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3 Ways to Boost Your Home Business’ Security Posture

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Remote work has been on the rise recently, but many people — especially small business owners — have been operating out of their homes for years. Technology has made it possible for almost anyone to start a successful small business and enjoy the benefits of running it from home. 

However, that same technology also comes with risks. Cybercrime is also becoming more common and not every business owner can hire a high-tech IT professional to keep things safe 24/7. 

That doesn’t mean that you need to live in constant fear of cyber threats or worry that your business could experience a data breach at any moment. While you might not be able to completely prevent a cyberattack, there are proactive steps you can take to protect the digital security of your company and your employees. Let’s take a look at a few of the options that can help boost your business’s security posture

1. Get “Smart” With Your Security

Smart home devices are nothing new, but they’re becoming more popular and more advanced. Not only do they make it easier to run your business, but they can also help you stay more comfortable at home. Though convenient, smart devices still pose security risks. It’s important to use them safely to keep your data secure.

The more smart tech items you install, the more risks you’ll experience, including things like:

  • Targeted attacks
  • Password exploitation
  • Location tracking
  • Secret recordings

You can protect yourself and your business information by having a professional install any smart technology you’re using at home, especially for your business. Additionally, make sure you use a secure network, strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and trustworthy third-party apps. If you hire workers who do their job remotely, encourage them to manage their passwords effectively and never use public Wi-Fi. 

2. Protect Your Passwords

Password protection is one of the most essential components to keeping your home business safe. Anything you have to log in to regularly should have a strong password, including your Wi-Fi network, your computer, and any sensitive documents. You can boost password security on most things by enabling two-factor authentication and avoiding using the same password more than once. 

However, for specific documents you’re sharing with others, it’s worth it to have a different strong password for each one. For example, if you’re sharing a document with a specific employee or even a client, you don’t want it to have the same password as your network, or even as other documents. Password protect individual PDFs, documents, and files, using unique credentials for each one.

It’s also important that you can safely share the password, through an additional email or message — but not in the same message as the protected document. By sharing password-protected documents, you’re less likely to experience a data breach on those particular pieces of information. As long as you implement the best practices for keeping your passwords hidden and only share them with trustworthy individuals, you’ll have greater peace of mind every time you send out a new document. 

Finally, make sure you train your employees about their personal password protection efforts. If your business is home-based and most of your workers are remote, you can’t control the security they have on their personal Wi-Fi networks or computers. However, by educating them on the importance of password protection and giving actionable advice, you’re less likely to experience a breach or data loss due to a weak employee password. 

3. Back Everything Up

No matter what type of business you run, you undoubtedly have some kind of data that’s important to its daily function and overall success. If you experience a data breach, not only can that information be compromised, but it could potentially be wiped clean from your network. 

One of the best ways to boost your security posture and ensure you don’t lose everything from a cyberattack is to ensure your data is backed up. Critical data examples include:

  • Databases
  • Financial files
  • Word processing documents
  • Accounts receivable/payable

Ideally, you should install a program that automatically backs everything up right away. If you have to do it manually, commit to backing up your data at least once a week. This is also another training and teaching opportunity for your employees, especially if they work remotely. Either make sure your data is all cloud-based so it backs up from your network, or encourage your employees to save and backup whatever they’re working on that isn’t shareable in the cloud. 

As a small business owner, you have to wear multiple hats. You probably didn’t think about how well-versed you needed to become in cybersecurity when you started your business. However, if you want to protect what you’ve worked for, being able to boost your digital security at home is essential. Keep these tips in mind to keep your business, employees, and any customer data you might have on file, as safe and secure as possible. The more precautions you have in place, the less likely it is for your business to fall victim to a cyber attack.

Apps

X has decided to remove the option for premium users to hide checkmarks

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Last year, social network X, owned by Elon Musk, introduced a new feature that allows paid users to conceal their checkmarks from other users. Currently, the company is notifying users about the upcoming removal of the feature.

Similar to many decisions made by X, there is currently no set timeline for when the hide your checkmark feature will be removed.

Before sending notifications to users, the company took down the part of the X Premium help page that explained how to hide the checkmark feature last week. The basic level of subscribers couldn’t use the tool.

If you pay for Premium or Premium+, you can hide your markings from view on your account. There will be no sign of the checkmark on your page or posts. “The checkmark might still show up somewhere, and some features might still let other people know that you have a subscription,” the description said.

