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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.

Have You Been Targeted By Phishing Attacks? Chances Are You Have

Phishing attacks can be scary to deal with, especially since it is not unheard of for staff members to not even know they are looking at one. To make sure your staff can identify and respond to phishing attacks in an appropriate way, we’ve put together this short guide to help you along the way.

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What Would You Do in Response to a Breach?

While we—for reasons that should be obvious—tend to focus our attention on preventing and avoiding cybersecurity breaches, it is important that we address how your business responds to a successful breach attempt. Let’s go over how to create a data breach response plan.

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Why You Should Boost Your Email Security

Your company’s email is one of its most important pieces of technology, and since that is true for nearly every business, it is unfortunately one of the most utilized attack vectors used by cybercriminals. Most businesses don’t understand just how vulnerable they are if their email isn’t properly secured and do their best to keep their employees trained on how to spot potential scams. 

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As Remote Work Continues, Zero-Trust Security is Paramount

With many people continuing to work remotely to some extent, it would be irresponsible not to acknowledge that remote work can introduce a level of risk to an organization’s cybersecurity. This makes it all the more important that this security is locked down. Let’s discuss the concept behind zero-trust security, and why it is becoming the benchmark that organizations of all sizes should meet.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Business’ IT More Secure

With many businesses’ increased reliance on their information systems and other IT, they need to do everything they can to keep those systems up and running and secure. This not only includes rolling out security systems that support that goal, it also demands they take the action necessary to keep these systems secure. Let’s look at four things you need to do to keep your business’ IT as secure as possible. 

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What Most Often Leads to a Data Breach?

Data breaches—any event where a business’ confidential data is viewed, copied, or stolen by an unauthorized person or party—are a serious problem. Unfortunately, they are also a serious problem that can be caused by no shortage of situations. Let’s review some of the causes of business data breaches so you’ll know what to keep an eye out for.

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Have Passwords Finally Outlived their Usefulness?

Passwords have been a primary data security measure since 1960, when MIT researcher Fernando Corbató suggested the practice—although even he is reportedly slow to take full credit. Why? Well, if you ask Corbató (and his contemporaries, who were the first to implement passwords as we’d recognize them today), the security concerns were limited.

So, have we reached the point where it would be best to replace passwords as the default authentication measure?

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What is a Security Operations Center?

With cybersecurity a priority for every business that depends on their IT, there are a lot of different strategies being utilized out there to keep threats off of networks and data safe. One of the most advanced strategies being used today is enlisting a service that runs a Security Operations Center (SOC). Today, we’ll investigate what a SOC is and how it works to keep threats at bay. 

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Tighten Up Your Network Security with Superior Access Control

How often do you find yourself stressing out about who has access to which data or internal resources on your company network? What about who has access to open the front door of your office or who has access to important physical resources within your building? Ensuring the security of your business’ assets is critical, and access control tools can help your company ensure that only authorized individuals have access to specific parts of your organization’s infrastructure, be it physical or digital.

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While Fun, Those Social Media Quizzes Can be Dangerous

We’ve all seen our friends and family sharing quizzes on their social media profiles, prompting people to find out what their celebrity stage name or what Hogwarts house you would be in, or to share what their first concert experience was. These fun, lighthearted quizzes are a great way to get to know a little more about the people we’re connected with… and that’s the biggest problem.

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Take a Long Look at Your Cybersecurity

Gauging the effectiveness of your cybersecurity can be a bit of a daunting task, especially when asking if it could make a major difference in protecting your organization’s network infrastructure. If you want to track and measure your business’ cybersecurity preparedness, here are four steps to help you perform an evaluation.

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How to Get Cybersecurity Through to Your Staff

Getting your staff to care about your organizational network and data security may be more difficult than you might think, but it’s not a lost cause. Today, keeping your business’ organizational security strong relies heavily on your staff’s willingness to follow the right practices, so today we thought we’d give you seven tips to get your people to care about security

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Businesses Should Opt for Zero-Trust Policies when it Comes to IT

In the business world, it can be difficult to know who to trust in regard to cybersecurity. In many cases, businesses are simply opting to not trust any device, friend or foe, when it comes to their data security. This type of zero-trust model is slowly becoming the norm, and it’s one that your organization might consider moving forward.

