Security

How To Do Penetration Testing?

Did you know that many of the hacking incidents could’ve been avoided by proper penetration testing?

When you want to know how vulnerable your system is, the IT team goes for penetration testing. It’s also known as pen testing or ethical hacking in the colloquial language.

As a part of the penetration testing, the IT team tries to break down their defense using various techniques and new technologies. Such tests are vital for any organization to understand where they stand in data security and prepare for the following steps to amp it up.

In this blog, we’ll learn about the basics of performing penetration testing and the step-by-step procedure.

What Happens in Penetration Testing?

There’s no one way of conducting penetration testing simply because there’s no one way that hackers use to gain access. So the security team or the IT consulting firm performing the testing should think outside the box about the possible ways of attacks to the infrastructure.

So, in penetration testing, you can either test through individual applications, IT applications, standalone systems, servers, or networks or through the base of the IT infrastructure as a whole. The security team then identifies the weak points in the system that can make your entire IT infrastructure vulnerable.

Usually, the testers will sit down with the official website, platforms you commonly use, or your IP addresses and break down the firewall. This may range from gaining access by obtaining a password from any employee to running complex hacking algorithms.

There are several types of penetration tests:

  • Wireless testing
  • Internal and external testing
  • Blind testing
  • Social engineering
  • Physical testing
  • Targeted testing
  • Double-blind testing

Since the threat can come from any side and in any way, the testers need to be thorough about the different points of access to the systems and conduct pen testing through all of it. This should be performed regularly to make sure that there aren’t any new loopholes coming up. You can hire an expert IT consulting firm providing security services to help you out.

5 Step Process in a Penetration Testing

Step 1: Understanding the Test Expectations

 In a penetration test, there are several ways to go about it. While this is strictly a white hat practice, we need to venture into the gray or black hat practices to look at the vulnerabilities from the hacker’s perspective. From these black and gray hat tests, you’ll most likely identify the external vulnerabilities. 

Step 2: Setting Limits

While you’re planning the pen testing, you may also want to set the limitations of the test. For example, do you want the testers only to identify the vulnerable points of entry, or do you want them to gain access to your data?

Setting such boundaries for your testing will give a structure for the testers based on your current conditions.

Step 3: Reconnaissance

This is where you get down the nitty-gritty details of the test. You’ll consider the types of tests you’ll be performing, the systems, and the trouble points that need to be addressed. You’ll also be gathering the basic details of the target like domain names, IP addresses, and other important information you can collect.

Essentially, you’ll be collecting data to breach the network.

Step 4: System Breach Attempt

With the information you’ve collected in the previous step, you’ll put them to action. You can use any software or write any custom scripts to gain access to the internal information.

There may also be some technical discovery during the survey that indicates weakness in a particular area. The tester can attack this weakness through several hacking methods and try to gain access.

If the testing team cannot find any vulnerabilities during the survey, they may resort to getting the username and password through phishing attacks and social engineering.

Once the tester has gained access to the system, there are two ways to go based on the initial requirements. They can either mark it as a point of vulnerability or gain access, retain access and check how long it can sustain.

Step 5: Analysis of the Test

Once the testing team has completed the pen test, the last thing is to collate the findings. This will be:

  • A list of vulnerabilities, 
  • The amount of sensitive data accessed,
  • The time is taken for the system to respond to the threat,
  • The duration the tester was able to retain access without detection, and
  • The following steps to prevent them.

Once you’ve identified the vulnerabilities, you can quickly go about fixing them with the help of your IT team and prevent hacking attacks. You can strengthen your firewalls, implement zero-trust security, enforce new security practices for your employees and increase your overall data security.

Conclusion 

When you think about the volume of work an IT team has to do to conduct this test and take steps to increase security, it’s overwhelming. This is when you can look for the guidance of an experienced security team from an IT consulting firm.

LayerOne Networks is one of the most trusted IT consulting firms offering security services in Corpus Christi. From managed services to enforcing high-security features for your IT infrastructure, we provide a broadband of IT services to ramp your team’s productivity. Reach out to us now to discuss more details.

Security

Cybersecurity Risks In A Pandemic: What You Need To Know

Ever since the work-from-home culture has become the norm, many cybersecurity risks are coming to light.

Companies that were once confident in their data security can now be seen fretting about picking up the pieces and enforcing high-security measures to protect their confidential information. And many new cyberthreats that weren’t given much notice before and are becoming the prime focus now.

At LayerOne Networks, we have helped our customers transition with ease to the new work-from-home norm and maintain their IT security. While there are a few critical adjustments needed from the side of the organization, you can still enforce the same level of security even during this change of workplace. 

The Vulnerable State of Companies in the Remote Culture

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the whole world upside down. Companies that never allowed WFH before are now becoming a permanent remote team now. Managers who once preferred to have their teams work from the office have to meet them on virtual calls. Everyone is adopting the new normal and so should your IT system.

It’s a vulnerable state for the company, especially for the cybersecurity team, to navigate this sudden change. Within a single month, many organizations have to facilitate the means for employees to work from anywhere and the IT infrastructure and security teams played a central role in it.

Understandably, not a lot of businesses were ready for this shift. The quick rise in digital communications that replaced face-to-face discussions made companies more prone to attacks from outside. As a result, the cybersecurity teams and IT consulting firms were under immense pressure to develop new ways to safeguard the organizations from threats.

Meanwhile, the hackers quickly got down to work and used phishing emails and fake websites to lure the employees into allowing the malware inside. Some unfortunate companies to become victims went swiftly under attack and were struggling hard to survive.

