Are Small Businesses Able To Afford Managed IT Services Providers?

Small business owners are often faced with the dilemma of trying to balance their budget and still have the right tools to grow their company. Many business owners are faced with this dilemma because they know the importance of having additional products and managed IT services Charleston SC to help their business thrive. These goals may not be possible if funds are in short supply. This is particularly true in today’s economy, where small business owners may find that financial institutions are less willing to extend credit.

Managed IT Services Charleston SC: Why Is It Important?

Many small business owners face this dilemma and must make tough decisions about where to spend their money to improve their businesses. Many business owners are unsure whether they can afford to hire a managed service provider. While there may be some situations in which the costs are not worth it, there are other instances where you will pay more over the long-term. These are just a few of the reasons IT services Charleston SC might be cheaper than the alternatives.

Technology – Small businesses need to keep up with the latest technology in order to remain competitive. This area can cost a lot of money, so it is important to have someone who can support your technology. Although the average person has a greater understanding of the basics of technology, IT support experts are still needed to ensure that your business is able to continue operating on a daily basis and in case of an emergency.

Smaller companies have the resources to fund an IT department within their company that offers support and expertise in technology. Small businesses don’t have the same resources, and are often left without support or at a steep price when they need to hire an expert.

MSP services– A small business can enlist the assistance of a managed service provider to provide specific services at a fixed price. This allows small business owners to know upfront what they will be paying and how it will fit into their budget. MSPs offer a variety of services, including computer and server support as well as data backup and disaster recovery, network security and custom software solutions. Remote network monitoring is also available. Technology evaluation and planning can also be done by them. These services can be tailored to the needs of each client depending on their business, which allows them to cut costs in certain areas.

Small business owners might not be able to afford managed IT services providers for many reasons. Small business owners often don’t realize the value of the services they receive until an emergency occurs. This is where they quickly discover that the cost to fix a problem or recover after a disaster is more costly than the costs of planning for it. It is not about whether you can afford to manage services but if it is possible to afford them.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you need help in protecting your business against cyberattacks.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

Phishing Emails Are Becoming Harder To Identify

Microsoft data shows that phishing emails account for 0.62 percent in all inbox receipts as of September 2019.

This is an increase of 31% from the previous year.

Although the increase in alarm is alarming, at first glance these numbers seem quite normal.

Last year, more than a billion dollars was lost by companies worldwide due to phishing emails that targeted business owners (or Business Email Compromise, or BEC). This fact makes it more terrifying to see how the number of phishing emails per year increases.

Understanding Phishing Emails

BEC campaigns are expensive and successful because scammers often impersonate CEOs or other top-ranking corporate officials. You respond quickly to emails that appear to be from your boss and are marked urgent. This is exactly what scammers want.

Scammers are becoming more skilled at creating emails. They have even taken in IT professionals in some cases. They haven’t been able to distinguish between an email sent by a scammer posing as a CEO and one from the CEO. What hope does an IT professional have if they are taken in?

This is a legitimate concern given the rapid rise in phishing emails. You can bet that scammers will become more prolific, thanks to their success.

Microsoft claims that two-factor authentication can be used across all platforms as a countermeasure. 2FA blocks 99.9% of automated attacks, which is why phishing and other cyberattacks are often automated. You are putting yourself at unnecessary risk if you don’t use it regularly.

SpartanTec, Inc. can help you train your employees to recognize suspicious email and other techniques to protect your company’s network. Contact us to learn more about dark web analysis and firewall protection.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

Importance of Cyber Risk Management

Cyber risk management is essential for legality, severity and frequency, as well as other reasons.

Last week, we shared 8 best practices for managing cyber risk. These best practices are why they are so important. As technology advances, so do the challenges for risk teams. Cyber risk is the latest trend to be noticed. According to Risk.net’s 2018 survey, cyber risks ranked #1 and #2 on a list of top ten operational threats.

What is cyber risk? Cyber risk is the potential for financial loss, disruption, or reputational damage to an organization due to a failure of its IT systems. This definition is provided by the Institute of Risk Management. Cyber risk can be a serious threat. Cyber risk and managed IT services are both important concerns that must be addressed.

Cyber risk management: Why it is important

Respect the regulations

To keep up with changing environments, governments are constantly creating new laws and standards. These laws and standards are good for consumers and society, but can be expensive and require organizational changes.

Recent concerns include privacy and data management. Due to growing data breaches, the government is placing more pressure on businesses to protect this data. This has resulted in the release names, phone numbers, and email addresses of individuals as well as credit card details. In Europe, the GDPR was implemented in May and promises to impose fines of up to EUR20million for privacy breaches.

Companies can take proactive steps to lower cyber risk to increase their competitive edge within their industry.

Extremely high frequency

John Lupica from Chubb Insurance stated that cyber risks are “The only risk where someone is trying to do real damage your business every day”. Cyber risk is not an “if”, but a “when” issue in certain industries.

All organizations should be concerned about cyber risk, particularly those that store credit card numbers and sensitive consumer information. This risk cannot be avoided because technology is essential for any organization to function. Logic Manager discovered that data breaches increased by 45% in 2016 and 2017 and that this trend will continue.

Hackers are becoming more common and better-trained. Hackers use social engineering to trick people into disclosing sensitive information. You can do this by gaining their trust or by using their curiosity.

Social hackers could use victim information to their advantage, or strategically place virus-laden USB sticks to try to connect them. This article will provide more information on social engineering and how to protect yourself from it.

Hacking has become more difficult with the technological advances. Simple firewalls won’t stop organizations that want to access data. It is vital that employees are educated about cyber risks and take proactive steps to prevent them.

