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3 Red Flags to Look Out For with Your IT Staff

b2ap3_thumbnail_red_flag_400.jpgOne of the most important factors that you should consider when looking for IT staff is how much you can trust them. After all, they’re dealing with your technology. You’re trusting them with incredible responsibility. Therefore, you need to be sure they are honest, hard-working individuals. How can you ensure that you aren’t getting blindsided by your IT staff?

Roger Grimes of InfoWorld discusses several warning signs that he’s encountered in the past that might hint toward sketchy behavior from your technology department. Here are three of these warning signs you should look out for.

Have They Failed a Background Check?
Normally, a failed background check could mean that the potential hire isn’t a reliable choice. However, Grimes suggests to look beyond that at why the individual fails a background check. People make mistakes, and some can haunt us for the rest of our lives, even if they were decades ago. The overarching problem is if the person has lied about their background and their check comes up negative. It’s important for prospective team members to be honest and forthcoming about their past, in order to foster a relationship built on trust. In fact, Grimes claims that his employees who have less-than-stellar backgrounds were exceptionally useful when identifying real criminals.

They Are Privy to Sensitive Information
This should immediately be a warning sign. If your team knows information that they shouldn’t have access to, it may be a clue that they’re up to something. For example, an employee who is aware of changes that are being implemented before they are even announced to the staff is probably poking his nose around where it doesn’t belong. This might bring up the question of whether or not they’re stealing confidential data, like client credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, and using it to make fraudulent purchases or otherwise.

They Leave the Company in a Fit of Rage
This is one of the most dangerous scenarios your business can experience. We all have that one employee who does a lot, and is well-respected for his hard work around the office. However, what happens when that employee finally snaps from overworking himself? Will he get all fired up over it and leave in a frenzy, or will he respectfully put in his two weeks notice and leave without incident? If he chooses the former, and he was privy to sensitive information like client usernames and passwords, he could cause a lot of trouble for your business in the blink of an eye. Therefore, it’s important that you or your remaining IT staff take the responsibility of changing all passwords associated with the company or its clients.

Outsourced IT from Total Networks
While utilizing your in-house IT staff certainly has its advantages, an outsourced IT agency like Total Networks doesn’t come with any strings attached. Our trusted IT professionals have proven time and again that they can be trusted to handle technology in the most efficient way possible.

To prevent unauthorized users from accessing information they shouldn’t, we can set up user permissions that restrict network access to select individuals. We can also react to employee turnover by minimizing the risk associated with their leaving the company. We can even integrate security cameras and remote monitoring protocol to ensure that your team isn’t pulling the wool over your eyes. Just give us a call at (602)412-5025 to learn more.

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The US Military Plans to Bring Biometric Passwords to the Public

b2ap3_thumbnail_biometric_security_systems_400.jpgHumans are always trying to improve security protocols that can protect against increasingly advanced online threats. Unfortunately, the threats only grow stronger in response, and the war against malicious online activity rages on. Biometrics are security measures that are growing in popularity, but are expensive and difficult to integrate. Now, the US military is funding a campaign to make it more readily available to end users.

Sky News reports that the deal struck by the US military is worth multiple millions of dollars, and is currently being carried out by the researchers at West Point. Other conceptual biometric technologies, like fingerprints or corneal-scanning have already been developed, but these types of biometrics are much different from the previously proposed ideas. Instead of concentrating on the physical characteristics of the users, this new method would examine the behavioral aspects of how a user uses their technology.

For instance, everyone moves their mouse differently, and uses a swiping pattern to unlock their smartphone. These are called cognitive fingerprints:

Just as when you touch something with your finger you leave behind a fingerprint, when you interact with technology you do so in a pattern based on how your mind processes information, leaving behind a “cognitive fingerprint.”

As Mashable puts it, “You pass authentication just by being you.”

One example highlighted was stylometrics, which analyzes the style and structure of a user’s writing. This can determine authorship in a similar manner to the way academic institutions identify plagiarism. The project to integrate certain biometrics such as these is already in its fourth phase, and is expected to soon be available to the general public for online shopping, banking, and more.

Is this something that should be developed? Some people aren’t so sure. Advocates of privacy feel that this new method may be used as a new tool for cyber espionage, or for in-depth monitoring of personal habits. This is mainly due to the controversy over the NSA’s controversial practices, but only time can tell whether these concerns are justified or not.

We might not know how effective these biometrics will be, but we know one sure-fire way to protect the integrity of your business’s network: Total Networks’s Unified Threat Management solution. With this device, your business will have a firewall, antivirus, content filtering, and spam blocking solution to keep your network as secure as possible. Malicious entities have an arsenal of different tools they can use to bring down your business, but with this comprehensive enterprise-level solution protecting your network, you’ll have nothing to fear. Give us a call at (602)412-5025 to learn more.

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Posted in: Security

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The US Military Plans to Bring Biometric Passwords to the Public

b2ap3_thumbnail_biometric_security_systems_400.jpgHumans are always trying to improve security protocols that can protect against increasingly advanced online threats. Unfortunately, the threats only grow stronger in response, and the war against malicious online activity rages on. Biometrics are security measures that are growing in popularity, but are expensive and difficult to integrate. Now, the US military is funding a campaign to make it more readily available to end users.

Sky News reports that the deal struck by the US military is worth multiple millions of dollars, and is currently being carried out by the researchers at West Point. Other conceptual biometric technologies, like fingerprints or corneal-scanning have already been developed, but these types of biometrics are much different from the previously proposed ideas. Instead of concentrating on the physical characteristics of the users, this new method would examine the behavioral aspects of how a user uses their technology.

For instance, everyone moves their mouse differently, and uses a swiping pattern to unlock their smartphone. These are called cognitive fingerprints:

Just as when you touch something with your finger you leave behind a fingerprint, when you interact with technology you do so in a pattern based on how your mind processes information, leaving behind a “cognitive fingerprint.”

As Mashable puts it, “You pass authentication just by being you.”

One example highlighted was stylometrics, which analyzes the style and structure of a user’s writing. This can determine authorship in a similar manner to the way academic institutions identify plagiarism. The project to integrate certain biometrics such as these is already in its fourth phase, and is expected to soon be available to the general public for online shopping, banking, and more.

Is this something that should be developed? Some people aren’t so sure. Advocates of privacy feel that this new method may be used as a new tool for cyber espionage, or for in-depth monitoring of personal habits. This is mainly due to the controversy over the NSA’s controversial practices, but only time can tell whether these concerns are justified or not.

We might not know how effective these biometrics will be, but we know one sure-fire way to protect the integrity of your business’s network: Total Networks’s Unified Threat Management solution. With this device, your business will have a firewall, antivirus, content filtering, and spam blocking solution to keep your network as secure as possible. Malicious entities have an arsenal of different tools they can use to bring down your business, but with this comprehensive enterprise-level solution protecting your network, you’ll have nothing to fear. Give us a call at (602)412-5025 to learn more.

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How to Safely Use Wi-Fi

The number of devices wirelessly connecting to the Internet is growing exponentially. Your garage door and dishwasher – examples of the Internet of Things – are now accessible from your smartphone and they will notify the repairman when they break.  Employees are bringing their phones, tablets and laptops to work (BYOD) and connecting them to […]

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Posted in: Ask the IT Expert, Security

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