Technology Advisor Blog

Cybersecurity During the Pandemic and Stay at Home Orders Impact on Small Business.

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 5/13/20 2:14 PM

Cybersecurity and the Impact of Work from Home on Small Business

For those fortunate enough to be able to make the move to work from home during the pandemic, the rapid change has been a lot to handle.  Cybersecurity threats increased sharply while users are adjusting to a new way of work.  Last week we hosted security expert Jay Ryerse, CISSP, of Connectwise to speak to our community about the impact on small business.  Ekaru wants the cybersecurity culture of our community to transcend the office walls to protect you, your family, and your business.

Here are a few of the key take-aways from his presentation, and the full video is linked below.

  • Prior to COVID-19, remote workers make up only 3.2% of the entire workforce and 44% of companies had policies that don't allow remote work.  All of that changed overnight!  The current pandemic is unprecedented.
  • Malware is round on 45% of home office networks
  • Cyberattacks now cost small businesses $200,000 on average, putting many out of business.
  • A new ransomware attack occurs every 14 seconds
  • 46% of SMBs have been targeted by ransomware
  • In cybersecurity, what you don't know will hurt you
  • Trust your team, but verify!

The return to the "new normal" will be just as challenging for businesses.  Some states are already re-opening, and it will be a long time before we get some semblance of normalcy. 

Work from home is likely to be a big part of our future.  Many affordable and secure solutions are available for smaller businesses to make the shift, and Ekaru is here to help.

Contact us to schedule a risk assessment to better understand the impact of COVID-19 and cyber threats to your business.

The full recording of the webinar is now available:

 

Tags: small business, cybersecurity, work from home

Get a Custom Zoom Background in 3 Easy Steps

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 5/7/20 11:50 AM

Zoom - With Custom Background - Beach-3Zoom meetings have become so popular these days that the word has become a verb!  There are many great collaboration tools (GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc), and Zoom has emerged as a crowd favorite with huge growth resulting from their popular free version.  

If you've been on a call, you've probably seen someone with a fancy custom background - a scene from a beach, a view from space, or some other fun background (or maybe a serious one like a company logo).  If you'd like to give custom background a try, it's easy!

Zoom - Start VideoFirst, a couple of notes on using video in meetings.  When you start your Zoom meeting, you'll see that video is "muted" by default.  Just click on the video icon in the lower left to turn on the video. 

Ekaru-Webcam CoverI like to use a web cam cover on my laptop so my camera is also physically covered when not in use.   Your laptop may already have a built in cover.  I like the extra peace of mind that I can control camera access.

As for custom backgrounds, If you've got a working webcam, getting a custom background is easy!

1.  Choose Virtual Background - Zoom - Choose Virtual BackgroundClick on the little arrow to the right of the video camera icon, then select "Choose Virtual Background"

2.  Upload Your Background Image - Zoom - Select the Virtual BackgroundClick on the "+" icon to add an image or video  (I have a few already loaded).  You can pick your favorite vacation photo, your company logo, or go on line to find some images.  

3.  Select the Virtual Background - pick the one you'd like to use for the current meeting.  Also, a heads up that that will be the default image for your next meeting, so if you're going on a virtual happy hour, you may want to change back at the end of the meeting so it doesn't load by default during your management meeting the next morning.

A few tips on video image quality - The Zoom virtual backgrounds work quite well even without a green screen.  For best results, a solid color wall behind you works best and don't wear colors that are in the virtual background image.  Why?  A lot of computing is needed to subtract your real background and display the virtual one.  If you match the image, your computer will get confused.  We received a help desk call this week from a user who reported a "fuzzy" image - she was actually blending into the background.  Test drive different images for the best results.

For more advanced troubleshooting, Zoom has some detailed info on technical requirements - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/210707503-Virtual-Background

A few tips on Security - Security is always on our minds.  Zoom has been in the news for security issues.  A few notes on security to stay safe on line:

  • Use unique meeting codes for all meetings
  • Set a password
  • Use the Green Room function to know who's online
  • Don't record meetings unless you have some important reason to do so.
  • If you're the host, know how to mute users and end the meeting quickly if you need to.

One of the nice features of Zoom is that virtual background are "native" to the application.  You don't need any extra software.  For example, if you want to try this with GoToMeeting, you'll need an add on like ManyCam to do the same thing.  Its easy, but it requires an extra step.

Have some fun on your next meeting!   

 

Tags: cybersecurity, work from home, Zoom Meeting

Beware!  COVID-19 Safety emails Deliver Malware Instead

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 5/6/20 5:13 PM

Safety Measures Deliver Malware InsteadCyber criminals are working overtime to take advantage of the disruption and confusion caused by the pandemic.  The FBI reports a four fold increase in cyber threats recently and its more important than ever to stay alert, and talk to your team about cybersecurity.  The most common attack vector these days is eMail, and an unknowing employee may click on the wrong link thinking they're getting important safety information.  Think before you click!

Check out the infographic for more information on what to look out for, and please share with your team.

20 Seconds to better email hygiene:

  1. Watch for overly generic content and greetings - Cyber criminals will send a large batch of emails. Look for examples like “Dear valued customer.”
  2. Examine the entire "from" address - The first part of the email address may be legitimate but the last part might be off by letter or may include a number in the usual domain.
  3. Look for urgency or demanding actions - “You’ve won! Click here to redeem prize,” or “We have your browser history pay now or we are telling your boss.”
  4. Carefully check all links - Mouse over the link and see if the destination matches where the email implies you will be taken.  (But keep in mind some advanced hackers have ways even to hide the true destinations!)
  5. Notice misspellings, incorrect grammar, and odd phrasing - This might be a deliberate attempt to try to bypass spam filters.
  6. Check for secure websites - Any webpage where you enter personal information should have a url with https://. The “s” stands for secure. (But keep in mind some advanced hackers can hide behind encrypted sites!)  
  7. Don't click on attachments right away - Attachments containing viruses might have an intriguing message encouraging you to open them such as “Here is the Schedule I promised.”

It takes just ONE employee to click on a bad email to cause a lot of potential harm to your business.  Ask us about affordable ongoing cybersecurity training, testing, and simulated phishing tests to help keep your organization safe!

Tags: Cybersecurity, email scams, cybersecurity, work from home

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