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Welcome to our blog where you can find everything from tech-tips to keeping your data secure. Have any questions? We'd love to hear from you!

Tis the season for cybercrimes

Tis the season for cybercrimes

Thanksgiving is approaching and Christmas is right around the corner, which means cyber thieves are gearing up for the upcoming season with the latest scams and tricks to target online shoppers.

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Cybercrime will cost the world more than $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015

Cybercrime will cost the world more than $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015

Cybercrimes and cyber-attacks are one of the fastest-growing crimes in the US, rapidly increasing in complexity, cost, and of course magnitude. The second-largest ever data breach was suffered by Marriott near the end of 2018, disclosed the personal information of up to 500 million users. As for the largest Cybercrime, the Yahoo hack, all 3 billion accounts were affected. According to HERJAVEC Group 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report, Cybersecurity ventures predicts that there will be 6 billion internet users by 2022, and more than 7.5 billion internet users by 2030. Increasing internet users’ numbers only means increasing numbers of unprepared organizations for cyber-attacks.

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Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming

Winter is coming, and with it comes predictably, unpredictable weather events that can threaten the safety of your employees and clients and temporarily close your business.  Does your company have an inclement weather/emergency closure policy? If not, this article has helpful tips to help you construct an inclement weather policy that preserves morale and is legally sound.

Having a plan in place before an emergency strikes takes the stress and guesswork out of the situation allowing your team to focus on safety and resuming operations. And while an office closure can mean a disruption in routine, it doesn’t have to completely halt your business operations. Have you considered a cloud solution that gives your team greater flexibility and allows for business continuity, even when inclement weather strikes?

Using a cloud-based solution for business operations can decrease downtime, increase productivity, and help maintain your customers’ trust regardless of the weather pattern.  Imagine you’re able to access:

  • Project plans
  • Company files
  • Company phone, voicemail and email
  • Team-wide chats
  • Video meetings
  • The Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)

without risking client or employee safety.

If you think a cloud solution might be a good next step to preserve business continuity during seasons of inclement weather (it’s also a business benefit all year long), give Machado Consulting a call at (508) 453-4700

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Cyber-Attacks Can Happen, But They Don’t Have to Happen to You

According to the 2019 Ponemon Institute’s Global State of SMB Cybersecurity report, 76 percent of respondents in the US said their companies had a cyberattack in the past year. Out of those incidents, did you know that the top methods of attack weren’t a stolen device or a cracked password?  They were the result of phishing campaigns, web-based attacks and general malware.  In plain terms, sneaky emails that look authentic, legitimate yet compromised websites and planned broad scale malignant software were the causes of most cyberattacks.

Don’t get scared, get prepared.

As a business owner, you know that you must have strong passwords, (remember this meme?)  and that you need to lock your computer when you walk away from your desk.  But how does a small to mid-sized business (SMB) owner defend against ever evolving phishing and web-based attacks?

 What can I do?

Talk to us, at Machado Consulting. We’ll listen to your concerns, ask about your current cyber protection and discuss our enterprise level security plan offered at a “small business” price point.

We provide a suite of advanced, defense in depth coverage, designed to stop active threats before they cause damage. And while it’s important to know how we’re protecting your business, we’re even more proud of WHO is protecting your data, your company and your reputation.

Our company is led and driven by our CEO/CISO, Helder Machado. Helder is a Lt. Colonel in the Massachusetts Army National Guard and serves as the Chief Information Officer (CIO/G6) for the MA-ARNG.  Helder holds degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Fitchburg State. He’s earned a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, a top-level certification within the information security industry.

 

Machado Protect is a next generation cybersecurity defense plan that safeguards your IT environment from every angle while remaining affordable for the small/mid-sized business. Let our team shield your IT environment from internal and external threats, reduce your risk, and offer peace of mind. Call us at (508) 453-4700 to start a conversation, or send an email.

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Plan for Compliance and Avoid Loss

Plan for Compliance and Avoid Loss

Today’s world is driven by data. Naturally, information systems must be secure. Business is all about relationship and without proper security protocols in place, your clients will lose their trust in you. While today’s hackers have many ways to breach an organization’s network, data breaches that occur as a result of lax security are unforgivable from a customer standpoint. Some organizations can spend more on security than others, but data security must be a priority, no matter your IT budget.

Here are some of the regulations all business owners and IT administrators should know:

  • GDPR: The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is as comprehensive a data protection law as there is. Its aim is to protect the citizens of EU-member countries from data breaches. The GDPR applies to every organization that processes personal information of people residing in the EU.
  • CAN-SPAM ACT: This rule ensures that individuals don’t receive explicit or misleading advertising information from an organization.
  • GPG13: Known as the Good Practice Guide 13, it is the U.K.’s general data protection regulation for organizations that do business in the U.K.
  • HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act puts several guidelines on how patients’ data is shared and disseminated by insurers and health maintenance organizations.
  • SOX - The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires corporate records to be kept for seven years to ensure that there is transparency in the accounting. For IT this means being able to have access to data to run reports when called upon.
  • PCI-DSS - Payment Card Index Data Security Standard are regulations enacted to try and reduce fraud by protecting an individual’s credit card information.

A business that doesn’t adhere to simple IT regulations probably isn’t adhering to other regulations. Would you want to do business with someone that you know won’t do what’s asked of them to protect YOUR data? Unreputable businesses that are looking to gain an edge by not meeting regulations will pay later for not spending now.

Compliance and Your Business

How will you plan for your company’s compliance? The best way is to educate yourself on what exactly your business needs to plan for by looking at the regulatory mandates, and by seeking out organizations who have already become compliant with their respective industry regulations. This is where a managed IT service provider (MSP) can be helpful. Since we take security compliance extremely seriously, and deal with many businesses across a wide variety of industries, we have the perspective that can provide a clear strategy on how to stay compliant.

Machado Consulting uses sophisticated monitoring, management, and reporting software to reduce risk and put our clients in the best position to prepare for any audits or assessments that need to be completed by regulators. Since the regulatory landscape is constantly changing, our IT professionals are in a unique position to serve as both IT administrator and regulatory consultant.

If you are searching for a way to control your compliance situation, look no further than the IT professionals at Machado Consulting. We can come alongside your organization to help eliminate any risk your organization would have as a result of compliance concerns. Call us at (508) 453-4700 today to get started. 

Originally published as “Knowing and Planning for Your Compliance Burden”, June 23, 2018. Updated October 16, 2019.

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