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The importance of disaster recovery testing

With all the cyber security threats, the importance of disaster recovery testing has become more critical to businesses that any other time before.

According to Gartner a leading research and advisory company, it is estimated that businesses lose an estimated $336,000 per hour or $5,600 per minute due to cyber security breach or unforeseen downtime.  This includes network downtime, loss of productivity, and much more.   Therefore, organizations need to test their Disaster Recovery (DR) plans regularly.  Due to the large opportunity for lost productivity, operational efficiency, and brand damage, the potential data loss and downtime is likely to keep even the most experienced IT departments or managed IT services providers awake at night. Hence the importance of disaster recovery testing.

The number of businesses that do disaster recovery (DR) testing is lower than one would expect.  The recent study surveyed 150 organizations and found that disaster recovery (DR) testing frequency was low.  Over 50 percent of the respondents conducted testing once every two years.  Approximately 44 percent of organizations test less frequently as they believe that their disaster recovery (DR) is inadequate after their initial test.  Another 22 percent ran into issues when testing their disaster recovery (DR) that would have caused sustained downtime for their organization.

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When should you test disaster recovery testing?

Some organizations believe that disaster recovery (DR) testing is not happening due to the fear of the results.  Industry reports show that IT departments do not have the time and resources to replace their disaster recovery (DR) system with a reliable one.  Unfortunately, they are taking a timed approach to data risk management.

An organizations confidence in their disaster recovery (DR) plan is determined by how many times and how extensively it is tested. disaster recovery (DR) testing needs to be conducted on a scheduled basis and as frequently as possible due to how complex and dynamic an organizations infrastructure may be.

Based on the consideration of the frequency of outages, respondents to the survey admitted they understand and hear the message based on research from industry cybersecurity professionals. The focus is on finding a proven remedy to cyber security breaches rather than preventing them. In case the only way to undo the damage caused by ransomware attacks is to recover from tested and proven data backups that have not been encrypted. Regular disaster recovery (DR) testing will give all organizations a clear view of the entire process of recovering their data from backups. This is particularly important since many ransomware attacks from cyber security professionals try to target backups as well. There have been many organizations in the news that are great examples of those that failed to recover after a ransomware attack.

When it comes to testing, time and planning is of the essence for any organization. Budget and resources are limited in almost every organization however recovering from a ransomware attack should not be a budget limited option. The lack of technical skills within an organization is an ongoing issue to keep day-to-day operations running. Testing an organizations disaster recovery (DR) gets pushed to the bottom of the never-ending task list for organizations when it should be a priority. Testing an organizations disaster recovery (DR) approach can be quite difficult. The additional cost of shutting down production systems or scheduling this out of hours compounds the issue of low priority to organizations.

The importance of disaster recovery testing 1

Testing should be more than just an afterthought

Given the dynamic and fragile nature of a technical ecosystems, it is concerning that over half of the organizations included in the study only conduct disaster recovery (DR) testing annually at best.

The results of infrequent disaster recovery (DR) testing are predictable. Infrequent testers are concerned about their disaster recovery (DR) almost half the time. An untested disaster recovery (DR) will ultimately fail and nothing can be done about it.

It is often due to the importance of disaster recovery (DR) within the organization that disaster recovery (DR) testing is not done as frequently as it should be. Questions to organizations should include the following:

  1. Is senior management aware of the definition of a disaster recovery (DR) plan?
  2. Has your organization classified what data is mission-critical?
  3. Has your organization classified what data is sensitive?
  4. Did your organization identify any physical facility constraints?
  5. What is acceptable downtime for your organization?
  6. Who will be involved in the disaster recovery (DR) plan and communication?

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is federally certified by the Canadian federal government under the CyberSecure Canada program.

Let our complimentary data breach scan investigate if your credentials have been compromised by hackers.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a leading IT consulting firm in Toronto that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

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More Pay Is Not What Employees Want from Their Employers

As the work landscape changes, more pay is not what employees want from their employers.  Due to rapid economic changes these days, employees are looking for far more that just pay.

