Security

3 Questions You Should Ask Any IT “Expert” Before Letting Them Touch Your Computer Network

There are seemingly countless IT service providers to choose from these days, and it can be challenging to tell one from another. However, not all IT service providers are created equal. Some offer independent services, while others are part of larger firms. Some are new to the field, while others have been around for years. There are also companies that put out slick marketing to grab your attention but make it hard to tell if they really live up to the hype. Well, we’re here to help you cut through the clutter. You want to hire someone who knows what they’re doing and is going to take care of your business the right way. To do that, there are a few questions you should ask every IT expert before you let them anywhere near your network to ensure you’ll be … READ MORE »

Why You Shouldn’t Use Public Charging Kiosks

Smartphones have become a vital part of modern life. And as we spend more time on these gadgets, the likelihood of needing to recharge them while on the go increases. When your phone’s juice runs out and you’re nowhere near your charger, a public charging kiosk can look pretty promising. But what you might not know is that recharging phones at public charging stations can make you a victim of “juice jacking”. What is juice jacking? While newer phones can be charged wirelessly, older models still need power cords to power up their batteries. This charging method has one dangerous flaw: the cable used for charging can also be used for transferring data. Cybercriminals can exploit this flaw to commit juice jacking, or the act of using the USB data/power cable to illegitimately access phone data and/or inject malicious code … READ MORE »

What Does Proactive Cybersecurity Entail?

Most IT service providers (ITSPs) promise some level of “proactive” cybersecurity consulting. All businesses embrace the idea of preventing cyberattacks and data breaches before they happen, and ITSPs themselves would much rather brainstorm safeguards than troubleshoot time-sensitive downtime events. But it’s not always clear what proactive cybersecurity entails, so let’s take a minute to go over it. Understand the threats you’re facing Before any small- or medium-sized business (SMB) can work toward preventing cyberattacks, everyone involved needs to know exactly what they’re up against. Whether you’re working with in-house IT staff or an ITSP, you should review what types of attacks are most common in your industry. Ideally, your team would spearhead this review a few times a year. Reevaluate what it is you’re protecting Once you have a list of the biggest threats to your organization, you need to … READ MORE »

Is Your Business Continuity Plan Doomed To Fail?

No business continuity plan is perfect. Each plan has risks that can result in your business’s failure if not taken into account from the start. But don’t blame it all on your managed IT services provider (MSP) — often, a system’s design has loopholes to start with. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why business continuity plans fail. Over-optimistic testing The initial testing attempt is usually the most important, because it’s when MSPs can pinpoint potential pain points in the recovery plan. However, they usually test the system in full, instead of in phases. This can cause MSPs to overlook specific points, with too many factors overwhelming them all at the same time. Insufficient remote user licenses MSPs give remote user licenses to businesses so that employees can access a remote desktop software when they need to, … READ MORE »

Why Your Business Is The PERFECT Target For Hackers…

…And What You Need To Do NOW To Protect Yourself Everybody gets hacked, but not everything makes the evening news. We hear about big companies like Target, Home Depot, Capital One, and Facebook getting hacked. What we rarely hear about are the little guys – the small businesses that make up 99.7% of employers in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration. It’s these guys who are the biggest targets of cybercriminals. Basically, if you run a business, that business is a potential target. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, what you sell or how popular you are. Cybercriminals go after everybody. In 2018, a cyber security survey by the Ponemon Institute found that 67% of small and midsize businesses in the US and UK were hit by a cyber-attack. For the cybercriminal, casting a wide net … READ MORE »

Protecting Healthcare Data from Cybercriminals

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations rely on the integrity of their medical data. Unfortunately, healthcare systems — especially those that involve data entry software, prescription management systems, or electronic medical records — are often targeted by hackers. That’s why healthcare providers must do everything they can to protect highly sensitive medical data.   From financial information to medical information In the past few years, cybercriminals have focused on stealing financial data, including credit card numbers, online banking credentials, and other personal information. But things are taking a turn, with financial institutions fortifying their database security and raising client awareness on the growing problems. Stronger data protection measures in the financial industry have forced criminals to turn their attention to medical data, which is typically much less secure. Patient data includes date of birth, medical and physical records, and social security … READ MORE »

Why Your Company Needs a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

Multiple things can disrupt the operations of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), such as natural disasters or cyberattacks. This can lead to lost revenue, or in some extreme cases, business closure. But having a concrete business continuity plan (BCP) in place will help your business recover quickly after a disaster.   What is a BCP? A BCP is a predefined set of protocols on how your business should respond in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. It contains contingency plans for every aspect of your organization, including human resources, assets, and business processes. Key threats to business continuity Various types of threats can affect SMBs such as: Natural disasters – These are natural phenomena such as storms, earthquakes, and wildfires. Man-made disasters – These include cyberattacks, intentional sabotage, and human negligence. Equipment and utility failures – These include … READ MORE »

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Business Data

Most business owners are too busy running their respective offices to be concerned about optimized security settings and other technical matters. To spare them the agony of deciphering IT jargon, here are three easy ways to prevent data theft. Cover your webcam If Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, former FBI Director James Comey, and National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden all believe their webcams could be compromised, there’s no reason you should feel safe. They’re not overreacting because of some ruthless paparazzi that’s hounding them. It’s a fact that cybercriminals can use your webcam to spy on you. Though it might sound like a scene from an action movie or crime thriller, this has actually happened on several occasions. Hackers do this either to satisfy their voyeuristic tendencies or, more commonly, to steal personal information. This is a very real threat … READ MORE »

A Primer on Watering Hole Attacks

Cyberattacks come in many different forms, with new methods being developed all the time. What’s bad is that personal information is now often stored online, be it through social media or through government and healthcare services — and these are juicy targets for criminals. Learn more about one way these criminals steal data — through watering hole attacks. What are watering hole attacks? Watering hole attacks are used to distribute malware onto victims’ computers in a similar way phishing activities are conducted. Cybercriminals infect popular websites with malware, and anyone who has had the misfortune to visit have their computers automatically loaded with malware. The malware used in these attacks usually collects the target’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. In extreme cases, the hacker will actively take control of the infected computer. But how does … READ MORE »

A Smart Approach to Cybersecurity Investment

Cybersecurity is a threat to businesses across industries. Sometimes, organizations invest in security software without realizing the risks that come with it. Here are compelling reasons why identifying threats before buying cybersecurity products is paramount. Uncover threats and vulnerabilities Every business should run a risk assessment to evaluate its current cybersecurity infrastructure. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to identify, correct, and prevent security breaches. After discovering potential issues that cyberterrorists could exploit, rate them based on probability of occurrence and potential impacts on your business.Keep in mind that risk assessments are specific to every business, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach for technology that will work for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Variables like your line of business and operating environment will account for differences in needs and risks. For instance, manufacturing companies and insurance groups have … READ MORE »