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DON’T END UP LIKE EQUIFAX Safeguard Your Network Before It’s Too Late
The bigger the hack, the bigger the news it becomes, and it’s hard to think of a larger-scale data breach than the one that happened to Equifax last year. When hackers discovered a vulnerability in Apache Struts, a tool used to develop web applications (including Equifax’s), they were able to compromise the personal data of 146 million Americans. Since then, Equifax has been in free fall. Between dealing with a PR catastrophe and watching their stock price tumble, you can bet the credit reporting agency wishes their network had been a little more secured. To make this story even crazier, the hack was entirely preventable. You’d think that when the livelihood of your company depends on keeping people’s information out of the wrong hands, you’d do everything in your power to make sure your defenses are as strong as possible. But that’s not what Equifax did. When pressured by government officials and journalists to explain what had happened, Equifax higher-ups admitted that the breach was caused by a failure to update Apache Struts with the latest security patch. That’s right — a simple update would’ve saved Equifax millions upon millions of dollars as well as months of being dragged through the mud in every publication in the country. And it wasn’t like Equifax was hacked the day after the patch was released. They had plenty of time to lock down their system. Sadly, like far too many business owners, they held off on keeping their system up-to-date. Pretty mind-blowing, right? And yet despite this massive, headline- garnering attack, I promise you it won’t be the last time a massive corporation ends up with egg on their face. It happened to Target, Yahoo, and Sony, and it can happen to your business too. A lot of small-business owners assume that their business will never draw the attention of hackers, but statistics show otherwise. According to the 2017 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report, about half of all American
businesses suffered some form of data breach in the past year. At some point, the hackers will come for you.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools at your disposal to help deter hackers looking to exploit your network. Opting for budget break-fix IT services won’t cut it. You need somebody watching your network around the clock — somebody who knows the intricacies of your system and can spot any nefarious behavior before it becomes a full-blown disaster. Managed IT services, like those we provide our customers, are crucial to maintaining the health and stability of your network. You should also take the time to train your staff on the steps they must take to keep your business network safe. Coach them on creating strong passwords, avoiding possible phishing scams, and other crucial techniques that will deny hackers easy opportunities to compromise the data of your company and your customers. We can help with this education as well. These precautions are far too important to leave up to chance. The sad truth is that most victims of serious data breaches don’t end up sitting before Congress or on the front page of The New York Times. Instead, they’re simply forced to apologize to their customers, close their doors, and move on. Every year, businesses go under as the result of an attack that could’ve been prevented. You’ve worked too hard to let that happen to you. Don’t end up as a statistic. Be vigilant, proactive, and work with companies like AZCOMP Technologies that will keep your network happy and healthy for years to come. Be sure to give us a call to discuss how we can keep your network healthy and the bad guys away. –Benson Bashford
Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.TheNewsletterPro.com
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PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN USING PUBLIC WI-FI Look Before You Leap
When you’re in a pinch and need to get online while on the go, public Wi-Fi can feel like a lifesaver. If you’re not careful, however, five minutes spent
Regardless of the security of the network, it’s still a good idea to alter your settings when accessing public networks. On your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, you can select “public network” in your network location settings. When you do make this change, your computer will not share files and other information with other machines. That’s crucial because when you are on a public network, you’re sharing it with many other users who you know nothing about. The most intrepid snoops will even use tools like Firesheep to allow them to view your screen in real time. Because of this, you should never access financial, medical, or other sensitive information while on a public network. You should also avoid shopping online or inputting credit card information when you’re not on a secure connection. Encrypted websites, like your bank’s, make every effort to prevent data from being compromised, but you can’t rely on them alone when you’re on free public Wi-Fi. If you absolutely must access public Wi-Fi, it’s best to adopt a “better safe than sorry” mentality. You can also use tools like a VPN to keep your private information secure. No matter how many precautions you take, though, public networks will always carry some inherent risk. Remember that the next time you log on. NEED NETWORKING OR COMPUTER HELP?
checking your email or shopping on Amazon could lead to weeks of trouble recovering your compromised accounts. Even when we know better, logging onto dubious public networks is a cybersecurity sin we’ve probably all committed at least once. You don’t need to avoid public Wi-Fi altogether to protect yourself from prying eyes, but you do need to be mindful and ask questions before logging on. It’s not uncommon for hackers to set up fake clones of prominent public networks in an effort to dupe unsuspecting users. If you’re at a coffee shop, for example, you should check with an employee to make sure you are logging on to the correct network. Password-protected networks are much safer, even when all you have to do to get the password is ask for it.
