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Phishing Emails Are On The Rise!

Phishing is a common attack vector used by cybercriminals whether employees are working remotely or in the office. However, phishing emails are on the rise, and verifying the legitimacy of an email when you’re not in the office is not always easy. Do your employees know how to spot a phishing email? We can provide your employees with low-cost cybersecurity training to help educate them on the dangers of phishing! We’ll even send your employees simulated phishing emails to test their ability to correctly identify one!

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RGV CompuTech, LLC
Date: 11/12/2020
Select Business and Tech Articles
From business to tech, we are highlighting a group of exemplary articles that not only provide insight but trends that could impact your business 
Greetings!
I hope this finds you well. With the volumes of information on the Internet, it's very easy to miss quality information that may help to serve your business for the better. Below is a group of select articles we found valuable and will be sharing similar articles on a monthly information, you will be in the know as well. 
With Gratitude,
Omar
Alert (AA20-302A)
Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector
Original release date: October 28, 2020 | Last revised: November 02, 2020
CISA, FBI, and HHS have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers. CISA, FBI, and HHS are sharing this information to provide warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats.
3 Rules of Effective Email Management
Marcel Schwantes, Inc.
The average office worker spends 2 1/2 hours a day reading and responding to over 200 emails, most of which aren’t relevant to their job. Our inboxes have become time wasters! Learn tips for optimizing productivity with your emails.
How to Defeat Busy Culture
Serenity Gibbons, Harvard Business Review
“Busy” culture pulls us away from our families and having deeper relationships with coworkers. But now that our work-life boundaries have become blurred because of easy access to technology, how do we change this pattern? Read more about three strategies that can help.
This Month’s Tech Funny
As always, our goal is help you leverage technology for the growth of your business. So if you see yourself not laughing as much about technology, give our team a call - we can help.
People Who Really Miss the Office are Listening to its Sounds at Home
Tanya Basu, MIT Technology Review
For many workers the sounds of an office can bring a certain type of comfort and a sense of normalcy. Read more about a need for background noise among white-collar workers and some websites that can help.
And ... Virtual Tour Picks from our Staff
Fighting Zoom Fatigue
Sure everyone loves an extra helping hand but is this really the future?
Meet Moxie
Augmented reality revolutionizes military flight training reducing risk for pilots in training
Deep Fakes
Effective deepfakes could create false intelligence that could impact the public's view
RGV CompuTech, LLC
P.O. Box 670
Alamo, TX 78516
Tel: 956-475-3519
Email: omar.garcia@rgvemrit.com

3 Overlooked Strategies for Getting More Insights Out of Your Data

more insights from data

Teams are drowning in data. The ease of collecting data has led to popularizing ideas like big data, data warehouses, and machine learning. The problem is that companies can get stuck trying sort through their data.

In this post, I want to share 3 strategies for helping you solve this problem. The goal isn’t to see how much data you could collect. The goal is to uncover insights about your customers, your products, and your business.

Does Your Team Know Exactly What Data You Have?

The MoMA or Museum of Modern Art has a peculiar problem. They have one of the most extensive Persian rug collections globally, but they aren’t sure what’s in the collection. The curator has never seen most of the rugs that he has purchased.

This is like the adage of the tree falling in the forest. If no one is there to watch or hear the tree fall, did it really happen?

Companies find themselves in a similar situation with their data. They have a lot of data, but no one is quite sure what is available. They have never seen some of the data they collected and could be hypothetical for all they know.

There’s no point in keeping data hidden. Data doesn’t become valuable until it is converted into insights. Before that point, it is simply information or computer bytes if we are technical. Executives, managers, and employees want more insights out of their data, not more data.

The first strategy for sorting through your data is to know exactly what is there. This can be done through an audit of everything that is being collected and store. The process sounds intimidating, and it can be for larger companies. You’ll need to hunt down obscure documents, check unused products, and scramble to find logins for software tools that no one ever uses.

