Posts

Solving Cybersecurity on-demand webinar

On-demand webinarWe get it. As executives and IT professionals, you are busy. To that end, we are debuting a new series of short on-demand webinars intended to answer the most commonplace requests we receive. These webinars are designed to connect your firm’s real-world problems with the solutions that address them. They are short and available on your timetable—no signing up for a scheduled webinar and then missing it because you get pulled into a meeting!

The first video is for financial services firms needing guidance on strengthening cybersecurity readiness and compliance response.

Better understand how to effectively respond to the moving target of the twin challenges of cybersecurity and compliance with our free on-demand webinar.

This short compliance and cybersecurity webinar focuses on the following topics:

  • IT Pillars of compliance
  • Cybersecurity priorities for SEC compliance
  • Tips on how to improve cyber readiness and meet compliance
  • And more!

→ Sign up here to watch the webinar.

On-demand webinar

CISA alert

Critical Cyber Threats - CISAYesterday, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency (CISA), the federal agency charged with protecting the nation’s cyber infrastructure, released a notice from the National Cyber Awareness System. Based on recent malicious cyber incidents in Ukraine, CISA urges organizations across all sectors and of any size to be on alert for malicious cyber activity. The agency also provided a checklist of actions to take immediately.

To reduce the likelihood of destructive cyber intrusions, CISA recommends that business leaders immediately:

  1. Institute multi-factor authentication
  2. Ensure that software is up to date
  3. Disable all ports and protocols that are not essential for business purposes
  4. Review and implement strong controls for cloud services
  5. Conduct vulnerability scanning

CISA also advises that organizations take the following steps to detect potential intrusions:

  1. Identify and assess unusual network behavior. Enable logging to investigate issues better.
  2. Protect networks with antivirus and antimalware software and that these tools are up to date.
  3. Closely monitor traffic and review access controls if dealing with Ukrainian organizations

Additional recommendations can be found at CISA Insights: Implement Cybersecurity Measures Now to Protect Against Potential Critical Threats.

If your organization requires assistance with implementing these and other cybersecurity initiatives, reach out to our security experts.

 

Business technology trends

Think About It
It is no secret that business needs to stay on top of the ever-changing technology landscape. Companies that do not keep up will not succeed in the digital age. But, depending on how fast your business adapts, you could be missing out—or left behind altogether.

As a new year begins, we start to see lists touting the latest information technology trends to watch. However, it can be a challenge for non-technological business leaders and busy IT managers to keep up, digest, and make thoughtful decisions about the technologies in which to invest.

In this post, I share nine tech trends that we consider the most impactful for our clients and similar companies in the coming year.

For a deeper dive on how these trends will impact your business, download the free white paper → The Top 9 Business Technology Trends to Prepare for in 2022.

The Top 9 Business Technology Trends to Prepare for in 2022.What Are the Biggest Technology Trends for 2022?

  1. Data Fabric

Gartner defines data fabric as a “concept that serves as an integrated layer (fabric) of data and connecting processes.”

  1. Distributed Enterprises

As we have seen the rise of remote and hybrid work, we also see an increase in the distributed enterprise model. The distributed model entails co-locating various teams that make up a company.

  1. Cybersecurity Mesh

Escalating cyber threats and decentralizing the workplace requires an innovative approach to cybersecurity. Enter the concept of cybersecurity mesh which broadens defense beyond a central physical plant.

  1. Hyperautomation

The growing utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in business processes has been a powerful technology disrupter. Hyperautomation is one of the leading outcomes of this development.

  1. Privacy-enhancing computation

Privacy-enhancing computation (PEC) is part of a collection of methods helping to solve the challenge of achieving data privacy.

  1. Low-Code/No-Code

Low-code and no-code techniques allow non-developers to piece together without specialized knowledge.

  1. Predictive Analysis

Predictive analysis is a data-driven assessment that is used to forecast the likelihood of a given future outcome using historical data and machine learning.

