Employee monitoring has become a widely debated topic today. With advancements in technology and the increasing reliance on digital communication and work platforms, many employers are choosing to monitor their employees’ activities. This practice has many benefits, but it’s not without drawbacks. Here, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of online employee monitoring to help you decide if it’s right for your business.

Defining online employee monitoring

Online employee monitoring refers to the practice of tracking and analyzing employees’ digital activities in the workplace. This is often performed using specialized employee monitoring software that is installed on employee devices. The software can track various aspects of employee behavior, such as internet usage, email communication, screen activity, and even keystrokes. By leveraging monitoring tools, employers gain insights into how employees interact with digital resources, enabling them to identify patterns, assess productivity levels, and mitigate security risks.

Benefits of online employee monitoring

The adoption of online employee monitoring offers several tangible benefits for organizations:

  • Enhanced productivity – By gaining visibility into employee workflows and identifying bottlenecks, businesses can optimize processes and improve overall productivity. For example, if employees are spending too much time on non-work-related websites, monitoring can help address the issue and boost efficiency. At the same time, simply knowing that their activities are being monitored can motivate employees to stay on task.
  • Data security – Monitoring digital activities allows employers to detect unsafe online behavior and warn employees who violate security protocols before they fall victim to a cyberthreat. For instance, if an employee often visits malicious websites or downloads unsanctioned applications, employers and system administrators can put a stop to these actions to minimize the risk of a data breach.
  • Compliance management – Employee monitoring can aid in compliance management by ensuring that employees follow industry regulations and internal policies. This is especially important when it comes to industry-specific data policies where employees must handle sensitive information with utmost confidentiality and only share data with authorized parties.

Potential drawbacks of online employee monitoring

While online employee monitoring offers various advantages, it also comes with several drawbacks:

  • Privacy concerns – Monitoring employees’ digital activities can raise significant privacy concerns, potentially eroding trust and morale within the workforce. This is particularly problematic if employees are not aware that their actions are being tracked or if monitoring extends to personal devices.
  • Ethical issues – The use of employee monitoring software raises ethical questions about the balance between employer rights and employee privacy. Employers must consider implementing clear policies on how and when monitoring takes place to avoid violating employee trust.
  • Employee resistance – Excessive monitoring may lead to employee resentment and resistance, undermining morale and negatively impacting retention rates. What’s more, anxiety levels toward performance may increase if employees feel that their every move is under scrutiny.
  • Inaccurate assessments – Monitoring alone does not provide a complete picture of an employee’s performance. Some activities, such as brainstorming or working collaboratively with colleagues, may not show up in monitoring data and could lead to inaccurate productivity assessments.

Finding the right balance

To effectively leverage online employee monitoring while mitigating its potential drawbacks, companies must strive to find the right balance. Here are some strategies to achieve this:

  • Transparency and communication – Foster open communication with employees regarding monitoring practices, clarifying the objectives, scope, and implications of monitoring activities.
  • Purposeful monitoring – Focus monitoring efforts on specific areas or activities relevant to business objectives, avoiding unnecessary intrusion into personal or non-work-related communications.
  • Privacy protections – Implement safeguards to protect employee privacy, such as anonymization of data, access controls, and clear policies governing data usage and retention.
  • Employee involvement – Get feedback from employees about the monitoring practices and be open to making changes based on their input. Once you’ve found the right balance, ensure that policies and practices remain consistent, fair, and respectful of each employee’s rights.
  • Regular evaluations – Assess the effectiveness and impact of monitoring on both employees and the organization regularly. If employees report that monitoring is deeply affecting their well-being, privacy, and productivity, you may have to consider adjusting your monitoring policies or even abandoning them altogether.

Keeping your workers safe and productive is a challenge, and online employee monitoring is just one tool in the toolbox. If you need more ideas on how to optimize productivity and address cybersecurity risks, call us today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

While all types of fraud pose serious challenges, identity fraud is one of the most potent, and consumers must take extra care to detect and avoid it. People need to educate themselves on protecting their personal information, but many might feel they don’t know where to begin. Five main steps can be taken to guard against identity fraud and stop fraudsters and scammers from obtaining personal information or accessing accounts.

