Digital Transformation Requires a New Kind of Castle

Digital Transformation Requires a New Kind of Castle

Why don’t we build castles anymore? The answer, of course, is that we do—they just look a lot different. In fact, thinking about how and why castles have evolved can tell us a lot about how we can improve our approach to securing the enterprise “kingdom.”

The first medieval castles were a lot like first-generation enterprise networks: giant walls surrounding centralized assets. Nearly all the value of the kingdom could be held within the walls (data, productivity, etc.). A single drawbridge (the firewall) was connected to the outside world. Turrets gave better visibility to threats coming from the outside. It was a simpler time: With most value contained within the walls and little need to connect outside, it was much easier to build up a hardy perimeter. But these castles were also big targets, with a huge attack surface and lot of value to be taken. Moreover, there was little in the way of internal security. If attackers breached the perimeter, they had their run of the kingdom.

Gunpowder changed everything

Then someone came along and invented gunpowder. Firepower is a lot like malware, ransomware and social engineering tactics. Suddenly you can shoot over castle walls or even through walls. The response in medieval times was to build more walls—to create castles within castles. We did the same in the digital enterprise world, adding VLANs, secondary firewalls, app-specific encryption and other “walls” around specific internal assets.

That’s where most organizations are today – still structured around the idea of the secure perimeter. We secure the thing that holds the value—the network, the server, the app, the endpoint device—but not the value itself (the data). We hone our sights on external threats, missing the threats that are already inside the castle walls.

The digital castles of tomorrow

It’s increasingly clear that a perimeter-based approach doesn’t suit the modern kingdom. You’re never going to completely stop all breaches, and tougher walls will end up locking your own people out and stifling value creation. So, what does a forward-thinking data security strategy look like? Here are four key features we’ll see in the digital enterprise “castles” of tomorrow:

  • There will be perimeter—but it will be porous. There will always be boundaries, but we’ll only rely on the perimeter to stop the most obvious and basic attacks—and we’ll ensure it doesn’t thwart our users’ productivity.
  • Smaller targets—less attack surface. Data security strategies will start at the most granular level which is at the user’s endpoint device. By making the targets small and many, it makes it more expensive (and less fruitful) to attack them.
  • Turrets that look inward. As threats increasingly come from within, we’ll turn our lookout towers around. We’ll use data visibility tools to see where our data lives and when it moves, and get better at recognizing when something doesn’t look right.
  • Securing the value itself. Instead of securing the thing that holds the value, we’ll secure the value (the data) itself. That means finding ways to ensure that attackers can’t actually remove data, and/or that the enterprise never truly loses that data (and all its value).

To close out our medieval castle analogy, the next-generation digital “kingdom” won’t have giant walls to protect our gold. We’ll use data visibility tools to know the second a gold coin moves somewhere it shouldn’t, and we’ll use data recovery tools to ensure we can always yank that gold coin back, no matter where someone tries to take it.

Forrester’s Mitigating Insider Threats: The Security Playbook

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Code42 customer success: North Highland

Code42 Customer Success Story: North Highland

Code42 provides your business with a variety of data security benefits, including increased productivity, risk mitigation, streamlined user workflows and more – all in a single product that’s been proven to ultimately save you money. While Code42 has a few primary use cases – backup and recovery, device migration, etc. – we’ve learned that our different customers use our solutions in different ways.

We’ve asked some of our customers to tell their stories of how Code42 has helped in their organizations. Today, Lincoln Higdon, director of information technology at professional services firm North Highland, explains how they use Code42 for backup and recovery, including how Code42 saved some very important data from coffee-related disaster. He has high praise for how Code42 has evolved along with his company’s needs and for how the Code42 platform consistently saves IT time and productivity. In the professional services industry, the old saying “time is money” is especially true. As a company that depends on billable hours, any downtime can literally harm the bottom line, the company’s reputation or both. Fortunately, with Code42, firms like North Highland can easily bounce back from data loss. Check out the video to hear Lincoln’s story.

42 Seconds with a Code42 Customer: Utex Industries

Code42 provides your business with a variety of data security benefits, including increased productivity, risk mitigation, streamlined user workflows, and more – all in a single product that’s been proven to ultimately save you money. While Code42 has a few primary use cases – backup and recovery, device migration, etc. – we’ve learned that our different customers use Code42 in different ways. To explore how customers use our product, we recently partnered with the talented team at creative agency Crash+Sues to create a series of animated videos featuring the voices and likenesses of actual Code42 users.

