By -- 2024-07-15 in Blog

Have you received any random texts from Apple recently? Careful – it may be a cyber criminal preying on your information.

In a recent alert, security software company Symantec has warned of a new cyberattack targeting iPhone users in the U.S., aiming to steal their Apple IDs through a “phishing” campaign. This attack involves cybercriminals sending illegitimate text messages that appear to be from Apple, tricking recipients into revealing their personal credentials.

What is Smishing?

Smishing is a type of cyber-attack where criminals pose as reputable organizations to deceive individuals into sharing sensitive information, such as account passwords and credit card details.

The Phishing Tactics

The text messages, disguised as communications from Apple, prompt recipients to click on a link and sign in to their iCloud accounts.

An example of such a message might read: “Apple important request iCloud: Visit signin[.]authen-connexion[.]info/icloud to continue using your services.”

To add legitimacy, victims may be asked to complete a CAPTCHA challenge before being redirected to a fake iCloud login page.

How to Protect Yourself

  1. Verify the Source: Just because a sender claims to be a legitimate source, does not mean they are. Avoid clicking on links; instead, go directly to the login page via your browser.
  2. Multi-Factor Authentication: Use MFA for your Apple Id for an extra layer of safety.
  3. Recognize Scams: Apple support representatives will never send users a link to a website asking for passwords, device passcodes, or two-factor authentication codes. If someone claiming to be from Apple asks for such information, it’s fake.
  4. Regularly update the security on all of your devices.

Always be wary of new cyber threats and continue to stay vigilant. For more cybersecurity tips and tricks, sign up for our monthly newsletter here.

By -- 2024-07-10 in Blog

Microsoft Teams has become a central hub for many organizations, especially in the era of remote/hybrid work. With the introduction of Microsoft Copilot, an AI powered assistant integrated into Microsoft 365 applications, Teams users can now leverage artificial intelligence to streamline tasks, enhance productivity, and improve overall workflow.

 Accessing Copilot

Once Copilot is enabled, you can access it directly within Teams. Here’s how:

1. Open Teams: Launch Microsoft Teams on your desktop or mobile device.

2. Navigate to Chat or Teams: You can use Copilot in both chat and team channels.

3. Start Typing: Begin typing a message or command, and Copilot will automatically provide suggestions and assistance. You can use Copilot Lab for prompt ideas and tutorials.

Key Features of Microsoft Copilot in Teams

  1. Message Drafting and Suggestions

One of the most useful features of Copilot is its ability to help draft messages. As you type, Copilot will offer suggestions to complete sentences, correct grammar, and enhance clarity.

  • Meeting Summaries

Copilot can generate summaries of your meetings, capturing key points and action items. After a meeting, you can ask Copilot to summarize the discussion and key points.

  • Task Automation

You can use Copilot to instantly prompt tasks during/after a meeting. For instance, you can ask Copilot to schedule a meeting, set reminders, or create a to-do list based on your conversations.

  • Contextual Assistance

Copilot understands the context of your conversations, making its suggestions more relevant. For example, if you’re discussing a project deadline, Copilot might suggest setting up a follow-up meeting or creating a task to track progress.

To watch the full Mastering Microsoft 365 for Copilot webinar, click here.

By -- 2024-07-2 in Blog

Is your organization fully equipped to handle the devastating fallout of a ransomware attack? As we recognize Ransomware Awareness Month, it’s crucial for businesses to bolster their defenses through comprehensive security awareness training.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or data, usually by encrypting it, until a significant ransom is paid. Ransomware can spread through phishing emails, malicious websites, or infected software downloads.

While there are many things you can do to protect yourself, the number one tool is Security Awareness Training. But why is it important?

The Importance of Security Awareness Training

Security awareness training is a proactive measure to educate employees about the risks and best practices for preventing ransomware attacks. Here’s why it’s essential:

1. Human Error Reduction: Many ransomware attacks exploit human vulnerabilities. Training helps employees recognize phishing attempts and avoid risky behaviors.

2. Enhanced Vigilance: Educated employees are more likely to notice and report suspicious activities, allowing for quicker response and mitigation.

3. Policy Adherence: Training reinforces the importance of following company policies and procedures related to cybersecurity.

4. Culture of Security: Regular training fosters a culture of security, making cybersecurity a shared responsibility across the organization.

Conclusion

Celebrate Ransomware Awareness Month by investing in comprehensive security awareness training and fortifying your defenses against cyber threats. Remember, the strength of your security posture is only as strong as the knowledge and caution of your employees.  

