Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: Which Is Right for Your Office?

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 2/14/17 8:43 AM

It seems like eons have passed since email promised to make office communication easier, more pleasant, and more fun. Remember the feeling? No more navigating awkward voicemail menus, missing connections, or squinting at smudged faxes.

But now, as we confront our overflowing inboxes with dread every morning, many of us long to go back to the days when the desk phone was more than an inert prop and critical information was shared — shockingly — face to face.

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Topics: IT Support

What Is Penetration Testing and Do I Really Need It?

Posted by Andrew Josephides on 2/9/17 8:00 AM

We don’t have to tell you your organization’s IT system is deeply complex. To provide even the most basic services to your users, many layers of hardware and software combine.

Lurking within these layers are vulnerabilities – weaknesses that can be exploited to inflict costly damage on yourorganization. And as the layers of your IT system multiply, so do their vulnerabilities, whether they’re problems in the operating systems, application flaws, or improper configurations.

How do you find these weak points before the bad guys do? That’s exactly what penetration testing is for and why it is a critical part of a company’s security policy.

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Topics: IT Security

4 Expert Tips for Creating an Enforceable IT Security Policy 

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 1/26/17 8:00 AM

As we wrote in our last post, an enforceable IT security policy  is an important part of your organization’s security strategy. Unfortunately, many companies don’t have this policy. As many as one in three companies lacks an information security policy.

It’s not enough to develop this and then put it away. Depending on the size and type of your business this should be visited at least annually with the stakeholders in the systems and processes that are part of the security policy. If this is not done it is difficult to enforce and be sure it meets the needs of the business over time.

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Topics: IT Security Policy

Draft an IT Security Policy in 2017

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 12/27/16 8:14 AM

Nobody enjoys creating policy. It’s complicated, detail-oriented work and just asking for endless debates over minutiae. And the results of the arduous policy-making process are often overlooked or outright ignored. Sometimes it feels like people are going to do whatever they want to do, regardless of your well-crafted, comprehensive policy.

So why bother going to the effort of writing an IT security policy for your business? Surely, there are better ways to spend your time.

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Topics: IT Security

Why Laptop Encryption is a Must for All Businesses (Not Just Big Ones)

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 10/25/16 8:30 AM

You’re on your way home from work, your trusty laptop on the passenger seat beside you so you can pick up where you left off at home. You stop in at a coffee shop to refuel for the evening, and when you get back to the car — your laptop’s gone. Someone broke in and made off with it.

Losing a laptop is never fun. At minimum, you or your company will have to pay to replace it. But your laptop login is password protected. So at least your valuable company data is safe.


Not exactly. It doesn’t take much for a hacker to crack a password-protected laptop. He could use a USB stick to boot up a new operating system, for example, and see all the files on your hard drive. Or he could simply unscrew the hard drive and place it in a different computer.

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Topics: IT Security

How to Stop Whaling Attacks From Sinking Your Biotech Firm

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 10/11/16 8:30 AM

You don’t need to be a hardened sea dog to know the bigger the fish, the harder to catch — but the bigger the payoff. Cybercriminals understand this concept, too. And as their phishing  techniques become increasingly polished, they’re turning their harpoons on the leviathans of the business world: the C-suite.

When cybersecurity experts talk about whaling, they could mean one of two types of attack:

  • A spear phishing attack directed against senior executives, with the goal of accessing customer data, bank account numbers, passwords, or any other valuable information. (As described in this recent Kaspersky article.)
  • A spear phishing attack in which the attackers digitally impersonate a senior executive, in the hopes of tricking lower-level employees into making a wire transfer or revealing sensitive information. (As described by Mimecast here.)
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Topics: Data Security

4 Ways to Avoid a Spear Phishing Attack Against Your Biotech

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 9/20/16 8:30 AM

A trustful nature is, under most circumstances, not a bad character trait to have. But to cybercriminals, a little too much trust — combined with a generous dose of curiosity and inattention — is just the crack they need to worm their way into your biotech firm’s data.

Recently, I wrote about phishing , one of the most widespread and effective techniques used by hackers today to steal data, infect networks, and disrupt business. In its most basic form, phishing casts a wide net in the hopes of reeling in a few gullible individuals among thousands.

But hackers have a much more precise — and potentially devastating — weapon in their arsenal: spear phishing.

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Topics: Biotech, Data Security

How Hackers Use Email to Access Biotech Information

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 8/17/16 6:22 AM

Despite all the advances in cybersecurity in recent years — iron-clad antivirus, impenetrable encryption, spookily effective spam filters — hackers are still breaking into even the most secure organizations by taking advantage of their weakest position: the human element.

According to some estimates, up to 91 percent of data security attacks begin with a false email intended to dupe the receiver into giving up login credentials or installing malicious software. This technique, a favorite of hackers worldwide, is called phishing.

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Topics: Biotechnology Startup, Data Security

Checking In? 2 Ways Hotel WiFi Could Put Your Biotech In Danger

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 7/27/16 7:28 AM

You’re on the road, taking meetings, trying to scrounge up the next round of funding to keep your biotech firm growing. But just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax by the hotel pool.

Back home in the lab, the experiments continue, the data is piling up. You’ve got email to send, staff to manage, and expenses to approve. At an early-stage biotech, the work must always go on.

Good thing most hotels offer free WiFi now. Just check in, log in, and get to work.

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Topics: Biotechnology Startup, WiFi

3 Unexpected Places Viruses Are Hiding on Your Business Network

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 6/15/16 8:56 AM

So you’ve finally got your users to quit welcoming malware onto your business’s network through clicking on random popups.. You’ve trained them to stop clicking on suspicious URLs from in emails. Is it safe to say your network is officially unassailable?


Sadly, no. Cybercriminals are a dogged bunch with endless tricks up their sleeves. They’re constantly coming up with new ways to exploit your users’ trust and naivety to infiltrate your business network, disrupting productivity, driving up expenses, and — in a worrying trend — taking your data hostage.


It’s not easy to keep up with the latest and most insidious attack vectors oozing out of the cyber-underworld — especially when you’re taking a do-it-yourself approach to data security. You’ve got enough hats to wear as it is.


Here are a few of sources of computer virus attacks you may not have thought of. While these may be less well known than those blocked by your free antivirus software, rest assured (or rest uneasily, I should say), they can wreak just as much havoc on your business’s data.

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Topics: IT Security