Cyber-attack risks for companies with employee origins 0 387

As part of the initial security relationships we build with new clients, ESET surveys management and responsible employees about what they view as their biggest security challenges. Responses at many large businesses identified the bad security behavior of their employees as one of the biggest security challenges. It is paradoxical that although companies realize that raising security awareness among personnel would increase their organization’s security, by in large they do not invest enough resources into this.

For the purpose of increasing physical security and safety within a company, in many cases employees must attend mandatory training on workplace and process safety, as well as health and fire protection as part of the onboarding process. However, these days a company can not only be put out of operation by a fire, but also via a successful cyber-attack or an angry employee deliberately compromising security. Another very common case is lack of security-mindedness by employees, who might carelessly click on strange attachments or access insecure websites in an effort to solve either personal or work-related queries. Therefore, it is in the interest of employers to raise awareness among all employees about responsible behavior on the network, to support ongoing training and/or e-learning as well as to monitor both access rights and abrupt changes in usage behavior.

Businesses should focus on education along with directives

Companies should implement certain rules of proper internet and network usage. These rules should include what not to click or download, who to consult regarding suspicious mails, and what to do if an employee suspects that something bad has already happened. All this information can be incorporated into a company’s internal directives, which would allow the company to discipline an employee who violates the security directives repeatedly.

However, the directives should go hand in hand with internal education. “Giving a new employee 250 directives to read is not the right way to go. Invariably very few employees ever really read them. It is, therefore, good to educate employees proactively and then assess what they have learned,” says Michal Jankech, the Principal Product Manager at ESET, outlining a more effective way to increase security awareness among personnel.

“Among our customers are companies that invest a lot into IT security training. As a result, every employee knows how to act in specific situations, such as when they see a colleague accessing insecure websites, or when they find a USB key lying in the corridor or sensitive documents left at the printer, and the like. This significantly contributes to the overall security of the company,” explains Jankech.

It may be difficult to recognize a suspicious email

When educating employees on IT security and creating directives, it is important to realize that employees may behave in an unsafe way either intentionally or unintentionally. Bad security behavior can be unintentional when, for instance, an employee is unable to assess whether an email is suspicious or is unaware of what a suspicious link looks like. Attackers often use sophisticated techniques and know-how to make malicious emails look trustworthy – for instance, they may include a link to a fake website of the bank or the company where the employee works. In this case, it is necessary to assess links, validation, and certificates. Of course, that is something an ordinary employee without training would not do.

The unintentional bad security behavior of employees can be further divided into malicious and harm                               less behavior. For example, if an employee decides to use the Internet for personal purposes and legally buys a movie and downloads it in the corporate network, this can be considered poor security behavior, but is likely unintentional and harmless.

Companies can be held legally responsible for illegally shared content

The situation is completely different when an employee downloads pirated movies or music on the corporate network. In this case, the company may be pursued by the copyright owner for damages and can also receive a hefty fine. This is because in much of the world legal responsibility lies with the person/entity that signed the contract with the internet service provider. In many cases the company would be legally responsible, not the employee who downloaded pirated content at work.

Disgruntled employees can pose a threat to the company

Deliberate malicious behavior occurs when an employee purposely wishes to harm the company. For instance, an employee leaving the company on bad terms could decide to copy the customer database and take it out of the company. Alternatively, a resentful employee could intentionally infect the company’s network or damage its data.

Comprehensive coverage and visibility

ESET’s security software allows the option to block the transfer of data out of the company on portable media. For instance, the company can determine which employees are allowed to copy data from corporate devices onto USB keys or it can allow data transfer only for specific USB keys that have their content encrypted by ESET Endpoint Encryption. Using ESET Endpoint Security, the company can block access to specific types of websites; for example, websites where employees could upload business data or low-reputation websites that could potentially be a source of malware infection. Data from all these security solutions is made available to IT administrators in a clear, organized form in ESET Security Management Center (ESMC). Thus, IT security within the company not only gain a good overview of what is going on in the corporate network, but they are also be able to solve security incidents in a single click within ESMC.

Try ESMC our powerful security management dashboard

ESET Security Management Center is included with all ESET Enterprise-Grade Solutions.

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How To Easily Set Up a VPN at Home 0 207

Woman working at home

As the COVID-19 pandemic has many organizations switching employees to remote work, a virtual private network is essential for countering the increased security risks

Probably, you have been forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak (recommended to reduce the spread of the virus). However, you are wondering how you will set up your VPN to enable secure communication.

Well, don’t agonize too much; we shall first explain to you what a VPN entails. And then, provide you with a step by step procedure for setting a basic Virtual Private Network. Here we go!

First, what is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

Essentially, a VPN is a private channel within a wider (open) network that enables you to communicate with your peers (other nodes with similar settings) without leaking your information through the use of encryption.

Besides, you can utilize a VPN to initiate communication through any network without revealing your location. In any case, a significant number of vendors deal with clients needing such services to avoid being tracked or be able to bypass particular network filters. 

However, in our case, we shall consider a home office VPN that will create a communication tunnel for your practical and secure home office communication.

Is it necessary to set up a virtual private network?

For there to be any communication between two endpoints ─ your pc and the computer in the main office –, they must be configured.

In this case, you’ll require the services of your IT department (if you have one), who will guide you regarding the applications to install, as well as provide you with VPN credentials depending on your needs. Upon installing and configuring the said app, you can automatically establish communication through the provided link. Easy-peasy, right?

