Ask the average person what an organization needs to consider when choosing a content collaboration platform (CCP), and they will spend a second or two deciding if this is some sort of trick question before giving the obvious answers: How well does it work? Is it easy to use? Will it meet the organization’s needs?
Ask a CISO the same question and they will put their head in their hands. Why? Because in addition to considerations related to organizational needs, employee capabilities, and budgetary constraints, there are serious security facts to consider thanks to the deluge of file-borne threats just waiting to invade an organization’s internal network.
Fact 1: Hackers Can Gain Access to the Entire Organization From a Single CCP User
Aside from making it possible for employees to access and share any file at any time from anywhere, a content collaboration platform also makes it possible for a hacker to enact every stage of the entire cyber kill chain. It is simply the nature of the platform.
Skilled hackers can maybe take advantage of vulnerabilities in CCPs, but they don’t have to. It is much easier for them to take advantage of employees to get access to the organization’s CCP. All it takes to get started is a single foothold, even in the CCP account of a low-level employee, for hackers to employ sophisticated social engineering like spear-phishing to get an employee’s password or to gain control over a home computer. From there, it’s just a matter of learning enough about the employee’s habits to get them to open a malware-infected document in the content collaboration platform CCP, which not only puts everyone with access to that file at risk, but could also allow the attacker to gain control over the targeted employee’s work computer. Then this will lead the hacker to and start looking for lateral movement opportunities that will lead them to valuable data.
Fact 2: It’s Not a CCP’s Job to Protect Your Organization
When an organization is using a third-party content collaboration platform, they are essentially just storing files on someone else’s cloud server beyond the reach of the organization’s own security. It would be nice to think the company in charge of that cloud storage server is the one responsible for protecting all of the files stored in it, but the fact is, even some of the biggest enterprise-grade CCPs only use an anti-virus program to ensure files are clean (more on why anti-virus isn’t enough in a moment).
Any patches issued by the CCP need to be installed by the organization (the same goes for updates) and there is no standard login security protocol for CCPs. Some simply require a password, others have two-factor authentication, some allow users to remain logged in, others offer user-behavior analysis, and the variables go on.
Bottom line is: while files may be stored outside an organization’s network, it is still the organization’s responsibility to make sure those files are clean from any malicious code.
Fact 3: An Organization’s Standard Internal Controls Won’t Cut It
It used to be that internal controls such as a good anti-virus program or a sandbox were quite effective for neutralizing file-borne threats. Now, the internet is rife with zero-day threats that anti-virus programs can’t catch because no one knows what they are or what they exploit. Additionally, they contain steganography capable of hiding command and control channels, and sophisticated code manipulation that allows infected files to escape the sandbox and run amok on the network. In other words, next-gen threats need next-gen cybersecurity.
Fact 4: Safe User Practices Are Important, But They’re Never Enough
Trusting your employees is not the same as trusting their files. Cybercriminals rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars selling data on the dark web because they’re experts in making malware-infected files look engaging and innocent enough. This means that even trustworthy employees trained on safe practices will open them, never realizing that anything has gone awry.
You can trust the character of your employees as well as their ability to stick to safe user practices, but don’t trust their files, especially those that have been shared widely, both internally and externally, thanks to file-sharing made easy by content collaboration platforms.
Fact 5: The Only Way to Ensure All Files From a Content Collaboration Platform Are Clean is to Ensure All Files Are Clean
The only way to ensure every file coming into the organization’s network from the CCP is clean is to put the Votiro Cloud (SFG) to work with it’s leading Positive Selection technology. The Votiro Cloud sanitizes every incoming file by analyzing it, removing and destroying any malicious element that might be embedded in it, ultimately restoring the file to its original functionality – all in less than one second.
While obviously invaluable for files entering the network from a content collaboration platform, our SFG is designed to secure every data channel in the organization, and therefore, the entire data flow. This means disarming any type of file coming either from the web, email, applications, removable devices, or file transfers. In other words, when a file enters the organization’s network, it has already been 100% sanitized.
Ready to see how our Votiro Cloud can ensure every file coming from a content collaboration platform is clean? Be sure to schedule a demo today. Or, feel free to contact us to speak with a member of our team.