0 comments on “Who Goes There?”

Who Goes There?

Physical Security

Cybersecurity has always been important.  Now, it seems, it’s becoming the new buzzword.  Everyone is concerned about it.  And they should be.  Although cypersecurity brings up thoughts of computers, networks, and data, there is another practical aspect that you might not think about.  And it starts with a simple lock.

Physical security as part of your complete data protection plan is easily overlooked.  But think of it this way… if a person can touch your equipment then that person can change your equipment!  He can cut cables, power down, damage, or even steal equipment, whatever he wants to do.  Physical security is the first step in your overall cybersecurity plan.

Perimeter Security

So, how do we keep those scoundrels out?  The first step is to consider locking the entrance to your building.  Yeah, I know many times that isn’t practical.  But if you can practically and legally lock your outside doors, then that’s the first best step in preventing unauthorized access to your equipment.

Motion-activated perimeter lighting will let a potential intruder know that he/she has been spotted.  The light, in itself, certainly won’t stop anyone bent on accessing your building, but it will illuminate the area.  And the last thing an intruder wants is to be bathed in a sea of bright white light!

ICU

Perimeter lighting is a good deterrence.  Couple that with a video surveillance system and you have a perimeter defense system that lights up your would be intruder while it makes a lovely HD video of his face that local law enforcement will want to look at.

Now, I know the first inclination is to run out to some big box store and get the latest, greatest, all-in-one, 16-camera video system for $500.  Trust me… it’s not going to work.  Oh, it will take video and maybe pictures, but you get what you pay for… in both equipment AND installation.  Installing a video surveillance system is like sword swallowing… it’s a job best left to the professionals!  A video surveillance system isn’t necessarily an inexpensive investment, but having the ability to let the intruders know you see them AND capture evidence for law enforcement justifies the cost of installation.

Inside Man

Like I mentioned earlier, many times it’s just not feasible to lock your outside doors.  But inside, well that’s a different story!  Inside your facility there really isn’t any excuse to not have an equipment room for… well… your equipment.  Routers, phone systems, firewalls, switches, servers, and DVRs all love living in equipment rooms.

Being that your equipment room door will be closed, it’s going to get hot in there real quick with all that equipment running.  Check with your favorite HVAC guy to determine the proper cooling unit size you would need for the room.  It’s good to have it independent of the building heating/cooling.  That 80 degree heating feels good in your office during the winter, but it will make your equipment room temperature soar.

Your equipment room should be centrally located inside the building, if possible.  And it goes without saying that it should be locked, so I’m going to say it… you’re equipment room should be locked.  Key locks are good, but cypher locks are better.  Cypher locks require the entrant to input a combination of numbers or letters to open the door.  You have passwords for you computer.  Think of this as a password for your equipment room!

You see?  Providing physical security for your equipment isn’t that hard, but it’s not necessarily inexpensive.  It all comes down to doing everything possible to protect your data and equipment.  And beefing up the ability to access to your data and equipment is the first line of defense in securing your network.

0 comments on “Ransomware is all the craze!”

Ransomware is all the craze!

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that’s designed to encrypt your data and then hold it for ransom until you pay the hackers to get the decryption key.  There are several reasons to be concerned.

1. You’re data is encrypted and you’re not getting it back unless you pay the ransom or you reload your data from a recent backup. (big concern there!)  Depending on the type of backups you do and the number of infections you have in your organization, it could conceivably take anywhere from a few hours to upwards to a month to get fully restored.

2. If you pay the ransom (which can range from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars), there is no guarantee you’re going to get the decryption key.  Think about it.  Paying the ransom is basically saying that you trust the people that hacked your computers in the first place.  That’s just crazy, yeah?

What can you do to make your computers and local network more secure against hackers and malicious software?

While ransomware is not new, a new wave is sweeping over computer networks around the globe.  The most recent breakout infected over 300,000 systems in 150 countries across all industries.  However, there is a way you can dramatically reduce your chances of getting a ransomware infection.

It starts with updates.  Keeping your operating system (OS) updated is the first line of defense against any kind of malicious software attack.  It goes without saying (so I’ll say it), at this point you should not be using Windows XP or earlier OS.  They are not being supported anymore.

So using the latest OS and keeping that OS fully updated is the first, and easiest, way to minimize your risk of infection.  Apple and Linux get viruses, too.  So even if you’re not using Windows, keep your system updated.  That will go along way in protecting you.

Along with keeping your system updated, backups are important.  People generally don’t think about backups.  But, if the data on your system is vitally important, say, payroll, inventory, time sheets, AR, or any mission critical data, you should be doing nightly backups of that data.

If you become infected with a virus, or more specifically with ransomware, then you can recover your data by restoring the backups.  Problem solved!  No ransom payment!  The boss thinks you’re a genius and everything is right with the world!  Assuming your backups are good backups, you will be able to completely recover from a ransomware attack using them.

You should also have anti-virus software installed and running.  These days, ransomeware and other malicious software attacks usually start with clicking on an email attachment.  Just clicking the infected attachment will install the malicious code.  A good anti-virus will scan your emails when they appear in your inbox and alert you to possible infections.

The anti-virus program for your organization should be a business-class, i.e., an enterprise-level, version as opposed to the free stand-alone versions you can download from the Internet.

An enterprise-level anti-virus program can be a little pricey.  It depends on the vendor, which anti-virus you choose, and how many computers you want to put it on.  There is nothing wrong with the free versions on your home computer mainly because… well… they’re FREE!  But, free shouldn’t a consideration for your business, in this case.

So, to recap…

1.    Keep your operating system updated.
2.    Have an anti-virus running and keep it updated.
3.    Save early and save often.  Make backups!
4.    Don’t open email attachments.

0 comments on “DSM Winter Client Appreciation 2017”

DSM Winter Client Appreciation 2017

 

banner21

Data Systems Management will be hosting our annual client appreciation conference on November 21, 2017.  This conference will be hosted in our Clinton, MS office located at 1505 Clinton Business Park Drive.  We will have the pleasure of digging a little deeper into the ACA regulations and you will again have the opportunity to ask questions of Seale Pylate of Phelps Dunbar.  This is a service we are providing to you since the ACA and government fines are still an issue.  A large portion of Seale’s time will be allocated to your specific questions.

After a mid morning break, we will provide a brief overview of the much promised graphical payroll which is now live in multiple locations.  This new product boasts many exciting features such as Perpetual Report Archive , optional Direct Deposit, unlimited user, define NOTES with audit trail (yes you can track employee raises) global default time, entry for employee groups, and too many more features to list.

Our Time & Attendance system has been updated with new lower cost Android time clocks and we have enhanced the capability by executing mobile text punches with Geo-Location functionality.  The FLSA requirements are still mandatory, the monitoring of hours for ACA purposes and insurance coverage is still an issue, and fines for non-compliance it still a reality.

Lunch will be provided, there will be door prizes, and of course a little time for shopping while you’re in town.  The afternoon will be open for any further demonstrations and/or questions or topics that you would like to review with us.

Mark you calendar  NOVEMBER 21, 2017 and join us as we celebrate the beauty and the great people that make our state the best it can be.  We look forward to seeing you there!