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Work from home (WFH) has changed the workforce landscape for all organizations.  Employees are interested in finding a modern solution that will give everyone a synergy as well as understanding of an organizations culture, values, and business goals.  This may include flexible employee work schedules, proactive training, modern technology, and the last one would be more pay.

When the world was hit by Coronavirus COVID-19, many organizations had to revisit many objectives.  This includes business goals, business strategy, and employee productivity.  The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to make quick unexpected adjustments.  For many organizations to survive, they had to take a more qualitative and resilient relationship between organizations and their employees.

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Unfortunately, many organizations were forced to use untested technology and experiential solutions at the same time as trying to manage all their business operations.  This all took place while having to make their employees feel comfortable, safe, secure, and supported during Coronavirus COVID-19.   The pandemic has changed the business landscape and employee relationship forever.

How do you attract good employees to make your organization successful?

If you are looking to be successful in business, technology is the right choice.  The modern workforce looks to work for an organization that is not driven strictly about making money but also about building an environment for success.  Successful employees look at the long-term business goals that will allow them to invest their personal experience and personal talents in an organization that is playing a long-term success plan with happy employees.  They are looking for organizations that they can contribute and feel connected.

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Is technology and employee success linked together?

A recent comprehensive study of today’s most successful CEO’s collected information on what these leaders think of the definition of their roles, the value they bring to the table, and how their business performance is affected.  Leadership and management at many organizations were surveyed and 98 percent of CEOs stated that the new generation of employee talent have expectations including access to the latest technology.

Management at many organizations agree that new talent want simple environments s such as flexible hours, an impressive connection to an organization, and company engagement.  These employees want work experience that will challenge them, connect with them on an intelligent level as well as prioritize sustainable practices.

The great news for organizations is that experienced employee talent can accomplish more by using technology.  An organizations leadership team know they must keep technology and employee engagement engaged for the organization to succeed.  This is how successful organizations attract top talent and increase employee retention.

What does technology help employers and employees?

Since more pay is not what employees want from their employers, what will help?   Microsoft Teams is an award-winning business-class software that allows employees to meet, chat, call, and collaborate with one another all in one location.  Now your entire team can stay connected and organized while they work together anywhere in the world.

Organizations will benefit from Microsoft Teams with the following features:

  • Microsoft Teams chat feature allows users to share messages, gifs, stickers, and emojis in a chat.
  • Users can meet instantly via group chat or video conference with up to 10,000 attendees.
  • Microsoft Teams allows users to call and receive calls with internal and external people.
  • Users can collaborate with the ability to find, share, and edit files using Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Microsoft Teams Video conferencing allows users to conduct meetings and increase productivity real time.
  • Users can use screen sharing to keep everyone on the same page and share content.
  • Microsoft teams allows user to use custom backgrounds to create virtual backgrounds.
  • Users can use file sharing that allows then to co-author files in real time securely from anywhere.
  • Microsoft Teams Apps and workflows will streamline tasks and business processes.
  • Users have access to 53 languages the ability to use Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android operating systems.
  • Microsoft Teams gives organizations privacy and security that meets regulatory, legal, and organizational needs.

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is one of Canada’s first Canadian federally certified CyberSecure Canada organizations.

Our complimentary data breach scan will look at the Darkweb to investigate if they are compromised.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s fastest growing leader in Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

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Businesses Feel More Secure Against Increased Cyberattacks

A new survey has showed that over 700 small and medium businesses (SMB) feel more secure against increased cyberattacks based on their current IT infrastructure.

Here is a summary of interesting statistics when it comes to why businesses feel more secure against increased cyberattacks:

  • 80 percent reported they feel more secure in 2021 than 2020 despite levels of cyberattacks
  • 50 percent of small and medium businesses (SMB)have employees working back in the office
  • 41 percent of organizations have transitioned up to 25 percent of their employees to hybrid work
  • 20 percent of small and medium businesses (SMB) have implemented SD-WAN technology.
  • 19 percent reported having plans implement SD-WAN technology in the next 12 months.
  • 70 percent of small and medium businesses (SMB) are addressing cyberattacks as a IT security problem
  • 64 percent reported data breaches as their top IT security concern.
  • 73 percent of small and medium businesses (SMB) report that antivirus, anti-malware, and firewall protection are very important.
  • 62 percent reported that their organization IT security is their top IT security concern.
  • 28 percent of small and medium businesses (SMB) report employees are not following company guidelines.
  • 27 percent reported IT security as a barrier due to budget constraints.
  • 18 per cent of small and medium businesses (SMB) report lack of employee resources to proactively monitor and manage cyber security.

