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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.

Innovative Cybersecurity Tools Your Business Needs

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

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How to Beat Cybercrime and Stay Secure

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

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4 Cybersecurity Tools You Need to Know About

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

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Is Your Smart Assistant Undermining Your Security?

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

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How Has COVID-19 Impacted Cybersecurity Needs?

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

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Cybercrime Spiking During the Pandemic

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

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A Security Briefing on Chrome Extensions

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

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What Would Happen if All Data Was Publically Available?

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

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Phishing is a Threat, Even By Phone

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

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Do Your Privacy Practices Line Up With Your Privacy Expectations?

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

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

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

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New Cyberattack Targeting Remote Workers

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

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

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

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Are VPNs Really Secure?

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

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When Securing Your Smartphone, Some Options are Better Than Others

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

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Comparing the Relative Danger of AI-Aided Crimes

When we think of cybercrime, most people’s minds go to one of two places. On the one hand, some think about the annoying, misspelled emails that are so obviously scams, while on the other, we can’t help but think about the hacks that we see in movies, where a criminal manages to overcome the best the government can incorporate into their defenses.

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Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself About Your Data’s Security

Data security always needs to be considered as one of your most important business priorities. After all, the ramifications of data loss are wide-reaching and severe. To help you ensure that your data security is at the level it needs to be, we’ve put together five questions you need to answer regarding your business’ security preparedness.

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Google and Apple Pushed a COVID-19 Exposure Notification Setting to Your Phone. Here is Everything You Need to Know

Many users are noticing or just starting to hear about Google and Apple’s initiative to work with local governments to provide an easy way to help users prevent getting infected with COVID-19. The idea is that, if a local or state government wanted to build an app for users that would tell them if people nearby have been tested positive for COVID-19, they would get a notification on their phone. 

This, of course, raises many questions and concerns about privacy, but a lot of people are being warned that this has been forced onto their phones already, and that just simply isn’t the case. Let’s take a look.

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Ransomware is Still a Major Threat

Ransomware is the scariest type of malware out there. It can have a myriad of negative effects on a business, yet it seems to still be on the fringe of the mainstream. Today, we thought we would give somewhat of a refresher course on ransomware. 

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How to Avoid the Influence of a Phishing Scam

Phishing emails are a real problem for today’s businesses, which makes it critically important that you and your team can identify them as they come in. Let’s touch on a few reliable indicators that a message isn’t a legitimate one.

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How Cybercriminals Are Keeping Themselves Entertained

With the given pandemic, a lot of people have had a bit more time on their hands, so it makes sense that many are turning to streaming services and the like for their entertainment. Unfortunately, this has not gone unnoticed by cybercriminals.

Let’s take a few moments and examine the practice of credential stuffing.

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Do You Know How to Build Solid Passwords?

The password is the core element of both data security and user authentication. This makes the construction of them extremely important to protecting digital assets. Unfortunately, not everyone understands how to construct passwords that actually work to protect the information on the other side. Today, we will discuss how to build a solid password that works to keep your digital resources safe.

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Employment Scams Have Recently Exploded

With COVID-19 creating an unsure situation for so many businesses, and by extension their employees, these employees are suddenly finding themselves in a vulnerable position. Regardless of whether or not your employees are able to come into the office right now, it is important that you share the following information with them, as it may help to keep them out of a tough spot.

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You Shouldn’t Slow Your Cybersecurity Spending

COVID-19 has changed the way that most business owners look at a dollar. For months, businesses have been making strategic budget cuts to try to stay afloat. Cybersecurity has been the ultimate growth industry over the past several years, but in the face of the pandemic, the market for these products and services is seeing substantial retraction. In fact, Gartner estimates that in 2020, the cybersecurity industry will shrink by almost $7 billion. Today, we’ll take a look at the cybersecurity market and why it is important not to slow your cybersecurity spending if you can help it.

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What We Can Learn from Some Foreboding Security Predictions

With the COVID-19 crisis far from over, many businesses have had their attention pulled away from their cybersecurity needs by the concerns that the current health crisis has generated. Here, we’ll be reviewing some of the observations that a group of 273 cybersecurity professionals have made, courtesy of an annual survey.

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FBI Warns About Banking Scams

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are avoiding human contact by turning to the Internet and mobile apps. On a national scope, mobile banking alone has seen an increase of 50 percent over just the last few months. In what certainly is no coincidence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently put out a warning that identified banking apps as likely targets for hackers.

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Alert: Hackers Target Mobile Banking Apps, Warns FBI

More people than ever are utilizing the conveniences of the Internet and mobile apps to avoid unnecessary human contact during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, mobile banking alone has increased by 50 percent over the last few months, nationwide. In a recent PSA, the FBI warned that hackers are likely to be targeting mobile banking apps.

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Why You Need to Consider How Your Data is Stored

If you have a computer, it has data on it that you’ve stored. Whether it’s the novel you’ve been working on in your spare time or pictures from your kid’s sixth grade graduation on your home PC, or the databases and applications that your business’ infrastructure supports, all of this data is generally stored in exactly the same way. Whatever your case, you should know that your data is terrifyingly fragile - far too fragile to ever be kept in just one place. Let’s dive deeper.

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Why You Need to Audit Your Security

A security audit is designed to test the overall integrity of your business when it comes to its IT security. In today’s environment, businesses need to have strengthened fortifications in place to protect themselves from cyberthreats, and these fortifications need to be properly tested and reviewed over time. Let’s talk about some of the types of audits and their benefits, and how you can assess your security.

