Cybersecurity essentials for every business

No matter the size of your business or the field of business in which you operate, you almost always use technology products in your operations on a daily basis. Cyberattacks can affect businesses of all sizes and almost always end up costing a business money. In severe cases, a cyberattack can be fatal to the survival of a business. Combined with the growing prevalence of cybercrime, it is clear why all businesses need to take care of the essentials when it comes to cybersecurity. Here are some top tips for staying secure.

Use strong passwords

Every device and online service that you make use of will employ a password to filter access to authorised persons only. However, these efforts fall apart if you do not use a complex password, and a different password for each service. Passwords do get stolen, so if you share passwords across multiple accounts, then a criminal can get access to a wide range of your company’s services by obtaining just one password.

Beware of email spoofing

Train your employees to spot the signs of a spoofed email. This is when the “from” field of an email address looks like a legitimate sender but is in fact someone else. Tell-tale signs include a slightly misspelled domain name, curious requests to pay invoices for services that you didn’t request, and poor grammar and language in an email.

Firewalls are still effective

Many of the most successful cyberattacks are perpetrated by automated tools. A firewall protects your internal network and your website against these automated penetration technologies, reducing the likelihood that a vulnerability in your systems will be identified by a criminal. Next-generation firewalls are excellent at identifying suspicious activity and will simply block any suspect traffic, keeping your network safe.

Always update your hardware and software

Every system and software package has security holes when it is released. These are identified over time and patches are made public to close the gaps, but patches are only effective if they are installed. Once the security problem is public, hackers can easily hunt for opportunities to exploit it. Protect your computing resources by always installing any security patches as soon as they are released.

Hire an expert

If you make extensive use of technology services, then you might want to get an expert to help you. A cybersecurity contractor will review your technology practices and identify any security holes that make your business vulnerable. Paying a contractor through an umbrella company makes it easy to get on board top expertise as you do not have to worry about getting the paperwork and taxation issues right.

There is no question that remaining vigilant and taking preventative action will offer a large degree of protection against cyberattacks, but you can still fall victim to cybercriminals. For this reason, you should also protect your business by making regular backups and by putting in place a disaster recovery plan, which can mitigate any damage done by a security breach.

 

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What Are Some of the Things to Look for in an Antivirus Program for Businesses?

Businesses no longer need antivirus programs as a best practice. It is a true requirement. Imagine that your work files are compromised by hackers! That would be the end of your business. So what are the 10 things businesses should look for when they compare antivirus software?

1. Potency

Obviously, the antivirus program has to be able to find viruses and other infections, isolate them and get rid of them. This is something you must find out from trusted sources, not just from advertisements that say the program is great.

2. Cost

Unfortunately, businesses are on a budget. And while IT budgets tend to be the highest in an organization, there are limitations. You need to make sure that the program is affordable and offers value for money.

3. Centralized Administration

You need to be able to have a single person – or department – to be able to access all the individual reports. You can’t rely on staff that doesn’t have an IT background to report on any issues they may encounter. Additionally, you must be able to control all the different licenses from one location, instead of visiting each individual machine.

4. It Must Include Email Protection

Look at your personal inbox at home. How much spam is in there? That has to be avoided in businesses, so make sure email is protected as well. Protection should also ensure malware contained inside emails can’t affect the rest of your business.

5. Compatibility

Your program should work across different devices. With remote working on the rise, you will probably have computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones in your organization. The program should work across all of them.

6. Excellent Reporting Tools

The reporting tools should deliver easy to understand results that can be taken to senior management meetings to review latest attacks and more.

7. Technical Support

You may have an IT department, but they will not be trained in the specific program you choose. Therefore, it should come with round the clock IT support, preferably both online and over the telephone. And all operatives should speak proper English.

8. Certification

Only choose a program that is properly certified by industry standards and has been tested accordingly.

9. Simplified Licensing

If you have new starters or if someone leaves, you don’t want to spend ages buying or cancelling licenses. This should all work according to a simplified process that allows adding and removal instantly.

10. Automatic Updating

Finally, the program should update automatically and it should do so across all machines. This process must be easy to manage, because most individual computers will have restrictions on them in terms of what they can install and download. This goes back to having a centralized control feature in place.

There you have it, the 10 most important things to look for in an antivirus program for businesses. Deciding on the program is an important decision. Hence, take your time to review your different options before coming to a final conclusion.

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From Adobe Photoshop CS6 to Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop continues its long reign as the most trusted graphic editing program in the newly released Creative Cloud. Whether you’re new to Photoshop or are a longtime user, Adobe has a plethora of new features in Photoshop CC that aim to keep the software the go-to program for graphic designers.    Continue reading “From Adobe Photoshop CS6 to Photoshop CC”

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Mac Productivity: Apps That Can Make A Difference In 2014

The use of Apple’s Mac computer has seen a significant growth in the past few years, and if the investment note on Apple from Needham analyst Charles Wolf is to be believed, Mac shipments have surpassed the PC market for the last 5 years.

And it’s not just the hardware part enjoying the increase in demand; a recently published report reveals that Mac App Store and iOS App Stores combined accounted for $10 billion sales in 2013, placing themselves above casino big guns Caser and MGM and the credit company Discover.

Apple also labelled Mac App Store as the fastest growing PC software store three years ago.

Today, there is a plethora of applications in each Mac App Store category, but if you’re specifically looking for options that convert previously daunting tasks into a breeze and make a difference in your productivity, here’s a complied list of apps that will fit into your workflow:

1. Gesture-based apps

Apps that automate certain tasks through the use of gestures can be utilized several times in a day. These applications are pretty useful when you want to take a quick screenshot, execute shortcuts in different windows, move the folders to a second monitor, play and close certain apps and a lot more.

BetterTouchTool, JiTouch and MagicPrefs are some examples of such Mac software. Most of them extend the capability of the Mac’s Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse and Multi-Touch MacBook Trackpad, enabling Mac consumers to use finger(s) swipe, finger(s) tap and finger(s) click for performing several actions.

2. Text-expander apps

Text-expander apps allow you to create short abbreviations of the content you regularly type, and the software does the expansion itself. For example, if you receive a lot of emails during holidays, you could configure ‘whr’ with the expander, which can be turned into: Thank you for the request. We will be back after a week and will respond as soon as possible. This means you can execute and complete several commands with a few keystrokes.

Examples of Text-expander software tools include Typinator and Presto. Both these apps will make you appreciate how time saving text-expanding apps can be, and the former one also come with handy options to define cursor placement and store the library of your saved abbreviations in the cloud.

3. Remote software apps

Remote control software for Mac can be a blessing in disguise when you’re not in front of the system but want software to access certain files and folders. Some of the offerings even let you drag and drop files between two desktops as well as stream media over a smartphone or a tablet.

SimpleHelp, LogMeIn and GoToMyPc are a few of the handy Mac remote tools with screen sharing functionality. These options also work great for Mac users behind the firewall shield, as they work around the firewall to establish a connection to a remote computer. However, security is not an issue as the software is backed by advanced encryption codes.

4. Focus-based apps

There are instances when you can get distracted from work… This isn’t a problem for a few minutes (you do need a break), but it can lead to a loss in productivity if it happens for long periods.

Self-Control and TrackTime are two such useful applications, blocking out distracting websites for a certain amount of time, allowing you to be productive when it matters most.

What are your favourite Mac tools to stay productive? Feel free to leave comments.