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About AlertBoot

AlertBoot offers cloud-based full disk encryption, file encryption, and mobile device security service for companies. It is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Suite 162

Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109,

United States

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Latest AlertBoot News

How to Avoid Being Hacked When Working From Home

Mar 7, 2022

TheStreet I agree to TheMaven's Terms and Policy Sign Up How to Avoid Being Hacked When Working From Home As hybid working becomes commonplace, cyber attackers have more opportunities to attack networks with malware, phishing and ransomware. Author: Mar 7, 2022 8:57 AM EST As hybid working becomes commonplace, cyber attackers have more opportunities to attack networks with malware, phishing and ransomware. The hybrid work model is emerging as a common option for employees who have been working remotely for two years, but maintaining networks that are safe from the prying eyes of cyber criminals to avoid malware and phishing remains a challenge. Even when employees are working in an office, many people are also sending emails and wrapping up projects from their homes remotely and management needs to ensure that employees are all following the same protocol. One of the biggest errors security professionals can make is to believe that other employees have the same understanding for good cyber hygiene as they follow, said Joseph Carson, chief security scientist and advisory CISO at Delinea, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of privileged access management solutions. Instead, it is a better strategy to assume that all employees are creating vulnerabilities. “The typical worker isn’t trained in cyber hygiene and best practices, making them easy targets for cybercriminals looking to access an organization's networks quickly and easily via a phishing attack or social engineering,” he said. “Ensuring that employees at every level are given sufficient training can be a major step to help reduce the success rate of an attack or at least raise an alert. By normalizing training within the culture of the workplace, organizations can help maintain attentiveness for these practices long term.” While AlertBoot adopted a hybrid remote work model 14 years ago, preventing data breaches remains a priority since security companies are also high on the list of targets for bad actors, said Tim Maliyil, CEO of Las Vegas-based cybersecurity services firm AlertBoot. One strategy the company follows is to minimize its reliance on the physical pieces of hardware used by employees. “While employees have a mix of Windows and Apple devices, we all connect to a remote Microsoft Windows desktop to perform their daily tasks,” he said. “The remote machines are virtual desktops located in various Microsoft Azure cloud data centers in multiple spots around the globe.The beauty of VDI (virtual desktop interface) is that it abstracts the employees' physical hardware from the user experience. The employees get a consistent user experience while we, the employer, have complete control over the virtual desktop.” The company secures access to virtual desktops and other online services by using strong passwords and requires a minimum of 15 characters with a variety of mixed characters, Maliyil said. Two-factor authentication is also enforced and AlertBoot uses a mix of Google Authenticator and a physical Yubikey for the second factor of authentication to the virtual desktops to all of its online services such as Zoom and CRM access. This strategy can help companies avoid a widespread ransomware attack. “It's hard for machines to infect one another when they are in a virtual desktop environment,” he said. “If a virtual machine gets infected with ransomware, we can destroy it and then restore it from a previously non-infected time with a click of a couple of buttons.” Contents One critical issue is employees using public WiFi. Employees have taken company devices that may have been dependent on network security such as email gateways, web gateways, intrusion detection systems or firewalls to protect those devices, Carson said. Now, most of those protections are pretty much useless when the devices have been moved to the public internet,” he said. TheStreet Recommends 27 minutes ago Enterprise cyber risk is higher with many employees working from home since the network is not typically under the control of corporate IT and their protection, said Bud Broomhead, CEO at Viakoo , a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of automated IoT cyber hygiene. Virtual private networks or VPNs are mandatory so employees can log into their company’s network and servers without leaving an entry point for hackers. These private networks will encrypt data. “Check with your IT department if they can install certificates (802./1x and TLS/SSL) to authenticate the devices used in the home and encrypt traffic between them,” he said. “This way even if a threat actor intercepts traffic they cannot use it.” But VPNs have their own risks. The issue with VPN is that it allows free access to the network once the connection has been established, said Hank Schless, senior manager, security solutions at Lookout, a San Francisco, Calif.-based endpoint-to-cloud security company. “Organizations need to be able to segment access on the application level as to not limit productivity, but still ensure only authorized users have access to sensitive data,” he said. One way to avoid this issue is to adopt zero trust and network segmentation, said Heather Paunet, senior vice president at Untangle, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of comprehensive network security for small-medium businesses. Zero trust is one of the latest cyber security trends to protect data based on the principle that instead of first making services available and then locking down access to those services, no access is granted at all unless it is deliberately given, she said. Network segmentation should also be used to isolate and minimize the impact of a possible cyberattack. “Set up separate networks for different types of usage, devices and/or roles,” she said. "For example, only grant access to critical financial information to those who need it. If there is a breach, that portion of the network can be shut down before it spreads through the network.” The onus for ensuring a secure hybrid work environment should be on the companies and not their employees, said Schless. “The forced introduction of unmanaged smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs means that many organizations have lost control of data and can’t ensure that these devices were free of any malware when handling sensitive data,” he said. Companies also are relying more on collaboration tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging and document sharing for their workforces, Paunet said. “While these tools are important to keep businesses running smoothly, they add more entry points for hackers,” she said. Why Home Networks Could Be Hacked Employee devices should also connect to a separate network from general home use since it reduces the risk of malware from home use spreading into the corporate network. “Similar to a guest network, almost all home routers have the ability to support a separate network that can be secured independently,” Broomhead said. Employees should also make sure their network connected devices are using the latest firmware by updating all devices immediately. Password managers such as LastPass are still valuable since they generate new unique passwords for each device. “Cyber criminals know that many people use the same passwords for home use as they might for business use,” he said. “Don’t reuse passwords and rotate passwords regularly to protect against passwords being misused.” Working in a hybrid environment often entails using applications that are in the cloud or have remote access, eliminating the traditional protections of a network firewall available in the office. Another headache arises when the trend allows for bringing your own devices, which allows for users to connect from any device, corporately owned or not. Employees can reduce threats by using strong passwords, updating them frequently and using an approved password vault and by keeping their devices updated and patched, including any personal devices used in a bring your own device program, said Kevin Dunne, president at Pathlock, a Flemington, New Jersey-based provider of unified access orchestration. Phishing emails and scams remain extremely popular among hackers and are the most common vector for account compromise into business-critical applications, he said. The home environment is often incredibly insecure and working from home easily multiplies the number of cybersecurity risks, said Chris Pierson, CEO of BlackCloak, an Orlando, Florida-based cybersecurity company that specializes in digital executive protection. Not only do people use cheap routers which they fail to keep updated or to set strong passwords for, the network is often very porous because of all the extra personal devices that people connect to it, such as gaming consoles, smart TVs, smart door locks and printers. “Most of these devices are incredibly insecure which provides an open door for an attacker to get inside the network and then move laterally across it to target the devices of real importance, such as company issued laptops,” he said. Employees can secure their home WiFi network by disabling remote access and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), so that every device connecting to the WiFi must sign-in. They can lower the amount of risk by limiting the types of devices they have on their network. One strategy is to segment the home WiFi network by putting devices like game consoles and IoT on the guest network and separate them from the main network that the employee's phone and laptop are using, Pierson said. Tags

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  • Where is AlertBoot's headquarters?

    AlertBoot's headquarters is located at Las Vegas.

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