The Top Cyber Security Threats of 2017 (And How an MSP Can Help)

45725783_s.jpgIs your company protected from the top cyber security threats of 2017? Cyber security can change not only by the year but by the hour -- and that can be difficult to keep track of for organizations of any size. An MSP can help fill gaps in your resources and educate your organization on the most prominent threats to your business and your industry.

The Biggest Cyber Security Threats in 2017

Malware

What would happen if your organization's computer system was wiped out tomorrow? Would you be able to contact your customers? Fulfill your orders? Malware -- malicious software that infests your network -- can have many goals. It can be designed to do everything from quietly steal your data to obliterate your entire infrastructure. Either way, you need a comprehensive data protection plan to protect against it. Dealing with malware requires early detection, regular data backups, and thorough network scanning.

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Ransomware

Ransomware is a special type of malware that is designed to take your company's data, encrypt it, and hold it for ransom. Unless you pay the ransom, your company may never get back its information. Luckily, ransomware is also one of the easiest types of attacks to defeat -- if you've planned ahead. Through an MSP, you can ensure that you always have up-to-date copies of your data safely stored and encrypted somewhere else. If your organization is struck by ransomware, you can then re-deploy your data without having to pay any hefty penalties.

IoT

The IoT is introducing a multitude of new threats centered around new hardware that is connected to your corporate network. From printers to smartphones, the "Internet of Things" is growing -- and many of these IoT devices are not secured. To protect against potential intrusions or exploits, your organization has to constantly monitor these devices and keep their firmware up to date.

Internal Threats

But perhaps the most common issue your organization will face are internal threats -- threats that are created by your employees. With a continually expanding workforce and increasing reliance on mobile employees, internal threats are becoming even more prevalent. Internal threats come chiefly from two places:

Malicious employees. Disgruntled employees may seek to take data with them as they leave, or to destroy data before they go. If they have the security permissions to do this -- and data isn't properly backed up and encrypted -- it can be difficult to stop them.

Careless employees. Employees will frequently leave their confidential information, such as login data, in publicly accessible places. Once their accounts have been breached, your organization's data can be breached.

How do you protect your organization from threats that arise from within? An MSP can help. MSPs are able to improve upon your security controls, authentication services, and threat detection, to both minimize and mitigate these threats.

There are undoubtedly many cyber security threats that have emerged throughout 2016 and that will become even more devastating in 2017. An MSP doesn't just provide third-party security and risk assessment services but also can become a valuable partner against new and developing threats.

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How IT MSP Can Help Your SMB Embrace the Internet of Things

InternetofThings-1.jpgThe Internet of Things can be at once an attractive and terrifying prospect, especially for SMBs. Though the Internet of Things can represent a significant competitive advantage, it also carries with it a non-trivial security risk. As the Dyn DDoS attack in October of 2016 showed us, IoT devices can open businesses up to a variety of cyber attacks.  But that doesn't mean an SMB is going to be able to avoid the IoT altogether.

The Growing Importance of the Internet of Things

When we say the Internet of Things, what we're really describing is a network of Internet-capable devices. Your company's printers, for instance, may connect to the Internet so that it can report on its current resources. It may even be able to initiate an order for new ink or new paper. Internet of Things devices are designed to streamline and improve business operations -- and are designed to leverage often limited resources. It's this ability to improve efficiency and automate mundane tasks that makes this technology valuable for SMBs. Through the IoT, SMBs can better manage their operations with the resources that they already have available.

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Improving IoT Security and Integration With an IT MSP

The problem with the Internet of Things is that it is difficult to secure. Every new IoT device that's connected to a network becomes another potential vulnerability within the system. But that doesn't have to be the case. Managed solutions providers can successfully improve the security of a network so that the Internet of Things is not a significant risk. MSPs can improve IoT security and integration through the following:

  1. Analyzing an SMBs current infrastructure to determine exactly how the IoT should be implemented and integrated.
  2. Creating an IT roadmap to streamline and smooth over any potential implementation and integration issues.
  3. Securing and encrypting data so that IoT vulnerabilities are less likely to compromise critical business assets.

Creating a multi-layered security system that can protect business assets from being accessed.

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Ultimately, SMBs have so much to gain from the IoT that they can’t ignore this technology -- but they also need help implementing and securing their IoT infrastructure. An MSP is the ideal candidate to integrate the Internet of Things into an existing small business and ensure that no security vulnerabilities have been created. And that's not the only benefit of an IT MSP.

If you're wondering whether your business could benefit from an MSP, download our free eBook.

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How IDaaS Protects Against the Dangers of the Internet of Things

Identity_as_a_Service_IDaaS.jpgA hot topic in modern organizations, the Internet of Things is swiftly becoming a driving force in new security technologies. The Internet of Things represents some serious security issues that IT teams will need to address as the technology moves forward.

Identity-as-a-Service may be one of the newer technology trends that are able to secure organizations against this growing threat.

How the "Internet of Things" Is Threatening Organizations

Everything today is connected to the Internet. That includes printers, copiers, speakers, tablets -- virtually anything in an office is likely to be WiFi-capable and accessible via a web-based login. Though this may seem convenient, it's actually incredibly harmful. A recent study by HP found that up to 70% of Internet of Things devices are not properly secured. A device that is connected to the company network could be compromised, thereby compromising the entirety of the network. Organizations today may have dozens, if not hundreds, of unmanaged devices that are connected to the network and representing a security risk.

IT professionals have their hands full when attempting to manage the "Internet of Things." Each device that is introduced into the IoT expands the organization's network in addition to adding vulnerabilities, and the security protocols and authentication solutions that these devices use can be widely disparate, requiring entirely different methods of management. The only way to control the IoT is to create a consolidated infrastructure that can manage access, permissions, and protocols.

Protecting Against the Internet of Things With IDaaS

Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) provides a comprehensive, single login solution for all devices. Through Identity as a Service, authentication protocols can be maintained throughout an infrastructure, even in seemingly disparate elements.

Authentication and ID is exceptionally important to a network infrastructure. Authentication controls everything at a user can access, view, modify, and delete. With a myriad of devices and access points, authentication can become fragmented; users may have multiple logins and authentication protocols themselves can become unwieldy. Creating a single, overarching and comprehensive system that manages all devices and network controls can protect against the ever-expanding "Internet of Things" that presently threatens security.

Without appropriate management, the Internet of Things can become a risk to any organization. In addition to the threats that mobile devices and bring-your-own-device policies introduce, the Internet of Things creates vulnerabilities around every corridor. Consequently, IT personnel will need to manage these threats by creating consolidated frameworks through which these devices connect. Identity-as-a-Service is an all-in-one solution to many of these potentially compromising issues.

Guide to Keeping company's data safe

Image source: Ministerio TIC Colombia