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How To Mitigate Shadow IT Risks



Using unapproved tools, software, and devices is risky. You never know what vulnerabilities so-called shadow IT may have. The pandemic that began in 2020 put a new spin on the shadow IT problem. The sudden need to handle all processes remotely was a true challenge since the majority of corporate networks were not configured to be safely accessed by employees from home.

Although it may seem that telecommuters got used to the security rules for remote work, there’s a risk they learned how to get around them. Using unauthorized third-party software while accessing corporate networks may pose a danger to an organization’s critical assets. In this article, we define what shadow IT is and why employees use unapproved software. We also specify major cybersecurity risks that can be caused by shadow IT and offer six ways to effectively address them.

What is Shadow IT?

Shadow IT refers to any IT system, solution, device, or technology used within an organization without the knowledge and approval of the corporate IT department.

Common examples of shadow IT are cloud services, file-sharing applications, and messengers that aren’t explicitly allowed according to an organization’s cybersecurity rules and guidelines. The risk of using such software is that it can have cybersecurity flaws and lead to various incidents like sensitive data exposure.

How to mitigate shadow IT risks:

  1. Build a flexible corporate policy

A well-thought-out corporate policy that addresses your business’s most critical cybersecurity issues is a must. To achieve it, start with establishing comprehensible guidelines around the use of personal devices, third-party applications, and cloud services. For starters, you can divide your software into categories to help employees better understand the risks of using shadow IT and offer them alternatives. Here are examples of categories in which you can place shadow IT resources:

  • Sanctioned. Tools that are approved by an organization’s IT department and recommended for use within the corporate network
  • Authorized. Additional software whose use is allowed
  • Prohibited. Potentially dangerous solutions that may have vulnerabilities or store data insecurely.
  1. Educate your employees on shadow IT

One of the most effective ways to mitigate shadow IT risks is to educate your employees about the true dangers of using unapproved software. People often don’t fully understand the possible consequences of their actions and don’t realize the risks.

By explaining the true reasons behind shadow IT prohibitions, you can significantly lower the number of unsanctioned software installations. Also, it will help you encourage workers to be more transparent about the difficulties they have with approved solutions and the true reasons for secretly deploying alternatives.

  1. Give your employees the tools they need

Remember why people usually turn to shadow IT in the first place? In most cases, it’s because the standard corporate tools aren’t effective and convenient enough.

A good practice is to create a space for open communication between workers and the IT department. When you learn what your employees really need, you can find efficient software and eliminate the risks of employees using unapproved software in secret.

In case a solution your employees want to use isn’t secure enough or may lead to non-compliance with requirements, it’s essential to clearly explain the potential risks. And if possible, offer alternatives that provide the required data security.

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Four Ways AI Can Improve Your Next Meeting



It may not be noticeable to most, but AI is now rooted in many aspects of our lives. From voice assistants to the cars we drive, to social media and shopping – AI is integrated into a multitude of everyday processes.

It should be of little surprise that AI is also becoming heavily embedded in our businesses. And while some people feel uncomfortable about this intersection of human and machine, it truly offers an abundance of transformative opportunities.

Here are four reasons why AI will continue to be important today and in the future:

  1. Automated note-taking allows brainstorms to go full speed

The days of being the meeting scribe and not absorbing what’s been said around you are over. Automated note-taking and accurate meeting transcripts are one of the simplest ways AI can help free up meeting attendees to focus on the discussion taking place.

Using this software means that transcripts can be searched for important keywords and ideas, allowing participants to fully absorb details after the meeting has concluded. Giving everyone at the meeting the ability to participate without the burden of constant note-taking fosters a lively and uninhibited discussion, encouraging a seamless flow of ideas.

  1. AI-powered action items, agenda updates, and deadline management

AI technology is founded on rules-based responses to decisions, meaning it can be taught to recognize keywords. Organizers can plug in important words such as “follow up” or “action item” and the AI can recognize them and react for easier sharing and review after a meeting.

In addition, AI can help to record deadlines and, if programmed to do so, could send out reminders as deadlines approach. With something like Natural Language Processing (NLP) embedded, AI can also know which parts of the meeting are most important, based on vocal tones, and can automatically record and share those parts with attendees, ensuring that none of the actions are forgotten.

  1. Automated capture of nonverbal cues

We all know those golden moments during a meeting where ideas are born and everyone reacts in a positive way – but they can be hard to identify, particularly if you’re engaging with remote workers on the phone or via video conference.

Wouldn’t it be great if AI was able to more easily recognize and record those moments, because they are generally identified by nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, nods, laughter, or peaks in the audio when everyone has that aha moment? A human note-taker may not be able to accurately capture this, but AI may be able to.

  1. Improved overall efficiency prevents meetings from dragging on

Everyone has experienced a meeting that seems to drag on endlessly, or watched co-workers talk in circles. This can happen when people are not paying attention because they’re scribbling on notepads and typing on laptops, bringing up topics that were already discussed. This is what turns meetings into chores instead of the energizing moments of team collaboration they are meant to be.

