Author Archive: Dave Bryant

Benefits of Remote Monitoring for Businesses

If you are a business owner or a manager, you would always be on a lookout for new solutions to make your company even more competitive. And, when it comes to IT industry, the things become more demanding.

IT dominated market has always been in a need of a fast & an efficient network and the contemporary solution to that is 'Remote Monitoring'.

Remote Monitoring (RMON) makes use of devices such as monitors / probes to track the network operational activities. This standard not only minimizes the effort and the expenditure required to achieve the desired results, but also reduces the network downtime. As a matter of fact, RMON serves as an effective tool for a business to efficiently respond to multiple sites and many network issues. With remote access, companies are capable of:

Increasing Efficiency and Saving Time

Remote monitoring lets you efficiently utilize both, time and money, leading to the overall efficiency of the system. Moreover, now companies can allocate their resources at somewhere more important places rather than engaging them in tracking and compiling information about the company's assets. Organizations can also use a dedicated IT asset tracking software to automatically monitor computers in a network and make all the information visible on a single console. So, IT professionals can access all the valuable real-time information with just a few clicks – no more intense and exhaustive information mining!

Early Detection and Proactive Maintenance

With the use of RMON, you can keep around-the-clock watch and get instant alerts in case of any network hiccups. This will help in addressing the network irregularities as soon as they are detected. Basically, the prompt alerts are sent to IT administrators, impelling them to take immediate action in order to avoid downtime and diminished productivity. Else, these network issues might go unnoticed resulting into costs issues.

Gain Essential Insights

Monitoring remotely certainly saves valuable time of IT administrator. Also, he gets essential insights about the overall network health and the highlighted areas of improvement. Now, tracking all the events, such as hardware usage, software upgrades, etc., has become a facile task. This further aids in keeping the applications up-to-date and seamlessly watching all of them from a single place too. Another significance of using the RMON framework is enjoying complete business security. Be it, network security, software security, employee security, or security of assets.

Minimize Business Disruption

There is no network in the world that is perfect. It may face an issue one time or the other that needs to be taken care of immediately and with a right approach. If the network downtime lasts for a substantial amount of time, then you can even lose your customers which would historically hamper your business growth. With remote monitoring, almost all network problems can be resolved from any location improving the overall customer experience and service.


Technology disruption can occur in many forms, but with remote monitoring in place, companies can keep their network and software applications up with the industry, reduce downtime and put the overall productivity & efficiency in check. For small to mid-sized business, the said technology is an effective solution to detect and resolve even the smallest of the issues.

Source by Lee Mark

Information and Cyber Security – Be Aware of the Insiders

The insider’s role in the susceptibility of all sizes of companies is gigantic and increasing. In the 2016 CSII (Cyber Security Intelligence Index), it is discovered that 60% of all breaches were put into the execution by insiders. Of these data breaches, 3/4th involved malevolent intent, and 1/4th involved unintended actors. Nevertheless, while trades and segments vary noticeably in the worth and size of their resources and in the technology substructures they have to administer and secure, what all industries have in mutual are people – all of whom have the capacity to be an insider menace.

Earlier dealing with the breach, it’s beneficial to recognize the primary categories of insider threats for ensuring the information and cyber security of your company:

• We’re merely human and human fault is a pivotal aspect in breaches, and believed but unaware insiders are mostly liable. From wrong emails to filched devices to private data sent to unsafe home systems, faults can be very expensive and can turn into the blunder anytime. The chanciest of these are well-intentioned IT admins, whose whole access to company setup can twist a small error into a disaster.

• A small number of people disclose the passwords. With these believed but purposive insiders, it’s the opinion that counts. Malevolent personnel whose purpose is to steal or harm are a very real threat. A few take away viable data, some trade information or intelligence, and some just have a crusade against the association. Thus, your company’s cyber security confronts a question.

Luckily, analytics and the augmentation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) make recognizing prospective insider threats easier and less invasive. Nevertheless, even with progressions in technology, managers must be conscious of what to seek and how to emphasis their security efforts to acquire the maximum returns on protection:

• Concentrate on the accurate possessions. Bad guys crave for those you cherish most, which are often called your businesses’ “crown jewels.” Recognize the most expensive systems and information, and then provide them the sturdiest defenses and the most regular monitoring.

