Understanding Scams: How to Protect Your Business 

While we try our hardest to ensure there are enough security measures to make it a safe place, the internet can still be a dangerous place. People fall victims to scams every day as scams continue to evolve and become smarter. Scammers can find their way into your email, texts, and ads easily by creating realistic links that you can easily believe are legitimate. Businesses are no strangers to having to deal with costly scams. Why are some people more likely to fall for scams than others, and how do you stop your employees from inadvertently engaging in scams and costing your company?

How Do Scams Continue to Survive?

Online scams are a million-dollar industry that affects individuals and organizations worldwide. As tech advances and the world becomes more connected, scammers continue to adapt, thrive, and succeed in the business of scamming people. Plenty of companies exist with the sole purpose of scamming, and it’s becoming more common as the costs of running these scams continue to decrease and become easier.

Scammers often operate in countries with little regulation and laws that prevent them from operating, making it challenging to locate those responsible for the scams. There are a lot of techniques, methods, and types of scams that they use to bypass security and pass as legitimate in a way that tricks everyday people into clicking on their links, answering their phone calls, or responding to emails.

People will likely fall for scams because scammers often target vulnerability and familiarity. It’s a numbers game where they send thousands of emails and only receive a small handful of responses, but it’s just enough. 

When scammers target businesses, they use familiar brands or even the name of someone within your organization to request sensitive information. If an employee is not prepared or educated on the risk of scams, especially if the scammer is friendly and appears legitimate, the employee may ignore the warning signs. They usually end up fulfilling the request giving the scammer the information they need to complete their scam.

How to Protect Your Business

Thousands of scam emails, texts, and ads make their rounds every day, and it’s becoming more likely that you and your employees will come across a scam at some point in your life. One of the most efficient ways to protect your business from scams is to ensure your employees are educated and informed on what to look for and steps to take if a scam makes its way through network security. Here are some essential tips to help you avoid falling victim to scams.

  • Always remain cautious with every email and text message you receive. If you are suspicious, verify the sender’s identity through other means of communication.
  • Look for some common signs of phishing, including unreasonable demands, suspicious attachments, spelling or grammatical errors, or if you don’t recognize the contact information.
  • Ensure you have security software installed to help filter out scam emails, and always keep your systems and software up to date.
  • Always have a backup of your data if a scam does make it through. Implement a backup and disaster recovery solution utilizing on-site data storage and off-site data centers.

Get started protecting your business today with a security solution from AE Technology Group. To get started, give us a call at (516) 536-5006.

Contact Us Today!

Security Issues You Can Encounter on Your Mobile Device

Many businesses provide their employees with a mobile device to help with their daily work tasks. When it comes to mobile devices, not many people are aware of the security risks that come along with using them. You want to be able to provide enough security for mobile devices to protect against external security threats without hindering productivity or your employees feeling overly restricted by your policies. To help you find appropriate mobile security practices, we put together a list of the three top issues you should plan for and how you can properly address them.

Malicious Applications

Applications are similar to the software of programs you download on your computer. Some applications can offer many services, from communication to data storage or communication. While many apps you shop for on both Android and iOS are legitimate, there are apps developed by cyber criminals designed to disguise themselves as credible apps that can provide you with a solution. You never want to download apps from developers you are unfamiliar with or that you don’t recognize. 

Unsecured Connections

When people use their mobile devices, they usually don’t want to burn through their data, so they opt to connect to whatever Wi-Fi is available. The big problem with Wi-Fi networks is that most publicly accessible Wi-Fi networks are unsecured. When they are secured, they aren’t appropriately secured. Using an unsecured Wi-Fi puts users at risk when sending data to and from devices. Hackers can easily steal information in transit. They can even mimic public Wi-Fi to trick users into connecting to it to steal their data. 

Lost or Stolen Devices

Mobile devices can be easily misplaced or stolen when they leave the office environment. Losing a personal device can cause a lot of stress, but losing a device with sensitive company data can be more stressful. It can be impactful to not only you but your company if anyone gets a hold of your device and can easily access the stored data.

Security Solutions

With such a diverse range of malicious mobile threats, you want to be sure you are optimizing security while still getting the most out of your mobile device. An effective solution needs to be able to detect and respond to security threats quickly and still provide a positive experience. These security solutions can help you safeguard your devices and data from external threats while ensuring your users can remain productive on their devices.

