The Importance of Securing IT Services in Miami that is OPSEC-Optimized

Operational Security

IT services in Miami will have many facets. Today, one of the most important is defined as OPSEC or Operational Security. With OPSEC, security professionals take on the characteristics of a potential antagonist. They try to look at your system as though they were someone who would like to compromise operations for one reason or another. This way, they’re able to cohesively identify vulnerabilities with greater accuracy than traditional security. Their defense measures are, in a way, offensive, whereas all other approaches are defensive.

Seasonal marketing initiatives launched are one of the critical times your company’s OPSEC should be on point. A regular check on your company systems, critical information, and vulnerabilities allow time to anticipate countermeasures. However, it’s never too late to get some last-minute patchwork in. Here are five things that OPSEC security does that may apply to your operation but will be better served through professional organizations. These things include:

  • Identification and protection of sensitive information
  • Identification of prospective threats
  • Analysis and rectification of present weaknesses
  • Likely appraisal of risk
  • Determination and construction of countermeasures

Identification and Protection of Sensitive Information

IT services in Miami will often go here first because the quicker this kind of data is secured, the safer a business becomes. Financial data, client data, employee data, product distribution, design, research data— the list goes on. You need to determine that which is most integral to your business and protect it.

Prospective Threat Identification

You’re not likely to be threatened by every possible cybercriminal enterprise. Your business is more likely to be “under the knife” from certain quarters. If you’re in the financial industry, you’ll likely have different possible threats than those who work in retail. With optimized OPSEC techniques, you can quickly identify where threats will come from and better protect yourself.

Patching the Holes

You’ve got security holes. Everybody does. Some are going to be more accessible to criminals than others. What an OPSEC team can do is look at data to find vulnerabilities. They can check out what safeguards you’ve got in place and whether those are undermined by any loopholes or not.

Risk Appraisal

You want to see which vulnerabilities or threats pose the most risk and tier your security efforts accordingly. Things at this level should be prioritized according to threat. Larger threats should be dealt with immediately and smaller ones last. For example, if you’re getting chased by a bear and climb a tree, you probably won’t even think about checking your hair for ticks until after you’ve escaped the bear. It’s the same with IT. What is a greater threat to your company? Find and fix that first.

Countermeasures

Once you’ve done all these things, it’s time to design and implement countermeasures. It is at this step where OPSEC through professional providers becomes most effective.

Securing Professional OPSEC Solutions

IT services in Miami through Michell Consulting Group can cost-effectively optimize your business’s security solutions. Contact us for OPSEC that has been established by deep experience. How? Because we’ve implemented such security measures among a diversity of clients.

Why Your IT Services in Miami Should Understand Email Compromise

There are many types of cyberattacks that your IT services providers in Miami should know about, and one of these attacks is called the Business Email Compromise (BEC). It involves a hacker impersonating a company executive to mislead employees, vendors, or customers to gain access to sensitive information. Here are ways your IT team can protect your enterprise from a BEC:

How Attackers Use Deception

The reason your IT services providers in Miami should be aware of BEC, also known as a “man-in-the-email” attack, is that it’s easy for people to be fooled by it. An employee, for example, might think they are actually communicating with their boss in an email and then fall into the trap of exposing something valuable like a company credit card number.

The attacker is able to be deceptive by first researching information about the target. They become familiar with the company website, staff contacts, and press releases before launching an attack, typically on an executive account. Armed with deep knowledge about the company, the hacker can convincingly pose as an insider in an email.

Once the hacker penetrates an email account, he or she can change settings such as the reply-to address so that the owner is not alerted by account activity. An attacker may also deceive recipients by using a spoofed domain which is one character different from a familiar domain and easy to overlook.

Educating Your Staff

It is imperative that you and your IT team make each of your employees aware that they must be cautious of what they click in an email. Let them know that BEC-style phishing attacks are among the costliest in damages to a company. If workers are not trained to watch out for cyberattacks, they may end up contributing to the problem rather than the solution. Many phishing attacks are a result of employee errors.

