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.
When a high profile password hack makes the news, it's disconcerting to say the least. And more often than not when the passwords are revealed, they couldn't be more obvious. Things like: password123, iloveyou, qwerty, or 123456. (If that just hit a little too close to home, you should go change your passwords right now).
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.
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
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.
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.
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.
When you buy a new device and connect it to the internet, do you think about security? If you’re like most people, your answer is “no” and that’s the reason why this year’s focus for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is all about the security of connected devices. The objective of this annual campaign, started in 2003 through a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), is to increase attention on individual responsibility for security when using the internet, and the theme for 2020 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
As a business owner or executive, you’re probably investing in some high-tech IT security measures to keep your company’s data safe and out of the wrong hands. What about the simple, low-tech cyber security steps? Unfortunately, sometimes people overlook the simple things they can to do to mitigate the risk of someone getting hold of something that they shouldn’t.
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.
Imagine that you had a bouncer at the door of your network inspecting all the traffic that wanted to enter. That's what your firewall does. You may not think about your firewall every day, but it's a key layer of your cyber defenses that you need to keep your people, data, and network safe. There are numerous manufacturers and models of firewalls that you can choose from, but if you have the option to lease one from your IT services provider, having a managed firewall might be a better option.