Tag : information

5 New Tech Tested Products for Your Business

Ever wondered what the best in tech products are at this very moment? The experts at Network World weigh in and give us a little glimpse of the newest innovations on the market.

Vidder PrecisionAccess – By rendering applications invisible to unauthorized users PrecisionAccess does a fantastic job at preventing application hacking. Even with stolen credentials hackers can’t access protected applications with unauthorized devices.precision-vpn_clip_image002

VeloCloud SD-WAN – VeloCloud provides a hybrid WAN solution that works with MPLS private links as well as ATT-U-Verse with cable or any broadband DSL links. One tech pro reported an increase from almost zero network visibility to nearly 100% network visibility. A great tool for IT management across multiple locations without staff needing to be onsite at all times. Facilitates communication and network visibility.  velocloudlogo

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) – With so many features that help with managing user-facing ports and devices, whats not to love about Cisco ISE. One huge factor reported by tech pros is the integration of TACACS within Cisco ISE, making it easy to run Cisco ISE as a Radius server or TACACS server for network devices. In addition to this, Cisco ISE significantly improves management of devices especially restricting machines from devices and sites they are not permitted to visit.Cisco_ISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intermedia SecuriSync – For backup and file sharing SecuriSync is the way to go. As a two-in-one tool for consolidated file backup and management of continuous file backups, Intermedia SecuriSync makes relevant files easier to access as they are all stored in a secured shared folder. If you have team members spread across different locations, this tool is very helpful in making sure the data is always backed up and kept secure. One platform with a master source keeps project collaboration as safe as it can be.securisync-logo-247x300

OpenSpan Transformation Platform – OpenSpan collects all employee desktop activities both productive and nonproductive, including time away from the computer. This platform allows businesses to evaluate from employee activities how employees work best and what can be improved upon in order to drive down operational costs and maximize revenue. Providing data about employee activities takes away the need for manual employee logs. Lack of employee logs that need to be analyzed by supervisors for key performance indicators (KPIs), such as call volumes, proves to be a huge time saver. OpenSpan Transformation Platform takes working smarter to a higher level.

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Fave Raves: 29 tech pros share their favorite IT products 

Software Defined Networking – 5 best practices

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Software Defined Networking, (SDN) provides cost-effective, easily adaptable management of network control and forwarding functions. In simple terms, SDN is the physical separation of the network control plane from the forwarding plane, where a control plane controls multiple devices. Software Defined Networking is an emerging technology and therefore lacks long term examples to be used as a guideline for success. Greg Stemberger, Principal Solutions Architect, has laid out what he has seen in his experience with SDN, creating a five step process for best practices of implementation.

The first step, as it most often it with any new technology employment it to define usage. Bringing in a new technology for your company is only helpful if the technology fits the needs of your organization. Determine the problems your company is facing and proceed to evaluate whether the desired technology will be able to handle and alleviate such problems accordingly. No one technology will be able to solve all your problems. Identify specific problems you believe SDN can fix, specifically just one problem at a time. As Stemberger suggests, “A single use case with tangible, positive results, offers more reliable, measurable outcomes than implementing SDN across your entire network.”

It is crucial to assemble a cross functional team with SDN. Utilizing SDN in the correct manner means having a skilled team with a united approach. A team of well versed members is the best way to manage SDN. You need people who can combine skill sets to work together. Increasing efficiency lets you IT staff spend more of their time on you IT infrastructure rather than operational overhead. Get everyone on the same page, toward a universal goal.

Remember to test in a less critical network area. This is common sense for most. Find a less critical network that you can play with first before moving to your network. This way you avoid uprooting your entire network and facing the wrath of angry coworkers. A small-scale SDN test allows the flexibility to learn and make mistakes.

After testing for a while, make sure to go over the data you gather and review your test case. Did it solve your current problem? Is it a wise investment to expand SDN to the entire network? Do you have the infrastructure ready on both a personnel and technical level?

As a gentle reminder that it’s okay to stay on the cautious side, it is suggested that you gain maturity before expanding deployment.  Rather than diving head first, proceed slowly and make the implementation gradual. Even if the SDN went better than expected in one area of the network, this is not a gurantee that the entire network will function at the same caliber. How will SDN performance change across higher trafficked areas of the network?