Beware of phishing

Phishing emails are a vital tactic for scammers and have developed beyond the clumsy, poorly written-efforts of the past. However, many still contain tell-tale signs of a scam, such as lousy formatting and unofficial email addresses. Phishing emails are designed to convince consumers to click on a malicious link, so consumers should avoid following links they do not recognize. Pay extra attention to an email that calls for immediate action, such as requiring payment to keep your energy on; scammers know that consumers are more likely to make a mistake if there’s urgency.

The best way to root out the fakes is to independently check the information by logging into personal accounts on the company website—companies will often post a warning on their website if they are aware of the scam email. Smishing, where phishing is conducted via a text message, isn’t a new threat but has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic and represents another avenue where consumers need to be hyper-vigilant.

Activate two-factor authentication

Many online accounts offer two-factor authentication, which can help to prevent online account takeover. Text messaging is the most popular second factor, but this is also vulnerable to takeover, so individuals should choose an alternative factor if one is available.

Sign up for activity alerts from financial institutions

Signing up for activity alerts with bank or credit card companies can alert consumers to any suspicious activity associated with their accounts. People are notified straight away, and this can prevent any further fraudulent charges or withdrawals. Do not delay reporting suspected fraud to your bank, and ask about the possibility of closing the account in question.

Set up identity and credit monitoring

Individuals can sign up for an identity and credit monitoring service that will warn them if their data is at risk. Due to personal information being traded on the dark web, monitoring services focus on places where data is known to be bought and sold and will send alerts if personal data is identified. Credit monitoring services will notify individuals of any changes to their credit profile, such as new trade lines or hard credit inquiries. If individuals suspect fraudulent use of their information, a professional can assess the extent of the fraud and assist with identity restoration.

Follow password security best practices

There is a lot of advice available on how to create strong, unique passwords for every account. However, with the average person having 70-80 accounts, it can be difficult to remember them all, leading many people to reuse passwords. Installing a password manager can help you generate and store passwords for all your accounts on your devices. Although using common passwords like “QWERTY” or your pet’s name is not safe, it can suggest a nearly impossible alternative to guess.

The most important thing to remember is that there is no single solution to ensure complete protection against identity theft. The best thing you can do is to stay vigilant and use caution. By adopting the layers of security discussed above, you can give yourself the highest level of protection against a threat that is certain to become increasingly dangerous in the future.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

Email attacks against businesses have increased dramatically as hackers continually use generative AI tools to optimize their content and streamline malicious campaigns, new research has claimed. 

A new report from Acronis based on data collected from more than a million unique endpoints across 15 countries, found AI-powered phishing affected more than 90% of organizations last year, and that AI helped email attacks grow by 222% between the second half of 2023, and today.

“There’s a disturbing trend being recognised globally where bad actors continue to leverage ChatGPT and similar generative AI systems to increase cyberattack efficiency, create malicious code, and automate attacks,” said Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Product Management. “Now, more than ever, corporations need to prioritize comprehensive cyber protection solutions to ensure business continuity.”

Leveraging Chat-GPT

Email attacks, mostly phishing, remain the primary vectors of infection, the report further states, with organizations experiencing a notable 54% increase in the number of attacks, per firm. Most of the attacks happened in Singapore, Spain, and Brazil, and Acronis identified a third of emails (33.4%) as spam. An additional 1.5% contained malware, or phishing links, it said.

Phishing is the primary infection vector for a number of reasons: email is omnipresent, it’s simple to use, and it’s cheap. It’s also easy to automate. Finally, victims overwhelmingly trust their email service providers to keep them safe from threats, often clicking on links and downloading attachments without second-guessing their good nature. 

In the pre-ChatGPT era, the easiest way to spot a phishing attack was to just use common sense and read the email message. Hackers are rarely English majors (many don’t live in English-speaking countries), and their messages were full of spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as clumsy wording and different inconsistencies. However, since the introduction of generative AI tools, email messages have become significantly more convincing. 

“The Acronis Cyberthreats Report H2 2023 highlights the continued threats faced by businesses of all sizes worldwide,” said Michael Suby, Research VP, IDC. “Unfortunately, bad actors continue to profit from these activities and are leveraging AI-enhanced techniques to create more convincing phishing schemes, guaranteeing that this problem will continue to plague businesses.”

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

Microsoft 365 users are waking up to a major change in how they view their files after the office software’s default font finally began to change.

Aptos, which was previously known as Bierstadt, replaces Calibri, a long-serving font that became the default for the Microsoft 365 in 2007.