In our latest video, Jeff Hiner, systems administrator at Utex Industries, explains that the company suffered an insider breach when a company chemist decided to steal company files. While Utex was already a Code42 customer and had already purchased a license for Security Center, they hadn’t yet set it up. As a result, the had to conduct an investigation that was both expensive and time-consuming. Jeff tells the story in just 42 seconds. Watch it below.

Code42 Announces Expansion Plans for the Education Market

In every sector, changes in the data security landscape have forced IT teams to rethink their approach to protecting valuable and sensitive data. But few sectors face as many unique challenges as higher education. With highly distributed users bases and IT infrastructure that can vary by department, the decentralized landscape of higher ed can often lead to blind spots and security gaps. The sheer value of a university’s intellectual property (IP)—proprietary research and ideas—significantly increases the cost and expands the impact of data loss. In the face of these challenges, Code42 offers these institutions a proven solution to endpoint data protection and recovery.

Today, Code42 announced plans to expand its presence in the education market. We are deepening our commitment to higher ed and other academic markets by building out a dedicated vertical business unit that will include marketing and sales functions. Currently, Code42 serves more than 700 higher education institutions and K-12 schools across North America, as well as seven out of the eight Ivy League universities.

Faced with a growing number of cyberattacks, education institutions today have an acute need when it comes to protecting volumes of sensitive faculty, staff and research data. We are committed to helping these organizations successfully recover proprietary information after data incidents, such as ransomware attacks, hardware failures, and laptop loss and theft.

Code42’s data security and recovery solution is designed to help schools take a proactive approach to data protection. The solution automatically and continuously backs up data on laptops and desktops so staff and IT administrators can respond to and recover from cyber threats more quickly. Education institutions can use Code42’s data security solution to:

  • Recover data residing on endpoints within minutes of a ransomware or malware attack, or when a file is deleted or a computer is stolen or crashes;
  • Gather documents and records housed on multitudes of institutional endpoints in order to expedite responses to Freedom of Information Act requests;
  • Ensure that research data, which is generated as part of an educational grant and stored on desktops or laptops, complies with stringent security requirements and government regulations; and
  • Keep staff and faculty productive during hardware migrations and system upgrades by easily transferring profile settings and giving them full use of their new devices as data restores.

“We selected Code42’s solution because we love how easy it is to use,” said Jason Conklin, IT service desk coordinator at the University of Georgia. “Because of its secure, continuous back up to the cloud, my staff can go about their jobs knowing all of their information is protected. This approach to data security provides us a necessary and important safety net, which is required in our environment.”


42 Seconds with a Code42 Customer: Lehigh University

Code42 provides your business with a variety of data security benefits, including increased productivity, risk mitigation, streamlined user workflows, and more–all in a single product that’s been proven to ultimately save you money. While Code42 has a few primary use cases–backup and recovery, device migration, etc.–we’ve learned that our different customers use Code42 in different ways. To explore how customers use our product, we recently partnered with the talented team at creative agency Crash+Sues to create a series of animated videos featuring the voices and likenesses of actual Code42 users.

In our latest video, Naazer Ashraf, senior computing consultant at Lehigh University, explains why they rely on Code42 over sync and share products for data backup and restore. As one of the nation’s premier research universities, Lehigh’s faculty are known for their excellence in research. Obviously, data is extremely important (and valuable) to researchers, so imagine the reaction when one researcher deleted files from Google Drive to save space–and discovered that doing so wiped the files for 10 other researchers. Naazer tells the story in just 42 seconds. Check it out below.

Forrester Offers Five Best Practices for Ransomware Protection

Ransomware has reared its ugly head again, this time bearing the name Bad Rabbit. According to analysts at Crowdstrike, Bad Rabbit shares 67 percent of the same code as NotPetya, meaning this variant may actually be the work of the same threat actor. Bad Rabbit marks the third major ransomware outbreak in 2017. With WannaCry, NotPetya, and now Bad Rabbit, the public is more aware of ransomware than ever. However, awareness is not enough to protect your organization, your employees, and your files. With every outbreak, we come to realize that prevention is never foolproof, and faster detection only gets you so far. What matters most is the speed in which you can respond and bounce back when disruptions like ransomware strike. Forrester has assembled a guide in the proper response to ransomware in the report “Ransomware Protection: Five Best Practices.” Key takeaways of the report include:

  • Avoiding a ransom payment is possible
  • Preventing ransomware doesn’t require new security investments
  • Focus on your core security needs

In addition, consider these important tips that will also help you amp up your speed of response to ransomware attacks:

The human element of ransomware doesn’t get enough attention.

