Amazingly enough (or maybe not), these are your biggest security risks. But before you start ringing necks, you should know that much of the fraud committed by employees is unintentional. So they may not even realize that they are delivering your organization into the arms of hackers.
Here are the three of the most common ways a hacker can get into your network:
Phishing: Remains one of the most common ways employees inadvertently invite hackers into their personal systems and into those of their employers. An employee responds to an urgent email that appears to be authentic, and follows a link to provide them with passwords and PINs. Voila! They're in. Only after hours and hours (and possibly thousands of dollars) can you begin to untangle the mess. And you have one pretty embarrassed employee on your hands as well.
Social media: Today there is so much cross over between what is "personal" and what is job related that it's no wonder companies are reluctant to use social media, let alone allow employees to post. It is an incubator for hackers as personal information flows, is captured and combined with other personal data, all used to mount a successful (and devastating) personal attack within an organization.
Fraud: And, yes, there are plenty of reported incidents of employee involvement in crime rings, assisting cybercriminals in hacking into their employers' systems and getting out again, often so ingeniously that tracing the activity can be challenging. Catching the employee can be equally challenging.
What to do? Here are some ideas to help reduce the threat of hackers:
You may be surprised at what even your most astute employees do not know. Educating your employees about phishing and other "points of entry" hackers use, can go a long way towards avoiding it. Make sure each employee has access to your technical team in the event he or she comes across a suspicious email, asking them to share personal or corporate information.
What experts, such as Rik Ferguson, VP of security research at Trend Micro, suggest is to tailor the training to the job function of your employees, and even to try to make it interesting.
In aZDnet interview, Rik stressed the importance of this."You need the right mediums for the right people. You can't have a one-size-fits-all training program; if you're training your developers, you're going to need different content to what you're using to train your sales people, finance or HR people."
Give them a "sandbox":
One great way to get employees serious about doing their part in protecting against cyber fraud is to let them experience what it can do, first hand. Well, almost. Experts recommend giving them their own sandboxes. As Trend Micro suggests"Let them mess up in a safe environment because then they realize they can mess up, nobody's perfect. Dare to fail, learn from your mistakes, analyze and improve."
Not only awareness between you and your employees, but between employees as well. Keep your eyes and ears open and encourage them to do the same.
Remember, all a hacker needs is one vulnerable point of entry. Just one. So, considering the growing list of devices we all use, that point of entry will become easier to find, not harder. More connections, more devices, more points of entry for hackers. And more headaches for IT.
Thankfully there are companies that know how to untangle and help mitigate security risks. At CDR-DATA we've been collecting data and uncovering fraudulent data and voice activities for over 20 years. There are few things we haven't seen and helped protect against.
As your list of potential security breaches continues to grow, don't wait until it becomes a mountain of confusion.Contact us now, so we can help you protect your tomorrow.
Kevin Young, Founder and CEO
Facebook Off Estimates by 80%? Oh Oh.
Here's something to pass along to your marketing department. More specifically, to those in charge of your digital advertising.
There has been a lot of concern, lately, as to the transparency, or lack thereof, of some of the major social media advertising vehicles.
Here's an interesting article from Wall Street Journal that sheds some light on the subject.
IT and Millennials: Oil and Water? or Spark and Ignite?
Okay, we'll state the obvious: millennials,
or Gen Y, is now the largest generation in America. And they are
pushing the technology envelope in ways we couldn't imagine even a
decade ago. If you run an IT department, you are no doubt painfully
aware of this.
So the question is: Are you paving the
way with an infrastructure that can support this new tech savvy
generation of workers? Or are you trying to hang onto the status quo as
long as possible?
article in CIO.com
discusses the millennial "shake-up" in workplaces throughout the U.S. as
management struggles to get their arms around the new communications
styles, the mobilized ways of working and the technology that enables it
Here are three key elements that stand out
as consistently creating challenges for IT/Telecom when it comes to
building a millennial communications model. If you can embrace the
following on the front end, the back end processes should fall more
evenly into place.
1. Legacy systems are out.
A joint survey,
conducted by Microsoft and SurveyMonkey, targeted 1,000 millennials in
the U.S. in an effort to learn what would help them to "thrive in the
workplace". Ninety-three percent of those polled identified having
up-to-date modern technology as one of the most critical aspects in the
2. Variety and choice are essential.
there are plenty of tools and apps; many of which accomplish basically
the same goals. But try to force a single corporate solution on younger
employees and you may quickly come to wish you had taken the time to
offer more options. Taking a one size fits all approach doesn't work for
digital communications. Ironically, in this case, a single uniform
communications method tends to isolate people, rather than facilitating
integrated communications, like it did a couple decades ago.
