Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, is warning enterprises that securing their employees’ endpoint devices – their laptops, home PCs and smartphones – will be critical through 2021, as nearly three-quarters of organisations plan to shift employees to remote working permanently, and do not expect to return to pre-COVID operations.
According to a recent survey, the leading security priorities for enterprises through to 2023 were securing remote working (cited by 61%), endpoint and mobile security (59%), and security for employees working remotely was the leading challenge for 2021. These issues have been magnified during the enforced transition to remote working in the COVID pandemic because:
More endpoint devices, more entry points: 97% of organisations in 2020 faced mobile threats that used multiple attack vectors, and 46% had at least one employee download a malicious mobile app, according to Check Point’s 2021 Mobile Security Report. Cyber-criminals know remote workers are relying on mobile devices more than ever, and actively target enterprise and BYOD mobiles with new attacks.
Remote working is targeted: During 2020, hackers ramped up ‘thread hijacking’ attacks on remote workers to steal data or infiltrate networks using the Emotet and Qbot trojans, which together impacted 24% of organisations globally. Attacks against remote access systems also increased sharply.
Vulnerabilities and outdated devices mean more risk: The vulnerabilities recently discovered in Microsoft Exchange server show how critical it is for organisations to regularly update software to protect themselves against attacks that exploit flaws, and the explosion in remote working makes this more challenging than ever before. In addition, Check Point’s Achilles research showed that at least 40% of the world’s mobile devices are inherently vulnerable to cyberattacks due to flaws in their chipsets, and need urgent patching.
"The pandemic has made corporate access points more vulnerable, as more devices come into play in the new remote-work format. What’s more, hackers are actively targeting employees’ endpoints, because they know that they are not as well protected or updated as often as their usual endpoint PCs and devices,” said Dr Sharat Sinha, Vice President/ General Manager, APAC, at Check Point Software Technologies. “As a result, it’s critical that organisations deploy solutions that can seamlessly protect all types of endpoint device, from unmanaged mobiles to corporate laptops, to ensure they don’t fall victim to the increase in attacks and breaches.”
In February, Check Point launched Check Point Harmony, the first unified solution to enable secure connectivity to any resource anywhere and give total endpoint protection for users on any device. Check Point Harmony unifies endpoint, browser, email and remote access security components to protect all user devices and the enterprise networks they connect to against known and unknown threats, in a single, easy to manage solution.
“Check Point Harmony closes the security gaps that are usually left behind by multiple different point products from several different security vendors, blocking all exploit techniques across all attack vectors. This protects the enterprise´s network end to end, ensuring uncompromised security for the new ‘work from anywhere’ enterprise environment, with easy deployment and single-console management,” added Dr Sinha.