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Pursuing Digital Transformation in 2019? Here’s how to do so securely.

There’s a lot of talk about the topic of change management, and with so many of today’s forward-thinking companies going through digital transformation, mergers and acquisitions and any number of other updates, upgrades and changes, it’s for good reason. Keeping everything running as smoothly as possible is essential to a business’ ability to emerge on the other side stronger and even more successful. One such area of significant importance is IT security. If your organization is currently or will soon be navigating major changes, here are some specific tips to ensure that your critical data remains safe during the process.

Make it a top priority.

Regardless of what type of reorg you’re going through, the subject of cyber security incident response should be at the top of the list, and remain there throughout the entire process. Designate at least one individual (or preferably an entire team) whose sole purpose is maintaining maximum security at all times. If it’s placed on the back burner, your company will become vulnerable to impending risk and very likely to become a victim of a breach.

Plan ahead.

For situations, such as mergers and acquisition, determining whether there are any concerns with the other company’s cyber security incident response ahead of time is crucial, yet often overlooked even by top management and key decision makers. According to a 2014 survey from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, an incredible 78% of respondents said cyber security was not carefully analyzed prior to an acquisition. Don’t make this same mistake.

Take advantage of technology.

Don’t leave the heavy burden of manually managing IT security on the shoulders of your technicians. Even under the best of circumstances, this task is monumental and impossible for humans to handle alone. Add in organizational change and you’ve got an entirely new and incredibly more challenging cyber security landscape to navigate. Use technology, such as automated incident response, to ease this burden and improve the chances of an uneventful transition.

Be aware of new targets.

A company going through major reorganization can be an attractive target for cyber criminals. In fact, even the very information surrounding the internal changes – such merger data and documents – may become a point of increased risk. The person or team charged with IT security should remain acutely aware of this information at all times and carefully monitor who has access and whether that access is legitimate. Otherwise, trade secrets and other confidential info could end up in the wrong hands.

Train and communicate.

It’s been said plenty of times, but it’s worth iterating again: cyber security incident response is everyone’s job – not just IT. Every employee should be trained on how to protect sensitive data and spot potential security concerns so they can be addressed immediately. Senior executives must also be involved in the cyber security discussion. When everyone takes some level of ownership, the risk to the organization as a whole can drop significantly.

Account for more exposure.

Organizational change often requires the addition of a number of external parties, such as lawyers, consultants, bankers and contractors. These additional people will ultimately mean greater exposure of sensitive data. This must be expected and adequately accounted for well in advance to ensure that all information remains as secure as possible throughout the entire transition. Again, the person or persons in charge of IT security should make managing access to information a top priority.

Is your company planning on rolling out some big changes in the near future? Is there a merger or acquisition on the horizon? Whether it’s adopting a new company-wide software product, making changes to corporate culture or partnering with another firm, the changes that will take place within can potentially leave you exposed to greater risk of a security breach. By taking the above steps and solidifying your cyber security incident response plan in advance, your company will be in a much better position to navigate the upcoming challenges and come out on the other side as a success story.

If you could use some upgrades, particularly in the technology you use for IT security and incident management, you can get started today by downloading a free 30 day trial of Ayehu.

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One of your biggest risk is insider threats. Here’s how to manage them.

One of your biggest risks is insider threats. Here's how to manage them.When we talk about security threats to the enterprise, the focus often centers on hackers and other external parties. In reality, the biggest danger to most organizations is the very users who work within. In fact, according to Gartner, more than 70% of unauthorized access to sensitive data is committed by a company’s own employees. The good news is enough research has been done to identify the five most common insider threats and, more importantly, what your organization can do to prevent and protect against them. Let’s take a look.

Problem: Sensitive Data Sharing via Email or IM

Along with the convenience of quick and/or instant electronic communications also comes the greater risk of confidential information being shared via one of these tools, like email or instant messaging. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest insider threats to manage and control.

Solution: Encrypt, Analyze and Filter

The easiest way to prevent sensitive data from being shared electronically is to ensure that all messages and the content contained within (including attachments) are properly encrypted. Additionally, you can set up a network analyzer and content filtering which will help to automatically identify and block any classified information from going out. Lastly, outsourced or perimeter-based messaging solutions often provide easy to manage content filtering and blocking, so know and take advantage of what’s available to you.

