skip to main content
The Simply Smarter Blog

The Simply Smarter Blog

Best Practices to Protect Your Business from a Cyberattack

Cybersecurity remains top of mind for businesses as our world becomes more digitized. A recent report from IBM discovered that on average globally, the cost of a data breach was $4.45 million in 2023. Cyber-attacks continue to rise, so we sat down with Tony Roessler, Managed Network Services National Manager at Sharp, to share insights on common attacks and best practices that you can take to best protect yourself and your business from a potential breach.

5 Frequently Used IT Security Terms & Acronyms

Louis Costantini /

Have you ever been involved in a conversation with your IT department and thought, "What does that even mean?" Well, you are not alone. Understanding the myriad of security acronyms can be a daunting task, and with the security landscape's constant evolution, even experienced IT professionals occasionally encounter unfamiliar terminology. Whether you are seeking clarity on the latest trends, exploring critical concepts, or simply looking to expand your security vocabulary, you've arrived at the right destination. Below, you will find five frequently used security terms and acronyms and the definitions associated with each.

To Err is Human, Unfortunately: 5 key findings from the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report

Danielle Cerny /

This year, Verizon released its latest “Data Breach Investigations Report” (DBIR) that analyzed 16,312 security incidents, of which 5,199 were confirmed data breaches.* In contrast to last year’s report, this year’s focused more on the actual data breaches to bring concise and actionable findings to the table. It’s overarching conclusion: in a time of so much uncertainty, hackers found new avenues to exploit the human element, using the same tried and true tactics.

Is Your Teenager Cyber-smart?

Heather Fudger / Mary Massarueh /

“Is your teenager cyber-smart?” That question can sound scary, but what does it even mean? As parents or guardians, guiding and empowering your teens to navigate the digital world is crucial. By fostering open communication, educating them about online threats and implementing cybersecurity best practices, you can help keep your teens cyber secure. Encourage teens to participate in offline activities, hobbies and social interactions to develop a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.

5 DIY Cybersecurity Steps for Small Businesses

Danielle Cerny /

In a landscape where small and medium businesses (SMBs) represent the target of 43% of all data breaches and suffered losses exceeding $2.8 billion in 2020 alone, the need for cybersecurity readiness is starkly evident. While large firms maintain dedicated cybersecurity departments, budget constraints can hinder small businesses from doing the same. Thus, small businesses should empower themselves to handle cybersecurity whenever possible.

Though we always recommend partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) to help augment internal resources, here are a few tips that you can use to help bolster your defense against cyberattacks.

Understanding Printer Vulnerabilities: Common Attack Methods and How to Avoid Them

Louis Costantini /

Multifunction printers (MFPs) play a fundamental role in offices worldwide. However, it is critical to recognize that these devices can pose significant security risks if not correctly protected. With cybercriminals and malicious hackers constantly seeking vulnerabilities to exploit, it is necessary to understand the conventional attack methods they employ and implement robust security measures to mitigate these risks. Below, we address a few common printer vulnerabilities and best practices to identify and avoid them.

Don’t Let the Summer Sun Blind You from Cybersecurity Threats

Summer is nearly here, which means more time for vacations and traveling. With remote and hybrid work, many individuals will be taking calls, answering emails or collaborating with teams while on the go. Although working where you want may be convenient for your personal or business travel plans, it's critical to be aware of potential cyber threats when using devices both en route and at your destination.

A recent article by Cybercrime Magazine predicted that global cybercrime costs will increase by 15% per year, amounting to $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Here are some tips on how you can make sure to protect your data – and that of your organization – from potential cybersecurity breaches.

Taking a Security-First Approach to Print

A 2023 study found that 68% of organizations in the United States and Europe experienced data loss due to unsecure printing. Modern multi-functional printers (MFPs) offer a wide array of advanced productivity features to keep employees engaged and connect them to various business applications. Given their strategic importance in today’s workplace, how can we ensure MFPs have proper security measures in place so that they avoid becoming weak points that open doors to bad actors? Following are some steps Sharp has taken to address this.

How to Catch a Phishing Email

Danielle Cerny /

Phishing remains one of the most common types of cybercrime according to the FBI's Internet Crime Report.  Cybercriminals took advantage of our state of unrest and found ways to profit from our heightened dependence on technology. With $10.2 billion in profits, internet crime is a lucrative business to be in. As cyber criminals get more savvy in the art of deception, these emails are getting harder to recognize. They are no longer desperate requests for money or a plea from an offshore prince. They are simple messages with a simple objective – to get you to click or respond.

