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Key insights from the cyber security industry, trends, analysis and perspectives

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Return-to-Workplace Guide for CISOs: A COVID-19 Fall-Back Strategy

Straightaway, the coronavirus outbreak compelled businesses to shift to working from home strategies, including setting up novel technologies and security measures to enable continuity in regular operations.

After a period of sluggish growth caused by the pandemic, governments are now exploring ways to reopen economies, and eventually, businesses will start resuming normal operations. This resolution means that employees will soon return to their offices after several weeks of working remotely. Similarly, the return to the office strategy will face the same challenges.

Security Implications During Return to Workplace

Employees may undoubtedly bring a range of cyberthreats while shifting from remote workstations. Some of the common risks during the phase include:

  • Use of insecure software: whether employees used company-issued or personal devices while working from home, they will pose a threat if they operate outdated security software and unpatched operating systems
  • Malware in personal devices: employees are likely to use their home devices at the office as they rush to vacate from remote workstations. At the same time, many businesses might not have adequate time and expertise to examine their inventory. As a result, employees might connect potentially infected devices to the corporate network
  • Resource shortcomings: CISO’s function mat have constrained budgets, limited resources, and skillsets.
  • Lack of security awareness: employees returning from remote work may lack proper security training. Besides, most business will operate with inadequately defined and established cybersecurity processes and control because of the disruptive phase

CISOs Considerations to Mitigate Cyber Risks during that Phase

Returning the workforce from home to the office encounters an array of security implications that CISOs should perceive and alleviate. Fortunately, this shift differs from the unexpected and rushed work from home decisions triggered by the pandemic.

The CISO will have the responsibility of managing bother internal and external IT risks during return to the workplace period to effectively monitor, repel, and respond to cyber threats while meeting compliance requirements. The security officer will need different security tools and expertise for the following areas of focus:

CISO’s Area of Focus

Security Solutions and Expertise 

Security Operations

Real-time threat intelligence

Firewalls

Intrusion detection and prevention systems

Security information and event management (SIEM)

Cyber-risk and intelligence

Gathering intelligence about people, technologies, and process that impact the organization’s risk posture

Data loss protection

Tools to monitor the flow of data internally and externally to detect when a cybercriminal attempts to steal sensitive information

Identity and access management (IAM)

Tools and skills to determine the users accessing systems and data

Forensics

Techniques to investigate cyber incidents

Compliance and governance

Tools and frameworks for managing security and compliance regulations

Ultimately, returning to the workplace is approaching soon. CISOs will need a plan and solutions to reduce cyber risks while facilitating timely and secure return to normal operations. Undeniably, many organizations, no matter how much resources they have, will struggle with managing cybersecurity during the period.

With unending and competing priorities and agendas for CISO, there is a need to align the security strategy with the business. A Deloitte study found that 46% of CISOs fear the inability to delivering this proposition.[1] Ultimately, organizations require their security officers to assess and implement security technologies and standards to restore and enhance organizational security capabilities.

CyberPal Platform empowers CISOs, info-sec officers, and business owners to simplify their complex cyber solutions search process and transform into a simple, insightful process. SMBs share their requirements for the above CISO’s areas of focus to find the best and nearest cybersecurity solutions providers, consultants, vendors, and resellers based on your cybersecurity needs.

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4 main Challenges of RFPs in Cybersecurity Purchasing Process

As a rule of thumb, small and large enterprises observe a standard practice to source for essential products and services to run their businesses. One approach involves the use of a request for proposal (RFP), which is a business document about a project and invites bids from vendors to accomplish the project requirements. A business designs an RFP with questions that interested bidders should address. In return, the participating company responds with a proposal detailing their solution and how they will implement it. RFP process has also become common in cybersecurity procurement.

On average, an organization submits 100 RFPs every year. 34% of them submit between 51 and 250 RFPs, while 19% work with more than 250. However, the value-driving RFP process faces challenges that affect the timely procurement of necessary cybersecurity solutions.