  1. Networking, Connectivity, and Security for Remote and Distributed Work

Whether part of a formalized hybrid or distributed workplace model or just a liberal remote work policy, dealing with protecting data and systems is the new normal.

  1. Cybersecurity

Finally, cybersecurity deserves to be singled out as it will remain a constant focus for IT in the coming year. Discover which types of cyber attacks are expected to increase in 2022 in the whitepaper.

Technology Trends and Strategy

While these are not the only tech trends of note, they are the trends that we expect to have the most impact on SMBs in specific sectors. We, at Coretelligent, will be tracking these trends and collaborating with our clients as they navigate the challenges and opportunities they bring.

The business landscape is constantly changing, and it’s crucial to adjust your business strategy accordingly. As a leading managed service provider with industry-specific experience and a full suite of IT solutions (including IT strategy and planning, cloud services, and more), Coretelligent is exceptionally well-positioned to help executives and business owners decode these trends. We can help guide your business in determining what technology enhancements are appropriate to incorporate into your technology strategy.

Reach out to learn more about our solutions and continue the conversation about technology and strategy.


Chris Messer, Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, HeadshotAbout Chris

As Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, Chris Messer is a transformational and strategic IT leader who establishes and leads Coretelligent’s technical vision and technological development. Click here to learn more about Chris.

Emerging Threats Signal More Trouble for Financial Services Cybersecurity

Hedge funds, private equity companies, venture capital, and other financial services firms are prime targets for cyber criminals seeking to compromise data-rich institutions. Additionally, as keepers of valuable personal identifiable information (PII) and propriety data, the financial services sector is subject to increasing regulatory requirements as the cybersecurity threat landscape expands.

While financial firms have been highly motivated to make significant investments in cyber security, the need for risk management is only deepening from persistent threats. The Robinhood data breach is a recent reminder of the danger and the ease with which threat actors can gain access to networks. With over seven million customers affected, the Robinhood breach is the largest in history.

According to representatives from Robinhood, the cyber attack, which began with a social engineering exploit, has been contained and did not include social security numbers or account details. But what about the next time? What if the PII from over seven million customers found its way for sale on the dark web? The cascading consequences are staggering to contemplate.

“Financial services companies are incredibly popular targets because there are always new customers feeding the demand for personal and financial data to sell or use as leverage,” shares Chris Messer, CTO at Coretelligent. “Whether criminals are targeting your customers’ data to directly exploit, sell on the Dark Web, or to hold for ransom, the potential fallout for impacted clients and the financial and reputational risk to your business is extreme.”

There are more than a few emerging cyber threats that have security teams on edge. For example, the development of AI that can write better spearphishing emails than humans has staggering implications considering how many data breaches begin as phishing attacks. And don’t forget that phishing attacks are up by 22% in 2021.

In addition, AI-powered malware is a concern since it can target particular endpoints, making it more effective and profitable for hackers to cripple critical infrastructure and steal data with disruptive attacks. Finally, smishing incidents (like phishing, but via SMS) are also likely to increase in severity as attackers capitalize on a workforce that is increasingly doing business via their smartphones.

Multi-layered Approach to Information Security for Financial Service Organizations

Since businesses within the financial services industry are already required to have certain protections in place, it’s tempting to think that your organization is secure. But, unfortunately, between the increase in frequency and the changing nature of attacks—combined with the ever-changing compliance response—your cybersecurity implementation is not one-and-done. Instead, to keep up, a robust cybersecurity posture requires constant monitoring, continuing education of employees, periodic vulnerability assessments, regular penetration testing, and expert threat intelligence.

Coretelligent recommends implementing overlapping layers of security called defense-in-depth to protect your organization fully from ransomware attacks and other cyber incidents. These individual layers should include everything from easy-to-implement practices to complex security tools to defend your financial services organization. This defense-in-depth infographic highlights the cybersecurity strategy and best practices that Coretelligent employs for continuous multi-layered protection. These include next-generation firewalls, endpoint security, patch management and security updates, access management policies, advanced spam filtering, and much more.

