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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.

How to Create Cybersecurity Policies for Your Company

If you’re in business today, there are three words that are critical for you keep in mind: Cybersecurity. Is. Important. As such, every business needs to have taken the time to put together a cybersecurity policy--a set of guidelines that instruct the business how to proceed with the highest level of security possible. We’ve taken the liberty of suggesting a few guidelines for your business to follow as you do so.

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Are Your Biggest Threats Coming From Inside Your Company?

Most businesses that really lean on their IT go to great lengths and expense to keep those systems secure. Sometimes, however, all those firewalls and antivirus software don’t stop threats that come in from your staff. Today, we are going to go through the three different types of human error that your staff can undertake, and how to deal with each.

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Coronavirus: A Threat to Your Staff, Cyberthreat to Your Operations

COVID-19, or coronavirus, has been a major global health concern over the past couple of months. At this point, it is clear that this disease could have serious impacts on the workplace. We wanted to provide a brief rundown of good workplace and network health practices, as well as a few pointers on how you can handle health-based employee absences.

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What NY Businesses Need to Know About the SHIELD Act

On July 26, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (or SHIELD) Act into law. With the passing of this law, businesses with operations in New York now must put certain safeguards in place to help protect the private information disclosed to them by New York residents.

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Microsoft is Finding Leaving Windows 7 Users Behind Difficult

Windows 7 might not be supported by Microsoft any longer, but millions of people are still using PCs that run the antiquated operating system. Since Microsoft has put an end to extended support for Windows 7 OS, a couple bugs have been found. Let’s take a look at what exactly is behind these issues and discuss your options.

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Practice Healthy Password Habits on Everything

Your cybersecurity is only as strong as your weakest link, and in many cases, that starts with your passwords. As the Internet of Things continues to become more ubiquitous in our homes and businesses, we risk exposing our private lives to the public-at-large.  When we don’t manage our ‘always connected’ devices, we may be placing the security of our businesses and homes at risk.

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Social Engineering and Your Business

As prevalent as cybersecurity threats unfortunately are today, many users tend to overlook major threats that they just aren’t focused on nearly as much: social engineering attacks. Social engineering attacks are just another means for a cybercriminal to reach their desired ends, and therefore needed to be protected against.

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Tip of the Week: Spotting a Phishing Attempt

With email being such a huge part of doing business, phishing has become a favorite tool of many scammers. To fight back, it is key that you know how to recognize a phishing email, so we’re dedicating this week’s tip to doing just that.

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Do Inherent Security Risks Make Smart Devices Dumb?

Over the past few years, there has been a general fascination with smart devices in the home, and to a certain extent, the office. These Internet of Things-powered appliances and gadgets can help add to the convenience of rote tasks and other everyday activities, but is it actually a good idea to use them? As it turns out, unless you’ve taken the proper precautions, maybe not.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Considerations When Securing Personal Information

Personal information is precious, especially in this increasingly digital day and age. This makes it incredibly important that you are doing everything you can to protect it in your business - whether it is your own or belongs to somebody else. Here, we’ll go over a few tips to help you better protect the data you’re responsible for.

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Hit Back Hard Against Malware

The threat landscape is filled with more types of malware than ever. To keep your business’ network running effectively, it’s important to have a strategy to keep malware out. Today, we’ll talk about a few basics you should know to keep your cybersecurity strategy working properly.

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Best Practices for Your Access Management

As you oversee your business, there is a lot that you’re going to have to manage - including how much access your employees have to the data you have collected and generated throughout your operations. An access management policy can help you to accomplish this. Here, we’ll review a few key features you need to include in your strategy.

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The Technology That Protects Your Payment Cards

These days most consumers lean heavily on their payment cards. Whether they use credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards, consumers today are much more apt to use their card then they are to use cash. Why is this? Convenience mostly, but also there is a belief that using a payment card is more secure than walking around with a wad of cash in your pocket. Today, we will get to the bottom of the matter.

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What Are the Biggest Cybersecurity Concerns Going into 2020?

Cybersecurity should always be a priority for a business, and cyber criminals are always evolving their tactics. As a result, it pays to keep an eye on the horizon for the next looming threats. Here, we’re reviewing a few threats that cybersecurity professionals say that businesses should be concerned about in the near future.

