The COVID-19 coronavirus crisis has forced many businesses to close or downsize their offices and send their employees to work from home. With all of the files being generated remotely cloud storage for business is more important than ever.
Cloud Storage for Business
Sharing files with coworkers while still keeping data protected can be easily accomplished through the use of managed cloud storage services. Cloud storage for business can be accessed from anywhere, by anyone authorized to view or download the information.
Cloud storage is a simple method of securing important data and confidential files, as it is backed up by the service and kept in encrypted form, rendering it useless to cybercriminals. Keeping sensitive data in the cloud is an effective way to protect data while facilitating ease of sharing information with authorized parties.
It is necessary to take the right precautions against hacking, malware attack, and data theft. Securing and protecting your business extends to online data as well. Many businesses utilize cloud backup and online storage technology to do so. There are several options including Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, Dropbox business, and so on.
Cloud solutions have features including:
- Easy maintenance
- Large network access
- Expandable storage space
Business offices also go to great lengths to build defenses against unauthorized access to sensitive data, servers, networks, and websites.
- Sophisticated firewalls that repel intruders
- Monitoring software that tracks attempts at website hacks and alerts security teams
- Continuous updates of antivirus, malware, and spyware detection databases to ensure current levels for newly discovered vulnerabilities
- Anti-spam filters on email systems
These defenses make data more secure and utilizing cloud storage management software enhances that security.
Other Precautions for Security
Most businesses provide workers with guidelines that every employee should follow religiously, whether at home or in the office. This may include such precautions as:
- Keeping the operating system updated
- Acceptable antivirus software and scanning frequency
- Application software that may be installed and used on the computer
- File storage and data security precautions for corporate data
- Avoid phishing scams – follow best practices by never clicking suspicious links or opening attachments in a questionable or unsolicited email
If at all possible, avoid the use of flash drives. This introduces the potential of malware or other unauthorized programs infecting the system. Be cautious when taking a computer home as the home network, malware, or other malicious code can spread to any other device on the network. Besides, there is a better way to manage stored data and files – cloud storage.
Cloud Storage Management with RJ Young
The use of cloud services is a prominent business strategy and making a huge impact on businesses. Companies need better ways to manage the variety of services and platforms which their employees use. A solid cloud management strategy helps tie these services together into a cohesive workflow.
If your company is looking to make an impact with Cloud Storage Management then contact RJ Young today. Discover how cloud managed services can connect your organization and make your processes more efficient.
In this time of Coronavirus, hackers are attempting to take advantage of data security by using a technique called phishing. Phishing, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “trying to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one.”
These phishing attempts tend to use fear as a motivator especially in the wake of this pandemic. Cybercriminals will pose as the WHO (World Health Organization) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pretend to offer new information about the virus. Everyone is receiving emails from companies addressing COVID-19, but do not fall prey to phishing. Here are some tips to keep you safe:
- Don’t be taken in by authority figures mentioned in an email. Some scams claim to be from an official, but anyone can sign off an email with an impressive name.
- Never feel pressured into opening attachments in an email. Most importantly, don’t act on advice you didn’t ask for and weren’t expecting. If you are genuinely seeking advice about the coronavirus, do your own research and make your own choice about where to look.
- Never click [Enable Content] in a document because the document tells you to. Microsoft blocked the automatic execution of so-called “active content”, such as macros, precisely because they are so often used to implant malware on your computer.
- Do not give personal information. A coronavirus-themed email asking for personal information like your login or Social Security number is a phishing scam. Legitimate agencies do not ask for this information.
- Check the email address or link. If this URL looks suspicious, delete it. Phishers will try to create a link that looks close to a legitimate address.
- Look for generic greetings. Phishing emails are unlikely to use your name. Greetings like “Dear sir or madam” signal an email is not legitimate.
- “Act Now” emails should be avoided. Creating a sense of urgency or immediate action is a sign of phishing. The goal is for you to click on a link and provide personal information. Delete the message.
To learn more, join our complimentary webinar.
Coronavirus Phishing Emails & Malware – Secure Your Data
Learn how to spot phishing attacks and protect yourself from coronavirus related malware.
In this webinar, we will cover:
- How to prevent phishing threats by educating users
- How phishing scams work, and what’s the worst that could happen
- Ways the threats can intrude your system and how to prevent them
- How to provide “cybersecurity health” for your organization with synchronized solutions that talk to each other
Webinar: Coronavirus Phishing & Malware
Presented by Sophos
Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Time: 10:00 am CST
Register here to learn how to secure your data.
Type into Google small business IT services near me and what will appear might seem overwhelming. Across many of the largest tech hubs of the South – Chattanooga, Nashville, Birmingham, and Huntsville – dozens of IT service providers are springing up to meet the growing need for managed IT services among businesses of all sizes.
In any given area, a mix of local and national providers are ready to provide their services. Many are excellent, with demonstrated expertise and a reputation for reliability.
