Guards Up: Stop Cyber-Criminals From Preying On Your Business

Types of cybercriminal activities like electronic fraud and illegal computer access.

Cyber-criminals are counting on you letting your guard down during this global coronavirus pandemic – Here’s how to stop them by keeping your guards up.

The world is slowing down during this COVID-19 pandemic. Wall Street is being hit hard. People are no longer going out. We’re told to quarantine or self-isolate and not engage in groups.

You can bet there’s one group that’s not slowing down at all. In fact, they’re probably working overtime while the rest of us have our lives turned upside down. Cyber-criminals and hackers know there’s no better time to strike than during a global crisis.

While you are distracted and spending your time trying to make sense of this new normal, they are finding new ways into your IT network so they can steal data and passwords, compromise your clients’ private information and even demand large ransoms.

Cyber-crime is already on the rise and is expected to cause $6 TRILLION in damages by 2021! But, if history repeats itself, hackers will be out in full force throughout this coronavirus scare. We fully expect in the upcoming weeks that headlines will change from stories about COVID-19 to accounts of a frenzy of cyber-attacks on corporations and small businesses.

Here are solutions you can implement now to keep your guards up and help protect your business data, money and productivity: (more…)

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Social Networking: Staying Safe on Social Networking Sites

Secure social networking on mobile devices

The popularity of social networking sites continues to increase, especially among teenagers and young adults. The nature of these sites introduces security risks, so you should take certain precautions.

What are social networking sites?

Social networking sites build upon the concept of traditional social networks where you are connected to new people through people you already know. The purpose of some networking sites may be purely social, allowing users to establish friendships or romantic relationships, while others may focus on establishing business connections.

Although the features of social networking sites differ, they all allow you to provide information about yourself and offer some type of communication mechanism (forums, chat rooms, email, instant messages) that enables you to connect with other users. On some sites, you can browse for people based on certain criteria, while other sites require that you be “introduced” to new people through a connection you share. Many of the sites have communities or subgroups that may be based on a particular interest.

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COVID-19 Phishing: How to Protect Against Phishing Emails

Fake SBA COVID-19 Relief website

Malicious cyber threat actors are actively involved in COVID-19 phishing by spoofing (pretending to be) the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails. These emails usually include malicious links to websites that look like the SBA’s coronavirus relief website with the intent of stealing credentials for the online accounts of victims.

COVID-19 phishing emails target executives of companies and organizations, leaders of state, local, tribal, and territorial government recipients, as well as small business owners with subject lines like “SBA Application – Review and Proceed”, or text in the email body urging the recipient to click on a link to a bogus website address.

What is Phishing?

According to the Legal Dictionary, the term phishing refers to “the act of fraudulently acquiring someone’s personal and private information, such as online account names, login information, and passwords.”

This information may then be used to steal money, order products using the victim’s credit cards, and otherwise defraud the victim. Phishing is accomplished through online means, meaning through the use of email, social media, and other internet-related methods. (more…)

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Device as a Service: How To Simplify IT Hardware Replacements

Device as a service computer hardware components

Device as a Service offers complete IT hardware, software, and services solution for a regular predictable monthly fee.

The business environment is changing, even more so in these past few months of a health pandemic. Business owners and leaders want to pay for exactly what they want, when they want it, and eliminate unnecessary waste. They no longer want mass market products but complete customization to fit their specific needs.

Due to this increasing demand for customization, new business models have arisen to accommodate them, and the consumption model will naturally continue to spread into nontraditional industries.

What is the Technology Lifecycle?

A technology lifecycle is technically defined as the span of a product’s existence from its initial development through the period of marketing and active use to eventual obsolescence. It is the beginning to end process of acquiring, installing, maintaining, tracking and the retirement of an asset in a business environment. These assets could be servers, laptops, desktop computer, tablets, or mobile phones.

Typically, a technology’s lifecycle can be extended through ongoing maintenance, updates and upgrades. Upon reaching the end of its most effective stage, the IT lifecycle moves to replacement, decommission and salvage.

For organizations large and small, refreshing a fleet of personal computing devices every 3 to 4 years can involve substantial costs, especially when considering peripheral expenditures for procurement, deployment, training, support, recovery, and asset management.

This is where Device as a Service, commonly known as DaaS comes in. (more…)

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7 Ways to Secure Microsoft 365 Office for Business

Microsoft 365 Office Applications

Most small or medium-size organizations today are using, or migrating to one of Microsoft’s 365 suite of applications. With the recent shift to remote work, and the attendant increase in the use of collaboration tools included with Office 365 business plans, organizations are bound to be targeted by cyber criminals and hackers.

More critically, due to the speed of these deployments, many small organizations may not be fully equipped to consider the security configurations of the cloud-based platforms they are migrating to.

There are continued instances where businesses and organizations, especially those in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) category are not implementing best security practices in regard to their Microsoft Office 365 implementation.

The ultimate result, inevitably, will be the increased vulnerability of these environments to attacks by threat actors or hackers.

If you are in charge of securing the technology infrastructure and applications used in your organization, you can use the guidance in this article to increase the security of your Microsoft 365 Office Suite deployments. (more…)

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Remote Working: 3 Ways Technology Can Close The Productivity Gap

People in various remote working scenarios

Now, more than ever, we’re seeing a rapid change in the way the world does business, and where the world does business from, making technology more essential than ever. And when it comes to getting work done, 71% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) use desktops as their primary computer, which can make working at home or remote working, a huge challenge for many and has greatly increased the demand for mobile, work-from-home devices.

If there’s one thing that current events have shown, it is that nothing will be the same again. In particular, the way we work. The new workforce, now spanning the different work styles of five generations, has already changed the way our businesses are organized.

Our workplaces have to be far more flexible.

Remote workplaces need to support the shiny, new technologies we’re increasingly used to as consumers, while delivering the superior performance and reliability that business demands. Work is no longer a designated space in the office but an activity that we do, when and where we choose, whether that’s a coffee shop or in a home office. (more…)

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