COVID-19 Phishing Scams Exploit Online Rumor Mill

COVID-19-phishing-scams

There is an explosion of extremely believable COVID-19 phishing scams. They are precisely targeted spear phishing. This shows how cybercriminals exploit Dark Web information and the online rumor mill for profit. Months into the global pandemic, cybercriminals are still using COVID-19 messaging. They do this by taking advantage of the worldwide fear and uncertainty around the disease, what causes it, and relief efforts for those affected by it. Scams grow more imaginative and more believable. This is because bad actors fashion bait that capitalizes on the rumor to create COVID-19 phishing scams that look more genuine than ever. COVID-19 phishing scams are everywhere. Phishing scams are by far the biggest type of attack threat based on exploitation that businesses face. Phishing is up more thanRead Full Article

2020 Ransomware Statistics

randsomeware-cybersecurity

If you ask a cybersecurity professional what threat keeps them up at night, the majority of them will tell you it’s ransomware. If you’re unsure of what ransomware is, it’s a type of a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. It has been a problem for years. But it peaked during the current pandemic. This increasing threat takes down organizations of every size every day. And it’s only getting worse. Here are ten of the most important 2020 statistics to take into account as you consider how your organization plans to prevent ransomware from taking your data hostage. Here Are the 2020 Statistics Regarding Ransomware 1. 65% of ransomware infections are deliveredRead Full Article

Passwords – Outdated and Dangerous, But Necessary

my-password

It’s important to continually use best practices when creating passwords because hackers are constantly trying to obtain your credentials to be sold on the Dark Web. Are you protecting your data? Here’s a quick test. What do these seemingly random alphanumerical groupings have in common? 123456 password 123456789 12345678 12345 111111 1234567 sunshine qwerty iloveyou That is a list of the top ten passwords used in 2018. Recognize any of these? If you don’t, you’re not necessarily in the clear. However, your chance of becoming compromised or hacked is far less than someone who uses one of these. If you do recognize these, you’re certainly testing your luck. These days, it is increasingly challenging to create and remember so many passwords. If we had onlyRead Full Article

Can VoIP Phones Help Your Business?

VoIP-phone-system

We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz lately about Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP is just fancy jargon for an internet phone system. People are hearing from friends or business acquaintances who are using VoIP phones that, not only are they saving money, but this “new” technology has added a lot of flexibility to their daily operations. It is true that VoIP systems will save you money over landlines or cellphones. Additionally, there are even more benefits to utilizing the right VoIP set-up for your business. Here we take a look at how this technology works and visit some of the strengths and weaknesses of Voice Over Internet Protocol systems. VoIP Basics You can make and receive calls through the internet rather than hardwiredRead Full Article

10 Facts about Cybersecurity

facts-about-cybersecurity

Get the facts about cybersecurity disasters in 2020 to protect your business. Emergency preparedness is essential for smooth emergency response – and the faster you respond to an emergency, the better. September is National Preparedness Month. Thus, as you’re reviewing the other disaster preparedness plans in your life, it’s time to make sure that you’ve got the facts about cybersecurity disasters in 2020 to plan for 2021. No two cybersecurity disasters are exactly the same. But most of them share certain characteristics. It’s important to learn the facts about today’s biggest threats. This can help you make an effective plan. You could be impacted by phishing, ransomware, insider threats, credential stuffing, or other Dark Web dangers. These basic facts about cybersecurity disasters in 2020 can helpRead Full Article

The Benefits of Using VoIP Technology

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VoIP technology (Voice over IP) is yet another tool to utilize in creating an ideal virtual office. You should opt for a VoIP system because it will also trim expenses, as well as make the most of technology. More and more businesses are implementing VoIP technology. That is because of its versatility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. ViOP allows you to bring your office phone system wherever you and your employees are. This means you will have a state-of-the-art business telecommunication system whether you are in your brick and mortar office or working remotely. Versatility/Flexibility of VoIP Technology: All modes of communication such as voice, fax, video, web conferencing, and emails can be utilized, using a single software application. Yep, fax is still used frequently in theRead Full Article

