April 17, 2020 email communication to our customers

We’ve all made it through another week of this new reality, yet we are still left with the uncertainty of when the economy can begin the long process of restarting.  

In all likelihood, it will be slower than we all hope. Governor Evers just today extended the Safer at Home order until May 26. Though it will allow for some gradual loosening, it suggests most of our workforces will be operating from home for the foreseeable future. 

At Applied Tech, we are prepared and able to operate like this as long as necessaryHeck, we’ve supported moving over 5,000 desktops out of the office over the course of a few weeks, so this is a snap.  We are still supporting our customers onsite, when necessary, within compliance of the state’s order to protect each of our employees health.  

Are you secure? 

As we noted in our last email to youcybersecurity has emerged as a critical issue with company networks and data becoming increasingly vulnerable. 

Phishing and ransomware attacks are now more sophisticated and personalized.  

  • The #1 phishing email that can cause damage is still the “bogus invoice.” This is an easy method for hackers to take advantage of users in times of chaos and confusion. 
  • News about coronavirus is often a lure, taking advantage of the public’s fears and anxieties about the pandemic. Free Netflix offers appearing in Facebook messaging is a newly emerging tactic making the rounds 
  • Malware disguised in the form of an app named “Coronavirus updates” has been downloaded already in many Asian and European countries. It contains spyware that can capture a variety of information – messages, voice notes, device/SIM/wifi and fingerprint data. 
  • Linkedin has seen a 55% increase in engagement on its platform since most of the global workforce has been working from home. This is an area of growing exposure. Anecdotally, we have seen a number of user accounts subject to phishing attacks through its messaging feature which is perceived as safer than email. 
  • Ransomware attackers are taking a cue from modern marketers with highly researched and targeted campaigns against C-suite execs whose companies have the ability to pay significant sums of moneyThe absolute number of attacks are down but the stakes are exponentially bigger. 

What does all of this mean?  

The threats to your network are increasing in sophistication and designed to take advantage of your employee’s fears and distractions while working at home. And perhaps on personal devices or company devices that may be shared by other family members.  

Get smart! 

Ensure your staff is educated about the variety of security threats they may encounter through their digital interactions. These are actions you can strongly encourage your staff to do now for the benefit of them and the company’s financial and reputational protection: 

  • Ask your staff to view the 20-minute video series on security awareness training in QuickHelp™. 
  • Watch this 25-minute training video our CTO, Kris Cears, created specifically to train your employees on how to spot Phishing Emails
  • Recommend your employees take this free self-security assessment offered by one of our security partners. It takes about 20 minutes but is a real eye-opener that covers both their work habits and home environment. 

Talk to your Strategic Account Manager (SAM) if you would like to access a 45-day free trial of QuickHelp for your team to get some quick training.   

This may also be the time to start a discussion with your SAM about what additional layers of security might be worth considering, starting with a Security Risk Assessment for your organization.   

Applied Tech customers supporting the COVID-19 effort 

Therma-Stor – This Madison-based company (a part of Madison Industries) is contributing to the effort through the deployment of high quality HEPA systems improving health and indoor air quality in critical healthcare settings all across the country. 

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin – The marketing and promotional arm for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers recently announced a partnership with the Hunger Task Force to provide relief to the underfed and unemployed in the state. You can support the effort with donations that will be matched by an anonymous grant.  

Remember we are here to support you and your team.  So don’t be shy! Call us if you need help or have any questions. 

Stay well, 

The Applied Tech Team 


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