ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) is a vital tool in helping businesses keep their digital assets secure. It goes beyond just your standard anti-virus scanning to provide a proficient way of dealing with threats before they have a chance to deal any damage. ATP can be thought of as the engine of your Cybersecurity estate. It has multiple parts that work together in tandem to perform effective protection against a variety of threats. These parts are numerous and nuanced, each with their own unique specialities. Ultimately, these parts form part of a larger effort to thwart the risks that face you and your business’ data. Here’s just a few aspects of ATP that work behind the scenes to keep your business and its data secure.
Encryption is a great way to keep your data accessible yet secure. It works by scrambling the data so that it can only be accessed with a unique key. Without this, it is useless. This means if it were to fall into the hands of an attacker, it would mean nothing to them – unless they had the key. Encryption is a must if you have large sets of data that are at risk and/or are distributed frequently (by email or otherwise). It is easy to setup, being an easy step in making your data that bit harder for attackers to get to. All hardware that stores data should be encrypted. These encryption methods include USB sticks, Hard Drives, laptops, etc., otherwise you risk your data being openly visible to those with bad intentions.
BitLocker is a commonly found encryption tool on Windows that provides such protection. Encryption is often one of the first steps you can take in making your data more secure. It also comes in handy in unfortunate events such as theft or loss. Say for example a member of your team leaves their laptop on a train and somebody picks it up. Without encryption, stranger could potentially remove the hard drive from the laptop and access everything on it. If the laptop had encryption enabled, the hard drive when removed would be about as good as a paperweight.
Email threats continue to be a persistent thorn in the side of many small to medium businesses, all the way through to global enterprises. The sheer volume of emails sent & received every day alone make it an incredibly common trick for cybercriminals to try. With their tactics evolving each day, it’s likely you’ve come across a convincing junk email at some point. This probably contained a link to some dodgy website, or a colourful button asking you to “sign in now!” or “verify your account before it’s shutdown!”. With a large percentage of the average workforce lacking confidence when it comes to identifying these tell-tale signs, you do not want the hassle of making sure every email is scoped out and verified.
That’s where malicious link checking is vital. It opens dodgy links for you, within a controlled environment that involves zero risk to your business. In doing so, it’s able to determine the legitimacy of such links before the emails get to your inbox. If they’re OK, it moves them as normal into your inbox. If not, it blocks them. It’s a straightforward process that makes a massive difference in protecting your business. However, rather than simply delete the message and stopping there, ATP solutions often inform you that such an event has taken place. This means you can see what’s been blocked and why. This helps you to know what to look out for in future, which is great for boosting your teams’ cybersecurity knowhow. Even legitimate links get protected, which helps prevent attacks where links can be redirected.
Building on from malicious link checking, spam protection as a whole combats the never-ending threat of spam emails. Junk emails come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. One of ATPs great benefits is it’s versatility in identifying threats. Spam protection is no different, helping to identify multiple types of email threats, from phishing emails (those with suspect links) through to spoofing emails (where the email sender pretends to be a someone they’re not). Often using an ever-evolving database of known threats, spam protection is a good way to stay protected.
Thanks to it’s up to date repertoire of threats (usually powered by AI no less), it requires little input from you, leaving you to get on actioning emails that are of actual interest to you. Many email providers offer a basic level of spam protection, but yet we still find that lots of rubbish slips through the net. A decent spam protection system will do a much better job of killing off some of those emails so that they barely touch your inbox.
Microsoft’s Office 365 suite has a basic level of ATP enabled by default. However, to really take advantage of the latest and greatest offerings in the cybersecurity world, you’d be better suited with a bespoke solution. You’ll find that, especially in the email department, they offer a better level of threat protection. Many of the databases used to help catalogue and identify threats will be some of the best in terms if breadth, relevance and how often they’re kept up to date.
They’ll also provide you detailed analytics in terms of where your threats are coming from, and provide detailed management systems for controlling the security at your business. ATP is called advanced for a reason, being a unique tool that once setup, requires little moderation whilst providing effect results. If you value your business data, then ATP is a superb way of keeping under wraps.
For a more comprehensive look at what exactly the purpose of ATP is, or to discuss cyber security topics in more detail, contact us on 0800 6521 365 or alternatively visit our website at www.bcs365.co.uk. We also have cyber security training available at www.bcseducation.co.uk.