Ensuring Network Security: Best Practices Guide

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the digital world, network security has become an indispensable concern for businesses and individuals alike. With cyber threats growing in sophistication and frequency, it’s crucial to implement robust security measures to safeguard sensitive data and maintain the integrity of your network. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the best practices for ensuring network security that will not only protect your systems but also help you outrank other websites in Google’s search results.

Understanding the Importance of Network Security

Network security is the foundation of a safe and reliable digital environment. It encompasses a wide range of strategies, policies, and technologies designed to defend against unauthorized access, data breaches, and other cyber threats. Here’s why it should be a top priority:

Data Protection

Data is the lifeblood of any organization. Ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data is paramount. Network security measures help prevent data leaks, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential.

Business Continuity

A security breach can disrupt operations, leading to downtime and financial losses. Robust network security safeguards your business’s continuity by minimizing the risk of such disruptions.

Reputation Management

A data breach can tarnish your brand’s reputation. Implementing strong security practices not only protects your data but also maintains the trust of your customers and stakeholders.

Best Practices for Network Security

Now that we’ve established the importance of network security, let’s explore the best practices that will help you fortify your network and outrank competing websites on Google.

1. Conduct Regular Security Audits

To identify vulnerabilities in your network, conduct regular security audits. This involves evaluating your network’s infrastructure, software, and policies to pinpoint weaknesses. Address these vulnerabilities promptly to minimize the risk of cyberattacks.

2. Employ Strong Authentication

Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to enhance user login security. MFA requires users to provide multiple forms of verification, such as a password and a one-time code sent to their mobile device. This significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access.

3. Keep Software and Hardware Updated

Outdated software and hardware are more susceptible to security vulnerabilities. Ensure that all your systems, applications, and devices receive regular updates and patches. This keeps potential entry points for cybercriminals up to date and secure.

4. Educate Your Team

Human error is a common cause of security breaches. Educate your employees about security best practices, such as recognizing phishing attempts and using strong passwords. Regular training and awareness programs can go a long way in strengthening your network’s security.

5. Implement Network Segmentation

Divide your network into segments to limit the potential impact of a breach. By isolating sensitive data and critical systems from the rest of your network, you can contain security incidents and prevent them from spreading.

6. Employ Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS)

IDPS continuously monitor network traffic for suspicious activities and intrusions. They can automatically block or alert administrators about potential threats, allowing for rapid response to security incidents.

7. Back Up Data Regularly

Data backups are a crucial part of network security. In the event of a ransomware attack or data loss, having up-to-date backups ensures that you can quickly recover your data and minimize downtime.

8. Create an Incident Response Plan

Prepare for the worst-case scenario by developing a comprehensive incident response plan. This plan should outline the steps to take in the event of a security breach, ensuring a swift and effective response to mitigate damage.

Network security is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires a multifaceted approach, incorporating the best practices mentioned above to protect your organization’s digital assets effectively. By prioritizing network security, you not only safeguard your data and operations but also enhance your online presence and outrank competing websites on Google. Remember, a secure network is the foundation upon which trust and success are built in the digital age.

Firewall Setup & Optimization: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s digital age, where the internet plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, cybersecurity has become a paramount concern. With cyber threats evolving constantly, protecting your digital assets and sensitive information has never been more critical. That’s where a robust firewall setup and optimization come into play. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the world of firewalls, exploring their importance, types, setup procedures, and optimization techniques to ensure your online safety.

Understanding the Significance of Firewalls

Firewalls, in the realm of cybersecurity, act as a shield between your network and potential threats from the internet. They are your first line of defense, monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic and allowing or blocking data packets based on a set of predetermined security rules. Here are some key reasons why firewalls are indispensable:

1. Protection Against Unauthorized Access

  • Firewalls prevent unauthorized access to your network or computer. They scrutinize incoming connection requests and only allow access to trusted sources, safeguarding your sensitive data.

2. Malware and Virus Defense

  • By examining data packets for malicious code, firewalls thwart malware and viruses from infiltrating your system. This is especially crucial in today’s world, where malware attacks are rampant.

3. Network Privacy

  • Firewalls enhance network privacy by concealing your IP address and making it difficult for hackers to trace your online activities.

4. Regulatory Compliance

  • For businesses, adhering to various regulatory standards is mandatory. A well-configured firewall ensures compliance with data protection regulations.