Mobile Device Management: Comprehensive MDM solutions allow you to control app downloads on devices and remotely wipe lost or stolen devices should the need arise. MDMs make it easy to track account access and information about the devices through a remote MDM tool.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN): One big way to protect devices is through a virtual private network or VPN. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the data it’s accessing, meaning hackers cannot simply observe or steal data being sent to or from each location.

To get started with any of the above security measures, contact AE Technology Group at 516.536.5006.

Contact Us Today!

What Might Cyberattacks Look Like in the Future?

Cybersecurity has been a major concern since the 1970s before the internet itself was around. As technology evolves, cybersecurity grows with it. If recent current events are any indication, cyber threats aren’t going away anytime soon. So, how can you protect yourself and your business from Cyber attacks in the future? And what will these cyber attacks look like?

Let’s take a few moments to consider some of the current cyber threats, how they’ll influence cyberattacks in the future, and what you can do to protect your information.

Modern Cyberthreats

To properly predict the future of cyber attacks, we need to dive into what’s happening today. Currently, there are a few specific threat vectors that are extremely popular among cybercriminals. These are the cyberattacks you often hear about in the news or read about on social media. To properly understand how to protect your business, you’ll have to gain some knowledge about what these threats are.

Phishing & Ransomware

One of the most common methods used by cybercriminals today is phishing. This is the use of deceit and deception to fool a person into divulging personal information, such as a password or credit card number, to a scammer. The scammer is typically pretending to be a reputable company offering its services.

Phishing is also often used to spread ransomware, which places malware on the target’s device, encrypting their information until the ransom is paid. They often target businesses with sensitive information that they cannot risk losing, so they are forced to pay the ransom to remove the encryption and regain access to their files.

Identity Theft

Unfortunately, and perhaps, unsurprisingly, the recent financial assistance given to so many citizens created a spike in identity theft cases. Cybercriminals gained information through the pandemic assistance, unemployment benefits, and data that was stolen from Facebook and LinkedIn.

Hacking

Hackers access your information through cybersecurity holes like weak passwords, IoT and IIoT devices without sufficient protections, and even insider threats. These all leave your business vulnerable to attack and should be corrected immediately.

How will Cyberattacks Change in the Future?

Based on how cyberattacks have evolved in the past, we predict that they’ll actually look very similar in the future. Cybercriminals simply learn to use new advances in technology to change their method of attack.

Some major cyber threats we’re predicting are the use of deepfakes and artificially mimicked voices to bypass access controls, and hacking voice assistants (We’re looking at you, Alexa) to gain sensitive information. 

While the method of attack may be slightly different, they’ll probably look a lot like how they appear today. So, what can you do to protect your business?

How to Protect Your Business from Cyberattacks

  • Lock Down your Hardware

We mean it… lock it down. Your hardware should be protected both by cybersecurity software on your devices and network and in terms of access controls and physical security. Cybercriminals are going to intentionally go for an easy target, so make it as difficult as possible for them to access your info.

  • 2. Encrypt your Data

Even the most secure cybersecurity plan may not be able to prevent your information from getting into the wrong hands, that’s where encryption comes in. Encrypting your data will ensure that, if it is stolen, it is effectively useless to the cybercriminal. 

  • Teach your Staff about Cybersecurity

Anyone who has access to even the slightest shred of your information should be up to date on modern cybersecurity threats and how to protect themselves. Schemes like phishing and hacking are typically successful because people are not educated on cybersecurity. Incorporating a security-first mindset into your company culture will do a lot more than you might expect it to.

As we mentioned, cybersecurity will only become more important as technological advances are made. To truly protect your business, contact a professional. 

AE Technology Group is here to help put your business on the right foot moving forward. Give us a call at (516) 536-5006 to learn more about the cybersecurity tools and protections we can implement for you.

Subscribe to our blog for more helpful technology tips & tricks!

IoT: Smart Devices are Getting Smarter

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) grows larger with every passing day, and with so many connected devices with Internet functionality entering the world, one has to wonder how this impacts cybersecurity. Let’s take a look at what could potentially be changing as the Internet of Things expands its borders and scope. 

