Data Security

Is Your Company Equipped to Fight a Cyber Attack?


Cyber criminals are constantly employing new approaches to infiltrate businesses — making security breaches inevitable. That’s why understanding the security landscape, developing a strategy and engaging the right suppliers to help implement or strengthen your customer’s security is so important. Taking these measures will help minimize the impact of any security event that may occur.

Additionally, time is the most precious resource when responding to a threat. The faster you can help your customers recognize and eliminate a threat, the less damage it will do to their business, and the more you will be the hero.

Questions to consider:

What are the biggest security concerns facing your organization and does the staff have the budget and expertise to handle them?
Have you recently conducted any type of security review on your people, processes, or technology?
Have you adopted any cloud-based applications, and if so, are you aware of the risks that have been created?
Is your organization’s information system access limited to authorized users, processes, or devices?
Do you have a contingency plan in case of an emergency?
Is physical access to systems, equipment, and operating environments limited to only authorized individuals?


Does the fireway include modern functions, such as application awareness and network intrusion detection? 
Is anti-virus installed on all endpoint devices? 
What cloud-based security options are available?
What functions (e.g., remote wipe, data encryption, etc.,) should be enabled on mobile devices? 
How is data being controlled, restricted and tracked? 

12 Common Myths about Cyber Security

With all the focus on cyber security for businesses in the past few years, there’s a lot of good information about how to protect yourself and your company from the risk of a security breach. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of bad information circulating, and it can sometimes drown out the facts. Here are 12 common myths to avoid:

The right software will solve your problems. A good suite of software is an essential part of your cyber security strategy, but that’s all it is – a part. Cyber security is not a set it and forget it process. You need experts to be able to monitor, analyze, react, and adapt to threats in your system, and while machine learning is getting better all the time, software alone can’t cover every aspect of your needs.
Cyber security is IT’s job. Speaking of needing experts, there’s more: even if you managed to hire cyber security specialists (people in this field are in short supply,) a solid IT team is not enough to protect your organization against a security breach. Today, proactive defense is much more effective than reactive, as malware takes moments to do serious damage rather than hours or days. That means educating end users and consistently enforcing a security policy in all aspects of your business’s operations.
Attackers don’t go after SMBs. Data breaches in giant organizations like Yahoo! and Deloitte make the headlines; a local boutique shop or a regional manufacturing company don’t. But …

How to Get Started with Data Security

You probably know that your company should be doing more with data security, but where do you start? Getting your business to the security systems it should have can be a long process, but even small steps will help you mitigate the risk of a data breach for the long term. Here are some quick actions you can take as well as some planning steps to get you started with data security.
Quick-Start Steps

Encrypt your emails. One of the easiest ways for people to gain unauthorized access to company data is intercepting emails and email attachments. Secure your email communications by encrypting messages and setting timers for message expiration – once the intended party has received the information, do they really need it forever?

Protect your network. All company networks should be password protected and, ideally, hidden from discovery by non-employees. By ensuring that only company employees have access to the office internet and file sharing servers, you decrease the chance of data breach by unauthorized users.

Enforce a strong password policy. Even though the technology used to attack and secure data has evolved dramatically since the initial spread of internet usage, your best first-line defender is still a strong password. Most websites and applications suggest a password that is a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. And contrary to popular belief, mandating frequent password changes may be doing more harm than good, as employees can get frustrated and use weaker, easier to …

3 Business Cyber Security Solutions for 2018

Every year has seen changes and evolutions in cyber crime and security, and 2018 is no exception. As trends change, businesses need to be constantly educating themselves on cyber security solutions to mitigate risk and protect against cyber attacks. Here are three types of platforms that every company should include in their security operations, as well as the 2018 trends that are driving innovation and change.
System Security
It’s always a good bet to start with the basics, which means that many businesses already have at least some semblance of a general security system in place. However, if you don’t, or if you haven’t reviewed your system security solution in a while, it’s worth taking a second look at the building blocks of your business’s cyber security this year.

System security covers a number of categories, including network, data, application, mobile data, and web security, with a focus on protecting end users from dangerous activity and web content. Anti-malware, email encryption tools, and firewalls all fall into system security, and each area should be covered by one or more security solutions.

2018 Trend: IoT Security

A vast network of connected devices, called the Internet of Things or IoT, has changed how society thinks about connectivity. Prior to the widespread adoption of connected devices, connectivity meant screen time: how much time consumers spent on their phones, tablets, or computers. Now, virtual assistants, smart TVs, networked security cameras, vehicle fleets, and even business telephone systems are connected, and just …

Is Your Business’s Data Secure?

Data security is a priority for IT professionals in the business world. For others? Not so much. A study by the Ponemon Institute reported that only about 38 percent of non-IT employees with access to company devices viewed data security as a high priority. But after 2017 showed us that data breaches can do a lot of damage to a company, can you afford to let it slide?
What is a data breach?
Simply put, a data security breach is a confirmed incident in which private, sensitive, confidential, or other protected data is accessed or released in an unauthorized way. For example, you’ll probably recall a number of high-profile security breaches that occurred in 2017, such as Equifax and Yahoo.

Despite widely-held perceptions, largely due to pop culture, many data breaches are not a result of hacking — at least, not by the stereotypical cyber criminal tapping furiously at his keyboard. In fact, some of the most notorious data breaches happened because an authorized user took an unauthorized action. Target’s 2014 breach, for instance, occurred because of a successful phishing attempt on a third-party vendor, giving the attackers the login information to Target’s systems. Because at least one employee opened a fraudulent email, the payment and contact information of over 70 million Target customers was compromised.

If it sounds scary, that’s because it is. IBM’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study reported that in 2017, the average cost of a data breach for a company was $3.62 million, and 1 out of …

Is BYOD Right for Your Business?

