Monthly Archives: September 2022

Employee Awareness Is Your Best Security

For business communication security, employee awareness is your first line of defense. The more your staff know about the risks, the better prepared they are to deal with potential attacks and the safer your business will be. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that more than half of employees today lack training in online security. For a business owner like yourself, this can be a frightening idea. Such a lack of awareness and training poses a grave danger to your business should you become the target of an online attack.

Check Your Employees’ Level of Awareness

But don’t fret just yet. Maybe your staff knows more about online safety than typical employees. To find out where their security knowledge is, have them take this Employee Readiness Check offered by us. This quiz that we have created will gauge how prepared employees are if a cyberattack happens. If they pass with flying colors, then good for you! Your business has a strong defense against online attacks!

Sadly, it is more likely that they will score lower than you expect. The statistics don’t lie. The quiz will show that most employees cannot identify a phishing email if it hits them in the face!

Train Your Employees on Recognizing a Phishing Threat

Phishing is an online threat to communication security. Hackers attempt to steal data by posing as legitimate entities. The concept sounds too simplistic to work, but it would surprise you how effective it is at tricking unsuspecting employees. With a successful phishing attack, cybercriminals can gather sensitive information like your bank details, client databases, and passwords.

To help prevent phishing attacks from succeeding, you must train your employees to practice caution and take the following steps when using the company’s communication system.

Examine email addresses.

Phishing addresses look like the real deal, but to be proactive with your employee awareness pay close attention. What should have been a “.com” might be a “.co”.

Hover over the links to verify.

For better employee awareness, before clicking on any link sent through email, texts, or social messaging, hover over it to see the URL. If it is not something that looks familiar, it is better to not click than risk the danger.

Check for errors in spelling and grammar.

These are common telltale signs of a phishing email. Official correspondence from reputable entities gets proofread and spell-checked before being sent out. Messages rife with mistakes are most likely the work of hackers trying to get into your system.

Ignore emails that ask for passwords.

Be aware that a trusted company will not request your password or other personal information through email messages. If you get a message that asks for such, it is best to ignore or block it.

With the volume of emails that employees receive daily, plus all the other tasks they must do in the workplace. It is easy to become complacent with communication security which is why employee awareness plays a vital role in your company. Hence, you must train your employees regularly and give them pop quizzes from time to time by sending them harmless “phishing emails” to see if they can deal with these kinds of threats properly.

Our team provides top-quality employee training for communication security and online safety. Don’t leave your company’s safety to chance. Call us today! We will help build a strong line of defense to protect your business from losing data.

There is a Compliance Checklist for download, that will help you create a rich work culture in your office that will allow you to prepare your team for the future!

Risk Management for Communication Security

Digital technology has advanced dramatically over the years, and today we get to communicate in ways that were unheard of before. From simple emailing for work and chatting with friends across the globe to high-speed real-time videoconferencing and accessing massive amounts of information within seconds, we have come a long way. When was it time to consider worrying about communication security?

But together with these improvements, new communication risks have also emerged. Hackers have also used technology to hone their craft, and businesses need to find effective ways to thwart these risks and stay protected online.

Longer Online Time

The longer time spent online equates to more cybersecurity risks for all of us. Technology has rapidly become a major part of our lives. People are spending more and more time on technology and communications software. Hence, the risks posed to our security are naturally growing. A natural solution would be to reduce online time, but this is impossible because most of our lives are now online. What we can do instead is to practice efficient security measures so that no threats can penetrate our systems if we are online 24 hours a day.

Fake Messages

This trick is the most prevalent communication security risk facing the world today. This scam has become quite common, especially with the rise in the popularity of online shopping. A common trick by hackers is to send fake messages regarding deliveries that did not arrive, with a link that will supposedly let you ‘reschedule’ your order. Instead, these bogus links take you directly to malicious websites that can harm your computer system.

