How to strengthen your BYOD security

Many businesses are adopting bring your own device (BYOD) policies as more employees work from home. The problem is, if you’re not careful, BYOD can expose your company to major cybersecurity risks, including the following.

  • Loss or theft of devices – Employees often bring their personal devices wherever they go. This means there’s a higher chance of devices, as well as the data stored in them, being lost or stolen.
  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks – Cybercriminals can intercept information transmitted from employees’ devices if these are connected to poorly secured public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Jailbroken devices – Jailbreaking is the process of removing the restrictions imposed by the manufacturer of a device, typically to allow the installation of unauthorized third-party software. This increases the risk of an employee inadvertently installing malicious software on a personal device.
  • Security vulnerabilities – If employees have outdated operating systems and software on their devices, cybercriminals can exploit unpatched vulnerabilities to gain unfettered access to company systems
  • Malware – A personal device that has been infected with malware can spread that malware to other devices that are connected to the company network and cause data loss and downtime.

To mitigate these risks, you must devise a BYOD security policy that works for the needs of your business as well as the needs of your employees. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Set passwords on all BYOD devices

Prevent unauthorized access to company data by enforcing the use of passwords on all employee devices and accounts. Passwords should be unique; contain letters, numbers, and symbols; and are at least 12 characters long. It’s also a good idea to implement multifactor authentication to add another method of identity verification such as fingerprint scans or temporary passcodes sent via email.

2. Blacklist unsanctioned applications

Blacklisting involves prohibiting the installation of certain applications on BYOD devices that are used for work purposes. This includes applications like games, social networking apps, and third-party file sharing platforms. The simplest way to blacklist applications is through a mobile device management platform that enables IT administrators to secure and enforce policies on enrolled devices.

3. Restrict data access

Adopt the principle of least privilege on both BYOD and company devices. This means that a user is able to access only the data and software required to do their job. This can reduce the effects of certain types of malware and limit the fallout in the event of a data breach.

4. Invest in anti-malware software

Anti-malware software identifies and removes malware before they cause irreparable harm to a device. The best anti-malware programs are often backed by the latest threat intelligence databases and use behavior-based detection techniques to pick up any traces of malware.

5. Backing up device data

A well-thought-out BYOD policy can go a long way toward minimizing the risk of a security breach, but if something manages to slip past your defenses, you need to have backups prepared. Back up your data in off-site servers and in the cloud to ensure that any data stored locally on a device can be quickly recovered.

6. Educate your staff about security

The vast majority of BYOD-related security risks involve human error. This is why you should educate your employees about proper mobile safety. Train them on spotting apps that could contain malware, sharing security threat updates, and securing their devices beyond enabling default security settings.

You should also approach us if you need assistance with protecting your BYOD environment. As a professional managed IT services provider, we keep tabs on the latest trends and innovations related to BYOD and will recommend solutions that work for your company. Contact us today to see how we can help.

This post was originally published on this site

How to strengthen your BYOD security

Many businesses are adopting bring your own device (BYOD) policies as more employees work from home. The problem is, if you’re not careful, BYOD can expose your company to major cybersecurity risks, including the following.

  • Loss or theft of devices – Employees often bring their personal devices wherever they go. This means there’s a higher chance of devices, as well as the data stored in them, being lost or stolen.
  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks – Cybercriminals can intercept information transmitted from employees’ devices if these are connected to poorly secured public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Jailbroken devices – Jailbreaking is the process of removing the restrictions imposed by the manufacturer of a device, typically to allow the installation of unauthorized third-party software. This increases the risk of an employee inadvertently installing malicious software on a personal device.
  • Security vulnerabilities – If employees have outdated operating systems and software on their devices, cybercriminals can exploit unpatched vulnerabilities to gain unfettered access to company systems
  • Malware – A personal device that has been infected with malware can spread that malware to other devices that are connected to the company network and cause data loss and downtime.

To mitigate these risks, you must devise a BYOD security policy that works for the needs of your business as well as the needs of your employees. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Set passwords on all BYOD devices

Prevent unauthorized access to company data by enforcing the use of passwords on all employee devices and accounts. Passwords should be unique; contain letters, numbers, and symbols; and are at least 12 characters long. It’s also a good idea to implement multifactor authentication to add another method of identity verification such as fingerprint scans or temporary passcodes sent via email.

