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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Cybersecurity Is Getting More Difficult as Phishing Becomes More Available

There are always going to be those who want to use your hard-earned data and assets to turn a profit. One of the emergent methods for hackers to do so is through twisting the “as a service” business model into network security’s worst nightmare. This type of security issue is so serious that Microsoft has declared that Phishing-as-a-Service is a major problem.

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Is Your Web Browser Secure?

The Internet browser is easily one of the most-used applications in this day of cloud-hosted resources and online content… but for all that use, is it also one of the most-secured applications? In some ways, yes… but there’s always a few extra steps that can help you improve your protections.

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Is the VPN My Office Uses a Public VPN?

Virtual private networking, while maybe not the most familiar term to everyone, at least seems to be pretty straightforward. Such a specific-sounding term must apply to one aspect of technology and that one aspect alone, right?

Well, kind of, sort of, not really. In actuality, there are two kinds of VPN. Let’s go over what makes them different, and which your business should utilize.

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Looking at FoggyWeb to Better Understand Malware Attacks

The cyberattack on SolarWinds was devastating for many reasons, and Microsoft has officially uncovered yet another type of malware used in the attack on the software provider. This time, it is a backdoor threat they have named FoggyWeb. What does this threat do and why is it so important to look at this incident even now?

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Why a Zero-Trust Policy Might Be Appropriate for Your Business

With countless threats out there waiting for IT professionals to slip up, it’s no small wonder that many of these professionals are opting into what is called a zero-trust policy for their security standards. But what is a zero-trust policy, and why is it so effective at curbing potentially dangerous situations for your business? Let’s investigate this in today’s blog article.

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Keep Your Eyes Peeled for These Potential Security Threats

We don’t like it any more than you do, but if we have learned anything at all over the past several years, it’s that security absolutely needs to be a priority for all small businesses. In the face of high-profile ransomware attacks that can snuff companies out of existence, what are you doing to keep your own business secure? To put things in perspective, we’ve put together a list of some of the more common threats that all companies should be able to address.

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How Much Is Access to Your Network Worth to a Hacker?

What would you say if we told you that someone could buy access to your organization’s network for a measly $1,000? Well, this is the unfortunate reality that we live in, where hackers have commoditized the hard work you have invested in your organization. A study from KELA shows that the average cost to buy access to a compromised network infrastructure is insignificant at best, which is why it’s more important than ever to protect your business as best you can.

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What is a Botnet, and Why Is It Dangerous?

Have you ever wondered how hackers manage to pull off incredible feats like bombarding networks and servers with so much traffic that they simply cannot function? None of this would be possible if not for botnets. But what is a botnet, and why is it important for your organization to understand? Let’s dive into the details.

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Yes, Even Your USB Drives Should Be Secured

Historically there have been several methods to transfer data from one system to the next, and while the cloud has rendered many of them irrelevant and unnecessary, that doesn’t mean they aren’t used by people looking to move data quickly. Many professionals still opt to use USB flash drives to keep certain data close at hand, but how at risk does this put the data on these drives?

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Huge Data Leak Could Have Been Prevented with Proper Configurations

What happens when your company configures something on its infrastructure incorrectly? It turns out, according to a recent data leak, that a lot can go wrong, especially in regards to cybersecurity and the privacy of sensitive records. The affected software was not an unknown third-party application, but was actually Microsoft! How did one of the world’s largest software developers put out software that potentially exposed millions of records? Let’s dig into the details.

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4 Types of Insider Threats to Watch For

It’s easy to focus on threats that are external to your business, like viruses and malware that are just waiting to infiltrate your network, but what about threats that exist from within? While insider threats are not particularly common in the dramatic, over-the-top way that they are made out to be in movies and media, they are still a very real issue that should be addressed by your organization’s network security protocols.

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Credit Card Security in 2021

We’ve spoken in the past about security issues surrounding credit cards, but considering the many advancements and adaptations that have been made to the way businesses can accept payments, it seemed to be a good time to revisit this matter.

Let’s review some of the changes that have been made in the time since, as well as the ways that you can keep your payment cards more secure.

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New Developments in Ransomware are Potentially Devastating

While it only makes sense to assume that a cybercriminal would focus specifically on those targets that would bring them the greatest profit—in other words, larger businesses—the reality of modern cybercrime renders this assumption grossly outdated. Let’s examine how different developments in ransomware have made it possible for cybercriminals to be far less discerning in who they target.

