(Video) What sort of monitoring is needed by an SME.

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses system monitoring and why an SME needs it.

[Start of transcript]

Hi. My name is Roger. I’d like to talk to you today about what sort of monitoring is needed by a small and medium enterprise of a non-profit organization.

In today’s world, if something breaks it usually stops what you are doing pretty drastically. If your hard drive fails in your laptop or in your pc then naturally that becomes just a paper weight on your table, and you don’t that to happen. You don’t want to be in a situation where when it fails is the first time you realize you had a problem and this is where my team monitoring comes into it.

Most many services providers will have a managed component that is probably free or very inexpensive as part of their package. Because it’s really important to them to understand (a) that you’ve got a problem and (b) to fix the problem before you realize you have a problem, which makes them look really good. And that’s what it’s all about, making them look really good in your eyes.

So, instead of having the hard drive failure or having had the pc running for a long time and then come up and say, ‘well it’s running out of space’. You need to know that sort of thing. And this is where that sort of monitoring comes in.

When they install the monitoring system, they actually do it on all of the pcs, all of the laptops, all of the tablets and phones, and they create a baseline. That baseline is how it works now. So they can see what happens over the course of a couple of months and a couple years. And when you need to replace it, or when you need to upgrade it, if your processor is working overtime just because you’re doing graphic design then you need a better computer to do the job.

And as I said, the good thing about a managed service provider provides if they got a monitoring component is that they will look at the system and go, ‘that’s going to break, we better do something, here’s our hard drive, go and put it in and swap all the data out’. And that is why you need to have it.

Thank you very much.

[end of transcript]

(Video) What is managed web filtering?

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses managed web filtering

[Start of transcript]

Hello, my name is Roger. What is managed web filtering? Well, we all know that everybody likes to access the internet, whether it’s on a tablet, on a mobile phone, laptop, computer, even on the server when you need to download updates and things like that. You always need to access the digital world in some way.

But the trouble is, the bad guys know how we all access the internet, and they are always willing to put little traps and systems in place so they can actually get information out of you or infect your computers.

Now what I mean by that is there are, websites are created, and we all have websites. Websites are not created equally. Some are high-end, high-processing, e-commerce sites that are secure and locked down, and everything is really hunky dory.

But at the other end of the scale, there’s people who put together a WordPress website, who doesn’t worry about security, doesn’t worry about patching or widgets, making sure all the plugins are working, making sure the plugins are all patched up.

Now if this website, the one that was done in WordPress, gets hacked, now there are a number of ways they can do things to you. They can hack your website and take it down. Bang, there goes your website. Or they can just deface it. We were here, stuff you. Great.

The worst one they can do is they can actually infect it so that all of the visitors coming to your site will actually be asked to download now or then. Now when that happens, what happens is you need a system in place that will protect you from that happening to you. Now how do you do that?

Well there’s a number of products around that allow you to protect the way you surf the internet. And by that protection, it will come up and go, don’t go to this website, because it’s infected, or it may go to something that says when you log on to the website, something is wrong.

And that is really important for business. Because you get malware on your PC or your laptop, or your tablet, or your phone, then the bad guys have access to that information. What people don’t understand is it can happen to anybody’s website.

It takes, it can happen at the lowest level with your web-hoster, hosting company, has been hacked, and the server with all of those websites on it are now vulnerable. Or you could be a major news site.

There’s been times where places like ninemsn have been not so much hacked, but the information for things that run their ads have been infected, which then infects the people who come to it.

The other way that you get infected is through Ethernet. So this is a process that the bad guys call water holing, because everybody has to go there to get information. The biggest one that we’ve ever seen was when they infected a site that looks after human resources. So everybody had to go there, work out their leave, and every time they went there they got infected.

But, on top of that, if you get an infection from a website, that you, and you haven’t been protecting yourself in such a way as it will come up and tell you that you’ve got a chance of being infected by the website, then you have a problem with your own technology itself. Because it is no longer yours. It has spyware, it has malware. It may even have things like drive-by malware that encrypts all the information on your system. You don’t want to be in that situation.

On top of that, people also believe that if you go to pornographic sites that you’re going to get infected. To tell you the truth, pornographic sites are probably the securest internet websites on the internet and have ads. And there’s something, because the pornographic sites need people to come to them all the time. And yes, it’s huge business, it’s really a lot of money that they get.

So, you need to have some way to protect yourself, and that is where a managed web filter will come into. That managed web filter will sit on the desktop, or the laptop, or the tablet and phone, and actually intercept the information before it gets to your technology itself, and will protect you. And because it’s a managed web filtering, it’s like any other cloud product, it is a monthly fee.

