How emerging security technologies can benefit your business

by Srushti Shah
emerging security technologies for business

As technological advancements continue at warp speed, business owners’ mitigation strategies need to keep up. New security technologies are emerging all the time, so what ones can best benefit your business? Here are some of the key security technologies to consider.

Cloud-based solutions

One of the leading technology trends in business security is cloud-based solutions. The Cloud has impacted businesses more than any other new technology. It brings digital transformation to an entirely new level.

Traditionally, most companies had onsite hardware and software that was used for data storage and to manage on-premises security and access management. These security centers basically managed video feed and alarm systems limited to the physical security of a specific area. But the Cloud has opened the door to a whole new world. 

By taking security systems and software to the cloud, a company not only benefits from  24/7 data availability for 365 days a year but also enjoys remote management from anywhere on the globe with an internet connection. These characteristics of cloud-based solutions contribute to more flexible on-premises management through easy access and quick modifications when necessary.

Technological advances and security system convergence

Companies generally also had a separate IT cybersecurity team for password management, protection from data breaches, and internal or external cyber threats. This translated into two separate security departments: physical and IT with each basically doing its own thing. Companies needed more personnel, more space, more equipment, and more monetary investment.

Thanks to cloud-based solutions, the convergence of these two types of security has never been easier or faster. Cloud-based solutions increase interconnectivity between systems, improving the speed and efficacy of responses to incidents whether cyber-related or physical. 

If there is one takeaway from the covid-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of operational flexibility and the potential of remote work management. Cloud-based solutions do not need a physical on-premises server; hence less dedicated space is needed at a physical brick-and-mortar location. Consequently, data storage and operational management are less likely to be compromised by natural disasters, system failures, or sabotage by the ill-intentioned, 

Access management and more

Cloud-based access control systems can be used at all entry and exit points. Managing access permissions in large organizations can be challenging, and adding hybrid work models into the mix can make it even harder. The need for intrusion control, video management of logistics, and smoke or fire detection are just a few of the situations that can be managed from a single cloud-based platform that is directly connected with emergency services and law enforcement.

New security challenges

The use of cloud management does bring new security challenges. It is common for hackers to prey on technological vulnerabilities. Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) is an example of an invaluable tool with which firms can monitor and manage business identities and their relevant access permissions across their cloud infrastructure whether at physical access points or through the use of devices. CIEM began as a stand-alone tool but is now increasingly being combined with other cloud-based security systems for heightened security efficiency in businesses.

Cloud-based security potential

Cloud-based security platforms can integrate the remote management of card reader access control systems, smart locks, and smart lighting, and most importantly, security credentials can be updated instantaneously if needed.

Many business owners now consider infrastructure monitoring to be a key element of their overall cybersecurity strategy. These systems can also detect potential anomalies, such as the granting of unnecessary permissions and undesirable behaviors, or recognize specific threats to enable rapid intervention.

More cloud-based security benefits

Cloud-based security options are not limited to access control, infrastructure monitoring, or remote control. There are numerous benefits that accompany the choice of cloud-based solutions. Consider these:

  • Data security

Personal and financial data requires protection from breaches, loss, cross-site intrusions, and cyberattacks in various forms.  With an increase in the use of personal devices due to working from home or hybrid working conditions, hacking attacks have increased significantly. A cloud-based solution can protect data from start to finish by using safe passwords, encryption, backups, and multi-factor authentication.

  • Scalability

One of the most significant benefits of cloud-based solutions is scalability. Security coverage and capacity can be customized to meet fluctuations in a company’s needs. Expenses will vary, but there is the possibility to reduce costs when scaling down or to invest more should a company experience increased growth necessitating more security support. This tool can also be used for seasonal high or low traffic. The possibility of scaling up allows businesses to increase server capacity to meet operational needs and prevent crashes.

  • Automatic regulation compliance

If a company operates within a regulated industry, compliance with updated regulatory obligations is cause for concern. Cloud-based solutions are constantly updated to meet federal and local regulatory requirements. This can be crucial when dealing with data security and privacy issues. 

  • Tech support

One of the greatest challenges for on-premises physical solutions is a system failure and the amount of time a system may be down, interrupting business and losing both money and clients. How much time will be needed for repairs and to get the system back up and running? One of the principal advantages of cloud-based solutions is that even if a component fails, service providers have multiple tools in place to keep your system running. Cloud service provides monitoring continuously and has failover protocols as well as geo-redundancy to impede interruption and system failure. They are able to address problems and resolve them immediately.

  • Maintenance and updates

Viruses and malware infections often are caused by unpatched software. It’s easy for a business to miss a software update when involved in daily operations or high seasonal traffic. Damage from infections or viruses can include loss of data, disruptions, and even the invasion of ransomware. Cloud-based service providers continually update software and install patches, meaning that a company will have one less thing to worry about as well as not suffer downtime.

