Category

Security Architect

BACS IT Bay Area IT Consultants

Your Bay Area Business Needs IT Consulting

By | Data Protection, IT Support, managed It services, Security, Security Architect, Strategy, Technology

To say technology has “transformed the lives of every Bay Area resident” is a wildly underestimated statement. As one of the world’s central linchpins of technology, the San Francisco Bay Area has become the largest concentration of high-tech jobs in the United States.

Achieving enterprise goals in the modern landscape requires a sense of urgency and precision. One of the ways that this can be done is through a partnership with a professional IT consulting company. Information technology consulting in the Bay Area helps organizations become more efficient by streamlining processes to boost performance.

Forrester Consulting, through Dell Technologies, released a study in May 2021, showing the value and needs of outsourcing specialized IT expertise.

  • 74% of IT decision-makers agree that their internal technology resources DO NOT meet demand
  • 71% agree that efficient IT organizations reduce Risk in deployed new technologies
  • 54% of companies currently work with outsourced talent to enhance strategic-level planning
  • 45% of the decision-makers are looking for solution providers via as-a-service models

The success of any business is going to be dependent on the proper use and implementation of information technology services and systems. Today’s landscape requires businesses to remain agile not only in how they do business, but how they adapt to this rapidly changing environment. This means rolling out new technology systems that can reduce inefficiencies, while at the same time increasing security and system stability. While this can be done in-house in many instances, the time it takes to do so is generally significantly increased when compared to working with an outsourced IT professional. But why is that?

The standard in-house IT staff at any particular company isn’t always going to be up-to-date on every new piece of software or hardware that becomes available. While they may know about the systems or software that are being released, they do not have the hands-on experience to implement the changes as quickly as an outsourced IT company who has performed numerous rollouts of the same software or hardware additions in question. This leads to faster, more effective implementation, with little to zero risk of launch failure. This can translate into thousands of dollars, if not more, in terms of savings and could mean the difference between a secure system and one riddled with vulnerabilities.

New call-to-action

MSPs and MSSPs

As the enterprise continues its drive to complexity, so do the companies that maintain and innovate technology and infrastructure. It is these types of companies that are setting the tone for faster, more efficient and cost-effective solutions that give businesses, like yours, the ability to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Managed Service Providers

San Francisco and the Bay Area remain a centerpiece for some of the most advanced technology companies in the world. The region boasts sophisticated cloud computing centers and millions of networks with hardware and software of every type imaginable. Maintaining these vast systems requires elite teams of outsourced information technology consultants to help ensure maximum efficiency while also maintaining a robust infrastructure.

The finest high-tech firms in the Bay Area outsource a significant portion of their cloud infrastructure and applied engineering work to elite IT Consultants. The history of information technology consulting is relatively short and tied to the growth of the enterprise.

Over the last few years, Bay Area IT consulting firms have fragmented their services into complete enterprise solutions. With demand skyrocketing, consulting firms in San Francisco and the surrounding regions parallel the strategic growth of these high-tech industries.

24/7 security has become an essential part of every business in the modern era. Managed Security Service Providers offer the enterprise outsourced monitoring and management services to give these businesses the safety-net they need to do business in today’s technologically driven world.

Schedule A Free Cloud Migration Consultation 

MSSP

MSSPs are specialized consultants delivering managed firewalls, intrusion detection, VPN management, antiviral services, and vulnerability scanning. MSSP firms reduce the number of security personnel the enterprise must hire and train, without compromising on the stability and security of their networks and systems.

MSSP Services:

  • Continuous Security Monitoring provides real-time visibility into the IT functions of an enterprise. Ultimately, CSM refines an organization’s threat detection initiatives.
  • Vulnerability Analysis defines and classifies the various threats an enterprise may experience. VA is a real-time assessment that works in conjunction with other tools to identify vulnerabilities and help eliminate them before they become a point of concern.
  • Threat Intelligence is evidence-based knowledge about existing or emerging hazards to enterprise assets. This helps to provide a bird’s-eye view on current and future threat vectors and allows the company to take steps to prevent common issues such as data loss, theft, or corruption.