During such times, we worked with many clients to quickly facilitate safe operations with remote working. Our managed IT services took care of this shift to remote work-life and enforced new security systems and procedures for a safe working atmosphere from anywhere.

Here are some of the crucial things that every business needs to know about cybersecurity in the pandemic.

5 Essential Evolutions to Improve Cybersecurity During Pandemic

First of all, we need to understand that developing better cybersecurity systems for employees in the pandemic isn’t complete without their involvement. Here are the things we need to address to upgrade security systems.

  • Educate the Employees About Safe Practices

The entire workforce should be aware of cybersecurity threats that could compromise the whole company. Most of these threats trick the employees into taking some action and then gaining access through that. 

Firstly, businesses need to conduct regular security workshops with practical examples to take the employees through various ways to be targeted. Secondly, the cybersecurity team should send test phishing emails and other similar security attacks designed to draw out the employees who are most vulnerable and help them increase their security awareness. 

  • Shift to New IT Operating Models

Businesses that need to respond quickly to such a long-term situation can’t do well with a bare minimum solution. You need a new operating model that considers the remote work culture and includes high-security tools and applications with stringent protection measures. 

  • Use Cloud-Based Security Platform

When even your cybersecurity professionals are working from home, adapting to a cloud-based security system makes sense.

It will give your employees instant access to files and databases and help your data security team maintain a stronghold on security. They can enforce threat protection solutions, conduct regular testing and security audits and take quick actions when a threat is detected. Also, cloud-based solutions can reduce your operating costs and give control over remote employees’ protection measures.

  • Create a Renewing System of Access & Authorization

Gaining access to passwords and authorization answers is easier in the remote work culture. This is why you need to make sure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands or safeguard the system even when that happens.

You need to create a regular system of changing the passwords every few weeks, along with any other authorization details. You can also provide remote access to systems without a VPN and set up privileged access management to give a higher level of access to the IT admin teams.

  • Implement New Security Technologies

As new cyber technologies emerge, so do hacking technologies.

With that in mind, you need to educate your employees about updating their systems to newer software versions and conducting regular checks for viruses and malware.

You can hire an external IT consulting firm to implement new cybersecurity technologies that identify the latest threats and prepare to prevent them from gaining access. These new threats are often not detected during manual checks, and therefore, cybersecurity technology should be able to see instances in nanoseconds. 

If you want to implement such security solutions, you can now consult with one of our data security experts.

Wrapping Up

Cybersecurity risks have heightened ever since the pandemic broke out and remote work culture was introduced. You can still keep your business protected by staying on top of the cybersecurity threats, raising new policies for employees, educating them, and implementing new security measures.

LayerOne Networks is one of the top IT consulting firms in Corpus Christi offering security services. Reach out to our team to know more about how we can enhance your cybersecurity.

Security

What Is The Need For IT Security And Cybersecurity?

Ever had a scare of an unauthorized attempt to breach your IT system?

When you had to go through such a harrowing experience, you would know why you should give due importance to IT security. 

Cyberattacks are becoming so frequent and common. Nowadays, hackers aren’t just targeting the big corporations but also the small startups and even ordinary individuals. So when the risks of being open to such cyber threats are increasing, we need to mount additional security to protect our IT systems from such malicious attempts.

In this blog, we’ll look at some strong reasons you need data security systems and how you can enforce them.

3 Reasons Why Your Company Needs Powerful IT Security

At LayerOne Networks, one of the top IT consulting firms in the country, we’ve seen many clients coming to us after data breaches or cyber threats. And there’s one thing we advise to all of them — take preventive measures before the danger becomes real and does real damage. We offer security IT services for clients to protect themselves before the threat becomes a significant issue.

This is why our cybersecurity experts are bringing together some compelling reasons for you to take IT security seriously before you become a victim.

  • Hackers Leave No One

The threat of cyberattacks is accurate, and it’s there to stay. Therefore, every organization has to take preventive measures to keep their data safe and their customers’ sensitive information secure. 

Several hackers have different purposes for hacking and gaining access. Some do it for monetary purposes, some for political reasons, and some do it just because they can! There are so many different kinds of hacking attempts that don’t see the nature of your business or the amount of money you have.

You may be a slowly-growing startup, and you may still be hacked or infiltrated with ransomware just because your system was easy to break.

In a first-ever study at the University of Maryland, hacker attempts are found to happen every 39 seconds on average! Even if you’ve been spared till now, you never know when your turn might come. So, it’s always better to be cautious and on your defense to protect your IT systems.

  • The Developments in Technologies Help the Hackers Too

As we see new technologies coming up for data protection and cybersecurity, we must remember that more such technologies can help hackers. The hackers are also getting armed with new tools and software, which allows them to break firewalls and find loopholes in the security systems.

For example, when your employees use IoT devices in the same network they use to log in to your company’s server, it becomes even more accessible for hackers to gain access. Such technological advancements are proving to be a cybersecurity threat and can compromise even highly secure systems.

Companies need to be cautious with the software they use and be stringent with employee policies on the login. You don’t just need robust cybersecurity solutions but should also teach your employees to conduct business in a safe atmosphere.

  • Cybersecurity Threats Are Far More Than We Think

When we say cybersecurity, it doesn’t just mean protecting the access pages and keeping up firewalls. There are multiple threats in cybersecurity that require individual attention:

Data security is the protection of the information stored in an offline database or online cloud storage. There are numerous ways through which hackers can gain access to these storage systems. Several security measures are needed to prevent that, like data encryption, tokenization, data access security management, and many more.

