Archive for Security

Is Your Email Secure & Compliant?

Email is arguably the most important application we use and simply managing our inbox can be challenging enough.  Now throw in HIPAA, state data breach and other regulations, and the stakes for properly managing email have never been higher.  Here are some basic items to consider. Email Availability & Continuity How much would one hour […]

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Massive Healthcare Provider Anthem Hacked: How to Protect Yourself

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_health_security_400.jpgProbably one of the more dangerous hacks so far in 2015, healthcare-provider Anthem has been breached by hackers and its data accessed. The breach may have provided the hackers with up to 80 million sensitive customer records, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and much, much more.

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Like any other major data breach, this particular one could also have easily been avoided. Apparently, the second-largest healthcare provider in America doesn’t see a need for data encryption. They just left all of its sensitive information for millions of Americans practically in plain sight of hackers. This is naturally a cause for concern, as the information stolen could lead any number of fraudulent activities, including identity theft, credit fraud, and more.

What can you do to protect yourself? Here are some thoughts from ZDNet’s Violet Blue.

Put a Credit Freeze Into Effect Immediately
One of the best ways you can protect yourself from identity theft is to place a freeze on your credit. The freeze allows you to keep others from accessing your credit information. If someone tries to access your credit without your permission, they get blocked, and you’ll be notified of the occurrence.

This isn’t to be confused with a fraud alert, which should also be set up. A fraud alert is basically to let credit reporting companies know that you suspect credit fraud. They can then take steps to keep you safe from any trouble.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication
If you haven’t already heard about two-factor authentication, it’s when you set up extra precautions to ensure the security of your account. This can be integrated through a number of different methods, like connecting your smartphone to your email account. It might be a good idea to look into enabling two-factor authentication for your banking account and credit cards, if possible. This puts one more roadblock in the path of hackers trying to steal your identity.

Change Passwords and Login Credentials for Anything Associated with Anthem
Like most health insurance agencies, Anthem has your email address on file. Therefore, it’s logical to assume that this email address will become a target for hackers, and that you should take measures to protect yourself from threats. Take the opportunity to change all passwords and usernames associated with your account, and be sure to make them as secure as possible. Use several different numbers, letters, and special characters for maximum security. Using a password manager can make this process much easier.

Set Alerts for Your Credit Cards
Credit card information wasn’t among the data stolen from the heist, but one can never be too careful, especially in light of the hack. Inform any accounts of the breach, and they will monitor for any suspicious charges. The options might vary, but the fact remains that you need to inform them. Charges outside of your country, or those of an exorbitant amount, are fairly certain giveaways that you’re the target of fraud.

These are just a few ways to protect yourself from credit fraud caused by the Anthem hack. Be sure to stay vigilant and take preventative action to keep hackers away. Hacking in general is something which your business should be concerned with.

If you want to keep the latest threats out of your system, Total Networks can equip your business’s network with a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution. You don’t want to be left vulnerable in the face of threats, especially when you deal with sensitive information. Give us a call at (602)412-5025 for more information on how to secure your network and keep your business compliant.

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All You Need is Love… and a Network Security Solution

b2ap3_thumbnail_all_you_need_is_love_400.jpgHave you tried online dating? There are many happy couples who attribute their love to the matchmaking algorithm of an online website. Internet dating is a legitimate option for modern singles, but like most good things on the web, naive users run a risk of getting scammed.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scam
To help you better understand what an online dating scam looks like, here are eight steps of a common online dating scam provided by
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  1. A person registers at an online dating service and creates a profile. The profile will include information, and possibly a photograph, of the person along with a way for interested people to make contact.
  2. In due course, a scammer contacts the person posing as someone interested in exploring a possible romantic relationship.
  3. The victim responds and the pair begins corresponding regularly. They may soon bypass the dating service contact system and start communicating directly, usually via email.
  4. Over time, the scammer will slowly earn the trust of the victim. He or she may discuss family, jobs and other details designed to make the correspondent seem like a real person who is genuinely interested in the victim. Photographs may be exchanged. However, the “person” that the victim thinks he or she is corresponding with, is likely to be purely an invention of the scammer. Photographs may not even show the real sender. The victim’s apparent love interest may look completely different to the person in the photograph and, in reality, may not even be the same gender.
  5. After the scammer has established the illusion of a genuine and meaningful relationship, he or she will begin asking the victim for money. For example, the scammer may claim that he or she wants to meet in person and ask the victim to send money for an airfare so that a meeting can take place. Or the scammer may claim that there has been a family medical emergency and request financial assistance. The scammer may use a variety of excuses to entice the victim to send funds.
  6. If the victim complies and sends money, he or she will probably receive further such requests. With his or her judgement clouded by a burgeoning love for the scammer’s imaginary character, he or she may continue to send money.
  7. Finally, the victim will come to realize that he or she has been duped, perhaps after waiting fruitlessly at the airport for a “lover” who, will of course, never arrive.
  8. Meanwhile, the scammer pockets the money and moves on to the next victim. In fact, the scammer may be stringing along several victims simultaneously.

