SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Leveraging the Power of AI to Stop Email Scammers

Staff members are on the frontline when it comes to cyberattacks against their employers. They’re increasingly seen by hackers as a weak link in the cybersecurity chain. That’s why most threats today come via email, aimed squarely at tricking the recipient into downloading malware, divulging log-ins or making wire transfers to the attacker. Trend Micro predicts cumulative losses from Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks alone will hit $9 billion this year.

As attacks get smarter, so must we. That’s why Trend Micro is SMB Nation WhatsYourX Banners 220x150introducing two innovative new offerings to help in the fight against email scammers. One is a new AI-powered feature designed to improve BEC detection while the other will help IT teams train their employees to spot phishing attacks. It’s one more step towards taking the fight to the bad guys.

The email threat

There’s no doubt that email is the primary threat vector for attackers targeting organizations today. The Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ blocked more than 66 billion threats in 2017, over 85 percent of which were emails containing malicious content.

BEC is an increasingly favored tactic as the rewards can be huge. It’s hard for many organizations to spot because attacks typically don’t contain any malware; they rely mainly on social engineering of the carefully selected recipient. That recipient, usually in the finance department, is sent an email impersonating the CEO, CFO, or other executive requesting that they urgently make a wire transfer or reply with sensitive data. With average losses topping $130,000 per incident, it’s no surprise that we saw an increase in attempted BEC attacks on our customers of 106 percent between 1H and 2H 2017.

This is not to underplay the impact phishing continues to have on organizations around the globe. By targeting employees, attackers can spread malware and covertly infiltrate networks to steal sensitive data and IP. Results from the Black Hat Attendee Survey last year illustrate the impact this trend is having on organizations.

  • IT Leaders cited phishing as their #1 security concern
  • Phishing was identified as the most time-consuming threat
  • The weakest link in IT security was cited as end users being tricked by phishing attacks
  • 19 percent rated phishing as the most serious cyber threat to emerge within the past year, second only to ransomware

Taking action

The potential financial and reputational damage of such attacks is obvious. In the face of these rising threat levels we must hit back — and we have, with two new free tools.

Writing Style DNA includes new AI-powered technology that learns how executives write so that it can spot impersonation attempts, and sends a warning to the implied sender, recipient and the IT department. It sounds straightforward but requires serious computing power and smart AI algorithms to achieve. For each user, a personal model is created using 7,000 features of writing characteristics to train the system — things like punctuation and sentence length. We convert emails to meta data before analyzing, to protect customer’s privacy and meet compliance requirements.

Focusing on the writing style in the body of the email complements existing techniques that analyze behavior and intention. Some of these current techniques can fail if, for example, the attacker uses compromised accounts at legitimate domains to hide the true origin of the email. It’s one more tool to help IT teams push back the rising tide of email threats, and it will be made available at no extra cost as part of Cloud App Security (CAS) for Office 365 and ScanMail for Microsoft Exchange (SMEX),

First line of defense

Technology is a vital layer of defense to keep email threats at bay. But what about your employees, who are often thought of as the ‘weakest link?’

We can help here, too. A new free SaaS-based phishing simulation service can help IT teams train employees to spot attempted attacks before they have a chance to impact the organization. Phish Insight is all about enhancing awareness of your staff. All it takes is one administrator, four steps and five minutes to run a real-world exercise designed to mimic what employees might see at their desks.

With the detailed reporting results, displayed in a handy graphical interface, IT teams can then tailor their education programs to make lasting behavioral changes.

Phish Insight is now available free of charge to all organizations of all sizes around the world. The service has been available for a year in Asia and has generated huge interest as organizations leverage it to turn their weakest link into a formidable first line of defense. As email threats continue to rise, we’d encourage you to take a look.

To stop phishing and social engineering attacks it is critical to make both your people and your technology smarter. Phish Insight trains your people to better spot phishing attacks and Writing Style DNA confirms the authorship of an email to prevent CEO fraud and other types of BEC attacks.

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RapidFire Tools, Inc. Launches “Audit Guru,” The First Tool to Automate and Streamline GDPR Compliance Audits

New Software Appliance and Portal is Purpose-built for MSPs to Help Their Clients Navigate the Complex General Data Protection Regulation Mandates.

