Take These Steps to Make IT Security Top of Mind

  • Published byadmin
  • March 30, 2018

Take These Steps to Make IT Security Top of Mind

Here’s the thing about IT security: it requires a little more than a decent firewall and a reasonably-strong password. We talk a lot about how to ensure that your business’ network stays a top priority, and the best way to do that is to implement what we call a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution. An enterprise security system like a UTM can provide a considerable improvement for the way you protect your organization, but even something as simple as a little bit of user error could bypass these protocols.

Hackers and cyber criminals have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, and it’s easy to forget that they can be extremely crafty with how they use threats like malware and phishing scams. The past few years have shown that hackers are doing much more than just infecting computers with threats. Instead, they are turning to social engineering and phishing tactics that are designed to weasel their way past even the most experienced workers. They know how to look legitimate and genuinely fool someone into handing over everything they need to succeed. Therefore, there’s only one way to make sure that your company stays safe from these hackers: stay alert and watch out for threats.

But How Do You Stay Cautious?
The best way to stay safe is to make sure everyone is looped in on what’s needed to keep your business secure. To get to this level, it’s best to start with management and administration to ensure that even those at the top of the ladder are taking security seriously. Be sure to keep your C-suite employees looped in on any major security advancements, as well as your HR office to give security the sense of importance that it deserves.

Security Shouldn’t Be a Hassle
Policies such as two-factor authentication or password protection can often be seen as an unnecessary way of making things more difficult for employees to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. You’ll likely get a lot of pushback, even if it’s meant to be a good thing for the company. Instead of lashing out and telling them to do what they’re told, try to get them to understand why the measures are necessary in the first place. The best employees are always the ones that care the most, so do your best to make them care not just on a corporate level, but on an individual level.

Implement Regular IT Check-Ups
Once you’ve figured out the best way to maintain IT security, you should do your part in keeping everyone up to date by holding regular meetings regarding security. It’s important that you make sure to stick to this schedule, as the higher priority your company places on security meetings, the more urgency will be associated with it by default.

Carefully Reinforce Security Measures
It’s imperative that your employees not only understand the importance of security, but that they understand why these processes and procedures are important in the first place. Be sure to document your business’ security best practices in a way which is easy to access, like in the company handbook. Follow this up with training videos, security handouts, or posters around the office. They should also be ready and willing to adapt to change, as the same threats that are a danger to your business now may not be so in the future.

Once most of your team understands that security is crucial, you should establish repercussions for failing to adhere to company security policies. It’s important to remember that most issues can easily be solved, so a first-time offender shouldn’t have their head bit off for forgetting something related to security. Of course, recurring offenses or blatant disregard to company policies should be treated with requisite severity, as all it takes is one unaware employee to completely cripple your organization’s security.

Encourage Reporting and Support Requests
One of the greatest benefits of working with technology is that you can easily put in a support request or report suspicious behavior. However, if an employee isn’t comfortable with doing this, they might not report something important that could have prevented a considerable amount of pain. Furthermore, if they make a mistake, they might be reticent to report it for fear of being punished. Therefore, you should make it clear that you not only encourage reporting issues, but that you expect it.

Catalyst Technology Group wants to be the organization that your business turns to for reinforcement of your company security policies. We can help enforce, audit, and support your business in a way which your internal IT department simply doesn’t have time for. If you don’t have an in-house IT department, we would be happy to act as one for you. To learn more, reach out to us at (317) 705-0333.

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Tip of the Week: Protecting Your Mobile Device in 2 Easy Steps

  • Published byadmin
  • February 7, 2018

Tip of the Week: Protecting Your Mobile Device in 2 Easy Steps

Mobile devices are one of the greatest tools available for business use today. However, because society has come to rely so much on mobile devices, these devices have become a treasure trove for cybercriminals to obtain information from. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some simple ways to protect yourself from such threats.

Do You Really Need to Connect?
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity give our phones a heightened level of utility, but this benefit can also come with severe risks. Mobile devices, for the sake of simplicity and convenience, are ready and willing to connect with any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal they can. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk of being hijacked by any threat that may be lurking on the signal.

To mitigate this risk, make sure that you aren’t connecting to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals that aren’t secure and trustworthy. In fact, when not using them, keep these connections disabled just in case.

The same goes for public charging stations. These can also be used to spread threats, so it is better to rely on a portable charger or a wall outlet to power your device.

Furthermore, if you are connecting to something, make sure you aren’t sharing more than you need. For instance, if you need to rent a car while on a business trip, there’s nothing wrong with using Bluetooth to make hands-free calls. However, if prompted, there is no reason to sync your contacts with the car’s storage, effectively handing them to the next person that rents that car. Being cautious as you connect will only help you to stay safe in the long run.

Keep it Locked Up
The contents of your phone shouldn’t be available to just anyone who picks it up. Whether you have access to sensitive business information through the device, or you have apps that help you manage the rest of your life, your information is at risk unless you have protections in place to keep it safe.

The simplest way to do so is to leverage the phone’s built-in security features. Whether your phone accepts PIN numbers, passcodes, or a pattern set it up so that only you know how to open it. Furthermore, with more devices today leveraging biometric and facial recognition technology, there are other means for you to secure your mobile device.

Security is a crucial consideration to keep in mind, whenever you’re using a mobile device. For more information on how you can keep your business resources safe from threats in and out of the office, reach out to Catalyst Technology Group at (317) 705-0333.