• So when you read the next salacious headline about some breach by an external hacker, remember that these attacks act for less than half of the data breaches out there. And keep in mind that the hacker perhaps utilized the identity of an unsuspicious worker to pull it off. Take a step to ensure your company isn’t the next one in these headings of the breaches in information and cyber security.

Source by Carlton Mansour

Top Myths About IT Security and Compliance

Welcome to the world of overflowing regulations and compliance standards, of evolving infrastructure and the ever-present data breach. Each year, fraudulent activity accounts for $600 billion in losses in the United States. In 2017, more than 1 billion account records were lost in data breaches – an equivalent of 15% of the world’s population. 72% of security and compliance personnel say their jobs are more difficult today than just two years ago, even with all the new tools they have acquired.

Within the security industry, we are constantly searching for a solution to these converging issues – all while keeping pace with business and regulatory compliance. Many have become cynical and apathetic from the continuous failure of investments meant to prevent these unfortunate events. There is no silver bullet, and waving a white flag is just as problematic.

The fact is, no one knows what could happen next. And one of the first steps is to recognize the inherent limits to our knowledge and faculties of prediction. From there, we can adopt methods of reason, evidence and proactive measures to maintain compliance in a changing world. Dethroning the myth of passive compliance is an important step to achieve security agility, reduce risk, and find threats at hyper-speed.

Let’s debunk a few myths about IT security and compliance:

Myth 1: Payment Credit Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is Only Necessary for Large Businesses

For the sake of your customers data security, this myth is most unequivocally false. No matter the size, organizations must meet with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). In fact, small business data is very valuable to data thieves and often easier to access because of a lack of protection. Failure to be compliant with PCI DSS can result in big fines and penalties and can even lose the right to accept credit cards.

Credit cards are used for more than simple retail purchases. They are used to register for events, pay bills online, and to conduct countless other operations. Best practice says not to store this data locally but if an organization’s business practice calls for customers’ credit card information to be stored, then additional steps need to be taken to ensure to ensure the safety of the data. Organizations must prove that all certifications, accreditations, and best practice security protocols are being followed to the letter.

Myth 2: I need to have a firewall and an IDS/IPS to be compliant

Some compliance regulations do indeed say that organizations are required to perform access control and to perform monitoring. Some do indeed say that “perimeter” control devices like a VPN or a firewall are required. Some do indeed say the word “intrusion detection”. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean to go and deploy NIDS or a firewall everywhere.

Access control and monitoring can be performed with many other technologies. There is nothing wrong in using a firewall or NIDS solutions to meet any compliance requirements, but what about centralized authentication, network access control (NAC), network anomaly detection, log analysis, using ACLs on perimeter routers and so on?

Myth 3: Compliance is All About Rules and Access Control.

The lesson from this myth is to not become myopic, solely focusing on security posture (rules and access control). Compliance and network security is not only about creating rules and access control for an improved posture, but an ongoing assessment in real-time of what is happening. Hiding behind rules and policies is no excuse for compliance and security failures.

Organizations can overcome this bias with direct and real-time log analysis of what is happening at any moment. Attestation for security and compliance comes from establishing policies for access control across the network and ongoing analysis of the actual network activity to validate security and compliance measures.

Myth 4: Compliance is Only Relevant When There Is an Audit.

Networks continue to evolve, and this remains the most critical challenge to network security and compliance. Oddly enough, network evolution does not politely standby while compliance and security personnel catch up.

Not only are network mutations increasing, but new standards for compliance are changing within the context of these new networking models. This discrete and combinatorial challenge adds new dimensions to the compliance mandate that are ongoing, not just during an impending audit.

Yes, the latest generation of firewalls and logging technologies can take advantage of the data streaming out of the network, but compliance is achieved when there is a discipline of analyzing all that data. Only by looking at the data in real-time can compliance and network security personnel appropriately adjust and reduce risks.

Tightening network controls and access gives auditors the assurance that the organization is taking proactive steps to orchestrate network traffic. But what does the actual network tell us? Without regularly practicing log analysis, there is no way to verify compliance has been achieved. This regular analysis happens without reference to when an audit is forthcoming or recently failed.

Myth 5: Real-Time Visibility Is Impossible.

