Insider threats contribute to a significant number of data breaches. These cases of data exposure are enabled by a member of your staff, whether they intended to harm your business or simply made an honest mistake. With so much focus directed toward the threats out in the world, sometimes we forget that the biggest dangers can be among our ranks. To make up for this, we’ll discuss a few ways to keep insider threats from doing your business too much harm.
QuestingHound Technology Partners Blog
There are good emails, and there are bad emails. You know them when you see them, but can you write an email that’s more likely to be read and acted upon? There are a few key steps to writing them more effectively. For this week’s tip, we’ll walk you through five steps to improving your emails.
Mistakes happen, especially where technology is involved. There are plenty of ways that user error can occur when using a computer--many of which are avoidable through simple preventative measures. For our tip this week, we’ll go over some behaviors to avoid when using a computer.
Considering how often hackers target financial credentials like credit card numbers and expiration dates, it’s not surprising that ATMs can provide a wealth of information to them. Hackers are willing to go exceedingly far just to get their hands on these credentials--including physically altering the devices themselves to install skimmers and other technology on them. Unless you know what to look for, it can be difficult to tell if a machine has been tampered with.
Each worker within an organization is delegated some sort of responsibility based on their role. Managers are responsible for managing, while human resources keep all workers accountable for their responsibilities. Yet, there are multiple responsibilities designated to all employees who use technology for their everyday duties.
Do you let your employees bring their own devices in for use on your company network or Wi-Fi connection? If so, we’re sure that they love the freedom that you provide for them, but we must warn you of the dangers that this can bring to an otherwise careful business. We’ll discuss some of the benefits, as well as the pitfalls, of allowing your employees to use personal devices in the workplace.
Here’s something that you might have noticed about opening Windows applications on your desktop; by default, they will generally open in a smaller window, giving you the ability to customize their size as you see fit. If you want a full size Window, it’s as easy as clicking on the maximize button in the top-right corner, but what if you didn’t want to go through this every time you open the app? There’s a solution for this, and we’ll help you find it.
Before we dive into this week’s tip, it has to be said: if you have a choice, you should probably avoid using a public computer. As a rule, these machines feature minimal security precautions, along with maximum risk to any data accessed by the PC. Although, if a situation ever arises in which you have no choice but to use a public computer, be sure to follow these security best practices.
Guess what? Today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day, and we know the perfect way to celebrate! Go grab yourself a can of compressed air and your trusted IT technician, because it would be a shame if you were to miss out on this annual opportunity to improve your computer’s performance.
Cybersecurity is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Therefore, here are some of the best ways that your employees can contribute to your company’s technology security practices.
Welp, we’re all doomed. It turns out that sitting all day at your desk is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Alternatively, numerous studies have shown the health benefits of trading your traditional desk in for a standing desk. One study even goes so far as to claim that standing at work is the best anti-aging technique you can do!
We think that it’s safe to say that nobody enjoys their inbox receiving incredulous amounts of emails on a regular basis. Yet, the business owner must maintain their inbox every day, and if a message doesn’t strike them as important, they’ll probably either ignore it or delete it completely. Here’s how you can prevent this from happening.
The Internal Revenue Service is one organization that you don’t want to mess with. Thanks to their antics filing fraudulent tax returns through the often-exploited Get Transcript site managed by the IRS, Anthony and Sonia Alika have to do some time in the slammer; and that’s not even mentioning what they have to pay the IRS in restitution.
Every budget-minded business owner is always on the lookout for deals, especially when it comes to technology. The quest to save money might cause one to consider buying used computer equipment, which could work out great, or it could be disastrous, depending on a multitude of factors. If you’re serious about purchasing used computer equipment, then take into consideration these four tips.
When was the last time that you ran into a problem that was easily solvable, simply by restarting your computer or unplugging a device from the wall, then plugging it back in? Often times, simple troubleshooting tactics can be enough to resolve a problem, but more often than not, there are issues that can’t be easily resolved. It’s these ones that hold businesses back, and we’re here to help.
Social media may be a great way to connect with other professionals and communicate with your friends, but it can be dangerous if you have poor posting habits. Before you share something, think twice about whether it contains any sensitive information that could be risky to yourself and your business.
