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3 Reasons Why Network Security Is an Investment

3 Reasons Why Network Security Is an Investment

The Business owners traditionally think in terms of ​profit and loss​. Things that generate  enough revenue that they yield a profit are good.

Expenses or activities that yield a loss are bad. Many business owners view network  security as falling firmly in the expense category, which makes it bad in their view.


This perception of network security as an expense can prove dangerous for business  owners. Let’s dive in and take a look at why network security is an investment, rather than an expense.


1. Network Devices Are Everywhere


There is a good chance that most devices at your business connect to or run on a  network. Some of your core operations may even run off cloud-based applications.


For example, let’s say your store uses a cloud-based point-of-sale system. What  happens if a network intrusion disrupts that application? Your sales grind to a halt until it gets fixed.


What happens if an outside party disrupts all of the network connections to every  device? In a worst-case scenario, your entire business grinds to a halt.


Poor network security can cost you a lot of money. Good network security providers  include ​network penetration testing​ to help you avoid these kinds of problems and the financial losses that come with them.



2. The Human Factor


You can bring a network security engineer for security testing. You can create a  randomized alphanumeric network security key. You can install mighty network firewall security.


Yet, human beings represent ​the major threat​ to your network security. Good network  security includes good cybersecurity training for all employees. It creates a security-minded culture.


The money you spend on training will stop breaches and prevent viruses or malware  from ever getting onto your network in the first place. That will save you more money than you ever spend.



3. Working from Home Creates Risks


Your employees are assets in most cases. With ​42% of people​ clocking in from their  home networks, they can also prove an Achilles’ Heel.


You exert tremendous control over what happens on your business network. You can  ensure security software is on every device and updated.


When people log in from their home, it exposes your network to anything untoward on  those home computers or networks. Someone could introduce a macro virus just by sharing the wrong Word document.


Robust network security proves its investment value here by protecting your business  network and data. Every problem it prevents from home networks saves you lost productivity and even spares you fines from data breaches.


Network Security Is an Investment


Network security will never end up a profit center for a normal business. That doesn’t  make it an expense.


Ever time network security prevents a database breach or keeps your cloud-based POS  system online, it’s profitable. In the first case, you don’t lose the money a breach always costs. In the second case, you actually make money you.


Black Bottle IT specializes in cybersecurity and work from home solutions. 

If your business needs more robust network security or cybersecurity, contact Black Bottle IT today.

Are Your Employees Secure Working at Home?

Are Your Employees Secure Working at Home?


Both COVID-19 and changes in business and technology have several people today working remotely. When you’re punching the clock in your home office instead of your company’s office, you need to ramp up your cybersecurity and your overall safety. 


So what tips should you put to use?


Work at home in peace and full safety by following the tips in this article. 



Invest in a Quality Virtual Private Network (VPN)


A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a necessity no matter what sort of information you send and receive. This refers to a third-party private tunnel that you connect to so that your actual Internet Protocol (IP) address are hidden. 


The VPN that you connect to lets you mimic IP addresses all over the planet so that prying eyes don’t find out your true location. 


Encrypt Your Home Network and Internet


Encryption is key for every part of your internet use. Something as seemingly small as your Wi-Fi network password is a huge decision. Choose a smart password that keeps outsiders from connecting. 


Maintain compliance standards with the type of encryption that you use. Compliance is especially critical if you hold a security clearance and now work remotely.


Get your home internet set up to Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and Department of Defense (DOD) standards. Maintaining these standards will protect your data and sensitive information. 




Use Your E-Mail Wisely


You’ll also need some discretion with how you use e-mail. First and foremost, never open e-mails or click files from senders you don’t recognize. 


Phishing attacks are set up to trick you into clicking things you shouldn’t, which then steals your information or infects your machine. 


Even platforms like Twitter have experienced widespread, high-profile phishing attacks that garnered headlines. E-mail is vulnerable to hacks, so change your password regularly and remain mindful and aware of every e-mail you send and receive. 




Adopt a Professional Quality Malware and Anti-Virus Software


Putting some good cybersecurity software to use can secure your home network better than just about anything else. 


You need a quality, consistent way to sweep your devices of malware and viruses. Treat these malware sweeps the same way that you treat things like oil changes and inspections. 


Some malware lies dormant or discreet on your machines, making it difficult to immediately notice. Running a sweep to quarantine or get rid of these attacks can spare you thousands of dollars in damage and harm in the long-run. 


Make certain that your software is professional grade so you achieve the highest standard of protection. 




Work With an Information Technology (IT) Professional to Secure Your Hardware


You’ll get more out of your home cybersecurity with the help of an information technology (IT) professional. 


Work with these professionals so that they can set the standard of cybersecurity with your home office setup. They can send you devices that are already cleaned, secured, and preconfigured to stand up to even the toughest breaches. 


Using a device that a professional IT contractor has already configured will give you the best safety when you work from home. 




Work at Home Safely and Securely With These Tips 


Let these work at home tips help you keep your home office as secure as possible. It’ll save you lots of stress and money, and will keep your business running smoothly. 




We’d be happy to help you achieve these high safety standards.




Cybersecurity Meets Work from Home

Cybersecurity Meets Work from Home

During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much uncertainty. As the country continued to learn and react to the changing landscape, most small/midsize businesses were reading daily news reports to determine if their business sector was deemed essential and how to quickly transition the relevant workforce to work from home.

Pre-COVID-19, most companies had some casual work from the home infrastructure. But as the demand for a more robust solution became a reality, some IT professionals scrambled to meet this new challenge. They quickly developed work from home solutions that enabled large numbers of in-office personnel to transition to work-at-home quickly. 

