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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.

Vulnerabilities Found Inside Azure-Linked Managed Database Service

It’s not unheard of for some threats to remain undiscovered for months or even years, as is the case with a particularly nasty one in the Microsoft Azure database system. This exploit, discovered by cloud security provider Wiz, is built into Cosmos DB, Microsoft Azure’s managed database service. Let’s take a look at the exploit and see what we can learn from it.

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Huge Data Leak Could Have Been Prevented with Proper Configurations

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

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Credit Card Security in 2021

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

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

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Cybersecurity Tools Now Delivering Ransomware

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

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What Does It Mean to Be Adept at Cybersecurity?

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

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Four IT Mistakes that Your Small Business Can’t Afford to Make

Small businesses often struggle with technology, primarily because they either lack strong IT leadership or they lack the resources to ensure IT maintenance and management happens without a hitch. There are several mistakes that a small business can make when it comes to technology management. Here are four of the biggest and most common that you absolutely cannot afford to make.

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Don’t Make Security Harder for Your Business

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

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Six Ransomware Misconceptions Oneonta Businesses Tend to Have

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

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Training is Crucial to Establishing a Security Strategy

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

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The Biggest Cybersecurity Problems Small Businesses Have in 2021

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

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Bring Your Technology Together With Managed IT

Does your business depend on technology from different eras? Are you spending more time trouble-shooting compatibility issues than chasing leads? Managed IT can bring your tech together and keep your team focused on their jobs and not the IT.

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The LinkedIn Breach Exposes Nearly 700 Million People

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

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What You Need to Do If Your Business is Hacked

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

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Threats Can Come From Inside Your Business, Too

With so many companies having to deal with security problems coming in from the Internet, they may think that securing against an attack coming in from the outside is where all their attention should go. This can be an oversight that could have dire consequences for your business. This month, we tell you why you need a security strategy that protects your data and infrastructure from all manners of threats—inside or outside your network.

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Cybersecurity Can’t Be Based on Luck

Over a quarter of all data breaches happen to small businesses. The cost of a data breach is really prohibitive to your business’ operational and financial health. To keep your business’ data and infrastructure free of threats and relatively secure, small businesses will need a combination of useful technology tools and well-designed strategies. Let’s take a look at several steps your small business can take to secure itself from digital theft.

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Holding Your Own Against Today's Most Pressing Threats

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

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The Current State of Cybercrime Paints a Grim Picture for Businesses

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

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

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

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Cybersecurity Basics Explained

Over a quarter of all data breaches happen to small businesses. The cost of a data breach, well, it sure isn’t worth it. To keep your business’ data and infrastructure free of threats and relatively secure, small businesses will need a combination of useful technology tools and well-designed strategies. Let’s take a look at several steps your small business can take to secure itself from digital theft.

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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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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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Tip of the Week: Best Practices to Protect Your Business

There are many different varieties of cybercrime that businesses need to be vigilant about. However, most of these varieties can largely be avoided through a few basic practices and behaviors. Here, we’re giving you a few tips to help you prevent attacks from successfully influencing your business, so make sure you share them with your entire team, as well.

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Protect Your Laptop from Theft

We talk about cybersecurity a lot. We talk about protecting your data from the illusive threat that hackers and cybercriminals bring. We don’t often talk about the more obvious type of security - preventing the physical theft of your data. I think it’s time.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Easy Actions That Will Protect Your Data

The modern business has to deal with a lot of potential security problems. Today’s threat landscape is filled with people looking to prosper off of your misfortune. As a result, doing what you can to maintain the security of your network and data is essential. Today, we will discuss how maintaining your organizational cybersecurity doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming.The best way we’ve found to go about doing this is by highlighting a few key actions that you can take to keep your network secure and your data safe.

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Taking a Look at the Current Cybercrime Statistics

Organizational cybersecurity has to be a priority for every business. These days, companies are getting hacked left and right and being exposed to some of the very worst malware ever created. Today, we will take a look at some cybercrime statistics that will put in perspective just how damaging cybercrime is.

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Baseline Cybersecurity

More than any time before, cybersecurity has to be a major consideration for businesses. It is, in fact, one of the biggest problems the modern business has to face day-in and day-out. Shortage in cybersecurity talent and antiquated strategies are making it difficult for businesses to find the knowledgeable resources that will help them work to secure their network and data from threats to the business.  

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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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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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Armored Car Cybersecurity

It’s fair to say that most business owners aren’t cybersecurity experts. That’s why there is such a large investment in cybersecurity solutions. That outlay is justified, sure, but is it effective? Today, we’ll talk a little bit about network and cybersecurity, and how all the capital investment in the world may not actually keep your network secure. 

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You Have to Be Smarter About Your Data

You’ve heard it over and over for the past several years: data loss is a disaster. A data breach can ruin your business. Ransomware is a business’ biggest enemy. Your reputation can never recover after a data breach. These statements may be redundant, but if you don’t heed the message behind them, you will likely regret it. 

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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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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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Expansion of Remote Work

Is your business equipped with the necessary tooling to adopt remote working strategies? Remote workers have an incredible amount of benefits to contribute to your business’ operations. Remote work is not possible without a well-thought-out strategy. Today, we’ll review what your business needs in order to capitalize on remote workers. 

