3 Critical yet Unaddressed Information Security Challenges in a New Enterprise
Defending a newly established enterprise from high-profile security breaches and potential loopholes is one of the major IT challenges that most of the businesses face today. Probably, the reason behind this is the massive amount of financial losses that incur due to increasing number of security breach incidents detected in the past 12 months, estimated to be about as much as 98% – a clear indication of the extreme threat environment today. As revealed by Gartner in its recent research about key challenges in Information security, 75% of enterprises’ information security budgets are likely to be allocated for rapid detection and response approaches by 2020, which is up from less than 10% in 2012.
Hence, securing a new enterprise from prying eyes involves awareness of critical security challenges and the ways to overcome the threats to ensure a safe IT future for your business.
This blog discusses the top 3 extremely critical yet unaddressed information security challenges in a new enterprise-:
#Challenge 1- Protection of Private Data From Unauthorised Access -:
Data is the crux of every organisation – may it be an independent business unit, an IT department or a government regulation. Confidential information in an enterprise like employee details, day-to-day client transactions, financial records, private contracts and other intellectual property are some of the crucial things that must be protected from unauthorised access. Though access protection techniques requiring inputs in the form of user IDs and passwords play a major role in maintaining security of private data; they also give rise to new security breach incidents arising out of carelessness on the part of IT administrators. Hence, protecting confidential data and applications from prying eyes is one of the biggest challenges that most of the security sophisticated organisations face today.
Understanding who is accessing data at what time and figuring out the reason behind the data breach incidents so as to ensure security is not an easy task. Rather, it involves right implementation of flexible and efficient policies, procedures & security compliance standards that are intelligent enough to identify and eliminate critical security risks. In fact, more and more organisations are now flushing out traditional approaches that they used to adopt in order to protect data from hackers. Apart from varied strong authentication techniques, enterprises are now relying on cloud-based 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) technology and use cases to secure data across all departments via adding an extra step to the basic log-in process. Since 2FA security authentication technology inserts a second level of authentication, they allow secure VPN access, secure cloud access and secure network access and that’s the reason why some of the reputed organizations including Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Google and even Facebook perceive 2FA as the 360 degree solution to eliminating all their security concerns.
#Challenge 2- Adhering Strictly to Security Compliance Standards
To ensure complete data security in a new enterprise, it is imperative to adhere strictly to security compliance standards pertaining to industry and federal regulations like PCI (Payment Card Industry) standard, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standard for Healthcare organisation, FISMA(Federal Information Security Management) compliance, GLBA/FFIEC (Gramm-Leach-Biley Act/Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council) compliance.
IT security experts are employed in every organisation to assist in ensuring data protection via log monitoring, managing firewalls and conducting training sessions for effective security awareness. In order to maintain data integrity, protect data against anticipated threats and ensure confidentiality of client information; implementing an ongoing security process and passing compliance audits is mandatory for an organisation. However, developing a foolproof information security strategy that defines control objectives and takes care of all the secure processes and policies is extremely crucial to prove that your organisation is efficient in avoiding potential security risks and in protecting confidential data from suspicious threats.
#Challenge 3 – Keeping Up with the Mobile World: Ensuring Secure Login with authentication via Mobile Phone
With the increasing popularity of mobile phones and its applications, authentication has become even stronger and IT administrators have gone beyond the old-school approach of single factor authentication (i.e. usernames and passwords).
In the traditional authentication approach, if the combination of both username & password turns out to be an entry in their database, the system considers it as an authorized access; which is typically known as single factor authentication. Now, the downside of single factor authentication is when a hacker trying to break-in to your account somehow figures out the login credentials and due to just one-step authentication, he/she would be easily able to gain access to your confidential information. Also, since the usernames and passwords can be either stolen or hacked; single factor authentication can never ensure the high level of security that you may need.
Hence, ensuring Login Security in smartphones involves implementation of strong identification and authentication techniques like two-factor authentication by security concerned organizations so as to form a defensive strategy around applications and protect unauthorised access.
In this constantly changing IT environment, new enterprises often face difficulty in keeping up with the fast-paced mobile world that demands adoption of latest security concepts and implementation of strong authentication policies. Authentication via mobile phone involves addition of an extra step to prove identity. This makes your account more secure via SMS-based authentication – sending one-time passcodes to your account that need to be entered while you’re logging in to the account you hold.
As a newer way to ensure high-level security, some organisations like Google are even relying on what we known as the “Phone Factor”. As per this procedure, the application asks users to choose the authentication mode they prefer, which includes sending an automated phone call to the user’s mobile, delivering a text message to the number they own or verifying via a smartphone application. Apart from SMS-based authentication, some more sophisticated security features like asking for personal information including digital certificates, voice callbacks; biometric methods like fingerprints, voice print; drawing a particular pattern on the smartphone or entering the ATM Pin are also popular to prove identity.
In an endeavor to make authentication stronger, one must overcome all the above challenges in a new enterprise to ensure completely secure IT environment where both clients and users can breathe safely and flush out all the anticipated threats pertaining to protecting private data. Its high time security professionals stop ignoring the widespread number of data breach incidents that are populating the cyber world. Remember that if it can happen with someone else, it can happen with you!!
Rupesh Kumar is managing director of Lepide Software