Most companies have to have a workforce, generally one of considerable size. Unfortunately, the more users you have, the more potential risks you run into. Of course, your workforce doesn’t collectively intend to be a security risk, but the digital world is a complicated place, with threats around every corner and malicious programs just waiting for your employed end-users to slip up. Here are ten such honest slip-ups to watch out for:
- Clicking on Risky Websites - The web is pretty big, so when an employee has been searching for something and finally manages to find a link, they might not always think about the source. As a result, your network and files could be subject to any number of threats. Be sure to emphasize to your employees that there is such a thing as “too good to be true,” especially on the Internet.
- Weak or Personal Passwords - As much as your employees might love their dogs, cars, or a particular date in time, a password is no place to express that love. Also, if they actually use “password” as their password, they are just begging for trouble. Encourage them to use private, randomized strings of numbers and letters as insistently and consistently as possible.
- Lax Habits in Mobile Security - You may have the latest versions of spyware and virus blockers on your company desktops, but do your employees have the same on their tablets, phones, and other portable electronics? Without the same security, once they are connected to your network, these devices leave your network wide open for breaches. Be sure your employees aren’t leaving points of access to your network without safeguards by establishing mobile device policies and a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy.
- Using Insecure Connections to Access Sensitive Data - Are your employees reviewing company files on their lunch break by using the local fast food franchise’s free Wi-Fi? If they are, it is recommended that you put a stop to it; as public Wi-Fi hotspots are prone to have malware lurking about.
- Lost or Stolen Unencrypted Tech - So an employee is riding the bus to work, and leaves their company phone behind when they disembark. Without encryption software, that phone is potentially an encyclopedia of company data and information for sale to competitors, as well as a free pass into company files and email. Enforcing encryption policies helps to mitigate this risk.
- Shadow IT - An employee decides that they prefer a different program to perform their job-related task and downloads a copy of that program onto their company desktop without the knowledge of the IT department. Besides the question of compatibility with your systems, it spreads your company data into yet another system, but this time you don’t have control over it. Plus, there is always the risk that the download will come with a bonus - vulnerabilities that could allow malware to hitch a free ride into the network. Be vigilant regarding the use of unapproved, personally downloaded applications.
- Phishing Calls/Personalized Phishing Emails - One of your HR employees checks their email and finds what looks to be a job application directed specifically to them, using their name, title, and other personal identifiers. They click on the included link, not realizing that the email was actually from a hacker who did a bit of research on Facebook and LinkedIn, and downloads a mess of viruses. Impress upon your employees the importance of private social media accounts and the careful consideration of any linked content from unknown senders. Similarly, make sure your employees can recognize and appropriately handle phishing telephone calls for both live callers and robocalls, and understand the importance of not sharing company information compulsively.
- Personal Email Use - The news has presented enough evidence in recent years to prove that using a personal email account for work purposes is never a good idea. Beyond the implicit unprofessionalism of some usernames, personal accounts tend to be more vulnerable to malicious programs than their corporate counterparts are. Encourage your employees to keep work and personal emails separate.
- Leaving Workstations Unattended - As unfortunate as it is, not all employees will be completely on the up-and-up. Some will attempt to view information they aren’t cleared to access, often for purposes of corporate espionage. This task becomes remarkably easy when a workstation is left unattended while still active. The fix is relatively easy to establish; just remind employees to log off of their desktop (or at least lock it) before they leave their post, and enforce it appropriately.
- Using Random Memory Devices - It makes no sense to carefully craft your system defenses if your employees are going to find a random USB drive lying on the street and plug it into their workstation, subjecting your network and files to whatever malware might happen to be on the device’s storage.
While human error is impossible to avoid entirely, you can minimize your risk of a security breach by implementing these policies for your workforce and educating them on best practices. For more information about industry best practices when dealing with company data, give QuestingHound Technology Partners a call at 954-727-2200.
When you mention the term 'disaster recovery,' most people think about the big ground-shattering events like earthquakes, fires, floods, tropical storms, etc. While these natural events are certainly disasters and devastating in their own right, smaller things can constitute as a disaster for your business, and they aren't seasonal.
Sometimes when your workstation feels bogged down, a relatively cheap and simply hardware update can make a huge difference in performance. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can be a game changer for your bogged down PC.
Saving a little on your technology can go a long ways, but cutting too many corners can lead to additional problems and expensive downtime. Here are a few ways you can cut costs without creating long term issues.