Archive for the ‘Computer Company News’ category

Beware: This fake Windows 11 upgrade infects you with malware instead

March 1st, 2022

Hackers created an impressive fake Microsoft site to steal personal info and cryptocurrency.

We saw this article on PC World and wanted to share it with you. It was written by:
By Michael Crider
Staff Writer, PCWorld

When it comes to computer security, one must remain ever vigilant. If you need a refresher on that lesson, HP’s Threat Research department is ready to give you one today. Researchers spotted an incredibly convincing fake website, purporting to offer Windows 11 upgrades straight from Microsoft. Instead it served up a heaping helping of malware.

The scam is actually pretty impressive. The operators of “windows-upgraded.com” (now decommissioned) copied Microsoft’s presentation and style perfectly, with a big friendly “download now” button for all those interested in an upgrade or clean install. What duped users actually got was a 1.5MB ZIP file containing “Windows11InstallationAssistant.exe”, which downloads a DLL disguised as a JPEG file.

You can read the full article here.

Please visit us at: https://computercompany.net/cybersecurity-hartford/ for support.

 

Please call us at: 800-418-2358

 

Moving Your Company to the Cloud

December 7th, 2021

The buzzword is out there and everyone is doing it.
Now it’s time for you to take the first step.

Today users can work without knowing the location and other details of the computing infrastructure. Cloud computing services and cloud storage deliver software applications, data access, data administration and storage for everyday businesses saving time and money. Because your server will be part of the cloud you will access your data from anywhere at any time.

Do you require a hosting company that is flexible enough to meet your unique environment? The Computer Company will work with you to architect a design that provides the necessary bandwidth, processing power and storage so your business can seamlessly operate in the cloud.

There are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud:
  • The flexibility of connection options. This means you get access to your data while you are off-site, employees can connect to their virtual office, quickly and easily.
  • Collaboration efficiency. Employees can communicate and share work more easily.
  • Automatic updates. You get the latest technology, up-to-date software, servers upgrades, and computer processing power.
  • Reduced costs (everyone’s favorite!). Moving to cloud computing usually will reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
  • Flexibility for sizing. Your business will have the flexibility required as your needs change for your software and storage.
  • Business continuity. You can relax knowing that you are protecting your data and systems.
The points below are from an article written by James A. Martin, PCWorld contributing editor

Cloud Computing.

For some, the term is wildly nebulous. For others, cloud computing instantly raises concerns about security and reliability. After all, Gmail, a popular cloud-based e-mail service has endured some high-profile outages.

Before you dismiss the cloud as a lot of vapor, though, listen to what small-business people told us about their experiences with it:

  • “We saved over $4000 in up-front costs by moving to an entirely cloud-based solution [for e-mail, Web hosting, virus protection, and more]. We were also able to substantially reduce our power bill and the costs needed to maintain and upgrade hardware.”
  • “As a non-IT person, I find cloud-based applications easier to set up and use than many computer applications, and I don’t need to rely on internal IT support as much for assistance.”
  • “A power surge nearly destroyed our in-house e-mail server. Had we not recovered it, a great deal of historical knowledge and valuable information would have been lost forever, not to mention the lost productivity for days or weeks. Now we have a secure, redundant, cloud e-mail system we can access anywhere, anytime, with a consistent interface, and it’s made our business stronger.”

Small businesses looking to cut computing costs and improve efficiency are finding the many benefits of Internet-based software and services increasingly attractive. Cloud computing evolved as a term to describe free or subscription-based services delivered in real time over the Internet.

Cloud Computing can refer to software as a service, to file storage, synchronization, backup, other utility computing, and to infrastructure as a service.

 

Must Read: 5 likely cyber attacks

November 3rd, 2021

The 5 cyber attacks you’re most likely to face.

We found this great story, and wanted to repost it for you.

Don’t be distracted by the exploit of the week. Invest your time and money defending against the threats you’re apt to confront.

The threats companies think they face are often vastly different than the threats that pose the greatest risk. The fact is most companies face the same threats — and should be doing their utmost to counteract those risks. Here are the five most common successful cyber attacks.

Cyber attack No. 1: Socially engineered Trojans

Socially engineered Trojans provide the No. 1 method of attack (not an exploit or a misconfiguration or a buffer overflow). An end-user browses to a website usually trusted — which prompts him or her to run a Trojan. Most of the time the website is a legitimate, innocent victim that has been temporarily compromised by hackers. Usually, the website tells users they are infected by viruses and need to run fake antivirus software. Also, they’re nearly out of free disk space and need a fake disk defragger. Finally, they must install an otherwise unnecessary program, often a fake Adobe Reader or an equally well-known program. The user executes the malware, clicking past browser warnings that the program could possibly be harmful. Voilà, exploit accomplished! Socially engineered Trojans are responsible for hundreds of millions of successful hacks each year. Against those numbers, all other hacking types are just noise.

