The CIA Triad is an information security concept that consists of three core principles, (1) Confidentiality, (2) Integrity and, (3) Availability. These core principles become foundational components of information security policy, strategy and solutions. Cybersecurity professionals and Executives responsible for the oversight of cybersecurity programs should have a deep understanding and appreciation for each of the three core principles.
Ultimately, all vulnerabilities and risks should be evaluated based on the threat they pose to one or more of the CIA Triad core principles. In addition, all security controls, or countermeasures, should be evaluated on how well they address the core principles of the CIA Triad.
This core security principle is defined as the ability to restrict unauthorized subjects from accessing data, systems, objects or resources. Imagine an employee punches the timeclock and goes home for the evening but forgets to shut down or lock their computer. Even worse, they are still logged into the client database that contains all sorts of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) like your client’s names, addresses, and social security numbers. What happens if the janitorial service shows up to clean the office space and one of the cleaners notices the unlocked computer and helps themselves to the valuable info? This example illustrates the importance of Confidentiality.
There are many cyber-attacks used to violate confidentiality including, social engineering, theft of credentials or passwords, eavesdropping and network sniffing. Here are a few controls that you should consider incorporating into the program:
- Inventory of Devices and Software – It is very difficult to manage access to devices, applications and systems unless you have an accurate inventory of those assets. Once you understand what assets you own, only then can you begin to think about who is authorized to access and use them. At Databranch, our Managed Services clients have their inventory maintained for them by their Databranch Account Manager
- Data Classification – You must understand what data or information resides on your information systems. More importantly, you have to classify this data so that it can be protected according to value, sensitivity, and regulatory compliance.
- Access Controls – Systems and information should be physically and / or logically segregated based on data classification efforts. Access to systems and information should be granted to authorized users on a need to know basis. Procedures for granting and revoking access should be documented and enforced. Strong password policies should be implemented and enforced. Privileged accounts should be minimized and monitored very closely using logging and notification technologies. Multifactor Authentication (MFA) should be used by authorized users when accessing systems and data according data classification efforts and regulatory requirements.
- Encryption – Information should be encrypted at rest and in transit according to data classification, regulatory requirements and the annual risk assessment.
- Personnel Training – Many confidentiality breaches occur by accident or mistake. Authorized users need to be properly trained. They should understand your data classification policy and acceptable use policy. They should understand why certain security controls are in place, how to properly use them and why they should never attempt to circumvent them. Lastly, they should understand the threat landscape as it relates to confidentiality and what their actions and behaviors can do to help mitigate those risks. Click here to learn more about Databranch’s Annual Security Awareness training.
This core security principle is defined as the ability for data and information to retain truth or, accuracy and be intentionally modified by authorized users only. Imagine a patient under the care of doctors and nurses at a hospital. The patient requires 100mg of medication every six hours. What happens if the nurse accesses the patients’ medical records and the 100mg has been modified (with malicious intent or by accident) and now reads 1000mg? This example illustrates the importance of integrity.
There are many cyber-attacks used to violate integrity including, computer viruses, malware, logic bombs, database injections and altering system configurations. Your cybersecurity program should absolutely work to promote integrity and defend against these attacks. Here are a few controls that you should consider incorporating into the program:
- Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) – IPS / IDS examines network traffic flows to detect and prevent vulnerability exploits. Many times this technology is embedded in perimeter defenses such as firewalls but, it needs to be enabled and configured to work properly.
- Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware – This powerful tool can be used to detect, quarantine and even remove malicious code from computers and systems. It is imperative that Antivirus software is installed and configured on all computing devices.
- Vulnerability Management – There should be a process for identifying known vulnerabilities across systems and applications and then remediating those vulnerabilities typically by installing patches. Click here to request your free Databranch baseline security assessment.
- Log Monitoring and Analysis – The ability to collect system and application logs and then monitor / analyze them is critical. It can detect anomalies in system behaviors and be used in forensic efforts post incident.
This core security principle is defined as the ability to grant authorized users uninterrupted access to systems and information. Imagine logging into your computer on Monday morning. You are refreshed from the weekend, ready to work and conquer the world. Then suddenly, a message flashes across your computer screen. The message explains that your computer and everything on it has been encrypted by ransomware, and you must pay a fee to receive the decryption key and resume regular work activities. You no longer have access to email, customer records, financial records, etc. What would you do if the applications and data on your computer were no longer available to use? This example illustrates the importance of Availability.
