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Staying active and healthy is more than just a flu jab.

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Annually millions of people get a seasonal flu jab, cost the country millions, believe they’re protected from the nasty viruses and get on with their lives, only for hundreds of thousands, possibly running into low millions, to fall ill. The consequences for some, more vulnerable people, is even worse. Sound familiar?

The fit, agile, healthy and informed in society probably sail through winter without a care, the complacent and weaker members being the ones that suffer. Obviously there is a degree of generalisation here, but it is a pattern borne out by the stats available from Public Health England. The similarities with cyber malware and how to stay strong, active and online are many, and, like the general public, come down to the choices organisations are prepared to make to ensure they stay healthy and safe. Just as it is not enough to ward off winter illness and peril by having the flu jab alone, it is the height of complacency for any organisation to think traditional AV, perimeter protection and even more recent sandboxing solutions are enough to keep all threats, malware, and exploits at bay. Like the flu virus, cyber threats mutate quickly and in advance of technologies designed specifically to combat them. Unlike the flu virus, which has a naturally determined vector and evolution, the cyber threat is increasing in veracity and velocity and signature based solutions cannot provide the necessary level of security against a world of increasingly rapid mutation and multiplication. Playing catch up is the norm for both where general strains are well known, the danger is the unknown and the havoc that can be wreaked in the window before a vaccine or protection is developed.

Just like in the world we all inhabit, those who take a broader perspective are more likely to thrive. For us it’s about lifestyle choices – great diet, exercise, rest, and the areas we choose to frequent and at what time of the day (or night) and for what all helps the body function to its optimal level and keep us out of potential harmful situations. For organisations an approach that is less single-minded pays dividends in so many ways. A strategy based on a high ability to prevent, detect and react will keep the organisation running more effectively and for longer – think of it like the organisational equivalent of an immune system. Is it worth the risk of ignoring the estimated 25% or so of online threats that are so advanced they are currently undetected? No, yet very few organisations are in a state of readiness to combat this. Welcome to the world of next-generation endpoint protection, one where uptime, business operating levels, and productivity disruption is minimal and where profit and customer experience is optimal.

To function efficiently and effectively endpoint protection needs to deliver prevention, detection and reaction capabilities, all without putting a brake on operations. Think about the plight of those trying to cross the channel in early summer where log-jams of misery were caused by adding an additional layer of security that was woefully under-resourced. All too often endpoint protection is a cobbled together collection of specialist technologies that require separate management and monitoring. It may be effective ultimately but there is a lot of pain to get there and meanwhile the world has moved on. SentinelOne is the first next-generation endpoint protection solution designed from the ground up that delivers on all requirements – prevention, dynamic exploit and malware detection, mitigation, remediation and forensics. It delivers real-time, unified protection without getting in the way of the business process and operation.

And so back to the flu jab. Is 50% protection enough to stay healthy*? No, steps can be taken to lower the risk of infection through making choices about lifestyle and the right behaviours relating to diet, exercise, and rest and avoiding potentially harmful situations. Viruses and bugs succeed against the vulnerable and so it is with cybersecurity. By all means get protected against the known signature based threats, but an injection of Sentinel One into the organisation will deliver against these, known advanced threats and unknown future threats, by predicting malicious behaviour, rapidly eliminating threats and seamlessly adapting defences. It’s like having one super injection to hypercharge the immune system to keep you healthy and free to get on and live your life uninterrupted.

Tony Rowan, Exclusive Group CTO

* coincidentally the signature based threats account for 50% of all estimated threats and the flu jab is at best 50% effective. In 2015 it was only 3% effective in preventing lab confirmed flu.

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