Once you know what’s in your data vault, you need to tell people about it. This is commonly called “data literacy.” It simply means that everyone in your company understands what data is being collected and how they could use it.

If they wanted to check on the latest purchases, they know where to go for that data and how to visualize. Whether this happens through SQL, Tableau, Power BI, or even in Excel, that’s beside the point.

Like education, the more you have of it, the more useful it is. If you have poor data literacy, it’s like being surrounded by books you can’t read. They are merely random characters on a page.

Trust Issues Can Be Detrimental

Have you ever had someone say, “I don’t trust this number?” I call this Funky Data.

When you look at a report or dashboard, you can’t seem to trust the numbers in front of you. You may not be sure why these numbers don’t make sense, but there’s something weird (or funky) about them.

Ensuring that your team has trust in your data is the next strategy in our repertoire. You may have the best data in the world, and your team knows this, but if they don’t trust it, they won’t use it.

Lack of trust is one of the most pervasive issues that I help companies work through. It starts small, but it can grow to become a monster over time. At its worst, people cannot trust anything they see in terms of numbers, so they rely on opinions and anecdotes.

There are 3 Funky Data scenarios that you need to be aware of:

  1. Technical Issues: this is what people typically think when they see a number they can’t trust. There’s a technical issue in how the data was collected or visualized. You solve this by debugging the report and deconstructing how a number came to be.
  1. Misaligned Expectations: in this scenario, people expected what a number must be, but the actual data doesn’t support this. This is common for teams who haven’t had much data and were operating on opinions for most of the past. You solve this by working through the expectations and showing that the actual data is correct.
  1. Unexpected Calculations: this is when a calculation doesn’t show you what you expect. You may be expecting to see 1000 purchases, but the report only shows 800. However, the calculation limits the data to only new customer purchases, but you don’t know this. You can solve this by working through the calculations and showing the assumptions that are taken into consideration.

Scenarios 2 and 3 are mostly psychological. These make them the hardest problems to solve. They require empathy and patience.

You Can’t Quench Your Thirst with a Broken Fire Hydrant.

Our third strategy will deal with overwhelm by having too much data available to you. This is what everyone feels when they open Google Analytics for the first time. There’s so much data available to you on one screen that you aren’t sure where to even begin.

This is like trying to quench your thirst from a broken fire hydrant. The force of the water would be too much, and you would be tired from even just attempting it.

After your team knows what data you’re collecting and solve any trust issues, you need to make data easily digestible. Remember that the goal is insights, so we don’t get brownie points for the data volume that we collect.

Here are a few ideas to reducing data overwhelm:

  • Create a unique dashboard for every team and individual. This allows you to limit how much data is available at any given time.
  • Be opinionated on how data should be visualized but offer options for people to filter and slice the data.
  • Convert the data into multiple formats: dashboard, email digests, SMS, CSV exports, and others.
  • Use machine learning to discover patterns within data sets.

Conclusion

Data can be a goldmine, but you need the right equipment and approach; otherwise, you’ll just be digging through the mud. Start by helping your team understand exactly what data is available, tackle any pervasive trust issues, and implement different ways to reduce data overwhelm.

The post 3 Overlooked Strategies for Getting More Insights Out of Your Data appeared first on ReadWrite.

Cybersecurity Tip #16

Tip #16: Encrypt your devices & data
Encryption helps you securely protect the data that you don’t want others accessing and is a great way to add an extra layer of security in the event your device or data falls into the wrong hands. #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth

Cybersecurity Tip #15

Tip #15: Delete old accounts that you no longer use
The more accounts you have online, the greater your security risk. Many of our old accounts contain outdated and potentially breached passwords. If you’re no longer using an account, it’s best to delete it to help protect your personal information. #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth

Cybersecurity Tip #14

Tip #14: Virtually & physically secure sensitive information
Make sure you take the appropriate steps to safeguard sensitive information whether it’s virtual or physical. Keep your devices and workstations locked any time they’re left unattended and lock physical locations storing sensitive information as well. #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth

Developer’s Guide to Comply with CCPA and GDPR

comply CCPA GDPR

The digital landscape is continuously evolving, and privacy regulations such as CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) and the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) are in effect to give consumers their fundamental right to data privacy. These regulations force organizations to revamp their operations to comply. This means all departments within an organization, from marketing to software development and everything in between, have to keep privacy regulations in mind and tweak their workflows accordingly.

