Companies of all sizes face immense daily challenges to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive, dynamic, and constantly changing world. One of the biggest challenges for companies came with the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden change to remote work has caused an unprecedented technological dependence and with these great challenges. Before the start of the pandemic, company information systems were centralized and controlled. Now, these systems have been replaced by a network of individuals, in different places, using their own devices to work and with the availability of non-secure access to the network. This current scenario increases the risk of phishing and malware attacks in many companies.
Most security breaches can be attributed to human error and in a remote environment, organizations are certainly more prone to user error and more likely to experience security breaches. For this reason, it is imperative that organizations have a secure, reliable, easy-to-use, and effective communication solution for employee collaboration. To choose the correct security tools, you must know which are the most common attacks that can compromise the cybersecurity of your business:
- Malware: This is a general term to refer to any type of “malicious software” designed to cause unsolicited changes or actions by the user of a device (computer/mobile). For example, entering confidential databases or files. It is what you will normally know as a virus.
- Phishing: It is the most common form of what is known as social engineering. It is based on fraudulent emails from organizations you “think” you know. They impressionist language, branding, and logos to make them look “real” before scamming you into clicking on a link or attachment. Therefore, they deceive the victim by asking them to provide or confirm information, such as passwords and/or credit card numbers, or to pay a false account.
- Ransomware: This is a type of malware or malicious software that affects the information contained in different devices, preventing their access, generally encrypted, and requesting a financial ransom from those affected. According to our business partner FORTINET, ransomware is a leading threat based on the impact it has within an organization, as a ransomware attack can completely shut down a business. Due to the financial success of ransomware, it continues to attract cybercriminals, who launch large-scale attacks that seek to trap careless victims. These carefully plan highly targeted attacks, targeting specific targets that are most likely to pay off.
Now that you know the most common cybersecurity attacks, it is important to develop an action plan that ensures that your organization has the correct elements to deal with security and information management challenges. The Federal Communications Commission, for its acronym FCC, presents as recommendations when making a cybersecurity plan the following steps:
- Information inventory: It is recommendable to make an inventory of the information your business has and who has access to keep a record of it, place it in a safe place, and move it as necessary. An inventory of information should answer the following questions:
- What kind of data does your business have? – A typical company will have all kinds of data, some of it more valuable and sensitive than others, but all data has value to someone. Business data may include customer information such as account records, transactions, financial information, contact and address details, shopping history, habits, and preferences, as well as employee information, payroll files, direct payroll account banking information, addresses, phone numbers, personal and work email addresses.
- How is that data managed and protected? – Security experts indicate that data is most at risk when it is on the move. If all your business-related data resides on a single computer that’s not connected to the internet, and it never left that computer, it’s probably easy to protect. But most businesses need data to be moved and used across the company. Each time they move, they can be exposed to different dangers. As a small business owner, you should have a plan and a set of policies when data is transferred or sent from one device to another.
- Who has access to the data and under what circumstances? – Not all employees need access to all information. When you complete an inventory and know what data you have and where is stored, it is important to assign access rights to the data. This means creating a list of employees, partners, or contractors who have access to specific data and stipulating under what circumstances and how those access privileges will be managed and tracked.
After analyzing the challenges, vulnerabilities, and status of the company’s sensitive information, it can begin to work on a basic cybersecurity plan. Our business partner FORTINET provides us with the following steps as a guide:
- Secure connectivity: Growing companies demand technologies that allow their employees to move faster and provide their customers with good experiences but monitoring disparate security devices and management portals quickly becomes difficult and inevitably leads to security gaps. To obtain the best performance, you need your network to be set up and up and running quickly, an easy way to monitor what is happening and make sure it is secure. WorldNet Securedge provides deployment, administration, monitoring, and maintenance of corporate cybersecurity services. By implementing the best security practices and utilizing an Active Directory or other authentication and integration technologies, comprehensively protects access to edge computing services and resources.
- Protect applications in the cloud: Public cloud infrastructures and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications offer advantages for growing companies. Therefore, their confidential and private data is dispersing on these platforms and makes it more difficult to ensure visibility and control. Is recommended that you have a centralized security services hub that enforces security policies and provides visibility into inbound and outbound traffic between the clouds and connected networks. FORTINET offers comprehensive, integrated, and automated security with the necessary visibility and control that users demand cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures. Security policies apply across all environments and are controlled through a single pane of glass administration to protect both applications and connectivity.
- Protect users wherever they are: Proper endpoint security protects your users with similar technology used in the firewall to detect and block basic and advanced attacks. WorldNet Endpoint Protection service helps in the control of the security of all the devices through a web console managed and supervised by teams of experts in the company. In addition, the functionality allows you to manage security policies, perform updates, issue reports, and manage protection activities no matter where these devices are located.
- Administration and analysis: Network administrators must ensure that the network can support the progress of the organization. Rapid growth means managing more users, devices, and technology. Knowing how security works, how it integrates and being able to easily handle changes, especially if the devices were not intended to be managed as a global unit, becomes more difficult as staff must correlate data using each vendor’s tools. FORTINET offers growing organizations the management of their entire distributed security architecture as a service from a single pane of glass. Advanced Reporting offers clients an automatic monthly report with the most relevant information on what is going on in their security infrastructure. This service allows for requesting customized reports that meet the client´s needs. The report stores all logs of the security devices connected to this service. This will help clients comply with regulations and manage and store logs. Advanced Reporting includes a read-only user that allows clients to see logs and alarms generated by the devices being monitored
Technology, cybersecurity, and the market are key pieces for a business, and they change constantly. For this reason, it is important to keep up to date with new trends and modalities to avoid being victims of information theft and malicious attacks.