How to Get your Employees to Engage in Cybersecurity

cybersecurity

Your staff often needs access to sensitive data and handles it on a daily basis. What they don’t know is that anytime they’re moving files around, corresponding with others over the phone or through email, they’re only a few clicks away from opening your business up to a major cyberattack. Therefore, it’s extremely important that all employees undergo security training. Follow along to discover how to train your staff to spot phishing scams and follow procedures when these situations arise.

To further understand the severity of this issue, simply check the statistics. According to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime study, 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, and only a fraction of them know how to defend themselves.

That’s why security training is such a crucial business practice. How you go about educating your staff on cybersecurity is up to you, but here are some tips and methods we’ve found most successful, in our experience. 

#1 Get them to Relate

We’re all aware that cybersecurity isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s important that your team cares about the issue. That way, they’ll really take it seriously. The best way to do this is by getting them to relate to a victim of a cyberattack and educate them on how common phishing scams and hacks occur, and how damaging they can be.

#2 Always Promote Network Security

People are impressionable and tend to follow the lead of others. Creating a company culture that is rooted in network security will impart the same mentality on your employees. 

#3 Consistent Security Training

Form a security training plan that is comprehensive, easy to follow, and consistent among all departments. Some beneficial lessons to include are:

  • How to spot a phishing scam
  • Protecting network resources
  • Their role in protecting the company and customer data
  • Password management and best practices
  • How to handle a security breach

If every employee has a solid grasp of these five concepts, you’ll be able to avoid cyberattacks from happening in the first place and have a solid backup plan in case disaster strikes.

#4 Lead by Example

It’s just the truth that cybersecurity is not at the top of everyone’s minds, including most of your employees. Especially if they don’t have a vast knowledge of modern technology and how it functions. Instead of being demanding with them, or getting frustrated at their apathy, support them through security training.

Provide resources, documentation, and communication that will help them understand the severity of the issue, and how they should handle private data in a way that will protect your business. Work with them so they understand how to follow these procedures, and you’ll see major benefits in your network security.

At 4 Corner IT, we can help your business put together a security training plan. To learn more, call us today at 954.474.2204.

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AI Can Serve a Valuable Role in Small Businesses

ai

The world of artificial intelligence has vastly grown over the last few years and, as advances are made, companies have found helpful ways to incorporate this innovation into their business technology, making business operations more efficient. What’s even better is that as AI develops, it becomes more and more accessible to small businesses who can greatly benefit from the technology as well. Let’s discuss how a small business might put artificial intelligence to use, and what it can do for their operations and growth.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

While the term AI is thrown around a lot in the technology world, many people are unaware of what it actually means. Artificial Intelligence is much more than Siri, Alexa, and cognitive thinking robots. 

AI is basically any software that is designed to follow similar patterns as our own learning and reasoning processes do in order to solve problems. It is our attempt to mimic our own cognitive processes.

How Can Today’s Small Businesses Use AI?

Enhancing Cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence systems can help greatly in improving your office’s cybersecurity. They do this by tracking patterns and alerting whenever there is a break in said pattern. It will get to know your employee’s regular daily activities, used devices and applications, and times of activity. Therefore, it can alert you if there is any activity out of the ordinary like an attempted login in the middle of the night or attempts to override security measures. These sort of alerts can prevent cybercriminals gaining access to crucial information, reducing the possibility of a cyberattack.

Optimizing Customer Service

As we know, having prompt and helpful customer service is essential to any businesses’ overall customer satisfaction, but this can often result in valuable employee time being used to answer the same common questions over and over again. However, with AI you can automate these customer service actions that don’t require a live individual, saving your employees time and giving customer the quick and accurate help that they need. Automation also helps collect information from customers that your business could benefit from tracking.

Improving Marketing Efforts

One of the most important elements of a good marketing strategy is tracking and reading analytics. This process is very repetitive and time consuming for employees to complete, as there is often a lot of data and insights generated. Luckily innovation in AI can improve this process through automation. Artificial Intelligence now has the capabilities to take over these organizational and analytical processes on the business’s behalf, allowing you to easier identify which of your marketing efforts is most beneficial, and where your strategy needs improvement. 

Artificial Intelligence is More Accessible than Ever! 

If you, like many, didn’t realize that artificial intelligence may be something accessible to your small business, learn more AI and other business technology capabilities today! Give 4 Corner IT a call at 954-474-2204 to discuss what your options may be.

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3 Tips for Choosing the Right Office Technology

office tech

Technology has become an essential resource for businesses nowadays. It helps your company stay organized and run more efficiently. However, with ever-changing technological advancements, it can be very difficult to identify what technology your business needs, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Today, let’s discuss three tips that can help you implement the right technology for your business.

1. Assess and Identify

The first step to identifying what technology you need is analyzing what your business is already using. What technology do you currently have implemented and how is it helping your company achieve its goals? Conducting a full-scale technological assessment allows you to better conclude what areas you already have covered, and where the holes lie in your technology resources. 

Since operations is a multi-faceted issue, be sure to assess the tech in every department including HR, database management, and communications. The better you understand your business, the better you can determine how technology could improve it.

2. Chose Reliable and Scalable Technology

Technology investment usually comes at a cost, so it’s crucial to find reliable and scalable tech. The goal is to replace your technology as infrequently as possible, so you need to prioritize devices that will help you both today and further down the line.

If you’re unsure about technology investments, you can lease equipment to test it before making a permanent decision. Cloud hosting is also a great choice for business computing. It is designed to eliminate upfront costs, so it turns your investment into operational expenses, allowing you to scale your computing needs easier than purchasing your own IT and hosting in-house.