Here are three ways for small and medium businesses (SMB) to improve their security against increased cyberattacks.

Businesses Feel More Secure Against Increased Cyberattacks (3)

Step 1: Be Proactive with Cyber Security

Reduce the chances that a cyber threat will impact your business as much as possible as an IT security goal. Whether your business is a target for a cyberattack or not depends on how serious your cyber security measures are there are many ways to protect against increased cyberattacks.

The financial impact of not taking action can be staggering.  Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common for small and medium businesses (SMB).  Organizations that are affected by cyber crimes often need to spend up to $10,000 to restore their data, network, and devices.  Ransomware payments might seem small compared to all the associated costs of recovering from a cyber attack, but they are often just drops in the bucket compared with the costs of recovering fully from ransomware.

Step 2: Prioritize Cyber Security Prevention

Organizations still wonder how to begin to prioritize cyber security prevention.  Preventing cyber security exposure and risk is the first step to protecting your business.  The anti-virus and anti-malware tools that come with your computer are probably your primary line of defense if you’re like most small and medium businesses (SMBs).

Even though those rudimentary tools are free, there is a reason why they are included.  Your systems will be protected from some known cyber security threats, but advanced threats, which occur every 39 seconds, cannot be stopped by this simple tools.  If you want to achieve the highest level of cyber security, you will need proactive cyber security prevention methods and technologies that can limit the range of cyber-attacks on your applications and systems.

In-house implementation of this step generally requires specialized expertise and significant financial investment. Prevention is not sufficient to give you a deep view of your IT environment that uncovers potential cyber security threats and other possible problems.  Cyber security is a major concern for networked devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) era for organizations.

Step 3: Dive deeper cyber security detection and response

It is very important to remember that no one has ever designed an entirely invulnerable system to cyber security.  Cyber security revolves around a layer security approach to ensure there are multiple levels.  The only thing you can do is minimize their impact on your business if you still cannot prevent every cyber threat from happening.   The first step is to ensure you have the right processes and technologies to detect a potential cyber security threat.  It is also crucial to be able to proactively respond to cyber threats and do whatever you can to mitigate them.

When a cybercriminal threatens to take your data through ransomware or data leak, it is a good practice to act as though you have less than two hours between when the infection occurred and the time when they can take it. Therefore, you must proactively monitor your systems all the time, ideally using both automated tools and human touch.

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Cybersecurity for Small and Medium Businesses (SMB)

The challenges outlined above mean that many small and medium businesses (SMB) remain on the front line of the cybersecurity fight today and the best cyber security approach for any business.  Small and medium businesses (SMB) are easy targets for cybercriminals as it takes too much time and effort to try to penetrate a enterprise organizations with larger cyber security budgets, tools, IT departments, and staff.

A small organization tends to have trouble addressing security holistically as well as proactive. It is possible that they might not even have a chief security officer, but instead have one or two employees responsible for all aspects of IT and other business directives, leading to a largely reactive security posture.

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is federally certified by the Canadian federal government under the CyberSecure Canada program.

Let our complimentary data breach scan investigate if your credentials have been compromised by hackers.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a leading IT consulting firm in Toronto that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

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Happy New Year from 365 iT SOLUTIONS

With 2021 ending, the entire team at 365 iT SOLUTIONS would like to reach out and send our best wishes to everyone and Happy New Year.  We hope that 2022 holds success and good fortune in any endeavor everyone pursues.

We would like to thank all our teammates, clients, friends, and family as it has been a pleasure working with everyone and we look forward to an exciting 2022!

