Remember when HAL from Space Odyssey made us all afraid of the potential evils of artificial intelligence? Ah, the innocence of 1968. Today, AI has transitioned into mainstream society, and the only thing we’re afraid of as business owners is not being agile enough to keep up with emerging technology.
Rapid digital transformation has many businesses struggling to keep up with the latest security, operational, and productivity solutions. And unless your technology has been updated within the last 6 to 12 months, you’re most likely operating on at least one outdated solution, putting your business behind your competitors and at risk of cyberattacks. Here are the three steps you need to take regularly to thrive in a world of rapidly emerging technologies.
Step 1: Assess — Where Are You Now vs. Where Are You Going?
If you’re like most forward-thinking businesses, your plans for thriving in the future include examining your past progress and looking for ways to improve. Besides updates, that means jumping into the future — meaning, now — and employing new technology.
Compiling a checklist of where your technology stands is a good place to start to see what solutions you should adopt. Where is your current technology holding you back and what needs improving?
To examine your current infrastructure, ask yourself a few questions regarding your goals:
- Are you looking to optimize your technology?
- What technology isn’t working for you anymore?
- What do you need from an infrastructural standpoint to achieve your goals?
Once you’ve evaluated your pain points and the ways you’d like to improve, it’s time to examine what technology solutions you can launch to grow your business.
Step 2: Discover — What Emerging Technology Can You Adopt?
Adopting new technology is a test of how agile your business is, and it appears to pay off. Companies that use new technology in business have upped their revenue by nearly 60% according to Oracle.
Additionally, new digital tools have been shown to catapult financial returns, workforce diversity, and environmental targets by 22%, according to Deloitte.
The benefits of adopting new technology and equipment are wide in scope and include increasing productivity, improved processes and workflow, ease of remote work, and increased employee satisfaction.
Five examples of new technology solutions include:
- AI: 75% of companies that have implemented AI fully experienced an improvement in their decision-making, according to PwC.
- Automation: While less than 10% of jobs can be completely automated, automating various steps and processes can free up people to focus on more dynamic work, according to Forbes.
- Cloud-Native Platforms: McKinsey reports that cloud delivers a rise in EBITDA — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization — of more than 20% across all industries.
- Decision Intelligence: Research confirms that businesses that base decisions on data, not instincts or experience, are 19 times more likely to be profitable, according to Forbes.
- Emerging Technology: Improving your current infrastructure makes your business more secure.
Step 3: Implement — Partner with a Professional
With consumer and business digital adoption moving forward at such a rapid pace, it has never been more critical to partner with a professional service provider who can keep up with emerging technology development.
At Nitor Solutions, we are the North Carolina area’s leading experts in emerging technology implementation. We deliver comprehensive and scalable solution that keeps your business competitive, secure, and thriving.
To get your business up to speed now — and beyond — schedule a call with our technology experts today.
TechRepublic reports that a midsized company gets alerts for more than 200,000 events and threats each day — far too many than even the most experienced team of human tech experts should be expected to handle.
AI, or artificial intelligence, can provide a major enhancement to a company’s cybersecurity, especially with its ability to identify malware and other alerts before they have a chance to infect a network and compromise sensitive data.
Most importantly, AI-based cybersecurity doesn’t get tired. Rather than replacing IT professionals, AI cybersecurity solutions can supplement your internal team. It is precisely the sophisticated, innovative protection a business needs to survive and thrive, especially as cybercriminals and hackers grow smarter and more audacious by the day.
Here Are 5 Benefits of Using AI Cybersecurity Solutions:
1) It’s Smart
Through deep learning as well as machine learning, AI cybersecurity solutions get to know the ins and outs of the network its protecting, including its unique behavior and patterns. Consequently, it is quick to notice whenever the network is straying from its normal behavior — perhaps as a result of a security incident — and responds. By learning everything it needs to know about a network, as well as recording the traits of previous alerts and attacks, AI-based cybersecurity gets stronger each day, making it that much harder for hackers to break through.
2) It Never Rests
Be it sickness, holidays or well-earned PTO, there are many reasons why key members of your IT team may miss a day or two of work. AI security, however, never stops protecting your network, safeguarding your data 24/7/365 from even the most innovative and creative cybercriminals. As a business owner, you, too, can enjoy some richly deserved time off with peace of mind that comes from knowing your company is safe.
3) It Can Handle Loads of Data
Companies of all sizes transfer tons of data internally and with clients each day, and it is essential this data remain clean. AI security can review tons of data in a timely manner while identifying and resolving any kinds of threats and alerts lurking throughout.
