3 Biggest Threats to Your Company’s Business Continuity

We all worry about unplanned downtime for our companies. When your company’s operations screech to a halt due to an issue completely out of your control, it is often disastrous for your bottom line. Sales stop. Your existing customers are hurt and depending on your industry, may require compensation of some kind, and trust in your company moving forward is severely damaged. There are no positives, which is why having a solid business continuity plan is essential for any organization operating in the marketplace today. Having appropriate IT plans to ensure data and infrastructure is protected at all times saves businesses immense amounts of time and money. To have a truly comprehensive plan, a company must consider all the ways their business’s IT infrastructure could get shut down. Here are three of the biggest and most common threats to your company’s technology from a business continuity standpoint.

Natural Disasters

Floods, fires, hurricanes, snowstorms, and more are a major threat to any business’s operations. Whether you refer to them as natural disasters or acts of God, these weather-related phenomena can throw a major wrench in your business’s plans if you’re not prepared for them. If you don’t have appropriate cloud services and backups in place so staff can work away from the office, even average snowstorms could end up being an issue. Having a business continuity plan that includes the appropriate contingencies for dealing with any of these disasters can save your company some major headaches.

Local Power Outages

It’s often forgotten about, but simple blackouts in the electricity grid can wreak havoc on your company’s operations. If you don’t have appropriate backup plans in place, any somewhat extended blackout can cost your small business a huge amount of productivity and money.  Power outages can be a nightmare for business continuity and if you end up with several in a short period of time it can be even more devastating. Business continuity plans need to account for not only the possibility of power outages, but the possibility of long-term blackouts or a series of them.

Cybersecurity Breaches

The most commonly known and talked about reason for business continuity plans are cybersecurity failures. In a worst-case scenario, either due to a particularly sophisticated cyber threat or an unfortunate user error that causes a security breach, you need to be ready to keep your business running. Ransomware attacks have been known to shut down entire businesses for extended periods if they aren’t stopped in time. Keeping those attacks at bay is key but having contingencies in case the worst occurs can save your business entirely.

You have to be prepared for anything when it comes to unexpected disasters disrupting your business. Business continuity, data protection and data backup are lifesaving services to many businesses who have had to deal with any of these unexpected nightmares from occurring. If you want to learn about how business continuity services can help keep your business safe, reach out to Panurgy today.

5 Security Awareness Topics to Educate Your Employees On

Human error is always considered one of the greatest of all risks in cybersecurity. For businesses worried about protecting their data and systems, this unfortunately means that staff members and executives are often a network security liability. However, there are ways to manage the risk of human error in cybersecurity. Thorough policies regarding network security are helpful, but a hands-on approach including employee security awareness training by IT experts is often necessary to be fully effective. Ideally, you want to turn your staff from potential security liabilities into essential cybersecurity assets by ensuring they have the necessary knowledge to protect your systems through the employee security awareness training you provide.

Here are five topics your employees should be educated on if you want them to become the security assets they could be.

Email Scams

Most people believe they know what to look for when it comes to spotting email scams, but the reality is that scammers and bad actors have been developing more and more sophisticated scams for years. Staying up on the most advanced and up-to-date email scams and phishing schemes is important when making sure your employees avoid these sorts of security risks.

Removeable Media Such as USB Drives

Good policies regarding removeable media such as USB drives, SD cards or even disc-based media are essential in protecting your company. These drives subvert network protections and plugging one into a computer without knowing absolutely what’s on it is dangerous. Good employee security awareness training should emphasize this for your staff.

Social Networking Risks

Not all phishing attacks come from email. Social networking websites and applications have their fair share of bad actors as well. If any of your staff use your company’s social media accounts, or even use their own social media on your network, they will also need to be kept up to date on what bad actors may be doing on those platforms.

Clean Desk Policies

It surprises people how much of cybersecurity comes down to practices in the physical world instead of the digital. Clean desk policies at your office avoid passwords or other sensitive data being left around accidentally on post it notes or other pieces of paper. Instating such a policy and educating your staff on the reasons for it will improve your company’s network security.

