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

Don’t be a victim of watering hole attacks

With cybercriminals continuously developing new ways to infiltrate networks and steal user data, it is more crucial than ever to stay one step ahead of these perpetrators. Protect yourself from one of the most common methods that cybercriminals use to inject malware into computers: watering hole attacks.

The term “watering hole” colloquially refers to a social gathering place where a particular group of people often go to. As internet users, we all have unique “watering holes” or websites that we visit frequently. A financial analyst, for example, is likely to visit websites related to financial investments and market trends.

In a watering hole attack, cybercriminals observe the watering holes of a specific demographic and infect their most visited websites with malware. Any user who has the misfortune of visiting any of these compromised sites will then have their computers automatically loaded with malware.

The malware used in these attacks usually collects the victim’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. In extreme cases, the hacker will actively take control of the infected computer.

But how does a cybercriminal choose which websites to hack? With internet tracking tools, hackers find out which websites companies and individual users visit the most. They then attempt to find vulnerabilities in those websites and embed them with malicious software.

Hackers these days are so highly skilled that they can exploit any website using a watering hole attack. In fact, even high-profile organizations like Facebook, Forbes, and the US Department of Labor have fallen prey to this scheme in recent years.

Protect yourself from watering hole attacks by doing the following:

Update your software

Watering hole attacks often exploit security gaps and vulnerabilities to infiltrate computers and networks. By updating all your software and browsers regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of an attack. Make it a habit to check the software developer’s website for any security patches. Or better yet, hire a managed IT services provider to keep your system up to date.

Watch your network closely

Regularly conduct security checks using your network security tools to detect watering hole attacks. Use tools like intrusion prevention systems that allow you to detect and contain suspicious or malicious network activities before they can cause problems. Meanwhile, bandwidth management software will enable you to observe user behavior and detect abnormalities that could indicate an attack, such as large transfers of information or a high number of downloads.

Hide your online activities

Cybercriminals can create more effective watering hole attacks if they compromise websites only you and your employees frequent. As such, you should hide your online activities with a VPN and your browser’s private browsing feature. Also, block social media sites from your office network, as these are often used as share points of links to infected sites.

Staying informed is one of the best ways to stay protected. As cyberthreats continue to evolve, it pays to be vigilant and aware of the newest threats. Tune in to our blog to find out about the latest developments in security and to get more tips on how to keep your business safe.

This post was originally published on this site

Don’t be a victim of watering hole attacks

With cybercriminals continuously developing new ways to infiltrate networks and steal user data, it is more crucial than ever to stay one step ahead of these perpetrators. Protect yourself from one of the most common methods that cybercriminals use to inject malware into computers: watering hole attacks.

The term “watering hole” colloquially refers to a social gathering place where a particular group of people often go to. As internet users, we all have unique “watering holes” or websites that we visit frequently. A financial analyst, for example, is likely to visit websites related to financial investments and market trends.

In a watering hole attack, cybercriminals observe the watering holes of a specific demographic and infect their most visited websites with malware. Any user who has the misfortune of visiting any of these compromised sites will then have their computers automatically loaded with malware.

The malware used in these attacks usually collects the victim’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. In extreme cases, the hacker will actively take control of the infected computer.

But how does a cybercriminal choose which websites to hack? With internet tracking tools, hackers find out which websites companies and individual users visit the most. They then attempt to find vulnerabilities in those websites and embed them with malicious software.

Hackers these days are so highly skilled that they can exploit any website using a watering hole attack. In fact, even high-profile organizations like Facebook, Forbes, and the US Department of Labor have fallen prey to this scheme in recent years.

Protect yourself from watering hole attacks by doing the following:

Update your software

Watering hole attacks often exploit security gaps and vulnerabilities to infiltrate computers and networks. By updating all your software and browsers regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of an attack. Make it a habit to check the software developer’s website for any security patches. Or better yet, hire a managed IT services provider to keep your system up to date.

Watch your network closely

Regularly conduct security checks using your network security tools to detect watering hole attacks. Use tools like intrusion prevention systems that allow you to detect and contain suspicious or malicious network activities before they can cause problems. Meanwhile, bandwidth management software will enable you to observe user behavior and detect abnormalities that could indicate an attack, such as large transfers of information or a high number of downloads.

Hide your online activities

Cybercriminals can create more effective watering hole attacks if they compromise websites only you and your employees frequent. As such, you should hide your online activities with a VPN and your browser’s private browsing feature. Also, block social media sites from your office network, as these are often used as share points of links to infected sites.

Staying informed is one of the best ways to stay protected. As cyberthreats continue to evolve, it pays to be vigilant and aware of the newest threats. Tune in to our blog to find out about the latest developments in security and to get more tips on how to keep your business safe.

