Beware of These 2024 Emerging Technology Threats

Beware of These 2024 Emerging Technology Threats

The global cost of a data breach last year was USD $4.45 million. This is an increase of 15% over three years. As we step into 2024, it’s crucial to be aware of emerging technology threats. Ones that could potentially disrupt and harm your business.

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. It’s bringing new opportunities and challenges for businesses and individuals alike. Not all technology is benign. Some innovations can pose serious threats to our digital security, privacy, and safety.

In this article, we’ll highlight some emerging technology threats to be aware of in 2024 and beyond.

Data Poisoning Attacks

Data poisoning involves corrupting datasets used to train AI models. By injecting malicious data, attackers can skew algorithms’ outcomes. This could lead to incorrect decisions in critical sectors like healthcare or finance. Some actions are vital in countering this insidious threat. These include protecting training data integrity and implementing robust validation mechanisms.

Businesses should use AI-generated data cautiously. It should be heavily augmented by human intelligence and data from other sources.

5G Network Vulnerabilities

The widespread adoption of 5G technology introduces new attack surfaces. With an increased number of connected devices, the attack vector broadens. IoT devices, reliant on 5G networks, might become targets for cyberattacks. Securing these devices and implementing strong network protocols is imperative. Especially to prevent large-scale attacks.

Ensure your business has a robust mobile device management strategy. Mobile is taking over much of the workload Organizations should properly track and manage how these devices access business data.

Quantum Computing Vulnerabilities

Quantum computing, the herald of unprecedented computational power, also poses a threat. Its immense processing capabilities could crack currently secure encryption methods. Hackers might exploit this power to access sensitive data. This emphasizes the need for quantum-resistant encryption techniques to safeguard digital information.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Manipulation

AI, while transformative, can be manipulated. Cybercriminals might exploit AI algorithms to spread misinformation. They are already creating convincing deepfakes and automating phishing attacks. Vigilance is essential as AI-driven threats become more sophisticated. It demands robust detection mechanisms to discern genuine from malicious AI-generated content.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Exploits

AR and VR technologies offer immersive experiences. But they also present new vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals might exploit these platforms to deceive users, leading to real-world consequences.

Ensuring the security of AR and VR applications is crucial. Especially to prevent user manipulation and privacy breaches. This is very true in sectors like gaming, education, and healthcare.

Ransomware Evolves

Ransomware attacks have evolved beyond simple data encryption. Threat actors now use double extortion tactics. They steal sensitive data before encrypting files. If victims refuse to pay, hackers leak or sell this data, causing reputational damage.

Some defenses against this evolved ransomware threat include:

  • Robust backup solutions
  • Regular cybersecurity training
  • Proactive threat hunting

Supply Chain Attacks Persist

Supply chain attacks remain a persistent threat. Cybercriminals infiltrate third-party vendors or software providers to compromise larger targets. Strengthening supply chain cybersecurity is critical in preventing cascading cyber incidents. Businesses can do this through rigorous vendor assessments, multi-factor authentication, and continuous monitoring.

Biometric Data Vulnerability

Biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, are becoming commonplace. But users can’t change biometric data once compromised, like they can passwords. Protect biometric data through secure encryption. Ensure that service providers follow strict privacy regulations. These are paramount to preventing identity theft and fraud.

Advanced Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are one of the oldest and most common forms of cyberattacks. These attacks are becoming more sophisticated and targeted thanks to AI. For example, hackers customize spear phishing attacks to a specific individual or organization. They do this based on online personal or professional information.

Another example is vishing attacks. These use voice calls or voice assistants to impersonate legitimate entities. They convincingly persuade victims to take certain actions.

Ongoing employee phishing training is vital. As well as automated solutions to detect and defend against phishing threats.

Tips for Defending Against These Threats

As technology evolves, so do the threats that we face. Thus, it’s important to be vigilant and proactive. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Educate yourself and others about the latest technology threats.
  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication for all online accounts.
  • Update your software and devices regularly to fix any security vulnerabilities.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments in emails or messages.
  • Verify the identity and legitimacy of any callers or senders. Do this before providing any information or taking any actions.
  • Back up your data regularly to prevent data loss in case of a cyberattack.
  • Invest in a reliable cyber insurance policy. One that covers your specific needs and risks.
  • Report any suspicious or malicious activity to the relevant authorities.

Need Help Ensuring Your Cybersecurity is Ready for 2024?

Last year’s solutions might not be enough to protect against this year’s threats. Don’t leave your security at risk. We can help you with a thorough cybersecurity assessment, so you know where you stand.

Contact us today to schedule a chat.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

What Is SaaS Ransomware & How Can You Defend Against It?

What Is SaaS Ransomware & How Can You Defend Against It?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has revolutionized the way businesses operate. It offers convenience, scalability, and efficiency. No more dragging software from one device to another. Everyone can collaborate easily in the cloud.

But alongside its benefits, SaaS brings with it potential threats. When software and data are online, they’re more vulnerable to attacks. One of the latest threats to move from endpoint devices to the cloud is ransomware.

Ransomware has been around attacking computers, servers, and mobile devices for a while. But recently there has been an alarming uptick in SaaS ransomware attacks.

Between March and May of 2023, SaaS attacks increased by over 300%. A study in 2022 by Odaseva found that 51% of ransomware attacks targeted SaaS data.

