Risks of shadow IT and how to eliminate them

The larger an enterprise gets, the harder it becomes for the IT department to monitor all the devices and applications being used by the employees. This may especially be the case if the enterprise has a BYOD culture, which most modern-day organizations have. And many of them are devices and applications used by employees may not be approved or issued by the IT team, and hence may elude their awareness.

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What enterprises must know about India’s new personal data protection bill

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 is an act proposed to the Indian government which, if passed, will redefine the way Indian enterprises gather, handle, and use their customers’ and employees’ personal information. The bill requires businesses to adopt reasonable policies, practices, and measures for handling personal information to avoid data leaks and breach of privacy.

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Is cybersecurity affecting your productivity?

Cybersecurity, or any kind of security for that matter, is often seen as a hindrance to the smooth operations in many organizations. That's because, in these organizations, the security measures are often so strict that they minimize the ease of functioning for the employees. In a bid to prevent their employees from visiting harmful and undesirable sites or stop them from accessing sensitive information, organizations end up denying employees access to sources of information that are essential for their day-to-day operations. And this adversely affects organizational performance.

While it is understandable that it is "better to be safe than sorry", playing it too safe also has consequences. What then, could be the solution to this conundrum? The answer is simple -- contextual intelligence.

Instead of leaving your cybersecurity fences wide open or shutting them too tight, organizations must be able to assess cybersecurity situations on a case-by-case basis. They must be able to understand the context behind every attempt to access or share sensitive information. And for that, they need cybersecurity tools such as firewall solutions that are built with contextual intelligence. These tools can monitor every application and every user for suspicious activities and prevent sensitive information from leaking out. And they can do so without interrupting legitimate attempts to access information from within as well as outside the organization, thus maximizing the productivity without compromising security.

Why you need an application filtering service for your business

The internet is a vital enabler of business, regardless of industry or location. Thus, it is necessary for enterprises to ensure that all their employees have internet connectivity all the time. However, while it is important to give all your employees limitless connectivity, you should also be mindful of how the internet is being used by your employees. That’s because sometimes it is possible that your network resources are being used for unproductive or even harmful purposes such as torrenting, social media, and video streaming.

Social media and streaming sites, if used in an unrestrained manner for long by your employees can potentially lead to a loss in productivity. Even more dangerous to your enterprise can be the use of torrent and other illegal sites, which may draw legal and regulatory action towards your enterprise, while also making you vulnerable to malware and virus attacks. To prevent this, your business should be equipped with a robust URL-filtering solution. However, in recent years, due to the rapid propagation of mobile technology, websites are mostly being replaced by applications. So, instead of using the YouTube website, more and more people are using the YouTube mobile application. Similarly, torrenting and other similar sites are being accessed through their corresponding applications, which can contain malware and viruses.

To prevent your enterprise from falling victim to unwanted legal problems as well as avoidable virus and malware attacks, you must secure your enterprise network with a next-generation firewall solution backed by contextual intelligence. You can configure these systems to prevent your employees from accessing specific applications and services, even if these applications use anti-tracking measures such as SSL. Additionally, these solutions also work on mobile devices, protecting your network even if you implement a BYOD policy. Thus, you can keep your enterprise safe from harmful sites and applications around the clock.

 

Simple things you can do to prevent ransomware attacks

While the awareness of ransomware attacks has spread across India -- and the world in general -- not much is being done to prevent it. Or at the very least, whatever is being done to prevent this cybercrime isn’t helping. That’s because ransomware still poses a threat to businesses across the world, now in 2019, two years after its incipience. Does that mean there's nothing you can do to prevent ransomware attacks? The answer is, no. That’s because there are a few very simple things that you can do as an enterprise to prevent ransomware attacks. Here are the simplest yet the most effective ways of preventing ransomware attacks:

Training your employees on preventing ransomware attacks

As has been emphasized numerous times before, employees are an enterprise’s weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. This is especially so against ransomware attacks, which begin with a phishing attempt targeted at unsuspecting employees. Regardless of how strong your cybersecurity systems are, a simple careless action by your employees, such as clicking on a spam link or downloading an attachment from an unknown sender, can make your enterprise vulnerable to not only ransomware but also other kinds of cyber attacks. Educating your employees on the best cybersecurity practices can steer them away from such behaviors and prevent ransomware attacks.

Installing and updating your antivirus and antispam systems

Having reliable antivirus and antispam tools can help stop malware as well as phishing attacks. As ransomware attacks keep evolving, it is vital to keep your antivirus programs up-to-date with the latest patches. Doing so will prevent harmful ransomware programs from stealing your data away or leaking it out.

Monitoring all incoming communications

While your antispam and antivirus tools can protect you from most phishing attempts and malware attacks, a well-planned ransomware attack using advanced tools can still penetrate your defenses and harm your network and data. To prevent such a situation you’ll have to deeply monitor every email communication that your organization receives. This means verifying the sender identity, scanning the email body and attachments, and all the embedded links that come with the message. While you can do all this manually with the help of your cybersecurity team, it will take a lot of time and resources, and slow down your business process.

To perform detailed analysis of all incoming communications without slowing down your business processes, you’ll need to use a contextually-intelligent firewall solution. A contextually-intelligent firewall solution can constantly monitor your enterprise networks, keeping bad actors out and thereby preventing ransomware attacks.