Types of Firewalls

Before diving into the setup and optimization process, it’s essential to understand the different types of firewalls available:

1. Packet Filtering Firewalls

  • These firewalls inspect individual data packets and determine whether to allow or block them based on predefined rules. While simple, they lack the sophistication of more modern firewall types.

2. Stateful Inspection Firewalls

  • Combining packet filtering with an understanding of the state of active connections, stateful inspection firewalls offer improved security by tracking the state of connections and making decisions based on the context.

3. Proxy Firewalls

  • Proxy firewalls act as intermediaries between your network and the internet. They forward requests and responses, adding an additional layer of security by hiding your network’s internal structure.

4. Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW)

  • NGFWs are the latest evolution in firewall technology. They incorporate deep packet inspection, intrusion detection, and application-level filtering to provide comprehensive security.

Firewall Setup

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of setting up a firewall for optimal protection. While the specific steps may vary depending on your chosen firewall hardware or software, the following are general guidelines:

1. Selecting the Right Firewall Solution

  • Choose a firewall solution that aligns with your needs. Consider factors like scalability, ease of management, and the level of security required. Popular choices include hardware firewalls, software firewalls, and cloud-based options.

2. Network Segmentation

  • Divide your network into segments, separating sensitive data from less critical information. This reduces the attack surface and limits potential damage.

3. Rule Configuration

  • Create firewall rules that dictate how traffic should be handled. These rules should be based on the principle of least privilege, allowing only necessary traffic and services.

4. Regular Updates and Patch Management

  • Ensure your firewall software and firmware are up-to-date. Manufacturers release updates to address vulnerabilities, and staying current is essential for security.

Firewall Optimization

Optimizing your firewall is just as important as setting it up correctly. Optimization ensures that your firewall operates efficiently and continues to protect your network effectively.

1. Performance Tuning

  • Regularly monitor your firewall’s performance and adjust settings as needed. This may include fine-tuning rule sets, optimizing bandwidth usage, and load balancing.

2. Logging and Monitoring

  • Implement robust logging and monitoring procedures to track network activity. This will help you identify suspicious behavior and potential threats in real-time.

3. Security Policy Review

  • Regularly review and update your firewall’s security policies. As your network evolves, so should your firewall rules to adapt to new threats and requirements.

4. User Education

  • Educate your employees or users about safe online practices. Even the most secure firewall can be compromised if users unwittingly click on malicious links or download infected files.

To sum it up, a well-configured and optimized firewall stands as your first and most formidable line of defense against cyber threats in today’s interconnected world. By understanding the various types of firewalls, diligently following proper setup procedures, and continually fine-tuning your firewall’s performance, you can ensure the safety and security of your digital assets. Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and maintaining vigilance is paramount in safeguarding your network and sensitive information.

Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Affecting FortiOS and FortiProxy (CVE-2023-33308)

On July 11th, 2023, Fortinet published a security advisory detailing a remote code execution vulnerability affecting FortiOS and FortiProxy (CVE-2023-33308). This stack-based overflow vulnerability affects proxy policies and/or firewall policies with proxy mode and SSL deep packet inspection enabled. This CVE was discovered and responsibly disclosed to Fortinet by security researchers. At this time, exploitation has not been observed in the wild, and a proof of concept (PoC) exploit has not been published publicly.

If you are an ISG customer that utilizes our firewall management services, we have already addressed these vulnerabilities unless we haven’t been able to reach you. Please contact us or reach out to your ISG representative to schedule service or if you need assistance.


As demonstrated in CISA’s Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, threat actors have actively exploited Fortinet vulnerabilities in the past. Due to the severity of the vulnerability and the fact that similar vulnerabilities have been weaponized by threat actors, ISG and our security partners strongly recommend upgrading to the latest available versions of FortiOS and FortiProxy on all affected devices.

Impacted Products

ProductsVulnerable VersionsPatched Versions
FortiOS7.2.3, 7.2.2, 7.2.1, 7.2.0, 7.0.10, 7.0.9, 7.0.8, 7.0.7, 7.0.6, 7.0.5, 7.0.4, 7.0.3, 7.0.2, 7.0.1, 7.0.0FortiOS version 7.4.0 or above
FortiOS version 7.2.4 or above
FortiOS version 7.0.11 or above
FortiProxy7.2.2, 7.2.1, 7.2.0, 7.0.9, 7.0.8, 7.0.7, 7.0.6, 7.0.5, 7.0.4, 7.0.3, 7.0.2, 7.0.1, 7.0.0FortiProxy version 7.2.3 or above
FortiProxy version 7.0.10 or above

ISG Technology is working with our security partners to monitor intelligence sources for campaigns linked to active exploitation of this vulnerability.


