Avoid a cyber-breach and stay out of the headlines
In public relations circles they joke that ‘bad PR is better than no PR’ – but that is not true. Just ask any CEO of a company in the news for a cyber-breach!
Every year, around this time, we reach out to all clients with a reminder about cybersecurity and the smart action that best protects your organization. Sometimes the very topic causes company leadership to freeze or, worse, organizational paralysis sets in and the company does not properly address cybersecurity, leaving unknown vulnerabilities, and opportunities for the dark web!
We are often brought in to help strengthen and ‘shore up’ a client’s cybersecurity plan to ensure integrity. All too often, though, we are summoned after the horses are loose from the barn. It is far less costly to have a strong plan in place (and enforced) than to have to recover from a disaster – one that hopefully is never newsworthy in the first place.
Cybersecurity is always ‘top of mind’ in every company – at least that should be the case! Hopefully, it remains high on the list, as a constant, on your IT whiteboard list of priorities.
While the world of IT Management and Cybersecurity are always changing, there is much sage advice that applies today. Make these four points a top priority, strategically, and put our team to work to help you avoid negative news headlines:
Here are a few things that your company can (ought to) do to minimize risk, lower your vulnerability, and maximize your protection.
1. Designate your company’s Cybersecurity Officer. Support the person in that role with proper management, leadership, training, and the proper budget to implement the company plan.
2. Decide who has access to what kinds of information within your company and use network technology to control and monitor to ensure best protection.
3. The company HR policy manual ought to address the ‘risky on-line behaviors’ to be avoided. Ongoing, all employees must be educated about data protection, and the importance of developing a security-aware mindset.
4. Ensure that your IT systems and policies meet or exceed all external requirements for your business and industry, including PCI Compliance, for example.
5. Utilize cloud storage to support your cybersecurity and data protection requirements. This is especially important if your IT department is not properly staffed with information security experts. Encrypt all data where appropriate.
6. Enable controls over all mobile electronic devices used by your company. Be sure that capabilities such as remote wipe are activated, so that control is maintained.
7. Back up your data – and test your back up and restore policies, procedures and technology. You do not want to wait for disaster to strike only to discover your current solution is inadequate.
8. Proper security software is deployed on all mobile devices accessing the company’s network and business systems. Bring your own devices (BYOD) are properly managed and secured, as are all social media policies an access.
It’s a good time - right now - to make sure you gain powerful protection against cyber-threats
According to Microsoft, Cyberattacks will likely cost $6 trillion worldwide by 2021. Of course, they admit (and we concur) that the Office 365 collection of threat-protection solutions helps protect against a wide range of threats.
Vigilance is required. Take the next step.
Cybersecurity is a constant priority, requiring smart oversight and monitoring. Yes, we can help you stay out of the headlines, but you must call us before those horses get out of the barn.
In their research, Microsoft has found that 74 percent of small and medium-sized businesses don’t believe they’ll ever be the victim of a cyberattack. However, the reality is much harsher. As many as 41 percent of similarly sized businesses have already been attacked. So, what steps can you take to protect your business?
We want to send you Microsoft's State of Security report to get answers to your most pressing security questions, along with:
Simply request the report via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll get it right over to you!
Let us help you be ever-vigilant about security - and keep you out of the news as well!
Need immediate help with your cybersecurity? Call us at 508.528.7720
Heads up to all of our current and future clients – Public Networks are not Safe!
There’s lots of talk today about the security of public Wi-Fi and steps you can take to protect your device (and data) security when connected to the Internet via public Wi-Fi. For good reason, too, I might add! Once you leave the security of your home or business Wi-Fi, and connect using a public access point, you put your passwords and data at much greater risk. Public networks are unencrypted and make you vulnerable to attack, or what’s called a “man in the middle” or MitM attack. Here a third party can watch all of your data flowing on the network. (Not good!)
Wi-Fi access is virtually everywhere but please know that it is far less secure that any private network. A word of caution. You will know very little about the public Wi-Fi you’re connecting to, or who else may be connected to the same network, possibly for nefarious reasons. We advise all of our customers to try to minimize their risk by connecting only to networks offered by familiar, trustworthy sources. A Panera Bread Wi-Fi is likely going to be more trustworthy than a connection to Bobby-Jo’s Pizza Emporium. The easiest and more obvious strategy is to make sure you are using the latest versions of software available, and you have installed all patches and updates and, when you do sign in to use a public Wi-Fi connection, limit the information you provide.
Here are a few additional tips to help you minimize your risk, which we review with all clients:
We want you to get the safest access public W-Fi so you can fully enjoy your personal device. Of course, we’re here to help you with this issue… and with whatever else may be on your organization’s whiteboard of IT priorities. Call us at 508.528.7720 with questions.
Too many users rely on the default setting of their router, leaving the door open to security risks and cyber-crime!
Watch this quick video and follow the steps listed below.
Follow These Easy Steps To Improve Router Security
Step 1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard to bring up the Start menu.
Step 2. Type "CMD" into the search bar.
Step 3. Type in "ipconfig" then find Default Gateway
Step 4. Enter the default gateway numbers into your browser to access your router.
Step 5. Use the passwords suggested in the video above, and then create new username/password settings.
Call CTS Services, Inc. at 508.528.7720 if you need help!