2. Blacklist unsanctioned applications

Blacklisting involves prohibiting the installation of certain applications on BYOD devices that are used for work purposes. This includes applications like games, social networking apps, and third-party file sharing platforms. The simplest way to blacklist applications is through a mobile device management platform that enables IT administrators to secure and enforce policies on enrolled devices.

3. Restrict data access

Adopt the principle of least privilege on both BYOD and company devices. This means that a user is able to access only the data and software required to do their job. This can reduce the effects of certain types of malware and limit the fallout in the event of a data breach.

4. Invest in anti-malware software

Anti-malware software identifies and removes malware before they cause irreparable harm to a device. The best anti-malware programs are often backed by the latest threat intelligence databases and use behavior-based detection techniques to pick up any traces of malware.

5. Backing up device data

A well-thought-out BYOD policy can go a long way toward minimizing the risk of a security breach, but if something manages to slip past your defenses, you need to have backups prepared. Back up your data in off-site servers and in the cloud to ensure that any data stored locally on a device can be quickly recovered.

6. Educate your staff about security

The vast majority of BYOD-related security risks involve human error. This is why you should educate your employees about proper mobile safety. Train them on spotting apps that could contain malware, sharing security threat updates, and securing their devices beyond enabling default security settings.

You should also approach us if you need assistance with protecting your BYOD environment. As a professional managed IT services provider, we keep tabs on the latest trends and innovations related to BYOD and will recommend solutions that work for your company. Contact us today to see how we can help.

This post was originally published on this site

Protecting your data from hurricanes

Hurricanes damage property and put lives at risk. If you’re not prepared, hurricanes can also disrupt your operations and put your business through extended downtime. In this blog, we’ll help you quickly regain access to your data and get your business back to operational mode after a disaster.

Determine recovery hierarchy

Certain parts of your IT system are more mission-critical than others. Ask yourself which systems and/or data must be recovered in minutes, hours, or days so your business can resume operations quickly

For example, you may find that recovering sensitive customer information and eCommerce systems take priority over recovering your email server. Whatever the case may be, prioritizing your systems ensures that the right ones are recovered quickly after a disaster.

Pay attention to location

First and foremost, your backup site should be in a hurricane-free zone. Ideally, your off-site facility should be located at least 100 miles away from your main location. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is built to withstand wind speeds of 160 miles per hour (as fast as Category 5 storms) and is supported by backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies.

You should also request an upper floor installation or, at the very least, keep critical IT equipment 18 inches off the ground to prevent water damage in case of floods.

Use image-based backups

Unlike fragile tape backups, image-based backups take “snapshots” of your systems, creating a copy of the OS, software, and data stored in them. From there, you can easily boot the virtual image on any device, allowing you to back up and restore critical business systems in seconds.

Take advantage of the cloud

The cloud enables you to host applications and store data in high-availability, geo-redundant servers. This means your backups can be accessed via the internet, allowing authorized users to access critical files from any device. Expert technicians will also watch over and secure your backups, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of enterprise-level backup facilities and IT support.

Back up your data frequently

Back up your data as often as possible, especially during disaster season. If your latest backups were created on September 15th and a storm makes landfall in your area on the 28th, you could lose nearly two weeks of data.

Test your disaster recovery (DR) plan

After setting up your backups, check whether they are restoring your files accurately and on time. Your employees should be drilled on the recovery procedures and their responsibilities during and after a disaster. Your DR team should also be trained on how to failover to the backup site before the storm hits. Finally, providers, contractors, and customers need to be notified about how the hurricane will affect your operations.

As cell towers and internet connections may be affected during a hurricane, make sure your company forums are online and have your employees register with the Red Cross Safe and Well website so you can check their statuses.

It’s nearly impossible to experience disruptions during disasters like Harvey or Irma, but with the right support, you can minimize downtime. If you’re concerned about any natural disasters putting you out of business, call us today. We offer comprehensive business continuity services that every company should have.

This post was originally published on this site

Protecting your data from hurricanes

Hurricanes damage property and put lives at risk. If you’re not prepared, hurricanes can also disrupt your operations and put your business through extended downtime. In this blog, we’ll help you quickly regain access to your data and get your business back to operational mode after a disaster.