The Small Business IT Dilemma
Startups and small businesses have a lot to balance when they first launch their business. From identifying the best platforms for their products or services to setting up the office internet, countless details exist that need to be addressed. However, small business owners face unique challenges when it comes to finding the right service provider and IT tools to support their company.
Many of the obstacles to overcome include:
Technology Needs and the Existing Budget
Small and medium businesses may have very limited budgets, which places them at a disadvantage when constructing their internal business processes. Having an organized, secure, and efficient office or workspace empowers a business to reach its goals more effectively.
However, acquiring the tools and devices needed to create that space – such as printers, printing supplies, servers, routers, or security software – can be difficult due to their upfront costs. Therefore, a very small business with a limited operating budget may struggle to access the technology they need to conduct business processes such as printing, managing documents, or developing information technology infrastructure.
By switching to a Managed IT Services provider, such as RJ Young, companies reduce infrastructure costs in a number of different ways. The provider takes control of your infrastructure, allowing you to downsize the amount you have on-site by using their data centers. You not only save money on the cost of the hardware, but you also save on the energy it uses and the space required to house it.
Hidden Expenses and Surprise Bills
Surprise bills are a fact of life, but for a small business, they can prove burdensome. Hidden expenses frequently come up in the office in areas such as the print environment or when discovering that a software requires a specific subscription to unlock certain business features (or even to be used commercially at all).
Likewise, a sudden computer repair or the need to hire third-party support services to solve a complicated problem can rapidly incur bills that jeopardize the operating budget and the bottom line.
However, most managed IT providers offer set monthly costs. This means companies will pay the same amount each month regardless of how much technical support they need. This also helps to keep organizations within their budget.
A Lack of Expertise Creating Detrimental Security Threats
Many business owners start their companies because they are experts in what they do. However, that expertise does not always translate to critical business assets such as cybersecurity, firewall security, or IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, a lack of working knowledge in those areas can (and will) create an extremely dangerous situation for a company.
Many small businesses cannot afford to hire full-time IT specialists to manage their network. Therefore, they settle for someone in another department who may have some IT knowledge. Not having an expert who can solve serious IT problems and get your business back on track quickly can create larger issues such as loss of or damage of business data, loss of customer trust, damaging reputation and long-lasting financial repercussions. With that being said, a cyber security breach can have a detrimental impact on your business which is why it’s important to have an IT expert available who can get you back on track quickly.
Statistics show that hackers bet on startups and small businesses to lack expertise in cybersecurity. In 2019, small businesses experienced 43% of all cyberattacks, costing as much as $200,000 per incident – much more than the cost of outsourcing your small business IT services.
How Small Business IT Services Near You Support Business Growth
Startups and small businesses located in the tech hubs of the South (Nashville, Chattanooga, Huntsville, and now Birmingham) exist within an environment ripe with opportunity and technologically savvy competitors. Functioning IT infrastructure isn’t an advantage; it’s a necessity. That’s why many small businesses turn to managed IT services; outsourcing IT support can provide small businesses with the IT professionals and IT tools needed to succeed.
When it comes to small business IT services, choosing local has major advantages particularly in areas known for their technological startup ecosystems.
Major advantages include:
- Services by professionals who know the community: Familiarity with the demographics of the community can prove advantageous when it comes to outsourcing IT services. Whether it is recommending local resources (such as Chattanooga’s Innovation District grants for small businesses) or making local referrals to other services, working with a local provider creates a richer customer experience.
- Access to experts during “normal” business hours: Trying to contact a provider in another time zone can prove frustrating if the issue is urgent, especially if the problem requires an in-person service visit. In contrast, a managed service provider located in the same city or region means better access to services or guidance when needed.
Next Time You Need Nearby Local IT Services, Remember RJ Young
Consumers overwhelmingly prefer local services – that’s why Google now includes an option to search “near me.” Small business IT services are one example of a professional service with unique benefits for their customers. A local service provider can deliver enhanced customer service due to better knowledge of the community, provide access to experts during “normal” business hours and take advantage of savings due to the proximity of its customers.
RJ Young is an experienced managed IT services provider thrilled to work with small businesses across the southeastern United States. Choose local and reap the benefits of the community. RJ Young can help companies within countless miles of any of their 30 locations across nine states.
The southeastern United States is home to many thriving tech hubs. Succeeding in this vibrant environment requires the right technology, infrastructure, and security measures in place. Even companies that excel in digital innovation benefit from the second opinion of skilled professionals offering IT services. From Chattanooga to Huntsville and beyond, companies routinely take advantage of managed services to keep infrastructure streamlined and secure.
Thinking about investing in some new computers? Not sure where the office stands with its cyber security? Curious about how many devices are connected to the network? First, it is important to understand what an IT security network assessment is and how it can benefit an office.
