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How Two-Factor Authentication Can Stop a Cyberattack in Its Tracks

These days, most cyberattacks are at the account level. If a cybercriminal gets into your account (whether it’s your work account or personal account), they can use it to steal your assets, sell your information on the black market, get access to other accounts, and launch more cyberattacks.

So, what can you do? Two-factor authentication (also called multi-factor authentication) can stop a cyberattack in tracks. In some cases, it can save you even after falling victim to an attack.

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Why You Should Pay the Extra Fee for Domain Privacy

We got a letter recently, alerting us that our domain name is expiring soon. The letter, which looks a lot like an invoice, goes on to state we can renew our domain and add-on similar available domains for an additional fee. It includes our correct domain URL and our actual expiration date.

Except this letter isn’t from our domain provider. It’s from a company trying to get us to move our domain to them for several times what we pay our current provider. They aren’t really cybercriminals. It’s not even technically a scam if they do provide domain hosting services (though we do note, this only mentions how to give them money, and nothing about how to actually move your domain—which is a pretty complicated process). But it is deceptive marketing (at best).

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Why the Real Estate Industry is a Prime Target for Cybercriminals

In 2017, nearly $1 billion was “diverted or attempted to be diverted” from real estate transactions by cybercriminals. Real Estate is one of the top industries targeted by cybercriminals for both phishing attacks and malware attacks, according to the Symantec 2018 Internet Threat Report.

So why is the Real Estate industry such a big target for cybercriminals? Because it’s an easy target with a potentially big payday. So many things that would be a red flag for other industries are day-to-day operations in real estate.

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What is a Fractional CIO and Why Should I Use One?

Smaller businesses typically only have a single person at the top – the business owner/CEO. That person is also responsible for many of the other executive functions of the organization as well – such as Human Resources, Finance, Technology, and Sales.

When your business hits a certain size, though, it can be challenging to balance all of these roles while still running the company. When this happens, companies will often hire subject matter experts to oversee each of these roles. Typically, the workload is more than the CEO can handle alone, but not enough to justify a full-time hire.

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Watch Out for These Fake Social Media Security Emails

One of the most common tactics cybercriminals use when targeting small and midsize businesses in phishing attacks in the form of fake notifications. These are usually meant to try to scare you into some action with messages like “Your account will be suspended in 24 hours.”

These attacks rely on fake messages that the app or service doesn’t actually send. This Office 365 phishing email is an excellent example of that—Microsoft doesn’t actually send you any emails saying your account has been suspended (you WILL get notifications that your credit card has expired).

But cybercriminals are getting better. They’re paying attention to what notifications popular companies do send and duplicating those in phishing attacks. And they’re pretty tricky to spot. Let’s look at this example we were sent recently.

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The Scary Reality of the Silent Cyberattack

A common saying in the cybersecurity world is “There are two kinds of companies: those that have been breached and those that just don’t know it yet.” The scariest part of this phrase is the “just don’t know it yet.” No breach is good, but at least when you know about it, you can start taking steps to remedy it.

These days, many cybercriminals lie in wait and hide inside of compromised systems, often for months, before making a move.

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What You Need to Know About Office 365 Before You Buy It

This post was originally written in late 2016. It was edited and updated with new content in early 2018.

Moving your company to the Cloud (or moving between different Cloud services) is no small endeavor. Deciding which service to choose and what plan to go with can require a fair amount of research to make sure you’re getting the best solution for your needs.

One of the most popular options for businesses is Microsoft Office 365. We’ve compiled some of our most popular Office 365 blog posts to help you with your research.

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Don't Shortchange Technology in Your Small Business

(This article, written by PTG CEO Reed Wilson, originally appeared in the 2017 GSA Book of Experts)

At PTG, we’ve had the benefit of working with small businesses all over the US. While I don’t have empirical data, my hunch is that those who outperform their peers pay attention to three key areas when it comes to technology in their businesses.

 

 

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Watch Out for These "Secure Email" Phishing Emails

We typically stick to writing about phishing emails and attacks aimed at businesses, but a recent trend has us making an exception. We’ve seen a HUGE uptick recently in a type of phishing emails targeted at individuals: emails posing as an encrypted email notification. Sometimes, these are pretty generic. Sometimes, they’re much more detailed and look like emails about mortgages or title loans.

The scariest part of this trend? These are convincing – some of the most convincing we’ve ever seen. Most have had very few warning signs that they’re a phishing email.

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Your New Year’s Resolution: Make Cybersecurity a Habit

Happy 2018! For 40% of Americans, the new year means setting a New Year’s Resolution – have you made one? What about for your business? In 2018, we challenge you to make your (business) New Year’s Resolution to take data security seriously. But not just that – we challenge you to make cybersecurity a habit.

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Ultimate Guide to Small Business Cyber Security