How to Get the Most Out of Your Security Budget
- Published byadmin
- November 18, 2017
Running a business isn’t cheap, which results in budgets becoming strained under their operational needs. A major contributor to this strain is often the security-focused line items. However, there are a few means and methods to getting the most out of your security budget.
Internships are an excellent opportunity to boost your IT security staff for a time, especially if you’re looking to add a few well-trained hires in the near future. Cooperating with nearby universities and colleges, and their computer science faculty members, can help you bring in talent that you can direct toward your security for a lower cost than a fresh new hire. Work with your Human Resources department to sort out the logistics, and you may find yourself with an effective security staff with customized training before very long; and, after you have seen that they are worth their salaries through the course of the program.
2: Internal Training
When it comes to maintaining your security, your employees are the ones who are in the trenches. They have to be able to identify potential threats and mitigate them effectively, or your business will left vulnerable. To accomplish this, your staff needs to be trained to understand and lean on the industry’s best practices as they go about their days.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available online that your staff can read (and watch) for little to no cost. There is plenty that can be learned from reading articles posted on websites, including this one. Encouraging your workforce to read materials like these can give them a basic understanding of what they need to do to keep the business safe. Of course, you can also hold training sessions for employees to practice what they would do, given a hypothetical scenario.
3: Free Tools (But with Caveats)
There are plenty of free resources out there to help you with your security. The biggest one: Google. Possibly the most important part of keeping your company secure is to understand what threats are out there and how they could negatively affect your company’s network security. Keeping up-to-date and informed will help you to make the adjustments to your security plans that you’ll need.
There are also plenty of free security tools available for download, but you should always have an IT professional check them out first, and ideally, implement them for you. Otherwise, you run the risk of willingly (if unknowingly) introducing malware into your network.
Automation has made great strides in recent years, which makes it an even better tool for businesses to leverage. However, it is not something that should be seen as a replacement for your existing security staff. Rather, they should work in tandem. With the rote, run-of-the-mill issues being handled by preconfigured processes, your employees can divert their attention to bigger matters that demand more focus.
This is another excellent way to bring some extra value in for fewer costs, as outsourcing provides you with additional experts at your disposal for a predictable cost. By having your outsourced resources handle the lion’s share of your security needs, your in-house employees can focus on other critical matters, much as they could with automated solutions. It’s no surprise, then, to find out that many outsourced IT providers expertly utilize automation.
Catalyst Technology Group can help you with any of these strategies. Call us at (317) 705-0333 for more information.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…for Thieves
- Published byadmin
- November 17, 2017
In terms of data loss and theft, the holiday season is one of the riskiest times to travel. When it comes to protecting your personal information, thieves and cybercriminals are counting on either your irreverence to the issue as a whole, or to be so distracted that you make careless mistakes. In 2016, the number of fraud attempts went up by 31% during the holiday season. In addition, credit cards, mobile devices, and open Wi-Fi are common targets during the holiday.
Here’s a few tips that can help keep you and your family safe from hackers and thieves.
- Hide the Goods – Pickpocketing is a tried and true method of theft that is still extremely effective – especially in a hectic environment like an airport during the month of December. A favorite target of pickpockets are smartphones. Travelers should avoid storing any personal belongings, including smartphones, in places that are easily accessible.
- Bring Only Necessities – Between work and personal uses, most adults have at least three mobile devices. In general, bringing all of them with you while traveling isn’t necessary. The more devices along for the trip, the more targets there are for criminals. Travelers are encouraged to bring only the technology they need.
- Free Wi-Fi is Not Free – To conserve mobile data usage, many people are tempted to hop onto Wi-Fi whenever possible without fully comprehending the risks. Some open Wi-Fi access points are easily hacked and you’ll likely have no idea what kind of security the connection will have. It might be a bit costly but using your data instead of open Wi-Fi may save you from identity theft in the long run.
- Patch It – It’s always a good idea to keep your technology up-to-date with security patches and bug fixes. Many of the large ransomware attacks that made headlines earlier this year could have been avoided by security patches. When traveling, reduce vulnerabilities by installing all necessary patches and updates before you leave your house.
- Go Phishing – During the holiday, phishing scam emails emulate holiday-centric emails. Scams will often appear to be from legitimate establishments like FedEx or Amazon. They will often ask for account or password information – or offer exclusive coupons that need to be downloaded to use. Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid downloading any attachments and never give out your password or account information.
- Skimming a Bit Off the Top – For those of you who aren’t familiar with card skimmers, the premise behind this type of theft is to copy your credit or debit card information by disguising a scanning device on a legitimate source, like a gas pump or ATM. They are then free to use or sell the information from the credit cards. Skimmers are easily overlooked and protecting your information requires constant vigilance. Whenever you’re using a credit card during your holiday travels, look closely at any device that you are going to be swiping your cards on.
*Note: You can access an application designed to help you identify scanners with your android device here:
- Social Media for Burglars – For many, social media is about sharing their good times and memories with friends and family. For thieves, it’s a road map to determine when a home is going to be vacant because their owners are traveling and how long they’re going to be gone for. To eliminate your house from a burglar’s radar, avoid posting specifics of your trip information on social media.
Approximately 100 million Americans are going to be traveling this holiday season – meaning that there is no shortage of potential victims. By following these tips and being cognizant of the problems you could face, you can be ready for any situation that comes your way. By taking a proactive approach to keeping your identity and finances safe, you already have the drop on the many would-be thieves that people come across in their holiday travels.