Real-time visibility is a requirement in today’s global business environment. With legislative and regulatory change coming so rapidly, network security and compliance teams need access to data across the entire network.

Often, data comes in multiple formats and structures. Compliance reporting and attestation becomes an exercise in ‘data stitching’ in order to validate that network activity conforms to rules and policies. Security and compliance staff must become de facto data scientists to get answers from the ocean of data. This is a Herculean effort.

When implanting a new compliance requirement, there is an assurance process where the standard is tested against the access the new rule allows or denies. How do you know if a given rule or policy is going to have the desired effect (conform to compliance)? In most organizations, you do not have the personnel or time to assess network activity in the context of compliance standards. By the time a new compliance standard is due, the data stitching process is not complete, leaving us with no greater confidence that compliance has been achieved. No matter how fast you stitch data, it seems that the sheer number of standards will keep you spinning your wheels.

Of course, the other side of this dilemma is that these standards genuinely do prevent data compromises. But while a good chunk of your resources is tasked with testing and rolling out standards, another part of the team is implementing even more permutations of the network. This is what physicists call a dynamical system.

It is natural to assume, “Well, I guess it just can’t be done.” This is mistaken. Using automated data assembly shortens the time to assess compliance standards and the outcomes policies and rules produce.

Source by Saumya Sinha

How Cyber Security Training Can Protect Your Business From Hackers

Having a secure network is vital for the success of your company. The last thing your business needs is a breach of security. Sensitive data, customer information and company documents could be exposed to the wrong people if a network is vulnerable. Training your employees in the art of protecting the company network will prevent future attacks.

Employees Can Spot Threats Much Faster

Employees who understand the signs of a potential threat can take actions to prevent any problems. Hackers may leave clues about how and where they attack. Looking for those signs can help your security team initiate security protocol ahead of time. Your business will always be vulnerable if it cannot adjust to what hackers are doing.

The Company Can Come Up With An Overall Safety Plan

Management, IT staff and other employees should come up with a plan to stop hacking attempts. Having a policy will help the company establish uniform guidelines for employees to abide by. This will allow for the proper training of anyone who works for your company. Employees will learn basic data security, IT staff can implement a secure network while management can oversee the entire operation.

Any Communication Can Be Seen If Left Unprotected

Emails, IM sessions and any other Internet activity can be monitored if left unprotected. Starting a cyber-security program will stop employees from being lazy with their communications. They will know how to encrypt emails, keep transaction information secure and keep personal documents protected. Even a simple action such as using a privacy screen on your computer can thwart a potential hacker. Anyone could potentially use information left on your computer to plan an attack on the company network.

Keeping Tabs On Employee Activities Could Root Out A Mole

Your business may have an employee who is hacking into the network. Allowing your company to keep track of employee activity can make it easy to stop an inside job. ID numbers should be given to all employees who need to get on the company network. This is a small step that can stop a big breach of trust and security.

Any action that makes your company a more secure company should be undertaken. Keeping your Internet servers secure is even more important in the 21st century business world. Other companies will not want to share information with your business if it cannot be kept safe. Customers will not want to do business with a company that exposes their information to others. Your own employees may not take your company seriously if it doesn’t take safety seriously.

Source by Peter David Wendt

How to Remain Secure and Compliant

Businesses often handle confidential data from their customers. Proper management of sensitive information-such as credit card numbers or social security numbers-is essential to the security of each customer, as well as the success of the business. It’s never the wrong time to evaluate the security of your business data, and there are several components that must be considered in order to meet regulatory standards.

Here are some items to consider when conducting a security review:

1. Computer & Network Security – Install firewall systems and anti-malware software to protect information on computer systems. Network security protocols such as Transport Layer Security can also protect documents in transit.

2. Printed Document Security – To prevent unauthorized access of confidential information in printed documents, you should limit access to secure information to only after proper authentication occurs, such as use of passwords, pin codes, or security cards at printing stations. These systems also have audit trails to increase accountability. For complete control over the entire print process, companies can use print management software to track all printing activities and imaging equipment.

3. Fax Security – Even though faxing is no longer new technology, it’s still useful and present in most office settings. Therefore, you need to make sure faxes remain protected and secure. By directing incoming faxes using a fax routing system, faxes will only go to the intended recipient’s email inbox or designated network folder, thereby ensuring confidentiality. If you have older fax systems that cannot route to email inboxes, most can be configured to hold inbound faxes to be printed using a PIN release to an authorized employee.

