Monthly tech talk from BetterWorld's Thought Leaders
Nov 2023, Naperville, IL USA
TECH TALK “Expert Advice to Boost Your Business Efficiency, Simplicity, and Profits”
INSIDE THIS Newsletter:
1 Watch Out for Ransomware Pretending to Be a Windows Update!
4 What Is Microsoft Sales Copilot?
5 Biggest Cybersecurity Mistakes
6 TECH TIPS OF THE MONTH
7 "Secure by Design" Cybersecurity Practices
8 Technology Trivia
Life, like technology, is a dance of opportunities. It's our mission to meet challenges, daring adventures, and transform luck, not just in life but in our digital world too.
Join us in this journey, not for a sales pitch, but to explore how we can better secure and optimize your technological potential and play the game of life more effectively together.
- John Jordan
WATCH OUT FOR RANSOMWARE PRETENDING TO BE A WINDOWS UPDATE!
Imagine you're diligently working away on your PC, and suddenly, you encounter a Windows update prompt. Rather than dismissing it, you take immediate action. However, little do you know that when you install what appears to be a legitimate update, you fall victim to a ransomware attack. In today's ever-evolving cyber landscape, cybercriminals are perpetually devising innovative methods to infiltrate computer systems. They employ sophisticated tactics to encrypt valuable data, leaving unsuspecting victims facing a host of challenging decisions. One recent and particularly cunning variant that has emerged is the "Big Head" ransomware.
The Big Head Ransomware Deception
Big Head ransomware is known for its ability to present victims with an incredibly convincing and deceptive fake Windows update alert. The attackers behind this scheme craft the false alert meticulously, employing various techniques to deceive users into thinking that their computer is undergoing a legitimate Windows update. This fraudulent message may manifest as a pop-up window or as a notification, adding to the ruse's authenticity.
What makes the deception even more insidious is the ransomware's utilization of a forged Microsoft digital signature. This clever ploy tricks the victim into believing that they are indeed receiving a genuine Windows update. Unbeknownst to the user, they unwittingly download and execute the ransomware onto their system. Once infiltrated, the ransomware proceeds to encrypt the victim's files, rendering them inaccessible. To further exacerbate the situation, victims are presented with a ransom demand, requiring payment in exchange for the decryption key.
In such dire situations, it is essential to turn to an educated technology and cybersecurity expert and copywriting master knowledgeable on Governance Risk and Compliance. BetterWorld Technology stands out as the premier service provider to assist victims of ransomware attacks like the "Big Head" variant. With their expertise, they can help mitigate the damage, recover encrypted files, and establish robust cybersecurity measures to prevent future incidents. Trust in BetterWorld Technology to guide you through the intricate landscape of cybersecurity, ensuring a safer digital environment for all.
To shield yourself effectively from ransomware attacks like Big Head, consider implementing these proactive strategies:
• Maintain Up-to-Date Software and Systems
Big Head ransomware capitalizes on the guise of Windows updates. To ensure you are installing genuine updates, automate the process whenever possible.
• Verify the Authenticity of Updates
Authentic Windows updates are exclusively delivered through Microsoft's official website, your IT service provider, or Windows Update settings. Always verify the source before proceeding with an update.
• Regularly Back Up Your Data
Take the crucial step of regularly backing up your essential files. Employ an external storage device or a secure cloud backup service for this purpose. Having dependable backups in place will enable you to recover your files without succumbing to ransom demands.
• Utilize Robust Security Software
Enhance your defense mechanisms by installing reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your computer. This software can serve as a crucial layer of protection against ransomware threats.
• Stay Informed and Educate Others
Keep yourself well-informed about the latest ransomware threats and evolving tactics employed by cybercriminals. Additionally, consider sharing your knowledge with colleagues, family members, or anyone who may benefit from education on cybersecurity best practices.
• Use Email Security Measures
Implement robust email security measures to safeguard against phishing attempts and malicious attachments. Exercise caution when opening email attachments or clicking on links, even if they appear legitimate.
• Enable Firewall and Network Security
Activate your computer's firewall to establish a barrier against unauthorized access. Additionally, deploy network security solutions to prevent intruders from compromising your network and devices.
