Tag Archive: Security

  1. Establishing a Security Plan for Your MFP

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    Device and network security are two of the most overlooked features of any office, the multifunction printer (MFP) being a common unprotected device. What many business owners don’t realize is how much information is passed through and stored on your devices and networks and how prone they are to a breach attempt.

    The truth is, the data that passes through an MFP is so valuable that hackers have identified them as a frequent target in offices around the world.

    Here are some tips for creating a security plan that will ensure secure printer use:

    Integrate Security Plans

    If you have developed a network security plan and have not included your business’ printers and office devices, it’s time to make some amendments to that plan. Incorporating all of your office devices into your business’ network security plan will ensure that no holes are left for hackers to find.

    User Authentication

    Restricting access to your MFP with user authentication is one of the smartest security measures you can take to protect your device. Modern MFPs will allow you to require a password, PIN code, or user badge to gain access to the device.

    Data Encryption

    Data encryption is the process of encoding your data as it passes through a device, making it useless to anyone who might steal it. Although it is not an end-all solution, it creates an additional wall of security for hackers to get through to access data. Data should be cleared from the hard drive monthly to lower the chances of information being reached.

    Monitor Usage

    You could develop the best security plan so far, and it will still be prone to failure. It is essential to monitor your employee’s usage of devices and plans to make sure they are using office devices and processes as intended.

    Managed Print Services

    Security is the first concern for most companies, but acting on it is more difficult than often expected. It turns out that not everyone is an IT expert! That is where the help of a Managed Print Services (MPS) becomes useful. An MPS provider has in-depth knowledge and experience with effective security practices and will ensure that your business is prepared to prevent hackers.

    To learn more about Managed Print Services and MFP security, contact MMIT Business Solutions Group today!

  2. The Real Costs of Being Hacked

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    The Real Costs of Being Hacked

    When a breach occurs in your office, you know that you will have to pay to get your network and equipment restored, and probably take a slight loss from downtime. Most business owners that we talk with view getting hacked as an inconvenience rather than a bottom-line cost.

    For anyone who has gone through it, however, they have a different tale to tell. They can tell you all about the expenses that crippled their business when they were hacked, and that effective IT services could have prevented the breach completely. The costs of an information breach can be so harsh, that most small businesses are forced to close because of the financial hit they take.

    Here are the harsh realities of a hack:

    Wiping the Budget Clean

    From the moment your business is hacked, expenses begin to pile up; and the longer the attack, the most it costs. Many hacks take up to six months to identify, and it can take another two full months to control the damage. When an attack of this severity occurs, you will need to hire experts to clean your entire system.

    They will need to go through every computer, server, printer, mobile device, and more to ensure that your system has removed the breach completely. On top of that, these experts will recommend different hardware and software solutions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

    Fines and Legal Fees

    Depending on the data lost and how your company handled the situation, there could be fees and legal costs that approach millions of dollars. Depending on the industry you work in, the information that got out could cause significant costs for your business; not to mention, having to hire an expert to help you gather the information that was lost to prove it.

    Customer Loss

    One of the most challenging aspects of a breach is the impact it has on your company’s reputation. Both current customers and prospective customers can be lost due to a hack, which helps your business’ ability to recover.

    The costs of a data breach can be brutal, but Managed IT Services from MMIT Business Solutions Group can help protect your business from the treats of a cyber attack. To learn more, contact MMIT Business Solutions Group today!

  3. 5 Tips for Protecting Your Print Environment

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    The business data that is stored on your devices and network is critical to your companies success. Protecting your employees’, customers’, and business information and data needs to be a high priority.

    Protecting Your Print Environment

    When one considers cybersecurity, what comes to mind is often networks, software, and hackers. What does not come to mind typically is your office multifunction printer (MFP). Before your documents are secured on your local or cloud storage server, they run through your MFP. Since all of these sensitive documents run through this device, it is vital that you secure your MFP.

    Here are 4 steps protecting data with your MFP:

    Secure Hard Drive

    Like a computer, your MFP relies on a hard drive to operate all of its functions and store software to complete workflows. It also stores data from each job that goes through your device. Be sure to control who has access to the hard drive and to encrypt it so it cannot be hacked.

