In today’s world, cameras can be found all around us. Whether they’re hidden in doorbells, on the side of buildings, or even in the hands of smartphone users, they can be found just about anywhere. Though, not all company owners choose to invest in surveillance cameras, and can pay the price because of it. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider adding video surveillance to your business.
Without surveillance cameras, there is a high chance that theft will commonly occur within your business. Installing visible cameras will deter most people from stealing when they know they’re being watched. This way, you can monitor both your customers and employee’s activity throughout the day. It can also be useful to have in case of an emergency or robbery, having the ability to provide visual evidence to police or insurance companies.
Safety should be everyone’s number one priority in the workplace, especially in industrial type businesses. Having a surveillance camera can be the quickest way to reach an employee or customer who is in need of help. It’s a sense of security for those operating heavy machinery, walking alone to their car in the evening, or for any other unexpected accident. This will make those who work for you feel more comfortable with their surroundings, which is critical as a business owner.
It might not be well-known to everyone, but having surveillance cameras can typically call for a discount. When it comes to insurance, premiums can be quite expensive when covering commercial properties. Some insurance companies will lower your premium when you invest in video surveillance, which can lower the chances of criminal activity.
Adding surveillance to your business is like adding an extra layer of protection to your assets. Give yourself the piece of mind and install surveillance for the sake of your company. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
Cyber attacks have become a large issue and concern for many businesses. Since technology continues to change and develop everyday, it has revealed vulnerability in protective digital software. The result of this being the significant rise of security breaches, with any and all industries being at risk. However, there are those who are at a greater risk than others, and are commonly targeted by cyber attackers. Here are the 4 most vulnerable industries to cyber attacks, and why they require higher level security.
The healthcare industry is specifically targeted based on the amount of sensitive and personal data they handle. Ransomware poses a great threat to healthcare companies, with cybercriminals making their data inaccessible unless a payment has been made. With healthcare industries possessing multiple patient files, personal information, and payment statements, the attackers are aware that the organization cannot bear the expense of losing data.
When it comes to government data, there’s no surprise as to why cyber criminals would desire access. Government agencies contain personal identifying information, classified documents, and military secrets. These agencies face threats such as cyber espionage, which is the spying and installation of spyware to government devices. They also must look out for insider threats, which is the leaking of confidential information through their own employees. This can be both accidental and deliberate. Phishing can also trick employees into sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient.
Due to the large amount of money and financial information banks and other financial services manage, cybercriminals have all the reason to target them. Money has become extremely digital, which has created new ways to exploit any weaknesses in the system. Thieves will phish, use mobile malware, and hack into banking accounts and commit fraudulent transactions.
Shops in-store and online are vulnerable to the theft of valuable data. They struggle with the issue of credit card fraud, online data breaches, and identity theft. Credit card fraud can cause all kinds of unwanted trouble for retailers, and can lose profit at the hands of fraudulent purchases. Identity theft poses a threat because of thieves that steal other user information to create credit card accounts to make purchases. Customer credentials are at risk at the expense of data breaches, so security software should always be stable and secure.
These industries might be commonly targeted, but any company of any size can be at a risk of cyberattacks. Taking preventative measures will protect your company, your employees, and those who keep you in business. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
As we evolve in the technological world, our demands for more advanced technology grows. With the use of artificial intelligence, we can achieve endless possibilities in both businesses and entertainment as A.I. continues to make breakthroughs. With the amount of beneficial uses A.I. has offered us in our daily lives, it seems appropriate to celebrate it! Artificial Intelligence Appreciation Day is a day to acknowledge the contribution A.I. has made, and how it’s changed the course of how we perform in many industries today.
Where A.I. is Found Today
A.I. has proven itself useful in today’s day and age, but where could we find it most commonly? Today, artificial intelligence can be used to improve customer experience, especially for those who enjoy shopping. The E-commerce industry has found a new and personalized way to engage with their customers, like making recommendations that correlate with a user’s purchase and browsing history. Many companies also refer customers to an A.I. chatbot that can answer frequently asked questions. This provides the customer with a quicker and more efficient fix, rather than having to wait on the phone for a live customer service operator. Education has also utilized A.I., giving administrators and other faculty members the ability to educate more students at a time. This enables teachers to digitize their programs, creating educational content for a larger audience. Healthcare has also made some productive breakthroughs with the help of A.I., used in machines that can detect diseases and analyze lab work much quicker than the average worker.
