Cyber Tricks to Watch out for!

It’s fitting that Halloween falls during Cyber Awareness Month. That’s because cyber criminals and hackers love to dress up in costumes to try and lure us into online scams or to steal our passwords and sensitive data. This year’s most popular costumes are sure to include the usual suspects: IRS employees, friends and family members in need of cash, and the timeless classic–wealthy Nigerian princes and princesses.

But cyber criminals are also now wearing more sophisticated disguises that are becoming harder for us to identify who they really are. It’s up to us to stay on top of the latest cyber trends and be proactive when it comes to protecting our personal and business information.

Below are 4 current Cyber “Tricks” to look out for:

1 Malware & Ransomware

What’s scarier than werewolves? How about someone holding your computer files hostage while demanding a large sum for you to get them back! This year alone, ransomware attacks are estimated to cost businesses and individuals close to $12 billion in damages!

How to prevent Malware & Ransomware attacks? There are many things you can do to prevent becoming a victim of a malware or ransomware attack. You can start by changing your passwords regularly, using multifactor authentication, not using public or unsecured WIFI, installing proper firewalls and antivirus software, as well as following these IT Best Practices.

2 Social Media Scams

Hackers love to dress up as old high school friends or relatives trying to connect on Facebook and Linkedin, only to take advantage of your trust by asking you to click a corrupt link, viewing your private data, or even stealing your identity.

How to prevent Social Media Scams? Don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t want a stranger to know or see. In addition, be careful using apps that log you in through third-party sites; exercise caution when accepting friend requests; and never click on suspicious links or send money to someone asking for cash online (even if it is grandma)!

3 Corrupt Email Attachments and Downloads

Phishing scams are becoming harder and harder to detect. They may appear in the form of normal looking, everyday emails from trusted senders asking you to download a corrupt attachment or click on a corrupt link (often the source of a ransomware attack).

Also, as we discussed in the Cyber Crimes article: Case #104: The Heavy Machinery Hacker, some hackers are so bold that they impersonate vendors or trusted company employees and then ask for money to be wired for business-related purchases or expenses.

How to prevent online phishing scams? First, stay up-to-date on the latest phishing scams and educate yourself on what to look out for. Second, don’t click on any links or attachments without being 100% sure they are from a trusted source. Third, if anyone asks you to send money or for your private information, such as a credit card number, reach out to them by phone to verify that the transaction is in fact authentic.

4 Attacks on Service Providers

Is your IT company the weak link in your company’s online security? How about your cloud computing service provider? It’s becoming more and more common for hackers to go after vendors rather than individual companies.

Why? First off, there are no regulations in the IT Industry. That means your IT provider—the same company who has access to many of your passwords and sensitive company data—may not be practicing the high level of cyber security they preach, and thus are an easy target for hackers. In addition, IT companies work with multiple clients. So when a hacker infiltrates their network they gain information to all of their customer’s data.

It’s like leaving a candy jar out on the porch and letting anyone grab what they like.

How can you prevent a 3rd party vendor from being your weakest link? Only work with trusted service providers. You can start by making sure the vendors you work with have been thorough vetted by an independent auditing firm and are SOC certified.


For more cyber security tips follow PCR Business Systems on Linkedin and Facebook.

PCR Welcomes Kevin Fitzgerald

We are happy to welcome Kevin Fitzgerald to the PCR Business Systems Team. Kevin is a talented IT specialist and is sure to make our Akron IT support company even better!

Here are a few things about Kevin to help you get to know him better:

  • After high school he served four years in the United States NAVY
  • In his spare time he enjoys woodworking and working with his hands around the house
  • He enjoys playing video games and also sitting down with a good book
  • He has a degree in Computer Technology and previously worked in IT at Nickles Bakery and Spectrum

Questions for Kevin:

Q: What time did you get up this morning?
A: 6 a.m.

Q: What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?
A: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Q: What is your favorite TV Show?
A: House

Q: Favorite cuisine?
A: Indian

Q: Least favorite foods?
A: Liver and Onions

Q: Pets?
A: Two Boston Terriors

In businesses since 2004, PCR is the trusted IT provider for Akron area businesses. Learn more at pcrbusiness.com.

New Job Opening!

PCR Business Systems is one of the fastest growing Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the Akron area, with an ever-expanding list of clients who we provide world-class service for. We offer exciting opportunities for employee advancement in an environment where you can showcase and hone your skills while working alongside talented and like-minded individuals.

We are a close-knit group who enjoy a good company BBQ, an occasional craft beer after work, and who are all supportive of each other in helping achieve one common goal—to provide service that is nothing short of excellent.


