Intrusion Unveiled MGM Resorts Ransomware Saga and the Low-Hanging Fruit Conundrum

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On September 8, 2023, MGM Resorts International, a colossal casino and hospitality sector force, was trapped in a relentless ransomware assault orchestrated by the notorious hacking conglomerate Scattered Spider.

This audacious breach sent shockwaves through MGM’s intricate web of systems and operations, casting a shroud of disruption that persisted for several harrowing days. The fallout rippled across MGM’s digital domain, wreaking havoc upon its website, mobile application, reservation infrastructure, and even the venerable slot machines gracing its casinos sprawled nationwide.

Scattered Spider, a nefarious organization with an unsettling penchant for manipulating human psychology, employed crafty social engineering strategies to infiltrate MGM’s corporate infrastructure. In a sinister twist, the hackers homed in on an unsuspecting employee prowling the professional network terrain of LinkedIn. This seemingly innocuous low-hanging fruit served as the conduit for their entry.

With this foothold, they brazenly dialed MGM’s help desk, leveraging this employee’s identity to gain unauthorized entry into the company’s sacred digital systems. Once inside, the nefarious hackers traversed the digital labyrinth, securing access to MGM’s most critical systems.

What Does this MGM Breach Mean?

This breach begs a troubling question: What treasures did these cyber hackers obtain from MGM’s digital databases during their malevolent raid? Scattered Spider, renowned for its audacious ransom demands, could hold stolen data as collateral, threatening data leaks as a grim ultimatum should MGM refuse to meet their unreasonable demands.

As the world speculates on MGM’s response to this digital siege, the company remains tight-lipped regarding whether a ransom was paid to Scattered Spider. Instead, they affirm their cooperation with law enforcement agencies in a relentless pursuit of justice and vow to fortify their cybersecurity efforts to foresee such insults in the future.

This MGM breach serves as a stark warning, highlighting the increasing menace of ransomware that casts its shadow indiscriminately upon businesses of all kinds. The evolving sophistication and frequency of ransomware incursions render it an ever more formidable adversary, necessitating vigilant safeguarding measures.

For businesses striving to armor themselves against this growing peril, consider the following strategies:

Educate employees

Illuminate your workforce on the dangerous art of social engineering and arm them with the knowledge to repel such tactics.

Fortify security controls

Implement robust defenses like multi-factor authentication and stringent access controls to ensure formidable digital security.

Data fortification

Regularly shuttle your data to secure repositories, erecting a protective defense against data loss.

Incident response

Prepare a meticulously detailed response plan should the dark threat of ransomware cast its shadow upon your enterprise.

The MGM breach also underscores the paramount importance of data privacy. Businesses must remain unwavering in their commitment to safeguarding their data, providing a resilient shield against the ever-looming specter of cyber attacks.

Now, let’s delve into the timeline of events that unfolded for MGM


Friday 9/8 – Saturday 9/9

During this critical timeframe, the threat actor executed a series of audacious maneuvers that led to their initial breach of MGM Resorts. Their tactics involved cunning social engineering tactics that successfully manipulated the IT help desk into unwittingly resetting a user account—a classic example of exploiting low-hanging fruit for nefarious purposes.

Furthermore, the adversary escalated their intrusion by securing privileges and granting domain controller access. They astutely exfiltrated credentials, subsequently employing their dark art to crack them. Adding to their arsenal, they claimed to have intercepted passwords during the synchronization process between Okta and, presumably, Active Directory.

In a disturbingly pivotal development, the threat actor acquired Okta super user access and Azure Global Admin privileges. This conquest provided them with near-complete control over the expansive digital terrain.

The precise extent of data obtained during these incursions remains uncertain, but the threat actor’s insidious presence was firmly established.

Regrettably, MGM Resorts’ initial attempts at containment proved futile during this phase.

Sunday 9/10

MGM Resorts initiated additional containment measures on this fateful day, desperately striving to expel the audacious adversary from their digital domain. However, these valiant efforts were met with stubborn resistance as the attacker tenaciously clung to their internal foothold.

Monday 9/11

The threat actor escalated their campaign of digital terror, purportedly encrypting over 100 ESXi hypervisors. It is crucial to note that these hypervisors are the bedrock upon which virtual machines are hosted, amplifying the impact across many servers. The attacker exploited vulnerabilities that often lurk in the periphery—a grim reminder of how the low-hanging fruit can serve as a conduit for a massive company attack.

