Stop Intruders From Breaking Into Your Business With Network Penetration Testing

The Value Proposition of Deploying Network Penetration Testing in Denver  

Data security vulnerability has escalated exponentially with the evolution of network technology. The 2019 Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Reports indicate that 52% of breaches involved hacking, 21% engineered by human error, 15% involved misuse by authorized users, and 33% involved social engineering. This points to a severe need for data security arrangements.

For this reason, is it practical to question the efforts put into place to curb such vulnerabilities? Has the veracity of security testing developed since its discovery? Have our systems adopted new approaches to the measurement of data security and tools to counter the problems? What do you understand by network penetration testing? Read further to get a more profound understanding of this testing procedure and how it protects from intruders.

Deploying Network Penetration Testing in Denver

What is Network Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing or pen test is deployed to identify systemic vulnerabilities in a network. Necessarily, a pen test interferes with an attack or attempts to surpass the controls in place. It also provides a report on areas of weaknesses for appropriate action to follow.

A pen test is a configured and active action to evaluate network security through a careful examination to counter any form of foreign attack. This process helps to endorse the reliability of the defensive system and adherence of end-users to security requirements.

What Are the Two Types of Network Penetration Testing?

Network Penetration testing in Denver is split into internal and external pen test. An external penetration exploits any critical attacks that could be engulfed by an adverse compromise disrupting daily operations, damaging and stealing private information.

On the other hand, an internal test usually assumes a system has in-house network access. It alerts the business owner in case an employee attempts to get data without official authorization. It can also forecast the magnitude of damage an attack can cause if an employee lays their hands on a phishing attack. Additionally, it reveals how deep your network users could go to obtain privileged information by linking their computers to the network.

An internal pen test is deployed to establish, compile, and report vulnerability areas. The implementation of both methodologies provides a clearer insight into IT-related business risks, including recommending appropriate mitigation measures.

Which Industries Require Network Penetration Testing?

Most hackers, whether amateurs or expert, shares similar goals; stealing valuable resources away from your business. Their focus also shifts to sabotaging workflows in your corporation. Noteworthy, a single hacking attack may result in downtime, hence, harming your company’s image.

Business partners and clients may worry about their security due to ties with your organization. Therefore, any entity, small or large, that depends on IT must have a firm grip on network testing and update its security topography. This forestalls the negative impact of system sabotage and hacking.

How HackerProof is Your System?

The striking difference between an actual hacking event and penetration test is the safety preserved throughout the penetration test. It emulates a hacking activity and interferes with the attacks to reveal the potential damage of a malicious attack. Crucially, a company can gauge the timing of the test and get its IT department notified on any active intruder. Unearth your system vulnerabilities with network penetration testing in Denver.

If you are looking for the safest method of testing how secure your system is against foreign cyber-attack attempts, then the pen test is a certain way to go. In case a potential hacker tries to compromise the system, it models every action arising from bugs, code errors, insecure settings, or operational infiltration.

Most companies undertake penetration tests during the post-acquisition period of novel IT infrastructure or right after administering changes on the computer systems. This process allows for the identification and validation of underlying security loopholes ahead of cybercriminals.

What is the Cost Implication of a Data Breach and Can Network Penetration Tests Intervene?

The redemption expenditure of breaches drains millions of company resources, including enforcement penalties, business loss, and client protection mechanisms. Research proves the expenses of reversing data breaches can take up to $3.86 million and an upshot of 6.4% in subsequent years. Network penetration testing in Denver offers professional advice on significant steps and interventions for building a highly secure business environment.

Can Network Penetration Testing Assure Efficient Security Standards?

Report of a penetration test is a vital component for evaluating the present level of safety of the IT system. The organization’s executive team gets equipped with relevant information on existing security issues and their possible effect on the network system’s performance. Additionally, a robust penetration tester comes with a wide range of remediation strategies. Moreover, the tester can also form a dependable data security system.

What is the Compliance Demands of Network Penetration Testing in Denver?

Apart from guarding your company data, frequent penetration maneuvers ensure that organizations remain compliant with regulations. The standards are stipulated by the highest safety standards, like PCI, HIPAA, and ISO 27001. The set standards expect system proprietors to do consistent penetration tests as well as conducting security audits assisted by certified security analysts. This way, hefty fines arising from non-compliance can be easily avoided.

How Does Network Penetration Testing in Denver Impact Your Reputation?

A severe security attack can lead to long-term reputation damage and loss of loyal customers, once a business-sensitive data is compromised. Such unforeseen occurrences can be avoided with regular penetration testing. Companies can advance their pen tests with time, in case demand for an in-depth scope of the analysis becomes an essential requirement.

Call Elevate To Schedule A Network Security Review

One may presume that regular firewalls and ordinary passwords are sufficient to ensure watertight security. Hardcore hackers may easily bypass the internal security system and get away with volumes of essential details without your knowledge.

Ultimately, network penetration testing in Denver is the surest guard to a company’s data troves. It also reveals how effective and ineffective a hacking attempt can be. An organization that embraces penetration tests will habitually prioritize its security investment, keep abreast of industry regulations, and formulate defensive mechanisms to safeguard the business space from intruders.