Please follow your organization’s patching and testing guidelines to avoid any operational impact.

Recommendation #1: Upgrade to the Most Recent Version Release

ISG and our security partners strongly recommend updating to one of the following versions outlined in the table below to remediate the newly discovered vulnerability

ProductsVulnerable VersionsPatched Versions
FortiOS7.2.3, 7.2.2, 7.2.1, 7.2.0, 7.0.10, 7.0.9, 7.0.8, 7.0.7, 7.0.6, 7.0.5, 7.0.4, 7.0.3, 7.0.2, 7.0.1, 7.0.0FortiOS version 7.4.0 or above
FortiOS version 7.2.4 or above
FortiOS version 7.0.11 or above
FortiProxy7.2.2, 7.2.1, 7.2.0, 7.0.9, 7.0.8, 7.0.7, 7.0.6, 7.0.5, 7.0.4, 7.0.3, 7.0.2, 7.0.1, 7.0.0FortiProxy version 7.2.3 or above
FortiProxy version 7.0.10 or above

Workaround: Disable HTTP/2 support on SSL Inspection Profiles

If you are unable to upgrade to the versions above, Fortinet recommends in their advisory to disable HTTP/2 support on SSL inspection profiles used by proxy policies or firewall policies with proxy mode, to mitigate the vulnerability.

Fortinet’s example with custom-deep-inspection profile:


Please see the following references for more information.

Fortinet Advisory

NVD-CVE Details

Need Help?

If you need help with any of these patches, please contact us or talk to your ISG Representative.

Microsoft Critical & Actively Exploited Vulnerabilities – July 2023

On July 11, 2023, Microsoft published their July 2023 Security Update with patches for 130 vulnerabilities and 2 advisories, with 6 of these being actively exploited in the wild.

This article provides mitigation guidance regarding multiple critical vulnerabilities.

If you are an ISG customer that utilizes our endpoint and/or server management services, we are and will be addressing these vulnerabilities as patches become available.


Impacted ProductsWindows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022Windows 10, Windows 10 Version 22H2, Windows 11 Version 22H2, Windows 10 Version 21H2, Windows 11 Version 21H2, Windows 10 Version 1809

CVE-2023-32057 (CVSS 9.8 – Critical): Microsoft Message Queuing Remote Code Execution Vulnerability – A threat actor could successfully exploit this vulnerability and achieve remote code execution on the server side by sending a specially crafted malicious Message Queuing Service (MSMQ) packet to a MSMQ server.

CVE-2023-35365, CVE-2023-35366, CVE-2023-35367 (CVSS 9.8 – Critical): Windows Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability – A threat actor could successfully exploit these vulnerabilities and achieve remote code execution by sending specially crafted packets to a server configured with the Routing and Remote Access Service running.

CVE-2023-32046 (CVSS 7.8 – High): Windows MSHTML Platform Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability – To exploit this vulnerability, a threat actor needs the user to open a malicious file that has been delivered to them via email or a compromised website. Successful execution of this vulnerability results in the threat actor gaining the privileges of the user who opened the malicious file.

  • Note: This vulnerability is being actively exploited.

CVE-2023-32049 (CVSS 8.8 – High): Windows SmartScreen Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability – Exploitation requires the user to click on a specially crafted URL and results in the threat actor being able to bypass the Open File – Security Warning prompt.

  • Note: This vulnerability is being actively exploited.

CVE-2023-36874 (CVSS 7.8 – High): Windows Error Reporting Service Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability – A threat actor with local access to the target machine with restricted, normal user privileges can exploit this vulnerability to gain administrator privileges on the machine.

  • Note: This vulnerability is being actively exploited.

CVE-2023-36884 (CVSS 8.3 – High): Office and Windows HTML Remote Code Execution Vulnerability – A publicly disclosed and unpatched vulnerability involves threat actors convincing a user to open a malicious Microsoft Office document to enable remote code execution.

  • Note: This vulnerability is being actively exploited. Microsoft has observed the threat actor tracked as Storm-0978 exploiting this vulnerability in a phishing campaign targeting defense and government entities in Europe and North America.

