(713) 682-4000 sales@westecservices.net

What Are Deepfakes?

What is Cloud Jacking?

Top 3 Cybersecurity Threats Businesses Have Faced in 2020

Benefits of an Access Control System for Your Business

Why You Should Invest in Video Surveillance

3 Crucial Security Solutions to Employ as a Business Owner

How to Spot Phishing Attempts

How to Prevent Malware

When Should I Update My Passwords?

How to Recover Deleted Files

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Posts Tagged ‘security’

What Are Deepfakes? - WesTec Services

What Are Deepfakes?

With the advancement of technology over time, new types of cybersecurity threats emerge for consumers and businesses to worry about. Lately, deepfake cybersecurity breaches have become more common. According to Tech Beacon, deepfakes are defined as “synthetic media in which a person in a video or audio is replaced with someone else’s likeness or voice.” This type of threat can ruin businesses quickly due to how convincing the synthetic media are.

The Dangers

Due to the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, cyberhackers and criminals can create false audio and images pretending to be you or another coworker. Hackers are so precise, they can perform flawless impersonations. The frustrating part of the process is that if you don’t know this is a false video call or audio, hackers can easily obtain the information they need. Once financial details or unreleased company information falls into the wrong hands, it can be disastrous. 

Experts found that deepfake hacking methods have increased by 84% between December 2018 and October 2019. Research estimates $250 million in losses, as a result of deepfake hacking for the 2020 fiscal year.

 

Why It’s Popular Among Hackers

Businesses still struggle with high-level email phishing scams, making deepfakes harder to prevent. Due to the lack of knowledge surrounding this threat, deepfakes are becoming a new favorite method for cybercriminals who have the time and patience to implement this method. Deepfake hackers attack businesses in these ways:

  • Impersonating clients or suppliers asking for payments
  • Pretending to be supervisors and business owners, asking for fund transfers or sensitive information
  • Using fake blackmail audio and videos for extortion
  • Presenting fake pictures, videos, and audio files on social media to create slander campaigns

 

The Solution

The first step in preventing deepfake attacks is to be aware it is a method of cybersecurity destruction. Once you are informed, the next question is how you can protect your business. There are a few available solutions, like Deeptrace or Cogito. These software programs can be expensive for small- and medium-sized businesses. For those on a limited budget, here are some things to consider executing immediately:

  • Educate staff members about deepfakes, reporting odd situations before proceeding with any actions asked
  • Add two-step verification to your system for emails, phone calls, and video sessions, ensuring none provided over these communication methods are used over existing ones
  • Strengthen security measures for cybersecurity, adding systems if you currently have none or looking into upgrades for your current system
  • Add additional steps for fund transfer verification — this helps ensure the transfer is supposed to occur and can save your business thousands of dollars, if not.

Taking action now is the best thing you can do for your business. Employees and business owners should also periodically check in on the issue to see if better methods of protection are discovered. 

 

As new threats arise, you must be proactive! At WesTec Services, our IT professionals want to help you safeguard your business and its assets. If you’re unsure how to get started, contact us today.

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What is Cloud Jacking? - WesTec Services

What is Cloud Jacking?

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? - WesTec Services

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.  

What is Cloud Jacking? - WesTec Services

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!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

 

Top 3 Cybersecurity Threats Businesses Have Faced in 2020 - WesTec Services

Top 3 Cybersecurity Threats Businesses Have Faced in 2020

As we make new advancements in internet technology, hackers are getting smarter! Therefore, it is crucial that you stay informed on emerging cybersecurity threats. WesTec Services has compiled a list of cybersecurity threats to be aware of:

 

Cloud Jacking

As remote work has become more popular and necessary as a result of COVID-19,  cloud jacking has become more prevalent. Cloud jacking occurs when a hacker gains access to your cloud server. Often, hackers will hijack cloud accounts to steal identities and conduct unauthorized or illegal activities. Cloud jacking should not be taken lightly, especially if you store sensitive, confidential information on your cloud server.

