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used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Karen Gilleland

“Gimme the dough—or you’ll never see your files again!” In this scenario, the thug in the mask is ransomware, and it’s only one of the ways cybercriminals attack businesses—which are often left vulnerable due to poor business security or cybersecurity practices. Alongside the devastating effects cyber attacks can have on individuals, cybercriminals are sucking billions of dollars out of the economy, and you do not want your business in that position.

Toward the end of 2017, the US government passed H.R.2105, a law aimed at helping businesses beef up their cybersecurity by providing guidelines about effective tools and strategies to combat the rise of cybercrime. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been charged with developing a comprehensive set of guidelines by October 2018, but what can you do while waiting around for that to happen? Start firming up your IT environment with the following tips, of course.  Read more...


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2018 is right around the corner, and here are our top five tips for things you can do to improve your cybersecurity in the new year. Cybersecurity has been the most critical issue in 2017, and that’s not going to change. If you haven’t begun addressing your organization’s cybersecurity defense, let’s start now!

#1 Train Your Employees

The best way to improve your IT security is to train your employees on best security practices. Educate them so they can recognize and avoid cyber threats like phishing and scams. Teach them about protecting sensitive information. Humans are the weakest link in your security defense: with a single click in an email they can open the door for hackers. You should have a network firewall, but don’t forget your employees are a firewall too.

#2 Create Security Policies & Enforce Them

Do your employees know what they are expected to do and not do to protect your data?  Read more...


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used with permission from SBA.gov, by Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

When it comes to data security, what’s reasonable will depend on the size and nature of your business and the kind of data you deal with. But certain principles apply across the board: Don’t collect sensitive information you don’t need. Protect the information you maintain. And train your staff to carry out your policies.

The FTC’s Start with Security initiative was built on those fundamentals. As we mentioned in last week’s introductory post, we’re calling this series Stick with Security because each blog post will offer a deeper dive into one of the ten principles discussed in Start with Security. Although the principles remain unchanged, we’ll use these posts – one every Friday for the next several months – to explore the lessons of law enforcement actions announced since Start with Security, to reflect on what businesses can learn from investigations that FTC staff ultimately closed, and to address experiences businesses have shared with us about how they implement Start with Security in their workplaces.  Read more...


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used with permission from Norton by Symantec, by Nadia Kovacs

cyber-security-workplaceWhether you own a small business or a big one, you live in a world where cybersecurity is of paramount importance. Big business, small business, academic institutions, government agencies, nonprofits… all of these need to take an interest in cybersecurity or pay the price. It’s a matter or success, but also a matter of national security. Those working in critical infrastructure have a special obligation to make sure that they’re securing the workplace. Here are some of the best ways to create a culture of cybersecurity where you work.

It All Starts With Education and Training

Cybersecurity around your office begins with education and training: education in best practices and training in how best to execute those best practices, as well as making them a daily habit. Some key areas to hit include:

  1. App Updating: The main way that hackers are going to find a way into your system is through outdated app with known exploits.
  Read more...

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used with permission from HP Technology at Work

weakest-link

Even if your business is using updated software, firewalls, and antivirus protection, your employees could create a cybersecurity risk. Common errors that employees at all levels make when using technology may prove costly—or even fatal—for your company. How can you best protect your business?

The risks employees pose to your cybersecurity are serious. Two out of three data protection and privacy training professionals say employees are the weakest link in their efforts to maintain cybersecurity, while 60 percent say employees aren’t knowledgeable about potential risks their companies face. With the cost of cybercrime on the rise (for smaller companies, the cost rose by 12 percent in 2015 compared to 2013), this kind of ignorance poses a serious risk to your business.1

Understanding what employee actions endanger your business is key to preventing them. Common causes of employee-related cybercrime include:

  • Social engineering. The method used to hack Target’s point-of-sale systems, social engineering plays on employees’ trust to trick them into revealing sensitive information.
  Read more...

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used with permission from Microsoft Office Blogs

workfromhomeIn the last decade, the mobile workforce has increased by more than 100 percent—not that surprising when we consider the abundant improvement in technology over that same time period. Telecommuting offers wonderful benefits to companies and workers alike, with an improved work-life balance topping the charts. Not only that, but a 2015 Gallup poll shows that telecommuters are more likely to be more engaged in their jobs, and being engaged can lead to higher profitability, mobile productivity, customer engagement and other positive business outcomes.

But mobile teams experience problems of their own. At the forefront is the disconnection that naturally occurs when team members work separate from the rest of the team. Not only do telecommuters sometimes miss out on deeper relationships with co-workers, they don’t get to experience office culture and can easily miss important announcements. A case study conducted among full-time telecommuters at a Chinese travel agency even showed that mobile workers were up to 50 percent less likely to receive promotions.  Read more...


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used with permission from Norton by Symantec, by Nadia Kovacs

phone-use-neck-painSure, there are plenty of amazing positives to technology but, as with most things, a fair share of negatives exists as well. One of the negatives technology presents is the physical effect on the body, including a condition known as “text neck.” Extra strain on the muscles from sitting and reading various devices for long periods of time makes tissue sore and inflamed, and can potentially pull your spine out of alignment. Health experts call this damaging posture “forward head posture.”

“Neck muscles, in their proper position, are designed to support the weight of your head, about 10 to 12 pounds,” says Dr. Robert Bolash, a pain specialist at Cleveland Clinic. “Research shows that for every inch you drop your head forward, you double the load on those muscles. Looking down at your smartphone, with your chin to your chest, can put about 60 pounds of force on your neck.”  Read more...


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used with permission from Microsoft Office Blogs

mobile_workforce_managementFor many of us, the rise of the remote workforce comes as no surprise. For years now, office workers have been abandoning their desks in favor of settings that are farther afield and allow them to work in a more comfortable, and often more productive, environment. And it’s a trend that only promises to keep growing. In fact, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the U.S. mobile worker population is on track to grow from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. And by the end of the forecast period, IDC projects that mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3 percent) of the total U.S. workforce.

Although the mobile workforce has been building for some time, managers are, in many ways, still catching up and trying to determine how best to lead their teams when they’re not only not in the same room, but may be spread out over a number of cities, states or even countries.  Read more...


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used with permission from Norton by Symantec, by Nadia Kovacs

employee_practices_securityEmployees are on the front lines of information security. The more that can be done to regularly educate yourself of the small things you can do can go a long way towards protecting your organization.

Since it is the beginning of the year, many people are returning to work and trying to get out of “vacation mode.” (Us too!) We’ve decided to outline some tips to help you throughout the year to stay safe online while protecting your company in the process.

General Best Practices

  • Avoid providing personal information when answering an email, unsolicited phone call, text message or instant message.
  • Never enter personal information in a pop-up web page or anywhere else that you did not initiate.
  • Keep security software and all other software programs updated.

Cyber Security Best Practices

  • Phishers will try to trick employees into installing malware, or gain intelligence for attacks by claiming to be from IT.
  Read more...

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Isaac Asimov once said, “The only constant is change.” This is not only true in life, but in business as well. One trend that has changed in recent years is the popularity of telecommuting. Although many people have differing opinions regarding this, it has not been around long enough, on a large enough scale, to see its true impact on business