Author Archives: Anton Ruighaver

Predicting Cyber-Threats in 2017

As 2017 rolls in, the threat of more formidable cyber attacks looms large. Hackers and the cyber police will spend a lot of time outsmarting each other, while consumers of technology, individuals and businesses alike, anticipate the best security plan that can guarantee they sleep soundly at night. When it comes to defending against cyber-attacks, forewarned is forearmed. Here are some of the threats we predict in the coming year. Increased threats on cloud technology Cloud service has numerous benefits to businesses. They make data storage, collaboration, and processing more efficient; they enable employees to work faster; and they help operations flow smoother. Cloud technology’s popularity is expected to rise well into the next few years, but as demand increases, so does the dangers presented by cyber attackers. Ransomware will be more complex Ransomware incapacitates computer systems by locking down … READ MORE »

Choosing the Best Small Business Computer

Your employees are some of your business’s best assets. With that in mind, it is imperative that they work with high-performance computers that will unlock their full potential and contribute to your business’s profitability. If only it were that simple. Selecting a computer often involves several factors such as mobility, quality, and price – there are simply too many things to consider. Choosing the right computer requires careful thought, and this is what we’re here to discuss. Laptop or desktop? Laptops are highly portable, efficient, and inexpensive. If these are the most important qualities your business requires in a computer, then by all means, choose them. Clearly, desktops aren’t built for mobility, but what they lack in portability, they more than make up for in storage, processing capacity, and security. Although laptops make perfect sense for small businesses with great … READ MORE »

Old Malware Still Poses a Serious Risk to EMRs

Computer technology firm Symantec is warning consumers that an infamous trojan virus still targets healthcare data across the United States and around the world. This infamous piece of malware hides among image files downloaded with pirated software. Read on to learn more about the Stegoloader infection, how it might target your business, and what you can do to keep it at bay. What is Stegoloader? The trojan known as Stegoloader infects machines through product key generators packaged with downloads of pirated software. Small companies have been targeted by the malware, particularly those in the healthcare industry — and to a lesser extent, the insurance and technology sector. Steganography is a cyber-attacker term for hiding malware inside an image file. Once the image is opened on a vulnerable machine, the program gathers information and crawls through the network looking for weaknesses. … READ MORE »

5 Security Measures Made Easy

Let’s face it, keeping yourself free from online threats can be a pain: using different passwords for every site, changing them every three months, using advanced encryption, the list goes on and on. You either end up paranoid of being online or giving up altogether. We’ve organized 5 simple cybersecurity measures that we promise anyone can implement. 1. Two-Factor Authentication Did an attacker get your password? With two-factor authentication they’ll still need your mobile device to do any damage. Here’s how it works: every time you log into a service that requires a password, the service will send a code to your mobile device for another layer of authentication. Nowadays, most internet services have this option: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Slack, etc. Check a full list here to see if you could be using two-factor authentication on any of … READ MORE »

VoIP Redefines Business Calling

Traditional mobile calling plans may not be heading the way of the dodo bird quite yet, but there is a viable threat to their existence. The challenge comes from VoIP, and while it’s only in its nascent stages, it is foreshadowing a dark future for Telecoms’ costly monthly plans, spotty call quality, confusing invoices, and questionable customer service. In technical terms, VoIP is a broadband phone service that uses the internet instead of a public switched telephone network (PSTN). In simpler terms, VoIP stands for “Voice over IP” which is another way of saying “making phone calls over the internet instead of over traditional telephone lines.”     Here are some statistics on internet-based communications that really show where the trend is heading: Telecom companies are losing an average of 700,000 landline customers per month Skype’s 300 million users spend an … READ MORE »

GMail Tricks for Effective E-Mail Management

There are a lot of web-based email platforms in the marketplace. Many come and go, but there’s a reason Gmail has crossed the 1 billion monthly active user milestone and is still standing strong as one of the world’s most popular web-based email clients. It’s extremely easy to use and is always up-to-date and secure, courtesy of Google. But if you’re just using Gmail for sending and receiving emails, you’re really missing out on some of its nifty features that allow you to manage your email more effectively. Here are some tips to make the most of Gmail.   Unsend emails Ever had that moment when you’re in a hurry to type up an email and send it off only to notice a few seconds later there were a couple of mistakes? Maybe you’ve forgotten to attach a file or … READ MORE »

4 Ways That Hybrid Clouds Benefit SMBs

Here on earth, clouds are relatively simple phenomena: visible masses of water vapor making their way across the sky. But in the world of IT, “the cloud” is a bit more complex, referring to technology that allows businesses to take a more hands-off approach to managing their IT resources. And the “hybrid cloud” is rapidly becoming the most popular variety. Hybrid clouds are a combination of private clouds (where data and applications that require tighter controls are hosted either internally or privately in the cloud space); and public clouds (which are operated externally by third-party providers with the express purpose of reducing a company’s IT infrastructure). A recent “State of the Cloud” report indicates that 71% of all cloud users are now implementing hybrid cloud solutions, mainly because the ways in which they benefit small- and medium-sized businesses are so … READ MORE »

Don’t Let Hackers Fool You With These Tricks

According to several reports, the volume of malicious cyber attacks has significantly increased recently. And even though our devices have the latest network security systems, hackers have a cunning trick up their sleeves — social engineering. Unlike malware and other viruses, social engineering tricks people into divulging sensitive data to hackers. Unfortunately, businesses are also vulnerable to various social engineering tactics. As a business owner, you should be vigilant of these common scams used by hackers. Phishing Phishing scams are perhaps the most common type of social engineering attack. Usually seen as links embedded in email messages, these scams lead potential victims into seemingly trustworthy web pages, where they are prompted to fill in their name, address, login information, social security number, and credit card number. Phishing emails often appear to come from reputable sources, which makes the embedded link even … READ MORE »

E-Mail Domain Name Phishing Attacks are Becoming Much More Prevalent, Pay Attention and Don’t Fall Victim!

A number of clever, yet common techniques have been the basis for several social engineering attacks we’ve seen lately. Hackers are registering domain names similar to authentic domains in an effort to make the e-mail recipient believe that the sender’s request is legitimate. These techniques can consist of one or more of the following: Homoglyphs – A homoglyph is one or more characters with shapes that appear identical or very similar. For example, a capital O and the number 0, a number 1 and lower-case l, a lower-case g and q, you get the idea. Believe it or not, it’s quite common for someone to mistake these letters for one-another when spoofed and replaced in a domain name. (e.g., ahrconsu1ting.com (yes, that’s a number one in place of the letter l)) Transposition – Simply put, its swapping letters that are adjacent … READ MORE »

Learn From This NFL Team’s HIPAA Fumble

ESPN recently reported that a laptop containing the medical records of thousands of NFL players was stolen from the car of a Washington Redskins’ trainer. And while the team released a statement saying no health information protected under HIPAA guidelines was at risk, the incident shows that EMRs are vulnerable no matter the size of your company. That’s why you need to have all medical records completely protected no matter where they are being stored. And while the Redskins’ situation was bad, an NFL spokesperson did state that the NFL EMR system was not compromised and the league believes the thief was unable to gain access to the intercepted computer or its files. However, this does not mean the situation is resolved and the team is now in the process of informing every person who could be affected. Not only … READ MORE »