In an ominous gesture, the threat actor provided a link, presumably giving access to a sample of the stolen data. Thus, heightening concerns about the gravity of the situation.

Tuesday 9/12 – Wednesday 9/13

In concert with external experts, MGM Resorts persisted in tireless efforts to contain and neutralize the threat. These pivotal days were marked by intensive incident response and recovery operations, aiming to reclaim control over their besieged digital infrastructure.

Simultaneously, the threat actor continued their vigilance, monitoring the negotiation portal for any signs of interaction. Their evident frustration at the lack of engagement hinted at their evil intentions.

Thursday 9/14

Undeterred and fearless, the threat actor seized the digital podium to present a staggering 1,101-word statement. In this message, they asserted their enduring control over the environment and made chilling threats of further attacks unless MGM Resorts initiated contact.

Aftermath of MGM Breach

Our collective hearts go out to the steadfast MGM team grappling with this relentless adversary throughout this complicated ordeal.

In the shadow of this evolving crisis, it becomes abundantly clear that managing an active attacker situation is a formidable challenge, defying simplistic solutions. Further, the threat actor’s sophistication far surpasses conventional ransomware groups, rendering the MGM team’s task extremely challenging.

For those of us observing and learning from this unfolding drama, it is paramount to recognize the underlying value of this information. Understanding the insidious techniques employed by such groups empowers us to fortify our security programs, evolving them to then counter these evolving threats.

Acknowledging that an impervious security program remains an idealistic notion is imperative. In the face of a determined adversary, a breach remains a possibility regardless of the defenses in place.

In the aftermath of the MGM Resorts International cyber breach by Scattered Spider, a notorious hacking group, our cybersecurity-focused IT company offers assistance to businesses facing similar threats. WheelHouse IT can educate your workforce on cyber threats, fortify security controls, safeguard your data, create incident response plans, and ensure data privacy. The MGM breach serves as a stark reminder of the need for robust cybersecurity.

Contact us to tailor our services to your organization’s needs and strengthen your digital defenses against evolving cyber threats. Don’t wait; secure your digital assets now to prevent future breaches.

Can We Outsource IT Functions?

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In today’s technologically advanced world, IT operations are becoming more and more essential for organizations to maintain their competitiveness. The question of how businesses may handle these responsibilities effectively and economically has become more pressing as a result of the expansion of these functions. Perhaps if a business was to outsource IT functions, that would provide the solution. Employing specialist knowledge and lowering expenses might all be benefits of outsourcing this activity for businesses. The requirements for outsourcing an IT function are covered in this article, along with the potential advantages for your company.

The technique of outsourcing has been used for a long time by many businesses to save costs and increase productivity. Before deciding to outsource, several unique criteria must be properly considered when it comes to IT activities. We will extensively examine these elements in our conversation. Then, you can decide for yourself whether or not outsourced IT services are the best option for your company.

Finally, suppose you decide that outsourcing is the best option. In that case, we’ll guide you on selecting the right service provider or outsourcing partner and ensuring everything runs smoothly throughout the process. Outsourcing an IT function can significantly optimize operations and operational costs without compromising quality or reliability. Let’s dive in and take a competitive advantage!

Benefits of Outsourcing IT Functions

Outsourcing IT functions can offer many benefits for business processes and reduce business expenses. It helps organizations access specialized expertise and experience they may not have with their in-house team. Companies don’t need to invest resources to recruit and train their development team or set up an advanced infrastructure from scratch. Outsourcing can also broaden your access to a specialized talent pool at an often reduced rate. Especially compared to retaining full-time developers or technical skill sets. One of the most significant advantages of outsourcing contracts is that it usually results in additional cost reductions. External vendors are typically more competitively priced than internal personnel regarding labor costs.

Another benefit of outsourcing IT functions is the ability to reduce administrative burdens and hidden costs related to managing projects internally. This is because you don’t need to manage full-time employees or developers, invest in employee relationships, and other expenses incurred with staffing. By entrusting certain project aspects to specialized third parties (with the help of outsourcing providers), organizations save time and effort. This can include compliance paperwork, background checks, and other tasks necessary for onboarding new staff members. Meanwhile, also avoiding potential HR issues due to employee turnover or mismanagement of workloads.