To get schedule a pen test, click here to get started or call us at (888) 586-2863.

Microsoft Support In Denver (Tips & Tricks)

Finding Reliable Microsoft Support In Denver (Tips/Tricks)

Are you struggling to keep your business current? Perhaps you are terrified at the thought of losing data because of an inconsistent and outdated backup schedule. It could be worse. Such concerns can be very disastrous, especially for corporate business. A study revealed at least 20% of corporate companies that experienced data loss said it cost them between $50,000 and 5million dollars to recover.

Whether you are dealing with viruses, data security, or just mere slow internet connectivity, getting a reliable Microsoft support should be a top priority. A lot is at stake and therefore, you can not contain any incompetence, let alone underperformance.

How do you confirm you are dealing with only the best in the industry with so many IT solutions providers in Denver? How can you confirm that your business can fully enjoy the benefits of cloud services throughout the organization?

More importantly, how do you ensure you are not losing essential clients over minor problems?

In this guide, we will outline solutions corporate businesses can use to acquire reliable Microsoft support in Denver. Besides, we will go a step further and discuss how Elevate can come in as a managed IT service company and help.

Reliable Microsoft Support In Denver

What Are The Solutions?

  • Variety: Microsoft support will often entail a variety of IT services essential in the day to day operations of any business. Being a big organization, your concerns may vary from security optimization to IT project services. Therefore, you must ensure your managed IT services company can handle a variety of issues as effectively as possible. You want access to a range of services all under one roof in case either is needed at any time.
  • Reputation: Being a prominent and well-known organization, you have a reputation to keep. Therefore, by all means, please do not allow a managed IT service company to come in and destroy what you have worked very hard to build. Take enough time to ensure that your support provider is well known for its expertise and quality services. Ensure they have the in-depth industry knowledge and a relatively unique model set that will guarantee results. What’s more, make sure the team is made up of passionate business owners and corporate executives who correctly understand the changing landscape of technology. This way, they will be better positioned to relate, understand, and effectively solve your problems.
  • Local area: One of the best measures to prevent and address any IT downtime issue is to choose a managed IT service partner in your local area. This way, they will be able to offer 24hrs monitoring and assistance through localized IT MSPs. In case of any problem, you need to make sure your experts can immediately come to your aid to fix it and prevent it from reoccurring. Unless you are ready to pay a whopping $5600 for every minute that passes after a downtime occurs, find a team within your local area.
  • Lower IT expenses: In every business, the upmost goal will always be to reduce costs as much as possible so the company can grow. Managing can, however, get very expensive and quite overwhelming to the business and the staff as well. To help you ease the pressure, find a reliable IT service company that can offer services at a reasonable price. Feel free to compare alternative options available and make sure you do not compromise on quality. Sometimes, quality does not have to be expensive. Don’t you agree?

How Can A Denver Microsoft Support Company Help?

  • Training: Microsoft is always growing and its technology will continue to grow and update every day. Therefore, despite using the platform, your employees can lag with the updates and new features that will always be coming up. In addition, your employees must be able to make use of shortcuts and familiar enough to work as fast and efficiently as possible. In general, all of them should have a good understanding of the entire process. Therefore, it is vital to allow regular and comprehensive training from a reliable managed IT service company. At Elevate, we offer ample training to all our clients at absolutely no cost. Unlike other companies, our sessions are done via webinar so your business can train anywhere and at any time. That is, depending on the need and time that suits you best.
  • Cyber, IT, and network security: At Elevate, we help our clients stand out by ensuring their security infrastructure, policies and practices are designed to minimize risks. Using our proprietary DART methodology, which includes a complete security audit, you can rest easy knowing your physical access, network and IT infrastructure are safe against malicious attacks. Being a corporate business, we will help you detect any vulnerability before an attack and provide the necessary support needed. This way, your business can remain current in a fast-changing environment.
  • Strategic IT services: Lastly, it will be wise to partner with professionals like CEO’S and CIO’s to gain direct access to IT leadership and experience in technology strategy. Having been in the same positions and perhaps managing similar issues, they will be better positioned to offer strategic IT services. Our leadership team will provide a complete technology assessment and analysis to determine where your company stands in the Technology Maturity Model. This way, creating a clear roadmap to move forward and effectively continue to expand your business.

Engage With Elevates Microsoft Support Team

Managing a corporate business can be a challenge without the appropriate technological implementation and support. With so much to do, your finance, marketing, and other functions may not be able to quickly any technical emergencies.

Unless you want any IT issues interfering with your business operations, acquire reliable Microsoft support in Denver to handle any technological tasks. From data security to cloud services, our IT experts will be ready to respond to the issues accordingly.

Our round the clock responsive support will ensure your business operations run as usual and consequently detect risks before they can cause damage.

For any enquires or concerns, schedule an initial consultation with the IT consulting team and we will always be happy to fulfill your needs.

Click here to get started or call us at (888) 586-2863.

