Vulnerability Scanning: Benefits & Challenges

By utilizing vulnerability scanning tools, the cybersecurity team can easily identify security risks and attack vectors across your organization’s network, systems, hardware, and software.

Once vulnerabilities have been identified, the IT security team can patch them, close ports, reconfigure systems, etc.

The Benefits

Vulnerability scanning is an essential step in the vulnerability management lifecycle, which allows business executives to take a proactive approach and maintain a strong security for business systems, data, employees, and customers.

Unfortunately, data breaches are often the result of unpatched vulnerabilities, so identifying and eliminating these security gaps in time can save your organization from the hassle of slowly recovering from a cybersecurity incident.

Also, cybersecurity compliance and regulations demand secure systems. For instance, NIST, PCI DSS, and HIPAA specify regular vulnerability scanning in organizational systems and applications.

Types of Vulnerability Scans

There are complex vulnerability scanning tools able to perform multiple types of scans across several operating systems such as Unix, Linux, Windows, and scanning tools that serve certain niches.

Based on use case, here are some ways that scans may be categorized:

Internal Vulnerability Scans

These scans focus on your corporate network. They can identify risks that otherwise will leave you vulnerable if a hacker or piece of malware penetrates your network.

External Vulnerability Scans

These scans target your websites, ports, applications accessible to customers or other external users who can reach your IT ecosystem utilizing the Internet.

Environmental Scans

These are specialized scans available for different technology deployments, such as IoT devices, mobile devices, websites, cloud, etc.

Intrusive Vs. Non-Intrusive Scans

Non-intrusive scans identify vulnerabilities and provide reports that your IT security team can use to remediate the problems found.

On the other hand, intrusive scans will attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities they found. This can highlight the impact of a vulnerability and may also disrupt your operational systems and processes.

Credentialed Scans vs. Non-Credentialed Scans

Also known as authenticated and non-authenticated scans, these are increasingly popular categories of vulnerability scanning.

Credentialed scans require logging in with a set of credentials. These scans can discover many vulnerabilities that non-credentialed scans can’t.

On the other hand, non-authenticated scans do not require access to the systems they are scanning. While they can provide valuable insights, non-credentialed scans offer an incomplete picture over the security state of your systems.

Vulnerability Scanning Challenges

Scanning still needs human input or further integration to deliver the expected results.

Although the scanning process itself is automated, a cybersecurity professional must review the results, remediate the problems, eliminate, or mitigate the risks, etc.

Depending on the complexity of the credentialed scan, it may require access to many connected systems.

Therefore, automating the integration of these credentials with the scanner is critical.

A scan is a moment in time.

Because your systems are likely changing all the time, you should run vulnerability scans on a regular basis, as your IT ecosystem evolves.

A scan will only search for known vulnerabilities.

A scanning tool is only as good as its database of signatures and vulnerability information. So, keeping it updated is paramount.

Scanning Tool Capabilities

When analyzing the suitability of a vulnerability scanning tool for your organization, you should consider the following aspects:


The vulnerability scanner should be able to integrate with a patch management solution, a bug tracking system, and other similar tools.


Your vulnerability scanner database should be regularly updated to include emerging vulnerabilities.

Actionable results

The scanner should provide you with detailed reports allowing your IT security team to remediate the problems as quickly as possible.

Quality and quantity of vulnerabilities

Your scanning tool should identify all vulnerabilities in a timely manner, while minimizing false positives and providing valuable information on flaws, threats, risks, and remediation options.


A vulnerability scanning tool is a professional solution utilized to identify and assess modern cybersecurity risks, providing your organization with the information it needs to take the right action to protect its assets and meet regulatory compliance and standards.

Cybersecurity Help Desk | Benefits

According to recent studies, most IT security breaches are caused by human errors. These errors include downloading unpatched software or using the same credentials across multiple devices and platforms. A cybersecurity help desk mitigates the risk of human error.

With the average cost of data breaches hitting an all-time high of $4.35 million in 2022, according to IBM’s Cost of Data Breach Report, a cybersecurity help desk is an investment that will pay for itself.

What is a cybersecurity help desk?

An IT security help desk is a specialized team within an organization that provides professional assistance to employees on matters related to cybersecurity, such as guidance on identifying and responding to potential threats while helping employees understand how to better use security tools and apply best practices.

A cybersecurity help desk can alleviate the risk by creating a culture of awareness and responsibility in your organization.

