Cybersecurity Defense: The Biden Administration Executive Order, is it a Great Start Towards Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity?

In May, President Biden issued his executive order on improving the nation’s cybersecurity. However, this is not the first time that a president has tried to address this critical issue. Every president since Bill Clinton has issued a similar executive order to no avail.

While cybersecurity is an ever-growing complex topic, there is hope that the latest executive order is taking the step to get ahead of the next multimillion-dollar cyber-attack.

Why is Cybersecurity Important?

Hackers working for profit and espionage have long threatened American information systems. But in the last six months, they’ve targeted companies running operational networks like Colonial Pipeline with more persistence.

A cyber-attack can become a costly expense.  Not only does the network have to be repaired and protected, but hackers may also demand money to get back data, access, or personal information.  The average ransomware requested from a small business is around $4,300, but the average cost of downtime after a ransomware attack is $46,800.  Meaning that even though a ransom request may appear small, it can cost your business more as time goes on. 

70% of businesses are ill-prepared for a cyberattack. In other words, hundreds of thousands of industries have holes in their cybersecurity or have no cybersecurity at all.  It is vital to educate employees on the importance of cybersecurity.  Implementing cybersecurity training is a start to keeping your company safe from cyberattacks. 

How Will the Government Help?

The U.S. government began taking small steps to defend cybersecurity in 1998 when the Clinton administration identified 14 private sectors as critical infrastructure, including chemicals, defense, energy, and financial services. Other industries were slower to protect their computers, including the oil and gas sector.

By modernizing our government’s approach to cybersecurity, the uniformity of standards across all agencies will make it easier for companies to get a clearer picture of the expectations.

The executive order lays out clear directions on where the U.S. needs to improve and how outside companies can help it get there. This should encourage greater buy-in and assure that this order is the one that finally makes a difference.

Executive Order Key Points

  • Remove Barriers to Threat Information Sharing Between Government and the Private Sector
  • Modernize and Implement Stronger Cybersecurity Standards in the Federal Government
  • Improve Software Supply Chain Security
  • Establish a Cyber Safety Review Board
  • Create a Standard Playbook for Responding to Cyber Incidents
  • Improve Investigative and Remediation Capabilities

In the wake of million-dollar cyber-attacks such as JBS and the Colonial Pipeline, it is imperative to take extra steps to mitigate the risk of a cyber-attack.  At CREG Systems, we take pride in our cybersecurity knowledge and put a lot of time into educating our customers on its importance. 

CREG Systems helps keep the data you share and store secure and protected, which pledges efficient operation and credibility to your organization. Our certified staff will assess your network’s strengths and potential weaknesses and design a solution that fits your needs today and prepares you and your business for the future.   

Our staff are trained and certified as Certified Information Security System Professionals (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hackers, and Certified Wireless Network Administrators and hold CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Windows Server, and Microsoft Exchange certificates. In conclusion, our staff is the best equipped to deliver you the best and most comprehensive cybersecurity in the North Country.


Data Privacy Day January 28

Data Privacy Day is an international effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust.

Data Privacy Day is a global effort — taking place annually on January 28th — that generates awareness about the importance of privacy, highlights easy ways to protect personal information and reminds organizations that privacy is good for business. Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day is observed annually on Jan. 28.

Data Privacy Day is the signature event in a greater privacy awareness and education effort. Year-round, NCSA educates consumers on how they can own their online presence and shows organizations how privacy is good for business.

In 2021, NCSA is encouraging individuals to “Own Your Privacy” by learning more about how to protect your valuable data online, and encouraging businesses to “Respect Privacy”, which advocates for holding organizations responsible for keeping individuals’ personal information safe from unauthorized access and ensuring fair, relevant and legitimate data collection and processing. These themes are encouraged through the below messaging and calls to action:

Calls to Action

  • Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for, and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list, and photo album, before you can use their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates. 
  • Manage your privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. Get started with NCSA’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page:https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/managing-your-privacy/manage-privacy-settings/

Respect Privacy

ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES: RESPECT PRIVACY

According to a Pew Research Center study, 79% of U.S. adults report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies. Respecting consumers’ privacy is a smart strategy for inspiring trust and enhancing reputation and growth in your business.

Calls to Action:

  • If you collect it, protect it. Data breaches can not only lead to great financial loss, but a loss in reputation and customer trust. Follow reasonable security measures to keep individuals’ personal information safe from inappropriate and unauthorized access. Make sure the personal data you collect is processed in a fair manner and only collected for relevant and legitimate purposes.
  • Consider adopting a privacy framework. Build privacy into your business by researching and adopting a privacy framework to help you manage risk and create a culture of privacy in your organization. Get started by checking out the following frameworks:
  • Conduct an assessment of your data collection practices. Understand which privacy laws and regulations apply to your business. Educate your employees of their and your organization’s obligations to protecting personal information. 
  • Transparency builds trust. Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share consumers’ personal information. Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used and design settings to protect their information by default. Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy. 
  • Maintain oversight of partners and vendors. If someone provides services on your behalf, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your consumers’ personal information.