Interconnectivity and data sharing are becoming more common in today’s globalized world. It is essential to have access and use remote data and tools to collaborate with employees and companies spread across the globe. If managed properly, these systems can be just as secure as traditional in-house storage.

They are still a threat. According to AT&T’s Cybersecurity Insights, 85 percent of organizations share their data with outside parties. Only 28% of these organizations have established standards for managing this risk. The safest organizations are the 28% that do not expose their data outside parties.

cybersecurity.jpgHigh severity

Cyber risk is something that organizations cannot expect to see. Cybersecurity Charleston SC attacks can affect even the most powerful companies. Cyber risk can be so severe for many reasons.

This is a common mistake made by risk managers. AT&T discovered that while 65% believe they have the right security measures in place, 80% have been affected by successful cyberattacks. This is clearly a problem. It is important that employees are made aware of the consequences and severity. Cyber risk can be underestimated by small and medium-sized companies. These businesses may believe they are too small or not efficient to reduce cyber risk. They are prime targets for hackers.

For a single data breach, clients can lose faith in companies and sue them. If private information is made public, consumers will share their experiences with others. It will be difficult for the organization to prove that it is trustworthy enough to trust new customers. PwC’s study revealed that 87% of customers will transfer their data if they aren’t satisfied with how the company handles it.

Cyber risk can also cause disruptions to business operations. Cyber risk can cause an organization to go into crisis mode, making it difficult for them continue with their normal operations until the problem is fixed. Data breaches can expose trade secrets or other confidential information essential to an organization’s ability to function. If the situation isn’t contained, imitations may soon be on the market.

Cyberattacks can cause severe physical damage. Remote access to computer-controlled systems is possible. Hackers created malware in Germany that caused severe physical damage and an explosion at a steel mill. This incident and others similar to it can be read in “Cyber and Physical Threats Collide”.

Cyberattacks are still costly on average. Companies must pay for upgrades and repairs to their technology as well as legal fees, and settlements to customers whose data was compromised. Organizations are being more vulnerable to these attacks, making them more expensive. The average cyber attack cost in 2018 was $8 million. This is an increase of $3.62million from 2017.

Cyber risk can be complex and difficult to manage. Any organization cannot ignore cyber risk and that’s why IT services Charleston SC are important. These risks can have serious consequences.

ClearRisk’s Risk Management Information System, (RMIS), helps risk teams predict and prevent cyber-risks. Our system allows for the creation and sharing of risk management plans. It’s built on the most widely used cloud computing platform. It protects your system from unauthorized data and is continuously updated to maintain the highest security standards. You can find more information here. Click the link to find out more.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you’re interested in learning more about cyber risk management and IT services that will protect your information against online threats.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

Cybersecurity Threats Can Be Avoided

Cybersecurity attacks pose a serious threat to small businesses and the U.S. economy. The FBI’s Internet Crime Report estimates that cybercrimes cost $2.7 billion annually in 2020.

Because they are often able to access information that cybercriminals need, small businesses can be attractive targets.

A recent survey by the SBA found that 88% of small-business owners believed their business was at risk from a cyber attack. Many businesses don’t have the budget for professional cyber IT security solutions or the time or knowledge to start.

Learn about computer security threats and understand where your company is at risk. Then, take steps to improve cybersecurity.

Common threats

Cyber-attacks change constantly, but business owners need to be familiar with the most common.

Malware

Malware (malicious code) is a broad term for software that has been intentionally created to cause harm to computers, servers, clients, and computer networks. Ransomware and viruses are two examples of malware.

Viruses

Viruses are malicious programs that spread from one computer to another (and other connected devices). Viruses can be used to gain access to your computer system by cybercriminals.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts computer access and infects computers until ransom is paid. Ransomware is typically delivered via phishing emails. It exploits software vulnerabilities that are not patched.

Phishing

Phishing refers to a cyber-attack that infects your computer with malware or collects sensitive information. It can be done via email or a malicious site. Phishing emails look like they have been sent by a known organization. Many of these emails encourage users to click on links or open attachments containing malicious code. Your computer could be infected by malware after the code has been run.

Evaluate your business risk

Understanding your vulnerability to an attack is the first step to improving cybersecurity.

A cybersecurity risk assessment will help you identify areas where your business is at greatest risk. It can also help you to create a plan for action that includes user training, guidance on how to secure email platforms and advice on protecting information assets.

Assessment and planning tools

While there is no substitute for IT support, whether it’s an employee or an external consultant, businesses with limited resources can still improve their cybersecurity.

FCC Planning Tool

Federal Communications Commission provides a cybersecurity planning tool that will help you create a strategy that is tailored to your business needs.

Cyber Resilience Review

Cyber Resilience Review (CRR), a non-technical assessment that evaluates operational resilience and cybersecurity practices, is offered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Either you can do the assessment yourself or ask for a DHS cybersecurity professional to facilitate it.

Vulnerability Scanning

You will find free vulnerability scanning services. It can help protect your networks that are connected to the internet from known vulnerabilities and weak configurations. A report will be sent to you per week detailing your actions.

Management of Supply Chain Risk

This can help protect your business data from sophisticated supply chain attacks. This toolkit was developed by the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, (CISA) and will help you increase awareness and decrease the impact of supply chain risk.

cybersecurity.jpgBest practices in cybersecurity

Your employees should be trained

Small businesses are at risk from data breaches due to email and employee leakage. It is possible to train employees about basic internet best practices and prevent cyber-attacks. The Department of Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. The “Connect” campaign provides training and other materials.

