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.

Let the 80/20 Rule Be Your Guide for IT Security

IT security is something that businesses of all shapes, sizes, and varieties have to be concerned about. You’ll be faced with the question of whether you have adequate security practices on a daily basis. For help with understanding why the smallest vulnerabilities often result in the most data loss, look no further than the 80/20 rule.

This rule, often called the Pareto Principle, is defined as such by Investopedia: “[the Pareto Principle] specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that 20 percent of the invested input is responsible for 80 percent of the results obtained. Put another way, 80 percent of consequences stem from 20 percent of the causes.”

In other words, the Pareto Principle is a strategy that attempts to explain how you should delegate your organization’s security resources in order to maximize the security you get. In this case, you are using your assets to protect your network from online threats. However, you might realize that even if you search and search for network vulnerabilities, you won’t find all of them. There are simply too many threats out there to identify. Instead, you use the Pareto Principle to identify where you can do the most good for your organization’s network security.

This principle can also work in reverse; only 20 percent of the vulnerabilities on the Internet lead to 80 percent of the data loss. When you think about it, this makes sense. How often do you hear about major data breaches in which multiple vulnerabilities were exploited? Instead, it’s usually just one major hack that led to many compromised accounts.

Yet, the biggest part of effectively using the 80/20 rule is determining what your priorities should be, and which threats are the most dangerous. After all, if everything is a priority, then nothing can get done. This results in all-around subpar security that leaves large threats unchecked.

A penetration test can help JDL Group to find where your organization’s most important security flaws lie. We can locate and resolve your most critical security flaws through a process called Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), which allows us to connect to your office’s technology solutions and issue the required patches and security updates without an on-site visit. In fact, most situations will only call for remote access, so you can save both time and money with an RMM tool.

In fact, there’s one solution that is capable of protecting the majority of your network without much effort at all. It’s called a Unified Threat Management solution, and it includes all of the major components of network security in one convenient package. With an enterprise-level firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter, you can know with certainty that one solution covers the majority of the challenges presented by network security.

With JDL Group’s managed IT services, you’re creating many opportunities for enhanced network security, improved network performance, and optimized operations.

Contact Us

To learn more about how we make technology work for you, reach out to us at 1-(844) 493-0015.

IT security is something that businesses of all shapes, sizes, and varieties have to be concerned about. You’ll be faced with the question of whether you have adequate security practices on a daily basis. For help with understanding why the smallest vulnerabilities often result in the most data loss, look no further than the 80/20 rule.

This rule, often called the Pareto Principle, is defined as such by Investopedia: “[the Pareto Principle] specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that 20 percent of the invested input is responsible for 80 percent of the results obtained. Put another way, 80 percent of consequences stem from 20 percent of the causes.”

In other words, the Pareto Principle is a strategy that attempts to explain how you should delegate your organization’s security resources in order to maximize the security you get. In this case, you are using your assets to protect your network from online threats. However, you might realize that even if you search and search for network vulnerabilities, you won’t find all of them. There are simply too many threats out there to identify. Instead, you use the Pareto Principle to identify where you can do the most good for your organization’s network security.

This principle can also work in reverse; only 20 percent of the vulnerabilities on the Internet lead to 80 percent of the data loss. When you think about it, this makes sense. How often do you hear about major data breaches in which multiple vulnerabilities were exploited? Instead, it’s usually just one major hack that led to many compromised accounts.

Yet, the biggest part of effectively using the 80/20 rule is determining what your priorities should be, and which threats are the most dangerous. After all, if everything is a priority, then nothing can get done. This results in all-around subpar security that leaves large threats unchecked.

A penetration test can help JDL Group to find where your organization’s most important security flaws lie. We can locate and resolve your most critical security flaws through a process called Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), which allows us to connect to your office’s technology solutions and issue the required patches and security updates without an on-site visit. In fact, most situations will only call for remote access, so you can save both time and money with an RMM tool.

In fact, there’s one solution that is capable of protecting the majority of your network without much effort at all. It’s called a Unified Threat Management solution, and it includes all of the major components of network security in one convenient package. With an enterprise-level firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter, you can know with certainty that one solution covers the majority of the challenges presented by network security.

With JDL Group’s managed IT services, you’re creating many opportunities for enhanced network security, improved network performance, and optimized operations.

Contact Us

To learn more about how we make technology work for you, reach out to us at 1-(844) 493-0015.

