Cyberattack on Equifax Leaves 145.5 Million Consumers Unprotected

by Rissa Oballo on January 16, 2018 and last updated on January 23, 2019

What do you do when you lose your wallet? Or worse, if it’s stolen? You contact your bank, you check your credit cards, you freeze your accounts – you’re on high alert for any suspicious activity that could lead to any form of exploitation. Now imagine, 145.5 million wallets being pickpocketed all at once by the same gang. Things get a lot more complicated.

cyberattacks on Equifax leave 145.5 million consumers unprotected

In September of 2017, Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus in the US, announced that they were hacked. In their statement, they mention the information that was accessed included the following: names, birth dates, home addresses, Social Security numbers, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers. An additional estimated 200,000 credit card numbers and over 180,000 personal identifying information of US consumers may have been accessed as well. There was also unauthorized access detected to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents but further investigation is still underway. If you’re thinking “Isn’t there anything in place to prevent this sort of thing?” and “What’s the worst that could happen?” then we urge you to read on. (more…)


Ransomware is Real, and Here’s What You Can Do About It

by Alexandrea Roman on October 28, 2016 and last updated on February 4, 2019

Imagine a world where cybercriminals can hostage your smartphone without even touching it. They remotely restrict access to certain files or lock you out of your device, and the only way you can get control again is if you pay a ransom. If you don’t hand over the money, you’ll lose access for good. Worse, these cybercriminals will most likely use your data for malicious purposes, and there’s nothing you can do. Sounds like a great premise for a James Bond movie, right? But in real life, ransomware is nothing but a nightmare for individuals and organizations alike.

ransomware, lock

Ransomware is a form of malware that takes over a device by preventing your access to files (crypto ransomware) or locking you out completely (locker ransomware). To reverse this, you need to make a complete payment before the time’s up. You can ask for an extension in some cases, but expect the ransom to double for each missed deadline.

You’d think that the cybercriminals running this scheme can be easily caught through their online footprints. Unfortunately, they know how to play the game so they’re always one step ahead. They cover their tracks by asking to be paid in an untraceable digital currency like bitcoin, making it difficult for them to be discovered. With every successful virtual heist, they become more brazen with their schemes.

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4 Reasons Why Technology is a Challenge for Community Banks

by Alexandrea Roman on September 18, 2015 and last updated on February 4, 2019

Just one generation ago, people needed to go to the bank (or ATM in some cases) to deposit money to an account, transfer money to another account, encash checks, convert currencies, pay bills, and apply for loans or credit cards. Fast forward to now, and things have changed significantly. People are doing online banking more than ever — even encashing a check that involves a physical piece of paper can be done through apps that capture a photo of the check. It’s amazing how everything has gone mobile in the past several years.

This means banks lagging behind in technology aren’t going to remain competitive for long when other banks are ready to cater to the evolving needs of their increasingly mobile customer base. But for community banks in particular, the transition to technology isn’t easy. What’s standing in the way?

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7 Things to Consider When Choosing Your IT Solution Provider

by Alexandrea Roman on September 17, 2015 and last updated on January 25, 2019

According to IT research company Gartner, more than 50 percent of users will first turn to their smartphones or tablets for all their online activities by 2018. Laptops and desktops will take a backseat to handheld mobile devices in just a few years.

This key prediction adds more pressure on businesses to adopt mobile solutions to remain competitive. But with so many options in the software market today, it can be both challenging and confusing to choose the best fit for your organization.

Because different organizations have different needs, there’s no single formula for selection that works for everyone. Nevertheless, the following factors for consideration can help your organization make the right choice:

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