Missing Just One Of These Could Instantly Open Up Your Computer Network To A Cyber Attack

Welcome to the brave new world of cyber-warfare.

Gone are the days when software patches were just for nifty little feature add-ons or updates.

Today, a software update notice could mean your whole computer network is suddenly at risk. Dangers include data theft, crippling malware attacks and mischief you may not discover for months, or even years…

As with graffiti on your garage door, if you don’t pay attention and clamp down on bad behavior, your problems have likely just begun…

And, like those who hire a professional security firm to keep thieves out of the warehouse, thousands of CEOs and business owners are now waking up to the fact that it’s absolutely imperative to hire a pro when it comes to securing your data network.

Here’s why you need a professional handling this for you:

#1: Speed is of the essence.
“If you didn’t update to version 7.32 within seven hours, you should assume you’ve been hacked.” That’s what software maker Drupal told millions of its customers around the world last year. It’s just one example of what can happen if you don’t respond with lightning speed.

Once a security breach has been identified, hackers rush in. On “Day Zero,” cyber-crooks around the world go after at-risk targets. You’ve got to be quick to patch the gap, or else you risk a system compromise.

Unless you have the time, knowledge, experience and tool set to respond instantly, you are far better off leaving this to a professional IT firm you can trust.

#2: It’s not just the big boys they’re after.
Sure, the top news stories are about the attacks on companies like Target, Home Depot and Sony…

Yet your business is just as vulnerable, if not more so. Chances are, you simply do not have the resources that giant corporations have to manage a data disaster. The statistics bearing this out are shocking: more than 60% of small businesses close their doors following a serious data breach.

The threat is not confined to giant corporations. Small and medium businesses are being attacked every day, and, unfortunately, your business is no exception.

#3: Dealing with data breaches requires specialized knowledge, skill and experience.

Here are just a few of the things a competent data guardian must be able to do to effectively protect your systems:

Review documentation and monitor forums. Sometimes your software vendor doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s critical to check online forums and other communities to see if anyone else is having issues with the new patch before jumping in with both feet.

Know when to apply a patch immediately and when to wait.
Typically, somewhere around 95% of patches work hassle-free. The trick is to spot the 5% that don’t — before installing them. This requires identifying unique patching requirements, and applying exceptions accordingly. For instance:

Does the patch deal only with a security issue?
Or does it just add new features or fix non-security-related bugs? Obviously, security issues get top priority.

Is the system currently having issues?
If not, and if the patch doesn’t address a security issue your system is vulnerable to, it may be better to heed the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

What security gaps does it address? How severe is the threat to your particular network? If, for example, the only way a virus can enter your system is through an e-mail attachment and this functionality has been disabled for all users, perhaps the threat needn’t be a great concern.

Keep options open in case of complications.
Once a patch has been applied, if things aren’t working, it’s critical to restore the data network to pre-patch functionality, with little if any downtime. That means having good backups in place along with a tested and proven recovery process.

Does just thinking about data security give you a headache? We strongly advise that you let us handle this critical part of your business for you.

Call (605) 882-6900 and schedule our no-cost Security Update Audit today. You’ll discover how easy it is to rest assured that your network is
secure 24/7.

Think Through Social Media Actions In A Heated Moment

1. If you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother, don’t write it on Twitter. The oldest test in the book is the grandma test. It still holds today. If she would be appalled, odds are that others will be too. It feels good to blast an opponent, but such outburst can easily be used against you.

2. Remember that everything you say or do on the web is archived. Even if the NSA happens to miss it, odds are that Twitter, Facebook, Google and/or other platforms have a way of archiving the information. Consider everything you write these days on the Internet to be permanent. Trolls may delete their comments but they still leave a trail.

3. Still debating saying it? Sleep on it. This is familiar but often good advice. If you really feel the need to say something that might be taken the wrong way, consider sitting on it overnight. Waiting until the next day will rarely hurt your point, and it may save huge amounts of embarrassment.

4. If you do say it…make sure you feel that you could defend it in a court of law. Falsely accusing someone of something is a big deal and the repercussions could amplify beyond your original intentions.

5. Remember that your reputation is cumulative. How you respond to the unfair and uncivil will either enhance or detract from your reputation. Don’t let others bait you into ruining your reputation.

6. How do I react when I am targeted on social media?

I. Grab screenshots. If someone truly is going after you, the first move is to gather evidence. Make sure you have copies. Odds are that they will quickly realize what they have done and will try to erase their trail, so the best thing you can do is make sure you have a copy on hand.

II. Report them. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and most other platforms have safeguards against those who harass others. Don’t hesitate to put in a report—that’s why it’s there!

III. Try not to react. This goes back to my above points about guarding yourself. As hard as it is, try to remember that once integrity is lost it is extremely hard to recover. The more reaction, the more fuel you pour on the fire.

IV. Remember that the truth is the best defense. As someone who has been egregiously accused of something I did not do, I took solace in the fact that I was innocent and as such the accusation cruelly asserted could never be proven.

