Behind the Brain Power: Changes in Security

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Date: August 12th, 2016 | Topic: Changes in IT Security

This month officially completes a full-year of Behind the Brain Power. In honor of the one year mark, we asked our team to choose one part of technology that they have seen the most change in over the last 12 months. Across the board, our team listed security as the biggest change over the last year. Take a look at their reasoning, and don’t forget to attend our IT Security Lunch and Learn on August 25th!


Mike Estep | President: The biggest change that I have seen in the last 12 months is the battle against malware. I have not seen such a significant change in the aggressiveness of malware since maybe the introduction of the first PC virus.  I used to believe that viruses were written by the anti-virus software company to help their market. Mainly because they didn’t seem quite as serious. Today the battle is truly significant and being done by very serious and professional hackers.  Digital terrorism is here. At some point in the not so distant future, I believe that 2015/2016 will be seen as the start of this era of technology challenges.

Branden Smith | Vice President: I was recently at a vendor conference and 80% of the conversations revolved around security.  With the proliferation of malware and ransomware, even my Grandmother is talking about it (and I have to remove it from her computer on a regular basis… she’s a clicker… love you Mema)!  As we move to a more mobile work environment, end point security (computers, tablets, phones) is becoming a big concern for all businesses.  In the past week, I’ve met with 3 different clients needing to increase their end point security due to business or regulatory needs.

Full disk encryption, more effective anti-malware software, two-factor authentication, and mobile device management are all technologies that even the small businesses must start addressing.  If your laptop is stolen, can someone access your data?  If you allow BYOD (bring your own device), but don’t have a BYOD policy, how do you prevent company data leaving with employees?  These are just a few of the questions we are asking and being asked today.

Throw on top of this the movement to the cloud and it leaves a business owner scratching their head as to where their data is and how to protect it.  One final note on security… our biggest risk is the employee … before you think I’m being mean let me explain. The Threat Actors that are pushing the malware are getting better every day.  In the past, you could look for bad spelling to identify a suspicious email. Well, not anymore! Many of the messages that are delivering malware today look like they come from legitimate companies (and they have very few spelling mistakes if any), so employee education and training is the corner stone of your company security.  All the software and hardware in the world can be bypassed with the wrong click or a little human engineering!  If you haven’t put much thought into your company’s information security… there’s no time like the present!

Sean Barron | Chief Technology Architect: What have I seen change the most in IT in the last 12 months?  I have seen compliance requirements (HIPPA, J-SOX, SOX, etc.) continuing to expand and touch more and more customers.  We are seeing more non-healthcare companies falling under HIPPA compliance requirements due to whom they are doing business with.  The same goes for SOX and J-SOX.  So the end result is bringing the need for technology like MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), FDE (Full Disk Encryption), network transport encryption, network audits, and penetration tests to more customers.

The other unfortunate thing that I have seen is the explosion of Cryptolocker infections.  We talked about this back in our Behind the Brain Power in July 2015 and unfortunately predictions proved true.  It has challenged us to find new products (Webroot & Watchguard APT) and new techniques to help protect our customers.  It has also on many occasions reinforced the importance of a good backup strategy – backing up data to a physical or cloud appliance.  Don’t rely on versioning to save your OneDrive and Dropbox accounts!  Make sure your important data is backed up to an appliance or secondary cloud service that is not accessible to potential infected clients.

The past 12 months have been a whirlwind of change in the IT Industry, and I am sure the next 12 will continue the trend.

Robert Rivers | Business Development Director: Over the last 12 months; IT has been advancing, expanding and improving in every aspect. The area that I feel everyone needs to pay the most attention to is security. Zero Day Attacks and Ransomware are becoming more prevalent and moving from the perpetrators targeting governments and Fortune 500 companies directly to the SMB space. As a company in 2016, every business and every employee is targeted. I am glad that our team has been focusing on this area, and we have the best solutions to help protect any company in the Southeast. There is not ONE magic tool but a customized array of tools to help secure and educate your company and employees.

 


Our IT Security Lunch and Learn is coming up on August 25th! Take a break from your day and visit our office where you can enjoy a delicious lunch, hear from some of the best in the security industry, and see demos of some of the top IT security products! Seats are limited, so reserve your spot now!


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