Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog

Welcome to our blog, full of IT tips and business technology best practices.

SMBs Are Never Too Small for Hackers

SMBs Are Never Too Small for Hackers

Small businesses often fall into the trap of thinking that they are too small to be attacked. This misconception could ultimately cost your business too much. The fact of the matter is that all businesses have data that is worth something to hackers, and we’re here to prove it to you and offer a solution to this dilemma.

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Mobile Malware Is Becoming a Bigger Problem

Mobile Malware Is Becoming a Bigger Problem

There was a time when people didn’t have to worry about getting computer viruses on their cell phones. Nowadays, with the exponential growth of mobile technologies, including application development options, mobile malware has become a problem, and it can be a big problem for your business. Today, we’ll take a look at the growing mobile malware market, from the threats to what you can do to keep it from being a problem for you.

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Poking at Spear Phishing

Poking at Spear Phishing

Hopefully, you’ve heard of phishing at this point: the method cybercriminals use to scam their targets by impersonating someone that their targets would trust, requesting access credentials or other sensitive information. Did you know that there are specific kinds of phishing? Here, we’ll review one of the biggest risks to your business... spear phishing.

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USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

Network security is a priority for modern organizations of all kinds… after all, threats don’t often discriminate between the computer networks that they try to access. One kind of organization that should be especially diligent is the modern college or university. There are many different kinds of sensitive data stored there, including the personal, medical, and financial trifecta, along with intellectual property.

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Hacks Everyone On Your Team Should Know

Hacks Everyone On Your Team Should Know

There are countless threats out there that your business could fall victim to, but they generally all have one thing in common: more often than not, the user is a weak point in the defenses of your organization. We’ve put together a list of some of the most devastating hacks that your users should be aware of so they can best respond to them.

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Down and Out in Cyberspace

Down and Out in Cyberspace

There has been a lot made in the media about the effect that movies and television has had on society. More often than not, the media that is produced is a result of the ebbs and flows that happen in society, which ironically makes the whole notion that television and movies affect society an interesting paradox. The ludicrous portrayal of criminality in media is one issue that is resoundingly debated by lawmakers and sociologists, alike.

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Threats 101: Danger on Your Network

Threats 101: Danger on Your Network

While modern security solutions have made great strides to protect businesses, there are still a lot of threats out there that can create problems for your organization. If you don’t take a proactive stance on security, you could potentially expose your network to incoming threats of all kinds. We’ll help your business understand what threats are out there, why they are dangerous, and what you can do to keep your organization secure.

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This Scammer Raid Proves Just How Useful Monitoring Can Be

This Scammer Raid Proves Just How Useful Monitoring Can Be

It can be easy to underestimate the importance of monitoring your solutions, to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. However, the benefits of persistent monitoring were recently thrust into the spotlight, when 24 spammers were arrested in October by the Delhi Police’s cyber cell for impersonating Microsoft support staff and duping American citizens.

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Phishing Scams Use Many Kinds of Bait

Phishing Scams Use Many Kinds of Bait

Phishing scams have one of the most descriptive names in all of computing, mostly because of how similar phishing is with fishing. Just as one does when one goes fishing, bait is dangled in the hopes of getting a bite - but to take the comparison one step further, different types of bait can be used, depending on the catch one is trying to make.

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Here Is a List of this Year’s Most Devastating Hacks

Here Is a List of this Year’s Most Devastating Hacks

Every business owner needs to consider how to approach network security. This is especially true with the litany of threats that face their organization’s network from simply being connected to the Internet. It may sound like an overstatement at first, but when you consider what some huge corporations--that have some very deep pockets--have dealt with very recently, it becomes evident that figuring out how to approach cybersecurity is one of the most important considerations any business owner has to make.

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Getting to Know Technology: Hackers

Getting to Know Technology: Hackers

It doesn’t matter how much of a technology novice someone is, chances are, they’ve heard the term “hacker” before. A favorite character trope of Hollywood films and television dramas, these cybercriminals have appeared in productions like Die Hard and Mr. Robot with varying degrees of accuracy. Below, we explore what makes a hacker, and the kinds that exist in reality.

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Despite Blockchain Security, Cryptocurrency Has Thieves Too

Despite Blockchain Security, Cryptocurrency Has Thieves Too

Cryptocurrencies are still one of the better known uses of blockchain technology, and though their values seem to have leveled off since the explosive growth they experienced a few months ago, that has not stopped people from seeking them out. Of course, where there’s money to be had, you’re sure to find cybercriminals.

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Can You Spot the Bait in a Phishing Attack?

Can You Spot the Bait in a Phishing Attack?

Hackers are always trying to find creative and new ways to steal data and information from businesses. While spam (unwanted messages in your email inbox) has been around for a very long time, phishing emails have risen in popularity because they are more effective at achieving the desired endgame. How can you make sure that phishing scams don’t harm your business in the future?

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It’s Decided: You’re More Likely to be Phished than Breached

It’s Decided: You’re More Likely to be Phished than Breached

Few security problems are more dangerous than a network breach. Considering how much you could lose from an unexpected bout with a hacker, it’s no surprise that businesses are concerned. Yet, even some of the most troublesome threats like phishing attacks are often ignored. A new study introduces the groundbreaking thought that phishing attacks should be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind regarding network security.

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Virginia To Upgrade Voting Machines. Hopefully Other States Follow Suit

Virginia To Upgrade Voting Machines. Hopefully Other States Follow Suit

The 2016 United States presidential election was an ugly one for multiple reasons--chief among them the accusation that hacked voting machines could have altered the outcome of the election significantly. Thankfully, there are steps being taken to alleviate the worries that third parties might alter the outcome of such important events.

