Managing Risks in Healthcare Cyber Security

Healthcare is one of the industries most threatened by cybersecurity risks. It has been forecasted that the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) will grow from an estimated 4.5 billion devices in 2015 to as many as 30 billion by 2020.

Private health information is now more valuable on the black market than most other forms of personally identifiable information and it’s also a prime target for hackers considering its devices and technologies are essential to care for patients.

For healthcare providers, connected medical devices make their job much more efficient and accurate, but those devices are also a welcome breeding ground for cyber attackers. These technologies are increasingly relied upon and pose vulnerabilities to data breaches, cryptocurrency mining from hijacked drug infusion devices, or ransomware that can debilitate a hospital and put patients at a severe risk.

To protect your healthcare business against risks, especially those from medical devices, you need a consistent and systematic approach.  Following the roadmap delivered by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, will set you on the right track to develop a comprehensive risk management strategy. Five steps are outlined in the framework:  Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.  Here are ways you can implement the 5 steps, and prevent future attacks.

IDENTIFY

  • Conduct a risk analysis to identify risks and prioritize vulnerabilities.
  • Include medical devices in these risk assessments.  It was found that only 47 percent of surveyed organizations included medical devices in their security risk assessments.
  • Once you’ve discovered the assets and understand the attack vulnerabilities, you can implement effective prevention strategy.

ASSESS

  • Use best practices to assess vulnerabilities including the following:
  • Common Vulnerability and Exposures (CVE)—comprehensive catalog of software and firmware vulnerabilities submitted by the international cybersecurity community.
  • Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)—open framework for scoring the CVEs to prioritize remediation.

PROTECT

  • Practice continuous patching. 
  • Instead of using patch management only after an attack, practice patch management when the existing infrastructure is strong enough to ward off cyber attacks.
  • Repair existing system vulnerabilities in real time with automated patch managing, drastically reducing the risks of cyber attacks.
  • Require two-step authentication whenever transferring patient data over any network system. It might take a bit more time, but it will also reduce the risk of an attacker penetrating your IT system.
  • Train clinicians in the importance and practice of cyber security.  They are the front lines of defense, and without the participation of healthcare personnel and physicians, many other protections will fall short.

DETECT

  • Identify abnormal and suspicious activity by regularly reviewing audit and system activity logs.
  • Consistently monitor the IT and OT networks for threats by establishing a security operations center (SOC).
  • SOC-as-service partners are great options for healthcare organizations who lack the expertise, technology and budget to establish their own.

RESPOND

  • Establish a contingency plan including data backup and disaster recovery, testing periodically, to ensure data is recoverable.
  • Implementing access controls to limit access to ePHI.
  • Encrypting ePHI, as appropriate, for data at rest and data in motion.
  • Establish a security awareness and training program.  Include recurring security reminders and education awareness.

RECOVER

  • The average healthcare organization spent $1.4 million to recover from a cyberattack, according to a recent report from Radware. Prevention is key to recovery.
  • Inform customers and clients, proactive communication can reduce the loss of return clientele.
  • Have a response plan ready for unfortunate attacks.
  • Use a cyber security specialist to help you navigate steps after an attack.

If your healthcare organization or practice isn’t making data security and malware protection a priority, your systems may already be compromised. JDL Group can provide a full network diagnostic on your organization and identify any existing vulnerabilities or infections. Contact us today.

Sources:

https://arcticwolf.com/blog/how-to-systematically-manage-risks-in-healthcare-cybersecurity/

https://arcticwolf.com/blog/how-to-stay-ahead-of-hackers-targeting-healthcare-ephi/

https://www.marsh.com/my/insights/risk-in-context/healthcare-and-cyber-security-risks.html

https://healthtechmagazine.net/article/2018/08/healthcare-cybersecurity-how-providers-can-catch

https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/4/18293817/cybersecurity-hospitals-health-care-scan-simulation

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/ocr-publishes-recommendations-to-prepare-cybersecurity-threats

https://www.managedhealthcareexecutive.com/executive-express/hhs-new-cybersecurity-practices-5-things-know

https://healthitsecurity.com/news/healthcare-cyberattacks-cost-1.4-million-on-average-in-recovery

Healthcare is one of the industries most threatened by cybersecurity risks. It has been forecasted that the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) will grow from an estimated 4.5 billion devices in 2015 to as many as 30 billion by 2020.

Private health information is now more valuable on the black market than most other forms of personally identifiable information and it’s also a prime target for hackers considering its devices and technologies are essential to care for patients.

For healthcare providers, connected medical devices make their job much more efficient and accurate, but those devices are also a welcome breeding ground for cyber attackers. These technologies are increasingly relied upon and pose vulnerabilities to data breaches, cryptocurrency mining from hijacked drug infusion devices, or ransomware that can debilitate a hospital and put patients at a severe risk.

To protect your healthcare business against risks, especially those from medical devices, you need a consistent and systematic approach.  Following the roadmap delivered by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, will set you on the right track to develop a comprehensive risk management strategy. Five steps are outlined in the framework:  Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.  Here are ways you can implement the 5 steps, and prevent future attacks.

IDENTIFY

  • Conduct a risk analysis to identify risks and prioritize vulnerabilities.
  • Include medical devices in these risk assessments.  It was found that only 47 percent of surveyed organizations included medical devices in their security risk assessments.
  • Once you’ve discovered the assets and understand the attack vulnerabilities, you can implement effective prevention strategy.

ASSESS

  • Use best practices to assess vulnerabilities including the following:
  • Common Vulnerability and Exposures (CVE)—comprehensive catalog of software and firmware vulnerabilities submitted by the international cybersecurity community.
  • Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)—open framework for scoring the CVEs to prioritize remediation.

PROTECT

  • Practice continuous patching. 
  • Instead of using patch management only after an attack, practice patch management when the existing infrastructure is strong enough to ward off cyber attacks.
  • Repair existing system vulnerabilities in real time with automated patch managing, drastically reducing the risks of cyber attacks.
  • Require two-step authentication whenever transferring patient data over any network system. It might take a bit more time, but it will also reduce the risk of an attacker penetrating your IT system.
  • Train clinicians in the importance and practice of cyber security.  They are the front lines of defense, and without the participation of healthcare personnel and physicians, many other protections will fall short.

DETECT

  • Identify abnormal and suspicious activity by regularly reviewing audit and system activity logs.
  • Consistently monitor the IT and OT networks for threats by establishing a security operations center (SOC).
  • SOC-as-service partners are great options for healthcare organizations who lack the expertise, technology and budget to establish their own.

RESPOND

  • Establish a contingency plan including data backup and disaster recovery, testing periodically, to ensure data is recoverable.
  • Implementing access controls to limit access to ePHI.
  • Encrypting ePHI, as appropriate, for data at rest and data in motion.
  • Establish a security awareness and training program.  Include recurring security reminders and education awareness.

RECOVER

  • The average healthcare organization spent $1.4 million to recover from a cyberattack, according to a recent report from Radware. Prevention is key to recovery.
  • Inform customers and clients, proactive communication can reduce the loss of return clientele.
  • Have a response plan ready for unfortunate attacks.
  • Use a cyber security specialist to help you navigate steps after an attack.

If your healthcare organization or practice isn’t making data security and malware protection a priority, your systems may already be compromised. JDL Group can provide a full network diagnostic on your organization and identify any existing vulnerabilities or infections. Contact us today.

Sources:

https://arcticwolf.com/blog/how-to-systematically-manage-risks-in-healthcare-cybersecurity/

https://arcticwolf.com/blog/how-to-stay-ahead-of-hackers-targeting-healthcare-ephi/

https://www.marsh.com/my/insights/risk-in-context/healthcare-and-cyber-security-risks.html

https://healthtechmagazine.net/article/2018/08/healthcare-cybersecurity-how-providers-can-catch

https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/4/18293817/cybersecurity-hospitals-health-care-scan-simulation

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/ocr-publishes-recommendations-to-prepare-cybersecurity-threats

https://www.managedhealthcareexecutive.com/executive-express/hhs-new-cybersecurity-practices-5-things-know

https://healthitsecurity.com/news/healthcare-cyberattacks-cost-1.4-million-on-average-in-recovery

Three Methods Schools Can Use To Improve Cyber Security

Of the many enterprises that are susceptible to a cyber attack, K-12 schools fall in the category of most vulnerable. Schools have a great deal to lose, from private records to tests scores, employee and student information, and likely private info such as credit cards or bank numbers for those that collect tuition. Even the FBI has issued a warning on “the growing threat to student data as more and more learning goes online.”

When it comes to defending a school from cyber attack, many districts fall short, leaving themselves open to many different destructive threats. Both small and large scale attacks can wreak havoc on educational institutions. Professional reputations can be tarnished if sensitive documents are compromised, daily operations could cease if a DDoS attack shuts down a schools network, and even legal issues can arise from the ashes of a heinous data breach.

