Connecting Your Business with the Industry’s Best
Print Access Find the right printer for the BEST results.
print Access

Printlandia - The Blog

Ransomware Alert: Defend Yourself Against WannaCrypt

Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt text

Source: KirkpatrickPrice

On Friday May 12th, 2017, a large ransomware attack was launched, known as WannaCrypt (a.k.a. WannaCry), which infected more than 230,000 computers across 150 countries, and counting. This unprecedented cyberattack has left organizations struggling in the aftermath as they try to recover. WannaCrypt demands payment of ransom in bitcoin and has spread in several ways; phishing emails and as a worm on unpatched computers.

The attackers responsible for WannaCrypt used the EternalBlue exploit which attacks computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems. Unfortunately, this could have been avoided by many had they installed the updated patch that was released as “critical” by Microsoft to mitigate this vulnerability on March 14th, 2017.

KirkpatrickPrice is urging organizations to update this patch immediately, and to always update patches in a timely manner – particularly critical updates. Organizations must be proactive with their security in order to defend against potential ransomware attacks. Here are four things your organization should do today to protect against a ransomware attack.

4 Things your Organization Should do Today to Prevent WannaCrypt Ransomware Attack:

  1. Update – Updating security patches and keeping operating systems up to date is a critical activity for preventing a malicious cyber-attack, such as WannaCrypt. As organizations have learned from this devastating ransomware, weaknesses in applications and operating systems are the target of malicious hackers. Don’t leave a known vulnerability open to attack.

  2. Backup – When organizations are victims of ransomware attacks, they are pressured to pay a ransom to get back all of their data and files that have been stolen and encrypted by the attackers. Performing regular backups on entire machines can ensure that the data that is critical to your business will still be available. Regularly performing backups for critical data, files, and systems can help make the recovery and restoration process quicker and easier.

  3. Train – Your weakest link will always be your employees. Ransomware targets the human element. By regularly training your employees to recognize and avoid phishing attempts and other strategically crafted social engineering attacks can lessen your chances of being the next WannaCrypt target. KirkpatrickPrice offers phishing assessments and security awareness training that can help spread awareness and educate the workforce.

  4. Test – Performing an advanced external penetration test is a strategic approach to identify weaknesses in network and application security, as would a hacker. Penetration tests allow you to identify and prioritize your risks in order to prevent hackers from infiltrating your critical systems. It can also help you avoid a costly breach and loss of business operability that ransomware attacks will cause.

Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’ve become the next victim of a devastating ransomware attack like WannaCrypt. Do these things to prevent a ransomware attack today and don’t forget to perform regular risk assessments to ensure that you’re properly protecting your organization against any and all malicious threats. For more information about ransomware prevention or risk assessments, contact me today at s.morris@kirkpatrickprice.com.

Permalink to this entry

PPI's Newest Program - The Digital Technology Council

Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt textMany things are changing in the industry, most of all technology. Technology to process work, to operate more efficiently, to provide better information to customers – it is all changing the way we operate our business.

To better serve PPI members on technology issues, we have partnered with printing associations across the nation to launch a new program – PPI’s Digital Technology Council (DTC). The DTC will be PPI’s opportunity to address the latest technology in our industry to ensure that members have access to new, exciting tools and resources helping to shape the future of print.

There is no special fee or membership needed for professionals and employees of PPI member companies to participate in the DTC. For now, the delivery of the education and resources will be through webinars and articles, although future face-to-face meetings and sessions will be offered through the DTC as well.

DTC’s webinar will be Improving Digital Workflows presented by EFI on June 6 at 11:00 AM PST. Visit our website at ppiassociation.org>events to register. I hope you can join us.

Permalink to this entry

How to Maximize Your Daily Schedule

Posted Monday, May 15, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

Source: Communications@Syracuse, the online masters in communications

alt text

Permalink to this entry

Risk Management Corner: The Eighty-Eight Percent

Posted Monday, May 15, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt textSource: Federated Insurance

THE EIGHTY-EIGHT PERCENT

We hear a lot about millennials these days, and with good reason. They’re buying houses, paying off student debt, getting involved, and working at their first real job. You might have one or a few working for you right now. Give them what they need to be fulfilled by their job, and you have yourself energetic, innovative, valuable employees.

