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Phishing Scams During the Holiday Season

What is Blockchain Technology?

Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer

3 Stats to Know About Access Control Systems

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

Posts Tagged ‘security’

Phishing Scams During the Holiday Season

With holiday’s right around the corner, this makes for a scammer’s perfect opportunity to conduct phishing scams. Researchers have stated that this year, phishing scams are going to increase significantly. More phishing scams are done via mobile devices, making it easier than ever to have your information stolen. But how do we protect ourselves during this vulnerable time? 

 

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are intensified during the holiday season due to the high traffic of online shoppers and the urge for people to look for deals. One popular way scammers do this is by sending emails or text messages about an offer that is too good to be passed up. For example, they list a popular technology device for cheap. Most people would just look at the price and proceed with the scam. Another scam is when they mimic bigger companies online to get credit card information or being able to log onto the device when a certain URL is clicked. These mainly happen through emails. They might send an email about a recent fake purchase to get you to click on the URL. These scams are going unnoticed and can do lots of harm. It is important to know how to prevent these scams and protect your information. 

 

Prevention 

It is inevitable that these scams will make their way to you. One way to identify a scam is to check the grammar of the message. Usually scams will be misspelled or the message came from a third party source. This is the easiest way to quickly identify the scam. 

 

Be cautious about providing personal information such as phone numbers or credit card numbers. Make sure before you provide information that it is a reliable and trustworthy source. 

 

If a phishing scam is sent to you, it is best to not respond. A response to these scams lets the scammer know you are a ‘real’ person and will likely be targeted again. If this does happen, there is an option to report the scam to the Spam Reporting Service. 

 

Holidays make for a great time to buy gifts for loved ones, but this also means it is more likely to come across a phishing scam. It is important to know how to identify the scam and how to prevent and protect yourself. 

 

Scams can be irritating and hard to effectively prevent them. WesTec services can help you in any way. We offer skilled expertise in all technologies and are ready to help. Contact us for any further information on phishing and how to protect yourself. 

What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology is one of the most effective ways to have secure and connected information. It stores information and then ‘chains’ it with more databases linking them together. This creates an irreversible timeline of data that can be beneficial.

 

 

How Does it Work?

The main purpose of a blockchain is to send information that can be sent to other databases but cannot be edited. This is important when distributing important information. The first step in this process is the transaction. This is when the information is first introduced to the database. As more information is entered, it creates a chain that can spread to other systems. 

 

How Secure is it? 

The main question regarding blockchain technology is how safe it is. Due to its inability to edit any information, this makes this one of the safest ways to spread information. Not only that, but it stores everything chronologically and linearly. Even if hackers try to interrupt a chain, it wouldn’t line up with the rest of the block, immediately notifying users. 

 

Ways to Use Blockchains

This technology can be used in many ways including banking, currency, healthcare, smart contacts, supply chains and voting. Since this system is secure and easily distributed, many companies find this the most effective way to store their information. Big companies such as Walmart and  Pfizer actively use blockchains to distribute their records or important documents. 

 

Blockchain technology is finally making it’s way into modern life. From its effectiveness and security, more companies are finding ways to incorporate this technology into their businesses. 

 

Have any questions about the right technology services for you or your business? WesTec services can help. Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

 

Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer - WesTec Services

Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer

man using access control systemMaintaining your computer’s health requires regular care and maintenance. Here are a few things you can do to protect the health of your computer on a daily basis:

 

Routine deep cleans

You would be surprised by the number of files that collect on a computer over time. Too many files and programs can actually affect a computer’s load speed and overall performance. Therefore, it is crucial that you perform routine deep cleans on your system. Delete any files that you no longer need and are simply taking up space. If there are files you would like to keep, store these on an external hard drive (and back this drive up) before removing the files from your system.  

 

Download security updates

You’ve likely received notifications to download new security updates and declined for the sake of time and convenience. If you do not regularly download security updates, your computer may be vulnerable to hacking. These updates work to “patch” any holes in your computer’s security. Without these updates, hackers can intercept your security and access your information, files, programs, etc.

 

Install and update antivirus software

Viruses and malware can affect your computer’s overall performance, which can disrupt productivity. Therefore, it is important that you install an antivirus software and update this software regularly. Antivirus software will scan your computer for existing viruses, resolve these issues, and block more viruses from infecting your computer. 

 

When you fail to perform routine deep cleans and maintain your antivirus and security software, your computer is at risk of system failure. At WesTec Services, we understand it can be easy to forget to do these things. Don’t neglect your computer any longer — outsource IT support with WesTec Services! From IT consulting services and network installation to backup & disaster recovery, we’ve got you covered. Protect your computer’s health with WesTec Services. Contact us today!

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3 Stats to Know About Access Control Systems - WesTec Services

3 Stats to Know About Access Control Systems

3 Stats to Know About Access Control Systems - WesTec ServicesIf you are looking to upgrade your security, consider an access control system. Access control systems offer many centrally controlled security options, including video surveillance, fingerprint entry systems, and key card scanners. If you’re still on the fence, here are a few stats you should know about access control systems:

 

60% of commercial burglary attempts happen after hours

Crime can happen anytime anywhere. However, for businesses, 60% of burglary attempts happen after hours. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses adopt an access control system to secure their facilities 24/7.

Criminals prefer easy access — if gaining access to your facility would require a lot of effort, you’re less likely to fall victim to burglary. These added security measures will serve as a crime deterrent.

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, 44% of workers say access control is more important now than ever before

Over the past year, we have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. In an effort to control the spread of the illness, we have had to take extra safety precautions. Many believe access control systems could keep employees safe, as it can minimize the flow of traffic in any facility.

With these systems, you can decide who comes and goes with the use of keycards or fingerprint recognition. With fewer people coming and going, there is less risk of further spreading the virus.

 

The access control system industry is projected to be worth $12.8 billion by 2025

There is a reason the access control system industry is steadily growing — and it’s because these systems work! Access control systems are the only truly proactive step a user can take to augment the security within a facility. With access control systems, you can monitor the attendance of your employees and set parameters for visitors and guests that visit your building.

 

With an access control system, you can better regulate who comes and goes in your facility. Interested in learning more about the benefits of adopting an access control system? WesTec Services can help. Schedule a call with one of our professionals today!

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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!

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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