Innovations in technology have allowed people from all walks of life to pursue their goal of making it in the business world. However, this same opportunity to establish an online presence has also fostered the spread of malware and hacking. Business leaders should take the time to understand how to prevent these issues and why online security can be so important.
Prevent the Spread of Malware
Malware has been a very real threat to company websites over the past few years. Although these types of attacks have become less common, it does not mean the hackers have given up trying. Malware is essentially a program that is built for malicious purposes, most often to affect and disrupt a company website. The attacks range from distorting your site's image to directly infecting your ads. The best way to prevent this type of attack is to close off vulnerabilities in your website. This could include removing any extra plugins that you don't need and having routine audits of your website where you install patches and update security software.
Build Trust With Customers
Over the past few years, large companies such as Target and Marriott have been the victims of hacking to steal customer information. If it weren't for their size and long-standing reputations, these two companies could have easily gone out of business due to customer mistrust. Eighty-eight percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience. For an up and coming e-commerce company, a hacking issue is a very serious situation that can cost your new base to distrust your business completely.
Protect Your Valuable Data
One of the most important and valuable assets that a company will obtain over the course of their lifetime is data. Data or big data, as some call it, includes the collection of customer information. This does not have to include any of their financial records and mainly focuses on telephone numbers, emails and sometimes home addresses. These are especially important to a company as they are used to reach out for sales and advertisements. Losing this due to a hacker deleting or exposing it to the world can have devastating consequences for your overall growth.
Online business has taken off over the past few years. Its ease of use and affordability have created countless entrepreneurs over the years, but it does not come without its dangers. Hacking is a serious problem that is being addressed by federal authorities, but in the meantime, business owners must continue to stay on high alert and be proactive about protecting their websites.
The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) is a strict set of regulations enacted for all Department of Defense (DoD) contractors that handle Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). All contractors must be DFARS compliant to attain U.S. DoD contracts. Each contractor must implement a DFARS Assessment, either on their own or through a third-party vendor.
Be DFARS Compliant
To be awarded DoD contracts, a company must be compliant with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-171 Controls. The CMMC is an aid to compliance that will be released in 2020, discussed further below.
These regulations guard the DoD against both domestic and foreign cyber threats. The weakest link in the DoD supply chain is the inadequacy of security measures taken by outside contractors. While large corporations that deal regularly with the government implement strict cybersecurity regulations, smaller organizations normally do not. This is important because enemies of the US target DoD contractors—the weakest link in the DoD supply chain—to steal military secrets. Disregard for protocol opens the door to a great security risk for the U.S. from foreign operatives. Software and control system vendors pose the greatest potential risk.
Get Ready for CMMC
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a means to enforce the DFARS. The DoD is expected to release the initial version of the CMMC in January of 2020 and implement the certification by early June. Click for current CMMC information. The implementation of processes outlined in the CMMC will reduce the risk of potential cyber threats and provide opportunities for small businesses to become compliant. The CMMC will: • Evaluate standards and best practices regarding cybersecurity for all levels of security clearance. • Build upon DFARS and implement a verification component for contractors to provide proof of compliance. • Certify independent, third-party institutions to perform audits and report risk factors. • Provide an affordable avenue for small businesses to comply.
Safeguarding the DoD and the U.S.
In 2017, $700 billion was allocated in the national budget for defense spending. A large portion of these resources was paid to private businesses providing goods and services to the DoD, aka defense contractors. The use of private entities increases the risk of sensitive information, including military secrets, becoming vulnerable to hackers. The U.S. government has no choice but to implement regulations like those in DFARS, and further enforce them through the CMMC to ensure the safety of our nation. Contractors must verify compliance or risk losing defense contracts.
Please be sure to check out our other cybersecurity content.
In the age of the internet, cybersecurity should be made a top priority. This is especially true for businesses, which are high targets for fraudulent parties looking to scam for business assets.
Research Common Scammer Tactics
The internet provides plenty of information about scams, imposters, and fraudulent products and services. There are entire websites dedicated to checking the validity of companies. One of the best ways to learn more about an entity is to use search engines like Google to check an email or phone call offer. You can add search terms like "scam," "reviews," or "complaints" to narrow down your research efforts. Don't respond to robocalls, automated phone calls issued by telemarketing companies. These calls are often illegal, selling fraudulent products or services. Also, be wary of sending money before receiving a product or service. Some scammers like to use free trials to collect your credit card information and assign you fees that you didn't agree to.
Human Error Remains the #1 Vulnerability
Phishing is one of the most popular tactics for scammers; this strategy involves the gathering of sensitive information from the employees of the targeted business. Phishers will use email spoofing, fake websites, disguised phone calls, or instant messaging to lure out information. When it comes to businesses, frauds will try to obtain passwords and credit card details. To combat these phishing attempts, train your employees to be aware of these tactics and avoid them. Learn how to spot fraudulent offers and learn what questions to ask people that approach you with opportunities. If an employee spots a fraudulent attack on your company, that employee should report it to superiors and to law enforcement officials if necessary.
Use Skepticism in Looking at All Offers
Some scammers like to pose as trustworthy figures: government officials, charities, or companies that you may want to do business with. Do your due diligence before accepting an offer or exchanging details with an unknown entity. Do your research and hire a lawyer who has experience with business deals.
If you are still worried about your business running into fraudulent offers, you can still take extra precautions to protect your assets. Business owners hire cybersecurity defense firms all the time to ensure protection against scam attempts. Cybersecurity professionals have expertise in researching companies, learning fraudulent tactics, and then relaying those tactics to business employees.
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In an ever-flowing, network-connected world with cutting-edge technology unveiling each quarter, people are steadily gaining access to incredible options and information. Since it was first introduced for public consumption in 1991, the internet has evolved from a tremendously complex (yet still basic) machine to a full-scale, elaborate and definitive network of truly connected personal portals of shared experiences. A decade has made a quantifiable difference in the evolution of the internet and its ongoing metamorphosis. Undoubtedly, the next ten years will usher in a more immerse connection to the web. With such an array of devices gaining internet accessibility, the need for enhanced cybersecurity is becoming more apparent, and it may be more important than previously thought.
The Duality of Connection
With any opportunity for good comes the possibility of turmoil. Data-connected devices have the power to make consumers’ lives infinitely better by simplifying menial or complex tasks or providing access to otherwise unobtainable goods, services or information. From hosting the structure of utility grids and providing hands-free answers to life’s curiosities to operating in virtually any industry of business, the options are limitless. But new capabilities also provide a route for attackers to cause harm.
The Internet of Things
The risk lies in the permissions and the information collected as a result of new technology. A connected device acts as a listener. Silently, it awaits information input. Meanwhile, it uploads the collective data, so it can be processed for commands and cues, ready to perform the desired function when prompted. Such capabilities are true for devices from smartphones to self-driving cars. That data is invaluable to attackers, hackers, and programs developed to mine and exploit these paradoxical components to connection. When the risk is not directly life-threatening, it is easy to fail to see the actual severity this poses to the Internet of Things (IoT). But with safety concerns involving self-driving cars still unresolved, the threat of hackers infiltrating those systems is a terrifying concept.
The Importance of Maintaining Cybersecurity
Attacks occur daily, and they come from every corner of the Earth. Once circulated, any attack can cause damage in the billions of dollars. More concerning, perhaps, is the shift to network-based utility grid systems and the importance of taking proactive measures to enforce cybersecurity to preserve modern infrastructure.
A decade seems more like a century when it comes to the world of the web, and the impact of ten years can have an impact similar to the industrial revolution. Imagine the possibilities before mankind with this great power, but remember that it takes the accountability to be proactive to reach them.
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Advances in technology have opened new doors for businesses. Access to information about potential markets and competitors has increased, allowing businesses to make evidence-based, strategic decisions. However, with these advances and widespread access comes potentially substantial consequences. Data breaches have proven to be an ongoing security risk for any organization. Whether you are running an established business or venturing into a new one, data breaches will always be a threat. Despite the increased security measures, here is why data breaches will get worse before they get better.
Security Measures Fail to Protect Against Employees
Most businesses perceive data breaches as an external threat – some nefarious hacker who steal consumer information for their gain. However, your network is also a threat to data security. Employees, administrators, and contractors have access to information and the potential to abuse that access. According to the SANS 2017 Insider Threat Study, 40 percent of surveyors identified the internal network as the biggest threat to data security. It is difficult to identify insider abuse when it is occurring, but it is almost impossible to prevent.
Businesses Are Incentivized to Collect More Data
As more devices connect to the internet, more information is available for gathering. Businesses collect data from consumers, partners, and social media sites. With almost 90 percent of consumers reporting that they'd rather be contacted via text messaging, collecting the phone numbers of potential buyers is practically mandatory in 2019. The data ends up stored in a database with functional deficiencies. Information is often recovered or backed up, but never deleted and often lack security measures such as encryption.
Breaches Are Becoming More Complex
Security measures are instituted to defend against data breaches. However, cyberattacks are progressively becoming more sophisticated. Attacks are not only breaching security measures but also becoming more difficult to remove. Furthermore, data breaches are no longer only a problem for IT, as these sophisticated cyberattacks can now impact every department. As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” With the right motivation, a committed hacker will figure a way into your network, no matter how strong your security measures are.
Human Error is Unavoidable
Regardless of how many security measures you implement, human error is essentially unavoidable. Mistakes are a normal part of life and present opportunities to learn. In the case of data breaches, these mistakes can have serious consequences. Human error is ranked as the top cause for data breaches, accounting for 52 percent of all root causes. Errors include having weak passwords, sharing account information, sending confidential information to wrong recipients, and falling for phishing scams. These are a few examples of how human errors can lead to breaches in security.
Device Theft is Common
Theft of devices containing sensitive information can compromise data security. Although it is considered not as threatening as complex cyberattacks or human error, theft gives others access to confidential information about your company. How severe the theft of a physical storage device is dependent on the contents of that device. Although thefts are considered less threatening, they are difficult to predict. Additional security measures to secure your data are needed to protect it in case your device is stolen.
Advances in technology have provided new opportunities for both businesses and hackers. Database technologies today are equipped with stronger encryption methods and are becoming more sophisticated, hindering the ability of outsiders to abuse data. Enhanced database controls are allowing businesses to share select data with select groups of people, minimizing the risk of internal data breaches. Understanding the nature of data breaches is the first step in preventing (and preparing) for them. Taking the time to institute a solid security system helps prevent the financial and social consequences that can permanently cripple your operations.
Being a small business owner is full of potential problems and difficulties, and in this day and age cyber security is the newest one. This new threat can destroy small businesses in a single moment, so protecting against it is vital. Here are 5 practices to provide successful cyber security for your small business.
Beware of Emails
When protecting your small business, the first step is understanding the threat, and to do this you need to be aware that over 90% of malware comes through emails. Emails are vital to any modern business, and hackers know this and that is why they target them. Having malware detection set up on your email server can change everything, but the first step starts with you and your employees. Having the understanding not to open email attachments you don't know can save your entire business.
Don’t Neglect Physical Security
Cyber security does not just mean online, and you need to protect every aspect of your business to stay secure. Locking the office door probably isn't enough. Installing at least the essentials of physical security equipment is vital for protecting computers, servers, and sensitive paperwork. Criminals will be able to find your logins and passwords manually or even hack directly into your servers, and both of these will bypass all of your cyber security. This means protecting your business online means protecting it physically. Using security systems, advanced locks and cameras will ensure this.
Educate Your Staff
While malware and viruses are becoming more advanced, the majority of breaches of computer networks comes from user ignorance. Hackers can use poorly chosen and insecure passwords to get into any security system, no matter how high-level security is. With the majority of malware coming through email attachments, that doesn't need to be impressive computer skills from the hacker, just making the email and attachment enticing enough for someone will click is enough. You can install and maintain the world's best cyber security, but if your staff still falls for the same old tricks and doesn't secure their logins your network will be just as susceptible to hacking.
The key to changing this is education. Bring in cyber security experts to talk to your employees about proper internet practices. Have a handbook made up that is specific to cyber security for every employee to read and keep by their computer. This is a common but simple problem, and it has an equally simple solution.
Update Your Hardware
The older and more antiquated your computers, software, and servers are, the easier they will be to hack. Older technology does not have inbuilt protection, and if a model has been around for a long time then hackers will be familiar with it. This familiarity can lead to disaster with your system because they will know the easiest ways to use your hardware against you and get into your cyber network through it. Updating your computers and servers will be costly in the short term, but in the long term, it could save your company and protect further into the future.
Get Advanced and Reliable Antivirus Software
While the other practices are all preventative to make sure hackers and malware don't get near your system, this is the only way to protect yourself if they do. Of course, a good antivirus system will shield against attacks as well, but the most important thing is that if a hacker does get into your system you are able to stop them before they do any damage. Antivirus will prevent malware getting into your system, but if it does it will instantly find it, quarantine it, find out where it came from, and then destroy it. All of this without any damage being done to your system. Research antivirus before you get one and do not pick the cheapest option. This could be the most important purchase for your business.
Cyber security can seem complicated, but when broken down it's straightforward. Just these simple practices will protect your business now and in the future, and allow you to operate with peace of mind. So, remember to beware of suspicious emails, don’t neglect physical security, educate your staff concerning cyber security related issues, and use current antivirus software.
Cyber attacks are a major problem for businesses today, resulting in billions of dollars in losses and damages. Millions of customers also have their personal information compromised during these attacks. This has caused businesses to make cybersecurity a top priority. While every industry is susceptible to cyber attacks, the industries below have a more critical need for cybersecurity.
It's no secret that today's common e-commerce business is an enormous industry that will continue to grow in the future. Many Americans shop online regularly and depend on it for a variety of goods and services. This means that millions of consumers have very important financial and personal information stored online that is susceptible to being compromised by hackers. Because of numerous recent high-profile e-commerce data breaches, online retailers have made efforts to improve their cybersecurity. Amazon is partnering with Bank of America for its merchant lending program. This new venture will require a new focus on cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
The transportation system is susceptible to attacks for financial and customer data. Like the industries above, GlobalSign reports that this has resulted in billions of dollars in losses and identity thefts. In addition, some attacks focus on this industry simply to create mass chaos. This can have catastrophic results.
According to The George Washington University, physicians depend heavily on technology for patient databases and records. While this can improve patient care and overall efficiency, it can make critical patient medical and financial information susceptible to hacking. The healthcare industry has been the subject of numerous cyber attacks in recent years. These attacks have resulted in enormous financial losses for the industry and patients. In addition, patient information was compromised, leading to possible identity theft. This is why cybersecurity should be a top priority in the healthcare industry.
In 2015, the United States government was attacked, resulting in millions of employee records being compromised to include fingerprints, social security numbers, and birthplaces. These attacks extend well beyond the United States to basically every nation across the globe. Government systems have enormous amounts of sensitive data, which is enticing to hackers. The latest in cybersecurity technology must be used to protect these databases.
Cyber attacks are on the rise, and this trend is likely to continue in the future. The cornerstone industries above are a few of the primary targets for these attacks. This is why cybersecurity should be of utmost importance in these industries.
As technological advances place more demand in cloud-based computing, data security is becoming a serious concern for many companies. Breaches in security, cyber-attacks and the access to and compromising of crucial company data has become common, and demand for professionals to secure data for businesses has increased. If you are thinking about getting into a career in cybersecurity, below are a few of the most important things to know beforehand.
Do Not Specialize in Security Alone
If you want to be a well-rounded cybersecurity professional, you have to go beyond basic security and also learn to focus on other parts of tech work. The work environment is currently very demanding, and most companies are looking to hire people who fit perfectly both into general information technology and security as a specialization. If you are already in IT and you want to get the role of a security expert, you need to study about network security and endpoint hygiene. These extra skills will make you the security guru in your company within a short period.
Source: The Simple Dollar
Scale Your Network and Connections
Sometimes, regardless of the skills and abilities which you possess, your network is what determines how fast you will get into a specialized career in cybersecurity. The best way to scale your network is to join IT forums and attain IT-related events close to you. When you have a large network, the possibility of getting a job referred to you by someone that has heard about it increases significantly. Do not shy away from starting with minor and outsourcing jobs because they will give you the experience that you need to move upwards.
Source: Maryville University
Learn Tools of the Trade
When it comes to cybersecurity, there are some activities and jobs you will have to carry out that fall into a grey area. For instance, if there is a source of threat to a client’s data security and you need to access their system to deactivate or interfere with their activity, approaches such as ethical hacking are allowed. Working with people who have been in the field longer than you have will be a simple way to understand what to do in these situations.
Source: Computer Hope
Cybersecurity experts are in high demand in an increasingly digital world. With the right amount of education and experience, it is possible to become the go-to IT guy when there are cyber threats in your company. Learning and looking out for opportunities as they arise will get you there.
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Make the most informed decision possible by analyzing all the data you need in real time by combining Azure Containers and Azure Machine Learning to create deep-learning applications to discover information and insights. With the compute power of Azure, you can combine data from multiple sources into a single, trusted model with Power BI which is easy to understand and use. Enable self-service and data discovery for business users by simplifying the view of data. No matter what industries your customers are in, these messages are important for them to hear and to understand.
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As the rate of game-changing technological shifts continue to increase across multiple industries, compliance functions will need to reevaluate how they go about examining risk and implementing risk-management protocols. What should compliance functions be doing now to proactively adapt to this changing environment? And what can you do to help them along this journey?
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Check out this Forrester study to find out more about how Azure IaaS helped six companies realize an amazing 435% ROI. Contact us to find out how we can help your organization do the same.
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These are truly exciting times for those of us at the forefront of emergent digital technologies. Technology provided by robotics, computers, digital imagery, 3D printing, and cloud and mobile storage and communications has fundamentally changed lives in too many ways to list. Some of the most far-reaching advances have occurred in these three major industries.
It used to be that going to the dentist for anything other than a routine cleaning could be at best slightly uncomfortable and at worst downright painful. Fillings, crowns, and root canals can be painful procedures that require numbing shots, which themselves can also be painful.
Some procedures take multiple visits with the possibility of discomfort between visits, and some people experience general anxiety no matter how benign the visit. Today, however, dentists aren't something to be feared or to feel anxious about, and modern technology has only helped in this regard.
Anesthetic shots are practically pain-free with digital anesthetic instruments and alternative pain-blocking techniques. Multiple visits are many times unnecessary because modern dentist offices use digital imaging for crown sizing, and they mill the permanent crown directly at the office.
According to this article in Dental Products Report, digital advances have also vastly improved the quality of the images obtained for restoration. Smile technology produces accurate representations of the patient's facial movements and sends them to cloud-based software for designing. Many times, the patient can see the finished image before final implementation.
When it comes to marketing business products, needs, and advertisements, modern technology has radically changed the way that corporate America operates. The most far-reaching and obvious change is that distance is not an obstacle to access anymore.
Online communication makes virtual meetings possible between co-workers and facilitates meetings between separate businesses. Customers can purchase items and services online. Personalized customer service is optimized through customer data, and marketing to customers is achieved through social media sites. Much of this information is hosted on the cloud.
Customer outreach dynamics have been heavily impacted by the advent of the internet. Many customers won’t do business at a location that doesn’t feature a robust web presence. If your business isn’t represented on online maps or feature social media content or adequate SEO, most people won’t even know that it exists.
Technology continues to advance diagnostics, treatments, and knowledge in the field of medicine. An exciting discovery by researchers at the University of Alberta promises future advances in stopping certain genes involved in cancer metastasis, as detailed in this health care technology article hosted by CareCloud.
Robotics are increasingly being used during surgical procedures, new drugs are continuously being produced, and doctors have immediate information at their fingertips.
Imaging technology has drastically enhanced the capacity of doctors, dentists, and others in the health industry. Instead of having to visualize surgical procedures or work off of dim X-ray images, professionals now have access to detailed three-dimensional imaging. They can approach their tasks with greater detail and precision than ever before.
Technology is not stagnant; it continues to bring innovations to the table. Every day is a new day with new discoveries. Tomorrow beckons with fresh knowledge that can be applied to all aspects of our lives.
Justus Daniel Eapen is a policy level Organizational Transformation Consultant with over 25 years experience in Banking & Government.