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26
Dec
2019
It’s Time to Prioritize Cybersecurity for Your Business

It’s Time to Prioritize Cybersecurity for Your Business

As 2019 Comes to a Close

navitend would like to focus on this year’s top story – ransomware – which resulted in major operational disruptions and financial impacts for businesses and organizations throughout the US and New Jersey. State and local governments, healthcare institutions, and managed service providers and their clients were prime targets throughout 2019.

With many small and medium-sized businesses being damaged by ransomware incidents, the number of ransomware attacks affecting NJ organizations and businesses this past year has increased, as has the sophistication of the attack methods used and the ransoms demanded. Developments in the tactics used by threat actors are forcing victims that would choose not to pay the ransom to consider the implications of their organization being publicly named and their data being released if they do not pay.

 

In 2019, we saw ransomware variants such as Ryuk, Sodinokibi, Maze, and Buran. 

Learn about Ryuk  

Learn about Sodinokibi  

Learn about Maze  

Learn about Buran  

 

Users and Administrators are Advised to Follow Cybersecurity Best Practices to Reduce Their Risk of a Ransomware Infection

While ransomware infections are not entirely preventable due to the effectiveness of well-crafted phishing emails and drive-by downloads from otherwise legitimate sites, organizations can drastically reduce their risk by implementing cybersecurity strategies and improving cybersecurity awareness and practices of all employees.  The most effective strategy to mitigate the risk of data loss resulting from a successful ransomware attack is having a comprehensive data backup process in place; however, backups must be stored off the network and tested regularly to ensure integrity.  To increase the likelihood of preventing ransomware infections, organizations must conduct regular training exercises and awareness briefings with all employees to ensure understanding of safe-browsing techniques and how to avoid phishing attempts. 

Businesses should protect themselves against Malware, a malicious software that when inserted into your system/network, can compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data, applications, and operating system.  Many different types of malware include, Adware, Ransomware, Rootkits, Spyware, Trojans, Viruses, Worms and Logic Bombs.  Malware infections not only cause adverse impacts to organizations operations but, depending on the breadth of the infection and the criticality of the systems impacted, they can also result in risks to health and public safety, revenue loss, legal consequences and reputational damages.  All organizations are advised to utilize proactive measures to help prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from malware incidents.   

Whatever the size of your business, following the basic cybersecurity measures can help you build the trust of your customers, and prevent your company from financial loss and loss of business if there is a data breach.  In short, keeping your customers data safe is a significant responsibility that business owners should not take lightly.  If you have questions about cybersecurity in your organization, it’s best to speak with professionals who can help your company undergo a security audit, spot weaknesses in your network and overall IT operations, and help you establish cybersecurity best practices.

 

These Steps Can Help You Get Started:

1.  Access Your Cybersecurity Strengths and Weaknesses

navitend recommends you start by answering these 6 key questions.

(a) Who is responsible for cybersecurity within your firm?

(b) How well do you vet your vendors?

(c) What is your incident response plan?

(d) How do you educate your employees?

(e) What are your vulnerability assessment and penetration testing methodologies?

(f) How are you meeting your industry’s regulations and compliance obligations?

 

2.  Undergo a Security Audit

A security audit, performed by IT and networking professionals, ensures that your company is following cybersecurity best practices. Your auditors should be able to identify vulnerabilities in your network that could lead to a breach and offer a plan of action to fix those security risks.

navitend notes that firewalls and anti-virus software should all be up-to-date, and traffic on your network should be limited to only necessary users. Multiple security layers can ensure employees can access the documents they need while keeping customer data secure.

 

3.  Implement the Right Training to Teach Employees Cybersecurity Best Practices

Whenever you have to tighten the security, you have to take into account the weakest link in the security chain, which is the human factor.  Train your employees on how to avoid phishing emails, how to recognize the latest cybersecurity scams, and how to protect their passwords. 

navitend recommends password manager applications to make it easy to set secure, hard-to-crack passwords.  Be sure to choose a password manager you can trust, with multi-key encryption and multi-factor authentication.

 

People are the Front Line of a Cyber Attack

In conclusion, all organizations regardless of their industry need to be constantly evolving their cybersecurity practices to stay current.  Businesses that fall behind that are most susceptible to attack.  navitend will continue to work hard to help our customers prepare their people, processes and technology to deal with cybersecurity threats.  Keep in mind, technololgy alone cannot stop a breach, companies NEED to educate their employees about data and security.  If you have any questions feel free to call our office at 973-448-0070 ext 312 and ask for Patrice.

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