Cyber Security: all you need to know

| August 10, 2018

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The online security threats faced by businesses are mounting and burying your head in the sand is simply not an option! If you are a cybercrime novice, this guide will give you a basic overview of all the risks you face, the ones you need to try and avoid and the solutions you can put in place to combat them.

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Nonprofit Solutions Network (NSN) is an IT consulting and managed services firm that specializes in supporting NYC metro area nonprofits and social enterprises since 1998. We help organizations increase capacity, lower costs, and improve their overall operations through the use of technology.

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What Is Mac Malware, How It Penetrates Your Device, and How to Get Rid of It

Article | November 25, 2020

I would like to share my experience with you and talk about viruses created for Mac devices and how to deal with them. You may say that there are no Mac viruses as Apple does not allow it. However, I may say that there are plenty of nasty malware types like adware that open new tabs in your browser, redirect you to irrelevant pages and show numerous popups. Yes, these are not real viruses. Adware like Search Marquis cannot clone itself and infect other connected devices. It cannot encrypt your files or cause any other harm. Its activity is related only to web redirects and excessive advertising. At the same time, who knows which rogue websites adware may land you on next time. It may happen that you end up on a phishing website where cyber crooks harvest personal information that leads to identity theft. Fake antiviruses I strongly recommend removing all adware that penetrated your device. But there is a problem here. If you want to get rid of Mac adware, you cannot quickly find a solution. If you go to google and search there how to get rid of Mac malware, you will see that all top results offer you to buy and install some shady software. In reality, these Mac antiviruses do nothing, as we know that the Apple ecosystem does not allow apps to access other apps' data. No antivirus can really scan and check your files. How to remove Mac malware Solution 1: If your system is infected with adware and you do not know how to get rid of it, you may try to call Apple and ask what to do. You can find their phone number here: support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201232#us-ca. Solution 2: Another option is to try your luck on Apple communities. Thousands of tech enthusiasts help uses with their problems there. Here is a sample thread: discussions.apple.com/thread/8226644. Solution 3: There are other options too. Apple operating systems are not very difficult to use, and any person can remove adware manually by going through step-by-step guides posted on numerous malware removal websites. Here is a guide by BitAdvisors.com on how to remove Search Marquis malware. Most rogue software works by exploiting bugs and vulnerabilities in your computer's operating system. And macOS has its own bugs too. To fix these vulnerabilities, Apple periodically releases operating system updates. To date, macOS has not proved attractive enough for cybercriminals and evil developers to flood it with malware. Protection tips To stays away from any surprises, it is recommended to update your OS as well as all apps installed regularly. You should never install apps from unofficial app stores not controlled by Apple. One of the ways for adware to penetrate your Mac computer is through bundled installs. You download and install a very useful app that is often free, but in reality, you get several apps. People never read user agreements written in small print. There it can be noted that you agree to install additional tools and provide some rights to them. Whenever you install something, be careful and read user agreements, and do not miss additional unnecessary software. Do not install any software without urgent necessity. Any additional software widens the attack surface. To be able to do bad things, current Mac malware requires users to perform some actions – grant rights. So, be careful with allowing any app to access your data, change settings, etc. One more wise move is to make backups. iCloud or ordinary flash drives will help you not lose your data in case of a system glitch or malware attack. Final advice - do use VPNs. Your connection will be encrypted, and attackers will not be able to find where you are actually located or what data your traffic consists of.

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Information Security Management System to Protect Information Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability

