Social engineering is a dangerous threat that could derail even the most prepared business. Even if you implement the best security solutions on the market, they mean nothing if a cybercriminal tricks you into acting impulsively. Let’s go over specific methods of social engineering that hackers might use to trick you.
k_Street Consulting, LLC Blog
With so many workers constantly connected to screens and other technology, it is a good idea to disconnect every so often by taking a vacation somewhere. However, it’s not always this easy, especially for a business owner who is still minimally connected to the office even while technically on vacation. We’ve got a couple of tips for how you can make the most of your technology while on your vacation without putting your company at risk in the process.
Sometimes it can be easy to take cybersecurity for granted, especially when you consider that built-in security features are more powerful than they have ever been. Unfortunately, if you think that cybersecurity is something that ends with the built-in security of your desktops and laptops, then you’re in for a rude awakening.
Hacking attacks can be stressful to manage, but when you add in that they can strike when you least expect them to, it gets a lot worse. You’ll never know how you respond to such an event unless you simulate it and replicate it somehow. This is what the penetration test is used for; it provides your business with a way to prepare for cyberattacks.
Botnets are nefarious entities consisting of countless connected devices, all of which have been infected by hackers to perform malicious deeds. One such botnet, a Russian botnet consisting of millions of infected Internet of Things devices, has been dismantled and taken down by the United States Department of Justice and various law enforcement agencies throughout Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Cyberattacks have caused many millions of dollars worth of damage to businesses over the past several years, so it makes sense that your business should invest in its cybersecurity to mitigate these damages. That said, there is only so much you can invest into your cybersecurity budget, as you have to factor in other parts of your business, too. Today, we want to share with you three ways you can invest in cybersecurity initiatives that won’t completely break your bank.
How many devices or points of access do you have for your business’ data infrastructure? Chances are it’s more than you think, at least at first glance. If you count up all the mobile devices, server units, workstations, laptops, and so on that have access to your network, you might suddenly realize how important it is to secure all of these endpoints, as any unsecured device could be a path forward for hackers.
Cybersecurity is something that must be reinforced both in the office and out of the office for your remote employees, and it’s unfortunately quite difficult to maintain. Let’s take a look at the unique circumstances surrounding the remote worker and how you should reinforce security best practices for them, even if they are not physically present in the workplace.
If you aren’t making cybersecurity a priority for your business, then we urge you to review the following statistics to ensure that you understand the gravity of the consequences. Let’s take a look at some of the ways scammers and hackers are making their way around the carefully-laid defenses placed by businesses and how you can protect your own organization.
There are times when you, as a business owner, might receive unsolicited emails from organizations asking you to try a product or asking for your input on something. More likely than not, the one responsible used data scraping to get your contact information. If it’s used appropriately, data scraping can be an effective marketing tool, but it can also be utilized by scammers to make your life miserable.
Businesses largely rely on their information systems and other technology tools, so you need to make sure they stay secure and far from the many threats out there. To this end, we recommend that you implement security systems that prioritize business continuity and data security. Let’s examine three ways you can keep your business’ IT safe and secure.
With Google Chrome being one of the most popular web browsers out there, it’s no surprise that threats want to target it and take advantage of its users. However, up until recently, there have not been very many zero-day threats associated with Chrome. Zero-day threats are attacks that have never been seen before, affecting a new and previously unknown vulnerability. We want to remind you that it’s not always a bad thing when vulnerabilities are discovered in a browser or web application—in fact, it can actually be indicative of good monitoring practices.
Cybersecurity is incredibly important for any organization that requires IT to remain operational (basically all of them), so it’s time to start thinking about your own strategies and how you can keep threats out of your network. One viable solution your business can implement is a Security Operations Center (SOC). What is a SOC, and how can you use it to keep threats off your network?
If you are someone who gets stressed out easily by people having access to resources they shouldn’t, then you probably have heard much about how to keep your data and internal resources safe from external threats. However, access control is much more than just cybersecurity; you also need to take into account the physical space when considering your access controls.
