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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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Security Warning For Businesses Running Windows 7

URGENT Security Warning For Businesses Running Windows 7. Microsoft is ending support for the operating system starting January 14, 2020.

Tech Prognosis technician working on a Windows 7 computer

Your computer network is more important than ever. And so are the computers powering your business or organization. This is especially true if your computer network is still running Microsoft’s  Windows 7 operating system which the company plans to retire support for on January 14, 2020.

Not only does that mean that any computer with the operating system installed will be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, it also means that business data will be exposed to theft, computer system crashes and the possibilities of a host of other business-crippling problems you do NOT want to have to deal with. (more…)

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The Case For A Unified Threat Manager On Small Business Networks

A Unified Threat Manager Appliance

Using a consumer router to power internet connectivity in a small business or organization could be an open invitation to hackers looking to steal business-critical information. To provide advanced security and protection from cyber crime, a Unified Threat Manager or UTM is needed.

While a router provides an easy way to get online, did you know that it can also give hackers an easy way to steal from your business?
A quick search for ”router exploits” in your favorite search engine will produce a long list of security flaws in most routers, some discovered only months ago.

Once hackers are in your network, anything goes. They can steal your customer records, inject spyware, and even empty your bank accounts. A major breach can wipe out a small business in less than a day. (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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