These are some of the topics you can cover in your training:

  • Recognize phishing emails
  • Using good browsing practices
  • Avoiding suspicious downloads
  • Creating strong passwords
  • Secure customer and vendor information
  • Cyber hygiene is important
  • Keep your antivirus software up-to-date

You should ensure that all computers in your company are equipped with antispyware software. You can easily find such software online from many vendors. Software vendors provide regular updates and patches to their products in order to fix security issues and improve functionality. All software can be configured to automatically install updates

Protect your networks

Use a firewall to protect your Internet connection and encrypt information. Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secured and hidden. Set up your router or wireless access point so that it doesn’t broadcast your Wi-Fi network’s name (also known as the Service Set Identifier, SSID). You can password-protect your router’s access.

Use strong passwords

Strong passwords are a great way to increase your cybersecurity. Use different passwords for different accounts. Strong passwords include:

10 characters and more

  • Minimum one uppercase letter
  • Minimum one lowercase letter
  • Minimum one
  • Minimum one unique character
  • Multifactor authentication

Multifactor authentication requires additional information, such as a security code sent by your phone. Multifactor authentication is available for accounts that are sensitive, particularly financial institutions.

Secure sensitive data and back it up

Backup your data

Backup all data regularly. Word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets and databases, financial files, human resource files, and accounts receivable/payable data are all critical data. If possible, back up data at least once a week and keep the copies offsite or on the internet.

Secure payment processing

To ensure that the best tools and anti-fraud services and validations are used, work with your bank or card processors. Additional security obligations may be imposed by your bank or processor. Separate payment systems from less secure programs. You should also ensure that you do not use the same computer for processing payments or surfing the Internet.

You can control physical access

Unauthorized individuals cannot access or use business computers. Laptops are easy targets for theft and can be lost so make sure to lock them away when they’re not being used. Each employee should have a unique user account and strong passwords. Only trusted managed IT service provider should have administrative privileges.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you need to know more about cybersecurity and how you can protect your information against online threats.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

What is Spyware?

Spyware is malicious software that enters a user’s computer, gathers data from the device and user, and sends it to third parties without their consent. A commonly accepted spyware definition is a strand of malware designed to access and damage a device without the user’s consent.

Spyware collects personal and sensitive information that it sends to advertisers, data collection firms, or malicious actors for a profit. Attackers use it to track, steal, and sell user data, such as internet usage, credit card, and bank account details, or steal user credentials to spoof their identities.

Spyware is one of the most commonly used cyberattack methods that can be difficult for users and businesses to identify and can do serious harm to networks. It also leaves businesses vulnerable to data breaches and data misuse, often affects device and network performance, and slows down user activity.

The term “spyware” first emerged in online discussions in the 1990s, but only in the early 2000s did cybersecurity firms use it to describe unwanted software that spied on their user and computer activity. The first anti-spyware software was released in June 2000, then four years later, scans showed that around 80% of internet users had their systems affected by spyware, according to research by America Online and the National Cyber Security Alliance. However, 89% of users were unaware of the spyware’s existence and 95% had not granted permission for it to be installed.

 

Types of Spyware

Attackers use various types of spyware to infect users’ computers and devices. Each spyware variety gathers data for the attacker, with the lesser types monitoring and sending data to a third party. But more advanced and dangerous spyware types will also make modifications to a user’s system that results in them being exposed to further threats.

Some of the most commonly used types of spyware include:

  1. Adware: This sits on a device and monitors users’ activity then sells their data to advertisers and malicious actors or serves up malicious ads.
  2. Infostealer: This is a type of spyware that collects information from devices. It scans them for specific data and instant messaging conversations.
  3. Keyloggers: Also known as keystroke loggers, keyloggers are a type of infostealer spyware. They record the keystrokes that a user makes on their infected device, then save the data into an encrypted log file. This spyware method collects all of the information that the user types into their devices, such as email data, passwords, text messages, and usernames.
  4. Rootkits: These enable attackers to deeply infiltrate devices by exploiting security vulnerabilities or logging into machines as an administrator. Rootkits are often difficult and even impossible to detect.
  5. Red Shell: This spyware installs itself onto a device while a user is installing specific PC games, then tracks their online activity. It is generally used by developers to enhance their games and improve their marketing campaigns.
  6. System monitors: These also track user activity on their computer, capturing information like emails sent, social media and other sites visited, and keystrokes.
  7. Tracking cookies: Tracking cookies are dropped onto a device by a website and then used to follow the user’s online activity.
  8. Trojan: This brand of spyware enters a device through Trojan malware, which is responsible for delivering the spyware program.

Most spyware targets Windows computers and laptops, but attackers are increasingly targeting other forms of devices.

  1. Apple device spyware: Malware targeting Apple devices, particularly its Mac computers, has increased rapidly in the last few years. Mac spyware is similar in behavior to those targeting Windows operating systems but are typically password-stealing or backdoor types of spyware. They frequently see the attacker attempt attacks such as keylogging, password phishing, remote code execution, and screen captures.
  2. Mobile spyware: Spyware targeting mobile devices steals data such as call logs, browser history, contact lists, photos, and short message service (SMS) messages. Certain types will log user keystrokes, record using the device’s microphone, take photos, and track location using Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers. Others take control of devices through commands sent from SMS messages, data transfers, and remote servers. Hackers can also use mobile spyware to breach an organization through mobile device vulnerabilities, which may not be detected by the security team.

 

What Does Spyware Do?

