Businessman protecting his company & data from a disaster with cloud computing.

How to Avoid Hurricane-Related Scams

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, cyber-attacks like phishing scams and other forms of social engineering become more common. Cyber criminals use social media and email scams to exploit individuals empathy and desire to help.

Businesses, whether they are large or small, are also at risk of cyber-attacks and security breaches after a natural disaster because IT systems often end up damaged or compromised. If the damage is substantial, this can set a company back month and forces the IT team that works to monitor cyber breaches to focus on rebuilding internal architecture. This is how cybercriminals exploit natural disasters.

Maintaining data secure means knowing the natural risks that could affect your facilities and/or data centers.

Data companies at risk of natural disasters must implement a hurricane contingency plan and make the appropriate adjustments to their infrastructure to withstand whatever natural disaster threatens them.

Companies like Data Foundry Inc. in Houston, Texas build their data centers to withstand winds of a category 5 hurricane.

Keeping your business protected from storms and earthquakes will only go so far however; it is important that you keep vigilant and are privy to the scams used by cyber attackers in the wake of a disaster. The US Federal Trade Commission, US-CERT, Federal Management Agency and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) issued alerts on scams associated with natural disasters.

The most recent example of phishing scams were related to Hurricane Harvey in 2017. US-CERT advised users to stay cautious when handling emails, hyperlinks and attachments related to the storm. Fraudulent emails will often be unsolicited and, in many cases, claim to represent a charity looking to raise funds towards a cause or victim relief.

How Do I Avoid Getting Scammed?

If you do receive emails or messages from charitable organizations, always make sure they’re legitimate. If you don’t recognize the organization, assume it is a potential phishing attempt and research the charity extensively. Many cyber attackers will go as far impersonating the victims of a natural disaster asking for charitable assistance.

If you or your business are looking to assist victims of natural disasters or charities, it’s best to stay away from links provided through email or social media. Always type out the website of the organization you’re looking to support, a link can be misleading or a fraudulent spoof.

Legitimate organizations will never ask for personal banking information or a social security number. If you receive a phone call, exercise the same level of precaution you would towards an email or a link. Scammers impersonate charities through the phone as well. Always research the organization.

The US Department of Homeland Security recommends organizations to develop business continuity plans that would address what to do in the result of a natural disaster. That being said, many back-up systems don’t have the same security protections that exist in the primary system or in a live environment. This makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Taking the necessary steps to protect your data begins first with awareness. Be aware of the location you’re operating out of in order to develop an effective continuity plan as well as being aware of the types of cyber schemes that may arise as a result of a natural disaster like a hurricane.

Download Nerd Support’s Free e-book to learn more about how to protect your business in the coming months as hurricane season begins.

Are you hurricane ready ? Find out today:  Download E-Book

Businesses with cloud computing technology.

10 Examples of Cloud Computing

>Cloud Computing is an infrastructure and software system that allows for access to shared networks of storage, servers and applications over the internet. Cloud computing processes data and is provided by a privately owned cloud service or a third party cloud provider.  Here are some examples of such cloud services.

Here are 10 examples of cloud computing.

1. Nerds Support Cloud

>Nerd Support Cloud Computing Services in Miami has a variety of services included within its cloud system. The Nerd Support cloud assists medium and small sized businesses with all IT based services by providing software (SaaS), hardware upgrades and maintenance as well as security so they may operate at maximum efficiency.

Nerds Support is a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) as well. The company uses cloud technology to augment or replace a business’s IT.

2. Salesforce

Salesforce has a cloud based software-as-a-service (SaaS). It is both a business-to-business and business to consumer commerce solution.

3. Creatio

Creatio, formerly BPM online, is a cloud service specifically for marketing, sales and servicers to manage business processes and assist companies to facilitate consumer experience and customer journey.

4. Slack

Slack is an American based cloud service designed to facilitate internal team collaboration through its tools and services.

5. Google Cloud

Google Cloud Platform, a cloud service offered by Google, runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products like Google and YouTube.

Cloud computing security for data storage

6. Microsoft 365

Office 365 is a product line of subscription-based services such as Outlook, Powerpoint, and Excel.

7. Workplace by OS33

Workplace is a software-as-a-service platform for compliance and productivity for wealth management firms.

8. Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of applications and services from Adobe Systems that gives subscribers access to various software used for graphic design, video editing, web design, photography and more.

9. Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI provides cloud-based business analytics services by Microsoft. It offers data services that provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface that allows end users to create their own reports.

10. Box

Box is a cloud content management and file sharing services provided to businesses. It is a service available for Windows and IOS as well as some mobile platforms.

If you want to learn more about how cloud computing and managed IT services can help your business, give us a call at (305) 551-2009 or email us at [email protected].

You can also download our FREE E-book about the Financial Impact of Cloud Computing.