Defense-in-depth

Coretelligent’s Multi-layered Cybersecurity Solution

Are you looking to evaluate your organization’s current security coverage? Use our Cybersecurity Evaluation Checklist to help assess your firm’s cybersecurity readiness. This checklist is a jumping-off point to help your firm determine its current cyber risk exposure and readiness for critical event management.

After completing the checklist, reach out to learn more about how Coretelligent can help to strengthen your cybersecurity posture now and into the future.

Why are Phishing Emails so Dangerous and How Can You

For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are sharing some of our articles and free resources that can be used to help educate your team about the dangers of phishing emails and how to protect against them.

Though it’s been around for a while, phishing attacks continue to be one the most common attacks and a favorite among hackers for their effectiveness and simplicity. These types of malicious attacks account for 90% of all data breaches.

Phishing schemes target the weakest link in the security chain–individual users. Phishing messages usually look like legitimate emails and include suspicious links or a malicious attachment made to look like legitimate links or a document from a trusted source. Use these resources to educate yourself and your end-users on better recognizing fraudulent emails.

7 Ways to Combat Phishing Emails

  1. Humans play a critical role in data breaches. Phishing scammers look for human errors to exploit and use social engineering tactics to obtain sensitive information and login details. Learn more by reading Cybersecurity and the Human Element.
  2. With email being the primary communication tool of business, it’s no surprise that it remains a top security risk. Attackers favor email messages because they can go around technical security measures by focusing their efforts on end-users. Discover more about how scammers use the phishing technique in Email Security Threats: You’ve Got Malware.
  3. Ransomware attacks are on the rise for financial services, according to the SEC’s OCIE. Attackers use phishing scams to gain access to your organization’s systems or data. Once they have access, they lock you out by encrypting your data, demand a ransom for the return of control, and may threaten to publish sensitive data if payment is not made. Read more in Ransomware on the Rise for Financial Services.
  4. Read Top 10 Cybersecurity Recommendations for a list of ten recommendations and best practices that can help better protect your business from fraudulent activities and evolving cyber threats.
  5. Does your organization know how to identify a spear phishing attempt? 6 Steps to Take to Reduce Phishing describes potential scammers’ strategies and the tell-tale signs of email phishing.
  6. In Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks & How to Prevent Them, we share cybersecurity tips to prevent some of the most common types of cyberattacks by proactively managing your risk profile.
  7. The End-User Awareness Training guide makes a case for end-user awareness training to mitigate human error and help users recognize suspicious activity. In addition, you will learn how to spot types of phishing attacks and other social engineering attacks.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great time to reevaluate your security risk profile, reinforce your posture with additional security measures, and educate your team on. We hope these resources will help increase awareness and prevent future data breaches. Reach out to learn how Coretelligent can help protect your business with our robust cybersecurity solutions.

The hybrid work model is the new normal.

Think About It

The hybrid work model is the new normal for many sectors, and now is the time to stop treating it like a temporary solution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, we are in the middle of a revolution as many companies are re-imagining their workplace strategy. A less centralized approach allows for social distancing and offers the flexibility and work-life balance that employees crave while realizing cost savings, improved efficiencies, increased workforce opportunities, and more.

The hybrid work model is the new normal.What is the Hybrid Workplace?

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, many workplaces abruptly shifted to remote work. There was a clear distinction between working in the office versus working from home—and it happened almost overnight. The timeline for transitioning back into the office has not been clear-cut and will probably never be fully realized. As the pandemic lingers, many companies and employees see the benefit in shifting to a model where employees commute to the office, but they may also work from home. Who works where and when varies by company, but the one constant is that a company’s entire workforce is not usually all onsite simultaneously. In short, there has been a shift from traditional offices with rows of workstations to a more flexible model that gives more freedom to the worker.