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How Much Does Stolen Data Go For? Less Than You Might Think

How Much Does Stolen Data Go For? Less Than You Might Think

How much do you think a criminal would pay for your company’s sensitive data that’s been stolen by hackers? As it turns out, your data may not be worth as much as you may think, and that’s a bad thing for you and your business.


Where (and How) Data is Sold
When your data is stolen, it will more than likely be put up for sale on the dark web. The dark web is only accessible via specialized identity-cloaking software. Many of the pages offering stolen data and illegal services look just like a ‘normal’ sales website would, complete with buyer ratings. These dark websites offer caches of stolen data that other criminals would find useful, and sing cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, anyone can buy stolen identities or credentials.

Let’s assume for a moment that you fell victim to a cybercriminal that managed to steal the information for a variety of corporate bank accounts and credit cards. A buyer can access the seller’s page and specify what information they are looking for, which will influence the price of the information. Buyers can request specific information such as:

  • The kind of credit card, like Visa, MasterCard, etc.
  • The card’s security codes
  • Any associated login credentials
  • The card’s expiration date
  • The name that appears on the card
  • The card holder’s credit score
  • The Social Security Number associated with the card
  • The card holder’s date of birth
  • History of where the card has been used
  • The original owner’s mother’s maiden name.

Once the purchaser has selected which information they want, the cost is calculated and the data can be downloaded.

The Cost
Like any business transaction, the price for stolen data is subject to the laws of economics. The less that the data is currently available, the higher the price will be. Alternatively, if a recent hack has flooded the black market with a massive supply of the desired data, then prices are apt to decrease significantly.

Due to the rapid changes that this black market experiences, these prices vary wildly. On average, the data from a stolen credit card will cost someone somewhere between $13 to $21. These cards are typically bought will a comprehensive (or very nearly) set of the associated information, denoted as “fullz” in dark web jargon.

Pricing for other types of data is a little different. Many cybercriminals are mostly interested in online payment service accounts, which are priced based off of account balances. Bank account information can vary from $100 for a $2,000-account, to $1,000 for a $15,000-account, while electronic medical records can bring a cybercriminal $350 each.

What This Means
These days, it’s more important than ever to secure your company’s data against theft. Cybercriminals tend to reach for the low-hanging fruit when selecting a target. Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can help you put the security measures in place to keep your data secure and off the dark web. Give us a call at (508) 622-5100.

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Social Media: The Most Effective Tool for Phishing Scams

Social Media: The Most Effective Tool for Phishing Scams

One thing that both fishing and phishing have in common is the use of lures. With the right lure, the chance of successfully catching the target improves. When it comes to the digital lures seen in phishing scams, research shows that social media is the most effective.

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9 Types of Hackers You Need to Know About

9 Types of Hackers You Need to Know About

When you hear the term “hacker,” what do you imagine? You likely see what many see, a lone user hunched over a computer, creating chaos for chaos’ sake. However, this is a dangerously narrow view of those who qualify as “hackers.”

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Over 75% of Organizations Are Vulnerable to Hackers, Study Finds

Over 75% of Organizations Are Vulnerable to Hackers, Study Finds

Is your business prepared to handle all kind of online threats? A recent study shows that it probably isn’t. According to the think tank Ponemon Institute, four out of five businesses don’t have the infrastructure or security experts they need to spot and prevent incoming cyber attacks from succeeding. This is a significant statistic that can’t be ignored, especially if you want to secure your business.


Additional findings from the study include:

  • Only about 17 percent of respondents claim that they have any sort of process for gathering intelligence about network threats.
  • 38 percent of companies don’t have any method of intelligence gathering at all.
  • Other companies either have one for specific purposes, or have one that’s not spread out throughout their entire organization.

Regardless, the point stands that not enough is being done to learn about, and prevent, threats from accessing business infrastructures.

The Ponemon Institute claims that businesses are experiencing, on average, at least one or more external cyber attacks every month, and these breaches are costing the businesses about $3.5 million annually.

Your business’ administration should consider whether or not it can afford to become the target of further data breaches. More often than not, we expect the answer to be “no.” Yet, so many businesses refuse to accept that they could become the target of a data breach.

One of the major threats comes from phishing attempts, a strategy used by hackers that tempt email recipients into divulging their personal or organizational credentials. The hackers on the other end of the email will then use these credentials to gain access and control. If people can’t tell the difference between friend and foe, they could potentially invite threats into the network without knowing it.

Here are two strategies we suggest you take into consideration when deciding how to improve your company’s network security:

  • Introduce proactive measures: This includes introducing security measures that work for every user accessing your network. Security solutions such as firewalls and antivirus can help you detect and eliminate threats that could potentially cause problems for your organization. Additionally, you should be prepared with other solutions including spam blocking and content filtering to cut down on your employees’ exposure to threats.
  • Educate your employees: Your team needs to be aware of security best practices, like password security, how to identify phishing scams, and so on. Security should be a part of company culture, and your team needs to embrace it if you want to keep your data safe.

Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can be the security professionals you need to keep your systems safe and secure from external threats. To learn more, give us a call at (508) 622-5100.

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Tip of the Week: How You Can Beat These 4 Common Scams

Tip of the Week: How You Can Beat These 4 Common Scams

Cybersecurity is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Therefore, here are some of the best ways that your employees can contribute to your company’s technology security practices.

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About Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.

Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. strives to provide the best comprehensive IT, Computer, and Networking services to small businesses. We can handle all of your organization's technology challenges, starting with planning, implementing, and supporting the IT solutions that are critical to your growth and success. Learn More

(508) 285-5080

130 South Washington Street
North Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760