Monday, July 17, 2017

Security breach! How to prevent your G Suite domain from getting hijacked

Legacy security solutions are no longer as effective against todays clever hacking methods, and on-premise hardware can often lack sufficient scale and performance to protect internet connected application infrastructures as they grow. As more organizations move their operations online, they need a cloud-based security solution that can defend their domain, email, valuable data, and in some instances, brand image.

Lately we have witnessed increasingly clever phishing attempts in our customer base. Some of these attempts are so sneaky you'd need to do a double or triple take to notice it as a red flag. Take for example a long time customer of ours who was sent an email with an almost identical domain name (only one letter was different). The email came from the actual domain name, meaning that the hacker had invested the time and money to purchase and configure the domain with the intent to hijack the real customer domain. Luckily our customer realized it was a malicious email and immediately deleted it and reported the domain to Google.

G Suite's cloud based security protocols are top notch. Google recently added a new security feature in Gmail to warn users when responding to emails sent from an external domain and not someone in their contacts. This feature increases awareness against forged email messages, impersonation, as well as common user-error when sending mail to incorrect addresses.
When a user clicks 'reply' in Gmail, Google scans the recipient list, including addresses in CC to verify the risk level. If a recipient is external to the user’s organization, not present in their Contacts or not someone the user interacts with regularly, the warning is displayed automatically. This is a subtle, yet powerful, way to keep your users vigilant.

A valuable step to take to prevent a hijacking is to create a rule in Gmail to bounce emails from domains that have close spellings. Here's how:
1. Login to your G Suite Admin account.
2. Go to Apps ---> G Suite ---> Mail ---> Advanced Settings
3. Under the Spam Section, Blocked Senders ---> Configure
4. Enter a (very) short description for the summary of what's being blocked
5. Use an existing list or create a new list for the addresses that are going to be rejected (you can choose single or multiple domains and single or multiple email addresses.)
6. Optional; you can edit the rejection notice that the sender will receive in the blocked bounce-back (leaving it blank will use the default).
7. "Bypass this setting for messages received from addresses or domains within these approved senders lists." - this option can be ignored (defaults to being checked off, but does not matter unless a list is created or used in this section).  This option also serves the purpose of allowing exceptions that can still send (eg. malicious.ca is blocked, but hacker@malicious.ca is allowed, or malicious.ca is blocked, but hackers.malicious.ca is allowed to bypass).

As long as we live in a world of technology, attackers will always look for ways to target us. As the internet evolves, the methods and techniques used by these attackers evolve along with it. It's important to understand that vulnerabilities do exist and the best way to avoid a compromised system is to set preemptive measures like the ones G Suite offers. The challenge with web security lies in that very changing nature. True cloud solutions offer the latest and most secure methods to provide the utmost protection for your online assets.

To learn more about cloud security and G Suite, contact Interlock IT today!

Monday, July 10, 2017

How to choose the right Client Relationship Management (CRM) solution

Many businesses today rely on client relationship management (CRM) systems to segment data and target clients. Despite the need for a reliable solution, most CRMs are impractical and sometimes even hinder user productivity.

In our many years of experience, the biggest of these problems (and most other software systems) is ease of adoption. CRMs were made to help users scope and keep up with their contacts and projects. Ironically with most CRMs out there, the opposite is true. They're clunky, difficult to learn, and counter-productive since they usually require you to remember to manually enter data or synchronize contacts. Overly convoluted systems can hinder the sales process and consequentially averse team members from even using the "solution". In order to have effective adoption it's imperative to have a solution that your team will actually love to use!

So how does one decide which CRM will work for their team? Understand this; most employees need a system that eases their workflow and maximizes their productivity. If users reject the existing CRM system, you need to take a step back and reassess what the problem is. Does it require too much manual data entry, does it not automate tasks well, are integrations to third party applications limited? These are all important questions to ask before you make a decision on which CRM to purchase. Focus on your team's needs and more importantly, on existing pain points. We see many CRM solutions pretending to be cloud and easy to use -- don't get blinded by their shininess because they're worthless if your team won't even use them.

Using a CRM that reduces, or altogether eliminates, manual data entry is incredibly important. Studies have shown that on average, sales rep spend nearly 6 hours a week entering activities and contacts into a CRM. This cripples performance and eats up valuable time. ProsperWorks scrapes contact information from your inbox to pre-populate it in your CRM so that you can add email addresses, phone numbers, and other contact data with a simple click of a button. You can also automatically link to all related emails, files and calendar events across the entire company. It's a powerful CRM that saves heaps of time while mitigating data inaccuracies.

Simply put, use a CRM solution that is easy to adopt, easy to implement, and easy for your team to use. Our recommendation is ProsperWorks. It's a true cloud based CRM that is by far one of the best looking, functioning, and usable CRMs out there! It was purposefully built to seamlessly integrate with the tools many sales teams are using, such as G Suite. It's not only an aesthetically pleasing CRM, but one that's very easy to work. If you know how to use Gmail, you know how to use ProsperWorks - there's barely a learning curve and your team will be delighted to use it. ProsperWorks knows very well that sales teams spend most of the day sending messages, scheduling meetings and creating follow-ups via email, so they created a system that resides right into your inbox so once you download the Gmail or Inbox Chrome Extension, every communication is in one centralized place.

With ProsperWorks, users reap the benefits of enhanced customer acquisition and retention, sales automation, and a repository of all customer information. It works perfectly from small to medium sized businesses to larger companies like Udacity and Peugeot. It's a scalable solution that helps get the job done simply and beautifully. Have a feeling your team could be more productive? Click here to try ProsperWorks for FREE or contact us to learn more.