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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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Web Browser Extensions Caught Spying On Chrome and Firefox Users

Representation of data transfer due to web browser extension spying.

Not too long ago, we warned users about why some online ads they see seem to be precisely targeted to their tastes and interests, including the spooky tendencies of websites remembering browsing and shopping preferences from visit to visit or device to device. It turns out that Avast and its recently acquired AVG, have been doing a lot of background spying and data pilfering through their “free” web browser plugins.

Data pilfering is widespread and very profitable, and data thieves seem to have no problem getting willing “victims” counting the number of people using “free” products that come with all kinds of terms and conditions. So much so that some even boast of the ability to provide “[I]ncredibly detailed clickstream data from 100 million global online shoppers and 20 million global app users” that advertisers can analyze “…however you want: track what users searched for, how they interacted with a particular brand or product, and what they bought. Look into any category, country, or domain.”

All from a user looking for a solution to protect them from online threats and installing a web browser extension that is supposed to protect them from such invasion of privacy.

As reported by the creator of Adblock Plus, Wladimir Palant, Avast has been spying on the users of their antivirus products, and appears to have been doing so for years, through their Avast Online Security web browser extension which is promoted as having the ability to provide “maximum protection” from spyware and other online dangers.

The sad fact is that sometimes, users are not even aware that they have the extension because the Avast Secure Browser has Avast Online Security installed by default and is hidden from the extension listing and cannot be uninstalled by regular means. (more…)

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Survive Cyber Attacks With A Backup And Disaster Recovery Plan

data backup and recovery cloud services

There’s no way to predict the future, and Murphy’s Law tells us that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If you and your business or organization do not have a well-thought out recovery plan, your company’s data is teetering on the edge of a cliff without a safety net.

Having a comprehensive and well thought-out data backup and disaster recovery plan in place when there is data loss can help your organization or business survive malicious cyber attacks like ransomware.

In the last few years, we’ve seen plenty of organizations in the news for suffering huge damage from cyber attacks. And there does not seem to be any pointers that cyber incidents are going to reduce any time soon.

However, while cyber attacks as a cause of downtime have almost doubled as the cause of data loss, the rate at which it continues to cause downtime havoc will depend on improvements made to defensive and responsive measures like having a backup and disaster recovery plan.

What are backup and disaster recovery?

There’s an important distinction between backup and disaster recovery.

Backup is the process of making an extra copy (or multiple copies) of data. You back up data to protect it. You might need to restore backup data if you encounter an accidental deletion, database corruption, or problem with a software upgrade.

Disaster recovery, on the other hand, refers to the plan and processes for quickly reestablishing access to applications, data, and IT resources after an outage. That plan might involve switching over to a redundant set of servers and storage systems until your primary data center is functional again. (more…)

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Protect Your Business From Dangerous Cryptomining Activities

Why Small Organizations Should Be Worried About Illicit Cryptomining Activities

cryptomining activity

There is a scourge currently targeting small businesses and organizations and many are not even aware of it because it does not do anything sensational meant to cause harm. It does not install a virus, send phishing emails, or attempt to kidnap business data for ransom. That scourge is cryptocurrency mining, or simply cryptomining.

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that can be used in exchange for goods, services, and even real money, similar to other currencies. However, unlike other currencies, cryptocurrency operates independently of a central bank and uses encryption techniques and blockchain technology to secure and verify transactions.

To quote Malwarebytes, “Two words—“cryptography” and “currency”—combine to form “cryptocurrency,” which is electronic money, based on the principles of complex mathematical encryption. All cryptocurrencies exist as encrypted decentralized monetary units, freely transferable between network participants.” Or put more simply, cryptocurrency is electricity converted into lines of code, which have a real monetary value.  (See a detailed article by Malwarebytes on this topic here).

While Cryptocurrency may be in its infancy, its popularity continues to increase, some would say, exponentially. You may have heard of terms like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, Ethereum, Ripple etc. These are just a few types of the cryptocurrencies currently available. (more…)

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Safeguard Your Organization From Evolving Cyber Threats

Safeguard depiction for cloud services, file folder and laptop

Businesses today face a constantly evolving set of potential threats, from data security breaches to downtime from unexpected events. To safeguard your organization from evolving cyber threats, use solutions that help protect your business data and minimize the disruptions caused by unexpected events.

Against the backdrop of these evolving threats, businesses and organizations are asking critical questions like:

  • With growing use of the cloud and mobile devices at work, how can we keep business data protected?
  • As my data grows, how can I make sure it is all backed up without spending a fortune?
  • If an unexpected event occurred, like a fire, physical break-in, flood, or cyber attack, how long would it take our business to get back online?
  • What would this downtime cost our business?
  • How do we keep up with a constantly changing compliance landscape?

To safeguard your business and organization from increasingly sophisticated cyber and internal threats to data, it is imperative that modern protection for evolving threats be put in place with emphasis on solutions that help protect critical business data and minimize the disruptions caused by unexpected events. (more…)

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