Data Security - Employee Awareness 
January, 18 2017, ,
Posted by Administrator
If you have turned on the news in the last year you have probably heard about one cyber-attack or another that has occurred in varying degrees of severity. Most of the attacks that are reported involved an outside hacker that has gained access to a company’s computer system and gained access to sensitive data. While this is the most published form of attack that occurs, access can be much easier than an outside hacker getting into the system and it starts with your employee staff.
Over the next 5 weeks we will share some tools to help avoid easy access to company data through employee workspace protection.
Passwords
We have all either said it at one time or heard someone else say it, “There are so many passwords to remember, I have to make all of them the same so I can remember how to log-in to all of the websites, etc.” Others that choose to have different passwords have them written down on a piece of paper that is slid under their keyboard or in an unlocked drawer at their desk. Below are some things to keep in mind when creating a password.
- The longer the password the better. At a minimum make the password at least 8 characters long. If the secure site allows a certain number of characters – make it as long as possible
- Avoid using the same password to access all sites or a small variation of the same password for all sites – Example - Fluffy3 for one site and Fluffy4 for another
- Use capital letters, numbers and symbols when allowed by the site
- If you do write them down, make sure to keep them secured
- Use a phrase to remember your password – “My dog’s name is Fido and was born in 2004” – MdniFawbi#2004

Check back next Wednesday, January 25th for ways to protect your company data while traveling.
Dorothy, as a KFSA Intern 
December, 16 2016, ,
Posted by Administrator
I was eighteen years old when I started working at KFSA, I was nervous, naive, and had no idea what I was doing. Although I had a good grasp of basic accounting principles and solid experience using Microsoft Word applications, I had no practical experience. Unbeknownst to me, the summer of 2012 would lend itself to a treasure trove of practical, applicable career experiences. These learning experiences would continue into every summer and winter break from 2012 to the present.
I found time after time, back at KFSA, learning more about accounting, spreadsheets, financial statements, copiers, scanning, processes, and insurance than I ever thought I could learn. Thank you Accounting Department and Operations, for your patience and mentorship! Still, I have also observed, learned, and grown from much more than the technical skills. I used to look at businesses as if they were some sort of huge machine – doing all sorts of tricks and tasks, depending on how well-oiled the business beast was kept. Actually, I think many people see businesses in a similar, inhuman, intangible manner. “The Business Machine.” “The Insurance Machine.” “The Risk Management Machine.” “The ProValue Machine.” Once you begin to work with people in an environment like KFSA, however, you learn that business is actually people, not tasks, tricks, or oil. You begin to take a closer look at this business “machine” and realize that all these moving parts and tasks are actually being accomplished by people – much like Dorothy’s discovery of Wizard of Oz.
This realization – that business is actually made possible by its people, rather than by some intangible concept – is a humbling one, especially as a young intern. I’ve taken classes and been in situations that I’ve felt like the smartest person in the room. On the other hand, you are never the smartest person in the room, in an internship. The people you work with always with have more professional experience, developed skill sets, and life experiences than you. People I have worked with at KFSA have already walked through much more of life than I ever realized was possible; battling cancer, losing loved ones, watching kids and grandkids grow up, marriage, divorce, traveling, or settling down - and all this before I had even started my first semester at college! Observing, working, and walking with co-workers through these realities has taught me more about the value of creating a people-focused working culture – the type culture you want to work in. Rather than the spreadsheets, financial statements, deposit slips, or the masses of files that need scanned, the workspace community is really the bread and butter of KFSA. Over these internship years I’ve had a boss gift me with a wonderful banana cream pie for my birthday (if you’ve ever had a Carriage Crossing pie, you know what a delightful gift this is), a fellow intern to vent with me about the joys of summer classes, a co-worker to listen to my woes of dating and dumping a dud, a lovely food party to send me off into another academic year, and a variety of people who have asked me about my future career goals and aspirations. In and of themselves, each of these gestures seem small, but these are the actual magic of the business machine. Business, insurance, risk management, accounting – they are all the quite human, quite personable men and women behind the Great Oz curtain. As a part of KFSA, you are part of a larger, working, cooperative community of people.
I will be graduating in December with a dual degree in Finance and International Business, with hopes of carrying my education and work experiences into a greater global field. Although the company may be seemingly small on an international scale, the Great Oz of KFSA has undoubtedly modeled to me the type of culture, work ethic, people, and communities I wish to help encounter and create.