How To Celebrate
If you want to find ways to celebrate and appreciate artificial intelligence, simply take the time to research it. Where you find A.I. might surprise and fascinate you, and learning about what it does to improve our daily lives is the best way to express gratitude. You may be surprised to learn that A.I. is even found in your favorite video game. Pick up the nearest PC or controller and interact with the game’s NCP characters. If you wish to become more hands-on, create your own project by teaching yourself or others how to program, a skill that could benefit you and your future self later down the line. If you happen to spark up an interest, convince yourself to attend A.I. conventions to gather and converse with other A.I. enthusiasts.
Finding ways to celebrate A.I. are endless, just like the capabilities it continues to accumulate everyday.
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While in office, cyber safety should always remain a huge priority. With the summer months quickly approaching, more people will clock out of the office for a vacation. Though you won’t be working for the time being, it doesn’t mean that you should take a vacation from protecting your sensitive data. Here are some ways to maintain strong cyber security when on vacation.
Beware Of Free Wi-Fi
You might think you’re not at risk while away from the desk, but this is not the case. If you decide to bring along a work laptop or work phone, pay attention to a few helpful tips to avoid a cyber attack. Starting off, make sure to not use free Wi-Fi. Having the option to connect to free Wi-Fi can seem great, but it can also expose your devices and any personal information that resides within them. A good way to avoid hackers accessing your data is to use a strong VPN or use your phone as a hotspot. Sometimes our devices connect automatically, so be sure to disable this feature before traveling.
Keep Track Of Your Devices
It is important to never leave your devices unattended for a number of reasons, but especially if your device holds important data. Make sure to keep track of items such as USB drives or tablets, even if it’s your toddler’s ipad. Any device you own will possess some kind of valuable information such as saved passwords and banking information. This is what hackers are looking for and will not hesitate to steal your devices if they are not held closely.
Refrain From Using Community Computers
Depending on your trip and where you plan to stay, refrain from using shared computers of any kind. Some hotels or vacation rentals will provide computers for guest’s use, but should never be trusted for remote assignments. Purchases, checking emails, or social media can also lead to cyberthreats if not careful. To protect you or your company, it is best to work on your own personal computer to avoid risk.
People go on vacation to enjoy time away from the office and with their families, so be prepared before clocking out. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
Passwords are used to protect your devices, finances, health records, and so much more. We rely on them to prevent unauthorized users from accessing devices and accounts, which is crucial for most companies. Passwords are meant to change frequently to properly fulfill their purpose, as no password is unbreakable. Alas, World Password Day was born to act as a reminder to everyone that maintenance is required to retain account security.
Why It’s Celebrated
It is imperative that everyone has a strong password to ensure privacy. Before the internet and all of its glory, passwords were used as a method of entry for secret societies and clubs. Today, passwords are used a little less loosely to avoid cyber hacking. As the world becomes more advanced, cyber threats evolve as well. This means it is crucial to maintain the security of your passwords by updating them regularly. Falling on the first Thursday of May every year, World Password Day serves to encourage users to protect their data by maintaining their authentication methods.
Many people see their passwords as a way to get into their accounts rather than a way to keep others out. With this, many people try to make their passwords short, easy to remember, and personally relatable. Hackers are well aware of this, and will likely guess a password based on this criteria. Users have a habit of using the name of a pet, child, hobby, or profession when creating a password. A way to make passwords more difficult to guess is to use one that is irrelevant to the user. People also commonly use the same passwords across different platforms. This makes it easier for a hacker to access all accounts with one successful attempt.
With data being as precious as it is, it is up to you as the user to pay mind to your level of security. Celebrate this World Password Day by updating all your passwords for any account that holds value.