We offer cybersecurity services to businesses that assist in the education of employees and mitigate cybersecurity risks

Defendify by CREG Systems Cybersecurity Platform

  • Cybersecurity Risk & Assessment Tool
  • Alerts
  • Cybersecurity Policy Builder
  • Incident Response Builder
  • Dark Web Scanning for Stolen Passwords
  • Phishing Simulation Tool
  • Employee Cybersecurity Awareness Training Videos & Webinars
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Poster Library
  • External & Internal Network Vulnerability Scanning
  • Threat Penetration Testing (Ethical Hacking)
  • Website Scanning

Many businesses do not believe that they are a potential target of cybercrime. Personal information is not limited to your basic social security number or credit card information. For instance, it can include recipes as a restaurant owner all the way to market strategies. To find out why you could be at risk of a cyberattack, watch our webinar on cybersecurity!

With COVID-19 and the transition to a remote workforce, your business can be at an even greater risk. Read why remote workers are more vulnerable to cyber attacks here! https://cregsystems.com/index.php/covid19-makes-remote-workforce-vulnerable-to-cyber-attacks/

Our staff are trained and certified as Certified Information Security System Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker, and Certified Wireless Network Administrator and holds CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Windows Server 2016, and Microsoft Exchange certificates. In conclusion, our staff is the best equipped to deliver you the best cybersecurity in the North Country.


Local Hospital Latest Victim of Ransomware

On Saturday, July 25th, our local hospital experienced a cyber-attack. Samaritan Medical Center had to shut down its entire computer system. Therefore, employees have to return to paper and pen to operate. Patients are still being taken care of, and the hospital expects to reschedule patient procedures that have been deemed non-urgent.

Hospital Impact

The size of the attack is unknown; however, the impact on the hospital and personal information has been minimal. Cyber attacks are avoidable if you have robust cybersecurity, awareness, and know the cybersecurity best practices.

At CREG Systems, we believe that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. In other words, we all play a part in keeping our networks safe. Organizations, their leaders, users, and the solutions provider all work together to manage your cybersecurity.

Multi-Layered Security

We recommend a multi-layered approach to your network and data security. A multi-layered security approach uses several security measures to protect essential information. The numerous “levels” of security make it difficult for hackers to get through every barrier. For instance, a hacker may get past the spam filter on your email, but cannot get through the antivirus software.

We offer cybersecurity services to businesses that assist in the education of employees and mitigate cybersecurity risks

Defendify by CREG Systems Cybersecurity Platform

  • Cybersecurity Risk & Assessment Tool
  • Alerts
  • Cybersecurity Policy Builder
  • Incident Response Builder
  • Dark Web Scanning for Stolen Passwords
  • Phishing Simulation Tool
  • Employee Cybersecurity Awareness Training Videos & Webinars
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Poster Library
  • External & Internal Network Vulnerability Scanning
  • Threat Penetration Testing (Ethical Hacking)
  • Website Scanning

Many businesses do not believe that they are a potential target of cybercrime. Personal information is not limited to your basic social security number or credit card information. For instance, it can include recipes as a restaurant owner all the way to market strategies. To find out why you could be at risk of a cyberattack, watch our webinar on cybersecurity!

With COVID-19 and the transition to a remote workforce, your business can be at an even greater risk. Read why remote workers are more vulnerable to cyber attacks here! https://cregsystems.com/index.php/covid19-makes-remote-workforce-vulnerable-to-cyber-attacks/

Our staff are trained and certified as Certified Information Security System Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker, and Certified Wireless Network Administrator and holds CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Windows Server 2016, and Microsoft Exchange certificates. In conclusion, our staff is the best equipped to deliver you the best cybersecurity in the North Country.


Ransomware Tycoon: New Threat

What is Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that targets a victim’s file. The malware the user out of their data or steals the files through the use of encryption. The attacker then threatens to expose the files unless the victims pay a ransom. The most common form of payment is bitcoin. Ransomware delivery is in the way of phishing attempts. A phishing attempt is an email with malicious links attached to get the victim to click on these links, which unleash the ransomware into their files. Once the files become encrypted, it is nearly impossible to gain access to the data without the encryption key held by the attacker

Attackers have found a way around Windows 10 ransomware protection.   A new kind of ransomware known as Tycoon has found a way to target Windows devices. This ransomware uses a Java file format to disguise the malware until it reaches the desired files quickly

Blackberry Research

An educational institute fell victim to this kind of attack. The institute called in a consulting agency known as KPMG, which also partners with Blackberry’s Security research unit to investigate the incident. The attack was carried out by hacking into a remote desktop and deploying a backdoor to gain entry to the network. Once they have access through the back door, the attacker goes into a period of no activity. The period of inactivity can last anywhere between a week to a couple of months. After the period is up, it enters through the backdoor and disables any antivirus software to minimize the possible detection of the attack

The first detection of the ransomware Tycoon was in December 2019. Tycoon is present in Windows computers mostly, but researchers believe it can infect Linux systems. The number of victims has been minimal leading experts to believe this is a particular and targeted attack. Many of the victims include educational and software institutes. Since this type of attack can go undetected effortlessly, experts assume that the number of victims is higher than recognized. There are some ways to prevent an attack like this from happening

Check out our blog on ransomware and how to avoid it!