Protecting your business printers from malicious cyberattacks may be the last thing on your mind, but it should definitely not be. Hackers are always looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit, and, if left unprotected, printer systems can offer a trouble-free gateway into vast troves of sensitive data. To help safeguard against unforeseen risks, take these key steps to secure your company’s printers now.

Vulnerabilities of business printers

Printers are considered indispensable business tools, but their core functions can make them irresistible targets for cybercriminals. These devices process a plethora of valuable data such as tax forms, employee information, financial statements, medical records, and the like. And did you know? Even if you cancel print jobs, these data are still stored within printer hard drives. Without proper security measures, valuable data can fall into the wrong hands.

Organizations also need to take a closer look at their network printers since these are connected to the web. With the right tools and opportunities, hackers can easily intercept sensitive data traveling through open network ports. Printer vulnerabilities can open unknown backdoors that can give criminals an opportunity to launch far-reaching cyberattacks from within your network. Such attacks are difficult to stop once they’ve been launched.

Ways to protect your business printers

Keeping business printers secure should be an essential step when developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. To ensure your print devices aren’t vulnerable to attacks, following these best practices will safeguard them from potential threats.

  1. Keep an eye on your network and make sure to install printer software updates and patches right away.
  2. Update printers with web management capabilities by modifying their default passwords and administrator login credentials.
  3. Only company-owned devices should be permitted to connect to your printing network.
  4. Always use secure connections and avoid accessing your printer through a public internet connection.
  5. Maximize your network security by using a firewall to limit printer access.
  6. For improved security and to prevent unauthorized access, activate the PIN/password feature of your wireless printer to ensure that only authorized users are able to print documents on your device.
  7. Disconnect the printer from its main network and turn off out-of-network printing if you don’t use it for faxing or email purposes.
  8. Protect classified data by connecting printers directly to computers or using a thumb drive.
  9. Use your printer’s manual feed settings. This feature allows you to feed paper into printers manually, making sure that printed materials don’t end up in the wrong hands or left lying around for anyone to see.

Furthermore, working with an IT specialist can provide peace of mind when it comes to managing your printers. Trusted IT experts can make sure that any potential attack vectors are closed off while also helping you lower management costs and keep your devices at peak performance.

If you have any questions about securing your business printers, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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

Learn About Today’s Most Common Types Of Cyber-Attacks

If you’ve turned on the news sometime during the past few years, you’ve probably heard of more than one instance where a business closed due to a cyber-attack. You may think your business is small enough and hackers won’t target you, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Every business is at risk of experiencing a cyber-attack and should be well-prepared to defend against these threats. With the right type of attack, a cybercriminal can gain valuable information about your business, customers and employees, which can be used to damage your reputation and hurt you financially.

If you’re a business owner or leader and you want to ensure your business is well-protected, check out the most common cyber-attacks that are affecting companies today. From there, you can implement cyber security plans and tactics to ensure your business is protected from cybercriminals.

Phishing Scams

Phishing is a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a fraudulent message designed to trick a person into revealing sensitive information to the attacker or to deploy malicious software on the victim’s infrastructure. Phishing scams can wreak havoc on your business and personal life. You may have seen an e-mail from someone claiming to be Amazon or your credit card company asking for specific sensitive information. Often, the e-mail address does not line up with who the person is claiming to be.

When a phishing scam targets your business, they’ll likely request valuable information from your employees such as passwords or customer data. If your employees fall for the scam, they could give a cybercriminal unprecedented access to your network and systems. This may also allow the cybercriminal to steal private employee and customer information, leaving your employees vulnerable to identity theft. Phishing scams can be averted by using common sense and providing cyber security training to your employees. Most companies will not request private information over e-mail. That being said, if an employee receives a suspicious e-mail, they should do their due diligence to ensure the e-mail is genuine before responding in any way.

