This post is also available in: German
The good news about IT security is that the risk level was largely stable up to mid-2019. However, this relative calm has given way to a new wave of attacks since the fall. Companies should prepare themselves in good time for 2020 – especially considering that Emotet and WannaCry attacks have become a likelihood. Four key trends play a central role when it comes to developing an endpoint security strategy.
The boom in ransomware is over for now – but other threats have emerged in its place. While Trojans were particularly popular among cybercriminals some time ago, malware has since become very common. Instead of demanding payment in Bitcoin in exchange for the release of data, scammers now pursue two main goals: causing damage and steal data. Not only that, but a further risk looms for companies: with the arrival of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies that suffer from data loss can also be prosecuted . Especially if their security measures were inadequate.
Well-known malicious programs such as Emotet and WannaCry, which pop up time and time again in different iterations, can cause headaches for companies. These events are alarming, because the use of cloud services – despite all of their advantages in terms of operating work – give rise to further risks. Well-organized hacker organizations are usually behind these kind of attacks on networks.
Zero-day hacks as an acute threat to IT security
Organizations currently need new technologies to tackle zero-day hacks. Backups are important, but they’re not enough in the industrial and service sectors. That’s because even downtimes that last only a few hours can cause considerable financial damage – not to mention damage to reputation and to customer relationships. However, many organizations and companies do not yet have sufficient resources to protect against hacks. We strongly recommend enacting measures to tackle this issue. All in all, there are four important strategies that currently provide a decent level of IT security:
1. data encryption
One mainstay in the field of IT security is undergoing a renaissance – consistently encrypted data prevents worst-case scenarios. This ensures that patient or customer data is not circulated on the Internet, for example. The coding should be carried out in a way that ensures that all data sources and repositories are covered. If the protection software works in the background, this should be imperceptible to employees, while still offering them the utmost protection.
2. password manager
Lost and stolen employee passwords remain one of the primary risks to companies. This is often because many users still use overly simple passwords. Password managers can help – they are becoming increasingly commonplace and thus a standard. These protect usernames and passwords by means of encryption and a complex master password . A single sign-on provides even greater security. In this case, the user can access all computers and services by means of one-time authentication for which they hold local authorization. Another benefit is that password managers can protect against compromised websites and phishing attacks.
3. malware protection measures
IT security is becoming increasingly automated. Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) takes center stage here. With the aid of machine learning (ML), it allows background information such as user behavior, location, and used apps to be included in a safety assessment in real time. Anomalies such as unusual data movement or logins from suspicious regions are detected in real time. Immediate, automated reactions in the network follow. UEBA solves problems even before they become virulent for the user.
4. Software-as-a-Service for easy handling
On-premises solutions offer the greatest security. However, this does not just involve investing in the appropriate hardware. It also includes a whole range of tasks that take up resources – including implementation in your own network as well as measures for maintenance, administration, and data backup. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions can eliminate these largely or completely. SaaS solutions will also play a major role in IT security in the future, especially in consideration of the trend toward greater outsourcing.
IT security is sure to be very exciting in 2020. However, we see more and more that the end device is the prime target for cybercriminals, because the danger is greatest where data is processed. When viewed from this perspective, upholding security by means of control, logging, filtering, and encryption is essential, not only in view of malware threats and the EU Data Protection Regulation. Automation, integral solutions, and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) make these multi-layered measures simpler.