3 New Password Best Practices to Protect Your Company in 2017

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 8/17/17 8:00 AM

With the recent news that Bill Burr, who originally wrote the guidelines for government employees password polices that influenced the business world too, now regrets those complexity standards he developed businesses are now left to decide how they should handle these new standards.

NIST released a draft of its guidelines for review last year, and this summer, released the final version. It’s a four-volume document, written, as Fortune describes, “in turgid bureaucrat-speak.” We’ll save you the trouble of wading through it and highlight some of the biggest changes from the password best practices of the past.

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Topics: IT Security

Can Your Mac Get a Virus? 4 Myths About Data Security on MacOS

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 7/25/17 8:36 AM

Apple likes to cultivate a pristine image: hardware, software, and user experiences blending seamlessly together. And for the most part, image and reality are the same.

Apple products command a premium because they “just work.” Businesses owners will tell you they choose Macs — despite their higher price tags — because they’re powerful with less hassle. And the perception is that they’re more secure.

In fact, since Apple debuted Mac OS X (10.0) in 2001, the conventional wisdom has been that the operating system is nearly impenetrable to viruses and other malware due to it being built on Unix.

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Topics: IT Security

The 4 Worst Email Scams of 2017; Are You Next?

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 7/11/17 8:00 AM

2017 hasn’t even reached its halfway point and already it’s been a banner year for email scammers. The hackers may be rejoicing, but if you or your company has been on the receiving end of an email-based cyberattack, it’s hardly something to celebrate.

According to the FBI, email scams have been hitting American businesses hard, to the tune of a half a billion dollars per year. And the pace doesn’t seem to be slowing for 2017.

If your company hasn’t fallen victim to an email scam this year, count yourself lucky. Up to 85 percent of organizations have suffered phishing attacks, according to one report. (Phishing is the blanket name for the most common form of email scam.)

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Topics: IT Security, Email

5 Tips for Teaching Your Employees What Not to Click

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 6/20/17 8:30 AM

When you’re responsible for the security of your company’s network — and all the sensitive data contained in it — sometimes you can’t help but dream of a world without users.

When you set up a hardware or software security control — provided you configured it correctly and it’s up to date — you know it will do what it’s supposed to do without fail, never taking a shortcut, experiencing a “brain fart,” or suffering from sheer ignorance.

Employees, on the other hand, need to be constantly reminded to take data security seriously.

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Topics: Email

Does Social Engineering Threaten Your Company’s Data?

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 6/6/17 8:30 AM

What came to mind? If your mental image of a hacker is informed by Hollywood stereotypes and stock imagery, you thought of a shadowy figure, bathed in the green glow of multiple screens, furiously pounding out complex algorithms and arcane programming.

If only that were accurate. The truth is, the perpetrators of some of the most devastating cyber attacks of recent years relied more on charm and quick thinking than on technical wizardry.

Hackers succeed by exploiting weaknesses. And long ago, they discovered that the weakest element of most systems is the human element.

It’s easier to talk someone into giving up their password then it is to crack it through sheer computing power. And hackers are all about what’s easier.

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Topics: IT Security, Email

The IT World Is Dangerous; You Need a Backup Plan

Posted by Mike Amaral on 5/5/17 2:52 PM

If your company is like most, you build your worth around information. Client records, research material, inventory data, and financials are all heavy hitters. Now imagine if just one of these critical pieces of information became totally compromised or irretrievable, disappearing in the blink of an eye.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery

3 Ways Your Network is Vulnerable to Hackers

Posted by Justin May on 4/21/17 8:08 AM

Every month it seems, another large company suffers a network breach or unauthorized access to sensitive information. The number of well-known hacking victims keeps getting larger:

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Topics: IT Security

Tax Season 2017 Is High Season for Spear Phishing Attacks

Posted by Andrew Josephides on 3/21/17 8:10 AM

It’s tax season. And that means, for internet scammers looking to filch your employees’ identities and steal their money, it’s phishing season.

According to a warning issued by the IRS, tax season triggers a 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents. The scammers’ target? The sensitive information found on your employees’ W2 forms:

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Topics: IT Security, Email

4 Steps for Designing an Effective Insider Threat Program

Posted by Andrew Josephides on 3/7/17 8:01 AM

The cost of cybercrime is going nowhere but up. Meanwhile, the news reports on staggering incidents of mass data theft on a regular basis. If you’ve become obsessed with combatting intrusion from outside hackers and scammers, it’s understandable.

But if you’re only looking outward, you may be missing one of the leading and most damaging risks to your cybersecurity: those who work in and with your organization.

No one wants to believe their colleagues and partners would compromise their data security – either deliberately or mistakenly – but it happens more often than you would think.

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Topics: IT Security

Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: Which Is Right for Your Office?

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 2/14/17 8:43 AM

It seems like eons have passed since email promised to make office communication easier, more pleasant, and more fun. Remember the feeling? No more navigating awkward voicemail menus, missing connections, or squinting at smudged faxes.

But now, as we confront our overflowing inboxes with dread every morning, many of us long to go back to the days when the desk phone was more than an inert prop and critical information was shared — shockingly — face to face.

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Topics: IT Support


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