How to Act In Case of Cyber Incidents: 5-steps Response Plan + Checklist
2023

What happens if you experience a cyber incident despite taking every precautionary measure? To respond to the issue quickly and lessen its impact on your Club, you must have an incident response plan. 

In this short article, we’ll tell you about the NIST Incident Response Framework and provide you with a checklist of the steps you need to follow in case of cyber incidents. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use this information, but it’s always good to be aware and prepared because knowledge is power.

5 key phases of the NIST incident response framework

Identify

If you want to manage your cybersecurity risk, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of your tech environment. This function requires a Club to have visibility over its digital and physical assets, clearly define its roles and responsibilities, identify the risks it faces, and create policies and procedures to manage those risks.

Respond

When your Club experiences a cyber incident, you need to develop a response strategy:

  • pinpoint channels of communication between the pertinent parties,
  • gather and analyze case data, 
  • carry out all necessary actions to end the incident,
  • incorporate any lessons gained into updated response tactics.

Detect

To swiftly identify cybersecurity incidents, your Club must take proper measures. You need to constantly monitor systems that recognize unusual activity and other risks to your operational continuity. A business must have complete visibility into its networks to anticipate a cyber threat and act appropriately in the event of one. 

The best way to detect and prevent cyberattacks on ICS networks is through constant surveillance and monitoring of threats.

Protect

Your IT service provider should keep track of both digital and physical resources, provide awareness and training, safeguard data, and oversee network configuration baselines and operations during this phase of the incident response framework. It will guarantee that compromised system components are quickly rectified. To increase cyber resilience, you should also implement preventive technology.

Recover

Getting your affected systems back online following an attack or incident is the focus of the recovery phase in your incident response plan. This will depend on whether the systems’ flaws have been fixed and how your company plans to make sure they aren’t exploited again.

During this phase, your affected systems are tested, monitored, and verified. If you fail to ensure adequate recovery, you can have difficulty preventing another similar disaster in the future. We all know how terrible that can be for operations and reputation.

The checklist of how to act in case of cyber incidents

As you know, cyber incidents can happen to anyone at any time, and it’s essential to know how to act quickly and effectively. Here are some steps to follow in case of a cyber incident:

  • Isolate the affected system: If you suspect that a particular system or device has been compromised, isolate it from the network immediately. This can prevent the spread of malware or other malicious activities.
  • Contact the IT department: Inform the IT department of the incident as soon as possible. They will be able to assess the extent of the damage and take necessary steps to address the issue.
  • Gather information: Collect as much information as possible about the incident, such as the time of the attack, the affected devices, and any error messages or notifications that you may have received. This can help the IT team to investigate the issue more efficiently.
  • Change passwords: If your passwords or login credentials have been compromised, change them immediately. Use strong and unique passwords, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Back up data: If possible, back up all important data and files to an external drive or cloud storage. This can help you to restore your data in case of data loss due to the cyber incident.
  • Report to the authorities: In case of a serious cyber incident, such as data theft or fraud, you should report it to the appropriate authorities, such as the police or cybersecurity agencies. They can investigate the issue and take necessary actions to bring the perpetrators to justice.
  • Educate employees: To prevent future cyber incidents, it’s essential to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices, such as using strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and keeping software up to date.

Cyber incidents can be stressful and overwhelming, but following these steps can help you to act quickly and effectively to minimize the damage. 

If you want to ensure your Club’s safety and protect it from all possible cyber dangers, delegate it to the experts. Club Support has been working with Clubs for over 20 years. We know Clubs’ pains, common problems, and how to solve and prevent them. Learn more at our website.

This comprehensive 30+ page guide aims to provide membership clubs with best practices for effective password management. It will help clubs understand the importance of password security, the common challenges and risks associated with poor password management, and the steps that can be taken to create a more secure environment.

In this eBook, we explain and share:

  • Importance of password management in membership clubs
  • Mistakes, challenges, and risks for Clubs.
  • Examples of common password management mistakes
  • What are Password Managers, and which features do they have?
  • Best practices for Password Management and tips for creating secure passwords.

By following the recommendations outlined in this guide, membership clubs can enhance their cybersecurity posture and protect their members’ valuable data.

Download now!

In January 2023, 35,000 PayPal accounts were hacked using password stacking—cybercriminals obtained mostly reused passwords from previous breaches.

Membership clubs are organizations that provide exclusive benefits and services to their members. These clubs often require users to create accounts and passwords to access their member-only features. In recent years, cybercriminal activity has increased, making it crucial for membership clubs to prioritize password management to protect their members’ personal information.

Importance of Password Management for Membership Clubs

Password management is crucial for membership clubs as it ensures that their members’ sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and personal data, remains secure. Weak passwords or using the same password across multiple accounts can make it easy for hackers to access members’ accounts and steal their information. Thus, membership clubs must enforce strong password policies, including requiring members to use complex passwords and change them frequently to prevent unauthorized access.

