The IT Support Education Center
The most educational business technology blog for Southern California executives, featuring insider tips, articles, and videos on how to get the best IT results.
Hackers are getting more sophisticated. The minimum security protections that businesses need to defend against cyber criminals has changed. As cyber criminals have advanced the technology they use to sneak in (or bust through) network doors, the list of must-have cyber security "basics" has expanded.
What would you do if you got an email saying your Netflix account was canceled? “Nooooo!” might be the normal reaction, especially now when we’re all spending more time at home. Now imagine that the email tells you that you have to re-submit your billing information. You click. You type. You submit with your info and…you just gave a hacker your credit card number. That’s just one scam that’s making the rounds. As if businesses didn’t already have enough to deal with, online security threats continue to grow and are more prevalent than ever. The FBI reports an astounding 300% increase in the number of reported cybercrimes since COVID-19 hit the US in March. Here at Accent, we’ve seen an increase in cyber attacks first-hand, especially in phishing.
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
Hackers use sophisticated tools and methods to get access to your information. This can include social engineering and phishing attacks to get access to your systems, or by hacking third-party sites where you enter your credentials. (A major reason not to use the same password for multiple sites). Everyone wants easy access to their files, email, applications, and computer, but that seamless experience can pose a risk.
Imagine this – one of your employees clicks on an email phishing scam that leads them to a very real looking login page for Microsoft 365. They enter their login information, giving a cybercriminal the credentials they need to access your company’s email. The employee thinks the extra login was a fluke and continues with their day. Meanwhile, the cybercriminal logs into your email system and lies in wait.
When the idea of using Microsoft Teams for handling after-hours calls came up, we were skeptical. After all, technology professionals know that it’s a lot easier to get an application to do what it’s designed to do, rather than ask it to do something that’s not its primary purpose. But after lots of investigation and testing, Accent has changed the way after-hours IT support calls are handled and has started using Microsoft Teams.
Keeping up with technology these days feels impossible. It seems like every day there is a new acronym or term that has taken over a new identity, like the Cloud. With advancements happening so rapidly, it can be overwhelming, leaving your business hanging in flux. Trying to define what actually gives your small business a competitive edge and what's fluff is a full-time job.
The security cameras at your office are recording and transmitting what they see inside and outside your building, but they’re doing something else, too. Their computing power has been harnessed into a botnet slave group that’s in the process of attacking a target website.
IT departments really are some of the hardest working, unsung heroes in your company. You probably couldn’t even fathom all the things they’re doing behind the scenes to “make it work” on a day-to-day basis. For most organizations, it's not feasible to hire enough experts in EVERYTHING you need from an IT support perspective to work in a productive, profitable manner. Adding a managed IT service provider (MSP) to your already stellar IT department, could remedy any gaps in your department’s expertise, and give you the reliable stability you need to thrive. Sounds like a win-win, right? Unfortunately, we still run into many IT departments of small to mid-sized businesses that feel like having an outsourced IT provider involved is competition --that somehow the IT staff is seen as less competent if they need “outside” help. But hear me out, because I'm going to make a case for the exact opposite.
A lot of small to mid-sized businesses have already made the plunge into Cloud Computing, or some form of Cloud services. For those of you currently thinking about it or planning for it, we'd like to give you a realistic view of what moving your business environment to the Cloud could mean. Unfortunately, it's not the most natural thing for your current business environment to transition to the Cloud. You'll need qualified support to get the process underway. Let’s look at some of the commonly overlooked factors of moving to the Cloud – specifically, how it will impact your employees.
Cyber security is much more than an IT problem these days - it's become a general business problem. Before we dive in, let's remember that cyber security is not just a topic for large corporations. It affects EVERYONE, especially those in the small to mid-size business (SMB) market. The revelation of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities reminds us that cyber security affects everybody, individuals and businesses alike. Statistics are pointing towards hackers focusing a lot of energy on SMBs this year. Why, you ask? Good question.