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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.

Tip of the Week: Examining NIST’s Definition of Zero Trust

Let me ask you something: how many people do you fundamentally trust? Well, in a zero trust network, that number is reduced to zero. The idea of such a network is that everyone, whether they’re operating inside of the network or out, needs to be verified… and as you might imagine, it has proven effective in preventing data breaches. 

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Encryption Is a Major Key to Security

The term “encryption” has found its way into the mainstream, appearing just about anywhere information security is brought up. Whether it is ransomware encrypting data or the encryption protecting your password security, it is a powerful tool that can be used for both good and evil. Let’s discuss the former and how you might use encryption in the workplace.

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Cybersecurity Is Getting More Difficult as Phishing Becomes More Available

There are always going to be those who want to use your hard-earned data and assets to turn a profit. One of the emergent methods for hackers to do so is through twisting the “as a service” business model into network security’s worst nightmare. This type of security issue is so serious that Microsoft has declared that Phishing-as-a-Service is a major problem.

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Is Your Web Browser Secure?

The Internet browser is easily one of the most-used applications in this day of cloud-hosted resources and online content… but for all that use, is it also one of the most-secured applications? In some ways, yes… but there’s always a few extra steps that can help you improve your protections.

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Could Voice Authentication Join the Ranks of MFA?

Authentication has been a major talking point for the past few years, particularly as the value of data has only increased and security has correspondingly increased in importance. As a result, more secure and reliable means of identity verification have also become more critical. Now, voice authentication is being considered as such a means.

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Is the VPN My Office Uses a Public VPN?

Virtual private networking, while maybe not the most familiar term to everyone, at least seems to be pretty straightforward. Such a specific-sounding term must apply to one aspect of technology and that one aspect alone, right?

Well, kind of, sort of, not really. In actuality, there are two kinds of VPN. Let’s go over what makes them different, and which your business should utilize.

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Looking at FoggyWeb to Better Understand Malware Attacks

The cyberattack on SolarWinds was devastating for many reasons, and Microsoft has officially uncovered yet another type of malware used in the attack on the software provider. This time, it is a backdoor threat they have named FoggyWeb. What does this threat do and why is it so important to look at this incident even now?

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3 Reasons to Consider a Private Cloud Solution

The cloud is a great opportunity for businesses to increase accessibility of data and enhance productivity, especially while remote, but for those who do not know how to approach it, the cloud can be intimidating. Today, we are going to make the case for a private cloud solution and why you should consider it as a viable option for your business, even if it does not seem like it at the moment. You might be surprised by what you learn!

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Tip of the Week: 3 Ways to Emulate Enterprise Networks

The major difference between an enterprise and a small or medium-sized business is just its size. As a result, many of the tools that the enterprise takes advantage of can easily be used by their smaller counterparts. Let’s review just a few of these processes and technologies.

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Keep Your Eyes Peeled for These Potential Security Threats

We don’t like it any more than you do, but if we have learned anything at all over the past several years, it’s that security absolutely needs to be a priority for all small businesses. In the face of high-profile ransomware attacks that can snuff companies out of existence, what are you doing to keep your own business secure? To put things in perspective, we’ve put together a list of some of the more common threats that all companies should be able to address.

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How Much Is Access to Your Network Worth to a Hacker?

What would you say if we told you that someone could buy access to your organization’s network for a measly $1,000? Well, this is the unfortunate reality that we live in, where hackers have commoditized the hard work you have invested in your organization. A study from KELA shows that the average cost to buy access to a compromised network infrastructure is insignificant at best, which is why it’s more important than ever to protect your business as best you can.

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Why Multi-Factor Authentication is the New Complex Password

Everyone always tries to drive home the importance of passwords, but the simple fact of the matter is that passwords in today’s day and age are not enough to keep your business safe. While passwords are still important, they play a relatively small role compared to some of the more advanced security features that businesses must implement in order to stay as secure as possible.

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What is a Botnet, and Why Is It Dangerous?

Have you ever wondered how hackers manage to pull off incredible feats like bombarding networks and servers with so much traffic that they simply cannot function? None of this would be possible if not for botnets. But what is a botnet, and why is it important for your organization to understand? Let’s dive into the details.

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What Can (and Can’t) a VPN Do for Your Business?

