Business Identity Theft: How You Can Protect Your Business

Did you know that in the U.S someone falls victim to identity theft once every two seconds?

In 2017 alone, 60 million Americans were affected by identity theft, with the annual cost of this kind of fraud in the U.S being a staggering $16 billion.

Of course, it is not just individuals who are at risk of having their identity stolen, businesses are just as vulnerable. Plus, if your business does become a victim of identity theft, not only can you lose money, you can also lose your livelihood and the trust of your customers.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take as a business to protect yourself against identity thieves.

Keep reading to find out what they are and to ensure your business stays as safe and secure as possible.

What is business identity theft?

Business identity theft, also known as commercial or corporate identity theft, is when someone or a group of people illegally impersonate a business for criminal gain. Unlike with personal identity theft that only affects an individual, business identity theft can impact your whole business, from your employees to your customers.

It is worth noting that business identity theft is not the same as a breach of sensitive company information or the same as an employee or consumer theft. It directly involves the impersonation of your business.

How can you safeguard your business from identity theft?

Be vigilant of your credit reports

If you want to keep your business data secure, you need to ensure that you are informed and knowledgeable about your company’s credit reports, that way you will be able to immediately notice if something is amiss.

Utilize biometrics

Using biometrics to protect your identity as a business is a highly effective way of keeping yourself safe from increasingly sophisticated online criminals. Using a wide variety of techniques including fingerprint scanners, voice detection, facial recognition and retina recognition, the biometric authentication industry is estimated to be worth a whopping $1.5 billion by 2023.

Stay up to date with digital security practices

This is particularly important for small and midsized businesses that may not survive a security breach of this kind.

Some of the best security practices that you should be adopting include:

  • Having robust firewalls
  • Securing offsite data storage
  • Updating your software regularly
  • Installing VPN for outside access
  • Having scheduled malware scans

Look out for fake invoices

If you receive any invoice for a service or for goods that you did not order and never received, this should instantly set alarm bells ringing. The same goes for if you receive a duplicate bill that you have already paid.

Beware of unknown wire transfers

One of the more common phishing scams involves someone impersonating a CEO or other senior executive and requesting a wire transfer to an unknown account. If you regularly perform wire transfers or work with vendors overseas, you need to be particularly careful of this.

As a business owner, business identity theft is something that you should be taking extremely seriously.

Do not put off securing your data, as your customers, employees and business will be at risk if you do.

Follow the above practices, stay vigilant, and above all else, be consistent in your efforts.


Tinkering with CryptoMining

If you are in SecOps, you probably have seen the threat of CryptoMiners running on compromised hosts. This article may not be for you, but if you would like to dive deeper inside of the working of crypto-mining you will find a few resources here to get you started.

For the example I use the Moonlander 2 ASIC USB stick as you can pick one up form Amazon for as little as $50 as of March 2020, and it has all the features needed to work with a Raspberry PI. It allows to mine LTC (Litecoin.org).

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential git autoconf automake libtool pkg-config libcurl4-openssl-dev libudev-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libncurses5-dev raspberrypi-kernel-headers
cd
mkdir miners
cd miners
sudo unzip Linux_3.x.x_4.x.x_VCP_Driver_Source.zip
cd Linux_3.x.x_4.x.x_VCP_Driver_Source
make
sudo cp -a cp210x.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/usb/serial

Another example is the GekkoScience Bitcoin SHA256 Stick Miner, which lets you test how to mine BTC (bitcoin.org). 

I use the Raspberry PI, as it is a very low cost environment you can build with your children at a very young age. You can do a lot more with it then just teaching about Bitcoin, Blockchain, and mining.

The resources below have all the documentation necessary to get started.

The Moonlander device tends to lock up after a successful run with bfgminerand the miner isn’t detected on successive runs with the status message: 

------------------------------------------
NO DEVICES FOUND: Press 'M' and '+' to add
------------------------------------------

The solution is to remove the driver (cp120x) and unplug / plug back in the USB stick:

  1. sudo rmmod cp120x
  2. unplug USB stick
  3. wait 10 seconds
  4. plug USB stick back in
  5. check if the driver is re-registered by running lsmod | grep usb the output should look like
    usbserial XXXXX X cp210x

Resources

Raspberry Pi 4 on Amazon

Olimex

Moonlander 2 USB Stick ASIC on Amazon

Moonlander 2 USB Stick getting started instructions

Moonlander  ASIC setup on linux

VCP kernel drivers

GekkoScience Bitcoin Miner Setup on Linux / Raspberry Pi

GekkoScience Termius R606 Miner Setup

Raspberry PI dependencies for building kernel modules

ASIC Miner Valuation estimations

US made ASIC miner

 


How Healthcare Can Use Sports as a Means of Funding

Sport is a universal activity that is respected around the world. The top sports players make more than most academics and even business people, and they Local Hockey Teamdraw in crowds. As an institution in healthcare, having a good sports team can be a boon for your institution. It can bring in more funding, more patients, and national recognition. Using sports as a means to bring in more money for healthcare is a great means of buying better and more equipment and having the money to help support those in need of medical treatment.