Malware

Malware is software installed on a computer without the user’s consent that performs malicious actions, such as stealing passwords or money. There are many types of malware, including spyware, viruses, ransomware and adware. You can accidentally download malware onto your computer by clicking on sketchy links within e-mails or websites. You might not even notice you have malware on your computer right now. If your computer is operating more slowly than usual, web browsers are taking you to random sites or you have frequent pop-ups, you should scan your computer for malware.

Prevention is key in stopping malware from affecting your business. Hiring and utilizing a managed services provider is the best way to protect your business, as they will continually monitor your network for exploitable holes. With malware, it’s always better to play it safe than sorry. If a cybercriminal is able to use ransomware on your network, your business could be stuck at a standstill until you pay the ransom. Even if you can pay the ransom, your reputation will still take a hit, and your business could be greatly affected. Be careful where you click on your phone, too, since malware attacks on cellphones have become more common over the past few years.

Attacks Involving Passwords

How do your employees access your network or computer systems? They most likely use a password to log in to their computer, access their e-mail and much more. What would happen if someone with bad intentions gained access to one of your employee’s passwords? Depending on the individual’s access, they could obtain sensitive information about your business, customers and employees.

Your team should be using long, complex passwords for their accounts, and each password for every account should be different. Encourage your employees to use password managers that will allow them to create the most complex passwords possible and keep track of them more easily. You can also incorporate multifactor authentication to ensure nobody can steal a password and gain access immediately. You should make your employees aware of this during your annual cyber security training.

If your business falls victim to a cyber-attack, it could have lasting consequences for everyone involved. Now that you know the most common types of cyber-attacks, you can start implementing plans to ensure you and your business stay protected.

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

Phishing attacks are increasing and getting more sophisticated. Here’s how to avoid them:

Phishing is on the rise, and anyone who uses email, text messaging, and other forms of communication is a potential victim.

These attacks, in which a cybercriminal sends a deceptive message that’s designed to fool a user into providing sensitive information such as credit card numbers or to launch malware on the user’s system, can be extremely effective if done well.

These types of attacks have become increasingly sophisticated — making them more dangerous — and more common. An October 2022 study by messaging security provider SlashNext analyzed billions of link-based URLs, attachments, and natural language messages in email, mobile and browser channels over a six-month period, and found more than 255 million attacks. That’s a 61% increase in the rate of phishing attacks compared with 2021.

The study revealed that cybercriminals are shifting their attacks to mobile and personal communication channels to reach users. It showed a 50% increase in attacks on mobile devices, with scams and credential theft at the top of the list of payloads.

“What we’ve been seeing is an increase in the use of voicemail and text as part of two-pronged phishing and BEC [business email compromise] campaigns,” said Jess Burn, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “The attackers leave a voicemail or send a text about the email they sent, either lending credibility to the sender or increasing the urgency of the request.”

The firm is receiving a lot of inquiries from clients about BEC attacks in general, Burn said. “With geopolitical strife disrupting ransomware gang activity and cryptocurrency — the preferred method of ransom payment — imploding as of late, bad actors are going back to old-fashioned fraud to make money,” he said. “So BEC is on the rise.”

Criminals using phishing attacks based on tax season, shopping deals

One of the iterations of phishing that people need to be aware of is spear-phishing, a more targeted form of phishing that often uses topical lures.

“While it is not a new tactic, the topics and themes might evolve with world or even seasonal events,” said Luke McNamara, principal analyst at cyber security consulting firm Mandiant Consulting. “For example, as we are in the holiday season, we can expect to see more phishing lures related to shopping deals. During regional tax seasons, threat actors might similarly try to exploit users in the process of filing their taxes with phishing emails that contain tax themes in the subject line.”

Phishing themes can also be generic, such as an email that appears to be from a technology vendor about resetting an account, McNamara said. “More prolific criminal campaigns might leverage less specific themes, and conversely more targeted campaigns by threat actors involved in activity like cyber espionage might utilize more specific phishing lures,” he said.

