Kirkham Systems Weekly Roundup, 4-29-2016

ThinkstockPhotos-517488338Malware is the buzzword this week and it is scary! The hostile software can destroy systems, collect information and cause serious financial damage. Getting in front of the issue and being educated can no longer be an item on a to-do list, but an active practice personally and professionally.

RansomWhere to block RansomWare on Macs

Client success is our success.

Phil Votaw talks about Elon Musk, Social Justice and Opportunity.

Credit Card information can and will be taken on Facebook.

American Dental Association mails Malware!

Did you know that the cloud can help you get paid?

Did you know that the cloud can help you get paid?

Do you have a lot of old, clunky hardware that eats up tons of space, power, and maintenance fees? The cloud has proven to be a revolutionary IT solution that provides efficiency and capability that simply isn’t possible when limiting your IT infrastructure to a physical setting.

Cloud Computing

Want to take your business beyond the physical world? Contact {company} today at {phone} or {email} to talk about cloud solutions.

Through a method known as “virtualization” — the creation of a server, phone, application, or other IT system aspect in a virtual form through the cloud, instead of actual physical hardware — the cloud can offer a range of cost-saving benefits. That’s why it’s so important for you to weigh your options when it comes to hosting your technology:

  • On-premise: This model of IT infrastructure is the most traditional style, in which the IT systems are hosted on-site at the business’ location. The reality is that on-site systems tend to cost much more than the alternative; depending on the particulars of the set up, the business often has to pay for the storage, power, maintenance, and other ongoing costs that come with hosting their own systems.
  • Cloud: On the other hand, you have cloud-based solutions, through which your IT resources are configured by a provider and accessed by your staff online. By setting up a server on your premises, or hosting through an off-site data center, the provider develops a comprehensive cloud service for your business. The primary benefit of this model is that your ongoing maintenance costs on-site are reduced, as well as that your third-party provider manages the system for you.

How Can The Cloud Help You Get Paid?

The key to saving money with the cloud is how it allows you to minimize hardware and maximize capability. {company} can develop a unique cloud solution for your business that specifically meets your needs. Whether you need us to set up physical severs on your site and provide cloud technology for backup purposes, or if you’d prefer a more robust cloud configuration, we can ensure that you get precisely what you need to improve your business.

Contact {company} today to discuss how our cloud solutions can enhance the way that you do business. Call us at {phone} or send us an email at {email} to learn more.

Dental Association Mails Malware to Members

This is breaking news…

Windows-Update-150x150The American Dental Association has snail-mailed up to 37,000 infected USB drives that contain malware that allows remote users to access their PCs.

The USB drive contains an updated CDT manual, which is used by dental offices for coding procedures, billing and insurance claims, so any PCs infected with the malware would presumably contain or have access to HIPAA and PCI data of patients.

They’ve since redistributed the updated 2016 CDT manual via a secure website, but it is unknown why they simply did not do that in the first place rather than rely upon 3rd party, Chinese-based distributers of USB devices.

From the comments:

Will be interesting to see what the fallout will be. We will hear in a few months about dental office breaches with both PCI (credit card) and HIPAA (PII) concerns.

The ADA is telling members to basically rely upon their presumed anti-virus to protect them from the security breach, but security professionals say that only some anti-virus products reliably detect the virus. They also assert that only “some” of the drives contain the malware, but don’t provide a figure.

You should destroy the USB device immediately.

More on this story here.

And here.

Facebook Scam Steals Your Credit Card Information

Facebook Scam Steals Your Credit Card Information

Social media continues to be a primary method of keeping in touch with friends and family — whether they live near or far. The average American does not just sit down on their couch after a long day at work and browse through their favorite site for a few minutes, though. Today. people access these sites from their mobile devices while they are on the go as well. This constant exposure to these sites means that it is more likely that you will fall victim to an innocuous-looking scam.

Social Media

Sunglasses Scam

Who hasn’t seen a post by a friend on their social media page prompting them to purchase a pair of their favorite sunglasses at a steep discount? This is the result of your friend’s account being hacked, though it might not be apparent that this is the case at first. Instead, you might think that they are actually doing you a favor. After all, with the many outlet shops and overstock opportunities today, it makes perfect sense that your favorite type of sunglasses would be heavily discounted and that your friend would think of you.

How the Crooks Scam You

Once you click on the link included in the ad your friend posted, you’ll typically see an array of sunglasses from your favorite brand. Curiously, all them will be marked down by the same percentage points. Perhaps, though that does not seem strange to you, so you decide to purchase a few pairs at the great, heavily discounted price. Instead of going to a secure site that is protected by an industry-standard SSL certification, so that your credit card information is encrypted, you’ll be taken to a non-secure website that offers no protection whatsoever. Instead, your credit card information is transmitted to the scam artist in plain text and can be exploited in the future.

How to Protect Yourself

First, if it looks like it is too good to be true, then it nearly always is. Don’t fall for heavily discounted items and inquire on the manufacturer’s website or social media page about the validity of the ads claims before you complete on online transaction. If you are the person whose account is generating these ads, first change your password, then remove all apps that look suspicious. Finally, run a thorough virus scan from a trusted manufacturer on your computer.

Looking for a reliable IT support partner in {city} that offers security protection for your small business? We can help! Contact {company} us at {phone} or drop us an email at {email}.

"We're Going to Hit the System Hard"

It is the busiest tax season we’ve ever had, and everything is clicking!

Time does not equal money. One cannot acquire more time, but one can acquire more money.

I thought of this when I read this Facebook post from one of our clients: [Melanie Radcliff, Radcliff CPA]:

This is a shout out and a big thank you to Kirkham Systems. We are having the busiest tax season we have ever had, eight computers, two printers, lots of software. And it’s all clicking perfectly.

A deadline. April 15th. Radcliff’s clients were trusting them to meet the deadline AND save them money on their taxes. Hundreds of clients. That’s a big responsibility.

During the last week or so before the deadline, Melanie warned me that they were going to “hit the system hard.” My reply was not to worry, it won’t break, but if you see it get slower than you need, we’ll fix that too.

We didn’t need to. We had already put in place fast, efficient PCs, moved some of the technology to the cloud, and systematically improved the components of their network to perform reliably and at peak efficiency.

That is kinda our thing.

Our terrific staff lives and breathes improving client’s networks every single day. They don’t sit back and wait for something to break; they tweak something here and there, or change a piece of equipment with something much faster. They proactively manage the technology to speed up the business, or protect it from an outage. We always remember that technology is a tool, not an end to itself. We manage proven, cutting-edge systems, and we make sure the knife is always sharp.

It’s easy to quantify when fast, reliable computers and networking allows your business to meet important deadlines, but many businesses overlook the speed and reliability component in day-to-day activities.

It is just as important. Fast, reliable technology makes your staff happy. That in turn makes your customers happy. And, efficiency makes your bottom line happy.

Which brings us back to time. Highly profitable businesses with happy colleagues and customers create more time for everyone to spend doing the things they truly love. Whether that means improving your business instead of reacting to issues, or building more leisure time in your life, that is up to you.

Just remember this: Kirkham Systems takes the stress out of technology.