Sound like you would be a good fit? Here’s what we’re looking for…

 

The Opportunity…Full-Time Installation Support Specialist

Job Description…This entry level position is perfect for someone looking to gain experience and growth in the IT Industry. The Installation Technician will be tasked with installing, configuring, and testing new computer equipment to client specifications, recycling outdated equipment, and training clients on how to optimize new IT equipment.

Who we’re looking for… Eager, growth-minded individuals who want to grow with us and who are pursuing a career in IT.

A successful candidate will be able to perform the following duties:

  • Inspect computer equipment and prepare equipment for delivery
  • Installation of computer hardware and peripheral components on client’s premises
  • Loads specified software packages such as operating systems, Office applications and other 3rd party software on client’s computer systems
  • Responds to client inquiries concerning systems operation and diagnoses system hardware, software, and operator problems
  • Instructs users in use of equipment, software, and manuals
  • Recommends or performs minor remedial actions to correct problems
  • Coordinates activities with help desk, network services, or other information systems groups
  • Provides updates, status, and completion information to manager, problem request tracking system, and/or users, via voice mail, e-mail, or in-person communication
  • Replaces defective or inadequate software packages
  • Refers major hardware problems to manager for escalation and correction
  • Provides documentation for specific software installations and updates client’s document repository as needed

To be successful in this position, candidates will possess the following personal attributes:

  • Excellent communications skills – clear verbal skills, both spoken and written: ability to explain technical products and processes in a conceptual and clear way to a non-technical audience
  • Writing skills – important for development of customer proposals, statements of work, reports and presentations, and for communication with customers in writing/email
  • Team-oriented and skilled in working within a collaborative environment
  • Strong problem-solving abilities
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Personable and enthusiastic with the ability to build relationships with employees across all levels of the organization
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and execute tasks
  • Highly self-motivated and directed

Wage: $14.50-19.25/hr. based on experience

Other Benefits:

  • Health Benefits
  • Company matched retirement plan
  • Company paid certification/education program

Email your Resume to: amanda@pcrbusiness.com

The Company… In business since 2004, PCR Business Systems is one of the leading Managed Service Providers (MSP) in Akron, OH.  Learn more here.

 

We’re Hiring!!!!

PCR Business Systems is one of the fastest growing Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the Akron area, with an ever-expanding list of clients who we provide world-class service for. We offer exciting opportunities for employee advancement in an environment where you can showcase and hone your skills while working alongside talented and like-minded individuals.

We are a close-knit group who enjoy a good company BBQ, an occasional craft beer after work, and who are all supportive of each other in helping achieve one common goal—to provide service that is nothing short of excellent.


Sound like you would be a good fit? Here’s what we’re looking for…

 

The Opportunity… Full-Time Support Specialist (Tier I)

Job Description… The role of the Support Specialist is to provide exemplary technical support and troubleshooting for basic technical issues such as password resets, printer configurations, break/fix instructions to users PCR Business Systems supports.

The Support Specialist plays a critical role in making PCR’s help desk the best in the business.  It is essentially the backbone of the service we deliver.

Who we’re looking for… Eager, growth-minded individuals who want to grow with us.

A successful candidate will be able to perform the following duties:

  • Monitor and respond immediately to incoming support requests and work to resolve or escalate as necessary
  • Document all work on service tickets in ticketing system
  • Maintain a positive attitude at all times
  • Work as a team to ensure the best service possible is delivered to all PCR customers
  • Follow/maintain all internal security and confidentiality procedures

To be successful in this position, candidates will possess the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, information technology, information systems, or computer science (or equivalent work experience)
  • Experience troubleshooting technical issues
  • Extensive familiarity with Windows Operating systems
  • Clear verbal skills, both spoken and written: ability to explain technical products and processes in a conceptual and clear way to a non-technical audience;
  • Excellent writing skills for communication with customers in writing/email

Wage:  $13-$21/hr. based on experience

Other Benefits:

  • Health Benefits
  • Company matched retirement plan
  • Company paid certification/education program

Email your Resume to: amanda@pcrbusiness.com

The Company… In business since 2004, PCR Business Systems is one of the leading Managed Service Providers (MSP) in Akron, OH.  Learn more here.

 

Our Favorite Trails in Akron & Northeast Ohio

It’s easy to take Akron’s outdoor recreational opportunities for granted—especially when we compare our backyards with those living in Colorado or Wyoming or Maine. Sure, residents of those states are blessed with amazing scenery and vast open spaces to explore by foot or on bike, but those of us living in Northeast Ohio have it pretty good too.

For example, did you know that the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has over 125 miles of trails for us to enjoy, or that 57.6 miles of the 1,440-mile Buckeye Trail (which circles the state of Ohio) passes through Akron, with only 4% of that on sidewalks?

These trails range in difficulty from easy to advanced and there are plenty of different options for kids, older adults, and more serious athletes and trail runners. That’s pretty impressive considering that many of us live near a large city (Akron or Cleveland).

