Compliance > Privacy

Guarding Digital Assets: Proactive Data Privacy Measures for Remote Work

The challenge of ensuring data privacy is paramount in today’s globally interconnected landscape, where an increasing number of businesses are adopting remote work models. Using strong security measures to protect and safeguard sensitive data while working remotely is vital. This article aims to explore some of the key strategies and protocols one can put into practice to safeguard data privacy, irrespective of your place of work.  

Importance of Data Privacy in Remote Work 

Remote work offers various advantages such as flexibility, reduced commuting, better work-life balance, and global talent access.  

As the boundaries between professional and personal spaces blur, it becomes essential to prioritize data privacy.The potential outcomes of poor cybersecurity practices in remote work environments can lead to:   

  1. Reputation Damage: The customer’s data leak or compromise can tarnish the company’s brand image, leading to a loss of trust among stakeholders, potential clients, and investors.
  2. Legal or Regulatory Compliance: Non-compliance with data protection laws, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), can lead to hefty fines, penalties, and legal repercussions.
  3. Intellectual Property: Proprietary information is vital for businesses to maintain a competitive edge. Unauthorized access or breaches by competitors or malicious actors can jeopardize a company’s market position and potential revenue.
  4. Data Breaches: Exposure of sensitive data, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), financial information, company’s customer data, or trade secrets, through data breaches, can have a devastating impact on a company’s reputation. The consequences can lead to financial losses and reputation damage, and they may suffer legal and regulatory penalties.
  5. Financial Losses: Cyber-attacks can lead to substantial financial losses for individuals and organizations, such as a Ransomware attack. Financial fraud, such as unauthorized transactions or identity theft,can arise if remote work systems, like laptops or smartphones, are compromised, leading to personal or business losses.  

Key Challenges in Data Privacy for Remote Work 

Hardware and Software Vulnerabilities 

When working outside the controlled environment of an office, remote employees frequently use personal devices or unsecured networks, which might not be up to date with the latest security patches, thus making them more susceptible to cyber threats and data breaches.  

Phishing, malware, and socially engineered attacks 

Remote workers are susceptible to cyberattacks like phishing, malware, and social engineering attacks, especially when they access corporate data from public networks or unfamiliar devices. 

Inconsistent Security Protocols 

Without standardized protocols across all remote work setups, the chances of data breaches increase manifolds. 

Enforcing organizational policies and regulatory requirements: 

Enforcing organizational policies and regulatory compliance can be challenging with remote work due to the lack of physical presence of IT staff and supervisors.  

Steps to Promote Data Privacy in Remote Working. 

Implementing and following security best practices can help safeguard valuable data resources and drastically reduce the chances of costly cyber-attacks.  

End-to-end Encryptionand Backups 

While handling data, ensure data is encrypted at rest and in transit over the networks. This ensures that data is indecipherable, even if intercepted, to unauthorized users.Encrypting the communications channels helps safeguard information. Regular backing up of data to cloud storage or an offline storage device can protect against data loss, offer protection against ransomware attacks, and serve as a repository. Users can access and share data from any location.  

Use VPN (Virtual Private Network) 

Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to establish secure and encrypted connections. VPNs help shield sensitive information from cyber threats, especially when using public networks.Also, avoid public Wi-Fi networks and use trusted networks or a personal hotspot.  

Update and Patch Software 

Keep all company-provided software and devices updated with the latest security patches. This protects against vulnerabilities that cybercriminals might be able to exploit.In addition, install software that is company-approved and from trusted sources, and always adopt safe browsing practices.  

Use strong password and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) 

Always use long and complex passwords to protect computing resources. Avoid sharing passwords and using the same passwords on multiple accounts. In addition to using unique, strong passwords, incorporating an additional layer of security, like a one-time passcode or biometric authentication, and MFA to ensure unauthorized access is restricted.Combining these factors makes it harder for hackers to impersonate a victim’s identity.  

Implement Zero-Trust Network Access:  

Zero-Trust, a security framework, requires strict verification of the user and devices that try to access the network. Every user and device, whether inside or outside of the organization’s network, must be authenticated, authorized, and validated continuously before access is granted. By default, for all users and devices, the access control is set to “deny.” the connections are assumed to be malicious unless authorized to access.  