Who Benefits from Hybrid Work?

If there is one thing we’ve collectively learned from the last 18 months, it’s that we are more adaptable than we realized. Faced with a challenge, we all stepped up and, in the process, discovered that a more flexible workplace model makes sense—with or without a pandemic. In fact, 83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model, according to a 2021 survey from Accenture. Workers have more control over where, when, and how they work, which can help promote wellbeing, increase productivity, and reduce turnover.

And looking at productivity for those with concerns, a 2021 McKinsey survey shows that 58% of business leaders saw productivity improve with a shift to hybrid, while 37% say there was no change from a traditional model.  Additionally, a hybrid model that also allows for fully remote workers makes remote talent acquisition a possibility. This aspect means your firm may be able to add the best candidate to your team, not just the best candidate in your geographical location.

While the hybrid model is here to stay—and most of us prefer it—it’s not without its challenges, particularly regarding technology.

5 Technology Elements to Consider

Here are five areas around which your organization may be experiencing growing pains while transitioning to a permanent hybrid model.  I share the challenges and corresponding solutions for each topic for decision-makers to consider.

  1. Collaboration

Collaboration is going to look different moving forward. Your technology will need to support a fluid mix of in-person and digital teamwork, provide access to resources for onsite and remote workers, and create meeting spaces that allow employees to seamlessly work together no matter their location.

Challenge: Replace in-person meetings and team collaboration.

Solution: Zoom, MS Teams, and similar solutions to create a connected experience.

Challenge: Remote Access to file and application resources.

Solution:  Virtual workspaces, VPN, and SaaS file tools such as Egnyte, OneDrive, or Box

Challenge: Reduction and simplification of communications.

Solution: Zoom, MS Teams, and other similar collaboration tools have allowed organizations to converge legacy telephone with voice, video, chat, and digital meetings and whiteboards into a streamlined and unified experience for employees.

  1. Cybersecurity

A shift to hybrid means that security professionals will simultaneously need to protect all fronts. In a hybrid setting, cybersecurity is more of a challenge than securing all onsite or all remote workstations.

Challenge: Increased network vulnerability from devices shifting from onsite to at-home or even unsecured public networks.

Solution: Zero-Trust Access/Networking, combined with VPN, Virtual Desktops, and SaaS applications to help control data and access.

Challenge: Heightened vulnerability to phishing emails as workforce because decentralized.

Solution: SaaS-based training tools such as KnowBe4 to keep employees trained and tested on company policies and how to recognize threats while not in the office

Challenge: Need for active monitoring 24/7 as employees work offsite at all hours of the day.

Solution: Next-gen SaaS-based security solutions to provide continuous monitoring and alerting.

Challenge: Device management

Solution: Cloud-centric management tools such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager (formerly Intune), JAMF, Addigy, and other MDM tools to enable zero-touch deployment and remote configuration management for corporate devices.

  1. Design of Office Spaces and Technology

As the work model changes for employees, so does the office layout. Workspaces will need to become more flexible to accommodate workers who shift between the office and home. Technology and operations will need to align to provide more hybrid meeting and shared spaces and less traditional cubicles and dedicated space. Decentralizing headquarters might be ideal for some businesses.

Challenge: Office plan with a workstation setup that provides flexibility for when, where, and how office workers want to work.

Solution: Hot desking setup and scheduling with standard hardware configurations allow employees to leverage laptops to work at their preferred location and time.

Challenge: Increase meeting spaces for hybrid work meetings to allow for both in-person and digital collaboration.

Solution: Upgrading meeting rooms to leverage Zoom, Teams, and similar digital tools for full digital meeting support.

Challenge: Consider whether satellite offices work as opposed to one larger location.

Solution: Reducing commute time for employees to optimize productivity and working time with colleagues.

  1. Productivity

Standard operating procures for productivity and how managers evaluate efficiency and output will need to be updated for the hybrid environment.