The Projections for the Internet of Things 

It’s estimated that 127 new IoT devices connect to the Internet every second, and with the numbers swelling to 75 billion by the year 2025, there are countless opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit them. Even commercial Internet of Things devices are not safe from the attacks of hackers. 

For one example of how this growth has impacted cybersecurity, turn to 2017, when the United Kingdom’s National Health Service—including its Internet-connected medical devices—was struck by ransomware. Furthermore, video doorbells will often stream data without protections, and smart home devices have been known to store wireless network credentials in a similar way. 

The question then becomes, how do you secure an infrastructure with so many weaknesses in it? 

What Can Be Done to Secure the IoT? 

There are many ways you can solve the IoT security crisis, one of which is the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 in the United States. This piece of legislation introduced IoT industry-specific standards and shows that governments understand that this is a problem which must be addressed. Despite these movements, it’s important still to do all you can for the sake of your own business, such as the following: 

Encrypt Data 

Relatively speaking, few IoT devices utilize encryption to protect their data. Implementing it on a network level can be an effective tool for keeping data secure, especially while it’s moving back and forth on the network or between devices. 

Change Default Passwords on IoT Devices 

All default passwords should be changed, especially on IoT devices that often use the device model as the default password. Just come up with a secure password and you are already leagues ahead of where so many others are. 

Use Devices from Security-Conscious Manufacturers 

One way your company and its users can make security a priority is by simply looking at the manufacturers you work with. Supporting those that make security a priority will aid you in the long run, and it will encourage others to follow suit when you put your money where your mouth is. 

 

AE Technology Group can help your business secure its IoT devices and network. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006. 

Contact Us Today and Check Out Our Blog!

Log4j Vulnerability is Almost Guaranteed to Impact Your Business

The major Log4j vulnerability has a widespread impact across various technology. We can’t stress how serious this is, and your business needs to take action right away.

What is Log4j?

We’ll keep it simple; programmers can utilize different programming languages when creating software. One of these languages is called Java, and in Java, programmers have “libraries” of instructions to work with. Log4j is one of those libraries.

A severe vulnerability has recently been discovered in the Log4j library that cybercriminals can exploit to gain access to your systems and data. It leaves your business and your information wide open to the world.

This particular Java library is pretty standard and is used in many applications and systems. It’s been used by some pretty popular products and services from some big names, like:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Cisco
  • Fortinet
  • Google
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • SonicWall
  • Sophos
  • VMware

…as well as others, large and small. Even the United States’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is affected.

Could The Log4j vulnerability impact my business?

The chances are pretty high that your business uses some software that utilizes Log4j, making it susceptible to vulnerability. We can’t stress enough that this affects the big guys in the list above, but everyone uses their software.

The risks are incredibly high, too—with the vulnerability just coming to light, cybercriminals are going to start exploiting it. This is called a Zero-Day vulnerability, and it’s a ticking time-bomb.

How Can My Business Be Protected from Log4j?

You need to apply your security patches and updates and ensure that the software you use—all of the software you use—is getting support from your vendors. Suppose you are using software that is no longer supported or no longer gets updated. In that case, you’ll need to audit that system to determine if it is affected by the vulnerability or not. We recommend setting up an appointment to have your entire network audited. You can get this started by giving us a call at PHONENUMBER.

The problem is, as a user, you can’t tell if a website or piece of software is using this particular Java library.

Everything Just Got a Little Riskier, So It’s Up to You To Protect Yourself

Since this vulnerability is so widespread, it’s likely to have a lasting impact across all technology for years. It’s more critical than ever to use vital password hygiene. “Password123” isn’t going to cut it anymore. Everyone needs to start using strong passwords and use unique passwords across every single website and account they use. Otherwise, when one system is breached due to this vulnerability, cybercriminals will be able to use the passwords they stole from one account to get into others. This involves following the primary password best practices that we always talk about, like:

  • Using a unique password for each account and website
  • Using a mix of alphanumeric characters and symbols
  • Using a sufficiently complex passcode to help with memorability without shorting your security
  • Keeping passwords to yourself

Audit your IT TODAY

You need to protect the interests and information of your employees and customers. We recommend contacting a professional and having all your technology reviewed and updated.

Give AE Technology Group a call at (516) 536-5006 to schedule an appointment. Don’t wait for the Log4j vulnerability to blow over—it’s going to be a dangerous situation for companies that don’t take action.