4) It’s Fast
Recognizing and resolving a threat before it happens is essential when it comes to network protection. AI-based security can quickly monitor and scan your system for threats and find them quicker than humans can. It’s far more effective to snuff out a threat before it becomes a problem than trying to repair your network and reputation in the aftermath of a breach.
5) It Features Layered Authentication
Passwords aren’t enough when it comes to adequate protection. AI cybersecurity solutions also use two-factor authentication, or 2FA. This technology requires users to show at least two forms of identification before entering a network. This can be a verification code sent to someone’s phone via text or something as high-tech as a retinal scan or face recognition. These extra layers of security make your network more difficult for even the craftiest of hackers to breach.
We Can Help
Keeping up with cybercriminals has never been more challenging than it is today. They are more skilled and audacious and have more resources at their disposal than ever before. Partnering with an MSP who offers modern, innovative security is the best way to ensure your network is keeping pace with those who are trying to destroy it. Reach out today to learn about our suite of services and how they can help and schedule a no-risk, no-cost strategy assessment call.
Schedule an assessment or call our team of security experts.
Most ransomware attacks are initiated by organized crime, according to Clear Data. Tony Soprano, anyone? When you think about it, it’s really no different than a shakedown. But instead of Soprano strong-arming you in an alley to extort your money, cybercriminals hijack your data right from the safety of your business or home.
And they’re not stopping anytime soon.
By the time you take in your next three breaths, a new organization will become a victim of ransomware. That’s a new victim every 11 seconds, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.
And in 10 years, ransomware costs are estimated to continue skyrocketing 10 times the total of 2021, to nearly $265 billion, making ransomware one of the fastest growing cybercrimes. But that doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to the statistics. Here’s how you can identify and prevent ransomware attacks for your North Carolina business.
How Ransomware Attacks Take Place
While no two attacks are the same, the way they get into your systems is similar:
- An email from a scammer hits your inbox. It demands your attention because it resembles an invoice or notice from a familiar brand.
- Once you click on the suggested link or download a document, a silent infection starts. The user’s files are then encrypted.
- Ransom is demanded. The user is given payment instructions and deadlines, usually involving cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
- End result: Your business is faced with locked files or systems, encrypted files and/or destruction of your files.
Once a ransomware infection starts, business owners are forced to suffer long-lasting consequences like extended downtime, loss of funds from cleanup and compliance fees and a loss of trust amongst investors and consumers.
Early Detection is Critical
If preventative, 24/7 ransomware protection and monitoring isn’t maintained, your business could fall victim without even noticing. By not having proper detection tools in place and a plan to thwart malicious activity in the earliest stages, you run the risk of greater damage.
According to Cisco, the average detection time for a breach is over six months. The additional time allows cybercriminals to identify critical data, distribute it for profit on the black market and continue extracting further data as time passes. It also opens the door for multiple extortion points to occur through the sale of your private data, the encryption of files and access to new networks and data through exposed information.
Similar to auto or home insurance, you don’t want to wait until you need ransomware protection to establish it.
Don’t Pay the Ransom
Three out of four organizations have experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months, according to a report by Cisco. And recovery is much more expensive than the ransom.
If recovery costs so much, then it makes sense to pay the ransom, right?
Wrong. The research says you’d be wasting your money.
According to Forbes, an overwhelming 92 percent of those who pay ransom requests don’t get their data back. The best strategy is to deny ransomware attackers payment and allow cybersecurity experts to take control of the situation.
Through the knowledge of a trusted managed security partner, proper encryptions, continuity plans and cybersecurity training, you can avoid ransomware attacks in the first place. Here are a few suggestions:
Encrypt Your Data
With the right preventative data security, you’ll be able to stop potential threats from getting into your data in the first place. Tools like multifactor authentication, controlled access and various other security measures can not only prevent breaches but alert your business sooner to potential threats. This allows for simple, proactive measures to be taken, rather than reactive scrambling down the line.
Train your Team
94 percent of malware, including ransomware, is delivered by email, according to CSO Online. And social engineering is the easiest way into your network for hackers nowadays. With cybersecurity training, your employees can learn ransomware prevention, discovering how to identify common social engineering ploys that come through their inbox before they can claim an unsuspecting victim.
If you have team members who take their work away from the office, you’ll want to take extra precautions. Public and high traffic areas are prime targets for ransomware attackers to try and gain access to sensitive data. You can stay secure on the go by implementing VPNs. Most corporate users don’t utilize a VPN when they’re using devices outside of the office. With nearly three out of four organizations having experienced a compromise with a roaming user, it’s crucial to get your team to understand the vulnerabilities they expose and stay diligent. Additionally, discouraging the use of personal devices and repeated passwords can provide a much-needed extra layer of security.
