All posts tagged Security

IRS Scammers are Working Overtime During Tax Season!

Amy_Krohn

Amy Krohn, Veracity’s VP of Technology

Protect Yourself From Scammers During This Tax Season and Everyday!

There is a new phone scam working in Kansas City and around the country. The Internal Revenue Service reports impostors are calling people and demanding immediate payment.  In many cases threatened jail-time or deportation.  How do I know this?  I came home to a a crying family member being threatened by these villains demanding payment.

Tax season is stressful. IRS scammers only add to your anxiety, through phone calls and emails.  They will try to convince victims they owe money.  The more the public is educated about the security risks and what to look for, better prepared we will be to fend off these impostors.   As a professional in Infrastructure and Security, its my job to take care of educating my clients about security on a greater scale.  But when the issue hits home or when I hear of the elderly, who are perhaps not as tech-savvy, being taken advantage of, I feel its my duty to step forward to help.  Below are some helpful “rules” from the IRS to know about the IRS calling you at home.

Five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do.

Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill..
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

When these scammers call, simply hang-up.   They will more than likely call again and you should hang up again.  Report the phone number to the IRS.   Your best defense is to not give out any piece of information to them.  And never give out your social security number,  license, passport information, address, or children’s information.  For more information on the IRS scams and what you can do go visit  www.justice.gov/tax or www.irs.gov .

About Veracity Consulting

Veracity Consulting is a Kansas City-based technology firm with a reputation of implementing and managing IT solutions and business strategies. Our mission is to change the complex world of technology into a more efficient and profitable solution for businesses and communities. We use a collaborative approach with our clients to create and implement viable and relevant solutions.

We offer a comprehensive range of commercial and government solutions in the areas of Program Management, Data Management and Analytics, Strategy and Architecture, Managed Infrastructure, and Security.

About Amy Krohn

Amy Krohn has served as a leader in the technology industry for over 20 years.  Her areas of expertise include leading organizations and companies in executive leadership, strategic planning, enterprise architecture, as a mentor, leadership development, organizational change management, delivery management, vendor management, service management, and process improvements.  Amy currently serves as Veracity Consulting’s Vice President of Technology.

Veracity Consulting Awarded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency IT Managed Services Contract

Veracity Consulting, Inc. Awarded US EPA’s Information Technology Managed Services Contract 

EPA and Veracity Consulting

Lenexa, Kansas — The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently selected Veracity Consulting, Inc. to support its Information Technology operations at its Kansas office (EPA Region 7 Midwest) in Lenexa, Kansas. The EPA Region 7 office has environmental protection responsibility for IowaKansasMissouriNebraska and Nine Tribal Nations, and protects and works to improve water quality across America’s greatest watershed, the Missouri-Mississippi Basin. The EPA Region 7 office also ensures that the nation’s federal and American Indian natural resources revenues are accurately reported and paid in compliance with laws, regulations, and lease terms. Veracity Consulting, an 8(a) certified company, will provide information technology managed services and support, IT help desk support, and database administration.

Government customers that are looking for an alternative Technology and Business Consulting provider may contact John Duker, Director of Government Sales for Veracity Consulting, directly at (913) 495-1912.

About Veracity Consulting

Veracity has a history of implementing and managing IT solutions and business strategies. The firm has partnered with clients across the nation such as in Austin, Houston, Hawaii, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and the Kansas City Metro Area.Veracity Consulting, 8(a) Certified

Veracity offers a range of consulting services, including strategic planning, BI, modeling, and business analysis. Its Cloud Infrastructure Managed Services offer service desk management, infrastructure capacity management, and systems administration. Veracity is widely recognized for developing, engineering, and deploying innovative solutions that include expertise in enterprise data and cloud technologies. For more information on Veracity Consulting’s solutions, please visit www.engageveracity.com/government-solutions/.

How to Create a Culture for Building Better Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity breaches are quickly becoming an everyday occurrence in the news, especially in the last few days. Sony has been hacked,  Home Depot and even the White House.  Since last year’s massive Target breach sent consumers home from their holiday shopping bonanzas, businesses are paying more attention to the real threat of hackers on their bottom-line.  As the saying goes….“It is not a matter of if you will be breached, but when…” Companies must constantly test their security measures and responses by continuously secure-iconauditing their systems and processes; this helps to identify and close loopholes. If your company wants to know how to implement best practices for their security and auditing measures, Veracity Consultants are here to help you get started.

Consider the following:

Begin with Strong Business Leadership. Identify a business champion that can communicate change management effectively. Many companies want to lean on their technical expert for implementing security changes. Sometimes this isn’t always the best choice. To build a solid program that will gain momentum for implementing regular audits, counter measures, and gaining buy in from the company as a whole, you must have a business leader to champion the cause. You need someone who can organize, communicate, and influence. If this is your Technical Expert, fantastic, but don’t be afraid to use your PMOs, who are truly experts in standing up a new program.

