logo

Blog

How To Detect and Prevent a Scam Attempt

No matter which antivirus or encryption a business may have, password theft is one of the oldest deceiving tricks out there. Yet, it remains one of the most common, and successful methods of cyber theft used by hackers.

Common perceptions of phishing include it being ransomware where data is held hostage until a monetary amount is paid, all the way to virus infections, all which can be true.

But what exactly is it?

An attempted phishing attack aims to steal personal, financial, and other information that exposes the victim to identity theft. The attack comes in the form of a hacker pretending to be someone else (ex. your boss) or a company you’re financially affiliated with (ex. Bank, retail credit card). The amount of attacks and threats comes in many forms, but all carry the same sense of urgency that prompts the user to follow through a misleading link and log-in with their credentials. Success of these scams comes from user unawareness and trust of the sender’s address, which reiterates how hackers construct the email with similar and nearly-identical images and links in the message that are often looked over after a long day at work or during a busy time of day.

Recent examples like Google’s Gmail users were exposed to phishing attempts upon signing in to their accounts and clicking on familiar email attachment that redirected them to a sign-in screen.

Looks legitimate, right?

But why would you have to sign in again just by clicking on an image? That’s a sure sign that raises a red flag and suspicion of its legitimacy.

If this has happened to you, look at your browser’s location bar next time to determine where you’re being redirected. You can do this by hovering your mouse pointer over the link without having to click it. This phishing attempt search bar looked like this:

Again, many users may think it’s okay because they see, “accounts.google.com” somewhere in there, but the only safe address starts with https://accounts.google.com.”

 

Other tips to look out for in a suspicious email:

Here’s another example of the email missing a clear recipient and containing a false tracking number that infects the user’s device.

What your business and employees need to know:

 

Read more phishing attempt cases in Small Business Trends 2017 post here and their catastrophic effects. According to Infosecurity magazine, the average phishing cost amounts to $1.6 million, many of which go beyond monetary losses and affect reputation and client base.

 

Criminals cast a large array of attacks in their daily mass emails to increase the success of their exploits.

Now, there’s a new form of phishing too, it’s called spear phishing. Like the name suggests, spear phishing consists of even more targeted attacks. Hackers research executives, leaders, and administrators in a company by investigating their social media and other revealing information they can use to tailor their attacks so they can convince their targets. A hacker may pretend to be the CEO or manager of a business and send out an email to other members of management that will prompt them to provide company information or ask them to make payment transactions to a particular account with a sense of urgency.

 

Here’s what you and your staff can do:

 

A phishing attack can destroy a business’s reputation and client base that took hard work and many years to build. Why take a chance with these potential daily risks?

Want to learn more on what you can do? Secure your business and implement the appropriate resources to prevent your information from landing in the wrong hands. Let us know how we can help.

Key Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

Leaders routinely face decision-making challenges that ultimately have an impact on the bottom line and are the key influencers in the solution-finding process while aiming to operate under an allocated budget. Many small to mid-sized companies, and even large enterprises find themselves comfortable enough with their on-premise resources used in their daily work because it’s what works, and what seems to be getting the job done.

Usage costs, lack of flexibility across the organization, and other costs associated when the time for multiple repairs come aren’t considered until maintenance needs begin escalating.  The risks of a security breach or network disruption pose a heftier price tag as well.

Businesses are constantly innovating by adopting new technologies and embracing change. The urgency to migrate to the cloud has small and medium-sized businesses considering the move to keep up with trends, user demands, simplify tasks, and slash their costs simultaneously.

See convincing examples on IBM’s post, “Companies look to cloud to save money, build business” for key opportunities explaining how businesses can leverage the cloud’s versatility into their operations and save money. Even entire states are too, in their 2015 article, “United States of Cloud saves states millions of dollars.”

But what exactly is the cloud? Simply stated, it’s computing that’s based on the internet. That’s it. Traditionally, applications and computer programs are run on physical devices in the company’s building using only the available resources on-site. Some popular cloud-based services include customer relationship management (Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP HANA), email (Outlook), project management (Microsoft Project), and communication enablement (Skype for Business).

That family picture you uploaded on Facebook? You posted that using cloud services. Checking your company domain e-mail while on vacation? It’s floating up there.

With many factors to consider, here are the top reasons how your business can benefit from by adopting the cloud through a managed service provider.

Contribution To The Bottom Line

According to Gartner’s IT Report, healthcare organizations alone spent around 75% of their IT budget supporting their internal systems. Businesses find themselves spending their budget on maintaining internal IT maintenance forcing minimal investment to other departments such as marketing or operations before it depletes.

Forbes and Gartner report that IT consulting will grow by 6% by the end of 2018, and spending on IT to reach $3 trillion. When running a smaller or mid-sized business, the focus shouldn’t be directed towards IT maintenance. Organizations must be enabled to streamline their operations without application and server issues, and reduce the costs associated with maintaining internal systems. Often, it’s easy to get caught up with the upfront charges with software programs and updating existing equipment and additional hardware compartments.

Some of the many integrations with other services helps you save time and money including:

 

How Safe Is the Data?

IT providers who manage your cloud services invest heavily in cybersecurity, ensuring data is encrypted, prevent system disruptions and severe network failures or security breaches. Sophos Cloud, an antivirus and industry leader in cybersecurity provides endpoint protection for users, is closely monitored by experienced professionals, and is updated by IT staff much more than those systems managed internally. For the reason that your data is stored in the cloud, losing a device is always unfortunate and costly, but confidential information being in the wrong hands poses greater disasters that can have degenerative effects on your company. Remote access to information allows you to recover or destroy information conveniently.

Flexibility Based On Business Needs

The power to scale your company is in your hands. Depending on your business needs, your cloud provider can upgrade the benefits, or remove unnecessary services that don’t fit in your business plans, it’s all built-in the service. Ever had the urgent need to access a company file to complete a project outside the office? Migrating your applications to the cloud allows authorized users in the company to remotely access the company’s database, files, and technology platforms simultaneously wherever they are without further configuration. Take Microsoft Teams for example, part of the Microsoft Office 365 subscription, where employees can create team channels, and effortlessly share files among each other anywhere in the world. The scalability offered by cloud services not only takes care of automatic updates for these applications, but only incurs costs based on usage, all handled by your managed service provider.

Having a Competitive Advantage

The concept of acquiring innovative technologies for your company may sound intimidating itself, but now more than ever, industry-leading technology is becoming more accessible through managed service providers. Having your provider be your internal IT department is one thing, but having that competitive advantage over business who haven’t adopted a cloud infrastructure helps put your business a step ahead by cutting costs, paying-as-you-go, optimizing operations, scaling and managing your projects all at a fraction of the cost of standard packages.

Ready to transform your business? It’s Time to Make the Move

Contact us and discover how easy it is to implement industry-leading technologies in your very own business. These are some of the benefits your organization can expect, but when you put all examples together, it’s inevitable to want to move to the cloud.