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End of life for Windows 7

Alyssa Sisco

A constant drive to create new features, combined with limited resources, leaves software with an expiration date. Since the goal of most tech companies is to evolve and innovate, they can only lend so much time, money and energy on their old programs. So, software is given what's called an end of life date. On that day, the developer will no longer fix any issues found in the software. Not even Microsoft has the resources to keep software supported forever. So, it's coming time to say goodbye to Windows 7. Windows 7 will no longer receive patches for new bugs or holes discovered as of January 14, 2020.

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Topics: Microsoft Products, Network Security, Alert

Are you an easy target for phishing scams?

Alyssa Sisco

The sole objective of any phishing email is to trick you into clicking it. If you aren't vigilant, it can be easy to fall for. It doesn't matter who you are, how much money you have, or what company you work for, you can be targeted and it's important to know how to protect yourself.

Since Amazon and Uber are so well-known and widely-used, cybercriminals have often chosen them to impersonate. Their aim? To lull you into a false sense of security at seeing the familiar brand name. With the addition of a subject line that will illicit a response, anyone could find themselves clicking on a link before even taking a second to think.

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Topics: Staff Training, Security Threats, Network Security

The shift from ransomware to cryptomining

Alyssa Sisco

In its earliest days, ransomware wasn’t much of a threat, because it couldn’t actually encrypt data. But that was in the 80's and 90's, those days are long over in the field of technology. Within the past few years, not only has ransomware become a formidable threat but it has also grown exponentially. The world experienced a growth from 3.2 million ransomware attacks in 2014, to 3.8 million in 2015. Then, in 2016, ransomware attacks jumped to a staggering 638 million. Not only did the amount of attacks increase, but the ransoms themselves shot up from an average of $373 per computer in 2014, to $1,077 per computer in 2016. With 241,000 new variants of ransomware created in 2016 (about 660 new variants per day) anti-malware software was struggling to keep up.

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Topics: Security Threats, Trends, Network Security

The proactive approach to IT

Alyssa Sisco

Sitting around and waiting for bad things to happen is not a recommended strategy for any aspect of life, so why take that course of action when it comes to your IT network? Stay on top of your network’s health by running preventative scans and taking proactive measures to keep your system running efficiently. Trying to fix every little bump or disruption after it occurs, is a lot more time consuming than running automated scans. Often, they are able to identify the root cause of issues, sometimes even before symptoms appear. Here are some of the automated scans we offer and what the benefit is to your business:

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Topics: Network Security

What can a computer hack really cost you?

Alyssa Sisco

Being the target of a cybercriminal is not a fun experience for anyone, but it’s definitely a lot worse if you don’t have a plan to get back on your feet afterwards. Cybercriminals have caught on to the fact that small and midsize businesses don’t spend as much money on IT security, making them easier targets than large, multimillion-dollar companies. It’s important to note that 62% off all cyber-attacks are carried out on SMBs, according to IBM. Additionally, the National Cyber Security Alliance states that about 60% of SMBs who experience a hack, go out of business within a six-month period after the attack.

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Topics: Security Threats, Data Breach, Network Security

Your first line of defense: Firewalls

Alyssa Sisco
Why do you need so many different pieces of software and hardware to keep your network safe? Of course you want to keep your data secure, but why can’t there be a one-size-fits-all solution that protects you from every threat imaginable? That would certainly simplify things, however with the expanse of the web and the continual chain of ever-evolving threats, it's essential that we guard our business with a multi-layered line of defense. This approach ensures that if a new threat is able to sneak its way past one piece of your security system, you have several others standing guard. Today, I would like to introduce you to an essential line of defense: firewalls.
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Topics: Network Security

The solution to your password problems

Alyssa Sisco

I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard how important it is to use secure passwords online. But here we are in 2018 and “123456” was still the most hacked password of last year. With all the recent security breaches large companies have dealt with, it’s easy to see how anyone could have their online security compromised. That’s why it is so important to create strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts. Nobody wants to have their personal data stolen, or be the reason their company's data is held for a sizable ransom. So why are so many still risking their security by clinging to weak passwords? Let's look at some common reasons and introduce some solutions. 

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Topics: Network Security

Keeping up with the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities

Alyssa Sisco

This year certainly started off with a bang in the world of tech security. It’s not very often that in this day and age, a processor flaw becomes a substantial headline for mainstream news outlets. But when it impacts basically every computer or smartphone made in the past 15 years and could negatively affect billions of tech users, that’s kind of a big deal. Essentially, in the drive to create faster technology, some design decisions were made that unknowingly left our devices vulnerable to attack. However, do keep in mind, that even though Spectre and Meltdown have such a wide-spread possibility to cause harm, thus far there have been no known malicious exploits of these vulnerabilities.

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Topics: Security Threats, Network Security

What's the difference between a virus and malware?

Alyssa Sisco

You may recall a plethora of headlines and news stories hyping the severity of computer viruses in the late 80's and early 90's. At this point, viruses seem more like an accepted risk you agree to when you own a computer, than the fuel for a big, scandalous headline. Most basic computer users understand that they need some form of Antivirus and to stay away from dicey websites. But with criminal programmers and hackers coming up with new, more aggressive code all the time, is that true today?

When diving into the world of computer safety, a bunch of technical terms start getting thrown around. To most, the term virus has become more of an overarching idea that it is the cause for any malfunction or breakdown your computer incurs, despite its actual definition.

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Topics: Staff Training, Network Security

Quick tip: Email encryption

Alyssa Sisco

When mailing a check, you would never use a skimpy envelope that's easy to read through. You would spring for a sturdy security envelope with the blue, patterned lining that shields the contents from any snooping opportunists. Why not take the same precaution when sending confidential information via email? With so many opportunities for someone to steal your data online, how can you keep your information safe?

Email encryption is a good place to start. In essence, once you hit send on an encrypted email it becomes an indecipherable mess of jumbled letters and numbers that can only be decoded by the key you share with your chosen recipient.

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Topics: Network Security