Why Having a Blacklist Policy is Important
A Blacklist Policy, coupled with the appropriate network software, blocks employees from visiting of various categories of websites that present a number of different risks to an organization.
On Oct 17, 2018, the Office Of Inspector General released a report that outlines how the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) network was infected with malware because a civil servant had an "extensive history" of watching porn while at work. The employee's Android cell phone was also infected with malware and was connected to the employees work computer via the USB interface. It was discovered that the employee visited approximately 9,000 web pages, many of which were routed through to sites containing malware in Russia.
In this instance, the malware was discovered after suspicious internet traffic was detected during an IT security audit. It is unclear how long the malware would have gone undetected had the IT security audit not been conducted. In this instance, a ransomware attack was not initiated.
The investigation identified two serious vulnerabilities in the USGS's IT security posture:
- website access - the employee was able to access websites which presented security and other organizational risks
- open USB ports - allowed malware on the employee's Android cell phone, which could have been infected at the employee's home, to infect the employee's work computer and the USGS network
Developing a Blacklist Policy is relatively easy and the required network software (DNS filtering) relatively inexpensive.
Employee Security Awareness Training (SAT) is another important prevention step that business owners can take to reduce security risks.
3 Reasons to Replace Old Computers
1. Every PC older than four years can cost you over $1,700 per year, per device in maintenance, repairs and lost productivity, as compared to a new device.1
2. Older devices lack the latest updates putting them at risk for cyberattacks and data breaches that affect more than 50% of small businesses.2
3. New Windows 10 Pro devices keep you protected and your employees productive–even on the go–with 25% more time efficiency3, 28% faster startup4 and a battery that lasts three times longer5 than an older device.
1) Pivoting SMBs to Buy PCs; Techaisle, 2015
2) Ponemon; 2016 State of Cybersecurity in SMB (USA); Canadian Chamber of Commerce, An Analysis of the Adoption of Internet-based Technology, February 2017
3) Forrester, Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Windows 10
4) Testing conducted by Principled Technologies in July 2015 in a closed lab environment using OEM factory default images on a representative sample of Windows 7 devices. Each boot test was run 10 times and the averages compared. Average improvement in startup was 28%.
5) Performance of 6th Gen Intel® Core™ processors in Windows 10 devices, estimated based on Windows 8.1 Local HD Video Playback Power, Comparisons based on Intel Core i5-6200U vs. Intel Core i5-520UM