4 Reasons to Have an IT Security Network Assessment Done
An IT security network assessment is a comprehensive review of an organization’s existing IT infrastructure, software, and hardware. This review focuses on security, compliance, and operational efficiency in an organization’s network. This detailed report includes a review of the performance of the network, a security assessment to define areas of improvement (i.e. vulnerabilities and bugs in the network), a network inventory used to discover which devices are on the network, the network architecture, and much more. It is one of the first places a company starts when choosing to leverage managed IT services.
By having an outside objective network assessment conducted, businesses can figure out which aspects of the business are working, what may be holding it back, and how best to plan for the future. An assessment can catch problems early before they affect a company’s productivity or even worse – the bottom line.
Choosing an IT services partner is vital because it involves trusting a third-party partner to handle a company’s most critical business information and help during network issues or a crisis. RJ Young has a reliable team of trained professionals to create custom unique solutions to help a business succeed. With the amount of managed IT services options available, it can make choosing a provider difficult.
When choosing a managed services provider, look for a provider that will:
1. Address Security Blind Spots and Weak Points
The primary purpose of security is to prevent unauthorized access to a company’s network or sensitive information. However, the average office is technologically sophisticated. There are many opportunities for security blind spots to arise simply because so many devices now exist in an office.
For startups and small businesses, the likelihood of blind spots or weak points increase. Startups frequently need to access the same technological solutions as their established rivals, but they may not have the skill or expertise to deploy these solutions securely.
However, an IT security network assessment is valuable to companies, no matter their size. Like a car, a network benefits from regular checkups. A comprehensive IT assessment will identify:
- Internet-connected devices that are not adequately secured, like printers or smart devices
- Outdated hardware with known security flaws
- Software that is incorrectly configured, updated, or secured
- Employee security practices that may result in a breach
- Areas where the IT department lacks visibility
- Technological assets lacking physical security
- Assets in use that might not be compliant with regulations
2. Discover Shadow IT
Network assessments frequently reveal the presence of shadow IT in a company. According to Cisco, shadow IT is the use of technological assets without the use, permission, or knowledge of the IT department. This typically occurs because employees are buying or installing software or applications (though sometimes hardware) to do their job. Employees often install shadow IT when IT support is unavailable, or the current tools provided by the company are insufficient.
Shadow IT is not malicious, but it nonetheless creates an opportunity for malicious software or criminals to gain access to a network. It also makes network traffic monitoring much more difficult because these resources might not be visible to an IT department. If the IT department is not aware of an application or software on a device, they cannot support it or ensure that it is secure.
Gartner estimates that by 2020, one-third of successful attacks experienced by enterprises will be on data located in shadow IT resources, including shadow Internet of Things.
Shadow IT is not going away and an assessment can help uncover these resources. A managed IT service provider, such as RJ Young, can then review the resources and either integrate them into the authorized list of IT assets, or eliminate and replace them with secure tools to help employees do their jobs.
3. Identify Opportunities to Optimize Secure Accessibility
Many people view security and accessibility as being at odds with each other. Sometimes this leads to people taking shortcuts that undermine the preventative measures taken to protect a network. For example, some users may:
- Turn off multi-factor authentication to make logins easier
- Store passwords in insecure, but accessible locations
- Disable the firewall to access the resources they need on a computer
If users are disabling cyber security features, it is a sign that they are not deployed in a way that supports productivity and accessibility. An IT security network assessment can identify these instances to recommend later configurations that optimize accessibility while maintaining security.
4. Access Expert Advice Before Developing Infrastructure
Many cities in the Southeast have reputations for being tech hubs full of competent, technologically fluent professionals who know what they are doing when it comes to software and hardware. However, no one should buy a car without having it inspected by a mechanic first. Think of an IT security assessor like a mechanic.
An IT security network assessment is a smart first step when considering additional infrastructure investments.
An organization may know its IT infrastructure inside and out, but that does not diminish the value of a second set of eyes. Instead, a professional who is specifically trained to conduct assessments will be able to provide insights regarding immediate, short-term, and long-term impacts of the proposed developments. Even if a company does not intend to pursue managed IT services, such advice can mean the difference between scalable growth and unnecessary expenses.
RJ Young Provides IT Services in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Throughout the Southeast
An IT security network assessment is a smart move for any organization, even if they are already experts in the technology industry. A comprehensive evaluation conducted by trained professionals is one of the most valuable services that a technologically sophisticated office can employ. Carrying out regular IT security assessments to gain better visibility or implementing zero-trust networking can be an effective way to tackle threats.
Before upgrading those computers or making significant changes to the office’s IT security, give RJ Young a call. Work with a team of experienced professionals who know tech startup scenes like Chattanooga’s and are prepared to deliver the right IT services to thrive.
RJ Young provides managed IT services and assessments to companies in Chattanooga, Tennessee and throughout the Southeast. Contact an RJ Young specialist to get started with a comprehensive network assessment today.
