Today’s work spaces, such as businesses or education establishments, typically take a more hybrid and flexible approach, where employees and students can ultimately work from anywhere.
Using tablets and smartphones, including their own personal devices, users can access internal networks to complete work, enjoying greater flexibility and mobility. When employees or students use their own devices, known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), an organisation is extending their network perimeter to include these 3rd party devices, even though they are typically outside of their full management control.
A large BYOD base can greatly extend an organisation’s network, and with this comes an increased risk of cyber attacks. However the increased risk is not just scale based, how secure those 3rd party devices are is critical and needs to be fully considered. For example; do they have the latest software and security patches, is MFA used on apps and logins, are unsafe apps being downloaded, what about lost or stolen devices? All devices, especially personal ones, which are used to access internal assets leave a window of opportunity for hackers to gain entry to an organisation’s network.
As a result organisations need to consider advanced strategies to take into account these increased risks. Whilst policies and guidance go some way to raising awareness these are reliant on employees continually being mindful of the guidance and compliant with the policies, neither of which are fully guaranteed and it would be naive to believe so.
Deception technology however is a proactive and failsafe way to mitigate against the risk of BYOD. It allows an organisation to quickly identify if an attacker has access to the network. Acting as an early warning system, it alerts you to an attacker’s presence without their knowledge. A threat hunting approach, it works by creating multiple ‘decoy’ traps on your network, disguised as assets that lure attackers away from your real assets. When these decoys are triggered your organisation is alerted, allowing you to closely monitor their patterns, activities, and techniques so that you can discover the breached devices and network vulnerabilities. Fast action can then be taken to mitigate the attack and shore up your cyber defences.
There are a number of routes organisations can take to benefit from deception technology. From installing the rugged FortiDeceptor appliance from Fortinet, which is then monitored and managed by your own internal cyber team, to a fully outsourced Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution, or perhaps, depending on the inhouse resources available, a hybrid approach of something in between. Either way, deception technology strengthens and elevates your security posture against both current, and emerging cyber security landscapes, and is highly recommended to organisations where BYOD is in practice.
If you are concerned that your BYOD security strategies aren’t as strong as they need to be, get in touch with the Infosec Partners cyber experts for an informal chat about how deception technology can protect your extended network.