Category Archives: Security

Protecting Your Digital Identity

Digital or Online Identity applies to everybody, once you navigate and use the Internet.  It’s basically data that uniquely describes an individual or entity (e.g. company) and this data holds information such as relationships, services, images, resumes, client details, etc.  All that information is very useful for the people who need to access this in order to conduct business or communicate with you, but once this gets into the wrong hands it can cause severe problems.  Whether you are reading this as a company or individual, navigating on the internet needs to done with caution and there are some basic guide lines that should be considered.   It might be common sense, but unfortunately not all Internet users consider this when surfing the cyber waves.

There are people who thrive on hacking into systems for various reasons, but many times they don’t consider the impact this might have on the individual or the business.  At the same time, these hackers often “break” into system because they can and because the systems that penetrate weaker security measures implemented.  Some hackers may even conducts these attacks simply because they like a username in Twitter, as Mat Honan found out the hard way.

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Filed under Mobility, Projects, Security, Zenprise

Safe browsing

Children are, because of easy access to the internet through home computers and smart phones, migrating to the internet much earlier.  It normally starts with innocent free online games, then they join some social networks, get their first internet iPod Touch with internet access and then they take possession of the family computer for homework and projects.  Before you know it, your kids have more social networks than us parents.  What’s even scarier is the fact that they probably know more about these social networks than us, but with less interest in preserving their privacy, which then opens serious security concerns for your kids and for the family.

It’s becoming more and more important that parents have the serious conversation with our kids about online security and best practices.  How many parents have even had this conversation with their kids and how many have helped their kids implementing safer policies on their Facebook account?

For some kids, taking a photo with their smart phone and posting on their Facebook page is fairly innocent.  But some of these photos should not be shared with the World and may actually cause harm to some individuals, especially if these images are circulated among groups making fun of people – hence the term cyber bullying.

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Filed under 2012, Microsoft, Mobility, Security, Social Media

It all starts with a password

There have been many stories of major company sites, such as Playstation (Sony), being successfully targeted by hackers.  They managed to collect thousands of passwords, credit card information and other personal information.  This data is used to either sell to a criminal organisation or perhaps engage in criminal activities by the hackers themselves.  If these black hat hackers can steal this information relatively easy (if you know what you are doing), then how can we make sure our data is safe.

The same goes for companies, large and small.  They too have to protect their data and client information.  So, security of the data starts with the employees, right?

Well, that obviously assumes that organizations have enabled the necessary security settings on their infrastructure and also communicated these clearly to their staff.

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Security is Key – Staying Safe

Documenting safety and security procedures has always been one of the least attractive duties.  And, why do you need to document these policies anyway?  Does anybody actually bother to read them?

Personally, security policies are a bit like insurances.  You only really need them when something happens – which you obviously are not planning to happen.  To help you get started with some of your documentation or perhaps re-visit your existing documentation, I’ll be sharing some of our experiences from working with clients and from seeing what could happen if these things are not in place.

The key to security documentation is make sure staff are aware of what to do and how to behave, and at the same time make sure that the company is safe from various events.  The last thing you want to do is having to have serious personal chats if some person has sent out an offensive email.  You should rather write and communicate the policy to all staff, so they know how to use the corporate email system – and what’s acceptable or not.

Today’s procedure is covering emergency procedures.  Remember, this is just our interpretation of what should be communicated to staff.  The method of communication could be anything from an email, to printed documents, intranet portal and awareness campaign.  Keep it simple and within your budget.

Please note, below procedure could be copied and pasted free by you, but you still need to update it to reflect your company’s information.

If you need any assistance in regards to creating or updating your security documentation, please contact us.

Emergency Procedure

It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the documented emergency procedure, participating in the various drills and accustom yourself with the emergency exists.  You should also know where to find the first-aid kit, in case required, and know how to contact the emergency services; Gardai, Medical and Fire departments.