Happy New Year and Thank you

-365 iT SOLUTIONS

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a leading IT consulting firm in Toronto that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

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Merry Christmas from 365 iT SOLUTIONS

From everyone at 365 iT SOLUTIONS, we would like to say thank you  to everyone for the support, loyalty and faith in our team.

Time to put your feet up and have a well-deserved rest with family and friends.

We hope the Christmas season is filled with joy.

Merry Christmas from 365 iT SOLUTIONS.

Thank you,

-365 iT SOLUTIONS

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a leading IT consulting firm in Toronto that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

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Why is Public Wi-Fi Dangerous to Your Security

The world is a busy place with industries operating 24/7 and people working everywhere but why is public Wi-Fi dangerous to your security?

Convenience and consequence are a balancing act with so many remote and mobile users.  A lot of employees use free public Wi-Fi networks however it comes with a number of serious cyber security risks.

Even with all these cyber security risks, security surveys show that an overwhelming majority of employees use it anyways.  According to the same cyber security survey, 75 percent of people admitted to connecting to their personal email while using public Wi-Fi. This is one reason why is public dangerous to your security.

It is hard to resist a few moments of online convenience as most think it will not happen to them.  This is when cyber security hackers look for users access money or financial information so it can be stolen.  This would be embarrassing as your personal information will be released online or on the dark web.

A recent IT security study showed that users are not confident in public Wi-Fi networks, but they still access it. They understand why is public Wi-FI dangerous.  In a recent Republican and Democratic National Conventions, over 70 percent of attendees used the free public Wi-Fi networks.

Cyber security consultants, remote workers and mobile devices can cause a lot of harm form theft personal data, passwords, financial information, and other private information.  Every time a user uses public Wi-Fi, they are rolling the dice every time in a coffee shop, hotel lobby, or airport lounge.

Why is Public Wi-Fi Dangerous to Your Security (1)

Why is public Wi-Fi dangerous to your security and is the problem exaggerated?

No, cyber security theft is not only a large corporation problem.  Organizations of all sizes and personal accounts are subject to it.  A recent Verizon Annual Data Breach Investigation Report showed that 89 percent of all cyberattacks involve financial or espionage motives.

There are many online e-learning tutorials showing hackers how to compromise public Wi-Fi. These resources have millions of views as people learn to the “Man in the Middle” cyberattack.   The cyberattack is simple, the cybercriminal intercepts the device and the destination by making the device think the hacker’s machine is the access point to the internet.

There have been cases of hotels getting compromised.  They get suspecting users to  log on to the free Wi-Fi in their hotel room.  These users think they are joining the hotel’s network but in reality, it is the hacker nearby boosting a stronger Wi-Fi signal off of their laptop therefore tricking the user by labeling it with the hotel’s free Wi-Fi name.

What is the best way to protect yourself against public Wi-Fi threats?

Next generation antivirus and next generation firewalls are essential cyber security tools but limited to no effect against hackers on unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Consider the following cyber security tips to keep your devices secure:

  • Do not use public Wi-Fi to shop online, log in to your financial institution, or access other sensitive websites.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create a secure encrypted connection.
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA) when logging into sensitive sites like bank, social media, or email.
  • Always visit websites with HTTPS encryption when in public places instead of HTTP web addresses.
  • Never use automatic Wi-Fi connectivity feature on your device.
  • Monitor your Bluetooth connection to ensure others are not intercepting your transfer of data.
  • Use unlimited data plan for your device so you can stop using public Wi-Fi altogether.
  • Use a DNS-layer security service like Cisco Umbrella.

Why is Public Wi-Fi Dangerous to Your Security?

Every time you use it, you are taking your chances and the greater the likelihood that you will suffer some type of cyber security breach.

Going to the cloud or worried about security?  We are your leading Cloud Services Providers Toronto and Managed Security Services Toronto.

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How to Make Users More Secure

Cyber threats are real, and organizations are taking proactive security measures on how to make users more secure.  We will outline a few steps every organization should take to increase their cyber security position.

