The purpose of VPN security is to protect and encrypt sensitive data by masking IP addresses. VPN stands for “virtual private network”, and they are used to conceal browsing activity, personal identity, and current location. VPN’s make users typically feel safer and more secure, but are they capable of posing potential threats? Learn how and why VPNs can strengthen your company’s security and how to avoid a potential breach.
Why Use a VPN?
The benefits of using a VPN can apply to anyone wishing to protect their digital privacy from cyber attackers. It adds an extra layer of security when using public Wi-Fi, which can be dangerous if making online purchases or answering emails. A VPN will hide your banking information and confidential passwords from those who prey on such information. Working remotely has become a popular method of employment, but it can increase the risks of cyber threats when working outside of the designated office. When you are not under the protection of your employer’s provided Wi-Fi or protected network, it can put your company’s data at risk. The use of a VPN can help secure your work-related material when utilizing work devices outside of the office.
While VPN’s are known to help keep data safer, there are also security risks to consider when choosing to use one. The idea that using a basic consumer VPN will retain complete anonymity is a huge misconception that will make you a more vulnerable user. With a VPN or not, no one is likely completely anonymous when using the internet. It’s important to bring this to the attention of your employees to deter them from using social media on work devices or accepting cookies on flimsy websites. Make this known to avoid cyber breaches from occurring and harmful malware from being downloaded. Investing in a secure and specialized VPN can improve security among your company, so avoid using basic consumer VPNs that might feel safe, but are not enough for business level security.
Using a VPN can help protect your users from base-line threats, but it’s crucial to understand that the internet is a dangerous place. Suspicious activity will continue to arise no matter how secure we feel. Awareness is key to limiting harmful threats and keeping your sensitive information safe. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
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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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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Algorithms are one of the most used technologies in the world. They are used for anything and everything, including cell phones, computers, security systems and more. Businesses also use algorithms for a better success rate and improve their optimization. Here’s how businesses are using algorithms.
Algorithms are most used in the human resource field. Certain algorithms sort people or items into categories that can later be used by the business. This is also used in popular job posting websites. They can easily sort through candidates based on specific qualifications the job has put in place. Overall, with the help of algorithms, this leads to more efficiency and productivity in all work fields.
Algorithms can soon find themselves in the healthcare industry. With them, doctors can easily input symptoms into the system and find the right medication or treatment for the illness. Not only that, but it can track and categorize patients that make it easier for doctors to pull records. Algorithm programs specifically for this have already made their way to the healthcare field and can be used with other technologies such as artificial intelligence making a more advanced healthcare system.
Have you ever opened a social media app and seen an advertisement for something you recently looked up or interested in? That is a result of an algorithm. They take into account anything you have looked up, liked, or typed and put it through a filter system that shows certain information, items or advertisements that are catered to you. This is the most popular way algorithms are used.
It is also important to know that everyone has access to algorithms and correlating data. From big, well known companies to small start up businesses, algorithms can be used and be beneficial for all.
Want to know more about how algorithms can help your business? WesTec services can help! Feel free to contact us and check out our services to see how we can assist you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for updates.
In recent years cybersecurity has been a recurring topic in the world of technology. People are often finding ways of creating a safer way of using technology such as passwordless authentication. This modern way of controlling certain accounts is safer and more effective than previous passwords. Organizations can make this transition with these steps.
When deciding to move towards passwordless authentication, you must have an option in place. Taking away passwords with no replacement leaves a hole in the system that is unprotected. One option that can be used is an active directory. This includes strong, hardware protected credentials that allow a single sign on.
Creating a stronger protective measure such as passwords, requires some trial and error. Having an assessment will allow you to view the possibilities of certain methods to determine what is best for you. This also takes into consideration the possibility of a breach or any harm to the system. You could also use the assessment as a way to prioritize any specific items.
It’s no surprise that people have gotten so used to typing their password every time they enter a service or device. In order to correctly transition into having no passwords, this barrier must be removed. A password shouldn’t have to be used routinely and this creates a seamless transition to multiple devices.
