About Chris Wanamaker

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So far Chris Wanamaker has created 729 blog entries.

How do businesses get breached? Let’s count the ways.

Data breaches have been in the news a LOT lately. Most of the reports cover what occurred. Few explain how they happened.

The how is actually far more important than the what. Why?

Because while it’s important to understand what kind of collateral damage took place because of a hack, it’s even more critical to know how it happened. It’s the only way people and organizations can take steps to prevent them from occurring again.

Here are some of the top reasons hacks happen along with advice from our experts on how you can prevent them.

1. Employee mistakes.

Most hacks can be tracked back to errors made by employees. They’re often the weakest link when it comes to defending an organization’s systems, networks and technology.

Most incidents are caused by workers who forget to follow procedures — or aren’t aware of the procedures that should be followed. A simple example is when someone sends a bulk email, and the recipients are listed in the cc rather than the bcc field. While this may not seem like a big issue, […]

How do businesses get breached? Let’s count the ways.2021-01-08T08:59:52-07:00

Lessons Learned: What the SolarWinds Cyber Attack Can Teach Us

The SolarWinds cyber attack, which impacted government agencies and private organizations alike, is one of the biggest virtual crimes in history. It may seem like a global issue and that it has no connection to your business. However, you need to understand how SolarWinds became one of the largest — if not THE largest — cyber incursions ever. It’s the only way you can figure out how to protect your operation against becoming the victim of the next hack, whether it’s a one-off against your business or part of a global event.

1. Don’t assume that well-known organizations always get it right.

You don’t own or work for a major global conglomerate, which means you don’t have unlimited resources available to you. That’s why you probably base some or all of your technology and cyber security decisions on what larger and better funded companies do. You may check to see what other organizations use the solutions you’re considering. Impressive customer lists on websites could sway your decisions. After all, those companies have big teams of top tech […]

Lessons Learned: What the SolarWinds Cyber Attack Can Teach Us2021-01-04T08:58:11-07:00

Don’t Let Cyber Kidnappers Hold Your Business for Ransom

Think ransomware attacks are a thing of the past? Think again!

Cyber attacks involving ransomware hit record levels in 2020. And it doesn’t look like the number or scope will be leveling off any time soon. Cyber crooks have been upping their games, coming up with new tactics, techniques and procedures to take control over the computers and systems of businesses both large and small.

Their goal: Make money off the ransom they charge to release the computers and systems they attack so the companies that get hacked can access them again.

This year, attackers went beyond targeting businesses and took on healthcare facilities, schools, IT organizations and other groups that provide different types of critical support during the pandemic. Not only has this harmed the organizations, it also impacted the businesses and people dependent on them.

While it’s impossible to know where cyber crooks are going to take things in the future, here are some ransomware trends to look out for so you can take steps to guard against them.

Big businesses and small can expect to be targeted.

There […]

Don’t Let Cyber Kidnappers Hold Your Business for Ransom2020-12-23T10:14:49-07:00

What Businesses Can Learn From the Russian Hack on the U.S. Government.

You’ve probably heard about the massive Russian cyber attack that impacted several United States government agencies, along with businesses across the country. The full scope of the incident is still not clear and it may never be, but it could be among the largest and most dangerous in U.S. history.

What is clear is that the hackers were able to gain access to the emails and internal files of the Treasury and Commerce departments. It’s likely that other government agencies, and potentially many U.S. businesses, including legal and financial firms, could have been impacted.

These organizations were forced to scramble to plug the leaks revealed by the breach. The Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity unit has directed all federal agencies to remove compromised network management software. Thousands of companies are doing the same.

This has left many business owners and IT professionals concerned about the cyber security of their organizations. After all, if major government agencies can be hacked, how can anyone feel confident that they won’t be, as well?

Here are some lessons learned from the recent cyber […]

What Businesses Can Learn From the Russian Hack on the U.S. Government.2020-12-19T11:41:15-07:00

Your Business Bandwidth Could be Costing You Big Time.

Find out how increasing it could pay off for your organization.

Having too little bandwidth can have a BIG impact on the bottom line of your business. In fact, except for hiring inept employees or offering faulty products or questionable services, it can do almost more than anything else to limit your success.

This is an unnecessary issue because in many cases, getting access to more bandwidth can cost almost nothing, especially if you take advantage of discounts on internet connectivity.

The amount of bandwidth a company needs is based on several factors, including your number of employees, the amount of data you process, the software you use and how much equipment is connected to your network. One of the mistakes many businesses make is that they select a plan when they’re starting out and don’t revisit it as they grow. Over time, too little bandwidth will limit their ability to continue to succeed and grow in the future.

Here are five reasons why.

1. It limits your ability to collaborate.

The easier you make it for your team members to […]

Your Business Bandwidth Could be Costing You Big Time.2020-12-18T12:50:21-07:00

The Time is NOW. Prepare for 2021’s TOP 5 Cyber Security Threats.

