The Coronavirus & the Cloud – A Winning Combination for Hackers

information security challenges

Originally posted on People and Computers

“The combination of changing work patterns due to the coronavirus, with the increasing migration to cloud environments, creates a new and significant challenge for corporate information security managers,” said Ofer Amitai, one of the founders and CEO of Portnox, explaining how it can be answered at the identification stage.

“One day, a food supplier from abroad called me. One of the company’s employees, who was fired, connected to the organization’s operating systems, changed the temperature of the meat refrigerators and caused damage and loss of goods worth millions of dollars. That’s how they understood that more vital identification is needed on the network and contacted us, “Ofer Amitai, one of the founders and CEO of Portnox, told People and Computers.

“The coming period will be characterized by hybrid work. This format makes remote work an integral part of all workers’ activities, and those who have not yet dealt with a remote work method will do so today or tomorrow. It will enable regular work alongside the protection of the organization and its resources. The combination of changing work patterns due to the coronavirus, with the growing migration to cloud environments, creates a new and significant challenge for corporate information security managers, and is a winning combination for hackers,” continued Amitai.

What is the main challenge for information security managers?

“Above all the challenges facing the information security manager, there is a major challenge, and that is that he must understand who and what threats he is facing,” Amitai noted. “One of the most difficult challenges for the organization is the migration to the cloud – how the systems and data will be kept secure in this new environment on the one hand, and that all systems will work on the other. Israel is slightly behind cloud adoption compared to the US market. It will be like the main headquarters so that one day everything will be connected to the cloud, and the services will be consumed from it, without the need to join the offices to the branch. ”

He added that “when setting up secure access control to the corporate network, make sure that application-level privileges are managed – whether via remote connection (VPN) or user management (VDI), which allows remote, virtual access to the desktop. Connection security must also be ensured via MFA – multi-step authentication of the user. Then the end station must be handled, including personal devices that employees bring from home. The goal is to maintain a consistent level of information security, regardless of the identity of the end device.”

A significant promise – but also risky

Portnox was established in 2007 to help organizations protect their corporate networks through the use of technology that allows them to see all devices connected to the network and to perform preventative and corrective actions that defend it from risk-prone devices. “This is a technology that makes life easier for information security managers in their day-to-day work,” Amitai explained.

“When someone accesses the network – via a remote, local connection or cable – Portnox knows how to make a strong identification of the device and the user. We do not manage the end component, but its risks,” said Amitai. “Our product in the cloud, Portnox CLEAR, enables organizations to protect the enterprise network via the cloud. The solution complements the security layer for VPN and VDI solutions. Through continuous risk monitoring capabilities on end stations and devices, information security principles are maintained and enforced – regardless of physical location. The end station, whether inside or outside the organization, and owned by it, or whether it belongs to the company or the employee, thus, all stations become secure and authenticated devices, which comply with the organizational security policy – all through enforcement, by the policy definition The organization, which changes according to its needs. ”

In conclusion, Amitai stated that “all the trends in the market bring with them a great promise – but also risks. They expose organizations to more hacks into their network, which makes them look for security solutions like ours – smart, easy to manage, and those who make sure the corporate network is secure. We have a wide range of enterprise and SMB clients who come from many sectors, including the medical, banking, and high-tech sectors. In the past year, we have experienced a 30% increase in revenue, and I estimate that the growth trend, which continues this year, will continue in 2022.”

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