You can have all the locks on your data center and have all the network security available, but nothing will keep your data safe if your employees are careless with passwords.    Change Passwords – Most security experts recommend that companies change out all passwords every 30 to 90 days. Require passwords that mix upper and lowercase, number, and a symbol. Teach employees NOT to use standard dictionary words ( in any language), or personal data that can be known, or can be stolen: addresses, telephone numbers, SSNs, etc. Emphasize that employees should not access...

    So, you made it back home from the show. You’re exhausted and work has backed up in your absence. Here is where the entire investment in the show can go down the drain. Follow-up is critical. Every one of those prospects need to have follow-up. Lots of it. One contact isn’t going to be enough.   First, send out a short email drip that includes a ‘thanks for visiting us at the trade show.’ The second should be a ‘call to action’ email. Send an invitation to meet via phone or in person, and add something for them to download. The download can...

​    Going to a tradeshow for the first time? Don’t make the mistake of viewing this as a 1-2 day discreet marketing event. Instead, view your exhibit at a tradeshow as the central feature of a much longer and holistic marketing plan that builds to the event, and then culminates in the successful post­show follow up that signs on new customers. In the next few posts, we are going to break down the tradeshow marketing plan into three bite size pieces. Today, the pre-show build up.   The goal of your pre­show marketing is to attract visitors to your booth at the show. You want...

    Smaller firms often struggle just to keep up with maintaining a website. Worrying about a scaled­ down version for mobile users seems like just too much trouble. Today’s blog is all about why this matters to you and why should you bother with a mobile version.   A bit of background: Mobile sites are versions of your website that can be easily read and used on a small mobile screen. What is readable on a laptop of desktop monitor can be too tiny to use on a small screen. Also, the buttons and fields on your forms become impossible to use.   Why does this matter? Three...

    You can have all the locks on your data center and have all the network security available, but nothing will keep your data safe if your employees are sloppy with passwords.   There are many ways data can be breached, and opening some link they shouldn’t is one of the most serious security sins employees can commit, but today we’ll just talk about passwords.   Here are some basic practices that you should require your employees to follow. These are basic tips. System administrators should implement other policies, such as those that forbid using passwords previously...

    “You’re FIRED!” ( now give me your password) Losing an employee is not usually a good experience. If they leave voluntarily, you lose a valuable asset. If they have to be fired, you have the arduous task of the progressive discipline process and the final termination meeting. But there are other concerns that arise when an employee leaves. Those concerns are security and their access to company data.   Here are some considerations regarding passwords and voluntary termination (A.K.A. resigned) or involuntary termination (A.K.A. fired.) It is important you...

    Defense in Depth Part II In our last blog we started talking about the different layers of security necessary to fully defend your data and business integrity. Today we will look at the human aspect of it, and network defenses. The human layer refers to the activities that your employees perform. 95% of security incidences involve human error. Ashley Schwartau of The Security Awareness Company says the two biggest mistakes a company can make are “assuming their employees know internal security policies: and “assuming their employees care enough to follow...

    In the 1930s, France built a trench network called the Maginot Line to rebuff any invasion. The philosophy was simple: if you map out all the places an enemy can attack, and lay down a lot of men and fortifications at those places, you can rebuff any attack. The problem is, you can’t map every possible avenue for attack.   What does this have to do with IT security? Today many business owners install an antivirus program as their Maginot Line and call it a day. However there are many ways to get into a network that circumvent antivirus software.   Hackers are creating...

    Phishing Scams – A People Problem There are some things that only people can fix. There are many security risks to which your data is susceptible, but there is one method that remains a wonderfully effective hacking tool. That is the phishing scam. This is a legitimate looking email that asks the reader to click on a link. If clicked, the link can infect the user’s computer with malicious software that can steal passwords, logins, and other critical data. Alternatively, the email appears to be from a legitimate source, perhaps even duplicating a legitimate webpage. The...

    This cyberattack scheme hasn’t garnered nearly as much attention as the usual “break-in-and-steal-data-to-sell-on-the-Internet version,” but it can be even more debilitating. Ransomware attacks have begun appearing in the last few years and its practitioners are so polished that in few cases they even have mini­call centers to handle your payments and questions.   So what is ransomware? Ransomware stops you from using your PC, files or programs. The business model is as old as the earliest kidnapping. They hold your data, software, or entire PC hostage...