How often do you check social media only to find your news feed clogged with your friends and family sharing the results of quizzes like, “Which Star Wars character are you,” or “What’s your superhero name based on your birthday.” While these quizzes might seem harmless on the surface, they often hide a far more sinister agenda, one which uses the personally identifiable information provided to them for nefarious purposes.
Data security isn’t the easiest thing in the world to plan for, especially if your organization doesn’t have any dedicated security professionals on-hand. While protecting your data with traditional methods, like passwords, firewalls, and antivirus, is important, what measures are you taking to make sure a thief isn’t just walking into your office and making off with your technology?
It can be tough to get your staff to care about your business’ network security, especially if they don’t consider it part of their day-to-day tasks or responsibilities. However, network security is not just isolated to your IT department; it matters to everyone, and if you can convince your staff to adhere to best practices, your security will be that much more effective moving forward. Here are seven tips you can use to get your staff to care about network security.
During the first half of the Super Bowl last month, cryptocurrency exchange company Coinbase bought a minute of ad space to broadcast an ad that was just a QR code on the screen, meandering diagonally around the screen like the famous Windows screensaver. Millions of people took out their smartphones and scanned the code and now cybersecurity professionals are publicly decrying the tactic.
How effective is your cybersecurity? It seems like a simple question, but no less important to consider and determine as the answer could be the difference between a prevented breach and a successful one. In order to keep track of your business’ cybersecurity preparedness, it is important that you regularly evaluate it. Let’s go through the essential steps to performing such an evaluation.
We all know at this point how dangerous ransomware can be for businesses. It can lock down files, threaten operational continuity, and in some cases subject victims to brutal fines as a result of privacy breaches. One place where you might not expect ransomware to hit, however, is customer reviews, and it all stems from the big question: do you pay to resolve a ransomware attack or not?
Do you ever see an advertisement for a free download of a popular Windows application and think, “Wow, this sure sounds too good to be true!”? Well, it most definitely is, and hackers use these malvertisements to infect computers with malware and other threats. Specifically, malvertising is used to download three different types of malware, all of which can cause harm to unwary businesses.
Passwords have been a staple in data security and user authentication for many, many years… to the point where the idea of using a password has become nearly synonymous with the concept of security. However, data has increasingly shown that alternative options are in fact more secure. Let’s examine some of these passwordless authentication methods, and their pros and cons.
Protecting your organization’s data is a major focus of businesses these days, especially as threats grow more powerful and they better learn to penetrate the countless safeguards put into place. Let’s go over how encryption can help you cover all your bases—especially if hackers do manage to get through your security precautions.
Network security is challenging for many businesses, and it’s largely because of the large number of various threats that populate the Internet. Some companies simply don’t know what the correct measures to take are, leaving themselves vulnerable to these threats on both a security standpoint and an employee training standpoint. We’ll delve into some of these threats and how they can be addressed.
When we think about security and hackers, it’s easy to think of them all as the bad guys. However, this is far from the truth. Just like with other areas of life, there is a shade of gray involved with hacking, and there are good guys that use these skills to benefit others while the bad guys try to exploit them for their gain.
As modern warfare has evolved, so too has cyberwarfare. There is always a war occurring in cyberspace, where hackers attempt to outdo security researchers. One such example of hackers—often sponsored by government agencies—attempting to engage in cyberwarfare can be seen in the United States and Israeli technology sectors, which have become the target of password spraying.
Earlier this year, there was a string of high-profile ransomware attacks leveraged against major companies. Now, the United States has issued an order that dictates guidelines for how to patch various vulnerabilities in affected systems within federal agencies and organizations. It’s a huge move in an effort to stop hackers and other cyberthreats from becoming more serious problems in the future.
You see the headlines every single day while browsing the Internet: “So-and-So Suffers Massive Data Breach” or “Huge Data Breach Leaves Thousands of Credentials Exposed to Hackers.” Maybe you don’t see these specific headlines, but you get the idea; cybersecurity is a big deal these days, and you need to take it seriously before your business encounters problems that it cannot recover from.
Network security is one aspect of your business that absolutely should not be underestimated. In fact, many companies fail to adequately monitor their networks, and it can lead to many complications down the road. Why is it so critical to monitor your network, and how can you make sure that your business is actually doing it?
