Why Accounting firms choose HubWise Technology

Why Accounting firms choose HubWise Technology

HubWise Technology partners with accounting firms to ensure that their technology is enabling success.  We realize that disruptions during peak times, whether that is January 15th through April 15th, quarter end, or year end, can negatively impact your customer’s experience.  It takes a true partnership, not a vendor/customer relationship, to keep your firm from being negatively affected by downtime and disruptions.  We minimize this risk by planning, prioritizing, and performing.

Accountant choosing HubWise Technology as her IT provider.


Throughout the year, we meet for regular business reviews to put in place a roadmap to success.  These are individualized plans to meet your needs, and customized based on the priorities that are most important to you. These discussions will focus on current and future needs.  Together, we create this plan to eliminate any potential problems before they occur. As we look forward, we will discuss cybersecurity, hardware, infrastructure, data backups, new technologies, and deployed applications. 


When discussing potential partnerships with accounting firms, a common complaint is a lack of responsiveness to unexpected issues. Preventable downtime that is created because your provider does not answer the phone is unnecessary and needless. At HubWise Technology, we always respond quickly year-round, but as we approach key deadlines, all your tickets are escalated to highest priority for immediate assistance. As your managed IT service provider, we make sure that your infrastructure is secure and runs smoothly.  This year, one commonly used software provider pushed a large update less than two weeks before the deadline, creating a myriad of potential issues.  Prior to the update, we discussed likely complications, put a plan in place, and had technicians ready to assist immediately. 


Throughout the year, we put together a spotless plan, making sure all hardware is up to date and running efficiently, software is functioning appropriately, backups are in place.  We can answer your call before the first ring finishes and immediately get to work on your issue. This doesn’t matter if we cannot fix your issue correctly the first time that it occurs.  To ensure we perform, we apply rigorous internal standards based upon our core values.  We constantly train on new technologies, and verify their ability meets our partners’ needs.  Our culture is one where it is expected to ask for help quickly if we do not have an immediate answer to your problem.  Multiple brains can tackle problems quickly and correctly. We train, we escalate, and we test every day.

HubWise Technology has created a culture based on our core values that leads to successful partnerships with accounting firms.  We understand your needs, how you operate, and the systems that drive your business.  We have a tiered and multi-layered approach to security to ensure that your data is safe from malicious actors with bad intentions.  We help ensure that your tax season is productive by planning throughout the year, prioritizing your needs and performing to a rigorous standard.

Let’s start a discussion, so that we can lay out our plan in detail and make sure that next tax season is your most productive, and profitable tax season.  

8 Essential Email Security Practices for You and Your Business

8 Essential Email Security Practices for You and Your Business

At HubWise Technology, our customer’s will interact with our helpdesk on a regular basis.  We expect our technicians to respond quickly to our customer’s day-to-day needs, and fix any issue’s rapidly.  We believe in the importance of these interactions, and our technician’s ability to diagnosis and fix issues to ensure technology is enabling success for our customer’s. But, securing our customer’s data is our most important job.  New threats emerge rapidly, and we use a multi-tiered and layered security approach to protecting against malicious actors. Email security is one of the layers that we use, and we are constantly working towards staying in front of the newest threats.  

Email has become an integral part of our daily communication, and it has also become a significant target for cyber attackers. Securing your companies email is crucial to ensuring the protection of the data that your company holds. Many emails contain sensitive and confidential information, including financial details, personal information, and business strategies. It is not only the information that is stored within individual emails, but how they can be used to gather information, and gain access to all of your data.  Therefore, it is essential to have the best security practices deployed to protect yourself and your organization from cyber threats. 

1.         Use strong passwords: A strong password is the first line of defense against cyber-attacks. Make sure to use a complex password with a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using common words or personal information such as your name, date of birth, or pet’s name. Put silos around your passwords, do not intermingle professional and personal passwords. Password management software can be deployed to give each employee a private, and encrypted vault to store passwords and logins.

2.         Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your email account. With 2FA, you will need to provide a password and a verification code sent to your mobile phone or another trusted device to access your account. This is a simple to deploy strategy decreases risk exponentially.