Problem: Remote Access Exploitation

One of the greatest benefits of today’s technology is the flexibility it affords to be able to access networks and internal systems from anywhere. Unfortunately, this same advancement can also prevent a whole new set of risks to the integrity and security of sensitive data. The ability to access information from off-site via remote access software can make it easier and more tempting to steal and compromise that data. Furthermore, inadequately protected remote devices could end up in the wrong hands if they become lost or stolen.

Solution: Establish Stronger Remote Work Guidelines

Controlling who can access and share files and keeping a close watch on OS and application logins is critical. Implementing tighter security controls, particularly those systems that are most sensitive and therefore pose the greatest risk can provide a much greater degree of protection. Likewise, monitoring and limiting employee usage through logs and audit trails will also add another layer of security. Finally, establishing stronger password requirements, using multi-factor authentication and enabling screen saver timeouts can prevent unauthorized access issues.

Problem: Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

P2P sharing software is a great tool for fostering collaboration and improving efficiency amongst employees, but these platforms also pose a significant security risk. All it takes is one ill-intentioned individual to misconfigure the software and suddenly your internal network and drives are available for anyone to access.

Solution: Implement More Stringent P2P Policies

The best way to prevent against P2P software vulnerabilities is to not allow it within your organization. Implementing a network analyzer and routinely performing firewall audits will further strengthen your defense. For optimum protection, a P2P firewall is recommended. If you do happen to allow P2P software, a perimeter-based content monitoring solution can help keep sensitive information secure.

Problem: Insecure Wireless Network Usage

Accessing confidential data via unsecured wireless networks can potentially place your organization at risk, even if that insider threat is unintentional. If your employees work remotely and use WiFi or Bluetooth connections, all it takes is one breach of a file transfer or email communication for your valuable data to be compromised.

Solution: Provide a Safer Alternative

Rather than allowing employees to utilize airwaves that are not adequately secure, providing your WiFi users with a secure wireless hotspot is the ideal solution. Use a VPN  for remote connectivity and implement a personal firewall for an added layer of protection. Don’t forget internal wireless networks, either. Always use encryption, authentication and logging. If Bluetooth is not necessary, disable it or, at the very least, make your devices undiscoverable.

Problem: Participating in Discussions on External Boards or Blogs

Whether it’s posting a question on a message board for support purposes or commenting on a thought-provoking blog, employees could inadvertently put your sensitive information at risk without even realizing it.

Solution: Filter and monitor.

Filtering content at the network perimeter is the most effective way to identify and block sensitive data from being shared externally. Of course, as with everything else, there’s always a chance that encrypted transmissions could be missed and may end up on such sites. For best results, setting up a notification system, such as Google Alerts, which will let you know any time certain keywords (specified by you) are used on the web.

Ultimately, managing insider threats should be an important component of your overall cyber security incident response strategy. Implementing tools like automation can help further identify, address and remediate security incidents – including those caused by internal parties – so that damages can be mitigated.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Securing, Streamlining and Scaling with Intelligent SOC Automation

Securing, Streamlining and Scaling with Intelligent SOC AutomationWith security threats increasing in number, frequency and complexity at an almost mind-boggling rate, the need for smart cyber-security solutions at the enterprise level has never been greater. What was once a concern only of larger organizations or those in certain industries, such as finance or medical, is now something businesses of every size and sector must carefully plan for. Simply put, it’s no longer a question of if your company will be attacked, but when. Employing a strategy, particularly one that features intelligent SOC automation as a central component, can help keep the enterprise safer while also optimizing performance and facilitating a more scalable operation. Here’s how.

Process Optimization

Optimization of internal processes is one of the biggest benefits of intelligent SOC automation. Incorporating automation can make almost every process undertaken by the IT department more efficient. To start, all of the day-to-day tasks and workflows that are absolutely necessary but can be described as mundane and repetitive can easily be shifted from human to machine.

Furthermore, by automating as many processes as possible, the risks associated with human error can also be eliminated, creating a more streamlined, efficient, effective and accurate operation all around. And with the right intelligent SOC automation tool, everything can be documented and tracked, which facilitates process improvement through the identification and development of best practices.