All types of spyware sit on a user’s device and spy on their activity, the sites they visit, and the data they amass or share. They do this with the objective of monitoring user activity, tracking login and password details, and detecting sensitive data.

Other spyware strands are also capable of installing further software on the user’s device, which enables the attacker to make changes to the device. But spyware typically follows a three-step process from being installed on a device to sending or selling the information it has stolen.

  1. Step 1—Infiltrate: Spyware is installed onto a device through the use of an application installation package, a malicious website, or as a file attachment.
  2. Step 2—Monitor and capture: Once installed, the spyware gets to work following the user around the internet, capturing the data they use, and stealing their credentials, login information, and passwords. It does this through screen captures, keystroke technology, and tracking codes.
  3. Step 3—Send or sell: With data and information captured, the attacker will either use the data amassed or sell it to a third party. If they use the data, they could take the user credentials to spoof their identity or use them as part of a larger cyberattack on a business. If they sell, they could use the data for a profit with data organizations, other hackers, or put it on the dark web.

Through this process, the attacker can collect and sell highly sensitive information, such as the user’s email addresses and passwords, internet usage information and browsing habits, financial details, and account personal identification number (PIN) codes.

How Spyware Attacks Your System

Attackers carefully disguise spyware to infiltrate and infect devices without being discovered. They do this by obscuring the malicious files within regular downloads and websites, which encourages users to open them, often without realizing it. The malware will sit alongside trusted programs and websites through code vulnerabilities or in custom-made fraudulent applications and websites.

One common method for delivering spyware is bundleware. This is a bundle of software packages that attaches itself to other programs that a user downloaded or installed. As a result, it will install without the user knowing about it. Other bundleware packages force the user to agree to download a full software bundle, with no idea that they have voluntarily infected their device. Spyware can also infiltrate a computer through the same routes as other forms of malware, such as compromised or spoofed websites and malicious email attachments.

Mobile spyware typically attacks mobile devices through three methods:

  1. Flaws in operating systems: Attackers can exploit flaws in mobile operating systems that are typically opened up by holes in updates.
  2. Malicious applications: These typically lurk within legitimate applications that users download from websites rather than app stores.
  3. Unsecured free Wi-Fi networks: Wi-Fi networks in public places like airports and cafes are often free and simple to sign in to, which makes them a serious security risk. Attackers can use these networks to spy on what connected users are doing.

cyber-attacks-300x200.jpgProblems Caused by Spyware

The effects of spyware are wide-ranging. Some could go unseen, with users not knowing they have been affected for months or even years. Others might just cause an inconvenience that users may not realize is the result of being hacked. Some forms of spyware are capable of causing reputational and financial damage.

Common problems that spyware can result in include:

  1. Data theft: One of the most common problems caused by spyware is data theft. Spyware is used to steal users’ personal data, which can then be sold to third-party organizations, malicious actors, or hacking groups.
  2. Identity fraud: If spyware harvests enough data, then it can be used for identity fraud. This sees the attacker amass data like browsing history, login credentials for email accounts, online banking, social networks, and other websites to spoof or imitate the user’s identity.
  3. Device damage: Some spyware will be poorly designed, which ends up having a negative effect on the computer it attaches itself to. This can end up draining system performance and eating up huge amounts of internet bandwidth, memory, and processing power. Even worse, spyware can cause operating systems to crash, disable internet security software, and make computers overheat, which can cause permanent damage to the computer.
  4. Browsing disruption: Some spyware can take control of the user’s search engine to serve up harmful, fraudulent, or unwanted websites. They can also change homepages and alter computer settings, as well as repeatedly push pop-up ads.

 

How do I Get Spyware?

Spyware can increasingly affect any device, from computers and laptops to mobile phones and tablets. Devices that run Windows operating systems are typically the most susceptible to an attack, but cyber criminals are increasingly devising methods that afflict Apple and mobile devices.

Some of the most prominent causes of spyware infiltrating a device or system include:

  1. Misleading marketing: Spyware authors will often disguise their malicious software as a legitimate tool, such as a hard disk cleaner, download manager, or new web browser.
  2.  Phishing or spoofing: Phishing occurs when an attacker encourages a recipient to click on a malicious link or attachment in an email, then steals their credentials. They often use spoofed websites that appear to be a legitimate site that steal users’ passwords and personal information.
  3. Security vulnerabilities: Attackers often target code and hardware vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to devices and systems and plant their spyware.
  4. Software bundles: Bundleware sees users unknowingly install spyware within a bundle of software they believe to be legitimate.
  5. Trojans: A Trojan is a type of malware that pretends to be another piece of software. Cyber criminals use Trojans as a method for delivering malware strains, such as spyware, cryptojackers, and viruses, onto devices.

A device can also become infected with spyware as a result of a user’s actions, such as:

  • Accepting cookie consent requests from insecure websites
  • Accepting pop-ups from untrusted sites
  • Clicking on malicious links
  • Opening malicious attachments
  • Downloading games, movies, or music from pirated or spoofed websites
  • Downloading malicious mobile apps

How to Tell if You Have Spyware

Despite spyware being designed to go undetected, there are several telltale signs that could be indicators of a device being infiltrated. These include:

  1. Negative hardware performance, such as:
  •  A device running slower than usual
  • Devices suffering frequent crashes and freezes

2. A drop in application or browser performance, such as:

  • Pop-up ads repeatedly appearing in browsers
  • Unusual error messages
  • Unexpected browser changes
  • New icons appearing in the taskbar
  • Browser searches redirecting to new search engines

Note that these symptoms are also indicative of the presence of other malware, not just spyware, so it is important to dig deeper into issues and scan devices to discover the root of the problem.

