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True North Networks Blog

Kelsey joined True North in May of 2016. She brings over 9 years of experience in the health and wellness, community health improvement, marketing, communications, event planning and worksite wellness fields. A graduate of Keene State College with a degree in nutrition, she is a people person who is extremely passionate about making meaningful conn...ections and relationships. She enjoys motivating others to make positive changes, while always ensuring people’s needs are met. Kelsey enjoys being outdoors running, skiing, hiking and spending time with friends and family. More

Traveling This Summer? Posting Your Travel Plans on Social Media Puts Your Security at Risk

Have you thought about what your boarding pass might say about you and what data might be leaking publicly on that piece of paper that you most likely discard in the seat pocket in front of you? Turns out it is most risky than you think.

What is PNR?

june 2018

PNR stands for “passenger name record”, which is a data rich record that’s generated every time you book a flight. This record is a 6 character alpha numeric code that aids in managing your booking through the airline’s website. It contains confidential information such as name, date of birth, passport details, car or hotel bookings, last 4 digits of the payment credit card, etc. So you may ask, how does this affect me and my security? Example below:

Imagine you are a hacker. You may know that I have just flown from London to Bangkok with British Airways, for example. You also know that my return flight is in two weeks, I flew economy and on the outbound a vegetarian meal was requested. You put the pieces together based on your travel history and craft the following email, acting as British Airways: “If you require a vegetarian meal for your return flight, please click the link below to “order it now”. As an important customer of ours, we would like to upgrade you to “business class” as well and to do so, please click the below link to accept the offer”.

With all of the accurate information mentioned, who wouldn’t click that link?

Unfortunately, the aviation sector, like many industries, has a lot of work of work to do when it comes to cybersecurity, but we as passengers also have a responsibility for our data, too. Let’s not make it easy for the bad guys.

What can we do to reduce this risk?

  • Don’t post pictures of your boarding pass or luggage tags online.
  • Try to avoid identifying which airline you are flying with in any social media posts. If I didn’t know which airline you were using it would take a lot longer and a lot more effort to go through trying each airline’s website flying that route to find the one you were using.
  • Destroy your boarding pass and luggage tags securely. Use a cross cut shredder ideally.  Keep them in your possession until you return home and you can dispose of them securely and certainly don’t leave them in the seat back in front of you on the plane!
  • Only give the airline the information it marks as essential when booking your flight. If it is not marked as a compulsory field then leave it blank.  Reduce the amount of personal information they hold on you in the first place.

Information taken from: https://red-goat.com/uncategorized/boarding_passes/

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So Your Company Wants to Adopt VoIP...... Is Your Network Ready to Make the Transition?

As it turns out, there are many potential benefits to switching to a VoIP telephone system. Below are some of the ways that making this change can decrease cost and time investments while increasing VOIP phoneproductivity for your business:

Low Cost Per Call:

A VoIP telephone system utilizes Internet Protocol to make calls. Instead of using telephone lines, all communication data is turned into packets and sent over the IP network. The IP network your business uses could be your Internet connection, a direct IP connection to your telephone service provider or a combination of both. 

Service Mobility:

On a traditional phone system, a line that runs to a home or business is assigned its own phone number. Any movement that takes place then becomes a trial of remembering the right codes or keys to dial on your phone. A lot of time can then be wasted by contacting phone companies to transfer services and phone numbers to new locations.

With a VoIP phone system, there are no physical limitations and you have the freedom to move as your business demands.

Versatility of Features:

Using VoIP phone systems allows you to multi-task with the most tech-savvy devices, allowing you to be the most productive you can be. Features such as voicemail to text and being able to forward messages and voicemail easily, and many more are available with VoIP phone systems. Because the VoIP service always goes with you, the features you find helpful can be added or subtracted with ease, allowing the system to grow with your business.

Simple Conference Calls:

Since all VoIP calls use a converged data network instead of dedicated phone lines, creating and participating in conference calls are made much easier.

Efficient Client Interaction:

In today’s global economy, businesses can be located anywhere which can mean frequent travel. This often means that meetings require travel. With a VoIP service, there is no reason to lose the ability to conduct important calls or to fail to forward essential documents.