A virtual private network, or VPN, is a critical part of keeping your business safe while operations are taking place out of the office, but a discussion needs to be had about what a VPN can do and what a VPN cannot do. This is especially important to know for keeping your company safe, so without further ado, let’s dive in.

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Yes, Even Your USB Drives Should Be Secured

Historically there have been several methods to transfer data from one system to the next, and while the cloud has rendered many of them irrelevant and unnecessary, that doesn’t mean they aren’t used by people looking to move data quickly. Many professionals still opt to use USB flash drives to keep certain data close at hand, but how at risk does this put the data on these drives?

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ALERT: Update Your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac NOW.

If you use almost any Apple products, you’ll want to check for and apply an update that will prevent your devices from being spied on. Apple has just issued an emergency software update for a critical vulnerability that was recently discovered.

The new updates were pushed out on Monday, September 13th, 2021, and include a major security fix for the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple Mac computers and laptops.

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Getting Acquainted with Windows Hello

As time has passed, more focus has been put on balancing a user’s identity authentication in terms of its convenience versus its security. This is what has led to the development of solutions like Windows Hello, the biometrics-based system that Microsoft has introduced into the Windows operating system.

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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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Could Your IT Repair Itself After a Cyberattack?

Cybersecurity is a massively important consideration for today’s businesses, and as a result, managing it is often given a considerable amount of time. However, recent developments suggest that this time can potentially be reduced by the use of “self-healing” security software. We know that this sounds a little out there, but stay with us! We’ll explain.

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4 Types of Insider Threats to Watch For

It’s easy to focus on threats that are external to your business, like viruses and malware that are just waiting to infiltrate your network, but what about threats that exist from within? While insider threats are not particularly common in the dramatic, over-the-top way that they are made out to be in movies and media, they are still a very real issue that should be addressed by your organization’s network security protocols.

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New Developments in Ransomware are Potentially Devastating

While it only makes sense to assume that a cybercriminal would focus specifically on those targets that would bring them the greatest profit—in other words, larger businesses—the reality of modern cybercrime renders this assumption grossly outdated. Let’s examine how different developments in ransomware have made it possible for cybercriminals to be far less discerning in who they target.

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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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How to Tell If Your IT Training is Insufficient

While the right IT solutions can be a major benefit to your business and its processes, this will only be the case if your team members are trained to use them correctly. Let’s go over some of the training that you need to prioritize in order to ensure your team is ready to use your technology the way it should be used.

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Phishing Training is a Critical Component of Any Security Strategy

Phishing attacks are some of the most common threats out there. Hackers will craft messages or web pages designed to harvest information from your employees, be it through suspicious requests for credentials via email or through false websites that look so much like the real thing that it’s no wonder they were tricked. How can you make sure that your employees don’t fall for these dirty tricks? It all starts with comprehensive phishing training.

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What Does It Mean to Be Adept at Cybersecurity?

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

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Don’t Make Security Harder for Your Business

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

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Maintain and Support Your Technology Before Your Employees Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

We believe that at the end of the day, employees want to do the right thing and accomplish their daily tasks without incident. However, technology can often break these plans with unexpected issues that prevent them from doing so. If you don’t take the time to provide the proper IT support when it is needed, you force your employees to either be unproductive or find unconventional (and often unsecure) solutions.

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4 Ways to Keep Your Mobile Devices Safe While Traveling

The world might still be suffering from a pandemic, but travel is slowly starting to pick up once again. When you feel safe and comfortable traveling again, it is of critical importance that you take steps to secure your technology while out of the office—especially your mobile devices. Here are some big ways that you can prioritize security while traveling.

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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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Tip of the Week: How to Catch Potential Hacks

“Hackers are a serious threat to modern businesses” isn’t exactly a novel statement, is it? However, if a hacker was to be lurking on your network, would you know the signs to help you catch them? Just in case, we wanted to share a few strategies that can help highlight these warnings so you can more effectively catch any threats present on your network—particularly when your workforce is accessing it remotely.

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Vulnerability Leads to the Deletion of All Data on My Book NAS Devices

Nothing is more frustrating than going to log into your device and finding out that you either cannot access it or that files you thought were there have been wiped. Unfortunately, this is the situation that many users of a specific device have recently gone through. Thanks to an unpatched vulnerability, users of Western Digital’s My Book network-attached storage device are suffering from lost files and lost account access stemming from remote access.

