DIY Cybersecurity Solutions for Small Businesses

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DIY Cybersecurity Solutions for Small Businesses: The 8 Best Tips

Cyberattacks are increasing by the minute; not even small businesses are considered safe anymore. However, most hackers aren’t looking to steal money or valuables. Instead, they’re looking for information that can be used against the company for future attacks. Cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously regardless of your business size, especially in today’s world, where employees have access to your systems at home and in the office.

We are all about supporting businesses and want to help those in need, specifically those who either don’t have a cybersecurity partner or can’t afford one. If you want to try and maintain your cybersecurity on your own, here are eight DIY cybersecurity solutions for small businesses that may help keep your operations safe without spending much money or time on them.

 

Malwarebytes

There are two options available regarding this software: a free version and a paid version. The free version of this anti-malware tool will scan your system and remove the most common threats. The paid version of this tool includes a real-time scanner that detects malware before it can infect your computer.

CryptoPrevent

Many enterprises and individuals are turning to tools like CryptoPrevent to help protect themselves. CryptoPrevent is a tool that blocks ransomware before it can do real damage. It also has a self-defense mode that prevents the attack from spreading.

Macrium Reflect

It’s a powerful tool that allows you to create backups of your entire computer system. You can even schedule your backups regularly. It’s no wonder why this tool is a favorite among enterprises as a safe backup option.

Windows Defender

The Defender antivirus program is built into Windows and is one of the most powerful and reliable antivirus tools. It has several excellent features that protect your computer against viruses and malware and regularly scan for issues.

 

The-8-Best-Tips-DIY-Cybersecurity-Solutions-for-Small-Businesses-middleSpamHero

Protecting your computer from spam is critical to keeping your systems safe. Fortunately, there are many options available to do this. The most popular is SpamHero, an easy-to-use interface that prevents unwanted emails from being sent to your computer.

Duo 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)

This app provides an easy-to-use access 2FA solution and is perfect for ensuring your organization’s safety. Multi-factor authentication is the most recommended security practice by experts, and Duo 2FA makes it simple.

Snort

Snort is a powerful open-source Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) and Network Intrusion Prevention System (NIPS) that you can use on your computer and network to keep hackers out.

Squid

Squid ranks highly on the list of best free software to protect businesses from online threats like spyware, ransomware, and phishing.

 

Conclusion

We have to face the facts; no business nowadays is safe from the wrath of cybercriminals. Though these DIY solutions are helpful, they are only temporary. More advanced cybersecurity will be needed to protect your organization.

There are many ways to stay safe online but starting with awareness is essential.

You can check out our latest eBook, The Complete Guide to Ransomware Protection for SMBs, for more information on how to keep your business safe from ransomware attacks. Also, check out our Protected Harbor website, where we keep a regularly updated blog filled with cybersecurity advice. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any news or events!

If you’re interested in receiving a free cybersecurity assessment, fill out our form and take the next step to secure your business today.

5 Emergency Hard Drive Recovery Solutions

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5 Emergency Hard Drive Recovery Solutions

 

We’ve all used them, and we’ve all had problems with them. Of course, we’re referring to hard drives, which are just as crucial in our personal and professional life as the computers on which they run.

The most significant drawback of hard drives (both HDDs and SSDs) is their low reliability. According to Backblaze, cloud storage and data backup firm, the Annualized Hard Drive Failure Rate (AFR) for 2022 is expected to be approximately 1.45%, which indicates that more than one out of every 100 hard drives will fail over a year.

Hard drive failure can strike at any time and without warning. When it does, it can be devastating, mainly if the drive contains essential data that has not been backed up. Fortunately, several emergency hard drive recovery solutions can be used to salvage data from a failing drive. If you’re worried that your current cloud storage provider won’t be around if your data is lost, or you are concerned that your data may be at risk due to a natural disaster or another unforeseen event, then you’ve come to the right place.

 

What is a Hard Drive Recovery Solution?

A hard drive recovery solution is a process of retrieving data from a damaged or inaccessible hard drive. Data loss has many potential causes, including physical damage, logical damage, virus attacks, and software corruption. In most cases, data can be recovered using specialized software and techniques. Among the different recovery solutions available, the best one for you will depend on the damage to your hard drive and the amount of data you need to recover.

 

Emergency Hard Drive Recovery Solutions

Emergency hard drives recovery solutions are crucial when recovering data from a failed or damaged hard drive. Here are five of the most effective methods:

 

1. Disk Imaging

Hard drive failure can be devastating, especially if critical data is lost. To avoid further damage and preserve as much data as possible, disk imaging should be performed. Disk imaging involves creating an exact copy of the damaged hard drive. This copy can then be used for recovery purposes. Hard drive recovery solutions can be used to recover data from the image, or the image can be used to create a new hard drive. Either way, disk imaging is an essential step in hard drive recovery.

 

2. Data Carving

Data carving may be a successful solution even when other methods have failed. Data carving involves scanning the hard drive for known file types and extracting them. This method can be successful because it does not rely on the file system to locate the files. Instead, it looks for specific patterns that are known to be associated with certain file types. As a result, data carving can effectively recover lost files from a damaged hard drive. Hard drive recovery solutions can be complex, but data carving is a simple and effective method that anyone can use.

 

Emergency-Hard-Drive-Recovery-Solutions middle3. Firmware Updates

In some cases, updating the firmware on a hard drive can enable it to be recognized by the computer and allow data to be recovered. The manufacturer usually updates the firmware, but sometimes it can be done by the user. Firmware updates can be found on the manufacturer’s website or on a CD that comes with the hard drive.

Instructions on updating the firmware can also be found on the manufacturer’s website. In most cases, it is best to leave the firmware update to be done by the manufacturer. However, if the user feels comfortable doing it, they can follow the instructions with the update. Once the firmware has been updated, it is essential to run a test to ensure that the data can be recovered from the hard drive. If not, there may be something wrong with the hard drive, and a professional should be consulted.

