Looking Back on a Year of Security and Customer Experience Tips

Last year was a busy one at Bomgar, throughout which we covered a lot of topics on our blog. We took a look back through our posts to reflect on 2016 and identified a few common themes that kept popping up throughout the year: cyberattacks, IoT, customer experience, compliance, and of course, Bomgar fun!

Below we’ve recapped a few of our top posts from last year within each of these themes. Consider this a sampler tray of our 2016 blog!

Cyberattacks

2016 shaped up to be another year of the breach. With organizations relying more on third-party vendors and consultants as part of normal business operations. However, these third-parties often lack proper security protocols, leaving a back door wide open for hackers. We’re already seeing this trend continue in 2017 with news that a US government subcontractor accidentally leaked confidential military personnel data.

So what do organizations really know about how vendors are accessing their systems? It’s a question that many companies can’t answer, and that lack of visibility can quickly lead to trouble. That’s why in 2016 we set out to learn more about how companies are managing vendor access around the world.  Our first Vendor Vulnerability Index research report produced-eye opening results that should be a wake-up call to many business leaders, CIOs and senior IT managers. The report found that an average of 89 vendors are access a company’s networks every week, and that while most organizations place a high level of trust in third party vendors, they have a low level of visibility of vendor access to IT systems. Read on for more of our findings. 

Privilege misuse is clearly a major factor in cyberattacks, which is why we suggest a layered security approach to significantly reduce the risk of attacks. You can read about how Bomgar’s Privileged Access solution helps companies engender a productive workforce and ensure business continuity while simultaneously protecting credentials from being compromised. In addition, check out our tips for improving password security, which can help protect those privileged accounts that hackers are after.

IoT

Infosec pros have spent the past decade managing a rising tide of both more users and more connected devices, while simultaneously trying to reduce their attack surface -- that is, trying to protect as many points of access as possible. Much of this is usually attempted by first inventorying connections, consolidating network systems and targeted servers, building portals to cut down on remote access, and advanced correlation of security events by a central security element.

Introducing IoT devices into the mix is like adding an unknown number of new doors to a building where the 100 existing doors are barely controlled. In 20 years, we’ve gone from one device per user to four or five, and face a future where we won’t have a handle on how many internet-enabled, exploitable points of entry exist in our environment. We suggest three security implications to keep in mind when dealing with increased IoT device accessibility on your network.

We’ve predicted the number of connected devices and access points for networks to grow in the coming years. This is especially true for industrial control systems (ICS). Because ICS manage critical infrastructure, much of which has been around since before the internet, the legacy systems in place often can’t integrate with modern security tools. With industrial sectors eager to implement IoT to gain efficiencies and cost savings, security is often forgotten until it’s too late.  Check out our advice on this topic to mitigate the risk of being left in the dark. Literally.

Customer Experience

The old adage “the customer is always right” still rings true, but for those working in support, it’s more than that. Additionally, the customer experience can make or break your business. Traditional support models rely on phone-based support, and while this has been the standard for service desks and contact centers for years, phone-based sessions can’t scale beyond 1:1 and provide representatives with limited visibility into issues. With the exponential growth of connected devices, many organizations are making the jump to chat to provide better and scalable support. Chat is an excellent channel to improve service desk productivity, but when dealing with complex issues, it’s sometimes not enough. With proper planning, a chat implementation can be successful, which we outlined for readers here.

Not only can chat improve the experience for your customers, but collaboration can as well. Like most IT administrators and support technicians, a big chunk of your day is spent troubleshooting. Here are more details on how Bomgar includes easy options for support team members to work together.

Compliance

Regulations – they’re in every industry. The comprehensive security features of Bomgar’s solutions allow many of our customers to meet regulations such as Payment Card Industry Security Standards (PCI), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) and more. The data breach trend this year drove modifications to current PCI security standards to include “multifactor authentication as a requirement for any personnel with administrative access into environments handling card data.” Bomgar’s solutions can help you directly meet this requirement, which we outlined in this post

Each year as part of the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) risk management efforts, security assessments are conducted to produce an annual report that shares cyber security findings, identifies weaknesses, and outlines risk mitigation actions that ICS organizations should consider when addressing cybersecurity at their organizations. The report highlights the top six weaknesses discovered for ICS organizations in the previous year. In this post, we share how Bomgar’s secure access solutions give organizations the ability to secure access to critical systems and accounts to combat security risks.

Fun

It’s always good to take time out of a busy schedule to have a little fun, so we made sure to do so! During the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio this summer, we hosted our own 2016 Bomgar Olympics, a week-long contest complete with challenges that our customers participated in to earn prizes and medals. For the seventh year in a row, we also held the annual 5 Days of Bomgar, a week-long holiday contest that always keeps our spirits bright. Thanks to all of our loyal customers and Bomgar Insiders, both events were a hit this year!

Whether fun, helpful or serious, we did our best to keep our blog going as a source of information to help you through your day. With all we accomplished this year, we’re looking forward to what 2017 holds. Happy New Year! 

Elizabeth Hulsey is the Public Relations Specialist at Bomgar