Finally, using external service providers or external expertise can help improve overall efficiency. Thus, allowing a company’s internal team to focus more on core business operations and essential functions. Rather than worry about technology maintenance and upgrades. Companies can rest assured knowing that technical processes are correctly managed. Without having to devote extra attention or resources to them. Thus, freeing up valuable time for business owners and company leaders to concentrate on activities that drive growth. Rather than spending it dealing with IT problems. Businesses can focus on their core competencies rather than their technological incompetence.

Considerations Before Outsourcing IT Functions

Before deciding to outsource IT functions, organizations need to consider a few key factors. First and foremost is cost: outsourcing can be expensive if not done correctly. There can be a wide range of average outsourcing rates, so research into pricing models matters. Businesses must also do their due diligence in researching potential outsourcing vendors so they understand precisely what services are being provided and at what price. Doing so will help ensure you avoid hidden costs cropping up unexpectedly. Companies should also look into staff augmentation companies or offshore service providers, as these tend to offer even lower average outsourcing rates than traditional outsourcing models.

Secondly, organizations must consider how well an outsourced vendor aligns with their current development lifecycle. The right partner will have exclusive expertise explicitly related to the company’s needs and objectives, whether remote developers, skilled software developers, or experts for any other technology function, allowing them to provide better support throughout the process. Plus, a good fit means fewer issues during implementation since both parties already share similar frameworks and approaches toward project management, core operations, and core functions.

Finally, businesses need to evaluate whether there are any potential risks associated with outsourcing IT functions. This includes but is not limited to a geographic location – mainly when dealing with firms from Asian tech hubs where language barriers may exist – as well as legal compliance matters such as data privacy laws in certain jurisdictions.

To sum up, considering all these factors before embarking on an outsourcing journey can help ensure successful outcomes while avoiding unnecessary pitfalls.

The Process of Outsourcing

Once the decision to outsource has been made, it’s time to begin the process. Most vendors employ a standard pricing model wherein clients pay for services on an hourly or project basis. This allows companies to scale their development needs based on budget and timeline. It’s important to note that some providers may also offer fixed-price contracts, so discuss all options with potential partners before making any commitments.

The next step is establishing a straightforward development process that both parties can adhere to throughout any outsourcing venture. This should include milestones and checkpoints for progress and contingencies in case of unforeseen delays or issues. Additionally, organizations must determine which specific skills are needed from the outsourced provider – such as web design, database management, etc. – to find the right partner with access to a suitable talent pool.

How to Select a Service Provider to Outsource IT Functions

With the process of outsourcing outlined, it’s time to begin looking for a service provider or outsourcing vendor. Many companies find personal referrals invaluable in this stage as they provide an opportunity to hear first-hand experiences from others who have already undergone the selection exercise. Additionally, it is crucial to research potential vendors online and assess their credentials – such as tech education or certifications.

The dedicated team model is often considered the most suitable when searching for IT functions. In this model, businesses can build a sustainable relationship with providers over long periods while ensuring everyone understands exactly what needs to be done.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing IT Functions

IT function outsourcing is growing in popularity as companies try to manage the constantly shifting technological landscape. Companies may outsource their operations with the knowledge that they will be in capable hands thanks to the thriving digital environment and essential tech education accessible. The way businesses handle their daily operations has been completely transformed by this disruptive kind of outsourcing, which enables them to concentrate on essential company operations while delegating less important duties to outside professionals.

There are many advantages of outsourcing. Outsourcing allows businesses to access specialized, exclusive expertise without employing additional staff, reducing costs and complexity while increasing efficiency and flexibility. It can also free up internal resources for other projects. Working with experienced service providers enables organizations to gain insights into industry trends and tap into innovation opportunities. 

However, some drawbacks are associated with outsourced IT functions – primarily quality control and data security concerns. Companies must ensure third-party vendors have robust systems when handling sensitive information or customer data. Additionally, careful consideration should always be given when selecting a provider who meets technical requirements and budget constraints before entering into contractual agreements. As aforementioned, there can be discrepancies in regulations, for example, if outsourcing with companies based in Asian countries versus European companies or American businesses.

