5 Cyber Security Threats Facing Pharmacy Websites

cyber security threats

In 2017 and beyond, cyber security has become a top priority for corporations across the globe.

Just this May, one of the largest cybersecurity attacks in history wreaked havoc across 150 countries. The attack’s reach was unprecedented, harming over 200,000 people across the globe.

No company or organization is entirely safe, as even the United States government, the Democratic Party, and Yahoo were hacked in 2016.

One sector that must be particularly mindful of security threats are online pharmacies. Read on to learn about the 5 biggest cyber security threats facing pharmacy websites.

1) Cyber Security Threats: Phishing

In addition to the payment methods used, pharmacies collect a great deal of personal information. This data is extremely valuable on the black market, making it a prime target for hackers.

Hackers will attempt to access this data by deploying spear phishing attacks. Phishing is a tactic that utilizes email to lure unsuspecting recipients to click on a compromised link.

For example, a hacker may embed malicious software in a link for a symbicort coupon. Once the link is clicked on, it is open season for the hackers.

2) Spear Phishing Paves the Way for Ransomware

Ransomware blocks access to key computer systems by employing malicious code.

The hackers essentially hold the systems and critical data hostage until a ransom is paid. In many cases, the stolen data is necessary for business operations and holds considerable leverage.

Obviously, this poses a significant risk to pharmacy websites that cannot possibly sustain losing the trust of its clientele.

3) Pharmacies can be Held Liable for Data Breaches

When a company collects personal data, they are legally responsible for safeguarding it. If a court rules that the pharmacy website was negligent in protecting that data, they could face substantial civil penalties.

Unfortunately, traditional business insurance does not typically cover electronic data breaches.

As a result, a pharmacy website will need to obtain cyber liability insurance to protect its financial interests in the event of a cyber-attack.

4) Convenience Leaves Companies Vulnerable

The popularity of online shopping and the constant effort to make it more convenient is not necessarily good for cyber security.

Things like one-click shopping sound great on the surface. However, additional layers of security will help safeguard client data.

This all ties back to the threat of being held liable for cyber vulnerabilities. If a pharmacy website does not take the necessary precautions to safeguard data, it may pay the price in court.

5) A Reactionary Approach Could be Costly

Many companies do not take the threat of cyber security seriously — until there is a data breach.

Employees must recognize the severity that cyber-attacks pose and be trained to identify incoming threats.

The harsh reality is that most data breaches could have been avoided.

Wrapping Up

Cyber security poses a serious risk to all businesses, and especially pharmacy websites. The amount of data that pharmacies collect makes them obvious targets to hackers.

Understanding cyber security threats and remaining vigilant is the best strategy for combating this risk. If there are any questions about cyber security threats, please do not hesitate to contact us for additional assistance.

3 Tips to a Secure Gmail Account

secure gmail

Cyber security is kind of a big deal.

It feels like every day brings more news about another hacking scandal or crippling malware attack.

2017 has seen a 250% rise in ransomware attacks. And that’s just one form of cyber attack.

While the statistics are a bit alarming, there are some surprisingly simple steps you can take to secure Gmail. Keep reading for 3 tips you can use right now to secure your Gmail account.

1. Create a strong password

It may sound simple, but your password is your first line of defense against a hack. If your password is compromised, you’ve got problems.

With the right tools, getting a hold of your simple passwords isn’t difficult for a motivated individual.

Most online accounts, including Gmail, are now requiring users to pick more complex passwords and add numbers or symbols. But throwing a few numbers onto your dog’s name doesn’t make much of a password.

The best approach to creating a secure password is to take several words and mix a few numbers and symbols in. The use of several words or phrase makes it much more difficult for a computer to hack your account.

Once you’ve picked a secure Gmail password, just make sure you don’t use it for all of your other online accounts. If you’re using the same password in multiple places, your other accounts are toast if a hacker gets access to one.

2. Set up 2-step verification

Once you’ve picked a strong password, the next best thing you can do to secure Gmail is to set up 2-step verification.

2-step verification all but ensures that only you can access your Google account.

With 2-step verification, you’ll have to enter a code–along with your password–each time you log in at a new location.

Your code will be sent via text to your phone after you’ve entered your password. Since no one else (hopefully) has access to your phone, add this layer of protection makes it pretty tough to hack your account.

To set up 2-step verification, just go into your Google account settings and look for the 2-step verification setting. From there Google will guide you through the process.

3. Check your account activity

Have you ever checked your account activity in Gmail?

If you haven’t, you’re missing out on a valuable tool to secure Gmail. It’s so easy to do you’ll kick yourself for never having tried it before.

When you’re in Gmail, just scroll down to the lower right corner of the window. You’ll find a line of text down there that reads, “Last account activity: XX minutes ago”.

