Security

The Importance of Cyber Security Architecture

Organizations spend enormous amounts of time and money on cyber security. As a result, they prioritize protection based on potential harm. This includes theft of customer information, loss of intellectual property, or direct damage to the physical infrastructure.

However, cyber security is not just about protecting the organization from external threats. It is also about protecting the employees of the organization. Employees often have access to confidential information about customers, suppliers, and other vendors and data about the company’s employees, products, and finances. If sold or stolen, this confidential information can lead to identity theft, loss of customers, and lower employee morale.

Having a solid security plan can increase the overall security of the IT infrastructure and enable an additional level of protection in all online activities.

Every Business Needs Security

data-security-corpus-christi

Security architecture helps IT and security professionals identify the security controls that are required to protect an organization. It takes into account the organization’s goals, policies, business needs, and existing technology. 

The framework helps determine how security controls will be managed and implemented. It also identifies what security capabilities are required and what controls need to be implemented.

Security architecture is much more than a collection of security tools and policies. It is a set of interconnected processes, procedures, and technologies that protect information and infrastructure from threats.

Here’s how to think about security architecture: Your business needs to communicate securely with partners, customers, and vendors. It needs to store information securely. It needs to authenticate users and devices and encrypt their communications. It needs to manage user privileges, provide secure remote access, and protect against information leakage.

Security architecture supports all of this. In addition, it ensures that security is implemented effectively and consistently.

Essential Components of Security Architecture

Security architecture framework should include the following components:

  • Security framework: This refers to a collection of statements that describe how security controls should be implemented.
  • Security policies: These define the acceptable levels of risk, operations, and loss for the organization.
  • Security requirements: These determine how security controls should be implemented to protect the organization from threats.
  • Security capabilities: These set how security controls will respond when a security event occurs.
  • Security controls: These define how security controls are implemented.
  • Security management: This refers to a collection of statements describing how security should be managed.

Implementing a security architecture for your business

Security architecture is an organization’s overall security strategy to protect its information and systems from external threats.

However, not all security architectures are created equally. While all organizations need security architecture, not all organizations have the same needs or goals. 

Whatever the plans are, the need for IT security in an organization can be split into four categories: 

  • Prevention and detection 
  • Monitoring and analysis 
  • Incident response  
  • Crisis communications

This is why security experts from our IT consultant service do extensive research before coming up with a security architecture plan that meets your company’s needs. Here are some of the key processes for creating a security architecture.

1. Understanding Business Goals & Structure

Security architectures are most often designed to meet an organization’s business objectives, such as maintaining data security, preventing unauthorized access, and complying with regulatory standards.

For example, a healthcare organization’s security architecture might include measures to prevent hacking of its computer systems from complying with HIPAA regulations.

Security architecture aims to identify, manage, and mitigate risks to an organization’s information assets. Good security architecture helps an organization achieve its business objectives, such as protecting sensitive data and controlling costs.

Understanding the scope of IT security and devising a plan around it is incredibly important.

2. Customize the plan according to the scope

Security architectures are not one-size-fits-all. Some organizations, such as financial institutions, need more protection than others. Different businesses, such as manufacturing corporations deal with different risks. An organization’s security architecture should meet its business objectives by protecting information assets and supporting business strategy.

The best security architectures are those that align with an organization’s specific business goals. This is why we sit down with the team to develop a strong plan and an implementation strategy for the security architecture. 

3. Creating a Strategy

We begin by creating an overall security strategy. Most security architectures include the software, hardware, and policies that provide security. Security architectures also address various security technologies, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and anti-virus systems.

This high-level strategy includes a high level of threat and risk analysis.

4. Building the Design

We set security priorities first. The highest priorities are mapped to the highest priority projects.

Security architects design security processes. These may include incident reporting, handling, and change management.

5. Developing architecture 

Security architects create security plans that identify which security technologies are suitable for the highest priority security projects. Security architects also develop policies, standards, and procedures that guide security engineers and system administrators in implementing and using the security architectures.

6. Training employees

They train employees with the best security practices in mind. This is crucial to ensure that the employees meet the high-security standards and do everything they can to maintain online security. 

Do you want to implement a robust security architecture for your organization? Let our security experts at LayerOne Networks help you. We are one of the most experienced IT consulting firms that provide the best security service in Corpus Christi. Contact our team to get insights into devising an architecture customized for you.

Security

IT Security vs. IT Compliance: What is the Difference?

