The humble password has been around for centuries and still acts as the first line of defense against hackers. From the very beginning, the purpose of a password has been to protect information. Now that almost everything we work with is on online, it is more important than ever to make sure the one string of digits and letters that protects all this material is extremely secure.

Many people today would prefer keeping up with one simple password for their multiple accounts, making it easier to remember and faster to login. This actually opens the door to all sorts of trouble. What’s worse is that it may not only be you that’s in jeopardy for this weak security; if a hacker or phisher is able to crack your password and obtain your account info, they might be able to access other important accounts or even your work’s network. Putting your company at risk because of a weak password is easily avoidable. Here are some ways to improve password security:

Change Passwords Regularly

While it may be a little excessive and unrealistic to change all the passwords of your numerous accounts on a month-to-month basis, it is logical to change your passwords every year to ensure the security of your accounts. You should also be changing your password if any of these situations arise:

  • After a service discloses a security incident
  • There is evidence of unauthorized access to your account
  • There is evidence of an attempt to login to your account from an unknown location or device
  • There is evidence of malware or other compromise of you device
  • You shared access to an account with someone who is no longer using the login
  • You logged into an account on a shared or public computer

Use Combinations of Characters

We all know it’s never fun to see accounts telling us that
“passwords must have:

  • Eight characters
  • One symbol
  • One number
  • One uppercase
  • One lowercase”,

but hey, they’re not wrong. Yeah, the extra steps might be a little annoying and take a couple more seconds of you time, but doing so adds more variables that can make it harder for hackers to access your account. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather deal with the annoyance of a complex password than the annoyance of a data breach.

Use Passphrases Instead of Passwords

A passphrase is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of a string of characters, a passphrase is exactly what it sounds like – a phrase used for a password. For example, someone could use the passphrase “Be the change you want to see in the world.” A passphrase can also contain symbols and doesn’t have to be a proper sentence or grammatically correct; the main point is that a passphrase is:

  • Easier to remember – It is always easier to remember a lyric to your favorite song or a memorable quote than it is to remember a string of random symbols.
  • Harder to crack than an average password – There are now state-of-the-art hacking tools that are able to crack even the most complex password, but even the most advanced cracking tool won’t be able to guess or pre-compute these passphrases.

Just make sure that the phrase you choose is not so common or popular that it can easily be guessed by someone who knows you.

Use Multiple Factors of Authentication (MFA)

There has been many instances where companies could have avoided a breach by using multi-factor authentication (MFA). Multi-factor identification (sometimes called two-factor authentication), is a security feature that allows you to have more than just your username and password to access your account. After entering your username and password, MFA requires a second piece of information, such as:

  • Security questions (e.g. “What is your mother’s maiden name?” or “What was the name of your first pet”)
  • One time text/call code
  • Finger print scan

Multi-factor authentication and two-factor authentication are great ways to keep your passwords strong and essentially safeguard your accounts from potential breaches.

Hide Physical Evidence of Passwords

In an environment where passwords are updated regularly, it might seem convenient to write it on a sticky note and put it on a monitor or in an unlocked desk drawer for reference until it changes again. In reality, this could be a massive security hole if someone were to walk into the office space looking for data to steal. Nowadays there are plenty of apps that safely store and retrieve your passwords for you. Some good ones are:

Don’t Share Passwords

By granting permission to let anyone use your credentials, you are compromising the security of your accounts. From the moment they have access, you have no idea what they will do with your account details or whom they might share it with. By keeping your information private, not only are you making sure that your personal information is secure, but you’re keeping yourself from potential responsibility for malicious acts someone could partake in on your account. If someone were to hack into your account and commit a mischievous act, you could and probably would be held accountable.

Take these tips into consideration next time you enter a new or change an old password. Taking the extra steps to ensure the strength of your passwords will result in the extra security of your accounts and your company.

As we grow more reliant on modern technologies and systems, IT failures significantly alter our ability to work and run business. Businesses of all sizes place an urgency on operational efficiency, but not all companies are equally equipped to sustain this efficiency. Small-medium size businesses may have limited IT resources, making it likely to fall behind in updates and network management and essentially putting the company’s system in jeopardy.

