Adopting the latest in technology can help businesses get a leg up on the competition, but some forget that with new technology comes a need for updated security. Here’s what’s trending in business technology today and how each topic should affect your plans for information security.
Cloud computing enables users to connect to virtual servers from any remote location, operate with less concern about the inherent pitfalls of physical backups, and scale up quickly without crippling hardware expenses.
While the cloud provides many great benefits, every new platform for information comes with a need for new security protocol.
As more businesses move to the cloud, they should take the time to reexamine their network security plan- who has control over data access, what kind of security training users will need, what information is critical and how many layers of authentication will be needed to protect it, etc.
Your security needs will differ depending on what you host on the cloud and how users access that information. A safe way to ensure your information is protected is to consult with a specialist about your current security plans, and see what may be vulnerable with a transition to a new platform.
The internet provides employees great freedom to work from home and while traveling on business trips. While business networks are secured by firewalls, antivirus software, and other layers of protection, this is not the case when employees are not properly set up to work remotely.
Let’s say an employee is working from a cafe in Brazil- they check their email and send over a company file from their smartphone using an unsecure WiFi connection. The data transferred is likely subject to very lax security, and hackers could obtain sensitive company information.
To combat this type of data theft, companies with remote users or even multiple office locations accessing a remote data center should use virtual private networks (VPNs). VPN tunnels are easily set up at little to no cost. These secure connections protect any data transferred through dedicated connections and encryption protocols. Depending on user needs, a wide array of protocols can be implemented including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), IP security (IPSec), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPsec, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Secure Shell (SSH), and more.
Malware: The Proliferation of Ransomware
You are probably familiar with different types of malware- intrusive software meant to harm your system. These viruses come in the form of worms, trojans, spyware, and more embedded in seemingly harmless files.
Ransomware, a very specific type of malware, has gained popularity among hackers and will continue to be prevalent in 2016. When a system is infected with ransomware, files are encrypted so they cannot be accessed, bringing business to a halt. The system is essentially up for ransom under a certain time limit, and will only be decrypted once the owners pay a large fee to hackers, if the time limit is expired and no payment is made, the files will remain encrypted.
Ransomware prevention comes down to up-to-date security protocols and staff training. A backup plan to restore files in the case of a ransomware infection can help companies save valuable time, money, and the trust of their customers.
Social Engineering and Human Error
According to IBM, in 2014, human error played a role in over 95% of security incidents. Are your employees aware of information sharing protocol? Can they identify a phishing email attempt? Data security should be talked about regularly and often with your employees to ensure they can identify threats and will be prepared to protect your business information. Educating your employees about current security trends through proper training and testing is the best way to avoid data breaches through human error.
As business technology trends change, so will the ways in which hackers try to exploit vulnerabilities in the system. Even with the hardware and software needed to protect sensitive information, a network security plan is incomplete without proper staff training. Ninety-five percent of cybercrime incidents in 2014 occurred due to human error. Being well versed in the different tactics used by information thieves can prepare users to recognize threats, and choose the right plan of action.
If you have questions about your cyber security risks and how you can mitigate them, whether personal or for business, visit our cyber security services page and contact Inverselogic to speak with an expert.