Let’s Talk Cyber Security – Again!

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By: Chris Hatfield
IT Director

In the digital age we live in, it’s important to recognize and understand cyber security threats. In this blog, we take another look at cyber security, and how important your role is in making sure your information stays safe.

What is a CYBER THREAT?

  • Cyber threats cover a wide range of malicious activity that can occur through cyberspace. Such threats include web site defacement, espionage, theft of intellectual property, denial of service attacks, and destructive malware. (adopted by White House)
  • Any malicious act that attempts to gain access to a computer network without authorization or permission from the owner

 

MOTIVATION – What is the goal of these attacks?

  • Money:                   Trying to make a buck.
  • Information:        Trying to steal valuable information and sell that information.
  • Entertainment:   Just for fun, or maybe the challenge.
  • Disruption:           Make a statement, be a nuisance, or get in the news.

IDENTIFYING TARGETS – What do we have that a hacker wants?

  • Passwords
  • Credit Card Numbers
  • Bank Account Information
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Files from your computer or the network
  • Your computer

Commonly Used Cyber Threats

Phishing:

The act of sending email that falsely claims to be from a legitimate organization.  This is usually combined with a request for information.

How to detect a Phishing scam:

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  • Check the ‘From’ address: Lazy scammers will not spoof the address.
  • Look at the salutation: Is it generic?
  • Examine the message:  Is it a scare tactic?  Is there a sense of urgency?
  • Hover over links: Hovering reveals the true destination of the link.
  • Check the attachment: Does the attachment end with the following:
    • .EXE .BAT .PHP .SCR .ZIP
    • If it does, don’t open it!

 


Spear Phishing

A type of Phishing scam that TARGETS a specific individual, organization or business.

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Spear Phishing – The Why

  • Higher probability of success
    • More time invested in researching target.
    • Customized phishing email has better chance of success.
  • Higher chances of substantial reward
    • The installation of ‘Ransomware’.
    • Possibility of CEO fraud, such as wire transfers.

Spear Phishing – How to avoid

  • Ask yourself the following:
    • Am I expecting a package?
    • Why would {co-worker} need this wire transfer?
    • Would my friend really send this email?
  • Be suspicious of any attachments:
    • This includes Word/Excel/PDF attachments.

Drive-by Attack

This attack targets a person through the web browser, installing malicious software by visiting a compromised website.

What happens?

  • A legitimate website is hijacked and used to push malware to unsuspecting users.
  • Poisoned search results behind trending news items on sites like Google and Yahoo.
  • Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are uses to load malware on computers.

Examples:

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Malware – Don’t fall for this scam and download a non-existent antivirus program! Verify the anti-virus program that pops up is actually your software (Norton, TrendMicro, etc.). Be safe, don’t click a pop-up!

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BEWARE CRYPTO LOCKER! This is a global ransomware threat that has infected more than 300,000 networks in the US alone.


Vishing

A form of Phishing using the phone (voice phishing) to persuade the end user into giving up critical or personal information.

Telephone fraud is estimated to cost companies $46 billion per year!

What are they looking for:

  • Employee information.
  • Social Security Numbers.
  • User Credentials.
  • Home addresses.
  • ANY information about a company’s technology or processes.

How to protect yourself:

  • No information should be given out without verifying the caller’s identity.
  • Ask for the callers name.
  • Ask for the company.
  • Ask for the caller’s title.
  • Ask for a number on which you can call them back.

If you don’t want to be a victim of cyber attacks, here’s one thing to keep in mind:

Think before you click!


Do you have any other suggestions or information about cyber security? Share your thoughts in the comments sections of this blog.

Recognizing Our People in the Community – Larry Mudd

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larry-muddLarry Mudd is a Partner and VP-Development for Holladay Properties. Larry is actively involved in Crisis Center, Inc., and currently serves as a member of the Wine Fest & Auction Committee, the organization’s annual fundraising event.

Originally founded in 1971, the Crisis Center’s mission is to serve as agents to respond, to aid, to support, and enrich the people they serve. The Crisis Center offers a variety of programs including: counseling services, alternative housing, Safe Place, Teen Court, and Crisis Contact.

The  Counseling Services program developed from the need for low cost, quick and easily accessible services. Counselors are experienced and have a minimum of a Masters degrees in the field of Social Work or Counseling.The program offers evening and weekend appointments to provide quick responses to client needs.

Alternative House/Promises are programs that provide emergency, short-term shelter for runaway, homeless, pushed out, abused or neglected youth aged 10 through the age of 17. The shelter opened in January 1976 and has a professional staff who act as advocates helping youth deal with personal or parent conflicts, preventing family deterioration, and providing individual, group and family counseling. Other services include recreation, an in-house, half-day school, transportation to their home community school, and to referred health services. Year-long follow-up contacts with parents or caregivers determines the success of youth for a year after they leave Alternative House.

