Information Security Awareness PSA: "For Their Inconvenience"

N/A | April 26, 2016

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The Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC), along with EDUCAUSE and Internet2, held its annual Information Security Awareness Video & Poster Contest, an event that allows college students to win prizes, gain experience, and earn recognition by creating a PSA about information security.

HEISC works to improve information security & privacy programs across the higher education sector.

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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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What Lessons Can We Takeaway from Las Vegas’ Recent Thwarted Cyberattack?

Article | February 27, 2020

Picture this: a news story detailing a cyberattack in which no data was exfiltrated, thousands (or even millions) of credit card details weren’t stolen, and no data was breached. While this isn’t the type of headline we often see, it recently became a reality in Las Vegas, Nev. On January 7, 2020, news broke that the city of Las Vegas had successfully avoided a cyberattack. While not many details were offered in the city’s public statement, local press reported that the attack did employ an email vector, likely in the form of a direct ransomware attack or phishing attack. The use of the word “devastating” in the public statement led many to believe ransomware was involved. This inference isn’t farfetched—and is likely a correct conclusion—given that cities throughout the U.S. have seen ransomware attacks on critical systems. Attacks that have cost those cities millions of dollars.

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Cybersecurity in Digital Marketing: Tips to Overcome Challenges

Article | August 9, 2021

No matter what business you run, digital marketing is crucial to reach out to people and generate leads today. Businesses of all sizes rely on digital marketing to take the business to the next level.Digital marketing in many forms, such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and online advertisements, have been utilizing to bridge the gap between business and customers. Technology is evolving and is expected to be transformed further. As technology gets improved every second, online advertising and marketing opportunities are also getting amplified. However, the villain, cyber threats and attacks, can jeopardize your business dreams and opportunities. Yes, alarmingly, cybersecurity in digital marketing has become a serious concern today. The more the opportunity you have in digital marketing, the more you become vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. Cybersecurity in Digital Marketing-Importance Cybersecurity is very significant as digital marketing heavily depends upon data and information, which are sensitive and confidential to your business. This confidentiality is to be maintained to retain your customers. If your business is affected by cyber-attacks, your customers lose trust in you and your business. That is because the customers think their data and information could be compromised or stolen. Therefore, you need a strong cybersecurity practice to save you and your customers from breaches and malware attacks. Apart from information loss, financial loss, loss of brand reputation, etc. too, can happen. Ultimately you may end up witnessing a crippling loss in your business. Thus cybersecurity in digital marketing is essential as threats and attacks are detrimental to your business. Cybersecurity in Digital Marketing- Challenges As all businesses are going digital now, cyber threats are expected to increase. As a result, according to Gartner, the information security market is projected to grow to US$170.4 billion in 2022. This warns businesses to be extra alert regarding the startling rate of cyberattacks. Organizations have to be ever ready with solutions. There are a lot of challenges faced by cybersecurity in digital marketing. Email marketing is an essential and powerful part of digital marketing. Email marketers face the challenges, such as phishing. Small businesses are the main targets of phishing activity as they are unaware of it. Hackers may send spam using your email accounts with virus-infected emails. Occurring continuously, the server may backlist or block your site, affecting your email campaign. Customers will lose trust in you. Content marketing is also vulnerable to cyber-attacks as hackers are well aware of content management systems (CMS) and how it works. Therefore, they can easily hack it and distribute malware. In addition, social media marketing is vulnerable to identity theft. In case a hacker cracks your password, he can do unimaginable damages to you and your business. The hacker can do unauthorized downloads, share your confidential data and information, and even exploit your customers. The above-mentioned are some of the cybersecurity challenges in digital marketing. In addition, e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM) systems are also prone to cyberattacks and threats. Therefore, it is essential to take necessary cybersecurity measures to overcome becoming the prey of cybercriminals while performing digital marketing activities online. Overcoming Cybersecurity Challenges in Digital Marketing As businesses began to use digital marketing widely to reach out to customers successfully, organizations started getting exposed to cybersecurity threats. The consequences of breaches and malware attacks can be far-reaching. Therefore, it's high time for businesses to be ready to tackle these cybersecurity issues in digital marketing. The following tips may help companies to do it proactively. Training Your digital marketing executives are vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially those who are handling email marketing. To protect your campaigns, train all how to recognize a phishing email. Also, encourage them to use spam filters and strong passwords. SSL to Secure CRM Installing an SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) protocol on the website makes your data transfer secure and encrypted, eliminating the chances of hackers getting access. Also, your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system should have strict data security policies. It helps you keep your data protected while your staff access sensitive data. Regular Data Backup Data loss can happen in many circumstances, such as ransomware attacks, hard drive damage or crash, or malware hijacking. These data losses will result in losing you a lot of money. Thus, encourage your staff to backup all data regularly in a different location other than your system. It will protect 100% of your data in case of cyber-attacks and system malfunction. Integrating Security Features As part of content marketing, businesses use Content Management Systems (CMS) to upload, edit easily, and publish different forms of content. However, as hackers are very familiar with CMS, they can damage your reputation by distributing malware if they hack your site. Thus, it is very much crucial to integrate security features in your CMS platform. In addition, many vulnerabilities could be closed off by installing security plug-ins. The following security measures also can be taken regarding your CMS. Use strong password Change the default admin login URL Do not use public Wi-Fi networks to access your CMS These cybersecurity measures in digital marketing are necessary as content marketing is part and parcel of the process. Regular audits Ensuring cybersecurity is a team effort and is a continuous process. The set-and-forget policy will not work with cybersecurity. Your company's measures taken regarding cybersecurity in digital marketing have to be audited regularly to ensure your cybersecurity goals are met correctly. The audit should be done at least once a quarter. Summing Up It is a time-consuming process to devise strategies to protect businesses from cyber-attacks and threats. However, unless you take necessary measures in time, your business can be jeopardized, losing clients, money, and reputation. Cybersecurity threats in digital marketing are expected to increase as technology is getting transformed every second. A stitch in time saves nine! Frequently Asked Questions Why is cybersecurity so important in digital marketing? Cybersecurity benefits your brand by protecting your website and each of your digital marketing activities. It saves all your data as well as the data of your clients. However, cyber-attacks can be detrimental to your business. What is the biggest problem in digital marketing? Apart from standing out from the competitors, the biggest problem in digital marketing is cyber-attacks and threats. Unfortunately, cyberattacks can jeopardize your business. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is cybersecurity so important in digital marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Cybersecurity benefits your brand by protecting your website and each of your digital marketing activities. It saves all your data as well as the data of your clients. However, cyber-attacks can be detrimental to your business." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the biggest problem in digital marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Apart from standing out from the competitors, the biggest problem in digital marketing is cyber-attacks and threats. Unfortunately, cyberattacks can jeopardize your business." } }] }