On the other hand, if you don’t have an IT department behind your back, then you may have to do it yourself. These shouldn’t; however, scare you at all; it’s not as tough as you might imagine.

But before we explore the nitty-gritty of setting up the VPN, we first need to identify the options we have. In our case, we shall examine two options:

  • Open VPN: standard in small office/home office and business-class routers
  • IP Sec: Is Built-in and commonly used by desktops, smartphones, and laptops

The Open Virtual Private Network

This type of VPN has been around for a long time and has proved itself secure and reliable. It is ideal for small office/ house offices, as well as business-class routers, thanks to its open-source nature.

Procedure for installation

  1. On a contemporary device, go to the router’s configuration screen and click the relevant buttons to access your office network
  2. Download the configuration file generated by the router
  3. Use this file to configure/setup the OpenVPN in your pc, smartphone, or desktop that you want to use to access the Network behind that particular router. In case you get stuck somewhere, you can download or follow an online tutorial for your specific router.
  4. Download the required apps that will enable you to access your new home office VPN from this website.
  5. Install the downloaded applications and then configure them using the files generated when setting up the Open VPN on your office router.

In the event you find the going tough, you can always consult with an online tutorial or IT personnel.

Internet Protocol Security

IPsec is also another technology that has been in use for an extended period to provide reasonable security. It utilizes the same working principles as the OpenVPN; however, it is mostly used on lower-cost routers. Besides, it is a built-in technology in most desktops, laptops, and smartphones; therefore, it eliminates the need for installing another application on your device.

The installation process is similar to that one of OpenVPN. However, implementing a particular router IPsec can sometimes be a little more complicated compared to installing an open VPN.

Fortunately, with the use of native tools on your remote endpoints, you can offset this by just typing in a few things, such as the required IP address and credentials.

Final thoughts

Conclusively, these are some of the simplest virtual net protection options you can install on your home system without requiring massive/no input from IT experts.

Importantly, you will need a beefier than standard broadband for quick communication over the VPN. Also, you may experience slower connections due to the much horsepower required to keep the connection encrypted and tunneled. Nevertheless, this is a small price to pay in exchange for a secure home office communication.

In case you required any advice regarding VPN options or installation services, then ESET has been here for you for over 30 years. We want to assure you that we will be here to protect your online activities during these uncertain times, too.

Protect yourself from threats to your security online with an extended trial of our award-winning software.

Try our extended 90-days trial for free.

How To Improve Communication Security with MFA 0 603

Person working on two factor authentication

Remote work can be much safer with the basic cyber-hygiene practices in place – multi-factor authentication is one of them

If you are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is essential to integrate two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication in your daily login routine. That way, you can beat fraudsters at their own game, since the security of your essentials isn’t wholly dependent on passwords alone.

The interesting bit with this technology is that you may have already seen it in action; for instance, when requesting access to your bank account via your smartphone. In this case, you must enter the one-time code sent to you in addition to your password to gain access.

See, enabling such double authentication processes on all your logins can make it difficult for scammers to access your accounts even if they compromise your passwords.

That said, you may now want to know which MFA option to use? Well, we take a look at some of the ways you can utilize MFA to bolster the security of your connections when working remotely.

  1. First, the use of a physical token

To implement this technique, you will require a physical device such as a security USB key, a key fob, or a similar item that will generate a secure code for verification purposes.

You’ll mostly be required to integrate this method if you need access to your cloud-based applications, online office applications, or corporate office technology. The YubiKey or Thetis is an example of such a device that you can purchase with less than US$50.

For convenience purposes, most of these devices are designed tiny; you can carry them in your pant pocket or hang them on a keychain for safety purposes. 

2. Use of a mobile phone

Most likely, you own a smartphone, right?

If yes, you can use it to boost your MFA security capabilities. For instance, you can download an authentication app such as Google Authenticator, ESET Secure Authentication, or Authy for your use.

The only caveat here is to ensure your source has a reputable security background. This is informed by the fact that the app is going to reside inside your smartphone, which is also vulnerable to security threats; therefore, robust security is required to avoid pre-emptying your security efforts.

Importantly, be on the lookout for spam messages when using your phone as they can trick you into compromising your accounts.

Fortunately, if you download applications from reputable sources, you can be offered a solution in case you have an issue with the platform itself.

3. Use of Biometrics

Factually, no single human being shares a fingerprint or retinal scan with another. This unique feature has been conveniently utilized overtime to provide robust multi-factor Authentication. 

You can also utilize the same to secure your connections.  For instance, you can take a picture of your face or scan your fingerprint using a biometric reader – currently, a common feature in smartphones or other devices ─, and then integrate it in your login procedure. These will prevent any other user from accessing your accounts or private information.

On the flip side, some folks feel that the technique is somehow creepy; therefore, give it a wide bath. Besides, it can present a challenge when you need to reset your bio features if your service provider is hacked.

Final thoughts

When scouting for a suitable MFA option for your needs, it is vital to consider one that can easily fit your routine. This stems from the fact that without proper utilization, an MFA option can’t protect you.

Similarly, an MFA technique can allow some side benefits as well. For instance, in the event of a security breach, you will be notified that your password has been interfered with; this can enable you to implement mitigation measures. Not only that, but you also get protected from the would-be attack since the fraudsters wouldn’t have access to your other factors.

In case you require a secure authentication application or consultation regarding MFA options, then ESET has been here for you for over 30 years. We want to assure you that we will be here to protect your online activities during these uncertain times, too.

Protect yourself from threats to your security online with an extended trial of our award-winning software. 

Try our extended 90-days trial for free.