    Control Access

    Where you store, your MFP is critical to its safety. Make sure that it is placed away from heavy traffic and preferably in a location that only employees have access to. Enabling user authentication will also keep unwanted users off of your MFP.

    Update Firmware

    Similar to your phone or laptop, updating your MFP’s firmware is critical to keep security and functioning to date. Since your MFP is so advanced, it is subject to potential issues within the device’s software. Developers work hard to address these issues with firmware, so updating them is crucial to your business’s security and productivity.

    Encrypt Data

    Encrypting data is an essential practice for protecting data that flows through your company’s networks. Encrypting documents before they are sent will protect them from being hacked and stolen in transit.

    A massive amount of data pass through your business’s printer every single day. To learn more about protecting it, contact MMIT Business Solutions Group today!

  4. Protecting Your Business from Phishing Attacks

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    Your business has most likely put a lot of energy into software to protect you from viruses. While viruses are easy to defend yourself from with the right software, phishing attacks are a bit trickier to thwart off.

    A phishing scammer will use misleading tactics to obtain personal or business information. For example, many phishing scammers will send an email that looks similar to an email from a frequent business partner or service. They might ask an employee to verify information or payment methods and your staff members might not look at the details to see it’s a scam.

    Phishing consequences can be severe, as scammers can gain access to accounts with the information they have stolen from you. From there, they might find access to higher networks and take even more sensitive information.

    Here are some tips for protecting your company:

    Email Policies

    Most phishing attacks occur through emails, so developing a company email policy is essential, so employees know guidelines for emails:

    • Don’t use company email addresses for personal use
    • Update passwords twice per year
    • Report suspicious emails
    • Do not share company information via email

    Educate Employees

    Most employees don’t realize how vulnerable your business is to phishing attacks. Be sure to educate your employees on how to identify scammers:

    • Misleading or mismatched links
    • Poor grammar or spelling
    • Questions regarding personal information
    • Money requests
    • Unrealistic threats

    Multiple Passwords

    Passwords are one of the most common things for a phisher to steal. Misleading links will often require an employee to input passwords into a form that sends it straight to the scammer. Once they have an employee’s password, they can get into other accounts that have the same password.

    This can be prevented by requiring your team to use different passwords for each work account they use. This will prevent phishers from getting access to all accounts because they have a password to one.

    To learn more about how to protect your business from phishing attacks with Managed IT Services, contact MMIT Business Solutions Group today!

  5. How Managed Print Helps Businesses Overcome Security Threats

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    Most business security plans include robust strategies for protecting networked computers and smartphones. However, it’s taking more time than it should for decision-makers to include networked printers in their security strategies.

    Printers are everywhere, and it’s impossible to know just how many are connected to networks. Experts agree that the hundreds of millions of printers and copiers that are common in offices across the world are ripe for takeover.

    Are You Safe?

    Hackers know that gaining control of your printers is the first step toward gaining control of your networks and then your data. Here are a few sobering facts:

    Fact #1: Businesses often wait until their printers fail to address security concerns. That old printer in the corner may still crank out documents, but it may an open window for hackers to steal your company’s information. Instead of waiting for your printers to fail so you can get just a little more value from your investment, contact a managed print services provider now to schedule an upgrade. You’ll have peace of mind and access to the security solutions you need to protect your network.

    Fact #2: Even new printers may not be protected. Your printer may be a recent purchase, but if you’re managing your fleet on your own, there may be security features you’ve overlooked. Managed print providers have the tools to search out vulnerabilities and help you correct them before it’s too late.

    Fact #3: Less than 2% of the world’s networked printers have up-to-date security solutions in place. To say that we’re in trouble is an understatement. Hackers are working around the clock looking for unprotected printers to gain access to millions of documents and dollars. How safe is your business?

    You can overcome the security risks caused by an unmanaged print infrastructure. Contact MMIT Business Solutions for a Managed Print Services assessment before it’s too late.