Security researcher recently discovered a new security flaw in Microsoft Exchange Server, which has been dubbed ProxyToken.  The cyber criminal can gain access to users’ emails and configure their mailboxes, bypassing the security authentication process.

Users of Microsoft Exchange are normally authenticated through two sites, a front end and a back end.  The Delegated Authentication feature leaves authentication purely to the server.  ProxyToken must include a SecurityToken cookie in an authentication request to use this feature. Because of default settings, the attacker’s requests bypass the authentication process.

The chances of cyber attackers gaining access to the Exchange server are therefore reduced.  However, insider threats are always possible.  In 2019, cybercriminals caused losses of over $1.7 billion in phishing attacks due to this method. They use the information gathered as part of this method to create strategic phishing attacks.

Here are a few steps companies can take to reinforce their user authentication procedures in light of this and similar threats.

How do you monitor user behavior?

A username and password should not be sufficient for user authentication when using any technology. These traditional measures are insufficient and cannot proactively protect against cyber attacks that bypass authentication steps. User behavior monitoring is one helpful measure.

Each user’s typical behavior can be established through ongoing monitoring.  Organizations can use this information to implement behavioral cyber security biometrics.  This authenticates individuals by monitoring their use patterns. A red flag will be raised for abnormal user behavior such as configuring someone else’s inbox using a proxy cyber attack.

Monitoring user permissions is also very important of a zero-trust cyber security policy.  This is built on contextual permissions to identify and address cyber attacks as these proactive measures go beyond traditional user authentication. This will help make users more secure.

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What is multifactor authentication?

Multifactor authentication (MFA) also known as two-factor authentication (2FA) is another crucial step.  A password or another type of authentication method is vulnerable to cyber attacks.  This way, a cyber attacker cannot exploit any one method to infiltrate your IT infrastructure even if they get past other cyber security steps.

As mentioned above, ProxyToken may begin as an account compromise cyber attack, which Microsoft itself emphasizes is possible via multifactor authentication (MFA).  In addition to its effectiveness, two-factor authentication (2FA) is also inexpensive and easy to implement, which makes it an ideal security measure. This will help make users more secure.

How do I restrict users?

Organizations need to work with their IT department or managed IT services provide to under the difference between user authentication and user authorization as they are not the same.  Even though a cyber-attacker may bypass authentication using a cyber attack such as ProxyTokens or a similar method, tighter user controls can still prevent damage.

User authentication verifies is a user is who they claim they are when signing into a network. User authorization is what a user functions can be performed due to the limitations imposed by restricted user authorization protocols.  If a hacker bypasses this authentication stage, a cyber-attacker will still have limited access, minimizing the level of destruction possible to you network.

How do I keep software updated?

This is a step in proactive management that organizations are aware of however most organizations do not know how and if it is done properly by their IT department or managed IT services provider.  Organizations need to remember to keep their software up to date.  Unfortunately, ProxyToken cyber security threat was discovered by IT security researchers in March, but organizations had to wait until July for Microsoft to release a patch.  These cyber attacks can be prevented by updating the Exchange server software.

Software updates are critical however many organizations fail to update their software, leaving them vulnerable to cyber attacks.  Unpatched cyber security vulnerabilities have caused data breaches in approximately 33 percent of all global businesses.  Organizations need to enable automatic updates and monitoring for vulnerabilities to proactively prevent a significant amount of possible cyberattacks.

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What user authentication protocols should I use?

Cyber security systems are constantly being challenged and beat-in by cybercriminals through methods such as ProxyToken.  Organizations must become more proactive in the fight against cyber security threats, including strengthening user authentication protocols as threats grow.

Organizations must review their IT infrastructure setup, polices, and procedures as there must be more to user authentication than just usernames and passwords.  Cybercriminals are sophisticated and organizations need to use a multi layered approach to stopping them including Multifactor authentication (MFA), two-factor authentication (2FA), and continuous network monitoring.

How to make users more secure?  It is not possible for businesses to eliminate cyber security threats but by tightening user authentication and user authorization.

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is a Toronto award-winning IT provider that is federally certified by the Canadian federal government under the CyberSecure Canada program.

Is your corporate data in the dark web and your network compromised?

