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Free versus Paid Antivirus Programs

Free versus Paid Antivirus

Choosing between paid and free antiviruses is never easy, but we’re here to help!

The saying “you get what you pay for” has always circulated the antivirus program market. But what exactly do you pay for when you choose a free antivirus program over a paid program? Let’s take a look! [Read more…]

The Benefits of Custom IT Solutions for Your Business

custom IT solutionsYour business needs systems setup, cyber security, back ups, managed services, and networks to work in the digital age. Why get them all from separate sources when you can get a custom IT solution from an experienced IT company? A custom IT solution is a considerable investment but gets you everything you need without the things you don’t, gets you real hands on support, and improved efficiency over prepackaged systems.

Get Everything You Need and Nothing You Don’t

The first benefit of custom IT solutions for your business is that with custom it solutions you get everything you need and nothing you don’t. By getting custom IT assistance provided by experienced and qualified individuals, you can pick the features you want, the ones most relevant to your business. This way you can get them all from one source, rather then getting multiple prepackaged or proprietary IT solutions to address the things your company needs most you can get them all in one. And with custom IT solutions you don’t get anything you don’t need, no extra clutter on your systems, no distracting programs, and no unnecessary extra costs. So with custom IT solutions you get everything your business needs and nothing it doesn’t, where as with prepackaged IT solutions you might have to buy multiple products to precisely fit your companies IT needs and you’ll get material superfluous to your business. [Read more…]

Making a Plan for Data Backup

Don't give yourself a headache, have a plan for data backup and recovery.The recent cyber attack at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which stole data and then wiped software and data from company computers, is just the most recent reminder of the importance of having a data backup plan. Although Sony is a large company, it didn’t have sufficient backups for its data. It will take a lot of time and money to put everything back together, if even it can be. Don’t let this happen to you. Be prepared with Working Nets guide to making a plan for data backup.

Determining What Needs To Be Backed Up

Begin by prioritizing the importance of your data. Some data, might not even warrant being backed up. Other information, like databases of critical data, should have multiple redundant backup systems, that go back for multiple backup periods. Determining the importance of your data, and what needs backing up and what does not, is entirely up to you.

Part of Sony’s current problem is with restoring its data. They aren’t sure how far back the data backups might be corrupted, so newer corrupted backups are dangerous to use. This is an extreme example, as most businesses aren’t likely to be the targets of such extensive cyber attacks, but does prove a point. Depending on the importance of the data, you might want to keep older back ups- just in case you are hacked and you can determine that newer backups might be compromised as well.

How Often, and When, Should it be Backed Up?

How often and when you should backup your data is largely dependent on how important it is, and how often it is edited.

Your most important data should be backed up every time a significant edit is made. Lower priority data can probably be backed up weekly or monthly, depending on the frequency and importance of edits. If they’re data bases that might change entirely over the course of the day should be updated daily. Others might need their updates over the course of the day, or a month.

You should also consider entire system back ups weekly. If your system’s run on the weekend, this can be set to be done automatically at odd hours, so it doesn’t affect business too much.

What type of Backup will You Use?

Another important consideration of your plan for data backup is what type of backup you will use. The type of backup media you will use depends on several factors, the capacity, reliability, speed, and cost. The capacity is how much the back up medium can store. The reliability is how consistent and effective the medium is at meeting its own specifications. The speed is how fast the medium can backup and recover data. And finally the cost you need to consider is how much money your business will have to spend to buy and maintain this backup solution. You will need to make the choice of what backup system you want to use based on a balance of those four factors.

