Improving Your Cyber Readiness: Is Your Business Prepared?

Cyber readiness is the ability for businesses to identify, prevent, and respond to cyberthreats in a timely manner. Most businesses know they should have cyber readiness, but they might not know the proper steps that need to be taken to achieve this. As a result, businesses deal with serious damages following a cyberattack that can affect both their finances and reputation.

To ensure that your business is prepared and protected in the face of a cyberattack, we’ve put together a checklist with seven tips to get you started.

Seven Tips to Ensure Cyber Readiness

  • Have you done your due diligence and performed risk evaluations of your current cybersecurity? Running tests can help find vulnerabilities and risk evaluations in your systems that you can address prior to a cyberattack.
  • Has your staff undergone any cyber awareness training? Making sure your staff is trained with the proper tools and content can help avoid risks.
  • Have you created an inventory of your software and hardware assets? Further, do you have a patch management process in place to automate updates of these assets? Having an inventory of hardware and software assets will let you know what’s at risk in your network. Moreover, it can help you know where updates and patches need to take place.
  • Do you use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for access to sensitive networks or systems? Multi-factor authentication is a core security feature to establish as part of your cyber readiness. Do your employees work from home, or can they access sensitive data outside of the office? You’re going to want to enable a strong MFA to help streamline access to sensitive data across all apps and channels.
  • Have you created an incident response plan explaining the steps to be taken in the event of a cyberattack? A well-written cyber incident response plan will ensure you’re prepared to handle the repercussions of an attack. This plan should be comprehensive and updated regularly, noting the key players and communication tier if something were to go amiss.
  • Have you reviewed the cyber readiness of your third-party vendors? Do they have security and privacy policies in place that meet industry standards? You know that you are protected, but do the third-party vendors that you contract with offer the same protection in return?
  • Have you followed the NIST protocol? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has created a framework for your business to follow to ensure you have the utmost cyber security. Following the NIST checklist will set you up with the best cyber readiness practices and procedures.

To Conclude

The world of cybersecurity is ever-changing...is your business prepared? AllTech IT Solutions can help set your company up for success by performing a cyber readiness assessment. Let us help you make sense of what you need to be cyber ready.

Looking to learn more about cyber readiness? Check out more of our blogs in our resources section.


cybersecurity insurance

Is Cybersecurity Insurance Necessary for Your Business?

In the digital age, you need all the protection you can get from cyberattacks. For additional coverage against cyberthreats, cybersecurity insurance may be right for you. Cybersecurity insurance is a form of insurance used to help provide additional coverage to your business from cyberattacks, such as data breaches or ransomware attacks. Having a strong security posture is your first step in protection. But in the event that your business is subject to an attack, it’s good to know that there are additional options out there like cybersecurity insurance that provide an extra lifeline to keep your business afloat.

If having that extra layer of protection piques your interest, let’s get more in-depth with what cybersecurity insurance is and how it can provide a benefit to your organization’s protection.

 

What Can Cybersecurity Insurance Cover?

If you are faced with a cyberattack, most insurance policies will cover first-party and third-party financial and reputational costs. Here is the difference between each type of coverage:

  • First-Party: First-party costs can include recovering lost data in a security breach, loss of income due to business downtime, extortion payments, restoration of network systems and other financial risks related to a cyberattack that impacted your business.
  • Third-Party: These costs typically result from claims submitted against your business and can include damages, settlements and the legal costs associated with the impact of the breach.

 

Do You Need Cybersecurity Insurance?

Typically, it is beneficial for businesses who use, send or store data electronically to consider obtaining some form of cybersecurity insurance coverage. All types of private data can be vulnerable to a cyberattack, so cybersecurity insurance can help mitigate the risks of an attack by providing financial coverage for certain events related to a breach.

 

What Are Some Common Cybercrimes That Can Affect Your Business?