Let our complimentary data breach scan investigate if your credentials are compromised and listed on the dark web.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is a leading IT consulting firm in Toronto that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

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No Server is Needed with Serverless Computing

As technology advances with cloud services, organizations are quickly realizing that no server is needed with serverless computing.  There are better options for organizations.

In recent years, organizations have realized that no server is needed with serverless computing as an option and a very fast-growing technical trend among organizations.  This term maybe misleading, as organizations still use server computing power as their data still uses servers for data storage however, they leave handling of server maintenance to cloud service providers or managed IT services providers.  Organizations have the benefit to only pay for the storage they use.

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This gives organizations a great benefit for using a no server environment so their teams can concentrate on core skill rather than setting up the servers and provisioning of them.  This server cloud services model is extremely cost-effective and increasing in popularity however it can pose several cyber security risks.

No server environment offers both pros and cons, and we will cover the cyber security risks that come with it.

How do I get rid of a server? Here are the benefits of no server

Organizations have come to expect simplicity and convenience from technology in the digital age.  Slow network connectivity can leave many users frustrated.  It is becoming more and more challenging for IT departments and managed IT services providers to roll out new services and applications quickly. Working quickly and conveniently is an important part of the competitive landscape of the modern competitive world.

Organization with no server for their serverless computing do not have to worry about operational concerns.  Technical support issues with fault tolerance, scalability, availability, provisioning, and other infrastructure concerns are entirely the responsibility of the managed IT services provider or clouds services provider. In addition, growing organizations do not need to keep idle servers if they not used.

There is a cost to convenience as cloud servers can be affordable than having your own dedicated servers however it can pose cyber security risks for your organizations.

No Server is Needed with Serverless Computing 2

Do companies still use file servers? The risks of no server

In terms of cyber security, cloud servers do not take the full responsibility away from the organization.  While sharing responsibilities with the managed IT services provider or cloud services provider, the organization is still responsible for how data is saved and setup for user access.

Listed below are some of the most common security risks associated with cloud servers.

  1. Cloud server environments are especially vulnerable to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks by hackers. Organizations need to ensure if the managed IT services provider or cloud services provider becomes a victim of this type of attack, they have a backup plan or disaster recovery plan to get out of the situation.
  2. Cyber criminals may also target your cloud server operation if your technical support resources are exhausted. If malicious hackers cause a server to overrun for a period, your organization will be liable for the financial losses.
  3. Cloud servers can be insecure if not setup properly. Organizations need to work with their managed IT services provider to ensure the proper and custom settings are in place.  This will ensure optimum cyber security as well as the proper use of specific business applications.  There is a security risk as these settings can be misconfigured, which is a way to permanently lose data.
  4. Third party and cloud servers are a very important section to examine with your managed IT services provider, cloud services provider, or IT department. These may employ open-source libraries and may even consume remote web services through API calls.  You should list what cloud servers your third-party vendors use.  A dedicated web server is one of the many reasons why some businesses prefer to host their websites on a dedicated server rather than going serverless.

 

Cyber security has become far more complicated and difficult to manage in the current environment, because of which these benefits can come at a cost.  A thorough examination of your cloud servers and an understanding of the risks involved are essential before organizations make the decision to move to cloud servers like Azure and AWS.

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is an award-winning IT provider that is federally certified by the Canadian federal government under the CyberSecure Canada program.

Is your data in the dark web?  Let our complimentary data breach scan investigate if your credentials are compromised.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting firm that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

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How Reliable is Real-time Cyber Security

As the business landscape changes, our world is changing rapidly, and organizations question how reliable is real-time cyber security?

Traditional IT related methods for securing networks involves responding after cyber threats had occurred or preparing for a possible cyber-attack.   Fortunately, organizations can now make use of a different cyber security tools and methods known as real-time cyber security.

Real-time cyber security monitors proactively collect data about a network’s traffic levels, connected devices, as well as who is attempting to access which resources in real-time.  By an organization learning what constitutes acceptable user behavior, they can create alerts when an activity goes out of the norm.