Managed services have been on the rise in the business world. This year alone, managed IT service providers are expected to bring in $649 billion, and is projected to reach $731 billion in 2020. You might be asking yourself “Why is this specific business model so successful?” or “Why should I make the switch to a managed service provider?” Here are a couple reasons why:

1.) Efficiency and Reliability

One of the main reasons that small-medium size businesses choose managed IT services is that it provides more efficient and reliable IT operations. Most companies that partner with managed service providers is because of overburdened IT staff or the lack of employees that are knowledgeable and skilled to handle certain tasks and effectively handle the whole network on their own.

When looking at these potential situations, it is hard to deny the importance of working with a managed IT service provider. A majority of companies using managed services describe their business with their IT provider as a joint arrangement with their internal IT department, leading one to believe that different aspects of IT management fall into the MSP realm while others are handled in-house. The goal for these business owners is to enhance and improve the performance of the internal IT department, not replace them. An outside IT service not only adds an extra team of IT specialists to help with any concerns or issues, but ensures the benefit of having the most up-to-date technology and innovative solutions that will assist in maximizing productivity and profitability. Some of these technologies include:

  • Cloud computing
  • Data protection/recovery
  • Network security/cyber security

Investing in these tools ensures the entire IT infrastructure becomes more dependable and efficient, and that the internal IT department is able to keep control of the situation.

2.) Enhanced Security

Did you know that 62% of cyber victims are small-medium size businesses? 60% of those victims will go out of business within six months of an attack.

Because more Houston businesses are starting to rely on storing, processing, and distributing data via the internet, cyber security is becoming a crucial component to the health of a business. Many business owners are fearful that they will become victim to a security breach.

As a managed IT service provider, it is not only their job to educate the company on the matter but help manage network security. A good IT provider will provide outsourced monitoring and management of a business’s security devices and systems, and custom-build their security service to meet the business’s needs. Some managed network security services include:

  • Managed firewall
  • Managed secure Wi-Fi
  • Managed remote connectivity
  • Managed Windows patching
  • Managed third-party patching
  • Managed anti-virus protection
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Two-factor authentication
  • User awareness training

3.) Proactive Maintenance and Monitoring

This is one of the most important benefits of having a managed IT service provider. Business owners have little to no time to spend worrying about their IT infrastructure or other IT concerns. A business owner should be focusing on nothing but their business, which is why having a managed IT service provider is so valuable.

These IT security solutions and services are always working to detect potential threats or vulnerabilities. Having fully managed IT support means that any disturbances or issues can most often be troubleshot and repaired before they are a concern to the business owner.

A managed IT service will provide a sophisticated IT infrastructure for a company’s entire network, including:

  • Firewalls
  • Data
  • Phone systems
  • Switches
  • Networked devices
  • PCs
  • Printers
  • Routers
  • Servers

4.) Cost Effectiveness

When you have managed IT service, you’ll be paying the same amount each month regardless of how much support you need. This means you’ll know exactly what to budget and what services you’ll receive, allowing you to be more flexible when financing other aspects of your business.

There is no reason to wait until something goes wrong to elicit IT Support for your business. Catastrophic data breaches and network failures are not worth the costs or the downtime. If a business aims to grow and flourish, keeping its competitive edge, they will need a solution that offers managed IT services to avoid the avoidable.

Unlimited IT support for a fixed monthly fee gives your business the ability to focus on things that truly matter, without neglecting its technology management.

Want to learn more about the advantages of managed services? Call Elevated Technologies at 281-653-7726 to learn more and move forward with the confidence of a fully managed IT service for your Houston business!

Social media is full of scare stories about ransomware and the damage it can do to businesses and personal users. However, taking a few precautions and planning ahead can minimize the potential for damage. Understanding what ransomware is and how it works enables you to protect your computers and important files. Here’s what you need to know about ransomware.


Ransomware is an increasingly prevalent form of malicious software (malware) that works by blocking access to files, folders or whole devices. Once cybercriminals have taken control of your system, they can demand a ransom to restore your files. Ransom payments are usually made with cryptocurrency, although credit cards, PayPal and even cash payments are sometimes used.

