HOB Brings Home Gold, Silver and Bronze!

Posted by Tobias Eichenseer Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:43:00 GMT

Our customers always knew that our secure remote access solutions were exceptional and now we have additional accolades to prove it. At the 10th annual 2015 IT World Awards, hosted by Network Products Guide, the IT industry’s leading technology research and advisory publication, HOB won three awards for our Remote Desktop Virtual Private Network (HOB RD VPN version 2.1).

Our flagship product, HOB RD VPN (version 2.1), won gold in the “Best Security Software” category, silver in the “Best IT Software” category and bronze in the “Most Innovative IT Software” category.

The awards honor excellence in every facet of the IT industry, people and products included. Nominees went through a rigorous review process conducted by a panel of industry experts before winners were announced.  

Here’s what sets our product apart: HOB RD VPN is not your typical SSL VPN. It’s high-performance, enabling convenient, yet secure remote access to enterprise resources and data, thereby decreasing costs and administration effort while increasing productivity and enhancing IT security. Version 2.1 of HOB RD VPN improves accessibility and auto-synchronization of corporate files across different platforms and devices.

Secure remote access is a top of mind industry issue as ever-connected employees demand flexible work environments. Employers must meet this demand while ensuring that corporate intellectual property is safe. Our solution meets both sides in the middle; equipping mobile workers with the access and resources they demand, while gifting industry leaders with peace of mind, knowing that this information remains secure.

We’re extremely proud and humbled to receive industry recognition alongside some of the brightest and best in the business and see these awards as a milestone in our journey to fuse security and flexibility for all of our customers.

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Keeping Up With an Agile Workforce Part I: Network Security

Posted by Tobias Eichenseer Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:46:00 GMT

Security and flexibility seem to be antithetical concepts. Storing your money in a high security vault may be the safest option, but stashing your savings under your mattress makes your cash easier to access.

Business leaders face a similar challenge when selecting a system that can accommodate a remote workforce, BYOD environment and long distance collaboration while also keeping corporate data and correspondence secure. As employees increasingly expect the ability to work from wherever on whatever device they please, network security becomes increasingly important.

Here are our suggested best practices for optimizing network security for an agile workforce:

Monitor Network Traffic
When employees remotely access a corporate network from multiple personal devices there are more access points across a wider geographical span and therefore more areas vulnerable to potential breaches. Applications that require additional bandwidth may also hinder network speed and reliability. To ensure maximum performance and minimal breaches, businesses must constantly monitor network activity for unusual occurrences and set guidelines for bandwidth usage.

Require an Identify and Access Management (IAM) Solution
An IAM solution will prevent network intrusions via compromised access credentials. An unified identification approach that raises all access to a secure standard will minimize the network security risks associated with remote access work. Single sign-on authentication methods relieve the authorization burden for employees and a company’s IT team. For more information on the benefits of single sign-on IAM solutions, check out our E-book.

Create a Separate BYOD Network
The stress of a BYOD environment on a corporate network slows bandwidth and therefore productivity. Many times bandwidth issues arise from employees conducting personal activities on their devices while connected to the corporate network. Redirecting these devices to the guest network reduces bandwidth for customers and visitors, so companies should instead install a separate BYOD network that also authorizes devices for corporate security compliance before enabling them to connect.

Install Secure Remote Access for Mobile and Remote Work
Finally and most importantly, a secure remote access solution is vital to network security and enabling an agile workforce. Public Wi-Fi networks present a host of dangers to corporate data and applications. An effective secure remote access solution should include a VPN, network access controls and context-aware authentication to prevent unapproved access.

HOB’s remote desktop VPN alleviates many of the burdens associated with supporting a mobile and agile workforce so that enterprise leaders can focus on the benefits, such as increased productivity and collaboration in lieu of fretting about fraud and information theft.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Keeping Up with an Agile Workforce!

