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Survive Cyber Attacks With A Backup And Disaster Recovery Plan

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There’s no way to predict the future, and Murphy’s Law tells us that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If you and your business or organization do not have a well-thought out recovery plan, your company’s data is teetering on the edge of a cliff without a safety net.

Having a comprehensive and well thought-out data backup and disaster recovery plan in place when there is data loss can help your organization or business survive malicious cyber attacks like ransomware.

In the last few years, we’ve seen plenty of organizations in the news for suffering huge damage from cyber attacks. And there does not seem to be any pointers that cyber incidents are going to reduce any time soon.

However, while cyber attacks as a cause of downtime have almost doubled as the cause of data loss, the rate at which it continues to cause downtime havoc will depend on improvements made to defensive and responsive measures like having a backup and disaster recovery plan.

What are backup and disaster recovery?

There’s an important distinction between backup and disaster recovery.

Backup is the process of making an extra copy (or multiple copies) of data. You back up data to protect it. You might need to restore backup data if you encounter an accidental deletion, database corruption, or problem with a software upgrade.

Disaster recovery, on the other hand, refers to the plan and processes for quickly reestablishing access to applications, data, and IT resources after an outage. That plan might involve switching over to a redundant set of servers and storage systems until your primary data center is functional again. (more…)

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Data Encryption Tools For The Mobile Business Executive

Infographic depicting various devices using data encryption.

Data encryption is not one of the security options most companies think of providing for their senior executives who use, and travel, with laptops, netbooks and tablets so they can stay productive even when on the road. This is even more true of corporate executives who sometimes demand anytime, anywhere access to data residing on corporate servers.

While the big corporations can afford to spend millions of dollars on data protection hardware and software., the same cannot be said of executives in small and medium-sized organizations, especially when it comes to loss of personal information, including credit card data, patient records or other financial information, stored by the company.

Data breaches happen and information is lost every day due to small mistakes that could have been avoided by using data encryption technologies. For small businesses, these data loss events can be devastating. (more…)

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The ABCs of a Business Continuity Plan

Image of replicated computer system to enable business continuity.

The ABCs of a Business Continuity Plan: How To Stay in Business After an Extended Outage

You’ve probably heard this sermon a million times, but we will keep harping on it until small business owners start taking the issue of business continuity and disaster recovery planning more seriously. Especially in this new era of daily reports of ransomware attacks.

Those in the trenches know the familiar drill: you get a call about a failed hard drive, a system that is down, a lost laptop, a folder encrypted by a former employee, or the worst, an inaccessible office. Of course the first statement you make is “no problem, we’ll just restore from backup“. That is until you see the guilty look on the client’s face and the reality hits you: there is no backup or if there is one, it is either not up to date or has never been verified.

Business continuity is about having a plan to deal with difficult situations, so your organization can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. (more…)

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5 Critical Facts You Must Know Before Hosting Your Business In The Cloud

An illustration of several technology services and laptops in a cloud hosting simulation.

Cloud hosting seems to be the rage these days, and for very good reasons.

When you decide to look into transitioning the computer network and operations of your business or organization to  cloud hosting, you will probably be faced with conflicting advice, confusion and no real answers to your questions and concerns over security, cost and whether or not it’s appropriate for your organization.

Besides that, the simple fact is, cloud hosting is NOT a good fit for every company, and consequently, if you don’t get all the facts or fully understand the pros and cons, you can end up making some VERY poor and expensive decisions that you’ll deeply regret later. (more…)

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How Businesses Can Protect Their Wireless Access Points

Image of Wireless Access Points And Devices

The current high rate of mobile users warrants that wireless access users, especially business users, should know how to protect their wireless access points.

First of all, regular business travelers, high-tech adventurers, or those who just love traveling are increasingly vulnerable to unique cyber security threats. This is even more dire in the case of business travelers because they often carry sensitive data that may be personal or business related.

And most noteworthy, this sensitive data reside on a variety of devices from laptops, tablets, and smartphones to other smart devices such as wearables and home appliances.

A recent survey of financial districts found a high percentage of Wi-Fi clients actively probing for “Free Public WiFi”, and cyber criminals create fake wireless access points (SSIDs), hoping that unsuspecting users will log into one of these.

Fraudulent SSIDs Can Lead To Wireless Access Points Attack

It can be tough to convince users — especially those challenged by shrinking travel budgets — to avoid the temptation and draw of free wireless Internet access. When employers can’t or won’t pay for unlimited wireless Internet, employees get creative. Why should they waste thankless hours waiting for planes and trains when they could be using Free Public WiFi to catch up on mail, download iTunes, or watch a little Slingbox? (more…)

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Credential Management Vulnerabilities Exposed By Breaches

Credential Management BreachThe recent breach of OneLogin is once again shining the spotlight on the safety and sanity of entrusting sensitive data to cloud-based credential management services. OneLogin provides single sign-on for cloud-based applications.

What Is A Credential Management Service?

Credential management services that offer Single Sign-On or SSO are great, but as we are beginning to find out, it could also be a single point of entry to a treasure trove of sensitive data for cyber criminals.

How Does A Credential Management Service Work?

The way credential management services work is that after a user of these Identity and credential management services sign into their account, the service takes care of remembering and supplying the customer’s usernames and passwords for all of their other applications. It pretty much attempts to save the user the pain and stress of trying to remember numerous passwords, security questions and other hoops people normally have to jump through just to access some online services.

What Is The Problem With Credential Management Services?

While a lot of these services promise secure access to, and a simplified Identity and Access Management (IAM), the recent spate of multiple breaches of LastPass and now OneLogin makes us wonder just how efficient and  secure these credential management services really are. And here is why: a single compromise exposes the credentials of all users, especially if that data theft includes the ability to decrypt encrypted data [thanks to Mark Maunder of Wordfence for that emphasis].

A breach that allows intruders to decrypt customer data could be extremely damaging for affected customers.

The vulnerabilities in credential management services like LastPass were so bad that Tavis Ormandy, a security researcher at Google’s Project Zero wondered if people were “really using this lastpass thing” because he took a quick look and could see “a bunch of obvious critical problems”. (more…)

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