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Why All Businesses Should Implement a Virtual Private Network

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations were forced to transition to remote work, even though they would have preferred to keep operations within the office. While the transition was rough at first, these organizations may have found that remote work offers certain flexibilities that were impossible in the traditional office environment. That said, one looming threat was (and still is) a major concern for the remote workplace: security.

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Four Considerations for Your Business’ Security

Millions of people find themselves sitting in front of a computer moving files around and corresponding with people over the phone, through email, or updating info in the company’s line of business app. What many of them don’t know, however, is that, at any time, they are only a couple of clicks away from causing major problems for their company. This is why it is extremely important to train your staff on what to look for and how to address those situations when they do arise.

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Fast Food Data Breach is Another in Line of Major Cyberattacks

It seems that the last few months have been filled with major cyberattacks, particularly those taking advantage of major businesses that might not initially be considered targets for these kinds of acts. For instance, McDonald’s Restaurants was recently breached. Let’s examine the situation, and how it plays into the recent trends we’ve witnessed. 

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Train your Staff on These Four Security Strategies

Are you one of the countless people who find themselves performing repetitive tasks like moving files around, working with people on the phone, navigating email, or updating information? It’s easy to find yourself in a situation where one wrong click can create a plethora of issues, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of network security.

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Lessons Learned from the New Normal

It’s been said that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In business, this is more evident every day as organizations have to deal with all sorts of different problems. How business leaders react to those problems ultimately makes the difference between beleaguered results or success. Let’s take a look at three lessons business leaders should be learning from recent events. 

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Where are Business’ Security Priorities Right Now?

According to a survey conducted by Splunk and Enterprise Strategy Group, more business leaders intend to funnel funding into their cybersecurity—88 percent of respondents reporting a planned increase into their investments, 35 percent reporting that these boosts will be substantial. Let’s examine a few of the insights that this survey has revealed.

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Privacy Engineering is the Key to a More Secure Future

Data privacy is a bit of a hot topic in today’s business environment, especially with high-profile hacks and ransomware attacks emerging and putting organizations at risk. In particular, the emerging concept of “privacy engineering” has a lot of businesses thinking about how they can secure their organization and future-proof their data privacy infrastructures.

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Hackers Use the Pandemic to Send Out Phishing Threats

The first half of this year has seen its fair share of ups and downs, especially on a global scale. With a global pandemic still taking the world by storm, it’s despicable that hackers would take advantage of the opportunity to make a quick buck using phishing tactics. Yet, here we are. Let’s take a look at how hackers have turned the world’s great misfortune into a boon, as well as how you can keep a lookout for these threats.

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How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication for Your Google, Apple, and Microsoft Accounts

Two-factor authentication is commonplace in the office environment, but it’s not commonplace enough, if you ask us. Too many organizations pass on it, placing their security at risk for no good reason. While the methods might vary, the benefits of two-factor authentication are too good to ignore. We’ll walk you through how to set up two-factor authentication for three of the most common accounts in the business environment: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

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Hackers Start Beef with JBS Ransomware Attack

Last weekend saw a significant cyberattack waged against the world’s largest meat processor and distributor, JBS S.A., that completely suspended the company’s operations in both North America and Australia… and as a result, has impacted the supply chains associated with the company. Let’s examine the situation to see what lessons we can take away from all this.

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A Solid Mobile Device Strategy Needs These 3 Components

It’s no surprise that mobile technology has infiltrated the workplace in more ways than one. Many businesses issue company-owned devices to their employees to get work done while out of the office, while others allow employees to bring their own devices, or use their own laptops and smartphones for fulfilling their day-to-day duties. That being said, it’s important to remember that mobile devices need to be managed in a very specific way to maintain security.

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Tip of the Week: Properly Manage Your Browser’s Saved Passwords (or Disable The Features Entirely)

Most accounts these days require a password of some sort, and as such, the average user has countless of these codes that need to be kept both secure and top-of-mind. Some web browsers have built-in password management tools to help make them more user-friendly, but with so much convenience involved, one has to ask whether or not these built-in management tools are as secure as they should be.