Types of Ransomware

Encryption ransomware works by encrypting individual files or folders so that you can only access them with a special code or encryption key. With this type of ransomware, you should still be able to use your computer and any unaffected files.

Screen lockers work by blocking access to your entire computer. If your computer has been infected with screen-locking ransomware, you will see a full-size window covering the whole screen. This window will contain instructions for making the ransom payment. The message on the lock screen may claim that your computer has been locked due to suspicious or illegal activity and will often appear to come from an official source, such as law enforcement or legal departments.

Another common type of ransomware is the security scam, which starts by displaying a pop-up window that appears to come from your antivirus or security software. The window may claim that your computer is infected with a virus and the only way to remove it is to make a one-off payment for a special removal tool.

File encryptors, screen lockers and security scams are the most common forms of ransomware, but there are new types being developed all the time.

Sources of Ransomware

Ransomware can come from a number of sources, including email attachments, infected websites and malicious advertisements. Spam emails containing attachments or links to malicious websites are among the most common causes of malware infections. Links in social media posts, online forums and even messaging apps can also direct users to infected websites.

Malicious advertisements can contain code and webpage elements that distribute ransomware and other malware to unprotected computers. These advertisements are automatically loaded when you visit particular websites, which means that your computer can be infected with malware even if you don’t click on the advertisement or link. Browser add-ons, infographics, program installation files and many other files downloaded from the Internet can also contain malware.

Protecting Against Ransomware

Staying vigilant and being cautious when opening email attachments, clicking on links and downloading files from the Internet will significantly reduce the risk of ransomware infection, but there are other things you can do to increase security and protect your computer from malware. Installing a security suite and antivirus software is essential for any computer or device with access to the Internet.

Most operating systems and browsers provide extra security settings to increase online safety. However, the best protection against ransomware is to make regular backups of all your files. If you keep up-to-date backups of your data, you will be able to restore any files encrypted by the ransomware.

Ransomware Infection

If your computer is infected by ransomware, you can try using decryption tools to recover encrypted files. You can also try using software available from trusted security companies to regain access to a locked computer. However, these tools are not effective for some types of ransomware. Often, the best solution is to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the backup files. Security experts advise users never to pay the ransom, as there is no guarantee that cybercriminals will restore the files.

Finally, you should report any ransomware attacks to the relevant authorities in your country, as this helps security experts to design tools to protect against this ongoing threat.

When taking steps to maintain cyber security, it’s not only your website and email that you want to secure but also your social media accounts. Cyber-attacks are a risk for your business as well as to the privacy and security of your followers.  Unsure about the security of your Social Media accounts?  Contact our Cyber Security Department today!

Risks to Social Media Accounts 

While people often think about cyber security concerning websites, it’s also necessary to keep this in mind when using social media. As sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others get vast amounts of traffic, it’s increasingly tempting for hackers to target these platforms. Businesses also face significant challenges in this area. If you have a business, your finances, reputation and customers’ security are all at risk. Some of the dangers include:

• Identity theft. This is a potentially devastating problem. Identity thieves use personal information to steal money, commit crimes or simply out of malice. Anywhere online that you store personal information, including social media sites, is a potential gold mine for identity thieves.

• Account hacking. When hackers gain control of your account, they can post anything they want. Many hackers do this simply for fun. For a business, however, there’s nothing fun about the hit to your reputation if someone posts offensive content under your name.

• Malware. These programs are often used for spamming, to collect information, or to deliberately harm someone’s computer. Social media sites are full of links to malware. If you and your employees aren’t careful, it’s easy to infect your computer when someone clicks on such a link from one of your social media accounts.

• Phishing scams. This is a type of scam where hackers impersonate a legitimate company for malicious purposes. One danger is that someone will impersonate your business to scam your customers. Another is that someone in your company falls victim to a phishing attack and compromises your information.

These are some of the most common security risks on social media. In some cases, attacks are from random hackers. Businesses, however, also face threats from unscrupulous competitors, dissatisfied and vengeful customers, and ex-employees.

