Reducing the Cost of a Data Breach: A Comprehensive Guide for Small Businesses

Monday, May 27th, 2024

Data breaches are a significant threat to businesses of all sizes. According to the IBM Security “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023,” the average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high of $4.45 million in 2023. This guide provides an in-depth look at the factors influencing data breach costs and offers practical steps to protect your small business from such costly incidents.

Key Findings from the 2023 IBM Data Breach Report

  1. Average Cost: The average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 2.3% increase from 2022.
  2. Healthcare Industry: For the 13th consecutive year, the healthcare industry experienced the highest data breach costs, averaging $10.93 million.
  3. Detection and Containment: Organizations with extensive use of security AI and automation identified and contained breaches 108 days faster than those without, saving $1.76 million on average.
  4. Breach Lifecycle: Breaches with identification and containment times under 200 days cost $3.93 million on average, while those over 200 days cost $4.95 million.
  5. Cloud Environment: 82% of breaches involved data stored in the cloud, with multi-cloud breaches costing the most at $4.75 million.
  6. Ransomware: The average cost of a ransomware attack was $5.13 million, and involving law enforcement reduced the cost by $470,000.
Trends in Data Breach Costs

Graph: Trends in Data Breach Costs

This graph illustrates the increase in the average cost of data breaches and the per-record cost from 2017 to 2023.

Steps to Protect Your Small Business

  1. Implement Strong Security Measures:
    • Access Controls: Restrict access to sensitive data to authorized personnel only. Use role-based access controls and regularly review access permissions.
    • Encryption: Encrypt data both in transit and at rest to prevent unauthorized access. Ensure that encryption protocols are up to date and properly configured.
    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Implement MFA to add an extra layer of security. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access from compromised credentials.
    • Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): Use firewalls and IDS to monitor and protect your network from malicious activity.
  2. Regularly Update and Patch Systems:
    • Software Updates: Ensure all software, including operating systems and applications, are regularly updated to patch known vulnerabilities.
    • Patch Management: Implement a robust patch management process to quickly address security flaws in software and hardware.
  3. Conduct Regular Security Training:
    • Employee Training: Educate employees about phishing attacks, social engineering, and safe data handling practices. Regular training helps to reduce human errors that could lead to breaches.
    • Incident Response Drills: Conduct regular incident response drills to prepare employees for potential data breaches. This ensures that everyone knows their role in responding to an incident.
  4. Develop and Test an Incident Response Plan:
    • Incident Response Team (IRT): Form an IRT responsible for managing data breaches. Ensure the team is well-trained and equipped to handle incidents.
    • Plan Testing: Regularly test your incident response plan through simulations and drills. This helps to identify gaps and improve response effectiveness.
  5. Invest in Advanced Security Technologies:
    • Security AI and Automation: Implement AI and automation tools to enhance threat detection and response capabilities. These tools can significantly reduce the time and cost associated with data breaches.
    • Threat Intelligence: Use threat intelligence services to stay informed about emerging threats and vulnerabilities. This helps in proactive threat hunting and risk management.
  6. Use Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Tools:
    • DLP Solutions: Deploy DLP solutions to monitor, detect, and prevent data breaches. These tools help to ensure sensitive data is not leaked or accessed without authorization.
  7. Regular Audits and Compliance Checks:
    • Security Audits: Conduct regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations.
    • Compliance: Stay updated with relevant regulations and ensure your business complies with standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and others.
  8. Establish Partnerships with Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs):
    • MSSP Engagement: Partner with MSSPs to enhance your security posture. MSSPs provide expertise and resources that small businesses might lack internally. We are here to help

Partner with NVITS for Security Solutions For Small Businesses

Data breaches are a growing concern, but by implementing strong security measures, regular training, and advanced technologies, small businesses can significantly reduce their risk and potential costs. Proactive steps, such as encryption, MFA, and regular audits, combined with a well-prepared incident response plan, can help protect your business from the financial and reputation damage of a data breach.

At NVITS, we are an award-winning company based in Northern Nevada, dedicated to helping businesses safeguard their data. Our team of experts provides comprehensive cybersecurity solutions tailored to your specific needs. From advanced threat detection and response to employee training and compliance audits, NVITS ensures your business remains protected against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Contact us today to learn more about how NVITS can help you mitigate the risk of data breaches and secure your business’s future.

