• Give us a call: 1-678-381-1948
  • Email Us: info@guidance-consulting.com

Our Blog

ByDaniel Gottilla

What is Inside View Vulnerability and How Can You Prevent It?

Inside view vulnerability is the risk your company faces from an employee or an insider to the company attacking your system. Businesses tend to trust their employees implicitly, and while most of them deserve this trust, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your risk of an inside attack.

The most common culprit is the disgruntled employee. These inside jobs are usually not very sophisticated, and are often performed by employees who do not have system administrator status. They can still do plenty of damage, so it’s important to limit the amount of access any one employee has to ensure that they can only access data and resources that specifically apply to their job. Some of the more common ploys are stealing data to sell to outside parties, or the less harmful, but still unconscionable, peeking into employee records to look at their salaries. Your inside view vulnerability may also surface through unintentional risk-taking, such as taking work home. If the employee loses the files or laptop, it is your proprietary data out in the world, not to mention a huge security risk for the clients who have put their trust in you.

Terminated employees are another risk. They may be angry, and it’s important to minimize the amount of damage they can do on their way out. Be sure that all access for these employees is immediately terminated, and regularly change all passwords and logins company-wide. The employee’s access may have been removed, but if they know another employee’s login information, that’s another route into your system.

Sometimes the person attacking with insider knowledge is, or was, a system administrator. If you find that someone has uploaded spyware or is infiltrating your network illicitly, take that computer offline immediately. If you find even one piece of malware, it’s likely there are more. Back-up your data files and reinstall your system from the original disks and also change the root password. It’s a hassle, but it’s better to take action now than to worry about what could be coming next.

What can you do to reduce your inside view vulnerability?

  • Familiarize yourself with insider threat research.
  • Regularly revisit your security protocols to make sure that your security is up-to-date, and is also being properly implemented.
  • Run background checks on your employees. As many as one-third of inside hackers have criminal records!
  • Plan in advance how to mitigate the damage if there is an inside attack.
  • Educate your managers about the risks so they can be aware.

You can reduce the amount of inside view vulnerability you have. Taking the time to tighten security loopholes and to plan how to handle an attack can make the difference between a large loss and the ability to mitigate the damage and keep your company running smoothly.

ByDaniel Gottilla

What is Outside View Vulnerability and How Can You Prevent It?

Outside view vulnerability is the risk coming from an outside party that scopes out your company though public sources. They may be looking at your website and trying to find ways into your network in order to obtain data, or to just wreak havoc. There are a few steps you can take, however, to lower your risk of being successfully infiltrated.

The first thing you need to do is secure the perimeter. This step makes sure your security is in good order and that you are unlikely to be put at risk from hackers or viruses attacking you via this route. The most basic security feature you should have is a firewall, and for good reason. A firewall will protect your network from incoming threats while simultaneously allowing you to send data out. It controls the flow of traffic between your system and other networks and can be tweaked to best fit your needs. Making sure that your firewall is up-to-date and that it specifically addresses your company’s needs is vital in lowering your outside view vulnerability.

Another important step is to make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and that your employees are using common sense when dealing with attachments. Your software will be able to neutralize most viruses sneaking their way into your system, but what about viruses it doesn’t recognize? If your software doesn’t have updated definitions or if the virus is so new the software can’t stop it, it could do a lot of damage. Train your employees to check with the sender before opening any attachments, and to scan the attachments before opening them even if they trust the sender. After all, many viruses aren’t sent purposefully, but they still do damage. If the virus is intentionally sent, it could contain spyware or other malware that would allow an outside party to access your system without you being aware of it.

Social engineering is another way that outside view vulnerability can compromise your business. Some hackers are bold and will try to gain your employee trust in order to garner information about your system. They may even call and ask for passwords, impersonating authority figures in your business! Believe it or not, this can work. Educating your employees about this risk and having procedures in place to limit how passwords are transferred and what data is available to outsiders is key in minimizing this form of outside view vulnerability.