Staff needs to be paid, doctors and nurses need the right equipment, and to be frank, employees in healthcare need a means of getting out and having fun. The industry of healthcare can be a difficult place to work, and so sports can not only help with funding but also provide an outlet.

Manage a Local Sports Team

Exercise is a staple to a healthy lifestyle, which is why you can do so much for your community and their health by managing a local sports team through volunteer efforts. Sponsor these teams through simple and affordable means – offer water stations, customize jerseys, and even bring some healthy snacks to the games and rally the community together. You can become an institution for your community and bring everyone together through the universal love of sport. As this would be for fun, all managerial positions and players will need to be volunteers. Thankfully, there are likely many people who would love to have fun and exercise while doing so, both youth and adults, so all you need to do is get people together and work with them from there.

Partner with an Established Team

In order to really bring in funding for your institution, however, you are going to have to partner up with other organizations. Managing a professional sports team is expensive, and as a medical institution who needs its funding to go towards its practice, managing, training, providing the venue for a team will come with a lot of upfront costs. That is why you should instead partner with an established team, where they can do charity games where the proceeds of the tickets go to you. Similarly, you could sponsor them, so that your institution’s logo is on their jersey’s and so that your brand is made known to the public. Work with notable rising sports stars like Rishin Patel who is not only a stand-up doctor but also a sportsman, and you can spread the word about your business and about health.

How to Market

Marketing your sports team is just like marketing anything else. When you first start out it is best that you localize your efforts. This means holding local fundraisers, hosting charity games, volunteering, getting local businesses to sponsor your teams and players, and so on. Sports have the uncanny ability to bring a community together, meaning if you succeed in making your sports department a success, you can supplement your funding and provide better healthcare and health programs to everyone in your community.

Bring your community together, help them get active, and bring in more funding for your healthcare clinic – it’s a great solution for your business and the families you take care of.


4 Ways to Achieve Transparency in Healthcare

In recent years, healthcare providers and insurance plans have come under fire from criticism of every political angle. The biggest issue among patients is whether they are paying the right amount for the best quality of care; when such a large sum of money must cover medical fees, it is no surprise that they want more for their money. One of the best ways to reassure patients, and show that healthcare is looking out for them, rather than taking money from them, is to be transparent with them every step of the way. From the moment talk of costs comes into the equation, to the time they must go under anesthetic for a procedure, transparency is key.

Be honest about what costs a patient may incur

A lot of healthcare providers don’t sit down with patients to discuss costs before any medical processes go underway. In fact, patients are usually hit with a hefty medical bill that comes through the post a few weeks after everything has settled down. Not only can this cause stress for the patient, but can lead to a feeling of distrust between either them and the health insurance provider, or the hospital directly. As an insurer, any hidden costs should be talked about before any appointments are carried out, and hospitals should strive to give the best quality treatment for the price they are suggesting.

Let them know which medication has been used

Sometimes, a patient may not be aware of what kind of medication they have been given after an operation, or to control any health conditions. In the wake of the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation, there have been calls for better transparency over the medication that is issued to patients daily. Combatting this is as simple as printing out and going through proposed medical treatment with each patient to see if they are happy with it.

Go through the procedure with them

Much of a patient’s anxiety surrounding medical procedures is that they are unsure of the risks and benefits that can come about from a few hours on the operating table. They might not know which aesthetic is going to be used, or what exactly is going to be done to their body during the operation. Although sometimes knowing these facts can cause patients to panic, most of the time it is healthier to let them know, so that ambiguity can be removed from the process. Often, visiting trusted professionals like Rishin Patel Insight will make it easier for doctors to soothe any worries if a patient is aware that they won’t be in any pain.

Give patients a choice

 

When a patient is confronted with challenges in their health, they may often feel as though there is only one hospital or healthcare provider to turn to. Although initial appointments will usually have to be made at the local center, patients can still choose who they would like to see for any future appointments in areas such as physiotherapy or mental health therapy. Showing them that they have a choice in who they can see allows you to offer them the best care and support they need, rather than having it chosen for them.