Mobile Device Security

Especially if your company uses a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, you must ensure that your employee security awareness training includes the topic of mobile device security. Your staff must be aware that their phones and tablets might be security risks if they are not handled appropriately.

Keep your staff educated on security issues and make sure they stay assets and not liabilities. If you are interested in employee security awareness training, schedule some time to speak with the IT experts at Panurgy.

3 Situations Where Businesses Need Co-Managed IT as a Solution

Sometimes handing over all a company’s IT operations to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) isn’t the right call. There are logistical and staffing concerns to consider when making such a major shift. Technologically speaking, sometimes there is already existing proprietary IT infrastructure and software in place that makes “handing over the keys” to the operation non-viable as a solution. There is a better option in these specific cases: Co-Managed IT services. With co-managed IT, companies can work with their MSP rather than simply giving another entity control. Here are some more specific situations in which opting for co-managed IT is most beneficial.

Excessive Growth in a Minimal Timeframe

If a company experiences a major increase in customer scale over a very short period, it can be overwhelming for a previously well-functioning IT department. Small businesses growing into mid-size businesses often experience this hiccup, as major success or a large increase in sales can force a company into a growth spurt rather than a gradual ascent. In these cases, growing an IT department the traditional way will often take too long and use up too much of the existing staff’s time while they are already buried under new work. Turning to a co-managed IT model in this case makes perfect sense. The company retains the knowledge and expertise of the existing and experienced IT staff while being able to scale and use the resources of the MSP to stay on track through the growth process.

Specific Knowledge Gap

On occasion, a company will have an excellent internal IT team that handles the vast majority of technological concerns without issue, but there will be a specific and necessary area of expertise that poses problems. Training the existing staff could take up time that the company does not have and be costly in its own right. When specific knowledge and expertise gaps make themselves known, co-managed IT from a managed IT services provider can fill them. With co-managed IT, an organization can benefit from the resources and expertise of an MSP while maintaining the processes and operational efficiency of their current IT department.

Major Long-Term Projects Taking Up Too Many Resources

There are times when an organization’s usual IT staff can handle the daily needs of a company and keep it operation but have little time to pursue larger projects that might help the company grow or move forward in an industry. Being unable to commit the appropriate time to major projects will inevitably have detrimental effects on a business’s prospects for advancement. Co-managed IT services can help with this problem in multiple ways. Companies can leverage the specialized knowledge of their current IT department to focus on larger scope projects while an MSP takes over other operations, or if the MSP has the exact expertise needed they can handle the bigger project while the internal staff focuses on daily matters. Either co-managed IT solution is viable when a company finds itself in this situation.

Co-Managed IT services demonstrate that the choice to outsource IT services and support is not a binary one for companies. There are ways to both manage an internal IT staff while also building a relationship with a managed IT services provider. Contact Panurgy to discuss how Co-Managed IT could benefit you.

How Multi-Layered Security Can Protect Your Business

Cyberattacks are the biggest modern-day threat for organizations. This 2-minute read will shed some light on how multi-layered security can protect your business from cybercriminals.

Worldwide, cybercrime costs are forecasted to hit $6 trillion in 2021. At the same time, Ransomware damage costs are set to rise to $20 billion.

Cyber-attacks are the biggest modern-day threat for organizations, regardless of their size. For this reason, IT teams need to put their best foot forward to safeguard IT infrastructure from data breaches.

Granted, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that would guarantee that distributed networks are safeguarded from cyber-attacks. This is why organizations should opt for a multi-layered security solution that is efficient against the latest cyber threats.

Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds. IT security teams have a lot of ground to cover. Standalone strategies are a thing of the past, and companies have countless other aspects to consider. You see, cybercriminals use many different techniques and strategies to achieve their goals and IT teams should constantly update their approach based on cybersecurity trends.

How Does a Multi-Layered Strategy Help?

