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Tips for a safe cyber monday

Practical Tips For Miami Cybersecurity This Cyber Monday

It’s that time of year again. A chill is in the air, pumpkin-spice-everything is on the menu, and your online newsfeed is peppered with Cyber Monday headlines.

Cyber Monday has become so embedded in our online shopping culture that many may not remember a time without it – yet it’s quite a contemporary holiday tradition.

As ubiquitous as its current presence, so too are its security warnings. For most of us, these warnings are mainstays of the modern online era. As a quick refresher:

  1. Use a unique password for each website, especially sensitive accounts.
  2. Enable two-step verification for sensitive websites and services.
  3. Check out as a guest whenever possible.
  4. Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
  5. Monitor your bank and credit card statements.
  6. Monitor your credit report – identities are more valuable than credit cards, and have no expiration date.

But this year, we want you to pay increased attention to security concerns that extend beyond the cyber shopping cart payment, and instead look at the risks you take from shopping online and how a good Miami business IT support team like Nerds Support can help you build a more secure business.

Hackers Will Benefit From Christmas

However, as connectivity grows, so do our risks. Every year, we are warned that our addresses, credit card information and more are vulnerable to hackers than any day of the year. In a world that has seen cyber attacks from Equifax to Whole Foods to even a popular black Friday retailer, 2017’s Hoiday shopping season is no exception. Having such personal information can pose a physical threat, as well as facilitate identity theft (and with children, identity theft may not be discovered for years).

Employees Are Shopping More Than They are Working:

Cyber Monday is known as one of the three busiest shopping days for the retail industry. It is said that for every 20 people, 1 person will call in sick to work so that they may shop for Cyber Monday. In fact, in 2017, 64% of workers will shop on their lunch break and 43% of workers will shop if they find themselves with nothing to do. While some companies agree that efforts to keep employees from shopping online would be pointless, it should concern business owners that 55% of employees do not know emergency technology procedures. If a hacker were to break into your files, having access to employee’s personal credit card info would pose as a big cybersecurity problem for not only the individual, but also the company. With Nerds Support, our IT support Miami team believes having a good business protection plan is essential to any business. So whether your employees fight or give into the temptation to shop, you can bet the Nerds Support will always have your most important data available and keep your company safe from hackers.

Contact us to learn more about our Miami Cybersecurity services and how to stay Cyber Safe online.
Nerds Support provides experience and award winning Miami IT Services across South Florida.

Miami Cyber Attacks Happen: Build Resilient Systems

You can’t stop all attacks or build the perfect defense system. The higher-level objective is resilience.

Every week, billions of cyber-events batter government networks. Millions of these attacks hit at network speed, and thousands succeed, as reported by the Homeland Security Department’s US Computer Emergency Readiness Team. The US Navy alone was attacked more than 1 billion times in 2016. Although security analysts strain to counter these breaches, mostly with manual processes, it’s likely terabytes of data are stolen.

Given this dynamic landscape, you might think federal CIOs are getting more resources to defend against mounting cyberthreats. They’re not. Money and security expertise are in short supply, meaning agencies need to innovate. First and foremost, they can no longer take a piecemeal approach to information security. A holistic strategy that incorporates real-time risk management and continuous monitoring is the only way to go.

To help companies build these more-resilient systems, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in collaboration with the Defense and Homeland Security departments and private sector intelligence communities, has come up with security controls that focus on mobile and cloud computing, application security, the insider threat, supply chain security, and advanced persistent threats.

So it comes as no surprise that more than half of the respondents to Information eek’s 2014 Federal Government IT Priorities Survey say cybersecurity/security is the top priority in their agencies. Seventy percent rate security as “extremely important,” with another 16% viewing cyber-security/security as “very important.”

Federal managers want to know “how to stop the bleeding,” says Ronald Ross, project leader of NIST’s FISMA Implementation Project and Joint Task Force Transformation Initiative. You can’t stop all attacks or build the perfect defense system. The higher-level objective is resilience. “What does it mean to have an adequate degree of resilience in a modern information system that supports critical missions?” Ross asks, in a question that’s neither rhetorical nor unique to federal agencies. State and local governments as well as private sector companies are struggling, too — anyone with valuable information and using very complex high-end technology is subject to the same types of threats.