Managing Privacy and Data Security in an Outsourced Function

When outsourcing an IT function, businesses must also consider the implications of data privacy and security. After all, this is not only a legal obligation for many companies but also essential in protecting their customers’ information from unauthorized access or misuse. Here are some key points to remember when managing these risks:

  • House Employees: Businesses should ensure that any internal team members or full-time employees responsible for overseeing outsourced functions have adequate training and experience with handling sensitive customer data securely. For example, European or Canadian companies may need to comply with additional regulations when setting up such arrangements. Thus, they must check local laws before proceeding.
  • Third-Party Services: Employers should thoroughly vet external providers by assessing their ability to meet strict privacy and security standards. This includes verifying whether the provider has the appropriate technical infrastructure (such as encryption). Then ensure its employees have undergone relevant background checks before hiring.
  • Additional Services: It can sometimes be beneficial for businesses to engage third-party auditors or consultants who specialize in IT processes and procedures related to data protection and compliance. Such specialists can provide valuable advice on safeguarding customer information. Meanwhile, achieving the desired outcomes by outsourcing the IT function.

Building Effective Relationships with Outsourced Providers

Once businesses have taken steps to ensure the privacy and security of customer data when outsourcing an IT function, it is crucial to focus on building effective relationships with outsourced providers. After all, successful long-term arrangements depend heavily upon mutual trust and understanding between both parties. Here are some common strategies for creating such partnerships:

  • Establish Clear Expectations: Businesses must communicate their goals and objectives before beginning any project. This should include outlining specific milestones and expectations around timelines and cost management. By doing this, companies can be sure they will receive the most efficient services from their outsourced provider.
  • Get Involved in the Process: Although it may not always be possible due to time constraints or other factors, businesses should prioritize staying involved with an external company throughout the project. This could involve providing regular feedback to track progress or offering assistance when needed. Doing so enables business owners to better understand how their outsourced partner operates. This helps build stronger working relationships over time.
  • Monitor Performance Closely: Companies must also keep tabs on performance metrics by evaluating results achieved against benchmarks set at the start of each project. These measurements allow businesses to identify potential issues early on and address them swiftly before any significant problems arise later down the line. Such proactive monitoring ensures that outsourced providers consistently maintain high service levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does it Cost to Outsource IT Functions?

Embracing the outsourcing of IT functions holds the promise of unlocking cost efficiencies. However, it’s paramount to navigate through intricacies that can sway the financial landscape. Outsourcing offers an enticing gateway to tap into a pool of specialized talent at a reduced expenditure. Especially compared to the recruitment and retention of full-time personnel. However, the pricing terrain can be influenced by an array of variables. Including the breadth of infrastructure solutions proffered, the caliber of expertise extended, and even the geographic origins of the outsourcing provider. Enterprises must undertake diligent research and exploration to forge the most prudent path. Thus, delving into potential outsourcing partners to ascertain the precise scope of services rendered and their accompanying price tags.

What Is the Most Suitable Type of Outsourcing for My Business?

When exploring the optimal outsourcing avenue for a business, a plethora of possibilities unveils itself. This critical choice necessitates a careful evaluation of cost, expertise, and scalability factors. Before making a decision, it is imperative to gain a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons associated with various outsourced services.

Foremost among the considerations lies the call for cost efficiency, which holds sway over the decision-making process. Assessing the magnitude and intricacy of the project, one must weigh the scales to determine whether outsourcing proves more economical compared to bolstering the workforce or investing in cutting-edge technology. Additionally, successful companies delve into potential savings by outsourcing specific IT functions. Including software development, harnessing the power of the cloud, or the diligent upkeep of vital systems.

How Can I Ensure Quality Control When I Outsource IT Functions?

When outsourcing a function, it’s essential to ensure quality control. Whether you are considering bringing in an external company, a specialist, or engaging with an outside firm, specific steps will need to be taken. One way to approach outsourcing successfully is by assigning a full-time internal employee as the project manager. This will help ensure you have a dedicated team member managing quality control. Your designated liaison can help set clear parameters and expectations before starting a project. Then maintain progress updates throughout to avoid any lapses or poor outcomes.

Conclusion: Value in Choosing to Outsource IT Functions

Outsourcing an IT function can be an excellent solution for businesses looking to reduce costs and increase efficiency. However, many considerations need to be taken into account when choosing whether or not to outsource this type of service. It is essential first to assess your business practice needs and determine if outsourcing is the best option regarding cost-effectiveness, quality control, and reliability.

Once you have determined that outsourcing will provide the most value for your business, it is essential that you put measures in place to ensure that any outsourced services meet the desired standards of performance. This includes researching potential providers and thoroughly examining their qualifications, experience, and customer feedback before signing any agreement.

