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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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Cyber Security Controls Every Business Needs To Know

As cyber attacks are becoming more evolved and complex, it has become critical for organizations to possess basic cyber security controls. In order to ensure the safety of business’ confidential data, organizations need to enforce appropriate security controls.

Here are some cyber security controls that every business needs to know:

  • Automated Patching: Patches are introduced by tech developers in order to fix critical vulnerabilities found in a network, app, or system. Timely fixes or patching is essential to prevent the spread of security breaches via open vulnerabilities which may cause extensive damage to a business. Automating the updates can save time and resources spent by IT professionals for manually searching devices to evaluate and install latest updates. Automation allows simultaneous implementation of patches for several vulnerabilities.
  • Full Disk Encryption: A great way to strengthen the security health of an organization is to allow Full Disk Encryption (FDE) data on hard disks in an organization. Enabling cyber security controls that store user credentials securely and drive data confidentiality helps in ensuring safety of business data from cyber criminals. In addition to FDE, make sure to backup the data regularly to tackle situations such as disk crash. Also, make sure to store passwords and encryption keys at separate location as no one can access a system without appropriate credentials.
  • Screen Lock: The next cyber security control to be implemented is automatic screen lock. Once this control is activated, a machine enters sleep mode after being idle for a set time and user has to enter password when returning to the machine. This prevents any one from accessing a machine when unattended. This cyber security control becomes even more important for users working from remote locations.
  • Enabling Firewall: It may seem like a basic strategy but it is highly important to activate firewall across all company devices. A firewall is a software that tracks inbound and outbound activities from a network and blocks the traffic that seem unsafe for the network based on a set of security rules. This prevents unauthorized applications from reaching endpoints and penetrating into the network. This helps businesses in mitigating risks and overcoming new cyber challenges.

For more information on cyber security controls, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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