Challenge: Managers may need technology solutions to gauge productivity.

Solution: Data analytics or management tools to help track and monitor employee engagement and productivity.

Challenge: Workflows and Automation

Solution: Leverage automation capabilities within products and platforms to help reduce manual tasks and improve workflows to drive employee efficiency and promote an increase in productivity.

  1. IT Support and Operations

One challenge for IT managers with the hybrid workplace is technical support. Your organization will need to address workers’ need for IT support both at work and home and at all hours of the day. Not an impossible task, but the 9-5 M-F support model won’t be practical for businesses going all-in on the hybrid work approach.

Challenge: A hybrid workforce working where and when they want is a challenge for technical support.

Solution: Robust device management and remote access tools for IT teams or a trusted MSP partner to provide effective around-the-clock support to both onsite and remote employees.

Challenge: Equipment management

Solution: Leverage remote management and monitoring solutions (RMM, MDM) to keep real-time inventory and audit of equipment for tracking and management.

Meeting the Challenges of the Future with Coretelligent

As we navigate the hybrid-work future, you can count on the IT professionals at Coretelligent to help your organization solve any IT challenges you may be facing to your key business processes with a wide range of IT solutions. If you have questions about designing hybrid work solutions for your company, reach out by calling 855-841-5888 or email  info@coretelligent.com to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.

Chris Messer, Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, HeadshotAbout Chris

As Chief Technology Officer, Chris Messer is a transformational and strategic IT leader who establishes and leads Coretelligent’s technical vision and technological development.

Click here to learn more about Chris.

How Can Executives Manage Cyber Threats by Building a Culture of Cyber Readiness

cyber threatsReducing your organization’s risk from cyber threats requires a holistic approach. Cybersecurity should be integrated across all divisions and at all levels. Cybercriminals do not recognize your internal organization or care about job titles but seek to exploit any weaknesses they discover.

Cyber threats threaten your ability to operate, your reputation, your bottom line, and even the survival of your organization.

The foundation of effectively managing cyber risks requires building a culture of cyber readiness amongst your employees. Most cyber incidents begin with a human action—phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, malicious software, malware attacks, and other persistent threats usually start with an employee unknowingly initiating them by clicking on a malicious link or trigging malicious code by opening an attachment.

How to Effectively Protect Your Organization from Cyber Threats?

How can you, as a leader, promote a culture of cybersecurity readiness to reduce your risk from these types of threats? Here’s a high-level, holistic roadmap for considering how best to incorporate security throughout your firm to defend your organizational assets.

→ Executives – Drive cybersecurity strategy, investment, and culture

As a leader, it is essential that you understand the basics to help integrate cybersecurity as a significant component of your operational resilience.  And that resiliency requires an investment of both time and money. This investment will fuel actions and activities that build and sustain a culture of cyber preparedness that will protect key infrastructure and intellectual property.

→ Employees – Develop security awareness and vigilance

Employees are a critical line of defense. Gone are the days when security threats were the sole responsibility of the IT team. Securing an organization in this current cyber threat landscape requires education, awareness, and participation from all. Therefore, any investments in cybersecurity must include strong end-user training.


Related Resource → 7 Cybersecurity Tips for Practicing Good Cyber Hygiene


→ Systems – Protect critical assets and applications

Data is the foundation of any business; it is the most valuable asset. Know where your data resides, know what applications and networks store it, and know who has access to what data. Build security into the critical infrastructure of your organization’s data to protect against outside attacks.

→ The Digital Workplace – Ensure only those who belong have access

Implement authority and access controls to manage employees, managers, and customers’ access to your digital environment and protect against unauthorized access. Setting approved access privileges requires knowing who operates on your systems and with what level of authorization and accountability.

→ Data – Make backups and avoid the loss of information critical to operations

Even well-protected systems can be breached if someone makes a mistake. Therefore, make protecting data a priority by implementing a thorough a robust backup program. Additionally, develop a plan that will allow you to quickly recover systems, networks, and data if a breach occurs.


