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Ways To Keep Your Business & Home Networks Secure

The ongoing digital revolution across multiple sectors has been a lucrative target for hackers for the past few decades. Follow these simple yet profound tips to keep your work and home networks secure.

  1. Maintain a CMDB of your entire IT Infrastructure – Businesses are advised to create and maintain a list of their IT assets, hardware, and software in a CMDB (Configuration Management Database). Configuration Management Database helps IT teams to quickly manage and configure the hardware and software assets the business requires. Security frameworks such as ISO, NIST, and even CIS benchmarks are driven by IT Asset CMDBs. An automated system for scanning and finding IT assets, as well as in-depth information on those assets, is your best choice for ensuring your IT asset inventory is up-to-date, accurate, and thorough.
  2. Continuous surveillance and monitoring – IT department must keep track of all the assets as soon as they connect with the enterprise network, as vulnerabilities in them can allow a cyberattack to take place. Asset discovery solutions provide device detection features; allow IT teams to detect and identify rogue and unknown assets across the IT infrastructure. Hence, it also eliminates blind spots. This is especially essential as people connect work laptops to home networks, where a range of unprotected personal and IoT gadgets can act as entry points for malware and fraud.
  3. Update, upgrade and upscale your IT infrastructure – Security disclosures, vulnerability bulletins, and other technology vendor upgrades must all be kept up to date. Unpatched appliances are a typical attack vector for cybercriminals. Organizations have been frequently breached months or years after a patch is released because updates were not implemented as part of a managed program. Keep your software up to date and, if feasible, keep up with all the newest software patches.
  4. Implement access control and IAM (Identity Access Management) – IT Teams can reduce the risk potential as they adopt the principle of least privilege. Here, users are only assigned the permissions they need to do their work tasks. This should also apply to removing access to facilities such as Local Administrator access. Review and restrict the use of highly privileged accounts such as Domain Administrator and Global Administrator.
  5. Securing data from malicious entities as well as disasters – A security compromise can result in data loss and damage; thus regular backups are essential. Backups provide infinite scalability and remove additional infrastructure expenditures. Cloud is an excellent choice for data backup. Predictable storage costs and negligible downtime allow data to be accessed and restored immediately, ensuring business continuity.
  6. Educate and train the people – Let it be your family members at home or your employees, colleagues in the business; educate them all about end-user security awareness. However, the majority of people are unaware of how to see a threat and fail to notice a fraud attempt when they encounter one. You can limit risk and reduce occurrences by educating people about the hazards of cyber-attacks, what to look for, and how to report a probable attack.
  7. Strengthen your Incident response strategies – The best strategy to ensure timely corrective action after facing a cybersecurity incident is to have an IR (Incident Response) plan. Following a breach, a good IR identifies the procedures and actions that the staff should take. The Incident responder also assists in the coordination of resources to quickly restore operations. The incident response plan should specify responsibilities and provide step-by-step technical instructions for repairing the vulnerability. It must also include assessing the damage, recovering any lost or damaged data, and documenting the occurrence. The impact of an event will be minimized and the business will be protected from unnecessary harm and costs if everyone is on the same page with a plan of action and access to a central data repository.

Seek a consult with Centex Technologies for complete IT security audit of your business. Contact at (254) 213 – 4740.

How Do You Protect And Secure Your Telemedicine Business From Hacker Onslaught?

Telemedicine is the way of the future in medicine. Before the current epidemic, telehealth had already absorbed a significant share of the medical industry’s growth potential. Telehealth utilization surged from 11 percent to 46 percent after COVID, according to McKinsey forecasts, with providers seeing up to 175 times as many patients as before. With 76 percent of consumers expressing interest in telehealth, the future seems bright. Overall, McKinsey estimates that the telemedicine business has a $250-billion-dollar development potential. However, all of this expansion comes with significant hazards.

Telehealth and telemedicine businesses are the waves of the future in the healthcare industry. They are, nevertheless, in the vanguard of our COVID-accelerated future. Cybercrime targeting telemedicine has increased dramatically. Medical data breaches are increasing.

