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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 Minimize Cybersecurity Sprawl

Obviously, we won’t tell you to cut down on your cybersecurity. That said, it can be easy to overinvest and overreach if you aren’t careful about what you’re implementing. This phenomenon is known as cybersecurity sprawl, and if not prevented, it can easily have serious consequences for your business. Let’s go into how to avoid this sprawl.

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This Guy Scams the Scammers for a Living

When you think of a scammer, you probably think of someone looking to take advantage of someone for their own gain. While this isn’t wholly inaccurate, another variety exists to acknowledge… those who aim to scam the scammers. Let’s consider one such white-hat scammer, or “scam baiter,” a content creator who uses the alias “Kitboga,” Kit for short.

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Research Shows Many New Cybersecurity Professionals are Doomed to Make Blunders

Unfortunately, cyberattacks will only continue in the weeks, months, and years to come, making it increasingly essential that businesses have access to cybersecurity expertise. Even more unfortunately, professionals with this level of expertise are becoming harder to find. Globally, we’re short almost four million people, and those we have are prone to make mistakes in their first few years. This comes from a report by Kaspersky, entitled “The Portrait of Modern Information Security Professional,” Let’s review what the cybersecurity developer found and what we can take away from these findings.

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With a Massive Botnet Recently Disrupted, Let’s Review What a Botnet Is

It was very recently revealed that a global law enforcement effort took down a massive botnet that was in action for almost a decade. In light of this, we wanted to review what a botnet is and how it works, drawing from these events for some context.

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The Impact Ransomware Has on All of Us

We’ve spent the last few weeks discussing ransomware's impacts on different subsets. First, we discussed how a ransomware attack impacts the customers of the infected business, and then we touched on the infected business itself. To end, we want to touch on ransomware's impacts on society, specifically regarding economic health and geopolitical security, known as third-order harms.

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You May Not Think You’re Popular, but Your Data Certainly Is

Data is extremely important in the way that most businesses conduct themselves. This results in other people wanting that information, too. Today’s blog will look at how seemingly everyone online is out for your data. 

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A Man-in-the-Middle Attack is Not to Be Underestimated

Have you ever heard of the “man-in-the-middle” attack or MitM? It’s a situation where your data is stolen by an onlooker who situates themselves in the right place at the right time. Data interception is a very real thing that your business should be prepared to fight against. Let’s discuss some strategies you can use to counter these sneaky attacks.

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Have You Ever Considered What a Ransomware Attack Actually Does to Your Business?

Last week, we discussed the many impacts your business suffering from ransomware has on “second-order harm,” downstream businesses, and average, ordinary people. This time, we wanted to return to “first-order harms”… those the impacted business has to deal with itself.

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What You Need to Know About Your Personally Identifiable Information

Hackers are always on the lookout for personally identifiable information, or PII, as it’s an immensely lucrative resource. You’ll need to protect it if you want your business to continue operating safely and efficiently. Let’s go over what PII entails and what kinds of data you might find under this term.

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It’s a Bad Time for Central NY Businesses to Be Lax on Cybersecurity

Local small and medium-sized organizations are commonly targeted by cybercriminals simply because they let their guard down. A lot of local business owners seem to think “Hey, I’m just an accountant in Oneonta, or I’m just an insurance company in Sidney, or I’m just a realtor in Cooperstown, why would hackers want to target me?”

And the answer is right there. On top of that, the sheer number of avenues that cybercriminals have to cause damage to a business is staggering. Let’s take a look at some of the more recent threats we’ve been seeing over the past two months.

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Have You Ever Considered What a Ransomware Attack Would Do to Your Customers?

It can be too easy to look at ransomware as a business problem. After all, it attacks businesses, locking down their data for ransom, often selling it or spreading it, and sometimes altering it for the business if returning it at all. It can be too easy to overlook another impacted target in all the mess.

What happens to the people whose data a business has collected and uses?

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Secure Your Digital Life with Just One Password

Safeguarding your online accounts is an important part of maintaining network security. With the increasing number of cyber threats, relying on strong, unique passwords is no longer optional—it's a necessity. Remembering complex passwords for numerous accounts can be challenging, however. This is where password managers come in handy, offering a secure and convenient solution to managing your credentials.