Right under that, you should see a link that says “Details”. When you click “Details”, a new window will pop up with your account’s recent activity.

Keep an eye on this one and watch for suspicious activity.

For even more help to secure Gmail, check out the www.gmail login post at Emailhelpr.com.

Ready to secure Gmail?

If you’ve taken all the steps outlined above, you’ve taken a big step to better secure Gmail.

The question is … have you done enough?

Once you’ve done the above, the best approach from here on out is to use common sense.

Hackers are looking for the easy way in. So if you’re being smart when dealing with strange messages and requests, your account will be much safer.

Legal Boundaries Ecommerce Sites Selling Cannabis Products Need to Know

cannabis products

These days, eCommerce has become far more popular than shopping in brick and mortar stores. With an estimated $1.915 trillion spent online last year it’s important to have an online store. If that’s not enough to convince you, projections are estimated to at least double within the next 3 years.

And with medical marijuana now legal in a few states, cannabis products are quite popular. But selling cannabis products can be a tricky situation. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself in some murky legal territory.

Accordingly, you’ll need to know what you can and can’t do online. Here are some things that every eCommerce owner needs to know.

Legal Boundaries Cannabis eCommerce Sites Need to Know

eCommerce Law is Largely Similar to Commerce Law

The first thing you’ll need to know before setting up shop is that eCommerce isn’t as different as you may think. While the internet opens up all sorts of potential avenues, the law isn’t quite as fast as many would like.

In fact, quite the opposite.

Accordingly, many of the eCommerce laws are in accordance with traditional commerce laws. That means that you can’t sell anything online that you wouldn’t be able to sell in a traditional store.

For instance, in the United States, you can’t purchase alcoholic beverages until the age of 21. Thus, you’d need to be 21 to buy alcohol online, too.

What You Can Sell

You’re likely here to discover what you can sell online in a legal fashion. Since eCommerce laws have to follow commerce laws, you’re not allowed to sell cannabis.

Instead, you’re allowed to sell anything you’d see at a gas station, smoke shop, or similar store. This includes pipes, grinders, CBD dabs and more.

But online sales go far beyond your standard receptacles. You can even sell grow lights, hydroponics, and other equipment used to grow cannabis.

Restrictions essentially stop just short of selling the cannabis and seeds itself. You can even purchase plenty of CBD oils online and ship them nationwide.

What You Can’t Sell

As mentioned, you can’t simply exchange cannabis for money online. But there have been cases of individuals ordering cannabis seeds from other countries and shipping seeds to the U.S.

If you’re looking to sell your products nationwide, you’ll need national licensing. Once you have your license, you’ll need to do a bit of research and due diligence.

To sell cannabis in most states, purchasers must prove they have a license to obtain cannabis in a legal way. Don’t just accept any doctor’s note, either. Failure to follow federal regulations could result in fines and possible jail time.

This is in addition to a valid state identification card. While the burden of proof is on your customers, it’s up to you to keep them honest.

Be sure to check your state laws to make sure you’re in compliance.

Conclusion

Remember, selling cannabis products online other than simple edibles and accessories is tricky. Always make sure you’re complying with federal law, and get as much proof from your customers as you can.

There’s a ton of money to be made from online eCommerce stores, so make sure your site is ready!

Is Public Wi-Fi Really That Dangerous?

OB One Communications Target URL: http://www.ob-one.com

With the Internet becoming more and more of a basic human right, many shops, restaurants, and even public transportation systems like New York’s MTA are providing free Wi-Fi to the public.

Initially, this might seem like a great advantage in this fast-paced society. But do public Wi-Fi networks put wireless security at a greater risk?

Let’s take a look.

What Risks Are Involved With Using Public Wi-Fi?

As with everything that’s free, there is a price to pay for public Wi-Fi. Just because while there’s not a physical theft of a cell phone or laptop doesn’t mean thieves can’t still steal personal and confidential information.

Here are a few problems with using a public Wi-Fi.

Snooping

Private Wi-Fi systems are encrypted. This means that a private password needs to be used to access any information.

No one except the user can view what information has been accessed.

Not so when using a public Wi-Fi system. There, anyone can see what unencrypted pages are being viewed. Additionally, no password is needed to access unencrypted pages. This means that anyone can see what information is typed in unencrypted forms.

Finally, anyone can see which encrypted sites have been visited

And there’s literally no way to know when or if someone is looking into that type of personal information.

It’s not like they have to look over a shoulder to do the spying. All they need is an unencrypted Wi-Fi and an unsuspecting victim.

Device is Compromised

When a person walks into a room and sneezes without covering their mouth, germs are spread. Something similar can happen when a compromised device is nearby. These devices can easily spread their infection to other laptops.