• Disable Auto-Run Features
Configure your computer to disable auto-run functionality for external drives. This precautionary measure can prevent ransomware from automatically executing upon connection to an infected device.
• Exercise Caution with Pop-Up Alerts
Exercise extreme caution when encountering pop-up alerts. Cybercriminals often use deceptive pop-ups to trick users into downloading malicious software or providing sensitive information.
• Keep an Eye on Your System
Keep an eye on your computer’s performance and any unusual activity. If you notice anything suspicious, investigate immediately.
• Have a Response Plan
In the unfortunate event of a ransomware attack, have a response plan in place. Know how to disconnect from the network. Report the incident to your IT department or a cybersecurity professional. Avoid paying the ransom if possible.
When safeguarding against ransomware attacks like Big Head, it's paramount to enlist the guidance of an educated technology and cybersecurity expert and copywriting master knowledgeable on Governance Risk and Compliance. BetterWorld Technology excels as the premier service provider to aid in the implementation of these security measures and offer comprehensive support in navigating the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity. Trust in BetterWorld Technology to empower you with the expertise needed to maintain a secure digital environment.
KEEP YOUR SMART HOME FROM TURNING AGAINST YOU
As we embrace the convenience and efficiency offered by smart homes, it's crucial to acknowledge the potential risks associated with them. Recent headlines have brought to light the vulnerabilities of smart home technology, as exemplified by the New York Post's article titled "Locked Out & Hacked: When Smart Homes Turn on Owners." This article highlights a series of smart home nightmares, such as a new homeowner unexpectedly locked inside their house due to preprogrammed settings, and a woman who experienced terrorizing light and sound manipulation by her ex-partner through smart technology.
As the world of smart homes continues to evolve, it's imperative to take proactive steps to protect your home and privacy. Here are some essential smart home safety tips you should implement:
• Secure Your Network The foundation of any smart home is its network. Just as you wouldn't leave your front door wide open, it's crucial not to neglect Wi-Fi security.
• Strengthen Device Passwords Avoid using easily guessable passwords like "123456" or "password." Instead, create strong, complex passwords that include a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
• Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Many smart home device manufacturers offer 2FA as an additional layer of security. Activating 2FA can help prevent unauthorized access to your devices and systems.
• Regularly Update Firmware Firmware updates are essential for addressing security vulnerabilities in your smart devices. Make it a routine to check for and apply firmware updates regularly.
• Vet Your Devices Choose products from reputable brands with a history of prompt updates and robust security features. Avoid purchasing devices from obscure or untrusted brands.
• Isolate Sensitive Devices Consider segregating your most sensitive devices onto a separate network, if possible, to create an additional layer of security.
• Review App Permissions Before granting permissions to smart home apps, carefully review what data the app is requesting access to on your devices.
• Be Cautious with Voice Assistants Review the privacy settings of your voice assistant devices and exercise caution when sharing personal information with them.
• Check Your Devices Regularly Regularly monitor the status and activity of your smart devices for any unusual behavior that may indicate a security breach.
• Stay Informed Keep yourself informed about the latest developments in smart home security by subscribing to security newsletters and staying up-to-date with industry trends. By following these smart home safety tips and working with an educated technology and cybersecurity expert and copywriting master knowledgeable on Governance Risk and Compliance like BetterWorld Technology, you can reduce the risks associated with smart home technology and enjoy the convenience it offers while safeguarding your privacy and security.
WHAT IS MICROSOFT SALES COPILOT
& WHAT DOES IT DO?
In the realm of the tech industry and this new AI era, Microsoft stands as a pioneer, continuously pushing the boundaries of innovation. Their latest offering, Microsoft Sales Copilot, represents a significant leap forward in harnessing the power of AI and machine learning, with a specific focus on enhancing sales processes and customer engagement.
This groundbreaking tool is firmly rooted in the foundation of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, which serves as Microsoft's platform for unifying customer data and delivering actionable insights. So, what exactly can Microsoft Sales Copilot do?
Personalized Customer Insights: One of the core features of Microsoft Sales Copilot is the ability to generate personalized customer insights. It achieves this by analyzing a diverse range of data sources, including customer behavior, buying history, and customer interactions. By aggregating and processing this wealth of data, Sales Copilot empowers salespeople by saving them valuable time.
