The Importance of Protecting Every Device
Posted: Lee @Intrasource
A single data breach, resulting in the exposure of sensitive customer data or key business financials could be catastrophic, and these kind of attacks are extremely pervasive. In the 12 months to April 2017, nearly half of UK businesses were the victim of a breach or cyber-attack.
Many of these attacks focused on vulnerable endpoint devices (such as laptops) – often the weakest point in any businesses cyber security perimeter. In this post we explore the issue, and examine what businesses can do to minimise the threat posed by endpoint devices.
The scale of the problem
Current industry estimates suggest that around 50% of essential and sensitive business data in the UK is stored (and not just accessible from) on endpoint devices (such as laptops, tablets or mobiles) – outside the relative safety of a secure data centre.
Data is valuable and losing it can be catastrophic. Exposed financial data might lead to theft, fraud or the share price dropping, whilst the theft of customer data can completely destroy customer trust in a brand. Once lost, it’s very hard to rebuild a business reputation.
UK businesses are now generating and storing more data than ever before, and the quantity is increasing all the time. The new GDPR regulations coming into force in May 2018 place severe penalties on businesses failing to protect sensitive data, and it has never been more important to take action.
Endpoint vulnerabilities exposed
The majority of businesses now utilise remote working to some degree. This inevitably means employees accessing sensitive business data from a number of different endpoint devices, including laptops, tablets and mobiles.
Every device that employees access and store sensitive data on is a vulnerable point. When these are outside your organisation, they are much harder to control. For cyber criminals looking to exploit sensitive data, endpoint devices can be a goldmine. Some of the threats include:
- Downloading data to unencrypted and unsecure devices
- Using unsecured or compromised WiFi connections
- Downloading unauthorised apps
- Accessing data on unsecured devices (such as home computers, laptops and phones)
- Clicking on suspect links
- Sending sensitive information to compromised email addresses
As modern working practices develop, these threats aren’t going away – in fact they are only going to get worse.
Why blanket protection is essential
A cyber-security programme is only as strong as its weakest point – and wherever sensitive data is held, security must follow.
For businesses, cyber security doesn’t end at the front door. Every device needs to be protected with a full stack of security – a layered approach using antivirus, encryption, deception tech, attack/breach detection, multi-factor authentication, secure endpoint backup and disaster recovery tools.
At the same time, employees need to be properly educated about the severity and consequences of the cyber security threat.
Developing a clear security policy covering the use of customer data on endpoint devices, and investing in proper cyber security training will help to minimise the threat of breaches. It can also reduce the impact, extent and damage caused should your business fall victim to an external attack.
Find out more about this in our top IT security tips.
Comprehensive Security Systems from Intrasource
At Intrasource, we are IT security specialists – working with businesses of all sizes, and in every industry across the UK to provide best in class protection for their sensitive data.
Providing a comprehensive, truly bespoke service, we will work closely to understand you existing systems, infrastructure, working practices and requirements, before implementing an effective multi-layered system to protect your business.
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