The Employer’s Guide to Cyber Readiness

The Employer’s Guide to Cyber Readiness

Cybercrimes are becoming more rampant worldwide as cyberattacks like ransomware, malware and phishing become commonplace. With global cybercrime damage amounting to $16 billion a day, it’s important for businesses to have cyber readiness to avoid financial damage to their company.

Fortunately for businesses, becoming cyber ready is easier than it seems. There are simple, proactive steps employers can take to increase cyber awareness for their business. Moreover, the U.S. government has set up The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide additional cybersecurity best practices.

Let’s take a look at how you can start protecting your business today by becoming cyber ready.

Top Three Cyber Readiness Practices for Employers

1. Develop a Culture of Cyber Awareness

The best way to become cyber ready is to create a culture where all employees are well-versed in cybersecurity. In doing so, employees become more knowledgeable about what constitutes a cyberthreat and can make safer decisions when working. Beyond basic training on cyber readiness, you can also keep up with and share cybercrime trends with staff, so they’re aware of the latest threats to avoid. Further, you can create a checklist of common cybercriminal tricks used when a cyberattack is committed for employees to refer to when they are unsure of communication online.

2. Follow the NIST Checklist

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework was created as a voluntary set of cyber practices for businesses to follow to reduce their risk of cyberattacks. As part of the NIST protocol, there are five key functions:

  • Identify: Identify current cyber risks and which processes and assets need protection.
  • Protect: Implement safety procedures to protect sensitive information and necessary assets.
  • Detect: Develop test processes to detect any cyber events against your system.
  • Respond: Create a response plan to put into place in the event of a cyberattack.
  • Recover: Restore any disturbed services and communicate the attack with necessary parties.

3. Perform Continuous Software Updates

Lastly, cyber readiness does not end once you have the proper training and security procedures set up. To be fully protected, you’ll need to continuously update your systems and practices. For instance, you can establish automatic updates to occur when necessary. Moreover, you can create a system that requires employees to change their passwords during a specified timeframe. As every business is unique, which updates and procedures to follow will depend on your needs and goals.

The Takeaway

Cybercrimes are not going away anytime soon. In fact, they are expected to increase in frequency by next year. Is your business prepared? Now more than ever, businesses need to take the proper steps to protect themselves in the event they are faced with a cyberattack.

If you’re unsure where your current cyber readiness stands, you can undergo a cyber readiness assessment with Nitor Solutions. We can help you better understand what steps your business should take to be cyber ready.

If you want to learn more about cyber readiness, check out additional blogs in our resources section.

The State of Cybersecurity Insurance Today: Emerging Trends

The State of Cybersecurity Insurance Today: Emerging Trends

The cybersecurity insurance market has grown exponentially in recent years, and it’s only expected to continue expanding. In fact, by 2028, the market is expected to be valued at a staggering $26.24 billion. It’s clear that as cybercriminals become more adept, businesses of all types are opting for more financial protection against the impacts of cyberattacks.

However, just as the market is growing, there are also more governmental and public efforts to tighten regulations surrounding cybersecurity insurance. These endeavors aim to help insurers and companies better understand risk management in the face of new cyberattacks. They also strive to outline what should be included in insurance policies.

To understand where cybersecurity insurance coverage stands today, check out these top trends the market is currently facing.

 

Top Four Cybersecurity Insurance Trends to Look Out For

 

Increased Premiums

Perhaps the most notable trend in cybersecurity insurance coverage is the jump in premium costs. In 2021, premium prices grew by 74% alone. The rise in premiums is due to the greater demand for cybersecurity insurance as more organisations face new and evolving cyberattacks. To combat high-cost premiums, many businesses are taking more preventive measures to avoid possible attacks. For instance, companies are undergoing cybersecurity awareness training and implementing stricter security controls in their systems.

 

Greater Emphasis on Cybersecurity Readiness

As the number of claims filed rises, so does insurers’ interest in a company’s risk history. After all, insurers want to avoid hefty payouts. In response, insurers are requiring businesses to increase their cybersecurity readiness by answering more questions and completing more documentation on their risk management history. For example, insurers are asking businesses about their incident response plans, prior history with breaches, and whether they’ve undergone any risk evaluations of their current cybersecurity.

 

Deeper Scrutiny of Vendors

As part of risk management, many insurers are taking a deeper look into businesses’ vendors. Insurance companies want to know how much access these vendors have to a company’s network and what privacy and security protocols they have in place. Vendors who have access to critical, private information have a greater risk of exposure if they are not following the same strict practices as the organization.

