Onestop IT Solutions provides IT services to your business. Established in 2003, OnestopIT has grown to a staff of 9 with 3 offices covering Edinburgh and Glasgow. The team offers IT support, IT strategy, IT security and IT compliance support. At Onestop IT we care about understanding the specific needs of your organisation and translating these needs into action plans to support and develop your business.
Today, we take a look at this murky part of the internet and go through some simple steps you should take to protect your business from criminals on the dark web. Discover more The post 9 Ways To Protect Your Business From Dark Web Criminals appeared first on Onestop...
Most people have heard of the dark web but many are unsure of what exactly it entails and why it’s so dangerous for businesses. Today, we take a look at this murky part of the internet and go through some simple steps you should take to protect your business from criminals on the dark web.
Before we can dive into what the dark web is, we need to understand the concept of the deep web. The deep web basically refers to areas of the internet that can’t be indexed by search engines like Google. Many websites on the deep web are not illegal at all – they just don’t use links to show up on search engine listings.
Examples of these kinds of perfectly legitimate sites on the deep web include government databases and ordinary internet user’s personal information like bank details. In fact, about 96% of online content exists on the deep web, consisting largely of confidential data that is protected under a layer of security and isn’t indexed by search engines because it’s exactly that – confidential.
The dark web makes up a small sliver of the deep web and consists of content that isn’t accessible without anonymising encryption software like TOR. This section of the internet is notorious for illegal activity like drug dealing, illegal pornography and weapons trading.
The biggest threat businesses face when it comes to the dark web is the marketplace it offers for stolen and leaked company data. Businesses possess a wide range of confidential data from the personal details of their employees and client information to company financial details. This kind of data is very attractive to criminals who can sell it for a good profit or use it to commit ransomware attacks.
Company data can end up on the dark web in a number of ways. ‘Hacktivists’, for example, are malicious or agenda-driven criminals who seek kudos from their peers by being able to penetrate your cybersecurity. They will publish your stolen data online simply for kicks or because they want to damage the reputation of your business.
Your employees are often a weak link and can accidentally leak your data if they fall victim to something like a phishing email. That’s why security awareness training is so important. Disgruntled ex-employees could also be behind a data leak as they can easily copy data to a memory stick and share it. Meanwhile, ‘script kiddies’ or ‘skids’ are individuals who run automated scans to source poorly protected websites and servers for their next potential targets.
It makes the national news when a large bank has a security breach, but they aren’t the only ones at risk of dark web cybercrime. Small businesses are arguably facing a bigger risk because they often lack the cybersecurity resources needed to cope with these threats. In the eyes of dark web hackers, all data is equally valuable whether it’s stolen from a large company or a small one – especially if that business operates in the financial or healthcare industry.
Cybercrime is opportunistic by nature and this makes all types of businesses into targets. Once the perpetrators have access to your data, they can cause massive damage. Corporate credit cards can be used to purchase illegal substances on the dark web, employee personal details can be used to target people with fraud and phishing attempts and client information can be exploited for good old-fashioned blackmail.
Cybersecurity experts know that every day, millions of hidden web dumps of company data like this take place. Terrifyingly, the majority of organisations that fall victim to these data leaks are completely oblivious to this because the stolen data is obscured by the dark web. As the risk of getting caught for these data dumps is low and there’s an opportunity to make a lot of money, cybercrime like this is an incredibly attractive prospect for opportunistic crooks.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to safeguard your company’s data and reduce your chances of falling victim to hackers. These include some very simple steps your employees can take as well tools and software that offer an extra layer of security to your sensitive data.
Here are our top nine tips:
1. Always use sophisticated passwords. Make sure they’re a combination of lower and upper case letters, numerals and symbols. The more unique your password is, the harder it is to crack.
2. Change passwords regularly. It’s also a good idea to use memorable fake answers to security questions.
3. Have different passwords for each account. It can be a headache remembering a bunch of different secure passwords and since you should never write them down, we recommend using a reliable third-party tool like LastPass to keep track of them.
4. Install firewall, anti-spyware and antivirus software. Together, these provide a strong line of defence against malware attack and phishing attempts.
5. Have strong company guidelines on internet use. Make sure all your employees know how to use the internet safely by not clicking on unsolicited links. You could also consider restricting the use of personal devices on your company wifi.
6. Consider installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is one of the most effective tools for protecting your business from dark web criminals. A VPN hides your location and browsing history from anyone who may be trying to illicitly access it.