 

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4 Critical Advantages of Pure Software VPN Solutions

Posted by Stefanie Kober Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:08:00 GMT



Most companies are turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) to reduce costs and increase security and performance. By using a public network, VPNs can connect off-site users, such as teleworkers and remote workers, vendors, and customers, to a larger centralized network. A VPN is considered as important as the internet connection itself, therefore choosing the right VPN solution is essential.

VPN Solutions
There are several different VPN solutions in the market today, therefore extra caution must be taken to ensure that the best possible decision is made when choosing a business VPN solution.
The two main product categories are dedicated VPN hardware appliances, and software VPNs (also called server-based VPNs). In the case of software VPNs, the VPN endpoint is actually software running on the device itself, whereas a hardware VPN is a virtual private network based on a single, stand-alone device.

The following four key points highlight how software VPNs are superior to hardware VPNs:

 

  1. Cost-Effective
    VPN software is generally considered to be a relatively low-cost way to deploy a VPN; dedicated hardware VPN appliances are more expensive than a software VPN because, generally, the VPN software is installed on an existing device. This means there is virtually no other investment required apart from software upgrades.

  2. Easy Network Management
    A further advantage to the software VPN approach is that the network does not change. No additional devices need to be installed, and management of the network remains the same. In contrast, a VPN appliance involves adding a new piece of equipment to the network, therefore increasing the complexity of the networking environment.
     
  3. Less Training
    Another benefit is that generally, less training is required in the case of software VPNs. Conversely, in hardware VPNs, the IT staff would require more intensive training since the configuration and management tools will probably be different than the ones used on the corporate routers.
     
  4. Performance and Scalability
    The performance factor is equally as important. The ability to expand the VPN to support more sites or users should not be underestimated when choosing a VPN. Pure software VPN solutions benefit from high scalability. This is not the case for a hardware VPN. If a company were to start with a VPN appliance designed to support 50 simultaneous VPN sessions, and later experience considerable increases in personnel, the VPN would need to accommodate more users. This would require scaling up the VPN will require the purchase of more appliances. Selecting a VPN that is not scalable can easily double the cost if or when the VPN capacity is outgrown.


SSL VPN
When choosing a VPN, special attention should be paid to the merits of the various deployment models (SSL VPN vs. IPsec VPN). Modern, pure software SSL VPNs do not require the installation of specialized client software on the end user’s computer. This translates to high scalability and the ability to support many different platforms (such as Windows®, Mac, Linux/Unix), from virtually any device. SSL VPNs enable secure server-based computing environment with strong SSL encryption and strong authentication.

HOB RD VPN is a very performant software SSL-VPN solution, which was only recently certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security. If you are interested in VPN solutions, don’t hesitate to visit our website www.hobsoft.com and inform yourself about HOB software solutions “Made in Germany”.
 

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Cybercrime Prevention Tips (Part 2)

Posted by Stefanie Kober Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:24:00 GMT



In one of our previous blog posts, we started our discussion with cybercrime prevention tips. In the following article, we shall further provide advice on how to prevent cyberattacks, with a more in-depth focus on mobile technology and deployments.

Preventing Cybercrime
Many cybercrime attacks can be avoided with the implementation of straightforward preventative steps. Cyber criminals prefer to attack easy targets, thus the more difficult you make their job, the more likely it is that they will move on to an easier target.
By implementing the following precautionary measures, you can effectively fight cybercrime:

 

  1. Protect your computer with security software
    Several necessary security software elements are required for basic online security. Antivirus programs and firewalls are just two examples of security software essentials. Generally, a firewall is the first line of cyber defense, as it controls who and what can communicate with your computer online. Firewalls block connections to unknown or phony sites, and will prohibit certain types of viruses and intruders. Antivirus software monitors all online activities such as e-mail messages and Web browsing, offering protection from viruses, worms and other types of malicious programs. More recent versions of antivirus programs also protect from spyware and potentially damaging unwanted programs, such as adware.   
     