Get your Data Backed up With Working Nets

Need help figuring out a plan for data backup and recovery? Working Nets assures that we can keep your vital business data is kept secure if disaster strikes. We have knowledgeable experts on staff who can make sure that your IT needs are covered and that all of your information is safe. To talk to someone about data backup and recovery for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Cost of Sony Hack Has Reached $15 Million

Cost of Sony HackThe Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, a recent and large scale information security breaches, was given an estimated price tag as of February 4th 2015. The chaos resulting from the hack has caused Sony to file for an extension to report on its third quarter earnings, but was still required to present what information they had as an estimate to investors. In a company press conference, Sony announced that the hack, the investigation, and remediation cost the company an estimated $15 Million. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the forecast loss of 1.4 billion for the whole of the fiscal year.

Cost of Sony Hack Still Climbing

Let us be clear, the cost of approximately $15 million is just the estimate made and reported to investors for the purposes of the third quarter earnings release.  As the investigation is not complete, the cost is only related to the costs in the third quarter of the fiscal year, and does not include potential future costs incurred relating to the hack. It will likely be more when the full accounting has been completed.

Human Cost of Sony Hack

With the hack, and release of company e-mails to the public, there came a subsequent shake up in company leadership.  Amy Pascal, cochairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, stepped down from her role after a career with the company of twenty years. Under her leadership Sony Pictures helmed commercial and critical hits like “The Social Network”, “Skyfall”, and “American Hustle” that boosted Sony Pictures Entertainment’s profile as a quality movie production company. Her departure leaves a gap in their senior management, and an uncertain future for the company

Avoid the Cost to Your Company

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Tips for Keeping your Small Business Secure from Hackers

Cyber-attackAs business is increasingly done online, and more important information stored digitally, the risk and potential damage of cyber attack increase. Your website might be taken down, e-mail, client, employee, and credit card information all might be stolen, or erased. Any of the above can damage your business serious damage. Rather then seeking to repair such damage after the fact, it’s best to do all that you can to prevent it. That’s why Working Nets, Inc. Is here with a guide to help you improve your businesses cyber security.

Ensure you Employees are Trained in Cyber Security

Make sure you and your employees know safe practices to protect your companies equipment, digital assets, and information. Require strong passwords consisting of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols over nine characters long. Institute strict rules for employees defining what acceptable internet use is, and what is not. Establish and adhere to penalties for practices that violate your cyber security rules. Ensure that your employees also know how to keep customer information safe.  Without the proper cyber security training, your employees represent the greatest risk to your business, with it, they are its greatest defense.

Keep your Network and Machines Protected

Employees trained in cyber security reduce the risk of your business being the victim of cyber attacks. However, even if you reduce the risk, there’s still a chance that a cyber attack can happen. That’s why it’s important to make sure all the devices in your office have security software, your network has firewall protection, and that it’s all up to date.

Install anti-malware and anti-virus programs on your company computers. Make sure mobile devices, such as smart phones, have cyber security apps and that your employees know safe practices for using their devices. Have two wireless networks, one for employees and one for customers, and make sure all of your networks are firewall protected.

No cyber security program, operating system, or firewall is perfect. Hackers are constantly looking for exploits in these systems so that they can break into cyber systems.  As hackers look for exploits, cyber security specialists are doing their best to find them and fix them first. That’s why it’s essential that all of your machines and their security programs stay up to date.

Protect Your Business With Working Nets

Contact Working Nets. We know that handling the cyber security for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cyber security trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

 

Government Plans Bank Hack for Security Test

Virus and hacking conceptHaving your website hacked can give you a panicked feeling: you want to make sure your customers’ information is safe and that your products are still able to ship. Until a breach is fixed, it can cost you money. But what do you do about the worst kind of hack, the one that gives you a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? A bank hack.

The United States and the U.K. are attempting to test bank security by planning a deliberate hack. The internet is calling it the “war games,” which makes us think it’s a comical spin-off of the popular movie “The Hunger Games.” Though nothing to do with the film, the purpose of the hacks is to test the cyber defenses of each country. The Bank of England and the U.S. Federal Reserve are among those to be breached. The test will be led by the National Security Agency and GCHQ (the U.K.’s intelligence agency).