In addition, we are surrounded by several amazing park systems as well as numerous lakes and streams that offer abundant fishing and kayaking opportunities (including the Cuyahoga River which was just named River of the Year).

I mention all of this because at PCR Business Systems, we understand how important it is to be active outside of the office. We not only want to be happy and healthy for our families and ourselves, but being fit also makes us more productive at work.

We recently discussed how exercise and productivity go hand in hand. That, combined with spring being in full bloom, we thought this would be a good time to list a few of our favorite Akron hiking and running trails as well as some of the resources we use to help us get out the door and lace up our running and hiking shoes.

Brandywine Falls, CVNP

Hiking/Running/Biking Trails

Brandywine Falls Trail 1.4 Miles Hiking Moderate Boston Heights, OH
3 Waterfalls Loop 7.5 Miles Hiking Moderate Brecksville, OH
Buckeye Trail 57.6 Miles Multi-Purpose Easy to Moderate Akron, OH
Ledges to Pine Grove 4 Miles Hiking Moderate Peninsula, OH
Towpath Trail 87 Miles Multi-Purpose Easy to Moderate Cleveland to Akron
Blue Hen to Buttermilk 1.6 Miles Hiking Moderate Brecksville, OH
Dogwood Trail 2.3 Miles Hiking Moderate Akron, OH
Sand Run Jogging Trail 6 Miles Multi-Purpose Easy Akron, OH
More Hikes by NPS.GOV Many Mult-Purpose Easy to Moderate CVNP

Parks

Running Stores

Trail Running Groups

Running Races

Please comment and let us know which trails are your favorites.

11 ways business owners can keep an eye on their IT

There are two critical mistakes that I see business owners and executives make when it comes to their company’s information technology, both of which can cripple a thriving business in the matter of minutes.

Mistake #1- Thinking a data security breach or system failure can’t happen to you. It can, it does, and if you let your guard down, it will. We see data breaches happen to small and medium size businesses every month, and business owners or CEOs all say the same thing—”we didn’t think it could happen to us.”

Mistake #2- Assuming that everything is set up properly, up-to-date, or that your employees are following the rules. It’s imperative that you are familiar with your IT so that you can make sure everything is in place and working the way it should. It’s just as important to educate your employees on best practices so they don’t do anything to jeopardize your network’s security.

Below are 11 critical IT components that you need to be sure are in place and working properly.

  1. Backups: Be certain your backups are doing their jobs. Know how to test them and be an active part of the process. This exercise will show you how long it would take to recover.
  2. Incidence Response: If there were to be a breach where is it most likely to occur? How will you recover? Who will it affect (which business operation(s)? How much downtime/data loss are you looking at? Is the sensitive data of your customers at risk? If their data is compromised what will you need to communicate? Will you need a layer? Will law enforcement be involved?
  3. Sensitive Data: What kind of data does your company store? Where is it stored? Is remote sharing like Dropbox™ allowed? Is it controlled, or is data being shared over hundreds of personal accounts?
  4. Licensing: Is all your software licensed? Compare agreements to all user accounts.
  5. Inactive users: Make sure inactive users are disabled and not continuously logged on. Make sure to review this periodically
  6. Permissions: Make sure users only have permission to access the data critical for their jobs. Review this periodically as well.
  7. Be Proactive: What steps are you taking to be proactive in ensuring a breach or data loss doesn’t occur? Are you providing user-awareness training? Do you use MultiFactor Authentication for all remote applications (e.g., VPNs, Office365, SalesForce, all web logins, etc).
  8. Patch Reporting: Make sure to receive and review all patch management reports. These will show the machines that have been updated monthly.
  9. Vulnerability reports: Review these at least monthly to assess vulnerabilities in your network and find resolutions.
  10. Review elevated credentials: Ensure only appropriate people have elevated credentials and that they don’t log into these account 24/7/365. Elevated permissions are for making changes only; not for everyday logins.
  11. Engage a 3rd party to do a best practice audit: This is not to question or discredit your IT team, but simply to get additional sets of eyes on your systems. IT systems can almost always be improved but there are costs involved. IT managers will often let items go after being told “no.” You can also think of a 3rd party audit as a proofreader for your network. Great writers never proof their own work. Why? Because it’s extremely difficult to catch your own mistakes.

If you have questions or are interested in having a professional team of experts “get eyes” on your IT, give me a call directly at (330) 572-7526 x 1001 or email me at pat@pcrbusiness.com.

Pat Carroll_PCR Business Systems

Pat Carroll
President, PCR Business Systems

PCR Business Systems is the leading technology solutions provider for small and medium size businesses in Northeast Ohio. We are currently offering a free Network & Data Security Check-up for area businesses who want to be certain their network is set up and working properly.