Our Crypto Convos video series is tackling all sorts of network security issues, industry evolutions, and changes to the threat landscape. One of the critical topics we discussed was enterprise IT security: how to best manage risks, the impetus for engaging workforce security training, and the pros and cons of data security compliance. See why your enterprise should take a vigilant, proactive approach to network and data security.
Enterprise Security Risks
Cybercriminals are creative. Black Hat tactics are always evolving. And private organizations, as well as government agencies, are always facing the threat of cyberattacks and security failures.
Here are some common cybersecurity risks:
- DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks
- Phishing and spam
- Corporate account takeover (CATO)
See also our recent articles on Single Points of Failure in Cryptography that tackle the following risks:
- Bugs in software code
- The human factor (the weakest link)
- Weak passwords
- Weak or low entropy
- Asymmetric encryption
- Public handshake and key derivation
Traditional methods of encryption, asymmetric encryption, and low entropy present risks and potential flaws that can prove breakable. Cryptographic code can hide bugs that create vulnerabilities in software. Human beings, of course, can present huge risks to enterprises – especially without proper IT security awareness training:
“Humans have traditionally proven that when we are given more advanced technologies, we often, unfortunately, put them to use in ways that lead to more dire outcomes.”
(Adam Gordon, ITProTV)
The point is that IT security threats and weaknesses are both omnipresent and unavoidable. In fact, critical enterprises, like hospitals, can face repeated attacks from state-sponsored hackers, a danger we addressed in a past article, “Cure Ransomware Before the Attack, Not During It.”
The only questions are: What can you do and what will you do about it?
Data Security Compliance – The Risk of Doing the Least Possible
Global and national data privacy laws demand action from enterprises, but if the stance is to just meet the bare minimum and avoid penalties, then organizations run the risk of exposing themselves to more cybersecurity threats than necessary – of seeing present-day security methods break down and collapse in the future. That’s why security compliance management must take a more forward-thinking approach.
Here are data security laws that enterprises must be aware of:
- The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- California’s Privacy Rights Act(CPRA) – as of 1/1/2023
- Virginia’sConsumer Data Protection Act(VCDPA) – as of 7/1/2023
- Utah’s Consumer Privacy Act(UCPA) – 12/31/2023
Sixteen other countries, including Canada, Australia, China, and Japan, have adopted laws similar to the EU’s GDPR. So, it stands to reason that more and more states, and eventually the federal government, will enact data privacy legislation.
Organizations would do well to prepare for the future of security compliance and reap the benefits now. As our Crypto Convo guest, Adam Gordon of ITProTV said:
[F]or many years nobody tried; they just put their head in the sand and hoped nothing would happen…[W]ell, we’ve proven that’s absolutely the wrong approach…We can attack…all day sitting on the moon as long as we have a network connection.”
Complying with multiple security and privacy laws can prove difficult, and as a recent Venture Beat article noted, the great cloud migration has exposed many companies to potential privacy violations and IT security vulnerabilities.
That’s why enterprises should develop a comprehensive, viable strategy for bolstering the defenses of their network and data infrastructure – a security strategy that projects far into the future and is not only crypto-agile but crypto-diverse in order to insulate against diverse threats, including the threat from quantum computing.
Enterprise IT Security Risk Management
A strong IT security policy should take a multi-prong, diversified approach. And there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy that can apply to all types of organizations. There are, however, key elements that should go into every risk management plan:
1. Reducing and protecting attack surfaces
There are three main attack surfaces:
- Social: Where cyber criminals use human psychology against their targets and manipulate employees into revealing information.
- Physical: Where criminals attack your IT assets from within your organization – at a physical location.
- Digital:Enterprise assets that are accessible via the internet.
2. IT/Cyber security training
This tactic helps reduce risks from the social/psychological threats mentioned above.
Humans are the weakest link in the security chain. The only way to address this is to arm them with information and education. Our Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Vincent Berk, and ITProTV Edutainer Adam Gordon discussed this extensively in our first Crypto Convo.
For one, they talked about the lack of engagement in many IT security courses and how making IT learning enjoyable so that content can be more easily digested is a driving mission at ITProTV:
“[The idea is to engage] the learner so you’re not just clicking through mindlessly…it’s really about engaging you in the learning process that excites you and motivates you…”
Educating employees on cyber security best practices has to be a cornerstone of employee onboarding, and continuing education should also be part of an organization’s IT strategy because technology and threats are dynamic – and because extraordinary technology is so readily accessible to everyone.
“The computers you have in your hand and on your wrist are more powerful…than the computers that launched men to the moon.”
While this is exciting and empowering, lack of education on best practices with this “hyper-connected” technology is dangerous.
3. Future-forward data encryption
This tactic helps address an organization’s physical and digital security threats.
Unfortunately, many enterprises are behind in the game. And it can be hard to keep up with the latest technology and the newest threats. Legacy encryption methods don’t do enough to protect against risks, and resolving vulnerabilities and weaknesses after they’ve been exposed can be very costly.
How can you better ensure that your network infrastructure and data are more effectively protected, that your business interests are better secured and that you’re prepared for future risks – no matter what?
The answer is simple: cryptodiversity.
Crypto-Diverse IT Security Solutions
Just like you wouldn’t be advised to put all your eggs in one basket – to diversify your assets – cryptodiversity is critical for next-gen, future-focused encryption management.
That is what Quantum Xchange has engineered with Phio TX.
Not many enterprises have a security policy in place to manage and protect corporate communications. Most organizations utilize outdated cryptographic methods and fail to meet minimum standards for cryptographic resiliency.
Phio TX enables enterprises to face the future by:
- Creating resiliency through redundancy in the cryptographic stack.
- Removing single points of failure (e.g. software bugs, weak entropy sources, poor programming skills, implementation errors, lack of key rotation, etc.)
- Implementing crypto-diversification in order to make sure the enterprise evolves with and is protected from a shifting threat landscape.
But, what about crypto agility, you may ask? Crypto agility has been the latest and greatest answer to cyber security threats, including the quantum near-future. But, it is not enough. Crypto agility is purely reactionary. It can only be part of a strategy, not the whole.
An IT risk management solution must include more than security compliance, more than security awareness, more than crypto-agility. It must be crypto-diverse throughout algorithms, implementations, and key delivery tactics.
Phio TX is a simple and singular solution. It is vendor-agnostic and platform-independent. It works with your existing network infrastructure to bolster resiliency and security at every layer of the cryptographic stack, making it the perfect answer for changing, increasingly-diversified work environments.