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The Easiest Way to Commit to Strong, Secure Passwords

In order to protect your personal information, as well as your company information, you need to put a lot of effort and brainpower into your passwords. They are supposed to be long and complex, they are supposed to be random. You are supposed to use a different password on each account… 

If you are thinking to yourself, man that’s a lot of work, you aren’t wrong. We’re on your side.

There’s an easier way, and it’s something that businesses can implement for their entire staff that solves a lot of headaches and goes a long way toward keeping data safe.

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How to Reduce the Risks of Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a pervasive threat nowadays, with businesses of any size or industry serving as prime targets. Understanding phishing and implementing effective prevention strategies is crucial for your entire team.

Let's explore how to reduce the effectiveness of phishing schemes against your business—in other words, how to prevent phishing from having an impact.

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Your Business Can’t Afford to Forego Security Auditing

While the word “audit” can easily be a scary thought for businesses, there are certain cases where an audit serves an organization’s direct benefit. Take, for instance, the ones that occur internally to identify and correct security issues and vulnerabilities. These audits are not only a positive endeavor for businesses; they’re extremely important to carry out.

Let’s talk about why this is and review a few standard practices you should prioritize as you go about this process.

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Prevent the Majority of Threats with Endpoint Security

There are many parts of running a business where you cannot be too careful, one of which is the realm of cybersecurity. Many of the preventative measures you can implement aim to keep issues from making their way to your infrastructure in the first place, which makes sense from an operational standpoint. With an endpoint detection and response solution—or EDR—you’ll take an important step toward keeping most threats off your infrastructure.

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Rise Up Against Ransomware

Like many of the past few years, this year has witnessed a significant surge in high-profile ransomware attacks. If you haven't already strategized how to safeguard your business from these threats, now is the time to act. Fortunately, you can take several proactive measures to mitigate the impact of ransomware attacks, and it all starts with preparation.

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Apple Users Hit with Rare Cyberattack: What Can We Learn?

On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, Apple deemed it necessary to send a rare alert to certain users via email, spread out across 92 nations. As Apple’s website states, these threat notifications “are designed to inform and assist users who may have been individually targeted by mercenary spyware attacks.” Let’s review these attacks so we all understand this threat better.

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Ransomware is Only Getting Worse in 2024

Since it was first documented in 1989, ransomware has only become far more severe, ruthless, and, most of all, prevalent. Let’s review some important statistics to remember if you are to understand ransomware and, even more importantly, avoid its impact on your business.

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Your Users Are Likely Your Biggest Security Threat, But You Can Fix That

Believe it or not, if you were to rank your business’ greatest threats, risk factors, and vulnerabilities, your users would most likely belong somewhere toward the top. Human error is a big challenge to your security simply because cybercriminals understand that your employees are, in fact, human and will, in fact, make mistakes.

Let’s explore how cyberattacks exploit this tendency and how you can better protect your business from the ramifications.

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4 Essential Cybersecurity Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make

When considering your company’s cybersecurity, it is important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees… or, in other words, not to forget the basics around which the rest of your protections are built.

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Three of the Biggest Security Solutions You Might Not Be Using

Your typical IT professional might suggest some common methods of network security like implementing better preventative measures, like firewalls and antivirus. However, there is more that goes into network security—far more. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally miss some of these three security solutions and expose your business to potential threats. But we’re not about to let that happen!

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XLoader Android Malware Runs in the Background and Steals Your Data

Mobile malware isn’t common, but it’s growing increasingly more so. You may have heard of a malware called XLoader, which has been used to victimize people in over seven countries. This mobile threat has seen various iterations over the past several years, but you should be especially concerned these days.

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Make Sure You Share These Cybersecurity Tips with Everyone You Know

Cybersecurity is crucial for everyone to focus on, both in the professional environment and in their personal lives. That’s why I wanted to put together a list of cybersecurity practices you should encourage your team to follow when they aren’t in the office or working remotely, when their time is theirs. 

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Invest in Your Business’ Future with Security Best Practices

Nowadays, it is crucial that you make security a top priority. With the right approach, it not only saves you massive headaches, but also a considerable amount of capital—particularly if you leverage the appropriate solutions for SMBs. As a managed service provider, we can ensure that you implement the appropriate IT solutions to maximize the return on your security investment.