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Google Knows a Lot About You. Here’s How to Control It

Nearly everyone uses Google in some way or another. The search engine is, by far, the most common way people get answers and find content online. The margins aren’t even close, either. Currently, Google handles about 90% of search queries, while the second and third place goes to Yahoo and Bing, who share just below 5% of the search market share.

Google curates the search results on the fly based on a lot of variables including where you are located, what kind of device you are on, and your online surfing habits. This means Google is collecting a lot of information about how we use the web to give us a better experience. Let’s look at how you can control what Google knows about you to better protect your privacy.

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Tip of the Week: Taking Your Password Practices to the Next Level

Passwords… can be annoying, if we’re being honest. They are, however, also incredibly important to your business’ overall security strategy. We’ve all heard the suggestions on how to create secure passwords. As it turns out, there is more to modern security then that. Let’s explore a few options to help you create useful passwords, and take a look why passwords are only the beginning. 

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Disney+ Hacked Within Days of Launching. Here’s What SMBs Can Learn From This

Disney+, Disney’s new Netflix-like streaming service launched with a lot of fanfare on November 12th. The service promises to offer Disney’s massive library of shows and movies, including content from all of the franchises the company has been buying up over the last decade. Unfortunately, many thousands of subscribers have come to find their credentials stolen, and the House of Mouse isn’t exactly giving anyone a clear answer.

This leads to the question, how would your business handle a data breach?

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Automation Plays a Critical Role in Cybersecurity

Automation is sometimes misconceived as a troublesome or unreliable addition to business. It’s not about replacing people with machines, it’s about getting more done with the people you have. Having an attitude that doubts technology and believes nothing can replace human processing can quickly put you at a disadvantage compared to your competitors.

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Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

We all know how important it is to protect your desktop and laptop computers from malicious threats. Installing antivirus and security software is one of the first steps you take when you get a new computer, and for good reason. An unprotected device is at great risk. With that said, a lot of users don’t think about the threats that target their most-used devices, their smartphones.

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Is 2FA Worth the Trouble?

I want to start this article out by admitting that there are a lot of active threats out there these days. There are hackers--hacking collectives, actually--that’s whole purpose is to infiltrate businesses and steal data, money, and most often, the trust people have in their technology. One way to help keep your stuff secure is by relying on two-factor authentication. 

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Some Hackers Promote Cybersecurity

Most people have acquired much of their familiarity with what a hacker is through the mixed representation seen in pop culture today… but does this impression match up to a hacker in real life? Popular entertainment unfortunately doesn’t differentiate between different hacker types and their motivations very well, so that’s what we’ll handle here.

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4 Timeless Cybersecurity Rules to Live By

Cybersecurity has become an overly complicated, increasingly important part of our lives. These days, many people are concerned about their privacy; who is collecting their data, what data is being collected, how to prevent information from being stolen, how to prevent breaches, etc. Then there are the traditional threats like malware, ransomware, and phishing that are not only becoming more common place but are capable of doing more damage. 

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Does Your IT Provider Practice Good Cyberhygiene?

I have a confession to make: it’s actually a pretty trying time to be in the IT business right now. A year ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement for IT and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) about an increased risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.

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How To Get Control Over Your Facebook

For many, Facebook is a huge part of daily life, whether you want to think of it that way or not. There are more than two billion active users. That means if you pluck any 4 random human beings from anywhere in the world, at least one of them likely logged into Facebook today. 

It’s important to know that you still have control over your information, so in today’s blog we’re going to talk about a few ways you can take control over your online identity on the world’s largest social network.

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Google Password Checkup Tool Works to Keep You Secure

Imagine a world where there wasn’t a singular dishonest being. Passwords would simply vanish from our everyday lives, as we would not be paranoid of a breach or other forms of cybercriminal activity. The harsh reality is this will never become reality. Even worse, the cybercriminals don’t just skim for lack of passwords. Instead, the dishonest criminal goes even further; they take advantage of common or recurring passwords. So how do you know if your password practices are leaving you vulnerable? Google is here to help. 

