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hurricane-harvey

Donating Responsibly With Data Protection in Miami

From Houston to Corpus Christi, the effects of Hurricane HarveyDonating Responsibly With Data Protection in Miami were felt over the weekend. Hurricane Harvey has become the first major hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Houston recorded record levels of rain as a result of the storm. Homeless shelters are expecting an estimated 30,000 people. Needless to say, the pictures of the damage are heartbreaking. Like every disaster, people feel the need to unite and take action. It’s incredibly understandable if you would like to donate to the victims of the hurricane, or help in any sort of way. Many sources has said that the best way to help, for those outside of Texas, is to give cash. While giving money is an effective way of lending aid to those in need, there are always a group of people who are willing to take advantage of a person’s compassion.

At Nerds Support, we have recently learned that there are fraudulent emails going around from hackers looking to capitalize off hurricane Harvey. Because it is common knowledge that most cyberattacks happen through email, our IT support experts would like to remind you to keep data protection in mind as you read your inboxes in these next few weeks.

Signs of a Potential Cyberattack

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement regarding awareness of Hurricane Harvey cyberattacks. You are allowed to view the link here, but our Miami IT support experts have left a list of the most important ways to keep your data protected from email cyberattacks.

  •  Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
    • You should do a web search to make sure the links in your email are real.
  • Use caution when opening email attachments.
  • Keep antivirus and other computer software up-to- date.
    • Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks page for more information on social engineering attacks.
  • Review the Federal Trade Commission information on Charity Scams.
  • Verify the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. You can find trusted contact information for many charities on the BBB National Charity Report Index.

Finally, if you believe you may become the victim of a cyberattack, you are urged to seek out a data protection plan right away.

How to REALLY Help

Despite those out there looking to donate to their own “charities”, there are still a lot of great, verified organizations that will need your help in the next few weeks.

  • Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the US Catholic Church, is taking donations to provide support for Harvey victims. They are accepting donations through text and through a webpage they created. You can access the page and find more information here.
  • Feeding Texas, the Texas chapter for Feeding America, a network of the state’s food banks, is accepting donations here. Like its parent foundation, Feeding Texas uses their network of food banks to feed the hungry. You can also find a list of food bank locations that might need help here.
  • The Texas Diaper Bank is seeking donations to provide diapers to families that have been displaced due to Hurricane Harvey. The bank has set up an Amazon wishlist for donors who would like to buy diapers for the diaper bank. The bank has also set up an FAQ highlighting the many ways you can donate . You can find both of these on the organization’s facebook page.
  • The Houston Coalition for the Homeless, which helps coordinate shelters and outreach for the city’s vulnerable homeless population, has a paged dedicated to shelters in heavily affected areas. To find out how you can help, click here.
  • Portlight is a local organization that offers relief to the disabled and older adults, has released an announcement asking for support.
  • GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding site, has launched a hurricane relief fund aimed at gathering funds for local nonprofits in the storm-stricken region. You can visit the page, and donate, right here.
  • Heart To Heart International is currently giving out hygiene kits to displaced families and need more donations in order to get more kits. The organization is also giving out water and minor medical care. To donate, click here.
  • Austin Pets Alive! has many stray pets that have lost their owners, to find out how you can help click here.

Give Responsibly

There are many great verified charities out there that are motivated to give to victims of Hurricane Harvey. At Nerds Support, our Miami IT consulting team would like to remind you to do the following before you donate to any type of charity.

  • Verify the charity – Conduct an online research on the charity that is reaching out to you. Make sure they have a website and are active on social media.
  • Stay away from suspicious links –  before you click a link, run an online search on the link name. (i.e. A link like saveharveyvictims.com/donate would require an online search).
  • Make Sure Your Data is Safe – 37% of cyberattacks can be avoided if the computer user stays careful. Only open emails from people you know and immediately delete emails from strangers.
Managed Security Service

Types of Miami Managed Security Services to Enhance Your Business’s Security

In today’s competitive Miami market, work is usually outsourced to a competent firm. The size of the company does not matter. Managed services are the proactive management of IT assets by an outsourcing firm on behalf of the customer. Among various functions performed by the Managed Service Provider (MSP), managed security service is the most sought after. Here are 5 types of managed services which enhance your business’ security:

Remote Monitoring

Remote Monitoring is the continuous monitoring of all sorts of activity that takes place on the network in order to determine in advance the security threat it poses to the company’s systems or data. They will also try to track any unauthorized behavior on the network as well as try to determine if any inbound connections to your network can hack your company’s data system. Remote monitoring analyses security developments from time to time to locate niggling problems and weed it out as soon as possible.