In this article, we’ll delve into what SaaS ransomware is and the risks it poses. And, most importantly, how you can defend against it.

What is SaaS Ransomware?

SaaS ransomware is also known as cloud ransomware. It’s malicious code designed to target cloud-based applications and services. These include services like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and other cloud collaboration platforms.

The attackers exploit vulnerabilities in these cloud-based systems. The ransomware then encrypts valuable data. It effectively locks users out of their own accounts. Cybercriminals hold the data hostage. They then demand a ransom, often in the form of cryptocurrencies. The ransom is in exchange for the decryption key.

The Risks of SaaS Ransomware

SaaS ransomware adds a new layer of complexity to the cybersecurity landscape. It presents several risks to individuals and organizations.

  • Data Loss: The most immediate risk is the loss of critical data. You lose access to your cloud-based applications and files. This can cause productivity to grind to a halt.
  • Reputational Damage: A successful SaaS ransomware attack can tarnish your organization’s reputation. Customers and partners may lose trust in your ability to safeguard their data. This can negatively impact your brand image.
  • Financial Impact: Paying the ransom is not guaranteed to result in data recovery. It may encourage attackers to target you again. Furthermore, the cost of downtime and recovery efforts can be substantial.

Defending Against SaaS Ransomware

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. When it comes to SaaS ransomware, proactive defense is key. Here are some effective strategies to protect your organization against these threats.

Educate Your Team

Start by educating your employees about the risks of SaaS ransomware. Include how it spreads through phishing emails, malicious links, or breached accounts. Teach them to recognize suspicious activities and report any unusual incidents immediately.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA is an essential layer of security. It requires users to provide an extra form of authentication to access accounts. This is often a one-time code sent to their mobile device. Enabling MFA reduces the risk of unauthorized access. This is true, even if a hacker compromises an account’s login credentials.

Regular Backups

Frequently backing up your SaaS data is crucial. In the event of a ransomware attack, you still have your data. Having up-to-date backups ensures that you can restore your files. You won’t need to pay the attacker’s ransom demands.

Apply the Principle of Least Privilege

Limit user permissions to only the necessary functions. Follow the principle of least privilege. This means giving users the lowest privilege needed for their job. Doing this, you reduce the potential damage an attacker can do if they gain access.

Keep Software Up to Date

Ensure that you keep all software (SaaS applications, operating systems, etc.) up to date. They should have the latest security patches installed. Regular updates close known vulnerabilities and strengthen your defense.

Deploy Advanced Security Solutions

Consider using third-party security solutions that specialize in protecting SaaS environments. These solutions can provide many benefits. Including:

  • Real-time threat detection
  • Data loss prevention
  • And other advanced security features

Track Account Activity

Put in place robust monitoring of user activity and network traffic. Suspicious behavior can be early indicators of an attack. One example to watch for is several failed login attempts. Another is access from unusual locations.

Develop an Incident Response Plan

Prepare and practice an incident response plan. It should outline the steps to take in the event of a ransomware attack. A well-coordinated response can mitigate the impact of an incident. It can also aid in faster recovery. The sooner your team can respond, the faster business gets back to normal.

Don’t Leave Your Cloud Data Unprotected!

SaaS ransomware is a significant cybersecurity concern. The best defense is a good offense. Do you need help putting one together?

Our team can help you stay ahead of the cyber threats that lurk in the digital world. Give us a call today to schedule a chat.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Should Your Business Upgrade to the New Microsoft Intune Suite?

Should Your Business Upgrade to the New Microsoft Intune Suite?

Endpoint management has changed a lot over the last two decades. There was a time when companies housed all endpoints in the same place. This made managing them simpler. But it held offices back from being mobile and flexible.

Today’s office can include endpoints around the globe. Remote teams can work from anywhere. And people often prefer doing things from their mobile devices. Such as checking email or managing tasks.

The average enterprise endpoint makeup is 60% mobile devices. And it’s estimated that they handle about 80% of the workload. What does this mean for security? That an endpoint device management solution has become a necessity.

One that might be on your radar is the new Microsoft Intune Suite. It bundles several areas of endpoint management into a single platform.

Wondering whether it’s worth taking the plunge and upgrading? Stick around as we break down the what, why, and how of this cloud-based management solution.

What is Microsoft Intune Suite?

First things first, what is Microsoft Intune? It’s a software tool that helps you manage your company’s devices and apps all in one place. Whether your employees use PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets, Intune’s got your back.

So, what’s the deal with the upgrade? Microsoft has been hard at work improving Intune. The latest version brings some exciting new features to the table.

The core capabilities of Microsoft Intune include:

  • Cross-platform endpoint management
  • Built-in endpoint security
  • Mobile application management
  • Endpoint analytics
  • Microsoft Configuration Manager

Here’s a comparison of the subscription options you now have with Intune:

  • Microsoft Intune Plan 1: Microsoft Intune core capabilities are included with various subscriptions. (Microsoft 365 E3, E5, F1, and F3; Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 and E5; and Business Premium plans)
  • Microsoft Intune Plan 2: An add-on to Microsoft Intune Plan 1. It offers advanced endpoint management capabilities.
  • Microsoft Intune Suite: An add-on to Microsoft Intune Plan 1. Includes:
    • Plan 2 features
    • Microsoft Intune Remote Help
    • Microsoft Intune Endpoint Privilege Management
    • Microsoft Tunnel for Mobile Application Management
    • Management of specialty devices
    • Select Microsoft Intune advanced endpoint analytics features.