By virtue of running a business, you have some significant outside view vulnerabilities. By understanding the risks and taking the time to plan for them, you can reduce the likelihood of an attack on your company. Educating your employees and maintaining a secure perimeter are two important means of preventing attacks from being successful and mitigating any damage that could occur.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Dangers of network security breaches

During the process of disaster recovery planning every company comes to a point when it has to deal with the so-called intentional acts. There exists a belief that a disaster recovery should be treated literally. According to it, the plan should state what recovery tools must be used to ensure that the companies ok after a natural disaster. This false belief leads to enormous financial losses due to network security breach.

When it comes to the importance of securing all your data security specialists agree that network safety devices are your company’s first line of defense. What is the use of even the best recovery tools, if the problem lays in leaking out critical financial information? And that is the smallest problem that may occur due to a network security breach. One of the most dangerous things that may happen is theft of your intellectual property. And it matters not if you still have a copy on your hard drive, or whether you can use recovery tools or not; the damage will happen anyway. Of course, a security breach doesn’t have to be so serious. However, even by changing contents on yours company website hackers will make creditability of your company questionable. Of course, you will use recovery tools to bring your original website back online. This is however, only a reaction to a security breach, not a prevention method. To ensure your data security you cannot rely on your backup methods, even with the best recovery tools.

There are two main approaches to company security and both of them should be used together. First method is about the software and hardware security of your company’s data. Firewalls, secure connections, verification servers all of those and even more to keep an unauthorized person outside your company network. And even when they will somehow gain access there are many sophisticated programs (recovery tools included) that are constantly monitoring all network traffic. Second method is even more important then the first. It is the so called human factor. Even the best security system will be useless without some trained personnel.

And training personnel in using equipment and software won’t do much good without more complex security course. What good is an employee who knows how to use your recovery tools if he cannot see any danger in using default passwords?

Information as well as time are the most precious resources every company has. Without proper security equipment and trained personnel, the probability of loosing those resources is almost certain.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Vulnerability Protection and Mac Systems

While highly touted as being less susceptible to attacks, Mac systems and their users still need to consider vulnerability protection needs. There are viruses and attackers that can get into your system, and the damage they cause can be severe. Knowing the vulnerabilities, accounting for them, and reassessing them regularly are key steps to keeping your network safe. You may be safer with a Mac, but you are still not immune to attack.

The Truth about Macs and Safety

While it is true that Windows systems suffer more viral attacks and may not be as secure as Macs, it’s important to understand that this is because Windows is used more widely, not because Macs are actually built to be safer. Most viruses and attackers specifically seek out Windows weaknesses to exploit, so it is the sheer number of viruses targeting Windows instead of Macs that offers the protection, not the system itself. As Macs become more and more popular, vulnerability for Mac systems will become critical, as the weaknesses in these systems will be increasingly exploited.

Vulnerability Protection for Macs

Installing an anti-virus program for your Mac system is a good start. There are less than 200 known viruses that target Macs, but these programs are a minimal investment and are easy to install. The chance of a viral attack may be small, but if you’re a target, it’s worth the time. Installing and updating an anti-virus program on your network can significantly increase vulnerability protection on your Mac system. Using the program to scan incoming email and attachments is always a smart move.

Another important vulnerability protection for Mac systems is avoiding websites that aren’t appropriate for work. While there are few viruses that can infect a Mac, many of them exist on these sites, waiting to infect your machine. Educating your employees about what sites are appropriate is critical. Viruses can lurk anywhere, but visiting sites that aren’t necessary for business increases your risk of coming across spyware or viruses that may infect your machines.

Although you may have a Mac system, it is still possible to be running Intel-based Windows on it. Windows is Windows, no matter what computer you are running it on, and it is susceptible to Windows-specific viruses and attacks. You can’t let your guard down on vulnerability protection just because you have a Mac system. If you are running Windows on your Mac, be sure to investigate anti-virus programs and security protocols that work on both systems. If you need a little assistance choosing your best defense, consider working with an IT consultant. They know the market and the products available and can secure your system in no time.

