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Blog · 06 Nov 2019

Technology or workforce: what’s the greatest security threat to business services?

Find out how business services companies must balance the security risks of AI and automation and people-centred working.

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Head of international business services

Today’s high-risk environment means that security is a concern for any organisation, but for those working with large volumes of sensitive data, the threat of cyber-crime is even more prominent.

For organisations within the business services industry, dealing with their clients’ business information, confidential data and financial information is part of business as usual. And, as these organisations move towards the cloud, securing a cloud-first strategy and open internet breakout is a hot topic on many board’s security agendas.

In order to stay competitive in the marketplace, it’s important that business service companies make the most of new technologies and innovative new solutions like cloud networking. However, the remits these firms have mean that the consequences of any kind of cyber-breach are severe. In the realm of business services, a breach not only risks the organisation’s brand name, but also compromises clients’ data and brands, too.

New technology increases threat

Many business services firms are used to their reputations being on the line in a high-profile way. But when it comes to network security, the entire organisation is at risk. Data is at the heart of these organisations, not just the security arm. And with access to clients’ sensitive data that’s key to business, they’re an attractive target for hackers and other cyber criminals. As these businesses expand their remits and use technology to find increasingly more efficient ways of working, the door to cyber-threats is opened even wider.

In the search to work more efficiently and to add further value to their client offering, business services firms are turning to new technology such as robotics, artificial intelligence and automation. These technologies help companies to understand their clients’ data in the most complete way, but also increase the risk and the number of entry points to that client’s valuable information.

Your people pose a serious risk

It’s not just new technology that poses a serious risk. Perhaps the greatest danger to a business service’s organisation is its people. With the shift away from secure private networks to SD-WAN, internet and cloud-based connectivity, there’s far greater scope for individuals to unwittingly offer cyber-criminals a route into a company’s network.

New ways of working magnify this weakness further. The quest to attract and retain the best talent is outweighing the traditional company demands of the Monday to Friday nine to five, and business services companies are increasingly offering flexible working. Plus, the ability to work anywhere is driving a growth in mobile working, proving useful to business services companies that want to reduce office space and need to work as they travel globally to meet their multinational clients. As a result of flexible and mobile working, new devices and connections are added to the threat landscape. With this multiplication of end user devices and network entry points, there’s far more scope for a data breach.

The growth of mobile devices in particular increases the likelihood that a phishing attack will be successful. When working on a mobile, the layout of emails and webpages makes it difficult to verify whether they’re fraudulent. People are also more likely to make snap decisions to act on a mobile, opening the door to email-based spear phishing, spoofing attacks that mimic legitimate webpages and attacks via social media.

A lack of awareness about these dangers is also an issue for business services. In a people-centric industry, just a small percentage of staff being careless or unaware of security protocols can create significant vulnerabilities. It’s a challenge to keep track of these vulnerabilities and to keep employees aware and alert.

Keeping pace with your sector’s security requirements

There’s a lot at stake for the business services industry right now: it must protect the highly valuable data that is its core business against evolving threat vectors and a strong element of human vulnerability. You need a partner who can provide a comprehensive security ecosystem able to keep pace with the sector’s changing security requirements and a complex threat landscape.

Our managed cloud security solution is ready to help you to handle ever-advancing threat vectors. We also offer specialised services to support the security priorities of the business services industry. Avoid putting your reputation at risk by ensuring data and regulatory compliance, identify and fix your weak points with our ethical hacking service, and make sure you control access to confidential information using encryption and PKI

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