The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Cybersecurity Basics Explained

Cybersecurity Basics Explained

Over a quarter of all data breaches happen to small businesses. The cost of a data breach, well, it sure isn’t worth it. To keep your business’ data and infrastructure free of threats and relatively secure, small businesses will need a combination of useful technology tools and well-designed strategies. Let’s take a look at several steps your small business can take to secure itself from digital theft.

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You Shouldn’t Slow Your Cybersecurity Spending

You Shouldn’t Slow Your Cybersecurity Spending

COVID-19 has changed the way that most business owners look at a dollar. For months, businesses have been making strategic budget cuts to try to stay afloat. Cybersecurity has been the ultimate growth industry over the past several years, but in the face of the pandemic, the market for these products and services is seeing substantial retraction. In fact, Gartner estimates that in 2020, the cybersecurity industry will shrink by almost $7 billion. Today, we’ll take a look at the cybersecurity market and why it is important not to slow your cybersecurity spending if you can help it.

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Tip of the Week: Best Practices to Protect Your Business

Tip of the Week: Best Practices to Protect Your Business

There are many different varieties of cybercrime that businesses need to be vigilant about. However, most of these varieties can largely be avoided through a few basic practices and behaviors. Here, we’re giving you a few tips to help you prevent attacks from successfully influencing your business, so make sure you share them with your entire team, as well.


1. Reconsider What You Click On

It’s almost automatic for many users to see a link on a website, in their email, and elsewhere. This is something that hackers are very aware of, and often use to their advantage.

Kind of like we just did there (if you clicked on that link).

See how easy it is to fool someone this way? To help avoid this being used to undermine your security, build up the habit of hovering your cursor over a link before clicking on it. This will display the actual destination of a link somewhere on your screen, which you should always check so you will know that it is legitimate. 

2. Use Access Controls

While this may be obvious, you need to make sure that someone who isn’t allowed access to your business’ files or location isn’t able to access them. This means that you need to have all the suggested data security measures and practices in place to protect against the unauthorized access of any of your files, including any hard copies. Keep your physical data locked up, and protect all data with multiple layers of authentication requirements.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Scammers

While we’ve already covered this in part with tip number one, there are other ways to catch attempted cybercrimes that are often used in conjunction with misleading links. Cybercriminals use various methods, referred to as “phishing”, to manipulate their targets into behaving the way the attacker wants. Sometimes it is by using a falsified link, sometimes through scare tactics, and often through a combination of the two. Some phishing attacks are researched extensively to be as effective as possible against a certain target, while others are broader and more generic and meant to catch as many people as possible with minimal work. Make sure your team is informed of these attacks and knows to double-check requests through a different communication method if there is any doubt at all. When in doubt? Pick up the phone and call the sender.

4. Two-Ply Protections

Make sure that you are layering your defenses against cyberthreats. Maintain an updated antivirus solution and utilize a virtual private network when accessing the Internet and activate all onboard protections that your devices offer and use all of the assorted solutions and practices that are available for you to leverage. To discourage cybercrime on a comprehensive scale, you need to take thorough actions and fill in all the small holes that could potentially exist in your security.

The Connection, Inc can help with all of this, and more. For answers to any technology questions you may have, or direct assistance in implementing any of this, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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Protect Your Laptop from Theft

Protect Your Laptop from Theft

We talk about cybersecurity a lot. We talk about protecting your data from the illusive threat that hackers and cybercriminals bring. We don’t often talk about the more obvious type of security - preventing the physical theft of your data. I think it’s time.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Easy Actions That Will Protect Your Data

Tip of the Week: 3 Easy Actions That Will Protect Your Data

The modern business has to deal with a lot of potential security problems. Today’s threat landscape is filled with people looking to prosper off of your misfortune. As a result, doing what you can to maintain the security of your network and data is essential. Today, we will discuss how maintaining your organizational cybersecurity doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming.The best way we’ve found to go about doing this is by highlighting a few key actions that you can take to keep your network secure and your data safe.


Use Strong Passwords

Like many of these quick tips, this one is a good practice regardless of where you are. Good password management is an extremely important part of the security process. To concoct a good password, you need to first make something that people or computer programs won’t guess. You can do that by using both lower- and upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols.

Another good practice is to create a passphrase of unlike words. This serves two purposes. First, it ensures that you can remember the password; and, secondly it is secure enough where no one can crack the password.

