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The True Cost of DoS Attacks

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

The True Cost of DoS Attacks

There's a high price to pay for DoS attacks in 2020. With costs rapidly rising, what is the best IT security strategy?
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A Denial of Service (DoS) attack can seriously derail any business with a digital presence. These attacks are still prevalent in 2020 and the cost is rapidly rising. Even a small company could lose up to $120,000 after experiencing its effects.

According to a report from Bulletproof, the price tag on a DoS attack has risen to over $2 million for enterprise companies. Defending against these threats can actively save your business money and time.

Although some instances reflect the lowering of DoS ransoms, cyber attackers are easily generating a greater impact with new strategies. As a result, budgeting for the best tools to shield your business from these attacks delivers much more upside.

The most direct result of a DoS attacks is lost sales. However, DoS attacks can also be used to hide more damaging breaches of data. If sensitive customer information or financial data is lost, you may also be legally liable, which significantly increases the price of the breach.

Other indirect costs of an attacks include replacing hardware, but also employee time. Many won’t be able to work until service is back, and others who can help fix the problem will need to work extra overtime. You may need to hire outside help if the attack persists, and customer service people will be inundated with more calls and emails than normal.

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The Best Cybersecurity Strategy for 2020

What are the best protections for DoS? Internal IT employees should ensure that all servers are only publicly available for necessary functions, and when further secured with SSH, firewalls on all endpoints, SSL, and VPNs. Plan ahead for larger traffic accommodations than you think you need and employ a smart array of vulnerability testing technology to keep uptime at 100%.

Syxsense can inspect your company’s resources on a strict schedule and will patch software and hardware in real-time to automatically protect against zero-day vulnerabilities. An inclusive approach encompassing the OS, third-party apps, firewalls, router configurations, and more ensures vigilance against all attack vectors.

Robert Brown, Director of Services at Syxsense, notes that this comprehensive patching effort is required if companies want to deflect DoS cost-effectively.

“When every minute of downtime carries a five-figure price tag, patch management moves higher on the list of priorities for businesses in 2020,” Brown said.

Syxsense allows you to manage and secure vulnerabilities exposed by open ports, disabled firewalls, ineffective user account policies, and security compliance violations from remote workers. Gain visibility into OS and third-party vulnerabilities while increasing cyber resilience through automated patch management and vulnerability scanning.

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Experience the Power of Syxsense

Syxsense has created innovative and intuitive technology that sees and knows everything. Manage and secure your environment with a simple and powerful solution.

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How to Boost Your Team’s Efficiency by Automating IT Processes

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

How to Boost Your Team’s Efficiency by Automating IT Processes

Given the demand for timely action in today's business landscape, automation can help organizations and their IT teams operate more efficiently.
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Written by Ashley Leonard, CEO and President at Syxsense

IT teams are responsible for making sure that all technologies and devices used in the workplace work. And, thanks to the widespread adoption of technology by businesses, almost all tasks and processes now require their participation and involvement.

Organizations are shifting many of their workloads to the cloud. So, aside from tending to the on-premises infrastructure, IT teams also have to perform other tasks such as support and monitor access and subscriptions to these cloud services. The explosion of affordable hardware, mobile devices, and the Internet-of-Things is also adding more endpoints to their custody. The prevalence of cyberattacks has also placed added burden on them to secure the network and mitigate threats.

Then there are the seemingly minor daily concerns such as requests for password resets, printer toner replacement, or complaints on slow internet from their colleagues that could pile up. Between 20 to 50 percent of help desk tickets are password reset requests.

IT management has become a monumental undertaking. Fortunately, IT teams are able to manage all these tasks through automation. IT automation is about using tools that monitor the network, watch out for certain conditions, and trigger actions that would readily address issues.

Firewalls and safe email policies can prevent many attacks, but hackers can just as easily gain access to your information through un-patched, out-of-date software. Each of your software tools should be updated regularly to mitigate potential risks. Automating patch deployment can ensure that no update slips through the cracks.

Take the case of software updates. Performed manually, IT staff of a medium-sized organization could be looking at working on hundreds or even thousands of devices. But through automation, these updates could now be configured to download and install as scheduled, minimizing the work for teams.

Most IT processes can be automated and companies should consider leveraging this capability to boost their IT team’s efficiency and effectiveness. Here are other areas of IT management where automation can be used.

Asset Discovery and Tracking

IT can be one of the more expensive investments companies can make. As such, it’s important for IT teams to be able to track all their employees’ digital assets including all hardware, software, and appliances. Knowing the specific assets available to them can help organizations better deploy resources.