SPOTLIGHT ON SUSAN DEIGNAN
Susan Deignan, our Service Coordinator, is the lead-off hitter for our customer support team. She makes sure our support tickets are effectively managed, providing fast and thorough resolutions for our customers. “I love being that voice of assurance letting our customers know it’s going to be okay,” Susan says. From the moment she arrived, Susan was struck by the cohesion of the AZCOMP team. “Everyone here has the same goals and takes pride in what they do,” Susan notes. “It’s the best place to work.”
Call our direct support line: (480) 730-3055 Create a support ticket via email: email@example.com
Learn more about how to get unlimited computer and networking support at www.azcompit.com. DOWNLOAD OUR FREE REPORT
Protect Your Data What every small business owner must know about protecting & preserving their
“What Every Small Business Owner Must Know About Protecting and Preserving Their Company’s Critical Data and Computer Systems” covers the essential information you need to know to keep your network safe. If you aren’t up- to-date on the latest in security, your network will be at risk.
company’s critical data & computer systems!
If you depend on your computer network to run your business, this is one report you DON’T want to skip!
When she’s not helping our customers get the support they need, Susan enjoys hanging out with her husband and cooking. “Even though I’m a transplant from Massachusetts, I’ve developed a mean refried bean recipe during my time in Arizona,” says Susan. Speaking of Massachusetts, that’s where Susan’s two granddaughters, Kailyn and Kinsley, live. She’s a proud grandma and visits the little ones whenever she has a chance.
This report is available for free at azcompit.com/protect. Download it today to ensure that your computer systems are as secure as possible. With this report, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can enjoy your Fourth of July barbecue without worrying about the safety of your network and data.
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THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER Is Revolutionizing Meatless Patties
Many vegetarians don’t miss their carnivorous days and avoid products that attempt to replicate the flavor and texture of meat. There are scores of eaters, however, who’d like to consume less meat but find they
can’t resist a good hamburger. Most veggie burgers that attempt to compete with real meat are pale imitations. Or at least they were, until Impossible Foods came along. The food company launched in 2011 but has experienced a surge in popularity over the past two years. Their signature item, the Impossible Burger, is an entirely new approach to plant-based meat alternatives. Rather than using items like beans and tofu to create a burger, they build their patties using specific compounds from plants and grains. The most important, “heme,” is what gives meat its unique umami component. Dr. Pat Brown, a biochemist and founder of Impossible Foods, uses heme found in plants to give his burgers a mouthfeel that’s eerily similar to ground beef. The Impossible Burger even “bleeds” like a traditional patty. There are all sorts of reasons to consume less meat, from nutrition to environmental impact and ethical concerns. All of these are for naught if you can’t tempt people away from their favorite foods. “The only way we win is by making foods that consumers prefer and choose over the food that we get from animals,” Dr. Brown says. So far, it’s working. The Impossible Burger has even been endorsed by world-class chef and ardent meat-lover David Chang. Giving up meat entirely will never be the norm for everybody. Eating fewer animal products, though, is a noble goal for many reasons. The Impossible Burger is here to help, one patty at a time.
