GROW BY LEVERAGING THE WEB is today’s small and medium business rally call. But, it is the echo to the call that you need to pay attention to: as you open the internet door wider, you are also opening the door for more cyber-attacks. Protection does not have to break the bank or leave you up at night.
Security has not kept up with the improvements in delivery and pricing of broadband speeds. This is especially true with smaller organizations. When these smaller organizations are compromised, they often go out of business. Larger organizations are also at risk: just look at the news. I keep thinking back to a June 11, 2014 article in USA Today asks, “Is insecurity the new normal?” The article goes on to say that what once captured big headlines has become commonplace.
Back in 2013 we started to hear about the next leap forward in wireless technology, 802.11ac. Then last year, we began to see WiFi-enabled products enter the market that integrated the new standard. Now, it’s getting harder to find the latest laptop, tablet or mobile phone that doesn’t come with 802.11ac as a standard feature.
According to a recent Gartner report1, encrypted web traffic now comprises up to 40 percent of total web traffic for financial institutions. NSS Labs2 estimated 25 percent to 35 percent for a typical enterprise. However, for some businesses, NSS believes it could be as high as 70 percent. Our own research published in the 2015 SonicWall Security Annual Threat Report is in line with these estimates.
IT organizations are struggling to keep up with mobile worker demand for access to more resources from more device types without compromising security. Often, mobile workers are accessing company resources from multiple devices concurrently, increasing traffic volumes, session counts and putting significant strains on legacy access infrastructure. To help meet mobile enterprise needs, SonicWall is introducing three new secure access gateway appliances that increase scalability up to 8x over the previous generation.
Organizations are wary of the impact to their business due to spam, phishing and virus emails that enter their organization. I spend a considerable amount of my time with customers and partners discussing ways to protect their networks, users, and data from inbound threats. But it is equally important to understand the implications of not having outbound protection.
In the recently published 2015 SonicWall Security Threat Report, one of the observations on the evolution of attacks on POS systems is the rise in popularity of malware that uses memory scraping to steal sensitive data. No matter how many layers of encryption are applied to sensitive payment data and how carefully this encryption is deployed, at some point the primary account number and other sensitive information must exist in an unencrypted form in order to be useful.
Last week my colleague, John Gordineer posted a blog entitled “Seven layers of protection from hacked websites“. This blog goes further in examining how you can be protected from threats that can emerge from the other side of the globe. If you have kids, you often find out that a virus is running through the school when your child comes home with it.
In January 2015, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver announced that his website, which attracts 10 million visitors per month, had been compromised. This followed an announcement by Forbes that a month earlier, in December of 2014, the highly visible “Thought of the Day” flash widget had been compromised as well. In both of these, the hacked website was simply the first step in a complex process that is carefully engineered to make money off of unsuspecting internet users.
BYOD is solvable. COPE is solvable. The rest of the acronym soup that describes problems associated with keeping company data safe while on mobile devices are solvable. But today, it takes several different solutions strung together to get that data leaving the perimeter to be safe. In the future, those solutions will come together and the problem of protecting data as it moves around the world will be easier and cheaper.