Dropbox Sign Data Breach: Urgent Security Update and User Action Guide

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024

Online storage provider Dropbox has issued a notice regarding a security incident involving unauthorized access to customer credentials and authentication data within one of its cloud services.

The incident unfolded as an unauthorized party managed to infiltrate the production environment of Dropbox Sign (previously known as HelloSign) on April 24, as detailed in a company blog post dated May 1. Dropbox Sign facilitates the online signing and storage of various legal documents such as contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and tax forms, using legally binding e-signatures.

The intrusion specifically targeted an automated system configuration tool within Dropbox Sign, leading to the compromise of a service account that executes applications and runs automated processes for the service’s backend.

“This account possessed the capabilities to perform diverse actions within the Sign production environment,” the Dropbox Sign team explained in their blog post. “The intruder exploited this access to penetrate our customer database.”

Exposed Customer Data The breach exposed a range of Dropbox Sign customer data including emails, usernames, phone numbers, and hashed passwords. Additionally, individuals who interacted with documents through Dropbox Sign without creating an account had their names and email addresses compromised.

Screenshot 2024-05-07 at 9.39.22 AM

The intruder also accessed critical service data such as API keys, OAuth tokens, and multifactor authentication (MFA) details. This data is crucial for third-party partners to connect and integrate seamlessly with the service. The exposure of OAuth tokens, in particular, raises concerns about potential cross-platform attacks that could affect users of related services.

Despite the breach, Dropbox confirmed that there was no evidence of access to the actual contents of customer accounts, like signed documents or agreements, nor was any customer payment information accessed. Importantly, the infrastructure of Dropbox Sign is largely isolated from other Dropbox services, which were not impacted by this incident.

Upon detecting the breach, Dropbox engaged forensic experts to thoroughly investigate; this investigation remains active. The company is also proactively contacting all affected users to guide them through steps to secure their data.

Mitigation Efforts In response to the breach, Dropbox’s security team took immediate steps to mitigate the impact. These included resetting passwords for Dropbox Sign users, logging users out of connected devices, and initiating the rotation of all compromised API keys and OAuth tokens. Users will be prompted to reset their passwords upon their next login to the service.

API customers are required to generate and configure a new API key, following detailed instructions provided online. Until these keys are rotated, Dropbox will temporarily restrict certain functionalities of the API keys to maintain security.

As these security measures are implemented, full functionality will be restored to the service once the new API keys are in place, ensuring continued secure operations.

it’s crucial to take immediate and actionable steps to enhance their cybersecurity and protect their sensitive information. Here are key actions they should undertake:

closeup photo of turned-on blue and white laptop computer

Immediate Steps for Affected Clients

  1. Reset Passwords
    • Instruct clients to change their passwords for Dropbox Sign as well as any other accounts where they may have reused the same password. Encourage the use of strong, unique passwords for each account.
  2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
    • If not already activated, advise clients to enable multi-factor authentication on their Dropbox Sign account and all other critical accounts. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification to access an account.
  3. Review Account Statements and Alerts
    • Clients should closely monitor their account statements and set up alerts for any unusual activities. Early detection of suspicious activity can prevent further damage.
  4. Update Security Questions
    • If Dropbox Sign or any other accounts use security questions for identity verification, these should be updated immediately. Choose questions and answers that are not easily guessable.

Long-Term Security Measures

  1. Regularly Update and Review Account Permissions
    • Encourage clients to regularly review and update the permissions on their accounts, ensuring that only necessary permissions are granted to apps and services.
  2. Conduct Regular Security Audits
    • Advise clients to perform regular security audits of their digital tools and assets. This helps identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  3. Educate on Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks
    • Provide training and resources to help clients identify phishing attempts and other forms of social engineering. Awareness is a powerful tool against cyber threats.
  4. Utilize a Secure Password Manager
    • Recommend the use of a reputable password manager to generate and store complex passwords. This minimizes the risk of password reuse across services.
  5. Keep Software Updated
    • Ensure that all software, especially security software, is up to date on clients’ devices. Regular updates often fix security vulnerabilities.

