Archive for the ‘Internet Security’ category

Fake ‘Pokemon NFT’ game infects PCs with malware

January 11th, 2023

Some interesting news from PC World Online.

In a scheme worthy of Team Rocket, two sites hosting fake Pokemon PC games have been spotted spreading remote access programs

Distributing fake versions of popular games in order to seed malicious programs is nothing new, but suckering in players with the promise of profits from Pokemon-branded NFTs is particularly naughty. Not only has there been no indication that Nintendo or Pokemon developer Game Freak are interested in jumping on the non-fungible bandwagon, NFTs themselves are rife with pump-and-dump investment shenanigans and good old-fashioned theft.

Read the full article here: https://www.pcworld.com/article/1449634/fake-pokemon-nft-game-infects-pcs-with-malware.html

 

 

What is CMMC Compliance, and Why Does It Matter to You?

November 1st, 2022

CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) is a system of compliance levels that helps the government, specifically the Department of Defense, determine whether an organization has the security necessary to work with controlled or otherwise vulnerable data.

Companies that are interested in working with the DoD will need to be CMMC rated and follow specific CMMC regulations. Generally, this is done by building and following a CMMC framework and using CMMC best practices.

The CMMC is designed to assess the maturity of an organization’s current cybersecurity initiatives. This includes whether the organization is capable of not only maintaining its security but also of improving its efficiency and optimization. It also includes whether an organization manages its security proactively or reactively, as well as how involved its security measures are.

Compliance with CMMC is important for all organizations. Let’s glance at what in-house advisors should know about compliance.

HOW Do we Get CMMC?

This can be a lengthy process; many organizations require the assistance of an expert partner to determine where they stand on the CMMC level system and whether there are discrepancies in their system or improvements that can be made.Creating the Best Logo by eManagerSite
This is what we can do for you!

WHO NEEDS CMMC CERTIFICATION?

Organizations working with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and organizations that work with any level of classified DoD information need to be CMMC certified. If the company is handling high-value information, then it will likely need a Level 4 or higher clearance. However, clearances are set by individual projects.

HOW DO YOU GET CMMC CERTIFICATION?

Companies cannot certify themselves for the CMMC. Going through a third-party certification process is what those who work with government entities, as well as government contractors, will need to do. CMMC certification is overseen by the DoD and will have to be performed by a CMMC-certified company. The company performing the CMMC will need to verify that the company has all of their policies, procedures, and security processes in place. CMMC certification is one of the most popular types of security certification for a company to pursue.

With CMMC certification, the company will be able to pursue government contracts and deal with privileged information.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T WORK WITH THE GOVERNMENT?

If you’re interested in working with the government, your organization may find that CMMC compliance improves your chances. The contracts that require higher CMMC certification levels typically offer more benefits.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t need CMMC compliance if you aren’t working with government or DoD contracts. The fundamental ideas behind CMMC compliance revolve around consistent and proactive security best practices. Every organization should be able to achieve CMMC compliance, if only for their own peace of mind and security.

Are you interested in finding out whether your business meets CMMC compliance?

Contact the professionals at The Computer Company for a consultation.

Call:  800.418.2358

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email security breaches are common. Protect your business with our email encryption service.

September 19th, 2022

Often businesses gather customer information and exchange emails with private information with customers, including details such as names, address, phone numbers, bank account details and credit card numbers.

The problem is that many companies conduct business through unsecured email.

What does this mean to you?

It means if someone intercepts your email they can steal your personal and financial data. Big problem! Because the stolen data can be used by the criminals for online purchasing or total identity theft.

For example, a few years back…

Target customers were hit in major credit card security breach (imagine if that was YOUR business!?)

Payment card information was stolen from an unknown number of Target Corp. customers starting on the busy Black Friday weekend. The Secret Service is investigating, according to a spokesman for the agency, which safeguards the nation’s payment systems. Target officials did not respond to requests for comment.

  • The breach involved nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores in the United States.
  • The report said that at least 1 million payment cards were thought to have been stolen before Target uncovered the operation, but that the number could be significantly higher.

When all is said, and done, this one will put its mark up there with some of the largest retail breaches to date. As noted this has already happened to larger companies such as Target, Citibank and Sony, and should cause small business owners to think seriously about email security.

So, what can you do?

One of the easiest options is email encryption, did we mention it is easy? Yes, real easy.

We offer 24/7 customer support to help you troubleshoot any issues. Our service will protect your business from data breaches and cyber attacks.

Why do it? Email encryption offers you an extra layer of security, as the data inside the email is secured and cannot be opened or read by anyone who is not authorized to do so.

The software is available today from The Computer Company and it is a good investment as it offers the necessary protection.

  1. Host-based encryption software is where you set up an email domain on the server of the data encryption company to provide your business the needed security.
  2. This method can also be used to guard your system against spam, viruses and phishing attacks which is also a welcome added option.
  3. This is a good way of keeping virus attachments away from your system and it also prevents hackers getting into your system and then sending out spam from your system.
  4. It can also help to stop the hackers sending phishing emails from your company for financial gain.
  5. Encryption software is definitely worth considering for your business as it can keep your emails secure and also save you money by preventing the theft of your data.

For a free evaluation of your circumstances or a demonstration of our email encryption solution please contact us today.

Call the Direct Help Line :: 800.418.2358

Tips for Effective Emailing

August 2nd, 2022

Introduction: Email is an essential form of communication in both our personal and professional lives. Good manners are fundamentally about showing respect for others. When emailing, the same principle is applicable. Be considerate and considerate of your customers’ time. You’ll succeed if your business presents itself in the nicest possible light. 