Advantages of Subscribing

So, should you subscribe or upgrade to the suite? Before you rush in, let’s consider some key factors to help you decide if it’s the right move for your business. First the advantages of subscribing.

Streamlined Device Management

We all know how chaotic device management can get. With the new Intune Suite, you get a centralized dashboard. It gives you full control over your devices.

You can set up policies and enforce security measures. You can even wipe data remotely if needed. Plus, it’s compatible with both Windows and macOS. So, you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues.

Provide Secure Helpdesk Support

Keep your employees productive by giving them help when they need it. Intune Suite includes Microsoft Intune Remote Help. This feature allows you to deliver simple and secure help to your team anywhere, anytime.

The platform reinforces a Zero Trust security model. It also enables fast response to issues. You can address employee device roadblocks no matter where your team is working.

Enhanced Security and Compliance

Data breaches and cyberattacks are real threats to businesses of all sizes. With Intune’s advanced security features, you can breathe a little easier. It offers robust encryption and secure access controls. Including the ability to quarantine risky devices.

Do you deal with sensitive information or have compliance requirements? Intune has got you covered with its auditing and reporting capabilities.

App Management Made Easy

Applications are the lifeblood of modern businesses, and Intune understands that. With its app management features, you can do a lot. Including easily deploying, updating, and retiring applications across all devices.

Intune keeps everyone organized and on the same page. Whether your team is using Microsoft 365 apps or third-party software.

BYOD-Friendly

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have become a popular trend in the corporate world. If your company is open to BYOD, Intune can be a game-changer. It enables you to separate personal and corporate data on employee devices. This helps ensure that sensitive company information remains secure.

The Intune Suite includes Microsoft Tunnel for Mobile App Management. This lightweight VPN solution connects corporate resources from personal iOS and Android devices. Device enrollment is not required. So, employees can have quick and secure access to company resources when needed.

Scalability and Cost-Effectiveness

As your business grows, so do your tech needs. Thankfully, Intune scales effortlessly, accommodating new devices and users without breaking a sweat. Plus, it operates on a subscription-based model, allowing you to pay for only what you need. No more hefty upfront costs, just a predictable monthly fee.

What Do You Need to Consider?

Alright, those are some pretty compelling reasons to consider Microsoft Intune Suite. But let’s take a moment to address some potential downsides you need to consider as well.

Learning Curve

One common concern is the learning curve. If your team uses a different management solution, they might need some time to get the hang of Intune. Luckily, we can help you with training and support to ensure a smooth shift.

Do You Have Legacy Systems?

Does your business rely on legacy systems or run a large number of on-premises servers? Then integrating Intune into your existing setup may take some extra effort. It’s essential to assess your current infrastructure and compatibility requirements before diving in.

Improve Security & Operations by Properly Managing Endpoints

Upgrading to the new Microsoft Intune Suite could be a game-changer for your business. But it’s crucial to carefully evaluate your specific needs. We can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your unique business goals.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Handy Tips to Optimize a Dual-Monitor Setup for the Best Experience

Handy Tips to Optimize a Dual-Monitor Setup for the Best Experience

Two monitors are often better than one when it comes to getting things done efficiently. A dual-monitor setup can significantly enhance your productivity. This is true whether you’re a gamer, a creative professional, or an office wiz who loves to multitask.

A study by Jon Peddie Research found that dual displays can increase productivity by 42%. But it’s not as simple as just setting up an extra screen.

It’s common for people to feel “off kilter” when trying to work from two monitors. They may even find it harder despite having more screen real estate. The cause is usually the setup. They either have the screens positioned wrong or aren’t optimizing the settings.

We’ll dive into some dual-monitor setup best practices. These should help you improve your two-screen experience and take it to the next level.

Best Practices for a Great Two-Screen Setup

1. Match Size and Resolution

Before you jump into the excitement of a dual-monitor setup do some matching. Make sure your monitors are well-matched with each other. Try to use monitors of the same size and resolution. This helps to avoid any jarring differences in image quality or screen real estate. Your eyes will thank you for the consistency!

2. Get the Right Cables

Picture this: you’ve set up your dual monitors, and you’re all excited to fire them up. But your cables don’t fit the ports! To avoid this headache, check your device outputs and inputs to ensure you have the right cables on hand. HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI are common options. But verify which ones you need for optimal performance.

3. Positioning is Everything

Now that you’ve got your monitors ready to go, let’s talk positioning. Placing your monitors correctly can make a world of difference. This is true for both your comfort and productivity.

Ideally, arrange them side by side, keeping the top edges aligned. Adjust the angle to reduce neck strain, and make sure the distance is comfortable for your eyes. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in front of these screens.

4. Embrace the Extended Desktop

It’s tempting to mirror your displays and have the same content on both screens. But that’s not the full potential of a dual-monitor setup. Embrace the extended desktop feature. It allows you to have separate content on each screen.

This means you can work on a document on one screen. And browse the web or handle email on the other—double the productivity!

5. Focus on Taskbar Tweaks

A cluttered taskbar can quickly turn your dual-monitor setup into chaos. Keep things organized. Set the taskbar to display only the active applications on the screen they’re open in.