 

4. Consult with a Specialist

While many do-it-yourself data recovery solutions are available, these are often ineffective and can even cause further damage to your hard drive. A data recovery specialist like Protected Harbor will have the tools and knowledge necessary to safely and effectively recover your lost data. In addition, they will be able to advise you on the best way to prevent data loss in the future. As such, consulting with a professional data recovery specialist is the best way to ensure that your lost data is recovered and that you are prepared for future data loss.

 

5. Reformatting

You may be considering reformatting as a last resort option. This process will erase all data on the drive, but it can sometimes enable the drive to be used again. Before reformatting, you should always back up any important files you don’t want to lose. Once you’ve backed up your data, reformatting is a relatively simple process. However, it’s important to note that reformatting will not fix any underlying problems with the hard drive.

If the drive fails due to physical damage, reformatting will not repair the damage. In some cases, reformatting can even make physical damage worse. As a result, reformatting should only be attempted if all other options have failed and you’re willing to accept the risk of losing all data on the hard drive.

 

Final Words

In the event of a hard drive crash, there are several solutions to consider to try and recover your data. While some solutions may be more successful, it is essential to try various methods to increase your chances of recovering as much data as possible. If you have experienced a hard drive failure, don’t panic – start by trying one or more of these emergency hard drive recovery solutions. In most cases, data can be recovered using specialized software and techniques.

However, in some cases, data may be permanently lost due to severe physical damage or corrupt file system structures. If you have lost essential data from your hard drive, it is crucial to seek professional help from reputable providers like Protected Harbor as soon as possible. Their qualified data recovery solutions will be able to assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action. In many cases, data can be successfully recovered even if the hard drive is severely damaged. A data backup and disaster recovery plan are also essential to prevent such situations from happening again. Our experts also suggest a regular restore functionality check.

If you are a business with a critical need for data continuity and considering buying a stand-alone device for data backup in an emergency, there is a better option. You can get an enterprise-grade external hard drive or a cloud solution from Protected Harbor and set it up as a data recovery vault. This way, you’ll have it ready to go in case of emergency, and you won’t have to worry about the possibility of data loss.

Want to know how our isolated backup and disaster recovery is one of the best in the industry? Contact our experts who are available to assist you 24×7, and you get a free IT audit as well.

GoodFirm.co Recognizes Protected Harbor as a Top Cloud Computing Company

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GoodFirms.co Recognizes Protected Harbor as a Top Cloud Computing Company

 

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Today, Protected Harbor was recognized by GoodFirms, a leading review platform for software and service providers, as one of the Top Cloud Computing Companies in the United States.

GoodFirms is a revolutionary research and review platform with a worldwide database of software service providers. To link service providers and their relevant customers, GoodFirms analyses the company on three crucial parameters: Quality, Reliability, and Ability. Customer reviews and published interview articles are also considered for the evaluation process.

Here is what GoodFirms’ Anna Stark had to say about Protected Harbor’s IT Support and Cloud Computing Solutions:

Started in 2009, Protected Harbor delivers technology stability and durability for organizations, resulting in flawless operations of desktops, data centers, and applications. The company implements a Technology Improvement Plan (TIP) that involves industry best practices to resolve issues. The TIP offers protection with the help of unique Application Outage Avoidance (AOA) technology and support from the Support Resolution Team.

Interestingly, Protected Harbor works with organizations to solve more complex problems and be more responsive. The company focuses on direct end-user support while assuring that the company’s back-end operations like web servers and computer networking run effortlessly.

The team strives hard to resolve issues before they become problems, enabling organizations not to be worried about the technology. The company aims to turn technology back into a benefit and not a cost center. The team finds long-term solutions that help clients focus on their business processes. The clients can have reliable, durable, and secure business technology solutions with Protected Harbor.

Indeed, the Protected Harbor guard businesses and their IT operations from attacks, whether known or unknown, that include Ransomware, Malware, Viruses, and Phishing. The customers can efficiently make their business IT strong and keep their business protected and safe from ransomware attacks, viruses, useless subscriptions, phishing attacks, and end-user problems with Protected Harbour.

 

Protected Harbor aims to ensure clients achieve optimal technological productivity. The company treats clients as partners and thoughtfully listens to the client’s business and technology issues, and delivers technology solutions tailored to the client’s business requirements.

Protected Harbor offers a wide range of secure colocation solutions for healthcare organizations to handle healthcare challenges. Team Protected Harbor enables clients to protect their desktop issues such as ransomware, malware, and virus protection. Clients have complete remote access and 24 hour, 365-day support.

The unified VoIP solution and VoIP software phone system, video conferencing, and mobile app are easy to use and effortlessly protect clients’ phones. Plus, the clients can have the power of desktop QuickBooks and the security and convenience of a remote desktop connection with Protected Books. The protected data center and hosting solution virtually eliminate crashes, failures, and outages.

This one-stop technology company offers solutions that involve software, hardware infrastructure, cloud migration, disaster recovery, security, and cloud back-up. The company offers customers remote cloud access, 99.99% uptime, proactive monitoring, and private cloud backup.

The team of experts enables clients to get value from the virtual office-hosted solutions and efficiently work with businesses of all sizes to carry out business operations faster. The clients can migrate their systems to the cloud to reduce and control IT costs, enhance security and disaster preparedness, minimize maintenance, and increase the workforce’s productivity.

Consequently, the excellent cloud computing services enable Protected Harbor to gain a prestigious position amongst the renowned cloud computing companies in the United States at GoodFirms.

Apart from the services mentioned above, Protected Harbor delivers specialized IT services for small and medium-sized businesses. The certified IT engineers focus on keeping clients’ businesses going. The team builds reliable IT infrastructure with a strategic approach that drives clients’ business growth.

 

About the Author

goodfirm authorWorking as a Content Writer at GoodFirms, Anna Stark bridges the gap between service seekers and service providers. Anna’s dominant role is to figure out company achievements and critical attributes and put them into words. She strongly believes in the charm of words and leverages new approaches that work, including new concepts that enhance the firm’s identity.