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IT management platforms can help quickly build such lists through capabilities such as automated network discovery and inventory. Devices connected to the network are automatically profiled including all hardware specifications and the list of installed software in each device.

Knowing what assets are assigned to staff could also encourage accountability from end users. Hardware loss and theft is quite common. One study revealed that 84 percent of businesses surveyed reported losing laptops. Having a historical record of inventories can also help companies track if certain devices become missing.

Software and Patch Deployment

Keeping software and hardware up-to-date is considered good practice. Application developers and hardware manufacturers periodically release updates and patches to their products which may contain new features and functionalities or address vulnerabilities.

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Deploying software and patches typically requires identifying affected endpoints and installing the updates. Doing this manually can take quite a lot of time considering patch deployment is a time-critical task.

Fortunately, the process can likewise be automated where management platforms can used to automatically check for updates from developers, identify target endpoints within the network, and deploy the patches.

Backups and Recovery

Data is the lifeblood of most organizations these days so working without data backups can be a disaster waiting to happen. Work can be set back months, even years, should company data become lost or corrupted.

Conventionally, backups are done through scheduled remote uploads and redundant storage. However, workplaces are changing. Businesses can generate and process large volumes of data within a day so even scheduled backups may not be enough to ensure data protection. Teams may also involve workers located offsite making on-premises storage inadequate to store data coming from external sources.

New solutions such as continuous data protection (CDP) can be used to automatically detect any changes to work files and folders and back these changes up to a secure location in real time. CDP solutions even keep revision histories of these files so users can revert back to a previous version in case there are issues with their current version. This way, all company data are safely stored. In addition, these solutions can be used with mechanisms that initiate failover and recovery in case of outage or downtime.

Security Monitoring and Response

Cybersecurity has become top a priority for IT teams given how rampant attacks have become. Attacks can happen any time especially now that attackers are also using automation to launch breach attempts.

IT teams now need to actively monitor and respond to threats. Unfortunately, capable security talent are rare and expensive. More than half of organizations claim that there’s a worrying shortage of cybersecurity skills. To bridge this gap, organizations can rely on automation to help them deal with threats.

Automation has found its way to various security tasks. Anti-malware tools not only perform real-time scanning of devices but they can also automatically quarantine or even send samples for analysis. Security platforms like Syxsense can also detect and block malicious traffic from accessing networks. Automation can also be used to take machines offline in cases they are affected by recently discovered vulnerabilities. This way, any potential damage can be avoided.

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Conclusion

Given the demand for swift and timely action in today’s business landscape, automation can truly help organizations and their IT teams operate more efficiently. Automation doesn’t only help accomplish tasks faster but it can also minimize human error where lapses, incompetence, or fatigue, could lead to significant issues. Automation of a wide variety of IT tasks also frees up the team to refocus their efforts on more strategic and creative initiatives.

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How Endpoint Management Can Keep Your Workplace Secure

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

How Endpoint Management Can Keep Your Workplace Secure

Your workplace can be more secure with a solid IT security strategy.
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This article originally appeared on The Hacker News

Workplaces have become highly connected. Even a small business could have dozens of devices in the form of desktops, mobile devices, routers, and even smart appliances as part of its IT infrastructure.

Unfortunately, each of these endpoints can now be a weak link that hackers could exploit. Hackers constantly probe networks for vulnerable endpoints to breach.

For example, systems and applications that are configured using recycled user names and passwords can easily be hacked given the availability of leaked credentials online.

Password management service LastPass noted that 59% of users use the same password for multiple accounts.

Malware and malicious processes may also target workstations. Cybersecurity firm Symantec found a 1,000 percent increase in PowerShell script attacks in 2018. These attacks use cleverly disguised malicious processes that appear legitimate at a cursory glance. This is why the IT security career is quickly evolving into a huge market.

However, because of the number of devices in workplaces, keeping networks safe from hackers has become quite a massive undertaking. Fortunately, organizations now have access to a variety of tools that help mitigate these threats such as endpoint management solutions.

Diane Rogers, Product Manager for Realtime Security of Syxsense, shares:

“It only takes one compromised endpoint to bring a whole network down. Even for smaller businesses, the loss of data, theft of intellectual property, and downtime could cost tens of thousands of dollars to deal with.”

“This doesn’t even include potential losses from government fines and negative publicity. Therefore, it’s critical for administrators to have control over the devices connected to their networks. One way they could do this is through effective endpoint management.”

Here are four ways endpoint management can help secure the workplace’s IT.

1 – Device audits

IT teams should know exactly what hardware and software comprise their infrastructure. But thanks to the surge in the cloud and mobile computing adoption, there’s now what’s called a “shadow IT” in workplaces comprised of unsanctioned applications and devices that workers use.