Steps:

  • Right-click on the taskbar, go to “Taskbar settings.”
  • Open “Taskbar behaviors”
  • Adjust the setting, “When using multiple displays, show my taskbar apps on.” Set it to the taskbar where the window is open.

No more hunting for the right window across two taskbars.

6. Leverage Shortcuts

Did you know that Windows has some nifty window-snapping shortcuts? Use the Windows key plus the left or right arrow to snap an application to one side of the screen. It will fill exactly half of it.

This is perfect for comparing documents. As well as writing while researching or watching a video while working. It’s a productivity boost that you won’t be able to live without once you’ve tried it!

7. Gaming in Style

If you’re a gamer, a dual-monitor setup can bring your gaming experience to a whole new level. Many modern games support dual monitors, allowing you to have an extended field of view. This is especially true in racing and flight simulation games. Just remember to adjust your graphics settings accordingly for the best performance.

8. Mastering Multitasking

Multitasking is where dual monitors truly shine. For example, you can have your design software open on one screen and your reference images on the other.

Writers can have research materials on one screen. With their writing software on the other. The possibilities are endless. It’s like having a productivity superhero at your disposal! Explore workflows that make the most of both screens.

9. Tame the Cable Chaos

Dual monitors mean double the cables. If you’re not careful, it can quickly turn into a cable jungle. To keep things tidy, invest in some cable management solutions. Such as adhesive cable clips or cable sleeves. Your setup will look cleaner. It’ll also be easier to make changes or upgrades in the future.

10. Don’t Forget the Ergonomics

As you immerse yourself in your dual-monitor world, remember to consider ergonomics. Ensure that your monitors are at eye level. And your keyboard and mouse are at a comfortable height and angle.

Good ergonomics can prevent strain and discomfort. This allows you to enjoy your setup for longer without any aches or pains.

Need Help with Hardware or Software Setup?

Why struggle with hardware or software setup? Come to the pros to save time and avoid frustration.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about your technology needs.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Does Your Business Have Any “Cybersecurity Skeletons” in the Closet?”

Does Your Business Have Any “Cybersecurity Skeletons” in the Closet?”

Let’s dive into a topic that might give you the chills—cybersecurity skeletons in the closet. You may not have old skeletons hidden away in the basement. But there’s a good chance of cybersecurity vulnerabilities lurking in the shadows. Just waiting to wreak havoc.

You can’t fix what you can’t see. It’s time to shine a light on these hidden dangers. So, you can take action to protect your business from potential cyber threats.

Let’s get started uncovering threats that could leave your business in danger. Here are some of the most common cybersecurity issues faced by SMBs.

Outdated Software: The Cobweb-Covered Nightmare

We get it; updating software can be a hassle. But running outdated software is like inviting hackers to your virtual Halloween party.

When software vendors release updates, they often include crucial security patches. These patches fix vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. So, don’t let outdated software haunt your business. Keep everything up to date to ensure your digital fortress is secure.

Weak Passwords: The Skeleton Key for Cybercriminals

If your passwords are weak, you might as well be handing out your office keys to cyber criminals. Using “123456” or “password” as your login credentials is a big no-no.

Instead, create strong and unique passwords for all accounts and devices. Consider using a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Password managers can be a lifesaver for generating and storing complex passwords securely.

As a business owner, you can’t expect your employees to do this naturally. Provide them with requirements for creating passwords. You can also set up software to force strong password creation.

Unsecured Wi-Fi: The Ghostly Gateway

Picture this: a cybercriminal sitting in a parked car. He’s snooping on your business’s unsecured Wi-Fi network. Scary, right? Unsecured Wi-Fi can be a ghostly gateway for hackers to intercept sensitive data.

Ensure your Wi-Fi is password-protected. Make sure your router uses WPA2 or WPA3 encryption for an added layer of security. For critical business tasks consider a virtual private network (VPN). It can shield your data from prying eyes.

Lack of Employee Training: The Haunting Ignorance

Your employees can be your business’s strongest line of defense or its weakest link. Employee error is the cause of approximately 88% of all data breaches.

Without proper cybersecurity training, your staff might unknowingly fall victim to phishing scams. Or inadvertently expose sensitive information. Regularly educate your team about cybersecurity best practices.

Such as:

  • Recognizing phishing emails
  • Avoiding suspicious websites
  • Using secure file-sharing methods

No Data Backups: The Cryptic Catastrophe

Imagine waking up to find your business’s data gone, vanished into the digital abyss. Without backups, this nightmare can become a reality. Data loss can be due to hardware failures or ransomware attacks. As well as many other unforeseen disasters.

Embrace the 3-2-1 rule. Have at least three copies of your data, stored on two different media types. With one copy stored securely offsite. Regularly test your backups to ensure they are functional and reliable.

No Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): The Ghoulish Gamble

Using only a password to protect your accounts is asking for trouble. It’s like having nothing but a screen door at the entrance of your business.

Adding MFA provides an extra layer of protection. It requires users to provide extra authentication factors. Such as a one-time code or passkey. This makes it much harder for cyber attackers to breach your accounts.

Disregarding Mobile Security: The Haunted Phones

Mobile devices have become office workhorses. But they can also be haunted by security risks. Ensure that all company-issued devices have passcodes or biometric locks enabled. Consider implementing mobile device management (MDM) solutions. These will enable you to enforce security policies. As well as remotely wipe data and ensure devices stay up to date.