Healthcare organizations take a variety of measures to safeguard patient protected health information (PHI). From managed security services to the thoughtful engagement of security best practices, keeping PHI safe is as vital as delivering the best quality care.
HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) specifies a series of administrative safeguards under the Security Rule that pertain to password creation. It requires healthcare organizations to develop procedures for creating passwords and keeping them secure.
Over 80% of hacking-related breaches are due to weak or stolen passwords, according to the recent Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, and over 70% of employees reuse personal passwords at work.
Password best practices were a hot topic throughout 2019. Major companies have come under scrutiny for their inadequate password practices.
Even though 91% of people are aware reusing passwords is not a good practice, 59% reuse their passwords at home and work making it a top priority for businesses to educate employees about password best practices.
For healthcare organizations, failure to keep passwords secure represents a violation of HIPAA which may result in costly fines. Avoid this by implementing these five best practices for password security that satisfy the Security Rule under HIPAA.
The 5 Best Practices for Password Security That Satisfy HIPAA Requirements
Passwords stay safe when they are strong and protected from exposure. That involves a combination of practices involving both password and device management. Security experts at RJ Young recommend that healthcare organizations:
1. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) has been around for about five years and was recognized as a password best practice in 2019. 2FA requires two security actions to prove a person’s identity. This includes entering a code sent via text message to a work-issued phone or using a specific physical object – like a key card – issued to an individual.
2FA prevents unauthorized access by people who have fraudulently acquired the login credentials of an account. While a hacker might gain a password from a successful phishing attempt, he or she will not have access to an employee’s key card or work-issued phone.
2. Randomize Passwords With a Mix of Characters
Most users choose passwords based on familiar words or objects, making them easy to crack. This happens because the password generation requires a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters. Random strings are hard to remember, however by choosing a less random password, it becomes statistically more likely that the password can get cracked.
To best satisfy the HIPAA Security Rule with passwords, use a random password generator — these are harder to crack.
3. Limit the Devices Employees Can Log in to Accounts On
Secondary devices, like employee personal devices, are often compromised by undetected malware. They introduce a security risk into a HIPAA-regulated environment. Additionally, these devices don’t receive security monitoring and management like the rest of the network does. Therefore, they may be infected with keyloggers or other advanced security threats that can be difficult to detect.
Companies should also prohibit employees from logging into work sites on personal devices – while this might not work for all businesses, implementing a BYOD Security Policy can help. This keeps PHI firmly within a company, while also helping limit password exposure, malware attacks, and other security hazards.
4. Disable Password Autofill on Browsers
Password autofill is a convenient tool for managing personal passwords, but for a healthcare organization, it can be extremely dangerous. Many medical offices rely on tablets and other mobile devices or technology while in the office, which – while convenient – are easier to steal. If autofill has been enabled on a browser on the device, all confidential company information can easily be accessed.
Disable autofill on Chrome under the Advanced tab in the Settings window. For Firefox, the option is found under Options, Privacy, and the History heading. For Safari open the preferences window, select the auto-fill tab, and turn off all the features related to usernames and passwords.
5. Conduct Periodical Password Audits & Change Regularly
Password audits involve a review of the passwords currently being used by users. They are an excellent way to spot weak or duplicated passwords so users can change when necessary. Password audits also keep password security at the forefront of everyone’s mind, helping to promote a security culture that keeps patient information safe.
Change passwords at least every three months for non-administrative users and 45-60 days for administrative accounts. Be sure to change your password if you have shared it with another colleague for maximum security.
Managed Security Services Can Help Organizations Use Better Passwords
Password security has been one of the prevailing IT security trends over the past year. As longstanding practices like frequent password changes have fallen out of favor, professionals are discussing other ways to keep passwords safe in an environment with an ever-increasing number of security threats. In 2020, password security involves a combination of secure passwords and best practices to protect those passwords from unwanted exposure.
Managed security services can prove valuable for healthcare organizations striving for improved IT network security and password systems. These professional services deliver increased security across a network and help companies satisfy HIPAA’s stringent requirements. With a managed security service provider (MSSP), healthcare organizations can retain their operational efficiency while enjoying better intrusion detection and security protection.
RJ Young is an experienced security provider for companies in the healthcare industry. Start a conversation with RJ Young to discover how they can help secure your network.
Every day, more advanced technologies emerge across the business landscape. They bring innovation and disruption that continues to power growth. Over the past few years, cloud service providers have helped businesses transform their wide ranging processes. Cloud solutions are a robust industry that has quickly matured and became mainstream.
Cloud services provide access to powerful capabilities once outside the reach of most small companies.
The State of Cloud Services in 2020
More opportunities exist for companies in every industry to use the cloud. The value of these flexible, scalable solutions is well-known. Many businesses are turning to them to stay lean and competitive.
According to Emergent Research and Intuit, some 80 percent of US small businesses will deploy cloud computing this year.