 

Endpoints 

In the past, centralized security measures were enough to protect a network from security breaches. However, the introduction of mobile phones and laptops posed new security threats — and brought awareness to security vulnerabilities (or “endpoints”). Using encryption, endpoint security seals any vulnerabilities in a network’s connection. This additional layer of security protects against threats if an infected device connects to the network. However, with the rise of remote work, we are seeing an increase in endpoint interception, as many are using mobile devices and laptops on networks that are not secure.  

 

Phishing

Phishing is still alive and well in 2020! Hackers are now targeting small businesses with spam emails. These emails will appear to be from companies that sell a product or service that may be of interest to small businesses — and of course, upon the user clicking a link or downloading a file, their computer has been infected. Furthermore, some emails will provide a link that prompts the user to enter their log-in credentials for a familiar website, while even displaying a reCaptcha security pop-up to appear more credible and secure.

 

It is important to use the internet with care. Cybersecurity threats can cause a variety of issues for your business, ranging from system failure to productivity loss. At WesTec Services, we believe there is power in educating yourself. As a business owner, you should familiarize yourself with potential threats and educate your employees on internet safety. Have questions about cybersecurity? Contact us today!

Benefits of an Access Control System for Your Business - WesTec Services

Benefits of an Access Control System for Your Business

As a business, you have assets to protect. Therefore, you need a high-quality security system that protects against external and internal threats, and provides peace of mind. Here are a few ways an access control system could benefit your business:   

Restricts access to certain areas

Transitioning from using traditional building keys to key cards with an access control system allows you to control the flow of traffic within your facility. Key cards can be customized to each employee and their needs. With key card customization, you can control who has access to certain areas. This is especially beneficial for offices or rooms that store personal and confidential information.  

Monitors and tracks who enters the building

With an access control system, you are able to monitor who enters your facility. When one of your employees scans their key card, the system creates time stamps and records the location of entry and details about the entrant. If an issue arises, you can easily reference this information.  

Provides flexibility and convenience

Business can be unpredictable. With deadlines to meet and last-minute projects to complete, working overtime may be necessary. With an access control system, employees can work outside of regular business hours. With customizable key cards, your employees can access the facility at all hours of the day. Additionally, key cards can be deactivated at any time. If an employee is terminated or loses their key card, you can deactivate their card with ease.      Access Control Systems allow a building owner to have complete control over their Houston-based facility, using technology such as ID key entries, fingerprinting scanners, and video monitoring. Interested in learning more about these systems? Contact WesTec Services today!   Do you find our blog posts to be beneficial and informative? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you don’t miss an update!
Why You Should Invest in Video Surveillance - WesTec Services

Why You Should Invest in Video Surveillance

For businesses, security threats of any kind can disrupt productivity and ultimately result in costly repairs or damage control. Video surveillance (CCTV) offers many benefits for businesses, including theft deterrence and employee safety. Here are a few reasons you should consider investing in video surveillance technology:  

Day-to-day security

Installing CCTV technology internally and/or externally will allow you to monitor who comes and goes on a day-to-day basis – this includes guests, vendors, contract workers, and even employees. Additionally, if there is ever internal conflict that requires investigation, video surveillance allows for easy reference with timestamps.  

Crime deterrence

According to Cornell University, the use of video surveillance has shown a 51% decrease in crimes committed in parking lots. Installing visible security cameras will establish a presence of security and deter crime, as criminals will want to avoid high-security facilities. Visible CCTV sends a message: “stay away!” Though CCTV technology decreases your chances of security threats, it cannot guarantee you will never fall victim to theft or other crimes. However, if an incident does occur, you have video evidence for insurance and the police.   

Safety

Video surveillance also allows you to monitor the safety conditions of your employees and overall workflow and productivity. If an accident occurs on the job, you may verify the incident and eyewitness accounts with CCTV records. If an employee is injured on the job and files for worker’s compensation, these records will benefit you when filing a claim. Having video surveillance technology for the purpose of employee safety may also lower your insurance costs.   At WesTec Services, we believe it is always safer to implement preventative measures and solutions before there’s a need for them; after all, prevention is key to maintaining productivity and cash flow. Interested in learning more about how video surveillance may protect your valuable assets? Contact us today!
3 Crucial Security Solutions to Employ as a Business Owner - WesTec Services

3 Crucial Security Solutions to Employ as a Business Owner

A security threat of any kind can disrupt productivity and impact business. What precautions are you taking to ensure your company does not fall victim to these disruptions? Here are 3 security solutions you should employ as a business owner:  

Backup Disaster/Recovery

System failure can occur for a variety of reasons, such as virus infection, human error, and natural disaster. Regardless, system failure occurs without warning and could easily put you out of business if you are not prepared. Therefore, it is crucial you implement some sort of backup and data recovery software to protect your network. If you store important or confidential files on your computers, you simply cannot afford to be without backup and data recovery.  

