Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

How do you identify a Spear Phishing Email?

Cyber security threats increase daily but how do you identify a spear phishing email so you can protect your information and organization?

Spear phishing email is a highly targeted form of phishing cyber-attacks that involves fake emails being sent to victims that have been well search including social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and your company website as they attempt to steal confidential information.

These are well planned and staged accounts which make it hard to spot without close inspection.  As a leading managed IT services provider in Toronto, we always recommend industry best practices when setting up IT security as well as ongoing training for employees such as Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

Over 91% of cyberattacks begin with a well-engineered spear phishing email based on managed security services providers and IT security research firms.  This shows that users are the weakest link in IT security.

How do you identify a spear phishing email?  Here are five areas that can help to identify them.

  1. Look at the sender address in the email

Cyber criminals use spear phishing to trick users into thinking an email address is legitimate.  They use a wide variety of email spoofing techniques including impersonation of display name.  If you are on a mobile device such as a smart phone, always expand the sender’s name of suspicious emails so you can see the entire email address.  You should also check for subtle differences in the domain name.

  1. Look at the subject line in the email message

Hackers use spear phishing emails with urgent subject lines to capture the potential victim’s immediate attention.  This causes pressure and the need for an employee to respond to the email.  These sophisticated spear phishing cyber criminals may be subtle, but the subject line will be financial in nature, including the keywords purchase, invoice, direct deposit, or similar language.

  1. Look at the body of the email message

Another important part will include the body of the email as it will almost always include a financial request of some nature.  Cyber criminals spear phishing can often use language designed to make the victim feel that they are the only person who can help.  They also make the victim feel that it must be done in a timely manner or it could be detrimental to the business.

  1. Look at the pretexting in the email message

So what is pretexting? It is a form of social engineering in which a cybercriminal engage a potential victim over the course of time with multiple emails to gain the victim’s trust.  Once the achieve the information they want, they engage in small talk getting them to where they are vulnerable.

  1. Look at the signature in the email message

Hackers often include an additional line in the email signature stating that the message was composed on a mobile phone device.  This sets the sense of reinforcement of an urgent nature, creates an excuse for sending the email from a personal email address, and presents a cover for any potential grammar errors in the email.

How do you identify a Spear Phishing Email (3)

 

How do you identify a spear phishing email and mitigate the risk?  

 

There is no single approach that will stop spear phishing email as  your best defense is a layered approach. Defending against cyber-attacks is always handled using a multi-layer approach.  The defence is to make it as hard as possible for the hacker to get through your defenses.

 

Try not to list all employee email addresses on your website.  Get your IT department to regularly scan the internet for exposed email addresses and network credentials.  If they can’t,  get a managed IT services provider or managed security services provider to assist them as they may be over loaded.

 

Users are your last line of defense and the best if trained properly. Always remember to think before you click!

 

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

Going to the cloud or worried about security? We are your leading Cloud Services Providers Toronto and Managed Security Services Toronto.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

World Health Day 2020 – #worldhealthday – 365 iT SOLUTIONS

Today, 365 iT SOLUTIONS would like to thank everyone during World Health Day 2020. #worldhealthday

Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the world is celebrating World Health Day differently this year.  Words would not be enough nor would it do justice to show all healthcare providers our thanks.

They risk their lives daily to save people.  With the current pandemic, they are sacrificing and distancing themselves from their own families to help reunite other families.

They are staying up all night so others can sleep safely at home while being protected from #COVID19.

On #WorldHealthDay, join us as we celebrate all the healthcare workers and support staff who are currently serving at the front lines.

We want to thank all of you for your hard work, courage, and bravery everyday.

The World Health Day is a global health awareness day under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).

World Health Day Love

 

 

Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Microsoft Microsoft 365 is to be rebranded as Microsoft 365

In a recent announcement, Microsoft Microsoft 365 is to be branded as Microsoft 365 on April 21, 2020.

For people familiar with Microsoft products and services, they are aware that Microsoft first introduced “Microsoft 365” a few years ago.  Microsoft 365 (M365) was launched as a specific service as a subscription bundle of Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security.

Microsoft is now changing some Microsoft Microsoft 365 subscriptions to Microsoft 365 (M365).   Microsoft 365 (M365) will not include Windows and PC device management tools.  Good news is that it will not be changing the pricing or what is included in the cloud subscription.