Network security is essential to protect the entire IT system from unauthorized access through the networks. Intruders generally use malware or viruses to get access details and codes and use them to target companies.

You can improve network security through antivirus programs, firewalls, renewing new passwords regularly, antispy software, and antimalware software.

Application security is needed when a particular application is targeted — either to gain access to the application’s critical information or gain access to the entire system through the application. Applications can be protected from such access through regular maintenance and security checks, updating the applications often, and conducting vulnerability and penetration testing to find loopholes in the security systems.

These are just a few of the common cybersecurity risks and systems you need. Unfortunately, there are far more such security risks your company is prone to, and it’s vital to analyze and understand every one of them to ensure their security.

What to Look for in a Cybersecurity Service Provider

If you’re searching for someone to provide managed IT services, including cybersecurity, then you need to know what you’re looking for.

Here are some essential qualities that a cybersecurity provider should have:

  • Expertise in various types of cybersecurity 
  • Expertise in the recent hacking technologies and IT security solutions
  • Prompt in chipping in and fixing issues
  • Dependable to handle the sensitive information
  • Previous history of successful security projects and satisfied clients
  • Demonstrated ability to control the security of your entire IT infrastructure 
  • An eye for finding security loopholes and knowledge of improving the current position

If you’ve been wondering, ‘Where can I find such IT services near me to enforce cybersecurity?’, we have the solution. LayerOne Networks offers IT consulting services on cybersecurity to help you figure out the best way to keep your systems safe.

Security

Importance of Zero Trust Security for Your Business

The way in which businesses operate today is a far cry from what it was a couple of years back. The hard truth? The information is no longer as secure as we thought it was.

With so many hacking attempts and everyday news of security breaches, it’s becoming harder to trust any person or technology. In other words, zero trust sounds like the best idea.

This forms the crux of zero trust security, where every person or access is considered hostile until proven otherwise. This zero trust notion was first introduced in a paper in 2010 by John Kindervag from Forrester Research. Soon the term caught on, considering the volatile and technologically advanced world we’re living in.

A zero trust solution for data security essentially means that every request isn’t trusted until it’s verified. And this happens every single time a user tries to gain access or sends a request. So, why should you consider zero trust security for your business? Let’s find out.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Zero Trust Security

At LayerOne Networks, our security experts have implemented zero trust security systems for some of our clients. In this blog, we’ll explain why you need to include zero trust security as a part of your managed IT services

  • You Need Additional Protection for Integration with Third-Party Services

Many times, we tend to link our software with other third-party applications to improve productivity. Or, we use multiple tools to build an application. For example, software developers may use third-party services for logging, authentication, and other similar needs. So, in the end, even a single software may have a host of different applications that have access to the information.

This is when zero trust security plays a crucial role. When every single request passing through the application is verified, we can prevent access or attacks from happening through these third parties. 

  • You Get Complete Visibility into the Logins

The zero trust security works with the notion that the system is already compromised and has to verify every action. While it acts on the process of verification, it never trusts anything. 

So, the visibility of the traffic to the application plays a central role in the security. Every single network log, access, the location of the access, and other details are recorded. The security team can monitor these movements of data and the login details for every single one of the users.

You can also use this data to analyze the attacks or attempts of hacking to pinpoint the exact location, user, and nature. One important point to note here is that zero trust security also monitors the DNS traffic, which is usually unchecked in traditional systems. This helps to avoid unauthorized data access and predict exfiltration.

  • You Need to Maintain Data Security Even with the Remote Work Culture

Ever since the pandemic hit us more than 18 months back, the remote work culture has become a norm. Many companies have permanently allowed for WFH, while some are still in the transitional stage. 

If you have some of your employees working from home, we have to realize that their home networks wouldn’t be as secure as our office networks. It is easier to hack into your enterprise using the home networks.

Zero trust security becomes helpful in such cases since it already considers that the threat is in. It suspects every single request and interaction to and from the application, which means it can stop and verify new instances of request from the WFH employees and prevent any security attacks.

  • You Can Reduce Your Vulnerability

Let’s face it. Every organization that has some amount of dependency on online tools and applications is prone to cyberattacks. And we also have lots of vendors, external service providers, and freelancers that have access to our network. So when you’re switching IT providers or moving to new freelancers, they may still have access even after they’ve stopped working for your business.

When there’s something you can do to minimize your vulnerability and increase your security, it’s essential to consider it. Otherwise, you can’t imagine the consequences of your customers’ sensitive information and operational data falling into the wrong hands.

Zero trust security disallows application access until the user can positively prove their identity. It analyzes the way the device or the user is communicating, the network through which they’re communicating, and puts them through various authorizations to verify them.

Every communication through the application is checked for malicious attacks, which means your business operations will be better protected than most other security systems.

  • You Can Minimize the Security Tech Stacks

As more and more cyberthreats are cropping up and hackers are coming up with new ways to gain access or threaten organizations, the security stacks that are needed to protect ourselves have also increased. So when you want the manpower to implement so many of these tech stacks, you need to hire a big security team to build and manage them. 

But with zero trust security, you can do away with most of the security tech stacks and replace them with a single device in the cloud that monitors every piece of communication. You can minimize the complexity of the projects and the technologies needed and to save on employee costs.

Wrapping Up

In today’s distributed organization, the importance of data security has increased by folds. Zero trust security can reduce your vulnerabilities and improve data protection through the application. 

LayerOne Networks is one of the top IT consulting firms offering managed IT services, data security solutions, and IT consulting services. If you have a business in Corpus Christi and are searching for ‘IT services near me,’ then reach out to us now.