  1. The procurement teams describe the process as antiquated and time-consuming. An average RFP takes 57 days from posting to award in 2018. In some cases, businesses abandoning the process, leading to product mismatch and inaccurate product purchases.
  2. RFPs feature questions about a product or a project a company wants to procure. In the case of cybersecurity, the process demands appropriate internal expertise to ensure that the sourced security product is a perfect fit. Without a team of skilled cybersecurity experts, an organization can end up establishing irrelevant questions and employing an inappropriate evaluation criterion.
  3. Communicating and sharing details about the RFP process can be frustrating. It involves numerous emails, video conferencing, and discussion of the same issues repeatedly. A typical RFP submission contains 116 pages on average.
  4. For SMEs with a low perceived stake for suppliers, it is expected that few vendors will respond with proposals. Sellers prefer replying to established organizations with streamlined and automated RFP procedures. Statistics show that vendors respond to only 69% of RFPs submitted by organizations. They feel that the remaining 31%, mainly from SMEs, are not worth their time and resources.

Cybersecurity buying activities should feature a standard process that assesses vendors and solutions through an integrated strategic path that offers process optimization. The process should focus on all business requirements, including the solution’s capabilities, vendors, resellers, price, and reviews from peers.

With CyberPal, SMEs can smoothen their process of selecting the right cybersecurity solution provider to avoid delays in a field that requires near real-time response to cyberthreats. CyberPal offers a disruptive and automated platform where users can conveniently speed up the search and selection process for cybersecurity solutions and vendors in their location.

Instead of using tedious, time-consuming, and resource-intensive RFP processes to make a purchase, users can confide on the CyberPal platform as their one-stop marketplace for their cybersecurity needs. Using the platform, buyers can effectually search, identify, qualify, validate, contact, and transact with cybersecurity vendors and consultants in the locations within a matter of minutes and at no upfront costs.

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How Important is Location-Based Service to the Cybersecurity Industry?

Geolocation technology uses data acquired from user devices to identify or describe the user’s actual physical location. With this technology, it is possible to obtain information in real-time and locate users with pinpoint accuracy at a given instant. A chip in your digital device communicates with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) satellites and nearby cell towers to send location signals. The technology is evolving rapidly and has become more accurate, inexpensive, and faster. Additionally, location-based technology is generally transparent to the end-user.

Experts valued the market size of location-based services at $23.74 billion in 2018. They project the industry worth to reach $157.34 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 27.1% between 2019 and 2016.

Users’ geolocation data have extensive capabilities that businesses can tailor based on their business environments and requirements. Many companies use geolocation in conjunction with other technologies like mobile applications to provide enhanced customer experiences. Besides, the approach offers opportunities for companies to merge location data and user requirements into context-enriched service delivery.

In the cybersecurity sector, the use of geolocation technology and data is critical in a field where trust is an essential success currency. Cybersecurity solutions providers and consultants can deploy geolocation technology to offer service or product localization and customization of delivered content based on their target customers’ geographical location.

Corporate boards, CISOs, and CIOs at the management level demand for more than data protection from a cybersecurity solutions provider. Apart from threat intelligence services, business-centric SMEs are looking for vendors and consultants that can help them improve their operational efficiency while aligning their risk management procedures with new business projects to improve their bottom-line. Some of the things a buyer may look for in such a vendor include an array of managed services, partner ecosystems, enterprise-scale, robust professional and support services, and integrated architectures. The geographical location of a service provider is essential for piecing these factors together. Geolocation technology continues to offer opportunities for analytical solutions that can provide and analyze geolocation data.

CyberPal leverages these capabilities for location-positioning services. The CyberPal platform is capable of processing accurate and timely customers’ georeferenced data enabling users to identify and locate appropriate cybersecurity vendors, VARs (value added resellers) or MSSP’s, Cyber distributors and independent cyber experts based on the location metadata. The solution uses GPS technology to identify the buyer’s location when they opt-in to allow the service to that. In effect, CyberPal pushes recommendations on top vendors, resellers, and freelancers in the same geographic area as the buyer and based on the requirements indicated.  CyberPal also provides information for the nearest cyber insurance providers, training providers, and cyber events.