What people should do to ward off phishing attempts

Individuals can take steps to better defend themselves against phishing attacks.

One is to be vigilant when giving out personal information, whether it’s to a person or on a website.

“Phishing is a form of social engineering,” Burn said. “That means that phishers use psychology to convince their victims to take an action they may not normally take. Most people want to be helpful and do what someone in authority tells them to do. Phishers know this, so they prey upon those instincts and ask the victim to help with a problem or do something immediately.”

If an email is unexpected from a specific sender, if it’s asking someone to do something urgently, or if it’s asking for information or financial details not normally provided, take a step back and look closely at the sender, Burn said.

“If the sender looks legitimate but something still seems off, don’t open any attachments and mouse or hover over any hyperlinks in the body of the email and look at the URL the link points to,” Burn said. “If it doesn’t seem like a legitimate destination, do not click on it.”

If a suspicious-looking message comes in from a known source, reach out to the person or company via a separate channel and inquire as to whether they sent the message, Burn said. “You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and you’ll alert the person or company to the phishing scam if the email did not originate from them,” he said.

It’s a good idea to stay up on the latest phishing techniques. “Cyber criminals constantly evolve their methods, so individuals need to be on alert,” said Emily Mossburg, global cyber leader at Deloitte. “Phishers prey on human error.”

Another good practice is to use anti-phishing software and other cyber security tools as protection against potential attacks and to keep personal and work data safe. This includes automated behavior analytics tools to detect and mitigate potential risk indicators. “The use of these tools among employees has increased significantly,” Mossburg said.

Another technology, multi-factor authentication, “can provide one of the best layers of security to secure your emails,” McNamara said. “It provides another layer of defense should a threat actor successfully compromise your credentials.”

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 CNBC.com SOURCE

Businesses of all sizes can fall prey to cyberattacks that can cause major financial losses and even put companies out of business. And with more numerous and sophisticated threats like these expected in 2023, it’s more critical than ever for business owners to stay ahead of the latest cybersecurity trends and protect their organization from potential threats. Pay attention to the following trends to help keep your data safe this year and beyond.

Further emphasis on data privacy

As countries implement tougher data protection laws and the number of privacy regulations rises, organizations will be driven to adopt a privacy-first mentality out of necessity. For instance, Google has already taken a big leap in this direction by ending its use of third-party cookies and creating Privacy Sandbox. Apple has also included App Tracking Transparency as part of iOS 14.5 onwards, providing another layer of protection for their customers’ sensitive online information. Although these measures may not be flawless solutions yet, they’re still progressive strides being made toward greater security. Expect other companies to follow suit.

A harmonized global framework to govern the protection of information, privacy, and data

In 2023, countries around the world will strive for international cohesion regarding data privacy regulations. Standardizing security frameworks is expected to deliver better information and data privacy for all organizations and governments, as well as enable global commerce. Consistent data protection strategies and processes reduce risk while facilitating trust across supply chains and borders. Interoperable architectures that prioritize privacy and security can also help ensure the effective protection of information, which ultimately reduces the probability of a data breach or compromise.

A passwordless future

Passwordless security frameworks provide a real chance at fighting phishing while enhancing protection, privacy, scalability, and convenience. They not only improve overall organizational security by eliminating potential password breaches or credential stuffing attacks, but they also enable users to access services without worrying about forgotten usernames or passwords.

However, note that while passwordless authentication offers many advantages, it isn’t without risk. To ensure better security, you should also adopt a zero trust model along with identity access management practices and stringent safety measures. This will make the transition to passwordless authentication much smoother and more secure.

Growing Internet of Things (IoT) risks

Over the past decade, the IoT industry has been on a steady upswing, and is projected to remain so well into 2023. Unfortunately, as companies rely more heavily on this technology for efficiency and profitability, they will face a higher risk of cybersecurity breaches.

