cyber security

Lake Business Products has identified 5 of the top cybersecurity threats for 2020 and what you can do to prevent them. 

Threat 1 – Phishing

Phishing is becoming one of the most common cyberattacks due to the high levels of interaction humans have on electronic communication.

In business offices, Straight Edge Technology sees this becoming even more of a threat as email and IM communication increase.

What should your company do to protect itself from phishing?

First, watch for unusual emails and instant messages.  They may start with unusual wording such as “Dear Customer” instead of using your name, and they often have a generic signature.

Second, be cautious in clicking links or giving sensitive information, even if it appears to be legitimate.  If in doubt, directly contact the source to make sure they sent the message.

And third, install anti-phishing toolbars on internet browsers.  These toolbars alert you to sites containing phishing information.

Threat 2 – Malware & Ransomware

Knowing many companies keep their data on servers connected to the internet, hackers are continually attempting to hack existing IT solutions.

What should your company do to protect itself from malware and ransomware?

First, make sure you keep all your computer software and hardware updated.  Outdated software, drivers, and other plugins are common security vulnerabilities.  If you have an IT service provider, check with them to make sure this is happening on your servers as well.

Second, enable click-to-play plugins that keep Flash or Java from running unless you click a link.  This reduces the risk of running malware programs with Flash or Java.

And third, removing old software, sometimes referred to as Legacy Apps, reduces risk.  For example, if you are running Windows 10, but you run programs designed for Windows 7, then these are Legacy Apps and may be a security risk.  Your software company should be able to give you an updated program designed for Windows 10.

Threat 3 – Database Exposure

Database exposure is what it sounds like:  Due to a security breach, database information is exposed to hacking or theft.

Database exposure occurs in a variety of ways.  Hackers might be able to steal login credentials through social engineering or use malware to gain access.

These databases include customer contact information, financial records, or identity records such as Social Security numbers.

What should your company do to protect itself from database exposure?

First, if you have a private server, keep the physical hardware in a secure and locked room.  This helps prevent theft if your building is robbed, and it keeps unauthorized personnel from accessing it with a portable hard drive.

Second, make sure you have a database firewall and web application firewall.  A locked door protects your physical server and hardware, and firewalls protect your server on the internet.  

Third, keep access to the server limited.  Each person with a login to the server is a potential leak, so the fewer logins the better.

And fourth, encrypt the data on the server and keep a regular backup.

Threat 4 – Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing is an attack geared toward stealing user access through login credentials.  This is most common in situations where the same login credentials are used for multiple sites or accounts.  

What should your company do to protect itself from credential stuffing?  

First, implement  2-Factor Authentication for account logins.  This requires email or phone verification along with the standard username and password. 

Second, use different passwords for every account and program your employees access.  If one account is hacked, the hacker will not be able to access more accounts with the same password.

And third, never share passwords with other people.  If you have a shared account for some reason, always give the password verbally, never through electronic communication.

Threat 5 – Accidental Sharing

We’ve all seen it happen, and maybe it’s happened to you:  The dreaded “Reply All” to an email when you only meant to reply to one or two people.  Suddenly, everyone in the office knows your true feelings about the manager.

Accidental sharing is a similar problem.  It occurs when information is shared or leaked accidentally, usually as a result of human error, not because of malware or a hacker.  

Accidental sharing includes personal or business data, and it is shared through emails, unsecured forms, messaging or social media platforms, and a host of other ways. 

What should your company do to protect itself from accidental sharing?

First, limit the number of employees who have access to data.  The more people who have access to information, the more likely human error will cause a problem.

And second, implement user activity monitoring software.  This will allow you to track and discover if your data is in danger.  It also provides solutions to prevent accidental sharing.

Network Security Strategy

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How effective is your current network security strategy? Are current IT program’s policies, practices, and technologies positioning your organization against current and future network security threats? 

The reality is that there are many cyber security threats for your business and  developing an effective IT security program can be a daunting challenge. Your security program must protect your most important data and systems, while mitigating the most potential and dangerous security threats. In addition, you must accomplish this all at a reasonable cost and with minimal business disruption. Lake Business Products can help!

To learn more, contact sales@lakebusiness.com or 1.800.443.4583.

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