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Ransomware Isn’t the Only Malware You Need to Know

Network security could mean any number of things, but more often than not, people are using the term as a blanket statement against the dreaded idea of malware and its many forms. Today, we are discussing how vast the world of malware can be and how often you might find yourself misunderstanding what it exactly is. Knowing all this can help you identify if you have become a malware victim or not.

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Behind Employee Cybersecurity Efforts or Lack Thereof

Cyberattacks can cost businesses a lot of money. They’re also more prevalent today than ever before. It seems you can’t go a couple of news cycles without hearing about some organization that has been hacked or scammed and it’s resulted in the sensitive data the organization holds being sold online, vast operational downtime, or worse. For this reason, many organizations have deliberately built up their cybersecurity infrastructure, enhanced their policies, and invested in training to ensure that they aren’t the next victim. Unfortunately, this attention doesn’t always work. 

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When It Comes to Internet Security Awareness, It’s Best to Start Early

Hopefully, you’re aware of how important cybersecurity is today—if not, make sure you come back to our blog often for more information on that. The Internet, for all its benefits, can easily be the source of serious threats. With today’s youth growing more connected, these threats can easily target them… making it all the more important to start teaching cybersecurity awareness and best practices early. 

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Building a Secure Environment for Collaboration

More workplaces than ever before are utilizing the power of remote technology, but this also creates problems with security that must be addressed. How can you ensure that your organization isn’t putting itself at risk as a result of this general displacement of your workforce? Let’s discuss some action items you might choose to implement for your business.

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Explaining the Pen Test and Its Benefits

Penetration testing is a topic that you might often hear and read about on the Internet, but you might not know exactly what it is without having it explained to you by a professional. Today, we want to clear up any misconceptions or ideas you might have about penetration testing and how it relates to your business’ network security, compliance, and regulatory requirements.

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Your Employee Data is Important to Protect Too

When we talk about data privacy in a business, the default is to generally think about the data the business has collected and compiled from its clientele. However, that’s just one type of data a business has. There’s also a lot of data that is collected by the business about that business’ employees. So, how well protected is this data?

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Remote Collaboration Demands Additional Security

Workforces have been increasingly distributed and many businesses aim to continue that strategy for the foreseeable future. There are a fair share of challenges that distributed employees have themselves, but for the business, it can be tough getting them to do the things that need to be done to secure the business. Here are a few actions that need to be taken if you want to make that happen. 

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The Emergence of the CISO

As statistics for cybercrime surge, it’s important to remember that your organization must do all that it can to protect itself. There is, however, a C-suite position that almost exclusively focuses on this task: the chief information security officer, or CISO. Many enterprises have individuals dedicated to the sole task of securing their organization, but smaller businesses might find themselves lagging behind in this regard due to no fault of their own.

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What’s the Difference Between a Security Incident and a Breach?

Cybersecurity is an important subject for a business’ entire team to appreciate, particularly when it comes to the minute differences between different terms. For instance, a layperson might hear “breach” and automatically think “security incident.” While this technically isn’t incorrect, per se, the two terms aren’t really synonymous.

Let’s take a few moments to dive into the minutiae and define these two terms more clearly.

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When It Comes to Ransomware, It's Best to Avoid It

Ransomware is widely regarded as one of the worst modern cyberthreats out there today, and there's plenty of evidence to support this. These attacks and their aftereffects can devastate businesses of all industries. Let's consider why it is that ransomware is so dangerous, and what can be done to fight it. 

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Ransomware is Only Getting Worse in 2022… So What Can You Do?

Ransomware has been commonplace for years, with no sign of it going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s take a few moments to examine the state of ransomware right now, and review how to keep it from impacting your businesses.

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Avoiding Scams Starts with Awareness

The world is full of people who would try to take advantage of your organization and its employees—or, in less gratifying words, scammers. They will do everything they can to try to fool your company and make a quick buck doing so. How can you make sure that the countless messages and phone calls you receive on a daily basis aren’t crooks trying to scam you out of house and home? It all starts with a little awareness.

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3 Common Technical Issues We’re Here to Help With

There are times when you experience computer problems and you might hesitate to call in the big guns to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, the reality is that many businesses are under the impression that calling experts to handle their computer problems will leave them in a difficult position financially. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen! Here are three common computer repair problems that you might—just might—be able to solve in a simple and easy way.

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Facebook Phishing Is a Real Problem

Hackers have often used email to trick users into clicking on fraudulent links or to hand over important credentials through phishing scams, but these are usually blocked by an enterprise-level spam blocker. However, hackers have learned that there is indeed a way around these spam blockers, and it’s through popular social media websites.