Threat Monitoring

Obviously one of the key objectives of security operations is to constantly monitor, review, analyze and manage a massive volume of incoming data. This can be challenging even for the most seasoned IT professional. Developing security algorithms can help to more effectively identify and assess anomalous information, but it can also lead to identifying false positives. Couple this with the increasing number of alerts coming in and it becomes evident that human workers simply cannot keep up, resulting in a large number of incoming alerts going uninvestigated or being missed altogether.

Intelligent SOC automation can aid enterprises in managing this volume of incoming data without the need to hire additional staff and while reducing unnecessary time spent on the process. Leveraging intelligent automation technology, almost the entire threat monitoring process can be streamlined and optimized. All incoming alerts are automatically identified and evaluated for legitimacy, which dramatically reduces false positives. Those that are legitimate threats can then be assessed, prioritized and flagged for attention from the IT staff. What’s more, patterns and anomalies can be quickly and accurately identified and addressed thanks to machine learning algorithms.

Incident Management

Any experienced IT professional will tell you that incident management is more about response than anything else. How quickly can a legitimate threat be identified, isolated and stopped? Unfortunately, most of the damages from security incidents occur in the interim between when the breach is successful and when it is properly addressed.

The most effective and efficient way to handle this critical task is to employ intelligent SOC automation as a central part of the process. Experienced security analysts can help develop best practices and build those into incident response playbooks, which work to thwart potential attacks while also documenting the steps necessary to resolve a breach. Data analysis by artificial intelligence helps to prevent future attacks while also mitigating the damages caused by those that manage their way in.

Resources Allocation

It’s no secret that the IT realm is experiencing a significant skills gap, particularly in terms of qualified security professionals. There simply aren’t enough capable candidates to handle the growing demand. As a result, those who are employed are being stretched beyond their limits, which leads to frustration, dissatisfaction and ultimately much higher turnover.

When intelligent SOC automation is implemented, technology steps in to bridge the skills gap and take much of the pressure off of existing IT personnel. These experienced professionals can then be freed up to apply their skills more effectively, including the training of newer staff members. Not only does operational efficiency and productivity soar as a result, but employee satisfaction does as well.

Risk Management

The goal of successful cyber security incident response isn’t necessarily to address and respond to threats, but rather to identify, develop and hone strategies that will help to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Cyber criminals work tirelessly to find new ways to achieve their malicious intent and, as a result, enterprise IT personnel must take every measure possible to beat them to the punch. This cannot be done by humans alone.

With intelligent SOC automation handling the 24/7 monitoring, assessment, action and resolution of incidents, senior IT professionals can focus their efforts on identifying areas of potential weakness so that the appropriate protections can be put in place ahead of time for a more proactive defense.

Could your organization benefit from intelligent SOC automation? Find out today by taking Ayehu for a test drive today!

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in CybersecurityAn ever-connected world coupled with the widespread adoption of cloud and mobile technologies have made the subject of cybersecurity infinitely more complex. Furthermore, an expanding number of access points and the seeming relentlessness of today’s sophisticated hackers mean the need for adequate network security measures has never been more important. Keeping up with the demand is challenging, to say the least. Artificial intelligence is turning out to be the ideal solution. Here’s how.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are being leveraged across any number of industries to improve data collection and analysis and enable better business decision-making. Mountains of data can easily be gathered, analyzed, organized and presented to help business leaders understand new trends and optimize future performance.

From a cybersecurity perspective, AI can be utilized as a tool to quickly and accurately identify new vulnerabilities in an effort to mitigate future attacks. This technology can alleviate much of the burden currently being placed on human security workers who are overworked, limited by human capabilities and inevitably prone to error. With a cybersecurity strategy that’s powered by intelligent automation, machines do much of the heavy lifting, alerting human agents only when action is needed. This enables security personnel to allocate their time and skills more effectively.

Think for a moment about your best security expert. Now imagine if he or she transferred that knowledge and expertise to your artificial intelligence and machine learning programs. This would essentially make your AI as smart as your very best employee. Now, imagine the outcome if you transferred the combined skills of your top ten best employees to your artificial intelligence program.

