Ransomware attacks are on the rise in Canada. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a critical protection against ransomware for any organization.
All month long, we’ve been sharing daily tips for Cybersecurity Awareness Month. We have gathered here some that we feel are most important to keeping your organization safe.
Use Strong Passwords
Looking for a way to make passwords that are easy to remember but are not breakable? Try a phrase or sentence that you’ll remember that is at least 12 or more characters long. To really strengthen your protection, add multifactor authentication. And remember to keep your passwords secure.
Apply Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
A password just isn’t enough anymore. MFA makes it virtually impossible for someone to hack into a user’s devices, the network, or a database.
Back Up Your Data Regularly
It is much more cost-effective and efficient to have replication and cloud backup services, rather than paying a ransom and working to decrypt infected files. Create an effective data disaster recovery plan with our guide for creating a backup and disaster recovery plan.
Patch and Update Regularly
Organizations that postpone patching or don’t have a team dedicated to keeping their applications and operating systems up to date risk ignoring vulnerabilities that invite hackers.
Stay Updated on Current Threats
Being proactive can save you a lot – in terms of money, time, and customers. But you can’t be expected to know about every new threat. That’s why layers of security and monitoring, managed with the support of a strong IT security partner, is essential.
Develop a Proactive Approach to Your Compliance and Cybersecurity
When you wait for network processes to slow down or for something to go wrong with your IT infrastructure before you invest in upgrades, you are forced into a costly cycle of repairs that prevents you from investing in up-to-date cybersecurity safeguards and getting ahead. When you work with an MSP, they constantly monitor the state of your infrastructure and network, heading off issues and replacing equipment before it stops your business from operating. The difference between proactive IT and reactive IT can be measured in the thousands of dollars. Act now to protect your business.
Work with a Trusted IT Vendor
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM), an internationally recognized effort to improve cybersecurity for all persons and organizations. In Canada, cybercrime is one of the biggest threats facing the nation, from identity fraud to phishing attacks and ransomware to election security. Every person and every business have a role to play in keeping Canada safe.
The ITeam is proud to participate in Cyber Security Awareness Month. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram for daily cybersecurity tips, news, and updates. And follow these recommendations to make your organization more cybersecure:
Your employees are your first line of defense against cybercrime. They need to know what to look for, how to respond, and when to act. Employee training should be mandatory for every person working in your organization, from the top down. Ensure that your training includes information about using strong passwords, improving email security (don’t click links or open files from unknown or unconfirmed sources), and establishing firm policies about how, when, and what devices can access your network.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
It’s not a matter of if but when your organization will fall victim to cybercrime. Even with the best training, a sophisticated hacker may still trick an employee into clicking a link that locks you out of your network. Instead of paying a ransom and further encouraging cybercriminals, develop a comprehensive data backup and disaster recovery protocol to protect your business. Start with our guide, How to Create an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan.
Develop a Comprehensive IT Strategy
Securing your business requires more than just passwords. It begins with the right policies: making cybersecurity a business fundamental, setting limits within your organization in regard to who can access your data, and assessing risk regularly. Once you begin to develop a culture of IT security in your organization, you will be able to prioritize essential cybersecurity tasks, such as updating and patching software and apps, implementing layers of security to protect your organization, meeting necessary compliance requirements for your industry, and identifying any vulnerabilities in your network.
Partner with a Managed Services Provider
Every organization faces the real possibility of a catastrophic event that could compromise its data integrity and threaten its very existence. The ITeam provides essential IT support to businesses in Alberta. We provide fully managed and personalized services designed to meet the needs of virtually any business. Our team will work with you to customize a cost-effective solution and help you develop a comprehensive IT security strategy that will help you survive any threat, whether natural or human-caused. Contact us to schedule a network assessment today.
More than 6 million Canadians were impacted by the Capital One data breach that happened this year – and that was not even the biggest breach by any stretch. The biggest data breach is still Yahoo, whose breach impacted more than 3 billion people. Big or small, however, each data breach is costly and damaging – to consumers, to businesses, and to the economy. We can – and should – learn everything we can from these incidents to avoid repeating them. In analyzing security breaches that have occurred over the last 10 years, experts found that the main reasons data breaches occur are:
- Failure to patch
- Human error
- Insider attacks
- Poor mobile device management
Failure to Patch
Too often, a breach occurs because an organization has delayed patching, leaving them vulnerable to hackers. This often happens because the organization does not have a dedicated IT staff, leaving one or more employees responsible for IT on top of their other duties. Those other duties – their “real” jobs – take priority and patching jobs get postponed.
Partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) can help solve this problem and extend the strength of your IT team, whether your team is a whole department, or one person assigned with additional responsibilities. An MSP ensures patches are installed in a timely manner, but they’re also there to monitor your network 24/7.
Clicking links and opening attachments in emails that appear to come from within your organization or from a trusted vendor cause more data breaches than we can measure. It’s possible your organization has malware sitting on your network right now that has been introduced by an errant employee and has yet to have been detected.
While we can never completely remove human error from the equation, we can drastically reduce the number of email-related data breaches by:
- Developing, implementing, and enforcing strict zero-trust policies
- Providing ongoing training to employees to help them recognize potential phishing scams
- Limiting the data to which employees have access
- Requiring multi-layer authentication that includes complex passwords and other access barriers
Insider attacks don’t account for many data breaches, but they can be the most devastating simply because of the betrayal involved. According to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, insider threats are on the rise, accounting for 34% of data breaches. In one case highlighted in the DBIR, a hacker admitted that when all other efforts failed, he bribed an employee to get him inside the network.
Preventing insider attacks can be difficult; they are often only discovered after the fact during forensic analysis– and often after the employee is long gone. But you can minimize the risk of insider threats by having multiple layers of security, strictly limiting employee and third-party access to data, and by conducting regular audits. Often, insider attacks come from former employees whose access to the network was not terminated; make it protocol to immediately revoke all access to employees who leave – whether they leave on good terms or not.
Poor Mobile Device Management
Mobile phones are being used to conduct business whether you authorize it or not, so your best bet for protecting your organization is to have a highly sophisticated MDM security plan in place that includes the following:
- Strict usage requirements that include installing your security on the device being used and requiring the use of a secure network when conducting business
- Remote wipe capabilities to disconnect the device from your network in the event that it is stolen, or the employee leaves the organization
- A no-tolerance policy for any employee who refuses to comply with the security requirements
Data breaches are not going away, but you can minimize the risk to your organization with strong IT security and a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. You can’t just address one of these issues; you must have a comprehensive, proactive data security program that addresses all of these risks and more.
The ITeam understands the IT security issues facing businesses in Canada. We are committed to helping Calgary- and Alberta-based businesses develop proactive, cost-effective IT strategies that minimize risk and maximize efficiency. Contact us to learn more.
Ever-changing technology is revolutionizing how organizations conduct business, but IT security must be more than just an afterthought during these changes. There is considerable push to meet consumer demand and adapt technologies for higher productivity and better customer experiences, but it all means nothing if your network isn’t secure. As technology catapults business into the digital era, organizations must consider how to make security a part of every step.
Organizations are adapting technology but leaving IT security behind.
The cloud, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and mobility are all driving business initiatives. Many organizations consider these adaptations priorities for remaining competitive. Unfortunately, every technological innovation reveals a new vulnerability that can be exploited by hackers. It takes more than patchwork protection to effectively secure your changing infrastructure, and as your network expands, so does the attack surface.
Everything is connected.
Hackers only need to gain access to one of your perimeters to reach the depths of your network. Improving visibility can mitigate risk, but sophisticated attacks are becoming harder to see. Continuous monitoring and diligent maintenance are required to protect your data. Organizations are now expected to offer all consumers better risk management, heightened privacy protections, and acknowledgment of fault if a data breach occurs. If businesses fail to meet compliance guidelines, they could face severe fines from governing bodies and an overall loss of business from a disappointed consumer base.
IT Security first.
Although businesses are eager to implement new tools that improve their processes, attract new customers, and retain loyal customers, that same technology will be their downfall if security isn’t a priority. Organizations must act immediately to mitigate risk and prevent data breaches, and with every technology innovation adopted, a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that protects you should also be implemented and updated. To do otherwise leaves your organization vulnerable to attack and financial ruin.
IT managed services can help immensely in securing all end-points, ensuring compliance, monitoring for data breaches, and other challenges related to a digital transformation. If cybersecurity is not a part of the conversation as you innovate and update, you’re wasting your resources.
As a top-rated IT security firm in Canada, we are committed to helping Calgary- and Alberta-based businesses develop proactive, cost-effective IT strategies that minimize risk, maximize efficiency, and build trust with Canadian citizens. Contact us to learn more.
Suite 200, 1210 8 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1L3
Suite 200, 1210 8 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1L3
(Mountain Standard Time)
The ITeam $$ (403) 750-2540 Calgary, AB5
stars"The ITeam provides peace of mind with high level security and superb customer service." - Jeff B.