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Keeping Your Business Secure Online [Recorded August 2016]

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and countless other organizations are cyber targets. A data breach can have a major effect on your business - loss of customers, reduced brand reputation, significant financial impact and more. If you think your business is too small to be an attractive target for cyber criminals or you don't have anything worth stealing, think again. 

Watch our recorded webinar to get caught up!



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5 Tips Keeping Your Devices More Secure on the Road

As technology continues to provide increased mobile functionality, so is the expectation for work at all times during travel.  Working remotely from public Wi-Fi locations is now a necessary part of doing business today. Whether it's your sales team using airport Wi-Fi while waiting for a flight, or your creative employees knocking out some work at a Starbucks over lunch, the risks of public Wi-Fi have become a serious threat for companies.

cloud servicesIt’s not just unsecured Wi-Fi that travelers must understand; rather, one of the biggest dangers of traveling is losing your devices.  Last year, EMC and Hartford Hospital were ordered to pay $90,000 to the state of Connecticut when an unencrypted laptop was stolen containing data of over 8,000 individuals.   This is just one example of the financial and security risks that come with increased mobility.

While on the road, it’s import to keep your devices safeguarded, data protected and utilizing a secure network connect when you are sharing information.  Here are five tips to keep yourself better protected when you travel:

Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Whenever you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, any information you send or receive can be easily snatched from the air and inspected.  Protecting your business data from being exposed on public networks is critical, and should never be taken lightly. The best solution is to use a personal, dedicated hotspot or even your smartphone activated as a personal hotspot. This capability uses your cell phone company and data plans over the air, much like your smartphone already, to access the Internet.  

If you must routinely use public Wi-Fi, it is good practice to use a VPN, or virtual private network and work under full encryption. This is a service you can pay for at a cost of about $70/year.

Auto Device Locking
All your laptops, iPhones, and iPads have features that will auto-lock your mobile devices if your device is left unattended for a period of time.  Shorting the window of time this feature turns on will decrease your exposure if your device is left unattended.  Simply authenticating your device with your password or thumbprint quickly gets you going again.   Best plan however is do not ever leave your device unattended, even for a moment.

Activate Drive Encryption
A newer concept for some users, but one of the most important features to have turned on for any device is drive encryption.  This feature secures the flash or hard drive so that if someone steals your device, the stolen drive can’t be placed into another piece of hardware and then accessed. 

Remote Management
Many devices can be securely managed with tracking and remote wiping options.  Smartphones and iPads have particularly good options for this because of their cellular data connections.  Turning on settings like Apple’s “Find My iPhone” accessed with iCloud enables a robust set of tracking and remote security solutions that help any traveler manage stolen device.

Cloud Services
Using cloud services is one of the more secure and best practices for travelers to use.  Mainly, it keeps the data and information securely achieved and readily accessible if the device were ever lost or stolen. Almost all remote cloud services also provide a secure connection, keeping data protected on questionable network connections.  Virtual cloud products don’t keep any data on the local mobile device or laptop; instead, it is securely managed and accessed from compliant data centers which leave no data available for theft or loss.

The challenges and responsibilities have increased for anyone while on the road to keep the data you use secure.  Check out our 90-second video on how our secure cloud offering can help you and your business reduce your costs and improve your security while your team is on the road. Link here.

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Keeping Your Business Secure Online - Lunch and Learn Webinar for August 2016

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and countless other organizations are cyber targets. A data breach can have a major effect on your business - loss of customers, reduced brand reputation, significant financial impact and more. If you think your business is too small to be an attractive target for cyber criminals or you don't have anything worth stealing, think again.

cyberThe last door left open for these cyber attackers is not the technology, but through your employees. Cyber criminals are aggressively targeting and taking advantage of social engineering as new primary means for vast array of compromises.

In this webinar we will discuss some of the most common cyber threats to businesses today and what can be done to mitigate these issues. 

Who should attend:
Business Owners
Employees
Technology Managers
Office Managers

What will be covered:
Common threats
Tactics used in social engineering
Steps in safeguarding client data
Ways to fight online fraud

Where: Online Webinar

When: Thursday, August 25, 2016 from 12:00pm – 1:00 pm

Presenters:
Dave Kile, Senior Vice President, Ease Technologies, Inc.
Matt Schmidt, Vice President, Ease Technologies, Inc.

I'm ready sign me up!

 

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Demystifying the Cloud [recorded webinar]


With today's cyber climate, many organizations in the Baltimore - Washington region are looking at innovative ways to increase security and still manage costs. There has been an overwhelming amount of news sharing just how vulnerable our technology can be for all any business.  Watch a recording our recent Lunch and Learn webinar to learn how new cloud services can improve security and enhance remote access to your office.

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Are You Ready for the Internet of Things (IoT)

It is estimated there are already 6.4 billion devices as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). As we add more devices, are we considering the security and privacy of these devices?  We have been shoring up security with our servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices. IoT is now beginning to extend into our lives with TVs, coffee makers, thermostats, light bulbs and even our bathroom scales.

The IoT has actually been around for some time. However, only now has it been recognized and labeled as a category within technology industry. Governments have been using remote sensors across the Internet to monitor traffic and road conditions like those used by Maryland’s CHART System.  Commercial accounts have been using devices to monitor and provide better energy management in facilities.  Now, the home and personal use explosion of products is flooding the market with all sorts of devices.

So what is IoT?

IoT

Gartner Research defines IoT as, “The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.”

This is a broad definition, but it signals how large the market is expanding.  With more IoT devices sneaking into our lives, what is being done to manage the security and privacy that should come with this?

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) has sent comments to Department of Commerce raising concerns about the maintaining the security of these devices.  The comments recognize the benefits but are quick to identify security risks, too. 

“Although similar risks exist with traditional computers and computer networks, they may be heightened in the IoT, in part because many IoT chips are inexpensive and disposable, and many IoT devices are quickly replaceable with newer versions. As a result, businesses may not have an incentive to support software updates for the full useful life of these devices, potentially leaving consumers with vulnerable devices.” – Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and Office of Policy Planning, June 2, 2016

The biggest issues for IoT include the lack of built-in basic security measures, meaning devices can be exploited, be used to exploit other systems and can also include physical threats with medical devices. Besides security, privacy issues are at stake. The types and amounts of often personal data being collected are at risk with many of these devices. This is not just a video camera being compromised, but health data being collected and stored by yet another vendor. 

So, what do we do? 

Use IoT devices wisely for work or home knowing the risks.

It is critical to identify vendors that utilize security features, are trusted, and can communicate a clear security policy about the devices they offer. For the home, recognizable brands like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are responsible vendors. They are not the only ones of course, but are four examples of outspoken companies taking a proactive approach to security and documented privacy policies with their products. 

Also, look for IoT products with the ability to be updated like you would do on your computer.  It seems strange to think that you would need an update for your IoT coffee maker, but it is important to fix bugs and improve security.

As you identify devices that fit into your Internet world, look for devices that fit into ecosystems that work together. Apple, for example, has released HomeKit, which is a platform for Apple and third party devices to speak to each other.  With the right devices, you could easily control home devices and in a safer and more secure environment. 

Much of this is early, but trustworthy platforms and ecosystems will help IoT be the best experience possible.

Ease Technologies provides IT support services and cloud solutions for organizations in Baltimore, Washington or Fairfax. Watch our Ease Cloud Workspace video and learn how our secure cloud offering can be your virtual office wherever you go. 

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