January 21, 2019

Protect Your Digital Business By Learning How Cybersecurity Has Evolved To Become A Top Priority In 2016

In the 21st century, Zephyr Networks has found that the complexities of digital business in an algorithmic economy have significantly increase the dangers faced by companies across the board. After all, what business is not a digital business with an online presence to at least a certain extent in 2016? As the hacker industry becomes an emergent reality, every digital business is vulnerable with size, geography and industry no longer being the main determinate risk factors. While most companies rely on perimeter defense and rule-based security, such an old-fashioned approach to cybersecurity is no longer adequate.

Digital Business = Cybersecurity Priority

digital business

Digital Business Equals Cybersecurity Needed

Given the evolution into cloud-based services, your company needs the support that allows threats to be both detected and responded to in real time. Beyond blocking and other past measures to prevent attacks, you need to realize that cybersecurity includes an intrinsic approach to dealing with threats that overcome traditional barriers. The new adaptive security architecture offered by Zephyr Networks evolves and grows to meet emerging threats.

Today’s hackers are now using negative machine learning. Machine learning is a field of computer science that leverages pattern recognition algorithms. Negative machine learning is when this technology is employed for malicious purposes. In 2016, hackers will use negative machine learning more broadly. As a result, positive machine learning needs to be employed to keep up with and even pre-empt sophisticated cyber attacks. Although positive machine learning has been a part of all cybersecurity options for years, only now is it being adapted to respond to negative machine learning.

Machine Learning And Digital Business

As Hackers broaden their targeting and expand their range beyond the specific, cyber targets have significantly increased. No longer will your company be specifically targeted. Rather, the cyber vulnerabilities of your company will turn your business into a target, regardless of size, industry or geography. If there is an opening found, the hackers will take advantage of it.

As data becomes more contextually rich, it becomes more valuable to cybercriminals once it is shown to be vulnerable. Suddenly, the context is not as important as the opportunity. The growing risk of attack will require next-generation techniques for cybersecurity, including improvements in identity access management and now information management.

Even more importantly, public clouds need security system architectures that protect the private companies operating within this matrix. Acceptable risk levels and controls radically shift once a private company with context-rich intellectual property and proprietary information becomes part of a public cloud. Zephyr Networks has designed protocols and strategies to address such issues while also offering private cloud access.

Positive Machine Learning For Your Digital Business

Although positive machine learning algorithms have been used by security applications for years with varying success, big data analytics in the cloud is changing the potential effectiveness of these applications. Since Zephyr Networks runs our own data centers, managing a private cloud for our clients, we help ensure safety beyond the dangers of the public cloud. Our goal is to help make sure your company is protected from hackers. By working with Zephyr Networks, you can make cybersecurity a priority in 2016.

Sony Hack Implications For The Cybersecurity Of Your Company

Without question, the biggest entertainment story, maybe even the biggest story period at the end of 2014 was the Sony hack by presumed North Korean agents in response to the release of The Interview. Beyond the leak of unreleased movies like Annie and Still Alice, the hackers behind the cyber-attack stole the personal, financial and medical data about thousands of past and present SPE employees and their dependents. By failing to properly secure such information, Sony Pictures Entertainment placed the future of the company in jeopardy by opening the door to countless civil lawsuits and class action suits.

The Sony Cyber-Attack & Your Company

Can you imagine such a cyber-attack against your company and the ugly consequences? Would you be able to survive class action lawsuits by employees and ex-employees if such information was stolen and used against them? Do you want the private emails between you and your employees to be revealed in public?

The goal of Zephyr Networks is to help you avoid such devastation by providing you with the latest in information technology protection in the form of cybersecurity, network security and computer security. If a multinational company as large as Sony Pictures Entertainment could be severely hurt and publicly humiliated by a cyber-attack, then your company is at risk as well.

 Confidential Employee Information Stolen

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The Sony Hack & Your Company’s Cybersecurity

Before going any further into what Zephyr Networks can do to help, here is a sample of what was stolen by the hackers. The damage goes well beyond the early release of a few minor movies and some scandalous emails between executives and producers. According to a notice letter to employees that was dated December 8, 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed that unauthorized individuals as a result of a “brazen cyber-attack” had obtained identifiable information about employees and their dependents. Sony Pictures Entertainment listed the following types of information that may have been obtained:

“(i) name, (ii) address, (iii) social security number, driver’s license number, passport number and/or other government identifier, (iv) bank account information, (v) credit card information for corporate travel and expense, (vi) username and passwords, (vii) compensation and (viii) other employment-related information. In addition, unauthorized individuals may have obtained (ix) HIPAA protected health information, such as name, social security number, claims appeals information you submitted to SPE (including diagnosis and disability code), date of birth, home address, and member ID number to the extent that you and/or your dependents participated in SPE health plans, and (x) health/medical information that you provided to use outside of SPE health plans.”