There are many cyber-attacks used to violate availability including, computer viruses, malware and denial of service (DoS). There are also circumstantial events that violate availably such as hardware failure and natural disasters. Your cybersecurity program should absolutely be influenced by the availability principle. Here are a few controls that you should consider incorporating into the program:
- Data Backup Systems – Effective data backup strategies should be defined, implemented and monitored for success. If systems or data suddenly become unavailable, recovery efforts almost always start with restoring from a successful backup job.
- Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) – Documenting DR and BCP plans is an absolute must. In addition, these plans should be tested, at least annually to verify effectiveness. Learn more about our Dataguard Backup and Recovery solution here!
- System Monitoring – Critical systems and applications should be continuously monitored for performance and capacity requirements. Proactive monitoring can often prevent unwanted outages or disruptions.
- Incident Response Plan – Having a plan to contain, eradicate, and recover from a cybersecurity incident is invaluable. Incidents create stress and chaos. Having an incident response plan introduces confidence and organization.
As one can see, the core principles of the CIA Triad (Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability) are simple information security concepts that when properly applied to policy and program creation can have a real meaningful impact our ability to stay safe and protected.
Contact Databranch today at 716-373-4467 x115 or email@example.com for any questions about the information above. You can also fill out the form below to set up a meeting with one of our experienced team members to discuss how we can help enhance your businesses cybersecurity.
Article used with permission from Huntress.
Our technology inevitably comes with us when we travel. Some people won’t even travel to the end of the block without their smartphones. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, not having your technology there when you need it can ruin your day.
Travel smarter and more securely by doing several checks before you go. Use our handy tech travel checklist below, it can save you from lost devices or a data breach.
1. Check Your Apps
Have you ever sat at an airport gate wondering why it looked so empty? You then found out that your gate had changed, and you had no idea. You go rushing to the other end of the concourse, hoping you’re not too late.
How did everyone else know about the gate change? They most likely had the app for the airline and received a notification.
Before you leave for a trip, make sure to download any apps you may need. It’s better to download them when you’re at home on your own Wi-Fi. Waiting until you’re at the airport could cause connectivity or security issues.
Some of the apps you may want to download or update before your trip are:
- Airline app
- Train app
- Hotel app
- Weather app
- City tourism app
2. Check Your Cords & Adapters
People leave behind countless chargers and adapters every day. They litter airports, restaurants, and train stations around the world. Make sure to bring a backup charger for your laptop, tablet, or phone. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a premium price for a new charger in a gift shop.
3. Check Your Power
A great way to ensure you have the power you need is to buy a small portable battery. You can find these in most major retailers or online. They are small “blocks” that hold a charge and can power up a cell phone in a pinch.
Having this extra backup also helps you avoid potential juice-jacking ports. These are fake or compromised public USB charging ports that hackers use them to steal your data when you plug in your device.
4. Check Your Mobile Plan
Traveling for work is exciting, but it can also lead to issues connecting with clients. Being away from the office means missed calls an unheard voicemails.
Handing out you personal mobile number may seem like a good solution. However, having clients or coworkers reach you at all hours of the day can blur the line between your professional and personal life. It can also get expensive if you’re on long calls or using your own mobile data.
An alternative is to set up a VoIP app that you can use with your office while you’re traveling. These enable both calls and SMS, but you do need an internet connection.
Interested in learning more about VoIP and the functions it provides? Reach out to Databranch today! Our Rock-It VoIP platform offers flexibility and scalability to accommodate for fluctuations and growth in your business, and we can service locations nationwide. With Rock-IT VoIP, we also port your numbers so they stay the same and handle any upgrades, maintenance, and programming!
5. Check or Add a VPN
Free Wi-Fi may be a welcome site when you’re on the road, but it can also be dangerous. You don’t know who else is using that Wi-Fi. A hacker hanging out on the connection can easily steal your data if you’re not protected.
It’s better to use either your mobile carrier connection or a virtual private network (VPN) app. VPN plans are inexpensive and will keep your data encrypted, even if you’re on public Wi-Fi.
Visit our website here to learn more about VPNs and what factors to consider when choosing a plan.
6. Check Your Backup
Unfortunately, mishaps occur when traveling. You may leave your phone behind in the airport, have your luggage lost, or get your device stolen while in a crowded area.
10% of all laptop thefts happen in airports.
Don’t lose all your work data with the device! Back up your devices to the cloud or local storage before you travel. This ensures that you won’t lose the valuable information on your device.
Need help with a Data Backup and Recovery plan for your business? Contact us today or visit our website to learn more.
