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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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Data Encryption Tools For The Mobile Business Executive

Infographic depicting various devices using data encryption.

Data encryption is not one of the security options most companies think of providing for their senior executives who use, and travel, with laptops, netbooks and tablets so they can stay productive even when on the road. This is even more true of corporate executives who sometimes demand anytime, anywhere access to data residing on corporate servers.

While the big corporations can afford to spend millions of dollars on data protection hardware and software., the same cannot be said of executives in small and medium-sized organizations, especially when it comes to loss of personal information, including credit card data, patient records or other financial information, stored by the company.

Data breaches happen and information is lost every day due to small mistakes that could have been avoided by using data encryption technologies. For small businesses, these data loss events can be devastating. (more…)

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Why Your Small Business Or Organization Needs An Email Policy

Mail envelope containing a documenton on a computer screen.

Email is an important and necessary part of your business or organization. It provides an economical and instant means of communicating with staff, customers, and vendors – that’s both simple to use and enables increased efficiency. An email policy is required to protect this necessary business tool.

An email policy is a legal document that details your organization’s definition of acceptable use for the company email system. It should indicate who emails can be received from or sent to, as well as outline what constitutes appropriate content for work emails.

In addition, having an email policy will:

  • Protect the Organization from Liabilities:

When all employees read and sign an email policy, it proves they are aware and agree to the information contained in that policy. Should an email be sent that is not considered appropriate content according to the email policy, the employee, not the organization, would bear the brunt of liability for any damages or suits brought as a result of their sending an inappropriate email. (more…)

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5 Critical Facts You Must Know Before Hosting Your Business In The Cloud

An illustration of several technology services and laptops in a cloud hosting simulation.

Cloud hosting seems to be the rage these days, and for very good reasons.

When you decide to look into transitioning the computer network and operations of your business or organization to  cloud hosting, you will probably be faced with conflicting advice, confusion and no real answers to your questions and concerns over security, cost and whether or not it’s appropriate for your organization.

Besides that, the simple fact is, cloud hosting is NOT a good fit for every company, and consequently, if you don’t get all the facts or fully understand the pros and cons, you can end up making some VERY poor and expensive decisions that you’ll deeply regret later. (more…)

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Commercial Printers Need Patch Management for Better Productivity

Regular patch management is crucial for the security of the computer network of your business.

Patch Management by Tech PrognosisWhether it is from Microsoft, Adobe, Quark, Océ, Kodak, Xerox, or for SmartBoard, PitStop, Quite Imposing etc., patches are released by software vendors usually to address security issues or to provide bug fixes. Occasionally they enhance or add new features.

Because software security vulnerabilities are the most common ways through which malware can penetrate your computer network, patch management is a good security blanket. While antivirus solutions are great for detecting and removing malware once it is detected on your system, security patches are aimed at closing the doors that malware can use to reach to your system.

Since 2005, there have been over eleven million records breached, according to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. And those are just from the publicly disclosed data breaches. The large majority of security vulnerabilities that led to those data breaches could have been fixed by applying the latest patches provided by software vendors. But as we know, commercial printers have unique environments with sometimes ridiculously outdated hardware and software – Novell 3.1 anyone? How about that DocuTech 1.0 with software that can only be fixed by that guy in California?

Then you have Canon, Xerox, and Océ with their servers and workstations that no one knows what they are doing other than we “just send files to them”. And you can’t update them either, or something will break. We still have a couple of those stuck on Windows XP, or Windows 7.

If you need more proof about the critical nature of patch management, according to ServiceNow, as noted in this article, a survey of nearly 3,000 cybersecurity professionals around the globe found that “almost half of organizations suffered a data breach in the last two years. Of these, the majority said that they had been breached because of a vulnerability—for which a patch was already available.” (more…)

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Credential Management Vulnerabilities Exposed By Breaches

Credential Management BreachThe recent breach of OneLogin is once again shining the spotlight on the safety and sanity of entrusting sensitive data to cloud-based credential management services. OneLogin provides single sign-on for cloud-based applications.

What Is A Credential Management Service?

Credential management services that offer Single Sign-On or SSO are great, but as we are beginning to find out, it could also be a single point of entry to a treasure trove of sensitive data for cyber criminals.

How Does A Credential Management Service Work?

The way credential management services work is that after a user of these Identity and credential management services sign into their account, the service takes care of remembering and supplying the customer’s usernames and passwords for all of their other applications. It pretty much attempts to save the user the pain and stress of trying to remember numerous passwords, security questions and other hoops people normally have to jump through just to access some online services.

What Is The Problem With Credential Management Services?

While a lot of these services promise secure access to, and a simplified Identity and Access Management (IAM), the recent spate of multiple breaches of LastPass and now OneLogin makes us wonder just how efficient and  secure these credential management services really are. And here is why: a single compromise exposes the credentials of all users, especially if that data theft includes the ability to decrypt encrypted data [thanks to Mark Maunder of Wordfence for that emphasis].

A breach that allows intruders to decrypt customer data could be extremely damaging for affected customers.

The vulnerabilities in credential management services like LastPass were so bad that Tavis Ormandy, a security researcher at Google’s Project Zero wondered if people were “really using this lastpass thing” because he took a quick look and could see “a bunch of obvious critical problems”. (more…)

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