Some of these fake messages merely request that you pay a small amount of money, which seems nothing more than an inconvenience. However, an increasing number of scams collect your data and credit card details, leading to a substantial loss of money. That being the case, these fake delivery messages pose a risk and are huge threats.

Email Attachment Scams

Another rampant security risk that people know about that has to do with communication comes from emails. Hackers are getting more skillful and innovative with their phishing tactics. They send emails designed to trick the receiver into thinking they come from legitimate senders, encouraging them to click on the included link. But what looks like a harmless site might contain malware or phishing software that would inadvertently be downloaded onto your device, causing damage to your computer system.

Social Media

Hacked social accounts are also becoming a massive problem in the online world. If you receive a suspicious message from a social media contact, particularly one that contains links to external videos or websites, don’t click on it. The chance is that it will lead to the infection of your device with dangerous security software.

Protective Measures against Communication Security Risks

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to keep the communication channels of your business secure. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this. It’s best to start with evaluating your current communication system and checking if it is safe from online threats. You should also use a trusted encryption method to protect your messages and everything that makes up your communication system. Depending on your level of protection, you might need to overhaul your entire security infrastructure.

It is wise to entrust these steps to a managed services provider you can trust. In the meantime, you can train your employees on communication security. We can help with that as well. We can improve your cybersecurity, as you can read in our Compliance Checklist, we can provide you everything you need to advance your business in many different ways. To start boosting your communication security right away, Call us today.

Updates are Critical for Your Devices. Here’s Why:

Hands of a tech updating her laptop's software programs and operating system.

Keep your devices updated to decrease your chances of getting hacked.

If there is one piece of advice that IT pros can give to professionals and business managers, it’s to update. Update your computers, phones and tablets. Update your web server, your software tech stack, and your cybersecurity defenses. Update your operating system, your drivers, and even your printers and routers. Why? Because updates are released for very good reasons.

Outdated technology isn’t just clunky, it’s also dangerous. Hackers thrive on unchanged default settings and known security gaps. So, even if your software and devices are working perfectly, it’s vital to keep up with regular performance and security updates.


What Is an Update?

An update is when new software is released that improves your current technology. Sometimes, an update fixes a previous problem. Sometimes, an update may add new functionality, or expand the software to integrate better with other programs. Updates come in all sizes and purposes. Let’s look at a few examples of updates that are easy to understand.

Adobe, for example, often releases a new edition and most users will update to get better features or the fix to a previous flaw. Windows 11 is an update from Windows 10. If you get a cool new web camera or microphone, you might need to install the latest drivers to use them -and this, too, is an update.


Why Should You Update?

Many people don’t see the point of updating if your programs and devices work well already. However, updating offers both a myriad of benefits and plays an important role in risk prevention.

If your devices or software go out-of-date, they will stop performing at their best, may lose support from the developer, and lose integration other technology. Worse, the older any technology is, the more time hackers have had to identify vulnerabilities. The latest updates often include security patches that close known vulnerabilities and decrease your chances of getting hacked. Likewise, not updating your software is like leaving the backdoor unlocked when you know there’s a thief in the neighborhood.

One of the biggest recent threats that updates can help protect you from is malvertising – or infected ads on legitimate sites. If your device, firewall, and virus scanner are up to date, malvertising is far less likely to affect your computer.


What Should Be Updated?

Updating happens at almost every level of device technology. You should occasionally update the operating system of each device and computer you use, and check for updates of hardware, firmware, and drivers.

Every program you use should be updated regularly, and so should the devices themselves. Update your programs, the browsers you use, and your defense software. Update the operating systems on your phones, tablets, computers, laptops, servers, and even often-forgotten hardware like your router and printer.


How Do You Update?

Updating will have a standard procedure for every device and program, and that process is usually quite simple.  Every computer, phone, and tablet operating system has a simple OS updating system that will check for, download, and install updates on a schedule or on command.

Navigate to the Apps section of your settings. From there, you can check for, download, and install updates for individual apps and programs.

Your web browsers will often ask to update themselves, and this is also true for many cloud platform programs.