Cyber Security Advice for Medical Practices

The sudden increase in cyber attacks happening all around the world is not without its reasons. More than 80% of information – including private details about ourselves – are now stored digitally. Every information is valuable to attackers, which is why we are now seeing more attacks as well as new forms of attacks targeting individuals and large corporations.Cybersecurity for medical practice

For medical practices, information security is essential. Patient information and details about the practice’s operations are too valuable to handle carelessly. There are ways to improve cybersecurity throughout your medical practice and we are going to discuss some of them in this article.

Follow the Standards

The healthcare industry is highly regulated down to the last letter and information security is no exception. The HIPAA medical information security guidelines are something that every healthcare service provider must follow.

Fortunately, most solutions available to the industry already take HIPAA compliance very seriously. You know you can count on the software, devices, and other solutions that comply with HIPAA to safeguard your information. Following the correct security standards is a great first step to take.

Secure the Equipment

Using the correct, well-secured equipment is another must. You can’t count on poorly secured equipment, especially in today’s world where attacks to IoT and electronic devices are more common than ever. Similar to choosing software and solutions, there are standards to follow.

According to Rishin Patel Insight Medical Partners’ President and CEO, newer equipment is designed to be more secure from the ground up, especially compared to older alternatives. His company provides easy access to the most advanced products and technologies so that medical practices can remain safe and protected.

Have a Backup Routine

To have a strong information security foundation, the third thing you need to add is a good backup routine. Maintain on-site and off-site (cloud) backups of sensitive information so that your medical practice can recover from catastrophic cyber attack seamlessly.

In the event of a ransomware attack, for instance, you can wipe your computers and restore essential data from various sources. When hardware fails, there is still a cloud backup to turn to. Adding a good backup routine to the practice’s everyday workflow completes the equation and provides your medical practice with a good security foundation.

Train the People

Once the foundation is laid, it is time to tackle the biggest information security challenge of them all: the people. Bad habits like using a weak or common password, exchanging login information or user access with coworkers, clicking URLs from illegitimate sources, and copying data to a flash drive and then not handling it properly are still the most common causes of cyber attacks.

It is imperative that the people involved in handling information know how to handle information securely. Information security trainings are great for changing some of the more common bad habits quickly. As an extra layer of security, putting in place a set of security policies is also highly recommended.

There are still so many things you can do to protect your medical practice from cyber attacks, but these first steps are the ones to take to get started. Be sure to implement these measures immediately before your practice becomes the victim of a cyber attack.


Data Loss: The Impact It Has On Businesses

There are no boundaries to data loss, it happens to companies of all shapes and sizes, from large corporations to small startups. The main issue with data loss is the fact that it can strike at any time, resulting in a domino-like effect of serious consequences for the business.

Wondering how data loss can impact your business? Below are some examples of the seriousness that a loss of data can cause for a company. Data loss

Productivity disruption

Should your organization lose data, one of the first things to suffer will be workplace productivity. Whether the loss of data has been caused by a computer hacking, network outage or failure of software or hardware, it can have a serious impact on your business’s productivity, as it can take hours, or sometimes even days to get your lost data back. However, should you choose to invest in and use a professional data backup service like MySql data recovery, you can make the process of getting your company back up and running after a data loss, much easier.

Reputation damage 

Of course, one area of your business that it’s less easy to fix after this kind of disaster is your reputation. In the digital world, news travels fast, so if your company ends up on the news due to its website being down or files being missing, you will have customers asking questions about what’s happened, and your answers may cause long-term damage to your company. When data loss occurs, customers feel let down, because it’s their private and confidential data that is on the line, as well as yours. So when your company loses that data, it puts your reputation on the line and can have a long-lasting impact on your business and its success in the future.

Loss of customer loyalty

After a data loss event, customer loyalty is often also tarnished. You customers feel like they can’t trust your business with their sensitive information, and so they choose to take their money elsewhere. Once word spreads about this, you may struggle to find new clients, which could have a huge impact on your business and its success. This is something that no one wants to happen, as it can have such a huge impact on your business’s success. Of course, while you could lose customers as a result, you could also be creative and find ways to win them back, as Virgin did after their big data loss in 2017. They apologized, put better safeguards in place for data, and offered everyone affected a cheaper deal on their services.

While data losses can be a total nightmare for businesses of all shapes and sizes, suffering a data loss doesn’t have to mean the end of your company. It simply means being smart about the next steps that you take, and making sure that you find ways to retain your customers and gain new ones, despite the breach in security and the lack of customer confidence in you and your brand.


