Category Archives: Software News

AVG Study – Internet of Things

AVG Study Reveals Small Businesses are Positive about Future Opportunities with the Internet of Things

 

Three biggest concerns are to do with cost, complexity and risk while 83 percent say humans are still the weakest link

The majority of small businesses in the U.S. (82 percent) believe the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring fresh opportunities for their business, according to a new study released today by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the online security company for devices, data and people. While more than 2 out of 5 (46 percent) agreed the IoT will mean more time spent dealing with security hacks, this was more than offset by the 83 percent of respondents who said that human error would continue to give them more concern than smart devices.

“The ‘Internet of Things’ is one of those nebulous bits of jargon invented by the IT industry and many people I meet are confused as to what it actually means,” said Mike Foreman, AVG’s general manager, SMB. “With this study we wanted to show how the IoT can bring opportunity to small businesses.”

“Another aim of the report was to highlight key areas of difference between countries,” he continued. “For example, it was significant that U.S. respondents were the only ones to put government monitoring ahead of lack of demand when it came to factors holding back IoT adoption.”

The study*, in which more than 2,000 small businesses in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia were interviewed, also showed that there is much more to do to help them understand what IoT actually means (only 58 percent understood IoT to mean a network of connected devices that are able to communicate with one another).

Asked to list their concerns about Internet-connected devices, small businesses named their top three as:

  • Risk – more than half (54 percent) of respondents think the IoT will result in their organization being more open to security breaches or hacking. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of those surveyed agreed that security software aimed at IoT would put their mind at ease.
  • Complexity – data security (48 percent) and backups (34 percent) would become more complex
  • Cost – 44 percent said that cost is a reason preventing them from implementing IoT

“From the research we can see that while small businesses share great enthusiasm for the IoT, their concerns over cost, complexity and risk show they also have some serious reservations,” continued Mike Foreman. “The pent up demand for more backup, security, support and other services that we see in the study gives us a positive indication of how the service provider business model will develop over the next 2-3 years.”

A summary of the other main findings in the study were:

  • The vast majority (80 percent) of respondents reported IoT as being relevant to their business to some extent.
  • The main benefits of IoT will come from increased access (65 percent of respondents) and faster access (66 percent) to more data along with productivity gains (69 percent). 56 percent said it will help customer satisfaction and 51 percent expected it to help them be more profitable.
  • Respondents were of the opinion that the top 5 devices that could present a security threat were: IP Phones (66 percent), CCTV (42 percent), Factory Equipment (34 percent), Sensors (31 percent) and Actuators (28 percent).
  • The top reasons respondents associated with the IoT that are preventing small businesses from buying and implementing smart devices were cost (48 percent), security (51 percent) and fears about government monitoring (27 percent).

* AVG commissioned independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake this research. 2000 interviews were carried out during April 2014 with IT decision-makers of organizations with of 1 – 500 employees. Interviews were performed across four countries: UK, US, Canada and Australia. Respondents to this research came from a range of industry sectors, with only the public sector excluded.

Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitably qualified candidates were given the opportunity to participate.

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE TELEPHONE SCAM

25 September 2014
Alert Number I-092514-PSA

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received reports related to a telephone scam in which the caller purports to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) representative. Using intimidation tactics, the caller tries to take control of the situation from the beginning. The caller advises the recipient of the call that the IRS has charges against them and threatens legal action and arrest. If the recipient questions the caller in any way, the caller becomes more aggressive.

The caller continues to intimidate by threatening to confiscate the recipient’s property, freeze bank accounts, and have the recipient arrested and placed in jail. The reported alleged charges include defrauding the government, money owed for back taxes, law suits pending against the recipient, and nonpayment of taxes.

The recipients are advised that it will cost thousands of dollars in fees/court costs to resolve this matter. The caller creates a sense of urgency by saying that being arrested can be avoided and fees reduced if the recipient purchases moneypak cards to cover the fees within an hour.

Sometimes the caller provides specific instructions on where to purchase the moneypak cards and the amount to put on each card. The caller tells the recipient not to tell anyone about the issue and to remain on the telephone until the moneypak cards are purchased and the moneypak codes are provided to the caller. The caller states that if the call is disconnected for any reason, the recipient would be arrested. Some recipients reported once the caller obtained the moneypak codes, they were advised that the transaction took too long and additional fees were required.

Call recipients, who are primarily immigrants, reported that the caller spoke with broken English or stated the caller had an Indian accent.

If you receive a call similar to this follow these tips:

  • Resist the pressure to act quickly
  • Report the contact to TIGTA at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta by clicking on the red button, “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting.”
  • Use caution when asked to use a specific payment method. The IRS would not require a specific payment method such as a moneypak card or wire transfer
  • If you feel threatened, contact your local police department
  • File a complaint at www.IC3.gov

CONSUMER ALERT “support” phone scam!

CONSUMER ALERT AG Ferguson to consumers: Hang-up on “tech support” phone scammers!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2014

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson is warning consumers that phone scammers posing as legitimate computer technicians are on the prowl in Washington and other states across the country.

“These scammers claim to be calling to help resolve problems that have been detected on the consumer’s personal computer, such as harmful viruses or malware,” warned Ferguson. “What they really want is access to your computer and, ultimately, your money.”

The phone scammers hunt for victims by “cold-calling” numbers they find in telephone directories and other public resources. The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office has received numerous complaints in recent months from consumers who have received these calls.

How the scam works

The “tech support” scam exploits consumer concerns about computer and online security.

The callers attempt to gain your trust with a fake identity and a barrage of technical language, saying that a problem has been detected on your computer.

They may ask you to perform a series of tasks that cause you to unknowingly allow the cyber criminals remote access to your PC and the personal data stored on it. You may also be tricked into installing malware that could steal your personal information.

The callers then claim to have identified the problem and demand payment to fix it with software updates, warranty extensions and other solutions. They offer to accept credit card payments over the phone, and may request payments via Western Union or Money Gram or direct the victims to fraudulent websites set up to collect personal and financial information.

“As with all scams, prevention is the best protection for consumers,” Ferguson said. “Don’t ever give any caller access to your computer, no matter who they say they are. Instead, hang-up!”

How to avoid the scam

The Attorney General’s Office offers tips on how to avoid this and other scams:

  • Never give control of your computer to someone who calls you;
  • Be vigilant in safeguarding personal information;
  • Never give out passwords;
  • Protect personal computers with legitimate and updated security software;
  • Do not provide SSNs, banking, or credit card or other financial information to anyone who calls, no matter who they say they are; and
  • Hang-up!

Consumers who suspect they may have been victimized should:

  • Have a reputable computer technician remove any software that may have been added by the scammers;
  • Change passwords;
  • Contact your financial institution; and
  • Monitor bank and credit card account activity.

The Attorney General’s Office also encourages anyone who receives such a call to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).