Thank you.

[End of transcript]

(Video) How are you protecting your clients information

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses How small and medium business and not for profit organisations are protecting your clients information.

[Start of transcript]

Hi, my name is Roger. How are you protecting your client’s information? Every business nowadays uses a digital component to make that business work. And by having that digital component, and making that information available to your staff, then you have to make sure that you are protecting that information at all times.

That information can be anything as basic as a telephone number associated with a person who’s associated with a registration number on your car. That information is really critical to taking it to the next level for protecting your business, and protecting your clients. Because clients are not going to trust you if you are known to breach their privacy.

So to protect the information that you’re collecting from other people, you need to make sure that what you’re collecting, are you going to use it and do you need it? Because it’s no use collecting all this information if it’s just going to sit in a database and one day we’ll get to it. Because that just gives you exposure to a number of other problems.

You also need to be able to segregate that information. You need to be able to take that information and go, “We don’t need that information,” or, “Those certain people do need access to that information.”

And the final part is, you never store information about people with information about their credit cards. Because if you do that, and something does happen in the background, and someone does get compromised, then they have all of that information.

So do you know where all your client data is? Do you know where it’s located, who has access to it, and why those people have access to it? Thank you very much.

[End of transcript]

There is no I in TEAM, but there is way too much EGO in Digital security

Talk about having an eye opening moment. bigstock-Auction-with-auctioneer-holdin-10211486

I regularly have coffee at my son’s bar, and I overheard a conversation.

More a robust discussion.

A number of people, in the digital security space of a government department, were generalizing about Digital security.

There was a certain individual there who had a very different outlook on cybersecurity. He said “I know it all, and you know less than me”. At this I almost choked on my coffee.

In the Digital security realm this is an exceedingly stupid thing to say.

He may know more than me or anyone else. I will be the first to admit that I don’t know it all, but knowing everything!

That is just crap!

If he is conveying this to the C level executives and board members then this department has serious problems. The digital criminal is quite happy to take people like him and make them a public spectacle.

I, for one, am amazed at the tactics, strategies and capabilities that the true cybercriminal brings to the game.

I am not talking about the wanna be’s, the script kiddies or the people who use automated systems to scan the digital world for vulnerabilities to target. The true hacker is someone who knows what they are doing.

These are the true masters of the craft.

In most cases, protecting against some of their full blown attacks is damn near impossible.

What happened when stuxsnet and Duqo were released into the wild. The source code was changed into something else entirely. With different payloads and attack vectors it became one of the true hackers major weapons. There are many more like them.

To be a target of a true hacker you have to have something that they want.

It has to be worth their while.

If you have significant cash reserves, important trade secrets or a huge digital presence, then you are a target.

Most SME’s and not for profit Organisations are not in that space, although they may be collateral damage in an attack on someone who is that they work with.

People in the security area of any organisation have an understanding that the process of protection is always evolving. They also understand that the evolution requires the Organisations protection systems to morph into areas where it has never been considered. This happened recently with the adoption of cloud technology and will happen again with the introduction and take up of the Internet of things (IOT).

You have often heard me talk about “the game”.

The “game” is played by the professionals who are interested in making an organisation secure. Winning the “game” is going to bed with the knowledge that today was a good day. Tomorrow may not be! Playing the “game” is doing everything that there is to do, know and understand and applying it so that information within the organisation is safe.

The “game” is about accepting that there are other ways to compromise a system and the defense of the organisation is a holistic process. There is no money or wealth driven motive behind getting into cybersecurity, if there was they would be making a hansom living on the dark side. This is something that the makers of software and applications forget.

This is also applied to the maker of security components. We all know that there is no silver bullet that will fix all of the cybercrime problems.

But most vendors sprout it like theirs is just that.

Do this and you will be secure, don’t worry about the USB in the carpark, the forgotten default password on the router, using unsecured wifi to access the bank account or the insecure access to your intranet. We won’t talk about that!

Digital protection is all about being holistic. There is always a place for technology, but technology will save your organisation – no. Putting the right management in place, making sure the organisation is adaptable or flexible and then making sure that you comply with all of the regulations for your government and industry. That creates robust digital security.

We are not focused on the technical (although we are very good at that) side of your business, we are focused on making your business reach its full potential

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.

10 things that any business can do to fight the insider threat – cybersecurity

protect your business informationWe have all heard about the threat to an organisation that a staff member can do.   From having stealing critical information, running an embezzlement scheme or just being a pain in the ass, an insider threat can cripple an organisation in a minimum amount of time.

So what can you do to protect yourself from an employee going rogue?