Why would the United States plan a deliberate hack on its own banks?

Some of the largest security breaches in history happened this past year. JPMorgan was a victim as well as Sony Pictures Entertainment. Credit cards all over the United States were compromised when using them at popular retail stores such as Target and The Home Depot. These attacks have been projected to increase this year, so the financial market segment should be on the defense. The President and security agency have weighed in on this and formulated a plan to hack major banks to develop a defense against it.

In the U.K., cyberattacks are considered a terrorism-level offense. Banks have great cyber security systems in place and are difficult to breach. Only professionals would be able to hack into a bank system, so this would be a highly criminal offense. The penetration testing that is going to be happening is necessary to keep these criminals out of the system and keep your money safe. Gaps that have been created before will be patched and any weak part will be tested and strengthened. There is a risk of taking a system down for a short period of time, but it is better to fix the problem before it turns into a serious threat.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Sony Pictures Hack Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity

cybersecurityIn today’s fast paced and increasingly digital world, stories on companies being hacked are, unfortunately, not unusual. However, as revelations pile up, it appears that a hack perpetrated on Sony Pictures on 11/24 is anything but usual. Attacks like these highlight the importance of maintaining top-notch cybersecurity and Working Nets is here with the details.

What Happened?

Around 11am, Monday, November 24th, emails began to circulate around Sony Pictures employees instructing them to stop using their computers, corporate email accounts, and cell phone wifi access. As the news traveled it became clear that hackers had seized an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of data that may have included personal passwords, financial information, passport and visa info of cast and crew along with info regarding Sony’s IT systems. As Sony began to look for possible perpetrators, even more information was found floating around on the web, including the movies AnnieMr. Turner, and Still Alice, which have not yet been released in theatres. Further investigation into the leaked files turned up employee criminal background checks, salary negotiations, and medical information as well as the script for an unreleased pilot written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. All this information makes the Sony Pictures hack easily the worst corporate hack in recorded history.

How Can I Protect My Business?

Well, you can start by not angering North Korea. Sony has publicly speculated that the attack may be a form of retaliation against the upcoming release of The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogan wherein they play characters who attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Of course, the likelihood that your business has threatened the DPRK is very low, but that doesn’t mean these kinds of attacks couldn’t happen to you. If your cybersecurity isn’t being professionally monitored and updated, your business could have serious vulnerabilities you might not even know about.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Watch Out For “Regin” Malware

ReginAt Working Nets, we know that staying on top of the latest in emerging security threats while running a small business can seem impossible. That’s why we’re here with updates on significant developments in the field of cyber security and their implications for your business. While many pieces of malware originate from abroad, this latest technological threat is home-grown, from the United States government as a matter-of-fact. Known as “Regin,” this piece of spyware, recently discovered by security firm Symatec, has been spying on international businesses for at least 6 years.

What is Regin?

Regin is a type of malware known as a Trojan, which is defined as a non-replicating piece of malware which disguises itself as a benign or useful program and typically opens a back door through which a third party can steal data and manipulate the infected computer.

Symantec has described Regin as “a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen.” This highly elusive and versatile piece of malware uses a structure typically employed for long-term intelligence-gathering. Regin has been found observing government organizations, infrastructure operators, businesses, academics, and individuals, collecting massive amount of data for years.

The largest percentage of targets infected with Regin have been small businesses and private individuals, the vast majority of whom are located in Saudi Arabia and Russia, but has also been seen found in Mexico, Ireland, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Belgium, Austria, and Pakistan.

How Does It Work?

With a highly modifiable structure, Regin can inject custom features and software into a target. It then follows up with a five-stage decrypting process delivering valuable information and complete access to a remotely connected host.

Where is Regin From?

Symantec’s initial assessment stated that “The development and operation of this malware would have required a significant investment of time and resources, indicating that a nation state is responsible.” Recent reports have shown strong evidence indicating that Regin can be traced to U.S. and U.K. officials, like the much maligned Stuxnet malware.