Who Provides IT Security In Denver To Lock Out Intruders From Breaking Into Corporate Networks?

IT Security In Denver: Lockout Intruders Now

In this modern age, a business is considered as robust as its system architecture and security framework. You need to easily access your most sensitive data and keep it away from prying eyes. Such a measure makes your enterprise more competitive and trustworthy to your clients.

However, most businesses have a casual approach to their cybersecurity and system architecture. Who can blame them? There’s so much to else that goes into keeping an established business in the green. Your schedule is probably full of other more immediate and noticeable concerns.

IT security may not be as noticeable as these other factors. But any lapse could have catastrophic consequences for your entire enterprise.

IT Security In Denver

Benefits of Maintaining IT Security

There are many benefits to maintaining a formidable architecture and IT security in Denver. Let’s delve into some of these benefits and why you should reach out to Elevate:

It’s A Proactive Measure Against Security Threats

Cyber attackers use the most basic strategies and tools to exploit the vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity setups. The number of such attacks is on the rise because many companies share the same lax protocols and tools to secure their data. Strengthening your IT security is the best way of overcoming such vulnerabilities. It might not stop future attacks, but it costs less than what you’d need to recover from a successful one. IT security service providers continuously monitor networks and provide 24/7 support. They also provide logs detailing the frequency and methods by attackers. This provides a safety net against further attacks and proves the ROI that such services deliver to your enterprise.

Elevates A Business’s Level Of Trust

There is an unspeakable power to leading by example. Having a robust IT security in Denver positions your enterprise ahead of the rest. It’s not just your clients, even potential sponsors and partners are influenced by how seriously your enterprise approaches cybersecurity. Security breaches are too common these days. Over 3.5 billion people have lost their data in only 15 of the most massive data breaches in the last 20 years. Just imagine the inconvenience that such a breach would cause to your customer’s lives. Not to mention your enterprise’s credibility. Incorporating the best practices in system architecture and cybersecurity shows your enterprise’s trustworthiness. It also ensures clients that have fallen prey to previous security breaches are more likely to transact with you.

Secures Your Business Against Loss

Businesses require adequate amounts of capital and skilled labor to get them off the ground. However, it’s trust and credibility that sustains and gets them more customers and partners. In this sense, security breaches have a more adverse effect on your enterprise’s credibility than you may assume. Let’s consider the effects of yahoo’s data breach. In 2013 every yahoo account was hacked, and 500 million accounts were stolen from their users. Consequently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission fined yahoo’s parent company $35 million for their failure to disclose the extent of the attacks to their investors. Such an action lead to the erosion of trust between the company’s board, it’s investors, clients, and the general public. That’s just one cautionary tale. But, you can see the potential legal and financial consequences of having a vulnerable security architecture. What’s worse than such a scenario? Imagine if the same happened to your enterprise, and you had no way to detect or contain the damage. You’d have a hard time retaining the trust invested in your company by its customers. Taking on more proactive steps can prevent such breaches or at least limit the scale of damage in the event of a critical breach.

Ensures Businesses Meet Data Compliance Standards

Every business needs to conform to a set of data compliance standards. Such measures ensure that all your sensitive client information and the company’s digital assets are safe from theft or misuse. Some of these security standards include:

  • CCPA: The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is one of the strictest regulations on data. It grants the subject of the data, exclusive rights to how their data is collected and used. This law applies to any business that operates within the EU’s jurisdiction.
  • GDPR: California Consumer Privacy Act is as far-reaching and new as the CCPA. It takes a broader distinction to what constitutes private data. But, it applies to businesses that gross over $25 million.
  • PCI DSS: Every business that handles their client’s financial data must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
  • SOX: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 seeks to protect investors and the public from accounting scandals such as Enron. However, it has more to do with accounting than data security.
  • HIPAA: This standard protects the personal information of patients and clients of insurance agencies from loss, theft, or misappropriation.

These are just a handful of regulations that your business needs to satisfy to gain the trust of regulators and clients. Having a robust IT security in your core infrastructure makes it easier for your business to conform to such high standards.

Improves Employee Morale And Corporate Culture

Implementing tighter IT security protocols involves your entire business. This is not just the IT staff but every department and process. It rapidly becomes part of your corporate culture to embrace and adapt more effortlessly to any changes or security breaches. Your staff can dispense with their duties with the confidence that your enterprise is safe from attacks. They’ll also know whom to call or what to do in the event of a breach.

Elevate Your IT security in Denver

Businesses face a severe challenge in keeping up with their clients’ needs while ensuring that their data remains safe. Finding IT security in Denver that will deliver excellent results consistently can be challenging.

Enter Elevate

Elevate was founded by IT professionals and business thought leaders who understand the specific IT needs of companies.

Elevate Services Group is located in Denver and offer the following services to companies across Denver and the Front Range:

  1. IT Security optimization
  2. Cloud migration solutions and support
  3. Responsive technical support
  4. Personalized IT services
  5. Consulting on budgeting and IT decisions

Elevate’s workforce is highly skilled and experienced at providing highly impactful solutions that can ease the way you do business. They use the latest technology to help enterprises to leverage their services and bridge the competitive gap. Reach out today to find out how we can help you with all your IT needs.