These steps are meant to evaluate risks, gain perspective and ensure efficiency. In order to get the most out of Software Defined Networking, it’s best to get all your ducks in a row.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: 5 steps to launching Software Defined Networking

ATM’s – The Next Target For Hackers

Use of outdated operating systems like Windows XP and lack of security means it’s still possible to crack ATM security, warn researchers.

As one of the millions of people who frequent their banks ATM at least once a week, the last thing on my mind is usually the security of the operating system. But when you think about the foundation of the machine taking your card and spitting back cash, you’ll realize this machine is just a PC running on old software. Easily susceptible to malware. Not comforting.

There was a 15 percent jump in ATM fraud activity between 2014 and 2015 and researchers believe statistics will only increase. Within this time cyber criminals were able to get their hands on more than $150 million. Researchers credit security vulnerabilities to the use of outdated platforms that no longer receive patches and fixes such as Windows XP.

“If we think of a modern ATM as a MS Windows PC with a money box attached to it that’s controlled through software, it is easy to see how it becomes an attractive target for any malware writer,” Sancho and Huq said.

Trend Micro and Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3) discovered two main malware threats that either provide hackers with the card details of the user, or give the hacker privileges to dispensed cash. Most worrisome is the lack of extreme measures hackers have to employ in order to infect ATMS. Simply put all hackers have to do is install malware onto the machines via a USB or the CD- drive.

At the moment, malware ATM fraud has only been reported in international cases, Eastern Europe and South America. Despite little activity in the United States, authorities are aware of increasing malware ATM concerns and are monitoring cyber criminal forums for activity.1447059385670243


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: A Windows PC with a money box attached: Why hacking ATMs is big business for criminals

Ransomware Attacked My Mom’s Computer

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How My Mom Got Hacked, a real life story about Brooklyn artist who receives a panicked phone call from her mom one day complaining her personal computer has been taken over by some sort of strange encryption. The story unravels the journey Alina Simone and her mom Inna endure in order to restore the files back from the hackers. After the initial shock of the situation sets in the two research their options and realize, as many do, that there is little to no answer as to how to get the files back without paying the hefty $500 ransom fee.

“I thought it was a typical mom rant about hr hardware crashing and having to pay the repair people $500 because her computer crashed.” Like many of us do when our parents call us after a long days work, Alina didnt take her mom seriously. Seeing as it was Thanksgiving weekend, a major snowstorm had just hit, and the ransom deadline was already decreasing to less than a 24 hour bracket, Alina and her mother were frantic. Her mother didn’t make the deadline, and according the the hackers the ransom would double due to this. Inna pleaded with the hackers and they let her off with $500 ransom and all her files. Luckily.

Others, such as the case of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center that was hacked in early February and had to pay a whooping 40 bitcoin, $17,000 ransom, in order to get their system back on track.

“The value of my personal files and pictures caps off somewhere. But [if] I encrypt the back-end of your corporate system and prevent you from processing payments, that has a tremendous value. And if the hacker can recognize the value of what he has, the ransom can be more dynamically set based on the content of the data.”explains Grayson Milbourne, Security Intelligence Director for Internet security firm Webroot.

From personal to corporate, ransomware is most certainly an eye opening experience to security vulnerabilities.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: The Growing Threat of Ransomware

VPN, you need one

tunnelA Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is used to connect a private network, such as a company’s internal network, using public wires. In other words you can use an other IP other than your own to appear you are something other than where you actually are. Pretty nifty.

The use of VPNs started as a way for work at home users to access their workplace network just like if they were working in the office. Benefits reach farther now than just work from home capabilities. It is difficult for advanced malware to self install through open ports because the computer will always appear to be another system someplace else. This other machine is often a server that is more heavily protected and harder to attack. Not a sure fire way to avoid attack, but most certainly a viable preventative option.

