When it comes to enterprise security, there’s a lot at stake; consumers, operations, business relationships, work force, brand image, and financial status, to name a few. While the number of enterprise security threats can be in hundreds, in this post, we have discussed some of the most critical ones.
Top Factors that Threaten Enterprise Security
Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)
Advanced Persistent Threat is referred to as a network attack that is sophisticated and continuous in its nature. This type of threat does not refer to an individual hacker, but entities that have the resources using which they can form highly effective and persistent attacks on a target. It is important to understand that, the primary aim of an APT attack is to steal data, rather than causing any damage to the network of the targeted organization. This is simply because, the miscreant wants to access such information without getting detected, and so that they can go in and out of the system thus keeping the attack persistent.
Darwin might have had a better career, had he studied the evolution of malware. Jokes apart, malware are not even close to what they used to be earlier. Today’s malware is like technology; a newly created one ages and gets replaced by another within minutes. New and unique strains of malware are discovered in figures of thousands, every day. With every passing year or even month, their level of sophistication steps up. And the more sophisticated they are, the less detectable they become. It is estimated that the number of unique variants of malware would shoot up to 87 million by the time 2015 kicks in.
Most companies seem to have happily ushered in the BYOD (bring your own device) trend in their work culture. After all, letting employees use their personal devices at work and maintaining them, is but a welcome relief for the budget constraints of any company. But what about the risks of BYOD, data breach in particular? Do organizations have a controlled and robust system in place that can mitigate or even nullify these risks? Are employees educated and trained enough to take accountability of their devices that contain their company’s data? Going for BYOD is like signing the devil’s contract – “Be careful what you wish for!”
Security pundits have written Bibles on the importance of keeping strong passwords. Unfortunately, such Bibles only keep gathering dust on shelves. Most people are so in love with one favorite password of theirs, that they use it throughout multiple platforms. Even most enterprises follow the basic login id and password approach. Hello! What happened to data protection, anyone?
To err is human, and let’s make peace with the fact that so will always be! Humans are still the weakest link in IT security. Someone might just spill some classified information over a couple of shots with their peers in a public place; someone might forget to lock their computer exposing crucial information to someone else, or a company’s data gets moved into a public server without getting encrypted. Such actions may not be intended, but might end up in a large-scale cyber attack.
Just like BYOD, cloud storage is also spreading like wild fire, with more and more people exploiting the warmth. Many employees have access to free-file sharing platforms at work. Now, the problem with sources that provide free cloud storage is, their infrastructure and security mechanism are not always known to their users. Furthermore, these sources may not be from the users’ country, which might bring legal issues into the picture. An important point to take a note of is, bodies that provide cloud storage have complete access to the users’ data. So, you can do the math on how a single data breach can bring down an entire business.
When CIOs or CTOs talk about enterprise security, they refer to several aspects. Some may stress on the need to take a multi-layered security approach like employing gateway protection and end point security solutions. While some may give more preference to educating employees about what’s threatening their enterprise’s information security, and how can they mitigate such risks. However, it is the combination of both these measures that must go into the making of the ultimate defense strategy for enterprise security.