Once all the previous steps are completed, you can start to make the transition. The removal of passwords from the identity database will truly create the new authentication. This step is the most important and must be done when everything else has been in place. Once this is done, you are not at risk for password theft and create a modern way of passwords.
Technology is always changing to become more modernized and protective. It can be hard to keep up with all these changes, but we can help! Feel free to Give us a call today or visit our website to see what WesTec can do for you.
With the rise of COVID-19, cloud-based remote work has become increasingly popular and necessary. With new and emerging cloud-based technology comes new cybersecurity threats, like “cloud jacking.”
What is cloud jacking?
Cloud jacking occurs when a hacker steals the information of a cloud account holder and gains access to the server. Hackers often use this act as a means to conduct criminal activities, such as identity theft.
Because businesses often store confidential, sensitive information on cloud servers, they are major targets for cloud jacking. When it relates to sensitive information, these kinds of security breaches can be devastating for a business’ clients, partners, and reputation. Cloud jacking is not simply a one-time offense, as it creates a web of victims.
How do I protect myself against cloud jacking?
There are several things you can do to protect your business, clients, and partners from falling victim:
- Require strict, multi-factor user authentication
- Limit internal access to your cloud server
- Perform background checks before granting anyone access to your cloud server
- Backup all data stored on the server, in the event that there is data loss
- Use encryption to secure all data before storing on your server
- Require all users to create strong, secure passwords
- Here are the properties of a strong password:
- The longer, the better
- A combination of lowercase and uppercase letters
- Numbers and symbols
- Avoid words or terms that could be easily linked to your identity
The professionals at WesTec Services want to help you protect your network and business. We provide vital business technology and consulting services that can be tailored to your needs and budget. Interested in learning more? Contact us today!
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Computer networking allows the sharing of information across computers linked together by a common network. Businesses rely on networking to transfer messages and information with others.
Computer networks give individuals access to useful material such as facts, news or industry-specific information. With computer networking, employees can easily share with others. For example, resources can quickly be shared with an entire company and saved for employees to reference at a later time. Networking also saves individuals time by providing them with a way to share files efficiently.
Installing a computer network is affordable. It requires minimal updates that are often completed in the background, allowing employees to keep working. Networks also save money by keeping a company from purchasing additional hardware. For example, without a network each computer would need it’s own printer. By installing a network, multiple computers can share the same printer, saving a company money and helping employees by simplifying their tasks.
Increased Storage Capacity
Computer networking increases storage capacity. Networks allow data and content to be properly shared within the system. A company’s files are also protected from malware, theft or natural disasters by being saved in different manners. For example, information can be stored on-site on tape drives to provide an extra layer of safety.
Networks make it easier for employees to communicate with one another. Files can be shared with the click of a button. Instant messaging also allows for quick, useful communication with others. Instead of drafting an entire email, an employee can send a message to the recipient for a rapid response. This works well for questions, clarification and updates.
WesTec employees are experts at computer networking. Contact us to see how we can install a computer network for your business.
A slow or outdated computer network can be detrimental for your company. It can compromise worker efficiency, limit what you can do on your business’s network, and can even cost you money. Here are three tell-tale signs that you should upgrade your network.
Does your computer network consistently give you problems?
If you feel like your employees are spending more time resolving problems or waiting for files to load then they are actually working, you’re losing money. Don’t let your problematic network be the source of frustration in the office. A few simple upgrades or a new installation can make the difference between a struggling business and an efficient one.
Do you have issues accessing your computer network remotely?
An efficient computer network in your office space is crucial, but being able to access from home or on the move is important, too. Your network shouldn’t be inaccessible or slow just because you aren’t in the office. Make sure whatever upgrades you decide on let you work just as efficiently from home.
Do you have more problems with your computer network than your IT support company can handle?
If you answered “yes” to this last question, then not only should you update your network, but you should also consider letting WesTec Communications handle your next network installation. Whether it is sharing media, connecting to other devices on your network, or sharing files, we can make sure your computer network is running at top-speed for your company.
WesTec experts can recommend a high-speed computer network and handle all of the installation so you and your business can work efficiently. Our skilled professionals can update your network and take the headache out of installation. Contact us today!