Email is a key that cyber criminals can use to comprise you or your employer’s sensitive data - and bank account. It’s time to for us to treat it as such by analyzing every email received to catch phishing attempts. After practice, it will become second nature. Here are a few tips to follow in order to take back our inboxes.

Bitdefender: Powerful Antivirus Protection for Sharp Printer Security

Danielle Cerny /

Often overlooked as a gateway into your network, your copier is the most unsuspecting way cybercriminals gain access to your company information. In fact, according to a study by Quocirca, over two thirds of organizations have experienced data losses due to unsecure printing practices last year. The report also mentions that printer security is lower on the security agenda than say email or cloud platforms. Which is why with the recent launch of our new BP line of copiers, we decided to layer on the ultimate cybersecurity tools to keep customers one step ahead.

Data Loss Happens in the Cloud. Is Your Microsoft Office 365 Account Protected?

Louis Costantini /

 


Microsoft Office 365 (M365) has become an increasingly popular platform for businesses, with its productivity, collaboration and communication tools. However, while M365 provides basic security measures, it is not designed to restore lost, deleted, or corrupted data quickly and easily.

According to Statista, 94% of companies that experience severe data loss never recover, and SMBs are 10x more likely to be hit with a data breach than larger organizations. While it is critical to have a backup solution to protect against data loss, 58% of SMBs have no backup plan for M365. But why is that? Below, we discuss four reasons to have a cloud backup solution in place and how cloud solution providers can provide comprehensive M365 data protection for your business.

Discussing Cybersecurity on Sharp MFPs with Bitdefender

Sharp and Bitdefender recently entered a new partnership, one that strengthens cybersecurity threat prevention in our new range of business MFPs at a time when cybercriminals are increasingly targeting endpoint devices – including printers – to plant malware, steal intellectual property, and launch espionage campaigns. 

Bitdefender is a recognized industry leader in threat prevention, detection and response, with its antimalware detection technology consistently achieving top performance results in independent, third-party tests.

Sharp sat down with George Yunaev, Senior Software Developer at Bitdefender to discuss the partnership and why it is so important to protect all endpoints of any network – regardless of business size.

Why Is It So Important To Have Unique Passwords for All Your Online Accounts?

 

When an online retailer, or a website, gets hacked, oftentimes all you hear in the news is about how many credit cards were lost or what the financial damage was. You rarely hear about the user accounts that were compromised. However, if you have an account on a compromised website, the username and password you used very possibly could be published and available to anybody who wants to look at it at on the Internet. Read on to learn about the one thing you can do to help remember your passwords without compromising your personal or businesses' security.

3 Key Things You Need to Know About Cyber Liability Insurance

Louis Costantini /

Data breaches and other cybercrimes are becoming way too frequent. But it's not just large organizations that are susceptible to being hacked or getting a virus. Small and medium-sized businesses are equally if not more attractive targets for cybercriminals because they typically lack the security infrastructure of a larger organization. A total of 88% of small business owners feel vulnerable to a cyberattack, according to a recent Small Business Administration (SBA) survey. If your business is the victim of cybercrime, recovery costs can be expensive, including specialized repairs and legal fees, and can severely harm your brand’s reputation. That's why cyber liability insurance can be a smart precaution for any size of business.

Shhh...You can keep a secret, but can your copier? Why Printer Security Matters.

Danielle Cerny /

 

You’ve heard countless messages about the importance of data security.  In recent years, bad actors have stepped up their activity and are using more sophisticated techniques to take advantage of distributed and remote work environments. In today’s widespread threat landscape, a well-balanced, multi-layered security strategy is needed to help ensure your copiers and printers keep your information safe from malicious intruders. Read on to learn about some features that can keep your copier on lockdown.

What is a Business Continuity Plan and Why Does Your Organization Need One?

Louis Costantini /

Well-managed organizations are not immune to the risk of potential business interruptions and need to pivot and adapt in the face of adversity. However, if the events over the past few years have taught us anything, even the most agile businesses are not prepared for everything. In the event of a catastrophe, the need for a Business Continuity Plan is paramount to keep your organization thriving. However, if your business lacks the proper planning, you could be treading water without a life preserver hoping for a miracle. Let’s talk about business continuity and how your organization can secure its operations.

