Cyber security

But I’m Too Small?

It is hard to believe, but there is a myth still shared by many small businesses and individuals.  The myth is “I’m too small for anyone to attack my business.”  This myth is far from reality.  A review of the target distribution data provided by hackmageddon.com shows that for 2019, the number one group being attacked is the individual (27%) and the number two group is multiple industries (14.3%), which is the small business group.

31% of all the cyber-attacks are designed for the individual and small business.  There is a logical reason for this.  Big business is taking cybersecurity seriously.  They have made it difficult for the criminals to break into their systems.  Criminals typically don’t want to work hard.  They have developed easily deployable tools to find those organizations that believe they are too small to be attacked (I call them “the low hanging fruit”).  At minimum, even if you don’t think you have anything worth stealing, your data has value to you.  Imagine not being able to access the data on your computer system.  That is the goal of ransomware, which continues to be one of the greatest threats to most organizations.  The reason for the steady increase in ransomware attacks is because it is an extremely successful tool to exploit money from their victims.

Implementing the best security tools won’t guarantee you will not experience some type of a cyber-event, but ignoring the facts and doing nothing, guarantees you are more likely to experience a bad day.

There is a minimum number of things that every business should implement that will minimize the threat of a cyber-attack such as ransomware.  The cost of these security tools has continued to drop and is now affordable for most small and medium sized businesses.  Quanexus has developed our Q-Stack which is a layered security approach to protect against cyber-threats.

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Jack Gerbs in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Physical Security, Recent Posts, Small Business, Wireless

Layered Security with Q-Stack

Our CEO, Jack walks through the layered security steps Quanexus uses to protect your data.

 

Posted by Jack Gerbs in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Physical Security, Recent Posts, Small Business, Wireless

Have You Been Hacked? Indicators of Compromise (IOC)

How do you know if you have been hacked?  Organizations often find out they have been hacked 3 to 6 months after the initial incident.  Typically, they learn of the hack from an outside source.

There are many items that should be monitored in a network to determine if there is a potential incident.  Below is a list of a few key items for monitoring Active Directory (AD) and your firewall.

In AD monitor these key items:

  • Any network login from a user with privileged (administrative) access. Privileged accounts should only be used to manage the network.  Users with administrative accounts should have a regular user account to perform normal business functions.  The use of privileged accounts must be justified.
  • The creation and deletion of user accounts.
  • The modification of user access rights – escalation or de-escalation.
  • Failed logins. Many failed logins can indicate the account is at risk.

On your firewall monitor these key items:

  • Top users by bandwidth and sessions. These metrics should be used to create a baseline to detect anomalies.
  • Outbound firewall traffic that is being blocked. This indicates that a user or their computer is trying to reach unauthorized sites.

The items suggested above are the minimum key indicators that can be monitored to help you if you have a potential incident.

Posted by Jack Gerbs in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Recent Posts, Small Business, Wireless

VPN Services, Protecting Your Identity

When you think about a VPN in the traditional business context, you think of connecting your remote computer or multiple locations together via a virtual private network (VPN), using the Internet or some other media.  The VPN piece of the solution creates a secure connection over a non-secure media, such as the Internet.

The term VPN has been expanded to include the ability for users to send and receive data while remaining anonymous and secure online.  There are many VPN service providers out there, some are free, and others charge about $3 to $7 per month.  If you are truly concerned about security, you should not use the free service providers.  For the most part, they have very limited features and with the price being free, you need to consider how they are making money, and how serious they are concerned about protecting you.

How Do These VPNs Work:  Typically, you have to install client software on your computer.  The client allows you to securely connect to another network.  Once connected to this third-party network, your traffic will be sent to the Internet through one of many (often many thousands) of IP addresses from all over the world.  When you surf the web or access any web services, all your traffic will appear as if it was coming from the third party.  The technical term for this is obfuscation (to make things confusing or ambiguous, hide or conceal).

Key Performance and Protection Items:  The more IP addresses a VPN service has, the harder it will be for your identity to be discovered.  Network speed performance is based on the performance of the VPN servers to receive and resend your traffic.  These two items typically drive the cost of the service.  The process of selecting a VPN service provider must include reviews that include performance, support, and privacy.  You need to spend the time to   understand what you can expect from these service providers.

Another key item to consider is, what country the VPN company is in and what country the servers are located in.  Each country has their own privacy laws and based on where the company is located and where the servers are located, it will affect the overall privacy of the traffic you will be sending through these providers.

Potential Issues with VPN Services:

  • Performance: If your VPN service provider has issues, you will be affected by their performance (meaning slow Internet browsing and responses).
  • Access to Sites and Services: You may get blocked from sites you usually visit or need.   Many firewalls are being configured to do Geo blocking/permit.  If the IP address you are assigned to surf from is in a range that belongs to a country that the firewall is programmed to block, you will be denied access to the site (you can typically override the client if necessary).  More advanced service providers will let you choose what country you want your traffic to originate from.
  • Privacy: If you are seeking the service of a VPN, you are most likely doing so to maintain anonymity.  As mentioned earlier, every country has their own privacy laws.  The privacy of your traffic going through the VPN will be based on the country that the VPN service provider is located and the physical location of the servers they are operating.

For a recent review of current VPN service providers follow this link to cnet.com’s “The Best VPN Services for 2019” written by David Gerwirtz, July 11, 2019 https://www.cnet.com/best-vpn-services-directory/?ftag=CMG-01-10aaa1b

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Jack Gerbs in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Recent Posts, Small Business, Virtualization