4 innovative technologies to help block cyber threats

Protect your business with a strategic mix of innovation and proven processes

by Charles Cooper

If there’s one constant about cybersecurity, it’s the ability of cybercriminals to innovate faster than companies are able to defend themselves.

Hackers certainly aren’t limiting their options especially given the amount of new data organizations create each day. That’s invariably going to attract even more attention from ever-eager cybercriminals seeking new ways to exploit security vulnerabilities.

But if the bad guys can innovate, so can you. In fact, when it comes to recapturing the initiative from cybercriminals, organizations should cultivate a cybersecurity strategy that’s as innovative as their business strategy. 

The worst idea would be to hunker down behind a digital Maginot Line and wait for the next attack. Cybercriminals prize innovation and they are constantly prowling for new ways to tunnel into your network or disrupt your business. 

Security practitioners are responsible for data regardless of whether it is located on employees’ smartphones, an Internet of Things (IoT) device or behind a corporate firewall. That requires them to be exceptionally nimble and able to adapt their cyberstrategy in the face of new challenges. In practice, that means choosing tools and strategies that harness the power of leading edge technologies.  

Staying ahead of attackers 

There’s urgency to act soon.

By 2020, it’s estimated that the amount of information worth analyzing is going to roughly double. But if a company can’t protect its data, its ability to generate long-term, sustainable innovation could be jeopardized.   

A recent AT&T Cybersecurity Insights report connects the warning dots: Any gains that organizations might achieve through data-driven advancements – whether that touches on product rollouts, operational efficiency or a superior customer experience – is at risk of being compromised by cybercriminals. As the report notes, even common business tools such as mobile devices now face cyberrisks.  

Consider that roughly one-third of smartphones, tablets and laptops are now at medium-to-high risk of exposing enterprise data. All it takes is a single employee to unwittingly download a malware-laden mobile app from an unauthorized app store.   

AT&T recommends companies adopt a strategic mix of innovative technologies and proven basic processes to help protect themselves. 

1. Identity and access management

With identity and access management systems, people and devices accessing your networks can be verified while setting authorization levels for employees. 

2. Threat analytics

Automate processes to identify and respond to abnormal changes in data traffic patterns. These might be early indicators that a botnet might have hijacked devices to launch a DDoS attack. Armed with this information, threat analytics programs can alert security teams or automatically respond to the threat. 

3. Virtualization

Virtualized security allows organizations to track and protect data, whether it’s in transit or stored on a cloud. Not only does virtualization save physical space, it also helps keep cyberdefense technology current through regular software updates.     

4. Incident response

A good plan will enable organizations victimized by attacks to mobilize cross-functional capabilities and coordinate containment to post-crisis activities. The plan should include a detailed and comprehensive playbook that lays out the participants, processes and lines of reporting that come into play should a cyberbreach occur.

For more information on cybersecurity technology, visit the AT&T Cybersecurity Services page.