Employees are the heart and soul of any company. They handle the day-to-day running of the company as well as anything that is thrown their way. They are on the front line when it comes to dealing with clients and customers. In short, they are what makes your company tick.
Unfortunately, employees are also the first to encounter a data breach, hack, or cybercrime. Are your employees adequately trained to identify malicious emails, strange digital events, or weaknesses in data security? Too many small- and medium-sized businesses falsely believe that cyber criminals have bigger fish to catch in larger corporations and are thus lulled into a false sense of security. In fact, in 2016, two-thirds of the breached companies were small- or medium-sized companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.
Here are some of the ways that employees can do their part in the digital security of your company. A specialized training for all employees ensures that your employees can do these tasks confidently.
Proper Security Training can help employees:
- Avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
- Be aware of malicious links and emails.
- Understand the importance of locking a computer when you step away.
- Employ multifactor authentication methods.
- Store passwords securely.
- Use complex login credentials.
Does your company need specialized training in order to encourage employees to adopt the above protocol? Do you have questions about your IT security and need help tightening up your SMB? Call M&H Consulting today at 1-(866)-964-8324 or visit our website M&H Consults
Hacking incidents are inevitable and one can never know if you or someone you know will fall victim to it. There are, however, several different ways to stay safe and stay on top hackers before the hacking is even done.
A few of the best ways to do so are:
- Stay suspicious of emails – Email is used as a great communication platform, but this also makes it a huge security risk. Many cyberattacks happen through email. Phishing sends innocent emails that are meant to trick their victims. It leads them to a fake website asking for updates on their personal information. The best way to stay aware of emails is to check the sender and make sure it is someone you know. You can also check the IP address of the sender.
- Link locations – Link locations is a huge one. Unknown messages always contain links to unknown sites. When visiting an unknown site it can have major consequences and it usually tends to mimic a familiar site, or it can also simply be unsecure and infected with malware the minute you visit. The best way to know where it is taking you is to copy and paste the link location into a new browser to check what site is on the other side. It is important to know that encrypted sites are always the safest one to visit. You will see HTTPS in the URL, as well as a lock icon on your browser.
- Two-factor authentication – Two-factor authentication requires users to help enter several entry confirmations such as a code texted to a phone, before entering your password. This is a great way to stop attackers from stealing passwords. Most places now have made it as a standard for logging in.
- Sharing personal data on Wi-Fi – It is best to stay away from checking your personal information such as checking your bank account, or buying a plane ticket when using internet in coffee shops, libraries or any free public Wi-Fi.
With these helpful tips you will be well prepared to in case of any phishing attack that occurs.
Early last month, Google fell under attack in a huge phishing operation.
Many received an email that looked similar to an invitation to join a Google Doc from someone they knew on their mailing list. However, once they clicked the link to open the file, you were then directed to grant access to an app that looks like Google Docs. Instead, this was actually a program that sends spam emails to everyone you have previously mailed.
Specifically, this spam email included the following:
- Used the name “Google Docs”
- Used the existing Google login system
- Bypassed any 2 factor authentication or login alerts
- Only detectable as fake if you click “Google Docs’ while granting permission
- Replicates itself by sending itself to all your contacts
This process of sending an email to trick someone into granting access into their personal information is called phishing. It is usually done for malicious reasons, just like stealing a credit card information or tricking someone into sharing their password.
Google released an official statement in which they mention they did indeed resolved the issue. They have removed the fake pages, updated all of their Safe Browsing preferences and system. As a result, they continue to encourage their uses to report phishing emails within their Gmail.
If you have or ever do receive an email like this, do not open it. Always remember to:
- Change your password every three months
- Make sure your passwords are long with lower and upper cases letters, as well as special characters such as several symbols and/or numbers
- Make yourself familiar with the style and fonts and specific uses of Google Docs as it can be incredibly helpful when needed to detect a fake.
Do you enjoy your regular wrist watches just as much as you enjoy your smartphone? Do you find that Android watches are more stylistic than Apple’s Watches? Well, you are in luck because Android Wear 2.0 is here!
Google recently confirmed that many of their watches will have the Android wear update between April and late May 2017. With this new update comes the introduction to use it on LG smartwatches, and now, iOS system.
Some of the new features for Android Wear 2.0 include:
- Google Assistant – Google assistant was first used in Google’s Pixel smartphones, but now, this helper is ready to respond to a simple ‘OK Google’ command or press of a button on your watch. Assistant can help make reservations for you, provide you with the weather report, and will also work with smart home devices, leaving you completely hands–free.
- Complications – Initially, complications are features that provide more than just the watch face information of hours and minutes. Android wear adds support for third-party complications. This means Fitbit, Spotify and similar apps will be able to integrated directly to your watch face.
