Making Your Communications Safe, Smart and Secure
Author: Joe Spoon | Senior Network Engineer, Todd Sanchez | Senior Systems & Security Engineer , Evan Branstner | Security Engineer
Technology as a whole is constantly evolving. It’s hard to keep up with all the new offerings to determine what is what. But that’s no excuse to just assume your company’s communications security is doing everything you need it to do. All businesses should regularly test and evaluate their current communications security and look at new technologies and trends that may help keep their information safe and secure.
One trend in communications security is zero-trust connectivity, which gives the company control over what each computer can access. Zero-trust connectivity differs from a traditional VPN in that companies can give access to specific applications on specific servers without opening access to other applications on the same server. Leveraging this new technology can prevent unwanted access to greater and potentially unknown segments of the network infrastructure. Another approach related to zero-trust connectivity is segmenting internal networks, so servers, computers and even different departments operate on different networks. By doing this, if one network gets attacked, only those on that network, not the entire organization are affected. Another related trend is endpoint protection. With this, security is on the laptop, not just the network. If the user’s computer becomes compromised, it can be isolated from the corporate network until the trouble has been remediated. And with the growing trend of people working remotely, it makes sense – why have security solely on the network in the office when many people are externally accessing via individual laptops and access points.
There’s even the use of artificial intelligence (AI) communications security software. Today, they’ve developed it so the software can do some behavioral analysis, something security software doesn’t traditionally do. These days malware is rarely reused, so with malicious files being custom made, you need software that looks for malicious execution and not just definitions from a blacklist. Also, with AI security software, there are shared databases, so when a vulnerability is found in one company or computer, details can be shared across the globe to prevent it from happening somewhere else.
We’re even seeing the use of passwords evolving. Two-factor verification requires the traditional username and password but adds another method of verification such as a text message to a cell phone or a one-time use password to a multi-factor authentication application. In the past this was used for specific activities, VPN for example, but as cloud-based activities grow, it’s being used more and more. Two-factor also is beneficial because many individuals reuse passwords or create simple ones such as “12345” or “password.” To address the varying complexity and use of passwords, there’s password manager software, which generates unique, long, complex passwords for all online accounts.
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Also, work with your IT department to identify and evaluate your current processes, equipment, protection, etc. Consider bringing in a partner to review your current set up, identify needs and create a course of action. As with any partner, be sure to find one that is knowledgeable, reputable and provides services to companies similar to yours.
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