Microsoft describes Aptos as a “precise, contemporary sans serif typeface inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography.”

Microsoft has changed your default font

Aptos belongs to the “grotesque sans serif” genre, which is characterized by its block-style letters without calligraphic flourishes or contrast between thick and thin strokes, according to the new font’s designer, Steve Matteson, citing Helvetica as one of the genre’s most famed examples, which was created by Switzerland’s Haas Type Foundry in 1957.

Redmond first shared that it had started looking for a new default font in 2021, and by July 2023, it confirmed that Aptos would be rolling out to “hundreds of millions of users” of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook users in the months following the announcement.

Principal Program Manager for fonts and Typography, Microsoft Office Design, Si Daniels, said that the new font should embody “professionalism, adaptability, subtle flourishes of expression, and more clarity.”

Given that few users opt to select another font other than the default, it clearly has a lot to live up to. Documents written in Aptos will now circulate in every single sector in a variety of capacities, highlighting the need for versatility above all else.

Besides Regular, Aptos is available in Light, SemiBold, Bold, ExtraBold, and an even heavier Black.

Moreover, Microsoft 365 users will continue to notice design tweaks and improvements beyond font changes – the company has also revealed a new theme, encompassing a new color palette, text styles, and more.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

Security is a top priority for many businesses, but the speed at which the cybersecurity landscape is evolving and the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks means a detailed understanding of where some of the biggest risks are coming from is limited amongst many CISOs and IT managers.

By 2025, the cost of cybercrime for businesses is predicted to reach $10.5 trillion, up from $8 trillion in 2023. Despite this trend, many businesses are overlooking and neglecting high-risk areas such as print security, inadvertently leaving them subject to attacks.

In fact, according to research from Quocirca, printed documents represent nearly one third (27%) of IT security incidents, yet print security is low on the agenda when compared to other elements of the technology stack like cloud, email, and public networks.

Despite this fact, 61% of organizations have experienced data losses due to unsecure printing practices over the past year. At a time where cyberattacks are on the rise, and will become increasingly common, it is critical that businesses do not overlook the importance of securing the print environment as a crucial building block for a robust security infrastructure.

The impact of hybrid working

To address the evolving security challenges posed by people working both in the office and remotely, businesses need to implement additional measures to safeguard their networks and the sensitive information that travels on them.

When everyone worked in the office full-time, organizations heavily relied on traditional security measures to protect their documents, including office security, traditional password encryption, network security and firewalls. In fact, recent research from Quocirca found that 39% of organizations are finding it harder and harder to keep up with print security demands as the workplace has evolved into the hybrid spaces they are today.2

The combination of remote and office working has increased the use of personal and mobile devices, which are not protected by the organization’s robust security infrastructure. This leaves private end-user devices susceptible to breaches when working away from the office. As a result, security leaders are forced to reassess their cybersecurity strategies to specifically address document protection in this new landscape.

This is highlighted in a recent report from IDC, which shows that 43% of respondents cite security vulnerabilities and the ability to ensure that at-home print devices are compliant with corporate governance and security policies as a top challenge. With employees printing documents from their own homes and personal devices, the risks of potential data breaches and unauthorized access have significantly increased.

This paradigm shift in work dynamics calls for a more robust approach to print security. Organisations must adapt to the reality that sensitive documents may be accessed and printed on various remote devices that do not have the same level of protection as the wider business network. Consequently, security leaders are now tasked with reimagining their strategies, implementing measures to secure documents at every stage of their lifecycle, whether printed or electronic, and regardless of the device used or where it is located.

Robust security measures are the key for hybrid workplace safety

It’s imperative for organizations that don’t currently have robust measures in place to safeguard their documents sooner rather than later. Third-party providers can play a significant role in enhancing secure practices around remote printing devices. While many organizations already invest in third party services, only 32% are satisfied with their security offerings. As such, it is crucial for organizations to work with vendors that prioritize security from the ground up, ensuring it is implemented at every stage of the printing process.

Businesses should aim for services that offer a comprehensive, 360-degree approach to security, covering devices, software, networks, and cloud-based services. Many lean on third-party vendors that specialize in secure information management, to help ensure that sensitive documents are protected throughout their lifecycle, from storage and transmission to printing and disposal.

