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Are the “New Normal” security vulnerabilities keeping you up at night?

Cyber risks are perpetually evolving and growing. Data breaches cost enterprises an average of $3.92 million.1 Automated data breaches are increasing in both accuracy and approach. Unfortunately, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and advanced technologies aren’t exclusive to “white hats”. Bad actors are not only taking a savvy technical approach at breaches through AI and ML, they are also incorporating psychology and human-to-human interaction. They prey on national and/or global emergencies as an emotional way to convince a user to “click-through” and penetrate systems. 

As organizations respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – shifting staff to at-home work environments – many companies are coming to terms with the phrase “New Normal”. Whether this is a full-time shift to work-from-home or a hybrid model, IT leadership is faced with important added vulnerabilities.

One of the highest risks in breach trends is initiated through email phishing techniques. Email attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, exploiting a sense of urgency and evading even some of the most advanced gateway security tools. A recent statistic cited that 94% of malware is delivered via email. Phishing attacks [as a whole] account for more than 80% of reported security incidents1. Therefore, providing robust security awareness training and exercises for employees is critical; even more so during this “New Normal”. Additionally, leveraging AI to detect and respond to these new types of attacks will elevate your security into an AI versus AI scenario.

Theft of employee login credentials is also on the rise. Machine learning has become essential to provide “end user and entity behavior analytics” (UEBA). Mitigating risk with AI-powered technologies, designed to distinguish “normal behavior” vs. abnormal access to corporate devices or file shares is essential.

The scenarios above have recently been intensified as individual’s remote security vulnerabilities have significantly increased. One of the greater risks is presented when an endpoint is infected with ransomware/malware, and spreads and encrypts files within the corporate network as well. Once they are in, they can hold your data ransom. 

Some key steps in analysis and actions include:

  • Conduct a CIS Controls Gap Assessment in order to establish best practices and a remediation roadmap.

  • Complete external vulnerability assessments and penetration testing of your corporate perimeter.

  • Leverage AI for endpoint protection services.

  • Analyze your remote workflow architecture in order to mitigate risks: What are some of the key security impacts of VDI vs. Desktop-as-a-Service vs. VPN vs. other remote connectivity architectures? 

  • Ensure firmware and patch levels are up to date, or at minimum, current enough. 60% of breaches involved vulnerabilities for which a patch was available but not applied. 1

  • Alternate your vulnerability and penetration testing service providers regularly. This will potentially uncover vulnerabilities not caught via your incumbent provider’s tools and methodologies.

  • Consider utilizing a virtual CISO to advance toward maximum security maturity with minimal cost and resource allocations.

  • Additional key security assessments and tests may include: AI-Powered Network Behavior Assessment, Data Risk Assessment, Proof of Concept Artificial Intelligence Endpoint Protection, Privileged Access Risk Assessment, Email Security Assessment, WiFi Assessment, Credential Web Assessment, Managed Vulnerability Assessment, Social Engineering Tests.

For more information, questions, or assistance in establishing best practices, contact Nth Generation at 800.548.1883.

Since 1991, Nth Generation has provided award winning, industry leading, consultative IT services, encompassing a suite of IT and security solutions. Nth boasts top tenured talent and expertise as well as numerous industry leading manufacturer partnerships. Nth’s offerings span IT infrastructure and advanced cyber security technologies, frameworks, and services. Learn more at


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