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a technology that many industries have found themselves benefiting greatly from, especially in the domains of cybersecurity and automation. Unfortunately, for every one great use of something, hackers will find two bad uses for it. AI has dramatically changed the landscape of cybersecurity and, more interestingly, cybercrime. Let’s take a look at why these threats are so concerning.
Businesses need all of the advantages they can get against threats, especially considering the fact that many of them adapt and evolve in response to advances in security measures. Some security researchers are seeing great success with artificial intelligence measures, a concept that could eventually become the future of network security in the business world.
Dealing with a hacked computer can be scary, but depending on the severity of the hack, you might not even know your infrastructure has been breached until it’s too late to stop it, putting you in a reactionary position. Let’s go over some of the telltale signs of a computer hack and what you should do about it.
Today’s cybersecurity landscape is dangerous, to say the least, prompting many organizations to adopt what is called a zero-trust policy for their security standards. Is a zero-trust policy the best solution for your company’s cybersecurity woes, and how effective is it toward preventing security issues? Let’s take a look.
A recent trend even amongst ransomware threats is that the FBI is issuing warnings regarding how dangerous it is or how difficult certain variants are. This particular threat—the OnePercent ransomware gang—is no exception. Let’s break down what you need to know about the OnePercent Group and how you can prepare to handle attacks not just from this threat, but most ransomware threats.
One of the most difficult things to do in business is to imagine a scenario in which someone you trust puts your organization at risk. We focus so much on the external threats that the internal ones often go unnoticed. How can you make sure that your organization does not fall victim to the several different types of insider threats out there? Let’s take a look.
You’d think that cybercriminals would use ransomware to target high-profile businesses with loads of money to extort, but this is not always the case. Even a small business can fall victim to these particularly devastating threats. Ransomware, just like other threats out there, has continued to evolve and adjust its approaches based on the current cybersecurity climate, so what are some of the latest developments in ransomware?
To be adept at a task is to say that the one doing the task is a professional, or someone with substantial knowledge that can be used to effectively complete the task. Cybersecurity is one such area where having a considerable amount of knowledge is of particular importance to help navigate the complex environment surrounding it. How can your organization achieve this level of mindfulness and expertise?
The Kaseya ransomware attack targeting VSA servers for approximately 1,500 organizations was another notable attack in a recent string of high-profile ransomware attacks, and while most organizations did what most security professionals recommend and did not pay the ransom, others did not listen. Now those who did pay the ransom are having trouble decrypting their data, and REvil is nowhere to be found to help them in this effort.
Ransomware is bad stuff, and it’s only gotten worse with its recent resurgence that aligned with the COVID-19 pandemic. Phishing attacks and other means by which ransomware is commonly spread have used the current atmosphere as a springboard. This makes it even more critical that these kinds of behaviors and attempts can be spotted and stopped.
The cloud is a popular choice for businesses that need access to tools to sustain operations, but there is an innate flaw that comes from hosting anything in an online environment: security. Do not pretend that security is not an issue for your cloud-based resources—failing to acknowledge the importance of security could be a fatal mistake for organizations that leverage cloud-based technology resources.
Data breaches are a well-known fact in the business environment, and small businesses in particular have many challenges that threaten their operations. It is important that you consider these security issues when putting together your risk management strategy, especially as it pertains to cybersecurity. Let’s take a look at how you can overcome some of the security challenges present for small businesses in 2021.
There is no denying that the cloud has become one of the most popular options for a business to obtain the tools required for their operations. Despite this, it is equally important to acknowledge that there are many ways that the cloud could facilitate security threats if not managed properly. Let’s go over some of the issues that must be addressed if a business is going to successfully leverage cloud technology to its advantage.
In May of 2021, Ireland’s Health Service Executive, which handles healthcare and social services to the Emerald Isle’s nearly five million residents, was the target of a massive ransomware attack. Even as businesses and municipalities from all over the globe have been dealing with this plight, we mention this because of the aftereffects of this situation. Today, we take a look at the situation and what can be learned from it.