Leveraging external expertise can help strengthen organizational print security measures, promote a holistic approach to print security, and ensure a culture of secure practices is in place. In doing so, businesses can mitigate cyber-attacks by safeguarding the confidentiality and integrity of their printed materials, particularly when using remote end-devices.

Prioritizing print security for your business

It goes without saying that the safe moving and sharing of documents must be a crucial part of workplace security. Implementing robust measures to safeguard sensitive documents is essential to mitigate potential risks and vulnerabilities. This includes adopting a comprehensive approach that covers devices, software, networks, and cloud-based services.

By recognizing the importance of securing the print environment and implementing a proactive strategy, businesses can adopt a holistic 360-degree approach to print security and mitigate the risks of cyber-attacks from the ground up.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

Now, more than ever, it is crucial to prioritize investments in advanced threat intelligence, monitoring systems, and ongoing employee training.

In 2023, there has been a concerning surge in data breaches. During the second quarter of 2023, over 110 million accounts were compromised, a staggering 2,6 times more than in the first quarter of the year. Recent findings reveal that the average cost of a data leak has reached $4.45 million, including both direct costs, such as fines and legal proceedings, as well as indirect like reputational damage.

The good news is that the causes of such breaches are often trivial and are under your control, like neglecting to change passwords or using overly simplistic ones, or overlooking the deactivation of access by a fired employee. Businesses can readily mitigate risks to safeguard themselves from both data and the subsequent financial losses. So, what are the most common reasons for data leaks, and how can they be effectively handled?

Cloud misconfigurations

According to IBM, 82% of breaches involve information stored in the cloud. Cloud misconfigurations can lead to data exposure or even compromise entire environments. They take various forms, including improperly configured storage buckets, insecure access controls, and mismanaged encryption settings. These errors often stem from a lack of understanding of the cloud service provider’s security features or oversight during the configuration process. Attackers exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Solution:

– Adhere to recommendations from your cloud service provider, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. This includes configuring security groups, setting up proper identity and access management, and implementing encryption for data both in transit and at rest.

– Implement automated tools for configuring and enforcing security policies. For example, in Kubernetes clusters you may use Gatekeeper or Kyverno. They can significantly reduce the risk of human error.

– Additionally, look for software solutions and scripts to regularly check your cloud configuration against best practices and compliance standards.

Lack of permissions control

The human element remains a significant factor in 74% of data breaches, and the common reason is the lack of proper permissions control. It means that users may have access to data and systems beyond what is necessary for their roles.

The primary issues associated with this challenge include overprivileged accounts, with users having more permissions than necessary, thereby expanding the attack surface. Additionally, there is a concern about proper segregation of duties. For example, a single user may have the right to both create and approve transactions. This leads to an increased risk of fraudulent activities. Outdated settings also contribute to the problem. Imagine a fired support employee still having access to the company’s database. They could potentially download and sell sensitive data to competitors.

Solution:

– Implement least privilege concept to ensure that users and applications have only the minimum level of access required to perform their tasks.

– Utilize role-based access control to assign permissions based on job roles. This way your team members will only see resources and data necessary for their specific responsibilities.

– Implement multi factor authentication by requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification before gaining access. Even if login credentials are compromised, MFA adds an additional security barrier.

Infrequent software updates

Outdated software often contains known vulnerabilities. When businesses fail to regularly update, they leave a window of opportunity for cybercriminals. An illustrative case is Memcached, a widely utilized distributed memory-caching system for enhancing the performance of dynamic, database-driven websites. Vulnerabilities in this software were uncovered in 2016, however, it wasn’t until 2018 when a novel method for DDoS attack amplification using Memcached was exploited in notable network incidents.

Solution:

– Update at least once in half a year. Ideally, implement a patch management policy that outlines procedures for identifying, testing, and deploying software updates in a timely and systematic manner.

– Utilize automated tools to streamline the process. Automation helps to guarantee that patches are deployed consistently across all systems.

Insufficient perimeter control

This risk refers to a situation when an organization’s network boundaries are not adequately secured, allowing for potential unauthorized access to critical information or systems. The network perimeter serves as the first line of defense against external threats. Today, it extends to cloud services, remote users and mobile devices. The attack surface has expanded even further with the proliferation of the Internet of Things. From smart thermostats to industrial sensors, these gadgets often become attractive targets for hackers. Recently, it was reported that the number of IoT devices involved in botnet-driven DDoS attacks had risen from around 200,000 a year ago to approximately 1 million.

