What an MSP does that you can’t to protect yourself from Ransomware

What an MSP can do that you can’t to protect yourself from Ransomware

Managed Service Providers are experts in protecting against cybercrime, just as you are an expert in producing and selling a product or service. Focus your energies where they are put to the best use. Your MSP will work to protect your business from ransomware attacks. Here are several ways they will work to keep your business safe.

Proactive Monitoring and Threat Detection

MSPs employ advanced monitoring tools and technologies to actively monitor your systems and networks for any signs of ransomware activity. Many MSPs offer 24-7 remote monitoring that includes checking for real-time threats. This proactive approach enables early detection of potential ransomware attacks, allowing fast action to be taken to mitigate the risk before the “datanapping” occurs.

Endpoint Security

Your MSP can implement endpoint protection solutions, a fancy term for tools that include firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection applications. These tools are crucial in preventing ransomware from infiltrating your network in the first place. MSPs also work to be sure that these security measures are up to date and properly configured. (Remember: data security isn’t a one-time project. Criminals are always changing their methods, so what protected you last week, may not work today. An MSP has the resources to keep your security up to date.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

One of the most effective defenses against ransomware is a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plan. MSPs can design and coordinate backup procedures that ensure regular, automated backups of your critical data. These backups are stored securely and can be easily restored in the event of a ransomware attack. MSPs can also coordinate testing the backup restoration process to minimize downtime.

Security evaluations: How safe is your data?

One key way to protect yourself against any crime is to evaluate where you are most vulnerable. Where is the door with the broken lock? MSPs conduct thorough security assessments to identify weaknesses in your infrastructure. They perform regular vulnerability scans to identify potential entry points for ransomware attacks. By identifying and patching vulnerabilities promptly, MSPs significantly reduce the risk of a successful ransomware attack.

Disaster Recovery: Keeping things going

In the event of a successful ransomware attack, MSPs play a critical role in incident response and remediation. They have dedicated teams of cybersecurity experts who are skilled in handling such incidents. MSPs are able to respond swiftly to contain the attack, isolate infected systems, and get you operational as quickly as possible. Their expertise ensures a coordinated and effective response, minimizing the impact of the attack and expediting the restoration of normal operations.

Employee Training

MSPs recognize the importance of every employee in preventing ransomware attacks. As mentioned above, the crude but simple phishing email remains a very effective way to infiltrate an organization’s technology. MSP’s offer training to employees, enabling them to identify and respond to potential threats. By promoting a culture of cybersecurity awareness, MSPs help businesses create a human firewall that can actively prevent ransomware attacks. MSPs have the time to focus on creating and maintaining these training programs so that you don’t have to.

24/7 Monitoring and Support

MSPs offer round-the-clock monitoring and support to ensure constant watch against ransomware attacks. They provide timely response to alerts, address security incidents promptly, and offer ongoing support and guidance to businesses. This continuous monitoring and support significantly enhances the overall security level of your organization.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) play a pivotal role in safeguarding businesses against the growing threat of ransomware. Through proactive monitoring, endpoint protection, backup and disaster recovery planning, security evaluations, incident response, user education, and 24/7 support, MSPs provide comprehensive defense strategies. Engaging the services of an MSP allows businesses to focus on their core operations with the confidence that their data and systems are protected from ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks pose a significant threat to businesses with the potential for severe financial and brand damage. By understanding the nature of ransomware, adopting preventive measures, and partnering with a managed service provider, you have the greatest possible chance to avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack.

Protecting Your Business: Safeguarding Against Ransomware Attacks

Protecting Your Business: Safeguarding Against Ransomware Attacks

In today’s digital age, businesses face an ever-increasing threat from cybercriminals, and one of the most prevalent and damaging forms of cyberattack is ransomware. Ransomware attacks can cripple an organization, leading to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage. However, by implementing robust cybersecurity measures and adopting best practices, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to ransomware attacks. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies to safeguard your business against ransomware and ensure business continuity.