In 2019, several new and exciting cloud computing services hit the market. Many of these have drawn from existing cloud solutions, refining and expanding them for more specific business needs. In 2020, expect to see cloud-based:
- Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS): Cloud services work well alongside outsourced hardware or network components. They also deliver software or other capabilities while keeping business infrastructure lightweight.
- “Work from home” cloud-based businesses: With cloud computing, working from home is easier for small businesses. Cloud solutions make access to business tools easy to use and eliminate the need for physical business locations, helping small businesses reduce their budgets.
- Data privacy law optimization: Data privacy is becoming more critical than ever. Governments like the European Union and states like California are enacting sweeping privacy laws and regulations. Cloud computing is poised to provide the data processing infrastructure that companies need to comply with.
How Cloud Service Providers Support Modern Businesses
Businesses – especially small ones – have turned to cloud computing over the years because it’s a cost-effective way to access computing power. In many ways, cloud services have leveled the competitive playing field, allowing smaller companies to compete with their larger rivals. In 2020, cloud services will continue to support modern businesses in many different ways.
1. Empowers Businesses to Move Faster
With the rise of cloud computing services such as IaaS, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS), a business’ infrastructure has begun to move quicker. Many cloud service providers now deliver everything a company needs without investing in expensive hardware and software licenses. Instead, companies pay a subscription to a cloud service provider and acquire flexible, scalable solutions.
While the business benefits from the lightweight nature of cloud services, the cloud service provider takes on the IT tasks that would otherwise slow down a business. Hardware maintenance, software patching, and updates all get done behind the scenes. Companies spend less time fiddling with technology and more time undertaking operations that make the business thrive.
2. Drives Collaboration and Innovation
The cloud has long been known for its ability to inspire collaboration within a company. With a cloud storage service, employees can access all the information they need while working on projects. They can update the central repository to keep everyone in the loop. The cloud helps keep their information secure but accessible, helping projects stay on track no matter where the team members are located.
3. Increases Security
Cloud services have become so popular in part because cloud storage is much more secure than an onsite server. Even if a device is stolen or a physical building damaged, a company’s data will remain safely stored within the cloud. It cannot be corrupted, lost, or compromised due to an onsite disaster.
Likewise, cloud technology is more difficult for hackers to access. As a result, Gartner expects cloud storage to be one of the most popular options for small business data security. Cloud storage can mitigate the impacts of phishing, ransomware, and other tactics that gained prominence in 2019.
Modernize the Business With Managed Services From RJ Young
Cloud solutions are not just popular; they’re becoming vital to business success. In 2020, cloud service providers will continue to expand their offerings. Small businesses will have more options than ever before to drive operational efficiency with computing power.
With the vast majority of businesses expected to adopt cloud solutions this year, forward-thinking companies must consider what this technological revolution means for them. Adapting to the prevalence of cloud based solutions means staying modern, relevant, and competitive.
RJ Young helps companies achieve streamlined processes with advanced technology like cloud based solutions. Start a conversation with an RJ Young specialist today to discuss what cloud solutions can do for your small business.
About REN Dermatology
REN Dermatology is a dermatologist office that focuses on both medical and cosmetic dermatology. Since 2013, REN Dermatology has been offering a wide variety of services to clients in the Middle Tennessee area. RJ Young partnered with REN Dermatology to implement a medical office managed IT strategy for their specific needs.
REN Dermatology partners with RJ Young to ensure that they maintain reliable daily operations for their business. RJ Young works to make sure REN Dermatology’s network is secure and HIPAA compliant.
They make you feel like you are their only customer and that’s the way you should be feeling.Kara Ballard, REN Dermatology
Identifying The Problem
Areas of Improvement
The biggest issue REN Dermatology faced was the uncertainty surrounding their network and technology. After submitting trouble tickets to their previous vendor, they had no way of tracking the vendor’s progress. This made it very difficult for REN Dermatology to know if they were meeting HIPAA regulations. Additionally, staff members wasted valuable time following up with the IT provider on a regular basis.
Creating a Solution
Creating a Managed IT Strategy
In order to help REN Dermatology maintain a secure and compliant network, RJ Young provides Managed IT Services for a fixed-monthly fee. Utilizing over 25 years of experience, RJ Young’s Managed IT Services developed a custom plan for REN Dermatology that would support long-term growth and innovation, while ensuring HIPAA compliance.
How RJ Young Implemented the Strategy
RJ Young’s Managed IT Services let REN Dermatology rest assured that their network and technology are being cared for correctly. RJ Young’s Help Desk allows REN Dermatology to monitor the status of a project,
so they can rest assured that all of their IT needs are being handled quickly and with care. Around the clock monitoring ensures that REN Dermatology’s network is secure and meets the IT regulations set forth by HIPAA.
The fixed-monthly fee gives REN Dermatology the ability to have a set budget for their IT services, so they never have to worry about unexpected costs. Having reliable service and consistent payments allows REN Dermatology to spend less time worrying about their network and spend more time on their practice.