4. Imaging Equipment Security -The hard drives of printers, copiers, and MFPs can store document images and information, making them targets for security breaches. Secure hard drives on imaging equipment are ideal, but always ask your equipment provider to securely erase or dispose of hard drives before any machine leaves your office.

5. Digital Document Security – Just as it’s critical to protect your printed documents, it is also important to secure your digital documents. It’s essential that you have a clear plan for how digital documents are created, used, stored, archived, and ultimately destroyed, in order to ensure privacy and security is maintained. This is paramount when documents are stored in the cloud or digitally, particularly for industries that are highly regulated, such as education, financial services, and healthcare.

Regardless of the source or format of data, it is vital that all data be treated as confidential and sensitive. Doing so can minimize risks that are increasingly found in our digitally connected and data-driven society.

Source by Richard F Hermann

Security Solutions for Your Network

We now live in an almost fully computerized world where almost all information is stored and transferred as digital files. The private and public sectors have realized that physical security is not sufficient when it comes to protecting digital data files. Moving these data files from one location to another requires the use of networks which must be completely secured so as to avoid unauthorized access. Network security solutions have therefore become an integral part of business and government operations.

Private and public institutions such as government agencies, banks, colleges, and research centers are examples of organisations that have lots of high value data which should be protected using the very best network security solutions. The security systems required by these organisations should alert administrators and security personnel immediately a breach or other unauthorized action occurs. Failure to have adequately secure data can have serious consequences for these organisations.

An important aspect of network security solutions is network monitoring. This is the process of constantly examining the various components of a network with an aim of ensuring that they are working at optimum capacity and without interference from internal actions which are unauthorized or accidental. Network monitoring ensures that the system admins are aware of any issues that may arise as soon as they occur and as such, remedial action can quickly be taken to return things to normal operations. The issues looked at when monitoring a network include component failures such as server crashes, equipment failures, broken connections and other similar issues.

External threats are another concern when looking at network security and they should be continuously monitored to avoid loss or theft of data from your network. The consequences of losing data are serious and could have long term effects on the operations of the business or government agency. Hackers, viruses and other malicious applications are the most common threats to network security. Preventing their entry and dealing with them before they cause any serious harm to your systems is critical.

There are a number of other important aspects of network security solutions that should be looked into when procuring a security system for your network. The value of an organisation’s data cannot be over emphasized and while network security was optional in the past, it is today an integral part of the operations of almost all organisations and businesses. Investing in good network security solutions will not only ensure that your data is secure, but it will also give you and edge on the competition by allowing you uninterrupted operations.

Source by Paul J James

5 Cyber ​​Security Tips To Help You Stay Safe At Work

If it's not your job to take care of the cyber security matters, then why should you care? You must do because you still need to play your part in this system. If something goes wrong and you were found at fault, you will be held responsible.

If you want to stay secure, below are a few tips for cyber security tips at work.

Avoid writing password on paper

No matter how much work you have to do at work, make sure you keep your passwords secure. It will not be a good idea to write down your passwords on a piece of paper like a sticky note and then put it somewhere where everyone can see it. This approach will compromise your personal data quickly than you can imagine. Try a password manager instead.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Irrespective of the type of industry you are in, probably you have to do some work when you are away from your office in the market. Today, everyone needs to stay connected to the Internet through WiFi at all times, but public WiFi can not be a safe choice here.

If you are going to use a public WiFi, make sure you use the VPN provided by your company before making an important financial transaction.

Avoid Using Unknown USB drives

People drop things, especially things that are small in size. You may have come across something lying on the ground, such as a USB drive. What would you do to it? Like most people, you will be tempted to make use of it.

Unfortunately, according to research studies, most people who come across USB drivers connect them to their computers to see what's on them, which is a big mistake. You do not know what is stored on them. It could be a virus or malware that may damage your office computer or steal your sensitive data. Therefore, it's better to avoid using such devices.

Avoid phishing traps

Often criminals access corporate networks through a phishing trap. It's important to keep in mind that no company wherever small or large is immune to these frauds. It can happen to any of us.