Spyware Removal: How Do I Remove Spyware from my System?

If a device is showing signs of spyware, then it is important to get the device and any connected systems cleaned up and protected again. The removal of spyware is possible through solutions that can identify and remove malicious files.

The first step in removing spyware is to ensure the system is cleared of infection. This will prevent new password changes and future logins from also being stolen. It is also important to purchase robust cybersecurity software that offers comprehensive spyware removal, deep cleans devices affected by spyware, and repairs any files or systems that may have been infected.

With the system cleaned up, financial services need to be advised that potentially fraudulent activity has occurred that could affect bank accounts and credit cards. If the spyware has affected an organization, then legal and regulatory violations need to be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

How do I Protect My System from Spyware?

Spyware and other malicious attack methods are a constant threat to any device connected to the internet. Therefore, the first line of defense against spyware is to deploy an internet security solution that includes proactive anti-malware and antivirus detection. In addition, tools like antispam filters, cloud-based detection, and virtual encrypted keyboards are useful to eliminate potentially malicious risks.

Some spyware types are also able to install software and modify the settings on a user’s device. This means it is also vital for users to use secure passwords, not recycle their credentials on multiple applications and websites, and use processes like multi-factor authentication (MFA) to keep their identity secure and their devices updated.

In addition to software, there are several steps that can be taken to protect devices and systems:

  1. Cookie consent: It can be easy for users to simply click “accept” on the cookie consent pop-ups that appear on nearly every website they visit. However, they need to be careful about issuing their consent every time and only accept cookies from websites they trust.
  2. Browser extensions: Users can also install anti-tracking extensions that prevent the relentless online tracking of their activity on web browsers. These extensions can block activity tracking by both reputable sources and malicious actors, keeping users’ data private when they access the internet.
  3. Security updates: Updating software with the latest versions is vital to preventing spyware and other types of malware. Spyware typically makes its way onto devices through gaps in code or vulnerabilities in operating systems. So it is important to constantly patch potential issues and fix vulnerabilities immediately.
  4. Avoid free software: It can be appealing to download free software, but doing so can have costly ramifications for users and their organizations. The free software may be insecure and the creator can make a profit from users’ data.
  5. Use secure networks: Unsecured Wi-Fi networks are an easy resource for hackers to breach devices. Avoid using free Wi-Fi networks, and only connect to trusted, secure networks.
  6. Best practice and behavior: Practicing good cybersecurity behavior is crucial to avoiding spyware. All users need to be aware of the security risks they face, avoid opening emails or downloading files from people they do not know, and make it a habit to hover over links to check if they are reputable before clicking on them.

Computer and laptop users can follow steps to keep their devices secure. These include enabling and downloading pop-up blockers on their desktops and limiting allowed applications and permissions. All users should also avoid clicking links or opening attachments in all emails, even those purporting to be from trusted senders, as this is a prime delivery method for spyware and other malicious attacks.

There are also steps that can be taken to specifically protect mobile devices from spyware. These include:

  1. Only download apps from the official store of the operating system, such as the Google Play Store, Apple’s App Store, and official publishers.
  2. Be careful about giving permission to apps that track data or location and take control of cameras or microphones.
  3. Avoid clicking links in emails and SMS messages. Instead, only enter trusted Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) directly into the browser address bar.

Be aware of unexpected warning messages, especially those that cannot be verified by the server

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you need help in protecting your system against spyware and other types of online threat.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

Managed Cybersecurity: How an MSSP Can Help You Protect and Prevent Data Loss

Your business emails may have been compromised if you use Microsoft Exchange servers for your business. Chinese hackers used security holes in certain server versions to siphon off email communications. This was the latest incident to target businesses of all sizes. It is only the tip of the cybercrime iceberg, however, when it comes to scams, cyberattacks, and frauds. Managed cybersecurity is crucial in these cases to protect your business data.

We’ll discuss cybersecurity and how managed service providers (MSPs) can help your business eliminate threats. Plus, we’ll examine the costs of cyberattacks.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of data, hardware, and software from theft, damage, disruption, and any other cyberattack that may be caused by unauthorised access to computer systems.

Cyberattacks can affect any business, even a single asset that is vulnerable or an insecure connection. Unintentionally, one employee can put your business data at stake.

Let’s look at some of the most common cyberattacks and internet-based criminal activity:

Business Email Compromise: This scam compromises business email accounts in order to transfer funds without authorization

Data breach in corporate settings: The release of confidential, sensitive and private business data from a secure environment to an untrusted location.

Data breach: An incident that results in the loss or spillage of sensitive personal data, or a security incident that leads to sensitive data being stolen or used by an unauthorised individual

Malware/Scareware/Virus: A piece of code or malicious software intended to damage, disable or destroy data or copy itself onto a computer to produce a harmful effect

Phishing scam: Unsolicited emails, text messages and phone calls purportedly coming from a legitimate business asking for login, financial and/or personal credentials.

Ransomware attack: Malicious software which will prevent the access from a computer system in order to extort – the system owner cannot get access to the system up until the ransom has been paid

How can you spot weak security points that could compromise your system?

A managed cybersecurity provider

What is managed cybersecurity?

Managed cybersecurity is a service that your company hires from a managed IT service provider to help identify and fix vulnerabilities, prevent threats, and protect your data.

You can trust your managed IT service provider to handle cybersecurity tasks when you outsource them.