More BEC scams to watch out for are when a hacker sends fraudulent invoices to customers or vendors requesting a payment to the criminal’s account, or when thse hacker pretends to be an attorney and sends messages to clients asking for payment right away. Scammers who continue to get away with this technique potentially end up extracting millions of dollars from suppliers after a few years. In some cases, attackers may be more interested in trade secrets than money.

How to Prevent Business Email Compromise

The key to stopping BEC attacks is to prepare for them. Unsuspecting employees falling for social engineering isn’t the only factor that enables these attacks. Your system may not have enough layers of security, making it more vulnerable to outsider penetration. Here are steps to take to protect your digital assets:

  1. Develop strict access policies
  2. Use multi-factor authentication such as a password + pin number
  3. Train employees to identify fraudulent emails
  4. Constantly monitor your network with malware detection software
  5. Consider virtualization, which can limit the impacts of breaches

Make sure your IT services providers in Miami cares about protecting your business from cyberattacks. Otherwise, move on to a more experienced and knowledgeable IT team. To learn more about cyber security, contact us at Michell Consulting Group and let us protect your data and applications from attacks.

What You Should Know About VoIP from IT Services in Miami

Your IT services providers in Miami should know enough about VoIP, which uses the internet for phone service, to answer your questions about integrating it with your infrastructure. Those on the cutting edge of technology agree that VoIP is an increasing necessity. Here are reasons why you should be aware of this increasingly popular choice for business communication.

Why Businesses Turn To VoIP

The main reason VoIP has become widespread for business is that it cuts costs, especially for long distance calls. It allows a global enterprise to do high volume work at a lower cost compared to what traditional telephone service costs. VoIP also integrates well with other electronic communications, such as email. All your messages through various platforms can be accessed in one place. VoIP provides convenient features such as call forwarding, in which you can choose where to reroute calls. This feature allows employees to keep using mobile devices if there’s a local disaster.

Technology Needed for VoIP

The ideal VoIP system has separate ISPs for voice and your main business network. They can be programmed as backups for the other in case one of the networks goes down. Here are key VoIP requirements:

  • Separate virtual local area network (VLAN) for phone
  • Quality of Service (QoS) needs to be enabled and configured
  • Edge routers that connect remote offices require proper QoS settings
  • VoIP packets should be marked by IP phones and voice gateways
  • Wireless networks should have a dedicated VLAN
  • Analytics for LAN/WAN to evaluate packet loss or delay jitter

Before choosing VoIP for communications, you should find out if your existing infrastructure will support it. Once you install VoIP, your IT services team in Miami needs to test the system to make sure that it works properly.

Business Continuity Planning

Many companies rely on high-volume phone calls for revenue. It’s important to know that you need a backup plan in case there’s ever a problem with VoIP. One way to ensure VoIP runs more smoothly is to invest in monitoring services and disaster recovery solutions. Monitoring services can give you constant status reports on your system condition.

It’s best to be well prepared for any situation that can disrupt your business. Make sure you are clear about your provider’s service agreement. Find out if you get guarantees on security and availability. You need to know where your system is hosted and how the provider handles disasters. Most modern data centers use automatic backup generators.

Administrators need to set policies as to what type of networks in which employees with mobile phones are allowed to connect. You will be able to set rules such as not connecting with public WiFi networks due to privacy concerns. In order to make sure your overall VoIP continuity plan works, you need to test it on a regular basis.

Ally with an IT services providers in Miami to help you know more about VoIP. Contact us at Michell Consulting Group to experience how VoIP can enhance your business communication and provide long-term savings.

IT Services in Miami Can Save Your Business from Implosion

IT services in Miami have a heightened necessity in the modern digital age. Blackhat cybercriminal tactics are continuously growing. By 2019, they are expected to result in a $2 trillion loss for businesses—- that number is only set to expand. If you haven’t been compromised, that’s very good; but you may be gambling with your business.

The businesses at greatest risk aren’t large corporations. Those can be severely compromised, but they’ve got the assets to pick themselves back up in most situations. Meanwhile, smaller businesses can be knocked down pretty hard by the right hack attack, and so they are more likely to give in to hacker demands. This is especially true in the healthcare industry, where ransomware will hold life-saving data for ransom against payment in bitcoin.