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Everything You Need to Know About Windows 8.1 End of Life

With Microsoft announcing that the Windows 11 release is right around the corner, most users will be looking to upgrade to hardware that supports it. This is a topic for another day. As we approach the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is gearing up to retire one of its most controversial (and ultimately innovative) operating systems to date, Windows 8.1. Today, we thought we’d talk a little bit about the mixed bag Windows 8.1 is and how it will be important to move off of the software by January 2023.

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Be Careful Who You Trust When It Comes to Remote Access to Your Network

Enabling remote access to your network—even if it’s to a trusted internal team member—should never be done lightly. For Oneonta businesses that have yet to explore the potential of working with a managed IT provider like Directive, the concept might be a little foreign to you. 

Remote access is actually crucial for us, because it allows us to do our jobs more effectively. We can monitor your entire network and solve problems before they affect your team when you work with us. There is a fine line, however, between carefully granting someone access to your network and opening up a whole can of worms.

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Cybersecurity Tools Now Delivering Ransomware

Another ransomware threat is out and about, this time targeting unpatched and end-of-life products in SonicWall’s Secure Mobile Access (SMA) 100 series and Secure Remote Access (SRA) products. To make things worse, the threat is currently being used, so businesses utilizing these devices must take action now to limit how much damage this ransomware can do.

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Phishing Training is a Critical Component of Any Security Strategy

Phishing attacks are some of the most common threats out there. Hackers will craft messages or web pages designed to harvest information from your employees, be it through suspicious requests for credentials via email or through false websites that look so much like the real thing that it’s no wonder they were tricked. How can you make sure that your employees don’t fall for these dirty tricks? It all starts with comprehensive phishing training.

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Identifying Tactics Used to Disseminate Ransomware

Ransomware is such a massive threat that all businesses should be aware of the latest news and findings regarding how it spreads and how it can be prevented. According to a recent report, the latest modes of transporting ransomware have been revealed. What can your organization do to keep ransomware off of its network? Let’s find out.

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What Does It Mean to Be Adept at Cybersecurity?

To say someone is adept at a task is to say that they are a professional, or someone with a considerable amount of knowledge that contributes to their ability to complete a particular task. In cybersecurity, this is extremely important, as the entire concept of cybersecurity is complex by nature. Your business too can improve its cybersecurity practices and shift focus to a more mindful approach to network security.

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Don’t Make Security Harder for Your Business

Security can be tough for small businesses to optimize, but that does not make it any less important. One such way that security can work against you is actually your employees’ predispositions toward it; the cognitive biases that your employees have regarding security can put your company at risk, even if that is the last thing on their minds.

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Six Ransomware Misconceptions Oneonta Businesses Tend to Have

Ransomware, ransomware, ransomware. Every day the news reports of a company, a hospital, or even a city getting hit with a cyberattack. It is to the point where it is becoming “background noise”. Unfortunately, many business owners have reached the point where they have begun to tune out the warnings and are lowering their defenses, exposing themselves to risk. Here are 5 misconceptions local businesses have regarding ransomware.

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Maintain and Support Your Technology Before Your Employees Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

We believe that at the end of the day, employees want to do the right thing and accomplish their daily tasks without incident. However, technology can often break these plans with unexpected issues that prevent them from doing so. If you don’t take the time to provide the proper IT support when it is needed, you force your employees to either be unproductive or find unconventional (and often unsecure) solutions.

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Training is Crucial to Establishing a Security Strategy

Cybersecurity is one of those components to an IT strategy that is absolutely critical; you cannot ignore it in today’s age of ransomware and other high-profile hacks. In order to make sure that you are prepared to handle anything that comes your way, you must periodically test your security practices and assess how well your team can prepare for attacks. The question remains as to how often you should do this.

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The Biggest Cybersecurity Problems Small Businesses Have in 2021

Data breaches have become all too common for small businesses over the past several years and when it seems like there is a solution to one problem, something even worse pops up. Part of a comprehensive risk management strategy is identifying problems and doing what you can to keep them from affecting your business. Let’s take a look at the major cybersecurity threats small businesses are facing in 2021 and what you can do to keep them from hurting your business.