Cybercriminals Come Out Swinging: 5 key findings from the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report

Danielle Cerny /

Verizon recently released its latest “Data Breach Investigations Report” (DBIR) that analyzed 23,896 security incidents, of which 5,212 were confirmed breaches*, in the timeframe from Nov 2020 to October 2021. The hefty report, which for a data-filled technical piece demands your attention with cheeky jargon, offers the latest insights into how threat actors are operating, who they’re targeting and the attack methods that are delivering results. It’s overarching conclusion: this was one insane year in cybersecurity. Strap on your swimmies and let’s dive into the key findings of the report as well as some plain English explanations.

Leadership Q&A: Tom McElligott Talks Day-to-Day IT Operations, Cybersecurity and Life-Changing Events

Louis Costantini /

At Sharp, we’re always looking for ways to help you think “simply smarter.” So, we thought it would be a great idea to feature our leaders to get an inside look at what they are working on and their views on the office technology space while learning some fun facts about them too! Today, we’re interviewing Tom McElligott, CIO & VP of Information Technology. We hope you enjoy getting to know Tom!

3 Key Ways Small Businesses Can Mitigate Cyber Attacks

Now more than ever, small businesses are more vulnerable due to the lack of technology and IT support needed to effectively mitigate and recover from a cyberattack. Due to the pandemic, many SMBs had to scale back on operations, and if that included their IT departments, they become much more susceptible to bad actors. As more processes become digitized, employees continue to work remotely and cybercriminals become smarter, the need for small businesses to implement proper defenses to protect against security breaches has never been more critical. For small businesses, now is the time to strengthen cybersecurity measures. Check out these tips to address cyber concerns and prevent your organization from becoming a victim.

IT Teams Are Overworked! Are Managed IT Services the Solution?

Louis Costantini /

 

In a time where hybrid and remote work is more common than not, IT departments have played an integral role in keeping distributed teams connected and secured while working away from the office. Today, IT teams must accommodate the growing needs of videoconferencing, collaboration and simplified communication solutions. However, the demands for IT departments have dramatically increased over the past few years. Additionally, businesses are struggling to find and retain top IT talent to fill key technology positions or backfill roles lost due to the Great Resignation and face an overwhelming need to find candidates with technical skills to drive digital transformation. As many businesses know, not having the right people puts pressure on how fast any company can move, regardless of budget.

There are advantages to having a dedicated technology provider that can scale an IT environment, maintain business agility, upgrade an outdated IT infrastructure, provide advanced cybersecurity support and more. So, what are the benefits of Managed IT Services, and why consider them?

3 Steps to Enhance Your Business’ Cybersecurity in Light of the Recent Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Karina Weiler /

Per the recent Shields Up advisory issued by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, it is quite possible that the U.S. will see a large increase in cyber-attacks. While there are no specific cyber threats to the U.S. currently, this conflict has brought cybersecurity conversations to the forefront. In light of this, and as trusted technology advisors, we have been in close conversation with our clients to guide them on steps they can take to boost their cybersecurity posture and help to keep their organization safe. We would like to take a moment and share some of these guidelines with you as well, as these should be adopted by all businesses, especially at a time like this.

IT Security in Today’s Hybrid Office

After nearly two years into the global pandemic, employees have acclimated to working fully remote or in some type of hybrid environment. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the country – and the potential for newer, stronger variants – has led businesses to recalculate their return to office plans once again, keeping their employees' safety and health top of mind. According to the Harvard Business Review, over 90% of employers are planning to implement a hybrid schedule in 2022, showing that this work model is here to stay.

Although many of us are used to working from home, it’s important to remember that there are many differences between working in a corporate space and home office in terms of IT security. With the rate of cyber-attacks increasing by nearly 600% during the pandemic, it’s critical for organizations to have both their own devices, and those of their employees, fully secure in order to reduce the risk of an attack.

Apache Log4j2 Security Vulnerability of Sharp Products and Services

 

Recently, a security vulnerability in an open-source library called Log4J2 was made public on December 9, 2021. The Log4J2 library is a logging framework widely deployed within many Java-based applications. If the vulnerability is exploited, malicious intruders can pass and execute malware into the framework that could potentially allow them to access sensitive date and take control of targeted systems. Sharp has been working to assess the risk of the Log4J2 security vulnerability and how it affects Sharp document systems, professional and commercial display products and related applications, and services.

