Identifying the Gaps in Your File Security Strategy with Cloud-Based CDR

May 24, 2021

With more staff working from home than ever before, enterprises have faced unprecedented risks in securing employees’ home offices and personal devices. This blog explores the multiple weak spots in file security strategies that exist with this model, both due to human error and to technological gaps.  We will also introduce the security technology, content disarm and reconstruction (CDR), and explain how a cloud-based CDR solution can alleviate the cyber security risks without significant outlay or onboarding pain. Let’s dive in.

The Weak Spots in Your File Security Strategy

While employees may be your best assets, their habits may also be your biggest risk when it comes to file security in companies not utilizing cloud-based CDR. Hackers are well aware that work-from-home (WFH) systems are significantly less protected than company networks. Even if there is no sensitive data stored on an employee’s endpoint, hackers can utilize the employee’s login credentials to remotely access critical business systems and sensitive data.

One of the easiest ways for hackers to gain access is through phishing emails, the practice of sending email messages that contain a malicious attachment and look harmless to the recipients. When a recipient opens the attachment, malware is deployed and the targeted attack begins. Barracuda Networks reported that phishing email attacks increased by more than 600% during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis.

Unfortunately, sometimes employees make it a tad too easy for hackers to carry out their nefarious plans. According to a study by CyberArk, 60% of remote employees regularly engage in unsafe cyber practices including using unsecure BYODs (Bring Your Own Devices) to access corporate systems. The same survey found that 57% of WFH employees use communication tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which have had well-publicized security problems during their pandemic peaks. In addition, 21% allow others to use their corporate devices for personal activities like schoolwork, gaming, and shopping. These risks have caused some organizations to restrict internet downloads or file attachments, despite the inconvenience and significant decrease in productivity this security measure causes.

However,  enterprises must take their share of the blame as well. 57% of IT professionals surveyed said they haven’t increased their security protocols since the WFH pandemic, despite the risk of exposure from the new remote workforce. 

The Technology Gaps in Your File Security Strategy

Humans are not the only weak spots in organizational file security strategies. With advanced threats constantly evolving, traditional defenses are no longer effective. Research indicates that an average of 10 million new malware threats are recorded per month by companies that are not using cloud-based CDR and Positive Selection solutions. Many common cybersecurity technologies, such as anti-malware and anti-virus solutions, can only detect known threats and cannot detect or protect corporate networks against undisclosed or zero-day attacks, meaning a vulnerability has been discovered but no patch for it has been developed. In fact, 80% of successful breaches are new or unknown zero-day attacks that are not recognized by traditional signature-based detection solutions.

In addition, sandboxes are not sufficiently effective. Despite widespread use, sandboxes struggle to keep up with the increasingly advanced techniques deployed by malware creators. Simple Google searches will provide attackers with the information they need to ensure their malware can evade detection within the sandbox – only executing once inside the production environment – or bypass the sandbox altogether. In addition, large file uploads can cause bottlenecks in the sandbox, and maintenance requires extensive IT resources, time, and money, as well as the need to continuously update complex security policies.

Where Cloud-Based CDR Fills in the Gaps

Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR) is a security technology that cleanses potentially malicious code from computer files. Also known as file sanitization, cloud-based CDR does not rely on detection like other anti-malware tools. Instead, the technology assumes all files are malicious and scrutinizes all individual file components that are outside of the approved firewall. The technology removes any malware, strips any embedded code, and rebuilds the file in a way that disrupts any additional covert malicious code. The end result is a safe copy of the original file.  However, the flattened file means that legitimate macros have been removed as well, negatively affecting the organization’s productivity.

Where Votiro’s Technology Steps In

Votiro’s Positive Selection technology is the next evolution of cloud-based CDR. Positive Selection uses template-based reconstruction to recreate clean templates with only the known good content included. 

Unlike detection-based file security solutions that scan for suspicious elements and block some malicious files, Positive Selection singles out only the safe elements of each file, ensuring every file that enters your organization is 100% safe and completely functional. As a SaaS solution, Votiro’s Secure File Gateway provides customers working within or migrating to the cloud with a scalable way to eliminate file-borne attacks carried through email, web downloads, and website uploads. 

Votiro’s SaaS solution can be centrally deployed, updated, and managed all within the cloud environment. Votiro can support and host all infrastructure for enterprise, removing the need for organizations to stand up their own infrastructure or schedule updates. As a result, customers enjoy a convenient solution that drastically reduces resources spent on maintenance and saves security team members’ time that would otherwise be spent on tedious, manual security tasks. Votiro’s solution can also be easily scaled—with SaaS, now more than ever—to support customers throughout their stages of growth.

To find out more about Votiro’s SaaS Secure File Gateway and its innovative approach to cloud-based CDR file security, schedule a demo with us today.