7. Use two-factor identification (2FA). This makes it virtually impossible for hackers to access online accounts.
8. Make sure the websites you use are secure. Make sure the web address at the secure checkout section of a website starts with ‘https’ rather than ‘http’ and has the padlock icon in the far left side of the address bar.
9. Protect your business by investing in quality IT services and products. Some things are best left to the experts. Here at Onestop IT, we work to provide custom IT security solutions that help you protect your business against dark web cybercrime.
The post 9 Ways To Protect Your Business From Dark Web Criminals appeared first on Onestop IT.
The digital security threat landscape is constantly evolving. Leaks, hacks and other breaches are happening more and more due to human error or software vulnerabilities and getting harder to predict or fix. This rise in cybersecurity threats also means that sophisticated endpoint security is becoming increasingly important. Today, we’re breaking down what exactly endpoint Discover more The post Endpoint Security – What You Need To Know appeared first on Onestop...
The digital security threat landscape is constantly evolving. Leaks, hacks and other breaches are happening more and more due to human error or software vulnerabilities and getting harder to predict or fix. This rise in cybersecurity threats also means that sophisticated endpoint security is becoming increasingly important. Today, we’re breaking down what exactly endpoint protection entails and how our preferred endpoint protection software can help.
‘Endpoint security’ is a catch-all term for securing the electronic devices in your organisation’s computer network. This means things like company laptops, smartphones and tablets, but also servers, printers, external drives and USB sticks. Each of them presents their own challenges to endpoint protection.
The diversity of these endpoints and the potential for human error in their use present a special kind of cybersecurity problem with some potentially disastrous implications. Once a single defence point is breached, a malicious hacker can quickly grab a significant volume of sensitive data, putting your capital as well as your reputation in danger.
To counter this risk, the solution you choose needs to be comprehensive, agile and specific.
That’s where intelligent cybersecurity comes in.
New technologies have been developed to respond to the latest forms of endpoint security threats in real-time. This way, security breaches can be stopped before they take place, preventing expensive damages. While these new products use a very minor amount of CPU power, it continuously monitors activity at your network’s endpoints to identify potential threats. Once it singles out a suspicious file activity, it quarantines the file temporarily for further scrutiny.
These products use the latest AI algorithms to keep track of new malicious software and hacking tactics. they study the patterns behind their behaviours and use the intelligence to counter cyber attacks before they can spread. A great product to consider for these benefits is SentinelOne.
Since cybersecurity attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and unpredictable, the defence tactics used to combat them need to be flexible, responsive and smarter than ever before. That’s why having a sophisticated endpoint security solution is essential to protecting your sensitive data.
‘Patching’ refers to providing a minor software update in response to a specific issue. In the context of data safety, this means fixing a previously unknown vulnerability that could be exploited by a hacker. Your endpoint security solution should help you recognise where patching is needed before this vulnerability is taken advantage of.
Since SentinelOne quarantines files as soon as it identifies suspicious activity, it closes the gap in time between first identifying and then neutralising a security threat. This allows you to patch up your software before any damage is done.
Another advantage an endpoint security solution offers you is in limiting human error. Organisations often find themselves steeped in a false sense of digital security. They believe that their various digital endpoints’ defences are always correctly configured and kept up to date by their users. In reality, research points in the opposite direction: employees routinely put off updating their devices.
Because of this, companies are better off ensuring their endpoints are secure with a smart and agile solution like SentinelOne. Thanks to its ability to respond to fileless cyberattacks, an endpoint security solution can prevent exploits of outdated or improperly configured software across a variety of endpoints.
As the number of endpoints in your company’s network grows, so does the potential for a successful cyber attack. New types of data security threats require a solution that responds to suspicious activity in real-time and not only blocks it, but also to learns from it. Human error can jeopardise endpoints through things like infected attachments and phishing. Where human judgement fails and opens the doors to a dangerous security breach, a smart endpoint defence solution is quick to shut them again.
If you’d like to learn about how Onestop IT can help you protect your business with endpoint security, fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly. Make sure to also stay tuned for more news and tips around cybersecurity on our blog.
One of your most important jobs as an IT manager is managing your organisation’s IT budget. As your budgeting and planning here will affect everyone in your organisation, it’s essential that you put in the time and effort to make sure you get it right.Discover more The post Your Guide To Setting An IT Budget appeared first on Onestop...
One of your most important jobs as an IT manager is managing your organisation’s IT budget. As your budgeting and planning here will affect everyone in your organisation, it’s essential that you put in the time and effort to make sure you get it right.