Only the finest IT consultancy firms offer the best of both worlds. MSSP’s are efficient, cost-effective ways to protect data and networks.

MSP vs. MSSP – What is The Difference?

The MSP ensures your company and technology infrastructure runs smoothly, and its work affects everyone inside and outside the company. A firm’s MSP makes sure data is always available while remaining secure to the company and customer.

The primary focus of a Managed Service Provider is in the area of total technology administration. An effective MSP provides infrastructure, application, and network support.

Managed Security Service Providers began life in the 1990s offering basic firewall and network support. In the modern era, MSSP offers companies a complete security platform, from data protection to cyber-security monitoring. As cyber-attack vectors expand, so do the offerings of an effective MSSP.

Complexities of the enterprise have varying access levels; MSSPs make these customizations, so the business is secure, allowing access to sensitive information to those who need it. While an MSP is focused on performance and usability, MSSPs are concerned solely with security.

BACS IT Trusted Bay Area IT Consultants

Are Technology Services Essential to a Successful Enterprise?

How robust is your company’s cloud infrastructure, or how often does the IT department scan for vulnerabilities? The previous questions are just a few of the queries needed in a successful enterprise. The modern organization requires an efficient infrastructure with focused performance metrics that need to be tracked and analyzed on a routine basis.

Scott Devens, CEO at Untangle says, “With a changing workplace landscape, and a continued rise in cyberattacks, SMBs have shifted their mindset from ‘it can’t happen to me,” to taking security threats seriously, To that end, they have increased their focus on IT Security, they have stronger networks than a year ago and have plans for further attack-prevention for the future. There’s a definite trend towards putting more IT in the cloud and following a multi-layered security approach.”         

 MSP Services:

Here are some of the proprietary services offered by MSPs in the Bay Area and around the globe.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) is a business model that delivers licensed software over the internet to the enterprise. Rather than downloading and maintaining software, these packages are outsourced to professional firms.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offers companies cloud-computing services that provide APIs, servers, and operating systems. Healthcare is a prime example of an industry that uses IaaS.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud-computing on-demand environment for managing, testing, and delivering software applications. PaaS is a developer-friendly application to create web programs, without worrying about set-up services.

Information technology service providers can fully administer or co-manage a business’s security and digital infrastructure requirements. Performance-oriented IT Consultants are designed to help organizations secure critical assets while saving money. The best information technology firms free up resources, leaving valuable time for leadership to focus on other tasks the business may require.

Bay Area Businesses Achieve Their Goals

San Francisco and Bay Area technology hotspots are uniquely positioned to push the technology envelope. Small IT Consulting enterprises with the right technology disciplines compete handily against the major tech firms.

Challenges to Large Firms, Opportunities for Small Business:

  • Every day validity has become a significant headwind to large tech firms. Devastating cyber-attacks are causing headaches for companies and their security firms. 49% of consulting firms in every industry report that market unpredictability has become a significant challenge.
  • Changes in how companies buy technology services are constantly in flux. High-tech companies in the Bay Area look for their exact technology needs, talent, and solutions. Cutting-edge science, engineering, and health organizations seek complementing services, not competing.

Information technology plays a significant role in any size business with an elite Managed IT Service Provider. High-tech firms have learned to leverage their valuable data, making each enterprise more efficient. Sometimes these efficiencies are the difference between success and failure.

Top MSP and MSSP Companies

Choosing an IT Consultant that fits the needs of a company can be challenging. However, the enterprise needs to know precisely what qualities to look for in a consultant. Without knowing the precise requirements, there could be plenty of prospects misaligned to meet your needs.

The companies below are not endorsements. 

The brief reviews only set examples of the specific services offered by the discipline.   