Why hackers are attracted to hack into telemedicine systems?

Telehealth and telemedicine are some of the world’s most profitable industries because of their magnitude. However, because of the large number of stakeholders, including clients and employees, it is a prime target. This industry also holds one of the most prized loot for cybercriminals: PHI of patients.

The following are a few examples of PHI (Personal Health Information): –

  1. PII (Personally Identifiable Information) about the demographics of patients
  2. Patients’ medical histories, as well as the results of their various medical tests
  3. Information about a patient’s medical and life insurance
  4. Financial details of patients and their mode of payment used to pay the hospital bills

Techniques implemented by hackers to obtain PHI

In addition to the PHI-based dangers inherent to the medical industry, telehealth operators face the same basic vulnerabilities as all businesses. While not all telemedicine cybersecurity vulnerabilities are related to PHI, they are by far the most serious threats. To steal PHI from telehealth providers, cybercriminals use a number of vulnerabilities and employ a complicated set of strategies.

Most of the hospitals have not strengthened the security of their cyberinfrastructure. Loopholes in any company’s cyberdefense create opportunities for hackers to take control of assets and cause havoc.

Inadequate firewalls cannot block incoming viruses and malware. Hence, hackers utilize insecure networks to gain access to various corporate systems and devices. Hackers can get around password protection thanks to flaws in authentication mechanisms. Once they infiltrate, the unencrypted data stored in servers are easier to steal and mobilize.

Medical professionals often lack end-user security awareness essential to defend against malicious social engineering tactics adopted by cybercriminals. Even the most well-protected cyberdefense system must accommodate for human mistakes across several employees and clientele accounts. Users who haven’t been properly instructed may configure passwords and settings that are not secure. Users may also be duped into compromising their own accounts through social engineering. Hackers may get access to physical areas and take advantage of unsupervised endpoints.

Targeting the mission-critical hospital network infrastructure with DoS and DDoS attacks is again a very common and brutal technique. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks usually target servers, ultrasound machines, ventilators, and pacemakers. Cybercriminals bombard a continuous stream of access requests to the hospital network. This overwhelms the server systems and disrupts the usual network operations. The daily mission-critical operations are slowed or perhaps stopped as a result of this hyper network traffic. Hackers also take advantage of newly discovered flaws, often dubbed as Zero-Day vulnerabilities. Alternatively, hackers may demand a ransom before restoring normal service. Combinations of attacks, using numerous vulnerabilities at once, are being used by the most dedicated and notorious hackers.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) of 1996 was created to ensure that PHI and the medical and health-related profession as a whole had uniform security requirements. It is administered and monitored by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The hazards created by cybercrime cannot be totally eliminated by adhering to the specific regulations and measures that each rule requires. However, compliance is a set of procedures that minimizes vulnerabilities and mitigates hazards in the telemedicine and healthcare industries. It’s not easy to comply with HIPAA. It is advised to hire professional services. The professional cybersecurity company will aid the business to evaluate their information security posture. They also help in deploying the precautions as well as handling the patchwork to ensure that all loopholes are closed or at least monitored. This is one of the best approaches to ensure the safety and security of your telemedicine systems and data.

Centex Technologies provide complete IT infrastructure and Cybersecurity solutions for businesses including medical establishments. For more information on how you can protect your systems, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213-4740, Dallas (972) 375-9654, Atlanta (404) 994-5074, and Austin (512) 956-5454

How Would You Protect Your Remote Workforce From Emerging Cyber-attacks?

The pandemic has facilitated, rather than forced, many office workers to work remotely for their individual firms. Professionals working remotely encounter a number of challenges particularly in the arena of cyber security. The onslaught of pandemic has led cyber threat actors to exploit the situation and target those working remotely.

