Security-Tips-Banks-Timbuktech

5 Security Tips EVERY Financial Institution Should Follow

If you know anything about banks or finances at all, you know that the two biggest things they manage are money and personal information. This means they then need the most up to date security measures to ensure that everyone’s money and information is in safe hands. Here are five of the biggest security tips to make sure everything is kept safe and sound.

Passwords

Easy enough, you need passwords in place to make sure the wrong people don’t get a peek at what you have stored away in your files. Make sure the password is strong and unique to make it more difficult to guess or figure out, and make sure that it is reset at least every month to increase your protection. Passwords should be mandatory to all employees and specialized passwords should be in place for those that have access to people’s information.

Encryption

Files should be heavily encrypted so that only those with the decryption key can see what they contain. This way, even if files are stolen or leaked, outsiders are unable to see their contents and they can be safely dealt with or retrieved before more harm can be done. Operating without encryption on your files is like buying a house with no roof. It still works to keep everything in one place, but if a storm comes along, you’ll lose a lot in the process.

Updates

Keep your software up to date at all times. Make sure the updates roll through when nobody is at work so it doesn’t interrupt their schedules, but if it has to be done during the day, give them a heads up so they can prepare their schedules accordingly. Updates are vital to keeping data safe and secure since older versions of your software could have exploitable bugs in the systems that potential thieves could take advantage of.

Education

Make sure all employees, yourself included, have been given the proper education on data protection and computer safety. Accidents happen even with as much preparation as possible, but if you educate them on how to avoid these accidents, the chances of them happening drastically reduce. This way everyone is held accountable and when a mistake happens, you know that they have had the proper training to know right from wrong.

Open Channels

Employees need room to breath and work freely. It may seem in your best interest to vet every site they go to to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks but it is actually hindering them in the long run. They may resort to other means to get the information they require which could backfire on you and them. Have some trust in your employees, give them the tools to succeed and trust that they know what is right and wrong in the workplace and if they are questioning the site they are using, to run it by you to see if it is fine or not.


Technology-Planning-Infrastructure-Timbuktech

5 Tips for Technology Planning for Infrastructure

Planning IT for infrastructure is difficult since there is so much that goes into it. Besides building and maintaining a portion of everyday life for many people, that maintenance is both physical and digital in nature. You have to be ready for anything that comes your way no matter what it might be, and have the foresight to prepare for any and all conflicts that may arise. In an age where predation is as simple as a few well managed keystrokes, there are always threats to your systems. Here are a few ways you can prepare for the worst in the best ways possible.

Protection Walls

While this may sound obvious, there needs to be layers to your security as you create it. Some information is more important than others, meaning it needs to go behind walls of safety to ensure it is protected from outside interference. Make sure there are grades of security that information is processed and stored through, like a sort of information mesh. Important information and data sifts to the bottom in the most secure areas while the lighter info is stored higher up. This layering deters hackers and would be thieves from taking the most important bits should worse come to worst.

Passwords

There should always be some form of passwords in place that are a requirement to access systems or data. This is a no-brainer but also needs to be regulated as well. The passwords should be unique to each system and should be changed every few months or even weeks depending on the data inside. Multiple failed attempts should cause a lockout so that you must request a new password or contact an admin to fix the issue.

Encryption

This applies to the first two points, but data should always be encrypted. This means that it is stored behind a difficult system that needs a specific function or key to understand. Otherwise, the information will look like a jumble of useless characters or be completely inaccessible. Always make sure that your information is encrypted so that if it is stolen, you have time to recover or they are simply unable to use it.

Proper Training

Systems can be difficult to learn, so training is usually close to follow. However, you should always make sure those left in charge know all the ins and outs of the position. They should know all the security measures and have access to specific portions of it, but not all of it at once. It’s important to trust your employees, but not the the extent that it could cause harm in the future.