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In today’s world, everyone relies heavily on technology to do just about anything. We use it to communicate with one another, to work and pay our bills, and purchase goods at the click of a button. We expect our devices to work without error, and can often forget that electronics can fail us at any point without any warning. It is important to remember that computers, phones, and other devices are not to be depended on for everything, and lost information can sometimes be the fault of the user.
Imagine walking into work one morning to find a great mechanical failure has occurred overnight. This could have been caused by a number of events such as a virus, a natural disaster, a human error, or a system failure that has erased all of your company data. Nevertheless, the recovery system you had failed and your business could be facing serious risks. This disaster can happen at any moment, which is why it is crucial to install a more trustworthy IT recovery system to ensure proper data backup.
The best steps to take to make sure your plan is safe is to manually back up data and information regardless of the trust you have for your recovery system. It is also wise to perform a full system restore once a month to make sure that the recovery system you have actually works. The single most expensive mistake most small business owners make is related to protecting their company data, so it is better to be safe than sorry. All businesses should document their IT recovery plan as part of their business continuity plan, and should not neglect testing it periodically.
It can be easy to forget that electronic devices are not without their flaws, and can fail you and your business any day of the week. In order to retain all those irreplaceable files, make sure your recovery plan has your back. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today!
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USB flash drives have been a practical and reliable way to transport valuable files to and from different computers. Since the year of 2000, they have been a viable trinket to businesses and students when needing to back up data. Over the years, their storage capacity has reached a whooping 512GB, when it only started at 8 MB. For something so small to become so powerful is a huge deal, which is how it came to getting its own national holiday.
Benefits of the Flash Drive
In respect to the flash drive’s infamous reputation, let start by noting reasons why they come in handy when storing data. A flash drive is very simple to use, and can be easily stowed away because of its size and weight. It is a relatively fast way to transfer files over to different devices, as well as having plenty of storage options. While all these things make the flash drive great, security should remain the biggest concern and priority.
Is it Secure?
Flash drives can be secure if they have advanced enough features. Some are equipped with a passcode, preventing users from accessing private material if your flash drive becomes lost or stolen. The problem is that hackers utilize this nifty object to help invade your personal information to spread attacks. It’s important to be aware of what you insert into your computer, considering that a flash drive is capable of carrying dangerous malware. This kind of threat can rupture your IT infrastructure, creating various amounts of issues. These threats can be so serious that in certain situations, the damage is irreversible. Plugging a drive into the USB port can record and gather the information it needs. This information could include access passcodes, sensitive data, and business owned files. Attackers can also use flash drives to maliciously damage your PC all together, completely destroying anything it’s electronically attached to.
While it may seem far-fetched to assume something as tiny as a flash drive can wreak all this havoc, you must consider the importance of your or your business’s data to ensure proper security. Backing up digital data can be simple and secure with the right form of integrated security. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today!
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Something as simple as sending an email may seem like normal task, but every email sent out holds precious information that thieves prey upon. Whether it’s for personal or company use, any information can be utilized to expose any confidential details you may not wish to share. These details can be used to perform cyberattacks, which is more than ideal to avoid. With the use of email security, your or your company’s cloud can be protected from potential cyber threats.
Why is it Important?
Having cloud-based email security is important for a number of reasons, especially since email is the most vulnerable line of communication. This is because hundreds of emails go out each day depending on the size of your company, raising the overall probability of getting attacked. Since most employees are busy working, the chances of them noticing a suspicious link attached to an email may be slim. Clicking on this link could result in attackers collecting precious credentials or installing viruses to employee computers. To prevent this from happening takes a lot less exertion than trying to reverse it, so consider taking action before it’s too late.
Companies and personal users of email face potential consequences everyday when without cybersecurity. But what types of threats are there to look out for? Phishing emails take a hefty 90% of the blame for attacks for their talent of deception. These emails are sent to employees and usually consist of believable scenarios such as:
- Changing payment methods for certain services (Netflix, Amazon, ect.)
