Data everywhere, overwhelming security threats and hackers seeking vulnerabilities are among the digital weaknesses permeating the modern workforce today. With a 200% increase in attacks targeting notebooks and desktops over the last several years, it’s difficult to keep these attacks from accessing a network.

Last year, a record number of breaches was reported in Singapore. Making the headlines were the leaks of data from a bicycle-sharing operator, a ride-sharing company and a secondary school.

IT teams are making an effort to protect company data by educating employees, running vulnerability tests and implementing secure browsing software. However, these practices aren’t enough to eradicate the human errors that can cause phishing attacks, data breaches and malware exposure.

In February last year, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore released findings from its first Cybersecurity Public Awareness Survey. While seven in 10 respondents agreed that every individual has a role to play in cybersecurity, not all of them practise safe cybersecurity measures. For instance, one in three respondents do not manage their passwords securely – storing passwords on a computer or writing them down, or using the same passwords for work and personal accounts. Also, 41% admitted to not conducting virus scans on devices and files before accessing them.

An evolution in the way we protect data is in order, and this means moving beyond buying the best firewall on the market as an isolated security initiative. When threats come from both inside and outside an organisation, businesses need to implement security tactics that are constantly evolving to keep up with trends.

The next security evolution

While standard approaches to security quarantine data in a guarded castle, multi-layered security is the next step in security evolution for any business. Imagine scouts on horseback, a moat and booby traps providing additional protection to the data castle. In the security world, this translates to the creation of multiple hurdles to protect data against hackers.

Network security is just one of those layers. A comprehensive data protection strategy also involves thwarting an attack that starts at any PC or printer. The closing of the loop in a layered security system rests not just in what can be applied, but also what is already built into PC and printing devices from a security perspective. HP’s understanding of this strategy has led it to put security at the heart of everything we do, including the development of our PC and print solutions. HP Secure is a promise or commitment to consider security throughout the product development process – from the very first stage of design to final delivery.

This includes HP SureStart which works with HP BIOSphere, HP’s industry-leading firmware ecosystem, to automatically restore a system’s BIOS firmware to its previously safe state if attacked or corrupted. HP PCs also have the capabilities to check and maintain device security setups, which can be managed by security experts that you can trust. HP printers sport real-time threat detection, automated monitoring and software validation – all to stop threats the moment they start. Meanwhile, services such as Managed Print Services and Device as a Service allow companies to offload some of the burden of securing various devices on experts.

Addressing the security needs of both the business and end users

In today’s changing employee environment, where numerous entry points are spread across a decentralised workforce, it’s critical to adopt a new, holistic approach to data security.

This means allowing workers to connect when and where they need to, via secure connections that authenticate users accessing the network. By implementing managed device security that is built-in as well as bolted on, business and user security will improve through innovation at all layers of the security ecosystem.