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Mobile Security: Why Should I Care?

Mobile security is top of mind when it comes to concerns for IT Managers. According to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) risk of loss is the number one concern related to Mobile security. For the first time last year, more smart phones and tablets shipped than PC desktops. It is no surprise that mobile devices are the target of mobile security threats.

Target Privacy Data Breach: Part 2

Target Retailers were just involved in the second largest credit card data breach in United States history. Today Target announced the data breach that occurred over Thanksgiving weekend now exposes upwards of 70 million credit and debit cards. Target also disclosed the privacy data breach compromised names, addresses, phone numbers or email addresses, in addition to credit card information. When businesses are victims of a security breach, loss of revenue is often highlighted in the news. What the media often overlooks is the internal costs of remediation, exposure to privacy breach laws and loss of reputation with their customers.

Cyber Attack Target

Target Retailers were just involved in the second largest credit card breach in United States history. A cyber security attack occurred over Thanksgiving weekend, which exposed upwards of 40 million credit and debit cards users. Compromised information included credit and debit card information, as well as customer names. When large businesses are victims of a

2013 Technology in Review

As always, a lot has changed in the Technology world in the past year. Systems are updating, while new technologies are becoming more prevalent. Windows XP, the operating system that 33 percent of personal computers rely on, is on the way out. Windows 8.1 has become the standard. Also, personal computers are leaving the scene.

2014 IT Trends

This time of year most organizations are looking at 2014.  Analyzing IT trends allows you to budget for the upcoming year, as well as, keep up with the competition.  Reviewing 2014 IT Trends can help ensure your core systems stay up to date and help you grow your business.  There are a number of important trends that many companies will take advantage of to reduce risks, gain more customers and reduce costs. Here is What to Watch for 2014 IT Trends: IT Security IT Security will continue as one of the top areas of concern for most business owners when they think about technology in 2014.  IT Security tops the short list of 2014 IT Trends and is driven by cyber security threat, concerns over privacy data issues and security risks related to mobile computing (e.g. Mobile Device theft/loss, virus and malware infection). Cloud Computing Most companies have adopted some form of cloud based technologies within their business.  File sharing/cloud sharing services, remote backup and disaster recovery all fuel the need for robust networking and highly available Internet connectivity.  With the retirement of Windows XP anticipated in April of 2014, many companies will turn to the cloud for modernized office productivity solutions, including virtual desktops and hosted email. Mobile Applications & Touch Technologies The latest release of Windows 8.1 relies heavily on a Touch user interface.  Many technology consumers are familiar with touch technologies on their smartphones and tablet computers.  Demand for these devices is expected to be strong.  Many manufacturers are launching an array of touch enabled laptops, convertible computers and tablet computers that are touch enabled.  This...

Why Small Businesses Need Technology

Technology has become an integral part of most small businesses.  Email has replaced the fax machine.  An onslaught of mobile devices have replaced cash registers, binders and note pads.  Pencil and paper no longer keep up with the velocity of business today.  In order to attract new customers and deliver products and services at competitive prices, small business technology is the cornerstone to automation and profitability. Cloud computing, mobility and consumerization of IT make it affordable for small businesses to deploy systems that were once reserved for large scale enterprise.  With ready access to small businesses technology, there is also more reliance on these core systems.  Small businesses are also targets of cyber attack because they may be perceived as more vulnerable and less vigilant.  Also, small businesses may be less resilient to business disruption related to systems failure.  Accordingly, Small Businesses should take every precaution to protect applications and their data.  They should also properly assess their risks and exposure to ensure they get the most from their small business IT Budgets. What can small businesses do to make sure these systems support the ongoing operations with minimal interruption? Small Business Technology Inventory A good place to start is to take inventory of your systems and data.  It is good policy to document all of your IT assets including hardware, networking devices, application software and data so you can have a complete view of your IT Systems.  Make sure you include mobile devices, cloud computing or software as a service (SaaS) systems, as well as, custom applications and legacy systems. Small Business Technology Risk Assessment Once you have...