More Involved Government Regulation

Lastly, governments are becoming more involved in cybersecurity insurance regulation. This is largely due to the vast increase in cyberattacks, particularly ransomware, malware, and phishing. In the United States, more bills and resolutions are being introduced to provide a framework for addressing cybersecurity insurance coverage policies. Similarly, on a global scale, the European Commission has proposed new regulations that call for regular maturity assessments and plan implementations around cybersecurity.

 

Securing Cybersecurity in an Ever-Evolving World

With cybersecurity, businesses have two ways to optimise their efforts. The first is to take preventative measures by developing a risk management strategy and identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities in their system. The second is to examine cybersecurity insurance options. While costs are increasing, the demand for cybersecurity insurance coverage is justified. Cybercriminals will only get smarter, faster and stronger at breaching systems and causing financial disasters. At Nitor Solutions, we’re here to help you with both processes.

 

If you’re looking to learn even more about all things cybersecurity, check out more of our blogs in our resources section. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with trending technology topics!

Why Your Business Needs a Data Recovery Plan

Why Your Business Needs a Data Recovery Plan

We all know how important our business data is in today’s digital world. We are creating and using tons of new data every day. In fact, according to Forbes, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every 24 hours. And much of this business data is essential to keeping your business running smoothly and successfully. So, there’s no debate that this data needs to stay protected. The question is – Do you have a process in place to manage and keep your data safe? And better yet, do you have a disaster recovery plan if something terrible happens?

Considering that cyberattacks only continue to increase, now is the perfect time to have a solid data recovery plan. This article will discuss the dangers of not having a plan and why you need one. No matter how big or small your business is, you must have a data backup and recovery plan to protect your most valuable assets. Without a plan, you may be putting your business on the line.

The Dangers of Not Having a Plan

When you don’t have a data recovery plan in place, you leave your business extremely vulnerable to scenarios that could impact the safety of your data. A classic example is a cyberattack, especially in the case of ransomware attacks. According to CompariTech, two in five SMBs have been victims of ransomware attacks. Without a data backup and recovery plan, when bad actors hack into your system, they now have access to all your data and can hold it for ransom.

Ransomware attacks are no longer an uncommon practice either. And the percentage of companies that survive them and get their data back is not very high. Sophos found that 46% of companies faced with an attack paid the ransom and only 4% of those that paid got their data back. With few positive outcomes from a ransomware attack, the simple solution is a data backup and recovery plan. But cyberattacks are only one primary concern facing small businesses.

Another one of the biggest dangers that any business faces is downtime. According to Forbes, 82% of companies have experienced at least one unplanned downtime incident over the last few years. And believe us, downtime is never cheap. Gartner found that the average cost of downtime was $5,600 per minute. That’s over $300,000 if your business experiences just an hour of downtime. With a data recovery plan, downtime is all but eliminated because your company always has access to your data.

Why Having a Data Backup & Recovery Plan is Critical

There are many reasons why having a data recovery plan is crucial to the livelihood of your business. As we mentioned before, the most obvious is that your data is valuable and can be easily lost during a cyberattack or system failure. Whether you lose your data to a bad actor or any other way, you always have a second copy of those files when your data is backed up. But stronger security is only part of the battle; there’s also compliance.

A data backup and recovery plan is critical to maintaining compliance standards. When your business properly keeps up with compliance standards, you’re helping yourself avoid costly fines. This is especially important if you work in a heavily regulated industry like finance, healthcare, government-related work or legal. For example, individual HIPAA violations can cost as much as $50,000 per violation, so you need to keep your data backed up for many reasons, including steep regulatory fines.

There are many other benefits to a disaster recovery plan beyond security and compliance. With a plan in place, you can save a lot of money just on how you operate. With a cloud management system, you can give everyone access to what they need in a scalable system that increases workplace productivity and worker satisfaction. You can support flexibility and empower your employees to do their best work with a cloud backup and recovery system and an IT infrastructure that delivers long-term cloud solutions that benefit your business and team.

At Nitor Solutions in North Carolina, we offer long-term plans that help make sure your data is secure. Whether you’re looking for basic cloud upgrades or an offsite data management solution, our IT experts are here 24/7 to help you with any of your business IT concerns.

Looking to learn more IT tips that your business could use? Check out our past blogs on cybersecurity and cloud solutions, or contact our team to continue the conversation.

 

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What a Cybercriminal Does with Your Stolen Data

What a Cybercriminal Does with Your Stolen Data

In 2021, Verizon found that of the almost 80,000 cybercrime incidents reported, over 5,000 of those incidents were confirmed data breaches. Data theft is a rising problem for all businesses, and as bad actors come up with new tactics, cyberattacks continue to happen more often. We all know that cyberattacks occur, but what happens after a cyber threat steals your data?

This blog explores what happens to your data once it’s in the hands of a cybercriminal. It’s important that you’re aware of the many ways data theft can impact your business. That way, you can learn where your business could improve when it comes to cybersecurity. Here are four of the most common actions taken after a cybercriminal steals your data.

