How SaaS Can Save Your Business Money

 When you see the acronym SaaS you may not immediately think of dollar signs, though the S's are pretty close. Yet Software as a Service, what SaaS stands for, can save business money. What is SaaS? For SaaS to save you money, you need to understand what this solution involves. Think back to a few years ago: installing software from discs was ...
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How to Spot Email Spoofing

 The number of emails we get daily can be overwhelming. We could be excused for not looking at them all closely – well, almost. Except that not taking care to review emails for signs of spoofing could be a real risk to your business. Learn about email spoofing and how to avoid it in this article. How to Spot Email Spoofing First, what is email...
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What Not to Do on a Work Computer

Working from home has its advantages but can also blur the line between professional and personal time. Plus, employees may grow more relaxed about what they do on their work computer while remote. This article shares things employees should avoid doing on work computers, whether remote or in the office. What to avoid doing when working remotely Lo...
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What You Need to Know about Security Testing

You want to keep your IT in top shape. Your business technology supports both your productivity and profitability. You don't want to be dealing with downtime. You also want to avoid running afoul of any industry regulations or standards. But how does a business gauge IT fitness? That's where IT audits, security assessments and penetration testing c...
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The Devil You Know: Insider Threats to Business Cybersecurity

Insider Threat Risk is on the Rise: Detect and Prevent The frequency of insider threat incidents is on the rise. Between 2018 and 2020, they spiked by 47%, according to the Ponemon Institute. Our latest ebook — The Devil You Know: Insider Threats to Business Cyber Security — shares essential information you need to detect and prevent insider threat...
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Everyone Plays a Role in Cybersecurity

Hollywood would have us believe that cyberattacks are elaborately planned and use expensive, sophisticated tools developed by James Bond's tech guru, Q. Yet in real life, most hacks are nothing like that. Cybercriminals often simply fool a human to gain access. Phishing remains a primary way to attack. A scammer sends an email that looks legitimate...
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Quick Tip No. 63

 The more people who have access to sensitive data, the more potential routes there are for the wrong people to get access to it.
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What to Do If You’re a Ransomware Victim

You'll know if you're a victim of ransomware. Often you're met with a red screen telling you your business files are encrypted. You won't be able to do anything on the computer, although the cybercriminals will provide helpful instructions for how to pay up. How nice. Here's what to do instead if you're the victim of a ransomware attack. Cybersecur...
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Microsoft 365 Streamlines Business and Reduces Spend

 

 

When doing business online, you have many options for available software and systems. You might turn to one solution to handle online meetings, another to drive collaboration, and yet another to manage your content and workflow. It can get confusing. Plus, when you are duplicating tools, IT spend can mushroom unnecessarily. Microsoft 365 aims to offer a single, all-in-one solution. This article highlights the benefits of streamlining your software needs.


 

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Is Your Instagram Account Secure?

 

 

Why would someone want to target your Instagram account? You share what you ate, maybe the books you read, the shoes you bought, or that really cool image of the sky above. How is that going to help a hacker? Read on to learn more.


 

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It’s Who You Know: Verifying Identity at Law Firms

Trusting identity is foundational to a law firm’s work. In a law office, the documents going back and forth contain sensitive information, and contracts, negotiations, or transactions can't be shared with the wrong parties. The industry needs to be cautious about validating identities.

Legal service providers need to achieve compliance and protect clients and their assets. Techniques are changing as lawyers move from in-person conferences to digital document exchange. This article examines four digital-age areas in which lawyers need to validate identity.

#1 Phishing Scams

Phishing is always a risk, no matter the industry. Paralegals, associates, and lawyers risk inadvertently clicking on malware, especially as this field relies heavily on attached documents going back and forth.

A cybercriminal criminal might steal money copying a vendor’s invoices. Everything looks the same, but payment details put the dollars in the crook's bank account. Or they will send an “urgent” message containing a link that goes to a Web page that looks credible. It might seem to be from a bank or the government, but one character in the URL is different. Those who don’t notice the difference will enter sensitive account details into a form that goes to the bad guy.

Verification tip: Firm-wide filters can check for malicious attachments before they reach people. Educate employees about always verifying the URL before clicking on a link. Hovering over the highlighted text will show the address where a click will take the user.

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Less Common Cyberattacks for Accountants


Check the news any given day and you might see a report about hackers accomplishing a data breach, or of a ransomware attack encrypting all company data until it pays up. These are the well-known types of cyberattack, but there are less common cyberthreats accountants should be aware of, as well.







There is almost a malware malaise now. You’ve heard so much about the threat of a virus invading your networks or systems. Someone clicks on a perfectly innocent looking email, and the result is computing chaos? It’s not fair!