  • Recovery of data

Data, when kept at a physical site, can be lost for a number of reasons including natural disasters, power outages, or human error. In a best-case scenario, a company should have a disaster recovery plan that is regularly tested, but not all enterprises will have one. Cloud-based solutions store data in more than one location, use automatic backups, and have 24-hour security.

  • DDoS

Known as Distributed Denial of Service, DDoS is a cloud-based tool to impede hackers from flooding a company’s computer system with hundreds of requests simultaneously. When traffic increases dramatically all at once, a website will automatically slow to load and may crash if the requests exceed a website’s limits. DDoS identifies and blocks bulk traffic that is suspect. This prevents downtime for company systems and a loss of earnings.

Deep learning: What is it and how is it used?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an integral part of the cybersecurity revolution. Deep learning (DL) technology, a subtype of Machine Learning (ML) is a methodology used in AI. DL technology mimics the neural networks of the human brain and uses deeper networks than standard ML. 

DL features more layers for processing information. Each layer has a different function. Data that is run through the layers in DL will change as it passes through with the end result being a prediction of sorts. DL algorithms are used in cybersecurity to recognize threats.

Common cybersecurity threats include:

  • APT- Advanced persistent threats are stealthy attacks that collect information about an IT environment before launching a targeted attack.
  • Data breaches when an unauthorized user accesses confidential data
  • DDoS attacks flood servers or networks with traffic causing a shutdown.
  • Insider threats that target valuable data.
  • Malware is software created to damage networks, systems, or devices.
  • Phishing or sending infected messages or emails that seem in appearance to be legitimate. 
  • Social engineering to manipulate internet users to furnish or grant access to confidential data.
  • SQL-Structured Query Language injection to force servers to execute codes to reveal secret data.

Deep learning algorithms have the capability to collect and process advanced data using analytics that recognize suspicious behavior and spot anomalies that can indicate the presence of malware or bad actors. 

AI technologies can significantly benefit your business because they permit IT security personnel to respond to security threats in real-time. This can certainly limit and perhaps impede the damaging effects of cyber security attacks. AI also aids in predicting and preventing future attacks. This can save businesses an extensive amount of time and money. 

Biometric authentication

In recent years, the traditional password or pin approach to authentication has been steadily replaced more and more with other methods, such as biometric authentication. 

Biometric authentication uses an individual’s unique biological characteristics to verify their identity. By comparing an individual’s physical (and in some instances, behavioral) traits against previously recorded authentic physical traits, their identity can be verified. Verified biometric data is stored in a security system and used subsequently to grant relevant permissions in a secure manner. 

Biometric authentication methods include:

  • Face scanning
  • Fingerprint scanning
  • Retina scanning 
  • Iris recognition 
  • Behavioral identifiers (such as a person’s gait or voice)
  • Signature recognition

A biometric authentication device incorporates a reading device and a database that stores the data to be used for comparison. The reading device utilizes technology that converts a scan and compares it to the authentication data previously stored,

Sensors, scanners, or other reader devices are used to measure and capture any biometric data necessary for identification. Examples include a fingerprint or retina reader, or a voice analyzer. 

The software then processes this data and compares it to the previously authenticated data stored for each individual. Typically, biometric data is stored in a centralized server database, although some business owners prefer cryptographic hashing practices. 

How secure is biometric authentication? 

Biometric authorization is significantly more secure than traditional forms of authorization, as business owners can benefit from the fact that biometric data is very difficult to replicate, therefore reducing the chance of falling victim to hacking and cybercrime. 

Cryptographic hashing

These practices allow for authentication without direct access to the original data adding to security. A cryptographic hash is a function that again uses an algorithm to collect data input or a data credential. The algorithm then produces an enciphered text known simply as a hash. This “hash” is stored instead of the biometric data itself. Hashing supplies a more secure method to retrieve data. It is exceptionally rapid.

Hashing should not be confused with encryption. It is a cryptographic security form. Encryption works in two directions whereas hashing has only a one-way function and reduces the original data to a group of fixed characters.

Data loss prevention

Data security is at the top of the list for both businesses and customers when it comes to security issues. The protection of personal and financial information as well as privacy is an essential part of any company-customer relationship. With the increase of personal devices, especially in smart working or hybrid working conditions, hacker attacks have increased as well.

Data loss prevention (DLP) helps to ensure that private and other sensitive data remains inaccessible to unauthorized users. This is very important to business owners as currently, experts estimate that businesses lose over $4.24 million to data breaches. Therefore, business owners need to take constructive steps to limit data loss to save vast amounts of money. Data breaches are not limited to the storage of sensitive data but can easily include devices, smartphones, video feed cams, and even door locks. This means that data breaches not only threaten cyber processes but can threaten physical security as well.

With DLP, business owners can prevent high-risk activities, such as users emailing documents that contain sensitive information (i.e. Social Security Numbers) to recipients outside of the company. In addition, DLP can prevent staff from saving documents containing sensitive data into folders that could be accessed by others without the proper authorization to view sensitive information. 

