5 IT security initiatives to defend against next-gen attacks

September 13, 20185 minute read

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IT professionals are always on guard these days, trying to stay on top of all the new cybersecurity threats and attack techniques hackers are cooking up. Meanwhile, the dangers are only increasing—according to Cybersecurity Ventures, businesses will be hit with $6 trillion in cybercrime damage every year by 2021.

Fortunately, there are a lot of smart, innovative IT security initiatives you can put in place now to solve the cybersecurity headaches of today—and tomorrow. Let’s take a look at five of the most effective solutions you can implement in your office.

1. Put the kibosh on social engineering attacks

Email phishing is still a huge problem, and hackers are walking away with major paydays thanks to carefully researched social engineering attacks that dupe office workers into coughing up money or providing sensitive login credentials. However, most email gateway appliances only screen for known bad domains or malware—leaving your business defenseless against this next generation attack.

In response, new email security tools are beginning to use contextual information rather than old-school, static identifiers to halt these types of exploits. GreatHorn, for instance, integrates with your email client in the cloud and uses machine learning to analyze all your company’s email messages. This tool also leverages its knowledge of deceptive email attacks and flags clever phishing attacks before they reach their targets.

Hackers are already creeping into email conversations at the office and inserting malware in replies to legitimate messages. With that in mind, make sure you’ve got email security solutions intelligent enough to identify and ward off such advanced threats.

2. Get granular control with micro-segmentation

While many an IT pro has dreamed about gaining granular control over the security of assets, users, and data within the network environment, it’s challenging to make that vision a reality, to say the least. Innovative security tools featuring micro-segmentation make this simpler, allowing IT to tightly define—from the ground up—what processes, apps, and users are permitted to take specific actions on the office network.

One such tool, GuardiCore Centra, eliminates the complexity usually involved in this type of endeavor, allowing IT to implement micro-segmentation to ensure nothing goes awry. It provides deep visibility into network activity, including a dynamic deception tool businesses can use to snare rogue users or apps that might be up to something shady. It’s a pretty hardcore defensive measure, but for companies with stringent security requirements, such a tool could be the right solution for keeping hackers from storming the castle gates.

3. Spot hidden vulnerabilities across the environment

By now, you’ve probably gotten the memo that a traditional perimeter security approach just won’t cut it in the face of today’s advanced threats. Rather than simply securing servers and network infrastructure via a bulletproof firewall, you need a more up-to-date strategy that spots and shores up vulnerabilities in multiple areas of the network.

Tools, like RedSeal, are specifically designed for this purpose, mapping all possible attack vectors a hacker might tap and using contextual information to flag threats specific to the environment. These solutions empower IT teams to know what they don’t know, in a sense, and get a full picture of otherwise hidden pathways to vulnerabilities that could prove tempting to digital criminals. RedSeal provides businesses with a top-level resilience score that, much like a credit score, can help them understand their current readiness level and take timely action if it dips for any reason.

4. Slam the door shut at the endpoints

Chances are, one of the top IT security initiatives on your list involves securing your endpoints. Hackers know to target the weakest link in the environment, and they’ve learned they can often waltz on in and help themselves to all types of tantalizing goodies across the network once they’ve compromised an endpoint.

One way businesses can slam that door shut is by leveraging secure printing solutions, including innovative printers that can detect and prevent attacks in progress, self-healing from exploits on their own and pinging IT to let them know it’s been taken care of. That way, malicious actors will find an intelligently guarded fortress where they once saw a barely secured open door—leaving them out of luck and searching for easier victims to attack.

5. Hunt down threats with a digital sidekick

Although cybersecurity is getting a lot smarter thanks to AI, sometimes it’s the IT pro’s knack for sensing a disturbance in the Force that saves the day. Yet, you’re notoriously busy and don’t have a lot of time to go investigating a hunch most of the time. Tools, like insight engines, attempt to fill this gap, providing a natural language processing interface for security professionals to ask questions about what’s happening in the environment.

Some industry analysts have described insight engines as Google for network security, but it’s possibly even more powerful than that. By using natural language processing to serve up responses to advanced queries, it saves IT teams from typing out complicated strings of data—so they can get highly detailed, actionable answers almost immediately.

New hacking threats require not only new ways of thinking about cybersecurity but innovative security tools, as well. Fortunately, there are innovative technologies available that head off phishing scams, provide granular control through micro-segmentation, surface hidden vulnerabilities, and do a lot more to better protect your network. With network security tools becoming more advanced all the time, you’ve got plenty of innovative solutions to help your business address today’s threats—it’s just a matter of picking the right ones.

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