Hurricanes damage property and put lives at risk. If you’re not prepared, hurricanes can also disrupt your operations and put your business through extended downtime. In this blog, we’ll help you quickly regain access to your data and get your business back to operational mode after a disaster.

Determine recovery hierarchy

Certain parts of your IT system are more mission-critical than others. Ask yourself which systems and/or data must be recovered in minutes, hours, or days so your business can resume operations quickly

For example, you may find that recovering sensitive customer information and eCommerce systems take priority over recovering your email server. Whatever the case may be, prioritizing your systems ensures that the right ones are recovered quickly after a disaster.

Pay attention to location

First and foremost, your backup site should be in a hurricane-free zone. Ideally, your off-site facility should be located at least 100 miles away from your main location. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is built to withstand wind speeds of 160 miles per hour (as fast as Category 5 storms) and is supported by backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies.

You should also request an upper floor installation or, at the very least, keep critical IT equipment 18 inches off the ground to prevent water damage in case of floods.

Use image-based backups

Unlike fragile tape backups, image-based backups take “snapshots” of your systems, creating a copy of the OS, software, and data stored in them. From there, you can easily boot the virtual image on any device, allowing you to back up and restore critical business systems in seconds.

Take advantage of the cloud

The cloud enables you to host applications and store data in high-availability, geo-redundant servers. This means your backups can be accessed via the internet, allowing authorized users to access critical files from any device. Expert technicians will also watch over and secure your backups, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of enterprise-level backup facilities and IT support.

Back up your data frequently

Back up your data as often as possible, especially during disaster season. If your latest backups were created on September 15th and a storm makes landfall in your area on the 28th, you could lose nearly two weeks of data.

Test your disaster recovery (DR) plan

After setting up your backups, check whether they are restoring your files accurately and on time. Your employees should be drilled on the recovery procedures and their responsibilities during and after a disaster. Your DR team should also be trained on how to failover to the backup site before the storm hits. Finally, providers, contractors, and customers need to be notified about how the hurricane will affect your operations.

As cell towers and internet connections may be affected during a hurricane, make sure your company forums are online and have your employees register with the Red Cross Safe and Well website so you can check their statuses.

It’s nearly impossible to experience disruptions during disasters like Harvey or Irma, but with the right support, you can minimize downtime. If you’re concerned about any natural disasters putting you out of business, call us today. We offer comprehensive business continuity services that every company should have.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Some of the most well-known companies in the world, including Sony Pictures, Home Depot, Adobe, and eBay, have been victims of cyberattacks. While major corporations like these are high-profile targets for hackers, small- and medium-sized businesses are not exempt from data breaches. And because it may be difficult or impossible to undo any damage caused by cybercriminals, it’s imperative for any business — regardless of their size — to take steps to fortify their systems. The following security tips can help guard company data.

Use two-factor authentication

Using a complicated password to secure your system is not an effective way to level up your cybersecurity. That’s because having to memorize a difficult password often pushes users to set that same complex password for multiple accounts. And if a hacker gets a hold of a recycled password, there’s a high probability that they could access all your accounts that use that same password.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your systems and accounts. 2FA comes in many forms: it can be a biometric verification in the devices that you own or a time-sensitive auto-generated code sent to your mobile phone. This security feature works similarly to how websites would require you to confirm your email address to ensure that you are not a bot.

Encrypt all data

Encryption is an effective obstruction to hackers, since it scrambles and descrambles data every time someone tries to read it. Encryption also causes compatibility issues if the data is not being accessed via a company’s own network systems. While applying encryption can be expensive, it is certainly well worth the money because it protects your data in case it falls into the wrong hands.

Keep systems up to date

Hackers are always upgrading their tools to take advantage of outdated security systems, so companies should keep up to protect their valuable technology resources. Many companies don’t install software updates immediately, and that’s a huge problem. Updates often close existing security loopholes, which is why delayed installation can mean exposing your systems to external attacks. Keep your data safe by installing software updates as soon as they are released.