A zero-trust strategy will help secure access to corporate resources only from trusted networks and devices.  

Establish Security Awareness Training Program 

An effective strategy to maintain a secure workplace environment is educating and conducting regular security awareness training sessions to inform employees about the latest threats and best practices. Training sessions may include recognizing phishing emails, the risk of using unsecured network connections, using strong and secure passwords, reviewing the company’s cybersecurity policy, or job-specific training. Regular employee training and remedial training (for those who fall for simulated phishing) will help employees to be vigilant, promote awareness, and reduce the probability of falling victim to cybercriminals.  


When working remotely, data privacy is not just a technical challenge but is also a critical business necessity. Businesses can not only protect their data by implementing robust security measures, but also can build trust among its employees and stakeholders, promote sustained growth, and improve their reputation. To stay ahead of the curve, one must regularly review and update their data privacy measures.  

General Cyber and IT Security

Introducing New Managed Detection and Response Capabilities: Enhanced Security for Microsoft 365

Announcing two new capabilities within our Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, specifically designed to enhance the monitoring and security of your Microsoft 365 environment. These additions are part of our ongoing commitment to provide the best possible protection against evolving cyber threats.

  1. Microsoft 365 Account Isolation: Our first new feature, Microsoft 365 Account Isolation, is a significant step forward in securing M365 user accounts and sensitive data. Compromised accounts can lead to Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks and even data exfiltration. Let us help you remediate this faster by acting on the suspected accounts to prevent further compromise and loss when your IT staff or MSP are not available to respond.

This capability allows us to:

  • Isolate Compromised Accounts: In the event of a suspected compromise, we can now quickly isolate affected accounts, minimizing the risk of data breaches or further infiltration.
  • Faster Remediation: Our SOC analysts can disable accounts and revoke all user sessions when suspicious activities are detected, ensuring faster remediation action.  We will also have the ability to re-enable accounts if needed.
  1. Microsoft Risky Users Alerting: The second feature, Microsoft Risky Users Alerting, provides enhanced monitoring of account activity classified as Risky Users within your Microsoft 365 environment. Previously we were unable to see this activity.  To take advantage of this enhanced monitoring, you must have a Microsoft Identity Protection with a P2 license level.  Additional permissions will be required and we can provide instructions to help you make the necessary changes.

Microsoft documentation classifies Risky users as:

  • The user has one or more Risky sign-ins.
  • One or more risk detections have been reported

        For more information on Risky Users, see the official Microsoft Identity Protection documentation.

What This Means for You

  • Enhanced Security: These new capabilities can significantly bolster your defense against cyber threats, particularly in visibility and protecting your Microsoft 365 environment.
  • Peace of Mind: With these new capabilities, you can be assured of a safer and more secure digital workspace.
  • Seamless Integration: These features are integrated into our existing MDR services, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted experience.

Next Steps

  • Opt-in for these new capabilities: Contact us via email at or by telephone at 205-419-9066 or toll-free 844-474-1244. Not yet a client? Contact us through this form.
  • Establish rules of engagement: We can discuss your preferences for utilizing the account isolation features such as:
    • Should we disable accounts upon suspicious activity?
    • Or only use isolation when we receive email or voice approval?
  • Setup Additional Permissions in Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure) / 365: Your team will need to enable some additional API permissions within your Microsoft Entra ID / 365 environment to allow these additional capabilities.
    • We have instructions we can provide to you during the setup process

We are committed to continuously enhancing your cybersecurity posture, and these new MDR capabilities are a testament to that commitment. Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation in maintaining a secure and resilient digital environment.


Compliance > Privacy

Data Privacy Laws and Cybersecurity: Navigating The 2023 Shift


In 2023, the United States is witnessing a pivotal transformation in its data privacy laws, heralding a new era in legal frameworks and cybersecurity strategies. This shift, significant in its scope and impact, demands a reevaluation of how organizations approach data privacy and security compliance.