This presents an extra method of protection, basically playing a little hid and go seek with potential malware. Increased mobile internet usage will eventual open a new vulnerability for hackers to infiltrate, and VPNs could be the eventual answer to avoiding attacks on mobile devices as well. Need for mobile phone VPNs could be the next big thing for data protection.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: You Need a VPN, or You’re Screwed

Who’s in Charge of Your Cybersecurity?

 

The first step in successful cyber-security is getting every employee on board. It is pretty obvious that some hardware goes into creating a security shield around important data. As an Information Technology company ourselves, we already know the value Firewall, and anti virus software have on making your network more secure. However, in order to adopt a more proactive protection policy, the groundwork needs to be laid, starting with company culture and communication. It is increasingly important to enforce awareness and education in order to save a lot of headache later down the line.

The CEO of the company needs to take interest in cyber-security before any of the employees can get on board. Simple risk analysis is a great start. Buying products online is not sufficient. A knowledgeable IT professional should be on hand. You need someone who is going to leverage the right equipment as well as set security measures that fit your establishment.

“The cyber threat cannot be solved by buying products” says Tim Holman, president of the Information Systems Security Association in the UK. Holman has the right idea, if your company is not equipped with the right skills to manage these products they are basically junk. It is important to attack cyber-security the way a hacker does. Common sense leads us to find that reducing the amount of sensitive data stored will always be a great measure. Restricting access to information and getting cyber liability cover is another way to lessen the probability of attack.

As information continues to flow in and out of your business remember that with any exchange over the internet comes a great deal of risk. Ensure your company professionals understand how to practice good security efforts. Never open an attachment that is unfamiliar, back up data in two separate places, and utilize solid Firewall and anti-virus software. Keep all platforms up to date with the latest patches and security fixes. Top to bottom, cyber-security is the responsibility of all.bva_withninja_teal-centered

 


 

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: The CISO, the CIO, the CEO, or you: Who is really responsible for cybersecurity?

U.S. unlocks iPhone in San Bernardino Case, without Apple’s Help

applefbiAccording to the New York Times, law enforcement has figured out a way to sidestep the encryption on the iPhone in the San Bernardino case, and they did it without the help of Apple. The U.S. Department of Justice has since dropped legal action against Apple as they no longer need their assistance. The government pushed relentlessly for Apple to help unlock the phone. They even went as far as to say that an Apple created encryption key was the only method for gathering the stored data on the smartphone. We now know this to not be the case.

Apple’s main concern with complying to the government’s cry for help came from an understandable viewpoint. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said creating a backdoor for this specific case would lead to a slippery slope for future cases with encryption components.

As it turns out Apple is off the hook for the time being, thanks to Cellebrite, an Israeli security firm. This firm provides mobile forensic services and assisted the FBI in unlocking the smartphone.

Withdrawing from prosecution leaves many questions open ended for future encryption cases. Something tells me this won’t be the last time Apple and other private companies will be faced with a difficult decision to make. Should such companies be forced to aid in encryption breaking for law enforcement purposes, or only special cases? What guidelines should be made?

If you would like to educate yourself further about the information presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcmag.com/news/343264/u-s-unlocks-iphone-ends-legal-action-against-apple

Ransomware

 

Ransomware Malware Ransomware is the devilish and extremely debilitating program designed to lock and encrypt files in order to extort money from consumers, business owners, and even government officials. It seems that no one is safe in the fight against ransomware. Most ransomware programs are targeted at the most popular operating system, Windows. Ransomware programs can and will target other systems such as Android applications, Mac OS X and possibly even smart TVs in the near future. Not only is this an unsettling forecast for consumers, but also a call to action for preventative measures to protect your most important data files.

What can be done? Most users have learned the hard way that it is better to back up sensitive data to an external hard drive. However, this type of malware is tuned in to this. When a ransomware program infiltrates a computer, it infects all accessible drives and shared networks, encrypting all files found. This makes for a very irritating discovery of locked data across the board.

Rather than rely on the external hard drive method for backups, it is suggested that consumers adopt a new best practice. Ensure at least three copies of sensitive data are made, and stored in two different formats. At least one of these copies should be stored off-site or offline. This way if ransomware locks files away consumers are not forced into a sticky situation of deciding whether to risk paying for the data retrieval or losing the data forever.

