Employee Cyber Security Training Tips

You can tell your employees not to use their cell phones at work, but they are likely using them when you are not looking anyhow. You can instruct them that they should not download anything from an entrusted third party, and yet they are going to see a name they recognize and just go ahead and click anyhow. So what do you do?

Many companies will add a cybersecurity policy into their employee handbook and never speak of it again. That is a huge mistake! Not only should you hold a thorough training on this subject with your employees, but also you should have them attend this training at least twice a year!

Data security training needs to shock the employee enough to realize that human error is one of the leading causes of data breaches. Throw facts and statistics at them. Let them know they play a huge role in the safety of the company and how a large portion of data breaches are completely preventable and have stemmed from user error.

Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report of 2015 showed that 30% of staff-related e-mail breaches were due to sensitive information being sent to incorrect recipients.

While many prevention tips may seem like common sense to us by now, we tend to get lazy and take shortcuts. Find a way to get your employees to break their bad habits!

  • Educate employees on the types of cyber threats out there so they know the warning signs and how each threat attacks.
  • Never share passwords (even internally) and do not buy one of those internet password notebooks to write in and manage your login information!
  • Never plug in a USB without knowing its origin and expected contents.
  • Lock your computer when you step away from your desk for even a moment.
  • Be cautious what is in view on the monitor before screen sharing in webinars or when anyone else is around.
  • Never share emails that are not related to the work that you are doing as they may contain malicious attachments.
  • Training needs to include the warning signs of a breached system. Why? Once a system is breached, it is critical to remove the threat rapidly to prevent data loss or a follow-up virus or worm.

The crucial take away points are to implement cyber training with ALL employees (C-suite included) right away, and to repeat the training at least twice a year; refreshing the agenda with new cyber threats, statistics and details which have come to light since the previous training.

Is Your Business Vulnerable to Information and Cyber Security Risks?

Organizations and businesses often operate with significant risk due to an over dependency on reactive risk countermeasures and vulnerability scanning tools. This risk is of concern not only because of the high probability of attack to our IT systems, but also due to the low priority of information security activities when compared to other operational “necessities”. This complex organizational concern, almost assures that information and cybersecurity is NOT given priority until after a significant loss of information or system availability occurs an organization. This risk left unmanaged, subjects all stakeholders to loss of our privileged information and the high cost of system and incident recovery.

The attacks to our systems often target core mission and system services for the purpose of gaining privileged information and for denying access to key services. Gladly for our customers, and us there are risk management solutions that maximize security and provide significant resource and cost savings throughout your business development and operational lifecycle (NOT just when vulnerabilities are discovered). These risk management solutions, once implemented, provide for mission focus and continuous monitoring while also balancing security requirements with business vision, system functionalities, and operational capabilities.

Solutions should integrate businesses own lessons learned with operational activities to fill their own critical Information Security (IS) and cybersecurity gaps. Every business, or peer group, has unique risks that are managed. These solutions have roadmaps and experienced professionals that control the cost and/or complexity of increasing to an increased security level. These experienced professionals’ help in identifying and addressing specific business requirements into policies and plans that support the activities required by both the mission and supporting IS (cybersecurity) standards.

The solutions are implemented using multiple, often overlapping activities and include: 1) Aligning the business mission, vision, goals, objectives and IS value by defining IS requirements early, 2) Provide experienced industry program managers and IS professionals that will work alongside the many stakeholders, 3) Assess requirements and value, recommend solutions, integrate services, and sustain IS value, functions and capabilities to reduce risk, 4) Provide value focused system functions, capabilities, scalability, and performance that improves the mission and reduces risk to the stakeholders, 5) Leverage IS services for continuous monitoring and value added automation.

Risk Management is ultimately related to many projects and tasks that align with your vision and expectation of providing valued services at every level of your organization. Projects have distinct and important phases that are sequential; these project phases’ success or failure directly impact on and ultimately affects the success of the organization. IS is a significantly important piece of many ongoing activities in a diverse and expert environment. A combined program management, systems engineering, and IS professional approach will most quickly maximize mission efficiencies while improving fundamentals needed to meet and implement security controls. Management and technical activities, focused on mission needs, should follow tailored industry best practices to maximize operations, manage risk and be compliant with IS security requirements.