In Case of Identity Theft

  1. Consider a Credit Freeze
    • If there is a risk of identity theft, suggest that clients place a freeze on their credit reports. This prevents criminals from opening new accounts in their name.
  2. Alert Affected Individuals
    • If client data has been compromised, help them develop a plan to notify affected individuals and guide them through protecting their own information.
  3. Engage Cybersecurity Professionals
    • If needed, consider hiring cybersecurity professionals to assist with breach analysis and mitigation strategies to enhance security postures.

By taking these steps, clients can not only mitigate the immediate effects of the Dropbox Sign data breach but also strengthen their defenses against future cyber incidents. Ensuring ongoing education and proactive security measures are key to maintaining data integrity and trust in a digital world.

40 Alarming Small Business Cybersecurity Statistics for 2024

Monday, February 5th, 2024
Cybersecurity Company Reno

As technology continues to advance and businesses increasingly rely on digital platforms, the threat of cyberattacks looms larger than ever before. Small businesses, in particular, are vulnerable targets for cybercriminals due to their limited resources and often inadequate cybersecurity measures. In this article, we delve into 40 alarming small business cybersecurity statistics for 2024. These eye-opening figures shed light on the rising risks faced by small businesses and highlight the urgent need for improved cybersecurity practices.

1. Small businesses are prime targets for cyberattacks, with 43% of all cyberattacks targeting small businesses in 2023.

2. The average cost of a single cyberattack on a small business is $200,000, which can be devastating for many small enterprises.

3. Despite the high costs associated with cyberattacks, only 14% of small businesses have cyber insurance coverage. This leaves the majority of small businesses exposed to financial losses in the event of a cyberattack.

4. Phishing attacks continue to be a significant threat, with 90% of successful data breaches being attributed to phishing.

5. Small businesses often lack proper employee training in cybersecurity, with only 39% providing formal training to employees on cybersecurity practices.

6. Ransomware attacks have become increasingly prevalent and pose a significant risk to small businesses. In 2023, there was a 311% increase in ransomware attacks targeting small enterprises.

7. The aftermath of a cyberattack can be long-lasting and detrimental for small businesses. It takes an average of 46 days for businesses to fully recover from a ransomware attack, resulting in prolonged downtime and potential loss of revenue.

8. Small businesses are also vulnerable to supply chain attacks, with 50% of small businesses experiencing a supply chain attack in 2023.

9. The use of cloud services by small businesses has increased, but so have the risks associated with it. In 2023, 70% of small businesses experienced a breach involving a third-party cloud service provider.

10. Small businesses often underestimate the importance of regularly updating their software and systems. In 2023, 46% of small businesses reported not having implemented any software updates or patches in the past year.

11. Mobile devices are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals, with 44% of small businesses experiencing a mobile-related security breach in 2023.

12. The lack of strong passwords remains a major cybersecurity concern for small businesses. In 2023, 65% of small businesses had employees using weak or reused passwords.

13. Small businesses are not immune to insider threats, with 34% of all small business data breaches being caused by internal actors.

14. The healthcare sector is particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, with 48% of healthcare-related small businesses experiencing a cyberattack in 2023.

15. Small businesses in the financial sector are also high-value targets for cybercriminals, with 54% of financial institutions experiencing a cyberattack in 2023.

16. The use of outdated or unsupported software increases the risk of cyberattacks. In 2023, 37% of small businesses were using outdated operating systems, leaving them vulnerable to known security vulnerabilities.

17. Employee negligence remains a significant cybersecurity concern for small businesses, as 68% of data breaches are caused by employees’ mistakes or negligence.

18. Small businesses often lack dedicated IT personnel, with 66% relying on either internal staff or external contractors for their cybersecurity needs.

19. Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, with 59% of small businesses reporting being targeted by new types of cyber attacks in 2023.

20. Small businesses that experience a cyberattack often face reputational damage, with 60% of customers losing trust in a business after a data breach.

21. The cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, highlighting the increasing financial impact on small businesses.

22. Small businesses are more likely to be targeted by cyber criminals due to their relatively weaker cybersecurity defenses compared to large corporations.

23. The average cost of a data breach for small businesses is $200,000, which can be financially devastating for many.

24. Only 14% of small businesses have a formal incident response plan in place, leaving them unprepared to effectively respond and mitigate the damage caused by a cyberattack.