  2. Secure your mobile device
    Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are also vulnerable to cyberattacks; these devices are attacked by cyber criminals in a similar way to computers. A more in-depth look into smart phone security can be found here.
    When smartphones are used for business purposes, a number of safety practices should be followed, such as not saving any sensitive business data directly on the device, to prevent unauthorized data access.
     
  3. Turn off location settings
    Numerous smartphones, tablets and even some digital cameras now come GPS-enabled, allowing geotagging (the addition of GPS coordinates to your online posts or photos) is especially popular with photos. A geotagged photo is the most marked threat for the user’s personal privacy and security.
    The problem with such location-based services is not the information they provide, but rather the information they might also provide to other parties. Providing information about your current location is risky, but even more precarious, the data may be permanent and searchable, allowing criminals to build up a clear picture of your activities through time.
    To mitigate these risks, the best thing to do is to completely disable the location settings when requested by applications and refrain from using geotagging. Alternatively, in some cases, these may be turned on only when you specifically need it, then turned off again immediately after; even in this scenario, only a restricted number of friends should be able to see the information of where you are and where you have been. 
     
  4. Secure your offsite workers
    Offsite workers, such as teleworkers and remote workers, including vendors and customers, making use of any type of mobile device (e.g., laptops, smartphones and tablets) should be equipped with remote access solutions or other modern solutions, so as to assure a secure access to the corporate network.
  5. Back up critical dataAlthough this is not strictly a way to prevent cybercrime, backing up critical data is a crucial step in the event of an attack. Recovery of data and return to normal operations is essential for business continuity; any down time to mission-critical systems may be harmful. Details of the backup processes should be part of the business continuity and disaster recovery plans.


Keeping Balance

The most really effective steps taken by a computer user to avoid being a victim of a crime render the user’s computer somewhat less convenient to use. Every user must balance how much security is considered enough to keep unauthorized intruders at bay. The German software developer HOB offers its customers the perfect balance between user experience and security. The Secure Remote Access Suite HOB RD VPN allows users to remotely access corporate files and servers from anywhere, at anytime. Due to SSL-encryption and modern authentication methods, HOB RD VPN offers its users a maximum of security. The recent Common Criteria (EAL4+) certification is yet another independent proof for the high security level of HOB RD VPN. If you are interested in learning more about HOB products, please visit our website www.hobsoft.com.
 

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VPN Functionalities for Remote Access Technology: Fact or Fiction? Part 2

Posted by Tobias Eichenseer Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:27:00 GMT

In our earlier post on remote access technology, we discussed various aspects of VPN (virtual private network) technology. This article will further examine how VPNs offer staff and business partners a reliable and secure connection to highly-sensitive company resources using unsecure connections, such as the internet.

1. VPNs Play an Important Role in Mobile Workplace Strategy Deployment

Fact.
VPN technology is a vital part of a mobile workplace strategy. VPNs allow an employee to gain access to the corporate network with the same speed and controls as their in-office counterparts. Modern VPNs are so reliable that a growing number of network managers are choosing to deploy VPNs even when the employee is in the office. This strategy is a reasonable approach if employees use their personal mobile devices on the company site. In this case, the access via VPN on site prevents viruses and other malware from compromising the company network, and can also prevent employees from establishing a second Internet connection whilst being connected to the company network (anti-split tunneling). These security measures help overcome the security risks so that employees can benefit from anywhere and anytime access.

2. VPN Connections Fail Frequently and Require Repeat Log-ins

Fiction.
VPNs offer high availability and single sign-on techniques to ensure that users can connect to a multitude of services by only entering their password once. VPNs present in the market resume automatically after a loss of connectivity rapidly and without the need of user intervention. Some VPNs also ease network roaming. For instance, an employee’s authenticated state may be kept during a brief loss of connectivity, or reinstated transparently via single sign-on. Furthermore, today’s solutions ensure that data are not lost in the case of a connection interruption.  