No business is immune to a cyberattack, and it can happen when you least expect it. There are many types of criminal activities that can happen online, but for the sake of this topic, let’s take a deeper look into some of the most common cybercrimes that can affect your business:

  • Malware: A cybercriminal can use a malicious software program to install itself into your computer system. This typically is a result of a phishing scam that is aimed at exploiting software vulnerabilities in your system. Once installed, the cybercriminal can spy on things you do online as well as steal sensitive data.
  • Ransomware: This form of malware involves encrypting your data to demand a ransom payment in exchange for your data back. Having a strong data recovery plan in place is an imperative precaution to have as well as maintaining a backup of your data.
  • Hacking: The general reasoning behind hacking is to obtain access to important information. This can be accomplished by taking control of a computer system or certain systems functions within.

 

In Conclusion

We hope you’ve learned more about what cybersecurity insurance is and how it might help protect you against cyberattacks. But here’s a question for you: Are you sure your business has a strong enough security posture in place to thwart an attack? At Sentry IT Solutions, our experts can help identify and address vulnerabilities in your system. Talk to a specialist today to learn more about how we can improve your cybersecurity solutions.

If you’re looking to learn even more about all things cybersecurity or how you can improve your protection, check out more of our blogs in our resources section.

 


disaster recovery

3 Reasons Why You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

If a disaster were to occur tomorrow, would your business be able to recover? If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan, you may not have an option. According to the latest MSP threat guide by ConnectWise, two out of three SMBs have suffered a ransomware attack in the last 18 months. With a reliable disaster recovery plan, your business is prepared for anything, including cyberattacks.

We all know how important data is to modern businesses. It’s the lifeblood of every organization. That’s why you should know about the potential scenarios that could seriously impact your data – and your business. Here are three of the most common disasters that impact organizations.

Potential Disasters That Can Impact Your Business

1. Natural Disasters
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. experienced 20 natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes in 2021 costing over $145 billion. These storms can ruin your office in seconds, taking away all your vital equipment, including hard drives and onsite servers.

There’s only so much you can do to prep for a natural disaster. If a hurricane or tornado comes through your area, your options are limited. With that said, a data backup and recovery plan can at least ensure that your data is secure and accessible in the event of a natural disaster. An IT expert can migrate, replicate and store your data at an offsite location – ensuring you always have a backup plan.

2. Cyberattacks
Second on this list is the cyberattack. We mentioned in our introduction the threat that ransomware can have on your business. Unfortunately, that is just one example of a cyberthreat. Every 39 seconds, someone is being impacted by a cyberattack and only 40% of businesses can get back running after one. These attacks are occurring at an alarming rate and can get costly extremely fast. IBM found that the average cost of a data breach in 2021 was over $4.2 million.

There are many things you can do to keep your business safe from cyberattacks. For starters, make sure your business is equipped with the best cybersecurity in order to keep your network safe. It’s also important that you and your team are aware of the signs of a cyberattack and what to watch out for when it comes to emails or unknown attachments. An IT partner can evaluate your entire infrastructure, identify vulnerabilities and address them for you. Whether it’s firewalls, 24/7 monitoring, threat detection or SOC as a service, there’s many cybersecurity services and best practices to implement to keep your business safe from cyberattacks.

3. Power Outages
The third disaster that can impact your business is a power outage. It’s a no-brainer that we need electricity for our businesses to run. So, if your business experiences a power outage, what happens? The answer is downtime – something we all want to avoid. According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 a minute. So, imagine having a power outage for a few hours or days – the cost can easily climb into the six-figure range quickly.

Power outages are more costly than just the time offline. Without the proper steps in place, a power outage can lead to lost data. One of the main benefits of a cloud backup and recovery plan is that it keeps your data in a centralized location that can be accessed from anywhere. Whether it’s power outages, hybrid work or any other scenario, your data is always within reach when it’s secure in a cloud environment.

