand their workflow.
  • Identify critical business functions and find a way to prioritize them.
  • Assess the risks for every process in your organization and record them.
  • Develop a risk mitigation strategy to protect your critical business functions from those risks.
  • Document the entire procedure and keep it up to date.

Train Your Employees
A common hurdle with an incident response plan is ensuring that employees take the plan seriously. To deter the mindset that the plan is “less urgent,” educate employees about its importance and the repercussions that can result from cyber threats and cyber incidents. It’s vital to conduct regular training sessions to address hardware failures, software glitches, network outages, and security breaches so that you efficiently mitigate a cybersecurity incident.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
Understand the points of failure in your previous incidents and find a way to rectify them. Single points of failure should be addressed by establishing a backup, not just in terms of network and systems but also in terms of staff allocation. Relying on a single person, especially when it comes to a critical network, is not a great idea. Delegate a second person to reach out and provide assistance in case of an incident.

While incident response might seem insignificant in the larger scheme of things, when a disaster hits, it could potentially devastate your business. Take some time to prioritize incident management and make it part of your organization’s culture by creating a backup, training your employees, drafting a workplace continuity plan, and learning from your past incidents. Learn more about IT incident management for your business.

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Cyber Security

Cybersecurity on a Budget: Affordable Cybersecurity Strategies for Small Businesses



According to a survey by Statista, typically, global enterprises dedicate a minimum of 12% of their IT expenditure to information security measures. While larger companies can afford to spend a lot on building a robust cybersecurity strategy, smaller businesses cannot. So, let’s explore some affordable cybersecurity strategies for small businesses that may cost less but have a greater impact.

Train your employees
An article from Forbes found that, annually, 34% of businesses worldwide encounter incidents involving insider attacks. Whether intentional or unintentional, employees tend to be the reason for most data breaches. Per the same article, phishing emails account for 67% of accidental insider attacks.

Phishing attacks mostly instil a sense of urgency in the victim, making it harder for them to think clearly before making a decision. For example, employees may click an email announcement about a bonus that actually came from a malicious outsider impersonating your company’s CEO.

To avoid such mistakes, it’s imperative to train employees on the types of phishing attacks and the ways to identify them. Even going as far as sending a mock phishing email occasionally to test their instincts and educate them can go a long way.

Assess your vulnerabilities
One of the most important cybersecurity strategies is to assess all your risk points by periodically reviewing all your business processes. Pay more attention to teams that deal with a lot of customer data. For instance, sales and marketing teams may handle customer data on a day-to-day basis, so they are at high risk of leaking or mishandling data. Assess their daily activities, create a record of all the risk points, and find ways to mitigate them.

Encrypt your data
Encrypting your data can be an effective method to protect it in case of data leaks. Let’s say a hacker gets hold of your company’s data, but it’s encrypted. Unless the hacker gets the encryption key from you, they cannot access your company’s data. This adds another layer of protection in addition to the everyday cybersecurity best practices that you should be following in your company. So make it a point to encrypt all your data, especially sensitive and critical data.

Limit access to critical data
Not everyone requires access to all data. Try to limit access to critical and sensitive data to fewer employees by basing access on work duties or requiring approval for access, making it a multi-step process to access it. Additionally, periodically review who has access to what data to ensure there aren’t any misallocations of access.

Secure your Wi-Fi
A secure network will reduce the chances of a hack or unauthorized access to your sensitive data. So switch your Wi-Fi to WPA2 or later, as it offers more security. Your business might already be using it, but it’s best to be sure. Additionally, change the name of your SSID and have a strong pre-shared key to keep your Wi-Fi safe from hackers.

Prevent physical theft
Through April 2023, there were 3,785 robberies in London, and 1,765 were of mobile phones. This highlights how important it is to secure your physical assets, as they might contain critical and sensitive information about your organization.

Here are some ways to protect your physical assets, such as PCs, laptops, scanners, and printers:

  1. Restrict unauthorized access to assets.
  2. Install a physical tracker on all devices to track down lost items.
  3. Enable remote wiping of data to erase information if a device is lost.