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DHS Cybersecurity Shortage a Major Problem

Cybersecurity is a big point of emphasis for the modern IT administrator. For the private business, it’s important for enough to be done in order to secure the business’ assets, and the integrity of the network itself. Unfortunately, when looking at public computing resources, there isn’t enough talent available to properly secure the systems that government entities rely on. 

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Tip of the Week: Get Better at Managing Your Mobile Data

You may not think much about managing mobile data, but if your business routinely transmits sensitive data over the Internet, you should. Today, businesses of all types are using the Internet as a tool to drive their sales and marketing processes, but they don’t often consider the threats that come in when they use it for productivity. Today, we will go over what a Mobile Information Management solution is, and how to leverage it for your business. 

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Why is URL Manipulation a Security Concern?

If you’ve spent any time using a computer, you probably know what a URL is. It is the address of a website. It typically starts with “http//:” or “https://” and directs the Internet browser on where the user would like to surf. Nowadays a threat could be created by manipulating the URL. Today, we’ll take you through this threat. 

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Cybersecurity Insurance Gaining Steam

Controlling your organization’s data relies on keeping your network and computing infrastructure free from threats. Early detection allows your business to actively confront risks before they develop into major issues. However, threats are becoming more difficult to detect in early stages, and one hidden threat could doom your entire business. 

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Microsoft Does Some Patching Off Schedule

To keep your business’ network free from threats, and to keep your software working effectively, patching the software it uses is extremely important. The reason is that the threat landscape is always evolving. Recently, Microsoft announced that they have released an emergency out-of-band security update to fix two security issues, an atypical act for the software giant. 

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Don’t Be Snagged by This Google Calendar Phishing Scam

Gmail and the applications associated with it seem to have some level of inherent trust among users. We just don’t anticipate threats to come in via something from Google. However, it does happen, as a recent spat of phishing has shown using Gmail and Google Calendar. What’s worse, this particular scam has been around for some time.

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Taking a Look at the Future of Cybersecurity

How concerned are you with your business' cybersecurity? When you envision your business in the future, do you see yourself constantly fighting cyberattacks, or paying ransom? Hopefully not, but what if cybersecurity turns into one of the most difficult parts to maintaining a steady business? Today, we will look into the future and hypothesize what your business may need to do to defend against cybercriminals. 

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Tip of the Week: Smartphones Security Tips

If you were given the task to look up a phone number, call a business, and navigate to the new-to-you area, would you be able to without your smartphone? For some of us the answer will still be yes, for a vast majority, the answer is no. Smartphones have quickly transitioned from a calling device, to one of our most valuable tools. Shopping, navigating, video streaming, and an unbelievable amount of other capabilities are all at the palm of your hand. 

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Cybersecurity Throughout History

The way a business approaches its network security is a crucial consideration - especially to a business that is planning to have a future. This has contributed to cybersecurity becoming a multi-hundred-billion-dollar (per year) industry. In its short history, cybersecurity has had a huge impact on businesses, so we felt it would be useful to go through some of the highlights of its deployment.

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For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Keep Looming Threats in Mind

Any business in operation today needs to keep modern realities concerning cybersecurity at top-of-mind if they are going to successfully maintain the business going forward. One major issue to be cognizant of is the increasing prevalence of phishing attacks.

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When It Comes to Payment Cards, Frank Abagnale Gives Credit Where Credit is Due

With more than $16 billion being scammed from more than 16 million people, there is clearly an issue at hand that could use some expert insight. Those who are familiar with Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can might know that the movie was based on the memoirs of Frank Abagnale, former con man and longtime security consultant of the FBI. With his 45 years of experience with the bureau, Abagnale can safely by considered an expert in cybersecurity and fraud protection.

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Should Big Tech Be Reined In?

It’s not a secret (well, not anymore) that the big tech companies have influence. These companies, that include Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have been in the spotlight more and more as the argument of data privacy has gotten louder and louder. Public sentiment is starting to blow back on their business model--and since, Yahoo, once the predominant name in Internet-based services, was broken up and sold to Verizon for cents on the dollar after being at the center of the largest data breach in recorded history--there have been rumblings that there has to be something done to protect the public from major publicly-traded technology companies that use individual’s data in ways that some deem unethical.

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Can Apps Provide Secure Password Management?