Determine recovery hierarchy

Certain parts of your IT system are more mission-critical than others. Ask yourself which systems and/or data must be recovered in minutes, hours, or days so your business can resume operations quickly

For example, you may find that recovering sensitive customer information and eCommerce systems take priority over recovering your email server. Whatever the case may be, prioritizing your systems ensures that the right ones are recovered quickly after a disaster.

Pay attention to location

First and foremost, your backup site should be in a hurricane-free zone. Ideally, your off-site facility should be located at least 100 miles away from your main location. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is built to withstand wind speeds of 160 miles per hour (as fast as Category 5 storms) and is supported by backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies.

You should also request an upper floor installation or, at the very least, keep critical IT equipment 18 inches off the ground to prevent water damage in case of floods.

Use image-based backups

Unlike fragile tape backups, image-based backups take “snapshots” of your systems, creating a copy of the OS, software, and data stored in them. From there, you can easily boot the virtual image on any device, allowing you to back up and restore critical business systems in seconds.

Take advantage of the cloud

The cloud enables you to host applications and store data in high-availability, geo-redundant servers. This means your backups can be accessed via the internet, allowing authorized users to access critical files from any device. Expert technicians will also watch over and secure your backups, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of enterprise-level backup facilities and IT support.

Back up your data frequently

Back up your data as often as possible, especially during disaster season. If your latest backups were created on September 15th and a storm makes landfall in your area on the 28th, you could lose nearly two weeks of data.

Test your disaster recovery (DR) plan

After setting up your backups, check whether they are restoring your files accurately and on time. Your employees should be drilled on the recovery procedures and their responsibilities during and after a disaster. Your DR team should also be trained on how to failover to the backup site before the storm hits. Finally, providers, contractors, and customers need to be notified about how the hurricane will affect your operations.

As cell towers and internet connections may be affected during a hurricane, make sure your company forums are online and have your employees register with the Red Cross Safe and Well website so you can check their statuses.

It’s nearly impossible to experience disruptions during disasters like Harvey or Irma, but with the right support, you can minimize downtime. If you’re concerned about any natural disasters putting you out of business, call us today. We offer comprehensive business continuity services that every company should have.

This post was originally published on this site

Why cloud solutions are essential in healthcare

One of the main goals of running a healthcare practice is delivering high-quality patient care ㅡ cloud computing can help you provide that. It is more reliable, convenient, and secure than offline solutions, and accessible on any internet-connected device. Here are some of the benefits of cloud computing for your practice.

Easy information access

Reviewing patient records used to be a time-consuming activity. In the past, doctors had to either lug around reams of documents or spend hours in front of a desktop computer to retrieve health records. But with cloud applications for managing electronic medical records (EMR), doctors can conveniently access medical records from anywhere, at any time.

HIPAA compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) stipulates rules and regulations on how to protect patient health information. Whether you use a browser-based tool or a mobile app, cloud computing makes it easy to adapt to HIPAA regulatory updates and changes. For instance, a vendor can update its data encryption standards in the cloud and the changes will automatically take effect on all accounts and devices — no new installs or configuration necessary.

Cost reduction

The cloud also eliminates the need for on-site hardware, maintenance fees, and expensive one-time software licenses. In terms of less quantifiable cost reductions, the ability to access work from anywhere at any time boosts productivity and makes your IT department more efficient.

Scalability

Unlike in-house computer hardware, you can scale cloud storage solutions in a matter of minutes. Beyond the benefit of organizational simplicity, web-based EMR software gives you more storage than you can ever need and retrieves records in a few seconds.

Better data backup and recovery

Data loss is a real issue for healthcare practices. Will your business continuity be safe if your office IT suddenly becomes inaccessible? Even a couple of days of downtime can have serious repercussions for your organization.

Practices that store their files in the cloud don’t have to worry about this. Nearly every cloud solution stores files in more than one location so backups can be restored quickly if anything goes wrong.

Want to learn more about the ideal cloud computing solutions for your practice? Get in touch with one of our tech experts today for personalized recommendations.

This post was originally published on this site

Why cloud solutions are essential in healthcare

One of the main goals of running a healthcare practice is delivering high-quality patient care ㅡ cloud computing can help you provide that. It is more reliable, convenient, and secure than offline solutions, and accessible on any internet-connected device. Here are some of the benefits of cloud computing for your practice.

