“It’s traditionally been deemed sufficient for computers to have a firewall and antivirus software, but that doesn’t get you far these days,” says Jonas Tillberg, Global Head of IT for the Nolato Group.
So Nolato now has protection in place that entails a high degree of automation, constantly examining suspicious activity in our computers and network. “Our global SOC (Security Operations Center) works around the clock identifying and eliminating threats in and to our IT environment,” explains Jonas Tillberg. Firewalls remain a vital tool. They can still manage the basics of controlling the flow of traffic between different networks and allow or block specific types of traffic. This is done based on predefined rules.
“But what’s different now is their ability to identify, monitor and filter traffic at a deeper level,” notes Jonas Tillberg. “This enables the analysis of the content of the data being transmitted over networks and stops attempted breaches in real time.”
Another security measure entails dividing networks into different segments to reduce the potential attack surface. This makes each segment a separate unit containing a group of units that can communicate with each other within the segment, but not necessarily with units in other segments.
“The purpose of network segmentation is to create safety zones within the network, which limits the spread of potential threats and attacks,” explains Jonas Tillberg. “If a segment is affected by malicious code or an attacked unit, the rest of the network is isolated and can’t be damaged by the same threat.”
“But it’s not all about technology; the people using the computers also need to understand the risks associated with things like phishing,” notes Jonas Tillberg. “In many cases, phishing is now a more troubling risk for companies than purely technical attacks, as phishing is based on the manipulation of people.”
An example of phishing is a fraudster using sophisticated email messages to obtain an employee’s username and password to facilitate entry into IT systems and carry out attacks inside the firewalls. But these messages may also entail the fraudster pretending to be a senior executive ordering the worker to pay large sums of money into an account.
“These emails are often convincing, with the correct sender and well-written, credible content,” notes Jonas Tillberg.
“To raise awareness among our employees of this type of crime, we use simulations, in which we create realistic scenarios of fraudulent emails,” says Jonas Tillberg. “These messages are similar to those sent by cybercriminals, and employees are encouraged to recognize and report them.”
Following the simulation, employees receive immediate feedback and access to relevant training material to improve their knowledge. This helps develop a better understanding and greater vigilance of the methods that criminals use.
Along with the simulations, regular training is also provided to increase awareness of current IT security threats. This offers employees an insight into methods in order to prevent them, and into the best way to protect the company’s, customers’ and their own personal data.
“We encourage our employees around the world to create an open communication culture and welcome the reporting of suspicious activity and potential security risks,” concludes Jonas Tillberg. “This allows us to act quickly in the event of any incidents and prevent serious security threats.”