3.         Keep your software and hardware up to date: Make sure your email client, anti-virus, and anti-spam software are up to date with the latest security patches. Cyber attackers often exploit vulnerabilities in software to gain unauthorized access to email accounts. While having to restart your computer mid-day can be frustrating, it may not be a new feature that you are delaying, but a known security hole.

4.         Be cautious of phishing emails: Phishing emails are designed to trick you into revealing sensitive information such as login credentials or personal information. Be wary of emails that ask you to click on links or provide personal information. Typically, a “good” phishing email prompts you to act quickly, don’t. Always verify the authenticity of the email sender before responding, carefully check the email address and pick up the phone if you are not sure.

5.         Use encryption: Encryption is the process of converting plain text into an unreadable format to protect sensitive information. Consider using an email service that supports encryption to protect your emails from unauthorized access. The best email protection security, will scan your outgoing email, and automatically encrypt if there are credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.  This is a great backstop, but if you are sending an email that can’t or should not be read by anyone other than the intended recipient, use encryption. 

6.         Use a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) provides an encrypted tunnel for your internet traffic, making it more difficult for cyber attackers to intercept your email communication. If you must use a public Wi-Fi or unsecured network, consider using a VPN when accessing your email or any other sensitive information.

7.         Be cautious of attachments: Malicious attachments can contain malware or viruses that can infect your computer or network. Be wary of attachments from unknown senders, and always scan attachments with anti-virus software before opening them. If your company is not using advanced email security, talk to your provider.  Attachments should be opened within a sandboxed cloud environment automatically before they are delivered to your account.

8.         Avoid using public computers: Public computers can be compromised with keyloggers or other malicious software that can record your keystrokes and steal your login credentials. Avoid accessing your email from public computers or other unsecured devices. While this is not as common as a practice as it once was, if you do not travel with a laptop, and use a hotel business center instead, make sure that your account is protected by 2FA, and update your password after logging off. 

Cyber attacks typically begin when a malicious actor gains access to an improperly secured email, or when the victim falls prey to a phishing attack.  If you believe that your email account has been accessed, immediately contact your IT provider.  HubWise Technology is an expert in email security and can help your company ensure that best practices are being followed.  

Benefits of using Office 365

Benefits of using Office 365

Office 365 is a suite of cloud-based applications and services that can help businesses increase productivity, streamline workflows, and save time and money. HubWise Technology is a certified Microsoft partner, and an expert in all things Office 365. Office 365 can be found being used by all business types and sizes. The decision to move to Office 365 either away from an exchange server or a competitor is made by our customers for a variety of reasons, but the main benefits are listed below.

1. Access Anywhere, Anytime

One of the main benefits of using Office 365, instead of an On-premises hosted exchange is that it is a cloud-based service. This allows you to access your files and applications from anywhere, at any time, if you have connected to the internet. Whether you are working from home, on the go, or in the office, you can access your emails, files, and applications from any supported device, including your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

2. Collaboration Made Easy

Office 365 makes it easy for teams to collaborate on documents and projects in real-time. With tools like OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, you can easily share files and collaborate with colleagues, no matter where they are located. This means that you can work on the same document at the same time, provide feedback, and make changes in real-time, without the need for constant email exchanges.

3. Enhanced Security and Compliance

Office 365 provides enhanced security features to help protect your data from cyber threats. Security features such as multifactor authentication, data loss prevention, and advanced threat protection, you can be sure that your data is safe and secure. If a higher level of security is wanted, there are leading edge security software that is easily added to Office 365 and manageable.  Office 365 also helps businesses to comply with industry standards and regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO 27001.

4. Cost-Effective Solution

Office 365 is a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes. Being a cloud based software, it eliminates the need for costly hardware, including on-premise exchange servers, additional software, and the cost to manage, monitor, and maintain extra IT infrastructure. Office 365 is also easily scalable as your business grows, adding new licenses, and users is accomplished easily through a dashboard. 

