Friday, April 28, 2017

Tip of the Week: Get the Most From Your Company’s Email With These 3 Tools

As a small business grows and takes on more employees and adds more departments, one aspect that becomes increasingly difficult to manage is email. Essentially, you go from using a handful of email addresses to managing dozens of accounts. If it feels like you’re losing control of your company’s email situation, then you’ll want to implement the following email solutions.
Email Archiving
The email accounts of business owners are constantly getting bombarded from all sides. Emails dealing with sales tickets, vendors, employee issues, and even personal messages all pile up in the inbox and can feel a bit overwhelming, especially when many of these messages are too important to delete. This is precisely why every business owner should have an email archiving solution.
With email archiving, your messages are stored in a secure location that you can access as needed, and all of your saved emails are organized in such a way that you can easily find what you’re looking for. By enacting such a solution, your inbox will be less cluttered with old messages, which will help relieve the anxiety that comes with checking your inbox. Plus, think of how advantageous it would be to search your email archives for information regarding a super old issue that’s cropped up again and to find the relevant email within seconds (instead of having to continuously scroll through your inbox).
Multi-Factor Authentication
Securing your company’s email accounts should be at the top of every business owner’s to-do list. While there are many layers to securing a company’s network and taking advantage of all of them can get complicated, one simple-yet-effective security measure you can enact for all of your company’s email accounts is multi-factor authentication. This is a way of tying each account to a second security protocol (in addition to the standard username/password), like an SMS message sent to a mobile device. The advantage here is seen when a thief successfully steals user credentials and still won’t be able to access the account because they’re not in possession of the connected mobile device--an impossible heist for a hacker on the other side of the world.
Spam Filtering
Spam is a serious problem for businesses. In addition to being a major security risk, employees that have to deal with spam lose a lot of company time and precious productivity. When it comes to spam, the best approach to dealing with it is by eliminating it altogether. This can be accomplished easily enough by making sure you have a spam filtering solution in place.
These are just three ways that Net It On can assist your business with its email needs. As your organization continues to grow, you’re going to need enterprise-level technologies that can grow along with you. Net It On is standing by to equip your business with solutions that will improve efficiency, security, and overall productivity. Call us at (732) 360-2999 to set up your IT consultation today!

Scareware Isn’t Scary if You Know What to Look For

The popularity of security software has required malware distributors to be clever with their delivery methods. This is why rogue security software exists, and why you need to be absolutely certain that your network doesn’t have these fraudulent programs installed.
The concept of rogue software is very simple: online security and its importance have only grown in urgency in the last few years, especially with the news being filled with story after story of the damage the latest hacking attacks have caused. Therefore, when a message appears claiming that a virus was discovered on their computer and they need to download the latest “antimalware” tool (that is actually a malware delivery package), the target often clicks “Okay” without hesitation.
Technically speaking, rogue security software of this type is classified as a form of scareware, a classification it certainly lives up to through its reliance on intimidating its victims with tales of detected malware infections. The fact that these pieces of rogue software often earn their propagators a commission for spreading them, doesn’t make the situation any less concerning.
One rogue security software scam includes the software reporting viruses that aren’t there, or, even worse, were put there by the software itself. On the other hand, some of these programs will intentionally fail to report issues on your PC so that these issues can continue to propagate without your knowledge. Some programs even prevent legitimate antivirus software from updating, or can go so far as to prevent the user from visiting the websites of legitimate antivirus vendors.
Law enforcement has begun to take steps against these kinds of software, but due to a slow start on their part, your own vigilance is still your best defense. Kaspersky Lab has a useful list of known rogue security software, providing a list of software to avoid.

Domino’s Invests in a Global Fleet of Pizza Delivery Robots

On March 29th, Starship Technologies, a self-driving robotics company, announced a partnership with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, a franchisor for the Domino’s Pizza brand in Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan, and Germany (totaling over 2,000 stores). This new affiliation allows Starship Technologies to build a fleet of autonomous delivery robots, helping Domino’s with its eventual delivery person shortage, based on the company’s growth estimates for the next 5-to-10 years.
Don Meij, Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director says that, “Robotic delivery units will complement our existing delivery methods, including cars, scooters, and e-bikes, ensuring our customers can get the hottest, freshest-made pizza delivered directly to them, wherever they are.”
While this certainly sounds like an ideal world where all you have to do is turn around to get a fresh slice pizza, this news comes with a few caveats. For now, these robots will only be delivering pizzas to customers within a one-mile radius of Domino’s stores in select German and Dutch cities. In addition, these battery-powered robots can only navigate on sidewalks, can only get up to four miles per hour, and can only carry up to twenty pounds at a time--so go easy on the stuffed cheesy bread.
Other countries, including the U.S., have been experimenting with food delivery robots for the past year. In February, US-based companies Postmates and DoorDash began the testing of Starship Technologies’ delivery robots in Washington D.C. and Redwood City, respectively.
One reason why the U.S. isn’t seeing a larger rollout of these six-wheeled, three-foot tall delivery robots is due to state laws. A few days before the Starship Technologies/Domino’s Pizza Enterprises partnership was announced, Idaho became the second state to pass legislation permitting the use of unmanned, ground-based delivery robots (joining Virginia). Florida and Wisconsin might be next, with legislators in those respective states introducing similar bills within the past month.
Idaho’s new law also allows local municipalities to adopt their own regulations, giving towns the authority to limit the robots to certain speeds and to certain locations in the area. It’s clear that, as this type of technology continues to spread, state and municipal legislators will have much to discuss and deliberate over.
It’s also clear that while unmanned delivery robots can help restaurants and other companies with staffing, the need for technology maintenance will increase. Employees might be late to work or get lost on a delivery run, but they don’t run the risk of glitches or hacking (not to mention theft). As more and more robots are introduced into the workforce, IT companies can help keep your mechanical employees, and the machines that your human employees operate, up and running.
What do you think about robots delivering pizza? Clever marketing ploy by Domino’s, or an efficient way to feed the hungry masses? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways Google Maps Can Enhance Your Next Trip