And since this intuitive technology is capable of “learning” and improving all on its own, your cybersecurity plan will continue to get stronger and more effective over time. What’s more, intelligent automation doesn’t make mistakes and never takes a sick day or vacation. That means with AI, your defense against cyber-attacks will remain constant, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So, it’s like having an army of your very best employees (but even better), constantly monitoring and evolving to provide even better protection.

Of course, that being said, AI shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a replacement for human security teams – at least not yet. While the technology is, indeed, intuitive and self-driven, it still requires some degree of human interaction in order for it to continue to meet the needs and challenges of today’s organizations. As such, a hybrid approach is recommended, which includes human IT personnel working efficiently alongside the technology to achieve optimum results.

One particular area in which cybersecurity powered by AI can augment human IT teams is through the use of predictive analytics. With this, the technology leverages past and present data to provide security teams the predictive insight they need to thwart attacks before they occur. Essentially, it can facilitate a proactive rather than reactive approach to network security. For those inevitable instances in which threats do manage to get through, intelligent automation can aid in the timely and effective detection, eradication and remediation of successful breaches.

In conclusion, machine learning and artificial intelligence are beginning to play an increasingly important role in how organizations keep their networks and sensitive data secure. In the not-so-distant future, advances in machine learning, AI and intelligent automation will continue to provide newer, better and more effective tools to help savvy organizations stay a step ahead of cyber criminals.

See the next generation of cybersecurity automation and orchestration in action with your very own live demo or click here to launch your free trial of Ayehu and experience the power of AI powered automation for yourself today!

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

The Best Way to Manage Your Company’s Cyber Security

The Best Way to Manage Your Company’s Cyber SecurityA few years ago, The Wall Street Journal estimated that cyber-crime was responsible for nearly $100 billion in losses in the US alone. This amount has been widely disputed and is believed by many to be much higher. Meanwhile, British insurance company Lloyd’s estimated that cyber-attacks cost companies in the UK up to $400 billion every year. This damage includes the direct impact of a cyber security breach as well as the post-attack disruption it causes.

And it’s only going to get worse. In addition to cyber-crime costs quadrupling from 2013 to 2015, Juniper research predicts that those costs will increase to $.2.1 trillion globally by the year 2019.

Cyber-crime is something every business in every country on every continent in the world must be mindful of. According to Ginni Rometty, the Chairman, CEO and President of IBM Corp., these types of attacks could very well be the greatest threat businesses have ever seen.

So, what can you do to protect your organization? What will it take to ensure that your business doesn’t become a part of the alarming statistics listed above? Well, it starts with creating a comprehensive cyber security incident response strategy – that is, a formal plan for proactively defending against incoming attacks that also includes a documented course of action for addressing and remediating incidents in as timely and effective a manner as possible.

That being said, here are five key steps to actively managing your company’s cyber security.

Establish ground rules.

First and foremost, make cyber security a priority and make it clear that protecting the assets of the company is everyone’s job. Establish policies and procedures, communicate them clearly and regularly and enforce them as needed. For instance, develop, institute and enforce a policy that requires all network users to create and use strong passwords. Post banners that remind users of their responsibilities and restrictions regarding the security of company data.

Get the right team in place.

Today’s cyber-attackers are as savvy and sly as they’ve ever been. They are constantly working to identify new vulnerabilities that they can exploit. In order to combat these sophisticated criminals, you must assemble a team that is dedicated to developing, implementing and managing your organization’s cyber security incident response strategy. It cannot be an afterthought or a side-venture. The team should be well-trained and provided with all the tools, technology and support they need to effectively prevent, monitor, assess, respond to and recover from any security incidents.

Monitor.

It’s been said that the best defense is a good offense, and perhaps in no arena is this more accurate than in cyber security. Being proactive about how you approach your company’s security can mean the difference between an attempted attack and a successful (and costly) breach. Make sure that you have invested in quality monitoring systems, including a combination of technology and skilled security professionals. The ability to quickly pinpoint a potential threat and assess it immediately, before it has the opportunity to wreak havoc will greatly improve your odds of keeping sensitive data safe from harm.

Automate.