“Districts and school leaders can be held liable for network breaches. Individual superintendents and principals can even be sued.” (EdScoop)

The first step in knowing how to handle a threat is to know your enemy. The type of attacks that often corrupt a school system is not new or innovative— they’ve likely been executed in the past and are easy to prevent. Every school’s first line of defense is education. Knowing what to look for (or where to look) will give non-tech-savvy schools a fighting chance.

Here are some suggestions to implement immediately:

Application Security

Along with many modern workplaces, schools have begun to incorporate technology to simplify their daily process. From online applications like Blackboard to grading software like Scantron, schools in 2019 have become heavily reliant on tech. With new tech comes new vulnerabilities. To start, make sure your standard network and firewall are current and updated. It’s important to make sure all applications, especially the one’s handling sensitive data, are monitored frequently. Many hacks are well planned—hackers will find vulnerabilities first, then devise a scheme to take advantage of them. Incorporating more regular vulnerability scans or IT check-ups is great way to identify and eliminate potential flaws.

Cyber Security Education

Schools can make a huge impact on their student’s cyber safety by providing educational classes and reminding them of safe practice while using the internet. Small educational reinforcement can stop security threats in their tracks. Phishing attempts are often used to infiltrate a secure network via a clicked link or opened email. However, knowing what signs to look for can help students understand what to open and what to report. Check out the resources on our website for more specific safe practices and how you can coach kids to better internet safety.

Back-Ups

Regularly backing up (saving) all the data a school stores is one of the best ways to avoid a hacking threat or eliminate a potential threat. Some attacks will bar users from accessing data without actually compromising it. Having all your data backed up can allow you to completely ignore the threat without missing a beat. If data is compromised, your backup will have everything you need ready to be replaced. We highly recommend advising a professional as backing up an entire school system of data can be a difficult practice for a small, internal IT team.

For more information on how to keep your school safe contact our team at 973-607-2140.

Of the many enterprises that are susceptible to a cyber attack, K-12 schools fall in the category of most vulnerable. Schools have a great deal to lose, from private records to tests scores, employee and student information, and likely private info such as credit cards or bank numbers for those that collect tuition. Even the FBI has issued a warning on “the growing threat to student data as more and more learning goes online.”

When it comes to defending a school from cyber attack, many districts fall short, leaving themselves open to many different destructive threats. Both small and large scale attacks can wreak havoc on educational institutions. Professional reputations can be tarnished if sensitive documents are compromised, daily operations could cease if a DDoS attack shuts down a schools network, and even legal issues can arise from the ashes of a heinous data breach.

“Districts and school leaders can be held liable for network breaches. Individual superintendents and principals can even be sued.” (EdScoop)

The first step in knowing how to handle a threat is to know your enemy. The type of attacks that often corrupt a school system is not new or innovative— they’ve likely been executed in the past and are easy to prevent. Every school’s first line of defense is education. Knowing what to look for (or where to look) will give non-tech-savvy schools a fighting chance.

Here are some suggestions to implement immediately:

Application Security

Along with many modern workplaces, schools have begun to incorporate technology to simplify their daily process. From online applications like Blackboard to grading software like Scantron, schools in 2019 have become heavily reliant on tech. With new tech comes new vulnerabilities. To start, make sure your standard network and firewall are current and updated. It’s important to make sure all applications, especially the one’s handling sensitive data, are monitored frequently. Many hacks are well planned—hackers will find vulnerabilities first, then devise a scheme to take advantage of them. Incorporating more regular vulnerability scans or IT check-ups is great way to identify and eliminate potential flaws.

Cyber Security Education

Schools can make a huge impact on their student’s cyber safety by providing educational classes and reminding them of safe practice while using the internet. Small educational reinforcement can stop security threats in their tracks. Phishing attempts are often used to infiltrate a secure network via a clicked link or opened email. However, knowing what signs to look for can help students understand what to open and what to report. Check out the resources on our website for more specific safe practices and how you can coach kids to better internet safety.

Back-Ups

Regularly backing up (saving) all the data a school stores is one of the best ways to avoid a hacking threat or eliminate a potential threat. Some attacks will bar users from accessing data without actually compromising it. Having all your data backed up can allow you to completely ignore the threat without missing a beat. If data is compromised, your backup will have everything you need ready to be replaced. We highly recommend advising a professional as backing up an entire school system of data can be a difficult practice for a small, internal IT team.

For more information on how to keep your school safe contact our team at 973-607-2140.

Creating a Cybersecurity Culture

What is a cybersecurity culture?

We’ve mentioned more than few times that complete cybersecurity requires more than just a software defense. Establishing a cybersecurity culture at the workplace is regarded as one of the most effective factors for keeping a secure workplace and minimizing the opportunities for a hacker to infiltrate your enterprise.

Just like any culture, it’s a set of values, norms, and expectations that a company follows to ensure synergy throughout. One great example of implied culture is Netflix—the content giant expects a level of professionalism and perseverance among its employees. They reinforce these values through their recruiting process and corporate atmosphere.

A cybersecurity culture can be established the same way— strategically stressing the importance of safe and secure practices in the virtual world.

Why is it important?

If you’re not already aware, your employees pose the largest vulnerability to your business.

Your employees are the first line of defense against a potential threat—keeping them knowledgeable on hacking trends and red flags are the easiest way to halt an attack before it begins. A cyber-conscious culture will keep your establishment proactive to threats rather than reactive to a hacking situation and can save your enterprise from a premature demise.

2018 saw its fair share of damaging data breaches­; Amazon, Facebook, Macy’s, Kmart, Adidas, Under Armour, and Delta Airlines made headlines for breaches throughout the year. Before you even begin to think that your business is “too small to fall [victim to a cyber crime],” you must understand that smaller cyber attacks are on the rise. With a growing number of businesses switching to a digital workplace, it’s naive to believe the threats will slow down any time soon. In our previous blog, we spoke about the difference between a big-time hacker and career cybercriminals, demonstrating that many small-to-mid-sized business cyber attacks do not make headlines.

Beginning Steps

Culture begins and ends with leadership, often following a top-down adoption (lead by example). Promoting the leadership of an organization to adopt a serious attitude toward cybersecurity is a crucial step in ensuring conformity. A great place to begin is through a training course that outlines methods and measures for safe cyber-practice in the workplace, especially to C-suite and upper-level employees handling sensitive information.

To that extent, all employees should be trained to understand company-wide security measures. For existing employees, hosting a cybersecurity training day is a great place to start. New employees should be trained while onboarding, giving them a brief overview of common threats, how to identify them, and expectations for employees to follow, such as not using personal email or browsing NSFW (not safe for work) sites on corporate devices or networks. Stressing importance in the beginning phase of onboarding will stress it’s importance while setting the standard for a virtual protocol.

Another great way to keep security top-of-mind is to periodically hang posters around the office or pass out brief reminders. Creating a culture means keeping ideas top of mind. Using visual reminders is a great technique to ingrain the importance of cybersecurity throughout the organization. JDL Group offers plenty of informative resources that could be used for this purpose.

Next Steps

By far the best way to reinforce a cybersecurity culture is to host a cybersecurity workshop at least once a year, if not more. Hosting a luncheon in exchange for your employee’s undivided attention will truly reinforce the importance of cybersecurity at your enterprise. At these meetings, you should have leadership address cybersecurity issues and remind employees of their commitment to keeping the company safe and secure. Presenting recent attacks will give employees a realistic idea of the destruction an attack can cause. (To stay on top of all things cybersecurity, follow us on social media!) We recommend handing out a small checklist of actionable cyber security items that employees should follow either during or after the workshop. Some examples are:

  • Changing passwords
  • Updating hardware devices (computers, IOT, projectors, etc)  
  • Updating any software or operating systems
  • Backing up documents both on and offline

We have a full cyber-consciousness checklist on our website, feel free to use it or create your own. If your business has an employee Newsletter, inserting brief reminders can support the culture as of the utmost importance to the business as well.

Final Steps

The final step toward creating a robust cybersecurity culture is to enforce realistic rules, such as changing passwords every few months and backing up data weekly. Holding the individuals of your team accountable for the team’s security will strengthen the culture of the whole, making it a priority and setting a high expectation bar for digital etiquette.

If you’re planning to increase security measures in 2019, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation for your business.

 

Sources

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rajindertumber/2018/12/23/how-santas-cyber-security-culture-can-work-for-you-part-1-cyber-attacks/#176a65497fa6

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/12/28/cybersecurity-predictions-for-2019/#11f1a2294a27

 

What is a cybersecurity culture?

We’ve mentioned more than few times that complete cybersecurity requires more than just a software defense. Establishing a cybersecurity culture at the workplace is regarded as one of the most effective factors for keeping a secure workplace and minimizing the opportunities for a hacker to infiltrate your enterprise.