5. Always Up to Date

With Office 365, you always have access to the latest versions of Microsoft’s applications and services. Office 365 is automatically updated for all users.  These regular updates can fix bugs within the software, add new features, or patch security holes.  Without a subscription to Office 365, you lose new features, bugs are not fixed, and known security risks are not patched.

Office 365 is a powerful cloud-based productivity suite that can help businesses of all sizes increase productivity, streamline workflows, and save time and money. With its accessibility, collaboration tools, enhanced security features, cost-effectiveness, and always up-to-date features, Office 365 is a smart choice for any business looking to improve their digital workflows and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital world.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Office 365, HubWise can help!

The Most Commonly Used Email Keywords to look for to Avoid Phishing Scams

The Most Commonly Used Email Keywords to look for to Avoid Phishing Scams

Year over year, email phishing scams have grown in frequency, but 2020 saw the number of malicious emails and sites increase by over 25%.  The easiest way to decrease the likelihood of falling for a phishing scam is to pay attention to the emails you receive and take the time to question if it is from a legitimate source.  To better prepare oneself to not fall prey, it is best to understand what tactics are used by scammers. 

  • Imitating legitimate business activities 
  • Creating a sense of urgency 
  • Prompting the recipient to act 

Year over year, email phishing scams have grown in frequency, but 2020 saw the number of malicious emails and sites increase by over 25%.  The easiest way to decrease the likelihood of falling for a phishing scam is to pay attention to the emails you receive and take the time to question if it is from a legitimate source.  To better prepare oneself to not fall prey, it is best to understand what tactics are used by scammers. 

  • Imitating legitimate business activities 
  • Creating a sense of urgency 
  • Prompting the recipient to act 

The goal of the scammers is to trick people into giving up their credentials by making the email look like it came from a legitimate source, and forcing a prompt action, before you look too closely at the email.   

The most common keywords fall into eleven basic categories, most you will recognize; invoice, new, message, required, blank subject, file, request, action, document, verification, eFax, and voicemail. 

Below are listed real world examples of subject lines in each category. 


  2. Missing Invoice ####, from a legitimate business name 
  3. Invoice ### 


  1. New Message from ####, usually a legitimate source or business name 
  2. New scanned fax doc-delivery for 
  3. New fax transmission from ####, usually a legitimate source or business name 


  1. Message from ####, usually a legitimate source or business name 
  2. You have a new message 
  3. Telephone message for #### 


  1. Verification required! 
  2. Action Required: Expiration notice on (email address) 
  3. [Action Required] Password expire 

Blank Subject 

Blank subject lines can generally avoid automated security measurements when there are not common keywords for the software to scan 


  1. You have a Google drive file shared 
  2. (Name) sent you some files—can be someone you know or in your organization 
  3. File-#### 
  4. (Business Name) Sales project files and request for quote 


  1. (Legitimate Business Name) Sales Project files and request for quote 
  2. (Legitimate Business Name) W-9 Form request 
  3. Your service request #### 
  4. Request notification #### 


  1. Action required: Expiration Notice on (legitimate business email address) 
  2. Action required: (Date) 
  3. Action required: Review message sent on (date) 
  4. Action required password expired 


  1. Verification required! 


  1. eFax from ID: #### 
  2. eFax® message from “phone number”—2 page(s), Caller-ID: 


  1. VM from ########### to Ext. ###### on date 
  2. VM from ########## received for username on date 
  3. Vmail received on Monday, #### ##### 

Recognizing the keywords is the first step in protecting yourself and company from phishing emails.  If you are unsure if an email is legitimate or not, contact the supposed sender via another form of communication or have your IT department verify its legitimacy. 

At HubWise Technology, we believe an educated customer is a safer customer.  Education is not the only way that we protect against phishing scammers; we also deploy HubWise Armor, our security solution, that includes advanced phishing protection and alerting to suspicious emails.  If you would like to know more about how we protect our customers, feel free to reach out at jmoen@hubwisetech.com. or via our contact form.

Importance of Creating Technology Road Maps

Importance of Creating Technology Road Maps

Why Develop a Technology Road Map

A constant refrain at HubWise Technology is that we ensure that our customer’s technology is enabling success. We have put a system in place to understand our customer’s business. Not only what it is doing today and how they are currently using technology, but what their plans are for next year, the year after and 10 years down the road.

