It’s never been more dangerous to be an institutional investor with access to millions of dollars in investor money. Hackers are targeting these elite investors because these organizations are accustomed to transferring large sums of money, and are perhaps less likely to question an internal request asking to shift funds via wire transfer. This type of cyberattack often begins with a spoofed email that purports to be from a company officer or executive, with specific instructions for the transfer of funds. What the recipient of the email doesn’t realize is that they are essentially putting money right into the hands of cybercriminals, who are then able to quickly disappear with the funds if their ruse is successful. Since the attacks are combining everything from social engineering to find information about the targets, to email address spoofing and then often ransomware or malware attacks to gain access to systems — it’s becoming increasingly difficult to guard against these intrusions.

Cybercriminals Continue to Target High-Stakes Investors

Two of the most recent attacks were against the Kansas University endowment and Community Foundation of Texas, with all of the emails purporting to contain an encrypted message from a chief officer — which prompted the recipient to click the link and infect the systems. With access to millions of dollars in liquid funds and wire transfer protocols in place, this type of investment firm has everything needed to be a prime target for cyberattacks. A single click could have easily cost these organizations millions of dollars that it’s unlikely could be tracked or returned. Even with a range of cybersecurity protocols in place, it’s important to note that the ongoing vigilance of individuals is the best defense against this type of attack.

Ongoing Dangers of Business Email Compromise (BEC) Attacks

Cybercriminals are becoming more adept at encouraging individuals at all levels of an organization to click infected links or otherwise give up their personal identities. This can make a hack extremely difficult to spot because it’s a more sophisticated type of attack than a simple email spoof. You will likely see more organizations putting an alert line on external emails, noting that the email originated outside the organization. This is one of the quick indicators to help people be more aware of the emails that they receive and how they are handled. When combined with the vast amount of personal information available on the public internet, it’s surprising how quickly a hacker can infiltrate your organization. Business email compromise (BEC) attacks are often considered a “gateway drug” that gets hackers more deeply ensconced into your systems, allowing them deep levels of access to private or confidential client information.

Keeping your investment firm safe starts with robust cybersecurity strategies as well as comprehensive training that is provided to all staff on a regular basis. Cybercriminals are savvy in the ways of business and talented at digging into an organization to find exactly the right target before staging their attack. Don’t let your organization fall prey to these dangerous criminals — contact the cybersecurity experts at Coretelligent today at 855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com to schedule your free initial consultation. We have years of experience working with high net-worth individuals and organizations and have a solid strategy and set of solutions in place to provide exceptional protection for investment firms.

With plenty of time on their hands, today’s cybercriminals are getting quite creative in their hacks. One of the most incredibly specific attacks that can net a hacker a massive payday is a SIM swapping attack. This type of attack recently cost a Bitcoin investor $24 million in losses when their SIM was “borrowed” by cybercriminals bent on gaining unlawful access to his Bitcoin account. What’s worse is that this wasn’t just any ordinary investor, this was a tech-savvy individual who rated their personal cybersecurity preparedness as a 9.8 out of 10 — someone who was taking all the known measures to stay safe online. Here is what you need to know to defend against this highly-specialized form of cyberattack.

How Does SIM Swapping Work?

Think about it: your cell phone is the heart of nearly everything you do and is used as your primary login feature for everything from your Twitter account to your online banking or investments and grocery shopping. This is one of the reasons that telecom carriers are so adamant about determining your identity before allowing any changes on your account — they know exactly the level of havoc unauthorized users can cause to your life. Google, Microsoft and other major software vendors tie your online account information tightly to your phone number, but what happens when your phone-based identity is transferred to another SIM card?

SIM cards, also known as Subscriber Identity Modules, are a tiny piece of plastic that provides a unique ID connecting you to your mobile network of choice. You probably only think about SIM cards when you are activating a new cell phone or swapping devices with family members. SIM swapping works when someone is able to fraudulently identify themselves as another individual and convince a telecommunications carrier that a change is authorized. Once the hacker has activated a new SIM on their personal device, they have the keys to the kingdom in terms of your personal email accounts, text message access that can be used to reset passwords and more. The hacker has no need to store your physical device, which makes this a particularly devilish hack.

