Game Changing ITOA Use Cases

ITOA: New Weapon To Fight Hackers

By Poul Nielsen
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Nexthink

One of the major security concerns facing enterprises today is an “APT” (Advanced Persistant Threat). Basically, these are targeted attacks (like the Shamoon malware attack in the Middle East), executed by a motivated hacker or group of hackers who may not be motivated by financial gain, but instead by political gain known as “hacktivism.” Enterprises need to take measures to protect the weakest link in their IT infrastructure - the endpoints and end-user devices, to ensure compliance enforcement of corporate security policies and standards.

Enterprises have already been investing in security technologies, antivirus software, training and awareness for end-users. However, enterprises can strengthen security measures in place with a solution to provide real-time ITOA; in order to be able to detect changes compared to normal activity patterns and be immediately alerted to threats or incidents and non-compliant end-users.

The real risk enterprises face is a combination of the increase of targeted Hacktivism and the lack of technologies in place to detect it. Hacktivism originating from motivated hackers for a certain cause or ideal will always start by infecting end-users and their devices, as they are the easiest to target. Enterprises need to invest in technologies and procedures to be able to execute end-user ITOA for security, to be able to immediately detect any abnormal activity. Hackitivism is a major threat, which tries to harm the reputation of enterprises, just to make noise in the media and to make a political point. These types of malicious attacks always use APT methodology and target end-user devices, because today most enterprises don’t have the technology nor the procedures in place to execute ITOA for security in real-time, all the time, to detect deviations from normal activity of end-user devices used by hackers in their attack.

Enterprises are realizing they need to better understand the vulnerable points in their IT environment in order to tighten security measures against the increasing numbers of aggressive targeted attacks. Sophisticated APT and malware attacks show that employee endpoints are the weakest link in the IT security chain and pose significant risks as the area where enterprises are most vulnerable.

Very large enterprises that are subject to APT and could be potential targets for motivated hackers, must take the necessary measures to protect themselves against attacks. Real-time ITOA for security will play a critical role in helping enterprises add an additional layer of protection against threats to their infrastructure endpoints and end-users.

There are many technologies and solutions that should be integrated together to achieve better IT security for enterprises. A very important one is the ability to monitor and to analyze the activities made by all endpoints and end-users over the entire enterprise network. It is an illusion to think that enterprises can stop the initiation of a targeted attack. However, enterprises can strengthen their security through the ability to visualize their IT infrastructure and endpoints in real-time, and to be able to process this information coming from multiple sources and technologies using ITOA. Being able to detect an attack at a very early stage enables enterprises to react and to stop the attack from spreading. Enterprises need to be proactive when detecting abnormal activities and enforce security compliance standards at all times with real-time and accurate information at their fingertips.

Large enterprises definitely need to invest into solutions that can provide real-time visibility and ITOA of their entire infrastructure and endpoints. Large enterprises need a solution to enforce the level of protection from the head office to the remotest branch location, which can enable them to prevent and remove malware infections without adversely impacting employee productivity and existing business processes.

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About Poul Nielsen
As Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Poul has responsibility for corporate, partner and field marketing worldwide. His mission is to cultivate and communicate Nexthink’s brand equity and to lead marketing operations in support of the company’s goals. Poul works closely with product marketing to align strategy and with sales for lead generation activities. Poul has over 20 years of executive management experience at TriActive, Altiris, Computing Edge, Computer Associates, and Digital with strong background in routes-to-market strategy for hyper-growth.

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