July 2013

July 2013

5 Steps To Protect Your Business From Cyber Crime

A Seattle company was recently broken into and a stash of old laptops was stolen. Just a typical everyday crime by typical everyday thieves. These laptops weren’t even being used by anyone in the company. The crime turned out to be anything but ordinary when those same thieves (cyber-criminals) used data from the laptops to obtain information and siphon money out of the company via fraudulent payroll transactions. On top of stealing money, they also managed to steal employee identities.

Another small company was hacked by another “company” that shared the same high-rise office building with them. Management only became aware of the theft once they started seeing unusual financial transactions in their bank accounts. Even then, they didn’t know if there was internal embezzlement or external cybertheft. It turned out to be cybertheft. The thief in this case drove a Mercedes and wore a Rolex watch… and looked like anyone else walking in and out of their building. Welcome to the age of cybercrime.

You Are Their Favorite Target

One of the biggest issues facing small businesses in the fight against cybercrime is the lack of a cyber-security plan. While 83% lack a formal plan, over 69% lack even an informal one. Half of small business owners believe that cybercrime will never affect them. In fact, small businesses are a cybercriminal’s favorite target! Why? Small businesses are not prepared and they make it easier on criminals.

The result? Cyber-attacks cost SMBs an average of $188,242 each incident and nearly two-thirds of the businesses affected are out of business within 6 months (2011 Symantec/NCSA Study). A separate study by Verizon showed that over 80% of small business cybercrime victims were due to insufficient network security (wireless and password issues ranked highest). With insecure networks and no formal plan to combat them, we make it easy on the criminals.

How They Attack

The #1 money-generating technique these “bad guys” use is to infect your systems with malware so that whenever you (or your employees) visit a web site and enter a password (Facebook, bank, payroll, etc.) the malware programs harvest that data and send it off to the bad guys to do their evil stuff.

They can get to you through physical office break-ins, “wardriving” (compromising defenseless wireless networks) or e-mail phishing scams and harmful web sites. Cyber-criminals are relentless in their efforts, and no one is immune to their tricks.

5 Steps To Protect Your Business

  • Get Educated. Find out the risks and educate your staff.
  • Do A Threat Assessment. Examine your firewall, anti-virus protection and anything connected to your network. What data is sensitive or subject to data-breach laws?
  • Create A Cyber-Security Action Plan. Your plan should include both education and a “fire drill.”
  • Monitor Consistently. Security is never a one-time activity. Monitoring 24/7 is critical.
  • Re-Assess Regularly. New threats emerge all the time and are always changing. You can only win by staying ahead!

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Dallas/Fort Worth Business Owners Make With Their
Computer Network That Cost Them Time, Money And Aggravation

Want to avoid the most common and expensive computer problems that most Dallas/Fort Worth business owners experience? Then read on! We’ve compiled a list of 3 things you should be doing to save yourself a lot of time and money by avoiding a big, ugly computer disaster.

  1. Have an automated off-site backup system in place. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Having an off-site backup of your data will be the equivalent of wearing a seatbelt in a major accident. You don’t think much about it until you need it, and then you will thank your lucky stars you had it in place.
  2. Centralize your data on your server. At one time, servers only made sense for large organizations because of their high cost and complexity

    But today, there are very affordable and easy-to-implement server systems designed specifically for any size small business. Depending on your business needs, your server can be in your office or hosted in the cloud. A server will not only speed up your network, but it will also make backups easier, allow secure remote access (allowing you and your employees to work from home or on the road) and make it much easier to share documents, databases and printers.

  3. Keep your anti-virus software up to date, and perform weekly spyware scans. Almost everyone understands the importance of anti-virus software, but many businesses still do not perform weekly spyware sweeps. Spyware can cause a host of problems, including slowing down your systems, pop-up ads and even identity theft.

