Cyber attacks

Prevention is Always Better than Cure when it comes to Cyber Security

With blurring perimeters of data storage, and with new policies such as bring-your-own-device, the varieties of new vulnerabilities are on the rise

Data breaches and cyber attacks through sophisticated malware has seen an increase of late. In an exclusive interview with DataQuest Mr V Mathivanan, Vice President, ManageEngine, talks about the current scenario, vulnerabilities and fixes available in the cyber security landscape. ManageEngine is a division of Zoho Corporation with offices worldwide, including the United States, India, Singapore, Japan and China.

 

 

 Cloud, Big Data and AI are being readily adopted by businesses across sectors. What would you say about the current scenario of industries in terms of security infrastructure?

These are new developments, and most of big data streams and AI-powered applications work through the cloud, and they are prone to exposing data through various touchpoints including browsers. As end-users in any organization are predominantly task-oriented and may not be tech savvy; they usually do not think about what might happen in the backend. Also, in current times,privilege access is another key factor that needs to be considered while talking about infrastructure security. For example, accessing data through public Wi-Fi is not always secure; any data transferred through this medium could be hacked. With blurring perimeters of data storage, and with new policies such as bring-your-own-device, the varieties of new vulnerabilities are on the rise.

In AI, applications convey data from server to server, or from server to client. When it is server-to-server, IT administrators can implement robust security measures. However, when AI crosses over to the client’s side, unless they implement effective measures, important data becomes vulnerable.

What are the factors causing vulnerability?

Connected devices can be classified into managed and unmanaged devices. While managed device environments are taken care of by administrators, unmanaged devices often have the latest security patches or crucial updates missing. Therefore, making them vulnerable to attacks through applications like browsers. A 2017 data by Statista says that most of these attacks happen through office applications, which are usually whitelisted by most users around the globe. Browsers and their ancillaries are the next important causatives for exploits after office applications. The failure to regularly update these patches and the mismanagement of devices and browsers, because of cloud and remote access through multiple devices, cause these vulnerabilities.

What happens in the backend is often a mystery to many professionals. Installing unauthorised third-party applications may open up vulnerabilities. While whitelisting applications is not the only way to ward off attacks. It is only a trust paradigm, and not a fencing mechanism. Therefore, network administrators should have a holistic mechanism to manage both endpoints and applications installed in the network including browsers.

How can data theft and malware attacks be prevented by ManageEngine?

ManageEngine provides a suite of IT management and IT security tools that help organizations manage and protect all network and endpoints from any attack. ManageEngine’s Desktop Central is a unified endpoint management solution with a single console for all maintenance that also applies to security policies, and patches, in order to prevent modern sophisticated threats and to keep attackers out.

Secondly, browser security is growing to be very crucial in any organization as most of their cloud applications and network are accessed through browsers making them as the entry points and thus making them critical endpoints, according to Statista, browsers have accounted for 23.47 percent of attacks in 2018 until Q1.

ManageEngine’s latest product, Browser Security Plus, is a browser management solution that helps organizations secure their corporate data in the cloud and protect their networks from web-based cyberattacks. Built for robust enterprise security, it comes fully loaded with features such as compliance, policy deployment, add-on management, and browser isolation (separation of trusted and untrusted websites and applications).

How can an organization recover in case any data breach takes place?

In this digital era, data breaches can happen through any channel. Any crucial data that is shared via internal or external browsers can also be open to data breach. Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, every organization should have a robust IT management system in place to notify on any anomaly before it can impact their critical business applications. Apart from this all organizational data needs to be backed up at multiple secure locations, to ensure they remain safe during such ransomware attacks. To manage data that has been compromised or damaged during thefts and ransomware attacks, ManageEngine offers a product called Recovery Manager Plus, which is an active directory back-up and recovery tool. The product backs up each change and helps restore the systems.

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