The IT security group within every corporation is under file. Relentless cyber-attacks, user errors and improperly designed and implemented processes and procedures contribute to a maelstrom of problems that executives expect to be instantly solved.
The news for IT departments continues to sound dire. Companies like Symantec estimate that 56% of employees believe it is appropriate to take information with them when they leave a job site. Exacerbating the urgency for companies to implement stronger security measures are statistics from the Carnegie Mellon US CERT team estimating that 75% of cyber incidents go unreported.
Surprisingly, a vast majority of the problems faced by IT on a daily basis can be traced back to three key mistakes. These missteps endanger organizations every day, yet all can be fixed or at least worked on to mitigate the problems they cause. But before we talk about solutions, let’s first identify the terrible three.
Mistake 1: Insufficient vendor access monitoring
Regardless of sector or industry, or of the size of an organization, the need for third-party vendors and outside companies to have access to a client’s proprietary network, data and intellectual property is a given.
Despite this requirement, most organizations have little to no measures in place to safeguard their core intellectual property from either nefarious vendors, or from vendors who have been compromised by cyber-attackers looking to move up the supply chain to infect new targets.
Mistake 2: Lack of data encryption
Not having encryption in place means that whenever a breach does occur, and most organizations will experience one at some point, critical files are likely to be copied and exfiltrated by attackers with no additional protection. The need to encrypt all data that goes between vendors and clients should be the top priority for the IT security group of every organization, as well as for the vendor management representative. These types of security measures should also be written into the contracts drawn-up between the client and the vendor as well.
In fact, in the United States, the Federal government now has stringent cybersecurity regulations for vendors, often regardless of the agency, that require such measures as part of the vetting process. Within these scenarios, contacts are awarded only to those organizations that can submit to and pass a strong cybersecurity screening process from the beginning of the vendor management process. All levels of private organizations should have similar protocols in place as well.
Mistake 3: Ineffective reporting
Another issue prevalent in many companies is the lack of proper IT security reporting. On the human resources side, that reporting needs to account for training employees on cybersecurity principles. On the IT security side, the reporting issues often stem from solutions that do not provide analysts and managers with the tools to easily reflect the status of the network and the subsequent safety of the data.
At risk for organizations that do not adhere to these security measures is:
- Lost revenue
- Damage to the brand reputation
- Regulatory fines, depending on the sector and circumstance
- Lost clients and elevated costs from mitigating successful cyber-attacks
Hypersocket VPN: Closing the Security Gaps
Virtual Private networks are the backbones of proper IT security, and too commonly underused by most organizations. By employing solutions like Hypersocket VPN, organizations can address vendor security issues by restricting the access vendors have to parts of the network. More importantly, cyber-attackers monitoring compromised vendor in an effort to move up the supply chain will likewise face those same restrictions when logging-in using compromised credentials to a Hypersocket VPN.
The next layer of security that Hypersocket VPN provides is comprehensive data encryption. This layer is where data is encoded so that packets can only be read by the Hypersocket VPN client and server, which are securely connected. Nobody can snoop those connections, and any data stolen as the result of a breach will be encrypted and have no value to attackers.
Finally, through Hypersocket’s effective and robust reporting, organizations from the analysts to the executives can understand the current state of their data integrity and report accordingly. This reporting works for both in-house teams and third party auditors. It’s also useful for IT teams to get a snapshot of the health of the network they are charged with protecting.
The Hypersocket VPN takes care of the three biggest threats to IT security on the day it is installed, allowing companies to take full control of their corporate data, whether they choose to deploy an appliance, an on-premise or in-cloud solution. The result is an unparalleled understanding and control of privileged accounts and the sensitive data throughout the corporate network.
This Blog was brought to you by Hypersocket and its CEO, Lee David Painter. With over 20 years of industry experience as a pioneer in IT Security, Lee developed the world’s first OpenSource browser-based SSL VPN (SSL-Explorer). Today Lee runs Hypersocket, a leader in virtual private network technology.