August News:


On The Calendar August news from The Fulcrum Group With summer winding down, our calendar for fall is already rolling.  Wednesday, September 13th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., we're co-sponsoring the Medical Group Management Association Quarterly Luncheon, which is a great event for healthcare practice managers, . You can register for the luncheon directly from our Events page. Headsup for an October Fulcrum Group Fall Lunch & Learn Event - Personal IT Security Tips for Business Owners & Executives - We'll be doing dual events in both Fort Worth and Dallas so that we can touch all of our DFW area friends, clients and contacts. Be on the lookout soon for details and your invite! Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us. If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.
A Layered Approach To Security IT security vendors’ marketing often suggests that using a particular vendor’s IT security product will solve all your security problems. Unfortunately, when it comes to IT security, here is no such thing as a silver bullet, and it takes many overlapping layers of technologies and processes to provide comprehensive risk and security management. Remember, there is no way to completely eliminate all IT security risks, you can only bring them down to an acceptable level. Organizations should continually be checking their systems for vulnerabilities, learning about new threats, thinking like attackers and adjusting their defenses as needed. Protecting the Network Layer Firewalls are designed to let some traffic in based on type, port and destination. Take email for an example:  Blindly allowing email traffic through a firewall could permit an email message designed to compromise your systems (say, through a sophisticated—or maybe not so sophisticated—phishing attack) to reach your mail server. Firewalls have evolved by incorporating deeper analytics, such as intrusion prevention, gateway antivirus, and deep packet inspection services, enabling them to look deeper into packets and better detect malicious traffic.  In addition, traffic such as email can be routed through cloud email filters that will filter incoming email for viruses and spam BEFORE it reaches your network, thus reducing your bandwidth usage and the likelihood of threats getting through. Protecting the Computer Layer Antivirus software is still also a valuable part of a security plan, but it should not be the only technology used to protect PCs and servers. Antivirus started out with a single mission: to protect computers from malware by relying on comparisons to file signatures.  Scanning incoming email for viruses at the PC and server level can provide additional layers of security so that if a threat gets through one layer, it might get stopped by another layer. Protecting The User Layer An end user unknowingly clicking on a link in a single email phishing attack can lead to a multi-million dollar breach in seconds, and the end user responsible may not even be aware of their mistake. The problem lies in the fact that too few end users know of the dangers of social engineering, much less how to detect it.  Ongoing end user security awareness training can help end users understand the ever changing threats that they are facing, and how to avoid them. Protecting Other Layers As hackers and malware have evolved, more choices of IT security and risk management tools have been developed to fill the void. For example, endpoint computing devices — particularly mobile ones — use protections beyond antivirus to centrally manage things such as what endpoint computing devices can access or what applications they can use.  Today’s IT managers have a whole ecosystem of layered security available to them —endpoint protection, application protection, network protection and end-user controls—which must carry us through a variety of use cases.  See our current list of Critical Security Controls listed in the figure below.

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Cisco vs SonicWALL Firewall Smackdown Firewalls are a critical part of any IT security program. Today's "Next Generation" firewalls from Cisco and SonicWALL do a lot more than just basic firewall and VPN.  They can provide additional layers of security including intrusion prevention, web content filtering, bandwidth shaping, and a lot more.  Our comparisons below will help you determine which firewall solution will be best for you. Cisco ASA firewalls with Firepower services have come a long way over the last few years.  In the past, Cisco ASA firewalls required expensive modules and software to provide additional layers of security such as intrusion prevention or web filtering.  With Cisco’s acquisition of Sourcefire back in 2013, Cisco was able to quickly turn the ASA firewall into a true “Next Generation” firewall with multiple security layers. Below are some of the best fits for Cisco ASA firewalls with Firepower
  • Larger enterprises with over 250 employees will benefit from the ASA firewall’s performance and throughput, and enterprise features.
  • Smaller organizations with Cisco ASA firewall expertise can easily migrate to the latest Cisco ASA firewalls with Firepower services.
  • Medium sized organizations with advanced security or compliance needs will benefit from the advanced security features and granularity of the ASA firewall with Firepower.

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                    SonicWALL recently refreshed their line of TZ firewalls, adding more performance and throughput, and also adding an optional Advanced Gateway Security Suite subscription that adds Capture Advanced Threat Protection, a multi-engine sandbox that runs and inspects suspicious files and code in an isolated cloud-based environment.  We often refer to SonicWALL firewalls as a “swiss army knife” security product.  It includes many security features out of the box, including intrusion prevention, web content filtering, gateway antivirus, and application control/bandwidth shaping. Below are some of the best fits for SonicWALL firewalls
  • Most small businesses under 250 employees will be quite happy with a SonicWALL firewall.
  • Small businesses with office space of 4000 sq. ft. or less can benefit from a SonicWALL firewall with integrated Wireless Access Point.
  • Small to medium businesses with a need for more advanced security layering, but don’t have the budget to afford Cisco ASA firewall can typically afford a SonicWALL firewall.
  Regardless of whether you prefer Cisco ASA or SonicWALL, if your current firewall is more than 4 years old, you are missing out on “Next Generation” firewall features, and you should definitely upgrade your firewall. Feel free to reach out to your Fulcrum Group Account Manager for more information or to receive a quote.    
SPOTlight On: Help Desk Engineer, Brandon Singh Cyber Safety Tips From The Fulcrum Group We would like to welcome Brandon Singh to the Fulcrum Group Engineering team! Brandon is on staff at our 24-hour help desk, assisting Fulcrum clients with endpoint security and always-on availability issues. With experience in high-stress hospitality environments, Brandon's ability to remain unflustered and even-keeled during stressful situations is a great asset. Welcome, Brandon!  
  More Than Tech Tips: What Is Smishing? Business Tips From The Fulcrum Group

Internet criminals are increasingly trying to circumvent your spam filters and are targeting users directly through their smartphones with smishing attacks

Short for "SMS Phishing," these types of attacks often prey on victim's sense of urgency or panic, pressuring the victim into giving out personal or company confidential information - often in the form of a warning from one's bank about a potential fraudulent charge, but they can also appear to come from someone you might know - via text to your smart phone.  If you receive a text that seems out of place or gives you a "red flag" for one reason or another, always call and verify before letting go of ANY sensitive information! Along with banking/accounting-related smishing attempts, there is a mystery shopping scam going on as well - starting out with a text invitation, asking you to send an email for more info which then gets you roped into the scam.Always, when you get a text, remember to think before you tap.

Increasingly, texts are being used for identity theft, bank account breaches and to pressure you into giving out personal or company confidential information. Here's a short video made by USA Today that shows more:

Someone who is trained to spot social engineering red flags would definitely think twice before falling for these kinds of scams. Be sure your employees are those "someones."  On our blog, we've provided you with a resource you can print out and use to be sure your staff is up to speed on helping keep your computer systems safe.  If you have any questions on this topic, or other cyber security related questions, always feel free to reach out to us at 817.337.0300 or shoot us a quick email.
  Did You Know...IT Security AssessmentsThe Fulcrum Group Dallas Fort Worth IT Outsourcing Managed Services The Fulcrum Group offers IT security assessment services through its SPOT Shield IT Security Assessment offering. Contact your Fulcrum Group Account Manager via email or at 817-337-0300 to find out more.