Click here to get started or call us at (303) 672-8008.

Are You Still Using 123456 as Your Password?

Using 123456 as Your Password?

Is your company’s cybersecurity repeatedly swept under the rug? While reinforcing passwords and setting up firewalls can seem daunting, you may not realize the severe risk of neglecting these and other routine security practices. Unfortunately, as the Internet evolves to meet our needs and desires, the same can be said of malicious hackers and programs. Ill-intentioned parties are constantly becoming more adept at accessing private information and what is meant to remain secure data.

 

Despite this growing threat, many of today’s Internet users and company employees have not reacted accordingly to increasingly well-equipped hackers. In fact, a 2019 Forbes article cites that ‘123456’ remains the most commonly used Internet password in the US and the UK. By maintaining such basic passwords, cyber-intruders are granted easy access to personal or professional information, and quickly cash in your data for billions per year. It’s officially time to protect your business’ sensitive information and data. This article will detail the importance of ramping up your company’s cybersecurity measures as well as a few simple ways to get started. Discover the following achievable strategies to significantly decrease your company’s risk of hacking and intrusion.

 

 

Eliminate the “Not Much to Steal” Mentality

 

An extremely common line of reasoning within mid-size companies is that cyber hackers probably won’t bother taking advantage of them because “there’s not much to steal.” This statement could not be further from the truth and it tends to lure employees and leadership alike into a false sense of security. The fact remains that 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses. Hackers can just as easily sell a smaller company’s information as they can a larger corporation’s. However, the major difference is that larger businesses tend to allocate funds to cybersecurity, whereas smaller or mid-size companies might not prioritize this cost. Many professionals hesitate over the cost of cybersecurity but may not consider the potentially catastrophic costs of not having it.

 

To remain vigilant, employees should keep an eye out for attachments from unknown accounts. These documents could be in the form of a Microsoft Office attachment that initially appears legitimate. As a rule of thumb, do not open emails or messages from accounts you’re not familiar with. Because it takes a company 6 months on average to discover a security breach, it is well worth your time to evaluate your company’s current cybersecurity situation and consider where there might be room for improvement.

 

Prioritize Employee Education

One of the easiest ways to head off potential security threats in your mid-size company is to thoroughly educate team members on cybersecurity practices and procedures. If there currently aren’t any, create and enforce protocols that can be communicated through online training, checklists, and seminars. Make sure to discuss the specificities of your company as it applies to Internet safety and data protection. Without this crucial step of employee education, your company will waste time and resources trying to rectify security issues that could have been resolved through open communication.

 

Keep in mind that cybersecurity is frequently evolving. Therefore, employees should be updated regularly on the best ways to protect company information. An easy measure to increase employee cooperation is to ask them to sign a document attesting that they have understood and will abide by your business’ security practices. The document can also mention that should the cybersecurity measures be disregarded, there could be repercussions for the employee involved. All in all, if leadership takes the time to discuss cybersecurity, making it relevant and applicable for all employees, your company is much better equipped against a potential security threat.

 

Invest in Cybersecurity Measures

If your mid-size company has yet to invest in cybersecurity measures, there’s no better time than the present to start protecting your valuable information and data. It’s not difficult to get started — begin by setting up a firewall that serves as a barrier between your sensitive information and potential hackers or intruders. In a time when remote workers are becoming more common, your company’s “work from home” staff should also implement a firewall within their personal networks. After all, they regularly access the same important information and data as your in-office employees. Consider providing remote workers with a complementary firewall to eliminate any potential hacking risks.

 

It’s worth noting that many businesses now allow employees to BYOD (“bring your own device”) to work. In this regard, BYOD calls for the same security measures as a remote worker, since your employees likely transport their laptop, tablet, or other electronics to and from the office each day. On top of that, those who bring their own computer to work are probably using it for personal tasks after hours, which increases the chances of a possible breach. Most importantly, employees should respect the cardinal rule of cybersecurity: do not use the same password for multiple sites, especially as a universal password between personal and professional sites. Urge company leadership to enforce automatic security updates on employees’ devices and inform all staff about your password policy.

 

Consider Using a Password Manager

An effective solution to your company’s password creation and storage problems is a password manager. A password manager helps your business manage your team’s passwords within a centralized digital “vault.” The primary advantage of a password manager is that your business’ IT team can create intricate, long and random passwords for various sites or accounts that employees gain access to just by logging into the password manager. By streamlining password storage, you can make massive amounts of information secure and basically eliminate the need for staff to create their own passwords. This quickly limits the possibility of a cyber attack and keeps company leadership in control of who can access what information.

