managed services

The Next Generation of Phishing, Laser Phishing

Criminals are changing the way they use phishing campaigns, targeting upper management and CEOs. Microsoft is warning users of an increase in “laser phishing”, or “spear phishing” attacks. Microsoft data shows traffic associated with phishing campaigns doubled year over year in September.

A spear phishing attack targets a specific person. This person receives messages from someone they purportedly know or are familiar with. Typically, the email will look like it is coming from this person’s boss or someone even higher up in the company they are working for. A spear phishing attack takes much more time and effort on the part of the criminal to find out everything they can about the person they are attacking. Criminals are using social media to find out things this person is interested in, place of employment, friends, and travel.

This is a big change from phishing attacks we are used to seeing. A normal phishing attack sends out a more generic email to many users often trying to get them to click on a link in an email, or enter a username and password, like your Amazon account information for instance. We talked about this example in our Social Engineering video you can see HERE.

There have been reports of employees in the financial department of a company receiving emails from the CFO or CEO telling them to transfer money to a specific account for an urgent deal they are making. This new form of phishing cost US businesses over a billion dollars in 2018.

What this means for your business:

Educate your users on this new form of phishing. Public facing users are more susceptible like HR recruiters, customer service, and even some admin roles. Your users can be your biggest asset against attacks, or your biggest liability.

Be aware of what personal information you have on social media. Is there anything on there you wouldn’t want a potential scammer to see? Double check your privacy settings and make sure they are set to a level you are comfortable with.

Use smart passwords and two-factor authentication where possible. Don’t use the same password over and over. There are secure password managers that can help manage passwords and keep accounts secure. Microsoft found that using two-factor authentication blocks 99.9% of automated attacks.

Keep your systems patched and updated. When software companies find tactics being used by criminals, they update the software to block some of these attacks. If you are not updating your systems on a regular basis, you are leaving yourself open to known hacking methods.

Do not click links in emails. If there is any question the email could be fake, go straight to the source instead of clicking the link.

Quanexus IT Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

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 Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Physical Security, Recent Posts, Small Business

IT Risk Management

Following the theme from my previous blogs, if you deal with client data, you must keep it protected.  Protecting data is a component of Risk Management.

There are five ways to typically deal with risk:

  • Avoid the risk
  • Implement mitigating controls
  • Transfer the risk
  • Accept the risk
  • Exploit the risk

Avoid the Risk:  Stop doing the things that create the risk.  For example, minimize the amount of client data you collect and store about your customers.  If there is data that you have, that you don’t need, purged it.  The more data you store the greater  your risk is.

Implement Mitigating Controls:  Implementing mitigating controls brings risk down to an acceptable level.  An example of a mitigating control is implementing a firewall.  Connecting a network to the Internet is a very risky proposition.  By placing a firewall and having a good end-point solution (virus protection and patch management), you are minimizing the likelihood of a cyber-threat doing damage to your network.

Transfer Risk:  Transferring risk is sometimes referred to as sharing risk.  Cyber insurance is a relatively new product.  Essentially transferring risk is buying insurance to protect against a loss.  Because cyber insurance is a new product, there is an inherent risk in selecting and understanding the differences in cyber policies.  A few things you need consider when selecting cyber insurance:

  • What controls must be implemented to maintain coverage?
  • What is covered and what is excluded?
  • What are the reporting requirements and timelines?

Accept the Risk:  Accepting risk is not as straight forward as it sounds.  In order to accept a risk, you must be able to articulate what you choose to accept.  You can’t just arbitrarily state it was too expensive or hard to deal with.  You must have enough proof on why it was unreasonable for your organization to not protect against a known threat.  A good risk assessment will help you justify how you spend resources to protect against risks.   A risk assessment should be performed on an annual basis or whenever there is a significant change.

Exploit the Risk:  Exploiting the risk sounds a little strange and it is outside most IT risk management frameworks (RMF).  Exploiting the risk is best explained with an example.  Imagine, you are a manufacturer coming out with a new widget.  You have invested in marketing, but you are not sure how successful sales of the new widget will be.  You have decided to take a conservative approach and produce only X number of widgets.  The risk here is if the widget becomes highly popular, you may not have enough widgets to meet market demand, but you go to market anyway.

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 Information Security, Physical Security, Small Business

Completed CompTIA Security Trustmark+

I am very happy to announce that, we successfully completed our annual review for the CompTIA Security+ Trustmark. We view this as a big differentiator between us and our competitors. While many organizations claim that they have good security practices in place, it is impossible for them to prove it. We submit Quanexus to an annual review of our security practices, where a third party, independent auditor reviews our polices, controls and practices. Our practices are based on the CompTIA Security+ Trustmark, which is based on NIST’s (National Institute of Science and Technology) Cybersecurity Framework.

This is important for several reasons. The first is, some of our clients operate in regulated industries, such as finance and medical. These organizations that operate in regulated industries are required to perform vendor due diligence; they need to prove that they are working with “trustworthy” vendors. By having a third party, independent auditor review our controls, it makes it easier for our clients to work with us.

The second reason we do this is, if we are going to consult and perform services in these industries, we have to understand and meet the same or very similar requirements that our clients have to meet. This provides us a much deeper understanding of the process and controls needed to operate.

Thirdly and most importantly, we take security very seriously! We need to be continually learning and adopting to the changes in the world that affect us. The CompTIA Security Trustmark+ helps us keep a keen focus on the evolving security landscape and helps us continually improve.

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

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Posted by Jack Gerbs in Recent Posts

Managed Service Provider (MSP) in Dayton

MSP stands for Managed Services Provider. What are the benefits of having an MSP?

  1. Predictable IT support costs
  2. Improved network security
  3. Less downtime, leading to more productivity
  4. Ongoing monitoring of you networks and systems
  5. Up to date and protected technology
  6. Access to highly trained IT professionals
  7. 24/7 support
  8. Peace of mind

A managed service provider is a company that provides IT services from servers, networks and specialized applications to companies and organization.

Rather than relying on a break/fix or on-demand method of restoring IT functions, managed service providers offer ongoing monitoring of a company’s networks and systems. Some examples of what an MSP may manage are data backup and recovery, network monitoring, managed firewalls, voice IP, and virtual private networks (VPN).

For many companies, entering into an MSP agreement with an IT company creates predictable IT support costs, and is an efficient way for companies to stay up to date on technology, as well as have access to highly trained IT professionals.

Quanexus offers our own MSP program – Q-Works. Q-Works is a complete managed services package, which means you will see increased performance, security and reliability immediately and at an affordable price.

Related: Managed IT Services in Dayton

Outsourcing your organization’s IT needs gives you the technical expertise you need so you can focus on your business.

Your business success depends on your IT infrastructure and the information and data it houses. A managed service provider, such as Quanexus will not only keep your network up and running, but also running effectively and efficiently.

If you would like more information about our MSP program, or to see if it is right for you, contact us here or call

937.885.7272.

 

Related: Choose a Company With Over 25 Years of Experience

 

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Posted by Jack Gerbs in Recent Posts