Learn More About the Case Study: Medical Office Managed IT Services Featuring REN Dermatology
Contact an expert at RJ Young today to learn how Managed IT Servcies can help your organization.
Check out RJ Young’s other Customer Case Studies and Testimonials.
A cyber security breach is stressful, terrifying, and can be incredibly damaging to a business. However, it is also a reality for companies of all sizes, ages, and industries. Understanding how, where, when, and why a breach occurs can go a long way to preventing a successful breach from exposing sensitive data, personal information, and consumer information. According to IBM Security, the average total cost of a data breach is $3.92 million.
It is the age of cybercrime, and attacks on businesses across the board continue to rise.
Cyber Security Breaches are at an All-Time High
Cyber security breaches are at an all-time high and show no signs of slowing down. Many of the IT security trends from 2018 remain prominent, but there are also new features arising in the security landscape, helping to fuel the ongoing epidemic. These include:
1. The Rise of Novel Cyber Attack Tactics
2018 saw the rise of novel forms of attack such as cryptojacking and ransomware attacks, and 2019 and 2020 continue that trend. According to Symantec, there are several new types of cyber attacks that are becoming more popular.
This year has seen an increase in:
- Formjacking. In this form of digital credit card skimming, criminals inject malicious code onto an e-commerce website that steals credit card information.
- Living off the land attacks (LotL). As open-source and cloud-based software becomes more prevalent, LotL attacks are on the rise. These attacks use off-the-shelf software to hack a site or computer in the hopes that the network activity will look like a legitimate operation. Several of the largest attacks in 2019 constituted LoTL attacks.
2. More Clever Spins on Tried-and-True Methods
Cisco reveals that phishing emails have remained as popular as ever. Hackers are not afraid to find new ways to leverage this age-old trick. Because of this, the average employee now has to look out for much more than spoof emails.
Among the many new, ingenious phishing schemes were:
- Business email compromise (BEC). In a BEC attack, a hacker spoofs an email from a manager or CEO, requesting an employee to carry out some business function, task or disclose certain sensitive information.
- Invoice Trojan horses. Instead of trying to convince an employee to log into a suspicious link via email, some phishers embed malware into a document that looks like an invoice an employee might be expected in hopes they will open it.
3. Criminals Are Looking Beyond Obvious Targets
Businesses large and small are facing cyber security threats. Moreover, the latter is becoming an increasingly popular target because they are likely to be unprepared for such an attack. However, hackers are looking even beyond the smallest businesses and startups. Even utility companies like the Tennessee Valley Authority are finding it critical to develop robust cyber defenses.
The Impact of a Breach to a Business
A 2018 report by the U.S. government estimates that cyber security breaches cost the US economy between $57 and 109 billion annually – a number that is only growing. Companies typically sustain significant financial losses in the form of containment expenses, downtime, fines, and lost business.
However, these immediate financial consequences are often only the tip of the iceberg. Other impacts which a company might experience include:
- Loss of or damage to business data. Losing business data can affect a company’s ability to operate. For example, consider the epidemic of ransomware attacks that continue to hit government offices. By locking up municipal data, offices cannot perform any of their normal business functions that make the local government-run. As a result, the attack becomes incredibly valuable to criminals seeking a ransom.
- Loss of consumer trust and business reputation. A data breach in a business is typically accompanied by a backlash from consumers, who are often the ones to bear the brunt of consequences from a cyber security breach. When personal data has been exposed or stolen, customers feel betrayed. Reputation loss after a cyber attack can also make it hard to find new customers.
- Long-lasting financial repercussions. The 2019 cyber security report sponsored by IBM has an alarming new statistic. As many as 11% of businesses report financial implications – lost revenue or increased expenses – for as long as three years following a cyber security breach.
In a recent global study by Gemalto, they surveyed 10,000 individuals and 70% claimed they would stop doing business with a company that had experienced a data breach. While large companies may be able to absorb the loss of customers that results, for small to medium businesses, reputation damage and loss of customers can prove devastating. With that being said, a cyber security breach could have a detrimental impact on your business.
Why Deploy Managed IT Services to Secure Your Network
With only 34% of security professionals feeling confident in their company’s cyber security strategy, many companies are looking for viable ways to improve security without draining their IT budget. Managed IT services are one such way in which companies can accomplish this goal.
Managed IT services:
- Deliver network security without any missed endpoints or weak spots. Cybercriminals exploit weak spots in a company’s security infrastructure, such as unsecured printers or shadow IT. Managed IT providers are explicitly trained to look for these things.
- Ensure faster discovery and response time for breaches. IBM estimates that the average company takes 279 days to identify and contain a breach. With a managed service provider, that time is cut down, reducing the opportunity for data exposure and data leaks.
- Deliver expert security for less than in-house acquisition. Managed IT services are a convenient, affordable way to access best-in-class security infrastructure that is tailored to an organization’s needs.