Security solutions for data protection

  • Encryption
  • Multi-factor identification – MFA
  • Safe passwords
  • Data backups and recovery that undergo continuous testing

Encryption

Encrypting valuable data and digital assets helps business owners uncover hidden threats from fraudulent domains or dark web entities. Principal  DLP techniques use encryption and tokenization technologies. These can protect data and provide many other security-related benefits, including:

  • the secure transferring of data across an extended enterprise landscape
  • the use of business analytics and other processes within a protected format, thus significantly reducing the risk and exposure of sensitive information
  • the security of sensitive data in the event of a successful breach – encrypted data that has been hacked is of no value to the cyber-attackers
  • increased compliance with a variety of security and data privacy regulations, such as those that seek to protect personal identification information, card payment information, and more.

Multi-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication or multifactor authentication often requires the use of a smartphone that incorporates fingerprints, facial biometric identification, or one-time codes for authorization to proceed. This kind of security procedure adds an extra layer of protection to company security methods.

Safe passwords

Safe passwords may be generated by software on devices or created by users. They should be longer, unique for every account, and should include symbols, numbers, and letters using both upper and lower cases.

Data backup and recovery testing

All companies should have a backup of data stored as part of their business disaster recovery plan. The need for a backup can arise due to a natural disaster that destroys storage systems, ransomware attacks, human error, or anything that places stored data at risk for loss. 

The testing of data recovery at regular intervals is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of your company’s replication of important data or the retrieval of data if necessary.

Decentralized identity technology

Identity affects every aspect of our lives whether voting, banking, finding a job, or buying a home. To ensure that identity privacy is maintained, it is also vital for business owners to evaluate the security of all data associated with each identity. 

Traditional identity management has been entrusted to third parties that will issue, hold, and control your identifiers. You do not control your identity or any related information, nor do you decide who has access to your personally identifiable information (PII). 

As the digital age has introduced so many technological advancements, the prolonged use of centralized identity systems now poses considerable security risks.

To resolve this situation, new decentralized identity systems have been designed that use public blockchains such as Ethereum. The concept behind the decentralized identity is to remove our reliance on central third parties and to distribute the storage of identity and related data across a wide variety of systems. 

This minimizes system vulnerabilities. Because of crypto, each one of us is now able to issue and control our personal identifiers and attestations or proof of identity. It will no longer be necessary to rely on governments or service providers to attest to your identity.

Common identifiers include:

  • Name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Digital credentials such as user names, email addresses, avatars
  • Mobile phone number
  • Social security number

These identifiers are issued by a central entity; in fact, if you want to change your name, you need to ask permission from your local government authority. Attestations include a driver’s license, passport, etc. Decentralized identifiers are not issued or controlled by a central authority.

In practical terms, a user will create his or her new digital identity by placing all personal identity credentials in a digital wallet app. The app will generate cryptographic keys that are both for public and private use.

It’s worth mentioning here that while decentralized identity technologies (including blockchain) are relatively new, they hold great promise for revolutionizing workplace security as we know it. However, their newness means that they are still relatively untested, and business owners should be sure to carry out their due diligence before investing in such technologies. 

SASE- The Secure Access Service Edge

This is still a relatively new technology that converges networking and security in an integrated yet flexible approach to provide a complete solution. It is attracting lots of attention because it takes a powerful approach to integrate better security directly during operations to reduce blind spots or security deficiencies because separate processes and systems are “disjointed” so to speak.

SASE features a security architecture that is once again decentralized. Ideal for hybrid and smart working situations, SASE is based on a cloud-delivered service that merges computing, networking, and security so that connections and applications are both seamless and secure regardless of location. Security functions are directly combined with networking functions. With SASE, operations and security are no longer separate entities.

The technology supplies a WAN or wide area network, but the security differs from other options in that it functions as a cloud computing function that directly serves connection sources such as users, IoT devices, or other devices as well as edge computing locations. It does not serve a data center! Security is based on a digital identity which in turn can be attached to a device, a person, an IoT system, a cloud service, application software, or to computing systems.

The principal functions include:

  • secure web gateway, 
  • security broker for cloud access, 
  • malware or virus inspection 
  • firewall service
  • VPN -Virtual Private Network
  • a wide area network that is software-defined,
  • zero-trust network access
  • data loss prevention 

A noteworthy benefit is that companies rely on a single vendor that supplies great networking, observability, flexibility, and security all in one, and companies can transition to the cloud at their desired speed. 

Final thought

Business as we once knew it no longer exists. Technological advancements, globalization, and the Covid-19 pandemic have all contributed to radically changing how business is now conducted. 

The traditional security systems once found in brick-and-mortar businesses are no longer capable of meeting quickly evolving security challenges. Although technological advances have brought new security challenges, they also have provided and continue to furnish numerous security solutions. 

IT security can not be an afterthought for any business. Security has taken its rightful place center stage and must be a defining consideration in any new business or for the reorganization of established businesses.

The technological revolution we are experiencing and the rapidity of daily operations demand high-performance security solutions that thankfully, emerging technology continues to provide and improve upon.

 
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