Having a solid IT infrastructure is the absolute bare minimum if you want your organization to grow and prosper in the 21st century. With the technology age in full swing, organizations that don’t adapt and implement the latest technologies will be left in the dust. A recent entrepreneur.com article lists a few areas that business owners should focus on to ensure present and future success.
- Don’t just move to the cloud. Adopt the cloud- The cloud itself is not going to transform your business. You need to take advantage of its functionalities to make your organization operate more efficiently.
- Constantly upgrade your networks and move to software-based networking- Network upgrades are necessary to eliminate vulnerabilities and optimize proficiency. However, if your network updates require downtime and changes in hardware, you are quickly falling behind. Many organizations have already switched over to software-based networking which allows for small updates to be sent regularly without disrupting users and in turn eliminating downtime.
- Know your software and don’t let it become outdated- Software is the backbone of a company’s IT structure and can be used to run its networking systems. Through analytics and machine learning, certain types of software now are able to adapt the system in real time, essentially maintaining themselves virtually.
The window is rapidly closing for companies to jump on board of the technology train. If your organization hasn’t already began looking into or adapting the aforementioned practices, or if you have any questions regarding your IT infrastructure, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 703-790-0400 or shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Elaborate phishing scams are already a massive problem that continue to cost organizations thousands of dollars as a result of employees clicking on malicious links or sending money to someone claiming to be their boss. Thanks to technological advances in AI, there is a new threat to look out for, vishing (voice phishing), that allows criminals to mimic the voices of employee supervisors and demand large transfers of money from employees, passwords, or other critical information. A recent thenextweb.com article discussed a situation in which $243,000 was transferred to cybercriminals from a CEO thinking he was speaking with his boss who worked at a parent company.
Back in March, a CEO of a UK-based energy firm received a call from whom he believed to be his boss at a German parent company requesting a prompt wiring of $243,000 to a Hungarian supplier. The cybercriminals had used voice-generating AI software to mimic the German accent of the British CEO’s boss, which lead the unsuspecting chief executive to proceed to wire the money. It was only after a second request to wire more money that the executive became suspicious, refused, and alerted authorities.
This isn’t the last time this will happen. With the improvement of voice mimicking software comes more opportunities for criminals to exploit their capabilities. If you have any questions or concerns related to cybersecurity, vishing, or phishing, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 571-370-5777 or visit our cybersecurity division’s website at www.perusity.com.
OptfinITy, the DC area’s leading IT provider for small businesses and non-profit associations announced today that the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce has named OptfinITy as a 2019 Best in Business Finalist. This annual event recognizes companies who set themselves apart as leaders in the area.
OptfinITy believes there is more to running a business than simply providing services, which is why they frequently sponsor local networking events, volunteer to speak at business growth workshops and cybersecurity seminars, and sponsor events honoring local police, firefighters, and first responders. “We’re honored to be selected as a finalist for the Best in Business Awards and to be among other local organizations who work to enrich our community by taking initiative to improve the lives of not only our clients, but everyone in the community, outside the confines of the office and workday,” says Michael Drobnis, Founder & CEO of OptfinITy.
This year, the Best in Business Awards will be held on Wednesday, October 2nd, from 6:00PM – 9:00PM at The Westin Alexandria which is located at 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314. We hope to see everyone there!
The Washington DC Metropolitan area’s leading managed IT service provider’s President and CEO will be presenting a cybersecurity presentation at this year’s Fairfax County Small Business Forum. The presentation will be from 10AM-10:50AM and will cover a variety of topics ranging from how to spot a phishing email to how to secure your organization and the many network and system vulnerabilities that exist.
Cyber threats have a high potential of putting small businesses out of business due to their expensive recovery costs. “As you may have heard in the news, cyber threats are on the rise and it is therefore extremely crucial for small businesses to have top-notch cybersecurity plans,” said CEO Michael Drobnis. As an owner of an IT firm with over 20 years of experience working with small businesses to implement effective cybersecurity programs, attendees will walk out with the knowledge necessary to help them take extra precautions to protect their organization.
About the Small Business Forum:
The Small Business Forum offers small business owners opportunities to network, seek coaching and “find out what is available in our business ecosystem” by engaging with fellow business people, Fairfax County agencies, federal agencies, larger corporations who seek subcontractors, and business services exhibitors all under one roof for five hours. Some of the past successes include several small businesses securing contracts during the forum, as well as numerous long-standing business relationships initiated during sessions.
We hope to see you there!
When a natural disaster or great tragedy occurs such as a massive hurricane or the Boston bombing, your immediate reaction may be to want to help those who are suffering during these circumstances by sending monetary donations. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know this and take advantage of people’s good will through phishing scams and the creation of fraudulent websites that ask for monetary relief. To best protect your technology from being exposed to malware, here are a few guidelines to follow in the wake of a disaster:
- Highly question any individual plea for financial assistance. This includes solicitations on social media, direct emails and crowd funding websites. Even if it appears to come from a trusted source, always double check with the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information website or National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website for guidance.
- Beware of emails containing links that claim to lead to a website with “more information” or photos. Although the photos and information may be relevant, it is extremely important to double check if it is a trusted website before clicking on the link.
- A good way to check to see if a website is legitimate is to scroll over the URL. If the URL says something different than where you are trying to go, you know it’s a fraudulent website. For example, you may receive an email that says donate here for hurricane disaster relief efforts at www.madeupdomain.org, but when you scroll over the hyperlink it would say www.madeupdomain.com.
- Never even open a spam email, let alone click on the attachments or links inside, and never reply to an email with or give any personal information to a website that you are not 100% positive is legitimate.
