5 Recommendations For Cybersecurity

5 Recommendations For Cybersecurity

Cyber Security is an essential aspect of all businesses, however many businesses fail to make it a priority, thus leaving your business and team members vulnerable to sophisticated cyber threats from experienced hackers. There are many basic steps a business can take to ensure that your sensitive data is guarded against potential threats. To learn more, contact our expert team!

Utilise A Modern Operating System

Using a modern OS is essential to a business’ cyber security. An example of this is the Windows 7 End of Support Deadline that is quickly approaching. From January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 devices, therefore leaving them open to cyber threats.

Password Hygiene

Users should update passwords regularly and businesses should enforce password policies to ensure passwords are as secure as possible. Similar passwords should not be used on multiple devices/services and users should be discouraged from sharing passwords with others.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication is a means of logging in to your accounts through using two or more verification techniques. Hackers are less likely to be able to breach these accounts when multiple factors of authentication are requested. As passwords can often be hacked through brute force or simple guessing, a second level of verification will ensure data security is maximised.

Beware When Working Out Of The Office

When connecting to hot spots it is recommended that you utilise a VPN to ensure security is maintained on your device. Generally it is recommended that when working outside of your office, do not connect to public hotspots. These hot spots can leave your device open to security breaches from unknown attackers.

Backup Your Data!

There are many reasons to back up your data, such as data loss, hacking, data breaches, ransomware, etc. It is essential that you back up all data to the cloud to ensure that copies are stored securely. This will help your business avoid essential data loss that will impact your business activities and processes.

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Businesses Beware, Social Engineering Attempts Are On The Rise!

Businesses Beware, Social Engineering Attempts Are On The Rise!

Those who work in IT and Cybersecurity are all too familiar with  Social Engineering. These types of attacks have increased in recent years which has caused many businesses to lose data through data breaches.

What is Social Engineering?

Social Engineering is a cybercrime which involves hackers taking advantage of employees to access private information. Social engineers generally pose as a person that the victim would trust, e.g. a colleague, friend or a company that the business works with. This ‘trust’ is then used to trick the victim into clicking a link which will then steal passwords and/or confidential information.

For hackers, it is often easier to take advantage of an individuals trust rather than hack into a system. Although Social Engineering is not a new concept, Social Engineering techniques have certainly become more sophisticated and personalised. This has made them even more difficult to recognise.

Examples of Social Engineering

To help you spot a Social Engineering attempt, we have a selection of examples below. However, Social Engineering may be presented in a variety of ways, it is essential that team members are diligent in ensuring they do not fall victim to there cyber breaches.

The Boss

This Social Engineering attempt looks like an email from your boss requesting your assistance with something urgently. This could be a request for files containing confidential information etc. This can lead to unauthorised individuals having access to sensitive data that can damage your business or cause serious delays in processes.

The Account Suspension

This is a difficult one to dismiss. If you receive an email that your account has been suspended or compromised and you need to verify your information or reset your password, double-check with your IT provided to ensure it is legitimate as these emails can seem authentic. If you are unsure check the site that the email is supposedly from to ensure it is official and if there are any notices or warnings for users. Just be sure not to click the link embedded in the email.

The Dream Offer

If you hear from a LinkedIn recruiter offering you the role of your dreams, with all the benefits and perks you could wish for, be wary! If you receive one of these, ensure that it is official and not an attempt to steal your data. Although there are many recruiters online headhunting people, ensure that the email is official and not an attempt to steal data.

 

A lot of cyberattack prevention comes down to ensuring your team members are appropriately trained to spot these attempts. To learn more about Social Engineering and how to train your team to protect your business’ confidential data contact our team!

Begin your journey in improving your busiess security by contacting our expert team today!

The Many Causes Of Data Loss In A Business

The Many Causes Of Data Loss In A Business

Data loss within a business is an inconvenience that can often disrupt the day-to-day activity of any team. When essential files and documents are lost or deleted, your business must assign resources to recreating or recovering these files. Not only is this completely avoidable, it also takes people away from activities that are more aligned to their roles. Although team members may be able to locate these files, they may not be up to date as other, more recent copies may have been lost.

Data loss can be caused by a variety of internal and external factors, such as; human error, file corruption, cyber crime, etc. Not only is data loss incredibly inconvenient it can also cause delays in productivity and can lead to your business losing customers and profits. In the case of cybercrime, if customer data has been breached, your business must notify these customers which can lead to a loss of trust towards your business.