If you use IoT, then you should safeguard your connected devices by actively developing or revising relevant cyber strategies, maintaining device catalogs, and continuously patching endpoints. This will help secure your networks from potential threats and allow for more efficient monitoring practices.

The future of cybersecurity is ever-evolving. But by learning about the latest cybersecurity trends, companies can implement comprehensive approaches and protect themselves against malicious actors or incidents.

If you want to learn more about 2023 cybersecurity trends or if you have any questions about technology, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our IT experts are ready to help.

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

Information Technology Services

An I.T. Manager’s New Year’s Resolution

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to review your systems maintenance program, tweak your plans and processes and optimize your overall I.T. strategy.

Review, Evaluate and Optimize.
More than likely, your business could live or die based on your IT strategy. We have all become dependent on our technology both in our personal and professional lives, so be sure to give it the TLC it needs. Review your key procedures and plans such as network failure testing, disaster recovery, business continuity, virus protection and data backup (for an integrated, online backup, storage and sharing application, click here). For those of you with an on-site backup solution, now is the perfect time to run those backups with a test recovery. With erratic weather on the rise and winter around the corner, taking the time to be sure you have a tight, foolproof strategy in place to keep both your systems and your information protected from loss or damage.

Be Smart About Your Data.
Inadequate protection or spotty management of critical data can have a profound effect on sustainability. Regularly scheduled testing of your backup strategy and implementing a daily backup routine will help prevent the disasters that prove fatal for many companies.

  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control.
  • 34% of companies fail to test their onsite backup solution, and of those that do, 77% have found back-up failures.
  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.
  • Every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States.
  • Simple drive recovery can cost upwards of $7,500 and success is not guaranteed.

We recommend assessing your existing data protection strategy and learn what data repository and storage medium options are available. It’s important to understand traditional backup methods as well as the benefits of developing an enhanced protection solution that meets the needs of your particular business.

Think of it as a Flu Shot for your Systems.
There are lots of people out there determined to infect your computers with viruses. Optimize your security with new or updated anti-virus, Spyware and Malware software. Be wary of free anti-virus software that sounds too good to be true because it often is.  You get what you pay for, and software that protects your computer needs regular and consistent updating to stay useful because viruses are constantly being generated. This is especially important if you use a networked computer system. Do your homework,  invest in effective software and keep it updated. (For an easy-to-use, simple, and effective anti-malware application, try Malwarebytes)
Give your Computer a Tune Up.
Straight out of the box, computers have often been loaded with unnecessary programs at the factory.  So, from day 1, your computer is accumulating software programs, update reminders, “bonus” software, and random files that you don’t need and over time it will become increasingly sluggish. By taking a few important steps, you can get it running efficiently again, for a lot longer. The first thing you should do is disable the programs that start up when your computer boots.  While there are many places this can occur, the easiest one to check is the Startup menu in your Programs menu. Additionally, simple tasks such as clean out your Windows Registry, remove unneeded files and programs, empty your recycling bin or trash, and perform a disc defragmentation can make a huge difference.  Even if your computer has been performing slowly for some time, beginning this regimen is sure to produce results.

Email – a Blessing or a Burden?

Most of us are guilty of being slaves to our inbox, whether we like to admit it or not. We keep every thing that has ever been sent to us out of some sort of unfounded fear of not having it should we ever need it. And the “reply all” function makes it exponentially worse. Well, each of those emails, particularly the ones with large attachments, take up space on your computer  – and space in your head when you are actually trying to find something. Email is the third largest culprit of workplace interruptions and email mismanagement costs you money.   Take charge and clean up that clutter by creating folders and subfolders to organize your communications. Save the attachments that you will need later onto your hard drive in a logical place, then delete the email if its unnecessary. Set your computer to delete your Trash after 30 days. Anything you can think of to reduce the number of emails in your actual inbox will save you time and money down the road.

GCInfotech can get you started on the path to a leaner, more efficient IT strategy. If you don’t have an IT Manager to make a New Year’s Resolution for you, then give us a call.

