Criminals Are Ready. Are Your Employees?

ImageQuestAs technology becomes more and more integrated into the workplace, cybersecurity attacks are quickly becoming a seemingly everyday occurrence. Even if you have cybersecurity service in place, your Nashville business is – and will always be – a target. And your first line of defense is your employees.

Sadly, nearly half of all American workers are woefully undertrained. Even more alarming, approximately 8% of the nation’s employees have received no training at all. The vast majority of these are employees of small businesses, which are the most vulnerable to digital infiltration. Cybercriminals are fully aware of this training deficit and use this knowledge to find your business’s weakest link.

How Do They Do It?

As Nashville’s leading cybersecurity service, ImageQuest receives many questions about how, exactly, cybercriminals know which businesses to target and how information is accessed. The truth is that the people carrying out cybercrimes can tell very quickly which companies are an open smorgasbord of information. They do this by creating scenarios where an employee may feel comfortable giving out personal or business information. One example is a phishing email. This is a type of communication sent to resemble an incoming message from a trusted person or partner. 

As an example scenario, let’s look at ABC Inc. Jane, an HR manager for Middle Tennessee’s fictional ABC, Inc., gets an email from “Admin@ABCInc.com.”  The message asks for her to update her payroll system login information. She clicks on a link that she believes will direct her to this system. She enters her information into a legitimate-looking form and thinks nothing more of it. The criminal who sent the message now has access to the company’s financial information, employee names and bank account numbers, and anything else that Jane has access to. A cybersecurity service offering employee training in Nashville could have prevented this.

Cybersecurity Training Best Practices

Prevention is the best medicine for keeping cybersecurity attacks at bay. As a business owner, it is up to you to provide your employees with the tools they need to keep your information safe. Here are a few tips on how to get everyone up to speed and ready to combat corporate crimes in a digital world.

  • Do not lay blame. First and foremost, if your company is infiltrated, regardless of reason, do not blame your staff. Accept responsibility that they may not have received the proper data security training. Use it as a learning moment.
  • Start training. Contact a local cybersecurity service for training. Nashville’s ImageQuest begins this process by assessing your company’s current security protocols. The team then puts together a training package that covers cybersecurity from many angles.
  • Create awareness. Before training begins, prioritize cybersecurity awareness. This might be something as simple as sending your employees links to recent stories about data breaches in your industry. You might post flyers in the break room or host a catered “lunch and learn” session on the subject.
  • Work from the top down. Ensure that management sets the example. Your business’s leaders set the tone for how everyone else within your organization views cybersecurity. 
  • Press for better passwords. Email scams are not the only way criminals access your data. Another is by guessing passwords. Criminals have automated this process and can easily decipher word-only passwords. One of the most effective ways you can block brute-force attacks is by requiring passwords to be a combination of special characters, letters, and numerals. According to Nashville’s cybersecurity service experts, the longer and more complex, the harder a password is to crack.
  • Start at onboarding. It is one thing to train your current staff on cybersecurity measures, but if you want your new procedures to stick, they must be prioritized when onboarding new employees. Starting from day one, make sure that your entire staff – even those who do not have access to the company’s networks and systems – understand the importance of awareness.

ImageQuest offers cybersecurity service for Nashville businesses of all sizes. From a security assessment to event monitoring and employee training, ImageQuest’s IT Security Services are second to none. For more information or to speak with an expert, visit ImageQuest.com.

The Caveat of Crowdsourcing

CrowdsourcingCrowdsourcing is a form of project management that pulls from the time, talents, and resources of a large pool of workers. Crowdsourcing has been utilized across the globe in areas such as software development, image tagging, and transcription. And while the relative low cost of crowd-completed work may be appealing to a business on a tight budget there are many disadvantages.

Poor workforce

A typical crowdsource platform is an online interface that allows anyone, regardless of actual credentials, to qualify to work on one or more parts of a given project. Users must simply complete a very limited test in order to gain access to work and rarely undergo any prerequisite training. [Read more…]

Kiplinger Names Top Private Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges of 2014

Although it may seem more challenging than ever to provide a quality education while keeping costs low, many colleges and universities across the country are succeeding on both counts.

Based in Washington, D.C., Kiplinger is a publisher of personal finance advice and business forecasts, available in software, video, audio, online and print products. The company’s yearly list ranks the top 100 liberal arts colleges and 100 private universities. The total ranking points were divided by cost criteria (45 percent) and quality criteria (55 percent).

The colleges on this list exemplify the key attributes that students and parents are seeking in higher education, including student indebtedness, financial aid, cost, academic support, four-year graduation rates and competitiveness. [Read more…]

Philadelphia Earns Praise as the Number-One City for Small Business

PhiladelphiaA pair of new surveys reveal interesting developments about business creation in America’s leading cities.

Biz2Credit Hails the City of Brotherly Love as a Small-Business Mecca

A tribute to the city’s standard of living and relatively low operation costs, Philadelphia has the unique ability to attract startups and help enhance their profitability, according to Biz2Credit.

Biz2Credit is one of America’s leading business loan companies. Its annual survey, “Best U.S. Cities for Small Business,” examines early-stage businesses in terms of average credit scores, age of business and average revenue. Besides Philadelphia, cities near the top of the list included San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Detroit-Dearborn, Michigan; and San Jose, California. [Read more…]

Google Street View Sinks to New Lows and Rises Above the Clouds

Everyone knows that bright and vivid images of Stonehenge, the great pyramids, and even the North Pole are just a mouseclick away thanks to Google Map’s Street View. But now Google, in conjunction with the United States government, is going under the sea to allow net surfers the opportunity to break the ocean’s surface and visit the reefs and shipwrecks off the Florida coast.