Do you use different passwords on every account you’ve created? Are these passwords sufficiently complex? Chances are at some point you have used a repeating password. Remembering 35 different logins for 35 different applications is hard enough, so it’s not surprising that the majority of people will use the same password for many applications. Bad password practices are all too common. So, how can you fix this?

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Building a Secure Wi-Fi Network

Maintaining network security is always a priority for the security-minded company, but if your organization’s strategy is to fly under the radar, you need a new plan. No business is too small to be a victim of a network breach. What most people who are tasked with coming up with a network security strategy for a small business don’t always realize is that threats are everywhere. Today, we’re going to take a look at planning a secure and reliable Wi-Fi strategy that doesn’t inherently add to your business’ risk. 

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The Endless Line of Costs from a Data Breach

Picture this… In your office you have a bag filled with thousands of envelopes. In each envelope there is $242 in cash. Unbeknownst to you, a thief has gained access to your office, but you don’t realize this until 279 days later. How much is this going to cost your business?

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Hacking Doesn’t Take a Computer Science Degree

There’s a reason that cybercrime is so popular: it is no longer reserved for those with extensive programming knowledge to profit from. Now, according to a report by Deloitte entitled Black Market Ecosystem: Estimating the Cost of “Pwnership”, there is a complete economy built around easily accessible hacking tools that don’t require specialized knowledge to leverage.

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Are You Ready for a Ransomware Resurgence?

Ransomware attacks grew less common in both 2018 and thus far in 2019 when compared to 2017. Unfortunately, recent events have made it more likely that this trend will reverse in the near future. Why is that? Simple: some municipalities have set a precedent of paying up.

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Secure Businesses Go Beyond the Firewall

Some terms are thrown around like everyone knows what they are. This is especially the case with IT and technology solutions. Perhaps it’s a result of them being around for quite some time in professional environments, but it doesn’t help those who are unfamiliar with the technology. One term that we should all understand is “firewall,” as it’s omnipresent in the business sector, but it’s far from the only security solution you’ll need to guarantee safety.

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Are You a Security Threat?

Just like you can form habits to be more productive, you can also form habits that expose your organization to risky situations, namely security problems. Your employees in particular are likely to have picked up a couple of nasty habits over time, so it’s up to you to address them and keep them from becoming an issue in the long term.

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Some Employees are More Hackable than Others

Habits can be a very effective way to improve your internal productivity, but others can expose your business to security risks. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that your employees may have picked up the latter. This means you need to learn what to look for, so you can identify any problem areas within your business - and work to break the habits that led to these problems.

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Should You Be Holding Your Staff Accountable for Failed Phishing Tests?

It can be a real head-scratcher when one of your otherwise well-performing employees routinely falls for the simulated phishing attacks that you roll out as a part of your cybersecurity awareness strategy. For all intents and purposes, the person is a great employee, but when it comes to acting with caution, they fail. If you’ve made a point to prioritize your staff’s working knowledge of phishing attacks, do you replace this employee? We’ll take a look at it today.

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Are You Putting Your Business at Risk by Neglecting Upgrades?

It’s expensive running a business, especially here in Upstate NY. For smaller businesses, sometimes making payroll or getting through the first of the month is a matter of being frugal or cutting back a little.

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Shadow IoT and What to Do About It

For much of the last five years, we’ve been told that the Internet of Things was going to be the most important innovation since broadband Internet was introduced. This growth, while its largely happening under the proverbial radar, is happening. There are around seven billion “smart” devices in 2019 with expectations that it will be three times that by 2025. With that many Internet-connected devices, there are bound to be some that come with vulnerabilities, whether it comes from being designed poorly or not frequently updated with modern threat definitions. Today, we’ll take a look to see if the Internet of Things should be considered a threat to your business.

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65 Bitcoin Ransom Paid by Florida City

65 of any currency doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you are dealing in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it adds up quick. One city on Florida’s Atlantic coast is finding that out the hard way after getting hit with a ransomware that stymied the city of 35,000 government’s ability to function. Let’s take a look at the situation that made the city’s leaders agree to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to scammers.

