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Category Archives: Network Security

Structured Cabling Design

Few Important Considerations When Planning for Structured Cabling Design

A strong structured cabling design is the foundation of a reliable IT network. It’s vital to take the time and money to design a properly structured cabling system for your organization’s requirements and goals. There are many things to consider – the locality of your operations, bandwidth requirements, code compliance, indoor aesthetics, and more.

Without proper planning, design, and maintenance, there is no scaling your business or operations.

What is Structured Cabling Design?

Companies and organizations love structured cabling design because it’s the best solution for a fast network and lower power consumption. Structured cabling design refers to limiting wires used for your network system at your company while increasing high-speed data transfer.

A structured cabling system itself refers to the wiring network that handles your communications systems – unified communications, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), data, multimedia, security, PoE (Power Over Ethernet), and wireless. The structured cabling system spreads those communication systems through company and organization grounds.

The meticulous design of this infrastructure absolutely impacts daily operations and can help companies scale their business. With structured cabling design, companies can say goodbye to confusing bunches of tangled wires. That makes the job of network managers easier – thanks to organized cabling structures, they can spot problems quicker. Moreover, structured cabling design limits the overall risk of mistakes in cabling. That also contributes to less downtime.

5 Things to Consider When Planning for Structured Cabling Design

To maximize the chances of business success with structured cabling design, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Let’s start.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cabling Systems

Will the cable system be indoors or outdoors? That choice has a significant impact on the type and layout of your cables. For instance, indoor cabling must be installed in a way that doesn’t interfere with the appearance of a building’s interior. For outside wires to operate as much as efficiently, you should approach such cabling design with a different installation method. The wires must be sturdy and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. If installing cables outdoors, consider direct burial cables.

Structured Cabling Design Cable System Lifespan

Cable System Lifespan

Plan for your organization’s anticipated structured cabling system lifespan.

The minimum life span to plan for is 10 years, the average life expectancy is 15 years, while you should probably strive for a lifespan between 10 and 20 years. Although network cabling makes for just 5% of the entire network budget, replacing it is the hardest and costliest part of the network to replace. The labor it takes brings significant disruption to an organization. So of all the network elements, the cabling system should have the longest life cycle.

Required Bandwidth

Are you a company and organization that regularly transfers large files? It’s important to understand such basic needs of your organization before you install your cable system. And that includes knowing the bandwidth you require. Proper and robust equipment means almost nothing if you don’t have the bandwidth to match your needs. So talk to a contractor or your outsourced IT experts to make sure your structured cabling system design matches the data transmission rates and hardware.

Bear in mind that you should maybe aim for a slightly wider bandwidth than you currently need. That goes for all organizations and companies that plan to grow their operations or business in a few years.

Government Regulations

Based on the design of municipal electricity networks, certain states and cities mandate the use of a particular type of cabling system. Before you set up your cabling system, make sure you are fully aware of the legalities ruling the locality.

If you have any questions concerning the legislation of cabling in your area, contact the authority that controls such regulations and ask them for directions. For instance, find out which cables should be in the conduit. And thoroughly research which ones should be plenum and which ones non-plenum.

Test Phase

The design phase doesn’t end with installation. After finishing the initial structured cabling design, you should test it with testing equipment you can find on the market. That way, you’ll know if you’re ready to set up your cabling system or make some tweaks and other changes.

Without testing, you risk startup delays, downtime, callbacks to the manufacturer, and other problems that can lead to unplanned expenses

But if you test your design and do well in tests of scheduled shutdowns and other scenarios, you’ll be more protected from sudden issues.

Final Word

As we’ve seen, when setting up new building projects or adding wiring to existing structures, there is a myriad of things to factor in your structured cabling design. If you’re unsure how to set up a cohesive system with uninterrupted service and no downtime, consider enlisting the help of proven IT experts.

hybrid IT environment

Establishing Seamless Server Security for a Hybrid IT Environment

The hybrid IT environment heavily used today brought with it a more seamless and practical way of operating and growing our businesses. But even with all the pros there are some cons to the system, mainly security-wise. The thing is, the servers that protect vital information, intellectual property, and card transactions are often the primary aim of cybersecurity attacks.

