PROCIRCULAR BLOG

Educating your business on the importance of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity: Complex but not Complicated

Posted by Jake McGreevy on Aug 11, 2022 1:15:00 PM

The shift to remote work challenged organizations of all sizes to increase their digital footprint and allow everyone to collaborate and work from anywhere in the world to satisfy their customers and clients. For some organizations (usually larger), this is not a problem. However, increasing a digital footprint while keeping security at the forefront can be challenging for medium-sized or smaller companies. The pandemic has fueled an increase in cybercrime, and there are no signs of it slowing down.  

When the pandemic first hit, companies had to transform their businesses quickly, and with that came an increase in security vulnerabilities. It is not crazy to say that most small or medium companies think they are “too small” to be a target, but that is not true. The media likes to spotlight attacks on Fortune 500 companies and make it sound like vulnerabilities and malware are complex issues. This rhetoric makes smaller and medium-sized companies shy away from implementing cybersecurity programs and shift their focus to other business areas.  

The reality is that cybercriminals are organized and can attack anyone at any given moment. If your company has any value at all, you are a target. Attackers know that going after large companies is risky and increases their chances of getting in trouble with law enforcement. Ultimately, all they want are quick and easy paydays, and smaller companies typically are an easier target to hit.  

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Topics: Cybersecurity

How to Prioritize Cybersecurity Before a Recession

Posted by Tierney Robinson on Jul 28, 2022 3:08:13 PM

Cybersecurity is one of the main factors to incorporate into your organization’s recession planning. One notorious online cybercriminal group, the Cobalt Cybercrime Gang, has been operating since 2013, completing over 100 heists totaling over EUR 10 billion in losses to the European financial industry. In a time when attackers are highly motivated and financial and reputational losses can have significant effects, it is crucial to have a clear picture and action plan regarding your cybersecurity posture.

With new threats emerging daily, it is essential to identify and address technical and operational risks proactively. Ensuring reliable and uninterrupted function of your operations during an incident means preparing for, protecting against, responding to, and recovering from a cyberattack.

A recession can occur unexpectedly with little to no warning and leave companies vulnerable to opportunistic and persistent threat actors. The two-fold impact of an economic downturn would be that companies reduce spending, often cybersecurity spending, and highly skilled individuals across the globe become desperate for income, possibly turning to “black hat” or malicious hacking. Successful cyberattacks lead to significant financial and reputational losses. Businesses need a mature cybersecurity program that is resilient to today’s complex and often uncertain threat environment.

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Topics: Cybersecurity, vulerability assessment, Penetration Testing, Incident Response, vCISO, Recession

How Often Should You Do Penetration Testing?

Posted by Willie Zhang on Jun 29, 2022 2:16:30 PM

A penetration test evaluates your external and internal networks from the perspective of a hacker and assesses the likelihood and impact of potential attacks.

Our cybersecurity experts at ProCircular recommend conducting External and Internal Penetration Testing at least once every year. Immediately after the penetration test, we’ll provide guidance to help you address critical and high-severity vulnerabilities. Over the following months, resolve lower-priority insecurities and recheck problem areas to prepare for the next annual test.

Why You Should Be Pen Testing Annually

In a perfect world, our experts would retest after any network adjustment or discovery of a new vulnerability within a cybersecurity system. In reality, penetration testing requires time and resources, so we use the results of each test for as long as they reliably represent the network security. The yearly cadence gives an organization enough time to implement the recommendations from the previous engagement while staying reasonably up-to-date on new attack vectors as they hit the cybersecurity landscape.

ProCircular’s penetration testers have the experience and technical expertise to help you understand exactly what each finding entails, and what it will take to seal that gap. Annual pen testing allows you to develop a clearer picture of your network year over year.
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Topics: Penetration Testing

Benefits Of Web App Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking

Posted by Lindy Trout on Apr 28, 2022 8:59:20 AM

How does a new application transition from being theoretically secure to real-world secure? Security controls are necessary, but it’s even more important to ensure they are implemented, enforced, and hardened correctly before the application is exposed to the internet. Start with a Web Application Penetration Test to reveal the most critical areas for improvement and outline a clear path to securing those vulnerabilities. This assessment is performed similarly to an External & Internal Network Penetration Test; an ethical (white hat) hacker scours your site (or network) for low-hanging fruit and hidden weaknesses, so you can put up the right defenses before the hackers in the wild have a chance to attack!

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Topics: Penetration Testing

Legality of Ransom Payments

Posted by Aaron R. Warner on Feb 1, 2022 3:44:30 PM

As clients begin to recognize and prepare against the threat of ransomware attacks, one tricky question keeps coming up. Is paying a ransom “illegal yet?”. No company is champing at the bit to make unplanned payments, especially not to potential terrorists on the OFAC list, but the legality of the matter depends on a few factors. *Please note that ProCircular does not provide legal advice, rather, we disseminate guidance from the top legal authorities.

As a cybersecurity professional and business owner, I keep a close eye on the everchanging recommendations surrounding ransomware attacks and incident management. I found the following document to be one of the more up-to-date (at least by government standards) and straightforward pieces available on the topic. Here's the short version:

“In the context of hostage-taking, for example, DOJ clarified in 2015 that it “has never used the material support statute to prosecute a hostage’s family or friends for paying a ransom for the safe return of their loved one.”67

Basically, there is a low likelihood of prosecution for making ransom payments, even when it is paid to a known threat actor on the OFAC denied persons list. I would only expect to see legal action taken if a very large company went through with the payment while it was expressly illegal. Even then, the punishment would be intended to make an example rather than punish the victim.

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Topics: Incident Response, Ransomware

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