Getting Started in Online Marketing for Established Businesses

A lot of small businesses still don’t have a fully functioning website or much of an online presence at all. You may have a page that lists your opening hours and contact details, or you may have entries in online directories, but when someone tries to find out more about your business, they are met with a frustrating blank screen. This most often happens with locally focused services, who perhaps have been running for several generations and those who don’t feel the need or lack the knowledge and enthusiasm to get involved with online marketing. You probably have a regular customer base and don’t see that websites and Twitter accounts are relevant to you – but are you missing a trick?

You don’t know it won’t work

If you haven’t tried online marketing, you truly have no idea whether it would generate a lot of new business for you or only make a moderate difference. If you are making a reasonable living you may feel that you have enough to do as it is, and therefore believe that creating an online presence is more work than it’s worth. You could be operating the same marketing strategy that you have been for years, with ads in local publications and an event every summer. There could be hordes of frustrated people looking for your product or service in your area who you haven’t managed to reach, and as a result, you could be missing out on valuable revenue.

The problem with not being visible on the web

More and more people are using an Internet search as their first route to finding something they need. If you are a feed merchant and you’re not present in the search results when someone enters a query for chicken corn suppliers in your location, they will be unaware that you exist and will select from the results they find. Even if your name comes up in a directory that lists local animal feed suppliers, if it only has your address and phone number, the implication is that you are living in the dark ages. Unfortunately, this leads to people assuming you will be remote, expensive, and probably a bit odd! What consumers want is to be able to find out about you on the Internet, get a feel for your stock ranges and prices, and see if you are worth visiting. A lot of potential customers won’t bother driving over to see your business to find these things out, so if you haven’t made your offer clear, they will simply move on elsewhere.

Take it slowly

You don’t need to overload yourself and open an account with every social media platform or start investing heavily in Google advertising. Instead, start with something simple, like a single page website where you can list all your most important information. You can create your own website very easily with an online tool that can take all the complexity out of design and requires no technical know-how whatsoever. When you have that setup, go through the online directories and update your details to include the website link. Doing so will immediately improve your visibility and make a better impression on potential customers. Include an email address too, as many people prefer this to make a phone call. Get used to dealing with email communications and keeping your webpage current, and once you are used to it, you can start to add more, like a Facebook page. Do everything in slow steps until you feel happy before adding anything new, and make use of the wealth of free resources online to help you maximize the beneficial effects of your efforts.


The Unexpected Power of Networking

It’s widely understood in business that networking is a vital part of making progress. Entire weekends are dedicated to meetingThe Power of Networking people in the same field as each other who can influence and learn from each other. The success of the digital age has proven that strong interpersonal connections make a world of difference, but here are some unexpected ways your network could benefit you even more.

One: Business

The most obvious way that your networking benefits your life is the business knowledge and insider tips you gain from getting in touch with influential people. Setting out to deliberately interact with people within the proper circles will greatly increase your chances of success. Find events and talks to attend where likeminded people in your field will meet and share ideas. This is the main goal of networking – to absorb the knowledge of others and perhaps even gather contacts for future endeavors. These kinds of events are also great ways of finding friends and maybe even business partners as the people you meet are likely interested in similar things as you. Of course, there are more methods of expanding your network than simply attending events, just as there are more ways your network can help you in other areas of your life.

Two: Support

The stereotype of the business world is cold, ruthless, and unfeeling towards others. Just because someone is business-minded doesn’t mean that they are unsympathetic to your personal life and the inevitable complications that come with it. There’s a difference between remaining professional during a meeting or a pitch and breaking down in the office, but people are still people once a business is over. Creating a reliable network means you have access to the skills, knowledge and even compassion of people you might not have known otherwise. Perhaps you’ve disclosed to a contact that you’re having health issues. They might be able to provide you with the number of a medical professional who is perfectly suited to helping you – for example, pointing you towards Rishin Patel’s details, because they know him personally or have networked with him in the past. You never know who your network could put you in touch with, during working hours or not. Despite what you might think from how the business world is portrayed in movies, people are not merely tools to push you further along in your career. Making real, human connections is just as important.

Three: Dodging Bullets

It is often said that failure is the best teacher and that to succeed you must learn from your mistakes. However, networking and getting to know the practices of others in your field can help you learn from the mistakes of other people, too. Listen to stories from your contacts and pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Weigh up whether the source of this advice is reliable and qualified – it’s unlikely that a young entrepreneur will know more about the field than a business owner who has spent years building their company. If you often find yourself spending time with the same groups of people, listen out for hints as to who is difficult to work with and who is likely to steal ideas. Without networking, you could easily fall into any number of these traps. Be thankful for your contacts and make friends.