  • Employee Education and Awareness:
  • A well-informed and security-conscious workforce is the first line of defense against ransomware attacks. Regularly educate your employees about cybersecurity best practices, such as recognizing phishing emails, avoiding suspicious downloads, and practicing strong password hygiene. Conduct training sessions, share informative resources, and encourage employees to report any potential security threats promptly.
  • Implement a Multi-Layered Security Approach:
  • Having a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is crucial to protect your business against ransomware. Adopt a multi-layered security approach that includes the following elements:
    1. Endpoint Protection: Install reliable and up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware software on all devices within your network. Enable real-time scanning and automatic updates to detect and block potential threats.
    2. Firewall and Intrusion Detection Systems: Deploy robust firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor network traffic and prevent unauthorized access. Regularly update and patch these systems to address any vulnerabilities.
    3. Secure Backup and Disaster Recovery: Regularly back up your critical data and ensure backups are stored securely, preferably offline or in a separate, isolated network. Test data restoration processes periodically to ensure backups are viable.
    4. Network Segmentation: Divide your network into smaller segments to limit the spread of ransomware. Implement strict access controls and ensure sensitive data is only accessible to authorized individuals.
  • Keep Software and Systems Updated:
  • Outdated software and operating systems are common entry points for ransomware attacks. Regularly update all software applications, including web browsers, email clients, and operating systems. Enable automatic updates whenever possible to ensure prompt installation of security patches and bug fixes.

  • Email Security Measures:
  • Email remains one of the primary vectors for ransomware distribution. Implement robust email security measures, including:
    1. Spam Filters: Utilize advanced spam filters to block suspicious emails and prevent phishing attempts from reaching employee inboxes.
    2. Email Authentication: Implement email authentication protocols like Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) to prevent email spoofing.
    3. User Awareness: Educate employees about email security best practices, including verifying sender addresses, avoiding clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources, and reporting any suspicious emails promptly.
  • Regular Data Backups and Testing:
  • Frequent data backups are essential to mitigate the impact of a ransomware attack. Implement a robust backup strategy that includes automated backups and periodic testing of data restoration processes. Ensure backups are stored securely and kept separate from the main network to prevent ransomware from infecting them.
  • Incident Response and Business Continuity Plan:
  • Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a ransomware attack. The plan should include procedures for isolating affected systems, notifying stakeholders, engaging law enforcement, and restoring operations. Regularly review and update the plan to reflect changes in technology and emerging threats.
  • Regular Security Audits and Penetration Testing:
  • Periodically conduct security audits and penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities in your network infrastructure and applications. Engage with ethical hackers to simulate real-world attack scenarios and identify potential weaknesses.

8 Ways an MSP can help implement an AI solution

8 Ways an MSP can help implement an AI solution

AI has some real attractions, and now that it has become so advanced, it has gained the attention of the public and the media. However, just because something is a fad, doesn’t mean that it is either new or something everyone needs. Before an organization, especially a small- to medium-sized business, initiates the use of AI in its business processes, it needs to understand that because the tool is so powerful, it also comes with some real risks. Although its predictive capabilities can be transformative for business, they can also be wrong or present legal and ethical issues. As a result, businesses should utilize the experience and skills of experts with a deep knowledge of AI and how it may be applied to your specific organizational goals.

Eight ways an MSP can help with an AI solution

AI, on its own, is a complex tool. It is also a tool that can be misapplied. Remember, the term artificial is key. To be used effectively and wisely, AI needs to be applied by someone with experience using it in your particular business. An MSP can offer the following to help you begin to integrate an AI solution into any aspect of your business.

Step one: Are there potential places where you might use AI? This is where your MSP can be of help. They understand your business and can help identify where it might assist your operations or marketing, for example.