You also know to put a firewall around your technology; it’s as if you’re in a military movie. You have to “protect the perimeter.” Ensure no one can breach your cyber protections to secure personal data and intellectual property.




Still, a watchful eye for phishing emails and social engineering attempts isn’t enough. Installing security tools and upgrading anti-virus software also won’t cover everything.




Knowing where less common cyberattacks are coming from could help, though.

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E-accounting: Top 3 Considerations for Online Client Meetings


Many businesses were teleconferencing before COVID-19. After all, meeting virtually saves both you and your client time, and busy business owners often don’t want to spend the time to make a trip to your office. The coronavirus has hastened the move to e-accounting, but this approach presents some new problems, which we’ll address in this article.







#1 Speed




First, let’s consider speed. You may have a promised internet speed such as “up to 15 Mbps.” But internet connection speed, which impacts your experience, reflects bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred per second, whereas latency is how long it takes for that data to get from source to destination. You need both to be good to be able to handle many video calls at once. Yet a lot of consumer-grade hardware is not built for several of your staff to be on the same call with a client.




Tip: Switch to a business-grade router. Optimize its settings to ensure security from bandwidth leeches and improve signal strength.




#2 Quality of Service




Large downloads can also impact your connection with a client or team member. If you’re on a video call and someone else in the office downloads a large file, your call could lag or drop. Likewise, if you’re working from home during a conference call and your teen is playing Grand Theft Auto, that could also cause issues.




Tip: Use smart networking hardware. You can rank the activities your business values more to improve Quality of Service (e.g. configuring video conferencing to take data preference ahead of file downloads).

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7 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Accountants


The public cloud services market has grown dramatically, and, according to Gartner, migrating to the cloud is a top priority for a third of companies. Analysts predicted the market would reach $266 billion in 2020. Accountants enjoy cloud computing, too. This article rounds up the advantages of available cloud services.







Cloud computing can help accountants:




  • improve productivity;
  • empower employees;
  • optimize operations;
  • reduce operating costs;
  • backup better;
  • scale effectively;
  • add security.



Let’s talk about each of these in greater detail.




#1 Improve productivity




Cloud computing centralizes access. Files are available on any connected device, in real time. Avoid version control concerns as files pass among your team members or between you and the client. Everyone can work on the most recent file that is instantly updated in the cloud. The files are accessible on other devices if needed, too.




#2 Empower employees




The cloud enables on-demand access to computing resources. This includes software, networks, servers, and storage applications. Accountants can work from wherever they are, on their own timetable, from their own devices. With the widespread adoption of remote work, cloud services have become even more appealing.

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Why You Need to Uninstall Adobe Flash Player


All good things must come to an end – it’s inevitable with computer software. If you’re using Adobe Flash, the day has arrived. It’s time to uninstall Adobe Flash Player.







Adobe stopped supporting Flash Player on December 31, 2020. What does this mean?




Adobe is no longer issuing Flash Player updates or security patches. The company “strongly recommends immediately uninstalling Flash Player.” The company announced the decision to bring Flash Player to end of life (EOL) in 2017.




To help secure user systems, Adobe began blocking Flash content from running in Flash Player on January 12, 2021. Major browser vendors have also disabled Flash Player from running: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge have all stopped supporting the technology.




This renders Flash Player pretty useless. Flash was key to early Web browsing, powering interactive website elements such as animations and forms. Web developers loved it, because it saved them from offering users dull, static pages. However, open standards have matured to provide a viable alternative to Flash content. The HTML 5 standard has replaced Flash in many cases.

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Is Healthcare Compliance Enough?


The healthcare industry is a top target for cybercriminals. Healthcare providers hold patients’ personal and financial data. Plus, they offer a critical service and could be more likely to pay ransom to get systems back up and running. Recognizing the threat, industry regulators have instituted cybersecurity standards. Noncompliance is costly, but the real question is whether meeting the standards is enough.







With growing threats to the healthcare industry, meeting compliance standards is important. Achieving compliance with industry standards indicates a healthcare provider has met the minimum, but this still may not be enough.




Compliant, after all, does not mean cybersecure, not as rigorously as required to protect patient data and electronic health records, or to avoid the damage of a ransomware attack or system downtime caused by another type of virus.




Consider who is making the rules about compliance. How agile can they be? Industry-wide standards are not established quickly. That means medical compliance will never be able to keep up with the pace of change in cyberthreats.




Healthcare Compliance Focal Points




Healthcare compliance focuses on specific components of cybersecurity and patient privacy. There are rules about:

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Dial-up Telehealth Security


The use of telehealth has been growing rapidly over the past decade. Then, the coronavirus pandemic prompted another jump in telehealth offerings. There are many advantages to digital healthcare, but securing this access to physicians and specialists is more challenging.