It’s no secret that a clean work environment is more productive than a cluttered one. The same principle applies to your computer and mobile devices. If you allow them to accumulate dirt and dust, you’re going to start seeing glitches and hardware failures — both of which will affect your productivity. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips for cleaning your computer and mobile devices to maximize your productivity.

Desktop monitors

You spend several hours looking at your computer monitor, but have you ever thought about how much dust and dirt may be collecting on the screen? To keep your monitor looking bright and clear, gently wipe your monitor down with a soft and lint-free cloth, like a microfiber cloth. Don’t press too hard on the display, as this could damage the pixels on the monitor.

You can also use a mild cleaner specifically made for monitors if you have stubborn dirt or smudges that won’t come off. Don’t spray the cleaner directly on the monitor, instead spray a small amount of cleaner onto the cloth. Avoid using paper towels or harsh cleaning materials, as these can damage the screen.

Laptop and mobile screens

Like desktop monitors, laptop and mobile device screens need to be cleaned. You can also use a microfiber cloth to wipe the display. For tougher dirt or smudges, you can dip the cloth in a small amount of water or a mild cleaner, then squeeze the cloth to remove any excess liquid before using it to clean the device.

Some people suggest rubbing alcohol to remove fingerprints and disinfect screens. While this will work for some devices, many manufacturers advise against this because the alcohol can wear down the protective film on some screens.

Be sure to avoid using too much liquid or scrubbing too hard, as this could damage the display or cause malfunctions, which can be costly to repair. Also, don’t splash water directly onto the device, as this could damage electrical components, which can void your device warranty.

If you find dust or gunk in the edges or cracks of your screen, take the device to a mobile shop for a more thorough cleaning. Do not open the laptop or smartphone yourself, as this could also void the warranty.

Keyboards

Before you start cleaning your keyboard, be sure to unplug it. Then gently run cotton swabs dipped in water or rubbing alcohol over the surface of the keys to get rid of accumulated dirt and debris.

To remove dirt between keys, you can use a keyboard brush or compressed air, which you can buy at most office supply and computer stores. Use caution when using compressed air, as excessive force can damage the keys and circuitry.

To keep your keyboard clean, you can purchase a silicone cover that fits snugly over your keyboard. This will not only reduce dirt and dust, but it can also protect against spills or wear and tear on the keys.

Computer mice

Mice, like keyboards, can harbor a lot of dirt and grime from dust and your fingers. To clean it, unplug the mouse then use cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the surface. To clean the underside of the mouse, you can use a cotton swab to dislodge dust and dirt from the sensor.

Computer towers

Before you start cleaning your computer tower, unplug it from the wall and any other connected devices. To clean dust and dirt off the exterior of the case, use a soft cloth or non-static duster. Be careful when cleaning around ports and other components, as you don’t want to damage them.

Dust can also clog up cooling fans, which can cause your computer to overheat. If you want to clean the fans, you can use compressed air or a dry cloth. Try not to use too much force, as this could cause the fan to break.

By following these steps and taking proper care of your work devices, you can extend their life and keep them running smoothly. If you want more advice on how to optimize your IT, our technicians are here to help. Call us today.

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

In today’s digital world, it is essential for businesses of any size and in all industries to have a website. To build your own site, you will require the services of a web host, but what exactly does this entail? Let us give you an overview as we introduce the two most popular forms of web hosting.

What does web hosting mean?

Web hosting is an essential service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website internet-accessible. It is a type of hosting service where businesses can store and run their website files on a web server that is typically owned by the web host. Popular web hosting providers include DreamHost, HostGator, GoDaddy, and Bluehost.

When you acquire a web hosting plan, you are essentially renting space on the host’s server for a monthly fee. You can think of it as paying for an apartment in a building; the landlord (your web host) owns the entire building, and you get to rent out one of the apartments within it (web hosting). Web hosting also comes with an array of features and services that are designed to make your website easier to manage, including database access, email accounts, and domain purchases.