By Megan Thurston

Group Benefit Plans 
November, 22 2016, ,
Posted by Administrator
Do you have employees that do not want to enroll in your group’s benefit plans when they are first hired? Generally, if an employee contributes to any portion of their monthly premium, they have the option to waive the coverage they are applying for. However, if the employer pays ALL of the premium, no one should be able to opt out. Please check with your benefits carrier to see how this is handled.

If an employee has waived any of the group benefit plans at the time of their full time hire date, and decide at a later time that they DO want the coverage, you should check with your carrier to see if they will need to prove their insurability at that time.

Fire Safety Week 
October, 18 2016, ,
Posted by Administrator
National Fire Safety Week was October 9-15. As of the writing of this article, it is hard to think about heaters , fireplaces and wood burning stoves when the temperatures are in the 80’s and 90’s in central Kansas, but we are closely approaching a changing season and cool weather will be here before we know it. As we begin to turn on the heaters and start burning wood, it is a good time to check smoke detectors in your house to ensure the safety of your family in the event of a fire in the home.

A recent survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Agency found that Nine out of 10 people in the United States don’t know how often smokes alarms should be replaced. Alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture – not the date that the alarm was purchased or installed – printed on the side or back of the device – NFPA states in a press release.
Take time to check your smoke detectors to ensure that they are not out of date. Make sure to test the detector to ensure that it is functioning properly. By doing these two simple steps, you are helping to reduce a potential tragedy should a fire break out in your home.

In addition to fire detectors, you should also make sure that a functioning carbon monoxide detector is installed in your home. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable by human senses. People can be exposed to carbon monoxide and not even know they are being affected. Some tips to reduce the exposure:

- Hire a trained professional inspect and service your home heating systems annually (this includes venting for fireplaces and wood burners)

- Know the symptoms associated with carbon monoxide exposure

- Headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion.

- Symptoms can be of varying degrees of severity depending on the levels of carbon monoxide and length of exposure. Early detection can prevent serious if not fatal consequences.

Problems can arise at any time and with little to no advance warning. By taking time to install new detectors or test your current detectors will help reduce the chances of a tragedy from occurring.

Fraudulent Impersonation – A Rising Threat to Companies 
July, 05 2016, ,
Posted by Administrator
Fraudsters are continually looking for a way to access sensitive information or have money sent somewhere that it shouldn’t be. News reports of companies being scammed out of large sums money or large quantities of sensitive information are becoming more frequent each year and it is not just big business that is the target of the tricks and schemes to steal information. As we begin to build walls and increase security measures to help avoid these attacks, it seems like new forms of fraudulent activity start.
One threat that is starting to see more attention is fraudulent impersonation. Now, it is referred to differently depending on what research you do on the topic, but the scheme is the same. A scammer gains access to information that they use to deliberately mislead an employee to send money or redirect a payment. This correspondence can come in the form of an email, phone call, fax, letter, etc. No matter how the correspondence is received, the end result can be money or information released that cannot be recovered.
Employees are trusting and want to make sure that they do not challenge those above them when a request is made. There is also the opportunity for oversight when an employee is busy and does not think. They may need to get out of the office for the day or have a pile of work to complete and push the request on due to the ease of getting it off their plate and looking good for being efficient.
Scenarios:
1) A hacker gains access to an executives email account. They research the company and are able to duplicate everything so that it appears to be company from the person within the organization. Their research also includes schedule of key personnel. An email is sent to another employee requesting funds to be wired for any number of reasons. The employee goes ahead and wires the money and finds out later that it was a fraudulent email and the money is gone.

2) An employee receives a phone call regarding a vendor that the company uses on a regular basis. The vendor claims that they need to have the money sent to another account due to a change in banks, a problem with their current bank, etc. The employee authorizes the change and sends the money to the new account and receives a call or invoice later from the real vendor questioning why the invoice was never paid and the money is already gone.

3) Fraudulent phone call is made to an employee from a hacker claiming to be a client. They claim that they are unable to access their account and need to have their username and password verified. Once this is completed, the fraudster has just gained access to the clients account and can manipulate it from there.

How to help reduce the risk:
1) Require a two-step verification process for wire transfer payments
2) For vendors, have a direct number that is used to verify information. A number that is different from the main number for that vendor for verification purposes.
3) Know the customers that you are working with. If a request is received that is out of the ordinary for the customer, question it.
4) Train your people to ask questions when something do not seem right.

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