technology

Time to Up Your Security Game

It’s time for business leaders to start rethinking their risk. In today’s ever changing technology landscape, the stakes of the game are becoming higher.  As technology evolves and businesses look to incorporate things like the cloud, IoT, and AI, the business will need to focus on items like:Security-Gruard-Vector

  • data privacy
  • security
  • vendor management
  • transparency of auditing
  • regulatory compliance
  • business continuity

Solutions are needed to transform businesses and help them manage risk and compliance efforts effectively and holistically across the entire organization.

Where and how do those business leaders begin to fill the gap? I believe the easiest place to start is by focusing on what’s most important first. What systems are critical to the business then work your way out towards the perimeter. Knowing the hierarchy of the business needs can aid in switching from reactive to proactive, which is where you want to be when it comes to risk management. Highlight and start monitoring user activity on all fronts. Ensure you have a clear understanding of your data and its importance to the organization as a whole. Who has access to that data? Can it be limited? It’s a starting point.

Often times security can get shuffled to the back burner by the IT staff as they tend to be inundated with other higher priority requests like user requests and new innovation. Spinning up a security team or a dedicated security pro within the IT department is starting to trend. This is a good answer for businesses out there struggling with a security talent gap.

Another great place for businesses to focus on the problem is with their staff. Develop security protocols and practices if none are in place. Manage business assets and personnel through awareness of those protocols and practices with training and educational tracks to help foster a culture of acceptance. Gamify the experience and level your staff up with some healthy competition.

Security will continue to be the hot topic in the years to come as we see the world of technology transform and the global cyberwar rage. Will your business rise to the occasion or be left vulnerable? The time to act is now.

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technology

Digital Security: 5 Ways To Protect Yourself

Security will be top of mind in 2017. I know it has been top of mind for me lately. The increase of my credit/check card being stolen has increased tenfold within the last two years. That’s just me too. I’m just one single person amongst billions of other persons on this planet, so you can imagine how others may feel on this subject. That is why securing data will be topics of conversation for many IT professionals this year and for the foreseeable future as we continue to see the rise of internet hacking and theft. End users and technology service providers alike will look to detection and response as forerunners to wage this new battle.  According to Gartner, worldwide spending on information security is expected to reach 90 billion in 2017 with a 7.6% uptick from 2016.

Why are we seeing this trend?

swiss-cheese-analogy-1In the last few years, with the advances of mobile technology and IoT, we are now accessing the internet through many unsecured means. Think of it as Swiss cheese and there is literally a Swiss cheese model describing security, learn more here. The WiFi network at the coffee shop, the device, the application on the device, we have made ourselves vulnerable by allowing the conveniences of our technology to create gaps in our cheese. If the technological means (WiFi, device & apps) are not properly stacked, the holes in our Swiss cheese become exposed.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Stay up to date on your software updates, especially on your mobile devices. This includes the applications you use on those devices as well.
  2. DO NOT save or cache your passwords for major accounts you login and use to transmit payments. And do not link your credit/check cards to those accounts for easy access later.
  3. Change your passwords frequently. Every 90-180 days is reasonable without driving yourself crazy. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Example: Your email and bank account should NOT have the same password.
  4. Run AV/Malware software on your devices to prevent and detect an unwanted intrusion.
  5. Pay attention to suspicious emails with attachments. Usually you can spot a malicious email by its use of poor grammar but then again, hackers are getting smarter about it. Stay alert and check the email from addresses and double-check URLs are actually going to the site domain you are receiving the email from.

securityUnfortunately, there are a number of ways your card information can be compromised outside of email and infected computers. Card scanners are another increasing threat. What makes this rising threat frustrating is that scanners are so easy to get and even easier to use. Don’t believe me? Watch this.

Security is a constant moving target and the best way to combat it is to never lose sight of it. Stay aware of new threats as technology changes, stay up to date on your devices and apps you use, and finally, stay alert to accounts you maintain an online presence with.

 

http://www.erinalbertson.com

technology

NEXT-GEN DATA SECURITY

securitycommunityTo understand what next generation security may mean to us in the future, we must understand what it means today. Let’s boil the term security down.  What are we trying to secure? Data, right?  In today’s digital age, the evolution of 1’s and 0’s dominates the way we manage our lives, our finances, our businesses, and lately with the adoption of big data, we now allow the data to make decisions for us. Maintaining the integrity of the data, now ruling such a significant portion of our lives, could then be determined a top priority. We don’t want to go off making poor choices because we got the facts wrong. Ultimately, data security is simply the understanding and recognizing of the link between mastering data and protecting it.

idc-logoAccording to an IDC survey conducted, “84% of US Consumers expressed concern regarding the security of their PII (personally identifiable information) and 70% told IDC that their concern is greater today than just a few years ago.”

IDC goes on to explain just how much demographics can play a factor in preconceived notions of data security.  IDC finds that younger consumers, those aged 18-35, demonstrate a higher concern than the slightly older 36-50-year-old counterparts. So, we can see an uptick in a risk-adverse generation of users. These are the same consumers that will contribute to the adoption of new technology being pushed across all market sectors. It will be important for companies to maintain trust between those users and their data if they want to remain relevant.

iotMore devices are connected to the Internet than ever before. From our smart phones to our smart watches and fitness apps, to our smart homes, the rising phenomenon of the Internet of Things proposes security concerns alone. Per a new report from the Ponemon Institute, IBM, and Arxan, a staggering 80% of IoT applications and 71% of mobile applications are not tested for vulnerabilities raising more concerns for data security.

A new dawn is rising and the transformation of the digital landscape is changing. With new technology comes new threats, next generation data security will look to evolve from a data-centric solution to an extended, distributed networking solution which leverages many endpoints, multi-layer authentication, data tokenization, masking, and data loss prevention. We are already starting to see the expansion of this platform in financial industries with the increased adoption of Blockchain technology.

As the technology learns to advance, so will the rise of the cybersecurity professional. Job postings in the cybersecurity field have increased over the past 5 years, up 74%.

Digital transformation efforts are underway at most companies looking to deliver more value to their customers, but it does not come without the next generation costs to rise against new data security challenges presented.

http://www.erinalbertson.com

technology

Smartphone Security

Would you leave your new computer unprotected by not installing anti-virus software? If your answer is: Of course not, then why should your smartphone be any different? I recently read an article stating data taken from a survey of smartphone users. It reported 70% of users felt they were safe from cybercrime. This did not surprise me. Most people tend to think that the technology is different therefore the ability to hack and steal information must be different. I’m here to say this is not true and don’t you believe it!

Have you ever been out and your friend asks, “Who sang that song we used to sing back in college?” And you reply with, “I can’t remember, let’s Google it!” So you break out your phone and away you go. Essentially you are accessing the same websites that your computer would as if you were sitting behind the desk in your office. Think of your smartphone as your pocket pc. More and more viruses are being launched targeting smartphones. Most recently a nasty Trojan called SpyEye targets your bank account. It sits and waits, incognito, waiting for you to check your bank balance only to steal your credentials and then erase its tracks. You wouldn’t even know until you go back to check your account balance only to realize it has taken a vacation without you. Don’t be a victim of vacation stealing. Take action today!

I highly recommend researching security applications for your phone without hesitation. Most times you can find a free app. And who doesn’t like free?