Author: David McDonald

29 Aug 2023

Why Your Business Needs to Beef Up Employee Security Awareness

We all have a tendency to avoid our weaknesses. When we do that, we never progress or get any better.

Jocko Willink

In today’s rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity, organizations are increasingly recognizing the critical importance of fortifying their defences. Despite substantial investments worldwide to repel digital threats, malicious actors persistently exploit vulnerabilities, even within the most fortified systems. Their primary focus? Employees. These individuals are regarded by cybercriminals as the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. However, a solution exists—a beacon of hope in the form of a “beefed-up” security awareness training.

Enhancing security awareness among employees is undeniably a top priority. In this article, we will delve into the motivations behind cybercriminals’ fixation on employees and explore the profound implications of enriching their security knowledge. By acknowledging vulnerabilities and taking proactive measures, businesses can significantly reduce risks and empower their workforce to effectively counter cyber threats.

The Vulnerabilities Within – Identifying the Challenges

Does your organization grapple with these common challenges?

1. Lack of Awareness: The unfortunate reality is that many employees remain unfamiliar with cybersecurity hazards, tactics used by cybercriminals, and essential best practices. Malicious actors exploit this knowledge gap to launch deceptive campaigns, distribute malicious software, and orchestrate elaborate social manipulation tactics.

2. Privileged Access: Employees often possess access to critical systems, sensitive data, and administrative privileges coveted by cybercriminals. Breaching these accounts can provide malicious agents with access to valuable assets, leading to significant disruptions.

3. Social Manipulation: Cybercriminals excel at manipulating human emotions, trust, and curiosity. They employ these tactics to coerce employees into divulging confidential information, sharing login credentials, or unknowingly compromising security protocols.

4. BYOD Risks: The “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend introduces additional risks to businesses. Personal devices lacking robust security measures create vulnerabilities that cybercriminals are eager to exploit.

5. Remote and Hybrid Work Challenges: The shift to remote and hybrid work environments presents novel challenges. Home networks with weaker security, shared devices, and domestic distractions make employees more susceptible to digital attacks.

Constructing a Cyber-Resilient Workforce: Best Practices

To build a solid foundation for cyber resilience within your organization, consider these best practices:

1. Assess the Landscape: Gain a deep understanding of the specific cybersecurity risks your organization faces. Identify areas where employees are most vulnerable.

2. Define Objectives: Clearly define the knowledge and skills your employees need to acquire through your security awareness program.

3. Develop Engaging Content: Craft compelling content that captivates your employees’ attention and seamlessly integrates cybersecurity concepts. Use real-world scenarios to instill cybersecurity wisdom.

4. Tailor Content: Customize your content to address unique challenges within your organization. Align the material with employees’ roles and responsibilities.

5. Embrace Continuity: Establish a consistent rhythm of instruction to reinforce cybersecurity principles. Keep your workforce updated on emerging threats and countermeasures.

6. Measure Effectiveness: Regularly assess the impact of your security awareness program through behavioural outcomes, evaluations, and feedback. Use data to refine and improve your program continuously.

7. Foster a Cybersecurity Culture: Encourage proactive engagement by fostering open communication, providing spaces for incident reporting, and emphasizing shared responsibility for protecting the digital realm.

Uniting for a Secure Future

We stand united in our mission to usher in a new era of digital guardianship. Let us seize this opportunity to transform our employees into an unwavering bulwark against cyber threats. The investment in employee security awareness serves as the crucible in which our defences are honed, ensuring a future marked by unwavering resilience. As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, the empowerment of our workforce will prove instrumental in safeguarding our business from the persistent threats of the digital age.

16 Aug 2023

Avoid the Common Mistakes Your Cybersecurity Training

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John F. Kennedy

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, the importance of employee cybersecurity training cannot be emphasized enough. It acts as the first line of defence against cyber threats, arming your team with the knowledge and skills to identify and counter potential risks. However, to ensure the efficacy of your training program, it is crucial to sidestep common errors that can compromise your efforts.

Navigating Common Mistakes for Effective Cybersecurity Training

Let’s take a deep dive into these pitfalls and develop avoidance strategies. By proactively addressing these challenges, you can magnify the impact of your employee cybersecurity training, fostering a culture of security awareness that empowers your workforce to stand guard against cybercriminals. Together, we will empower your team with the competencies needed to safeguard your organization.

Key Blunders to Dodge

1. Treating Security Training as a One-time Occasion:

Resist the urge to treat cybersecurity training as a mere checkbox to tick. Instead, foster an environment of perpetual learning by consistently offering opportunities for employees to stay abreast of the latest threats and best security practices. Elevate security awareness to an ongoing journey rather than an isolated event.

