PCS Blog

Top Cybersecurity Threats Right Now

Top Cybersecurity Threats Right Now

Cybersecurity has to be a major consideration for every business owner or manager in business today. The prevalence of people looking to rip your company off has never been higher, and that is the truth for nearly every company that uses the internet for anything. Today, we take a look at some of the most serious cybersecurity threats that everyone should be aware of right now.

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The Most Devastating Hacks of 2018… So Far

The Most Devastating Hacks of 2018… So Far

Network security is a crucial consideration for every contemporary business owner, as there are just too many threats that originate from an Internet connection to be overlooked. One only has to look at what businesses of all sizes have dealt with, even within this calendar year, to gain an appreciation for how crucial it is that every business owner consider their cybersecurity.

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UTM is a Strong Solution to Ward Off Hackers

UTM is a Strong Solution to Ward Off Hackers

When your employees think about hackers and network security, do they picture some cloaked or hooded figure in a dark room typing away at a keyboard? Do they see a recluse living in their mother’s basement? Popular culture has given many users a false sense of reality regarding hacking attacks and the culture surrounding them, and it can come at the detriment of your business.

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Reduce Your Costs By Outsourcing Your IT Management

Reduce Your Costs By Outsourcing Your IT Management

Your business deals with all types of troubles, but one trouble that can be extraordinarily costly is when your organization's technology doesn’t work properly. That’s why many businesses hire an IT staff who work to mitigate technology-related problems. One issue you should be cognizant of is cost. Typically, IT professionals have training, certifications, and experience and demand an above average salary. If you have a small or medium-sized business that is working with tight margins as it is, it can be extremely difficult to take on new personnel costs; especially ones that don’t directly result in bringing revenue through the door.

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Android Ransomware Kits on the Rise

Android Ransomware Kits on the Rise

The do-it-yourselfers of the world have enjoyed the autonomy that the Internet brings into their lives. They can now look up how-to guides and YouTube videos on how to do just about anything. However, the Internet has also given hackers and other cybercriminals access to all sorts of technology that makes using malware and other threats easier than ever before - even for inexperienced users.

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Cisco Bug Ranks as One of the Worst

Cisco Bug Ranks as One of the Worst

A new exploit is making the rounds in the security environment, and this time, it affects virtual private networks. According to Cisco, the flaw affects its Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) tool, and it should be patched as quickly as possible. If you don’t do so, your organization could be subject to remote code exploitation as a result of this vulnerability.

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10th Anniversary of Data Privacy Day

10th Anniversary of Data Privacy Day

January 28th marks Data Privacy Day, a day intended to raise awareness of the importance of data privacy and educate users and business owners of its benefits. Spearheaded by the National Cyber Security Alliance, there are plenty of lessons the NCSA has to share with businesses as this day puts their, and their clients’, privacy in the spotlight.

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Meltdown/Spectre Attack - What You Need to Know

meltdown-spectre

Computer researchers have recently found out that the main chip in most modern computers—the CPU—has a hardware bug. It's really a design flaw in the hardware that has been there for years. This is a big deal because it affects almost every computer on your network, including your workstation and all your servers. These exploits can reduce the performance in older machines by as much as 30%, with machines built prior to 2015 being hit the hardest.

They are being called Meltdown and Spectre and they exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware vulnerabilities allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, if the thieves are able to get a malicious program on the computer they can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This might include your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages, and even business-critical documents. Meltdown and Spectre work on personal computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud. Depending on the cloud provider's infrastructure, it might be possible to steal data from other customers.

To date, no instances of attacks have been seen in the wild
which is a good sign.

For more information on this vulnerability, visit this safe site: 
Meltdown/Spectre Attack

What is PCS doing to keep our customers safe?

PCS has long been communicating to our customers that a multi-tier approach to security is paramount to the protection of your business, and we have worked to include many different levels of protection for our customers. PCS will be working over the coming days to update and patch all machines on the network. This includes both the BIOS as well as patches from Microsoft. This is going to take some time as some of the patches are not even available yet and some are not compatible with every antivirus on the market. We want to make sure that any of those patches do not introduce other problems with performance.

PCS employs a SonicWALL Next generation firewall at all of our customers and SonicWALL utilizes custom high performance security processors (not x86 or other processors with known flaws). Further, SonicOS is a specialized security operating system that does not run arbitrary code and has no exploitable shell. SonicWALL firewalls protect against known and unknown malware, and network based exploits against Meltdown and Spectre have artifacts that can be identified and therefore prevented.

Because these exploits rely on traditional threat sources like viruses, malware, and compromised web pages, Security Awareness Training is key to making sure your users understand their role in keeping themselves and the business safe. PCS will be initiating a new round of security training over the coming weeks in order to reinforce the need for your users to be vigilant in their day to day work.

PCS is committed to keeping our customers safe and over the coming days and weeks, our IT consultants will communicate next steps as we all work to navigate this new threat.
 


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11 Ways to Enhance Android Security

11 Ways to Enhance Android Security

It should come as no surprise that hackers are always trying to get ahead of security developers, just as it should be no surprise that these hackers often target the Android operating system. After all, the Android OS is used on mobile devices all over the world. If your business leverages these devices, there are quite a few security considerations you need to keep in mind.

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5 Security Analogies to Help You Better Understand Hacking

5 Security Analogies to Help You Better Understand Hacking

How often do you read a blog article about network security only to be blown away by all of the overly complicated and confusing jargon of the industry? We know that it’s not necessarily your specialty, but it’s still important that you understand how network security works for your organization. While the complicated details should be left to IT professionals, we can help you better understand the general idea of security by comparing it to a locked door.

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Are You Prepared for Employees to Bring Their Own Devices?