Even though vulnerability protection for Mac systems is less extensive than it would be for Windows, you still need to protect your business or personal information. The risks may be low, but they still exist, and you can’t take chances with your customers and data. By installing comprehensive anti-virus programs and using safe computing skills, you can keep your system clean and your business running smoothly.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Employment Agency – Planning a career in an IT environment

Whether you are only a college student, or a successful CEO of a growing company, there is a very important thing that you have to do planning of your own career. It is not an easy task; the times when you could get a job just because you knew a bit more about computers than just how to turn it on are long gone. It is also not enough to send your resume to an employment agency and wait for a contact not if you want to find a job that will suit your financial needs and give you space for growth. Planning your career in advance is the only way to ensure your success.

If you are still a college student, the whole process of your career planning is much easier. First of all, your specialization is a marker for your future jobs; it is easier to plan your career if it is in the same direction as your education. It is also good to contact an employment agency as soon as it is possible for you to handle a job. Experience is a very valuable thing, as well as finding friends and acquaintances. Oftentimes you may get more interesting job only because the recruitment specialist issuing the offer was your roommate in a college.

But what if you are long after college? You have already found a job, either through some employment agency or all by yourself. Even if this is not your dream job, you still can make it help you in your career. The sole purpose of a career is to hone your skills and abilities and to gain more experience.

Even if you don’t like your present job, you don~t have to run away immediately. Why? Because more and more companies are acting according to the employees~ improvement policy. It is often cheaper and safer for a company to organize a set of courses for its workers then to contact employment agency to hire some fresh specialists. For all thinking seriously about their career, such opportunities are very valuable ones and is an asset all by itself. When the time to change your place of work comes and you are about to contact employment agency, it is good to add something more to the resume than just educational level and former employment information.

Of course, you must not rely only on your present job for providing you with all necessary education. Finding and finishing the right courses independently of your current employee is a very important thing that may change career planning, into career pursuing, second only to the higher education. Because of those courses, even if you have no degree in the computer science or any IT-related topics, your resume might be interesting for employment agency.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Why Hiring an IT Consultant is Good for Business

Business consultants of all varieties are becoming increasingly important in today’s business climate. Offering years of experience and high-impact advice for businesses of all sizes, most consultants are the cost-effective solution to having a full staff of pricey experts.

While an IT department or on-site IT professional is necessary for many types of large corporations, the truth is that all businesses – even small start-ups – are able to access the kind of skills and advice offered by information technology experts. IT consultants, which can take the form of a single professional offering independent contractor services or a business that handles all your information technology needs, step in to fill your technology gaps at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.

Save Money with an IT Consultant

Most IT consultants offer their services on an hourly or contractual basis. Depending on what your needs are – whether you need regular backup services or one-time network security setup – you might find yourself tapping into a consultant regularly or for short-term projects. Both of these options allow you to control the cost of your IT solutions.

Because you’re hiring outside your company, you also avoid paying the taxes and fees associated with having a staff member solely for your technical needs.

Save Time with an IT Consultant

IT consultants are also able to streamline the way your company does business. For example, if you’re working on an overloaded server, your employees may not be able to communicate and work online as quickly as they should. The same is true if you lose important data or experience downtime with a server or network. Redoing work or simply waiting for a solution to a problem can really cut into any business’s bottom line.

Good IT consultants are on hand at all times. They can access your network or your backed up data to get you and your employees back on track. They come up with solutions before a disaster occurs so that you are prepared for any eventuality.

Increase Productivity with an IT Consultant

Perhaps the most important thing IT consultants do is allow you and your employees get back to what you do best. For many business, repairing a server or backing up data is something they could do themselves. After all, the Internet is awash with how-to articles and advice on being technologically up-to-date.