Encourage an Open Dialog. Change is difficult for everyone, but proper communication can ease anxiety and the water cooler talk. When teams are properly educated about the situation and its impact (who, what, why, and how) there is less room for gossip and speculation.

Create a Culture of Security. Some of the biggest threats today are coming from overseas. Many are actively attempting to steal trade secrets or destabilize a company. Instill in employees a culture of security while empowering them to protect the company’s assets. After all, protecting the latest company top-secret project is actually protecting their livelihood! Leaders should hold individuals accountable for new standards, but also allow individual contributors to hold each other accountable. Supporting this is critical. Standards should be constantly discussed with employees as well as their responsibility to the standard.

Educate Users about Current Threats and What They Can Do. Your users can be one of the biggest risks to the security of your organization. Many times users circumvent controls without fully understanding the repercussions. This leaves your organization and its people vulnerable to its weaknesses. It takes a Program Manager with sound communications skills and ability to influence everyone to buy in to the initiative. Open and honest communication about “what will happen..” and “why we need to do this..” works well. When it doesn’t, then it’s time to hold people accountable for the breach.

Implement and Post Your Company Security Policy. Policies and standards provide the foundation for what to do and what not to do. Proper documentation and communication of policies and standards to end users will create the backbone of your program. Not everybody will read them thoroughly, nor will they follow them all of the time, but if you can change the behavior of a number of end users and add teeth to the program, that is a huge win. When policies are not followed as expected, and standards are not met, then the accountability from above comes back into play.secure_server

Stay on Top of Your Patch Management. Veracity IT Managed Services Team has successful implemented vulnerability scanning software for daily, monthly, and quarterly assessment by System Engineering. From this information our technical leaders then formulate a schedule for patch management on an ongoing basis. These are the steps that help our clients detour and maintain visibility of ongoing threats. Our Managed Services Consultants begin by building an asset inventory and scanning assets for problems. Once that’s established, a Veracity Program Manager works with system engineering to properly schedule the eradication of the issues. Lastly, the team provides metrics so a baseline is established that executives can use to make educated decisions on what vulnerabilities need to be addressed next.

Perform Regular Assessments. Use an outside partner like Veracity Consulting’s Security Assessment Team or another reputable source. These outside consulting teams will give your internal security and systems teams’ honest feedback on your security processes and policies. This is a very important part of the process.

Remember, it takes time to build an information security program. But you must start somewhere. It is the most important IT initiative that you can take in 2014, 2015, and beyond. Be sure to choose a partner that you trust and one that can help you to provide a safe and secure business environment to your employees and your intellectual property.

Call, 913-945-1912 or email us today for more information on how a Veracity Consultant can help your company create a culture that champions your company’s cybersecurity initiative.

Veracity Security Experts Help Protect Your Trade Secrets

On Monday, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced a 31-count indictment several members of the Chinese military. The charge disclosed that the Chinese Government was aggressively involved in the hacking of American businesses. The hackers stole trade secrets that would have been advantageous to Chinese companies.  We need to stop this.

The United States has long been considered a leader in innovation. Couple this with an unsurpassed work ethic and you have a dominating economic power.   Enter  other entities that want a piece of the economic pie!  If you have weak security policies, poor infrastructure management, or unenforced security policy with little or no recognized incident management, your trade secrets are about to be compromised. What’s protection worth to you and the future of your business or agency?

We are Veracity and We Can Help!

Veracity Consulting has Infrastructure, Security, and Incident Consultants ready to evaluate your current situation and provide you with real solutions for today.   Our experts provide companies and government agencies with security and infrastructure audit, the knowledge of how to fix detected breaches, and they can provide security plans for the future. Our Managed Services provide companies with real-time watchdog capabilities. Veracity’s proven methods will help protect your innovations and trade secrets for corporate pirates giving your business solid footing for the future.

What is a Security Audit?

An audit is the measurement of controls within a system that is used to keep confidentiality, availability, and integrity of an organization’s information. A computer security audit is a systematic, measurable technical assessment of how the organization’s security policy is employed.

What Veracity Security Consultants Can do for You Today?  We begin by asking the following questions.  What is the value of what we trying to protect? What are the all the possible threats? Next, we evaluate the probability of those threats actually happening.  And of course we think about the worse case scenario.

There are many question to be answered but these are a few of the key ones that we begin with. We provide our client with a complete and timely assessment of the problems. Next we provide you with the steps to remedy the problems –immediately including a plan with a time frame closure. Lastly, our experts provide you with a plan to keep your controls tightened so that you stay one step ahead of the threats that are our there.

Today’s business and government lives and breathes online. Internet systems are an evident part of the problem and really are beyond our control. It is the Wild West. We designed our methodology to ensure that our work is complete and consistent and to give our clients the best defense possible and to stay one step ahead of the game. Veracity Consultants work in the latest technologies, study and train in the latest security methods.   Veracity Consultants are White Hat technologist you can trust.   Don’t waste anymore time.  Lock down your trade secrets and protect your assets.  Let your Veracity Security Consultant help.  Contact us today!