Microsoft 365 subscriptions for small and midsize business (SMB) will be renamed to Microsoft 365 (M365).  Enterprise and small and midsize business (SMB) will see a new name by “Microsoft 365 Apps for the enterprise” which use to be “Microsoft 365 ProPlus”.

Here are the former Microsoft services name and the new ones coming shortly:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Essentials will be Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium will be Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
  • Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Pro Plus will be Microsoft 365 Apps.
  • Microsoft will use “for business” and “for enterprise” as labels to distinguish the two.
  • Microsoft 365 Business will be Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Here is a list of plans that will not be affected by the upcoming name change and will keep their existing names:

Microsoft 365 for Enterprise

  • Microsoft 365 E1
  • Microsoft 365 E3
  • Microsoft 365 E5

Microsoft 365 for Firstline

  • Microsoft 365 F1

Microsoft 365 for Education

  • Microsoft 365 A1
  • Microsoft 365 A3
  • Ofice 365 A5

Microsoft 365 for Government

  • Microsoft 365 G1
  • Microsoft 365 G3
  • Microsoft 365 G5


Why is Microsoft changing Microsoft 365 to Microsoft 365?

Microsoft’s explanation was Office product line was to be reserved four their productivity suite which includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.  It now includes Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Forms and, Microsoft Planner.

This is all part of Microsoft’s strategy to help organizations increase productivity and continue its path to cloud services adoption.  As Microsoft continues to invest heavily into cloud services, they are launching multiple in new products and services to make it easier and simple for organizations.

Microsoft has been working with managed IT services providers, managed security services providers, IT consultants, and IT departments especially in the area of hybrid cloud computing.  This gives organizations the ability to use in house infrastructure as well as Microsoft cloud services such as Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics and much more via the cloud.

Microsoft Microsoft 365 is to be rebranded as Microsoft 365 and this will benefit all organizations.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

Going to the cloud or worried about security? We are your leading Cloud Services Providers Toronto and Managed Security Services Toronto.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

 

Categories
Industry Insights IT Security Managed IT Services

365 iT SOLUTIONS Clothing Drive for Diabetes Canada

365 iT SOLUTIONS clothing drive for Diabetes Canada was a great success!

Diabetes Canada has been collecting clothing and small household donations over the past 30 years.  All funds coming from the clothing program help fund important research to end diabetes as well as send kids to D-Camp.

365 iT SOLUTIONS Clothing Drive for Diabetes Canada (1)

Diabetes Canada has invested over $5,000,000 into diabetes research as well as keep 100 million pounds of donated items out of landfill.

How have donations to Diabetes Canada helped?

  • Over $5,000,000 invested annually in diabetes research
  • Over 2,000 kids with type one diabetes and their families can go to D-Camps
  • Over 11,000,000 Canadians with diabetes or prediabetes are getting support
  • 100,000,000 lbs. of donations will be diverted from landfills

All donations are processed in partnership with Value Village locations across Canada.

365 iT SOLUTIONS has committed to continue to support local charities.

Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Open for Business During COVID-19

Ontario has ordered that all non-essential organizations to close at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday March 24th, 2020 as an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

As an essential service, 365 iT SOLUTIONS plays a vital role as a managed IT services provider with clients that are front-line workers, logistics, emergency services, healthcare, and much more.

As we all come together to battle COVID-19 coronavirus, 365 iT SOLUTIONS is committed to helping organizations in this time of need.

We continue to implement strict precautionary measures in accordance with government and public #health requirements.

Stay safe and we will continue to do everything within our power to help during these exceptionally challenging times.

In the case of pandemic or other crisis situations, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has created a business continuity guide to help organizations.

The checklists include:

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, visit the World Health Organization (WHO) website and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or The Health Canada Website.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Thank you Front-Line Healthcare Workers

Thank You to All the Front-Line Healthcare Workers from 365 iT SOLUTIONS

365 iT SOLUTIONS would like to thank all the front-line health care workers including doctors, nurses, support staff, and cleaning staff for their tireless work and effort during this COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic.

Let’s not forget the rest of the people working to ensure there is little disruption in our food supply, utilities, and security.

While many of us have the option stay home and use social distancing to protect ourselves from COVID 19 coronavirus, front-line health care workers do not have this option as they care for people with COVID 19 coronavirus as well as all other emergencies.