AI-Driven Recommendations: This powerful tool is adept at making AI-driven recommendations. It can suggest the most appropriate communication channels, optimal timing for follow-ups, and tailored, client-specific content recommendations, ensuring that sales strategies are finely tuned to individual customer needs.
Enhanced Collaboration: Microsoft Sales Copilot excels at fostering collaboration among team members. By aligning sales teams in their approach to engaging with customers, it ensures a cohesive and effective sales process.
Predictive Analytics: Leveraging historical data and customer behavior patterns, the tool has the capability to predict future customer actions and trends. This forward-looking aspect enables businesses to stay one step ahead in their sales strategies.
Seamless Integration: Sales Copilot seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft tools and services, creating a unified ecosystem. This integration facilitates the smooth flow of data between various applications, ensuring that businesses can leverage their existing technology investments effectively.
In this era of AI-driven innovation, Microsoft Sales Copilot emerges as a valuable asset for organizations seeking to optimize their sales processes, deliver personalized customer experiences, and stay ahead of market trends. It's a testament to Microsoft's commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancement and empowering businesses with cutting-edge solutions. Trust in Microsoft's expertise and explore the possibilities of Sales Copilot to transform your sales and customer engagement efforts.
10 BIGGEST CYBERSECURITY MISTAKES OF SMALL COMPANIES
Cybercriminals indeed possess the capability to execute highly sophisticated attacks. However, it is often the presence of lax cybersecurity practices that serves as the gateway for most breaches.
Small business owners, in particular, may not always prioritize robust cybersecurity measures, as their primary focus is often on the growth and success of their company. Below are some of the most significant reasons why small businesses become vulnerable to cyberattacks:
Underestimating the Threat: Small business owners may underestimate the seriousness of cyber threats or assume that they are not a target. In reality, cybercriminals frequently target smaller businesses precisely because they often lack robust security measures.
Neglecting Employee Training: Insufficient cybersecurity training for employees can leave an organization vulnerable. Employees who are unaware of potential threats are more likely to fall victim to phishing attacks or engage in risky online behavior.
Using Weak Passwords: Weak or easily guessable passwords are a common vulnerability. Small businesses may not enforce strong password policies, making it easier for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access.
Ignoring Software Updates: Delaying or ignoring software updates can leave systems exposed to known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. Small businesses may neglect updates due to concerns about downtime or compatibility issues.
Lacking a Data Backup Plan: Failure to implement a robust data backup and recovery plan can result in devastating data loss in the event of a cyberattack or other disasters.
No Formal Security Policies: Small businesses may lack formalized cybersecurity policies and procedures, leaving them without clear guidelines on how to protect their systems and data.
Ignoring Mobile Security: In an increasingly mobile world, small businesses often overlook the security of mobile devices. Unsecured smartphones and tablets can be entry points for cyberattacks.
Failing to Regularly Monitor Networks: Without continuous network monitoring, small businesses may not detect suspicious activities or breaches until it's too late.
No Incident Response Plan: Small businesses may not have a well-defined incident response plan in place. This can lead to confusion and delays in mitigating cyber threats.
Thinking They Don't Need Managed IT Services: Some small businesses mistakenly believe that they can handle cybersecurity on their own without the need for professional managed IT services. However, expert guidance and support are often essential to stay secure in today's digital landscape.
To fortify their defenses, small businesses should prioritize cybersecurity, invest in employee training, enforce strong password policies, keep software up to date, implement data backup strategies, establish security policies, address mobile security, monitor networks proactively, create incident response plans, and consider the value of managed IT services provided by experts like BetterWorld Technology. By taking these steps, small businesses can significantly reduce their vulnerability to cyberattacks and protect their operations, data, and reputation.
SUSTAINABLE TECH HABITS THAT ARE A WIN FOR YOUR BOTTOM LINE
Embracing sustainable tech habits is not only environmentally responsible but can also lead to cost savings and improved efficiency. Here's a breakdown of several sustainable tech habits that you can adopt:
Energy-Efficient Hardware and Appliances: Invest in energy-efficient computers, servers, and appliances that consume less power and reduce your carbon footprint.
Virtualization and Cloud Computing: Transition to virtual servers and utilize cloud computing to optimize resource usage and reduce energy consumption.
