Connect with us

Tech & Innovation

Start protecting these 4 things to keep your business going

When a business invests in its people, stakeholders, resources, and processes, they are better able to cope with the outcomes and financial losses from unprecedented times and cybersecurity incidents.

Published

on

Photo by Damian Zaleski from Unsplash.com

With the lowest recorded drop of 16.5% in the Philippine economy since the mid-80s, Kaspersky advises small and medium enterprise (SME) owners in the country to begin protecting its employees, customers, suppliers, and infrastructure to stay in the game during these uncertain times.

Making short term decisions that will have an impact on their businesses in the longer term should be the SME sector’s top priorities during the current downturn, according to the cybersecurity company.  

“At the onset of the pandemic, we have recommended for companies to look after their employees first and foremost. Nine months into lockdown, we still advise businesses to keep their employees working and provide support for them under the safest possible conditions. At this point, we suggest for businesses with good liquidity to also take care of their customers and suppliers because recovery for every stakeholder means a steady run for the business towards the coming recovery,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Kaspersky Southeast Asia. 

For the SME sector, Yeo emphasized the value of making investments in the business’ future during an economic slump, not after.

“If you look at post-recession recoveries in the past, what companies choose to invest into their businesses has played a big role in how weak or strong they fared after a crisis. It’s about time that Filipino SMEs pay attention to this during this period,” says Yeo.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2018 show that 99.52 percent of business establishments in the country are MSMEs. In recent years, most small and medium enterprises, like their major league counterparts, have learned to adopt digital tools as they joined the e-commerce arena, enjoying wider market reach and higher revenue than they ever had with offline systems.

Since the start of the lockdown due to the pandemic, the Philippines recorded more than 75,000 online business registrations in the first nine months of the year, one local mobile money services provider reported a 150% surge in registrations in one month and the government allowed 56 more institutions accepting digital payments during the first months of quarantine.

Like the big boys, too, the dynamic SME sector has been officially in the radar of cybercriminals.

In a report from the cybersecurity company, ransomware attacks against almost 19,000 computers of SMEs in the region with Kaspersky software were blocked in the first half of 2019. While the number of ransomware attacks on computers of small and medium enterprises is observed to be dropping, there is a monitored increase in sophisticated targeted ransomware, phishing attacks, and crypto mining attempts.

Unfortunately, the IT department is the least prioritized concern of most SMEs. Oftentimes, the single person assigned to take charge of monitoring the entire infrastructure is not even a full time employee.

Kaspersky shares the following top five tech checks an IT administrator can routinely do:

  1. Set an alarm in your calendar about certificate renewal. Potential customers get scared exploring your website further when they get warnings that it has no SSL certificate.
  2. Update router firmware. Keeping software up to date means lesser vulnerabilities. 
  3. Revoke unnecessary access rights of dismissed employees.
  4. Back up your data.
  5. Update AV licenses on servers.

Claire Hatcher, head of the fraud prevention department at Kaspersky, said the pandemic has given cybercriminals a new context to exploit but the attack is the same. “The nature of the attack never really changes that much and it naturally increased because people have become susceptible now,” she said.

When a business invests in its people, stakeholders, resources, and processes, they are better able to cope with the outcomes and financial losses from unprecedented times and cybersecurity incidents.

“We found out that small and medium enterprises are willing to know how to perform better especially while securing their cash flow during these times. We know it’s not always economically viable to maintain a dedicated IT security team. Get help on what is not your core. This is where technology can come in to support,” says Yeo.

Businesses with limited cybersecurity expertise and resources but need help on having company-wide insights on incidents and the ability to respond will greatly benefit from solutions such as the new Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum. KEDRO is actually an efficient way for SMEs to reduce costs while saving on protection as it complements protection for endpoints such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops connected to the company network.

Strategies

6 Simple tips to refresh your online privacy

Here are six simple steps that you can take in order to get some of your privacy back from social media and apps.

Published

on

Photo by Jakob Owens from Unsplash.com

Avast, a global player in digital security and privacy products, is calling on all online users to take back their privacy across their digital lifestyle.