Firms Offering Everything:

Ernst & Young, Building a Better Working Future – EY is a massive enterprise with over 700 offices located worldwide. EY boasts several divisions that serve the complete enterprise.

Ernest & Young features four distinct product lines, Assurance, Consulting, Strategy and Transactions, and Tax. Separate divisions are available within each discipline.  There would be no better organization to pattern services after than EY.

MSSP Enterprise in the Bay Area:

SolCyber offers its services to a specific market segment, Mid-market companies, which is a strong point to look for in an MSSP. SolCyber offers a fully managed, 24/7 threat detection cyber ecosystem. Some of the services they offer, many enterprises consider necessary, including:

  • Ransomware Assessment
  • Email Protection
  • Endpoint Security

Here is an example of what you should expect from your IT consultants in the Bay Area – you want regular resources to help you know ways of keeping your business safe!

Signs of Email Threats You Need to Know BACS IT

Top MSP

BACS IT, which offers Bay Area IT consulting, is a company that offers everything, including personalized services for every type of business. The company offers its proprietary services to the most vulnerable sectors, including Healthcare, Construction, Financial, and Business.

BACS has highly experienced and passionate team members that pay attention to the minute details that could signal success or failure.

Get Your Bay Area IT Consulting from BACS IT

Technology has a rich and proficient history. With so many disciplines and the advancement of as-a-service models, only a few IT Consultants have the expertise to help your business run flawlessly from an information technology standpoint.

Technology in all its iterations is a fascinating branch of knowledge to write for, work in and develop. The Bay Area and surrounding regions are known globally as one of the most vital technology hubs. Work with a company right in the middle of it all. Schedule a call with the experienced Bay Area IT Consults of BACS IT.

Contact Us for a FREE IT Assessment

BACS IT Vulnerability and Penetration Testing Differences

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing: What Are the Differences?

By | Data Protection, Security, Security Architect, Strategy

Complexities of software coding have risen exponentially over recent years, without signs of slowing down. As an example, Microsoft 95, released 25 years ago, consisted of 15 million lines of code. With the arrival of cloud-connected structures, software in a connected automobile uses approximately 100 million lines of code. Google services account for a whopping 2 billion lines of code.

Coding languages have witnessed a dramatic rise in complexity. In the 90s, COBOL and PYTHON were the only coding languages. There are now over 700 viable languages, with some suggesting that figure is more like 9000.

 

BACS IT Vulnerability Testing

 

Coding Vulnerabilities

Flaws in software can appear on any line of code, with vulnerabilities impacting performance and security. Software coders need to recognize the various languages and understand how to enforce the latest security procedures.

Code vulnerabilities create security gaps, which astute hackers look for in every app and software offered to the public.

The Open Web Application Security Project is an open-source, non-profit organization working to upgrade software security. The OWASP Top 10 is an awareness document highlighting critical security risks to software, mobile applications, and web programs. It is helpful for every developer and web application engineer to be acquainted with this list.

  1.     Injection flaws are rampant everywhere and especially in legacy code.
  2.     Broken authentication methods are implemented incorrectly, leaving the door open for attackers.
  3.     Exposing Sensitive Data in web applications and APIs do not sufficiently protect sensitive data.
  4.     XML External Entities are attackers exploiting vulnerable, legacy XML processors.
  5.     Broken Access Control is poorly written code on what authenticated users are authorized to do within the system.
  6.     Security Misconfiguration is a common issue that results in ad-hoc configurations and vulnerable HTTP headers.
  7.     Cross-Site Scripting XSS is untrusted data released in the code due to improper validation or escaping.
  8.     Insecure Deserialization are flaws in the code that can contribute to remote execution.
  9.     Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities are flawed libraries, frameworks, and software modules.
  10.     Insufficient Logging and Monitoring is inadequate integration that allows attackers entry into full system capabilities.  

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Tests

VAPT are two types of code analysis that may be applied individually but are powerful when combined. The tests provide two distinct results in the same area of focus. Vulnerability scanning alerts a developer to preexisting defects in the code, exploiting vulnerabilities in the system.

