12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 4

Apple TV 4K

 

What:

Transform the way you watch TV  with the Apple TV 4th Generation. In the era of Netflix and Hulu TV binge sessions this is the device to do it with. The Apple TV can transform any TV into a smart TV. With  Apples intuitive TV OS you can now download apps onto your TV just like your phone. From games to major network apps. This little box can turn any home into a major theater with endless possibilities.

Where:

Available at any major retail locations like Best Buy, Target, Wal Mart. As well as online at apple.com or Amazon.

For Who:

The apple TV would be essential for every movie buff or TV junkie in your networks of friends and family.  This makes a wonderful gift to any household to take their entertainment into the next century.

Price:  $149

12 Day of Tech Gifts: Day 3

Dyson V10 Cordless Vacuum

What:

The future of cleaning is already here! This lightweight and ergonomically designed vacuum can transform from a floor set up to a handheld, making it the perfect cleaning companion. It comes with a variety of tools for cleaning any type of surface, at home or in your car.  All cordless this vacuum can go an industry leading of 60 minutes between charges.

Where:

You can find the Dyson vacuum at a variety of stores, including Best Buy, Target, Wal Mart. As well as online at Amazon.

For Who:

This would make an amazing fit to the neat freak in your life. Or an amazing housewarming present for any college student that moved away or a young couple that recently moved in together.

Price:  $515

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 2

Palm Palm Companion Phone

What:

Taking a break from the big screen is the whole point of this new smartphone. While its only the size of a credit card. The Palm packs a 12 MP camera and a full suite of Andriod apps. Stay connected while also minimizing digital distractions.

Where:

The Palm is exclusive to Verizon. It can be purchased out right or paid monthly by adding it to your plan.

For Who:

This gift is perfect for grandparents who want to stay connected but need something simple in order to do so with no frills of a major smartphone.  This can also be perfect for the business person in your life that needs a way to get away from work on a personal phone.

Price:  $350

12 Days of Tech Gifts: Day 1

Sphero R2-D2

What:

Ever dreamed about having your own personal R2-D2 Droid? Well the future may not be so far far away after all. This specialized tech R2-D2 is fully controllable with your smart device and you can watch it patrol the galaxy (your living room) on its own. This droid can even interact with other Star Wars App enabled droids and react live to the Star Wars saga movies. Perfect for those who want to channel their inner Jedi!

Where:

The Sphero R2-D2 droid can be found at Best Buy, Amazon and the Sphero online store.

For Who:

This gift would be send a Star Wars fan rocketing off into space. This would also be a great gift for the child at hear whimsical adult who loves a tinker toy.

Price:  $129.99

The Deep Web/Dark Web, Should You Be Afraid?

The internet is a vast network of information and social platforms that connects everyone around the globe. It has become a daily part in our lives and changed the way we work and the way we communicate. However, there is more under the surface of the regular internet we use every day.  Beyond the familiarity of sights such as Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia, there lies an unreachable part of the internet that can only be accessed through certain browsers, this is known as the Deep Web, or Dark Web.

While we have all heard of the bad websites and suspicious activity that could go on in the Dark Web, there are also some misconceptions the everyday person does not know. Let’s start shedding some light on the scary “dark” corners of the internet.

What is the Deep Web?

Deep Web and Dark Web are commonly used interchangeably, but they do not necessarily mean the same thing. The Deep Web refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find. This includes the Dark Web; however, it also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, pages behind paywalls. If you use an online bank account, the password-protected bits are stored in the Deep Web. The common mistake news outlets make is that they confuse the Dark Web with the much bigger and generally harmless Deep Web.

Then what is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a subset of the Deep Web in which suspicious, illegal or dangerous websites could be created and used. This is solely due to the nature and anonymity to how these websites can be created and accessed. Almost all sites on the Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. Tor is software anyone can download and is known for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location, when a website runs through Tor, it has the same effect.  Just as the end user’s IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website. Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.

Now there’s a Dark Internet too?