Security

7 Tips for Disaster Recovery Planning to Help Protect Your Business

Can you imagine a situation when even your backup fails?

Yes, we know that’s one of the worst things that can happen to your business. But as much as we don’t want to imagine such a situation, it’s always better to be prepared for it.

When you rely on just your local storage and a backup, you don’t have any way to get back the lost data when the IT system goes down. Having a disaster recovery plan ready will help you salvage the data and critical business information even when the unfortunate happens.

If you haven’t yet started the disaster recovery planning, then this blog will guide you to build one for your business.

7 Tips for Planning Disaster Recovery for Businesses

Before we go on to the actual procedure of setting up a disaster recovery plan, you need to understand that this is more than just a backup. A disaster recovery plan comes into play when your main system, as well as the backups, fail. 

Many IT consulting firms and cloud service providers work together to offer disaster recovery planning customized to your business. Even when you hire one, it’s always essential to know the planning that goes behind.

  • 1. Assess Your Threats & Risks

How will the disaster occur? 

This must be the first question you ask yourself and your IT team. Assess your IT infrastructure and backup options and think about all the various ways in which it goes down, gets corrupted, or, even worse, hacked.

If you want to prepare for the worst, you have to think about the worst to create procedures to tackle the situation.

  • 2. Identify & Prioritize the Critical Systems

Creating a disaster recovery plan by considering all of your threats is essential. However, what will happen when multiple threats happen at once?

This is when you need to prioritize. Think of all the bare minimum that you need to run your business and on which you have critical information. You should prioritize the recovery of such systems first. 

As a part of the disaster recovery plan, you need to have a priority list of systems you need to recover in order. Put this down in writing so that your IT team can get to the task by referring to this list when the chaos breaks out.

  • 3. Have a Quick Response Team

You may think that your entire IT team is more than enough to manage any such crisis. But, more often, the IT team will get drowned in a chaotic situation with so many things to handle. 

This is when you need to bring the recovery experts in. These are people who plan and execute the disaster recovery day in and day out and, therefore, have the skillset to quickly get on the job without getting anxious. 

You can either hire the experts and make them a part of your in-house team or have a third-party team outsourced and ready. 

At LayerOne Networks, we offer disaster recovery and security service for companies in Corpus Christi. Our recovery experts have worked on multiple projects to successfully recover and restore the data within minimal downtime. You can call us at (361)-653-6800 for more information.

  • 4. Create Proper Communication Channels

Who should your IT team inform first when the disaster strikes? Who is next? And next?

All of this information should be put in writing and given to the IT team. It is easy to get flustered and confused when a disaster strikes. So, having documentation of the communication channels will set the IT team in the right direction to resolve and recover.

  • 5. Be Realistic in Your Recovery Goals

We want the disaster to be managed as soon as possible and the IT system restored quickly. But that’s not what happens in real life. Creating unrealistic goals for the recovery would only make things even worse.

So, to have realistic goals, we need to understand two parameters: Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Both of these metrics tell us the acceptable amount of time your system can be down and the time it will take to recover the data. We need to understand and keep track of the metrics when retrieving the data.

  • 6. Test Your Recovery Plan

We cannot stress more the importance of having a trial run of the recovery plan. You can identify the bottlenecks in the plan and improve it only when you go through the disaster recovery process.

Furthermore, it prepares your employees to respond properly and take the necessary actions to support the recovery. You can conduct trial runs for disaster recovery every once in a few months so that the employees remember what to do when the real thing strikes.

  • 7. Detail the Alternate Recovery Plans

This is the most desperate situation a business can find itself in. Nonetheless, we need to plan for it. 

There have been instances where the employees couldn’t access the local disaster recovery sites or cloud storage during an emergency due to unavoidable reasons. 

So, what’s the next step in that case? Do you plan to have some critical data stored in another online backup storage? Or do you have a plan to have some offline backup at a distant location?

Think about what to do in the worst-case scenario when the recovery plan doesn’t go through. You can plan to have backup storage at an alternate location and get it delivered or some cloud location where your team can access critical files.

Wrapping Up

Having a disaster recovery plan is a must for every business due to the number of threats and risks we’re open to. At LayerOne Networks, our recovery experts offer managed IT services in Corpus Christi to help businesses prepare and safeguard themselves against disasters.

You can schedule a consultation call with one of our experts to know more about how we can help you.

 

Security

Security As A Service: Align SECaaS to Your Cybersecurity Risks

Security can’t just be tied to data centers. How can you enforce security for your applications on the cloud hosted from another part of the world?

Enter, Security-as-a-Service, otherwise known in short as SECaaS. 

Most businesses have shifted to cloud platforms to build, store and manage applications. In such cases, the business operations happen entirely through a network connected to the cloud.

With the increasing threat of cybersecurity, SECaaS ensures maximum safety for the information sent to and from the cloud using the network.

So, what actually is SECaaS and how can it help you?

Let’s find out.

What is Security-as-a-Service?

Simply put, Security-as-a-Service is an outsourced model for cybersecurity services. Through SECaaS, the company providing IT security services will offer the required technologies for cybersecurity to make the cloud and mobile platforms safe and secure.

The cybersecurity service provider will take control of your online security needs, including monitoring, intrusion, authentication, updation, malware protection and antivirus security. This provider will also be well-equipped to handle any future threats and advise on the best practices for implementing security for any new applications.

The 2019 Gartner report, “The Future of Network Security Is in the Cloud”, mentions: 

“What security and risk professionals in a digital enterprise need is a worldwide fabric/mesh of network and network security capabilities that can be applied when and where needed to connect entities to the networked capabilities they need access to.’