Overall, while various factors are involved in deciding whether or not to outsource an IT function, with careful consideration, businesses can reap the benefits of doing so without compromising on quality or reliability. Ultimately it comes down to researching available options carefully. Then ensure that all requirements for success are met before committing to any agreements.

Discover the power of outsourcing your IT function with WheelHouse IT. Reduce costs, increase efficiency, and ensure quality. Choose wisely, research diligently, and unlock success with us.


How to Improve Help Desk Support?

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Any business or organization must have help desk support. It gives consumers a trusted way to contact technical experts when encountering issues, letting them carry on with their tasks uninterrupted. Unfortunately, many help desks may be imprecise and challenging to operate, making the experience irritating for clients who want assistance. In this article, we’ll examine a few crucial tactics to raise the caliber of help desk assistance businesses offer.

Let’s begin by looking at how using live chat software may significantly improve the user experience. Users of this technology may get rapid support from qualified professionals, guaranteeing that their demands are addressed in the present. We’ll also go into the advantages of using automated solutions like self-service portals and AI-powered bots. Finally, we’ll examine ways to measure and track customer satisfaction so companies can determine which areas need more attention and make improvements accordingly


Help desk aid is extremely beneficial and serves a variety of functions, from delivering excellent customer service to producing cost savings. A specialized service desk crew guarantees clients receive individualized attention, enabling quick and correct resolution of their technical issues. This is a noteworthy benefit.

Cost downtime is reduced as a consequence, and customer satisfaction levels are dramatically raised. Additionally, self-service options such as automated chatbots or online FAQs can help resolve simple inquiries without involving a service desk agent — ultimately saving time, money, and resources.

What Makes a Good IT Help Desk?

A great help desk support system is essential for any organization hoping to provide a practical customer service experience. But what makes a suitable IT help desk? To start, having access to a comprehensive and up-to-date internal knowledge base is crucial — this allows agents to quickly find answers to user questions without needing to rely on external resources or guesswork. Additionally, integrating multiple customer services software solutions, such as ticketing systems and automated chatbots, can significantly improve the speed and accuracy of responses while also providing customers with more options when it comes time to reach out.

Must-Have Tools for an Efficient Service Desk

When it comes to creating an efficient service desk to address service requests, there are a few must-have tools and technologies that can help streamline operations. Remote access tools, for example, allow agents to troubleshoot issues from virtually any location or device — eliminating the need for in-person visits and improving response times significantly. Additionally, leveraging integrated solutions like Jira Service Management offers businesses powerful insights into their support staff performance while providing customers with streamlined self-service options.

Meanwhile, AI-powered virtual assistants offer users personalized support experiences through natural language processing (NLP). By understanding customer needs faster than traditional methods, these intelligent systems can provide more accurate answers without requiring additional time from agents. Furthermore, they can recognize patterns across thousands of conversations that businesses can use to improve customer experience and operational efficiency over time.

Integrating the right combination of remote tools, service desks, and automated chatbots is vital to achieving an effective help desk support system. Having all the necessary components in one place allows companies to answer user questions quickly while reducing manual effort — optimizing successful outcomes on both sides of the conversation. Also, it will improve the service desk experience and, inherently, business processes.

Steps to Create Quality Help Desk Culture

To foster a culture of quality, it’s crucial to create an environment that empowers employees and equips them with the necessary tools for success. Recognizing that employee satisfaction plays a vital role in driving customer satisfaction, here are three actionable steps that companies can take to cultivate a quality-oriented help desk culture:

  1. Actively solicit employee feedback and use it in your decision-making processes. This will demonstrate that their opinions matter and build trust between workers and management.
  2. Prioritize communication by creating channels for open dialogue between departments, such as monthly meetings or weekly check-ins via video conferencing software. Doing so will help ensure teams stay informed about how changes may impact one another’s workflows — ultimately leading to smoother employee experiences throughout the organization.
  3. Encourage collaboration through group projects or initiatives that bring together different skill sets from various divisions within the company. Not only does this promote creative problem solving, but it also allows staff members to learn from each other — furthering professional development opportunities too!

Benefits of Optimizing Service Desk Performance

Optimizing service desk performance can offer many benefits to an organization. Excellent customer service is the first and foremost benefit of this optimization. When customers have their problems solved quickly, efficiently, and effectively, it increases their satisfaction levels — leading to stronger relationships between them and the company. Additionally, by breaking down tickets into smaller tasks, teams can focus on specific issues while ensuring they are adequately handled without sacrificing resolution times.