However, savvy businesses know that specialization is what makes good business. You hire plumbers to do the plumbing, marketers to do the marketing, and managers to do the managing. While some cross skills are helpful, it’s rarely cost-effective or a good use of time to have a customer service specialist try his or her hand at getting the server up and running again. Having an IT consultant you trust means that you always have access to a way to streamline business without overtaxing your employees or your finances.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Staffing Services and Internet employment agencies

There are moments in everyone’s life when you feel that you need to change something. Not surprisingly, this something is usually a place of work. What can you do to make the unemployment period as short as possible? And what should you do if you need a fresh face in your company or if you are looking for someone with specific skills? One of many ways to deal with those problems is to contact a staffing services company. Lately, Internet employment agencies have become the most popular ones, so the web is the most logical place to start looking for staffing services there.

What makes Internet employment agencies different from other staffing services? First of all, the usual staffing services cover only some region – a country, or even a single city. Internet agencies know no boundaries. You might live on the other side of world and look for a job in a country that you haven’t even seen before. But it is only one thing, and not the most important one. Looking for a job, or looking for an employee is less time-consuming if you use some help from Internet staffing services. All you need is to fill a very simple form on their website and wait for the results. It’s much less stressful and a lot less time-consuming.

As with everything, there are also some major setbacks. First of all, there are so many companies that offer Internet staffing services that choosing the best one for you is nearly impossible. When you are looking for a job, it s not a problem you just have to spend a little more time filling forms and sending resumes. When you are an employer and your time is precious you don’t have enough time to look through countless websites offering almost the same; it is much simpler to contact some local staffing services agency and ask them for help.

Many people that are looking for a job find themselves trapped by some major myths concerning internet staffing services. What was true several years before has already become fiction. It is no longer true that internet is Mecca for finding a job nowadays, Internet is something as normal as everyday newspaper, and your resume is just one out of the many. It is also not true that it is enough to simply send your resume and wait. Internet staffing services are slowly becoming a new Bermuda Triangle, except this time it is your resume that gets lost.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Finding the right candidates for your environment by using a Staffing Agency

If your business is looking for new employees, there are many ways of finding them. You have to remember, that even in the most technical industries – your company is still only as good as the people who work there. Technical staffing demands are increasingly challenging and time consuming. You can of course recruit them directly by a representative of your company, but you can also rely on a staffing agency to find you the right candidates. This is a more effective way to find the right person. Staffing agencies specialized professional business line is finding people for all kinds of jobs.

That’s why more and more companies are relying completely on staffing agencies services. They usually have recruitment professionals who locate, select, screen and mobilize the talents you need – wherever and whenever you need it. A staffing agency can work on their own acting as an independent contact between their client companies and the candidates they recruit for a position. They can specialize in client relationships only (sales or business development), in finding candidates (recruiting or sourcing), or in both areas. Most staffing agencies tend to specialize according to jobs their offer.

Another specialization is temporary agency. It is usually distinct from a standard staffing agency, which usually seeks to place full-time employees. There is often a large overlap: temporary workers may go on to become full-time employees; or workers a company intends to hire as a full-time employee may start out as trial temporary worker.

Sometimes however, things are a little different. Sometimes you don’t only need a right candidate, sometimes even this specific one and only person. That is when a completely different staffing agency comes handy. Such an agency usually doesn’t have a personnel database, but rely solemnly on its recruiting agents: so-called headhunters. Typically a headhunter is associated with a higher degree of industry knowledge and a more specialized, less blanket approach than his colleagues. Whereas a recruiter may place an advert or place calls with no prior knowledge of the individual they are contacting, a headhunter will attempt to learn about the subject’s previous employment history, education, financial situation. He will make contact on the premise that on paper the candidate is suitable for the role, whatever their current employment situation. Poaching employees away from their current employment in this manner gives headhunters their name. Headhunting staffing agencies operates on a verge of being accused of industrial espionage, but they prove to be very effective.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Finding the right IT Recruiter for your business – IT Jobs

There are moments when every IT company starts looking for new employees. In the IT industry you march or die and if you want your company to grow, you need new employees – fast. And then you are facing a very serious problem you need people for several IT jobs, but you don’t know where to look for them.

