. . . and employees shouldn’t be opening attachments in e-mails.
We were all told never to take sweets from strangers because it protected us. We tell our children the same. This simple binary approach continues to work hereHowever the work environment is more complex and it’s not so easy to prevent people from opening risky email attachments.
Educating About Opening Email Attachments?
We all know about the serious risks to organisations (and to individuals if they BYOD) of opening attachments. Even the authorities warn us against opening attachments. These attachments may contain the recent “Goldeneye” which will encrypt the hard drive and actually destroy your data.
Unfortunately, the only solution that seems to be offered is not to open suspicious email(s) and definitely don’t open attachments. Unfortunately, the same binary education approach doesn’t work with our staff. In today’s e-working business, most of us HAVE to open files – all the time. Clearly, due to the complexity of working practices, this education-only approach to protection can be confusing and therefore not (as) effective.
We all know that such advice eventually falls on deaf ears. It’s really a vain hope that EVERYONE will heed the warnings not to open those ‘sweet’ intriguing files.
Can Technology Solutions Prevent People Opening Attachments?
There are many technology solutions that are being promoted to fix this sort of problem. Many are education based and others are very complex to manage around blocking access.
Imagine regulating access to your company. Would you give your doorman 350,000,000 photos of all the known criminals in the world? And then would you explain to him, patterns of additional behaviour that should make him suspicious of others not on this list, e.g. perhaps because they are wearing masks? This is what many are suggesting as an approach to solving this issue.
So, what about just giving your doorman a list of the 20-30 people who are allowed to enter the building. All others have no automatic access, but could simply be added to the list after review. Surely this solution is not only easier, but also much safer?
The latter is called ‘Application Control’ (with white-listing). It’s so obvious, yet something that everyone else seems to overlook.
Application Control (with a white-list of approved applications) obviously protects best when it is in conjunction with an antivirus solution. Together, they can stop known and unknown viruses and trojans. This is actually the only solution that helps against Ransomware.
Here are best practices for implementation and management of an Application Control solution:
- – Register a clean computer with all the programs that are permitted on it.
- – Specify the default products/programs for specific roles; learning mode then advises changes as users require.
- – Only allow access to products from particular software vendors, e.g. Microsoft, etc.
- – Only allow administrator installed or company approved applications.
Why this type of protective measure is not always recommended remains a mystery.
Knowing the problem is good, but knowing how to protect against it is much better. At least we now know that there is security software to minimise this risk as much as possible.
Application Control from EGOSECURE can be enabled in just a few minutes, immediately and significantly increasing security.
If you would like to hear more about Application Control, contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0) 203 876 8310