Employee procedures

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan | Fraser Valley Business IT Consultants

Running a business is already a lot of work on a day-to-day basis, so it’s not surprising when we come across businesses who have not had chance to put together a disaster plan. Most have probably thought about it at some point, but the hustle and bustle of getting things going, or keeping the money rolling in, has taken precious time from turning those thoughts into an actual plan.

So, how important is a disaster plan? The answer is VITAL! If your business does not have a plan for these top 5 scenarios, stop now and start getting one sorted before it is too late and very costly.

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1. Natural disaster

We may not be directly on an earthquake Fault-line, (we are kinda close, though) or in the shadow of an active Hawaiian volcano, but there are still plenty of potential natural disasters that could cripple a business either short or long term. It can range from temporary power failure from a wind/ice storm, all the way through to permanent loss from fire. (A particular concern, locally, with our summers yielding increasingly-worse forest fire seasons.) So, from an I.T. perspective, things to consider here definitely include off-site back-ups, as well as power and office-space alternatives.

2. Virus/Crypto-attacks

You hear about them all the time – and you probably see a heap of Spam attempts in your inbox everyday. The internet is a disease-infested stew of malicious pirates on a mission to plunder your ship of its spoils. Attacks are daily (in fact, businesses are targeted approximately every 14 seconds, resulting in a new ransomware victim every 40 seconds!) and is estimated to cost companies somewhere in the region of $11 billion, this year alone. If any of your technology is somehow connected to the world outside your office, you need protection AND data back-ups!

3. Malicious Employees

So, you may work hard to protect against those external attacks, but what about internal ones? It just takes one disgruntled (probably soon-to-be-ex) employee to do all sorts of damage. That damage can be anything, from simply downloading software for personal use (and compromising your legal license agreements) to a full-on data breach with intent to sell to a competitor. Do you have the steps in place to protect your company finances and data? It may be time to look at access policies and your exit procedures for leaving employees.

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4. Accidental Employee Damage

As much as a person may really love their job, and really work hard, they are still human. Humans make mistakes. It could be a spilled coffee, a cleaner unplugging a server, or an innocent click on an emailed resume (coincidentally sent during a recruitment drive) that turned out to actually be a ransomware Trojan virus. The magic words here are back-up, back-up, back-up… oh and good education!

5. Equipment Failure

No matter how good your I.T. crew is, there will come a time when a piece of equipment dies. It can be a tiny little component that wasn’t quite fitted right during the manufacturing process, or something as common and simple as an old-age issue. Regular maintenance and monitoring will help, but back-ups are key, as well as understanding the expected lifespan of your equipment and budgeting for replacements before you reach those dates.

Hopefully, you will never need your disaster plan. But, like home insurance, it is very wise to have it, just in case. If you do not have a good (up-to-date!) IT Disaster Plan in place and would like help, you can give our team of tech experts a call at 778-771-0184 or email help@wildfrogsystems.com. We will happily send one of our knowledgeable tech support consultants to give your business a disaster health check-up, and advise you on the best options to have a water-tight plan in place.

How to Make Sure Your Mobile Tech is Safe

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The era of smartphones has certainly changed the world we live in and do business. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 6 billion smartphone users in the world, and with the ability to do practically everything (from checking emails and googling directions, to taking payments and online banking… and even pre-paying and ordering your next coffee at Starbucks!) they are replacing more and more PCs at home and in the workplace.

However, having complete access to your life in your pocket can also have some major security concerns – particularly if you do use your mobile device to do business. Up to now, mobile malware has been fairly uncommon (taking up only 8% of the total infection pie) … however, this malware is now increasing at an alarming rate. There was already a 27% increase in new mobile malware at the end of last year, and that figure is climbing.

Android devices are seemingly the main target for malware, which is understandable when you consider that 85% of the world’s smartphone users are on that platform. That being said, that does not mean that other devices are completely safe!

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Threats come in a few different forms:

  • Banking trojans. These pretend to be legitimate banking apps which lure users into downloading them and then steal their credentials.

  • SMS malware. These use the phone to send premium rate texts without the user knowing.

  • Mobile spyware. Like it’s PC counterpart, it will secretly monitor your activity.

  • Rooting malware. Uses root access to do all sorts of damage, from stealing passwords to purchasing and installing apps.

  • Device theft! Something this small and this valuable is easy prey to the opportunist thief.

So, what can you do to protect yourself and your company?

Here are a few things to help:

  1. Beware of what apps you load onto your device. Only download apps from trusted sources and be wary of any app that asks for more info than it needs to do its job.

