Social Engineering Scams Make Your Workforce Your Biggest Threat

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

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The urgent email from the company bank asks you to check a statement. Do you click the attachment?

This is what social engineering looks like from the perspective of someone about to give a cyber criminal the keys to the enterprise.

Social engineering is methods used by criminals to get one of your colleagues to hand over company information. It could be an email with malware buried in an attachment. It could be an urgent demand from what looks like a senior staffer seeking banking details or logins. Or it could be blackmail – any way to trick staffers into allowing access.

In the above example, an unknowing employee can look at the sender of the email, not catch that the email is from “banc” and not “bank,” and click the attachment containing malware. The malware can then track the actions of the employee, lying quietly for months while infecting other networked computers until, eventually, the entire company network is taken down, millions of dollars missing and business comes to a halt.

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As security protocols tighten and anti-virus software gets better, criminals are attempting increasingly elaborate ways to fool employees into giving them access to prized data. With each attempt, the ruse becomes more ingenious until finally, someone opens a way into the network.

According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, “23% of users open phishing emails, 11% click on attachments, and nearly 50% open emails and click on phishing links within the first hour.”

However, those same employees being targeted by con artists can be your first line of defense.

Protect your enterprise.

  1. Teach your employees what to look for, and that goes beyond just fishy-looking attachments to encompass:
    • Phishing scams have the criminal pretending to be a trusted source seeking credentials.
    • Spear phishing is a very targeted attack on one trusted employee armed with information gleaned from social media and other public sources.
    • Employees must even be careful of physical baiting – where an innocuous memory stick is left near a trusted employee, even on his desk, but the tool contains dangerous malware.
  2. Help your employees by setting policies for security. Require your workforce to create and maintain strong passwords that are not easily guessed (birthdays, names of children). Use multi-factor authentication so more than one password or key is required to gain access.

  3. Patch and update systems and software on schedule. This is a no-brainer when you consider that most attacks exploit never-patched known vulnerabilities for which patches have been available for months.

  4. Reinforce your cyber-hygienic workforce with the protection of a layered security technology infrastructure. Build a platform that integrates sandboxing with next-generation firewalls, internal segmentation firewalls, virus/malware scanners and content filtering so that attacks that get past one defense can be stopped by the next; or at least slowed to a rate where they can be detected and harm mitigated. 

Your layered security approach needs to be tailored to your business needs, assets and biggest vulnerabilities. Perform periodic cyber threat assessments to assess. A partner of Fortinet, neteffect can assess your cybersecurity infrastructure and put our expertise and best-in-class technology to work for you.

Security Is Top of Mind As CIOs Bring Digital Transformation Into New Year

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

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The digital-centric and customer-centric market is expanding the role of CIOs. As the New Year looms, CIOs must be prepared to lead their company’s digital transformation while securing the safety and integrity of the data.

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In its recently released predictions for 2017, Forrester says that the age of the customer presents an opp

ortunity for CIOs to get out “front and center” and “grab the brass ring” to lead the technology agenda. The research authority goes on to say that “There has not been a time when technology has had a more profound impact on customer experience and revenue performance.”

With their combined technical and business acumen, CIOs are well-positioned for the challenge. They’ve already been championing the organization to take full advantage of emerging trends and technologies.

The new challenge is to ensure that the security infrastructure is adaptive and agile enough to meet the demands of converging technologies such as the cloud, big data and the Internet of Things.

The year 2017 will be a progressive one for many CIOs — and security must be an enabler, not a distraction as new, exciting opportunities take shape.

Challenges Can Become Opportunities

Emerging technology trends will bring new pressures — from competing cloud initiatives to adding more values and services. While embracing their expanding business role, CIOs can’t lose track of ensuring that the cybersecurity infrastructure keeps pace with these changes.

As we head into the New Year, let’s take a look at some of the key challenges organizations will face that are converging into a perfect storm of opportunities for CIOs:

Improving the customer and brand experience: Customers are the fundamental drivers of the changes organizations will undertake. Not only are they more empowered, they expect experiences that capture them at a specific moment in time.

Massive quantities of data that are gathered and analyzed are unlocking the mysteries of customers’ behaviors and providing insights into their expectations. Successful CIOs must find ways to capture data residing on devices.

With this data at their fingertips and a better ability to anticipate customer needs, CIOs will be positioned to identify new revenue streams while improving the customer experience.

At the same time, there’s a legal responsibility to protect this data — and CIOs will play a critical role ensuring its protection not only for the sake of compliance, but also the reputation and integrity of the brand.

Bigger shift to the cloud: With more workloads moving into the cloud and the hybrid cloud becoming the new business model, CIOs will be able to shed the burdens of cloud IT management while getting back savings by outsourcing to vendors.

By investing those savings into the digital transformation, CIOs can leverage resources even as budgets remain flat. This will heighten the focus on third-party cloud vendors.

But at the end of the day, accountability for data privacy and integrity falls on the organization. Verification of third-party policy enforcement protocols and approaches to securing traffic across cloud and on-premise environments will be key.

Growing skill gap and diversity: While disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things put more demand on IT staff, cybersecurity needs to evolve in order to stay ahead of the new threats. Yet the cybersecurity industry is facing an estimated shortage of 1.5 million workers by 2020.

At the same time, women comprise only 10 percent of the information security workforce and 22 percent of technology jobs. Diversity brings strengths and innovation to an organization, and CIOs have a tremendous opportunity to lead the effort to bridge the diversity gap.

 

 

 

Need Super Fast Internet? neteffect technologies Can Hook You Up With Google Fiber

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

Google Fiber Tech Partner

What if you no longer noticed your Internet connection? How would a more reliable, lightning fast Internet change the way you run your small business now, and in the future?