The cybersecurity help desk may have a crucial role in many preventable IT security incidents.

Also, the team may play a significant role in assessing, developing, implementing, and monitoring security policies, which are critical tasks within your organization’s cybersecurity strategy.

Common human errors that can be mitigated

Firstly, clicking on a link or providing personal information in response to an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate source are just two examples of preventable human errors.

SlashNext’s State of Phishing Report revealed a 61% increase in phishing attempts year over year.

According to the FBI, phishing is the most common type of social engineering tactic, and with today’s transition to hybrid working, phishing attacks are becoming even more prevalent.

One-third of organizations don’t offer cybersecurity training. Ongoing cybersecurity training with reinforcement from a help desk is essential to keep preventable data breaches top of mind.

Using weak passwords or reusing passwords across multiple accounts and devices makes it easier for hackers to gain access to sensitive information.

NOTE! According to Zippia, 83% of Americans reuse the same passwords, this includes the 59% of Americans who use their birth date or name as a password. 24% of all Americans simply use variations of “abc123”.

Failing to keep software and operating systems updated with the latest security patches can leave your business systems vulnerable. Updating software is a complex issue when so many employees are now working remotely. Just in 2022, 60% of the data breaches were correlated to unpatched cyber vulnerabilities.

Falling for social engineering scams is easier than you think. Social engineering seeks to engage an end-user in divulging sensitive information. According to SlashNext, cyberattacks from social engineering techniques increased by 270% in 2021.

Failing to implement proper access controls, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) or role-based access controls to limit access to sensitive data can have serious repercussions.

The physical security of company equipment is a particular point of concern for business executives dealing with remote workers. Eventually, lost, or stolen equipment should be a worry for any employee that takes work home.

Most companies lack a cybersecurity incident response plan. An incident response plan trains employees on what to do in the case of a cybersecurity event. A help desk will impact the incident response outcome by providing prompt support in case an employee makes an error that threatens business data.

When it comes to cybersecurity, what we don’t know can hurt us, therefore an approach where cybersecurity is top of mind is essential. It is up to organizations to keep employees aware of the risks involved.

Consequently, one important resource for safeguarding your business against evolving IT security threats is a cybersecurity help desk. It can play an essential role in preventing and mitigating cybersecurity threats to ensure the overall security of your organization’s network and systems.

Contact StratusPointIT and find out how to better protect your organization and mitigate the risk of a cybersecurity breach.

What is digital trust?

Digital trust represents the general expectation that digital services, technologies and the organizations providing them can create and maintain the highest level of integrity of all digital assets including data, applications, and infrastructure.

Data has become one of the most valuable assets of the modern age, so digital trust is not only an IT imperative but also a catalyst for growth. It can ensure transparency, accessibility, security, reliability, privacy, control, and ethics.

According to a recent research conducted by McKinsey, organizations leading with digital trust are 1.6 times more likely than the global average to see earnings growth rates of at least 10%.

Building digital trust

An interdisciplinary approach that includes people, process, governance, regulation, and technology is necessary for building digital trust.

Nowadays, organizations are beginning to utilize AI-based data monitoring tools integrated throughout the network that alert security teams and block further attempts.

Also, a robust blockchain-based system can help verify data ownership, transaction details, etc. The necessary mechanisms can be embedded within a smart contract.

Organizations implement multi-layer safeguards within their networks and communication channels or utilize data trusts for secure digital information-sharing.

Under these circumstances, other organizations will likely have greater confidence in sharing sensitive data, execute payments, etc.

Guiding principles of digital trust

Digital trust-driven transformation needs a set of principles organizations must follow for maximum efficiency:

  • Make digital trust a core organizational value, from executives to new hires.
  • Tie security to business goals. For instance, conduct regular assessments that align business imperatives to cybersecurity controls.
  • Prioritize digital trust investments and establish security budgets.
  • Address the nature of change proactively.
  • Conduct organizational risk assessments to identify and address talent and skill gaps.

Cybersecurity is key.

Cybersecurity is probably the most important enabler for achieving long-term digital trust.

Enforce policies at all levels of the company to drive accountability for cybersecurity and privacy.

Start with what is measurable today and create a plan to add more sophisticated metrics to determine the business impact of all security activities.

Digital trust became even more important as users now rely more on online services than they did before the pandemic.