Regulations

There are already rigid regulations in place to make sure that nothing goes wrong with your data in the long run. Make sure you are always up to date with the most recent regulations and security practices in the business so that you never run into disaster. Keep you and your infrastructure as safe as possible by following every guideline and you’ll never have to worry about a thing.


TimbukTech Can Provide IT Strategy for Local Governments

Running a government is a difficult task, one that few people have the qualifications to do. There are always people that claim the government is always at fault, always something going on that impacts the community, and always people questioning the motives of the government. Even if it is local, the government is an important means of everyday life, and as such needs to keep up to date. Your website, for example, always needs to stay up and running to answer people’s questions. It isn’t easy, but it certainly doesn’t have to be difficult.

That’s where TimbukTech comes in. Local government manages a lot of different things for the local area, managing infrastructure, new businesses, events, etc. Having a website is an easy way to make sure people know what’s going on, when, and where. However, your site and network can run into many problems. It needs to be accessible to anyone and everyone, with prompt responses to issues with the information on display or with the site itself. If things aren’t going smoothly, they need to be fixed quickly.

A local government can’t spend too much time worrying about technology with everything else that needs to be taken care of. To ensure your credibility is never in question and citizens maintain a high level of trust, you need to be up to date and always ready for the worst. TimbukTech can make things much easier. They can help set up your network and keep your site up.

If disaster strikes and the site or network goes down for any number of reasons, there is always a backup plan so people always know what’s going on.Imagine a tornado hitting the local area. It would devastate businesses, infrastructure, homes, anything and everything in its path. There needs to be a plan to deal with the aftermath, and the government needs to spring into action. However, if the government technology is down, it can’t coordinate nearly as easily.

The government needs a network that can be relied upon, as many citizens rely upon it. Imagine that the server hosting the local government site fails due to the tornado. Now nobody knows what the local government is doing about it other than from radio reports or the like.

You need a reliable backup plan if something goes terribly wrong. TimbukTech has an answer for that as well. With their IT strategy, they are able to help you keep your technology humming and your network secure. Also, they are able to back up any and all information using their RapidRecovery system to ensure that no data is lost. You should always be prepared, and with Timbuktech, you can be.


IT Incident Response Times Matter For Business Continuity

Imagine yourself as a paying customer, walking into a restaurant for a meal. They sit you down, you order the meal and are informed that it will take a day or more to process the meal order. You, quite frustrated at this negligence, leave. Two days later at work, you receive a call from the restaurant to talk about the meal you ordered and the specifications of it. If this scenario sounds frustrating, then you can imagine what it feels like when IT takes a long time to get back to you. For a business based in technology to stay active, it needs an active IT response time. We’ll run through some points to help drive this home and see if you don’t agree.

When you pay for a service, you imagine it to be fast, reliable, and affordable. If problems appear, you look to incident response workers to handle the issue. In a technology infused business, IT handles all the ins and outs of the electronic side of things, so when they fail to respond quickly, you get frustrated. However, frustration could be the least of your worries. Their hold up could mean a loss in revenue as clients take their business elsewhere as IT slogs through the details. You just lost quite a sum of income because a server crashed and IT dragged their heels. IT needs to be on top of problems as soon as they strike and assure you and the customer that everything will be finished soon. It’s critical, for business continuity, that no incident brings the enterprise to a grinding halt.

The most important thing is clarity. Just saying soon isn’t enough, especially when it is said multiple times in succession. The problem needs to be addressed, explained, and the steps they will or are currently taking need to be highlighted as well. This way, you and the clients are able to better understand the issue at hand. People are more likely to wait when given the details because they understand the stress and work involved. This isn’t always the case, mind you, but it could save your business flak in the future.

Finally, you need to support IT as much as you can. This may sound obvious, but many businesses take IT for granted. They can’t work miracles with next to nothing. They need time to figure out and fix the problem, resources to do so, and manpower to make things go faster. If any of these is lacking, the job becomes much more of a chore. Time is tough since in business, time is money. But expecting a server to be rebooted during a power outage within two hours is a bit much to ask for. Whether it be attempted hacking, server crashes, power outages, or anything similar, IT needs to act fast to help the business look responsible and reliable. They also need as much help and support as you the business can offer them so that everyone’s work goes smoothly.