In a downright shocking account of the hack, C-SPAN reported that the hackers stole 47,000 unique Social Security numbers from the Sony Pictures Entertainment computer network. The hackers claim to have stolen over 100 terabytes of data from Sony. Can you imagine if such confidential information about your employees was stolen from your company? Rather than working on growing your business, you would be entrenched in legal fights as you struggled to survive the onslaught of lawsuits.

A Goal Of Zephyr Networks

Zephyr Networks, Cybersecurity, Sony hack

Zephyr Cybersecurity Protection

The goal of Zephyr Networks is to make sure that no such cyber-attack is ever allowed to hurt our client companies. Yes, we understand that your company most likely will not be targeted by North Korea or any such foreign entity. Given the power of hackers, however, one disgruntled employee or angry competitor easily could wreak illegal damage on your company. What bothers Zephyr Networks is how many companies remain unprotected and how at risk their confidential information is when it doesn’t have to be that way.

To learn more about how Zephyr Networks can help your company address the issue of cybersecurity and network security, please call (800) 884-7559 for a free consultation.

Antivirus Solutions

We’ve all heard it on the news.  There’s another virus or malware effecting millions of computers users around the world.  We’ve been advised to install or upgrade existing antivirus software; and scan our computers.

Exactly what is a virus or malware program?  And what damage can it cause?

A computer virus is much like a flu virus.  It starts in the host computer and then replicates itself to other computers.  This can be through email; shared files; or a local area network.

A malware program tries to appear as if it’s a normal program; you may see a new icon on your desktop; a new program listed in the Programs that are installed on your computer; or you may see a pop-up prompting you to take action.  In reality, this malware is running code in the background causing a variety of issues.

Both a virus or malware can cause slowness on your computer and local network; annoying pop-ups displayed on your desktop; loss of data; and countless hours in loss of productivity.  What starts with one computer can have a ripple effect and cause an entire office to stop functioning.

How can you protect and defend against these threats?  There are many software manufactures of antivirus and malware programs.  But how do you know which one is best?

Whether you have one computer or fifty, Zephyr Networks can assist you determine an antivirus solution that is best for you and your company.

What Is A Private Cloud And Why It Makes The Most Sense For Your Business

A private cloud offers a distinct and secure cloud-based environment in which only the specified client can operate, thus avoiding the dangers of the public cloud while offering the benefits of virtualization. As with other cloud models, private clouds deliver computing power to your company as a service within a virtualized environment that has an underlying pool of physical computing resources. With a secure data services center based in Orange County, Zephyr Networks offers the best in private cloud options and solutions.

Private Cloud Model at Zephyr Networks

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Security of the Private Cloud

The difference between the private cloud model offered by Zephyr Networks and the public cloud offered by Google and other Internet giants is simple to illustrate. Like the picture at the right, your company needs the security of a classic white picket fence. You need to know your data and information is safe. Although the most important aspects of your computing requirements remain virtualized, the private cloud offers an advanced level of security and privacy. Such security has become a necessity for many businesses in this day and age.

When a data breach could mean the end of your business and possible lawsuits, a private cloud is the answer that your business needs. When compliance regulations are growing from both a state and federal perspective in terms of client information, a private cloud offers the protection needed to stay in compliance. From HIPAA to complex financial regulations, the private cloud avoids the problems that data breaches of the public cloud have made so common.

No Maintenance + Reliable Power Backups

A key advantage of a private cloud like at the Zephyr Data Services Center is you no longer have to worry about ongoing maintenance. You don’t have to worry about cooling your server rooms or any other technical issues because we do everything for you. More importantly, all maintenance questions are covered, turned into reliable answers.

In the modern world of 24/7 business, can you afford a time out period for your business because of power issues? With the recent heat wave and the resulting rolling blackouts, many companies were temporarily crippled. Imagine the business lost and the opportunities tossed out the door. By relying on the Zephyr Data Services Center, you have the power back-ups and cooling reliability that your business needs to guarantee success.

Public Cloud Dangers vs. Private Cloud Security

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The Zephyr Data Services Center

A public cloud has multiple clients accessing virtualized services and resources from the same pool of servers across public networks. In contrast, the private cloud draws on a distinct pool of protected physical servers and computers. Hosted externally at the Zephyr Data Services Center, these resources and services are accessed across private leased lines or secure encrypted connections via public networks. The benefits of such managed services are multiple with protection and reliability being high on the list.