  6. Tap Into These Multifunction Printer Capabilities

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    It’s true that your multifunction printer can print documents and make copies, but is your team overlooking some other capabilities. Read on to find out how much your multifunction printer can do for your organization.

    Protect confidential information.

    We’re all concerned about security, and frequent high-profile breaches aren’t improving our outlook. Your multifunction printer can be an invaluable tool in your security strategy, giving you more options for protecting your confidential information.

    • Data encryption is a multifunction printer feature that protects stored and in-transit information. Hackers are on the lookout for data as it flows through networks, and unprotected networked printers are prime targets. Data encryption solutions make information unreadable and useless to hacking attempts.
    • Data overwrite protects information stored on multifunction printer hard drives. Just like your computer and mobile device, your office multifunction printer stores information on its internal hard drive. Overwrite solutions make stored data unreadable to hackers.
    • Confidential printing solutions help businesses address the issue of uncollected documents. These features require users to input passwords or use ID cards to authenticate at the device before print jobs release.

    Improve office productivity.

    Your multifunction printer includes a document scanning feature, making it the first step for process automation and electronic document management. Users can complete tasks from start to finish directly from touchscreen controls. Routing documents to folders, email, and cloud services is simple, and OCR technology instantly converts a variety of documents to editable, searchable PDF formats.

    Bring professional finishing in-house.

    Outsourcing your printing requirements isn’t always convenient, but with a multifunction printer, it’s often unnecessary. Polished finishing features and exceptional printing mean you can produce professional-quality materials in-house, on-demand, and at a price that fits your budget.

    No matter what type of organization you operate, a multifunction printer can serve your needs with efficiency. Contact MMIT Business Solutions for more information today.

  7. Is Your MFP a Security Risk?

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    SMBs are well aware of the security risks facing their businesses today. Most make security a top priority and use multiple solutions to thwart unauthorized access to computers, buildings, and networks. But even with heightened awareness, it’s easy to miss the vulnerability that’s right inside the office door.

    Print Security

    The typical office printer used to operate as a single-function device that duplicated or printed hard copy documents. Today’s multifunction printers are much more complicated, and most are connected to company networks. Their ability to convert and share information digitally is what sets them apart from single-function imaging equipment; it’s also what makes them attractive to hackers and others with less-than-honest intentions. Here are two areas where your office printer may be vulnerable.

    1. Abandoned documents.

    How often have you retrieved documents from a print tray and also walked away with someone else’s print job? It’s easy to do, and the documents you’ve picked up may include protected employee information from the HR department or confidential company correspondence. Whatever the case, when confidential documents are abandoned in print trays, there’s a potentially catastrophic security event in progress.

    Managed Print Services professionals can mitigate the risk of abandoned print jobs with solutions like pull printing. Simply defined, pull printing requires the user to be present and authenticate at the printer before the job releases to the print tray.

    2. Data in transit.

    Hackers have honed in on printers that don’t feature advanced data encryption. By intercepting data in transit, hackers can then enter company networks via the multifunction printer. Managed print solves the problem by enabling advanced data encryption and other solutions to keep unauthorized users out of print infrastructures.

    To find out more about print security, contact us at MMIT for a Managed Print assessment today!

  8. Print Security for the Government Agency

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    There are many areas where government offices and departments can lag behind the public sector, often because adopting new technologies and practices can be difficult for large organizations such as city, state, and federal government agencies. Printing and print-related technology is often one such area, and a recent interview with GovLoop illustrates this point.

    Ron Chestang, Worldwide Senior Print Security Consultant at HP, told GovLoop that print security should matter to government agencies. He noted that the statistics point to too much apathy in government offices when it comes to print security, and this leads to risky practices. “If you don’t even recognize the risk in the first place,” he notes, “then you can’t mitigate or respond to it.” His solution? More control and better technology for your print environment. Here’s how to achieve the security your office needs.

    Print Environment Security for Government Agencies

    It all starts with knowing where you are. Once you’ve assessed your current print environment and have a detailed inventory of every fax machine, multifunction printer, and copier, you have a place to start. Get your IT team involved and let them lead the project to ensure that your agency’s confidential information is protected.