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Oneonta Businesses Need to Train Staff on Cybersecurity Best Practices

As much as your employees are some of your greatest assets, they also have the potential to be some of the biggest security risks that your business can encounter. To help mitigate these risks, you need to make sure your employees are trained to recognize threats and respond appropriately.

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Personal and Private Data Continues to Leak from Sony

b2ap3_thumbnail_password_protection_400.jpgThis holiday season might leave technology and entertainment supergiant Sony with nothing but a big lump of coal in its stocking. In a high-profile hack, hackers continue to leak Sony’s employees’ sensitive information like Social Security numbers, passports, and even personal emails. This is obviously an issue for the company, but so is its lack of IT security, as shown by their passwords being stored in a folder named “Passwords.”

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Network Security is Crucial for Every Organization

Avoiding risk is important for every business, unless your business is as a daredevil, then mitigating risk will have to do. Nowadays, with technology being an omnipresent element in most businesses, technology-based risks have grown in concert. As a result, the modern business owner and IT administrators need to understand the new risks and how to proactively work toward avoiding (or mitigating) them.

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SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is Done For

Two of Microsoft’s most popular relational database management systems, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will be losing support on July 9, 2019. If your business continues to use one of these titles for its database management, you are running out of time before you need to upgrade. Today, we’ll take a brief look at what the software is used for and what options are open to you going forward.

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Wow That’s a Lot of Money - Otsego County Residents Lost Nearly $70k to Scammers So Far This Year

According to the New York State Police, Otsego County residents have been experiencing and falling victim to a slew of scams that have resulted in the reported loss of nearly $70,000 so far in 2019.

Let’s take a look and talk about how you can protect yourself and inform your friends, family, and coworkers of this threat that is definitely feeling too close to home for many of us.

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Your Business Needs to Prioritize Network Security

There is one constant in the business environment, and it’s that your organization will be placed in a constant state of being at risk the second you start to make a name for yourself. What a lot of organizations don’t understand is that it doesn’t matter how high or low-profile a business is, there will always be data on a network infrastructure that is valuable to hackers and is targeted by threats.

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Cybercrime’s Evolution and the Potential Blockchain Shield

Cybercrime has morphed over the past decade or so. With unbreakable encryption making breaking directly into a network all but impossible, phishing, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and other methods of indirect hacking have become en vogue. As a result, software companies are looking in some strange places to find building blocks for intrusion mitigation. One interesting emerging technology being used for this purpose is blockchain.

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SMBs Are Never Too Small for Hackers

Small businesses often fall into the trap of thinking that they are too small to be attacked. This misconception could ultimately cost your business too much. The fact of the matter is that all businesses have data that is worth something to hackers, and we’re here to prove it to you and offer a solution to this dilemma.

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Mobile Malware Is Becoming a Bigger Problem

There was a time when people didn’t have to worry about getting computer viruses on their cell phones. Nowadays, with the exponential growth of mobile technologies, including application development options, mobile malware has become a problem, and it can be a big problem for your business. Today, we’ll take a look at the growing mobile malware market, from the threats to what you can do to keep it from being a problem for you.

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3 Ways You Can Protect Your Data

Businesses have a lot of data to protect and it’s not so simple as implementing a catch-all solution that can keep your data secure. In fact, it takes several solutions working in tandem to maximize data security. We recommend a combination of a unified threat management tool, a Bring Your Own Device policy, and a virtual private network solution. Let’s take a longer look at them:

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Poking at Spear Phishing

Hopefully, you’ve heard of phishing at this point: the method cybercriminals use to scam their targets by impersonating someone that their targets would trust, requesting access credentials or other sensitive information. Did you know that there are specific kinds of phishing? Here, we’ll review one of the biggest risks to your business... spear phishing.

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Fix Any Bit of Data Leakage

How valuable is the data that you’ve collected during your time in business? What would it mean if it were to leak somewhere beyond your control? Today we’ll discuss ways to control your data leakage.

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USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

Network security is a priority for modern organizations of all kinds… after all, threats don’t often discriminate between the computer networks that they try to access. One kind of organization that should be especially diligent is the modern college or university. There are many different kinds of sensitive data stored there, including the personal, medical, and financial trifecta, along with intellectual property.

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Ransomware Shuts Down Doctors’ Office - Is Your Business Protected?