7. Check Your Device Security
Make your devices as secure as possible before you hit the road. When we’re traveling, our minds are occupied by other things. So, you may not think to check your antivirus or avoid suspicious phishing links.
Protect your devices before you go using:
- DNS filtering
- Screen lock with passcode
- Sharing features turned off
- VPN application
- Find-My-Device feature turned on
Improve the Security of Your Devices Now
Don’t leave your company devices unprotected. Contact us today if you want to discuss your cybersecurity in greater detail. We can arrange a quick chat to discussed some options we have available that would help enhance your businesses security. Give us a call at 716-373-4467 x 115 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Article used with permission from The Technology Press.
There’s a reason that browsers like Edge have added breached password notifications. Data breaches are an unfortunate part of life that can have costly consequences for individuals. Hackers can steal identities, compromise bank accounts and even sell your credentials on the dark web.
Cybercriminals breach about 4,800 websites every month with form jacking code. It has become all too common to hear of a large hotel chain or social media company exposing customer data.
Hackers can breach your personal information and passwords without you knowing it. The time from breach to notification of the breach can be lengthy. One example is the data breach of CafePress which is a popular online retailer that prints personalized items.
CafePress suffered a data breach in February 2019. That breach exposed millions of names and addresses, security questions, and more. Hackers also breached social security numbers that weren’t encrypted.
As mentioned, the breach happened in February. But many consumers weren’t notified until late summer. The FTC recently took action against the company due to its careless security practices.
The point is that months or years can go by without you knowing about compromised data. Unless you happen to look at the right website, you may not even realize it. Those breached password features in browsers are helpful, but what if you have other information beyond a password compromised?
It’s best to protect yourself with some knowledge. We’ll help by listing several recent breaches. If you’ve interacted with any of these companies, you’ll want to take steps to protect yourself from the fallout.
Recent Breaches of Personal Information That May Impact You
Microsoft Customer Data Breach
On October 19, 2022, Microsoft announced a breach that exposed customer data. A misconfigured server was to blame and the breach exposed certain business transaction data. It’s thought that this breach could have affected more than 65,000 entities worldwide.
2.5 Million Records Exposed in a Student Loan Breach
Did you get a student loan from EdFinancial and the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA)? If so, you could be in trouble. The organizations notified impacted individuals by letter in July 2022.
The personal information at risk included:
- Social security numbers
- Email addresses
- Home addresses
- Phone numbers
The breach compromised the data of over 2.5 million loan recipients.
U-Haul Data Breach of 2.2 Million Individuals’ Data
Large rental firm U-Haul is a household name. It also just had a major data breach. It notified clients in August of 2022 of a compromise of some rental contracts. The contacts in question were between November 5, 2021, and April 5, 2022.
The breach exposed names, driver’s license numbers, and state identification numbers. It affected over 2.2 million individuals that rented vehicles from the company.
Neopets Breach May Have Compromised 69 Million Accounts
You wouldn’t suspect a cute site like Neopets to be a cybersecurity risk. But users of the platform got a rude awakening due to a breach of the service. An estimated 69 million accounts may have had emails and passwords leaked.
The full stolen Neopet database and copy of the source code were being offered for sale for about $94,500.
One Employee Computer Causes a Marriott Breach
Hotel giant Marriott suffered another breach in July 2022. It blamed a single unsecured employee computer. About 300-400 individuals had data leaked. This data included credit card numbers and other confidential information.
Unfortunately, the company shows a pattern of poor cybersecurity. Within the last four years, it has suffered three separate breaches. That’s enough to want to pay in cash or use a pre-paid card if you stay there.
Shield Health Care Group Exposes Up to 2 Million Records
In March of 2022, Shield Health Care Group detected a breach. This Massachusetts-based company found that hackers breached up to 2 million customer records. This includes medical records, social security numbers, and other sensitive personal data.
Flagstar Bank Takes 6 Months to Identify Individuals Affected in a Breach
In December of 2021, Flagstar Bank suffered a breach. It wasn’t until 6 months later that it identified the individuals affected. And the impact was large. It included exposed social security numbers. The hack impacted about 1.5 million customers.
8.2 million Current and Former Customers of Block Compromised
Block was formerly known as Square, a popular payment processing platform. It announced in April of 2022 that it was breached the previous December. A former employee accessed customer names and brokerage account numbers. Some accounts also had other stock trading information accessed.
About 8.2 million current and former customers had their data exposed.