Just like any culture, it’s a set of values, norms, and expectations that a company follows to ensure synergy throughout. One great example of implied culture is Netflix—the content giant expects a level of professionalism and perseverance among its employees. They reinforce these values through their recruiting process and corporate atmosphere.

A cybersecurity culture can be established the same way— strategically stressing the importance of safe and secure practices in the virtual world.

Why is it important?

If you’re not already aware, your employees pose the largest vulnerability to your business.

Your employees are the first line of defense against a potential threat—keeping them knowledgeable on hacking trends and red flags are the easiest way to halt an attack before it begins. A cyber-conscious culture will keep your establishment proactive to threats rather than reactive to a hacking situation and can save your enterprise from a premature demise.

2018 saw its fair share of damaging data breaches­; Amazon, Facebook, Macy’s, Kmart, Adidas, Under Armour, and Delta Airlines made headlines for breaches throughout the year. Before you even begin to think that your business is “too small to fall [victim to a cyber crime],” you must understand that smaller cyber attacks are on the rise. With a growing number of businesses switching to a digital workplace, it’s naive to believe the threats will slow down any time soon. In our previous blog, we spoke about the difference between a big-time hacker and career cybercriminals, demonstrating that many small-to-mid-sized business cyber attacks do not make headlines.

Beginning Steps

Culture begins and ends with leadership, often following a top-down adoption (lead by example). Promoting the leadership of an organization to adopt a serious attitude toward cybersecurity is a crucial step in ensuring conformity. A great place to begin is through a training course that outlines methods and measures for safe cyber-practice in the workplace, especially to C-suite and upper-level employees handling sensitive information.

To that extent, all employees should be trained to understand company-wide security measures. For existing employees, hosting a cybersecurity training day is a great place to start. New employees should be trained while onboarding, giving them a brief overview of common threats, how to identify them, and expectations for employees to follow, such as not using personal email or browsing NSFW (not safe for work) sites on corporate devices or networks. Stressing importance in the beginning phase of onboarding will stress it’s importance while setting the standard for a virtual protocol.

Another great way to keep security top-of-mind is to periodically hang posters around the office or pass out brief reminders. Creating a culture means keeping ideas top of mind. Using visual reminders is a great technique to ingrain the importance of cybersecurity throughout the organization. JDL Group offers plenty of informative resources that could be used for this purpose.

Next Steps

By far the best way to reinforce a cybersecurity culture is to host a cybersecurity workshop at least once a year, if not more. Hosting a luncheon in exchange for your employee’s undivided attention will truly reinforce the importance of cybersecurity at your enterprise. At these meetings, you should have leadership address cybersecurity issues and remind employees of their commitment to keeping the company safe and secure. Presenting recent attacks will give employees a realistic idea of the destruction an attack can cause. (To stay on top of all things cybersecurity, follow us on social media!) We recommend handing out a small checklist of actionable cyber security items that employees should follow either during or after the workshop. Some examples are:

  • Changing passwords
  • Updating hardware devices (computers, IOT, projectors, etc)  
  • Updating any software or operating systems
  • Backing up documents both on and offline

We have a full cyber-consciousness checklist on our website, feel free to use it or create your own. If your business has an employee Newsletter, inserting brief reminders can support the culture as of the utmost importance to the business as well.

Final Steps

The final step toward creating a robust cybersecurity culture is to enforce realistic rules, such as changing passwords every few months and backing up data weekly. Holding the individuals of your team accountable for the team’s security will strengthen the culture of the whole, making it a priority and setting a high expectation bar for digital etiquette.

If you’re planning to increase security measures in 2019, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation for your business.

 

Sources

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rajindertumber/2018/12/23/how-santas-cyber-security-culture-can-work-for-you-part-1-cyber-attacks/#176a65497fa6

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/12/28/cybersecurity-predictions-for-2019/#11f1a2294a27

 

Small Business Cyber Security

In 2018, keeping up with cybersecurity best practices should be of utmost importance for any size business. However, when it comes to small businesses solutions, many options are costly, making owners weary to implement.

Hackers and cyber security attacks come in many different shapes and sizes, and while big-name corporations that get attacked receive more press, many small business attacks don’t make headlines. In fact, research from the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses reported an increase in the percentage of small businesses cyber attacks from 55% in 2016 to 61% in 2017.  

Hollywood has lead many to believe that cybercriminals are a few brainiacs with high-tech computers performing an elaborate heist to steal millions of dollars and escape to the Caribbean. While these stories are becoming more fact than fiction, the truth is that many cybercriminals are career criminal, meaning they make a living from various, smaller cyber attacks, preying on businesses that believe they have nothing worth stealing. In this blog, we’ll introduce you the basics of small business cyber security to keep your defense stronger than ever.

Where to Begin

It doesn’t take much to improve the overall cybersecurity in a small business. With a small investment in time and effort, huge changes can be implemented. In order to shave off the unnecessary expenditures, we must first look at how to improve the biggest vulnerabilities in your cyber defense. For small to mid-sized enterprises, the results may shock you.

What makes small businesses an easy target for career criminals are their higher amounts of data and cash flow with a smaller budget, often not allocating much for advanced cybersecurity measures. The Ponemon study mentioned prior showed the top two reasons for lack of cyber defense adoption are 1) lack of trained security staff (73%) and 2) inadequate budget (56%). This unfortunate combination puts a target on the back of many local and small operations.

Training Staff

An overwhelming majority of attacks result from poor password management and ignorance to clear red flags. While this may seem rudimentary, it’s importance cannot be overstated. Bad password practice includes using weak combinations, reusing passwords for various applications, and unsafe sharing.

Staying Current

Another element small businesses should consider are the lapses in technology that could create an easy route for a hacker to infiltrate the main system. All businesses should be keeping their hardware and software up to date. Older computers, applications, and extensions could be missing key features that prevent known threats from attacking.

Some good practices to keep in mind are:

  1. Updating to the latest operating system on all corporate devices
  2. Using only Google Chrome or Firefox as your internet service
  3. Downloading the latest updates of any cloud-based applications

Backing Up Data

The third piece of advice we have falls under the reactive category, as opposed to the above which are proactive. Keeping your system’s data backed up is critical to ensuring your business can begin operating again after an attack has occurred. Not only does it save you precious data from being completely erased, it allows companies to get back on track much faster. Not to mention, if the data stolen hold little to no value, you have the option to completely ignore the threat, restore your data, and continue on as usual.

Some good practices for data backups are to back up essential data in regular intervals— we recommend every week or even every day. You’ll also want to consider having both physical and cloud backups. While the cloud may be more convenient, you can never be too sure if modern hackers have the ability to infiltrate. For small businesses, we recommend both.

Protecting your business from cyber threats requires a deliberate strategy and a commitment from every member of an organization. Our number one tip for combating threats is to implement a cybersecurity workshop at least once a month. Reiterating the reality of cyber attacks is the only way to keep it ingrained in your employee’s mind. During the workshop, encourage everyone to change their passwords, update their computers and apps, and go over the current threats in the cyber landscape, like phishing or DDOS.

Making The Investment

Lastly, it’s important to know that the costs of an attack can far outweigh the cost of protection:

“Not only has the cost of data breaches risen to an average of just over £1.2m including all attack mitigation and business disruption costs from £717,909 a year ago, However, the report said given the enormous costs associated with a data breach, failing to protect against today’s dynamic threat environment could prove disastrous, and the costs associated with doing so may not be as high as imagined.”

If you’re considering a full cyber-security makeover, let JDL Group provide a free consultation of your small business. Our representative will provide an end-to-end audit and consultation for everything from your passwords to your network.

Sources:

  1. https://www.computerweekly.com/news/450428246/SMEs-more-vulnerable-than-ever-to-cyber-attacks-survey-shows
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellistalton/2018/04/23/the-u-s-governments-lack-of-cybersecurity-expertise-threatens-our-infrastructure/#329c044649e0
  3. https://medium.com/polyswarm/how-to-manage-security-on-a-shoestring-budget-97bde55df915
  4. https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/01/inexpensive-cybersecurity-measures.html
  5. https://blog.barkly.com/small-business-cybersecurity-statistics-2018

 

In 2018, keeping up with cybersecurity best practices should be of utmost importance for any size business. However, when it comes to small businesses solutions, many options are costly, making owners weary to implement.

Hackers and cyber security attacks come in many different shapes and sizes, and while big-name corporations that get attacked receive more press, many small business attacks don’t make headlines. In fact, research from the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses reported an increase in the percentage of small businesses cyber attacks from 55% in 2016 to 61% in 2017.  

