Cryptowall Alert

Ransomware, in this case “Cryptowall”, is a type of malware which restricts access to the computer system (your files) that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator(s) of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed.
Please take a moment of your time to read this attached document.  It contains valuable information about the evolution of this particular ransomware. Most importantly, learn what you can do and what you should look for to protect your files and your business from becoming another victim. <READ MORE>
Questions? Call 407-678-8300

 

In Depth: Social Media

From: Law Technology Today, Posted by: Gwynne Monahan September 26, 2014

You have to start some time.  Mind as well be from ground zero.  If you, incorporate Social Media in to your day to day process and most importantly, be consistent, it will become less of a burden and more of a benefit. – Randy.

Surprise! Social media is not a fad. From networking to marketing to eDiscovery and picking and monitoring juries (yes, really), it plays a role in the practice of law. But what, exactly, is social media? Community. Communication. Storytelling. Social media is an elastic media, meaning it changes and adjusts the more it is used. Twitter started as a way to send quick status updates about what you were doing, and now it’s a news source and a way to organize groups–be it a friendly meetup or political uprising.

Social media’s elasticity makes it useful, challenging, and sometimes frustrating. Here is what you need to know.

What is social media/social network?

Social media is generally defined by the sharing of articles, blog posts, images and other content through various online platforms or networks. The more familiar ones are Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Other networks include FourSquare, Yelp, SnapChat, and Pinterest. See Wikipedia for a mostly complete list.

Most social media sites require you to setup a profile. <READ MORE>

Managing Email with Rules and Quick Steps in Outlook 2013

From Law Technology Today, by: Allison Shields September 22, 2014

Although email is supposed to make communication quicker and easier, it can often complicate things instead. Most lawyers have email clutter. Many have inboxes with thousands of messages in them. Email has become a major clutter and productivity obstacle. Two ways to help manage that avalanche of email if you use Outlook are using Rules and Quick Steps. <READ MORE>

4 Top Online Security Concerns for Small Businesses

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by Brian Penny on September 16, 2014

Cloud security is in the hotseat following a massive leak of celebrity photos that were stored on Apple’s iCloud service. Apple initially issued a statement that its servers are secure, but conceded that several prominent celebrities had their accounts compromised.

Your business may not be as well-known as Jennifer Lawrence, but this doesn’t mean your data is safe in the cloud. In fact, with the financial nature of your business data, you could be even more at risk. If your business has an online presence, you need to proactively defend yourself against these common digital attacks. <READ MORE>

Home Depot reveals details of data breach

By Chris DiMarco September 22, 2014 – Inside Counsel Magazine

The incident underscores the risk of cybercrime not only for customers but for executives.

Rumblings of a breach of Home Depot’s information systems began in early September; however, the company was slow to reveal the extent to which customers were affected. After an initial warning from banks and a report from cybersecurity newshound Brian Krebs on Sept 2, confirmation of the incident was not released until almost a week later on Sept 8. Details of the breach were not made available by the company until Sept 18, when it announced that the cyberattack put payment card information at risk for approximately 56 million unique cards and that the malware linked to the attack was believed to be present between April and September 2014. Every store in North America is believed to have been involved.

With so many people involved, it can be easy to fault the home improvement giant with the glacial speed at which it gave out information. But Home Depot says that the investigation uncovering those details began on the same day as bank issued warnings and that the infection has now been contained.

The malware in question is believed to be similar to that used in the Target breach, which affected over 40 million customers in late 2013. The malware affects point-of-sale kiosks and checkout lines, and in the Home Depot case, may have specifically targeted self-checkout lines.

In response to the issue, Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of Home Depot has said, “We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and anxiety this has caused, and want to reassure them that they will not be liable for fraudulent charges. From the time this investigation began, our guiding principle has been to put our customers first, and we will continue to do so.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

Related Stories:

Boards need to oversee cybersecurity risk says SEC official

Data security gets more attention following Target breach

Target’s cybersecurity event may have been preventable

_______________________________________________________________________________

Given the increasing frequency of massive data breaches like this, though, customer anxiety is no longer easily assuaged by increased security standards, free credit monitoring software and a promise to do better. That in turn manifests as anxiety for the C-suite. Following the Target incident, multiple high-level executives were terminated or stepped down for lack of proactivity in shoring up Target’s cyber defenses. While there has been no word yet on similar moves at Home Depot, it’s an inevitability that someone will need to pay the piper.

Even more worrisome for both customers and executives is a New York Times report out today that cites multiple former and current Home Depot employees who witnessed negligent customer data handling throughout its stores. According to that article, “several people who have worked in Home Depot’s security group in recent years said managers failed to take such threats as seriously as they should have. They said managers relied on outdated Symantec antivirus software from 2007 and did not continuously monitor the network for unusual behavior, such as a strange server talking to its checkout registers.”