Yes, there is one more subset to the Deep Web, and that is usually defined by the term Dark Internet. This is used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. The typical stigma behind the Dark Internet is that it is a boring place where scientists use to store and share all their raw data for research.

Below is a visual of how we can think about the Surface Web, Deep Web and Dark Web.

So, is it Safer?

The internet, whether you or on the surface or in the dark, is well, the internet and hackers are lurking in every corner.  While the dark web can provide anonymity on a level the surface web could never, it is not necessarily safer. Hackers have been known to go in, take passwords and other information from data in the deep web and use it for ransom or other harmful purposes. The Dark web particularly is a free-range host of illegal and wrongful activities and it is not recommended by anyone to visit or take part in.

How Can I Protect Myself?

There is a new wave of Dark Web monitoring that is hitting the market. Many of these tools scan the dark web for your website/company/email domains to see if there is a potential for a password or data breach. These monitoring tools can also alert you and prompt you to change your passwords so your digital life on the surface web remains safe.

ECMSI is happy to help with any questions you may have about the Dark Web. With our new Dark Web ID, we can scan your domain to find out if any of your information or passwords have leaked in the Deep Web. Call us at 330-750-9412 for any questions you may have or fill out the form below to get in contact with us.

 

4 Reasons You Need Better Network Security

As a business person you may not understand all that much about network security. You know it’s important, and you know that a breach can be bad for business, but do you understand why network security should be one of your main priorities? Network security is about more than just safeguarding corporate data, it’s about helping your business to thrive — and you can only do that with the right security in place and the right measures to stay protected.

Your network secures your business

Modern businesses keep and share all of their most important documents, records and data on interconnected workstations and servers both inside and outside your company. If you don’t sufficiently protect your network, it’s as good as sending an invitation to hackers to come and help themselves to that critical information. ECMSI knows how today’s hackers are constantly probing the network security of companies, looking for weaknesses they can exploit to gain access. With our help, you can safeguard confidential data such as customers’ personal details, corporate secrets and more, ensuring that hackers can never compromise it.

Regulatory requirements

Depending on your industry, you may also be subject to regulatory requirements that specify how your network security must be protected and maintained. These policies designed for the safety and security of trusted organizations are compulsory for any company that stores customer data electronically. ECMSI will help ensure to your organization is always one step ahead in meeting these requirements, meaning you avoid any crippling fines that might derail your business progress.

Increased network performance

One symptom of being hacked or otherwise threatened is a slowdown in network traffic that can also hurt your business. With strong network security in place that quickly resolves any disruptions and proactively prevents future intrusions, your network will always be ready to perform. ECMSI can ensure less downtime and reduced lag, leading to better productivity today and bigger profits for you in the long run.

Competitive advantage

At ECMSI we make a point of helping our customers thrive. By creating an effective network security system, we’re providing you with a competitive edge. Consumers place great importance on how companies treat their data – they want to know it’s safe and secure from hackers and other threats. That’s exactly what we do, because we know that when you ensure your customer’s data is always protected, you’ll quickly build a reputation as a trustworthy brand they can rely on.

We didn’t become one of the leading managed services providers of network security by accident. We are leaders because we care about our customers and we know how to protect them. Talk to us today, and we can work together to protect your business and take it to the next level.

Find out if your network is vulnerable to an attack. Get a Free Network Health Assessment from ECMSI today.

The History of Computer Viruses

Since the dawn of computing, there has always been programs people developed that had the ability to self-replicate. In the beginning, this seemed like amazing modern programs that were wise beyond their years. These programs have since developed into Viruses and the Malware that we know today. Which are not so amazing… However, they are wise, which is the scary part. Let us look at the history of how modern malware came to be. Understanding the root and origins can help us understand how these programs work and how we can defend against them.

1949- YES! As Early as 1949 we see some of the first Self Replicating programs that were established.