Access Control Systems

Another way to protect your business against security threats would be to implement an access control system. With access control systems, facility owners may install security technology such as ID key entries and finger-printing scanners in order to track who enters the building. This technology can also record the time and date guests arrive and leave.   

CCTV or IP Security System

Video surveillance is another great solution for businesses looking to increase security efforts, especially when paired with access control systems. Installing cameras at key entrances and exits will allow a facility owner to better monitor who enters the building. Unlike backup disaster/recovery, access control systems and CCTV protect against external security threats.   Why wait until you need a solution in order to implement preventative measures? Most IT consultants simply react to problems instead of looking for ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. At WesTec Services, we believe prevention is better than a cure; prevention is key to maintaining productivity and cash flow. Protect your assets – call WesTec Services and schedule a meeting with one of our IT professionals to discuss what security solutions are best suited for your business!
How to Spot Phishing Attempts - WesTec Services

How to Spot Phishing Attempts

Are you sure that email came from a real company? Individuals are commonly targeted by cybercriminals claiming to be a large organization, copying the format legitimate companies and phishing for personal information. This poses a real security threat to recipients but thankfully, there are steps you can take to spot phishing attempts:  

Recognize

When it comes to identifying phishing attempts, there are a few important things to learn. Scammers are constantly switching tactics and creating new ways to trick email recipients. Upon receiving a possible phishing email, check the sender for a domain email. If you have received an email from the person before, check to make sure alterations have not been made to the spelling of the name or email domain. Many scammers adjust a number or letter in the email to trick the recipient. Real companies will not ask you for sensitive information over email. Most legitimate companies will call you by your name in the email, redirect you to a secure webpage, and ask you to log in before asking for or updating sensitive information.   How To Spot a Phishing Attempt - WesTec Services

Protect

Install proper security measures on your personal computer. While spam filters attempt to sort legitimate emails in your inbox, cybercriminals try new methods to slip through the cracks and outsmart this system. If your email account or other websites offer a multi-step authentication option to prove your identity before accessing your information, always take advantage of this. Take any extra opportunities to better secure your data and ensure it cannot fall into the wrong hands. In cases where you are unsure about the legitimacy of a message and files or hyperlinks are included, do not click on or open them. These often contain malicious software that attack your computer and gain access to information.  

Report

If you find yourself in a situation with what you believe to be a phishing scam, contact the company using an email or number you know to be real. The company could confirm if that email was truly sent by them or not. If you have received a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. You may also report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. For your business technology needs, WesTec Services is here to provide the security and support you need. Contact us by phone at (713) 682-4000 or by email at sales@westecservices.net to discuss what we can do for you.
How to Prevent Malware - WesTec Services

How to Prevent Malware

When your computer slows down or begins acting in an unusual way, it may be infected with a virus or malware. While most malwares are annoying, others may be malicious and hijack your computer’s information. Here are some tips to keep your hardware safe and prevent your computer from becoming infected.

Install Anti-Virus Software

Installing an antivirus or anti-malware software is the first step to protecting your computer. Without some type of protection software, your computer is an easy target for hackers. It is important to make sure the software stays up to date as well. For the best protection, install updates regularly as they alert you on your computer.

Run Regularly Scheduled Scans

You should be scanning your computer regularly with the anti-virus software you install. To best protect your computer, schedule your scan one night every week. Make sure your computer does not shut down automatically or go into hibernation mode to ensure the scan completes.How to Prevent Malware - WesTec Services

Use a Secure Network

Always use a secure network for computers to connect to files, printers or internet. Using an open network makes it easier for hackers to access your information. This means you should avoid using your computer at places that offer free WiFi. If your business likes to offer complimentary wifi to customers, consider offering a guest wifi with a different password than your main network for added protection.