How to Safeguard Your Social Media Accounts 

There are risks every time you access the internet. However, certain precautions make you safer. Here are some of the best ways to keep yourself safe on social media.

• Monitor your accounts. If your business is active on social media, you probably log in regularly to your accounts anyway. If you’re lagging behind on one or more sites, however, make sure you periodically check in to at least make sure everything looks good. If someone has hacked into your account, you want to know about it as soon as possible.

• Have a strict social media policy. You put your business at risk with social media practices are too casual or undefined. For example, it’s best to have a dedicated team in charge of social media rather than giving everyone access to your accounts. Putting an expert in charge helps to keep you safer and helps you maintain a consistent policy. Make sure you have clear rules about what your employees can and cannot do on social media sites. You might, for example, tell employees not to post personal information on your company account. Also set rules on sharing content and clicking on links.

• Keep your passwords secure. Make sure all of your passwords are complex and hard to guess. Never use simple sequences of numbers, personal names, or dates. Use a unique password for each site (i.e., don’t use the same password on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Only reveal passwords to people who need access to social media accounts. Whenever an employee with password access leaves your business (or when an agency or freelancer completes a project), change your passwords.

• Use two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is an important step that makes your accounts more secure. That is an extra step needed to access your accounts, such as a question (e.g., “What was the name of your first pet?”), an image, or a verification code.

Site-specific Tips for Social Media Security 

While certain cyber security principles apply everywhere, there are also specific differences between the different sites. Here are some things to keep in mind on some of the most popular social media platforms.

• Facebook — Check out Facebook’s extra security features such as setting up login approvals, which is an example of two-factor authentication where you need an additional step to log in. Turn on login alerts, so you know when someone logs into your Facebook account from a new device or location.

• Twitter — Go to privacy and safety settings. The most important settings here are “verify login requests” and “require personal information to reset my password.” Without these precautions, anyone can change your password. You may also want to disable “add a location.” Clicking on “protect my tweets” means only people who follow you see your tweets. As a business, of course, there are reasons to keep your tweets public.

• LinkedIn – On LinkedIn’s privacy settings, there are quite a few options, such as deciding who can see your updates and connections. Here it’s up to you to find the right balance between privacy and visibility. Turn on two-step verification to secure your account. Because LinkedIn is a B2B network, you have to watch for hackers putting up fake company profiles or people falsely claiming to work for you. One way to reduce risks here is only to accept invitations to connect with people you know.

In some ways, it’s more challenging for businesses to secure their accounts than individuals. You don’t want to keep your posts and business information private as you obviously want to attract publicity. However, it’s still important to use caution and make sure you make it difficult for anyone to hack into your account or steal your information. Keep these guidelines in mind and make sure that all of your employees use common sense and are well-trained in basic cyber security principles.

An IT service provider gives businesses the opportunity to take advantage of the latest technology and receive advanced protection against data loss. A managed service provider is also an affordable solution for smaller companies that do not have the extra resources to hire additional IT employees and compete with larger organizations. Of course, new technology continues to transform the workplace, and an IT service provider plays a crucial role in helping your business remain up to date with the latest tech trends.

Interested in learning more? Here are three ways that an IT service company can impact your business in the workplace.

#1 Improve Stability

Outdated IT infrastructure increases the chance of downtime and makes it much more difficult for employees to complete job tasks on time. Choosing to partner with an IT service provider will stabilize your network and computer systems through the use of patch management services. A managed service provider will also give your company access to cloud computing, which will automatically download the newest versions of software programs for your company. Ultimately, this will stabilize your entire operating system and significantly improve productivity for your business.

#2 Enhance Security

An additional benefit of using a managed service provider is that it gives your company the best protection against cyber threats. Cyber attacks occur in a variety of ways, whether you are facing ransomware, social engineering, viruses, or phishing schemes. However, a managed service provider protects your business by offering around the clock monitoring services, IT security training, help-desk support, and frequent security updates. An IT support company also provides data backup and recovery services to ensure that you can quickly regain access to data that was lost due to natural disasters, employee errors, and cyber attacks.

