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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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Why You Need a Carport

Carports are a very popular option for car storage and today we are going to take a look into exactly why this is a construction which you should consider. 

The term carport originally was used to refer to a passageway through which cars would travel through upon entering a building. Genius architect Frank Lloyd-Wright saw something else in this external construction however and since his own interpretation, the carport has grown in popularity and evolved in its design. When it comes to carports Melbourne is full of them, because residents here understand the range of benefits which can be found after building one. 

These lean-to or independently built structures outside the home provide the perfect place to leave your vehicles, and here are just some of the benefits of building one. 

Protection From The Elements 

The key benefit of a carport is to protect your vehicles from the elements. In some cases this means not having to scrape frost and ice off the car in the morning before work, in others it means protecting it from any damage which hail can cause. To most of us in Australia these conditions aren’t much to worry about, but searing heat and flying debris could be, both of which your car will be protected from with a carport. 

Security Increase

Many believe that the car is not any more secure in a carport, because unlike a garage there are no locks or doors. With this being said studies have shown that vehicles stored under a carport are significantly less likely to be stolen than those which are not. Additionally insurance companies may offer a discount if your car is being stored in this way. 

Adding Value 

Carports are considered an attractive feature amongst property buyers, and building one could in fact add some value to your home. Broadly speaking 30% of the spend which you make on the carport, can expect to come back to you when you eventually sell the property

Aesthetically Pleasing 

Thanks to the smart designs which we have, as well as the bespoke options which you have to choose from, a carport can really make your home look more attractive. This adds a simple structure to your property which will help to continue the theme of the home and make the entire place feel more homely and comfortable. 

Low Cost Garage Alternative 

Many would like to have a garage on their property but if there isn’t already one there, the construction of a garage can be expensive. Even if you opted for custom carports, you will find that the overall cost pales in comparison to building a garage on site. 

Planning Permission 

Many fail to realize that they would need planning permission for a garage, which may not always be easy to obtain. Because of the simplicity of the structure and the fact that utilities aren’t required however, the construction of a carport very rarely needs permission — as it is filed under the same category as an external shed. 

This is a low cost and low effort way to make sure that your vehicles are safe, and that you add some value and attraction to your property.

Guide to Cypress Pine Timber

When it comes to building a fence or a timber deck in your backyard, one of the best choices for most people is Cypress pine timber. There are many benefits to the use of this knotty timber choice which is what we are going to take a look into today. More and more people are looking to use this in their yards and gardens for both summer and winter fun, and a deck is the best way to do just that. If you are planning on a deck build then here is all you need to know about this particular type of timber.

Timber Facts

Cypress pine timber is a species of pine which is found growing in Australia’s eastern states. Mainly we see this growing in NSW and towards the south of Queensland. Whilst this can be used indoors for floors and panelling, it is a solid choice which can also be used outside the home.

Cypress Pine Uses In The Garden

Within the garden cypress timber must be heavily treated so that it can continue to look good and so that it can avoid any damage which the elements may cause. This is a popular timber choice for those looking to build decking and fencing. Beyond this we often see cypress used for edging and garden pathways.

Benefits of Cypress Pine

One of the clearest benefits of using Cypress pine timber is that it is domestically sourced and that ensures that you are buying a timber choice which is environmentally friendly and low cost. The color is another wonderful feature of this pine, which ranges from natural creams to golden brown tones. Owing to the range of knots and unique patterns, each cut of this timber offers a different look from the next, perfect for the likes of fencing and decking. This is a sturdy timber which holds nails very well, and it is also termite resistant. All told this is a reasonably priced, beautiful-looking and durable timber option.

Downsides To This Timber Choice

There are some downsides to using Cypress timber, mainly that you have to put some work in so that it maintains its great look and quality. Because of the fact that there are so many knots in the timber, there is a level of movement over time which you can expect. These knots also hold a great amount of liquid which is why you must ensure that you give an even spread when you are coating with varnish or protective stain. Another potential drawback could be that some people are allergic to that strong pine smell which is given off. Most enjoy this smell once the timber is installed, but not everyone will agree with you —especially if they are allergic.

All told Cypress pine timber is a great option for your deck, easy to work with and robust enough to see you through the years. This is a timber which can be found easily throughout the country and this is yet again why it is so commonly used.