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Make Sure Your Staff Understands the Importance of Their Role in Your Organization’s Cybersecurity

Today, employees have to be a major part of every business’ cybersecurity attempts. The reasoning is simple: attacks are more likely to come in the form of end user correspondence than on a direct assault of the network. As a result, it is important that cybersecurity is more than just another line item on a task list, it has to be built into the culture. Let’s discuss a few ways to get your employees to care about cybersecurity.

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Using a Password Manager Can Keep Your Accounts Secure

It’s true that if they are created to be secure, passwords are hard to remember. There is also no denying, however, how important it is to use different ones for each account, all sufficiently complex. If you are doing things right, you probably have too many passwords to remember, which is why a password management system is a solid tool. This month, let’s take a look at the password management system.

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Ransomware Is Tricky, So Strategize Against It

What if I told you that 92 percent of all organizations that are hit by a ransomware attack and agree to settle with the scammers, don’t ever see their data again? You’d probably say that you would never, ever pay and those that do, don’t make sense. Most people keep that stance until their choices are to pay for the data in the hopes of getting it back, or lose it completely. Let’s unpack ransomware and the strategy that hackers most utilize to deploy it: Phishing.

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Password Best Practices from the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Passwords are probably the most important part of keeping accounts secure. That’s why it is so important to follow industry best practices when creating them. Today, we’ll take a look at the standards outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in creating the best and most secure passwords.

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Hackers Spark Major Gas Crisis Throughout the Southern U.S.

You’ve probably heard by now, a Russia-based hacking collective by the name of DarkSide targeted Colonial Pipeline, a company that supplies nearly 45 percent of the fuel used along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, with a ransomware attack. Not only does this hack have an effect on fuel prices and availability, it highlights just how vulnerable much of the nation’s energy infrastructure is. Let’s discuss the details of the hack and the raging discussion about cybersecurity that’s happening as a result. 

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Companies Need to Keep Their Vendors’ Security In Mind

Data breaches have a tendency to destabilize relationships. With so many data-related problems befalling businesses nowadays, it is important that each side of every data-driven relationship understands their role in the protection of other organizations’ data. Today, we’ll take a look at the issue and how to determine if your partners are putting in the effort required to keep your data secure. 

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Taking a Look at Innovative New Cybersecurity Tools

In 2020, conducting business was hard enough without having to constantly worry that your business was going to be the victim of a cyberattack. Unfortunately, it is an issue that isn’t going away, and can result in massive expenses and alter the course of your business significantly. 

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What We Can Learn from Coca-Cola’s Insider Trade Secret Theft

Your business’ data is perhaps its most crucial resource—which is why it is so important that it remains protected against all threats (including those that come from within your own business). Consider, for a moment, the ongoing trial of Xiaorong You, going on in Greenville, Tennessee. Accused of stealing trade secrets and committing economic espionage, You allegedly stole various BPA-free technologies from various companies—including Coca-Cola and the Eastman Chemical Company, amongst others—to the tune of $119.6 million.

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A Hacker Could Steal All Of Your Text Messages for a Few Bucks

We always picture hackers as these foreboding, black-clad criminals, smirking through the shadows cast in their dark room by their computer monitor. Hardened, uncaring individuals who don’t go outside very often, staring at code as if they were able to decipher the Matrix.

It’s time we give up this persona and stop mystifying cybercriminals. Why?

It only takes a few bucks and some spare time to truly hold an individual’s data hostage.

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Dangerous Android App Masquerading as System Update

Let’s face it, most people are glued to their phones when they have downtime. Many don’t look up to cross the street. With this much dedication to their individual mobile devices you’d think that people would be more careful about what they download.

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Why Phishing Attacks are Such a Huge Risk for Your Business

As one of the biggest cybersecurity considerations the modern business has to make, how to combat phishing has to be at the top of any business’ cybersecurity strategy. Let’s take a look at phishing and why it’s such a big problem for today’s business. 

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2020 Was Rough for Healthcare Where IT Was Concerned

2020 was, obviously, a challenging year for healthcare providers. In addition to the obvious issue of the COVID-19 pandemic creating serious operational, financial, and supply chain difficulties, cybersecurity concerns didn’t go away during this time. Let’s consider some of the additional stresses that IT security needs can, will, and have placed on healthcare providers.

