06-Jan-2017   |   ,,   |   0

Why You Should Be Cautious About How You Share Files

Files Shared to Accounts With Poor Password Security
Most, if not all cloud services provide each individual user with their own account for file storage and whatnot. These accounts are all protected by a specific password, which is almost always decided by the user. The unfortunate part of this is that the password is basically all that stands between the hacker and the contents of the account, as well as any files shared with that account. Passwords made without concern for account security could have the potential to leave your data vulnerable. There’s no guarantee that the account you’re sharing files with is using a complex password.

The security of data stored in a cloud solution is only as strong as the weakest link. Business owners need to ensure that each password used by employees, and anyone who accessed company data, is strong.

Files Shared with Unauthorized Hardware
If you have employees that work remotely, you need to consider that these employees might be using older technology that may not be cleared with IT. Any device that’s accessing company data can be considered an access point. Unapproved devices could potentially be infected by malware or outdated devices may not have proper security updates and patches.

Another example is an employee who travels a lot using a public Wi-Fi connection, or a public PC in a local library or a hotel lobby. If these devices are being used to send and receive files with the cloud, this data could be put at risk. Implementing a solid Bring Your Own Device policy and educating your staff on security best practices will help ensure that this doesn’t happen.

The Security of the Cloud Service Provider Itself
You may be taking advantage of top-tier security solutions for your in-house network, but your cloud service provider may not have taken the same measures to protect your data. Whatever your chosen cloud service is, make sure that it’s secure and universal throughout your company, and that it’s the standard way of sharing and storing files for your business. The last thing you want is for your employees to use an unapproved cloud sharing solution that your business has no control over.

By keeping these risks in mind, your can share files with confidence. For more information on how to achieve such a feat, CR-T can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 801-222-0930.

04-Jan-2017   |   ,,   |   0

Tip of the Week: How to Navigate Windows 10 and Find the App You Need

Now that the Start menu is back in Windows 10, you have plenty of opportunities to search for not just your applications, but basically anything–all thanks to Cortana integration. You have all sorts of ways to better search your PC for important things. We’ll discuss how you can use the Start menu to find your apps both quickly and efficiently.

First, you can use the Search bar to find a specific program. This is by far the easiest way you can do so, but sometimes you may not know how to spell it.

You can also look at the complete list of programs on your PC easily enough. To do this, click on the Start menu and check out the right column. This will show you a list of your most used apps at the top, but the bottom will show you an alphabetical list of all programs on your computer. If you click on one of the letters in the headings, you’ll be shown an even simpler way of viewing your apps.

When you click the letters, you’ll be shown a list of all of the letters of the alphabet, which can further narrow down what you’re looking for. By clicking on a specific letter, you’ll be shown all applications that begin with that letter. If you don’t know what a program is called, but you still don’t know the exact name, searching this way a good way to find it.

Windows 10 is one of the best ways that you can improve the way your organization functions. It provides both a solid user experience and a much-needed technological update for organizations that have yet to upgrade.

If you want to take full advantage of Windows 10, COMPANYNAME can help. We’ll work with your business to ensure that you get the technology solutions you need, and to make sure that your apps are compatible with the new operating system. To learn more, reach out to us at PHONENUMBER.

02-Jan-2017   |   ,,   |   0

Too Many Smart Devices Have Dumbed-Down Security Protocols

In October, 2016 the Mirai malware made headlines for doing just that. Utilized in the attack on Dyn, a company that hosts, manages, and maintains a substantial part of the Internet’s infrastructure, Mirai operates by attacking Internet of Things devices, gradually forming a botnet of zombified smartwatches, printers, and other Internet-connected “smart” devices to fuel a Distributed Denial of Service attack. These attacks essentially function by assaulting their target with so much traffic that the target shuts down. This brought down dozens of sites including Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, CNN, and many more in one of the largest-scale cyber attacks to date.

These DDoS attacks were once primarily powered by the familiar desktop computer, but with the boom in popularity of IoT devices, these devices are becoming a much more popular vehicle for the attacks.

This rise in popularity is due to a few factors. Firstly, the use IoT devices has been spreading both in popularity and in implementation, as was mentioned above. Therefore, zombifying them to be a part of a botnet boils down to basic tactics–there’s strength in numbers, so it makes more sense to utilize as many devices as possible. So, if there are seven IoT devices in a household that share one laptop, a botnet that utilizes on of the IoT devices will have six more devices at its disposal than it would have otherwise.

Secondly, there’s the matter of the security built into the devices themselves. How much thought would you think a manufacturer would put into the cyber security of a refrigerator? However, with refrigerators that now have “smart” features through Wi-Fi connectivity, cyber security is something that needs to be considered, and too often isn’t.

As an example that’s tinged with just a bit of irony, a security researcher decided to put the security of a particular IoT device to the test by monitoring a newly-purchased security camera. It took less than two minutes (closer to a minute and a half) for Mirai to infect the camera, despite the researcher’s precautions.

Unfortunately, there’s little that a user can do to protect their IoT device from infection. However, the industry is gradually catching on and taking steps toward protecting these devices from external threats, so hopefully the trend of IoT botnets will be relatively short-lived. 

How many IoT devices do you own; and, what precautions do you take to keep them from being a hindrance to your network security? Share your story with us in the comments.