Let RJ Young Help Protect Your Business from a Cyber Security Breach
Every business is at risk for a cyber security breach, therefore a business should always be prepared to deal with one. The type of cyber security breach, your industry, location, and organizations’ structure are all factors of how long it takes to identify and contain a data breach. The average time to contain a breach is 279 days, according to Ponemon Institute.
By enlisting the help of a seasoned team of security experts from RJ Young, companies can stay a step ahead of hackers and avoid the harmful consequences of a security breach.
Contact RJ Young today to discuss your cyber security challenges.
Small business cyber security took many interesting turns in 2019. From the rise of novel forms of attack to an increased reliance on sophisticated technology, it is clear that security is a rapidly changing field.
In 2019 it was predicted that things like cloud technology and growth of the IoT (Internet of Things) would have a significant impact on the way small businesses thought about and undertook cyber security. That proved to be correct – and these trends will mostly continue into 2020.
However, it is also clear that cyber security is entering new terrain.
5 Trends for Small Business Cyber Security in 2020
1. Passwords are on Their Way Out
In 2020, security will begin shifting from the use of strong (or weak) passwords to the use of multiple authentication factors and biometrics. These are tied to a user’s identity and cannot be easily stolen or reproduced.
Passwords have been a staple since the earliest days of the internet. Just a few years ago, it was estimated that there would be some 3.4 billion passwords in use on devices and accounts by 2020. Developing strong passwords has long been seen as the first line of defense against cybercriminals.
However, that is rapidly changing. The most robust passwords – jumbles of letters, numbers, and symbols – have proven too hard for the majority of the population to adopt. Security experts from numerous firms point out that people also opt to reuse one or two passwords, which might seem to be strong. Each additional reuse grants another opportunity for a hacker to steal it, thus potentially compromising a string of user accounts.
According to the creator of HaveIBeenPwned, an increasing number of data breaches and data leaks are a direct result of weak passwords and password reuse.
In 2020, that is going to change as cyber security strives to adopt credentialing methods that hackers cannot steal.
2. Threats to the Internet of Things (IoT)
The world is anxiously awaiting for the commercial rollout of 5G. Around half of the US may have access to it by the end of next year. 5G is the prerequisite for the rise of a practical Internet of Things – and hackers are eagerly anticipating it, too.
The Internet of Things is different from the internet in that devices do not connect to a central router but rather directly to themselves. As a result, it will become much easier for small business cyber security strategies to overlook this internet-connected device in the office.
However, that will prove dangerous. These devices will have access to the same network upon which the company computers will operate. The Internet of Things within an office can very quickly become a soft underbelly around a company’s defenses – a threat that, according to Symantec, is already on the rise.
3. Supply Chain Attacks Are on the Rise
A supply chain attack happens when a hacker infiltrates your system through an outside partner or provider with access to your systems and data. That might involve malware embedded in real software, or data that becomes compromised as a result of a cyber attack on a business partner. In the past few years, there have been more suppliers and service providers touching sensitive data than ever before. A good example is the 2014 Target data breach which was caused by a third party vendor.
According to Cisco, supply chain attacks are one of the biggest threats to small businesses. SMBs are not just attractive to hackers because they may lack robust security defenses. It is also because they may not necessarily know who has access to their sensitive information. As a result, hackers are choosing to target vendors of SMBs in an attempt to get at precious data – and it’s working.
4. The Risks of Shadow IT Will Come to Light
Shadow IT is the installation or creation of IT infrastructure by employees without the knowledge or permission of the IT department. Shadow IT examples include consumer applications in the cloud such as file sharing apps, social media, and collaboration tools such as Office 365.
However, while the IT department is not responsible for the physical infrastructure or even managing of the application, they are still responsible for ensuring security and compliance for the corporate data employees upload to the cloud. This puts the IT department in the uncomfortable position of saying no to employees using cloud applications. Although most of these tools help employees do their jobs, they also provide a convenient backdoor for cyberattacks because they usually lack security.
Cyber security watchdog Analytics Insight estimates that at least 33 % of all cyberattacks in 2020 will leverage shadow IT in a company. Organizations need to act now to discover, secure, and curtail this severe blind spot before it is too late.
5. Cloud Security Takes a Tumble
The cloud has enjoyed the long-standing perception of security. But in 2020, that might begin to slip.
Forrester notes that as the public cloud becomes mainstream in company options, companies are looking for a way to enjoy privacy and security. Hybrid cloud solutions – the use of public and private clouds – were briefly touted as the ideal solution to balancing these needs. However, it is rapidly becoming evident that hybrid solutions are susceptible to many of the same security issues plaguing regular servers. In 2019’s breach of Capital One’s AWS service highlights this. A misconfigured firewall allowed a former employee to access applications that had access to the finance giant’s cloud – and 100 million consumer records.