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Policies that Every BYOD Strategy Needs to Abide By

One of the most effective means for a business to shave a few dollars off its budget (and potentially boost employee engagement, for that matter) is to adopt something called a Bring Your Own Device policy—effectively, an agreement that allows their team members to access business-owned documents and files on devices they personally own to get their work done. While these policies have been shown to be very effective, they also need to be carefully considered so they can be adopted appropriately.

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Let’s Take a Look at the Data Breaches So Far in 2021

By now, everyone knows that businesses can be defined on how they approach cybersecurity. Unfortunately, even if your business makes a comprehensive effort to protect your network and data from data breaches, all it takes is one seemingly minor vulnerability to be exploited to make things really hard on your business. Let’s take a look at the major data breaches that have happened since the calendar turned to 2021. 

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What Your Employees Need to Know to Keep Their Own Data Secure, Too

It is only too common for people to have very different personalities in the office as they do during their off hours, with different standards and practices to suit them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that on the surface, you need to be sure that they are at least upholding the kind of security best practices that you expect of them in the office while they are at home.

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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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Blockchain Technology is Advancing Health Technology

Healthcare is a hot-button issue regardless of where you live. As a result you’d think that the industry would be one of the first to implement new information technology. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has sometimes lagged behind other industries on the deployment of new IT tools. One technology that is being used in the development of new IT tools for healthcare is blockchain. Let’s discuss how blockchain technology is being utilized and how it can change the face of patient care going forward.

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Securing Utilities Has to Be a Priority

It’s been reported that a hacker virtually broke into a Floridian water treatment facility and briefly increased the levels of sodium hydroxide in the Pinellas County water supply. Fortunately, onsite operators noticed the spike and reduced it right away, keeping the public from risk of increased levels of poison in their water. This is just the latest story in a seemingly never-ending supply of them that have to do with public utilities being at risk from cyberattacks. Today, we will take a look at this issue. 

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Pros and Cons of Biometric Security

A lot has been made about biometric authentication over the past decade, so much so that it has been loosely integrated into a lot of the access control mechanisms on most modern mobile devices. Fingerprint scanners, retina scanners, and facial recognition are all part of the transition to biometrics to enhance security and privacy. For modern businesses, however, implementing biometrics can have some major drawbacks. Today, we will go over the pros and cons of biometric authentication.

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Tip of the Week: The Guide to Optimal Password Efficacy

Your business’ security largely depends on how secure the passwords are that keep your resources from being accessed without authorization. Despite this, many users—perhaps even you—frequently sacrifice sufficient security measures in favor of the simple and convenient route, cutting corners when coming up with their passwords. Let’s try and remedy this by reviewing a few practices that can help make a password more effective.

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Tip of the Week: Keep Your Gmail Messages Private

Gmail has proven to be as secure as most other email platforms, but email is email and there are times when you send an email that isn’t opened promptly and you’d rather not have the information in that message get sent around or archived where you can’t control it. Now Gmail has added a feature that allows users to send messages that will delete themselves in a predetermined time frame, and work to keep the contents of those messages from being shared. Let’s take a look at them today.

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Google Search Now Gives More Info into What You’re Clicking On

While Google Search has become eponymous for “online search”, the company has not stopped innovating upon the capabilities of the service. Most recently (as of this writing, of course) one improvement that the company is making is to give more content a bit more context before a user clicks through to a potential threat.

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Have You Prepared Your Employees to Catch Phishing Attempts?

While it initially sounds promising to hear that the number of data breaches seen last year went down significantly, it is important to recognize that the number of data records leaked as a result more than doubled. One clear cause was the resurgence in the use of the underhanded malware variety known as ransomware. With this suggesting an increased threat of ransomware incoming, can you confidently say that your business’ team is ready to deal with it?

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Conduct a Security and Compliance Audit, You Won’t Regret It

If you are an avid reader of our blog, we are constantly saying how there are always a growing number of threats. This is true. Two-in-every-three business owners consider that their cybersecurity risks are increasing each year. The other third must not focus on them, and that is a problem. In fact, many business owners don’t give the proper respect to cyberthreats and many of those businesses pay the price. This is why every business should consider a security and compliance audit a mandatory part of their yearly IT assessment. 