Improving operations and the sustainment of IS is best done from the top down, on both governance and technical levels. This approach has achieved improved operations and has avoided many problems associated with managing both risk and change. With the realization that risks must be managed regardless of the reduction to available funds today, we must view that any resource and cost waste is unacceptable. Thereby, all activities must be run “on purpose” as activities without purpose needlessly add risk and cost to the organization.

Using a tailored program management approach in meeting our security requirements and managing the risk that is always present, our teams must successfully implemented many tools and improvements that put the pieces together to define strategic IS vision, improve IS management and leadership, and improve IS tactical efficiencies.

5 Significant Cyber Security Risks Businesses Should Ponder

In the recent years, it has been observed that many businesses have been rapidly affected by various types of cyber attacks. Companies continue to be under great pressure and strive to keep their information safe and secure. Some of the common security risks businesses continue to face have been listed below:

1. Human factor and peoples’ reactive mindset: The employees working in the business could form the major base for cyber threats as they are more prone to open phishing emails or download links that could turn out to be malware. Moreover, the top level management or people at the C level will be less prone to become malicious insiders. Due to this a serious concern of privilege abuse by lower level employees is more common as they become malicious insiders and measures need to be taken to overcome this problem.

2. Password protection measures play vital role: Businesses should be extremely aware that they should maintain all important business accounts with a two factor password authentication such that it may not be easily hacked. This password needs to be changed and maintained effectively once in 30 or 45 days to keep it more safe and away from any security attacks.

3. Aging Infrastructure and drastic Patch Management necessary: In addition to the above security risks, hardware can also be a major issue as lifecycle of most of the devices is becoming increasingly shorter these days. Purchase only new hardware that can uphold updates such that aging factor can be taken care off. Recent attacks such as the WannaCry and Petya outbreaks have underlined the importance of regular software updates that needs to be taken up. Even for Eternal Blue, it allowed the malware to spread within corporate networks without any user interaction, making these outbreaks particularly virulent. The above incidents do show the importance of protecting vulnerable systems and patching is a key way to do it.

4. Difficulty with Data Integrations: It is interesting to note that the amount of data that flows through an organization could for reasons overwhelm anyone as it contains very critical information. This could be about employees, partners, stakeholders, service providers etc. But integrating various data sources is crucial to have a clear understanding of various risks involved within or outside the organization.

5. Lack of a Proper security recovery plan: Most businesses are still unaware of the impounding risks with cyber security and lack a proper plan to overcome such situations. They need to draft a plan that contains the actions that could be taken up when there is a cyber attack and thus can quickly and efficiently minimize the risk and save information or other economic losses.

How Can Businesses protect themselves?

Certain solutions like SecOps provide superior customer experience along with a robust cyber security. This security product has capabilities of secure operations while focusing on delivering a seamless customer experience. This specific Security and Experience go together approach finds the right balance between the ease of user experience and effectiveness of security protection. These solutions cover the entire software lifecycle, from secure design to security testing in development and QA, app self-protection and monitoring in product and patching. Security is an enabler of new business opportunities in addition to helping protect your company’s people, data, and systems. Cloud Security is achieved through following certain cloud adoption strategies with specific focus placed on security and privacy to improve all operations and make them secure.

Cyber Security Tips for Small and Medium Business

Keeping business data safe is the number one concern of business nowadays. Due to the rising security breaches on several companies, data security against unwanted intrusion is on everyone’s mind. No matter big or small, IT security is the biggest challenges organizations face. When it comes to small or medium enterprise the impact of security threat is even more severe. Cyber criminals love to target small business largely due to the fact that SMBs cannot afford to implement strong security protocols. Nothing can be hundred percentage safe, but at the same time SMEs can advance the protection environment by acquiring a strong understanding of their external web presence and ensuring it is secure by undertaking penetration testing and minimizing exposure by taking action such as regularly updating security patches.

What is Data breach and how it happens?

Data breach is an incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data has potentially been viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so. The most common concept of a data breach is an attacker hacking into a network to steal sensitive data. A number of industry guidelines and government compliance regulations mandate strict governance of sensitive or personal data to avoid data breaches. It is a scenario where your company or organizations’ data is stolen. When we check into the company folder and find all information is gone, client files, logs, billing information have all been compromised. Then it is clear that your business is becoming a victim of a data breach cyber-attack.

Most common causes of data breaches

Protecting sensitive data is critical to the lifeline of an enterprise. What can be the most common causes of data breaches?