Finally, you will want to create a unique password for every online account and save them in an encrypted password manager. Doing so will not only protect your passwords, it sets up a system where you only have to remember one. 

For additional security, you will want to use two-factor authentication. This is a system that adds an additional layer of security to your online accounts. Once you enter a password into a password manager, you then will get an additional box where you will enter a code. This code can be sent through email or it can be generated through an authentication app. 

Only Use Secure Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi inside your office should be secure, hidden, and encrypted. For those times when working in your office is impossible, the use of a virtual private network (VPN) can keep your uploads and downloads secure. Utilizing public Wi-Fi without a VPN is just asking for problems. 

Some VPNs are better than others. Typically, if your company uses a comprehensive network security suite for your office, it will come with VPN licenses that will be more than enough to protect data transmission when you are working on someone else’s Wi-Fi.

Avoid Unknown Links

Phishing is the number one way that hackers gain access to a network. This is because people click on links and download attachments that they have no business interacting with. Your account has likely been phished many times this year. Most are probably thwarted by your spam blocker, but it only takes one attack to grind productivity to a halt.

If we have one piece of advice, don’t enter personal or company information in an email or instant message unless you are very clear who is on the other end. The threats that line up against your integrated security are substantial ones. Phishing is the number one cause of identity theft and ransomware. Since it runs the entire gamut of negative results, ensuring that you are doing what you can to not be part of the problem is important. 

Cybersecurity can be difficult for a business, but an individual’s role in protecting business and personal networks isn’t. If you would like to learn more about IT security or how to effectively manage risks that come from phishing and other attacks, subscribe to our blog today.

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Taking a Look at the Current Cybercrime Statistics

Taking a Look at the Current Cybercrime Statistics

Organizational cybersecurity has to be a priority for every business. These days, companies are getting hacked left and right and being exposed to some of the very worst malware ever created. Today, we will take a look at some cybercrime statistics that will put in perspective just how damaging cybercrime is.

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Baseline Cybersecurity

Baseline Cybersecurity

More than any time before, cybersecurity has to be a major consideration for businesses. It is, in fact, one of the biggest problems the modern business has to face day-in and day-out. Shortage in cybersecurity talent and antiquated strategies are making it difficult for businesses to find the knowledgeable resources that will help them work to secure their network and data from threats to the business.  

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Armored Car Cybersecurity

Armored Car Cybersecurity

It’s fair to say that most business owners aren’t cybersecurity experts. That’s why there is such a large investment in cybersecurity solutions. That outlay is justified, sure, but is it effective? Today, we’ll talk a little bit about network and cybersecurity, and how all the capital investment in the world may not actually keep your network secure. 

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You Have to Be Smarter About Your Data

You Have to Be Smarter About Your Data

You’ve heard it over and over for the past several years: data loss is a disaster. A data breach can ruin your business. Ransomware is a business’ biggest enemy. Your reputation can never recover after a data breach. These statements may be redundant, but if you don’t heed the message behind them, you will likely regret it. 

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DHS Cybersecurity Shortage a Major Problem

DHS Cybersecurity Shortage a Major Problem

Cybersecurity is a big point of emphasis for the modern IT administrator. For the private business, it’s important for enough to be done in order to secure the business’ assets, and the integrity of the network itself. Unfortunately, when looking at public computing resources, there isn’t enough talent available to properly secure the systems that government entities rely on. 

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Cybersecurity Insurance Gaining Steam

Cybersecurity Insurance Gaining Steam

Controlling your organization’s data relies on keeping your network and computing infrastructure free from threats. Early detection allows your business to actively confront risks before they develop into major issues. However, threats are becoming more difficult to detect in early stages, and one hidden threat could doom your entire business. 

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Network Security is Crucial for Every Organization

Network Security is Crucial for Every Organization

Avoiding risk is important for every business, unless your business is as a daredevil, then mitigating risk will have to do. Nowadays, with technology being an omnipresent element in most businesses, technology-based risks have grown in concert. As a result, the modern business owner and IT administrators need to understand the new risks and how to proactively work toward avoiding (or mitigating) them.

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Fishing for Answers to Keep Phishing Attacks from Sinking Your Business

Fishing for Answers to Keep Phishing Attacks from Sinking Your Business

Phishing attacks have been in the social consciousness now for a while, and for good reason: it is the predominant way that hackers gain access to secured networks and data. Unfortunately, awareness to an issue doesn’t always result in positive outcomes. In this case, hackers get more aggressive, and by blanketing everyone under a seemingly limitless phishing net, 57 billion phishing emails go out every year. If a fraction of those emails accomplish their intended goal, the hackers on the other end of them really make out.