Cyber Security Awareness

Did you know October is Cyber Security Awareness month?  This tradition was established ten years ago in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.  This is a great opportunity for the public and private sectors to establish  secure and vigilant infrastructure and to protect IT Assets from Cyber Security Threats. This initiative places emphasis on the following areas of Cyber Security throughout the month: Mobile Security The importance of cyber security in a mobile setting is highly important, no matter where you are or what device you are using.  Business owners should take time to evaluate Mobile Security Policies including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Acceptable Use Policies for access to corporate systems and their data from a mobile device.  Mobile data protection including Antivirus, Anti Malware and Mobile Device Management to track, monitor, protect and enforce IT security policy on a Mobile Device. Cyber Security Workforce Cyber Security in the workforce highlights the importance of fostering the next generation of workers through education and training.  Cyber attack can come from anywhere in the world, at any time.  As a result, the Cybersecurity workforce is on the defense against elusive Cyber Criminals.  Having a well staffed, well trained Cybersecurity workforce is critical to the fight against Cyber Crime. Cyber Crime Cyber Crime prevention focuses on national and local efforts to prevent traditional crimes like theft, fraud, and abuse that can also take place online.  Many of these attacks go unnoticed and unreported.  Malicious software or Malware may be downloaded and undetected.  Phishing schemes...

Do you Have a Strategy for Online Backup?

Online Backup is one of the more popular deployments of cloud computing. Online backup can be a cost effective part of your data protection strategy. Many businesses have achieved benefits by leveraging cloud computing for secure and affordable remote data storage and cloud file sharing technologies.  In some cases, business owners do not even realize they are using Cloud Based Online Backup services.  For business owners there are a number of important considerations for your Online backup strategy. Industry and Regulatory Compliance Some industries, such as health services, have strict regulations on how data is managed and protected.  Some online backup vendors comply with these strict requirements, while others do not.  It is important to carefully select your online backup supplier and ensure their Service Level Agreements (SLA) meets your business needs and comply with your industry regulations. Online Backup Recovery Time Online backup can be a secure and affordable option for offsite data storage and cloud sharing capability.  If you are considering remote backup for your business continuity and disaster recovery plans, it is important to consider recovery times in the event you need to to restore your data.  Some online backup services provide great value for easy access to data, while other services are optimized for rapid recovery of your most critical information.  You should weigh costs and risks when deploying online backup for your disaster recovery scenarios. How Secure is Your Online Backup There are many online backup vendors providing a secure solution that is equally or more reliable that tape storage or other data vaulting solutions.  In fact, the cloud infrastructure for your data may...

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 8.1

If you are running Windows XP on your computer, you are not alone.  It is estimated that 33% of all PCs still run on Windows XP.  Many businesses are considering upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 8.1.  Microsoft has different plans in mind.  According to Microsoft pre-release documentation, upgrading from Windows XP and Windows Vista are not supported.  This means XP users will need a clean installation of Windows 8.1 instead.  So what choices do XP users have? Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 – Microsoft will Have a Clean Install Option for Windows 8.1 You may consider installing Windows 8.1 on your existing hardware.  Depending on your configuration, you may need to upgrade your RAM and increase your hard drive capacity and ensure you meet minimum system requirements for Windows 8.1.  While this option may breathe additional life into your existing personal computers, you may have difficulty finding support for some of your drivers and peripherals.  You will also need to evaluate support for your existing software applications to determine if they are compatible with Windows 8.1. If you consider this option please remember It is vital to that you must backup all of your applications and data prior to performing the migration from XP. Consider a Virtual Desktop Solution for Your Business Cloud computing experts claim you can leverage your existing XP machines to access the latest software and services in the cloud.  By connecting to a virtual desktop you may avoid some of the security risks associated with Windows XP.  Additionally, you will have the benefit of accessing the latest operating system and office productivity...

Apple Enhances Mobile Security with iPhone 5s

Earlier this week Apple announced their new line up of iPhones.  The iPhone 5c is a new model catering to smartphone users on a budget, while the iPhone 5s is their newest flagship product.  The iPhone 5s features a new fingerprint sensor known as “Touch ID”  designed to provide access to your new iPhone 5s with the touch of a finger versus a four digit passcode. Mobile Security  Concerns According to research by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) mobile device theft or loss is a top concern among IT professionals and small business owners.  CompTIA research also indicates that requiring a pass code to unlock a mobile device passcode is the most utilized defense according to 76% of those surveyed.  But is a four digit passcode enough? Apple “Touch ID” improves  Mobile Security Biometrics are far from perfect however, Apple Touch ID is expected to increase mobile security over a four digit pass code.  Apple’s four digit passcode is limited to 10,000 combinations and can be cracked by an expert in under six minutes.  Because some are concerned that Apple Touch ID stores fingerprints on its’ new A7 processor Apple will continue to provide the four digit pass code option for those who choose not use use Apple Touch ID. Other Mobile Security Concerns Through cloud sharing applications, Social Media, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) adoption and other mobility trends, mobile devices can create a hole in your company’s IT security architecture.  Access to corporate applications and their data, privacy information and commingling of personal and company assets add to the mobile security challenge.  Mobile devices are the...
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