To avoid any problems, always select “Public Network” rather than “Home” to ensure no files or sensitive data is being shared.

Malicious Hotspots Galore

Just like spam e-mails that claim to be from the bank, a malicious hotspot can claim to be a legitimate Wi-Fi spot. It’s not always easy to spot the legitimate Wi-Fi spots from the malicious ones, either.

How to Keep Information Safe and Secure

Luckily, there are plenty of steps to take to ensure any device is always kept safe and secure.

One step is to rely on security experts, like those at OB One Communications, who will install a safe and secure wireless system so you never have to worry about your data being stolen.

There are a few other steps you can take to protect laptops, cell phones, and iPads.

Only browse encrypted sites using the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension – this can be enabled to ensure all sites accessed will automatically have this extension. Then, make sure all security patches and firewalls are up-to-date. Always use a VPN (virtual private connection.)

Next, turn off sharing in public spaces. To do this, go to System Preferences or Control Panel. Always remember to turn off Wi-Fi when not needed – this will also prolong the device’s battery life.

Keep in mind that you can always buy an unlimited Wi-Fi plan and never rely on public Wi-Fi again.

Lastly, implementing a two-factor authentication for sensitive sites will prevent malicious hackers from logging onto the site, even if they’ve somehow gained access to the passwords for those sites.

5 Ways to Protect Your Health Website From Hackers

cybersecurity

If you’re running a health website, you do everything you can to protect the well-being of your clients.

But are you doing everything you can to protect their personal information against hackers and viruses?

Read on to find out how you can keep their data from being compromised.

1. Run Software Updates

When your customers are making inquiries about sensitive information like lap band surgery or a weight loss detox cleanse, the last thing they want is for that to be made public.

One of the easiest things you can do to keep this kind of data private?

Always run updates. Yes, it can be frustrating to have to wait for your computer to boot up. But it’s certainly a lot less frustrating than having all your customers’ personal information exposed.

2. Choose the Right Passwords

This should be a no-brainer, but you might be surprised by some of the phrases you find on this list of the most common passwords.

Is your password among them?

In general, it’s always a good idea to come up with passwords that include letters, numbers, and special characters.

You’ll also need to change your passwords frequently — about once a month to stay safe. Finally, don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. If you do this, you could face a complete disaster if hackers manage to guess it.

3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks

Sure, public and unsecured Wi-Fi is convenient, free, and available when you need it.

It’s also a great way for hackers to get a hold of your customers’ data, and then to hold it for ransom.

A hacker could be sitting at the table right across from you at the coffee shop, stealing your customers’ credit card information while you sip your latte, totally unaware.

Always instruct your employees to avoid public Wi-Fi networks. It’s just not worth the risk.

4. Beware of Suspicious Emails

Some spam emails that likely contain viruses are easier to spot than others.

But especially in today’s world, when so many employees are able to work remotely, you’ll need to take extra care to ensure hackers don’t get a hold of your website.

To ensure nothing goes wrong, it’s a good idea to ask your employees not to check their personal emails on their work computers. It can wait until they get home.

Additionally, avoid opening emails from addresses you don’t know. If you open a spam email and hackers begin infiltrating your network, get professional help immediately.

5. Consider Professional Virus Protection Services

When you’re dealing with sensitive information like someone’s weight, diet, and workout schedule, sometimes the “DIY” approach just isn’t secure enough.

Professional security services can routinely comb through your website and data and look for any suspicious activity. They can create backups of your information, update your software for you, and more.

They’re also always up-to-date with the latest techniques hackers are using.

Protect Your Customers — And Your Brand’s Reputation

With about 30,000 websites hacked every single day, there’s no such thing as being over-prepared when it comes to the security of your website.

Thanks to the tips in this post, you can start taking preventative action today.

 

The Top 7 Security Measures to Take in 2017

website security measures

Web security has never been more important.

It seems like we can’t go a week without hearing about some major corporation suffering a cyber attack. Every day, we receive Facebook friend requests from people on our friends’ lists who have been hacked.

You can’t even turn on the news these days without hearing about federal investigations into whether or not foreign agents are hacking elections.

The threat of cyber attack is real, whether you’re a major corporation, an independent contractor, or a small business with a Facebook Page.

But, there are security measures you can take to keep your online information safe.

1. Stay vigilant against Phishing

Have you ever gotten an email from a relative or a Facebook message from a friend with a suspicious link? It probably had some sort of luring comment attached, like “where did they get this picture of you?”

Or maybe you’ve received an email from your internet service provider asking you to provide your password for some maintenance on your account.

You may have even received a phone call from someone claiming to be the IRS.

Chances are good that this is a phishing scheme. Hackers pose as a trusted company or individual in order to gain access to private information, and sometimes even financial assets.