Solution:

– Deploy firewalls (such as Web Application Firewall) at network entry points to control and monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. Configuring them correctly allows only authorized and necessary communication.

– Implement Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS) to detect unusual or suspicious activities within the network. They can automatically respond to potential threats, mitigating risks in real-time.

– Add encryption for data transmitted over networks, including local networks, for an extra layer of protection. This way, intercepted data remains unreadable without the proper decryption keys.

Other emerging threats

Among other emerging threats is the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence. Cybercriminals use it to assess attack strategies, significantly increasing their chances of success. It is also used to amplify the speed, scale, and reach of their attacks. For example, hackers now use cutting-edge AI to create convincing phishing campaigns in nearly any language, even those with fewer historical attack attempts due to their complexity.

While there are also other cyber threats, in reality, businesses rarely face them as they are typically targeted at large corporations, government systems and critical infrastructure with top grade security. These include advanced persistent threats (APTs) orchestrated by well-funded and persistent criminals and characterized by their long-term presence within a target network. Usually, these are state-sponsored cyberattacks driven by political, economic, or espionage motives.

Safeguarding your business: universal tips

Apart from all the measures already listed, there are a few general rules to keep your business protected. First of all, conduct regular security audits and assessments, whether they concern cloud infrastructure, the status of software updates, user permissions or the overall effectiveness of perimeter control. External audits or penetration testing can also help in evaluating the organization’s security posture.

Second, invest in advanced intelligence and monitoring solutions. They can detect threats and respond in real-time. Such systems can use machine learning, behavioral analytics, and pattern recognition to establish a baseline of normal network behavior and detect deviations. Upon identifying a potential threat, the system will automatically trigger response mechanisms: block suspicious traffic, isolate compromised devices, or alert security personnel for further investigation.

Third, regularly train your employees to recognize and counteract threats, especially phishing. The latter remains one of the most common methods used by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data.

The effective employee training comprises two key elements, which I refer to as the “stick” and the “carrot.”

The “stick” involves educating all team members on the company’s security policies and legislative initiatives, such as GDPR. It emphasizes the collective responsibility in safeguarding confidential data, which extends beyond the information security department’s duty. Training sessions should explain the consequences of breaches, including potential fines and even dismissals. It is important to conduct these events at least once in two years, if not more often. Moreover, businesses should incorporate them into the onboarding process for new employees.

The “carrot” aspect involves workshops, meetups, and webinars focused on various cyberattacks and the latest advancements in information security. This facet of training is designed to be more engaging and enjoyable. It may include some interactive activities, such as online games and simulations. Guest speakers can take part in these events, for example, employees from the IT department, representatives from other divisions sharing insightful cases, and external market experts.

Through the combined “stick” and “carrot” measures, team members cultivate a collective immunity to information security issues, fostering a culture of mutual accountability.

And, of course, always keep abreast of the latest cyber trends to develop countermeasures in time.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechRadar SOURCE

There is no specific length of time a router will last; your router doesn’t have an expiry date. However, it is generally accepted that a standard Wi-Fi router will last between five and ten years.

As with all technology, numerous factors affect the lifespan of a router, such as how well it is looked after and maintained, where it is kept, its workload, and more.

Another mitigating factor is age itself and whether your router works with the latest Wi-Fi standards used by your other devices. It’s no use buying the latest and greatest laptop with Wi-Fi 6E technology if your Wi-Fi router is stuck using Wi-Fi 5. It simply won’t be able to deliver the Wi-Fi speeds you expect.

In addition, age itself typically means dirt and dust. You can have a perfectly clean house (or other local environment), but over the years, dust will find its way into your router and begin slowly degrading your router hardware. Unlike most other computer hardware, a Wi-Fi router isn’t on most folks’ “take apart and spring clean” list.

Should You Upgrade Your Router When New Wi-Fi Standards Launch?

In a word, no. At least, not immediately, and there are a few reasons for this.

First, when a new Wi-Fi standard launches, it takes years for it to reach production. For example, Wi-Fi 6E launched in 2020, but it took until 2022 for most manufacturers (routers and other hardware) to start using the standard. When Wi-Fi 7 launches (expected 2024), it’ll take at least one year for devices to start using the new standard, so there isn’t an automatic rush to upgrade.