25. Small businesses often do not have cybersecurity insurance, with only 29% of small businesses having cyber insurance coverage in 2023.

26. Phishing attacks are a common method used by cybercriminals to target small businesses, with 67% of small businesses experiencing a phishing attack in 2023.

27. Small businesses that fall victim to a cyberattack often struggle to recover financially, with 60% going out of business within six months of the attack.

28. Ransomware attacks are on the rise, with 55% of small businesses reporting being targeted by ransomware in 2023.

29. Small businesses are more likely to pay the ransom demanded by cybercriminals, with 58% admitting to paying a ransom to regain access to their data.

30. Cybersecurity breaches can lead to costly legal consequences for small businesses, with 41% of data breaches resulting in a lawsuit or regulatory fine.

31. Small businesses in the retail industry are frequent targets of cyberattacks, with 47% experiencing a data breach in 2023.

32. The use of unsecured public Wi-Fi networks puts small businesses at risk, with 59% of small business employees connecting to unsecured networks while working remotely.

33. Social engineering attacks, such as impersonation or manipulation of employees, are a growing concern for small businesses, with 62% reporting being targeted by social engineering tactics in 2023.

34. Small businesses often lack proper employee training on cybersecurity best practices, with only 39% providing regular cybersecurity training to their staff.

35. The majority of small businesses do not have a dedicated cybersecurity budget, with 58% allocating less than $5,000 per year for cybersecurity measures.

36. Small businesses that experience a cyberattack often suffer from prolonged downtime, with 43% reporting that it took more than a week to fully recover from an attack.

37. Small businesses are increasingly targeted by state-sponsored cyberattacks, with 31% of small businesses reporting being subject to attacks from foreign governments in 2023.

38. Small businesses often overlook the importance of regularly updating their software and systems, with 47% failing to consistently patch vulnerabilities.

39. Employee negligence or human error is a leading cause of data breaches for small businesses, accounting for 48% of incidents.

40. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to supply chain attacks, with 41% reporting being affected by a supply chain attack in 2023.

One alarming statistic reveals that small businesses that fall victim to a cyberattack often struggle to recover, with 43% reporting that it took more than a week to fully recover from an attack. This prolonged downtime can have severe consequences for small businesses, leading to lost revenue, customer dissatisfaction, and potential closure.

Additionally, the statistics show that small businesses are not adequately prepared or trained to handle cyber threats. Only 39% provide regular cybersecurity training to their staff, leaving them vulnerable to social engineering tactics and employee negligence, which account for a significant percentage of data breaches.

Another concerning statistic is the lack of dedicated cybersecurity budgets for small businesses. With 58% allocating less than $5,000 per year for cybersecurity measures, it becomes evident that many small businesses are not prioritizing this crucial aspect of their operations.

The global cost of a data breach in 2023 estimated to be USD $4.45 million, indicating a 15% increase over a span of three years (post pandemic). These alarming statistics highlight the urgent need for small businesses to prioritize cybersecurity. Without proper defenses and readiness, small businesses are at significant risk of financial loss, reputation damage, and even closure. It is crucial for small business owners to invest in robust cybersecurity measures, including employee training, incident response plans, regular software updates, and cybersecurity insurance

The evolving landscape of technology brings both advancements and vulnerabilities, making it imperative for small businesses to stay vigilant in the face of cyber risks. With cybercrimes on the rise and threats becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is crucial for small business owners to prioritize cybersecurity measures to protect their data, finances, and overall business operations.

Many small businesses are unaware of cyber threats and fail to address them. The individuals are not aware that hackers are targeting them and are aware of their inadequate security measures. On the other hand, an increasing number of small businesses are taking measures to strengthen their data security and avoid significant losses. An increasing number of individuals are recognizing the importance of implementing robust defense and response strategies if they want to avoid the financial burden and consequences of a successful attack. It is advisable to take action as there are cost-effective options available to provide strong protection for businesses, even those with modest IT budgets.

At NVITS, we have been working with a wide range of industries and compliance regulations to ensure  our clients Infrastructure, their cyber defenses, and overall cyber security best practices are covered with a robust business continuity and disaster recovery.

