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What we can learn about cybersecurity from the government shutdown

Alyssa Sisco

Amid the current government shutdown, over 80 government websites are either down or insecure. With no IT staff around to renew their TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificates, many government websites are being left open to vulnerabilities. Some of the sites are set up so that they become inaccessible to the public if their TLS certificates are not up-to-date. Yet, others simply warn users that the site is not secure, then allows you to bypass the warning and continue onto the site. Once on an insecure site, users will be vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

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Topics: Network Security, Owners & Managers

Keeping your systems safe with Duo multifactor authentication

Tim Albertus

With today’s cutting-edge cybercriminals, it's always better to be safe rather than sorry. Hackers have been getting sneakier when it comes to gaining access to one’s system. They not only use brute force attacks or dictionary attacks but also search social media profiles for information you would be likely to use as a password (it is unwise to use personal information as part of your passwords). This is where a secondary authentication method comes into play. Dual authentication, or multifactor authentication (MFA), provides a way to confirm that it's you attempting to gain access to the system.

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Topics: Network Security

Monitor internal threats with Cyber Hawk

Alyssa Sisco

Let’s say you eat healthy, exercise, drink water, get eight hours of sleep every night, take vitamins and get your flu shot. Can you be 100% certain that you’re not going to get the flu this year? No. But each step you take towards being healthy, strengthens your immune system and lowers your risk of getting sick. In IT, we call this a layered approach. There is no one tool you can use to guarantee your business’s safety from a cyber-attack, but you can take multiple tools and put them together in a way that creates a strong defense. If a hacker is able to get past one of your layers of defense, they should be stopped by the next layer of security. Many of today’s internal security threats can’t be prevented simply by a firewall or antivirus.

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Topics: Network Security

The risks of unpatched applications and unsupported equipment

Alyssa Sisco

Everyday more technology processes are automated, saving us from performing tedious tasks over and over. However, the technology that helps us and makes our lives easier is also used by hackers and cybercriminals to take advantage of us. Hackers use automation to build bots that continuously search the internet for unpatched and vulnerable devices to infect. In fact, almost 30% of all internet traffic is made up of bad bots such as hacking tools, impersonators, scrapers and spammers. Once a hacker finds and accesses your vulnerable computer, it only takes about 20 minutes to infect it. As soon as that one device on your network is infected, it doesn't take long before your whole network is breached.

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Topics: Network Security, Equipment Purchases, Data Breach, Security Threats

IT Security in the Information Warfare Age

Galen Winkler

Back in August, Wired Magazine published a fascinating look at the NotPetya attack and more specifically its unforeseen effects on the shipping giant, Maersk. The article itself is worth a read if you are interested in IT security, but more pertinent to small and medium business owners is this lesson:

Damaging cyber-attacks propagate themselves quickly without any human intervention, and may go well beyond their original intended targets, so it's important to use layered security tools. An organization like Maersk was “splashed" by an attack intended to bring the Ukrainian government down. That attack was carried out with tools developed by the United States National Security Agency, which were leaked in a breach earlier in the year, and used by cyber attackers took and use for their own purposes.

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Topics: Network Security

How to keep your business secure while allowing staff to work remotely

Alyssa Sisco

With the right company culture and technology tools, it’s possible to work effectively and efficiently while outside of the office. Given access to email, chat, video conferencing, cloud collaboration tools, and more, there aren’t a lot of office jobs that can’t be done off-site. Studies show that flexible work options reduce turnover, improve morale and to top it all off, over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters.

Taking all this into consideration, it's no wonder why the number of people spending at least some of their hours each week working remotely is continuing to rise. When a business decides that allowing their staff to work remotely could positively impact their business, there are some steps they need to take to ensure that they have the proper security measures in place. Here are a few items your business should implement to thwart a cyber attack:

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Topics: Network Security, Owners & Managers, Trends

How to identify Social Engineering

Alyssa Sisco

Social engineering involves the manipulation or deception of people in order to obtain information or access they shouldn't have. Social engineers could be after a password, bank account information, access to your corporation's network or anything else that could benefit them. Their end goal could be to steal money, company secrets, to disrupt your business or to shut it down entirely.

Because social engineering preys on human behavior, it's one of the most dangerous threats to cybersecurity. Can you rely on each staff member at your company to successfully identify and protect against these attacks?

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Topics: Network Security, Staff Training, Security Threats

Windows Server 2008 end of support

Alyssa Sisco

Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is ending on January 14, 2020.

This means that no more security updates will be developed or released after January 14, 2020. Running unsupported software on your server can leave your business vulnerable to any number of cybersecurity attacks and may keep your business from meeting compliance requirements.

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Topics: Network Security, Microsoft Products

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: Alert, Microsoft Products, Network Security

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: Network Security, Staff Training, Security Threats