Think Before You Click

Good protection software will automatically scan any links or unusual emails on your computer. However, it does not hurt to always be cautious when opening an email from an unknown sender or making sure a link is taking you where it says it is.

Use Multiple Strong Passwords

Finally, never use the same password for all of your important accounts. We often use the same email address or username for all accounts. Knowing this, it becomes crucial to use multiple strong passwords to prevent hacks. Your passwords should be easy to remember, difficult to guess, and always avoids dates or names.

Following these tips can help protect your computers and information from viruses and malware. For more information on how WesTec’s IT experts can help your business keep its information safe from hackers, contact us.
When Should I Update My Passwords? - WesTec Services

When Should I Update My Passwords?

Sometimes, accounts will ask you to update your passwords for security reasons. This often feels like an unnecessary task meant to make your life more complicated. However, in a world full of hackers and online predators, one must regularly update their password to protect valuable information.

Change Your Passwords Regularly…

When Should I Update My Passwords? - WesTec ServicesBy regularly changing your login information and passwords, you make it harder for someone to steal information. This is increasingly important for accounts without two-factor authentication. Communication accounts, like email and chatting apps, should also be updated every so often for increased protection.

…But Don’t Change Them Too Often

Traditionally, experts recommended you change passwords every 30 to 60 days–this is no longer the case. Mandatory password updates lead to money loss and lack of productivity with minimal security payoff. Now, changing your password doesn’t hold near the protection it used to. Because cybercriminals continue to learn more advanced hardware and software, they can typically discover your password if they look hard enough.

As humans, we tend to create patterns. This is no different in password creation. Typically, we use similar letters, numbers and themes when updating a password. Updating your password too often leads to confusion with little added benefit.

Keep Your Data Secure

As a rule of thumb, update your passwords when there is proof of some sort of security breach or online attack. This includes unauthorized use of an account or evidence of malware. By doing so, you’re preventing a hacker from gaining access into your personal accounts and obtaining sensitive, private information or data.

There are other ways to protect your data. Contact the experts at WesTec Services for more information about our cybersecurity services.

If you’re not sure how to create a secure password that will outsmart the online hackers, read our recent article for tips.
How to Recover Deleted Files - WesTec Services

How to Recover Deleted Files

Have you ever accidentally deleted a file and then realized you need it back? Unfortunately, it’s happened to most of us at least once–and we’ve all experienced the headache that follows.

Here are a few tips that can help you try to recover a deleted file from your device:

  1. How to Recover Deleted Files - WesTec ServicesMake sure the file is really deleted – If you’re not sure whether you permanently deleted a file, be sure to look for it before making an assumption. When attempting to recover deleted files, check the Recycle Bin or Trash on your computer. Typically, you can choose the filter “Date Deleted” to make your search easier. If your file was stored in a cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive, check your deleted files there–it may still be recoverable.
  2. Check your backups – Making regular backups of your most important files on your device can prevent you from losing critical data when you need it. If you do have a backup, you may be able to recover your deleted files. if you don’t have a backup, now may be the time to implement one.
  3. Try to recover the file – If you deleted a file on a magnetic hard drive, shut down the computer immediately. With the computer shut down, you should remove the hard drive from the computer entirely and place it in another computer as a secondary drive. Use file-recovery software to scan the drive. If you deleted the file recently and haven’t written to the drive much, you have a fairly good chance of recovering it.
  4. Professionally recover the file – If all other methods were not successful in recovering the deleted files, you may want to consider a professional data recovery service. Professional data recovery services deal with everything from deleted and overwritten files to dying hard drives that need to be disassembled and repaired.
To continually ensure the security of business data and important files, it is recommended to perform regular data backups to your computer. If you feel that you don’t have the time or expertise, WesTec Services performs data backup and recovery services provided by our expert IT consultants.

For more information on our data backup or recovery services, contact the experts at WesTec today.

Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.

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2916 West TC Jester Blvd., Suite 104

Houston, TX 77018


(713) 682-4000

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