- Changing a password for an account under their name or company’s name
- Alarming notices regarding unwarranted purchases
There are other ways for phishing emails to trick your employees, and they continue to evolve every single day. Phishing emails are the starting point of cloud-email exploitation, which happens through the use of document sharing. Many companies rely on Google Drive and other document sharing tools, so a recognizable email may not strike anyone as suspicious. Without proper cybersecurity, attackers can access these private documents and other data found in the cloud.
How Can I Improve it?
Applying integrated security to protect company data is the best way to prevent cyber attacks. Email encryption prevents data leaks wherever there is vulnerability in the server. Adding this extra step to ensure security between emails will definitely help. It is also beneficial to educate employees of these scams and how to identify them before moving forward. Thieves become more intelligent with every passing day, so learning how to specify what to avoid will benefit you or your business greatly.
As a company, it is a great responsibility to make sure your data is protected. As it’s been said before, prevention is a lot easier than finding a cure. Preparing for the worst scenario and staying aware of cyber threats will save you a lot of time and concern.
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What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that takes your files, data or computer hostage until you pay money. When a ransomware attack happens, your computer or browser may lock up and you may see a ransomware note or your files will be encrypted, leaving you not being able to access them.
How does your computer get it?
There are a few ways ransomware and other types of malware can infect your computer.
Opening links on emails from unknown sources
If you get an email from an unknown email address with a link attached, it’s better not to open it. It could be disguised as a coworker or trusted company. If something about the email seems off, check to see if there are typos in the name or email address. This can be an indicator that the email is fake. These types of emails are called phishing.
Opening links or websites from social media messages
Like the messages that come to your email with a malware virus in them, these are often sent by people you don’t recognize or fake accounts. If a link looks suspicious, do not open it, even if it is from a family member or friend. Their accounts could have been hacked. It is better to check with them to make sure the file is safe.
Using unsecure sites
Sites have their own protection on them. If this has been breached or it is a site set up for malicious purposes, it could put your data and computer at risk. Your browser will usually give you a warning before entering the site. If this happens, it is best to back out of the site.
Steps to protecting your computer against ransomware
– Making sure your computer and software is up to date
– Check emails addresses and look for signs that a website could be fake before downloading anything
– Backup your files and data
The number one way to make sure your data is secure and protected is by having a good backup system in place. If a ransomware attack does happen, you don’t want to pay the money to get your files back, because there is no guarantee that you will get the data back. When you have a good backup system in place, you know that even if something does happen, your data is secure and can be redownloaded onto your computer.
If you need help setting up a backup system for your company, contact us and one of our WesTec reps can go over the options and help you decide what is best for your company. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!
Think of how much of your company’s work is done on a computer and all of the programs, files and information that is stored. If your company does not have a data backup system, you’re at risk of losing it all. That could be detrimental to your business.
So what could cause your systems to go down and experience data loss? There are a few different scenarios where your company could be at risk.
Hardware, Software or System Malfunctions
If you work on a computer, you know they’re not always perfect. Sometimes systems fail or malfunction. If this happens and your data is not backed up, you lose all of your files. If you had a data backup system in place, you could simply load up the backup and restore your information that was lost.
We’ve all made the mistake of accidentally deleting something we weren’t supposed to. It could be that an employee thought the file was something else or accidentally clicked the delete button. Without data backup, those files would be lost forever and the work would have to be redone. With backups, you’ll be able to restore the file and continue the workday.
Malware or Ransomware
Malicious Software, malware for short, is what people refer to as computer viruses. There are different types of malware, with some having the ability to delete everything on your computer system. Ransomware is a type of virus that holds your data captive unless you pay a dollar amount. If you have a good backup system in place, you won’t have to pay the ransom and you will still have access to your data.
In Houston, there are many things that could happen, in particular, flooding. If your computer and hard drive were to be destroyed in a flood or fire, you could lose your data.
While many things could happen, the risk associated with losing your data and files can be mitigated by properly backing up your data. There are different types of backups and data protection. If you would like to start protecting your company’s data, contact us and one of our WesTec reps can go over the options and help you decide what is best for your company. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!