Even though we know this, lots of organizations still have subpar server security. That is partly because of CEOs and other top management personnel. They easily get overwhelmed with the lingo and the seemingly endless task list for establishing seamless server security in a hybrid IT environment.

But not only is it worth it (both in terms of time and money) to secure your sensitive data and replace outdated security tools – it’s also required. That is because there are a lot of legal requirements and regulations to be met, and users have also significantly leveled up their expectations.

And to accomplish all of that, you need a modern hybrid IT environment that highlights productivity, as well as security. Let’s do a quick rundown of server security for such IT environments and give a few useful tips along the way.

What is a Hybrid IT Environment?

Working in a hybrid IT environment means working in a space with both on-premise and cloud-based IT infrastructure. That infrastructure, of course, maintains and manages the organization’s IT needs.

This model allows organizations to combine traditional on-site data center IT infrastructure with private and public cloud environments.

It can be a challenge to handle such a hybrid data center. After all, that data center now sprawls from legacy on-premise solutions to the aforementioned private and public clouds. Whether the in-house IT team handles the management and security of that sprawling system or a managed service provider (MSP) does that – depends on the enterprise in question.

But what we do certainly know is that hybrid IT is perfect for today’s digital business climate. The world is moving at a fast pace, so being innovative and flexible when it comes to cybersecurity is a given.

Server Security Challenges in 2022

A lot of companies are experiencing the shift of moving to a hybrid IT environment. At the same time that their servers are located in an on-premise environment, they are moving a vast part of their data and operations on new sorts of servers:

  • Cloud workloads
  • Containers
  • Microservices
  • Virtual machines
  • Storage devices, and so on,
hybrid IT environment server security

That puts them in a situation of having multiple cloud platforms. And, normally that usually leads to more people having access to servers. And there lies part of the problems. Instead of a few server admins in-house, you may have outsourced developers working for you, too. So, along with your trusty outsourced developers, you must have secure remote access to servers in the cloud.

You have to keep in mind that cloud server security is a different beast from legacy data center security. Distributed IT server environments are harder to handle and protect from attacks. Numerous applications mean numerous risk profiles. And different cloud servers mean different policies instead of a unified framework.

So you need to help your server administrators do their job better, because they’re humans, and mistakes happen when they need to safeguard a distributed server environment.

Employing Privileged Access Management (PAM) for Server Security

The most important thing to do when transforming to a hybrid IT environment is to secure privileged access accounts since they are often the core of the servers’ function. Because cybercriminals go exactly for those sorts of accounts as access points to your sensitive data. It’s thus no wonder that well-established companies with hybrid environments are employing Zero Trust policies, meaning, they severely limit privileged access across their enterprise.

If you are a large enterprise, a hacker getting access to privileged access accounts means compromised IP assets, stolen identities, shareholder value, millions in regulatory fines, ransom payments that push you into bankruptcy, etc.

Not only do you need to safeguard against high-profile ransomware crimes, but also the regulatory institutions are increasingly demanding businesses to better handle privileged access management (PAM). And at the same time, you get cyber-insurance organizations breathing down your neck, asking for (useful) things like:

  • Better access control
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Preconditions for granting policies, etc

A good way of establishing a PAM system is to instill the principle of least privilege. Certain users will get access, but only to the lowest level. That way, if your employee gets compromised, the cyber-attacker can’t do much with said employee’s account. Rather, if the employee needs broader access, they need to ask for it, and they will be granted greater access through proper control for a limited timespan, and they will be monitored afterward.

You can even design the PAM system to operate automatically – once the employee’s job on the server is done, the PAM system takes away their access privileges. It’s no wonder IT pros are raving about PAM systems and their security, scalability, and flexibility.