Prevalence of Cybercriminal Activity and Risks to Clubs

Cybercriminal activity has become more prevalent in recent years, with hackers frequently targeting organizations with large amounts of sensitive data. Membership clubs are particularly vulnerable as they collect and store members’ personal and financial information. 

Cybercriminals can use stolen information to commit identity theft, fraud, and other types of cybercrime. Thus, membership clubs must implement robust security measures, including multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regular vulnerability assessments, to protect their members’ data from cyber threats.

Use Strong Passwords

Using strong, complex passwords is crucial in protecting our personal and sensitive information from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. With the increasing number of cyberattacks and data breaches, creating a strong password is one of the simplest and most effective ways to safeguard our online accounts.

time to force your password

The Importance of Using Strong Passwords

A strong password is difficult to guess or crack, making it challenging for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to our accounts. Strong passwords contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, making them more challenging to guess using automated tools or brute-force attacks. Using strong passwords significantly reduces the risk of our accounts being compromised and our sensitive information being stolen.

Tips for Creating Strong Passwords

Here are a few tips for creating strong passwords:

  • Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Avoid using easily guessable information such as your name, birth date, or commonly used phrases.
  • Use a long password, ideally with a minimum of 12 characters or more.
  • Consider using a passphrase, which is a long-phrase made up of several words, such as “myfavoritemovieismontypython.”
  • Use a unique password for each account to prevent one compromised password from leading to multiple account breaches.
  • Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords securely.

By using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, avoiding easily guessable information, and using unique passwords for each account, we can significantly reduce the risk of our accounts being compromised.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security measure that adds an extra layer of protection to our passwords by requiring an additional piece of information to access our accounts. In addition to providing a username and password, 2FA requires users to provide a second form of authentication, such as a fingerprint scan, a code generated by an app, or a text message sent to a registered phone number. This additional step makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to access our accounts, even if they manage to obtain our passwords.

Why is it Important?

While strong passwords are essential for protecting our accounts, sophisticated cyberattacks can still compromise them. 2FA adds an additional layer of protection, making it more challenging for cybercriminals to gain access to our accounts, even if they have our passwords. This extra step makes it more difficult for hackers to breach our accounts, ensuring that our personal and sensitive information remains secure.

Tips for Setting Up Two-Factor Authentication for Membership Club Accounts

Here are some tips for setting up 2FA for membership club accounts:

  • Check if the membership club offers 2FA as a security option for their accounts.
  • Choose the type of 2FA that works best for you, such as an authentication app or text message verification.
  • Follow the instructions the membership club IT or IT provider provides to set up 2FA on your account.
  • Register a backup authentication method, such as an alternate phone number or email address, if you lose access to your primary 2FA method.
  • Use a unique and strong password for your membership club account.

By requiring additional information to access our accounts, 2FA makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to our accounts. By setting up 2FA for membership club accounts, we can ensure that our personal and sensitive information remains secure.

Use a Password Manager

Using a password manager is an effective way to keep track of and securely manage our membership club passwords. Password managers offer several benefits that can help us stay protected against cyber threats and streamline our password management process.

What are the benefits?

  • Strong Passwords: Password managers generate strong, unique passwords for each account, making it much harder for hackers to gain unauthorized access to our accounts.
  • Simplify Password Management: A password manager securely stores all of our passwords in one location, making it easy to manage and access our passwords across all our devices.
  • Time-Saving: Password managers autofill login credentials, saving us time and effort that we might have otherwise spent manually entering passwords.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Many password managers support multi-factor authentication, adding an extra layer of security to our passwords.

How a Password Manager Works

A password manager is an application that stores all our passwords in an encrypted database, accessible only by a master password or biometric authentication, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition. When we visit a website, the password manager auto-fills the login credentials, eliminating the need for us to remember or type passwords manually. Password managers can also generate strong, unique passwords for new accounts, which we can save in the password manager for future use, all with a single click.

Using a password manager can significantly reduce the risk of compromised accounts and simplify the password management process.

In summary, password managers provide strong password generation, simplify password management, save time, and support multi-factor authentication. A password manager can better protect our personal information and streamline our online account management.

Regularly Change Passwords

Regularly changing passwords is essential in protecting our personal and sensitive information online. By changing our passwords periodically, we can reduce the risk of our accounts being compromised due to stolen or leaked passwords.

The Importance of Regularly Changing Passwords

Changing passwords regularly helps to ensure that our accounts remain secure, even if our passwords are stolen or compromised. Cybercriminals often use automated tools to crack passwords, so changing them frequently can make it harder for them to gain access to our accounts. Additionally, it’s common for data breaches to occur, which can lead to our passwords being leaked. Changing our passwords regularly can help to mitigate the damage caused by a data breach.

Tips for How Often Passwords Should be Changed and How to Keep Track of Password Changes:

  • Change passwords every 90 days: Experts recommend changing passwords every 90 days to reduce the risk of compromise. This timeframe strikes a balance between the need for security and avoiding the hassle of changing passwords too often.
  • Use a password manager: Password managers can securely generate and store unique, strong passwords. They can also remind us when it’s time to change our passwords.
  • Use two-factor authentication: Using two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to our accounts, making it harder for cybercriminals to access them even if they have our passwords.
  • Avoid reusing passwords: Reusing passwords across multiple accounts makes it easier for cybercriminals to access multiple accounts if they obtain a password for one account.
  • Keep track of password changes: Consider using a password log or a password manager to keep track of password changes. This can help to prevent confusion and ensure that we remember our passwords.