4 Ways Cybercriminals Use Your Stolen Data

 

1. They Sell Personal Information

One of the biggest threats to organizations is that these criminals can steal your personal information. Things such as names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and email addresses are all fair game to be sold on the dark web. Believe it or not, the price for this sensitive information is pretty cheap. According to CompariTech, the average cost for full credentials – which includes your name, Social Security number, street address and birthday – on the dark web is $8 per record.

2. They Distribute Login Credentials

Your usernames and passwords are considered extremely valuable information for cybercriminals. Credential harvesting is when a hacker gathers a compromised user’s credentials for their benefit. IBM reported that credential harvesting made up 7% of cyberattacks in 2021. They can then use these login credentials to get into any of your accounts and steal more of your information.

3. They Commit Financial Fraud

From your credit card numbers to your PIN numbers, your financial information is the main motivation for cybercriminals. According to Verizon, around 90% of bad actors are motivated by financial gain. They can use your bank accounts to pay bills, transfer money to themselves, or perform fraudulent transactions online in your name.

4. They Target Higher Personnel

Cybercriminals can use stolen data to seriously harm your business. Commonly known as whaling, this phishing tactic is when a cybercriminal impersonates a CEO or any other high-ranking official in the company in order to steal sensitive information, money or gain access to their network. From there, they can gain access to spy and infect a network without anyone knowing.

As global tensions continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to take control of your data and keep it safe. Putting steps in place to better protect your network is a great first step to safeguarding your business. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to data protection, partner with an MSP.

Nitor Solutions in North Carolina is ready to help protect your business with the best cybersecurity tools. Our experts are here for your business 24/7 and are ready to show you how you could be better defending your business.

If you want to learn more about our cybersecurity solutions, contact us today.

 

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Why Keeping Up with Email Security Is Important to Your Business

Why Keeping Up with Email Security Is Important to Your Business

With current global events related to cyberattacks, it’s becoming extremely important that you’re up to date on all your security measures, including email security. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to go through your current level of security and make sure your North Carolina business is fully protected.

One area that you should be immediately addressed is your business email system. In 2021 alone, more than 319 billion emails were sent each day, and this number is only expected to increase annually. Unfortunately, while we have seen more and more emails being sent, we are also seeing an increase in cyberattacks.

According to several reports, over 90% of cyberattacks start with an email. These emails usually have attached files or compromised links that, once clicked on, program some form of malware that attacks the victim’s software. Phishing attacks are becoming a real problem. In fact, 32% of all successful breaches involve using phishing techniques. That’s why it’s so important to invest in secure email services and cybersecurity training.

Cybersecurity Training: What’s at Stake?

Do you and your employees know about the different types of phishing emails? They can be easily disguised as an email from someone you trust. Without cybersecurity training, you may click on fraudulent links and attachments leading the way for cybercriminals to access your personal information.

A successful phishing attack can result in financial loss, compromised accounts, a damaged reputation, and much more. It’s important that you and your employees are able to pick out suspicious emails. In order to stop phishing attacks, you need to learn more about them. Let’s cover the main types of phishing attacks.

Phishing Training: 4 Types of Emails You May Encounter

While there are many types of phishing emails, here are a few common types that businesses see often:

Spearphishing

One of the leading types of phishing emails, spearphishing uses personalized information to convince users to open attachments or click on links. These attacks are usually targeted at specific individuals or groups in an organization.

Spoofing

Spoofing is when cybercriminals disguise themselves as trusted sources. The sender will forge email headers so that the software displays the fraudulent sender address. If it’s a name the victim recognizes, they’re more likely to trust it, so they’ll click on links, open malware attachments, or even send sensitive data and wire funds.

Whaling

Whaling, also known as CEO fraud, is when cybercriminals impersonate a CEO or any other high-ranking executive in a company. The goal is to use the presence of a powerful figure to steal sensitive information, money, or gain access to their computer systems.

Malvertising

Malvertising is when cybercriminals embed malicious code into legitimate-looking advertisements. By clicking on these infected ads cybercriminals gain access to anything on your device.

Email Security Services: How to Protect Your Business Devices

To keep your business devices protected, you need to constantly run updates and security filters. By running updates, you’re making sure your devices are up to date on the latest security patches to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Email security filters prevent suspicious emails from getting in your inbox.

With everything going on in the world, it’s extremely important that you’re on top of your security. This is a difficult situation, and the security of your business is a priority right now. If you don’t have a plan or if you’re unsure where to start, an MSP can keep your business secure.

Nitor Solutions is here for all your cybersecurity needs. Our team of experts will assess your current level of security and develop solutions to better protect your business.

Schedule a security assessment with us today.

 

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