Laptops and desktops are hit by ransomware most often for a simple reason: they’re operated by users. Your employees are moving fast to create the ideas that make the business run, meaning they are prime targets for threat actors. Plus, cybercriminals are getting more and more sophisticated. They’ve optimized ransomware’s “user experience” to increase the odds that a victim falls prey and inevitably pays up.

Don’t blame humans for being human.

Don’t just give them the tools and training to know the dangers, but also the tools to always bounce back when they’ve made an error. Humans will make mistakes. It’s the role of IT and security teams to minimize the disruption and impact of those mistakes, get the idea engine – your employees – back up and running, so the business keeps moving forward.

Protection requires a renewed focus on IT and security basics.

It’s these basics that Forrester analysts Chris Sherman and Salvatore Schiano discuss in detail in the Forrester report. Read “Ransomware Protection: Five Best Practices” today to learn how to minimize business disruption when ransomware strikes.

Now is the Time for CSOs to Assess Crypto-Attack Readiness

We are witnessing a new wave of crypto-cyberattack. WannaCry has moved on, and Petya (also dubbed “NotPetya” and “GoldenEye”) is now in town. This new crypto-attack is creating havoc among enterprises throughout Europe and it is quickly making its way to Asia and into the U.S. So far, Petya has triggered floods of threats and ransom demands. It may not even be true ransomware – it may actually be a “wiper” attack or even an act of cyber warfare.

Given the heightened concern of how these crypto-attacks are upsetting the enterprise, it is appropriate to state that the risk associated with this threat category has increased. CSOs, CIOs, security team, and risk management decision-makers should prioritize this risk differently now than they have done in the past.

I am inclined to believe CSOs across enterprises are assessing their preparedness in handling this type of risk in both proactive and reactive mode. This is a moment in which leaders should be devoted to evaluating and assessing their current security posture, regardless of whether they have been affected by this malware.

CSOs evaluate their risk to the organization as a combination of probability and impact. Now is the perfect moment for CSOs to ensure they have appropriate coverage in all of their critical endpoints. When their assessment reveals their current state of inappropriate endpoint coverage, it is time to consider the probability their enterprise could be affected by such an attack, as well as the potential impact if and when such an attack strikes.

At Code42, we are available as subject matter experts to help assist customers with security preparedness. We are available to lend our expertise, as well as to help determine the percentage of endpoints in their organizations that may be at risk. Now more than ever, security should be top of mind for everyone in the C-suite. At Code42, ensuring that enterprises have appropriate coverage of their critical endpoints is what we live for. Reach out to us today if you have questions on how we can assist with your security preparedness.

Why Local Deduplication Is the Key to Faster Restores

Why Local Deduplication Is the Key to Faster Restores

Scan through the Code42 blog and you could sum things up by saying, “Back up your data, back up your data, back up your data.” It’s true that backing up all of your endpoint data is the critical and foundational step in a modern data security strategy (and something most companies still don’t get right). But data recovery is where the rubber meets the road. Faster restores mean you get your files back sooner, minimize downtime and get back to business faster.

What if we told you there was one simple way to make your restores up to nine times faster—and that many enterprise backup solutions still choose NOT to use this approach?

The old way: minimize storage with global data deduplication

Most businesses are accustomed to worrying about minimizing data storage to control costs. Global data deduplication was designed to address this concern, creating one giant data store containing a single copy of each unique block of data across all users in the enterprise. Restores with global dedupe can be painfully slow—it takes a long time to scan one enormous data store to locate all the unique pieces of data needed for a given user’s device restore. But hey, slow restores are worth it because you’re paying a lot less for storage, right?

Wrong. Today the cloud makes flexible data storage incredibly affordable. That’s why Code42 offers truly unlimited backup storage for our customers. So if your backup provider is still touting the benefits of global dedupe, it might be time to ask, “Benefits to whom?”

The better way: maximize restore speeds with local deduplication

Freed from the need to minimize the overall size of data backups, businesses can now take full advantage of local data deduplication to maximize restore speeds. Local dedupe creates user-specific data stores, making it quick and easy for the backup application to locate a user’s files and data in a restore scenario. Just how much faster? One independent study showed that Code42’s restores using local deduplication were five to nine times faster than restores using global deduplication. That’s no small advantage. And with the cost of downtime and lost productivity rising, every minute truly counts.

