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

How to protect corporate data

Time and again, we have seen hackers infiltrate even the most secure systems of multinational corporations. As a business owner, you can’t afford a data breach, as it could cost you your clients and reputation. This is why it’s crucial to implement strict security measures that can make cybercriminals think twice about trying to break into your network. Here are some tips to protect your corporate data.

Use two-factor authentication

Using a complicated password to secure your system is not an effective way to level up your cybersecurity. That’s because having to memorize a difficult password often pushes users to set that same complex password for multiple accounts. And if a hacker gets a hold of a recycled password, there’s a high probability that they could access all your accounts that use that same password.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your systems and accounts. 2FA comes in many forms: it can be a biometric verification in the devices that you own or a time-sensitive auto-generated code sent to your mobile phone. This security feature works similarly to how websites would require you to confirm your email address to ensure that you are not a bot.

Encrypt all data

Encryption is an effective obstruction to hackers, since it scrambles and descrambles data every time someone tries to read it. Encryption also causes compatibility issues if the data is not being accessed via a company’s own network systems. While applying encryption can be expensive, it is certainly well worth the money because it protects your data in case it falls into the wrong hands.

Keep systems up to date

Hackers are always upgrading their tools to take advantage of outdated security systems, so companies should keep up to protect their valuable technology resources. Many companies don’t install software updates immediately, and that’s a huge problem. Updates often close existing security loopholes, which is why delayed installation can mean exposing your systems to external attacks. Keep your data safe by installing software updates as soon as they are released.

Back up frequently

Implementing several layers to your security doesn’t ensure that hackers won’t find their way into your systems. This is why you need to back up data frequently, whether it’s on-site, off-site, or by way of cloud backups. In the worst-case scenario where your systems do get infiltrated, you can restore lost data from your backups.

Monitor connectivity

Many businesses have no idea how many of their devices are connected online at a given time, so it’s very hard for them to keep track of which of these should actually be online. Sometimes, a company’s computers and servers are online when they don’t need to be, making these tempting and easy targets for attackers. It’s advisable to configure business servers properly to guarantee that only necessary machines are online and that they’re well-protected at all times.

It’s much more expensive to recover from a data breach than to prevent one. If you’re looking to protect your business IT systems from potential threats, contact us today so we can help.

This post was originally published on this site

How to protect corporate data

Time and again, we have seen hackers infiltrate even the most secure systems of multinational corporations. As a business owner, you can’t afford a data breach, as it could cost you your clients and reputation. This is why it’s crucial to implement strict security measures that can make cybercriminals think twice about trying to break into your network. Here are some tips to protect your corporate data.

Use two-factor authentication

Using a complicated password to secure your system is not an effective way to level up your cybersecurity. That’s because having to memorize a difficult password often pushes users to set that same complex password for multiple accounts. And if a hacker gets a hold of a recycled password, there’s a high probability that they could access all your accounts that use that same password.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your systems and accounts. 2FA comes in many forms: it can be a biometric verification in the devices that you own or a time-sensitive auto-generated code sent to your mobile phone. This security feature works similarly to how websites would require you to confirm your email address to ensure that you are not a bot.

Encrypt all data

Encryption is an effective obstruction to hackers, since it scrambles and descrambles data every time someone tries to read it. Encryption also causes compatibility issues if the data is not being accessed via a company’s own network systems. While applying encryption can be expensive, it is certainly well worth the money because it protects your data in case it falls into the wrong hands.

Keep systems up to date

Hackers are always upgrading their tools to take advantage of outdated security systems, so companies should keep up to protect their valuable technology resources. Many companies don’t install software updates immediately, and that’s a huge problem. Updates often close existing security loopholes, which is why delayed installation can mean exposing your systems to external attacks. Keep your data safe by installing software updates as soon as they are released.

Back up frequently

Implementing several layers to your security doesn’t ensure that hackers won’t find their way into your systems. This is why you need to back up data frequently, whether it’s on-site, off-site, or by way of cloud backups. In the worst-case scenario where your systems do get infiltrated, you can restore lost data from your backups.

