We are almost a full month into the New Year and, given all the happened in 2017, 2018 is already serving as a welcomed opportunity for added IT security.
ITsecurenow sets themselves apart from other companies in the industry with their state-of-the-art equipment and knowledgeable team members. We recently sat down with Network Security Engineer Paul Fields to get a better understanding of what happened in 2017 and what we can expect in 2018.
Paul works closely with ITSecurenow CEO, Lorne Sykora. He mastered the skill of adaptability working one summer as a dog fence installer and easily describes ITsecureNow as committed, collaborative and valuable. Here is what Paul has to say about his work, data security and what he expects to see in 2018!
What is the most unusual job you have had?
I installed underground dog fences for a summer. Anytime you have pets and pet owners as part of your day to day work, interesting things are likely to happen! Although many of the jobs were interesting, one in particular sticks out to me. Usually when people want an underground dog fence it is for their yard. However, I had a customer who wanted a fence installed in the crawlspace of her home so that her dog could only go into certain rooms of the house. It was extremely complicated developing the layout for the wiring so that the dog could move freely in the rooms that he was allowed in while being prevented from entering rooms he was not.
What is one skill you would like to master?
If I could master the skill of effective communication my job would be much easier. Understanding a customer’s point of view, needs, wants and pain points greatly determines what kind of direction ITSecureNow would recommend to them.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love the fact that I never stop learning new things. I am always studying the newest technologies as well as learning about how companies do business. The crux of my job is to figure out how to bring those two things together to accomplish our client’s goals.
What were some of the biggest developments you saw in 2017?
While massive breaches like Yahoo and Equifax dominated the headlines, in 2017 more than half of all cyber attacks were targeted at small to medium-sized businesses. Attackers have started to wake up to the fact that smaller businesses have valuable information and usually fewer resources to protect themselves, making them an easier target. Ransomware, phishing, and malware attacks continued to be the most effective ways that attackers gained entry into company networks.
Where do you think the security industry will go in 2018?
When it comes to information security, companies are starting to see the benefit in prevention. The consensus is that more companies, large and small, will increase their security budgets to get out ahead of the curve. Cyber attacks will continue to grow in both frequency and scale, especially in the small to medium-sized business market. I see a trend of 2018 that information security will continue to become a “part of doing business” rather than something reserved for multinational corporations. In return, the security industry should continue to move in the direction of trying to be more business conscious, helping companies to maximize productivity as well as security.
What is the best advice you can provide someone to protect himself or herself going forward ?
- Whenever possible, apply patches to your operating systems(Windows Updates), as well as third party software like Java, Chrome, Firefox, Adobe products, etc.
- Do not use the same password for everything. The danger in it is if one account is compromised then all of your accounts are at risk. It is best practice to have a different password for every service that you use. Password Managers are great in helping with this.
- In work environments make sure that administrative rights are limited to only those that absolutely need it. End users that can install their own software are also capable of inadvertently installing malware that can cost your organization a great deal of time, money and reputation.
- Make sure to change any default passwords on devices that are on your networks. This includes routers, switches, firewalls, etc. IoT devices like wireless surveillance cameras, webcams, wireless thermostats, wireless speaker systems, wireless lighting solutions, and the like are notorious for having default credentials left intact, thus making them vulnerable to attack.