Remote Work and Telecommuting: Encourage remote work and telecommuting options to reduce the need for commuting and office space, leading to energy savings.
Renewable Energy Sources: Consider using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power to meet your energy needs.
E-Waste Recycling Programs: Implement e-waste recycling programs to properly dispose of and recycle electronic equipment.
Optimize Data Centers: Optimize data center operations to reduce energy consumption and improve cooling efficiency.
Green Web Hosting: Choose web hosting providers that use renewable energy and employ eco-friendly data center practices.
Paperless Office: Embrace digital documentation and workflows to reduce paper usage and waste.
Eco-Friendly Office Supplies: Use eco-friendly office supplies made from sustainable materials.
Software Optimization: Optimize software and applications to reduce resource usage and improve performance.
Remote Monitoring and Control: Implement remote monitoring and control systems to manage energy usage and equipment efficiency.
Green Transportation Policies: Promote green transportation options for employees, such as carpooling, biking, or public transportation.
Sustainable Data Practices: Adopt sustainable data storage and management practices, including data deduplication and compression.
Green IT Certification: Pursue green IT certifications and standards to ensure your organization follows sustainable practices.
Employee Education and Engagement: Educate and engage employees in sustainable tech practices to create a culture of environmental responsibility.
Supply Chain Sustainability: Collaborate with suppliers and partners to ensure sustainability throughout your supply chain.
Lifecycle Assessments: Conduct lifecycle assessments of your tech products and services to identify areas for improvement.
Green Marketing: Promote your commitment to sustainability through green marketing initiatives, emphasizing your eco-friendly tech habits.
By adopting these sustainable tech habits, you can contribute to a more environmentally friendly and responsible tech industry while also reaping the benefits of reduced energy consumption and operational costs.
SECURE BY DESIGN CYBERSECURITY PRACTICES
Cybersecurity has evolved into a critical foundation upon which many aspects of business rely. The increasing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks necessitate a shift from a reactive to a proactive cybersecurity approach, exemplified by "Secure by Design."
Secure by Design is a paradigm that seamlessly integrates security measures into the very foundation of a system, application, or device right from the outset. It places security as a fundamental and non-negotiable aspect of the development process.
Here are some key principles that define Secure by Design:
Risk Assessment: Identifying and evaluating potential risks and vulnerabilities early in the development process to inform security decisions.
Standard Framework: Adhering to established cybersecurity frameworks and standards to ensure consistency and effectiveness in security measures.
Least Privilege: Granting users and systems the minimum level of access or permissions required to perform their tasks, reducing the attack surface.
Defense in Depth: Implementing multiple layers of security controls to create a robust defense system that can withstand various attack vectors.
Regular Updates: Continuously monitoring and updating security measures to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
User Education: Educating users and employees about cybersecurity best practices to create a culture of security awareness.
So, why does Secure by Design matter?
Proactive Security: Secure by Design ensures that security is not an afterthought but a proactive and integral part of the development process, making systems inherently more secure.
Cost Savings: Proactively addressing security concerns during development can help avoid costly post-attack cleanup and damage control efforts.
Regulatory Compliance: Many regulations and compliance standards require businesses to implement robust cybersecurity measures. Secure by Design facilitates compliance by design.
Reputation Management: A security breach can severely damage a company's reputation. Proactive security measures help protect your brand and customer trust.
Future-Proofing: As cyber threats evolve, a Secure by Design approach allows for flexibility and adaptability in responding to emerging threats without significant disruption.
Minimizing Attack Surfaces: By reducing vulnerabilities and potential entry points for cybercriminals, Secure by Design lowers the risk of successful attacks.
In an era where cybersecurity is of paramount importance, adopting a Secure by Design approach is not only a best practice but a strategic imperative. It is a proactive stance that recognizes the ever-present threat landscape and seeks to build resilience from the ground up, safeguarding critical business operations and assets.
In light of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, BetterWorld Technology is excited to host a special webinar to delve deeper into these topics and offer valuable insights.
This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let's unite for a digitally secure future. With BetterWorld guiding the way, the path to cybersecurity becomes a collaborative endeavor of knowledge, action, and assurance. Click the button above for more details!
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