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Cybersecurity in a Remote Office: An Innovative Approach

Research findings demonstrate that remote work makes staff happier, with 55 percent of commuters in the UK, indicating increased levels of frustration caused by their commute. Companies that offer flexible working makes a job more attractive to 70 percent of candidates. Additionally, organizations that permit remote working strategies increase retention rates by 10 percent.

These facts indicate that remote working is not just a fad. Instead, it is here in perpetuity. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted almost all aspects of life globally has resulted in further rise of remote workers, as companies encourage their employees to operate from home to slow down the spread of the virus.

Fortunately, the current digital solutions enable organizations to evade past apprehension tied to issues concerning employee productivity and governance. Some of the widely used technologies in remote working include collaboration and video conferencing tools. Businesses can now enjoy benefits, such as increased productivity, a vast talent pool, better work-life balance, cost savings, and enhanced employee well-being.

The sizable amount of people working from home has, in turn, opened a wide range of cybersecurity vulnerabilities on corporate networks because of the increased use of untrusted networks and unsanctioned devices to access sensitive information and systems.

A conspicuous observation from the trend is that many organizations lack adequate preparations to support this spur-of-the-moment workforce.  A recent study by OpenVPN revealed that 90 percent of IT specialists believe that working from home is not secure. Additionally, 70 percent of security professionals think that remote employees pose a higher risk than onsite workers.

Cyber Risks of Working from Home

The figure shows some of the leading cybersecurity concerns that organizations with remote workers face:

Cybersecurity Measures while Working from Home

Employee Responsibilities:

  • Endpoint device protection: install antivirus software for your device.
  • Patching: Update installed apps and operating systems with the latest update releases from vendors.
  • Physical security: shut down devices after work. Secure mobile phones and laptops from theft. Use strong passwords to protect devices
  • Separate work and personal devices

Company Responsibilities:

  • Use VPNs: require employees to connect to an organization’s infrastructure through a VPN with proper encryption. Ensure that the VPN vendor provides patches and updates
  • User awareness: share training materials and tips to create and maintain cyber hygiene across the organization
  • Backup: have a contingency plan for sensitive information
  • Policies: develop and share procedures for handling tasks such as installation and use of software such as Zoom
  • MDM: apply mobile device management solutions to set a standard configuration for connected devices. MDM enables an organization to lock unsolicited endpoints attempting to connect to the network remotely

How CyberPal can Help

Most of the cybersecurity measures recommended for securing work from home involve purchasing cybersecurity solutions, such as antivirus, VPNs, MDM tools, and so on. Besides, organizations now see the need to work with managed security service providers to meet the breakneck cybersecurity demands caused by remote work. Since most businesses remain offhand with remote working, meeting the security needs is a daunting task. Besides, many of them lack the internal expertise to help put proper security measures in place.

This observation means that SMEs are facing difficulties when selecting the correct cybersecurity solutions and vendors, which leads to delays in purchasing relevant security solutions.

CyberPal makes it possible for companies and end-users to share their requirements and answer a few questions to find the best and nearest cybersecurity solutions providers, consultants, vendors, and resellers based on the client’s security needs. This novel approach is crucial at a time when government agencies have restricted movements in most regions.

Within a few steps, CyberPal App will enable you to compare and find all types of cybersecurity solutions offered by vendors and resellers nearest to your location.

To make the process easier, CyberPal further allows you to compare, review, ask peers, and purchase reports for all your cybersecurity requirements, all in one platform. Ultimately, the solution simplifies the sophisticated search and purchase process by transforming it into a swift, cost-effective, and insightful experience.

CyberPal assists you in searching for cybersecurity solutions providers effortlessly. The tool offers faster and enhanced communication. It is location-enabled and uses GPS technology to identify and connect you to resellers and cybersecurity experts near you.

