Organisations are often their own worst enemy when it comes to effective cyber resilience planning. External email threats dominate as preferred attack techniques. But, focusing only on external threats isn’t enough. Too many organisations are ignoring an equally insidious threat from within – the malicious insider.
Phishing in its many forms has grown in popularity. Here the attacker sends email to lots of people with a malicious web link to steal credentials for logins or a malware-laden attachment to infect a machine.
Then there is spear-phishing, where targets are more carefully selected to improve effectiveness and a new, and damaging, variant of this called CEO Fraud or whaling where online research, termed social engineering, is used to really target a specific individual within a specific organisation. These emails look legitimate, they often even get into a conversation with the target pretending to be their boss, before hitting them up for fraudulent wire transfers of cash or confidential data.
Mimecast, a leading email and data security company, released new data revealing that organisations globally are turning to ‘the threats from within’ when it comes to cybersecurity, with 45% saying they are ill-equipped to cope with the threat of malicious insiders and 90%, calling malicious insiders a major threat to the organisations’ security.
The average company goes 229 days before realising it’s been breached. By this time cybercriminals could have launched a variety of damaging attacks resulting in direct financial loss, reputational damage, and the theft of important or highly sensitive data like client records, trade secrets or credit card information.
By concentrating predominately on outside threats, organisations around the world struggle with the risk that comes from their own people, emphasising the need for organisations to implement employee awareness and education as well as creating a cyber resilience strategy.
Mimecast’s research also uncovered that:
- 53% of IT security decision makers view malicious insiders as a moderate or high threat to their organisation.
- One in seven IT security decision makers view malicious insiders as their number one threat.
- Those who say they’re very equipped on cybersecurity feel just as vulnerable to insider threats as those who believe they aren’t equipped at all.
“Every day, we trust employees with sensitive information and powerful tools, but we don’t give them the effective security education and advanced cloud security solutions that goes hand-in-hand with those responsibilities.”said Peter Bauer, CEO, Mimecast.
“A real issue is employees using file-sharing or cloud storage services to steal valuable corporate data – also known as malicious insiders. IT managers have, for too long, not paid due attention to this threat. We must re-evaluate unrestricted access to these services and ensure that other protections are put in place quickly.”
Mimecast Tips for Safeguarding Against Malicious Insiders
- Implement internal safeguards and data control to detect and mitigate the risk of malicious insiders when they do strike.
- Assign role-based permissions to administrators to better control access to key systems and limit the ability of a malicious insider to act.
- Offer employee security training programs that deter potential malicious insiders.
- Nurture a culture of communication within teams to help employees watch out for each other and step in when someone seems like they’ve become disenchanted or are at risk of turning against the company.
People are being duped every day. The FBI reported recently in the U.S. that losses from external threats like whaling or CEO fraud attacks alone grew by 270% from January to August 2015 with reported losses of $800 million in just six months.
Mimecast’s research showed that in the first three months of 2016, 67% of organisations had seen an increase in attacks designed to extort fraudulent payments and 43% saw an increase in attacks specifically asking for confidential data like HR records or tax information.
Clearly investing in up-to-date technology to defend your organisation is critical but remember that employees are the first line of defence and educating them regularly about potential cyber-attacks is vital.
As is telling them what to do when they spot a problem or feel they many have been duped. A culture that encourages and supports employees in being open (and fast to act) when they have made a mistake is important.
*This data was extracted from a Mimecast survey of 600 IT security managers from organisations in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. The initial findings of that survey were released in February 2016.
Making The Case For FTTH With BDCOM
Successfully making the case for FTTH with BDCOM, Miro offers tangible solutions when deploying last-mile fibre connectivity through cost effective PON technology.
As a service provider, deploying a fibre network may seem daunting, expensive and unappealing; this stems from the capital expenditure required, as well as the added risk of the civil work needed during application. With the gaining popularity of fibre amongst various sectors; from service providers, to the end-users who demand high-speed internet, the demand for fibre is only gaining continuous traction; from the rising use of video-streaming platforms, to the ever-stable demand for reliable connectivity solutions, both for business and home use.
Given these facts, as well as the lingering hesitancy of expanding with fibre, the possibilities of this much desired optical connectivity can be realised through PON. Passive Optical Networks are currently transforming the face of last-mile fibre deployments. A world where sending data happens at the speed of light is now tangible at a tenth of the cost with PON. All the advantages which arise from optical fibre are now available in a cost-effective solution.
The demand for cost-effective, last-mile fibre solutions are also increasing due to the high bandwidth requirements of households and businesses; the large expenditure on active equipment and the on-going challenges of delivering high-capacity internet in densely populated areas are only some of the existing concerns. These, amongst other challenges faced by service providers, are accelerating the interest in deploying fibre optic networks to provide higher bandwidth delivery, reliability and lower latency levels.
The hesitancy of deploying fibre within a service offering stems from the myth that a fibre roll-out, especially in last-mile applications, can be a great expenditure in terms of infrastructure and operating costs. This myth can now be proven false with our FTTx solution from BDCOM.