Telehealth services offered through videoconferencing, remote monitoring, electronic consults, and wireless communications:




  • increase connectivity between patients and practitioners;
  • expand healthcare reach to rural facilities;
  • help ensure patients receive care in a timely fashion;
  • reduce low-acuity visits to emergency rooms;
  • improve workflow for healthcare professionals;
  • support consistent management of chronic care patients.



According to a Center for Connected Medicine study, nine out of ten organizations moved telehealth from future priority to a must-have in 2020.




Providers are seeing 50 to 175 times more telemedicine patients than before, according to McKinsey. And consumers liked the change: only 11 percent of the survey respondents had used telehealth in 2019, yet 76% said they were highly or moderately likely to use telehealth going forward.




The problem is that quick implementation leaves room for improvement. Telemedicine can mean many online tools. Add cloud storage and VPNs to those listed above. All that creates a vast attack surface, and cybercriminals can target both the medical staff side and the patient side.

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Is Misconfiguration Making Your SMB Vulnerable?


Cybersecurity attacks on big-name brands or governments are familiar headlines these days. Millions of access credentials are breached, and millions of dollars are lost to ransomware attack. You may think you’re protected, but a single undetected misconfiguration could mean trouble.







If you’ve been paying attention, you know no one is immune from cyberattack. Your business has been proactive by:




  • putting firewalls and antivirus protection in place;
  • establishing a bring-your-own-device policy;
  • educating employees about password strength, social engineering, and cyber hygiene;
  • updating software promptly;
  • upgrading end-of-life hardware and software.



The threat landscape is evolving rapidly, the number of devices connected to a business network is exploding, more employees work on their own devices, and a greater number of people are working remotely. Plus, connected devices are all different types. If your wireless is unsecured, you could end up with devices you don’t know at all connected to your network. Yet it’s difficult to manually monitor every single configuration for security.




Push notifications advising us to update software come in fast and furious, but we’re busy. We have other things on our mind, we don’t get around to it right away, or, having clicked “never show again” on that popup, we forget the notification altogether. No action is taken.





At least no action on the business side. Out in cyberspace, bad actors actively seek out unattended or unpatched vulnerabilities.

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Invest Well in Your IT Security


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a common and useful rule for many business owners.  It serves to protect your business against unnecessary costs and unneeded downtime.  While protecting your business against many types of danger, it poses an outright threat when it comes to IT security.  







Security threats
to your firm move so fast that your IT should be working twice as hard as your
company just to keep up.  Every day, hundreds of thousands of new malware
threats are released.  Falling even hours behind means any one of these attacks
can threaten your business.




The single most
dangerous thing IT security can do is stand still.  Keeping up with the latest
advice, technology, and updates the security industry offers is vital to keep
your business safe.  This makes up much of the unseen job of IT professionals. 
Hackers never stop looking for new ways into your system, which means your
security can't stop looking for ways to keep them out.




Modern Systems for Modern Business




One of the most
common security threats a business opens itself to is using an outdated
operating system or software package.  Many firms are scared to upgrade,
update, or renew their IT over fears of breaking legacy systems.  Many rely
heavily on old software and are afraid to make a large change themselves.  Some
businesses today still run machines on Windows XP, an operating system first
released back in 2001.




Old operating
systems stop receiving security updates and patches that protect against newly
released attacks.  These systems become very vulnerable, presenting a large
target for knowledgeable hackers.  This happens many years after newer versions
have been released, giving knowing IT firms a chance to migrate safely.

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Want to Be Anonymous Online? Incognito v. VPN


Maybe you want to be a little mysterious, but more likely you want to protect your privacy when browsing online. You don’t want cybercriminals seeing what you’re doing, or marketers knowing where you go online and what you search for. So, you anonymize your activity using Incognito mode or private browsing. Really though, you want to be using a virtual private network (VPN).




It's likely you want to protect your privacy when browsing online



Google Chrome's Incognito mode helps maintain your privacy when you are online. Other browsers, such as  Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer, also offer private browsing. When the feature is at work, the browser does not save a record of the websites you visit or what you what you searched for. Plus, it doesn’t save any of your site logins. This means you have to do without the convenience of access credentials auto-populating.




Privacy browsing also disables plugins that may be used to track your internet activity. Still, plugins often serve a purpose while we’re on the internet. So, again, disabling them can disrupt your convenient, efficient browsing experience.




Yet, as cybersecurity concerns rise, recognizing privacy concerns while browsing may not be enough. For one thing, hiding your browser activity is only half the battle. You should also know that:




your internet service provider (ISP) may be monitoring the sites you visit;

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