6 Cyber Security Tips for Remote Workers

As we transition into the #WorkFromHome life, staying safe remains our top priority. Don’t forget to consider data security and cyber threats while working remote. Viruses of a different kind can throw a wrench in productivity and compromise core systems and information.

Stay safe at home with these 6 Cyber Security Tips for Remote Workers.

Best Practices for The Best Remote Office Experience

Transitions are the perfect opportunity to review best practices and ensure your company is operating at maximum efficiency. Preventing cyber attacks begins with a thorough review of your organization’s security and compliance. 

Review employee password requirements and ensure your company is following the recommended security protocol to keep your sensitive information from slipping into the wrong hands. Protect your clients and your team by requiring two-factor authentication and passwords that consistent of a phrase or sentence with capitals, numbers, and special characters.

Ensure employees have logged out of all devices aside from their designated work computer. Be clear with your team that personal devices should not be used for work purposes. These devices are unsecured and may compromise integral security. This includes transferring files with confidential information between work and personal devices.

Support your crew with sufficient resources such as tablets, work phones, and laptops for on-the-go business instead. For easy data transfer, opt for convenient and secured Cloud storage solutions.

Secure Wi-Fi Networks

Portals, email, and CRM’s aren’t the only platforms that require strong security. Remote work should always be conducted via a secured Wi-Fi network. This ensures that sensitive information is not transmitted through compromised channels. For staff that are currently working from home, offer a DIY IT workshop to get them started. 

Change the router password to meet best practice standards and consider installing firmware updates and cracking down on encryption levels. 

Protect Privacy

Cyberspace is a dangerous realm. You never know who may be viewing your information and tracking your supposedly private IP address. From advertisers to phishing scams, accessing sensitive information and demographics is surprisingly easy.

Get your team outfitted with the protection of a virtual private network or VPN. A company wide VPN supports secured browsing by masking the IP address (or digital footprint) of each user. These helpful tools encrypt internet traffic, keeping company data protected and private information secured.

Check for Updates

Good anti-virus software is only as good as its last update. Think twice before hitting the “later” button on daily or weekly updates. Although keeping software and applications in top shape can seem like an extra annoyance in your busy day, these updates contain essential information and patches for vulnerabilities.

Firewalls, anti-malware, and anti-virus software are the most critical components to prioritize. These programs are constantly adapting to capture and quarantine new, evolving threats. Ensure an automatic update schedule has been enabled. Taking a few minutes to streamline applications will save you a lot of grief in the event of a cyber attack.

Don’t Be a Victim of Cyber Crooks

There’s no better time for a company refresher on the importance of cyber safety. Phishing scams are on the rise since the increase in remote workers. These devious cyber crooks typically operate by sending scam emails, calls, or texts in order to gain personal and financial information on their target. Make your team aware of recent scams and threats while keeping each member up to speed on what they can do to prevent a data breach.

A few SOP’s for remote work might include a cheatsheet of information you should never give out via phone, text, or email, as well as helpful tips on how to spot a phishing scheme.

Be Prepared

One positive element to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is that the current situation underscores the value of preparedness. Data loss can happen to anyone, whether by human error or cyber breach. Be sure your company is prepared with a backup plan in case the unexpected happens.

Investing in a robust Cloud storage system provides a sufficient backup in case of disaster. This simple solution is typically the most convenient and cost effective for small to mid-sized businesses. If all else fails, AETechnology Group has your back(up) with disaster recovery options for our Long Island and New York business clients.

Contact our experts today for all your remote work needs as we continue to empower businesses to prioritize safety alongside productivity.

How Technology Has Affected the Modern Workplace

How Technology Has Affected the Modern Workplace

Throughout history, technology has continuously modified the way employees across every industry do their work. Not long ago, companies were in the mess of numerous paperwork. Heavy expenses were incurred so as to reach customers, memos had to be released and posted on notice boards, as well as numerous meetings in rooms.

Nevertheless, technology has changed all of this and made work more comfortable. You now stand a chance to work in the comfort of your home effectively. Here are some of the ways in which technology has reshaped the modern workplace. 

1. Speed and Efficiency

Technology has made it possible for you to work faster and become more fruitful when working from home. Using modern software systems not only motivates you to do more work but also do a clean job. Unlike in the past, when you had to do a lot of paperwork, completing a task is now just a click away. 