If a hacker were to find themselves on your network or within one of your accounts, would you be able to detect them and eliminate them? Today we want to share some of our best strategies for how you can identify the warning signs of a hacking attack, as well as how you should respond. This is particularly important for a workforce that is working remotely, so we hope you take these tips to heart.
With so many high-profile ransomware attacks being launched against manufacturers, pipelines, and even hospitals, it’s no surprise that many companies are worried about what the future of this threat means for their organizations. Ransomware poses a serious threat, one that cannot possibly be ignored, so we urge you to take action now so you don’t come to regret it later.
Imagine going to log into one of your devices only to find that it has been completely wiped of any files located on it. Furthermore, imagine trying to log into your online account to manage the settings of said device, only to find that the password you know is correct is being identified as incorrect. This is the experience that many users of Western Digital’s My Book NAS device are currently going through, and it’s suspected that it is all because of an unpatched vulnerability.
Network security isn’t just for large, high-profile enterprises; even small businesses need to take it seriously. All businesses have something of value to hackers, and if you don’t believe this is the case for your organization, think again. All data is valuable to hackers, and you need to do everything in your power to protect it—especially against threats like Agent Tesla, the latest version of phishing malware designed to steal your data.
A recent surge of high-profile ransomware attacks strikes again with an assault on the world’s largest meat processor and distributor, JBS S.A. The cyberattack was so disruptive that the company was forced to suspend operations in both North America and Australia, leading to a considerable impact on the supply chain. Let’s take a deeper dive into what lessons can be learned from this situation.
The situation surrounding the hack against Colonial Pipeline has only become more complex as new information has come to light, each new discovery providing more insights and potentially actionable takeaways. Let’s examine some of the biggest developments surrounding the attack, and what they will likely mean for overall cybersecurity from this point forward.
Passwords are the first line of defense your accounts have against the myriad of threats out there. It’s imperative that you follow industry best practices when creating them so as to maximize security. Thankfully, the latest guidelines from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, make creating secure passwords easy.
Cybersecurity is one aspect of running a business that absolutely cannot be underestimated in its importance. It doesn't matter if you’re a huge enterprise or a small business; if you don’t take cybersecurity seriously, there is a very real possibility that your organization could be threatened in the near future. The easiest way to ensure your business’ continuity is to develop an internal culture of cybersecurity, and it starts from the top-down with you, the boss.
Per our role as cybersecurity professionals, part of our responsibility is to put the developing threats out there in the world into perspective for the clientele that we serve. After all, with so many modern threats seeming to border on science fiction, it is only natural for smaller organizations to assume that their size will protect them from such attacks through simple lack of interest—or even that such threats will never be used practically at any significant scale. Unfortunately, these assumptions are too often mistaken.
Many small and medium-sized businesses don’t consider making physical security investments if they already have some type of workable solution in place. The problem is that there have been a lot of innovative moves made that would make those investments strategically smart at the time. So, while a physical security upgrade may not be a priority for your business, we thought we’d go through some of the tools used, and how they have improved.
We’re all familiar with the idea that pop culture has cultivated in our minds about computer hackers, but as it happens, this impression is just one of the many shapes that the modern hacker can take. This kind of closed-off view is dangerously shortsighted, so let’s take a few moments to dig into the kinds of hackers there are, in ascending order of the threat they pose to your business.
Contemporary movies are filled with high-stakes cybercrime, where a lovable criminal syndicate breaks into a company’s systems to help wreak havoc on the true villains of the film, all the while exposing the company’s dirty laundry. Naturally, this idea can be frightening for any business, whether or not they have any dirty laundry to air out—after all, nobody wants a ruined reputation—and is unfortunately less and less of a fantasy all the time.
While you’ll probably hear us recommend that you update as soon as possible at every opportunity, the source of these updates is important to consider. This is especially the case now that mobile security firm Zimperium has discovered a new mobile spyware that pretends to update your mobile device… but actually steals data and monitors the user’s search history and location.
Ransomware is no laughing matter, especially in terms of the costs it can impose on its victims—this is, after all, what ransomware is famous for. However, some of these costs can be derived from unexpected expenses and exacerbate the already significant issues that ransomware poses. Let’s go over some of the costs that you should anticipate, should you be targeted by a successful ransomware attempt.