#3 Lower Costs

A managed service provider requires your company to pay a set fee each month, which makes it much easier to stay within budget and not worry about variable costs. You will also not have to continually purchase new hardware, as an IT provider will maintain these resources for your company without any additional fees. Cloud technology from an IT company also gives your business the flexibility to choose from a wide range of software programs without having to purchase expensive licenses. Employees will also be able to better focus on specific business projects, while an IT provider will handle any technical issues in the workplace.

A managed IT service company is an excellent investment for any company in today’s digital work environment. The business world is continually evolving, and an IT service provider will ensure that your company has access to state of the art technology. New cyber threats continue to emerge all of the time, and an IT service provider plays a key role in protecting your organization. Improving stability, enhancing security, and lowering costs are just a few of the many advantages of outsourcing your IT department.

Don’t expect a peaceful day on the water when it comes to Phishing. Ignoring the threat of phishing will leave you vulnerable to the terror and risk lurking in your very own email.

What is Phishing?

Even though phishing isn’t as fun as actual fishing, just as you get excited about catching a fish, a phisher gets excited by reeling in your valuable personal information (such as usernames, passwords and credit card information). Emails that seem to come from legitimate websites and trusted source like Amazon, eBay, or even what looks like your bank. The emails will most likely say you need to update your information due to it being out of date. Next, there will be a link they will provide for you to give your username and password in the email.  After you unknowingly make the horrible decision to click on the link, this is when they will start asking for phone numbers, full name, address, social security and even your credit card number. The sad thing is you may not even know how bad it is until it’s too late, due to how real the emails may seem and how you wouldn’t even think twice about updating your personal information. After you visit the malicious website, and trustingly put in your information, the phisher behind it all has the information to access your account.

Recognizing a Phishing email

Being able to recognize a phishing email is defiantly the first line of defense. The bad thing is a phisher does everything in their power to make you feel like the information your giving is going to a trusted source. The first step you should always do is to inspect the email address that sent you the email before even looking at the email content. At first glance, the phishing email may seem like it’s from a legitimate source but there a ways to see through it. For example, if you are being directed to eBay, then the last part of that domain should end in This means if you see that you are being redirected to you are going to a valid site but is a fake address. In addition, if a URL has an IP address rather than a domain name such as you should defiantly categorize that email as a scam.

How to avoid phishing

You should first and foremost always be aware and inspect any email you decide to click on. Things to look out for that are easy to spot are if your name is wrong or any misspellings, or if the graphics seem off to you. If you notice any of these, you should delete the email immediately without a second thought. Another thing to avoid being scammed is if you do get an email from what seems like a trusted source, like your bank, about updating your information you should go to that site directly not through any link. That way you can login to what you know is trustworthy and from there if there are any notifications that your information needs to be updated you can do it from there safely. Last but not least one of the most significant things to help avoid phishing scams is to continue the pursuit of educating for you and all other employees. You need to always stay alert and focus on your safety against phishing emails because they are continuously improving, so you need to be knowledgeable about what to look for. Yes, there are extra steps you can take such as third parties solution providers, and software to help filter out the dangerous emails, but you and other employees are the first line of defense against phishing.

Through the last couple of years cyber security has become a much more talked about topic. Many of the threats we face are happening more often, becoming more complicated, and evolving every day. Sadly data breaches, malware, hackers, and viruses won’t be disappearing any time soon.

As companies, businesses, and cybersecurity professionals fight against these attacks every day, its important you keep yourself up to date with what kind of threats you may have to deal with in order to protect yourself. Here are three Cyber security threats you may come across.

1. Ransomware

One of the bigger problems in the last couple of years is definitely Ransomware. As it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and may even grow as more of a threat, making it something to monitor closely.

But why is ransomware so popular to use?

The easy answer to that is that ransomware is easy money, and by easy money we are talking about thousands and thousands of dollars when it goes the way the cyber-criminal wants it to go. The bad thing for you is it’s not really hard to use ransomware properly, making it easy for those criminals to get your money.

Like the name applies the ransomware takes over your computer or network and holds it hostage for a ransom. Till the large amounts of money is paid the computer or network stays completely locked to you and you’ll be unable to do anything with it.

Should you really be that concerned with ransomware?