The COVID 19 coronavirus news is changing rapidly and creating new challenges daily.  Our front-line health care workers are the ones ensuring that the virus does not get out of control.

If you know of anyone in the medical field, thank them for their service and offer any assistance possible to ensure they can fight COVID 19 coronavirus for us.

Thank you everyone that is helping during the COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic.

365 iT SOLUTIONS Team!

We will get through this together!

 

 

Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Here is a Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness for Business document to help all organizations play a critical role in protecting the health and safety of employees as well as the public.

All organizations need to create business continuity plans that will minimize impact as well as facilitate a speedy recovery of activities if the business has been forced to scale back or close during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Preparedness is the best way to mitigate the risks posed by a Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to your organization, public, family, and Canadian economy.

Should the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic escalate in Canada, here are some of the things businesses need to plan for to ensure business continuity as well as preparedness.

  • You may experience absences due to personal illness and watching children.
  • Disruption to essential services like information, telecommunications, supply, and logistics.
  • A major increase or decrease in demand for products and services.
  • Cancellation or disruption of travel and cross-border movement of people and goods.
  • Cancellation of public meetings and events.
  • Increased public fear that causes citizens to avoid public places.

To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada, here is a brief guide designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts.

This will include relevant information as well as best practice tools and resources.

The information is out there, and organizations should take advantage of existing tools, templates, and best practices already developed for the Canadian landscape.

In the case of pandemic or other crisis situations, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has created a business continuity guide to help organizations.

The checklists include:

The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic has been a major disruption around the globe.  Businesses are feeling the impact and putting their preparedness plans to the test.

All organizations should ensure their Business Continuity Plan is up to date and tested. This should include it ranking critical functions and order of importance.  You need to communicate your strategy your staff and business partners such as your managed IT services provider or any other third party in place to support your business.  In addition, always follow the recommendations of Toronto Public Health and take prevention measures to reduce the risk of transmission of flu and respiratory illnesses.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is here to support all organizations and we encourage anyone to reach out to us for assistance when needed.  We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed to protect the health of our employees, public, and customers.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, visit the World Health Organization (WHO) website and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or The Health Canada Website.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness for Business (1)

Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

How to identify phishing emails

Phishing emails are one of the largest cybercrimes which have many wondering how to identify phishing emails to protect themselves and their organization.

Simply explained, phishing emails are created to scam a user by getting a person to click on a link, attachment, or a picture. Once you click, you gave up access.

Here are some examples of phishing emails at their best!

Tech Support Scams

Over the years, many service providers have been upgrading the customer experience by giving their clients more ways to access their team.  Unfortunately cyber criminals are using these methods so users should be aware of bad grammar, colours, odd requests, or other information that can make it look legitimate enough for someone to click.  You should pay close attention in order to outsmart the cyber criminals.

Infected Attachments

Many times, cyber criminals will try to send you malicious .HTML attachments, .JS attachments, .DOC attachments, PDF attachments, or even .XLS documents.  It is important to know that many subscription-based antiviruses put a low risk score on  for antivirus detection since .HTML files are not commonly associated with email-borne cyber attacks.  In addition financial institutions have used .HTML attachments in the past so people are used to seeing them in their inboxes.

Files with Macros

Another big increase has come to malicious macros being put in phishing emails as a common delivery method.  These documents may pass your anti-virus program.  These types of phishing emails contain a sense of urgency to create the illusion that it is important, and the persons is needed. The goal is to get a click.

Social Media Exploits

Whether it be LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, if you receive a message from an account that you are not familiar with, you should already proceed with caution.   These may consist of image files or links looking to spoof real links such as YouTube.

Statistics Say it All

You can ask anyone including organizations, IT departments, managed IT services providers, managed security services providers, and IT consultants, they will all tell you that phishing, and cybercrime is at all-time high.

According to a recent report from Statista statistics website, at 11.69%, most spam emails originated in China while, approximately 9.04% out of United States.  Statista estimates that in 2020, spending on IT services from corporations is expected to reach around 1.1 trillion US dollars worldwide.

So how do these cyber criminals send out all these phishing emails?  One way is that they rely on the lax security protocols from organizations. A great tool and source is HaveIbeenPwned as it is a website that can help you see if your email is on a compromised site.

There is no way to be 100% safe online, but you should try to make it as hard as possible for the cybercriminals.