ATLANTA, GA, USA –March 5, 2018– RapidFire Tools Inc. today announced the availability of Audit Guru for GDPR™, the world’s first compliance process automation solution designed to address the sweeping new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which becomes law on the May 25, 2018. The tool is being offered exclusively through the RapidFire Tools RapidFirechannel of authorized Audit Guru partners, and includes a robust cloud-based portal that resellers can use to manage the entire GDPR audit and reporting process. MSPs can provide an array of value-added GDPR services built around Audit Guru, which can range from a simple and straight-forward resale of the tool to organizations that have their own internal IT and compliance staff, all the way up to a fully managed, ongoing GDPR Compliance-as-a-Service offering.

“The new GDPR requirements put into place tough new standards that regulate how personal information is collected, electronically stored, and secured,” noted Rapidfire Tools CEO, Mike Mittel. “These new laws impact every company that collects data about any individual living in the European Union. There is a huge amount of confusion, fear and uncertainty associated with GDPR because of the fines and crippling sanctions associated with non-compliance,” he added. “Audit Guru addresses these concerns by providing MSPs with a solution that literally guides them through the compliance process, automates the collection of necessary data, and generates the required documents.”

The new offering leverages the same technology found in Network Detective, the company’s market-proven, award-winning family of IT assessment, documentation and reporting tools. “This is not just another check-list product with a laundry list of tasks that the MSP has to perform,” explained Win Pham, lead developer of the tool. “We've created a turn-key virtual software appliance that automates the production of mandatory compliance reports, provides ongoing issues detection, and manages the manual collection of supplemental information required from key stakeholders.”

The marketing opportunity extends far beyond MSPs located within the European union. “As if the EU isn’t a big enough market, even if the MSPs or their clients are based outside of the EU, if they own electronic database files that contain personal information about customers, prospects and other individuals who are based inside the EU, they are subject to the regulation,” explained Mark Winter, RapidFire Tools’ vice president of sales. “This makes the market for Audit Guru even broader for MSPs, MSSPs, and VARs who wish to expand their offerings to include GDPR compliance services.”

Audit Guru is sold to MSPs directly by RapidFire Tools or through any of their European distributors. MSPs who are interested in becoming an Audit Guru Reseller Partner should visit www.auditguru.com, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call +1-678-323-1300, ext. 2.

 

About RapidFire Tools
RapidFire Tools, Inc is the leading global supplier of business-building technology tools for MSPs to help them close more business, offer more services, keep more customers, and make more money. The company’s offerings include: a complete set of IT Assessment, Documentation and Reporting tools; tools for IT Compliance Process Automation; and tools for Insider Cyber Threat Detection & Alerting.
European distributors include: Achab (Italy), Prianto (UK), and Upstream (Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden).

 

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D&H DISTRIBUTING OFFERS SMB “MESH” WIFI SOLUTIONS FOR THE MODERN WORKPLACE

Cutting-edge WiFi Distribution Solutions Accommodate Consistent Bandwidth Performance for More Seamless, Flexible, and Collaborative Wireless Small Business Environments —

HARRISBURG, PA – January 22, 2018 – D&H Distributing, a major provider of SMB and consumer technologies to the North American high-tech channel, wants its SMB resellers to take advantage of powerful “mesh” computing solutions. These offerings are making their way from the enterprise to Meshsmall office environments in the form of affordable, easy-to-install and manage solutions.
“Mesh” computing technologies feature a series of access points, or hubs, that distribute and balance a company’s WiFi signal throughout a facility. The systems reduce connectivity “dead spots” so an SMB network can perform more seamlessly, accommodating the roster of wireless and IP-based devices associated with an increasingly more sophisticated small business workplace—even across multiple floors of a single building.
Many regional offices have been forced to locate equipment and workstations within a certain proximity of their WiFi routers to ensure consistent connectivity. Yet today’s modern workplace involves workers who depend on a plethora of wireless devices, ranging from Bluetooth headsets, to tablets and smart phones, to portable speakerphones and high-performance notebook computers. In addition, bandwidth-heavy amenities such as IP surveillance systems or cloud-based storage and printing services create additional demands on bandwidth.
The same office environments often feature open floor plans and ad-hoc conference areas that can be set up on-the-fly, to encourage collaboration between personnel. SMB mesh computing solutions support this trend, allowing workers to take advantage of the collaborative communication these new open-office environments were designed to inspire.

