TierPoint Summit Keynote Provides Good Lessons for Developing Security Strategy

By Mike Sander, TierPoint Senior Solutions Engineer

Last week I had the privilege of attending TierPoint’s annual Security Summit in Omaha.

Former White House CIO Theresa Payton presented a well-received keynote address about security lessons she learned serving the president.  Attendees said they enjoyed the talk because it provided a business context around an organization’s security needs, as well as ideas to address the added pressure they feel with high-profile cyberattacks continually on the rise.

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(LtoR) Tom McMillin, TierPoint President and COO, Former White House CIO Theresa Payton and Mary Meduski, TierPoint President and CFO, kick off the 2016 TierPoint Security Summit

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What Is Ransomware and How to Protect Against It

 

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By Paul Mazzucco, TierPoint Chief Security Officer

Ransomware attacks have escalated dramatically in recent months. In fact, there’s been a 300 percent increase in ransomware attacks this year according to the FBI, to an average of 4,000 attacks a day, up from 1,000 ransomware attacks a day last year. What’s more, organizations are more often targeted – because the bigger potential payoff.

At TierPoint we’ve assisted many clients with data restoration to avoid the downtime that can be caused by a ransomware attack. Here’s what your organization needs to know about what is ransomware and how to protect your organization from it.

What is ransomware?

Basically, three traits are common among the many variants of ransomware viruses:

  1. They infect your computer, such as through a malicious email or a visited website.
  2. They encrypt your files and demand payment (usually in bitcoin) to receive a decryption key.
  3. The decryption key is usually successful, however, it can depend on the honesty and follow-through of the attacker.

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Multi-Layered Attacks Require More Sophisticated IT Security

By Paul Mazzucco, TierPoint Chief Security Officer

Cyber-criminals are after your corporate data and they’re going to great lengths to get it. With the help of sophisticated bot-nets, the Internet of Things and multi-layered attack strategies, the threat to sensitive customer data and intellectual property has grown stronger. Developing an effective security strategy starts with an understanding how these attacks work and the motives behind them.

In the past, cyber-attacks were often the work of casual hackers or petty criminals looking for an easy opportunity. Today’s hackers are a much more sophisticated bunch with more serious, and potentially devastating, goals.

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The Forgotten Element of Data Security, Privacy and Compliance

wrking-in-data-centerBy Scott Capps, Director, Data Center Services

In the Society for Information Management’s annual survey of Chief Information Officers, once again, security and privacy took center stage for many IT leaders. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. Data security and privacy – and I’d add compliance – should remain one of the CIO’s top concerns. However, CIOs would do well to remember that data security, privacy, and compliance are about more than keeping malicious hackers and data thieves out of their systems. There is a physical element that needs to be taken into account as well.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

I’ve visited any number of organizations that tell me security is their main concern, but when they show me their on-site data center, it’s basically a closet with no physical security measures in place – not even a lock on the door. To make matters worse, most of these organizations are not in high-security buildings. At night, cleaning crews are given access to the grounds with very little supervision, and outside access to the building isn’t well controlled.  When IT equipment is located in an office building, all individuals that access the building have the potential to access the Data Room or Data Closet, even when secured. Continue reading