This is exactly what we focus on at LayerOne Networks. By combining the security for network, web gateway, cloud access security broker and other network access points, our data security service providers at Corpus Christi focus on delivering holistic cybersecurity solutions customized to business needs. 

We help to work against the cybersecurity risks and resolve them without causing any harm to your organization.

5 Common Cybersecurity Risks That Every Business Is Exposed To

For any typical business, irrespective of the scale, there are lots of cybersecurity risks you’ll encounter:

  1. 1. Malware Attack: This can come into the system in any form, like using free software or from any downloads. 
  2. 2. Data Breach: Hackers gain access to the storage, usually by brute force attack or through network hacks, to find the password.
  3. 3. Phishing Attacks: Malware or virus gets downloaded into the system when users click on a link and gain access to compromise the system.
  4. 4. Ransomware: This is one of the most recent and fast-growing cyberattacks where hackers will lock access to the information until the ransom is paid.
  5. 5. IoT Attacks: Hackers use the IoT devices and networks to crack the password and enter the network as one of the usual users

These are just some of the common cybersecurity risks that any business can face. You never know when these attacks will happen or if you’ve been targeted. So, you need a strong cybersecurity team to continually monitor your security measures, identify data breaches and attack attempts and enforce higher security to avoid these issues in the future.

Why Do You Need SECaaS?

If you are using a cloud network for your business operations, then you most definitely need SECaaS. But apart from that, if you’re thinking about managing cybersecurity in-house, we strongly advise you to consider the advantages of outsourcing SECaaS from an experienced provider. Here’s why you need an external SECaaS provider.

  • Expertise at Minimum Security Costs

This is one of the top reasons why you need an external SECaaS. 

We all know that with the rise in cybersecurity, no mundane security measures will make the cut. You need uncompromised, top-notch cybersecurity that protects your information to the maximum.

When you outsource to a good cybersecurity provider, you can save so much money and at the same time, get experts to work on your security details.

  • Quick Response Time

Generally, SMBs don’t have the resources to hire a complete in-house team for cybersecurity. This blows them wide open for cyberattacks from outside and no one to battle it from their side.

Instead, SMBs can opt to outsource it to SECaaS who will run regular maintenance checks and be there for the business when an attack hits. Time is of the essence in cyberattacks. The more time we take to respond, the more the attackers will gain access. 

A SECaaS provider will have a standby team ready to manage and tackle any attacks, put a stop to it and salvage as much as possible.

  • Keep Your Security Details Updated

If you think installing malware management software and an antivirus application is enough to protect your sensitive data, then you’re in for a shock.

Hackers are regularly working on cracking the best of the best security technologies, which is why the security software companies release regular updates to keep ourselves one step ahead of them. So, you need a team to update, monitor, analyze and improve your cybersecurity details. This is where the help of a SECaaS provider comes in.

  • Easy Scalability

When you’re planning to expand your organization or include new applications, you also should extend the shield of cybersecurity to the new inclusions. This can require lots of new resources, manpower and technology equipment if you plan to do it alone.

Instead, with a SECaaS provider, you can easily scale up or scale down your security measures as and when you need without any vast expenditure. This cybersecurity will be one thing less on your checklist when focussing on expansions.

How Can You Hire a Good SECaaS Provider?

There are so many companies offering managed IT security services in the market. So, then how can you find the best one for you. Here are a few things to look at:

  • Expertise
  • The size of the team
  • The technologies they use
  • The cost of the services
  • The previous and current client experience
  • Security strategies
  • Risk management strategies
  • Backup strategies

Based on this information, you can make an informed decision to choose the best company for SECaaS.

If you’re looking for a trusted company offering security service in Corpus Christi, talk to one of our security experts at 361-653-6800 and get an idea of our expertise and services.

Security

How to Integrate Cyber Resiliency into Your IT Strategy

“How can we be resilient enough in the face of the risks?” should be the question companies should ask when talking about cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is more than the inclusion of technology features. Instead, it’s all about protecting yourself from unlawful attempts by integrating cyber resiliency into your business processes. When you achieve cyber resilience in your everyday operations, right from customer interactions to creating applications, you can truly be confident about protecting your data.

In this blog, we’ll look at the best approach to integrating cyber resiliency into your IT strategy to achieve a high-security level.

The Growth of Cyber Resiliency Over the Years

A decade ago, cybersecurity wasn’t a priority. It was treated as an additional process and not included as a whole in the operations. However, that changed when cybersecurity was considered as a control function.

With such a mindset about cybersecurity, 80% of the technology executives failed to protect themselves when the hackers started using sophisticated tools and strategies.

The best solution to create a powerful cybersecurity model is to consider it more of a digital resilience than a control function. Such a process allows companies to carry on with their different tasks, all the while protecting critical information. Such a defined and unified cybersecurity model is what we call a truly cyber resilient company.

At LayerOne Networks, we’ve been helping companies to implement cyber resiliency that moves beyond the model-based security features and becomes an all-inclusive strategy.  Our cyber security services and managed IT services for companies in Corpus Christi have given them confidence and resilience about their sensitive information’s safety.

Our cybersecurity experts share their best ideas to integrate cyber resiliency as a part of your organization.

How to Create a Cyber Resilient Strategy?

There are three ways by which you can include cyber resilience into your IT strategy.

  • 1. Prepare for Attack on Existing IT Systems

When we consider the points of attacks during a cyber breach, it can be so many. The hackers can gain access through malware and ransomware or gain access through networks without recognition. Your IT system should protect itself against all these types of attacks.