Conclusion

Do you know what these three disasters have in common? They’re unpredictable and costly. And while we can’t always predict when the next disaster may occur, what everyone can do is create a disaster recovery plan to stay prepared.

A disaster recovery plan can help your business stay running and keep your data safe and secure. Whether it’s a storm or a cyberattack, a good plan can make sure your business doesn’t fall to a disaster. At Sentry IT Solutions, we’re here to help you create a backup plan to ensure your success.

If you’re looking for more cyber tips, please feel free to check out more of our blogs.

 


disaster recovery

How to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan

Your data is the most important asset your organization has. But no matter how hard you try to protect it, disasters happen. If you’re not prepared to handle these situations, you could lose more than your data – you could lose your entire business. In fact, around half of businesses never reopen after a cyberattack, so having a disaster recovery plan is critical.

The reality is disasters can be unpredictable. From natural disasters to cyberattacks, no one can predict when their business will experience an incident. That’s why it’s so important that you have a disaster recovery plan in place for the unknown. Here are five things to consider when creating an effective disaster recovery plan.

5 Things to Consider When Building Your Disaster Recovery Plan

1. Get Prepared

A great first step to a data recovery plan is to identify the assets your business uses, such as hardware and network configurations, and determine how each one is crucial to the way your business functions. If you find old files or computers that no one uses anymore, it’s time to safely move on from these things. After you create an asset breakdown list, the next step is to consider who should orchestrate your disaster recovery plan. It’s a good idea to outsource this plan to a trusted expert.

2. Focus on Prevention

In order to develop a great disaster recovery strategy, you first need to do your best to protect your infrastructure. Start with basic security tools that help protect your business, such as VPNs and firewalls. Then institute processes that strengthen security like password managers, software patching and access control to limit who can view your sensitive data. Lastly, implement cybersecurity policies and offer education training to ensure everyone is on the same page.

3. Identify the Primary Threats

Although you can’t predict every disaster, you can identify your most significant threats and develop a plan around any potential issue you could experience with this threat. After you identify the primary risks, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What would the consequences be if this threat was impacted?
  • Would it affect my company financially?
  • Would there be legal consequences?
  • Would it impact my reputation?

Once you identify the potential threats and the possible fallout; you will be able to know what’s at stake and the priority level of each threat.

4. Create a Communications Strategy

Every member of your organization has a role to play during a time of crisis. A communications strategy helps assign specific people in different departments these responsibilities. For example, who on your team will communicate actionable items to key stakeholders? Who will coordinate the recovery plan on the ground level? The last thing your team needs during a data breach or power outage is to wonder who oversees what, so you need to layout clear expectations and roles well before anything goes wrong.

5. Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan & Review the Results

After your communications strategy, there are several other action items you will need to create in your response plan. But once your disaster recovery plan is put together, it’s time to put it to the test. If you work with an IT company, we recommend having an expert in simulations test your system. This can be a great way to see how your employees would react in alternate situations. Testing your plan will show you its functionality and reveal any gaps you have. If any gaps are discovered, go back and revise any flaws to make sure your plan is strong and secure.

When you put a solid disaster recovery plan in place, you can rest knowing that your business is protected and will stay open in the event of a disaster. The best plan will ensure that your data stays protected, no matter what happens. Your business data is important, so make sure you’re doing all you can to keep it guarded.

Developing a disaster recovery plan can be extremely difficult and take time away from your priorities. Let us handle your IT needs so you can focus on what matters – your business growth. At Sentry in Orlando, our experts are ready to help you develop a plan to keep your business data safe and backed up.

If you want to know more about data backup and other cyber tips, contact our team!

 

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cyberattacks orlando

Cyberattack Target Alert: 6 Industries at Risk of an Attack

There is no industry safe from cyberattacks; in fact, anyone can be a cyberattack target. In the past year, the world has seen many types of cyberattacks. Just in 2021, we saw the largest pipeline in the U.S. and one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world impacted by a major cyberattack. Your small business is also a big target for hackers, Accenture reported 43% of cybercriminals go after SMBs.

