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) What is the cloud Computing?

Hi. My name is Roger and today I would just like to do a brief synopsis of what the cloud is and why we are using the cloud.

Well the cloud we are using nowadays has a number of reasons. 1) It’s inexpensive, 2) it reduces your infrastructure costs and there is no capital [Indiscernible 00:00:20]. And it also becomes not a capex but it is an operational expense.

And that is some of the reasons. It’s no longer a case of you have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a server and another thousands of dollars to find an operating system and then put that over in a corner and you have power to it and Ethernet cables and lots of stuff. So cloud is like buying electricity.

It’s now a resource that we can consume and utilize and then get rid of as we need. But there are three types of cloud. There’s the public cloud, which is everybody. So things like Dropboxes are a public cloud environment.

Office 365 is a public cloud environment. So anybody can use it and anybody can get on it. Then we have a private cloud. Now a private cloud is a cloud that’s supplied by a cloud provider but only one customer can utilize it. And that information on that customer is where this information is going to be stored. And then manage it for you. And then on top of that you got a hybrid cloud. So you can have a bit of public and a bit of private.

Even though at most times they won’t talk to each other but you can have storage in one place. You can have operating systems in another. But what do we use the cloud for? Well, utilization of the cloud, there are three main levels. So we can have infrastructure as a service. That’s where I go and buy a virtual server.

I manage the server but they manage the hardware. So with them looking after the infrastructure, everything that’s above the infrastructure is our responsibility. And again you need people to be able to — who know operating systems, you need people who know applications, you need people who know SQL and Web Data and all of that.

The second component is we have platform as a service. This is where you have – the cloud provider provides the server and the operating system – and that gives you a platform to be able to do everything else that you need to do.

But in both of those cases when it comes to things like antivirus, updates, how you manage it, that’s all your responsibility. And then finally we have software as a service. Software as a service is just the data. So you don’t have to manage every Exchange because Office 365 does — all that does is connect to the Exchange that you have got and then it can send out your email.

Office 365 for instance, for things like Dropbox and OneDrive and any of those Microsoft products that have a component that is in the “cloud”. So you have access to that data because it’s the storage area but that is what the cloud is. So those three things: infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service is way that derivatives of cloud is coming from.

And you can utilize any components of those. You no longer have to spend $25,000/- getting a server and putting in plugs because you can spend $1000/- a month doing everything you need to do from the server which you’ve got as infrastructure as a service.

Thank you very much.

[End of transcript]

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.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

(Video) Why are all organisations a target of cybercrime?

We can also use the digital world for collaboration, both internally, so I know what my nightly manager is doing and the nightly manager knows what I am doing, or someone external. I have a colleague, for instance, who does my changing of content when I am writing stuff for my website. Now I do a draft and send it to the edit, and they fix it. And that’s where the collaboration comes into it.

And of course, we have social media. Social is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, all of these platforms that you are using. Now you have got to remember they are a platform. You have no control the algorithm they are using, how they make their money, so they might what Facebook did at the beginning of last year and change their algorithm so your rich, organically goes from 30% to 1%. And that’s a big change, and that’s because they were trying to make money.

But you have no control over that because it is a platform. So with all of this going on, what are the bad guys doing? What are the bad guys doing to use the digital world? The bad guys are after a number of things. One is your reputation, going back to Coca Cola and McGraw’s. They have a big reputation. It doesn’t matter whether it is good or bad, but you have a big reputation.

And most businesses have a reputation that they can utilize to get followers and customers and go forward as a business. But they are also after your money. Money, you might think is a huge driving force, and it is. But it is not the only driving force of what cyber criminals are doing.

Cyber criminals are after your money, but they are also after your access to other people’s money. Hacking into my system and taking over my accounting system, they can send an invoice to someone and that money can go to the wrong bank account. You will have no idea what’s going on.

(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.

(Video) Why is Patch Management so Important to Cybersecurity

Today I’d like to talk to you about why patch management is so important to the cybersecurity of your business. And it’s not only your business. It’s also in your own personal connection to the digital world.

Patch management is something that’s really been pushed in the last couple years, because a couple of years ago, they found that things like malicious software, viruses, Trojans, worms, were targeting software that hadn’t been repaired. And that’s what a patch does. It repairs the application or the operating system or the BIOS for instance.

Now this is why it is so important that you have a patch management plan in small- and medium-businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

That patch management plan makes sure that if X has released a patch, might be a Microsoft patch, for a specific problem that they have discovered or someone has told them that they have got a problem, they will rectify that problem and release it as a patch.

And yes, we all know those patches are really annoying, cause they come up when you’re logging on or off or you they want to shut down the computer and restart. But it’s a damn sight better than getting hit with a virus or malicious software.

But patch management also has other components. Patch management in a small business is making sure that all the iPads are up to date, or all the Android phones are up to date and all the applications that people are using on those iPads, iPhones, and Androids are also up to date.

Because most of the viruses that are coming out now look and feel and target specific vulnerabilities in things like Java and Adobe and any other system that is integrated into how we do business nowadays.

So that is why patch management is really important for your business. It’s to make sure that when you go forward that your operating system and your applications cannot be targeted by a virus.

If you need to know more information about patch management, please contact us. We’ll quite happily help you work out a system of doing it.

(Video) How a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can predict your monthly ICT Costs

I’d like to talk to you about how you can predict your ICT costs on a monthly basis.

Now most of us know what happens when you’re running a business, because the ICT costs can go up and down and up and down. One day it’s $10. The next day it’s $2K. And for that monthly period, it can get really expensive if something breaks and you have to repair it.

Now most people will understand this concept, but when you’re in a situation of a busy business and all you want to do is the technology to work, then these types of things become very problematic. And because they become very problematic, people usually just go with the flow. And they get to a situation where they’ll quite happily call someone in when it breaks, and that costs you $5K. And you never see another IT person for 3 months.

But there’s an easier way. There’s an easier way a) to predict your costs and b) to protect your network, and that is through a MSP.

A MSP will give you options on what you want to have done your ICT. So if you’re in a situation where you’ve got a server or you’re cloud-based and your applications are on PCs and laptops, then all of that information is used to calculate how much a MSP will charge you to look after that stuff.

In some cases, especially if you’re talking to us, the MSP will also have a component where they have a person on site. Now the reason why we’ve got people on site is we get to talk to people. We get to find out what those little annoying problems are. And we get them out of the way.

So the printer doesn’t print from tray 3. Yes, you’ve been printing from tray 2 all along, but there are times when you want to print from tray 3, and all you have to do is press a button. That doesn’t work, you get frustrated, people get annoyed, and it escalates from there.

IT doesn’t work. This is why. And everything along those tracks then becomes a big deal. Now you don’t want a big deal in your business. You just want them to be able to do whatever they need to do, and if they need to print from tray 3, then they can do it.

The other thing about MSP’s is they give you a flat fee per month. That flat fee per month will cover everything. So no matter what happens, it’s their responsibility to make sure that your server doesn’t go down or your internet doesn’t go down or your telework systems doesn’t go down.

And it is their role to make sure that when it is getting towards the end of life, you are in a situation where they can come to you and say, “it’s going to get a lot more expensive to look after it, we suggest you work out what you need to do and go from there”.

So what a MSP is, makes your business more robust, more resilient. Because you know that when you pick up the phone and talk to them, they will fix your system, if your system needs to be fixed. They know that if you are looking at building a website, that they will know where the best place to go is, what the best platform is.

That type of thing is really important. You don’t get that from people who just know computers in your business. So if you want to know how to predict your monthly ICT costs, then please contact us. Thank you very much.