ASI Archive newsletter, Feb 2018

The ASI Archive


They're calling 2018 the Year of the Cyberwar

Take steps now to protect your business.

ransomware image

It’s year-end for many of us. This might have you feeling like you’ve spent more time with your accountant than with your family lately.  While you’re pulling together financial data, performing inventory or reviewing bus dev plans, it’s also a good time to take stock of your IT systems, especially security and backup/recovery applications and processes. 

A Rising Threat
Throughout 2017, “The ASI Archive” included information on new challenges in IT security for businesses. Many of these articles also provided tips on how to protect your RIM services business from cyber-attack. Check out “The ASI Archive,” June 2017 to learn how one email can bankrupt your business. 

There are two reasons we felt it important to direct so much attention to the subject. The first reason was an increase in reports of malware and ransomware attacks from ASI clients. Raising awareness of the issue was imperative. The second reason was to provide guidance on best practices to help clients identify gaps and establish sound IT security practices.

Years ago, protecting your and your clients’ business data meant backing it up offsite in the event of a natural disaster. These continue to be a factor and should be part of your disaster recovery plan, of course. What’s changed is the alarming rise in information technology security threats. Email phishing scams, malware, ransomware – all are examples of cyber-attacks. They’re here to stay and are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated. 

If you don’t think your business is vulnerable, think again. The majority of security breaches actually occur due to an employee unwittingly taking an action that leaves an open door for cyber-criminals to enter your system. Check out “The ASI Archive,” December 2017 for 10 steps to educate staff against online threats.

What can you do?

Invest in IT Support
It’s imperative that you work with an IT manager qualified to manage the IT systems important to your business. They also need to be cyber-savvy and responsive. You’ll want to determine whether it makes more sense for you to hire an IT manager or outsource your IT support. Depending on your budget and business requirements, there are pros and cons to consider

Backup & Test
Part of tightening your IT security belt includes a review of data backup and restore processes. All too often, companies run their backups without testing them. When there’s a need to restore a backup they find the data was never properly backed up or can’t be restored. Ask your IT manager to conduct a test restore of your backup. You’ll be able to identify potential backup issues so they can be corrected. If possible, test on the hardware you’ll be restoring to as well.

The best time to start?
Immediately. Taking steps today to 
implement proper security and backup processes will protect your business and its data tomorrow.

Cyber-Security 101

Putting the Basics in Place

  • Firewall to keep unauthorized users off your network
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create a secure network access point for employees and customers
  • Secure wireless network for employees on the go
  • Anti-virus, malware, spam protection
  • Training, training, and more training to ensure staff understand processes and risks if not followed

Tech Tip: Online service codes & VCKweb.NET

Ancillary Services in VCKweb.NET enables customers to purchase boxes, request barcode labels, etc. After helping set up Ancillary Services for a few customers, it occurred to us that others might appreciate the support.  The value of this function is that once set up, end users are able to access the service codes online via VCKweb.NET. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In VCK-SQL, under Administration/Service Codes, ensure “Allow Service to IK” is checked.
  2. If not already done, set up the Service Code at the main-level customer and define a price.
    NOTE: If only one department needs access to a specific Service Code, simply add a price for it at that department and it will be available for their use only.
  3. The Service Code will now be available for use in VCKweb.NET under the Utilities/Services menu.

It’s as simple as that!