Shadow IT: The Spooky Surprise

Shadow IT refers to the use of unauthorized applications within your business. It might seem harmless when employees use convenient tools they find online. But these unvetted applications can pose serious security risks.

Put in place a clear policy for the use of software and services within your business. Regularly audit your systems to uncover any shadow IT lurking under cover.

Incident Response Plan: The Horror Unleashed

Even with all precautions in place, security incidents can still happen. Without an incident response plan, an attack can leave your business scrambling.

Develop a comprehensive incident response plan. It should outline key items. Such as how your team will detect, respond to, and recover from security incidents. Regularly test and update the plan to ensure its effectiveness.

Need Some “Threat Busters” to Improve Your Cybersecurity?

Don’t let cybersecurity skeletons in the closet haunt your business. We can help you find and fix potential vulnerabilities. As well as create a robust security posture that protects your business.

Give us a call today to schedule a cybersecurity assessment.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Strengthening Your Team’s Defense with Essential Cyber Hygiene

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Strengthening Your Team’s Defense with Essential Cyber Hygiene

As technology continues to advance, so does the need for heightened awareness. As well as proactive measures to safeguard sensitive information.

Cybersecurity can seem like an insurmountable task for everyday people. But it’s not only a job for the IT team. Everyone can play a part in keeping their organization’s data safe. Not to mention their own data.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It serves as a timely reminder that there are many ways to safeguard data. Following the basics can make a big difference in how secure your network remains.

What Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CAM) is an annual initiative held every October. It promotes cybersecurity awareness and education. It aims to empower individuals and organizations by giving them knowledge and resources. It helps people strengthen their defenses against cyber threats.

CAM started as a U.S. initiative, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Then, it quickly spread around the globe. It’s led by two agencies:

  • National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA)
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

This collaborative effort involves various stakeholders. Government agencies, industry leaders, and cybersecurity experts all come together. The goal is to raise awareness about cyber risks and best practices.

This Year’s Theme

This is CAM’s 20th year. To celebrate, the theme revolves around looking at how far cybersecurity has come. As well as how far it has to go. This year, CAM focuses on four key best practices of cybersecurity.

These are:

  • Enabling multi-factor authentication
  • Using strong passwords and a password manager
  • Updating software
  • Recognizing and reporting phishing

Let’s take a closer look at these four best practices of good cyber hygiene.

Essential Cyber Hygiene: 4 Keys to a Strong Defense

Central to Cybersecurity Awareness Month is the promotion of essential cyber hygiene practices. We follow good hygiene to maintain physical health. For example, we brush our teeth every day.

Cybersecurity also requires ongoing good hygiene practices to secure the online environment. These practices form the foundation of a strong cybersecurity defense. They help both individuals and organizations.

Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds a vital layer of security to all logins. In most cases, a hacker can’t breach an account protected by MFA. This is the case even if the cyber crook has the password.

According to Microsoft, MFA can block 99.9% of attempted account compromise attacks. With that strong track record, everyone really should be using it. And using it on every login they have.

Strong Passwords & a Password Manager

Passwords remain a critical aspect of securing online accounts. Despite the increased use of biometrics, passwords still rule. Encourage your team members to use strong, unique passwords for each account. Avoid easily guessable information like birthdays or names.

Companies can help by setting strong password enforcement rules. This requires a strong password before it’s accepted in a system. For example, you may set up a policy that requires a password to have:

  • At least 12 characters
  • At least 1 upper case letter
  • At least 1 lower case letter
  • At least 1 number
  • At least 1 symbol

Updating Software

Outdated software creates vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. Regularly update operating systems, applications, and firmware. This ensures the latest security patches are in place.

Automating updates is a good way to ensure they’re done promptly. Companies can use endpoint device managers to handle updates across all employee devices. Managers like Intune simplify the process and enhance endpoint security.

Recognizing and Reporting Phishing

Phishing attacks are a common vector for cyber threats. Train your team to identify phishing emails, suspicious links, and unsolicited attachments. Encourage them to verify the sender’s email address. As well as never provide sensitive information unless certain of the recipient’s authenticity.

It’s also important to educate employees about phishing beyond email. Phishing via text messages has been increasing significantly. Some criminals phish via direct messages on social media platforms.

Another important aspect of phishing awareness is to report phishing. If it’s reported, then other employees know to avoid that phishing trap. The organization’s IT team also needs to know so they can take action to mitigate the threat. Be sure to let employees know how they can report a phishing email when they suspect one.

We Can Help You Put the Best Cyber Hygiene Practices in Place

CAM offers a valuable opportunity to refocus on the significance of cybersecurity. As well as prioritizing essential cyber hygiene practices. Building a culture of cybersecurity awareness within your team is important. It can be the difference between vulnerability and resilience.

Need some help ensuring a more secure and resilient future? Our team of experts can get you going on the basics. Once those are in place, your organization will be more productive and much more secure.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

9 Reasons to Use Airplane Mode Even If You’re Not Traveling

9 Reasons to Use Airplane Mode Even If You’re Not Traveling

Most people are familiar with their device’s Airplane Mode. You’ve probably used it when jetting off to exotic locations. But did you know that it’s not just for globetrotters?

That’s right! Airplane Mode isn’t only for flying; it can be a handy feature for your everyday life. Here are some top reasons why you should consider toggling it on, even if you’re not traveling.

