Tag Archive: cyber security

  1. Facial Recognition & Cybersecurity

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    Human beings are uniquely adept at recognizing faces and interpreting facial expressions. The average person is capable of remembering and recognizing over 5,000 unique faces instantly. We’re so good at it that we can immediately spot a familiar person up to 50 yards away. For a machine to step up to the task of recognizing faces that quickly and reliably would be quite a feat of engineering. But, of course, facial recognition technology (FR) has made some critical leaps forward in recent years.

    For FR to work, it has to go through a process of capturing images, extracting key feature markers, comparing these to a database, and performing a match search. At present, facial recognition security assets require that a would-be entrant present his or her face to the scanner, hold still for a moment, and try not to visibly emote. This kind of tech can help harden an access point against unauthorized entrants- but the limitations of the system make it easy for clever hackers to defeat.

    Here at Integrated Axis Technology Group in Arizona, our goal is to help you get the most out of any security technology you choose to deploy. At present, recognizing the cybersecurity risks of Facial Recognition is critical.

    The Risks of Facial Recognition Technology

    The best FR tech performs Capture, Extraction, Comparison, and Matching very quickly. But for an intruder who understands how the machine works, defeating the system is still possible. There is also a list of known methods to beat FR cameras. They include, but are not limited to;

    • Camera finders: detect FR cameras so they can be avoided
    • NIR LEDs: use bright lights to disrupt FR scans
    • Reflective accessories: blind camera sensors
    • Prosthetic masks: realistic masks that can trick FR cameras
    • Hair and makeup: obscure and alter facial features without looking suspicious

    FR Hacking

    For the time being, all of these methods allow people to escape detection. But only one can actually fool an FR scanner in order to gain access to a restricted location, the prosthetic mask. While these items are expensive, it is possible for a criminal to obtain them, and they easily fool most FR systems. Of course, privacy is always a concern. By making your face your key and password, that means anyone who manages to obtain a prosthetic copy of your face gains access. In a world where FR is ubiquitous, a rise in prosthetic mask crime is a predictable outcome.

    Reliability

    Automakers have begun experimenting with FR tech as a means for drivers to access their vehicles. Models that are currently in testing have a high rate of success, about 97%. But these devices succeed at lower rates recognizing women due to makeup and hair changes, and people with dark skin, which absorbs much of the light FR systems need to work.

    Privacy

    Of course, placing FR cameras anywhere poses a privacy threat to anyone who walks by them. With these concerns on the rise, we can expect to see changes to legislation regulating these devices in the near future.

    Here at Integrated Axis, our goal is to help companies in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona cope with and overcome these risks. Our integrated It services are designed to keep you ahead of the competition- especially in areas where keeping up with bleeding-edge technology is key to remaining competitive in your industry.

  2. Business Tech | The Risks of Email Compromise

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    We’ve talked at length before about email security in the business world, but this issue cannot be understated. According to AIG (one of the insurance companies that cover business losses due to cyber risks), the largest threat for businesses today are email breaches. Compromised emails cause more overall damage than ransomware and even data breaches by hackers. Why are scammers hitting business email accounts so hard? If you understand the possible motives for email compromise, you’re more likely to take the proper precautions on all communication avenues. 

    Email Compromise Motives

    Most business professionals are well versed in phishing schemes and outright hacking. The motive is to gain access to sensitive data. The email compromises we see work a little differently. Often these scams aren’t about getting data or launching a ransomware attack (though those types of attacks still happen and you should have security protocol in place for those, as well). Often, email compromise is about a one-time theft of money. In some cases, the scammer may come back for payment more than once, if they’re sure that the target isn’t already aware of the scam.

    In these attacks, the scammers have inside knowledge about the target. They may have gained access to email accounts, which means that they can read through all sent and received emails to gain a picture of current projects, vendors, and colleagues that the target deals with routinely. The email account that they’ve compromised is also not necessarily the one they target to send fraudulent requests to. That’s what makes this type of scam so hard to identify and guard against. If you’ve followed all best practices and are confident your own account is secure, you might be less wary about the emails you receive from trusted sources — like your boss or vendor.