Be Cautious of Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are a type of cyber attack that involves tricking users into sharing their personal and sensitive information, such as passwords, usernames, and credit card details. Phishing scams typically involve fraudulent emails, messages, or websites that appear legitimate, often using social engineering tactics to convince users to provide their information.

How Phishing Scams Compromise Password Security

Phishing scams can compromise password security in several ways. For example, attackers might send an email or message that appears to be from a legitimate organization, such as a membership club, asking the user to click on a link and enter their login credentials. Once the user enters their information, the attackers can use it to access the user’s account and steal personal information.

Tips for Identifying and Avoiding Phishing Scams:

  • Check the sender’s email address: Phishing emails often come from a fake email address similar to the legitimate one. Double-check the sender’s email address to ensure that it is legitimate.
  • Look for spelling and grammar errors: Phishing emails often contain spelling and grammar errors, which can be a red flag.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links: Hover over links in emails to see the URL before clicking. Be wary of shortened links or URLs that differ from the website’s legitimate URL.
  • Only enter personal information in an email or message if you know it is legitimate.
  • Use anti-phishing software: Anti-phishing software can help to identify and block phishing attacks.
  • Keep software up to date: Keep your computer’s operating system and software up to date, as software updates often include security patches.

Conclusion

Strong, complex passwords, two-factor authentication, and password managers are practical tools for securing accounts and making password management more effortless. Regularly changing passwords and being cautious of phishing scams can also help to protect accounts from compromise.

We encourage club management to implement these password management tricks to protect their membership club accounts. By taking these steps, membership clubs can significantly reduce the risk of compromised accounts and ensure their personal and sensitive information remains secure.

At Club Support Inc., we have the tools and resources to assist your team in providing a secure, safe environment for your members and mission-critical data. 

Reach us today to schedule a consultation, and rest assured that a dedicated team of local experts supports you 24×7.

Employees are at the heart of your Club’s security. They are the last line of defense against cyberattacks and the first ones to notice when something unusual is happening at work. 

However, they can also be your vulnerability. When an employee makes a mistake, like mishandling data, clicking on a malicious link, or giving a cybercriminal their password, they are opening the doors to expensive compliance failures and security nightmares for your Club.

The everyday choices of employees have a tremendous impact on your company’s security and success. That’s why it’s critical to educate them on the risks they might face and how to practice good cyber hygiene to keep your Club compliant and safe from cyberattacks.

Your Club is only secure when everyone knows they are part of the security team.

How can you empower your team to fight cybercrime? Conduct security awareness training that arms your employees with the knowledge they need to avoid pitfalls. 

How employee choices impact your Club’s security

Every time someone logs on to your Club’s network, answers an email, or takes work home, they’re taking an action that could have security repercussions whether they mean to or not. The actions that employees take can result in insider risk for your organization.

Human error is responsible for an estimated 82% of security breaches.

Worryingly, 45% of respondents in a HIPAA Journal survey said they are not responsible for maintaining security because they don’t work in the IT department. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. To gain security savvy, employees must realize that maintaining security to fight against cybercrime is everyone’s job.

Especially with the fact that the biggest security risk any organization faces today is phishing. It is the number one cause of a data breach.

Inexperienced employees often fall for phishing lures that entice them to click on malicious links, download suspicious files and email attachments, enter their credentials on a fake site and even correspond with cybercriminals.

  • Phishing is the risk that employees fail to detect the most.
  • 58% of employees have clicked on at least one malicious URL on their mobile devices.
  • 16% of employees have downloaded malware or riskware apps on their mobile devices.
  • More than 75% of supply chain attacks include three steps — phishing is one of them.

To sum up, as companies become increasingly dependent on technology to get the job done, employees have more opportunities to take actions that could be harmful. Insider threats have nearly doubled in the past two years both in frequency and cost. 

While insider risk cannot be eliminated entirely, you can mitigate it, and security awareness training is an affordable and effective way to do it.

What main cybersecurity threats your Club faces

A new cyberattack is launched every 39 seconds. That’s bad news for organizations that aren’t prepared since only 16% of employees are able to recognize sophisticated threats without security awareness training.

So, what are the main dangers for your Club’s cybersecurity:

Ransomware and malware

Ransomware attacks have surged by 13% to 25% in one year, which is more than the past five years combined. However, ransomware isn’t the only malicious software on the block. 

Payment skimmers, cryptominers, Trojans and other nasty malware types can also cause damage to your business. According to a recent study, 70% of malware-related breaches involved ransomware, one of the most common tactics used by capable threat actors in system intrusions and supply chain attacks, irrespective of the size of your business.