As commonly happens with any disaster, COVID-19 has inspired no short supply of scams. While these scams initially focused upon the relief funds that were delivered to people to help sustain the suffering economy, the ongoing vaccine distribution efforts have given those behind these efforts a new means of attack.
Recently, a story broke in Florida that sounds like something out of a terse action film: a hacker managed to access a water treatment facility and subjected the Pinellas County water supply with increased levels of sodium hydroxide. While onsite operators were able to correct the issue right away and keep the public safe from danger, this event is the latest in a line of cyberattacks directed at public utilities. Let’s consider this unpleasant trend.
Businesses that don’t see after their vulnerabilities are just asking to be breached. That’s the consensus view in the IT industry. It’s disconcerting, then, to consider how many businesses don’t actively assess their IT security, especially considering how much these platforms change from year-to-year. Today, we’ll briefly discuss what a security and compliance audit is, and why we think you need one.
If you haven’t taken the time to go through and update your passwords lately, particularly the one protecting your Google account, you should do so… despite it undeniably being a pain. After all, Google serves various purposes and is attached to many accounts for most. Considering the number of data breaches and other cybersecurity issues this potentially contributes to, you will want to ensure your Google account is properly locked down.
GoDaddy—the domain registrar and web-hosting company once famed for its risqué advertisements—is facing some significant backlash for a much different reason. On December 14th, GoDaddy’s employees received an email that appeared to be from the company, promising a holiday bonus. However, while the email was from the company as it appeared to be, it was actually a phishing test that the hosting provider decided to run.
Browser extensions are nifty little programs that can be implemented into your web browser itself, adding onto its capabilities and utility… at least, that’s the concept. Unfortunately, these programs also give cybercriminals a means of secretly launching an attack. The security firm Avast recently identified 28 such third-party extensions that have been installed—according to the download numbers, at least—by about three million people on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge combined.
With the holidays approaching, and with the global pandemic still underway, online shopping is going to be under even more demand than usual in 2020. With all of these transactions online, it would stand to reason that people would be more keen to follow best security practices than ever before. This week, we take a look at how people are staying secure online and whether or not the need for speed outweighs their security and privacy efforts.
As serious as they are, cyberattacks are not always labeled with the most serious-sounding names. We are, of course, talking about phishing: the use of spoofed email addresses and fraudulent messages to get hold of data, or whatever goal the attacker has in mind. One of the silliest-sounding versions of phishing—smishing—has proven to be of particular risk.
Employee monitoring—the practice of keeping an eye on your employees and their computer activity during work hours—isn’t exactly a new practice. However, with remote work suddenly seeing a huge boost in popularity, many businesses have sought to confirm that their workers are spending their work time as productively as possible. If you do choose to go this route, however, it is important to be aware of the lines that you cannot cross.
We’re all familiar to some degree with the security measure known as CAPTCHA. You know the one—you usually see it when filling out forms or logging into sites online, where you have to prove that you’re a human being by identifying which of a variety of images fit a certain description. You may have noticed that these tests have gotten far more difficult over time. This is because, predictably, computers are getting better at beating them.
Let’s face it, it is nearly impossible for the modern business to stay ahead of every cyberthreat. It is just too much to proactively ward against. Today’s best practices will try to keep your network from being breached and your data from being stolen, but they may just allow you to understand how your network was breached and how your data was stolen. Unfortunately, cybersecurity is not foolproof, but let’s look at a few strategies you can use to improve your chances of holding onto your data and keeping unwanted actors out of your network.
Google Chrome is currently used by 69 percent of global desktop Internet users, as of July of 2020. With such a large amount of people using Chrome, its security becomes even more important… which makes it all the worse that many people are unaware of the permissions that some of its extensions claim.
Today’s business has to prioritize its data security. There are endless examples of businesses that haven’t done enough. Some aren’t around anymore. To help you build a strategy, we’ve put together four questions that need to be asked to give you a chance to outwit and overcome the endless threats your company could run into online.
To effectively manage the risk that your business is under due to cybercriminals and their activities, it is important to acknowledge what attacks your business may soon have to deal with. Due to the increased accessibility of artificial intelligence and related processes, we predict that cybercrimes will likely use AI to their advantage in the very near future.