“Promises” is the open residential, long term care program at Alternative House that offers youth a caring, structured therapeutic environment, transportation to and from school, skills training, case management and support to prepare them for their next steps in life. Youth referred by the Department of Child Services may be between the ages of 10 to 20, males and females. Young people may be referred from throughout Indiana.

Safe Place began in March 1987 to provide outreach to youth. Safe Place combines public/private cooperation to get help fast to youth in crisis situations. Businesses provide a location, display a Safe Place sign, and indicate a youth may request help. Youth are transported to Alternative House where their problem is addressed. Lake & Porter County business and other public locations are encourages to sign up to have a decal on their door. Free materials and training are included.

Teen Court is a prevention, early intervention and youth development program, started in November 1989. Teens who have committed an offense that has brought them to the attention of police have an opportunity to appear before a court of their peers who determine their sentence. Youth are trained to serve in the roles of prosecution, defense, bailiff, clerk and jurors. Fifteen years of outcome determine proves the success of the project to teach youth personal responsibility for their actions. Teen Court operate concurrently is Porter County, Crown Point, and Hammond. Youth Volunteers are currently being recruited.

Crisis Contact is the Crisis Center’s pilot program. In 1971, volunteers created the ‘Rap Line’ to answer incoming calls from individual who needed information, referral, or just someone to talk to. The line also doubled as a suicide prevention hotline. Today, the program, which merged in 2003 with another local hotline service, is known as Crisis Contact. To reach the 24-hour, 7-day a week National hotline call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Volunteers are needed and professional training is offered free of charge.

To donate to the Crisis Center, volunteer, or to learn more about the group and its programs, visit http://www.crisiscenterysb.org/.

Giving Back: The 2016 Boys & Girls Club Christmas Party

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On Tuesday, December 20, 2016. volunteers from Holladay Properties’ South Bend office hosted the annual Boys & Girls’ Club Christmas Party at LaSalle Elementary School. Sporting “ugly” Christmas sweaters the volunteers entertained children from grades K through 6 with M&M’s bingo, marshmallow snowmen and gingerbread house building, “present-fort” wrapping, face painting, and a Snow-Balloon Battle.

Enjoy photos from the event below.

–  Holladay employees arrive at the party!

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First thing’s first – dinner time!

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– We love interacting with all the kids!

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A long-time tradition, the Gingerbread House Building competition!

–  A new favorite, Marshmallow Snowman Building!

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And the real favorite – face and body painting.

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We get better at this every year!

“The Boys & Girls Club Christmas Party is an event that we look forward to hosting, each year,” first-time organizer of the event, Cassie Sprigg, said. “It’s wonderful to bring such joy to the children in our community, for the holiday season.”

Our Hidden Gem – The Hays Advocate

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Everyone knows that dealing with health insurance issues can be time consuming, from something as simple as finding an in-network physician to understanding how deductibles are applied.

But did you know that any Holladay employee on any of our health insurance plans has an advocate in The Hays Group?  The Hays Advocate is another wonderful benefit that is offered to our employees to provide administrative support services.

What all can they help with?  Listed below are just some of the topics they can assist with:

  • Answering company-specific benefits questions
  • Being the go-between our employees and our health insurance providers
  • Finding a doctor or specialist
  • Researching an employee’s (or dependents’) out-of-pocket responsibilities
  • Uncovering charges incorrectly applied to deductibles

Our employees can contact our Hays Advocate at (877) 936-3775 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Don’t let health insurance issues complicate your life!  Contact our Hays Advocates, our hidden gem, and they will be more than happy to help you!

25 Things We Love About Holladay Properties

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As part of their holiday celebrations, our Florida Region employees were asked what they loved about working for Holladay. Here are their answers.25-things_image

  1. One of the many things that I love about our company is the fact that I don’t feel like just a number. It’s refreshing to see that there’s still a company in today’s day and age, that’s on a large scale that shows it has humanity..– Joshua DuCharme, 5 years property mgmt. experience, 2 months with Holladay

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2. We have an amazing Leader, Mrs. Jackie Fermin. – Jimena Ortiz, 1-1/2 years property
mgmt. experience, 1-1/2 years with Holladay

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  1. Diverse or diversity, welcoming. – Francisco Fermin, 16 years construction mgmt. experience, 1-1/2 years with Holladay

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  1. Great people, great work environment, great company. – Brian Swisher, 9-1/2 years property mgmt. experience, 9-1/2 years with Holladay

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  1. My Team! – Kelly Vasquez, 3-1/2 years property mgmt. experience, 3-1/2 years with Holladay

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  1. Sense of family. – Brian Wilcox, 11 years property mgmt. experience, 6 years with Holladay

