Things That Lie In Wait

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

crocodile-small

There are many shows on cable today that portray instant recognition of a breach. To repeat what all others in the actual cyber industry say . . . not realistic.

Think of the scenario where an employee opens a file or accesses a malicious Web site. Step one is done. Nothing happens; the employee shrugs his or her shoulders and moves on. Nothing happened, so we are all good, right? Wrong. In reality, malware can happen behind the scenes with no visual effect at all at the time of being infected. The malware is just lying in wait. It either waits for an external signal–a preprogrammed time or until a specific action on the host computer is done. A hacker then would have access to look around, doing nothing noticeable, just checking things out . . . until the time that he finds what he wants.

Six months pass. All of a sudden, systems are breached, potentially causing loss of controls, data, or financial information. And no one knows where or how it happened until a thorough investigation finally points back to the past point in time.

It sounds unavoidable, right? No, it’s not unavoidable but the chances increase all the time that it will happen to your business. But if you take steps to protect and prepare as much as possible, the damage can be potentially avoided or at least somewhat overcome.

How? Here are 5 steps to try to avoid or quickly recover from a breach:

  1. BACK UP!!! Enough said. Think cloud, separate, secure, and frequent. Ransomware, a type of malware, takes over your files and holds them hostage. With a secure and separate backup, your business can go on operating.
  2. Train. Train your employees for anything that could happen. Teach them about current cyber threats; keep them informed. They can be considered an additional “firewall.”
  3. Use patch management. The days of worrying about how frustrating the changes will be from new updates are over. Patch consistently . . . because many of the patches today are security related and crucial to staying protected.
  4. Apply multiple layers of security. Your firewall will not protect you from a threat that originates internally. And yes, many happen using some form of an internal breach such as phishing and e-mails with malware links, or by way of privileged credentials whether internally or from a breach at a third-party contractor. Get a comprehensive employee Web-use security solution that will block access to malicious sites and links.
  5. Monitor. Watch it all. You will see trends, user behavior, and anomalies. Monitor network activity and the activity that accesses the Internet. Guest Wi-Fi networks, BYOD, and employee Web use should be included. Make sure you have visibility into what is going on with a solution that not only provides real-time monitoring, but also forensic-level detail reporting easily accessible by both IT and managers.

Overall, taking steps to ensure your business is protected is crucial, but know that you can still keep critical business operations functioning following any type of breach. Providing proactive solutions to protect, secure, and manage your business’s Web use in a cost-effective, agile, and customer-centric way is what we do. Let us help.

About Wavecrest Computing

Celebrating 20 years in business, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit http://www.wavecrest.net.

Think defense.

Monday, June 27th, 2016

ransom

Ransomware has the annoying characteristic of sneaking up on you. If you aren’t prepared, you may as well pay the ransom. Why? Because being prepared for loss of data is not at all difficult. First off–think old school . . . BACK UP, BACK UP, and BACK UP! This first very important step is that simple.

Think about what you do on your devices today, professionally or personally. We now live our lives in this digital environment. It is likely your use of technology has increased, even in the past year. This puts all of us at risk. Not just on our desktops either. Wired.com reports “these days ransomware doesn’t just affect desktop machines or laptops; it also targets mobile phones. Last week news broke of a piece of ransomware in the wild masquerading as a porn app. The so-called Porn Droid app targets Android users and allows attackers to lock the phone and change its PIN number while demanding a $500 ransom from victims to regain access.” Not many people could function today without access to their phones. Businesses are becoming more and more friendly to mobile devices as well. All this data floating around just makes it more appealing to hackers.

Where do we go from here? Back . . . back to backing up. Get that portable hard drive back out, dust it off, and use it. Yup . . . I did say that. Back it all up. Of course, for businesses it is more complex (and critical). But that is what cloud storage services are for. My only recommendation when it comes to off-site backups? Use more than one service. This way if anything does happen to your access to one backup, you will still have access to another. Inserting stern warning here: Do not store your passwords on your devices or in your backups unencrypted. If a hacker can access and lock up your systems, then he can find your passwords and have a go at them as well, including access to your backups.

Protect your business. Train your employees about new threats and monitor what is happening. Information is a gold mine–get visibility to see where your employees are going and then make some decisions that can protect your business. Ransomware can hit you through just a link in an e-mail. Make sure you have a solution in place that will help stop access to malicious Web sites.

We need to rethink the way we operate. It is just a shift, and if you just do it now, then you won’t be alarmed when you do get hit. Sadly, chances of a business being victimized by cybercrime are becoming more and more likely. Be prepared. And please, don’t let them win. The Internet has opened up so many opportunities for us and generations to come. Singapore is a perfect example of letting hackers win. They are moving to shut down Internet access for government computers, “from May next year and affect about 100,000 computers in use in the public service in the city-state, local media said.” (Reuters)

Do you think giving up Internet access will solve cybercrime?

We can help you find a better way.

About Wavecrest Computing

Celebrating 20 years in business, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit http://www.wavecrest.net.