ADV230001: Guidance on Microsoft Signed Drivers Being Used Maliciously – Threat actors who had already gained administrator privileges on compromised systems were using drivers certified with Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Developer Program (MWHDP) in post exploitation activity. Microsoft has revoked the code-signing certificates and developer accounts associated with this activity.

  • Note: This flaw is being actively exploited.
Microsoft Office
Impacted ProductsMicrosoft Word 2013 RT Service Pack 1, Microsoft Word 2016 , Microsoft Office LTSC 2021, Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, Microsoft Office 2019

CVE-2023-33150 (CVSS 9.6 – Critical): Microsoft Outlook Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability – To exploit this vulnerability, a threat actor would require a user to open a malicious file that has been delivered to them via email or a malicious or compromised website and click through Office Security Prompt(s). As a result the threat actor can escape the Office Protected View.

CVE-2023-35311 (CVSS 8.8 – High): Microsoft Outlook Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability – Exploitation requires the user to click on a specially crafted URL and results in the threat actor being able to bypass the Microsoft Outlook Security Notice prompt.

  • Note: This vulnerability is being actively exploited.

CVE-2023-36884 (CVSS 8.3 – High): Office and Windows HTML Remote Code Execution Vulnerability – A publicly disclosed and unpatched vulnerability involves threat actors convincing a user to open a malicious Microsoft Office document to enable remote code execution.

  • Note: This vulnerability also impacts Microsoft Windows products.


Recommendation #1: Apply Security Updates to Impacted Products

ISG Technology and our security partners strongly recommend applying the available security updates to all impacted products to prevent potential exploitation. For those vulnerable to CVE-2023-32046, Microsoft recommends customers who install Security Only updates install the IE Cumulative updates for this vulnerability.

Note: As always, we recommend following change management best practices for deploying security patches, including testing changes in a dev environment before deploying to production to avoid operational impact.

Windows 10 Version 1607
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50271235027219

Windows 10 Version 1809
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32013, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50275365027222

Windows 10 Version 21H2
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32013, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50275375027215

Windows 10 Version 22H2
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32013, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50275385027215

Windows 10
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 5027230

Windows 11 Version 22H2
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32013, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50271195027231

Windows 11 Version 21H2
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32013, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50275395027223

Windows Server 2008 R2
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Monthly Rollup: 50275405027275
Security Update: 50275315027256

Windows Server 2008
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Monthly Rollup: 50275435027279
Security Update: 50275345027277

Windows Server 2012
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Monthly Rollup: 50275415027283
Security Update: 50275325027281

Windows Server 2012 R2
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Monthly Rollup: 50275425027271
Security Update: 50275335027282

Windows Server 2016
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50272195027123

Windows Server 2019
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32013, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50275365027222

Windows Server 2022
CVE-2023-24897, CVE-2023-32013, CVE-2023-32015, CVE-2023-32014, CVE-2023-29363
Security Update: 50275445027225

Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 Version 15.9
Release Notes

Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 Version 17.2
Release Notes

Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 Version 16.11
Release Notes

Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 Version 17.0
Release Notes

Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 Version 17.4
Release Notes

Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 Version 17.6
Release Notes

Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Update 5
Security Update: 5026610

Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Update 3
Security Update: 5025792

.NET 7.0
Security Update: 5027798

.NET 6.0
Security Update: 5027797

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2019
Security Update: 50024025002403

Recommendation #2: Disable Message Queuing Service (MSMQ) if not Required

To be vulnerable, CVE-2023-32057 requires Message Queuing (MSMQ) service to be enabled. Consider disabling MSMQ if the service is not required in your environment to prevent exploitation.

Note: You can check by looking for a service running named “Message Queuing” and for TCP port 1801 listening on the system.

If disabling MSMQ is not feasible, consider blocking inbound connections to TCP port 1801 from suspicious sources.

Recommendation #3: Disable the Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) role if not Required

To be vulnerable, CVE-2023-35367 requires the Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) role to be enabled, which is not installed by default. Consider disabling RRAS if the service is not required in your environment to prevent exploitation.