Protect Your Small Business in 2020 with RJ Young
Small business cyber security has become more imperative than ever. Despite the adoption of sophisticated strategies like the use of managed IT service providers, cybercriminals remain undeterred. That is why it is necessary to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating trends. The best defense is not just a good offense, but rather being proactive and staying prepared.
RJ Young helps companies in Huntsville, Nashville, Chattanooga, Birmingham and throughout the southeast secure their office environments and enjoy operational efficiency. Contact RJ Young now.
Outsourcing is a common strategy across the business world. It helps reduce business expenses, access talent and infrastructure, and streamline business operations. Businesses can outsource almost every element of their processes, from manufacturing to entry-level jobs. IT outsourcing has become extremely popular, allowing companies to access top-notch security technology at a fraction of the cost.
Deploying managed IT services, or outsourced IT, is a smart move for companies especially where the existing internal IT department needs technical support or network consulting.
IT Outsourcing as a Supplement, Not a Replacement
Outsourced IT works exceptionally well when it complements a company’s existing IT infrastructure. Any company which relies on technology to communicate, advertise, or conduct business processes is going to have IT infrastructure – in other words, every business. Technology is not optional for survival.
Outsourcing IT, particularly in the form of Managed IT services, helps fill the gaps and reduce costs. For small companies, that may mean the guidance of an experienced specialist who can assist with the configuration of a server or optimization of data storage in the cloud. For larger companies, outsourcing IT may mean helping the internal department maintain critical visibility of the network, uncovering shadow IT, or merely providing backup support when the internal department gets swamped with help desk calls.
Internal IT Must Focus on What Matters
Internal IT departments play a crucial role in the digital office environment. Companies rely on phones, printers, servers, cloud services, and more – which makes staying aware of and on top of all these devices critical to success. However, the more technology that exists in an environment, the more work it takes to manage these devices, keeping them optimized and secure at all times.
That is a tough task already for internal IT, which means they have better things to do than changing print drivers or helping someone reset their login password. Imagine if these mundane lower-level tasks could be outsourced to a reliable third-party help desk that specializes in managed IT services. With RJ Young, they can be!
Outsourcing specific IT tasks like monitoring network traffic and handling help desk calls, keeps internal IT departments from getting hamstrung by basic tasks. This allows them to focus on higher-value initiatives within the company to support growth, innovation, and technological optimization.
Technical support for larger more complex projects can also be outsourced. Many of the internal IT departments within a small business, or even an enterprise-level business, do not have the bandwidth or staff to take on larger projects, such as server migrations, which is where IT outsourcing comes into play.
Low to high-level IT tasks that can be outsourced include:
- Help desk and desktop support
- Managing emails for phishing attacks
- Providing infrastructure support
- Managing users and resetting employee login passwords
- Managing networks and printers
- Network consulting
- Server migration and support
- Antivirus solutions installation
- Managing regular data backups and disaster recovery
- Ongoing remote support and 24/7 remote monitoring
- Managing antivirus basics, virus protection, security suites, firewalls, and ransomware protection
Existing internal IT staff struggle to keep up with the growing needs of businesses, but RJ Young’s Managed IT Services can help.
More Eyes Mean Better Security
One of the most significant advantages of leveraging outsourced IT has always been the increased security this service brings to companies. With data security being such a huge concern for companies large and small, it pays to have a team of third-party specialists looking over a company’s current security strategy.
An internal IT department may be staffed with skilled, experienced, and diligent professionals, but they do more than monitor the network for suspicious traffic. In contrast, a managed IT service provider, such as RJ Young, has teams that specialize in cybersecurity. Their fresh eyes may not only catch something the internal team has overlooked, but they may also be aware of new threats or know tricks to prevent well-known security threats more efficiently.
Furthermore, having a third-party IT service on board means access to more powerful technology to monitor networks and user accounts. Whether that’s the powerful artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that many services have today or software which centralizes network monitoring. Outsourced IT lets companies take advantage of technology without needing to invest in it themselves.
More eyes mean better security. Data is the most precious commodity a business owns, and it is worth the investment to protect it.
RJ Young Works with Existing IT Departments to Increase Productivity & Improve Security
Outsourcing IT services is a strategy for improving a company’s IT infrastructure and data security. If the IT department is struggling to keep up with the needs of a growing business or the company does not have the means to invest in the tools the IT professionals need, consider enlisting a managed IT service provider to help. By handing off simple or overly complicated tasks to a third-party specialist, an internal IT department enjoys the ability to focus on the IT tasks that their internal IT team have the bandwidth and staff to handle.
Outsource your business’ cybersecurity headaches and data security projects to RJ Young. Let their team of IT professionals assist your internal IT department with technical support or network consulting.
RJ Young works with internal IT departments to streamline IT infrastructure and improve data security. Contact RJ Young today to discuss how your internal IT professionals can benefit from IT outsourcing.