Countermeasure: Social engineered Trojans are best handled through end-user education that’s informed by today’s threats (such as trusted websites prompting users to run Trojans). Enterprises can further protect themselves by not allowing elevated users to surf the Web or answer email. An up-to-date anti-malware program can’t hurt, but strong end-user education provides better bang for the buck.

Cyber attack No. 2: Unpatched software

Coming in a distant second is software with known, but unpatched exploits. The most common unpatched and exploited programs are Java, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Flash. It’s been this way for a few years now. But strangely, not a single company I’ve ever audited has ever had these three programs perfectly patched. I just don’t get it.

Countermeasure: Stop what you’re doing right now and make sure your patching is perfect. If you can’t, make sure it’s perfect around the top most exploited products, including Java, Adobe, browser admins, OS patches, and more. Everyone knows that better patching is a great way to decrease risk. Become one of the few organizations that actually does it.

Cyber attack No. 3: Phishing attacks

Approximately 70 percent of email is spam. Fortunately, anti-spam vendors have made great strides, so most of us have reasonably clean inboxes. Nonetheless, I get several spam emails each day, and a least a few of them each week are darned good phishing replicas of legitimate emails.

I think of an effective phishing email as a corrupted work of art: Everything looks great; it even warns the reader not to fall for fraudulent emails. The only thing that gives them away is the rogue link asking for confidential information.

Countermeasure: Decreasing risk from phishing attacks is mostly accomplished through better end-user education — and with better anti-phishing tools. Make sure your browser has anti-phishing capabilities. I also love browsers that highlight the domain name of a host in a URL string. That way windowsupdate.microsoft.com.malware.com, for example, is more obvious.

Cyber attack No. 4: Network-traveling worms

Computer viruses aren’t much of a threat anymore, but their network-traveling worm cousins are. Most organizations have had to fight worms like Conficker and Zeus. We don’t see the massive outbreaks of the past with email attachment worms, but the network-traveling variety is able to hide far better than its email relatives.

Countermeasure: Network-traveling worms can be defeated by blocking executables in email, better patching, disabling auto-run capabilities, and strong password policies. Many network worms, like Conficker, will try to exploit network shares by logging on using a list of built-in, bad passwords: 12345, password2, qwerty, and the like. If any of your passwords are listed in the password manifest inside of a worm, you do not have a strong password policy.

Cyber attack No. 5: Advanced persistent threats

Lastly, I only know of one major corporation that has not suffered a major compromise due to an APT (advanced persistent threat) stealing intellectual property. APTs usually gain a foothold using socially engineered Trojans or phishing attacks. A very popular method is for APT attackers to send a very specific phishing campaign — known as spear-phishing — to multiple employee email addresses. The phishing email contains a Trojan attachment, which at least one employee is tricked into running. After the initial execution and first computer takeover, APT attackers can compromise an entire enterprise in a matter of hours. It’s easy to accomplish, but a royal pain to clean up.

Countermeasure: Detecting and preventing an APT can be difficult, especially in the face of a determined adversary. All the previous advice applies, but you must also learn to understand the legitimate network traffic patterns in your network and alert on unexpected flows. An APT doesn’t understand which computers normally talk to which other computers, but you do. Take the time now to start tracking your network flows and get a good handle of what traffic should going from where to where. An APT will mess up and attempt to copy large amounts of data from a server to some other computer where that server does not normally communicate.When they do, you can catch them. There are other popular attack types, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, pass-the-hash, and password guessing, but they aren’t seen nearly at the same high levels as the five listed here. Protect yourself against the top five threats and you’ll go a long way to decreasing risk in your environment.

More than anything, I strongly encourage every enterprise to make sure its defenses and mitigations are aligned with the top threats.
Don’t be one of those companies that spends money on high-dollar, high-visibility projects while the bad guys continue to sneak in using routes that could have easily been blocked.

This story, “The 5 cyber attacks you’re most likely to face,” was originally published at InfoWorld.com By Roger A. Grimes


The Computer Company is now approved as a Microsoft Office 365 GCC Partner!

June 30th, 2021

What’s New?