Resiliency means “becoming healthy after something bad happens,” says Bret Hartman, VP and CTO of Cisco’s security business group. “That is a good way to think of security because it’s impossible to stay healthy all the time.” Agencies should consider the attack continuum and which technologies they need in place before an attack occurs, during an attack, and after the attack to do systems remediation. This last area is still maturing and is where the biggest challenge lies today, Hartman says.

Time for better cyber “hygiene” in Miami 

To address resiliency in Miami, South Florida, federal government, NIST and its partner agencies are focusing on two tracks: improving “cyber hygiene,” and designing IT system architectures that can bounce back from damage and contain attacks. A good way to view cyber-security, says Ross, is to have a way to address areas “above the water line,” such as known patching and maintenance, and those below the water line — problems you can’t see that could cause trouble and inflict serious damage without warning.

Cyber hygiene focuses on tasks that security administrators deal with daily, such as promptly updating operating systems and applications with the latest security patches or making sure all operating systems and network devices are configured properly to close down attack vectors that could be exploited. IT must also assemble and maintain a complete inventory of everything on the agency’s network and the information it has to protect.

With NIST 800-53 R4, the government is starting to address security below the water level, too. Specifically, we’re talking about contingency-planning types of controls, which allow agencies to define alternate processing capabilities, storage sites, and communications plans in case of a natural disaster, like a hurricane, or a cyber-attack. “We have contingency plans in place and run those exercises as frequently as we need to, so when the event happens, we can move smoothly into that backup scenario,” Ross says.

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Is Your Miami Business Vulnerable to Cyber Security Risks?

Technological advancement has not only brought a drastic change in the regular operations of any Miami organization but it has also exposed it to cyber-attacks. Through attacks like spear phishing via Email and hacking of network, it has the capability from affecting the business of any company to exposing top secret data of any company.

Some of the cyber security vulnerabilities for your Miami business are:

No Cyber Security Policy: Cyber-attacks have increased exponentially in the recent years capable of affecting each and every company out there. Not having a proper well documented cyber security policy and not involving employees in it can expose your organization to massive financial repercussions in case of a security breach.

Sensitive Data Exposure: In most cases, this is what cyber mafias look out for. They try to hack your system network to steal, damage or modify sensitive data like company policies and user information that has the potential to shake up and halt your business proceedings.

Security Mis-configuration: Clumsy mistakes by users or employees can expose cyber security for hacking. When employees or users use default passwords, run outdated or unnecessary applications then these become an easy target for even low-level hackers.

Weak Authentication: Broken authentication is one of the most common cyber security vulnerability. When encrypted data are exchanged online say, by logging in, then that data is vulnerable to theft. In most cases, hackers target weak areas in authentication and session management which occur between any two systems for exchange of package. If data is encrypted poorly, hackers using techniques like Man-in-the-Middle can intercept and decipher any data sent by a user.

Aging infrastructure: Having outdated hardware can expose your system to cyber-attacks since it may be incapable to install latest security patches for the software in it. Using obsolete software which requires older versions of plug-ins can also make your system network vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Though strengthening the defense system of your organization against cyber-attacks in a short span of time may not be viable but prioritizing the cyber issue and investing on it is a must. Its long-term benefits are immense.

Data Security for your laptop

7 Signs You Need To Invest In Data Security in Miami

Hacking or data getting stolen has become a major problem for Miami businesses. Customers are losing trust on companies whose data are regularly getting stolen by hackers. In fact, customers trust only those companies or business who they know can store their personal data in a secure way. In fact, a study by Ponemon Institute on 674 IT professionals across USA and UK revealed that there is a serious lack of investment and awareness about how to respond in case of hacking from senior management. Let’s have a glance at a few signs that you must invest in Miami data security.

Help Desk team is only dealing with password resets: In an organization, only a fraction of the total employees makes the help desk team. If most of the time they are only dealing with password resets and not dealing with other security issues then they are at risk to fall into the trap of hacker’s social engineering plan. Having a password reset program which works automatically enhances security and bring down the burden on Help Desk employees.

