INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR SMBs
Our blog articles archive includes it security tips, cybersecurity alerts, state of IT reports, and tips on information technology for small and medium size businesses.
A consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic will be an accelerated ramp-up of partial and/or full remote workforces after the pandemic has passed There are advantages and disadvantages to utilizing a remote workforce in lieu of the in-office work experience. Much of traditional management thinking has been that having employees in the office on a daily basis provides significant benefits in terms of visibility accountability collaboration teamwork socialization A countervailing view is that much of those in-house activities can be facilitated
As previously indicated, it is not necessarily intuitive for many organization leaders to appreciate the benefits of a remote workforce. An immediate perceived loss is the lack of ability to see workers at their desks putting in their scheduled hours. Also, not having the opportunity for in-office face-to-face collaboration, creativity, and socializing can be an offset to the benefits. However, various industry studies and experiences showing that remote workforce advantages often outweigh the perceived disadvantages. In order to garner those
Many home offices do not maintain the same technology standards, including IT security, that are provided at the employee’s office building. The remote equipment and network should be evaluated and documented for functionality and security. A prevalent technology for securing remote connections is the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs create an encrypted tunnel between a user’s computer and a remote network. This enables a home PC user to connect to their office computer, as though they were sitting
It is important to recognize that, in addition to management challenges, employees are adjusting to the new work-at-home environment. Prioritizing on employee needs is imperative to enabling them to support clients and other business operations. Ideally, a business continuity plan should be in place in advance of a major business disruption that outlines processes and procedures to accommodate and manage a remote workforce. If not, a business continuity plan should be developed and documented as new processes and procedures are
Maintaining normal or near-normal business operations and minimizing downtime during periods of disruption fall under the umbrella of business continuity. A failure in business continuity and resulting downtime can potentially result in lost revenue and significant reputation damages. Although most organizations are currently focused on the current disease outbreak, other common possible business disruptions include cyber-attacks, network issues, power outages, weather conditions, and fires. With respect to cybercrimes, the FBI has reported roughly a quadrupling of online crimes since the
On Tuesday, 4/28/20, the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) published an advisory that cited certain cyber vulnerabilities associated with the Zoom platform. This follows a more detailed publication of those vulnerabilities by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released on 4/27/20, which was referenced by the NJCCIC. The DHS publication recommends that any organization using or considering Zoom should evaluate the risk of its use. Zoom Video Communications, Inc. provides videotelephony and online chat services through a
Although the deployment of remote workforces has been gradually growing over a period of several years, the current pandemic has mandated exponential growth of remote workers in a very short period of time. This creates new challenges from a technical, security, and personnel management perspective. Although the opportunity for worker in-office interaction and socializing are significantly reduced or eliminated, there also can be many benefits to a full or partial remote workforce. We believe many of these long-term benefits are
Through powersolution’s membership of the Cyber Health Working Group (CHWG)*, a new phishing campaign has been detected and reported on. This phishing campaign is designed around COVID-19 themed emails that contain a link to a phishing page that attempts to collect credentials for multiple banks. The attackers then use the information collected to extort funds from the victims. An example of the phishing email follows: If the link is clicked, it redirects to the following website: Email header analysis
Breaking from powersolution’s typicaly IT/Security related news blasts, we felt obligated to send out a more general PSA type communication related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of powersolution’s membership of Infragard, the FBI released a Liaison Information Report (LIR) documenting how criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic by selling counterfeit goods. Please review the attached PDF for the FBIs guidance and recommendations on purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). InfraGard is an organization serving as a public-private partnership between U.S.
Once again the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for online scams – this time related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
There is a great deal of discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of the policy of allowing employees to use their own mobile devices, primarily smartphones, instead of employer-issued devices that are to be used solely for work purposes. This policy, known as “bring your own device” (BYOD) can make employees happy, but it also presents a number of issues that should be explicitly addressed by employers before they adopt any policy. The biggest issue that companies face revolves around
Communication during and following an emergency presents a variety of challenges. So, crafting an employee safety and communication plan that works is absolutely essential. The specifics will vary widely from company to company, but your emergency safety and communication plan must address the following: Address the methods that will ensure employees are safe during a disaster event This will depend heavily on the nature and location of your business. Safety planning for a large manufacturing facility will obviously be very