How security awareness training helps prevent this

Employees encounter these threats every day but are unlikely to detect them without training — if your employees are adequately trained, aware of threat patterns and know which actions lead to a threat, they will behave responsibly.

Account takeover

A bad actor (an entity that’s attempting to circumvent or breach computer security) taking over a user account is a nightmare for every Club, especially if the bad guys hijack an account that contains sensitive members’ data. Account takeover (ATO) fraud takes a number of forms, including phishing attacks, phone scams, or credential compromises.

How security awareness training helps prevent this

Effective training keeps your users aware of the signs of an ATO as well as the dangers of ATO risks, like phishing and credential compromise, and prevents these attacks from landing.

Business email compromise

In a common business email compromise (BEC) scenario, bad actors target a victim and pose as a company the victim’s organization would do business with to fraudulently obtain money or sensitive data. BEC also endangers a company’s reputation and relationships, with employees encountering this hazard daily.

How security awareness training helps prevent this

Employees who have strong cybersecurity awareness are more likely to be suspicious when they experience unusual behavior when communicating with third-party service providers or suppliers.

Brand impersonating and spoofing

Bad actors will often use cloned or “spoofed” legitimate email messages from a well-known company like Microsoft to send phishing messages that trick unwary readers into taking action to do things like correct a problem, collect a prize, or snag a deal.

How security awareness training helps prevent this

When employees know what to look for, they can easily identify phishing emails and flag them. When your staff is unaware of spoofing emails, they may click on bad links, which could result in a data breach and downtime for your entire company.

Data breach

Employees are bombarded with malicious messages daily. However, getting tricked by a phishing email isn’t the only way employees can cause a data breach. Errors like sending someone the wrong file and other data handling mistakes are just as dangerous.

How security awareness training helps prevent this

Security awareness training arms employees with knowledge that helps them resist threats like phishing while making them more thoughtful in general about how their actions and behaviors impact security.

Remote and hybrid workers

We live in an era where 60% of knowledge workers are working remotely, and 18% have no plans to return to the office. The modern way of working remotely, coupled with greater use of public clouds, highly connected supply chains and cyber-physical systems, exposes your business to new and challenging attack surfaces.

Often, employees think they can get away with risky behavior like writing down passwords or opening suspicious emails when working remotely.

Plus, cybercriminals know that remote workers are more likely to fall for phishing tricks and less likely to report a problem or ask for help if they don’t even know whom to ask.

How security awareness training helps prevent this

Security awareness training makes your remote workforce more aware of why maintaining security matters regardless of where they are. It also teaches them what to do if any problem arises.

Insider risk

Every employee is an insider, and every employee brings a certain degree of risk to the table, whether they intend to or not. A recent study reveals that negligent employees were responsible for 56% of insider threats, while malicious insiders caused 26% of attacks.

How security awareness training helps prevent this

A strong security culture is a major determinant in reducing your Club’s overall risk, and security awareness is the foundation on which it is built. If security is top of mind for everyone, employees make fewer mistakes and notice suspicious behavior faster.

How else security training can help your Club

Maintain compliance with national, local, regional and industry-specific regulations

Data privacy and cybersecurity regulations are tightening in the Club industry, and the price of a compliance failure is high. Security awareness training is required under many data privacy and data handling statutes. 

Implementing this training equips your employees to identify potential risks and defend your organization from cyberattacks. By fostering a strong cybersecurity culture across your organization, you can not only minimize insider attacks but also ensure security compliance.

Lower security expenses, like the cost of phishing

Phishing is expensive whether the attack is successful or not. If it hits, you’ve got a potentially devastating incident on your hands. If it doesn’t, the matter still requires investigation. The cost of just dealing with the headache of phishing altogether can be devastating for your Club. 

According to the DBIR 2022 report, 82% of breaches involved phishing or social attacks.

Prevent cyberattack disasters

Security awareness training gives companies an edge against cyberattacks by boosting cyber resilience, making them less likely to be crippled by a cyberattack. About 84% of leading organizations cite security awareness training as a key building block of cyber resilience.

How we can help you

Club Support provides the Club industry with managed IT services for over 20 years. We know Clubs’ needs, pains and common problems, and, what’s more important, we know how to solve and prevent them. 

We can take care of your cybersecurity and educate your employees, so they become your Club’s security team, not the vulnerability. 

Contact us to find out how we can help Your Club.  

References: 

The Cost of Insider Threats, 2022 | DBIR, 2022 | Gartner, Cybersecurity Predictions for 2022-23 | IBM Cyber resilient Organization Study, 2021 | University of Maryland | HIPAA Journal, 2021 | Gartner, 7 Top Trends in Cybersecurity for 2022

As technology continues to advance, so do the methods and tools that cybercriminals use to breach security measures. Global cybercrime costs are expected to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. 86% of breaches were caused by malicious attacks with financial motivations. The total amount paid by ransomware victims was estimated at $350m in 2020, while the estimated average per-incident ransom was $170,000.

That is why cybersecurity must be one of the priorities of your Club. The need for a strong cybersecurity system is critical to ensure that your Club’s information and assets are protected. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by implementing a layered cybersecurity approach.

