IT Security

The 4 Most Important Cybersecurity Concerns For Small Business

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The internet is a wild place, and threats to your network’s security can come from all directions. Malware, hackers, and even disgruntled employees can threaten to steal or delete the information your business needs to succeed, and you’ll need to account for all of them if you want your network to stay secure and safe. Of course, you only have so much time and so many resources, so it’s also important to deal with the most dangerous threats first.

1. Dangerous Emails

Phishing is the number one entry point for hackers who want to get into a private network. Phishing emails pretend to be official and either promise a reward or threaten some danger if the recipient doesn’t hand over sensitive information like passwords or bank account numbers. Other dangerous emails include virus carriers with attachments that will infect your computer if you try to download them. Your best defense is to learn what phishing looks like and train your employees to know what to look for, too.

2. Disguised Downloads

Outside of attachments, the way most viruses get onto a new computer is when a user downloads a file that promises to be one thing but is actually something else. A good web browser and antivirus software can identify threats before they can harm your computer, but new, unknown threats are popping up all the time. One quick way to check a file is by looking at its size: if it’s much bigger or much smaller than it should be, it’s probably malware in disguise.

3. No Backup

If a virus does corrupt your computer, it may destroy important data or else make it impossible to reach. If a hacker or a bribed employee steals information off your computer and destroys the original copy, it’s often gone forever. You might even lose your information from a natural disaster like a lightning strike or a flood. However, you can get everything back if you regularly back up your data, and it helps to have both a large storage system on-site and a cloud server as a remote backup.

4. Poor Password Protection

It’s all too common for otherwise sophisticated I.T. businesses to end up using default passwords or easily guessed passwords like “12345” and “password.” Make sure you let your employees know what a strong password is and that you’ll be expecting them to create them without leaving

a note near the keyboard with the password on it. Of course, you should never forget to follow your own rules, either.

All four of these security concerns are obvious, and any good I.T. professional will repeat them over and over again. However, businesses of every size continue to forget about how important they are and how simple it is to avoid these risks. If you can only do one thing about the security of your business network, make sure you and your employees are all familiar with the dangers and know what they ought to do to avoid the risks and maintain basic network security.

technology strategy

Defining Technology Strategy

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Businesses often rely on technology for their everyday business operations. Technology is used for many aspects of the business including sales, marketing, purchasing, accounting, finance, production, human resources. It doesn’t even matter where the business allocates most of their time either because it all comes back to a successful technology strategy. 

What is a Technology Strategy? 

A technology strategy is a plan that consists of different objectives, principles, and tactics as they relate to technology within a business or organization. These strategies focus more on the technology of the business and how that technology is managed.  

Elements of a Technology Strategy 

Many elements are involved in a technology strategy, and many of these are actionable items that can be used to help eliminate pitfalls you are experiencing while also keeping your budget in mind. 

Business Alignment: this part of the strategy helps a business fulfill their needs 

Roadmap: this shows how the business can go from point A to point B and shows how to reach their goals 

LongTerm Timeframe: this allows the business to set up a more long-term plan for success with different milestones and objectives to hit along the way 

Future Focused: this is when future technology needs are considered. You will need to think ahead into the future to come up with a strategy for improvement 

Rationalized: every item included in your strategy has a specific purpose or goal 

Business Needs: these refer to the specific goals and needs of the business 

Balance Budget with Reality: the goals and methods used to achieve those goals need to stay within a specified budget, and a realistic outlook for the results should be maintained 

Regular Updates: you will want to take another look at your strategy a couple of times each year to compensate for any updates or changes 

Creating a Technology Strategy 

To begin creating your technology strategy, you will want a clear understanding of your business, its needs, and the current state of technology being used. Where can you make improvements and what priorities should be set as you move forward? 

When you can prioritize a list, you can then find better resource estimates, so you can better plan for the labor and costs that will be involved with the changes and improvements you will be making. 

Plan for the Long Term 

Finally, as briefly touched upon already, you will want to be sure to plan for the long term when you begin to formulate your technology strategy. Finalize your list of priorities, sit down and determine your budget and how many business cycles may be needed to reach your objectives, and then create your roadmap to show you how to get from point A to point B successfully.  

When thinking long-term, think beyond just the next year. Stretch your strategy even further to make sure that you are covering all the important initiatives. Then you can begin to take a closer look at what technology will be most effective for your business and its specific needs and goals.  

5g Service

Defining 5G: What Is this Wireless Tech?