Monitor connectivity

Many businesses have no idea how many of their devices are connected online at a given time, so it’s very hard for them to keep track of which of these should actually be online. Sometimes, a company’s computers and servers are online when they don’t need to be, making these tempting and easy targets for attackers. It’s advisable to configure business servers properly to guarantee that only necessary machines are online and that they’re well-protected at all times.

It’s much more expensive to recover from a data breach than to prevent one. If you’re looking to protect your business IT systems from potential threats, contact us today so we can help.

This post was originally published on this site

What are two-step and two-factor authentication?

Some data breaches result from the theft of a user’s login credentials. To keep your business safe, you need to implement a two-factor or two-step authentication process. These authentication methods may sound the same, but they are two vastly different processes. Read on to learn the differences between two-step authentication and two-factor authentication.

If you want to improve your business’s cybersecurity, you should take a closer look at your authentication process. Two-step and two-factor authentication are two of the most commonly used authentication methods. Many businesses use the terms two-step and two-factor authentication interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between the two.

Two-step authentication

A two-step authentication process requires a single-factor login (such as a password or biometric reading) as well as another similar type of login credential that a user must provide. This process typically requires entering a password for the first step and entering another security code for the second step, which may be accomplished by providing a one-time code generated by an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator.

Two-step authentication adds an extra step in the verification process, making it more secure than single-step authentication (i.e., providing only a password). However, if a person or business is hacked, it won’t be enough to stop hackers from getting a hold of whatever they are looking for.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication, a subset of multifactor authentication, is significantly more secure than two-step authentication. This type of authentication requires two different types of information to authenticate a user’s identity. For example, it could be a combination of a fingerprint or retinal scan as well as a password or passcode. Because of the additional authentication information required, hackers would have great difficulty breaking into a network using a two-factor authentication system.

Which one is better?

Relying on a single-factor authentication process is no longer sufficient in ensuring the safety of your network. Securing the authentication process and making it difficult for cybercriminals to access your network should be on top of your priorities. Deciding whether to use two-step or two-factor authentication largely depends on your business’s specific security requirements. To take the stress out of securing and protecting your network, call us today for expert cybersecurity advice.

This post was originally published on this site

What are two-step and two-factor authentication?

Some data breaches result from the theft of a user’s login credentials. To keep your business safe, you need to implement a two-factor or two-step authentication process. These authentication methods may sound the same, but they are two vastly different processes. Read on to learn the differences between two-step authentication and two-factor authentication.

If you want to improve your business’s cybersecurity, you should take a closer look at your authentication process. Two-step and two-factor authentication are two of the most commonly used authentication methods. Many businesses use the terms two-step and two-factor authentication interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between the two.

Two-step authentication

A two-step authentication process requires a single-factor login (such as a password or biometric reading) as well as another similar type of login credential that a user must provide. This process typically requires entering a password for the first step and entering another security code for the second step, which may be accomplished by providing a one-time code generated by an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator.

Two-step authentication adds an extra step in the verification process, making it more secure than single-step authentication (i.e., providing only a password). However, if a person or business is hacked, it won’t be enough to stop hackers from getting a hold of whatever they are looking for.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication, a subset of multifactor authentication, is significantly more secure than two-step authentication. This type of authentication requires two different types of information to authenticate a user’s identity. For example, it could be a combination of a fingerprint or retinal scan as well as a password or passcode. Because of the additional authentication information required, hackers would have great difficulty breaking into a network using a two-factor authentication system.

Which one is better?

Relying on a single-factor authentication process is no longer sufficient in ensuring the safety of your network. Securing the authentication process and making it difficult for cybercriminals to access your network should be on top of your priorities. Deciding whether to use two-step or two-factor authentication largely depends on your business’s specific security requirements. To take the stress out of securing and protecting your network, call us today for expert cybersecurity advice.

This post was originally published on this site