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1 Cyber Security An Executive Imperative for Business Owners SSE Network Services 77 Westport Plaza, St. Louis, MO p f Pretecht SM by SSE predicts and remedies computer problems, before they become a productivity issue!

2 75% of SMBs were victims of cyber attacks in the previous year, with an average annual cost of $188, Global SMB Information Protection Survey If that statistic does not get you thinking about your defense against cybercrime, check out some recent headlines: Hackers Shift Attacks to Small Firms Wall Street Journal, July 2011 Small Businesses Face the Greatest Cyber Security Threat The Network Journal, July % of All Targeted Attacks Today Are Directed at Companies With Less than 500 Employees Symantec, October 2011 It s true, cybercrime has become an everyday reality for business owners. In virtually every newspaper or magazine we pick up today, we find a new story detailing a big IT security breach at a public corporation or government entity. And now, hackers are shifting their focus to smaller businesses. Why? Simple - it s an easier target! They ve realized that the majority of small to mid-size businesses have more lax security than a larger corporation. But small businesses operate with the same fundamental processes and contain similar assets as larger businesses. Small businesses today are handling valuable information: 65% store customer data 43% store financial records 33% store credit card information 20% have intellectual property 65% claim the Internet as a critical component (2009 National Cyber Security Alliance Study) However the startling truth is that many small businesses fail to take even fundamental cyber security precautions! (Tech Journal, October 2011)

3 The landscape of doing everyday business is constantly changing, adding more and more security risks for small and mid-sized businesses. In today s world, business owners have to worry about not only the increased threat of cyber attacks, but now also risks from social media, lost or stolen mobile devices carrying confidential or proprietary information, the cloud, and increased phishing scams. Let s take a closer look at some of the new threats on the rise. First, we have mobility threats. Gartner research predicts that by 2014 it will be commonplace for organizations to support corporate applications on employee owned smartphones and mobile devices. With the explosion of smartphones and tablets, of course now follows the explosion of mobile malware. Rogue apps pretending to be banking and social media apps are on the rise. One notable case is details how fifty mobile apps had to be removed from the Google Android Marketplace in January, 2011 due to being infected. Each app had already been downloaded between 50,000 and 200,000 times. (CyberCrime Trends Report, Grim News for Q1 2011) And the worst part - mobile exploits such as this are on track to double during the upcoming year. (X-Fource 2011 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report, Sep 2011). Aside from infected mobile devices, lost mobile devices also pose a significant threat to businesses now. A 2010 Global SMB Information Protection Survey uncovered the following: two-thirds of businesses have lost devices such as laptops, smartphones or ipads in the past 12 months 100% of them have at least some devices that have no password protection and cannot be remotely wiped of their data A second new risk added to the mix is the cloud. With companies moving applications and document storage to the cloud comes complete reliance on third-parties when a security issue occurs. Many businesses might not be aware of the process to take with a third party vendor when an incident does occur. One alarming case occurred with a hosted account. In March 2011, when the Gmail account of the HBGary Federal CEO was hacked, he was unable to prove his own identify before all of his had been downloaded. (-CyberCrime Trends Report, Grim News for Q1 2011) A risk currently on the rise is phishing scams. Phishing, as defined by Wikipedia, is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Cybercriminals are increasingly using targeted attacks against the big fish in an organization. Phishing attacks were reported up 12% in Q1 of (Cyber Crime Trends Report, Q1 2011)

4 The outburst of social media sites furnishes our fourth risk. Hackers are now injecting malicious code into the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Facebook alone has resulted in personal information of 100 million users being published on Pirate Bay, the world s largest file sharing website. Nearly a third of SMBs have been infected by social media malware, and 35% of those infected suffered a financial loss as a result. (Panda Security, September 2010) Some businesses may already take precaution of their employees using social media sites with a formal social media policy in place, but employees still pose the largest threat to an organization. A September 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled What s a Company s Biggest Security Risk? YOU highlighted the fact that employees are still a company s biggest risk, whether they mean to be or not. 84% of high-cost security incidents occur when insiders send confidential data outside the company. (Gartner research, 2011) Are you educating your employees on the ever-changing security risks? Your executive imperative. act now to implement or upgrade your IT security program! We ve put together the Top Ten Information Security Best Practices to be implemented in your business. Before we get to the implementation steps, stop and ask yourself the following questions: Are you preventing attempts to break into your company s network? Are you protecting your business from Internet Hackers? Do you know if all known PC/Server security holes are closed? Do you know if all computers are protected against malware threats? Are you protecting YOUR corporate data on your employee s PERSONAL mobile devices? How long can your company afford to work without your business systems? Are you adequately preventing employees from accessing sensitive company data? How do you know your contingency plans will work when you need them? Is out of date hardware and software hurting you? What actions are you taking to increase employee security awareness?

5 TOP TEN INFORMATION SECURITY BEST PRACTICES 1. Establish a Password Policy Establish a well-defined password policy for your company. This should include the following: Enforce password complexity (e.g., Create a unique password for each user Use passwords with 8+ characters Change passwords at least quarterly Enable account lockout Disable passwords of former employees 2. Protect from Hackers Install a Business-class firewall (select a vendor that provides regular updates) Block all unnecessary inbound and outbound access Strongly consider a second layer of protection (Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) Perform regular reviews of firewall logs Test your protection; select Shields Up scan, Install a business-class Wireless Access Point (WAP): Encrypt data transmission Disable SSID broadcast (Optional) Restrict access to specific computers on your network 3. Close Security Holes Establish centralized software updates - Deploy Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) FREE from Get automatic security updates - Sign up at Double check security updates

6 TOP TEN INFORMATION SECURITY BEST PRACTICES 4. Malware/Virus Protection Establish a layered defense, including: - centralized anti-virus management - centralized spyware management - SPAM filtering Enable scheduled anti-virus/spyware scanning Schedule automated daily updates Monitor subscription status 5. Secure Mobile Devices Develop and implement a mobile device management plan Ensure you have a mobile strategy in place before allowing employees to use personal mobile devices Include device security protection (anti-virus, etc.) Include device data protections (ability to wipe the device) 6. Data Loss Protection Ensure employees lock computers Ensure all documents, mail and contacts are on a server Establish an automated backup system Ensure backups, software media & licenses are taken offsite Document data restore procedures Conduct test data restores 7. Data Access Restrictions Only give employees what they need to perform their job Identify Security and Data Access Roles for each employee Create corresponding security groups Assign Access Rights to groups

7 TOP TEN INFORMATION SECURITY BEST PRACTICES 8. Contingency Plan Develop a disaster recovery plan Data recovery plan Hardware recovery plan Software recovery plan Internet recovery plan Timeline/Sequencing Resource Planning Recurring Testing and Validation 9. Manage Technology Outdated hardware/software can be more susceptible to security breaches: Establish a hardware/software lifecycle (e.g., 4 years means 25% of hardware/ software is budgeted for and replaced each year) 10. Train your Employees Employees need to know security basics, including: Acceptable Use Policy Systems Accounts Computing Assets Network Use Electronic Communication For more information or assistance implementing these security measures into your business, contact SSE Network Services today at or call us at With SSE, Consider I.T. Done SM! Copyright SSE. All rights reserved

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