The Pitfalls of a Modern MSP

 

The Pitfalls of a Modern MSP

Modern managed services providers (MSPs) are not your typical IT solution provider. These organizations are agile, personable, and tech-savvy. Their services are built to meet business needs in the modern age of technology, but there’s more than what meets the eye. However, because they’re so advanced compared to other IT solution providers, they often have issues that typical MSPs don’t face. For example, the pitfalls of a modern MSP can be tricky to navigate. Any organization has its ups and downs, but these common pitfalls can hinder its growth if left unresolved. Watch the latest video in our series Uptime with Richard Luna to discover the pitfalls of a modern MSP and how you can avoid them.

 

Reselling Services

IT service providers of all kinds often choose to resell third-party services. However, reselling services can lead to issues in the future. These services can be challenging to forecast, and the risks can outweigh the benefits. For example, if you buy cloud services, you may not know the SLA of each provider, the availability of each type of service, or the performance of each provider. Because of this, you may not be able to guarantee a high level of service to your clients if they experience issues with their hosted applications or cloud storage.

 

Limited Experience

Most modern MSPs are generalists that provide a wide variety of services. They often offer a range of services, but they typically lack experience. Generals are like infantry. They are good at what they do, but they would do better as specialists who do one thing well. Generalists find it challenging to compete for new business in an industry where specialization leads to higher-quality services and more satisfied clients. By focusing on a specific set of products or services, an MSP can offer clients more value and reduce the time it takes to complete projects.

 

The Pitfalls of a Modern MSP middleLack of a Proactive Culture

Many modern MSPs are built around providing reactive support. They wait for clients to call with an issue before they start working on a solution. This is fine to an extent, but it creates an environment where problems are prioritized above proactive efforts to prevent issues from ever occurring. Similarly, some MSPs may ignore clients who don’t have a point. This leads to a lack of communication and a lack of relationship building. A proactive culture enables MSPs to build stronger relationships with clients and engage with them in ways that don’t solely focus on problems. Communication creates a more personable relationship between the MSP and its clients and allows the organization to provide better value to its customers by offering more than just reactive support.

 

Summing up

Modern MSPs like Protected Harbor are driven by data, which allows them to identify trends and take advantage of them. With the right tools, our team can gather meaningful information from client interactions and make data-driven decisions that will benefit your company. Continue to watch our video for knowledge and insights on MSPs and how to choose the right one for your business. Get a free IT Audit today, consult one of our experts and discover why we aren’t just your typical MSP.

Everything You Need to Know About API Security in 2022

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Everything You Need to Know About API Security in 2022

 

The demand for Application Programming Interface (API) solutions continues to increase as enterprises adopt to digital transformation initiatives. APIs are a critical component of any software architecture, making them an essential and accessible feature in modern software development. We’ve already seen how the adoption of APIs can simplify the integration and communication between applications and systems. But, with this growing prominence comes increased risks—especially when it comes to security.

There are various security threats associated with APIs, including data tampering, data leakage, and reverse API endpoint access. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about API security in 2022.

 

What is API Security?

Any best practice security that is applied to online Application Programming Interface’s (APIs), which are widely used in modern applications, is known as API security. Web API security covers API privacy and access control, as well as the detection and rectification of API attacks using reverse engineering and the use of API vulnerabilities as outlined within the OWASP API Security Top 10.

The client-side of an application (such as a mobile app or web app) communicates with the server-side of an application through an API, regardless of whether it is aimed at customers, staff, partners, or anyone else. Simply put, APIs make it simple for developers to create client-side applications. Furthermore, APIs enable microservice architectures.

APIs are often well documented or simple to reverse-engineer because they are frequently made available over public networks (accessible from anywhere). APIs are very vulnerable to Denial of Service (DDOS), making them desirable targets for criminals.

An attack can involve avoiding the client-side application in an effort to interfere with another user’s use of the application or to access confidential data. The goal of API security is to protect this application layer and to deal with any consequences of a bad hacker interacting directly with the API.

 

Why API Security Must Be a Top Priority?

The past few years have seen a rapid rise in API development, driven by the digital transformation and the crucial role that APIs play in both mobile apps and the Internet of Things (IoT). Due to this expansion, API security has become a major worry.

Gartner estimates that, “by 2022, API misuse will be the most-frequent attack vector resulting in data breaches for enterprise online applications,” based on their research for how to build an effective API security strategy. Gartner advises using, “a continuous approach to API security across the API development and delivery cycle, incorporating security [directly] into APIs,” in order to defend oneself against API attacks.

APIs require a focused approach to security and compliance because of the crucial role they play in digital transformation and the access to sensitive data and systems they offer.

 

What Does API Security Entail?

Since you are responsible for your own APIs, the focus of API security is to protect the APIs that you expose, either directly or indirectly. API security is less concerned with the APIs you use that are offered by other parties, but it is still a good idea to analyze outgoing API traffic whenever you can as it might provide useful insights.

It’s also crucial to remember that the practice of API security involves several teams and systems. API security tends to include identity-based security, monitoring/analytics, data security, and network security concepts like rate limitation and throttling.

Access Control Rate Limiting
OAuth authorization/resource server Rate Limits, quotas
Access rules definition and enforcement Spike protection
Consent management and enforcement

 

Content Validation Monitoring & Analytics
Input/output content validation AI-based anomaly detection
Schema, pattern rules API call sequence checks
Signature-based threat detection Decoys
Geo-fencing and geo-velocity checks

 

API Security for SOAP, REST and GraphQL

APIs are available in a multitude of form factors. An API’s design can occasionally have an impact on how security is applied to it. For instance, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) Web Services (WS) was the prevalent form prior to the advent of web APIs . XML was widely used during the WS era of service-oriented architecture, which ran from 2000 to 2010, and a large range of formal security specifications were widely accepted under WS-Security/WS-*.