Multi-layered security entails IT teams making use of numerous cybersecurity components to shield a company’s IT infrastructure. This defense mechanism delays, prevents and mitigates threats. By analyzing different aspects of security, security departments have a better understanding of how to keep hackers with malicious intentions at bay.

Here How It Works:

Multiple layers of security in a network make sure that individual defense components prevent loopholes or failures in the system while protecting crucial company data. In a multi-layered system, every single layer of security focuses on areas that are vulnerable to a breach.

Some of the most common aspects of multi-layered security include:

  • Email Security
  • Web Gateway Security
  • Firewall Threat Protection
  • Antivirus/ anti-malware software
  • Patch management
  • Privacy controls
  • Digital Certificates
  • Web protection
  • Security awareness training

A Holistic Defense Strategy

With a multi-layered security strategy, organizations can rest assured that their confidential data is fully defended. This strategy should immediately be deployed as the most important element of every organization’s cybersecurity agenda. That said, the biggest challenge to this approach is using the right mix of tools.

Panurgy specializes in tailoring custom-fit and complete network security solutions for its clients. Our strategy not only offers a multi-layered security solution but also plans, implements, monitors, and manages our cybersecurity offerings from A-Z. What’s more, all of our strategies are scalable and are implemented in a manner that they can grow with your business.

Besides multi-layered security, Panurgy also offers its clients:

  • DarkWeb Research and Alerting
  • External Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing
  • Security Risk Scoring and Reporting
  • Continuous Active Risk Posture Monitoring
  • Managed Breach Detection and Response

To learn more about our services and cutting-edge cybersecurity offerings, visit our website or call us on 973-400-3700 for a free IT consultation.

4 Major Security Threats to VoIP Services to Watch For

As work-from-home becomes the new standard in business, more and more companies need remote solutions for communication and collaboration, including VoIP services. VoIP services allow employees and executives who need to collaborate while working from home to keep their phone numbers without interrupting workflow. However, the increase in use of VoIP also means they are more of a target for hackers and other bad actors on the web. With cyberattacks on VoIP services increasing, it’s important for companies to be aware of the specific issues they could be facing.

Vishing Attacks

Vishing attacks are a form of phishing attack where instead of using an email or fake website to hoodwink users, the perpetrators target VoIP numbers and attempt to scam users on a call. Vishing attacks often involve the bad actor pretending to be a legitimate business or institution and getting away with it just long enough to learn a bit of sensitive information from their targets. Many people have dealt with robocall spammers on their smartphones by now, so the good news is that it only takes some savvy and vigilance to spot these attacks. However, all it takes is one employee to be fooled once for this to become a major security issue. Companies should brief anyone using their VoIP services about the risks.

Call Hijacking

Call hijacking is a more direct form of attack and requires more sophisticated hacking techniques. When a malicious actor hijacks a VoIP call they can listen in on calls withing the same network and attempt to learn sensitive information. The best way to defend against this is to ensure your network security is excellent and can stop outside attackers in their tracks. It certainly helps if your VoIP services provider also has expertise in network security.

DoS (Denial of Service) Attacks

DoS attacks happen when bad actors purposely flood a network with so many calls that the VoIP service cannot handle the sheer quantity and ceases to function. Hackers use these attacks to target businesses for several reasons:

  • To blackmail businesses into paying the attackers to turn off the flood of calls.
  • To make the business look bad and hurt their brand by inconveniencing customers.
  • As a distraction for another type of cyberattack.

Companies using VoIP services should make sure they are prepared to handle nefarious DoS attacks if they find themselves targeted.

Malware

VoIP services ae targeted by good old-fashioned malware attacks much like any other online service. Keeping your cybersecurity patches up to date and making sure you are aware of any potential weaknesses so they can be fixed swiftly is, as always, extremely important. Talk to your VoIP services provider if you’re unsure of their security measures. It is always good to take stock of your network security and ensure your VoIP services aren’t vulnerable to malware infection.

Stay aware of the potential online threats to your VoIP services and make sure you are always protected. If you want a consultation about VoIP services or your cybersecurity, reach out to Panurgy today.