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Business Continuity In 3 Easy Steps

  • Published byadmin
  • September 25, 2017

Business Continuity In 3 Easy Steps

Business continuity is an incredibly important part of running a business, but some smaller organizations underestimate just how crucial it is in the event of a disaster. Although FEMA estimates that more businesses are taking advantage of business continuity than ever before, not enough are. Business continuity is something that must be planned for, practiced consistently, and updated as needed. Does your business have a business continuity plan?

Here are three things to keep in mind when putting together a quality business continuity plan.

Keep Each Department in Mind
Business continuity is something that should be applied to the entirety of your business–not just your IT infrastructure. You want to ensure that your entire in-house team has a say in your business continuity plan, specifically to ensure that–in the event of a disaster–they are able to get back in action as soon as possible. If each of your departments can ensure access to important information post-disaster, it makes it much easier to recover in the long run. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that each department has access to mission-critical data, that their processes are moving forward at a steady pace, and has three points of contact within the organization.

Practice Often
A plan is worthless if you don’t know how to implement it. You should think of practicing your business continuity plan as a fire drill for your organization. By planning for the worst and practicing what you do in the event of a data loss disaster, you ensure that your business can realistically pull off what the business continuity plan demands in your time of need. Make sure that each of your team members knows their individual roles in your business continuity plan, and keep everyone updated on changes made to the process so that your staff is on the same page. Depending on how often you practice your business continuity plan, you’ll start to see whether certain details are missing or obsolete, giving you time to change them before your plan is needed at all.

The 3-2-1 Data Recovery Rule
It wouldn’t be a business continuity plan if it didn’t include data backup and disaster recovery in at least some capacity. Manually backing up your data can be a dangerous tactic, as you’re relying on systems that aren’t automatic and could be subject to user error. Furthermore, you need more than just one copy of your business’ data in order to ensure proper recovery. If one copy is destroyed, you better have a backup in place. A way to guarantee that this doesn’t happen to your organization is the 3-2-1 rule.

Here’s a quick run-down of the 3-2-1 rule:

  1. You should have three backups of your data at the very least.
  2. Two of these should be stored on various types of media, such as a server, external hard drive, USB drive, etc.
  3. One of these should be stored off-site, like in the cloud or a secure data center.

By using this method, if one of your data backups is destroyed it won’t ruin your business (or your comprehensive continuity plan).

Catalyst Technology Group can help your business build a business continuity plan specifically designed to suit the needs of your organization. To learn more, reach out to us at (317) 705-0333.

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4 Steps to Getting Started With Digital Transformation

  • Published byadmin
  • June 22, 2017

4 Steps to Getting Started With Digital Transformation

Smart business owners always look for ways to improve the way their organization functions. Digital transformation is one of these ways, as it allows for organizations to use technology to minimize waste and enhance workflow. To help you with digital transformation, we’ll walk you through what it is and how it works.

Digital Transformation in the Wild
One example of how digital transformation works can be seen in McDonald’s. In an attempt to streamline order processing, McDonald’s is using kiosks at some locations to reduce the time it takes to order and deliver food. These kiosks allow hungry customers to pay with a variety of methods, including Apple pay. Other food chains have already implemented features like online ordering to provide additional convenience to customers. Both of these examples are ways in which digital transformation has allowed modern businesses to improve the way they function in a substantial way.

Digital transformation allows businesses to create a unified technology platform that changes or completely revamps the way operations are carried out. It’s basically a way to improve your company’s operations by using data, analytics, and other digital tools. Digital transformation lets businesses adapt to new trends and capture new opportunities.

All of this might seem simple on paper, but the implementation process has more than a few roadblocks to watch out for. If your business wants to implement digital transformation, here are a few steps to get started.

Consider the Scope
There’s a lot of work involved in the implementation of digital transformation. Therefore, it’s crucial that you don’t underestimate the scope of this process, as you could potentially end up in a situation where you’re out of time and resources. End-to-end implementation requires a careful analysis of just about every possibility. To meet this goal, you’ll need to rely on your department managers and C-suite staff to better understand how technology affects specific parts of your organization. Once these processes have been defined and outlined, you can move toward creating a unified platform to best match them.

Start From the Beginning
While you might want to digitize your current infrastructure as soon as possible, it’s important that you consider, first and foremost, your current technology needs. The reasoning for this is simple–it’s possible (even likely) that your operational infrastructure is outdated in at least some capacity. Therefore, you should invest in new solutions that recreate your current business processes, as well as reimagines them in better, more efficient ways. In this case, you’re taking advantage of improving operations to an entirely different level.

Build Transformation Alongside Production
It’s likely that the solutions and processes you implement could disrupt your current operations, so you want to first make sure that digital transformation is possible without completely hampering your current infrastructure. To this end, you need proactive migration, along with a thorough testing procedure to ensure that implementation doesn’t hinder production. Virtualization and cloud computing are great ways to make this process less difficult, as you can use isolated containers for testing.

Plan for the Future
During the implementation process of digital transformation, you need to keep future flexibility and functionality in mind. Your goal should always be to improve processes while also keeping unforeseen changes in mind. Since your assets following digital transformation will be digitized, you need to take this into account when planning any future additions to your infrastructure.

Catalyst Technology Group can assist your business with the implementation process of digital transformation. To learn more about how we can help your organization with a digital transformation from start to finish, reach out to us at (317) 705-0333.

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