Crypto.com Breach Nets Hackers Over $30 Million
Cryptocurrency may be hot at the moment, but it’s very susceptible to cyberattacks. In January 2022, over 483 users had their Crypto.com wallets breached.
The criminals made it past two-factor authentication, which is usually quite effective. They stole about $18 million in bitcoin and $15 million in Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.
Are Your Credentials Out There?
Contact Databranch today at 716-373-4467 x 115 or email@example.com to learn more about protecting your personal data from a breach. We can help your business implement Multi-Factor Authentication or set you up with our Dark Web monitoring services. Visit out website here to learn more.
Article used with permission from The Technology Press.
If you follow Microsoft products, then you may know about Microsoft Ignite. Held annually, it generates many exciting updates and announcements in the Microsoft world.
Microsoft held its most recent conference last October. In the rush of the recent holidays, you may have missed some of the highlights. So, we’re bringing them to you now.
One thing you’ll notice is that Microsoft Teams got a lot of love at the event. Microsoft is now describing Teams as “the app at the center of Microsoft 365.” We can see why the company keeps enhancing this virtual workspace. Teams now has over 280 million users. It’s not surprising seeing that Microsoft has introduced over 450 new Teams features just in the last year.
We’ll go over some Teams features below, along with other Microsoft App announcements from Ignite. These may give you some ideas for your next digital workflow upgrade.
There is a new Teams Premium offering from Microsoft that adds a whole new AI component to the platform. This service includes several AI-powered features. They make it seem like you have your own meeting assistant.
Some of the cool features include automatically generating chapters from a Teams meeting. The app also generates personalized highlights for you. This saves you from having to rewatch the meeting later.
If you’re meeting internationally, you can enjoy real-time translations for captions. Meeting guides is another new feature. It sets up your meeting options according to your needs.
360-Degree Intelligent Camera for Teams Meetings
SmartVision 60 is the first 360-degree, center-of-room intelligent camera. It has the ability to track the speaker as they’re moving. The camera is also due to have a people recognition feature coming soon.
Virtual meetings can feel much more like real meetings using SmartVision 60. Instead of just seeing a small video feed of one person, the movement of the camera can capture a whole team.
Cisco is Now a Certified Devices Partner for Teams Rooms
Those that are fans of Cisco meeting products will be pleased to know they now have more options. Microsoft announced that Cisco is now a Teams Room Certified Devices partner. You can now start Teams meetings across all certified Cisco meeting devices.
One of the virtual workspace apps to support the new hybrid movement is Microsoft Places. This is a team management app that integrates with the rest of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
The office is still around, but for how long? Much of the world had to do things virtually during the pandemic. Many companies and employees found they like it better that way. Seventy-four percent of US companies have or plan to put in place a permanent hybrid work model.
Microsoft Places is one more way Microsoft is leading the hybrid office revolution. Some of the app’s features include:
- Manage and track where employees are working (at home or in the office)
- Track whether coworkers are away or available
- Track physical room use to make strategic decisions
Hours & Location Feature in Outlook & Teams
Another feature announcement related to the hybrid working world is hours and location. This is a new capability added to Teams and Outlook to make it easier to schedule in-person meetings.
It can get tricky to plan in-person meetings when you don’t know who is working at the office and who is remote. If you plan without checking, you’re bound to alienate someone. They won’t be happy if they were planning to work from home that day.
The new hours and location feature allows people to specify where they are working. They can adjust this from hour to hour which takes the guesswork out of scheduling.
Loop App Private Preview
Another exciting app announcement that Microsoft made was about its Loop app. It stated that Loop entered private preview. This gives some organizations a chance to check it out.
Loop is a collaborative workspace app that helps teams ideate in a virtual space. All data pulled in from Microsoft 365 apps syncs automatically to stay up to date.
Microsoft Clipchamp Video Editor
You may have noticed an unfamiliar app popping up on Windows. Microsoft Clipchamp was formally announced at the Ignite event. It’s a quick and easy video editor for Windows PCs.
Have you ever felt frustrated trying to fix a video and not having the right tool to do it? Then you may want to take a closer look at what Clipchamp has to offer. It looks to have a fairly low learning curve.
Get Help Navigating the Microsoft 365 Universe
Microsoft 365 has come a long way in a short period. There are many different app integrations you can use to power your workflow, but it can get a bit complicated without an expert to help. Contact Databranch today at 716-373-4467 x115 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule a Microsoft consultation.
Article used with permission from The Technology Press.