1. Save That Precious Battery Life

Who doesn’t want their smartphone battery to last longer? Airplane Mode can be your secret weapon against those battery-draining apps. The ones that are constantly running in the background.

By switching on Airplane Mode, you effectively shut down all communication functions. This includes Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth. This can be a lifesaver when you’re running low on battery and need your phone to last until you can find a charger.

2. Boost Your Charging Speed

We’ve all experienced those moments of panic when our phone’s battery is about to die. We desperately need to charge it ASAP. Well, here’s a neat trick: put your phone in Airplane Mode before plugging it in.

Studies show that phones charge about 4 times faster in Airplane Mode.

By doing this, your phone won’t be wasting power on syncing notifications. Or checking for updates or connecting to networks. As a result, it will charge up faster, getting you back in the game in no time.

3. A Tranquil Escape from Notifications

Life can get chaotic, and sometimes you need a break from constant pings. Turning on Airplane Mode grants you the gift of peace and tranquility, even if only for a little while. You can enjoy some quality “me” time. All without interruptions from social media alerts or work emails. It’s like creating your little digital oasis!

4. Focus Mode: Engaged!

We all struggle with staying focused from time to time. Whether it’s work, studying, or a creative project, distractions are everywhere. Airplane Mode can be your go-to tool to combat those distractions. By cutting off the internet connection, you’ll find it easier to concentrate on the task at hand. So, next time you need to get in the zone, remember to flip that Airplane Mode switch!

5. Prevent Embarrassing Moments

Picture this: You’re in an important meeting. Then suddenly your phone starts blaring an embarrassingly loud ringtone. Oops! And even if the ringer is off, phones often vibrate when getting a call or notification.

Avoid these awkward moments. Use Airplane Mode in situations where silence is golden. You can still use your phone for notetaking or accessing offline content. But without any fear of accidental disruptions.

6. Roaming Woes, Be Gone!

When you’re in an area with poor cellular reception, what happens to your phone? It might tirelessly search for a signal. This can lead to battery drain. Airplane Mode can be a lifesaver in such situations.

By turning it on, you prevent your phone from endlessly searching for a network. This saves precious battery power. It can also keep you from connecting to a dangerous network.

7. A Digital Detox

Sometimes we all need a break from the digital world. It can be to reconnect with loved ones, enjoy outdoor activities, or simply be present in the moment. Airplane Mode lets you temporarily disconnect from the online realm. But you still have access to your phone’s offline features.

8. Avoid Unwanted Radiation

The jury is still out on any health risks of mobile phone radiation. But some people prefer to err on the side of caution. Enabling Airplane Mode reduces your phone’s radiation emission. This is because it disables most of the communication features. If you’re concerned about exposure, using Airplane Mode can provide some peace of mind.

9. Save Data and Money

If you’re on a limited data plan, turning on Airplane Mode can help you manage your data usage. As well as avoiding unexpected charges. It’s a smart move. Especially when you’re nearing the end of your billing cycle and don’t want to exceed your data limit.

Remember, Airplane Mode isn’t just for frequent flyers. It’s a nifty feature that can enhance your daily life in various ways. It offers longer battery life and faster charging. As well as escaping the constant barrage of notifications, it has benefits. Airplane Mode can be your digital ally in a world that’s always connected.

So, don’t be shy to give it a try, and enjoy this underrated smartphone feature. Even when your feet are firmly on the ground!

Keep Your Smartphone Optimized & Secure

Do you need help securing your smartphone from viruses and attacks? Wish you knew how to use all its features better? Our team of experts can help with training and device security.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

What Should You Expect in the New iOS 17?

What Should You Expect in the New iOS 17?

Apple’s iOS updates have always been eagerly anticipated. iPhone and iPad users around the world get excited to see what their devices can do next. The newest major upcoming release will be for iOS 17. This fall, Apple is set to introduce a host of exciting new features and improvements.

iOS 17 promises to deliver an even more intuitive and seamless user experience. There will also be big changes for Messages and sharing across phones.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key features you can expect. Get ready to explore the latest innovations that Apple has in store for its users.

Get an Instant Transcript of Voicemails

How do you know if that voicemail that came in while in a Zoom meeting is important? iOS 17 is going to make that much easier to determine. When you get a voicemail, you’ll see a transcript of the message on your screen. No more guesswork!

Voicemail Transcript
Image credit: Apple

Personalized Contact Posters

Do you hate the picture that someone has saved of you in your contact? The one that comes up every time you call them? You’ll now have power over how you look when you call others.

Apple is introducing personalized Contact Posters. You can customize how you’ll look when calling people with whom you’ve shared your poster. You can appear as your photo, a Memoji, and more. You can also add text and colors.

Leave a Video or Audio FaceTime Message

You have better options when calling someone on FaceTime and they’re not there. Instead of just leaving a missed call. FaceTime will support audio and video messages. These are like enhanced voicemails.

Now, if you want to share an exciting visual in the moment, you can. Even if the person doesn’t pick up. You can leave it for them to watch later.

More FaceTime Enhancements – Reactions & Apple TV

Another cool enhancement coming to FaceTime are more expressive reactions. Some of the new ways to express yourself include:

  • Hearts
  • Balloons
  • Fireworks
  • Laser beams
  • Rain
  • and more

Also, a FaceTime call can now connect with AppleTV. See loved ones right from your large-screen television, as big as ever.