The types of cyber-crimes being perpetrated today are far more complex than ever before. Additionally, criminals are using advanced technology to launch relentless attacks at an almost mind boggling rate. The only sure way to fortify your organization’s defense against these ferocious onslaughts is to leverage that same technology to your own advantage. This comes in the form of automation, which provides a round-the-clock virtual army of defenders that stand at the ready to help identify, assess, verify, prioritize, notify and take action against any legitimate incidents. This instant and effective process can dramatically reduce the impact of a threat and significantly mitigate damages – all without the need for human intervention.

Be proactive about the future.

Last, but most certainly not least, it’s just as important to plan ahead as it is to be prepared in the here and now. A solid cyber security incident response strategy should also account for future attacks to further secure and fortify your defense. This can be accomplished by using the documentation from past incidents and determining best practices for future events. It should also involve regular testing and verification of existing systems, applications and security measures to identify weaknesses so that they can be adequately addressed before they become a liability.

Is your cyber security strategy strong enough to prevent your organization from becoming the next victim of a savvy online criminal? Can your company afford such a devastating blow? The time to take action and safeguard your assets is now.
Get started today by downloading a free 30 day trial of eyeShare.





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




Lack of Cyber Security Incident Response is Costing UK Businesses Big Time

Lack of Cyber Security Incident Response is Costing UK Businesses Big TimeBusinesses today are under increasing attack by cyber-criminals, with often devastating consequences. One area of the world where these risks are posing a significant impact is in the UK, where security breaches are responsible for an estimated £34.1bn. Yet, despite this alarming fact, almost half of all UK firms admit they do not have an adequate cyber security incident response strategy in place.

Growing Concern

A recent study polled over 500 UK businesses located about crimes that have impacted their organizations over the past year. The study also examined business leaders’ current concerns surrounding the important topics of security and resilience. What was revealed was that key leadership personnel rank computer viruses and data breaches (theft) as the biggest threats to their companies. Over 1/5th of survey respondents admitted they are “highly concerned” about these threats and 1/3 of those polled (mostly larger organizations) list fear of hackers as a significant concern.

A Costly Problem

About half of those surveyed said they currently have cyber security incident response plans in place that they feel adequately protects their networks. 18% said they have taken extensive measures to protect against hackers and nearly 3/4th confirmed that they have insurance in place to cover any losses caused by a successful breach. Yet, despite the growing concern and recognition of the increasing risks, 44% of UK firms admit they only have basic levels of protection in place. Furthermore, 1 in 8 has experienced infrastructure damage due to malware in the past year at a cost in time, money and resources of about £10,516.

Another revelation of the survey in question was that larger and mid-sized businesses are at a significantly higher risk of becoming a victim of malware – almost twice as likely as smaller companies. 7% of organizations polled had been struck by hackers over the past 12 months, with the average cost of each successful attack coming in somewhere around £16,264. The risks associated with data theft also increased along with the size of the business, with some 16% of larger firms becoming victims over the past year.

What is essentially playing out is akin to an arms race between businesses and those who wish to do them harm through cyber-attacks. Leaders must go beyond simply recognizing that these types of attacks are detrimental to their ongoing success and focus on developing strong, solid cyber security incident response strategies that will be agile enough to combat an increasingly sophisticated enemy. In other words, knowing and taking action are two entirely different things with equally contrasting outcomes.

A Proactive Approach

The solution lies in taking a much more proactive approach to cyber security. Organizations must focus on employing advanced solutions that can facilitate seamless integration with monitoring platforms to create a much more comprehensive and impenetrable defense. Additionally, attention must also be given to the development and implementation of strategies that deal with more timely and effective response and remediation. Incorporating automation into the mix can further enhance and fortify the process.

A Board-Meeting Must

As most professionals are painfully aware, the biggest hurdle to adopting and implementing any new business strategy is quite often obtaining buy-in from key decision makers. Yet, with the number of threats growing in complexity and frequency, there has never been a more important time to position the importance of a strong cyber security incident response plan in front of board members. IT personnel can more effectively persuade those in charge of budget allocation by offsetting the investment with the costs and other critical consequences of successful cyber breaches to demonstrate quantifiable ROI.

Regardless of tactic taken, it is absolutely imperative that the topic of cyber security be placed front and center until it is properly addressed. If you are concerned that your organization isn’t adequately protected from would-be cyber-attacks, the time to take action is now.

Get started by downloading a free 30 day trial and help prevent your UK firm from becoming another statistic.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response