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Turns Out There is a Trend for Cyberattacks Over Holiday Breaks and Weekends

There are countless cybersecurity threats out there, many of which wait until very unfortunate times to strike. One such time is over extended weekends or holiday breaks, when many companies shut down operations longer than the usual two-day weekend. In fact, this is such an issue that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and CISA have issued warnings in response to them.

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After Another Year of Working from Home, How Does Remote Security Look?

Many, many companies have adopted remote work policies and practices since the COVID-19 pandemic forced most to downsize (if not cease outright) on-site operations about two years ago. Now, as we enter 2022, it seems a good time to reexamine the security that we have protecting our businesses and the workers currently operating remotely.

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Emerging Cybersecurity Trends for the New Year

If there is one shared priority most businesses and other organizations need to have it’s a strategy on how they are going to go about securing their network, infrastructure, and data from the numerous threats they face. Let’s take a look at three of the most crucial issues surrounding organizational cybersecurity as we head into the new year.

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Smart Devices Can Become a Security Problem

Smart devices and Internet-of-Things devices in general have taken the world by storm, and a home without at least a handful of smart devices is quite rare to find these days. However, smart devices—or devices that connect to the Internet to perform various functions—must be approached with a certain level of caution.

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How Our Team Helps Protect Christmas from Krampus

The holiday season has a variety of famous key players, including the likes of Santa, Rudolph, and the rest of the North Pole crew. Each year, they use their magic to help spread goodwill and joy to all the nice children of the world… but did you know that they are also responsible for protecting those who make the naughty list from Santa’s villainous counterpart, Krampus?

As the official managed service provider for Santa’s operation, we have been cleared to share the story about how we’ve helped defy Krampus to save Christmas.

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So, Your Data Was Breached… What Do You Do Now?

Data breaches are an unfortunate reality in this day and age, even during the holiday season. While it is important to do everything you can to prevent these kinds of disasters, you need to be prepared to deal with it—both in terms of your operations, and in terms of communicating with your clientele.

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Who Has Full Access to Your Data?

A disgruntled former employee is nothing new. However, in today’s digital work environment, an unhappy employee with unfettered access to your critical data is something to be concerned about. While it is essential to protect against cybercriminals, it also pays to be mindful of the threat in your own office.

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Fake Ransomware Shows That Fear is Often Our Worst Enemy

There’s no way around it; ransomware is bad stuff, plain and simple. The first half of 2021 saw a massive increase in ransomware attacks that made the lives of countless individuals and business professionals difficult. However, a new trend is surfacing, and it’s one that you might be surprised to see: fake ransomware threats.

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Amazon Is Seeing Phishing Attacks Rise

The holiday season is a time for merriment and good cheer, but hackers have historically used it to take advantage of peoples’ online shopping tendencies. Phishing scams are always on the rise during the holiday season, so you need to take steps now to ensure that you don’t accidentally put yourself at risk—especially with voice spoofing emerging as a threat for Amazon orders.

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Twitch Creator Information Exposed After Hack

Twitch, Amazon’s popular streaming service where gamers and content creators broadcast to wide audiences, recently suffered a data breach. Thanks to this data breach, folks on the Internet now know just how much these content creators make, and it has exposed a whole new issue that Amazon must resolve.

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Outlining the Usefulness of the Password Manager App

Businesses sure use a lot of online accounts, and if they don’t keep track of the passwords associated with these accounts, things can get messy fast. To help with this effort, password managers, or applications that store passwords in an encrypted vault, have really taken off. Here are some of the reasons why businesses invest in password management solutions.

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MosaicLoader Malware Uses Cracked Software to Steal Your Credentials

Many threats immediately make themselves known on your device the second they install themselves, like ransomware and other types of malware. Others, like this newly discovered threat called MosaicLoader, discreetly install themselves in the background of your device and cause problems behind the scenes. 

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Windows Suffering from MSHTML Exploit

A vulnerability in Microsoft’s MSHTML browser engine has been discovered and tracked by Kaspersky. It is being exploited all over the world right now. How can you avoid this vulnerability so that it doesn’t affect your business? Let’s find out.

