7 Managed Services Takeaways from Recent Cybercrime Events

Like most people, you probably scroll through news stories on your morning commute or on your lunch break. If so, you may have noticed that there were quite a few cybercrime headlines in the past week.

For example:

  • The DNC warned midterm candidates not to use phones manufactured by Huawei or ZTE due to “security concerns” voiced by the FBI.
  • A single employee at UnityPoint Health in Des Moines took the bait in a phishing attack and compromised 1.4 million patient records.
  • Researchers discovered that your phone’s voice-activated assistant might be a significant security hazard.
  • Some tech-savvy high schooler stole $2 million in cryptocurrency.
  • Your community bank credit card application may have been leaked.

Though this past week certainly sounds bad, the strangest thing about these news stories is that they aren’t even that surprising. These days, news stories about terrible IT issues are the new normal.

With that in mind, here are quick lessons, brought to you by Interplay, a leading Seattle managed services provider, that will help you protect your business data and networks properly in today’s volatile IT security environment.

  1. Pay attention to where you store data. You’ve got old apps, old computers, old phones, old files, and old archives. If you know what data you have and you know all the places your data is, you can harden your defenses to better surround areas with sensitive data. This helps you block would-be attackers.
  2. Train your employees to ID and avoid phishing. There’s a reason cybercriminals like phishing: it works! Make sure to take the time to ensure your employees understand how to spot a phishing email, so they don’t fall for it. A good managed services provider can help you cut down on the amount of phishing spam you get and can also help educate your staff.
  3. Know what data you’re sharing and how. You have sensitive data on your phone, in your laptop, and on your tablet. All of these devices respond to voice commands. Not only do voice commands typically override your lock screens, they also try to provide helpful, detailed answers to all your questions. That said, it’s worth it block your voice-activated apps from accessing (and blabbing) sensitive data.
  4. Watch out for kids who are tech hot-shots. Does your kid constantly pull your phone or computer out of your hands, so they can show you how to do something you’re slow at, like downloading apps? Not only is that habit deeply, deeply irritating (yarg!), it’s also not great for data security, since tech-expert kids aren’t such experts when it comes to security and compliance regulations. You never know what they’ll download.
  5. Focus on security for ALL your devices. Your company’s sensitive data passes through and connects with all your unsecured devices, like routers and IoT devices. Often, the admin passwords to these devices are available publicly on the Internet and can be found by a simple Google search. By securing these devices with new passwords and critical software updates, you’ll do better at securing your entire system.
  6. Protect your passwords. You already know you’re supposed to use unique, one-of-a-kind passwords all the time. However, passwords are hard to remember. Make password management easy with a password management tool like Dashlane – and while you’re at it, keep your accounts super secure with two-factor authentication.  (Learn more about good password habits here.)
  7. Use backups, antivirus, and firewalls. Though everybody already knows that backups, antivirus, and firewalls are the critically important first line of defense that secure you against tech disasters and attacks… you’d be surprised how many people and businesses still aren’t keeping up with these basic IT security tools. We know you’re busy and we know it takes time to keep up with IT maintenance – that’s why MSPs like us are here to help.

True Business IT Protection Takes an Experienced Managed Services Provider (MSP)

In any business, there’s a lot of data to look after. Not only do you have the data on your computers to worry about, you also have data housed throughout your network and on various devices.

In addition, you also have different threats to watch out for. These days, you have to protect against phishing, ransomware, and cryptojacking, as well as the many small vulnerabilities and bugs that require constant system patching and maintenance.

And, of course, there’s also the mundane things to worry about in your IT environment. John at the office will spill coffee on his laptop and need help recovering his files. An important client proposal will suddenly disappear right before you need to email it. Your tablet will stop syncing to the cloud for no good reason at all.

You have a business to run, so you certainly don’t have time to handle all these IT issues. Chances are, even if you have an IT person in-house, they won’t have time to handle all this either – it’s all too much for a single person to manage.

What you need is a managed services team.

When you work with a well-respected managed services team dedicated to helping you keep up with maintenance and patching, that’s one less thing you or your in-house IT professional will have to worry about.

When you work with a managed services team that’s hands-on and happy to roll up their sleeves and fix your devices and systems in record time, at any hour… well, that’s yet another thing you won’t have to worry about.

And if your managed services team also provides full, image-based backups of your entire network every few minutes, ensuring that you can restore all your systems within minutes of an attack or disaster… well, with that kind of setup, you can pretty much be IT worry free.

Wondering where to find such a detail-oriented, hands-on, and backup-friendly team? Well, right here in Seattle, of course!

 

Get in touch with Seattle’s longest-standing IT managed services provider to learn more about how you can secure your systems the right way, so you don’t have to worry about bad cybersecurity news anymore.