Lack of 2 or more authentication step: Companies’ data are at higher risk if your data can be accessed by only putting a password. To prevent passwords from being stolen or guessed, it’s important to have two or more verification steps before one can access the stored data.

Employees are not trained to deal with security breaches: Phishing is the most popular way by which hackers get access to the companies’ data. This can be prevented by making your employees cyber-responsible by doing awareness campaign and training them.

Obsolete infrastructure: If your company’s electronic devices are old and not upgraded from time to time then your company is at great risk of security breaches. So it is imperative to update your infrastructure and you must be aware of the number of times the device you are buying can be updated.

Success of your business depends on the data stored in your system: In this sort of cases, it’s a must to store the critical data of your business safely. The systems that access those data can never be down. You must invest in the security system and backup facilities so that your business is not hampered due to data loss or system failure. Healthcare and credit card related data are stored by your company.

Healthcare and credit card related data are stored by your company: When your company is dealing with these sort of sensitive personal information of common people then it’s a must that your system meets all the compliance related security requirements to avoid fines and embarrassment.

Company security system has been hacked in the past: If the data stored by your company has already been stolen once then it clearly indicates that something was missing in your security arrangement. If you want to avoid further embarrassment, it’s significant to invest in data security.

Cybercrime is the second most reported economic crime faced by the world and all most one out of three businesses fell victim to cyber crime in 2016. So, it’s important to make your business digitally secure by investing in tools and processes that prevent the data breach. Businesses having their data secured are the ones who are blossoming in today’s world.

Trojans

The Rise of Android Trojan & Why it Matters in Miami

Android is surely leading the way and continue to soar with the highest adoption rate for android rate based mobile devices in the world. As per a research firm, Strategy Analysis found that more than 200 million of smartphone shipped in 2013-14 were Android based. This humongous customer base is ever rising since the discovery of android operating system. However, this massive user buyer has surely caught up the attention of infamous cyber criminals, who have kept eye on illegally obtaining personal information of phone owners.

If one go by online statistics, in 2016, malicious installation packages infected more than 8 million smartphone users. Unfortunately, the statistics have not dropped instead have increased because of the operating system. Geographically speaking, the nations with the highest number of Trojans and malware attacks were Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, China, and Iran.

The biggest malware threat to Miami business owners of 2016 was Trojans. Trojans is a type of virus that allows the cybercriminals to; secretly install the unwanted applications, advertisements and other events on the infected device. The biggest problem with Trojans is that it attacks vulnerable android smartphones patched in the newer versions. As most of the user’s don’t feel the need to update their system or applications, making them susceptible to Trojans and other malware threats.

As the malware installs the module directly in the system directory, it makes difficult to provide a remedy for the situation. There are some Trojans, like, Backdoor.AndroidOS.Triada, which even allows the hackers to alter text messages sent by other applications and steal the money from the android smartphone owner. Normally, hackers demand more than $200 to unlock or amend a device, infected by Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Fusob and Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Congur.

Many feel that having a malware or Trojan is not the crisis; however, if you do not pay attention to the problem at right time, you may even end up shedding money twice as your thought to be. There are more than 50 applications infected by Trojan.AndroidOS.Ztorg.am, a new modification of Trojan.AndroidOS.Ztorg.ad. One needs to be technically aware of the type of Trojans and ways to avoid malware activities on the smartphone.

The best way to avoid Trojans and malware on your Miami business phone is when downloading any application stick to the legitimate app store like, google play, amazon app store or Samsung app store. Nevertheless, while downloading be aware of suspicious applications with bad reviews or odd permissions. Always download applications from authorized developers. One can go to security in phone settings and enable ‘verify apps’ option to let the phone use malware detecting software automatically. This feature is available on all smartphones and considered as the best way to avoid Trojans by developers.

Furthermore, always check for any software update available on your phone to keep your applications and smartphone up-to-date and check for any bug fixes or software improvements. Not surprisingly, however, clever Trojans-makers can be, there is always a way out, which is being aware and alert of any suspicious activity on your android smartphone. Therefore, apply caution and entertainment in equal measure. Visit here to learn more about our Network security solutions!