Home Did you know ? For the Sake of Security, Make the following Upgrades

For the Sake of Security, Make the following Upgrades

by Mic Johnson

As security threats evolve, your methods for countering them have to evolve even more rapidly. You don’t want to spend your time playing catch up. The ideal situation would be to put the data thieves on the defensive. If you can’t do that, you at least want to be one step ahead of them instead of being a step behind. Most businesses are behind, and by a lot more than one step.

One of the key reasons is that company data is scattered all over the place. An attacker can pick off the weakest link in the company without the other systems being alerted. XDR solutions provide better threat and breach detection because they unify data into a single repository. This allows the security measures to monitor all of the data at the same time and know when exports exist even in the most obscure parts of the data stack.

This is the kind of evolutionary thinking that IT managers need to employ if they want to stay ahead of the security race. Your security tools from a decade ago are simply not up to the task of keeping your company safe from today’s threats. Besides your security software, here are few things you need to upgrade:

Windows 11 PC

If your workstations are still running Windows 7, it’s time to make a change. It is not just your software that is out of date; it is also your hardware. Windows 11 PCs have more robust security at every level. For Linux users, there is even Systend support added to the WSL.

While Microsoft is great at providing updates and service patches to older systems, there is no way to keep them completely safe from the latest threats. That is why cyberattackers find so much success with institutions that are notoriously slow about updating their hardware.

There is also the matter of speed. Major slowdowns are a sign that malware might be present. But if your systems are already slow because of age and poor compatibility with the latest software, you won’t be able to tell that your performance is compromised.

Finally, there is the debate about sealed versus open laptops. IT departments like easy access to laptop internals. But what is easy for the IT department is also easy for hackers who can compromise that accessible hardware. There are many reasons the industry has moved to sealed boxes. Tighter security is one of them.

Biometric Authentication

It is important that you provide employees with devices that have a biometric option. The FIDO alliance is on the warpath against passwords because they do little to keep data safe. Passwords are more like security theater instead of actual security. The only people locked out by passwords are typically the authentic users.

Instead, authentication is far more secure because it is more difficult to fake. It can be done. But it takes a lot. It cannot be done casually with a simple algorithm.

There are three popular forms of authentication:

  • Something you know
  • Something you have
  • Something you are

People forget passwords and tend to write them down on convenient slips of paper that can be picked up and read by anyone. People lose USB security keys. But people seldom change their fingerprints or facial features. Biometric data is not something a hacker can easily reproduce. To be a part of the more secure, passwordless future, your employees need computers and phones with biometric authentication.

Data Security Policies

Regardless of how much you spend on hardware and software, you will not improve the situation if you don’t also upgrade your data security policies. One of the best things you can do is also one of the simplest: Stop including links in company emails and texts. By now everyone knows that email and text links are often fraudulent. You send mixed messages when you include links in company communications.

If you send a communication that requires action, instruct the recipient on how to respond. Tell them to log into their company profile and make the necessary changes. Don’t send them a link to their profile page. If they don’t know how to access the required documentation, make them go to a supervisor in person and request help. This is just one of the many policies you can upgrade immediately to dramatically increase data security.

Upgrading to Windows 11 PCs, biometric authentication, and new data security policies do not constitute a complete solution. But they do represent an excellent starting point for getting your security house in order.

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