For Stacy Barter’s Roasterie coffeehouse in Kansas City, it meant live streaming important community events to loyal customers while up to 400 people simultaneously stream fresh coffee and fast Internet on-premises.

For craft software builder Marcelo Vergara of Propaganda 3, it means no longer noticing the Internet at all. As a software developer who works exclusively online, having a turbocharged, consistent Internet connection is a transformative experience that improves everything from ideation to product development to delivery.

Google Fiber Will Change The Way You Think About Your Business

Running a small business is challenging enough without having to worry about losing connectivity or waiting Google Fiber Tech Partneraround for uploading speeds to catch up your current project delivery. Small businesses and their employees need to spend less time on stand-by and more time proactively developing ways to make their operation more successful.

That’s why neteffect technologies is excited to announce we’re partnering with Google Fiber to bring its superfast Internet service to our small business customers.

How Can neteffect technologies, as a Google Fiber Partner, Improve the Way I Connect?

neteffect technologies knows that every business is unique. Growing, small and mid-sized businesses need the fastest Internet possible not only to innovate, but to thrive. To accommodate the growing demand for Fiber, they’ve launched a series of new, tiered service levels to accommodate businesses of all sizes:

Fiber Business 100 provides up to Mbps download and upload speeds, with the capability to backup up to 100 GB of data in as little as 20 minutes.

Fiber Business 250 gives you up to 250 Mbps with the capacity to backup up to 100 GB of data in about 8 minutes.

Fiber Business 1000 offers speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps with enough bandwidth to connect everyone and every device simultaneously, and the power to backup 10GB of data in around 2 minutes.

All plans have zero-data caps for backups and come with network box, high- performance Wi-Fi, gigabit routing, and advanced firewall protection with up to 13 static IPs available. Support is available 24/7/365.

Google Fiber and neteffect Will Transform the Way You Conduct Your Business

Super fast downloads. Rapid uploads. Faster connections to everything and everyone people need to get their jobs done.

From live, real-time video conferencing and instant access to cloud technology to jam sessions between musicians in multiple locations, Fiber brings your business to the next level by allowing business owners and employees to communicate more efficiently and more reliably than ever before.

neteffect technologies can help you find out when Google Fiber will be available in your small business’ area and hook you up with the fastest, most reliable Internet available as soon as you’re ready. Visit our website to learn more. For information on how Google Fiber can improve your business’ connectivity, call us today at 704-688-7156.

How Charlotte is becoming a Smart City (Free Event)

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

Smart Cities are data driven, using communication networks, sensor technology, simulation, and human input/interaction to make better decisions about services and infrastructure. Areas where smart cities can utilize data to improve performance include power, water, wastewater, sanitation, traffic, maps and directions, local information, and emergency response plans.

 

Successful outcomes of making a city smart include:

Improve the delivery of City services
Prepare for emergencies
Support Economic Development
Enhance the experience of the citizens

Space is limited, so register today to reserve your spot.

Why Your Last-Generation Firewall Can’t Keep Pace With This-Generation Threats

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in ContentMX

The Internet of Things connects everything from pacemakers to ceiling fans. While the IoT—and other trends like BYOD — offers new, exciting opportunities for businesses and consumers, it also opens up new portals for cyber attacks.

It goes without saying then, that this new generation of threats can’t be countered with last generation security technology. Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) have emerged in response.

Network Security Environments Have Evolved

Once upon a time, companies owned and authorized all devices connected to their networks. But with the advent of BYOD, employees began connecting their personal devices to company networks. Without IT oversight, managing the security implications became challenging — especially when devices are ‘jailbroken’ to upload unauthorized apps or otherwise compromised. Many companies still struggle with safe, effective BYOD implementations.

Now that IoT devices are everywhere, there’s virtually no limit to the number of devices connecting to each other and business networks. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 25 billion connected “things” will be used worldwide — more than three times the people on Earth.

New IoT Challenges Demand New Security Solutions

The business potential of IoT is huge. But with so many new entry points for networks, a security platform that provides full visibility, rock solid data and network protection; plus, unfettered performance to the professionals and consumers that rely on these devices to do their jobs — even protect property and human safety — is critical.

Last-generation firewalls aren’t up to the job for several reasons, most notably:

They’re not designed to protect against content and connection-based threats.

They put a drag on network performance, because they weren’t designed for heavy, IoT-generated traffic demands.

They lack the comprehensive, unified security required to monitor, share and respond to fast-changing threat intelligence in real time — increasing the chance that suspicious behaviors and potential threats will fall under the radar screen as IT struggles to piece together information from separate security applications.

Next Generation Firewalls Are The Answer

A fully integrated solution, a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) doesn’t have these limitations. Instead, it delivers all the security capabilities necessary to address modern threats in one powerful, centrally managed solution. This includes application inspection and control, website filtering, DPI (deep packet inspection) firewalls and intrusion prevention, to name a few.

The biggest advantage to all of this is 360-degree visibility of network traffic — which makes it easier to identify small threats before they snowball and flag unusual behaviors — both critical to improving data and network security along with incident response.

Not All NGFWs Are Created Equal

It’s important to keep in mind; however; that NGFWs vary from vendor to vendor in performance and security effectiveness. At neteffect technologies, we recommend going with an NGFW that’s been independently endorsed — such as the one offered by our partner, Fortinet.

Fortinet’s NGFW has been validated for performance and security effectiveness by NSS Labs, Virus Bulletin and AV Comparatives. A managed IT services provider in the Charlotte metropolitan area, we can offer you the benefits of Fortinet’s best-in-class NGFW to address this-generation threats. Contact us to learn more.

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