To err is humane: building a safe network for your employees, with WatchGuard
Look at any online article or feature on cybersecurity and the accompanying picture will usually be of a hooded figure hunched over a keyboard, bathed in the ambient glow of various screens’ green hieroglyphics.
Such is how hackers – and by proxy, cybersecurity – are depicted. Preventing incursions caused by these shady figures is one of the aims of any cybersecurity specialist. However, WatchGuard is aware of the interesting statistic that around 40 percent of recorded data breaches in the last few years have had, at their core, simple human error.
Any system of protection is only as good as the humans behind it. It’s an easy matter for an entirely secure protection system to become compromised by a single misrouted email. If a person in your organization shares a password with a colleague but misroutes the message, the highly-expensive protection infrastructure becomes, as they say, a very costly paperweight.
WatchGuard understands too that sometimes it’s not an error per se that can cause data breaches, but rather a lack of good practice. If staff are in the habit of using the same password, or similar passwords, for all their online passwords, a single compromise can have much broader ramifications. WatchGuard’s solutions are designed to protect employees from themselves – and therefore protect the business.
Here’s a hypothetical example. Employee X tends to use the same password everywhere. He sends his log-in credentials for a free online calendar & collaboration service to a family member as part of the planning for a reunion event. These credentials are shared far and wide as the attendees all sign up to add their availability and share their excitement.
Now effectively in the public domain, those same credentials (or a simply-guessed variation thereon) also unlock the administration areas to Employee X’s networked systems, cybersecurity infrastructure and various online services that run the business.
According to an oft-quoted study by Microsoft Research (PDF), “The average user has 6.5 passwords, each of which is shared across 3.9 different sites. Each user has about 25 accounts that require passwords, and types an average of 8 passwords per day.” No wonder then, that most will use the same password and log-on ID in many different locations.
By deploying a robust and secure system of multifactor authentication (MFA) from cybersecurity specialists WatchGuard, the majority of this type of (perfectly understandable) human practice can be avoided.
In the past, MFA has always been thought of as expensive, and difficult to implement into legacy systems. However, WatchGuard’s cloud-based MFA synchronizes with existing resources such as LDAP directories or Active Directory authentication schema.
Management is simple, achieved from a web portal, AuthPoint. AuthPoint integrates with business systems already in place, including stalwarts like Dropbox, Salesforce, Office365, Google G Suite, AWS and Jira, to name but a few. This extra layer of authentication prevents access to these mission-critical systems, even if a user’s credentials are lost, misdirected or inadvertently shared.
Temporary or limited tokens can be created quickly and easily, so short-contract workers or freelancers can be granted controlled access to facilities as required. The single point of administration is used to control access right across all the systems in the organization.
WatchGuard helps protect your business in from ‘attack vectors’ (as the cybersecurity experts would have it) in multiple ways. For instance, Wi-Fi protection systems make sure that no-one can mount a Wi-Fi listening service on your network, and even a simple service like guest Wi-Fi access can be safely controlled.
As far as hardware is concerned, WatchGuard’s Firebox appliances are available for businesses of any size, from the smallest start-up to large enterprises. The platform offers network-level monitoring and protection from external hackers and malware breach attempts. The powerful FireWatch interface shows administrators a full network overview of activity, allowing proactive steps to be taken when necessary.
FireWatch can be used to answer questions like:
- Are there unusual traffic patterns?
- Which applications are used by which employees?
- Which applications consume the most bandwidth?
WatchGuard’s products in hardware and software, and its broad range of services provide next-gen firewalling, intrusion detection and prevention, unified threat management (including a real-time threat map), VPN access for remote users’ access, MFA, endpoint and server protection systems, and a whole lot more.
Perhaps just as importantly, however, the WatchGuard offerings protect the humans that make your business or organization work – from themselves, to be sure, but also from those shady figures in hoods.
To learn more about WatchGuard’s range of solutions and offerings tailored to your size of organization, get in touch with a representative today. Learn more here.