North Korea Attacks! Cybersecurity Notes for Small Enterprises

hartsook | December 19th, 2014


Today’s announcement by the FBI marks an historic event – the age of state-sponsored cyberwarfare against Americans on American soil has officially begun. Admittedly it is a little scary, with the uncertainty of what our government will do in response, and what might be done by a North Korean counterattack.

Maintaining your organization’s cybersecurity isn’t much different than maintaining your personal physical security. You never know when an attack will happen, and you’re never quite sure if you’ve done enough to protect your family and your assets. All you can really do is take measures that are considered “best practices,” which in the case of an urban dweller might be getting steel bars on windows, double-bolted doors and use a monitoring service.

best-practicesWhat can you do to secure your computers and information? For small-to-medium-sized enterprises there are few IT best practices that will get your security up to a world class security solution.

  • Upgrade your router and Wi-Fi equipment. At Telnexus we use Cisco Meraki security appliances and wireless access points. One major advantage of the Meraki solution is the fact the physical appliances are connected to the Meraki cloud service. If a vulnerability is detected in the security appliance software, you’ve got a major international company who is supporting that appliance and can promptly deliver a security update. Meraki security appliances start at $500 plus a 3-year maintenance agreement at $500.
  • Use a third-party malware detector. Sometimes it’s called antivirus software, but you need more protection on Windows desktops than the built-in Windows Defender system. Telnexus recommends Kaspersky anti-malware software for all enterprise networks. It costs about $30 per desktop per year.
  • Use two-factor authentication for cloud services. We all now depend on our email and other key data being stored in the cloud, all accessible via a username-password security scheme. You can prevent someone who gets your password from getting access to your data with a system called Two Factor Authentication. With Two Factor Authentication you will get a text message with a code you must enter into the logon screen whenever you log into a service using a new device.
  • Have your IT system is monitored by professionals. At Telnexus we monitor security appliances and malware systems via email alerts automatically. We even use email filters to send urgent messages directly to our our mobile phones in the form of text messages.

Take extra precautions if you become a target. If you run a public organization, and you somehow become highly visible and have a PR problem, then you need to take extra precautions against cyberattack. In that case you should call an IT specialist and telecom expert like Telnexus to have us come in and do a physical and IT security audit on your network. We can check your desktops, servers and routers as well as analyze your enterprise from an IT threat perspective.