Stickers, Anyone?

If you’re a fan of stickers in messages, you’re going to love this next feature. Messages will be getting a big sticker enhancement in iOS 17. This includes new emoji stickers. You’ll also have the ability to create Live Stickers from subjects in photos.

You can also liven stickers up with effects. A sticker drawer is also going to be available to store them all neatly.

AirDrop & NameDrop for Easier Sharing

Sharing photos, videos, and files across devices will get better. In just seconds, you can use AirDrop to share files from one phone to another.
NameDrop gives you a quick way to share contact details. All you need to do is bring two iPhones together. It also works with an iPhone and Apple Watch. Oh, and music is included in the sharing fun!

NameDrop is also how you’ll share that cool Contact Poster you made.

Smarter Autocorrect & Dictation

Who hasn’t cursed an autocorrect choice that makes you look bad? Apple feels your pain and is introducing smarter autocorrection. This feature will get a machine learning language model upgrade. The update will help it predict text better to learn what you really meant to type.

Dictation is also getting an upgrade. It will use a new speech recognition model to improve its accuracy.

StandBy Glanceable Screen Mode

Apple wants your iPhone to be even more useful. Even when it’s charging across the room. So, iOS 17 introduces StandBy. This gives users a full-screen experience with information shown big on the screen.

You can personalize the display with a full range of helpful views:

  • Clock styles
  • Favorite photos
  • Widgets (including Smart Stacks)
  • Live Activities
  • Siri
  • Incoming Calls
Standby
Image credit: Apple

New Mental Health Features in the Health App

Apple is introducing more mental health features. The health app will enable users to log daily moods and momentary emotions. The goal is to help people see what contributes to their state of mind. As well as easily access depression and anxiety assessments used in clinics.

Screen Distance in Screen Time will also assist with digital eyestrain. It will encourage a user to move their device farther away from their face. It will do this if users have held their phone closer than 12 inches over a certain period of time.

Get Help with Smartphone Tutoring, Security & More

iOS 17 is shaping up to be an exciting update for Apple users. It offers a range of new features and enhancements. Even more than we could fit into this article.

If you’re looking for help learning how to use your phone’s features or enhancing security, give us a call. We can improve your experience with one of the most important pieces of tech people use today. Their smartphone.

Give us a call, and let’s chat.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

These Technologies Can Help You Run Your Small Business Better

These Technologies Can Help You Run Your Small Business Better

Running a small business can be challenging. But advancements in technology have opened a world of opportunities. Small business owners can use digital tools to streamline operations. As well as improve efficiency, and boost productivity.

From innovative software to cutting-edge hardware, there are a lot of tools to choose from. The right technology can help small business owners stay ahead of the competition.

But trying to navigate the options yourself can be confusing. Just buying apps because someone told you one was cool, might not be the best strategy. You need to focus on needs and target optimization.

What are the top two challenges that SMBs experience with cloud use? They are managing costs and security. The 2023 State of the Cloud Report also found that 47% of SMBs said they lacked resources and expertise.

We can help guide you to the best tech for growth and ROI. First, let’s explore some game-changing technologies. These tools can revolutionize the way you run your small business.

Game-Changing Tools for Small Business Owners

Are you looking to automate tasks, enhance communication, or optimize your customer experience? Look no further than the solutions below. They have the potential to make a significant impact on your business’s success.

Cloud Computing for Scalability and Flexibility

Cloud computing has transformed the way businesses store, access, and manage their data. Apps like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace allow small businesses to afford more. Including, enterprise-class functions formerly enjoyed only by large companies.

Other cloud-based solution examples are Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Small business owners can leverage scalable and flexible computing power. With no need for expensive on-premises infrastructure.

Cloud computing provides benefits like:

  • Easy collaboration
  • Seamless data backup and recovery
  • Improved accessibility

This enables you and your team to work from anywhere, anytime. It can now power your entire office. This includes your phone system, document storage, accounting, customer management, and more. The cloud offers cost-effective solutions for all types of small businesses.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

In today’s competitive landscape, providing exceptional customer service is paramount. That’s where CRM software comes in. CRM platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot allow you to centralize customer data. You can also easily track interactions and manage customer relationships more effectively.

Spreadsheets can only take you so far. They are also time-consuming to keep up with. Dropped balls can also easily result from manual processes. Especially those storing data in a non-collaborative environment.

CRM software can help you improve your sales process. As well as personalize marketing campaigns and provide top-notch customer support. You can gain deeper insights into your customers’ preferences and behaviors. It also enables you to tailor your offerings to meet their needs. That customization increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Collaboration Tools for Seamless Teamwork

Efficient collaboration is crucial for small businesses. This is especially true when employees are in different offices or working remotely. Collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace facilitate this. They provide real-time communication, file sharing, and project management solutions.

These platforms bring teams together. This allows for seamless collaboration, efficient task delegation, and streamlined workflows. The apps have features like chat, video conferencing, and document collaboration. These tools help your team stay connected and productive, no matter where they are.

E-commerce Platforms for Online Sales

The rise of e-commerce has opened new avenues for small businesses to expand their reach. More reach means more revenue opportunities. Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce provide all-in-one solutions. They make it easy for those who are not tech-savvy to create and manage online stores.