Digital trust has a significant impact on customer behavior, brand reputation, and customer loyalty.

The Customer Perspective

When customers trust a business, they feel comfortable sharing sensitive information, utilizing online services or making purchases. Strong data protection measures will encourage customers to engage in digital marketing and personalized services. Overall, digital trust plays an important role in modeling consumer behavior, including their willingness to share personal information.

The Brand Reputation Perspective

Reputation is incredibly important for any organization and digital trust can affect how people perceive a brand. If an organization at some point discloses a security or data management issue, it will harm the brand’s reputation and make customers less likely to trust it. However, if it prioritizes digital trust and applies strong security measures, it can enhance its reputation which will help the organization become an industry authority.

Unfortunately, organizations that don’t foster digital trust risk losing customers and missing out on growth opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Technology alone can’t build long-term trust.

Digital trust involves establishing a strong online reputation, transparency, and providing an exceptional customer experience. This includes being transparent about how customer data is collected and utilized, implementing security measures to protect against incidents, while ensuring that all online operations can be performed quickly and seamlessly.


An Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution provides organizations with a platform to investigate and remediate threats, while a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution adds to an EDR a certified team of cybersecurity professionals that will handle monitoring, incident response and remediation services to help keep your organization secure. Endpoint Detection and Response is part of the tool kit used by MDR providers.

EDR records and stores certain events and will trigger rule-based automated responses. When a suspicious situation is identified, an alert is automatically sent to the IT security team for a detailed investigation.

EDR solutions allow cybersecurity teams to use more than just indicators of compromise (IoC) or signatures to discover malicious attempts.

Over time, the EDR tools have become more and more complex, incorporating modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, behavioral analysis, and the ability to integrate with other advanced solutions.

What is Endpoint Detection & Response?

EDR will incorporate the prevention, detection, and proper response to a threat into a single solution. It focuses on improving efficiency in detecting cyber threats by increasing the visibility of an endpoint.

Strong Points:

There are several benefits to opting for endpoint detection response solutions for your organization.

Endpoint Security

Today, with remote work and employees using personal devices to carry out essential work tasks, EDR provides a necessary layer of security. Through threat detection and response, EDR offers an enhanced level of endpoint protection and security ensuring that business data remains safe and sound.

Error Identification

EDR uses the latest technologies and digital software to detect suspicious behavior and system-critical errors at an endpoint. By identifying threats early on and acting accordingly, the chances of unauthorized access will be significantly reduced.

Information Retention & Log Aggregation

Endpoint detection and response systems offer log aggregation of data and machine learning to analyze the data, providing organizations with crucial information on the current state of an endpoint.

EDR solutions are a great way to protect endpoints from cyber threats, and unfortunately these threats are 24/7.  To ensure you are protected 24/7, you also need to ensure your IT team is working 24/7. MDR is another cybersecurity option that can enhance the cybersecurity posture of your organization.

What is Managed Detection & Response?

MDR is a complex cybersecurity solution preferred by organizations that want to partner with an MSP to take over the management of their in-house security efforts.

By choosing an MDR solution, organizations gain access to expert personnel, trained IT security teams, and state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools that better protect their IT infrastructure.

Strong Points:

24/7 Monitoring

MDR providers offer 24/7 monitoring via a Security Operations Center (SOC). Therefore, organizations can benefit from continuous monitoring, minimizing the risk of a cybersecurity incident.

Access to Expert Assistance and Skills

There is so much at stake when it comes to managing the IT security of a company, therefore entities need to make sure that IT is being handled professionally.

Knowing this, a company can rest assured that the risk of false positives is reduced and that all the required protocols are executed accordingly.

Reduce Costs

Choosing a professional MDR solution can help reduce IT costs by lowering the expenses related to hiring and managing an internal department.

Active Threat Detection & Response

Active threat detection is a crucial part of an MDR service. By actively searching for intrusions and mitigating IT security threats, organizations will enjoy better data security and protection. MDR providers will initiate appropriate incident responses to any alerts or potential advanced threats.

Both MDR and EDR offer their own benefits to organizations.

EDR is preferred by certain organizations, usually the ones looking specifically to enhance their endpoint security and have an internal global team to monitor and remediate 24/7. On the other hand, MDR is a better option for those companies that don’t have the internal resources to monitor and remediate 24/7 to protect their business data.

The world of cyber threats and cybersecurity changes rapidly, so MDR providers constantly adapt, offering organizations best-in-class protection.