Microsoft Vulnerability Advisories:

  • CVE-2023-32057 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-32057
  • CVE-2023-33150 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-33150
  • CVE-2023-35365 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-35365
  • CVE-2023-35366 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-35366
  • CVE-2023-35367 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-35367
  • CVE-2023-32046 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-32046
  • CVE-2023-32049 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-32049
  • CVE-2023-35311 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-35311
  • CVE-2023-36874 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-36874
  • CVE-2023-36884 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2023-36884
  • ADV230001 – https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/ADV230001
  • CVE-2023-36884 Exploitation Details – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security/blog/2023/07/11/storm-0978-attacks-reveal-financial-and-espionage-motives/

Need Help?

If you need help with any of these patches, please contact us or talk to your ISG Representative.

ISG Technology Recognized on CRN’s 2023 Security 100 List

Overland Park, KS, March 15, 2023 — ISG Technology, today announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, will feature ISG Technology to its Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Security 100 category for 2023. CRN’s annual MSP 500 list identifies the industry-leading service providers in North America who are driving a new wave of growth and innovation for the channel through forward-thinking approaches to managed services, helping end users increase efficiency and simplify IT solutions, while maximizing their return on investment.

MSPs have become a vital part of the success of businesses worldwide. MSPs not only empower organizations to leverage intricate technologies but also help them keep a strict focus on their core business goals without straining their budgets.

The annual MSP 500 list is divided into three sections: the MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market; the MSP Elite 150, recognizing large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on- and off-premises services; and the Managed Security 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premises and cloud-based security services.

“We continue to see increasing demand for our managed services, especially our managed security offering.” “Unfortunately, too many companies are experiencing breaches and then getting ahold of us to remediate the situation. It’s keeping our incident response team busy, but we’d prefer to help companies get proactive with their cybersecurity efforts and their overall IT operations.”

Brent McCollum, COO of ISG Technology

“Managed services offer a path for businesses of all sizes to remain efficient and flexible as they grow,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “The solution providers on our 2023 MSP 500 list are bringing innovative managed services portfolios to market, helping their customers win by doing more with the IT budgets they have and freeing up resources to focus on mission-critical activities to drive future success.”

Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company

The MSP 500 list will be featured in the February 2023 issue of CRN and online at www.crn.com/msp500.

About ISG Technology

ISG Technology helps organizations unlock possibilities so they can realize their full business potential. They do it by providing a unique combination of managed IT services, technology consulting, professional services, and cloud/data center solutions.

Part of the Twin Valley Family of Companies and a fourth-generation family business, ISG Technology has grown and evolved into the recognized leader in the Midwest by aligning its success with the long-term success of its clients. They are consistently recognized in CRN’s Top IT Providers in the nation, most recently as part of the Tech Elite 150 for excellence in managed IT services.

ISG is headquartered in Overland Park, KS, with 8 locations across the Midwest including a regional network of SOC II Certified data centers. For more information please contact Scott Strickler, Director of Marketing, ISG Technology, 913-826-6058.

About The Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequalled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

© 2023 The Channel Company LLC. CRN is a registered trademark of The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Channel Company Contact:

Natalie Lewis

The Channel Company


Why Your Medical Office Needs to Get Serious About HIPAA Compliance

It’s no secret that HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a highly important topic for medical practices. While it may often be forgotten or swept under the rug, getting serious about HIPAA compliance can save your practice from costly fines and penalties associated with data breaches, inadequate risk assessments, and improper record-keeping.

So how does one go about getting serious about HIPAA compliance?

How Your Medical Practice Benefits From HIPAA Compliance

Besides the fines and penalties, the most important reason to get serious with HIPAA compliance is its ability to streamline processes seamlessly from paper to electronic records. Moreso, all of this ensures your reputation and even your livelihood stay intact.

When making that transition from paper to electronic records, it’s important to have a plan. That means considering the following questions:

  • What data is most valuable?
  • Are security measures up to date?
  • What risks may be associated with accessing and storing this data?
  • Are there any gaps in compliance that need to be addressed?

Good news—you don’t have to answer these questions alone. Having a compliance partner who is knowledgeable in the field and can ensure your office’s security is paramount.

Protect Your Patient’s Records, Protect Your Reputation

Imagine you’re a patient and you want to share your medical information with another doctor. HIPAA makes it possible for you to do that without having to worry about that info being shared with someone else. Moreover, HIPPA can ensure the following for patients:

  • Privacy and security of their medical records
  • Controls access to data
  • Patients having the right to access their own medical records
  • Ensuring accuracy of patient information so nothing is lost or miscommunicated

Medical information is a vulnerable thing, so it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect your patients’ information and make sure they feel safe and secure. In return, your reputation will stay intact and the trust of your patients will remain.