These attacks are definitely not cheap. According to IBM, ransomware was the most popular attack of 2021 with an average cost of $4.6 million. With these big attacks comes a hefty amount of money your business can lose. The FBI found that business email compromise victims lost over $1.8 billion last year.

Where Does Your Industry Rank?

Any business that has sensitive information is a common target of hackers. Each industry has unique cyberattacks deployed by cybercriminals. Here are the six main industries that are the most targeted by cybercriminals.

1. Manufacturing

Taking the first-place spot, the manufacturing industry accounted for 23% of cyberattacks globally in the last year. Ransomware was the most common cyberattack the manufacturing industry experienced. Other common cyberattacks in this industry included server access attacks, business email compromise and data theft. In a survey by Deloitte, 38% of manufacturers surveyed had losses between $1 and $10 million.

2. Finance & Insurance

The finance and insurance industry accounted for 22% of all global cyberattacks. Of the businesses impacted, 70% were banks, 16% were insurance organizations, and 14% were other miscellaneous financial organizations. IBM reported the average total cost of a data breach in this industry was $5.72 million in 2021.

3. Business Services

Business services such as office administration, human resources, security services and more accounted for about 13% of attacks. Of the businesses attacked, 76% were professional service firms, 29% were IT-focused service providers and 24% were other business firms.

4. Energy

Energy makes up 8% of the cyberattacks seen in 2021. The most common attack against this industry was ransomware, followed by distributed denial of service, business email compromises, and more. Distributed denial of service occurs when a hacker floods a network with traffic, leading it to crash. In 2020, the energy industry had an average data breach cost of $6.39 million.

5. Retail & Wholesale

The retail and wholesale industry accounted for 7% of cyberattacks in 2021, with an average data breach cost of $3.37 million. Of these businesses, 65% were wholesale while 35% were retail. Top attacks seen in this sector included business email compromise, server access, data theft and credential harvesting.

6. Healthcare

The last industry impacted by cyberattacks is the healthcare sector at 5%. Of the attacks seen, 38% were ransomware — which is a higher percentage compared to other industries. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the healthcare industry is expected to spend $125 billion on cybersecurity by 2025.

Overall, no matter what industry you’re in, your business can be a target of hackers. It’s important that you have a cybersecurity plan in place in order to protect your assets and defend yourself against any potential cyberattacks. If you’re looking to improve your current cybersecurity, consider partnering with an MSP.

Sentry Tech Solutions in Orlando is here to help keep your business protected with top-line cybersecurity. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions related to cybersecurity.

 

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phishing training orlando

Why Your Business Should Enhance Its Phishing Training Methods

With the current geopolitical crisis, you may be rethinking your current cybersecurity strategy. Now more than ever is a good time to implement new and updated security measures and phishing training courses. It’s important that you make protecting your Orlando business a priority. This is a bigger issue now given what’s going on.

In a recent global survey, 49% of organizations say keeping up with security challenges is harder than it was two years ago. To account for these new challenges, 88% of organizations say that they’re increasing security spending. Considering these trends, it’s important that you evaluate what you’re doing to stay up to date on security measures.

For example, is your business fully protected? According to Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, with only 14% of those prepared for an attack. And trust us, these attacks are not cheap if cyberthreats steal your data. More than half of all cyberattacks cost over $500,000 in financial damages. This also includes lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and any out-of-pocket costs. Are you ready to take the first step towards protecting your business?

Phishing Training: Email Security Has Never Been More Important

If you’re ready to bolster your email security, a great place to start is with phishing training. Teach your employees how to detect any sort of attack with regular cybersecurity training activities. There are many ways to determine if an email is malicious, so it’s important that you’re able see all the signs. Showing your employees the characteristics of a phishing email is great to help them detect what’s verified and what’s a scam. Let’s discuss four ways you can detect a phishing email.