Real-time cyber security can however cause a false alarm or false positive.

How Reliable is Real-time Cyber Security 3

Reliable real-time cyber security would ease the burden on team members

There are not enough IT security professionals at organizations to deal with possible cyber threats.  Cyber-attacks may go undetected for longer periods of time, giving hackers more time to cause serious damage to an organization.  The good news is that real-time cyber security systems use artificial intelligence (AI) features that categorize possible cyber threats.

IBM found that 76 percent of organizations use cybersecurity automation in their organizations to detect cyber threats compared to 53 percent of respondents who did not use automation.  By successfully separating cyber threats from harmless events, real-time cyber security systems can help overworked employees prioritize their tasks and manage their time more effectively.

A large amount of data can be overwhelming for any IT department or managed IT services provider therefore making it difficult to determine if a cyber threat situation is real.  Perfect example is a statement from Ring‘s website, the company has signed agreements with 887 law enforcement agencies since February 2020.  The unfortunate news is that many of the agencies could not link arrests directly to the videos.  Ring users have also stated their ability to share clips has caused problems, such as residents asking the police to handle minor problems, such as raccoons in their yards.

The collection of real-time data – for improving physical security or cybersecurity – can become a valuable tool. A system must, however, eliminate unnecessary information.

Effective real-time cyber security requires analysis

Cyber security is not the only industry that relies on real-time information.  Patients benefit from it as it allows their doctors to make better, faster decisions about their health care.  Research showed that 92 percent of organizations are increasing their real-time analytics investments.

The best way to use the data in real-time is to look at it in context.  Employees may miss the bigger picture by focusing on single data points instead of the larger picture.  If someone tries to access a network’s resource, that could be problematic.  If an employee in Germany provides the right login information, but his IP address is in the United States what will happen?  A cyber-attack might be spotted by the inconsistent location.

In the cyber security industry, adaptive authentication solutions are becoming popular.  Each interaction is assigned a risk score and it is calculated by gathering data about the user and using artificial intelligence machine learning.  With the use of these tools, trustworthy users and devices can be distinguished from those that pose a threat.

Artificial intelligence is not perfect

Real-time cyber security systems usually incorporated with artificial intelligence to assist them in processing real-time information.  The technology, however, is not perfect.  Scientists discovered, for example, that stickers or graffiti can falsely lead machine learning-driven computer vision systems to misinterpret stop signs as speed limits.

Organizations also must worry that hackers might exploit artificial intelligence to deceive them by ignoring signs of danger or treating them as harmless.  Data scientists see law enforcement, civil society, and the military as attractive and vulnerable targets to hackers as the use of AI-based attacks are difficult to defend against.  It is usually more about the inherent limitations of AI algorithms rather than bugs that a software update could resolve.

Cyber criminals and hackers often seek to cause the most damage, and they know that updating their techniques is key to that goal. Remember, these are very smart people.   Cybercriminals have modified their strategies to make the most serious impacts with their cyber-attacks, similarly to how companies have modernized their cybersecurity with AI and other high-tech cyber security options.

Many cybersecurity professionals have demonstrated how easy it could be to make AI systems misbehave.  Such shortcomings do not mean people should avoid using real-time security or other options containing AI.  It does remind IT departments and managed IT services providers that they should not perceive artificial intelligence as hack-proof or otherwise assume it’s working perfectly.  Organizations that choose to work with real-time cyber security should also apply critical thinking rather than immediately trusting what the system says.

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Real-time cyber security is not perfect, but worth consideration

As an organization faces IT security challenges, real-time cyber security is not the only solution but part of a larger picture.  IT departments or managed IT services providers can learn about issues they would otherwise have missed by analyzing the data captured and processed by real-time cyber security adaptive systems. The solution could also result in inaccurate conclusions or overload teammates with information. To identify real cyber security threats, organizations must view things in context.

People who are thinking about real-time cyber security products have an ever-growing number of them to evaluate. Getting high quality options and maintaining internal safeguards to prevent hackers from tampering will increase their chances of making satisfying purchases.

