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Organizations need to adopt an identity-first security approach, says Attivo VP

Ray Kafity, Vice President – Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) at Attivo Networks, shared with us some insight on cybersecurity in hybrid work environments and protecting VPN connections.

TECHx: How has hybrid working impacted cybersecurity?

Kafity: A few years back, a hybrid workforce was more an exception than the norm. However, with the pandemic, this has changed significantly. Now 84% of UAE business and IT decision-makers state that a quarter of their workforce will probably be hybrid even after COVID-19 (According to Source – Riverbed and Aternity survey 2021). Because of this, organizations now have to tackle the substantial security challenges that come with having a hybrid workforce. To ensure their employees’ and organization’s security, they must stay on top of their cyber security.

Hybrid work also increased the growth in cloud adoption, where people can access corporate applications, workloads, and data outside the office. Security professionals face more challenges in gaining visibility to user identities, exposures, and credential misuse.

TECHx: How secure is VPN?

Kafity: The growth of hybrid working saw organizations increasingly depend on VPN (Virtual Private Network). While VPNs offer some protection in terms of encryption or anonymity, it is not entirely foolproof against attacks. Attackers can still easily gain access to the organization and carry out an attack even if a VPN exists. They can compromise VPN accounts and perform reconnaissance to gain further access to internal domain assets. Organizations need to utilize technologies that can detect cyber-attacks attempting reconnaissance within the VPN subnet.

For example, deception-based technology can detect and prevent an attacker’s lateral movement within a VPN environment and derail them by deploying deceptive credentials and VPN concentrator decoys. These decoys engage the attacker while providing high-fidelity alerts and recordings of their activity for faster investigation and response.

TECHx: How can organizations protect the hybrid workforce?

Kafity: Since hybrid workforces seem to be here to stay, organizations need to adopt an identity-first security approach to protect their environment from attacks and cyber breaches. Regardless of how and where the employees work, a company must ensure its corporate data security.

Organizations should start by addressing identity and entitlement hygiene across their environment. Identity exposure visibility solutions mitigate identity risks by providing visibility into exposures, misconfigurations, or overly permissive provisioning that attackers target. 

Identity Threat Detection and Response (ITDR) solutions protect an organization’s hybrid workforce, closing security gaps not covered by endpoint protection or identity access management. ITDR solutions prevent and detect attacks at the endpoint in Active Directory and cloud environments with live attack detection and attack derailment.

Read the original article on Techx.

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