9waysstaffcybersec

9 ways to get staff on board with Cyber Security

The most robust way to protect your business from hackers is to mobilise your staff

Cyber criminals are targeting all businesses, all the time. They want to get into your systems and find ways to steal cash from you.

New Utility: Has your email address been stolen?

Has your email address been stolen?

We have put together a new tool for you to use for free that can tell you if your email address has been stolen.

If it has been stolen you can use the contact form to request more information from us.

Support for Windows 7 ended this week

No doubt you’ve seen on the news or your favourite social platform that Microsoft officially withdrew support for Windows 7 on tuesday. It has now reached the end of its life.

This means that we can no longer provide critical support for your Windows 7 machines.

What does that mean?

Your email is your greatest tool. And biggest threat

Because we rely on email so much to run our businesses, it’s our greatest tool (no matter how much you might sigh when you see how many unread emails you have).

But because there’s so much activity in there. And you can receive emails from anyone, it’s the most common way to try to breach your business.

Hackers are targeting every business, every day. Using clever automated tools.

What secrets are you giving away on social media?

Could a puppy get your business hacked?

How lovely. Lisa in accounts has a brand new puppy.

It’s taking over her life. There are photos on her desk. It’s all she seems to talk about. Hey – she even changed her password to include his name.

And suddenly that puppy has become a security risk to your business.

Because hackers are clever.

GDPR One Year On

Fines issued over the past twelve months have already totalled €56m. And watchdogs say the European data protection agencies are just warming up. Yes that includes here in the UK.

In the first few months alone, more than 205,000 cases were reported across 31 countries.

And now the data officers have settled into their roles, they’re taking a zero- tolerance approach to breaches.

3 in 4 staff would fail a simple password check

You want your staff to watch this video. Because their weak passwords put your business at risk.

3 in 4 people use passwords so weak, they are very easily hacked. We’re talking:

123456
Pet names, children’ names, spouse’s names
Football teams, favourite player, etc

We’re TKNOWIT , local data security experts. And almost every day we see the consequences of local businesses being hacked, due to weak passwords.

We’ve got a brand new educational video on password security. You can watch it right now.

Which member of your staff is using the password “Fluffy1234”?

Someone is. Or some other weak variant of their pet’s name, child’s name, or their favourite football team.

We’ve seen all of these. And so have the hackers. And that’s why passwords like these are so easy to crack.

People and their passwords are the weakest link in any organisation’s security. That includes businesses in Ryedale and beyond.

Our new video shows you how to easily add a powerful extra layer of security.

tKnowIT Padlock Dog

WannaCry – the public now know what ransomware can do

Disruption from Friday afternoon and over the weekend has been ‘unprecedented’. In the UK the big impact appears to have been felt by the NHS and this has brought it into the public domain with all of the associated press coverage. Ransomware should now be something that most people are aware of and hopefully they can look at ways to protect their computers.

The attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and as the weekend rolled on and turned into Monday it became apparent that the attack was worldwide and included a number of US, European and Russian organisations and businesses.

Many commentators are suggesting the person(s) who launched the attack was an amateur but my response would be that this should be of great concern to us all if an amateur can get an attack to spread so rapidly and impact on so many machines. Also some are suggesting that the code of how to launch this attack was stolen from a US security agency (still think its an amateur?) and this agency had known about the security weakness in Microsoft Windows for some time but not reported it to Microsoft.

Microsoft did release a patch in March to resolve this but obviously not everyone had applied this to their systems. Security patches are important to apply as soon as possible but as with all patches they need to be tested before they are rolled out across all machines. Some people will still recall the days when patches often caused the Blue Screen of Death  (BSOD) making it more important to test every single patch but this is less of an issue nowadays.

tKnowIT Padlock DogThere are several things that can be done to minimise the exposure to attacks and the impact of them should they get through (and also reduce the impact of BSODs).

  1. Have a good Internet Security product. A managed one is preferable because then you can leave the settings, monitoring, etc to experts
  2. If it’s not part of the internet security suite then have a next generation ransomware layer of protection
  3. Automated patching of 3rd party applications such as Adobe Reader, Java, Firefox, Chrome, etc. To update them all manually or when prompted is too time consuming. Some 3rd party applications are essential for day to day tasks but they are the most commonly used point of entry for attacks.
  4. Patch Windows (and other operating systems) regularly. Check at least once a week, even if the device is set to automatically apply updates. Some updates require manually intervention, a bit of a push or several attempts.
  5. Have a backup or three. Make sure your data is backed up off the computer and/ or server. Ransomware can lock locally connected USB flash drives and hard drives making them useless to recover from so both local and cloud (offsite) copies of the data is recommended. If you can create an image of your entire computer then this also helps should your operating system be damaged by a virus, ransomware or one of those bad patches that results in a BSOD.

If you would like to discuss security, patching or backups then give us a on 01653 908069.

 

Be Safe

 

Nick Teasdale