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The Best Way to Protect Your Business’ Reputation is to Protect Your Data

SMBs tend to rely on their longstanding clients to bring in the majority of their revenue, so what happens when clients suddenly cannot trust your business’ reputation? Look no further than if you were to suffer from a cyberattack for an answer. It turns out that being careless with your clients’ data is one of the best ways to sink your reputation.

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You Have to Prioritize IT Training

For the IT administrator and the small business owner, it can be a bewildering experience when your company comes under siege from employee-induced cyberthreats; especially if you, like many other companies, have started prioritizing security training. Even if the threat is thwarted early and the effect on the business is negligible, it is important that you trust the people who have access to your organization’s digital resources. Let’s look at some of the reasons some of your staff take cybersecurity initiatives worse than others. 

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Don’t Share Sensitive Data in Emails

All it takes is one oversight to potentially undo any benefits your cybersecurity protections and other best practices may deliver. For instance, even if you have things like multifactor authentication in place, a phishing scam or even some malware varieties could potentially give an attacker access to your email… and all the data your messages contain, just sitting in your inbox.

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Unfortunately, Scams Are Commonplace

The constant fear of falling victim to scams has become a harsh reality and is far from ideal. However, the good news is that there is always time to acquire the skills needed to avoid such scams. Let's explore ways to enhance awareness regarding the challenges posed by scams, not only in a business context but also in everyday life.

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Oversharing on Social Media Can Have Grave Effects

Maintaining data security is an important consideration, and most people try to do what they must to secure their personal data. They verify emails; they roll out antivirus and antimalware; they take vigilant steps to avoid the myriad of threats and active attacks we all deal with from one day to the next. 

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Six of the Worst Data Breaches of 2023

In this blog, we do our best to give people the knowledge they need to protect themselves and their organizations while operating online. With all the digital tools that we all have come to rely on, it’s important to understand the result of a data breach on organizations and their customers. In today’s blog, we go through six of the most devastating data breaches that happened in 2023. 

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Understanding URLs Can Help You Avoid Being Hacked

We often advise people to steer clear of clicking on suspicious links, but distinguishing between a legitimate URL and a dubious one has become increasingly challenging. Not only have malicious tactics evolved to the point where everyone has to stay on top of their game to not be fooled, these threats are almost pervasive so they are coming at people from all types of directions. We thought we would focus on a single punctuation mark that can make all the difference in whether a link is legitimately safe or potentially dangerous.

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6 Examples of Phishing Attacks Area Businesses Need to Prepare For

Phishing is one of the most prevalent forms of cyberattacks out there today, taking many forms and affecting everyone from individuals to entire organizations. Any business operating today needs to be aware of the numerous shapes that phishing can take. 

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AI Was the Hot Tech of 2023, But in 2024 It’s the Next Big Security Threat

2023 was definitely the year that AI became a household name. We’ve barely seen what artificial intelligence is capable of, and while industries are still coming up with more ways to use the technology, we’ve already seen countless examples of how people want to take advantage of AI for less savory purposes. 2024 is already shaping up to be the year that businesses need to protect themselves from AI-generated cybersecurity threats. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know as a business owner.

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What You Need to Look for in a Cyber Insurance Policy

Perhaps predictably, the word “insure” has roots that tie it closely to “ensure,” as it is meant to ensure a level of security after some form of loss. Nowadays, that loss often pertains to data, making cyber insurance an extremely valuable investment for the modern business to make.

However, in order to obtain this kind of insurance, businesses commonly need to meet some basic requirements. Let’s go over some of these requirements now.

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Is Free Antivirus Good Enough?

If you are old enough to remember when antivirus (like most computer software) came in a great big textbook-sized box at the store, then you probably remember a time when that was the only protection you really needed.

Today, there are countless free versions of antivirus out there. Let’s talk about how much protection these actually bring, and when and where they might be a good fit.

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Think Before You Scan That QR Code; It Could Be Dangerous

Businesses have embraced QR codes as a convenient means of sharing information with clients and customers. Unfortunately, this convenience is also enjoyed by cybercriminals who have decided to use QR codes for their own ends. QR code-based scams against businesses are on the rise, which is precisely why it is so important for organizations of all sizes to appreciate the risks that QR codes can present and know what they need to do to protect themselves.