Let me ask you a question… let’s say that you’re about one year from your projected retirement, when a ransomware attack encrypts all of your files. What do you do? Pack it in and retire early? This is precisely the situation that the practitioners of Brookside ENT & Hearing Services of Battle Creek, Michigan, have found themselves in - and it may not be over yet.

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Why Oneonta Businesses Need Enterprise Cybersecurity

If you run a small business in Oneonta, you might assume that you don’t need to worry about the threat of a cyberattack. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

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Network Security a Challenge for Colleges and Universities

Millions of students--approximately 16 million--call colleges or universities their home for at least a portion of the calendar year. They are educated by another 1.5 million or so faculty, staff, and other employees. Most of these institutions of higher education understand the challenges presented by maintaining networks, particularly the ones that students connect countless devices to. With all this in mind, can a college campus’ network truly be secure, or is it a fool’s errand?

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With Phishing Attacks Beating 2FA, You Need to Be Able to Spot Them

Unfortunately, one of the most effective defenses against phishing attacks has suddenly become a lot less dependable. This means that you and your users must be ready to catch these attempts instead. Here, we’ll review a few new attacks that can be included in a phishing attempt, and how you and your users can better identify them for yourselves.

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Here Is a List of this Year’s Most Devastating Hacks

Today, we’ve compiled some statistics that give these threats context, as well as a list of some of the most devastating hacks from the first half of 2018. Hopefully, these lists will put into perspective just how important building a network security strategy is for your company. Here are some statistics to help reinforce just how important cybersecurity is:

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Fishing for Answers to Keep Phishing Attacks from Sinking Your Business

Phishing attacks have been in the social consciousness now for a while, and for good reason: it is the predominant way that hackers gain access to secured networks and data. Unfortunately, awareness to an issue doesn’t always result in positive outcomes. In this case, hackers get more aggressive, and by blanketing everyone under a seemingly limitless phishing net, 57 billion phishing emails go out every year. If a fraction of those emails accomplish their intended goal, the hackers on the other end of them really make out.

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Understanding Biometrics

It’s a familiar scene from many science fiction properties: a person approaches a locked door. They unlock it, but rather than using a key, a red beam scans their eye to confirm their identity and permit them access. The thing is, this and similar biometric authentication technologies are likely to begin appearing in real-world businesses sooner than later. Let’s discuss:

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How to Make Sure Your Messages are Secure

Messaging applications have carved out a foothold in businesses, clearly proving their operational benefits. However, it simply isn’t responsible to leverage a solution without making sure that the solution is secure. There are a few criteria that you should consider to determine how secure your chosen application really is.

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New Hacking Technique Can Guess Credit Card Information In Seconds

Visa customers have reason to worry as a new research paper in the academic journal IEEE Security & Privacy revealed a weak spot in online credit card security that allows hackers virtually unlimited hacking attempts at Visa accounts. What's worse, the vulnerability lies in the way merchants accept online payments, meaning that there's little the average Visa card customer can do to protect themselves.

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Social Media Can Cause Security Concerns

Social media is a great tool that your business can use to communicate with clients and prospective customers, but in an age where you can expect your employees to have their own accounts, it can be devastating to overlook the security issues associated with it. Today, we’ll examine how you can protect your organization from its employees’ social media use.

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Google Knows Where You Are: Here’s How to Stop Them

Late in the summer this past year there were several articles written about how Google would continue to track the location of a person’s smartphone after they had chosen to turn their location settings off. A Princeton researcher corroborated those claims for the Associated Press, traveling through New York and New Jersey with locations services off only to be tracked the entire way. Today, we will discuss this issue, and tell you what you need to know to keep Google from tracking you wherever you go.

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Learn to Use Email Safely

Email is a core component to many businesses. With 124.5 billion business emails being sent and received each day, that doesn’t seem to be in danger of ending. Are the emails that are coming and going from your business secure? That may be another story, altogether. In order to keep your email security at a premium, we have outlined the following tips:

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What You Should Know About Securing Payment Cards

Cards are one of the most common methods of making payments these days, as it’s simply more convenient than carrying a ton of cash on you at any given time. Still, if your business takes card payments, it puts you in a place of vulnerability. Considering how often payment cards are used for transactions, you need to take action now to keep your company from experiencing data breaches related to payment information.

