Internal Fraud

Internal Fraud

Enter PasscodeUnfortunately economic slowdowns can lead to downsizing, forced days off without pay, or lay offs.

This can be dangerous in the world of Information Technology [IT] where disgruntled employees may retaliate against their (former) employers.

Be cautious in these situations where the corporate decision has been to cut back in this area as typically these individuals have access to files and corporate information.

Ensure you have the right policies in place, safeguards, security measures, offsite backups, documentation, and knowledge to help protect the company from any issues. Unfortunately not all problems present themselves and sometimes they don’t surface for months down the road.

Auditing your companies IT infrastructure should be done on a regular basis, worst case once a year. This should be expected and not a surprise. It can help discover potential problems before they manifest themselves later on.

Many surveys have been conducted on fraud and it is generally concluded that the majority of fraud found within companies is committed from within.

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Note that the above is regarding any employees while below is IT specifically…

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IT to generate 5.8 million new jobs by 2013: IDC

“IDC predicts that the IT industry will be an engine powering economies out of economic doldrums, creating more that 75,000 new businesses in the next four years and adding jobs at a rate of 3 percent annually.

‘Countries that foster innovation and invest in infrastructure, education and skills development for their citizens will have a major competitive advantage in the global marketplace,’ said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

‘In this fundamental economic reset, innovative technologies will play a vital role in driving productivity gains and enabling the creation of new local businesses and highly skilled jobs that fuel economic recovery and support sustainable economic growth.'”

More… http://www.physorg.com/news173940306.html

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Something For Everyone (Movies, Long Distance, Remote Access)

Something For Everyone (Movies, Long Distance, Remote Access)

Apple Logo

“Apple TV redefines what your TV can do. Rent HD movies. Buy HD TV shows. Listen to your iTunes music. Watch podcasts. Even show off your photos.”

Aside from viewing video clips on YouTube or pictures on Flickr, I must say that this device is amazing purely from the simplicity of renting movies.

Right now to rent a movie, you probably have to jump out to your local blockbuster, rent a video, hope it is there, then having to bring it back to avoid late fees, very inconvenient. Not to mention all the careless people who scratch the discs and it can’t play beyond some crucial point in the movie. How frustrating!

With Apple TV, you can rent from movies online, that are available on demand, and it is only $2.99 for older titles, $3.99 for newer titles, and $4.99 for HD movies. The rental is good for 48 hours and can be played multiple times.

For those of you who like movies and convenience, something to think about.

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LONG DISTANCE

Skype LogoMore and more people are needing to reach out to business associates, clients, family and friends who are located (perhaps temporarily) outside of their calling region. Skype keeps improving their product and is worth trying out. It is free. And it also allows you to use a webcam (many laptops have them built-in) for a video conference. It is quite impressive.

LogMeIn LogoIf you need to access your computer remotely, I would highly recommend you look into LogMeIn Free. It allows you to access your computer desktop remotely. It is very easy to install and doesn’t require any special knowledge.

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Social Networking in the Corporate Environment

Social Networking in the Corporate Environment

Most people are now involved in one or more of the social networking sites that are available online such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter to name a few.

The focus behind social networking is building an online community that shares some common interest. They are mostly web-based and provide a variety of ways to interact such as through your web browser, instant messaging and by email. This isn’t necessarily accessed through your computer, a lot of is now through mobile devices such as iPhones and Blackberries.

Social networking is excellent at reviving old contacts, helping advertise you and your business, and maintaining contacts. It can also be seen as time theft. I would go so far as saying many people even have an addiction that needs to be addressed. There are also risks that need to be considered such as data leakage, identity theft, and virus infections.

Policies should be added regarding your corporations position on social networks as employees may assume that it is authorized without a corporate policy governing acceptable use of the technologies. There are also ways to block access to certain sites through your Internet connection.

One should be careful to ensure these technologies are appropriate for your organization and that the risks do not outweigh the benefits.

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Growing Bits, Bytes, and Backups

Growing Bits, Bytes, and Backups

Here is a picture of a hard disk drive from 1956. It had a whopping 5 MB (MegaBytes) of storage.

1956 Hard Drive

In September 1956, IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the first computer with a hard disk drive. It weighed over a ton. By way of comparison, I use 16 GB (GigaBytes) memory sticks. i.e. 16 thousand megabytes. That is over 6,000 times more storage which fits in my pocket and costs around $50.

