A Year in Review

Posted by Stefanie Kober Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:46:00 GMT

Looking back on 2013, many companies are preparing for the potential technological challenges to be faced in 2014. The first step in preparing for the future is to analyze the past.

In the past few years, IT security relied heavily on limiting access to centrally stored data. The creation of a ‘hard’ perimeter meant that employees required a high level of security clearance in order to access company resources. Hackers were forced to find creative ways to steal employee logins to meet their needs. In 2013 we saw the rise of BYOD policies, whereby employees could use personal devices such as mobile phones and tablets to access company data. The ability to work remotely caused several positive effects such as increased productivity, work-life balance and more workflow flexibility. Simultaneously, BYOD policies are also correlated with an increase in cyber-attacks, both in occurrences and in sophistication. Without the ‘hard’ perimeter and limited access, BYOD means that there are several entrances for hackers to consider.

As hackers came to this realization, we also saw a rise in phishing attacks. Employees were hoodwinked into voluntarily disclosing the credentials required for logins. Phishing attacks often went unnoticed as the employee was never under duress. In the past, when a hacker gained access to network, they would steal company data and resell it. 2013 saw an increase in data destruction, whereby data was held hostage and destroyed if a ransom was not paid.

And finally, 2013 was the year of the cloud. With several companies opting to store data in the cloud in order to facilitate ease of access, they essentially created a gold mine for hackers. Instead of targeting the enterprises themselves, hackers began targeting and exploiting cloud service providers in order to tamper with data.

With the number of IT security breaches and data leaks mounting, companies must reassess IT policy with the mind to counter current attacks and prevent future ones. One viable, cost effective solution is the use of VPNs. A product like HOB RD VPN provides secure remote access. Combined with single sign on technology, this VPN accounts for employees’ desire to use a single password to navigate through several layers of security. And since company resources remain centrally stored, businesses need not worry about third party exploitation.

A VPN solution provides all of the positive outcomes of BYOD without the increased risk of cyber-attacks. How will you prepare for 2014? Let us know in the comments!

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