  • Dark web monitoring allows you to detect sensitive information immediately from your business
  • Email testing, filtering and scanning for phishing scams and any other email compromise
  • Implementation anti-spam, antimalware and antispyware programs
  • Remote monitoring mobile devices and firewalls, routers, access points
  • Any issues that arise should be resolved quickly
  • Regular application updates and network maintenance
  • To secure office network access, a Virtual Private Network is set up.
  • Managing Unified Communications as a Service for Remote Teams
  • Regular Microsoft patch deployment via group management policy

This is a good example of how a trusted managed cybersecurity provider could have helped you to restore your Microsoft Exchange email after the attack.

cybersecurity.jpgWhy is Managed Cybersecurity so Important for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses?

Cybersecurity might not be something that comes to mind immediately for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Due to the high volume of sensitive information they deal with daily, multinational corporations and large corporations are more likely to be interested in cybersecurity.

This has been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

McKinsey & Company says that SMEs are more interested in cybersecurity today because cybercriminals have been targeting and attacking SMEs who have moved to remote-only mode since the pandemic.

“The result was a fourfold increase in (SME) attacks – everything from email phishing to credential theft and social engineering attacks against end points – as cybercriminals attempted to exploit this historic transition, to find security flaws that would allow them into corporate networks.”

The lack of cybersecurity specialists in the in-house workforce is one of the reasons small and medium-sized businesses have not placed a strong emphasis on cybersecurity.

This problem can be easily solved by a managed IT provider.

How an MSP can help you prevent cyberattacks

It is impossible to predict when an attack will occur or who/what the target will be.

Cyber insurance can help you protect your business. However, it is still a “uncharted territory”, as Warren Buffet said back in 2018.

In his own words:

“We know the probabilities of a quake and a hurricane, but not as much about cyber. This is uncharted territory for insurance and it will only get worse.

A managed service provider might be the best option for small and medium-sized enterprises that don’t have plans to hire cybersecurity professionals in-house.

Managed IT services providers can help you:

  • Assess risks and identify vulnerabilities
  • Secure networks, systems and connections
  • Regular testing, scanning, and monitoring
  • Backup your data to cloud and offsite servers
  • Create recovery strategies for various scenarios
  • No matter what, ensure business continuity

Are You Ready to Take Action? Secure your data with managed cybersecurity services

Do your part.

Your cyberspace part is home to your confidential and sensitive corporate data as well as personal information about your clients or customers.

Get it now before it’s too late

Your organization shouldn’t be a target for cyberattacks. Instead, identify, prevent, defeat and mitigate threats, reduce risks, and protect data with the assisstance of your managed cybersecurity service provider like SpartanTec, Inc, of Charleston, SC.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you want to learn more about managed IT services.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/
Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

Cybersecurity Tips For Your Next Business Trip

It’s the time of the year when business people start making travel plans. With thar in min, it is important to remain vigilant while traveling.

Whether you travel just for the love of it or you have to because of your line of work, traveling especially when going abroad, presents a distinctive cyber security threat. Business travelers are vulnerable since they commonly take with them sensitive business and personal data, on different devices like tablets, laptops, and smartphones. Security isn’t something that can be provided to you by a single machine. You require a security suite that can help safeguard all of your devices, including your iPad, Android smartphone, Mac, and Windows PC.

Does that mean you cannot travel anymore? Of course not! Here are some of the most effective cybersecurity tips when you are traveling abroad.

Cybersecurity Travel Tips

Lock Down Your Devices

Laptops, tablets, and smartphones have security settings that will allow you to lock your device with a fingerprint ID or a pin. You must do this on all of your devices. Also, while you are traveling, don’t forget to change the PIN numbers. In case you misplaced any of your devices, your PIN will be your first line of defense against potential security breaches.

Public Wi-Fi Isn’t Always Safe

The regulations and laws that monitor cyber security in other nations are not the same as the ones implemented in the United States. It is undeniable that free Wi-Fi access could be appealing not only for leisure travelers but for business travelers as well. However, it also poses security risks. Don’t use unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, if you are at the hotel, ask about their security protocols before connecting to their Wi-Fi. You have to be extra cautious when using the internet at cafes and if possible, don’t use personal accounts or access sensitive data while you are connected to a public Wi-Fi.

Disable Auto-Connect

Most smartphones in the United States have a feature that lets a device to connect to Wi-Fi networks automatically as you go through them throughout the your daily activities. Although it is a nice feature when utilized at home, it is not a feature that you have to use when traveling. Before you go traveling, you need to change this setting so that your laptop and smartphone need to be manually connected every time you want to access the internet.

Minimize Location Sharing

It is very common for business and leisure travelers to post on their social media accounts whenever they visit a new place. This main problem with this kind of excessive sharing is that it makes your home vulnerable. By posting that you are not at home, you are telling criminals that you are not home or in your hotel room. It is best to limit the information that you post online especially when it comes to your specific whereabouts.

Install Anti-Virus Software

The most effective and easiest to secure your personal information and company information while traveling is by installing an anti-virus protection. Apart from that, you need to update the program regularly whenever newer versions are available.

Update Your Operating System

Just like the anti-virus that you need to install in your devices, the operating system must also be kept up to date. This is applicable not only on your laptops or desktops but also on the apps of your phone.

Update Your Passwords

In case you are scheduled to travel, you need to change all of your passwords that you use regularly. If you need to create a PIN for a security box or safe in a hotel room, be sure that it is unique and not something that you use regularly.

Call SpartanTec Inc.in Charleston SC if you need the expert assistance of IT experts in securing your personal and business information.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

Four Cybersecurity Trends 2022

We are winding down 2021 and looking forward to a better 2022. Are you working on your business plan this week?  Does it include reviewing managing cybersecurity threats to your business?