Step two: Understand your KPIs and organizational goals, from the top down. It is obvious, but too often forgotten. What are your goals? What are the measures of success? What do you identify as the key strategies? AI needs to fit into that framework.

Step three: Narrow down a range of possible AI solutions. An MSP is going to have enough depth of knowledge of AI applications to steer you to the most appropriate ones. goals.

Step four: Estimate the solution’s ROI. Measurement matters. You need to understand the costs and ROI of each possible collusion. Just because it is trendy doesn’t mean AI makes sense in all cases. This will guide you to make the most effective use of your resources.

Step five: Ensure compliance: For example HIPAA, PCI. HITRUST. ISO27001, SOC1, SOC2. AI is a powerful and potentially intrusive tool. Compliance is critical.

Step six: Get it up and running. An MSP can implement the solution for you. Most business owners do not have the resources available for what can be a very time-intensive project.

Step seven: Manage risks. Post-implementation: AI is a sophisticated tool, and things can go wrong and need ongoing monitoring, an issue that most businesses do not have the in-house resources to address. Examples of ongoing tasks include password management, security patches, and updates, as well as monitoring response

Step eight: Ongoing evaluation for effectiveness and reliability. Remember, nothing is stagnant in business. Technologies change, the competitive environment changes. Your organization moves forward. Make sure you commit to ongoing reviews of the effectiveness of your chosen solution.

In the end, AI can be useful. But, as with any powerful tool, it can cause a lot of trouble if used by an organization without experience. Small-to-medium-sized businesses lack the in-house IT resources and depth of knowledge to implement and maintain an AI infrastructure. An MSP can bring that to the table.

Eight ways an MSP can help with an AI solution

Eight ways an MSP can help with an AI solution

AI, on its own, is a complex tool. It is also a tool that can be misapplied. Remember, the term artificial is key. To be used effectively and wisely, AI needs to be applied by someone with experience using it in your particular business. An MSP can offer the following to help you begin to integrate an AI solution into any aspect of your business.

Step one: Assess your organization’s potential use of AI. Basically, with the holistic understanding of your business that an MSP has, they can evaluate where there is opportunity, and prioritize where to implement first

Step two: Understand your KPIs and organizational goals, from the top down. Before you do anything, it is essential to articulate your specific goals. What do you identify as the key strategies and how will you measure your success?

Step three: Propose a possible range of AI solutions. Here is an area where your MSP can be of particular value. An MSP will be knowledgeable about the variety of applications out there and lead you to select those most appropriate for your goals.

Step four: Estimate the solution’s ROI. Remember, measurement is important. And you can not do everything. So identify each potential AI solution’s ROI. This will guide you to make the most effective use of your resources.

Step five: Ensure compliance: For example HIPAA, PCI. HITRUST. ISO27001, SOC1, SOC2. AI is a powerful and potentially intrusive tool. Compliance is critical.

Step six: Implement the solution. An MSP can implement the solution for you. Most business owners do not have the resources available for what can be a time-intensive project.

Step seven : Manage tool-related risks. This is a post-implementation issue that most businesses do not have the in-house resources to maintain long term. Examples of ongoing tasks include password management, security patches, and updates, as well as monitoring response

Step eight: Ongoing evaluation for effectiveness and reliability. Remember, nothing is stagnant in business. Technologies change, the competitive environment changes. Your organization moves forward. Make sure you commit to ongoing reviews of the effectiveness of your chosen solution.

In the end, AI can be useful. But with any powerful tool, it can cause a lot of trouble if used by an organization without experience. Small to medium sized businesses lack the in-house IT resources and depth of knowledge to implement and maintain an AI infrastructure. An MSP can bring that to the table.