Into the Madness of March…brackets, bandwidth, malware, and all.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

BracketMarch Madness begins on March 17th this year. We all know that employees check out highlights or even stream a whole game. According to Turner Sports’ Will Funk’s interview with AdWeek,Turner did 70 million live streams on broadband and mobile during March Madness 2014. That is a lot of streaming. With all the streaming and new apps that are out since last year, 2015 will likely set another record.

This year, have the choice to allow your employees some freedom to watch and enjoy! CyBlock Web Security Solutions will help protect your business, blocking sites known for malware and proactively controlling bandwidth consumption, while allowing responsible viewing.

With Wavecrest’s Bandwidth Management in CyBlock, there are numerous ways to be able to control access when you need to. With Real-Time Data Usage Monitoring, you will be able to easily view current data usage for the entire enterprise, detect unexpected spikes that could indicate excessive data use, or just observe the last 5, 10, or 15 minutes of real-time updates.

You can also make sure the critical business operations remain functioning efficiently, even during the games, by using the Bandwidth Throttling features. Be more restrictive as the noncritical usage gets higher by setting one of the automatically triggered, higher-usage policy thresholds to throttle more or even block. E-mail alerts will keep you informed wherever you are. Once a policy is activated, policy-specific traffic is throttled or blocked, allowing business-critical applications (VoIP, CRM, etc.) to continue operating as needed.

Don’t forget about protecting your company from malware. March Madness search results have had a history of being known for malware in past years, and this year will likely be no different. As your employees search for brackets or results, CyBlock blocks traffic to the constantly growing number of sites that generate and/or promote malware. Keep out viruses, Trojan horses, phishing attacks, and more.

March Madness has become a way of life. Decide how your company will handle the traffic and proactively prepare for it by letting CyBlock help protect and secure your business and your employees. Find out more about all the Web Security product lines at Wavecrest Computing.

 

Wait Until You Hear How Many Hours a Day an EPA Official Confessed to Watching Porn at Work

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Bad-Press-PublicityIn today’s world, many if not most employees have access to the Web at work. For the most part, that’s a good thing, and in some cases essential.  Unfortunately, that same access has a dark side. That’s because certain workers will inevitably visit illicit or risky Web sites, and such visits can expose the organization to serious legal liability.  The most troublesome sites are those devoted to pornography.  Sites devoted to gambling, illegal drugs, hate speech and criminal activity can also create legal issues, albeit to a lesser extent.  In addition to exposing the organization to legal liability, visits to inappropriate sites cause other serious issues such as lost productivity and wasted bandwidth.

To read the full article about the EPA official click here.

 

For more information about Wavecrest’s product offerings.

Toll Free:

877-442-9346 (U.S. and Canada) Ext. 3

E-Mail:

sales@wavecrest.net

Website:

http://www.wavecrest.net

            

Enhanced Malware Protection

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Wavecrest Computing is pleased to announce an enhancement that delivers a tenfold increase in CyBlock’s ability to protect computer networks from malware and Cyfin’s ability to identify increasing security threats. Here is some background information.

Malware is the scourge of the Internet. The term “malware” includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other malicious programs that can disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. For Wavecrest’s purposes, malware also includes Web sites that support hacking. Most malware originates and is spread from particular Web sites. Unfortunately, many thousands of such sites exist today, and to make matters worse, the number is growing steadily every day at distressingly fast rates.

The malware problem is not new to Wavecrest. For a number of years, companies have been using CyBlock and Cyfin products to protect against and identify automated invasions of malicious scripts and software, and unauthorized access to their internal networks–the two major problems caused by malware. CyBlock provided protection–under customer control–by blocking and reporting on employees’ attempts to visit sites in 3 of more than 70 URL List categories: Hacking, Phishing/Fraud, and Spyware/Malicious.

While this methodology was effective, it was not perfect. The difficulty lay in keeping the URL List up to date in the face of the relentless and rapid increase in the number of malware-spreading sites. This issue has been addressed with an enhancement that significantly improves the ability to keep the list current.

At the same time, three related categories, Hacking, Phishing/Fraud, and Spyware/Malicious, have been consolidated into one called Malware. This consolidation increases the ease of administration for customers.

This enhancement with its improved URL List is included in the latest release of CyBlock v.6.8.0 and Cyfin v.8.8.0. To realize its benefits as soon as possible, it is recommended that you upgrade your CyBlock or Cyfin product as soon as you can. Wavecrest will continue to update the enhanced list daily and make it available for download by customers. The download process remains unchanged.

You can schedule the list to be downloaded automatically every day, or you can download it manually at any time. In any case, as soon as it is downloaded, you will immediately begin to receive the added protection and see a significant reduction in the number of security threats to which you may be exposed.

To download the latest release, go to the Administration – Product Update screen in your CyBlock or Cyfin product. For additional assistance, please contact Technical Support at (321) 953-5351, Ext. 4 or support@wavecrest.net.