The additional security offered by the ring fenced cloud model is ideal for any organization that needs to process private data or carry out sensitive tasks. For example, a financial company that is required by regulation to store sensitive data internally should utilize a private cloud service. At the same time, such a company wants to benefit the advantages of cloud computing within their business infrastructure, such as on demand resource allocation.

Learn More About The Zephyr Private Cloud

By accessing a private cloud, the security and the flexibility go hand-in-hand or server-to server with a tailored array of services offered. The private cloud model is closer to the more traditional model of individual local access networks (LANs) used in the past, but with the added advantages of virtualization. If you want to know more about the private cloud opportunities offered by Zephyr Networks, please contact us today for a free consultation.

Do You Realize How High The Risk Of A Data Breach Is For Your Small Business?

Do you have any idea how high the risk of a data breach is for your small business? For every high-profile case like the Target data breach at the end of 2013, there are hundreds of data breaches experienced by small businesses owners across the country. If you thought there was no risk of a data breach because it only happens to the big boys and your confidential information is safe because of your size, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Since January 2012, California has seen the equivalent a major data breach every 2-½ days, and those include only the data breaches that have been reported. The risk of a data breach is increasing by the day.  The majority of data breaches often go unreported and, even more frightening, many go unnoticed.

The Risk Of A Data Breach

risk of a data breach, zephyr networks

Risk of a Data Breach

Jason Oxman, chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Association, told the Los Angeles times that, “We are absolutely facing an epidemic of attacks on our nation’s infrastructure and attempts to gain access to information… smaller merchants tend to be easier and more attractive targets for cyber criminals.” Although the big problems like Heartbleed make headlines, the threats to confidential data held by everyday enterprises – dentist offices, colleges, financial consultants, Specialty Retailers and the list goes on and on – tend to fly under the radar. This reality does not surprise Zephyr Networks.

The dark underside of the current American economy is populated by not only the prototypical nerdy hackers, but by organized crime operatives who steal office computers and ex-employees who take the information given in trusted confidence and sell it to the highest bidder. The risk of a data breach comes from many different dark sources.

If more than 500 Californians are affected, the institution must give the attorney general’s office a copy of the advisory letter sent to potential victims. More than 380 of these letters have been posted since the program began in January 2012 — which equates to a major breach in the state every 2-½ days.

Risk Of A Data Breach Growing

Still, these are only the companies coming forward, admitting what has happened to them, and taking responsibility. The risk of a data breach also includes the risk of losing business due to the scandal. A good percentage of small to mid-sized companies hit by data breaches bury the truth. Such a bad decision is the result of the fear that a data breach will permanently damage their business. What is problematic is their fear is based in reality because public data breaches often erode a company’s client base while damaging their reputation. This is the price brought on by casually accepting the risk of a data breach.

Despite the prevalence of data breaches and equipment thefts, many small firms know little or nothing about cybersecurity. The National Small Business Association reported that 44% of respondents to a survey last year had been victims of at least one cyberattack or data breach, with an average $8,699.48 cost for each breach. Accepting the risk of a data breach often proves costly.

Understanding The Risk Of A Data Breach

Zephyr Networks understands that California’s size and wealth make its businesses a popular target. Companies that process, store or transmit credit and debit card data are expected by card companies and payment processors to abide by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a checklist of protocols known as PCI. But many of the 8 million U.S. businesses that accept credit and debit cards simply ignore this requirement.

Small-business owners often leave themselves vulnerable, increasing the risk of a data breach, by browsing social media or messaging friends on the same computer used to process financials. Others allow employees to log in to company networks remotely using easily stolen passwords or credentials. “It’s an economic calculation for a small merchant — is it more expensive to secure the network, or pay for the damages that may result if not?” Oxman said. “But many don’t consider the possible reputational harm. If you’re a small business, you might not be able to withstand the drop in business that might result from a breach.”

Minimizing The Risk Of A Data Breach

If you are a small business in Orange County, Zephyr Networks has a proven history of providing cybersecurity solutions that are affordable and tailored for each specific company. We know how to miminize the risk of a data breach for your company. To find out more, please contact Zephyr Networks by calling 800.884.7559.