Digital signatures and sections of the XML message that are encrypted are used to implement the SOAP style of security at the message level. With its separation from the transport layer, it benefits from being portable across network protocols (e.g., switching from HTTP to JMS). However, this kind of message-level security is no longer widely used and is largely only found in legacy web services that have endured without changing.

Over the past ten years, Representational State Transfer (REST) has become the more common API security method. When the term, web API is used, REST is frequently taken for granted by default. Resources are identified by HTTP URIs in a way that is crucial to REST-style APIs. The predictable nature of REST APIs led to the development of access control approaches in which the URI (Resource Identification) being accessed, or at the very least its pattern, is linked to the rules that must be followed.

A combination of HTTP verb (GET/PUT/POST/DELETE) and HTTP URI patterns are frequently used to construct access control rules. Rules can be enforced without insight into and, more critically, without the capacity to comprehend the payload into these API transactions by determining which data is being accessed through the URI. This has proven useful, especially for middleware security solutions that implement access control rules independently of the web API implementations themselves by sitting in front of them (such as gateways) or serving as agents (e.g., service filters).

GraphQL is a developing open-source API standard project and yet another form of API style. Front-end developers enjoy GraphQL because it gives them the power to tailor their searches on what best suits their apps and context because they are no longer limited to a specific range of API methods and URI patterns. GraphQL is on its way to dominating web APIs because of this increased control and other advantages like non-breaking version updates and performance improvements.

Although both REST and GraphQL API formats will continue to coexist, GraphQL is becoming a more popular option. In fact, the infrastructure for web API access control is in danger of being disrupted due to its popularity. The key difference between GraphQL requests and the widely used REST pattern is that GraphQL requests do not specify the data being retrieved via the HTTP URI. Instead, GraphQL uses its own query language, which is often included in an HTTP POST body, to identify the data requested.

All resources in a GraphQL API can be accessed using a single URI, such as /graphql. Infrastructure and access control mechanisms for web APIs are frequently not built for this kind of API traffic. It is increasingly likely that the access control rules for GraphQL will need to access the structured data in the API payloads and be able to interpret this structured data for access control. It should go without saying that API providers must decide which strategy would work best for each new set of needs.

 

API Security for Cloud, On-premises, and Hybrid Deployments

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API providers can now secure APIs in a variety of ways thanks to the technological advancements of cloud services, API gateways, and integration platforms. Your choice of technology stack will have an impact on how secure your APIs are. For instance, many divisions within big businesses might create their own applications using unique APIs. Large firms also wind up with several API stacks or API silos as a result of mergers and acquisitions.

When all of your APIs are housed in a single silo, the technology used in that silo may be directly matched to the API security needs. These security configurations ought to be portable enough to be retrieved and mapped to different technology in the future for portability’s sake.

However, for diverse settings, API security-specific infrastructure that works across these API silos is often advantageous when establishing API security policies. Sidecars, sideband agents, and of course, APIs that are integrated across cloud and on-premises installations can all be used for this interaction between API silos and API security infrastructure.

 

Layers of API Security

The scope of API security is broad, as was previously described. To provide a high level of protection, there must be many levels, each focusing on a different aspect of API security.

 

API Discovery

What you don’t know about, you can’t secure. There are numerous barriers that restrict security personnel from having complete access to all APIs made available by their company. You have API silos first, which were covered in the section before. API silos reduce API visibility by having separate governance and incomplete lists of APIs.

The rogue or shadow API represents another barrier to API visibility. Shadow APIs occur when an API is created as a component of an application, but the API is only understood by a small set of developers and is regarded as an implementation detail. Security personnel is usually unaware of shadow APIs because they cannot see the implementation specifics.

Finally, APIs have a lifecycle of their own. An API changes with time, new versions appear, or an API may even be deprecated but still function for a short time for backward compatibility. After that, the API is forgotten about or eventually fades from view since it receives so little traffic.

API providers and hackers are competing to find new APIs since they can quickly exploit them. You can mine the metadata of your API traffic to find your APIs before attackers do. This information is gathered via API gateways, load balancers, or directly from network traffic and fed into a customized engine that generates a list of useful APIs that can be compared to API catalogs that are accessible through an API management layer.

 

OAuth and API Access Control

The user—and maybe the application that represents the user—must be identified to limit API resources to only the users who should be permitted access to them. This is often done by mandating that client-side applications include a token in their API calls to the service so that the service may validate the token and retrieve the user information from it. The OAuth standard outlines how a client-side application first acquires an access token. To support diverse processes and user experiences, OAuth specifies a wide range of grant types. These numerous OAuth processes are thoroughly described in this developer guide for additional information on OAuth 2.

It is possible to apply access control rules based on an incoming token. For instance, a rule can be used to decide if the user or application should be permitted to make this specific API call.

A policy enforcement layer must be able to apply these rules at runtime. The rules are defined and managed using policy definition tools. These guidelines consider the following qualities:

  • The user’s identity and any associated attributes or claims
  • The OAuth scopes for the application and the token’s associated application
  • The information being accessed, or the query being made
  • The user’s preferences for privacy

Processes and integration are needed in a heterogeneous environment to regulate access consistently across API silos.

 

API Data Governance and Privacy Enforcement

Data travels through APIs, therefore leaks can occur. Because of this, API security also must look at the structured data entering and leaving your APIs and impose specific rules at the data layer.

The enforcement of data security by examining API traffic is particularly well suited for this purpose since data is arranged in your API traffic in a predictable fashion. API data governance enables you to instantly redact data that is structured into your API traffic in addition to [yes/no] type rules. The practice of redacting particular fields that might include data that a user’s privacy settings specify should be kept secret from the requesting application is a typical illustration of this pattern. Since GraphQL does not identify resource IDs via URIs, applying data-level access control enables you to support it.