Protecting Against SIM Swapping Attacks

Proactive security is always best, but you may be feeling overly comfortable with your standard two-factor authentication because it can be quickly overridden by cybercriminals. SIM card scams are often used to take over social media accounts, posting inappropriate content from celebrities. Michael Terpin, the individual who lost nearly $24 million in a single day due to a SIM swapping attack, is currently suing AT&T for nearly 10 times the amount he lost and claiming that the telco giant allegedly tolerated insider criminal activity. A few of the steps that can help protect your account against this type of intrusion include:

  • Stay aware of potential phishing scams, avoiding fake login screens and websites that don’t look legitimate
  • Restrict the personal information that is posted online as this can be skimmed so hackers can pass as you over the phone or online
  • Add two-factor authentication that relies on a physical device, or create a PIN that must be used to make a change with cell phone carriers
  • Create complex, randomized passwords or use a password vault

While no one can reduce the threat of cyberattack to zero, taking these actions will provide an added layer of protection to your online accounts and information. Want to learn more about cybersecurity for your business? These are some of the best practices that our Coretelligent team shares on a regular basis on our blog and the value that we bring to our clients on an everyday basis. Contact us today by calling 855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com to claim your free initial consultation.

You would be hard-pressed to find a business that is not engaged in a degree of technology — from storing and using customer data to utilizing automation in manufacturing. Internal software integrations and data transfers with vendors or clients can add to the challenges, creating a complex spiderweb of interconnected systems that are rife with potential vulnerabilities. It can be difficult to untangle and document the various ways that data is being used within an organization. Fortunately, cybersecurity services providers are able to work closely with your IT and business teams to define areas of vulnerability and create a roadmap for remediation that will help protect your business both now and in the future.

Less Than Half of Data Breaches are Caused by Malicious Intent
Recent studies show that more than 50% of data breaches are caused by human error or system failures. While shocking, this is actually good news for organizations because it illustrates the value of IT preparedness, training and having the right cybersecurity solutions in place. People and processes are often less expensive (but sometimes more difficult!) for businesses to change, but the effort begins with identifying the current state of the organization. This includes a thorough review of the current activities such as data integrations, storage solutions and access levels. It’s not unusual for organizations to find that staff members have a greater degree of access to data than is strictly needed to perform their primary job functions. This can quickly become a problem, especially with the proliferation of phishing emails and ransomware attacks that are triggered when hackers gain access to sensitive systems. Limiting access levels and ensuring that old accounts are deprecated can dramatically reduce the possibility of an attack through these vectors.

Proactive Focus on Security
While the landscape is certainly challenging, the good news is that dedicated IT services teams are working behind the scenes to create a more forward-thinking approach to cybersecurity. This includes everything from aggressive malware filtering and website scans to active monitoring and advanced analytics. These measures are helping to even the playing field for businesses, providing a fighting chance to keep cyber threats at bay. Data consolidation, the introduction of advanced written procedures for risky behavior such as transferring large vendor payments and more are helping to mitigate the cybersecurity risks.

Creating a robust cybersecurity posture should be the goal of every organization. At Coretelligent, our cybersecurity services include providing full systems reviews for our clients that include documenting your current state and preferred future state for security. Our cybersecurity solutions offer state-of-the-art protection for organizations of all sizes, with a 360-degree approach that provides layers of protection. Contact the Coretelligent security experts today at 855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com to schedule your free initial consultation. Whether you’re looking for change management support, cybersecurity solutions or strategy, our professionals stand ready to show you the true power of IT for your organization.

Today’s business environments continue to gain complexity with compliance and cybersecurity issues causing ongoing concerns for technology professionals in a wide range of industries. Life sciences and financial services face the greatest risk due to the high-value information that is stored within the organization — making them a major target for cybercriminals and competitors alike. The costs associated with this type of risk continue to climb, with experts estimating that the aggregate cost of cybercrime will exceed $6 trillion by 2021. While it’s vital that your business makes every effort to reduce the possibility of attack, investing in cyber insurance and legal coverage can help protect your business from the devastating impact of a cybersecurity incident.

What is Cyber Insurance?

Also known as cyber risk or cyber liability insurance, cyber insurance helps protect your business against threats such as malicious hacks, data breaches and more. Before you question whether your business needs this insurance, consider that thousands of small to mid-size businesses are closing their doors each year because of the high cost of recovery after a data breach or malware attack. Cyber policies can help offset a range of costs:

•First-party and third-party reputation management costs
•Investigation of the cybercrime
•Data recovery costs
•Loss of business income due to shutdowns
•Restoration of business systems
•Damages and settlements
•Legal defense funds
•Cybersecurity services from trusted IT providers
•Costs incurred to notify victims of the attack

While this is not an exhaustive list, this represents some of the main expenses that are incurred after a cyber attack.

Maintaining a high degree of operational efficiency is vital to the success of your business. With Coretelligent, you have the peace of mind knowing that your cybersecurity solutions are being managed by an IT services provider with deep experience in the life sciences and financial services market. Our White Glove support strategy ensures that your business has access to the tools and knowledge necessary to protect your business from unnecessary cybersecurity and compliance risks. Contact us today at 855-841-5888 or fill out our quick online form to request a free initial cybersecurity services consultation for your business.

