Social Media Poses Security Risks

Security company Websense released a survey of of 1,300 IT professionals worldwide revealing that although social media or the use of “Web 2.0″ technologies such as blogs , wikis and social networks are already pervasive in business, a majority of IT managers seem ill equipped to manage its use, much less protect against security concerns associated with it. According to the survey, 70 of the top 100 most popular websites, many of which are social media sites, had hosted malicious content at some point. The study points to 150,000 spoofs of Facebook alone. In addition, 57 percent of data-stealing attacks are conducted over the Web. Because the nature of Web 2.0 sites allow for users to create and post their own content, it’s easy for cyber criminals to gather information and use it for threats, attack or fraud. Though 80 percent of the IT managers surveyed were confident in their company’s Web security, only nine percent said they have the necessary tools to protect against social media threats. If you feel your organization may be at risk, give us a call today – we can help.Related articles: Social Media a Stumbling Block for IT Pros Survey: IT Managers Unprepared for Social Security Risks

Facebook Users Targeted By Phishing Attack

Last May 14th, reports indicated that hackers had launched a phising attack on Facebook ‘s 200 million users, successfully stealing passwords from some. The hackers set up websites designed to look like the Facebook home page. Victims were directed to log back in to the site, but were routed to the fake site instead, unwittingly giving away their passwords. Facebook has deleted all references to the fake domains, which included www.151.im, www.121.im and www.123.im. This is the latest in a string of campaigns launched by hackers to steal personal information from users and to spread spam. Facebook’s large user base makes them an attractive target for many cybercriminials. Users are urged to seek help from authorities or trusted IT consultants if they believe their accounts were compromised, or to avoid similar scams.Related articles: Facebook users targeted by hackers in successful phishing attack Gadgetwise: More Facebook Phishing Trouble Today Hackers launch phishing attack on Facebook users

Stop Wasting Money with Inefficient Communications

Research conducted by SIS International Research and sponsored by Siemens found that small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with 100 employees could be leaking a staggering $524,569 annually as a result of communications barriers and latency. The study identifies these top five pain points, in order of estimated cost: inefficient coordination waiting for information unwanted communications; customer complaints barriers to communication In addition, researchers determined that the time spent per week dealing with communications issues was more than 50 percent higher in companies with more than 20 workers. In hard costs, your company could be losing up to half a million dollars each year by not addressing employees’ most painful communications issues! The good news:  we can help you implement applications and services to greatly improve your inter-company communications, including collaboration tools such as email and shared calendards and address books, social media technologies such as blogs and wikis , and IP-based communication tools such as instant messaging (IM) and Voice-over-IP ( VoIP ). Call us today and let us help you stop this expensive leak.Related articles: Report: SMBs Expected to Spend More Online (searchenginewatch.com) How Collaboration Tools Bring Cost Savings, Business Alignment (searchcio-midmarket.com) Inefficient Communications Costs SMBs $5000 per Employee (SMBnow.com)

Look for New Microsoft Office and Windows Vista Service Pack

Microsoft recently announced the release of the newest service pack to Microsoft Office 2007 , and has finished work on the second service pack update to Windows Vista . The MS Office update includes a collection of stability and performance updates as well as support for more file formats including Open Document Format (ODF) and Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The Windows Vista update includes support for Bluetooth 2.1, an updated Windows search technology, and the ability to natively record data to Blu-ray discs. Download the Microsoft Office 2007 service pack to install and watch out for the Windows Vista update soon. Ask us how your workflow can benefit from these helpful new releases.

Security Resources, Articles, and Tips from the Government

Looking for a website or online resource for Security Tips and Best Practices? Check out the Federal Trade Commission ‘s (FTC) OnGuardOnline program , which the FTC began in partnership with cybersecurity experts, online marketers, consumer advocates, and federal officials in 2005. While there, check out the articles and free resources such as videos, games, and downloadable files to help you guard against Internet fraud , hacking, and other security threats.The site also offers the following seven vital security practices : Protect your personal information. It’s valuable. Know who you’re dealing with. Use security software that updates automatically. Keep your operating system and Web browser up-to-date and learn about their security features. Keep your passwords safe , secure, and strong. Back up important files. Learn what to do in an “ e–mergency .” If you suspect Internet fraud, you can register a complaint using this form . The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft , and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel , a secure, online database used by law enforcement officials in the U.S. and overseas. Check out the site or contact your IT Consultant to help you implement the recommendations from the site. Related articles: 7 Smart Security Practices For Small Businesses 9 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself against Internet fraud ID theft up, and 20somethings suffer most Online fraud up after years of decline: report

Using Social Media for your Business

Social Media such as Blogs, Micro-blogs, Wikis, and Social Networks are not only helping many people communicate and connect, but are also powerful tools for business as well. They can be used to promote your products and services, engage customers in meaningful conversations, network and develop new relationships, or simply to distribute information about your business online. Recently, the media has been awash with reports about Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter , but many of you may be unclear about the concept, or unsure of its relevance to your business activities. Learn more about this new media online . Get to know how these tools can benefit your business or contact your IT Consultant for advice. Related articles by Zemanta: More notes from “Social Media Marketing” Social Media Marketing Industry Report The 4 Customer Types of Social Media The Five Myths of Social Media Using social media to network

What’s Next for Conflicker?

April fool’s day came and went, but so far the much feared attack from Conflicker never materialized, leaving security researchers to ponder what’s next for the notorious Internet worm . Although it didn’t release any detectable malicious payload, the arrival of April 1 did trigger a change in its behavior, with experts finding a finding a changed domain generation algorithm that opens up unfettered communication to 500 of the 50,000 potential newly generated domains. The latest variant, Conficker C , now has the ability to contact its command and control centers for further instructions while circumventing interference from the security community, which up until now had been able to block communication with its parent domains. At this point users are still advised to patch their operating systems or to seek the assistance of their IT service providers to make sure all variants of the worm has been removed. Read more at Channel Web .

Use Technology to Market your Business

Never before have startup entrepreneurs and small business owners had access to so much marketing advice and tools as we have today on the Web.  There are hundreds of free or near free tools out there that you can use: from sites that help you create your own logos , print your own business cards , set up your own website , even make your own marketing swag . There are literally hundreds of even more sites that in turn give advice on how to use these tools to market your business more effectively such as Inc Magazine , Entrepreneur Magazine , and Fast Company . Its easy to use your PC and Internet to help you grow your business—so get started today!

Protecting Against the Rampant Conficker Worm

PC World posts a nice overview of the highly infectious Conflicker Worm. The Worm is dangerous as it uses several methods of attack. Once one computer in a network is infected, it often has ready access to other vulnerable computers in that network and can spread rapidly. The worm can download and install additional malware from attacker-controlled Web sites as well. Since that could mean anything from a password stealer to remote control software, a Conflicker-infected PC is essentially under the complete control of the attackers. Conficker and other worms are typically of most concern to small businesses that don’t regularly update the desktops and servers in their networks. If you’re not sure your network security is up to day get some help to find out. Read more at PC World…

18 Tips For Small Businesses That Outsource

Janet Attard of The Business Know-How Blog posts 18 tips for small businesses considering outsourcing. She offers insight on how to get the best possible results from outsourced work. Among them: Know the results you want to achieve. Understand how long it should take to complete the work. (Ask others in your industry if you’re not sure.) Set a realistic time table for achieving results. Insist on all service providers and vendors document their work Offer feedback and praise When it comes to your outsourced computer support and network management these are great tips to keep in mind. Read more at Small Biz Resources…