    Be Aware

    Take this, for example: a hacker compromises the email account of someone in your company. They’ve read through and figured out which vendors are being used for current projects. They can also do some research online to find all the players in your company. Then they would go about setting up fake email and payment accounts. Once they have all of that in place, they might send you a fraudulent invoice with payment details. Or they might send an email that appears to be from your superior or even the head of the company, instructing you to send payment to a vendor. The payment, of course, would go to the hackers. These scams often look authentic and use proper English. There’s very little to differentiate them from legitimate correspondence. And major companies with excellent security protocols have still fallen prey to these types of attacks. The best approach is to not pay for anything that you didn’t have scheduled, at least not without verifying the request directly.

    Integrated Axis | Your Cyber Security Expert in the Southwest

    If you’re looking for a company to build your strategy for email security in the Tucson and Phoenix area, contact Integrated Axis today. Our experienced staff can assess your process and deliver the exact IT services you need.

  3. Business Tech: The Importance of Email Security in the Workplace

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    Emails can pose a significant threat to your company’s cybersecurity. Data from previous hacking incidents often reveals that the initial contact was made through email. In fact, the Cyber Security Breaches Survey of 2018 shows that fraudulent emails were cited in 75% of all attacks. That’s a massive number. If you want to lessen your company’s vulnerability, the first step is to make sure that all of your email accounts are secure.

    Why Email Security Is Important in Tucson

    Hackers who seek to infiltrate specific companies often target individuals who work for the company itself. Yet these carefully executed attacks are still only one reason that you need to be concerned about the security measures you take with your email. There are also many phishing attacks that aren’t targeted at specific people, but can compromise your company’s cybersecurity just the same.

    Email threats are two-fold. Some attacks explicitly seek to get the recipient to download malware, go to an infected site, or trick recipients into giving away sensitive information. The second kind of attack relies on intercepting emails. This type of attack is targeted, involving hackers who need to be in the vicinity of your internet connection, therefore gaining access. In other words, this secondary type of attack is less common for most companies, but still dangerously prevalent.

    However, simple best practices can help you protect your email accounts from hacking and other cybersecurity threats.

    Best Practices for Email Security for Your Company

    Emails are a necessary tool for many of your business communications. When you follow best practices, you minimize the risks of a breach within your company. It’s crucial that every member of your staff maintains the same high standards.

    Here are a few best practice protocols your staff should use at all times.

    • Never Use Open or Public Networks. It’s essential only to use secured networks. Open networks can allow outside actors to gain access to your device, read sensitive information, and use that information to create a more sophisticated attack.
    • Always Use Best Practices for Password Protection. Passwords are an essential security measure to guard your device and accounts. But too many people leave phones, iPads, and computer terminals open rather than punching in their password each time they use the device. Passwords should be used at all times, and they should not be shared among different accounts.
    •  Always Update Your Software. Software updates are important because they often include patches to known vulnerabilities.
    • Use Common Sense with Email. Most phishing emails are easy to spot, but there are some today that are still relatively convincing. The best method to stay safe from these threats is to use common sense. Never click on links, don’t download files if you weren’t expecting documents from a set person, and when in doubt, call the person or company to verify the email.

     

    Are You Looking for Cyber Security Help in the Phoenix Area?

    If you’re concerned about how well your company is equipped to deal with cybersecurity threats, contact Integrated Axis today. Our dedicated team of experienced technicians can asses your current protocols, and of course work with you to help you maintain the best practices to stay ahead of any potential risks.

  4. Business Technology: Steps to Increase Your Arizona Business Security

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    If you’re concerned about your business tech security in Arizona, you’re not alone. According to the latest statistics, at least 50% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses. A data breach can cause major havoc. Depending on the severity and damage to your professional reputation, cyber-attacks can be impossible to overcome. Make sure that your business technology is secure, in order to protect your data and your clients.

    The best defense for your Phoenix or Tucson business is to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and best tech security practices.

    Business Tech Security in Tucson and Phoenix — Steps to TakeStep by step guide to business security needs

    In the past, many smaller businesses mistakenly thought that they were too insignificant to be a target for hackers. The more giant corporations offered far more enticing options. While it may be true that larger companies are well-known, they also invest a great deal in their tech security. Malicious attackers found that smaller businesses spend less on their cybersecurity and are an easier target.