The answer to your problems might be using the help of an IT recruiting company. Without any big effort you can get a complete list of currently available recruits for different IT jobs. All you have to do is contact a staffing agency, tell them about your needs and wait for an e-mail (or fax) with their propositions. The problem is, that there are too many IT recruiting companies on the market nowadays. They all claim to have the biggest available database of IT jobs orientated candidates. They also claim that their candidates are the best on the market. How can you know if they’re telling you the truth?

There are two main categories of outside staffing companies. The first collects data from future employees that are currently looking for job their financial needs, employment history, education level etc. The second category comes to the problem from another angle. You send them information about IT jobs that are currently vacant in your company, salary propositions for candidates, and they provides you with candidates that have already passed all necessary tests and are known to be able to handle the job.

Those two categories of agencies use two different methods of gathering data. The first one is general in this case personnel is judged by their skills and employment history in short, through their CV and portfolio. The second method is more specific. Every year, educated personnel leave colleges. They usually look for the first job in their life their salary needs are lower, they do not have any bad habits and they are full of enthusiasm. There are many recruiting companies that offer their services exclusively for graduate and final year students.

However, both types of agencies are generally meant to provide you reasonably good employers. And in the IT industry reasonably good is often not enough, especially when you have to fill the key posts. That’s why there is also another way of looking for right candidates for the IT jobs. It is the staffing agencies that are also called headhunting companies.

While a typical recruiter looks for personnel among people that are currently unemployed, headhunters take under consideration people with right skills; their employment state being of no interest. When your company is looking for a specific specialist, headhunters can go as far as making an offer to the employee currently working for the rival company; if (and usually it is so) your offer outbids your competitor then, you usually gain a new, highly trained top-class employee.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Top Five Mistakes Made when Hiring IT Consultants

Hiring outside experts can be a smart business move, but you should be aware of the top five mistakes made when hiring IT consultants. No matter what services these professionals can offer you, you can maximize the consultant’s benefit to your company by taking the time to protect your needs and make a smooth transition. After all, the IT consultant’s job is to help you, and getting off on the right foot can make this happen.

  1. The top mistake made when hiring IT consultants is not checking the industry standards for compensation. If you offer too little, you are at risk of hiring a substandard contractor. As the same time, if you don’t know the going rate, you may pay too much for the service, which isn’t good for your bottom line. By familiarizing yourself with compensation rates for your area, you can make sure you are hiring an ethical, experienced specialist.
  2. Even though the consultant is not on staff, you need to conduct a formal interview. It’s important to verify the consultant’s expertise, as well as to experience his or her people skills first hand. This professional will be working closely with your staff, and it’s important that he or she not only has IT skills, but the ability to work with others, as well.
  3. Failing to have the professional sign a letter of confidentiality is another top mistake made when hiring an IT consultant. Even though a reputable consultant would never share your data, it’s always better to protect yourself. After all, this person could be working for your competition next, and confidentiality agreements are a standard of good business practices. No consultant worth hiring will balk at this request.
  4. Be sure to check the consultant’s availability. Whether you need the consultant immediately or not for three weeks, you need to make sure that he or she has the days open to work with you. Remember, consultants work with a variety of companies, and they need to schedule their time. If you plan ahead, you can ensure that they are available when you need them.
  5. The final top mistake made when hiring IT consultants is not introducing them to your staff. It seems so simple, and not even that important, but working together is critical. By making introductions, you foster good will, understanding, and comfort levels. When people understand the dynamic, they work better and are able to collaborate more effectively.

While these are the top five mistakes you can make when hiring IT consultants, you should know that there are consulting firms who strive to serve and educate you, as well as to seek fair contract terms. By using a reliable firm, you can be sure that your data and needs will be of the utmost priority. All the same, by understanding the top five mistakes made when hiring IT consultants, you can avoid many hassles. The consultant is there to help you, so help him or her to do it by following these tips.