Author: David Shelley

50 Arizona Local Businesses Breached

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Restaurants groups really need to get their technology together and secure their environments.  A data breach may have compromised the personal information of customers who patronized any of 50 Arizona businesses last month.  This affected certain restaurants and hotels between Jan. 3 and Jan. 24.  This affected businesses such as Chompie’s, Someburros, and Zipps Sports Grill.

What is a VPN and Why do you need it?

VPNWhat is a VPN? A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and the VPN’s Server. No one can see what you do on your desktop outside of that VPN connection. This keeps you safe from Hackers and scammers looking to access your personal information. If you travel and access public Wi-Fi this is a great tool to protect you and your web traffic. I mean who doesn’t go to a Starbuck’s and immediately log into their Wi-Fi?! Without a VPN tool you are opening your personal information to a hacker or scammer just looking for a quick payday.

When choosing the right VPN tool for you and or your company do not focus on the price, look for performance, type of encryption used, support, and reputation. Once you’ve found a company that meets these requirements see If they have a free trial so you can test out their service, you don’t want to get stuck with a slow speeds and unreliable servers. In this day and age there is no reason to deal with issues like that.

Private Internet Access VPN, NordVPN, and Hotspot Shield Elite are three good VPN tools to start researching if you are interested in locking down your web traffic.

Windows 7 and 8.1 Activation Issues

Windows 10

Things you should know:

  • A Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product key cannot activate Windows 10. Windows 10 uses its own unique product key.
  • By default, Windows 10 builds are pre-keyed, meaning, you do not have to enter a product key and should not be prompted to enter one as long as you upgraded from an activated Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 license or Windows 10 Preview build.
  • If you perform a clean install on first attempt, you will have to start over from an activated Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 installation.
  • If you are prompted to enter a product key, click Do this later and give it a few days, Windows 10 will activate automatically.
  • Activation servers are being overwhelmed at the moment because of the volume of upgrades, so give it some time if you get an error message such as (0XC004E003, ,0x8007000D, 0x8007232b or 0x8007007B) Windows 10 will eventually activate as long as you upgrade using the appropriate method.
  • There is no need to know your Windows 10 product key, read the following ‘Understanding Product Activation in Windows 10
  • “Windows 10 handles keys differently. When you upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, the process registers your computers hardware, and qualifying OS with a Microsoft Product Activation Server. The device is then considered a Windows 10 device.
  • Subsequently anytime you re-install (or clean install) the installation checks with those servers, finds the unique installation ID and produces the validation”

Protect Your Company with Two-Factor Authentication | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

In response to several high-profile cyber attacks, businesses are beginning to understand that conventional authentication is not always enough. Now, the Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit has detailed a new Skeleton Key malware which bypasses Active Directory authentication.

For businesses that use Active Directory, this poses a serious danger. The malware allows attackers to use remote access services. This activity is completely invisible to legitimate users. As a result, attackers could continue to use remote services for prolonged periods of time without detection.

Unfortunately, this reflects a more serious issue than a single piece of malware. An increase in cyber crime makes a single authentication method inadequate and, if your business only uses one method, it is a matter of time before it is exploited.

It is time to make the switch to two-factor authentication. Your business could depend on it.

Beware of Hackers for Hire | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

In the past few years, remote working has grown in popularity. More and more businesses are outsourcing work to external suppliers, reducing the need for in-house expertise and costly resources. However, with the growth of online platforms for finding skilled professionals, it was inevitable that this new approach to business would be exploited.

Hacker’s List is an online platform for posting hacking tasks. Suppliers can then place a bid to win the work, which can range from breaching social media accounts to exposing confidential corporate data. So far, many projects have included requests from students to have their school grades adjusted by an experienced cyber criminal.

Of course, the owners of Hacker’s List include strict terms and conditions to forbid illegal activity. However, this rule does not seem to be strongly enforced at this point.

Mobile Malware| BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

Most of us understand that chargeware, ransomware, and other malicious malware applications are just as likely to occur on mobile devices as desktop and laptop PCs. In particular, Android devices with no manufacturer control over installed applications present a significant risk.

Now, mobile security company Lookout shows a sharp rise in the frequency of mobile malware infection. The company’s report draws on data collected on a global basis and, while an upward trend is evident throughout, the region-specific data is particularly interesting.

For example, in Western Europe, chargeware is more common than in the United States, where premium-rate billing mechanisms are banned.

However, the message is clear. Robust mobile security plays an essential role in securing your digital world.

 

What to Consider When Creating a Cybersecurity Policy| BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

Most organizations already understand the importance of robust perimeter protection as part of a cybersecurity policy. Firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and antivirus software helps to secure your network as data enters into it.

However, new information from security provider Vormetric suggests that 93% of US corporations are vulnerable to threats that originate from within the organization. This is likely to be a combination of malicious data theft by employees, accidental misuse, and malware.

With the growth of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), it is more difficult than ever to monitor, assess, and mitigate the threats that may exist in your network. As this data shows, it remains an essential consideration when creating cybersecurity policies.

 

FreedomPop gives Unlimited WiFi for $5 per Month | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

Since the company was founded, FreedomPop has attempted to disrupt the restrictive telecoms market with free cellular voice and data plans. Now, the company is going even further with unlimited WiFi for just $5 per month.

The service will be provided through 10 million hotspots across the United States, from a provider that the company is keeping anonymous. Thanks to automatic sign-on, users will be able to quickly move between these public connection points with little or no service interruption.

Initially, the service is available to users of the FreedomPop Android application. However, the company promises an iPhone application to follow soon.

Compare your Internet Speed with Steam| BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

PC gaming platform Steam has transformed the digital marketplace, allowing gamers to download titles directly from the internet. However, the move away from boxed copies of entertainment titles depends on the continued development of a fast, responsive infrastructure.

Highlighting the differences in network performance around the world, the Steam Global Traffic Map now includes average download rates on a per-country basis. Interestingly, this data is grouped by service providers, making it easy to see how performance varies between providers in the same geographic location.

Currently, South Korea appears to offer the fastest network performance, with an average download rate of 49.8 Mbps.