In this article, we will discuss the steps developers can take to stay compliant with these regulations.

Understanding the Rights under these Privacy Regulations

With more people concerned about their data rights, giving them complete control over their data is essential in today’s world. Under both GDPR and CCPA, the following list contains all the consumer’s rights concerning their data.

  • the right to be informed
  • the right of access
  • the right to rectification
  • the right to erasure
  • the right to restrict processing
  • the right to data portability
  • the right to object to processing
  • the rights concerning automated decision making and profiling

A consumer can practice these rights at any given time, and enterprises must fulfill these requests as soon as possible.

GDPR and CCPA realize that more and more consumer data is available online, which increases the cyber threat and invites other malicious activities. The genuine threat is why these regulations must protect the consumers’ data while dissuading any data breach instances or sprawl.

The risks for non-compliant businesses.

The European Union (EU) has a history of making an example out of companies that are non-compliant with its regulations. One of the EU’s most recent actions was against Google.

It all started in France when Google was accused of infringement regarding the essential principles of the GDPR: transparency, information, and consent. Myriah Jaworski, an attorney at Beckage PLLC, stated, “enforcement action was geared toward the way Google obtained consent.”

Google did not present how and why an individual’s data was collected and stored, nor did Google make it easily accessible. Due to this infringement of GDPR, Google was fined an amount of $57 million by the EU. But where is all the data? Did they destroy it? Did you get your data back?

Seeing what happened to an industry giant like Google, it is clear that no industry can get away with GDPR or CDPR non-compliance. They will be fined — but they have the money. What about YOU? What about your company???

In order to stay safe, developers in an organization must be well-versed in all the regulations and build their websites, apps, and software with compliance in mind.

CCPA vs. GDPR: What’s the Difference?

While both laws serve to protect the individual’s rights, there are some differences between the two regulations. The following are the significant differences between the two laws.

  • Who Needs to Comply

The GDPR has a broad scope concerning who has to stay compliant with the law. The GDPR covers all EU citizens and regulates all organizations that collect and store personal information of EU citizens irrespective of their location and size.

In contrast, the CCPA places constraints on the size of organizations that need to comply. It applies to organizations with $25 million or more in annual revenue; or possess the personal data of more than 50,000 “consumers, households, or devices,” or earn more than half of its yearly income selling consumers’ data. 

  • Financial Penalties

The GDPR mandates penalties based on non-compliance and data breaches. These penalties can reach up to 4% of the company’s annual global revenues, or 20 million euros (whichever amount is higher), with the commitment that administrative levies will be applied proportionately. CCPA fines are not cumulative but instead are applied per violation, reaching up to $2,500 per unintentional violation and $7,500 per intentional violation, with no upper cap. 

  • Consumer Rights

Both regulations give the consumer specific rights that they can exercise. Some of these rights include the right to have information deleted or accessed. The GDPR specifically focuses on all the data related to European Union consumers, whereas the CCPA considers both consumers and households as identifiable entities. Businesses need to test their processes and ensure they can accommodate these rights.

  • Use of Encryption

The clauses on encryption in both laws constitute an area that, although similar, still have some differences. Both laws call for access to data encryption, making this an essential part of businesses’ privacy protection components.

Steps Towards Compliance: How Developers can Comply with CCPA and GDPR.

Developers are the frontline infantry in this struggle towards compliance because websites and mobile apps are the first interactions a consumer will have with an organization. It is essential to cover all your bases from the get-go to make the compliance workflow as smooth and efficient as possible. Let’s take a look at the steps developers can take to comply with each regulation.

