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Accountants and tax professionals are being warned of a very real cybersecurity threat through the use of old fashioned methods.

Normally cyber criminals attempt to hack business systems through the internet – often by breaking into someone’s email, or looking for weak passwords.

But security researchers have spotted a rise in the use of USB drives sent by mail to CPA firms and small tax preparation businesses. The attacker will pose as an existing client sending in requested documentation last minute for their tax return.

“These drives turn up in a Priority Mail or FedEx envelope with a vaguely written letter about requested documentation for their pending tax return” explained Mark Langenfeld, of DMDS SmartBundle™, a cybersecurity and cloud services provider specializing in the finance and accounting industry.

“These criminals are hoping someone in the business will open the package, believe it's legitimate and ultimately plug the USB drive into a workstation"

Mark added - “By doing this they give the hacker direct access to not only their computer, but others on the company network. This includes critical systems such as a file server, all remotely through malicious software loaded on the USB drive."

“With tax season underway, we're warning accounting and tax professionals about this alarming threat."

Cybersecurity experts recommend all businesses should be providing employees with mandatory security training. In fact commercial insurance providers have responded to the steep rise in exploits, hacks and IT security issues over the past 18 months by raising premiums and requiring policyholders to have some level of cybersecurity training available.

The team at DMDS SmartBundle™ is offering small businesses a Network & Security Assessment at no cost or obligation. They're available at (866) 432-3385 or by email

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  • Client Success Team

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by Audrey Copperfield

Over the past year, the world saw a massive uptick in cloud adoption. Synergy Research Group’s report on cloud services revenue found that the revenues of cloud service providers finally exceeded enterprise spending on data centers in 2020. Due in part to the pandemic, businesses flocked to the cloud last year in order to avoid logistical challenges and the additional expenses that come with on-premises solutions.

Despite this trend, many small business owners may still be on the fence about adopting cloud computing solutions, unsure of how the technology can be applied to their operations. However, both large-scale enterprises and small-to-medium businesses can benefit greatly from utilizing the cloud. Here’s how:

Improved finance services

In our article on “Why the Finance Industry is Modernizing on the Cloud”, we discussed how cloud computing has enable financial institutions to optimize their operations. By using cloud providers, business owners can scale resources up at peak times and scale down when demand dips, paying only for what they use. Moreover, consumer banking has also been revolutionized by the cloud. Banks have been able to access capacity on-demand solutions to run real-time analytics for improving customer service. Digital channels have also been used to leverage the prevalence of data to ensure that customer transactions remain frictionless secure. These are solutions that could be applied to any business. Storing financial information on the cloud is also the more secure option, as cloud service providers have more cybersecurity measures in place to protect sensitive data. Data stored in the cloud is also securely encrypted, adding another layer of security to sensitive information. Utilizing cloud services will help assure your customers that you are taking the necessary precautions to protect their financial information.

Better IT security

In today’s digital world, the management of information systems and technology can easily be done online. Thanks to the cloud, businesses can now take full advantage of managed service providers (MSPs), enjoying the benefits of lower costs, reliable support, and improved security. Information systems management is one of the many roles that can be done completely remotely. This is evidenced by the fact that many universities now offer online programs for those aspiring to enter the field. Students taking Maryville University’s online degree in management information systems (MIS) are given hands-on experience with emergent technologies to develop the skills needed to be systems architects, network specialists, and technical services managers – all through an online platform. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has also begun offering online MIS courses through the virtual learning platform EdX. MSPs can take over complex processes right from the cloud, keeping all software up-to-date to ensure system security, and performing regular backups and providing disaster recovery solutions to businesses of all sizes, and across all industries.

Enhanced productivity

Because the cloud provides a centralized platform for storing and managing data, employees can easily access the tools and information they need from anywhere, at any time. This has allowed the increased adoption of remote working policies – arguably the biggest thing to aid employee productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the cloud also enhances productivity in another way: by streamlining collaboration. The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), together with Babson College’s Professor Rob Cross, performed a survey on 1,100 companies in the US and found collaborative work to be five times more likely to result in better performance. Through the cloud, workers are able to access files and make changes simultaneously, significantly reducing the time it takes for a project to go from conceptualization to execution. Because all permitted users are able to see the same version of a file, comments can be made and changes can be requested and reflected in real-time. Every business can utilize the cloud to improve their financial services, establish more secure IT systems, and enable employee productivity. Explore the options presented by DMDS to see how we can help get your firm started.

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  • Client Success Team

In the endless evolving world of electronics, there's always the same principal concept that a computer operates on: sending electrical signals through a circuit. Over the many years since the the first computers, they got smaller. From dedicating massive rooms to your palm of your hands, computers are everywhere you go. It's important to know what components go into the computer and what their individual function is.

Photo by Tistio

What Makes a Computer?

There's eight components that goes inside a computer:

  • Case: Provides shielding for the other parts

  • Motherboard: The backbone of the computer, connects other parts together

  • CPU: The brains of the computer, processes thoughts

  • RAM: Fast-retrieval storage, working space for the computer*

  • GPU: The eyes for the computer, displays user interfaces for the computer

  • Storage: Bank storage, all the saved data lives here

  • Power Supply: Provides the energy and shares with other part

*Note: If the power gets turned off, all that data is lost.

Mentioned before, the great thing about computers is that they come in all different types and sizes. From the cell phone that's in your pocket to satellites flying in space. There's pros and cons to each of these and ultimately depends on your needs on which to get.

Our Recommendations

For Managed IT Services:

  • CPU: i3 - 6th Gen / AMD equivalent or better

  • Storage: 256 SDD (Solid State Drive)

  • RAM: 8 GB or more*

*Note: Have more if you want a faster computer

Photo by Alienware

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