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Best Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers

Article | June 21, 2021

Remote working and cybersecurity risks, unfortunately, go hand in hand. As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be far from over, cyber threats to individuals and businesses continue to loom large. The only solution at the moment is to invest in robust technology solutions that protect your network and to train employees in cybersecurity so that they develop healthy remote working practices. If you allow a bulk of your employees to work remotely, it is important to adopt a few basic habits to protect your devices and your business network from cyber criminals. Here’s a quick look at a few basic tips for remote workers that can go a long way in enhancing the overall security posture of your organisation. Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your devices and personal information. By creating a strong, unique password, you increase protection levels tremendously. You make it more challenging for cybercriminals to gain access and disrupt your systems networks. Rule number two is never to ignore those little pop-up windows that tell you that software updates are available for your device. Once you get such a notification, be sure to install the latest software as soon as possible. Timely software updates (including antivirus updates) help patch security flaws and safeguard the computer system. Are you busy with your work and don’t like to be distracted by such notifications? We highly suggest you encourage your employees to select auto-update for software on both mobile devices and computers. It will help you and your staff to prevent problems caused by delayed system updates.

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Spotlight

Varonis

Varonis have the latest big data, IT operations, security, and technology. Varonis is the foremost innovator and provider of access, governance, and retention solutions for human-generated data, the fastest-growing and most sensitive class of digital information. Based on patented technology and a highly accurate analytics engine, Varonis solutions give organizations total visibility and control over their data, ensuring that only the right users have access to the right data at all times from all devices, all use is monitored, and abuse is flagged.

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