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Madison from Madison's Wish playing baseball

Golfing with a purpose, Madison’s journey with Nerds Support

Madison with her dog

There is a little girl named Madison Smith. Madison is a bright-eyed 12-year-old girl with blond hair that beams in the sunlight. Two days after her first birthday she was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 2. SMA is a motor neuron disease that affects one in 10,000 children and is the number one genetic cause of death for children.

By the time she was two-years-old Madison was using an electrical wheelchair to move around. She had a variety of different machines and apparatus to help her breathe in her sleep and move around. She sleeps in an adjustable bed under observation to be able to move her for comfort.

If it wasn’t for the commitment of Madison’s parents, Jen and Aaron Smith, she may have not made it past infancy.

Fortunately for Madison, the Smith family began fundraising and started the South Florida Chapter of “Cure SMA”. Through their hard work Madison’s been able to live a happy life, despite her condition. For 12 years Madison’s family has worked towards providing for Madison and for twelve years Nerds Support has been sponsoring the charity events that help Madison and others combat SMA.

The event itself is a charity Golf Tournament, most recently the 12th annual golf Tournament, which Nerds Support’s founder, Scott Richman, attends every year to show his support. This year the tournament took place on May 18, 2019  in Tamarac, Florida where people gather to enjoy a day of golf and community.

Nerds Support is not just an IT company, it’s one that believes in contributing in whatever way it can towards its community.

Madison is full of life and enjoys an active lifestyle. She loves swimming with dolphins, she loves dancing, concerts and road trips. And thanks to the generous support of her family and everyone committed towards combatting SMA, Madison can not only live, but live full of happiness and surrounded by love.

You can get involved by going to www. and making a donation or contacting Jennifer Miller-Smith, Madison’s mother, at 954-444-5937.

Nerds Support is a sponsor of Madisons Wish

How to Protect Your Small or Medium Sized Business from Cyber Attacks

7 Tips to Prevent a Cyber Hack for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Cyber Attacks Happen Every Day 

Every day there’s a cybercriminal hacking a company. The news is flooded with new victims. Most people turn a blind eye until it happens to them.

Unfortunately, hackers target all types of businesses whether they be big or small. Why? Data is always useful. A mildly knowledgeable hacker can sell any information they obtain to organizations or individuals on the dark web for a good price.

Many leading companies from all over the world were affected by the Wipro data breach, for example.

Even the most loved, trusted, and popular companies in the U.S. have been hacked. From renowned Arizona Beverage Company, to large Fortune 500 financial firms have become victims of cyber-attacks.

Furthermore, every company, no matter the industry, is at risk. From e-commerce, retailers, healthcare manufacturing, financial services, and managed service providers.

Then again, what does that mean for small and medium sized businesses?  How can my business survive?

Some businesses cannot survive the risk of being hacked at any level. The productivity time lost, the employee morale plummets, possible litigation issues, lost revenue and the most valuable asset loss – clients’ trust. Luckily, there are steps that small and medium sized businesses can take when it comes to cyber-security.

1. Employee training 

Most cyber hacks happen because of phishing. Basically a fancy word for an impostor. In Miami, unfortunately, these types of scams are the norm.

One solution is quarterly or biannual IT Security presentations and assessments. Let’s be honest, most employees find this boring but it needs to be done. Better late than never.

2. Evaluate your current cyber security

Taking stock of the current state of your cyber security is imperative. Knowing where your company stands is the best way of knowing what’s lacking.

3. Set Deadlines and Objectives 

Incentivize employees and set a deadline to complete this assessment. Make clear that this is mandatory.

4. Two Factor Authentication and routine password changes 

We recommend password changes every 30 days with specific requirements. If not you could be exposed to various forms of  Social engineering .

5. Look out for common phishing signs such as :

• Grammatical errors, ex. AIIG vs AIG
• Being asked to disclose personal or confidential email
• Unknown company or sender
• Too good to be true, FREE Services / Products
• Check the URL
• Sometimes the sender is someone that you know! Check, Check the URL

6. Updating Software

The software used by your company should be the most recent version. The older the applications, the more susceptible they are to attacks like zero-day vulnerability. A zero-day vulnerability is essentially a flaw in the software or hardware that creates problems before anyone realizes it.

These attacks on zero-day vulnerabilities can lead to stolen information, breached networks and cause serious damage. However, managed IT services companies like Nerds Support automatically install new updates on all hosted apps. This is done to avoid vulnerabilities that arise from neglecting updates. Network security hacks can take a toll on a business and, in the worst of cases, ruin it completely.

7. Be Careful on Social Media 

Yes, social media. Hackers use this to try and guess your password. Example – Most people use their birthday, anniversary, or important events in their password. This is how a lot of celebrities get hacked.

8. Monitoring Systems at all times

A cyber attacker can come from anywhere. A cyber-attack can happen anytime. There is security software available that alerts you to any suspicious activity. Managed service providers assist in delivering additional support in the form of security analysis. This helps track data that indicates an attack is underway. They can also monitor and track around the clock.

