Small & Medium Business

No matter their size, businesses need reliable endpoint security that can stop modern attacks. And since most companies are subject to some form of compliance and privacy regulations, protection for endpoints is 100% necessary to help businesses avoid hefty fines and damage to their reputation due to a security breach.

Unfortunately, these same small businesses have begun to fall victim to cyberattacks at an alarming rate. This reality is putting the entire economy at risk. As large companies spend endless amounts of time and money to fortify their digital assets, cybercriminals, hackers and fraudsters have turned their attention to those that cannot afford such lofty and impenetrable defenses: small and mid-sized businesses.

 

According to the Small Business Administration, the 30 million small businesses operating in the United States employ nearly half of the total workforce. A recent Ponemon study found that nearly 70% of all small businesses experienced a cyberattack, while half admitted to having no understanding of how to protect their company against an attack.

Unfortunately, these same small businesses have begun to fall victim to cyberattacks at an alarming rate. This reality is putting the entire economy at risk. As large companies spend endless amounts of time and money to fortify their digital assets, cybercriminals, hackers and fraudsters have turned their attention to those that cannot afford such lofty and impenetrable defenses: small and mid-sized businesses.

And that’s a big problem when considering the average recovery costs of a data breach for a small company can top $149,000. Most worrisome, however, is that 60% of all small companies that succumb to a cyberattack go out of business within six months, according to a report by the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance.

Healthcare

Patient portals, Cloud security, People, Unsecured mobile devices, and the IoT exploits – Cybersecurity in Healthcare – What’s the risk?

 

The demands of health care are being defined on a myriad of evolving challenges striving to provide the best quality care in the most cost-efficient way. Efforts to meet these challenges are reflected in a variety of delivery systems including mobile health care devices, wearables, monitoring devices, cell phone images, and the Internet of Things (IoT). In order to connect patient care traversing the complex multiple settings of primary care, hospitals, insurance companies, academia, research, and an ever-growing list of stakeholders, these devices are ubiquitous.

Connected healthcare systems of individual patient’s medical care are inordinately attractive vectors for the delivery of quality care but remain a double-edged sword because of the treasure-trove of data represented in these systems and the manifold entry portals available creating significant gaps in security and render the data vulnerable to corruption, misuse, and ransom. The variations present in the delivery of healthcare complicate security design solutions requiring a frank presentation and discussion of challenges and solutions for healthcare forms.

 

Delivery and management of high-quality care with technology use information systems and simultaneously introduce risks to systems and presents new challenges. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) explores the use of these information systems and healthcare entities practice regarding the HIPAA Security Rule for Protected Health Information (PHI). OCR also examines the requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule, with a special focus on security risk assessments (SRAs).

Education

According to a recent study, Education institutions continue to struggle with application security, endpoint security and patching cadence, according to the “2018 Education Cybersecurity Report,” conducted by the information security company SecurityScorecard.

“The results show that although hackers have become increasingly deft at stealing school and student data, the education industry is no better prepared to deal with these malicious threats,” the report’s authors conclude. “There is a growing concern because schools collect an incredible, and vastly increasing amount of personal data about students, to varying degrees.”

3 Points of Security Vulnerabilities in the Education Sector

As universities and schools increase their use of data analytics for initiatives related to student behavior management and academic performance, the amount of data they collect is growing, which worries security experts. “The lack of resources and attention to cybersecurity in schools and universities should be a cause for serious concern among students, parents, school boards, and the education industry as a whole,” said Sam Kassoumeh, COO and cofounder of SecurityScorecard. “Schools collect an incredible and vastly increasing amount of personal data about students…Securing these networks and protecting this information is essential to protect the future of innovation and privacy.”

In order to protect student data, here are three insights to get education institutions started on a more reliable security plan:

  1. Application Security: Schools are relying more than ever on online applications for testing, data collection and analytics. Hackers will take advantage of application vulnerabilities, which means school districts and universities need to be aware of any in their networks and close them up. One way to do so is to build application security into system development. Incorporating vulnerability scans or penetration tests is another way to root out potential security flaws.

  2. Endpoint Security: The number of personal devices used by students and faculty across both K–12 and higher education is increasing, expanding the number of vulnerable endpoints. These devices can be especially vulnerable because many people use the same devices to connect to home networks, which may offer less protection than campus networks. Endpoint security software allow schools and universities to more easily detect vulnerabilities and unify network management. Cybersecurity education programs are also crucial to ensure users are responsible at all times. Additionally, integrating endpoint segmentation can help to limit any damage if a device is compromised.

  3. Patching Cadence: Updating software is essential. While patching can be a burden for education IT teams, especially those with fewer resources, there are programs that can help bear some of the weight. Security companies offer virtual patching programs that identify vulnerabilities and offer a quick fix until an IT member can complete the patch.A cybersecurity plan should reflect a holistic approach to student data protection.              

 

“By incorporating technology and people, a robust program mitigates risks, while also ensuring ongoing education instills good security habits into employees, students, and their parents.”

Public Sector

Cromteccyber Capability Statement

Federal Government

Our Nation’s security and economic prosperity depend on the stability and integrity of our Federal communications and information infrastructure. In order to address the continuously changing environment of threats posed on our nation’s cybersecurity defenses, the Federal Government must continue its vigorous advancement of technical and policy protection capabilities for national systems, to expand partnerships with the private sector, and to work with Congress to clarify roles and responsibilities.

This National Cyber Strategy outlines how we will (1) defend the homeland by protecting networks, systems, functions, and data; (2) promote American prosperity by nurturing a secure, thriving digital economy and fostering strong domestic innovation; (3) preserve peace and security by strengthening the United States’ ability — in concert with allies and partners — to deter and if necessary punish those who use cyber tools for malicious purposes; and (4) expand American influence abroad to extend the key tenets of an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet.