What has made the ransomware more popular is the increasing usage of Internet of Things devices or cryptocurrency. That means there are more devices that can be taken over, the transactions can’t be traced, and cryptocurrency can be used anonymously.

2. Phishing Attacks

Since the begging of the internet Phishing attacks has also been a big migraine for cybersecurity. It is used to steal someone’s password, usernames, or credit card information easily. In 2017 it was seen that there was an increase in phishing attacks on domestic and business users, and it didn’t show and signs of slowing down.

Phishing all starts with you answering an email that’s seems to come from a trusted source. For example a website you regularly use or even your own bank provider. So once you trustingly give them all your information they ask for it’s sent right to the malicious source. And from that point they can purchase things using the information you gave them.

No one who uses the internet is really safe from phishing and will see an attempt at least once, most commonly in the form of spam emails. So being cautious and vigilant is the best way to prevent this kind of attack.  

3. Computer Viruses and Worms

Computer viruses and worms have been around for so long and with how simple viruses and worms seem they are often underestimated on how destructive they can truly be. They are becoming more and more of an issue, often found in certain files like documents and spreadsheet waiting to be activated.

Once the file that holds the virus is open the machine will become infected. Worms will move throughout your computer and infect all your files by replicating. Viruses and worms can be the basic building blocks to a more serious threat making them a big problem.

One of the reason viruses and worms have become more dangerous is the way and reasons we use our computers. Identity theft and financial fraud often happens because they seek to steal financial and personal information. You should keep using updated antivirus solutions to continue to protect yourself.

The Overall Outlook for Cybersecurity Threats

Cyber-attacks aren’t going to slow down anytime and they may even increase in frequency. Also with more people than ever using the internet the cyber criminals have a large amount of possible victims to choose from. So now they will take any chance to make easy money at your expense.

These threats are not really changing, viruses, ransomware and phishing have always been common attacks on cyber security. The reason for the increasing growth in attacks is the fact that users of the internet are becoming more careless in their protection.

So don’t let yourself fall victim to this carelessness. You should stay alert, vigilante, knowledgeable of threats, and up to date on good antivirus software. And if that all seems over whelming that’s what we here at Elevated Technologies are here for.

It’s hard to make predictions for anything, especially for the constant changing world of cyber security. The increasing threats, rapidly evolving technologies for defense and offense, and cyber-attacks that are growing in terms of sophistication.

Sometimes with all the new changes it’s hard to keep up with trends. That’s why it’s always nice to have someone to keep up with the best form of security for you. To help you out here are five cybersecurity predictions to watch for in 2019.

1. All of Microsoft’s mainstream products will have Advanced Threat Protection

A service that allows anyone with an E5 license to see under the hood and review what an attacker did to a system is Windows 10 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). This service relies on telemetry that is enabled when the computer is linked to the APT service.

ATP standard with all Windows versions will help continue the efforts to build security-focused brand image. This will be one of their main selling point in 2019.

2. Multi-factor authentication will become the standard for all online transactions

Though it is not yet perfected, password-only access will soon be abandoned by most online services and websites for additional required or optional authentication methods. Multi-factor authentications may confuse and frustrate user for a little while.

Phishing and other cyber-attacks are made more possible by only using a password authentication. At this time there are many different kinds of two-factor authentications and until it becomes more stabilized it may be a little difficult to manage.

Those more stabilize standards are soon on their way due to the increasing push for the need of better cybersecurity.

3. Spear phishing becomes even more targeted

When it comes to phishing, attackers know the more information they have on you the more successful their phishing campaign against you will be. One creepy way that attackers are using is hacking into your email and lurking to gain information. Besides the information they get from lurking, they also use the relationships and trust built between you and the people you regularly communicate with.

A big area that might be more at stake is mortgage wire fraud, where home buyers are tricked into wiring closing fees to a rogue party by an email arriving from a trusted mortgage agent. First the hacker breaks into the mortgage lender’s computer and takes note of all the upcoming pending deals and their closing dates. Next, the day before the agent would normally send the email telling the client where to send the closing money, the phisher would then use the mortgage agent’s computer to beat them to the punch. Sadly this means the unsuspecting client wires the money, which most of the time isn’t recovered, and ends up losing the house.