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Tip of the Week: Browser Best Practices for Boosted Security

Privacy is a sensitive subject nowadays, especially online. Regardless of the browser you have elected to use, properly using it will have a large impact. Let’s review a few ways that you and your team can help secure your business and its resources and go over these settings.

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Are Apple Devices Immune to Threats? Don’t Bet On It

For a very long time, Apple has been requested to share a workaround for their platform security with law enforcement, which the company has refused outright. Their argument has been that doing so would inherently undermine their lauded security. Well, the feds have given up asking, because they went ahead and developed a workaround themselves… and in doing so, have revealed that iOS isn’t quite as secure as it was purported to be.

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Tip of the Week: Use Confidential Mode in Gmail to Feel Like a Secret Agent (or Secure Your Emails)

Gmail is as secure as any comparable email platform, but there may be some messages you send that you’d rather not have hanging around in someone’s inbox. However, did you know that Gmail enables you to send messages that delete themselves after a set timeframe… while also preventing the contents from being forwarded, downloaded, copied, or printed?

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Near Miss Teaches an Important Security Lesson

To preserve your cybersecurity, you need to have a comprehensive view of everything involved with your technology—and we do mean everything. Let’s consider a recent close call, involving the Democratic Republic of Congo that exemplifies this perfectly that could have potentially exposed millions of Internet users to serious threats.

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Be Sure to Update Your Microsoft Passwords

The new year is upon us and after the debacle that 2020 was, it is extremely welcome. If you are like us, you have a new set of goals that you’ve created for yourself and are probably looking to improve your professional and personal well-being. One way to do that is to ensure that your accounts are secure. Today, we will be going through how to update your password with Microsoft.

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How to Make Your Google Account More Secure

Going through your passwords and updating them every so often is a very wise habit to get into, particularly when they are used to protect a lot of data—as the password to your Google account often is. Considering this, let’s go over how to update your Google password and otherwise lock down your account.

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How Employees Can Cause a Threat, and How to Avoid Them

What would you consider to be the biggest threat to your business and its continued operations? Cybercrime? A natural disaster? What if I told you that it was the team members that you have employed—whether they meant to be or not? This is the hard truth that you need to prepare your business to resist.

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Are Your Employees’ Smartwatches Security Risks?

The smartwatch is one of the most popular gifts given to technology lovers; and, they have quite a bit of utility. They can help improve communication, health, and of course give them a sleek accessory. One problem that people don’t often consider is how their employer has to handle the influx of smartwatches and other IoT devices that are brought to work after the holidays. Today, we’ll briefly discuss how Internet of Things devices could be security risks and what a business should do about it. 

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XTouch Smartwatch

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Tuesday, 12 October 2021 03:12
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Let’s Take a Look at Some Popular Internet Scams

The year 2020 hasn’t been kind to many people. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic downturn, and the people looking to take advantage of these negative circumstances, it’s hard to know what to do to keep from becoming a victim. What helps is to take a thorough examination of where your business’ weak points are. This month, we thought we would take a look at cybersecurity by examining the perpetrators and their methods. 

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SolarWinds Hack - Everything You Need to Know About The Largest Cyber Attack of All Time

True to form, 2020 has given us a final parting gift: the news that the United States was targeted this year by the biggest cyberespionage attack ever. Let’s go into the ramifications of this attack, and what it should teach us going forward.

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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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With Remote Operations, Security is (Even More) Important

Since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, it has been clear that many companies were not prepared to continue their operations remotely. This was largely due to their leadership being convinced in recent years that allowing people to work remotely would lead to a considerable reduction in production, leading them to be unprepared to shift to remote functionality. Cybercriminals have taken advantage of many organizations as a result, so today we’ll discuss what needs to be done to secure endpoints from afar.

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A Field Guide to Phishing Attacks

Despite the name being mildly amusing, phishing attacks are no laughing matter. These scams, in all their different forms, wreak havoc on businesses—ranking as the top breach threat in the 2020 edition of Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, and successfully impacting 65 percent of United States organizations in 2019 as reported by Proofpoint’s 2020 State of the Phish Report. Avoiding them requires you to be able to spot them, so let’s go over the different varieties of phishing that can be encountered.