    These steps will help you develop a plan for best practices to protect your business:

    • Stay Current on the Latest Threats

    You can’t guard against threats you aren’t aware of. It’s essential to stay up-to-date on new cyber trends and risks. You should also outsource your IT security, if possible, to ensure that all best practices are followed.

    • Train Your Staff

    Employee error causes a large percentage of data breaches. In most cases, it’s because employees aren’t adequately trained to spot phishing scams and other security protocols.

    • Develop a Cybersecurity Protocol

    The best protection you have to mitigate your risk in the case of an attack is a concise plan. This protocol will help you avoid costly mistakes and save time in order to repair damages and get your business back up and running.

    • Schedule Regular Backups

    It’s crucial that you back up your systems regularly. Setting a protocol to backup your data in multiple places such as the cloud and an extra hard drive, for example, can be a great solution. In case of an emergency, you’ll always have access to a recent version of your files. This back up will protect your company and its data in the event of a Ransomware attack.

    • Invest in Good Security Software

    Your security software and malware can help keep you alerted about new threats and protect your data. They’ll also flag unusual activity, files, and more.

    • Update Your Software RegularlyPerson on their laptop performing a software update to keep their security up to date

    Make sure you keep all software up-to-date. Updates are often released because the manufacturers found flaws in previous versions that could be used to gain access. Always keeping your system recently updated helps to eliminate these loopholes.

    • Have Your Security Assessed

    Hire a company to assess your current IT practices thoroughly and regularly. This routine maintenance and assessment will give you peace of mind with a solid security protocol and help you improve where you might be making mistakes.

    Are You Looking for a Strong Partner to Increase Your Business Tech Security in Phoenix or Tucson?

    If you’re looking for the best IT security company in Arizona for your current business security or to assist with your ongoing IT initiatives, be sure to contact Integrated Axis today.

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  5. Why Managed IT Services and Support Are a Must-Have for Your Business

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    Managed IT services are an excellent option for any size business. Traditionally, in the past, smaller companies would outsource IT to dedicated companies because they didn’t have the resources or staff to handle the process in-house. As technology has grown over time, the need for a multitude of different IT disciplines has also increased.

    Large and medium-sized companies are finding that nowadays, adding business IT services to their partnerships provides needed support for their own IT Department. It gives the company another arm for their technology needs so their staff can delegate the right jobs to the right people without overburdening employees. Best of all, companies have found that this strategy allows them to always have access to the top, talented experts in all facets of technology.

    Top 5 Reasons to Partner with an Expert for Your Business Technology

    There are many reasons to outsource your IT tasks, from business safety to increased productivity. Here are five ways that working with a managed IT services team such as Integrated Axis Technology Group can benefit your business:

    Increase Your IT Department

    Whether you’re a small company trying to take care of your own business technology or a larger company with a dedicated IT department, working with an IT service means more safety and security first. It also means you’ll be increasing your IT department without the cost of hiring permanent personnel.

    Tech Teams are Cost-EffectiveTech team discussing IT security solutions

    Hiring IT services is a cost-effective way to make sure that the most qualified people handle your IT needs. Chances are that you have many tasks that must be completed, from cybersecurity to managed IT. Partnering with an IT company means you’ll have access to a team of experts while only paying for their services instead of additional employees. If you develop a lasting partnership with one company, they’ll also get to know your protocols and act as part of the team without the cost of full-time IT staff.

    Access to Specialized Experts 

    Perhaps you have the resources to invest in IT personnel. This benefit allows you to outsource specialized experts for particular projects, or to inform your staff. Keep in mind, however, that technology and security are always changing. You don’t want a jack of all trades to handle your sensitive IT needs; you want the best in the field for your business.

    Improve Your Customer Service Man using a tablet to contact customers displaying good customer service

    Delegating IT tasks to a partner company frees up your own staff’s time to handle the work they were hired to manage. This means your customer service and all areas of the workflow can improve and thrive, which impact your business positively.

    Makes Your Company More Competitive

    Working with a managed IT service and support company allows you to level the playing field between your company and much larger organizations in your industry. Being ahead in technology gives you a leg up in your areas of expertise.

    Are You Looking for Managed IT Services for Your Tucson Business?