But, be aware: AAA® recently called young millennials (19-24) the “worst behaved drivers in the U.S.”*

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a driver survey which found that, within a 30-day timeframe, 88 percent of young millennials did at least one unsafe activity while driving, with texting, speeding, and running a red light the most common. This may not come as a surprise. What should be surprising is that they don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

But—and this is nearly as troubling—the millennials were only 21 percentage points worse than the “safest” age group, the 60-74-year-olds, who admitted to risky driving behaviors more than 67 percent of the time. This means that two-thirds of the drivers sharing the road with you today aren’t paying attention to their driving. Millennials may be number one on a dismal list, but they’ve got company.

Statistically speaking, your millennial drivers may put your business at more risk for liability. But, do you and your other employees set a good example for your younger counterparts of what is and isn’t acceptable behavior? Does everyone adhere to your company’s driving policy? Or might you count yourselves part of the two-thirds?

It Takes Just One

Just one employee-involved vehicle crash and the liability alone could be staggering. It could very well make or break your business. Consider this actual Federated claim:

  • The manager asked a staff member to go buy snacks for an employee meeting, and let the employee take a company car. The employee ran a red light while texting, and broadsided another vehicle in the intersection, severely injuring the other driver. CLAIM AMOUNT: $750,000

Of course, driving statistics and examples are not enough reason to avoid hiring young adults. But, an awareness on a risk management level is sensible. Knowing that an employee driving mishap could be a possibility can be motivation for your risk manager to ensure a driving policy and employee training are in place and up-to-date.

Federated Insurance has an ongoing campaign against distracted driving, which includes a variety of risk management resources clients can access and subscribe to, to educate their employees, monitor their driving, and involve them in pledging to end distracted driving. In addition, April is the annual National Safety Council National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.1 The NSC has a program to help employers clarify safe driving expectations for their employees of all ages, along with materials for implementing company policies.

For these and other risk management resources, log in to Federated’s Shield Network® or contact your local Federated representative for more details.

Permalink to this entry

Direct Mail is Marketing's Workhorse

Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt text

The following article was originally published by Target Marketing. To read more of their content, subscribe to their newsletter, Target Marketing Financial Services.

Though many marketers label direct mail costly, they recognize its value — often noting its ROI. About 69% of marketers continue to use it, according to Target Marketing’s newly released study, “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016.”

In 2016, that 69% figure was joined by a single-digit response of marketers cutting back in the channel. Six percent of marketers responding to the survey cut back on direct mail spending in 2016 — which notably doesn’t include eliminating the channel from the marketing mix.

The research touting those numbers is the result of Target Marketing analyzing years of “Media Usage Survey” data. This “Direct Mail” section of the report is part of a benchmarking of marketing media channels, technology and tactics included in the Target Marketing/NAPCO Research study. Both Target Marketing and NAPCO Research are NAPCO Media brands.

Direct Mail, Marketing’s Workhorse

This is an excerpt from Target Marketing’s research, “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016.”

Related story: The Marketing Mix 2010-2016: 6-Year Study Reveals Key Budget Trends

Direct response marketing’s workhorse continues to work, with 69% of respondents either increasing or maintaining their use of it during 2016, a level comparable with results from the past five years. In 2016, granted, more marketers kept their level of use steady and fewer increased it than in years past. Of note, however, is that only 6% cut back on it — the lowest such level in half a decade.

Apparently the mid-year postage rate increases, which fell heavily on First Class letters and flats, weren’t enough to deter marketers, especially given the drop in First Class Metered Mail rates. The continued strength of direct mail is also reflected in personalization’s continued use: Recipients react well when offers are clearly tailored to them.

Permalink to this entry