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Vulnerability Leads to the Deletion of All Data on My Book NAS Devices

Nothing is more frustrating than going to log into your device and finding out that you either cannot access it or that files you thought were there have been wiped. Unfortunately, this is the situation that many users of a specific device have recently gone through. Thanks to an unpatched vulnerability, users of Western Digital’s My Book network-attached storage device are suffering from lost files and lost account access stemming from remote access.

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The LinkedIn Breach Exposes Nearly 700 Million People

Almost daily there is another data breach reported that exposes data for hundreds of thousands or millions of people. This is a troubling trend. One of the most troubling events happened recently as 700 million profiles from the social media network LinkedIn were found for sale on a popular hackers forum. What’s worse is that the company isn’t admitting that it had been breached recently. Let’s take a brief look at this situation and try to unpack what is going on with LinkedIn.

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New Study Finds That Paying Off Your Ransomware Attackers Has Some Severe Consequences

We know, we know; you’re probably sick of seeing ransomware in headlines, and so are we, but we cannot stress enough how important having an awareness of it is for any business owner. A new study has found that businesses infected by ransomware who choose to pay up experience a different type of fallout--one that is a major cause for concern and a stark reminder that there are no guarantees with ransomware. Ever.

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Agent Tesla Malware Is After Your Data (And Your Cryptocurrency)

It doesn’t matter if you are a small locally-owned business or a larger-scale enterprise. Network security is equally important, as all businesses by default collect valuable information for hackers. It makes sense to protect your valuable assets, and your data is one of them. A recent threat called Agent Tesla is just another example of phishing malware designed to steal data from businesses just like yours.

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The Real Lesson of the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack

Most businesses are aware of the recent rash of ransomware attacks. Attacks have recently shut down gas flow to several states, meat processing plants, and even government agencies such as the MTA. However, what many businesses may not realize is that one thing could have prevented the pain, loss, and disruption from an attack like this: a solid backup solution.

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Fast Food Data Breach is Another in Line of Major Cyberattacks

It seems that the last few months have been filled with major cyberattacks, particularly those taking advantage of major businesses that might not initially be considered targets for these kinds of acts. For instance, McDonald’s Restaurants was recently breached. Let’s examine the situation, and how it plays into the recent trends we’ve witnessed. 

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Where are Business’ Security Priorities Right Now?

According to a survey conducted by Splunk and Enterprise Strategy Group, more business leaders intend to funnel funding into their cybersecurity—88 percent of respondents reporting a planned increase into their investments, 35 percent reporting that these boosts will be substantial. Let’s examine a few of the insights that this survey has revealed.

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Privacy Engineering is the Key to a More Secure Future

Data privacy is a bit of a hot topic in today’s business environment, especially with high-profile hacks and ransomware attacks emerging and putting organizations at risk. In particular, the emerging concept of “privacy engineering” has a lot of businesses thinking about how they can secure their organization and future-proof their data privacy infrastructures.

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Ransomware Has Gotten So Bad, It’s Aligned with Terrorism

Ransomware has rapidly progressed from an irritating annoyance to a legitimate global threat, with the U.S. Justice Department officially going on the record and establishing that future ransomware investigations will be handled the same way that terrorism cases are now. Let’s review the reasons behind this policy change and how your business should respond.

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Hackers Use the Pandemic to Send Out Phishing Threats

The first half of this year has seen its fair share of ups and downs, especially on a global scale. With a global pandemic still taking the world by storm, it’s despicable that hackers would take advantage of the opportunity to make a quick buck using phishing tactics. Yet, here we are. Let’s take a look at how hackers have turned the world’s great misfortune into a boon, as well as how you can keep a lookout for these threats.

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Hackers Start Beef with JBS Ransomware Attack

Last weekend saw a significant cyberattack waged against the world’s largest meat processor and distributor, JBS S.A., that completely suspended the company’s operations in both North America and Australia… and as a result, has impacted the supply chains associated with the company. Let’s examine the situation to see what lessons we can take away from all this.

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Understanding the Relationship Between HIPAA and HITRUST

HIPAA—the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act—is a serious concern for all healthcare providers that operate within the United States, and for good reason! Since August 1996, HIPAA has mandated that these healthcare providers comply with various best practices. While HIPAA is relatively familiar to many people for assorted reasons, fewer know about HITRUST (the Health Information Trust Alliance) and how these acronyms ultimately cooperate with one another.

