Author Archives: Tina

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Petya Ransomware, can it hit you?

Ransomware is such a scary thing. The thought of losing all of your files is horrifying! With the latest Petya ransomware hitting 65 countries it seems that the cybercriminals have taken things to a new level.

Last month, the WannaCry ransomware infected thousands of computers and was stopped when developers found a flaw in the code. The Petya ransomware is the Internet crime world’s touche’ since it appears they have fix the flaw in this version of the code. So researcher are back to the drawing board to come up with a new solution to combat this version of the ransomware. Security researcher Amit Serper of Boston’s Cybereason has identified a method that essentially acts as a vaccine for computers infected by the malware. His method tricks the ransomware into thinking that it’s already operating on a machine. Serper is being widely praised for the innovation — but he says the fix is “a temporary workaround.” It’s a workaround that is needed, in my opinion, until we can get this one under control.

So what can you do to protect your files?

  1. BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!  – make sure you have a reliable backup both onsite and remote.  Check to make sure you have at least a week of good backups (we recommend 30 days).
  2. UPDATE YOUR ANTI-VIRUS – having proper, up to date anti-virus and malware protection can go a long way to protecting you against these types of threats.
  3. APPLY SYSTEM UPDATES – I know too many people that get the notice that they have pending updates for Windows and just ignore it.  These updates are released for a reason so make sure you keep your system up to date with the latest security and software patches.


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Cabling done right

I had the opportunity to visit a prospect that needed some help with network issues. They had problems with slow connections, intermittent Internet, voice calls cutting out, etc. So, I told them I’d come by and see if I could determine what could be causing their problems. On the surface, everything seemed normal. Then I got to see their IT closet and found the problem. The cable management was awful! I really wasn’t sure where to begin to start identifying the issue.

When an office has a network issue, the ability to quickly located and identify key cabling in the network cannot be overstated. Properly run and labeled cable isn’t just aesthetically pleasing but it’s highly functional as well. Let’s say your company has a computer that will not connect to the network and you need to troubleshoot the cabling. Which environment would be easier to do so in, A or B?


















When your network is down you lose production by the minute. Having a clean, well-organized, well labeled network that is properly designed can make the difference between minutes and hours to identify, locate, and solve network issues. Whether you outsource your IT administration or have a network admin in house, you need to have proper cable management and everything should be labeled. Your current network administrator may not always be your network administrator. Time is money, and nothing is more essential than your company’s data infrastructure. Your cables are the veins that pump your data, provide your Internet, and help you communicate with the World.  Just food for thought.  When you open your network closet can you tell what does what?  If not you should have it evaluated and fixed.

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Small business is big business for cybercrime & criminals

Don’t be fooled thinking that your company is too small to be of interest to cybercriminals. Your credit card numbers, employee payroll information and social security numbers, your tax documents are just as valuable as a large companies. The statistics posted by Trend Micro in their April 2017 report are alarming:
• Cyber criminals unleash a new threat targeting Small Business every second
• The cost to the victims can be huge – the FBI estimates that $6 million was stolen by one malware attack of multiple businesses called Cryptolocker in 2017
• Small businesses are common targets of cyber criminals since many don’t invest in security like larger companies


How can you better protect your users and your network from Cybercrime?

Password protect everything!

A good, strong password is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from cybercrime. From your computer, to your server, to your handheld devices, the information you store on these devices is only as secure as the password that is protecting it. Passwords should include:
– the use of both upper- and lower-case letters (case sensitivity)
– inclusion of one or more numerical digits
– inclusion of special characters, e.g. @, #, $ etc
– don’t use common words from the dictionary
– don’t use personal information like your birthday, kids name, etc.
– and should be as long as possible

Don’t save your information!

Many website will ask if you would like to save your password or personal information in order to automatically log in the next time you visit the site. Although this is convenient, it is not safe. If your device is breached or stolen this gives the cyber-criminal access to websites you have previously visited such as bank sites, vendor sites, etc. It is best to choose to enter your information every time you login. This helps protect your device but also keeps your passwords fresh in your mind.

Protect your mobile devices!

Mobile devices have a high theft rate so protecting them in every way you can is smart. There are several third party applications that can locate and wipe your smart-phone and laptop if stolen. Try a program like “find my iPhone” or “phone sheriff” to remotely locate, lock, or wipe a phone.

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IRS W-2 Email Fraud Alert

Warning: The IRS has issued an alert to warn of a new email phishing scheme involving W-2 information. The sender is posing as a top-level administrator, such as the CEO or HR Director, and requesting that you update your W-2 information or send them your W-2(s). Please ensure that if your employees receive a suspicious email, they do not respond or interact with any included links or attachments, but rather report it to you directly.
Here are some additional tips to help you and your employees stay secure:
• Keep your username and password confidential
• Use a different password for each system
• Always confirm you have logged out after using a website
• Be mindful on shared computers
• Install anti-virus software and keep it updated
• Be vigilant in regards to emails requesting sensitive information

Last but not least, ask a professional if something doesn’t look right.

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Support for older versions of Internet Explorer ended January 12th

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. If you are running older versions of IE Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support. On current versions of their software Microsoft updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware, helping to keep users and their data safer.
Although I never recommend that you are an early adopter, staying current is important. IE11 had been out since late in 2013, so if you’re not running it you are really behind.

Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the web standards that power today’s websites and services. Microsoft encourages customers to upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest browser for a faster, more secure browsing experience.

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