2. Providing Stale, Unengaging, and Irrelevant Training:

Engagement is the linchpin of effective training. Steer clear of dry and outdated content that fails to captivate employees’ attention. Strive to deliver training that is timely, captivating, and relatable. Harness interactive platforms and user-friendly tools to craft an immersive learning experience that resonates with your team.

3. Prioritizing Activity Over Behavioral Outcomes:

Avoid the trap of focusing solely on tracking training completion rates or the number of simulated phishing exercises. While these metrics offer insights, they only reveal part of the story. Shift your attention to measuring behavioural outcomes, showcasing a genuine grasp of security principles and driving concrete changes in employee conduct.

4. Nurturing a Culture of Blame and Mistrust:

Approach security training as a conduit for growth and improvement rather than a finger-pointing exercise. Foster a nurturing atmosphere where employees feel at ease reporting security concerns and seeking clarification. Promote a collective sense of responsibility, emphasizing that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

5. Lack of Leadership Support and Engagement:

Leadership wields substantial influence in setting the tone for your security training initiative. Without visible endorsement and active involvement from executives and managers, employees might perceive security as a peripheral concern. Rally leadership to champion security endeavours and actively participate in training, showcasing their dedication to safeguarding the organization.

6. Hesitating to Seek External Aid:

Crafting and managing a comprehensive training program can be daunting, particularly when internal resources are limited. Do not hesitate to solicit assistance from external experts or specialized IT service providers versed in cybersecurity training. They possess the expertise and guidance required to implement a robust and impactful program.

A Collaborative Journey Towards Success

By proactively addressing these potential missteps, you possess the capability to instill a resilient security culture within your organization. If support is required, do not hesitate to seek it. We are here to provide the necessary aid. Our wealth of experience and expertise perfectly align with your needs, making security training a minor concern.

Additionally, we invite you to walk through our Assessing the Strength of Your Cybersecurity Culture checklist to gauge your progress along the right trajectory. Together, we can fortify your defences and shield your enterprise from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Your organization’s security is our shared commitment.

28 Jul 2023

Why Your Business Needs a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

Even on a good day, being a business owner is challenging. Apart from dealing with and effectively solving multiple problems, you also need the foresight to arm your business with the right tools and solutions to tackle any issues that might arise later.

One issue you should always prioritize is data loss/data corruption and business disruption that cause downtime and productivity dips. Remember that data loss/data corruption and business disruption could happen due to various reasons, such as:

· Natural calamity

· Hardware failure

· Human error

· Software corruption

· Computer viruses

Adopting a comprehensive backup and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy is the best way to tackle this problem

What is a comprehensive backup and BCDR strategy?

A comprehensive backup and BCDR strategy emphasizes the need for various technologies working together to deliver uptime. It even highlights technologies associated with cybersecurity. A robust strategy:

Protects all systems, devices and workloads

Managing all systems, devices and workloads efficiently, securely and consistently can be challenging. Mistakes, errors, mishaps and outright failures across backup and recovery systems could happen at any time, leading to severe downtime or other costly business consequences. That’s why it’s essential to have a reliable and secure solution to back up and protect business data as well as business systems, devices and workloads.

Ensures the integrity, availability and accessibility of data

The complexity of IT, network and data environments that include multiple sites — cloud, on-premises and remote — makes monitoring and protection difficult. It negatively affects the integrity, availability and accessibility of information and all IT network assets. That’s why it’s a best practice to simultaneously deploy tools or systems that cover all IT and network infrastructure (remote, cloud and on-site) with the same level of protection and security.

Enables business resilience and continuity

A comprehensive and realistically achievable backup and BCDR strategy prioritizes, facilitates and ensures the continuity of business operations. It represents a business’ resiliency against downtime or data loss incidents.

Prioritizes critical protection and security requirements against internal and external risks

No backup or BCDR solution can be effective if your business does not proactively identify and mitigate internal and external risks. You need tools that focus on internal and external threats through constant monitoring, alerting and tactical defence to empower your backup and BCDR strategy.

Optimizes and reduces storage needs and costs through deduplication

With the amount of data skyrocketing day after day, it poses serious storage and budgetary challenges for businesses. What makes things worse is the existence of multiple unnecessary copies of the same files. Therefore, adopting the deduplication process can identify data repetition and ensure that no similar data is stored unnecessarily.

Manages visibility and unauthorized access and fulfills data retention requirements

Your business data must never be visible to every employee in the same way. There must be policies and tools to ensure that an employee accesses only data essential to completing their tasks. Also, unauthorized access must be identified and blocked immediately. This is crucial not only for the success of backups and BCDR but also for maintaining compliance with all regulatory mandates related to data protection and retention.

