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Steps to Improve Your Digital Security
Cybercriminals are growing in their sophistication and in their boldness, targeting anywhere they might find money.
#cybersecurity #localbusiness #phishing
When it comes to cybersecurity, risks are everywhere. Cybercriminals are growing in their sophistication and in their boldness, targeting critical infrastructure for government, financial services, commerce, education, energy, healthcare—anywhere they might find money. The FBI reported that $6.9 billion was stolen by cybercriminals in 2021—a 64% increase from 2020. It’s continuing to grow harder to prevent criminals from stealing data and shutting down operations.
But there are solutions, and they start with educating yourself, your employees, and your clients about the risks they can avoid. On September 22, in preparation for Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October), Synergy is co-sponsoring a panel for local community leaders to come together and discuss how to protect our local businesses, and how to save you time and money in the process.
Learn more about why you should join us below.
The Current Cybersecurity Climate
It's clear now that work culture is never going to completely return to pre-Covid expectations: in May of this year, 8% of Manhattan professionals were back in the office five days a week. With this switch to a more flexible work environment, it’s also more common for employers to adopt a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, which allows employees to use their personal devices to work from anywhere with Wi-Fi. Companies used to focus most of their attention on securing central networks, but with this increase in endpoint devices—from laptops, to tablets, to desk printers—the network isn’t so central anymore. Cybersecurity threats are growing quickly, in proportion to the growing number of endpoint devices that most companies are managing.
A common technique cybercriminals use is lateral movement: they get into the network through an easy scam or a poorly protected device, and then move through the network to find sensitive data. Scams can be as sophisticated as impersonating the boss in a fake meeting with AI and “deepfake” simulated audio. Meanwhile endpoint devices can be shockingly easy to hack due to ignorance or negligence: printers are an easy, common, and overlooked target.
Businesses can prepare for this changing environment in numerous ways, but it starts with increasing security measures for endpoint devices, and by educating employees about proper workplace security.
Develop a Security Plan
Good security plans embrace the zero trust principle: that every device and every user could be hostile to your network at any time until they’re proven otherwise. Your plan should be proactive, adaptive, and ongoing, and should include all members of your company; not just your IT employees. It starts with an assessment of your company operations, the devices you use, and the data you’re storing. To be prepared for today’s cyberthreats, your security system needs regular monitoring and maintenance.
But the reality, even with good software and firewalls in place, is that humans are the weak link in the system. This year the World Economic Forum suggested that 95% of cybersecurity incidents are caused by human error. Employees and clients should be trained to change their passwords regularly, to implement software updates, and to hone their instincts to be more suspicious of unusual email attachments or requests. At the same time, your security practices should still assume that mistakes will be made, and be ready to account for them.
Panel of Experts: Cybersecurity 2022
We recommend engaging with security experts to help you develop an airtight security policy: from implementing and maintaining it, to supporting your IT team in managing it. We invite you to attend our upcoming Cybersecurity Panel with local experts in IT, security, and risk. Register for tickets here.
This year’s panel will include:
- Dave Cialone, CISSP – Director of IT and Chief Information Security Officer, Synergy IT
With over twenty years of experience in IT, Dave leads Synergy's safety initiatives. He can explain various security tools, why your company needs them, and help you identify where they fall within your company's risk priorities.
- Jessica Copeland – Member, Bond Schoeneck and King
Jessica specializes in cybersecurity, intellectual property, and data privacy laws on state, federal, and international levels. She regularly guides clients through cybersecurity policies that pertain to the NY SHIELD Act, CCPA and GDPR, and industry-focused compliance with the NY Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulations, HIPAA, and HITECH. Jessica obtained a Certificate in Cybersecurity Leadership from Carnegie Mellon in 2019.
- William M. Prohn, CISSP, CISA – Managing Director, Dopkins & Company LLP
Bill has extensive experience implementing and maintaining all aspects of computer hardware and networking environments and many types of software applications, including for accounting, operations, manufacturing, HR, and medical billing. He has taught both accounting and Information Systems courses at Canisius College and the University of Rochester.
- Christine Wiktor, CIC, CRM – VP, Insurance Placement Specialist, M&T Insurance
Christine is Vice President at M&T Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of M&T Bank. Christine works with the agency’s larger clients to provide proactive risk management guidance, and regularly speaks on important risk management topics like cyber liability and risk control. She is a member of the Canisius College Business Advisory Council, Co-Chair of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Institutional Advancement Committee, and a member of the 2014 class of Leadership Buffalo.
Operating from Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse for the last 50 years, Synergy is Central & Western New York's top Managed Service Provider for small-mid-sized organizations and global institutions alike. We bring together the best in enterprise-level IT services, technology, and support to help organizations of all sizes accomplish great things. We’re proud to partner with quality vendors like HP to bring you devices and personalized services that are optimized for the modern business environment. Contact us today to get the IT solutions you need.