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How to defend your company’s data against bad actors

While the internet age has made it easy to scale a business globally, the openness it has promoted has also allowed new threats to emerge.

In recent years, hackers backed by organized crime syndicates or overseas governments have stolen data from governmental bodies and private corporations alike, awaking them to the importance of internet security.

However, before you blindly install a firewall on your networks or enact measures like people centric security, you’ll want to understand the problem you are facing.

In the paragraphs below, we’ll walk you through the process you should adopt when you set out to protect your company’s data from bad actors.

Identify data you need to protect

It is easy to be overwhelmed with the task you are facing, but if you start by highlighting the data sets that desperately need protection from online criminals, it will be easier to proceed.

Protecting customer data, which includes credit cards, bank account info, and addresses/e-mails/phone numbers, should be an ‘A’ priority.

Trade secrets, prototypes, and internal financial information should also be afforded the best possible protection from threats.

Finally, anything pertaining to your employees should be also be well-guarded, as having an entire staff’s checking account numbers exposed to a cash-hungry Ukrainian cybergang is not the best way to inspire long-term loyalty to your company.

Set up defenses and train staff on how to use them

Once you have identified the information you want to protect, you’ll then want to set up systems that will guard it from even the most seasoned online intruder.

Ensure that every page on your site has the HTTPS protocol in place, and that all information forms transmit their payload in an encrypted format.

Require that your employees set strong passwords (more than 8-12 characters, with a mix of lower and upper case characters, numbers, and symbols), and that they are changed on a regular basis.

Back up information weekly, if not daily. In the event of a ransomware attack, you’ll be glad you did.

Train your staff how to recognize phishing e-mails – when in doubt, have them forward the message to IT.

The call could be coming from inside the house

It’s easy to picture your biggest threat being some Ukrainian hacker snacking on Cheetos in Kiev, but often, the perpetrator of data leaks are internal employees and contractors.

60% of the time there is a breach, it is the people you have trusted to keep your company’s trade secrets under wraps who ends up betraying your trust.

Knowing this, it is insufficient to set up an external firewall and DDoS protection and call it a day. You also need to have a system which tracks the behavior of employees and contractors as they navigate through your company’s intranet.

When a people centric security system detects anomalous behavior, it alerts your IT staff that something nefarious is up, allowing them to take appropriate measures against those flagged for engaging in ‘suspicious’ actions.

There may be many false alarms, but a people centric security system will pay for itself once it catches its first disgruntled employee trying to leak customer e-mail lists to a contact on the dark web.

 

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Can You Predict Ovulation?

If you’re trying to get pregnant, then this question has to be at the forefront of your mind. You can only conceive during your ‘fertile window’ – a period of a few days in each cycle anchored in place by when you ovulate.

For conception to occur, active sperm have to encounter a fertile egg (usually in the fallopian tubes, sometimes in the uterus), which means that you opportunity to get pregnant each month is dictated by how long both sperm and egg can survive! As healthy sperm can survive in the body for four to five days, and an egg remains fertile for between twelve and twenty four hours, this gives you a period of four to five days in each menstrual cycle when you can get pregnant.

Predicting this window of time is really important, especially if you have a plan for the ideal time you want to get pregnant and give birth. It’s absolutely vital if you’re trying to counter the fertility effects of conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which makes ovulation rarer and less regular – identifying and anticipating that key moment is the key tool you have available to help you get pregnant.

Is there an answer, though? Plenty of products promise to be an ovulation predictor but do they work?

Ovulation Calculators

These are perhaps the most convenient, lowest effort solution available, which makes them inherently attractive to some. All you need to do is enter the date your last period started, and the length of your menstrual cycle, and it can place where you are in yours, and tell you when you’re due to menstruate.

These work well – for women with extremely regular cycles. If yours works like clockwork every month, this is a good option, but even then tools like this simply can’t pick up health issues that might cause a disruption to your cycle.

Ovulation Predictor Kits

Known as OPKs, these kits work like pregnancy test: they check your urine for a spike in a particular hormone, the Luteinising Hormone that prompts your ovaries to release an egg, in this case. If the test detects you’re experiencing a surge in this hormone it tells you’re ovulating!

The weakness of these tests is that they’re not good at picking up results if you have a disrupted hormonal background – if you have a naturally low surge of LH it may never pick it up even if you ovulate regularly!

Basal Body Temperature

This is one of the best measures, with real predictive power: your basal body temperature (the minimum it sinks to while you sleep) responds to your menstrual cycle, so taking your temperature with an accurate digital thermometer can predict when you’re due to be at your most fertile.

It can be hard work to get good readings, but with specialised products available to take some of the pain out of taking readings and turning data into predictions, it’s the best option for the majority of people!

Could You Be the Next Crime Victim?

Being a victim of crime is something no one wants to be a part of.

That said are you doing everything within your power to lower the chances of being the next victim? If you are not, you could be setting yourself up for trouble.

With that in mind, what steps can you take to steer clear of being a crime victim?

Don’t Think It Can’t Happen to You

In your quest to steer clear of ending up a victim, your first step should be to understand that it can happen to anyone.

That said you want to avoid having the notion that you are immune to it. Even when you think you’ve taken all the right steps to avoid crime, it can still surprise you.

Among some of the crimes and how you can avoid them:

1. Identity theft – One of the more troublesome crimes, identity theft can strike at any time. With that being the case, you want to have an identity protection plan backing you up. Whether you look into LifeLock identity protection service or another brand, protect yourself. Such coverage will alert you to any red flags as you look to protect your finances. The most notable is someone without authority has tried to access your finances. Remember, one successful identity theft caper can have dire consequences for your finances.

2. Property theft – No matter the items involved, property theft is another crime you want to be aware of. With that in mind, you should make sure all your property has protection at all times. An example of this would be your vehicle. Are you someone who leaves their vehicle unlocked all or most of the times? If so, you are asking for trouble. Even if you lock your car or truck on a regular basis, do not leave valuables in it. Items like laptops, phones and significant money should never be in your vehicle. If you need to leave something of value in your vehicle for only a brief period of time, lock it in the trunk. At least this way it is out of the public view should someone come upon your vehicle.

3. Home invasion – Another crime to stay on top of would be a homeinvasion. In such a scenario, a criminal would break into your home whether you are there or not at the time. If you are, things could be even worse. To best protect your home, having a security system in place is a good start. If you do not have one now, go online and see which companies offer the best systems. You can check with friends to see which home security systems they recommend. Even with a security system in place, use some commonsense too. This means not leaving doors unlocked to start with. If you are going to be away for any extended period of time, be sure to have your mail/newspapers picked up. Also make sure your grass is trimmed and any snow is shoveled. Never give off signs that your home is sitting there without you around.

In your efforts to avoid being a crime victim, will you come out on top?