This post was originally published on this site

IoT security in healthcare: What you need to know

The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. By remotely capturing medical data, facilitating medication delivery, and improving healthcare accessibility, IoT devices today are changing the practice of medicine and helping save more lives. But as with any new technology, IoT also brings a slew of security risks that healthcare practices need to address.

Computing devices that contain a treasure trove of patient data are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Healthcare apps, for instance, hold plenty of sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, prescriptions, and medical histories. Should hackers ever get a hold of this information, they could resell it on the dark web or use it to steal their victim’s identity. They could even use this information to gain direct control over other IoT equipment, which would lead to even bigger consequences.

Similarly, hackers could exploit vulnerable medical devices to infiltrate even the most secure networks. They could use compromised IoT devices to sneak ransomware and other types of malware into a network, causing service disruptions and preventing practitioners from providing responsive treatment.

To effectively defend against IoT-related risks in your healthcare practice, consider the following:

Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA requires users to provide more information than just their username and password to prove their identity, such as a password or PIN, an SMS code, or a fingerprint or retina scan. By enabling MFA on your networks and devices, hackers will have a harder time accessing your accounts and sensitive data.

Encrypt your data

Another way to protect your business and your patients from a massive data breach is through encryption. Encrypting electronic health records while they’re being transmitted or kept in storage prevents hackers from intercepting and reading confidential information.

If possible, everything that is transmitted across your network should be encrypted automatically to secure communications between IoT devices.

Install intrusion prevention systems

Since most IoT attacks are delivered via the internet, intrusion prevention systems are crucial to identifying and blocking unauthorized connections to your network. When you install intrusion prevention systems, hackers who try to remotely access or shut down your IoT equipment will be stopped before they damage your systems.

Security updates

Last but not least, IoT manufacturers regularly release security patches for their gadgets. Get in the habit of downloading these updates as soon they’re rolled out, or program your devices to automatically download and update themselves to ensure their safety from the latest threats.

When it comes to security, healthcare institutions have their work cut out for them. But whether you’re dealing with hardware security, data privacy, or regulatory compliance, it’s a good idea to partner with a managed IT services provider that specializes in helping the medical industry.

Call us today to discover how we can better protect you and your patients.

This post was originally published on this site

IoT security in healthcare: What you need to know

The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. By remotely capturing medical data, facilitating medication delivery, and improving healthcare accessibility, IoT devices today are changing the practice of medicine and helping save more lives. But as with any new technology, IoT also brings a slew of security risks that healthcare practices need to address.

Computing devices that contain a treasure trove of patient data are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Healthcare apps, for instance, hold plenty of sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, prescriptions, and medical histories. Should hackers ever get a hold of this information, they could resell it on the dark web or use it to steal their victim’s identity. They could even use this information to gain direct control over other IoT equipment, which would lead to even bigger consequences.

Similarly, hackers could exploit vulnerable medical devices to infiltrate even the most secure networks. They could use compromised IoT devices to sneak ransomware and other types of malware into a network, causing service disruptions and preventing practitioners from providing responsive treatment.

To effectively defend against IoT-related risks in your healthcare practice, consider the following:

Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA requires users to provide more information than just their username and password to prove their identity, such as a password or PIN, an SMS code, or a fingerprint or retina scan. By enabling MFA on your networks and devices, hackers will have a harder time accessing your accounts and sensitive data.

Encrypt your data

Another way to protect your business and your patients from a massive data breach is through encryption. Encrypting electronic health records while they’re being transmitted or kept in storage prevents hackers from intercepting and reading confidential information.

If possible, everything that is transmitted across your network should be encrypted automatically to secure communications between IoT devices.

Install intrusion prevention systems

Since most IoT attacks are delivered via the internet, intrusion prevention systems are crucial to identifying and blocking unauthorized connections to your network. When you install intrusion prevention systems, hackers who try to remotely access or shut down your IoT equipment will be stopped before they damage your systems.

Security updates

Last but not least, IoT manufacturers regularly release security patches for their gadgets. Get in the habit of downloading these updates as soon they’re rolled out, or program your devices to automatically download and update themselves to ensure their safety from the latest threats.

When it comes to security, healthcare institutions have their work cut out for them. But whether you’re dealing with hardware security, data privacy, or regulatory compliance, it’s a good idea to partner with a managed IT services provider that specializes in helping the medical industry.

Call us today to discover how we can better protect you and your patients.

This post was originally published on this site

These 5 types of hackers are a threat to SMBs

Malicious hackers are motivated by different things. Some do it for fun, some want money, and others just want to end your business. Getting to know how they behave and what drives them informs how you must defend your organization against them.

