Security

What is spear phishing and how can my company avoid it?

The average person receives 16 malicious emails per month. A 2018 study of 500,000,000 emails found one out of every 101 emails received were malicious. Are your employees properly educated about this? Or will they click a link that could cost the company millions? Most of the time, the greatest risk to your company’s internet security are the people who work for it (including you). One click on a malicious email—even one that looks like it comes from a friend—could seriously damage your company. New employees are the most at risk for being duped. [1] What is Spear Phishing?  Spear phishing is an attack in which hackers trick targeted users into sharing confidential information. It can also involve tricking the [...]

April Showers Brings May Security By Avoiding Attacks!

With the growing cyber-threat landscape, most companies’ solutions are not solving these attacks. Attackers are spending more than 200 days on average in companies they breach – and the amount of damage done in that time is astonishing. Three-quarters of those breaches are directly linked to the mismanagement or theft of user credentials.  What’s most alarming is companies’ solutions aren’t able to solve the problem. Instead of struggling to protect your business only from outside threats, expect breaches to happen.  So what can you do?  Rely on detection and containment to best secure your environment. What if your employees need to access information from outside the office, and often from their own devices?  More importantly, how do you make sure that your [...]

Checklist For Evaluating Managed Services Providers

Think of the last business partner you selected for your company. Was it your accountant, attorney or financial advisor? Evaluating your IT consulting firm and even more specifically, your managed service provider is one of more important business decisions you'll make. The right managed service partner helps tobuild reliability and performance into your company’s IT environment – and takes problems and support costs out. A study by SpiceWorks done in November 2017, shows the budget breakdown by company size which states smaller companies are more likely to shell out more for managed hosting, while larger companies are more likely to invest in managed cloud infrastructure in 2018.  Here is the Managed Services budget portion breakdown for 2018: Managed hosting (12%), managed storage/backup [...]

BUDGETING FOR IT IN 2018? BUILD UP THE BASICS

People don’t usually get too excited about the basics where technology is concerned. It’s not surprising. People are interested in what’s new, and technology is all about what’s new, what’s next, what’s going to change the world – new apps, new phones, and new services are where all the action is. That mindset extends beyond people to companies. When considering what to spend IT resources on, there can be a great temptation to be dazzled by the novelty of that supposedly world-changing new application, that lightning-fast machine or that must-have accessory. And sure – some of them are must-haves or at least extremely-good-to-haves. If they come at the cost of taking care of fundamentals, though, that’s a problem. A lot [...]

WIFI or WI-Spy : Avoiding the Perils of Public Networks

For some reason, it seems to be a well-kept secret that public networks are not exactly secure. Just about anywhere you may go in a given day -  coffee shops, libraries, shopping malls, office buildings, your hotel – there’s a network just waiting for your device to join it. Convenient? Sure. But from a security standpoint, this is not a good thing. Try telling that to a convenience-driven society that’s grown quite used to shopping, checking its email, dating, doing its banking, and chatting on social media, whenever and wherever it wants to. Despite the publicity given to data theft and identity theft, many if not most people don’t change their online behavior on vulnerable public networks, or even take [...]

You almost became the next Equifax. Did you even know? (Part 1 of 2)

While Equifax made global headlines with their cyber breach, IBM’s research has shown that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are the targets of 62% of all cyber attacks. That equates to 4,000 SMBs daily¹ – or in more context, nearly 1 in 4 (24.33%) of U.S. SMBs (excluding nonemployers) annually. While an attack on your organization may not create global headlines, the impact to your organization and its’ employees could be devastating. If it extends to your customers’ information and records, it could negatively impact them and shatter your reputation. How devestating? I’ll share a real-world example. […]

BUILDING THE RIGHT IT FOUNDATION FOR SMALL(ER) BUSINESSES

Does your business rest on a solid IT foundation? And as a business owner, do you know what you need to know in order to make that determination? It's more than understandable if you don't. Unless your business is focused on information technology and products or services related to it, you've probably got little time or patience for IT issues - after all, they are complex, and you have your core business to attend to. But that doesn't change the fact that today, virtually every business depends on digital systems and services of one sort or another. Even the smallest and most technology-averse companies have been compelled to enter the digital realm on some level, if only for something as [...]

PETYA RANSOMWARE: A New Threat To ‘Cry’ About – and a Simple Prevention Tip

It was only a month ago that I wrote in this space about the world’s lucky sidestep of the intended havoc mounted by the WannaCry ransomware attack. As our clients and regular readers of this site know, Red Level takes the ransomware menace very seriously: The damage and the expense such exploits cause is real and considerable, the potential negative impact they pose is increasing, and the exact nature of the threat is constantly changing.   For IT professionals, WannaCry, Cryptolocker and their fellow travelers are a continual source of aggravation, unease, and extra work. We know we can’t afford to be complacent, even for a moment. That’s why we were unhappy, but unsurprised, to learn of the new problems [...]

Six Big Challenges – or Opportunities – for CIOs and CEOs

A CIO’s work, it seems, is never done. For that matter, neither is the worry associated with most of it. It’s a big job, and one that seems to get bigger just about every day: New technologies, new security threats, new business challenges, and new opportunities alike conspire to consume more of our attention and more hours of our waking lives (and at worst, keeping us up at night and intruding on sleep time as well). […]

STEAK AND SECURITY: Make Sure That Security Is Always “Well Done”

Whatever you happen to be doing, it is usually a good idea to be doing it right. That involves following the basic steps needed to successfully get from the starting line to success – steps that have usually been discovered and developed by the legions who have gone before you who have tried things out, learned from their mistakes, tried again and succeeded. Take cooking a steak as an example. There are some things you always do, and some things you definitely don’t do – say, put frosting on it, or let the dog play with it. And there are some things you MAY do – if you really know what you’re doing. The things you MAY do usually don’t [...]