Imagine putting a sign outside of your home that reads “Diamond Jewelry and 80-inch UHD TV inside, no security system!” Do you think a robber would target your home or the home next door that has a sign that says “Alarmed and Protected”?
Similarly, cyber criminals target homes and businesses that have the lowest security and the highest amount of reward.
So, how do you know if your digital home has enough protection to deter these cyber criminals from stealing your data? To learn more about cybersecurity solutions and how to protect our families and businesses, I sat down with our friends Steve Rutkovitz, President, and Alex Rutkovitz, Vice President, at Choice Cybersecurity.
Choice Cybersecurity is a leading Manager Security Service Provider (MSSP) offering custom cybersecurity solutions to businesses nationwide. Their unique methodology helps clients reveal vulnerabilities in their security, build a compliant framework that meets best practice standards, and implement the correct suite of products and services to mitigate risk.
What is the main issue facing cybersecurity today?
Technology is moving very fast. While on one hand, this is very exciting, on the other hand, businesses can’t keep up with the increasing cyber threat. Businesses are on their second, third, fourth, generation systems. Their data keeps growing and growing. Most companies, and families, are buying more storage to make room for more data. Instead, they should be cleaning out their data and securely storing what they actually need.
Cyberattacks are also getting more advanced. Whereas before a cybercriminal had to target one specific individual or business, now they are scanning the web for emails and are mass attacking thousands of people at once.
Why do you think the cybersecurity risk is growing so fast?
It’s easier and more inexpensive to just keep buying space for your data. However, the more data you keep, the more data you risk. You are essentially increasing the surface area or your data and their target is growing larger.
In addition, most people don’t know what’s in their data. Your IT support isn’t trained to watch your data and as a business owner, you may not even know what data you have. For example, we have a client that is an accounting firm. We scanned one of their servers and found about 150,000 credit card numbers in their data. That alone was about a $23 million risk they were facing. Meanwhile, the business owners didn’t know they had this data. Their company doesn’t accept credit cards as a form of payment. They had no clue how they accumulated this amount of credit card numbers. After further investigation, we found out that their clients are sending them QuickBooks files on a quarterly bases and within those files are credit card numbers.
Of course, once you know what you have, you can decide what data you need to dispose of and what data you need to store and protect.
What is the probability that a business or a family will be targeted by cyber criminals in the near future?
It’s almost a definite. Like I said earlier, cybercriminals are getting more advanced and their attacks are becoming more sophisticated. If you aren’t protected it’s a matter of time before you fall victim to them. However, if you’re proactive and protect your personal data and your business data, it’s unlikely that anything will happen. Cyber criminals are more likely to target businesses and people with little to no protection than to target someone who is well guarded.
You mentioned that IT support isn’t trained to watch your data…What is the difference between Choice Cybersecurity and a typical IT support company?
We offer completely different services. Many of our clients are actually IT support companies who pass our services on to their clients. An IT support firm will do a great job in keeping you running. They will keep your lights on, fix broken equipment, and make sure your servers are working. They aren’t trained to keep you compliant with anything like FINRA or HIPAA. Typically, Your IT support won’t have the tools to scan the dark web to see if any of your data is out there, they won’t see if hackers are attempting to penetrate your systems. Choice Cybersecurity will look deeper into the inner workings of your system and your data to keep it safe.
We’ve heard a lot of buzz about the dark web. What is the dark web?
The dark web is a marketplace for anything you can imagine – including stolen data. Everyday people, like you and me, go to our computers and fire up Internet Explorer or Google Chrome and proceed to the “surface web” to access social media, email, a news website, Amazon, etc. However, your typical browser wouldn’t even be able to take you to the dark web. The dark web requires a special browser to access it. On it, criminals can buy ransomware, buy passwords, social security numbers and more. It’s very scary!
What is your typical process when it comes to cybersecurity solutions?
We break it into three components – Assess, Address and Maintain.
Assess is the first step – We start with a thorough baseline risk assessment to understand your current cyber risk. This includes looking at your current IT systems, software, data, policies and user behavior.
Address is the remediation of those risks and vulnerabilities and Maintain is ongoing products and services to keep you an acceptable level of risk in a secure environment that is compliant with any requirements your business may face.
Some of our clients have asked us if they should be worried about their smart home devices getting hacked. What are your thoughts?
The internet of things is exploding. People not only have their smartphone, laptop and iPad… now they also have their smart watches, smart thermostats, personal assistant devices (like Alexa or Google Home) and even smart light bulbs. The biggest threat here is that someone will hack your smart watch, then jump onto your Wi-Fi system. There they can penetrate a PC where you keep data. Again, this technology is growing very fast and cyber protection for it is somewhat lagging. There are software and protections you can implement in a smart home to prevent your devices from being hacked.
In May 2019, we hosted a Cyber Security Seminar with Choice Cybersecurity. At our seminar, Steve Rutkovitz covered:
- The top five cyber risks for your family and business
- How to understand and identify the risk you face
- What to do in the event of a data breach
- How to get the state to pay for 50% of your business’s 2019 cyber security protection
- How to put together a structured plan to protect your business and family
If you missed this seminar, you can drop us a note below, and we’d be glad to share the slides.
As always, we’re here to help. If you have any other questions, feel free to submit them below!
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