5 Steps For Recovering From A Security Breach

5 Steps For Recovering From A Security Breach

As you approach your desk, you flip on your computer, check your calendar, and prepare to start your day. But something’s not quite right. You can’t login. You can’t pull anything up. And what’s that weird message that keeps flashing your way?

You’ve been hacked.

You’re not alone. In fact, millions of security threats reveal themselves every year. And while it’s easy to read about them and think to yourself “not me,” the truth is they all impact us in some way at some point in time.

It’s not a matter of  “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”

There are many ways to ward off threats and attempt to keep your data safe and secure. We talk about many of them here.

But the reality is at some point, the unthinkable will happen. And once it does, speed will be your best ally in recovering from a security breach.

1. Identify and Investigate

Discovering a data breach can be difficult. Many of us go into denial, wondering what went wrong and how it happened. Depending on the size and scope of the breach, it can sometimes be put off for short periods of time. But in all cases, the quicker you act, the easier it will be to arrive at the solution. Full panic mode is standard for any company, especially if you don’t know exactly what happened. That’s why the first step to recovery is acknowledging a breach has occurred, identifying how widespread the attack was, and investigating all areas it has touched.

2. Contain 

Once a breach has occurred and is identified, many businesses quickly move to the “all of nothing” mode, shutting everything down all at once to contain the problem. That’s actually the wrong approach because it might hinder further investigation. Your first goal is to find out your reality. And only when you understand all of the pieces of your problem will you be able to discover the best way to repair your systems and create a new strategy for moving forward.

3. Repair and Upgrade

Once you understand where the problem lies, then comes the process of repairing everything that was damaged by the breach. This might require replacement of devices and programs. With a more severe breach, it might mean revamping your infrastructure. During the repair process, don’t underestimate the value of upgrading to the latest technology wherever possible, installing the newest features to create a resilient front against future attacks. Placing bandaids over existing equipment and programs will only leave you vulnerable once everything is returned to normal.

4. Transparency

We’ve all seen the backlash from large companies admitting their data breaches. They make news headlines on a regular basis. And while these news stories might warn you to do the exact opposite, they are actually doing it the right way. The problem is with most data breaches, the news leaks eventually in one way or another. The more open and upfront you are about what happened, the more trust you will build with your followers, ensuring you are doing all you can to correct the problem. Your customers, your prospects, and your partners will all place higher value on your integrity if you keep them informed every step of the way.

5. Prevention

Prevention is something to think about all throughout the process. It starts before you ever turn on the first computer in your office, and it will be a part of your strategy for as long as you’re in business. Prevention is about upgrading your equipment and systems at the appropriate time to avoid high risk situations. It’s about educating and training your employees to minimize all risk factors that can leave backdoors wide open. It’s about future thinking, anticipating future risks and needs, and putting things in place before problems arise. It’s not one person’s problem; it’s not up to a small team to contain. Instead, security is something that we all should be involved in, to ensure the safest work environment possible every day.

What’s your plan for recovering from a security breach?

Changes To Google Cloud Platform Might Make Your Business Better

Changes To Google Cloud Platform Might Make Your Business Better

Google recently announced a few changes to the way they do business. You’ll find Google Cloud is about to change the way you do business.

Google Cloud platform includes the products, technologies, and services that allow you to work easily in the digital world. It also includes G Suite, what was previously known as Google Apps for Work, which includes apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and more.

Google’s public cloud already has 1 billion active users, and 2 million businesses currently pay for G Suite. And with the investment Google is putting into the new platform, that number will only increase in the coming months and years.

But what does that mean for you?

Google is already an important part of your day. You search. You check Gmail. You share using Google Docs. And while all of that has allowed you to become more efficient in the things you do, Google Cloud can help you do that even more efficiently than before.

Google Cloud products aren’t just for big enterprises or for technology and design firms. Instead, Google is creating a work environment that is perfect for all levels of customers, from the self-employed and startup world al the way to the largest enterprises in the world.

Google is integrating more artificial intelligence and machine learning into their G Suite apps. For instance, with the Drive app, they have developed a “quick access” feature that looks at your user activity patterns and predictably serves you the files you use and need on a regular basis. It predicts your patterns and makes your search process shorter and more refined.