But there are some other reasons you’ll want to upgrade your router.

  1. Network Performance: A newer router should deliver greater network performance across the board. It’s not just the potential to use a new Wi-Fi standard; all the hardware in your new router will be upgraded and deliver better Wi-Fi, process data faster, handle more devices, and so on.
  2. Security: Newer routers often come with improved security features and better network management tools. If your current router is outdated in these areas, upgrading can provide both performance and security benefits. For example, a new router will likely support WPA3, the latest Wi-Fi security standard.
  3. Reliability: New routers are often more reliable and less prone to issues like random disconnections or the need for frequent restarts. When your old Wi-Fi router can’t maintain a proper connection, upgrading to a new router will feel like stepping into the future.
  4. Compatibility: Your old router might not have what it takes to handle gigabit Ethernet, which will limit your Wi-Fi speeds.
  5. Future Proofing: As stated, Wi-Fi standards take a while to filter through, and that applies to your devices, too. Upgrading an old router will protect against future changes for many years to come, especially given how long a router lasts.

Even though routers last for up to ten years, there are some good reasons why you should upgrade your router in the interim. Just be sure to consider your current and future needs before ditching your old router.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from MUO SOURCE

In the race against cyberthreats, every update matters. This includes the often neglected firmware updates. This article sheds light on why updating your firmware is an essential step in securing your business.

What does firmware do?

Before we dive into the significance of firmware updates, it’s crucial to understand what firmware is and its role in the overall functionality of devices. Firmware is a specialized type of software embedded within the hardware of electronic devices. Unlike regular software that runs on an operating system, firmware is designed to control the device’s specific hardware components.

Firmware acts as the bridge between a device’s hardware and software, allowing them to work together seamlessly. It is commonly found in a variety of devices, including routers, printers, security cameras, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Why is it crucial to upgrade firmware?

There are several reasons why keeping firmware up to date is crucial, such as:

  • Security vulnerabilities – Over time, security vulnerabilities are discovered in firmware that could potentially be exploited by cybercriminals. Firmware updates often include patches to address these vulnerabilities, protecting your devices from unauthorized access and data breaches.
  • Enhanced performance – Firmware updates not only address security concerns but also include improvements to the overall performance and stability of the device. This can lead to a more efficient operation and an extended life span for your hardware.
  • Compatibility – As technology evolves, so do the software and applications that interact with your devices. Firmware updates ensure that your hardware remains compatible with the latest software, reducing the risk of compatibility issues that could compromise your business operations.
  • Feature enhancements – Manufacturers frequently release firmware updates to introduce new features or enhance existing ones. Staying up to date ensures that your devices can take advantage of the latest capabilities, providing your business with a competitive edge.

What is the best way to install firmware updates?

While firmware updates are essential, improper installation can lead to issues or even device malfunctions. Here are some best practices for installing firmware updates:

  • Regular monitoring – Stay informed about firmware updates for all your devices. Most manufacturers provide release notes that detail the changes and improvements. Regularly check for updates and prioritize those addressing security vulnerabilities.
  • Back up before updating – Before initiating any firmware update, make sure to back up critical data. While rare, there is a slight risk that the update process could cause data loss or other unforeseen issues.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions – Each device manufacturer may have specific instructions for updating firmware. Always follow the recommended procedures outlined in the user manual or on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Schedule downtime – Plan firmware updates during non-business hours to minimize disruption to your operations. If the update requires device reboots, schedule it when there’s the least impact on your business.
  • Test updates before deployment – Consider testing the firmware update on a noncritical device first. This will give you an opportunity to identify and address any potential issues before deploying the update to all devices.

By understanding the role of firmware, recognizing the importance of timely updates, and adopting best practices for installation, you can ensure that your business remains secure and operates efficiently. Keeping firmware up to date is not just a precautionary measure; it’s a proactive step toward safeguarding your business in the ever-changing threat landscape.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Businesses operate in a volatile world where unforeseen events such as cyberthreats and natural disasters can strike at any moment. To ensure your company’s survival, it’s essential to have the following business continuity strategies in place.