Why the Break-fix Model Doesn’t Work

break-fix

So, you may be wondering why the break-fix model doesn’t work. Grandpa always said, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While we love Grandpa, that truism isn’t always true. Just like the customer is always right and other similar expressions, simply because people have been saying something forever doesn’t make it correct. Still wondering why the break-fix model doesn’t work? Break-fix fails: waiting to take action when something breaks before you fix it can end up being costly and disastrous in the long run. Where do we find the balance between upgrading routinely and only replacing when you have no choice? Also, what does this have to do with this series’ theme of hiring an IT tech? Break-fix Model: Let’s Break the Cycle When a company grows andRead Full Article

IT Professional Job Description – What do they really do?

it-professional

So, you’re working on drafting an IT professional job description. This series covers the most important factors to consider before you hire an in-house IT tech or team. Our last article reviewed the hidden costs of hiring an IT Professional. Now, we’re talking about what IT actually does besides ask if you turned your computer off and back on again. Depending on the size of your organization, work in IT can be complicated and time-consuming. Let’s go over the major job responsibilities of IT professionals beyond tech support and equipment maintenance. Vendor Management Outside organizations most often provide your Internet, copy machine, phone system, and computer equipment. When they break, need maintenance, or require warranty replacement, the IT professional interacts with the vendor. Oftentimes, they’re responsible for communicatingRead Full Article

The Hidden Costs of Hiring an IT Tech

hiring-it-tech

If your business is at the point where you’re thinking about hiring a fulltime IT tech, congratulations! Having enough consistent needs to fill this role means you’ve worked hard and made good decisions that drove business growth. Our best advice? Don’t stop now! Moving forward with hiring requires a lot of analysis to avoid major consequences down the line, though. One of the biggest decisions whether you’ll hire someone directly or use a third-party MSP (Managed Service Provider). In this article, we’ll get into the specifics of both scenarios. Why Do You Need an IT Tech at All? In the past, business people and tech people were two different breeds. Over the years, the gap has gradually shrunk to the point that many people areRead Full Article

Facts You Should Know About Cybersecurity Education

cybersecurity education

Why should businesses be concerned with the state of cybersecurity education? Because it brings unexpected risks to the table. As the world continues to evolve in the wake of the global pandemic, every aspect of life has changed. Students are headed back to school and most will be attending virtually at least some of the time. With many parents still working from home, that means that everyone is sharing a network – and the underwhelming state of cybersecurity education for kids creates unexpected cybersecurity risks for businesses. Cybersecurity isn’t a priority in most K – 12 curricula. But cybercriminals have learned that kids are easy targets for social engineering attacks, and schools are generally way behind the curve in internal cybersecurity, creating openings for themRead Full Article

Beyond a Basic Disaster Recovery Plan

disaster-recovery-plan

You’ve invested in a disaster recovery plan and now sleep more soundly at night, but the hardware itself is really only part of the solution. You want to ensure your technology provider does preventative maintenance, periodic testing, multi-location storage, and staff training. Having these things in place will help avoid downtime if the worst happens. Preventative Maintenance In addition to the hardware itself, a solid disaster recovery solution also has its own backup including generators, backup batteries, cooling systems, fire detection, suppression systems, and redundant cloud storage. You can’t necessarily head to your provider’s office to see for yourself, but you can read the fine print on your contracts as well as have meaningful conversations with potential providers. Periodic Testing Consistently ensuring everything is runningRead Full Article

A Backup Disaster Recovery Plan

backup-disaster-recovery

No New Orleans business owner needs to be told that having a disaster recovery plan is crucial, even before the pandemic made it glaringly so. A Backup Disaster Recovery plan is one of those things that all businesses need to have in case of disaster. Whether it’s a natural disaster such as a hurricane, a hardware failure, or even an attack from a hacker, any of these could permanently disable your business if you aren’t prepared or have a proper backup plan. First of all, a data disaster is more common than you might think. Currently, 58% of small and mid-sized businesses are not prepared for data loss. Even worse, 60% of these businesses that lose their data will shut down within six months. SomethingRead Full Article