Hollywood has lead many to believe that cybercriminals are a few brainiacs with high-tech computers performing an elaborate heist to steal millions of dollars and escape to the Caribbean. While these stories are becoming more fact than fiction, the truth is that many cybercriminals are career criminal, meaning they make a living from various, smaller cyber attacks, preying on businesses that believe they have nothing worth stealing. In this blog, we’ll introduce you the basics of small business cyber security to keep your defense stronger than ever.

Where to Begin

It doesn’t take much to improve the overall cybersecurity in a small business. With a small investment in time and effort, huge changes can be implemented. In order to shave off the unnecessary expenditures, we must first look at how to improve the biggest vulnerabilities in your cyber defense. For small to mid-sized enterprises, the results may shock you.

What makes small businesses an easy target for career criminals are their higher amounts of data and cash flow with a smaller budget, often not allocating much for advanced cybersecurity measures. The Ponemon study mentioned prior showed the top two reasons for lack of cyber defense adoption are 1) lack of trained security staff (73%) and 2) inadequate budget (56%). This unfortunate combination puts a target on the back of many local and small operations.

Training Staff

An overwhelming majority of attacks result from poor password management and ignorance to clear red flags. While this may seem rudimentary, it’s importance cannot be overstated. Bad password practice includes using weak combinations, reusing passwords for various applications, and unsafe sharing.

Staying Current

Another element small businesses should consider are the lapses in technology that could create an easy route for a hacker to infiltrate the main system. All businesses should be keeping their hardware and software up to date. Older computers, applications, and extensions could be missing key features that prevent known threats from attacking.

Some good practices to keep in mind are:

  1. Updating to the latest operating system on all corporate devices
  2. Using only Google Chrome or Firefox as your internet service
  3. Downloading the latest updates of any cloud-based applications

Backing Up Data

The third piece of advice we have falls under the reactive category, as opposed to the above which are proactive. Keeping your system’s data backed up is critical to ensuring your business can begin operating again after an attack has occurred. Not only does it save you precious data from being completely erased, it allows companies to get back on track much faster. Not to mention, if the data stolen hold little to no value, you have the option to completely ignore the threat, restore your data, and continue on as usual.

Some good practices for data backups are to back up essential data in regular intervals— we recommend every week or even every day. You’ll also want to consider having both physical and cloud backups. While the cloud may be more convenient, you can never be too sure if modern hackers have the ability to infiltrate. For small businesses, we recommend both.

Protecting your business from cyber threats requires a deliberate strategy and a commitment from every member of an organization. Our number one tip for combating threats is to implement a cybersecurity workshop at least once a month. Reiterating the reality of cyber attacks is the only way to keep it ingrained in your employee’s mind. During the workshop, encourage everyone to change their passwords, update their computers and apps, and go over the current threats in the cyber landscape, like phishing or DDOS.

Making The Investment

Lastly, it’s important to know that the costs of an attack can far outweigh the cost of protection:

“Not only has the cost of data breaches risen to an average of just over £1.2m including all attack mitigation and business disruption costs from £717,909 a year ago, However, the report said given the enormous costs associated with a data breach, failing to protect against today’s dynamic threat environment could prove disastrous, and the costs associated with doing so may not be as high as imagined.”

If you’re considering a full cyber-security makeover, let JDL Group provide a free consultation of your small business. Our representative will provide an end-to-end audit and consultation for everything from your passwords to your network.

Sources:

  1. https://www.computerweekly.com/news/450428246/SMEs-more-vulnerable-than-ever-to-cyber-attacks-survey-shows
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellistalton/2018/04/23/the-u-s-governments-lack-of-cybersecurity-expertise-threatens-our-infrastructure/#329c044649e0
  3. https://medium.com/polyswarm/how-to-manage-security-on-a-shoestring-budget-97bde55df915
  4. https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/01/inexpensive-cybersecurity-measures.html
  5. https://blog.barkly.com/small-business-cybersecurity-statistics-2018

 

The Rise of SD-WAN

What is SD-WAN?

One of the growing trends in corporate cyber security has been the adoption SD-WAN, or Software Driven – Wide Area Network, particularly gaining popularity amongst enterprises using more and more Internet devices and applications. Considered the latest and greatest network solution, SD-WAN provides advanced networking capabilities with top-notch firewall protection, essentially giving your network a brain that extends the intent based (software driven) networking to a traditional WAN. These new and improved networks have provided superior capabilities for a number of business needs.

Who is implementing it?

Innovation in computing using the internet has forced a paradigm shift in the way corporations do business on a day to day basis. These new innovations include tools like Cloud storage for mass file storage, Skype for global collaboration, VPNs for privacy, and applications like Slack for communications. The increase in web-based tools and increase in diversity of these technological upgrades has made using, monitoring, and securing all the moving parts of a single network more complicated than ever before.

Why not a traditional WAN?

Unfortunately, the traditional WAN, or Wide Area Network, is not adequate for many of new technologies. They can be difficult to manage and offer very little visibility, especially when dealing with various locations. Until recently, a WAN connection would use technology that required proprietary hardware. A core difference of an SD-WAN is the utilization of the internet via private network, using software to manage and monitor functions and traffic that hardware originally handled.

How does it work?

SD-WAN technology effectively routes network traffic any corporate branch to the cloud, headquarters, or other branches. SD-WAN benefits include more bandwidth for less cost, centralized visibility and management tools for multi-branch networks, and presents more options for connection type and vendor selection when building out a network – including WiFi, fiber optics, or cable.

Where can I find examples?

A great of example of SD-WAN implementation comes from a case study done by our partner, Fortinet:

“Located in central Ontario, the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) was selected as a pilot board in the province’s initiative to elevate its networking capabilities. With 65 elementary schools, 11 high schools, and covering 1,600 square miles, UGDSB’s 3,000 dedicated teaching and support staff serve approximately 34,000 students.”

The School Board decided to reform the infrastructure, a primarily MPLS architecture, to an

SD-WAN using Fortinet’s FortiGate technology. Check out the full case study here.

When can I upgrade?

If you’re business is seeking improved user networking experience that’s budget friendly, consider that an investment in Fortinet SD-WAN delivers much more than a short-term fix. With it, you can confidently support more remote sites, more bandwidth-sensitive business-critical applications, more cloud services, and whatever else your network requires to drive your company’s digital transformation.

As the only SD-WAN vendor with an NSS Labs NGFW “Recommended” designation, Fortinet’s security-first SD-WAN solution delivers the most robust threat protection in the industry, including Layer 3 through Layer 7 security controls not commonly found in other SD-WAN-plus firewall solutions.

To learn more on how the FortiOS 6.0 can provide SD-WAN for greater application visibility and application performance, visit our website or contact us today for a free network consultation.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.fortinet.com/content/dam/fortinet/assets/case-studies/cs-upper-grand-district.pdf

https://www.sdxcentral.com/sd-wan/definitions/sd-wan-vs-mpls-pros-cons-technologies/

https://www.sdxcentral.com/sd-wan/definitions/sd-wan-technology/?c_action=sidebar

https://www.sdxcentral.com/sd-wan/definitions/software-defined-sdn-wan/

https://fortinet.wistia.com/medias/40bqc6giqz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaNZiFFg-38

https://www.fortinet.com/corporate/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2018/continues-gain-traction-sd-wan-marketplace.html

 

What is SD-WAN?

One of the growing trends in corporate cyber security has been the adoption SD-WAN, or Software Driven – Wide Area Network, particularly gaining popularity amongst enterprises using more and more Internet devices and applications. Considered the latest and greatest network solution, SD-WAN provides advanced networking capabilities with top-notch firewall protection, essentially giving your network a brain that extends the intent based (software driven) networking to a traditional WAN. These new and improved networks have provided superior capabilities for a number of business needs.

Who is implementing it?

Innovation in computing using the internet has forced a paradigm shift in the way corporations do business on a day to day basis. These new innovations include tools like Cloud storage for mass file storage, Skype for global collaboration, VPNs for privacy, and applications like Slack for communications. The increase in web-based tools and increase in diversity of these technological upgrades has made using, monitoring, and securing all the moving parts of a single network more complicated than ever before.

Why not a traditional WAN?

Unfortunately, the traditional WAN, or Wide Area Network, is not adequate for many of new technologies. They can be difficult to manage and offer very little visibility, especially when dealing with various locations. Until recently, a WAN connection would use technology that required proprietary hardware. A core difference of an SD-WAN is the utilization of the internet via private network, using software to manage and monitor functions and traffic that hardware originally handled.

How does it work?

SD-WAN technology effectively routes network traffic any corporate branch to the cloud, headquarters, or other branches. SD-WAN benefits include more bandwidth for less cost, centralized visibility and management tools for multi-branch networks, and presents more options for connection type and vendor selection when building out a network – including WiFi, fiber optics, or cable.

Where can I find examples?