Are You Prepared for Employees to Bring Their Own Devices?

Bring Your Own Device policies have helped many companies save money on technology by allowing employees to use their own devices, rather than taking on the cost of providing devices. However, as much as a BYOD approach can help a business financially, there are some potential drawbacks to adopting one that you should be prepared to deal with.

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Tip of the Week: Give Your Desktop Some TLC

Tip of the Week: Give Your Desktop Some TLC

Maintaining a network of PCs can be a lot of work. We wouldn’t blame you for having trouble keeping your business’ computers up-to-date - especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT department on-site. It doesn’t have to feel impossible, though. With proactive technology maintenance and the following tips, you’ll be sure to stay productive throughout the workday.

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Tip of the Week: Android Oreo Is Double-Stuffed With Features

Tip of the Week: Android Oreo Is Double-Stuffed With Features

Earlier this year, Android released Oreo, version 8.0 of their popular mobile device operating system. Whether you’ve already updated to the latest version of this OS or are still waiting for your update, it has several new or improved features that you’ll want to consider using. Let’s look at five of our (many) favorite additions to the OS.

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Don’t Underestimate the Value of Managed IT

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Managed IT

Have you had to make substantial technology investments in the past year? How much money do you think you will spend this year? If you have a solid technology budget in place, you'll know how much you expect to spend, but what happens if critical systems fail? Are you prepared to cover the cost of new technology, the management of that technology, and the staff that you'll need to do so? If you are even a little unsure about it, managed IT services could have plenty of value for your business.

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The Differences Between Sync, Backup, and Storage

The Differences Between Sync, Backup, and Storage

The cloud is a great solution for your business’s file management needs, but depending on your specific situation, you’ll find that the same cloud won’t work for every single business model. We’ll walk you through some similar-sounding terms related to the cloud that might sound like they are the same thing, even when they’re not.

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Tip of the Week: 10 Technology Practices To Improve Business As Usual

Tip of the Week: 10 Technology Practices To Improve Business As Usual

In a business, some jobs belong to certain people: managers make sure that work is done when it needs to be, human resources make sure the workforce is accounted for, and so on. However, some jobs belong to everyone in the modern workplace who works with technology, For our tip of the week, we’ll go over some of these shared responsibilities.

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A Few Security Lessons Your Business Can Learn From Game of Thrones

A Few Security Lessons Your Business Can Learn From Game of Thrones

Security is a major concern for anything successful, and television programming is no different. Game of Thrones, the BBC’s epic production based on George R.R. Martin's book series A Song of Ice and Fire, has always been concerned with their security--and with the television series overtaking the book series, that concern has only grown as the production has brand new secrets to keep safe. As a result, the production has seen a steady increase in security.

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Don’t Worry, Your Samsung Phone “Winking” at You is Just a Cool Feature

Don’t Worry, Your Samsung Phone “Winking” at You is Just a Cool Feature

If you’re a Samsung smartphone user, have you ever seen a little eyeball symbol appear at the top of the screen? You might notice that it will show up for a minute, and then disappear again. Since this kind of activity usually makes users question what’s going on with their device, let’s get down to the bottom of this weird occurrence.

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Three Reasons Why Print Security Is an Achilles Heel for SMBs

Just because your small business isn't handling credit card and social security data for millions of customers, you shouldn't brush information security aside. For SMBs, the effect of hacking is personal: fines, disclosure requirements, and the cost of replacing both data and equipment can be crippling. Within six months after being hacked, 60% of small businesses will be forced to shut down.

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What Does Your Software Have in Common with the Food in Your Fridge?

What Does Your Software Have in Common with the Food in Your Fridge?

It’s a well-known fact that nothing in this world lasts forever (other than Twinkies), and this pertains to your technology more than perhaps anything else. The same solutions that you’ve been working with for years will also need regular updates and improvements in order to stay relevant to your organization.


When you think about it, making sure that your software solutions are always up to date is sort of like keeping your kitchen cabinet full of foodstuffs that haven't spoiled. Both the software developer and the food producer offer resources that are absolutely crucial in the modern world, and both create products that frequently need to be replaced in order to function as intended. Both offer sustenance to something or another; yet, how similar are they really?

A food producer will tend to focus on offering delectable foods that taste great and offer nutritional value, while a software developer will work toward creating user-friendly solutions and patching up vulnerabilities. Any improvements made tend to be focused on security, but often times the developer will add new features or improve the user interface to offer a better experience as a whole. Primarily, the patches issued resolve problems that hackers can take advantage of to infiltrate your organization and cause trouble.

These improvements are one of the reasons why you might receive notifications about updates available every so often. In fact, they are so frequent that if you don’t implement them as they are released, you could quickly fall behind on network maintenance.

Returning to the food analogy, let’s take a look at a convenience that most businesses have: a break room fridge. If each of your employees keeps a single cup of yogurt in this fridge, and it goes uneaten, it will naturally spoil. However, if you keep this spoiled yogurt in the fridge, despite it being practically inedible, someone will eventually try it out. This could result in employees getting sick.

Whether it’s poor productivity from being ill all day or software that’s missing critical software updates, the result is the same: the potential for a really bad time. If you have someone whose responsibility is to “restock the fridge,” you can keep your organization from being exposed by the sudden, gut-wrenching sickness of a hacking attack.

PCS can be the ones to keep an eye out for anything that needs updates or patches on your network, and better yet, we can do all of it ourselves without interrupting operations. This keeps you from taking valuable time out of the day to do it yourself, and you can know for certain that your software solutions are being handled with the care they deserve. To make sure that your business’s network security doesn’t reach its expiration date, reach out to us at (865) 273-1960.

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