4. Nations will make an effort to establish cyberwarfare rules

Most nations agree on a certain rules, such as no torture, no poison gasses, or no slaughtering of civilians. These rules are set in to place to protect you and the nations against wars that may happen if these rules were broken.

And yet with the increasing threat of cyberwarfare there are no rules are set in place. With no rules nations aren’t really worried about repercussions. Sony Pictures hacked by North Korea. Industrial critical control systems hacked by Russia and they tried to influence the elections of other nations. Intellectual property stolen by China. Malware used to destroy nuclear equipment by the U.S. and Israel.

Boundaries will continue to be pushed when it comes to cyberwarfare. The growing interest in cyberwarfare more and more resource will become available. These resources will be used to find new attack vectors and to improve the resilience and adaptability of their malware. This issue will continue to get worse if no restrictions are put into place. Leaving no other way to fix this problem, but for nations to come together and create rules for cyberwarfare. 

5. More organizations will require master’s degrees in cybersecurity for CSOs/CISOs

Training will continue to grow, and certificates for cyber security will not be enough to pursue further in a security professional’s career. Some of the security certifications don’t provide the right kind of education and training.

At prestigious universities such as UC Berkeley and NYU will start offering cybersecurity masters degrees, and more companies will be on the lookout for CSOs/CISOs with the cross-disciplinary skills gained from a masters degrees.

Cyber security is going to continue to be a large part of the business world, so make sure you’re keeping up with the constant changes.

The Internet is such a vital tool in everyday life for everyone, according to the US Department of Homeland Security. With having all that information out on the internet comes an increase in cyber-attacks that can affect people and companies on a global scale, including you. Based on a report produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers, there was a 38% increase in phishing security attacks year after year, in 2016. Each year the attackers and their techniques are evolving. Meaning more and more people and companies are being affected every day.

 Businesses should invest and improve their cyber security, but it can seem daunting to some people. Just in 2017 has had equally worrisome reports of serious cyber breaches that affect individuals and companies. Some more severe instances include a recent security breach to credit-reporting agency Equifax, a Gmail phishing campaign, US IRS data breach, and the British health system shutdown that affected administering medical attention to patients all over the UK.

With so many cyber-attacks and the growing concern for your security, what steps should you take to protect yourself or your company?

Don’t worry there are simple ways and steps you can take that will help protect you and defend off hackers!


Stay ahead and up to date on the techniques, the hackers are using. Receiving the proper training can help you to avoid cyber-attacks and identify early warning to these attacks. The extra knowledge can help you spot risk to prevent anything from happening. Overall improving your cyber security.

Always Think Before Clicking

Always trust your gut; your instincts are generally right. Most of the times, in these situations we can see that something is just not right, but we can’t seem to figure out what it is. When this happens trust your gut! If you can see something is off, open that email or don’t click on the link.

Consider the Source

Is this someone you know or, have received any emails from them in the past? Does whatever their offering sound too good or seems like a scam? Reading the complete email address or looking into the person can help you not fall for their tricks.

Safety security Back-Up Options

If there are extra security options available such as, setting the multi-factor authentication on accounts on, keeping a strong password using a password manager, and secure your data by backing it up. You can never be too safe when it comes to your information and security.

Are you in need of cyber training? Does your cyber security company not offer any train options? Because we do! We want to make sure you understand your cyber security and opportunities to protect yourself. We work hard, so you can relax using the internet.

Safeguarding company assets have become more and more critical over the years.  It seems like just a few years ago having a firewall, anti-virus software and partially aware employees were plenty to keep your company safe.  Today, this is no longer the case. Every company needs layered security.  Multiple layers of protection for a company is called defense in depth. This is the process of having more than technology in place.  Companies need a human, physical and logical protection mechanism in addition to security technology. 

 Communication channels in a company give employees ways to collaborate and communicate like never before.  This makes companies more productive and efficient.  These methods of communication or channels need constant security.  So much confidential, sensitive and proprietary information is stored in these channels.  If one were breached, it could be devastating to the company.

