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Marco De Angelis, Fing: “cyberattacks are now meant not only to inflict damage but to steal resources”

Cyberattacks are constantly evolving and becoming harder to notice, especially in organizational networks without proper security tools.

It can be hard to keep track of every device connected to a company’s network. That’s why hackers might go unnoticed until damage is done.

For this reason, it’s vital to implement security measures, such as a network and IP scanner, that would help prevent private data and resources from being stolen.

To learn more about how to secure a company’s network, Cybernews invited Marco De Angelis, the Co-Founder and Head of Fing – a company that offers a network and IP scanner for wifi security.

Tell us more about your story. What inspired you to create Fing?

Just three guys who were obsessed with networking and having fun while creating something useful. We were lucky to witness the very beginning of the mobile app ecosystem and use that magic era to reinvent networking to make it simpler and approachable.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? What issues do you help solve?

Fing helps people with their networks. In a time when connectivity is a major utility that fuels work, entertainment, and appliances, we connect with "Home Tech Officers", the person the household turns to for tech matters. We help them:

  • Understand – by providing visibility about devices and connectivity
  • Improve – by troubleshooting issues and comparing performances
  • Secure – by monitoring changes and blocking devices

What types of attacks are usually carried out via insecure networks?

All kinds of attacks, in and out. Cyberattacks have evolved throughout the years and now are not only meant to inflict damage but also to steal resources (such as mining cryptocurrencies and launching federated Denial-of-Service attacks), user credentials, and private data. We go insofar as being able to detect personal presence by hacking security cameras.

Share with us, what are the early warning signs that there might be something lurking in one’s network?

New and unidentified devices that are present in a network are a first sign that something might not be right. Considering also external accesses, checking if something's changed in your router setup, e.g. allowing external access or disabling the firewall are easy signs that a more thorough investigation might be required.

How do you think the pandemic affected the cybersecurity industry? Did you add any new features to your services as a result?

There's been a sudden mixing of personal and company-issued devices in the first phases, which eventually turned into a more organic setup.

Still, the pandemic acted as an accelerant to the distribution and widespread usage of non-company networks, with consumer-grade setups that might endanger safe access for work-related activities.

In your opinion, what are the most common misconceptions people tend to have regarding Internet security?

The main issue is believing in a one-size-fits-all solution that can isolate and protect. In networking – as in life – being aware and understanding a bit how the Internet works can make all the difference in figuring out what's needed for proper protection.

Since IoT devices are becoming more commonplace, are there any security gaps that you think are often overlooked?

Unlike our PCs and Smart TVs, IoT devices added a perpetual presence on the network and lack any major standard they agree upon. As these devices usually sit seemingly idle, it is very easy to forget they are connected to a network, usually connected to some external service, and may be used to get access to one's network without a noticeable trace.

Again, being aware of what's online and how they behave is an important step in protecting one's network.

In the age of remote work, what would you consider the essential security measures both organizations and individuals should implement?

According to ManageEngine's Global Survey, IT can be effective when it’s done remotely at 71% and "while there might have been an initial influx of additional tickets related to equipment requests and teething issues, for many IT departments the increased ticket level dropped again once employees were settled into their new working environments."

Most organizations (85%) already had the right remote-support equipment or were quickly able to get it. Only 15.4% of organizations still didn’t have what they needed well into the crisis.

Still, there has been a lack of standard procedures in the early stages, but as the pandemic progressed, the widespread adoption of mandatory multi-factor authentications, dedicated VPNs, and clean distinction of applications that can run on the remote worker's PC has helped tighten the security levels.

And finally, would you like to share what’s next for Fing?

Our mission is to keep helping people with their networks. While we constantly improve our #1 network scanner and device recognition, we plan to have in store a novel Security Score for an easier and deeper analysis of our Fing Premium security, a brand new Dashboard to make data even more accessible, and finally access to security notices, tips, and content for one's devices.

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