Top 3 cyber security tips for the mobile enterprise in 2017
Millennials are set to outnumber baby boomers in the workplace this year for the first time. With a millennial workforce comes a demand for much more than a pay cheque. Flexibility is now a key differentiator when it comes to attracting new talent. However, with great flexibility comes great responsibility… and a massively increased cyber security risk. With this in mind, the following tips highlight how businesses in 2017 can navigate the murky waters created by a mobile workforce and mitigate the associated risks.
1. Integrate your IDaaS with HR
With organisations of all sizes increasingly turning to cloud-based technologies, incorporating an authentication infrastructure has become imperative to managing the vast number of employees accessing corporate documents, no matter where they are. Businesses using Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) can provide employees with methods such as Single Sign On (SSO) to log into and work on a multitude of corporate applications without having to continuously enter credentials. In practice, this is an important tool to facilitate the mobile workforce. However, if an employee’s user credentials aren’t deactivated promptly after leaving the company (with research suggesting this is 13 per cent of the time) security is left open.
We like to think most former employees won’t exploit this access to corporate systems, but it only takes one disgruntled ex-employee to cause a breach. In the next year, human resources (HR) will place a high importance upon IDaaS to ultimately simplify the on-boarding and off-boarding process, closing a door that was previously wide-open for cyber criminals and disgruntled ex-employees to exploit.
2. Extend security to the virtual office
With modern technology evolving at such a fast pace, employees are no longer bound to the office and are choosing to work from disparate locations, extending the corporate perimeter to a radius that covers the whole planet, regardless of business size. This surpasses the physical and cyber perimeters of your office, thus requiring a multitude of mobile endpoints to be unified and protected under a unified device management strategy.
With the technological evolution showing no signs of abating, organisations must extend perimeter defences in 2017 to protect employees on the go by enrolling laptops and portable devices into cloud directories. No matter where employees are based, cybersecurity should be given equal weighting and the virtual office must be treated the same as the traditional HQ.
3. Protect your business from external threats
In the past year, the issue of security has increasingly become a problem for the entire C-suite. High profile cases in the UK, such as the recent ‘Three’ hack, which saw 133,827 customer accounts compromised, have highlighted the dangers of insufficient threat detection to protect customer data. It can be tempting to put all sensitive data on lock down, but that’s simply not practical or good practise for promoting a healthy work culture or an efficient workforce. To mitigate such risks, organisations of all sizes must have perimeter threat detection in place to detect and mitigate the dangers.
To conclude, the rapid influx of mobile devices into the modern enterprise has thrust issues such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and shadow IT into the spotlight and by now, the majority of CEOs have figured they are here to stay. If they haven’t, then 2017 will bring with it a major wake up call.
In order to tackle threat detection and wider security strategies head-on in 2017, organisations need to be proactive, rather than reactive. By doing so, anomalies on user profiles and mobile applications can be detected at a much faster rate.
By Al Sargent, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at OneLogin
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”