In The News

May Event Educates on Evolving Threats and Practical Solutions for SMBs

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., May 16, 2016 – Mike Mullin, president of business technology solutions firm Integrated Business Systems (IBS) served as a featured panelist at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s (NJBIA’s) May Cybersecurity Summit. The well-attended event, held at the Bridgewater Marriott, focused on evolving threats and practical solutions for small and mid-size companies.

“This is an incredibly important topic for companies of all sizes, with SMBs among the most vulnerable when it comes to protecting themselves against and recovering from cybercrime attacks,” said Mullin, whose Totowa, N.J.-based company specializes in managed IT services, property management/accounting software and Cloud ERP. “Education and awareness is vitally important, and the NJBIA did a great job bringing the issue to the forefront.”

Mullin participated in a discussion on best practices and technical solutions in combatting cybercrime. Dave Weinstein, director of policy planning and cybersecurity advisory for the NJ Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness, served as moderator. Additional panelists included Rashaad Bajwa, president, Domain Computer Services; Krista Mazzeo, cyber threat intelligence analyst, NJ Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Cell; and Fernando Reiser, manager of information security, NJM Insurance.

The panelists agreed that ransomware (where perpetrators encrypt software programs and files to restrict them, and then demand that the users pay a ransom to remove the restriction) and CEO fraud (where email hackers pose as company leadership to trick employees into wiring funds) comprise the two most common – and concerning – cybersecurity issues impacting businesses. They also concurred that prevention is possible through a combination of data-centered and people-centered security.

“The cost to implement firewalls, anti-virus and malware protection software, and content filtering applications is around $5 to $10 per user per month,” Mullin said. “Considering that the FBI estimates losses due to ransomware alone totaled $209 million during the first quarter of 2016, that price is minimal. Today’s threat landscape must be considered as a component of risk management.”

Equally important, however, is what Mullin refers to as the last inch – the space between an employee’s index finger and their mouse. “Companies must put processes in place and train their employees about the dangers of opening files from unknown sources and installing programs onto their systems without authorization,” he said. “This should include both on-boarding of new staff members and ongoing communication and testing of the entire team.”

The group also stressed the importance of backing up data off the main company network. Ultimately, they touted the idea that guarding an organization against cybercrime is not an insurmountable – or even particularly complicated – undertaking. Even the smallest businesses with limited resources can protect themselves if they implement the right technologies and maintain a thorough understanding of current and emerging threats.

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