What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Patrick Leonard

Two-Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security that requires more than just the user’s name and password. To gain access, the user must present something via a different method such as a token, fingerprint, web cookie, or code from a text message or authentication application like Google Authenticator. Two-Factor Authentication is known as 2FA for short, or even Two-Step Verification (TFA). For comparison, Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) only requires your username and password, and it is still the most common form of access because of its low cost and ease of use, but a hacker can breach most password-based security systems easily.

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Topics: Data Protection

6 Critical Steps SMBs Need to Protect Themselves from Ransomware

Stephen Tullos

Cybersecurity is all over the news thanks to WannaCry’s high-profile attack on NHS (National Health Service) and more than 200,000 systems in over 150 countries. Yet, many companies were unaffected because they fortified themselves against such cyber-attacks. How does a small to mid-sized company prevent a cyber-attack such as one with the reach of WannaCry?

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Topics: Data Protection

Cybersecurity Myths Executives Cling To

Dave Bourgeois & Patrick Leonard

One of the biggest obstacles in cybersecurity is company executives who think they do not need to worry about cyber-attacks. The range of excuses why cybersecurity isn’t on executives’ radars are wide and we’ll debunk them in a bit.

Keep in mind, if you don’t do anything to prevent or mitigate a cyber-attack, it will probably be too late to do anything once it starts. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 enterprise or a small three-person company, 94% of all companies do not survive more than two years following a major data loss regardless if it is a cyber-attack, theft, or disaster. [Gartner]

Prevention is the best way to protect your company’s future and it is a lot cheaper too.

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Topics: Data Protection

Do I Need Cyber Insurance?

David Bourgeois

It may surprise you that your general commercial property and casualty insurance doesn’t cover cyber-attacks. You may not know such a thing as “cyber insurance” even exists or why a business would need cyber insurance.

Cyber insurance financially helps policy holders to mitigate the cost of recovering from a cyber-related security breach. In my opinion, all companies need cyber insurance, whcih is also known as cyber risk insurance or cyber liablity insurance coverage (CLIC). This need is especially prudent for companies with valuable data, such as Protected Health Information (PHI), financial data and stored credit cards, and proprietary information. 

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Topics: Data Protection

Why Shred Hard Drives?

David Bourgeois

Our policy at My IT for dealing with Hard Drives is to either shred them, or to hand them back to our clients for them to decide how to personally dispose of them or to securely store them indefinitely.

So, why do we offer to shred hard drives?

Simply put, shredding your hard drives is the best way to avoid a security breach. In the IT industry, this process is known as Hard Drive Destruction (HDD).

Just throwing your hard drives away means risking someone finding it and accessing all the data on that drive including emails, invoices, proprietary data, and personal data. At first thought you might think no one would “dumpster dive” for your old, out of date, slow hard drive. But I bet you’d quickly think differently if you (and everyone else) knew that old hard drive you threw away had wads of hundred dollar bills wrapped all around it.

So, what do I mean by “wads of hundred dollar bills”? Right now, personal data is being sold online for $158 a record (Ponemon Institute). Therefore, a company with private data about their 65 past and present employees stored on a single hard drive that somehow got into the wrong hands would go for $10,270! Now that’s a wad of cash!

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Topics: Data Protection

What Should I Do with My Old Computer Equipment?

David Bourgeois

Computers, servers, printers, monitors, and other network hardware all come to the end of their life eventually. So, what are you supposed to do when you are done using them? Many people want to donate their old computers and network equipment, or recycle them because they feel throwing them away is irresponsible. However, most of the time, companies are unable to find an organization that wants dated computer equipment.

Throwing computers and other hardware into a dumpster is not just environmentally irresponsible, throwing away devices that have company data on their hard drives can expose your company to potential data breaches. Regardless how the computer was used, we usually find at least a credit card stored on the computer and many times we find employee information or thousands of customer records.

Just recycling or donating your devices (computers, laptops, smartphones, thumb drives) can be dangerous because of the sensitive data on each hard drive. Even if you delete everything from a hard drive, information can be retrieved from it. Per a 2013-14 study by the National Association of Information Destruction, 30% of recycled devices contain medical records, banking information, emails, photographs, or client account information. Don't leave yourself at risk!

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Topics: Data Protection

Business Continuity vs Disaster Recovery vs High Availability – What’s the Difference?

Patrick Leonard

Most business professionals, including many in IT, interchange and confuse the meanings of business continuity, disaster recovery, and high availability. Each term has a unique meaning, although their individual functions do coexist with each other.

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Topics: Data Protection

Pros & Cons of BYOD

Patrick Leonard

Many companies struggle weighing the pros and cons of a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, seeing a potential large cost savings of not purchasing numerous phones, laptops, tablets, and data plans. However, that cost savings may come at a much higher price in the long run when you consider soft costs like productivity, control, and efficiency.

Pros of BYOD

  • Save $$$ - The company can save money, both the initial capital investment of purchasing the devices and with the monthly costs to purchase numerous data plans.
  • Familiarity - Employees chose a device they are used to, making them more efficient and happier.
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Topics: Data Protection

15 Common Mistakes IT Pros Make in Disaster Recovery

Patrick Leonard

Before we get into the common mistakes that IT professionals make in disaster recovery (DR), let’s talk about the importance of DR itself.

Companies face three different types of disasters:

  • Natural Disasters – Hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, and blizzards that affect a large portion of a geographic area. 
  • Local Disasters – A fire, pipe bursting, long-term power outage, and water leak that effects just your office.
  • Technical Disaster – Because events like a server crash, cyber-attack, and theft affect your company like a disaster, we include them in our DR plans.

The key to your company surviving any of these disasters is for your data to survive. A company can purchase a new office, new desks, new IT equipment, and even hire new employees if need be. However, a company cannot replace their data if it is lost. Our motto is “My company can survive if my data survives.”

Because your data is essential to your company, you must protect it at all costs. Don’t let these preventable mistakes impair your company’s future.

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Topics: Data Protection

What is a DDoS attack and why should you care?

Stephen Tullos

It seems like we hear about large scale DDoS attacks on the national news monthly these days; they are no longer merely mentioned on the IT web forums. Hackers are targeting large enterprise networks for attention and for money. They are also going after small and medium businesses like yours because they suspect that smaller companies do not have a security infrastructure in place.

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Topics: Data Protection

About My IT's Blog

We believe an educated client is the best client, therefore, we share our knowledge with executives and business owners looking for a fair, knowledgeable IT firm that fits well with their company and objectives.

My IT helps companies to protect their data, become more efficient and productive, and to boost high-growth using technology. In our blog, we discuss these topics and our extensive expertise working with medical practices, construction industry companies, and auto dealerships.

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