Is there any difference between IT security and IT compliance?

This is often one of the common doubts many get when talking about securing their IT systems.

IT security and IT compliance both have to deal with protecting the information. But that’s where the similarities stop. There are quite a lot of differences between what goes on in IT security and IT compliance.

But, for some IT professionals, both terms are interchangeable, and their differences get blurred. This blog specifically sheds light on what constitutes IT security and IT compliance and the differences between them both.

What is IT Security?

IT Security vs. IT Compliance: What is the Difference?

IT security is needed to prevent attacks from malicious sources and protect our IT systems. IT security is also about minimizing the damage in the event of an unstoppable attack and ensuring that sensitive information is kept safe.

While the explanation seems simple, the process behind IT security is not. There are many ways through which hackers can gain access to our IT systems, and IT security professionals need to predict and enforce firewalls to prevent them.

At LayerOne Networks, we provide security services for companies in Corpus Christi and use a combination of IT security practices to keep the security systems updated. We use a set of automated tools, security kits, and manual processes wherever needed to conduct regular audits and tests to reinforce and strengthen IT security.

What is IT Compliance?

IT Security vs. IT Compliance: What is the Difference?

IT compliance is the need to follow a specific set of regulations based on third-party requirements. While there’s no direct motivation for IT compliance, like IT security, failure to meet the compliance needs can have serious repercussions.

IT compliance helps maintain a standard of security for the users by enforcing specialized IT security practices. Usually, IT compliance is mandated by:

  • Government
  • Client contract 
  • Industry-specific regulations and standards

For example, healthcare companies need to follow HIPAA compliance for all of their IT systems to maintain the data security of the patient’s information.

Similarly, there are various other industry standards that every business needs to follow. Moreover, adhering to the standards of compliance will also serve as a plus point for client acquisition. 

Our IT consulting firm has helped many companies to understand such compliance needs and adhere to them. We analyze such mandatory IT compliances for a business and assist them to be in line with them all.

What’s the difference between IT security & IT compliance?

IT compliance is fixed when compared to IT security. With IT compliance, you’ll need to follow all the particulars in the industry, government, and contract compliance. You don’t need to go out of your way to come up with novel ideas for it.

However, IT security is entirely flexible based on your business needs, budget, and capability. You can exercise any amount of cybersecurity as much as you need to keep your information protected. You’ll look at the security of your system from different points of view and analyze the best way to maximize data security.

Let’s compare the difference with the actual processes of IT security and IT compliance.

3 Different ways to improve IT security

Most hackers try to gain access to an IT system in 3 common ways:

  • Networks: There are network security tools and firewalls that we can install to fortify the networks. It can prevent hackers from attacking the system and quickly rely on the hacking attempt by security professionals.
  • People: One of the most common ways hackers try to crack an IT system is through the people. The employees may carelessly click on malicious links or open websites through which the malware gets installed, gains all the login information, and sends it to the hacker. To prevent it, we need to conduct regular IT security seminars to warn people against such hacking attempts.
  • Devices: The physical devices we carry may be prone to phishing attacks. There is specific software we need to install and conduct regular screening to prevent such types of attacks.

3 Different ways to follow IT compliance

Here are some common IT compliance frameworks that many companies need to adhere to:

  • SOX ( Sarbanes-Oxley Act) is required to maintain the financial data of public companies. It has several requirements for maintaining, destroying, and altering the data.
  • PCI DSS compliance stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. It is created for maintaining financial information by using secured networks, different levels of access, and testing. 
  • ISO 27000 is a standard that certifies companies that follow certain high levels of security. It outlines how a company should approach and follow information security management. While this isn’t mandatory, companies that follow ISO 27000 have an edge in clients’ eyes over those who don’t.

Striking a balance between IT security & IT compliance

When we look at it closely, IT compliance is often seen as a mandatory one where we can do the minimum and get by. This is where IT security complements compliance and adds to the protection of IT systems.

Every organization requires robust security systems, multi-layered defense protocols, and IT security training sessions. We can use compliance to find the gap in IT security and further increase the protection with advanced security systems and tools.

IT compliance establishes the foundation of IT security, and with further protection measures, we can ensure that your IT infrastructure is kept safe at all times. 

With the new improvements in technology, it’s becoming challenging for organizations to keep up with the latest hacking techniques and update their IT security. This is where our IT consulting firm is of the best use.