Managed effectively, your IT budget will make sure your people have the resources they need to do a stellar job and that you get the most out of your organisation’s hardware and software. However, a failure to budget well or at all could mean you risk big losses from things like cybersecurity breaches, not being able to set your prices competitively and difficulties in managing cash flow and tracking credit.
When you begin planning your IT spend, a good place to start is analysing the figures from your department over the last few years – this will help you spot areas that need improvement, cut any excessive costs and identify opportunities for increased profits. After you’ve done this, it’s time to start work on your IT budget. To help you with this, we’ve collected some of the key things you should consider below to get you started.
Support and maintenance
Support & maintenance represents one of the most important areas of your IT budget but it can be hard to decide just how much of your budget should go towards this. If you run into problems, the maintenance costs to fix this can vary hugely, as this problem could be just a minor glitch that can be fixed in minutes or a serious security breach that might last for days and cost your company a pretty penny.
To help decide how much to allocate to this part of your IT budget, have a look at your company’s data from previous years. Seeing how much has been spent on support and maintenance in the past can help you assess the amount to be allocated. However, keep in mind that glitches and breakdowns are unexpected by definition. That’s why many businesses prefer to reduce risks and spread costs over time by outsourcing their support services to an IT managed service provider.
Hardware and software
Another big chunk of your IT budget goes towards hardware and software. Updating hardware can be very expensive, which is why a growing number of organisations are opting for cloud-based alternatives. In fact, research by Gartner reveals that companies planned on spending as much on cloud-based and hosted services as on conventional hardware and software in 2018.
The software you need to budget for includes any SaaS applications and licenses that your organisation uses. As this is an existing cost, it’s fairly predictable, though you should also keep in mind any software your company is interested in using in the future when setting your budget. Cloud services you might need to include in your IT budget consist of things like web applications and your company’s contact centre.
Projects you might consider budgeting for include things like developing new solutions for your business that help you retain your competitive edge. While they may be a sizeable investment upfront, when planned with care, these projects can generate more revenue for your business in the long run. Your project budget might be very different from one year to the next. The most important thing is to work out an approximate cost for your projects in advance so you can work them into your IT budget.
Cybersecurity backup and disaster recovery
Here at Onestop IT, we strongly believe that you should make a strong investment in your organisation’s cybersecurity. Changing laws around data protection and the increasing risk of ransomware attacks mean that cybersecurity should be an increasingly high priority for IT managers. Despite this, many organisations are still failing to invest sufficiently in their cybersecurity, putting them at risk of unwittingly breaking laws and losing capital as well as their reputation in the event of a data breach.
In fact, a report by Cisco shows that following a disaster, 90% of companies will fail unless they have a business recovery plan. That’s why it’s vital that you make cybersecurity an important part of your IT budget. As cybersecurity is a complex field prone to quick shifts, one of the most effective ways to spend your cybersecurity budget is to let the experts take care of it. At Onestop, we offer a comprehensive, individually tailored portfolio of cybersecurity and backup services to protect your customers’ data and guard your business against ransomware attacks.
The tech industry is characterised by rapid change and because of this, it’s crucial to set aside some money for staff training. This allows you to take full advantage of the technologies your organisation uses as well as reducing employee turnover due to frustration or confusion around the tech you utilise. Training is also an important part of your cybersecurity, as the majority of data security breaches can be attributed to human error.
As you can never fully predict the future, you should allocate a portion of your budget towards discretionary spending. This will allow for any unforeseen expenses that may arise – think of this as your rainy day fund.
Having a well-planned budget not only gives you a good overview of your department, but it also allows you to see where you might be spending too much or too little. Without a budget, you may find yourself having to explain yourself every time you spend on the IT department, causing delays and forming significant overhead costs.
Keep on top of the latest news and tips for managing your IT budget by following our blog and check out our free IT resources. To find out more about bespoke IT support from Onestop IT, just complete our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Any business is only as secure as its weakest link. Making your employees more knowledgeable about data security and what to do in the event of a breach means that your entire organisation is better equipped to handle threats.Discover more The post Why You Should Invest in IT Security Awareness Training appeared first on Onestop...
Any business is only as secure as its weakest link. These days, hackers and other cyber criminals will use a variety of methods to try and get access to a company’s servers, targeting the weaker points of a security system. These weaker points are commonly associated with your employees who are often the easiest way around your network’s defences.
Of course, there are plenty of things you can do to beef up your cybersecurity that make it harder for criminals to target your staff. However, there is nothing is better than improving your staff’s awareness of the role they play in your organisation’s cybersecurity. In fact, some 80% of all security breaches could be avoided by things like basic cybersecurity training. Making your employees more knowledgeable about data security and what to do in the event of a breach means that your entire organisation is better equipped to handle threats. In short, education is one of the main ways of improving the security of your whole network.