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Make Sure Your Staff Understands the Importance of Their Role in Your Organization’s Cybersecurity

Today, employees have to be a major part of every business’ cybersecurity attempts. The reasoning is simple: attacks are more likely to come in the form of end user correspondence than on a direct assault of the network. As a result, it is important that cybersecurity is more than just another line item on a task list, it has to be built into the culture. Let’s discuss a few ways to get your employees to care about cybersecurity.

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Cybersecurity Lessons to Be Learned from the Colonial Pipeline Attack

Headlines have been filled with news pertaining to the recent hack of Colonial Pipeline, which has created significant gasoline shortages up the east coast of the nation. While the pipeline has been restored, the way this was accomplished sets a dangerous precedent. On top of this, the attack seems to have set off bigger infrastructural changes in the political space.

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Password Best Practices from the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Passwords are probably the most important part of keeping accounts secure. That’s why it is so important to follow industry best practices when creating them. Today, we’ll take a look at the standards outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in creating the best and most secure passwords.

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Hackers Spark Major Gas Crisis Throughout the Southern U.S.

You’ve probably heard by now, a Russia-based hacking collective by the name of DarkSide targeted Colonial Pipeline, a company that supplies nearly 45 percent of the fuel used along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, with a ransomware attack. Not only does this hack have an effect on fuel prices and availability, it highlights just how vulnerable much of the nation’s energy infrastructure is. Let’s discuss the details of the hack and the raging discussion about cybersecurity that’s happening as a result. 

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A Company’s Boss Needs to Take the Lead on Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is critically important to businesses of all sizes, which means that all businesses need to put forth a concerted effort to ensure their security is locked down. This, in turn, will require someone to take point on developing a cybersecurity-focused internal culture.

Who better to do this than the boss?

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Maps May Soon Be Less Trustworthy Than Ever

Did you know that maps as we know them are remarkably skewed? Due to some centuries-old superiority complexes and prejudices, the maps we’ve all been raised looking at have never been completely accurate. However, this problem could soon be an element of cybercrime thanks to a developing technology that many have yet to take seriously, deepfake images, and how they could revolutionize cyberattacks moving forward.

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What You Need to Do If Your Business is Hacked

Few things are scarier for a modern business to consider than the idea that they will be hacked, regardless of that business’ size or industry. After all, hacking can, will, and does cause significant damage across basically all aspects of your organization. This is precisely why it is so important that—should a business be hacked—the proper steps are taken in response.

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Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

Software runs our lives. It certainly runs your business. What if I told you that this essential cog in your business’ operations can also be the thing that is most susceptible to being exposed by outside attackers? It’s true, software can be the very door that hackers and scammers need to get into your network and run amok. Let’s take a look at the unsung service that is patch management and why it is so important. 

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Companies Need to Keep Their Vendors’ Security In Mind

Data breaches have a tendency to destabilize relationships. With so many data-related problems befalling businesses nowadays, it is important that each side of every data-driven relationship understands their role in the protection of other organizations’ data. Today, we’ll take a look at the issue and how to determine if your partners are putting in the effort required to keep your data secure. 

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Cyberattack Discovery Time is Decreasing (But This Isn’t All Good News)

Research has revealed that cyberattacks are spending decreasing amounts of time on their targeted networks before they are discovered. While this may sound like a good thing—a faster discovery of a threat is better than a slower one, after all—this unfortunately is not the case.

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What We Can Learn from Coca-Cola’s Insider Trade Secret Theft

Your business’ data is perhaps its most crucial resource—which is why it is so important that it remains protected against all threats (including those that come from within your own business). Consider, for a moment, the ongoing trial of Xiaorong You, going on in Greenville, Tennessee. Accused of stealing trade secrets and committing economic espionage, You allegedly stole various BPA-free technologies from various companies—including Coca-Cola and the Eastman Chemical Company, amongst others—to the tune of $119.6 million.

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Your Guide to the Modern Varieties of Cybercriminal

There is an entire litany of stereotypes that are commonly linked to the term “hacker”… too many for us to dig into here, especially since they do little but form a caricature of just one form that today’s cybercriminal can take. Let’s go into the different varieties that are covered nowadays under the blanket term of “hacker,” and the threat that each pose to businesses today.

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A Hacker Could Steal All Of Your Text Messages for a Few Bucks

We always picture hackers as these foreboding, black-clad criminals, smirking through the shadows cast in their dark room by their computer monitor. Hardened, uncaring individuals who don’t go outside very often, staring at code as if they were able to decipher the Matrix.