Back up frequently

Implementing several layers to your security doesn’t ensure that hackers won’t find their way into your systems. This is why you need to back up data frequently, whether it’s on-site, off-site, or by way of cloud backups. In the worst-case scenario where your systems do get infiltrated, you can restore lost data from your backups.

Monitor connectivity

Many businesses have no idea how many of their devices are connected online at a given time, so it’s very hard for them to keep track of which of these should actually be online. Sometimes, a company’s computers and servers are online when they don’t need to be, making these tempting and easy targets for attackers. It’s advisable to configure business servers properly to guarantee that only necessary machines are online and that they’re well-protected at all times.

It’s much more expensive to recover from a data breach than to prevent one. If you’re looking to protect your business IT systems from potential threats, contact us today so we can help.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Like it or not, there will come a time when your once lightning-fast Mac computer can no longer meet modern computing demands. When this happens, you’ll face the following dilemma: should you stick to your current Mac computer or purchase a new one? To help you make this decision, we’ve listed several signs you need to watch out for.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

The latest macOS version that’s currently in public beta is 12 Monterey. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Monterey. For instance, a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion cannot support the upcoming version of macOS. Your device is likely obsolete, and while you can keep on using it as usual, you won’t get any new features and its slow performance may cause productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them are high.

It’s therefore more ideal to purchase a new Mac instead. Newer versions offer as much as 4TB of storage, which will allow you to store more files in the long run.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could suddenly turn off. There’s the option of plugging your device into an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more random access memory (RAM), swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put toward a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac’s hardware is damaged

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard keys, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Also, small issues can become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, which is a major hindrance if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an older version of macOS, it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your operating system is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your RAM or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

More than just offering apps and cloud services designed to boost productivity, Microsoft 365 also provides robust security tools for protecting data from loss and theft. Make the most out of these tools and ensure data security by following these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Nowadays, it’s near impossible to maintain 100% privacy when browsing the web. A variety of malicious actors lurk in the background, whether you’re searching on Google, checking your social media feeds, or accessing business programs online. The fact is that everyone who browses the internet is vulnerable to cyberthreats. Here are a few ways to browse safely.

Install ad blocking software

Online ads may seem harmless, but they can contain scripts and widgets that send your data to a third party. A decent ad blocking program will stop banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, and prevent you from inadvertently visiting a site that may contain malware.

Many blockers also come with additional features such as the ability to disable cookies and scripts used by third parties on sites, the option to block specific items, and options to “clean up” Facebook and hide YouTube comments.

Prevent browser tracking

If you don’t like the idea of a third party (reputable or otherwise) tracking your browsing habits, enable private browsing using built-in tools in your internet browser such as Chrome’s Incognito mode or Safari’s Private Browsing windows. This offers protection against tracking by blocking third-party cookies as well as malware. Some browser extensions also boast secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization, and can guard against tracking and data collection from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Set up a virtual private network (VPN)

Unfortunately, browser tracking and adware are not the only internet nasties that you need to be concerned about. Hackers can intercept sensitive data between two parties, allowing them to steal and exploit valuable information such as bank details, login credentials, and other personal information. Installing a VPN can help solve this problem. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, effectively shutting out anyone who may be trying to see what you’re browsing.

Install antivirus and anti-malware software

Finally, it goes without saying that having antivirus and anti-malware software installed on your PC, tablet, and smartphone is crucial if you want to ensure your online safety. These software programs are your first defense against malicious parties intent on stealing your data.

Is browsing at your workplace secure? Would you like a more comprehensive security system for your business? We can tell you all about it and help protect your business from online threats. Get in touch with us today.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

The dog days of summer are here, and it’s hot out! Homeowners and business owners alike are bracing for their upcoming power bills as they run their air conditioners around the clock trying to keep cool. But for many business owners, it’s not just about keeping your team cool – it’s also about keeping your technology cool.

Every piece of technology you use is susceptible to heat damage. Sometimes they overheat due to internal issues. Maybe they’re processing a lot of data. Or maybe the internal cooling system isn’t enough. But they can also overheat due to external issues, such as high summer temperatures and inadequate air conditioning.