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Complex Cybersecurity Solutions: A Predicament for SMEs Cybersecurity Strategy

Most cybersecurity solutions providers develop and sell security products and services bent towards serving large enterprises with established IT departments, specialists, processes, and budgets.

43% of cyberattacks attack target small and medium enterprises. Unfortunately, SMEs lack security tools and controls that fit the bill since many modern cybersecurity products seem complex and pricey, especially for resource-constrained SMEs. Unfortunately, hackers are not sparing any target, regardless of size or industry, with their soaring and sophisticated attacks. In the cybersecurity world, no business is too small or too large to fall victim to a cyber incident. Increased and successful hacking activities have led to the closure of 60% of small businesses within 6 months after suffering a cyberattack.

SMEs have resorted to buying and using multiple security products without an understanding of the solutions’ features, capabilities, and if they are a perfect fit for their security needs. As a result, many organizations operate a disjointed web of ineffective security profiles that further compromises the capabilities of teams and budgets in an organization. It is mind-boggling that only 14% of SMEs rate their promptitude to identify vulnerabilities and wade cyber risks as highly effective.

Economic digitalization keeps opening new growth factors for businesses with organizations quickly embracing new smarter and connected processes and systems. These trends along with the advent of cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), 5G, and IoT, that organizations are adopting keep exposing businesses to a plethora of cyber risks.

The proclivities in economic digitalization imply that SME owners must keep learning more and investing in suitable digital security strategies. Before purchasing a cybersecurity solution, company owners need to consider their business models, type of data collected and stored, their customer base, their IT infrastructure, and the technologies they need to secure their environment.

You should not worry about being a cyber expert to secure your organization. You can leverage the CyberPal platform novel approach to identify and purchase a cybersecurity product. CyberPal makes it possible for business owners and end-users to share their requirements and answer a few questions about their IT environment. CyberPal App connects you to the nearest cybersecurity solutions provider, consultant, vendors, and resellers that fit the profile. The CyberPal platform allows you to find all types of cybersecurity solutions offered by companies and resellers nearest to your location. CyberPal’s straightforward and convenient cybersecurity solution matching process factors in features such as search, discover, qualify, validate, and award, to simplify and covert intricate cybersecurity buying activities into insightful, cost-effective experiences.   

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An Avant-Garde Way for Implementing Defense In-Depth (DiD) for Your Organization

What is Defense-in-Depth

Organizations implement a defense-in-depth cybersecurity approach by deploying a series of security tools and measures in a layered fashion to protect valuable information and systems. The US military developed this security approach as a policy and defense method to ensure that organizations are not “blindsided by unexpected threats.” In this instance, if one security mechanism fails, a cybercriminal will still face other security layers, making it arduous to execute an attack.

Defense-in-depth mirrors the medieval castle approach that obstructed adversaries using a series of methods, such as the moat, draw-bridge, multiple walls, towers, and battlements. Organizations can learn invaluable cybersecurity lessons from the castle to secure sensitive information and systems that are consistently prone to frequent and sophisticated attacks.

Standard Elements of Defense-in-Depth

The figure below shows some of the essential defense-in-depth elements.

Figure 1: Defense in Depth (CT Corporation Systems)

From the illustration, companies can apply a layered security approach from the lone endpoint device connected to a network, to data stored in servers. 

  • The network security layer is the first line of defense that requires security mechanisms, such as firewalls, demilitarized zones, data loss prevention through intrusion detection and prevention (ID/PS) systems, network component patching, network sniffers, port scanners, and vulnerability scanners
  • Platform layer features measures such as antivirus programs, patching, security specifications for systems, access management, and port scanning
  • The application layer requires security solutions such as secure coding practices, security specification, web application firewall, sandboxing, and reliable web gateway services  
  • Data layer security measures include data encryption, enterprise user access, and identity management
  • The response layer involves incident response planning, security monitoring, intrusion detection, and remediation

The incident response planning anticipates and set policy, in advance, to detect, respond, and recover from cyber-attacks. The layer features a broad spectrum that combines procedures, people, and technology to ensure an effective response to threat sources caused by hackers, employees, vendors, customers, and contractors.