• Physical loss or theft of devices is one of the most common causes of data breaches: This is arguably the most straightforward of the common causes of data breaches. However, there are many different ways that this can occur. It could be that anyone of your laptop, external hard drive, or flash drive has been damaged, stolen, or misplaced.

• Internal threats like accidental breach (employee error) or intentional breach (employee misuse): This can occur when employees handling delicate data not clearly understanding security protocols and procedures. Data breach can also occur from a mental error, when an employee sends documents to a wrong recipient.

• Weak security controls are often top concerns for protecting an organization’s data: Incorrectly managing access to applications and different types of data can result in employees being able to view and transport information they don’t need to do their jobs. Weak or stolen password has been yet another main concern. When devices such as laptops, tablets, cell phones, computers and email systems are protected with weak passwords, hackers can easily break into the system. This exposes subscription information, personal and financial information, as well as sensitive business data.

• Operating system and application vulnerabilities: Having outdated software or web browsers is a serious security concern.

Tips to prevent Cyber threat

Amid the chaos and the hype, it can be difficult to get clear, accurate information about what’s really going on when a data breach occurs. While data breaches are certainly a complex issue, equipping yourself with basic knowledge of them can help you to navigate the news, to handle the aftermath, and to secure your data as best as you can. The increasing frequency and magnitude of data breaches is a clear sign that organizations need to prioritize the security of personal data.

Latest developments like embracing cloud, deploying BYOD etc. enhances the risk of cyber threat. Employee ignorance is also one of the major concerns. Hackers are well aware of these vulnerabilities and are organizing themselves to exploit. There is no need to panic, especially if you are a small business, but it is imperative to take a decision. Make yourself difficult to target and keep your business secure with these top 5 tips.

Here are the top 5 tips to prevent the cyber threat.

1. Encrypt your data: Data encryption is a great preventive control mechanism. If you encrypt a database or a file, you can’t decrypt it unless you have or guess the right keys, and guessing the right keys can take a long time. Managing encryption keys requires the same effort as managing other preventive controls in the digital world, like access control lists, for example. Someone needs to regularly review who has access to what data, and revoke access for those who no longer require it.

2. Choose a security that fits your business: Cracking even the most secure companies with elaborate schemes is now far greater than ever. So adopt a managed security service provider that can deliver a flexible solution cost effectively and provide a seamless upgrade path.

3. Educate employees: Educate employees about appropriate handling and protection of sensitive data. Keep employees informed about threats through brief e-mails or at periodic meetings led by IT expert.

4. Deploy security management strategy: Nowadays cyber-attacks are highly organized so organizations need to establish a strategic approach so that your entire environment works as an integrated defense, detecting, preventing and responding to attacks seamlessly and instantly.

5. Install anti-virus software: Anti-virus software can secure your systems from attacks. Anti-virus protection scans your computer and your incoming email for viruses, and then deletes them. You must keep your anti-virus software updated to cope with the latest “bugs” circulating the Internet. Most anti-virus software includes a feature to download updates automatically when you are online. In addition, make sure that the software is continually running and checking your system for viruses, especially if you are downloading files from the Web or checking your email.

Actions or measures that can be taken if any, malicious attack suspected in your network

• If when an unknown file is downloaded, the first step is to delete the file. Disconnect the computer from the network and have IT run a complete system sweep to ensure no traces are left.

• Whenever a key logger is detected on a computer, IT should immediately reset password on all related accounts.

• Businesses should have central administration capabilities on their local and cloud server. Controlling which users have access to what files/folders on the server ensures that essential business data is only accessible by authorized individuals.

• Have all business files backed up in a remote cloud server. If disaster recovery is necessary, all files backed up in the cloud can be imported back to the local server to prevent complete data loss.

Perfect Cyber Security involves:

• Determining what assets need to be secured

• Identifying the threats and risks that could affect those assets or the whole business

• Identifying what safeguards need to be in place to deal with threats and secure assets

• Monitoring safeguards and assets to prevent or manage security breaches

• Responding to cyber security issues as they occur

• Updating and adjusting to safeguards as needed

Every day businesses are under attack on multiple fronts, and realizing that data breaches can stem from several different source allows for a more comprehensive protection and response plan. Never assume that your data is safe because you have the best electronic protection, or because you don’t use POS terminals. Criminals want your data, and they will try anything to get it.