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Cyberbullying is a Serious Issue Everywhere

Cyberbullying is a Serious Issue Everywhere

As technology has evolved, so have our capabilities of using it. While this has led to great improvements in how we can live our lives, it has also made it much easier for us to torment and harass one another. This is a huge problem, and growing, so it is important to know how to take a stand against it - both at home, and in the workplace.


The Cybersmile Foundation was formed on June 17th, 2012, to help spread awareness of this problem and promote online inclusivity over toxic harassment and abuse. Unfortunately, their efforts are very much needed, as cyberbullying is still a pervasive problem.

What is a Cyberbully?

A cyberbully is pretty much what it sounds like: they are someone who torments others, causing them pain and angst, over a digital medium. Common media for a cyberbully to leverage include social media, online forums, and even texting and instant messaging. Since this form of harassment doesn’t require the bully and their target to be in the same place, there is a much greater timeframe of opportunity for this kind of bullying to take place. While many cyberbullies work alone, it isn’t uncommon for groups of people to engage in such activities cooperatively. Not only can this kind of bullying be very public, it can more insidiously be kept private, and many cyberbullies act anonymously to protect their own identities. Even worse, a total stranger may be the one to target someone as a victim of their attacks.

What possibly makes cyberbullying so insidious, is the fact that the target may not even be aware that it is going on. If, for instance, nasty things are being said on a social media platform or profile that the target cannot access, the only way they will find out is if someone says something - which doesn’t always happen.

Workplace Cyberbullying

While it may be known best as something that kids and adolescents have to contend with, cyberbullying has been seen among all age groups. This has only become more true in an increasingly digital workplace, where tools like email, instant messaging, and social media are leveraged for their productivity benefits. Considering this increase, it comes as no surprise that the workplace is becoming prime hunting grounds for cyberbullies. A study that polled almost 3,000 people found that 96 percent - yes, 96 - had been on the receiving end of workplace bullying.

Whether this cyberbullying takes the shape of gossip over instant messages between conspiring coworkers or a manager that sends abusive and unpleasant emails at intentionally inconvenient times, it creates a hostile work environment that erodes motivation and engagement and makes collaboration effectively impossible.

What Can Be Done

There are actions that both the recipient of cyberbullying and their employer can take to discourage this kind of unprofessional and hurtful behavior from occurring.

First, if the recipient of this kind of abuse is aware of the situation, they need to keep a cooler head and speak up for themselves. Calmly, rationally, and politely, the recipient should inform the perpetrating coworker that the behavior is to stop. Taking the high road, as it is with most interpersonal confrontations, is the best option when harassment is involved.

The receiving employee should also start collecting evidence. This will help them support their position if the time should come that they need to lodge a formal complaint. Keeping emails, social media posts, and other instances that they feel constitute abusive and hurtful behavior will give them what they need. Furthermore, they should also educate themselves on their rights as they pertain to their personal information. If some has been shared by the cyberbully, there could have been some laws broken. Neither defamation nor data protection are laughing matters.

An employer should want to create a working environment that runs smoothly, making it more likely to be productive. Harassment and cyberbullying throw a wrench in operations, so it only makes sense that an employer would want it to stop. Furthermore, the employer needs to make it clear to their employees that cyberbullying will not be tolerated. To do this, there should be a policy prepared that informs their employees what conduct will (and what conduct will not) be tolerated between employees, inside and outside of the office and work hours. This policy should be introduced during a new employee orientation, and if the issue was widespread enough, reviewed among the staff after an instance of workplace cyberbullying.

For more information about cyberbullying and additional resources, visit the official Stop Cyberbullying Day website. Technology is meant to help us grow as businesses, as people, and ultimately, as a society - not to tear each other down. Together, we can work to make that more the case.

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WARNING: A New Zero-Day Threat is On the Loose

WARNING: A New Zero-Day Threat is On the Loose

Zero-day threats are some of the most dangerous ones out there. What we mean by “zero day” threats are those that have been discovered by hackers before an official patch has been released by the developers, giving them exactly zero days before they are actively exploited in the wild. One of the more dangerous zero-day threats out there at the moment is one that takes advantage of Internet Explorer.

