Technology Advisor Blog



I'm a Small Business.  Why Would a Ransomware Gang be Out to Get Me?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 9/20/22 11:38 AM

"I'm a small business.  Why would a ransomware gang be out to get me?"  This is a question we hear a lot working with local businesses.  Everyone sees the big cyber crime headlines in the news, most recently with Uber, and last year quite visibly with the Colonial Pipeline, but what many people don't realize is that half of these kinds of threats hit small businesses - the events just don't make national news.  Why are so many small businesses impacted when there are bigger targets out there?  It's Ransomware as a Service.  What's ransomware as a service? You’re likely familiar with software as a service (SaaS) but ransomware? What does that mean?

First, let’s do a quick review of what ransomware is. It's a type of malware that holds the victim’s files and folders for ransom.  This sounds like something out of a Tom Cruise movie, but basically a giant warning shows up on your screen with a ticking clock that says pay the ransom, or you won't ever access your files again.  Most typically, malware gets on your computer network through human error with someone inadvertently clicking on the wrong link or opening the wrong email attachment (like a fake resume).   The malware is deployed and encrypts network data, with a safe return of your data being promised when the ransom is paid. And with payments usually made through cryptocurrency, these crimes are can be committed anonymously.  Cybercrime is big business!

The "Ransomware as a Service" business model was developed for criminal purposes to make it even easier for criminals to conduct crimes. Ransomware requires little effort to deploy with potentially big payouts.  Criminals with little or no technical know-how can now blast out millions of emails to potential victims.  All they need is a few mouse clicks to make a lot of money.

Ransomware as a Service

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Tags: small business, small business technology advice., cybersecurity, ransomware, cybersecurity training





IT Industry Outlook 2022 - Getting back to Strategic Initiatives?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 8/15/22 5:37 PM

We're more than half way through 2022, the world has been through a tough two years with the pandemic, and we're getting through to the other side.  We just checked in again with the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2022 report, and it's pretty on track for the year.  Ekaru is a proud member of CompTIA, and if you're not familiar with CompTIA, you should be!  "The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the leading voice and advocate for the $5.3 trillion global information technology ecosystem.  Through education, training, certifications, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce."

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Tags: small business technology, cybersecurity





Do Passwords Pose a Security Risk for your Business?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 5/10/22 2:48 PM

Do your passwords pose a security risk for your business?  At first this sounds like a funny question, because passwords are supposed to keep things secure, right?  Well, not if they're recycled, weak, or not protected with multi-factor authentication!  Your protection may not be as strong as you think, and getting better password practices is an important step in strengthening your cybersecurity.  World Password Day was created by cybersecurity professionals in in 2013 and designated as the first Thursday of May.  Now is a great time to help strengthen cybersecurity awareness in your team, and we've put together some resources for you to help to help foster better password practices.

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Tags: small business, password, cybersecurity





Top 4 Tech Trends for 2022

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 1/17/22 4:44 PM

Over the past years, technology has increasingly been a driving force in business transformation. Direct digital transformation investments are projected to total $7 trillion between 2020 and 2023 according to data published by Statista.  Big corporations invest in sophisticated long-range strategic planning, but smaller businesses need to pay attention to this trend as well.   If you want your local business to succeed, you must have the appropriate technologies to help you keep pace with the changing business world.

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Tags: small business technology, cybersecurity, digital transformation





Technology New Year's Resolution:  Prioritize Your Technology Gaps

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 12/28/21 3:34 PM

Technology fuels local businesses these days, helping them achieve their goals and vision. At the same time, local businesses are also at increased risk for growing cyber threats worldwide – ALL businesses are impacted, not just the big ones that make national news. One of the important foundations of keeping your technology safe is to conduct a security risk assessment each year (at least!).

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Tags: small business, cybersecurity, cybersecurity training, security risk assessment





How to Get Started with an Incident Response Plan

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 12/20/21 11:53 AM

Cybersecurity headlines may sound scary, but it’s important for local businesses to know there are a lot of smart and affordable things you can do to fight back to stay more secure online and increase your chances of surviving a cyber event. A basic security risk assessment can help identify security gaps to remediate, and ongoing employee training will greatly help reduce “clicks” on the wrong things. Preventing problems is a lot less expensive and more effective than responding to an incident, but it’s not possible to eliminate all risk. As a technology service provider, Ekaru has been working with local businesses in the greater Boston area for many years, and having an incident response (IR) plan will make a big difference in your ability to successfully recover after a cyber incident.

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Tags: cybersecurity, cybersecurity training, incident response plan





Cyber Secure?  Beware of Black Friday Scams!

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 11/24/21 4:03 PM

Don't Get Scammed by a Turkey

It’s Thanksgiving week and that also means that the holiday season has officially started!  And just like the holiday season of our youth, this is the time of year when we as adults tend to get caught up in the excitement and the fun of the times, and let our guard down.

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Tags: cybersecurity





Combatting Business eMail Compromise Risks

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 11/22/21 2:28 PM

An old scam that keeps reinventing itself with new victims. Don’t become a victim! 

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Tags: email security, cybersecurity, security awareness training





Cybersecurity: Changes ahead for CMMC will help SMBs

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 11/19/21 3:09 PM

CMMC - Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification - has been a much-discussed topic in cybersecurity this year.  Theft of intellectual property and sensitive information from all industrial sectors as a result of malicious cyber activity threatens economic security and national security. 

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Tags: small business, cybersecurity, CMMC





Why is October Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/11/21 1:50 PM

October is time for Halloween, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, and Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Have you ever wondered why there are so many quirky holidays? National Talk Like Shakespeare Day is celebrated on April 23rd for example. There's also Squirrel Appreciation Day which is on January 21st. It may seem confusing, but this just goes to show how diverse our culture really is!  While it may seem like some of these holidays are a bit silly, one of them is pretty important:  an entire month dedicated to cybersecurity. Now that’s a topic worthy of a holiday!

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Tags: cybersecurity, cybersecurity training





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