Google is also integrating a new “team meeting” approach. It’s designed to help businesses move away from the idea that data is managed by individuals, and instead gives a more fluid access to those that truly need it. This allows people to work more efficiently every day, no matter where they are in the world.

And all of this is just the beginning. With more integration and more collaboration than ever before, one thing is for sure: Google can change the way you do business.

There are many ways to increase productivity with your most common tasks. With the changes Google is making to the tools you have access to, right now, you can become more efficient and get more done with just a few changes to your daily activity.

Are you ready to learn how?

Will Technology Eliminate Doctors In The Future?

Will Technology Eliminate Doctors In The Future?

Who would you trust with your life, a human or a machine?

Where once we would laugh at that question, we now have to take a second glance.

IBMs Watson, probably one of the most well-known supercomputers in the world, is quickly topping his game-skill abilities and becoming a medical genius.

Artificial intelligence is moving into fields like radiology – where there currently is about 30,000 radiologists providing analysis each day – and is taking center stage in interpreting image results.

Smart surgical bots are also showing up in all kinds of places, including orthopedic knee replacement and Lasik eye surgery, though at current merely assisting rather than completing the surgery on its own.

But how long before that changes?

According to a report compiled by professor of management practice at London Business School Lynda Gratton, and futurologist David A Smith, in just a few years we could be seeing job titles like:

  • Human to machine interface programmer
  • Avatar manager
  • Robot counsellor
  • Old age wellness managers, and
  • Synthetic life designers

While we’ve always predicted that technology will take over repetitive and laborious tasks – many are gone already – what is surprising about our future is how much artificial intelligence will be integrated into what we currently do.

Are people prepared for both the good and the bad that go along with it?

A computer or robot is only as good as it is programmed. Yes, it can grow and change; artificial intelligence is bringing that into place. But fundamentally, a machine will never be able to fully understand the human condition. All the intricate details that make us unique individuals.

Because let’s face it, humans make mistakes, but technology does too.

Yes, safeguards are in place to prevent humans from making critical errors. And while technology is only in its beginning stages of what its true potential will be in the coming years, we all realize that it’s the Wild West out there, and technology needs its fair share of safeguards too.

The Reality Of Password Security

The Reality Of Password Security

Password security facts and figures are almost funny, if the reality of it all wasn’t so scary and true.

In fact, I’m willing to bet you see yourself in some of the data.

  • On Yahoo and LinkedIn, the most common passwords are “123456”, “work”, “123” and “the.”
  • 33 percent of end users save their passwords on a Word doc or on a PostIt note attached to their monitor.
  • On average, an individual owns 10 online accounts in which the very same password is used to login.
  • 62 percent of smartphone users save passwords and PIN numbers on apps and programs on their phones.
  • 5 percent of men use their spouse’s name as their password. 30 percent of women do the same.
  • Every 3 seconds, an individual’s password is stolen or hijacked.

For years, security experts have advised businesses that using strong passwords and password managers are their best course of action.

Today, trends are pointing towards different practices. Next level security is now coming in the form of fingerprint ID and two-factor authentication.

Fingerprint sensors have been around for decades. Yet in the last couple of years, we’re seeing it migrate to mobile devices. With the newest smart devices, pressing your finger to the sensor rather than typing in a PIN or password unlocks it and authorizes use. But like with everything, fingerprint ID isn’t 100 percent secure, as fingerprints can be lifted and even recreated using high-resolution photography. Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen found out just how easy it was to lift a fingerprint a couple of years ago.

In some cases, two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, can provide added protection on some of most sensitive sites and programs you use every day. Amazon can be set up with it. So can Gmail. So can many financial institutions. The most common two-factor authentication sends an SMS text message to your mobile device after you’ve entered your username and password. This message contains a four to six digit code you must enter to complete the login. And if you don’t want to use texted codes, you can choose to have the code sent to an alternate email address or to another app like Google Authenticator. The advantage of Authenticator is your device doesn’t have to be set up to receive SMS messages, so you can choose any device with wifi connection in the event your device is lost, damaged or stolen.

Either of these methods can add a layer of protection to the devices your employees use every day. That way if someone does lift a password, your info will have an added layer of protection.

What do you do to help keep your data safe?