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Don’t overlook the value of device-level security

Security is always top of mind for IT teams, but the shift from office-based to remote working has made it even more of a pressing concern.

Even when businesses deploy best of breed security solutions, there’s a burden on individual users to mitigate cyber security risks. This is especially significant considering that human error is the number one cause of cyber security breaches, with 88% of data breach incidents being caused by human mistakes.

This coincides with a significant increase in breach attempts as cybercriminals look to capitalise on the uncertainty of recent months. One example of this is phishing emails, where at the onset of the pandemic security provider Barracuda reported an increase in phishing attacks of over 600% in March 2020. After all, it only takes one user interaction with a phishing email to cause a security breach.

With the actions of your users playing such an important role maintaining your security posture, it’s vital that businesses take whatever steps they can to ensure their users are as protected as possible. We’ve spoken in previous blogs about the importance of phish testing and end user training in identifying and shoring up vulnerabilities, so today we’ll focus on another avenue for a more robust defence – devices with hardware-level security features.

In particular, the various security features available with Lenovo devices as part of its ThinkShield portfolio.

ThinkShield – The complete security suite

ThinkShield is the complete portfolio of security solutions that protects every part of the device lifecycle. A combination of hardware and software security features and additional security services, ThinkShield includes world-class hardware-level protections designed to keep your users secure and help prevent breaches as a result of human error.

Here’s 6 of the best device features:

  • In-built BIOS protection to prevent corruption

The BIOS, or basic input/output system, is a program within a device’s microprocessor that is used as part of the initial start-up process. It also plays a crucial role in delivering data between the device operating system and connected peripherals such as keyboards and printers.

By infecting a PC at the BIOS level, criminals can corrupt this system to access device firmware to read or change data without being detected by anti-virus or anti-malware solutions. Additionally, a corrupted BIOS can prevent the PC from operating entirely.

Lenovo ThinkShield deploys world-leading BIOS protections as standard across its end-user device portfolio. Powered by the Intel® vPro® Platform, this allows the BIOS to self-heal so that in the event of corruption, changes or damage, the PC can be restored back to original status.

  • FIDO-certified authenticators for secure sign-on

Passwords have always been central to device access and authentication, but a single-factor password sign-on is not enough. Passwords can be lost, stolen, or guessed, so securing device and data access demands two-factor authentication.

Lenovo devices come equipped with a number of hardware features to support secure authentication, powered by Intel® Authenticate. This includes secure Bluetooth proximity identification, face recognition with IR cameras to support Windows Hello, and protected access pins.

There’s also secure fingerprint reading with cutting-edge Synaptics® match-on-chip technology. This allows users to scan their fingerprint and crucially performs authentication within the reader itself, protecting credentials from the rest of the device in case of attack.

  • Network protection with WiFi security

With users working away from the office they will need to access the internet via different networks, all of which can present an additional security risk.

Lenovo WiFi Security helps prevent breaches via risky or unknown networks by detecting and notifying the user when they are about to access a potentially unsafe network.

  • Secure sensitive data with smart USB protection

With hardware-enabled USB protections IT teams can configure individual devices so that USB ports only respond to certain areas of the device such as keyboards and pointing devices. This prevents users from being able to either inadvertently or maliciously download sensitive company data to potentially unsafe USB drives.

This also avoids the theft of data from cybercriminals looking to access and download data should a device ever be left unattended.

  • Screen privacy with Privacy Guard

While many of these Lenovo device features focus on digital security, it’s also important to consider the role of physical data security, especially where confidential or commercially sensitive information is involved.

Prying eyes are always a danger. Even one inadvertent glance at a screen whilst chatting with someone at your desk could lead to a major issue. That’s why Lenovo ThinkPad devices include Privacy Guard which allows users to dull their screen at the touch of a button. This allows them to work without disruption, but blocks the display for anyone looking from a side-on angle.

  • Ultimate privacy with ThinkShutter camera shutter

With the huge rise in video calls we’re all used to being in front of a camera, but there are occasions where you don’t want to be seen.

Cyber criminals can launch attacks that hack your laptop or PC camera, allowing them to spy on you while you work which could reveal business-critical information or even help them identify possible vulnerabilities.

Lenovo ThinkShutter is a mechanical camera cover that blocks your laptop camera when not in use, meaning that even if your camera is compromised, hackers aren’t able to see what you are doing.

Deploy hardware-level security as part of your security strategy

With the additional risks your users are facing every day it makes absolute sense to ensure they are supported by the latest protections, and that includes hardware-level features.

Our team can work with you to identify potential vulnerabilities within your device estate, and outline a device refresh approach that helps you capitalise on the world-class security features available with Lenovo technology. To learn more about ThinkShield, other features available with Lenovo PCs, or to discuss a device refresh, get in touch with us.