In this article, we will explore the concept of layered cybersecurity and provide general tips for club security that will help you protect your club’s valuable assets and data.

What is a layered defense approach to cyber security? 

Layered security acknowledges that no security technology or measure is completely secure or foolproof, and assumes that attackers may have already breached or infiltrated certain layers of a company’s defenses.

The objective of employing a layered security approach is to incorporate multiple security measures, so that if an attack manages to bypass one security tool, there are additional layers of protection in place to detect and prevent the attack before sensitive data is compromised.

There are three elements of layered cyber security: 

Prevention 

Security policies, controls and processes should all be devised and implemented during the PREVENTION phase.

Detection 

The goal of DETECTION is to discover and notify a compromise as soon as possible.

Response

A quick RESPONSE is crucial for the detection phase to be meaningful.

How does the layered defense work?

Layered security is divided into seven layers by security experts. Hackers seeking to get into a system must break through each layer to gain access. 

If you want to keep cybercriminals out of your systems, concentrate on improving these seven layers:

• Information security policies

Implement security policies that restrict unauthorized access because IT resources’ security and well-being depend on them. It will help you raise information security awareness inside your Club and demonstrate to your clients that you’re serious about securing their data.

• Physical security

Physical security measures, such as fences and cameras, are critical to prevent unwanted intruders from breaking in. It also helps monitor employees with access to sensitive systems.

• Network security

All it takes is for hackers to exploit a single vulnerability to access the Club’s network. They can easily break into computers and servers after they’ve gained access to your network. Therefore, establishing effective network security measures is essential.

• Vulnerability scanning

Vulnerabilities that occur because of factors such as inadequate patch management and misconfigurations open the door for cybercriminals. However, vulnerability scans help detect these missed patches and improper configurations.

• A strong identity and access management (IAM)

Because of technological advancements, acquiring passwords and hacking into networks is easier than ever. IAM restricts access to critical data and applications to certain workers, making unauthorized access hard.

• Proactive protection and reactive backup + recovery

Proactive protection detects and fixes security risks before they lead to a full-blown breach. The goal of reactive backup and recovery is to recover quickly after an attack.

• Continual monitoring and testing

Failure to regularly monitor and test your backup and disaster recovery strategy is a major oversight and can result in a breach.

Also, we want to provide you with tips that will make your Club more secure and safe. 

The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy for Club

It’s really dangerous to have only one copy of your data because you risk losing it all in the event of a breach. The 3-2-1 strategy is the best way to reduce this risk. 

It involves having at least three copies of your data, two on-site but on different mediums/devices, and one off-site. Let’s examine each of the three elements and the issues they address:

• Three copies of the data

Having at least two additional copies of your data, in addition to your original data, is perfect. This ensures that you will always have additional copies in the event of a disaster. The first backup copy of data is usually kept in the same physical location as the original, if not the same physical server.

• Two different mediums

Storing additional copies of your valuable data on the same server/location won’t be helpful in the event of a breach. Keep two copies of your data on different types of storage mediums, such as internal hard drives, and removable storage, like an external hard drive or a USB drive. If this isn’t practical for your business, keep copies on two internal hard disks in separate storage locations.

• One off-site copy

Keep one copy of your data off-site, far from the rest. This helps safeguard against worst-case scenarios.

In addition to the 3-2-1 backup strategy, consider applying the concept of layered security to keep your data and backup copies secure.

Software Updates

Some people may question the need for software updates, thinking, “Why do I need to update? I’m content with the current version and don’t require any additional features.” However, updates serve a purpose beyond just providing new functionality – they can also address potential security vulnerabilities.

Old and outdated software is vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals. With every version, developers repair security holes, fix computer bugs and make software safer. So, updating your software and operating systems helps keep hackers out.

And, of course, software updates offer new and improved features and speed enhancements to improve the user experience. 

Teaching employees

The weakest link in cybersecurity is often people, rather than technology. It’s essential to regularly educate employees about cybersecurity, teaching them how to spot phishing attempts (i.e. fraudulent emails or messages that trick people into giving away sensitive information) and what suspicious messages or programs might look like.

Once you’ve had discussions with employees about phishing, you can test their ability to identify it. Some programs even allow you to send mock emails, posing as a Google, bank, or company director, and track how many employees open the message or click on any links. Based on the results, you can determine whether additional training is necessary.

It’s also crucial to appoint individuals who are responsible for safeguarding the company’s critical assets. Write job descriptions, establish information security policies, and develop incident response plans for these employees. Conduct simulations of potential critical situations and analyze each incident to draw conclusions and improve your response plans.

Antivirus 

Antivirus software is an essential tool for protecting the cybersecurity of a club. It provides a layer of defense against malware, viruses, and other malicious software that can compromise the security of a club’s computer systems and data. 