By -- 2024-06-25 in Blog

Do you currently use Kaspersky security software? If you live in the United States, you won’t be able to much longer. As of Thursday, the US Department of Commerce announced a ban on Kaspersky software and all security products.

Why the Ban?

The Bureau of Industry (BIS) found that Kaspersky:

– Is under Russian government influence.

– Puts sensitive US customer data at risk

– Can install malicious software and withhold updates.

– Could potentially be manipulated for espionage, data theft, and system malfunctions.

Historical Context

In 2017, the US banned Kaspersky from government use. This new update extends the ban to ALL consumers and businesses.

Key Dates and Restrictions

– From July 20: Kaspersky and its affiliates are banned from selling or licensing their software in the US.

– By September 29: Resellers must stop selling Kaspersky products, and third-party developers can’t integrate Kaspersky software.

What This Means for Users

Current Kaspersky users should seek alternatives before September 29. After September 29th updates and support will stop, leaving users vulnerable to new risks.

Kaspersky’s Response

Kaspersky denies posing any security threats and criticizes the BIS’s investigation as influenced by geopolitical tensions rather than the merit of the product itself.

Moving Forward

Kaspersky users in the US need to find alternative cybersecurity solutions to ensure continued protection. Exploring expert-reviewed VPN services and other cybersecurity tools is recommended.

To receive a free technology consultation to discover what cybersecurity defense system makes sense for your organization, email sales@optfinITy.com or call 703-790-0400.

By -- 2024-06-24 in Blog

As we enter the beginning of Summer, many of us are highly anticipating the start of pool days, campfires, and of course, taking time off for much needed vacations. While summer vacation is meant to be a time to throw all your troubles away, protecting your personal data and information should still be a priority.

In this blog, we’re going to be covering simple precautions you can take to remain cybersafe while traveling this Summer:

  1. Update Your Devices: Software and security patches include critical security fixes on the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Ensure all devices are up to date before leaving.  
  2. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Using Airport or public Wi-Fi may be tempting for convenience; cybercriminals can hijack these networks to steal your personal information. Instead, use a personal hotspot or VPN if you’re on the go to keep your devices more secure.
  3. Backup Your Data: Be prepared for all travel nightmares, including device theft or loss. Backup your data on a cloud storage service prior to leaving to make sure you’re prepared for any scenario.
  4. Review Your Account Activity: Review your financial accounts for any unusual activity or charges throughout the duration of the trip.
  5. Secure Your Devices: In the case you lose access to your device, make sure you have strong passwords as an added layer of security. In the case you have an Apple device, consider setting up tracking to locate your item in case it gets lost. An additional option is to attach an Airtag to any valuable item you bring to always keep track.

We hope you have a relaxing and cyber safe trip! For more technology tips and tricks, sign up for our monthly newsletter here.

By -- 2024-06-18 in Blog

Microsoft Copilot for 365 is a tool that has the potential to revolutionize the way your team works by enhancing productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. In this blog post, we’ll discuss simple and cost effective strategies for training your team on Microsoft Copilot for 365.

Effective Training Resources

To train your team effectively, it’s essential to leverage a variety of resources:

1. Official Microsoft Documentation and Tutorials

 Microsoft offers a wealth of documentation and tutorials on their official website. These resources are comprehensive and regularly updated to reflect the latest features and best practices.

2. Microsoft Learn

 Microsoft Learn provides a structured learning path with modules and learning tracks tailored to different roles and skill levels. It’s a great way to ensure that your team members are getting targeted training based on their specific needs.

3. YouTube Tutorials

YouTube Tutorials are a free and easily accessible resource for Copilot beginners. Simply search through the array of free online introductory tutorials from experts in the technology field.

4. Online Courses and Webinars

There are numerous online platforms offering courses on Microsoft Copilot for 365. Websites like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera have a variety of courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels.

For an introduction to Microsoft Copilot for 365 with live demonstrations, register for our upcoming webinar here.

By -- 2024-06-14 in Blog

Concept of cyber crime and cyber security. Hand using laptop and show malware screen with phishing email, hack password and personal data. hackers, Virus Trojans, Encryption Spyware or Malware.

As technology advances, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. Here are some AI-assisted cyber-attacks that you should be aware of:

AI-Enhanced Phishing Emails/Messages

Cybercriminals now use AI to craft emails and messages that closely mimic those from seemingly legitimate sources. Malicious messages trick recipients into revealing sensitive information, making them much harder to detect and more dangerous.