We set out with each of our customers to systematically create a technology road map with our customers. This road map is created through regular business reviews with a goal to create a system that verifies that technology will never hinder their growth. Not only do we schedule regular reviews with our customers, but they can update their road map through our portal. We would rather deal with potential hiccups then ignore red flags that can lead to future business down time. Not all IT (Information Technology) service companies choose this consultative method, and instead focus on supporting the day-to-day operations only. At HubWise Technology we choose to provide a true managed services approach to our customer’s IT infrastructure.

A perfect example of why this type of approach is critical occurred in Dalian in Northern China recently. Adobe blocked all content on Adobe Flash on January 12th, which marked the end of a 27-year journey. This should not have been a surprise to anyone that still used flash. Big tech firms began killing off support for Adobe Flash all the way back in 2017. There are many reasons why it was killed off, including security vulnerabilities that were inherent to its design, the arrival of competitors that offered newer and better content, and ease of use. Adobe has recommended that all flash users uninstall flash player and do not attempt to download another copy, being that it is more than likely malware.

Outdated Technology can Cause Major Problems

With all these warning signs, the city of Dalian still ran their railroad system on it. This led to a full and complete halt of their rail system for 20 hours. All passenger and freight services were halted. This led to thousands of commuters without a way to get to their destination and while simultaneously interrupting normal operations of a multitude of businesses spread throughout Northern China. After 20 hours, the rail technicians were able to get the rail system back up and running, but instead of using a new management software that uses modern technology, they substituted a pirated version of flash.

While the instance above might seem like an illustration of a worst-case scenario if a technology road map is not created, the long-term ramifications of 20 hours of down time is manageable. For a smaller business, lack of planning can easily create a work flow pattern that inhibits growth or slows productivity daily. This can be something as simple as running old hardware that constantly lags, or stealing daily productivity across your staff. Lack of planning can lead to unplanned hardware or software updates or outages during normal business hours interrupting operations or the loss of critical data.

To HubWise Technology, ensuring that technology is enabling your company’s success is our number one priority. If your current IT provider is only concerned with your day-to-day operations reach out to us and we can explain our focus on doing better.

Facial Recognition and Masks

Facial Recognition and masks

Advocates of privacy in public spaces are one group that currently enjoy the benefits of wearing a facemask during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Facial recognition software struggles to accurately recognize who someone is while wearing a face covering.

Facial recognition software and algorithms are dependent upon collecting as many data points as possible, including distances between facial features.  When this ability to measure has been taken away by a face covering, the accuracy of the software plummets.  Many governmental agencies and private businesses are desperately trying to find a way to reprogram the algorithm’s that control facial recognition software to increase the accuracy of identification while wearing a facemask.  The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York is one of these agencies.  They are asking Apple to adjust their algorithm so that riders of the MTA’s public transportation do not have to take off their facial coverings to open their iPhone while on the bus or subway. 

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, recently published a study that shows that even the most advanced facial recognition software struggles to accurately identify someone who is wearing a mask.  NIST proved that there was a decrease in accuracy of anywhere from 5% to 50%.  Providers of facial recognition software are trying to adapt their technology and algorithms to focus on someone’s eyes and nose area for identification.  This change can increase the accuracy of the algorithm, but it limits the data points that are collected, which becomes an inherent flaw within the software.  This may be a viable option on increasing the accuracy of identifying a masked person, but the less data points that are collected by the software, the less accurate a match will result.  While it is inevitable that this new facial focus points are changed while masks are mandated, beating the software from identifying you becomes easier.  Covering your nose fully with your mask, wearing glasses, bad lighting, and shadows become more of a hinderance to accurate recognitions.  After most algorithms change, NIST plans to run a new study later this year to judge the effective rate to the alterations in the software programing.   