If heat overwhelms your systems, it has the potential to knock out your business. If computers go down or servers can’t run efficiently due to heat, it can be a costly disaster. The average computer is built to work in external temperatures of 50 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Laptops and tablets can handle 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Every business should be aware of just how much damage heat can cause.

For example, heat can damage individual components in your devices. There are records of graphic cards bursting into flame as a result of overheating and heat-related electrical issues. These components are designed to withstand high heat, but they can only take so much.

Heat can also disrupt productivity.

It’s one thing if your business is warmer than usual and you have fans running. It can make work harder. But heat slows down devices. They cannot run as efficiently and, as a result, programs and apps will struggle to run. In some cases, they might not be able to run at all because they require a certain amount of data processing that is negatively impacted by too much heat.

If your systems are disrupted or damaged, you can also lose critical data.

Heat can damage hard drives and solid-state disk drives, leaving you without access to your data. Sometimes, with proper cooling, this data can be recovered, but if the heat and damage persist, the data may be unrecoverable if you don’t have a backup.

What’s the next step?

Every business needs to fully understand its cooling needs. It’s one thing to cool people working in an office. It’s something else entirely to cool a server room. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Does your business have adequate and efficient air conditioning?
  • Does your technology (such as a computer or server room) have adequate air conditioning?
  • Do individual devices have adequate cooling (have employees complained about weird app slowdowns)?
  • On top of this, it’s critical to ask questions about your data security needs:
  • Do you keep all of your data on-site?
  • Is your data protected from natural disaster or outside intrusion (have you invested in cyber security)?
  • Do you have a plan if your data is damaged or lost?
  • Do you routinely back up your data to the cloud or another off-site solution?

You never have to compromise your data or your business. There are countless solutions on the market today to help you protect your most valuable assets – and to help with your technology cooling needs. As you navigate the dog days of summer, remember you have options. A managed services provider (MSP) or an experienced IT services firm can help you determine if your tech is as cool as it should be. They can help you ensure the longevity of your technology and keep your data safe.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

“Know thine enemy” — it means to get to know them and their motives. In this blog, we take a close look at the five types of dangerous hackers, what their motives are, and how they operate.

Script kiddies

In terms of skill, script kiddies (or skids, for short) are at the bottom of the hacker totem pole. Their name comes from the fact that they use scripts or other automated tools written by others. They are often young people on a quest for internet notoriety or who are simply bored and in search of a thrill.

Script kiddies shouldn’t be dismissed so easily, however. The ILOVEYOU virus, considered one of the worst malware on the planet, was developed by skids.

Hacktivists

Hacktivists often hack into businesses and government systems to promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal confidential information to expose or disrupt their target’s operations.

Even if you’re a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you’re not immune to hacktivist attacks. This is especially true if your company is associated or partnered with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets.

Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals break into digital systems or networks with the intent to steal, destroy, taint, and/or lock away data. They usually target individuals, SMBs, and large companies that have exploitable weaknesses in their cybersecurity.

Cybercriminals attack using a number of methods, including social engineering tactics to trick users into volunteering sensitive personal or company data. This information is then used for identity theft, sold on the dark web, or leveraged to launch attacks against other businesses. Cybercriminals can also infect computers with ransomware and other types of malware.

State-sponsored hackers

True to their name, these hackers are backed by governments. The hackers’ goal is to promote their backer’s interests within their own country or abroad. In most cases, this involves taking down websites that criticize the state, swaying public opinion, cyber-terrorism, and leaking top-secret information, among others.

As they are, state-sponsored hackers are already dangerous to business owners, but even more so when they make it their goal to cripple an entire country’s financial system or disrupt commodity supply lines. This could involve interfering with the economy or disrupting business operations. Tech and pharmaceutical companies are a frequent target, but businesses in other industries aren’t safe from state-sponsored hackers either.

Insiders

The scariest type of hacker is the one that lurks within your own organization. An insider can be your company’s current and former employees, contractors, or business associates. Oftentimes their mission is payback. They’ll steal sensitive documents or try to disrupt the organization’s operations to right a wrong they believe a company has done to them. Edward Snowden is a prime example of an insider who hacked the organization he worked for — the US government.