 

Ultimately, password managers dramatically improve cybersecurity in businesses. Research shows that employees often keep their sensitive passwords written down on a Post-It note that could easily be accessed by any passing visitor or coworker alike. Reduce the risks of cyber threats both from internal and external sources by implementing a system that keeps track of who logs into company sites and when. Without this kind of accountability, it can be much more difficult to pinpoint the source of a security breach. Gone are the days of the ‘123456’ passwords — reach out to a local IT managed services provider to implement any of the previously mentioned tactics to strengthen your company’s cybersecurity.

How to Minimize Cybersecurity Risks During A Merger (Concerns/Tips)

Minimizing Cybersecurity Risks During A Merger

Anyone who’s been through a merger or acquisition knows how complicated and error-prone the process can be. As two organizations become one, data continuity and integrity can be difficult to maintain. Without the right planning, cybersecurity standards can quickly fall and end up putting your organization, both during and after the process, at risk.

However, with the right knowledge and strategy from the outset, you can mitigate many of the most prevalent cybersecurity dangers that crop up in a merger or acquisition.

4 Cybersecurity Concerns To Note During A Merger Or Acquisition

Vendor Cybersecurity

According to the Ponemon Institute, 80% of businesses agree that vendor security is important. However, only 60% take action in order to verify it. There are a number of key facts that expose the role that your vendors play in your security:

No matter what, your vendors are either exposing you to unnecessary risks or drawing a considerable amount of time and money from your organization as you manage them. You can’t just hope or assume that your vendors are protecting your clients’ data – you need to find out for sure.

No matter how secure your main location is, that defense doesn’t automatically extend to the vendors you work with. As a part of your “supply chain”, vendors need to be as secure as you are.

Assess Yours & Their Risks

No matter how much you’ve invested in your cybersecurity, you can’t just assume it’s effective enough to protect you against cybercriminals. A key best practice for cybersecurity is to regularly test your measures to make sure they hold up in the event of an attack, and to identify any unseen vulnerabilities that are putting you at risk.

That’s why third-party vulnerability assessments are so important. By having an experienced IT security company examine your cybersecurity from top to bottom, you can verify the effectiveness of your cyber defenses.

Vulnerability Testing is about identifying and assessing any security loopholes that exist in your IT environment. In finding these vulnerabilities, you can then address them and make sure they do not put you at risk.

Consider The Risks You Pose

Don’t forget about the risks your staff may pose to the organization that you’re merging with. Organizations are often at risk based on the weakest links in their cybersecurity – poorly trained employees. That’s why continuous training with a variety of different methodologies is necessary in order to have employees be knowledgeable and aware.

Security awareness training helps users to recognize and avoid being victimized by phishing emails and scam websites. They learn how to handle security incidents when they occur. If users are informed about what to watch for, how to block attempts and where they can turn for help, this alone is worth the investment.

  • Make sure your staff knows how to identify and address suspicious emails, phishing attempts, social engineering tactics, and more.
  • Implement training that shows how to use business technology without exposing data and other assets to external threats by accident.
  • Test your staff on how to respond when they suspect that an attack is occurring or has occurred.

Intrusion Detection & Analysis

You need to have a process in place to both track and evaluate any potential intrusions, even if only attempted.

This means having an Incident Response Plan, which provides the plans, procedures, and guidelines for the handling of data breach events at your office(s), or via any of your servers or mobile devices. The plan encompasses procedures on incident response engagement and how the incident response team will communicate with the rest of the organization, with other organizations, with law enforcement and provides guidance on federal and local reporting notifications processes.

This plan is necessary to clarify the roles and responsibilities of your employees so you can quickly mitigate risks, reduce the organization’s attack surface, contain and remediate an attack, and minimize overall potential losses.

There are three main components of an incident response plan: technical, legal, and managerial.

As part of your plan, designate specific, skilled people who are best positioned to cover those functions. Make sure you answer the following questions:

  • What information does each component need?
  • What should you expect from each component?
  • What’s the chain of command?
  • To whom does the team report?
  • Who has the authority to make judgment calls as to when the computer networks will be taken down, quarantined, or put back online?

Double-check that your legal, technical, and management experts approve of your incident response plan. And make sure your response team regularly reviews and practices the plan.

Need An Expert Team To Manage Your Firm’s Cybersecurity During A Merger?

Assistance from an expert IT company can be incredibly valuable – Elevate Services Group will help. Our team will help implement a range of robust security measures, deploying security devices like firewalls, patching, antivirus software updates, intrusion and gateway protection, and more. With our help, you don’t have to be worried about cybercrime in the legal industry.

Click here to get started or call us at (303) 672-8008.

How Much Should You Spend on Denver Cybersecurity? (Reasons/Tips)

How Much Should You Pay For Cybersecurity in Denver?

With cases of cyber-attacks continually on the rise, it is not a matter of if your company will be attacked, but when. According to a study by Accenture, over the past five years, security breaches have increased by 65%. These attacks have had devastating effects on companies such as:

  • Disruption of business
  • A damaged reputation leading to the loss of clients decreased sales, and diminishing profits
  • As a result of the breach, fines and fees have been imposed on companies

It is far less expensive to prevent a cyber-attack than it is to recover from one. Fundera reported that SMBs spend, on average, $960,000 US dollars to restore normalcy in business after an attack. These attacks may take months or even years to recover from. With hackers coming up with sophisticated ways to get access to your data, companies are being forced to implement systems to prevent these attacks.