Common Causes Of Data Loss

 

Human Error

One of the main causes of data loss within a business is human error. Mistakes happen, but for a business, these mistakes can lead to the unintentional deletion of files, etc. Without realising it, team members can delete or overwrite files that are essential to your business.

Human error can also cause breaches in your company’s cybersecurity. Phishing and social engineering attempts can lead to unknowing employee’s accounts being hacked and data stolen. An effective method of protecting your employees from such cyber-attacks is to provide them with appropriate training that will ensure they are aware of modern cyber threats.

Theft

In recent years, more and more team members have become mobile, allowing them to work remotely. This means that employees generally work from a laptop or smartphone rather than desktops. Because of this, theft has become a serious risk that can happen anywhere a device is left unattended. As well as data being lost, the theft of a device could lead to data breaches. If your employees access data from portable devices, ensure you have adequate security precautions put into place. Multi-Factor Authentication is a secure method of logging into your business accounts. Methods that require more than one method of authentication are much more effective than traditional methods.

Hackers

In recent years we have seen an increase in hacking and data breaches, making cybersecurity measures essential for all businesses. Unauthorised users in your network can cause serious damage to your data, deleting and stealing any data they can access.

To ensure your data remains secure from modern cyber threats, your business should enact appropriate protections to ensure you are as protected as possible from modern cyber threats.

 

Software Corruption

Unexpected or improper software shutdowns may seem harmless on the surface, but these can cause serious issues for data. This can lead to data being corrupted or your progress being deleted, thus wasting your time and losing valuable data. If your software becomes corrupted it may not be able to run again, meaning you will not be able to log in and access data that is stored in the software.

 

Hard Drive Formatting

Accidental formatting of your hard drive can cause you to instantly lose data. Employees can often mistakenly format their hard drive if they misunderstand prompts and error messages. This may cause loss of data that may or may not be retrieved.

 

Data loss can greatly impact a business, whether data is lost through cybercrime, human error or through corruption, etc, businesses should always ensure data is backed-up. This will ensure that your team will be able to access recent versions of documents if and when disaster strikes. Cloud computing allows your team members to securely store and access documents when needed.

To Learn More About Securing Your Data or Migrating To Cloud Computing, Contact Our Team!

Protect Your Data From Social Engineering Attempts

Protect Your Data From Social Engineering Attempts

Social Engineering is a cybercrime which aims to harvest data from users without their knowledge. The types of information these cyber-criminals hope to access may vary, however, they often target individuals in the hopes of gaining access to their passwords or bank information. Hackers generally use social engineering techniques on individuals as it is often easier to exploit someone’s trust than to use the time to hack into software. Basically, some cyber-criminals find it easier to trick someone into providing confidential data than hacking their passwords. To ensure your team members are secure, they should know who and what to trust. Individuals should know not to trust the person they are communicating with unless known to the individual. It should be viewed the same as any other online interaction or transaction if a website didn’t appear to be legitimate, would you share your information with it? Most security experts agree that the weakest link in the security chain is people. It is essential for businesses to provide appropriate training for their employees to ensure they can not only recognise social engineering attempts and other online security threats but to also avoid becoming a victim to them. There are many ways to recognise these threats and to ensure the person you are communicating with is who they say they are, such as;  

Think Before You Click!

To ensure you share your confidential data, cyber-criminals often convey a sense of urgency to make you act first and think later. When you receive a highly urgent message from a source you are unsure of, take a moment to ensure it is credible.

Research Sources

Always be wary of unsolicited messages. Check the domain links to see if they are real and that the person emailing you is part of the organisation. A typo or spelling error is an indicator that this email is not from a credible source. If you hover your cursor over a link before clicking it will reveal the link in the bottom. This is another way of ensuring that the source is credible and safe.

Be Wary When Opening Files

If you 1. don’t know the sender, 2. didn’t expect an attachment from the sender or 3. are unsure if you should view the file, check with the person who sent you the file to ensure it is safe to open or download.

Ensure Your Protect Yourself

Delete Requests For Confidential Information Or Passwords

It is rare that someone will contact you via email for your personal information. Remember this when ensuring the credibility of a source. If the source is unverified, do not share your data.

Secure Your Devices

Ensure your devices are secured and that your anti-virus software is up to date. Firewalls should be updated regularly and you should ensure security is a priority within your business. Multi-Factor Authentication is a method in which your data is secured and protected through multiple requests to confirm your identity.

Always Be Aware Of Risks

Always ensure that requests for information are credible. If you are unsure of a data request or email, do not share data, it is better to be safe than sorry!