6 Tips for Keeping Cyber-safe on Cyber Monday

Louis Costantini /

In this digital era, the need to wake up at 2 a.m., pack a duffle bag full of camping gear and load the car full of snacks and essentials to get early deals at stores are long gone. Additionally, the worry about massive crowds (especially during a pandemic), long lines, empty shelves and the occasional pickpocket are a thing of the past. However, online shopping isn’t completely without worry, and there are still many reasons to safeguard your financial and personal information while shopping online.

In this article, you will find six online shopping tips to help avoid data breaches and fraudulent charges by keeping your information out of the hands of people who made the naughty list this year.

Here's How to Keep Important Emails Out of Your Spam Folder

Louis Costantini /

 

Every morning, you wake up and go through your routine before heading into the physical office or home office to start your day. When you get to your desk, you log into your computer and open your email. While sorting through your mailboxes, you notice that essential emails such as an RFP you were expecting, an invoice you’ve been waiting for, or important messages from vendors and partners are sitting in your spam folder. You might ask yourself, “how did these end up in here?” - a question that gets asked more frequently than you would expect. Missing these emails is not only frustrating, but it can also affect your business’s bottom line. Read on to learn why emails are marked as spam and how you can improve email deliverability.

5 Tips to Help Prevent Cybersecurity Threats

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, there was an increase of 300,000 crime complaints from 2019 to 2020, with the top three scams including phishing, non-payment/non-delivery and extortion. These threats will continue to be dangerous for organizations of any size as employee remote and hybrid work formats become more ubiquitous. In fact, we conducted a survey with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) which found that small businesses are still struggling to navigate the rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape, with nearly half experiencing multiple incidents in the 12 months leading up to the study.

This cybersecurity awareness month, we’re sharing a few tips that you can help address these concerns and prevent your small businesses from becoming cybercrime victims.

When it Comes to Cybersecurity, Don’t Forget the Printer

Although October is officially National Cybersecurity Month, the truth is that cybersecurity awareness needs to be a year-round endeavor — and more so than ever in this post-pandemic, hybrid-office, cloud-centric world. The annual Cost of a Data Breach Report from the Ponemon Institute and IBM shows 2021 had the highest average cost of a data breach in the report’s 17-year history — $4.24 million, up 10% from the previous year. In the U.S., the country with the highest cost, the average was more than $9 million.

If, as an organization, you’re not taking security seriously by this point, then it’s only a matter of time before you’re the next victim. Start now with the knowledge that every device on your network and every person with access to those devices is a potential attack vector — and yes, that includes copiers and multifunction printers (MFPs).

Why Bitcoin Emboldens Hackers?

Melanie Camacho /

Doesn’t it seem like more and more cybersecurity horror stories are popping up in your news feed? I know I’ve seen an uptick, especially these past few months. Cybercrime is becoming child’s play for brazen hackers with little to fear and a whole lot to gain. The ambiguous nature of bitcoin and the extremely difficult pursuit of apprehending cybercriminals has emboldened them to make audacious ultimatums.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, the ransomware gang REvil that hit JBS Foods last month made headlines once again for a ransomware attack that started with Florida-based IT firm Kaseya in an attempt to extort a $70 million bitcoin payment. While extraordinary attacks like these are newsworthy, small and midsize businesses (SMB) are getting hit too, and a majority are paying to get their data back.

Avoid Cyber Criminals and Protect your Data While Working from Home

Just picture this— you’re a new employee diligently working, and out of the blue, your CEO e-mails you, asking for 10 Amazon gift cards. She says it’s for an important project she’s working on and she needs the gift cards ASAP! The pressure is on and you take a break from your hectic to-do list, and begin ordering the gift cards, until you realize… the person emailing is not your boss after all, but rather, a sneaky cybercriminal. And just like that, you are the newest victim of a phishing scam. How mortifying, right? Well luckily, there are steps that can be taken in order to avoid such embarrassing catastrophes.

How to Outsmart a Cybercriminal

Danielle Cerny /

If you think about your day, you do a lot to ensure the security of your person and your belongings. Leaving the house? Lock the doors and windows, possibly set the security system. Leaving your car? Always make sure to hear that beep as you walk away clicking the lock button on your keypad. Going into the office? Probably need that key fob to get into the building. These actions are so simple that we sometimes don’t even realize we’re doing them – and that’s how simple securing your company’s data from cybercriminals should be.

12

Subscribe

RSS Feed