AI: Marketing and other sample uses- A quick introduction

AI: Marketing and other sample uses- A quick introduction

As you are likely very aware, Artificial Intelligence has become a real attention getter in the business world, as well as public media. One cannot be looking at the news everyday without coming across some article discussing AI. However, just because something is a fad, doesn’t mean that it is either new or something everyone needs. AI has been around for a long time. Anyone who has purchased something from a website is well aware of the “ others who bought “X”, have also been interested in …” feature. That feature has been around for decades. That feature is an example of AI. A simple but helpful understanding of AI is that it is able to attempt to find patterns and suggest predictions by sifting through enormous quantities of data. Quantities of data that would make seeing patterns an insurmountable human task.

Just to get a general understanding how AI is being used to meet organizational objectives, improve processes, marketing, recruiting, and even worker safety, let’s look at a few diverse examples.

Worker Safety: AI can sift through data to notice patterns of worker injury to identify safety problems in a manufacturing sector business. Simple aggregate statistics ( 5 injuries per day ) doesn’t help identify where the risks actually are, and certainly doesn’t identify key areas of risk) Where are things going wrong? Maybe patterns in time suggest worker fatigue. Maybe it identifies a certain activity that presents safety issues.

Demand Forecasting in Retail: Determining how much to stock of what item for a coming sales season can be as much an art as a quantifiable skill. As a result, companies can see real hits to the bottom line when they make a mistake. Just observing how much sold this month last year isn’t a sufficient predictor for the coming period. What about the weather? Bad economic news. Construction on a nearby road that is now finished this year. The endless factors that may influence buying decisions can be used to forecast demand more accurately.

Disease Screening in Healthcare: AI has the capacity to potentially use data to identify or eliminate certain diagnoses that an individual medical professional whose experience is necessarily finite, might be able to do. Like much else, there are ethical issues that can make AI a complex tool, but there is much potential.

Disease Tracking: The pandemic was practically an instructional video on the value of AI. Tools that could identify all of those who had likely contracted with someone who tested positive for Covid -19? That was AI at work.

Just in Time Inventory: Just in time inventory means that manufacturers avoid the costs associated with inventory that sit unused until needed. Identifying along a very long supply chain how inventory can be built and shipped to arrive just in time is no simple task. AI is a key component of that inventory model.

Customer Retention: Like other areas, you probably can collect more information about your customers than you can make sense of. So, why did they leave? You may have the answer, but it may actually be a calculus of many factors. AI can help identify all of the issues that may have led a customer to leave. Without AI, you may incorrectly attribute it to one single factor.

AI and Marketing: Why are marketers so interested?

AI has potential applications in the marketing end of any business, large or small. AI may offer you some new tools to more effectively market without expanding your present marketing resources. Marketers, in particular, may find AI useful in these three general categories-

Collecting Data about Prospective Customers– Even small businesses can collect a significant amount of data. AI can allow you to analyze that data. No matter how much data you collect, it is useless unless you can synthesize it, see patterns, etc. The human capacity to make sense of the massive amount of data we collect is limited.

Using Data to Market More Effectively– Even the most novice marketer knows that the more you know about each prospect the easier it will be to target them. The more you know their needs, the more you can explain how your product or service meets those needs. AI allows you to do more with the data you collect- to make sense of it so you can use it.

Generating the RIght Message– AI may be also able, to a certain degree, assist you in creating the messaging to reach your target. However, it is important to recognize that AI is not a silver bullet.

Marketing and AI

Marketing and AI

Suddenly, everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (AI). It is constantly in the news now. It suddenly is looming like some intimidating Terminator. However, AI is not a toggle switch that was suddenly turned on one day this year. AI is everywhere and has been around for far longer than most of us are aware. We just didn’t realize it.

Ever think about how Instagram shows you reels based on your past views? Youtube does the same. Amazon makes recommendations based on your browsing and purchase history. By the newest standard, that is old hat AI, but it is AI. Lately, significant advances have been made that increased the power of these learning algorithms exponentially. The new tools Chat GPT, BARD, Well-said are examples very widely covered in the media.

Why are businesses so interested?