Related Resource → Think About IT: The Case for Cloud Backup


→ Incident Response – Limit damage and quicken restoration of normal operations

The strategy for responding to and recovering from a cyber incident involves developing an incident response plan and regularly evaluating that plan and preparing for its use for business continuity during a crisis.

3 Strategic Actions to Tackle First

Defend Against Cyber Threats with Coretelligent

Balancing business initiatives with security and technology can seem challenging, but Coretelligent can help. We provide white-glove, fully managed, and co-managed IT services to highly regulated industries like financial services and life sciences. In addition, our comprehensive security and backup and disaster recovery solutions work for you around the clock so you can have peace of mind. To learn how Coretelligent can help your business, contact us at 855-841-5888 or via email at info@coretelligent.com.

How to Spot a Phishing Email

How to Spot a Phishing EmailEmail phishing activity increased significantly in the second quarter of 2021, especially in the financial services sector. According to a 2021 Mimecast report, 60% of survey respondents saw increased phishing emails with malicious links or attachments over the past year. That’s not to mention the FINRA incident in June, in which criminals perpetrated a phishing attack by sending fake emails to FINRA members.

Common attacks are nothing more than online scams involving gift cards, while some are targeted spear phishing campaigns with the goal of gaining access to corporate networks. The best defense against fraudulent emails is educating end-users on how to spot a suspicious email. Phishing schemes often have signs that can trigger recipients to question their veracity. The key is to slow down and pay attention to the details. To that end, we have put together a list of ten common phishing email characteristics.

10 Signs of a Phishing Scam

  1. It just doesn’t look right – Is there something a little off with the emails? Too good to be true? Trust your instincts about the warning signs of potentially suspicious activity.
  2. Generic salutations –  Instead of directly addressing you, phishing messages often use generic names like “Dear Customer.” Using impersonal greetings saves the cybercriminals time so they can maximize their number of potential victims.
  3. Links to official-looking sites asking for sensitive data – These fake websites are often very convincing, so before revealing personal information or confidential data, examine the site to make sure it’s not a fraudulent website.
  4. Unsolicited email that uses personal details about you – Information like job title, previous employment, or personal interests can be gleaned from social networking sites like LinkedIn and then used to make a phishing email more convincing.
  5. Unnerving phrases – Thieves often use phrases meant to scare you (such as saying your account has been breached) to trick you into acting without thinking, and in doing so, revealing information you ordinarily would not.
  6. Bad grammar or spelling – Grammar mistakes and misspelled words are a dead giveaway in a basic phishing attack. The use of unusual syntax is also a sign that something is wrong.
  7. Urgent request – For example: “If you don’t respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed.” By convincing you the clock is ticking, phishing scammers hope you’ll make a mistake by clicking on a phishing link or opening a malicious attachment.
  8. You’ve won the grand prize – This phishing technique is common but easy to spot. A similar, trickier variation asks you to complete a survey (thus giving up your personal information) in return for a prize.
  9. Verify your account –  These types of phishing attacks spoof real emails asking you to verify an online account with a site or organization. Always question why you’re being asked to verify – there’s a good chance it’s a scam.
  10. Cybersquatting – Often, cybercriminals will purchase and squat on website names that are similar to an official website in the hopes that users go to the wrong site, such as www.google.com vs. www.g00gle.com. Always take a moment to check out the URL before entering your personal information.

Coretelligent’s Recommendation:

It is essential for your organization to have comprehensive solutions for cybersecurity designed by a trustworthy, proactive provider. Our CoreArmor solution offers 24/7 intrusion detection and monitoring, in-depth assessment to identify vulnerabilities, best-in-class phishing testing and end-user awareness training, and more. Your organization must be protected against emerging email threats in 2021 and beyond. Contact us today for strategic guidance on how to mitigate the security risk from phishing attempts.