A great of example of SD-WAN implementation comes from a case study done by our partner, Fortinet:

“Located in central Ontario, the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) was selected as a pilot board in the province’s initiative to elevate its networking capabilities. With 65 elementary schools, 11 high schools, and covering 1,600 square miles, UGDSB’s 3,000 dedicated teaching and support staff serve approximately 34,000 students.”

The School Board decided to reform the infrastructure, a primarily MPLS architecture, to an

SD-WAN using Fortinet’s FortiGate technology. Check out the full case study here.

When can I upgrade?

If you’re business is seeking improved user networking experience that’s budget friendly, consider that an investment in Fortinet SD-WAN delivers much more than a short-term fix. With it, you can confidently support more remote sites, more bandwidth-sensitive business-critical applications, more cloud services, and whatever else your network requires to drive your company’s digital transformation.

As the only SD-WAN vendor with an NSS Labs NGFW “Recommended” designation, Fortinet’s security-first SD-WAN solution delivers the most robust threat protection in the industry, including Layer 3 through Layer 7 security controls not commonly found in other SD-WAN-plus firewall solutions.

To learn more on how the FortiOS 6.0 can provide SD-WAN for greater application visibility and application performance, visit our website or contact us today for a free network consultation.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.fortinet.com/content/dam/fortinet/assets/case-studies/cs-upper-grand-district.pdf

https://www.sdxcentral.com/sd-wan/definitions/sd-wan-vs-mpls-pros-cons-technologies/

https://www.sdxcentral.com/sd-wan/definitions/sd-wan-technology/?c_action=sidebar

https://www.sdxcentral.com/sd-wan/definitions/software-defined-sdn-wan/

https://fortinet.wistia.com/medias/40bqc6giqz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaNZiFFg-38

https://www.fortinet.com/corporate/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2018/continues-gain-traction-sd-wan-marketplace.html

 

The Corporate Cloud: Cloud Security

The Cloud

While the term has floated around the consumer and corporate atmosphere for years, many current users are still unsure of what the cloud exactly is, let alone how to keep themselves protected once in use.

The cloud refers to a virtual server on the internet, normally hosted by a single provider. It can be used for a variety of purposes. The growing amount of IoT devices, storage networks, and web apps use the cloud to transfer and store data instantly. iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and One storage are a few examples of tech companies that host a cloud storage server.

Corporate Cloud

Cloud computing has been widely adopted among young companies, many older following suit with retrofitted networks and tools that connect to the cloud.  Some even credit the cloud for revolutionizing many business operations, allowing employees to instantly store files, share documents, and collaborate on projects without leaving their cubicle, office, or even home.

While big-name companies may provide plenty of up-to-date security, they’re not immune to attack. With user data being sold as a commodity on the dark web, hacking attempts on Cloud information or documents has hit an all-time high. In fact, over 70 million Dropbox passwords were recently found up for sale on the dark web, along with a string of other cyber hacks on cloud storage. Research on the average cost of a data breach shows the total to exceed $3.62 million. While lower than 2016, the number could be potentially destructive to small businesses.

Threats to the Cloud

Unfortunately, cloud computing falls into the same sticky situation as many new technologies — innovation progresses so fast that security is often compromised. With new tech comes new vulnerabilities, opening new ‘holes’ for hackers to exploit. Keeping your cloud services up-to-date can be a daunting process, especially for businesses that use the technology without an IT team to keep it secure. For IT professionals, cloud computing has a variety of upsides. Opponents raise concerns over cloud services dedication to security — too much convenience isn’t always a good thing.

As corporate clouds progress, visibility — or knowing how your companies data and users are engaging with your virtual environment – is absolutely vital to keep your networks safe. With all this interaction going on, and with data being transacted internally, externally, and through APIs and other types of connectors, keeping your cloud environment safe means you have to know where it is and how it’s being handled.

Your best defense in cloud security is an offense — keeping all of your data secure with professionally installed software that provides full visibility into your cloud network. Our partner Fortinet’s FortiCASB is a cloud-native Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) subscription service that is designed to provide visibility, compliance, data security, and threat protection for cloud-based services being used by an organization. Call us today to see which Fortinet solution is best for your business 973-607-2140

Sources:

https://www.fortinet.com/products/cloud-access-security-broker.html

http://jdlgrp.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/why-cloud-servies.pdf

https://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2018/apr/27/why-future-cybersecurity-cloud/

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3206604/cloud-computing/amidst-cloud-complexity-you-need-complete-clarity.html

The Cloud

While the term has floated around the consumer and corporate atmosphere for years, many current users are still unsure of what the cloud exactly is, let alone how to keep themselves protected once in use.

The cloud refers to a virtual server on the internet, normally hosted by a single provider. It can be used for a variety of purposes. The growing amount of IoT devices, storage networks, and web apps use the cloud to transfer and store data instantly. iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and One storage are a few examples of tech companies that host a cloud storage server.

Corporate Cloud

Cloud computing has been widely adopted among young companies, many older following suit with retrofitted networks and tools that connect to the cloud.  Some even credit the cloud for revolutionizing many business operations, allowing employees to instantly store files, share documents, and collaborate on projects without leaving their cubicle, office, or even home.

While big-name companies may provide plenty of up-to-date security, they’re not immune to attack. With user data being sold as a commodity on the dark web, hacking attempts on Cloud information or documents has hit an all-time high. In fact, over 70 million Dropbox passwords were recently found up for sale on the dark web, along with a string of other cyber hacks on cloud storage. Research on the average cost of a data breach shows the total to exceed $3.62 million. While lower than 2016, the number could be potentially destructive to small businesses.

Threats to the Cloud

Unfortunately, cloud computing falls into the same sticky situation as many new technologies — innovation progresses so fast that security is often compromised. With new tech comes new vulnerabilities, opening new ‘holes’ for hackers to exploit. Keeping your cloud services up-to-date can be a daunting process, especially for businesses that use the technology without an IT team to keep it secure. For IT professionals, cloud computing has a variety of upsides. Opponents raise concerns over cloud services dedication to security — too much convenience isn’t always a good thing.

As corporate clouds progress, visibility — or knowing how your companies data and users are engaging with your virtual environment – is absolutely vital to keep your networks safe. With all this interaction going on, and with data being transacted internally, externally, and through APIs and other types of connectors, keeping your cloud environment safe means you have to know where it is and how it’s being handled.

Your best defense in cloud security is an offense — keeping all of your data secure with professionally installed software that provides full visibility into your cloud network. Our partner Fortinet’s FortiCASB is a cloud-native Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) subscription service that is designed to provide visibility, compliance, data security, and threat protection for cloud-based services being used by an organization. Call us today to see which Fortinet solution is best for your business 973-607-2140

Sources:

https://www.fortinet.com/products/cloud-access-security-broker.html

http://jdlgrp.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/why-cloud-servies.pdf

https://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2018/apr/27/why-future-cybersecurity-cloud/

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3206604/cloud-computing/amidst-cloud-complexity-you-need-complete-clarity.html

The Rise and Risk of IoT Devices in the Workplace

The internet of things (IoT) is a broad term used to describe the network of devices that connect to any particular wireless internet. For example, anything that has “smart” as a prefix is almost guaranteed to need an internet connection, making it an IoT device.

The IoT has grown to a vast number of devices since the beginning of 2010. Many modern homes have a few devices that connect to the internet, be it a voice speaker like Google Home or a streaming device like the Amazon Fire Stick. Contemporary innovations have brought society incredible new tech, such as remote-start coffee makers and thermostats, refrigerators with dietary suggestions, and even door locks that can only unlock with your phone. It’s predicted that nearly 31 billion IoT–connected devices will be online by 2020.

IoT devices are beginning to make their way into corporate spaces as well. Some offices may have an Amazon Echo for conference calls or a streaming device to share the screen of a laptop with a nearby TV.

What you may not understand is that anything connected to the internet is vulnerable to a multitude of cyber attacks.

The rapid rate of tech advancement and mass adoption has made society comfortable connecting their internet to just about anything. Securing those devices can be tough, and while cybersecurity is constantly improving in these devices, nothing has stopped hackers from finding a way in yet. Blind faith that those devices are keeping your data safe is not smart. Research from Ponemon Institute found that 97% of risk management professionals indicated an IoT data breach as catastrophic for an organization.

Some IoT recent IoT attacks include:

August 2016 – Mirai botnet attack — Targeted IoT recording devices creating one of the largest DDoS attacks in history

August 2017 – An macabre attack on IoT pacemakers lead to a recall of 500,000 devices fearing a security gap that would allow an attacker to manipulate the device.

All companies should adopt a set of security practices, rules, or regulations to keep employees aware and accountable. Make sure that you check with IT to be sure the device is safe for a corporate network. Our partner Fortinet provides full network visibility, monitoring anything and everything connected to a network, specifically, the ability to control those devices with a dynamic, automated response.