3. Once an Employee has Remote Access, He or She Can Access the Company Resources Forever

Fiction
Network managers can prohibit employees’ access to the company resources once employment is terminated. Modern VPNs facilitate this process by allowing central administration and configuration.
Furthermore, while the employees are working for the company, IT administrators can define roles and rights for each user – this also includes the possibility to completely deny access from an external site under a specific situation, such as in the case that an employee wants to access data from a public Internet café. This ensures that each user can only view and access the data he or she is intended to.

4. VPNs Management Policies are Difficult to Administer

Fiction.
To simplify administration, VPNs can use central policy managers and integrate with enterprise authentication servers and directories. Given the multiple access methods, endpoint security checkers and other policies, it is possible that policies may become cumbersome. It is up to the network administrator to use his or her authority sensibly to achieve the desired security level without rendering the VPN challenging to manage. Today’s VPNs are relatively simple to manage and give network managers various options that ensure that users gain only access to appropriate information.

Remote Access: The Future of the Workforce
Remote access technology has vastly improved since its inception, and organizations are increasingly deploying VPN technology, benefitting from enhanced security features whilst being user-friendly.

If you are looking for a performant and innovative remote access solution, we can recommend you our Remote Access Suite HOB RD VPN. HOB RD VPN is the comprehensive solution for remote access to your central data and applications, at any time and from anywhere, with almost any end device. As a pure software solution, HOB RD VPN is highly scalable and supports many different platforms.

Moreover, we would like to invite you to download our free e-book: Debunking Myths about Remote Access Technology. It contains useful information about the advantages of remote access solutions and showcases how you can benefit from implementing a remote access solution in your company.

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Successful Home Offices Need the Right Management System and IT Infrastructure

Posted by Stefanie Kober Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:26:00 GMT



In today’s culture, flexible work is quickly becoming the norm. This type of working arrangement is preferred by workers, with 72% of employees stating that flexible work arrangements causes them to choose one job over another *.

Ideally, a company or organization has a single performance appraisal for all employees, independent of where they are located. This implies that the basis for evaluation is the same amongst all workers, without any differentiation between on-site and remote workers.

Management by Objectives
In the 1950s, Peter Drucker invented the concept of “management by objectives” (MBO), whereby he explained that if the overall goals are to be achieved, each job in the company must contribute to the objectives of the whole organization. Workers are evaluated based on performance, rather than their physical location. This change in the style of leadership and corporate infrastructure leads to an increase in productivity, as the sheer physical presence is no longer defined as a positive accomplishment. It also clarifies the type of performance the organization requires of the employees, while simultaneously accentuating and rewarding good performance. Entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson states that the most important thing for remote work to succeed is creating a culture where the work itself matters.

Teleworking Programs Best Practices
Although employees are in different places, the work required remains the same. Nonetheless, remote working requires redesigning business processes, employing alternative technologies, and changes in managerial operations and communications.

Managing Remote Workers
An effective remote manager is no different than one who manages employees on-site; clear objectives and rules should be established, and the manager should know his or her employees. It is necessary that a performance evaluation process focuses on defining and tracking goals, achieving results, building leadership effectiveness, and driving employee engagement.

When managing home offices, management by objectives is advisable, as the work outcome is rewarded, rather than simply monitoring the employees’ activities via direct observation.

IT Infrastructure
For a successful teleworking program, data needs to be stored digitally, such that it can be accessed and processed virtually from anywhere. In addition to going paperless, the usage of mobile devices such as laptops enables people to work from wherever they are.

Therefore, apart from an adequate management system, remote working requires implementation of the right IT infrastructure. In order to accomplish this, the following major components of user-access management must be analyzed:
 

  • Users — defining the authorized users within and outside the organization
  • Assets — defining what needs to be protected by the organization and
  • Privileges — delineating which users require access to particular assets, and to what extent


Technology tools enable remotely located employees to access all (or selected amounts) of the company’s resources and software, such as applications, data and e-mail. Employees in home offices are connected via a networking infrastructure, enabling a company with a distributed workforce to securely connect its workers and teams; they also have the ability to share files securely and access the company’s databases, file sharing and telecommunications. This allows for:
 

