Chip Hanlon

Podcast: SD WAN for the Home Office


As a primer for our upcoming webinar on June 25th (Register), we conducted a short interview with VergX COO, Chris Chirico, about SD WAN and how it’s not just for the office anymore. VergX is the technology partner solution which powers Cynexlink Enterprise SD WAN and the new Cynexlink Home SD WAN.

Has a key employee lost his or her home internet connection at a critical moment due to heavy demand on the home wifi? Don’t let that problem plague your team any longer.

You can learn more by listening to our roughly 10-minute conversation right here:

Now, companies of all sizes can use this fast-growing solution to secure, manage and prioritize the flow of data — even in employees’ home environments! This is truly a simple, cost-effective game changer for savvy organizations to utilize.

And again, be sure to join us at 10am PDT on June 25th for a full, free webinar presentation regarding all SD WAN can do:

Enjoy the podcast above and we hope to see you on the 25th!

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USEFUL TACTICS TO PROTECT AGAINST COVID-19 CYBER SCAMS

Useful Tactics to Protect Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams


HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST COVID-19 CYBERSECURITY SCAMS?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t just a growing threat to public health – it’s also a growing threat to your company’s cybersecurity.

From using scary subject lines to adopting faux official letterhead, bad actors are scrambling to use the climate of fear and disruption caused by COVID-19 to their advantage.

Disasters, emergencies, and global pandemics provide a target-rich environment for cybercriminals to launch phishing attacks and employ other dirty tricks to gain access to your data.

It only takes one staffer opening a bogus email, clicking on a dangerous link, or downloading a malware-laden attachment for them to succeed.

Here are three ways that you can act immediately to prevent a potentially disastrous Coronavirus-related data breach.

1. Plan, Preserve and Protect

Use expert guidance from agencies like CISA to prepare your organization for risks posed by COVID-19.

Is your cybersecurity plan adequate for the unique challenges presented by increased virtualization if your staff is quarantined or working remotely for safety?

Two-factor authentication and other tools like VPN help keep your organization’s data and systems safe, even when workers aren’t in the office.

2. Trust but Verify 

Get updates about COVID-19, scams and frauds related to the Coronavirus pandemic, and its impact on cybersecurity from trusted, official sources.

  • Encourage your staff to only use vetted information for planning and communications.
  • Be wary of any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink.
  • Avoid sharing or clicking on social media posts, text messages, or IMs offering Coronavirus information, vaccination, treatment or cures.

3. Make Prevention a Priority 

  • Refresh every staffer’s training on how to spot phishing scams and online fraud.
  • Remind your staff that government agencies will never ask for sensitive personal, financial or business information via email.
  • Reinforce that clicking on links or opening attachments from unfamiliar sources is a quick way for scammers to infect your systems with malware.
  • Employee Security Awareness Training and Phishing Simulations can help make sure that your staff is ready to spot and defend against attack.

Constant vigilance against cyberattacks is a smart strategy for any business.

In these uncertain times, we’re happy to be your trusted source for the tools and strategies that you need to keep cybercriminals out of your business.

References: https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/20_0306_cisa_insights_risk_management_for_novel_coronavirus.pdf

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/02/coronavirus-scammers-follow-headlines

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/03/06/defending-against-covid-19-cyber-scams

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

https://www.cisa.gov/coronavirus

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/03/ftc-fda-warnings-sent-sellers-scam-coronavirus-treatments

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Beyond IT: Fed Bailout May Cover Your Payroll for 4 Months


We’re IT guys, of course, but we wanted to pass along information from a different domain in case you didn’t see it.

Early this morning on CNBC, a host reported on an element of the Senate bailout package which companies with fewer than 500 employees will want to be aware of. That host said Larry Lindsey, former director of the National Economic Council, called this measure the “big bazooka” of the bailout package.

Here are the key elements:

  • Section 1105 of the bailout bill will provide small business loans to cover payroll
  • Covers employees earning up to $100,000/year
  • Loans are forgiven if a company maintains its payroll for 4 months

In short: for small businesses which can avoid making cuts to personnel, it looks like the Feds will pay those qualifying employees for you.

There’s a bit more info in this article from Politico: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/19/who-wins-in-coronavirus-bailout-138419 (scroll down to the section titled “Small Businesses: $300 Billion”).

While there are more details to learn about, the points above hit the highlights. And this legislation, which is the 3rd in a series of bills (two have been signed) in response to COVID-19, still needs to be married to the equivalent House bill that’s taking shape.

Still, it just seemed to be a possible fit for so many of our clients that we wanted to share this information with a wider audience.

Again, we’re in IT so this doesn’t constitute tax/payroll advice, consult your financial professional, yada yada… all the necessary disclaimers. But hopefully this is of some help or interest.

Last thing, while we’re at it: keep in mind that because of the lag in discovering new COVID-19 cases, the numbers will undoubtedly get much worse over the next couple of weeks. This widely-read article describes that lag well: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca. While the numbers in that article are now out of date, the reasoning isn’t, and it’s fascinating.

However, that lag also means that the strict measures we’re all taking, like social distancing, are having an impact. They’re undoubtedly having a big impact right now – we just won’t see it in the data for two or three weeks.

The economic damage is real. You have hard calls to make regarding your employees and your business. But have confidence that better days are coming in terms of virus/new case statistics – and they may be coming sooner than we can imagine in this moment.

Hang in there and have a safe weekend,

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