We live in a world where unscrupulous people have migrated to online communities and live among the rest of us. I hope you never have to use the above actions, but that when you do, I hope they serve you well.

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international best-selling author and noted authority on leadership, team-building, customer service and change. Mark is the author of 8 books, including the best seller The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, which has sold more than 1.6 million copies internationally. Learn more about Mark at www.marksanborn.com.

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
iTranslate Makes It Easier Than Ever
To Speak With Interesting People


Other than the occasional epic (and hilarious) fail, translation apps are getting pretty good. And one of the best, iTranslate, now gives you voice translations on the spot.

Here’s an “at-a-glance” rundown of all that iTranslate can do:
Speak into your device and, with a tap or swipe, it recites what you just said in your choice of over 90 languages. That’s twice the number of languages offered by Google Translate.

You can select a male or female voice, as well as dialect and speaking rate. It also turns Chinese characters into alphabet-based words in English.
And you can run it on your iWatch, iPhone, Android or Windows phone.
One downside is that the free version displays ads, but for five bucks you can upgrade and turn them off.

With this handy app, your world just got smaller — and, potentially, a whole lot more interesting.

Year End Tips and Tricks

Your Accounting
■ Time to put your books in the cloud? Want to save time and money on bookkeeping in 2016? If your company hasn’t already made the switch to a cloud-based accounting system, it may be time to migrate. Here’s why: with a cloud system, you can outsource your bookkeeping, saving you staffing costs as well as office space. Plus, your team saves time dragging files back and forth and keeping current versions backed up and secure. And an added plus is that you and your team can enter expenses on the go via smartphone. Popular apps include QuickBooks Online, Xero, Zoho Books and FreshBooks. Choose based on robust feature sets, solid support, ease of use and, of course, time and money saved.

Aggregated from recent issues of PC Magazine, Business News Daily and Merchant Maverick

Your Time
■ 3 Ways to End Holiday Overwhelm. This holiday season, skip the stress with these time-saving tips: 1) Do your homework before hitting the stores. Catch coupons on sites like dealcatcher.com, couponcabin.com and retailmenot.com. Quality-check gift ideas at Consumerreports.org for expert reviews, or sites with user reviews such as Amazon.com or Cnet.com. Then, rather than drive all over town for the best deal, check out Pricegrabber.com. 2) Plan a trip — it’s a great way to share experiences rather than acquiring more things. 3) For those on your list who already have plenty of “stuff,” give a Good Card. The Good Card lets users give to their choice of over 1.2 million charities.

Summarized from Family Circle, “Holiday Time And Money Saving Tips.”

Your Health
■ Eat, drink and be healthy this holiday season. Here’s how: keep the pounds down by knowing your number. Visit heart.org/explorer for a quick read on your recommended daily intake of calories. Think of it as your expense-account limit for holiday gatherings, and choose how much you want to spend on drinks, appetizer, entree, dessert, etc. You could even keep a food diary to help stay on track with your target weight goal. At parties, wear snug clothing and keep one hand busy. With a drink in your dominant hand, you’ll be less likely to grab goodies. And your snug-fitting outfit will keep you so busy pulling your tummy in, you won’t have time to feel hungry.

Aggregated from recent entries: Heart.org and WebMD.com

Your Computer’s Operating System
■ Windows 10, Thumbs Up… As even Microsoft admits, Windows 8 was a flop… So why make the leap to Windows 10? (By the way, in case you were wondering, for reasons we may never know, Microsoft decided to skip Windows 9.) To start with, the Windows 10 user interface just makes a lot more sense than W8’s UI. It brings back the Windows 7 start menu, and key functions are accessed from the taskbar. It features a more refined design — for instance, smaller window borders. And, at least until July 29, 2016, you can upgrade your Windows 7 or 8.1 OS for free. So unless your Windows device is an RT version or is about tapped out on memory, we think you can feel pretty good about upgrading to Windows 10.

Aggregated from Tech Radar and IB Times

DON’T FORGET TO BACK-UP YOUR DATA. Corrupt installs still happen and many line of business applications do not work with Windows 10. If you would like to discuss upgrading your company’s computers to Windows 10 or would like assistance, we are happy to help.

FREE Report:
12 Little-Known Facts and Insider Secrets Every Business Owner Should Know About Backing Up Their Data and Choosing a Remote Backup Service


You will learn

  1. The only way to know for SURE your data can be recovered if lost, corrupted or deleted—yet fewer than 10% of businesses have this in place.
  2. 7 critical characteristics you should absolutely demand from any off-site backup service.
  3. Where many backups fail and give you a false sense of security.
  4. The #1 cause of data loss that businesses don’t even think about until their data is erased.

Claim Your FREE Copy HERE Today

Important! We hate spam as much (or more!) than you and promise to NEVER rent, share, or abuse your e-mail address and contact information in any way.