In some cases, these solutions were never meant to be a permanent solution. But, as businesses all over the country continue to adapt to every changing landscape, the need for a robust, and possible hybrid solution, allowing employees to work from home and/or in the office all while having a seamless experience. 

Statistics for employees working from have organically risen over the last 15 + years. According to Global Workplace Analytics (GWPA), work from home has grown 173% since 2005. The COVID-19 pandemic will only accelerate this trend. The GWPA estimates that 25%-30% of the entire workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.


Potential Cybersecurity Weaknesses in the Home Office

Personal computers, smartphones and other devices aren’t secure beyond a simple antivirus program or firewall. Last month, the issue was so worrisome to experts that the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) warned government agencies, businesses and other organizations of the risks involved with letting employees work from home without secure devices.

While many precautionary steps can be taken by the individual worker with the help of his/her IT department, companies should enact policies and take measures to further shore up their remote employees’ defenses. 


Extraordinary Times

To be sustain or emerge during these extraordinary times, we believe that organizations should prioritize and formalize:

  • Develop a remote work program with policies and practice under a Risk Management umbrella
  • Establish a cybersecurity work from home policy that specifies cybersecurity training for every employee 


Benefits when one Works from Home

While there are distractions while working from home and pressures to hit deadlines working from home also offers employees benefits beyond the safety from COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that employees save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year on things like gas and lunch out, which is the equivalent of 11 work days per year. 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced both employers and employees to quickly adjust to remote working. Most of us believe that work from home is here to stay and data trends suggest it will continue to grow in the years to come. Companies must adapt to this new work environment by providing their workforces with solutions that give employees a seamless experience to collaborate with co-workers, access to all systems and allow for the servicing of customers.

Black Bottle IT is a leading cybersecurity team of experts who work with organizations to develop work from home cyber security protocol, tools and architecture, employee cybersecurity training and compliance checks. 

We will meet with you to assess your workplace environment and what applications you use — both network and cloud-based. We will look at how your end users are deployed and what type of device support you require. Understanding the architecture, our goal is to keep remote employees protected and educated against malicious cybersecurity risks. 

Let us help you make working from home safer.



Cybersecurity and Telecommuting Jobs

Cybersecurity and Telecommuting Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in many day-to-day changes in most people’s lives. A Gallup Poll reported on May 22, 2020, that almost 7 in 10 employees were working from home. 


This shift has made cybersecurity the #1 concern across the technology industry. Employees working in telecommuting jobs often believe their home is safe. Companies must educate their workers about cybersecurity and provide protection.


Continue reading to learn more about this critical issue.




Increase in Remote Workers with the COVID-19 Pandemic


Safe-at-home and social distancing mandates forced companies to create a virtual work environment. This change is being called a “watershed moment” in the workforce configuration. The June 2020, Conference Board survey of 154 human capital executives showed that they see this as a long-term change.


This anticipated change is the result of both health and economic concerns. Factors include lower real estate costs and decreased access of employees to childcare.


Since the pandemic closed schools and daycares, employees no longer have childcare options. Thus, employers can keep their employees working by moving to remote settings.




Cybersecurity Risks Associated with Telecommuting Jobs


The pandemic not only brought health risks but an increase in cybersecurity attacks . Threats erupted via email and endpoint-security gaps. Much of this resulted from the rapid change to remote work.


In response to these threats, 38 states, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, are taking action. They’ve introduced over 280 new cybersecurity bills.


You may ask why remote settings increase the risk. In the traditional office setting, IT managers control the Wi-Fi networks.


Most home networks have weaker protocols. This means that hackers can more easily access home network traffic.


The greatest cause of data breaches occurs through phishing attacks. These hackers appear legitimate. Their masterfully compelling emails contain dangerous links and attachments. It only takes one employee clicking on the link for the hacker to gain access to the computer.


When the employee connects to the company’s network, the cybercriminal can also gain access. One fatal click can bring the business to a standstill.


Another security risk involves cutting corners. This can occur when systems aren’t encrypted, lack two-factor authentication, or have lax password practices.


In today’s world, it’s not worth the risk. Make sure that all remote workers use encryption and two-factor authentications. This is vital if they access the main network.


Also, establish standards for passwords and enforce password changes on a set schedule. Most experts recommend moving from hardware-based legacy VPNs to cloud-agnostic and scalable solutions. VPNs can leave vulnerabilities in your remote security efforts.




Actions to Mitigate Risks with Remote Workers


Educate employees on cybersecurity and track the user’s compliance with security standards. Part of cybersecurity awareness should teach employees to watch for signs of breaches. This can include:


  • Unexpected installation of new programs
  • Noticeable slowing of computer processing
  • Odd pop-up ads showing on the screen
  • Losing control of the keyboard or mouse


The best practice is to conduct periodic virtual training updates for all employees. Provide updates on the latest cyber-attack strategies.


Also, reiterate the importance of maintaining vigilance as they work remotely. Remind them that no one else should use the company-provided computer for any reason. This can be tempting when working from home.




Do You Have a Remote Workforce?


Does your company have employees working in telecommuting jobs? Are you meeting the cybersecurity standards described in this article? 


Black Bottle IT offers next-generation technology security solutions to ensure cybersecurity compliance. We continuously monitor for vulnerabilities and attacks.


We understand that protecting customer data is the highest priority. 


Contact us today so we can learn about your cybersecurity compliance needs. 


And, click on over to our blog on the Importance of Cybersecurity Training for Your Team.