Stakes are increasingly high in the pharmaceutical industry, but the key challenges aren’t necessarily coming from competitors. Instead, cybersecurity issues are the overreaching concern for pharma executives. The complexity of the data integrations between pharmaceutical industries, their vendors and partners have caused significant concerns in recent years, especially after recent incursions such as phishing campaigns more than doubling in the past year. Businesses are required to fend off an average of 71 attacks per year, meaning it’s only a matter of time before your organization falls prey to a cyberattack. With the rise of connected devices and the high value of intellectual property on the dark web, there’s more reason than ever for hackers to target vulnerable pharmaceutical businesses. As if cyberattacks are not enough, compliance issues continue to be a significant expense to pharmaceutical firms. Are you prepared to handle the onslaught of targeted compliance and security difficulties facing your business?

Pharmaceutical Industry Regulations Continue to Increase

Manipulation of information technology and operations systems is causing an avalanche of problems for the pharmaceutical industry, many of which are resulting in ongoing regulations and compliance requirements. Data integrity and security are of the utmost importance, especially as states begin the arduous process of legislating data security for all Americans. HIPAA privacy policies are well-understood by most organizations, but the addition of the new Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected devices can cause unexpected risks to enter the organization.

Putting Appropriate Defense Measures in Place

The growth of cyberattacks that are initiated from within the organization is a chilling prospect for technology leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. This trend requires not only the introduction of advanced technology security solutions but ongoing training for staff members on how to avoid becoming the victim of an attack. Companies may need to fundamentally change the way they do business in order to limit their risk factors as hackers see the extreme gains that they can recognize from their illicit activities. They target the wealth of IP, personal health details and other account-based information stored within a pharmaceutical business and sell that information on the black market. It’s no longer enough to have a single line of defense — organizations must also create strict processes and maintain high standards to keep their business safe.

At Coretelligent, our experts specialize in providing high-quality support that pharmaceutical firms demand. Our team has invested the time to understand the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry today fully, and our technology solutions are tailored to provide the insight and protection that your business needs. Contact us today at 855-841-5888 or fill out our quick online form for a free initial consultation to see how we can leverage our industry knowledge to provide you with the most stringent security and compliance support. Our White Glove support provides you the peace of mind you need to focus on growing your business while our team handles your infrastructure, compliance and cybersecurity.

Many businesses capture, manage and store sensitive data, but few have to worry about the extreme compliance issues required in the world of life sciences. Studies show that the cost of breaches easily tops $3.86 million in 2018 — at the cost of approximately $148 per individual record compromised. However, the primary cause of these biotech and pharmaceutical data breaches might surprise you — the vast majority of all breaches come as the result of phishing attacks. This stark trend insinuates that keeping your internal security in order is every bit as important as ensuring that your firewalls and other external security mechanisms are working properly. Here are a few suggestions from the experts at Coretelligent on keeping your protected health information and intellectual property data safe from internal and external threats.

Monitor Sensitive Data in Physical and Digital Form

There are likely terabytes of data being stored within your organization that may no longer be needed. This information is not benefiting your life sciences business, but it does represent an unnecessary risk that is also a temptation for criminals. Putting in place a strategy that actively reviews and deletes vital information that is no longer viable or needed can help reduce the risk to your organization. An audit of physical and digital information and access points helps form the basis for your cybersecurity strategies in the future.

IoT Security is Imperative

There are millions of connected devices in life sciences, each with the potential to become weaponized by hackers or malicious internal users. Everything from laptops to wearables are a potential threat to your network and the billions of data points that you store. Your WiFi network is an essential element of your security infrastructure, and how each of these devices are managed within that network is of the utmost importance. Be sure patches are applied as soon as they become available, as these are some of the exploits that cybercriminals look for regularly.

Schedule Frequent User Training Sessions

The majority of users are going about their daily work and not planning to take malicious action. However, these well-meaning professionals can be just as dangerous to the security of your sensitive information as a hacker. Helping your users understand the consequences of clicking on an ad or taking action based on a fraudulent email can help protect your biotechnology or pharmaceutical business from disaster.

Regularly Review and Upgrade Perimeter Security

Your business network is protected from external forces by the thinnest of margins: firewalls and antivirus software, anti-malware and more. Safeguarding your network involves not only reviewing and upgrading your perimeter security but also keeping a close watch on how your data is passed between vendors and other information partners. Each data connection should be considered an extension of your data perimeter and should be carefully reviewed.