Showing The Prominence Of Cyber Defense, Cisco To Buy Cybersecurity Company SourceFire For $2.7 Billion

At the end of July 2013, Cisco Systems agreed to buy Sourcefire, a key provider of cybersecurity services, for about $2.7 billion in cash. Reported in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the acquisition reflects the growing fervor for cyber defense and the rising value of companies that can help guard against computer-based attacks. As a major Orange County provider of IT solutions and cybersecurity, Zephyr Networks  believes the efforts of major players in the technological industry to provide cybersecurity is only just beginning. Unlike the corporate giants, however, Zephyr Networks is able to deliver IT solutions and cybersecurity to small to mid-sized Orange County businesses with a desire to connect with the human face of their cyber defense.

Cybersecurity Equals Big Business

Under the terms of the mega deal, Cisco will pay $76 a share in cash, nearly 30 percent higher than Sourcefire’s closing price on Monday. The offer includes retention-based incentives for Sourcefire’s executives. Founded in 2001, Sourcefire has grown into a major cybersecurity provider. In 2012, the company reported $5 million in profit on revenue $223.1 million. Shares in Sourcefire climbed about 29 percent in premarket trading, to $76.40, over the deal price, in a potential sign that investors might be expecting a bidding war. After all, quality cybersecurity providers on the level of Sourcefire are few and far between, and there might be other bidders coming to the table.

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Sourcefire & The Importance of Cybersecurity

In a statement, Cisco said that adding Sourcefire would take it’s portfolio of security offerings to the next-generation of excellence. “Buy has always been a key part of our build-buy-partner innovation strategy,” said Hilton Romanski, a Cisco vice president for corporate development. “Sourcefire aligns well with Cisco’s future vision for security and supports the key pillars of our security strategy.” Without question, the acquisition of Sourcefire is symbolic of the primary role that Cyber Defense has ascended to in the arena of business, technology and security.

Zephyr Networks & Affordable Cybersecurity

The focus of the work of Zephyr Networks  the IT stability and cybersecurity of our client company. If you want to find out how our IT solutions can help your company and ensure your cybersecurity , please contact Zephyr Networks today. To learn more about cybersecurity strategies that are affordable and actually work, call Zephyr toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.

 

Southern California Cybersecurity No Longer A Choice For Orange County And Los Angeles County Business Owners

Southern California cybersecurity is no longer a choice; it has become a clear necessity. Los Angeles County relies on information networks to connect its employees, partners and customers; Southern California cybersecurity can no longer be ignored. Since public networks people use daily are foundational to networked business, the connection between the two is prevalent and without exception.  While more and more networked business is conducted over private networks (or encrypted tunnels through public networks), the Internet, open WiFi networks and various mobile networks are now commonly used to connect members to such business networks. As a result, Zephyr Networks has seen an increase in vulnerability in 2013, and such vulnerability needs to be addressed and protected before it is too late.

CYBERSECURITY: Cyber & Security Have Become One

Southern California Cybersecurity

CYBERSECURITY: Cyber & Security Can No Longer Be Separated

The number of cyber attacks perpetrated against the information infrastructures of both public and private companies has upsurged in the recent past. A U.S. Government Accountability Office report that was published last month cites a 782% increase in the number of reported security breaches of federal agencies between 2006 and 2012. Within the last three months, major banks in the United States (TD BankWells Fargo) technology companies (Apple, Facebook, Microsoft), and media outlets (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post) have been attacked successfully and had their cybersecurity threatened. If it can happen to such major players, could it also be happening to you? As a small to mid-sized business owner in Los Angeles or Orange County, can you take such a risk? Can you put your Southern California on hold any longer?

The perpetrators of the recent spate of attaches were able to disrupt their targets’ online services, defaced their public websites and steal supposedly-protected information, including trade secrets, strategic plans, records of transactions and customer information. Cybersecurity is no longer a choice because it has become a clear and present threat to any networked business. As the growth of the networked business model continues to accelerate, you can know without question that the frequency and severity of cyber attacks. If you put up enough targets, sooner as opposed to later, the bad guys will take aim and fire. In the world of cybersecurity, there are bad guys beyond the arena of fiction, television dramas and movie thrillers.

From the angry young hacker sitting in his mom’s basement to well-oiled machine of cyber criminals looking to take organized crime off the streets and into your network, the threat is real There is a reason why President Obama issued an Executive Order last month that recommended that, “to enhance the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure and to maintain a cyber environment that encourages efficiency, innovation, and economic prosperity while promoting safety, security, business confidentiality, privacy, and civil liberties.”

Southern California Cybersecurity For You

Zephyr Networks knows from experience that Southern California cybersecurity is no longer an option. It is a necessity. Our goal is to prevent damage before it happens because too many times have we been called in after the fact to help companies after the damage already had been done. Enough is enough! If you are worried about the cybersecurity of your company, please contact Zephyr Networks today. To learn more about how we can protect your company, call Zephyr toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.