    If you’re looking for a partner in tech security or managed IT services for your business in the Phoenix or Tucson area, contact Integrated Axis today. We provide personalized IT services to fit your business and your unique needs. We’re only a phone call away!

  6. 5 Reasons the Need for Cyber Security Continues to Grow

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    Cyber security isn’t something to address once and forget about. It’s not an afterthought or something that applies only to tech business nowadays, as its reach spreads wider each day. It has quickly become one of the most important issues that businesses (and people individually) collectively face in the modern era. Its importance will only increase over the next few years for a number of reasons that are absolutely worth exploring.

    Cyber Security is Critical and Common

    The odds that you will avoid being hit by a cyber-attack at some point in your life are very much against you. In fact, according to a study conducted by Ponemon Institute, about two-thirds of server message blocks (SMBs) were hit with some type of attack in 2018. This means the chances are pretty high that someone has tried to hack your online information at one time or another in recent days. Risk management is of the utmost importance when it comes to keeping your information systems safe.

    The Cost of a Cyber Attack is On the Rise

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    As of 2018, the average cost of a single consolidated breach rose to nearly $3 million! That’s an impossible hit and an immense amount of money to consider paying, even if your revenue is substantial. Costs to repair the damage created by cyber-attacks continue to increase, hitting schools and other systems that are far less business-oriented than most. These cyber-attacks and malicious code cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and losses. It’s imperative to prioritize your business tech security to stay in business and keep your information protected.

    Risk Assessment: Hacks Can Shut Down Your Business

    Cyber security continues to be a pressing need due to the reach certain types of cyber-attacks have. Many hacks can expose the personal information of your employees and your customers, too. They can cause your business to shut down operation for days or weeks, depending on how bad the cyber breach is. This can be absolutely catastrophic for a business, its computer networks and its reputation. While you might think it won’t happen to your business, it’s happening everywhere, all the time.

    Cybercrime is an Increasing Trend

    Theifs hand coming out of laptop

    Another recent study revealed that the global cost of online cyber-crime is expected to hit an enormous $6 trillion by as soon as 2021. This means that things are only going to get worse as time goes on. This is why you must prioritize your own cyber security as soon as possible and protect the sensitive information and sensitive data your business collects.

    The Importance of Business Continuity

    At this point, the statistics are clear—you can’t stop yourself from becoming the target of a cyber-attack, but you can stop yourself from becoming the victim of one. Even beyond network security, a core part of cyber safety and security involves having a plan for business continuity and disaster recovery as an organic part of your other security measures. This type of plan—one built with your business in mind—will guarantee that even if you do suffer a cyber-attack, you can pick back up as quickly as possible without losing your data and important information.

    If you’re located around the Tucson or Phoenix areas and would like to find out more about the growing need for cyber security, please don’t delay —  contact IA Tech Group today.

  7. Common Myths About Business Technology Security

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    What would happen if your business fell victim to a ransomware attack or data breach? What would downtime do to your business? For many, even a single day of downtime could be catastrophic. Without solid, reliable information and tech security, you could end up putting your brand at risk. Some of the most common beliefs about protecting your brand, however, are actually misconceptions. Learn more about these cyber security myths to help you protect your Tucson or Phoenix business from harm and prevent unauthorized access to your data.

    Are You Falling for These Cyber Security Myths? 

    Do you believe any of the following myths about protecting your business?

    Myth: Only Some Industries are Vulnerable to Cyber Attack 

    Reality: If you sell a product, provide a service, collect donations or maintain consumer data in any way, you are vulnerable to a data breach. From lawyers to retail business owners and service providers, your business could be at risk if you’re not fully protected. While you may think your data is invaluable, a cyber-criminal will be looking for all types of information to hack. Names, addresses, phone numbers, billing information, and more — all personal data is susceptible to a cyber attack.

    Myth: Network Security is a One-time Project

    Hand showing the number one

    Reality: Network security is an ongoing need. Since threats and ways to hack technology are constantly evolving, your brand needs to be fully protected at all times. This should always include the most up-to-date methods and processes.

    Myth: All Network Security Providers are the Same 

    Reality: Different providers have a wide range of abilities and performance. With your business at stake, you can’t afford to be wrong about the provider you choose. Interview a few internet security brands to make sure you’ve made the best choice to protect your organization and your valuable business assets.