How Could Your Business Be Impacted by the New SEC Cybersecurity Requirements?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

What is the potential impact of the new SEC cybersecurity requirements on your business?

Businesses worldwide now prioritize cybersecurity due to its increasing importance. As technology advances, so does the risk of cyber threats. In response, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has implemented new regulations focused on cybersecurity. These rules will have a substantial impact on businesses.

These rules have been developed in response to the increasing complexity of cyber threats and the necessity for companies to protect their sensitive information.

We will analyze the main aspects of the new SEC regulations and evaluate their potential impact on your business.

Explaining the New SEC Cybersecurity Requirements

The SEC has introduced new cybersecurity rules. These rules focus on proactive cybersecurity measures for businesses in the digital landscape. One requirement is reporting cybersecurity incidents in a timely manner. Another requirement is disclosing comprehensive cybersecurity programs.

The rules apply to both U.S. registered companies and foreign private issuers registered with the SEC.

The FBI’s reporting instructions are available at https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyber/fbi-guidance-to-victims-of-cyber-incidents-on-sec-reporting-requirements.

Reporting of Cybersecurity Incidents

The first rule states that cybersecurity incidents considered “material” must be disclosed. These incidents are disclosed on item 1.05 of Form 8-K.

Companies have a deadline for disclosure: four days after determining that an incident is material. They must disclose the nature, scope, and timing of the impact, as well as the material impact of the breach. There is an exception to the rule when disclosure could pose a national safety or security risk.

Disclosure of Cybersecurity Protocols

Companies are required to provide additional information in their annual Form 10-K filing.

The additional information that companies are required to disclose includes:

  • The processes for assessing, identifying, and managing material risks from cybersecurity threats.
  • The company has faced or is expected to face significant risks from cyber threats.
  • The board of directors monitors cybersecurity risks.
  • The role of management includes assessing and managing cybersecurity threats using their expertise.

The potential impact on your business should be considered.

Do you need to comply with the new SEC cybersecurity requirements? If so, it might be necessary to conduct another cybersecurity assessment. These assessments and penetration tests can identify gaps in your protocols, helping your company minimize the risk of cyber incidents and compliance failures.

The new SEC rules may have various impacts on businesses, which are worth considering.

  • Increased Compliance Burden

Businesses will have to deal with more compliance requirements. This is because they have to align their cybersecurity policies with the new SEC requirements. This could lead to a major overhaul of current practices, policies, and technologies. Meeting compliance will require a significant amount of time and resources. This affects both big corporations and smaller businesses.

  • Focus on Incident Response

The importance of incident response plans is highlighted by new regulations. Businesses must invest in strong protocols. These protocols detect, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity incidents quickly. Clear procedures must be in place to notify regulatory authorities, customers, and stakeholders in the event of a data breach.

  • Increased focus on vendor management

Companies depend on third-party vendors for different services. The SEC has implemented new rules that highlight the importance of assessing vendor practices, specifically in cybersecurity. This change requires a thorough review of current vendor relationships, which may result in the need to find more secure alternatives.

  • Impact on Investor Confidence

Cybersecurity breaches harm a company’s reputation and erode investor confidence. The SEC’s focus on cybersecurity means investors will pay attention. They will examine security measures more closely. Strong cybersecurity programs can inspire investor confidence, potentially leading to increased investments and shareholder trust.

  • Innovation in Cybersecurity Technologies

Businesses are aiming to meet SEC requirements. They will look for innovation. There will likely be a higher demand for advanced cybersecurity solutions. This demand could drive innovation in the cybersecurity sector. It may result in the creation of more effective cyber protection solutions.

The SEC rules present both challenges and possibilities.

The SEC cybersecurity requirements are a significant milestone. They contribute to the ongoing battle against cyber threats. These regulations present challenges and opportunities. Businesses can use them to strengthen their cybersecurity. This, in turn, enhances customer trust and fosters investor confidence.

Companies should embrace these changes proactively to meet regulatory expectations and fortify their defenses against cyber threats. Adapting to regulations is crucial for long-term success and the resilience of your business.

Do you require assistance with data security compliance?