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Your Organization Has Been Infected with Ransomware; Here’s What To Do Right Now

We’re hoping that you are actually reading this post to prepare yourself if your business were to face a ransomware attack, but if you are suffering from one right now, we encourage you to reach out to us immediately, whether you are a client or not. Ransomware spreads quickly, and once it has infected a system, there really isn’t much you can do to stop it. However, there are steps you need to take to come back from this gracefully.

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The NY State of Health Enrollment Period Presents the Opportunity for Scams

With the end of the year upon us, New York State’s health insurance markets and assorted health plans are open. Current enrollees received renewal reminders a few weeks ago, prompting them to act before their coverage lapses.

Unfortunately, as is often the case in such situations, this urgency has given scammers the opportunity to target New Yorkers trying to maintain their insurance coverage.

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This Malware Targets Your Facebook Business Accounts

Chances are your business has a social media presence in at least some capacity, as it’s a good way to drive traffic to your business. However, hackers want to leverage this benefit against you. A new malware specifically targets Facebook business accounts to launch malicious advertisement campaigns using your own money against you.

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This Year’s Big Shopping Days Reveal a Lot About Cyberattacks

Unsurprisingly, some of the biggest retail days of the year are some of the biggest days for scams, the entire holiday season seeing an increase in threats toward retailers and, as a result, the consumers that are just looking for that perfect gift for their loved ones. Let’s review some statistics and trends to see what insights we can glean.

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Six Tips to Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of love and giving, but they are also a time when hackers run rampant. If you don’t want to get a stolen identity in your stocking this year, we recommend you practice the following safe shopping security measures.

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Implement Zero Trust Policies to Combat Ransomware

With ransomware becoming one of the single most dangerous threats out there for small businesses, it’s more important than ever to know how to protect your company from its influence. Thankfully, there are measures you can take, including some very powerful ones like zero-trust policies that can thwart attempted ransomware attacks.

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As if We All Didn’t Have Enough to Worry About: Let’s Look At Killware

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when it comes to cybersecurity threats it’s kind of hard not to be. I used to look at it from two sides; one side is fascinated at the innovation and intensely brutal ways that high-end cyberattacks work, and the other side of me loses sleep at night worrying about these risks affecting our clients, prospects, and even my own business. This one particular classification of cyberattack, however, takes the cake for being especially frightening.

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There’s No Shame in Being Scammed

I was talking to some colleagues the other day about cybersecurity and its relationship with modern everyday scams, like phone scams and similar things. In my opinion, it’s worth bundling these two topics together, and we found some interesting statistics that we’d like to share.

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Ransomware is Still a Major Threat for All Businesses and Individuals Alike

You don’t need us to tell you that ransomware is a problem (or maybe you do–we mean, it’s a huge problem). It’s dangerous to both businesses and individuals, and it has become such a common threat that all organizations need to have a plan in place to address it with their staff. Today, we want to highlight a three-part strategy that you can use to approach ransomware in the most secure way possible.

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4 Ways Hackers Can Take Advantage of Your Business Technology

Cybercriminals fight dirty, whether it’s attacking small businesses, large enterprises, or individuals who just want to watch Netflix. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do for the community; you’ll always be a target for hacking attacks. To save time and effort, hackers will use low-tech attacks and social engineering attacks to target individuals. Hackers aren’t developing new threats all the time; if anything, they largely use existing exploits, purchasable software, and social engineering to take advantage of people.

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Four Technologies You Can Use to Better Protect Your Data in Transit

A lot of business is done over the Internet, so securing transactions is crucial to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access or even fraud. There are multiple things you can do to improve your data while it is in transit; and, today, we take a look at four. 

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Browser Hijacking Attacks are a Serious Threat

With technology being an integral part of our lives and society at large, cyberthreats continue to evolve and pose significant risks. One such threat that is on the rise is browser hijacking attacks. Let’s explore the dangers of these attacks, including the techniques employed by hackers, and how small and medium-sized businesses can protect themselves.

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The Problems that Cybercrime Can Pose for Business

Unfortunately for small businesses, cyberthreats aren't limited to large corporations and enterprises. Even small businesses and local shops face the constant risk of cyberattacks. Let's take a look into some concerning statistics regarding one of the fastest-growing cyberthreats.

