Monday, June 17, 2024

‘Everywhere workplace’ requires new security setup, says US software firm

With the Covid-19 pandemic completely transforming the way employees work these days, US-headquartered software maker Ivanti said it is only logical that a new security structure be adopted to cover any vulnerability in the “everywhere workplace”.

Ivanti area vice president for Asia Pacific Andrew Souter

Andrew Souter, area vice president for Asia Pacific at Ivanti, said in an interview that the workplace environment has gone from one-network environment to a complicated one where workers can work virtually from anywhere.

Souter said it is important to note that there is always a trade-off when an employee chooses to do remote work – whether at home, in a coffee shop, or in airport lounge. And that trade-off, he said, usually involves a security vulnerability.

“A lot of companies have relaxed security rules because they’re not set up to deal with remote users,” said Souter. “What our software does is that it helps you provide a higher level of security but always keeping the user productive.”

The executive said it is often the case that remote workers try and solve things themselves on their own if an issue crops up.

“They’ll either ask a colleague or they’ll Google it. This is the reason everyone thinks security is so hard. And it is,” Souter said.

“But our software tries to help our users on the security side without them having to do anything. A good example is patching. There’s approximately 75% of organizations that have been breached in the last few months. And there’s about 200,000 to 240,000 vulnerabilities in the National Vulnerability Database. That’s a lot to deal with. Which is why companies don’t usually deal with that because it’s too hard,” he said.

Souter noted, however, that only 4% of those vulnerabilities have been exploited so far. “We automate the whole process so that you don’t have this delay in delivering patches,” he said.

To provide customers with a satisfying digital experience, he said Ivanti offers security solutions on both ends of the spectrum: from network security to IT service management to threat defense to mobile device management.

“Our solutions have the ability to see what’s causing the issues in their devices which may be affecting their productivity. We can see the issue upfront and proactively address the problem so they can stay productive,” the tech executive said.

As for employees who use their mobile phones to access the office network, the official said that while it is important to educate them not to click on text links unless they know the sender, Ivanti also has the tools to thwart the danger this may bring to the company.

“This type of scam is a global problem. It’s just human instinct to click on a link, so we have software that actually prevents that,” he said.

“When someone clicks on the link and it tries to install some malware, our software will block it. We then say to the users, we don’t care if you click on the link because it will block the threat,” Souter said.

He added: “Our product has a feature called trusted ownership. As a trusted owner, a user can install something and let it run. But even then, the product can still see if it’s a malicious one like a fake website and will block it.”

Souter said Ivanti’s Mobile Threat Defense solution also allows device management and can be installed in a mobile phone straight out of the box.

“The first thing that you do when you get a new phone is for you turn it on and put in your email address. We can provision it for the user to download the software so that it can be instantly protected,” he said.

The same thing can also be applied in the digital transformation initiatives of enterprises, according to Souter, as he noted that there is always the possibility of a breach or attack as a company transitions to a digital environment.

“It’s common for companies to go big bang and say ‘we’re doing digital transformation, we’re going to go to the cloud, we’re going to do everything.’ But if you don’t think about security upfront, you’ll have to later because you’re gonna get breached,” he said.

“But the good thing is that with our tools, we can provision devices to automatically install software out of the box, so that if there’s an issue, it can try and repair itself. This frees up a lot of time so customers can work on their digital transformation. They don’t have to stop because something was breached or there’s a patch that needs to be deployed.”

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