  • First, assess your current situation and plan your strategies to include cybersecurity in your existing IT systems and processes. 
  • Evaluate the critical information and its storage functions and strategize on the best way to implement security measures for such systems. 
  • Find out the different access points that can breach the critical systems.
  •  Define IT security systems to protect these points first.
  • Then, take up a holistic approach to create optimized IT security systems for the rest of the business operations.
  • Document the cybersecurity measures clearly and capture all the assets to verify with the security policies and governances.

Make sure to optimize the complete platform with intelligent cybersecurity tools. You should also have a standby recovery management protocol that the IT team can implement fast in a security breach.

  • 2. Think Proactively to Protect Critical Assets

Hackers try to get access to your data to make money or to do harm to your business. Either way, when they get their hands on your critical assets, it can damage your company for good.

This is why you have to think proactively and safeguard your important data. You need to update your software regularly, run patch testing, and security testing on your IT systems, and use predictive analytics to curb cyber risks. 

To be proactive to the fullest, your networks and the IT processes should be regulated. This will simply be the process of implementing security measures and improving cyber resilience. You should also simulate cyberthreats to detect the weak points and secure them. 

You should also invest in tools and software for the detection of cyber threats and have a ready plan in place to tackle the issues. Responding rapidly is the key to thwarting a hacking attempt which is why you should place high importance on your crisis management strategy.

Your crisis management strategy should have:

  • Quick incident response time
  • Automated recovery efforts
  • Removal of the virus from the system and security of the network back
  • Intrusion analysis system
  • Redeployment of the IT systems
  • 3. Build a Resilient-Aware Employee Community

While your IT team is working on creating secure channels and putting up walls to keep the intruders out, you should educate your other employees about the cybersecurity measures. 

Many successful hacking attempts happen due to the negligence of the employees. So, make all the employees in the organization aware of the different ways hackers get access and the prevention measures they can do to avoid it.

  • Conduct cybersecurity awareness campaigns
  • Get an IT consulting firm to conduct educational workshops and practical sessions 
  • Educate about the recovery steps in times of a crisis. 

When you create an organization where people are conscious of the cybersecurity threats and take practical steps to prevent them, it would be the first step to build a cyber-resilient IT system.

Summing Up

Building a cyber-resilient IT strategy is the most-effective preventive way to protect your organization from cyber threats. It prepares for the pre-and post-attack scenarios with the proper measures to avoid or minimize the damage. You can integrate cyber resiliency into your IT strategy by:

  • Preparing yourself for the attacks by predicting and simulating the cyber threat scenarios,
  • Taking proactive steps in case of a security breach with a crisis management strategy in place with quick response time,
  • Educating all the employees about the various forms of cybersecurity and what they can do to prevent it. 

If you want an IT consulting firm to improve the cyber resilience of your organization, you can work with our LayerOne Networks’ cybersecurity experts. Call us at 361 653 6800 to know more about our security service for Corpus Christi companies.

Security

Stop Ransomware with Effective Backups

It’s no news that ransomware is becoming one of the top issues in data security.

Ransomware is almost impossible to trace and so, once the hackers gain access, there’s very little we can do to restore without paying the ransom. Since it can potentially bring the organization down, many give in to the ransom demands.

So then, how can you stop the ransomware from wrecking your organization and gain access to sensitive information? Let’s find out.

What Can You Do in Times of a Ransomware Attack?

There are a few things you can do when you have become the victim of a ransomware attack.

  1. You can take the matters in your hands and try to crack the ransomware code, delete it and save your information. This is the rarest solution. You will have to use a malware detection tool to find out the source of the attack and delete those files and leave the encrypted files out of it.
  2. You can bring matters to the attention of law enforcement officials. The cyber cell would’ve seen many such instances of ransomware attacks and can, therefore, give you great pointers to handle the situation.
  3. You can get an external agency to help you, like an IT consulting firm or a company specialized in ransomware prevention. 
  4. You can plug out the infected computers from the network and prevent the ransomware from spreading to the other systems. 

In many situations where you handle ransomware attacks, you would often be compelled to delete your computer’s information. So, what would happen when you lose out all your essential data?

This is when having a data backup pays off.

Protecting Your Important Data from Ransomware Attacks with Backups

At LayerOne Networks, we’ve seen many companies manage such cyberattacks in the best way possible due to our managed backup services. When you have all your essential information backed up, you needn’t worry about losing these data in the time of a ransomware attack, or for that matter any cybersecurity threat.

Our backup as a service (BaaS) will help you to create a foolproof strategy to keep your sensitive information safe and away from the hands of the hackers. Here are a few important tips to protect yourself from ransomware attacks.

  • Go by the 3-2-1 Backup Plan

This is one of the most effective and proven backup strategies that has been used over and over by many companies.

What is the 3-2-1 backup plan?

  • Have 3 copies of data; one is your main data storage while the two more are backups.
  • Have two different types of media storage.
  • Have one offsite backup storage.

When you have your data on two separate backups, both of which are in different formats and locations, you have high chances of accessing and restoring the information even when you’re attacked.

The offsite backup should be saved in a location that isn’t anywhere near your office. This is to ensure that your backup will still be safe in the events of any physical calamities.

  • Keep Your Backup Separate from the Main Network

If you want to protect the backup during a ransomware attack, you shouldn’t save your backup on the main network. This is one of the very first things you must take care of. 

In any cyberattack, the virus tries to branch out more to the other storages in the network. So when you have your main storage unit as well as the backup storage in the same network, it can lead to adverse consequences like losing all of your data, including the ones in the backup.