Hiring an IT professional can be beneficial in ensuring compliance with cybersecurity rules. They have in-depth knowledge and can assist you in meeting requirements in a cost-effective manner. We have worked with several business in Nevada from government entities to small mom and pop shops to get them compliant which ranged from HIPPA,NIST, PCI DDS.

Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Secure Ways to Share Passwords with Employees

Friday, December 1st, 2023

What is the most secure method of sharing passwords with employees?

Breached or stolen passwords pose significant challenges to an organization’s cybersecurity. Password-related issues account for more than 80% of data breaches. Hackers gain unauthorized access by exploiting stolen, weak, or frequently reused (and easily compromised) passwords.

But passwords are a part of life. Technologies like biometrics or passkeys haven’t yet replaced them. We use them for websites, apps, and more. So, companies need a secure way to share passwords with employees. As well as help them manage those passwords more effectively.

There are many cybersecurity threats and protecting sensitive information is crucial. Managing passwords securely is a top priority. Employees now have more passwords to deal with than ever before. According to LastPass, the average person has 191 work passwords.

One possible solution to securely sharing passwords with employees is by utilizing password managers, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Next, we will explore the benefits of password managers and discuss why it is considered one of the most secure methods for sharing passwords with employees.

What are the benefits of using a business password management app?

Password managers provide a secure digital storage for protecting passwords. The business versions offer options for separating work and personal passwords, as well as additional administrative features to prevent companies from losing important passwords.

Here are some reasons to consider using a password manager for improved data security.

Centralized Password Management

Password managers have a key advantage in centralizing password management. They prevent the use of weak, repetitive passwords and discourage storing them in unsafe locations. Instead, all passwords are stored in an encrypted vault. This centralization improves security and simplifies the secure sharing of passwords within a team.

End-to-End Encryption

Password managers use strong encryption methods to safeguard sensitive data. End-to-end encryption converts passwords into unreadable text during storage and transmission. This ensures that unauthorized users have a near-impossible time accessing the information.

When sharing passwords with employees, encryption enhances security by maintaining data confidentiality during transmission.

Secure Password Sharing Features

Password managers frequently include secure password-sharing features that enable administrators to share passwords with team members, while keeping the actual password concealed.

Employees can access the required credentials without seeing the characters. This prevents direct access to sensitive information. It is especially helpful when onboarding new team members or working on projects that require access to specific accounts.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Password managers often offer support for multi-factor authentication, which is considered an additional and vital security measure. MFA mandates the use of two or more verification methods prior to accessing an account.

MFA reduces the risk of unauthorized access. Microsoft says it lowers the risk by 99.9%. Businesses should use MFA to enhance password security, especially when sharing sensitive information with employees.

Password Generation and Complexity

Password managers have built-in password generators. These generators create strong, complex passwords that are hard to crack. Employers can use these generated passwords when sharing passwords with employees. This ensures that employees use strong, unique passwords for each account.

This feature helps to reduce the risk of security breaches by eliminating the common practice of using weak passwords and reusing passwords across multiple accounts.

Audit trails and activity monitoring are important aspects of data security.

Many password managers offer monitoring as a feature. This feature allows users to track their activity and access history. Admins can see who accessed specific passwords and when. This promotes transparency and accountability in the organization.

The audit trail serves the purpose of identifying any suspicious activities and enables companies to quickly respond, ensuring the security of shared passwords.

Sharing with third parties can be done securely.

Password managers provide secure ways to share login information with third-party collaborators or contractors. Companies can give these external parties restricted access to certain passwords without compromising security.

This functionality is useful for businesses, especially those collaborating with external agencies or freelancers on multiple projects, as it helps maintain control of passwords within the organization.

There is no need to worry about losing a password when the only employee who knows it departs.

Are you interested in trying a password manager for your office?

Password managers provide a secure and convenient method for sharing passwords with employees, making them an essential tool for businesses looking to improve their cybersecurity measures.

By implementing password managers, businesses can enhance the security of their sensitive information. Additionally, password management solutions help foster a culture of security awareness among employees, making it a proactive measure to safeguard valuable data.

If you need assistance with securing a password manager, please contact us to schedule a conversation.

Some tools we recommend for our clients: 

Keeper One-Time Share allows users to share passwords and records with others for a set amount of time, regardless of if they have a Keeper account.