  2. Be careful of using public Wi-Fi sources (eg at airports & coffee shops). If you are using your device for business, look into having company policies on public Wi-Fi use, and provide VPN technology to your employees if needed.

  3. Keep your OS up-to-date, as well as your apps.

  4. Do not allow employees to use jailbroken or rooted devices for work purposes.

  5. Encrypt devices. Strong passwords are a must!

  6. Encourage employees to install anti-malware (Android).

  7. Educate employees on the dangers of mobile malware.

If you need help with setting up your mobile technology to be safer, or what company policies to bring in for protection, our team is here to help! Send an email to info@wildfrogsystems.com or call 778-771-0184.

5 Ways to Help Your Business Be More Cyber-safe! | Chilliwack & Abbotsford IT Support

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the need for awareness has never been higher! The stats are alarming...

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For businesses, the situation is just as scary.

50% of small businesses don't think that they will be targets of cyber crime.

BUT 40% of all cyber attacks in 2011 were on small to medium sized businesses.

The cost of cybercrime is about to reach $6 TRILLION, with no signs of slowing down!!

Put simply, EVERYONE is a target for cyber crime - the bad guys are not picky about size of business or the industry. As with so many things in life, prevention is much better than cure... but in the business world, cyber crime prevention can save hassle, time AND a LOT of money.

This month, we are sharing tips and advice here and on our Facebook Page ... but to start, here are 5 ways you can help make your business a #cybersafebusiness !

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1. Secure personal devices. Personal devices allow us to do business "on the road", but limit how much you use them, avoid public wifi for work use when you can, and make sure employees follow a security policy.

2. Train employees on the threats. If your staff are online at your business, include training on the latest threats, such as email scams, viruses, phishing and malware.

3. Teach smart clicking. Make yourself, and your staff, familiar with what a suspicious link and email looks like. Things to look out for include hyphens, numbers, spelling mistakes and symbols replacing regular characters. (We have a blog post illustrating some ways to safely spot bad links.)

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4. Use strong passwords. Make your passwords obscure, long and a good mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different places and do not write them on scraps of paper where they can be taken or copied.

5. A have a good plan in place for when employees leave. When an employee leaves, make sure their account passwords are changed immediately, and documents are secure.

To celebrate Cyber Security Awareness Month, and to help give local businesses a leg-up on getting #cybersafe, we are offering 30% off our Tech Health Check-ups!  These check-ups do cover way more than just your security vulnerabilities. We look at all of your technology and the way you use it, to see where you can avoid future problems, and find out how you can work smarter while saving money.

Protecting Sensitive Data from Ex (or about to be Ex!) Employees.... | Fraser Valley Tech Security Support

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Losing an employee is usually a sad day. It does not matter whether you may be losing a hard-working champion to a fabulous new adventure, or whether you have to fire a disgruntled slacker for misconduct, it is an emotional one for many. For a business owner, though, it can also be quite a dangerous day, especially if it is the latter scenario. That employee probably had access to all sorts of valuable company and/or customer data, before their dismissal.

Having a solid IT procedure in place to off-board an employee can save all kinds of headaches down the road. Long before you ever have need for it (ie today or tomorrow!), have a meeting with your IT department/service to discuss what areas of the company records would be vulnerable, and put together a solid procedure.

Here are a few things you may want to consider when putting together an off-boarding procedure.

  1. Use a least-access method with all employees – ie only give access to what the employee needs to do their job. For example, if they don’t need access to financial folders, don’t give them access to that location on the company servers. It means less to deal with later.

  2. When the day of a dismissal comes up, alert your IT department in advance, so they can be ready to begin the procedures as soon as (or just before) the employee is notified.

  3. Disable the employee’s access to their office account, but don’t delete it straight away, in case you need any files. Copy or relocate these files, and then you can delete the account. (Have this done and delete the account within 30 days.)

  4. Change the password to any remote or web tools that they used, along with passwords to shared accounts.

  5. Change the passwords/pin numbers to any other devices like copiers and alarm systems.

  6. Disable the employee’s email & voicemail and have them forwarded to a relevant employee or manager.

  7. Remove the employee from any group lists, such as email directories, company email groups, phone listings and your website (if you have an employee list on your website!).

Depending on your companies resources and working procedures, this list may cover everything you need to do, or there may be a few more areas to consider, but it is a good place to start.

If you need advice on what your company can do to prepare for this kind of scenario, or help in putting a procedure in place, feel free to email the Wild Frog Systems IT Support Team at info@wildfrogsystems.com or phone 778-771-0184.