“It’s important to not be apathetic when it comes to online privacy and to regularly look at how you can stay in control over your privacy and the personal data you share online, including on social media and apps that many of us use every day,” said Shane McNamee, Chief Privacy Officer at Avast.

On February 4, it will be 16 years since Facebook launched and while it wasn’t the first social network, it has changed how willingly we are to share personal data about ourselves online. Platforms like Facebook and Google have developed complex advertising networks which rely on personal data for targeted advertising, which can seem ever-present at times. However, there are ways you can take back some control and limit the access that websites, social media platforms, and apps have to your personal data. You have more control than you think when it comes to deciding who can see your data and what they are allowed to do with it.

Here are six simple steps that you can take in order to get some of your privacy back from social media and apps.

1. Manage advertising

You can restrict what data advertisers use to target you on different social media platforms. Have a good look through your privacy and advertising settings and make sure you remove interests that the platform can use to target you, which you can do, for example, on Facebook and Twitter. Where possible, toggle off or remove any personal data that can also be used for ad targeting. You can also limit tracking and ad targeting by these platforms based on your browsing off social media, such as by turning off ‘Off-Twitter Activity’ on Twitter and removing ‘Ads Shown off of Facebook’ on Facebook.

2. Turn off location tracking

Location tracking and history, even location metadata in your photos, can allow social media platforms and apps to track and catalogue your precise locations and then serve you personalised ads. A good privacy-protecting move is to turn off your Location Services on your phone for all social media apps and your camera. If you have an iPhone, you can find this in Settings, Privacy, then Location Services. On Android, go to Settings, then Location to turn off Location Sharing, Location History and adjust location access for apps.

3. Don’t log in

On certain social media platforms, like Twitter and TikTok, you don’t need to log in to view content. By choosing not to log in, it takes away a really big amount of data that they could potentially collect, such as your user journey through the network, including content you search and engage with, and ads you click.

4. Revoke app and game permissions

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably signed into other apps and websites with your Facebook or Google login details. While this is super convenient, it also gives those sites access to your data and gives the platform you use to log in more information about you. Through your Facebook settings you can revoke permissions or you can choose what data the apps and games you still use have access to. Similarly, you can manage third-party access to your Google account through your security settings.

5. Don’t click on ads

Many social media platforms and apps track not only which ads you click on but also how long you spend looking at them or swiping through them. If you don’t want social media platforms or apps to have information about your interests, then get in the habit of really ignoring ads all together and don’t use the Shop feature you can find in Instagram and on Google, for example. If you see something that you like, you can search for it via your browser whilst using a VPN which makes it harder for third-parties to track your online activities.

6. Create a burner email address

If you’re going to truly take back some of your privacy, you can start from square one by creating a burner email address. A burner email — which is an email address that you only use for specific things and that isn’t linked to you elsewhere — makes it much more difficult for companies to track you. You can easily create one for free on Gmail, but just be sure not to link it to your main account. Even better, use a different email service than the one you usually use, so you don’t accidentally link them up.

Continue Reading

Strategies

Cybersecurity tips to help small businesses

Unfortunately, business disruption and reduced sales aren’t the only COVID-related issues small business owners dealt with in 2020.

Published

on

Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash.com

Unfortunately, business disruption and reduced sales aren’t the only COVID-related issues small business owners dealt with in 2020. This is why Breadcrumb Cybersecurity is sounding the alarm to small businesses that might be prey for accelerated fraud activity.

“We saw increased activity as threat groups leveraged the COVID-19 situation to defraud businesses from their funding,” says Brian Horton, CEO of Breadcrumb Cybersecurity, which helps companies navigate a wide range of advanced cybercrime, including ransomware, financial crime, intellectual property theft, destructive attacks and employee and insider fraud.

Threat groups are intentional and calculative regarding the timing of their strikes. They are keenly aware of when businesses are typically sending or receiving large amount of funds.

This is why Horton said that they encourage small businesses to reach out to security experts to establish a relationship now so they can jump in immediately if warranted. “Emergencies can happen to anyone, and every second matters.”