With the addition of a SOC, an MDR service is the preferred solution to small and medium size businesses that don’t have the 24/7 global internal team yet require the same level of security to protect their data, employees, and build trust with their customers.

Security Awareness Training: The Human Firewall

It is crucial to know what security awareness training is and why your employees need such recurrent training.

Firstly, a security awareness program ensures that your staff is well informed about the latest types of threats, lowering the risk of a successful cyberattack while improving the overall security of your organization.

Avoid Data Breaches

According to recent studies, most breaches occur because of employee negligence. These are usually small mistakes that can cause irreversible losses.

Therefore, training which teaches employees how to spot suspicious emails is recommended. For instance, getting tens of emails on a daily business is a common thing, but differentiating between an informative email and a phishing email is crucial. There are cases where employees accidentally open attachments of phishing emails. A basic security awareness training would prevent that.

Increase Security Measures

Security awareness training always highlights the importance of monitoring and tracking of any sort of suspicious activity.

Prevent Downtime

In the unfortunate case of a breach, it can be costly and time consuming to repair and reinstate normal business operations. If your staff is familiar with cybersecurity basic principles and realize their role in keeping the organization secure, there are far less chances of a cyberattack to succeed.

Ensure Compliance

In case your organization handles sensitive or classified information and regulatory compliance is required, compliance violations are fineable.

Putting together a security awareness training plan will ensure your personnel understands the compliance policies and how to handle sensitive data, reducing the risk of a data breach.

Save Reputation

There are a few industries, for instance, healthcare, banking, and real estate, which can be easily trapped, and attackers often create confusion among potential victims. The right training can protect the reputation of your organization.

Develop Security Knowledge

Unfortunately, there are still many who don’t know much about security awareness and safety measures.

Nowadays, scams are presented in such a sophisticated manner that employees can easily fall into the trap. With the added knowledge, at least the basic safety measures will be followed keeping organizations safe. For better security and safety, there are service providers who can assist the organizations with the best support.

Also, without official training on security, different departments or locations of a business may utilize different principles. Security should be a cohesive process across all departments.

For the best results, training needs to be delivered in a consistent manner, and to fit employees’ busy schedules.

Save Time & Money

Organizations that have not trained their staff might face data loss/theft due to carelessness. Recovering from a data breach requires lots of money and time. It also tampers with the brand image of the company for a certain time, which can affect the target audience and their perception of your brand.

NOTE! According to Sophos’ State of Ransomware Report 2021, the average total cost of remediation from a ransomware attack was around $1.85 million.

Maintain Good Reputation

An organization with security-aware personnel will be able to maintain a good reputation and collaboration with its customers, since most c-level executives are reluctant to do business with an untrustworthy organization.

A business that is frequently subject to security incidents will eventually lose customers, regardless of the actual impact of any particular data breach.


Undoubtedly, security awareness training will only improve the state of security of your organization.

At StratusPointIT, we offer comprehensive cybersecurity awareness solutions that help your employees protect themselves and your organization from various types of cyberattacks, including phishing, malware, pretexting, and other social engineering attacks.

Regular training will create better habits. When something becomes a habit, people tend to follow it. Make cybersecurity a priority and ensure your business stays security focused.


Security Information & Event Management

What is a SIEM solution?

A Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution is a 24/7 intelligent threat detection system. It collects logs, makes statistical correlations, analyzes threat alerts across your network, combines data from several different sources, and helps security teams remediate issues before they cause serious damage to your company.

Your firewalls, intrusion detection systems, anti-virus software, wireless access points and Active Directory servers all generate tons of security alerts every day. With a SIEM, you can collect all of these in one place, with one set of reports and one centralized system for generating notifications.

NOTE! It can take several days, even months, to identify a data compromise. Modern IT security tools can generate millions of security alerts over the course of a day, but a SIEM solution filters out the noise, so the real threats get immediate attention.

Why Is SIEM Important?

The longer it takes to detect a threat, also known as “discovery time,” the more potential damage to your organization. A SIEM solution will identify real threats faster so your response team can act quickly before a breach occurs. It provides real-time visibility into what’s happening across your entire network 24/7.

A SIEM solution provides logging and reporting for compliance purposes. It provides centralized, built-in, easy-to-use, real-time log collection, alerting and reporting features.

