Citrix App Protection helps secure remote workers

Issue 3 2022 Cyber Security, IT infrastructure

Kurt Goodall.

While corporate-owned devices can be secured using anti-virus software, endpoint scans and MDM, many users don’t apply the same level of security to their personal endpoints. To deliver a best-in-class employee experience that keeps data secure in any scenario, business needs tools that balance business continuity planning, BYOD (bring your own device) and zero trust.

Troye technical director Kurt Goodall says App Protection is here for the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service. “We’re excited to announce that App Protection is now generally available to our Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service customers.

“This adds a critical layer of defence against social engineering, phishing events, key logging and screenshot malware for end users accessing corporate resources through any Windows or Mac devices, whether personal, unmanaged or managed,” he explains.

IT and end users alike have seen the benefits of BYOD programmes, which have led to an increase of personal devices in the workplace. Additionally, many companies need gig workers and contractors to use their personal devices to get work done.

While IT takes measures to ensure that corporate-owned and managed devices are secure through policy administration, regular health checks, and web filtering, gig workers and contractors might not take the same measures on their personal devices.

“It’s unlikely that they are monitoring the health of their devices at all, despite the fact that they likely visit social media and other popular sites that are havens for malware. So, while IT invests in security solutions at double-digit growth rates, the risk of a data breach is still high because personal devices infected with malware can enter any corporate network,” he adds.

ATM cash-out attacks are on the rise and can be caused by silent keyloggers sitting on the computer. These attacks are carried out by inserting malware via phishing or social engineering methods into a financial institution or payment processor’s systems. Once infected, the system can transmit users’ personal data back to a third-party attacking system, causing huge financial liability.

Key logging and screen capture malware commonly affect unmanaged endpoints. When present on a device, key logging malware captures each key stroke entered by a user, creating a significant risk for an organisation. The malware captures all the information end users type into a device, including usernames and passwords.

Screen-capture malware periodically takes a snapshot of the user’s screen, saving it to a hidden folder on the device or directly uploading it to the attacker’s server. This also creates significant risk because the attacker can exfiltrate all the information on the user’s screen.

Even with managed devices, there is still the threat of social engineering. A common attack through social engineering is using screen sharing to steal data, money and more. In a screen share attack, the attacker will call and pretend they are tech support or IT and convince an unsuspecting target to screen share their device.

At this point, the attacker can infiltrate the device and take financial information, sensitive data and more. This is even riskier in businesses such as call centres, financial institutions, healthcare and any business handling sensitive customer and patient data.

Goodall says App Protection defends against accidental screen sharing by turning apps delivered through Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops into black screens. “App Protection can complement your IT security strategy with a zero-trust security approach, assuming all Windows or Mac devices whether they are personal, unmanaged or managed are compromised and protecting from data exfiltration.”

To defend against key loggers, App Protection scrambles keystrokes entered in the device, sending the attacker undecipherable text. It also prevents screenshot malware by turning all screenshots into a blank picture.

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