Essential Cybersecurity Toolkit

Business Bookshelf

 Wenatchee company releases E-book to combat hackers

Key Methods has been, a local cybersecurity company serving the Wenatchee Valley since 1998, has released an E-book at the perfect time. In light of recent massive hacker attacks on everything from government agencies to Equifax and Target affecting almost every American in the nation with a credit card, a social security number, a house and a job, WBJ readers are urged to protect themselves and their vital business systems from similar attacks.
The WBJ spoke to Key Methods about what can be done in this age of hackers and outright theft of personal and commercial proprietary data.
Key Methods President Dan Paquette responded to the following questions and added comments to clarify the potential dangers of technology and data theft, whether of domestic or foreign origins:
WBJ: Fill Journal readers in on when Key Methods was started and if any particular incident caused it to come into being?
Dan Paquette: Key Methods was founded in 1998 as a small IT support company, we found our niche in providing professional technology services that let our customers focus on their core business competencies without worrying about their IT infrastructure.
As our company grew and started working with more clients, we researched ways to help our clients better manage their technology.
In 2002, we shifted our focus to pro-actively monitoring and maintaining our clients’ computer networks. This new approach of focusing on “up-time” instead of waiting for “things to break” helped us grow our company even larger.
We enjoy partnering with our clients at a deep level and adding true value to their business. We look forward to pursuing our goal to be Washington State’s premier IT services company.
WBJ: How many employees ... and is your company targeting a particular segment of the business/private community?
Paquette: Key Methods currently has 15 Employees. We work with small to medium size businesses. Our popular verticals are professional services (CPA’s, Attorneys, Engineers, etc.), medical (chiropractors, dentists, clinics), manufacturing, and agriculture. We do not work with home users (residential).
WBJ: Are government agencies also being offered your services?
Paquette:     Yes, we have worked with various local city governments, counties, and PUD’s.
WBJ: Do you charge a specific amount for analysis of a company's computer security?
Paquette: Security analysis and protection is covered under our fixed fee service contracts – Security is something considered and evaluated with just about every service call we take.
•    We offer free assessments for new prospective clients.
WBJ: Does your service include cell phones, laptops and other devices?
Paquette: Yes, all devices including the network infrastructure (firewall, switches, wireless, etc.) are covered under fixed fee service contracts.
WBJ: Did you or others in the company learn the craft of combating hackers from another company or via college or some other way?
Paquette: The security landscape is a moving target. We continue to educate ourselves and stay on top of the latest security threats as well as the best in class products and services for combating hackers. A large component of this is end user education and auditing. With the clients permission, we can perform “ethical” hacking attempts to see where education may be required and proactively teach end users how to recognize and avoid scams.
•    We have a network of colleagues that we routinely meet with to discuss security issues as well as attend conferences and other types of training. We also partner with great security vendors and take advantage of everything that they have to offer.
WBJ: What can you offer the reader of the Journal in the way of getting help in this area and when they actually should seek your help?
Paquette:    The main points we try to tell end users is to protect in “Layers” – Do not rely on just one level of protection (like Antivirus only). A good defense has multiple layers like Bullet Proof Glass. This includes a business class firewall with Unified Threat Management, Web Traffic Filtering, AntiSpam, Antivirus, and end user education/testing.
•    Do not use the same passwords for everything and change them fairly frequently. We have spoken to many end users that have had their passwords compromised by security breaches like what happened recently with Equifax. When breaches like that occur, user names and passwords get “Sold” on the dark web to potential hackers. These hackers then use those credentials to get into your online banking, Office365 accounts, Google accounts, etc.
•    Use 2 factor authentication whenever possible. Although this may seem inconvenient at times, this can almost eliminate the ability for hackers to access your account. Whenever you (or anyone else) logs into your accounts, you need to confirm your identity by using something in your position (like a code texted to your cell phone). The added bonus when doing this is knowledge of someone trying to hack your account. If you get a number of text messages coming to your phone for instance and it was not you, then you know you’d better change your password since someone other than yourself is trying to gain access to your account(s).
•    If they are a local business and would like a second opinion or free security assessment contact us or or email or call Dan Paquette, President, Key Methods: 509.663.7000 etx. 800.
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