These platforms offer customizable templates, secure payment gateways, and inventory management systems. These features allow small businesses to establish a robust online presence. They can sell products or services directly to customers everywhere.

Data Analytics for Informed Decision Making

Data is a valuable asset for any business. Leveraging data analytics tools can provide valuable insights for informed decision-making. Platforms like Google Analytics and Microsoft Power BI can help. They enable small business owners to collect, analyze, and visualize data. These business intelligence tools connect data from various sources.

By tracking website traffic, customer behavior, and sales trends, you can identify opportunities. As well as optimize marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions. Basically, data insights can help propel your business forward.

Data analytics empowers small business owners. It gives them the ability to understand their target audience. It also helps them quickly identify areas for improvement. They can then make smarter business choices.

Ask Us About Our Cloud Support to Boost Your Bottom Line

Incorporating technology into your small business operations can be a game-changer. It enables you to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and boost efficiency. But it can be confusing to navigate alone.

Let us help.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about optimizing your cloud efficiency and costs.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

These 5 Small Business Tech Trends Can Fuel Your Growth

These 5 Small Business Tech Trends Can Fuel Your Growth

In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, small businesses have more opportunities than ever. Many of these call for leveraging technology to their advantage. Embracing the right tech trends can help businesses compete. It enables them to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and fuel growth.

But it can be confusing knowing which routes to take. Most small businesses need to choose the route that is going to bring the biggest return.

Below, we’ll explore five small business tech trends. These trends have the potential to drive success. As well as propel your business forward in an increasingly competitive market.

1. Cloud Computing: Expanding Possibilities

Cloud computing has emerged as a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. And some believe small businesses are among the most benefitted. 82% of small to medium businesses report reduced costs after adopting cloud tools.

The cloud offers many benefits. It’s a cost-effective and scalable solution for data storage, software access, and collaboration. By migrating to the cloud, small businesses can save. They cut the need for on-premises infrastructure. This reduces maintenance costs and gives enhanced flexibility.

Also, cloud-based tools and platforms enable teams to work remotely. This can promote collaboration and improve productivity. Working in the cloud offers access to real-time data and apps from any location. This enables small businesses to make informed decisions faster. They can also respond to market changes with agility.

2. Artificial Intelligence: Automating Efficiency

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way businesses operate. This year alone, ChatGPT has completely transformed many business apps. We cannot overstate AI’s potential benefits for small businesses.

AI-powered tools and algorithms can automate routine tasks. Such as data entry, customer service, and inventory management. This frees up valuable time for employees to focus on higher-value activities.

Chatbots, for instance, enable small businesses to provide 24/7 customer support. All without the need for more staff or paying overtime hours.

AI also empowers businesses to gain actionable insights from vast amounts of data. This helps them optimize processes, personalize marketing strategies, and enhance customer experiences.

Embracing AI technologies can give small businesses a competitive edge. It does this by boosting efficiency, reducing costs, and improving decision-making.

3. E-commerce and Mobile Commerce: Expanding Reach

The rise of e-commerce and mobile commerce has opened up new avenues for small businesses. They can now easily reach a global audience. Using websites and apps, companies can sell anywhere at any time.

It’s easier than ever to put up a secure payment gateway and take payments online. These “plug-and-play” e-commerce sites and apps can create a seamless user experience. This allows small businesses to build trust and encourage repeat purchases.

Businesses can easily understand customer preferences by leveraging data analytics. They can also optimize inventory management and personalize marketing campaigns.

By embracing e-commerce and mobile commerce, small businesses can grow quickly. They can extend their reach beyond geographical boundaries. As well as tap into new markets, thereby fueling growth opportunities.

4. Data Security: Safeguarding Trust

As businesses increasingly rely on digital technologies, data security becomes paramount. Small businesses are just as vulnerable to cyber threats as larger enterprises. This makes it essential to prioritize data security measures.

46% of all data breaches impact businesses with less than 1,000 employees.

It’s important to put robust cybersecurity practices in place. This includes things like:

  • Encryption
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Regular data backups
  • Endpoint protection
  • Identity and access management
  • Advanced threat protection

Additionally, two more tactics to proactively manage risks include:

  • Staying informed about emerging threats
  • Investing in employee training

Customers value businesses that focus on their data security. A strong security posture can instill trust and confidence. This leads to long-term customer loyalty and positive brand reputation.

5. Automation and Workflow Integration: Streamlining Operations

Automating business processes can significantly streamline operations. When small businesses integrate workflows they save time and money. Workflow automation eliminates repetitive manual tasks. It also reduces human error and enhances efficiency.

Think about integrating various systems and applications. Such as customer relationship management (CRM), project management, and accounting software. Integration can end silos and ensure seamless information flow across different departments.

Other benefits include:

  • Enabling better coordination
  • Fostering collaboration
  • Optimizing resource allocation
  • Improving productivity
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction

Small businesses that leverage automation and workflow integration gain a competitive advantage. They operate more efficiently and deliver superior experiences to their customers.

Take an Important Step Toward Digital Growth

In today’s digital era, small businesses have a ton of tech tools and trends at their disposal. But it takes guidance to know what to do and how to do it.

While embracing cloud computing, AI, e-commerce, data security, and automation can help. To stay competitive small businesses need a clear and affordable path. One that makes sense for their business goals.

We can be your digital transformation guide.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about tech solutions to fuel your growth.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.