Severe Weather Procedure (normally heavy snow or rain storms)

During severe weather conditions, it might be impossible for the company to conduct business, due to events outside the control of the company; power outages, traffic disruption due to sudden and heavy snowfall (which has happened a few times in the past 18 months).  When there has been severe weather occurrences, you need to take following actions

  1. Check your voicemail
  2. Check your email
  3. Contact your manager or colleagues

If you check your email and/or voicemail, and there’s no message indicating that the office is closed, then you should make your way to the office, as it’s business as usual.  However, because some staff travel on different routes, some of these might be affected by e.g. severe snow and therefore make it impossible for them to travel securely to the office.  If that’s the case, you should contact the company or your manage.

Storm / Hurricane Procedure

The same actions as outlined above applies to this scenario too.  In addition to those steps, and whether you are in the office or at home, you should take some measures to ensure your safety.  These might seem logical and perhaps even common sense, nevertheless, you should attempt to follow these simple steps.  Obviosuly, these steps are only relevant if the building is being damaged and may cause flying debris.

  1. Place light and moveable items inside cabinets and drawer units
  2. Back up your computer to either the network or external USB storage device
  3. Move your desktop computer, laptop and/or monitor to safety
  4. Remove paper files from surfaces and store these securely in the cabinets
  5. Close doors in the build to avoid strong winds tearing through the building
  6. Turn off lights and electrical devices
  7. Leave the building and move to a secure location in the house or building

It’s important to note, unless the company management communicates that the office is closed, then you should assume it’s business as usual.

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IT Staffing Challenge to Grow in 2012

HiberniaEvros Staffing Services

What a year 2011 was for HiberniaEvros Staffing, adding over 150 contractors to our team in just 12 months with placements all over Ireland, England. And in the final quarter engineers were even deployed in Italy, Spain and France. A big thank you to our back office team who worked exceptionally hard to ensure that our customers got the skill sets they wanted and more importantly got them when they were needed.

So what does the resourcing team consist of; internal sales, support members and of course our associates.  Our key objective is to match both technical and cultural skill sets to our customers’ requirements to ensure a positive and productive engagement for both parties. We are under no illusion that there were a number of pressure points in 2011 and can expect to see a repeat of these in 2012.

The challenge lies in the supply of experienced technical candidates.  Although contract rates remained relatively stable we foresee an increase in 2012 as the demand for certain roles outweighs supply. There is a common thought process in the market that with the current level of unemployment that finding candidates should be easier, in fact the opposite is true.  We are experiencing a two-speed economy in the Irish marketplace where demand for IT, Science & Engineering and Finance roles are exceptionally high.

HiberniaEvros Staffing is looking forward to the challenges of 2012. With our new software coupled with our experienced team we aim to bring positive and productive changes to both front end interviewing and time sheet management processes into the future.

Caroline Godsil

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Filed under 2012, HiberniaEvros, Meet Us, Security

The Dark Side of emails

Most people use it on a daily basis, but do we actually use it safely?

Just as a FYI, when you hit send in your email, the email has actually left the building.  Once gone, you cannot recall the email, so you’d better make sure it should have gone.

Some companies have put in measures to prevent staff from sending emails, by having enabled a centralised email profile that only can be used by selected users or have created rules on the infrastructure to prevent users from sending emails externally.  But, ignoring those exceptions, there’s very little you can do to recall an email, once you’ve clicked send.  By the time staff realise what has happened, the damage is done – they have leaked the information.

In recent months, there have been several incidents in many large organisations.  Staff has made serious mis-judged decisions on what to send and emails have left the safety of the draft folder, and found comfort in an inbox somewhere in the World.  Unfortunately, some emails should never have been sent, because the information in the email is incorrect, the recipient email address is wrong or the email was of an inappropriate manner.  Few people actually consider or comprehend the impact such an incident can have on the company.

Some of the more straight forward concerns are obviously that the company may be seen as unreliable, but this could have a financial impact on the company.  Depending on the nature of the email and it’s content, the company could lose clients and revenue, if clients perceive the company for treating data in a laissez-faire manner.

How do you avoid these things from happening?  One of the best ways is to use common sense.  You don’t send a snail-mail to wrong address.  Employees must remember that an email is just like sending a postcard: anyone who wants to find/intercept it will find a way to read it.  So, when sending mails, no matter the level you have in the organisation, you need to consider some basic email ethics and rules:

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