Final Word

In today’s world of hybrid work, remote access, and increasing phishing and hacking attacks, there are robust solutions to keep your valuable data safe. There is no risk-free way of scaling your business and running daily operations. But instilling a culture of wide-spanning server security through controlled access management is the first step to feeling more at peace with where your business is heading.

Internal Security Breaches

Internal Security Breaches: How to Spot Them and Stop Them

No security breach can hit on a deeper level than an internal security breach. Imagine working excitedly and painstakingly on your business, assembling a team that shares a common goal, and building a network cyber protection system just to watch it take a substantial hit from the inside. No one could blame you – sometimes we get so hung up on stories of outside threats, that we forget to focus on potential risks lurking in-house.

How do these security breaches happen? Because of oversight, forgetfulness, lack of experience, jealousy, hurt? The answers can be few and many. But below we’ll cover the most often seen internal security breaches, so you can prepare for a risk that hopefully never comes knocking on the door of your business.

Types of Insider Threats

The phrase “insider threats” is pretty explanatory as it is. But there may be some factors that you fail to consider as possible insider threats. To raise awareness of insider security breaches, we’ll list the often found culprits of such risks:

  • Vindictive Employees: There are those workers who knowingly steal, leak, or damage internal information or IT systems for their gain, corporate espionage, vindictiveness, or sabotage. These people are often swayed by malice from individuals outside the organization or by emotions like rage or greed.
  • Negligent Employees: Careless staff members may unintentionally compromise business information or networks. These individuals are unaware their actions put the company at risk of a data breach or cybersecurity attack. Negligent employees may produce internal security breaches just because they inadvertently put sensitive information in the wrong hands.
  • Unsuspecting Employees: The seeming source of the inside attack could be a worker whose computer has been compromised or whose login credentials have been stolen. Cyberattacks are used by criminals to steal employee credentials, which they then use to commit crimes under the employee’s name. 

As you can see, we chose to classify the inside threats through the lens of the people who are part of the in-house structure or ones that closely partner with the business in question. Now, whether the threat comes from a file, an app, or other data – we’ll leave a brief classification for you below:

  • Unauthorized removal, copying, transferring, or other data exfiltration methods
  • Unauthorized uses of business assets
  • Data alteration, like unauthorized data changes
  • sensitive assets deletion or destruction
  • downloading data from questionable sources
  • leveraging illegal software that might have malware or other harmful code
  • installing malicious software on purpose

All in all, you and your staff must be educated on just how easy it is to open the door to internal security breaches. It’s even more important that you know how to spot this deliberate or unintentional behavior.

Internal Security Breaches data

Insider Threat Indicators and Impact

Now we’ll briefly list the most obvious indicators of a security breach that stems from the inside:

  • Downloading or accessing an increasing amount of data
  • Accessing sensitive data not relevant to the employee in question
  • Accessing data not usual to the employee’s unique behavioral profile
  • Repeated requests for access to data not significant to the employee’s role
  • Using unauthorized storage devices (USB drives, etc.)
  • A rise in phishing attacks

We’ll take a moment now to look at what kind of impact these attacks have on organizations.

  • Loss of revenue
  • Loss of competitive edge
  • Loss of customer trust
  • Increased legal trouble
  • Complete financial fallout

Usually, when a cyber-criminal has compromised an account, they can use that data to compromise a staff member, thus making an outside attack an insider attack.

Securing Yourself from Insider Threats

One glaring statistic from Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report is that 82% of the recorded breaches involved a human element. Maybe you will be somewhat comforted by the fact that your staff members are 2.5 times more likely to make a mistake than to intentionally abuse their access. But that still doesn’t change the fact that you need to know how to keep sensitive company data safe.

Besides identifying the pattern of suspicious activity as advised above, here are some other steps you can take to secure your business from internal security breaches:

  • Prevent Incidents – Lower risk through blocking, monitoring (both staff access and user behavior), and real-time user notifications.
  • Secure User Privacy – To acknowledge employee and contractor privacy and comply with regulations, and anonymize user data.
  • Fulfill Compliance – Quickly and efficiently meet important compliance requirements relating to hacker attacks.
  • Integrate Tools – For better understanding, combine insider threat management and detection with SIEMs and other security tools (File Access Management, Behavioral Analytics, Email security for outbound mail, securing your staff from sending data to the wrong recipient, etc.).