On top of this, optimizing help desk support also helps increase employee productivity. By streamlining processes and ensuring everyone has access to the right resources when needed, your desk technicians can work more efficiently and collaboratively, leading to better results in less time! Finally, having optimized service desks also allows companies to handle larger workloads without compromising quality control measures or customer satisfaction rates — providing additional cost savings opportunities too!

Strategies to Boost Help Desk Performance

Specific strategies can be implemented to meet customer demands and ensure efficient service desk performance. First, ticket deflection should be used to reduce the volume of requests that need to be handled by support staff. This means setting up self-service support options such as FAQs and knowledge bases. This is for customers who may need help but don’t require a personalized response from an agent. Additionally, regular employee training in customer service skills is essential. Then they can provide excellent assistance when needed, helping ensure you keep customers happy. Finally, privileged access security needs to be set up correctly to protect confidential information both internally and externally. Meanwhile, also streamlining workflows.

By following these steps, organizations will have more time to focus on other aspects of their business. Since as a result, fewer tickets will come through their service desks. Moreover, agents won’t feel overwhelmed or overworked due to the reduced workloads. This leads to higher job satisfaction rates among team members. Implementing these strategies can improve help desk support that benefits everyone involved: customers, employees, and employers.

Customer Retention With Better Help Desk

The right service desk platform can help an organization retain customers and foster positive customer relationships. Keeping customers engaged and satisfied requires excellent service. Thus, it’s vital to ensure that internal employees are equipped with the tools they need to resolve common and complex issues quickly and efficiently with knowledge and expertise. By providing agents with access to a modern ITSM system, organizations can decrease the frequency of tickets.  Meanwhile, improving resolution times—ultimately leading to more successful customer experiences overall.

Conclusion: Maintaining Customer Satisfaction at the Core

Organizations should strive to maintain customer satisfaction at the core of their help desk operations. To do this, they must have a robust system that ensures customers can easily access support from any device. Whether it’s a computer, mobile device or anything in between. Keeping track of internal tickets is also essential for providing accurate and timely support desk solutions. As well as tracking repeat issues or trends. Finally, it’s vital to balance automation and human interaction in helping desk customer service. Thus, allowing agents to focus on more complex tasks while allowing automated processes to handle more straightforward inquiries.

TIP: Ensure your team has access to training resources for the latest help desk systems available so everyone has the skills necessary for success!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Train Service Desk Staff?

Creating a space where your service desk staff feels at ease asking questions and making errors is the best approach to training them. This should begin with a fundamental understanding of the company’s goods and services. Then go on to specialized responsibilities like troubleshooting, problem-solving, and dispute resolution. Additionally, keeping staff members up to speed on best practices may be facilitated through monthly seminars on subjects pertinent to modern customer service trends.

How Can I Reduce the Number of IT Help Desk Tickets?

Reducing IT help desk tickets should be one of the top business priorities for businesses of all sizes. By doing so, operating expenses may be decreased, customer happiness can be raised, and overall business results can be improved. How, therefore, can this be accomplished?

One strategy is to provide comprehensive training for service desk staff. Educating them on relevant topics such as troubleshooting techniques, excellent customer service principles, and technology updates allows employees to become more confident in their ability to address ticket requests quickly.

What Is the Best Way to Measure Help Desk Performance?

An excellent way to gauge performance is by tracking customer feedback. This can be done through surveys, reviews, testimonials, or other forms of communication, such as emails and phone calls. Companies can get valuable insight into their actions by listening to what customers say about their experience working with the help desk staff. Measuring response times for tickets opened can also provide a valuable metric for evaluating service levels.

Finally, training your team on technical topics and soft skills like active listening will result in better customer experiences. Staff should understand how products work and how to communicate effectively with customers. Especially when they’re frustrated or have questions about their purchase. Investing time into further educating your team is an effective way to improve help desk support and guarantee customer satisfaction.

3 Ways you Can Boost your Router’s Security

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Your wireless routers not only provide you with Wi-Fi but also give a lot of devices access to the rest of your network. So, securing your router is essential in protecting your personal and business data. Let’s take a look at a couple of best practices to strengthen your network security and keep your wireless internet protected.

Before diving into the list, we should clear up what your wireless internet router is actually like. Many people pay little to no attention to their router after setting up, besides the occasional unplugging and plugging back in when the Wi-Fi goes down. However, your router is actually its own computer with its own operating system. Because of that, they have their own vulnerabilities that most users are unaware of.