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The Insecurity of IoT Devices is a Serious Concern… So Why Aren’t Businesses Worried?

The IoT, or Internet of Things, is everywhere. There’s a relatively good chance that a device that would be part of the IoT is within your reach right now, perhaps even on your person. Businesses of all kinds use the IoT for various purposes as well, but behind this usage lies significant risk from cyberthreats, and a shocking number of businesses seem to accept this risk without much concern… as in, the vast majority of surveyed businesses utilizing the IoT demonstrated a lack of protection, but seemed not to be bothered by it.

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Physical Security is Spearheaded by Good Surveillance

Digital security cameras have revolutionized surveillance, supplanting their analog counterparts due to their myriad advantages. Let’s outline three key benefits of deploying digital security cameras.

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Protecting Your Users From Self-Inflicted Cybersecurity Threats

You know the old idiom, “you are your own worst enemy?” 

That can be the case when it comes to cybersecurity, especially in a business environment. In fact, most cybersecurity threats these days happen because of user error, mistakes, or missteps.

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It’s Time to Upgrade Your Firewall

As the threat landscape gets more concentrated with serious cyberthreats, new next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) have been developed to help stem the tide of negative outcomes that result from cyberattacks. An NGFW is an advanced network security device or software solution that combines traditional firewall capabilities with additional features and functionalities designed to provide enhanced protection and visibility into network traffic. NGFWs are designed to address the evolving and sophisticated nature of cyberthreats, including malware, intrusion attempts, and other malicious activities.

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Three Benefits of Digital Security Cameras

Digital security cameras offer numerous advantages over their analog counterparts, making them a popular choice for enhancing security in various settings. Here are three key benefits of using digital security cameras.

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Hackers are Using AI Too and It is Scary

Maintaining network security has proven to be more difficult for organizations as time has gone on. Like the people trying to keep them out of networks they don’t have access to, hackers are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance their cyberattacks and achieve various malicious objectives. Here are some ways in which hackers are using AI.

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National Student Clearinghouse Data Breach Exposes Personal Information of Over 50,000 Individuals

One major nonprofit has become the victim of a disclosed major data breach, affecting 890 schools all across the US: the National Student Clearinghouse, or NSC. The organization has announced that they have experienced a considerable data breach that has put their clients’ data at risk. What does this mean for affected organizations and their clientele?

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Just Wish Ransomware Would Go Away? We Have Bad News…

Ransomware has rapidly climbed to be one of the most dangerous and feared malware attacks that is used nowadays. It’s gotten to the point that, if you wish they would just stop, we can hardly blame you.

Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that ransomware is going anywhere.

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Important Statistics to Keep in Mind Concerning Your Cybersecurity

It is so important to keep your business secure nowadays. Statistics show this to be the case. Don’t believe us? We can share a few of these stats and explore what they mean, just to prove it.

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Critical Security Measures for Data Privacy

These days, data privacy is absolutely critical in both a business and individual context. In some locations, governments have introduced legislation to protect consumers, and in others, there is significant pushback in favor of fewer regulations on business. How does data privacy factor into your business’ operations?

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Ransomware is One Problem that Leads to Many More

There are a lot of threats to businesses nowadays, but ransomware seems to be the worst… or at least, the most feared. It seems as though we can’t mention cyberthreats anymore without mentioning ransomware. Unfortunately, we’re right to do so, and the reason for this is a simple one.

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Encryption is a Tool All Businesses Should Use

You might see encryption as a major benefit to your cybersecurity strategy, but it’s often used in a way that might have you guessing whether you really understand it. Let’s take a closer look into what encryption does to your data, as well as why it is essential for any business to ensure maximum privacy and security.

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Cybersecurity Needs to Be a Priority for Everyone… Especially Your Business

How often does your company take it upon itself to ensure that those working for its success—your employees—are kept up to speed on cybersecurity? If your approach is to have your team sit in a room and watch a presentation once a year, it’s time to reconsider your training strategy. Let’s talk about the impact that proper cybersecurity training can have, and who tends to have access to it.

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Want to Learn How to Steal a Password? It’s Easier Than You Think

Passwords are one of the most important parts of keeping any account secure, and if you were to gain access to these accounts, you’d have access to personal data, subscriptions, money, and even the victim’s identity. Today, we want to show you just how easy it is to steal a password and gain access to an account.