This situation presents the vital question, how much should a company spend on security? The simple answer is it depends. Various factors such as the regulatory requirements it is supposed to fulfill, the sort of business the company is in, the type of data the company handles, the probability that the company is a target, and the complexity of its IT infrastructure will direct a company on its security spending.

The question one should ask is what aspects should a company consider when determining the amount of money it should spend on security? This process of deciding this is vital in safeguarding the company’s systems and data.

How Can You Determine Your Company’s Security Expenditure?

A survey carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that businesses are spending more of their IT budgets on security than before. It also reported that large organizations, on average, spent 11% of their IT budgets on security, whereas small businesses spend approximately 15%. The amount companies spend on cybersecurity is typically tied to the budget allocated to its IT department. A survey by Deloitte reported that financial institutions spend an average of 10% of their IT budgets on cyber-security. This is approximately 0.6% of company revenue.

In 2019 when IT executives were asked what business initiative would be most significant in driving IT investment at their company, 40% of them stated the need to improve cybersecurity protection. This was tied with increased operational efficiency and was ahead of growing the business, transforming existing business systems, and increasing profitability.

Investing large amounts of money in cybersecurity doesn’t necessarily ensure that your company is safe. Efficiently spending this money to ensure that you maximize the Return On Investment (ROI) is the real challenge. As a company, you should not only identify the weakness and strengths of your current system or find ways to improve the structures. You should also look at the most effective ways to ensure cybersecurity.

The following aspects of cybersecurity should be covered in your budget:

  1. Installation of Protection Software: Implementing and integrating protection programs such as antivirus, antispyware, encryptions, intruder detection, and protection and antimalware is essential to creating layers of barriers against cyber-attacks. These software programs should be updated regularly and kept at pace with the changing needs of the business.
  2. Employee Awareness: According to Osterman Research, educating employees on ways to be cautious in the face of cyber-risks posed to digital assets is one of the smartest investments with the highest ROI. Employees are the easiest targets when a company is a cybercrime target. Employees are targeted using social engineering tactics such as pretexting and phishing. This training may be carried out using posters, emails, contests, and computer-based courses. Training of employees doesn’t have a massive impact on cybersecurity spending but has tremendous benefits on lowering attacks.
  3. Outsourcing IT Support from a Third-Party Organization: If your company’s in-house team is unable to meet the security needs of your company solely, or the company doesn’t have adequate resources to cater for this need, outsourcing external IT support is ideal. It is a cost-effective method that allows your company to combine both your in-house IT department and the foreign team. This arrangement enables your company to have access to the latest technology, high level of expertise, and personnel with years of experience. Outsourcing allows the IT company to have access to your confidential data and networks. It is, therefore, crucial to evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
  4. Cyber-Education to Upskill Staff: Developing and maintaining the skill set of your IT department by implementing a proper certification program is an excellent way to ensure that your in-house team is up to date in expertise and technology. It also brings a high ROI.
  5. Purchasing Cyber Insurance: In some cases, a company is unable to secure its assets effectively. After evaluating the risks and the potential consequences of a breach, a company may decide to purchase cyber insurance to protect itself from these consequences.

This protection enables the company to transfer risk to an insurance provider. The company should ensure that they fully understand the limits of the policy coverage so that they don’t get surprised at what is covered in the event of a breach.

Your cyber-security budget will typically depend on the company’s size, goals, and scope of work. Cyber-security is an investment. Companies should devote as many resources as possible and increase the budget when necessary. Attention should not be on how much is spent, but on what the budget was spent.

Elevate Services Group is a Denver-based IT support provider that has been servicing businesses in Denver and the Front Range. With years of experience and high levels of expertise in providing outsourced IT services, we offer business customized IT solutions. Consult us today to get security solutions that will ensure your business operations run smoothly.

Click here to get started or call us at (303) 672-8008.

 

The Biggest Threats Facing Denver Financial Services Firms (And How to Solve Them)

The Biggest Threats Facing Financial Services Firms in Denver

Innovative technologies are creating an entirely new experience for consumers looking to stay informed about their financial investments. Recent studies show that nearly 40% of financial services firms are making digital improvements wherein they’re looking to provide a more advisory approach in their services – offering a personal, customized experience for each client they work alongside. But naturally, new technology creates new challenges for financial services firms around the world. There are three major threats to consider:

Unsecure Third-Parties

First and foremost, we have unsecured third-parties. Virtually all financial services firms work with third parties, such as credit unions or other organizations, to some degree. When working with third-parties, it’s important to ensure they’re properly safeguarding any sensitive data they have access to. How do you do this? Start with properly vetting all third-party organizations and contractually binding them to the technical and administrative safeguards you expect.