Script kiddies

In terms of skill, script kiddies (or skids, for short) are at the bottom of the hacker totem pole. Their name comes from the fact that they use scripts or other automated tools written by others. They are often young people on a quest for internet notoriety or who are simply bored and in search of a thrill.

Script kiddies shouldn’t be dismissed so easily, however. The ILOVEYOU virus, considered one of the worst malware on the planet, was developed by skids.

Hacktivists

Hacktivists often hack into businesses and government systems to promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal confidential information to expose or disrupt their target’s operations.

Even if you’re a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you’re not immune to hacktivist attacks. This is especially true if your company is associated or partnered with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets.

Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals break into digital systems or networks with the intent to steal, destroy, taint, and/or lock away data. They usually target individuals, SMBs, and large companies that have exploitable weaknesses in their cybersecurity.

Cybercriminals attack using a number of methods, including social engineering tactics to trick users into volunteering sensitive personal or company data. This information is then used for identity theft, sold on the dark web, or leveraged to launch attacks against other businesses. Cybercriminals can also infect computers with ransomware and other types of malware.

State-sponsored hackers

True to their name, these hackers are backed by governments. The hackers’ goal is to promote their backer’s interests within their own country or abroad. In most cases, this involves taking down websites that criticize the state, swaying public opinion, cyber-terrorism, and leaking top-secret information, among others.

As they are, state-sponsored hackers are already dangerous to business owners, but even more so when they make it their goal to cripple an entire country’s financial system or disrupt commodity supply lines. This could involve interfering with the economy or disrupting business operations. Tech and pharmaceutical companies are a frequent target, but businesses in other industries aren’t safe from state-sponsored hackers either.

Insiders

The scariest type of hacker is the one that lurks within your own organization. An insider can be your company’s current and former employees, contractors, or business associates. Oftentimes their mission is payback. They’ll steal sensitive documents or try to disrupt the organization’s operations to right a wrong they believe a company has done to them. Edward Snowden is a prime example of an insider who hacked the organization he worked for — the US government.

Malicious hackers are always changing their tactics to meet their goals, making them an ever-present threat to any organization, including yours. It’s crucial that you stay one step ahead by working with cybersecurity experts who can help protect your company from dangerous hackers and other cyberthreats. Contact our team today to get started.

This post was originally published on this site

These 5 types of hackers are a threat to SMBs

Malicious hackers are motivated by different things. Some do it for fun, some want money, and others just want to end your business. Getting to know how they behave and what drives them informs how you must defend your organization against them.

Script kiddies

In terms of skill, script kiddies (or skids, for short) are at the bottom of the hacker totem pole. Their name comes from the fact that they use scripts or other automated tools written by others. They are often young people on a quest for internet notoriety or who are simply bored and in search of a thrill.

Script kiddies shouldn’t be dismissed so easily, however. The ILOVEYOU virus, considered one of the worst malware on the planet, was developed by skids.

Hacktivists

Hacktivists often hack into businesses and government systems to promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal confidential information to expose or disrupt their target’s operations.

Even if you’re a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you’re not immune to hacktivist attacks. This is especially true if your company is associated or partnered with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets.

Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals break into digital systems or networks with the intent to steal, destroy, taint, and/or lock away data. They usually target individuals, SMBs, and large companies that have exploitable weaknesses in their cybersecurity.

Cybercriminals attack using a number of methods, including social engineering tactics to trick users into volunteering sensitive personal or company data. This information is then used for identity theft, sold on the dark web, or leveraged to launch attacks against other businesses. Cybercriminals can also infect computers with ransomware and other types of malware.

State-sponsored hackers

True to their name, these hackers are backed by governments. The hackers’ goal is to promote their backer’s interests within their own country or abroad. In most cases, this involves taking down websites that criticize the state, swaying public opinion, cyber-terrorism, and leaking top-secret information, among others.

As they are, state-sponsored hackers are already dangerous to business owners, but even more so when they make it their goal to cripple an entire country’s financial system or disrupt commodity supply lines. This could involve interfering with the economy or disrupting business operations. Tech and pharmaceutical companies are a frequent target, but businesses in other industries aren’t safe from state-sponsored hackers either.

Insiders

The scariest type of hacker is the one that lurks within your own organization. An insider can be your company’s current and former employees, contractors, or business associates. Oftentimes their mission is payback. They’ll steal sensitive documents or try to disrupt the organization’s operations to right a wrong they believe a company has done to them. Edward Snowden is a prime example of an insider who hacked the organization he worked for — the US government.

Malicious hackers are always changing their tactics to meet their goals, making them an ever-present threat to any organization, including yours. It’s crucial that you stay one step ahead by working with cybersecurity experts who can help protect your company from dangerous hackers and other cyberthreats. Contact our team today to get started.

This post was originally published on this site