What Does Regin Mean for My Small Business?

The revelations about the extensive length of time and breadth of focus of Regin illustrate that the largest cyber-security threats facing businesses do not come from small-time independent hackers, but by vast, highly organized, and well-funded government organizations. Threats may come from any direction, within our borders, or globally, and staying prepared and in the know about cyber security is paramount to your businesses success.

Keep Your Private Information Secure with Working Nets

Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cyber security trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

Cyber Security Tips for Your Small Business

Cyber SecurityThe increasing digitization of business platforms and information has been a boon to small businesses worldwide, allowing small business to reach further than ever before, establishing themselves in markets around the world and making information readily accessible to employees no matter where they are. However, as we all know, this trend hasn’t come without risks. Cyber security threats are everywhere and ever changing. Working Nets is here with a few simple tips that small business owners should follow to maintain cyber security.

Train Employees Thoroughly

A recent cyber security survey found that in 77% of small businesses employees were considered the biggest threat to cyber security. This was not due to nefarious behavior, but rather the fact that many employees are untrained in, or ignore, cyber security standards, reusing passwords, or leaving them on easily lost physical objects. That’s why it’s vital to train your employees in proper internet usage, strong password creation, secure data storage, and the penalties for ignoring those protocols.

Use Clean Machines

Make sure any computer that handles your small business’s data is protected with up-to-date security software, web browsers, and operating systems. Make sure you antivirus software performs regular scans to check for spy or malware, and be sure to have routine cyber security inspections performed by a reliable cyber security company.

Backup

In case of an unexpected data breach or system failure, it’s absolutely vital to have your small business’s important data and files backed up in a secure location. This can include documents, digital spreadsheets, databases, financial files, accounts receivable/payable files and human resources info. Store your information with a reliable cloud service for maximum protection from data loss.

Need Cyber Security for Your Small Business?

Contact Working Nets. We know that handling the cyber security for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cyber security trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

WireLurker: A New Kind of Security Threat for the iOS

wirelurkerApple devices have long lorded their comparable lack of malware over their Windows competitors. However a new cyber security threat, dubbed WireLurker, may signal a coming change in the iOS’s fortunes. Working Nets, one of Maryland’s leading cyber security providers, is here with the details on why this malware is particularly dangerous for iOS devices.

What is WireLurker? What Makes it Dangerous?

WireLurker is a piece of malware, originating in China on some 500 infected apps on the unofficial Maiyadi app store, which has already infected close to 400,000 iOS devices. More importantly, WireLurker is the first known malware to target non-jailbroken iOS devices. Previously malware on the iOS was confined to users who jailbroke (disconnecting their operating system from Apple’s network and disabling limitations on installing unauthorized software) their phone, meaning that most consumers of Apple products had a very high degree of guaranteed security. The discovery of WireLurker could herald an onslaught of malware directed at iOS devices belonging to anyone.

How Does WireLurker Work?

WireLurker makes its way onto a device through infected malware downloaded from an app store or the internet, from there it infects the iOS of that machine, and makes its way to others by installing rogue apps whenever an infected device is connected via USB to an uninfected one. The original WireLurker malware made its way onto such a large number of devices because it was hidden inside seemingly legitimate applications, including illegitimate versions of highly successful games like The Sims 3 and Angry Birds.

What Does WireLurker Do?

WireLurker like most malware is used for data collection. What’s especially unusual is what data the malware seems to be interested in collecting. Most malware gathers up as much personal data as it can handle but WireLurker has only been observed identifying device owners, leading some to speculate that it was being used by the Chinese government to root out the identity of software pirates. However the amateurish nature of WireLurker’s distribution has made most cyber security experts skeptical of that assertion.

Keep All Your iOS Devices Secure With Working Nets

Keeping up with the latest cyber security threats can be exhausting, especially if you’re already running your own business. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+