It’s time we give up this persona and stop mystifying cybercriminals. Why?

It only takes a few bucks and some spare time to truly hold an individual’s data hostage.

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How’s Your Password Hygiene?

I’m not sure we need to tell you how important passwords are: they are the front-line defense to most of the accounts you create. What is often overlooked is the strategy of how to use a password to successfully protect accounts and data. Today, we will discuss best practices   when creating and managing your passwords and how you are likely approaching your password strategy improperly. 

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Facebook’s Massive Data Leak

Facebook is many people’s favorite—or at least most used—app and it does bring value to people by letting them keep tabs on friends and family, or grow their businesses. It has grown to be one of the largest, most successful software technology companies in the world. Unfortunately, with that type of exposure comes the responsibility of securing massive amounts of personal data. In this quest, they leave a lot to be decided. Today, we take a look at the situation Facebook is in as they are dealing with one of the largest data leaks in history.

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Dangerous Android App Masquerading as System Update

Let’s face it, most people are glued to their phones when they have downtime. Many don’t look up to cross the street. With this much dedication to their individual mobile devices you’d think that people would be more careful about what they download.

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Why Phishing Attacks are Such a Huge Risk for Your Business

As one of the biggest cybersecurity considerations the modern business has to make, how to combat phishing has to be at the top of any business’ cybersecurity strategy. Let’s take a look at phishing and why it’s such a big problem for today’s business. 

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2020 Was Rough for Healthcare Where IT Was Concerned

2020 was, obviously, a challenging year for healthcare providers. In addition to the obvious issue of the COVID-19 pandemic creating serious operational, financial, and supply chain difficulties, cybersecurity concerns didn’t go away during this time. Let’s consider some of the additional stresses that IT security needs can, will, and have placed on healthcare providers.

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Let’s Take a Look at the Data Breaches So Far in 2021

By now, everyone knows that businesses can be defined on how they approach cybersecurity. Unfortunately, even if your business makes a comprehensive effort to protect your network and data from data breaches, all it takes is one seemingly minor vulnerability to be exploited to make things really hard on your business. Let’s take a look at the major data breaches that have happened since the calendar turned to 2021. 

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Do Google’s New Policies on User Data Privacy Indicate Larger Changes?

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, online privacy has been highlighted significantly in recent years—in no small part due to the sale of our profiles by the tech giants that provide today’s most (in)famous websites… including and especially Google. Having said this, it is also important to acknowledge that some of Google’s recent policy changes could suggest that this may change at some point.

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What Your Employees Need to Know to Keep Their Own Data Secure, Too

It is only too common for people to have very different personalities in the office as they do during their off hours, with different standards and practices to suit them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that on the surface, you need to be sure that they are at least upholding the kind of security best practices that you expect of them in the office while they are at home.

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Securing Utilities Has to Be a Priority

It’s been reported that a hacker virtually broke into a Floridian water treatment facility and briefly increased the levels of sodium hydroxide in the Pinellas County water supply. Fortunately, onsite operators noticed the spike and reduced it right away, keeping the public from risk of increased levels of poison in their water. This is just the latest story in a seemingly never-ending supply of them that have to do with public utilities being at risk from cyberattacks. Today, we will take a look at this issue. 

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Pros and Cons of Biometric Security

A lot has been made about biometric authentication over the past decade, so much so that it has been loosely integrated into a lot of the access control mechanisms on most modern mobile devices. Fingerprint scanners, retina scanners, and facial recognition are all part of the transition to biometrics to enhance security and privacy. For modern businesses, however, implementing biometrics can have some major drawbacks. Today, we will go over the pros and cons of biometric authentication.

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Have You Prepared Your Employees to Catch Phishing Attempts?

While it initially sounds promising to hear that the number of data breaches seen last year went down significantly, it is important to recognize that the number of data records leaked as a result more than doubled. One clear cause was the resurgence in the use of the underhanded malware variety known as ransomware. With this suggesting an increased threat of ransomware incoming, can you confidently say that your business’ team is ready to deal with it?

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Conduct a Security and Compliance Audit, You Won’t Regret It

If you are an avid reader of our blog, we are constantly saying how there are always a growing number of threats. This is true. Two-in-every-three business owners consider that their cybersecurity risks are increasing each year. The other third must not focus on them, and that is a problem. In fact, many business owners don’t give the proper respect to cyberthreats and many of those businesses pay the price. This is why every business should consider a security and compliance audit a mandatory part of their yearly IT assessment. 