There are several advantages to separating privacy preference management and enforcement from GraphQL service development. Software created in-house has a high total cost of ownership and might be slow to change. Rarely do the interests of the Node.js developer and the person in charge of enforcing privacy laws overlap. However, giving business analysts and security architects their own tool to create this level of access control speeds up the digital transition. Additionally, by making GraphQL services and REST APIs more adaptable to changes in fine-grain data governance, this decoupling future-proofs the investment in both.

 

API Security to Be Continued

As we’ve explored, APIs are a critical pathway for data and functionality. With this growing importance, we’ve also seen the growing risk of security threats. Security, therefore, needs to be a top priority. We’ve now explored the different areas of API security, but what are the threats that API security is designed to mitigate?

We’ll be discussing this within part two of this article.

Why IT Experience Matters:  

Why IT Experience Matters

Today’s market has become highly cut-throat for small and medium businesses. Keeping up with the furious pace of change and staying ahead is a huge challenge for these organizations. Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor touches on this topic while he discusses the importance of Why IT Experience Matters. You can also find topics like this and more within his video series Uptime With Richard Luna which is posted every Thursday.

To succeed in this digital world, SMBs (Small & Midsized Businesses) need to partner with an IT Service Provider or MSP (Managed Service Provider) to help them manage their technology while also handling all of their day-to-day operational tasks. An IT Service Provider usually comes with several benefits such as cost savings, scalability, and efficiency from an outsourced IT department.

If you’re considering partnering with an MSP or are already working with one, you should know why IT experience matters most when it comes time to choose one. Below we will explain the importance of experience and what you should for when vetting your options.

 

The Importance of Experience

Experience is a crucial factor in determining a provider’s quality of service.

First, it helps you to gauge their level of proficiency. Second, previous experience, especially in dealing with various types of businesses and clients, offers insight into how an IT Service Provider or MSP will approach your partnership. Experience is the key to ensuring that your computers and other IT infrastructure function optimally and are protected from cyber threats.

With experience, MSPs know what works best for different businesses and can help you in selecting the right technology for your particular needs. However, it is also essential to keep in mind that MSPs are not infallible. No one can promise 100% uptime, nor can they guarantee that their clients will not experience any outages or service interruptions because they vary from one MSP to the next. In short, nothing is guaranteed. Even though your MSP can help you avoid many problems, plenty can still occur.

 

The First Rule of IT: Panic

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Panic is the first act when an emergency occurs. This can affect your own staff, and IT staff may not be available at the time. Luckily, MSPs are prepared for any crisis. Most MSPs work with a standard response time of 30 minutes, which applies to a wide range of issues while some promise a faster 15-minute response time. When an MSP works with you, it is essential to understand their response time and the steps they take to resolve an issue. This can be crucial in determining the quality of service that clients receive.

When an emergency occurs, the first question that arises is what’s happening. The most typical answers we get are we just lost a cluster node (a part of the data center) or the main firewall blew up, knocking out thousands of customers.

In this situation, Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor, recommends focusing on what’s working. In a crisis, this is the best thing to do; it will tell you what you can move to, what infrastructure can be used and what’s functional at this point.

 

Emergencies Occur, and They Can be Resolved

Experienced MSPs or IT Service Providers are successful if they have prepared for everything. They understand that emergencies can occur at any time and must be able to respond. Whether it’s a power surge, a flood in the building, a fire, or an earthquake, all of these disasters can cause severe damage to your IT infrastructure, which can impact your staff, your customers, and your business as a whole. All of these issues can be resolved, though, especially if you have an experienced and trustworthy MSP ready to respond.

 

Hiring an MSP is Not Always the Best Solution

When you’re in a hurry to get a new IT infrastructure, you may be tempted to hire an MSP on an “as needed” basis but you may end up paying more for the work performed and not getting everything you actually need in the long run. If you receive services from a third party, you don’t have much say in the configuration of your IT system. You cannot change your hardware or software whenever you need to also, you may not have access to all the necessary backups and other information you need for your business continuity plan. If you work with an MSP on an “as needed” basis, you do not have any guarantee that you will receive the same team in case of a problem or an emergency.

 

The Optimal Solution: Experienced People With A Plan

When working with an MSP, you should look for experienced people with a plan. The team should also have a proven track record of success when working with other clients in your industry. In short, you should look for MSPs with a proven track record. When you work with an MSP, you should be able to trust their team altogether while they should also be able to adapt to any changes and know how to solve problems as they arise. You should be able to work with an MSP without worrying about the issues that your IT infrastructure may face.

“The optimal solution in this situation is a blend.” Richard explains that in order to get the best, you will need to have the best of the minds, experienced people who have been through crises before and understand the long view of the technology, intermixed with fresh minds or a brand new staff will give a terrific blend of a solid, communicative, collaborative team.

This is an approach that we use internally at Protected Harbor.

 

Summing up

How you handle your business’s IT infrastructure can make or break your organization.

The best way to ensure that you have a strong IT foundation is to partner with an experienced MSP. When you choose an MSP with experience, you can be sure that your IT systems will run smoothly and efficiently. You can expect your systems to be managed appropriately, and they can also help you to use resources in your systems more efficiently. With an MSP, you can rest assured that your IT team will be ready to respond when an emergency occurs.

While most IT service providers or MSPs offer a one-size-fits-all approach, Protected Harbor has been set apart from the competition by its focus on providing an individually tailored experience to its clients. Whether it’s an enterprise company or a mid-sized business, you can expect to be treated as an individual.

If you’re looking for managed IT services for your company, you deserve more than a cookie-cutter solution. You deserve a trusted advisor who understands your business and technology challenges and works with you to create a solution that meets your unique needs.

Protected Harbor is not your typical MSP. We have the experience and focus on solving issues for our clients, not selling service plans. We work with you to build a relationship based on trust and transparency. We have a 95% client retention rate and an average of 15 minute ticket response times. Don’t just take our word for it; check our testimonials.

Contact us today to get a free IT Audit and experience for yourself why IT experience matters.