Cybersecurity strategies are seldom drafted with affordability in mind. However, it is crucial to consider them from a financial perspective, as small businesses are also increasingly susceptible to cyberattacks. These tips can help you take the first step toward creating a secure IT environment. Learn more about cybersecurity solutions for your business.

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Cyber Security

Managed Security Service: Right Choice for Your Company?



Written by Lev Matveev, SearchInform Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors

75% of information security experts consider insider threats more dangerous than hacker attacks. This is proven by the SearchInform survey conducted annually. Insider threats include data loss, fraud, theft, kickbacks, business on the side, etc. These are serious risks for any business, resulting in major financial losses, reputational damage and fines from law enforcement agencies. Nevertheless, many companies still do not ensure reliable protection against insider threats.

The reasons are the following:

  • Hardware and software for data protection are costly
  • The market lacks data security experts
  • SMEs cannot compete with large enterprises to engage professionals.

According to our 2022 survey, one-third of companies recognize an acute shortage of information security experts and cannot ensure protection in-house. Therefore, in 2019 we decided to launch a managed security service based on our protection solutions, which gives the opportunity to use them without hiring security specialists.

The SearchInform service provides protection against data breaches, internal fraud, document forgery and other violations by employees. It solves the tasks of monitoring employee working hours, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and many more.

We take on all tasks that are usually handled by in-house security staff. Our experts install and maintain security software, customize security policies for effective control, constantly monitor the situation in the company, detect incidents and investigate them. The client receives detailed and visual reports, as well as emergency alerts if it is required to take urgent measures and prevent an incident.

Availing the service, the client does not need to hire a security expert and therefore does not need to spend on social benefits, vacations or sick leaves. The client’s business remains protected if a security employee resigns or takes an unpaid leave. At the same time, our analyst has diverse work experience, knows the solutions well and has all the necessary competencies to work with them.  Since we are unacquainted with the client’s employees, our expert will be impartial and will not take anyone’s side. All this allows the clients to save time and money.

When do companies really need MSS?
According to our observations, the service is the best choice for companies with 30-500 employees and without an in-house IS department.  When the staff number increases, top managers can no longer control everything and face a high risk of incidents.

Here are a few common situations when you should choose managed security service.

  1. A company does not have internal security officers or lacks the budget to form a security department. Our service was originated to make data security more affordable. It significantly reduces the company’s costs, as there is no need to purchase software licenses, hardware, or hire a full-time information security officer. 
  2. Full-scale protection is required immediately. Companies often turn to managed security services after an incident has already occurred. It becomes clear that to prevent this in future, it is necessary to implement special security software, purchase additional equipment, and hire a data security officer. These steps will take a lot of time. The service will start protecting your business within 1-2 days.
  3. A company is not sure that the purchase of security systems will pay off eventually. Our service is an opportunity to test them in real conditions and assess whether they are worth purchasing in each specific case. One first month of the service is free.
  4. A company wants to conduct a security audit and get a complete picture of the corporate security. The service allows you to quickly find out what data is stored, where exactly it is stored and whether there are access rights violations. As far as the first month, our expert detects cases of corporate fraud, document forgery and other violations, as well as cases of idleness, business on the side or work for competitors. 
  5. For compliance with regulatory requirements. More and more regulations are being adopted or waiting to be adopted. SAMA, GDPR, and DCC incentivize companies to take measures to ensure data security. Some regulations, such as the UAE Information Security Regulation issued by the United Arab Emirates Telecommunications and Digital Technology Authority, even stipulate the use of DLP as a means of preventing data loss. To avoid the risk of hefty fines or lawsuits for non-compliance, you can use our managed security service.

I believe that outsourced data security should soon become as widespread as outsourced accounting or IT services. It is just a matter of time.

SearchInform offers a free trial version for one month! 

During this month, clients can assess whether the service really meets their needs. According to our experience, 100% of companies discover some kind of problems during the trial, ranging from the idleness of their employees to corporate fraud and confidential data leakage. 70% of companies that request a free trial continue to work with us.

Request a free trial of the service for one month!

Contact us for more information:
Office Address: 10C-15, I-Rise Tower, Hessa Street, Barsha Heights, Dubai, UAE.

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