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The Cloud is Only Helpful if It’s Secure

We have not been shy about expounding upon the benefits of the cloud for businesses, as these benefits are both considerable and accessible. That being said, not even the cloud is completely perfect, and there are security errors that can easily be made.

Let’s go through these security errors to see if any sound familiar to your situation.

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Could Zero-Trust Make the VPN Obsolete? Experts Suggest So

When it comes to security, it can be challenging to keep up with shifting best practices. For instance, the use of a virtual private network has long been a staple to secure remote operations, and any decent IT service provider would recommend its use. However, this advice is changing with the growth of zero-trust access protocols.

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That False Sense of Security is Going to Bite You

Cybersecurity is important. Scroll through a few pages of our blog and you’ll see article after article talking about threats and ways to make yourself and your business less vulnerable to cyberthreats. As an IT professional, however, I’d be so much happier if the state of the world didn’t require such a massive effort just to protect oneself and we could just talk about cool stuff you can do with modern technology all the time!

But alas, strong cybersecurity is crucial to virtually any organization, and it’s becoming even more important by the month.

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Won’t More IT Security Just Slow Me Down?

When I was a kid, there was a Tex Avery cartoon where Droopy Dog was chasing down a crook who escaped from jail. There was a particular scene where the crook (I think it was a wolf in a black-and-white striped jumpsuit) takes a bus, a plane, a ship, and a taxi to a secluded cabin, and then closes a series of increasingly complex doors with a large number of locks, in order to hide away from the pursuing cartoon basset hound. 

Of course, when he turns around, exhausted by all the effort he puts in, he realizes that Droopy is standing right behind him, and greets him with a monotone “hello.”

I haven’t seen this cartoon since I was 7 years old, but I almost always think about it when I am using multi-factor authentication. 

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Smishing: A Variety of Phishing Attacks Utilizing SMS

We discuss phishing often on this blog, and one method that often flies under the radar is smishing, or phishing that is conducted through SMS messages. Although email phishing is perhaps the most common method of conducting these scams, you should also be prepared to take on smishing, as it comes with its own share of unique challenges and dangers.

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How Good is Consumer Reports’ Scam Prevention Advice?

Scams are everywhere in our highly digitized world, which makes it especially important that everyone is prepared to deal with them—both personally and professionally. The publication Consumer Reports’ cover feature for its August 2023 edition is dedicated to exactly this goal: helping its readers avoid the various scams and threats out there. Let’s look at some of the advice shared in the article, and compare it to the best practices we recommend.

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What We Can All Learn from the VirusTotal Data Leak

In 2004, a service called VirusTotal was launched and swiftly became a popular antivirus and malware scanner to help detect threats in various files and URLs. It became popular enough that it was officially acquired by Google in 2012 and ultimately assimilated into Chronicle, a cloud-based security operations suite for enterprise businesses. Despite this impressive pedigree, however, we find ourselves able to look to VirusTotal as a sobering reminder of how fickle cybersecurity can be, with the service being the source of some limited data exposure.

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Dissecting the Lessons from a Recent Amazon Scam Warning Email

Amazon Prime subscribers recently received an email from the online marketplace, warning them of the prevalence of scams that took advantage of their offerings and brand recognition. Let’s go through the advice that this email shared, and compare it to the best practices we recommend for avoiding scams.

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The Reasons Why Hackers Can’t Keep Their Hands Off Healthcare Data

When it comes to valuable data, hackers will go out of their way to try and steal it, placing businesses in dangerous situations. In particular, healthcare data is attractive to hackers, and considering how lucrative the prospect of healthcare data is, companies need to take extra precautions to protect it. But what is it about healthcare data that makes it so attractive, anyway? Let’s dig into the consequences of potential attacks on healthcare data.

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Do You Know How Much You Should Be Spending on Cybersecurity?

Nowadays, you can’t afford not to have some portion of your business’ budget set aside for cybersecurity. The question is, how much do you need, and what should you be spending it on first? Let’s take a few moments to dig a little deeper into this question and examine a few cybersecurity protections you should establish as your business’ baseline defenses.