Want An Easy Way To Make Sure You Aren’t Making These 3 Mistakes (Or Others) In Your Business? With our managed service program, we take full responsibility for managing your computer network! This service is guaranteed to eliminate expensive, frustrating computer problems and give you the peace of mind that your data is safe and secure.

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: The 30-Day Lantern

It’s summer time and that means more outdoor activities. This 30-Day Lantern is the perfect companion for your cookouts and camping trips. Not to mention, it’s a handy gadget to keep in your vehicle or garage for those emergency situations when power is down.

This lantern provides up to 30 days of reliable light on one set of batteries. The lantern generates up to 300 lumens of bright, white light that can be seen from up to 75 1/2′ away. Made from impact-resistant ABS with rubberized encasements, the lantern is shock- and water-resistant. The device has a green LED that flashes when the device is off for easy location in blackouts, and a built-in hook allows the lantern to be hung upside down. It has three light output levels and a flashing mode (provides 32 hours of light on high).

Get your lantern at www.hammacher.com

Get to Know Brett Lemoine

Brett was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where his parents and older brother still reside. He attended and graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering. During his time at LSU, Brett was the Microsoft Student Partner updating students on the latest Microsoft products by hosting a Windows 7 launch party and Xbox game nights. Now as a Systems Administrator Associate, Brett puts his passion for technology into gear to help our clients solve technical issues to keep their company’s system on track. A few fun facts about Brett; Favorite Drink: Vanilla Diet Coke, Favorite Snack: Cheez-Its, and Favorite Movie: The Lion King.

There Is No Success Without Ex’s

I was invited to speak at FedEx World Headquarters where I delivered two programs. I also had the wonderful opportunity to take a tour of their Memphis Hub Operations and see how they are able to process over 600,000 packages per night while it was actually happening. It was an amazing sight to behold. I wanted to talk to them on a personal level so they could advance their own careers while at the same time helping their company. I also wanted to create something special for those who attended my sessions that would be memorable and have a direct correlation with FedEx. Then it hit me … the “Ex” in their corporate name… stands for so much more than “Express.” Just as FedEx has added, evolved, changed, tweaked and greatly improved on everything they do, I told my audience they too needed to do the same. I then gave them a list of “Ex‘s” to follow that would ensure not only their success in business but also in life. I told them they needed to ask themselves:

Do I Excel at my job
Do I always give Extra
Do I avoid making Excuses
Do I Exert maximum effort
Do I set the right Examples
Do I Exceed what is required
Do I Exhibit the best judgment
Do I always strive for Excellence
Do I Exhaust all possible solutions
Do I always Extend a helping hand
Do I Exemplify the best standards
Do I strive to be Exceptional at my job
Do I trong>Experiment at new ways to do things
Do I Execute according to proper procedures
Do my peers considered me an Expert at what I do
Do I Examine all mistakes to fully understand their cause

Regardless what company, association, or organization you work for, if you follow this list of “Ex‘s“, everyone will want you. You will be known as the person they can always count on because you always deliver … you will be Exceptional.

To establish and maintain a position of supremacy in anything you do requires that you start incorporating the “Ex‘s” in all aspects of your life and business. It’s your choice … you can either do it or you will simply be “Excluded” from that list of people who succeed in life, and that is the one “Ex” I surely want to stay away from. So remember… Let the Ex’s mark your path on your journey towards success.

The Lighter Side: Useless Summer Fun Facts

  • The Eiffel Tower can grow by more than 6 inches in summer due to the expansion of the iron on hot days.
  • July is the month where most ice cream is sold in the US. Americans eat about 5.5 gallons of ice cream per year on average.
  • Popsicles were invented by accident in 1905 by 11 year old Frank Epperson. He mixed soda and water and left the mixture out overnight with the stirring stick still in it. Since the temperature was low, the mixture froze.
  • Watermelon is not a fruit, but a vegetable.
  • Many people enjoy throwing Frisbees in summer, but they were originally designed as pie plates in the 1870s. Students started throwing them in the 1940s.