Encryption: What it is and Where it’s Going.

In order to demonstrate private and public key encryption, it is best to have a cast of characters. Meet Alice, Eve, and Bob.     Alice wants to send Bob some sensitive information. Eve has been trying to get this information from Alice. She has been watching her communications in anticipation. How can Alice send this information to Bob without Eve seeing the information? Let’s assume that Alice and Bob are not able to meet in-person, so physically handing off the information is not an option. Symmetrical Key Encryption If this were a physical box containing sensitive information, then Alice …

Why Patch?

In our past posts, we’ve discussed the importance of educating your employees on proper cybersecurity protocols, but there is one aspect of user behavior that can be easily overlooked, yet is critically important: updating and installing patches. What is a patch? A patch is a piece of software that is designed to update a computer program or its supporting data. Patches can be updated manually or automatically.  Patches are sometimes aimed at improving the user experience, adding new features, eliminating known bugs, or fixing known security vulnerabilities. The latter of these intentions is the main focus of this article. You …

Bots are the Future, are you Ready?

I was perusing the web today and found an article on IT News entitled “How To Protect Chatbot Data And User Privacy” by Terena Bell. We are always focused on educating business owners and managers on securing their companies’ data and Equifax reminded us of the importance of security controls. Their massive data breach exposed 143 million Americans’ information and ultimately led to CEO Richard Smith’s resignation. You may have caught on from the title of this article that it is not about the security of these bots, but rather an overview of what the bots can offer and why you should seriously consider …

Mobile Device Security

More and more small businesses are offering mobile devices to their employees as a means of increasing productivity and improving efficiency. It should not surprise you that these devices, and those belonging to the employees, pose a potential security risk to the network infrastructure. One survey found that 45% of businesses do not have a policy or plan to provide IT support for these devices. Businesses need to acknowledge the threat that mobile devices pose and take preemptive action to avoid the costly downtime, diverted resources, loss of data, and damage to the company’s public image that a malware attack …

How Do I Secure the Cloud?

Cloud security spending has been growing at an annual rate of 28% according to Forrester Research. By 2021, cloud security spending will be at $3.5 billion. Some of the biggest spenders are the financial and healthcare industries. The Forrester report states, “We expect most companies to look to commercial off the shelf solutions for their cloud security needs.” These off the shelf solutions are becoming more and more available as the cloud security market expands, but not all companies have made the move to secure the cloud. (Cloud security spending to hit $3.5bn by 2021, says Forrester  By James Bourne). …

Online Privacy and Cookies

Have you ever been on Google looking for something and then it shows up in your Facebook feed? Have you noticed that advertisements on the internet seem more and more applicable to your wants and needs? Well, you can thank (or scorn) big data for that. The practice is commonly known as “targeted advertising” uses data to target the most receptive candidates. Advertisers know that someone browsing for socks might very well purchase socks from an online retailer that gets in front of them. This sort of data can come from a variety of sources. One of the most common …

How To: Successful Remote Teams

  Technology has given business owners and manager an abundance of options in how, where, and when to do business. Many companies have introduced technologies that enable employees to telecommute. Giving employees this option increases productivity 13%, reduces turnover, improves morale, reduces a firm’s environmental impact, and can save an average of $11,000 per employee annually. Sound too good to be true? It is and it isn’t. The key to reaping all of the benefits of telecommuting means putting in work up-front to ensure that you can build and manage teams that are able to effectively operate remotely. Small business …

Turning Data into Information (Part 2)

How Data is Collected Data collection used to be fairly simple. You wrote down the numbers that you had to and someone would throw it in a spreadsheet, turn it into a nice colorful graph, and present it to the decision makers. Today data can be collected in a continuous stream from a variety of sources and the risk becomes collecting the wrong data rather than not collecting enough data. Some ways to collect data include: Census: Obtains data from every member of a population (usually not practical because of time and cost) Sample Surveys: Obtains data from a subset …

Turning Data into Information (Part 1)

Data and business have traveled hand in hand through the ages. Before the first great stories were recorded in writing, traders and businessmen were chiseling numbers on stones to keep records of their transactions. The days of the stone tablet have long since passed, and the data that was once recorded on them have gone digital – in a BIG way. The sheer amount of data that can or is collected has given way to a vast industry of new and improved products, innovative approaches, and three letter acronyms. What is Data? Most of you can skip right down to …