You should always be following safe email practices, but in the wake of disastrous events it is especially important to be on the lookout for phishing and malware schemes since they routinely spike under these circumstances. Once your technology is compromised, it is expensive to fix, so don’t put yourself in that position. If you have any questions about how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a malware or phishing attack, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at OptfinITy at 703-790-0400 or visit us on our website at www.optfinity.com.
In the current technology age, every organization relies on a secure network to ensure efficient daily operations ranging from lead generation and sales to internal functions such as HR and accounting. That being said, if your network is infiltrated with malware, it isn’t just a problem for the IT department; it affects the entire organization and can cost them thousands of dollars. A recent entrepreneur.com article provides some suggestions on how to maintain a secure, malware-free network.
- Protect all your access points with strong, complex passwords. If you’re worried about forgetting them, check out our previous blog that provides an easy trick, or use a password manager such as LastPass.
- Ensure that all your software and systems are up to date. Cybercriminals are coming up with new ways to infiltrate systems and developing new viruses every day, so if you’re not constantly updating your systems and software, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable.
- Limit the amount of file sharing enabled devices and relegate all file sharing to one server. This allows for easy monitoring for unauthorized access and limits the number of targets for a breach.
- If your organization doesn’t already use private IP addresses, you should consider doing so. Having specifically assigned IP addresses for devices makes it easier to identify unauthorized network access by checking router logs.
While these suggestions are all great ways to prevent malware from infiltrating your organization, you should still constantly back up your data. That way, in the event of malware getting past all your defenses, you won’t lose everything in a breach, or be forced to pay in the event of a ransomware attack. If you have any questions or concerns about the security of your organization or how to stay malware-free, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 571-370-5777 or visit our cybersecurity division’s website at www.perusity.com.
The Fairfax County Small Business Commission, which assists in the development of small, minority and women-owned businesses, holds monthly meetings on the fourth Monday of every month that focuses on an array of topics. OptfinITy President and CEO Michael Drobnis was this month’s featured speaker and delivered a presentation on the cyber threats that face small businesses and organizations.
As the DC Metropolitan area’s leading managed IT services provider specializing in small to medium sized organizations for the past 20 years, Mr. Drobnis has been working with his clients to keep their organization’s safe from cyber threats and has prepared a plethora of useful tips on keeping your business safe and secure.
If you were unable to attend the presentation but still have concerns about your organization’s cybersecurity, please still feel free to give us a call at 703-790-0400, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.optfinity.com, or our new cybersecurity division’s website at www.perusity.com.
Predictably, there have been reports of fake Equifax settlement websites in the wake of Equifax announcing their settlement. In order to prevent having your data stolen or your computer infiltrated with malware, it would be wise to take the following precautions:
- Double-check the website address and the URL. The correct starting point recommended by the FTC is https://ftc.gov/Equifax. While checking the URL, be on the lookout for any typos or other minor discrepancies. The following URL should be the one you see for the web page mentioned above. https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/equifax-data-breach-settlement. If you were to type in Equifax settlement in Google and a similar URL came up with a misspelled word or missing punctuation such as “gov.enforcement” instead of “gov/enforcement” you should NOT use that website to file your claim.
- Beware of phishing emails or phone calls from criminals claiming to be Equifax or government officials asking you for personal information or payments. It is free to file and process your Equifax settlement claim, so if someone is asking for a payment, it’s illegitimate.
If you have any questions or concerns about fake websites or phishing email scams, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 703-790-0400 or visit either of our websites at www.optfinity.com or www.perusity.com.
If you were one of the 147 million people affected by the Equifax data breach that occurred back in 2017, now is the time to file your claim to receive compensation according to a recent CNET article. If you aren’t sure whether or not you were affected by the breach, you can go to the FTC and official settlement site and use their online tool.
Everyone has until January 22, 2020 to file their claim and receive up to $125 for credit monitoring fees, and up to $20,000 to compensate for money spent to recover from the breach. As the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan area’s leading MSP and Cybersecurity expert, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 703-790-0400 if you have any questions or concerns about cybercriminal activity that may be threatening your organization.
NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE LEGITIMATE WEBSITE. There have been many fraudulent websites created in the wake of the announcement of the Equifax settlement.
There are many precautions that you’ve probably already read about that employees can take to prevent putting their organization at risk of a breach. Precautions such as not clicking on phishing emails or suspicious links, or using weak passwords are frequent topics of discussion in the world of cybersecurity. One topic, however, that doesn’t appear to be get enough attention, is employees’ careless use of social media while at work and the company information they could be handing to cybercriminals on a silver platter. A recent fastcompany.com article discusses how to be more cognizant of your social media activity while sharing work related posts.
The culprits who expose company information on social media tend to be the younger generation who grew up with social media as a part of their everyday lives. They are accustomed to posting pictures, videos, and other updates of their personal life on the social media for everyone to see. Since a new job or internship is usually a big life event for someone, people will often post a picture of themselves with their new coworkers either inside their office or while wearing their badges, or both, with a hashtag such as #newjob. This makes it very easy for cybercriminals to search a hashtag and immediately gain access to confidential information such as badge numbers or even company plans written out on whiteboards in the background. Employees also give criminals access by way of video; for instance, when they record their entire workday and upload it as their Instagram story. Finally, posting complaints on public websites gives cybercriminals great phishing email content. For example, if everyone is complaining about company benefits, a criminal would craft an email announcing a new companywide benefit package with an attachment titled “Description of Benefits,” and more than likely get someone to click, giving the hacker access to the network.
The best way to prevent criminals from accessing company information is through awareness and training. OptfinITy and PerusITy both offer extremely effective cybersecurity training and awareness programs. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, give us a call at 571-370-5777 (PerusITy) or 703-790-0400 (OptfinITy), or visit our websites at www.perusity.com or www.optfinity.com respectively.