Defense in depth to help secure these channels can consist of many different methods.  Physical security is needed to restrict access to the office building or office suite. Each employee should only have physical access required to do his or her job.  Someone in accounting does not need access to the IT rooms, but IT would need access to all spaces as an example.  Doors should auto lock and employees are only are granted access based on the badge or code authentication.  Companies also need a no tailgating policy.  This will educate employees not to let other people follow them into a space without badging in themselves. 

Human security is accomplished by constant awareness training.  Employees need to be trained on the physical, human and software security measures.  Each employee needs to know the difference between a legit email, spam email and a phishing email.  They will also need to be trained on proper use of the computer systems, network, applications and email to name a few.  Social engineering is a hacking technique that is picking up much traction.  Employees need to be trained to be diligent on whom they come in contact with.  This style of hacking can be done over the phone, in person or via email.  This needs to be part of the onboarding training as a new hire and continuing education throughout their employment.  Most of these topics are covered in the company’s acceptable use policy. 

Software and application security help protect companies by providing logic security around authentication and access methods.  Most of the critical information today is stored in some type of application.  These applications need to be protected by the use of multiple forms of authentication, file and role-based permission and proper placement on the network. 

Hardware security protects company data by providing solutions such as encryption.  Hard drives can be encrypted at rest to prevent access to data if stolen.  Hardware and software encryption can be set up to protect data in transit if sensitive data is transferred by email, web or FTP.  Hardware appliance such as SIEM collectors can be implemented to monitor network traffic in real time for malicious activity. 

These types of defense tactics can be deployed together to protect communication channels.  Different communication channels provide distinct advantages and disadvantage per use for a company.  Each channel also needs its own security solution design to protect the information contained within the channel. 

Email is the most widely used communication channel.  It is also the one that is most exploited.   Most cyber-attacks today start with an email scam.  Protecting this channel is imperative.  A combination of encrypted email systems, DLP, spam filters and user awareness training need to be in place to secure a company’s email. 

Smartphones and texting are becoming more and more used in companies.  Companies are issuing phones to employees that will have access to company resources.  The companies also allow employees to text each other for business purposes.  Employees are also guilty of texting for personal reasons as well.  These phones are critical to protect since they are mobile and contain so much company information.   This is beneficial to a company because an employee can be more productive by having their email and apps on the go.  Employees do need to be aware of their device at all times.  A stolen smartphone can be an immediate breach for a company. User training in addition to security policies can protect the phones.  Most companies have a mobile device management (MDM) solution to manage the phones.  This gives the company the ability to remotely wipe all data from the phone to prevent theft of the information.  MDM also allows security policies to be enforced on the devices such as passwords on pin codes to open the phones. 

Social media is becoming more and more utilized by companies.  This communication channel is excellent for reaching clients or prospective clients.  You can market to these groups easily which allows for quicker growth of the company.  This is a great benefit to a company when they can reach their market in just a few clicks.  The downside is that social media is probably the most hacked platform in existence.  If a social media platform or only an employee’s account is hacked, it can hurt your customer base.  They could receive false messages from the employee’s account to hack their account.  This is the new age worm virus.  It could quickly ruin the reputation of a company if social media is misused.  If employees are allowed or required to have company social media accounts, they need to be trained on proper use of their account.  They need to be required to have strong passwords on these accounts and only post company related content.  Social media monitoring software also needs to be deployed to automate alerting if anything negative happens on the company’s account.

Defense in depth is required to provide proper security to companies today.  Company owners and executives need to be aware of what it takes to secure data and communication channels properly.   Most of the people in these positions still have the old way of thinking.  They believe that having a firewall and anti-virus software is enough, but it is not.  They need to be educated on defense in depth.  Also, they need to be educated on where their company’s data lives inside various communication channels.   Once these channels are identified, the right protection can be implemented by using the defense in depth method. 


Montesino, R., Fenz, S., & Baluja, W. (2012). SIEM-based framework for security controls automation. Information Management & Computer Security, 20(4), 248-263. doi:

Beckman, M. (2005, 09). Protect vulnerable employee data. ISeries News, , 49-52. Retrieved from