Using endpoint management solutions, IT teams can automatically discovery all devices connected to the network, their specifications, and the systems and software that run on them.

Having this list allow administrators to review and vet these applications and devices to see if they are free from risks. This way, administrators can then restrict and regulate the use of these technologies.

Audit results can also be collected over time. Audit histories can be used to check and verify the changes that happen to the network including the potential loss and theft of devices.

2 – Process tracking and termination

Hackers continue to use social engineering attacks such as phishing to trick users into downloading and installing malicious scripts to their devices that are designed to steal information, cause disruption to operations, or destroy data across the network.

Users may not be aware if their devices are already compromised as many of these malware are designed to run silently in the background.

By enabling remote access to endpoints, system administrators can review active processes and readily terminate dubious ones.

3 – Automated patch deployment

Fortunately, developers continuously release updates to fix bugs and flaws in their products and services. Previously, administrators have to judiciously keep track of security and update bulletins to know if there are new patches that need to be downloaded and deployed.

Today, endpoint management solutions can automatically detect available firmware and software updates for each device connected to the network.

These patches can also be automatically deployed across devices, including to Internet-of-Things devices. Updates can be performed as soon as fixes become available even during off-hours, minimizing the IT team’s workload and the downtime caused by patching.

4 – Accurate information and real-time action

System administrators must also be able to decide immediately on what actions to take should threats manifest themselves. Endpoint management solutions can reference audit results to identify which endpoints are affected.

By having the most up-to-date information about the system, administrators would also be able to recommend the right actions to decision makers.

For instance, critical vulnerabilities without available fixes may require affected endpoints to be taken offline.

Through audits, administrators and decision-makers would have the information they need to assess the impact on the business end such as the number of potential workstations affected and expected downtime. Knowing these, they could work on contingencies.

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Syxsense, for instance, enhances administrators’ capabilities to monitor and respond to threats.

The platform provides absolute real-time visibility of devices, allowing IT teams to instantly check affected endpoints based on audit histories and timely patch reports.

This way, administrators can perform immediate actions to remedy vulnerabilities.

The platform even features voice and artificial intelligence-powered controls that allows administrators to issue human language instructions which further simplifies threat response.

Covering all bases

These said, securing workplace IT requires more than just endpoint management. This should be combined with other measures such as using firewalls, identity management, and data protection.

Workplaces should also educate end users regarding the proper use of IT resources and how to avoid social engineering attacks.

But by using comprehensive management solutions, administrators would be able to cover the many bases required to keep their workplaces’ endpoints secure.

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Why Realtime Security is Crucial

By Patch ManagementNo Comments

Why Realtime Security is Crucial

As cyberattacks continue to grow, it's important to improve your network security with more than just anti-virus software.
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This article originally appeared on TechWorm

Cyberattacks are rapidly growing as a global threat.

With more complex and powerful attacks, actors are in a control of massive amounts of resources, including username and password data dumps that can be used for ransomware, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), and data breach attacks against target networks.

Cybersecurity should be an essential part of business operations. Falling prey to cyberattacks cause loss of intellectual property and reputation damage with significant financial ramifications. Data protection regulations can impact significant fines on companies that fail to protect customer data.

What’s in store for cyberattacks in 2019?

Experiencing an attack is not “if,” but “when.” Any device that connects to your network has a high chance of being attacked. Attackers also leverage automation to carry out their attempts.

Researchers predict there will be more than 20 billion connected Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices by 2020. Without taking action, you expose yourself to data breaches, overall outage, and loss of intellectual property. Hackers exploit the weakest link to access devices and anything with access to the internet can create a vulnerability.

What kind of threats are expected?

Ransomware, data breaches, and DDoS attacks. With control over botnets, attackers can continuously carry out these attacks. Not only are millions of username and password combinations available in the black, but users are recycling passwords and hackers can use this data to breach other systems.

Attackers can also intimidate companies with data breaches or website defacement to make them non-compliant. Not protecting private information can create large fines from government agencies. GDPR fines can cost as much as €10 million in Europe, or 2% of the worldwide annual revenue, whichever is higher. Attackers are capitalizing on this fear to coerce companies into paying fees to prevent exploits.

How can companies protect themselves?

Installing antivirus and anti-malware software on each endpoint isn’t enough. However, improving network security with firewalls prevents traffic from reaching their networks. Educating staff on the proper use of resources and how to avoid falling victim to social engineering attacks also helps.

Syxsense provides a comprehensive IT management solution that allows IT managers to easily manage any part of their infrastructure. With a simple, clean user interface we have reduced the complexity of visualizing and managing your network.