It is advised that businesses and employee undertake the below measures to ensure that their remote working experience is safe and secure:

Security-first environment – When working remotely, it’s critical to choose a physically secure location. The employer or employee has to avoid disclosing any PII (Personal Identifiable Information) when connected online. Remote workers delivering online video conferences and presentations must try to mask their personal surroundings. Malicious actors are continuously on the lookout for PII that is revealed during such video calls. It is also important that other persons in the house do not have access to your laptop and desktop system. Do not use public networks for personal or business purposes.

Securing your Wi-Fi network – Make sure your WiFi Security is set to WPA2 on your Broadband Router. The default credentials across your routers, modems, and cellular WiFi hotspots must be changed. As you are working remotely, it’s a good idea to set up specific Wi-Fi networks. A Host network must be reserved for employees-employers and the Guest network available to the rest of the family. This will allow you to isolate data transmission between WiFi networks and avoid bottlenecks and network clogs.

Remote working communication and collaboration platforms – Employers need to invest in video conferencing apps, cloud-based office suites, and other technologies to be able to operate remotely. As managers and leaders, it is your responsibility to ensure that these tools are safe to use by your employees. You may assess the safety and security of any apps you want your employees to use by working with your IT and Security staff. It’s also crucial to remind your remote workers to update their software applications on a frequent basis to ensure that they have the most up-to-date security updates.

Do not use office equipment for personal use – Employees who have been given work equipment should avoid using it to log into personal social media accounts. Remote workers should not engage in any personal activities of interest on company-issued devices and appliances.

Avoid any suspicious content, emails and chat messages on social media – The pandemic has prompted criminal actors to take advantage of the situation and send phishing emails around the world. They replicate emails from local government officials and containing forms to be filled out with personal information or work-related information. Rather than believing in any random unconfirmed message on social media being propagated by bad actors, pay attention to your local and regional government news broadcasts and laws.

Strengthen the cyber security posture of your organization – Antivirus software alone is no longer sufficient to keep hackers and cyber criminals at bay. You should invest in a complete cybersecurity system that can protect you from all types of malware, frauds, and zero-day assaults.

VPNs must be provided to ensure encrypted and secure transmission of work data – Enable the different security features offered by vendors and OEMs in your devices and use them to protect yourself and your data while working remotely. It is advised to use VPN connections to connect to official applications.

These are just a few of the security options remotely working employers and employees must adopt. While the employees might not be physically protected from the office, employers must ensure to provide them adequate digital security while working remotely.

Centex Technologies provide complete cybersecurity solutions to businesses. For more information, call at (254) 213-4740

The Need For Automated Security Awareness Training

Cybercriminals are skilled at exploiting how firms conduct their daily business operations. While the Covid19 pandemic was at its peak of causing havoc across the world, cyberattacks witnessed a 500 percent surge. As human factor is the weakest link in the entire cybersecurity domain, it is important to conduct Automated Security Awareness trainings to make employees aware of methods on how to safeguard assets from such attacks.

How to plan an automated security awareness campaign?

Fraudsters are excellent strategists, and they build phishing campaigns that are focused on a certain attack approach to increase their success rates. A security awareness campaign should also be planned to be automated over a 12-month period. This strategy should correspond to your employee’s role in planning, managing, and delivering the most relevant parts to the correct audience at the right time. Computerized and automated security awareness training must include the following aspects:

  1. Blogs for upskilling and reskilling
  2. Phishing emails that aren’t real to check employees’ alertness
  3. Online learning that is customized as per business requirements
  4. Surveys and skill-check quizzes to evaluate employees’ security awareness
  5. Risk evaluations and assessments for disaster resiliency of systems and networks
  6. Crucial Security and GRC (Governance, Risk management, and Compliance) Policies

Each of these factors contributes to employees’ gradual awareness of how security approaches and tactics function, as well as how security incidents can occur.

How the leadership will be able to determine the success of such training?