Wondering how to protect yourself? Breadcrumb Cybersecurity offers the following tips for small businesses to increase their security:

  1. Whenever possible, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for e-mail and banking services. By requiring multiple forms of verification, it increases your account security as passwords can be easily comprised.
  2. Fraudsters are improving their techniques, but malicious emails still typically contain broken English or improper use of grammar. If anything feels out of place, call and verify with the other party before clicking on a link.
  3. Always call to verify any requested banking/ACH updates. Even if the email looks legitimate, it’s wise to make a proactive call, using a number you find independently, rather than the one provided in the email.
  4. Be wary of an unsolicited email that implies a sense of urgency or threat; i.e. “we need funds now or we will turn off your account.” This is often a red flag for malicious activity.
  5. Have contact information at the ready so you can reach out to a cybersecurity company in response to a potential data breach.

Continue Reading

Tech & Innovation

5 Things to know about digital archiving

For businesses to embark on their digital transformation journey, they first have to make paper-based information ready to be accessed, analyzed, and quickly utilized, which means digitizing massive amounts of records. Here are some of the advantages that digital archiving provides to companies that embark on digital transformation.

Published

on

Photo by @domenicoloia from Unsplash.com

The only permanent thing in the world is change, and the companies see that the traditional practices of business operations are coming to an end. To continue their businesses and create a faster and more efficient way to conduct document workflow, transactions, and other processes, they have taken the significant step of digital transformation. 

However, for businesses to embark on their digital transformation journey, they first have to make paper-based information ready to be accessed, analyzed, and quickly utilized, which means digitizing massive amounts of records. Here are some of the advantages that digital archiving provides to companies that embark on digital transformation:  

Safely Stored Data 

Paper documents are always prone to damage that even a simple crumple can tear it apart, and it can also be lost or misplaced. Recovering damaged data can cost businesses large amounts of time and money, or they may need to make a whole new document since paper documents can be gone for good. Still, digitizing records solves this problem since it is safely stored in online archives where multiple copies can be made for backup and easy access of employees.  

Improved Productivity and Efficiency 

Looking for documents through numerous filing cabinets and other papers kills employees’ crucial time when they could have spent it on other priorities. Some business processes require original files rather than copies because of legal reasons. However, if the file is stored digitally, employees no longer need to waste time searching for it or settling on copies. 

Employees will only take seconds to find files if stored digitally, making them more efficient in finishing tasks and being free from the stress and discomfort of rummaging through piles of documents. In addition, they can now share important information between departments with ease. 

Eco-Friendly and Saves Space 

Another reason why storing vital data digitally, other than safety, is because the old way of storing data requires many resources such as papers, folders, filing cabinets, rooms, and other stationery materials. An archive room alone costs a huge amount of operational expenses, and the large amount of papers used in the process is not environmentally friendly. 

Switching to digital archives no longer requires large rooms and unlimited amounts of paper to keep records and vital documents stored. Employees will only need their office computers or laptops and immediately have the information they need to fall in front of them. 

Secured Records and Safe from Unauthorized Use 

Confidential data needs constant monitoring to ensure that it is where it needs to be. Personnel tend to misplace or lose paper documents permanently, endangering the personal information of the patient or the integrity of the medical facility. Digitizing documents and archiving it online can help personnel closely monitor the location of these files and ensure backup files for emergencies. 

Immense Flexibility 

Since files are stored online, it lets employees access the documents almost anywhere as long they have the gadgets and the authorization to retrieve it. For instance, hospital staffers can immediately have the patient profile they need without prolonging their waiting time. Business executives can access financial reports in their homes and instantly know the status of their companies. 

Digital archiving leads businesses to begin their digital transformation by converting crucial records into digitized documents, which is the cornerstone of every enterprise. For companies to start creating their digital archives, it must first find the perfect tool to digitize physical documents. 

Fujitsu’s document scanning solutions create a paperless organization to accelerate digital transformation efforts. From mobile-scanning and one-touch document imaging to production-level leading-edge imaging technologies, Fujitsu’s scanners are built to fit organizations’ unique needs. 

Fujitsu Philippines has made Japanese IT design and technology available through its server, storage, and scanning hardware and solutions. The company also offers cloud technology that provides relevant and cost-effective IT solutions to all organizations of various sizes and needs. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Trending