Reliable in a Pinch:

A common worry that surfaces about VoIP is the fact that if the internet stops working, so does the ability to make calls. However, this doesn’t have to happen and like other features in VoIP phone systems, is incredibly flexible. The capability to choose where your calls are forwarded, and how, means that you also don’t have to lose productivity because of local power outages or weather-related events. If the office phone can’t be answered, your mobile device or laptop can.

 

Making the Right Decision for Your Business:

Understandably, any recommendation that requires wholesale shifts in how companies conduct business sounds too risky. Considering a move to a VoIP phone system can be confusing with all of the services and features that are available. It’s always best to have a knowledgeable, reliable VoIP partner at hand to assist you with major business decisions like this one. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your phone needs.

Resource taken from: https://www.atlantech.net/blog/the-top-6-benefits-of-moving-to-a-voip-telephone-system

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Social engineering: How Criminals Take Advantage of Human Behavior

What is social engineering?

Social engineers take advantage of human behavior to pull off a scam. If they want to gain entry to a building, they don't worry about a badge system. They'll just walk right in and confidently ask someone to help them get inside. And that firewall? It won't mean much if your users are tricked into clicking on a malicious link they think came from a Facebook friend or LinkedIn connection.

What are the bests ways to defend against social engineering?social media photo

  1. Train and train again when it comes to security awareness.Ensure that you have a comprehensive security awareness training program in place that is regularly updated to address both the general phishing threats and the new targeted cyberthreats. Remember, this is not just about clicking on links.
  2. Provide a detailed briefing “roadshow” on whaling and the latest online fraud techniques to key staff.Yes, include senior executives, but don’t forget anyone who has authority to make wire transfers or other financial transactions. Remember that many of the true stories involving fraud occur with lower-level staff who get fooled into believing an executive is asking them to conduct an urgent action — usually bypassing normal procedures and/or controls.
  3. Review existing processes, procedures and separation of duties for financial transfers and other important transactions such as sending sensitive data in bulk to outside entities. Add extra controls, if needed. Remember that separation of duties and other protections may be compromised at some point by insider threats, so risk reviews may need to be reanalyzed given the increased threats.
  4. Consider new policies related to “out of band” transactions or urgent executive requests.An email from the CEO’s Gmail account should automatically raise a red flag to staff, but they need to understand the latest techniques being deployed by the dark side. You need authorized emergency procedures that are well-understood by all.
  5. Review, refine and test your incident management and phish reporting systems. Run a tabletop exercise with management and with key personnel on a regular basis. Test controls and reverse-engineer potential areas of vulnerability.

Resource: https://www.csoonline.com/article/2124681/social-engineering/what-is-social-engineering.html

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Tip of the Week: Protect Your Online Identity With These 8 Tips

Tip of the Week: Protect Your Online Identity With These 8 Tips

The Internet has long been a great tool for business, but you can’t take advantage of it without putting your sensitive data at risk of threats, like hackers and malware. Granted, when it comes to cyber security, even the most cautious business will have a lot on their plate. We’ll go over eight of the most important security best practices, and how you can implement them for your business.

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CryptoLocker : What YOU Need to Know!

CryptoLocker : What YOU Need to Know!

CryptoLocker is a REAL threat to your data

CryptoLocker (a ransomware program) was released in September 2013. This software encrypts files on your server or PC rendering them useless. The software will prompt you to send money in order to decrypt the files affected. A time period is given to activate the encryption key and if you don’t comply your files will be gone forever. After paying with MoneyPak vouchers or Bitcoins your files will be restored to normal.

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Disaster Recovery and Why it Matters to New Hampshire Businesses

When you mention the term 'disaster recovery,' most people think about the big ground-shattering events like earthquakes, fires, floods, tropical storms, etc. While these natural events are certainly disasters and devastating in their own right, smaller things can constitute as a disaster for your business, and they aren't seasonal.

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Slow Computer? Increase your memory to boost computer Speeds

Sometimes when your workstation feels bogged down, a relatively cheap and simply hardware update can make a huge difference in performance. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can be a game changer for your bogged down PC.

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How Safe is Your Email?

 

Email is (and has been) a prime method of communication for businesses of all sizes. With email comes a whole slew of issues that are essentially synonymous with the technology; spam, information overload, phishing, and information privacy. Even New Hampshire small businesses that only do business locally are at risk of these issues. Personal email accounts are equally at risk. Employing proper precautions and practices whenever communicating via email is very important to prevent the risk of security compromises, monetary loss, and even legality issues.

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