The Strategy’s success will be realized when cybersecurity vulnerabilities are effectively managed through identification and protection of networks, systems, functions, and data as well as detection of, resilience against, response to, and recovery from incidents; destructive, disruptive, or otherwise destabilizing malicious cyber activities directed against United States interests are reduced or prevented; activity that is contrary to responsible behavior in cyber- space is deterred through the imposition of costs through cyber and non-cyber means; and the United States is positioned to use cyber capabilities to achieve national security objectives.

Protecting the American people, the American way of life, and American interests is at the forefront of the National Security Strategy. Protecting American information networks, whether government or private, is vital to fulfilling this objective. It will require a series of coordinated actions focused on protecting government networks, protecting critical infrastructure, and combating cybercrime. The United States Government, private industry, and the public must each take immediate and decisive actions to strengthen cybersecurity, with each working on securing the networks under their control and supporting each other as appropriate.

STRENGTHEN FEDERAL CONTRACTOR CYBER- SECURITY:

The United States cannot afford to have sensitive government information or systems inadequately secured by contractors. Federal contractors provide important services to the United States Government and must properly secure the systems through which they provide those services. Going forward, the Federal Government will be able to assess the security of its data by reviewing contractor risk management practices and adequately testing, hunting, sensoring, and responding to incidents on contractor systems. Contracts with Federal departments and agencies will be drafted to authorize such activities for the purpose of improving cybersecurity. Among the acute concerns in this area are those contractors within the defense industrial base responsible for researching and developing key systems fielded by the DOD.

Continuous monitoring is a risk management approach to cybersecurity that maintains an accurate picture of an agency’s security risk posture, provides visibility into assets, and leverages use of automated data feeds to quantify risk, ensure effectiveness of security controls, and implement prioritized remedies. A well-designed and well-managed continuous monitoring program can effectively transform an otherwise static security control assessment and risk determination process into a dynamic process that provides essential, near real-time security status.

In today’s environment of widespread cyber-intrusions, advanced persistent threats, and insider threats, it is essential for agencies to have real-time accurate knowledge of their enterprise IT security posture so that responses to external and internal threats can be made swiftly.

*Mitigate the risk and impact of threats to Federal agencies’ data, systems, and networks by implementing cutting edge cybersecurity capabilities. 

STRATEGIES

Manage Asset Security- Implement capabilities that provide observational, analytical, and diagnostic data of an agency’s cybersecurity.

  • Limit Personnel Access- Implement credential and access management capabilities that ensure users only have access to the resources necessary for their job function.

  • Protect Networks and Data- Implement advanced network and data protection capabilities to protect agency networks and sensitive government and citizen data.

State & Local Government Cybersecurity Landscape

Cyber-attacks on government agencies are happening at an alarming rate. These attacks cost U.S. state and local governments millions of dollars in remediation and disrupt employee work and citizen services. Governments must be concerned about the loss of sensitive citizen, client and employee information, whether through a cyber event on a PC or unauthorized access to documents at the printer. According to a Verizon study, personal information is the top type of data lost in public sector breaches.The costs of such a breach can quickly escalate. One study estimates an organization will incur $2.2 million in costs for a data breach that involves less than 10,000 compromised records.

Several factors make government agencies easy targets. Budget constraints may require some agencies to use outdated computers that cannot support the security features needed to protect against current threats. Many agencies lack funding to develop, implement and manage robust security policies. And the mix of technologies in most government agencies make security management more challenging, which may inadvertently provide an opening for attacks.

Amajor source of security vulnerabilities lies in endpoints: the PC and Mobile device employees use to do the everyday work of government. Although an agency may not have full awareness of endpoint vulnerabilities, hackers

certainly do. As one example, a county IT director noted an increase of more than 300 percent in endpoint attacks at agencies across Washington state.

A lack of control or inability to monitor endpoints creates significant security risks and may lead to:

  • Unauthorized people seeing sensitive information due to careless user actions

  • Cybercriminals stealing data or holding computer files for ransom or blackmail

  • An attack on critical agency systems through an endpoint’s network connection

Multiple factors contribute to these potential scenarios, but perhaps the most common is inadequate security settings and lack of proactive monitoring. Over time, infrequent monitoring and inconsistent installation of software patches can increase the risk of both PC, laptop and mobile devices.

 

The valuable data stored in PC memory or hard drives may be easily viewed or stolen unless strong security measures are in place. These measures include defining strong security policies at the agency level and educating users to consistently follow good security practices. When default security settings aren’t optimized, the device becomes a “weakest link,” giving hackers an easy entry point into the organization’s network. Sometimes it’s just a matter of incomplete endpoint awareness. When an agency has hundreds or thousands of PCs and devices to track, it can be hard to maintain up-to-date knowledge of all endpoints. One analysis found that a government organization typically doesn’t know about 12 percent of its network-connected endpoints.  If the IT team doesn’t have visibility and control of an endpoint, it can’t be certain it is adequately secured. IT can address these vulnerabilities with a combination of security technology, policies and practices.

It’s easy to assume that a firewall application and anti-virus software are all that’s needed to secure a PC. Although these measures remain important, they cannot deliver full protection against today’s sophisticated attacks. Achieving this higher level of protection involves both best practices and technology tools. Best practices begin with basic measures such as requiring strong passwords and not allowing users to share accounts. Many governments are also choosing to adopt the extensive best practices in the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. As a supplement to cybersecurity practices, advanced security tools provide stronger protection than traditional tools for PC applications, data and network connections.