Antivirus software can detect and remove malicious code that may be hidden in files, emails, or websites. It can also monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic to prevent unauthorized access and block suspicious activity. Having updated and reliable antivirus software installed on all club devices is an important component of a layered security approach and can significantly reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

Passwords

People sometimes are careless about password security, and it can be a golden chance for cybercriminals to get access to secure information. So, it’s really important not to make common mistakes while working with passwords. 

Here are some things you and your employees should always remember.

  • Always use passwords that are longer than eight characters and include numbers, letters, and symbols.
  • Change critical passwords every three months and less critical – every six months. If you use a password for a long time, hackers may have enough time to crack it. 
  • If possible, solve your cybersecurity problem programmatically. For example, don’t tell employees that they can’t use simple passwords like 12345, but add the most popular passwords to a blocklist so that they are impossible to use.
  • Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. Otherwise, you might lose them all at once.
  • Don’t save passwords to your browser. Web browsers are terrible at protecting passwords and other sensitive information like your name and credit card number.
  • Use multi-factor authentication.

If you want all your Club’s systems to be completely secure but don’t want to spend your time on it, Club Support can help. We provide 24×7 daily IT support, preventative maintenance, and technologies to secure your Club for your Peace of Mind. Get in touch to get any assistance.

What is phishing, why is it dangerous, and how can you save your Club from phishing attacks? We prepared a checklist for you.

What is phishing? 

Phishing is a type of cybersecurity attack that involves tricking people into providing sensitive information. Phishing usually involves sending messages that look like they are from a legitimate company or website. These messages contain a link that downloads malware or directs users to a dodgy website.

No matter how big the company is, it can be under attack. Your Club may get caught up either in a mass campaign, where the attacker tries to collect new passwords or make some easy money or in a targeted attack against your company to steal sensitive data.

So, it’s crucial for your employees to be able to reveal phishing attempts and not let the cybercriminals achieve their goals.

How to recognize phishing?

Examine the “From” email address

The first part of the email address may look legitimate, but the last part might be off by a letter or may include a number in the usual domain.

Check for secure websites

Any webpage where you enter personal information should have a URL with HTTPS://. The “s” stands for secure.

Look for errors

Notice misspellings, incorrect grammar and odd phrasing. It might be a deliberate attempt to try to bypass spam filters.

Watch for overly generic content

Cybercriminals send a large batches of emails. Look for examples like “Dear valued customer.”

Check all links

Hover over the link and see if the link’s description matches the one implied in the email.

Look for urgency

“You’ve won! Click here to redeem the prize,” or “We have your browser history pay now, or we are telling your boss.”

Don’t click on attachments

Attachments containing viruses might have an intriguing message encouraging you to open them, such as “Here is the schedule I promised.”

These simple methods will help you to recognize phishing attacks and prevent loss of sensitive information.

How to protect your Club from phishing?

There are three main steps in increasing the cyber security level of your Club:

Conduct regular security awareness training

Maybe it sounds weird, but the weakest point is usually your employees. So, it’s important to keep them up to date on the latest security landscape and best practices through regular training.

We also recommend sending an email to all staff to raise awareness. Feel free to use the following template for your email to your employees:

Subject: Important Information Regarding Phishing Emails

Dear all,

I am writing to raise awareness about the dangers of phishing emails and the importance of being vigilant regarding online security. Phishing emails are a typical cyberattack that attempts to trick individuals into sharing sensitive information or downloading malware.

To protect our organization from these types of attacks, we all must follow these dos and don’ts:

DOs:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails: If you receive an email from an unknown sender, do not open attachments or click on links.

  • Verify the sender’s email address: Check the sender’s email address to ensure it is from a legitimate source—phishing emails often trick recipients using fake email addresses or similar domain names.

  • Report suspicious emails: If you receive a suspicious email, immediately report it to the IT department.

  1. Keep your software up to date: Ensure that your computer’s operating system, antivirus software, and web browser are updated with the latest security patches. Contact your IT service provider or your IT department.

DON’Ts:

  1. Don’t share sensitive information: Never share personal or sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details, via email.

  2. Don’t click on suspicious links: Do not click on links or download any attachments from suspicious emails, even if they appear to be from a trusted source.

  3. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts: Use unique, strong passwords for each account to minimize the risk of a data breach.

  4. Don’t trust everything you see: Be wary of emails that appear urgent or create a sense of urgency. Phishing emails often try to create a sense of urgency to trick individuals into taking action without thinking.

By following these dos and don’ts, we can all help to protect our organization and minimize the risk of falling victim to a phishing attack.

If you have any questions or concerns about online security, please do not hesitate to contact your manager or the IT department.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Perform routine testing to see whether the training is effective

It’s critical to consistently evaluate the success of your security training through quizzes, surveys, and mock tests.

Deploy quarantining solutions that stop phishing attacks

Clubs can protect themselves from the harmful effects of phishing attacks by deploying quarantining solutions that help stop phishing attempts in their tracks.

And, of course, the most effective way to protect your Club is to trust your cybersecurity to professionals. 

Club Support provides all IT services for Clubs, including security audit, user security training, risk management assessment, disaster recovery, etc. We’ll be happy to keep your Club totally safe.