Comprehensive backup and BCDR for your business

By now, it must be clear to you that adopting a comprehensive backup and BCDR strategy is not an option but a necessity. An occasional, severe data loss incident or disruption even could open the gates for your competitors to eat into your profits and customer base.

You must do everything possible to bring all the right tools and strategies together so your business can operate seamlessly, even in the face of chaos. Are you ready to approach the concept of comprehensive backup and BCDR practically?

It isn’t as difficult as you might think. Collaborate with an expert partner like us with the knowledge and experience to take care of your backup and BCDR needs.

Get in touch with us today to learn more.

21 Jul 2023

Data Loss Disasters Come in Many Forms

Data loss disasters encompass a wide range of events, from natural calamities to cyberattacks to simple human mistakes. Such disasters can have a severe impact on businesses, leading to operational disruptions, financial losses, damaged reputation, and even legal consequences due to the loss of valuable data.

To mitigate these risks, it is imperative for businesses of all sizes to establish a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan. By implementing a robust BCDR strategy, you can ensure a swift recovery and restoration of your business in the event of a disaster, while also meeting governmental and industry regulatory requirements.

In this article, we will explore the different types of data loss disasters and highlight the key components of a BCDR plan that can effectively navigate you through such disruptive events.

The many forms data loss can take

Various forms of data loss disasters can impact your business. These include:

Natural disasters

Events such as storms (including electrical), floods, fires, hurricanes, and (to a lesser extent in our area) tsunamis and volcano eruptions can cause infrastructural damages, power failures, and mechanical failures, leading to data loss.

Hardware and software failure

Disruptions in software and hardware, whether caused by bugs, glitches, configuration errors, component failures, or outdated technology, can result in data loss if appropriate BCDR measures are not in place.

Unforeseen circumstances

Data loss can occur due to incidents not easily predicted. For example, a portable hard disk may be stolen, a water leak in the server room due to plumbing issues, or a pest infestation in a data center.

The human factor

Human errors contribute significantly to data loss incidents. These errors range from accidental file deletions, overwriting existing files, and naming convention mistakes to forget to save or back up data or damaging storage devices.


Malware, ransomware, viruses, and unauthorized access by malicious insiders pose significant risks to data security. Such attacks can corrupt and render data and backups irrecoverable.

Key components of BCDR

To build a robust BCDR strategy, consider the following key components:

Risk assessment

Identify potential risks and threats that could impact your business operations. Quantify and measure these risks to effectively address them.

Business impact analysis (BIA)

Assess the potential consequences of a disruptive event on critical business functions and prioritize them in your recovery plan.

Continuity planning

Develop procedures and protocols to resume critical business operations with minimal downtime during a disruption.

Disaster recovery planning

Create a well-defined plan to recover critical IT functions and data following a disruptive incident.

Testing and maintenance

Regularly test your disaster recovery and backup plans to ensure they can be successfully executed during a real disaster. Identify any weaknesses or gaps and make necessary enhancements.

Wondering where to begin?

Embarking on the journey of developing and implementing a BCDR plan may seem daunting. However, we are here to assist you in building the right BCDR strategy tailored to your business requirements. Feel free to contact us today to initiate the process.

05 Jun 2018

Easy Cleanup for You

Clutter tends to have a degenerative effect. First your desk gets a little overcrowded with trinkets, business cards, yesterday’s mail, and that ever-growing stack of paperwork you’ve been meaning to get to. But then it’s the dirty dishes in your sink at home. Or the garage that seems to catch all the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. Next thing you know, your mind is hazy, and you can’t quite remember where you left your keys much less that long list of to-do’s you had!

Networks, computers, and even your mobile devices can suffer similar symptoms. If neglected, simple issues like storage space can malign and grow into a crippling problem. That’s why it’s important to complete your tech chores early and often. They can be a pain but when completed regularly, tech chores can serve as the preemptive measure between a happier and more productive you and total disaster.

As we dive into Summer, consider this list of simple tech chores:

  • Go through old files and pictures. Organize what you want to keep and delete duplicates and anything that’s unimportant. Leverage OneDrive’s cloud storage – included with O365 Business Essentials and Premium licenses. Or, better yet, call the Help Desk and ask about MozyPro backup solutions.
  • Declutter your workspace. Make the effort to shake the crumbs out of your keyboard. While being very careful not to unplug anything, detangle wires and ensure they run a clear path from point A to B. Remove any obstacles that could prevent air flow to your computer. If you have questions or need assistance, schedule an onsite visit with one of our engineers – we are more than happy to do a Network checkup!
  • Passwords. This is important. Go through your various passwords and make sure they are up-to-date and secure. Microsoft sees over ten million username/password pair attacks per day. Make sure you aren’t one of them! If you struggle with keeping up with your credentials, invest in a password manager. There a lot of terrific options out there that integrate seamlessly with the tools and browsers you use every day. The Quo Vadis team uses 1Password.
  • Check for updates. We do our very best to minimize the downtime you experience related to network maintenance. However, small things have a tendency to slow you down despite our efforts. Restarting your computer at least once a week can make a world of difference. When you get up for a cup of coffee or step out for the weekend, reboot your machine. This will allow Windows updates to take effect and continue running smoothly. Make a mental list of all the tools you use regularly. Flash, Adobe Reader, Java and various other add-ons and extensions update regularly and so should you. Work with an Engineer to ensure you and your computer never lose full functionality.

