Blog

June 30th, 2014

PerformanceJust visit any website, and your browser might detect that there is a problem with its security. The hard reality of things is that most people will buy things online or even pay their bills through the Internet, but they do not have an antivirus software installed onto their computers.

Without an antivirus software, you will notice that you are putting your security and information at risk if someone were to hack into your account. Viruses on the computer come in many different forms and types, but many of them are geared towards obtaining your personal and financial information as a form of identity theft.

What an antivirus can do for you online is simply to keep you safe. The antivirus software is first going to make sure that every website you are visiting is not going to infect your computer and destroy it over time. The software is also going to keep your information safe when you’re shopping online or simply paying your bills.

Many people who do not have an antivirus software installed onto their computer are finding that it is very difficult to feel safe while shopping or buying things online. Not only is your financial information unsafe without this type of program, but a computer virus can literally destroy everything on your computer within a matter of minutes or hours, which makes it difficult if you rely on your computer daily.

If you have computers in your Atlanta company without up to date anti-virus software, give MIS Solutions a call today!

June 29th, 2014

Changing your Password and Why It’s Important

Changing your password isn’t an option any more; the security of your account is at stake. If you do not change your account password regularly, it may lead to some kind of compromise to your Atlanta company.

When an intruder acquires your password, he gains access to the account that was protected by your password. If someone gains access to your PC using your computer account password, he can then use your computer for attacking other systems and machines, and if the authorities find out, they will come looking for you.

Can I use a variant of my old password?

It is your habits that lead to compromises in life. With a little bit of effort, you will come up with a strong password for your account, so there’s no point in using a variant of the old password. Make it a lifelong habit to keep strong passwords to avoid the possibility of being compromised.

Create a Strong Password

It is important to choose a strong password for your account. Use a combination of alphabets, numerals and symbols. Make sure you use a combination of lower and upper cases for structuring the password. A strong password makes it difficult, if not impossible, for an intruder to breach.

Change Your Password Regularly

Change your account password regularly. For instance, you can maintain a monthly or quarterly schedule for password change.

June 28th, 2014

ServicesAllowing access to private business data is a difficult thing for business owners to do. You want to make sure that every piece of valuable information is protected against any form of theft or loss. One great way to protect your data is to establish a two factor authentication system.

A two factor authentication system is one in which you are asked for a secondary layer of information before you are able to access private information. For example, if you log into your company’s administrative portal, you will most definitely be asked for a password. Then, you would be asked for a secondary code or a piece of information that only you would know.

This, of course, makes your documentation more secure and makes it more difficult for someone to hack into your account. However, you should be very selective in regards to your password and the secondary code so that no one would be able to guess your answer.

As you spend time with employees over the years, they begin to learn things about you because you talk about your families and interests together. If you are someone who owns a boat, for example, and boating is your most favorite thing to do, your employees might know that about you. If your password is the name of your boat, that might be a little too easy for your employees to guess if they were trying to access your data. In addition, if your secondary authentication is your mother’s maiden name, your employees might know that too. Make sure all of your passwords and questions are things that only you would know for optimum security and protection for your data.

Topic Security
June 27th, 2014

PerformanceImagine if your computer system failed, and you lost every piece of client information and financial information. For most businesses, this would be catastrophic. It would take weeks to months to recreate all of that data, and some of it would be lost forever.

It is impractical to trust your employees to manually back up your system as often as they should. They could forget, or they could just not feel like it that day. For many larger companies, losing one day of records would be a huge undertaking to restore. In addition, allowing your employees to back up your system gives them the ability to walk out the door with all of your data. How much can you really trust an employee with everything that controls your business?

Even if you had the most trustworthy employees on the planet, and they back up your system every single day, the back up can still be lost or damaged. If the back up is left at the company, and the office burns down that night, the entire back up is destroyed. If the employee takes the back up home with them, you risk exposure of personal information to unauthorized people. Of course, their house could also burn down too.

The only safe solution is to employ an off-site back up service that will automatically back up your data everyday and store it on their secure network. Then, you can rest better knowing your data can easily be restored in the event of theft or loss.

Give MIS Solutions a call today to ensure your computer’s data is backed up and able to be recovered in the case of a disaster.

Topic Security
June 27th, 2014

What is Data Encryption?

Encryption is a useful way of protecting your precious information. With a little effort, you can master data encryption and prevent unauthorized access of your data.

Hard Disk Encryption

Hard disk encryption for your Atlanta company aims to encrypt data stored on your hard disk. This storage device is also useful for backing up your important files. Encryption prevents unauthorized access of the stored information. There are many third party software that offer hard disk data encryption services. You can look for the right software online.

Run the software after installing it. Select the folder that you want to encrypt. Wait for encryption to complete.

External Storage Device Encryption

To encrypt USB flash drives and other external storage devices, you can use more or less the same applications and programs that work for a hard disk encryption.

Traffic Data Encryption

There are instances when it becomes necessary to be more wary of Internet data that you’re sending and receiving. A virtual private network connects you to a secure server. Data transmitted via this route is encrypted, preventing its interception.

VPNs charge a small service fee. Payments can be made online.

Using a VPN is a simple task that does not usually require technical experience. The provider you choose will give specific instructions for connecting securely to the Web.