Why do we still worry about Work from Home policies?

work-from-home

If you have been in the workplace for a few decades, you may remember that the idea of telecommuting began to appear in the late 90’s as internet access from home began to become more common. Telecommuting was often poorly received, as it carried the onus of being a “trick” to avoid working a full eight hours. Then, with the arrival of residential broadband access a decade or so ago, successfully conducting a large majority of your work tasks in real-time, from home, became very realistic for a large swath of office workers. And now, months into a pandemic, many of us are still telecommuting. So, then why do we still worry about work from home policies? Here are some of the concerns that businessRead Full Article

5 Bad Technology Habits

bad-tech-habits

Now more than every, you are probably practically attached to one device or another. Bad online habits can leave you swimming in malware, hackers, and leaked data – none of which is fun or pleasant. But on the other hand, bad technology habits can leave you in bodily pain, unproductive, and desperate for more time – none of which is easy to come back from. Here are a few bad technology habits to be on the lookout for. Do you check social media every 60 seconds? I get it. There is so much going on these days. The urge to read about the latest news and scandals is real. Or you may just want a break from everything and just want to look at picturesRead Full Article

A Work From Home Policy Can Help Your Business

In the last several years, the concept of creating a work from home policy has become increasingly more popular. Though some still remain skeptical, it has been gaining in popularity and become more widely accepted among management circles. That said, the current pandemic essentially set the debate entirely aside, at least for the time being, because work from home (WFH) became the only choice between working and shutting down. Aside from mandatory quarantines, why have organizations been adopting WFH policies? There are several factors that are motivating companies to select WFH. Employee satisfaction: Many, but not all, employees like the freedom to work from home at least part of the time. Offering WFH opportunities can increase levels of employee satisfaction. This ties in to theRead Full Article

Who Makes Your IT Decisions?

Do you feel qualified to make the IT decisions for your business? We’ll use medical offices as our example in this blog, but in reality, this information is important to all small businesses. It’s easy to substitute engineering firm, accountant, attorney, and many other professions, really anyone who does not have a background in technology. As we’ve discussed in our last blog, now is the time to upgrade your technology so that you’ll be ahead of the game when businesses pick up. Let’s assume that everything we’ve said about upgrading your technology resonated with you, and you agree 100% — now what? Well, decisions have to be made. What kind of hardware will you be using? What about the software? When do you plan toRead Full Article

The Importance of Business Continuity

The world is battling a crippling crisis today. The global economy is in peril and businesses have taken radical measures to mitigate the adverse impacts of economic decline. Companies have had to leverage the technology at their disposal to allow their employees to work remotely in order to attempt to achieve business continuity. Although technology has made remote work feasible, the unexpected magnitude of the situation has caught most small and midsize businesses off guard. One of the challenges most companies face right now is ensuring business continuity with minimal loss of productivity of their remote workforce. While this unprecedented crisis has certainly transformed the way businesses around the world operate, it has also provided companies with an opportunity to reinforce their IT infrastructure toRead Full Article

10 Things to Do Before Business Picks Back Up

things-to-do

While businesses are opening back up and we are starting to see a slow uptick in activity, now is the time to take the opportunity to do those things that you never have time to do. Here are ten things that you should do now for your business so that you’re ready to excel when this crisis is over. 1. Maximize your security protocols. New security threats pop up every day. Especially amidst COVID-19, hackers developed phishing attempts to prey on peoples’ thirst for news surrounding the virus, PPP grants, stimulus checks, and plenty else. What happens when a hacker gains personal information from one of these attempts? Often, the value isn’t in the initial data theft or financial potential therein. Hackers really don’t careRead Full Article