Internet of Things and Mobile Devices

Our world is incredibly connected nowadays. Most of us are using connected devices – from smartphones to fitness trackers and everything in between – in our personal and professional lives. But keep in mind, if they’re entering the workplace, they need to be secure with proper policies and technologies in place. All connected devices should be kept up-to-date with the latest updates and patches, as well as security settings to prevent data disclosure.

Lack of Awareness Amongst Staff

Lastly, we have a lack of awareness amongst staff. Your employees are your first line of defense, and if they’re not aware of how to detect and respond to malicious activity, they shouldn’t be accessing sensitive information. It’s important to make sure you’re training your team members on a regular basis and emphasizing the importance of best practices in terms of the internet, mobile devices, passwords, and other sensitive topics.

A Few Simple Tips to Minimize the Risk of Threats Resulting in Data Loss and Disclosure

Here are a few simple tips to help you minimize the risk of the threats listed above resulting in data loss and/or disclosure:

Map Out a Cybersecurity Framework

If you don’t already have a cybersecurity framework in place, it’s time to map one out. This not only accounts for every person, device, and access point within the organization but also shows your staff members that you’re taking cybersecurity seriously and expect the same for them. Your cybersecurity framework should cover policies and procedures relating to all people, devices, and access points within the organization.

Provide Ongoing Training to Staff Members

Although it’s fantastic to enforce policies and procedures, the average employee needs guidance when it comes to following them. If you’re not providing ongoing training in terms of how to detect and respond to malicious activity, what a phishing attempt looks like, and how to avoid dangerous websites and/or areas on the internet, they won’t be able to stay ahead of your cybersecurity framework.

Implement Enterprise-Grade Cybersecurity Technologies

Every organization nowadays needs enterprise-grade cybersecurity technologies, including anti-virus software, firewalls, intrusion detection software, anti-spam filtering software, encryption, and more. This should be implemented in a multi-layered fashion to protect all endpoints and keep sensitive data safe. In addition, around-the-clock monitoring and regular maintenance are necessary to prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Elevate Services Group can provide you with these services. Our team of well-versed cybersecurity experts can help you stay safe.

Let’s talk.

Click here to get started or call us at (303) 672-8008.

What Is Social Engineering? (Insights/Information)

Social Engineering: A Threat to Your Cybersecurity

Social engineering is the use of psychological manipulation to gather confidential information. Criminals are always looking to exploit you for valuable data: personal logins, bank accounts, and even remote access to your computer. Whenever you log on, they could be trying to steal your information through malware-filled links or fraudulent websites.

Social Engineering

Why a Great IT Department Is Not Enough

You interact with certain, trusted companies on a daily basis. You may glance at an email from your office supplier, click their link, and log in to confirm this week’s order for manila folders, only to find that it was a fraudulent website stealing your password.

The growing sophistication of cybersecurity has made it very difficult to breach your software from the outside. With a dependable firewall and anti-malware suite, your computer is rock-solid. But that is only the first half of the equation. You are the second half.

Criminals know that manipulating your trust is easier than hacking their way past your IT department, so you play an important role in maintaining your business’s safety.

What Can I Do?

The best solution is to always double-check anything asking for your confidential information. If you’re clicking a hyperlink, make sure you know exactly where it’s directing you before you click it; if you’re logging into a website, make sure it’s secure and verified. All it takes is for one user to log in to a fraudulent website for a criminal to have the key that lets them walk right past all of your IT department’s efforts.

However, sometimes it’s hard to follow-up with this due diligence when we’re busy. That is why it’s important to recognize the telltale signs of social engineering at-a-glance, especially in the one communication you take part in every day.

Double-Check Your Emails

Fraudulent (or “phishing”) emails are responsible for the majority of cybersecurity breaches, some of which have targeted truly massive companies—from international banks to social media conglomerates.

Always be on the lookout for the key components of a phishing email:

“From:” Address

  • The sender is an unrecognized person that is not affiliated with your business.
  • Names of trusted senders are included in an otherwise unusual address (ex. “staplescustomersupport134789@gmail.com”).

“To:” Address

  • The email is addressed to an unusual group of recipients (ex. People in unrelated departments or even every employee).
  • The email is addressed to recipients uninvolved with the supposed subject of the message.

Date

  • The email is sent outside of business hours or at an irregular time.

Subject

  • The subject line consists of random characters or completely unrelated information.
  • The subject line references you despite you not recognizing the sender.

Links and Attachments

  • The email includes unusual hyperlinks or attachments, especially when placed in odd locations throughout the email.
  • The email includes hyperlinks that have titles unrelated to their locations (ex. A “Login to your Staples account” link directing you to an unknown website).

Message

  • The email’s message wants you to urgently take an unusual action, such as clicking a link before your account is deleted.
  • The email’s message contains grammar or spelling errors where it normally would not.

Be Patient

All of these examples pressure you into making a bad decision you wouldn’t normally make. That pressure keeps you from acting on your suspicions by keeping you on a fake time crunch.

So take your time to analyze anything unusual. If something seems suspicious, it probably is. Let your IT managed services company know so they can verify whether it’s a real threat or just a false alarm.

