How To Weed Out Cyber Threats Before They Overrun Your Environment

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in netCare

The increasing frequency and seriousness of systems breaches have elevated the importance of actively searching for indicators of compromise. Detecting such indicators and mitigating the impact of a breach requires an organization to gain a full understanding of their network environment under “normal” conditions. Performing regular cyber threat assessments can give you the information you need to keep your system safe.

Cybersecurity market is growing.

Cyberattacks have been growing at an alarming rate. In Q3 of 2016 alone, 18 million new malware samples were captured. More than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred each day since 2016. In response, the cybersecurity market has been growing in leaps and bounds. In 2004, the market was worth $3.5 billion. In 2017 it’s expected to be worth more than $20 billion — potentially reaching $1 trillion by 2021.

Gaps exist between time-to-compromise and time-to-discovery.

Despite increasing investments in cybersecurity, organizations will inevitably face attacks. Often, they won’t even know they’ve been breached. That’s a problem because detecting and responding to attacks swiftly is essential to mitigating risk. According to one report, 60% of data is stolen within the first few hours. But as the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report shows, 83% of compromises took weeks to uncover, with some companies taking as long as 200 days to detect a breach.

What are the top vulnerabilities organizations face?

The top cybersecurity vulnerabilities facing organizations today fall into three categories.

  1. Outdated and unpatched systems. You only have to look at the recent WannaCry and PetYa ransomware attacks to see the what happens when patches aren’t deployed as soon as they’re available.

  2. Insider threats. While outside attacks are much more frequent than inside attacks, employees still inadvertently cause breaches — often by falling for phishing scams. Of the 874 incidents reported to the Ponemon Institute for its 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study, 586 were caused by employee or contractor negligence.

  3. Daring exploits. Hackers are taking a “leave no vulnerability behind” approach, attacking vulnerabilities both old and new. According to Fortinets’s Q4 2016 Threat Landscape report, 86% of firms registered attacks that attempted to exploit vulnerabilities over a decade old.  

Recognizing indicators of compromise

By establishing a baseline of your system’s and employees’ normal behavior, anomalies become more visible. There are several common red flags that businesses should look out for:

  • Reduced network operating speeds or heavy network traffic from a workstation

  • Antivirus and other security software that is disabled or not operating properly  

  • Machines restarting or shutting down without warning

  • Unexpected destination IPs outside of customers and services locations

  • Strange and failed entries in firewall and security logs

However, identifying known red flags isn’t enough because they constantly change and evolve. Additional steps must be taken to keep up with new threats.

Prevention as a Policy

A smart cyber threat prevention strategy starts with focusing cybersecurity on known vulnerabilities. An effective way to find them is to perform a cyber threat assessment to identify where your most valuable assets reside, weak links in your security, unsanctioned applications and network usage patterns. We offer to assess your network for free, click here

A partner of Fortinet, neteffect can help you make sense of the results. Our experts know how to dig deep for indicators of compromise and help secure your organization from future attacks. Contact us.

Why Ignoring Disaster Recovery is Bad for Small Business

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in netCare

More small businesses are moving their data, apps and other digital resources to the cloud. However, considering the rising number of cyber threats directed at cloud use and their potential impact on small companies, putting a solid disaster recovery plan in place should be a critical component of any small business cybersecurity plan.

Experts predict that by 2020, 78% of small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) will use the cloud to back up their data. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t realize their use of the cloud entails risk. Case in point; 58% do not have a plan in place to deal with data loss and 60% of companies that experience a loss of data shut down within six months. Here are two more reasons why SMBs can no longer ignore disaster recovery.

There’s Risk in Cloud Adoption

The cloud offers SMBs considerable advantages over on-site networks and storage, including scalability, speed and ease of access. In addition, with the rise of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS), a growing number of business services are now cloud-based and provide users with automatic cloud-based backup and storage.