The Computer Company is now approved as a Microsoft Office 365 GCC Partner!
What this means to you is we can now offer you GCC licensing options. What is Microsoft Office 365 GCC? It stands for Microsoft 365 Government Community Cloud High (GCC High).

To meet the unique and evolving requirements of the United States Department of Defense, as well as contractors holding or processing DoD-controlled unclassified information (CUI) or subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Microsoft offers GCC High and DoD environments. And now you can have Microsoft Office 365 GCC for your business.

The Office 365 US Government service description is designed to serve as an overlay to the general Office 365 service description. It defines the unique commitments and differences compared to Office 365 for enterprise offerings. Microsoft reminds you not to share any controlled, sensitive, or confidential information with customer support personnel as part of your support incident when using Office 365 GCC High/DOD, at least until you confirm the support agent’s authorization to view or access such data.


 

So, find out how you can save money AND get this high security for your business.

Call today – 800.418.2358

How do Cloud Computing Services Save You Time and Money?

June 14th, 2021

The buzz word is out there and everyone is doing it.
Now it’s time for you to take the first step.

Today users can work without knowing the location and other details of the computing infrastructure. Cloud computing services and cloud storage deliver software applications, data access, data administration and storage for everyday businesses saving time and money.

Because your server will be part of the cloud you will access your data from anywhere at any time.

Please watch video.

There are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud.
So How do Cloud Computing Services save time and money?

  • Flexibility of connection options. Access to your data while you are off-site, employees can connect to their virtual office, quickly and easily.
  • Automatic updates. Latest technology, up-to-date software, servers upgrades and computer processing power.
  • Reduced costs (everyone’s favorite!). Moving to cloud computing usually will reduce your cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
  • Flexibility for sizing. Your business will have the flexibility required as your needs change for your software and storage.
  • Business continuity. You can relax knowing that you are protecting your data and systems.
  • Collaboration efficiency. Employees can communicate and share work more easily.

Please watch video.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Simple Steps to Avoid Losing Data

April 13th, 2021

Data loss is a huge business problem that can be avoided by just following a few simple steps.

Information on your computer is highly valuable, and it is important to take all possible precautions to avoid a disaster that could end up costing you money and time. We came across this guideline from werecoverdata.com and believe it can be of value to you! Save yourself the hassle and use the following tips to protect your data!

Safety tips to avoid data loss

  • Always back up your data, especially when upgrading your system. Make sure that copies of your most important data are being kept off-site
  • Always turn your computer off using the operating system shut down process
  • Always use up-to-date hardware and software utilities for data security, such as virus protections and firewalls
  • Laptops should be operated on a hard and flat surface to allow proper ventilation and to avoid over heating
  • Servers should have fans, ventilation or portable air conditioning systems as close as possible to avoid operating in high temperatures.
  • Allow enough space around the external drive’s cooling fans and remove any items that may block air flow
  • Do not turn off peripheral devices while computer is on, or when disc is active
  • Drives should be stable and stationary when operating. If you have to move your computer – turn it off first
  • When touching or handling the media, make sure to avoid static electricity
  • If you hear unusual sounds coming from your computer, turn it off immediately to avoid further damage.

If Your System Fails, Could You Recover?

Call now to ask questions: 800-418-2358

Disasters do happen.

The question is, when something fails, will it be a temporary inconvenience or a business-shaking crisis?  When a hard drive crashes, can you be back in business in hours? If a natural disaster shuts your network down, can you recover every business-critical application that day?

The Computer Company prevents natural and man-made disasters from becoming computer and business disasters.

  • Replication
  • Off-site Back ups
  • Data Center
  • Business Continuity
  • Remote Office Space

We offer a full range of disaster recovery consulting services, practices, and solutions for your business to prevent many events, minimize any damage, and return your system to its full capabilities as soon as possible.  We do disaster recovery right.

Call now to ask questions: 800-418-2358

 

How to Keep Your Health Info Private in the Digital Age

December 21st, 2020

Today’s consumers have health and fitness literally at their fingertips. There are smartphone apps to help track calories. There are wearable devices to count steps per day or to help ensure you’re getting enough sleep at night. There are even Facebook groups to help you stay motivated to reach your fitness goals.

Although healthy industry regulations require medical providers to protect consumer health data, those regulations often don’t extend to health-related apps, social media, or wearable tech.

The Computer Company offers these need-to-know tips when it comes to keeping your health records safe:
What Companies Must Legally Protect My Health Information?

“Currently the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules protect health data in traditional settings, however, it doesn’t extend to health apps compliance. Many of the companies providing these technologies share consumers’ data with other entities, with no regard for privacy, without repercussion,” explains Compliancy Group. Read more.