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the use of and importance of facial recognition software worldwide. To decrease choke points upon entering buildings, many companies have eliminated swipe cards to enter buildings and have begun relying on facial recognition technology to increase the speed that employees can enter buildings.  The increased use of facial recognition coupled with changes to the algorithm should increase the accuracy of the software in the future.  The new focus on the nose, eyes, and area above it will lead to a long-term increased accuracy with facial recognition.  The periocular region of the face, or the eye and eyebrow region change less than the rest of the face due to age or weight gain and loss. These new algorithms are in the final phases of development and will begin to rollout over the next several weeks by many of the technology’s providers. 

Even with the increased stress on identifying features in the periocular region, the loss of data points will still decrease the accuracy of recognition by someone wearing a mask.  Privacy rights advocates also point out that this technology can be deployed against people trying to mask who they are for privacy reasons, like a peaceful protestor worried about blowback from their employer.   

The pace of change of technology has and will continue at a rapid pace for the foreseeable future.  This continuous change is the only constant in the world of technology.  This constant change is why HubWise Technology hold fearless innovation as a core value.  We are constantly striving to study and evaluate new technologies to ensure our customers are enabled for success.  IF you would like to learn more about how HubWise uses technology to protect their client’s networks, please reach out.  (402) 339-7441 or jmoen@hubwisetech.com. 

Is a TikTok Ban Coming to the United States

Is a TikTok Ban Coming to the United States

Why is TikTok all over the news lately? Being a father of a 12-year-old daughter, I hear more about this app then I would like. I know about all the new crazes, challenges, dances, who is trending and who is gaining followers and who is losing followers.

I understand the popularity of the application, mix in music, dancing, and a video slightly longer than a vine and hours of entertainment follows.  My daughter, has been an avid user of the TikTok for years, and while her account is set to private and we routinely audit who she follows and who is following her, I still struggle with the idea that she uses social media, especially an app that has serious privacy concerns.  These privacy concerns have now moved to the forefront of the news media cycle. In recent days, Amazon has banned the application, then called the ban an accident and that the email was not supposed to be sent.  Wells Fargo has wholly banned the application from company phones and does not play on relenting or reversing the ban.  

Upon the rollout of IOS14 by Apple, a new feature on the Operating System, detected that TikTok was accessing user’s clipboard data.  ByteDance, the Beijing based owner of the application, has since said that this feature has been removed by a new update rolled out in the App Store, but have not mentioned if this access has been removed from Android devices.  This was not the first time that ByteDance had been discovered stealing and harvesting this information.  Last year, they were found checking users’ clipboards every few keystrokes even when the app was running in the background.  When this discovery was made, they promised to remove this feature and stop this practice. Trust was lost between users and TikTok once they were found out to be continuing this practice. 

The banning of the application has moved passed the private sectors and into the public sector.  Last week Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, stated that the administration was looking into banning the application throughout the United States.  India has already banned the use of the application and Australia is looking into this as well.  The United States Military apparatus has declared that the application is a security threat, with the Defense Department advising that no personnel keep it on their phones.  The U.S. Army has gone further, enforcing an outright ban of the application and does not allow any soldier to use it.  The U.S. Navy may soon follow suit.  The biggest concern is if the Chinese Government can access that data that ByteDance is getting from their users.  ByteDance claims that all United States user’s data is stored in with in the U.S. and the backups in Singapore.  This allows them to circumnavigate Chinese laws and deny access to the Government if it is requested.   

Within the next couple of weeks, we should know if a complete ban in the United States will take place.  If it does not as a parent, I will have to make the decision if the potential invasion of privacy is worth taking away an application that my daughter enjoys.  If I make this decision, I may not receive any Best Dad Coffee mugs for a time, but will know that my daughters privacy is somewhat better shielded. 

If you have concerns about the safety of you or your companies data, feel free to reach out for an evaluation of your current security and safety practices.  Jason Moen (402)339-7441 or at jmoen@hubwisetech.com.

COVID-19 & Contact Tracing

COVID-19 & Contact Tracing

Contact tracing currently is being adapted on a large scale in an effort to reopen the United States and global economy.

Many questions remain to be answered by the combined public and private effort. How will it be put in place? What will be technology’s role? How will our privacy be affected by allowing our daily movements to be traced? How important is it to resolving our current pandemic?