GDPR makes it clear that your IT business security is the responsibility of everyone who has access to data on your network. This means that every employee in your organisation who has access to a computer or a smart device must understand the basic principles behind GDPR.
Investing in security awareness training means that your teams know how to lower the risk of serious data breaches that come with hefty financial penalties. This means that an investment in cybersecurity training can save you money in the long run. keep in mind that that fines associated with data breaches can be up to 4% of a company’s global turnover under GDPR – a very noticeable sum for most businesses.
These days, so much work is done on computers that employees at all levels need to have a degree of IT awareness. While most people know how to carry out basic functions, cybersecurity basics are not as common knowledge for many employees unless they happen to work in IT.
This means that common IT threats like phishing scams and Trojan horses won’t necessarily be spotted by your employees. While you can use automated processes to weed out things like spam email coming into your organisation, no system is foolproof, making a second line of defence crucial.
Did you know that most hackers get into a network by simply guessing a user’s password? This is because many employees don’t use secure passwords. Make sure your employees know the best practices of setting secure passwords.
Any software you have installed on your organisation’s devices is only as good as its latest update. Since hackers are always developing ways to get around anti-malware systems, you need to keep your software up to date. Updating their device and restarting it is often seen as an annoying task by staff members, meaning they might keep putting it off. That’s why you should make sure they know why it’s so important to always work with the latest iteration of any software they use.
Of course, you could choose not to do any cybersecurity training and face the potential consequences. However, since failing to train your employees could lead to some truly catastrophic outcomes, this isn’t advisable. Many business managers are now coming to understand that cybersecurity is a team effort. With up to 88% of data breaches being caused by human error, a good level of IT security awareness across all your staff is nothing short of vital.
At Onestop IT, we can help with your organisation’s cybersecurity awareness and provide all the employee training you need. To find out more about IT security, click here. Alternatively, stay tuned for our next upcoming event.
The post Why You Should Invest in IT Security Awareness Training appeared first on Onestop IT.
What you absolutely must know for 2019! Meet the Onestop IT team for an evening of drinks, snacks, and live entertainment... We are excited to invite you and host you at our 1st social business event. You can expect to enjoy a combination of networking, music, drinks, live demo's, snacks, prizes, Discover more The post Onestop IT – Tesla Event – Wed, 27 March 2019 appeared first on Onestop...
We are excited to invite you and host you at our 1st social business event. You can expect to enjoy a combination of networking, music, drinks, live demo’s, snacks, prizes, more drinks and of course lots of laughter.
What to expect:
17h30: Arrival Drinks
17h30 to 18h30: More drinks & snacks served by our beautiful people (compliments Private Concierge Scotland) accompanied by live music from Ginny&The Tonics.
18h35: Welcome address from OnestopIT followed by a short address from one of our event partners – Alan Smith (Action Coach).
18h45: A live demonstration from Datto including the crushing of a laptop … followed by the instant recovery of all data, demonstrating just how quickly we are able to recover your data from a crushing disaster when you have the correct business continuity systems in place.
19h15: Awarding of prize for 1 lucky winning guest on the evening.
19h15: Music, drinks & snacks.
20h00: End of event, please remember to grab your gift on the way out and if you don’t want the night to end join us for some post-event drinks!
If you would like to bring additional guests to the event – please feel free to contact me and I will include them onto the invite list, please remember that we can only accommodate 130 guests.
I hope that you can put this into your calendar and look forward to seeing you at the event. Please look out for further emails that will highlight different aspects of the event evening.
IT security covers the integrity of computerised business systems, as well as the protection of privacy, sensitive information, and commercial secrets. Few would doubt the need to assess security, nor the problems that can arise from overlooking it. However, researchers recently identified that one in three companies had no controls in place to Discover more The post Why Security Assessment Is Essential For Businesses appeared first on Onestop...
IT security covers the integrity of computerised business systems, as well as the protection of privacy, sensitive information, and commercial secrets. Few would doubt the need to assess security, nor the problems that can arise from overlooking it.
However, researchers recently identified that one in three companies had no controls in place to deter hackers. Equally worryingly, more than six in ten cyber attacks (62 percent) singled out small businesses. According to Consultancy UK, computer systems in SMEs are usually more accessible to hackers.
If those alarming statistics illustrate nothing else, it is the importance of cybersecurity. Regardless of the current status of an organisation, it is always worth double-checking that protection is adequate – and, preferably, in line with professional standards.