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Steps You Need to Take If You Are the Victim of a Network Breach

The threats for businesses to get hacked or deal with data breaches of some type are more pressing now than at any other time in the digital age. It’s as if there are thousands of cat burglars on the prowl looking for a way into your business. If one of them is successful, it can bring some severe consequences for your business including financial loss, reputational damage, and even legal issues. In this week’s blog we will go through some of the actions you need to take in the case of a network breach. 

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Blank Emails are a Sign of Dangerous Spam

We talk a lot about phishing. What it is, what it does, and perhaps most critically, what it looks like. However, have you ever expected a phishing email to look like… nothing? As in, a completely blank message?

If you answered, “no,” that’s exactly what today’s cybercriminals are counting on.

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3 Scary Things About Ransomware That You Should be Wary Of

Ransomware is one of the more dangerous threats out there for businesses of all industries and sizes. To help emphasize just how dangerous it is, however, you have to look past the initial threat of having to pay a ransom and look at the other risks associated with it. We’re here to try to get the point across that ransomware is something your business should absolutely be taking seriously.

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Ask a Tech: All Your Questions About Ransomware, Decrypted

Ransomware is such a common occurrence these days that it has entered the public discourse, but we also want to note that it’s such an important topic to discuss with your team that you can never talk about it enough. We want to address some of the most common questions we get asked about ransomware and what can be done about it.

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What is It About the IoT that Makes It an Appealing Target for Cybercrime?

The IoT—the Internet of Things—is a fascinating technology, as it exemplifies just how much can be accomplished when Internet connectivity is used to augment the capabilities of otherwise “dumb” devices. Unfortunately, as fascinating as it is, the IoT is also infamous for its security issues…a reputation that attackers have been perpetuating as these devices grow more common.

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What are (Probably) Your Biggest Cybersecurity Threats?

Of all the cybersecurity threats out there for your business to contend with, there are going to be a few of them that are just more likely to impact you than others. That’s just a statistical reality. Fortunately, these threats can be addressed, so let’s discuss how you can do so.

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Data Security Key to Staying HIPAA Compliant

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a regulation passed by the US congress in 1996 to help streamline the healthcare system while maintaining individual ePI privacy over individuals’ health records. This regulation was put in place to allow people to transfer their health coverage, but also to minimize the risk individuals take on as far as fraud and abuse of their health records is concerned. This week we’d thought we’d discuss four ways your technology can help your organization keep its HIPAA compliance. 

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How Scammers Almost Got $15k from My Parents

This is a true story, and a perfect lesson on how cybercrime and scammers use your emotions against you to get you to fall for their tricks. I think it’s also a lesson on just how helpless a victim of a scammer can become, as well as how immune the bad guys are while performing these horrible acts on people.

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Is Your Team Becoming Desensitized to Your Business’ Cybersecurity Precautions?

Password changes, multi-factor authentication, and countless changes in policy and procedure can make daily workflows more and more complicated. Cybersecurity can truly be a pain—a necessary pain, granted—but a pain nevertheless, and one that can gradually lead to burnout if you aren’t careful. Let’s go over how to mitigate the likelihood of it.

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What Your Organization Needs to Know About the FTC Safeguard Rule

The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has put together a Safeguard Rule to help establish guidelines for how businesses store and interact with customer information. Enacted in 2003, this rule was recently revamped in 2021 to stay relevant with the latest technology used by businesses. Let’s look at some of the policies and procedures that your business needs to know about the FTC Safeguard Rule.

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Which Security Issues Should You Watch Out for In Your Business?

While it is important that your business implement comprehensive network protections, there are plenty of simple ways that your business’ cybersecurity could potentially fail. This could easily cost you heavily in your available capital, financial and social alike.

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Don’t Be So Quick to Scan Every QR Code You See

There is no denying that Quick Response codes—better known as QR codes—are a handy little invention. Just a few years ago, many businesses heavily adopted these contactless communication tools, allowing customers with a smartphone to access menus, documents, and more with ease. Having said that, we unfortunately can’t deny that cybercriminals are taking advantage of how handy QR codes are, too.

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Are You Being Phished? 4 Things to Look Out For

Your business’ computing infrastructure is a pretty resilient system. It has all types of tools added on to keep malicious code, bad actors, and even sabotage from ruining the good thing you have. This reliability has led to hackers changing the way that they go about their business. Nowadays, most of the attacks that affect businesses are phishing attacks. In today’s blog we will go through the elements of a phishing attack and how you can protect your business from them.