Unfortunately, most routers are not built with security at the forefront, and very few alert users when new firmware becomes available. If unchecked, this can lead to security vulnerabilities lasting longer than anyone would like, increasing the risk of data breaches.

So, what can you do to prevent this?

1. Update your Router Software and Check the Settings

Like any computing system that you use, your router runs software that allows it to function. So, as your router ages, you’ll have to update the firmware and software that the router uses to route wireless signals. Also, consider checking the following settings:

Network Name – Make it something unique that doesn’t allow hackers to easily identify your organization

Automatic Updates – You can turn on automatic firmware updates to maintain network security.

Enable WPA2 or WPA3 encryption – This ensures that only authorized users can access your wireless internet.

2. Disable Dangerous Accessibility Options

Unfortunately, sometimes the options that make our router easier to use also open it to network security breaches. Two accessibility options to look out for are the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Wi-Fi-protected Setup (WPS).

UPnP is the default setting on most routers but also leaves your wireless internet open to attack. It’s worth taking the time to change this setting to improve security.

WPS is an ease-of-use feature that allows devices to connect through a static eight-digit pin, even if the username and password for the network have been changed. The PIN is often even printed right on the router. This leaves it extremely vulnerable and should be disabled immediately. 

3. Set Up a Guest Wi-Fi Network

One of the best ways to maintain network security is by limiting the number of people that have access to it. You should only trust others with network access when absolutely necessary. A wonderful way to make this possible is by setting up a guest wireless internet network to offer visitors. Most commercial-grade routers and many personal routers have this function. You can even set the network to turn off after a certain amount of time, further limiting access.

If your business runs a lot of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, this guest network can save you from a number of security problems. Since IoT devices come with their own security pitfalls, connecting them to the guest network will keep your information safe.

Keeping your router and wireless internet secure can go a very long way in protecting your whole computing infrastructure. Give WheelHouse IT a call at 954.474.2204 today to learn more about network security for your business.

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How to Protect Your Business From Costly DDoS Attacks

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Early in June 2022, Cloudflare detected and stopped the largest HTTPS DDoS attack on record. The attack was detected and mitigated at 26 million requests per second (rps) and has been given the name Mantis due to it originating from a small but mighty botnet. The attack used 5,067 IoT devices across 121 countries to send 26 million requests per second, a shockingly low number of devices to produce a high level of traffic.

Over the past year, Cloudflare has witnessed continuous record-breaking DDoS attacks on business networks and servers worldwide. Many businesses are reevaluating their network security to help prevent such attacks from threatening their operations. What is an HTTPS DDoS attack, and what can you do to keep your business safe?

What is a DDoS Attack?

A Distrusted Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to flood the network of a targeted server, network, or service with extra internet traffic. Every network or business website has limits on the amount of online traffic it can handle. Commonly, the limit is much higher than needed to continue operating effectively and seamlessly.

A DDoS attack takes advantage of the network’s capacity limits on any resource, such as a company’s website, and sends multiple requests to the targeted resource. These requests exceed the server capacity to handle multiple requests, resulting in the targeted website being unable to function as normal. 

DDoS attacks effectively use multiple compromised systems, such as IoT devices, computers, and other network resources, as a source of traffic for the attack called a botnet. By overwhelming your network resources, the botnet prevents you from utilizing your online resources’ services and hinders your business’ operations. DDoS attacks can be both frustrating and costly to manage if they can infiltrate your system. 

Protect Your Business from DDoS Attacks

You can take a few security measures to help protect your network. You first want to ensure you and your team understand the basics of network security. Some of the standard best practices include strong passwords, phishing awareness, and adding firewalls. Maintaining firewalls helps prevent unauthorized access to your network. 

While more secure than no security measures, protecting your network further requires advanced measures to be taken. You need to set up security to prevent your firewall from failing by keeping your systems updated and incorporating a DDoS response in your business continuity plan. 

Another way to protect your business from DDoS attacks is to use the cloud for more aspects of your business. The cloud is better equipped to handle these attacks with its larger bandwidth and security in place explicitly designed to minimize the impacts of a DDoS attack. These basic security measures can help to protect your network from being targeted by a botnet. 

We can Help You Expand Your Network Security

Reach out to learn more about your network security needs and how we help with your daily IT management. Give us a call at 954.474.2204 today.

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