From their website “FortiNAC simplifies the deployment of IoT devices by automating most of the authentication process using a sponsor. When a new IoT device tries to connect to the network, FortiNAC automatically places the device in an isolated network, profiles the device, and sends the information and the suspected type of device to the appropriate department for review and authorization. Once the device is confirmed, FortiNAC notifies the firewall of the type of device and where to place it in the correct network segment. The solution is also easy to upgrade and scale across organizations of all sizes and industries.” Check out their comprehensive guide to securing your IoT network here.

It’s important to step back and remember that we are only in the beginning phase of the IoT device. In the near future, most of the devices we use, including microwaves, fire alarms, and cars will be connected to the web, meaning there is always a chance of cyber attack. Being proactive about your IoT security could halt a much larger breach in its tracks. If you’re concerned about the use of IoT devices in your office, give us a call for a free consultation. We proudly deliver FortiNAC solutions as a Fortinet partner and would be happy to explain exactly how we would secure all your devices, now and in the future.

Sources:

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3244467/internet-of-things/2018-prediction-securing-iot-connected-devices-will-be-a-major-cybersecurity-challenge.html

https://www.fortinet.com/content/dam/fortinet/assets/solution-guides/SB-FortiNAC-simplifies-IOT-security.pdf

 

The internet of things (IoT) is a broad term used to describe the network of devices that connect to any particular wireless internet. For example, anything that has “smart” as a prefix is almost guaranteed to need an internet connection, making it an IoT device.

The IoT has grown to a vast number of devices since the beginning of 2010. Many modern homes have a few devices that connect to the internet, be it a voice speaker like Google Home or a streaming device like the Amazon Fire Stick. Contemporary innovations have brought society incredible new tech, such as remote-start coffee makers and thermostats, refrigerators with dietary suggestions, and even door locks that can only unlock with your phone. It’s predicted that nearly 31 billion IoT–connected devices will be online by 2020.

IoT devices are beginning to make their way into corporate spaces as well. Some offices may have an Amazon Echo for conference calls or a streaming device to share the screen of a laptop with a nearby TV.

What you may not understand is that anything connected to the internet is vulnerable to a multitude of cyber attacks.

The rapid rate of tech advancement and mass adoption has made society comfortable connecting their internet to just about anything. Securing those devices can be tough, and while cybersecurity is constantly improving in these devices, nothing has stopped hackers from finding a way in yet. Blind faith that those devices are keeping your data safe is not smart. Research from Ponemon Institute found that 97% of risk management professionals indicated an IoT data breach as catastrophic for an organization.

Some IoT recent IoT attacks include:

August 2016 – Mirai botnet attack — Targeted IoT recording devices creating one of the largest DDoS attacks in history

August 2017 – An macabre attack on IoT pacemakers lead to a recall of 500,000 devices fearing a security gap that would allow an attacker to manipulate the device.

All companies should adopt a set of security practices, rules, or regulations to keep employees aware and accountable. Make sure that you check with IT to be sure the device is safe for a corporate network. Our partner Fortinet provides full network visibility, monitoring anything and everything connected to a network, specifically, the ability to control those devices with a dynamic, automated response.

From their website “FortiNAC simplifies the deployment of IoT devices by automating most of the authentication process using a sponsor. When a new IoT device tries to connect to the network, FortiNAC automatically places the device in an isolated network, profiles the device, and sends the information and the suspected type of device to the appropriate department for review and authorization. Once the device is confirmed, FortiNAC notifies the firewall of the type of device and where to place it in the correct network segment. The solution is also easy to upgrade and scale across organizations of all sizes and industries.” Check out their comprehensive guide to securing your IoT network here.

It’s important to step back and remember that we are only in the beginning phase of the IoT device. In the near future, most of the devices we use, including microwaves, fire alarms, and cars will be connected to the web, meaning there is always a chance of cyber attack. Being proactive about your IoT security could halt a much larger breach in its tracks. If you’re concerned about the use of IoT devices in your office, give us a call for a free consultation. We proudly deliver FortiNAC solutions as a Fortinet partner and would be happy to explain exactly how we would secure all your devices, now and in the future.

Sources:

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3244467/internet-of-things/2018-prediction-securing-iot-connected-devices-will-be-a-major-cybersecurity-challenge.html

https://www.fortinet.com/content/dam/fortinet/assets/solution-guides/SB-FortiNAC-simplifies-IOT-security.pdf

 

Protecting Your Law Firm in 2019: Part 2

In part one of our Protecting Your Law Firm in 2019 blog, we talked about the biggest threats facing law firms in today’s virtually connected atmosphere. From phishing attacks to DoDS and ransomware, cyber threats are always lurking, and most of the time, they can be halted their tracks with minor security measures.

Much like getting a guard dog, even a small amount of cyber security can deter a hacker into skipping your enterprise on their list of potential targets. In part two of our series, we’re going to look at the small-scale, actionable steps you can take to protect your firm’s data. While we can’t recommend enough a major security retrofit, some attacks can be prevented with good policy.

One of the most important factors of cybersecurity is being proactive. A cyber attack can mean a loss of capital, loss of data, exposure of sensitive data, and more. However, the most costly will be the reputation of your company. A reputation can take years to build and a few keystrokes to topple. As much as a small leak of classified information can destroy decades old trust between a firm and it’s clients.

These steps below will guide you and your team to a safer and more secure tomorrow:

Training Employees

Believe it or not, this is probably the most crucial tip we have. Phishing attacks are by far the most frequent cyber attack on small or local businesses, and training your employees to know when a suspicious email is an attack could stop a crisis in its tracks. “A recent study found that 50 percent of all breaches stem from social engineering attacks (e.g., phishing emails) and insider errors.”

Creating a culture of cyber-consciousness should be the end goal for any business. Whether it’s hosting a lunch-and-learn cybersecurity training day or implementing policies to guide your employees to the safest practice when handling firm assets. Keeping small reminders on the walls or desk of the office space is another great way to reinforce and remind your workforce of the potential threats. Another is to feature cyber-security related articles within company memos or newsletters. (Like the ones we share on our social feeds) Anything that can keep security top of mind will encourage a smarter, more secure workplace.

Our 5-Minute Guide to Cyber Security is a great resource to have printed out or mounted somewhere in your office: https://jdlgrp.com/5-Minute-Guide-Cyber-Consciousness

Establish Protocol  

Having set cyber rules for your employees is a great way to reinforce the importance of virtual safety. It’s not uncommon for an employee to misunderstand the the difference between a home computer and a corporate network, so setting specific rules to follow will deter a vulnerable employee from opening a can of worms.

Some policies to consider in your protocol include:

  • Rules requiring strong passwords
  • Periodically changing work passwords
  • The use of two-factor authentication
  • Forwarding files to personal emails
  • Using encrypted removable storage devices (USB Drive)
  • Immediately reporting suspicious activity.
  • Regulations on software installed, browser used, extensions attached, etc
  • Best practices for email
  • Discouraging the use of unsecured networks (cafes, restaurants, airports, or hotels)
  • Use of a virtual private network (VPN)

Backup Data

While many cyber attacks are after valuable data, some are purposely meant to be as destructive as possible, wiping out any data it can find. Having a reliable backup system is critical to ensuring you don’t lose any valuable data that can render your firm unable to continue business. Investing in a secure backup system will allow you to recover your files as quickly as they were stolen.

Updated Cybersecurity Plan

In our current technological atmosphere, innovation is abundant. New software and gadgets seem to pop up daily, and with them, come new opportunities for cyber threats. For this reason, it’s vital that your entire cyber defense be kept up to date. And we’re not just talking about software to keep your firm safe, you must be actively retrofitting your virtual infrastructure and education your employees to adjust to the rapidly changing space — think smart watch policy or even encrypting tablets.

Unfortunately, the volume of cyber attacks has been steadily increasing in recent years. With new technology comes a greater responsibility to keeping your business and employees safe. While these tips can keep you moderately secure, only a professional can design a custom defense to combat the full spectrum of cyber threats.

JDL Group Inc. provides all of the suggestions above and more through Unified Threat Management. One example is the FortiMail Secure Email, combining email security and data backups by utilizing the latest technologies and services from FortiGuard Labs. Fortinet also offers mobile carriers a strategic security solution, specifically addressing the scaling, performance, and connectivity needs in today’s mobile work atmosphere.

Contact us today for a 100% free cybersecurity consultation for your business!

 

Sources:

(https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2018/07/18/cybersecurity-for-midsized-and-smaller-law-firms-10-tips-to-take-action-now/)

 

In part one of our Protecting Your Law Firm in 2019 blog, we talked about the biggest threats facing law firms in today’s virtually connected atmosphere. From phishing attacks to DoDS and ransomware, cyber threats are always lurking, and most of the time, they can be halted their tracks with minor security measures.