Mapping the known world has long been an endeavor sought by explorers, but thanks to a relatively recent tool called Google Maps, anyone with knowledge of a smartphone can see the world at a glance. Granted, Google Maps isn’t the easiest tool to use, but if you follow these tips, you’ll feel like you have the whole world in the palm of your hand… literally.
Here are four great ways that you can maximize the value you get from Google Maps.
Plan Your Trip on Your PC and Send Directions to Your Phone
Chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time on your computer when you’re planning a long trip, and Google Maps has made it so that you can easily send instructions from one device to another. Keep in mind that your smartphone has to be linked to your Google account to do so. All you have to do is select the route you want to take and then select Send directions to your phone. When it comes time to leave, all you’ll have to do is load the Google Maps app and you’ll be on your way.
Google Maps Can Track Your Parking Spot
Do you ever forget where you parked your car? When you park your vehicle, Google Maps will show you a message asking you if you’d prefer to save your parking location. If you decide to opt in, all you have to do is enter the information such as the lot number, a nearby landmark, and what time is left on your parking meter.
Download Google Maps for Offline Viewing
What if you lose Internet signal while you’re on the road? This can make it challenging to keep track of where you are and where you’re headed. Google Maps offers an offline mode that lets you navigate without an Internet connection. This also allows you to limit how much data you consume while out and about, which can be reason enough to access Google Maps while offline. You need to download the map data so that you’ll have access to it while offline. To do so, tap the Download button to save the map you’re looking at. To see what you’ve saved, tap the hamburger menu in the search bar and select Offline areas. In some cases, you can even navigate and search for destinations in this mode.
Avoid Highway Traffic and Paying Tolls
Did you know you can use Google Maps to avoid paying tolls? All you have to do is enter in your destination as usual and select Route options. You can then select a route based on three factors: highways, tolls, and ferries. This lets you take the route that is easiest to navigate and most convenient for you.
What are some of your favorite ways to use Google Maps? If you have any, let us know in the comments, and subscribe to our blog for more great tips and tricks.

3 Ways the Cloud Enhances Your Business

The cloud trend has been very friendly toward businesses, allowing organizations to fulfill many of their needs and simplify processes that were challenging them only a few years ago. If you’ve never considered the cloud for your organization, it’s time to rethink your choices and ask yourself why you’re hesitant when there are so many great benefits of cloud implementation.
The Cloud is Cost-Effective
The cloud itself is capable of helping your business cut out unnecessary costs. Furthermore, the cloud allows you to scale resources to match your business’s specific needs at any given moment, which makes sure that you don’t pay for what you don’t need. The capital saved can then be utilized for other endeavors.
The Cloud Offers a Variety of Uses
When you ask people about the cloud, the first thing they’ll think of is probably data storage. While this comes as a benefit to the average consumer, businesses can leverage the cloud in other great ways, like taking advantage of productivity applications and other software as a service. When you use SaaS, the applications rendered will always be in the form of their most recent version, so you’ll always be using up-to-date software.
In the realm of data backup and disaster recovery, you’ll be able to use the cloud to make great strides in business continuity. Thanks to the off-site nature of cloud-based data backup, you’ll be sure to recover from damages dealt to your on-site infrastructure. Furthermore, virtual assets allow your organization to ensure productivity even under the worst conditions.
Most cloud-based solutions are built with collaboration in mind. Since you can store files in shared locations, your employees can collaborate and work together on projects that demand access at all times. Better yet, this is all done remotely, so you can work together even when out of the office.
The Cloud Offers Security
Data is one of the most important assets you hold, and as such, it must be secured from any prying eyes. However, a lot of organizations tend to forget that both external cyber crime and internal user error are possible points of contention. The cloud allows you to limit access to data on a per-user basis so that users who have no business knowing sensitive information, don’t.

