All Posts By

thinkCSC

vCIO

Improve IT Security with a vCIO

By | Managed IT Services, Managed Security, vCIO | No Comments

Unless you are a major corporation, hiring a full-time CTO or CIO is often beyond your means, as the average salary of a CIO in the U.S. is over $200,000 per year. But going without an IT security expert at your disposal can potentially cost you even more, depending on the severity of the inevitable breach that will occur if your IT security is not up to speed.

A vCIO can Offer You the Best of Both Worlds

A virtual CIO – or vCIO – on the other hand, gives you the C-level expertise you need to operate your business with the best risk management tools available without spending $200,000 or more plus benefits for another C-level executive. Our vCIO service is an integral piece of the managed services we provide our clients, and it comes at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own Chief Information Officer.

vCIO ROI

Having hands-on access to CIO-level expertise, without the cost, means you not only have top-notch cybersecurity protection for your business, but you also have the funds necessary to invest in comprehensive cybersecurity for your organization.  From investments in infrastructure to better employee training, you can more effectively manage risk.

What Does a vCIO Do?

We remove the stress from your risk-management efforts by providing support and insight about risk management, remediation efforts, and the general effectiveness of your cybersecurity program.  Our virtual CIO role exists so that we can help your organization achieve the proper cybersecurity governance within your organization.

If we’re all honest with each other, a business could go just about anywhere to obtain cloud services or implement IT security. You can click a link and buy services online and never even meet the people who store your valuable data. And many businesses often choose their IT services based on who offers the best price at the time. But smart business leaders see the growing role IT plays in the everyday operation of their organizations and seek something more than break-fix solutions.

– Tom Hastings, thinkCSC President

C-Level Guidance without C-Level Costs

vCIO services level the playing field for small- and medium-sized organizations that can now have access to the same level of expertise as large corporations, without bearing the cost of a full-time CIO. In today’s globally competitive, rapidly transforming environment, small and midsize businesses must find ways to remain as competitive as possible, and when it comes to business IT, the vCIO solution is a great equalizer.  At thinkCSC, our vCIO is a free service that is provided as part of our managed services. Your vCIO will:

  • Take time to understand your business and industry
  • Understand your vision and provide solutions
  • Solve problems and ease pain points, proactively seeking solutions that keep your organization ahead of the competition
  • Demonstrate business acumen and a commitment to delivering customized solutions that align with your business goals and strategy
  • Provide regular, comprehensive reviews of your infrastructure and security and follow up with strategic guidance and solutions
  • Partner with you on the implementation of customized tech solutions designed to help your organization more effectively meet business objectives
  • Align IT infrastructure, applications, and security to organizational needs

The net results are proactive insights and informed decisions. Uninformed choices often result in irreparable damage. Our team does the legwork and research for you to ensure you make IT decisions that are strategic and cost-effective. We identify IT issues before they cost you time and money, by conducting a network assessment, inventorying your IT systems and licenses, identifying potential risks, and tagging obsolete systems for replacement.

What Can thinkCSC Do for Your Business?

At thinkCSC, we take security seriously, offering innovative levels of security monitoring for our clients. Cyber threats are a normal part of doing business, but these risks can, and should, be addressed and abated. Partnering with the right managed services provider does make a difference. Today’s MSP does more than just provide technology and facilitate server upgrades; the right MSP is an integral layer of your cybersecurity, providing the expertise you need to remain competitive, secure, and in business. We can partner with your Columbus-region organization to develop a unique solution designed to fit your business model. Take the first step towards advanced cybersecurity practices and contact us today to learn more about our managed security and vCIO services.

password spraying

Citrix Data Breach – What You Need to Know

By | Data Security, thinkCSC Security Alert | No Comments

Recently, Citrix, a U.S.-based software firm, confirmed that the “international cyber criminals gained access to the internal Citrix network” and downloaded business documents and other files. The hackers gained access using a method called “password spraying.”

What Is Password Spraying?

Password spraying occurs when hackers use a list of common passwords to try to breach the system. They sometimes use passwords leaked from other breaches, according to Dark Reading, hoping that employee reuse their passwords at work.

How Do You Protect Your Organization from Password Spraying?

Nothing makes a stronger argument for more stringent password requirements for your employees than the results of this study conducted by the National Cyber Security Centre, UK’s independent authority on cybersecurity:

  • 75% of the participants’ organizations had accounts with passwords that featured in the top 1,000 passwords
  • 87% had accounts with passwords that featured in the top 10,000

Allowing your employees to set their own passwords puts your organization at risk.