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Contemporary Cyber Threats You Should Know

Cybersecurity is a critical part of managing any business. This is especially true nowadays when there are countless individuals and organizations formed specifically to steal credentials and sensitive information from your organization. Today we will be dedicating some time to how your business can reinforce proper cybersecurity practices.

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7 Tips to Take Control of Your PII

It is remarkable how much trust people have in Internet-based companies. Not just that they will fulfill the expectations placed on them, but that people routinely provide extremely sensitive information to these companies without thinking for a second about what they do with it. We will take a look at data collection practices, what Internet companies want with that data, and how millions of people every year become victims because they entrust their PII (Personally Identifiable Information) to corporations that promptly lose it.

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Powerful Physical Security Options

Data security isn’t the easiest thing in the world to plan for, especially if your organization doesn’t have any dedicated security professionals on-hand. While protecting your data with traditional methods, like passwords, firewalls, and antivirus, is important, what measures are you taking to make sure a thief or hacker isn’t just walking into your office and making off with your technology?

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Prioritize the Protection of Your Google Account

Chances are you have a Google account, whether it’s for business or personal use. It’s more accessible today than ever before and provides a solid way to gain access to several important features and accounts. Considering how much can be done with a Google account, users forget that they can put their security and personal data at risk. Here are some ways that your Google account is at risk, as well as what you can do to fix it.

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Why Your Google Account’s Security is So Important

These days, it seems that to have a computer is to have a Google account. If one isn’t used for professional purposes, it is used as a personalized solution - and no wonder. The convenience and accessibility of these accounts alone are compelling, even before one considers the versatility that this account brings with it. Unfortunately, these benefits can be quickly overshadowed by risk if a Google account’s security is overlooked, even if unintentionally.

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Tip of the Week: Watch Out for Scammers During the Holidays

Scammers find the holidays to be a wonderful time for stealing from unsuspecting victims. They know that the gift-giving season inspires others to spend a lot of money, which means that sensitive information, like credit card numbers, is up for grabs in bulk. As a consumer yourself, you’ll have to keep an eye out for these scams to make sure that you’re staying as safe as possible this holiday season.

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How the Grinch Didn’t Send that Email!

An email’s important,
That much is clear fact -
But you need to stay safe
From an email attack.

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The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The funny thing about ransomware is that they give them very strange names: Bad Rabbit sounds like the name of a villainous bunny who gets his comeuppance in some type of modern nursery rhyme, not malware that would ravage hundreds of European businesses. Locky seems like the son of Candado de seguridad, a character Medeco would come up with to educate kids on proper physical security. The latest in a long line of funny-named ransomware, SamSam, isn’t a pet name for your pet ferret you perplexingly named Sam, it is one of the worst ransomware strains ever, and it has caught the attention of U.S. Federal law enforcement.

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Don’t Get Scammed with Gift Cards

It’s the holiday season, and shoppers are flocking to stores to find the perfect gift for anyone: the gift card. However, these handy little plastic rectangles may not be so perfect after all. This year, they’ve been a key component to a business email compromise scam that has been popular in the past few months.

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During the Holidays, Cybersecurity Matters at Work and Home

We’re right in the thick of the holiday season, which means two things: one, there’s a lot of data being exchanged between businesses and consumers, and (on a related note) two: there’s ample opportunities for cybercrime, targeting business and consumer both. Whichever side of the coin you are on at any moment, you need to be aware of the risks, and how to mitigate them.

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Gift Card Scam Making Problems for Holiday Shoppers

As the modern gift certificate, the gift card has become an institution, especially around the holidays. Thousands of companies offer statically-priced and reloadable gift cards. With that much cheddar flying around it isn’t a surprise that there is big business in gift card theft. The FTC has stated that gift card scams are up a whopping 270 percent since 2015. With so much money at stake, keeping yourself out of the way of the scammers has to be priority one.

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Here’s How Companies Struggle with IT Security

No business can be successful if it’s constantly suffering from data breaches. Therefore, you should take measures to mitigate the issues caused by these threats before they present themselves. Here are four of the biggest issues your business could face in the field of network security.