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PCI Compliance and Your Business

The days of the cash-only business are over. It doesn’t matter if your business is a multinational corporation or you cut grass for a living, accepting payment cards is not only convenient for your customers, most of the time it’s the most secure way to get paid. In an effort to protect the personal and financial information of consumers who have come to depend on their payment cards, the banks that back the credit card industry have developed a regulation that businesses who process cards need to adhere to. Today, we will go over this regulation and how it affects small and medium-sized businesses

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What We Can Learn from the 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report

Starting in 2008, Verizon has produced a report outlining the cybersecurity incident trends that the previous year demonstrated. In doing so, they have provided a resource that gives businesses greater insights into where their cybersecurity efforts need to be focused. Let’s go over some of 2019’s trends and insights that were highlighted in the Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).

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Not All Threats are External

As much as a business relies on its technology, it relies just as much upon its employees to properly put that technology to use. Unfortunately, this can very easily expose the business to various threats that involve their employees. Understanding these insider threats is crucial for a business, especially given how current events may tempt those who would never have considered them otherwise.

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Coronavirus Scams Awareness

We have all been going through tough times recently due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent social distancing measures and lockdowns. As we continue to go through rough times, we would like to encourage people to be vigilant and attentive with their security, lest you fall victim to one of the many recent COVID-19 scams out there. Here are several of the scams out there.

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Is Your Staff Holding Up Their End on Security?

It seems as though every business is depending more and more on their IT. This means that their employees have more exposure to their IT systems. Unfortunately, that relationship is where the majority of the problems you will have are. The facts are that any business that has built a strong security policy has the solutions in place to keep direct infiltration from happening. Hackers have to find another way.

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Cybersecurity Takes Effort at 3 Levels

The way people talk about cybersecurity, it’s as if it is something like a television or a new phone: something you can just buy. That’s not the truth. When you are seriously looking at how you can keep unwanted entities off your network, while having control over what you do with your technology, you need to look at it as three levels of security.

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Protecting Your Data Privacy Is Harder than Ever

If you consider it, it’s amazing how much trust people have in Internet-based companies. They not only believe that these companies will fulfill their expectations, but that they will work to provide protection for some of their most valuable and sensitive information. Let’s take a look at some of the data collection practices that companies use and what they do with that data. 

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The Importance of Secure Conferencing

Conferencing has been an important tool for businesses as stay-at-home orders have moved their operations out of the office and into worker’s homes. While there are dozens of video conferencing solutions on the market, businesses should consider security just as much as they consider functionality. Today, we’ll take a look at security for your company’s conferencing solutions.

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Zoom Addresses Security Shortcomings, But Users Should Always be Careful

Remote workers have an increasing number of tools to allow them to remain productive as COVID-19 concerns force them out of their office due to social distancing requirements. Yet many newly remote workers are finding unexpected problems in their new world as they adopt new technologies such as Zoom. Take a moment to learn how to keep your Zoom meetings safe and give your remote workers the tools they need to remain productive.

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What You Need to Consider to Securely Permit Remote Work

At any given time, a business needs to consider its security, but this need only exacerbates when its employees are working remotely. With the coronavirus pandemic still in play, the likelihood is that your employees are in this situation has risen dramatically. In order to maintain  your organizational security, you need to consider the many factors that a remote workforce can introduce.

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Let’s Look at the Different Types of Ransomware

The growing popularity of ransomware has been disconcerting to many IT professionals, particularly due to the different tactics that this malware variant has been spotted utilizing. In order to protect your business from these attacks, it helps to know how they work. We’ve put together a beginner’s field guide to ransomware types to help you identify (and hopefully avoid) it.

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Working from Home Isn’t Without Significant Cybersecurity Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted daily life, restricting people to their homes and preventing them from going into the office to work. In response, many companies are hurriedly changing over to a remote-capable workforce and having their employees work from home. This strategy can be highly effective, but if a company and its team isn’t careful, it can also be risky.

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Social Engineering Lessons from an Oneonta Grandmother

Cybercriminals use nasty tricks to gain the confidence of their victims. They often use trust to fool users into providing their passwords or downloading malicious software. We’ve recently seen this happen with local Otsego county residents. First, let’s take a look at what social engineering is.

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Protect Your Network and Keep Your People Productive with a Firewall and Content Filtering

In today’s 24/7 always-online business environment, it is unrealistic to expect your team to spend 8 hours in front of a computer and not access their personal email or click on a non-work-related link. It happens every day. What also happens every day is that an SMB finds its network compromised by malware or a loss of productivity due to a lack of focus.

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Managing Your Business and Remote Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Companies around the world have or are finding the need to send their workers home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. For many business owners, managing your staff remotely is a brand new paradigm. Here’s what you need to know.

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Email, Banking, and Other Login Credentials of Upstate NY Users Found for Sale on the Dark Web

Our Network Operations Center (NOC) has noticed an alarmingly high number of local business accounts leaked on the Internet.

Is access to your email, your bank accounts, your website, or your social media accounts being bought and sold on the online black market? It’s more likely than you might think.

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In the Age of Coronavirus, Now’s the Time to Reconsider Telework

New York State recently mandated a stay in place order, requiring only essential businesses remain open and all others have their employees stay at home. The goal is to reduce the spread of coronavirus, by increasing social distancing. The best way to do this is by having fewer employees physically in the office. For telecommuting to be successful you need to have a plan in place before you need to use it. Here are 5 steps to allow your employees to work from home in the age of coronavirus.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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