For example, D&H carries the HPE OfficeConnect OC20 802.11ac, which can cluster up to eight access points. It’s a sophisticated yet cost-effective wireless solution that’s easy to set up and administer without significant technical expertise, allowing SMB companies to deploy robust and flexible WiFi of their own accord. The system is installed via a no-cost, straightforward mobile application that can be deployed in minutes, either via cell phone using an Android or iOS app, or through a cloud-based portal. Both the app and the web-based portal also facilitate easy remote network monitoring for the reseller.
The HPE OfficeConnect OC20 allows the business owner to conduct Internet filtering, regulating what sites employees may access and/or restricting adult content. And the solution’s simple remote management capability allows resellers to offer monitoring and troubleshooting via a managed services contract, creating incremental revenue opportunities, and allowing VARs to transition into a basic, hosted services offering.
In addition, D&H offers the popular Cisco Meraki family of wireless access solutions, which incorporates cloud-managed mesh networking into its powerful wireless access points. The Meraki products extend WiFi coverage to hard-to-wire areas and supports resilient, high-performance routing across facilities. These access points “self-configure” to automatically establish a high-performance, robust, and resilient network, without manual intervention or provisioning from the reseller.
The Meraki solutions offer a cloud-based controller interface that can be managed from anyplace with Internet access, and similarly offers an Android or iOS app for administration. This makes the solutions easily accessible, as well being a powerful and versatile mesh networking option.
D&H offers services to support customers in selecting the most appropriate solution for their business models, including assessment services; pre-sales support; and specialized training sessions including live trade show sessions, streaming webcasts, and on-demand presentations. Plus, resellers can take advantage of brandable brochure templates from D&H’s Partner Services Marketing library, including a dedicated piece on the Cisco Meraki products. VARs can use these materials to communicate the benefits of these high-performance WiFi solutions.
“Bandwidth requirements continue to grow as the contemporary SMB workplace incorporates more connected devices and platforms, and as we transition toward the delivery of digital services in almost every facet of business, from email exchange to storage to cloud-based printing and collaboration,” began Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales at D&H. “Manufacturers such as HPE-Aruba and Cisco are now delivering robust, reliable, and cost-effective WLAN WiFi distribution to the small business community. Mesh computing is becoming a necessity in these work environments, to accommodate the increasingly mobile and digital paradigm we all enjoy. In the process, it’s creating ongoing opportunities for VARs and MSPs.”

About D&H Distributing
D&H Distributing believes the most important element of doing business is developing relationships for mutual success. The company continues to build upon its 100-year-old culture by providing its manufacturers, co-owners, and partners with the utmost customer care, consultative guidance, and multi-market expertise. As one of North America’s leading technology distributors, it delivers a wealth of enablement resources and hands-on support services that empower resellers in the IT channel.
The company engages with solution providers, integrators, and VARs to meet current business challenges, as well as forecast their evolving, real-world needs and prospects for lucrative growth opportunities. D&H maintains a special focus on independent VARs expanding their competencies in areas such as hosted and cloud services, the modern mobile workplace, comprehensive SMB server networks, and cross-market expertise across the small business, education, healthcare, and government verticals, to name a few. The company's value proposition includes professional marketing resources, a new transactional service model, dedicated Solutions Specialists, and a highly-lauded webcast training venue; plus reseller engagement events such as technology trade shows, roundtable opportunities, training “track” sessions, and hands-on "lab" sessions.
The distributor is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, in the US and in Brampton, Ontario, in Canada. Additional warehouses are located in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Fresno, CA; and Vancouver, BC, Canada. Call D&H toll-free at (800) 340-1001, via www.dandh.com, or follow the distributor’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, https://www.facebook.com/DandHDistributing/ and @dandh.