    Start here:

    • Assess: Too many offices don’t have a centralized locus of control over their print environment, resulting in a hodge-podge of machines purchased over time—sometimes without any consultation from or knowledge of the IT department. What does your current print environment look like?
    • Plan: What strategy do you need going forward? Where are the security risks? What are you going to do to fix them?
    • Implement: With the help of your IT team, it’s time to get your print environment up to par.
    • Consider outsourcing: Managed print services can make your print environment secure, optimized, and ready to function properly. Consider outsourcing for the best cost savings and productivity boost.

    For more information about secure multifunction printers and managed print services, contact us.

  9. The Most Common Security Mistakes: Are You Making Them?

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    There are few areas where you can afford to make mistakes less than in security. Business security is in the news constantly it seems with big breaches happening on the regular. If large companies like Sony and Target aren’t immune, how can you assume your company isn’t susceptible to these kinds of attacks?

    And yet, even with all the vulnerabilities created by fast-moving technology and ever-smarter hackers, many businesses find themselves making the same cybersecurity mistakes over and over again.

    The Most Common Cyber Security Mistakes

    Typically, security breaches are a matter of employees who aren’t sure what the correct procedures are coupled with managers who are too busy with day-to-day operations to take necessary precautions. But frankly, you can’t afford to keep ignoring cybersecurity. Is your company making these errors?

    1. Insufficient or no backup procedures: What would happen if your place of business was lost to a fire, a flood, or theft? What would happen if every computer in your office was inaccessible? Would your documents and other sensitive data be gone forever? Many companies are relying on insufficient backups or worse, no backups at all.
    2. Insecure passwords: Newsflash: password123 is not a safe password. Many employees use insecure passwords because company policies don’t require them to do otherwise. It’s also common for employees to inadvertently provide their login credentials to phishers and scammers via email fraud or other scams. Make sure your IT team provides adequate training to employees to keep login information secure.
    3. Improper printer security: Did you know that your copier could be a security threat? You should be sure that your printers and copiers are behind your network firewall and that all software is up to date, and also ensure that you wipe all hard drives before recycling old machines.

    For more information about how we can keep your office secure with managed network services, contact us today

  10. Cloud Security: What to Ask Your Service Provider

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    There are a whole host of questions you should ask before you sign a managed services contract, especially if you’re concerned about security. When it comes to cloud security, you have every reason to be nosy: it’s vital that you protect your business data and ensure that your information will be adequately handled. When it comes to cloud compliance, it’s crucial that firms in financial services, healthcare, retail, and government choose a service that provides the utmost attention to security.

    In today’s business world, security threats are a constant concern. With data breaches in the news every week, it would be foolish to assume that your business is immune no matter its size. Take precautions on every level, especially your cloud services.

    What to Ask Before Signing a Contract

    If you’re considering a managed services contract for cloud hosting, make sure that you know what questions to ask. Work with your IT staff to come up with a list of questions that will help you decide whether a potential service provider meets your unique business needs.

    1. What information do you store?
    2. Where is your onsite physical storage?
    3. Who has access to your storage?
    4. How do you prevent unauthorized access?
    5. What levels of access are there?
    6. Have you helped customers through compliance audits? How many?
    7. What kind of compliance support do you offer in your service level agreement?

    These questions will get the conversation going for you to determine what level of security a provider is offering. Of course, every company and every industry has different security and compliance needs, so it’s important that you decide ahead of time on your non-negotiable requirements. To learn more about keeping your business secure, contact us today.

  11. How to Make Disaster Recovery a Part of Your Plan

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    We’re now well into the first few months of 2017, and with this new year, many companies are setting their IT budgets. As you make your strategic plans for the year, it’s vital that you consider a disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan can seem like a daunting task, but it could be the difference between your company weathering a disaster or shutting its doors. Here’s how managed network services fit into a disaster recovery plan.