Vulnerability Testing

Due to vulnerability testing, you don’ have to wait for any security breach before taking any action. It simulates hacking attacks and does software scans on your system to discover any vulnerability that may exist in your system. After performing these tests, they address the vulnerabilities by improving the software and hardware systems.  Vulnerability testing service does not perform network wide security assessment instead focuses on areas which the hackers can exploit.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing involves random testing of your company’s network periodically with the help of remote access to not only evaluate the IT infrastructure but also to get a clear picture of the network’s strengths and weaknesses. The one-time event is normally performed using manual or automated technologies. Penetration testing offers many benefits which include dodging the cost of network downtime.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment services help in trying to explain the potential risks that are involved especially security risks which may have an adverse effect on your company’s capital. They will try to minimize the risks involved in sharing information with outside vendors. The risk assessment service will also inform your company about the risks that are involved in the procedures and policies of your company.

Perimeter Management

In perimeter management system, firewalls, Virtual Private Networks and intrusion detection software are installed and upgraded periodically. It is one form of remote service since it involves management of the configuration settings remotely so that both hardware and software are able to secure the information and data systems.

Managed Service Providers play a key role in managing the It department of any organization. Managed services will keep your company’s data safe and provide IT solutions. It will also keep software updated and provide data backup solutions. Using MSP is both costs effective as well as good for the growth of your IT capacity. Managed Services gives quick solutions to security related problems and fixes potential vulnerabilities that can affect your system.

Looking for reliable managed security service in Miami? Contact Nerds Support, Inc. for highest quality managed IT services.

 

 

 

 

Data Backup

The Importance of a Miami Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

Have you established a data backup and disaster recovery plan for your business yet? If not, remember this, the Miami area has officially entered hurricane season. When hurricane season hits, businesses frequently experience power outages, flooding, electrical fires and other destruction that leads to loss of data and the prevention of the company from operating at all. Hurricane season is technically June 1 through November 30, but occasionally severe storms will occur outside of these dates. While we prepare our homes and families, we must prepare our company’s crucial data. Putting a Business Disaster Recovery (BDR) plan in place can protect your business from an eminent shutdown.

 

What is a Business Disaster Recovery Plan?

A BDR is a solution to backup a company’s data so it can be recovered in case of a serious malfunction like a server going down, or a disaster such as a fire or flood. There are different methods of backup. Some companies use a hosted cloud server, while others backup to an external hard drive, USB drive, Network Attached Storage device mirror to another server and more.

 

Consequences of Not Having a BDR Plan

Without a BDR plan, your company is extremely vulnerable when a disaster strikes. Possible and likely consequences are:

  • Loss of confidential data
  • Cost of downtime, by losing days of work while trying to restore data
  • No way no recover data
  • Loss of clients
  • Loss of reputation

Many companies without a BDR plan never fully recover and the others completely go out of business.

Businesses in Miami and the surrounding Florida areas always have the threat of hurricanes on their minds, and we have seen the devastating destruction they leave behind. Even a tropical storm will significantly leave its mark on land. If you’re not too concerned about weather, there are other possibilities you should remember. Network problems and computer equipment failures can happen to any company. Let’s not forget data breaches by hackers looking to find financial and personal information belonging to clients and employees.

 

How a BDR Plan Protects Your Company’s Data

With a BDR plan, your business is protected against loss of data, equipment failure or theft. An IT Service like Nerds Support will work with your business to customize a solution that involves planning, prevention and protection in the event of a disaster. Our team works to routinely update the BDR plan if your company expands by adding another branch, new equipment is added or more employees are hired. We will ensure that you can access and fully recover all of your stored data. This will eliminate downtime that hinders your company’s ability to continue working and earn money. The BDR plan will work in conjunction with a Business Continuity plan and the virtualization of your network, so that your business will be up and running again in minutes, as if nothing ever happened.

 

Contact us if you have questions about establishing a Business Disaster Recovery plan for your company, large or small. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer all of your inquiries in a timely fashion!