Contact our team and secure your business from Cyber Threats today!

Should The Agriculture Industry Focus On Cybersecurity?

Should The Agriculture Industry Focus On Cybersecurity?

In the past two decades, agricultural technology have experienced many advancements and now cybersecurity isn’t an option but a necessity. The agricultural industry is particularly at risk of hacking, viruses and many of forms of cybersecurity breaches.

Data privacy is particularly imporant to businesses within the agricultural industry, businesses must protect sensitive information, such as yield data, land prices and herd health. If a cybercriminal infiltrated a system and released this information it could cause many negetive impacts to the business in question.

Ensuring Your Agricultural Business Remains Secure

Secure Mobile Devices

Mobile phones are no longer just used for making calls and users now generally carry as much data on their mobile devices as they do on their computer. From banking apps to emails containing sensitive data your business’ mobile devices must be secure. These devices should have the latest security protections to avoid malware, viruses and hacking.

Secure Your WiFi Network

When using WiFi, ensure an encrypted code is in place to ensure only personalised individuals can access it. Appropriate firewalls should be in place to ensure data is not accessed by unauthorised individuals.

Backup Your Data

Every business should have a contingency plan in the event of data loss. Choosing the right cloud for your business will ensure your data is secure and backed-up in the event of data loss. Properly backing up your data will ensure that your data can be recovered in the event of data loss.

Keep Your Team Informed

Depending on your business, employees and vendors may share your WiFi or regularly use their own devices for work purposes. Your team should be trained on all aspects of cybersecurity to ensure they don’t unknowingly cause a security breach. Cybersecurity is not the responsibility of just one employee but it is the responsibility of the entire team.

Being aware of the security needs of your business is the first step in ensuring you are secure and preventing security breaches and data loss. To learn more about ensure your business is secured against cyber threats, contact our team today!

Hospitality Cyber Security – Threats & Best Practices

Hospitality Cyber Security – Threats & Best Practices

Data security is essential in all industries, particularly within the Hospitality Industry. This is primarily due to the nature of the data collected and stored by businesses within this industry, this sensitive data includes names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card details. From a cybercriminal’s perspective, the hospitality industry appears to offer a unique opportunity to commit cyber crimes, such as identity theft and credit card fraud due to systems containing credit card information and the personal data of guests. Although there are a variety of security concerns within the hospitality industry, here are some of the best practices businesses should adopt to ensure their data remains secure.

Complex Ownership Structures

Restaurants, hotels and other businesses within the hospitality industry generally have complex ownership structures in which there’s a franchisor, an individual owner or a group of owners and a management company that acts as the operator. Each of these groups may use different computer systems to store information and this data can often be shared across many systems amongst employees.

Card Payments

The hospitality industry relies heavily on credit cards as a means of payment. Hotels and restaurants often require credit card details to confirm reservations and final payments are regularly made with the same card. Cybercriminals use this reliance on cards to infect point-of-sale (POS) with malware that steals credit and debit card information. As malware can move between POS systems utilised by the same business, many systems can be affected by these attacks.

High Staff Turnover

A vital part of ensuring your business’ data remains secure is to train your team on the many aspects of cybersecurity. Well-trained staff also know how to recognise social engineering attempts and they fully understand a business’ compliance requirements. High staff turnover is generally accepted within the hospitality industry as many employees are seasonal and might leave the company after a few months, therefore it becomes a challenge to ensure each team member is appropriately trained in cybersecurity. All it takes is one person who isn’t familiar with your data protection policies to allow a breach to occur.

Compliance

Data security breaches within the hospitality industry extend beyond the reputational damage that would occur if a guest’s data is compromised. Regulations have recently been introduced to ensure businesses store data securely. The introduction of GDPR as a landmark legislation that aims to return the control of personal information to the individuals while enforcing stricter rules for businesses in protecting this data. While GDPR protects data within the EU and EEA, its effects have been felt worldwide as businesses have had to put greater compliance measures in place.

Insider Threats

This form of data risk is much more subtle as it involves employees selling data to third parties without the knowledge of their employer. These insider threats generally happens to data which pertains to customer preferences and behaviour, which hospitality businesses can collect at multiple touchpoints, from interactions with hotel websites to data stored in booking systems and review data. This data could be potentially lucrative when it ends up in the hands, in particular those who know how to use this data to gain a competitive advantage.

Best Practices For Data Security In Hospitality

To start your cybersecurity journey, contact our expert team today!