In a previous blog post entitled 15 Ways To Protect Your Business From A Cyber Attack, we described straightforward, practical steps for SMEs to boost cybersecurity and protect against breaches. Now, in the information and tips below, we show how security assessments can also add value. As well as the salient points, we show how they improve defences and safeguard vital data. If you are an IT decision-maker with responsibility for cybersecurity, read on.
By themselves, anti-virus, firewalls, and encryption techniques do not deliver sufficient protection. With only these dated and somewhat limited measures in place, the stark truth is that computer networks (and, consequently, stored data) will probably be susceptible to security breaches and cyber attacks. What is more, if current trends are anything to go by, it is simply a matter of time until any given business receives unwanted attention from cybercriminals.
Reports of costly data breaches include Equifax, the credit reference agency. In 2017, hackers exploited web vulnerabilities and stole confidential customer details. Similarly, in Australia, a hacker sabotaged Distribute.IT’s web servers, hosting systems, trading network and backups. Although the infiltration lasted only around thirty minutes, the miscreants deleted 4,800 valuable client accounts. Damage to reputation and customer confidence was such that the impaired business had to close within a year.
Notably, small companies are far from immune. Quite the opposite: they are equally or more vulnerable. For most SMEs, the business, financial and regulatory effects of data breaches can be severe. As many as one in six SMEs (16 percent) assess their protection only after incidents. If these sole traders, partnerships, small firms, and growing companies had invested a relatively small amount of time and effort in prevention, the outcome could well have been different.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, more than nine out of ten data breaches involve innocent human error that, unfortunately, has far-reaching consequences. Apart from the loss of privacy, the miscreants, fraudsters, and cyber-criminals involved might perpetrate damage via external and internal network components, as well as guest and remote networks.
Moreover, assessments are not one-off. Periodic reviews should carry the same weight as regular inspections on passenger aircraft, for instance. In short, security assessments are crucial in modern, digital businesses.
In some cases, third-party assessments are necessary, whereby experts from outside an organisation work with its in-house IT staff to evaluate internal security policies, procedures, and measures. Third-party assessment techniques include reviews and testing. Objectively, the external assessors investigate and establish whether the computer systems comply with legislation and regulatory frameworks.
In all cases, the aim is to mitigate security threats and protect the organisation’s business systems. Checks include applications, patches, and updates to network hardware and infrastructure, including cloud computing. Additionally, preventive measures and security policies should adhere to the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018, which implements the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regime within the UK.
Other international standards include compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which applies to companies of any size that accept electronic payments. Specifically, if your business takes debit or credit card payments and either stores, processes or transmits customer cardholder data, you should use a secure hosting service provider that is PCI-compliant.
To prevent data breaches and ensure your organisation stays ahead of threats to your company computer systems and data, IT security specialists will pinpoint any gaps in defences. The risk-based assessment looks at firewall performance, updates and patches for relevant system firmware and software, the existence of malware and any other risk that might affect safe operations. The approach is, in essence, to balance the cost of protective measures against the potentially larger financial toll of a data breach.
Essentially, computer security assessments involve checks, tests and evaluation of the following areas:
An integrated approach will address the risks inherent in network technology, business processes and individual staff members. One straightforward illustration might be the type(s) of network data protocol in use. Dated installations could still be using obsolescent, insecure communication methods such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol), Telnet or SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). In contrast, secure, modern-day equivalents such as FTPS, HTTPS or SFTP use stronger encryption and additional authentication.
Textual descriptions of risk tend to be subjective. To standardise QSR reporting, consultants often use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. An open industry standard, the CVSS assigns a grade to the severity of vulnerabilities. Subsequently, the gradings enable prioritisation of responses and resources, per the threat(s) detected.
CVSS Assessment Scale
In the CVSS, four rankings between low to critical record the assessed severity of security issues:
On completion of the initial assessment, managers then study the findings and evaluate the measures necessary to resolve or mitigate any issues detected.
In today’s ever-changing business landscape, the role and importance of computer security assessments are clear. We invite you to stay up to date and check our upcoming informative blog posts and other events, designed to support Scottish businesses.
Here at Onestop IT in Edinburgh, our team of expert IT consultants specialises in helping SMEs to access enterprise technology solutions. If you are looking for the best practices at an affordable price, contact us today. We support businesses throughout Scotland and will be delighted to discuss your security requirements with you.
The post Why Security Assessment Is Essential For Businesses appeared first on Onestop IT.
Or if you prefer use one of our linkware images? Click here