Malicious hackers are always changing their tactics to meet their goals, making them an ever-present threat to any organization, including yours. It’s crucial that you stay one step ahead by working with cybersecurity experts who can help protect your company from dangerous hackers and other cyberthreats. Contact our team today to get started.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Apple security threats

The hearsay that Macs cannot be infected by viruses or malware couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of cyberthreats that pose risks to Macs, so if you’re a Mac user, you should prioritize your device’s security. The good news is that protecting your Mac is simple and easy. Just follow these steps.

Check your privacy settings

Make sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your data safe. Manage the information your Mac makes available across the internet or on a network by going to Apple menu System Preferences Security & Privacy Privacy. From there, you can choose which information to share and with whom. For example, you can specify which apps are allowed to see personal information, such as your location, contacts, photos, or music.

Take advantage of the firewall

A firewall protects your Mac from unwanted contact initiated by other computers on a network or the internet. It protects your computer by allowing only authorized services and apps to communicate with your Mac, so be sure to enable macOS’s built-in firewall.

To do so, just go to Apple menu System Preferences Security & Privacy Privacy then, click Firewall. If the padlock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it and key in your username and password. Enable the firewall by clicking Turn On Firewall.

To modify Firewall settings, click on Firewall Options… just below the “Turn Off Firewall” button. You will find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the “+” button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible, as the apps listed can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Another useful feature to enable is stealth mode. This option will make your Mac more difficult to find, thus keeping hackers and malware at bay. For instance, if you are in a coffee shop and connected to its unsecured Wi-Fi, enabling stealth mode will make your Mac invisible on that public network. To turn on this feature, just tick the box next to “Enable stealth mode” in Firewall Options. A dialog box will pop up, and you can click on the “Enable Stealth Mode” button.

Set up a firmware password

Every new Mac today has the FileVault encryption automatically enabled. This means that your device already encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way your data can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls the operating system or uses a memory stick to boot the Mac and remove all data from your hard disk.

To increase protection, set up a firmware password. Do this by restarting your computer, then pressing and holding down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on the screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.

When the utilities window appears, click on Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Click on Turn On Firmware Password… and simply follow the succeeding instructions.

Finally, quit the utilities window, then choose Apple menu Restart. Make sure to never forget or misplace your firmware password, because only Apple technicians can recover it.

Ensure that your confidential data remains private by performing minor tweaks on your Mac’s system settings. It takes only a few minutes to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, or if you need to set up more advanced defenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

A decade ago, five seconds was a completely acceptable page load time. But today, most users expect a web page to load as soon as they open it. Otherwise, they will simply close it. To prevent users from bouncing off, try these tips that will surely speed up your WordPress site.

Keep WordPress and plugins up to date

Updating your WordPress version and plugins will not only keep your website secure but also speed it up. Therefore, you should install those updates as soon as they become available.

Choose a website host wisely

Your website’s host can make or break your website, so before you select one, carefully compare the details of their service plans — especially the website speed and uptime — against those of other vendors.

While it may be tempting to opt for shared hosting because of its low cost, know that it’s also going to offer the slowest speeds because many websites are simultaneously relying on the same server for bandwidth. In contrast, a dedicated server will provide the best speed, but it may be too costly for many small- and medium-sized businesses.

A great mid-performance, mid-price alternative is a virtual private server (VPS). A VPS acts like a dedicated server in terms of functionality but still technically uses a shared server. It will speed up your site better than the typical shared hosting without breaking the bank.

Keep your site lean

The leaner your site is, the faster it will be. To create a lean site, be mindful of these four aspects:

  1. Theme – While the promise of a versatile theme can spark the imagination, implementing one can set you back in terms of speed. When a theme has a ton of features, the huge amount of code that powers those features can bog down your site. Avoid this by testing the theme demos to see how long they take to load. If the loading time is more than three seconds, look for another theme that loads faster.
  2. Design – Design elements can also dramatically slow down your site. Simple sites are faster, so carefully consider the ads, images, and extras that you’re thinking of adding.
  3. Plugins – Not all plugins are created equal; some run fast and others slow. To tell one from the other, use special plugins that show the impact a plugin has on your site’s load time. What’s more, think twice before installing a plugin because having fewer plugins translates to a faster site load time.
  4. Images – While many raw images are around 3,000 to 4,000 pixels wide, most featured images are only 600 to 800 pixels wide. To reduce image weight and thus gain a faster site, resize your site’s images to the exact size they’ll appear on screen.