Real threats are identified, isolated, and remediated quickly before they can cause serious harm and costly business disruptions.

SIEMs can help detect, mitigate, and prevent advanced threats, including:

  • Malicious insiders – a SIEM solution can use network data, authentication, etc. to identify insiders planning or carrying out a cyberattack.
  • Data exfiltration (sensitive information transferred outside the organization) – a SIEM solution can identify data transfers that are abnormal in their size, frequency, or payload.
  • Advanced persistent threats – it can detect early signals indicating that an outside entity is launching a cyberattack or a long-term campaign against your organization.

A full SIEM solution also blends geolocation to increase its accuracy, ensures notifications are actionable in order to reduce false positives.

How Does It Work?

We call it E-R-I-N.


Firstly, it collects millions of security alerts, or events, from your entire network, including cloud resources and mobile devices.


Secondly, we apply rules to determine which events are actionable threats. These threats become incidents.

We customize the ruleset to your network specific device types and against an established traffic baseline. We tune these rules continually based on changes to the threat landscape and changes to the customer’s hardware/software environment, as well as apply new rules based on new threats.


Based on the criticality, an incident may be simply logged, it may be written in a report to be viewed later, or it may require immediate attention, generating an immediate notification.


Finally, your response team is instantly notified so remediation can begin.

Who Needs a SIEM?

With today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, a SIEM solution plays a crucial role in staying ahead of the latest threats.

While every business can benefit from a SIEM, those that must comply with industry and government regulations and those looking to qualify for cybersecurity insurance will find it essential.

Businesses in healthcare, finance, accounting, and government agencies must meet specific regulatory requirements. An effective SIEM is key to complying with PCI, HIPAA, and FFIEC standards.

SIEM can check all the boxes on today’s stringent cybersecurity insurance applications. And once you get coverage, a SIEM can provide the detailed forensic analysis insurers require before they pay out in the event of security breach.

Next-Gen SIEM Capabilities

User and entity behavior analytics in advanced SIEM solutions utilize artificial intelligence and deep learning to look at patterns of human behavior.

Next-gen SIEMs may detect the first stages of a ransomware attack and perform the necessary containment steps automatically on affected resources, before the attacker can encrypt the data, while simultaneously generating notifications.

For more information about SIEM and how it can help protect your organization, please reach out.

Physical Servers Vs. Cloud

The differences between a physical server and a cloud server can create confusion. In just a few words, a virtual server that is hosted by a cloud computing company (Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud are the most common), known as a cloud server, allows users to utilize its resources remotely just by using an internet connection. On the other hand, a physical server is hosted by you most commonly within your office environment.

Physical servers are relatively safe, independent, easy to operate, and offer good performance, but they cost more on the purchase, maintenance, upgrade, security, and expansion of the physical infrastructure.

Cloud servers are flexible, easy to deploy and migrate. Cloud solutions are highly dependent on the internet condition. Especially if are not managed properly, cloud solutions can cost more in terms of feature expansion and business continuity.

NOTE! The functions and operating systems supported by cloud-based servers are identical to those of traditional physical servers housed in a local data center. In addition to that, they can have comparable performance features.

Should I Choose A Physical Server?

Complete access to a dedicated server is one of the main advantages of a physical server. This means that you will never encounter delayed processing during busy time intervals, you will be able to configure it, upgrade it as you see fit.

With just a few exceptions, there will be no interruptions on the company-owned server. However, if you need a powerful server, physical servers might take up a lot of your office space. This means that you are responsible for keeping up the space where they are located, as well as for any service or repairs that may be necessary, which might be problematic if something goes wrong, stuff like power outage, natural disasters, etc.

Or Maybe A Cloud Solution?

As opposed to physical servers, cloud-based servers allow users to run several operating systems at once, maximizing the use of the available hardware and eliminating the need to run separate servers for each operating system. One of the main benefits is the lower cost, which is perfect for both small and large organizations.

Also, when it comes to data encryption, it can be difficult for some organizations to encrypt data across their entire environments, but with public cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, organizations have various options to closely manage encryption or encryption keys.

Automation of any tasks is one key feature of cloud solutions that is extremely helpful to any business. Additionally, it allows users to make repairs faster by signaling any interruption in automated processes brought on by a malfunction.

The backup and recovery processes are handled easily with virtual servers that can switch to another computer if a server happens to fail.