Want to get your data back faster? Read our latest white paper “Get Your Data Back Faster: Why Enterprises Should Choose Local Deduplication for Endpoint Data Backup” to see how local data deduplication and unlimited data storage give you powerful business continuity advantages.

Fighting the Insider Threat: It’s All About Spotting Risk Sooner

As Backup Awareness Month rolls into its second week, we’re pushing beyond backup to show you how endpoint data collection and protection is the core of a comprehensive enterprise data security strategy.

First, the bad news

We’ve been harping on insider threat for years now. Most IT and InfoSecurity professionals know that insiders are often the biggest threat to their organization’s data security. The problem is that things aren’t getting any better. Insider threat is a growing risk in the enterprise world. Seven in 10 businesses have had a significant incidence of malicious data theft in the last 12 months, according to Accenture. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report found that insiders were responsible for 1 in 4 data breaches in 2016—no improvement on the previous year. Quasi-insider attacks are also accelerating: Phishing and sophisticated social engineering attacks increasingly find clever ways to compromise users’ legitimate credentials—and then move silently through an organization’s digital infrastructure.

Most businesses still can’t spot insider threats—not in time, anyway

Despite knowing that insider threat is a huge problem, nearly a third of all businesses still don’t have a dedicated strategy or tools to mitigate the risk. Those that do have a program aren’t in much better shape. Only nine percent say their insider threat prevention strategy is “very effective.” Lacking good tools—or any tools—it’s no wonder that 43 percent of businesses need a month or more to even realize they’ve had an insider threat incident. The more time between the incident and detection, the greater the damage—more data leaked, less visibility of how far the breach goes and a much lower chance of reclaiming or restoring the lost information.

Now, for some good news

The obvious challenge with insider threat is separating the everyday, legitimate activities of authorized users from negligent, malicious or otherwise high-risk activities. But here’s the thing about people: they’re predictable. That means insider threats are predictable. Most insider threats follow basic archetypes, and even the outliers tend to follow patterns. For example, Deloitte found that almost all insider threat cases (97 percent) involve an employee who exhibited some form of suspect or high-risk past behavior; 92 percent were preceded by a negative work event like a reprimand, demotion or termination; and 90 percent of users responsible for data loss incidents have a history of violating IT policy.

Do you have the tools to fight insider threat?

The basic idea of insider threat prevention is pretty simple: See the patterns. Spot the risk. But the tricky part is gaining the visibility into your users’ endpoint activities. With the right tools in place, you can monitor endpoint activity, establish a baseline for what “normal” looks like and take a truly proactive and predictive approach to spotting risk and taking action quickly and definitively.

Download the Insider Threat Toolkit to learn how to spot risk sooner. Then check out the on-demand webinar, Building a Blueprint for an Insider Threat Program, to hear firsthand insights from InfoSecurity leaders.


Simple Is Better—and Policy-Dependent Backup Isn’t Simple

In the 1300s, the principle known as Occam’s razor was established, holding that the best solution is the simplest one. About 600 years later, network drive policy was born. It sounds reasonable enough: You tell your employees to back up their files to the network drive. They do it. Then you back up that drive. Voila! Your files are all protected and backed up. Right?

Wrong. The problem is that users are also following this principle of simplicity. They’re looking for the path of least resistance—and network drive policies only add burdens to their daily workflows. So they don’t back up. Or they forget to back up. Or they come up with their own (unreliable) means of backup.

Policy-dependent backup leaves a widening gap in data security

As much as two-thirds of a company’s data now lives exclusively on endpoint—where digital productivity takes place. In the typical enterprise, 35 percent of endpoints haven’t been recently backed up. Do the math and you see the big problem: About one-quarter of a company’s data is not protected—unrecoverable if disaster strikes, invisible to IT and highly vulnerable to hacks and data theft.

The simplest solution is backing up data right at the source: the endpoint

William of Ockham, credited creator of Occam’s razor, was right—a simpler solution is a better solution. If you or your organization’s leadership still believe policy-dependent backup can protect your business, it’s time to read our new white paper, Debunking the Myth of Policy-Dependent Backup. See why network drive policies impede productivity, burden IT and leave dangerous data security holes—and understand why endpoint backup is the simple solution you and your users have been looking for.

Debunking the Myth of Policy Dependent Backup

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