3 Issues Surrounding Finance IT and Cybersecurity

Finance is one of the most highly targeted sectors of industry when it comes to cyberattacks. The reality is that there is simply too much to gain for cybercriminals when going after banks, accountants, investment firms, and other financial businesses. The amount of potential monetary gain and access to sensitive, valuable information is too much of a pull for bad actors to resist. Many industries deal with the realities of things like phishing attacks, DDoS attacks, and ransomware. The finance industry must deal with these threats as well, often in higher-than-average numbers, but there are also complications specific to the finance industry that finance IT services providers and the financial businesses they serve must be aware of. Here are a few to consider.

Credential-Seeking Malware Targets Financial Services Clients

While you’d expect most malware to target actual financial information directly, the truth is there is another form of attack that hits financial institutions commonly. Credential-seeking malware is sent by bad actors looking to gleam personal information for identity theft scams. This form of malware goes after personal data rather than money itself or account numbers. Some businesses do not protect their customers’ personal data as strongly as the more sensitive financial data and hackers look to exploit that. Finance IT services need to be aware of this potential exploitation and ensure all personal information is always secure in companies’ systems.

State-Sponsored Attacks on Financial Institutions

Most industries don’t have to worry about how international incidents may affect them, but that isn’t true in the financial industry. State-sponsored attacks by hackers on other countries are often designed to affect financial markets in specific ways. Most of these manipulations fail, but when they succeed they can wreak havoc in unexpected ways. Unfortunately, there isn’t much individual businesses can do except fortify their network security as much as possible and pay attention to how such attacks might affect their clientele.

Breaches Complicate Issues Further By Decreasing Trust

The majority of cyberattacks in the financial industry fail. Unfortunately, the few that do succeed can have a compound effect on the industry. When a breach occurs, fixing a company’s systems and recovering drains resources and time, but even worse, the reputation damage makes that process even more difficult. Where this situation gets especially dicey is when numerous financial institutions have breaches over a relatively short period, people begin to distrust the industry at large and lose faith in companies that have been protecting their data appropriately. The sensitivity of information and widespread effects of the damage that can be done means those providing cybersecurity to financial companies have even more burden and responsibility to keep thing secure.

The financial industry is complicated and difficult one to keep secure, but many excellent finance IT services providers continue to do so. If you would like to talk to a managed services provider about your cybersecurity, reach out to Panurgy and make an appointment today.

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.

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.

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.

Five 2020 Data Breaches

Having excellent cybersecurity is absolutely essential for businesses in all industries, but too many companies still fall short in this area, and data breaches are all too common. Preventing these breaches requires a cybersecurity service that is complex, comprehensive, and proactive against digital attacks. Companies that are complacent about their network security end up experiencing harmful and embarrassing data breaches, exposing both their business and their customers to exploitation and identity theft. Here are five examples of companies whose cybersecurity failures lead them to suffer data breaches during 2020.

  1. Landry’s Customers’ Credit Cards Exposed

Landry’s, a dining conglomerate that includes such restaurants as Bubba Gump and Houlihan’s, was attacked in January of 2020, leading to the exposure of some of their customer’s financial information. Credit card numbers, expiration dates, verification codes, and cardholder names were all exposed during the breach, which was caused by malware that directly attacked the company’s point-of-sale system. Stronger cybersecurity groundwork could have prevented Landry’s customers from having their data stolen and would have saved the company a massive PR headache.

  1. Walgreens’ Own Internal Error Compromised Customer Information

In early March, Walgreens discovered an internal error on their mobile app that allowed users to view other customers’ private messages. The incident forced Walgreens to shut down all messaging on its app for a brief period to prevent further compromise of sensitive information. Cybersecurity isn’t only about preventing outside forces from attacking your digital infrastructure. Thorough and rigorous internal checking for small errors that could expose sensitive information is just as important to any network security plan. Walgreens’ slip-up unfortunately led them to unwarily expose their users’ private, health-related information.

  1. Nintendo’s Security Weakness Exposed Its Login System

In April, popular video game company Nintendo announced that hackers had broken into their login system through a security weakness. Over 160,000 users’ login information, email addresses, date of birth, and countries of origin were exposed as part of this breach. Due to Nintendo’s lack of robust cybersecurity, hackers were also able to illegally make digital purchases using the payment information in the compromised accounts. Nintendo was forced to reset all account passwords as a part of addressing the security breach. More rigorous cybersecurity audits of their systems might have revealed the weakness in Nintendo’s login system before hackers discovered the issue.

  1. One Hacked Email Account Risks Data of 112,000 of Utah Pathology Service’s Patients

Decentralization of data is also an important aspect of cybersecurity and data protection. Utah Pathology Service only had one of their employees attacked during a data breach in August of this year, but that one account had access to over 100,000 patients’ health information. Fortunately, it seemed the attack was unsuccessful in this particular case, as the organization promptly secured the account. There’s always a risk of a careless employee digitally exposing themself, so network security plans should always include ways to block off sensitive data quickly in the event of a hacked account.

  1. A Cyberattack on Barnes & Noble Interrupted Their Services and Exposed Their Data

In October, Barnes & Noble’s Nook services were disrupted for several days due to a malware attack. Customers complained loudly on social media, causing a major headache for the company publicly while their cybersecurity team was already dealing with the attack and re-securing their systems. Cybersecurity that can get your system secure and running again in disastrous situations like these is invaluable, as every second lost during a breach both potentially compromises more data and erodes public trust in a business’s online services.

Investing in cybersecurity can save businesses from nightmare scenarios like these five breaches. If you are interested in learning more about the cybersecurity you might need, reach out to us today.