Therefore, to choose between a cloud solution and a physical server, you must identify and compare the advantages you would obtain, but also the downsides.

For example…

If you run an e-commerce website with seasonal traffic surges, a cloud server would easily allow you to scale up and down.

If you are working on a project that requires a custom server, then a physical server is probably the better option.

If you manage a small business or a startup and you barely afford the physical infrastructure and maintenance cost, then configuring a cloud server is a more appropriate solution.

Physical servers are reliable, standalone, and relatively easy to use. However, it is more expensive to buy, manage, update, and expand the physical infrastructure. Cloud servers, in contrast, offer more flexibility, state of the art security, a pay-as-you-go option, quick deployment, a simple migration, and require no initial hardware investment.

NOTE! Microsoft alone spends $15 billion annually on cloud research and development, with 1$ billion dedicated to cloud security.


Cloud technology provides a high degree of adaptability, agility, and privacy. By choosing a cloud server over a physical server, you have the possibility to optimize costs by adapting your spending. Sometimes, combining cloud and physical servers may be most beneficial, as this option can offer organizations the best of both worlds.

Nowadays, even huge organizations are moving their online operations to the cloud for more flexibility. If you are unsure of which environment is the best for you, please reach out with any questions. Our engineers will guide you towards a viable solution.

Differences Between NOC And SOC

Network Operations Centers (NOCs) are responsible for maintaining a company’s computer system’s technical infrastructure, while Security Operations Centers (SOCs) are responsible for protecting the organization against cyber threats.

The Network Operations Center (NOC)

A typical NOC team includes engineers and technicians who cautiously track an IT infrastructure. The team has many responsibilities, such as network and server monitoring and management, software installation and management, patch management, IT performance reporting, etc.

A NOC team will provide technical support and will ensure the organization can quickly identify and solve incidents related to uptime and performance. For instance, if NOC engineers notice any IT issues that can cause a network to slow down, they can remediate these problems before they lead to downtime that eventually impacts the organization’s staff or customers.

Network operations centers focus on preventing and solving network issues caused by natural disasters, power outages, and internet outages. In addition, a NOC can perform software patching for servers during off-hours to ensure minimal operational downtime. Also, NOC engineers work to constantly improve the organization’s IT performance. They may prevent incidents from happening, something that may help an organization simultaneously lower its IT costs and boost its productivity and efficiency.

The Security Operations Center (SOC)

Similar to a NOC, a SOC is another important part of an organization. As we have just seen, a NOC focuses on the IT infrastructure and its performance, but a SOC will maintain and improve the state of security of an organization.

Today’s companies are increasingly exposed to malware, DDoS, and other types of cyberattacks, but a SOC can protect your organization against such threats. A SOC team will include analysts who monitor and evaluate activity across enterprise applications, networks, websites, and other systems. If SOC analysts identify a suspicious activity, they will investigate it, and if they find that the organization’s system has been breached, they will take the necessary steps to address the incident in a timely manner.

As organizations implement more and more security tools there is a false sense of protection. Many tools will provide alerts when something suspicious occurs, but they still require human intervention to remedy the issue. Unfortunately, many attacks occur late at night, or before a long weekend due to a recognized holiday. Security is a 24×7 operation, and implementing a SOC will ensure you are protected 24x7x365.

NOC And SOC Challenges

The modern IT trends continue to put pressure on the existing IT teams that implement NOC or SOC functionalities. Organizations need to consider these challenges when developing NOC or SOC capabilities.

More Endpoints

The modern network continues to add devices and resources at a massive pace. In addition to the traditional endpoints, the modern network also includes a large array of connected devices such as, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, printers, etc.

Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) also adds complexity to the mix because the IT team needs to verify if the BYOD device abides by company policy for updates, endpoint protection, etc.

NOC teams struggle to adapt traditional infrastructure to more connected devices and bandwidth requirements. SOC teams share the same focus as each connected device and additional traffic stream adds to their monitoring and analysis requirements.

Remote Work & Cloud Solutions

As the number of devices, installed and utilized applications increase, this situation complicates network monitoring. Wireless 4G and 5G connections now connect operational technology that used to sit isolated in the office and the shift to the cloud now moves many assets outside of the corporate perimeter.

Additionally, as the staff continues to shift to remote work, corporate networks are exposed to consumer grade or unsecured public wi-fi connections. These unprotected resources will continue to put pressure on both NOC and SOC teams that must configure and maintain strong IT security plans to create proper defenses against modern security challenges.

