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We're just different.

So, you signed a contract that includes proactive monitoring. Great, you're now one step ahead than the rest, or are you?

To most Managed Services Providers, this proactive monitoring is limited to canned "sensors" that look at your hardware for low disk space, fans spinning too much and checking what features may be installed.

What does all this do for you? Not much other than cost you money.

What if I told you there is another type of proactive monitoring?

Imagine if all your logs were stored in a Security Information & Event Management System (SIEM) and those logs were then analysed and parsed against each-other and other global intelligence records in a Security Operations Center (SOC).

As a Kontinuum client you already have this functionality and security in place.

Kontinuum's threat intelligence changes the game.

Threat intelligence sources are now available with wide ranges of cost and quality; we believe you should be free to benefit and use it effectively....

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Ransomware is progress.

From the beginning of time, money, gold, diamonds and anything we place a monetary value on is merely a construct created to trade. The object of that trade is steeped in data.

Just so happens Ransomware is today’s construct.

I’m a firm believer Ransomware is a derivative of data theft. The object is to get your data and sell it for Bitcoin to you AND others using Ransomware to cover their tracks.

What happens when your data has been ex-filtrated from your systems?

  1. It’s parsed and categorized for sale and or release.
  2. your customers and business partners are compromised. 
  3. It's only a matter of time to blackmail.

Will your business survive?

Do you understand the value of your data? Data is your most valuable commodity, when taken what will you have left? Customers, a steadily decreasing bank balance, acquaintances who were once your employees?

I know, it’s not our business, but it is yours or at least it was before you got taken for a ride. 

Now...

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Don't be lazy: Never trust, always verify.

Everything we can want is at our fingertips and ripe for the picking. But, should you really take all that you can?

After-all some of it may just me downright rotten. Yes I'm still speaking about technology.

Border walls don't keep anyone out.

That next gen firewall your provider sold you at 50% margin is useless to a degree. Let's remember a firewall is a detection device for the perimeter. As long as there are tunnels and your firewall is letting something through (like Facebook or Google) then anything can get in.

Data is the new border and it can be housed anywhere.

 How many devices do you interact with on a day to day basis?

  1. Mobile phone
  2. Desktop/Laptop
  3. Tablet
  4. Smart something or the other tracking you
  5. VoIP handset
  6. Printer/Copier

Now chew on this. How many employees in your office, each with at least half of the above plus personal devices all connected to the work network?

The problem.

That pit in your stomach, is the realization your business is and has always been...

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How’s that SPAM & PHISH?

email security Feb 29, 2020

Harden your email systems

You have the greatest firewall and A/V your current provider could sell you to make killer margin. Now what?

Email is the easiest way to get in to your systems legitimately or not. It’s direct and likely not set up correctly, users are trained to open ever email as soon as possible. 

Layering additional security with more advanced functionalities, such as URL scanning and attachment sandboxing onto Office 365 is critical.

Are you set up to filter malicious file types and extensions, or non-business-related IP addresses.

Additionally, configuring SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records can combat spoofing techniques used against your organization.
 
Ever wonder why email threats sound like food? Or why all our clients are compliant for various standards like FINRA, HIPAA and more?
 
For the latter, all client data is important and should be secured. 
 
Don’t have the time or your current I.T. lacks the expertise to do what...
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Do your backups work?

Apply and test your backups.

So you were told your security is top notch and impenetrable?well as good as I believe we are, no security measure is infallible.
I can’t tell you how many times we were called in to remediate something for a new client and when we had to go to the backups, nothing worked. But they had a cute snapshot of a login screen.

That said, no solution promises 100% protection, which makes having backup across all workloads so crucial. Backing up cloud data, such as Office 365 and Azure, is just as important as on-premise data.

Don’t overlook recovery responsibilities when crafting a redundancy strategy. Testing your backup is critical to make sure all data is recoverable. Backing up emails, files/folders, and server images is worthless if you can’t restore the data in a timely manner.

Test your provider, have them restore a few files. Or hire us.

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Incident response plan?

You do have an incident response plan don’t you?

You or your provider should have a formally defined action plan for security incidents.

  • Start by examining current assets and evaluating your potential risk.
  • Establish clear guidelines to analyze, contain, and remediate a threat.
  • Additionally, a post-breach inquiry should be conducted to confirm the attack isn’t repeatable.

Consider forming an Incident Response Team, as well as formalizing a communications plan to inform clients and business partners when an incident occurs.

Don’t want to handle this or don’t think your existing IT provider can?

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With people, processes and procedures, we can do the impossible every day.

7:00 PM Friday Night:

I received a call at about 7 PM on Friday night. The client wanted a new provider and invited us to come present services with/against other providers at 6 AM on Saturday morning.

5:45 AM Saturday morning:

While unloading for the presentation. I decided two things;

  1. I would present first;
  2. I would win.

After-all, fortune favours the bold.

6:35 AM Saturday morning:

I was finished explaining why I believe we're the only option. Wish I could tell you what the other guys said in their presentations, but I stepped out to get breakfast. Before I left, I explained our approach and price would not be impacted by anything the others would present.

9:30 AM Saturday morning:

I received another call that a decision had been made and I should return to their office. By now the other providers were familiar with each other and planning on how to work together to take care of their clients. I'm genuinely happy these companies were able to find each-other and combine...

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Going I.T. alone?

Your current situation.

You have a guy that does your I.T. or one of your employees have been saddled with the responsibility.

And this "guy" helps you find the cheapest possible solutions to keep your family safe.

Yes your family, after-all what would happen to your family if your company lost all of its data or was compromised? After the mass exodus of your clients and business partners, how would you feed, clothe and shelter your family?

Still waiting for the checklist of things they should be doing to keep you safe? Nah, this is not that kind of post.

Why am I posting this?

I spoke with a prospect a few weeks ago and they literally balked at the cost of keeping their data and clients safe.

Their response?

"The only customer data we have is  their name, family members,  addresses and credit card numbers, it's not important stuff like medical information. Our guy only charges us $450 a month to support and secure all 23 of our people."

When I heard that I wanted to run...

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Advisory: Office 365 Password Spraying

What is it?

Password spraying is a type of brute-force attack in which a malicious actor uses a single password against targeted user accounts before moving on to attempt a second password, and so on. This technique allows the actor to remain undetected by avoiding rapid or frequent account lockouts.

See: https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1110/

Why are we posting this?

Yesterday we identified thousands, yes thousands of attempts to access unique client Office 365 accounts from Eastern Europe and Asia. Upon identification of IP's we notified Microsoft.

There were and still are no signs of access and/or compromise, but we continue to monitor all logs.

What should you do?

Secure your systems, or have that conversation with us to help secure your systems.

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Is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) dead?

What is the typical use case for VDI?

You have workloads on internal servers where best practice dictates only controlled access from within your network is allowed. Fair enough.

You were told VDI will save you money?

How? Is my first question.

  1. You still need a computer to access the VDI from.
    1. That computer should be secured appropriately.
  2. The servers will need to be upgraded eventually and there will be downtime for a cut over.
  3. You have now created a centralized point of failure subject to many variables for further failure.

But hey, someone told you you'd save money by letting them charge you to build and maintain it.

Your workload is in someones public cloud.

If you don't have local servers for much more than Active Directory & File Sharing, then VDI is a dinosaur to you. No amount of buzz words should justify the cost and alleged savings of building out that infrastructure.

What you should do is protect your workforce and resources with comparatively infallible...

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