Access to data and systems is more versatile than ever. The “Internet of Things” has expanded how we can use technology and share information. How can anyone hope to keep their network safe from hackers, viruses and other breaches when the technology footprint continues to expand? The answer is not one thing but a series of controls and procedures you have to implement and be vigilant about, such as installing and constantly updating your firewall, antivirus, spam-filtering software and backups. This is why clients hire us – it’s a full-time job for someone with specific expertise (which we have!).
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PEOPLE! Like it or not, your staff can be your own worst enemies, inviting hackers, viruses, data breaches, data loss, etc., through the actions they thought were innocuous. In most cases, this is done without malicious intent – but if you as a manager haven’t set expectations regarding what websites your employees are visiting, what files they’re sending and receiving (and how they do it), and even what they’re posting in company e-mail, you could be opening yourself up to serious incidents.
If you’re using any kind of cloud application or storage outside of your office, you are right to be concerned about data privacy and security. As a rule, if you have data worth protecting, you should be concerned about it, regardless of where it is stored. However, many data breaches, including data stored in the cloud, are due to USER ERROR. Therefore, it’s important that you, the user, maintain a strong awareness and culture of security.
No matter how diligent you are about security, nobody is immune to cyber-attacks completely. Security is made to reduce risks and mitigate the impacts of cyber-attacks, but there isn’t anything we can do to completely eliminate the threat. So what do you do in the event that you or your organization becomes a victim?
A firewall is a device that sits on the perimeter of your network, allowing (hopefully) good traffic in and blocking bad traffic. EVERY business and individual concerned with keeping bad guys out needs one.
Thanks to powerful password-cracking software that is readily available online, hackers can guess a five-character password in under three hours. If you only use lowercase letters, it’s 11.9 seconds.
If you plan on catching up on some work from home AND you’re using a personal device such as a smartphone or personal laptop – DON’T! Unless your personal device is covered under your organization’s IT support plan and tools, your device could be the one used to introduce a significant cyber-attack or data breach of your organization’s technology.
You’re working at your computer when all of the sudden – BAM! – you get a pop-up notification that your PC is infected with a virus and you must “click here” to run a scan or install antivirus software.
Not too long ago, the CryptoLocker ransomware virus was all over the news, infecting over 250,000 computers in its first 100 days of release (at least that’s the number reported – the real numbers are probably MUCH higher). The threat was fairly straightforward: Pay us or we’ll delete all your data.
A phishing e-mail is a bogus e-mail that is carefully designed to trick the end user into looking like a legitimate request for personal information or to get you to click on a malicious attachment from a source you trust. It is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to compromise end user PCs and accounts.