The global shift to remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with an increase in digital adoption, has resulted in surges in cyberattacks all over the world. Globally, ransomware attacks jumped some seven-fold in 2020, and in Singapore, ransomware attacks targeting businesses rose 75% compared to 2019. Some 1,500 phishing attacks were reported since the start of COVID-19 and when remote working measures were implemented, five times more compared to 2019.
Despite steps taken to protect organisational cybersecurity posture, cybercriminals continue to exploit the weaknesses of corporate networks and integrated supply chains, targeting vulnerabilities such as unsecured endpoints and weak data security measures to attack and infiltrate networks. As cyber threats continue to evolve in sophistication and grow in frequency, there is an increased urgency for next-generation cybersecurity tools and protective measures to stay ahead of these threats.
Securing the Endpoint
Many new cyber threats identified in recent times involve compromising endpoints - devices connected to the corporate network outside its firewalls, such as desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and IoT devices. An IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report found that data breaches cost companies an average of US$3.86 million per breach, and compromised employee accounts are the most expensive root cause. Securing endpoints can go a long way to protect networks and organisations from severe financial and reputational impact.
Many cybersecurity solutions focus on operating system resources or add-on security apps designed to detect and block intrusions by monitoring network traffic. At ST Engineering, we focus on securing endpoints at the root level. Our design and technology transform conventional cybersecurity management protocols, to enhance endpoint security by focusing on the layer between the software and hardware.
Together with our partner Janus Technologies, we launched BIOS-SHIELD, Asia’s first firmware security solution with a cloud-based management portal that provides enterprises with a highly secure endpoint management and control. Its technology uses a Virtual desktop infrastructure, which hosts desktop environments on a secured central server. Operating as a form of desktop virtualization, specific desktop images run within virtual machines and are delivered to users over a secured network. This facilitates secure and convenient remote access for users working out of the office environment and is a solution for enterprises with digital workplaces.
For employees, BIOS-SHIELD provides secure access to secure (intranet) and unsecure (internet) networks from their homes. This contemporary technology surpasses conventional endpoint security management, with the inclusion of IT administrator capabilities to directly manage cyberattacks in the event that a network is infected. Its threat-detection capabilities provide robust monitoring to detect and effectively respond against malware activity. Removing malware from an infected network is just by a simple reboot of the system.
BIOS-SHIELD also features a Time Machine Restoration feature for fast file recovery. Users can save a point-in-time “snapshot” of their hard drive, and initiate a roll-back sequence to a previous snapshot to quickly recover their corrupted or missing files when they encounter a cyberattack.
Another feature of BIOS-SHIELD allows users to encrypt important data on regular USB thumb drives. Once encrypted, the data is only accessible and readable by authorised BIOS-SHIELD endpoints. This ensures a safe channel for file-sharing between authorised endpoints, reducing the possibility of data breaches and security incidences by unauthorised endpoints. Companies considering to strengthen their hardware endpoints are able to prioritise BIOS-SHIELD’s Trusted Workspace solutions by using their very own BIOS-SHIELD L100 laptops pre-loaded with the BIOS-SHIELD firmware for mobile employees, or the BIOS-SHIELD D100 Desktop which is more suited for fixed sites and office environments.
Remote work and digitalisation are here to stay. As businesses continue to expand their digital footprint, relying on a single layer of protection to protect networks is no longer effective. Detecting and stopping endpoint attacks can make all the difference.