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The Internet and computer networks are getting more complex. Small and medium-sized businesses can leverage the expertise of professionals by using a managed security service provider like Tech Prognosis.

Why Small Organizations Need Vulnerability Management

Computer with hard to read code, stressing the need for vulnerability management.

The US Cyber Security Agency (CISA) recently released an Emergency Directive and Activity Alert addressing critical vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft Windows and Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Vulnerability management can help organizations get a handle on such vulnerabilities.

Consequently, Microsoft released fixes for 50 security vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system, creating yet another scramble by IT professionals to patch their computer systems.

Part of what Microsoft fixed in the updates released was what is regarded as a major crypto-spoofing bug that affected Windows 10 users.

A key point is to realize that this particular vulnerability could allow a cyber criminal or hacker to spoof a code-signing certificate, vital to validating executable programs in Windows, and make it appear as if an application was from a trusted source.

Keep in mind that in technology terms, spoofing is defined as a fraudulent or malicious practice in which communication is sent from an unknown source disguised as a source known to the receiver.

To put it another way, when this vulnerability is exploited and code-signing certificates are spoofed, the operating system will find it difficult to tell the difference between malware and Microsoft software. (more…)

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Cyber Protection Essentials Small Organizations Need To Know About

In today’s data driven economy, safeguarding that data is vital for the survival of organizations and businesses. It is important then, that these organizations, especially small and medium-sized ones, learn all they can about cyber protection.

Cyber protection for various components of a computer network

Whether your organization or business is commercial printing, a nonprofit, or membership association, the fact is that advances in modern technology has disrupted and reinvented nearly every facet of what drives the global economy.

The world is more dependent upon data today than at any time in history. Correspondingly, safeguarding data – and the applications and systems that rely on such data – is vital for individuals and organizations alike. It is important then, that organizations, especially small and medium-sized ones, learn all they can about cyber protection.

Although IT professionals have long preached about the importance of data backups and cyber protection, unfortunately, traditional backup and cyber security solutions are no longer enough because they cannot keep up with the advanced threats facing businesses today. And here is why: (more…)

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Your Small Business or Organization Is A Big Target For Cyber Crime

Protect your business from being a target for cyber crime before it’s too late.

Image of a hacker engaged in cyber crime

Small business owners used to have to watch for thieves who worked at night and carried a crowbar. Today, they are under attack by criminals on computers that are thousands of miles away.

Many attacks on small businesses are done with malware. First, the malicious software lands on a computer at the business. Then it quietly gathers data, such as credit card information, and sends it secretly to thieves over the internet.

Once a thief has the data, he can quickly turn it into cash. He can sell it on the black market, or he can make purchases and phony credit cards. The end result is the same: the business’ bank accounts are emptied, and the thief never even sees the building.

Your Business Or Organization Is A Target

The news headlines are filled with cyber attacks on big retailers. But small businesses are far more likely to be hacked. Why? Because most have almost no network security. They are an easy payday or what Kevin Fream calls “easy prey” for cyber thieves. (more…)

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Why Your Organization Needs An Internet Use Policy

Employee Avatars working on a policy checklist.With computers and Internet access being such an integral part of every business, and the Internet filled with everything from gambling to x-rated websites, it is critical that every business has an Internet Use Policy in place.

This policy can help prevent your employees from accidentally or intentionally causing harm to your company or your company’s reputation. While you don’t want to give your employees the idea that they are living in George Orwell’s 1984, you want them to have a clear understanding of practices that are and are not appropriate during work hours. It is necessary for companies and organizations to create an Internet policy that everyone can live with.

Why Have An Internet Use Policy?

The purpose of a business is to make money, and for non-profit organizations, it is to fulfill the mission. In order to accomplish this, the company or organization has to have productive employees. The Internet can be a time drain and often prevent employees from being as productive as they should be.

With such a wide range of information available on the Internet, it is necessary to clarify the company’s expectations of its employees regarding Internet access. With a strong policy in place, the employee, as well as the employer, will find Internet use less confusing and frustrating. (more…)

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Basic Computer Security Practices for Non-Profits

Some Basic Computer Security Practices To Keep Your Non-Profit Data and Employees Safe

Malware Prevention

There are all sorts of danger lurking on the Internet, whether it’s through a bogus email attachment, a link that was accidentally clicked, or a visit to an infected website. There are dangers within the organization as well. These are commonly referred to as “Insider Threats”.

Here are some computer security practices you can implement to protect the data and employees of your non-profit organization.

  • Regularly scan computers for spyware

Spyware or adware hidden in software programs may affect the performance of  the organization’s computers and give attackers access to sensitive data.
Make sure you use a legitimate anti-spyware program to scan computers and remove any of these files. Many anti-virus products have incorporated spyware detection.

  • Keep software up to date

Install software patches so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities.
Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should turn it on.

If updates and patching is too tedious for you and your organization, you can outsource the task to a service provider. You can see details of what patch management covers here. (more…)

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Six Risk-Based Questions for Nonprofits With In-House Computer Experts

Image of admin for Nonprofits

Nonprofits and other small and medium sized organizations must ask these six questions before their In-House Computer Expert Quits to avoid disaster.

Here’s an important question most nonprofits don’t think about: what would happen if the in-house IT guru suddenly quit? Most nonprofit leaders think it would only be a temporary inconvenience when, in fact, the opposite is usually true. Want to know how much you are at risk?

If you are the Executive Director, President, or leader of a nonprofit organization, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your nonprofit organization have a written network documentation about its computer network?
    What software licenses do you own? What are the critical administrator passwords to your systems and devices? How is your computer network structured?  What hardware do you own and when do your equipment warranties expire?  Are there cloud vendors for email, online storage, etc. that you don’t’ currently have?
    Do you allow a single IT person to keep this information under their full control over your network and nonprofit organization?  If they suddenly left for any reason, this could lead to huge consequences for your nonprofit organization.

(more…)

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