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Keeping data safe in an always-on world

Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec | Jan. 5, 2016
Sanjay Rohatgi of Symantec shares what companies should do to better protect themselves and their customers' sensitive data from security threats in today's evolving landscape.

Uncover advanced threats: The first step is to gain visibility of the present state of dormant and active live threats within your network environment and across your IT asset estate. Advanced attacks can cut across multiple control points making it worse for customers. What's more, many threats go undetected for months or longer. Your IT department will need to secure user devices accessing emails and also provide additional access to content and web apps. Consider threat protection solutions for your organization that can detect and analyze advanced attacks designed to bypass traditional security defenses.

Prioritise what matters: With hundreds of available security products, you'd think that enterprises would be able to quickly uncover and remediate new attacks, but we know this often isn't the case.  Why is that?

Well, for one thing, today's security products are largely not integrated -- security analysts need to examine many distinct consoles and manually "connect the dots" to get visibility into suspicious activity in their environment. Then, once a security team does learn about an attack inside their organisation, it can require days, weeks, or even months to completely remediate it. That's why organizations should assess the situation and prioritize those that are the most critical and time-sensitive. Which of these vulnerabilities could lead an attacker to our critical business assets? Which of these vulnerabilities are easy for attackers to exploit?

Remediate fast: For incident response teams, the clean-up process often requires manually hunting through hundreds or thousands of systems to find all of the attack artifacts and remediate all attack components. Followed by individual policy updates to each individual security product --  networks, endpoints and e-mail gateways -- to ensure that the attack can't gain access to the company again in the future. All these takes a lot of time and organization can't always patch or remediate all IT vulnerabilities as soon as they're discovered.

So how can organisations identify vulnerabilities to isolate those that will have the greatest impact, and deploy their limited resources in the most effective manner possible? If you lose your phone or PDA that was issued by an organisation, your IT department may consider to revoke issued certificates or ask you to log into websites to change your password immediately. Furthermore, companies should opt for security products that can provide administrators with the visibility and "rich" intelligence needed to uncover and remediate advanced attacks.

Leverage existing investments: Organisations don't want to install any more point products or any new agents that potentially cause disruption to their entire enterprise. They could thus deploy solutions that leverage existing threat protection infrastructure to achieve an effective data protection regime without the expense and implementation issues from vendors.

These are some of the steps businesses can consider to protect against security breaches. By adopting strategies that are flexible and scalable and taking advantage of new and upcoming security features, organizations will be better-equipped to deal with incoming -- and even sometimes unforeseen -- challenges to their security infrastructure.


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