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Microsoft Warns Against Password Spraying

As time has passed, cybersecurity attacks have become another way some organizations and nations engage in warfare. You can argue that there is a war going on at all times in cyberspace while hackers—many of which are sponsored by government agencies—try to outdo security researchers at all turns. One such scenario sees customers in the United States and Israeli defense technology sectors becoming the target of “password spraying.”

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How Cybercriminals Are Breaking 2FA

It’s no surprise that many security breaches are due to weak passwords and poor team training. What may be a surprise is that when multi-factor authentication was implemented, cybersecurity breaches were blocked by more than 90%. However, bad actors are constantly evolving and have found a way to break through one of the most popular types of multi-factor authentication that uses text messaging. Here’s how.

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Boost Your Network’s Security with These 4 Tools

Network security can be tough; there’s a lot to know, and you often need to have trained professionals on your side to ensure your systems are as secure as possible. With the right solutions on your side, however, it can be made much more manageable. Let’s discuss some of the most important security features your organization should implement and why.

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Ransomware Costs May Surprise You

Did you know that the United States is the leader in ransomware payments? According to a survey from Mimecast titled “The State of Ransomware Readiness,” the U.S. has the highest average payment for ransomware out of the entire world at more than $6 million per victim. These shocking numbers likely stem from high-profile ransomware attacks, but they are also indicative of a larger problem, that being people who still pay the ransom.

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Yes, You Can Outsource Hacking

Have you ever wondered what it takes to hire a hacker to perform a specific task? Thanks to the findings of Comparitech, we can get a look into the average pricings of various hacking services that can be found on the Dark Web. While we would never condone ever taking advantage of such services, it’s a fascinating look into the business of cybercrime, and one that can give you an idea of just how easy and accessible it is for hackers to make your life difficult.

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Are Smart Speakers Spying on You?

Over the past couple of years, more and more people are using smart speakers to help them manage their day-to-day lives. Some people use them as their personal assistants, some just use them to help them remember things they would tend to forget otherwise, others just use them as extremely complex thermometers. Regardless what the use is, one question will always be near the surface about these devices: Are they secure? Let’s take a look at the many issues surrounding smart speaker security.

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The Most Popular Subject Lines for Phishing Threats are Revealing

Even the most cautious employee could fall victim to a well-placed and well-timed phishing email. What are some factors that contribute to the success of these attacks, and what subject lines in particular should people be cautious about? A recent study takes a look at what goes into a successful phishing attack, and you might be surprised by the results.

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How Smart is Your Smart Technology When It Comes to Network Security?

Smart devices have brought about unprecedented amounts of connectivity in aspects of running a business or owning a home that never could have been dreamed of in the past. People can now unlock their front doors, turn up their thermostats, and even switch the lights on and off through their smartphone. Unfortunately, the part that people don’t like to talk about with these applications and devices is security—big surprise, right?

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Spending More Time on Your Cybersecurity Has More Benefits than You May Think

While cybersecurity is far from the most exciting thing a business can invest in, it’s certainly one of the most important parts of running any successful venture. Without cybersecurity, the endless number of threats on the Internet could infiltrate your network and create problems for your company.

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AI Is Being Used By Hackers, Too

Artificial intelligence, commonly known as AI, is used in several different ways in various industries, but one of the most impactful has been with cybersecurity and its automation. On the other hand, however, are the hackers who use AI in ways that fly in the face of the efforts of these cybersecurity professionals and use AI for cybercrime. What are some ways that AI is used in cybercrime, and why is it so scary for businesses to handle?

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Malware That Targets Android Can Cause Major Problems

You often hear about malware that infects desktop PCs, laptops, or servers, but other types of malware that infect mobile devices also exist. One such malware, a threat called TangleBot, has been discovered, and it can become seriously problematic for both workers and consumers utilizing Android devices—especially in today’s mobile-centric workplace.

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Cybersecurity Helps Keep Your Law Firm’s Data from Being Distributed Pro Bono

It can be too easy to overlook the importance of technology and its security, particularly in industries that are deeply steeped in tradition, regardless of how crucial that security may seem when actually considered. Just consider the modern law firm, where technology, data, and the security of such is paramount.

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What Happens When You Get Ransomware?

We often discuss how your business can avoid the impact of ransomware, but what we don’t often discuss is what happens to businesses that do, in fact, suffer from such a devastating attack. We want to use today’s blog as an opportunity to share what your business should (and should not) do in the event of a ransomware attack, as well as measures you can take to avoid suffering from yet another in the future.

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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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