Technology Advisor Blog



Keep Your Technology Fresh and Stay Secure

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 3/1/21 3:29 PM

An important part of staying secure on line is keeping your technology up to date.  If you're running old technology, you're not benefitting from the latest security protections.  In January of 2020, Microsoft ended support for Windows 7. This led to a massive worldwide effort to get systems upgraded to Windows 10.  However, a recent report on The Verge indicates up to 100 million PCs are still running Windows 7.  Ouch!  If you made the move to Windows 10, kudos for you, but have you kept the rest of your technology up to date?

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Tags: small business, cybersecurity





Work From Home - An Employee Checklist

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 2/22/21 1:40 PM

It's hard to believe we're approaching the one year anniversary of COVID pandemic related shut-downs.  Thanks to technology like laptops, Zoom, high speed Internet, VoIP phones, and more, the scramble to work remotely was possible for many.  With all the associated distractions, cybersecurity often winds up being an afterthought for many.  As a technology service provider in the greater Boston area, we've worked with many local small businesses to enable a smooth transition to remote work, and we strongly encourage a continuing culture of cybersecurity to keep your business safe.

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Tags: small business, small business technology, cybersecurity, work from home





Cybersecurity Trends for 2021

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 1/11/21 5:18 PM

Bell bottoms, neon colors, Rubik's Cube, pet rocks, kale…  Trends come and go, and generally, we’re not one to care much about what’s in style, but cybersecurity trends? That’s one we can get behind and think that there can never be enough of!

So, what can you expect to see as both a consumer, employee, employer, business owner or just a member of the general public who has a computer? Let’s take a look at what we are seeing.

Home is where the heart is.
And it is where the school is, and the office, and unfortunately it is where the likelihood of an attack or breach happens as well. That means that you need to ready your home and prepare to not only protect but also respond in the event of your network or smart devices being compromised. Ensure that as a worker or student, you are well protected and working with your IT support staff to have all security measures in place. It won’t be easy since many of us are playing catch up to the unexpected transition from last year to work from home scenarios, but it will be of the utmost importance as we move forward with this being the structure for the foreseeable future.  Don't get overwhelmed as there are many smart and affordable options for security.

Inside Job
There is a horrible phenomenon that is growing in popularity known as insider-threat-as-a-service. Yes, you can buy a disgruntled employee to sabotage a business and compromise data integrity by stealing information or breaking the business from inside. While this has been around for longer than 2021, with the hiring process for remote employees being done via video or other long-distance methods, it isn’t always easy to gather and gain the trust you might have had from years of sharing office space.  A solid onboarding AND offboarding process are important parts of any business plan.

Fake ID
Stolen credentials can be used for more than obtaining a credit card. Yes, you can build up an identity and establish credit, but you can take it a step further and build up a history that doesn’t exist in reality to the person it is being created for. This is a step up from the insider job that can happen, but you do need to be aware of who you are hiring and providing your confidential information to.  "Deep fakes" are a big trend, and we can't always believe what we see. 

Bigger Phish
With humans being the biggest risk to cybersecurity and working from home being the norm, you can expect a rise in attacks. Why? Because humans are the easiest point of entry for any hacker, and unmonitored humans are even easier to trick. So phishing scams will be even more popular when it comes to attack attempts. No one thinks they'll be the one to click on the wrong email, but people do.  These types of emails are designed specifically to trick people into opening them.  You can mitigate your risks by using a training platform to make sure everyone on the team is up to date with the latest threats.

The bottom line with any trend is that it will increase and decrease in popularity over time, but the one trend that isn’t going anywhere is the threat of data breaches.  There's no such thing as 100% security, but some basic and affordable solutions will help your organization drastically improve your protection. 

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Tags: small business, cybersecurity





Why Does My Office Computer Cost More Than My Home Computer?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 12/28/20 3:31 PM

This is the time of year when many businesses decide to upgrade hardware to expense for the end of the tax year.  Every December we see a surge of urgency around getting things done at the end of the year.  If your computers are five years old or more, its time to replace! 

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Tags: small business, computer





Think Big.  Shop Small.  31 Million and Counting...

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 11/23/20 3:31 PM

2020 has been a challenging year for all, especially small businesses.  Did you know that there are over 31 million small businesses in the United States?  At Ekaru, our mission from the start has been to provide enterprise class IT services to small business.  During the past several months, working closely with our small business community has reinforced how much small business means to all of us.

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Tags: small business, small business technology





Ekaru Announces Commitment to Global Efforts Supporting and Promoting Online Safety and Privacy for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/7/20 5:42 PM

This year’s initiative highlights the importance of empowering individuals and organizations to better protect their part of cyberspace in an increasingly connected world

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Tags: small business, small business technology, cybersecurity





Going Remote - Phones and Office Collaboration Technology Made Simple

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 7/10/20 2:05 PM

This week we hosted another business leader in our Pandemic "Lunch and Learn" small business technology series.  Frank Correira, Senior Channel Manager at LogMeIn spoke to the Ekaru business community about "unified communications" - Voice / Video / Text. 

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Tags: small business, small business technology advice., VoiP,





The Psychology of Passwords - Are your Passwords Secure?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 6/26/20 11:49 AM

We all know what we "should" do about passwords, but reality is quite a bit different as a recent report by LogMeIn shows, in collaboration with the National Cybersecurity Alliance.  At Ekaru we're on a mission to help Small Businesses stay strong in the face of cyber threats.  The more you know about the threats you face, the better your chances of keeping your data safe an your name out of the headlines.

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Tags: small business, password, cybersecurity, work from home





Reopening the Workplace After COVID-19:  A Checklist for Businesses

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 6/15/20 3:52 PM

As countries, states, and cities begin to ease lock-down restrictions, this checklist for reopening businesses can help you jump-start your return.

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Tags: small business, work from home





Leading a Team Through Crisis and Pivoting Your Plan for Success in 2020

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 6/5/20 10:10 AM

These are challenging times for all, and 2020 hasn't gone as planned for anyone.  But there are still seven months left to the year!  This week we hosted a guest speaker at our webinar to help our community step up to the challenge and do our best in 2020.  Herb Cogliano of Aspire Growth Advisors walked us through the Scaling Up methodology, based on the best-selling books Scaling Up and The Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish, to get refocused on 2020.  Herb is a former INC 5000 CEO, multi-year recipient of the Boston and South Florida business Journal Best Places to Work award, and serves on the Carroll School of Management Board of Advisors at Boston College.

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Tags: small business, scaling up





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