Why Businesses Should Be Mindful of Online Dating Scams
If you’re in a happy relationship and not playing the dating game, then you may think that you’re safe from Internet dating scams. However, if your company employs singles (or cheaters) that are accessing dating websites while at work via their personal mobile devices (BYOD), or even from their company-issued workstations, then your network’s data can fall prey to scammers if proper protection isn’t used.

Keep in mind that there are a variety of scammers on the web that use different tactics and have different goals. In our example from Hoax-Slayer, the scammer is stringing someone along with the intention of conning them. This is an approach that requires direct communication between the scammer and their victim, often by means of “catfishing.” However, there are other hackers and scammers that have bigger goals in mind than just breaking a heart and stealing a few bucks. Your business needs to be weary of getting scammed from both con artists with fake online profiles, and hackers using fake dating websites to spread malware.

Keep Your Personal Love Letters and Your Work Memos Separate
An employee may compromise your security by using their work email to create an online account at one of these sketchy dating websites. This could lead to their email account being breached, giving the hacker access to any sensitive, business-related correspondence. A breached company account could include data like company financial records or client contact information. As a general rule, an employee’s work email address should never be used to create an account from a third-party website that’s personal in nature. This is common sense, but you would be surprised at the number of workers that ignore this guideline.

Don’t Date an Extortionist
There’s even potential for corporate espionage from dating websites. What if a competitor was using a fake romance to get sensitive information from one of your lonely employees? Or worse, what if an employee is using an online dating website to cheat on their partner? If their cheating ways were discovered by a competitor, they could blackmail a worker into giving up company secrets.

This blackmail tactic is actually used to steal secrets from government workers, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities that a competitor could try to target one of your employees through a dating website, or even yourself. As a business owner, you’ve got a big hacking target on your back, and dating websites are just one of the many ways scammers can target your personal information–a hacking tactic known as spear-phishing.

Online dating is a perfectly acceptable way to meet people, but there’s no excuse for your business having poor network security. For help implementing a mobile device strategy that protects your organization from a bad romance with a hacker, call Total Networks today at (602)412-5025.

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3 Desirable Network Security Factors for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_network_security_400.jpgThere are several factors at work when scoping out your current network security situation. According to a study from 1&1, 67 percent of people confirmed that someone they know has had information stolen from them while online, which means that your business could be next. In order to remain one of the few unaffected by security breaches, consider these three network security features for your business.

Proactive Threat Detection and Management
If your network administrator isn’t scanning your system for issues or security problems, your network could be at serious risk. Security scans are part of keeping your online presence healthy, and are imperative for keeping threats an arms-length away from your system. Even while taking the maximum security precautions, threats can sneak into your system and cause damage. When this occurs, it isn’t your fault; but it’s important to act before it’s too late.

With Total Networks’s Unified Threat Management device, your network can be protected from the many threats lurking on the Internet. Our professional and trusted IT technicians can monitor and maintain your business’s network, and detect malicious activity before it can cause irreparable damage. Additionally, we can update your software when it requires a new patch or license renewal, letting you give your IT a “hands-off” approach.

Quality Data Backup and Restoration
While the UTM is a comprehensive security solution designed to help your business avoid problems, it’s not a perfect solution. Hackers are constantly developing ways to take advantage of minor vulnerabilities, and even with maximum security your business could lose everything it’s worked so hard to achieve. When the worst happens (like the recent Sony hacks, which exposed a ton of confidential data), it’s important to have some sort of backup and recovery solution on hand. This is especially important if your business wants to keep uptime at an all-time high and limit the loss of data.

Total Networks offers a Backup and Disaster Recovery solution designed to keep data loss and downtime to a minimum. You can know that, be it natural disaster or hacking attack, you’ll be able to restore your data to the point right before the disaster struck. The BDR solution includes a device which acts as the server in the event of unexpected downtime, allowing you to keep operations moving.

Maximum Uptime and Minimal Downtime
Redundancy is a term often used when discussing data storage in the business world. What this means is backing up your server’s data on another identical server. This is one way Total Networks’s solutions help your business stay afloat in the event of an outage. Additionally, this means that uptime is practically guaranteed, and maintenance can be done after-hours without causing expensive downtime.

Total Networks understands how important the latest technology is for your business. We can arm your company with cloud-based servers which come with a variety of benefits. These include reduced costs on maintenance, electricity, and general upkeep costs. With fewer operating expenses, your assets can be allocated toward more lucrative venues.

By paying attention to these three network security aspects, you’ll be sure to make the right choices concerning your business’s data security. Total Networks’s professional IT technicians can provide further consultation and support for your business. Just give us a call at (602)412-5025 to learn more.

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