Bitcoin is a new digital currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middlemen – meaning, no banks! Much of the hype around Bitcoin today is from getting rich by trading it.
While most people are now using Bitcoin as a source of investment hoping for a healthy return, its original use was not for that. The idea behind the technology has always been and remains - one of decentralization - that is, remaining completely independent of a central authority, like a bank, a government, or a country. This privacy is the main reason many users use bitcoin on the “Dark Web.”
As with any investment, this question comes with a set of questions you should ask yourself first:
Do you have the money to risk?
Do you understand fully in what you’re investing in?
What is driving the investment decision?
With these questions in mind, it’s important to understand the risks involved with any investment, especially one as unpredictable as bitcoin is.
The contemporary world is rife with digital thieves. They’re penetrating the complicated data structures of huge credit-monitoring companies like Equifax, scooping up the personal information of millions of people. They’re releasing sensitive customer data to the public from discreet businesses like Ashley Madison. They’re watching webcam feeds of our celebrities without them knowing; they’re locking down the systems of public utilities like the German railway system; they’re even managing to steal thousands of gigabytes of information directly from high-profile government entities like the CIA.
They’re also targeting small businesses exactly like your own and extorting them for thousands and thousands of dollars. When running a company, it’s vital to have a dedicated security team, equipped with the most up-to-the-minute security technology, on your side to protect you from these malicious cyberthreats. But it’s not enough to leave it to somebody else. You also need to be informed. Here are five of the most common ways hackers infiltrate your network:
You receive an e-mail in your work inbox coming directly from a high-ranking employee with whom you’ve been working on a project. Inside is a link he needs you to click to access some “vital information,” but when you click it, it rapidly installs a host of malware on the computer, spreads through the network and locks out everyone in the company.
Phishing scams are the oldest trick in a hacker’s book – ever received one of those “Nigerian Prince” scams? – but they’re still wildly successful. Not only that, but they’re becoming increasingly more sophisticated. As Thomas Peters writes for “Newsweek,” “The best messages look like they’re trying to protect the company. One well-meaning system administrator even offered to post a PDF that could deliver malware on an internal server because it was called, ‘How to avoid a phishing attack.’” How’s that for irony?
Social engineering is a type of “hacking” that uses real, well-intentioned people to carry out its schemes, rather than intricate lines of code. This is especially effective for gathering sensitive information that can later be used in another type of attack – e-mail passwords used for phishing scams, for example. Maybe your IT guy receives a call from the “secretary” of one of your clients, pretending that they’re experiencing problems with your service due to some firewall, a problem that your IT professional is more than happy to help out with. Before you know it, the caller knows the ins and outs of your entire security system, or lack thereof. Social engineers have been known to use phone company customer service departments, Facebook and other services to gather Social Security or credit card numbers, prepare for digital robbery and even change the passwords to your central data network security.
You may think that your passwords are clever and complicated, filled with exclamation points and random numbers, but it’s rarely enough. With information gathered carefully from social engineering or a simple check on your employees’ social media accounts, hackers can easily use brute-force to figure out that your password is the name of the family dog, followed by your anniversary (for example). That’s if they didn’t already manage to steal your password through one of the techniques listed above.
Sophisticated hackers can scan your business’s network or software source code for weak points. Once they’re located, they can surgically attempt to crash the system through snippets of code they splice in expressly for that purpose. Different commands can do different things, whether they want to deliver a devastating virus, redirect links on your website to malicious malware or steal and erase vast swathes of information.
At the last conference you attended, someone probably handed out free branded USB sticks to keep their business top-of-mind. Hackers will sometimes covertly slip a bunch of infected USB sticks into a company’s stash. The instant somebody tries to use one, their computer is taken over by ransomware.
It’s a scary world out there, with virtually everyone left vulnerable to digital attack. Knowing the strategies hackers deploy is half the battle. But, frankly, these techniques are constantly changing; it’s impossible to keep up by yourself.
That’s why it’s so important to utilize only the most up-to-date security solutions when protecting your business. Hackers move fast. You and your security technology need to stay one step ahead.
Call MVP For a Free Security Assessment Today!
We are sure that by now you have all heard about the new Ransomware Virus sweeping the globe and infecting hundreds of computers, called WannaCry. Clever name if you consider that when ALL of your information and data is gone, you will most definitely, WANNA CRY!
Managing a small business can be quite hard sometimes. There are so many things to figure out and so many details to prepare that will ensure both your employees and clients are happy and satisfied.
However, no matter your expertise, it is crucial that you invest in IT support to ensure your business runs smoothly behind the scenes. While at first, it may seem that hiring new network consultants can be a bad investment for a small business, the benefits cannot be argued. Here are some of the best reasons why any small business should invest in an IT consulting company.
Forbes magazine recently reported that four out of five small businesses will soon rely on cloud computing. This relatively new idea is known for its efficiency, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness, but can be quite hard to grasp at first. So for the safety of all your secure information and data, it is wise to invest in a professional.
The digital world is transforming every single day, and it can sometimes be too overwhelming to stay on track of everything. This is where networking consulting comes in. It is their job to stay up to date on the trends after all, so you won't be left in the dark! With the help of a professional IT consulting company, you won't have to worry about handling confusing algorithms or completing difficult updates.
Do you feel like you're in a rut, and no matter what you do, nothing gets better? Well working with an IT professional can help solve some of your problems in that they can take an unbiased stance on exactly what is working for your business and what isn't. Sometimes all you need is a neutral opinion to get the best results for your company.
Above anything else, a professional IT consulting company can give you ultimate peace of mind. Nothing beats knowing you have a professional who can handle the complexities of technology behind the scenes while you run the show!
With these benefits in mind, what are you waiting for? Our IT consultants are here ready to help.
A growing service for personal and professional use alike is that of VOIP solutions. It's particularly popular among small businesses who are looking to either choose a new phone system or update their old one. Indeed, Infonetics Research reports that the number of seats for hosted VoIP services will double from 2012 to 2016 and in 2017, the number of mobile VoIP users is supposed to hit one billion. So why are so many businesses looking into VoIP phone solutions? There are a number of benefits to using VoIP providers instead of a traditional phone system that can be attractive to small businesses in particular.
Can You Explain What VoIP is?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, which basically breaks down to mean that you can get your phone service using the Internet, instead of through your phone company. Of course, this means you need a good Internet connection, but most businesses make that a priority.
Okay, So What are the Perks to Looking Into VoIP Solutions?
How Do I Get Hooked Up With VoIP?
Get in touch with your Internet provider. Many companies have seen how lucrative offering VoIP can be and may be able to offer a package that bundles your Internet service and VoIP together.
There are also providers that specialize in just VoIP services. A quick Internet search will yield you a host of companies who can get you started with VoIP. Depending on if you want cloud-based VoIP companies or features like automated voice systems and conference calling, you'll want to cross-check each company and compare to see which has the most advantages.
If you use an IT support company for your computers and other technology, see if they have technicians who also help with VoIP troubleshooting -- though VoIP is significantly more user-friendly, it's always good to have an expert on hand, should you need one.
Make the switch to a VoIP service today and enjoy an easier to use phone service, reduced costs, and better functionality. What's not to love?