Back up your data

The most effective way to ensure business continuity is to back up your data regularly. Having a comprehensive data backup strategy is like having insurance for your most valuable digital assets. If any of your systems fail, become corrupted, or are inaccessible, these backups will allow you to quickly recover and minimize downtime.
When backing up your data, it’s important to consider off-site backups in addition to on-premises solutions. This will ensure that your data is safe in the event of a physical disaster, such as a fire or flood at your primary location. Additionally, cloud-based backup solutions can provide added security and accessibility for your data during times of crisis.

Virtualize your IT infrastructure

Virtualization is the process of creating a virtual version of a physical IT resource, such as a server or desktop. The virtualized resources are put into a virtual machine, which can be easily replicated and migrated to other physical machines as if it were a simple file. This allows for quick and efficient disaster recovery, as virtual machines can be easily backed up and restored to new hardware if necessary. Virtualization essentially provides flexibility and scalability, making it easier to recover your systems and maintain operations without extended downtime.

Install a UPS

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are essential components of your business continuity strategy. They offer protection against power interruptions and surges, allowing your systems to continue running even during electrical outages. A UPS provides a buffer period for you to shut down your systems safely or transition to backup power sources, reducing the risk of data loss and downtime.

Consider a secondary recovery site or temporary hot desk arrangement

In scenarios where your primary business location becomes inaccessible due to natural disasters or other crises, having a secondary recovery site or temporary hot desk arrangement is a lifesaver. This tactic ensures that your employees can continue working, even when the primary workspace is unavailable. Establish agreements with co-working spaces or set up an alternative location where your team can temporarily relocate and access the necessary resources to keep your operations running smoothly.

Implement cloud solutions for remote work

The cloud has revolutionized the way businesses operate and has become a vital component of modern business continuity plans. Cloud solutions provide the flexibility to enable remote work, allowing your team to access essential applications and data from anywhere with an internet connection. This is particularly valuable during unforeseen disruptions, as your employees can work from home or any location, maintaining productivity and business operations.
If you want to ensure business continuity, we can help you develop and implement a comprehensive business continuity plan. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

A password is more than just an assortment of characters you’re required to enter in order to access your accounts. It is the first line of defense against potential threats and attacks. A weak password makes it easier for hackers or cybercriminals to gain access to your personal information, such as financial details or sensitive data. But there are many people who are completely misguided about what a strong password actually is.

The importance of secure passwords for your business

While many personal accounts are password-protected, securing your business accounts is equally critical. This applies not just to you but to your entire company. Every employee should use strong passwords to safeguard sensitive business data. Imagine the potential harm a cybercriminal could cause if they gained access to your data and systems. It could tarnish your business’s reputation and jeopardize both your employees’ and customers’ private information.

What makes a password strong? (Hint: It’s not about complexity)

Contrary to popular belief, the strength of a password is not solely determined by its complexity. While including a combination or letters, numbers, and symbols can enhance password security, it’s not as effective as using a longer sequence.

A long password is far stronger because it increases the number of possible combinations that an attacker needs to guess. This means that even if your password contains common words or phrases, it will still be significantly more difficult to breach if it’s longer. In fact, a lengthy passphrase consisting of a series of unrelated words can often be stronger than a shorter password filled with complex characters. For instance, “PurpleBananaSunsetRiver” is not only easier to remember but also more secure than something like “P@ssw0rd1” because of its length and randomness.

Furthermore, longer passwords are more resistant to brute force attacks, which involve using automated programs to guess different password combinations until the correct one is found. The longer the password, the more time and computational power it would take for an attacker to crack it, making it a far less appealing target. So, when creating strong passwords for your business accounts, prioritize length and complexity to bolster your online security effectively.

Educating your team on password security

If you manage a team, it’s crucial to educate them on the significance of strong, lengthy passwords. Ensure your team receives training on cybersecurity practices, including password creation. A single weak password could open the door to a cyberattack, emphasizing the importance of collective diligence.

Simplifying strong password creation

Creating robust and lengthy passwords doesn’t have to be a tedious process. If you struggle to create or remember them, consider using a password manager. This tool can generate long and unique passwords for each account based on your preferences. It will then store them securely so that you only need to remember one master password to access all your accounts.

Passwords are often the easiest to overlook when it comes to online security, but they are also the most critical. If you need further guidance or assistance in enhancing your cybersecurity practices, get in touch with us. Our team of experts is ready to help you navigate the digital world securely.

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Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE