With the threat of cyberattacks looming large in organizations of every size, it is imperative for companies to have foolproof security in place to keep their data safe and secure. But enterprise security is a challenging and broad issue. To reduce and eliminate the risk of unauthorized access to information technology systems and data, you need to have a comprehensive strategy that secures all entry and end points.
Enterprise security comprises the strategies and techniques that companies undertake to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to data, IT systems, and information. The activities in enterprise security include the institutionalization, advancements, change and evaluation of a firm’s enterprise risk management (ERM) and security methods.
Enterprise security administration entails different business units, staff, personnel and officials to work together to secure a company’s digital assets, ensure data loss prevention and safeguard the company’s reputation. Enterprise security activities should be in line with the organization’s compliance requirements, culture and administration strategies. Enterprise security activities include conducting vulnerability and risk analysis tests that are intrinsic to the organization’s business.
Enterprise security is also about devising procedures and strategies that can safeguard the company’s physical assets.
Dealing with the human factor
Though all technological help should be put in place to keep cyber attacks at bay, it is also vital for organizations to understand the human angle in dealing with the security issue.
Humans have broken many barriers when it comes to technology. However, people have a habit of experimenting with technology that at times goes beyond the original intent. Experimentation with technology is good, but this is also the point where security problems begin. As organizations embrace technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to predict all the threats and vulnerabilities that come to fore in the process. This is what makes enterprise security reactive by nature, and that is why protecting the system or asset becomes extremely difficult.
Also, security has become a problematic issue because of economic reasons. The market these days has become extremely saturated and fragmented. Enterprise security companies claim to offer almost identical solutions to everyone in the market. In addition, buyers are more interested in getting a solution that helps them meet their compliance norms rather than address their security problems. Also, buyers are ready to purchase solutions that are not effective, and sellers continue to market their product as if their product is infallible. Both buyers and sellers are operating in an environment of uncertainty, which adds to the enterprise security problem.
Two of the other issues that further complicates enterprise security are the cloud and the internet of things (IoT) because they expand the total attack surface.
How can companies approach security at a strategic level?
The fact is that there are countless moving parts in enterprise security. Since the challenge of enterprise security is so dynamic, pledging technological, organizational and financial resources to one specific strategy can prove counterproductive. Despite the fluid condition that governs the market forces and recent developments in IT/OT infrastructure, one factor that remains constant throughout is that all the cyber attacks are carried out by human beings.
Irrespective of the motives and methodologies of the attackers, be it rogue actors, industry competitors, corporate insiders, organized crime syndicates or nation-states, they can only operate within limits dictated by human behavior.
To effectively address potential insider threats, organizations should have full visibility into every employee, customer, and contractor. And, to address external threats, organizations should proactively try to identify attackers and their recognized patterns of behavior.
The future of enterprise security
Mobile security has always been an issue with enterprise security and will remain so in 2019 as well. The future of enterprise security vis-à-vis mobile presents a characteristically scary scenario. Mobile threats are on the rise and businesses need to be mindful of this development. Here is a complete lowdown of mobile security threats – present and future.
According to David Slight, president of Quora Consulting in North America, security, security, and security will dominate enterprise mobility in 2019.
Some of the main security problems that mobilized enterprise will face in 2019 are:
WPA-3 – WPA-2 which has been in use for over a decade has encountered vulnerabilities in the last two years; hence WPA-3 was introduced last year. The standard rollout of WPA-3 will take place this year which means a lot of work needs to be done that includes an upgrade to the 192-bit encryption in WPA-2. An enterprise will have to update its RADIUS service to use this enhancement. For public networks, WPA-3 will use a new encryption format called OWE which prevents snooping and session hijacking. But Wi-Fi access points need to be upgraded to support the WPA-3 which is what will make a mobile device secure.
Home office security is a big problem – In 2019, the home will become a more popular attack vector. The problem on this front is escalating because of the rise in the popularity of smart devices and home offices. As these devices are used for both private as well as business purposes, it makes the devices insecure which will be a big challenge to tackle in 2019.
The 5G network rollout will be a challenge – 2019 will see the rollout of 5G. And, like with every new technology, security will remain the main concern. Though the 5G mobile devices will not be widely available in 2019, securing these devices is going to be challenging and expensive. As more 5G IoT devices will connect to the 5G network directly without a Wi-Fi router, it will make devices more vulnerable to direct attack.
The IoT also poses threats – There are billions of endpoints in the IoT. Onboard security is often compromised to keep down the cost of each endpoint and to power them. What worsens the problem is that the IoT devices are available to hackers readily. Since IoT offers several loopholes because the systems are primeval and vulnerable to attacks, it is advisable to hire outside penetration companies to identify the weak spot to avoid breaches.
Attackers think globally, but act locally – Too many employees have a careless attitude towards workplace security, which makes the job of an attacker easy. The threat is likely to come from the network (compromising a single Wi-Fi connection) or phishing.
Does bring your own device (BYOD) affect enterprise data security?
Though security professionals are increasingly becoming open to embracing BYOD policies, yet businesses are not too confident when it comes to the data security of employees’, laptops, tablets, and personal phones. A recent Bitglass study reveals that out of the 400 IT experts surveyed, 30% were hesitant to embrace BYOD because of security concerns like data leakage, shadow IT, and unauthorized access to data. With GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation and other data privacy mandates kicking in, it has become vital for the organizations to monitor and protect their data.
There is a growing acceptance of personal devices in the enterprise – Using personal devices for work was not the norm just a few years back. Though employees used their personal computers and laptops to access company networks, as a concept BYOD was not prevalent in organizations back then.
Mobile threats are on the rise, yet security has not changed much – Since the mobile devices are relatively insecure, it is not surprising that criminals target is so often and with precision. It is not difficult for criminals to gain access to both corporate data as well as personal data from an easy-to-breach mobile device. Mobile device management tools and remote wiping, basic security precautions, are put in place only by 50% of those surveyed in the Bitglass study. Also, many security teams don’t have clear visibility about the apps used on personal devices.
Though the federal government’s use of mobile technology is improving, many communication paths remain insecure which makes the whole ecosystem vulnerable to attacks (a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study).
Similar security loopholes are present in the private sector as well. Mobile devices are considered the riskiest point of intrusion to corporate networks.
Put in place smart policies for BYOD security – You need to ensure that your employees use personal devices safely and securely. BYOD is a beneficial yet risky practice. Before a company adopts BYOD, it should put in place a smart BYOD policy so that their data remains safe and secure. When it comes to BYOD, here is what you need to do to keep your enterprise data safe and secure:
Find out whether your employees need to use personal devices for doing their work. Those who don’t need regular access to networks or employees who work remotely should be left out of the BYOD program because it is difficult to monitor their devices.
Next, encourage your employees to update their operating systems and security software regularly. Make it mandatory for employees to use corporate security software on personal devices. And, if they are connecting their devices to the enterprise network, they should follow the company’s security protocols.
As you can see, enterprise security is a complex goal to achieve. DocuServe has the industry experience and solutions to protect company data to ensure that all your data remains safe and secure. From securing your data in the cloud and protecting your corporate secrets to keeping your mobile devices safe, DocuServe is a one-stop shop. Contact us to learn more about our industry-leading solutions.