Identify and Defend Against COVID-19 Email Scams

Covid-19-email-scams

COVID-19 email scams are on the rise and more clever than you’d expect. Don’t be fooled! We all know that opening strange email can have dangerous consequences, right? Unfortunately, that message hasn’t connected with many people as it pertains to enticingly designed new COVID-19 email scams. Here are some of the most devious scams we’re seeing right now, and recommendations for how to keep these scams from giving cybercriminals an open door into your data and systems. Training is essential to ensure that your staff isn’t endangering your compliance with data privacy laws or putting you in danger of a breach, and it’s ideal for combating the increased phishing attack danger that comes from a remote workforce. Attachments with “official information” about relief programs or health information from a government agency or the UN The fastest way to defendRead Full Article

Working from Home: Some Considerations

getting-back-to-work

In the last several years, the concept of working from home (WFH) has become increasingly more popular. Though some still remain skeptical, it has been gaining in popularity and become more widely accepted among management circles. That said, the current pandemic essentially set the debate entirely aside, at least for the time being, because WFH became the only choice between working and shutting down. Aside from mandatory quarantines, why have organizations been adopting working from home policies? There are several factors that are motivating companies to select working from home. Employee satisfaction: Many, but not all, employees like the freedom to work from home at least part of the time. Offering WFH opportunities can increase levels of employee satisfaction. This ties in to the increasingRead Full Article

Is the Dark Web all bad?

is-the-dark-web-all-bad

Dark Web: (noun) Part of the world wide web that is only accessible by utilizing special software, allowing users and websites to remain anonymous or untraceable. It exists on an encrypted network that uses masked IP addresses to maintain anonymity for users and site owners. This way, people who use the Dark Web for illegal purposes can’t be traced. As you can see by the above definitions, the Dark Web can be a shady place where illegal transactions take place. Things like drugs, guns, counterfeit money, and credit card numbers can all be found, bought, and sold. And you can bet there are groups and chatter about the current crisis in the U.S., from those seeking to stir up unrest to those who need aRead Full Article

What is the Dark Web and Why Should We Care?

what-is-the-dark-web

You’ve probably heard about the Dark Web more recently than ever before, especially considering the pandemic, protests across the country, and the conspiracy theories related to both. But what do you know about it? You can navigate your way around Google, Facebook, Amazon, and news sites. Did you know that you’re actually only visiting four percent of the internet. There’s a whole world  hiding beyond these safe surface-level sites, it’s a much less hospitable place. What exactly is it? The Dark Web is a conglomeration of websites that cannot be found on search engines or accessed via traditional web browsers because their location and identity is hidden through encryption tools such as TOR. TOR was originally created to protect military communication but now has aRead Full Article

Four Tips for Getting Back to Work during this In-Between

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We’ve reached an in-between status of this quarantine as many are eager to get back to work. Businesses are starting to open back up (with restrictions), but a lot of employees are finding themselves in an awkward spot between working in the office and remaining at home. Doctors are utilizing video and teleconference appointments but are holding office hours to see patients and perform “elective” surgeries. Companies are requesting that their employees work from home, if possible, but they’re relaxing requirements for coming back into the office. Other organizations are welcoming people back from teleworker status to full in-office expectations. With “in-between” operations, we’ve helped our clients through a few technology hiccups and wanted to help you avoid them too. Here are the top fiveRead Full Article

No Business As Usual

no-business-as-usual

Currently, there is no such thing as Business as Usual. Every day, small and medium businesses are re-inventing how they function. The most unfortunate side-effect of this COVID-19 crisis is that many small businesses have closed, and many of those will not re-open. The economic repercussions from this event will ripple throughout the landscape for decades. Only the strong will survive. For those who will survive this paradigm shift, now is the time to re-structure your business model and build a new foundation for the future. With many employees working off-site, businesses are noticing that they may be spending too much on their overhead, and they are also looking closely at the size of their staff. In this blog, we will look toward the futureRead Full Article

