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.

Cybersecurity: An Origin Story

Cybersecurity: An Origin Story

The way a business handles network security is directly related to what problems will arise from their use of information systems. Cybersecurity has become a major part of all businesses, of all geographic locations, and all sizes. Because the better your cybersecurity is, the less problems your business will have to overcome, cybersecurity has grown into a multi-hundred-billion dollar a year industry. Cybersecurity hasn’t always been a concern for businesses. After all, the internet hasn’t been around for THAT long. However, the history of cybersecurity has a fascinating story behind it, and today we’d like to share it with you. 

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Think Before You Click: Spotting a Phishing Attempt

Think Before You Click: Spotting a Phishing Attempt

We’ve all caught the obvious spam email, like the message that is clearly bogus, or the offer that is definitely too good to be true.

We’re going to confidently assume none of our readers are getting tricked by Nigerian Princes or getting roped into order virility drugs from an unsolicited email. The real threat comes from the more clever phishing attacks. Let’s take a look.

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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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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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Your Business Should Be in the Headlines for the Right Reasons, Not for a Cyber Attack

Your Business Should Be in the Headlines for the Right Reasons, Not for a Cyber Attack

Today’s headlines are peppered with stories of major companies and institutions falling victim to a cyberattack. As a business owner, what’s your response to these gut-wrenching stories? If you write them off as fear mongering and believe that these attacks can never happen to your business, well, you’re wrong. They can, and it’s up to you to prevent such a disaster.


One reason why it’s so important to shore up your company’s network security is because the ramifications of a breach extend well beyond the sensationalism surrounding a news story. Take for example one of the biggest stories of hacking in recent memory; the revelation made public last December that Yahoo had more than one billion of its accounts compromised, dating all the way back to 2013. While the headlines focused on the plight of Yahoo and the negative effect this would have on the tech company’s value, what didn’t get reported is how millions of Yahoo users were negatively affected by having their sensitive information exposed to hackers.

In the same way, seeing to your company’s network security goes beyond protecting your corporate image from a negative headline. It’s also about protecting all of those who have entrusted you with their sensitive data. This includes customers and vendors that have provided your business with their financial information, as well as employees that each have a wealth of their personal information connected to your HR department.

We’ve established that there’s a lot riding on your network security and that it’s your job to make sure this is taken care of. If you don’t currently have a security plan in place protecting your company from a data breach, then where do you even begin? Fortunately, you don’t need to be an IT security expert or have a computer science degree to implement adequate security measures. As is the case with many vital responsibilities connected to your business, you can outsource the protection of your network to the professionals.

That said, IT security is such an important and comprehensive matter that it’s not something that you should outsource and then disregard. In fact, IT security works best when everybody in the company understands that they have an active role in its upkeep. Yes, everybody. We’re talking from the C-level executives down to the cleaning lady who connects her smartphone to Wi-Fi. If everyone in your company understands how to avoid the snares laid by hackers, then the cake that is your network security measures will be topped with the icing of best practices.

Remember, securing your network from cyberattacks isn’t something that you have to do on your own. PCS is here to help, and we can do so by implementing proven and comprehensive network security solutions like our Unified Threat Management tool, as well as remote monitoring and maintenance in order to detect and take care of any threats that may breach your defenses. We’re also available to equip your staff with the means and know-how to better understand cybersecurity.

For assistance in all of these areas of security and more, give us a call today at (865) 273-1960.

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Tip of the Week: How to Know if You’ve Experienced a Data Breach

Tip of the Week: How to Know if You’ve Experienced a Data Breach

Your data is vital to the success of your business, and as such, it needs to be protected. Can you identify the warning signs that someone has managed to get past your protections to access your data?


According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, or ITRC, there were 781 data breaches in 2015 within the United States alone. This marked the second-highest number since 2005, when the ITRC began to track these occurrences. Of particular interest, the ITRC report noted that, in 2015, the business sector saw the highest percentage of publically reported breaches with almost 40 percent of all reports coming from business organizations. What’s more, motive analysis saw that more and more thieves sought financial gain through accessing sensitive personal data.

Presumably, the report for 2016 should show more of the same.

Business owners should therefore be extremely cautious and prepared when it comes to possible data breaches, not only in terms of preventing them but also in terms of identifying them within their organizations. What follows are some best practices to assist you in determining if a data breach has occurred on your systems.

First, determine what is normal within your systems.
After all, you will need to know what is right to identify if something is going wrong. This can be largely accomplished by familiarizing yourself with the typical goings-on of your employees at different times of day, and with different levels of access.

Keep an eye out for unusual activity.
There are numerous warning signs that a data breach has occurred in your systems. These warnings might be as subtle as a piece of equipment suddenly becoming slower. They may include:

  • Unusual/unapproved programs: If there are suddenly unauthorized programs appearing on the company’s workstations, you may have a breach. You must be diligent in keeping an eye out for such red flags, as well as encouraging employees to do the same by insisting that they report any sudden appearances of new software that were not mandated by the company.
  • Unexplained “employee” activity: Have records suddenly shown users logging on to the system at odd times and from odd locations? Are your accounts being altered without your knowledge or approval? Have employees suddenly had unexplainable difficulties in remembering their passwords? These are also indicators that your system has been breached.
  • Other breach attempts: Have you had to fend off an overt cyber attack recently, such as a Distributed Denial of Service attack? If so, these attempts may have served a secondary purpose as a smokescreen to conceal a more insidious attack. It’s becoming a best practice to assume that an attack isn’t over, even when it’s over (because it may not be).

Educate your employees.
The first and last line of defense against most cyber threats is educated vigilance, including from your end users. Make sure your employees are also aware of the signs of a data breach, as well as other security threats. PCS can help you to keep your systems safe from these attacks as well. To see what we can set up to keep you secure, reach out to us at (865) 273-1960.

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