So always make sure to save your backup data in a separate network.

  • Provide Sufficient Recovery Points 

Generally, when you want to recover the data from backup storage, you should be able to access it in the same state it was in before the attack. However, in the worst case that your backup is also affected by the virus, you need to position numerous recovery points through which you can restore and access data at previous stages.

You can ask your IT consulting firm to provide multiple storage blocks and create a storage memory that can’t be altered once the value is set.

  • Implement High Security for the Backup Server

This is an area that many organizations avoid. While you enforce maximum security possible for your main server, you should also give equal importance to the backup server.

Why so? The hackers generally do not know what a particular server is until they hack it. They go by the server which is most easy to crack. And when your backup server doesn’t have high security than the main server, it’s more prone to be attacked. 

There have been many instances in the past where ransomware targeted backup files like the Ryuk ransomware.

  • Backup Often

The backup frequency will determine the data you can access if you’re attacked by a ransomware. When you’re backing up the data once in a few weeks, you’ll lose out on loads of work that you’ve done during those weeks. 

Depending on the importance of your work, increase the backup time to at least once in a few hours to make sure that your recent work is saved and kept safe.

Summing Up

While there are several security measures to prevent the ransomware attacks, it’s best to always have a backup plan.

  • Follow the 3-2-1 plan for a multi-layered backup.
  • Your backup storage should be on a  separate server and should have multiple recovery points.
  • You should enforce high security for the backup plan to prevent the backups from getting attacked.
  • Make sure to increase the frequency of your backup to save your recently worked data.

If you’re looking to hire an experienced company providing managed IT services in Corpus Christi, then reach out to us now. Our IT experts will help you decide the best strategy for backing up your important data and protect it even during ransomware attacks.

Security

What Really Happens During a Cyber Attack?

New technology. New cyber threats. New security breaches. 

Cyber threats have become a recurring occurrence and common news nowadays. Every year, new cyber security threats are coming up. And as we begin the promising year of 2021, we need to steel ourselves for the new cyber threats.

To protect yourself against such cyber attacks, you need to implement foolproof cybersecurity systems to keep the hackers out. However, it’s easier said than done.

To enforce a security system customized to sensitive data, you need to understand what really happens during a cybersecurity attack. This blog will take you through the journey of cyber attacks, the information that can be tapped, and the risks involved.

The Journey of a Cyber Attack – The Possibilities of Security Breaches

Anyone can be a victim of a cyber attack. Just last year, the hackers even stole from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and so there’s no telling when or who might be attacked next. 

Our cybersecurity service experts at Corpus Christi have prevented many such attacks with our firewall protection and data security support. We also offer data security along with managed IT services for businesses in Corpus Christi to protect themselves against cyber threats. 

Let’s jump right in and what the hackers do during a cyber attack and how you need to protect yourself.

Hackers Spot the Vulnerabilities

Many cyber-attacks happen because hackers spot a security vulnerability and exploit it. This vulnerability can be in any form — by brute-forcing the password, eavesdropping on the communications, extracting personal information through phishing attacks, and many more. 

Often, such vulnerabilities are the silliest mistakes made by the employees, like using the most obvious password, accessing the official data from the home network that doesn’t have security, or leaving the system logged in at the end of the day.

The hackers find such loopholes in the website or the server and add a piece of their code to try and crack the vulnerability wide open. They may also inject malware or ransomware through the gaps in the system security.

Businesses Panic & Lose Evidence

As the data security of a business is compromised, people begin to panic.

They make absurd actions that they would never do in full consciousness otherwise and this leads to even bigger problems. Some companies make the mistake of not assessing the level of attacks or prioritizing the wrong thing to do. Often, one common mistake many makes is deleting the evidence of the attack, which is most valuable to assess and prevent future attacks. 

This is why every business needs a cyberattack recovery plan in place. In times of panic, the security team can refer to this plan and start taking the steps one by one. 

This recovery plan should be detailed, containing the complete SOP to identify and fix the vulnerability as soon as possible. While we can never predict what the cyber attack can be, it’s important to cover all possible grounds for the threats in the recovery plan. The recovery plan should also insist on the team save the evidence before deleting the other files. 

There are often a few important people who must be informed when there’s a cyber attack. For instance, when a data manager is informed of the attack, the person will initiate a risk management plan to backup the sensitive data and increase the security around it.

Similarly, several people in the organization should be kept in loop about the cyber attack. However, many teams, in the frenzy of saving the situation, fail to communicate properly or be prejudiced in the communication. This could complicate and even open the data up for more risk. 

The best way to tackle this issue — train the team for clear, quick, factful communication of the situation.

The Hackers Meanwhile Try Penetrating Deeper

See, there’s one thing about the hackers. Even if you keep enforcing more firewalls to keep the hackers out, they’ll keep trying and trying until they find another loophole. 

What can you do during such times?

Keep enforcing better security continually without resting for a minute even when it looks like the hacker is giving up. You may never know how and where the hacker can attack next. In the meantime, collect enough evidence about the attack which may give you an idea into the attack and take necessary steps. 

While not all cyber attacks have a direct impact on an organization, it can send the wrong message out to the public. The best way to do this is to analyze the attack once everything has calmed down and performed a complete, scrutinized security audit to identify and fix any other loopholes.

Final Thoughts

Doesn’t it look like a total mess in the face of a cyber attack?

Well, this is the common reality of many organizations when a hacker tries to gain access. You can avoid such frenzied mistakes and miscommunications during a cyber-attack by creating a risk management and recovery plan. 