How Developers can Comply with CCPA? 5 easy steps

  1. Data Mapping

To stay compliant, developers need to integrate proper data mapping techniques into their systems. The law dictates that organizations should be fully aware of all the data they collect; this refers to what is collected, stored, and how it flows through the organization. Some operational suggestions would include designating a single source of truth, maintaining lineage, and tracking all organization data.

2. Inform Your Consumers

To comply with the CCPA, organizations will need the capability to fulfill data subject access requests (DSAR). Your website must show the consumer what data it will collect and how it will be collected. Developers can work with privacy officers to create a standard privacy notice for the website or an abbreviated pop-up policy at the point the data is collected.

3. Verify Queries

Organizations will be met with a flurry of requests from consumers exercising their rights under these regulations. Developers need to create a system by which the consumer can be authenticated, and the correct information can be given to them. To streamline this process, developers can create a dedicated email account for requests and design workflows for verification purposes.

4. Data Minimization and Purpose Limiting

When collecting data, organizations need to make sure that the data is only used where necessary. To ensure that, developers can create forms that only require minimum information (data minimization). Organizations can make sure that internally used data is in line with privacy policies (purpose limitation).

5. Data Security

Under the CCPA, organizations are required to protect the data an organization keeps about a specific individual. Although not explicitly mentioned, it is beneficial for organizations to encrypt data to prevent further compromise after any data breaches.

Developers can ensure security by implementing robust applications that offer end-to-end encryption and protect your consumers’ data.

How Can Developers Comply with GDPR? Five Easy Steps

  1. Efficiently store data

The way an organization stores data can be the difference between compliance and non-compliance under the GDPR. Developers need to ensure that minimal data is being derived from consumers to reduce liability. Secondly, only store the data that is necessary for your processes. Lastly, implement DSAR tools in your storage to efficiently respond to subject data access requests.

2. Subject Access Requests

Developers need to integrate a system that can map all the data in the data stores and make them easily accessible when consumers request access to the company’s data, even complete deletion.

3. Contacting Users

Under the GDPR, an organization can not assume consent, and it must be asked for. If you’re working on a feature that will trigger an email or another message to be sent to users, you will need to integrate it with your organization’s consent tooling and check if you already have a consent channel for your use case. This will likely take the form of some source-of-truth database and an API that you can query before sending messages.

4. Profiling

Profiling is the use of data to personalize a customer’s experience. To be compliant with GDPR, organizations should have a clear way for users to opt-out of profiling. The only important thing for developers to understand what counts as profiling and respecting a users’ choice before implementing any form of personalization.

5. Rewrite your Privacy Policy

The GDPR has brought several amendments to the current structure of any organization. The IT group is essential for organizations to revamp their privacy policies according to the GDPR. In this case, developers can integrate the privacy policy into company websites or as a pop-up to comply with the GDPR right to notice.

Key Takeaway

The CCPA and GDPR are revolutionizing the data privacy sector, and organizations must comply with these regulations. Developers and marketers alike will have to find new ways to comply with these regulations without efficiently hindering their current performance. Developers need to integrate automation to create a streamlined approach to compliance throughout the organization.

Image Credit: andrea piacquadio; pexels

The post Developer’s Guide to Comply with CCPA and GDPR appeared first on ReadWrite.

Cybersecurity Tip #13

Tip #13: Don’t underestimate a hacker’s interest in your data
Whether it’s your company’s data or your personal data, it’s worth something to a hacker. For example, if your password is compromised, a hacker could have easy access into your account, where they could steal more info or cause serious damage. #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth

Cybersecurity Tip #12

Tip #12: Monitor your credit & financial statements
Data breaches can lead to serious issues such as identity theft. Keep a close eye on your credit and financial statements to look for anything that seems unusual and if you do find something that seems amiss, act quickly. #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth

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