5 Tools For Business Data Backup

Your business is important, and so is the information it creates and retains. No matter the size of your business, there is always a great amount of data just sitting around. You need a way to store it safely so that you can have it ready for any situation and have it on backup just in case it becomes compromised. There are a variety of ways to safely store your data, but we’ll be going through the most common and effective ways.

Flash Memory Thumb Drives

These drives have always been a popular choice on the personal circuit since they are lightweight, can store a decent amount of data on a small frame, and are very safe and portable. They don’t have any moving parts you need to worry about and they consume very little power. The best USB’s have an encryption to them so that even if you lose it or it gets stolen, nothing on it is compromised. Your most important files are always on hand to limit the hassle of pulling up programs to view them and so on. This means of storage is the cheap, on the go solution for when you need to take data from one point to another, or you have a few valuable files you need to keep on your person.

External Hard Drives

A simple and inexpensive storage method, this is a portable method that can store quite a bit more than a USB. However, any files saved on it from a PC but not elsewhere need to be backed up just in case. With that said, always make sure you have a backup for when things go south. You can never be too careful.

Online Storage

There are services out there that provide remote storage and backup for files saved on them. This allows you to share data within your business faster, pull up information for clients and share with them quicker, and provides a means to back up your data without running the risk of an outside source stealing it directly from you. The only downside is that backing up files through this method is only as fast as your network speed. If you are trying to retrieve a particularly large file and it’s taking a long time, you may want to look into higher network speeds.

Network-attached Storage

NAS provides fast, reliable, and simple data access into an IP networking environment. It is essentially multiple hard drives connected to a single network-connected device. Files written into the first drive are copied onto the other drives automatically, ensuring that if one of the drives dies, you have numerous backups in place. This solution lets you offload files serving from other servers on your network, increasing performance. It is cost efficient and allows for easy scaling to meet storage requirements.

Disaster Recovery Plan

This is a plan to ensure that you have everything important backed up. This service can be created yourself or outsourced, but either way it ensures that in case of an emergency, everything is where it should be and safe from components outside your control, such as a fire, cyber-terrorism, etc.


Outsource Your Business Continuity Management

Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are important for your business to thrive in the market. You need to be ready for anything so that you don’t lose too many assets when disaster strikes. Setting these things up yourself is a solid option, but as the saying goes, two eyes are better than one. Outsourcing for your business continuity or disaster recovery plans is an alternative that can save you more than just time.

Creating these plans costs money, but you already knew that. Outsourcing saves you money by letting the other business worry about the figures and ensure there is a cheap solution for your company to utilize when things get tough. They can be your backup for when things in the IT department become compromised. If files are stolen or taken hostage, you have a backup just in case. Having an outsource for these plans also gets another pair of eyes looking at your business and potential faults it may have inside. You can be as studious as you want, but at the end of the day, you’re only human. There are points you might have missed just looking from your perspective. Getting a group outside your business to look for flaws and how to best handle them saves you time and money, while also getting a good second opinion on everything. There could be minor points you overlooked and this outsourcing company found for you. That’s potential profits saved, all because you decided that another pair of eyes would be best.

You also save time and resources by outsourcing for these plans, not just money. To create these plans, you need hours taken out of every day to ensure that everything is perfect for when disaster strikes. You have to account for anything that could potentially hinder your organization and its profits. This takes time to perfect, time that could be spent working on other projects that could be actually making profit. On top of that, you have to pull other people away from their jobs so you can get second opinions on every plan you wish to implement. That can set back your business a few days or slow down services. If you outsource for these plans instead, it frees you and all the employees you would have brought in to help to continue doing what you do best, while relying on another credited organization to set up the perfect plan for your business.

