A Need to Know Basis

In November 2019 two Twitter employees sent ripples through the cybersecurity community when they were charged with spying on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government. While Twitter is a multi-billion-dollar company, managers at small to medium sized businesses can learn a big lesson from this tech giant: “least privilege”. The concept is simple: every module (process, user or program) must only have access to the information and resources that are necessary for its legitimate purpose. When a company is hacked, one or more individuals with a strong understanding of computer science gain unauthorized access to a company’s systems. These individuals …

5 Easy Things to Protect Against Ransomware

What is ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish a victim’s information or blocks access to their data until a ransom is paid.  Ransomware is typically spread through emails. The email normally includes a URL to another website and attackers then use a variety of methods to convince you to click on the link. These URLs usually lead to fake websites that have been copied from real websites, so they appear legitimate, to trick you into putting in your information. Once your information is in, they have access to any of your accounts that use the …

The End of Windows 7

Microsoft has announced that it will end support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. We strongly recommend that Windows 7 users upgrade to Windows 10 by January, 2020. Continuing to operate a Windows 7 PC will, at best, be expensive and, at worst, pose a serious security vulnerability within your network that hackers will almost certainly exploit. In addition to ensuring the security of your network, Window 10 integrates with Office 365. This powerful subscription-based software makes using the Microsoft suite of productivity-enhancing tools easy across multiple devices. For home users, the only option to maintain a secure operating …

Infrastructure as a Service

When discussing solutions to your business’ technology needs, “as a service” (aaS) is something that you’ll hear a lot. The aaS concept can get a little overwhelming when you hear things like “infrastructure as a service” (IaaS) or “platform as a service” (PaaS). It seems like everything can be a “service”, but are these “services” the best option for your business? The short and simple answer is Yes. Defining aaS Services Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the first aaS models that became popular, but it is now an umbrella that encompasses PaaS and IaaS. Software used to …

Azure for Small Business

What is Azure? Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services – currently over 600 – to help your organization meet your business challenges. Azure markets itself as a hybrid cloud solution with hundreds of ready-made tools for numerous aspects of a business. Developers can take full advantage of Azure, which offers Visual Studio integrations, flexible computing resources, and massive analytic capabilities. Researchers will find an abundance of uses for Azure services, too, as it provides access to super-computing performance that reduces the time needed to analyze large data sets. Most small businesses will not need the full breadth …

A Healthy Level of Skepticism

Email phishing scams are on the rise in the first quarter of 2018. With the rise of cybercriminal attempts to hack systems or harvest data using phishing emails, we wanted to cover the most basic steps a company or individual should take to protect themselves against these sophisticated scams. According to Phishing.org, “Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.” The concept is very …

Website Accessibility

The US Census found that, in 2010, 56.7 million – or 19 percent of the population – had a disability (US Census Bureau). That is a significant group that needs additional accommodations to use your business’ website in order to purchase your products or services. Making your website disability-friendly can expand your customer base and mitigate the possibility of expensive litigation. Website accessibility is a legitimate legal issue and the lack thereof could have consequences for businesses large and small. Eleventh Circuit Decision In a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, websites must make the same accommodations for …

Windows 10 Update and Patches

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the importance of patching Windows 10. These patches are designed to close security holes that hackers exploit in malware attacks. It is so important to update your Windows OS as soon as the opportunity becomes available; however, these patches can sometimes lead to upsetting issues. Over 50% of Windows 10 users have reported a wide array of issues with updates. This caused many to skip the updates until April of 2018 when Windows left users no other option. If you are among those that experienced issues with the update, then you may be happy to …

Office 365: A Great Solution

Microsoft Office is – and has been – the industry standard in business since it was first offered to Mac users in 1989 and PC users the following year. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel have long been the preferred software of business owners, despite Google’s attempt to take over with cloud offerings like Sheets, Docs, and Slides. All of these products mimic their Microsoft counterparts because when it comes to maximizing employee productivity and efficiency, those are the gold standard. Chances are that the last time you went to purchase Microsoft Office Professional you were offered Microsoft Office 365, and the …

Encryption: What it is and Where it’s Going.

In order to demonstrate private and public key encryption, it is best to have a cast of characters. Meet Alice, Eve, and Bob.     Alice wants to send Bob some sensitive information. Eve has been trying to get this information from Alice. She has been watching her communications in anticipation. How can Alice send this information to Bob without Eve seeing the information? Let’s assume that Alice and Bob are not able to meet in-person, so physically handing off the information is not an option. Symmetrical Key Encryption If this were a physical box containing sensitive information, then Alice …