Keep Your Network in Compliance, and Healthy Too

Keep Your Network in Compliance, and Healthy Too

A company’s network is the backbone of its IT infrastructure, depended upon for connection to customers, potential customers, vendors and employees, as well as public and private cloud infrastructure. Not only that, your network’s health is one of your best defenses against cyber threats. However, to stay healthy and in compliance with standards and regulations, you need to be proactive. Read on to find out how to keep your network in good health and compliance. Marks of a Healthy Network According to an article on network health, a company’s computer network is ideally flexible, efficient and secure. It links you to services essential for your business-critical applications to remain available and run smoothly. Offsite backup is also dependent upon the condition of your network. Just as important as working well, it needs to be secure, with no intrusions by malware, viruses, or unauthorized users. Your data needs to be protected whether or not your business is subject to industry regulations like HIPAA or PCI-DDS. Provided your network is already in good shape, network compliance will be easier as will avoiding fines for non-compliance. How to Improve and Maintain the Health of Your Network Both technological and human resources can work together to keep your network in tip-top shape. Your servers need to have up-to-date operating system patches (ideally automated) and current anti-virus and anti-malware definitions; these definitions need to extend to every device connected to your network. Make sure to monitor your network, looking for possible intrusions, weak spots, and any element possibly out of compliance. Consider an offsite network monitoring application that can work twenty-four hours a day....
The Importance of Data Protection

The Importance of Data Protection

Cyber attacks and data breaches are regularly in the news, and often come with a loss or exposure of customers’ data and a loss of reputation to the business. Large, well-known businesses are often in the headlines; small to medium-size businesses, however, are just as much at risk.  Knowledge of cybersecurity practices has yet to keep up with new threats. According to CompTIA’s 2018 Trends in Cybersecurity report, “Businesses with fewer than 100 employees are far more likely than their larger counterparts to feel that their IT security is simply adequate or unsatisfactory. Without a deep resource pool to lean on, smaller firms struggle to address new facets of IT security.” To learn more about protecting your data, read on. The Importance of Data Protection When a cyberattack occurs, customer data can be either lost or get in the hands of cybercriminals. As a result, customers can lose trust in your company to keep their data safe, data that is generated through online interactions with your company. How do you protect this data, your relationships with your customers, and your company’s bottom line? Your business may also be subject to regulatory compliance, such as following GDRP, HIPAA or PCI-DDS. As ever, it’s important to keep antivirus and anti-malware definitions up to date and to monitor your network. Backing up data in the Cloud is also an option to consider. But just as important is to develop a culture of cybersecurity in your organization. Develop a Culture of Cybersecurity Managers and CEOs can set the tone for a culture of cybersecurity by emphasizing the benefits of data protection. Not only...
Make Your Employees Your First Line of Defense in Cybersecurity

Make Your Employees Your First Line of Defense in Cybersecurity

Imagine that your employees could be your strongest defense against cyber attacks, rather than a potential area of weakness. According to a CompTIA 2019 industry trends report, in all the innovation taking place, cybersecurity is an enduring concern. Other statistics indicate that user error contributes to nearly 25% of cyber breaches. Read on to learn more about how to train your employees to be your greatest defense against cyber attacks. Train Employees to Defend Against Cyber Threat Cyber attacks are on the rise, in the form of phishing (and spear phishing) designed to implant malware on devices, and merely installing antivirus detection software or firewalls is only one part of prevention. Employees need consistent training on how to recognize phishing attempts, and this training needs to be reinforced frequently. Employees trained to recognize and report phishing schemes–wherein a bad actor poses as a legitimate entity in order to garner personal information—can be an asset in your cybersecurity strategy. One facet of training involves making employees aware of different types of schemes, such as hackers gathering specific information about employees or about your company, also known as spear phishing. In this type of attack, phishers can even make it look like an email is coming from a supervisor, in order to trick employees. Keep Cybersecurity Training Continuous Once employees are aware of specific threats, emphasize that they have a key role in protecting your business and themselves at the same time. Teach them through testing their knowledge via fake phishing schemes or a USB drop. Various vendors offer different resources for training and reinforcement. Another idea for ongoing training is...
Is Your Business Ready for Windows 7 and Server 2008 r2 End of Service

Is Your Business Ready for Windows 7 and Server 2008 r2 End of Service

With the upcoming end of service for Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 r2, many business owners will need to consider their options. While the end of service for these operating systems is scheduled for January 2020, most technology advisors agree you need a plan of action today. To learn more about what these changes mean to keep your business systems running and secure, read on. What the End of Service Means for Cybersecurity Protection According to a ClikCloud article late in 2018, Microsoft announced the end of service for Windows 7 and Server 2008. One of the primary considerations is that operating systems patches that provide protection from Cyber Attack will no longer be available, potentially putting your network security in jeopardy. Application Support and Windows End of Service Some commercial or custom applications may be incompatible with the new Microsoft operating systems. As a result, you may need to upgrade to a compatible version of desktop, server or database versions to avoid any unintended downtime or loss of productivity.  In addition, to update your application software, you may consider virtualization, desktop as a service or cloud migration as options to ensure continued productivity for your employees. Consider Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) as an Option Moving workloads and application hosting to the cloud may provide additional benefits. Having your infrastructure in the cloud, rather than on-premise, offers the benefits of cost-saving, and added security. This form of cloud computing enables you to convert a capital expense to a more predictable operating expense, without hardware and software that needs updating. Resources can be scaled to handle increased and...
Tips to Avoid Security Breaches

Tips to Avoid Security Breaches

According to a recent CompTIA report, even though people know what to do to avoid security breaches, they don’t always put this knowledge into practice. Employees can, however, take advantage of cybersecurity training in the workplace, learn to change passwords frequently, and implement other safeguards. How to Identify a Phishing Scheme The mouse arrow can be pointed at a suspected link exposing information you can use to identify an untrusted source. Another clue to be on the lookout for is a misspelling in the ‘reply to’ email address of the email. Third, hackers may use attachments that appear to be trusted (e.g., .txt or .doc)  to try to get personal information. Inspect the extension of the attachment to ensure they do not include “.exe” as this may launch a cyber attack as an executable program. Be Aware of Spear Phishing Spear Phishing is a form of social engineering designed to get you and your employees to divulge specific privacy information by using relevant and trusted information to influence your behavior. This could include banking, vendor, customer or other familiar information to trick you into providing account, password and other privacy data. Similar to phishing, these same clues can be a help in avoiding “spear phishing” attacks. You may also consider reaching out to customers, vendors or employees to authenticate an email’s source before taking action. Monitor Your Network and  Use Security Information and Event Management Technology to  Cyber Attacks There are many options to monitor your network for intrusions. Network monitoring can identify unauthorized access, unauthorized network login attempts, unexpected network traffic in terms of volume or time of...
Hacking Hazards to Watch in 2019

Hacking Hazards to Watch in 2019

The more technology advances, the more businesses must be aware of security breaches and hacker attacks. Where are hackers likely to strike in 2019, and how can you protect your business? Read on to learn more about new and existing cyberattacks to avoid. Toll Fraud Likely to Threaten Businesses Toll Fraud is an emerging cyber threat to watch out for. Toll fraud may happen when an attacker accesses your phone system to make fraudulent calls, possibly by posing as a new customer, placing calls (including expensive long-distance calls) directly from your business’s phone lines — on your dime! Cybercriminals may target businesses with in-house phone systems, rather than ones with Voice over IP (VoIP) systems. Toll fraud can be recognized and prevented through monitoring of a VoIP system. Be on Look out for Phishing Schemes Phishing typically uses emails to lure your employees into clicking on links that download malicious software (Malware). In addition, Phishing schemes may also get your employees to share internal information including passwords, confidential information, privacy information, financial information, patents and more. Educating your staff on how to recognize suspicious links and report them is your first line of defense. Ransomware is Everywhere Employees can also introduce Ransomware to your network, that can travel to all attached devices including your server. Once infected, you will be held ransom to regain access. If you pay, you are likely to be targeted again. Avoid ransomware by having strict policies to prevent thumb drives, guest PCs and other non-compliant devices attaching to your network. Having a reliable backup of your systems is a way to rapidly recover without...