If critical updates are released, patches must be immediately deployed to ensure that affected systems are kept secure. Our users leverage automated patch deployment to ensure that all devices, including IoT, are up-to-date and free from vulnerabilities.

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What is the benefit of Realtime Security?

Attackers are constantly examining networks—mitigation and response processes should always be running. If you aren’t tracking suspicious processes, your antivirus solution and firewall won’t protect you if your data is just an hour behind.

Syxsense Realtime Security pulls live data from thousands of devices, direct to a web console, in seconds. By eliminating stale data, IT management and security decisions are based on what is happening right now, not in the past.

If device scans are run at night when devices are offline, hidden behind a firewall or roaming, security and IT teams have an incomplete view of their environment. Realtime Security eliminates blind spots enabling teams to manage their environment with 100% visibility.

With no steep learning curve, Realtime Security’s simple to learn web interface leverages AI, and empowers teams with the information and skill to act instantly.

Why juggle multiple consoles for device and security management? In a single place, security and IT operations can understand their exposed security risk, patch, deploy software, stop security breaches, satisfy compliance agencies and more.

Whether organizations are looking for endpoint security or IT management capabilities, including patch managementsoftware distribution and remote control, Realtime Security is the only cloud-based approach to security and systems management which enables 10-second endpoint visibility and control thousands of devices.

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Prepare for Patch Tuesday!

By News, Patch Management, Patch TuesdayNo Comments
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Do you have a patching strategy? It should include turning off Automatic Windows update.

Patch Tuesday is here. To avoid the usual splitting headache, we recommend disabling automatic updates for Windows and implementing a reliable patch strategy.

Windows 10 updates whether you want it to or not…unless you know the trick. While we recommend that you always keep your systems patched, sometimes the updates are worse than the vulnerability, like the July Patch Tuesday this year.

Win10

If you have a Professional, Enterprise, or Education edition of Windows 10, you can turn off automatic updates, but the option is hidden. You need to pull yourself out of beta testing and then delay new versions by setting the “feature update” deferral to 120 days or more. Here’s what to do in version 1703, if you have a later version of Windows 10 these settings still apply, but the wording is slightly different.

  • Press Win-R, type gpedit.msc, press Enter. This brings up the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Navigate the left pane as if it were File Explorer to
  • Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Defer Updates.
  • Choose Select when Feature Updates are received.
  • In the resulting dialog box, select Enabled.
  • In the Options box, type in how many days you’d like to pause updates and then in the next field type in today’s date.
  • Click Apply and then OK.

If you want to you can repeat this process for the second setting in Group Policy named Select when Quality Updates are received. Keep in mind, however, that quality updates include security updates and skipping them is not the best idea. On the upside, security updates are cumulative meaning if you do skip these updates, you can download the next one and be up to date.

Win7 and 8

  • Log in to the Windows 7 or Windows 8 guest operating system as an administrator.
  • Click Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Turn automatic updating on or off.
  • In the Important updates menu, select Never check for updates.
  • Deselect Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.
  • Deselect Allow all users to install updates on this computer and click OK.
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Patch Strategy

Your IT update solution should facilitate phased rollouts and have full rollback options. These are the necessary keys to avoiding data loss or device outages.

Step 1. Identify

You can’t manage your environment if you don’t know what devices are there and which need updates. An IT solution should also be able to manage roaming devices.

Plus, if data is stale, it could mean missing a device or update that was critical to secure. Detect the state of your environment with live, accurate, and actionable data.

Step 2. Test Group Deployment

Deploy the updates to a small group of devices. These devices should be of low impact to the overall productivity of your company. Once these devices have been successfully and safely updated, you can deploy needed updates without worrying about a massive disaster.

Step 3. Phased Rollout

Now updates should be distributed to any device that needs them. However, you want this task to preform around business hours. Updates are important, but so is avoiding interruptions of productivity. A maintenance window should be set up so that any update tasks happen before and after business hours.

And to facilitate a proper patching strategy, look to a comprehensive IT solution.

Syxsense

This is the solution for all of your patching needs. Syxsense can deploy updates to Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. It is a complete patching solution that can manage devices both in your network, but also roaming and out of the office.

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Software Update Service

We understand that while updating software is the #1 way to protect your environment, it’s low on your priority list. As an IT department, you have other pressing tasks that you need your attention.

With our Software Update Service, you can move forward while we keep your devices up to date.

Our expert patch management team provides reliable support with detection and remediation for Windows and third-party software updates. We work closely with you to provide safe and efficient endpoint security with your own systems management tool or ours, Syxsense.

Our team will keep your IT systems reliable with endpoints updated and secure.