Technology has streamlined how fast a certain task will be completed. It has become easy to track down how your colleagues are working and bring out better results together. Therefore, the ability to bring out fast and efficient results lies on the screen in front of you. 

2. Better Team Collaboration

Technology has dramatically changed the way people used to communicate. Smartphones, chat apps, and social networking sites have taken communication to another level. This makes it easy to get in touch with your colleagues and deliberate on how you can continue being more productive. 

Technology has also made it easier for managers to track the progress of every employee. This keeps every worker on their toes and ensures that all work is efficiently done and thus more output. Holding meetings has also become easy due to teleconferencing. This saves you not only time but also the extra expenses that would have been used to commute to the office.

3. Reduced Risk of Security Breaches

Initially stealing essential and sensitive information from a company was easy, but now with technology, it has almost become impossible to get such information. This is because proper security measures brought about by technology have been put in place.  

Technology has also made it possible for every employees’ conversations to be tracked. This ensures that no security breach is caused by any of your colleagues. When your company is secure, you also become secure in terms of your job. 

4. Effective Cost Management

Every company’s goal is to increase profitability as well as the quality of services offered. Now that technology has made working from home easy and effective, the overall expenses of the company have reduced. Manual handling of tasks has been eliminated and more efficient ways have been put in place

The use of computers while working from home helps you to get more accurate results, unlike when you had to do a lot of paperwork. Once accuracy has been achieved, there is an easy retrieval of information anytime it is needed. Besides, the work that could have been done by several people is easily done by one person in the comfort of their home. This helps to reduce many expenses in your company while achieving more profits. 

5. Keeps The Business Fully Organized

Technology makes it possible for the business to be well organized. When working from home, updating your progress and achievements on your company’s online data records brings out clear and clean work, unlike when using paperwork. This makes it possible to easily trace and know how well you are faring in line with the requirements of the company. 

Not only are you able to keep track of what you are doing, but also track how your collaborative workmates are doing too. This helps you to make comparisons and improve where necessary, thus increasing your productivity. 

6. Difficulty Detaching from Work

Working from home can be very enjoyable, especially now that we are living in a modern world. If not well planned, you may meet yourself working overtime and making it hard to break off from work. This becomes possible due to the beauty of working with modern tools, but it can bring about negative results when not carefully observed. 

In as much as you can do a lot of work when working from home, setting working hours and keenly following them is very crucial. This is because overworking leads to burnout and then, in turn, low productivity. Making sure that you take breaks from work is very vital and ends up increasing your productivity.

Technology has, therefore, made working from home not only possible but also effective and very fruitful. To learn more about this, feel free to contact us today.

Why Business Owners 12x More Likely to Be a Cyber Security Target and What You Can Do About It

Why Business Owners 12x More Likely to Be a Cyber Security Target and What You Can Do About It

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 become a victim of cyber attacks 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:

1) 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. 

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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!

The Essential Guide to Preventing Cyber Attacks

The Essential Guide to Preventing Cyber Attacks
Preventing Cyber Attacks

From data theft to compromising the core integrity of your company’s sensitive information, cyber attacks can strike anytime, anywhere. Malware and ransomware present a significant liability. Small businesses are especially vulnerable as these entities are often seen as an easy target. In fact. 43% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses and most close up shop within a year following a data compromise.

Don’t leave your company’s future in the hands of hackers. Take control with AE Technology Group’s Essential Guide to Preventing Cyber Attacks.

Identify the Weakest Link

Conduct a detailed audit of your business systems and protocols. Establish what security measures are in place and what areas need to be fortified. A quick vulnerabilities check is essential in determining a course of preemptive action. Does your company train employees to be technologically compliant? Are uniform password standards and other security measures in place? Is software updated to ensure new, evolving threats are actively being mitigated?

Filling the gaps in your security wall is the best way to start defending against cyber crime.

Build Your Defense

Invest in robust antivirus and anti-malware software. No matter the scale of your business, the most valuable asset is your data. Building a strong cyber defense is the best way to secure systems information. Arm your network with a strong firewall and establish a routine for updating software and applications — or set systems to automatically update so your security never lapses.

Train Your Team

People are the greatest asset when it comes to preventing cyber attacks. Make sure your staff is equipped to play an active role in cyber security. 

Hosting biannual technology training courses provides a comprehensive environment for employees to learn about technology compliance. From phishing schemes to password protection, the digital world is constantly updating and rapidly evolving to meet the needs of today’s professionals. Keep your crew up to date as well with dedicated in house support, IT management, and one-on-one training opportunities.