Background checks

It is critically important, in today’s business world that you make sure you are getting the person that appears on paper.   So after the basic weeding out process and before the offer of the interview you need to check the truth behind the resume.   In most cases, a quick check of references and a look at social media will give you an inkling into a person’s character, capability and attitude.   If there are no obvious contradictions then it is safe to proceed to the next level.   (You could also use a psychology test as supplied by www.thewhitehousereport.com.au)

In addition to this when someone leaves, cancel their access as soon as possible.   Relationships can sour and it is best that when someone has left that they no longer have access to any part of the organisation.

This is doubly important, if you are firing someone.   Before you go through the actual process of firing them make sure they have no access to your systems.

Acceptable use

The insider can quite easily steal your time and money by not actually doing anything illegal.   Staff members who spend a lot of time on social media, especially when they are supposed to be working can have a detrimental effect on not only the business but also on staff morale.

Make sure that you have policies in place that specifies what people can and cannot do with business assets.

Least privileges

Staff members should only have access to information that they need access to do their jobs.   In the case of small and medium business, you have to make a conscious decision that you cannot trust everyone.   By not trusting everyone you are actually protecting your business.   The larger the organisation the more need there is to separate working areas and capability.

Administrator privilege

In any Organisation there should be only a minimal number of administrators.   In most areas there is a need to ensure that staff and users only have access to what they need to do the job.   The administrator account should not be used except for administration.   It should never be associated with an email or webmail account.

All administrators should have separate logins to do normal work.   This reduces the risk of being compromised as well as ensuring that only minimal access to the administration of the business.

Separation of duties

In a really small organisation this is very hard to do but in larger Organisations there should be an action process to spend money from credit cards and bank accounts.   There should be a separation to ensure that one person is not authorizing and acquitting invoices and payments.

Job rotation

There are 2 reasons for this.   It allows you to build resilience into the business because a backup person has access to the processes that the business needs in an emergency.   The second reason is it allows for training of personnel in the roles and as an audit.

Mandatory holidays

Everyone needs to go on holiday.   In most cases 2 – 4 weeks is mandatory.   It allows for recharging batteries as well as protecting the organisation from someone going rogue.

Auditing

Most if not all accounting packages have an auditing feature.   This feature needs to be running at all times to ensure that you can check all transactions occurring within the organisation.

Auditing can also be employed to track other components of the business including information being passed through email, cloud based technologies and cloud based storage.

Data loss prevention technologies

There are number of software packages and hardware systems that allow you to monitor and manage information leaving your organisation.   From restricting USB devices, to cloud storage systems are available to ensure that your trade secrets are not leaving your organisation.

End point protection

This last point is more a solution to one of your people getting infected through malware.   If you have done all of the other nine point’s then malware will have little impact on the organisation if it does get past the end point protection systems.

In addition there should always be 2 levels of end point protection – at the firewall and on the devices, preferably using different vendors.   If malware gets past one it may not get past the second.

These 10 Ideas will ensure that your organisation is better protected from an attack from an employee or staff member.

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.

(Video)Why is a managed firewall a good business decision

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses why a managed firewall is a good business decision.

[Start of transcript]

Hi. May name is Roger and today I’d like to talk to you about why a managed firewall is a good business decision. Now, small and mediums business, not-for-profit organizations, SMEs in general are usually the people who go down to the local retail store and buy an off-the-shelf that connects your business to the internet. Now usually they are a dumb piece of equipment. Yes, they will have all the and they can connect and they have a rudimentary firewall in place but they’re not really or truly protecting your business.

To protect your business you need to have the next step up. You need to have what we call a UTM, a Unified Threat Management system. Now unified threats means it looks at all the problems that are on the internet. So it’ll manage your people going to infected websites, it’ll manage phishing attacks, it’ll manage intrusion detection. So it’ll tell you when people are trying to attack you. And that is very important as a business.

But when it comes to managing a business, you have a problem that next step up is also the next step up in how you program it, manage it, look after it. And in most cases you are putting CISCO, FortiGate, Palo Alto in place and you don’t have the expertise internally to manage it. This is where the managed service provider comes in. Because they have the expertise to manage it.

They have the expertise to make sure that it hasn’t got any problems. They have the expertise to make sure that no matter what happens you know that it’s been put in place properly. It’s got the right management in place, it’s been updated regularly and it does protect your business. And that’s what a good firewall does.

Thank you very much.

[End of transcript]

 

(Video) How to protect your Financial Information

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses protecting your financial information from cybercrime.