3. Necessity Over Vanity

There are tons of cool new technologies being released every day, so it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting what’s exciting and trendy. However, this typically leads to a less efficient tech setup and greater costs in your investment.

It’s important to always put your business’s and employees’ needs first. What your company needs is not always synonymous with what you want or think is fun. Favoring your business’s needs and goals with reliable technology will render much better results and keep your costs as low as possible.

At 4 Corner IT, our expert IT consultants can help you find an investment strategy that works best for your business. Our experience gives us insight into what businesses just like yours need, and how to get it installed quickly. Give us a call today at 954-474-2204 to learn more.

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Let’s Look at Some of the Best Business Software Solutions

Happy guy looking at camera while sitting by workplace and working with software

All businesses utilize software to a certain extent, but not all companies have the same needs. That being said, there are certain types of software that all businesses can benefit from, regardless of industry or service offerings. We’ve put together a list of business software solutions that companies can utilize to improve operations.

Productivity Suites

Most businesses use a productivity suite, which is basically just a fancy way of talking about a suite of software that includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software, email and calendar management program, and other productivity applications. In fact, we would say that it is almost a prerequisite for a business to have a productivity suite just for the ability to open and edit files or documents. Some of the most common productivity suites out there include Microsoft 365 Apps for Business and Google Workspace, but there are other more focused productivity suites for specific purposes, like the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Similar to productivity suites, most businesses use traditional landlines to make and receive phone calls. While this was an accepted practice for some time, the more modern solution is to utilize a Voice over IP application on either a desktop or a mobile device to make and receive calls. Not only does this save you quite a bit in terms of up-front costs and operational costs, but it also makes adding new users to the infrastructure infinitely easier, as it does not involve installing new hardware (unless, of course, you want to use physical handsets).

Password Management

Passwords are a major pain point for businesses, so you need to treat them as such. While passwords can be made complex, this also makes them difficult to remember. This is where password management comes into play; these solutions offer a secure, protected vault for your passwords and can pull from this vault when the credentials are needed, removing the need to remember them entirely. It is a great way to augment your accounts’ security without compromising on password quality.

Antivirus and Other Security Solutions

It goes without saying that you need to be securing your business’ network and endpoints at all times. It doesn’t matter how small of a business you run. Hackers can and will find data on your network that presents some kind of value, whether it is to them personally or to someone on the black market. They might even be out to cause a little bit of chaos and infect your computers just for the sake of doing so. Who can say for sure? All we can say for sure is that you need to secure your network and its endpoints.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Encryption is a powerful tool that helps you keep your data secure, especially while out of the office. A virtual private network can encrypt data sent to and from your device, improving privacy and security while on unsecured networks. It is especially helpful when working on a public Wi-Fi connection or while traveling.

Adding new software solutions to your business’ infrastructure might sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. 4Corner IT can help your business implement software solutions designed to improve operations and provide sustainability for your business. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

Phishing Attacks in 2021 Trending Due To Pandemic

credit card phishing - piles of credit cards with a fish hook on computer keyboard

Hackers have made some nefarious choices over the past several months, many of which involve using the COVID-19 pandemic to spread their influence and steal data through the use of phishing attacks. Let’s explore how these cybercriminals have leveraged a global disaster to their benefit and some ways that you can keep your business secure.

According to SecureList, spam and phishing trends in Q1 of 2021 were heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and not in a good way. Here are a few examples of the major threats that surfaced during this time.

Stimulus Payment Scandals

Early 2021 saw many initiatives by government agencies to suppress the financial burden placed on individuals and businesses through the use of economic impact payments and business bailouts. Hackers, of course, wanted to capitalize on this and began using phishing messages to trick people. Targets received messaging that was often specific to their bank and utilized similar branding to official websites. These efforts were all elaborate tricks to convince users to hand over their credentials. Users would unsuspectingly enter their credentials into forms on these fake websites and put their sensitive information at risk.

The Vaccine Race

Back when the COVID-19 vaccine was in short supply or the supply itself was limited to specific groups of people, there was a bit of a race to get to it. This rush created an opportunity for hackers to capitalize on peoples’ desires for security and safety, and they leveraged phishing schemes that used the vaccine to their advantage. They would use language and branding of official health organizations to convince users to click on links in emails, which would then redirect users to fake websites for harvesting credentials or banking information. Even those who got the vaccine received surveys offering free goods in exchange for information.

What You Can Do

It’s no surprise that cybercriminals are using these tricks to subvert security measures. These types of attacks are just more of a string of phishing attacks that must be kept up with in order to maintain network security. Here are a couple of ways that you can make this happen.

  • Utilize Spam Protection: While they aren’t 100 percent effective all the time, spam filters are great for keeping threats out of your inbox. The most advanced phishing attacks could still make their way into your inbox, which is why we recommend taking multiple measures of network security.
  • Train Your Employees: If messages do make it past your spam filter, you will want those who are reading the messages—your employees—to be able to identify the threat and avoid it at all costs. This is where training comes in.
  • Implement Unified Threat Management: Unfortunately, even the best employees will make mistakes, so you will want to have a contingency plan in place for when accidents happen. A UTM gives you just that with a single all-in-one security solution for your network security.

4Corner IT can help your business approach network security in a responsible manner, implementing the best solutions and constantly testing your employees’ awareness of important security practices. To learn more about how we can help you protect your business, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.