Cyber Safety – Silly Season Preparations

Running into the Silly Season, keeping your operating system and applications up to date is more important than ever. Microsoft has fixed over 30 security holes in their latest patch Tuesday with many of them previously not disclosed to the wider community. If you’re like the rest of the world and run any of the following – Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Malware Protection Engine, Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge – then you need to UPDATE STAT!!

The hacker community will be paying close attention to these vulnerabilities over the Christmas break. For all those businesses that haven’t patched before going on leave – look out.

Patch or Pay people!!

Some cyber-safety tips before you head on your well-deserved break.

  1. Turn off, disconnect and pull the power on any unrequired computers or servers. Sounds crazy, but if they aren’t on and connected to power, they can’t be hacked while you’re away.
  2. If you have anti-virus, AWS, Office 365, Google Business – investigate the ‘notification’ functionality to inform you if there is any malicious or unauthorised activity;
  3. You should have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled, so make sure your 2FA device is able to receive authentication requests. i.e. If you use SMS 2FA make sure you can receive texts from where you’re going!
  4. If you don’t need you’re home or business internet while you’re in Tahiti – turn it off! Physically disconnect your firewall and bring it all back up when you get home or back to the office.
  5. Still need internet connectivity, that’s cool. Be sure to turn off your home and work WiFi while you’re away – if you’re not around to use it, don’t allow hackers to use it either.
  6. Update your phone, tablet and laptop operating system and applications before your travel.
  7. If you’re mobile, turn your WiFi and Bluetooth off when it’s not in use.
  8. Be aware of untrusted WiFi while away and if possible, use a VPN to ensure your communications back home are encrypted.
  9. Once you get back – before you read your first email……. Reconnect to the internet and UPDATE! PATCH your systems and applications, update your firewalls, virus scanners and then start 2018 Cyber Secure!

And lastly…

Have an Incident Response plan in place.

Who are you going to contact if you’re hacked?

What do I do first? Who do I call????

If you need to write it on the back of a napkin at the pub with your co-workers do it! Just make sure it’s communicated to all the team.

If all else fails and you’ve had an incident – contact ParaFlare and we can help you through the silly season!

The ParaFlare Cyber Operations team wishes you a Merry and Safe Christmas!

Dec 13th, 2017