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Three Ransomware Tips for Area Businesses for 2021

For 2020, the word in technology was ransomware, and while many businesses were caught off-guard, there are no longer any excuses to not take cybersecurity seriously. Here are three ransomware and cybersecurity lessons businesses should learn before it’s too late.

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Prioritizing Security with Your Messaging Apps

If you asked your average person whether they are okay with their personal information being taken and used by businesses, you’d probably come across quite a bit of dissent. Ironically, it seems that people will give it right over via social media programs, but you are beginning to see some pushback when using apps. WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook, that is known for end-to-end encryption, has told users that they will soon be forced to share their personal data with Facebook.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Near Miss Teaches an Important Security Lesson

To preserve your cybersecurity, you need to have a comprehensive view of everything involved with your technology—and we do mean everything. Let’s consider a recent close call, involving the Democratic Republic of Congo that exemplifies this perfectly that could have potentially exposed millions of Internet users to serious threats.

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Be Sure to Update Your Microsoft Passwords

The new year is upon us and after the debacle that 2020 was, it is extremely welcome. If you are like us, you have a new set of goals that you’ve created for yourself and are probably looking to improve your professional and personal well-being. One way to do that is to ensure that your accounts are secure. Today, we will be going through how to update your password with Microsoft.

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How to Make Your Google Account More Secure

Going through your passwords and updating them every so often is a very wise habit to get into, particularly when they are used to protect a lot of data—as the password to your Google account often is. Considering this, let’s go over how to update your Google password and otherwise lock down your account.

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How Employees Can Cause a Threat, and How to Avoid Them

What would you consider to be the biggest threat to your business and its continued operations? Cybercrime? A natural disaster? What if I told you that it was the team members that you have employed—whether they meant to be or not? This is the hard truth that you need to prepare your business to resist.

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Are Your Employees’ Smartwatches Security Risks?

The smartwatch is one of the most popular gifts given to technology lovers; and, they have quite a bit of utility. They can help improve communication, health, and of course give them a sleek accessory. One problem that people don’t often consider is how their employer has to handle the influx of smartwatches and other IoT devices that are brought to work after the holidays. Today, we’ll briefly discuss how Internet of Things devices could be security risks and what a business should do about it. 

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XTouch Smartwatch

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Holding Your Own Against Today's Most Pressing Threats

For all the attention that we (and many others) give to cybercrime, people are still falling victim to hacks and scams every day. With most businesses operating more in the digital sphere than ever before, it stands to reason that they need to do more to keep from being a victim of a data breach or worse. Here are six things your business should do to keep from being a victim of a cyberattack.

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With Remote Operations, Security is (Even More) Important

Since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, it has been clear that many companies were not prepared to continue their operations remotely. This was largely due to their leadership being convinced in recent years that allowing people to work remotely would lead to a considerable reduction in production, leading them to be unprepared to shift to remote functionality. Cybercriminals have taken advantage of many organizations as a result, so today we’ll discuss what needs to be done to secure endpoints from afar.

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A Field Guide to Phishing Attacks

Despite the name being mildly amusing, phishing attacks are no laughing matter. These scams, in all their different forms, wreak havoc on businesses—ranking as the top breach threat in the 2020 edition of Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, and successfully impacting 65 percent of United States organizations in 2019 as reported by Proofpoint’s 2020 State of the Phish Report. Avoiding them requires you to be able to spot them, so let’s go over the different varieties of phishing that can be encountered.

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What the Retirement of Adobe Flash Means to Your Business

Once December 31st brings the New Year around, support for the once-popular Adobe Flash Player will officially end. Of course, it isn’t every day that a 24-year-old software is taken out of commission, so it only makes sense to wonder how much this will impact businesses.

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Is Security Being Sacrificed for the Sake of Convenience?

While this time of year is always huge for online retail, there is likely to be a much larger number of people turning to the Internet for their holiday purchases than usual… and, it would seem, a larger number of people taking security into consideration as they do so. Let’s examine how consumers are taking their data into their own hands and what this means for your business.