If you know what to look for, phishing attacks are a mere nuisance, but thanks to more vulnerable users, phishing is going to stick around for a while.

As a general rule of thumb, always avoid suspicious links, no matter who it’s coming from.

2. Keep better track of your passwords

Let’s be honest: despite all the warnings to use a different password for every account, we’re all using the same password all across the internet.

After all, these days we have dozens of accounts: social media, email, Netflix…sometimes even our TV has a password. How are we supposed to keep track of all these unique passwords?

There’s an easy solution for that. Instead of a notebook in your desk drawer, download a password manager.

A password manager automatically creates unique passwords across all of your accounts and stores them so you don’t have to. No more fumbling through variations of that one password you use for everything.

On the off chance, one of your passwords is cracked, the rest of your accounts are safe. A password manager is the easiest way to keeping all of your proverbial eggs in different proverbial baskets.

3. Be smart with your Cloud Storage

The Cloud is everywhere. More and more people are preferring public cloud storage to other storage means.

And why not? It’s convenient, fast, and cheaper than buying another external hard drive.

But as helpful as the cloud can be, there are also glaring vulnerabilities. For all of their security, iCloud and Google Drive still expect users to take responsibility for their own security measures.

Make sure you keep a local backup of all of your cloud data. Nothing is completely foolproof.

Several companies also offer encrypted cloud services. Encryption can make all the difference in your cloud security.

If you’d prefer a service without encryption, you can encrypt your own data before uploading it to the cloud, and even add further password protection to access your data.

4. Don’t skimp on security measures.

A good anti-virus program is one of the most important security measures, but too often people take it for granted.

While you’re browsing the internet for memes, your anti-virus is picking off malware like it’s playing Asteroids.

But with anti-virus software, like most things, you get what you pay for.

It can be tempting to skimp out in preference of a free service but think about what would happen if you lost your data to a malware attack.

Can you afford not to protect your data?

Premium anti-virus software is powered by skilled professionals who work tirelessly to ensure that their customers receive the most effective protection possible.

5. Be aware of your Network Attack Surfaces

The term “network attack surfaces” refers to the sum of weak points a cyber attacker can use to steal our data. As our networks increase in size and complexity, our potential network attack surfaces increase.

Every device, connection point, or data storage increases network attack surfaces.

Minimize your vulnerability by closing unnecessary ports and keeping your access restricted to trusted users.

6. The new threat: Ransomware

As we’ve said before, Ransomware has been on the rise, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

Ransomware is a newer method of hacking, and it’s proved very lucrative for hackers.

Ransomware bypass weak security measures and secretly steals data from a user’s device, deletes the data, and forces the user to pay a fee to get their data back. Many hospitals, schools, police departments, and businesses have already fallen victim to ransomware.

But, there are several security measures you can use to protect against ransomware.

Backup all of your data all of the time. Hackers can’t steal your data if you have the data safe in another device.

Despite the sophistication of ransomware attacks, a lot of them start with a simple phishing scheme. Remember: never click on suspicious links, even if you think the sender can be trusted.

7. Backup, backup, backup

It should go without saying, but you need to backup your data. No server is fool proof.

If you rely on a cloud service to save all your data, or if you keep all of your files on a single laptop, you’re only a few malfunctions away from losing everything.

To make a secure backup, load copies of all your files onto a device without internet access. External hard drives have never been cheaper, and many of them can be password protected for extra security.

Conclusion

The internet has its fair share of predators lurking in the shadows, but with a little caution and some extra diligence, you can create a strategy for website security measures that will keep your website and your data safe from cyber attacks and server crashes.

SiteUptime provides monitoring locations across the globe for testing the functionality of your website from different points on the map.

With multiple locations and a team of skilled professionals, SiteUptime can ensure that your website doesn’t fall prey to the most common security risks.

Visit our FAQ page for more details.

How HTTPS Site Security Is Making The Internet Safer

site security

Cybercrime is on the rise, putting us and our customers at risk of serious harm.

Last year, in the healthcare industry alone, nearly 250 million critical records were stolen through cyber attacks.

Banking information, Customer data, Personal health information and much more are all at risk.

Let’s look at how HTTPS site security is making the Internet safer.

What is HTTPS?

The familiar “HTTP” that heads our web addresses stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol.

This is simply the universally agreed upon coding on which the Internet is built.

When an “S” follows the “HTTP” this means that site is secure.

But the S itself isn’t what’s making the site secure, so let’s look a little closer.

HTTPS websites have been issued an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that will be used to help verify the authenticity of the website.

SSL is now part of a more comprehensive security protocol called Transport Layer Security or TLS, but it’s still commonly referred to as an SSL certificate by many web design and web hosting companies.

This TSL works to maximize site security.

The Risks HTTPS Seeks to Address

Symantec a respected internet security research and security organization recently released a report outlining many of the risks.