There are a wide variety of uses for AI in the business space, from project management to customer service.
A bit of background, it might be helpful to take a quick survey of places where AI is being deployed.

Before looking at examples, let’s discuss why use AI in any area at all?

Given technology, any organization has the capacity to collect–from the perspective of a human–an incomprehensibly large amount of data on almost any subject. This data can be used to do many things, but there is so much of it, we have a limited capacity to see patterns and synthesize. AI has the capacity to do that.

Three examples:

Demand forecasting in retail: Who doesn’t want the magic bullet to decide how much to stock for each season? However, just observing how much sold this month last year isn’t a sufficient predictor. What about the weather? Bad economic news. Construction on a nearby road that is now finished this year. The endless factors that may influence buying decisions can be used to forecast demand more accurately.

Disease screening in healthcare: AI has the capacity to potentially use data to identify or eliminate certain diagnoses that an individual medical professional whose experience is necessarily finite, might be able to do. Like much else, there are ethical issues that can make AI a complex tool, but there is much potential.

Customer retention: Like other areas, you probably can collect more information about your customers than you can make sense of. So, why did they leave? You may have the answer, but it may actually be a calculus of many factors. AI can help identify all of the issues that may have led a customer to leave. Without AI, you may incorrectly attribute it to one single factor.

Why are marketers so interested?

AI has potential applications in the marketing end of any business, large or small. Marketers, in particular, may find AI useful in these three general categories-

Collecting Data about prospective customers – Even small businesses can collect a significant amount of data. AI can allow you to analyze that data. No matter how much data you collect, it is useless unless you can synthesize it, see patterns, etc. The human capacity to make sense of the massive amount of data we collect is limited.

Using data to market more effectively – Even the most novice marketer knows that the more you know about each prospect the easier it will be to target them. The more you know their needs, the more you can explain how your product or service meets those needs. AI allows you to do more with the data you collect- to make sense of it so you can use it.

Generating the right message – AI may be also able, to a certain degree, assist you in creating the messaging to reach your target. However, it is important to recognize that AI is not a silver bullet.

In short, AI may offer you some new tools to more effectively market without expanding your present marketing resources.

Passwords They seem to have been with us forever

Passwords: They seem to have been with us forever.

As we continue to suggest things you can do to protect the integrity of your company and customer data, here is a blog that covers an old level of security that we still rely on everyday. That protection is the password, so let’s talk about bedding up your employee’s handling of passwords.

Password hygiene – Passwords remain the most common everyday tool to ensure only authorized personnel have access to secure material. The issue is that passwords need maintenance and attention to be effective. Here are some common problems to avoid. And again, this requires a routine employee training program.

  1. Passwords that are too simple
    Simple passwords are easy to remember but easy to crack. Words, in any language, are not ideal either. That is why many sites require a mix of letters, characters, and numbers. And yes, some people are still using Myname123.
  2. One universal password
    Sometimes people find it difficult to remember multiple passwords for various files and applications, so they use a single good, strong password everywhere. This renders the good password virtually pointless and also increases the amount of damage that can be inflicted in the event that one ‘good’ password is compromised.
  3. Unauthorized password sharing
    Generally done with benign intentions, employees often share passwords for convenience or to expedite handling the sharing of data. Not good.
  4. Writing down passwords
    Sometimes, people follow all password best practices but find it difficult to remember complicated passwords and then write them down on a piece of paper or worse still, make a file containing all the passwords and store it in their email or computer. This is almost like giving away the keys to your property to a burglar.
  5. Forgetting to change passwords to change passwords or revoke access.
    This is an issue where the staff is busy and turnover is high. Managers may fail to remember to change the passwords once a staff member quits, leaving company data vulnerable. This is especially likely in a small company where there may not be a centralized IT staff that oversees data security and access.

Remember, having a password is not sufficient. Having the right kind of password and following good password hygiene is.