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Can AI Be Trusted to Stop Phishing?

AI—artificial intelligence—has been a hot topic as of late, with it seemingly being used for any purpose you can imagine nowadays. Unfortunately, this has also included cybercrime.

However, just as AI can be a weapon for cybercriminals to use, it can also be a shield to help protect your business from threats. For instance, in phishing prevention.

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How Schofield’s Laws of Computing Can Benefit Your Business’ Security

There are quite a few platitudes that we support, in terms of business IT. Some that we haven’t really touched on, however, are Schofield's Laws of Computing. Let’s fix that today by reviewing where they came from, and what these laws entail.

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If You Think a Consumer-Grade VPN is Worth It, Think Again

When it comes to security, one often overlooked tool is the virtual private network, or VPN. We recommend that all businesses use a VPN to keep remote and hybrid workers from inadvertently putting your business’ data at risk while out of the office. Let’s go over why a VPN is so effective, as well as what you should look for in a business-grade VPN tool.

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Tomorrow is World Password Day (But Passwords Are Just Half the Battle)

Did you know that tomorrow is World Password Day, 2023? As the result of a campaign to spread awareness of the importance of sufficiently secure passwords, it has become an annual reminder of how critical sufficient passwords are to proper cybersecurity…despite passwords not being sufficient protection on their own. In light of tomorrow’s observance, let’s take some time to review why passwords are important to get right, and what else you need to have in place.

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SFCU Scams: What Can We Learn By Looking at a Continuing Trend of Localized Phishing?

Back in November of last year, we shared the news that Sidney Federal Credit Union members were being targeted by a phishing attack, and we have evidence that such phishing attacks have continued. As such, let’s review how phishing like this works and (more importantly) how to prevent it from working.

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How to Secure Your IoT Devices at Home

The Internet of Things is everywhere and that means that it’s important to understand how much of a potential security risk these devices can be. From smart speakers to smartphones, it's important that you understand how these devices can create problematic situations. In this week’s blog we will discuss how you can protect yourself against IoT vulnerabilities at home.

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Incorporating Insights From Enterprise Companies Can Benefit Your Business’ Security

Businesses cannot afford to grow complacent with their network security, as it could make a significant difference between falling prey to an attack and remaining secure. The process of securing a network must be looked at holistically, from top to bottom. This idea of enterprise security is not new, but even a small business needs to keep it in mind, and these solutions are more accessible than you might think.

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A Look at Ransomware and What to Do About It

There is a lot made about ransomware, for good reason. It is quite simply one of the nastiest cyberattacks out there and it demands your attention. A lot of people understand what exactly ransomware sets out to do, but they don’t understand how it got that far and how to address the situation if they have the misfortune of being put in that position. 

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What Does Effective Security Training Involve Nowadays?

One major aspect of your business’ security is how well your team is trained to preserve it. Let’s go over some of the aspects that you need to be sure you address as you educate your team.

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How to Choose the Right Security Cameras for Your Business

So, you’re thinking about adding to your business’ security with a camera system. This is an excellent course of action for any business to take—provided that it is approached thoughtfully and with discretion. There are many, many options out there, after all, which only makes it more challenging to make the right choice. 

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Just Because Google Chrome Offers Password Management Doesn’t Mean You Should Use It

One of the reasons that information technology keeps changing is for the sake of the user and their convenience using it. However, if this convenience comes at the sacrifice of your business’ cybersecurity, it just isn’t worth it. This is the crux of why we always recommend that any organization seeking to use password management should invest in a reputable password management software, rather than the built-in capabilities of modern browsers.

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How Secure are Mobile Apps from the App Store?

Smartphone applications are in high demand from both a consumer and a business perspective, so it stands to reason that these ecosystems are large in scope, encompassing millions of apps on both the Google Play and Apple App stores. Have you ever wondered how these companies ensure that the apps found on their stores are secure and legitimate?

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How to Get Back Into Your Multi-Factor Authentication Account

Multi-factor authentication is great when it works, but when it doesn’t, it can leave you in a pretty difficult situation. After all, what happens when all of a sudden, you cannot access your secondary authentication methods? We’re here to help you bypass this particularly challenging and frustrating scenario.

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