3. Listening really will pay off.
you invest in what you think is the next great platform, take the time
up front to listen to your employees. Ask them what they need to improve
their own job performance, and how they can be more productive. True,
you may spend more on the front end to give people more choices, but you
will avoid the hassle and waste of trying to please everyone with a set
of watered down tools that no one, regardless of their age, will want
The bottom line is that millennials,
like any group of employees, want access to the best technology to do
their jobs. And they will continue to push until they get it. But that's
something IT folks have grown used to over the years. As soon as one
piece of technology kicks in and runs smoothly, chances are it's already
out of date.
Use the input of your millennials to keep pace. You may find that they are the spark that ignites innovation!
Kevin Young, Founder, CEO/CDR-DATA
Big Data or Small Data?
about Big Data all the time now; transactional data, behavioral data,
data from devices and applications, and the list goes on.
But what about the data that is sitting right in front of you?
managers will tell you that one of the things that drives them nuts is
when an employee says "That's not my job." Or, "That's not in my job
It is a mentality that, thankfully, is becoming
less prevalent; especially as technology continues to blur the lines
between job functions, even rendering some obsolete. And, if you are
still using old methods of measuring productivity, you may soon be
changing those as well.
Boston Consulting Group holds an annual breakfast, at which they bring
together an assortment of thought leaders to discuss major issues, such
as productivity, in the face of today's digital transformation; in other
words, how technology and automation are changing the way we measure
is amazing, of course, is the fact that we are now talking seriously
about self-driving cars and robots, not as futuristic phenomena, but as
deliverables! Of course, those technologies still lie on the outskirts
of our day-to-day management lives. But things are changing. And,
regardless of what business you are in, these changes are set to rock
your world, in terms of your goals, your business plans and, most
importantly, the kind of employees you hire.
Below is graphic created by the Future of Jobs Report,
from the World Economic Forum. It's interesting in that it spotlights
the shift in importance of the key employee attributes, known to link to
how "creativity" has moved from last place to third place. And, there
are a few new ones added, such as "emotional intelligence". As for the
demise of "quality control"; well maybe technology will have that
covered by 2020.
You can look up what all these terms mean, but
the point is that the business world is changing to one where creativity
is highly valued and negotiation skills; well, maybe not so much.
bottom line is that technology is rapidly changing the characteristics
of what we deem an ideal employee. But the good news is that if
employers can begin to hire people who, instead of moaning "That's not
my job" can deploy technology to handle more rote tasks and use their
creativity and emotional intelligence to help reach new business
heights, then the old jobs of the past are really "Not anyone's job"
ready to hire a new generation of young, tech-savvy workers to help you
find creative new ways to solve a new generation of challenges? Let us know what you think. After all, we're all in this "brave new world" together!
Whether you are an old timer who (fondly or not so fondly)
remembers "Ma Bell" or a newcomer to IT on your way to greatness; we
combed the internet to find some old relics (we're talking about the
machines, now) that we thought you'd enjoy.
Back in the day, businesses often referred to themselves as a ROLM
shop or a Nortel shop. And, there were the Dimension folks too.
That's a Nortel Meridian switch off to the right; very popular in
the 1980s. In those days you needed plenty of room in the back of your
office to house one of these systems.
And there are still some out there chugging along. It goes without saying that this
was back when "clouds" were puffy and white and words like "wireless"
pertained primarily to transistor technology. A term like "VoIP" would
have had people shaking their heads.
Then there were those stylish front office consoles. Do any of these look familiar?
Now here's a questions for you. Does anyone out there remember
the days before the fax machine as we know it today? Did you "Quip"? To
send a single sheet via this early version of the fax machine would take
about 10 minutes. But, hey, it was the 80's man!
We did actually have "live chat". It was called Telex, and
it was the best way to avoid those outrageous overseas calls. Sort of a
cross between a teletype and a phone. Some are still used today. Really.
yes, we finally got around to inventing a cell phone. What a blast to
be able to speak to your friends on your way to their house! But those
battery packs weighed a ton!
came the oh-so-stylish Palm Pilot with its screen and lots of confusing
buttons; but it blew everything else out of the water.
And, as fate (and Steve Jobs) would have it, we finally got around
to the iPhone, BYOD, and all the other great things that have changed
our telecom world forever.
Don't remember any of this? Good. you have a long life ahead of you to rack up your own memories.
You'll no doubt be showing your kids and grandkids pictures of the
iPhone 6 and saying "Believe it or not, this was considered a major
innovation." And they will probably say "Wait a minute. You had to touch
Now that we've had our stroll down
memory lane, it might make sense to take stock of your own back room.
What needs updating? Replacing? Whether you need help integrating old
technology with new technology or are just eager to get control over the
ever-mounting costs of telecom, contact us and we'll be glad to put our seasoned team of experts on the job for you.