AI Voice Phishing

Also known as “vishing,” AI voice phishing involves using AI-generated voice calls to imitate known contacts convincingly.

AI-Enhanced Malware Development

By altering its code with each execution, AI-enhanced malware can bypass security defenses and launch insidious attacks on networks.

Why Are Businesses Still Ignoring Cyber Security?

Despite the growing popularity of AI, many businesses continue to underestimate the importance of cybersecurity. However, this short-sighted approach fails to consider that the cost of recovering from a cyber-attack far exceeds the initial investment in robust cybersecurity.

The Importance of Proactive Cybersecurity

Organizations must recognize the critical importance of cybersecurity. Implementing strong defenses, training staff, and continuously monitoring for threats are essential steps in safeguarding against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber-attacks.

By -- 2024-06-6 in Blog

Fishing and phishing might sound alike, but while one is a relaxing pastime – the other is a malicious cybercrime where attackers bait victims into handing over sensitive information through bogus emails and websites.

In honor of National Fishing Week, we will be covering what phishing is, its impact, and how you can protect your network.

Impact of Phishing

Phishing can lead to identity theft, financial loss, cybersecurity breaches, and reputational damage for individuals and businesses.

Preventing and Identifying Phishing Attacks

1. Know the red flags: Look for poor grammar, misspellings, and urgent requests. Verify URLs and avoid clicking on suspicious links.

2. Protect Personal Information: Never share sensitive data through email or phone. Use complex, regularly updated passwords.

3. Enhance Online Security: Use updated antivirus software, firewalls, and anti-phishing tools. Be cautious with public Wi-Fi.

4. Education and Training: Learn about common phishing tactics and mandate employee training to recognize and report suspicious activity.

Conclusion

Understanding phishing tactics and maintaining vigilant cybersecurity practices can protect your personal information and prevent falling victim to these scams. Stay informed, stay cautious, and don’t fall for the bait.

By -- 2024-06-5 in Blog

Many of us spend hours in our inbox daily, making email management skills critical for staying on top of tasks and remaining productive during the day. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your inbox, Rules and Quick steps are a fantastic way to automate and streamline email organization.

What are Rules in Outlook?

Outlook Rules allow you to automatically organize your inbox based on predetermined criteria.  Automatically delete, move, and archive emails based on the sender, subject line, keyword, and more.

How to Use Rules in Outlook

To establish a new rule, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Rules dropdown in the upper menu
  2. Select Manage Rules
  3. Name your Rule and select the condition and action you wish the rule to perform
  4. Select Save

You can delete and edit your Rules at anytime by returning to the Manage Rules window.

What are Quick steps in Outlook?

Quick steps are like rules but are manually applied instead of automatic. Quick steps shave off time in your inbox by bundling multiple actions at the same time, allowing you to customize complex actions into one click.

How to Use Quick steps in Outlook

  1. Navigate to Quick steps in the upper menu
  2. Select + New Quick Step
  3. Name the Quick step and choose an action and condition
  4. Select a Keyboard Shortcut
  5. Click Save

To delete or edit Quick steps click the Quick steps drop down and select Manage quick steps.

Conclusion

A clean and organized inbox is a productive one. Stay ahead of spam and trash and prioritize important emails seamlessly with quick steps and rules.

To download the full Mastering Outlook 101 webinar, click here.

By -- 2024-05-14 in Blog

Making it into your prospect’s inbox is already an obstacle – the last thing any organization wants is a phishing or spoof attack dooming your email to the spam folder. One of the powerful tools in the arsenal against such threats is DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into what DKIM is, how it works, and why it’s essential for ensuring the integrity of your email communication.

What is DKIM?

DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is an email authentication method designed to detect email spoofing and forging of sender addresses in email messages by adding a digital signature.

Why is DKIM Important?

  1. Protection Against Spoofing: DKIM adds a digital signature to outgoing emails to prevent bad actors from impersonating your domain.
  2. Improved Email Deliverability: Email providers use DKIM to ensure emails deliver to the recipient’s inbox, instead of getting lost in the spam folder.
  3. Brand Reputation: DKIM protects the reputation of your organization. One spoofing attack can permanently damage the trust of your contact list.

Next Steps

If email deliverability or security is a pain point for your organization, schedule your free consultation today. One of our experts will assess what practices you can implement today to make it into more inboxes and protect your reputation.

Schedule your free network consultation at sales@optfinity.com or 703-790-0400.