    Disaster Recovery: Back-Ups and Security

    These days, it’s not uncommon to hear about even industry giants being victims of a cyber attack. It’s easy to see how a disaster can happen when even large companies like Target and Sony are in the news for stolen data. Of course, it doesn’t take this kind of issue for your business to be in a tight spot: a flood, fire, or theft of physical assets can leave you equally unable to operate.

    If the worst happens in your business, it’s crucial that you can continue with day-to-day operations. For that, you’ll need your most valuable asset: your company information. Managed network services can help you keep this information secure with back-ups and cloud services.

    • Managed network services provide offsite backups that can be accessed no matter where you are, allowing you to continue operating even if you can’t access your office.
    • Disaster recovery isn’t expensive. It’s a common misconception that disaster recovery will cost you too much, but with low subscription pricing models, you’ll be able to experience the many benefits of managed network services.
    • Downtime is expensive. Your company shouldn’t be investing in downtime. Managed IT services can help you with network monitoring to keep your business up and running.

    For more information about how managed network services can help your company, contact us today.

    IT Services Des Moines

  12. Reviewing the Tech Trends of 2016

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    As we begin 2017, it’s worthwhile to look over some of the trends that stuck out in 2016. Particularly in the world of finance and banking, technology has become an ever-present tool that connects customers and institutions in new ways. These are the tech trends we saw in the banking field in 2016.

    Finance Tech Trends of 2016

    • Mobile apps: More banks than ever have chosen to offer a fully integrated mobile app for customers to use on their smartphones and tablets. This kind of mobile experience can simplify the customer’s interactions with a bank branch, reducing the time burden on staff to answer questions.
    • Self-service: Many banks and financial institutions are offering self-serve kiosks in their branches, and some are even using tablets in their offices to supplement the customer experience.
    • Cybersecurity: Far from trendy but increasingly important, cybersecurity is a necessity for fraud prevention in the financial world. New data security methods popped up in 2016, including managed network services.
    • Biometrics: Fascinating developments in biometrics (such as fingerprints, voice, eyes, and imaging) have allowed companies to offer alternatives to PINs and passwords. These are far more secure, and customers enjoy the simplicity with the added safety.
    • Cloud services: Many banks and financial institutions that choose managed network services also opt for a cloud services solution. Cloud services can reduce overall costs and increase agility, and this developed into a solid trend in 2016.

    The trends that will continue into 2017 will be the ones that show their overall added value to businesses, and we predict that the security and cost savings of managed network services will make this comprehensive solution a winner in the new year. Contact us to learn more about our managed network services.

  13. Two Steps to Secure Documents

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    In today’s business world, it’s nearly impossible to operate a company without relying on information networks. The internet has become an integral part of how companies communicate internally and with customers, and without your network, your production comes to a screeching halt.

    And yet, too many companies leave their systems vulnerable to ever-increasing attacks from sophisticated hackers. In 2015, Statistics reported that the financial burden of cyber attacks on businesses was related to the disruption of day-to-day operations and information loss. Data breaches and hacks are in the news regularly, and with large firms such as Target and Sony in the crosshairs, how can you be sure you’re not next?

    Are Your Documents Vulnerable?

    Whether you use the cloud or a shared drive to share and access files, your documents could be at risk. Unsurprisingly, unsuspecting employees often facilitate data loss and hacking through insecure habits that create “doors” into your company. Here are the two crucial steps you need to take to keep your documents secure.

    1. Implement smart policies: Your employees won’t do what they don’t know they should do. Train employees on the basics of keeping information safe in the internet age, including how to identify phishing and scams, password safety, secure sharing, and email smarts. These simple tools could be the difference between a data hack and security for your company.
    2. Use managed IT services: Managed IT services can keep your entire network secure with routine monitoring and up-to-date firewall configurations and OS patches. More companies than ever are turning to managed IT services to meet the challenges of modern data security. Managed IT can ensure your business’s data security, and ultimately, your success.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how document management can help your company keep information secure, contact us today.

  14. This CEO Email Scam Cost Companies Billions

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    There’s a new email phishing scheme in town, and this one is hooking some big catches. This year, billions of dollars have been lost by corporations caught by a simple but smart CEO email scam, one that takes advantage of the busyness of a company’s C-level executives.

