Cyber Security

Cyber Security

Experts Predict Major Cyber-Attack Within 11 Years

Tags: , , , Computer Security Baltimore, Cyber Security, Explanations

Cyber-attackA survey released today, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that the majority of major technology analysts believe that a major cyber-terrorist attack against US energy, banking, or health care systems will be carried out successfully within the next 11 years. The survey, which was given to 1,642 of the world’s most prominent technology experts asked if, in their professional opinion, they believed that a cyber-attack would cause “widespread harm to a nation’s security and capacity to defend itself” within the next 11 years.

Over 60% answered yes.

Working Nets is here with the inside scoop on the danger this impending threat could pose for your small business.

It’s Already Begun

Cyber-attacks have already risen dramatically in frequency and scope within the past year alone. Many experts cited this month’s major cyber-attack on Apple’s iCloud storage system, which many attribute as a covert action by the Chinese government, as an example of the increasing threat of digital terrorism.  Jason Pontin, the editor of the MIT Technology Review also cited the 2009 Stuxnet computer worm, which disabled the centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear power plant, as an example.

Why Are They So Dangerous?

Cyber-attacks are proportionally dangerous to the amount we depend upon the internet to conduct important tasks, which shows no signs of diminishing.

Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington D.C. law firm. Was quoted as saying that “cyberware just plain makes sense. Attacking the power grid or other industrial control systems is asymmetrical and deniable and devilishly effective.” Cyber-attacks involving the theft of personal data are equally threatening, allowing terrorist groups to seize foreign capital to fund their efforts.

The Dissenting Opinion

It’s worth noting however, that the 39% who answered “no” have some pretty compelling evidence on their side as well.

“The nation-states with the capability to deliver such an attack do not have the motivation to do so,” says David Clark, a research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, invoking the mantra of mutually assured destruction that saw this country through the cold war.

Many experts agreed with Clark’s opinion and added that while new cyber-security threats do appear every day, so do new defensive measures against them. For every major threat there is always a team of dedicated technology professionals ready to quickly combat it.

Protect Your Business From Cyber-Attacks

Working Nets, employer of the area’s most talented and qualified cyber-security experts, can create a data protection solution customized for any network. Preparation is the best defense against potentially disastrous cyber-attacks.  With Working Nets at your back you’ll avoid many of the other problems that could disrupt the functionality of your business on a day-to-day basis.

To talk to someone about cyber-attacks, network security and disaster preparedness  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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google

Baltimore Tech News: Third Major IT Security Flaw Discovered This Year

Tags: , , Cyber Security, IT industry, IT Tips Baltimore

IT SecurityAccording to the Chinese zodiac were in the year of the Horse, but IT professionals are starting to see it as the year of the bug. With Heartbleed and Shellshock IT security has had a tough enough time keeping up with emerging security threats, but now there’s a new bug on the horizon: Poodle. Working nets is here with the details on this new IT security threat and what you can do to combat it and keep your Baltimore business safe.

So What is Poodle?

Poodle, an acronym which stands for Padding Oracle On Downloaded Legacy Encryption, was discovered, like the Heartbleed and Shellshock vulnerabilities, in a 15 year old technology: SSL 3.0, which stands for Secure Socket Layer 3.0, is a technology that is widely used today to encrypt a user’s browsing session, particularly if they are using a public network or device. The Poodle vulnerability presents the potential for hackers to observe and even hijack a browsing session, taking control of somone’s online banking, email, or social networking accounts. Three IT security researchers at Google announced the discovery of the Poodle vulnerability last month.

How Dangerous Is Poodle?

In response to the announcement the OpenSSL Project,  developers of the most used SSL applications, advised makers of web-browsers to disable support for SSL 3.0. IT security experts seem to agree that Poodle is much less of a threat than Heartbleed or Shellshock, in large part because SSL has been largely superseded by a newer security protocol called TLS. Additionally to pull off an attack the victim must be actively browsing on the same network at the same time as an attacker, giving Poodle a much smaller window of vulnerability.

How Can I Stay Safe?

To be safe, make sure your browser is up to date and not using SSL 3.0. If this is impossible, stay away from using a public network, or network that unfamiliar users can log on to, while conducting secure transactions, managing sensitive emails, or other information that you wouldn’t want others seeing. To make sure your Baltimore company’s sensitive data is being protected, consider outsourcing your IT security to a dedicated professional.

Working Nets

Staying on top of everything can be a hassle, especially if you’re already running your own Baltimore 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.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your small Baltimore 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+

New “Shellshock” Bug Could be More Dangerous than Heartbleed

Tags: , , , Cyber Security

computer bugFor the most part, Mac users are safe from viruses and other computer related issues. Hackers have a harder time causing problems for Apple products than they do for PCs. The Heartbleed Bug from a few months ago that caused problems for Internet Explorer users was only a small problem compared to this new bug that is affecting Mac users around the world. This is one of the few instances where Mac OS X as well as Linux have been targeted and a severe problem has arisen as a result. The bug, called “Shellshock” could cause problems for up to 5 million Mac and Linux users.

What’s so Dangerous about Shellshock?

The biggest problem with Shellshock right now is that there’s no easy way for an average user to solve the problem.  System administrators and software companies are the ones that will need to deal with patch issues. Casual computer users are going to have a harder time ensuring their own safety on the net at the moment.

All Mac OS X Machines and most Linux machines use a software program called “Bash” to essentially decode information to make it possible for operating systems to understand information. Your operating system isn’t the only thing that uses Bash, though. It’s used for many different reasons by various applications, which makes computers that are affected incredibly vulnerable. There are already at least 500,000 devices that have been affected, but experts estimate that nearly 5 million could be affected.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from Shellshock?

  • Deploy the patch – There is already a patch out to help keep your device safe. Though the patch isn’t completely finished yet, it will protect your device for the time being. If you have outsourced your IT, your IT experts should have already deployed this patch for all Mac and Linux users.
  • Be aware – The best thing that you can do to stay protected is to stay on top of information and keep your system updated. Anytime the option to update your system is available, make sure that you do so. Each update is released for a reason and some are specifically for security reasons.
  • Outsource your IT – Staying on top of everything can be a hassle, 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.

To talk to someone about managed IT 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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

Source: BBC

 

What Technology Does my New Small Business Need?

Tags: , Cyber Security, IT services

When starting any small business it’s important to recognize that in today’s world, every business will have some technological needs. Whether you’re a bakery or market analytics company, small business technology plays an important role in every emerging enterprise. Ascertaining what that role is and what technology your small business requires can be tricky, so we’ve assembled a few of the key ingredients that every small business should look for.Small business technology

Local Tech Consultant

One of the most essential early investments a small business can make is purchasing the services of a consultant, specifically one which specializes in small business technology. It’s important to make sure that any consultant you hire has an understanding of your business and who has a proven track record of helping small business grow through technology.

High Speed Internet

No matter what size your business is, in order to stay competitive in the modern marketplace, having high speed internet is an absolute must. With high speed internet you’ll be able to take advantage of a myriad of opportunities including digital and social media marketing, cloud storage of important documents, online marketplaces, and many more. When choosing an internet service provider look for a history good customer interactions and reliable, uninterrupted service.

Computers

Of course none of the above will provide you with any real benefit if your office doesn’t have any functional computers. While they may not be necessary for every employee, depending on your business, everyone should have access to one. It’s also important not to skimp by purchasing older systems, which will slow productivity and increase employee frustration. Shoot for computers that have at least 200GB of available storage, 3GB of RAM, and a processor with a minimum speed of 2.5 GHz.

Data Security

Data Security is a crucial element of small business technology. Your local network and all of your computers should be protected both with a firewall, and reliable antivirus software. All of this should be properly configured by your local tech consultant, who should also help you secure a wireless network if you are using one. Your data is important and private, and you should guard it as you would any physical valuables. It’s also important to remember that the security for your small business relies on a working knowledge of mobile device information as well as information on different websites and scams.

Working Nets

We recognize that you don’t always have that kind of time as a small business owner, which is why we offer cyber security and managed IT services. At WorkingNets, we employ only experienced tech professionals with insight into the latest emerging business technologies and risks. To talk to someone about technology consultation 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+

 

SourceEntrepreneur/article/159704

 

Apple iCloud Security Breach

Tags: , , , Cyber Security

The imminent launch of apple’s latest iPhone has been marred by an internet security breach of epic proportions. Over the past weekend users of the website 4chan began leaking a series of racy celebrity photos apparently stolen from individual iCloud accounts. Victims included actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst, as well as model Kate Upton, and many more.

internet security, internet hacking

This recent spate of internet hacking prompted Apple to respond by reassuring users that the theft did not occur through a breach in any of Apple’s systems, including iCloud. According to Apple the thefts were a resulted of targeted hacking and phishing schemes, an attack where hackers gain access to user’s accounts by luring targets into clicking on a compromised URL.  Some have speculated that the attack may have been made possible through the iPhone’s Find My iPhone feature which, until recently, had a bug which could allow someone to continually guess passwords without being ejected from the system. Apple has refuted this speculation, stating in a press release that “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone.”

Brute Force

Most security experts agree that the theft was the result of a brute-force attack on individual accounts. “Brute-forcing” is a technique wherein hackers use password generators to quickly try thousands of common password combinations on specific accounts. Accounts with weak or common passwords are much more vulnerable to this method of hacking than those with more complicated, unique passwords. The FBI has reported that it is working on the case but has delivered no other official comments at this time.

The major internet security breach could not have come at a worse time for Apple. Aside from the impending launch of a new device, Apple has been reported to be only a week away from officially announcing plans on launching a mobile wallet (which would store credit card information) and a wearable device that could track and record details about a user’s personal health.

Personal Safety

If anything, this incident has highlighted the importance of keeping track of where your information is being stored and of maintaining strong personal security over all of your accounts and devices.

It’s also important to remember that the security for your small business relies on a working knowledge of mobile device information as well as information on different websites and scams. We recognize that you don’t always have that kind of time as a small business owner, which is why we offer cyber security and managed IT services. To talk to someone about cyber security 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+

Sources:

Reuters

The Verge

1.2 Billion Passwords Stolen by Russian Criminals

Tags: , , , Cyber Security

computer criminalThe Internet is becoming a more dangerous place every day, as demonstrated by the amount of data breaches that have come to light in the past year alone. It seems that every time we turn around there’s another data breach – Target, eBay, P.F. Chang’s. Possibly even worse than those data breaches are the breaches that involve billions of passwords to sites that we’re still unsure about. It’s estimated that Russian criminals stole credentials from over 420,000 websites recently. These websites range from local mom and pop type websites all the way up to the big names. The big issue – the names of the sites can’t be released due to non-disclosure agreements.

What Does This Mean for Me?

Surprisingly, these thieves don’t seem to be interested in anything financial. They’ve simply been gathering peoples’ data from different websites. That’s the reason that it’s taken so long for people to become aware of the problem. Since most individuals and companies aren’t being targeted directly, those individuals and companies haven’t noticed that anyone has stolen their credentials. The problem is that these criminals could, at any time, decide that they want your financial information. This means that as an Internet user, you need to be extremely careful about your credentials as well as where you share your credit card information.

How Can I Improve My Cyber Security

There are many different ways to do this, but CNN has a few suggestions for this particular type of attack that could help you keep your credit card information under wraps and make it difficult for these criminals to access your information.

  • Use a two-factor security code – Many websites are starting to offer this. You’ll have your actual password (the one that you make up) as well as a second set of credentials. This is usually a randomly generated code from an app that you can download on your smart phone or tablet so that only you have access to that security code.
  • Be aware of who you’re giving your credit info to – Generally speaking, it’s best not to give your credit card information on the Internet. It can be unsafe, as hackers are capable of getting into all different types of websites. You should use a two-factor security code for whatever websites you give your credit card information to – it’s also advisable to use our rules for strong passwords whenever creating an account that uses your credit card.

Does your small business need some help in the cyber security department? Outsourcing your IT and learning more about it can be a great first step. To talk to someone about cyber security 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+

Source: CNN Money

 

Why is Cyber Security Important for Small Businesses?

Tags: , , Cyber Security

cyber securityThe Internet is a busy place. In fact, at any given time, there are approximately 14 billion devices connected to the Internet. That number is supposed to rise to over 50 billion by the year 2020. It’s important to remember that not all of these devices or the people behind them have good intentions. It’s also important to remember that almost everything that we do today is influenced by mobile technology and computer technology. Many small businesses rely on computers for storing information and contact clients and colleagues. For this reason, having a solid knowledge of cyber security has never been more important than it is now.

How Does Cyber Security Keep Your Small Business Safe?

  • Save money and resources – Computers aren’t cheap. Even inexpensive computers run companies a couple hundred dollars for anything worth buying. When your computer crashes, you have to replace the hard drive at the very least, and many companies would prefer just to replace the entire computer at that point. A couple hundred dollars may not seem like that much, but when it’s being spent to replace things instead of on new technology or customer service, it seems like a huge waste – plus, it can really add up.
  • Keep your private information safe – Malware and spyware is everywhere. The reason we run so many blogs about it and talk about it so frequently is because hackers are constantly learning and evolving with technology. Just because one bug or virus has been squashed doesn’t mean that a new strain of malware won’t come out stronger and more aggressive than the last. The goal of cyber security is to ensure that you don’t end up accidentally leaking important information to people who can take it and use it for their own means.
  • Help keep the rest of the Internet safe – By participating in cyber security, you make a hacker’s job more difficult. If they’re not able to infiltrate your systems, they’re going to have to regroup and start again. Making sure that you know how to keep yourself safe from would-be Internet thieves and troublemakers is beneficial to everyone. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and always keep your security software as well as your computer up to date to avoid getting viruses or allowing your computer to be hacked.

Cyber Security Services for Small Businesses

Does your small business need some help in the cyber security department? Outsourcing your IT and learning more about it can be a great first step. To talk to someone about cyber security 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+

 

Sources: Cisco, MSIAC, Telegraph.co.uk