The National Institutes of Health states that “Covered entities are defined in the HIPAA rules as (1) health plans, (2) health care clearinghouses, and (3) health care providers who electronically transmit any health information in connection with transactions for which HHS has adopted standards. Generally, these transactions concern billing and payment for services or insurance coverage. For example, hospitals, academic medical centers, physicians, and other health care providers who electronically transmit claims transaction information directly or through an intermediary to a health plan are covered entities. Covered entities can be institutions, organizations, or persons.” Read more.

 

Why Should I Care Who Has Access to My Information?

“Here’s the reality of life as a wearable device owner: There’s no doctor/patient privacy or patient privacy or any privacy for that matter,” Huffington Post notes. “Monitoring your health and collecting data is like publishing your own medical autobiography online.” Read more.

PBS.org reports that with its recent purchase of FitBit, Google has stated that privacy and security are a top priority, but consumer “advocates say Google and other tech companies need to prove that only a small percent — if any — of the data they release can be rematched with individual users …

The threat of re-identification has led privacy advocates to question the motives of companies that create health apps, which have not been proven to improve health.” Read more.

 

What Can I Do to Protect Myself?

The BBC reports that there’s “too much onus on the consumer to navigate an opting-out system” along with “the fear that hackers could access [databases] and find the details of individual users.” Read more.

When using social networking sites, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse states that users “become familiar with the privacy settings available on any social network you use, and review your privacy settings frequently. On Facebook, for example, you may want to make sure that your default privacy setting is ‘Friends Only.’ Alternatively, use the ‘Custom’ setting and configure the setting to achieve maximum privacy.” Read more.

 

How Should Healthcare Providers Protect My Medical Information?

First, it’s wise to get an idea of what constitutes a HIPAA violation. According to Zeguro “Although HIPAA violations arise in a variety of ways, they all incorporate “someone who shouldn’t know something who learns about it because there weren’t enough protections.” This definition includes everything from employees having too much system access, to a hacker gaining entrance to your system, to someone leaving a piece of paper on a desk or a screen open to view. Read more.

“Healthcare organizations, while under fire, have been improving their cybersecurity posture over the last few years. Many have hired cybersecurity professionals from more mature industries, like financial services; most are working to adopt strong frameworks such as ISO, NIST, and HITRUST to evaluate and improve cybersecurity controls, including security awareness training for the healthcare workforce,” explains Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report. Read more.

Navigating health laws and data privacy can feel complicated and overwhelming at times. Start by understanding the current laws, regulations, and health privacy certifications, such as HIPAA and HITRUST. Do some research before investing in wearable tech or signing up for an app or social account. Above all, read the privacy policies and review the settings for any software or hardware you use. By following the tips listed in this article, you’ll stand a better chance of keeping your medical data safe.

Contributed by:
Diane Harrison

diane@healthpsa.info

 

 

 

 

Cybersecurity Against The Dark Web

December 3rd, 2020

We are sharing this article we found on the web because it had a few good reminders about the need for increased security for our businesses.

 

Cybersecurity Against The Dark Web

“Not a second goes by when you, your family or your company aren’t under attack.”
By Neil George
November 20, 2020

Hacks happen to the most conscientious among us. Your credit cards, bank accounts, retailer-held account information and other types of individual identification data and information are all lucrative opportunities for all sorts of bad actors around the globe. And hacks occur every day on a 24/7 basis every second. The Breach Level Index from major defense contractor, Thales (OTCMKTS:THLLY) tracks data hacks. That measure reported more than 9.7 billion record hacks over the trailing six-plus years. And according to the same sources, the U.S. is the leading target, with 85% of all global identity thefts directed at Americans.

Thales goes on to say that on average, hackers hit and steal 75 record every single second of every single day.

And if you think that traditional firewalls and antivirus security keeps you safe? Nope — Thycotic, a Washington-based data security company (private) has interviewed “black hat” hackers, 73% of whom say the traditional security you depend upon is pretty much irrelevant.

And just hacking and getting data, and credit card and every other type of data isn’t the goal of hackers. Using it for fortune or fame is. And this is where the Dark Web – the underbelly of the internet – is there for all of the illicit transactions for any an all bent on mayhem.

The Clock is Ticking
Not a second goes by when you, your family or your company aren’t under attack. Your phone, tablet, laptop wi-fi network and even your smart appliances — if it’s on a network, somebody wants access.