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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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Why Oneonta Businesses Need Enterprise Cybersecurity

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

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Fishing for Answers to Keep Phishing Attacks from Sinking Your Business

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

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Contemporary Cyber Threats You Should Know

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

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Cyberbullying is a Serious Issue Everywhere

As technology has evolved, so have our capabilities of using it. While this has led to great improvements in how we can live our lives, it has also made it much easier for us to torment and harass one another. This is a huge problem, and growing, so it is important to know how to take a stand against it - both at home, and in the workplace.

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Maybe You Can’t Fix Stupid, but You Can Fix Your Security

It’s easy to dismiss network security if you run a small business that seemingly isn’t a target of malicious attacks. Unfortunately, this dismissive attitude can put your organization at risk, as even a simple security issue could be enough to expose your company to dangerous entities. In fact, we would call it foolish not to secure your organization; and one of the most infamous security failings in history stems from this.

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A Brief Overview of Network Security

The reliance the modern business has on its IT cannot be understated. As a result, to keep their computing network and infrastructure running efficiently, companies need to have a network and cybersecurity policy in place. With the development and use of organizational computer networks with multiple endpoints, understanding the basics of network security is helpful when implementing and employing network security systems. Today, we take a look at the parts of your network, their functions, and what you need to do to protect them.

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WARNING: A New Zero-Day Threat is On the Loose

Zero-day threats are some of the most dangerous ones out there. What we mean by “zero day” threats are those that have been discovered by hackers before an official patch has been released by the developers, giving them exactly zero days before they are actively exploited in the wild. One of the more dangerous zero-day threats out there at the moment is one that takes advantage of Internet Explorer.

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Sorry Han, When it Comes to Security, You Need to Know the Odds

Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon. For the past 40+ years audiences from all around the world have become enthralled with the characters, the story, and the technology that existed a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Who knew that it was also a wonderful lesson in modern IT security? For today’s blog, we look at three situations that happened in Star Wars: A New Hope; and, how, if proper IT strategies were put in place, the Empire would have been able to protect its greatest asset.

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Threats are Changing - Are You Prepared to Change with Them?

Security is a part of business that is constantly changing and evolving. What worked ten years, five years, or even two years ago may not be relevant in today’s security environment. What are some of the major changes that your company can expect to see in the coming years? We’ll walk you through some of the ways that security will be changing in the foreseeable future, and what you can do about it.

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There are New Ways to Secure Your Data

Security is an aspect of running a business that absolutely cannot be ignored, regardless of whether or not you see it as a considerable issue in the near future. The fact remains that your organization will always be at risk unless you take actions to keep it safe today. By taking advantage of some of the latest and greatest security tools on the market, you’ll be able to protect not only from the basic threats, but more advanced ones as well.

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Cybersecurity Can't Stop During the Holidays

This Christmas, technology is everywhere. Traditionally, the holidays were a time when things slowed down for businesses and people spent time with their families and put their work on the back burner. Those days are over. Today’s professional is lucky to get a day off for Christmas; and, because of the way business works today, may be asked to do more than ever around the holidays.

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Using 2017's Examples to Maintain Network Security in the New Year

Network security is a crucial consideration for every single business, especially ones that utilize the Internet. There were a lot of negatives and some positives that came out of 2017 in regards to cybersecurity. Below we have listed some of the most troubling cybersecurity statistics collected in 2017, and we’ve followed it up with suggestions on how to keep your business safe in 2018.

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybercrime is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. From the largest enterprise to the individual, it can affect anyone, anywhere. To help ensure the cybersecurity of American citizens and their businesses, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies work together every October to raise awareness about the threats people face online through a series of educational events and activities.

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Your State Dictates Data Security Notifications… Will You Be Notified?

In the last few months, there have been several high-profile data security breaches that resulted in the theft of millions upon millions of non-public information records. Though much of the focus in the aftermath of the breaches was on personal identity theft and prevention, it’s important to keep in mind that not all the stolen data records target individuals. Business entities are also at risk. Vendors and partners that you do business with regularly will probably have record of your company’s non-public information, payment information, or tax ID number.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation Has Some Valuable Cybersecurity Tips

In February of 2016, President Barack Obama passed a Cybersecurity National Action Plan. The plan implemented near-term actions and developed a long-term strategy to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, and maintain public safety. Taking action against cybersecurity now will assist with ensuring economic and national security, as well as empowering Americans to take better control of their digital security.

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Where We Stand: 2017’s Cybersecurity in Review (So Far)

After a year like 2016, it should come as no surprise that 2017 has been a year of significant cyber threats. Looking back on the events of the year so far may help us to anticipate what kind of threats we can anticipate in the second half of 2017.

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Warning: It’s Only a Matter of Time Before the Next IoT Botnet Strikes

The Internet of Things is all around us, in our homes, our offices, and even our cars. While this connectivity can provide a more unified and automated approach to daily tasks, it has the downside of enabling certain security threats to go unfettered. A prime example are the IoT-driven botnets that seem to be increasing in popularity.

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Tip of the Week: 12 Security Rules Every PC User Should Follow

While you are probably spending a fair amount of time thinking about your business’ security, can you confidently say the same about those that you’ve employed? Unfortunately, your workers may not put much thought into network security. This could very possibly lead to some severe issues potentially harming your business operations.

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How Rogue Software Makes PC Problems Worse

It’s difficult to know what you can and can’t trust in the realm of cybersecurity. However, you’re likely to trust your own security solution. Yet, even this could be a devastating oversight, as some malware masquerades as your security software.

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