[Start of transcript]

Hi. My name is Roger and I would like to talk to you about how to protect your financial information. Financial information is not just the information that you’re collecting about other people. so it’s not just about credit cards, it’s not about security codes on the credit cards, it’s not about expiration dates. What we’re looking at is the financial information that you hold within your business.

So if you’ve got information about your bank account – who has access to it? Why have they got access to it? Have you segmented your business so that only the people who require access to your financial information have that access to the financial information? Or are you using one username and password that logs on for everybody in the business?

So you always have to look at what financial information is and how you are protecting it to a level where not only are you protecting the credit cards of your customers and the credit card information of the customers but you’re also protecting your bank balance and your bank accounts, and access to that accounts.

Because the cyber criminals are a very persistent group of people and they will go after anything that they believe makes them richer. So if you’ve got financial information make sure you are protecting it with all of the right things in place. So they have got secure passwords. Nobody has access to it apart from the people who need access to it.

Thank you very much.

[End of transcript]

 

(Video) How to prove your Cybersecurity is working

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses why you need to prove your cybersecurity and digital security.

[Start of transcript]

Hi. Today I’d like to talk to you about how to prove your Cybersecurity is working. So you’ve put a lot of defense processes in place and now you need to find out how secure they have made your business. Now, in most cases the IT department will their own run tests or your managed service provider will run their own tests.

But those tests are based on what they know about how it should be protected. So they’re using best practices and they’re using the patching and making sure it’s got all the up-to-date information on them. But you can never be sure that that system is now secure unless you have someone test it. But the trouble is we’re testing it, you have to find a person who’s not going to put patches. Who is going to tell you exactly what you need to do. And also not rely on them making a report to you and then expecting you to pay for the fix if there is one.

So making sure that cybersecurity is secure and your organization is secure is really an ongoing process. But the outside world or the people who are attacking your business are using automated systems. They’re using automated scripts, they’re using automated systems to access social media sites and learning how and what and who you are. So you have to make sure that your cybersecurity is working. So how can you do that?

Well one of the best ways you can do it is you pay to have someone try and compromise your systems. But trying to compromise your systems, they’re using the same attack factors that the bad guys are using. They’re using the same processes that the bad guys are using. They’re not relying on, we know there’s a problem and we know how to get past it. But they are relying on how the hacker or the script kiddie or the hacktivist is going to try to access your system. So one of the big things about the IT world is we’re very arrogant. We all admit that across the board. What I say is how I do things. And when it comes to IT that’s what a lot of people believe.

But the problem is, with that sort of attitude, is it’s got no room for someone who knows something about the system that I don’t know about. So if I’ve got an external person coming in to test my cybersecurity then I know that they are going to use a different tactics, they are going to use different systems, they are going to use totally different objectives to what I expect. And that is what cybersecurity is all about. They maybe only getting in but you’ve got encrypted information of – all your databases are encrypted.

Then if they do get in they still read information, you get a report, but you’ll also know that that information hasn’t been able to be compromised because it’s encrypted. So when it comes to how you’re going to make sure that your systems are working, you need to prove your cybersecurity. And if you prove your cybersecurity your information and your business and the people who trust you to hold that information is going to be very very high.

Thank you very much.

[End of transcript]

So you want to outsource your digital security to a managed security service provider!

There are huge benefits to getting a reputable organisation to manage your digital security.   There are also large risk management component and a due diligence process to follow to ensure that you are getting the best available.

The outsourcing of your digital security involves an in-depth discovery process.   It is not one of those decisions that is solely based on price and cost.   Getting the right outsourcing company with the best reputation is critical to your Organisations viability.    Making a bad decision or decide on one based solely on cost can cripple your business.

These are the areas that you should look at prior to looking at the cost component:

