Datapac and Sophos recently hosted a seminar looking at the current landscape for IT security in Ireland. Speakers from both Datapac and Sophos gave expert advice on how organisations can understand, control and protect their businesses from the threats of cybercrime. This was followed by speakers explaining how an integrated IT security framework has empowered their companies to grow safely knowing that their ICT infrastructure is being managed by an expert team.

Datapac Security Seminar at The Dean Hotel

The Dean Hotel

Last week in The Dean Hotel, Datapac and Sophos hosted a seminar looking at the IT security challenges Irish companies are facing, and the most effective ways businesses can protect themselves.

David Kinsella, CTO, Datapac began proceedings by looking at some of the most prominent threats in cybercrime. Worryingly, he revealed up to 70% of people would click on a malicious link believing it to come from a trustworthy source.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Delegates were urged to include Transport Layer Security (TLS) in their IT infrastructure. TLS enables the encrypted content of messages between hosts which are both supporting the protocol to verify identity. David also highlighted the benefits of Network Access Control to prevent unwarranted access to production servers.

In closing, he reminded delegates of the basic need of encryption – something that is still overlooked by many organisations, particularly for mobile devices and cloud storage.

David Kinsella speaking at Datapac Seminar

David Kinsella, Datapac

Next to the podium was Jon Hope, Sophos channel manager, to discuss Operation Honey Badger. Not a nectar-infused hybrid animal, but a study conducted by Sophos looking at the prolificacy of malware today.

Unified Threat Management (UTM)

Sophos set up two websites simulating an identical Irish business. One was protected by Sophos’ Unified Threat Management (UTM) software and the other was left bare to the elements of malware.

Results were damning – the unprotected site was receiving 256 malware attempts per day, with 12 complete takeovers and numerous successful attacks, while the UTM-protected site was left untouched. If this were a real site, vital data would have been at huge risk.

Jon took delegates through some startling stats around malware:

• 350,000 new malicious URLs are created every day, 80% of which are seemingly mainstream sites
• Cybercrime is a profitable business – infamous ransomware Trojan Cryptolocker netted it’s developers $27M (almost €25M) in two months
• Last year there were 42.8 million reported security incidents, up 48% on the previous year

Jon Hope of Sophos

Jon Hope, Sophos

Securing Companies’ IT Infrastructure

Damien O’Grady, C&D Providers (part of HPC Group), and Nicole Fitzgerald of Thorntons Recycling were next to speak. Both companies work with Datapac and Sophos.

Damien highlighted that before Datapac, C&D Providers had acquired a number of smaller businesses, which brought with them an eclectic mix of security systems. The various devices and solutions at play were hindering the overall ICT security infrastructure. The main goal was to standardise the equipment, and solutions, being utilised and to make updating, monitoring and resolution of threats centrally driven.

After reviewing their needs C&D Providers decided to opt for a full firewall refresh and unified anti-virus solution. Datapac deployed Sophos UTM across all their stores, for complete and secure protection of their business.

The new solutions have led to significant time saving by utilising a central system for management and software updates. Moreover C&D Providers has had easy access to Datapac’s technical expertise, giving them full confidence in resolving any current and future security threats.

Damien O'Grady of C&D Providers (HPC Group)

Damien O’Grady, C&D Providers (HPC Group)

Nicole highlighted that before Datapac, security issues took up too much of staff members’ time. There were problems around users being blocked when they needed access and others having access to restricted parts of the network.

Thorntons Recycling was concerned about the continual threat posed by the internet but still needed to give their users easy access to all systems on any device. Datapac was able to implement a solution designed for Thorntons’ unique and evolving needs. The solution incorporated a Firewall, Unified Threat Management and Web Filtering for complete security from the network firewall to endpoint antivirus, coupled with a detailed monitoring system to track what sites and networks staff were accessing.

Protection extended to all mobile devices used by staff members, thanks to Mobile Device Management, providing Thorntons with peace of mind – removing the risks and complexity involved in managing IT environments.

The event closed with a Q&A, and a rooftop barbeque and drinks reception.

BBQ at Datapac Security Seminar

Barbeque and drinks on The Dean Hotel rooftop

Get in touch to discuss your IT security needs

If your organisation is suffering from a lack of cohesion or too much time being spent on IT security, or if you missed this event and would like to see additional materials from it, why not speak to a member of our team today?

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