Article | June 18, 2021

In this modern world of technology, ensuring information security is very important for the smooth running of any organization. Unfortunately, there are many information/cyber security threats, including malware, ransom ware, emotet, denial of service, man in the middle, phishing, SQL injection, and password attacks. Whatever your business is, no doubt, it can collapse your business and your dreams. However, the severity of its after-effects depends upon the type of business you do. As information security threat has become a hurdle for all organizations, companies must implement an effective information security management system. In 2019 alone, the total number of breaches was 1473. It is increasing every year as businesses are doing digital transformation widely. Phishing is the most damaging and widespread threat to businesses, accounting for 90% of organizations' breaches. This article lets you understand what ISMS is and how it can be effectively implemented in your organization. Information Security Management System (ISMS) According to ISO/IEC 27001, Information Security Management System (ISMS) refers to various procedures, policies, and guidelines to manage and protect organizations' information assets. In addition, the system also comprises various other associated resources and activities frameworks for information security management. Organizations are jointly responsible for maintaining information security. People responsible for security in an organization ensure that all employees diligently meet all policies, guidelines, and other objectives regarding protecting information. Also, they safeguard all assets of the organization from external cyber threats and attacks. The goal and objective of the system are to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of assets from all threats and vulnerabilities. Effectively implementing an information security management system in your organization avoids the possibility of leaking personal, sensitive, and confidential data and getting exposed to harmful hands. The step-by-step implementation of ISMS includes the process of designing, implementing, managing, and maintaining it. Implementing ISMS in Organizations The standard for establishing and maintaining an information security management system in any organization is ISO 27001. However, as the standard has broad building blocks in designing and implementing ISMS, organizations can shape it according to their requirements. Effectively implementing ISMS in organizations in compliance with ISO 27001 lets you enjoy significant benefits. However, an in-depth implementation and training process has to be ensured to realize these benefits comprehensively. Therefore, let us look into how an information security management system can be successfully implemented in your organization. Identification The first step in implementing ISMS is identifying the assets vulnerable to security threats and determining their value to your organization. In this process, devices and various types of data are listed according to their relative importance. Assets can be divided across three dimensions: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. It will allow you to give a rating to your assets according to their sensitivity and importance to the company. Confidentiality is ensuring that the assets are accessed by authorized persons only. Integrity means ensuring that the data and information to be secured are complete, correct, and safeguarded thoroughly. Availability is ensuring that the protected information is available to the authorized persons when they require it. Policies and Procedures and Approval from the Management In this step, you will have to create policies and procedures based on the insights you got from the first step. It is said to be the riskiest step as it will enforce new behaviors in your organization. Rules and regulations will be set for all the employees in this step. Therefore, it becomes the riskiest step as people always resist accepting and following the changes. You also should get the management approval once the policies are written. Risk Assessment Risk assessment is an integral part of implementing an Information Security Management System. Risk assessment allows you to provide values to your assets and realize which asset needs utmost care. For example, a competitor, an insider, or a cybercriminal group may want to compromise your information and steal your information. With a simple brainstorming session, you can realize and identify various potential sources of risk and potential damage. A well-documented risk assessment plan and methodology will make the process error-free. Risk Treatment In this step, you will have to implement the risk assessment plan you defined in the previous step. It is a time-consuming process, especially for larger organizations. This process is to get a clear picture of both internal and external dangers that can happen to the information in your organization. The process of risk treatment also will help you to reduce the risks, which are not acceptable. Additionally, you may have to create a detailed report comprising all the steps you took during the risk assessment and treatment phase in this step. Training If you want effectively implement all the policies and procedures, providing training to employees is necessary. To make people perform as expected, educating your personnel about the necessity of implementing an information security management system is crucial. The most common reason for the failure of security management failure is the absence of this program. Implementing ISMS Once policies and procedures are written, and necessary training is provided to all employees, you can get into the actual process of implementing it in your organization. Then, as all the employees follow the new set of rules and regulations, you can start evaluating the system's effectiveness. Monitoring and Auditing Here you check whether the objectives set were being met or not. If not, you may take corrective and preventive actions. In addition, as part of auditing, you also ensure all employees are following what was being implemented in the information security management system. This is because people may likely follow wrong things without the awareness that they are doing something wrong. In that case, disciplinary actions have to be taken to prevent and correct it. Here you make sure and ensure all the controls are working as you expected. Management Review The final step in the process of implementing an information security management system is management review. In this step, you work with the senior management to understand your ISMS is achieving the goals. You also utilize this step to set future goals in terms of your security strategy. Once the implementation and review are completed successfully, the organization can apply for certification to ensure the best information security management practices. Summing UP Organizations benefit from implementing and certifying their information security management system. The organization has defined and implemented a management system by building awareness, training employees, applying the proper security measures, and executing a systematic approach to information security management. Thus implementation has the following benefits: Minimized risk of information loss. The increased trust of customers in the company as the company is ISO/IEC 27001 certified. Developed competencies and awareness about information security among all employees The organization meets various regulatory requirements. Frequently Asked questions What are the three principles of information security? Confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) are the three main principles and objectives of information security. These are the fundamental principles and the heart of information security. How does information security management work? Information security management works on five pillars. The five pillars are assessment, detection, reaction, documentation, and prevention. Effective implementation of these pillars determines the success of the information security management in your company. What are the challenges in information security management? Challenges in information security management in your company can be the following: You can’t identify your most critical data Policies aren’t in place for protecting sensitive information. Employees aren’t trained in company policies. Technology isn’t implemented for your policies. You can’t limit vendor access to sensitive information.

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Wormable, Unpatched Microsoft Bug Threatens Corporate LANs

Article | March 11, 2020

Microsoft is warning on a wormable, unpatched remote code-execution vulnerability in the Microsoft Server Message Block protocol – the same protocol that was targeted by the infamous WannaCry ransomware in 2017.The critical bug (CVE-2020-0796) affects Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019, and was not included in Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday release this week. The bug can be found in version 3.1.1 of Microsoft’s SMB file-sharing system. SMB allows multiple clients to access shared folders and can provide a rich playground for malware when it comes to lateral movement and client-to-client infection. This was played out in version 1 of SMB back in 2017, when the WannaCry ransomware used the NSA-developed EternalBlue SMB exploit to self-propagate rapidly around the world.

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Authentication and Passwords Concerns Top New Ponemon Institute Report

Article | February 20, 2020

IT security practitioners are aware of good habits when it comes to strong authentication and password management, yet often fail to implement them due to poor usability or inconvenience, says the 2020 State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors Report by Yubico and Ponemon Institute. According to the report,IT security practitioners and individuals are both engaging in risky password and authentication practices, yet expectation and reality are often misaligned when it comes to the implementation of usable and desirable security solutions. The tools and processes that organizations put in place are not widely adopted by employees or customers, making it abundantly clear that new technologies are needed for enterprises and individuals to reach a safer future together.

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Nonprofit Solutions Network (NSN) is an IT consulting and managed services firm that specializes in supporting NYC metro area nonprofits and social enterprises since 1998. We help organizations increase capacity, lower costs, and improve their overall operations through the use of technology.

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