Your systems' security may need a check-up

15/11/2021 12:00am

Traditional anti-virus engines don’t cut the mustard anymore.

Cyber hackers are increasingly determined and skilled at evading whatever barriers your business or home office may have in place, so it’s time to up the ante.

With more of us working from home these days, and from more devices, the risks of having critical information stolen or lost when things go wrong - and they do - are greater than ever.

Hood Sweeney Technology can conduct a review of your existing security measures and guide you through the systems that can help protect your devices, or endpoints as they are known in the IT industry.

“An endpoint is any device used to access or interact with your business information,” explains Graham Wadsley, who heads up Technology Services at Hood Sweeney. “They can be workstations, laptops, notebooks, tablets – they all have the power to put your information at risk, and they need to be protected.”

He says “the power of a hacker to steal information, or at the very least impede your business’s function, has given rise to a new level of protection. “

Terms like Zero Trust, which basically means you distrust everyone and everything until proven otherwise, are gaining traction.

As an example, a sophisticated hacker may steal your data and encrypt it so you cannot access it until you pay a ransom to get it back. Then to add insult to injury, they set another ransom and threaten to release your data to the internet so you can end up paying twice, with no guarantee they will not release you information anyway. This can trigger a multitude of privacy infringements and other issues for a business. The risks for businesses keeping sensitive information are enormous.

 “We’re living in an environment of heightened awareness of the things that can go wrong. It is a fact that you need to spend more now to raise your level of protection,” says Graham.

So where do you begin?

Traditional endpoint protection technologies that focused on prevention are valid for known threats and malicious behaviours, but they are not enough against advanced cyber threats.

Attackers are always looking for ways to escape notice, evade defence measures and exploit emerging weaknesses.

There are many excellent systems in the market, some delivered from the cloud and others delivered on premise. Some are automated in their prevention, detection, containment and response to the advanced threats, both inside and outside the corporate network.

One of the most effective things a business can do is to deploy multi-factor authentication (MFA), which requires multiple methods of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify a user’s identity for a login or other transaction.

MFA combines two or more independent credentials: what the user knows, such as a user name and password; what the user has, such as a security token; and what the user is, by using biometric verification methods.

The goal of MFA is to create a layered defence that makes it more difficult for an unauthorised person to access a target, such as a physical location, computing device, network or database. If one factor is compromised or broken, the attacker still has at least one or more barriers to breach before successfully breaking into the target.

In addition, upping your security awareness is a necessity for anyone dealing with information, and it is paramount businesses or organisations where sensitive personal and health data is collected and stored.

All the security in the world won’t reduce your risk of a cyber-attack unless the  people using your devices are also educated and security aware.

We can support your team with security awareness training to encourage the safest responses from staff to suspect emails or links. Too often, a person will click a link before assessing if it is legitimate and in that single click, a string of hacking episodes can be triggered.

Security awareness training can cover topics including email scams, Malware, password security, removable media, social networking dangers, safe internet habits and clean desk policy.

To find out what products can help to protect your business, get in touch with Hood Sweeney Technology. We can assess your existing protection levels and advise on what you need.  Ring 1300 7864 200 or email technology@hoodsweeney.com.au.

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