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As businesses have become more reliant on digital technology for day-to-day operations, they’ve also become a favorite target of internet threats. If you want to protect your organization from cyberattacks, make sure your security is clear of the following flaws.

Open wireless networks

With one main internet line and a couple of wireless routers, a whole office can go online. A wireless internet connection saves money, but there is an inherent risk that it’s an unsecure network.

If you need a secure network, plugging in a wireless router and creating a basic network is not enough. If you don’t set a password on your routers, then anyone within range can connect. With fairly simple tools and a bit of know-how, hackers and criminals can start capturing data that goes in and out of the network, and even attacking the network and computers attached.

Therefore, you should take steps to ensure that all wireless networks in the office are secured with strong passwords. Many internet service providers that install hardware when setting up networks will often just use an easy password for the router, such as the company’s main phone number. These need to be changed.

Email is not secure

Most companies that have implemented a new email system in the past couple of years will most likely be secure. This is especially true if they use cloud-based options or well-known email systems like Exchange, which offer enhanced security and scanning.

The businesses at risk are those using older systems like POP, or systems that don’t encrypt passwords (what are known as “clear passwords”’). If your system doesn’t encrypt information like this, anyone with the right tools and a bit of knowledge can capture login information and compromise your systems and data.

If you are using an older email system, it is advisable to upgrade to a newer one, especially if it doesn’t use encryption.

Mobile devices that aren’t secure enough

Mobile devices offer a great way to stay connected and productive while out of the office. However, if you use your tablet or phone to connect to office systems but don’t have security measures in place, you compromise your networks.

Imagine you have linked your work email to your tablet but don’t have a screen lock enabled, and you lose your device. Anyone who picks it up will have access to your email and all your sensitive information. The same goes if you install a mobile device app with malware on it. Your infected device will spread this malicious program to your entire network and cause major disruption to your business.

Take steps to ensure that employee devices have adequate security, such as passcodes, and that your company has sufficient security policies in place to govern their use. Lastly, mobile device management solutions are specifically designed to prevent your bring your own device (BYOD) policy from being a risk with employee devices causing havoc to your network.

Anti-malware software that isn’t maintained

These days, it is essential that you have anti-malware software installed on all devices in your company, and that you take the time to configure these properly.

It could be that scans are scheduled during business hours. If you install these solutions onto your systems and they start to scan during work time, most employees will just turn the scanner off, leaving your systems vulnerable.

The same goes for not properly ensuring that these systems are updated. Updates are important for software, especially anti-malware applications, because they implement new databases that contain recently discovered threats and the fixes for them.

Therefore, anti-malware software needs to be properly installed and maintained if they are going to even stand a chance of keeping systems secure.

Lack of firewalls

A firewall is a network security tool that can be configured to block data traffic from entering and leaving the network. For instance, it can protect data from being accessed from outside the network. While many modems or routers include firewalls, they are often not robust enough for business use.

What you need is a firewall that covers the whole network at the point where data enters and exits (usually before the routers). These are business-centric tools that should be installed by an IT partner like a managed services provider (MSP), in order for them to be most effective.

How do I ensure proper business security?

The best way a business can ensure that their systems and networks are secure is to work with an IT partner like us. Our managed services can help ensure that you set up proper security measures in place and that they are managed properly. Tech peace of mind means your focus can be on creating a successful company instead.

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

Although more generally secure than Windows computers and Android devices, Apple computers and devices have security threats, too. Thinking that Macs and iPhones don’t need protection is just asking for trouble. Follow these tips to bolster the security of all your business gadgets.

Keep abreast of current security threats

Educate your organization about the most common ways systems are infected or hacked. Apple users in your organization must be aware of recent security updates on iPhones and Macs, for instance.

  • iPhones – Security and privacy are key concerns with every iOS update, which is why Apple highlighted its privacy and security features when it released iOS 13, the latest iOS version. However, in June, it was reported that 38% of Apple iOS apps contained critical vulnerabilities, which was only slightly lower compared to Android’s 43%. The vulnerabilities were reportedly caused by weaknesses in security mechanisms.
  • Macs – In 2017’s WannaCry/WannaCrypt ransomware attacks, only Windows machines were affected. This shows that Apple does a fairly good job of guarding against threats. That said, Macs are certainly not immune to malware and viruses. In 2019, a malware called OSX/CrescentCore was reportedly found on several websites and worked by installing an infected file or a Safari extension.

Practice secure web browsing

The vast majority of security breaches happen when a user installs programs, knowingly or unknowingly, or clicks on links in emails or on the Web that contain malware. Take these precautions to avoid intrusions:

  1. Never open email attachments from unknown senders especially those with file extensions that are for programs, i.e., DMG. These include attachments in emails from large companies and financial institutions. When in doubt, contact the sender to verify.
  2. Always hover over links before you click on them. If you receive an email with a link in it, hover over the URL to see where it links to and look for spelling or grammar mistakes, or any other indication that it’s a fraudulent link.
  3. Don’t automatically open any downloaded apps. Verify an app by taking a look at its name and its source information. If the site appears to be different from where you downloaded it, the app may be infected.
  4. When you try to watch content from any random website, many sites will ask you to download a plugin or video player. It’s best to avoid these sites altogether because many of them are known to host malware that can install itself.
  5. When in doubt, don’t take action. If you’re unsure about a link or app you are being asked to download, simply don’t click on it or download it.

