Strengthening Business Continuity Is Urgent For Financial Services

Strengthening Business Continuity Is Urgent For Financial Services

While most businesses handle at least some customer personally identifiable information on a daily basis, there is little more important than a client’s financial information which consists of what is likely a significant portion of their life savings. Firms that manage investment and savings accounts spend years cultivating relationships with their clients, with complete trust as one of the foundational pillars of these relationships. That’s why strengthening business continuity is so important for financial services organizations.

With data hacks on the rise, financial services organizations must do everything they can to ensure their client’s investments are safe and secure. This also means ensuring they are able to deliver continuous service such as deposits and withdrawals, and even simple account review 24/7/365. Financial services firms must also protect against identity theft and/or impersonation, which can even be more devastating to clients as these types of crimes affect not only their investments, but almost every other aspect of their daily life.

Business Continuity Defined  

In order to understand business continuity, it’s important to define it as it relates to data and information systems. In order for a firm to have continuity of services, they must have a complete solution, not just a plan for backup, but also recovery in the event of a disaster. This means client data is protected both on-premise and in the cloud in order to keep data safe and secure, even in the event of a device failure.

Do Your Backups Measure Up?

Companies still working under the impression that a daily back-up of all corporate data is sufficient, are at high risk for significant problems. This traditional way of viewing backups overlooks many gaps including instances such as when those in charge forget to perform a backup or the process fails in some way. Other potentially disastrous scenarios include losing an entire day’s worth of work after a failure and/or lack of backup validation, which is then discovered to be useless when needed for a restoration.

Other issues can occur from only keeping backups on-site, which means if a disaster such as a tornado, flood, or fire should occur, the backups become useless. Incomplete backups that only include raw data, rather than including other crucial data such as server configuration and application files means it could take several days to get fully back online in the event of a system failure. 

Finding the Optimal Solution

At this point, smaller financial services organizations may recognize they simply do not have the IT resources to implement the right protective strategies to safeguard their clients from irreparable financial harm. Fortunately, there is still a way to fully protect clients and their investments in the event of a disaster, whether natural or manmade. 

For smaller financial organizations, the ideal solution is to outsource their IT needs to a company that also has experience in the financial industry. By partnering with such a firm, smaller companies can be confident they are doing everything they can to protect not only all the valuable assets and information pertaining to their clients, but every online function related to operating their firm. 

An IT firm specializing in the financial industry can handle all compliance and regulatory issues that go along with protecting client data, as well as offering their expertise in the areas of timely hardware and software updates and maintenance, and ensuring the integrity of backups and their restoration process in the event that action becomes necessary. A specialized IT firm can also establish and provide continuous review and maintenance of system security practices within the financial firm. With a firm that specializes both in the IT and financial industries, financial services firms can have the best of both worlds and know they are doing everything they can to maintain the assets and the trust of their clients for decades to come.    

If you are a financial services firm and are ready to update your data backup strategy to industry standards, please contact us.

Business Owners 12x More Likely to Be a Cyber Security Target Here’s What You Can Do About It

cyber security target

As a business owner or operator, it is up to you to protect yourself and your employees from cyber attacks. Unfortunately, many small business owners either underestimate the damage a cyber attack can cause or fail to take the proper steps to protect themselves. Below is a look at some reasons why business owners are more likely to be a cyber security target and some steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Why are Business Owners More Susceptible to Cyber Attacks?

A recent study by Verizon highlights how vulnerable business owners are to cyber security attacks. When compared to other employees, business owners and senior executives are a dozen times more apt to become a victim of a cyber security attack. Small businesses were especially likely to be targeted, accounting for 43% of cyber attacks and data breaches. Here are a few reasons why business owners and executives are more at risk:

They are incredibly busy

Business owners and top executives are usually preoccupied with the day to day activities of running a business. They are so busy focusing on customer issues, troubleshooting, and promoting their business that they do not have time to think about cybersecurity. 

They often know little about protecting themselves

In addition to having little time to think about IT threats, business owners typically know very little about cybersecurity. They have no idea about the most common threats or what measures they can take to protect themselves.

They think they are immune to attacks

Small business owners, in particular, are especially likely to think that they will never become a target of a cyber attack. They often assume that hackers will target larger, more profitable companies, and therefore focus little on prevention.

They underestimate the damage an attack can cause

With the average cost of a cyber attack now exceeding $1 million, a cyber attack can spell financial doom for a business – especially a small one. Between lost productivity, service disruptions, and a poor customer experience, cyber attacks can cause lasting damage to a business.

What are some simple steps you can take to help prevent attacks?

The path to preventing cyber attacks begins with knowledge and training. By having a keen understanding of your risks, you will be motivated to increase your focus on cybersecurity. Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from cyber attacks:

  • Make cybersecurity a top priority at your business
  • Incorporate cybersecurity details into your training initiatives
  • Ensure data is kept in a safe, secure location
  • Implement security surveying and testing procedures
  • Closely manage your internet firewall protection

What is the single best way to protect yourself from cyber attacks?