1966- John von Neumann, known to be the “Father of Cybernetics” wrote an article on the “Theory of Self- Reproducing Automata”.  Self-Reproducing Automata sounds much more interesting than “Virus”

1971- A self-replicating program called “The Creeper” was developed and accessed the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network and copied to a remote host system. The funny part is that it would display a message that said, “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!”. Soon after another program called, “The Reaper” was developed to go in and delete the harmful “Creeper”.

1974- An infectious program called the “Wabbit” was created, its goal was to make multiple copies of itself on a computer and clog up the system so the computer performance would be compromised.

The 80’s – This was the decade where the term “Virus” was first coined. We also began to see these programs turn more malicious. The Lehigh virus in 1987 was programmed to infect command.com files at Yale University. A virus discovered in the city of Jerusalem was developed to destroy all file in an infected computer on any Friday the 13th.

The 90’s – At the start of the 90’s Symantec launched one of the first antivirus programs called Antivirus to help fight against the infectious programs. In 1996 a macro virus named Laroux was made to infect Microsoft Excel Documents. in 1999 The Happy 99 virus spread and attached itself to emails with the message “Happy New Year”

00’s-10’s – Were the target of more elaborate viruses which included the ILOVEYOU virus capable of deleting files. The Anna Kournikova virus that spread through emails and promised pictures of the tennis player, but instead hid a malicious virus. The Koobface, which targeted social media Users.

While viruses began harmless and with the intention to further society into understanding how programming works, this information was then used for evil and shadowed the excitement of new technology with threats to personal security. Luckily the good always outweighs the bad and with many steps to prevent, counteract, and fight back against cybercrimes, the world can rest easy.

 

Contact ECMSI for any questions you may have about your network or if you think you fell victim to a virus or cyber attack.

Are You Protecting Your Critical Data?… And Asking the Right Questions?

Backing up your data has become one of the most important things to do in the 21st century. We hear about it more and more each day. Backing up your phone, computer, photos, email, this list can go on and on. But their is a reason that backups cannot be stressed enough. Statistics show business that do not protect their critical data and processes will fail when disaster strikes. It is a question of when, not if your data will be lost. Proper planning is required, along with testing and verification for both Cloud and physical based solutions.

“It is important to regularly check backups to ensure data can quickly be restored after a disaster.”

Businesses spend a lot of time making sure that customer’s data is protected. It is important to regularly check backups to ensure data can quickly be restored after a disaster. Here at ECMSI we always want to make sure our partners are protected and ready to recover from any disaster in the quickest most efficient way possible. But it is not enough to just backup the data. There must also be a tested plan that examines the following:

  1. Am I backing up the right data?
    • Who determined it was the right data?
    • Has that decision been reviewed and verified recently?
  2. Am I protecting entire servers?
    • Do I have all the install software I will need in an emergency?
    • Do I have all the software licenses ready to re-install?
  3. Have I attempted a full server restore from my backup solution?
    • Have I documented the entire process?
    • Do I have access to this documentation at all times both electronically and in print?
    • If I have failed hardware, how do I replace it?  Do I have service contracts?

Cloud storage gives some excellent options to any on site backup solution. It is common thought that the cloud is sage and backed up automatically. However, there have been instances where cloud corporations simply decide to stop operations and only give 30 days warning to those using the service. This leaves companies scrambling to migrate to other solutions. It is a must to have copies of the cloud data stored physically or in a different data center.

Be sure to ask these important questions to your internal IT team or MSP. Make sure they can prove to you that they have the ability to quickly get you up and running in the face of any disaster.

If you would like to learn more about how to protect your data and take proactive steps to secure your critical information, give us a call at 330-750-9412 or fill out the form below.

 

Securing Your Network. From Yourself!

Worrying about outside hackers is one thing, but what happens when a disgruntled employee causes more damage to your business network than any malware could have? Recently, a company out of the Netherlands that provided web hosting, Verelox, had to shut down all of its services to their customers because an ex employee went into their system, deleted all customer data and wiped out most of their servers. Verelox quickly resolved their issues but many times, these situations do not have such a nice outcome.