You Don’t Have to Become an Expert Overnight
At Nitor Solutions, we help you outmaneuver your ransomware opponents with proactive and comprehensive ransomware protection. Our advanced cybersecurity knowledge and services can help protect your team from ransomware without the added stress and time. We deliver airtight security, so you can focus on your business and rest assured that you have 360 degrees of protection.
To better understand how vulnerable you are to ransomware attacks, request our security assessment today.
Why do you need cybersecurity training for your North Carolina business? Most data breaches start with an email. But it’s no regular email.
67% of data breaches are due to attacks like phishing, according to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report. Knowledge obtained from cybersecurity training is the most critical tool for team members to recognize cyberattacks and phishing emails.
This article covers how training your team can turn them into security assets instead of liabilities. If you’re interested in empowering your employees with up-to-date cybersecurity training in North Carolina, contact Nitor Solutions.
Who Do Cybercriminals Target?
Cyber attackers are especially interested in small and medium-sized businesses. SMBs are not investing their time as much in security as larger organizations do, like Fortune 500 companies. When hackers know that SMBs might not have the proper IT infrastructure to prevent cyberattacks, due to their inherently smaller budget, this makes them an easy mark for cyber attackers.
Unfortunately, this trend of picking on the little man isn’t going away. Nearly half of all cyberattacks target SMBs, and 60% of SMBs close shop within six months of a cyberattack, according to Inc. Business disruptions, downtime and reputational damage all threaten to turn your business into a statistic. Investing in cybersecurity training can reduce the risk of a cyberattack, so every small business needs to take security precautions to ensure protection.
What You Can Do
Teaching your employees to spot scams is a great way to turn your employees from your weakest link into defenders of your data. You can teach them to exercise caution before reading emails. They can learn to compare the sender’s name and URL. They can scan for bad grammar and “urgent” messaging often used in phishing emails, and you can teach them to think twice about clicking on links from unknown senders.
Many companies outsource their IT needs, including cybersecurity training, to ensure they remain protected against a data breach. Ntior Solutions specializes in integrating a comprehensive solution that protects your systems and data, with cybersecurity as a top priority.
Training educates your team on security tips that minimize the risk of an accidental data breach through human error. From identifying online scams to knowing what comprises a secure password, employees have the potential to turn into a human firewall.
Most businesses have experienced a cyberattack. It’s now a regular news report: cybercrime is on the rise. And cybercriminals are growing more sophisticated in their techniques. It’s crucial to arm your team with the knowledge they need to ramp up their cybersecurity.
With Nitor Solutions, employees are trained to understand it’s a shared responsibility to stave off cyberattacks. They recognize the accountability of their actions when they’re online, and the dangers are illuminated with educational programming.
It can even be fun with simulated phishing attempts and celebratory awards for people who take the appropriate steps to keep the company safe.
Once cybersecurity training is a matter of course for all employees, new or existing, the training is updated to make it a permanent part of employment at your business. This serves the purpose of allowing Nitor Solutions to keep the training updated to keep it in line with current cyberthreats.
Neither you nor your employees want harm to come to your business. Give them the tools they need to stave off cyberthreats and protect your data now and later, when cybercriminals are upping their game. Outmaneuver the bad guys with your greatest asset —your team.
Since 2020, cybercrime has skyrocketed by 600 percent with new tactics to lure your business into danger. Many of the threats hide in plain sight, but remain masked under the anonymous veil of the dark web’s advanced VPN systems. The dark web houses numerous threats from money laundering to fraudulent government documents and, you guessed it, tools for cyberattacks. So, what cybersecurity and dark web protection tools can you implement to protect your business, North Carolina? Read on to discover Nitor Solutions’ do’s and don’ts of dark web protection for your business.
DON’T — Wait Until a Data Breach to Fortify Cybersecurity
What would happen to your business if you lost 80 days of operations? That’s the scary reality for many businesses, with the average containment time of a data breach clocking in around 80 days. Not to mention the damage that is done before a breach is even detected. The average time it takes to realize a data breach has occurred was approximately 228 days in 2020. And with the nearly untraceable, underground channel available through the dark web, that amount of time can lead to irreparable damage for your business.
DO — Install Automated Threat Detection Software
With ransomware attacks claiming a victim every 11 seconds, it’s critical to have 24/7 threat detection and rapid response plans in place to protect your business. Automated detection will not only thwart the suspicious activity, but it will provide real-time alerts for your team to react to the specific data that’s potentially compromised, so you can get ahead of any further threats. Additionally, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve by understanding potential vulnerabilities in your current system.