Lawyers Getting Hacked:

Lawyers Getting Hacked

 

Lawyers Getting Hacked:

Most Popular Cyberattacks on Law Firms

From the time of their first email to the last signed document, law firms are under constant surveillance from cyber criminals. From phishing scams to ransomware and malicious websites, hackers know exactly where to strike to cause the most chaos. Rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon event, lawyers getting hacked is a commonplace occurrence for many firms. It’s almost as if there’s some hidden, “Get Hacked” switch that nearly all law firms have within them.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “that won’t be me,” you’re wrong. It just hasn’t been you, yet.

We are excited to announce our e-book on Top Law Firm Hacks Throughout History, available to download for free. This e-book will cover some of the most popular law firm hacks throughout history including some you may not have heard of prior.  We will also be providing some advice for avoiding common law firm pitfalls.

Below is a short glimpse into topics you can expect from our e-book.

 

Why are Law Firms an Attractive Target?

Due to the nature of their industry, law firms are becoming a more attractive target. Law firms and in-house legal teams gather a ton of sensitive information, an example such as tax returns can arise during their corporate legal and M&A (mergers & acquisitions) work, litigation, and other legal services. Businesses may suffer reputational and financial damages if they were to ever suffer a breach, especially if their data is compromised. According to a recent analysis from the security company CrowdStrike, average ransomware payouts are above $1 million.

Unfortunately, legal companies are usually more vulnerable compared to other business types. In a report published in May 2020 by the security company BlueVoyant, it was discovered that all law companies were the prime target of focused threat activity, and 15% of a global sample that included thousands of law firms had networks that were already infiltrated.

According to research released in October by the American Bar Association, it was discovered that 36% of legal firms had previously experienced malware infections within their systems and that 29% of law firms had reported a security breach, with more than 1 in 5 admitting they weren’t sure if one had ever occurred.

Robust security measures not being used could be a part of the problem.

Only 43% of respondents utilize file encryption, less than 40% use email encryption, two-factor authentication, and intrusion prevention, and less than 30% use full disk encryption and intrusion detection, according to the 2020 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report.

 

Lawyers Getting Hacked middleLaw Firms as Critical Infrastructure

According to BlueVoyant’s report, the legal sector needs to be included on the list of 16 critical infrastructure sectors maintained by the U.S. government since it relies on networks and data that, if compromised, would jeopardize economic security or public safety. An analysis of cyber threats and vulnerabilities and information sharing with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies would benefit law firms that handle and store government secrets.

However, legal firms may be hesitant to provide information about attacks out of concern that they would lose control of their sensitive data. Government agencies may begin to view law firms as an attack vector that requires protection as these attacks on the sector become more frequent, and information of relevance to other countries is compromised.

Considering ransomware attacks, there are a lot of factors that every firm should take into account. Along with employee training on appropriate security practices, cybersecurity steps like enabling two-factor authentication, backing up data, keeping software patched, and maintaining software updates are essential. In the case of a ransomware attack, businesses should have a plan in place that specifies what they will do, who will negotiate the ransom, and if they would pay it. Additionally, it’s beneficial for businesses to hold their data in secure cloud repositories, and it’s essential to thoroughly assess providers who keep the data.

 

The Most Notable Law Firm Cyber Attacks

We’ve produced a list of the most significant cyber-attacks and cyber-threats targeting law firms to highlight the escalating danger and consequences.

  • Mossack Fonsesca & The Panama Papers
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Oleras Phishing Campaign Against Law Firms
  • UPMC Patients
  • Moses Afonso Ryan Ltd.

Download our free e-book to read in detail about the top cyber-attacks on law firms.

 

Conclusion

Cybercriminals want access to a company’s data and intellectual property. Many of the most severe attacks directly involve the theft of private information to assist insider trading schemes or to commit theft and extortion of client information from legal firms.

Law firms are tempting targets for hackers. More often than not, law firms don’t take the necessary precautions to protect their data making them an easy target for malicious attacks. Law firms must do everything they can to protect their data starting with reviewing and updating their cybersecurity strategy. This includes everything from the hardware to the software they use within their network. Once they’ve identified the areas that are in need of improvement, they can implement new cybersecurity solutions to keep their data secure.

Download our free e-book today and learn about the risks as well as the most notable hacks in history! This e-book was created by a dedicated team of security experts with extensive experience working within the legal sector to provide some insight and tips to keep your company safe from cyber criminals.

Don’t forget to keep in touch with our blogs for more information and tips on law firms and cybersecurity.

The Biggest Data Risks and Cybersecurity Trends for Law Firms

Lawyers Getting Hacked – Most Popular Cyberattacks on Law Firms

The Biggest Data Risks and Cybersecurity Trends for Law Firms

 

In the digital age, law firms are operating within a high-risk environment. The number of cyber-attacks continues to rise, as do the associated costs. Recent studies suggest that, on average, small and medium-sized businesses spend more than $200 million annually on cyber security breaches.

These statistics show just how important it is for companies of all sizes to take cybersecurity seriously as well as highlight the risks involved in working with sensitive data. After all, no company wants their clients’ personal information to fall into the wrong hands.

We are excited to launch our 2022 Law Firm Data Breach Trend Report white paper. This report will be a compilation of data analysis from hundreds of law firms across the globe, as well as interviews with more than 100 partners and senior-level executives from the largest law firms in the US. We have learned a lot from these conversations and are excited to share our findings with you.

Download the white paper for free today!

Protecting Client Data:

The Biggest Challenge for Law Firms

Protecting client data is a top concern for law firms of all sizes. While most firms are diligent in protecting sensitive data and complying with local, state, and federal regulations, some are not.

After being asked to identify their most significant challenges when it comes to safeguarding client data, 58% of law firms cited, “managing the sheer volume of data,” and, “ensuring data is secure,” as their primary concern. These findings make sense if we consider that, on average, law firms store more than 5,000 gigabytes of data. The large volumes of data makes it difficult for law firms to constantly comply with the most up-to-date security protocols.

 

Top Threats

Your client’s data is constantly in danger from simple breaches, such as those resulting from a stolen laptop to even more extensive hacking schemes.