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Epson Wins Two 2017 Best in Biz North America Awards

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Jan 16, 2018 – Epson, a leading provider of innovative business solutions, today announced it received two awards in the seventh annual Best in Biz North America Awards, the only independent business awards program judged each year by prominent editors and reporters from top-tier publications in North America. The Epson WorkForce® Enterprise WF-C20590 A3 multifunction printer (MFP) was awarded silver in the “Best New Product of the Year – SMB” category. The WorkForce DS-780N was also awarded bronze in the “Small or Medium Business Product of the Year” category.

Each year, Best in Biz Awards’ entrants span the spectrum, from some of the most innovative local start-ups to the most recognizable global brands. The seventh annual program was particularly hotly contested, with more than 650 entries from an impressive array of Epson Biz America Awards public and private companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries and geographic regions in the U.S. and Canada. Best in Biz Awards 2017 honors were presented in 65 categories, including Company of the Year, Fastest-Growing Company, Most Innovative Company, Best Place to Work, Support Department, Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Product, Best New Product, App, Event and Website of the Year.

“Epson emphasizes the importance of understanding the evolving business market and delivering products that can make our customers more efficient and profitable,” said Larry Trevarthen, director of Business Imaging, Epson America, Inc. “We are honored to be chosen by Best in Biz North America Awards for two solutions across multiple business categories, which underscores our continued commitment to delivering solutions that meet the industry and our customer’s needs.”

About the Epson 2017 Best in Biz North America Awards Winners

  • WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590: Powered by innovative PrecisionCore Line Head Technology, the WF-C20590 is Epson’s first high-speed multifunction color line head printer delivering brilliant-quality output. With breakthrough speeds up to 100 ISO pages per minute3, this powerful A3 MFP offers business productivity and versatility for large workgroups and departments within SMB and corporate environments.
  • Workforce DS-780N: Designed for greater efficiency in heavy-use environments, the Epson DS-780N delivers high-quality scans with speeds of up to 45 ppm/90 ipm1 plus a 100-page ADF. With a programmable touchscreen, ease-of-use and document management while delivering fast scan speeds, the DS-780N offers enhanced connectivity for versatile scanning.

Since 2011, winners of Best in Biz Awards have been determined based on scoring from independent judging panels composed of prominent editors and reporters from some of the most respected newspapers, TV outlets, and business, consumer, technology and trade publications in North America. Best in Biz Awards’ uniqueness stems, in part, from this distinct composition of its judging panels, allowing it to best leverage the judges’ unparalleled expertise, experience and objectivity to determine award winners. The 2017 judging panel included: Accounting Today, AdWeek, Associated Press, Atlanta Tribune, Business News Daily, Consumer Affairs, Entrepreneur, eWeek, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Healthcare Innovation News, Inc., Investment Advisor Magazine, Laptop, MediaPost, Pittsburgh Business Times, Security Products Magazine, Wired, WLRN and Yahoo Tech.

For a full list of gold, silver and bronze winners in Best in Biz Awards 2017, visit: http://www.bestinbizawards.com/2017-winners.

About Best in Biz Awards
Since 2011, Best in Biz Awards, Inc. has made its mark as the only independent business awards program judged each year by a who’s who of prominent reporters and editors from top-tier publications from North America and around the world. Best in Biz Awards honors are conferred in two separate programs: North America and International, and in 65 categories, including company, team, executive, product, and PR and media. For more information, visit: http://www.bestinbizawards.com.

About Epson
Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 80,000 employees in 86 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.

Epson America, Inc., based in Long Beach, Calif., is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. To learn more about Epson, please visit: epson.com. You may also connect with Epson America on Facebook (facebook.com/Epson), Twitter (twitter.com/EpsonAmerica), YouTube (youtube.com/EpsonAmerica), and Instagram (instagram.com/EpsonAmerica).

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WatchGuard Technologies Acquires Percipient Networks and Adds Security at the DNS Layer to Company's SMB Security Platform

Acquisition supports the company's long-standing vision of making enterprise-grade security accessible to every organization through simplification of packaging, pricing, and product usability.