These are, of course, just the basics of protection. To create and implement a full-blown cyber security strategy, the help from an external Managed Service IT Provider could be of immense assistance.

Final Word

Implementing staff monitoring, auditing system logs, maintaining open lines of communication with important stakeholders, separating duties, and training your staff to avoid common mistakes that jeopardize their credentials are all ways to protect your company. And to make it simpler for you and your team to identify and stop insider attacks, you can benefit from investing in both new and existing technologies, as well as proven experts with a good IT security track record.

Cyber Extortion

What Is Cyber Extortion and How to Protect Yourself From It?

Technology is changing by the day. And while we reap many benefits from it, other people are also taking advantage by engaging in criminal behavior that is extremely damaging to individuals, organizations, and whole governments.

One of the many risks lurking online is the theft of valuable data. Lots of it is stolen for cyber extortion. Its most common form is ransomware – a sophisticated and emerging form of malware. Country leaders, CEOs, and individuals should be ready and equipped with knowledge not just to mend from such attacks but also to prevent them altogether.

Find out what forms cyber extortion takes and how you can protect yourself from it.

Definition of Cyber Extortion

Cyber extortion is an online attack that has the goal of extracting huge ransom sums. It often involves criminals that threaten with server failures and/or data encryption – which locks your access to previously accessible data.

The act of taking data hostage can happen when you or your knowledgeable staff clicks on malicious links that automatically download malware, encrypt your files, and locks you out. Another thing a hacker can do is copy your important data. As with real-life extortion, psychology plays a massive part in the whole process, with cyber criminals making outrageous ransom requests, for which you have no way of knowing if they are being serious or bluffing.

Most Common Types of Cyber Extortion

Cyber extortion can take many forms since every piece of data stolen in any way can be used for extortion purposes. But the most common types of cyber extortion take form in the following ways:

Cyber Extortion Ransomware


Ransomware is the most frequently found form of extortion. In these cases, criminals hack into your network and take your data hostage or any other important element of your IT infrastructure and network. Then these cybercriminals contact you or leave a message demanding payments in exchange for the safe return of your data and for preventing the data to be leaked or sold to a third party. These days criminals often ask for payment in cryptocurrency.


Another often-seen sort of cyber extortion includes a DDoS attack. It’s done by cyber criminals who send a large number of fake service requests to your web server, which overloads its capacities. Sending out these fake requests is done through infected servers (botnets).

That overload renders your website non-functional and stops it from serving users who visit the site. Not only does that cause downtime and make your users switch over to your competition, but it can also cause a loss of capital and/or stakeholders

Email-based Cyber Extortion

There are some overlaps between different types of extortion, and such is the case with email-based cyber extortion. While the attack itself could’ve been done in a myriad of ways, what defines email-based extortion is that the threat comes through the email, and the attacker threatens to release private information through emails sent to your entire address book, which often includes colleagues, family, and friends.

Cybercriminals often obtain sensitive emails, pictures, videos, and more.

How to Protect Yourself From Cyber Extortion?

Cyber Extortion Cyber Attack

Since cybercriminals are no danger to you until they breach your network, the main question now is – how do you prevent extortion?

There are several ways, the most prevalent and useful ones being:

  • Educating Your Employees: Unfortunately, breaches often happen because employees are not informed enough about the dangers of cyberattacks. Your older staff can particularly be vulnerable to scams and downloading malware. Make sure you send your work staff to cyber security courses.
  • Backing Up Data: This is the first and most useful step. Because no matter how hard you try, you can never be 100% safe. Backing up data regularly will save you from lots of stress, money losses, and internal conflicts.
  • Implementing a Patch Management System: Hackers are constantly seeking weak points in networks. Regularly check your network for potential security gaps and apply software patches to close them.
  • Applying a Strong Password Policy: Attackers can take advantage of your system if you use default administrator usernames and passwords. Default passwords should be changed, and strong passwords used. Avoid using the same password for several different accounts, add special characters and numbers to a password, and change it frequently.