So how can your business take proactive steps to prevent data breaches within your business? First thing is to make sure your company has set boundaries and understands what each employee can and cant have access to. Knowing your end users is extremely important because it allows you to control who is seeing your information. Backups are extremely important when controlling your network, in the case of Verelox, they had a system of backups in place that were regularly updated, so they restored their systems with the backups they had in place.

So how big of a threat is insider damage? More than you may think. According to a 2016 IBM study, internal employees are responsible for 60 percent of data breaches. From those, over 75% of breaches are done with a malicious intent and 25% were accidental. In a 2015 Biscom survey 1 in 4 people admitted to taking data from a company after they left. Many of them did not feel like it was wrong because they were items they created while they were working for that particular business. The most shocking statistic is that 95% of employees who took company data, said they would not even receive any repercussions because their employer did not have any policies to stop them.

For the 25% that caused a data breach by accident, they most likely fell victim to a phishing email or other internet malware attempt. Educating your end users could go a very long way for your business, and is one of the best proactive tools to keeping your company data secure. Many small businesses get hit the worst when a data breach occurs because they do not have the proper resources to manage their IT and keep on it all while trying to run and grow their business.

 

An Investigation on Data Breaches in 2018

Recently, Verizon published their 11th edition of their Data Breaches Investigation report that looked at over 53,000 security incidents including over 2,126 confirmed data breaches. We wanted to highlight some of the key take a way’s in this report and show some of the shocking statistics businesses face when it comes to technology security in 2018. We are going to look at some of the motivating factors for hackers, what industries are affected the most and how a typical organization reacts to a cyber attack.

Who does the hacking?

73% of cyber-attacks are done by outsiders. These are organized criminal groups whose goal it is to specifically hack into systems illegally and collect information. 28% of attacks are done internally by those who may have the credentials or a way into the system with official credentials. These are especially hard to track because you never know who may be using company data for their own personal gain.

Why attack?

76% of breaches were financially motivated. Hackers are looking to steal information such as credit card numbers or social security information in order to use other people’s identities. We also see hacking in the form of malware that holds data for ransom for a fee. Found in over 39% of cases where malware was identified, ransomware is one of the most popular forms of online hacking today.

Who can be a victim?

Virtually any business that plugs in to any network could fall victim to a cyber-attack. Unfortunately, there are many ways a hacker could infiltrate in, whether it be POS, email, misuse by an employee, social media etc.  The most popular however is a direct hack by a group or person who specifically wanted to get in a particular network. Following close second is malware and phishing attempts. 4% of people will click on any given phishing campaign with 17% of all breaches happening because of human error in the everyday workplace.

Industry trends in data breaches.

Based on the Data of over 53,000 incidents and 2,126 confirmed breaches the number of the two categories for specific industries are as followed:

Accommodation: 338 breaches, 368 incidents
Education: 101 breaches, 292 incidents
Financial: 146 breaches, 598 incidents
Healthcare: 536 breaches, 750 incidents
Information: 109 breaches, 1,40 incidents
Manufacturing: 71 breaches, 536 incidents
Professional: 132 breaches, 540 incidents
Public: 304 breaches, 22,788 incidents
Retail: 169 breaches, 317 incidents

The Reaction

While most compromises happen in a very short time span, with over 87% taking a minute or less, finding out about them is a whole different story. On average, only 3% are discovered within minutes, while over 68% went undiscovered for months or more. The report states that in many cases it isn’t even the organization that recognizes the breach but an outside third party such as partners, law enforcement, or the most damaging, by customers.

Staying proactive and keeping your cyber defenses up is one of the most important things to any business in 2018. While no defense mechanism is a 100% guarantee. Having a plan and being able to respond quickly is the best chance of stopping hackers in their tracks and restoring your data.

To see the full report by Verizon click here

Contact ECMSI for a FREE network health assessment to see if your business is being effected by malware. Find out if their are any vulnerabilities in your network and what you can do to stop them! Fill out the form below.