Cybersecurity Training: 4 Ways You Can Detect a Phishing Email

1. Check the Sender and Email Address

Double check who sent you the email. Don’t look at just the sender's name, check the email address too. Usually when we see a sender’s name we recognize, we don’t look at the address. Cybercriminals will use bogus email addresses that don’t even match the sender's name. Does the email address have a domain name? If it has a public domain, it’s most likely a scam.

2. Look For Spelling and Grammar Errors

Although phishing emails are getting harder to detect, they are normally going to have at least a few spelling or grammar mistakes. Most large businesses will hire copywriters to write their emails, and they use spell check and autocorrect. Any email from a reputable company is going to look professional. Some of these spelling errors are caused from inaccurate translations from another language, or they can be deliberate to attempt to evade filters that try to block these kinds of attacks.

3. What Type of Attachment They Use

The most common types of attachments phishing emails use are .zip, .exe, and .scr. Also, any attachment files like Windows executables, script files, and Office documents are likely to be malicious. If you don’t recognize the type of file, it’s best that you don’t open the attachment.

4. Look At the Company Name

Some reputable companies that are commonly imitated are Google, Dropbox, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. Check the logo in the email, does it look off? Do you have a similar email from the same company you can look at and compare and contrast? Phishing emails can use knock off logos that look close to the real thing, but little differences like font, color, and spacing could determine whether it’s real or not.

With the current global events going on right now, it’s important that you make sure your business is fully secure. You should implement the best security practices, including two-factor authentication and password managers. You also need to educate your team on cybersecurity, including email security.

As cybercriminals become more skilled, it will continue to become harder to spot a phishing email. At Sentry Technology Solutions in Orlando, we’re here to help in the fight against cybercrime. From reviewing your cybersecurity strategy, email security services, data protection and more, our experts are ready to help your business.

Schedule a security assessment with one of our experts today.

 

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digital cleaning

How to Dodge Pitfalls when Digital Cleaning

When you think about how often you straighten your desk and tidy your office, it’s similar to how technology types like us think about digital cleaning. That’s where we discover what technology needs updating, enhancing, or eliminating.

We all know that updated technology improves productivity, efficiencies, and profit. Updated and new technology improves your workflow because employees work better with more modern equipment. Yet, 70% of digital transformation projects fall short, according to Forbes.

There are many things you can do to get your technology up to par, starting with a digital deep clean. Besides checking for unused apps and learning where security can be bolstered, an all-encompassing digital cleaning evaluates your equipment to make sure it’s working properly. It points out what updates are needed.

Eventually, businesses that engage in regular digital cleanups discover that their technology is outdated. That can be fixed. But updating technology isn’t a particularly popular idea on the front end with your employees. Despite eventually becoming more productive with modern technology, employees like the status quo and are sometimes frustrated and annoyed at changes to technology.

At Sentry IT Solutions, we can help you navigate around the common pitfalls businesses encounter when they discover they need to make technology updates.

Here are 4 things to avoid when updating your business technology:

1. Layering new onto old
When you implement new technology, it’s tempting to hold onto old processes without first examining the compatibility with existing devices and applications. Instead of trying to use new technology to compensate for broken processes, integrating new technology that complements your systems better enables a seamless transition in which your technology is working in concert with your processes.

2. Forcing it
People have a hard time with change. They prefer things to stay the same. When they’re faced with a new technology, they might resist it. It’s crucial that they understand its benefits. The key to get them to embrace it is to align your team with the transformation and how it’s a necessary step for growth. Remind them that implementing modern technology will help boost their productivity and grow the business, a win-win.

3. Miscommunicating
When the migration to new technology is imminent, your goals should already be in place and communicated to the team. This way, when it’s time to measure the improvements against what was needed, the updated technology is properly credited as the right solution. Once your employees see the positive effect of the new technology, they should give you their full cooperation.