Watch out for social engineering and keep your business safe and secure.

IT Consulting In Denver Support By Elevate Services Group

How Technology Support Services And IT Consulting In Denver Benefit Small Businesses

Running a successful business can be a challenge without appropriate technological implementation in the modern world. The managing of finances, marketing, and other production functions might leave little time to handle any technical emergencies. For example, a business may experience security breaches and system outages that can interfere with its operations. While small companies might overlook the importance of technical support services, reports have shown why IT is crucial in any business operations. It is possible to hire IT, staff, for the company, but this demands more finances and more work to hire and train them. Luckily, small businesses can benefit from IT support services and consulting as alternatives to hiring IT staff. The tech support services will take care of all important technological and business tasks. In this guide, we explain how small businesses can benefit from the technical support and IT consulting in Denver.

IT Consulting In Denver

Enhanced Data Protection

Small businesses may fail to handle the small issues of data security due to limited staff. Others don’t know how to protect their data away from viruses and cybercriminals. In some cases, the cybercriminals can take advantage of this ignorance to attack your organization. From computer viruses to hackers stealing confidential information, the threat of cybersecurity can affect any business. The importance of personal and corporate data to businesses necessitates the need to adopt technology support services.

With tech support services, businesses are assured of data security, which is crucial to maintaining the reputation of any firm. The consulting firms will improve data management in your business and offload some infrastructural safety risks. The tech support services will leverage IT solutions and optimize your internal operations. With their experience and high level of knowledge, the consulting firms will implement solutions to data protection. Therefore, you will not have to worry about losing any of your sensitive information or client’s data.

Increased Productivity

By hiring IT consulting services, small businesses stand to increase their productivity by focusing on core functions. Since you will not be working about taking care of IT problems, you and your staff have an opportunity to refocus your energy on other tasks that can improve productivity. There will be less downtime when IT consultants are taking care of all small business issues such as maintenance and running of the system.

The technology consulting will help implement the right solutions that will increase efficiency in your business. For example, they will assess any technical issues within the company and help streamline and simplify the IT unit. The consultants will provide the skills needed for the proper running of an IT function. With better speed and efficiency, the tech support services allow you a peace of mind to handle more crucial areas of production. With the assistance of IT consultants, you free people from the department and assign them to other departments.

Substantial Savings

Small businesses stand to benefit from hiring tech support or IT consultants as it results in significant savings. While you will have to pay for tech support, the cost of hiring an IT consultant is lower than hiring an in-house department. Therefore, you will benefit from reducing operational costs, including a leaner staff and maintenance expenses.

With an in-house IT team, you are likely to incur costs in hiring, training and salary expenses which can put strains on the budget. When you get help from IT consulting, you only need a problem to be addressed at a certain moment, which means you can work with specialists without incurring extra expenses.

Additionally, you will not spend in hiring and training of IT specialists, employee benefits and space or equipment needed to host the IT department in your business. This means you can customize your service plan towards minimizing expenses and increasing savings for the company.

Access To Technology Experts

A small business may have a limited budget that makes it difficult to attract and retain experienced IT employees. IT employees will demand higher salaries and benefits that may increase the total cost of hiring them. However, you can have access to technical experts by working with IT consulting services firms. The consultants have IT professionals who are experienced, seasoned and knowledgeable to handle all infrastructural needs at an affordable cost.

When you seek the services of technological support, you get access to the seasoned and experienced professionals with multiple resources and technology to support your business. These experts have enough knowledge of offering high-level IT solutions that may not be possible with an internal IT team. Their experience and knowledge base gives them an advantage over many IT issues affecting your business. Therefore, it technology support service and consultants will customize solutions to your IT needs and make sure there are smooth operations

Around-The-Clock Technical Support

When you contract IT consulting in Denver, you have 24/7 access to professionals that will not be possible with an in-house resource. Most IT consulting firms are devoted fully towards data management and protection and may not be limited to the typical employee work time. As a result, you will not have stress trying to find help whenever there is a system crash. The IT support services can be accessed for help at any time of the day. When you work with consulting firms, you are assured of security and technical support at all times, which is crucial in eliminating any operational challenges.

The IT consultants assist around the clock with quick access during emergencies. Having around the clock support is crucial in case of emergencies or disasters. It is normal for businesses to experience tragedies such as data breach, and a tech support service will be ready to handle them. An important aspect of working with consultant firms is the proactive reaction to technological issues, which means businesses can address them before they can cause damage.

Schedule Initial Consultation With The IT Consulting Team At Elevate

Small businesses can benefit immensely from working with IT consultants and tech support services. With increasing demands for technology in operations, companies need to secure the services of professionals with expertise in technological solutions. We have highlighted the several benefits of technical support for small businesses that include savings and increased productivity.

Outsourcing tech solutions is an excellent solution for small businesses that cannot afford a large team of experienced in-house specialists. When you have someone else responsible for all IT problems, you are likely to have peace of mind and concentrate on other business functions. As a small business owner, you have to make a decision regarding IT consulting in Denver and select the best company that will fulfill your needs.