9. Record your phone calls 

Sometimes a hacker might call and disguise as an IT tech, colleague, or partner to gather information and target the company. By recording the call you can refer back to the original target. Using a managed IT Services provider, we will secure your information and act as your very own IT team.

10. Partner with the right Managed IT firm 

Ask questions, do your due diligence. A trusted managed IT services provider  should provide references, recommendations and truly understand your needs. Try partnering with a partner that has experience in your industry and has good referrals. We encourage our prospective clients to visit current clients.
Some questions to ask include:

What verticals are you experts on?

• Are your engineers certified? What certifications do they have?

• How long have you been in business ? And do you use what you sell ?

• What is the SLA ? How do you honor it ?

• Can we speak to current clients ?

Make IT a Priority 

Identifying basic security threats is the first initiative when dealing with cyber-attacks. Taking care of your systems is much the same as taking care of your body, it’s mostly about preventing than treating. All businesses regardless of size have sensitive data they acquire from clients, vendors, employees etc. The unfortunate reality is not many businesses take cyber threats seriously.

Wanting to focus on core business goals is natural but doing so at the expense of your business’s security can be negligent. There is a cyber-attack every 39 seconds, according to a Clarke school study at the University of Virginia.

Cybercrime Will Increase Within Five Years 

In the next five years the world will see a rise in cyber-crime. It may become the greatest threat not only to businesses, but to individuals also. Technology will continue to advance, grow, spread and become commonplace. As it takes on a greater role in the way we interact with one another on both a micro and macro scale, there will also be those trying to exploit its weaknesses for profit or benefit

Instead of lamenting the death of the old days, embrace this new reality. Invest in technologies, technology, training and education to get ahead of the curb.

Every generation has its innovators and its criminals. If you cannot stop progress you must learn to thrive in it.

Cyber Attack Statistics

The Cheapest Option for IT is not always the Best

The old saying is true…. You get what you pay for. When it comes to IT Services, oftentimes, the cheaper route is not the answer. Investing in the right team is imperative. One hack and your company can be out of business and never recover. As reported by CNBC , the cost of a cyber-attack is over 20k for a small business and about 63 percent have already been hacked.

With Nerds Support, you get a team full of Microsoft certified engineers that have gone through a vigorous hiring process. We have the procedures in place so you never have to worry about a cyber-hack or data breach, which means Nerd Support does the worrying for you.

Helping small and medium sized businesses with their IT needs is our purpose. As your Miami IT Services partner, we will secure your information and act as your very own IT team.

You deserve the best team there is. Leave it to Nerds Supports to help you increase productivity, secure your information and handle all IT hiccups.

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Hacker trying to hack a website

How to Stop a Rogue Employee?

If you have a business, it is very important to take care of your data the best way that you can. This means you have to learn what social engineering is and you have to make sure that you avoid any issues that can appear from it.

Social engineering is a system that allows hackers to gain access to your information by manipulating your employees to offer them access. Social engineering can be detected through a variety of things, such as emotional manipulation, spam emails and so on.

What is a Rogue Employee?

A rogue employee is a typical employees whose seek confidential company information then sell it to hackers and other companies for a profit. While they technically work for you, they promised someone else that they would give them access to your data. However, rouge employees do not generally start out bad. They begin their tenue as happy employees, but overtime, employees go rouge because they find that the company information they carry is very valuable to other companies.

There are many rogue employees out there. Sure, it may not seem like it, but when your data starts leaking and you did not have any outside interference, it is clear that there is a rogue employee in your business.

Why do employees go rogue?

Most rogue employees tend to be like that because they want more money fast. Maybe they do not like their current salary or they are just looking for a quick payday. Things like this are very important to identify early on. If you do not do that, you can end up handling a major issue that will only grow bigger if it is not managed in a meaningful and professional way. Some rogue employees also believe that they can start their own business with the information that they get from you. There are multiple factors to consider, and each one comes with its own relevant stuff.

How can you combat a rogue employee?

First, you need to be very strict when it comes to sharing sensitive data to employees. Give access only to people that are supposed to have that information and make sure they do not share it with anyone else. The social hackers are always attacking you, so you might as well limit access. In addition, using encrypted solutions and security cameras will also help pinpoint any type of intrusions like that. This is why using business technology solutions can be a very good idea. It does wonders if you use such a system wisely, and you might as well want to do that right away.

However, the best way to fight a rouge employee is by having a reliable IT support team constantly monitoring your company activity. Nerds Support’s data protection services keep companies across South Florida secure. Our highly monitored data centers make it possible for our data team to see the activity going on in your servers and to notify you of suspicious activity immediately.

There will always be rogue employees, which is why you need to pay a lot of attention to the employee behavior and other similar factors. As long as you know how and when to tackle and manage all these things, nothing can stand in your way. Of course, it will be a very challenging thing to do. However, it will surely be worth it so you might as well want to do that if possible!