The cost of breaches continues to rise while consumer confidence in data security remains low, a damaging prospect for organizations in the life sciences sector. The professionals at Coretelligent work with high-risk entities to ensure that your data and business systems are secure from internal and external pressures. Contact us today at 855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com for more information on how we can support your security needs as well as help improve infrastructure and boost productivity for your business.

The one thing you can’t find more of is time, and that’s particularly true for IT departments that are already overtaxed and looking for ways to reduce their workload. When your business infrastructure is slow, your productivity suffers, you risk frustrating customers and staff members and there are even a variety of security risks associated with systems that are not kept up-to-date. Scaling a business onsite can be a challenge for biotech firms because the majority of your technical talent is likely focused on innovation, research, and business applications. Strategically managing your workload starts with determining the core competencies of your business. See how scaling your business starts with managing how — and where — your critical business systems are hosted and managed.

Benefits of Outsourced IT Services

When you find a true technology partner, that organization and group of individuals will work hard to make your business successful. With outsourced IT services, you are gaining the insight of dozens of seasoned resources to help solve your tough business challenges. These IT professionals are likely at the top of their field and focus on continual education as a way to add value to their clients. The near-constant state of change that exists in the biotech world requires quick responses to business stimuli, something that is much easier when you have a flexible infrastructure that allows your business to scale seamlessly.

Providing Consistent Service at Reduced Costs

Keeping your costs under control is a consideration for any business, and many organizations find that IT managed services help reduce unexpected costs and maintain greater consistency in budgeting. With IT managed services, you generally write a contract with your partner that defines in great detail the types of services that are offered as part of your monthly charges. This could be anything from infrastructure and networking maintenance, active monitoring of your security posture, usage reporting, Help Desk support, device management and more. These services are often configurable, allowing you to create the ideal structure for your business needs. This is all while maintaining agreed-upon service levels and the expected speed of your network and business applications.

Smooth Growth, Improved Productivity

Slow computers are not something that people are willing to overlook — they can cause vast levels of frustration and dramatically lowered productivity levels within your organization. Downtime is extremely costly in businesses, especially in technology-based businesses such as biotech or pharmaceutical firms. Even an hour of network downtime can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and productivity. Working with an outsourced IT partner also allows you the ability to improve your operational flexibility by quickly branching new servers or developing new applications.

When you’re ready to expand your business securely and without frustration, contact the professionals at Coretelligent today at 1-855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com. Our co-managed IT services are best-in-class, and we provide a high degree of security to each of our clients. Whether you need help with your network infrastructure, backup and disaster recovery or data compliance strategies, you will receive the personalized support that your biotech business deserves.

The thought of a data breach or other type of cyberattack is enough to keep technology and business professionals up at night, especially if you work for a biotech or other healthcare organization. The data that is stored and utilized by your organization on a daily basis is extremely valuable — not just on the dark web, where you would find personal information — but to your competitors. The potential loss of intellectual property could be staggering to a business, and allow competitors to expand their reach or shift the balance of power in your industry. Biotech firms utilize a large number of connected devices, forming a vast web of information that may be lacking in security at its most basic level.

Protecting Your Connected Devices

Just last week, it surfaced that potentially 2 billion connected devices could be at risk due to 11 vulnerabilities that were found in their operating systems. Six of these threats were considered critical, leading to a wave of publicity around the URGENT/11 security flaws that would allow a complete remote takeover of a device. There were three attack scenarios defined, and some of the devices that were affected at an OS level were within firewalls that were created to keep organizations safe. The thought that attackers can strike at the most humble or complex connected device is a sobering one, especially when you consider the vast scale of this set of threats.

Ensuring Data Security and Compliance

Protecting your data both at rest and while it is in motion are two separate requirements, and data compliance with government regulations adds yet another layer of complexity. Cybercriminals are attentive for any opportunity to hijack vital healthcare information, especially if there’s a possibility that this personally or corporately sensitive data could be sold to the highest bidder. Data compliance is yet another cybersecurity risk for biotech firms, due to the sensitive nature of the personal and healthcare-related information that is being captured and accessed throughout the organization. It’s imperative that you continually review access levels to data and stay up-to-date with the latest patches and security measures on your infrastructure to reduce the possibility of an attack.

Data Connections Are A Point of Vulnerability

While gathering data from partner organizations and working directly with third-party vendors is often a part of life for biotech firms, this could be one of the weakest links in your cybersecurity armor. When you share data with another business, you are trusting that they apply the same — or greater — level of security that you employ in your business. If your partner doesn’t complete the simple tasks such as applying patches in a timely manner, there’s a good possibility that your data could be compromised through no fault of your own. Unfortunately, this risk potential will almost certainly cause some loss to your organization, whether you lose data in an IP grab or lose credibility in the eyes of your customers due to a connected breach.