Cybersecurity Tips

Cybersecurity TipsCybersecurity Awareness Month, now in its 18th year, aims to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity in both our professional and personal lives. Held every October, Cyber Month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that individuals, organizations, and businesses have the cybersecurity tips and resources they need to be safe and secure online.

Every year, led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), Cybersecurity Awareness Month sends a clear message about security and the importance of partnership between government and industry, from the White House to individuals.

Doing our part to help raise awareness, Coretelligent will be sharing information and resources to help keep your business safe from cybersecurity threats. To kick things off, we have put together a list of cybersecurity tips as a quick introduction to persuade your team to assess your firm’s current security readiness from a cyber attack. Stay tuned throughout October for more cybersecurity tips and resources.

Cyber Security Tips for Good Corporate Cyber Hygiene

  1. Double (or triple) up on login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) across your organization for all accounts and devices to ensure that only authorized users gain access to your secure data. CISA’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) How-to-Guide is a good resource for more information.
  2. Shake up your password protocol. According to the NIST guidance, users should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Encourage end-users to switch up passwords across applications, accounts, and websites. Using unique, strong passwords can make it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access and protect your organization in the event of a breach. A password manager and online password generator can be employed to generate and for remembering different, complex passwords. Another solution is to employ SSO to control passwords centrally and avoid user password sprawl across various platforms, which can lead to poor password choices, reuse, and insecure safekeeping.
  3. If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s a laptop, smartphone, or another networked device, the best defense against viruses and malware attacks is to perform updates on a regular basis to verify that the latest software updates get applied to your software, browser, and operating systems. A plan that includes the automatic security update is a critical layer of security and part of a multi-layered defense strategy.
  4. Don’t get hooked. Cybercriminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. So if you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate— or if the email looks phishy, do not respond and do not click on any attachments or suspicious links in emails. Instead, report the phishing attempt to help your IT team and email provider block other suspicious fake emails before they arrive in your inbox. In addition, the use of random phishing simulations are a valuable exercise to help end-users spot phishing attempts.
  5. Beware of social engineering traps. Many people don’t realize that much of the posts seen on social media asking for seemingly random details are created by criminal networks. They use these posts to gather data that can be mined for potential passwords and other secure information. For example, posts like, “What car do you wish you still had?” or “Tag your childhood best friend” can be used to help criminals work out the answers to your security questions. Not only can these tactics impact personal data, but are used to target employees in order to gain access to corporate networks. Read CISA’s Social Media Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for more information about good social media and cybersecurity practices.
  6. Don’t forget about mobile. Most connected Internet of Things devices are supported by mobile applications. Mobile devices are often filled with suspicious apps running in the background, or using default permissions users never realized they approved, that are gathering personal information and login credentials without user being aware. A robust cybersecurity posture should include a plan for protecting data from employees using compromised mobile devices to access to corporate networks.
  7. Stay protected while connected. Utilizing Virtual Private Network (VPN) for employees remotely connecting is the best way to protect networks. A VPN creates a secure connection that encrypts information so that it’s hidden as it travels. This connection makes it harder for attackers to see and access data. VPNs are essential when accessing sensitive data like personally identifiable information (like social security numbers) or protected health information, especially when using public wi-fi networks. In today’s hybrid workplace, VPNs are a must to protect against suspicious activity.

From a phishing attack to a ransomware attack, cyber threats are constantly evolving. If you are unsure whether your firm employs good cybersecurity hygiene practices or not, then it may be time for a security check-up. Remember, cybercriminals will use any security vulnerabilities they can find to gain access and steal data. You can start with these cybersecurity tips and move on to using our free Cybersecurity Checklist to review your security measures. Coretelligent is here to help with advice from our cyber security experts about our enhanced security solutions designed specifically for small-to-mid-sized companies. Reduce your risk from security incidents, contact us today for help responding to your cybersecurity gaps.