Compliance is Key

Provide uniform corporate standards for data security. This includes password regulations and controlling user access through individual employee accounts. A good rule of thumb when it comes to password security is to utilize a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Sentence passwords are typically the most secure. Set passwords to expire every 6 months so that routine updates are required by all users.

Monitor any unauthorized activity to detect threats early on. This will allow management to minimize the impact of any malware that slips through the cracks. It’s also a good idea to manage employee credentials by limiting higher level data access. Assign user profiles with authority to install and download new software, as well as make administrative changes to critical systems information. Limiting access is a good way to reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

Along the same lines of protocol, consider compartmentalizing the network. Separate departments by access level so that each department only has access to the resources they need. This will make it easier for your managers and staff to focus on one aspect of the development environment without worrying about compliance outside of their organization.

Secure your company’s Wi-Fi network and ensure the network is always hidden to avoid any unwanted guests stealing your internet — or worse, your data.

Have a Back Up Plan

Even the most stringent of companies can be subject to a data breach. Keep your critical information secure by backing up your network through cloud storage options and external hard drives. Be sure to back up data on a weekly basis so your information is always up to date. This can dramatically minimize profit loss when it comes to recovering from a cyber attack.

When all else fails, the tech experts at AE have our New York business owners covered with comprehensive disaster recovery solutionsContact us today to learn more about securing your company’s future.

Prioritizing Email Security in 2019 and Beyond

Prioritizing Email Security in 2019 and Beyond
Email Security

The future of tech has brought about dynamic advancements in how we do business. From CRM databases to enhancing interdepartmental collaboration, automation has made it easy to assume we live in a world where the risks of compromised data are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, despite significant improvements to antivirus software and firewalls, email security is still a vulnerability for many companies.

As we take a look back at the year in review, there’s much to be learned about protecting sensitive information and data through enhanced email security. AE Technology Group has paired down the highlights of email security in 2019. We’re here to make the goal of zero security breaches in 2020 a reality for our business clients.

Pinpointing the Vulnerability

Identifying the weakest link in your cyber security force is key to understanding and preventing data breaches. Many companies assume hackers will target the lowest echelon of employees first, making large businesses particularly vulnerable to compromised security at a departmental level. According to Mimecast’s 2019 State of Email Security Report, this assumption isn’t entirely correct.

While company wide security training is highly important, hackers tend to target members of the executive team in an effort to get their digital hands on the most valuable data and financial information. Mimecast found that a substantial 31% of executive level personnel sent sensitive data to the wrong person. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the aforementioned statistic, 40% of employees regarded their CEO as the weakest link when it came to cyber security and believed their CEO undervalued the impact of email security.

Assessing the Casualties

Now that we’ve all taken a moment to enjoy some humble pie, it’s time to take a look at the costs of a cyber attack. Of the companies survey, 39% reported data loss with financial data loss following close behind at 29%. 28% reported a decrease in their customer base, with 27% reporting job losses as a result of a large scale breach.

It’s easy to imagine that a data breach has a profound and lasting impact on a company’s reputation. Examining the strategies used to extract data and target vulnerabilities is the first step in preventing damage.

(Cyber) Criminal MindsĀ 

As the realm of business technology grows and becomes more sophisticated every year, hackers are also becoming more advanced. According to our friends at Mimecast, 71% of organizations were victim to email-based malicious activity spread by an infected user in the last year alone. The most common types of fraud included wire transfer requests, requests for confidential data, impersonation of third-party vendors, and malicious email attachments.

Despite the substantial increase in cyber attacks as well as the improved strategies behind such threats, only 25% of companies routinely implement cyber security training for their staff. Of those who did train their employees, 62% included group sessions, 45% included interactive videos, and less than half (44%) were given formal online testing, reference tips, and one-on-one sessions. This means that employees are limited in their opportunities to learn, ask questions, and develop their knowledge of cyber security.

Looking to the Future

The statistics behind cyber crime and the consequences of a data breach can be a grim truth to process. Fortunately for proactive business owners, this information is also a guideline for improvement. 

As we move into 2020, the need to prioritize cyber security for large and small businesses has never been greater. Build a foundation of excellence by implementing comprehensive technology training, robust firewall and antivirus software, and state of the art data storage and disaster recovery programs.

Contact our experts today to learn more about equipping your New York business for the future.