Keeping your business data safe

Keeping your business data safe: The GuideThis is the ultimate secret to keeping your business data safe. Whenever you hear of the term cyber-crime, you probably associate it with big businesses and corporations. After all, why would anyone target your small enterprise? Thinking like this could prove to be damaging and possibly catastrophic.

Small businesses are increasingly becoming the victims of cyber-attacks. In fact, Symantec reported that out of all the cyber-attacks perpetrated in 2015, , 43% targeted small businesses. Their report also indicated that the attack on small businesses has been on the rise with 2011 having 18%, 2012 having 31%, 2013 having 30%, and 2014 having 34%. That’s why we’ve written a brand new guide. To tell you about the ultimate secret to keeping your business data safe. You won’t believe how simple it is. Download your copy now.

The trend indicated above is worrying. But, remember, the reason for the increased attacks is because hackers have realized that small businesses apply little to no effort in the securing of their data. So, what is data security and how does it protect your business from potential threats?

How to keep your small business data safe?

Data security or protection, put simply, is the procedure employed to ensure that your data cannot be corrupted or accessed illegally.

The idea behind securing your data is to protect your business’s data while ensuring that it stays private. Data includes all personal and business files that are stored in the database. The process of securing data generally follows these three steps:

  • Encryption. For any data to be of any use, it has to be understandable on a human level. Encryption counters this by using a set of algorithms and mathematical schemes to scramble the information into an unreadable format. This encrypted text can only be decoded by someone who has the decryption key.
    To take it up a notch, end-point full encryption is employed. It encrypts every last bit of data in your hard disk thus giving you a very high form of protection.
  • Strong user Authentication. We encounter user authentication on a daily basis. Every time you try to login into your computer or social media account, you are required to go through a one-step verification process. One-step verification is weak and is easily hacked. A strong user authentication process will often involve multiple stages of verification making it very difficult to hack.
  • Data Backup. You have to be prepared for when the worst happens. Securing your data will never give you 100% assurance. There is always the chance that there might be a loophole in the system which may include an inside job. That is why the process of securing data also includes a backup plan. The backup will ensure that although the information may be stolen, you can always restore it.

Keeping your business data safe

Now that we know why it is important to secure your data, here are seven data security tips for small business:

  1. Adopting EMV

EMV initials stand for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. EMV is an encrypted payment system that uses microchips in the credit card to process transactions. In addition, it also protects the information in the card. This ensures that both parties are free from fraud. Upgrade the payment system in your business to accept EMV cards. Not only will this protect your business, but it will also absolve you from liability in the event that fraud does happen.

  1. Securing your wireless network

Wireless networks attract more hackers than a moth to a light bulb. While your standard network encryption key might keep your next door neighbours from accessing your network, hackers could log into it in their sleep. This is why you need to use the strongest encryption setting in your router to protect your business. Additionally, disable the broadcasting function in order to make your network invisible. After all, they cannot hack what they can’t see.

  1. Perform background checks

At times, we might get caught up in securing our businesses against outside intrusions and fail to protect it from what is happening right in front of us. Inside jobs are the biggest threats to a business apart from cyber-crime. Price Water Coopers reported that employees orchestrated over 70% of frauds committed to small businesses.

This is why you need to be extra vigilant when it comes to selecting the right employees for your business. Check their backgrounds as these will often give a clue on what kind of person they are. In addition, be observant of what is going on with your employees. Changes in character should be duly noted as changes in their performance will often accompany these.

  1. Decentralize password access to sensitive data

Never allow one person to have access to all the passwords. The levels of entry should be distributed to different employees to minimize the risk of the data being breached. Maintain the central access key yourself.

  1. Shred business documents

Physical documents need to be safeguarded. Access to the documents should require authorization from the necessary source. This should ensure that in case a document goes missing, you can easily trail the theft process, or at least there will be someone to be held accountable.

Additionally, old records that have their information in the database should follow the correct process of discarding. The best way to achieve this is through shredding by a particular person.

  1. Upgrade your software

Buy the necessary software that will help you in this quest. These include encryption software and excellent anti-virus programs.

Good corporate anti-virus programs come in handy because hackers nowadays have automated their hacking systems. These means that bots will try to infiltrate your system, a good antivirus should take care of this. Plus don’t forget your smartphone. You should also look into protecting your mobile from viruses and this is even more important if you do work on a phone and that includes just answering emails.

