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5 Ways to Secure Remote Workers & Keep Your Data Safe

5 Ways to Secure Remote Workers & Keep Your Data Safe

 

Cybersecurity as easy as 5-4-3-2-1

 

What is security these days? A scan that slows your system while you’re trying to stream a movie or play a video game? A superglue blockade overflowing from your modem ports? Cyberattacks can’t stop us from the new, remote ways of working together, especially in response to the pandemic. The future is remote. The numbers aren’t in yet, but some reports are claiming 1 in every 5 workers will continue on with remote access to corporate data, and others are saying nearly 100% of workers will now operate outside of business campuses in one capacity or another. Fortunately, there are many new ways to secure remote workers, in the woods or in the halls.

Ways to Secure Remote Workers

 

Ransomware isn’t a person.

 

Or a monster. Or a beast. The cyberthreats we face often feel nebulous, confusing, and perhaps a bit mythical to even the most uneventful personalities. The BYOD (bring-your-own-device) culture that’s boomed as a result of social distancing immediately increased the need for more sophisticated approaches to cyber warfare. The digital landscape is infected. New threats emerge daily as cybersecurity experts rush to cure compromised users before attacks infiltrate national and global networks.

 

One way to secure remote workers is to see circulating threats as something other than human. Malware spreads in milliseconds, often without the direct influence of people, and can take months to detect. A cyber threat often becomes a hidden danger and eventually attacks your entire network. You might unwittingly share it with your supply chain. Your malware isn’t a malcontent in a hoodie. It might begin with a human, but it jumps devices without direct guidance, as initially programmed to do, often causing more damage than the cybercriminal expected.

 

Security measures involve many layers of cyber defense, especially when addressing remote connections:

  • Power in the Layers: This includes keeping your hardware strong and your network patched. Look for renowned technology solutions. Duct tape and magnets? Raspberry Pi backups? Look for the latest cybersecurity tools and save old tricks for the treehouse.
  • Monitor the Monitor: A secret code is no longer enough. A username and a password was never enough, so we’ve developed advanced monitoring and management solutions for your business. Watching the watcher keeps your data on watch for on-guard and on-time productivity.
  • Party with Your Partners: Celebrate your digital serenity with the calm crew of a trusted technology firm. The right managed IT alliance complements your core team, toasting cyberthreats so you have time for a toast.
  • Click-a-Little-Talk-a-Little: Train your team to be careful with clicking tendencies and to communicate about potential harm to your data.
  • Question Everything: Question us, question your team, question every click and download. Fill your day with virtual pauses, staying alert to cyber risks.

Your online safety is dependent on secure interactions.

 

Your financial data, your business strategy, your critical tasks and personal stats are all under attack. How can you keep everything secured when the digital landscape is always shapeshifting? As your business grows more complex, perhaps depending on a complicated ERP system, how do you keep IT safe? AI and automation create worlds of benefits for businesses, but these new technologies get in the hands of nefarious hackers, and suddenly your entire social chain, the very vitality of your company, is at risk.

 

Would you like to learn more about nomadic or stationary cybersecurity? Daryl Sirota, Director of Technical Services, will provide security tips for Microsoft 365 in the upcoming weeks. Meet him virtually on Fridays at 12 pm Mountain Time.

Microsoft 365 Working Remotely

We’ve put together a fun poster that you can share with your remote teams. Tap it to open a printable window, and please share these tips with your friends. Let’s keep everyone’s data cozy with multiple layers of cybersecurity. Let’s dress up our data for new times.

5 Ways to Secure Remote Workers
Epicor Administration & Helpful Tools of the Trade

Epicor Administration & Helpful Tools of the Trade

A Day in the Life of an Epicor Admin

One of the best parts of working as an ERP consultant is the opportunity to work with so many smart people, and you’ll find many working in Epicor administration. Companies are successful for a variety of reasons, and the strengths, skills, and character of individual employees are at the core of organizational performance. The privilege of working with devoted coworkers makes it all worthwhile. As they say, iron sharpens iron — and even should a few sparks fly, I am thankful for the grind. Epicor admins come with a toolset capable of managing the application’s configuration, performance, and architecture — administration responsibilities that demand precision and prowess.

Epicor Administration

What exactly is an Epicor admin?

Of the many ERP positions I’ve encountered, none are so perplexing and nebulous as those responsible for Epicor administration. What I have come to understand is that the Epicor Administrator is as thankless a role as it is undefined. In my years as an Epicor consultant, I’ve encountered countless ERP administrators, and their skills and responsibilities extend in all directions.

 

For example, an average day for an Epicor admin might look something like this:

  • Address system errors first thing in the morning.
  • Perform an ad hoc backup of the production database and restore it over the test environment to give new employees a place to train.
  • Troubleshoot intermittent MRP issues.
  • Educate the engineering department on correct part setup.
  • Deploy yesterday’s dashboard tweaks.
  • Blow away some pesky personalizations that have been flummoxing a particular user.
  • Help the finance department with some BAQs in anticipation of the coming month’s end.
  • For free time, work on a chip-away-at SSRS report.
  • On the way out the door, kick off a DMT run to mop up some of last week’s indiscretions.

What does tomorrow bring for the Epicor administrator?