Are there different types of web hosting?

Depending on the provider, there could be many types of web hosting available. The main ones include:

  • Shared hosting – involves multiple websites sharing a single web server, with each website allocated its own resources. It is the most economical option, as it requires minimal technical knowledge and comes with features such as one-click software installation, email accounts, and unlimited website hosting.
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting – suitable for websites that require more control and flexibility than what shared hosting offers. A VPS is a virtual machine with its own dedicated resources, so you can access the server remotely and manage it as if it were a physical computer. The benefits of VPS hosting include better performance, higher levels of security and privacy, and the ability to scale as your website grows. However, it may require technically savvy personnel to manage and configure.
  • Dedicated hosting – provides the most resources and is ideal for large websites with high levels of traffic. The entire server is rented out by the client, so they can customize it to their own requirements and have full control over it. The drawback is that dedicated hosting can be an expensive option for businesses.
  • Cloud hosting – utilizes multiple cloud servers to create a virtual environment for websites. It is similar to VPS in terms of features and customization, but the main benefit is that cloud hosting can scale to meet changing website demands. Additionally, there are no hardware maintenance costs and an uptime guarantee.

Which web hosting type best fits your business?

Ultimately, the choice of web hosting type depends on the size and scope of your website, as well as your budget. If you are just starting out or have a small website, shared hosting might be the right choice.

On the other hand, businesses with larger websites will benefit from either VPS or dedicated hosting because of the flexibility they offer, especially if your website has several pages, expects high traffic, or requires special website features like an eCommerce component. Meanwhile, cloud hosting is recommended for businesses that need the highest levels of security, scalability, and uptime guarantee.

In the end, it is best to take some time to evaluate your website’s needs and choose a hosting plan that meets them.

If picking a suitable web hosting type and partner proves tricky, you should consult a professional. As IT experts ourselves, we can help you select the right web hosting provider. Give us a call to learn more.

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

November 30th — is National Computer Security Day, an annual event observed since 1988 to help raise awareness worldwide of computer-related security issues. It should also serve as a reminder to small business owners to protect their computer networks from hackers, fraudsters and identity thieves.

Computer security is sometimes referred to as cybersecurity or IT (information technology) security. It applies to the protection of computer-based equipment, the information stored on and services related to it from unauthorized and unintended access, change or destruction, including unplanned events and natural disasters.

Recently, the public opinion research company Ipsos Reid released the findings of a survey of U.S. small businesses revealing that many of them do not fully comprehend the impact a data breach can have on them. As a result, they take a passive approach to safeguarding sensitive information that leaves them vulnerable not only to a breach but potentially devastating financial and reputational damage as well.

The survey also found that:

  • Sixty-nine percent of small business owners are not aware or don’t believe that lost or stolen data would result in financial impact and harm to their businesses credibility.
  • Forty percent have no protocols in place for securing data.
    More than one-third of the respondents report that they never train staff on information security procedures.
  • Forty-eight percent have no one directly responsible for management of data security.
  • Just 18 percent would encourage new data privacy legislation requiring stricter compliance and penalties to information security threats.

Computer Security Day is an excellent time to ensure that your company is following best practices to protect yourself from data breach and identity theft. They include:

  • Analyzing possible security gaps in your organization and within your supply chain.
  • Implementing ongoing risk analysis processes and creating a security policy specifically designed to limit exposure to fraud and data breaches.
  • Regularly training employees in proper document management and encouraging their adoption of security best practices.
  • Implementing a “shred-all” policy for unneeded documents and keeping sensitive materials under lock and key until they are destroyed.
  • Paying particular attention to hard drives on computers or photocopiers. The only way to destroy data stored on hard drives is physical destruction.
  • Installing and using effective computer network protection such as anti-virus software and a firewall.

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.

Securing your small business is a never-ending battle, but there are some steps you can take to make it a little bit easier. One of those steps is making sure your firmware is up to date. But what is firmware and why is it crucial to update it regularly? Read on to learn more.