  1. Data backup of your business data

Like we previously discussed, backing up your data is preparing yourself for the worst. It will save you a lot of hassle in case something does happen.

A partner you can trust

Unfortunately, these security threats against your data information are unlikely to end anytime soon. This is because the world has all but embraced the Internet. Failing to have a website for your business is just bad business practice. The caveat is that this puts your business at risk of hacking. It is therefore imperative to secure your business in all ways that you can.

Contact the LIS Help Desk today to arrange your IT Audit. We will investigate your existing systems and advise the best way forward to make sure your keeping you business data safe.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#FreeGuide #CyberSecurityTraining #KeepYourBusinessProtected

Best tech for the home office

It looks like working from home is still going to be big in the future, with many of us staying at home indefinitely. So, we need all the right tech, don’t we? The Financial Times have suggested some of the best tech for the home office.

Best tech for the home office

Transforming your bedroom, living room or spare room into a home office space until further notice?
These are the top best tech for the home office picks worth investing in now

Working from home brings its own set of challenges but having the right tools on hand can help you stay productive. One of the biggest challenges of working from home is setting up a home office with the right tools. However, once you have got everything in place, it’s easier to get your work done.  

Even if you do not have a ton of space or a dedicated room to turn into a home office, you can still have a comfortable and productive work-from-home setup. All you need is a table, chair, and a few key pieces of tech.

Best tech for the home office: The essentials

We have compiled this handy list of the best work-from-home tech to help you increase your productivity. The main tech essentials everyone needs to work remotely are reliable internet and a laptop, but we also recommend getting a monitor, so you have a bigger screen to work from as well as a decent keyboard and mouse. With these gadgets, you will feel much more comfortable working than you would if you had to squint over your small laptop screen all day.

Beyond those main tech gadgets, you may also want to get a few more accessories, so we have added others that are enjoyable to have, including everything from headphones and speakers to webcams and smart lights.

Wireless mouse Wireless mouse

Logitech’s MX Master Wireless Mouse is our top pick for the best computer mouse for good reason. With an ergonomic design that is comfortable to use for hours on end and you can customize the functions of its buttons and the speed of the scroll wheel. It helps limit the amount of wrist and hand fatigue at the end of a day. It’s also wireless, so it’s an excellent mouse to have in your home office

Bluetooth keyboard Bluetooth keyboard

Logitech’s K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard has a compact design and the keys are responsive for typing. It does not have a number pad as this is a no-frills option. It is wireless, too, so for the small home office setup doesn’t look cluttered by a bunch of cables.

Gel wrist rest for your mouse Gel wrist rest

To limit wrist fatigue use Kensington’s ErgoSoft Wrist Rest. It is essentially a small gel-filled wrist pad that you can position exactly where you need it. The sticky underside keeps it from shifting around on the table. Ideal to have the option to angle it or remove it as needed throughout the workday.

A conference speaker phone conference speaker phone

Unless it is a quick call, using headsets or a phone against your ear is not ideal. Terrible sounding speakers on a phone or laptop is also not great. Use the PowerConf Bluetooth Speakerphone from Anker. Designed for group conferences and is portable. Due to the sound quality it produces and that has six microphones, it can pick up voices clearly regardless of where in the room.

A comfy office chair to plant your bottom office chair

Are you dealing with back pain? Long sitting hours in your office chair could be a killer. Why don’t you think about something else?.

It’s entirely too easy to spend a fortune on an office chair. An affordable option is the Space Seating Professional AirGrid.

A mid-back managers chair is upholstered with an AirGrid mesh-back with black eco-leather seat. Features built-in lumbar support, pneumatic seat height adjustment, and 2-to-1 synchro tilt control with adjustable tilt tension.

Advice from the experts

Some of the best tech for the home office you need to work effectively from home is obvious. Powerful laptop: check. Reliable printer: check. Fast broadband: check. But there are other gadgets that, while you can get the job done without them, will make a difference to how effortlessly you breeze through your to-do list.

However, how do you choose the best option to suit your needs? What do you do when your tech stops working? Have you got the right solutions in your office to keep you work effectively and securely? Contact the LIS Help Desk to discus the best options for your business. With 25 years’ experience, we are here to help, advice and listen to our clients. Le us be part of your team and help you run your business.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#WFH #AnywhereOffice #TopTech

Apple update threat

Unexpected Apple update threat

In a recent BBC article, James Clayton and Leo Kelion investigates the Apple update threat. Are you an ipad or iphone user? Owners of iPhones and iPads are being warned that some apps may experience glitches, due to an unexpected update. Apple only gave a day’s notice of the release of a major update to its mobile operating systems.

