Guest Post: Combating Modern Security Threats with Modern Solutions

By: Michael Murphy, VP and Country Manager, Citrix Canada

In recent months, we’ve seen an increase in the number of cyber security breaches across the world. From concerns over the DNC’s email leaks to Wannacry and the Petya virus the vulnerability of corporate data to external threats has been exposed on a global pedestal.

Modern cyberattacks are no longer limited to government or those at the highest levels within corporations. Anyone with internet access or a smart phone needs to consider how they will safeguard themselves from a potential hack. From a business perspective, companies need to approach security assuming a threat is imminent and acknowledge that it is a collective responsibility to take steps toward minimizing that threat – not just the responsibility of the IT department.

So, what are some best practice provisions that companies can employ to safeguard their data from a potential breach?

Educate and re-educate. Security cannot begin and end with the IT department. Every employee needs to be aware of and updated on company security policies and educated on what the proper tools and procedures are for accessing their apps and data remotely, regardless of the device. Appreciating and recognizing the threats and threat vectors that exist and are constantly evolving is equally important for employees to be knowledgeable about. Making everyone accountable will also help to demystify security as something owned by one department.

Identify risks in the system. Building a sound IT infrastructure means constantly assessing potential weak points. This requires a network infrastructure that allows a company to recognize where risks may be and identify methods for fixing those risks. IT must be made aware of any 3rd party apps running on the network, any users who are accessing the system remotely, and help identify and direct any unusual traffic access the data center.

Virtualize your apps and data. Companies can prevent the loss of data by virtualizing applications and storing information on the cloud rather than the hardware itself. That way, if an employee’s computer is attacked, no company data can be found on it. Using centralized data centres mean IT can update computers with the necessary patches all at once, rather than relying on end-users to complete the updates.

 

Have a disaster recovery plan in place. In the event that a breach does occur it is imperative that companies have a thorough, company-wide disaster recovery plan. Each level of the organization should be aware of what steps must be taken to first stop a breach and then re-secure company systems.

Security is about matching wants with needs. Employees want ease of access, companies want productivity and both want the comfort of knowing their information and devices are secure.

Ideally, businesses are integrated, security is comprehensive, and digital workspaces unify and enrich the user experience. For this ideal to be realized all types of enterprises must consider every touchpoint within their organization. IT must manage increasingly complex, hybrid and multi-cloud environments, and integrating smart IT practices when threats are known will help to protect in times of crisis and quickly restore systems that have been compromised.

This holistic security and analytics approach will help organizations to address the growing cybersecurity threats we all presently face, while preparing for the future unknown.

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