  1. What are they going to do for your organisation?
    • A good Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) will not only be looking at your firewall, anti-virus and patching.   A good MSSP will have a holistic outlook on how they protect their clients.   A good MSSP will ensure that they are in a position to implement “security change” to create a more holistic outlook on protecting your organisation.
    • That holistic outlook takes the following into account: (start with a protection philosophy and end with a compliance requirement)
      • Technology – UTM firewall, wireless, VPN, best practice and patch management.
      • Management – policy, Procedure, process, auditing, reporting and training and education
      • Adaptability – disaster recovery, business continuity, business resilience, backup and culture
      • Compliance – if you have done the above compliance is a relatively easy.
    • An MSSP will have the empathy and understanding to ensure your organisation is protected
  2. Do they have the expertise?
    • Most managed security service providers focus on one or two types of technology is specific areas.   They may have a focus on Cisco or WatchGuard or a specific AV, or a specific make and model of PC.
    • This level of specification ensures that the MSSP has the right level of education, training and capability within it ranks.
    • A good MSSP should have people who are experts in one or more areas of digital protection, if they do not then talk to another MSSP.
  3. Do they have the capability?
    • Most MSSP’s have the capacity to manage clients.   They will have trained people at every level of the organisation to ensure that they are servicing their clients to the best of their capability.   When it comes to capability the MSSP should have staff with professional qualification to support your business.
  4. What are they going to change to make their life easier?
    • There are changes that will be recommended by an MSSP for two reasons:
      • The systems that you have in place are not doing the job that they should be doing and need to be replaced with systems that are more secure.
      • The systems that you have in place cannot be supported by the MSSP because they do not have the expertise on staff.   So if you have recently invested $10K in a firewall and they want you to replace it with another one worth the same then you probably have the wrong MSSP.
  5. What benefits are you going to get out of it if you PARTNER with them?
    • The outsourcing of your digital security to an MSSP is a partnership.   They are there to protect your data, your Infrastructure, your clients and your staff.  You pay them to do that.   Make sure that all parties involved understand their requirements by putting a service level agreement (SLA) in place.   No SLA then no contract.
  6. How much will it cost?
    • Finally we have the cost.   You should always know how much your monthly digital security cost is going to impact your organisation.   If the month cost is going to change then once again you should be looking at alternatives.  The cost of an MSSP SLA should include monitoring, management and reporting, it will not include projects that are outside the scope of the SLA.

There you have it, if you employ a MSSP based solely on how much it will cost then your organisation will not have the right digital protection.

There are a large number of Organisations out there who think that they are MSSP’s but lack the expertise, capability and understanding that is required to protect your organisation

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.

(Video) How does an Managed Service Provider (MSP) Control your Business Costs

How do managed services control the cost of your business?

Today’s technology is complicated. We have so many catch phrases and so many different words and so much jargon around that it’s very hard for small businesses who are not in the IT space to understand what they need to do, how they need to go forward, what technology and systems do they need to have in place to gain the best advantage against their opposition and to get more customers and clients.

When it comes to managing your technology within a business, there are two things you can do. There are three things you can do, but two of them we’ll talk about. We’ll talk about the first one, which is you have someone on task who is onsite, one of your salespersons for instance.

When it comes to technology, we’ve found and I think you’ll find that you’ve found, that the person who has been assigned to look after the computers likes to play with the computers all the time. They like to be in a situation where they don’t have to do their main role, their money-spinning role. They would rather look after technology, make the printer work, play with the firewall.

So not only are you now paying a person to do two jobs, one job is always going to be a failure compared to the other one. When it comes to managed services, and most managed service providers have different plans, you can get someone who will manage your technology.

So little Johnny can now go back off and be a salesperson or a marketing person or the secretary, whatever he used to be. Or in most cases, and in a large number of businesses, the CEO or small business manager. They can now go off and do what they need to do to make the business grow.

What we find in technology is that over a yearly period, the cost of the technology will change. So in January it might only be $100. In February you had a server failure, and it’s $2K, and that’s not including hardware, software, that sort of stuff. In March, it’s gone down to $700. April it’s down to $200, and $200 again , and $1700 because you had to buy and install a new printer and manage it and all that sort of stuff.

So you end up with this type environment where you’re spending lots of money at some times, and you’re not spending very much money at other times.

With a managed service provider, you have a constant fee in most cases starting around $495. They will say, yes, you’ve got a problem, and you’re going to lose money here. But you’re going to make money here. You’re going to lose money here and there. That type of thing.

So over the flow of a year, you may have spent $17K on your IT, with break-fix, as we call it, compared to 12*495. And that 495 will include things like monitoring and management, reports, it will make sure that your people are educated, that your people understand how things are working.

Sometimes if you want to pay a bit more you could have a virtual CIO, Chief Information Officer or an IT manager who will then talk to your management team, work out where your management team want to go, and then discuss what technologies you need to do to get there.

Because when it comes to this, these people know what they’re doing. The technology they’re going to employ is going to improve your business. And it’s no use having someone onsite saying, let’s go buy that. But you don’t know what else it’s going to do, how it’s going to achieve the rest of the business target market.

So as you can see, managed services can create a level field. You get a monthly fee, some things you get a service level agreement. We will have a person on site within an hour, we will have someone answering the phone all the time, we will have monthly reports, monitoring of all your systems including things like iPhones and iPads and Androids, tablets, all of that as part of the managed service plan.

So as you can see, managed services, and managed security services can save you a lot of money.

So if you want to see or talk to anybody about managed services, please contact us. Thank you very much.