Here are a few actions you’re probably doing now that can endanger your clients most sensitive information.

  • Lawyers Getting Hacked – Most Popular Cyberattacks on Law Firms small

    Skipping Assessments – To help prevent a data breach, an annual inventory should be taken to understand what devices and data you have, where they are located, and who has access to them. It’s also essential to conduct a security and risk assessment. How vulnerable is your information? What would the ramifications be if it was stolen?

  • Understaffed and Underfunded IT Departments – A majority of IT departments are usually very understaffed and overburdened with day-to-day work. This leaves little time for them to improve their security infrastructure, as they always react rather than improve.
  • Lack of Employee Security Training – Analysts claim that non-malicious attacks are the most common security breach that law organizations face. Unfortunately, many legal companies have failed to adequately train their employees on IT security basics.
  • Cloud Migration & Apps – Your business needs to make sure it has a good strategy when it comes time to migrate, including fundamentals like access control and governance, API integrations, and continuous monitoring.

 

Recent Law Firm Breaches

New York City’s Law Department (July 2021)

Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks (May 2020)

Vierra Magen Marcus (May 2020)

Mossack Fonseca (April 2016)

 

Top Cybersecurity Trends for 2022

Use Password Authenticator – Password authentication is a method in which a user enters a unique ID and key compared to previously stored credentials. It is one of the quickest forms of security; you can set up your device to require some identification before letting someone access it. This can be done using a passcode, PIN, password, fingerprint, or a 2-factor authentication (2FA).

Use Effective EDR – Using effective EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) tools can help you improve the security of your network by aggregating data on endpoints, including process execution, endpoint communication, and user logins.

Move to a Virtual Server – Moving to a virtual server is essential as it has many benefits that address the security concerns law firms face. These benefits include getting the ability to prioritize critical traffic and improving network agility while reducing the burden from the IT department.

Isolated Backups – A remote or isolated backup is stored separately from other backups and is inaccessible from the end-user layer. Creating a remote backup helps to reduce security breaches, especially ransomware attacks.

Know Your Network Map – Understanding the network map is critical to complying with data privacy regulations as it provides an overview of devices and data on your network. This overview is crucial in identifying and minimizing the attack surface of a system. It will also uncover devices that IT staff may not know are there—for instance, an old, decommissioned server.

Timely Software Updates – It sounds simple, but vulnerabilities caused by outdated software are a significant problem. Keeping all the software up to date is essential for better performance. It also helps discourage potential cybercriminals who like to take advantage of previously-found weaknesses in software.

Data Encryption – In 2022, law firms must use encryption methods for systems, data in the cloud, data at rest, and data in transit to protect their files. Hard drives, USB devices, and phones should also use encryption if they are holding sensitive data

To read the cybersecurity trends for 2022 in detail, download our free white paper today.

Conclusion

By 2023, 80% of law firms will have experienced a data breach, according to research from LexisNexis. Given the rising number of cyber-attacks law firms face, it is necessary to take cybersecurity seriously. Law firms can better protect their sensitive data against these cyber threats by investing in the latest security technologies.

Protecting sensitive client data is essential for all law firms.

Stay on top of the latest trends and best practices for data security by downloading our white paper today! We highlight what law firms should be doing to protect their data and prevent a breach from ever happening. We also have other resources on preventing a law firm data breach, which you can access for free from our digital library.

Keep in touch for more tips on how to keep your company safe from cyber criminals.

These Cloud Vulnerabilities Will Cause Your Next Data Breach

Cloud Vulnerabilities

These Cloud Vulnerabilities Will Cause Your Next Data Breach

 

Cyber security is a constant race between businesses and hackers in the digital world. Every new technology has potential risks that must be understood and addressed before implementation. New threats are emerging all the time and cloud computing is no different. Many types of cloud services are being used by businesses more than ever before.

In fact, according to Gartner, private cloud services will continue to grow faster than public cloud services in the next few years. However, some types of clouds are riskier than others regarding cyber security. Several vulnerabilities can expose your company’s data when using any cloud service or Software as a Service (SaaS) application.

This article lists common vulnerabilities you should know about prior to using any cloud-based system or software.

 

Public Exposure

The oldest blunder in the book is setting up a new cloud resource but leaving it entirely insecure and publicly visible. Your unprotected public assets are almost certainly going to be found because hackers today frequently use automated tools to scan target networks for any exposed assets.

By 2022, nearly 50% of businesses would unknowingly or accidentally have some IaaS storage devices, networks, apps, or APIs directly exposed to the public internet. This number is up from 25% in 2018,

 

Excessive Permissions

Fast company operations are one of the main advantages of switching to the cloud. However, access credentials are routinely distributed hurriedly and needlessly in the interest of expediency, resulting in many individuals having excessive permissions for which they have no business need for. The issue is that if any of those credentials end up in the wrong hands, attackers would then have unrestricted access to private information.

By 2023 (up from 50% in 2020) 25% of security breaches will be due to improper handling of login credentials, identities, and privileges, predicts Gartner.

 

Cloud Vulnerabilities middleLack of Multi-factor Authentication for Privileged Users

One of the most typical cloud vulnerabilities is the absence of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for users assigned to privileged administrative positions in control. Access for privileged users must be as secure and feasible in any cloud environment. A company may suffer severe repercussions if a fundamental security measure like MFA is not enabled.

It is straightforward for malicious actors to exploit privileged accounts without MFA being enabled. These accounts are vulnerable to brute force assaults due to the lack of MFA. Hackers can use these accounts to entirely disrupt an organization’s operations and steal its data because they often have high administrator permissions.

 

Insecure APIs

APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are frequently used to simplify cloud computing. APIs make it very simple to share data between other apps, improving convenience and efficiency. However, if they are not secured, this can lead to multiple cloud vulnerabilities and become an easy entry point for malicious attackers.