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) – When a password isn’t enough, the next step to improve security is MFA. MFA layers a second authenticator (e.g. another code, picture) etc.) on top of the password requirement. The idea is that if a password is being used by someone not authorized to do so, they won’t be able to provide the second piece of information. Consumers almost always encounter it when accessing financial services sites, but MFA is becoming more common across the board. If you use a credit card at a gas station, that request for your zip code after you insert your credit card is an example of MFA.

Prying eyes: Keeping your data safe

Prying eyes: Keeping your data safe

Even the simplest business possesses data that is proprietary and confidential. Customer and prospects lists, sales data, and personal data about customers such as their credit cards, names, addresses, birth dates. Maybe even medical information or social security numbers. If any of this data is compromised, you could face legal and reputational consequences. It is important you stay vigilant in making sure this data is as safe as it can be from cybercriminals.

If you have extremely confidential data, it may be important to use methods to address physical access. Should your server rooms be key-coded or require biometric access? Access codes for physical entry to a room are relatively simple to install. However, passcodes are pretty easy to steal or they can be shared by employees. In addition to limiting access they can also identify when and who accessed a secure location. One step beyond passcode entry is biometric authentication. Examples of biometric tools are fingerprint, iris or facial recognition. The advantages to these are clear. They cannot be easily stolen and for the user, there is no passcode to remember or a keycard to lose. An MSP can provide guidance about how to go about installing a biometric authentication system to secure specific locations.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is one excellent tool out there that can protect against one of the most common tricks criminals use to get into your data banks. That tool is employee training about phishing emails and fake websites. Phishing emails, the emails that trick you into opening a link that has been corrupted, remain a tried and true method for cybercriminals. What is the best defense? Employee training on how to avoid falling into the trap. The simplest maxim to remember? If in ANY doubt, don’t open a link. If there is any reason for suspicion, delete the email and forget about it. Also, look at the email address of the sender. Is it legitimate or is it misspelled or have a few extra characters or numbers that aren’t familiar.

What about the usage of passwords? Passwords can be hacked and stolen. there is another tool available to make passwords safer. You can make passwords more secure using multi factor authentication(MFA). MFA is pretty simple. It requires a second level of verification to prove that the password is being used by the individual authorized to use it. Examples of MFA are ATM machines that require a card AND a password. MFA very commonly requires the user to submit a code that is sent to another platform. (You’ve probably encountered this one if you use online banking)
Also, update your software. Immediately. Whenever you get an alert to update anything. Do it then. Don’t put it off until tomorrow because this update may have been released to address a recently discovered threat. This is a very simple thing to do and will offer significant protection. Additionally, your Managed Service provider may offer clients a subscription to day zero alerts. These are texts or emails that are sent out whenever a new virus or vulnerability has been discovered.

Among those firms who take risk management seriously, there is a growing awareness of the need to consider some manner of insurance to protect against the costs of cybercrime. When all else fails, and your data has been breached, how can you protect your business financially? Standard commercial property insurance policies do not generally include provisions for the damages from cybercrime. In a growing number of commercial policies, they are specifically excluded. As a result, executives who recognize the catastrophic damage that a cyberattack can inflict on their business are looking at cyber insurance to transfer the financial losses to a third party. However, there are some pretty deep weeds to get into when looking for a cyber insurance policy. Just for one example, some policies may create requirements and security standards you must meet before an event will be considered a covered loss. A Managed Service Provider can offer guidance into whether this is an avenue to explore.

In conclusion, there are several tools that you can use to protect your data from cybercriminals. They range from the very simple to the highly sophisticated. Your MSP can be of help in adopting any or all of these tools. From providing employee training all the way to biometric solutions.

Four Basics to follow for Everyday Data Security

Four Basics to follow for Everyday Data Security

One of the biggest questions we get from clients and prospects is “What can we do to protect ourselves from cyber attacks?” It is a sensible concern. A cyber attack that freezes operations or seizes data can ultimately shut a company down for good. There are some basic, simple things you can do to protect your company and there are more sophisticated tools available. In this blog, we look over a spectrum of 4 things you can do to improve your data security, from the simple to the high tech.