2021 is just around the corner. Here’s our list of the top five cyber threats our experts believe businesses will face in the year ahead and beyond.

1. Remote work.

In early 2020, organizations were forced to figure out how to support remote workforces very quickly because of unexpected pandemic-related stay-at-home orders. They didn’t have time to take extra steps to protect their online assets against the new realities of people doing their jobs at home. Cyber criminals took advantage of it. They launched a record number of phishing, vishing, ransomware and other types of attacks that targeted gaps in remote security procedures. Many business systems fell victim to these attacks because the equipment and wifi connections used by remote workers hadn’t been adequately secured.

Did you know: Even before the pandemic, more than four out of five companies had bring your own device (BYOD) policies for employees, partners, freelancers and other stakeholders? However, 72 percent of them lacked any form of BYOD malware protection. This hasn’t changed much since the pandemic started, leaving companies as vulnerable as […]

The Time is NOW. Prepare for 2021’s TOP 5 Cyber Security Threats.2020-12-10T10:59:49-07:00

Could You be the Person Who Gets Your Business Hacked?

Our quiz will let you know for sure.

Sometimes the best way to learn new things is to find out how you respond to real world situations. Our quiz will let you know whether you’re more likely to keep your business safe from cyber criminals or to open the virtual door and let them in.

You get an email…

While you’re at work, you get an email from Microsoft telling you that your password is out of date. It asks you to click on a link to reset it. What do you do next?

  1. Ask a coworker what to do.
  2. Ignore the email and delete it.
  3. Reset your password manually.
  4. Click on the link to reset your password.

The best answer is to reset your password manually. This is a phishing email. It wants you to click on the link in order to launch malware that could harm your business systems and software. Reputable software companies will send a password reminder alert direct to your desktop or other device, not to your email address. Always be careful when dealing with […]

Could You be the Person Who Gets Your Business Hacked?2020-12-10T10:54:03-07:00

Artificial Intelligence is Awesome. Could it Bring Down Your Operation?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are hot trends right now, and justifiably so. If leveraged effectively, they can take businesses to the next level. These solutions give them the power to understand their customers better and see patterns, trends and opportunities that were difficult — if not impossible — to identify in the past.

The issue: When organizations adopt new technology, security is generally not priority number one. This is often the case with AI and ML. In the rush to adopt these innovations, cybersecurity is set aside so businesses can begin enjoying the benefits of them as soon as possible.

This is a big risk when it comes to AI and ML. That’s because they require more data, and more complex types of it, than other technology. Add to this the fact that artificial intelligence and machine learning systems are usually developed by mathematicians and data scientists who are good at what they do, but aren’t cybersecurity experts. On top of this, the data volume and processing requirements for AI and ML make it […]

Artificial Intelligence is Awesome. Could it Bring Down Your Operation?2020-12-02T20:38:11-07:00

Cyber Security by the Numbers: Why You Can no Longer Afford to be a Hack Denier

Are you a cyber security doubter?

Do you think you and your business are immune from online attacks?

You’re not alone. But you may be avoiding dealing with reality.

Despite all that’s happening in the world, and the dramatic increase in hacks on both personal and business computers and systems, many people are still cyber crime deniers.

Here are some numbers from well respected sources that will convince even the most hardened unbelievers to believe that cyber security is worth paying attention to because it’s a real threat to your operation.

63 percent of companies suspect that their data was compromised in the last 12 months.

According to a survey by Dell, more than three out of five companies think that their data may have been compromised because of a hardware or software problem in the last year.

The issue: It’s hard to believe that there are still cyber security unbelievers out there, especially when you see a statistic like this one. If someone told you that there is a more than 60 percent chance that a meteor could hit you on […]

Cyber Security by the Numbers: Why You Can no Longer Afford to be a Hack Denier2020-11-24T08:17:56-07:00

Nine Cyber Security Planning Tips for 2021 and Beyond

2020 has been a year unlike any other. 2021 will likely present as many — or more — challenges.

Many of the issues businesses faced this year were unexpected things like the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting business shutdowns and economic crisis.

Others were more predictable — and potentially avoidable — like a record number of cyber security hacks and data thefts. While the final numbers aren’t in yet for the whole year, industry experts are reporting an approximate six-fold rise in overall cyber thefts. Most of this increase can be traced back to hacking activity related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why let your business be a sitting duck? Here are nine things you can do to plan now for the security threats you could be facing in 2021 and beyond.

1. Upgrade your network security.

Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated all the time. They’re employing advanced methods to attack businesses of all sizes.

If the possible types of threats to your business are changing all the time, shouldn’t your network security evolve as well? If your security plan and […]

Nine Cyber Security Planning Tips for 2021 and Beyond2020-11-13T21:12:34-07:00
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