Medical contact tracing is a technique that is used to identify infectious disease carriers and then uncover who they may have exposed. This is done using manual tracers, people who track all movements and contacts an infected person has had, and through the use of technology, like GPS and Bluetooth. Knowing who could possibly be infected allows for the possibility of isolating an outbreak and minimizing the spread. This can be easily accomplished in a remote or isolated geographic area. The use of contact tracing has been extremely effective with limiting the spread of Ebola and other local infectious diseases.

There are three aspects to controlling and eventually ending the current pandemic that has engulfed the United States. First, testing needs to be readily available to all that have come into contact with a potential positive. Next is to trace all of the interactions that the potentially positive patients have made. Lastly, individually isolate those that may be asymptomatic carriers until the disease has run its course, or at least 14 days. When all three aspects are put into place across the nation, the economy should be able to open safely without a major threat of a new dramatic spike in cases. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization agree emphatically that it will take this three part approach to safely reopen the country.

The largest hinderance to our ability to successfully trace this disease is the current lack of infrastructure in place to accomplish this task on such a large scale. There were only 2,200 professional contact tracers in the United States pre-pandemic; roughly 1000 are working in New York. In comparison, there was 9,000 tracers in Wuhan, China, a city of 11 million people, tracking the progression of the Corona virus. According to research done by John Hopkins Center for Health Security, it will take approximately 100,000 tracers to accurately track the spread at a cost of $3.6 Billion. Several geographically linked States are working together to hire medically trained personnel to conduct these traces, with the goal of California alone, to bring on 10,000 temporary workers.

To help trace potential exposures, current technology, Bluetooth and GPS, are being utilized within new applications to conduct traces. Tech giants, Google and Apple, are close to releasing new mobile apps to speed up the progression of tracing and increase the availability of. Between the two companies, they are responsible for 99% of the operating systems running on smart phones world wide. When completed these applications will have the ability to automatically trace where any smart phone owner has been, as long as access to this data has been allowed. This will simplify the job of tracing all infected. There are major privacy concerns with allowing private businesses and potentially Local, State and the Federal governments access to individuals movements. While allowing this type of surveillance to occur will be the best way to help the greater good, there are many vocal opponent’s who do not believe that this intrusion will be limited to contact tracing only. Apple and Google are trying to mitigate these concerns by keeping the data decentralized, which will minimize the risk of malicious or unlawful surveillance.

Technology based tracing will never replace manual tracing. Only 8 out of 10 Americans own smart phones which have the capability of running the applications that it takes to trace all potential contacts with Covid-19. People that are aged 65 or older are the most susceptible to the worst effects of this disease, and they make up almost half of the people in the United States that are not smart phone users. Cities with large populations of homeless will also struggle using a mostly technological based tracing method. There will always be those that believe that their right to privacy is more important then their ability to be traced and will refuse to download any application that allows for this type of surveillance. The use of manual tracing and the utilization of technology in conjunction will allow for the most accurate tracking of the disease, which will lead to our ability to reopen the country safely and allow normal life to resume.

Taiwan has been extremely effective at mitigating the spread of Covid-19. Much has been written about their use of technology and helping stop the spread, but they have relied equally on manual tracing methods. With a population of almost 23 million, they have had only 428 positive tests for Corona, with only 6 deaths. In comparison, the state of New York has a population of less than 20 million, and have seen over 300,000 positive cases with 23,000 deaths. Taiwan has implemented all 3 preventative measures to keep their numbers so low. They have tested everyone with potential contacts, traced all contacts made and then quarantined anyone that could test positive for 14 days. Most importantly, they started taking these measures immediately after the spread started, unlike other locales who waited to enact preventative measures and did not strictly enforce them. Contact tracing is one of the three measures that must be put into place to allow the United States to fully open safely again. Without testing en masse, contact tracing and then isolating all that could have been infected the likelihood of another wave of cases stays incredibly high.

If you would like to find out how HubWise uses the latest technologies to manage our customers IT infrastructure, please reach out to us at jmoen@hubwisetech.com or call at (402)339-7441