As outlined above, there are many reasons why business owners are at an increased risk of cyber attacks and data breaches. And while there are some measures you can take to help prevent these problems, the single best way to protect yourself and your business is to seek the services of an experienced IT partner. An accomplished IT partner will work with you to educate you and your team about the most common threats. More importantly, they will arm you with a strategic plan to protect you from those threats.

As New York’s premier provider of IT services, AE Technology Group is your solution to preventing cyber security attacks. We invite you to contact us to discover why business owners across NYC and Long Island trust us to protect their identity and their companies. For 20 years, we have delivered five-star IT support and management to businesses of all sizes. We look forward to giving you and your business the cyber security protection you deserve!

Tips on Purchasing Computers for Your Small Business – Computer Tip of The Day

Tips on Purchasing Computers for Your Small Business - Computer Tip of The Day
Purchasing Computers for Small Business

For most modern businesses, their office’s computers are their most valuable tool, and having quality, high-speed computers can help to boost productivity.

However, due to the vital role computers play in most offices, it can be daunting for small business owners to choose new computers when it comes time to replace their current units. With so many different options on the market, it can seem overwhelming trying to choose the right computer.

To help get you started, here are a few things you should consider when choosing new computers for your small business.

Don’t be Afraid to Spend Money

If you are like many small business owners, one of your primary concerns when choosing new computers for your office will be your budget, as you will not want to go overboard on how much you spend on new technology. However, it is also important that you do not overcompensate by buying the cheapest computer on the market.

If you go too cheap with the computers you choose, the lack of processing speed and memory will cost you more in reduced productivity than the amount you would have spent purchasing a better model. It is important to see purchasing new computers as an investment in your company.

While you don’t need to buy the most expensive computers, it will be in your best interest to at least go for a mid-range model.

Consider Whether You Will Require Portability

Another thing you will want to consider is whether you should purchase desktops or laptops for your business; in other words, you will need to decide whether portability is important to you.

Having employees work remotely from home is growing in popularity among businesses in a variety of industries. However, allowing employees to work on their personal computers can be complicated and may pose a security threat. However, it can also be costly to provide employees with separate work laptops.

If allowing your employees to work from home is something you want to start doing, you may want to consider purchasing laptops instead of desktops for your office, as this will allow your employees to take their work computer with them when they will be working from home.

Contact us for additional advice on things you should consider when purchasing new computers for your small business.

How Can You Protect Your Business Data During Logins?

How Can You Protect Your Business Data During Logins?

The more inconvenient you can make it for would-be criminals to get your business and customer data, the less likely they are to try. Unless they are specifically targeting your business, there is almost always lower hanging fruit. Here’s how to tighten security with just a few simple changes:

Have two-step password recovery or logins.

If you’ve ever forgotten your password to an account through Google or ADP, you’ve been given an extra passcode for extra authorization. More and more companies are turning to adding a second, manual step to prevent mass password reset requests and to prevent typical bots from being able to complete the process. So add this extra step for when your customers need new passwords and when your employees log in.

Never give out forgotten passwords.

Several years ago, you would be sent your password if you forgot it. But companies and online services gradually started switching to password resets instead. This isn’t necessarily because it’s any easier on the hacker’s end to recover the password instead of resetting it. But the fundamental architecture of old password recovery systems was a spreadsheet. You’d enter your username as part of your password recovery request, the system would find that string of characters in the ‘username’ column, and then you’d receive an email with whatever was in the ‘password’ column. If hackers know how your information is organized, it’s that much easier to steal.

Use a physical key for administrative access.

A physical token is also an icon of early Internet security. Instead of two-step verification apps like Duo, people used to get remote network access through their computer login and by plugging in a token that provided a long string of randomized characters: one of the most secure passwords.

For truly crucial information and access portals, like your server administrator’s or CTO’s computer, use a token. They’ve become more and more secure, and the element of physical security makes it that much harder to break into.

For more security tools, go to AE Technology Group.

 

What Are Managed Services for New York Businesses?

What Are Managed Services for New York Businesses?
Managed Services

If you are new to owning a business or perhaps have just never considered using IT services you are missing out on a service that could make the operations of your business run a lot more smoothly. AE Technology Group offers managed services to New York and Long Islands businesses. We specialized in providing services to small to medium businesses that don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing IT in-house.

Managed services offer both preventative and on-demand IT support to our clients. The are many benefits to hiring AE Technology Group to provide your IT services. The first is that we always have on-demand support. IT issues are rarely convenient and need to be repaired as soon as possible to keep your business running smoothly. Thanks to today’s technology, almost any IT problem can be fixed remotely. So if you give us a call we can help solve your problem quickly without having to make a trip into your workplace.

Another benefit of managed IT services is that it saves your business money and space. Having your own in-house IT takes up space and hiring full-time IT staff might be more costly than hiring outside support. And an additional benefit is that managed IT services come in packages depending on what you need. You will probably find many of your IT needs fall under one of our packages provided at a low monthly rate.

For more information about managed IT services, contact us today at AE Technology Group.