Much like getting a guard dog, even a small amount of cyber security can deter a hacker into skipping your enterprise on their list of potential targets. In part two of our series, we’re going to look at the small-scale, actionable steps you can take to protect your firm’s data. While we can’t recommend enough a major security retrofit, some attacks can be prevented with good policy.

One of the most important factors of cybersecurity is being proactive. A cyber attack can mean a loss of capital, loss of data, exposure of sensitive data, and more. However, the most costly will be the reputation of your company. A reputation can take years to build and a few keystrokes to topple. As much as a small leak of classified information can destroy decades old trust between a firm and it’s clients.

These steps below will guide you and your team to a safer and more secure tomorrow:

Training Employees

Believe it or not, this is probably the most crucial tip we have. Phishing attacks are by far the most frequent cyber attack on small or local businesses, and training your employees to know when a suspicious email is an attack could stop a crisis in its tracks. “A recent study found that 50 percent of all breaches stem from social engineering attacks (e.g., phishing emails) and insider errors.”

Creating a culture of cyber-consciousness should be the end goal for any business. Whether it’s hosting a lunch-and-learn cybersecurity training day or implementing policies to guide your employees to the safest practice when handling firm assets. Keeping small reminders on the walls or desk of the office space is another great way to reinforce and remind your workforce of the potential threats. Another is to feature cyber-security related articles within company memos or newsletters. (Like the ones we share on our social feeds) Anything that can keep security top of mind will encourage a smarter, more secure workplace.

Our 5-Minute Guide to Cyber Security is a great resource to have printed out or mounted somewhere in your office: https://jdlgrp.com/5-Minute-Guide-Cyber-Consciousness

Establish Protocol  

Having set cyber rules for your employees is a great way to reinforce the importance of virtual safety. It’s not uncommon for an employee to misunderstand the the difference between a home computer and a corporate network, so setting specific rules to follow will deter a vulnerable employee from opening a can of worms.

Some policies to consider in your protocol include:

  • Rules requiring strong passwords
  • Periodically changing work passwords
  • The use of two-factor authentication
  • Forwarding files to personal emails
  • Using encrypted removable storage devices (USB Drive)
  • Immediately reporting suspicious activity.
  • Regulations on software installed, browser used, extensions attached, etc
  • Best practices for email
  • Discouraging the use of unsecured networks (cafes, restaurants, airports, or hotels)
  • Use of a virtual private network (VPN)

Backup Data

While many cyber attacks are after valuable data, some are purposely meant to be as destructive as possible, wiping out any data it can find. Having a reliable backup system is critical to ensuring you don’t lose any valuable data that can render your firm unable to continue business. Investing in a secure backup system will allow you to recover your files as quickly as they were stolen.

Updated Cybersecurity Plan

In our current technological atmosphere, innovation is abundant. New software and gadgets seem to pop up daily, and with them, come new opportunities for cyber threats. For this reason, it’s vital that your entire cyber defense be kept up to date. And we’re not just talking about software to keep your firm safe, you must be actively retrofitting your virtual infrastructure and education your employees to adjust to the rapidly changing space — think smart watch policy or even encrypting tablets.

Unfortunately, the volume of cyber attacks has been steadily increasing in recent years. With new technology comes a greater responsibility to keeping your business and employees safe. While these tips can keep you moderately secure, only a professional can design a custom defense to combat the full spectrum of cyber threats.

JDL Group Inc. provides all of the suggestions above and more through Unified Threat Management. One example is the FortiMail Secure Email, combining email security and data backups by utilizing the latest technologies and services from FortiGuard Labs. Fortinet also offers mobile carriers a strategic security solution, specifically addressing the scaling, performance, and connectivity needs in today’s mobile work atmosphere.

Contact us today for a 100% free cybersecurity consultation for your business!

 

Sources:

(https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2018/07/18/cybersecurity-for-midsized-and-smaller-law-firms-10-tips-to-take-action-now/)

 

5 Tips to Keep Your Mobile Workforce Safe and Secure

The American workforce has seen its fair share of paradigm shifts — globalization, the internet, and the introduction of cargo shorts and sandals in the workplace to name a few.

The latest in labor initiatives has been the adoption of remote working. The spread of laptops and wifi internet has lead enterprises to begin sourcing their employees from, well, anywhere. In fact, 50 percent of the US workforce is now permitted to work remotely during the work week, according to Global Workplace Analytics’ 2016 study.

The initiative is a win-win in many cases, as a corporation does not have to expense for office space and the amenities that come with it. It’s no surprise that the workforce has responded positively to the change as well. Young parents can spend more time with their family and a lack of commute time adds almost an entire hour back into the average employees day.

While modern-day mobility and BYOD (device) opportunities present substantial productivity boosts, they increase the complexity and opportunity for security threats. Using a host of technologies from Data Loss Prevention, Encryption, and Monitoring services will help organizations limit their security exposure, but cannot prevent everything.

With this new, great opportunity to work from anywhere comes an even greater responsibility to the employee. A personal laptop accessing corporate files on a public network can be catastrophic.

If you’re hiring or plan to hire remote staff for your organization, be sure they receive these five tips before they start:

1) Back Up Everything

Whether it’s in the cloud or an external hard drive, backing up everything you work on can save a ton time and stress if an attack were to happen. Keeping backed-up data will allow you to access exactly what you’ve been working on from prior to the attack.

2) Be Cautious of Public Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi access, whether it’s in coffee shops, airport lounges, or hotels, is a huge benefactor to remote working. Unfortunately, they’re also vulnerable to security issues. To avoid issues, ask about your host’s security protocol before connecting, skip any unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, and avoid logging in to corporate accounts or viewing sensitive data when connected to public networks. Briefly using a personal hotspot via cell phone is a great alternative when necessary.

3) Update Operating Systems

Like a vaccine for an immune system, you should keep your computer operating system as up to date as possible. Security updates will often come standard with a new OS. Like a vaccine, they’re proactive (not reactive, like an antidote) in protecting you from the latest threats.

4) Disable Bluetooth Connectivity

“Idle mode” Bluetooth connection can present security problems as well. If your Bluetooth is left on, nearby assailants can connect to your phone and potentially hack into your device. Make sure your phone and laptop Bluetooth connection setting is disabled while traveling, particularly abroad.

5) Always keep your computer in your line of sight

This should go without saying, but many people often ‘trust their neighbors’ when in public spaces to monitor their device while they step out for a call. This poses two very malicious threats: 1. Your entire workstation could be stolen or 2. Your computer could be bugged with using software installed via USB. In both cases, data is almost always completely compromised and the outcome is disastrous.

The bottom line for hiring a remote workforce is that their laptop should be your priority — especially if it’s their personal one. Think of your organizations’ cyber safety as a whole — if even one employee is susceptible to exploitation, the whole organization could tumble. In addition, keeping your employees safe and secure will establish your commitment to security, holding them to a higher standard and keeping your enterprise secure.

Contact JDL Group today for a security assessment of your remote workforce.

The American workforce has seen its fair share of paradigm shifts — globalization, the internet, and the introduction of cargo shorts and sandals in the workplace to name a few.

The latest in labor initiatives has been the adoption of remote working. The spread of laptops and wifi internet has lead enterprises to begin sourcing their employees from, well, anywhere. In fact, 50 percent of the US workforce is now permitted to work remotely during the work week, according to Global Workplace Analytics’ 2016 study.

The initiative is a win-win in many cases, as a corporation does not have to expense for office space and the amenities that come with it. It’s no surprise that the workforce has responded positively to the change as well. Young parents can spend more time with their family and a lack of commute time adds almost an entire hour back into the average employees day.

While modern-day mobility and BYOD (device) opportunities present substantial productivity boosts, they increase the complexity and opportunity for security threats. Using a host of technologies from Data Loss Prevention, Encryption, and Monitoring services will help organizations limit their security exposure, but cannot prevent everything.

With this new, great opportunity to work from anywhere comes an even greater responsibility to the employee. A personal laptop accessing corporate files on a public network can be catastrophic.

If you’re hiring or plan to hire remote staff for your organization, be sure they receive these five tips before they start:

1) Back Up Everything

Whether it’s in the cloud or an external hard drive, backing up everything you work on can save a ton time and stress if an attack were to happen. Keeping backed-up data will allow you to access exactly what you’ve been working on from prior to the attack.

2) Be Cautious of Public Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi access, whether it’s in coffee shops, airport lounges, or hotels, is a huge benefactor to remote working. Unfortunately, they’re also vulnerable to security issues. To avoid issues, ask about your host’s security protocol before connecting, skip any unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, and avoid logging in to corporate accounts or viewing sensitive data when connected to public networks. Briefly using a personal hotspot via cell phone is a great alternative when necessary.

3) Update Operating Systems

Like a vaccine for an immune system, you should keep your computer operating system as up to date as possible. Security updates will often come standard with a new OS. Like a vaccine, they’re proactive (not reactive, like an antidote) in protecting you from the latest threats.