Install antivirus scanners

It’s amazing how many Mac users don’t bother with an antivirus scanner. These tools are indispensable for keeping your systems and data secure. There are a number of excellent scanners out there, so make sure to pick a solution that covers both desktop and mobile devices to ensure optimal security. We can also help you pick the best solution for your business.

Consult IT experts

Strengthen the security of your computers, mobile devices, and network by working with an IT expert like us. We take the time to get to know how you use your devices to discover your security needs and recommend an integrated, effective solution for you. 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

These days, the security of various IT systems is constantly being called into question. From attacks on mobile devices to ever-increasing types of malware, many businesses are struggling to stay on top of their security. One of the best ways to stay protected is to be aware of common cybersecurity issues. To that end, here are five common ways your security can be breached.

#1. You are tricked into installing malicious software

One of the most common ways a system’s security is breached is through downloaded malware. In almost every case where malware is installed, the user was tricked into downloading it.

A common trick used by hackers is planting malware in software hosted on warez and torrent websites. When users visit the site, they are informed that they need to download the software in order for the site to load properly. Once downloaded, the malware infects the system. In other cases, hackers send emails with a malware-infected attachment.

There is a nearly limitless number of ways you can be tricked into downloading and installing malware. Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid this:

  • Never download files from an untrusted location. If you are looking at a website that is asking you to download something, make sure it’s from a company you know and trust. If you are unsure, it’s best to avoid downloading and installing the software.
  • Always look at the name of the file before downloading. A lot of malware is often disguised with names that are similar to legitimate files, with only a slight spelling mistake or some weird wording. If you are unsure about the file, then don’t download it. Instead, contact us so we can verify its authenticity.
  • Stay away from torrents, sites with adult content, and video streaming sites. These sites often contain malware, so avoid them altogether.
  • Always scan a file before installing it. Use your antivirus scanner to check downloaded apps before opening them. Most scanners are equipped to do this by right-clicking the file and selecting Scan.

#2. Hackers are able to modify the operating system (OS) settings

Many users are logged into their computers as admins. Being an administrator allows you to change all settings, install programs, and manage other accounts.

If a hacker manages to access your computer with you as the admin, they will have full access to your computer. This means they could install other malicious software, change settings, or even completely hijack the machine. The biggest worry about this, however, is if a hacker gets access to a computer used to manage the overall network. Should this happen, they could gain control of the entire network and do as they please.

To avoid this, limit the administrator role only to users who need to install applications or change settings on the computer. Beyond this, installing security software like antivirus scanners and keeping them up to date, as well as conducting regular scans, will help reduce the chances of being infected, or seeing infections spread.

#3. Someone physically accesses your computer

These days, it seems like almost every security threat is trying to infect your IT infrastructure from the outside. However, there are many times when malware is introduced into systems, or data is stolen, because someone has physically accessed your systems.

Let’s say you leave your computer unlocked when you go for lunch and someone walks up to it, plugs in a malware-infected USB drive, and physically infects your system. They could also access your system and manually reset the password, thereby locking you out and giving them access.

Secure yourself by setting up a password to control access to your computer. You should also lock, turn off, or log off from your computer whenever you step away from it.

Beyond that, disable drives like CD/DVD and connections like USB if you don’t use them. This will limit the chances of anyone using these removable media to infect your computer.

#4. Someone from within the company infects the system

We’ve seen a number of infections and security breaches that were carried out by a disgruntled employee. They could delete essential data, or remove it from the system completely. Some have even gone so far as to introduce highly destructive malware. The most effective way to prevent this, aside from ensuring your employees are happy, is to limit access to systems.

Your employees don’t need access to everything, so reexamine what your employees have access to and make the necessary adjustments. For example, you may find that people in marketing have access to finance files or even admin panels. Revoke unnecessary access rights and ensure that employees only have access to the files they need.

#5. Your password is compromised

Your password is the main way you can verify and access your accounts and systems. The issue is, many people have weak passwords. And with the steady increase in the number of stolen user account data, it could only be a matter of time before they can crack your password and compromise your account.

To add insult to injury, many people use the same password for multiple accounts, which could lead to a massive breach. Therefore, you should use strong and different passwords for your accounts.

To further enhance your password security, utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA), which uses more than one method of verifying a user’s identity, such as a fingerprint or a one-time code.

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

Microsoft has warned Windows users to install an “emergency” out-of-band security patch.

The software giant said in an advisory that a security flaw in some versions of Internet Explorer could allow an attacker to remotely run malicious code on an affected device. A user could be stealthily infected by visiting a malicious web page or by being tricked into clicking on a link in an email.

“An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could take control of an affected system,” said Microsoft.

Microsoft said the vulnerability was under active exploitation, though details of the flaw had not been made public.

More than 7 percent of all browser users are running affected versions of Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11, according to recent data. All supported versions of Windows are affected, including Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, as well as several Windows Server versions.

Most users can install the patches using Windows Update.

Microsoft also issued a fix for its in-built malware scanner Windows Defender, which if exploited could have triggered a denial-of-service condition resulting in the app failing to work.

The company said no action was required by users to remediate the bug in Windows Defender.

It’s rare but not unheard of for Microsoft to release emergency security patches outside of its typical monthly patching cycle. The company typically releases security fixes in the second week of each month on its so-called Patch Tuesday, but will also release fixes for significant vulnerabilities under active exploitation as soon as they are made available.

Homeland Security warned in its own advisory urging affected users to install the patches.

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 TechCrunch.com  SOURCE