Implementing the Best Grade D-I-D for Your Organization

A study revealed that businesses and information technology security professionals spend tremendous resources, time, and money to develop and maintain defense-in-depth as part of their cybersecurity strategy. Regardless, cybercriminals still manage to carry out attacks on such systems and networks, indicating that the enemy is ahead of security teams, or the implementation of the strategy is untenable.

For small and medium enterprises, the dynamic security landscape that requires multi-faceted protection strategy poses a challenge considering that they run on small cybersecurity budgets and lack the appropriate skills needed to defend their systems and information. At the same time, building this castle-like defense mechanism involves integrating multiple security solutions and vendors. Businesses also need to work with experts to ensure proper configurations of security tools on the functionally different layers.

Ultimately, SMEs require clear visibility and automation to achieve defense-in-depth goals. They need to define, prioritize their security requirements, and select relevant security products and vendors to help implement their cybersecurity strategies.

The CyberPal Platform

CyberPal is vendor and product agnostic. The platform helps organizations to define their cybersecurity requirements and recommends the right cybersecurity solutions for your defense-in-depth goals. CyberPal platform makes it possible for end-users and businesses to share their cybersecurity requirements to find the best and nearest cybersecurity solution providers, consultants, vendors, and resellers.

Besides, with CyberPal, organizations can compare, review, ask peers, and purchase reports for their diverse their cybersecurity requirements, all in one platform. The solution empowers your business to simplify complex security solutions search processes and transform it into an insightful experience while developing and implementing a defense-in-depth cybersecurity strategy.

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The True Cost of a Cyberattack to a Small and Medium Business

The rapid growth of information loss over the last three years is a worrying trend. New regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, aim to hold organizations and their executives more accountable for the protection of information assets and in terms of using customer data

responsibly. Future incidents of information loss (theft) could add significantly to the financial impact of these attacks as regulators start to impose fines. The cost of business disruption—including diminished employee productivity and business process failures that happen after a cyberattack—continues to rise at a steady rate.

A cybercrime is classified as any illegal or unethical activity committed through the use of the internet or a computer. Cybercriminals use vulnerabilities to exploit holes in a network or a website to extract valuable data. Cyberattacks target the general public, as well as national and corporate organizations. These attacks are carried out through – malicious programs (viruses), unauthorized web access, fake websites, and compromised websites.

Cybercrime can steal personal or business information from their targets, causing far-reaching damage.

The age of digital transformation is here and cyberattacks has accordingly increased to become the fastest-growing form of crime. More so disturbing for modern business owner, cybercrime according to Accenture will cost businesses $5.2 trillion worldwide in the next 5 years. The report also suggests that approximately 43% of these online attacks are targeted at small businesses and even though they are their networks and systems remain the favorite target of the cyber villains, just 14% of the SMBs are ready to defend themselves because most business leaders do not consider cyber security a top priority.

Therefore, because of the expanding plethora of endpoints, landscape of networks and spread of devices, it is a certainty that businesses of every size will get attacked at some point and the security threat question transcends from ‘if’ to ‘when’.

Even so, the insurance carrier, Hisox, report that on the average the digital incident costs from cyberattacks is in the $200,000 region leading to almost 60% being booted out of business within 6 months of after a successful attack to their systems. These overwhelming stats still show that 66% of small business decision-makers are still convinced that they will not be targeted by online criminals. In addition, 6 out of 10 SMBs don’t have a cybersecurity plan in place. Cyberattacks are now smarter, faster, more complex and evolve rapidly. All these underscores the need for awareness and adoption of a strategic digital security plan.

However, other intangible costs including brand reputation and goodwill also add up to the losses that business are faced with in the aftermath of the attack. Then the ancillary expenses such as regulatory compliance penalties, legal fees, audit expenses and losses due to downtime associated with the crime can make it severely complicated for the small and medium business.