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The Current State of Cybercrime Paints a Grim Picture for Businesses

Over the past year, entrepreneurs have focused on how to do business during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis has been an opportunity for fraudsters and hackers, and the result has been an increase in losses (compared to the second-worst period on record) by over 50 percent. Let’s consider the situation, and how it is—unfortunately—getting worse.

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Smishing Isn’t as Funny as It Sounds

As serious as they are, cyberattacks aren’t always given the most serious-sounding names. We are, of course, referring to “phishing”: the manipulation of the user, rather than of a computer system, to gain access to data. Phishing can come in many forms, with some—like phishing someone via SMS message—doubling down on the silliness of the name. Let’s examine this variety, and why “smishing” is not something to trifle with.

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Employees Can Be Your Business’ Best (or Worst) Defense Policy

Many businesses believe that if they only had the right security tool, they would be secure from cyberattacks. What they don’t realize is that even the best IT security software and hardware can immediately fall apart if your staff isn’t trained to understand certain security risks. Take a moment to discover how to turn your team into a valuable security resource, and prevent them from being a security liability.

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Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Flash Player—the familiar Adobe web application that first premiered in 1996—is finally going into retirement at the end of the year. This is quite a big deal, as Flash Player was (at least initially) instrumental to many of the platforms that so many rely on these days. However, what will this mean for your business?

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How to Monitor Your Employees’ Activities without Crossing Any Lines

Of all the contentious topics in the workplace, employee monitoring is among the most divisive. As an authority figure in your business, it is only natural that you would want to make sure that your team is working diligently—especially as they are working remotely. That being said, there are some lines that cannot be crossed you should be aware of. Let’s discuss the concept of monitoring your employees and what cannot be done.

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Four Key Components of Successful Network Security

Nowadays, a business’ network security needs to be amongst its top priorities if it is to have any chance of operating without undue risk of data breaches and other incidents. Admittedly, managing this sounds like a Herculean task, but a few relatively simple implementations can help give your security a considerable advantage as you lock down your business’ future. Here, we’ve reviewed four such areas you need to focus on.

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When the People You Trust Phish You

Having success in business often relies on developing trustworthy relationships. You have to trust your vendors and suppliers to get you the resources you need, you need to trust your staff to complete their tasks without putting your business in harm's way, and you need to trust your customers to buy the products and services that you offer. Running counter to these necessary bonds of trust are people actively soliciting people’s time, energy, money, and attention for their own selfish purposes.

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Lessons Learned From Chenango County’s Ransomware Attack

Dangerous cyberthreats don’t just affect major businesses—they are just as likely to hit close to home.

In fact, just two weeks ago, a ransomware attack left half of the computers operated by Chenango County held hostage by hackers, who demanded $90,000 to surrender access to the files. Learn how Chenango County was able to say “No” and recover their data.

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Paying a Ransom Demand Could Get Even More Expensive

When it comes to ransomware, we have always stood firm in our recommendation not to pay whoever is responsible for locking down your systems. However, due to the globalized nature of technology and cybercrime, it is even more important that companies don’t attempt to placate their attackers with the demanded funds. Otherwise, warns the United States Treasury Department, these victimized businesses could very well pay severe fines for doing so.

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Don’t Let This Year’s Low Number of Data Breaches Get Your Hopes Up

You may have heard whispers that, compared to the past few years, 2020 has seen considerably fewer data breaches play out. While this may sound like a cause for celebration, we wanted to share a few reasons that this news may not be as great as it appears.

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Reviewing Zoom’s Efforts to Improve Its Security

As a communication tool, the video conferencing app Zoom saw a considerable bump in its popularity with both personal and business users as the coronavirus pandemic made other means of meeting no longer viable. However, this sudden increase in its user base also revealed some serious security issues with the platform. Let’s examine what Zoom has done to resolve these issues since then.

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How You Can Make IT’s Life Easier

Business relationships, especially between you and a service provider or you and a coworker, are crucial to a business’ success. However, maintaining these relationships can be challenging when there’s a good chance that your actions might create more work for another person. Let’s go over why your relationship with IT may be strained, and offer a few tips to help fix it.

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Innovative Cybersecurity Tools Your Business Needs

Despite the events of recent months, cybersecurity can never be too far from your awareness—especially where your business is concerned. As a refresher, let’s go over a few solutions that you need to have in place to protect your business from the persistent threats that are out there.