The social network started giving blue checkmarks to people with more than 2,500 “verified” followers earlier this month. The company also began giving these users the Premium subscription and users with more than 5,000 confirmed followers the Premium+ subscription.

Musk got rid of the heritage verification checkmark last year after making a subscription service for it. But the company quickly put the blue badge back on top accounts. The proof program is basically going back to what it did at first, which was to check the identities of famous people.

 

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Engineering

A drone is able to travel through the skies at speeds close to the speed of sound, namely at Mach 0.9

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A test flight of a new drone has taken off at speeds close to supersonic, going through the sky at Mach 0.9, which is 1,111 kilometers per hour (690 miles per hour).

But this is only the start of things. Venus Aerospace, the company that made the drone, hopes to get it to go nine times the speed of sound, or Mach 9.

The missile-shaped 2.4-meter (8-foot) drone was taken to a height of 3,657 meters (12,000 feet) on February 24 by an airplane. When the drone was let go, its hydrogen peroxide monopropellant engine was set to 80% power so that it wouldn’t go faster than Mach 1. It then flew for 16 kilometers (10 miles).

“Using a platform launched from the air and a rocket with wings lets us quickly and cheaply do the bare minimum test of our RDRE as a hypersonic engine.” Andrew Duggleby, CTO and co-founder of Venus Aerospace, said in a statement, “The team did a great job and now has a lot of data to use and tweak for the next flight.”

The new aerospace business, Venus Aerospace, is based in Houston, Texas. Its goal is to pave the way for hypersonic flight (speeds of Mach 5 and above).

In their most recent test flight, they did some testing for their Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine (RDRE). This engine is being made in collaboration with DARPA, the US State Department’s research agency that works on a lot of strange and cool technologies.

“Next is RDRE flight, and then hypersonic flight, which proves that the RDRE is the key to the hypersonic economy,” the company’s CEO and co-founder, Sarah “Sassie” Duggleby, said.

They want to make a car that can go to Mach 9, which is about 11,000 kilometers per hour (6,835 miles per hour).

This is way too fast of a speed. The NASA/USAF X-15 is still the fastest plane that a person has ever flown. In 1967, pilot Pete Knight took this jet to a crazy high speed of Mach 6.7, which is about 4,520 miles per hour or 7,274 kilometers per hour.

Concorde was a business supersonic plane that flew people for money until 2003. Its top speed was Mach 2, which is about 2,179 kilometers per hour (1,354 miles per hour).

Even worse, Venus Aerospace wants to let people fly on these Mach 9 trips. Venus Aerospace thinks it’s making good progress toward its pipe dream, even though there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Sarah Duggleby said, “One bite at a time is how you do hard things.”

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Artificial Intelligence

AT&T reports to regulatory authorities following a compromise of customer data

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AT&T has commenced the process of informing U.S. state authorities and regulators about a security breach. They have confirmed the authenticity of the millions of customer records that were recently exposed online.

As part of a mandatory submission to the attorney general’s office in Maine, the telecommunications behemoth of the United States disclosed that it dispatched letters to alert over 51 million people of the compromise of their personal data in a security breach. This includes over 90,000 people residing in Maine. AT&T has also informed the attorney general of California about the hack.

AT&T, the largest telecommunications company in the United States, stated that the compromised data consisted of users’ complete name, email address, physical address, date of birth, phone number, and Social Security number.

The client information that was leaked dates back to mid-2019 and prior. AT&T has reported that the databases included accurate information about over 7.9 million of their existing customers.

AT&T responded around three years after a portion of the disclosed data initially surfaced on the internet, hindering any substantial examination of the data. Last month, the entire collection of 73 million leaked customer records was released online, enabling users to authenticate the authenticity of their data. Several of the records contained duplicate entries.

The disclosed data also contained encrypted account passcodes, which grant entry to consumer accounts.

Shortly after the complete information was made public, a security researcher informed us that the encrypted passcodes discovered in the leaked data were easily interpretable. AT&T changed the account passcodes after being informed on March 26 about the potential danger to users. It delayed publishing its article until AT&T finished resetting the passcodes of customers who were affected.

AT&T ultimately admitted that the compromised data pertains to their clientele, encompassing around 65 million individuals who were previously customers.

Under state data breach notification rules, companies are obligated to disclose incidents of data breaches that impact a significant number of individuals to U.S. attorneys general. AT&T has stated in its official notifications submitted in Maine and California that it is providing affected customers with identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.

AT&T has yet to determine the origin of the leak.

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