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There are New Ways to Secure Your Data

There are New Ways to Secure Your Data

Security is an aspect of running a business that absolutely cannot be ignored, regardless of whether or not you see it as a considerable issue in the near future. The fact remains that your organization will always be at risk unless you take actions to keep it safe today. By taking advantage of some of the latest and greatest security tools on the market, you’ll be able to protect not only from the basic threats, but more advanced ones as well.


No matter how advanced technology becomes, it can fall victim to even the most basic of threats if left unchecked. Your desktop workstation is certainly not immune to threats like viruses, malware, spam, and so much more, and even the most vigilant business could expose its infrastructure to these common threats. Since consumer-grade services are likely not strong enough to protect your business’s important data, you’ll need to turn to enterprise-grade solutions that can be tricky for small businesses to afford.

One of the greatest ways you can protect your organization is by implementing a Unified Threat Management tool that fulfills the roles of various security solutions in one convenient package. For example, you could implement an enterprise-grade antivirus and firewall to keep threats out of your infrastructure and promptly eliminate those that do infiltrate your defenses. Furthermore, preventative solutions like spam protection and content filtering can limit your organization’s exposure to threats in the first place, which saves time and money in the long run.

More advanced security protections, however, are certainly important for your business as well. Some of the more powerful measures include two-factor authentication and biometric scanning. Two-factor authentication is particularly important, as it provides a secondary credential that must be used to gain access to important information and accounts. Basically, it forces hackers to do even more work to break into an account, as they would have to physically steal your smartphone or other device to which the secondary credential is being sent to, all just to access an account and maybe find something useful.

Biometrics, on the other hand, are a bit harder to fake. Using fingerprint scanners or iris scanners make it considerably more difficult to unlock devices. A hacker would basically have to have the exact same fingerprint or iris as you, so unless there is some incredibly shady business going on, they won’t be able to access your devices.

How does your business secure its sensitive information and data infrastructure? The Connection, Inc can help your business avoid considerable security troubles. To learn more, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybercrime is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. From the largest enterprise to the individual, it can affect anyone, anywhere. To help ensure the cybersecurity of American citizens and their businesses, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies work together every October to raise awareness about the threats people face online through a series of educational events and activities.


  • Week 1: October 2-6 – Theme: Simple Steps to Online Safety
    • This week highlights the things needed to keep consumers safe and ways to protect themselves. While it’s targeted more at individuals than businesses, they offer great resources for best practices that everyone should follow, both professionally and personally.
  • Week 2: October 9-13 – Theme: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business
    • Next, DHS shows organizations how they can protect against cybercrimes that target them. There will be information on creating a cyber security culture among you and your employees.
  • Week 3: October 16-20 – Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet
    • The future has arrived and you need to be prepared. This week looks at emerging technology and how you can protect your nonpublic information moving forward.
  • Week 4: October 23-27 – Theme: The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity
    • The demand for those with IT security experience has far surpassed the number of qualified candidates.
  • Week 5: October 30-31 – Theme: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats
    • The final week is a bit more on the technical side, highlighting the tie between cybersecurity and our nation’s critical infrastructure. As a business owner, it will affect you at every level.

One of the things that every small business needs to understand is that cyber criminals are a constant threat to all business, even the smaller ones. The following video, Months to Milliseconds, takes a look at what the DHS deals with everyday as they attempt to keep cyber commerce up and running as safe as possible.

Months to Milliseconds

For those of you who would like to know what they can do to start improving their company's data security today, here’s a short list of things that the FBI recommends you and your business practice regularly to reduce the chance of falling victim to cyber criminals.

  • Raise Awareness: When it comes to cyber security, one thing you can start doing immediately is to make your staff cognizant of the threat of a ransomware infection.
  • Updates and Patches: Make sure to patch your operating systems, software, and firmware on all of your digital assets.
  • Auto Update Security Software: Lean on enterprise-level antivirus and anti-malware software to conduct regular scans and catch potential malware.
  • Limit Super Users: Ensure that you don’t just hand out administrator access to your mission-critical systems. Managing access is one of the best ways to keep untrustworthy entities out of your network.
  • Access Control: As stated above, access control is essential to ensure that you know who can and should be in parts of your network. If your users only need read-specific information, they don’t need write-access to files or directories, mitigating risk.
  • Filters and Application Control: Deploy software restrictions to keep programs from executing from location where ransomware may be found. This includes temporary folders found to support Internet browsers and compression/decompression programs.
  • Data Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan: Create data redundancy by having a comprehensive backup and recovery plan in place.
  • Multiple Storages: Ensure that each storage unit is stand-alone to avoid major problems with backups and other forms of storage.

