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Microsoft Warns Of A Massive Phishing Campaign…And Other Small Business Tech News

By June 1, 2020 No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Microsoft is warning users of a massive phishing campaign that uses malicious Excel macros to hack PCs

Microsoft announced this past week that their Security Intelligence team put out a warning regarding a large phishing campaign that they have been tracking. The campaign tries to trick individuals in having a remote access tool installed onto their PCs by opening an email attachment that holds Excel 4.0 macros deemed to be malicious. The campaign is disguised as a COVID-19 report and is being sent out appearing to come from the Johns Hopkins Center. Through opening the Excel file NetSupport Manager—the remote access tool—is downloaded onto the PC and allows hackers to have access to and run them. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

The bad guys are really in full swing so far this year, with reports of phishing, malware and data breaches significantly rising. This is because so many people have been working from home and are less protected by corporate security. It’s critical that you have an IT firm review your work-from-home employee’s security setup and provide some advice on avoiding phishing and other traps that may compromise their devices…and your network.

2 — Xero partnered with Transferwise to help SMBs with cash flow.

Xero—a cloud accounting provider – has announced that they will be partnering with payments platform Transferwise in order to provide a broader set of finance-focused tools in order to assist SMBs with handling cash flow once businesses start to open back up after the pandemic. The new tools include features to assist businesses in managing their revenue by helping compare their numbers throughout various times, provide businesses ways to predict their balances one month ahead of time, and a way to pay several bills at once. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Xero is a great alternative to other online accounting applications and continues to grow its network of partner products to help their SMB clients with cash flow. If you’re looking for a cloud-based application to handle your finances, this application should be one you investigate.

3 —HP’s WFH lineup includes a 3.1 pound workstation laptop and low blue-light monitors.

HP introduced its new computers this past week that are specifically geared toward employees who are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The additions include monitors that give off a low blue-light and a workstation laptop that weighs 3.1 pounds. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

With HP’s data revealing that half of individuals working from home feel they do not have the tools to they need, the idea behind the new additions from HP is to provide individuals working from home with the tools to help transform their at-home workspace into being a more secure place with the efficiency to collaborate and stay connected.

4 — WhatsApp is enabling a remote thermoformer startup amid the coronavirus pandemic.

GN Thermoforming Equipment of Chester is a Novia Scotia-based manufacturer that focuses on plastic packaging and its production. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has had to find new avenues to install equipment due to social distancing guidelines. In order to continue training operators and installing equipment at their customers’ locations, GN will be utilizing WhatsApp in order to help their Eastern European and American customers install and be trained on the machine rather than have to postpone equipment being installed due to the various restrictions brought on by the pandemic. (Source: Plastics Today)

Why this is important for your business:

This is an innovative use of WhatsApp. Could you be using this free (and hugely popular) communications app to help your customers with installation, training, support and services remotely? Even companies in the plastics industry are finding ways to do this, so clearly there are many opportunities. Did I mention this is free? And popular?

5— A robot barista is helping a South Korean café with social distancing.

A café in South Korea is using a robot barista to help them transition back from the rigid social distancing rules. The coffee system utilizes a robotic arm that makes the coffee as well as a serving mechanism has the ability to make 60 variations of coffee and can even serve the beverages to customers while they are seated in the café. The robot barista—additionally— is able to transmit and communicate its data to several other devices and houses self-driving tech to assist in figuring out the most efficient routes throughout the place (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

We’ve been reading about robots in the workplace and in stores and restaurants and it’s been pretty entertaining to date. But with CV-19 related health concerns, these types of machines are suddenly becoming a closely-watched technology to help both big and small businesses get work done without exposing employees to the virus…and even helping owners reduce their payroll.

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