Consequently, human error remains the greatest threat to the cybersecurity of the business even though there are upwards of 480 fresh sophisticated threats every minute, says McAfee. More so, this situation is compounded by that fact that only 3 out of every 10 employees are trained annually on digital security safety, thereby rendering even the most cutting-edge digital safeguards redundant.

Thus, small and businesses are faced with the risk of digital disruptions and must adopt a thorough mix of high and low technological strategies to combat cyberthreats. Such solutions can easily be discovered on Cyberpal, the world’s first Cyber Security Marketplace that enables end-users to compare, review, ask peers, buy research reports. The make-up of these strategies should include daily backups and duplicates of data and files that can be retrieved in the event of system compromise or ransomware; installing and regularly updating anti-virus; network firewall; information encryption tools to scan for and counteract viruses and harmful programs; routinely monitoring and scanning any device that’s connected to a computer system or network, and prohibiting the use of removable media (e.g. USB drives) at work; utilizing multifactor authentication (requiring multiple checks and approvals) before authorizing any major, uncommon, irregular, or allegedly time-sensitive requests, etc.

Therefore, cybersecurity by small businesses must be multidimensional, deliberate and evolving. It must consider that the source can be internal, external or both. The modern business must acquire and deal with a lot of sensitive information that could fall into the wrong hands, resulting in financial and other intangible losses. SMBs can now benefit from valuable info on solutions and emerging technologies from CyberPal. Itisthe world’s first Cyber Security Marketplace that enables end-users to compare, review, ask peers, buy research reports for all your Cyber Security requirements. Locate and connect with nearest Resellers for all Vendor solutions. End-users can post a project and Independent cyber experts can send proposals to these end-users and buyers can simply purchase it via the cyberpal platform and award the vendors / contractors the contract. It’s a secure payment platform and end-users benefit from private communication as well. This can help you to drive your cyber security strategy for your business rather than it being a non-starter.

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“4 Cyberthreats to SMB’s today and how to choose right fit cyber security solutions”

As a small business, you might feel helpless against cyberattacks. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your company. Understanding the cybersecurity landscape is the start point and CyberPal can help in this regard.

What’s at Risk?

Cyberattacks puts your funds, data and IT equipment at risk. If a hacker/malicious agent gains access to your network, a lot of damage can be wrecked with what they gain access to, for instance – Access to client lists, Customer credit card information, Your company’s banking details, intellectual property, digital assets, Trade secrets (pricing structure, product designs, expansion plans, manufacturing processes, etc.) Furthermore, apart from putting your business at risk, it also puts connected business partners and other parties at risk.

What’s the Impact of an Attack?

A cyberattack can radically impact your business. As a fact Symantec (2014), suggests that 60% of small businesses that become victim of an attack fold up within six months after the breach. Although this may be the most devastating result of the attack, there are other consequences that your business could experience, including the following:

  • Financial losses from theft of banking information.
  • Financial losses from disruption of business.
  • High costs to rid your network of threats.
  • Damage to your reputation after telling customers their information was compromised.

The following are common attack methods used by hackers against data, networks and other IT resources of small businesses.

01. Wire Transfer Issues

Small businesses keep being victim of those requesting for fraudulent wire transfers in recent years. Employees should be trained on how to spot phishing mails and phone calls and how to respond in the event that your business is a target of such fraudulent actions. Furthermore, there are simple solutions that can be deployed for protection.

02. Careless Admin/Elevated Account Access

Small businesses often grant too many employees access to vital services and hardware through admin accounts. Such accounts can be easily hacked, however, and are favorite targets of many cyber criminals.

03. Mobile Device Vulnerability

The work phone or tablet of employees are high risk targets. Conducting business or making purchases while using public Wi-Fi could put an individual, and the business they work for, at risk. Malware threats also lurk in third-party app sites as cyber criminals find it easy to trick people into downloading spoof apps.

