Our general manager, Ilaria Bonomi, had the opportunity to interview Alessandra Lombardi, Business Development Manager at 7Cento HK. Alessandra is an expert in the field of cybersecurity and we would like to share some of her knowledge with you.
Does exposure to cyber risks increase when working remotely?
We are always exposed to cyber threats in a way we might not be aware of. Working remotely increases the change of becoming victims of cyber-attacks because users tend to connect to unprotected networks (coffee shop, home network) or by using personal devices to perform their daily work.
What is your advice for SMEs?
SMEs are particularly exposed because they tend to be more unaware of cyber threats and because of weak IT infrastructures. Some might think that relying on a popular cloud service is enough to keep them, their employees, and their data safe.
Why am I at risk even if I’m using cloud services such as Google, Dropbox or OneDrive?
First and foremost, your cloud services are only as safe as your credentials. All companies need to implement policies regarding passwords management and 2FA. Medium to large enterprises must consider data leak prevention and backup plans.
Is it okay to allow BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policies?
Personal laptops and mobile phones present peculiar risks. Companies can take simple steps to greatly decrease security risks on these devices to prevent access to unsafe networks, data exfiltration or leakage, phishing protection, and so on.
What is your advice for large enterprises?
Large enterprises must protect from targeted, persistent attacks. Purchasing the most expensive hardware and software on the market does not automatically translate into a safe environment. Only a combination of AI and human intelligence can help detect and prevent extremely serious attacks that can shut down a company, with severe economic, legal, and reputational repercussions.
Why VPN might not be an effective way to implement remote working?
When implemented across entire teams, the bandwidth used by the VPN will be overloaded while user experience will deteriorate. Furthermore, when used in parallel to an unprotected network (that is, when used to implement working-from-home policies), VPNs leave the door open to severe security threats. We work with PaloAlto to provide innovative, flexible ways to allow users to access their office networks safely and effectively, overcoming VPNs’ performance and security flaws.
What is the story of 7Cento HK?
7Cento HK is the APAC branch of a worldwide collaboration project that rests on two pillars: Venticento, specialized in user support and IT infrastructure, and 7Layers, a European leader in cybersecurity. We opened the HK office to guarantee 24/7 service coverage to our multinational clients, which we have been serving for 15 years.
What is your final advice for our Members?
While medium and large enterprises must invest more, a better security stance does not necessarily mean an out-of-reach expense plan. Look at your company’s internal procedures and at the cybersecurity awareness within your team. Perform a GAP analysis to identify your weaknesses and focus on the most urgent remediations to gradually reduce your risk exposure.