    Myth: Cybersecurity is the Sole Responsibility of Your IT Department 

    Reality: Your own loyal employee could accidentally be your greatest threat. From password misuse, wireless network management and falling victim to a phishing scheme — to social engineering, your employee could accidentally cause a security breach without meaning to! Regular training regarding best practices for cyber security can help protect your business and ensure you stay secure. Having extra cyber security and training for your business team will only make your defenses that much stronger.

    Myth: You Can Tell if Your System is Compromised

    malware warning image, flashing red

    Reality: Malware has become more sophisticated than ever and unless you know what to look for, it can easily run undetected. These types of cyber-attacks are designed to access both your business and personal information. You can’t afford to take risks with your business. It’s impossible to rely on being able to “spot the signs” of tampering. Be proactive and update cyber security measures to protect your brand from harm.

    Myth: You Can DIY your Tech Security 

    Reality: The typical business owner needs to be able to focus on running an organization, not staying up-to-date with the latest security trends and alerts. Monitoring and keeping your information secure can be a full-time job, especially if there’s been a serious attack.

    Get Serious About Cyber Your Security

    IA Tech Group is dedicated to defending your organization from cyber-attacks, ransomware, phishing and more. We’re on top of the most recent cyber threats that could impact your personal data and your business. By creating a comprehensive lineup of solutions, we protect your business all day, every day. Contact us today to learn how easy it is to have us protect your brand, business, and network.

  8. The Dangers of Clicking Unsubscribe Links in Your Emails

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    Everyone receives emails they don’t want, and it can be tempting to click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, but beware! This is a simple and easy way to prevent future emails from that sender, right? While that may be true, this simple action can actually cause more problems than it solves, especially if you don’t know or trust the sender—or have never subscribed to their emails. Its also an easy way for email senders to disguise their identity and location, making an effective email method of a phishing attack. Here are four dangers of unsubscribing from emails right away:

    Unsubscribing Confirms your Email Address

    After opening that email and clicking “unsubscribe,” spammers may actually send you more email instead of removing you from their list. They may sell your email address to other spammers if they’re especially ruthless.

    Clicking Confirms You’ve Read the Email

    Clicking Confirms You’ve Read the Email

    Clicking that “unsubscribe” button also tells the sender that you may be interested in the subject matter, as you read through the email and clicked an internal button. This information allows spammers to narrow the focus of the future email, making it more likely that you’ll open and read them.

    Unsubscribing Sends Information About Your Computer

    Some senders require an email from you as part of the unsubscribing process. This step may involve sending them an email directly with a particular phrase such as “remove” or “unsubscribe” in the subject field. Clicking the unsubscribe link may also open an email window. Either way, sending an email provides the recipient with your email header, which contains information about your email software and computer. This information can be highly useful for anyone who wants to access your computer.

    A subscription request may also open a browser window, which additionally provides the spammer with information about you. This information includes your browser, operating system, and IP address, which spammers can then use to determine your approximate geographic location. They can also send your computer a “cookie” that will identify you if you visit any of their other websites.

    Visiting Unknown Websites Exposes you to Malware

    Visiting Unknown Websites Exposes you to Malware

    Accessing a website as part of the unsubscribing process provides a spammer with an opportunity to install malware on your computer. Malware is designed to gain access to and corrupt your computer. A type of malware known as a drive-by download can be installed, even if you don’t click anything on the website! Spammers can tailor this malware to increase its effectiveness against your cybersecurity, based on the information you’ve already provided.

    Keep Your Email Safe

    The best strategy for dealing with unwanted email is to simply remove it from your inbox and block the sender’s email address. The specific procedure for accomplishing these tasks depends on your email software. For certain software, marking a message as spam automatically moves the message to a trash folder and blocks the sender. In other cases, you may need to manually move the message and add the sender’s email address to your block list. Some email software platforms continue to learn more about what’s considered spam when you mark a message as such, which helps to protect your computer in the future.

    When it comes to computer security, safety, cloud services, Wi-Fi, and more, look no further than Integrated Axis technology Group for the best technology services Tucson has to offer. Contact us here or call us at (520) 877-3033 to learn more about our IT services.