While experts have warned that cybersecurity should be a priority for corporations, the events of the last two years have proven that even considerable investment can be foiled by innovative hackers. And as the causality role call begins to look more like the average American’s weekend errand list, you can expect it to continue to be a topic of conversation,

Stylistic differences are unavoidable, but authenticity in leadership trumps all

From: Inside Counsel Magazine

Women leaders discus the gender differences of leadership                                             By Chris DiMarco September 19, 2014

style is a unique amalgamation of experience and approach. While no two styles are exactly the same, certain demographics tend to share commonalities in how they manage teams and problems. And during an event centering on the promotion of female leadership, it’s hard to ignore the key differences between the way women lead and how they differ from their male counterparts.

Speaking to a packed room,  Rhonda Ferguson, vice president, corporate secretary and chief ethics officer of First Energy Corp, led a panel that brought together Patricia Hatler, executive vice president, chief legal and governance officer, Nationwide Insurance; Lucy Lee Helm, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Starbucks; Maryanne Lavan, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Lockheed Martin Corporation and  Deborah P. Majoras, chief legal officer and secretary, The Procter & Gamble Company. The women discussed not only their roles and the paths they took to get there, but also the importance of defining leadership style and the differences in the well of attributes men and women have to draw from in that capacity. <READ MORE>

Facebook Working on Private Sharing App, Report Says

From: Mashable – Tech – by Adario Strange, September 17, 2014

Facebook is reportedly working on a new app designed to encourage private content sharing — by making the process even more personal.

Citing multiple sources, a report on Techcrunch claims that the current code name for the app is “Moments” and will give users a grid-style interface from which to share private moments with friends and family.

The reasoning behind the app, allegedly, is to assist Facebook users who want to share intimate content with close contacts, but have been put off by the site’s increasingly complicated privacy settings.

The report hedges on whether or not the app will ever actually be released, citing numerous past internal Facebook experiments that never became public-facing products.

But if true, the app would indicate that Facebook is continuing to work to win back the trust of some users who have been daunted by the site’s complicated and ever-shifting privacy settings and News Feed changes.

A Facebook spokesperson offered the company’s standard response: “we do not comment on rumors or speculation.”

6 Easy Steps to Take Your Business Online

From: Intuit QuickBooks – by Danny Sullivan on July 4, 2014

It’s hard to believe that in 2014, with the web over 20 years old, there are still some businesses that aren’t online or which barely seem to make an effort. It’s critical that you don’t let yourself fall behind like this. People are looking for local and small businesses online, including yours. Not being present on the web, or not being easily found, is like having a “Closed” sign hanging on your door when customers show up.

Below, I’m going to cover a few things that I think every business should do when it comes to being online. <READ MORE>

How to Determine Your Market Profitability

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by April Maguire on June 25, 2014

When it comes to market profitability, not all industries are created equal. According to Bloomberg’s Industry Leaderboard, while Apple commands the largest percentage of the computer hardware market, that market ranked No. 51 (of 60) in terms of profitability. The most profitable markets include banking, tobacco, biotech, internet media and rail freight transportation.

When determining your business’ performance, assessing your market’s profitability helps you determine whether or not your company can attain success selling a given product or service to your target audience. 

Determining Market Profitability 

While finding a niche market for your business may seem simple, determining the potential profitability of that market is more complex. Market profitability refers to the financial factors that affect a company’s ability to make money after subtracting overhead costs like employee salaries, rent and equipment. Whether you’re starting a new business or just introducing a different product in your market, it’s important that you determine whether the market can support you and your goals.

Along with determining the interest level in your product, you need to assess the competition among similar industries in the area. One of the most useful frameworks for determining market profitability is known as “Porter’s Five Forces.” Developed by economist Michael Porter, the framework assesses the following elements that affect a market’s profit potential: <READ MORE>

8 Essential Functions for the Right Task Manager

From: Law Technology Today, by: Gwynne Monahan  , September 15, 2014

On any given day, there is a lengthy list of items to be completed. Phone calls. Emails. New client meetings. Follow-ups.

In this episode of the Kennedy-Mighell ReportDennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss taming the to-do list, their own approaches to using technology to help with task management, and questions every lawyer should ask when looking for a management tool to suit their needs. Kennedy shapes his list management around David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” a system which allows him to see his weekly calendar as a big picture and sort priorities to avoid being overwhelmed by the enormous list of projects. Mighell says lawyers should watch for eight essential functions when looking for the right task manager:

  • Available on Multiple Platforms
  • Ease of Entry
  • Recurring Tasks
  • Multi-List Capable
  • Assign Priority Levels
  • GTD Functionality
  • Notes and Attachments
  • Ability to Share Task Lists

He recommends every lawyer weigh the importance of each of these before choosing a task management tool. Both @DennisKennedy and @TomMighell stress that this is a personal choice and ask the listeners for feedback on the to-do technologies they like best.