Chief executive Tim Cook revealed on Tuesday that iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 would launch on Wednesday. Last year, Apple announced the release date more than a week in advance.

Apple update threat

Apple only gave a day’s notice of the release of a major update to its mobile operating systems. This did not allow enough time for developers to combat the Apple update threat

Developers complain

The Apple update threat has caused havoc with developers. They have complained they do not have enough time to check for bugs and submit their products to the App Store. They include big names such as Nintendo, which has warned gamers that its Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp app will not launch after the update.

Pocket Camp commented on Twitter “We have confirmed that you cannot start the application after updating the iOS device to iOS 14. We are planning to fix this issue in an upcoming update within this month. We do not recommend you to update your device to iOS 14 until we have fixed this issue”.

How to prevent the Apple update threat

Some people’s devices are set to auto-install Apple’s mobile updates. In general, this can be a good idea to ensure that the latest cyber-security protection. In addition, features are automatically added when a device is plugged in overnight and connected to wi-fi.

However, this facility is limited to “point releases” and not the major “round-numbered” updates, like the move from iOS 13.7 to iOS 14. In this case, the new code will still be downloaded in the background on devices running versions 13.6 and above, but will not install without first seeking the user’s express permission, which can be declined.

Taking the pain out of IT

You are busy, so leave the worrying about your IT to us. At LIS we pride ourselves on keeping your IT systems running as smoothly and effectively as possible. This means you are free to focus on other things.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your aches and pains of your IT system. Consider us your IT doctor. We will diagnose your problems and prescribe solutions. Think of us as a part of your team – we might not be onsite; but we are always there for you.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Apple #iPhone #iPad #ITSupport

Cope without the Internet

Part 1: How would you cope without the Internet?

Let us look at a day in a life of a person without the Internet. Believe it or not, it is still possible to function, you just to need adapt to your surroundings. In a recent Metro article, Ike Iwuchuku reports on how he managed to cope without the Internet.

You wake up every morning and start your routine which, for most of us, includes catching up on the news. Whether this is about your friends, celebrities, sports, or current events, it usually begins on your smartphone or your tablet. Even on your commute, you have got a podcast or Internet radio station going.

Once at work, you are sending emails, video conferencing, researching and sending a few texts. Unless you have excessive website blocks at your office, you are probably also checking your social media. Finally, you head home and zone out to some Netflix and have one last browse through social media before going to sleep.

However, what would happen if the Internet vanished? We are not talking as if the Internet was never created. Imagine what life would be like without the Internet. What would really happen if we were not so connected?

Cope without the Internet

Given the amount of time people spend face down in their smartphones, swiping on their iPads
or glued to their laptops, life without the internet seems hard to imagine.

Life without the Internet

Some purists might argue that having no Internet would be the best thing to happen. They are the same people who think it is horrible and that all Millennials do is Instagram all day. They are not entirely wrong. Studies show that such incessant social media use can negatively impact our lives.

Cons of having no Internet

Of course, it is easy to discuss how life would be miserable without the Internet. It would be a lot harder to talk to your friends on a daily (or hourly) basis. But it would take away a sense of community that, for many of us, is vital. This could be anything from fantasy sports leagues or even virtual mental health groups. As a result, we may be more disconnected than ever before. You would have to go to a shop and buy a digital file in person to access new music beyond the radio. Possibly one of the biggest downsides would be the lack of dog or cat photos in our lives.

What are the benefits of no Internet?

On the other hand, being cut off from the Internet might do wonders for our personal relationships. Because we would not have a screen to distract us. We would start to live in the moment. Imagine heading out to a dinner with your friends and having a conversation. Although it still may be about gossip, it would focus on the real world. There are plenty of benefits to a life without the Internet. In particular, it is worth noting that you would get to truly interact with people. The benefits are not just about the time we spend awake. Our addiction to connected devices is ruining our sleep. It is possible in the short term to cope without the Internet.

What would change and how would you cope without the Internet?

News: The way we take in news and information has been impressively quick thanks to the internet. Without it, we would rely on TV programs, newspapers (yes, actual newspapers), and, worst of all, word of mouth. If you think politics has been strange lately, imagine it with even fewer sources of information and no way to verify their credibility. We imagine politics would take a surprising turn, although we are not really sure which direction that would be.