Five Important Things for All PPC Agencies to Focus On

Pay Per Click

There are certain things that every PPC agency should make a point of focusing on in order to become as successful as possible. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important when you are running a business, which is why it’s so important that you keep certain things in mind at all times.

When you learn which things you should concentrate on the most when running a PPC advertising agency, you will be able to serve your clients well. And the happier your clients are, the more likely they will be to keep paying for your services.

1.     Maintaining a Personal Connection with Clients

It is crucial that you put a lot of emphasis on creating and maintaining a personal relationship with each of your clients as well as potential clients. When they feel like you actually care about helping them reach their business goals, you won’t have any issues keeping them. There are so many faceless PPC agencies out there, and part of what so many people want is that personal touch.

2.     Innovative Solutions

It’s also imperative that you come up with innovative solutions for your clients. You aren’t going to last very long in this line of work if you are just doing the same exact thing as every other agency. You’ll need to get creative when it comes to helping your clients meet all of their goals, where businesses can rely on your PPC agency as a true partner. This is one of the biggest things to focus on when running this type of business.

3.     Solve Your Client’s Primary Issues

If you want to run a successful PPC advertising firm, you will need to solve each client’s primary issues, whatever they are. Whether your client is having issues with breaking into social media, or they are trying to figure out how to refresh their brand, it’s up to you to come up with solutions. You should ask each of your clients to describe the problem they are having in a succinct manner so you’ll have an easier time helping them with what they need.

4.     Make Your Website Professional and Attractive

Nobody will want to pay for the advertising services you have to offer unless you have a good-looking website that also appears professional. Make sure that you invest a decent amount of time into designing a website that is easy to navigate and is aesthetically pleasing.

5.     Communication is Key

People want an advertising agency that is good at communicating back and forth with them, so that’s exactly what you’ll need to provide your clients with. Make sure that you promptly respond to all queries so that none of your clients feel the slightest big neglected.

With all of the different PPC advertising companies that exist, you will need to make sure that you stand apart from the competition. As long as you put in the necessary time and effort, you should have no problems whatsoever maintaining a healthy number of clients. Pay-Per-Click advertising has become very popular over the years, so there is plenty of untapped potentials out there to explore.


eCommerce Payment Methods

What Payment Methods Should Your E-commerce Store Accept?

The market today has so many payment methods, making it increasingly difficult to decide which of these you should accept for your e-commerce store. Indeed, it is quite common for someone to spend hours on end trying to review different payment systems to see which one offers the best services at the lowest cost. The following is a list of the best three you should be considering especially if your e-commerce site deals with international payments.

Veem

Veem is a payment processing system that has quickly gained prominence in this niche for its reliability and low cost. Created to eliminate bank wire transfers, the company has ushered a new day in payment processing for e-commerce sites. From inception, it captured the imagination of many merchants who make regular international wire transfers.

What’s more, its currency exchange rates are consistently fair and the transactions are simple and fast. To avoid exorbitant international wire transfer fees, especially when wiring money to businesses in countries like China, merchants use Veem. The payment processor is a good choice for merchants who cannot afford incessant glitches and who value excellent customer service.

PayPal

PayPal is perhaps the most popular payment-processing platform online. The most notable difference between PayPal and all other payment-processing platforms is that merchants and customers deposit and withdraw their money from different PayPal accounts separately and from their local bank accounts.Online payment

PayPal is said to be a managed bank transfer service that enjoys the trust of customers and merchants alike. This unique standing allows it to settle transactional disputes on the behalf of merchants. When working with PayPal, you pay its transaction fees when you receive and when you send money, making it an unpopular choice among small e-commerce stores that may be dealing with low-value but large volume items.

Paymill

Paymill is an e-commerce payment processing system that helps sites process credit cards, prepaid cards and debit cards securely. The company is registered in Germany and is the leading payment processing companies in many European countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland. While it is based in Europe, Paymill is quite popular even in other parts of the world and has the capacity to fulfill e-commerce payment needs from merchants around the world.

Paymill doesn’t charge set-up fees and has no monthly or annual fees. This is why it is quite popular with e-commerce startups looking for a scalable, reliable and flexible payment processor. What’s more, the process of adding debit card processing to an e-commerce site is extremely easy, often requiring a little coding that most programmers can do in a few minutes.

Whatever the size of your e-commerce site, chances are you can use any of these three top payment processors that customers already know and love. Before deciding on one, take your time, visit their websites, confirm the fees you will be required to pay, including all hidden charges and then make a decision. Your e-commerce site deserves a payment method that is seamless, easy to use for your customers and that builds confidence between you and your customers.