Don’t Do it Alone—Get Serious About HIPAA Compliance

A complex and vital process such as compliance is no feat that should be done alone—you should get a compliance partner to help you. According to UpGuard, “As of November 2022, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has settled 126 cases of HIPAA violations for over $133 million”. Doing it alone leaves you at risk for data breaches and even costly fines with the OCR.

An experienced partner can provide customized solutions tailored to your unique needs and will assist with all aspects of the process from establishing your privacy and security policies to training your employees on how to properly handle patient data.

You don’t want to be left in a situation where you are scrambling to become compliant. You need a partner that can get serious and stay ahead of the process with you.

ISG is Your Partner in HIPAA Compliance

ISG is a compliance partner with extensive experience in the medical industry. Our team of professionals will be able to provide you with everything necessary for compliance and make sure that your practice is fully compliant.

We pride ourselves in taking a proactive approach, making sure all aspects are covered, and the process stays on track. That’s why we:

  • Conduct risk assessments to ensure all areas are compliant
  • Provide customized solutions tailored to your unique needs
  • Train employees on how to properly handle patient data
  • Ensure your office is HIPAA compliant and staying up-to-date with the latest regulations.

If you’re ready to get serious about HIPAA and make sure your office is fully compliant, contact ISG today. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

5 Cybersecurity Tips to Remember During the Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebration. But they are also a time when your personal information is most at risk. Cybercriminals take advantage of the holiday season to try and steal your data and money.

This is why it’s more important than ever to be aware of cybersecurity risks and take steps to protect yourself during the holidays. Here, we will discuss 5 cybersecurity tips to remember during the holidays.

Cybersecurity is More Important Than Ever During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a great time for cybercriminals. This is because, more than ever before, people are shopping online and entering their personal information into websites without considering the risks.

Cybercriminals know that this time of year, customers have an increased demand for online services. They also know that people are more likely to be in a rush and may not take the necessary steps to protect their information.

As a result, it’s important to be aware of cybersecurity risks and stay vigilant while using your personal information online during the holidays.

5 Cybersecurity Tips to Keep in Mind During the Holiday Season

It’s more important than ever to be aware of cybersecurity risks and take steps to protect yourself during the holidays. Here are five tips!

1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

First of all, there is a lot of lingo that comes with talking about cybersecurity. It is important to have a good idea of what certain words and phrases mean when joining this conversation.

MFA is a security measure that requires two or more components to authorize access – usually, something you know (a PIN or code), something you have (a security key or app), and something you are (biometrics like face ID or fingerprint). By enabling MFA on accounts and services, you can ensure that it is not just one account password preventing your personal data from getting into the wrong hands.

2. Only Input Personal Information in Trusted Sites

It is important to only input personal information such as credit/debit card numbers, addresses, and Social Security numbers on trusted sites. To ensure you are visiting a secure website look for “https” at the beginning of the address and make sure you trust the organization.

3. Beware of Phishing

Cybercriminals may try to steal your personal information by sending phishing emails disguised as genuine and legitimate messages, so be sure to exercise caution when dealing with any suspicious emails.

Over 15 billion phishing emails are passed through the internet every day with 83% of organizations saying they experienced phishing attacks in 2021. Look for inconsistencies in the email address, spelling/grammar errors, or requests for sensitive information such as usernames and passwords.

4. Update Software

Outdated software can potentially leave you more vulnerable to malicious attacks, so make sure to keep all of your devices up-to-date with the latest security patches. Outdated software is a major source of network insecurity.

Partner with ISG to Boost Your Cybersecurity

With cybersecurity being a larger threat than ever and hackers constantly innovating and getting more sophisticated—protecting and preparing your business is a massive responsibility. Managed Security through a cybersecurity partner has become more of a necessity. 

ISG Technology’s fully managed security solution protects networks from existing and future cybersecurity threats. With ISG as your cybersecurity partner, we allow you to focus on your business as we take care of its cybersecurity.

By taking the time to understand these tips, you can better protect yourself and feel fully safe during this holiday season and beyond. Contact us today to make sure your business is equipped and secured with the right cybersecurity partner you need for your business. 

