Data Loss Can and Will Affect Your Entire Business!

Data loss, on any scale, is an organizational nightmare. Not only do you have to restore data, any lost productivity that comes as a result of the data loss incident makes it difficult on the budget. That’s only scratching of the surface of how serious data loss can be.

You Lose More than Just Data

Your data is crucial to your whole business, and when you have some stolen or lost, it can be a problem for multiple parts of your business. Consequences don’t end there. Some businesses, if they lose enough data, would have to close, putting people out of work, and negatively affecting a lot of people.

Considering how important data is, take a second and try to calculate what the financial impact of a major data loss incident would be to you. Between discovering the problem and the resolution there is the possibility that you face downtime and a corresponding loss of productivity, negative exposure, and much more. In fact, a majority of small and medium-sized businesses will close their doors after a major data loss event; it is that serious.

Other Concerns, Regarding Customer Confidence

When we mention negative exposure, what we mean is that once your organization has the perception that you can’t protect their personal data, the customer base simply won’t trust you with theirs. For almost any business that looks at themselves as a responsible operator, this is a death sentence.

So What Can You Do?

Before you lose data, productivity, or customers you need to make efforts to understand who is taking this data. Typically hackers, sometimes working as a part of an organized concern are behind these data breaches, and while you focus on your business, they gain access through any means they can. With this diligent hacking strategy at hand, it is important that you, and maybe more importantly, your employees know what they are up against and are sufficiently educated. If the “weak links” on your network are properly trained and willing to adhere to industry practices designed to keep these issues from becoming problems, you will be a lot less susceptible to attack than the average business is.

The IT security professionals at Kite Technology deal with these issues every day and have the perspective and knowledge to help you and your organization mitigate potential security threats. We offer comprehensive security solutions that proactively monitor and manage your network traffic. We also provide employee training resources that ensure that the people you depend on know how to approach this new digital world where threats are as numerous as the benefits. For more information about how we can help, contact us today at 855-290.KITE.

 

Tech Term: What is a Dongle?

There are countless examples of words that have evolved to meet the needs of their times. Meat once referred to solid food of any kind before it came to mean the edible flesh of animals. The word nice once had many meanings that completely contradicted each other. Today’s Tech Term, dongle, is another word that has evolved, albeit at a faster pace.

There is no questioning that the term dongle is largely used in reference to technological devices, just as there is no questioning that “dongle” is an inherently silly word.

However, this silly word has become a constant in the world of tech, especially on the consumer side of things. Dongles can be found everywhere, from the adapters that allow headphones to be used with devices that are now made without headphone jacks, many of the streaming devices that can be found in the home could be considered dongles, and arguably any device that plugs into a computer via a USB port qualifies as a dongle.

Officially, the term dongle (if defined by its most common denominator in computer networking) is any small device that is plugged into a computer to allow a particular network connection to be made. We see them most often today in USB devices. However, this blanket term doesn’t include USB devices that serve as data storage devices. Instead, the term dongle applies to other USB devices, such as Wi-Fi dongles that connect a device to a wireless network, or a modem dongle that connects to 3G or 4G wireless Internet networks.

As for the name itself, there are a variety of theories, including that the term is simply a play on the work ‘dangle’ (which most dongles do), or that the term held some significance to the developers of the Commodore PET Computer, which was released in 1977 and used a device similar to a dongle to boost its memory.

Regardless, the dongle is a term that is ingrained in modern technology. For more tech terms, tips, and tricks, make sure you subscribe to this blog!

 

Encrypt and Protect Your Data with a VPN

If you’ve ever felt as though someone was watching what you were doing while you were working remotely, either at home or in public, there’s a chance that you were right. Without a private Internet connection, it is a simple matter for others to watch your processes and steal the data you’re generating. Is there any way to protect your data as you work outside of the office?

There is fortunately a relatively simple means of doing so, through a virtual private network. You may have heard of virtual private networks, or VPNs, during the debate on net neutrality and the Federal Communications Commission’s verdict. Many plan to thwart the FCC’s plans to give Internet Service Providers the power to sell their users’ browsing habits to advertisers through the use of VPNs. In addition to defying the loss of net neutrality, VPNs can play a key role in your business and its security.

A VPN works by encrypting data as it is sent to and from important assets on a given network, including the Internet. The data is jumbled while in transit, so if it is intercepted, all the interceptor would see would be a jumbled mess of letters, numbers, and symbols. This renders the stolen data effectively useless to the thief, as the time it would take to manually decrypt the data makes it no longer worth it. With a VPN installed on your device, both the data you send and the data you receive is protected by military-grade encryption.