Penetration tests and Vulnerability scans are never in competition with one another. Instead, the two processes complement each other to expose potential security defects.

Software Testing Methodologies

Just as code has become complex, so have the mechanisms to analyze each line for verification and security. The principal testing methodologies are The Agile Model, Waterfall Method, V-Model, the Incremental Model, and X3.

Models and methodologies above are responsible for a product’s conformity with enterprise requirements. From the viewpoint of testing objectives, there are two types of software validation, Functional Testing and Non-functional. These are for another post.

Vulnerability Assessment

Writing secure code is now a requirement for every developer. While learning a specific language, the developer must provide a code format that stands up to several security testing strategies. A survey from DevOps found that 70% of programmers are expected to write secure code. However, only 25% of those coders feel their companies are secure and provide the means needed to create good code.

Secure coding is taking place in every industry, from biotech to finance and construction. The tools needed to analyze the code are growing more intricate by the day.

Vulnerability Assessments are an investigation that involves locating and verifying the magnitude of code flaws. Each vulnerability scan prioritizes the weaknesses in a cyber security system. A vulnerability assessment takes stock of the current cyber-policies, structures, and code. The tool then determines a severity level and makes specific proposals or immediately mitigates the threat to correct the code.

Vulnerability scanning looks for backdoors in the software, malicious code, and web vulnerabilities. Scanning tools search for the ten security threats highlighted above.

A single scanning tool involves a substantial investment and upgrade schedule to keep your business and software secure. In addition, a separate vulnerability scanner looks solely at the base code of an application, not the binary code.

Vulnerability Scanning Tools:

One of the most complete Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing applications comes from Veracode.   The platform is a holistic cloud-based method for application security.

Veracode is an on-demand vulnerability scanning application with a wealth of advanced components.

After a scan, results are prioritized by a Fix-First Analyzer:

  • Business objectives
  • Risk tolerance
  • Level of risk each vulnerability represents
  • Flaws that can be fixed the quickest

A powerful feature of Veracode is that it will scan binary code in addition to an application’s source code. This binary code advancement allows an enterprise to examine 100% of an application, delivering a more robust evaluation.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Netsparker is an automated Vulnerability Scanning tool that provides administrators plenty of advanced tools to protect their code. The automated tests can save an IT staff 100s of hours by simply setting the scan tool and letting it run.

Netsparker uses a dynamic and interactive scanning technique that is exclusive to the industry. Independent researchers have identified that Netsparker finds more code vulnerabilities than most other scanning tools.

Another huge advantage to Netsparker,  as the tool is scanning a piece of software, it teaches developers how to code better.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

SolarWinds is another solution for code mitigation. The SolarWinds tool scans devices and their firmware to keep the network compliant. The tool prevents unauthorized intrusion into routers and IoT devices while monitoring if any unusual changes are made.

With some companies having thousands of network appliances, SolarWinds can target each mechanism to keep firmware current. Complex network changes are more workable with SolarWinds.

 

 

BACS IT Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing

Identifying weaknesses in a code’s architecture, including unauthorized access vulnerabilities, is called a Penetration Test. These assessments are also called pen tests and ethical hacking. A Pen Test attempts to break the shield of an enterprise’s cyber-defense system.

Ethical hacking describes the deliberate launch of a cyber-attack by white-hat testers. These penetration testers use numerous weapons to exploit computer systems, websites, networks, and other digital mediums.

The principal objective of penetration testing is to identify exploitable holes in the code for attack entry. Along with finding security issues, coding professionals can apply the information to test the strength, stability, and administrative compliance.

Five Penetration Testing Strategies:

  • External testing involves attacks on an organization’s network from outside the company’s system and extranet.
  • Internal testing looks at what damage an authorized user could do if they penetrated specific company resources within the company network.  
  • Blind testing is a test simulating the actions of a real hacker. The target would have no prior information on the attack, relying exclusively on public information sources.
  • Double-Blind happens when only a few in the organization are aware of the attack. The double-blind is meant to monitor escalation and defense strategies.
  • Targeted testing is a fully aware testing strategy. Management and IT staff are aware of the attack, and the target is known to all teams. Targeted tests are generally used for time response.

