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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 But as we know, commercial printers have unique environments with sometimes ridiculously outdated hardware and software – Novell 3.1 anyone?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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Know Your Computer Network Before Hiring An IT Service Provider

Image of Computer Network Assessment ScanningDo You Know Your Computer Network? The often overlooked and sometimes taken for granted software and hardware that make things happen daily for your business or organization. The computers and laptops, servers and switches, firewalls, the power strip etc. How much of your computer network environment do you actually know?

First of all, it is a fact that the cost of doing business has made it a tough going for many small organizations. Therefore, as CEOs of small businesses and Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations are contemplating how to keep customers, employees and donors happy, a lot of offers are bound to be presented, all promising to save cost and provide I.T. nirvana.

For that reason, before you throw the doors open for service providers to come to your environment and start mucking around, it may be a good time to backup for a minute and take time to ask yourself these few questions:

Do you know what you have, in terms of computer network infrastructure?

  • Do you know your hardware and software?
    If the answer is no, maybe or not sure, start the documentation process now. You should know your network devices, operating systems and software programs.
  • Do you know the difference between a home router and an enterprise router?
    If you are using consumer brands like D-Link, Netgear, or Linksys routers to connect your commuter network devices, the answer is probably “No”.
    While such routers are great to connect home networks to the Internet, they are probably not the best option for most midsize businesses. Almost all of these types of routers do not have capabilities for enterprise grade management. Furthermore, they lack troubleshooting features, and for that reason, they have weak performance capabilities, reliability options, and above all, lack the protocols and modules required for most company networks.

(more…)

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How Businesses Can Protect Their Wireless Access Points

Image of Wireless Access Points And Devices

The current high rate of mobile users warrants that wireless access users, especially business users, should know how to protect their wireless access points.

First of all, regular business travelers, high-tech adventurers, or those who just love traveling are increasingly vulnerable to unique cyber security threats. This is even more dire in the case of business travelers because they often carry sensitive data that may be personal or business related.

And most noteworthy, this sensitive data reside on a variety of devices from laptops, tablets, and smartphones to other smart devices such as wearables and home appliances.

A recent survey of financial districts found a high percentage of Wi-Fi clients actively probing for “Free Public WiFi”, and cyber criminals create fake wireless access points (SSIDs), hoping that unsuspecting users will log into one of these.

Fraudulent SSIDs Can Lead To Wireless Access Points Attack

It can be tough to convince users — especially those challenged by shrinking travel budgets — to avoid the temptation and draw of free wireless Internet access. When employers can’t or won’t pay for unlimited wireless Internet, employees get creative. Why should they waste thankless hours waiting for planes and trains when they could be using Free Public WiFi to catch up on mail, download iTunes, or watch a little Slingbox? (more…)

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Common Business Scams and How Your Organization Can Avoid Them

Preventing Business Scams Image by Tech Prognosis

Business scams by con artists are not new and seem to be evolving every day. You probably already know about, or have had some experience with, the most common ones – robocalls about winning a prize, computer problems, quick credit fix etc. Sometimes, it is an “invoice” that is supposedly from a business partner.

And in some cases, a business scam can come in the form of debt-collection notices, or dire warnings about an expiring web address, domain name or trademark if you don’t send money immediately.

There have even been reports of business scams involving toner cartridges or other office supplies showing up at offices out of the blue with a bogus bill.

The common thread with all business scams is that they attempt to sow fear, play on greed or plea to the kind-heartedness of people.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), these business scams by con artists succeed because the criminals are banking on the likelihood that most small and medium-sized businesses, churches, and not-for-profit groups will end up paying the bogus invoices in the mistaken belief they owe money or that it’s simply a misunderstanding.

The devastating aftermath of successful business scams though, is that the savings of many businesses and organizations are plundered before the scam is discovered. And the sad part of it all is that many are never caught thus making the scam industry a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. Research put it at over $50 billion annually. (more…)

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7 Critical Cyber Security Measures for Associations

Image of two hands attempting to grab a laptop with the words "Cyber Security" and "Password" on the screen

Your Computer Network Is Being Haunted, And Your Membership Association is Under Cyber Security Attacks.

Right now, Cyber Security attacks are being perpetrated by extremely dangerous and well-funded cyber crime rings using sophisticated techniques to hack into thousands of membership associations to steal credentials, credit cards, and other confidential business data with one goal in mind: blackmail the executives of these associations to recover data, and swindle money directly out of their organization’s bank accounts.

This new threat is called CEO Phishing, and it is a real threat. FBI also calls them “Business Email Compromise” (BEC). If you’ve recently received a bogus email supposedly from your Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, or a member of the board asking for a bank transfer, you just got a taste of this threat.

82,000 NEW malware threats are being released every single day and HALF of the cyber security attacks occurring are aimed at small organizations just like yours. You just don’t hear about it because it’s kept quiet for fear of bad PR, lawsuits and sheer embarrassment.

The National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 1 in 5 small businesses have been victims of cyber security crime in the last year and this number is growing rapidly as businesses continue to move to cloud computing and mobile device, and to store more information online.

The worst part of this is that all the current security tools we pile onto the network are practically useless against these types of cyber security attacks because they target human beings. This is what is popularly known as social engineering attacks.

According to security experts, the most advanced antivirus software, firewall, spam filter, two-factor-authentication, intrusion detection system, secure web application firewall, and data encryption tools will not stop these types of attack.

What can you do?

(more…)

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7 Critical Mobile Computing Security Measures for Nonprofits

Business Advisory Report Reveals 7 Critical Security Measures Every Nonprofit Must Put In Place NOW With Mobile Computing

7 Critical Mobile Computing Security MeasuresThere’s no doubt about it – the Internet and mobile computing and cloud computing have made our lives easier and our nonprofit organizations more productive, cost-effective and competitive. But make no mistake about it: the Internet is also a breeding ground for thieves and predators, not to mention an enormous distraction and liability if not used properly.

It is causing people to be casual, careless and flat-out stupid about their privacy in an increasingly litigious society where heavy fines and severe reputational damage can occur with one slip up – which is why you cannot be casual or careless about introducing it to your nonprofit organization. You can’t turn on the TV or read a newspaper without learning about the latest online data breach. And mobile devices are easily misplaced and stolen.

Because of all of this, if you are going to allow employees to use mobile computing devices – particularly personal mobile devices – to access, store and use the data of your nonprofit organization, then it’s critical that you have these 7 security measures in place. (more…)

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