- Notifications – While some of us love to receive notifications, even if it does cover the whole screen, Android wear will have small icons that can easily be tapped to expand on the specific notification such as a text content or email.
- Standalone apps – Android wear apps work independently with phone apps. In other words, the app will work perfectly even if your phone is nowhere near you.
There are several watches that can support Android wear 2.0 and are perfect for any style. As more smartwatches will be added to the list, here are some of the watches available:
- Asus ZenWatch2, Asus ZenWatch 3
- Casio WSD F10
- Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal
- Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies
- Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch
- LG G Watch R, LG G Watch Urbane (1st gen)
- New Balance RunIQ
Computer hacking can occur at the worst of times and when we least expect it. The worse of it being that once the hacking has occurred, you can never undo the damage that’s been done. However, you can take steps to prevent it. Follow along to find out how you can prevent a malicious cyber-attack.
- SSL – Secure Socket Lockets are the next best thing when it comes to online security. Using an encrypted SSl protocol helps to prevent information being read in transit or gain access without the proper authority. For example, it can help safely transfer users’ personal information between a website and your database, without anyone else seeing it.
- Updates – Updates are made because it is necessary to maintain the softwares functioning properly, and maintain all its security protocols. If an update is made for a phone, for example, it could be because of a security vulnerability. Delaying this will only expose you to attacks, which is what hackers are looking for.
- Tighten network security – Doing simple and basic things such as changing passwords frequently, ensuring passwords are strong, as well as making sure all plugged into the network are scanned for malware each time they are attached can make a great difference. This can also apply to installing a web application firewall. A WAF can be software or hardware based, and its purpose is to fit between a website server and the data connection and read every data passing through it.
- Remove autofill – Leaving autofill enabled on websites, can leave you vulnerable to attacks from any user’s phone or computer that has been stolen. With your information already plugged in and accessible, it is easy for hackers to steal it.
- Back-up frequently – It is vital to ensure that everything is backed up. Whether it is weekly, daily, or 10 times a day in total, back everything up. From saving files, sharing docs, everything should be backed up. If the worst case scenario were to happen, it is important to backup in case one hard drive fails, etc.
With these helpful tips, you’ll be taking the right precautions to limit your chance of a cyberattack.
Not many people know the use and function of servers, and for those who are not tech savvy or experts in IT, it is important to know the use and function of your computers server.
A server is a computer, or computer program, that is setup to run one or multiple server applications such as mail, network, applications, print and web servers among many others. Basically, it is the main component of a network, since it manages access to the resources, files, programs used by all other computers. Many believe they have to be custom-built, but that isn’t the case. Servers simply have to be able to run server applications when you need them to. Older and less expensive computers can also be setup as servers.
There are different types of servers, such as:
- Dedicated servers – A dedicated server is a single computer within a network that is used for only one single purpose. They are mainly used when talking about web hosting, which allows you to make a website that is accessible to the internet.
- Virtual Private servers – Instead of having one physical computer used for one business’ needs, a virtual private server (VPS) is used on a single server computer but services multiple customers.
- Cloud servers – A cloud server is created, hosted and delivered through a cloud platform. A cloud server is made up of remote servers that are all hosted online. When using a cloud server, you are renting virtual server space and accessing it remotely through a cloud provider.
Servers are essentially the spine and life blood of your business. If it crashes, then your business crashes. As a result, you want to take reasonable precaution to get rid off any single points of failure in your server’s architecture. Many ‘server-class’ computer has multiple levels of redundancies and typically has hot-plug capabilities.
Now you can know the importance of servers without being an IT expert.
Google Cloud has been in the long time running and provides many features for personal and business use, too. Adopting Google Cloud is simple. Secure and affordable. Google Cloud is focused on the future. With fast mobile broadband and faster connections in homes and offices, Google Cloud is efficient and provides the necessary needs that are needed with the right security and set up.
The cloud platform provides highly scalable infrastructure for developers to test, build, and deploy apps. It covers application, storage and computer services for mobile and web solutions.
One master server is located to each cluster, otherwise known as networks. The system coordinates data requests through these master servers. As a result, users’ actions get translated into data requests whenever they interact with the cloud. With the use of Google cloud, everyone can use and edit the cloud copy of the file, becoming the master document. Google cloud then assigns a unique URL to each file. If anyone also makes changes to the document, changes will be visible to all who the document is shared with, Google even allows the document owner to select the changes to keep or delete. Google Cloud also inserts metadata into a file when uploaded to the service, helping to identify the file and track changes across the copies.
Aside from these cool features, Google Cloud’s advantages also include:
- Higher productivity – Google’s systems can distribute updates and deliver functionality on a weekly and faster basis. It also delivers manageable improvements on a continuous stream
- Quick Collaboration – More than one user can contribute to and access projects at the same time.