Don’t Assume Your New Device is Free of Malware

Imagine that, despite the extreme care you took to avoid threats from infecting your devices, they turned out to be infected anyway. However, what if the device had been infected before you had even gotten your hands on it?
This is the situation that two companies found themselves in after security researchers discovered malware on 40 different company-owned devices. The firm that made the discovery, Check Point, also determined that the malware had been installed at some point while the devices were still in the supply chain. Many of the devices required a full reinstall to get rid of the malicious programs, as system privileges were used to install them.
These devices included:
  • Galaxy Notes 2, 3, 4, and 5
  • Galaxy Note Edge
  • Galaxy Tab 2 and S2
  • Galaxy S7 and S4
  • Galaxy A5
  • LG G4
  • Xiaomi MI 4i and Redmi
  • ZTE x500
  • Opportunities N3 and R7 Plus
  • Vivo X6 Plus
  • Nexus 5 and 5X
  • Asus Zenfone 2
  • Lenovo S90 and A850
Many of these devices were found to have many varieties of malware installed on them. While most were ad displaying programs and information-stealing varieties, both the Loki malware and Slocker mobile ransomware were also discovered.
These two companies, who have not been named, are by no means the first examples of production-stage malware installations. However, it does provide an excellent opportunity to revisit the importance of having all devices used for business purposes thoroughly vetted before putting them to use.
These unnamed companies serve as cautionary tales for businesses everywhere: you can never be too diligent in securing your technology. It is evident that malware distributors may be found everywhere, and they can be resourceful as they find new ways to introduce their tools into your systems. Also, this doesn’t mean if you have one of these devices, it’s definitely a risk to your data, but it is important to be aware that even a brand new device can already be infected, so centrally controlling access to your company data is very important.
What do you think? Are you concerned about the prospect of pre-installed malware being present in your company devices? Share what you think with us in the comments section.

$100 Million Hacking Incident Shows that No Company is Immune

It’s a tough lesson to learn, but almost any company is susceptible to cyber-attacks that take advantage of any security setup’s weakest link: the people involved. This lesson was most recently learned the hard way by two unnamed tech companies that fell victim to a phishing campaign that was allegedly run by Evaldas Rimasauskas, a Lithuanian man accused of stealing $100 million from them.
As Acting United States Attorney Joon H. Kim said, “This case should serve as a wake-up call to all companies--even the most sophisticated--that they too can be victims of phishing attacks by cyber criminals.” These words are only made more impactful by the fact that all the public knows about the two companies is that one of them is a “multinational online social media company” and the other a “multinational technology company.”
Rimasauskas is accused of orchestrating a phishing scheme that intended to sway his supposed victims into wiring large sums of money into accounts that he controlled in Latvia and Cyprus. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, this was accomplished by establishing a company in Latvia with the same name as a computer hardware manufacturer based in Asia, and telling the targeted companies that utilized the Asian computer manufacturer’s services that there were still balances to be paid. Once these funds were transferred, it seems that Rimasaukas would quickly disperse them into numerous other global bank accounts.
Due to his alleged use of these practices to defraud the two plaintiff companies, Rimasauskas faces a count of wire fraud potentially worth 20 years in prison, as well as three counts of money laundering, also worth a maximum of 20 years each, along with a single count of aggravated identity theft that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.
This story has two major takeaways: the first has to do with the victims of this scam. Although they are not named specifically, they are specified as multinational. This means that they are almost certainly very large companies, and the fact that they have elected to remain anonymous suggests that they are easily recognizable. Companies of that scale have the means and opportunity to protect their assets, but despite these companies most likely having these protections in place, Rimasauskas (or whomever was responsible) still managed to bypass them by exploiting the human element these companies had in place.
This only goes to show that every company, regardless of its size, is only as secure as its weakest security feature allows. When the company can be described as small or medium-sized, it becomes even more important to ensure that its defenses are universally held to high standards, especially when the human element is involved. To combat this, you must be sure that your staff knows the ways to ensure company security by heart. In essence, you have to be sure that your workforce isn’t any less security-oriented than the rest of your security is.
The second takeaway has to do with the methodology used to extract so many funds from the defrauded businesses. Hackers are human, after all, and as a result will more than likely take the easiest path to reach their goals. For every attacker that prefers to go after a few large, high-value targets, there are plenty that don’t mind having their ill-gotten gains coming in from many more, much smaller targets. If given the choice between figuring out how to work around a company’s cybersecurity or moving on to find an easier target, the hacker in question could very well move along and leave that company untouched.
However, if all the hacker has to do is write a few deceptive emails and set up a few bank accounts, they are much more likely to stay with that target, take what they can, and move on to another unfortunate company to do the same.
Therefore, the lesson here is that the basics of cybersecurity can’t be ignored in favor of just having enterprise-level security solutions in place. Very rarely are companies breached due to a highly advanced-effort, more often, it’s because there was an overlooked issue that the perpetrator took advantage of.