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  1. I love that since day one of joining Holladay, I have been treated with much love and respect. Working here doesn’t feel like working at just any ordinary job, the Holladay team is more of a family than just a group of coworkers. – Ernesto Sanchez, 5 years property mgmt. experience, 1 year with Holladay

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  1. Their “Family First” mindset. – Henry Rodriguez, 20 years property mgmt. experience, 4 years with Holladay

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  1. Family oriented company” From day one I learned this about the company. It is something that is really appreciated from me as an employee. Knowing that if a family event ever goes on; I will have the availability to run and be with them. Also, all the resources we have to get the job done. We all know for sure that there is always someone on different departments at the end of the other line ready to assist us. i.e. I.T, Human Resources, communications, Re-Lynx, accounting, director of engineering and of course a Director of Management. – Antonio Betancurt, 18 years property mgmt. experience, 6 years with Holladay

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  1. Management is always approachable. (and we have a fabulous boss!) – Jackie Villamayor, 25 years property mgmt. experience, 2 years with Holladay

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  1. The opportunity to be part of the team. – Omar Pinto, 13 years property mgmt. experience, 2 years with Holladay

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  1. Our Florida team as well as our overall Nashville Holladay team. I certainly know enough to know that I don’t know it all. I feel our team works well together, providing knowledge, support, and works well together to accomplish our goals to provide excellence to our tenants. It’s been a pleasure to get to know everyone and I look forward to working closely with our FL team for many years to come – Matt Poncy, 1-1/2 years property mgmt. experience, 1-1/2 years with Holladay

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  1. They never let me down!! – Louis Montoya, 30 years property mgmt. experience, 10 years with Holladay

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  1. The gratitude towards Employees not only during the Holidays also throughout the year. Thanks Holladay Properties. – Roberto Jimenez- 20 years property mgmt. experience, 2-1/2 years with Holladay

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  1. The continued outreach to employees by Holladay Properties with regard to the Holladay Monday emails, available training whether with budgets or new maintenance procedures or program, company benefits, structure, feedback; all of the items combined builds moral in all Holladay departments and created employee retention. – Catherine Hernandez, 21 years property mgmt. experience, 7 months with Holladay

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  1. The opportunity to learn more day to day with the support of Jim, Jeff, Francisco, Jacqueline, Jessie etc. and the way that this great team works. – Pedro Loriga, 2 years property mgmt. experience, 5 months with Holladay

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  1. I love the support that I receive from each person on the team and the teamwork! I also love my – Jessie Casselman, 13 years property mgmt. experience, 6 months with Holladay

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  1. I love that we are asked for our opinion, and we are allowed to speak our mind without fear. I love being a part of something larger that makes a difference. I love that everyone cares and that we have flexibility when needed. I also love that my job challenges me every day in different ways. I guess that’s like four things! LOL! Point is I love HOLLADAY and my Boss! – Melissa Morales, 10 years property mgmt. experience, 2 years with Holladay

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  1. I love that Holladay encourages involvement in our local Professional Organization, and supplements monies toward Professional designations. – Carol Harp, 10 years property mgmt. experience, 2 years with Holladay

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  1. The Florida management team. – Jim Robinson, 1-1/2 years property mgmt. experience, 1-1/2 years with Holladay

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  1. Constant support, family mentality and tools to succeed as a TEAM! – Jacqueline Fermin, 20 years property mgmt. experience, 6 years with Holladay

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  1. Support. – Abe Suarez, 8 years property mgmt. experience, 8 years with Holladay

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  1. I love that I have support from others. I am able to reach out when needed. – Malana Ford, 8 years property mgmt. experience, 2 months with Holladay

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  1. I love that my co-workers & management team are social, knowledgeable & caring. I feel that I have the appropriate backing from my supervisors. – Camilo Basail, 20 years property mgmt. experience, 10 years with Holladay

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  1. I enjoy the freedom extended to me to complete my For instance, there’s no one looking over my shoulder asking me why I chose Southwest Airlines when American is cheaper. – Jeff Howell, 6 years property mgmt. experience, 6 years with Holladay

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Recognizing Our People in the Community – Jacqueline Fermin

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jacqueline-fermin

 Jacqueline Fermin is the Director of Property Management for Holladay’s Florida region. She recently participated in the TCS New York City Marathon where she raised over $20,000 for Team World Vision.

Team World Vision empowers individuals to help change lives around the world. Participants can dedicate races to raising awareness and funds for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Runners can join teams, get training advice, and choose their races while making a positive impact and transforming lives.

Teammates recently ran the TCS New York City Marathon to save children from trafficking and abuse by raising funds to provide healing support such as counseling, shelter, and assistance in reintegrating them into family and society. World Vision has restored nearly 8,500 child survivors through their humanitarian efforts.

In 2015, 84% of World Vision’s total operating expenses were used for programs that benefit children, families, and communities in need. Learn more about this program at  https://www.worldvision.org/.