With some motivation from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are adjusting their approach to cybersecurity. Typically, businesses would take a more measured approach in their day-to-day security improvements, while swiftly acting if there was any kind of clear and present danger. While this proved effective, the current situation has now shifted priorities over to maintaining resilience. Let’s examine some of these shifts, and how an advantage can be gained through a consistent cybersecurity strategy.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the globe, there has been a lot of hope and effort put towards developing a vaccine against it. Unfortunately, just as some experiments have produced promising results, hackers have begun targeting the research centers responsible. Let’s look at this situation to see what it can teach us.
Smartphones now come with a variety of ways that users can elect to unlock their device, from biometrics to tactile patterns to good, relatively old-fashioned personal identification numbers. Of course, not all these authentication measures secure your phone equally well. Let’s consider some of these measures to determine which one is best for your device’s security.
Google and Apple have recently started an initiative with local governments to try and help prevent the increased spread of COVID-19. Basically, this app would notify people if there were positive COVID-19 test results in their area. While this does bring up some major privacy concerns, we wanted to discuss something else today: the prevalence of false warnings that have already been forced onto mobile devices. Let’s dig in.
When a business undergoes a security audit, its IT security is evaluated to make sure that it has the proper protections in place to protect against the various threats that could strike. Now more than ever, it is important for any organization to be confident in their preparedness. Let’s discuss the importance of assessing your own organization’s security with audits, and how this benefits you.
Does your business accept credit cards? Of course it does. Regardless of what industry you are in, your customers are now using payment cards for a large portion of their retail transactions both online and in-store. To protect consumers, there has been a compliance standard enacted by credit card companies. Today we will look at this standard.
When a company operates primarily via the Internet, there seems to be an inherent trust that their audience naturally has. There’s little-to-no doubt that all promises will be kept and that all data shared with them will be fully secured, but is this confidence appropriately placed? While we can’t speak to the promises these companies make, we can weigh in on some common data security practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a great number of people working from home. While this is good for the public health, it may unfortunately lead your employees toward a laxer view of cybersecurity. Cybercriminals are sure to take advantage of this if you aren’t careful, so it is important to be particularly aware of your cybersecurity right now.
With cyberthreats the way that they are, a lot of industry professionals go on and on about the importance of deploying technologies designed to reduce the potential threats that a business has to confront. This technology isn’t cheap and while they absolutely do help you protect your technology and data; today’s hackers know that. Unfortunately for small business owners, that shift has left your staff on the front lines of cybersecurity; a place they really shouldn’t be. Let’s discuss cybersecurity from an employer’s perspective.
When it comes to a business’ cybersecurity, there is no magic bullet to solve every problem. No miracle cure, no panacea, no Staples “that was easy” button. Instead, you need to deploy various means of protecting your operations. Let’s discuss how your business’ security needs to be shaped in three different environments: your physical infrastructure, your cybersecurity solutions, and your employees’ security habits.
While remote work has gained an understandable boost in popularity, many business owners and technology specialists may still be concerned about how secure the Wi-Fi connections that workers are using in the home are. To waylay those fears, you need to be sure that your employees are using their networks as securely as they can.
The COVID-19 pandemic has most of the world at home. It has completely disrupted everyday life and has businesses scrapping their normal strategies for work-at-home policies that will at least allow them to maintain some productivity. These strategies, while highly effective, carry with them additional risk. Today, we take a look at some of the risks associated with relying on remote workers.
When someone starts talking about social engineering, people often get confused. They think we’re talking about cloning. While having two of something you love may not be terrible, the social engineering we routinely cite is much, much worse. Social engineering is the act of using social interactions to get people to make cybersecurity mistakes. Today, we’ll take a look at social engineering and how it can have a negative effect on your business.
Wait! If you haven’t read part one of our Facebook privacy blog yet, you may want to do that before reading this one. If you’re ready, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at your Facebook settings to make sure that your account and its data are as secure as possible. If we’re being honest, protecting this kind of data hasn’t seemed to be one of the platform’s strong suits - and user privacy has been the star of many lists of concern.