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How to Beat Cybercrime and Stay Secure

Unfortunately, it is hard for the modern business to keep all of their data secure. There are just so many threats that most businesses leak data without even knowing it. There are things you can do, however. Today we will go through four considerations that can help you stay ahead of cybercriminals. 

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4 Cybersecurity Tools You Need to Know About

It may be an understatement to say that business has been difficult thus far in 2020. With all that is going on, nobody should have to deal with cybercrime. Unfortunately, it remains a major consideration for every IT administrator and business owner. With complex solutions being developed to help ward off these cyberthreats, strategies are changing. Today, we thought we’d take a look at four security tools your business should consider to help keep these scammers out of your network. 

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Is Your Smart Assistant Undermining Your Security?

Smart assistants commonly appear in the office and home, so much so that the novelty seems to have finally worn off and they are now just another appliance—and, like any other appliance, there are a few quirks that can be frustrating to deal with. For instance, anyone living around these devices has shared a particular experience: the device registering something as a wake word that certainly wasn’t meant to be the wake word.

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How Has COVID-19 Impacted Cybersecurity Needs?

Data security is always a challenge that businesses must rise to meet, but the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated things significantly by creating situations that make ensuring this security even more difficult. Let’s go over the impacts that many organizations—especially those in the healthcare industry—have had to deal with due, in part, to the coronavirus.

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Cybercrime Spiking During the Pandemic

Keeping your network and infrastructure free from threats is always a priority, but with so many people working remotely businesses have encountered problems doing so. In fact, hackers, known for their opportunism, have been ultra-opportunistic during this period and it is causing many headaches for network administrators. Let’s take a look at some statistics that are definitely concerning as we head into the fall, where many experts expect the virus to become more problematic. 

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A Security Briefing on Chrome Extensions

Did you know that, as of July 2020, 69 percent of global desktop Internet users utilized Google Chrome as their browser of choice? With such a large market share, the security associated with Google Chrome is important to keep in mind. To help increase some of this awareness, we wanted to talk about Chrome’s many extensions and the permissions they are too often granted, with minimal awareness from the user.

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What Would Happen if All Data Was Publically Available?

What if I were to tell you that, by the time you finished reading this sentence, all personal data in existence was exposed? If every text sent, every Google search executed, every website visited, everything we had ever done online, was made public? Gizmodo recently reached out to an assortment of experts for their insights. Here, we’ve assembled their responses for you to consider.

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Phishing is a Threat, Even By Phone

Telework has become crucial for businesses to sustain themselves right now, as remote work became a hard and fast requirement in the face of the coronavirus. However, if businesses aren’t careful, they could trade one issue for another in exposing themselves to security threats.

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Do Your Privacy Practices Line Up With Your Privacy Expectations?

How concerned are you about your data privacy, as a consumer, particularly when you entrust it to another business? If you answered “very”, you aren’t alone… 87 percent of Americans consider their data privacy to be a human right. Having said that, most don’t pay near enough attention to their own security precautions. Let’s take a few moments and examine this trend.

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What Your Business Can Learn From the Recent Twitter Social Engineering Hack

This may be an uncomfortable truth when it comes to data security: the weakest link to keeping your data secure will be your employees. As social media giant Twitter recently discovered, despite the best technical security measures you have in place, all it takes is a break in protocol to place your client’s data and your business’ reputation at risk.

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New Cyberattack Targeting Remote Workers

Since the onset of the coronavirus, many businesses have managed to sustain themselves through remote work—also commonly known as telework. While this strategy has allowed quite a few businesses to survive, it has also opened them up to security threats. Here, let’s focus on one such threat: vishing, or voice phishing.

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We’re Seeing an Increase in COVID-19-Related Cyberattacks

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 situation in March, creating a vaccine has been a major priority. True to form, hackers have begun targeting the very organizations responsible for the vaccine trials. There’s a lesson to be learned, today we’ll discuss it.

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Are VPNs Really Secure?

We’ve not been shy about promoting the use of VPNs (virtual private networks) as a means of protecting your security while you are online. However, we wanted to take a bit of time to specify what a VPN can - and cannot - do to help you.

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When Securing Your Smartphone, Some Options are Better Than Others

Today’s smartphones are equipped with assorted ways that users can authenticate their identity, from the now old-fashioned PIN to basic biometrics. However, while these options are available on a wide range of phones, not all of them are equally secure. Let’s look a bit closer at these authentication measures to find out which is most effective.

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