When AI removes the more mundane aspects of a meeting like scheduling or taking attendance, attendees can move through administrative tasks and housekeeping items rapidly, knowing the AI will have it all recorded for later reference, and move into free-flowing exchanges of ideas.

And for those routine meetings that occur frequently and don’t always entail a major brainstorming, AI also facilitates effective and concise meetings, so everyone can get into the meeting quickly, be productive with the time set out, and then get back into more inspiring work.

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Six Ways To Reduce Spam Emails In Your Inbox



If you have an email account, chances are you’ve received plenty of spam. Whether this consists of bulk messages from companies, mailing lists you’ve never signed up for, or straight-up nonsense from a strange address whose origin you can’t trace, spam email is annoying at best and potentially dangerous at worst, especially since scammers use spam to exploit more vulnerable users. 

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to stop spam emails from reaching your inbox.

  1. Be careful about revealing your email address

Think of your email address as a valuable piece of personal information. You don’t want just anyone getting a hold of it, so try to keep it private and avoid posting it in public forums such as message boards or revealing it on websites that have questionable legitimacy.

  1. Use a throwaway email account

If you have to provide an email address to use a site but don’t want it to have your actual email address, use a throwaway account from a site like TempMail to keep your real account safe. The Chrome and Firefox plugin Blur is also a good, free alternative that will keep your real address private.

  1. Set up email filters to detect spam as it comes in

Depending on what email client you use, there is generally the option to create email filters that automatically send messages with a particular subject line or from a particular sender directly to a junk folder or even to your trash folder. Check your client’s user guide to determine how to smartly train its filters to detect and remove spam. Likewise, you should correct your client if it happens to mark a certain message as spam erroneously.

  1. Block the senders of the spam emails you receive

This step can be implemented with varying levels of success. Given that spammers often use fake email addresses that differ with every mailing, you may find that spam emails continue even after blocking the sender. However, if you notice that you’re receiving messages from the same address over and over, you can block it within your email client, which should stop it from hitting your inbox.

  1. Whatever you do, never respond to a spam email

While it might be tempting to reply to a spam email with an angry tirade or even a request to permanently remove you from their contacts, this never works out. In fact, it could even lead to your account receiving even more spam as the sender will then know that your account is active.

  1. Don’t click on any links or buy anything from spam emails

It may seem obvious, but if a message seems like spam, it likely is. Don’t be tempted to purchase anything from one or click on any links contained within the message, even if it seems to offer a way to unsubscribe to the mailing list. Doing so could lead spammers to gain access to your private information and/or share your address with other companies which could lead to more spam.

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Four Types Of Cyberattacks You Should Know



Life today has become far more comfortable because of various digital devices and the internet to support them. There is a flip side to everything good, and that also applies to the digital world today. The internet has brought a positive change in our lives today, but with that, there is also an enormous challenge in protecting your data. This gives rise to cyber attacks. In this article, we will discuss the different types of cyber-attacks and how they can be prevented.

What is a Cyberattack?

Before heading to the different types of cyber attacks, we will first walk you through a cyber attack. When there is unauthorized system/network access by a third party, we term it a cyber attack. The person who carries out a cyberattack is termed a hacker/attacker. 

Cyber-attacks have several negative effects. When an attack is carried out, it can lead to data breaches, resulting in data loss or data manipulation. Organizations incur financial losses, customer trust gets hampered, and there is reputational damage. To put a curb on cyberattacks, we implement cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is the method of safeguarding networks, computer systems, and their components from unauthorized digital access.

The COVID-19 situation has also had an adverse impact on cybersecurity. According to Interpol and WHO, there has been a notable increase in the number of cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Types of Cyberattacks

  1. Malware Attack

This is one of the most common types of cyberattacks. “Malware” refers to malicious software viruses including worms, spyware, ransomware, adware, and trojans. 

The trojan virus disguises itself as legitimate software. Ransomware blocks access to the network’s key components, whereas Spyware is software that steals all your confidential data without your knowledge. Adware is software that displays advertising content such as banners on a user’s screen. 

Malware breaches a network through a vulnerability. When the user clicks a dangerous link, it downloads an email attachment or when an infected pen drive is used.

  1. Phishing Attack

Phishing attacks are one of the most prominent widespread types of cyberattacks. It is a type of social engineering attack wherein an attacker impersonates to be a trusted contact and sends the victim fake emails. 

Unaware of this, the victim opens the mail and clicks on the malicious link or opens the mail’s attachment. By doing so, attackers gain access to confidential information and account credentials. They can also install malware through a phishing attack.

  1. Password Attack

It is a form of attack wherein a hacker cracks your password with various programs and password cracking tools like Aircrack, Cain, Abel, John the Ripper, Hashcat, etc. There are different types of password attacks like brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, and keylogger attacks.

  1. Man-in-the-Middle Attack

A Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM) is also known as an eavesdropping attack. In this attack, an attacker comes in between a two-party communication, i.e., the attacker hijacks the session between a client and host. By doing so, hackers steal and manipulate data. 

As seen below, the client-server communication has been cut off, and instead, the communication line goes through the hacker.

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