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is an award-winning IT provider that is federally certified by the Canadian federal government under the CyberSecure Canada program.

Is your data in the dark web?  Let our complimentary data breach scan investigate if your credentials are compromised.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting firm that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

We Make IT Simple!

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2021 Ransomware Threats Against Business

Governments now list ransomware threats as a national risk that are to be considered high-profile and disruptive to all organizations.

The US Department of Justice has listed ransomware on the same level as terrorism. The UK GCHQ has ranked ransomware as the main threat facing businesses today.  The unfortunate reality is that cyber security is being forced to rethink their cyber security IT strategies to deal with ransomware as existing cyber security defenses have proven to be inadequate to protect businesses.

Many organizations use traditional anti-virus that are signature-based.  These traditional anti-virus defenses are slow, and static resulting in it being too slow against fast-moving sophisticated cyber-attacks and cyber threats.  As cyber criminals create new sophisticated cyber-attacks and continue to emerge, it is catching IT departments and managed IT services providers off guard.  The incredible speed and scale of cyber security attacks now mean that human cannot react in time to these cyber security threats.

The best managed IT services providers and managed security services providers use next generation with artificial intelligence (AI).  This brings in new advanced technology to help organizations understand that business is critical in empowering organizations to fight back against cyber criminals.

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Interesting fact, cyber security professionals report that organizations will experience a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021.  That is an increase from 40 seconds back in 2016.

What cyber security tools did business use to use to protect themselves?

In the past, the traditional IT security approach to defense was with the use of firewalls, traditional antivirus tools, email gateways and some preventative controls.  These setups can identify basic cyber threats using simple things such as pre-defined rules and signatures to stop simple ransomware.

Now organizations are faced with a much more robust issue such as having to proactively deal with email, cloud, network, and endpoint security.  Now IT departments and IT security professionals must account for employee behavior across a wide range of services and infrastructure.  It takes away the ability to isolate solutions due to the lack of visibility.

Are cyber criminals looking at remote workers?

Work from home and creative new working practices have increased the ransomware risk facing organizations.  These new hybrid working environments are giving users access to mission-critical infrastructure remotely resulting in sensitive data spread across different networks with little to no cyber security.  This has been a large front for cyber criminals to gain quick access via a well-known and offend little protected Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) exploitation.  The hackers either use accidental credential exposure or brute-forcing cyber-attack.

The most common cyber attach has been entry from ransomware email.  Cyber attackers have moved away from simple ‘pray-and-spray’ techniques and now create much more tailored and targeted cyber security campaigns that leverage the latest trends to get victims to engage with phishing campaigns and click malicious links.

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Interesting fact, IT security experts report that global cyber-crime will reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.

Are cyber criminals are becoming more professionalism threat actors?

Why have cyber criminals been so successful?  Simple, they are smart and great actors.  Hackers are aware of the defensive cyber security tools that they are trying to evade.  It’s a game of cat and mouse. Their biggest target is always organizations using older legacy systems that are siloed.  Like any other industry, innovation is based on developing new cyber security defences against new developing threats.   This can include creating fileless malware and many other possible cyber security threats that can result in millions in profits for cyber criminals.

Cybercriminals have even launched “Ransomware-as-a-Service” as a service they can sell or lease to other hackers or affiliated services.   Many of these services also offer 24/7 helpdesks, ‘ethics’ codes, and reviews.  The launches a high-speed and advance ransomware and malware system available to lower end hackers.

How does an organization get protection from cyber criminals?

It is very important to understand that cyber security is a layered approach and no one single service or app will protect you from advanced cyber criminals.  Next generation anti-virus with built-in technology is used by thousands of organizations, managed IT services providers, and managed security services providers globally to stop ransomware seconds after it emerges.  This gives organizations 24/7/365 autonomous defense against their critical data and systems.

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is an award-winning IT provider that is federally certified by the Canadian federal government under the CyberSecure Canada program.

Is your data in the dark web?  Let our complimentary data breach scan investigate if your credentials are compromised.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting firm that offers Managed IT ServicesTech Support Services, Cloud Services, Managed Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

We Make IT Simple!