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How IT managed services can stop Hackers damaging your business

IT Security
Are you an easy target for hackers as a small business owner:

 

You, the owner or managaing director of a small business, are under attack. We as an IT Managed Services Provider, want to alert businesses to these real risks and help stop them. This can be done with adequate IT security measures and IT managed services.

Right now, dangerous, well-funded cybercrime rings in China, Russia and the Ukraine are using high-end software. They are using it to hack into thousands of small businesses like yours. We recently wrote about the dark web and the risks cyber criminals pose to small businesses here.

They do this to steal credit cards and client information, and swindle money directly out of your bank account. In fact, it was reported last year by Silicon Republic that cyber crime is growing faster in Ireland than anywhere else in the world- frigtening news!

Don’t think you’re in danger because you’re “small” and not a big target like a J.P. Morgan or Home Depot?

Think again. 82,000 NEW malware threats are being released every single day and HALF of the cyber-attacks occurring are aimed at small businesses.

You just don’t hear about it because it’s kept quiet for fear of attracting bad PR, lawsuits and data-breach fines.

 

What can your IT Managed Services Provider do for you to prevent being hacked:

We can do a number of key hacking and security preventative measures or advise you on how on best practice or implement measures for you.

 

1.  Strong Password Policies: So many people are still using easy-to-guess passwords like “password” or other words or phrases. Guess what: hackers have sophisticated software programs that can try to log in to your PC, account, web site, etc. This at the rate of 8 million login attempts per SECOND.

If your password is easy, they’re in. Your password should contain at least 8 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, a number and a symbol (! or #, for example). We can also install two-factor authentication to make dual login necessary for users periodically. We can also put a system in place whereby we ensure passwords must be updated at least monthly.

2• Install a “unified threat management” (UTM) system. Firewalls and antivirus aren’t enough to stop the sophisticated tools hackers now have. A UTM allows an IT administrator to monitor and manage a wide variety of security-related applications and devices to make sure you’re protected on all fronts.

3. Cyber Awareness Training for  your employees- Educating employees is crucial for any small business in terms of their IT useage. An IT useage policy is highly advised by us at Cinnte Technologies.

Employees clicking on phishing e-mails or downloading virus-laden files is still the #1 way hackers gain access to and control of business networks.

Therefore, you need to outline an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that details what employees can and cannot do with company-owned devices, files, software, etc. Plus, you need to make them aware of how to spot a phishing e-mail or attack so they can avoid it altogether.

 

Do you want to learn more about IT managed services, security and how to stop your IT systems being hacked?:

We want to help you to achieve ultimate security for your IT and your business. We have over 20 years’ Security and disaster recovery among our team here at Cinnte. You can sign up for a free Network security assessment here with one of our senior Engineers. All you need to do is fill out our Network Assessment form.

Please do this before June 30th to avail of this free service which takes 30 minutes to complete.

 

 

 

What is the dark web & is your small business at risk?

What is the dark web & is your small business at risk?

Do you know what the dark web is and how it could out your small business at risk? If the answer is no to either or both questions, please read on. You may be familiar with the ‘dark web’ as a place online somewhere where illegal or dangerous activities take place. This is correct but there is much more to the dark- or ‘deep web’ than you may think.

Especially if you are a small business owner. Part of the “Deep Web”, the Dark Web is, where illegal activity takes place (Drug deals, hacking, counterfeit money, etc.) The dark web term emerged with the advent of the internet search engine over 20 years ago.

The information contained on this ‘hidden’ part of the internet would shock most people. However, small business owners should be very aware of the pitfalls of not having correct security measures in their IT setup in place.

 

Characteristics of the Dark Web:

 

  • Information that is INTENTIONALLY hidden from search engines is qualified to be in the Dark Web
  • Most websites are on the .Onion domain and only accessible through a Tor browser
  • The information found on the Dark Web is technically public information…just not found by the general public (visiting the Dark Web is NOT Recommended!)
  • It is mostly community based…web sites go up/down/up again overnight and this is where financial details are sold- credit card info, identity information, child pornography and illegal drugs

 

How can hackers target small businesses and why they at risk:

 

They can do this by gaining access to sensitive data of a target’s IT network in a manner of ways. George Torsten has summarised it well in Secuity Week in 2018, see here for full article. ”The easiest way for a cyber-attacker to gain access to sensitive data is by compromising an end user’s identity and credentials.

 

Things get even worse if a stolen identity belongs to a privileged user, who has even broader access, and therefore provides the intruder with “the keys to the kingdom”. …it’s not surprising that most of today’s cyber-attacks are front-ended by credential harvesting campaigns. Common methods for harvesting credentials include the use of password sniffers, phishing campaigns, or malware attacks.”

Why should small business owners be concerned about hacking and dark web criminals:

 

We know that small businesses are at great risk from hackers. These criminals sell their information on the dark web. According to the Federal Trade Commission in the US. In 2017, the Federation found that, data stolen from businesses ends up on the dark web. Then these criminals buy and sell it to commit fraud, get fake identity documents, or fund their criminal organizations.”

 

We can say that this is not good news for small business. This is why we need to make sure we are careful in our security measures. We can help in this regard as IT Security experts.

 

Information available for sale on the dark web is up to 20 times more likely to come from an entity whose breach wasn’t reported in the media. Many of these are smaller retailers, restaurant chains, medical practices, school districts, etc. In fact, most of the breaches the U.S. Secret Service investigates involve small businesses.

This is also becoming more common in Ireland where we have seen high profile data breaches. Even in organisations such as the HSE, a Government Department and many small businesses. A very worrying trend overall for every small business and organization who have less resources than larger, richer ones.

 

What we can do at Cinnte to help you:

We have posted recently about the importance of cyber security for small businesses. We want to help educate businesses like ourselves, about how they can keep employees and clients’ information secure online. You can subscribe to our blog for updates on all areas of IT and keeping your business secure, productive and free of disaster.

 

You can start by signing up for our free dark web scan by emailing us at darkweb@cinnte.ie before June 15th. We will perform this for free for small businesses and give you a detailed report afterwards. We can advise on measures to help protect and prevent your credentials being hacked or stolen by cyber criminals.

Get Your Free IT Security Audit with Cinnte IT today

Get Your Free IT Security Audit with Cinnte IT today

Cinnte IT have been supporting business for nearly 10 years and we look after hundreds of computers for businesses like yours. The free IT security audit for your network is very straightforward. It will take around 30 minutes and our Managing Director will go out and review your current technology setup. We have developed a 27-point checklist that businesses need to have in place to have secure, fast IT. We will do up a report if we find any areas that you are vulnerable on. If you wish, you can work with your current provider, or ourselves to get them right to protect your business. See our article on how to know if your IT provider is keeping your business safe online here.

 

The benefits to you of having the IT security audit are:

1.You will get a list of recommendations to secure your business, become more productive and protect yourself from a disaster

2. You will learn what your competitors are doing around technology and what price you should be paying for your IT

3. A Useful independent report on your setup to discuss with your current IT provider to make sure your getting value for money

 

Why would you offer it for free?

  • We want to help prevent disaster from occurring in your business. We can identify the possibilities of that and identify any threats before it’s too late. For example, inadequate data backups, insufficient security on PCs and laptops. We know the pitfalls that can exist in the IT functions of a small business. We’re just trying to help other small business- we are a small business ourselves, so we understand the importance of IT and how vital it is to the success of small business.

 

Here are some Questions you should think about in relation to your IT and whether to get an IT security Audit for your business:

    • How often would your computers ever slow or crashing?
    • What is your IT provider doing in the background to secure your files and protect you from hackers or threats?
    • Would you be open to a competitive free analysis of what your IT is like?
    • How often do your IT providers call out to give you an updated of what they’ve been doing in the background for your hard- eared cash?
    • Are you locked into contract?
    • How quick does your current IT provider get back to you or your staff if you have issues?

 

Don’t hesitate to contact us, we are offering this to only selected companies who contact us for a limited period. Fill in our pre-audit form here today at this link, or contact us at info@cinnte.ie. Protect your IT and protect your business!