Recent Developments in Data Privacy Laws
  1. New State Laws and Amendments:
    • California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA): Enhancing CCPA with GDPR-like rights from January 1, 2023.
    • Colorado Privacy Act (CPA): Introducing data security mandates, effective July 1, 2023.
    • Connecticut Data Privacy Act (CDPA): Emphasizing data minimization and security from July 1, 2023.
    • Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA): Prioritizing data security, effective December 31, 2023.
    • Virginia Consumer Data Privacy Act (VCDPA): Revising data processing rights from January 1, 2023.
  1. Emerging Trends:
    • Scope Consistency: These laws primarily target businesses within state borders or those engaging with state residents.
    • Consumer Rights Expansion: A growing trend towards empowering consumers with data access, deletion, and opt-out options.
Implications for Cybersecurity
  1. Enhanced Data Security: The evolving landscape necessitates robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard personal data.
  2. Risk Assessment and Compliance: Regular assessments for high-risk data processing underscore the need for continuous compliance.
  3. Legal and Financial Stakes: Non-compliance risks substantial legal and financial repercussions, with penalties reaching $50,000 per violation in some states.
  4. Diverse Regulatory Landscape: The variance in state laws presents a significant challenge for multi-state operations, requiring adaptable compliance strategies.
  5. Evolving Future Trends: With impending legislation in states like Maine and Massachusetts, the regulatory environment will grow, demanding agile cybersecurity responses.

2023 marks a watershed moment in U.S. data privacy law with profound cybersecurity implications. For organizations, the focus must shift to robust security measures, vigilant risk assessments, and a proactive stance on compliance. As the legal landscape evolves, staying informed and adaptable is crucial for effectively navigating these changes.

[For detailed insights on the evolving privacy laws, visit Reuters]


Computer & Network Security

The Ultimate Guide to Backup Strategy: 7 Essential Best Practices for Ensuring Data Safety

Safeguarding valuable data is paramount for businesses and individuals. A robust backup strategy prevents data loss and ensures business continuity. This comprehensive guide will discuss the top 7 best practices for creating a reliable backup strategy to keep your data safe.

  1. Develop a Comprehensive Backup Plan

A well-crafted backup plan is the foundation of a secure backup strategy. Begin by identifying the critical systems and data that require protection. Then, consider the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) to establish the desired frequency of backups and the acceptable amount of data loss.

  1. Utilize Diverse Backup Types, Including Air-Gapped and Immutable Backups

Optimize your backup strategy by combining full, incremental, differential, air-gapped, and immutable backups. Full, incremental, and differential backups balance storage space and recovery time, while air-gapped and immutable backups enhance security by protecting against unauthorized access and data alteration.

  1. Ensure Data Encryption and Secure Transmission

To protect sensitive data, implement encryption both at rest and during transmission. Encryption ensures that only authorized individuals can access the data. Use strong encryption algorithms, such as AES-256, and secure transmission protocols, like SFTP or HTTPS, to maintain the highest level of security.

  1. Store Backups in Multiple Locations

Storing backup data in multiple locations is vital for disaster recovery. Create at least three copies of your data, with one stored onsite for easy access and two stored offsite for added security. Consider using a combination of physical and cloud storage solutions for increased redundancy and accessibility.

  1. Regularly Test Your Backup and Recovery Process

To guarantee the effectiveness of your backup strategy, routinely test your backup and recovery process. This ensures that your data can be restored quickly and accurately during an emergency. Schedule regular tests and document the results, making any necessary adjustments to your strategy based on the findings.

  1. Monitor and Maintain Backup Systems

Continuous monitoring and maintenance of your backup systems are crucial for optimal performance. Implement monitoring tools to check the status of your backups, identify any issues, and generate reports. Regularly update software, firmware, and hardware components to prevent system vulnerabilities.

  1. Educate and Train Your Team

Lastly, investing in the education and training of your team is essential for maintaining a successful backup strategy. Provide regular training sessions and workshops on backup procedures, best practices, and disaster recovery. Encourage a culture of responsibility and vigilance to ensure that your entire organization is dedicated to protecting your data.


Following these seven essential best practices can create a robust and reliable backup strategy to safeguard your valuable data. Developing a comprehensive backup plan, utilizing multiple backup types, ensuring data encryption, storing backups in numerous locations, regularly testing your backup and recovery process, monitoring and maintaining backup systems, and educating your team are all critical components of a successful backup strategy. With these practices in place, you can rest assured that your data will remain secure and accessible in the face of any disaster.