Just as on-site servers and hard drives are vulnerable to physical damage and theft, the cloud is not immune to downtime or disruption. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced a four-hour outage that impacted hundreds of thousands of websites across the U.S. and a Microsoft Azure  disruption prevented customers from provisioning their storage resources. In other cases, cyber criminals are hunting for vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructures that could give them access to corporate data and networks. Considering the speed in which new infrastructure and applications are brought online and scaled to the cloud to meet business demand, cybersecurity teams can’t adequately track of network expansion—this is especially true of SMBs with limited IT resources. This results in a lack of oversight and control—something that’s especially dangerous in a public or hosted cloud environment.

Recovery Requires Planning

The best defense against cloud risk is a robust business continuity/disaster recovery (BDR) plan that minimizes downtime and allows SMBs to continue operations as soon as possible. This should provide for risks to both physical network and cloud infrastructure to minimize the impact to business continuity. Depending on the size of the company, the BDR should include:

  • A risk and impact analysis to determine network vulnerability and potential impact of a disaster on the business.
  • A network analysis to assess and map on-site and cloud-based systems.
  • Backup and recovery location designation, including hard-drive backup systems, remote colocation backups, as well as virtual computers and servers.
  • Automated, high-frequency backups.
  • The creation and implementation of a BDR protocol that details the full BDR strategy, including a realistic disaster recovery plan.
  • Employee education on BDR protocol and disaster recovery plans.

neteffect technologies can help you develop and execute a BDR strategy that meets your needs, whether on premises or as-a-service. As a Fortinet partner, neteffect can deliver the advantages of a security fabric approach for integrated network protection that minimizes the potential for disaster by providing you with end-to-end, consolidated next-generation cybersecurity. Contact us at 704-688-7170 for more information.

What Do Living Wills Have In Common With Disaster Recovery?

Written by neteffect technologies. Posted in netCare

If you’re a normal human, you probably don’t like thinking about death. But the hard truth is, while 100% of us will face death eventually, only 25% of us have living wills. 

Likewise, too many small businesses put off planning to avert the demise of their business from data loss—and not enough have a disaster recovery plan.

Disaster Planning: Businesses Are Just as Bad

As many as 140,000 small business hard drives fail in the US each week, and more than 58% of them aren’t prepared for it.

But what’s even scarier than that? Small Business Trends says that 90% of companies suffering from data loss will fail within a year if they can’t resume operations just five days following a disaster. Protecting your hard drive from cybercrime and tech failure is literally a matter of life or death for your company.

Whether it’s a question of cybersecurity or accidental data loss, it can all be prevented with the right managed security services provider.

The Risks Are Too Great

What if your offices are flooded? What if your hard drives are damaged in an accident? What if you’re the victim of cybercrime? Or what if your tech simply fails?

Would you be able to get back up in running quickly?

It’s simply too much risk to leave up to chance. You can start by backing up everything on-site and in the cloud, checking in on your backup systems regularly (weekly is preferred), and backing up your data to the cloud daily. 

That’s a good start. But let’s talk about what else you can do to protect yourself.

You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

You wouldn’t write your will yourself. (Or, at least, you shouldn’t.) So why try to DIY your cybersecurity?

What you need is a disaster recovery plan. A well-thought out disaster recovery plan gives you the clarity of mind and roadmap to know exactly what to do next — as well as who’s responsible for doing it and how.

A managed security services provider like neteffect technologies can make building this plan a million times easier. One huge advantage to working with neteffect is benefiting from their partnership with Fortinet. Fortinet’s security fabric approach provides end-to-end protection for your entire organization in your data center, across all endpoints and the cloud.

 It’s the same reason people hire lawyers to help write their wills: It’s much safer and easier to get help from an expert who’ll be sure to cover all your bases than to scramble to do it yourself and wonder if you’re making mistakes that’ll leave you vulnerable down the road.

neteffect + Fortinet: The BCDR Dream Team

The Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery dream team, that is. And the cybersecurity experts. And the “getting you back on the ground running” experts.

Our advice? If you’re worried about high cyber crime stats, if you find the stats mentioned above on victims being forced to shut down (90%—in case you forgot), if you know you’re just as susceptible as anyone to data loss but want to know you’ll be okay when it happens, talk to neteffect so you can start building your disaster recovery plan now, 704-688-7170.

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