Business owners and managers know how important your data is. We would love for you to share this blog to your social media to help us get the word out about the importance of being #CyberAware. For those of you that would like to learn more about our security solutions, contact (732) 291-5938 today!

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Tip of the Week: 12 Security Rules Every PC User Should Follow

Tip of the Week: 12 Security Rules Every PC User Should Follow

While you are probably spending a fair amount of time thinking about your business’ security, can you confidently say the same about those that you’ve employed? Unfortunately, your workers may not put much thought into network security. This could very possibly lead to some severe issues potentially harming your business operations.

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How Rogue Software Makes PC Problems Worse

How Rogue Software Makes PC Problems Worse

It’s difficult to know what you can and can’t trust in the realm of cybersecurity. However, you’re likely to trust your own security solution. Yet, even this could be a devastating oversight, as some malware masquerades as your security software.


Basically, rogue software takes advantage of the fact that online threats are more prevalent than ever. Considering how hyped up any and all data breaches are in the news, it’s natural that the average user will trust their computer when a message appears telling them that they have to download the latest antivirus software to protect themselves. Little do they know that this supposed antivirus program is actually malware in disguise.

Rogue security software is also known as scareware, which is a software that scares its victims with misleading rhetoric, convincing them that they need to download something, or else. Rogue software is usually designed in a way which provides those who spread it a type of commission--which only encourages the spread of such malware.

Sometimes the root problem of rogue software is even more concerning than meets the eye. One particular rogue software scam involves reporting issues that don’t even exist, or issues that were downloaded by the software itself. Other variations of the threat will ignore active issues on your PC, so that they can continue to become a problem; there are even some that keep you from downloading legitimate antivirus, to the point where you can’t even access the websites of reputable antivirus vendors.

Though law enforcement has taken steps to get to the bottom of this scam, the only surefire way of keeping yourself safe is to stay on the lookout for anything strange. Kaspersky Labs has released a great list of all the currently known security software which you can review for yourself.

If you want to avoid rogue software for your organization, reaching out to The Connection, Inc can yield promising results. We can help you keep your network safe from not just these threats, but many more. To learn more about enterprise-level security measures, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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Be Deliberate About Cybersecurity and Avoid the Worst Attacks of the Web

Be Deliberate About Cybersecurity and Avoid the Worst Attacks of the Web

They say that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and matters of cyber security are no exception. Threats will often follow trends, and so by reviewing what has happened in the past, we may be able to glean some insight into what will be important in the future.


If 2016 was any indication, there are a few things that will be of most concern to IT professionals and end users.

Ensuring All Endpoints Have Appropriate Security Measures
It’s staggering to consider how many end points any given business could have, each providing a route in for threat actors. Between company-provided devices, personal mobile devices, and Internet of Things devices, there are plenty of opportunities for a company to be attacked.

As a result, as 2017 progresses, businesses must be aware of what threats exist, as well as better prepared to protect themselves against them. This includes strategies that ensure your organization’s digital protections are properly maintained while remaining cognizant of physical security best practices. Pairing encryption and access control, as well as mobile device management, can create a much safer environment for your data.

Getting Back to Basics With Security and End User Education
While it may sometimes be tempting to focus on the massive attacks and breaches that too-often dominate the headlines, no business can afford to devote their full attention to those vulnerabilities and overlook the more common threats. This is primarily because once they do, they become exponentially more vulnerable to these attacks through their lack of awareness and preparation.

Part of being prepared for the threats of the coming weeks and months is to make sure that your employees are also up to speed where security is concerned. Educating them on best practices before enforcing these practices can help to shore up any vulnerabilities you may have and maintain your network security. This includes restricting employee access to certain websites, requiring passwords of appropriate strength, and encouraging your employees to be mindful of exactly what they’re clicking on.

Continuing to Improve Security Measures
Finally, it is important to remember that implementing security features isn’t a one-time activity. Threats will grow and improve in order to overcome existing security measures, and so if they are going to remain effective, these security measures must be improved as well.

While regulatory requirements can provide an idea of what security a network should feature, they shouldn’t be seen as the endpoint. Instead, those requirements should be the bare minimum that you implement, along with additional measures to supplement them.

2016 saw many IT security issues. The Connection, Inc is out to ensure a safer 2017 with comprehensive solutions to alleviate you network security concerns. For more information, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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