In 2014, scientist with NOAA will begin getting a “fisheye” view as they dropped cameras into the waters of the Florida Keys. The researchers will release much of their visual findings to Google in an effort to increase public awareness about and spur interest in the marine world. Google hopes the partnership will help national agencies find support in their aquatic preservation efforts and shed light on the ecological struggles of the Earth’s oceans. [Read more…]

An Interview with C. Frederick Wehba

C. Frederick WehbaC. Frederick Wehba is recognized in the real estate community as one of the most trusted advisors and leaders in the field. From his home base in Los Angeles, California, C. Frederick Wehba has made a considerable difference in the lives of his tenants, as well as his fellow community members. In this interview with A Gathering of Experts, C. Frederick Wehba describes his humble beginnings in Crowell, Texas, and how these experiences informed his later work.

A Gathering of Experts: Welcome, Frederick!

C. Frederick Wehba: Hello! It’s always a pleasure to speak with you.

A Gathering of Experts: Today we’d like to give our readers a little background about your career.

C. Frederick Wehba: Wonderful…I’m ready to answer your questions. [Read more…]

James Cullem Comments on Cell Signaling Technology’s Patent Portfolio

 James CullemAs the former Chief Counsel and Director of Intellectual Property & Licensing at Cell Signaling Technology, Inc., James Cullem reflects on the pivotal issuance to the company of a U.S. patent covering a vital class of Context-Independent and Motif-Specific Antibodies.

A Gathering of Experts: Hello and thank you for joining us this morning.

James Cullem: Glad to be here with you as well.

A Gathering of Experts: What does this patent and portfolio mean for Cell Signaling Technology?

James Cullem: The patents on this novel and powerful class of antibodies validates the company’s leadership role in developing and commercializing new reagents that are advancing signal transduction research to elucidate diseases like cancer.  And, of course, as a competitive market advantage, it provides the company with a highly valuable market exclusivity in leveraging this technology towards diagnostics and therapeutics development. [Read more…]

Facebook Turns Corner with Acquisition of Messaging System WhatsApp

3-14-14-FacebookIn a shocking move to outside observers, Mark Zuckerberg has given away approximately 8 percent of Facebook and forked over $4 billion to acquire WhatsApp.

The transaction occurs as Facebook experiences slower growth among its younger users.

WhatsApp, a startup company headquartered in California, offered Facebook ownership of the largest mobile messaging system in the world. It currently hosts more than 450 million users each month.  WhatsApp was created in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton.

Facebook is expected to pay $12 billion in Facebook shares, $4 billion in cash and $3 billion in stock units.

Unlike the leading social-media sites Twitter and Facebook, WhatsApp charges consumers for the services. WhatsApp currently has over 500 million consumers in 200 countries. For just 99 cents, users can send audio, video and other media messages, as well share their locations through an interactive map.

[Read more…]

Managing Stress for a More Peaceful Life

GatheringofExperts - PeacefulStress influences a person’s physical and mental health, which in turn affects their ability to make decisions, deal with problems, and interact with others. Managing stress is imperative for a productive, happy life. A person saying they are going to reduce the stress in their life and actually doing it is easier said than done. Here are a few steps people can take to ease tension and help them relax.

Imagine sitting in a room full of people who are completely stressed out, and someone offers a stress-reducing medicine that is free, easy to use, fun and legal. This “medicine” is often used in hospitals for cancer patients and is safe enough for children. This magic potent is called laughter. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and conflict. It causes healthy physical changes that strengthen the immune system and protect from the harmful effects of stress.

Nothing works better or faster to put the body and mind in balance than a hearty laugh. Humor connects you to others and keeps things in perspective. If the stress in the room is palpable, try to see the humor in the situation. Laughter is infectious. If you can find a reason to laugh, others will join in. When shared, laughter bonds people and increases cooperation. [Read more…]

Q&A with United Faith Church of Barnegat, NJ

United Faith ChurchSo many GOOD things happening in ONE place! Find out about a CHURCH ON FIRE with a passion for GOD.

United Faith Church of Barnegat, NJ is a non-denominational, Bible-believing church established in 2006. United Faith Church exists to share the love of the Father to all people in the Barnegat community and surrounding areas. In a recent interview, United Faith Church answered frequently asked questions about what to expect when visiting.

Gathering of Experts:  What type of a church is United Faith Church?

United Faith Church: United Faith Church in Barnegat, NJ is a non-denominational, Bible-believing church, which from the Holy Scriptures, teaches the whole counsel of God. Those at United Faith Church acknowledge that the Bible is the handbook of life; in order to live the victorious life that God has ordained for the believer, one must embrace all of its teachings.  It is encouraged and modeled by the leaders of United Faith Church to read the Bible daily and then put God’s Word into practice in one’s life.

Gathering of Experts: What is worship like at United Faith Church?

United Faith Church: One might best describe the worship at United Faith Church as dynamic, powerful and fun, with an energetic contemporary style. As a result, the worship encourages those that are young at heart to come together in celebration of exalting the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers of all ages at United Faith Church in Barnegat join to worship the King in “spirit” and “truth” at the altar where they are free to move with the spirit of God. [Read more…]