Financial Institutions Waging War on Ransomware

The content of this blog post is based on our recent webinar that you can watch here

Cybercriminals follow where the money is. With all the money involved in financial institutions, it is no surprise they are one of the most threatened organizations. 

It is vitally important to make sure your financial institution remains secure and compliant against cyber threats and has a security response plan in place in case you do suffer an attack.

Don’t Play the Blame Game

There is no room for passing blame when getting to the bottom of a security issue or vulnerability. Blaming discourages people from coming forward and getting all the information IT security professionals need to solve the problem. The person who is attacked is the victim, and the victim should never be blamed.

The Journey: Constant Patching and Configuration

Constantly patching and configuring vulnerabilities in your network is one way to keep your institution safe from attacks. New threats come along constantly, but so do new patches and protection procedures. Staying on top of it could be what saves your institution from an attack. 

It is a constant journey—there is no destination. Simple policies can go a long way for security preparation. Security awareness training for employees on a regular basis, phishing tests, audit firewalls, vulnerability tests, and risk assessments are all simple low-costing steps to take to better prepare, educate, and protect your institution. 

What you Should Look for in a Cyber Security Partner

Whether it is data, physical assets, or personal information—it is important to define what you are trying to secure when looking for a cybersecurity partner and where that information is. It is also helpful to contact their past or current clients and see what their experience was like. 

Cloud Data, Responsibility, and Cyber Insurance 

Cloud services are incredibly helpful for business. However, moving data to the cloud is moving your data to another data center—this does not mean you are no longer responsible for it. The same compliance and checks are expected. You are still liable for the security of your data.

When it comes to the cloud, it is important to know exactly what your cloud provider’s patch strategy is and know if there have been background checks on their employees. Your cyber insurance should not be your cyber response policy. 

It is also very important to name someone in your institution responsible for security. It has to be made a key responsibility and an organizational value and have someone be in charge of it. You could hire security staff, train everyone and make everyone responsible, or get managed security services

Common Threats to the Financial Industry 

There are many cybersecurity threats to financial institutions. SQL injection, credential phishing, credit card manipulation or theft, and remote employees’ login information are some of the most prevalent threats facing the financial industry. 

Credibility and Insurance when Breached 

Having IT security, executives, and public relations professionals involved in the conversation is vitally important when it comes to a response to a crisis. Having an outline and knowledge about what should be said to the customers and consumers to keep credibility after a disaster should be part of an insurance policy. 

It is important to publicly respond correctly when something happens. Cyber insurance has to be looked at from an executive and PR perspective as well as a technical one.  

The financial industry is a massive target for cybercriminals. ISG Technology has the proper security controls and preparation for cybersecurity attacks that are essential for your institution’s protection and can be your guard against cyber criminals. Contact us today for a consultation with our experts and see how we can help keep your institution safe. 

Educators Waging War on Ransomware

The content in this blog is based on a recent webinar hosted by ISG Technology that you can watch here.

With the development and innovation of technology that we see in our world today, there are dangerous innovations being developed as well—cyber attacks. As technology becomes more and more prominent, so do cybercriminals. 

No matter what industry you are in, every business needs to be prepared and have the right cybersecurity protocols and protections in place. Even those working in education. 

Though educators do not seem like targets to cyber criminals—no industry is safe from cyber-attacks unless the right measures are put in place. Everyone is a target. 

The Explosion of Online Education Resources

If you consider the spectrum of education from kindergarten to higher education, there is an incredible amount of educational resources out there. Though students have started to return to schools after the pandemic, the expansion of online resources has not stopped. 

Ransomware has also become very prevalent in the education space. There is a lot of sensitive information involved with education. In K-12 education, one in every three devices contains some kind of sensitive data. 

How Hackers Can Get in Through and Securing IoT

Ransomware attacks are happening everywhere and from every point. There are countless points of entry to your network. 

The network that the devices in your school are connected to, or the Internet of Things (IoT), is very important to consider. It could be a point of entry for ransomware attacks that is not secure. It can feel overwhelming, but there has to be a plan put in place and effective implementation to make sure your network is secure. 

Double Extortion

If you fall victim to ransomware, hackers lock up your data and force you to pay for the encryption. What’s happening now is hackers are copying our data—and once you pay for the encryption—they threaten to expose your sensitive data unless you pay more. This is called Double Extortion.

There are a lot of malware encounters in the education space as well. 5.5 million encounters were reported just from May to June this year.  

