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Ransomware and disaster recovery plans

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Ransomware and disaster recovery plans Disaster recovery is a basic element of good business continuity planning. Business continuity planning refers to the broad range of plans created so that a business–that includes contact centers–can continue to be operational no matter what negative event might occur. Business continuity planning addresses severe, catastrophic events, loss of the CEO, director, or other principals in the organization, severe natural disasters that incapacitate a physical location, etc. Disaster recovery planning is one piece of this broad planning. Specifically, disaster recovery plans refer to how to quickly recover from some event that compromises your IT infrastructure. In general, smaller centers–which often have no IT support staff - will utilize the services of a managed service provider to develop disaster recovery plans. One piece of your disaster recovery planning needs to address how the contact center can protect its data from a ransomware attack. Unike…

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Mobility and BYOD

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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Mobility and BYOD There are a lot of advantages to mobility in today’s workforce, but the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) movement has also brought its share of headaches as well. We live in a society where everyone must have the newest technology. We are inundated with ads reminding us that the smartphone or tablet we just bought a year ago is laughably outdated and inferior to the upgrade that just hit the market. People who have just bought the latest technology don’t want to have to set it aside to use a separate company-issued device. As a result, businesses are beginning to grant these employee-owned devices access to their file and email servers, databases, and applications. While this brings certain competitive advantages to employers, it naturally carries many risks, too. Let’s begin with the pros of BYOD... The Advantages of BYOD Greater Flexibility and Productivity - Personal devices allow workers more flexibility, which in turn can increase product…

How to avoid falling victim to ransomware

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How to avoid falling victim to ransomware We hear routinely in the news that a major corporation or government agency has had its data integrity compromised, with millions of pieces of personal data accessed. In these cases the criminals behind the attack hope to get money by selling that data to other criminals. In the case of ransomware, the criminals want your money, and try to get it by holding your data hostage. Plain, old fashioned kidnapping with a hi-tech spin. What can you do to avoid falling victim? Prevention is the best cure. Follow standard “data hygiene” principles that you probably hear about all of the time. Update your OS, software, and apps whenever a new release or patch is released. Do this ASAP. Some patches may be released solely as a result of the discovery of a vulnerability. Given the variety of applications needed to run a complex contact center, updates must be given top priority. Also, employee training is essential. Contact centers are labor intensive, and e…

Why SMBs Must Proactively Address the Threat of Mobile Hacks

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Why SMBs Must Proactively Address the Threat of Mobile Hacks More cyber criminals are targeting small-to-medium sized businesses. One reason for this is too many workplaces have insufficient bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in place. Some have none at all. Although firms are generally more knowledgeable about network security risks than in years past, they still woefully underestimate the security vulnerabilities linked to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This is a real cause for concern since data breaches have the ability to put many already financially challenged SMBs out of business. If customer/client data has been breached, there could be potential litigation costs, and naturally, lost goodwill and an irreparable hit to brand or company reputation. Don’t Just Say You’re Worried About the Bad Guys... Deal With Them SMBs say they view network security as a major priority but their inaction when it comes to mobile devices paints a different picture. A recent study found…

Ransomware attacks just keep increasing: Vet practices aren’t immune

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Ransomware attacks just keep increasing: Vet practices aren’t immune This cyberattack scheme isn't new, but it has become increasingly common over the past several years. Many of the viruses lurking out there steal data to be used for nefarious purposes. The goal has long been to access important financial and personal data that can be sold off. For example: credit card numbers that can be sold and used to buy things or social security numbers that can be sold to be used to create fake identities. In the case of many viruses, victims may never even be aware their data has been accessed. Typical malware and spyware tries to go undetected. Not ransomware. Ransomware generally does not access your data to sell off to criminals. Instead, the virus kidnaps your data until you pay ransom. Ransomware stops you from using your PC, files or programs. It holds your data, software, or entire PC hostage until you pay a ransom to get it back. When an attack occurs, you suddenly have no access t…

3 Things to Consider Before Jumping Into BYOD

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3 Things to Consider Before Jumping Into BYOD You’ve read it time and time again. “Bring Your Own Device” isn’t a trend, it’s the future. Workplaces where companies let workers use their own devices for work purposes are the new normal. BYOD attracts new hires and lifts employee morale and productivity. But this doesn’t mean a small business owner should recklessly jump right into BYOD just because everyone else is doing it.  Data and network security concerns have to be thought out, defined, and addressed in a comprehensive BYOD policy. Here are three things to consider. Cost of Support Most businesses salivate at the thought of the money saved by having employees participate in a BYOD program. With employees using their own devices for work, there is no need to shell out thousands of dollars for desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. While that’s undoubtedly a huge incentive, extra support costs must also be factored in. Chances are your employees aren’t necessarily tech savvy…

Three responses after a Ransomware attack

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Three responses after a Ransomware attack If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a ransomware attack, there are basically only three options open to you. Ransomware is a type of computer virus that kidnaps your data and holds it hostage for money. It has become increasingly common; attacking governments and all manner of business as well as non-for profit institutions. Why is ransomware so nasty? Because it steals the most important thing your contact center possesses. Data. Worse, once infected there isn’t generally a way out. No one can “disinfect” your machine. You aren't going to be able to call in IT support to solve the problem. Basically, you have three options. Pay the ransom. This payment is usually via credit card or bitcoin (a digital currency). Some ransomware viruses even provide help lines if you're having trouble. Of course there are no guarantees your will get access to your data - these are thieves you’re dealing with.Don’t pay and lose your data - Th…