04. Ransomware Attacks

Recently, ransomware threats have skyrocketed by nearly 350%. These attacks often appear as emails or mobile notifications denying access to an employees’ computer. To safeguard business resources from cyber-attacks, it’s important for small businesses to invest in cyber security training and have a comprehensive cyber policy in place that is accessible to all employees. Being prepared and proactive can help prevent cybersecurity threats before they happen, shielding small businesses from a potential loss of income, loss of consumer data, and network security and privacy lawsuits

CyberPal is a Marketplace where small and medium businesses can find insights in choosing the right cyber security solutions within minutes. Nevertheless, a cyberattack can significantly impact a company’s reputation and bottom line, and thereby erode consumer trust. The best defense is a good offense, and businesses should be aggressive in finding solutions that fortify their security.

What to Look for in a Cybersecurity Company

Several businesses consider cybersecurity as a bit out of a wheelhouse. Requiring assistance with cybersecurity is not uncommon and help can be found at CyberPal. After all, you have a business to run. Hence, there are things to look for in a cybersecurity company. To help, here’s a checklist of features.

Independent Tests and Reviews

A cybersecurity company could dazzle you with a big tech words and a striking marketing campaign but look at independent tests and reviews. The best cybersecurity firms want their products tested and are more than willing to share the results.

Avoid Cheap / free Options

You don’t want a company that comes in, installs some software and disappears. A company claiming to specialize in one field without offering additional products or support cannot provide the protection required. There are a lot of cheap alternatives to IT solutions, but it should be noted that the security of your business should never be compromised because of cost because the consequences may be much costly

Extra Support

Whether there is a detected threat or trouble backing up business files, your business should actively seek out a company that offers impeccable support. Settle for a company that helps your business navigate threats, finds solutions and takes the hassle out of cybersecurity.

Growth Potential

Your business will grow, and a cybersecurity company that can grow with you is what is desirable. Particular focus should be placed on security providers that offer full suites of security choices, including those you may need in the future. Small business owners have always had long to-do lists, but now, cybersecurity is at the top of the list. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your small business, and the right cybersecurity company can help mitigate your risks.

CyberPal is world’s first Cyber Security Marketplace that enables end-users to compare, review, ask peers, buy research reports for all your Cyber Security requirements. Locate and connect with nearest Resellers for all Vendor solutions. This can help you to drive your cyber security strategy for your business rather than it being a non-starter.

Reference:
Symantec, 2014 Internet Security Threat Report, 6 (Apr. 2014), available at http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Cybersecurity/Documents/Symantec_annual_internet _threat_report_ITU2014.pdf.

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“9 Basic Cybersecurity Rules for Small and Medium Business”

Businesses of all sizes and anywhere on the planet can reach new and larger markets because of the power of the internet. The enablement is also the opportunity to work more efficiently using computer-based tools. Whatever the level of adoption, be it cloud computing or just using email, having a presence on social media and maintaining a website, cybersecurity must be a part of the plan. It should originate right at the ecosystem. Digital information stealing has become the most commonly reported crime, even surpassing physical theft. Therefore, every business that uses Internet is responsible for creating a culture of security that will improve client and other stakeholders’ confidence. 

Cyberthreats are not just an issue for big corporations and governments; small and medium businesses are in fact easy targets. Research(Kaspersky.com, 2020) suggests that 22% of small businesses have been the targets of cyberattacks. Small and medium businesses (SMB’s) host data that are transactional and owned by the consumer. These data sets are very exposed due to risks with new digital capabilities and technologies in the workplace. When data is breached it presents small businesses as unreliable partners, forcing their consumers to change suppliers.

The most common mistakes that SMBs make is to assume that they are not at risk. Breaches occur because of this false assumption, leaving out basic preventative measures, and the false confidence that they can manage everything on their own, and failing to invest in a reliable security system. The best defense is a good offense, and SMBs should be aggressive in finding solutions that reinforce their security. Tarnishing business brand reputation isn’t a choice therefore size of the business doesn’t really matter.