  • Web-based remote access
  • Safe and secure mobile device connection to enterprise data and 
  • Wireless networks within company facilities


Deployment of Collaborative Technologies

High quality communication is of vital importance, particularly with remote workers. Affordable software-based collaborative tools increase productivity and effectiveness. These include:

 


Remote Access Choices
Remote access is rapidly becoming the preferred connectivity method for various business roles using several types of company or employee-owned devices. So a remote access solution must be flexible, secure and compatible with the anytime/anywhere resource access model and, ideally, no data is saved locally on the end device at any time. Thus, in the event that the device is lost or stolen, problems of data falling in the wrong hands are avoided.

Technological hurdles need no longer be a barrier to implementing work from home policies, which is also made more attractive for enterprises by the shift from managing employee presence to managing employee output/performance. This shift from central-office-centric work, to more flexible home-office work, is expected to continue to increase.

If you would like to find out more about home offices and best practices for remote access solutions, and also learn more about comprehensive company resource protection, please download this free eBook, Home Offices Made Easy.


Sources:
*The Edge Report - Robert Half International Survey, 2008, as cited by Jason Gregg, Tell Your Staff to Go home! The Complete Guide to Telecommuting: books.google.com/books?isbn=1619793628


Author: Hazel Farrugia
 

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How to prevent unauthorized data access from lost or stolen business smartphones

Posted by Stefanie Kober Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:48:00 GMT


Today, smartphones are designed for both work and play – in fact, smartphones are a necessary technology used by organizations to keep employees connected and productive. Although BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a dominant trend amongst employees, this policy poses a significant security threat.
Approximately 16 percent and 17 percent of iPhone and Android owners, respectively, state that an unauthorized person has at some time accessed their phone in a manner that invaded their privacy, according to a study by The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
When confidential business information is stored on smartphones, enterprises should ensure that employees take the necessary precautions to safeguard sensitive information contained there. Nonetheless, unauthorized persons can still physically come into possession of a mobile phone.

Consequences of lost or stolen smartphones

A 2011 study by Ponemon Institute entitled “The Lost Smartphone Problem” examined how many employees lose their smartphone or have it stolen, and the consequences of these lost devices to the organizations. Around 4.3 percent of all smartphones issued to or used by employees are lost or stolen every year, with an insignificant amount recovered. Approximately 60 percent of lost or stolen smartphones are believed to contain sensitive and confidential information; however, more than half (57 percent) of lost smartphones were not protected with mobile security features.
As expected, lost or stolen smartphones prove costly to businesses and their employees. Lost data can have significant financial consequences for businesses, which outweighs the replacement cost of the mobile phone itself. A lost or stolen smartphone permits unauthorized access to the device, the organization’s data and call logs.

Using business smartphones safely


A more viable option for accessing company data in the corporate network would be for data to not be downloaded to the smartphone at any time. This is a distinguishing characteristic of HOBLink Mobile – This feature makes HOBLink Mobile easy-to-use, extremely secure and, through the optimization of bandwidth usage, high performance. Since all data remain completely and securely located in the central corporate network with no data being uploaded to the iPhone, data can be lost or stolen if the iPhone is lost,
Apart from improved security, HOBLink Mobile is also advantageous because data volumes, which are much larger than the mobile device itself could process, can be worked with. Furthermore, it requires no large amount of memory on the mobile device.

Businesses should seek to establish data protection solutions for smartphones in order to prevent abuse or misuse of the confidential information on the device in the case of theft or loss of the device. Indeed, “better safe than sorry” is a good phrase to abide by for preventing the costly consequences of lost data assets.

Readers, have you protected your smartphone from unauthorized data access? Please share in the comments below.

Author: Hazel Farrugia

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8 Things to Learn from a Data Breach Study (Part 2)

Posted by Stefanie Kober Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:42:00 GMT



In our previous post on IT security, we discussed four key findings from a data breach study conducted by Ponemon Institute. In this article, we will further discuss these four key findings and outline preventative measures to avoid security breaches.