June 26th, 2014

PerformanceThere are many ways to make money from stolen data, as suggested by the increasing number of reports in data breaches and online incidents. One of the easiest ways for a hacker or a spy to get into a corporation’s network is by going in through someone who’s already familiar with it: an employee. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’d kidnap or ransom them, although that sort of thing is not unheard of. It could just mean that they’d be keeping an eye out for anyone who’s recently quit or have been fired from the business who might be looking for some extra cash.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and we do need to safeguard our network not just against attacks from the outside, but also from the inside. Many unsatisfied or recently laid-off/fired employees with access to sensitive information should be viewed very closely, as they often have the most unrestricted access to the data that’s most important to the business.

Implement review processes for employees who have been recently let go or when they’ve given notice that they’re moving on to a different company. Make sure to restrict their access to the system as soon as they’ve finished their employment, or even beforehand if it’s at all possible. Employees are great tools to use against malicious attacks, but they function as a double edged sword.

If you want to discuss keeping your Atlanta company safe from a breach like a former employee, give MIS Solutions a call today!

June 25th, 2014

ServicesWhen a hacker is trying to gain access to your network, oftentimes they will focus their efforts on gaining access to one of your computers. After they have breached that computer’s firewall, it becomes easier for the intruder to gain access to your data over your entire network. That is because many systems are not segmented.

Segmenting your network creates breaks between areas of your computer system. If suspicious activity is found at one computer, there is a possibility that the activity could spread to any devices that are part of that network segment. If the activity is not discovered, it is possible for the hackers to reach other segments of the network. However, this is unlikely. By segmenting the network, you create containment areas that will stop malicious activity from reaching your entire network.

Examples of items that create segments in your system are hubs, modems and routers. They break the system apart in a strange way all while connecting it at the same time.

Here is a better way to understand how segmenting your system works. If you work in an office building with several levels or floors, everyone who is on your floor would be part of your segment. You would have easy access to talk to them or go to their office if necessary. However, if you needed to go to an office on another floor, you would need something like a staircase or an elevator to connect you to the floor. Therefore, you would not be on the same segment as them. A safe computer network would be structured like this.

Give MIS Solutions a call to start working with an IT Consultant who can keep your Atlanta network safe!

Topic Security
June 23rd, 2014

ServicesOne of the biggest risks for anyone relying on a wireless Internet connection is the risk of being hacked. A person can be hacked if users gain access to the credentials required to access the network. One way to minimize the risk of hacking is to restrict remote access.

What kind of problems does restricting remote access resolve?

People who have access to one’s network can install malware like keylogger software to monitor a person’s activity. In addition to disturbing spyware, unauthorized access allows one to delete important files and even plant viruses. There are some steps that people can take to protect their privacy and prevent unauthorized access to personal data and information. One such step is restricting remote access.

What is the purpose of restricting remote access? 

It allows more individualized control over who can access private files, data and information on a person’s desktop. Access can be restricted by IP address and other methods. Manually blocking access using IP addresses is yet another option, which may require the use of a firewall. Other methods include restricting access using the registry. Rotating passwords, performing regular updates, implementing firewalls, changing authentication methods and limiting the number of users with direct access to the PC can improve security.

Loss of privacy, privileged information, virus attacks and malware installation are threats that can be addressed in part by restricting remote access to a person’s desktop. While this is only one step to improving privacy and security on the PC, it can be an important one to take.

If you would like to help your Atlanta Company with quality IT Consulting, give MIS Solutions a call today.

Topic Security
June 22nd, 2014

PerformanceThe Internet is a very large place, and there are large amounts of people using it to infect your computers with malware and nasty viruses. There are a variety of ways to do this, but one of the most popular options is by using third party programs that your business already relies on.

Browser applications, OS programs, and other third party programs are a great way to get in to an otherwise secure system. Patches for these programs are generally rolled out quickly after an exploit or hack has been discovered or detected, which is good, right? It is good that they’ve been able to patch their problems, but not everyone downloads the latest patches as soon as they’re released. They’re generally given a window that asks them if they want to go through to trouble of taking the time to download an update to a program that’s never given them any trouble in the past, so why would they waste time upgrading it? This may seem like a bad idea to a lot of computer savvy people, but it’s a pretty common problem in medium and larger scale businesses that employ people of different backgrounds.

It’s vitally important to ensure that patches are kept up to date as soon as a new one rolls out. The big ones to look for are the browser applications like Flash and Java, which each have their own history of being exploited and used to deliver malware.

If your Atlanta company needs IT Consulting help, give the professionals at MIS Solutions a call today!

June 21st, 2014

Crimeware is a concept that every single business owner should be familiar with. Most everyone has either heard of an instance of crimeware happening, or they probably have experienced it first hand. Crimeware is that email that has an attachment with it that when opened will distribute malware all over the computer system in an effort to gain access to private information. Or, it is the pop-up that tells the operator something is wrong with the computer system and to “click here” to fix it. Nothing good follows after the click here button is pushed.

Installing anti-virus programs on all computer systems is a necessary step to protect important data, but one should not assume that by simply installing an anti-virus program that they are protected from all forms of cyber-evil. The ones who want the company’s information have discovered ways to get around anti-virus software. This, once again, does not suggest that companies should not bother with anti-virus programs. They absolutely should because anti-virus does provide an enormous layer of protection. However, companies need to be aware that they need to do more to ensure their data is protected.

One thing that all companies should do is disable Java in the browser. This may be difficult with some software applications, but it is necessary. Java has created open spaces in security that allow access to unauthorized users. If it is disabled, that access is taken away.

Java in the browser can be the back door Atlanta companies don’t bother to look at in their network security protocol.  This is fast becoming one of the most common methods to launch a data attack against a company or individual.  Using Java in your browser carries more risk than bringing benefit at this point.

Give MIS Solutions a call today to discuss ways to protect your computer network from data security threats.

Topic Security