While fees for data breaches are constantly rising and countries roll out regulations about privacy, more and more companies are busying themselves with the problem of enterprise security.
It’s not only big brands like Facebook that are adopting enterprise security systems and tools — small enterprises do so as well. Around 90 percent of organizations, including even startups and small businesses, experienced spear-phishing attempts in 2019. Spear-phishing attempts are specifically targeted at a particular individual or a company’s department.
In this article, we are going to introduce core principles of enterprise security, showcase the best practices, and provide you with tools that can help to secure all the sensitive data you own. We will also learn about how software can mitigate the risk of breaches.
What Is Enterprise Security?
By definition, enterprise security is a set of strategies and techniques of securing sensitive data and information technology (IT) assets against unauthorized access and the possible risks connected with it.
Reasons to Protect Enterprise Security
Before we discover how to improve enterprise security, let’s talk about the main reasons why it’s better not to neglect such an important aspect of business operations.
Firstly, keeping company data from a breach would help you avoid losing a competitive edge. For instance, 60 percent of small businesses are closed within six months after experiencing a data breach. Secondly, if the private information of employees and clients is leaked, a company should pay a big fine. A single data breach cost US$3.9 million on average in 2020.
However, money isn’t the problem when IT security strategy is inadequate. It is very likely that staff and clients will refuse to work with you in the future and your reputation will go downhill overall, which can even lead to the collapse of your business.
Types of Data That Should Be Protected
Although different companies prioritize different types of data depending on their business model, we made a list of data types that any company should put an emphasis on:
- Sensitive data as defined by GDPR
- Protected Health Information (PHI) as defined by HIPAA
- Customer information as defined by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
- Secret data about your company operations
What Is an Enterprise Security System and Why Do You Need It?
An enterprise security system is a technological solution that helps to monitor all the processes in your organization from one platform, quickly detect any malicious activity, and automatically fix various kinds of security issues or report them to the relevant departments.
You need to implement an enterprise security system if you want to ensure the integrity of your organization by covering the following aspects:
- Managing security across all platforms and programs
- Analyzing the condition of your network in real-time
- Reporting any suspicious activity
- Ensuring the business process adheres to all legal requirements
6 Signs That Your Enterprise Security System Needs Improvement
Even if you’ve already been putting effort into your enterprise security system, there’s always a risk that some of its areas are vulnerable. Let’s go through six signs that your company needs to apply additional measures for boosting enterprise security.
#1 Open Wireless Network
There are not so many companies that can function without an internet connection. Therefore, they use several routers to provide the Internet to every office worker.
As useful and easy as routers are, they can be dangerous as well. If you do not have a password or use a weak one, any user with even a little skill may be able to gain access to your network and steal any information that you exchange online.
#2 Unprotected Emails
Email is extremely popular among businesses. It is the main tool for communication in many organizations, especially when it comes to communication with clients.
Yet, emails are not as secure as they seem. Hackers use these insecurities and either try to gain access to accounts or send spam emails that install malware on personnel’s computers.
If you do not use email encryption and a secure email gateway, it is time to reconsider your enterprise security.
#3 Unsecured Mobile Devices
Mobile devices have become lifesavers in terms of working out of the office and the Bring Your Own Device policy. At the same time, it has potential risks: regular users do not care that much about the security of their tablets and mobile phones.
Therefore, it may happen that they install malware by accident or forget to lock their phones. That makes a hacker’s job easier than ever.
#4 Anti-Malware Software Without Maintenance
Many companies install anti-malware software as the simplest way to ensure enterprise security. However, it is not enough to just install it.
Firstly, employees may turn off the software if it interrupts their work. Secondly, more than 230,000 malicious software programs are created every day. That is why you need to update your anti-malware software regularly, as updates contain information about the new threats and how to fix them.
#5 No Data Encryption
Legal regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR put a specific emphasis on data encryption, and there’s a solid reason for that. In 2019, over 164.68 million sensitive records were compromised and a significant amount of exposed information was not encrypted. If a data breach is compounded by a company’s failure to encrypt the information, the negative consequence could destroy not only the company’s reputation but the whole business.
By implementing the encryption protocols for all data processed by the company’s service providers, businesses of all sizes protect themselves from potential data exposure and the regulatory fines that following
#6 No Firewalls
Firewalls are yet another tool that blocks traffic from entering and leaving the network. Thus, a firewall can prevent anyone from accessing the network from the outside.
Routers usually do have firewalls but they are not enough for business use. Additional firewalls should be installed by IT professionals. If you have never had that done, it is time to rethink your security.
If some of these signs of security problems sound familiar to your company, you can consider developing a custom enterprise security solution to protect all of the sensitive data and stay competitive on the market.
Effective Features That Boost Enterprise Security
There are certain enterprise security features that every system must have in order to increase enterprise security. Enterprise security systems should include the following features:
Network Access Control
Network access controls who tries to gain access to your network, and where. It also ensures that logged-in devices have security measures that guarantee the security of the enterprise. It is especially useful when it comes to BYOD.
Data Loss Protection (DLP)
DLP helps enterprises to protect enterprise information: it identifies sensitive data, alerts administrators on possible leaks, and has an option to block data from going outside the network altogether.
An administrator sets filters for the traffic entering the system. Firewalls can detect and prevent intrusions based on IP, URL, or ports. The newest firewalls can eliminate bigger risks like patch discovery, URL and attachment filtering, inline patching, etc.
Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
IPS is the next level after firewalls in enterprise security architecture that malware has to break through. An IPS automatically responds to threats and launches actions to eliminate the threat. It does a deeper analysis than a firewall, matching patterns with previous attacks. Its automatic blocking means it is less likely that malware will do much damage before the administrator takes control of the situation.
Previous tools were defending the whole network. Endpoint protection is about protecting single devices in case network protection fails. It protects devices from worms, viruses, and other malicious activities.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM controls user access to the network, usually based on the user’s location. Due to the excessive use of cloud computing, users are now able to enter the network from anywhere. While this is useful and more productive, it also presents a threat to anyone entering the system. IAM gives access only to identified users and tracks all the devices that enter the network.
Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
CASB was designed specifically for cloud computing. It is a wall between the cloud provider and cloud user that protects the latter from malicious attacks.
Antimalware protects organizations not only from classical computer viruses but from spyware, Trojans, crypto mining, etc. Since viruses are not the biggest threat anymore, it is essential that security goes beyond them.
Mobile Threat Defense
As we have already mentioned, mobile devices have become more and more used in business. Hackers take phones and tablets into consideration, too, since less attention is typically paid to mobile security than to desktop security. So, your enterprise security solution should protect your organization from threats coming from iOS and Android devices. By constantly monitoring the mobile device configuration, security update versions, and system parameters, you can quickly detect and eliminate any malicious activity.
The Biggest Security Breaches
Even the biggest companies who should take their security more seriously than anyone else sometimes don’t do enough for increasing enterprise security. The consequences of lacking security action cost companies lots of money and bring about privacy concerns from their users. Let’s take a look at the worst data breaches and find out why they happened.
A Facebook data breach exposed the sensitive information of 540 million users. The breach happened due to the lack of protection in third-party applications. Facebook apparently did not think that these applications were as interesting to the hackers, but here we are. Even when it is a third-party application, businesses have to improve enterprise IT security.
Due to a major data breach, the data of 3.1 million users were exposed to the public. Toyota subsidiaries (Lexus Nerima, Lexus Koishikawa Sales, etc.) had different security protocols from the ones of the parent companies. These differences became the reason for the breach. Enterprises should opt for unified security protocols to avoid situations like these.
JPMorgan Chase Case
The reason for this big breach is painfully simple: employees overlooked one server and forgot to upgrade it to multi-factor authentication. After easily breaking into this one server, hackers got control over the other 90 servers. Thus, companies should care about authentication and keeping track of all the essential servers.
This eBay data breach affected 145 million users. The login information of three corporate employees became known to the hackers and they spent 200 days browsing the servers. It’s obvious that employees should learn about enterprise information security policy and companies should restrict access to sensitive information only to the ones who really need it.
Such security beach cases clearly illustrate that even world-class companies may be not fully protected from external and internal threats. That is why every busines should do its best to secure itself using the power of modern technology.
Enterprise Security Tools
There are different tools and approaches that companies utilize for improving enterprise security. Here’s a list of the main ones:
ForeScout CounterACT for Network Access Control
With this tool, you do not need endpoint device tools. It discovers, classifies, and enforces access control on all the network devices.
McAfee DLP for Data Loss Protection
McAfee DLP prevents data leaks on multiple levels: network, endpoint, storage, and cloud. It can be easily integrated into the system and allows users to categorize unclassified data and discover policy violations.
Fortinet FortiGate for Firewalls
Fortinet FortiGate allows discovering and blocking security threats in networks, data centers, internal network segments, and in the cloud. It is considered to be one of the most popular firewalls and always gets high positions on enterprise rankings.
Symantec Endpoint Security for Endpoint Protection
This tool eliminates known and unknown threats, reveals the presence of hackers easily, and quarantines suspicious apps.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Antimalware
Kaspersky Anti-Virus can detect viruses, ransomware, spyware, crypto-mining tools, and other threats. It also blocks access to phishing sites and prevents all keyloggers from accessing the system.
Why You Should Consider Developing a Custom Enterprise Security Software
We have already discussed numerous techniques that improve the security of any organization. However, every company has its own unique business model, infrastructure, and long-term objectives, and only custom security software could ensure the fullest protection and system stability. The main functions of such a system are the following:
Streamline the audits of your system to ensure full compliance with all internal and external security standards.
Constant Network Analysis
Monitor, assess, and record your system performance in real-time to detect any suspicious activity or potential problems.
Receive immediate alerts of any security issues that occur in order to address the problem as soon as possible.
Langate gained firsthand experience with ensuring security while developing a technical solution for one of our clients, a top provider of IT and financial solutions in the healthcare industry. Considering that the client had been processing a lot of personal and sensitive information for providing billing, HR, financial management, and other services, enterprise software security requirements were high.
Langate developed an enterprise-wide platform that was accessible to both internal staff and clients. The high security and stability of the platform developed by Langate has helped the client to increase its customer base by 45 percent. Moreover, the average duration of a client’s cooperation with healthcare facilities has grown to six years.
Enterprise security is not something to take lightly. No matter what size your company is, it can still become a target for hackers. Big data breaches show how expensive in terms of resources and brand image they can be.
Companies should use at least nine tools to improve enterprise information security, protecting the network, mobile devices, cloud, data storage, and endpoint devices.
There are different enterprise security software solutions that will help with this task by detecting and enabling threats.
If you want to level up your enterprise security, contact Langate to discover enterprise security solutions for your business and have experienced professionals develop them for you.