Cost Of Downtime

As we get more and more dependent on technology (applications, websites), the cost of downtime continues to increase, therefore NOC teams have a limited time frame to fix network disruptions even as they cover more devices and more physical and virtual distance. Meanwhile, the perpetrators move faster and attack more viciously challenging the SOC personnel to act faster to prevent or mitigate cyberattacks.

Nowadays, several tools utilize artificial intelligence or machine learning to handle repetitive analyses that improve the team’s response time. Still, the AI/ML assistance requires both NOC and SOC teams to learn more tools and adapt their methods to incorporate such solutions.

Organizations seeking to secure their networks should incorporate both a NOC and a SOC to build a modern and secure IT infrastructure. Therefore, a good collaboration between NOC and SOC will improve the efficiency of your response during a crisis situation.

Securing The Hybrid Workspace

With a more distributed workforce, your organization is exposed to a series of new threats. Everything must be monitored to ensure that if anything goes wrong, the issue does not lead to a massive data breach in your business.

Keeping your hybrid office setup safe can be challenging. By taking the time to understand the challenges early and addressing them before they become security emergencies, you will be saving your business a ton of money.

Secure access

Making sure that your team not only has a VPN to use, but also that they know how to use it properly is a critical first step in protecting your hybrid office setup. The best systems use an automated approach where team members utilize preconfigured devices that will not login to your network without proper authentication. These setups are crucial because they give you more control over the protocols that are in place and remove human error from the process.

Strict access control for employees

There is a need for strict access control for anyone who needs to use the network. At the basic level, you need two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication. On top of strong authentication practices, you should implement role-based access control (RBAC) to make sure that if anything does happen, you will be able to mitigate the damage inflicted on your IT assets.

With RBAC, employees can only access files that are critical to their roles. This makes it harder for hackers to gain full access to business data. Also, even if they get access, their possibilities will be limited.

Disaster recovery and backup services

This is imperative for basically every organization, regardless of their office structure. A robust backup and recovery plan is something that could potentially save your organization numerous times. It doesn’t just help you stop hackers from stealing your business data, because you can erase everything and restore from the backup, but it also protects it against natural disasters.

You need to make sure that you keep a full disaster recovery plan in place to cover any potential problems that can come up.

Network monitoring

Strong network monitoring practices help you catch problems before they become serious threats. With network monitoring, you are watching your network for anything unusual, suspicious activities, malicious code, or unauthorized access. When you take a proactive approach, you start noticing little things that might take down your network and you will be able to stop them in a timely manner.

Patch management

Keeping work-related devices up to date can be a simple way to reduce potential attack vectors. The challenge is that patch management can become a monumental task as your business and workforce evolve.

Patching your software regularly is mandatory because it will address security issues that exist in your system. These security issues can be exploited by perpetrators to gain unauthorized access to your network.

DNS Filtering

When your employees are working from home and are outside of the protection of the corporate firewall, a DNS filtering solution can help prevent a malware infection keeping your corporate data and your employees’ devices safe. By redirecting users’ web traffic through a cloud-based, DNS security solution, businesses can enforce web access policies, block malicious websites, ensure regulatory compliance, and stop threats at the network’s edge.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

MDM is hugely important with distributed workforces. It allows you to monitor and manage the devices your staff utilizes. If something suspicious occurs, you can lock down and wipe the device before hackers have a chance to access the data (or your network). Mobile Device Management will ensure that any device used by employees is as secure as possible. This helps a lot, especially if you have a bring your own device policy in place.

IT Security Training

Creating good habits is crucial when it comes to hybrid workforce. It is not enough to simply install security software and monitor your network. You need to make sure that your staff knows what good security practices look like. That’s where training sessions come in. You can’t rely on people reading through documentation and remembering everything.

Security training gives you and your team hands-on experience that helps you learn the best security practices. It includes security drills, like sending out fake phishing emails to employees to make sure the training sticks. All it takes is one employee not paying attention when they check their email to compromise your entire organization.

Looking for help securing your hybrid workspace?

We have been helping organizations secure their offices for more than 16 years and have the skill set necessary to implement strong remote working practices. We can also train your team on the best IT security practices and help create good habits that are going to keep your company safe.

As the world adapts to new ways of working, the security needs of these setups are slightly different from the needs of the traditional office structure and will continue to evolve.