4) Disable Bluetooth Connectivity

“Idle mode” Bluetooth connection can present security problems as well. If your Bluetooth is left on, nearby assailants can connect to your phone and potentially hack into your device. Make sure your phone and laptop Bluetooth connection setting is disabled while traveling, particularly abroad.

5) Always keep your computer in your line of sight

This should go without saying, but many people often ‘trust their neighbors’ when in public spaces to monitor their device while they step out for a call. This poses two very malicious threats: 1. Your entire workstation could be stolen or 2. Your computer could be bugged with using software installed via USB. In both cases, data is almost always completely compromised and the outcome is disastrous.

The bottom line for hiring a remote workforce is that their laptop should be your priority — especially if it’s their personal one. Think of your organizations’ cyber safety as a whole — if even one employee is susceptible to exploitation, the whole organization could tumble. In addition, keeping your employees safe and secure will establish your commitment to security, holding them to a higher standard and keeping your enterprise secure.

Contact JDL Group today for a security assessment of your remote workforce.

Defining the Eight Most Nefarious Cyber Threats.

Here’s what very business professional should be informed about:

  1. Data breaches

    When a security incident involving protected or confidential data is copied, distributed, read, stolen, or used by unauthorized individuals, it can become a serious problem for the victims involved. The majority of data breaches happen due to vulnerable unstructured data such as files, documents, and sensitive information. A bad security process, or lack there of, can leave businesses exposed.

The data can be any kind of information, including health information, financial information, personally identifiable information, trade secrets, and intellectual property. The risk of data breach is not exclusive to cloud computing, but it invariably ranks as a top concern for cloud customers. 

  1. Bots

    There are many different kinds of bots. These include website crawlers, spam bots, chat rooms and other dangerous bots. They run as automated and executed programs on the Internet. It’s estimated that one in three visits to any website is a malicious bot. It may have been designed to search your interface for security flaws.

The bots perform many tasks such as stealing user credit card information, and malware links. Online cybercriminals use viruses to breach the security of computers. They can take over your computer and use all of the compromised machines into a network of ‘bots‘ that can be remotely managed.

3. Insufficient identity, credential, and access management

Data breaches enabling attacks can happen because of a lack of scalable identity access management systems, failure to use proper authentication, weak passwords, and not updating passwords and certificates.
Credentials and cryptographic keys must not be embedded in source code or distributed via public facing storage like GitHub. There is a high incidence of problems that may occur. Keys need to be appropriately secured and a well-secured public key infrastructure (PKI) is needed to ensure key-management activities are carried out.

  1. Unsafe interfaces & application programming interfaces (APIs)

    APIs are a system of tools and resources in an operating system, enabling developers to create software applications. Cloud providers expose a set of software user interfaces (UIs) or APIs that customers use to manage and interact with cloud services. Provisioning, management, and monitoring are all performed with these interfaces, and the security and availability of general cloud services depends on the security of APIs, CSA says. They need to be designed to protect against accidental and malicious attempts to circumvent policy.

  1. System vulnerabilities

 This cyber-security term refers to an inadequacy, in a system that can leave it open to attack. Vulnerability may also refer to any type of weakness in a computer system itself, in a process, or anything that leaves your security exposed to a threat. This may attract attackers who will steal data by taking control of the system, or destroying service operations. With the advent of multi-tenancy in the cloud, systems from various organizations are placed close to each other and given access to shared memory and resources, creating a new attack surface.

6. Account hijacking

A process in which an individual or organization’s account is stolen or hijacked by an attacker. Cloud account hijacking is a common strategy in identity theft. The assailant uses the stolen account information to engage in malevolent and/or unauthorized activity.

They can eavesdrop on activities and transactions, mess with your data, return misleading information and redirect clients to illegitimate sites. With your stolen data, attackers can often access key areas of cloud computing services. This enables them to compromise the privacy, integrity, and availability of those services.

7. Bogus Social Media

Bogus social media pages and accounts are created to mirror the actual people or businesses. The idea is to target your network, including your employees and their devices. The goal is to get to your private information through the sharing of disruptive malware links. These appear harmless like links to coupons, photos, or websites that may peak your curiosity encouraging you to click.

There are also many phishing scams, or fraudulent messages that lure people to divulge their private information via social media.  Credit card numbers and passwords are particularly at risk and when infiltrated can be detrimental to your important software, and more!

8. Denial of Service Attacks

In this instance the perpetrator wants to make a computer or network unavailable to its intended. This is achieved by temporarily (or permanently), altering services of a host connected to the Internet.

Most websites are designed to accommodate a certain level of web traffic, much in the same way roads are created for a certain volume of vehicles at one time. With denial of service attacks (DoS), cyber criminals flood your site with an extortionate amount of traffic. This in turn effectively slows everything down and may collapse the web page. DoS attacks are serious business. They make you to loose valuable time and resources trying to resolve the issue.

Contact The JDL Group for pragmatic solutions to cyber threats.

 

Sources:

 

 

 

Here’s what very business professional should be informed about:

  1. Data breaches

    When a security incident involving protected or confidential data is copied, distributed, read, stolen, or used by unauthorized individuals, it can become a serious problem for the victims involved. The majority of data breaches happen due to vulnerable unstructured data such as files, documents, and sensitive information. A bad security process, or lack there of, can leave businesses exposed.

The data can be any kind of information, including health information, financial information, personally identifiable information, trade secrets, and intellectual property. The risk of data breach is not exclusive to cloud computing, but it invariably ranks as a top concern for cloud customers. 

  1. Bots

    There are many different kinds of bots. These include website crawlers, spam bots, chat rooms and other dangerous bots. They run as automated and executed programs on the Internet. It’s estimated that one in three visits to any website is a malicious bot. It may have been designed to search your interface for security flaws.

The bots perform many tasks such as stealing user credit card information, and malware links. Online cybercriminals use viruses to breach the security of computers. They can take over your computer and use all of the compromised machines into a network of ‘bots‘ that can be remotely managed.

3. Insufficient identity, credential, and access management

Data breaches enabling attacks can happen because of a lack of scalable identity access management systems, failure to use proper authentication, weak passwords, and not updating passwords and certificates.
Credentials and cryptographic keys must not be embedded in source code or distributed via public facing storage like GitHub. There is a high incidence of problems that may occur. Keys need to be appropriately secured and a well-secured public key infrastructure (PKI) is needed to ensure key-management activities are carried out.

  1. Unsafe interfaces & application programming interfaces (APIs)

    APIs are a system of tools and resources in an operating system, enabling developers to create software applications. Cloud providers expose a set of software user interfaces (UIs) or APIs that customers use to manage and interact with cloud services. Provisioning, management, and monitoring are all performed with these interfaces, and the security and availability of general cloud services depends on the security of APIs, CSA says. They need to be designed to protect against accidental and malicious attempts to circumvent policy.

  1. System vulnerabilities

 This cyber-security term refers to an inadequacy, in a system that can leave it open to attack. Vulnerability may also refer to any type of weakness in a computer system itself, in a process, or anything that leaves your security exposed to a threat. This may attract attackers who will steal data by taking control of the system, or destroying service operations. With the advent of multi-tenancy in the cloud, systems from various organizations are placed close to each other and given access to shared memory and resources, creating a new attack surface.

6. Account hijacking

A process in which an individual or organization’s account is stolen or hijacked by an attacker. Cloud account hijacking is a common strategy in identity theft. The assailant uses the stolen account information to engage in malevolent and/or unauthorized activity.

They can eavesdrop on activities and transactions, mess with your data, return misleading information and redirect clients to illegitimate sites. With your stolen data, attackers can often access key areas of cloud computing services. This enables them to compromise the privacy, integrity, and availability of those services.

7. Bogus Social Media

Bogus social media pages and accounts are created to mirror the actual people or businesses. The idea is to target your network, including your employees and their devices. The goal is to get to your private information through the sharing of disruptive malware links. These appear harmless like links to coupons, photos, or websites that may peak your curiosity encouraging you to click.

There are also many phishing scams, or fraudulent messages that lure people to divulge their private information via social media.  Credit card numbers and passwords are particularly at risk and when infiltrated can be detrimental to your important software, and more!

8. Denial of Service Attacks

In this instance the perpetrator wants to make a computer or network unavailable to its intended. This is achieved by temporarily (or permanently), altering services of a host connected to the Internet.

Most websites are designed to accommodate a certain level of web traffic, much in the same way roads are created for a certain volume of vehicles at one time. With denial of service attacks (DoS), cyber criminals flood your site with an extortionate amount of traffic. This in turn effectively slows everything down and may collapse the web page. DoS attacks are serious business. They make you to loose valuable time and resources trying to resolve the issue.

Contact The JDL Group for pragmatic solutions to cyber threats.

 

Sources: