443-992-7394

How To Be Safe With Information Online

How To Be Safe With Information Online

Whether it’s staying clear of malware or being smart with the information you put out, you need to understand the best practices.

In today’s world, nearly half of the population uses the internet. Depending on what device the access is coming from, that means a large amount of people are using computers. While they’re essential, your computer can easily be hacked and is prone to getting sick. Luckily, there are defense systems in place to thwart any such attempt. However, if you’re not careful and aware of the situation, these viruses could harm your computer. In most cases, it should not be difficult to clean the computer. In other scenarios, it could be extremely problematic, which is why you have to be careful with your approach online. Whether it’s staying clear of malware or being smart with the information you put out, you need to understand the best practices. [Read more…]

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+

How to Avoid Viruses and Spyware

spyware preventionComputers house the most important information for your business. Technology has taken over the business world entirely; people rarely have paper copies of anything anymore. One of the scariest things imaginable for a company is being hacked or getting a virus that causes you to lose all of the data on your computer. Spyware actually allows hackers to see what information is on your computer. Think of all the different files you have – financial statements, documents that have sensitive meeting information on them, private client information, and more. If you find yourself hacked or lose all of your important information, it could seriously set your company back. The following tips will help you avoid spyware and viruses.

  • Anti-virus and anti-spyware protection – There are many software companies that offer virus and spyware protection for your computer. You should always do your research on the software that you choose to make sure that it’s going to offer comprehensive protection. It’s also important to check for software updates so that you know your computer is continuously protected.
  • Use Internet common sense – The Internet was first introduced to the public in 1991, meaning we’ve had the opportunity to work with it and learn about it for almost 23 years now. Those who have been using the Internet for that length of time have a decent idea of what causes viruses and spyware to show up on their computers: clicking on suspicious links and popups number one among them. Make sure that you trust the source for any link that you click on.
  • Check every day – You should have you protection run a scan for viruses and spyware every day. The sooner you discover a problem with your computer, the less likely you are to sustain permanent damage to the hard drive. Shut down a problem as soon as it comes up. Knowing about something is the first step to taking care of the problem.
  • Outsource your IT – Outsourcing your IT gives you a group of computer savvy people at your fingertips. They can give you all the tips and tricks you need for keeping your computer safe from spyware and viruses  while making sure that your system is entirely up to date. Hiring a company to take care of your IT needs can actually save you money and worry.

At Working Nets, we know that the idea of having your computer hacked is a scary one. Nobody wants to think that their information is out there for everyone to see. Call us today to find out more about anti-virus and anti-spyware software as well as outsourcing your IT. You can reach us at (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today for more information!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

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

Source: Tech Republic

Second Largest Data Breach Hits EBay

EBay BreachEBay has now fallen victim to a cyber-attack, which was disclosed by the company Wednesday. The hackers were able to gain access to the database of 145 million EBay users and their records. Hackers were able to steal information like mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and passwords; however the company assures its users that no PayPal or financial data was compromised during the attack.

EBay has given a small insight as to how the hackers were able to gain access to the information. They claim that the attack took place between the end of February and the beginning of March and that hackers used credentials they obtained from employees. Using this information, they were then able to access the company’s database holding millions of users’ records.

The attack has left many experts questioning how the company missed the attack that took place nearly three months ago. Experts are left wondering if the employee’s whose credentials were stolen were really authorized to have access to such information. EBay is working with FBI to investigate the attack and has hired a forensic division from Mandiant, a company through FireEye Inc. to help with the investigation. Internet security expert Dan Kaminsky wants to know how the information was compromised and why it took so long for EBay to detect the attack. The attack comes in second to the October 2013 attack on Adobe Systems Inc. that left 152 million user accounts compromised, but surpasses the December 2013 attack on Target Corp that compromised 40 million credit card accounts and 70 million customer records.

If you are concerned that your business could be in jeopardy of a hacker attack, contact Working Nets Inc. today. At Working Nets, we provide services like security and disaster preparedness as well as virus and spyware protection. Working Nets strives to provide small businesses with the protection they need to help their information stay secure. To inquire about protection against security breaches, call us today at (443)-992-7394 or fill out our online form.

Find Working Nets online at Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/technology/chi-ebay-passwords-20140521,0,3183831.story

How Can I Prevent Spyware?

Spyware PreventionSpyware is a prevalent problem for computer users today. With spyware, those behind it can gather sensitive data from your computer, change your computer settings, and peddle advertising to you without your permission. Occasionally, spyware can be an incredibly malicious piece of software that works its way into the depths of your computer and steals information. It tends to be very difficult to remove and can do things such as changing your homepage and invading your settings so that it’s not possible for you to change them back. Eventually, certain types of spyware can cause your computer to crash altogether. It’s important that you know how to protect your computer from spyware programs. We have some tips on how to avoid being a victim of spyware.

  • Install anti-Spyware software – As your first line of defense, this is a good one. Make sure that the software that you choose is trustworthy and will keep your computer safe from harm. The ideal anti-spyware would actually be anti-malware so that it can detect any kind of harmful program that comes into contact with your computer.
  • Use caution on the internet – The internet is full of viruses and programs looking to destroy your computer and gain information from you. Be careful to avoid clicking on links that take you to unknown sources. If something looks untrustworthy, it probably is. You should also avoid clicking on pop up ads, since they will frequently take you to places with malware.
  • Keep up with system updates – The more up to date your computer is, the better the chances that its equipped to deal with problems like spyware and malware. One way to make sure your computer stays up to date is to subscribe to automatic updates. Whenever a new update is released for your operating system, your computer will automatically install it.
  • Enable your firewall – Firewalls are meant to take down predatory programs. If your firewall settings are correct, spyware and malware will have a hard time getting through to your computer.

Your computer and information will be the safest if you’re prepared for anything. Make sure to take the above steps to avoid a spyware or malware invasion. It’s a fascinating digital world out there, and it’s important to know how to navigate it safely. If you have any questions regarding malware or spyware, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

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

Sources: Spyware Prevention, What is spyware?

Cybersecurity News: The Current State of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012: “To enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.”

As you may or may not know, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Joseph Lieberman (I–CT) and Susan Collins (R–ME), was defeated in the Senate after failing to gain the 60 votes necessary to move the bill past cloture and go up for a full vote. Obviously, the Act is still not ready, at least in the eyes of the Senate. And Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), a strong proponent for national cybersecurity, agrees. But he also acknowledges that something must be done.

“News reports and experts confirm that our nation’s critical infrastructure-such as our water systems, our power grid, and so forth-are vulnerable to attacks from hackers and foreign governments,” said Sen. Franken. “…Our nation needs to respond to those threats.”

Luckily, Franken has a solution. Rather than scrapping the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 all together, Franken believes it can be amended.

“The Cybersecurity Act is not perfect, but when it comes to striking a balance between cybersecurity and privacy and civil liberties, it is the only game in town,” said Sen. Franken. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to write a good cybersecurity bill-because when you try to make it easier for the government or Internet companies to detect and stop the work of hackers or other bad actors, you often end up making it very easy for those same entities to snoop in on the lives of innocent Americans.”

Franken has proposed several amendments that would remove provisions found in Section 701 of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 that allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the authority to monitor and take actions against their users. It is the Senator’s hope that these amendments will alleviate many of the issues that his fellow Senators have with the Act.

“And I hope that my colleagues here in the Senate will join me in passing this amendment,” added Sen. Franken.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

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

Sources:

Sen. Franken: Improved Cybersecurity Bill Will Better Protect Privacy, Civil Liberties, but Still Needs Work

Franken Amendment Would Remove Worst Part of Cybersecurity Bill

 

Cybersecurity News: Microsoft PCs are infected before reaching Consumers

It has not been a good couple of weeks for Microsoft. First, they discovered that Hackers had found a Security Hole in Internet Explorer. Now, the computer company has discovered that many of their PCs and laptops made in China were embedded with malicious software before ever reaching the consumer. The computer virus allows hackers to switch on a microphone or Webcam, record keystrokes, and access login credentials and online bank accounts.

And because computer companies rely on such a long and complex supply line, the malicious software could have been uploaded at any point, something Richard Domingues Boscovich, the assistant general counsel for the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, called “especially disturbing.”

“It’s one of the toughest cybersecurity challenges out there,” said Tom Kellermann, vice president of cybersecurity at Trend Micro. “There’s not really a solution unless you start to only build computers in the USA again.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened either. In 2008, the Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration unknowingly purchased counterfeit Cisco routers, which were pre-loaded malicious software. FBI investigators found the routers allowed hackers to “gain access to otherwise secure systems.”

Then in May, the Senate Armed Services Committee released  a report citing 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronics from China, electronics used in the Air Force’s largest cargo plane and Special Operation helicopters.

“Companies are in a competitive dogfight to make products cheaper and hit the market faster,” said Scott Aken, a former FBI special agent who dealt with cyber counterintelligence. “They’re not spending time or money to ensure those products they are sourcing from overseas are devoid of counterfeits.”

So what are consumers to do?

Boscovich offers this simple advice: Consumers can often spot dangerous counterfeit technology if the deal “appears too good to be true.”

“However, sometimes people just can’t tell, making the exploitation of a broken supply chain an especially dangerous vehicle for infecting people with malware.”

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

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

Sources:

Pre-Infected PCs Expose Flaws In Global Supply Chain

Cybersecurity News: Hackers have found a Security Hole in Internet Explorer

It was recently reported that security researcher Eric Romang of Zataz.com discovered a major cybersecurity issue with Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6, 7, 8, and 9. The popular Internet browser has a major hole, a hole that hackers have already discovered.

The fresh “zero day” vulnerability allowed cyber attackers to install malicious software – a form of the old Poison Ivy Trojan – on Windows computers. This allowed the hackers to take control of the victim’s computer.

It is thought that the hackers behind the IE attack may also be the group responsible got last month’s exploitation of Oracle’s Java browser plug-in.

Microsoft Responds to the Cybersecurity Threat

Microsoft quickly responded with a security advisory, including an extensive list of work-arounds. Unfortunately for IE users, these work arounds are somewhat burdensome.

“I would recommend not using Internet Explorer until this issue is patched,” Sophos’ Chet Wisniewksi tells me. “While the exploit is not in widespread use, it could be integrated into popular attack kits like the Blackhole Exploit Kit any time now.”

The Solution: Make the switch to another browser, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera. You can always come back to IE after Microsoft issues a patch.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

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

Source:

Hackers Just Found a Big Hole in Internet Explorer. Should You Switch Browsers?