MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Ransomware Shouldn’t Cost You a Thing

Ransomware Shouldn’t Cost You a Thing

If fortune smiles on your company, you won’t ever have to deal with what we are about to discuss: ransomware. For the past several years ransomware has been a major issue for businesses, governments, and individuals. Today, we will talk about ransomware, how there are different strategies, and how some people want to put a ban on ransomware payments. 

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When the People You Trust Phish You

When the People You Trust Phish You

Having success in business often relies on developing trustworthy relationships. You have to trust your vendors and suppliers to get you the resources you need, you need to trust your staff to complete their tasks without putting your business in harm's way, and you need to trust your customers to buy the products and services that you offer. Running counter to these necessary bonds of trust are people actively soliciting people’s time, energy, money, and attention for their own selfish purposes.

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Paying a Ransom Demand Could Get Even More Expensive

Paying a Ransom Demand Could Get Even More Expensive

When it comes to ransomware, we have always stood firm in our recommendation not to pay whoever is responsible for locking down your systems. However, due to the globalized nature of technology and cybercrime, it is even more important that companies don’t attempt to placate their attackers with the demanded funds. Otherwise, warns the United States Treasury Department, these victimized businesses could very well pay severe fines for doing so.

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Reviewing Zoom’s Efforts to Improve Its Security

Reviewing Zoom’s Efforts to Improve Its Security

As a communication tool, the video conferencing app Zoom saw a considerable bump in its popularity with both personal and business users as the coronavirus pandemic made other means of meeting no longer viable. However, this sudden increase in its user base also revealed some serious security issues with the platform. Let’s examine what Zoom has done to resolve these issues since then.

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Security Best Practices that Get Overlooked

Security Best Practices that Get Overlooked

Security is a major part of any business, and if there isn’t a diligent approach to the implementation of it, you can be left with huge holes in your network. This month, we thought we would discuss some of the best practices you can take to make sure that your organization’s security is in the best possible position to protect your digital resources. 

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How You Can Make IT’s Life Easier

How You Can Make IT’s Life Easier

Business relationships, especially between you and a service provider or you and a coworker, are crucial to a business’ success. However, maintaining these relationships can be challenging when there’s a good chance that your actions might create more work for another person. Let’s go over why your relationship with IT may be strained, and offer a few tips to help fix it.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Easily Identify a Phishing Attack

Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Easily Identify a Phishing Attack

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve seen us reference a phishing attack. Whether you are being asked by some supposed Nigerian prince to fork over money or you are getting an email by what seems to be your bank that directs you to download an attachment, you are probably a potential victim of a phishing scam. The difference between being a potential victim and a victim is knowing how to identify it. Today, we’ll give you five ways to identify a phishing message so that you—or your company—won’t be scammed.

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Is Your Smart Assistant Undermining Your Security?

Is Your Smart Assistant Undermining Your Security?

Smart assistants commonly appear in the office and home, so much so that the novelty seems to have finally worn off and they are now just another appliance—and, like any other appliance, there are a few quirks that can be frustrating to deal with. For instance, anyone living around these devices has shared a particular experience: the device registering something as a wake word that certainly wasn’t meant to be the wake word.

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Phishing is a Threat, Even By Phone

Phishing is a Threat, Even By Phone

Telework has become crucial for businesses to sustain themselves right now, as remote work became a hard and fast requirement in the face of the coronavirus. However, if businesses aren’t careful, they could trade one issue for another in exposing themselves to security threats.

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New Cyberattack Targeting Remote Workers

New Cyberattack Targeting Remote Workers

Since the onset of the coronavirus, many businesses have managed to sustain themselves through remote work—also commonly known as telework. While this strategy has allowed quite a few businesses to survive, it has also opened them up to security threats. Here, let’s focus on one such threat: vishing, or voice phishing.

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Will We Soon Leave Passwords Behind?

Will We Soon Leave Passwords Behind?

If I were to tell you that one variable was responsible for more than 80 percent of cyberattacks, what would you guess that variable was? If you guessed “stolen access credentials,” you’d be correct. The traditional username/password combination may soon be a thing of the past as more tech companies transition to alternative authentication measures.

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Are VPNs Really Secure?

Are VPNs Really Secure?

We’ve not been shy about promoting the use of VPNs (virtual private networks) as a means of protecting your security while you are online. However, we wanted to take a bit of time to specify what a VPN can - and cannot - do to help you.

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Comparing the Relative Danger of AI-Aided Crimes

Comparing the Relative Danger of AI-Aided Crimes

When we think of cybercrime, most people’s minds go to one of two places. On the one hand, some think about the annoying, misspelled emails that are so obviously scams, while on the other, we can’t help but think about the hacks that we see in movies, where a criminal manages to overcome the best the government can incorporate into their defenses.

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Ransomware is Still a Major Threat

Ransomware is Still a Major Threat

Ransomware is the scariest type of malware out there. It can have a myriad of negative effects on a business, yet it seems to still be on the fringe of the mainstream. Today, we thought we would give somewhat of a refresher course on ransomware. 

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Your VPN Might Not Do its Job if You Don’t Keep it Updated

Your VPN Might Not Do its Job if You Don’t Keep it Updated

Small business owners are always on the lookout for that “special something” that will bring added value to their offering. In 2020, with COVID-19 sticking around, it has been difficult for businesses to commit to any new investments. To keep revenue coming in, a lot of businesses have been forced into allowing their staff to work remotely. To make this work, many have rolled out VPN for their business, but seemingly like everything else, there are very serious risks about leaning too heavily on your VPN. Let’s take a look at some of these risks.

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Do You Know How to Build Solid Passwords?

Do You Know How to Build Solid Passwords?

The password is the core element of both data security and user authentication. This makes the construction of them extremely important to protecting digital assets. Unfortunately, not everyone understands how to construct passwords that actually work to protect the information on the other side. Today, we will discuss how to build a solid password that works to keep your digital resources safe.

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Employment Scams Have Recently Exploded

Employment Scams Have Recently Exploded

With COVID-19 creating an unsure situation for so many businesses, and by extension their employees, these employees are suddenly finding themselves in a vulnerable position. Regardless of whether or not your employees are able to come into the office right now, it is important that you share the following information with them, as it may help to keep them out of a tough spot.

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What We Can Learn from Some Foreboding Security Predictions

What We Can Learn from Some Foreboding Security Predictions

With the COVID-19 crisis far from over, many businesses have had their attention pulled away from their cybersecurity needs by the concerns that the current health crisis has generated. Here, we’ll be reviewing some of the observations that a group of 273 cybersecurity professionals have made, courtesy of an annual survey.

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Reopen Your Business with Confidence

Reopen Your Business with Confidence

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, many businesses continue to operate remotely with an eye toward reopening their office soon. Today, we thought it would be a perfect time to go over a couple of things that small business owners will need to address as people begin coming back into the workplace. 

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Why You Need to Audit Your Security

6-19-20

A security audit is designed to test the overall integrity of your business when it comes to its IT security. In today’s environment, businesses need to have strengthened fortifications in place to protect themselves from cyberthreats, and these fortifications need to be properly tested and reviewed over time. Let’s talk about some of the types of audits and their benefits, and how you can assess your security.

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