It’s the holiday season—the time of year when digital threats and cyberattacks increase the most. Individual consumers have to keep their personal information safe when shopping online. Businesses have to watch out for common holiday scams. And IT providers have to step up their game to keep everyone safe.
At CMIT Solutions, our franchise owners take pride in protecting businesses in their local communities. That protection varies depending on company size, industry, and location. The common thread, however, is our commitment to customer service, client satisfaction, and comprehensive security.
Below, we’ve compiled five common cybersecurity risks that consumers and businesses face this time of year. Then, we’ve included ways our 160+ franchisees across North America mitigate those risks.
1) Look out for illicit websites and phishing emails. While on the hunt for personal information to steal, hackers will try just about anything.
- Hackers construct fake websites that look like common e-commerce portals to try and steal credit card numbers.
- Some send bogus messages that look like shipping notifications.
- These lure unsuspecting users into clicking a link or opening an attachment that installs malware or triggers a ransomware infection.
Either way, managed IT services can help. CMIT Solutions specializes in:
- Remote monitoring and maintenance that keeps watch over devices and systems 24/7.
- These tools can block incoming web traffic from fake sites and stop viruses before they infect your computer(s).
- Anti-malware software can block common threats.
- Email security filters can quarantine suspicious attachments.
All of these tools are designed to prevent downtime and protect businesses from the most common digital risks.
2) Beware of “malvertising” pop-ups. These types of sneaky online tricks proliferate around the holiday season. Here’s why:
- If an advertised deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. And a click on that ad might be more harmful than you think.
- Don’t respond to requests that ask you to install antivirus software or wipe your infected computer, either.
Added layers of network security solutions can protect businesses from even these complex threats. CMIT Solutions deploys enhanced tools that:
- Mitigate targeted attacks.
- Block risky Java and Flash plug-ins.
- Filter unsafe content like web ads and pop-up videos.
This “umbrella” approach can deliver an unprecedented level of security for companies that otherwise may not be able to spot or stop such threats.
3) Protect all passwords. The most common way to do this is to create “long and strong” logins using unique phrases, special characters, and a mixture of numbers and letters. But even this is only a first step. In addition,
- Don’t auto-save passwords in your browser just to save time.
- Don’t share passwords with friends, family, or colleagues.
- And never, ever store your passwords on a sticky note at your desk.
CMIT Solutions offers more advanced password protection. We help businesses with:
- Cloud-based password managers designed specifically for the business community.
- We lead the industry in rolling out multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- This extra layer of security requires a user to log in with two things. One is something they know, like a password, and two is something they have, like a unique code delivered via text or email.
- Single sign-on (SSO) which empowers employees to be more productive by centralizing their logins to multiple accounts onto one application.
4) Add extra layers of Wi-Fi security. During the holiday season, we all have to use public Wi-Fi networks. But that can be risky, as hackers will often “squat” on public networks and try to steal any data they can. Instead,
- Only log on to password-protected networks and use personal hotspots on your mobile phone whenever you can.
- If you’re logging on to office networks or conducting important business, strengthen your connection with a virtual private network.
- VPNs shield your IP address and redirect web traffic through a series of disparate servers.
CMIT Solutions secures the information of clients in the following ways:
- Installing WPA2-encrypted Wi-Fi routers that use secure SSIDs.
- Deploying VPNs and remote desktop protocols (RDPs) for all remote employees.
- This elevates home office security to the same level as the office.
- Making sure everyone is connected using collaborative file-sharing apps and unified communications platforms that blend the best of protection and productivity.
- We top it all off with 24/7 support to address any problem, no matter how big or small.
5) Regularly save and store data backups. If the worst-case scenario strikes and information is compromised or stolen, the resulting impact can be ugly.
- If ransomware strikes, a business may be forced to struggle with the decision of whether or not to pay a ransom to hackers.
- The only surefire way to avoid that is with a recoverable data backup that’s been created recently and stored remotely.
CMIT Solutions leads the IT industry by offering:
- Comprehensive data backup and disaster recovery protocols.
- Data restoration and business continuity procedures.
- And efficient equipment replacement in case of catastrophic loss.
- For natural disasters that lead to power outages or long-lasting business disruptions, remote work policies and data sharing can even be rolled out.
Our franchisees keep every client’s business operating smoothly, no matter what disruptions occur.
This holiday season, constant digital threats remind us about the importance of cybersecurity protection—and the need to have a reliable IT provider by our side. With over 250 offices across North America and over 24 years of experience serving businesses in every industry, CMIT Solutions proudly fills that role. We’re always looking for new franchisees that want to work closely with other business owners to help serve businesses in local communities.
Our franchisees’ monthly revenue growth exceeds 20%, a number expected to increase as cyber threats rise. Contact us today to learn more about our franchise opportunity and pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.