And the phishing continues to attack…

Cyber security professionals recently analyzed 55.5 million emails.  They reported that one out of every 99 messages contain a phishing attack and 25% of those phishing attacks bypass default security measures setup by IT departments and managed IT services providers.

The cyber security professionals reported the following four categories:

  • 7 percent had malware
  • 9 percent were harvesting credentials
  • 8 percent were extortion emails
  • 4 percent were spear phishing attempts
  • 7 percent were marked as phishing emails
  • 49 percent were marked spam
  • 5 percent were white listed by admin configurations
  • 25 percent were marked clean and successfully sent to the target user

Phishing emails are bypassing filters with over 323,000 pieces of malware detected daily according to Kaspersky Lab.

According to Kaspersky Security Awareness, approximately 80% of all cyber breaches or cyber incidents are caused by human error and not network setup.  Organizations are losing productivity and money when trying to recover from staff related cyber security incidents.

Unfortunately employees are the weakest link in the cybersecurity process:

  • 52 percent of organizations know employees are the largest threat to cybersecurity
  • 60 percent of employees have confidential data on their corporate device (financial data, email, database, etc.)
  • 30 percent of employees have shared their login and password details with colleagues
  • 23 percent of organizations do not have any cybersecurity rules or policies

Traditional user cyber security training programs fail to achieve behavioral changes in users.  It is important that everyone understands the security threats, and this is accomplished only by an effective educational cyber security training program.

To recap, here are some steps employees can take to protect themselves and your organization from phishing emails:

  1. Check the sender address: It may look legitimate but review the sending address, if it looks odd it is probably spam.
  2. Does the email ask you to click on a link or attachment? Check the sender address and the rest of the email for anything out of the ordinary including spelling, grammar, and colours.
  3. Did you receive the email out of the blue? A company your never heard of or a long-lost relative is trying to send you money? Simply mark as junk and delete.
  4. Does the email contain several misspelled words? It could be a phishing email.
  5. Does the email contain some threat (embarrassment, prosecution for example)? It is a phishing email.
  6. Does the email appear to be from someone you know or an organization you do business with? Call the person at the number you know and not the number provided on the email and verify they sent the email.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

Going to the cloud or worried about security? We are your leading Cloud Services Providers Toronto and Managed Security Services Toronto.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

 

 

Categories
Industry Insights IT Solutions Managed IT Services

How Coronavirus is Pushing Communication Technology Solutions Ahead

With the unfortunate outbreak of Coronavirus, many Chinese educators are increasingly turning to communication technology solutions so their students do not fall behind.

In a recent article on Gizmodo, they put together an article of a high school teacher holds class via video chat while under Coronavirus quarantine.   The teacher used a laptop, a $150 webcam, and an account with Zoom video conferencing to connect with his kids.  The class has a microphone that can be passed around the room for kids to ask questions.  They labelled it “distance learning” and it looks promising for the future.

With the release of this article, many organizations are seeing the value behind company group chat and collaboration software such as Microsoft Teams.  We will focus on Microsoft Teams over other comparable software such as Slack.

Microsoft Teams vs Slack How Coronavirus is Pushing Communication Technology Solutions Ahead 365 iT SOLUTIONS (3)

What is the difference Microsoft Teams and Slack?

There are plenty of features, integrations, and options that make them the same however Microsoft Teams has one major advantage over slack, the Microsoft 365 factor.

Microsoft Teams business game-changer is its seamlessly integration with Microsoft Microsoft 365. Microsoft Teams brings every app in the cloud-based Microsoft Microsoft 365 suite into Microsoft Teams in custom tab format.

This gives organizations and employees the ability to add Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Meetings, Notes, OneNote, Planner, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and a host of other third-party apps, all without leaving Microsoft Teams.  What more function, say hello to Microsoft Power BI.   Here you get the ability to use Microsoft Power BI within your team and interact with real-time data visualizations.

 

Why do IT departments and managed IT services provider love the Microsoft 365 factor? Control.

Microsoft gives organizations the ability to control security centrally including encryption of data, messages, and files, in transit and at rest.  You also can integrate two-factor authentication such as Microsoft Authenticator app.