Despite increased talk in the news about hacking from foreign governments, the US appears to originate more cyber attacks than any other country.

China comes in a distant second.

The healthcare sector faces an uphill battle as it works to make medical records accessible to medical providers, insurance companies, and patients while still complying with regulations.

HIPAA, the law that protects the privacy of medical information imposes stiff penalties for mishandled medical information, and yet 1/2 billion personal information records were reported stolen or lost last year.

39% of that number have been determined to be the result of malicious data site security breaches.

Ransomware usage in on the rise. In these cases, a user inadvertently triggers the download of a virus that hijacks the computer or a network making it completely inaccessible by the business until a ransom is paid.

Hackers use various techniques to compromise your computer and access your data. HTTPS works to reduce these risks.

How HTTPS Is Improving Site Security

We buy online. We bank online. We meet people online. We share our lives online, expecting information to be safe or at least restricted to that site. If you’re running a business site, your customers trust you to keep their information safe.

Fortunately, we’ve gone from around 23% of websites are using SSL Certificates (HTTPS) to secure their sites to over half of sites incorporating site security technology.

That’s good for business and good for people. Let’s look at some specific ways that it accomplishes this task.

Site Verification

The TSL (described above) verifies that the site you loaded is actually the site you were trying to load rather than an imposter.

For example, when you’re banking online, you may need to enter your bank account, credit card number, ID number or other personal information.

You must trust that you’re on the right site.

If you were trying to pull up Twitter, Amazon or eBay, someone with nefarious intentions could pretend to be the site in order to acquire your username and password to hijack your account. HTTPS prevents this.

Intercept Prevention

Each time you enter information onto a website, that data is transferred through the server to reach its destination.

Data in transit is always at risk of being intercepted by someone who wished you harm.

The TSL encrypts all data being transferred between you and the site. Encryption is the act of changing any data that you entered onto a website into a ‘secret code” called ciphertext.

If anyone were to intercept it, it would appear as complete gibberish.

What if you were logging into your Google Adwords account and someone intercepted your username and password?

This person could use your account without your permission and if your credit card were linked to it, charge it all to you. How much damage could they do before you figured it out?

Fortunately, HTTPS prevents that through TSL.

Modification Prevention

Because they can’t read it, they also can’t change it.

Imagine if when you were sending a tweet, someone could simply change what you said or attach a different video or image.

What if someone could completely rewrite your email as it traveled through cyberspace to its destination.

As much as we might like to be able to say that’s what happened when we say something stupid, fortunately, it’s not possible because of TSL encryption.

Privacy Protections

HTTPS also prevents your ISP (internet service provider) or the government from tracking what you’re doing.

If they so choose, they can see your browsing history, but they can’t see beyond the site level.

If for example, you’re on Amazon, they can see that you visited Amazon. But they cannot see what you searched for, what’s in your cart, purchase history or any other information that would be far over-reaching without a warrant.

How to Know if You’re Safe

When you’re on an HTTPS site, the web address will appear in green with a padlock beside it.

This tells you that you’re safe while on this site.

HTTPS can’t, however, keep you safe if you use the same username and password on a regular HTTP site and your HTTPS site.

Those with malicious intent can simply get your password from the unprotected site and log into your HTTPS site. Never use your high-security HTTPS password on a low-security HTTP site.

Limitations of the HTTPS

Mobile Apps

We now share as much data through mobile apps as we do through our Internet browsers.

The good news is that most reputable apps that require you to enter data that could be compromised using similar secure, encrypted connections.

The limitation at this time comes in the fact, that you can’t always tell which ones do and which do not.

Bandwidth

HTTPS websites require additional bandwidth. They can take longer to load. Because of this some sites that are hesitant to jump on board.

It’s not Perfect

No security measure can prevent 100% of attacks. But HTTPS certainly makes it a lot harder for the “bad guys” to target an HTTPS site’s customers vs. an HTTP site.

Stopping Cybercriminals in Their Tracks

HTTPS helps you keep your customer data safe. It’s not perfect, but you certainly don’t want to be without it.

If you’re transferring critical customer data, make sure your site is HTTPS. Send cyber criminals looking elsewhere for victims of their cyber crimes.

To learn more about how to keep customer data safe and your site running as it should, reach out.

Keep Small Business Web Hosting Account Safe From Cyber Attackers

Many business owners ignore the dangers of cyber attacks.

There is a belief, especially among small business owners, that a business can be too small to be a target of cyber attacks.

The truth is that big companies already know the importance of cyber attacks, so their security walls are almost impenetrable. On the other hand, small businesses are the perfect target.

Hackers know that most business owners don’t put a lot of thought into their online security. They also know that these owners don’t want to invest many resources in it either.