- Work Anywhere – Employees can gain full access to information from anywhere through web based apps powered by Google Cloud.
- Economies of Scale – With Google Cloud. It minimizes overheads and consolidates a small number of server configurations.
- Less Data on Vulnerable Devices – Less data is stored on computers that could be at a security risk.
Ever wondered what those Java updates every other week or month does to your computer? With different software updates happening within your computer, it can be confusing to know which ones are valuable for your computer’s use. To put it simply, software updates help your computer run safely and efficiently.
First released by Sun Microsystems in 1995, this programming language and computing platform is wonderful. Software developers write the script in Java and use it to make various other applications that can be used with it on the computer. As a result, there are several websites that will not work unless Java is frequently installed. As a result, more are created every day. Java is a fast, reliable and secure platform so there is no necessary to worry if it could ever harm your computer.
Java is always free and easily can be updated straight from your computer, as it notifies you whenever an update is required or through the official website.
Once the Java virtual machine is installed, you’ll be able to see and use any Java content you encounter. In other words, your version of the virtual machine needs to have the new feature installed, too, in order to run properly.
Many also wonder if they can do without Java, however, as mentioned before you might if the website you are visiting requires Java. Since the update is regularly updated with different classes that can be used and new features. Java uses automatic updates, similar to the automatic updates that are used for operating or anti-virus softwares. As an automatic, it checks if updates are available and then download and installs any if they are missing.
From game consoles to laptops to cell phones, Java is used everywhere and in everything. So the next time an update is required, don’t hesitate to install it!
Earlier last month, Adobe launched the Adobe Experience Cloud, a comprehensive set of cloud services designed to give enterprises everything they need to deliver great customer experiences. They are broken into three different clouds:
- Adobe Advertising Cloud
- Adobe Analytics Cloud
- Adobe Marketing Cloud
As a result, each of these integrate with Adobe Creative Cloud and Document Cloud, too!
With the new experience cloud, what do the three clouds include?
- Adobe Advertising Cloud –The advertising cloud is the first end-to-end platform that allows customers to manage and buy its digital and TV ads. With combining capabilities from Adobe Media Optimizer, the advertising cloud simplifies the delivery of display, video and search advertising across different channels and screens.
- Adobe Analytics Cloud – The new analytics cloud will help business bring exceptional customer service to its business. It enables them to move from insights to action by integrating audience data across all Adobe clouds. Easily allowing brands to better capture and rationalize the amounts of their own disparate data and allow it to be translated into singular profiles of their customers.
- Adobe Marketing Cloud – With the marketing cloud, it allows an integrated set of world-class solutions that helps marketers to create experiences that allows their brands to stand out, connect and engage with their customers.
Adobe Advertising Cloud, however, will also include specific features with each one, such as:
- Cross–Channel Planning – Advertisers can reach audiences from anywhere, whether they are currently searching or on social networks.This allows planning, buy and measuring advertisers across channels.
- Performance without Compromise – Through certain tools, Adobe Advertising Cloud easily help advertisers achieve their goals without risking brand safety or media quality.
- Creative Optimization – Which is used to create personalized ads using consumer analytics.
- Media Activation Across Devices – Whether it is across a device or screen, it allows marketers to reach specific audiences regardless of the device used.
With these new features, it will help create an easier device that be beneficial for advertisers, marketers and for the enjoyment of customers.
Amazon’s new speaking system Echo, otherwise known as Alexa, has been said by critics to change the game when it comes to new modern technology. After all, Alexa is named after the ancient library of Alexandria for a reason.
Alexa, is the voice service that powers Echo and interacts with customers through the device by using a specific set of designed skills. With Echo’s far-field microphones, the speaker can instantly respond to voice commands from anywhere within earshot. With no button to press, simple say the words ‘Alexa,’ Echo,’ ‘Amazon,’ or ‘Computer’ and it will be ready to assist you. Alexa is able to play music as requested, answer general questions, set an alarm or timer, get local information or the latest news. This also includes controlling any smart home product from anywhere! The system is already built in the cloud, so it always gets smarter. For example, the more customers use Alexa, the more she quickly adapts to specific speech patterns, vocabulary and every personal preference.
Alexa Voice Service (AVS) has made a new way for technologic advances. It uses intelligent and scalable cloud service that adds voice-enabled experiences to any product that is connected, only needing a microphone and speaker. With this new skill, customers and users can interact with Alexa in a way that feels humanly natural.
The cool new features of Echo now allow developers to build a completely new voice experience by using the completely free AVS and ASK to build or better power your voice experience. It can also be used to reach far more customers than before by using Alexa-enable devices such as Amazon Fire TV and all other devices that can be powered by the Alexa Voice Service. With the use of these features, developers can continue to bring new technological advances to the system through games or even through apps that provide an easier way to do things, all while your phone stays in your pocket.