Although cybersecurity may seem new, it has been around for a while. The National Computer Security Day (November 30) was founded in 1988. This is because 10 percent of all connected computers were affected by an attack on ARPANET, the forerunner to the current Internet.

That’s right. Since the beginning of time, bad actors have attempted to hack into computers connected to the internet. These attacks have become more frequent over the years and are becoming more expensive. Cybercrimes are expected to cost more than $6 trillion by 2021.

One reason for the problem is the increased use of remote work. This has created more opportunities to hack corporate IT infrastructures. Employees started to rely on public networks and personal computers to manage sensitive data.

Ransomware attacks are a major factor in criminal activity. Ransomware attacks have been a lucrative way to make a profit for criminals by paying money to corporations and public institutions to unlock their IT systems.

It will be even more difficult in 2022. Here are some cybersecurity trends:

  1. Global supply chains are at risk of being attacked more often. Supply chains are interconnected systems that deliver goods from manufacturers to businesses, from retailers to automobile dealers. Supply chain disruptions can be costly and difficult to repair. This is why the current supply chain bottleneck that is currently affecting our global economy will continue well into 2022. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in corporate IT infrastructures and are determined to target businesses when they are the most vulnerable. Cybercriminals used the COVID-19 onslaught to target IT systems managed by already distracted IT staff in 2020 and 2021. Cybercriminals will exploit vulnerabilities created by (once more) distracted IT departments as businesses invest more resources in figuring out how to share data between each other to solve the supply chain bottleneck.
  2. The number of attacks on Internet of Things devices (IoT), will rise. IoT is a valuable technology. IoT makes refrigerators smart enough to automatically order new products when they run low. IoT allows manufacturers to notify them when essential components on an assembly line are worn down. This prevents major disruptions. Cybercriminals have more options to hack into our homes and disrupt our lives as IoT devices are more common at work and in the home. It is only a matter time before cybercriminals will turn their attention to exploiting IoT vulnerabilities in order to launch ransomware attacks.
  3. Cybersecurity will be the foundation of corporate governance at C-level. Many companies have moved cybersecurity responsibility to their employees. Yes, it is important to train employees about cybersecurity. Businesses are increasingly taking cybersecurity into their own hands at the top. Effective cybersecurity management will be a requirement for CEOs in order to run a business. Because cybersecurity management, like financial management, can have a major impact on a company’s strategy, they will include corporate data chiefs in their strategic planning process.
  4. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be more popular in the business worldArtificial Intelligence is becoming more predictive. This means that AI is learning to predict not only where data vulnerabilities are now but also where they will occur in the future. AI is able to process more data than any human being, and it does so faster than any other human being. AI is able to spot patterns in online behavior that could indicate an attack. AI will be used by more businesses to detect cybersecurity threats and take action.

cybersecurity-ebook.jpgWould you believe that only 16% of businesses are adequately prepared to deal with cyber threats? It’s a clear indicator that many IT professionals and business owners/managers are unaware of the threat actors that aim to attack the weakest aspect of any business’s data protection plan – their employees, or in other words, their “human firewall.”

With a single click, impostors can detonate a payload that cripples systems, steals data, and destroys businesses. Download our free Ebook and rest easy knowing your data is being kept safe from threats lurking in your server closet.

SpartanTec, Inc. in Charleston SC offers malicious traffic analysis, and prevention. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

What is Advanced Threat Protection?

Cybercriminals are constantly learning and adapting and cyberattacks have become more sophisticated each day. As a result, cybersecurity and threat protection technology has improved to anticipate and prevent potential threats and attacks to businesses, governments and other organizations. Even though security technology can anticipate the actions of bad actors and prevent them from happening, new attacks are still possible, especially if there isn’t the right security controls.

Advanced threat protection, also known as ATP, is a collection of security solutions that protect against sophisticated cyberattacks and malware that target sensitive information. ATP technology is a way for organizations to adapt to changing cybercriminals’ strategies and help them prevent and mitigate costly security breaches.

What is considered “advanced” threat?

An attacker can be considered advanced if they have all the resources or tools necessary to carry out an attack, maintain access to networks, and have the ability to continue funding the attack to adapt it as needed.

It is important to first understand advanced threats and their impact on your organization in order to be able to protect yourself against them using effective cybersecurity measures.

The advanced persistent attack (APT) refers to an attack where an unauthorised person or group gains access to a company’s network, and then remains undetected for a prolonged period of time. APT attacks are usually carefully planned and targeted at a particular company. They use malware that can bypass common security protections. These malicious attacks are an example of a sophisticated attack that requires the use of security technology to mitigate and prevent.

Once an attacker has gained access, often by installing malware or phishing, they can view files, conversations and other sensitive material. The attacker can gain access to large amounts of company data by going unnoticed for a long time (sometimes for years or even months).

What are the most popular tactics for advanced threat attacks?

APT attackers use Phishing to gain access into an internal network by sending links to a trusted source.

Once access is granted, malware can be installed to help cyberattackers penetrate the network, monitor activity and collect company data.

Password cracking allows attackers to gain administrative access and free roam of the network.

A backdoor allows attackers to gain access to the network.

Cyberattacks are currently affecting roughly 2/3 of small and medium-sized companies around the globe. However, 45% feel their cybersecurity is still “ineffective.” 39% do not have an incident response strategy in place.

Ponemon Institute

Data breaches cost an average of $3.86m in financial terms

IBM

Threat Protection: How can you protect yourself against advanced threats?