Life Sciences Industry Innovation is Where Business & Technology Intersect

Life Sciences Industry Innovation is Where Business & Technology IntersectThe life sciences industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Not only does the sector produce life-saving and life-enhancing treatments, but it is fueling investment across the globe. For example, 78 startups went public in 2020 in the biotech sphere, representing a 77% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, the first half of 2021 has already seen 62 biopharma companies progress to IPO status. With the increased demand for innovative drugs, medical devices, and other therapies in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine development, various trends within the industry (like changes to clinical trials), and increased levels of investment, 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for the sector.

Innovation is the driver of the current expansion within the life sciences market. However, the key to maximizing this ROI, or Return on Innovation, requires that business and technology synchronize. This imperative calls for a carefully planned IT roadmap that enables companies to achieve a competitive advantage and improve business outcomes throughout the development, startup, growth, and expansion stages.

To help executives better understand the timeline, Coretelligent has developed a chart outlining the technology and business needs of the life sciences ecosystem throughout their life cycle. Download our datasheet Innovation is Where Business & Technology Intersect outlining how to plan your company’s IT strategy as you move through funding phases.


To dive deeper, download our data sheet → Innovation is Where Business & Technology Intersect.


In an earlier post, we shared some of the IT challenges faced by early-stage life sciences organizations. With this post, let’s take a deeper look at later-stage companies and what their IT strategy should be focused on as they scale.

What are the main IT priorities of life science firms as they move into their growth and expansion stages?

 

→ Employ technology for data management

As biotech, biopharma, and other life science enterprises grow, managing data increases in scale and complexity. As a result, cloud-based solutions and SaaS applications must align to ensure that enterprise data is available, usable, consistent, reliable, and secure. Employing the right technology solutions, including cloud-based services, backup and recovery, and others that store, manage, and protect data are critical at this stage.

→ Leverage technology to drive innovation

Not only has innovation come to the life sciences space, but it’s also bringing emerging technological trends with it. Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RBA), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud/Big Data, and other developing technologies are evolving as disrupters to the sector. Successful life science companies will envision how to capitalize on these tools.

→ Optimize technology to grow operations

Even as innovative technology trends shift the landscape, IT becomes more integral to the core business operations as companies scale. While some may be using a managed IT model, most companies likely employ co-managed solutions during the later stages. A co-managed service provider empowers internal IT staff to drive technology delivery at scale and focus on strategic priorities. A technology partner can lighten the load by fulfilling tech support, plug critical skill gaps, and complement in-house capabilities with specialized technology services.

→ Utilize technology to ensure security and compliance

As a life science firm grows, compliance requirements increase in size and scope. At the same time, these companies have become more attractive targets for cybercriminals. As a result, life science firms must prioritize implementing robust cybersecurity tools and compliance processes to keep pace with evolving regulations while protecting sensitive data from bad actors.


Related Content → GxP and FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance with Egnyte for Life Sciences.


Developing IT Growth Strategy for the Life Sciences Industry

The life sciences industry is booming, and the future looks even brighter. But the key to success involves more than just innovation—effective growth also depends on how well your life sciences company can leverage IT capabilities throughout your life cycle. In building out an effective IT strategy for startups, begin by understanding where your organization stands today, followed by preparing for those IT areas that will require digital transformation. Furthermore, leveraging new technologies like AI, RPA, ML, and Big Data, can help accelerate your progress and open up new opportunities in the journey towards achieving your goals.

To sum up, you need to understand what’s possible before embarking on any journey. By taking stock of current practices, planning ahead, prioritizing initiatives based on pain points, incorporating new technologies, and teaming up with a technology partner, you’ll be well-positioned to meet future growth. Coretelligent is an industry leader with extensive experience in the life sciences sector. To learn more about how Coretelligent can help your company successfully scale so that growth doesn’t stifle innovation, talk to one of our technology experts today.