It takes a little faith and trust to make sure everything is just right in the end. It can be tough to entrust someone with valuable information about your company or leave emergency procedures up to them, but in the end its best for your company and theirs. You both benefit, while they gain experience and money for their work, you are able to keep doing your work and do so in relative peace that a competent company is helping you create a safer work environment for yourself and your employees.


4 Reasons You Should Always Opt for Encryption

Encryption keeps your information safe, both personally and for your business.You may take encryption for granted, but is important to keeping your sensitive data private. Without encryption, you have no protection against anyone that might wish to use your data or information against you. Here are a few reasons to encrypt your data.

1. Move to the Cloud

The stigma of the cloud is that many people fear your data can accessed by anyone at any time.

This is not true.

The cloud stores your data in a space that nobody but you can touch. Encryption makes it possible for data to be safe by jumbling the data into something that nobody without the correct key can decipher. Then, when it is retrieved, the information is encoded so that you and only you can see what is stored within.

Encryption means that you can remotely store data in the cloud without concern.

2. Separate Data

Keeping certain types of data with key services can cause problems.

In the short term, you lose data.

In the long term, you lose trust.

Separating your personal and professional data among multiple services ensures that your data remains secure.

3. Regulations

Regulations maintain that you must use certain preventative measures to ensure the safety of user data through certain types of data storage and encryption.

If data from your company or customers was ever leaked, encryption would make it so anyone looking to exploit that data would have to use special programs to even attempt to decipher what they are seeing or try to find the right decryption key.

Ensure your company is following regulatory measures by determining what data should be encrypted.

4. Competitive Advantage

Using encryption gives you an edge over similar competitors. While they may be using safe data storage methods, you guarantee data safety through encryption and have the statistics to back up the statement. Encryption may help you increase revenue by storing more sensitive data and by meeting privacy standards.

When it comes to encryption, we recommend to opt for it when you are given the opportunity. Secure data is necessary.


10 Tips for Choosing Stronger Passwords

Passwords are essential in the modern world. They are used on nearly every site in order to protect the users from having their information stolen or their accounts misused. However, most people use the easiest thing they can think of. They typically go with the password that is easy to remember and easy to duplicate.This strategy also opens you up to potential danger. If someone figures out your password through some malicious means, they now have a way to get into your account on many different sites.To keep you extra safe, here are 10 tips on how to choose a stronger password that still sticks with you.

1. Consecutive Combinations

If you can roll your fingers over the keyboard in a straight line to enter your password, it is too simple and easy to crack. A combination like “jkl;fdsa” or “qwerty” is not a secure password.

2. Slang

Try and avoid slang terms, words spelled backwards, and even proper words. Simple password cracking tools can decode a password like that in no time at all.

3. Security Questions

Don’t make your password the same as the answer to one of your security questions. Anyone trying to get into your account has to inevitably take a peek at your security questions. If they manage to figure those out, they can figure out your password the same way.

4. Simplicity

The simpler the password, the easier it is to crack. The password “12345” is one of the most popular passwords in use. If your password takes you less than a second to remember what the password is or doesn’t require you to write it down, it may be too easy.

5. Reuse

You shouldn’t reuse the same password across multiple accounts. While it’s easier for you to remember, someone who gets a hold of one password may now be able to access more than one of your platforms.

6. Quotes

A strong password is one that you can easily remember but hard to guess. One such password is a quote formatted into unique characters.

Something like “2Bornot2B” is going to be much harder to guess than “walker45.”

While both of these can be considered good passwords, the second one is more simple and straightforward, allowing hackers to access it more easily.

7. Personal Meaning

Another method is to make the password mean something to you. Make sure that it includes special characters.

Think about including your pet’s name, a birthday, or something else that has meaning to you. Consider swapping out letters for numbers, or adding symbols where appropriate.

8. Symbols

Use special characters or symbols in your passwords to bolster security. “Always#1!” is better than “always1” since it uses special characters, making it much tougher to crack.