Simulated phishing that is automated and integrated with metrics and feedback cycles is important for training your personnel about phishing and social engineering techniques. These simulations teach your employees how to spot common fraudster tactics. This includes techniques such as BEC (Business Email Compromise), infection through malicious attachments, malicious URLs, spoof sites, and so on. vendor updates the templates used to replicate phishing campaigns on a regular basis to reflect any changes in the phishing landscape. An automated security awareness training provides a vital audit trail of immutable metrics & feedback. Data from the metrics and audit of awareness training across many touchpoints can be sent back into the awareness training to help it improve. These audit trails also aid regulatory defense in the case of a breach or during a compliance examination. Employee reactions to the mock phishing communication are automatically captured as part of the phishing simulation exercise. This generates measurements that reflect how well the training is going and allows the phishing templates to be tailored to improve overall phishing education.

Advantages of automated security awareness training campaigns

All stakeholders in the delivery, management, and end-user experience of cybersecurity awareness training benefit from the automation in the following ways:

  1. Increasing the organization’s resilience to cyberthreats
  2. Assisting in establishing a security-conscious work culture
  3. Procure buy-in and support for cyber security measures
  4. Improving the audit results and showing regulatory compliance
  5. Reducing human error and addressing security concerns
  6. Reducing the time and resources needed to organize an awareness campaign by creating a 12-month calendar of activities, identifying areas of overlap, and identifying user fatigue
  7. Control policies, phishing simulators, eLearning, and surveys from a central location

Automated security awareness training solutions actually do quite more than just impart knowledge; it also develops tangible cyber-hygiene skills and habits in employee staff. Such solutions and services help your company at every stage of improving your corporate security awareness journey. Leadership can envision the entire journey right from goal-setting to results-evaluation through actionable reporting and analytics. Simplified goal-setting, automated learning paths, and practical activities based on real-life circumstances all help participants and training managers achieve effective results and a successful outcome.

Centex Technologies provide state of the art cyber-security and IT systems for enterprises. To discuss requirements for your organization, you may contact at (254) 213 – 4740.

Cyber Identity Theft: What To Do?

Identity theft is one of the most common and fast growing cyber-crimes. Cyber identity theft occurs when a fraudster steals a user’s identity or say poses to be that user by gaining access to his Personally Identifiable Information (PII). To get details of user’s digital PII fraudsters use scams like phishing attacks or planting a malware on the victim’s system.

What is his Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?

It is the unique personal information that enables a fraudster to prove his identity as the victim. Some examples of PII include:

  • Driver’s License
  • Banking Information such as account number
  • Login Id & Password for various online accounts
  • Social Security Number

In order to understand what happens if cyber identity is stolen, it is first important to know how online identity theft occurs. Some of the tactics used by fraudsters are:

  • Phishing: Cybercriminals send emails with compromised links that are disguised as essential information from a financial institution. The link, when clicked, opens a form that requires the user to provide his PII.
  • Pharming: Under this tactic, the browser is compromised. The user enters a legitimate address in the search bar of the browser, but is redirected to a malicious page designed to steal PII.
  • Malware: Specially designed malware can be downloaded on victim’s system via different sources to steal financial details.
  • Unsecure Websites: Make it a point to check the authenticity of the website before making an online purchase. Make sure to use official and secure websites with “https” prefix.
  • Weak Passwords: Using weak passwords for social and financial accounts leaves users vulnerable and susceptible to hackers.

Once the online identity is stolen, it can give rise to an array of problems for the victim:

  • Fraudsters can use the victim’s credentials to infiltrate an organization’s network and gain access to business secrets.
  • The PII can be used to gain access to victim’s financial accounts and exploit them.
  • The stolen identities can be sold by the fraudsters over dark web.
  • Victim’s identity can be used to enter the system and encrypt the data for ransom.
  • Stolen PII can be used to cause non-monetary damage such as hampering the public image.

In case you discover that you have been victimized by an identity breach, take following measures:

  • Regularly monitor your bank statements and credit reports for any unauthorized activity.
  • In case of an unusual activity, follow up immediately and consider putting your credit report on hold.
  • Consider using activity alerts services offered by financial institutions

For more information on cyber identity theft and methods to prevent them, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

 

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