Even better, you can improve your data security, conduct regular audits, and get the help of a company offering security services in Corpus Christi like LayerOne Networks. Our managed IT services for companies in Corpus Christi provides a wholesome solution for maintaining security, identifying the cyber threats and loopholes even before the hackers do, and fixing them.

Contact us to find out how we can make your systems secure.

Security

How healthcare SaaS is taking off in the medical industry?

Let us start with the numbers.

61.84 billion US dollars.

Is the number, global healthcare cloud computing market expects to generate by 2025? The integration of software in the medical industry is a revolution of sorts. With the pandemic revealing loopholes in the healthcare sector, this revolution is imperative.

At the heart of this revolution is the advent and growth of SaaS — Software as a Service. In today’s world, you are a few clicks away from an IT consulting firm. Most of them have evolved into providing quality cloud computing services.

The cloud-based solutions were never a go-to in the healthcare sector. Security concerns, coupled with compliance issues riddled its utility.

Now, to ensure SaaS is viable in the medical industry, stringent regulations are in place. With the equipping of firewalls, blockchain technology, etc, SaaS providers are now reliable.

The evolution of SaaS into a workable solution in the healthcare sector is pleasing. The most profound reasons for this evolution are:

  • Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI)

Healthcare runs on prior records. Every medication, every treatment in the past, impacts the patients’ health acuity. The medical conditions, the severity of the treatment are important records in healthcare.

The documentation of the same is a tedious task. The possibility of human error during documentation is high. When we scale it up to public health levels, it is alarming at the least.

Cloud-based documentation solves these problems. The real-time updates, coupled with ease of access make this solution a no-brainer.

CDI assists in easier collaboration across the healthcare center. This allows for the streamlining of the workflow. Since the physicians have the patient’s past at their fingertips, the diagnosis is easier.

During treatment, the recording of every needle and pill happens in real-time. CDI provides a comprehensive reflection of a patient’s clinical status. The utility of CDI furthers into maintaining macro records. From billing the patient to preparing the report card. It also assists in the documentation of public health data and disease tracking.

  • Telehealth

The efficacy of cloud computing is further enhanced with the advent of telehealth. With this, SaaS providers have eased major logistical issues in the healthcare sector.

An IT Consulting firm can now connect a patient with his/her physician in real-time. This solves the traditional issue of lack of accessibility to quality healthcare. Cloud computing services have enabled access to medical professionals, using the internet. This is also used to educate the patient on the best practices of healthcare. And even monthly or weekly tracking of health conditions is possible. All thanks to the flexibility of telehealth.

The pandemic and its associated restrictions on movement is a hassle. But, with telehealth, the patients’ connectivity with healthcare providers is seamless. This also furthers the reach of quality healthcare.

Remember, the internet has no geographical borders. Hence, even those living in rural areas too can access medical professionals.

  • Electronic HIE – Health Information exchange

A prolonged issue in the healthcare sector has been the exchange of information. With the advent of electronic health records, the logistical issues were less of a hassle. Yet, public sector healthcare providers never embraced it. The fear-factor was present. From misuse to data breaches, the potential for adversity is high.

Cut to 2020, most SaaS providers have used cloud-computing to make HIE workable.

The seamless transfer of files and records enhances productivity. And this enhancement is possible even in the public health sector.

Electronic HIE also addresses a wide range of applications. It acts as a haven for the maintenance of population health management. This pandemic has reflected the need for transparent HIE. Ideal SaaS providers leverage the potential of technology to ease the HIE process.

The advantages of using electronic HIE by cloud computing services are as follows:

  • Reduces administrative work and time,
  • Avoids medication errors,
  • Improves diagnosis,
  • Removes unwanted testing,
  • Ensures transparency.
  • Data Security

Public healthcare is a data-intensive sector. The voluminous amounts of information are two-edged. It facilitates ease of access and reduces efforts in the treatment of individuals. But, the potential for data breaches, leaks, and hacks are aplenty.

Being a core concern for the use of cloud and technology, data security plays an integral role. The evolution of data security has been significant, and at pace.

Healthcare institutions store a multitude of data. Personal information, medical conditions, financials, is all part of the data. To secure them all, the need to invest in quality data security solutions is essential.

Since the data is cloud-based, the need for an on-site data security team is redundant. Using SaaS, healthcare institutions can afford high-security solutions.

Investing in these furthers the image of the institution in the minds of patients and others.

  • Learning Management systems (LMS)

Medical education is enduring. The extensive education, coupled with experiential learning takes years. Add to it the rapid evolution in techniques and standards. The call to remain updated is another prolonged process.

To solve this, cloud-based LMS is the key. This allows medical professionals to learn and educate themselves. Yet, with negligible to zero compromises in professional commitments.

Using SaaS, the LMS assists healthcare professionals with their continuing education (CE). This helps them be in line with industry standards. LMS is customizable. From a fresher to an experienced doctor, the tailoring of LMS is possible at an individual level.

LMS aligns the learning schedule of an individual with their professional commitments. This reduces the scope for compromises, while still helping them learn.

The facet of accessibility is ideal for learning. You can access LMS using a range of devices. Since they are cloud-based, LMS are cost-efficient and provide utmost utility.

Associating with an IT consulting firm for LMS can assist in the tracking of progress. The real-time monitoring of the learning process, also, assists in compliance.

Understanding the benefits of using SaaS, it is high-time, public healthcare embraces it. For IT solutions of the highest quality, LayerOne is your go-to IT consulting firm. We provide secure and reliable end-to-end solutions. We follow all regulations and privacy implications. Contact us and welcome enhanced productivity and efficiency.