Although some businesses and industries are more vulnerable to advanced threats than others, businesses need to be aware of the preventive steps they can take as these attacks increase in frequency.

As cyberattacks get more sophisticated, the ATP landscape is changing. Sandboxing protection is essential for ATP. However, this technology was stored in legacy hardware within a Data Center and does not protect an ever-increasing remote workforce.

The suspicious file is also typically inspected in TAP mode. This means that it is taken into the sandbox to be tested before being sent to the recipient. The alert is sent to the recipient if the sandbox detects that there is a threat. Unfortunately, this alert may come too late and cause damage that has already been done. Additionally, over half of all malware is transmitted via encrypted SSL channels. However, many organizations are limited by budget and performance to detect these vulnerabilities before it’s too late.

Cloud-based security technology solutions can provide additional layers of ATP protection and managed threat response for all employees. Zscaler Cloud Sandbox works inline instead of in TAP mode. This means that all traffic within the organization’s network is inspected, including SSL.

Protective measures include ransomware protection and zero-day protection. Real-time, magnified visibility into malware behavior provides additional protection. Comprehensive security solutions must be able stop all known threats, prevent zero-day attacks in real time, and utilize predictive technology to protect your company from evolving threats.

Call SpartanTec, Inc now if you need more details managed IT services for your business.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston

Data breaches: The dangers and consequences

This is the second article in a series on data breach risks. It covers issues such as regulatory compliance, costs, reputation loss, and other related topics. We will be discussing the different cyber threats and the possible consequences for businesses affected by data breaches in “Threats & Consequences”.

Data breaches are when an individual or group of individuals is allowed to view data that they aren’t authorized to. This is described in the “What You Should Know” article. They can also steal the data and make changes to it once they have it. The consequences of data theft can vary depending on what type of data is involved. They could destroy or corrupt databases, leak confidential information, or steal intellectual property. There may also be regulatory requirements that notify the affected and compensate them.

Bloomberg reports that data breaches increased by 40% in 2016 compared to 2015. These incidents can have severe consequences and may even result in a company losing its ability to do business. Businesses must identify and minimize their exposure to potential threats.

Data Breach Targets

Only business data can be made a target if it has any value to third parties. Different types of data can be more or less valuable to third party and pose different risks to businesses. These are the types of data that you will find:

Personally Identifiable information. This data includes contact information, social security numbers, birth dates, education, and other personal information.

Financial Information. This data includes bank account details, investment details, and expiry dates.

Health Information. This includes information about health conditions, prescription drugs and treatments, as well as medical records.

Intellectual Property. This includes product drawings, manuals, specifications and scientific formulas, as well as marketing texts and symbols.

Information on Competition. This information includes information on competitors, market studies and pricing information.

Legal Information. This includes documents regarding court cases that the company might be pursuing, legal opinions about business practices, merger-and-acquisition details, and regulatory rulings.

IT Security Data. This data includes user names, passwords, encryption keys and network structure.

These types of information are attractive to third parties who value them. You can sell personal, financial, and health information to use for fraud, marketing, and identity theft. You can sell intellectual property and use it to create products and services that are similar to your business.

Competitors can sell your information to use it against your plans. Leaked legal information could also be used to harm your legal position. Because it allows unauthorized parties to gain access all other types of information, data on IT security can be a valuable target.

Data Breach Threats

Your employees, suppliers and consultants can all pose threats to the various types of data. If your company stores data in the cloud, they can access your data via your network, external email accounts, mobile devices, and inside your organization. These threats are not being stopped by traditional perimeter protection.

Insiders can cause data protection to fail. Employees who are unhappy may leak sensitive information. Emails and malicious websites can be used by external individuals to install malware on employees’ computers. They can also get passwords and user names that way. Your cloud service supplier may have access to your cloud data, and employees can lose, hack or compromise email accounts and mobile devices. Companies must identify the risks associated with data breaches and develop solutions to reduce them.

Data Breach Consequences

Cybersecurity attacks can have serious and growing consequences for businesses. This is due in part to the increased regulatory burden of notifying the affected individuals. There are different requirements for notification and penalties for businesses that have suffered a data breach, depending on where they are located in the United States or Canada.

Customers who are the victims of a data breach must be identified and notified by companies. The regulations define what data must be notified after a breach, who must be notified and how notification must be done. They also define which authorities should be notified. Notification requirements are usually required for breaches that involve personal, financial or health data. However, the exact definitions may vary from one jurisdiction to another. International companies may have customers in multiple jurisdictions. They may need to comply with many requirements. This can lead to companies being considered an existential threat due to the high legal penalties, potential damages compensation and possible lawsuits.

Data breaches that involve other types of data could have a devastating impact on a company’s reputation and business position. Data breaches can also impact contractual obligations and could affect the sale of a company, such as what happened recently with Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo. Your business may not survive if your competitors learn your business strategies and can market similar products at a lower cost. That’s why you need to have a robust and effective data services Charleston SC.

Solutions to Reduce Risk

You can maintain your perimeter security and other protection measures, but you also need a data-centric solution to allow you to control who has access to specific files or data sets. This level of control can be achieved with encryption, but it must be the right type of encryption. You can restrict who can access a file or email by encrypting it properly. Even if your IT system is compromised and unauthorised individuals gain access, they won’t be able read the data. This prevents data breaches. This application will reduce data breach risk to acceptable levels, and protect your business against costly data breaches.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you need the help of professional It experts to assist you with your cybersecurity needs.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-418-4792
https://manageditservicescharleston.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence, Charleston