This is why the selection process for small business web hosting is so important. You should not only focus on the price but also inquire about the security benefits that come with it.

We created a short list of tactics that will help you keep your business safe.

Create a stronger password

Perhaps you heard this tip before—but for a good reason.
Creating a strong password is the first step that you should take to strengthen the security of your businesses.

A stronger password might discourage the hacker, or even stop him altogether.
If you have issues with remembering strong passwords, don’t worry. There are many password management tools to choose from.

Also, no matter how strong your password is, never connect to the internet using a public wi-fi network.

Some hackers create a second wireless network that resembles the original in the name. When someone connects to it, all the data used can be easily stolen.

Change your password more often

There are small business web hosting services that recommend changing your password regularly.

This slows down cyber attacks even more.

If you feel tempted to keep all your passwords in an unsecured document, you’re at risk. As recommended above, use only password management tools for this purpose.

Online security tactics

There are a number of ways in which you can increase the security of your online business.

Most strategies are easy to implement and only require a little bit of research on your side.

These can involve choosing a reliable small business web hosting company and eCommerce platform, and using a strong firewall.

Choose your e-commerce platform wisely

If you’re the owner of an online store, you know the risks you’re exposing yourself and you clients to in case of a cyber attack.

A secure e-commerce platform not only saves your business, but it keeps you away from legal issues as well.

Your clients could sue you if a hacker steals their personal information from your website.
Most people use WordPress and Woocommerce to host their e-commerce stores. They do this because these platforms are easy to install and are among the most secure and reliable.

They do this because these platforms are easy to install and are among the most secure and reliable.

Scammy emails

Many business owners receive emails from hackers who use the logo from well-known institutions. These emails attempt to evoke fear and urgency while asking for personal information.

For example, you may receive an email that seems to look like a PayPal customer sent it. In this email, it may ask you to send over your passwords and other details.

Tactics like these also include malicious attachments.
Never click on random files, and report suspicious activity to the authorities.

No respectable company will ever ask for your password and other personal information.

Security layers

Using firewalls, applications, and login pop up can slow down or discourage cyber attacks.

The more steps you add, the harder it is for an application-level attack to be effective.

This also helps you figure out if an actual human is on your website completing forms, or if it’s an application trying to imitate human behavior.

Hire a third party to discover security breaches

If you want to be sure that your firewalls and other security applications are doing their job, hire a security company.

A security company will try to “attack” your company while trying to find out what your site’s weaknesses are.

After they discover the weak spots, they will recommend a solution for your issues.

How small business web hosting services can protect you

Small business web hosting services usually come with a layer of security.

High-quality web hosting services aren’t free, nor do they allow open access.

These web hosting services make money from advertising on your website and are free to use. However, most of them attract hackers who create websites with malicious content.

Usually, small business web hosting services that are secure check for viruses in published content.

Most web hosting companies offer firewalls

Remember how we discussed the importance of purchasing a firewall?

Most web hosting companies offer a firewall that can protect you from cyber attacks too.

The purpose of the firewall is to ban IP addresses that are, as well as block unsecured servers.

Block executable commands

You’re probably familiar with “check if you’re human” button, or “find the photos with trees”. These type of applications help businesses weed out the humans from malicious applications.

A high-quality hosting company does offer these option to ensure the security of your website.

Malicious code

You should monitor your website for malicious code.
Now, most small business web hosting companies have the option to alert the website owner if the website is down, or if there are some security issues.

This can prove to be really useful since the website owner can work on changing the passwords and call his web security team to analyze the situation.

Also, small business hosting companies usually backup all the data on your website. In the case of a cyber attack, you won’t lose everything on your website.

Wrapping up

A lot of small business owners aren’t aware of the dangers that they expose themselves to by not investing in the security of their websites.

Small businesses are the favorite targets of hackers because they’re the most vulnerable.

If you want to find out more about how you can increase your website security, don’t hesitate to take a look at our blog.

If you have any questions or concerns that aren’t already discussed on our blog, make sure you contact us.

The 8 Essential Cybersecurity Tools Your Business Needs

Every business needs cybersecurity.

No matter how big your business is, or what industry you’re in, no one is immune to attacks. And if you aren’t secure, then these attacks can be incredibly damaging.

You need to know how to protect your business. If you want to succeed in business, you need to stay safe.

That’s why we’re giving you these eight cybersecurity tools.

Train your employees

The first step in cybersecurity is making sure you know what you’re up against.

In this case, “you” is actually your business. And for your business to be prepared, each and every one of your employees needs to be, as well.

That’s why you need to train them. Once you gather all of the cybersecurity tools that you need, put a plan into writing. Make sure your employees know it and can reference it easily. Offer classes.

Make sure that you give training on cybersecurity regularly. It will probably change frequently, and multiple classes will help your employees remember and retain things.