Easy information access

Reviewing patient records used to be a time-consuming activity. In the past, doctors had to either lug around reams of documents or spend hours in front of a desktop computer to retrieve health records. But with cloud applications for managing electronic medical records (EMR), doctors can conveniently access medical records from anywhere, at any time.

HIPAA compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) stipulates rules and regulations on how to protect patient health information. Whether you use a browser-based tool or a mobile app, cloud computing makes it easy to adapt to HIPAA regulatory updates and changes. For instance, a vendor can update its data encryption standards in the cloud and the changes will automatically take effect on all accounts and devices — no new installs or configuration necessary.

Cost reduction

The cloud also eliminates the need for on-site hardware, maintenance fees, and expensive one-time software licenses. In terms of less quantifiable cost reductions, the ability to access work from anywhere at any time boosts productivity and makes your IT department more efficient.

Scalability

Unlike in-house computer hardware, you can scale cloud storage solutions in a matter of minutes. Beyond the benefit of organizational simplicity, web-based EMR software gives you more storage than you can ever need and retrieves records in a few seconds.

Better data backup and recovery

Data loss is a real issue for healthcare practices. Will your business continuity be safe if your office IT suddenly becomes inaccessible? Even a couple of days of downtime can have serious repercussions for your organization.

Practices that store their files in the cloud don’t have to worry about this. Nearly every cloud solution stores files in more than one location so backups can be restored quickly if anything goes wrong.

Want to learn more about the ideal cloud computing solutions for your practice? Get in touch with one of our tech experts today for personalized recommendations.

This post was originally published on this site

Keep your data safe with Windows 10’s built-in backup features

Businesses rely on computers for their daily operations, so succumbing to a ransomware attack is devastating. Ransomware blocks access to all data, which can result in financial losses and the company closing down temporarily or permanently. Windows 10 offers built-in tools and cloud storage options so you can come out on the other side of a ransomware attack or data loss incident relatively unscathed.

File History in Windows 10

Serving as the main backup utility, File History enables users to regularly schedule backing up of files on their PC and store them on an external drive. That means you can connect your PC to a network or USB drive and make backups as needed.

However, be sure to regularly connect the external drive if you intend to use File History for backups. Otherwise, Windows will prompt you that your files have not been backed up every day. You can ignore this warning at your own risk. If you back up to a mapped network that is unavailable, File History will commence backup in the local disk until the network drive becomes available.

Setting up File History

Anyone can set up File History. After all, it was designed to make data backup and recovery easy for users. By default, File History backs up the main file folders, but you may also pick which folders you want to back up and bring in folders from other parts of the PC to do this.

From the Start menu, click on Settings > Update & Security > Backup.

Once in Backup, you can connect to an external drive. Click on Add a drive to see a list of external hard drives hooked up to your PC and choose one.

When you return to the Backup section, you will see that the Add a drive option has changed to Automatically back up my files (by default). This allows backups to be created at periodic intervals, which you can set to anywhere from every 10 minutes to once a day (the default option is once every hour). You may also set how long to keep the backups.

Restoring files that have already been backed up is just as easy as setting up backups. Simply type “File History” in the search bar. Then, you will see the “Restore your files with File History” folder. Selecting this opens a new window showing the folders backed up onto your external drives.

Setting up OneDrive backup option

If you have access to a network drive or the cloud, back up to it instead of locally. One such cloud option is OneDrive. You can prompt OneDrive to automatically back up your files. Just click on the cloud icon in the Windows notification area, then select More > Settings > Backup > Manage backup.

Not only will selected folders sync in OneDrive, but new and existing files will also be backed up to OneDrive, so they can be accessed using other devices in case something happens to your PC.

Making system image backups

A system image is an exact replica of your entire operating system, along with all the programs, settings, and files. If you created a system image backup using the Windows 7 Backup and Restore tool in Windows 7, it will still work in Windows 10.

To use this feature, access the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) option from the Control Panel. Click on Create a system image, choose where to store the backup (i.e., an external hard drive, network drive, or DVD), and which drives or files to back up. You will then be asked to make a system repair disc, which you can use to start a PC and restore the image backup.

Never worry about losing files in Windows 10. For more tips on how to successfully back up and restore data, contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site