    Protect Your Company from Email Scams

    CEOs receive hundreds of emails a day, many of which are requesting approval on a project or invoice. The initiators of this CEO email scam know this to be the case and have found a way to subvert this reality for their illegal gain. Here’s how this recent scam has defrauded many companies out of billions of dollars:

    • A high-level finance department employee such as a CFO or controller will receive an email from the CEO’s email account. This email will request authorization for a wire transfer of funds and use company information to legitimize the request.
    • The CFO will assume this is legitimate, authorize the wire transfer, and forward it back to the CEO.
    • Both individuals are likely too busy to read thoroughly and approve wire transfers regularly, and thus, the wiring instructors are sent to the scammers.

    Sound like it couldn’t happen to you? The FBI has recently estimated that this kind of scam has robbed businesses over the past three years to the tune of over $2.3 billion. Mattel lost $3 million last year alone in a CEO fraud attack.

    To protect your company from this kind of fraud, implement security strategies that include a two-step authentication process. Significant transactions should require phone calls or other means of communication to verify identity before authorization. Be sure to share this information with your finance department and accounting team so they’re aware that even emails from seemingly legitimate sources could be fraudulent.

    For more information about how our managed network services can keep your business secure, contact us today.

  15. Is Your Cloud Migration Secure?

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    Businesses are migrating en masse to the cloud these days, and the transition comes with some significant benefits. Some companies are achieving that mystical goal of one “single source of truth”—in other words, a single warehouse for every piece of data that was previously scattered across your company’s discreet devices, laptops, and hard drives. Who doesn’t want reliable access to information from one easy-to-use platform? Enterprises are even using the big data technology capabilities of the cloud to their advantage, using Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services to manage big data. It’s a win-win-win.

    But some companies are missing a critical component of this migration to the cloud. When you move your information to the cloud, it’s vital that you upgrade and standardize your security practices. Here’s why.

    Take the Data, Leave the Bad Security

    Too often, data security is an afterthought in the cloud integration process. Your move to the cloud should be safe from start to finish, and you should leave any bad security practices behind you. Here are some areas of security you should be considering.

    • Encryption: Is your data encrypted? Perhaps more pertinently, is it encrypted at rest and in-flight? In other words, it’s not enough to have data encryption for your stored files; they also have to be encrypted during movement from place to place.
    • Appropriate permissions: Be sure that your new cloud storage has appropriate internal security. For instance, you should be able to ensure that your sales team doesn’t have access to your HR department’s records. Remember: security breaches aren’t only from the outside.
    • Use secure login procedures: Make sure that you’re using identities and strong passwords to access your cloud database.

    If your data isn’t up to par, your cloud migration is the perfect time to standardize and upgrade your security. For more information about network security, contact us today.

  16. Will Security of the Past Keep You Safe Now?

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    The business world is expanding, changing and speeding up at an insane rate, moving more and more into the internet technology sphere. As technology and business practices change, so do the creative ways that hackers have found to damage and infiltrate your systems. You may feel as though your information is incredibly safe; only a year or two ago you put a great plan in place to keep your information safe! But is that plan still relevant, and is it still going to keep your business from the devastation of a malware attack?

    First, What is Malware?

    Malware comes in a few different shapes and sizes. First, you have worms. Worms are designed to infiltrate your network and duplicate themselves again and again and again, causing your entire network to freeze. You won’t have access to your documents, and nothing will work. This kind of downtime can seriously hurt a business. Next, you have viruses. A virus makes its way into your network and goes around damaging, altering and deleting files.

    Whether those files end up being the company pictures from last year’s Christmas party or the next huge project your company spent the last six months perfecting is impossible to say; the risk simply isn’t worth taking. Finally, you have spyware. As its name suggests, spyware does its best to steal useful information from you, whether to use it against you or simply make it public in a huge security leak. None of the above are a good situation.

    Learning a bit more about the cyber risks of today’s business world, are you secure about your plan to protect your business? If you have any doubts or questions, please contact us and we’ll go over your plan to see if you need to make any adjustments!