Home Image sidebar

Author Archive

Cyber Security – A Threat to Every Business

December 21st, 2018 by Admin

Broadband Internet access opens the world to businesses, both large and small. Companies from throughout our region have efficient access to an array of resources, including point-of-sale systems, online accounting, digital marketing opportunities and the latest communications tools.

WK&T Blog Cyber SecurityThe power of the Internet, however, brings responsibility, and often new threats. The possibility of cyber attack is a real danger for businesses of all sizes.
In fact, rural small businesses face significant threats, according to a recent report by Symantec, a firm focused on digital security. About 30 percent — three out of every 10 — cyber attacks target small businesses.

Attackers may take advantage of security controls that are often weaker in small businesses than in larger companies.
But the risk from weak cyber security may extend beyond a single small business. In today’s connected world, a small business might have a trusted relationship with a larger company that may include the sharing of digital information between organizations. An attacker can target the weakest link, often the small business, and those vulnerabilities can then be exploited to eventually reach the larger company.

Last year, Target learned a costly lesson. A hacker leveraged the trust between Target and a small vendor. The result? The attack compromised credit card details and the personal information of Target customers. Estimates for the potential financial loss from the assault climbed into the millions.
While the risk of cyber attack is high, most small business owners have a false sense of security, according to a survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

In fact, 77 percent of small business owners who were surveyed reported that their business was safe from cyber threats, such as hackers, viruses and malware.

The same report, however, provided a contradiction. Eighty-three percent of surveyed business owners reported having no formal cyber security plan.

While there are many possible threats, three are most common:

Trojans — Not all digital notes arriving from the Internet deserve trust. A message might appear to come from a reliable source, such as a bank. That message, however, could be from a hacker hoping to lure you into providing passwords, account numbers or other sensitive personal information. Avoid clicking on a link in an email. When in doubt, contact the sender and verify that the message is legitimate.

Social Engineering — Just asking is often the easiest way for a bad guy to get your password. A cyber criminal might pose as someone who is trusted in hopes of a small business employee giving up secure information. Business owners should inform employees of the risk and train them to respond.

Malware — Many forms of malicious software fall into this category of attack. Keeping all software, operating systems and anti-virus tools updated to the latest versions can lower risk.

  • Posted in News
  • Comments Off
WK&T employee Chris Adams presents a $1,500 check to Cheyenne McMullen, a Graves County High School graduate, courtesy of TMS.

WK&T employee Chris Adams presents a $1,500 check to
Cheyenne McMullen, a Graves County High School graduate, courtesy of TMS.

Paying for college just got a little easier for Cheyenne McMullen. The Wingo resident and
Graves County High School graduate was awarded a $1,500 scholarship from the Foundation
for Rural Service (FRS) and Telecom Management Services (TMS) to help her attend the
University of Tennessee at Martin.

Cheyenne is the daughter of Jason and Kara McMullen. In high school, she participated in the
wind ensemble, various honor bands and the “Screamin’ Eagle Marching Band” as the drum
major for two years. She was also involved in the Academic Team, “Fermata Nowhere” A
Capella group and the Archery Team. She plans to study music education at UT-Martin and
hopes to one day teach band in high school or college.

“The scholarship means a lot to me because this will help me out a lot with expenses for
college, especially with the cost of housing at UT-Martin,” says McMullen. “I’m very excited and
grateful to receive the scholarship.”

FRS was established in 1994 and seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout
rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues. FRS has
awarded a total of $98,000 in college scholarships to 36 high school seniors in rural
communities served by members of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association.

“The price of college education keeps rising, and TMS is proud to help local students like
Cheyenne pursue their goals through our scholarship opportunities,” says Chief Marketing
Officer Carrie Huckeby. “We want to do all we can to help our young community members grow
and prosper, and we wish Cheyenne all the best of luck as she begins college this fall.”