With our managed IT services focused specifically on IT security and compliance, we can keep your entire IT ecosystem secure. Reach out to us at (361)653-6800 to discuss your IT security needs in detail.

Security

Ransomware Vs. Malware: What is More Dangerous?

At a time when businesses are under threat from cybersecurity issues, you can never be too cautious.

Online security threats are everywhere — from the emails we open to the WiFi networks we connect. And with businesses depending on online tools and communication, we need to be careful more than ever to prevent ourselves from attacks. This is why everyone needs to be aware of the different cyber threats and what it means for businesses. 

Among the popular cyber issues, ransomware and malware are some of the most common ones used interchangeably. 

In this blog, our security experts from our IT consulting firm shed light on the differences between ransomware and malware and analyze which of these is the most dangerous.

What Is Malware?

Malware is software or a tool that has malicious intentions—many of the current cybersecurity hacks and threats we find come under the category of malware.

Usually, the hacker tricks you into installing this malware on your system by clicking on a trustworthy link or gaining access to your login details. Once this malware is installed, it can monitor all the actions you do on the system, record, and send it to another server accessible by the hacker.

The typical examples of malware are viruses, worms, spyware, adware, crypto-jacking, and spambots. Every malware is designed to do a specific job as needed by the hacker.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that gets access to a system and asks for a ransom in exchange for giving access. Usually, the ransomware software gets installed on a system with phishing attacks.

A ransomware software can access the credentials, files, share them to another location, set up a ransom, and demand payment. One of the main issues with ransomware is that the hacker threatens to leak confidential information if the ransom isn’t paid. 

Which Is More Dangerous: Ransomware or Malware?

Ransomware vs. Malware: What Is More Dangerous?

First of all, we need to understand that there are certain degrees of danger to either form of hacking based on the security and the sensitiveness of the accessed files. To understand which can do more harm, we need to know how different they are.

Basic Working

Before we consider how malware and ransomware are different, let’s first understand how much they differ in the way of operations.

Most malware will try to replicate the files on the system and share them with the hacker. It also copies itself from file to file, corrupting the files in the process and gaining access to the information.

Ransomware is entirely different. Once ransomware gets installed, it prevents access to the system using high-security features. The ransomware will be removed after the payment is fulfilled.

Level of Access

Let’s consider the amount of access both of these cyberthreats have. In the case of malware, while it can access information up to a level and even slow down the system’s performance, it cannot destroy a business.

On the other hand, we have seen several actual companies shutting down after being attacked by ransomware. So, in terms of access and impact, ransomware is more threatening than most other malware.

Method of Protection and Removal

Protecting your systems against different types of malware, including ransomware, is done by installing anti-virus and anti-malware protection solutions. The company employees who have access to sensitive information should avoid clicking on suspicious links and becoming victims of phishing attacks.

While the protection for both ransomware and malware is similar, the ease with which we remove this malware once it gains access to a system is different. While we can try to remove other types of malware by using software, it’s hard to do the same with ransomware. Only when the payment is fulfilled can the ransomware be removed.

Identification 

When a system is infected with malware, it can be hard to identify it. The malware doesn’t make itself known, and you can only detect it using the anti-virus programs and suspect when your system’s performance is slowing down. If it’s mild malware, you can reconfigure the operating system to get rid of it. Or, you can implement a disaster recovery program to salvage some of the damage.

However, in the case of ransomware, the ransomware will make itself known soon after it has infected a system by blocking your access. So there’s very little you can do when the damage is already done other than to pay up.

When we compare these different levels of impacts of both malware and ransomware, we see that ransomware can do more damage than ransomware since ransomware is almost always brutal.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Malware and Ransomware?

If you’re wondering how you can prevent any cybersecurity issue from happening, then you need to be critical of the protection programs you have in place. Apart from using software and tools to run regular security checks, it would help if you got a good data security team to help you increase security.

Layer One Networks is an experienced IT consulting firm offering security services for businesses in Corpus Christi. With our security IT services, we help businesses increase their protection from such malicious software and keep their information safe. If you’re looking for an experienced team to help you out, then reach out to us now.

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.

Cybersecurity Risks In A Pandemic: What You Need To Know

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

Cybersecurity Risks In A Pandemic: What You Need To Know

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. 


Read More: Tips for Protecting Your Email from Cyber Threats


  • 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

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.

How to Integrate Cyber Resiliency into Your IT Strategy

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 Layer One 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.