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Here is How Antivirus Keeps a Business Safe

A lot is made about antivirus as a part of a comprehensive network security platform, but how does the system really work to eliminate threats? Today, we will take a look at an antivirus solution to show you how it goes about removing unwanted files and other code.

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Those Irritating Spam Calls May Not Last Much Longer

While the phone is still a useful communication tool, it lately has been the cause of a large amount of stress from businesses and users alike. While caller ID was once also a useful tool to help stop spam calls, we now cannot trust the numbers it provides. Letting personal calls go to voicemail to check them is one thing, but a business shouldn’t do that. What can they do?

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This Scammer Raid Proves Just How Useful Monitoring Can Be

It can be easy to underestimate the importance of monitoring your solutions, to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. However, the benefits of persistent monitoring were recently thrust into the spotlight, when 24 spammers were arrested in October by the Delhi Police’s cyber cell for impersonating Microsoft support staff and duping American citizens.

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A Secure Wireless Network Allows for Better Business

Wireless Internet access for a user’s devices isn’t just a luxury these days--it’s expected. If the Wi-Fi drops out for any reason at all, chaos strikes, rendering any ability to stream content or access the Internet a moot point. This is particularly the case for businesses that have technology solutions reliant on wireless access. How can you make sure your wireless network is as strong and reliable as possible?

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Setting Android’s Security Options

You might be shocked to find out that your mobile device holds a considerable amount of personally identifiable information on it. This has prompted many users to secure their phones at all times, but others simply ignore the threat and brush it aside. Since Google makes it so easy, there’s no excuse for Android users not to secure their devices. Here’s how you can do it.

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Your Business May Be Most Vulnerable from the Inside

It can be easy, with all the threats covered in the news, to assume that the biggest dangers to your business all come from the outside. This is a dangerous mistake, as there are plenty of vulnerabilities that originate from within your organization, making it easier for outside threats to come in, if not being bigger threats in and of themselves. Below, we’ll review some of the biggest, mostly internal dangers that your business may face.

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Tech Term: Zero-Day

You might hear the term “zero-day” when discussing security threats, but do you know what they actually are? A zero-day threat is arguably one of the most devastating and dangerous security issues your business could face, and if you’re not prepared, they could be the end of it.

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Bing Offers Malware and Filth

With a meager market share that is one-third the size of Google’s, one would think that Bing would be trying to keep controversy away from a user’s search results. However, the Microsoft search engine has recently encountered a few notable PR disasters that may be enough to convince some not to use it - especially if it leads to a security breach.

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Uber Demonstrates the Importance of Disclosing a Data Breach

If your business was breached, would it be better to keep it a secret, or should you disclose it to your clients? Uber has proven that trying to hide it is a mistake, and a costly one at that.

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reCAPTCHA: The First Line of Defense

Security is paramount. These days, hackers are aggressive and relentless when it comes to using exploits to test your security. So much so that even when applying multiple layers of protection across a site, the server, and keeping everything patched, threats can sneak in. This is why it is critical to have a first line of defense; in this case, a CAPTCHA.

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Tip of the Week: Better Understand BYOD

There are a lot of benefits to implementing a Bring Your Own Device policy for your business. Firstly, people will be able to use the devices that they’ve purchased, and have grown accustomed to, for work. Moreover, many times they can access company information with the use of easy-to-use mobile apps, providing them with more opportunities to be productive. In fact, many organizations that install a BYOD policy see the majority of their workforce work more, which creates more opportunities for revenue growth, and ultimately, higher profitability of the endeavor.

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Tech Term: What Does “Encryption” Mean?

Email is a solution that needs to be protected, lest you expose important information to any onlookers while messages are in transit. Encryption is one of the key ways you can make sure that your messages are safe, but email hasn’t always used this method to secure messages. In fact, it wasn’t until relatively recently that encryption became a staple of the major email providers.

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Tech Term: Opening the Spam Folder

Spam is a tricky subject to talk about, as it seems everyone has a different definition for it. Yet, most have come to the conclusion that spam is a bad thing. For today’s Tech Term, we want to delve deep into the different kinds of spam out there, as well as theorize where the term even came from.

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