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Destroying your electronic media

Brooke Nielsen
The risks of not properly destroying electronic media, such as computer hard drives, video and audio tapes, etc. can include identity theft, possible HIPAA violations, loss of business reputation and client trust,  and more. Without destruction of these items that are filled with personal and company data, information could be sent to unintended recipients. Individuals, as well as businesses, have confidential information which they don’t want ending up in the wrong hands. Destroying electronic media in the correct manner keeps all data secure so you don’t have to worry about the negative consequences.
 
Your Media is at Risk – All of it!
 
Many people believe computer hard drives are the only electronic media that need to be destroyed. This is not the case. While it is important to properly destroy these devices, there are other items that you will want to take care of as well.
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Topics: Security Threats, Data Breach

Watch out for fake smartphone apps

Wynn Obermeyer
The holidays are here and the scammers are out in full force. Their latest trick involves fake apps. Starbucks started the first "retail app", and many retailers have followed their lead.
 
But scammers are now creating fake apps, tricking you into downloading them to your smartphone or tablet, and then they ask you to load your credit card information into these apps.  You can guess what happens next and it is not good.
 
Here are 5 things to think about:

1. Be very cautious in deciding what apps to download to your smartphone or tablet. Better safe than sorry.
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Topics: Security Threats

Don't let cybercriminals cash in on your business this holiday

Angela Wight
Yes, it’s a wonderful time of year! The holiday spirit abounds—time with family, friends and special events. And yet, for businesses it’s also a time to watch out for criminals looking to take advantage of vulnerabilities at the holidays.

Some security basics to implement now:
 
1. Warn employees to watch out for phishing scams, fake-outs, phony websites, and malicious ads.

There are all sorts of phishing emails this time of year. Seemingly coming from UPS, FedEx, USPS, or other legitimate companies, the email links lead you to places with malware or a phony website trying to collect personal or financial information.  Take a look at our past blog post which trains you on how to identify phishing emails: The anatomy of a phishing email.
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Topics: Security Threats

Ward off intrusions with two-factor authentication

Wynn Obermeyer

I recently came across a website with some great information on two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA or TFA). You've more than likely experienced two-factor authentication at one time or another when logging into a Microsoft or Google account, and yet, should you consider it for your business? Yes, definitely. 

 

Protecting your business

Although an additional security step in the login process, two-factor authentication is quick and worth it. Two-factor authentication is being widely adopted because it contributes to more secure systems at the network and desktop level. 

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Topics: Security Threats

6 reasons to train your staff on security basics

Chris Vilim
Owner to owner, I have some advice for you…stepping up training on security basics is one of the most important training sessions you can send your staff to this year. And here are the six strong reasons why…
 
1. Speed up recovery time and save money

You are not only avoiding security threats by training your employees on the importance of security, you’re also providing them with the knowledge of what to do if their system becomes compromised. For example, if an employee makes the mistake of clicking on an email containing malware, the chances of them realizing their error quickly and contacting IT support staff greatly increases. By taking this step right away, the amount of damage done is generally less compared to what it might have been had they waited to call.
 
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Topics: Staff Training, Security Threats

Does your Omaha business need a firewall?

Vee Figueroa
Do you lock your front door?

I assume your answer is yes. Just as you lock your front door to keep intruders out and your valuables in, you should do the same to keep your company’s data secure. Your company’s version of a deadbolt is called a firewall and it is one of the best ways to keep your data safe.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a security system that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and controls. It permits or blocks traffic based on predetermined security rules.
Firewalls come in various levels of sophistication. A simple and inexpensive firewall will include basic intrusion protection, however may not be adequate for a corporate office, education system, or health care provider. The level of protection may need to be great for these organizations. A very basic firewall that you would purchase for your home device is not the same security you would want for your business. Additionally, a firewall can be a hardware device, a software program, or a combination of the two. 
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Topics: Security Threats

Why criminals target small businesses

Brooke Nielsen
As a small to midsize business (SMB), cybercriminals would never take interest in our organization, right? – Wrong!

In recent years, smaller businesses have become the focal point of hackers interests. In fact, just last year it was reported that 43% of worldwide cyber attacks were against small businesses with less than 250 employees. These attacks usually involve hack attacks, ransomware, denial of service attack, or CEO fraud.

With fewer day-to-day operations and smaller pay offs than larger corporations, why would these bullies waste their time attacking here? Many cyber criminals are centering their attacks based on a business’s valuable data, not necessarily the size or amount of profits the company has. They also look at larger enterprises as being better defended, thus harder to hack. In short, they target SMBs because they are easy, more attractive targets.

Let’s review 5 reasons why criminals are attracted to attacking small to midsize businesses.
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Topics: Security Threats, Data Breach

Dark Web, Deep Web -- What's the difference?

Vee Figueroa
So how many of you watched the series CSI: Cyber before it was cancelled? Like many other detective dramas, they often talked about the “DARK WEB” (dramatic music playing in background). Sounds scary, right?? Then they throw in the term “Deep Web” to really confuse us. Although I have begun to grasp the idea of what the Dark Web is, there is still a bit of mystery to it. What I do know is that when my data was stolen from a large insurance firm I was told that my personal information was being sold on the Dark Web—not a place I want to go shopping!
 
I recently ran across an article written by the Microsoft in Business Team that explains the different layers of the World Wide Web that I found very interesting and informative. It not only explains the difference between the layers, but also explains the importance of good security so that your personal data does not end up on the Dark Web.
 
Article Link: Journey Through the World Wide Web
 
If you have any questions as to how to implement the recommendations or would like to discuss any vulnerabilities you may have, please give us a call at 402.398.9580. We would be happy to assist you!
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Topics: Staff Training, Security Threats

Payment card security for small businesses

Wynn Obermeyer

The recognized industry standard for payment card security, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), recently launched a new set of payment protection resources for small businesses which is appropriately called PCI Payment Protection Resources for Small Merchants. This is a timely launch, considering that small businesses around the world are increasingly at risk for payment data theft — and nearly half of cyberattacks worldwide in 2015 were against small businesses with fewer than 250 workers.

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Topics: Security Threats, PCI

Protect yourself from ransomware (crypto) and other threats

Travis Gordon
The data thieves are preying on us and ransomware is a predominant threat. Following the simple guidelines below, at work and at home, will go a long way to protect your data.

Before we start in though, what is ransomware? It is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Be suspicious
The best way to avoid viruses is to be aware that most infections occur through social engineering. This means an attacker relies on a person, and involves tricking that person into breaking normal security procedures.
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Topics: Security Threats