It’s been another year of significant change across every industry, and IT has undoubtedly been at the forefront. We’ve seen accelerated innovation as businesses look to harness technology in ways they might only have dreamed of a couple of years ago.
But as well as technological development, we’ve also seen another significant change across the industry this last 12 months – a change in our customer engagements.
Even up until a couple of years ago our role as an IT partner centred around delivering on customer expectations. They often understood their challenge, had identified the need and, in many cases, already had a read on the best technology. From that point it was on us as a trusted partner to deliver on that need.
But times have changed and even for the most tech-savvy business owner or IT team it’s almost impossible to have complete visibility across the market. As a result, instead of approaching us for a particular technology, we’re seen as strategic consultants enlisted to review operations, pick out opportunities for innovation, and bring new options to the table.
It’s a role that we have embraced, and one that has seen us build out our competencies and dig deep into the technologies our customers could be using. This is especially relevant to the cyber security arena, where a seemingly never-ending selection of new market entrants, and a growing threat landscape challenge businesses seeking to build the best defences their budgets can buy.
Security has always been a top priority for business leaders, and it’s taken on even greater importance as businesses change working models against a backdrop of increased cyber risk.
Traditional solutions such as anti-virus and email gateways alone are not enough to offer the level of protection needed, which is why I want to call out some of the solutions we’ve been deploying on behalf of our customers.
Cyber security threats come at your business from every angle, so you need protections that extend beyond your own resource.
Arctic Wolf take an operational approach to security, combining a cloud security platform with first-class security expertise to deliver robust security operations.
A sophisticated cloud platform collects telemetry from over 200 billion daily events and works in tandem with your existing solutions to create a robust security posture. Advanced AI machine learning spreads across a diverse range of detection methodologies to automatically detect advanced threats.
Best of all, everything is underpinned by a team of security operations experts who act as an extension of your team to deliver 24×7 protection, threat hunting, breach triage, and input into long-term strategy.
With your workspace extended across many locations, including those used by individual home and remote workers, your protections must extend outside the four walls of your office.
Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-based Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution that helps you extend your security posture to every user. This removes the need for centralised, disparate security tools that can become a bottle neck for cloud traffic, and allows you to better manage potential threats across your estate.
Security is enforced at the DNS and IP layer, so potential threats are blocked from reaching your endpoints or network. A secure web gateway also logs and inspects all traffic to identify and intercept malicious activity. A cloud-based firewall also helps you retain control over traffic delivered to your cloud apps, and with over 200 billion Internet interactions analysed every day, you can access real-time insights to inform and prioritise threat response.
Wherever your team are working, you need security tools in place that empower them to work at their best and support productivity. Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) harnesses several security protections available as part of the Microsoft portfolio to safeguard your data and secure individual users while still ensuring they can access the apps they need.
This includes products such as Azure Active Directory to help you safeguard user credentials and deliver secure access to apps and services, Microsoft Intune for cloud-based endpoint management, and Azure Information Protection to help you classify, protect, and encrypt all of the data living in your Microsoft Cloud.
Even with world-class protections in place, every one of your end users present a potential vulnerability. Afterall, 88% of security breaches are the result of human errors. It only takes one inadvertent mistake to cause a significant breach. Even something as simple as clicking a link from a spoof email could put you at risk.
The best way to shore up this vulnerability is to arm your users with the knowledge they need to self-identify and remediate threats. The world’s largest integrated platform for security awareness training, KnowBe4 deliver a range of services to help you not only prepare your users for cyber attacks but also understand behavioural vulnerabilities that may exist. This includes comprehensive end user training, and simulated phishing attacks to identify where support is needed.
Away from cyber security, physical security and employee safety have become top priorities as businesses look to establish new practices for the new normal.
This is especially important in factories and warehouses where employees are put at increased risk not only by proximity to each other, but the movements of heavy machinery. Sewio uses an intelligent IoT enabled employee location tracking system to help protect individuals from harm. Delivered using a small tracking tag, similar to a smart watch or name badge, the movements of individuals can be monitored and recorded in real-time. This not only helps to understand employee behaviour, but supports efficient mustering processes should an evacuation be required.
From a health and wellbeing perspective, employee tracking can help you quickly identify the movement of infectious individuals, such as those testing positive for Covid-19, and flag those who are potentially at risk as close contacts.
Specific safety zones can also be outlined so that should an employee enter a potentially dangerous area of the site, such as a forklift operation zone, the operator of the machinery is automatically alerted, and the machinery temporarily shut down until the area is clear.
As well as tracking employee movements, another element of physical security involves monitoring the status of your working environment. EnLink Air sensor technology includes 10 sensors that monitor areas such as temperature, humidity, light, and CO2 levels to help you measure and analyse the current state of your workplace.
Whether it’s a review of your cyber defences, or a rethink of your physical security measures, it’s almost certain that security will feature on your agenda as we head into the New Year.
Our experienced and knowledgeable team are armed with an understanding of not just the latest solutions, but the real-world challenges they can help to overcome.
Whatever support you need across your security strategy, we’re here to help. To learn more about any of the solutions covered in this article, or to discuss your security challenges, just get in touch.