You may think you are safe, but know that your data may be stolen. Criminals are always on the lookout of an opportunity to achieve their purpose. They may steal your data and sell it on the dark web.

So, the question is, how can you avoid a phishing fraud? It's simple. You should not click on just any link that looks quite similar to the website you frequently visit.

Back up Your data

Make sure you back up your data. Ranswomware has caused billions of dollars of loss to people, especially businesses. When people are unable to access their important files, they agree to pay the ransom amount demanded by the cyber attackers. Often, they target companies because they can pay huge amounts in ransom to save their data.

So, what is the way out? You just need to backup your data, which will keep you safe when you refuse to pay the ransom and the hacker deletes your data.

So, these are a few cyber security tips that you may want to follow to stay safe at work.

Source by Shalini Madhav

The Multi-Layered Onion of Computer Security

As most are probably aware, corporate and home networks are typically connected to the Internet 24 x 7, exposing them to the vast array of malevolent software circulating on the Internet.

Because of this, companies design and continuously improve upon network/IT Security architectures which utilize a layered approach to provide security for their networks and computing environments.

To paraphrase (OK… plagiarize) the immortal dialogue between Shrek and Donkey:

Shrek: For your information, there’s a lot more to IT SECURITY than people think.

Donkey: Example?

Shrek: Example? Okay, er… IT SECURITY… is… like an onion.

Donkey: It stinks?

Shrek: Yes… NO!

Donkey: Or it makes you cry.

Shrek: NO! LAYERS! Onions have layers. IT Security has layers. Onions have layers… you get it? Both have layers!

Donkey: Oh, both have layers… You know, not everybody likes onions… CAKES!

Everybody loves cakes! Cakes have layers!

So, take your pick. Whether you choose the onion or cake analogy, a well designed IT Security architecture consists of multiple layers to frustrate and prevent would be hackers from getting into the network to wreak their havoc and compromise confidential data.

To mitigate potential risks to the health of corporate networks and IT environments, most companies use several security layers to help protect against known and unknown viruses and denial of service attacks.

Some of these layers include:

• Firewalls to limit access to/from the Internet

• Intrusion Detection/Prevention system to guard against and distribute alerts of potential attacks against the network

• Vulnerability scanning of critical servers for known vulnerabilities

• File attachment blocking – specific attachment types are blocked from being delivered to end users – based on best practices as determined by anti-virus vendors.

• Bi-directional scanning of Email for known viruses

• Scanning of workstations and file servers for known viruses – both real-time as files are being opened or saved, and on a periodic basis by doing a full disk scan

• Scanning of web sites for potential malware and, if detected, denied access

• Periodic penetration testing to insure perimeter measures are effective

• Black hole DNS – known “bad” websites cannot be accessed

There is always a window of opportunity that exists between the time a misguided techie releases their creation into the wild and the time it takes for the Anti-virus vendors to identify it and release new pattern files to their subscribers. That is why a majority of companies block specific types of files from being automatically delivered to recipients.

Contrary to what some folks believe, most IT departments do not try to prevent users from getting their jobs done! They do, however, try to take appropriate steps to minimize the risk to their entire network and, therefore, all the users, by utilizing the different layers of the security onion.

After all is said and done, end users provide the final layer of protection. Each user is the “heart of the onion.” Regardless of the steps taken to protect the corporate IT infrastructure, IT departments ultimately rely on an informed and educated user population to be aware of the dangers presented by unsolicited Email, file attachments, embedded links, and web sites they access.

Without an informed/educated end-user population, companies’ and individual users’ confidential/personal information is at risk.

Does your company have a security awareness campaign to inform and educate the heart of your security onion? It should!

Source by Greg J Mathias

Securing Your Wireless Home Network Using 19216811

Quite often users skip the security part when they are setting up their home network. Knowing the risks of having an unsecured network we have to think more about it and actually take some steps. When it comes to securing your home network the default IP address can be used effectively. Most of the security tweaks can be done in the Configuration panel and as you already know you can access it by typing into the address bar of your browser. Once you get there you can do the following to increase the security of your home network.

Change your SSID. If a person who wants to break into your home network knows your SSID we can say that he is already one step closer to doing it. Use the IP address to access your Configuration panel and change your SSID into something more unique. At the same time SSID broadcast should be turned off.

