18 Feb 2020

Why & How to Use Password Managers Like LastPass

Up to 80% of hacking-related incidents are the result of weak or stolen passwords. 


Stop for a minute and consider how many online business accounts you have. Be sure to think about all your programs, software, apps, email accounts, and cloud accounts. Even if you only have a few employees, it’s easy to think of a dozen off the top of your head. 


When you think about all of these accounts as your “network,” you start to see that a password is not just a single gateway to a single account; it can actually be an entry point for your entire network. 


What are your Credentials Worth to You vs. a Hacker?


Weak passwords, reused passwords, password sharing, and unprotected password storage are three major security issues in many small businesses in Canada. In fact, information from leaked passwords in 2018 showed that plenty of people still use terrible passwords


So, what are the costs vs gains when someone steals your information? Individual businesses spend an average of $34,604 per year on cybersecurity incidents. Meanwhile, login credentials being sold on the dark web cost as little as $2. 


It’s worth getting to know how you can protect your organization’s passwords (without losing access to accounts or making it difficult for employees to login).

What is a Password Manager? 

Think of a password manager as a vault for all of your passwords. It creates and stores difficult passwords for your accounts, locking the whole thing with a single master password. That means you only need to remember one password to get access, and that you’ve taken those multiple access points and brought them into a single access point, leaving less room for hackers to get in.

You also have more control over who has access to your accounts. If an employee leaves, you can change the master password without going through and changing every individual account.

Options for Password Managers: 


Our top pick for a password manager for small businesses is LastPass. There’s a free version that allows you a ton of range, but the premium version offers a lot more features to increase security and convenience.


This is another great option for a subscription-based password manager. If you’re a solopreneur and you want to use touch or face recognition as your master password on Mac/iOS devices, 1Password is the perfect option.


Dashlane is another great option, but it tends to cost more, and the free version is limited to one device and 50 passwords, making it a bit less cost-effective for small businesses.


Are Password Managers Secure? 

Yes, password managers are secure and they’re still your best bet for password protection. According to How to Geek, LastPass and 1Password have both passed third-party audits and code reviews. They state that these companies don’t actually have access to your master password, which stays on your device, meaning they don’t have access to any of your stored passwords. 


One of the best features of any manager you choose is the ability to share passwords with others without typing them in. This means you never have to reveal the passwords under those big black dots, which adds a thick layer of security, especially if you have an extensive team or deal with multiple contractors.


Other Ways to Protect Your Business Passwords

Although password managers come highly recommended by most managed service providers in Edmonton, there are plenty of other ways to boost your password security. One way is to include multi-factor authentication on your accounts (which you can also typically do with your master password in your manager). 


Never write down passwords or share them over a device. Never reuse passwords across accounts as this creates a major point of entry into your entire database, even if it’s spread across multiple accounts. 


Finally, be sure to have a security audit and staff training from a trusted MSP in Edmonton. This can help kickstart a cybersecurity program that can easily save your business thousands of dollars, many hours of lost time, and other major risks.


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07 Nov 2018

Make File Sharing with Clients Easy

Make File Sharing with Clients Easy

As a vendor or even a customer, have you had the experience of working with a new company and having to learn yet another file sharing platform? Worse, have you found that it wasn’t compatible with your files, or that there were little quirks that slowed down the process as you learned the software? It can be annoying, and it can take a considerable amount of time.

What’s going on in your organization? Have you ever considered that your file sharing environment is a critical client touchpoint? Consider these questions:


  • Can they learn the system quickly?
  • Is it used across the entire organization, or do individual units use different tools?
  • Can a client access via any mobile device whenever it is convenient?
  • Is everything accessible via all operating systems?
  • Do they feel secure sharing confidential data?

Sharing and collaboration should be easy, intuitive and secure.

Every client touchpoint matters, and if your collaboration tools are perceived to be insecure, clunky, disjointed or inaccessible, you potentially damage a piece of your brand and your client relationships.

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07 Nov 2018

Three responses after a Ransomware attack

Three responses after a Ransomware attack
If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a ransomware attack, there are basically only three options open to you. Ransomware is a type of computer virus that kidnaps your data and holds it hostage for money. It has become increasingly common attacking governments and all manner of business and non-for profit institutions.
Why is ransomware so nasty? Because it steals the most important thing your business possesses. Data. Worse, once infected there isn’t generally a way out. No one can “disinfect” your machine. You aren’t going to be able to call in IT support to solve the problem. Basically, you have three options.
  1. Pay the ransom. This payment is usually via credit card or bitcoin (a digital currency). Some ransomware viruses even provide helplines if you’re having trouble. Of course, there are no guarantees you will get access to your data – these are thieves you’re dealing with.
  2. Don’t pay and lose your data – This has its obvious downsides, unless…
  3. You have a safe, clean backup. In that case, you are stuck with the nuisance of restoring your data with the backup, but you aren’t out any money. However, this comes with a caveat: your backups have to be clean. The problem with ransomware viruses is that just making backups may not be sufficient to protect your data, as the backups can be infected also.
As you can see, the first two options aren’t very favorable solutions. The only real defense against an attack is the third option. You have to be prepared ahead of time with a safe, segregated backup. Be sure to get the advice of a specialist on how to protect your data from this very serious threat to your business.
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