It might be helpful to picture the data you send as a letter, but instead of just sending your letter unprotected and vulnerable, you’ve locked it in a special box. This box can only be opened by another with the key, so if the box were to be intercepted in transit, the thief wouldn’t be able to open it. As a result, your letter to your friend is still safe.

It is for this reason that a VPN can help protect a business from data loss of any size. A word of warning, however: you will want to utilize a VPN that is suitable for use by an enterprise, capable of securing each device on your network. Kite Technology can help set your business up with a VPN that suits your needs. To get started, call 855-290-KITE.

Have you Implemented Email Encryption?

If you don’t take measures to secure your email, you could potentially give up crucial information to anyone lurking on the same network as you. This is inevitable on public Wi-Fi connections, or anywhere data is in transit. Encryption is the best way to make sure that your organization’s communications are secure, so you absolutely want to encrypt your email.

Why Does It Matter?

Encryption matters for the express purpose of keeping your communications as private as possible. Your email provider may or may not offer encryption by default, but there’s never a good reason to expose your business’ data to dangerous entities. While you’re putting your business’ data at risk, you could also be putting your business itself at risk due to data privacy regulations.

Long story short, encryption is critical if your organization wants to avoid the dangerous part of the Internet. This includes hackers, who will go to great lengths to steal your business’ data, despite the protections that your company puts into place. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that your company put these measures into place so as to improve the chances that you are able to keep your business secure.

How Does Encryption Work?

To explain encryption, we’ll use the locked box analogy. Imagine that you have a box containing your emails that can only be unlocked by someone with a special key. Whoever you send the box to has the key, and it will be unlocked upon receipt. Even if the box has been intercepted, it can’t be opened without the right key, meaning that the thief won’t have any use for it.

The most important part of encryption implementation is that it needs to be applied to your entire infrastructure. If you only encrypt messages that contain sensitive information, you’re only making yourself a larger target. If you do choose to implement an encryption system, it should be associated with more than just your email security.

Kite Technology can help your business implement a quality email encryption solution designed to augment your security and privacy. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.

 

When it Comes to Security, Two Factors are Better Than One

The password isn’t nearly as secure as it used to be. Hackers have begun to take advantage of extremely powerful solutions designed to brute force their way into accounts by using software to rapidly guess thousands of passwords per second, making it extraordinarily difficult to prepare yourself for them. What’s the best way to guarantee that passwords aren’t going to be the downfall of your company? A great start is by taking a close look at password best practices and two-factor authentication.

To get started, let’s review the best practices for creating a password. These include the following:

Use complex passwords: Your passwords should always be a complex string of letters, numbers, and symbols, including both capital and lower-case letters. Try to keep them as random as possible, without including any specific words or phrases if you can help it. This reduces the chance that your password will be guessed by a hacker.

Use different passwords for each account: If you use the same password for every single account you have, you run the risk of one password exposing multiple accounts to hackers. Using multiple complex passwords can make them difficult to remember, however, which leads us into our next point.

Use a password manager: If you’re following password best practices, you’ll notice that remembering passwords is difficult–especially when they are all different and complex. A password manager can store your passwords in a secure vault for access when they are needed, allowing you to use complex passwords at all times without needing to remember them. It sure beats writing down passwords in a Word document or elsewhere, and it’s much more secure than doing so. There are even password managers for businesses that let employers dish out certain credentials to staff in a safe, secure way.

While password best practices are important to ensure maximum security for your accounts, they’re often not enough to secure your business. Hackers are always trying to find new ways to crack even the most powerful of passwords. This is where two-factor authentication comes in. A hacker might be able to replicate the password, but can they replicate your accounts needed for access?

Two-factor authentication works by using a device or email account as a secondary credential for accessing an account or network. The obvious example is a smartphone, which can receive an SMS text message with a code needed to log into an account. Others might have codes sent to secondary email accounts. Either way, the point is that these types of credentials can only be received by the holders of the device, which is much more difficult for a hacker to take advantage of. There are even some types of two-factor authentication that utilize biometrics and near field communication technology (NFC), allowing for even more complexities that hackers will sigh and shake their heads at.

If your business needs to protect sensitive data, two-factor authentication is definitely one line of defense you will need. KiteTech can help you find the right solution for you. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.