Final Word

Ransomware is one of the most prevalent types of digital attack and is rapidly evolving. Your organization must develop its systems to guarantee that data is safeguarded from cyber extortion both now and in the future. You can ensure your company is safe in 2022 and beyond by doing detailed ransomware risk assessments and employing the help of proven Managed Service Providers.

access controls

Access Controls: Keeping You Safe from the Inside Out

In a world where more and more time is spent dwelling upon and selling software, we shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of quality hardware and other physical tools. In many industries, reliable physical security tools are still vital to the safety of business data, assets, and employers. One of the most useful tools for your company’s security could be access control.

Whether the danger of a cyberattack is coming from a malicious outside group or it’s caused by a disgruntled employee, you should do the most to secure what matters the most.

So even though digital technology is currently reigning supreme in the security industry, you will benefit from a physical tool such as access control that gives you a nuanced and intuitive approach to physical security.

Brief Look at Access Controls

A good physical security solution almost always has an effective door and digital access control system. Such systems let you control who can enter and leave the physical grounds of your company, or its certain zones. They also let you control who can access data stored on company hardware.

In other words, access controls are stopgaps for unwanted personnel who shouldn’t get insight into certain company data and insights.

As mentioned above, long gone are the days when such physical tools were separated from digital technology. Today’s secure door access systems have advanced with the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other software tools. Getting IP and cloud-based access controls became a popular option for company CEOs. But some still go down the old lock-and-key control route, or a combo of the two.

Access Control Cybersecurity

How Does Access Control Work?

Access control works by identifying a person, confirming that the person is who it says to be, and letting it have the access and perform the actions connected with the login or IP address. 

There are two directory services and protocols you should know about:

  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)

These give access controls for identifying and authorizing users and allowing them to access computer resources like distributed apps and web servers.

Steps to Take When Implementing Access Control

Before you jump into the decision of getting a new security system feature, you need to find a good provider of managed IT services. Then and only then, you need to communicate with the service provider about your needs. Here are some of the basic foundation-building steps you will undertake together.

Develop Role-based Access

Your organization will most likely have numerous departments with varying levels of responsibility. Not everyone requires access to every sector.

As a result, it’s necessary to devise a system in which your staff’ tasks are clearly defined and suitable authorizations are granted depending on the sort of work that they perform. The network administrator who has access to the server room or the accountant who has access to the business safe are examples of role-based access. Ensure to examine regulatory compliance practices for each role when creating them.

Don’t Forget About Least Privilege Access Control

When talking to IT managed service providers, a lot of them will tell you about the importance of the least privilege rule. In short, that refers to the point that access should be given just by those who really require it – rather than being a convenience. Moreover, IT staff and security teams with roles dealing with access control privilege decisions should be put under some amount of monitoring.

After all, lots of cyberattacks come from inside the organization, and this is one way to minimize the risk.

Installing Access Control Software

There are many different forms of access control programs and applications, and to maintain access control, numerous components are frequently utilized simultaneously.

The software tools could be on-premises, in the cloud, or a combination of the two. They may be primarily concerned with a firm’s current access control or with consumer access management. The following are some examples of access management software tools:

  • Tracking apps
  • Reporting apps
  • Tools for managing passwords and other security access data
  • Provisioning tools
  • Identity databases
  • Security policy enforcement tools
Access Control Cyberthreat

Final Word

One Statista research found that in 2017 a record-breaking number of data leaks happened. And in 2020, another record was shattered – regarding the amount of records exposed.

So as the number of cyberattacks climbs up, so does the requirement to undertake action in your company and install both physical and software solutions for security. As a business owner, you should be in the know with technology advancements in this area and implement the newest trends that can benefit your company and secure employers and data.
So the next step you should take is to find a trusted managed service provider who will tailor you a package of services suited for your needs.