Cybersecurity and risk management are often cited as two of the greatest challenges for healthcare and biotech companies today, as smaller organizations are not always able to keep track of the required governance and compliance data required by the government. The security and technical professionals at Coretelligent have been working with heavily-regulated organizations such as biotech and pharmaceuticals and understand the steep learning curve associated with this type of work. Contact us today at 855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com to learn more about how we can address your core challenges.

As the need for security increases in the industry, it’s becoming more important to have the right cyber security partner on your side. If you’re currently looking to protect your business against threats, it’s crucial to find a managed services provider (MSP) that has exactly what your company needs. Here are three things to look for in the right cyber security MSP.

Understands the regulatory environment: Compliance regulations can often be confusing, which is why you need an MSP who works with other firms in your space. It’s not enough to find someone who is a good IT service provider – that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the experience you’re looking for. Instead, look for an MSP that truly understands the regulatory environment you live in and aligns compliance with your other business objectives.

Full IT lifecycle provider: Because cyber security is overarching and integrated into so many of your systems, you want to have a partner that can support your entire IT ecosystem. Choosing a partner that is a full IT lifecycle provider will ensure that they can provide everything from technical support to projects to strategic road mapping. Utilizing an MSP that can overlay cyber security best practices and services in a holistic way will markedly improve your overall security posture.

Relevant experience: When looking for the right MSP, you don’t want to turn a blind eye to their experience, or lack thereof. It’s important to find a partner that not only has knowledge of the space but also has relevant experience working in that space. What’s more, choose an MSP that doesn’t shy away from sharing specific stories about how they meet their other clients’ compliance and security needs. And if possible, ask for references. This will help you avoid choosing someone who simply “talks the talk” but can’t “walk the walk.”

Discover what Coretelligent’s customized approach to IT can do for you. Start by learning more about our company or speaking with one of our representatives to request your free cyber security health assessment.

This blog is part of a series. Click here to read the other part of this two part series: 3 Things to Avoid in a Cyber Security MSP

Author: Erik Herring, Sales Engineer, Coretelligent

Pharmaceutical companies have been leveraging the power of Big Data for over a decade, utilizing ever more powerful computing devices to make logical leaps and data correlations that would have been impossible in previous years. Having immediate access to this scale of information allows scientists to build more quickly upon the work of others while also providing an improved experience for patients at healthcare locations. There is no question: cloud-based computing is having a dramatic impact on life sciences and pharmaceutical businesses.

Providing Secure and Immediate Access to Crucial Data

Electronic Health Records (EHR) are a standard requirement for organizations offering healthcare to the public and many support businesses besides. Being able to quickly and securely access this information is crucial to success — and an expectation in terms of providing proactive patient care. Visitors to your healthcare facilities are not patient with filling out paper forms and providing the same information multiple times. With the proliferation of local options for healthcare, clinics need this type of access to cloud-based storage and application data in order to be successful.

Pharma Benefits from Flexible, Scalable Cloud Solutions

It’s not unusual for pharmaceutical businesses to store and access petabytes of information on a regular basis — molecular and gene sequencing and results of clinical studies, just to name a few. The pharmaceutical industry has become adept at harnessing the power of the cloud to drive their analyses, hoping to shave time off of the extensive requirements of bringing a new drug to market. Anything that will speed the approximately 10-year review cycle that can cost billions of dollars has the potential to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry, but there is still a great deal of work to be done before the cloud is fully utilized by these organizations. Turning data into insight is a key requirement for life sciences businesses, which entails tying together disparate software platforms and data sources in a way that provides greater transparency to analysts and scientists alike.

Streamlining Operations and Improving Security

Resource demands can fluctuate based on the stage of any business, and having your infrastructure based in the cloud allows organizations to scale quickly when needed. Providing your business with quick access to consolidated information can help streamline operations by digitizing workflows and creating a more cohesive view of the business. The enhanced focus on platform security, data privacy and compliance requirements demand that life sciences businesses increase their ability to store, secure process and analyze increasingly complex data sets.

Coretelligent has a deep commitment to providing healthcare and life sciences organizations with the secure advanced technology that you need to remain dominant in today’s highly competitive marketplace. See how our proactive technology professionals will work closely with your organization to define your specific needs and create the cohesive solutions that will support the security and compliance needs of your business both now and in the future. Contact us today at 855-841-5888 or fill out our online contact form for a quick response to your requests.