Anchor Text: Keeper One-Time Share

External Link: https://docs.keeper.io/user-guides/one-time-share

When sharing a password from within LastPass, the person you share the password with also needs a LastPass account. This restriction is due to the way LastPass’ encrypted sharing system works. Luckily, a LastPass account is free and won’t cost your friend or family member any additional dough.

Anchor Text: LastPass

External Link: https://www.lastpass.com/

The team at 1Password has provided a few ways to share passwords. If you are a member of a family or team account, you can share an entire collection of passwords, often referred to as a “vault.” However, they teach you how to share your passwords via a secure link whether or not they have a 1Password account.

Anchor Text: 1Password

External Link: https://1password.com/

Join other business owners just like and let us help you setup things properly to ensure your passwords are safe and are not stored in a spreadsheet 🙂 

The Top 7 Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Work

Friday, July 21st, 2023

In the face of an evolving work culture, remote work has made headway into the modern world. It offers employees a flexible working environment while allowing companies to cut down on office-related costs. Statistics even reveal a whopping 56% decrease in wasted time when employees work from home compared to the traditional office setting.

However, the convenience of remote work comes with its own set of problems, and cybersecurity risks top the list. About 63% of businesses have reported a data breach because of remote employees. This might seem alarming, but rest assured, these risks can be managed effectively.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll shed light on the seven significant cybersecurity threats that come with remote work and how to navigate these risks for a safe and secure remote working experience.

Remote Work: The Risks and their Remedies

1. Weak Passwords and the Absence of Multi-Factor Authentication

A weak password is akin to leaving your front door unlocked. And when the same password is used across multiple platforms, you’re basically handing over the keys to your castle. Now imagine these ‘castles’ being company databases or sensitive information that remote workers access.

Solution: Create robust, unique passwords for each platform. Opt for multi-factor authentication (MFA) when available. It’s like having a security guard at the door who verifies your identity before letting you in. Employers can leverage access management systems to streamline this process, adding contextual MFA for a solid security measure.

2. Unprotected Wi-Fi Networks

Remote work means connecting from various locations, often with potentially insecure Wi-Fi networks. These can become easy entry points for hackers.

Solution: Utilize a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while connecting to insecure or public networks. A VPN acts as a protective tunnel for your data, keeping it secure even in untrustworthy networks.

3. Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a prevalent cybersecurity threat, and remote workers are prime targets. Deceptive emails or messages trick users into disclosing login credentials or downloading harmful files.

Solution: Be vigilant while checking your emails. If a message seems suspicious or is from an unknown source, validate the sender’s credentials and don’t click on any links. Remember to always double-check any requests for sensitive data, and when in doubt, get in touch with your IT support.

4. Unsecured Home Network Devices

IoT devices, such as smart speakers and home security systems, if not secured correctly, can create vulnerabilities in your home network.

Solution: Change the default passwords of your IoT devices and keep them updated. Consider segregating your work and IoT devices on separate networks. Employers can use endpoint device managers like Microsoft Intune to maintain security across employee devices.

5. Infrequent Security Updates

Regular updates are crucial for robust cybersecurity. However, remote workers might overlook these updates, giving cybercriminals a window of opportunity.

Solution: Enable auto-updates whenever possible and regularly check for software and device updates. Swift installation of these updates ensures you are armed with the latest security defenses.

6. Data Backup and Recovery

Remote workers handle copious amounts of data daily. Data loss or corruption can have disastrous consequences.

Solution: Regularly back up your critical files to a secure cloud storage or an external hard drive. This ensures data safety even if a device is compromised.

7. Inadequate Employee Training

Proper cybersecurity training is crucial for remote workers. Yet, many organizations overlook this, leaving their employees unprepared for potential threats.

Solution: Organizations should offer comprehensive cybersecurity training to remote workers. This includes phishing identification, strong password creation, suspicious online behavior recognition, and awareness of new phishing techniques such as “smishing.”

Securing Remote Work with NVITS

Remote work can be a boon if the associated cybersecurity risks are proactively addressed. Implementing these safety measures is a step towards secure remote working. If you need help with this, we’re here for you. NVITS, a premier Managed Services company, is always ready to assist.