Cyber Aces offers some free cybersecurity courses to get you started.

Use SSL on all pages

“SSL” is the secure https:// that most websites use when they need to be secured.

You might be using SSL on your shop and contact page. But experts agree that you should actually be using SSL on all pages.

This will help your website be more secure because your users will have a constantly encrypted connection.

This is one of the easiest cybersecurity tools to obtain, but it’s one that a lot of companies overlook or only do halfway.

If you’re only using SSL on some of your sites, then you aren’t as secure as you need to be.

Our standard plan allows you to set up and monitor SSL servers for only $10 a month.

Monitor your website

It’s important to keep informed.

Eventually, there will probably be an attack (or at least an attempt) on your site. And if you aren’t keeping an eye on it, you’ll never know when it happens.

That’s why it’s so important to monitor your site. You need to have a professional service that regularly checks up on your site and keeps you notified when it is accessed.

You should be reading these reports and alerts carefully so that you know how often you are being targeted.

Even if the attack fails, one of the most important cyber security tools is knowing about it.

Our free plan offers monitoring every hour, while our standard and pro plans offer monitoring even more regularly for your safety.

Keep alerted

One of the most important cybersecurity tools is knowing what’s happening on your website.

When your website is checked, you should want to know. When something crashes or glitches, you should be made aware of it.

Even a simple mistake can become a security threat if you don’t know it’s there. Keep up with regular alerts and notifications.

Whatever you can get from your site, you should take the time to go over and check, to make sure there’s no unwanted business or anything else strange going on.

This will ensure that things stay safe and secure.

Our free plan offers email alerts and monthly reports, making sure that you always know what’s going on with your business.

Require authentication

It may seem like a bit of a hassle, especially if you have a lot of employees that need to use your servers.

But requiring authentication will keep out unwanted users, and make your information that much harder to breach. Even seemingly harmless information can be used against you in the wrong hands.

So while taking the easier route may seem tempting, it can ultimately cause more of a hassle for you in the long run when you have to deal with a crisis.

If you aren’t using authentication, you’re an easy target. You need to start doing so immediately.

Our standard and pro plans both offer you the option to require authentication.

Change passwords often

This is something you should hold all of your employees responsible for.

The best passwords are unexpected. They contain special characters, are case sensitive, and are mixed together with numbers and letters.

But what really strengthens a password is this: not keeping it the same for long.

While some experts claim that changing passwords doesn’t do much good, that’s only because people are not very creative. In other words, no, changing your password from “secret” to “secret1” isn’t great.

But if you encourage your employees to radically change their passwords regularly, these new passwords can be very important cybersecurity tools.

This service will regularly remind users to change their passwords.

Backup data to a secure location

Cybersecurity tools can only get you so far if your computers crash.

That’s why it’s important to back up your information to a secure cloud or something similar, to make sure that if the worst happens, you’ll be prepared.

If your data is particularly sensitive, you might find yourself in a position where you have to shut down everything to protect it. And if that happens, you’ll want to easily be able to recover anything you lost during that time.

For this reason, it’s important to have something that automatically backs up to a secure location, for you to access when you need it.

Carbonite offers backup solutions which allow you to back up your information directly to the cloud.

Know where failures come from

Sometimes, a system failure just comes from a glitch. But sometimes, it’s something more sinister.

That’s why it’s important to have something that traces any failures on your website. This will help you to stay on top of any potential threats.

It will also help to give you peace of mind, so that you know exactly what’s going on with your website. It’s one of those cybersecurity tools that serves multiple purposes.

Make sure you know what’s happening, and who you can hold accountable for failures. Keep an eye on them with a tracing service of some kind.

Our failure traceroute is offered in our pro plan for only $20 a month, and it will allow you to keep an eye on your information.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity tools?

In addition to providing you with the best cybersecurity that we can, we also want to keep you up to date on the latest information.

Check out our blog to learn more about how to use cybersecurity for your business.

Big Data and Cybersecurity: How Big Data Will Affect the Future of Cybersecurity

big data and cybersecurity

Big data and cybersecurity are at odds with each other.

On one hand, big data is essential to marketing campaigns. On the other, however, it requires that we sacrifice some degree of cybersecurity.

How exactly, though, will big data affect cybersecurity in the future? How will it exploit cybersecurity? How will it inspire changes in how we secure our data on the web?

From the cloud to artificial intelligence, we’ll be exploring how big data and cybersecurity interact with each other. That said, don’t go anywhere just yet. You’ve got a lot to learn.

Cloud Control

The cloud has changed how we store data in today’s world. We’d say that the change has been overwhelmingly positive.

Unfortunately, though, this change has also welcomed data theft on a few occasions.

