Make Smart Devices Your Business Friend, Not Your Business Foe

One good way to improve your information security posture and save resources at the same time is to strictly limit the attack surfaces and attack vectors present on your network. It’s like having a wall with a thousand doors in it. The more of those doors you close off, the easier it is to guard the ones that remain. However, we collectively continue to let personnel use business assets and networks for high-risk activities such as web surfing, shopping, checking social media sites and a plethora of other activities that have nothing to do with business.

Most organizations to this day still allow their personnel to access the Internet at will, download and upload programs from there, employ computer ports like USB, etc. But the thing is, this is now; not ten years ago. Virtually everyone in the working world has a smart phone with them at all times. Why not just let folks use these devices for all their ancillary online activities and save the business systems for business purposes?

And for those employees and job types that truly need access to the Internet there are other protections you can employ. The best is to whitelist sites available to these personnel while ensuring that even this access is properly monitored. Another way is to stand up a separate network for approved Internet access with no (or strictly filtered) access to the production network. In addition, it is important to make sure employees use different passwords for business access and everything else; business passwords should only be used for that particular access alone.

Another attack vector that should be addressed is allowing employees local administration rights to their computers. Very few employees in most organizations actually need USB ports, DVD drives and the like to perform their business tasks. This goes double for the ability to upload and download applications to their computers. Any application code present on an organization’s production network should be authorized, approved and inventoried. Applications not on this list that are detected should be immediately researched and dealt with.

Imagine how limiting attacks vectors and surfaces in these ways would help ease the load on your system security and administrative personnel. It would give them much less to keep track of, and, consequently give them more time to properly deal with the pure business assets that remained.