Take action to avoid a devious new phishing scam

Take action to avoid a devious new phishing scam

Another day, another scam. And this is a sneaky one.

Cyber criminals are getting smarter. This recent malware threat is unusually smart. It impersonates a highly trusted brand name to get a foot in the door.

Targets receive a convincing looking email that appears to come from a widely used e-signature platform.

Attached to the email is a blank image that’s loaded with empty svg files, which are carefully encoded inside an HTML file attachment (stay with us here).

In short, it’s very clever and it’s tricking its way past a lot of security software.

That puts businesses like yours at risk. Because code within the image sends people to a malicious URL.

Open the attachment and you could unwittingly install malware onto your device – or even your network – which risks exposing your data and leaving you open to a ransomware attack.

Recently, there’s been a wave of HTML attachment attacks on small and medium sized businesses, so it’s clear that companies need to take action to stay ahead of the criminals.

If you use software to sign documents electronically, double-check that emails are genuine before opening any attachments.

There’s a reason why the criminals have chosen to impersonate a trusted name.

Taking things a step further, you could block all emails with this type of attachment, to prevent employees from being exposed to scam emails in the first place.

If you’d like any further advice, or help implementing extra security measures, get in touch.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

When did you last have a health check?

When did you last have a health check?

How’s the January health kick going?

Lots of us take our health seriously – once a year, anyway – and it’s good to spend time thinking about whether you’ve been looking after yourself (and better still, doing something about it).

Your doctor would probably like to see you once a year for a health check, just to pick up any small problems and stop them getting worse.

It’s exactly the same principle with your technology.

So why not book in for an IT check-up, to make sure everything’s in great shape for the journey ahead?

You do this for yourself, you do it for your car, and it’s a good plan to think the same way about your workplace tech. Because it might have to work pretty hard in the year to come.

Getting everything checked out now will pay dividends later.

We’ll help to pick up any minor-but-urgent fixes that could help prevent a disastrous breakdown in a few months’ time. Sometimes a simple software update will speed things up dramatically – which means less time watching the egg timer!  

If there are bigger, but non-urgent jobs that you can safely leave for another day, we’ll tell you that too.

And if you’re all good to go, you can carry on with confidence.

It may even be a great time to think about new technology and prioritize your IT projects. Do you know what you need to prepare for if you want your system to develop as your business grows? That could be something as simple as switching to cloud storage, or it could be a larger project, such as digital transformation.

Our experts carry out top-to-toe IT health checks for all kinds of businesses, and we’ll give you honest, jargon-free advice on the best solutions for a trouble-free tech set-up.

To book your check-up, get in touch.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

Are your younger employees experiencing ‘tech shame’?

Are your younger employees experiencing ‘tech shame’?

It seems that Gen Z and even some Millennial employees are less tech savvy than many employers might expect. It’s an assumption that’s leading to a sense of ‘tech shame’.

Younger workers may have grown up using Snapchat, TikTok and Minecraft, but they’re not always equipped with the skills they need to adapt to the workplace.

A recent study has found that one in five employees aged 18 to 29 feel judged when they encounter technical issues at work. That’s compared to just one in 25 employees aged 40 or over.

The solution may lie in providing better training, not just for younger colleagues and first-jobbers, but for the whole team. Some Gen Z workers may have started their careers during the pandemic. That means they will never have experienced anything other than a digital working environment. Especially if they work remotely or in a hybrid role.

As well as fixing any skill gaps there may be, whole-team training can provide a much-needed confidence boost for young employees.

Another consideration is the provision of tools and devices your team has access to – especially if they’re working remotely.

Younger workers with less available income to spend on home office equipment may be less likely to speak up if they’re struggling.

Simply checking in with employees – particularly if they’re not in the office – can make a big difference to their engagement, productivity, and confidence. If there are any issues, big or small, find a way to put them right, and you’ll notice a positive shift in the whole business.

If you’d like any advice about tech shame or help with training, boosting efficiency or sourcing equipment, we’re here when you need us. Just get in touch.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

A little trust can go a long way

A little trust can go a long way

Countless employers still don’t trust their people to do their best work unless they’re physically in the office. But while managers may be struggling to adjust to our new hybrid world, this perception is a long way from the truth.