Investing in effective cybersecurity is critical when you rely on online tools and platforms to run a successful membership club. But what does that mean? What sort of online dangers does your club face today? 

In this post, we’ll explore cybersecurity, different cyberattacks you need to know about, and how professional cybersecurity services can help you fight them. 

What is Cybersecurity?

Here’s a simple cybersecurity definition: cybersecurity refers to a wide range of technologies, practices, and processes designed to protect users against numerous threats. 

IT specialists providing cybersecurity and data protection services can safeguard your club against risks and associated issues, including costly downtime and reputation damage. 

What are the Different Types of Cyberattacks?

Suffering a successful cyberattack and a resulting data breach can be devastating for businesses of all sizes. Attackers could access vital data and disrupt a company’s operations, ultimately costing them money. 

For example, according to an IBM survey, the average recovery cost of a data breach in Canada was $7 million. Compromised or stolen credentials were the most common entry point for a hacking attack, and businesses took an average of 48 days to contain a data breach.

Before you can plan and implement an effective cybersecurity strategy, you must know what risks you face. Some of the most common types of cyberattacks include:

  • Ransomware 
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
  • Brute-force hacking
  • SQL injection attack
  • Phishing scams 
  • Spear-phishing 
  • Whale-phishing 
  • Man-in-the-Middle
  • Malware

We’ll explore some of these in detail below. Regardless of the method used, any hacking attack that results in a data breach can disrupt a membership club’s operations for days or weeks. 

Implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy will reduce your membership club’s risk. However, handling cybersecurity in-house can be complicated and time-consuming. Cybersecurity and knowledgeable IT talent are hard to hire and even harder to retain. Working with a team providing cybersecurity services is a more convenient option, and it will ensure that your club is protected with the latest mitigation strategies and technology solutions. 

What are the Biggest Cybersecurity Threats Facing Membership Clubs?

Here are five of the most common cybersecurity threats facing membership clubs:

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the most common types of cyberattacks and the most prominent attack surface. While scammers may use SMS to target prospective victims, email remains a popular method. 

In their emails, scammers may pretend to represent a trusted, well-established business or institution. Criminals perpetrating phishing scams will try to trick recipients into divulging sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or login details. Scammers could use this information to undertake fraudulent activities before the victim even realizes that something is wrong. 

Attackers could pose as an equipment supplier, caterer, bank, or other entity providing services relevant to your membership club. If they have researched your business, they may have the knowledge to create a legitimate, convincing email. Vigilance and reliable cyberattack prevention services are essential to staying safe. 

SQL Injection Attack

During a Structured Query Language (SQL) Injection attack, the perpetrator will inject a code into a search box on a website. The aim is to prompt a server to reveal sensitive information and allow the attacker to manipulate online databases and content. 

As a result, targeted businesses may suffer a severe data breach, and valuable details could fall into the wrong hands. Attackers can also modify and destroy sensitive data instead of simply stealing it. Recovering or correcting that information may be a considerable undertaking, including paying a ransom. 

As a membership club, your site will likely include registration or contact forms. Attackers may use these to launch an SQL injection attack. Using tailored protection and input fields that prevent visitors from entering text directly (e.g., drop-down menus) and updating all software components are two simple steps to preventing SQL injection attacks. 

Ransomware Attack

Ransomware has become a common type of hacking attack. Perpetrators attempt to extort money by locking victims out of crucial files, programs, or systems until they pay the ransom demanded. Payments are usually requested in cryptocurrency to make attackers harder to trace. 

More than 61% of organizations in Canada experienced a ransomware hacking attack in 2021. Specialist cyberattack prevention services can monitor your network round the clock for signs of harmful activity and take action to prevent ransomware attacks.

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack 

During a DDoS attack, multiple compromised systems target networks, systems, or servers with overwhelming traffic. Servers cannot accommodate the sheer number of requests, and the targeted website will experience severe performance problems or go offline. 

As a result, a business could only sell products or provide services through the affected website once solving the problem. Existing and prospective members may need help to sign up, book activities, or perform other key tasks on your site after a DDoS attack.

Monitoring your website traffic, dedicated web application firewalls (WAF), and content distribution networks (CDN), increasing your bandwidth, and migrating to cloud-based software can reduce the risk of DDoS attacks targeting your club.

Brute Force Attacks

A brute-force attack or credentials stuffing revolves around guessing the target’s login credentials to gain system access. Brute-force attackers tend to use AI-assisted writing and bots to enter possible credentials until they get it right. A successful brute-force attack on your membership club’s website or app could give them unrestricted access to its backend. 

Fortunately, a strict policy on password creation — e.g., avoiding birthdays, children’s names, etc. — can make your club’s login credentials much more challenging to guess. Additionally, a team providing cyberattack prevention services can implement methods to fight off brute-force attacks and keep your login credentials safe.

How Do You Make Sure Your Club’s Data Doesn’t Get Compromised?

Membership clubs must take action to keep their own data and that of their members safe. Knowing the risks is vital, but working with an expert security service provider is the simplest, most effective solution. 

Club Support Inc., a reputable cyber protection service provider, will secure your membership club with cutting-edge technologies and effective methods. We will provide a complete security audit, risk management assessment, end-point security, and more, coupled with 24/7 support. 

Don’t leave your security to chance. Contact our team today to learn more. 

As of May 2021, more than 5 million Canadians (around 30% of the country’s workers) worked remotely. The proliferation of online productivity, project management, communication, and collaboration tools empower teams to complete most (if not all) of their tasks at home with little to no impact on their performance.

Employees working from home and flexible work arrangements may be more risky when running a membership club, for example, Golf Clubs, Sport Clubs, Social Clubs, and Yacht Clubs. While certain tasks can still be completed remotely, working from home carries many risks that clubs need to consider — including cybersecurity threats.

What are the significant risks, and how can you defend against them? This post will explore the most significant telecommuting risks, tips for safeguarding your club, and more.

What are the Risks of Remote Working?

Here are some of the crucial telecommuting risks to bear in mind:

Cyber Attacks

Cyber-attacks are the most dangerous of all remote work risks on this list. Employees working from home may be more vulnerable to a range of threats, including:

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are usually launched as emails intended to fool recipients into providing sensitive data, such as banking or sign-in details.

SQL Injection Attack

Attackers use SQL injections to manipulate web applications and damage their databases while exploiting user data.

Malware Attack

Malware attacks enable hackers to steal valuable information from targets by installing malicious software.

Ransomware

Ransomware attacks lock users out of files, programs, or devices until a ransom is paid (usually via cryptocurrency). In 2021, more than half of ransomware attacks against Canadians were aimed at critical service providers, such as hospitals, electrical grids, and gas.

Lack of Effective Collaboration

While most telecommuting risks are related to security, poor communication between team members are also important. Employees working from home should always have access to easy-to-use and secure collaboration tools.

Otherwise, they may need help to share ideas and help each other overcome challenges. That can make completing tasks more difficult and time-consuming than necessary and affect company culture.

Employees Feeling Isolated

Ensure that employees have communication tools available and enjoy the flexibility to talk with as they would in the office. They should be able to vent their frustrations, encourage each other, and chat to break up the working day.

Without this freedom to communicate, employees working from home may feel isolated and disconnected from their coworkers and the club overall.

How to Stay Safe in a Distant Work Setting

Here are some simple tips on how to stay safe while working remotely:

Install High-Quality Antivirus Software

This is the most obvious and vital remote work safety tip. No club can afford to overlook antivirus/endpoint protection software — it’s a major part of staying safe while working remotely. The best tools can help you reduce the risks from ransomware attacks, spyware and other dangerous malware.

You have plenty of options to choose from, with packages to suit every budget. Investing in a powerful antivirus for your remote workers will reduce the risk of costly cyber-attacks and the resulting disruption.

Use Cloud Software

The best cloud platforms incorporate the latest security measures to protect user accounts and data. They may require you to complete a multi-step sign-in process, for example, to help keep unauthorized users out of your network.

Implement Strict Remote Work Security Policies

One of the most important but often overlooked safety tips for remote work is to put policies in place related to security at home. For example, you might stipulate that remote employees use password managers to access tools and accounts securely or that they immediately contact specific team members about suspicious activity.

Implementing a strict remote work security policy leaves less room for error and ensures that employees know what to do and who to contact in an emergency.

Provide Training and Help Workers Stay Vigilant

One of the most effective methods is to train workers on potential security threats when discussing how to stay safe while working remotely. Employees should understand how damaging cyber-attacks can be, particularly the most severe threats, and recognize the signs of an impending breach.

The more they know about phishing emails, the less likely they are to fall prey to scams.

Tips for Staying Connected with Your Co-Workers

Staying in touch with co-workers as a remote worker may have been tough once upon a time, but now it’s as easy as you want it to be. By connecting remotely with co-workers with video conferencing software and instant messaging, you can nurture strong bonds and stay updated on their progress.

Commit to quality communication when connecting remotely with co-workers: plan virtual breaks to catch up throughout the day, even if you and a few others just need five minutes to concentrate on something other than work. Always check that meet-up times are convenient for everyone involved to avoid disrupting productivity.

Another method of staying in touch with co-workers as a remote worker is to be more visible and vocal during team meetings. If you are more of an observer but want to get involved, start by making suggestions or asking for advice on a particular task. That can help you forge stronger connections and make connecting remotely with co-workers easier.

Working from Home Doesn’t Have to be Dangerous – Here’s How!

Now that we have looked at the biggest working-from-home dangers consider what you can do to keep your team safe. The most effective option is to work with a managed IT services provider specializing in the Clubindustry.

Club Support Inc. offers all the solutions to keep your club safe and your members and workers productive wherever they’re based. We offer comprehensive cyber security services, including a full security audit and user security training, as well as other ongoing support for your club, its members, and employees. We will identify and address all types of dangers for remote workers and implement measures to mitigate the risks.

Contact Club Support Inc. today to get started.

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