Data Protection

Summer, it is not the time to relax!

At least in the security realm. The NSA is secretly, or not so secretly, working with AT&T to gather up our data, Naval contractors are being hacked, and APT is attacking every firm possible! Relax and let’s review.

Yes, the world is becoming much less safe than we thought.  Yes, things are looking a little grim. But take a breath and realize that the fundamentals of security have not changed. When you put that Virtual Private Network (VPN) into your Chicago office many years ago, it was top of the line, but just like all things with technology, it is time to revisit and update it.

Just because a VPN is not a physical piece of equipment doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be upgraded. That 3DES encryption is no longer going to keep you safe.  It is time to upgrade to AES 256. You mean your website is still running HTTP over port 80?  So retro! However, in this case retro is not good. Many companies will put in a new piece of equipment and just copy the settings from the old equipment without reviewing and updating them. While that new gizmo might do more, if you put in a bad configuration, well then you have bypassed all that cool stuff. Or you might have put in a new appliance a few years ago, but have not looked at the configuration besides updating the firmware. While firmware needs to be updated, so do the configurations that run on that firmware.

At a minimum you should be reviewing the following annually:

  • VPN configurations
  • Access point configurations
  • Website certificate and encryption
  • Firewall configurations and access control lists (This should really be done monthly)
  • Any other external facing piece of equipment

As we have said in the past, it is impossible to be 100% secure and still be on the Internet. If you don’t trust anyone, you can always increase your security. With that said, do not trust your ISP to keep your data safe. Do not trust that an email you send will not be read. The days of “nobody has the time to read all those emails” are over. With high speed processing and data analytics, people will scan through emails they can “see” on the Internet. If you want your data safe while it traverses the Internet, encrypt it with the latest encryption. So, get off the beach and start updating those VPN configurations!

To learn more about our Cyber Security services, contact Thrive to speak with one of our experts.