DPL (Data Loss Prevention) Strategies To Help Protect Your Organization

Keeping sensitive information safe and secure from theft and vulnerability in today’s world is not as simple as locking it up in a safe place. Email has become the primary way in which to share information among colleagues, vendors, customers, etc. While the use of email to share information is on the rise, so is the risk that sensitive information could be leaked. So what precautions can your organization take to avoid the devastating impact of the leak of intellectual property and other sensitive information? Here are just a few suggestions to get you started in the right direction:

  1. Educate your users
    Users need to understand the sensitivity of the data they are working with and what their role is in keeping it safe. Understand the level of sensitivity and the information you are handling, have rules in place for handling, and implement “technical controls” to ensure it has been handled properly.

Jonathan Gossels is the President of SystemExperts, a network security consulting firm specializing in IT security and compliance.

  1. Data Classification Policy
    Organizations and users alike must understand what data should be protected and create a policy to classify data based on sensitivity. It is the organization’s responsibility to enforce this policy. For example:

Public: Poses little to no threat to the company if accessed. This information is controlled very little or not at all.

Confidential: Access is internal and should only be shared within the company or department that owns the data. If leaked, this could pose a moderate risk to the company.

Restricted: WARNING! Extremely sensitive data that could cause great harm to the organization if compromised. This information should not be shared unless absolutely necessary.

Chuck Davis, MSIA, CISSP-ISSAP is an Author, Professor and Senior Security Architect. 

  1. Manage Vulnerabilities
    Many of us visit a doctor once a year for a “preventative” checkup to ensure that things are in good working order. Like us, in order to maintain a healthy system it is essential to take preventative action in making sure our technology is up to date in order avoid potentially unwanted and costly results down the road.

By monitoring the corporate environment companies are better able to pinpoint vulnerabilities and take the necessary steps to seal the gaps. Be proactive and make sure that your systems are up to date and monitored regularly.

Windows 10 – Things to Consider Before Taking the Plunge

Making updates for the sake of updates shouldn’t be the only reason take the plunge. An up-to-date system is always a good thing from a security standpoint however, timing of these changes are an important business decision.

Why upgrade?
Besides being considered to be the “most secured Windows ever built,” Windows 10 combines the best elements of previous versions of Windows operating systems and increased fluidity and compatibility across devices. In a business environment where documents are shared extensively, transitioning from a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet should be easier than ever before, leading to increased productivity. Microsoft’s emphasis on universal apps working across multiple platforms demonstrates Microsoft’s goal of a harmonious relationship between function and accessibility.

When to upgrade
It is not necessary to push for an immediate upgrade. With any major technology release, taking a conservative and considerate approach before upgrading will allow time for system’s issues to surface and be resolved.

As with any software release, users and business should expect updates and patches in the months to follow. This can be time consuming and therefore disruptive to your organization’s productivity if not handled correctly. Your IT Company can help to plan the best time for your organization to makes these updates as unobtrusive as possible.

Business Applications & Compatibility
It is recommended that companies take an inventory of all existing computers and mobile devices. This is an important step in knowing how the OS will impact business operations. Some older computers that are still running Windows Vista/ Windows 7 may not be able to support Widows 10.

Chris Miller, the CIO at managed service provider and Microsoft partner Avanade, recommends looking closely at business application migration. By choosing a few important business apps that will be the easiest to migrate to the new platform you can then create a deployment strategy around them. Your IT providers can help you with this.

SNS Has Done it Again!

We are thrilled to announce that SNS has made the Inc. 5000 list for 2016!
Thank you to our team at SNS for all of your hard work and thank you to our
clients for your business. We couldn’t have done it without you!

3 Simple Steps Towards A Secure Network

Security is a top priority for any organization and it is critical in order to protect sensitive client data. As organizations adopt new and improved technologies, they are also faced with new security threats. Hackers, viruses, and human error can pose as serious dangers to any network. Fortunately, with new applications and numerous network security tools available, most security breaches can be prevented. Here are 3 steps you can take in order to secure your organizations network.

Develop a Formal Security Policy
In order to establish a secure network infrastructure, developing formal security policies defining the roles, responsibilities, acceptable use, and security practices is essential.

Monitor, Assess, & Evaluate
Continuing to monitor and evaluate each layer of your network internally and externally will help determine potential threats in order to implement the appropriate security measures. There is no single solution to protect you from a variety of threats. Networks are multi-layered systems which means you will need multiple layers of security in the event that one fails.

Many organizations rely heavily on networks for much of their core operations. As the risks and security concerns for networks grow, it is important to practice security policies and protocols and to test the integrity of your network on a regular basis in order to eliminate the threat of compromising sensitive data.

There are many business benefits to a secure network. Less network interruptions will help employees remain focused, therefore increasing productivity. Network security will not only help your organization meet mandatory regulatory compliance, but will also protect your client data and reduce the risk of legal action from data theft. Most importantly, protecting your network will also protect your businesses reputation.

“Security must be considered a process, not a product-based point solution.” – Cisco Solutions


Zepto (Crypto Virus)  

In the past week we have seen several clients infected with the latest version
of Crypto virus called Zepto, yet another variation of a data encrypting virus. Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 11.58.18 AM
There are many ways that you can become infected with this ransomware. Zepto ransomeware is mainly spread through a botnet delivering a vast amount of spam e-mails or through malicious advertising. The code that infects you often hides in interactive advertisements such as pop-ups & full-page ads.

Upon opening the file, the encryption process begins and can remain unnoticed at first and oftentimes remains undetected until after all personal files on the compromised machine have been encrypted.

SNS would like to caution users to check their e-mails and look closely at the sender. The virus tends to imitate the email of an internal sender or a “scanner”.  If you receive an e-mail from
within your organization with an attachment be cautious when opening. If you receive/open any
e-mail that ends with .dotm or see any unusual e-mails please contact us and we will be happy
to assist. Learn more about Zepto Virus.

Using Your Computer Password to Make Changes in Your Life

Change Your Life With PasswordsComputer security is ever present. Both at work and home, we are regularly required to create a password to log on to our computer and our favorite websites. Often, there are many requirements needed to create a password. For example, we must sometimes use at least one uppercase, a lowercase letter, at least one symbol and one number. Then, the entire password ALSO has to be at least eight characters! It can definitely get frustrating.


Are You Properly Protecting your Website from Hackers?

A hacker with a hood with laptop. Online network danger.Hackers are clever and nobody wants to be a victim of their infiltration. While cyber-attacking is a big business, hackers know it’s often easy to access websites of unsuspecting small and midsize businesses.

We asked our Chief Information Officer, Ted Casassa, for his biggest advice about how to keep hackers away.


Secured Network Services Named to Prestigious Inc. 5000 List

Manchester, NH – For the second consecutive year Secured Network Services, Inc. (SNS), New England’s leading IT services provider for small to mid-size businesses, enterprises, nonprofits and municipalities, has been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. SNS moved up more than 600 spots from last year’s ranking following a three-year growth of 103%, 16 jobs added and record 2014 revenues of $7.7 million.