4. Setting unrealistic expectations
When your digital cleaning efforts require an update in your technology, it's tempting to believe it’ll solve all of your problems immediately. It takes a reality check on what the benefits are. Leadership should provide a realistic message about what the cleanup will accomplish and the importance of having patience.

Migrate with an MSP
Sentry IT Solutions understands the task at hand when you choose to take on the technology updates that result from a digital clean up. We outline the expectations to make sure they align with reality — and your goals. And we make sure the technology you want to hang on to is compatible with your upgrades.

Once your technology improvements are implemented, your team will enjoy that their devices run smoothly and quickly. They’ll find more energy to complete their projects and grow more productive. In a nutshell, we make the results of your digital cleaning something your team can celebrate, not dread.

Sentry IT Solutions in Orlando can provide you with the digital cleaning your business deserves. Put your trust in our digital deep cleaning solutions, and we’ll help your business improve its technology in a way that aligns with your goals now — and in the future.

Schedule your digital cleanup today!

 

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cybersecurity benefits orlando

Cybersecurity Benefits for Those Who Check Their Tech in Orlando

Cybersecurity benefits are boundless. But unless you’re checking your tech regularly, you really don’t know how sturdy your cybersecurity really is. And if you’re running your business on old, outdated security, you’re living on borrowed time — especially if your sensitive data or your clients’ sensitive data makes its way on to the dark web, where it can be sold and bought by the highest bidder.

Leaving your network open to data breaches can cause irreparable financial harm, destroying everything you and your staff have spent years trying to build. But by routinely updating and evaluating the state of your security, you can prevent your business from being waylaid by these potentially crippling scenarios:

High costs — Even a minor data breach has the power to bring your business to a standstill, especially if you haven’t partnered with an MSP who can help put an effective disaster and recovery plan in place. Downtime can be costly: TechChannel found that 91 percent of businesses said one hour of downtime can amount to losses of more than $300,000. And just one percent said hourly downtime costs less than $100,000. The US National Cyber Security Alliance found that small businesses must pay upwards of $690,000 to recover from an attack or breach. That’s a lot of money that should be going toward serving your customers and growing your business. Working with modern, up-to-date security is a great way to avoid such exorbitant costs.

Harm to your reputation — Very few people and companies want to hire someone they don’t trust. After all, when a breach occurs, it’s not just your data that’s compromised — it’s your customers’ data as well. And damage to your reputation often results in damage to your bottom line. In fact, Forbes found that companies that fall victim to a cyberattack see the price of their shares fall by seven percent. Regaining someone’s trust is hard, so the best way to keep your customer base intact is by doing regular security checks that help prevent breaches before they become a problem.

Closing your doors for good — There are many cybersecurity benefits to routinely checking your tech, but none more than the survival of your business. Cyberattacks and data breaches can be fatal to small businesses — TechRepublic reported that 66 percent of all small- and medium-sized businesses go out of business completely or are forced to close for at least one day after suffering an attack. Cybercriminals often target small businesses because they don’t believe those companies have the manpower and resources to defend themselves as well as the larger, richer companies. Regularly checking your tech goes a long way toward making sure your business stays out of a hacker’s crosshairs.

Just having cybersecurity isn’t enough. In order for your security to be effective, it needs to be up-to-date and able to keep up with the ever-growing audacity of today’s cybercriminals. If you have any questions or are unsure how to do a tech check of your security, reach out to our team today. Don’t wait for a breach to start effectively safeguarding your network.

Appalachian Network Services in North Carolina provides security solutions that help you keep up with and stay protected against the latest threats. Our expert team offers services that are scalable, cost-efficient and can be customized to protect any business in any industry. Let us protect your business like it’s our business. Call us today and we will work with you on creating an effective checklist that ensures your security is up to date and up to standards.

Put your money and focus where they belong — toward the growth of your business.

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