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26 Apr 2019

Digital Disasters Happen: Do You Have a Cyber Attack Plan?

We live in an online age. As a business owner, you rely on your computer systems to keep your company running. Unfortunately, with an increased reliance on computer networks comes the increased risk of cyber security incidents.

You might think that data breaches, stolen credit card information, and ransomware attacks won’t happen to your business, but cyber criminals target businesses of all sizes in all industries. When disaster strikes, preparation can make a major difference in how these situations play out.

Why Do You Need to Be Prepared?

You might think that your company isn’t at risk of a cyber attack, but every business today faces the risk of a cyber attack. Cyber criminals target the information systems of any business. Annually, nearly 70% of Canadian organizations face some form of cyber attack. To guard against the threat of cyber attacks, many businesses will:

  • Increase online security
  • Educate employees
  • Have ongoing cyber monitoring
  • Stay on top of current cyber trends and threats
  • Invest in cyber insurance

These actions all help mitigate your risk, but sometimes risk management isn’t going far enough. Every business also needs a cyber plan. In case of a cyber attack, this action plan can guide your company through the aftermath.

Create an Incident Response Plan (IRP)

Cyber attack preparedness means having a plan in place. An Incident Response Plan (IRP) should help your incident response team know how to respond and react in the event of a cyber incident. This plan will need to be reviewed and refined over time, but it should generally:

  • Assess your business needs by considering your key assets, potential weak points, and what data is at risk. From this you can determine where to focus your plan and your security efforts.
  • State which employees or departments will look after potential incidents and what each team member’s role will be. This will help you train employees in case of an attack and help them know how to react during an event.
  • Set up a detection and monitoring system so you can catch malicious software as quickly as possible.
  • Define the difference between a major and minor incident and lay out the different processes for each.
  • Lay out recovery steps. Explain how you’re going to remove the infection and deal with the recovery actions. You’ll need to have several different scenarios laid out. Try creating general guidelines and considering the attacks you’re most likely to experience.
  • Decide on your follow-up actions. How will you explain to customers that their information has been compromised? What steps will you take with employees to help education and prevent future attacks?

This is a very general outline of an IRP; you’ll need to go more in-depth based on your specific business so that your team knows exactly how to respond, no questions asked. Having this plan ensures your team can act quickly in case of a cyber attack. Remember that every business faces unique cyber risks. So make sure to take the time to consider your businesses specific risks so you can tailor your IRP to your company’s needs.

 

While you never want a cyber incident to occur, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Having an incident response plan in place will help your business know how to respond and help you recover from an attack much faster than you would without it.

At Alt Tech, we can help protect your business from online attacks. From around the clock monitoring to data recovery, we help give you peace of mind online. Contact us today to find out more about putting a specific IRP in place for your business.

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18 Apr 2019

Why Your Business Needs Data Backup and Recovery

If you run a small business, it’s easy for seemingly minor details or business-related tasks to slip through your fingers. Unfortunately, one of the tasks businesses often overlook is one of the most important: data safety. Every business needs data backup and recovery to protect themselves against possible human error and/or a systems crash. Here are four reasons you need to start doing data backup and recovery today:

Your Computer Systems Could be Attacked by Ransomware

Ransomware hijacks all your information until you pay a ransom. Many small business owners are surprised to discover that this isn’t a problem that just affects major corporations. In fact, most ransomware attacks target small businesses. Without any data backup and recovery, you will be forced to pay these digital pirates for access to your computer systems. On the other hand, with data backup and recovery, your systems can simply be reset to their pre-attack state.

A Natural Disaster Could Shutdown the Business

If a tornado, earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster impacts your business, the loss of information could be greater than the loss of equipment. If your data isn’t backed up by a reliable IT company in Edmonton, like Alt-Tech, you may have to input all your data from scratch. This could include customer information, payroll information, scheduling systems and more. At Alt-Tech,  we recommend backing up your system regularly to help keep your company afloat after a disaster.

Data Loss Could be Expensive

Since most businesses store thousands of data records, recovering all of your business records could be very expensive, even crippling. Not to mention, most businesses don’t detect a breach right away, and the longer it takes to notice a breach, the more expensive that breach may become. If you suspect a data breach, contact a trusted IT specialist like Alt-Tech to discuss the possible costs and benefits of creating a data backup and recovery system.

 

When it comes to your business’ data, it’s always smart to be proactive and to take steps to properly protect against threats. If, despite your best efforts, the worst happens and your company’s data is compromised, remember that a trusted team of recovery experts are here to help. Call us today to discover the data backup and recovery solutions that your business needs for optimal peace of mind.

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12 Apr 2019

Why Your Organization Needs Vulnerability Management

From antivirus software to firewalls and VPNs you’ve done your best to ensure your company has incredible network security. But no matter how many security measures you put in place, there are still vulnerabilities in your network. One of the best ways to stay ahead of online threats is by regularly completing vulnerability assessments.

What is a Vulnerability Assessment?

A vulnerability assessment is a form of online risk management. Essentially, you run a network scan in order to identify any potential weak points in your network. Most vulnerability assessments will then rank the vulnerabilities according to the level of risk they pose. From that information you can make a plan for remediating and mitigating potential threats before your system is compromised.

Why Complete Vulnerability Testing?

Online threats and information security are a concern for all businesses today. So why wouldn’t you want to help improve your online security any way you could?

Vulnerability testing will find the gaps in your current security systems – hopefully before hackers do. This gives you an edge in protecting your business online. Some of the benefits of performing regular vulnerability assessments include:

  • Identifying security risks before they become a liability
  • Determining what devices face the most risk
  • Determining the level of risk your business faces
  • Creating an inventory of risks on every device
  • Establishing where you need to focus your cyber security efforts

Vulnerability testing can be an excellent way for you to assess and improve your business’ security online. But a vulnerability test is only an assessment, not a solution. You will most likely need to take action after your assessment to improve your business’ cyber security and put protections in place.

What to Do After Your Assessment

After your assessment, you can begin creating a vulnerability management plan for your business. Some of the basic steps to take following your vulnerability assessment include:

  • Looking at and ranking all the threats identified in your assessment according to the level of threat.
  • Deciding which vulnerabilities pose the greatest threat to your business. You can determine this by considering: which systems are affected; what data is at risk; what business functions are at risk; the ease of attack; and the potential damage.
  • Allocating your resources to fix the areas of greatest concern first.
  • Repairing the weakness so it’s no longer a concern.
  • Introducing new programs or changing current programs and practices to further prevent future vulnerabilities.
  • Having your business reassessed in the future.

When you’re creating your own vulnerability management process, remember that discovering vulnerabilities doesn’t mean you’ve solved the problem. A truly effective vulnerability management system goes beyond simply running scans on your system; it includes implementing steps to strengthen vulnerabilities.

Extra Considerations

When you begin looking at different vulnerability management tools there are a couple things to consider:

  • There are different types of assessments that focus on identifying vulnerabilities in different areas of your network. For example, vulnerability scans that focus on your host system, your network, or your database. When you’re choosing an assessment, make sure it’s the right one for your business.
  • They don’t actually test; they only assess. Vulnerability assessments don’t truly test the strength of your system. They’re simply there to identify and shed light on potential weaknesses. If you’re interested in assessing the identified weaknesses, you may be interested in penetration testing. In a penetration test, a trusted IT professional will actually attempt to hack your system. This will let you know how vulnerable your critical assets are to a hacker.

Do you want to stay on top of your network’s online security? Or are you interested in learning more about the benefits of vulnerability assessments? At Alt Tech, we have vulnerability solutions that will help you understand the threats your company faces. Contact Alt Tech today to begin employing our vulnerability management solutions and get better protection for your business systems in place today.

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