The finance industry is prone to be hacked as well. Over 209,000 credit cards were compromised in a recent Equifax breach and the kicker is that said breach was entirely preventable. All that was necessary was for one patch— a patch that had been on the back-burner for months— to be implemented.

WannaCry and Consequences

Equifax isn’t the only organization to get itself in trouble by overlooking a simple patch. In May of 2017, businesses in more than 150 countries were affected by WannaCry. If you’re unfamiliar, WannaCry was a ransomware bug that entered businesses’ networks through SMB ports. The bug came from a backdoor that was built into Windows devices by the CIA for purposes of surveillance. This information became public in March of 2017, and by May, hackers had designed what would be a globally effective ransomware worm. Here’s the thing: patches for the WannaCry virus were created well before the worm made its international rounds. Many businesses managed to escape being compromised because they immediately applied the patch— those who didn’t paid the consequences.

Small Businesses at Increased Operational Risk from Cyber Criminals

IT services companies in Miami can help your business with the necessary patch upgrades as they become available. This can even be eventually automated such that patches are continuously applied as they become available. In conjunction with a proactive monitoring solution, this can effectively secure your operations. In a world where 43% of small businesses fall victim to cybercrime annually, it’s hard to be too cautious.

Tech Security Needs: Always Changing

And that leads right into the next topic: continual security upgrades. You need an MSP that can provide such a service because technology is in a state of perpetual forward motion. It doubles on itself at predictable intervals, meaning ways that a computer system can be compromised naturally increase as well.

The Internet of Things is globally ubiquitous. There are more IoT devices than there are people on the planet right now, and again that trend is just expected to increase given time.

Securing Your Business

IT services in Miami through Michell Consulting Group can help continuously safeguard your computer against even the worst-case scenario in terms of cybercrime. We offer automation, continuous monitoring, patch support, IoT solutions, cloud solutions, and much more. Contact us to safeguard your operations against factor X.

Why You Need IT Services in Miami For Systematic Data Backup

Many companies in need of IT services in Miami realize that data security is unattainable without backup. Backing up your company’s data is not only important for effective data management, but it’s also a recovery option when a disaster overwhelms your IT infrastructure. Although data backup has commonly been used to refer to the process of making duplicate copies of data files, it is quite a complex practice integral to data protection. While the techniques of data backup have drastically evolved over the years, the complexity and cost of modern methods are hard to implement with a limited budget and an in-house team of IT professionals.

Capturing Data for Backup

Companies offering IT services in Miami use sophisticated methods to capture data either in real-time or nearly real-time replication of data to realize continuous data protection. While traditional data backup methods capture data changes in predetermined intervals, they’re not your best option for a comprehensive backup plan. A systematic data backup plan involves duplicating all forms of data in your IT system including simple data files, metadata files, software application files, and system configuration data. Technically, you have two methods of capturing data for backup:

  • File backup
  • Image backup

While both methods are practical options, the image backup method is superior because it also captures system metadata files. File backup is quite a time-consuming and resource-intensive method of capturing data. It comes with excessive overheard since the system has to go through the following steps to create a copy of every file:

  • Locate the blocks where folders are held
  • Read the contents of the folders
  • Identify specific filenames
  • Read and duplicate the blocks

In contrast, when you sign up for IT services, your chosen service provider will set you up for an optimized data capture process using image backups. It will serve your business well, since you will overcome contention of hardware and software resources and reduce backup time.

How to Store Your Backup Data Safely

With an image backup, you don’t have to worry about missing files since this method bypasses the overhead of file look-up commonplace in file backups. Instead, it relies on copying blocks to backup system data end to end with a complete record of all files on the system disks. Image backup is designed with the ability to identify and read data files in such a way that you’ll only make copies of the specific files that have been modified since the last backup. With image backup, you can efficiently identify individual files and execute accurate file recovery. In addition, you will enjoy the flexibility of inspecting the image to ensure the integrity of your backup copy.

Overall, both file backups and image backups can take the form of full, differential, or incremental backup which you can deploy depending on your IT needs. Your backup policy can run on either scope— whatever your desire.

At Michell Consulting Group, we offer reliable backup solutions as part of our IT services in Miami to improve business productivity. Call us today to learn more about our IT services.