Leverage speed-boosting plugins

Use plugins that speed up your site. Cache plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache can provide more speed by caching every aspect of your site, thereby reducing its download times.

Another helpful plugin is Lazy Load. It boosts your site’s speed by loading the elements at the top of the website first, then loading subsequent elements as one scrolls down. But before installing the Lazy Load plugin, make sure to check your Theme Options to see if it’s already included.

Use redirects sparingly

Web pages that point to your old URLs can really slow down your site, so make sure to avoid or limit them. Also use the Redirect mapper tool or similar alternatives to uncover redirects that you don’t need.

Implementing some or all of the tips above will surely speed up your WordPress site’s speed. But if you need more help optimizing your website or in other IT matters, just give us a call.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

Do IT security terms like “phishing” and “intrusion protection” sound extremely foreign to you? If so, it’s time you familiarize yourself with these and other common cybersecurity terms. By learning these basic concepts, you’ll be more aware of the depth and scope of online dangers and, hopefully, be better prepared to deal with them.

Malware

For a long time, the phrase “computer virus” was misused to refer to every type of attack that intended to harm or hurt computers and networks. The more appropriate term for these harmful programs and files would be “malicious software” or “malware.” Whereas a virus is a specific type of malware that is designed to replicate itself, any software created for the purpose of destroying or unfairly accessing networks and data should be referred to as malware.

Ransomware

Don’t let all other cyberthreats ending in -ware confuse you; they are all just subcategories of malware. Currently, one of the most popular of these is “ransomware,” which is malware that encrypts valuable data until a ransom is paid.

Intrusion prevention system (IPS)

There are several ways to safeguard your network from malware, but an IPS is quickly becoming one of the nonnegotiables. An IPS sits inside your company’s firewall and looks for suspicious and malicious activity that can be halted before it can exploit or take advantage of a known vulnerability.

Social engineering

Not all types of malware rely solely on fancy computer programming. Experts agree that the majority of attacks require some form of “social engineering” to succeed. Social engineering is the act of tricking people, rather than computers, into revealing sensitive or protected information. For cybercriminals, complicated software is totally unnecessary if they can just convince potential victims that they’re a security professional who needs the victims’ password to secure their account.

Phishing

Despite often relying on face-to-face interactions, social engineering does occasionally employ more technical methods. Phishing is the act of defrauding people using an app or a website that impersonates a trustworthy or often well-known business in an attempt to obtain confidential information. Just because you received an email that says it’s from the IRS doesn’t mean that it is. Don’t take such emails at face value — always verify the source, especially if the emails are requesting your sensitive data.

Antivirus

Antivirus software is often misunderstood as a way to comprehensively secure your computers and workstations. These applications are just one piece of the cybersecurity puzzle and can only scan the drives on which they are installed for signs of well-known malware variants.

Zero-day attacks

Malware is most dangerous when it has been released but not yet discovered by cybersecurity experts. When a vulnerability is found within a piece of software, vendors will release an update to fix the gap in security. However, if cyberattackers release a piece of malware that has never been seen before, and if that malware exploits one of these holes before the vulnerability is addressed, it is called a zero-day attack.

Patch

When software developers discover a security vulnerability in their programming, they usually release a small file to update and “patch” this gap. Patches are essential to keeping your network secure from the vultures lurking on the internet. By checking for and installing patches as often as possible, you keep your software protected from the latest malware.

Redundant data

When antivirus software, patches, and intrusion prevention fail to keep your information secure, there’s only one thing that will: quarantined off-site storage. Duplicating your data offline and storing it somewhere other than your business’s workspace ensures that if there is a malware infection, you’re equipped with backups.

Our cybersecurity professionals are always available to impart more in-depth knowledge of the many different kinds of cyberthreats. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you with your IT security woes.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE