Increase IT Security For Your Small Business In Atlanta

Did you know that 71% of Ransomware Attacks targeted small businesses in 2018? According to an article in Health IT Security, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were the biggest target. Too many of these companies faced extinction-level events because they weren’t adequately defended from today’s evolving threats.

How Are Small & Midsized Businesses Hit By Ransomware?

The article says that SMBs that fail to lock down the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) are at a higher risk of a cyber attack. SamSam, one of the most prolific ransomware variants, has pummeled SMBs and healthcare organizations in recent years. Its hackers focus their attacks on RDP connections to break into a network using brute-force attacks. SamSam ransomware attacks netted its creator $6 million so far; all at the expense of small and mid-sized businesses.

We Have A Firewall & Antivirus: Isn’t This Enough Protection?

Firewalls and anti-virus are not enough. Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be complicated, but the rise in cyber threats cannot be ignored. You must enhance your IT security to make your company a well-defended and unattractive target for cybercriminals. You don’t have to be a victim.

What Should We Do To Protect Our Business From Cyber Threats?

You need a bundled package of security tools including:

  • Deep Scan IT Audits,
  • Dark Web Monitoring, and
  • IT Security Training and Testing.

What Are Deep Scan IT Audits?

This annual or quarterly analysis includes deep-level scans, vulnerability testing and reporting to accurately identify what is working as well as any security gaps. Based on the Audit’s findings, cybersecurity experts will provide recommendations and help to create a customized IT security roadmap for your business.

By performing regular Deep Scan IT Audits for your small business in Atlanta, your IT service provider can protect your technology assets, guard against downtime, and help you sleep better at night. These Audits include both network and security assessments. It performs a non-invasive scan of your entire network – and everything connected to it – seeking out vulnerabilities that might be open to a hacker who manages to get by the network edge protection or from a malicious internal source.

A Deep Scan IT Audit also determines how your data is handled and protected. It defines who has access to your data and under what circumstances. It will create a list of the employees or business associates who have access to your specific data, under what circumstances, and how those access privileges are managed and tracked. You must know precisely what data you have, where it’s kept, and who has rights to access it.

Reports are generated and provided to you so you can see if there are any gaps in your protection. It provides a higher level of assurance that you are doing everything possible to protect the security of your IT assets. You’ll have an excellent overview of exactly what’s going on in your network and what exposure you may have sustained. It pinpoints things like active directories that have been compromised or unauthorized users lingering on the system.

Deep Scan IT Audits can also ensure that your IT provider’s remote management and monitoring (RMM) systems are working effectively (which you also need for ongoing monitoring of cyber threats). For instance, if you add a new computer to your network, a network assessment scan will flag the latest addition so the RMM tool will monitor it.

RMM is a wonderful tool for monitoring network activity in its own right. RMM continually monitors your network, looking for predefined conditions and generating alerts when those conditions are met. In comparison, a network assessment takes a “snapshot” of the network, capturing a much more comprehensive view of the network infrastructure.

Regular monthly or quarterly Deep Scan IT Audits will verify that your patches are current which is a crucial factor in maintaining the long-term viability of your network. When conducted regularly, these Deep Scan IT Audits allow your IT provider to identify patterns and alert you to potential issues that RMM agents aren’t built to detect.

What Is Dark Web Monitoring?

The Dark Web is a secret internet society that’s growing so quickly that the authorities can’t even keep up with it. The Dark Web comprises 93% of the Internet. It’s only accessible to a select group of criminals. These criminals use special software to hide their identities – software that isn’t available to us, or the authorities. This is one reason why the Dark Web is so dangerous.

Many think that lone criminals trade information on the Dark Web. It’s much bigger than this. It’s a place where organized crime operates.

Criminals on the Dark Web:

  • Share their successes, exploits, strategies, techniques and tactics.
  • Take stolen data and sell it.
  • Transfer corporate data and proprietary information.
  • Work in teams to execute cyber attacks on businesses and government entities.

Dark Web Monitoring is designed to detect your compromised credentials that surface on the Dark Web in real-time. It combines human and sophisticated Dark Web intelligence with search capabilities to identify, analyze and proactively monitor for your organization’s compromised or stolen employee and customer data. This offers your business a comprehensive level of data theft protection. It’s an enterprise-level service that’s tailored to SMBs like yours.

Dark Web Monitoring:

  • Searches the Dark Web 24/7 to determine if your confidential data is there.
  • Finds cyber threats that expose stolen business accounts, email addresses, patient information, and other confidential data.
  • Uses both human and artificial intelligence to scan criminal operations in chat rooms, blogs, forums, private networks and other sites.
  • Collects the vital intelligence needed to determine if your data exists on the Dark Web.
  • Locates any of your compromised credentials or information before criminals can use it for profit or other crimes.
  • Detects data dumps within the black markets on the Dark Web that have anything to do with your organization.
  • Does all of this in real time.

Dark Web Monitoring will find:

  • Credit card data
  • Confidential data from unsecured file transfers
  • Leaked data from employees (intentional or not)
  • Compromised accounts
  • Your customers’ data that’s being sold
  • Stolen financial data
  • Stolen PayPal and other account credentials
  • Trademark and copyright infringements
  • And more

You’ll receive initial and ongoing scanning, with continuous monitoring and alerts if anything relating to your business is found. If so, you’ll be advised to invalidate it immediately. This means changing your account numbers, email addresses, passwords and anything related to the stolen data.

Data breaches require both a strong and immediate response from your organization. If required, you’ll have to notify the authorities and any of your customers whose data was stolen. So, the sooner you implement Dark Web Monitoring, the better.

Why Do We Need IT Security Training and Testing?

Your staff should be trained and tested to ensure they follow tried-and-true security practices in order to keep your business safe from phishing, malware, human error and more. Your employees will take tests that are fully automated, with simulated attacks using a range of templates that reflect the most recent phishing methods.

User education plays a big part in minimizing the danger so ask your IT provider to start here:

  • Train users on the basics of cyber and email security.
  • Train users on how to identify and deal with phishing attacks with new-school security awareness training.
  • Implement a reporting system for suspected phishing emails.
  • Continue security training regularly to keep it top of mind.

Simulated Phishing Campaigns will test your employees to see if they’ve been paying attention. This can let you know which employees are more likely to fall for a phishing scam.

Your IT provider will do the following:

  • Run an initial phishing simulation campaign to establish a baseline percentage of which users are Phish-prone.
  • Continue simulated phishing attacks at least once a month, but twice is better.
  • Randomized email content is sent to different employees at different times. When they all get the same thing, one employee spots it and leans out of the cubicle to warn the others. Randomized emails and content discourage this.

Once users understand that they will be tested regularly and that there are repercussions for repeated failures, their behavior changes. They develop a less trusting attitude and get much better at spotting a scam email, which increases your IT security.

Don’t take chances with the security of your data. To stay up to date on these and other IT topics, visit our Blog.

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Category: Atlanta IT Service Articles, Date: 14th August 2019, Author: Chris Chao

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