DON’T — Assume Your Employees Know What to Do
Your employees are likely assets to your business, except in the case of dark web cybersecurity. Stanford University researchers discovered that nearly 88 percent of all data breaches were caused by an employee mistake. And even if they do know how to detect a suspicious email or link, more often than not, the leading cause of a victim falling for phishing scams is distraction. Take the time to invest in cybersecurity trainings, business continuity plans and response plans for your team. These small windows of time could eventually mean the difference between growth or closure of your business. Don’t leave it to chance.
DO — Have a Password Management System
Password management systems and software can help your team create unique passwords and add an extra layer of cybersecurity and dark web protection. And with 42 percent of companies relying on sticky notes to manage their passwords, it’s certainly a worthwhile and simple solution. These systems focus on password security, character variance and automated password update notifications to ensure your team stays safe and sound over the long term.
DON’T — Leave Software and Hardware Unpatched
Did you know that 60 percent of data breaches exploited weaknesses in software for which a patch or security update was available and not applied? By not patching your software and hardware, you leave the door wide open for malicious actors from the dark web to access your systems and data. Best practice calls for updating your security tools regularly and as soon as they become available. Setting automated security updates can also ensure your entire team stays compliant with best practices.
DO — Partner with an Expert
Trying to keep up with the evolution of cyberthreats, the newest technology and best practices can be exhausting, especially if you don’t have years of experience under your belt. That’s why it’s best to partner with a managed service provider, like Nitor Solutions. Our diverse background spanning across numerous industries and tools allows us to respond faster and with the precision needed to protect your business. MSPs also offer insights into technology trends, ways to promote growth and managing security in a customized fashion that allows you to plan ahead.
Reduce Your Stress with Expert Guidance
Whether you just want an extra layer of security or are looking for a more robust partnership that offers strategic guidance, Nitor Solutions is your number one choice. To learn more about the strategic technology services we offer, connect with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today.
At Nitor Solutions, we see North Carolina businesses fall victim to cyberattacks on a regular basis. And while we all would like to think we’d never fall for such schemes, cybercriminals are getting craftier in their approaches as time goes on. Imitating big brands like Microsoft, DHL, Google, Amazon and more, they use logos, brand colors and common errors like locked accounts or fake fraud messages to panic recipients into clicking malicious links or providing credentials.
On average, organizations remediate 1,185 phishing attacks each month. That’s nearly 40 attacks a day! And a surprising number of these scams accomplish what the attackers set out to do. In fact, 74% of attacks targeting American businesses like phishing were successful, according to Expert Insights.
But you don’t have to fall into the statistics. Here are four phishing prevention tips you can use to stop phishing attacks from undermining your business.
Phishing prevention is within your control with email security filters. Email security filters scan employees’ computers for malicious content and block the delivery of bad emails while allowing the delivery of good ones. Email security also can stop an email before it ever reaches its intended recipient. It can be deployed as a cloud service or as an on-premises application. Other software, like post-delivery protection, sits in your email and monitors for suspicious activity. It keeps an eye on inbound, outbound and internal communications for malicious content and uses AI and machine learning to identify and recognize individuals’ communication, while scanning their email for questionable activity.
Employees who have completed security awareness training are more likely to report a suspicious email. In fact, after completing one year of training, organizations of all sizes saw an 87% improvement rate, according to the latest KnowBe4 Phishing by Industry report. After some training, your employees can become your biggest defenders against phishing attacks, rather than prime targets.
Backup Your Data
Did you know that nearly 75 percent of cyberattacks targeting U.S. businesses end up successful? One in five of those cyberattacks are attributed to phishing. To add to the threat, hackers of all types are increasing their activities. When your data is breached, the key to preventing downtime, brand damage and a recovery lag is to have backups in place. The best way to combat cyberattacks, like phishing, is to maintain frequent backups in multiple locations. And be sure to test often.
Incorporate a Managed IT Partner
Managed service providers, or MSPs, can enable your devices with SEG, set up PDP and provide insights on the latest phishing ploys circulating your area. Even better, an MSP can provide a robust set of security measures to protect your data from cyberthreats. Outsourcing your IT security needs means you can let your MSP handle the headaches of staying ahead of cyberthreats and potential breaches.
Cyber risks are only as strong as your security solutions. Even though the possibility of a cyberattack is frightening, Nitor Solutions can help you relax knowing we have your back 24/7. Contact us today and take back control of your business security.