  1. Employee training – It may seem so simple, but training your employees on an ongoing basis about their role in cyber security may be the best thing you can do. Why? Because well-meaning people do things when they get near a computer that can be very risky.

Simple things like forbidding the use of external storage devices being brought to the workplace. One of the more notorious data breaches occurred because a subcontractor employee–who had access to a large corporation’s IT infrastructure–found a thumb drive in the parking lot and plugged it in to see what was on it. Beyond that, simple phishing scams are still very effective at tricking people into opening nefarious websites. Ask your MSP for guidance on creating ongoing training programs that explain phishing scams and similar tricks and instruct everyone how to avoid them. Do it on a regular basis. It is easy to forget and let your guard down.

  1. Software updates – This one is also basic, but it carries a lot of value. Each time you receive a notice about a software update, stop and do it then. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. These updates not only provide new, improved features. They often provide fixes to vulnerabilities in the software or address threats and viruses that have developed.

  1. Zero day alerts – Zero Day alerts are kind of like a neighborhood crime alert. You are busy running your own company and your time is not spent tracking the latest threats developing out there in the cyber world. Your MSP may offer text or email alerts about new threats and how to protect yourself from them.
  2. Finally, there is a more complex, after the fact, security precaution you can take. Cyber insurance. Cyber insurance may be able to cover some or most of the losses incurred as a result of a security breach. It won’t defend your data proactively, but, should the worst happen, it may provide protection against loss revenue and damages. Standard commercial property insurance policies do not generally include provisions for the damages from cybercrime. In a growing number of commercial policies, they are specifically excluded. As a result, executives who recognize the catastrophic damage that a cyberattack can inflict on their business are looking at cyber insurance to transfer the financial losses to a third party. However, there are some pretty deep weeds to get into when looking for a cyber insurance policy. Just for one example, some policies may create requirements and security standards you must meet before an event will be considered a covered loss. A Managed Service Provider can offer guidance into whether this is an avenue to explore.

    So there you have it. You have to protect your organization from the threats and consequences of data losses due to a security breach.

5 ways to make passwords more effective

5 ways to make passwords more effective

You should be using an array of security tools to protect your business data. Some can be highly sophisticated, but there is one tool that we all still rely on heavily to secure access to our business systems and data. The password. But they can be hacked and shared. As long as we still rely on them, are there things we can do to make them more effective?
Yes. There are two main areas where you can improve the security of passwords. One is improving the security of the password itself, the second is multi-factor authentication.

First, there is the password itself. This is often known as password hygiene. Good password hygiene includes

Passwords that are too simple

Simple passwords are easy to remember but easy to crack. Words, in any language, are not ideal either. That is why many sites require a mix of letters, characters, and numbers. easy to And yes, some people are still using password123.

One universal password

Sometimes people find it difficult to remember multiple passwords for various files and applications, so they use a single good, strong password everywhere. This renders the good password virtually pointless and also increases the amount of damage that can be inflicted in the event that one ‘good’ password is compromised.

Unauthorized password sharing

Generally done with benign intentions, employees often share passwords for convenience or to expedite handling the sharing of data. Not good.

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Writing down passwords

Sometimes, people follow all password best practices but find it difficult to remember complicated passwords and then write them down on a piece of paper or worse still, make a file containing all the passwords and store it in their email or computer. This is almost like giving away the keys to your property to a burglar.

Forgetting to change passwords or revoke access

This is especially an issue where the staff is busy and turnover is high. Managers may fail to remember to change the passwords once a staff member quits, leaving company data vulnerable. This is especially likely in a small company where there may not be a centralized IT staff that oversees data security and access.

Remember, having a password is not the solution. Having the right kind of password and following good password hygiene is.