Research from around the world reveals that greater flexibility from remote and hybrid working often results in a major boost to productivity. Yet still some firms are bringing back an office-only policy.

Employers may be grappling with the fallout of the last few years and hoping that a return to the office will result in a post-pandemic productivity boost.

But seeing as hybrid workers show improved morale, greater creativity and better collaboration (compared with pre-pandemic levels), this could be a big step in the wrong direction.

Big Brother will never be popular

Some businesses have increased their employee monitoring to try and track performance. But this is often perceived as a Big Brother tactic that ends up having the opposite effect – a drop in productivity, a lack of trust, demoralized teams, and a greater feeling of ‘us and them’.

All businesses need to understand how they are performing and decide which metrics give the best insight into productivity. But this has to be done in a way that doesn’t leave employees feeling like cogs in a machine.

So what’s the answer?

There is some clear advice for building a productive and successful hybrid environment:

  • Encourage people to work in the way that’s best for them
  • Find the right ways to measure performance – without people feeling like they’re constantly being watched
  • Automate repetitive tasks to free up your team’s creativity
  • And provide everyone with the tools and tech they need to do their job properly. That could include choosing the right devices, using communication tools that aid collaboration, and making the right connectivity choices.

We can help with all of this.

So if you’re having trouble adjusting to a hybrid world, get in touch – we’re here to help.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

Windows is the prime target for cyber criminals

Windows is the prime target for cyber criminals

With its huge dominance in the workplace, Microsoft’s Windows has become the prime target for cyber criminals. They’re looking to access your information, disrupt your business, or hold your data to ransom.

Tens of millions of attempted malware attacks were discovered throughout this year, and a massive 95% of those threats were targeted at Windows.

The vast majority of attacks are unsuccessful, but those that do succeed can create havoc for the affected businesses. So you need to be sure that you’re taking all possible precautions to protect your business and your data.

  • Hardware and software companies release regular updates to address threats to Windows users, as well as security patches designed specifically to deal with new risks. These should all be installed as soon as they become available.
  • Your people should be regularly trained in how to spot cyber security threats and what to do if they suspect one.
  • And because it’s not possible to protect every business from 100% of all threats, it’s also important that you have a strong resilience plan in place.

This should detail exactly how your business should react if it falls victim to a cyber attack and who should be notified to take action. Everyone in the company should have access to this document and know to report any potential attack as quickly as possible – that’s the best way to lessen its impact.

If you have an IT service provider, they’ll be able to make the best recommendations to keep your business safe and secure, train your people, and even provide monitoring to spot any potential danger before it becomes a problem.

This is something we do every day. So if we can help your business become more resilient, just get in touch.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

When can you finally forget your password?

When can you finally forget your password?

Passkeys are set to take over from traditional passwords to give us a safer, more secure way of logging into our online accounts.

That will be a major step forward for online security, and it’s gathering pace quickly with more and more big names adopting the technology. So how long will it be before we finally wave goodbye to the password?

This new tech has long been supported by the FIDO alliance – an organization of big tech companies including Apple, Google, and Microsoft – in the hope that it could eventually kill off passwords completely.

These megabrands are already rolling out passkeys on some of their applications. But now some of the big names in password management software are getting in on the act, too, which is likely to speed things up even further.

Passkeys work by creating and storing credentials on your phone, which only you can access. These are called private keys and they’re authenticated by the biometrics you use to log in to that device – your fingerprint, or your phone’s facial recognition system.

When you log into an account, the site will create a public key which then requests your private key. Your matching passkey gives you access to your account, just like a password.

Password managers let you create and store complex passwords, meaning you always have a strong, unique and unguessable password for every site.

But the adoption of passkeys by a growing number of traditional password managers is likely to accelerate the move.

We’ve spent years implementing strong passwords. Will we miss them when they’re gone? Probably not…

Any move towards stronger security is always welcome and we don’t think it will be too long before most online accounts are using passkeys.

If you’d like any help to keep your business secure in 2023, get in touch.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.