Wed Jul 21 2021

How remote connectivity and digital transformation impact your organization's security

silvana precup

As organizations rush to become more digital due to the global pandemic, they increase their exposure on the Internet. The year 2020 has brought a tsunami of employees using their home networks to connect to cloud services via Remote Desktop Protocols (RDP), Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and application suites like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace. A wave of new remote connectivity in contrast to using the more secure and monitored network at the office.

At the same time, the trend continues: digital transformations are encouraged, embraced, and rushed. Some of us might have been waiting for that user unfriendly timesheet management application to be replaced for years. New technology might bring user friendly functionality, however organizations need to securely let go of the previous technology and securely set up and manage the new technologies.
So the wave of remote connectivity and digital transformation can get business stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Put simply, connecting remotely and new tech being introduced translate into an increased threat surface that malicious hackers can exploit.
What happens is that attackers can take advantage of the lack of or reduced level of monitoring to compromise employee credentials and infiltrate the corporate network. The result can be a data breach or a different type of data-focused attack.

As a response, organizations increase cybersecurity spending and rush to figure out ways to 'fix the issue'.  The digital footprint resulting from increased connectivity and digital transformation is not a problem to be fixed but a process to be managed.

It all starts with knowing what you know and knowing what you don't know. Next, in order to have a managed process it's important to know what is under the control of your organization and what is not. Often, lack of consistency with these two aspects leads to data breaches happening despite increased investment.

Let's take the example of using application suites like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace. The assets that make your digital footprint, like the server on which your website runs, or your email infrastructure, is somewhere in the cloud. This can mean that the management of that system is out of your zone of control.

In case of vulnerabilities on this system, to avoid a data breach it is under the control of the organization to set-up and run a remediation process. The goal is to fix the problem with the third party, or forth party who has full control of the system supporting your website or email infrastructure.

How to map and manage the digital footprint of your organization can be difficult without the right tools and strategy. If you want to have more control over the security of your data start with understanding the digital footprint of your supply chain. Don't get stuck between a rock and a hard place!

If you need help getting started, Ceeyu can support you visualizing your digital footprint and supply chain. Connect with us via [email protected]