9. Capital Letters

Some people go with the first thing that comes to mind without capitalizing a letter in the password. It can even be the first letter (although, it’s best if it is at a random point in the password), so long as something is capitalized, you reduce the risk of your password being revealed.

10. Password Manager

Finally, consider investing in a password manager. These typically cost money, but they allow you to store the potentially hundreds of passwords to accounts you have across the Internet. You can use a password manager as an individual, or you could invest in a business plan for your company’s passwords.

As our concern for privacy swells, so too does the need for strong passwords. Think about using these tips when you create your next account.


Prevent Phishing: 6 Signs You've Received a Bogus Email

One of the most common workplace accidents comes in the form of phishing. Phishing is when you receive an email from a company that asks for personal information in an attempt to steal it from you. You must be careful with giving out any sort of information, from usernames and passwords to alternate emails or even credit information. As these can sometimes be tough to spot, here are a few of the signs that your received a phishing email.

1. Misleading or Mismatched URL

The first tip that an email is a phishing attempt can be in the URL. You should always hover your mouse over the top of the URL to see the hyperlink address since most phishing emails will disguise an offending URL behind text. The hyperlinked address will likely be different from the displayed address if it is a phishing attempt.

Also, if the domain name itself has a misleading beginning or ending, then it is most likely a phishing site or email.

2. Poor Spelling/Grammar

Another way to decipher whether an email or website is a phishing scam is to look at the spelling. Look for little details such as misspelled words, misused words, poor grammar, or talks of legality.

If it doesn’t look professional, it probably isn’t.

3. Personal Information

If the email is asking for personal information, that should immediately throw up red flags.

Websites typically ask for information in more secure ways than through email. They wouldn’t risk your data on the internet by asking for it over email, so you should never disclose it to anyone over email or instant messenger.

4. Too Good to Be True

If an email or website offer seems like a great benefit with no catch, be wary. Companies aren’t looking to help you make a profit off of their effort with no gain on their end.

If their email says that signing on with them can land you a certain amount of money, or if you just won the lottery without actually entering it, then it is most likely a scam.

5. Initiated Contact

Phishing schemes usually reach out to you.

They are trying to catch you off-guard in an effort to get you to disclose sensitive information.

You should always beware of emails from recognizable companies that you have never been in contact with before. There is a good chance that email is a phishing attempt.

6. Threats

A sign that an email is a phishing scheme would be its use of threats against you, in the form of money or legal action. Big companies generally don’t make monetary or legal threats in an simple email.

If someone in your business gets a threat like this, don’t trust it.

Phishing scams are designed to dupe you. With these tips, you’re more informed about how to protect yourself, your information, and your business.


What is Typo Squatting?

Typo squatting is a term that you may have never heard of, and rightly so, as it sounds like something you would hear to describe an English seminar or some strange way to wait for a new computer release. The meaning behind it is actually much more sinister than it seems at first glance. The internet is a vast resource that many people will go out of their way to exploit in some way, and sadly, this is one of those ways. Businesses new and old need to make sure that their brand is protected and trademarked before they try to create a URL for their website, as typo squatting could happen to anyone, regardless of their success or station. Typo squatting occurs when you type in the URL for a site, but accidentally misspelled the URL, taking you to the wrong site, and potentially putting you at risk.

“That doesn’t seem very fair,” you might think. “It was just a quick slip-up with one letter, how bad could it be?”

People buy the domains for sites that are spelled similarly to more popular sites hoping you accidentally go there instead. This ensures that they receive revenue from your mistake, while also potentially introducing your computer to malware.

Most typo squatters won’t actively attempt to put malware on their sites as these misspelled domains are a decent source of revenue for them. They want to avoid blacklisting their sites.

That being said, some typo squatters have set up multiple domains with malicious intent. Even if the sites are taken down, your computer may already have been damaged.

Preventing typo squatting is easy: just double-check what you are typing in.

You are the best gatekeeper for your computer and only you can manage what sites you are going on, accidentally or otherwise.

Keep your wits about you and your fingers steady when surfing the web, and always be careful of what you type.