Top Penetration Testing Tools:

Synopsys is a complete platform for enterprise security. Synopsys is technically advanced that allows the enterprise to target code from any software or application product. Defect detection is a dynamic feature of the platform with very low false positives.

The Synopsys platform ensures security is built into the fundamental code with advanced development tools spanning all process stages.

 

Free IT Consultation

 

Pentera is a fully automated Penetration testing tool that has all the characteristics of a real hacker. The tool can be set to test code and systems for any future attacks on a continuous loop. Pentera is an advanced Penetration tester for the most deadly cyber-attacks and breachable vulnerabilities.

The Penetration tool scans and emulates an attacker by going after each coding layer. The results will arm the enterprise with a risk-based remediation roadmap. In some instances, using Penetra, enterprises saw over a 500%  increase in remediation efficiency.  

Working Together

Vulnerability assessments and penetration testing tools are excellent as a stand-alone operation. However, combine the two, and IT professionals have the ideal combination to detect and mitigate flaws in every layer of code.

Scans using a vulnerability tool is a high-level first-stage test that searches for possible deficiencies in the code. Penetration tests take the examination a step further by replicating an actual cyber-attack, exploiting specific vulnerabilities in the system.

Used together, the two tests are meant to give an expert IT staff a detailed picture of risks and flaws in base and binary code. Each test has its specific strengths and proficiencies. Combined, the tests paint a complete vulnerability picture, and results enable organizations to upgrade their software before it hits the market.

Even though the two processes are related, they are not interchangeable. Once an organization runs a vulnerability scan, the company is in a better position to rectify weaker areas of a system. The vulnerability scan offers up an extensive list of failings found within the various company systems.   

 A vulnerability scan is a quick and affordable option, allowing administrators to perform the scan regularly. The issue with this type of scan is, it does not confirm whether weaknesses are exploitable. Vulnerability scanning software will fix some issues; however, it is not tailored to a specific organization.

Unlike a vulnerability scan, penetration tests are incredibly detailed. Pen tests will pinpoint specific risks associated with a blatant weakness. Pen tests are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Organizations should use a live, manual Pen test to get a far more accurate and thorough result.

A tester’s skill set should not be underestimated. The ability to identify weaknesses and understand how weaknesses can be manipulated is a skill unto itself.

Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner

Acunetix combines a host of high-level technologies to create a continuous automated threat detection system. Scans can be set to look through HTML, JavaScript, and Restful APIs to find security holes. Acunetix can also scan for code outside the main application, such as content management and delivery sub-systems.

Included in the Penetration tests are SQL injection and cross-site scripting. Reporting documents are compliant with several agencies such as HIPPA and PCI-DSS.

Scans by the Acunetix are made more accurate by sensors placed within the code. Organizations such as the US Air Force and AVG are impressed by Acunetix advanced technologies.

 

BACS IT Offers Email Threat Protection

 

Final Word

Change is inevitable and especially within the industry of code development. Organizations will inevitably have a range of weaknesses in their code due to constant flux and technological advancements.  Unmonitored changes such as firewalls having ports left open for email and other communication preferences cause havoc if not appropriately covered.

The modern organization needs to take proactive steps to secure their enterprise. The brightest minds in the world are continually working on the threats posed by cyber-attackers. Vulnerability Scans and Penetration Testing are excellent tools for mitigating a majority of faulty and dangerous code before it hits the shelves.  

Want to find out what vulnerabilities your business has? Then contact us here at BACS IT. We can provide an assessment of your business and show you what we would recommend to ensure the safety of you, your employees, your clients, and your data. Contact us today!

 

Contact Us for a Vulnerability Assessment NOW!