Meet the Nerds: Troy Beard

We are incredibly pleased to introduce you to the newest Nerd, Troy Beard. Troy was born and raised in New Orleans, so appreciates the importance of our local businesses, which he will be serving as a Network Technician.  When asked about his experiences for the past couple of months, he had this to say: A big positive to come out of social distancing is personal hygiene has become a bigger part of everyday lives, communities have become closer, and world pollution is down significantly. We love his great attitude and enjoyed reading his responses to our nerdy and New Orleans-related questions. What’s your favorite local restaurant? Royal Thai Star Wars or Star Trek:  Star Trek (which made me think of this meme, for which IRead Full Article

5 Ways to Adapt to Social Distancing at Work

social-distancing-at-work

You’ve probably grown tired of hearing the words “adjusting to the new normal” during this time of social distancing. Unfortunately, though, there’s really no other way to say it. This pandemic has permanently changed our work environment, whether you’re already back in the office or remain in quarantine for several more weeks. We must create a new normal for how we work, manage network security, and maintain productivity across a more widespread team. For example, a client earlier this week asked with their employees working from home, how are they supposed to ensure HIPAA compliance? What if someone innocently leaves the computer screen open, or takes a note with a patient’s name and walks away from the notebook? Here’s how we recommend redefining work parametersRead Full Article

3 Ways Cybercriminals Use Social Engineering to Steal Your Info

cybercriminals

Cybercriminals use social engineering every day to attempt to hack into people’s personal information.  Social engineering preys on the human condition to gain trust, manipulate people, and get people to willingly give out personal information. In general, there are three major ways that cybercriminals use social engineering to steal your info. Email This is one of the most prominent ways that information is stolen. This side of social engineering has been around nearly as long as emails have. It’s guaranteed that anyone with an email account has seen at least one of the many phishing scams that come from cybercriminals. Perhaps a Nigerian Prince would like to wire you a ton of money because his inheritance is wrapped up in the bank for some reason.Read Full Article

Why Are You So Popular on Social Media?

hackers-use-social-media

As we spend more time than ever before on our devises, most people are aware of the many scams that exist on the internet now. It’s tough to simply look at your emails without noticing several phishing emails sitting in your inbox, and those are just the obvious ones! Then, there’s, “We need you to update your account info, just click the link below,” emails. It can even go deeper with hackers physically talking with you or conning you into giving them information you shouldn’t. Lately, the largest influx of scams has come from social media.  As of right now, it is estimated that worldwide social media users total 3.8 billion. That is a lot of people to target. Fake Facebook Profiles Facebook saw a lotRead Full Article

Breaking Down Social Engineering

what-is-social-engineering

Most people are aware of terms like phishing and malware, but did you know those are a part of a larger scheme called social engineering? This is not a new kind of fraud. In fact, it’s been used for many years to manipulate a wide range of people into giving up important data about themselves or their workplace. A prime example of social engineering goes back to Greek mythology with the Trojan horse. They infiltrated the city of Troy with a “peace offering” filled with soldiers, thus winning the war. With technology at the forefront of our lives, social engineering has entered a new era. Physical human interaction is not necessarily required anymore. These criminals can gain information through emails, pop-ups, and public Wi-Fi networks,Read Full Article

Fixing Your Weakest Link: Your Employees

your-employees-weakest-link

You can have every piece of security hardware in the books: firewall, backup disaster recovery device, and even anti-virus. However, your employees will still be the biggest vulnerability in your organization when it comes to a phishing attack. How do you mitigate as much risk as possible? Create and Strictly Enforce a Password Policy Passwords should be complex, randomly generated, and replaced regularly. In order to test the strength of your password go to howsecureismypassword.com. This is a perfectly safe service sponsored by a password protection platform that tells you how long it would take a hacker to decode your password. When creating a password policy, bear in mind that the most prevalent attacks are dictionary attacks. Most people utilize real words for their passwords.Read Full Article