Ways to Protect Your Business from Cyberthreats

Since we have established that it is important to protect your business from malicious attacks, here is a brief guide on how small and medium business owners can traverse the world of cyberthreats. CyberPal (Cyber Security Marketplace) is quite a useful tool that can help small businesses establish their cyber security strategy by providing them insights about solutions for all their cyber security needs. – www.cyberpalapp.com

  • Train Employees (End-User Education/ Awareness)

The human is usually the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. Employees can leave your business vulnerable to an attack.  Strengthening this chain can reduces the chances of a vulnerability transforming into an actual breach. Research shows that 43% of data loss arise from internal employees who either maliciously or out of carelessness give cybercriminals access to your networks. Training topics to cover include – Spotting a phishing email; Using good browsing practices; Avoiding suspicious downloads; Creating strong passwords; and Protecting sensitive customer and vendor information. Several scenarios could result in employee-initiated attacks. Such as an employee losing a work laptop or divulging login credentials. They can also include opening attachments in fraudulent emails, which eventually deploys viruses on the corporate network. Nonetheless, protecting against threats from within requires the investing in cybersecurity training for every employee.

Perform a Risk Assessment

SMBs should not be negligent when it comes to evaluating potential risks that might compromise the security of their networks, systems and information. Identifying and analyzing possible threats can help them formulate a plan to plug any gaps in security. The result of this effort should be used to develop or refine the security strategy. The security strategy must be reviewed regularly.

Acquire a Suitable Endpoint Security Solution

Selecting an antivirus solution falls among the post risk assessment activities. The appropriate solution should protect all business and personal devices allowed on the network from viruses, spyware, ransomware and phishing scams. Ensure that the software not only offers protection, but also technology that helps you clean computers as needed and resets them to their pre-infected state.

Keep Software Updated / patched.

Every software that is used to in running the business must be up to date. Every piece of software is updated with regularity to strengthen it or add patches that close coding loopholes hackers and other malicious actors can exploit. Any third-party software must also be validated as supply chain attacks are quite common.

Secure your networks

Safeguard your Internet connection by using a next-gen firewall and encrypting information. If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID).

Use Strong Passwords

Passwords protect access to the router. Using strong passwords is an easy way to improve your cybersecurity. Be sure to use different passwords for your different accounts. Set a reminder by default on your PC to change passwords once every 3-6 months. A strong password includes:

  • 10 characters or more
  • At least one uppercase letter
  • At least one lowercase letter
  • At least one number
  • At least one special character
  • Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication requires additional information (e.g., a security code sent to your phone) to log in. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multifactor authentication for your account.

Back Up Your Files Regularly

Create regular backups of all business and transaction related information. The deleting or compromise of your data as a result of a cyberattack or otherwise can lead to serious disruption of business services. Given the amount of data you might store on laptops and cell phones, most businesses wouldn’t be able to function. This is why it is required to have a reliable backup service that automatically copies your files to storage. In the event of an attack, you can restore all of your files from your backups. Choose a Disaster Recovery (DR) program that gives you the ability to schedule or automate the backup process, so you don’t have to remember to do it. Good practice is to store copies of backups offline, so they don’t become encrypted or inaccessible if your system suffers a ransomware attack. Test it once a year at least.

Control physical access

Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.

Attacks can take many different shapes and forms, from a simple computer virus to a massive data breach. One way to protect your business is by hiring or appointing specific employees to monitor data security and privacy and look out for attacks. Another way is to acquire simple plug in solutions that can be easily monitored by the providers and yourself.

CyberPal offers the opportunity to qualify, compare and select the cyber solution that really works for your business. Its only three simple steps and can be done in few minutes. They provide these insights using their Base Rating System which is a combination of peer insights, Ai based proprietary algorithm and analysts driven research. This means you do not necessarily have to join the bandwagon effect in selecting a solution without having prior knowledge.

References

Kaspersky.com. (2020). Retrieved 2 March 2020, from https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/small-business-cyber-security

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