We are here to help, call the Help Desk.

21 May 2018

Tracking your miles – MileIQ

If you are like me, then you struggle to accurately track and categorize the business and personal miles travelled in your vehicle. Logbooks and excel charts seem to be too messy and unreliable for me, so I attempted to employ an app to make my life easier. I investigated a bunch of apps, downloaded a number of them and tested a few. Most of the offerings have the same basic features – automatically tracking your trips and calculating the reimbursement amount (based on region). What really separates the various apps is the subscription cost and ease of use. Of the apps I tested, the one that suited me the most was the Microsoft MileIQ since it had the features I needed and recognized my trips perfectly. The comprehensive reports mean that payroll can more quickly process and audit work-related trips. nicest “feature” is that Miley is a Microsoft Mobile Data Labs app, so is included in my Office 365 Business Premium subscription at no additional cost. If you have such a subscription and have need of a mileage tracker then I highly recommend giving the MileIQ app a try. You can try the free version as well, but you are limited to 40 drives in a month.  The app is available for iOS and Android

After your day is done, you can open the MileIQ app to properly categorize any trips made. Swiping the drive one way or the other allows you to log it as a business or a personal trip with a specific purpose if you like. You can set the app to automatically log trips started outside of work hours as personal to reduce the amount of time you need to spend swiping and recording trips. Being able to label trip destinations with a client name also makes billing easier since those details are included in the monthly reports.  This history of your drives are kept and can be accessed by logging into your account either via the web portal or the app itself – I have found the web portal to be easier when dealing with the history.

The app obviously needs to run in the background, monitoring your phone’s sensors to detect the start and stop of a trip, however, I have not noticed a noticeable impact on my iPhone’s battery life.

To sign up for MileIQ with you office 365 Business Premium account, navigate to:

30 Jan 2018

Hello, my name is Clayton Pajot

Hello, my name is Clayton Pajot.

I’m one of the Quo Vadis techs up here in Canada. I live in a small town called Walkerton, Ontario. I’ve been with Quo Vadis for about 6 months now, and it’s been a great experience so far! I grew up in rural towns surrounding the greater Ottawa area, where everyone has the most stereotypical Canadian accent you can think of.

Life moved my family around quite a bit. My Dad owned several businesses in the reclaimed wood industry; he would find old barns and negotiate with the owner to tear it down, bring the wood back to his Wood Yard. Once he cleaned the wood up, he could sell it to those looking to improve their houses or cottages with a rustic look. The business did well for over a decade and allowed my dad to see most of North America driving the wood from place to place.

After leaving high school in 2007, I went up north to a city called North Bay. It’s really not that far north in Canadian terms, but that’s the name. I went there to attend Nipissing University for a Bachelor of Business Administration, thinking I would go into Investing or some such industry. I found out over the course of three years there that I wasn’t enjoying it. I changed majors and minors and tried new courses, and ended up graduating with a Bachelors in Commerce. I was pretty discouraged by my university education. I felt that, though I had the degree, I didn’t want or feel prepared for any job it may help me get.

University did bring me something that I will always be grateful for though; my beautiful and long-suffering wife Priscilla. We met through our church in North Bay, and eventually helped lead our Christian group on campus together. We have been married for over two years now, and have just celebrated the first birthday of our son Arlo. My wife worked in a hospital for almost a year, while I was trying to find steady work to support my family. Discouraged, we wondered what God had in store for us. At church one day, a woman mentioned that an IT company in Teeswater, Ontario was hiring. This seemed odd to me as Teeswater is basically 35 people and a dairy creamery surrounded by 100 kilometers of fields, but it intrigued me, and I felt like it was something I could do.

I went to meet David McDonald and see the Quo Vadis office. We talked for almost an hour about everything Quo Vadis was, and how I could contribute to this company. They said they would train me in-house, show me the ropes of IT, and imbue me with real-life skills that would be useful no matter where I end up. I got the job over 6 months ago and since then I’ve learned a lot, met great people on both sides of the border, and get to work a job I actually enjoy! I hope this gave you a chance to learn a little more about me.