AZCOMP Technologies IT September 2019



Empowering Small Practices to Deliver the Best Care WHY YOU’RE THE PRIME TARGET FOR A HACKER And Other Insights From Verizon’s Latest Data Breach Report


For the past 12 years, Verizon has published the Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), a comprehensive study of cybercrime aimed at businesses. The DBIR is regarded as the most comprehensive analysis of the world of digital data theft. This year’s report collects information from 73 data sources across 86 countries, comprising 41,686 security incidents and 2,013 data breaches. While there’s more information in the report than I could ever summarize here, I would like to share a few findings that are extremely relevant to every person reading this newsletter. The biggest and most wide-ranging bit of insight comes from the DBIR’s executive summary. It states, “No organization is too large or too small to fall victim to a data breach. No industry vertical is immune to attack. Regardless of the type or amount of your organization’s data, there is someone out there who is trying to steal it.” In other words, cybercriminals are coming for you, so you better be ready. The preferred targets of hackers are small businesses, which account for 43% of breaches. That may come as a surprise when you only read stories about hacks of massive companies like Sony or Target, but it makes sense when you think about it. Smaller businesses rely on data just as much as the big boys, but they don’t always invest in the infrastructure and services to protect that data. They also often lack the technical know-how and support to accurately respond to breaches. Take ransomware, for example, which involves a criminal holding your data hostage until you pay a fee. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the best move for the business is to not pay the ransom. However, if you’re under pressure and don’t understand the nature of your back-ups and data security, you may be tempted to pay. If you do, the hacker may unlock your data or they may not. Whatever the outcome, though, the health of your business is going to be in jeopardy.

second-place reason, espionage, which accounts for about 21%. Hackers understand who has the most access to data and who has the ability to move the needle in terms of delivering what they want, which is why Verizon has observed a trend where executives and business owners are most likely to be targeted. That low-level employee may not have access to much valuable data, but higher- ups certainly will. The members of your team who have access to such data need to be fully aware of their responsibility to protect it. Training and education are crucial in keeping your network safe. The good news is that it seems many companies are getting better at that training. The DBIR notes that click-through rates on phishing simulation exercises have dropped from 24% to 3% since 2012. However, as companies wise up, so too do the criminals trying to exploit them. Training needs to be continuous and updated to reflect the latest criminal tactics. While the impact of phishing may be dwindling, the rise of cloud storage has presented a profitable new avenue for hackers. Companies are transitioning to the cloud at a rapid rate to become more agile. However, too many take the plunge without first understanding how to secure that data. They just upload it, trust their storage provider, and that’s that. According to Verizon, cloud-based services are not inherently less secure. Instead, they are just a more valuable target and of more interest to criminals. How can you ensure that your business is prepared to deal with contemporary cybercrime? A good start is to read the 2019 DBIR, which you can download for free online, and understand the nature of the problem in a little more detail. Then, work with an IT company that can meet the needs of your business. In a world where cybercrime is a constant menace, it’s the best investment you can make. –Byron Adams

Why do hackers break in? Money, of course. The DBIR concludes that 75% of attacks are financially motivated, far ahead of the

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CORD CORRECTIONS The peskiest of all gadget parts is the cord. It tangles at a moment’s notice, frays like it’s made of yarn, and moves around as if it’s got a mind of its own, never mind the fact that every device needs its own dedicated cord. Luckily, you can repurpose everyday objects to solve all of these problems. Binder clips on the side of your desk will keep different wires out of each other’s way. The spring inside a pen makes a perfect straightener for the end of a cord, combatting the fraying that comes from bending and twisting near the ends. If you want to keep your cords hidden, you can affix Christmas light hangers to the sides of your desk and discreetly run the cord from plug to port. HIDDEN HARDWARE If you have a spare drawer in your kitchen, it’s not hard to create a hidden charging station. Adhere a power strip to the back wall of the drawer, drill a hole, and run its cord to the nearest outlet. The drawer will ensure your various gadgets stay safe and out of the way while still keeping their batteries full. LOW-TECH LIFE HACKS Analog Solutions for Digital Problems NEED NETWORKING OR COMPUTER HELP?

As advanced as technology is in some areas, in others, it’s still largely the same as a century ago. Today’s phones can animate videos with effects in real-time, but they still need to be charged through an old- fashioned wire plugged into the wall. Sometimes, the best solutions for our high-tech problems come in the form of decidedly low-tech life hacks. Here are a few of our favorites. AURAL ENHANCEMENT The speaker on your phone has all the volume of a mouse, which can be a problem when you need to project sound to anyone other than yourself. There are a few easy lo-fi solutions to boost the audio range. The most rudimentary fix is simply to stick your phone, speaker down, in a pint glass. If you’ve got a few more supplies, use a paper towel tube as a “wire” to connect to plastic cup “speakers.” No matter where you are, you can probably find something that will serve as a DIY amplifier.


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All it takes from an employee is a couple of errant clicks to infect a workstation, allow hackers in, and cause a ransomware attack or a data breach. Your users are your last line of defense. They need to be trained to remain on their toes with security top of mind while using your company assets. Bolster your defenses by arming your employees with the education they need to guard against spear phishing attacks, social engineering, and ransomware attacks.

Learn more about how to get unlimited computer and networking support at 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!

This report is available for free at Download it today to ensure your computer systems are as secure as possible. With this report, you will have peace of mind and can spend time enjoying back-to-school season without worrying about the safety of your network and data.

Learn more about AZCOMP’s Security Awareness Training program by calling us today at 855-556-4677.