It starts with phishing, where legitimate-looking emails asking for account confirmation can open up hell for those that click “continue.” Malware can embed itself into any device, providing all sorts of tracking or other data. And hackers also know social engineering can get you to willingly click on a link with disaster at the ready.

Article can be read in full here: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/7-cybersecurity-stocks-buy-defense-192726457.html

If you want to increase the protection for your network, please contact The Computer Company at 800 418 2358
To learn more please go to our website http://www.computercompany.net/Networking_Security.htm

Ransomware Assault Threatens US Healthcare System

October 29th, 2020

FBI warns ransomware assault threatens US healthcare system: At least 5 hospitals have been hit this week.

USA TODAY, Michael James, October 28, 2020

Federal agents warned Wednesday that a major ransomware assault is underway against U.S. hospitals, some of which have already been attacked by a shadowy band of cybercriminals.

Ransomware is an increasing threat to U.S. healthcare and has already cost hospitals tens of millions in recent years. A typical attack encrypts important data — such as patient records and billing information — until the hospital agrees to pay an exorbitant sum for ransom, usually in the form of Bitcoin or other digital currency.

Wednesday’s alert came from a joint federal task force that includes the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

At least five hospitals were hit with the ransomware attacks this week, the federal agencies said.

“We are experiencing the most significant cyber security threat we’ve ever seen in the United States,” Charles Carmakal, chief technical officer of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, said in a statement. He’s concerned that the group may deploy malware to hundreds of hospitals over the next few weeks.

Ransomware attempts jumped 50% in the last three months, over the first half of 2020, and hospitals and health care organizations were the hardest hit, according to a study earlier this year by Check Point research.

Typical attacks demand several hundred thousand dollars and some have demanded $5 million or more, the research group concluded. Hospitals are often targeted because criminals know they are more likely to pay than other businesses. That’s because hospitals can’t shut down for long without impacting patient care.
Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: FBI warns ransomware assault threatens US healthcare system

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Top Ten Reasons Why businesses are moving to the Cloud.

September 4th, 2020

Why are businesses moving to the cloud?

Top ten reasons. 

1. Work from any where, any time, any device

With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection, you can be at workImproves communications, work efficiency and effectiveness. Allows you to fill blank spots in your workday, become more responsive, builds more controlled “think time”  and/or “your time” when you want it!

2. Security

Because your files are stored in the cloud, you will have comfort in the knowledge that your business’s computing-server hardware, software and stored electronic data is protected in a 21st century “state of the art” fortified environment  with certified personnel oversight 24 hours a day, every day, year round!

3. Cut Hardware Cost

Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. Eliminates any or all “mainframe” computing costs, regardless of growth and fluctuations in business or data!  Provides for multi-year cost containment regarding computing and storage. You simply pay for what you need. All the management and setup is done by us.

4. Low Per User Core Pricing

Our controlled and focused growth ambitions together with private ownership allow for a favorable pricing environment which we are pleased to share with you.

5. Extraordinary Back Up Protection and Disaster Recovery

Our self imposed demand for unmatched backup is key to your protection and our success. (Ask us for details when you’re ready to buy.) The Computer Company’s Cloud Service provides an easy and definitive pathway for data recovery solutions.

6. Support Expediency

Our goal is to have you utilize our services when needed and when you cannot or wish not to provide them yourselves.

We are currently developing an ” IT ASSOCIATE Program for back up within your business. IT Associates will be trained by us to help you internally directly or indirectly for IT support.  

7. Customer Growth and Retention

SAFETY SELLS! Your customers and prospects hear and may experience loss caused by lax security anywhere. The safer their information is with you, the better they will feel about you.

Whether the security is tied to weather, storms, electrical power or to cyberspace intrusion, hacking or internet fraud, safety sells.

8. Automatic software updates

We do the server and security back ups for you. Leaving you free to focus on the things that matter more, like growing your business.

9. Vantage Position

The Computer Company’s Cloud Service has an OUTSTANDING LEGACY AS A  DATA CENTER AND IT PROVIDER.

The Computer Company Inc. has been an active IT provider since the mid 1990’s and a pioneer in the Cloud since the early 2000’s. We are in the unique position of not only hosting you in TCC Cloud but also in Amazon, Microsoft and other clouds. Conversely, we can provide full IT services and work with your choice of community IT provider. Transitions to and from your own private Cloud is a specialty along with transition planning based on your timing. We are positioned to meet your needs.

10. Rewards

We can help you reduce or even eliminate your TCC cloud costs!  How?
You help us by finding new customers, and we credit your account.

Not moved to the cloud yet?

It’s time.