Change the default username and password. Many users feel secure with the default settings and leave them like that. However it is strongly advised to change the default username and password. This is the first step on making your network more secure.

Enable MAC address filtering. It should be enabled as another layer of security. If you use it with wireless encryption, your home network security will be brought to a completely new level.

Enable strong encryption. Select and use the strongest encryption the wireless devices in your network support. This can be easily done in the Configuration panel and you can use the IP to access it. WEP encryption will require from you to change your password on let’s say, a monthly basis. In order to prevent someone to crack your password always use numbers, capitals and special characters in your passwords.

Enable your firewall. The firewall on your router and other PCs in the network should be turned on. You can easily configure your firewall by accessing the Configuration panel and of course you can do that with the help of IP address. By turning on the firewalls you can be sure that your network is completely safe from network intrusions.

Disable Auto-connection. Although this security measure has nothing to do with the IP it is still worth mentioning. Your wireless device will try to connect to an open wireless network. When this is done the security is very low. Check if you have any enabled connections and disable them.

Source by William Z Taylor

Cyber Security, Stay On Top Of The Silent Killer


Sometimes, we as humans tend to push toward advanced zones just for the sake of it and in doing so; we usually miss out on some of the core areas and sticking to the basics. This can also be classified as jumping to the conclusion. You can never enjoy a fruitful end if the start was not right.

To stay on top, it will be a solution from the top drawer from you. In tech-smart and highly developed markets, one as a business owner, operating online must ensure that things are under control all the time. This will save one from heavy penalties and consequential losses that usually take place in the form of data loss, compromise of business and its clientele’s sensitive information.

Such losses usually result in issues like stoppages and delays, hence, make it extremely hard for the business to cope with the market competitions and client expectations.

Keep calm and stick to basics:

Although one will always have the facility of outsourcing such sensitive tasks to third-party IT security solution providers, it is still considered as a positive approach to getting the basics right from the start.

Experts associated with the domain of managed security services stresses upon some of the very core areas that shall always be monitored by one as a business owner to ensure that things dealt with in a smooth and timely manner. Some of them are:

Passwords used by you must be strong:

Avoid setting easy passwords because they can be compromised easily. Many people tend to use simple and easy passwords such as 1234 or ABCD with their business or their name before or after it are those who mainly end up in becoming the victim of such threats. It becomes a cakewalk for smart hackers to figure out and crack such passwords before they get into your networks, systems and online presence’s code.

A secure password, therefore, is a must-have thing and to ensure that you are on top of this requirement, you will need to make it a smart and robust blend of characters, alphabets, and numerals. By doing so, you are making it almost impossible for hackers to get into your system code.

Minimize the number of password attempts:

If you think that your six-digit password is enough to secure you, you must revise your approach. By ignoring this and opting for a six digit pin, you are helping the attackers in creating more than a million unique possibilities to get into the sensitive domains of your business and damage the information. They have got hold of tools that will take just a few moments to crack such weak passwords.

You can rely on smart password managing software:

For some people, coming up with complicated passwords is a tough task. They merely believe that they are not good at it. They can use password managing software and obtain passwords with difficult combinations. This will help them in impressively securing the proceedings and information.

Prefer On-screen keyboard if working shared networks:

Hackers today have tools known as key-logging software; in shared network environments, a hacker uses this tool to record the keystrokes. To stay on top of this threat, one must prefer the on-screen keyboard while feeding in sensitive information.

Make backups regularly:

Experts associated with the cyber security are of the view that one must ensure making regular backups. This will make it easy for you to restore the systems in case someone breaches in and tries to manipulate the data. Once done, one must not forget to change the passwords again. The activity of changing passwords must be carried out regularly; relying on one password for a long time may not be classified as a smart approach.

Educate your staff about cyber security:

A team that is fully trained will make things easy for managed security solution providers. This will also help them to understand the instructions and do accordingly. One can save time, improve the processes and cap potential threats for good. Business operations become smooth and secure if the staff members are adequately trained.

Closing lines:

Technology is in its prime form. Things are not going to stop here though; they will continue to improve because this is an ongoing process. Hackers and attackers know this better than anyone else; therefore, they are always keen to stay on top. You can outsmart them by ensuring a regular backup in the form of managed services plus working in close collaboration with the experts that are hired by you.

Source by Netasha Adams