It is estimated that 4 exabytes (4.0 x 10^19) of unique information will be generated this year. All this data… What would happen if you lost all of your emails? Your contacts? Your documents? The scary thing is most people store valuable data in a single location on a single medium. And when (not if) disaster strikes, they have no backup. Storage devices fail, it happens.. even CD recordables. People accidentally delete & overwrite files. Files corrupt. Viruses infect. It depends on where you store them, how old they are, how often they are used, and general mechanical or electrical failure. We advise all our clients to have multiple backups. Ensure at least one or two of them are automated. Ensure at least one is offsite. And test them!

Services such as Mozy.com and iDrive.com offer free personal backups up to 2 GB in storage. That is plenty for critical documents, contacts, calendars, etc. There are other solutions for much larger amounts of data. It is worth your while to have someone assess your data storage and backup requirements along with providing suggestions and/or implementation.

How valuable is your data?

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Did You Know 2008

Tecently I was provided with a link to a fantastic 4 minute video that really makes you think. It is IT related but is great for anyone to watch. It was done by PromoMMX for SonyBMG Rome 2008. Lots of research went into this.

If you are unable to view the link above, here is the script:

Did You Know?

If you’re one in a million in China, there are 1,300 people just like you.
China will soon become the number one English speaking country in the world.
The 25% of India’s population witht he highest IQ’s is greater than the total population of the United States.
India has more honors kids than America has kids.

The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.
We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist
using technologies that haven’t been invented
in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38
1 in 4 works has been with their current employer for less than a year.
1 in 2 has been there less than five years.

1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met online.

There are over 200 million registered users on MySpace.
If MySpace were a country, it would be the 5th-largest in the world (between Indonesia and Brazil).

The #1 ranked country in Broadband Internet Penetration is Bermuda (USA is #19, Japan is #22).

We are living in exponential times.
There are 31 Billion searches on Google every month.
In 2006, this number was 2.7 Billion.
To whom were these questions addressed B.G. (Before Google)?

The first commercial text message was sent in December of 1992.
Today, the number of text messages sent and received everyday, exceeds the total population of the planet.

Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 million
Radio 38 years
TV 13 years
Internet 4 years
iPod 3 years
Facebook 2 years

The total number of Internet devices in 1984 was 1,000
The number of Internet devices in 1992 was 1,000,000
The number of Internet devices in 2008 is 1,000,000,000

There are about 540,000 words in the English language.
About 5 times as many as during Shakespeare’s time.

It is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.

It is estimated that 4 exabytes (4.0 x 10^19) of unique information will be generated this year.
That is more than the previous 5,000 years.

The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.
For students starting a 4 year technical degree this means that half of what they learn will be outdated by their third year of study.

NTT Japan has successfully tested a fiber optic cable that pushes 14 trillion bits per second down a single strand of fiber.
That is 2,660 CDs or 210 million phone calls every second.

It is currently tripling every six months and is expected to do so for the next 20 years.

By 2013, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain.
Predictions are that by 2049, a $1000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.

In 4 minutes
67 babies were born in the US
274 babies were born in China
395 babies were born in India
694,000 songs were downloaded illegally.

What does it all mean?

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Every company needs a website. Though make sure you do a good job and keep it current as many people judge you by your site. You website from 3 years ago is already outdated. It is something to think about.

If I want to look up a phone number or a physical address, I open my web browser. I rarely use a phone book anymore.

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Are You Really Protected?

Are You Really Protected?

Tired of being bombarded by telemarketing calls?

Register your number with the National Do Not Call List (by the CRTC)

www.dncl.gc.ca

 

Are You Really Protected?

Unfortunately we have noticed many of the clients we deal with have a false sense of security. Just because you have anti-virus software installed on your workstations does not mean that you are protected and aren’t already infected.

Clients are always shocked when we are engaged to perform an audit of their network and we find screen loggers, key loggers, root kits, and downloader trojans. Some clients have issues with infected systems causing their legitimate emails to be blocked as they end up getting blacklisted on the Internet.

Unfortunately not all antivirus software is complete or current. You need to upgrade your antivirus software to the latest and also ensure that it is also scanning for Malware and Spyware. Viruses are no longer the predominant threat.

Recommendations:
– Ensure that you have the latest Anti-“X” solution.
– Educate your users to not click on the “too good to be true” links
– Configure your firewall to only permit your mail server to send outbound emails
– Have your network audited on a regular basis

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