Peter French, Synapsys MD
What is an endpoint anyway?
An endpoint is any device that people, or machines in the case of IoT, use to compute. Some endpoints remain within a company network, or move backwards and forwards across a corporate firewall, and today many are remote. These remote endpoints are increasingly a vulnerability risk, because, if unprotected, they offer a doorway into a corporate network.
Now, add the uptick in cyber crime. Today it’s around the COVID-19 pandemic — the Acronis Cyber Protection Operation Centers have detected a spike in malware attacks recently — but at other times this could be due to any large global event or crisis. Combined, you start to see the makings of an infosec nightmare.
Top three things to prioritise when updating your data protection and cyber security — cyber protection — for this new way of working
- People first
We all know this one. Even when implementing a technology solution to a technology-driven problem, people need to come first. They are still the weakest security link, and today are anxious, confused, navigating new work habits, and desperate for information, all of which is being exploited by increasingly savvy cyber criminals.
But remember, users aren’t the only people in the equation. The IT team is now stretched, suddenly supporting a remote work organisation while working remotely themselves. New strategies to increase remote endpoint protection need to be simple, scalable and integrated to support the people at the frontline of cyber protection in an organisation.
- Acknowledge it’s a balancing act and make the best call for your organisation
Cyber protection is a complex challenge covering data protection and cyber security, and so needs a multi-vector approach to solving it. Acronis has a useful way of summarising these cyber protection vectors: SAPAS.
- Safety: Is your data kept safe, and can it be recovered?
- Accessibility: Can your people access the information they need, wherever they are and at any time?
- Privacy: Do you know who can see and access different types of data?
- Authenticity: Are you certain a copy is the exact replica of the original data?
- Security: Is all your data, including backups, protected against cyber threats?
A further complexity is that sometimes these vectors shift and work against each other. Like today, IT teams need to work to ensure that data, applications and systems are accessible to their people wherever they are to ensure business continuity. But what does this mean for other vectors such privacy or safety?
- Wash your hands: AKA your remote endpoints are your first line of defence
Just as we are all going to get used to sanitising our hands and having our temperature taken before entering hospitals, offices, and practically anywhere to prevent the spread of COVID-19, remote endpoint protection is going to be critical in preventing malware from entering corporate networks and spreading. And here, SAPAS applies too: each organisation is going to need to balance the competing cyber protection vectors on remote endpoint devices to keep their network and people secure. These vectors of protection are close knit, and the structural integrity of an organisation’s cyber protection relies on each vector being present and supporting each other.