What to do when faced with ransomware? Not much can be done once ransomware has attacked. Most security researchers advise not paying for files to be unlocked, as there is no guarantee that the hackers will provide the deception key once paid. Security vendors also worry about the implications for fueling the fire. The more consumers give in and pay for the safe return of their data, the further encouraged ransomware criminals become to continue this practice of extortion.

If I haven’t said it enough already, I will say it again. Prevention is key. Know how ransomware reaches your computer. Be especially careful of email attachments, word documents with macro code, and malicious advertisements. Always keep the software on your computer up to date. It is especially important to ensure that OS, browsers such as Flash Player, Adobe Reader, and Java are always updated when available. Unless you have verified the senders, never enable the execution of macros in documents. Finally and most importantly, perform daily activities from a limited user account rather than an administrative one. And always, always, utilize a well running and up to date antivirus program.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3041001/security/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-ransomware.html

Three Unbelievably Tiny Computers

The market for a device that can easily replace the standard PC has taken a new approach to size. Don’t be fooled, you may be surprised when you find out what is hiding inside these small machines.

Zotac Zbox Sphere

This computer not only breaks the mold in terms of size, but shape. The Zbox is in fact, not a box, but a sphere. Simply twist the circular top and feast your eyes on the interior powerhouse of the computer. The top half of this tiny PC houses an Intel Core i5-42WP 300U motherboard and 4GB of memory. The back panel provides six USB ports, as well as an HDMI and DisplayPort. In addition, the Zbox includes a 802.11ac WiFi module and a spot for an Ethernet cable if preferred. This almost bowling ball like computer packs a serious punch in terms of creativity and power. WP 4

 

 

 

 

Intel Compute Stick

This tiny PC resembles a USB thumb drive, and has stirred massive attention since its release in early 2015. The Intel Compute Stick plugs into any monitWP 5or’s HDMI port, an added bonus for anyone working in tight spaces. Concerned about over heating? Fear not, this tiny machine has a fittingly tiny fan inside, ensuring fast performance without
overheating. Unfortunately the stick does not have an internal battery and thWP 6erefore must run off micro USB power at all times in order to function. What the Intel Compute Stick lacks in battery capabilities it makes up for with a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, with micro SD support for up to 128GB of storage. That’s a lot of power crammed into 4.5 inches.

 

 

 

 

 

Mouse Box

The tiniest computer of the three is cleverly disguised as a computer mouse. The Mouse Box device contains a quad-core 1.4GHz ARM processor, a 128GB solid-state drive, and built-in b/g/n WiFi. The wireless image transfer module allows for easy visual transmitting in addition to the convenient micro HDMI port. The coolest part? Sticking with the mouse motif, the Mouse Box doesn’t need to be plugged in. The inductive charging mat doubles as a mousepad. Although the Mouse Box is not up for public release quite yet, they most certainly have our attention.  WP 8

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.geek.com/chips/the-11-tiniest-most-powerful-computers-your-money-can-buy-1627324/

Microsoft OneDrive raises the bar for cloud storage

Microsoft OneDrive Cloud Storage The Microsoft OneDrive, otherwise known as “device cloud”, is available free of charge for anyone who has created a Microsoft account. Included are 5 GB of free storage, easy access to media files, folder syncing, documents, as well as playing and viewing capabilities in addition to simple storage.

Similar to the iCloud for iPhones and iPads, OneDrive allows iPhone, Android, and Windows phone users to automatically upload photos to the OneDrive camera roll. Combining online storage and syncing into one device, One Drive offers a new convenience for Microsoft users who had to previously deal with separate storage and syncing services. Windows 10 has allowed OneDrive to grow as a built-in capacity. If you utilize other technology platforms OneDrive is compatible with Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.

 

PROS-

Excellent photo viewing and slideshow capabilities.

Clear interface.

Works with Windows phone, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Easily retrieves any file from a PC.

 

CONS-

Storage offerings shrinking according to a recent release from Microsoft.

Not a share target for Windows 10 apps.

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409569,00.asp