Give us a call today to discuss how we can bolster your remote team’s cybersecurity.


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What is Zero-Click Malware? How Do You Fight It?

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

In today’s digital world, cybersecurity threats are constantly changing. They’re not only a concern for individuals but also for organizations. One particular threat that is gaining attention is zero-click malware. It’s a sneaky form of malware that doesn’t require any action from the user. It can quietly infiltrate devices and networks, causing significant harm.

Take, for example, the infamous WhatsApp breach in 2019. It involved a missed call, where the victim didn’t even have to answer. Through a zero-day exploit, spyware was injected into the device’s software, all because of that missed call.

More recently, there’s been a new zero-click hack targeting iOS users. In this attack, users receive a message via iMessage. They don’t even have to interact with the message for the malicious code to take effect. This code can lead to a complete takeover of the device.

Now, let’s dig deeper into what exactly zero-click malware is and explore effective strategies to tackle this growing threat.

Understanding Zero-Click Malware

Zero-click malware refers to malicious software that exploits vulnerabilities in an app or system without any user interaction. Unlike traditional malware, which requires users to click on a link or download a file, zero-click malware operates silently in the background. Its entry points can vary, ranging from malicious websites and compromised networks to legitimate applications with security loopholes.

The Dangers of Zero-Click Malware

Zero-click malware poses a significant threat due to its stealthy nature and ability to bypass security measures. Once it infects a device, it can carry out various malicious activities. These include data theft, remote control, cryptocurrency mining, spyware, ransomware, and even transforming devices into botnets for launching further attacks. Individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure are all vulnerable to these attacks, which can result in financial losses, data breaches, and severe damage to one’s reputation.

Fighting Zero-Click Malware

To safeguard against zero-click malware, it’s crucial to adopt a proactive and multi-layered approach to cybersecurity. Here are some essential strategies to consider:

  1. Keep Software Up to Date: Regularly updating software, such as operating systems, applications, and security patches, is crucial in preventing zero-click malware attacks. These updates often include bug fixes and security enhancements that address vulnerabilities targeted by malware developers. Enabling automatic updates streamlines the process and ensures devices remain protected.
  2. Implement Robust Endpoint Protection: Deploy comprehensive endpoint protection solutions that can detect and block zero-click malware. Advanced antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems establish multiple layers of defense. These solutions should be regularly updated to stay ahead of emerging malware variants.
  3. Utilize Network Segmentation: Segmenting networks into distinct zones based on user roles, device types, or sensitivity levels adds an extra layer of protection against zero-click malware. By isolating critical systems and implementing strict access controls, the potential damage from lateral movement of malware can be mitigated.
  4. Educate Users: Human error remains a significant factor in successful malware attacks, accounting for 88% of data breaches. It’s crucial to educate users about the risks of zero-click malware and promote good cybersecurity practices. Encourage strong password management and caution when opening email attachments or clicking on unfamiliar links. Regular training on identifying phishing attempts is essential.
  5. Leverage Behavioral Analytics and AI: Harness advanced technologies like behavioral analytics and artificial intelligence to identify anomalous activities that may indicate zero-click malware. These solutions detect patterns, anomalies, and suspicious behavior, enabling early detection and proactive mitigation.
  6. Conduct Regular Vulnerability Assessments: Performing routine vulnerability assessments and penetration testing helps identify weaknesses in systems and applications that can be exploited by zero-click malware. Promptly addressing these vulnerabilities through patching or other remediation measures significantly reduces the attack surface.
  7. Remove Unnecessary Applications: The more applications on a device, the more vulnerabilities it may have. Many users download apps but rarely use them, leaving their devices susceptible to attacks. Encourage employees or your IT team to remove unneeded apps from all company devices, reducing potential vulnerabilities in the network.
  8. Download Apps from Official Stores: Be cautious about where you download apps. Stick to official app stores and, even then, check the reviews and comments. Malicious apps can sometimes slip through security controls before they’re discovered.

Stay Ahead of the Threat

Zero-click malware continues to evolve and pose severe threats to individuals and organizations. It’s crucial to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to combat this menace. If you need assistance with implementing a layered security solution, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us today to schedule a cybersecurity risk assessment and stay one step ahead of cyber threats.