To update your drivers, you will often need to download the latest driver and install it through your Device Manager menu. This may also be true of some software.

To update more complex software, there may be a plugin or update manager found through the internal dashboards. In almost all cases, updates and patching have been made easy, and the paths easily researched.


Taking Control of Your Update Cycle

Staying updated keeps your system running with optimized performance and security. When you’re ready to take control of your update cycle, contact us to up  your game and learn more about managed IT services.

Why manage your IT alone when you can have a team of experts at your disposal?

Team of IT experts working on a computer - managing a company's IT systems.

Having an expert team handling your cybersecurity burden is the best option for your business.

The more technology evolves, the more systems’ security becomes complicated. You have more cybersecurity threats now, than the average 90s person. You have to be on the lookout for hackers who may sell or buy your credentials and private information on the dark web.

Furthermore, on top of an in-built spam filter, you need an additional third party spam filter to improve email security. And if you are using cloud services, then you need to initialize multifactor authentication, otherwise hackers will easily own your accounts.

All these measures may sound overwhelming, and a solution like SentinelOne’s Singularity XDR may sound appealing. Who doesn’t want an automated, AI-integrated cybersecurity software that gives you full control over threats?

Even if you could individually monitor and deal with threats, why would you want to burden yourself when you can have experts handle your cybersecurity burden?

In this post, we look at our last 4 blog posts to show how recent security concerns require innovative tools to deal with. We elaborate why you need to outsource cybersecurity to your managed service provider instead of handling these modern security concerns by yourself.

You Need a Third Party Spam Filter

Even if you have Office 365, you need a third party spam filter for optimum protection. Office 365 uses Microsoft’s Exchange Online Protection (EOP) as the built-in spam filter. However, EOP does not provide the level of protection against malicious emails required by most organizations. Some spam and phishing emails make it past EOP’s protection and endanger the organization.

Therefore, third-party spam filters are required for optimally spam protection. Third-party spam filters are preferred because they are AI-integrated and are constantly learning to identify and block new spam and phishing threats as they occur.

These spam filters also provide DKIM and SPF email authentication protection, which ensures your emails are not spoofed. Phishing attacks are commonly launched through spoofed emails, which are difficult to detect without DKIM and SPF email authentication protection.

You Need To Protect Your System From Dark Web Hackers

The Dark Web exists, and it can really hurt your business. Hackers sell and buy stolen credentials on the Dark Web. For as little as $8, they can get hold of your organization’s usernames, and account passwords, wrecking havoc to your system.

You should make an effort to monitor the Dark Web for your details. If your credentials are already on the Dark Web, the best you can do is immediately change your passwords and initiate multifactor authentication.

You Need Multifactor Authentication for Your Cloud Services

Hackers with your credentials can access and own your accounts. Most of our data is stored in the cloud, where access is authorized to any remote user with matching credentials. Multifactor authentication activates additional security measures that confirm that the remote user is indeed an authorized user.

Multifactor authentication is a quick, easy solution to the problem of hacked credentials.

You Need an AI Assisted Cross-stack Solution to Monitor and Respond to Threats

With evolving technology, the areas of vulnerability and attack vectors have increased. Solutions like SentinelOne’s Singularity XDR give customers a unified and proactive approach to almost all potential points of attack. You can monitor and respond to threats as they occur.

Get All These Services From Your Managed Service Provider

From the above points, it is evident you need to protect yourself against a number of cybersecurity threats. Luckily, there are tools you can use to constantly keep ahead of these threats. However, it is overwhelming to operate all these cybersecurity tools effectively. That is why 41% of businesses outsource their cybersecurity needs.

Outsourcing cuts the costs that would have been used in training and hiring employees, and buying and leasing tools for cybersecurity purposes. Most significantly, outsourcing gives you access to a team of experts dedicated to your cybersecurity.

about your security for your business? Contact us here, so we can review your current policies and look at ways to protect and secure your company’s data without breaking the bank and get you back to concentrating on what you do best.