All Posts By

Doug

DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE A BACKUP PLAN?

By | News
Does your company have a backup plan to keep operations from falling apart in an emergency?
A business emergency is one of those things you never want to think about – until you have to. Weather emergencies. Natural disasters. The loss of a revenue stream.
A healthy fear is a strong motivator for many business owners to take action and protect both their businesses and their team.https://elbo.in/NEze

IoT DISRUPTION HAS BEGUN. WHEN WILL YOUR COMPANY BE AFFECTED?

By | News
IoT disruption has begun and retail is just the start. When will your company be affected?
We consumers live in a connected world, so the companies we deal with have good reason to live in that world with us.
#IoT connectivity will soon become the standard across the finance, healthcare, and automotive industries. Here’s how your business will be affected. https://elbo.in/s5US

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM A CYBERATTACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

By | News
Most people worry about online shopping scams, but few take active steps to protect themselves.
Online shopping dominated this past Black Friday, and Cyber Monday became the single biggest sales day in U.S. history, pulling in $7.9 billion.
No question about it: we are addicted to shopping while sitting on the couch. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from a cyber attack this holiday season. https://elbo.in/sQ98

What is a Vulnerability Scan?

By | Uncategorized

The word cyberattack has virtually become a household term thanks in part to high-profile attacks in recent years. Mention a company name like Equifax or Ashley Madison and it will likely conjure up very different thoughts than they would have just a few short years ago. These type attacks have impacted millions of consumers and businesses forcing the need (and responsibility) to protect your important data.

A vulnerability scan is a technique used to identify security weaknesses in a computer system. Security weaknesses are what cybercriminals look for to gain unauthorized access to a network resulting in…. you guessed it, a cyberattack. I could get all technical and start talking about ports, patches, and the Heartbleed bug, but similar to my other blogs my intention is to bring awareness to these terms in a non-technical way.

A vulnerability scan is performed using software which upon completion produces a report that lists out found vulnerabilities and (depending on the software) will give an indication of the severity of the vulnerability and basic remediation steps. Performing these scans with routine is a widely recognized security best practice among large corporations, however, small and medium-sized businesses often believe they don’t have the resources or the budget for this security technology. You should know there are free scanners available, as well as, free trial software which can be used to test your network. Although there are free options, it is relatively inexpensive to pay a professional to perform one for you.

I’ll leave you with this final thought. Since there is free software available to scan for vulnerabilities, what do you think “the bad guys” are doing with it? You guessed it, using it to find companies who have obvious vulnerabilities they can exploit. This brings to mind a well-known saying: “You don’t have to run faster than the bear to get away. You just have to run faster than the guy next to you”. You don’t need to have the best security, just don’t have the worst.

Next up: What is pen testing?

Click here for our previous post, “What is a Hosted PBX?”

So, what is 5G?

By | Resource Center
So, what is 5G? You have probably heard this whispered around the office recently but do you know how it will affect you and your business?
5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.https://elbo.in/ZcE9

What is the Cloud and is it Safe?

By | Blog

A question you might be thinking, but apprehensive to ask. Let’s face it, the term “cloud” is used so frequently it’s difficult to understand what it really is.

I will share information and helpful resources I come across which I hope will demystifies the cloud. So lets start with the basics: What is the Cloud?

The cloud is not a physical thing, it is a network of servers, and each server has a different function. Imagine putting all your files, documents and other information in a cloud in the sky. Wherever you go, you can see and access this cloud. You can store more files, use/edit documents, or delete stored info from anywhere as long as you have a computer, laptop, mobile phone or any other internet-enabled gadget. This is how the cloud works. Storage, hosting of files (such as music, photos, applications, videos, etc.), and other services are outsourced to web-based cloud hosting service providers.

So there you have it, the cloud demystified. Your files are placed on servers that are “hosted” by other companies all linked together by the Internet and labeled the cloud. A good example is think of Dropbox, a common file  storage and sharing service that I use to store digital pictures. I had the privilege of spending a week in Scotland golfing and I took a million pictures on my cell phone. I only keep a few of my favorite pics on my phone and “uploaded” the rest to my Dropbox account. Now my pictures are securely stored in the cloud. But are they secure? How do I know that someone isn’t going to be able to access my pictures and laugh at me in a bunker?

The short answer is yes, it’s probably more secure than conventional data. Why? Well visit our blogs frequently as we will share fact and fictions about the cloud and the security of it.

Next Up: Cloud Security – Phishing

Cloud Security – Phishing

By | Blog

Cloud security is comprised of two different areas, each of equal importance. First is the security of your cloud provider (the company who provides the service that stores your information in the cloud) and second is your own security practices.

It is wise to have hardened security practices for your business, regardless of where your data resides. A lot of the issues around security are no longer technology issues, they are human issues. Jasmine W. Gordon, contributor to Tektonika, shares the following in her security post:

“Snapchat. Home Depot. The City of Calgary. What do these three entities (and countless other organizations) have in common? Data security breaches from human error, unfortunately. Each one of them faced expensive incidents as the result of simple employee mistakes.”

Don’t think for a minute “I am too small to be attacked”, because it happens to individuals and companies regardless of size, location(s) or revenue. One way to protect your company from human error is understanding and preventing phishing.

Phishing, pronounced “fishing”, is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. An example of this is I receive emails from my bank letting me know my account password needs to be reset, providing a link to login and reset it. The email looks like it comes from my bank, however, the link they are directing me to is not my bank. Odds are if I click the link I will be directed to a site that also will look like my bank’s web site allowing me to login. Simple enough, now someone has my bank login credentials.

Tips: Hover your mouse over a link and verify the actual URL is the same as what the email shows. Be cautious, the link may look the same only be off by a few letters. Another tip for businesses is to consider a phishing simulation. This is an effective way to test your employees’ security awareness and susceptibility to phishing tactics.

Next Up: Security questions you should ask your cloud provider.

Click here for our previous post, “What is the Cloud and is it Safe?”

 

Security Questions You Should Ask Your Cloud Provider

By | Blog

Cloud security is an important topic for many reasons, not the least of which it is one of the primary reasons businesses prolong moving to it. In a Gartner “Is the cloud secure?” report republished in March of 2018, Jay Heiser Gartner research vice president, offers insight into the subject. In part Jay notes: 

“The challenge exists not in the security of the cloud itself, but in the policies and technologies for security and control of the technology. In nearly all cases, it is the user — not the cloud provider — who fails to manage the controls used to protect an organization’s data.”

This made me think, what questions should I ask my cloud provider? Here are my top 5:

  1. What measures do you take to destroy data after it is released by customers?
  2. What physical security measures, processes, and monitoring capabilities do you have in place to prevent unauthorized access to your data centers?
  3. How do you screen your employees and contractors?
  4. What security certificationsdo you possess?
  5. Do you encrypt data in transit and at rest?

You should expect your provider to be able to answer these questions and the answers should give you the warm and fuzzy.

Up next: What the heck is the difference between a public, private and hybrid cloud?

Click here for our previous post, “Cloud Security – Phishing”