Most people don’t want to remember numerous usernames and passwords for multiple accounts and programs, and many don’t feel confident in their ability to accurately recall that information. More so, they dislike having to regularly change passwords on individual accounts and being forced to forget previous passwords in exchange for new ones. To deal with this frustration, they tend to do one of two things (or both):

  • Re-use the same usernames and passwords across multiple accounts
  • Write down their usernames and passwords, and store them in their workspace (usually in a place that is easy to find, often on their desk or in a top drawer)

Learn a Lesson from Citrix

If you do not have strong password security and password policies, today is the day to change that practice. Passwords should be long, randomly generated, changed often, and only one layer in many of your overall security effort. You should also be monitoring the Dark Web. thinkCSC is here to help ensure your cybersecurity systems are strong and vibrant, to assist you in your preparation for and response to cyberattacks. Together, we can avoid the mistakes that are common among so many businesses and organizations, in the end becoming as secure as possible in today’s technological world.

thinkCSC provides Dark Web monitoring services provided through a strategic partnership with ID Agent, provider of Dark Web monitoring and identity theft protection solutions. With Dark Web ID, thinkCSC can now offer 24/7 monitoring of millions of sources, including botnets, criminal chat rooms, peer-to-peer networks, malicious websites, bulletin boards, and illegal black-market sites, to alert you of stolen or compromised data and passwords.

While thinkCSC believes that employees will always be the first line of defense against ransomware attacks, the only real solution is for leaders of all –organizations – businesses of all sizes, government entities, schools, hospitals, and –others – to invest in stronger IT security that includes offsite backup and recovery and managed security. These protections, combined with ongoing staff training, strict policies, and constant vigilance, are an absolute necessity in today’s cyber environment.

For new customers interested in information on obtaining our services, please contact us at sales@thinkcsc.com.

Cybersecurity is a Business Essential

By | Cybersecurity, Data Security | No Comments

No business, regardless of size, is immune to cybercrime. Unfortunately, not every business has the resources to fuel an entire IT department with the latest technology. This very concern, however, is what feeds the misconception that a viable cybersecurity platform is unattainable and is what deters small- and medium-sized businesses from implementing the right strategies. Updated technology is essential, but what is more important is establishing a culture of cybersecurity. Every business can follow basic protocols that will protect private data.

Every account should be properly secured.

Remembering passwords is tough, which is why people create passwords that are simple to decipher and apply those same passwords to multiple accounts. However, if a password is easy for your employees to remember, it’s too easy for hackers to uncover. Use a password manager that creates unique passwords across all accounts and implement multifactor authentication to confirm identities.

Train and re-train employees.

Education is a strong defense against hackers. It doesn’t take a technical expert to create a phishing email, and such scams are often convincing enough to fool even the most talented IT professionals. Encourage your employees to be on the lookout for suspicious emails and promote a zero-trust policy. Employees should never click on a link unless they can be sure of its origins; require them to report suspicious or unusual activity.

Include personal devices in your security strategy.

You might think that establishing a policy of no personal devices for work would be effective, but let’s be realistic: Your employees are going to use their phones and tablets to get things done. It’s part of what makes your people productive and flexible; so, instead of prohibiting the practice, ensure that you have strict policies in place for how personal devices are used, as well as robust mobile device security and management protocols. If necessary, you can utilize a VPN so that all employees have access to an encrypted channel regardless of location.

Don’t test with real data.

This may seem obvious, but many developers test unsecured systems with real copies of confidential information. Cybersecurity policies should encompass all data and programs, and if you’re running a test, use inconsequential data as a substitute, for testing purposes. Hackers are on the lookout for these types of weaknesses, and without even realizing it, you could be installing into your networks a freshly tested data that is infected with malware.

Open the door to communication with your team.

Placing blame when mistakes are made benefits no one in an organization. By building a culture of trust and open communication, your employees will feel comfortable reporting unusual activity or even admitting that they have clicked a link they shouldn’t have. This allows security professionals to mitigate a data breach and prevent further loss, if any has occurred. When employees are comfortable reporting vulnerabilities, you learn of potential disasters before they happen and can use the incidents as training opportunities.

IT security is about more than hardware. Your strategy should address your organization’s entire infrastructure and the data critical to your operations and to your consumers. These simple procedures allow everyone within your organization to act as a defense against cyberattacks. No hardware can account for human error, and policies must address this vulnerability to mitigate risk and protect business outcomes.

A managed service provider can offer your business the best solutions possible and work diligently to ensure that the percentage you budget to IT is worth every cent. Partnering with the right managed services provider does make a difference. Today’s MSP does more than just provide technology and facilitate server upgrades; the right MSP is an integral layer of your cybersecurity. At thinkCSC, cybersecurity is simply factored into everything we do. We can partner with your Columbus-region organization to develop a unique solution designed to fit your business model. Take the first step towards advanced cybersecurity practices and contact us today to learn more about our enhanced Managed Security options.