SEATTLE - January 16, 2018 - WatchGuard(r) Technologies, a leader in advanced network security solutions, today announced that it has acquired Percipient Networks, a developer of simple, affordable, automated security solutions for small and midsize organizations. Percipient Networks' Watchguardflagship product, Strongarm, stops phishing and malware attacks by offering an easy-to-deploy, security-focused Domain Name System (DNS) service. Integrated into WatchGuard's security platform, Strongarm will further improve the security efficacy of existing malware protection techniques, increase the value of the company's popular Total Security Suite (TSS) advanced services bundle, and become a key element in the evolution of WatchGuard's cloud security offering.

In 2016, 76 percent of organizations reported falling victim to phishing1. Company size and vertical industry played no role in likelihood of an attack, making it critical for companies to have protections in place against phishing, happy clickers, and other web-based threats. The Strongarm service monitors outbound DNS requests and blocks traffic to websites based on a list of known malicious domains. Furthermore, by monitoring requests at the domain level, Strongarm's filtering capabilities extend to all ports and protocols. Integrating Strongarm into WatchGuard's comprehensive unified security platform, will provide customers with the strongest possible protection from the widest variety of threats.

"In a world of increasing and constantly changing security threats, there is no silver bullet when it comes to protection. Many organizations don't have the resources to research and deploy a long list of security point-solutions. As such, it is WatchGuard's mission to continually evolve our unified security platform to provide the best combination of security services in a simple package, making enterprise-grade security accessible to all. The addition of security at the DNS layer is just another example of execution of our mission," said Prakash Panjwani, CEO of WatchGuard. "Based on years of research and development, the Percipient Networks team has developed a simple, enterprise-grade solution. We are excited to add the Strongarm solution to our platform and to welcome the teams behind developing and launching it to WatchGuard's ecosystem of rapidly growing partners, customers, and employees."

In addition to blocking traffic to dangerous sites, the Strongarm platform was architected to facilitate maximum user and IT admin education. Rather than just blocking traffic to potentially malicious sites, the service redirects users to a 'blackhole' where additional information about the attack is collected, and the user is presented with educational materials aimed at preventing future attacks. Percipient Networks also employs a threat analysis team who engages with the IT managers and managed service providers (MSPs) to provide additional insights into attacks and how to prevent them in the future. WatchGuard will continue investment in both areas.

"Phishing is one of the most common methods used to gain a first point of entry into an organization. It is one of the most effective tactics because it targets people. As such, organizations must employ a two-pronged approach to combat phishing - malware prevention services and employee education," said Todd O'Boyle, co-founder and CTO at Percipient Networks. "By protecting users and using blocked attacks as an opportunity to educate we significantly reduce the odds of that employee making the same mistake a second time. We are delighted to continue development of the product and our threat research team under WatchGuard's leadership."

WatchGuard partners and customers will be able to gain early access to the new DNS filtering service later this month when the product is released into Beta. The new service will be generally available as part of the company's all-in-one security package, Total Security Suite, shortly thereafter in an upcoming release of Fireware. All active Total Security Suite customers will gain immediate access to the new feature at no additional charge with the simple check of a box.

"We are extremely proud of what we have built with the Strongarm platform and this partnership with WatchGuard will put our award-winning technology and education tools into the hands of tens of thousands of organizations around the world almost immediately via WatchGuard's extensive VAR and MSP community," continued O'Boyle. "We are also excited to extend WatchGuard's approach to total security to our customer base, expanding their protection to cover more threats, and to our partner community, who will gain immediate access to the award-winning WatchGuardONE program and full product portfolio."

About WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.
WatchGuard(r) Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in network security, providing best-in-class Unified Threat Management, Next Generation Firewall, secure Wi-Fi, and network intelligence products and services to more than 80,000 customers worldwide. The company's mission is to make enterprise-grade security accessible to companies of all types and sizes through simplicity, making WatchGuard an ideal solution for Distributed Enterprises and SMBs. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit WatchGuard.com.

For additional information, promotions and updates, follow WatchGuard on Twitter, @WatchGuard on Facebook, or on the LinkedIn Company page. Also, visit our InfoSec blog, Secplicity, for real-time information about the latest threats and how to cope with them at www.secplicity.org.

 

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