The “S” in HTTPS is More Important Than You May Think

It would be an understatement to say that security, particularly encryption, is important while browsing the web. Though it was only recently that encryption became a major pain point for government regulation, encryption has been around for a very long time. The average user can get a taste of online encryption through the average website security certificate.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol, with an S on the end for “security,” is designed to protect a website visitor’s privacy by encrypting information sent from the website to a receiving server. Ordinarily, the connection wouldn’t be private, so data can be accessed while it’s in transit. This is why HTTPS is commonly used on pages that require sensitive credentials, like passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and so on. For example, banking institutions and other accounts that are linked to financial credentials (like any payment pages on websites) need to be using a security certificate to guarantee the user’s security.

One good way of describing online encryption is like a pipe. A normal HTTP connection is like a transparent pipe that you can see through. Hackers can collect data while it’s in transit because the pipe is see-through. Now, imagine the same pipe, only with an opaque hue to it. You can still see the insides, but they’re hidden and jumbled to the point where you can’t get a clear image. This is what it’s like for hackers to see encrypted data; they may have stolen it, but it’s locked down and indecipherable, making it essentially worthless.

The main thing that the average business owner must understand about HTTPS and online encryption is that you need to drill best practices of handling data into your employees as early and as often as possible. Before entering sensitive information into any website, be sure to look for the following abnormalities:

  • A lack of a security certificate: Before you enter any information into a website, make sure that it’s protected by a security certificate. You can verify that a website is secure by clicking on the green padlock icon next to the URL’s name in the address bar. It’s important to keep in mind that, while SSL and TLS might largely seem like the same thing, SSL is an antiquated security protocol that, thanks to vulnerabilities like POODLE (a man-in-the-middle exploit), could be dangerous.
  • Suspicious URLs or domain names: Sometimes hackers will create a site that looks exactly like a banking institution’s website, and use it to steal credentials. They will use sneaky tactics to make you think that what you’re looking at is the real deal, but look for out-of-place letters, numbers, or symbols in the domain before thinking you’re in the clear. Basically, the site that you’re on should be the institution’s official site. If something looks out of the ordinary, contact the organization through the information that you have on file.

Contact Us

For more great tips and tricks on how to stay safe online, be sure to contact JDL Group at 1-(844) 493-0015.

It would be an understatement to say that security, particularly encryption, is important while browsing the web. Though it was only recently that encryption became a major pain point for government regulation, encryption has been around for a very long time. The average user can get a taste of online encryption through the average website security certificate.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol, with an S on the end for “security,” is designed to protect a website visitor’s privacy by encrypting information sent from the website to a receiving server. Ordinarily, the connection wouldn’t be private, so data can be accessed while it’s in transit. This is why HTTPS is commonly used on pages that require sensitive credentials, like passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and so on. For example, banking institutions and other accounts that are linked to financial credentials (like any payment pages on websites) need to be using a security certificate to guarantee the user’s security.

One good way of describing online encryption is like a pipe. A normal HTTP connection is like a transparent pipe that you can see through. Hackers can collect data while it’s in transit because the pipe is see-through. Now, imagine the same pipe, only with an opaque hue to it. You can still see the insides, but they’re hidden and jumbled to the point where you can’t get a clear image. This is what it’s like for hackers to see encrypted data; they may have stolen it, but it’s locked down and indecipherable, making it essentially worthless.

The main thing that the average business owner must understand about HTTPS and online encryption is that you need to drill best practices of handling data into your employees as early and as often as possible. Before entering sensitive information into any website, be sure to look for the following abnormalities:

  • A lack of a security certificate: Before you enter any information into a website, make sure that it’s protected by a security certificate. You can verify that a website is secure by clicking on the green padlock icon next to the URL’s name in the address bar. It’s important to keep in mind that, while SSL and TLS might largely seem like the same thing, SSL is an antiquated security protocol that, thanks to vulnerabilities like POODLE (a man-in-the-middle exploit), could be dangerous.
  • Suspicious URLs or domain names: Sometimes hackers will create a site that looks exactly like a banking institution’s website, and use it to steal credentials. They will use sneaky tactics to make you think that what you’re looking at is the real deal, but look for out-of-place letters, numbers, or symbols in the domain before thinking you’re in the clear. Basically, the site that you’re on should be the institution’s official site. If something looks out of the ordinary, contact the organization through the information that you have on file.

Contact Us

For more great tips and tricks on how to stay safe online, be sure to contact JDL Group at 1-(844) 493-0015.