What is application whitelisting

What is Application Whitelisting & Why is it important? | Tiedata

It can be the difference between companywide cyber infection and business as usual. But many businesses don’t enact it. All too often this is down to a combination of a lack of knowledge and fear that it’s more complicated than it is. So, in the following blog, we’ll be outlining what you should know about application whitelisting before you start using it within your business.

So, what is application whitelisting?

It’s a cybersecurity method that predetermines what actions are allowed to be taken on a device. It consists of an IT Head listing a series of applications that a device can run. It’s quite a blunt instrument; allow this, don’t allow that. And can limit functionality. So, it’s important to do it carefully to cause as little frustration to the end user as possible.

Why it’s important

First and foremost, it’s a straightforward way to ensure better cybersecurity. Any malware or ransomware will be stopped in its tracks if it’s not on the whitelist. Very useful if you work in an industry that requires strict cybersecurity adherence. It can also optimise an IT system’s efficiency. By keeping the number of applications under an end user’s command to a minimum, less memory is used and less time is wasted managing licenses.

What is application whitelisting

Dos and don’ts

If application whitelisting sounds like a plan, here are a few basic guidelines you’ll want to consider.

  • Do develop a whitelisting policy. This is a detailed outline of what goes on the whitelist and why. Getting your whitelist right is imperative and this is the foundation of it.
  • Don’t switch on your whitelisting all at once.
  • Do it in phases to avoid any big disruptions to operations. Do group users with similar needs within the same whitelist. It’ll save time and make for fewer whitelists to be created.
  • Don’t forget to maintain your whitelist. As software changes and updates, you may need to add and remove applications accordingly.
  • Do deploy any whitelists you might be uncertain of in audit only mode. This is where everything besides the blacklisted applications are allowed to run.

As a general rule, application whitelisting is best deployed on computers in particularly risky environments – namely laptops that might be used to work from home and on central hosts that connect to the rest of the IT system. You also need to bear in mind that your application whitelisting policy should form part of your wider cybersecurity policy. You’ll still need a good firewall, endpoint security, cyber awareness training, etc. And if you’re serious about remote working – as many businesses are these days – then all of the above and more are cybersecurity non negotiables.

See how well your cybersecurity – and other factors – are prepared for our new world of remote work with our remote working assessment tool. Click below to use it.

remote working

5 essentials for secure remote working, wherever you’re based

Whether you are in the office, on the go, or at home, security is a top priority for all organisations. We recognise the increased demand for businesses to able to work securely. So, we’ve created a list of workplace fundamentals to help provide secure remote working processes.

remote working

1. Get the right equipment

Ensuring your workforce has the right equipment to work securely from any location is essential. The transition from office to remote working has meant that for many, desktops have been left behind and laptops were the way forward. However, not every business has this luxury. Studies found that 17% of legal sector employees are still using personal devices to work from home. Personal devices and networks lack the level of security offices have, making them an easier target for cybercriminals to hack. Therefore, you must set up your workforce with the right equipment to work securely.

One option is a VPN. Your workforce should all have a VPN set up to enable them to work securely. This will provide an extra layer of security for your users. Not only will it hide your employees’ IP address and encrypt data transfers in transit, but it will also conceal users’ locations. If you don’t have a VPN network, get one today.

2. Cloud services

Cloud services are a much more flexible environment for your team to work from and access data remotely. The private cloud will be used by businesses with more confidential data, such as organisations in the legal sector. This is because the private cloud stores data in local servers and is not operated by third-party vendors. However, public cloud services like Microsoft Azure and AWS still offer great security benefits as your cloud provider is responsible for updates and maintenance.

Therefore, your cloud services will be chosen depending on your individual business needs. Whatever cloud environment you decide on, it will enable your team to securely access the information they need to carry out their job efficiently and productively.

3. Backup solution

Backup is non-negotiable if you want to protect the security of your business and its private data. A cyber-attack, natural disaster or a simple mistake can occur at any given moment, and without backing up your documents, files, and more can be lost instantly. This data loss can be crippling to a business. To ensure the security of your documents, implement a comprehensive backup solution that can guarantee you have a safety net to recover from, no matter what the future holds.

4. Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

A mandatory element to keep your workforce secure is multi-factor authentication. MFA requires a user to provide either two or more pieces of information to verify themselves to gain access to your systems and accounts. This will add an extra layer of protection when your team log in and will help to keep hackers out. We recommend this as best practise to enhance your organisations’ security and ensure data stays safe.

5. Basic security knowledge and training

Keeping your employees in the dark when it comes to cybersecurity is a mistake. Having your workforce updated with your security policies ensures that they will uphold your business’s security standards. Whether you are remote working or not, it is crucial to be aware of the cyber-threats and security risks that could harm your employees or business. The likelihood of your entire workforce being cybersecurity-savvy is probably unrealistic. Therefore, ensure they are aware of the threats and enable them to become a line of defence in your security strategy. Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

remote working

Tiedata can help set up your business for secure remote working

If you are unsure where to start on your journey to secure remote working, we can provide the right advice and solutions to meet your business security needs. Whether you work in accountancy, retail or the legal sector, we have a solution for you.

Don’t know how ready you are to combat remote working and its challenges?

We’ve got you covered. Our remote working readiness tool can assess how well equipped you are for remote working and provide advice, actionable solutions and key insights.

Find out how ready you are in under 5 minutes!

legal sector

How has remote working in 2020 affected the legal sector?

There have been numerous challenges faced by the legal sector and many other office-based industries throughout 2020. The primary one that can’t be ignored is the sudden adjustment to working remotely due to social distancing measures. Entire workforces have had to learn how to:

  • Deal with connectivity issues
  • Collaborate on shared work remotely
  • Store data securely
  • Access files remotely
  • Secure all devices and networks from cyber attacks
  • Maintain team wellbeing & culture
  • Deliver for clients on time

And the list could go on!

Many law firms have found solutions to some of these challenges, but not all. Some perhaps are still ‘making do’ with temporary measures that aren’t ideal. However, remote working doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, even for the legal sector. With over 86% of employees wanting to continue working from home at least partially, it’s essential to equip employees to thrive remotely now and in the future.

Here’s what we’ve learnt so far about the effects on the legal sector of remote working:

legal sector

Being more cybersecurity-aware

To be honest, we’ve all had to be! Cyber-attacks have increased astronomically since COVID-19. Phishing emails have increased by over 600% since the start of the pandemic, and many are specifically targeting remote workforces.

Legal sectors are one of the key industries where data protection is vital. You cannot do your job without accessing sensitive information, financial details or personal data of clients. That’s why many law companies in the past year have had no choice but to implement comprehensive cybersecurity protection across:

  • Networks
  • Email
  • Cloud
  • Endpoints
  • Access Management

If you’re not sure whether your cybersecurity is up to scratch or not, don’t risk it.

Collaborating effectively on shared work

A critical effect on the legal sector due to the shift to remote working has been learning how to collaborate and share files safely. It has been a challenge for many, but thankfully 77% of legal employees said that they can work effectively from home now despite lockdown.

It’s clear that with the right support and IT solutions as a foundation, office-based businesses can thrive remotely. Primarily, this success has come from the adoption of cloud-based applications and storage in the legal sector. When all information is accessible via the internet, employees can access what they need at home, in the courtroom or on the go.

legal sector

Financial implications for the legal sector

All these new remote working solutions don’t come free but are a wise investment. For many in primarily office-based industries like the legal sector, it’s taken a big adjustment to make that investment and feel as though it is worthwhile. Especially, if we’re all just going to be back in offices again. But as we’ve learnt over the past year – unexpected crises do occur.

This means that this investment is one worth making. Migrating to the Cloud and setting up robust cybersecurity solutions may seem like an overwhelming financial decision that companies would rather do without. But in the long-term, these are decisions that will end up saving you money and time.

Do you still have work to do?

Traditionally office-based companies like those in the legal sector can get set up for productive and efficient remote working. It doesn’t have to be complicated. But there may still be work to do to ensure that you future-proof your company.

Discover whether you are equipping your remote workforce effectively or not. Try out our remote working tool to get a quick assessment and actionable steps.

gavel on laptop

Overcoming IT Challenges Faced in the Legal Sector

Working with clients in the legal sector we know that storing, managing and protecting data is essential. Legal practices need IT solutions that they can rely upon to increase productivity and keep sensitive information safe.  

Technology is continuously evolving and transforming organisations worldwide, which can seem like a worrying concept for more traditional law firms. However, digital transformation is just as crucial for those in the legal sector and can be an excellent strategic move. Having IT services that are streamlined, modern and secure will make your whole organisation more efficient and help you to gain back valuable time.

Top 3 challenges to overcome 

1. Work better remotely  

Accessibility to data, programs and networks is vital, particularly in the current climate. Whether you’re working from the office, in court or at home, having the information that you need at your fingertips will make all the difference. Having a hosted infrastructure means that your whole team can access everything that they would typically be able to access in the office, with no exceptions. 

Optimising Microsoft 365 backup, storage, and cloud solutions will make sure that you can get straight to work, no matter where you are. Tiedata tailor every cloud solution to individual clients. Whether you require comprehensive cloud security, want a public, private or hybrid cloud, or want to use robust cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure  – we have what you need.

2. Trustworthy data handling 

Data Privacy protection

Data in the legal sector is often of the highest sensitivity and confidentiality. You need to trust that your sensitive data is being handled professionally by experts who know what they’re doing. There are a multitude of data security and compliance services on offer including GDPR reporting, intrusion protection and vulnerability testing.

Partnering with Tiedata will ensure that you also receive 24/7 support, bespoke data management plans and business continuity solutions to ensure you can keep doing what you do best with minimal downtime, no matter what challenges or incidents occur.

3. Comprehensive cyber security

The best way to protect your data is to ensure that you and your team are aware of the threats you face. Security Awareness Training is an easy and accessible way to cover every end-user, device and network that your team engage with. In light of recent research that shows 97% of all employees struggle to reliably identify phishing emails (Barracuda Networks) – cyber security training is a no-brainer.  

When you are a busy professional who receives hundreds of messages and emails per day, training is all the more critical. Even the best of us can be fooled by hacker’s sophisticated attacks on a busy day, and with phishing attacks on the rise since COVID-19, this is a crucial investment to make.  

If you manage to be efficient on the go and access your data securely, this will only help boost and streamline your work.  

Tiedata can help

We know that technology is ever-changing so, it is best to be prepared for every circumstance or potential crises. 

Get in touch with our experts at Tiedata to overcome the IT challenges faced in the legal sector. Don’t let your success be hindered, act now. 

IT-Business-Continuity-Checklist

IT Business Continuity Checklist 2020

Assessing your company’s remote work capabilities

Working from home has been seen by many, as a short-term situation. However, it now seems this will become a longer-term way of operating with many employees working from home exclusively due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We have produced an IT Remote Working Business Continuity Checklist to help you assess your company’s work capabilities.

Is My Business Prepared?

 

Yes

No

Action

Have you updated your work-from-home policy in the last 12 months?

Have you communicated policy and expectations for all employees now working from home?

Do you need to acquire more phones/laptops to ensure all employees have a sanctioned device?

Do you have enough VPN licenses to issue them as needed?

Does the employee have sufficient Internet access to perform their job?

Have you identified if remote employees have access to systems or platforms required to successfully perform their job?

I.E. Cloud applications

Is your company able to provide secure measures to avoid cyber attack risks when working remotely?

I.E. Protected Wi-Fi; VPN Connection; Multi-Factor Authentication

Do you need to make adjustments to your IT budget to deliver necessary resources?

Do you need to offer remote work security training to your staff?

Do you know if your users are using their ISP router/firewall only?

Do you feel that with remote working, security has become weaker – as you’re solely relying on VPN for security?

If employees are using their own devices for remote working, are you aware if they have anti-virus or updates enabled?

TieData can offer you a FREE comprehensive remote working security suite for 60-days for up to 250 users. From protecting VPN connections to optimising login experience by integrating Cloud applications with a single sign-on process, authentication is a smart and simplified avenue to protect your remote workforce.

Contact us today to start your 60-day FREE offer.