In today’s world, businesses are using one or even multiple telephone numbers. As telecommunications advances, telephone services should keep up with it. The modern era produces different types of voice service options, but some are still using the ordinary or the traditional telephone line.

Aside from VoIP and the ordinary telephone line, there is still an option to have a mix of both. It will depend on how your company or business needs and wants to communicate.

In this post, I will be talking about VoIP, how it works, and the popular features it has.

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol refers to transmitting voice-based phone calls over an internet connection instead of an ordinary analog telephone line that needs wires or optical fibers to make a connection.

VoIP can be transferred through various schemes such as smartphone apps, computer software, traditional phones, and other specific VoIP enabled phones.

It can be transmitted through various methods, including traditional phones, smartphone apps, computer software, and specific VoIP-enabled phones.

  • A phone and VoIP adapter.

Via adapters, you can plug it into an ordinary telephone phone outlet directly into the router so you can make calls over the internet.

With an adapter, you can use a regular landline phone to make calls over the internet. The adapters plug into a phone outlet in the wall or directly into your router.

  • A smartphone.

By using our smartphones, you can use downloadable apps like Skype or Google Voice that allows you to make internet calls.

  • A computer 

Just like in your smartphone, there are programs or applications that can be installed on a computer that will allow you to make voice calls through the internet. Examples of these are Skype, Facetime, and Google Voice.

How does it work? 

VoIP is a method that makes it possible for people to make voice calls through the internet. It would be best to have a high-speed connection that consists of a router and modem. It works by converting your voice into digital packets that are similar to an electronic envelope and sending those packets as data to the receiver over the internet.

VoIP Features

Call forwarding

  • This is useful if a business can’t operate 24/7 and there are no available employees who can answer the call. It will automatically transfer the call to the VoIP line and take it into the other line you prefer.

Virtual Assistant

  • This is also known as a virtual receptionist that allows you to set up a program or system where a caller can contact easily the department they need.

Do Not Disturb

  • This feature is useful for those who talk with customers or clients on a regular basis. Once it is enabled and you are not available to answer, it sends calls to voicemail, or transfer to another colleague who may be able to answer the call at the press of a button.

Call recording

  • Many businesses may want to know what happened during the call. VoIP allows the user to record calls and replay for later.

If your main purpose in using phones is for collaboration, VoIP is for you. Omnipotech can help with your business’ telephony services. You may call 281-768-4800 to know more about the different Voice over Internet Protocol options; get in touch with us through the Omnipotech Support Center.

Next: The Pros and Cons of VoIP

The cost and danger of data loss differ highly depending on how big the company is and in the industry they belong to. According to IBM, the average data breach damage reaches as high as $3.92 million. Not to mention the number of irate and unhappy customers and tainted business reputation that we can take into account aside from the monetary value.

Microsoft, understanding the importance of business data and the threats accompanying of losing it, released a ream of security and compliance tools for Microsoft 365 subscribers. But as the number of refinement and frequency of data breaches increases, these number of solutions might not be enough.

In this article, we will be tackling easy ways to prevent data loss in Microsoft 365.

  • Using a multifactor authentication (MFA)

  • Also known as 2-step verification. To cut down the risk of account hacking, one should not rely on a single password. You must enable multifactor authentication. This will make it hard to access your account by hackers since aside from they need to guess your password, they also need to have a second authentication.
  • Application of session timeouts

  • There are times that an employee forgets to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts that make their computers or other devices unlocked. This could make a way for hackers or unauthorized users to access freely the company accounts and allowing them to steal sensitive and personal data.
  • Having session timeouts will help balance the security and the number of times that the user will be prompted for his or her credentials.
  • Taking leverage of Policy Alerts

  • These precautionary alerts or warnings can help prevent data leakage and at the same time educate users on the proper and safer way to share data as it pops up as a tip or warning to users if they are about to share information to someone who is not listed in the business network.
  • Encrypting your email

  • Encrypting your email will help you convert the content of your email from a readable plain text into a scrambled ciphertext. This can be a good defense to hackers or unauthorized users who are trying to get into your emails as it will make the texts unreadable and hard to understand.
  • Make sure to secure mobile devices

  • Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are oftentimes used in accessing documents, work emails, contacts, or calendars. Making sure that they are secured is as critical as securing and protecting your company’s data.
  • Enabling mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 will be beneficial in accessing permissions or restrictions, remotely delete personal and sensitive data if your mobile device got stolen, and managing security policies.
  • Utilization of role-based access controls

  • This feature will help the company improve its security posture while providing IT with a fixated experience, based on permissions. It helps regulate which users are allowed to access specific files in the company.

 

On top of these things, we still must be aware of any potential data security risks.  Omnipotech provides cybersecurity solutions for every business. You may call 281-768-4800 to know more on how to develop stronger security for you business; get in touch with us through the Omnipotech Support Center.

Safeguarding your company against possible data breach is becoming a rapidly growing issue. In 2019, an average data breach would amount $3.92 million. This study was from the “Cost of a Data Breach Report” done by Ponemon Institute in partnership with IBM Security. As protection becomes very vital in cybersecurity, the chances of experiencing a data breach also continues to rise.

What are the considerations when thinking of a possible data breach?

  • Direct costs

    • The amount of time used in handling the breach. This covers the examination and forensic operations, the process of identification, and the assessment of the damages and penalties.
  • Indirect costs

    • This refers to the time, labor, and other means to cover the damages from data breach. Indirect costs also refer to the expenses for communications about the conditions and consequences of the breach.
  • Lost opportunity costs

    • A breach will lead to wasted business possibilities. As a result of the consequences of the data breach, it will tarnish the reputation, eventually losing clients.

Data breach cost estimate is affected by each action being done in your company. Likewise, the location has an impact to the cost. The standard estimated cost this year is $150 million having a yearly cost prediction of $2.1 trillion globally. It was assessed that in six months of 2018, more or less 4.5 billion records were uncovered as an outcome of data breaches. 

How can you estimate the data breach cost?

The primary cost shaping considerations are the location of your business, the data stolen, and the volume of the breach, the effect of it in media and on your company’s standing. Of course, there are other elements because one cannot be truly precise because each breach is managed differently. However, at least, it gives you the basic knowledge of the cost elements.

So, How to Reduce Monetary Effects of a Data Breach?

  • PLAN AND TEST

The success of your incident response relies on developing a concrete plan and testing it. If there is something that does not work, modify your plan. Remember that whatever your scheme is, it has to be executed well by your staff. You have to be a team that has communication, leadership, and capability to make decisions even during trying times.

  • QUICKLY DETECT AND CONTAIN A DATA BREACH

Automating your response means technologies like enterprise detection and response tools that can help the detection. In 2019, the average cost of a data breach is roughly around $2.65 million. As per the Cost of a Data Breach Report, automating the process, through various tools, help reduce the cost of a data breach up to 50%!

  • KNOW THE POTENTIAL DANGERS

In 2019, 51% of breaches were done by cybercriminals with malicious intent. When you assess what motivates these people, you get to understand the risks. Study the attempted attacks and know the intentions of the cyber attackers. Then, you can formulate a more efficient online security.

  • WHEN NOTHING WORKS, CALL THE EXPERTS

For your cybersecurity needs, you can contact Omnipotech at 281-768-4800. Whether you need in mitigating the effects of a data breach or you want develop a stronger security, get in touch with us through the Omnipotech Support Center.

Today, I will talk about the importance of having a WordPress backup and restore. Should something goes wrong, getting your site back up and operating again does not only take a lot of time, it has likewise its dollar equivalent. The easiest way of repairing any concerns and to have it going again is to utilize WordPress back up and restore solution.

Should your website is down, for as long as you have a WordPress back up and have saved solution, it isn’t much of a problem. It is good to restore your website immediately so you are ready to operate again.

Why you need to have a WordPress backup and restore?

Well, simply because somehow, something can go amiss and having a restoration tool, hosting or database backup. In short, the website backup is your website’s best crucial elements and that includes WordPress sites.

Here are a few of the WordPress backup practices:

  • Securing site databases, code files, media, and other images.
  • Securing add-ons, plugins, themes, or templates.
  • Making sure that your WordPress back up is current.
  • Utilizing a solution that allows you to have a backup and restoration less difficult.
  • Utilizing off-site storage such as cloud.
  • Encrypting and securing onsite and having a cloud backup storage.

Having these things are what you need to immediately substitute your files, database, and other important data should something goes wrong.

Ways of Backing up Your WordPress Website

And if you are the kind of person that likes to have fallbacks, then you can choose a WordPress backup and be able to restore solution for your company. The reason for this is that the WordPress website backup tools usually goes to a little fundamental classes.

Backups done Manually

Some people would prefer to do their WordPress websites backup manually. It is good if you want it that way! However, when it is done constantly, backing up files can a real bummer! What’s more, if you are the kind of person that needs to set your alarm or reminders so you will not forget to do backup, then perhaps doing it manually isn’t for you. Instead, you should switch to automatic backup.

Benefits of Manual Backups

  • You can do the backup of your databases, website, and files anytime you want to.
  • You have full control and accountability on your database backup tasks and your website.
  • You can use whatever tools you already have with no additional cost!

Downside of Utilizing Manual Backups

  • It takes longer time and if you have to do it all the time, you could waste valuable time.
  • You have to learn the procedures to do the backups and restorations effectively.
  • If you miss out on even one backups, you will have to suffer the downtime costs and concerns.
  • It is not as protected as the automatic backups.

Automatic Backup Services

You do not have to worry about missing out on doing your back up because it will automatically schedule and do the job. The nice part of it  is that you do not need to install something to your server because the automatic backup connects to your site.

Advantages of an Automatic Backup Services

  • You will never ever skip a day for your backups.
  • Just set and do nothing, and it will do the job for you.
  • Saves you more time, effort, and money.
  • It saves to the cloud storage, and still have another backup in your local storage.

Downside of Utilizing Automatic Backup Services

  • It records whatever changes you did on you website but only in the back up schedule.
  • The backup may not be successful if you configured it wrongly or if there is any changes in your credentials.

Contact the Omnipotech Support Center if you need help backing up your files and other cloud computing services.

So, today, I will continue by discussing the firmware dangers that your business is facing. In Understanding the Basics of Firmware, I talked about firmware and the possible dangers of firmware vulnerabilities.

Failure in the security of firmware is like welcoming the dangers of the following:

  • Surveillance on your operations
  • Extraction of your information
  • Controlling your device from a distance
  • Robbing your identity

The reason why firmware is such a simple target is because corrupting it is effortless. No matter what the hacker’s goal is, you should try to prevent them accessing your device.

How to Apply a Strong Security?

Before I even go to a few suggestions, just remember that the protection of the firmware is actually entrusted to those who created the hardware. This will only serve as an additional layer because it is anticipated that in 2021 the cost of the breaches is $6 trillion.

A lot of the current firmware sensitivities are continuously being discovered on every single electronic gadgets such as PCs and printers.

Upgrade Your Firmware

Manufacturers are providing up-to-date updates once they have uncovered weaknesses. Once new updates are in place, this guarantees that the firmware is working fine. Just continue to be on the look out for new updates. Install current versions as frequently as you possibly can. This will eradicate pathways for attack and will allow your hardware to work efficiently.

Never Use Unreliable USBs 

It is handy, yes, but if the hacker uses it, you are in a dangerous situation. The hacker can put malware on the firmware of your gadget. An example is BadUSB, which is a kind of malware that can worm into the firmware. Once you put into the USB port, the malware goes into your unsuspecting computer.

What is terrible about BadUSB is that it is hard to discover and more difficult to take off. The worst part is that there is no immediate fix to secure your device. Remember that the only assurance that it will not happen to your computer is to utilize only your own USB and not someone else’s.

Purchase Built-in Firmware Secured Hardware

Get a hardware that has modern firmware protection. BIOS manufacturers, and other tech companies, are updating their security procedures because of the rising firmware problems.

 What Is the Future of Firmware Security?

The security of firmware will depend on the developers, hardware companies, and the firmware researchers.

As soon as fresh vulnerabilities are known, more current patches and updates will be available to address the problem of the product. What you can do are:

  • Buying electronics that has an additional firmware security.
  • Vigilance in updating the new machines whether it’s your computer or your car.
  • Never plugging USB devices that is not yours.

Be ahead of the rest as cybersecurity is the answer to the safety of your devices. Never under estimate firmware assault. They can eventually give you such huge problems that will impact your business. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”

For your business’ IT needs, you can contact Omnipotech at 281-768-4800. Whether you need help on cybersecurity solutions or managed IT services, get in touch with us through the Omnipotech Support Center.

In 2022, it is expected that the companies with NO upgraded firmware plans will most likely be breached because of outdated firmware.

Firmware hacks are not in the same league as trojans, worms, or ransomware, but that does not make them less dangerous. It has the ability to evade the normal antivirus software.

The problem with firmware is that the security is not as strong as it should be, specifically in the fundamental input/output systems (BIOSes) of most gadgets. A report showed that a lot of BIOSes partly has the same code as the others. In another study, researchers uncovered weaknesses of 80% in the PCs. Known brands like HP and Dell are affected with this vulnerabilty.

Yet in another study, 73% of those who participated who did not secure their firmware said that they have a high rate of unidentified malware breaches and are inconceivable to find and counteract.

Now it is clear, firmware hacks are detrimental to the businesses. Now, what are the dangers that are affiliated related to this kind of threat? What can you do to safeguard your business against it?

What is Firmware?

It is the very center of your hardware. It is a basic software that is embedded in each piece of the hardware on your PC. Its job is to communicate with installed software to make sure that the hardware can perform the tasks properly.

Know the Danger

Weaknesses of the firmware gives way for malicious actors to enter the systems and you wouldn’t it happening. The reason for this is because firmware hacking imperils a device before you even start it up.

The moment the rogue code discovers  a swift course through the system, it can do the following:

  • alter and damage the firmware
  • target the operating system
  • penetrate software and many more

An ordinary BIOS and UEFI system are common places of attack. There are various forms to hack the firmware like bootkits, malware, and rootkits are known delivery vectors. You have to be conscious about corrupted drives, infected USBs, and terrible firmware goods.

There is no need for the hacker to be present because this can be accomplished from a distance by the help of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or other types of network connection. Today, we easily link to televisions, phones, game consoles to the online world. In which case, there is now a high probability of firmware attacks.

The Weaknesses on the Firmware Can Damage Anything

You might think this doesn’t concern me because I don’t use a computer often. With the technology these days, the new vehicles has Wi-fi and Bluetooth. And in no time, everything — including your car — will become an loT device in itself. Vehicles will be smarter and more efficient. This means that the operational updates will given over the air.

Because of this, hackers might take advantage of technological changes. Anticipate that these people will mount on or attached to the OTA software, and yes, that could definitely control your vehicle.

So, what you can you do to protect yourself? Read more on What are Firmware Attacks and How to Prevent It.

Based on DivvyCloud.com’s report, the data breaches that happened in 2019 meant companies lost roughly $3.18 trillion. Companies need to learn how to safeguard their business. The result of COVID-19 pandemic has, indeed, affected world economy and the way we go about our lives.

Below, I have enumerated 4 cloud security threats and some tips to address the issue.

CLOUD THREAT NO. 1: ACCESS MANAGEMENT

The main threats to cloud storage is truly how a company utilizes them. Because of the many cloud providers, it had made the service plans costs go down drastically. This urges the little businesses to put all their information to cloud. The alarming part is the cloud migration has been decided without no thoughts on the policies.

The solution for this? Lessen the access. There are two essential components.

  • Strict access measures.
  • Set of tools for authentication and identity verification.

CLOUD THREAT NO. 2: DATA BREACHES AND DATA LEAKS

Those data breaches and leaks are more dangerous compared to those internal breaches. The numerous information in the cloud systems can easily be hacked by a good hacker. Anyone can get in the cloud by observing the vulnerabilities of your systems.

In a certain company, the hackers were able to make use of an expired digital certificate. No one suspected of the breach, and it stayed undiscovered for more than a month.

A good 91% cyber assaults happen through a seemingly harmless email, which is like an open door welcoming the unwanted visitor. Secure your email and your data to make sure none of this will happen to your company. Utilize an in-transit data security. If you are constantly traveling, VPNs might help you.

CLOUD THREAT NO. 3: DATA LOSS

Data loss is one problem that has to be addressed. As you utilize cloud, the data you upload constantly grows to the point where you can no longer manage it. This makes it hard to do backups, and at this point, it becomes costly. In fact, 84% of businesses has reiterated that the conventional security methods of protecting the data no longer work in a cloud setting.

Because of this concern, ransomware attacks are now rising. The hacker will ask for a certain amount before they give you back your data. Now you ask yourself, how do people protect their business from this kind of threat? Preferably, use a distributed system. This means your information are regularly backed up in various locations and various systems.

CLOUD THREAT NO. 4: MISCONFIGURED CLOUD STORAGE

The misconfiguration could directly leave your data unprotected. To safeguard them, take a look at your configuration settings. It can be done by checking it out with your cloud storage vendor and ask for guarantees, include the legal side too. Make sure that the configuration is set up properly. Encryption is crucial at this point, and picking a good cloud provider is equally important too!

A TRUSTED PARTNER IN THE FIELD OF CLOUD COMPUTING

If you need cloud computing solutions, look no further because Omnipotech is here. For more info, please contact the Omnipotech Support Center. If you have any other questions, call Omnipotech at 281-768-4800!

Just because you feel as if you have nothing to hide does not mean that you should just ignore privacy and security. You may think that privacy only applies to an individual, but society, as a whole, needs privacy. There is what you call collective privacy.

However, with the help of the Internet, we are all now connected. There are no barriers that separate from each other. The Internet may have help us to stay connected despite the differences of geographical location, but it has also exposed us to some risks such as identity theft.

Below, I will discuss several information that will help protect you and the people around you. If you need some personal protective tips, I suggest that you read about the 8 Tips in Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft.

1. Limit your online presence.

  • Oversharing can be bad for you. Please try to avoid sharing too much on social media. You see, some people tend to post about their every move. Nope, not a good practice. Not everyone needs to know you ordered scones at Starbucks or you went to the Hamptons last weekend.
  • Hackers don’t magically get into your devices. Most of the time, they study a potential target. If your your social media is visible to the public, then they can easily snoop for details such as your name, location, birthday, pet name, email, and so on. Just by looking at your profile, which you made available to the public, cybercriminals can easily piece the details together.
  • Be careful with your digital footprints. If you can avoid social media, please do so. If you can’t, please set a limit on what you share online.

2. Help protect the vulnerable population.

  • As a young professional, you are probably well-versed about the tactics of these cybercriminals. Remember, the kids and elders can victims of identity theft too. Criminals know that children is an easier prey because they tend to be trusting with everyone they meet.
  • If you have kids at home, don’t let them use too much gadgets. Let them play actual games instead. If they have to use a computer for homework, be there to guide them. You can also enable the parental control over these mobile devices and even your internet connection.
  • The same goes for the elderly people because they tend to trust others easily. The Internet is a new thing to them; they may not completely understand the ramifications of their actions online. Whether you live with an elderly or a minor, please inform them about the dangers that lurk online.

3. Don’t just focus on online protection.

  • Identity theft can happen online, but it can also occur offline too. So, you have to destroy or shred documents before throwing them away. Often times, we just junk letters and mails straight to the trash. Please shred bank statements and other financial reports before discarding them.

4. Identity theft through data breaches

  • You may exercise extra precaution, but cybercriminals can still acquire your personal data through data breaches. They may not go after you, but they will go after huge multinational companies. For instance, just look at the Equifax data breach. One breach affected roughly 150 million people. 56% of this number consisted of Americans.
  • That’s why putting an additional layer of protection may lessen the chances of identity theft. If there are features to send you alerts, activate these options. Moreover, you can enable two-factor authentication. Logging in will not only ask for your username and password, but a unique code is also sent to your email or mobile device for further validation.

 

Computers and tech devices may have been a regular part of our daily lives. However, many people still don’t understand the repercussions of these technologies. As discussed in Knowing the Difference Between Privacy and Security, most people even think these terms are, more or less, the same… but they aren’t!

To be honest, computers can be easily infected by viruses.  Yes, not all viruses may be considered as an immediate threat. However, viruses may pave the way for more hazardous consequences. That’s why the key is to be safe and private in this borderless digital world is to understand the risks of the interaction with technology.

A Lurking Malware

A computer virus is just one of the many kinds of malware. In fact, it is the oldest form. Regardless if it is a virus or not, the fact remains the same: a malicious software is created to bring harm to computers and other mobile devices.

More often than not, a computer virus comes with malicious intent. Whether it is written in the virus or it is something that the virus installs, these actions can pose a threat to your devices like indirectly allowing cybercriminals and hackers to access your computer. Moreover, they can obtain your personal information such as your bank account details and your credit card numbers.

Also, these malware can direct your computer and/or mobile device to unwanted websites and ask for a fee in order to open it back again. I have discussed this specifically on The Thing About Ransomware.

How to maintain privacy and security in this modern world?

To serve as a protection, cybersecurity products are made to ensure our privacy and security. For example, you can use a VPN when browsing online. A virtual private network, or VPN as it is commonly known, is a cybersecurity tool that allows you to be anonymous online. This is particularly useful when you are at a coffee shop, a crowded airport, or any public place.

Through the VPN, your personal data and your internet activity will be masked and encrypted to keep it away from prying eyes. To know more about VPNs, refer to my post on 4 Factors to Consider when Choosing the Right VPN. Just be careful on installing the free VPNs out there. They aren’t exactly the best candidate! (See: Free VPN Isn’t the best VPN)

Tips for protecting your privacy and security

At the end of the day, you should not choose between privacy and security. You should strive to have both! Here are the things you can do to promote both privacy and security:

  • Avoid social media. If you cannot, at least, try to limit what you post online in general.
  • Shred documents and other things in your mailbox before throwing them away.
  • Keep your social security number and other important cards in a safe place. Do not bring them at all times!
  • Protect your computer and other devices with the help of cybersecurity tools and anti-malware softwares.
  • Refrain from using a public Wi-Fi. If you can’t avoid it, then, use a VPN to secure the connection.
  • Lastly, don’t just hand your information to every website. Learn how your personal data is used by different websites. Once shared, you can never take it back. Always read the terms and conditions before signing up.

Privacy and security tend to be interchangeable these days. However,  these two days are totally different from each other. They may be related to one another, but it is best to have them both to ensure optimal cybersecurity.

What’s the difference?

You may ask, how do you tell them apart? Well, I will discuss how privacy and security are connected. First, let’s start with privacy, and it pertains your rights and control over your personal information. For instance, when you upload something online, you should have a say on how your information is used. Just look at those apps you download on the App Store and Google Play Store. You allow these smartphone apps access your contents, storage, location, and so on.

Meanwhile, security refers to how your information is protected. Your personal data includes things such as places you visited, people you interacted with, and other details you may not necessarily disclose to the public.

In short, privacy is about how your data is used, and security is about how your data is protected. Some people may think these two are the same thing, but they are not. They intertwine though, and overlap in the digital landscape of things.

To further protect you from online threats, it important to know the difference between privacy and security.

Let’s further expound…

For example, you open a bank account under your name. You provide NOT just the money, but also your personal information.

  1. Both privacy and security are guaranteed.

    • The bank should make a point to keep things private, and they should not disclose that you have deposited an X amount of money. At the same time, the bank should secure the money you have entrusted them.
  2. Privacy may be compromised, but security is enforced.

    • In other instances, your bank could sell your information to other companies. You could have given them permission when you signed the bank documents. That’s why read first the terms and conditions especially if you don’t want your personal details to be exposed to other marketers. However, this doesn’t mean your money is not safe anymore. Only your privacy is compromised in this scenario.
  3. Both privacy and security are compromised.

    • This is the worst case scenario out of the 3 instances. Both your privacy and security are affected, and this can happen through a data breach. When the bank is a victim of a ransomware or any cyber attack, your privacy is at stake and also the security of the money you have deposited.

The tip of the iceberg

These privacy issues don’t just happens in banks. Instead, they could happen in at your favorite restaurant, at a hospital, at the mall, and at any government office. Plus, it is also prevalent in the online world. So, I may have used a hypothetical organization as an example. But when you think about it, your personal data are constantly at risk. Whether in the offline and online, cybercriminals could get a hold of your personal data. Hence, privacy should go hand in hand with security, and vice versa. It is best to always consider both!

In the next post, I will be discussing the Tips in Maintaining Privacy & Security.

 

 

 

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