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Ofer Ben Noon, Talon: “as the hybrid revolution continues, we expect to see a further increase in account takeover attacks”

When together with the pandemic, everyone went to work from home, the attack surface for cyber felons increased drastically.

The pandemic resulted in cyberattackers finding new opportunities to exploit companies. Whether it’s ransomware, data breaches, or other types of threats – the consequences can be damaging both financially and in terms of reputation.

Implementing antivirus software to your employees device is only a tiny measure toward securing company’s data and finances. Businesses should look at more advanced protection measures, such as implementing an enterprise browser.

To learn more about the best cybersecurity measures for companies, we’ve contacted Ofer Ben Noon, the CEO and Co-Founder of Talon – a company that specializes in cybersecurity solutions for a hybrid workforce environment.

What was the idea behind Talon? Would you like to tell us more about your journey?

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many enterprises rapidly shifted to make distributed work possible while maintaining business productivity. This forced companies to accelerate digital transformation initiatives, and we realized these changes led to gaps in visibility and security, playing into the hands of attackers. We saw that there were fundamental challenges that could not be addressed using traditional network-based security solutions. The idea behind Talon was to create a product that not only improves security and keeps control over enterprise assets in the hands of the enterprise security teams but also improves user experience ensuring lower latency and reducing the operational effort and the overhead cost since there’s no need to maintain infrastructure to redirect or tap into the network traffic.

Can you introduce us to your browser? What are its key features?

TalonWork is a secure browser-based workspace, offering a new security approach for the distributed workforce. Talon’s browser can be deployed across the organization in less than an hour, empowering security leaders to make the browser their first line of defense with minimum complexity, cost, and without any network alterations. TalonWork allows organizations to better secure and control access to sensitive data and resources, accelerates onboarding in multiple work scenarios and enables rapid and efficient disaster recovery. Talon’s multi-layered approach provides enterprise-grade security regardless of the endpoint: resilience against malware on the device, browser hardening against zero-day exploits, and data leakage prevention mechanisms integrated into the browser.

What would you consider the most serious problems affecting the modern workforce?

The way we work has changed, and it has created many security challenges for organizations.

  • Working from anywhere – which means workers are far from the IT team and less likely to report an incident or suspicious behavior, and they're less cyber aware when their habits meet the work environment.
  • Data is everywhere – enterprise assets and data are distributed across hundreds of SaaS services, some of them not visible to the company.
  • Working in many ways – workers use many devices and platforms, including non-corporate devices. There are many different employment models – consultant, outsourcing, M&A, subsidiary, and business partners. This reality makes it hard to enforce security or protect the endpoint from which the worker accesses enterprise resources.

This dynamic nature of the hybrid workforce makes the job of security leaders extremely hard, resulting in a lack of visibility and control over the enterprise’s most sensitive assets, exposing the organization to data leakage and account takeover attacks, as well as insider threat risks.

Do you think the current global events are going to influence the ways in which threat actors operate?

Cyberattackers tend to adapt their techniques to the most recent opportunities and gaps in the security stack. There’s no doubt that the shift to a hybrid workforce and its growing popularity created attractive opportunities for attackers, making hybrid organizations an easy target even though they have an extensive security stack that was meant to protect against traditional threats.

What do you think the average workplace is going to look like in the next few years?

As many companies implement a hybrid work model, many employees will still be operating remotely, and from a “bring your own device” policy. Flexibility will become a key requirement, as both employees and businesses enjoy the benefits of a limitless workforce. These policies, while flexible for employees, allow for serious data leakage risks. If organizations plan to continue to allow hybrid work, the average workplace must ensure a secure workspace, regardless of the location, device, or worker.

In your opinion, what kind of attacks are we going to see more of in the near future?

As the hybrid revolution continues to grow, we expect to see a further increase in account takeover attacks. A report by Sift revealed a staggering 307% increase in ATO attacks between April 2019 – shortly after many COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were enacted – and June 2021.

What actions should organizations and individuals take to protect themselves from these threats?

Individuals should make sure that they access sensitive data and services only from a secure environment, which is protected, patched, and updated against recent threats. Organizations should evaluate their cybersecurity strategy and make sure that they have visibility and control over access to enterprise resources as well as in-app control into all SaaS services which may store enterprise data. Employees should also be educated on security best practices to ensure they do not fall prey to ransomware hacks.

And finally, what’s next for Talon?

Talon is focusing on the commercialization of its core product TalonWork, bringing browser-based secure workspace to enterprises, to simplify their security stack and enable better control over enterprise assets.

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