The solutions available with PON (Passive Optical Networks) have been proven to reduce installation cost by up to 70% with the use of simple reflective devices, known as splitters.
Related: Embracing Technology For Business
PON, completely negates the need for active equipment (such as switches, boosters etc.) because it allows the light, to be reflected towards the intended receiver (ONU) which then talks back to the light source (OLT) which is situated by the POP (Point of Presence). PON take up less physical space and consume less energy than traditional Ethernet because of the reduced number of active equipment. PON deployment costs up to 50% less than Ethernet, this includes components, labour as well as materials. The requirements for cooling are also less than with Ethernet, offering the client a saving on their utility costs.
Furthermore, fibre optic cables have a lifespan of up to 50 years as opposed to the 15 year lifespan of Ethernet copper. By analysing these facts, PON technology is arguably the only cost-effective solution to a fibre roll-out because of the major decrease in deployment and maintenance cost; therefore, there is also no surprise as to why it has become increasingly embraced by hospitals, government agencies and universities, amongst other industries.
For more information on the best last-mile PON solution for your fibre application, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team; introducing you to the possibility of FTTx, together.
The Future Of Fleet Management Is Now
Power up your fleet management and make even smarter business decisions with the new WEBFLEET. WEBFLEET is the award-winning Software-as-a-Service fleet management solution from TomTom Telematics, designed to provide you with the data needed to help your field operations become more efficient, more productive, safer and more profitable.
An improved interface and enhanced features mean WEBFLEET is now more powerful than ever before, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere on any screen. Find everything you need to help save on fuel, maintenance and administration costs, while delivering the quality service your customers demand.
It has already delivered proven results for customers across the globe and is powered by continuous innovation, meaning it is ready to grow with you and your organisation as goals and challenges change. Discover the future of fleet management now and help give your business an edge on the competition. Request a demo and find out more at telematics.tomtom.com/webfleet/landingpages/launching-the-new-webfleet.
If You Want Scale, Fail Fast And Learn Quickly
Mindset, focus and an understanding of scale are essential if you want to build a highly profitable, growing business.
“The secret to scaling a business is increasing revenues without incurring a corresponding increase in operating costs,” says Tom Asacker, author of The Business of Belief, Opportunity Screams, A Little Less Conversation and A Clear Eye for Branding, all groundbreaking books that redefine business and communication for the new age of abundance. “The single most important challenge is to have a deep understanding of your value creation and customer attraction and retention process, as well as how the company will ultimately make money over time through the unique realisation of that process.”
According to Howard Sackstein, founder of Saicom Voice Services, scale used to be measured by the number of people you employed or the number of branches you opened. “Today, these questions have become irrelevant,” he says.
“When Whatsapp was sold for $19 billion the business had only 55 employees servicing 450 million users who were sending 34 billion messages a day – that’s a tiny company with enormous scale. So, today scale has come to mean something very different. In the new economy, scale is about scalable technology, how do we build software and apps that can cater for a billion users? The ideas of lots of employees and lots of offices has become old fashioned.”
The problem is that scale comes with costs and that’s why money is often the enemy of entrepreneurship. “Many of the great businesses of the new economy all began in garages, a small group of people, each with real skills each trying to bootstrap an idea to see if it worked,” continues Howard.
“Often people go looking for funding; there’s a problem there too though – they scale too fast once they receive the cash and ultimately they fail because they have too much money. Entrepreneurs need to start small and if they fail they must fail fast. They need to test the market and grow incrementally to prove their idea. Once the idea has achieved a degree of adoption and has ‘crossed the chasm’ of technology adoption, only then can you start thinking of scale. And today scale means few costs, few employees, and tech that can scale to a mass market.”
Your Mindset is Everything
Your mindset while scaling is critical. “Value creation, customer attraction and your retention process are the result of every decision you make as an entrepreneur,” says Tom. “Your mindset shapes how you make these decisions.
“Every rand spent should be to add value in the eyes of the customer, or to improve the process that delivers that value, through automation, distribution, channel partners and so on.
“If businesses aren’t hyper-focused on adding value and deepening relationships with customers, someone will come along who will. If that happens, whether or not that process produces rapid growth is beside the point.”
Howard believes that follow-through is also essential. “So many people really want to build empires,” he says. “But how do you measure your success? Is it the number of employees you have, the number of companies, your disruptive influence on the market, revenue or actual profitability?
“You really need to decide this up front and that will affect your strategy. I probably have an old school mentality, but for me profit is everything. I don’t really understand the idea of focusing on scale with no business model in the hope that on an exit someone will find value. I know that’s a common idea in the tech world and you could get lucky by following it, but I think there are few people with that degree of luck – build for profit and sustainability, build as lean as possible and keep your eye on the actual ball.”
See Howard Sackstein and Tom Asacker live at the fourth Secrets of Scale event, which will be taking place at the MESH Club in Rosebank on Monday, 11 June. Buy your tickets online here: www.qkt.io/secretsofscale
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