PCS Blog

PCS has been serving the Knoxville area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is Losing Support

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is Losing Support

Microsoft Windows has been a staple of modern computing, with each title in the series offering more innovative features. When it comes time to retire one of their operating systems, it can be troublesome for businesses. This coming January, two of the most utilized versions of the Windows OS - Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 - will be losing support, effectively ending their viability. Businesses that still use these will have to come up with a plan for how they are going to proceed once Microsoft retires that software. 

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Even Small Businesses Are Targets for Hackers

Even Small Businesses Are Targets for Hackers

Do you ever think of your business as too small of a target to matter to hackers? Some organizations actually do believe this, and that notion is effectively a trap. The thing that all businesses need to keep in mind is that all companies, regardless of which industry they fall into, have data that’s valuable to hackers. 

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Staff Education Goes a Long Way in Preventing Security Issues

Staff Education Goes a Long Way in Preventing Security Issues

In a perfect world, keeping your antivirus updated and having a good firewall in place would be enough to protect your business from cybersecurity threats.

Unfortunately, most attacks still come in through email and can slip by your users. Even the most complex cybersecurity platforms used by massive corporations and governments can be foiled by a simple phishing attack, and your end-users are your last line of defense.

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Taking an Exploratory Stab at Spear Phishing

Taking an Exploratory Stab at Spear Phishing

Chances are, you’ve heard of “phishing” - a cybercriminal’s scam that steals data, access credentials, and other sensitive information by fooling a user into thinking they are providing this information to someone who is supposed to have access to it. However, there are a few different kinds of phishing, based on how it is carried out. Here, we’ll discuss the realities of spear phishing, and the risks it poses to your business.

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Tip of the Week: Your Phone Can Work as Your Security Key

Tip of the Week: Your Phone Can Work as Your Security Key

If you’re like most people nowadays, your mobile phone is currently well within your reach (and that’s assuming you aren’t reading this blog on it). The fact that most people keep their phone on them at all times has greatly contributed to these devices becoming a part of any given work-related process. One major way is the implementation of two-factor authentication, which we’ll discuss as a part of this week’s tip.

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Getting to Know About Phishing Attacks Can Keep Your Business Safe

Getting to Know About Phishing Attacks Can Keep Your Business Safe

There’s a big reason why phishing is a primary threat to businesses, and it’s because this method gives hackers a relatively risk-free way of gaining access to a network or other resources. Even being aware of the issue is often not enough to prevent it, as hackers are known to get quite aggressive and crafty with their phishing campaigns. If only a fraction of the 57 billion phishing emails that go out every year are taken seriously, hackers make quite a bit of profit off of users.

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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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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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How to Spot Three Forms of Phishing Attacks

How to Spot Three Forms of Phishing Attacks

One of the crazy things about hackers is that they will do whatever it takes to ensure that they steal as much information and sensitive data as possible. One of the more innovative ways that hackers spread threats is through spam. Unwanted messages have grown from simple annoyances, to the spread of unwanted software and malware, all the way to sophisticated attacks on targeted individuals known as phishing attacks. Do you have ways to secure your business?

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Tip of the Week: ‘Secure’ Browsing Doesn’t Mean ‘Private’

Tip of the Week: ‘Secure’ Browsing Doesn’t Mean ‘Private’

Internet browsers, by in large, provide enough security for the average user to come out unscathed. Nowadays, people deal with many more threats than they once did, but by in large, users stay secure when using today’s most popular browsers. Privacy, however, is a whole different matter.

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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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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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“It Redirected Where?” -- A Case Study in Security Precautions

“It Redirected Where?” -- A Case Study in Security Precautions

Imagine what it would be like to discover that your website was suddenly redirecting to content that was decidedly more... adult... than what should be representing your business. For a company in Phoenix, Arizona, this was the unfortunate reality after they had let their IT administrator go.

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3 Ways Your Business Can Prioritize Data Security

3 Ways Your Business Can Prioritize Data Security

In the wake of the Equifax data breach, which placed the personal information of 143 million users at risk, the issue of data security is at the forefront of social consciousness. Your organization needs to go about its daily business as if it will experience a data breach at any given moment. This involves looking at the worst-case scenario, and planning for it so that you’re never caught unaware.

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Essential Cybersecurity Tips From The FBI

Essential Cybersecurity Tips From The FBI

In 2016 former President of the United States Barack Obama passed the Cybersecurity National Action Plan that implemented near-term action and developed a longer-term strategy of bringing awareness and protections to public computing systems connected to the Internet. The strategy is to make an immediate effort to empower citizens to protect their own privacy, while also maintaining public safety and national and economic security, as many of the most critical systems this nation utilizes are networked on the web.

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Don't Be Threatened

Computers and computer systems are threatened every day. There are several attacks that computers may experience like viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware.

So what do all these mean, what is the difference, and how do you protect yourself?

Virus

A computer virus is a type of program that may copy itself and infect other computers on a network. The virus may harm a computer by changing boot commands or autorun scripts, or even Microsoft Office macros. The virus can be destructive and render a computer inoperable.

Malware

Malware (malicious software) is generally used to describe various threats such viruses, worms, spyware, and so on. It can be used to cause computer problems or steal information.

Spyware

Spyware is a type of infection which steals information from your computer. It can include things like keyloggers which captures keyboard commands to obtain login credentials to your websites, or watch your web search habits. Spyware can get installed onto a computer without the user's knowledge, and cause your computer to run slow by adding unwanted web browser toolbars.

Adware

Adware is generally used to track your web browsing habits, display pop-up advertisements, which may entice a user to purchase software with legitimate looking information. Adware infections can cause your computer to run slow, and may capture personal information using keyloggers.

Scareware/Ransomware

These types of infections are appearing more and more. These infections appear as a legitimate ad that may appear on your computer informing you of a possible threat, and offers a solution to fix the infection by purchasing a software license. If proceeded, the virus searches through your computer and encrypts your data files rendering your documents unusable until you pay a ransom.

Other Threats
Other threats exist such as trojan horses and worms. Trojan horse viruses may allow remote access to your computer or use a denial of service attack to render your computer useless. These do not replicate themselves like a virus, they are generally installed unknowingly by the user. Worm infections use the computer network to copy themselves to other computers because of a security vulnerability, causing network problems and computer problems.

So how do you protect yourself from all these threats?

These threats can be malicious to a computer through internet web browsing, email, and sharing files with other users. Be very vigilant when browsing the internet and managing your email. Do not download any email attachments or click on any links unless you are very certain where the email originated from. Verify with the sender if you are uncertain. Protect your computer with antivirus software, scan often, and keep it up-to-date. Ensure your Operating system firewall is enabled. Do not download any software from the internet unless you are 100% certain it is safe. Investigate your web browser security settings to help mitigate any possible vulnerability. Backup your sensitive documents, photos, or other files you do not want to lose to a device such as an external hard drive. Smart web browsing, vigilant email practices, and antivirus software management will help keep you safe against these various threats.

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Why Spam Is So Bad For Your Inbox

Why Spam Is So Bad For Your Inbox

Spam. It’s detrimental and all businesses have to deal with it. But many don’t know the first thing about how to identify it, or how to work around it. The truth of the matter is that spam can be dangerous for your organization if it’s not dealt with properly, but dealing with it can also be a major waste of resources. We’ll walk you through what constitutes spam and how you can identify it from legitimate messages in your inbox.

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