Steven Vigeant

Recent Posts

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

Should Our Early-Stage Biotech Invest in an On-Site Server? 5 Questions to Ask

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 5/10/16 11:44 AM

Does an early-stage biotech company even need servers? If you listen to the way some people talk about it, on-site servers are unnecessary expenses in the modern, cloud-based world.

But while cloud services do give startup biotech firms unprecedented power to launch quickly with a small team, as your firm grows, special consideration needs to be taken when you start planning your company infrastructure. To be clear, we here at Data Evolution embrace both local and cloud servers, storage and applications. These days it is more likely our clients will have a hybrid (local and cloud) system. There are many things that are best served in the cloud but for this blog we are focusing on how to help make decisions around why you may need a local versus a cloud based system. There are considerations around power, storage space, and security your firm will need to reach your growth goals.

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Topics: Biotech, Server

Is the Cloud Rendering Your Antivirus Useless?

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 2/12/16 8:00 AM

Imagine this scenario: It’s early evening. You’ve left work for the day and are getting ready to enjoy dinner. You see an email on your phone that alerts you to some work related emergency that needs to be handled immediately. A wave of disheartenment washes over you as you realize you left your work computer back at the office. But wait...there’s hope! Everything you need to do can be done by simply logging into “the cloud.” You jump on the family PC, log in, and take care of business.


Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to you, your home PC’s antivirus had expired and had a virus on it that infected every company file stored in the cloud.

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Is Your Company At Risk For This New Kind of Email Scam?

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 1/29/16 8:00 AM

Every day thousands of emails move in and out of your company’s virtual inboxes. Since email has become the most relied upon method of communication for most organizations, short notes and quick replies have become second nature to most of us. Unfortunately, this simple delivery method makes it easy to for security threats to slip through the cracks.


A new kind of email fraud is making the rounds, and it's called “email spoofing.” It’s vital to your company’s security that you understand the threat and take a few simple measures to ensure your company isn’t victimized.


The purpose of email spoofing is pretty straightforward: get the recipient of an email to send money by way of wire or credit transfer. It’s the way scammers get this information that is hard to catch.

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Topics: Email

6 Ways to Boost an Investor’s Confidence with Your IT Infrastructure

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 10/13/15 1:16 PM

Startups trying to get off the ground, especially those in the biotech space, rely heavily--if not completely--on the backing of outside investors.


With investors playing such a large role in the success (or failure) of a startup, it’s surprising that few early stage companies consider the important role that the choices in the IT systems, and infrastructure that have been put into place play in the eyes of the investor.


Think about it. An investor who is offering you their money will want to mitigate the risk as much as possible before handing over their cash.


Since IT is the backbone of most new companies, an investor will be pleased to see that thoughtful choices are made not only considering budget but security, scalability and accessibility.


Here are six ways to ignite an investor’s confidence with your IT infrastructure.

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Topics: Biotechnology Startup