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Is Security Being Sacrificed for the Sake of Convenience?

While this time of year is always huge for online retail, there is likely to be a much larger number of people turning to the Internet for their holiday purchases than usual… and, it would seem, a larger number of people taking security into consideration as they do so. Let’s examine how consumers are taking their data into their own hands and what this means for your business.

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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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Homeland Security is Warning Businesses to Update Google Chrome

We realize that it’s one thing for us to tell you how important it is to update your software. After all, we’re tech guys, so we worry about that kind of thing all the time. Hopefully, it’s quite another matter when Homeland Security does it, which is why we’re really hoping that you take heed of this warning and update Google Chrome.

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Smishing Isn’t as Funny as It Sounds

As serious as they are, cyberattacks aren’t always given the most serious-sounding names. We are, of course, referring to “phishing”: the manipulation of the user, rather than of a computer system, to gain access to data. Phishing can come in many forms, with some—like phishing someone via SMS message—doubling down on the silliness of the name. Let’s examine this variety, and why “smishing” is not something to trifle with.

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How to Work Remotely Without Undermining Security

With remote access being so popular right now, it is important that there is an awareness of how to maintain your business’ security while utilizing it. There are a lot of steps involved in doing so. Let’s go over some of the most important considerations that you need to weigh while your office continues to work remotely.

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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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Is your Business Compliance-Savvy?

After decades of inadequate data protections, scores of regulations have been put in place to help protect the sensitive data businesses store. Industries, such as healthcare and financial services, are highly-regulated environments precisely because of the type of data they manage. Personal data is highly valuable to bad actors like hackers and other cybercriminals. We thought it would be a good time to talk about not mistakenly exposing this highly-coveted information to the wild.

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When the People You Trust Phish You

Having success in business often relies on developing trustworthy relationships. You have to trust your vendors and suppliers to get you the resources you need, you need to trust your staff to complete their tasks without putting your business in harm's way, and you need to trust your customers to buy the products and services that you offer. Running counter to these necessary bonds of trust are people actively soliciting people’s time, energy, money, and attention for their own selfish purposes.

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Lessons Learned From Chenango County’s Ransomware Attack

Dangerous cyberthreats don’t just affect major businesses—they are just as likely to hit close to home.

In fact, just two weeks ago, a ransomware attack left half of the computers operated by Chenango County held hostage by hackers, who demanded $90,000 to surrender access to the files. Learn how Chenango County was able to say “No” and recover their data.

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Don’t Let This Year’s Low Number of Data Breaches Get Your Hopes Up

You may have heard whispers that, compared to the past few years, 2020 has seen considerably fewer data breaches play out. While this may sound like a cause for celebration, we wanted to share a few reasons that this news may not be as great as it appears.

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Reviewing Zoom’s Efforts to Improve Its Security

As a communication tool, the video conferencing app Zoom saw a considerable bump in its popularity with both personal and business users as the coronavirus pandemic made other means of meeting no longer viable. However, this sudden increase in its user base also revealed some serious security issues with the platform. Let’s examine what Zoom has done to resolve these issues since then.

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How You Can Make IT’s Life Easier

Business relationships, especially between you and a service provider or you and a coworker, are crucial to a business’ success. However, maintaining these relationships can be challenging when there’s a good chance that your actions might create more work for another person. Let’s go over why your relationship with IT may be strained, and offer a few tips to help fix it.

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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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Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Easily Identify a Phishing Attack

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve seen us reference a phishing attack. Whether you are being asked by some supposed Nigerian prince to fork over money or you are getting an email by what seems to be your bank that directs you to download an attachment, you are probably a potential victim of a phishing scam. The difference between being a potential victim and a victim is knowing how to identify it. Today, we’ll give you five ways to identify a phishing message so that you—or your company—won’t be scammed.

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Tip of the Week: Keeping Your Business Email Secure

Every business should consider its security one of its top priorities, and with so much business now happening digitally, cybersecurity is a major part of that. Take, for instance, the heightened importance of email in the extended remote workforce. While email is a great business tool, it can also be an avenue that a cybercriminal uses to attack. So that you can better protect your business, we’re discussing some basic email security steps for this week’s tip.

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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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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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