Health: The long-running joke is to never use the Internet for your symptoms. Otherwise you will end up thinking you have five types of cancer and the plague. However, having access to an online directory of symptoms has certainly helped millions. With such platforms, we can self-diagnose with a degree of accuracy. This saves us time and money on health-related costs. Without it, there would be a lot more and possibly unnecessary trips to the doctor. Even still, medical professionals now rely on a connected network to pass along patient data and research conditions. Having no Internet would slow this process down for sure.

Work: Working without the Internet seems like an impossible task. Whether you have an international team or simply advertise locally, the Internet has a profound effect on our productivity. Without it, we would rely a lot more on spoken word of mouth, advertising in print and on TV, and take days to complete even the smallest tasks. Additionally, global commerce would be impressively slow and tedious, if not impossible for some brands. On the whole, scaling as we do in the current market would be all but unattainable.

Commerce: Likewise, our shopping experiences would become drastically limited. In regards to fashion, trends would slow as it would take longer to spread new styles. From there, it would be very difficult for global sales and innovation would suffer. Imagine technology without crowdfunding campaigns (that is not a world we want to live in).

Finances: Having an app to show all our finances in one place is certainly something we take for granted. Without the Internet, you would be back to a standard cheque book and calling your bank to find out your balance. It also means paying bills would take much longer, as banks would also be less connected.

Social life: Hanging out with friends would go back to the methods of yesteryear. You would need to send letters to far away friends or probably get back to paying high rates for long distance calls. Want to make plans? You would better hope your friends remember the event date. However, we would rely on in-person interactions which would encourage us to get out and see each other more often.

General information: Gone would be the days of Google Maps. Researching for a school paper or a project at work would require a library card and some serious effort. Unless we archive the entire Internet and hit print, we would lose a lot of access to information, never to be seen again. Ultimately, our society would suffer from this lack of knowledge.

Law and order: The Internet has been an essential tool to help law enforcement identify and arrest suspects. It is also a powerful method to finding evidence. Having no Internet would certainly take cyber-crime off the table, but it would leave a gaping hole for all new crime. Knowing the limits of CCTV where there is no cloud or digital locks or alarm systems, criminals would be more likely to commit more crimes. At least initially, our society would experience a large spike in crime before new methods could take the place of current systems.

In conclusion

Suffice to say, the Internet has bettered our lives. We can communicate with every corner of the globe. As well as maintaining friendships that were previously impossible no matter how good of a pen pal you were. However, life is about balance. LIS can help you cope without the Internet and make sure you stay connected. We have the Internet at our disposal and have the choice to use it for just about everything. We highly recommend signing off every now and then to connect with those, and the world, around you.

Contact the LIS Help Desk about your broadband and telecoms. We can provide you with super fast broadband, that will make your business more efficient and stay connected with your team. Talk to our experienced team about your phone systems and business mobiles. As well as, saving you money with low cost phone calls.

Stayed tuned to read part 2 of this blog next week. We will take a look at how businesses would cope without no Internet. LIS will help set up a business disaster recovery plan.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#homeless #NoInternet #ITSupport #Business

Security Challenge

Take our 60 minute security challenge

We are the local data security experts. Our team prides itself on quickly finding ways that hackers could damage your business and blocking them. Are you ready to take the security challenge?

When you’re running a business, you want to think you’ve done as much as possible to keep your data safe from theft and loss. But if you don’t have the right professionals implementing data security, how well protected are you really?

In fact, if you give us just 60 minutes, we’re confident we would find something wrong with your IT setup that places your data security at risk.

Watch our new video to find out more – then contact us to start your 60 minute security challenge.

Secure your business for peace of mind

Technology is advancing every day and so is the risk of hacking. Users are increasingly facing the risk of hacking as cyber security threats become progressively more sophisticated. Implementing a firewall on your network perimeter and anti-virus on your desktop is no longer a sufficient solution – the attack surface is now much bigger.

Take our 60 minute security challenge. If you give one of our experts just 60 minutes to examine your IT systems, we’re confident they’ll find a data security breach that will horrify you. Of course, we’re not doing this to be cruel.

We want to show you what extra measures your business should be taking to keep your data safe. And your people and clients protected. Let’s face it, it’s better that WE find the breach, than a cyber-criminal does.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to help you stay vigilant when it comes to hackers. We will suggest which upgrades for your system are best suited to your business. This will improve your IT security.

#WeChallengeYou #60minuteSecurityChallenge #Security #Business