Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Does third-party remote access weaken the enterprise network?

CISOs are required to keep the organization’s data safe; many of them believe that third-party remote access may severely undermine the security profile of the enterprise network

Security leaders are dependent on VPNs for securing the corporate network; however, the security measure faces questions when third-party solutions are deployed. Vendors, contractors, and third-parties play a significant role during the data breach incidents. Such breaches can cost the enterprises billions of dollars, and the frequency can rise drastically if the vulnerabilities are not resolved.

CISOs acknowledge that most of the data breaches involve a vendor or third party. Enterprises have implemented different solutions to protect the network from third-party cyber threats; however, most measures are insufficient and result in third parties gaining unnecessary access to enterprise data. To protect the data from the threats arising from third-party access, security leaders must invest in effective vendor access management software.

CIOs believe that hackers find third-party access as the easiest entry to the network, often the weakest link. The solution is even more attractive for hackers, as vendors regularly have access to multiple client enterprise networks. Thus, hackers receive data from multiple sources with the effort and time of a single hack. Enterprises need to be cautious about the access provided to third parties and beware of hackers’ common steps to gain access.

Read More: Cybersecurity Training Body SANS Institute Hit by Data Breach

VPNs to be used for only access

CIOs say that the majority of enterprises use virtual private networks. The implementation has been increased during the pandemic, as organizations need to provide access to employees remotely. VPNs are one of the best methods to connect internal but remote employees trying to access internal resources. This is the limit of VPNs’ capabilities. It provides only the capability of encrypting data between two access points. Enterprises need to be sure that all external third party vendors have secured access to only the required information, systems, and networks.

With the relevant access management solution, end-users should be able to connect only with the required resources to complete the job. Such solutions must be strictly compliant with industry requirements and regulations. CIOs believe that vendor-specific solutions allow for protected access to only applications that need to be accessed, instead of complete access to the entire enterprise network.

External phishing attacks

CIOs say that phishing has developed into a sophisticated technology activity, and most data breach incidents arise from phishing attacks. Enterprises often conduct internal phishing simulations to help train employees on mitigation of these phishing attacks. This method cannot be applied to personnel that the organization has not directly employed.

Read More: Developing an employee-centric cybersecurity policy

Third parties can be untrained and thus susceptible to phishing attacks that can compromise the network. Such breaches are higher if VPN or other tools that aren’t customized for vendor connections. To protect from phishing, all parties in the know must be trained with traditional security awareness strategies and phishing simulation tests so that no area is compromised.

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