What does firmware do?

Firmware is a type of software that is stored on read-only memory (ROM) chips. It is used to control the hardware of a device, such as a computer, and is typically permanently programmed into the ROM. Firmware is different from other types of software, such as application software and operating system software, as it is designed to work with specific hardware components and cannot be easily transferred to another device.

Firmware typically contains instructions for how the hardware should interact with the rest of the system, as well as low-level routines for tasks such as booting up the device or managing memory. While firmware can be updated, it is usually more difficult than updating other types of software, and in some cases may require special equipment or knowledge. As a result, firmware updates are often reserved for fixing critical bugs or adding new features to the hardware.

Why is it crucial to upgrade firmware?

Microsoft’s 2021 Security Signals report warns that firmware attacks are increasing. These types of attacks force malware onto computer systems in order to disrupt the firmware on motherboards or hardware drivers. They can use such malware to remotely control the infected devices, extract data, and even block users from their devices and systems.

Updating your business devices’ firmware ensures that everyone is using the most recent version of the firmware. This can help prevent data breaches, as well as keep your devices running smoothly. In addition, updating firmware can help improve compatibility with other devices and software, as well as provide new features and bug fixes. In this way, updated firmware protects your business and maintains peak device performance.

What is the best way to install firmware updates?

The procedure for upgrading firmware varies from device to device. On iOS and Android devices, you may simply download and install firmware upgrades. However, devices such as routers will require firmware updates that can only be accessed from the manufacturer’s website or administrative console.

Updating the firmware may be time-consuming and laborious. Firmware updates might cause your devices to be reset, resulting in lost customizations on your computers, routers, and other devices. Additionally, you could also risk damaging your equipment if you do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.

Firmware updates are an important part of keeping your business secure, and it’s something that you should be doing on a regular basis. This task can be daunting, but it’s a crucial step that should not be ignored. If you need help getting started, contact us today. Our IT experts are here to guide you.

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

2022 sees rise in ‘unwanted’ emails as phishing attacks remain popular

A large proportion of your work emails may not be useful in any way, a new report examining billions of messages has claimed.

Research from Hornetsecurity analyzing 25 billion business emails found nearly half (40.5%) are ‘unwanted’, and could even represent a serious threat to businesses.

The report also revealed how email remains an incredibly popular threat vector, with the most common kind of malicious messages being phishing attacks – emails pretending to be from well-known companies, sometimes quite convincingly – which made up 39.6% of all threats.

False sense of security

When it comes to malicious email attachments, Archive files such as Zip made up the greatest proportion (28% of messages), followed by web files (HTML) at 21%. Text based files were also commonly employed, with tainted Microsoft Word documents making up 12.7%, PDF 12.4% and Excel 10.4%.

The report also found new methods are being developed by cybercriminals in response to the changing digital landscape. For instance, attacks exploiting the macro capabilities in Microsoft 365 are no longer viable since Microsoft disabled the feature last year, specifically to shore up its security.

As a result of this, new tactics have been adopted. HTML smuggling has risen, where hidden LNK or ZIP files are contained within web links to deploy malware.

Hornetsecurity CEO Daniel Hofmann warned that given the prevalence of cloud based systems, such as Microsoft 365, their use should merit the same level of caution. Hornetsecurity’s report found that a quarter of respondents did not know that 365 could be a potential gateway for ransomware – some even presumed it was invulnerable to such threats.

“Ongoing training should be in place to prevent fraudsters from manipulating the trust people have in Microsoft and other office systems”, Hoffman advised. He also made specific mention of Microsoft Teams, adding that “it’s also critical to ensure all data shared via this platform is backed up.”

Other reports have found a similarly high – or even higher – proportion of spam emails in people’s accounts. Recent findings from Kaspersky, for instance, put the figure between 45-85%.

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 TechRadar SOURCE