 

Every admin I’ve met hosts a similar blend of firefighting, process improvement, and general oversight. And in spite of the tremendous breadth that such a position demands, I have encountered many an admin whose depth of knowledge has matched their breadth. Over the years, I’ve done my best to learn from them and to document what I’ve learned. As such, here are a few Epicor administration tricks I’ve picked up along the way that you can bookmark, revisit, and share.

 

Need your BAQ to return more than 10,000 rows? BAQ Execution Settings help Epicor administrators get more data.

Have you wondered how to manage the multiple sessions flag in user security works?

Do you need to enable new functionality through the admin console? Check out our post on Epicor licensing.

Looking to launch a form’s custom version from a right click or an MES button? Learn more about binding Epicor customizations using process calls and menu IDs.

Trying to work out auto-login? Review Epicor sysconfig files and auto-login capabilities.

Need to relate UD tables to their parents? Learn how the SysRowID fields relate parents to children.

Are you running into the “CGCCode Mismatch” error when importing dashboards in Epicor 10? Learn how to edit a dashboard definition.

Are you looking to deploy customizations in a multi-company environment?

Beyond Epicor Admin

Are you looking to go beyond administration knowledge?

Sign up for our manufacturing newsletter to get Epicor updates as they happen.

 

Social Engineering Techniques: How Hackers Come Home

Social Engineering Techniques: How Hackers Come Home

Time to Learn Social Engineering Techniques

 

WELCOME HOME, MALWARE

TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME

 

Human manipulation fuels social engineering techniques, and basic security measures, like anti-virus software, often can’t prevent innocent behaviors, like trust, from compromising your data. Hackers frequently penetrate corporate networks because employees open the door. Necessary to break the trust-manipulation cycle, advanced security solutions can detect, and even predict, social actions that lead to system infiltration. Advanced attacks that use subtle social engineering techniques often come and go without a trace, so how do you prevent sophisticated attackers from making themselves at home in your business?

 

A hacker’s “Welcome Home” sign might be on an open Wi-Fi network, or it might be on your personal computer, or even your phone. A social engineering attack taps into your life in a way that can feel “like home” to you. Soon, the person you trust takes over your “house” of data, and this can be at both home-life and corporate-life levels, at the same moment, since you might integrate work and home through the use of your mobile phone, laptop, smart watch, tablet (maybe even through a Wi-Fi enabled coffeemaker).

 

If you leave your doors unlocked, people might crash in your digital living room even while your computer is sleeping. If you have dozens or hundreds of employees, each human presents at least one door to your data. Multiply this by the average number of devices employees utilize for work optimization (desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, smart televisions), and you’ll see that your business has hundreds of thousands of access points.

 

Businesses naturally have an “open door” culture. You want new clients. You want good growth and reputation to result from your offerings, and this means you have to interact with strangers on a daily basis. Stranger danger? Not if that stranger has the potential to become a favorite customer. This is why it’s critical to understand the nuances of social engineering techniques (or partner with a managed IT team that does).

 

Because companies leave their virtual doors open, they attract attacks that utilize simple social engineering strategies (no hacking genius required). Detecting these nefarious online behaviors often takes advanced cyber analytics, and preventing data breaches begins with training based on what is known about these cyberattack strategies.

 

Here are 3 ways hackers let themselves in and make themselves at home in your network:

 

 

Phishing

 

32% of security breaches begin with phishing attacks. If someone knows your email address, then you can receive a phishing email. How do you prevent these attacks when you’re a business owner constantly giving your email address to strangers? If you do any of the following behaviors, you’re at increased risk of a phishing attack:

  • You exchange business cards at conferences, trade shows and other social gatherings.
  • You publish your contact information on your website or on online social networking pages.
  • You use email to communicate with your employees, partners, customers and potential clients.
  • You respond to emails quickly, often overlooking small details in the delivery structure.

 

Exchanging

 

Save money. Save time. Download free software. Fill in a form or upload your business card and get free information. The bliss of the internet is free exchange. You can hop from one website to another, learning for free and networking for free, all from the comfort of your sofa, saving time and travel expense. Sadly, the risk of “free” malware comes with every exchange that happens in our connected online world. If you do any of the following online activities, you’re at increased risk of a social engineering attack:

  • You skip the fine print and click the download button before reviewing terms, agreements and privacy policies.
  • You see a website you like with content you want, so you freely give your name, address, phone number, and maybe even your employment information, in exchange for a download.
  • You download free apps and sign up for free trials.

 

Spying

 

Hackers often look over your shoulder to get the information they need to access your data. You might be at a coffeeshop talking to a friend while your unlocked phone sits cup-side. Maybe your phone is also on open Wi-Fi, leaving multiple open doors into your private life. E-espionage often happens at the places you love — your favorite deli, your downtown square — tranquil places, where you don’t feel a sense of vigilance. You are at risk of becoming a social engineering attack victim if you do any of the following activities:

  • You leave your laptop, phone, or tablet on the table when you see your friend in line at the coffeehouse and get up to say hello.
  • You turn password access off on your phone so that you don’t have to unlock it later.
  • You use public Wi-Fi networks.
  • You have the same password for multiple accounts so that you’ll always remember your login credentials.

 

If you got through these lists without a hitch, then you’ve taken the right steps to prevent social engineering techniques from ruining your life with ransomware. Unfortunately, the hackers could still carry you over your own threshold. Why? Because as soon as you add coworkers or friends to your contact list, and as soon as you begin to communicate using your devices, you introduce new risks.

 

Supply Chain Cybersecurity