5 Important Security Awareness Topics

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 For 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 Security Threats to VoIP Services

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.

3 Things Businesses Miss About Cybersecurity

Businesses have a lot to concern themselves over on a daily basis. Keeping operations running smoothly, paying attention to profitability, making sure both customers and employees are well taken care of, and all the stress and difficulty of running a company, all take up loads of time and attention. Unfortunately, due to how overwhelming the day-to-day tasks of running an organization are, many company leaderships view cybersecurity as merely another item on a checklist rather than the complex undertaking that it is. Cybersecurity failures can cause major damager–even ruin a business– and acting as though doing some basic cybersecurity tasks is all a company needs can be a major mistake. Paying close attention to your cybersecurity needs as a business is very important. Here are some of the realities that companies who don’t pay the appropriate attention and care to cybersecurity fail to see.

Cybersecurity Is Not One Size Fits All

Many companies simply want to know what to do about cybersecurity and implement it as soon as possible, as if cybersecurity were as simple putting a few new things in place and leaving them be. Sadly, this is not the case. Cybersecurity needs change based on your industry, size, target audience, equipment, personnel, and many other factors. Each company must evaluate their cybersecurity needs on an individualized basis if they really want to have robust network security that can actually protect them. You can’t treat cybersecurity solutions as one-size-fits-all. Businesses must learn what is best for them and the variables that affect their industry.

Trends in the News Are Not Necessarily Your Greatest Threats

Another common misunderstanding that businesses face regarding cybersecurity is the assumption that whatever the most hyped IT security risk in the media is at any given time is actually their greatest risk. A company’s cybersecurity risk profile is dependent on many things. Some security risks affect organizations in specific fields much more than others. A new cybersecurity risk or exploit getting a lot of hype is not worth diverting resources to handle when another big risk is looming. Knowing your company’s cybersecurity risk profile is important to appropriately delegating resources towards the cybersecurity protections that will defend you best.

Keeping Your Technology Up to Date is Essential

Another cybersecurity issue that many small and even medium-sized businesses often make is not keeping their hardware and software properly up to date. It is true than it can be resource and time intensive to move an entire company over from one version of a software to another. We all remember how long so many businesses held onto Windows XP as an operating system even when more secure options became available over the years. However, not keeping up to date can leave your company vulnerable as more and more technical exploits and vulnerabilities become known in any piece of software. This is also true for companies that don’t regularly invest in updated hardware on an appropriate schedule. It is costly, but the cybersecurity benefits are worth it to make sure your business is using the most secure updated forms of software and hardware available.

It can be overwhelming to handle all the details and complexities with ensuring your business is deploying its cybersecurity correctly. There is help that you can reach out to if you feel like your business’s cybersecurity is lacking. Reach out to the cybersecurity experts at Panurgy to discover what specific cybersecurity practices and changes could make a big difference for your company.