By using the Microsoft Microsoft 365 Admin Center, your organization has control over Microsoft Teams.  This includes the following abilities:

  • Ability to turn on/off Microsoft Teams for entire organization
  • Ability to control user profiles look and feel
  • Ability to turn off video and screen sharing in calls and meetings
  • Ability to control various kinds of content, animated images, and stickers
  • Ability to limit animated images by content rating
  • Ability to turn off support for tabs from Microsoft partners or side-loaded apps
  • Ability to set priority notifications for specific industries
  • Ability to annotate and share images securely with data storage policies set by your IT department or managed IT services provider.
Microsoft Teams vs Slack How Coronavirus is Pushing Communication Technology Solutions Ahead 365 iT SOLUTIONS (2)
Do you want to put Microsoft Teams to the test? Try the Microsoft Teams Interactive Demo.

Organizations need to see Microsoft Teams as the hub of Microsoft 365.    Microsoft has put together the following experience on how organizations can use Microsoft teams to achieve more while using chats, meetings, files and apps live in a single centrally controlled work space.

With this interactive Microsoft Teams demo, you will get a guided tour of Microsoft Teams.  This will allow you to understand the Microsoft Teams app as well as learn about key features.   It will also allow you to try some real-life actions and help a team make important decisions.

Click here to start your Microsoft Teams Interactive Demo.

Microsoft Teams vs Slack How Coronavirus is Pushing Communication Technology Solutions Ahead 365 iT SOLUTIONS (4)

Microsoft Teams works well for organizations that use Microsoft 365.   It provides fast reliable team chat with a variety of features including optional audio calls, video calls, screen sharing, and built-in task management.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can put your IT infrastructure and business to the test.

Going to the cloud or worried about security? We are your leading Cloud Services Providers Toronto and Managed Security Services Toronto.

365 iT SOLUTIONS is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support Services and Cloud Services.

Microsoft Teams vs Slack How Coronavirus is Pushing Communication Technology Solutions Ahead 365 iT SOLUTIONS (5)

Reference article – GIZMODO “High School Teacher Holds Class Via Videochat While in Coronavirus Quarantine”

 

 

 

Categories
Industry Insights IT Security Managed IT Services

Do You Need a New Managed IT Services Provider

As times and technology quickly change, organizations must ask do you need a new managed IT services provider?

Terminating business relationships is awkward however to remain competitive, organizations need to be strategic and proactive to stay relevant.  Many want to give their managed IT services partners the benefit of the doubt without having them hold back their advancement.

Business relationships or objectives can easily change, and you need a managed IT services provider that works in sync with your organization.

Below is a list of some items that may make you ask yourself,  do you need a new managed IT services provider?

1.Two-way partnership trust

When using a managed IT services provider, there must be trust as they have access to your systems, and you must trust they are protecting your privacy and your confidence.  Their goal should be as your outsourced IT to assist with employee terminations, internal investigations, and legal discoveries.

  1. No business about your organization

Is your managed IT services provider aware of your business, business goals, and industry?  It is very important that they understand your organizations purpose, mission, and objectives.  Discuss your operations, your goals, and your key challenges. They should be able to provide valuable feedback as a partner and not a vendor.  Managed IT services provider are supposed to be relationship partners and not transactual.

  1. They cannot scale with your business

Is your business growing or is your current managed IT services provider taking on too much business and it is affecting their performance and service?  If you are waiting hours or even days for tech support help with critical issues, then this  IT support services does not match your business needs.

  1. Are critical IT functions working

The best way to measure up your current network is to have another Managed IT Service provider provide a free network assessment.  This will reveal any neglect like failed backups, unpatched systems, security holes, and outdated antivirus.

  1. You do not enjoy meeting your IT partner

A true managed IT services provider is about long-term partnership and business based on relationship.  You need to be able to relate to them as they may have vital technology recommendations about your IT infrastructure and business processes.  These contribute to a long-term successful business partnership.

Have Your Passwords Been Stolen in a Data Breach? Try our free data breach scan today and start protecting yourself from cybercriminals.

Going to the cloud or worried about security?  We are your leading Cloud Services Providers Toronto and Managed Security Services Toronto.

365 iT SOLUTIONS  is Toronto’s leading IT consulting boutique firm offering industry leading IT solutions including Managed IT ServicesManaged Security ServicesIT Support ServicesIT Outsourcing ServicesTech Support ServicesCloud ServicesBusiness continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and Cyber Security Training and Dark Web Monitoring.

We Make IT Simple!