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Simply put, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless networking technology. Many of us experience 4G speeds on our cell phones, and that has been the most prevalent technology over the last several years. However, 5G is promising to deliver higher Gigabit speeds.  

While 4G allows us to stream in HD, 5G will have the capacity to stream 4K HDR content, and so much more making it the new and most wanted wireless tech. 

5G is More Than Speed 

However, when you think about 5G, you shouldn’t just consider speed. 5G is fast, but it also allows you to shift how many cell sites are required and how many devices you can connect to that cell signal site at one time. 

The majority of phone networks being used today rely on 200-foot towers to provide large areas with service. However, 5G sites will be able to connect more devices within that areas at once so it can keep up with the higher demand for service; not only for cell phone signals but also for sensors and cars. 

Provides Lower Latency 

Lower latency is another goal that 5G strives to achieve. Lower latency is how long it takes the network to respond to a request. Currently, latency times are approximately nine milliseconds, but with 5G, we will see that number drop to a roughly one millisecond response time. This lower latency may prove valuable when it comes to different automotive applications. 

These lower latency numbers also mean an improved experience if you use virtual reality or you enjoy playing online multiplayer video games.  

Basic Airwave Sets 

Currently, there are two different sets of airwaves being prepped for 5G service. These sets include those that are above the 6 GHz mark and those that fall below it. Those that are above that mark are known as millimeter waves or mmWAVE.  

These MMWave airwaves in the United States are centered in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands while those under the 6 GHz mark fall into the 3.5 GHz band. There is always going to be more availability with the higher spectrum airwaves. 

What Companies Will Offer 5G? 

The same companies that you use for your phone service today are the same ones that will power 5G service. Among these popular phone carriers, you will find companies based in the United States like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. 

Each launch window is different for each company, so some might experience the power of 5G before others. There is a lot in the way of telecommunications equipment that is being used to support the 5G efforts of these networks. Included in this equipment are new 5G modems and new tower and backhaul gear.  

When is 5G Launching? 

Verizon announced last October 1 that they launched the first 5G network in the country. However, what was launched is not considered true 5G and is being used in other ways. They are using the 5G technology and not conforming to the industry standards. 

Additionally, Verizon’s 5G service is fixed and will only become available in specific markets in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. The fixed 5G serves as a fiber or cable replacement, and the signal will be beamed from towers.  

 

phishing

4 Signs That Email Is A Phishing Scam

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Phishing emails are growing ever more common because people keep falling for them. Even so, phishing scams have been around since before the modern internet took shape. The concept is simple: an email that says it’s from an official source tells the recipient that there’s been some trouble and they need their login name and password, bank numbers, social security number, or some other personal information that someone could use to fake your identity.

Once they get your information, the phishing hacker uses it to get into a secure server and steal everything they can. Experts estimate that over 90 percent of all security breaches start with phishing scams. Since phishers send these emails to every account they can find, it’s up to everyone to know what to look for before opening and replying to what could be a scam email.

1. The Sender Email Address

Phishers will send their emails using accounts with names that sound official but aren’t. This can involve picking a domain name that looks like a real company but has a different spelling, and it can involve taking advantage of how modern email systems will list nicknames first instead of addresses. As such, when you get an unexpected email from an official source, make sure you check and verify the address it came from.

2. The Subject Line

Companies that send out a lot of important emails will use an automated system that sends out emails as soon as they notice something happening. Because of this, the subject lines are always the same. If it’s different for once, that’s a sure sign that someone’s phishing you. You should also beware of get-rich-quick subjects like “You’re already a winner!” and “Get an amazing deal, today only!”

3. The Body Text

Misspellings are always a dead giveaway that the email is a fake. So is any request to send sensitive information by email, because no serious company in the world does that. However, many phishers have realized this, and so you also shouldn’t automatically trust URLs, either. Good browsers and antivirus programs will block malicious sites from infecting your computer, but you can avoid even that by looking up the company’s official website and comparing it to the URL in the email.

4. The Attachments

As a rule, never, ever open an attachment in an email unless you know exactly who sent it and you’re expecting the attached file. Attachments can be viruses, Trojans, worms, or any kind of malware that will infect your computer and send important information to the hacker who created it. These viruses can even spread themselves by creating and sending emails from real accounts, which is why you shouldn’t trust email attachments you get even from friends and coworkers. If it seems important, send an email back asking about the attachment before you open it.

Phishing hackers can be just about anyone, from juvenile vandals to greedy con artists to a team working for a foreign government. However, phishing emails always have the same giveaways. Be sure to look for them before you give any personal information away.