Just last year, Fox Business published an article about why the cloud attracts hackers. According to Thomas Barrabi, “a major company’s cloud system is a treasure trove.” Such cloud systems can house “millions of bank account logins, email addresses and Social Security numbers.”

Several major companies have already experienced data breaches in the age of information. Yahoo, for example, experienced a data breach only a few years ago.

Even so, companies continue to rely on the cloud in the workplace. Some companies even share a majority of their information with employees via the cloud.

So is this dependence on the cloud necessarily a bad thing?

Not exactly.

As it turns out, the cloud is pretty secure. New York Times writer Quentin Hardy actually writes that most cyber attacks “hit traditional servers.” As a matter of fact, “none of the most catastrophic hacks have been on the big public clouds.”

Still, we shouldn’t rest easy. Clouds contain massive amounts of sensitive data. There is no reason to think that big data and cybersecurity won’t bump heads in a major way.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has become trendy over the past decade or so. Companies are using chatbots to converse with customers. Other processes are slowly being automated as well.

But what does artificial intelligence actually have to do with big data and cybersecurity?

This Harvard Business Review article should give you some idea.

The article’s contributors assert that “AI adds a new layer to cyber risk.” They give numerous reasons for the increase in risk.

One of the biggest reasons they give for the increase?

Less human labor.

The article’s contributors point out that chatbots and other automated processes can be used by hackers to steal data. Yes, humans program chatbots. Humans, though, unlike chatbots, can’t be hacked.

Despite these concerns, automated processes are here to stay. Luckily for us, there is hope for the security of our data in the future.

Companies need only balance “the demands between automation and information security.” They can do so by “making cybersecurity integral – not an afterthought – to an organization’s information structure.”

The integration is easier said than achieved. With the right cyber professionals, though, it’s more than doable.

New Lines of Defense

We hope that we haven’t been too glum thus far. We just want to be honest about how big data and cybersecurity play together.

We also, however, want to highlight some ways in which big data can be good for cybersecurity.

In this section, we’ll go over some of the initiatives that can be taken in the future. Not only that, but we’ll talk about some initiatives that are already underway.

Data Storage

We’ve touched on some major concerns about storing data in the infamous cloud. Consequently, you already know that major companies and investors have been hit hard by hacks.

You might not know that even governments have identified cyber attacks as major threats to their infrastructures.

Ex-president Obama, for instance, began a counterattack on cyber attackers early last year. He called for “a surge in funding to counter cyber security threats.” His top intelligence official had actually concluded that “computer attacks were among the most imminent security challenges facing the United States.”

His top intelligence official had actually concluded that “computer attacks were among the most imminent security challenges facing the United States.”

What types of changes in infrastructure, then, did the Obama administration have its eyes on?

Well, for one, data storage. Obama signed an “executive order creating a permanent Federal Privacy Council.” The council “aims to connect privacy officials across the government to develop comprehensive guidelines for how personal data is collected and stored.”

Obama signed an “executive order creating a permanent Federal Privacy Council.” The council “aims to connect privacy officials across the government to develop comprehensive guidelines for how personal data is collected and stored.”

The administration also prioritized hiring qualified professionals to handle data. Keep reading to find out more about these cyber professionals.

Cyber Professionals

As we stated above, government officials wanted to “expand efforts to attract and retain qualified cyber professionals.”

Perhaps doing so seems somewhat easy. After all, the government seems to have an almost endless amount of resources.

Unfortunately, though, finding qualified professionals to manage big data is not a walk in the park.

Wall Street Journal contributor John Jordan beat the government to the punchline in 2013. Jordan wrote an article titled, “The Risks of Big Data for Companies.”

In that article, Jordan surmised that companies weren’t ready to handle big data. He even went so far as to say that “many companies don’t have the skills to work with big-data tools.”

As it turns out, he was right. Companies are struggling under the weight of all of the data they’ve amassed. If that info is compromised, so is their credibility.

In any case, companies have started to see the error of their ways. Recent data breaches have opened their eyes. Their epiphany has led them to sniff out qualified cyber professionals.

Their epiphany has led them to sniff out qualified cyber professionals. Hopefully, those professionals will handle their big data and cybersecurity concerns skillfully.

Big Data and Cybersecurity Will Continue to Duke It Out

The new changes in how companies deal with data are reassuring.

And, in some ways, we have big data to thank for those changes.

Still, big data and cybersecurity will continue to battle things out for years to come.

So what can you do to keep your data safe?

We’ll give you 2 tips, the first of which is to tighten up your internet security policy. Make sure that your employees know what the procedure is and that they follow it.

Our second tip? Secure everything, from your company’s website to your Twitter account. You’ll never regret the extra security.

Want more tips on how to keep your data safe? Reach out to us. We’re just a phone call or email away.