PATREON IS CHANGING ENTERTAINMENT BY CONNECTING CREATORS AND THEIR FANS
Artists and creators getting paid for their work has always been a fraught process. Since the inception of mass
consumption, artists have almost always had to rely on a third-party distributor to spread their creations to a wide audience. That comes at a price, both monetarily and in terms of the artist’s creative freedom. You only have to take a look at contemporary Hollywood to see this process at work. Want to make a movie with any chance at being shown in theaters? You’ll need to play ball with a major studio. Technology, surprisingly, hasn’t always made this easier. Spotify is constantly under fire for paying artists tiny amounts per play. They argue that giving musicians exposure to millions upon millions of users offsets this pricing model. But one company, Patreon, offers a distinct alternative to this model by giving creators direct access to funding from their supporters. As their name suggests, Patreon updates the Renaissance concept of patronage for our crowd-sourced age. Instead of relying on one mega-patron like the Medici family, artists can solicit donations from as many supporters as they’d like. Creators create an account with Patreon at no upfront cost. Fans and supporters can donate directly to their favorite content providers at whatever amount is comfortable for them. Often, artists will provide bonus content and other perks to their highest-tier donors. For all of this, plus services to help creators grow their platform, Patreon only charges a 5 percent fee, which is taken out of wages before creators are paid each month. Creators like Patreon because it allows them to bypass traditional media companies and distributors. Fans like it because it ensures that their dollars go straight to the source of their favorite content. It also allows artists to make money without having to charge for access to their artwork, videos, or music, something which puts off curious potential consumers. Consider it the farmers market experience for content creators.
‘TURN THE SHIP AROUND!’ Leadership Lessons From a Naval Submarine If there’s one place where chain of command reigns supreme, it’s the Armed Forces. As retired U.S. Navy Captain L. David Marquet describes it in his book “Turn the Ship Around!” the culture is one that considers leaders to be “individual heroes.”
When Marquet took control of the USS Santa Fe, he realized that traditional leadership style wasn’t benefiting those under his command or the success of the sub as a whole. So he did something radical, bucking generations of conventional wisdom regarding what works in the military: he gave more power to his subordinates. “Control, we discovered, only works with a competent workforce that understands the organization’s purpose. Hence, as control is divested, both technical competence and organizational clarity need to be strengthened,” he writes. While the book focuses on Marquet’s personal experience, its lessons can be applied to all sorts of operations. Many business owners struggle with delegation, preferring to control as much of their company as humanly possible. “Turn the Ship Around!” is a real-life antidote to this type of thinking.
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Are You Asking to Be Hacked? PAGE 1 Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi PAGE 2 Meet Susan Deignan PAGE 2 Patreon Cuts Out Entertainment Gatekeepers PAGE 3 A Veggie Burger for Carnivores? PAGE 3 AZCOMP Leadership Library: ‘Turn the Ship Around!’ PAGE 3 Not All Heroes Wear Capes PAGE 4
THE VALUE OF A PACKED PARACHUTE BY SHELLY
One of our core values at AZCOMP is that “We Care About the One.” To us, that means fully engaging with the person and task in front of you rather than trying to rush from one thing to the next. Whomever we are interacting with at a given moment, whether at work or outside of it, deserves our full attention. I recently came across a patriotic example of caring about the one that I’d like to share in honor of Independence Day. Charles Plumb, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot who served during the Vietnam War, completed 75 combat missions. On his 76th, his plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb was forced to eject, pull the ripcord on his parachute, and fall into enemy territory. He spent six years as a prisoner of war but ultimately
survived. He now speaks to groups across the world about the lessons he learned from his experience.
One fateful day, Plumb was at a restaurant with his wife when a man came up and recognized him. The man told Plumb he knew he was a pilot who had been shot down. “How on earth did you know that?” Plumb asked.
“I packed your parachute,” the man answered. As they shook hands, he added, “I guess it must’ve worked.”
I would say that’s quite the understatement. When he speaks now, Plumb admits that he probably never took notice of who was packing his parachutes during his time serving our country. But we know that the man who did it took his job very seriously. When you’re packing a device that could end up being the difference between someone’s life and death, you have to care about the one. You can’t cut corners or rush. I think we can benefit from taking this approach in all aspects of our lives, even though few of us will ever have to deal with stakes that high. Taking the time to focus on the task in front of you can make all the difference in the world.
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