The more we depend on technology to do business, the more critical cybersecurity becomes. In this age of remote work, companies are relying on more third-party tools and employee devices. Each of those devices and applications represents a potential access point for cybercriminals. Here are five technologies shaping the future of cybersecurity.
The good news is, technology can also be used to combat cyber threats.
Not only can the right software stop breaches now, but these sophisticated tools can be continuously tweaked as new threats continue to evolve.
Here are five technologies shaping the future of cybersecurity:
1. Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)
SOAR security is a suite of technologies that allow businesses to automate some security processes. Typically used in combination with SIEM systems, SOAR closes the gap between incident identification and response.
SIEM systems are great at telling businesses what the issue is. The trouble with them is two-fold: IT personnel sometimes lack the expertise to stop threats; even if they have that expertise, much of the damage is done in milliseconds.
To understand how SOAR systems work, let’s break down the acronym:
Security technologies need to work in concert with one another. Orchestration is the process of stringing them together so action can be taken swiftly from a single dashboard.
No technology can totally eliminate the need for security experts. But by automating certain steps of the process, SOAR reduces response time and the risk of human error.
Unlike prior software approaches, SOAR can actually stop certain threats. Because breaches cause reputational damage to brands even if no customer data is compromised, preventing them is key.
2. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
These days, cloud computing and storage is the standard. Most business applications are hosted remotely, which often allows apps to be accessed from anywhere and on multiple devices.
Naturally, easy access attracts bad actors. Any time data is transferred, it has the potential to be intercepted. Protecting your devices during transfer is where Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) come into play.
CASBs sit between a cloud application and the cloud users, carefully monitoring activity. Sometimes CASBs are in-house software, but they can also be cloud-based programs themselves.
CASBs have a couple of use cases. Some of these access security brokers simply notify administrators about potential incidents. Others work to prevent malware or man-in-the-middle attacks.
3. User and Entity Behavior Analytics
User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) systems detect insider threats by monitoring users and entities, which include things like routers. They use a combination of machine learning and human decision-making.
If appropriate access restrictions have not been put in place it’s easy for insiders to access sensitive files. UEBA tools analyze users’ behavior patterns and look for anomalies that could indicate malicious activity.
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For example, let’s say a particular employee downloads a few images and Word documents each day. Then one day, that person downloads several gigabytes of files. A UEBA tool would flag that download — and either take action or notify an administrator.
4. Hardware Authentication
It’s no secret that most login credentials can be cracked by dedicated hackers. If all it takes is one username and password to access your sensitive data — from any device, anywhere in the world — you’re devices can be in trouble.
Hardware authentication requires not just a username and password, but also a hardware-based approval from a separate device. There are multiple ways hardware authentication can be done:
USB security keys
These small devices (sometimes called “tokens”) plug into a USB port to authenticate the user. Using a token will add a layer of protection because the key must be physically possessed, which is difficult to do from a remote location.
An optical recognition factor is a futuristic tool that reads your retina and matches it to a database to verify you are authorized to access the network. Each person’s retinas have unique patterns, just like fingerprints.
Your smartphone might let you login by pressing your finger to a small sensor. Finger swipes work the same way, by using your fingerprints to authenticate you.
5. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Often, cybercriminals either sell sensitive data or post it online. Once your sensitive data is out on the internet — getting it taken down is a nightmare. To recover from these attacks, companies often have to send embarrassing emails to customers and reset thousands of accounts and passwords.
DLP is a collection of software and approaches designed to keep sensitive data from leaving the organization’s own network. DLP systems combine a lot of best practices, including:
- Identifying what data is sensitive
- Monitoring and controlling endpoint activities, or how users access information
- Checking data that is uploaded and downloaded from the cloud for malicious software
- Producing reports to stay compliant with governing agencies
- Encrypting data in transit
Cybersecurity technologies aren’t just cool, complex things to talk about. They’re essential tools that protect your business from fraud, data leaks, malware, and more.
Knowing what tools are available to you is, at best, half the battle. Don’t wait until a breach happens to put these “data-best-practices” into your data-protection arsenal.
Image Credit: Soumil Kumar; Pexels
Editor In Chief at ReadWrite
Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.
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