Protect Your Small Business from Future Threats

Protect Your Small Business

The well-known ransomware called Wannacry hit hundreds of computers in May 2017. As a business leader, it is important to understand what happened, to ensure that proper security measures are being taken to protect my business from future threats.

Computer systems will always be prone to attacks; from the largest enterprise to the smallest home business, many of these attacks start with email. The most recent example being the highly publicized WannaCry ransomware attack. E-mail attacks typically start with an innocent-looking phishing e-mail in your inbox, and end with losing access to all your data. One of the main problems with these types of attacks is that they are always evolving, sometimes within hours or days of each other, and they’re becoming harder to detect.

For example, in the recent Google Docs and DocuSign phishing e-mail attacks, attackers changed servers within hours after spam filters started to pick up on the breach; and then bypassed them. This allowed even more e-mails to go through, and more data was compromised. Once a user clicked on a link and entered information, or downloaded an attachment, data was compromised. In some cases, beyond recovery.

Myth: Many people feel that having a spam filter in place protects them from these threats.

It’s not always true that spam filters protect users from threats. In fact, with many of the recent attacks, the e-mails that were received were not recognized, or flagged as spam. In most cases, they are e-mails being sent from the account of a compromised party (who entered their credentials in a phishing e-mail), or through a legitimate third party.

So, what can you do to protect your business and employees from future attacks, when even a good spam filter might not catch a possible threat?

The key is having as many layers of protection between the outside world and the end user, as possible. The first layer of protection would be your spam filter, and the second would be your Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware software. The Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware software on your PC should be the last line of defense, and ideally never used.

What are some other layers of protection?

The most critical layer of protection has nothing to do with technology at all, but everything to do with the end user. Ensuring that you and your end users are diligent and attentive when reviewing e-mails, is important. It’s essential to always be on the lookout for suspicious emails with links or attachments. For example, if you receive a random e-mail from someone you may or may not know, it could be that their account has been compromised.

Were you expecting to receive a signed DocuSign document? Were you waiting for someone to share a document with you?

If the answer is no, don’t assume that because you know the name on the e-mail, that it’s safe. This is true even if it’s from someone within your own company. It doesn’t take much time to pick up the phone and call/text that person and ask. In this modern world, attackers prey on the fact that we have become so dependent on e-mail, and will not find other means to provide checks and balances. Do not e-mail back and ask if this is real, as the attacker could be sitting and monitoring that person’s e-mail account, waiting to reply, just to get you to enter in your information.

Another layer of protection is using office 365 Exchange Online for your e-mail. Microsoft also offers Office 265 Advanced Threat Protection, which helps monitor your e-mail in real-time, against new, more sophisticated attacks, by screening malicious attachments and links. This is done by working with the security features already included in Microsoft 365’s Exchange Online Protection spam filter. Overall, this provides better defenses against zero-day attacks. Since zero-day attacks are generally unknown to the public, it is more difficult to defend against them (as patches have not yet been released), which is why they’re often effective against “secure” networks.

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection can be added to most Office 365 Business or Enterprise plans, and is included in the Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan. Basic configuration of Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is relatively quick, and licensing is easily acquired.

By Matthew Cleaver

Kelly Dyer

Healthcare Data Security: Why It Matters

Healthcare Data Security Today, electronic healthcare data exists at every point along a patient’s journey. So frequently is it being processed, accessed, and shared between multiple providers, that we’d be forgiven for forgetting the highly ...
Derrek Schutman

Providing Robust Digital Capabilities by Building a Digital Enablement Layer

Building a Digital Enablement Layer Most Digital Service Providers (DSPs) aim to provide digital capabilities to customers but struggle to transform with legacy O/BSS systems. According to McKinsey research, 70% of digital transformation projects don’t ...
James Crowley

Does Open-Source Software Hold the Key to Data Security?

Open-Source Software Data Security Whether you realize it or not, open-source software is everywhere in our everyday tech, from mobile phones to air travel, from streaming Netflix to space exploration. Open-source software has played a ...
Dr. Mike Lloyd

How to Mitigate Security Risks in the Cloud

How to Mitigate Security Risks in the Cloud Enterprises continue to spend billions annually on security technology, yet cyber breaches continue to come fast and furious. So what exactly is going on here? Why are ...
Gamestop NFT

Could GameStop Issue An NFT Dividend?

NFT Dividends A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a piece of data that is stored on a blockchain that certifies a digital asset to be unique. An NFT can represent pictures, videos, GIFs, audio and other ...

CLOUD MONITORING

The CloudTweaks technology lists will include updated resources to leading services from around the globe. Examples include leading IT Monitoring Services, Bootcamps, VPNs, CDNs, Reseller Programs and much more...

  • Opsview

    Opsview

    Opsview is a global privately held IT Systems Management software company whose core product, Opsview Enterprise was released in 2009. The company has offices in the UK and USA, boasting some 35,000 corporate clients. Their prominent clients include Cisco, MIT, Allianz, NewVoiceMedia, Active Network, and University of Surrey.

  • Nagios

    Nagios

    Nagios is one of the leading vendors of IT monitoring and management tools offering cloud monitoring capabilities for AWS, EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and S3 (Simple Storage Service). Their products include infrastructure, server, and network monitoring solutions like Nagios XI, Nagios Log Server, and Nagios Network Analyzer.

  • Datadog

    DataDog

    DataDog is a startup based out of New York which secured $31 Million in series C funding. They are quickly making a name for themselves and have a truly impressive client list with the likes of Adobe, Salesforce, HP, Facebook and many others.

  • Sematext Logo

    Sematext

    Sematext bridges the gap between performance monitoring, real user monitoring, transaction tracing, and logs. Sematext all-in-one monitoring platform gives businesses full-stack visibility by exposing logs, metrics, and traces through a single Cloud or On-Premise solution. Sematext helps smart DevOps teams move faster.