We’re calling it: flexibility is going to be the business buzzword of 2018. With more companies allowing their employees to work remotely, office workspaces are becoming less critical to operations. BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, policies have caught on in the push for flexibility, but should you implement them for your company? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Employee Satisfaction: For many people, their personal devices have pretty much become a part of their being. With a BYOD policy, employees get to use the devices that they’re most comfortable with rather than working on a company platform. By using systems that they are already used to, they can jump right into work without any training or points of confusion that could come from using a work-provided device. And while distraction may be a concern, that street runs two ways: employees who receive work-related emails, calls, and messages to their personal device will likely spend more of their own time being productive.

Reduced Costs: There are several areas in which a BYOD policy can help reduce company spending. First, and perhaps most obvious, having employees work from their personal devices means less spending on company-provided hardware like computers and phones. Rather than providing a whole new workspace for a new employee, all you need to provide is any necessary software licenses or ancillary tech they need for their position. Another area for savings with a BYOD policy is IT costs. Part of being more comfortable with …

5 Ways Better Internet Service can Boost Your Bottom Line

We’ve all felt the frustration of a poor internet connection: web pages not loading, important files refusing to upload, emails and messages not sending. For businesses, these problems are more than frustrating; they cost time and money. While you may think that putting up with internet service that slows you down helps to save money, a better network and faster connection not only improves productivity, but can actually open the door to money-making solutions.
1. Leverage the Cloud for your Business
In their annual State of the Cloud survey, RightScale found in 2017 that over 95% of their respondents were already using the cloud for their business processes. And while the cloud offers businesses benefits such as reduced hardware maintenance, reduced IT spending, and more agile applications and processes, effective use of the cloud requires a reliable and fast internet connection. Migrating to the cloud has become easier and cheaper in the past year, and with its potential for increased savings and security, it makes more sense than ever to incorporate a cloud strategy into your business.
2. Go Further with VoIP
Making communication easier, faster, and cheaper is a surefire way to boost productivity and revenue. Switching your phone system to VoIP does all that and more: with lower trunking and long-distance costs and better scalability, VoIP systems cost less than traditional landline phones. In addition, VoIP systems offer a whole host of features that improve workers’ quality of life, such as mobility, conferencing, and integration with other communication tools as well …

Leverage Data Solutions While Protecting Customer Information

Data Protection Is Here To Stay
Big data is everywhere and it is important to protect your customer’s data. If you’re not using ambient data to market to your customers, you will be soon. Otherwise you risk falling behind their competition. While customers want relevant, personalized experiences when shopping for goods and services, they’re also nervous about what big data means.  Is your customer information safe?

Leveraging big data solutions can help you reach out to your customers and make meaningful connections with your best prospects.  In order to do so in a way that benefits your brand rather than harming it, you need to ensure that your customers’ information is secure. Read How to Get Started With Data Security.
Protect Customer Data
It is beneficial to business when data is used to enhance the customer experience.  But one data breach or successful cyber attack could send the company’s reputation down the drain.  Make a plan for how customer data will be handled and stored securely, not only to comply with industry regulations, but also to treat customers and their information in a respectful and ethical manner.

Systems should go through a thorough information security audit, and any points of weakness should be reinforced. Cyber attacks are evolving to target systems such as internet telephones and remote workspaces.  A solution that secures and stabilizes internet communications can help to safeguard your company and customers.
Make Customer Experiences Better
The term “big data” refers to data collected …

7 Reasons You Might be Losing Customers

A business that is losing customers on a consistent basis is in trouble over the long haul. Customers are the lifeline of any organization. However, today’s business environment is characterized by high customer turnover due to stiff competition. If you’re losing customers and can’t figure out why, it’s time to take a good hard look at how you’re doing business.

1. Changing Too Many Players

Customers do not buy from companies but from people. Relationships are the lifeblood of a business, irrespective of its size. Therefore, to retain long-term customers, a company should not rotate salespeople, key contacts, or customer service representatives unless it has to. A business should foster any relationships forged by employees since they are rarely interchangeable.

2. Treating Existing and New Customers Differently

Offering incentives and discounts to only new customers may cause resentment among the existing ones. A business should think carefully about the carrots its offers new customers and ensure that it rewards existing ones equally – if not more. Although new clients have an immediate top-line impact, total sales to existing ones typically result in a greater impact on the business’ bottom line. And it’s always more cost effective to keep a customer than it is to earn a new one.

3. Focusing on Price Rather Than Value

Being a low-cost provider offers a competitive edge at first, but this strategy is difficult to sustain over the long haul. Instead, a business’ goal should be providing the best …

What is a Firewall?

What is a firewall? While many people have the impression that a firewall is just a layer of security between two networks, its functions and purpose go far beyond that. Not only are firewalls essential in maintaining your business security but also thwart malicious attacks from a broader range of sources.

So how do you decide which firewall is the best for your company? First of all, you’d have to take the existing infrastructure of your organization into consideration. Then, choose among the three different categories of setups available.

It’s crucial that you know about the pros and cons of these firewall setups to make a better-informed decision. So, keep on reading!
Types of firewalls
1. Software firewalls

This is the kind of firewall that best suits individuals wanting to protect their network. But, since software firewalls are essentially a piece of code, it’s definitely not idea for businesses with significant amounts of data to protect. Think of it this way – the software firewall is more of a lock on your door than an impenetrable fortress protecting you from attacks on all sides.

Don’t get us wrong; this type of firewall does have value, and they are good at blocking malware, preventing risky activities, scanning blacklisted IP addresses, and detecting suspicious application requests. But these aren’t the only things that are needed for a large-scale enterprise with numerous network connections.

The biggest disadvantage of a software firewall is that they rely on one computer to run the …