Key Findings (Continued)

5.    Cybercrime Costs Differ by Company Size, but Smaller Organizations Sustain a Significantly Higher Cost than Larger Organizations

While everyone is vulnerable to cyber-attacks, smaller organizations are more at risk. A common cyber-attack is the theft of sensitive data, and for a small organization, the loss of project files or customer databases can put them out of business.

Smaller companies (employees<20) should implement a VPN for secure connectivity anytime, anywhere. Due to their ease of use and versatility, SSL VPNs are well-suited for small companies allowing users to only access specific applications and services, and providing access to Web applications, Windows Terminal Servers and their applications or internal network connections.

6.    Information Theft, Followed by the Costs Associated with Business Disruption, Represent the Highest External Costs


Annually, information loss and business disruption (or lost productivity) account for 43% and 36% of external costs, respectively. (In the context of this study, an external cost is one that is created by external factors, including fines, marketability of stolen intellectual properties and litigation)

Setting up strong network security is therefore crucial. Increasingly, more organizations are adopting SSL VPNs, which ensure a secure network connection through the use of encryption, single-sign on options, and firewalls.

In order to minimize costs associated with business disruption, it is imperative that all organizations have a contingency plan in place that outlines how to contain and recover from a substantial security breach. The IT staff must quickly solve the issue, hopefully restoring data from backup files, and returning systems to service without any significant downtime. Nonetheless, any downtime can be disastrous in the case of mission critical systems. 

7.    Recovery and Detection are the Most Costly Internal Activities


Combined, recovery and detection account for 49% of the total internal activity cost per year; cash outlays and labor account for most of these costs. This highlights the importance of back-ups. A data-backup policy is especially important if the organization has several laptops or other mobile devices that can be lost or stolen. To avoid data theft from loss or stolen mobile devices, no data should be downloaded to the device, but rather all data is completely and securely located in the central corporate network.   

8.    A Strong Security Policy Minimizes the Cost of Cyber Attacks


As expected, businesses that invest in a strong security policy and system are better off than their counterparts. This stresses the importance of a strong security policy, which provides the plan for the overall security program adopted by the organization.

Conclusion

As cybercriminals have become more sophisticated in their tactics, fighting cybercrime has become increasingly challenging for organizations worldwide. Although sustaining an organization’s security posture or compliance with standards, policies and regulations also comes at a cost, the benefits of strong security measures outweigh the plausible costs incurred by cyber-attacks.

Author: Hazel Farrugia

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8 Things to Learn from a Data Breach Study (Part 1)

Posted by Stefanie Kober Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:00:00 GMT



Recently, the sophistication of cyber-attacks has grown significantly. Cybercriminals are specializing and sharing intelligence so as to steal sensitive data and disrupt critical business functions. Consequently, the topic of cybercrime has been kept top of mind as the repercussions of a cyberattack are costly and potentially very damaging.   

Key Findings
The study, 2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study: United States, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by HP Enterprise Security Products.

1.    Cybercrimes are Still Costly for Organizations

The average annual cost of cybercrime per organization was $11.6 million, an increase of 26% over the average cost reported in 2012. Considering this increase in cost, IT security should be a top priority for all organizations, as there is no single failsafe solution to protect against cybercrime.

2.    All Industries are Susceptible to Cybercrime

The average annual cost of cybercrime appears to differ according to industry segment; organizations in financial services, defense, and energy and utilities experience markedly higher crime costs than organizations in retail, hospitality and consumer products. The organizations facing higher security threats are not only at risk for financial loss due to cyber-attack, but are also more vulnerable to phishing attacks that could compromise sensitive customer data such as credit card, bank account and social security numbers.

3.    Denial of Service Attacks, Malicious Code and Web-based Attacks are the Most Costly Cybercrimes

These are responsible for more than 55% of all cybercrime costs to organizations. Denial of Service (DoS) is an attack which renders information or data unavailable to its intended recipients. Organizations using VPNs can mitigate such risks by configuring access control lists, a method of defining access rights according to user (such as a file directory or individual file).
Malicious code is a piece of executable code designed to harm a computer or its information, or prevent normal computer operations. Malicious code can come from various sources, such as the Internet, infected diskettes, files received via electronic mail, and worms that exploit several system vulnerabilities. It could also be introduced via a disgruntled insider, who has physical access to a computer or network.
A multilevel strategy is required to effectively defend against malicious code, including physical security, password management, product selection, configuration and maintenance, user awareness and education, up-to-date anti-virus software for servers, clients, and electronic mail and adequate system backups.       Web-based attacks focus on an application itself, as application vulnerabilities could provide the means for malicious end users to breach a system's protection mechanisms. Generally, such attacks take advantage or gain access to private information or system resources. To mitigate Web-based attacks, firewalls, reverse proxies, and intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) should be used, which actively monitor for attacks and attempt to block or change the environment, thus preventing further attacks from reaching the protected application or system. 

4.    Cyber-attacks Can Be Costly if Not Resolved Rapidly 

The results show a direct and positive relationship between the time required to contain an attack and the organizational cost. The results also demonstrate that both the cost and the time taken to resolve an attack increased from the previous year. Failure to resolve the problem quickly leads to prolonged business disruption and gives competitors a distinct advantage.

Conclusion

The results of the study reveal that no one is immune cyber-attacks, which have the potential to inflict significant financial and reputational damage to the targeted organization. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we shall further discuss the findings of this data breach study and how organizations should protect themselves from becoming a victim of cyber-attacks.
  
Author: Hazel Farrugia

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3 Main Security Concerns as revealed by HOB Remote Access Study

Posted by Tobias Eichenseer Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:56:00 GMT

Remote access solutions are gaining prevalence as organizations are adopting the mobile workforce strategy, benefitting from increased productivity and reduced expenses. When evaluating and planning a VPN solution, it is essential to understand the security risks that are associated with this technology.

Top 3 Remote Access Security Concerns  
In fall of 2013, HOB conducted a research survey on the state of remote access in the US. Over 200 CTOs and CIOs were polled, and findings revealed three main concerns regarding remote access security issues.

1.    Hackers gaining access to the Network during Employee Remote Access Solutions

Hackers have succeeded in breaking through two-factor authentication and identifying and exploiting vulnerability in a Web application to access an enterprise’s network. Therefore, it is not surprising that 66% of the polled respondents are concerned with hackers gaining access to the network during employee remote access sessions.
Organizations should implement safe and reliable VPNs which provide an adequate level of security, without compromising performance.

2.    Employees accessing the Network through their Personal Devices

Today, mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets have become an integral part of everyday life. As more organizations implement remote working policies, IT managers have less control over enterprise data from numerous devices. Furthermore, determining which devices are accessing which systems and data has become increasingly difficult.  
The repercussions of data breaches resulting from lost or stolen devices can be severe. In addition, IT managers generally lose data access visibility when multiple personal, unmanaged devices are connecting to the network simultaneously.
This highlights the importance of a comprehensive mobile workforce security policy, which should also include who is responsible for device maintenance and support, and which security measures should be implemented.

3.    Errors by the IT Team leaving the Network open to Intruders


Cyber-attacks are increasing in sophistication and frequency; the costs associated with cyber-attacks are not limited to monetary costs, but also encompass reputational loss and diminished competitive advantage. Security holes unintendedly created by the IT team may potentially lead to the exposure of sensitive enterprise data, financial fraud or even bankruptcy.
The results indicate that enterprises require new strategies in order to combat and prevent advanced cyber-attacks; IT teams should be wary of software and systems use and investigate any suspicious behaviors that are known to be associated with malicious activity.

Conclusion
As organizations make use of remote access to satisfy various business needs, securing the corporate network becomes priority. The findings of this study stress the importance of a robust mobile workforce strategy.

If you would like to learn about the state of remote access in the USA, please download our free eBook “The State of Remote Access in the US”.
 


Author: Hazel Farrugia

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