Threat actors can launch DDoS assaults and obtain access to sensitive company data by taking advantage of unsecured APIs while remaining unnoticed. In fact, by 2022, API abuses are anticipated to overtake other attack methods as the most popular, according to Gartner data.

 

Final Thoughts

If companies using the cloud do not consider limiting the dangers that go along with it, they are taking a preventable yet significant risk. The IT processes that teams use to develop and deploy applications in the cloud infrastructure must be well integrated into a company’s strict cloud security rules.

The use of cloud computing has changed how businesses and hackers operate. Both new opportunities and threats related to cloud security have been introduced. Enterprises must continuously address the dangers and difficulties associated with cloud security while implementing the appropriate security technologies to facilitate operational work.

It’s essential to understand the potential vulnerabilities so that you can mitigate them. Suppose you have any concerns about your current cloud environment. In that case, you can consult with a cloud consulting company like Protected Harbor to help you assess the risks and implement practices to avoid data breaches. Protected Harbor’s cloud security solution integrates the latest security technologies with your cloud infrastructure. Businesses can take advantage of cloud computing’s capabilities with the right technology and the help of cloud security specialists.

We have researched and created an e-book for companies looking to migrate to the cloud. This e-book helps them to understand better the benefits as well as the risks that come with cloud migration so that they can plan. Get your free copy of the e-book today!

Keeping Your SaaS Secure:

Keeping Your SaaS Secure main

Keeping Your SaaS Secure:

 

6 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare

Security is one of the top concerns among Security as a Service (SaaS) customers. It’s a problem that many SaaS vendors struggle with, and for a good reason.

As more businesses move their processes to the cloud, hackers see this as an opportunity to exploit security vulnerabilities and steal sensitive data. For this reason, keeping your SaaS secure is no longer just about staying compliant with regulations like the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). It’s now about protecting your customers and your business from cyber-attacks. With so much on the line, it’s important now more than ever to take the steps needed to protect your SaaS from potential threats in the future.

How secure is your SaaS? How prepared are you for a cybersecurity attack? You can find out with our free whitepaper! Inside, you’ll learn all about the major cyber threats of 2022, such as the evolution of ransomware, the rise of cloud apps, and more. You’ll also find out the biggest challenges facing today’s SaaS businesses and how to overcome these issues. Finally, you’ll get actionable insights and tips you can use today to keep your SaaS secure.

This blog post in particular will outline the six simple ways to keep your SaaS secure while reducing operational risks and liability.

 

So, what exactly is SaaS Security?

When we talk about SaaS security, we’re referring to the various ways you can protect your software against threats. This can include software and hardware solutions that help prevent and identify cyber-attacks. When it comes to SaaS security, there are three main components you need to think about: data, infrastructure, and people.

Data security refers to the privacy and security controls that prevent unauthorized parties from accessing sensitive data. Infrastructure security refers to the resilience of the hardware and networks that power your SaaS. People security refers to the policies and procedures that prevent employees from unintentionally introducing vulnerabilities into your software. Essentially, SaaS security is all about keeping your customers’ data safe and your own.

 

6 SaaS Security Best Practices

Whether you’re testing a new tool or releasing a new feature, it’s crucial to consider your SaaS security. To maintain the security and privacy of your data, keep the following best practices in mind.

1. Encrypt your Data

Your technological stack’s top priority should be encryption at all layers. In the event of a breach, effective encryption makes sure that consumer data isn’t quickly publicly disclosed.

Customers’ concerns about their data protection are growing as high-profile leaks like the Cambridge Analytica incident occur more frequently. By discussing your encryption policies, reassure your clients that your solution always protects their sensitive billing information.

Use one of the many popular encryption techniques to ensure that the information you rely on isn’t kept in plain text.

2. Give Priority to Privacy

Most compliance and regulatory processes demand privacy and security declarations, but that isn’t their only use. It teaches your team and customers how to handle important data by developing a strong statement for your product.

Develop your privacy policy by defining the specific details that need to be included in it with the help of your development and legal teams.

3. Educate Your Clients

By 2020, 95% of cloud security problems will be the clients’ fault, predicts a Gartner study. Make sure you actively reach out to individuals whenever you are onboarding new clients or send critical updates to existing ones to explain how this may affect their security.

Most customers are unaware of the implications of this shift toward a totally cloud-based architecture, which is being made by an increasing number of SaaS providers. Ensure your consumers understand how to protect their information to reduce security concerns and limit risks.

Keeping Your SaaS Secure middle4. Backup User Data in Several Locations and Isolated Backups

Effective client data management is crucial because many firms aren’t prepared for impending data breaches. By creating multiple copies of your data, you can assure that no one system failure will compromise your security.

Many cloud platforms on which SaaS businesses rely on as a part of their product will offer this functionality. Still, you must be vigilant about backups to prevent potentially catastrophic losses of customer data.

5. Use More Robust Passwords

Many people still use the same password for each login, even though they know the risks involved. By requesting stronger passwords from users when they create accounts, you can stop them from exposing your data to possible cyber criminals. Consider establishing case-sensitivity rules and authentication mechanisms.

An emphasis on security will only become more crucial as the subscription economy develops. As your business expands, always re-evaluate your present procedures to ensure that you are maintaining compliance.

6. Speak With a Cyber-security Company

Third-party security organizations can provide essential industry knowledge about what you need to do to keep your platform secure. Their testing procedures ensure that your infrastructure, network, and software are always safe. These third-party suppliers can assist you in developing plans for if and when a breach occurs while you are building your product.

 

Conclusion

Making sure the user data in your SaaS product is secure requires more than a one-time effort; it must become integrated into your company’s culture. The first step is to select the best SaaS cloud security solution for you. Implementing new security measures is the second phase, an ongoing activity you must regularly perform to keep up with the always-changing threat landscape.

Download our white paper, “Cybersecurity Risks of 3rd Party Cloud-Apps in 2022” to understand the SaaS and cloud cyber-threat landscape in 2022 and how you can mitigate those risks. Also, keep reading our blogs for more information on cybersecurity.