Cyber Attacks in the News (Again)

Cyber Attacks are in the news again. Last week domain registrar Network Solutions suffered a denial of service attempt impacting the websites of their customers. Cyber attacks like this are high profile and always in the news. This raises the questions, are small business vulnerable to cyber attacks? Small business are Targets of Cyber Attacks Cyber Attacks are as likely, or more likely to occur on small businesses. Cyber attackers know small businesses may have less protection, thus making them easier targets for cyber attacks. Larger companies may have entire departments dedicated to cyber security. Harder to hack and quicker to detect, larger organizations may be tougher to penetrate and exploit with a cyber attack. Meanwhile, small businesses may have less protection against a cyber attack, leaving them more exposed and less likely to detect a cyber attack. Small Businesses may be Less Resilient from Cyber Threats Larger organizations not only are likely to respond quicker to a cyber attack, but have stronger brands and deeper pockets to withstand the impact of a cyber attack. When a cyber attack occurs there may be financial penalties for non compliance with industry regulations (e.g. PCI regulations). What’s more, the impact of a cyber attack may also cause loss of brand equity as a result of the negative publicity related to a cyber threat. In most cases a cyber attack may be too much for a small business to recover. How do I Protect my Business from a Cyber Attack? Consider contacting your IT Service & Support specialist to conduct an IT security assessment.  By performing an IT Security assessment you will...

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

Business continuity and disaster recovery come to mind as hurricane and fire season is upon us.   This week meteorologists are reporting that Tropical Storm Chantal is looming over the East Coast and will potentially flood the southern United States.  Last year we all saw the terrible devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  We are also reminded of the destruction of Hurricane Dennis in 2005.  Earthquakes, which can not be predicted, can also pose a threat to your business continuity.   If you’re not worried about Hurricanes, keep in mind there are wildfires raging throughout the West this fire season.  If you are fortunate enough to live in a part of the world outside this business continuity and disaster recovery window, be thankful.  Either way you should ask yourself if your business continuity and disaster recovery plans are in place. Here are a few considerations for your business continuity and disaster recovery plans: Business Continuity and Application Data Assess what data is mission critical to your business.  Focusing on the most important assets to protect and provide rapid restore capability will aid you in getting your business up and running quickly.  It is not practical or cost effective to have all of your data available immediatly following a disaster recovery scenario, therefore prioritizing is key. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Policies and Procedures Review your policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date with your current needs.  In addition to data backup and recovery policies, review your emergency response policies as well.  In a disaster recovery scenario it is important to know who to call to get your data backup online...

IT Service for Small Business

There are many factors driving the way IT Service for small business is delivered. Small to medium sized businesses have the same IT Service challenges of larger companies such as: cyber security threats, cloud deployments and regulatory compliance issues. A small business may rely on IT as much as a larger company but may not have the internal staff for IT support. A current trend in IT Service for Small Business is comprehensive IT support and IT service called IT Managed Services. This method of IT Service for small business can provide proactive support for computer maintenance and repair and help a small business make the most of their IT Support budget. Fixing the Cost of IT Service for Small Business IT Managed Service Providers deliver IT services for computer repair, network monitoring, remote support, backup, anti virus updates, security patching and other proactive services using remote monitoring and management technologies. Working remotely reduces the need to come on site, saving you time and money. You may also benefit from obtaining IT Services at a flat rate, which will help you budget and manage your cash flows better. Proactive IT Service for Small Business Because monitoring and repairs are done remotely and scheduled in a proactive manner, problems may be identified and remediated before your employees productivity is interrupted. This improves employee productivity because of a reduction in downtime and higher availability of your applications and data. Also, if you have a contracted IT Service provider, you now know whom to call when problems occur. You also can anticipate the type of response to expect to remediate any computer problems...

Managing Mobility

Mobility and mobile applications in the workplace are being driven by a number of important trends including: a wide range of mobile applications, consumerization of IT and adoption of smart phones and tablets in the workplace.  Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts Worldwide Tablet Shipments to Surpass Portable PC Shipments in 2013, Total PC Shipments in 2015.   Is your business ready to manage mobility in the workplace?  Below are some important factors to consider about Mobility. Secure Mobility Your network security is only as strong as your weakest point.  Having mobile devices connected to your company network is fine, as long as they are secure.  These devices are increasingly targets of cyber threats like malware and virus infection.  What’s more, these mobile devices are easy targets if lost or stolen.  To protect your corporate applications and data make sure your mobile devices have mobile antivirus protection. Require employees to report lost or stolen mobile devices immediately. Fast Mobility Allowing employees to use their personal mobile devices for work is commonly referred to as a Bring Your Own Device Policy.  Make sure your wireless network (WiFi) has sufficient bandwidth and range so your employees have fast access to mobile applications including email, corporate applications and data.  This will ensure your employees are productive and happy at work. Mobile Applications Mobility is a top IT trend so many software publishers offer mobile extensions to their applications.  Email, customer service, calendars and scheduling applications make it easy for employees to stay on top of their tasks when away from their desks.  Other mobile applications including: visitor sign in, customer loyalty applications...

Why Achieve Network Compliance

Network compliance has many benefits for small to medium businesses. Companies processing credit card information may need to maintain PCI Compliance, while healthcare professionals may need to maintain HIPAA Compliance. Businesses recognize the need to secure and protect applications and their data including: customer records, employee privacy data, competitive information and trade secrets. Depending on your industry regulations there may be strict requirements and steep fines for noncompliance. The risk of cyber attacks also increases the need to maintain a compliant network. Here are some basic tips for keeping your network in compliance. Network Monitoring for Network Compliance Performing a periodic network scan can identify any unauthorized computers and/or mobile devices on your network. If your network is not secure, an unauthorized user may be connected through a wireless access or even physically, without your knowledge. In some cases this may be for malicious purposes. At a minimum, an unauthorized computer or mobile device may introduce viruses or malware to your network. Maintaining Operating System (O/S) Security Patches It is important to ensure that your O/S security patches are consistently applied. Also, security patches for office productivity tools should also be kept up to date to minimize exposure on your network. Don’t leave it to employees to accept patches. Make sure you have a system in place to ensure all O/S patches are properly applied. If you centrally manage these O/S patches, you can also save on network bandwidth, so all your employees don’t have to download these patches when available. Keep Anti Virus and Anti Malware Definitions up To Date It is equally important to keep your Anti...
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