The Evolution Of Security Threats In Digital Workplaces & What Can You Do To Combat Them

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The Digital workplace is the most radical, socially conscious, intelligent, and humane evolution in organisations in the past decade. However, when it comes to security, it is no different from the workplaces of old. As technology evolves, the ways your digital workplace can be hacked grows along with it.  So, no matter how innovative your digital workplace is, you have to establish a strong system to combat all kinds of security threats to your cloud.

Thanks to the improved software and security services made available by leading IT service providers, these security threats can be kept at bay. Nevertheless, the rapidly rising number of devices, as well as the methods of communication, expose your organisation to a wide range of risks. Hence, establishing a prudent digital workplace security strategy is imperative for your business to keep it running successfully.

Security Threats in the Digital Workspace Today

We are living in strange and insecure times. Not a day goes by without news of a data breach or cyber security attack making headlines. In this year alone, we’ve already seen two major ransomware attacks sweeping across the globe, forcing numerous enterprise networks to their knees. In May, WannaCry and NotPetya in July wreaked havoc, bringing various business functions to a halt.

But it isn’t just ransomware and malware that businesses need to protect themselves from. The landscape of threat is broader and more creative than ever. Every device, from your smartphones to the IoT gadgets you use at home, is a potential entry point for hackers.

The cyber underworld is only thriving with the digital revolution transforming our workplaces and homes. One of the primary motives fuelling cybercrime is the financial gains they get out of it. And data has become the currency of choice. Every name, address, email or phone number is a treasure for cybercriminals. Companies should protect the critical business data they hold as well as the data they collected from their customers.

Is Your Enterprise Network Vulnerable?

According to Gartner, Inc., the American research firm, “The increased implementation of data-driven and mobile workplace is causing the breaking down of the traditional security models and strategies.” They have also predicted that by 2018, almost 25% of the large organisation will have an explicit strategy to make corporate computing environment similar to a consumer computing experience.

There is a very high volume of devices and access vectors in a digital workplace, which increases sophisticated and dynamic attack methods, making your security measures ineffective. The need for preventive measures will not go away.

So, here are a few ways how your enterprise network is becoming vulnerable and what you can do to avoid them.

Disgruntled Employees

CTO of Green House Data, Cortney Thompson correctly quoted, “Internal attacks are one of the biggest threats facing your data and systems.” Indeed, it is often rogue employees, especially the members of the IT department, who have access to the data centres, admin account, and networks. And they’re the ones who can cause severe damage, if they choose to.

It is imperative that all privileged accounts and credentials are immediately terminated when they are no longer in use. There should also be a close monitoring and control of the privileged credentials to prevent exploitation. Organizations should integrate necessary protocols and infrastructure to track the activities of the employees.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

When employees use their portable devices to share data and access company information, there is a high level of vulnerability towards data theft. Besides, if an infected device enters the enterprise’s network, there is a great chance that the system will be compromised.

To prevent that from happening, the BYOD policy should be adequately spelt out, and the employees should be educated on the expectations from the devices. There also should be proper monitoring of both uploads and downloads from the devices.

How Can You Reduce The Risks To Your Network/Cloud?

Security is a major part of leading IT service provider’s DNA, and Ricoh is no different. Most products and services they offer have security built-in by design. Data management being the cornerstone of every business, making sure that it is done securely is crucial. And Ricoh manages to effectively combat security threats that are rapidly rising by the day.

Businesses are also constantly trying to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of risks and regulations. To make matters worse, the capabilities of devices we use at the workplace have increased ten-fold. There was a time when printers were connected to PCs to function. Now, there is no such requirement, and they can connect document servers and the management directly. And there lies a potential vulnerability.

To mitigate these risks, it’s important to go with service providers who have decades of experience handling and developing secure systems. Ricoh, for instance, improves user experience and complies with security controls. They also pay the due attention to productivity and collaborative technologies.

Make sure that your organisation’s hardware security is incorporated with data control, prevention, support, and destruction through the following:

  • Password protection, user authentication, and authorisation to avoid unauthorised parties to access the machines
  • Get layered malware protection to ensure that your devices are protected from external threats and viruses
  • End-to-end encryption to scan and print documents keeps outsiders from accessing sensitive information
  • Full data cleansing for secure data disposal when machines become obsolete
  • Regular update of the firmware and software so that there are no loopholes for hackers to infiltrate

In the end, we can agree that cyber-attacks aren’t going anywhere. However, there is no reason for it to hinder workplace productivity and efficiency. If security is built into every process, product and service from the outset, organisations can rest assured that their devices and data are secure and will remain so in the future as well.

Author Bio:

Deepa Menon is the Marketing Communications Manager at Ricoh India. In her 21+ years of association with the company, she has overseen the marketing of various Printing, Visual Communication and IT related products and services.

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