Managing Your Company’s IT Risks

Posted on

With the growing number of cyber-attacks around the world as of late, many businesses are realizing that implementing a proper cyber security plan is critical to succeeding in the business world. Everything from the emails your employees receive to the links they click can cause your systems to be compromised and your clients’ private information to be stolen. Today’s blog covers the steps that you should take to protect your company and your customers.

Education

The first step in securing your infrastructure is educating your employees on the risks they face and how they can help with your company’s protection. The most obvious security measure team members can take is utilizing complex passwords. Employees should be encouraged to use long strings of unrelated words or combinations of capital letters, letters, numbers, and symbols and change them at least bi-annually. Additionally, employees should take precautions when clicking links in emails. Phishing scams are those where hackers create emails that emulate trusted sources that contain malicious links. These scams can be avoided by double-checking the email address to ensure it is correct. For example, customerservice@yourbank.com can be secure while customersservice@yourbank.com might be a hacker. If suspicious emails are detected, the IT team should be notified so they can block the sender and perform additional security scans. To ensure employees are following the proper procedures, their activity should be monitored and there should be blocks on certain types of websites.

Infrastructure

No matter how safe your employees are, your company will face a plethora of security risks. It is critical to implement a security infrastructure that will help prevent hackers from compromising your entire system. Network management is the process of monitoring each user’s activity and the overall infrastructure’s performance. IT teams must also ensure that the software and network are constantly updated to ensure that they are defending against the latest threats. In order to ensure this management is effective, it is important to test it by performing a penetration test. This involves internal or outsourced teams trying to exploit vulnerabilities to see if they gain the ability to negatively affect the system.

Backup

As we’ve said, there is no way to fully protect your business against these types of attacks. That is why it is important to create a disaster recovery plan. Frequently making copies of your infrastructure is important so that the stored information is as up-to-date as possible and the infrastructure will be able to be recovered to the state it was in before it acquired the virus or hack. Storing these backups on the cloud will provide additional protection as it will prevent data loss in the occurrence of a natural disaster or theft. These backups should also be tested frequently to ensure they are taking a full snapshot of the system and able to be uploaded quickly. With the proper backups in place, your business will be able to upload your system in minutes once you can access an internet connected device.

These are just a few of the steps your company should take to manage the cybersecurity threats it faces each day. A proper plan involves a full risk assessment and will constantly change to accommodate new technology and threats. Our team members would be happy to help you protect your business and create a plan to ensure its sustainability and success. Contact us to learn more!

Disaster Recovery as a Service

Posted on

We strive to give our customers a long term plan for IT growth, efficiency, and sustainability. Our team members know that even when we employ proper IT security services, we unfortunately can’t guarantee their success. That is why we provide disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS. This service ensures that in the event of a cyber-attack, natural disaster, or other threat compromising a network, the software, and the critical data will be able to be recovered.

The best way to ensure you will be able to recover your critical data in the event of an emergency is to store it in the cloud. The cloud is a term for online storage, meaning it doesn’t depend on a physical server. This helps ensure that thieves can’t steal the physical server and natural disasters can’t compromise it. Our team members take multiple copies of your infrastructure each day to ensure the recovered data will be as up-to-date as possible and that the infrastructure will be able to be restored to its condition before it acquired the attack. The benefits of trusting our team to provide DRaaS services include but are not limited to:

  • Predetermined pricing
  • Actionable recovery metrics
  • Protected storage facility
  • Frequent copies created

Additionally, we work to ensure this storage is secure and efficient. By trusting an outsourced provider to back up your data, you can rest assured that the backups will always be protected using the most up-to-date defense methods. Our expert team will work 24/7 and utilize our advanced knowledge and resources to protect this information. We add additional security to this data by storing it in a secure storage environment, with access control and temperature control to promote the efficiency of these cloud servers. We also test this stored information frequently to ensure that if recovery is necessary, it will be able to be completed quickly and fully. Testing will help prevent downtime, which we know is unacceptable for business owners.

You can trust that our team will store backups of your system that will be secure, up-to-date, and easily recoverable. This will ensure your survival in the case of a cyber-attack or natural disaster. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or our recommendations for your business’ IT security.

How Social Apps are Fighting Terrorism

Posted on

With the growing number of terrorist attacks of late, it is clear that businesses across the world must take a stand and do everything they can to prevent terrorist attacks. This is especially important for social media platforms, where terrorists are spreading their message, recruiting, and searching for “inspiration.” Tech companies, specifically those in social media, are stepping up to the plate by implementing technology and security measures which prevent terrorist organizations from spreading their message across and communicating through their networks. While most of these companies fight to preserve free speech, they realize that they can help control the abilities of groups that strive to wreak havoc and cause misery.

Facebook

With over 1.9 billion worldwide users, it can be hard to monitor all of the activity that Facebook hosts. While the platform has already implemented technology aimed to fight copyright infringement and child pornography, they realized the need to defend itself against other unacceptable content. Facebook has consulted with counter-terrorism agencies, law enforcement, and other government agencies, and is now using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help block terroristic posts on its website. This is done through image matching, which removes known terrorism related photos or videos. In addition, language understanding analyzes text and removes it in the case that it violates policies by praising terrorist groups or their actions. When pages, groups, posts, or profiles that are terroristic are blocked, algorithms scan profiles that have engaged with that material and can block them as well. Additionally, the algorithms try to prevent blocked or banned users from creating new profiles and continuing the same behavior.

WhatsApp

Facebook’s WhatsApp, a messenger application, has been under fire for encrypting conversations and allowing terrorists to communicate freely on the platform. This became the subject of many media-inquiries following a terrorist attack in London, where authorities were unable to decipher the attacker’s last message. Although they haven’t changed their encryption methods, the company provides all of the information they can when ordered by law enforcement.

Twitter

In 2015, Twitter began working to combat extremists utilizing this platform, but recently the company has increased its efforts. This is being done through AI, which scans the platforms for posts that are similar to its internal database of text, imagery, and videos that are related to terrorism. Twitter’s platform reported that between July and December of 2016, almost 400,000 accounts were suspended for terrorism-related issues. Of these, 75% were prompted by internal spam-fighting tools.

Our team members unanimously condone acts of terror and social content related to terroristic groups, individuals, or acts. We are proud to see technology groups are taking part in the fight against this propaganda and look forward to seeing how advancements in AI understanding and other technology will further deter these groups and individuals from utilizing social media to spread their message. Stay tuned to our blog for more industry news and tech tips.