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THE HERMAN MILLER COSM Herman Miller has been producing high-quality furniture for over a century. During that time, the company has manufactured iconic pieces like the Eames lounge chair and the Noguchi table. These days, Herman Miller is most known for its office chairs, which have the prestige of Patek Philippe watches or Jacques Selosse Champagne. Last year, the company debuted the Cosm, an innovative model that could change ergonomics as we know it. Most office chairs, including Herman Miller’s own Aeron, rely on a series of knobs and levers to provide customers with the most comfortable and supportive chair possible. The Cosm, on the other hand, relies on a concept known as passive ergonomics to automatically adjust to each An Office Chair From the Future

We live in a world where products of all kinds are made to perform well. Our watches need to be smart, our cooking vessels need to be instant, and so on. It’s no surprise, then, that people would be willing to pay a premium for a winter coat that leaves no doubt about its ability to keep you warm. Canada Goose parkas have quickly become the most admired piece of winter outerwear in the world on just that reputation. Boasting fans that range from scientists in Antarctica to celebrities on city streets, the company’s explosive growth is a testament to producing the very best and accepting no substitutes. The company that would become Canada Goose was founded by Sam Tick as Metro Sportswear Ltd. in 1957. The small Canadian operation gained fame in the 1980s by creating the Expedition Parka, which became standard issue at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. By 2004, the company’s coats were being featured in movies like “The Day After Tomorrow.” But the real sea change for the company as a business came in 2014. That’s when the company — under CEO Dani Reiss, grandson of Sam Tick — began to transition to a more direct-to- consumer approach in order to reach a wider audience. There’s no getting around the fact that Canada Goose products are expensive. Working with retailers and other middlemen only served to drive prices up even further and limit the market for their products. Today, more than 40% of Canada Goose’s sales come from direct channels, including their website and 13 worldwide store locations. In addition to changing their sale model, the company began to produce a wider range of products. As this transformation happened, the brand also became something of a fashion darling. You can find photos featuring the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Drake wearing Canada Goose apparel. By combining elite performance and high fashion, Canada Goose has made brands as diverse as The North Face and Gucci green with envy. Its success demonstrates that consumers will always pay a premium to get the best. Canada Goose Proves People Will Pay for Quality A FINE-FEATHERED FOWL

CAL NEWPORT’S ‘DIGITAL MINIMALISM’ individual. “[Cosm] dynamically positions the fulcrum on its springs, from user to user, which means it tailors itself to everyone’s best sitting experience and doesn’t lift people off the ground to account for the recline,” Scott Openshaw, Herman Miller’s human factors and ergonomics manager, told Gear Patrol magazine. The Cosm points to a future when our furniture will adapt to our individual needs. If you’ve spent hours trying to adjust your chair at work, that future can’t come soon enough.

A Reasoned Guide to Effective Tech Use When it comes to technology, all-or-nothing opinions dominate. Artificial intelligence is either going to make all of our work more meaningful, or it’s going to replace every job known to man. Social media is either the most powerful connective tool in human history or a cesspool destroying our minds. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in between these hot takes. Cal Newport, Georgetown professor and author of the popular Study Hacks blog, offers a refreshing middle ground in his new book, “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.”

“Digital minimalism definitively does not reject the innovations of the internet age,” Newport writes, “but instead rejects the way so many people currently engage with these tools.” He goes on to argue that most people spend far too much time online using sites and services that don’t bring them any joy. While each social network or platform we engage with may be useful in isolation, when we try to manage too many of them simultaneously, we generate digital clutter that negates the benefits. Newport does not advocate a burn-your-phone approach, but he does suggest that we each take a moment to do an inventory of our online activities and create a better plan for digital interaction. It’s a stance that those on both sides of the tech divide can find wisdom in, and it’s written in a book you’ll find incredibly refreshing.

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The State of Cybercrime in 2019 PAGE 1 Life Hacks for Your Gadget Gripes PAGE 2 A Company Immune From Cold Sales PAGE 3 The World’s Most Innovative Office Chair PAGE 3 AZCOMP Leadership Library: ‘Digital Minimalism’ PAGE 3 Innovation Where You’d Least Expect It PAGE 4


By Aimee

As any lifelong fan will tell you, baseball is a game of tradition. The record books date back to the 1800s, and, while the game has advanced in certain ways, it’s largely stayed the same overall. Then, it comes as no surprise that, until very recently, the design of baseball bats had remained unchanged for over a century. Swinging a baseball bat is a full-body activity. You generate power with your lower body through your hips and control the bat using your arms and torso. When you make less than ideal contact, the energy from the ball can send pain shooting up your wrists and forearms. When Bruce Leinert was using an ax one day, he realized he could build a better baseball bat. “I started to pretend I was swinging a baseball bat instead of an ax as I was striking the tree,” he recalls. “I said, ‘This is the answer to the problem of the uncomfortable handle of the bat.’” The ax’s tapered grip conformed to Leinert’s hand better than a traditional bat knob. Not long after, Axe Bat was born. After gaining traction in smaller leagues and youth programs, ax- handled bats became popular with MLB standouts like George Springer of the Astros and Mookie Betts of the Red Sox. Axe Bat now licenses out their handle technology to four companies

that also supply big leaguers with bats. “The ergonomics of it make complete sense; it’s completely logical,” says Jared Smith, co-founder of Victus Sports, one of the companies that makes ax- handled bats. One of AZCOMP’s core values, called “We Surf Jaws,” inspires us to innovate and improve. As with any great innovation, especially one in a workplace resistant to change, the Axe Bat had to take some time to find an audience. Once players got used to it and heard about its benefits from their teammates, the word spread. Now, it’s one of the most talked-about equipment evolutions in baseball history, all because one man dared to ask, “Why don’t we do this a better way?” If that’s not innovating and improving, I don’t know what is.

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