Important Safety Announcement
HP Notebook Computer and Mobile Workstation Battery Safety Recall and Replacement Program
Dear Valued HP Customer,
In cooperation with various government regulatory agencies HP has announced a worldwide voluntary safety recall and replacement program for certain notebook and mobile workstation batteries.The potentially affected batteries were shipped with certain HP notebooks and mobile workstations sold worldwide from December 2015 through December 2017. These batteries were also sold as accessories or provided as replacements through HP or an authorized HP Service Provider.
HP’s primary concern is for the safety of our customers. The batteries have the potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to customers. For this reason, it is extremely important for customers to check whether their batteries are affected.
HP has developed a BIOS update for customers whose battery is affected by the recall program that will put the battery into “Battery Safety Mode”. Customers should discontinue use of batteries affected by this program immediately by placing them in Battery Safety Mode. Once the battery is put into Safety Mode, customers may continue to safely use their notebook or mobile workstation by connecting to an HP power adaptor.
HP will provide onsite battery replacement services by an authorized technician for each battery affected by this recall program at no cost.
Not all batteries in all products listed below are affected. If the validation process indicates that a battery is not affected, it may continue to be used, and a replacement is not necessary.
How to determine if your Batteries may be affected
The following table provides a list of HP products affected by this recall.
HP Probook 640 G2
HP ProBook 645 G2
HP ProBook 650 G2
HP ProBook 655 G2
HP ProBook 640 G3
HP ProBook 645 G3
HP ProBook 650 G3
HP ProBook 655 G3
HP ZBook 17 G3
HP ZBook Studio G3
HP ZBook 17 G4
HP x360 310 G2
HP Pavilion x360
HP ENVY m6
HP 11 Notebook PC
Serial Numbers of notebooks and mobile workstations that were sold with potentially affected batteries
The serial numbers of products shipped with batteries affected by this recall fall within this numerical range: xxx550xxxx – xxx750xxxx
Additionally, these batteries may have been sold as accessories or replacement batteries for the HP ZBook Studio G4 Mobile Workstation or for any of the products listed above.
Validating potentially affected batteries
HP’s primary concern is for the safety of our customers. HP encourages you to check the batteries of any of the potentially affected notebook computers and mobile workstations listed above, plus any batteries purchased as accessories or spares, or provided as replacements through HP or an authorized Service Provider.
HP has put in place a process to facilitate battery validation and replacement ordering for customers with 5 or more potentially affected batteries to validate.
HP has developed a bulk battery validation utility which can be deployed by each individual customer, on the customer’s installed base, to identify notebook and mobile workstation serial numbers and battery component numbers. The regional Bulk Process teams will then verify the data and process the bulk order for battery replacements as applicable. All batteries affected by this recall will be replaced at no cost to you.
Please note that the Bulk Process will be managed in English only.
For more details on the BIOS update to put the battery in Battery Safety Mode, guidance through the bulk battery validation and replacement ordering process, and to obtain the battery validation utility, please contact the relevant regional Bulk Process team at one of the following email addresses:
• For Europe, Middle East and Africa: EMEABulkBatteryRecall@hp.com
• For Asia Pacific: APJBulkBatteryRecall@hp.com
• For North America: NABulkBatteryRecall@hp.com
• For Latin America: LABulkBatteryRecall@hp.com
The validation process may indicate a battery is not affected. Less than 3% of the potentially affected products sold during this time period include batteries that are affected by this safety recall.
If you have questions on the HP Notebook and HP Mobile Workstation Battery Safety Recall and Replacement program please go to Contact Us on the program website at www.hp.com/go/batteryprogram2018
Strengthens Leadership in the Printer Repair Business Across New England
For Immediate Release
January 3, 2018
Contact: Michelle Carlow, 508.528.7720
Bellingham, MA – As 2017 came to a close, CTS Services, Inc. opened a new market with the acquisition of competing printer service company Laserserv Imaging of Chelsea, MA and Alton, NH. At a time when many IT service companies are struggling to deliver good service while trying to grow the business, CTS Services, Inc. is leveraging its reputation in the market place and its relationship with printer manufacturers.
“We’re committed to welcoming the LaserServ Imaging customers to CTS and in offering each of them the same exceptional service that all of our customers enjoy,” said Michelle Carlow, President of CTS. “Based on talking to a few of their accounts so far, I am confident that they will like the level of service we are able to provide for them.” Carlow continued “Our goal is make the transition as transparent as possible for the LaserServ accounts as well as to expand the portfolio of services we deliver to them, including large format and specialty printer sales and service, computer and notebook repair service, networking, and all display media.
In acquiring LaserServ Imaging, CTS will be able to leverage its partnership-level status with all major printer vendors including Epson, HP, Xerox and many more. The move gives the company a stronger foothold in southern New England. “This is an exciting time for our company,” said Ms. Carlow, “ and our employees are happy to experience our growth strategy as it develops.” The company is optimistic about the economy and the prospects for growth in 2018. “We’re already seeing an upswing in IT investments for the year ahead.”
# # # #
CTS Services, Inc., in business since 1986, is a leading, full service IT Support company providing remote, on-site, and depot services to small and medium sized businesses in all industries in Massachusetts, and throughout New England. For more information please visit www.ctsservices.com or call 508.528.7720
Our blog posts are written by several members of our team. Please contact us if a particular post or topic is of further interest. We're here to help keep your business up and running.