News & Commentary
2/12/2015
05:00 PM
Alexandra Gheorghe
Alexandra Gheorghe
Partner Perspectives
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
100%
0%

Five Techniques to Keep Employees Computing Secure

With BYOD on the rise, these tips can help IT staff mitigate security risks, from mobile devices to data centers.

There is never too much security in place when it comes to a company’s data center, employees, and clients. US companies have embraced the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend, and this movement continues to gain traction in 2015.

Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of employers will ask their employees to bring their own device for work. As enterprise BYOD programs continue to become more commonplace, 38% of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016, according to a global survey of CIOs conducted by the firm.

As ecommerce and mobile commerce continue to grow across the US, the world’s largest economy experiences more than half of all global payment card fraud (51%, according to Business Insider), with a cost of $7.1 billion in 2013, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. What’s more, with each holiday or event and the high rate of mobile phone penetration, online and mobile fraud becomes more prevalent, making the country a perfect target for cybercrime.

Not surprisingly, every two seconds, another American becomes a victim of identity fraud.

By maintaining security control through better end-point management, IT staff can help mitigate security risks from mobile devices to data centers. At the same time, US companies gain happier and more efficient employees.

CIOs just have to find the perfect combination of tools and use them wisely. Here are five techniques to begin with:

  • IT staff should start with performing an initial security audit to see the existing holes and define the likely threats. The insider threat is the greatest, proportionally, followed closely by social engineering, so they should train staff in good security practices
  • As paranoid as it sounds, IT departments should also consider thorough employee background checks. Most attacks start with a single person that opened the wrong e-mail attachment. CIOs should also have in mind the termination of employment relationships and the consequent transfers of company data hosted on personal devices.
  • Remember to add firewall protections, too. Securing all devices will also increase malware awareness, making employees more conscious of online dangers, even when they navigate on the Internet on the go or at home.
  • Carry out regular security updates on all software and devices, and implement a password policy that everybody respects (minimum eight characters, unique and complex, regularly changed).
  • When it comes to the tools IT staff may use, a security management solution is not an option, but a necessity. All IT departments should install and update a certified security solution that will consolidate control for virtualized, physical, and mobile endpoints.

Besides advanced persistent threats and DDoS attacks, improper security measures are the weak links that can take a company offline both in terms of reputation and profit. IT consumerization and BYOD trends should make CIOs reassess what their enterprise security strategy means.

Companies shouldn’t stop allowing employee-owned devices, but they shouldn’t be too permissive either. A clear policy for email, Internet, and mobile devices will make employees’ computing secure, and everybody happy.

Alexandra fulfills the Security Specialist role for Bitdefender, performing writing duties such as security news for Bitdefender's security blog, as well as marketing and PR materials. She started writing about online security at the dawn of the decade - after 3-years in ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.