K-12 Cyber Security Act

The CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) is coming out with guidelines and toolkits to address and prepare for cybersecurity issues schools are facing. However, the problem is so great that schools need to go deeper. 

Higher Education Institutions Have Unique Data

In higher education, there is a lot of data and research involved – sensitive information about students and teachers. A lot of this data can be very useful for cybercriminals.

Policy and Procedure and The Consequences of not Protecting Infrastructure

When it comes to vulnerability, it is important to find a security provider that exposes you to the holes in your system. With so many threats, the policy and its process is the key. Phishing simulation software can also be very helpful to stay on guard against attacks. 

Failing to protect your infrastructure is going to bring consequences. Whether that be at the cost of time, money, or reputation. It puts your people at risk. 

Fundamentals, Visibility, and Tracking – The Keys to Success

Setting up fundamental security measures can make a huge difference in protecting your network. Measures such as an active directory, MFA, and a password protection policy. Getting these elements down will allow you to focus on the larger issues facing your organization. 

Making your IT infrastructure 100% visible to those in charge of security operations and having the ability to track and gather the metrics can dramatically change your protection and security. The two most important metrics in security operations are the time it takes to detect an issue and the time it takes to remediate (response time). 

ISG Technology has the tools and expertise to work with your organization to make sure the proper controls are in place to protect and prepare your infrastructure against cyber attacks. 

To find out more about how to protect and prepare your organization and its students against cyber threats and ransomware, contact us today.

Power of Humans

In a recent webinar, we discussed why humans are so important to the IT world. And why it’s not just a tool discussion, but a human one.

Faulty Integrations

In the cybersecurity space, expertise is slim. Because of this, people try to integrate with systems, trying to find expertise through technology.

Unfortunately, it takes one faulty piece to bring the whole chain down. This is why humans are so important to technology: without them, the technology would falter and not be able to solve why for itself. That’s where we come in by implementing procedures on how to not only prevent but prepare.

Employee Training

Employees are often the weak link to a business when it comes to cybersecurity. While experts can spot faults, non-experts can create them.

According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breaches Investigations Report, 82% of data breaches involved a human element. This includes incidents in which employees expose information directly (for example, by misconfiguring databases) or by making a mistake that enables cyber criminals to access the organization’s systems.

Your team isn’t trained in cybersecurity which puts your organization at great risk. A plan needs to be in place because preparing for when and not if a threat is going to occur puts you in a better place to mitigate any damage. Once you have your cybersecurity plan in place it’s vital that this is communicated to your entire team. 

Preparing for Disaster

Being in the cloud isn’t enough anymore, knowing how and where you’re backing up your data is important. Veeam took up a 3-2-1 principle for your data that is gaining traction. Because there is no one solution to data protection, taking this approach ensures you’re covering your bases.

This principle allows a foundation of rules that can be flexible for your specific needs:

  • Production copy
  • Local copy
  • Off-site copy

For extra security, an additional copy can be used: an immutable copy of that data. This ensures that if any component fails, you have that data copied in multiple places to be able to recover it.

On top of that, testing that backup is vital to ensure it’s doing it’s job. It could be corrupt so regularly testing it to make sure it’s not a waste of time and your backup isn’t faulty could save you an incredible amount of data.

IT Burnout

Companies often think one person can be their cybersecurity team and often, that person has other tasks outside of monitoring data. This is a common mistake companies make: putting that security on one person instead of assembling a team.

Often, when humans look at something for too long, they start to experience burnout. In this case, the employee handling the data and staring at it day in and day out can cause slip-ups. They will start letting things through because their guard isn’t up like it was at the beginning. This is why it’s important to have fresh eyes on the data and rotate employees through different tasks, as well as taking breaks.

60% of employees in data security jobs leave their position yearly for a new one due to this burnout. It is extremely hard to replace people in these kinds of positions and the rate will have to go up when experiencing that turnover.

We Need Humans

Humans are necessary to technology because they bring expertise, problem-solving skills, and a fresh perspective. Without them, technology would falter and fail. When it comes to cybersecurity in today’s threat landscape, humans need to be a top priority and treated as such with training, fresh perspectives, and teamwork. It’s not just about the technology, but the people behind it that make it run smoothly.

ISG Technology can work with your company to ensure you have the proper technology in place to proactively protect your organization.   Give our team a call today or visit our contact us page to schedule a consultation with one of our cybersecurity experts.