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.
2020 was a challenging year and if you’re like a lot of business leaders, you’re happy to turn the calendar to 2021. Whatever your business goals look like for the new year, you need to make sure that you support them with a solid business technology plan.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who is very happy to see the end of 2020. Even though the year has been challenging to say the least, I’m super proud of our team members and how they’ve hunkered down so that we could continue to provide the best possible IT services to our clients! I’m also very grateful for our wonderful clients. Supporting remote workers and adjusting for on-site precautionary requirements has been tough. During this time, our clients have been patient and supportive of us as we’ve worked to enable them with technology as they’ve had to shift operations.
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When a panicked call comes in at 4:30 in the morning detailing an unfolding IT crisis, the average person might roll over and reluctantly drag themselves out of bed, but it’s just the type of challenge that Accent’s Enterprise Technology Architect, Ned, lives for. Early wake-up calls and late nights are exciting to Ned, and he’ll do anything to keep technology hiccups from ruining someone’s day. “Ned won’t sleep until a job is done,” said his supervisor, Chris, Accent’s Professional Services Manager. “If a client has a problem, he’ll be the first and last person on it. You know he’s going to be right in the middle of it, working toward a solution.
In a previous blog article, Marty Kaufman recounts the story of meeting with a business owner who was panicked and in crisis mode because of a cyber attack. If we could backtrack to the days, weeks and months before the attack, we'd probably find that the business owner did not pay much attention to cyber security because he thought the odds of a data breach happening to him was low. As it turned out, the odds were higher than he thought, and it did happen. We can’t go back in time and undo all the damage that has been done by this cyber attack, but we can help other executives avoid stumbling over some common misconceptions that unknowingly increase cyber risk.
If you missed the Cyber Security Q&A Panel Discussion that we held earlier this month, you missed out on something big. On November 6th, we had 56 business leaders join us for a live online event where experts answered burning questions submitted by our clients and local business leaders. The panelists represented multiple disciplines so that we could cover cyber security and cyber risk from many angles - IT, legal, crisis and reputation management, and insurance. Thank you to the Accent team for putting this event together, and to our panelists - Crystal Rockwood from Rockwood Communications Council, Brian Reider from BBK LLP, Glen Carlson from McGriff Insurance Services, and Peter O’Campo with Accent. Don Pierro from Empower Lab did a great job moderating.
You might think that Courtney Casey was destined to work at Accent Computer Solutions since she’s the daughter of Accent’s founder, Marty Kaufman, but when she went to college she was on a path to a career in Fashion Merchandising. During her sophomore year, however, her dad asked her to step in to take care of the monthly email newsletter. When Courtney said yes, it was because she needed a job -- little did she know that the job would turn into a fulfilling career in Marketing.
There’s a new term you should learn if you don't know it already: Business Email Compromise (BEC). It’s a formal way of saying someone’s email was used as a part of a cyber attack. The FBI calls BEC “one of the most financially damaging online crimes” and according to the cyber security awareness training company, KnowBe4, more than 90% of successful data breaches began with an email tactic called phishing. Phishing is an email scam designed to trick your user into doing some kind of action, like clicking a link or downloading a file, to get access to your organization’s network. Email is a prime target for cyber criminals and it continues to be a necessity in business, even though executive concerns about email security are increasing.
Some who follow our newsletter may recall that I’m a pilot and enjoy flying. I need to participate in ongoing training to stay current with my license, and I was focused this month on my Instrument Rating competency. For the non-pilots out there, the objective of this training is to become extremely comfortable landing the plane in little to no visibility conditions, relying only on the plane's instruments for guidance.
As if we didn’t have enough to deal with during a pandemic, cyber criminals have increased their attempts to take over accounts, invade networks, kidnap data, and generally wreak havoc during 2020.
You probably know of an organization that has been the victim of a cyber attack because according to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Report, 28% of all data breaches involved small businesses.