Prevent Hackers From Invading Your Computer Network During A Crisis

Computer hackers attacking different electronic devices

If you run a small business or organization, you are a target for cybercriminals. At this point, it’s just a fact of life. Hackers, scammers and threat actors of all kind target small businesses because they are plentiful, and more often than not, they lack good cyber security (if they have any at all). Here’s the kicker: these criminals don’t need to use malicious code or advanced hacking skills to get what they want. In reality, many of them target your biggest vulnerability: your own employees.

It’s a sad truth, but every day, employees of small businesses let hackers right in because they don’t know better. They see an e-mail from the boss, open it and click the link inside. By the time they realize they’ve made a mistake, they’re too embarrassed to say anything. From there, the problem gets worse. Actions like this can end in DISASTER for your business.

The problem is that most employees do not have the training to identify and report IT security issues. They are not familiar with today’s threats or they don’t know to not click that e-mail link. There are many things employees are doing – or not doing – that cause serious problems for small-business owners. Here are five things people do that allow hackers to waltz in through your front door. (more…)

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Online Chat: How to Use Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms Safely

Peple using online chat applications

The expression “online chat” comes from the word chat which means “informal conversation”. The term is loosely associated with any kind of communication over the Internet that offers a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver. Chat messages are generally short in order to enable other participants to respond quickly.

The tendency of online chat to create a feeling similar to a spoken conversation, distinguishes chatting from other text-based online communication forms such as Internet forums and email. In addition, online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat, or may be a feature of a web conferencing service.

While online chat could be text-based like Instant Messaging (IM),  Internet Relay Chat (IRC) etc., or video-based (using webcams), and offer a convenient way to communicate with other people, there are inherent dangers associated with online chat tools that allow real-time communication.

What are the differences between some real-time communication tools?

Instant messaging (IM) – Commonly used for recreation, instant messaging is also becoming more widely used within corporations for communication between employees. IM, regardless of the specific software you choose, provides an interface for individuals to communicate one-on-one. (more…)

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Secure Remote Access: Keeping Business Going with Remote Work

Users accessing a business network through secure remote access connectivity

Given current norms and today’s prevailing culture of a mobile “connect from anywhere” user population, organizations have no alternative recourse but to extend connectivity beyond and across their network perimeter in support of business and IT operations through the use of secure remote access.

But providing remote access to critical information systems, servers, and applications is a perilous endeavor. So what’s an institution to do in order to help end users ensure secure remote access to IT resources? The information provided below is to educate your staff, members and board about providing secure remote access and empowering worker productivity.

It is well publicized that today’s attackers are ever vigilant in their attempts to uncover weak points in networks, computers, and mobile devices to establish a foothold and leverage vulnerabilities, thus resulting in the compromise of critical assets or personal information.

Areas of concern that can lead to a breach include the lack of physical security controls available at remote locations, the use of unsecured networks, and the connection of infected devices to internal networks. The challenge is especially daunting when: (more…)

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COVID-19: Why Your People Should Be The Main Focus

 

COVID-19 Symptoms and how to protect yourself

In the last week or so, the world has seemingly shrunk as a fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging every aspect of our lives right now. Those saddled with managing technology planning to deal with the pandemic should realize that technology is never first. People are.

In North America, particularly the U.S. and Canada, people practically went from their typical day-to-day lives to a dignified quarantine called “shelter in place”, all seemingly overnight. Organizations and businesses have had to transform ‘normal’ business processes and office spaces to virtual workplaces.

More critical is that fact that many small organizations have had to make incredibly difficult decisions to send their paltry staff home with no infrastructure in place to support the suddenly mandatory work from home guidelines.

As a matter of fact, to say that many are struggling to extend existing remote work capabilities to a larger set of employees, or trying to kick off remote work programs from scratch within a short window would be an understatement. (more…)

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Two-Factor Authentication: Protecting Your Online Accounts

Laptop and two-factor authentication devices

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is one of the easiest and most available multi-factor authentication approaches to protecting online accounts.

Analysis of recent online account breaches indicate that weak and reused passwords continue to be a common entry point for account or identity takeover and network intrusions.

Some simple steps and tools like two-factor authentication can help your end users employ unique, strong passwords for their dozens of accounts.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your accounts could let you know when someone new is trying to get into them? Even better, wouldn’t it be terrific to make a stolen password useless to others?

Were you tricked into revealing your password through a phishing scam? Rest easy, your account is safe! That’s essentially the control that two-factor authentication (2FA) — also known as two-step verification or login approval — gives to you. And, it only takes about two minutes to set up and two seconds to use. That’s a lot of power for very little effort!

How does it work?

Once you’ve activated two-factor authentication on an account, whenever an account login with your password comes from a different device from what you’ve already permitted, an authorization check will come to your smartphone or other registered device.

Without your approval or current code, a password thief can’t get into your account. (more…)

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Work From Home: How To Maximize Productivity During A Pandemic

Professional working from home

As a business owner today, you are now facing unprecedented challenges to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic. You are asked to self-isolate and practice social distancing to “flatten the curve.” You are asked to allow your employees to work from home to reduce possible exposure and slow the spread of COVID-19.

These are all reasonable requests. However, as a business owner you also need to maximize productivity, bring in revenue and try to grow your business in these demanding times. How can you accomplish these goals when your office is now a ghost town and productivity has fallen off a cliff?

The answer lies in setting up your office to function remotely by allowing employees and volunteers to work from home, or remotely. If you’ve never implemented a work-from-home policy before, it may seem like a whole different world. Managing an entirely remote workforce goes far beyond giving your employees a laptop and reminding them to check in every once in a while. After all, there are many factors most business owners haven’t ever had to consider, such as: (more…)

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