Friday, April 14, 2017

Shadow IT: How Your Company’s Data
Is Silently Being Leaked Online

          Here’s a growing trend creeping into organizations of all industries and sizes: Shadow IT. Shadow IT are unauthorized cloud applications employees are using and downloading to perform work-related activities with company data. This can be file-sharing services like Dropbox or surveys such as Zoomerang. The list goes on and on.

     So what’s the problem? For starters, if you’re in a highly regulated industry like medical or financial services, you’re almost guaranteed to be flagrantly violating data privacy laws or at least flirting with them; and if you’re audited, you could end up facing BIG fines, not to mention legal fees and bad PR. Second, the barrier to entry is LOW. Anyone with a browser and a credit card can purchase or enroll themselves into applications that integrate with your organization’s critical applications and/or store company data such as client lists, e-mails, files, etc.

     Of course, not all cloud apps are bad, and most employees subscribe to these apps with the most honest of intentions, but you as the owner and your IT person or company need to at least be AWARE of these applications to determine if they’re a threat to security or a violation of data privacy laws, and simply to keep your confidential information, well, confidential!

     Your IT Company or person should be constantly monitoring your network for new and unknown software or devices. This can (and should!) be incorporated into routine vulnerability testing. If you’re not sure this is being done now, find out. As Intel founder Andy Grove once said, “Only the paranoid survive.” Once you know what applications are being used, you can set your company firewall to block applications you DON’T want employees to access with company data and devices, and allow those that are company-approved.

     Also, make sure you catalogue these sites somewhere by user with the login information for that person. If an employee leaves your organization or is fired, they may remember what the username and password are to these cloud applications and could use them to harm your organization or steal data to sell or give to a competitor. Don’t put yourself at risk!

If you find out your current Technical Service Firm does not catalog and monitor your network for the presence of new applications, or just need to learn how to evaluate your current firm  please visit our site and request a free report “What every business owner must know about hiring an honest, competent,responsive and fairly prices technical service firm

Monday, April 4, 2016

How to spot a dangerous e-mail

Dissecting a dangerous e-mail.   AKA  How to spot a phishing attempt

I received this e-mail this morning.  Rather than simply smirk and delete the obvious phishing attempt, I decided it would make a good reminder for anyone who, like me, who has a bunch of e-mail to weed through each morning.

I’ve generated a screen shot and notated in red, the indicators of danger.

Please feel free to print and share with your staff.   I'm more than happy to send you the snapshot file should you want a copy to distribute or place in your employee handbook.   Just ask.

Bill Billand


Note the actual sending address looks like “” but it’s a clever address designed to satisfy the casual glance.

Non- specific name.  Any notification from a business doing business with you should address you by name or account name.

A hover-over the link reveals   “Http:// 

First – Any link to anything secure should start with Https (note the “s”)

Second – The domain name is – not JP-Chase, that is simply a cleverly named web page designed to deceive.

Note the urgency with one, and only one, means of resolution.  A BIG RED FLAG.

Again no alternate means of contact or resolving this “Important” issue.  The victim of this scam believes he or she has one option.  Click the link or suffer the consequences.

NEVER NEVER click the link.