Here are some tips for effective emailing.emial encryption

Use the subject line. Your subject line is the first line of communication between you and your customers. It says a lot about you, so think carefully about it. Make it clear and concise; don’t over-use any keywords.

Answer questions before they ask. The key to effective emailing is to anticipate your customers’ questions. It’s so easy for people to forget to answer common questions that people will want answers to! Tell people what they’re getting and why they need it.

Easy to read. Keep your email clear and concise by segmenting your message into short, easy-to-read paragraphs. Use action words (instead of words like “ask,” “request,” or “suggest”) to make your message more direct and compelling. Use graphics, photos, and videos to help people understand what you’re talking about.

Use a professional tone. Remember that the person you are emailing is a potential customer or client. Use a professional tone and be respectful of their time. Be concise, brief, and clear. Keep it to just a few paragraphs. Use links to your product or service so if they are interested, it will be easy to get more information. Tell them why you are emailing and what they can expect to get from your message.

Use email to build relationships with your customers. Email is a great way to build relationships with your customers. It’s also an excellent way to keep them informed about what you’re doing and how that fits into their experience with you.

Proofread your message. Before hitting send, take a few minutes to proofread your email for spelling and grammar mistakes. You will get a better response if you don’t send an email that looks professional.

Don’t forget a call to action. If you want the person you are emailing to do something, be sure to include a call to action! For example, if you want them to sign up for your mailing list, use the word “sign” instead of “subscribe.” If you want them to contact you, use the word “contact” instead of “inquire”. Don’t overdo the freebies. The best emails are the ones that don’t try to sell you anything. You will get a better response if you simply ask for something, rather than try to make them feel obligated to give you anything.

If you have a great product or service, tell them what they can expect to get from you.

Your customers will appreciate the effort and think that you value their time. Include links to your website, blog, or social media profiles in the email.

Call Now – The Computer Company offers full managed IT services and break-fix outsourcing to organizations of all sizes.
800-418-2358

 

Email Encryption – Protect your Business from Hackers!

June 29th, 2022

Often, businesses gather customer information and exchange emails with private information with customers, including details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, bank account details, and credit card numbers.

The problem is that many companies conduct business through unsecured email.

What does this mean to you?

It means that when you email a company, you’re putting your data at risk.

If you use an unsecured email account, those emails can be accessed by other people. Whether they are hackers or foreign government agents, they could intercept the messages and gain access to sensitive information.

  • They can steal your personal and financial data. Big problem!
  • Also, the stolen data can be used by criminals for online purchasing or total identity theft.

For example, a few years back…

Target customers were hit by a major credit card security breach (imagine if that was YOUR business?)

Payment card information was stolen from an unknown number of Target Corp. customers starting on the busiest Black Friday weekend. The Secret Service is investigating, according to a spokesman for the agency, which safeguards the nation’s payment systems. Target officials did not respond to requests for comment.

  • The breach involved nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores in the United States!
  • The report said that at least 1 million payment cards were thought to have been stolen before Target uncovered the operation, but that the number could be significantly higher.

When all is said and done, this one will put its mark up there with some of the largest retail breaches to date. As noted, this has already happened to larger companies such as Target, Citibank, and Sony, and should cause small business owners to think seriously about email security.

  • The Hacking Team was just one of many security vendors that sold or gave away hacking tools to criminals. In 2014, the FBI uncovered evidence that the Chinese government had been selling hacking tools to criminal groups for years. It wasn’t just the Chinese government either, security vendors were also selling their hacking tools to criminals. The problem with this is that it could be anyone out there buying or selling these tools. It’s not as if there’s a shortage of hackers wanting to attack others, there’s always someone out there that wants to ruin your day.

So, what can you do?

One of the easiest options is email encryption. Did we mention it is easy? Yes, it’s really easy.

Why do it?

Email encryption offers you an extra layer of security, as the data inside the email is secured and cannot be opened or read by anyone who is not authorized to do so.

The email software is available today from The Computer Company, and it is a good investment as it offers the necessary protection. The software is easy to install and use, and not only does it offer you encryption, but also the ability to easily access your email from any computer in the world.

For a free evaluation or a demonstration of our email encryption solution, please contact us today.

Call the Direct Help Line :: 800.418.2358

Why it’s Time to move Your business to the Cloud.

May 12th, 2022

The cloud has become an increasingly popular destination for businesses of all sizes in recent years. Cloud computing can save businesses money in a number of ways. For example, by using the cloud, businesses can reduce or eliminate the need to purchase and maintain their own hardware and software.

In addition, businesses can take advantage of economies of scale by sharing resources with other organizations in the cloud. This can result in lower costs for everyone involved.

Reasons Why it’s Time to move Your business to the Cloud.

There are many other good reasons to move your business to the cloud. Here are some of the most important:

  1. Increased Efficiency: Moving your business to the cloud can increase your efficiency by allowing you to work from anywhere in the world with internet access.
  2. Reduced Costs: Cloud-based services typically have lower costs than traditional IT solutions, making them a good choice for small businesses.
  3.  Greater Flexibility: With cloud-based solutions, you can easily add or remove resources as needed, giving you greater flexibility in how you use technology. As your business grows, so do your needs for more storage, bandwidth and processing power. With the cloud, you can easily add more resources as needed without having to invest in costly infrastructure upfront.
  4. 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.
  5. Work from any where, any time, any device

With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection, you can be at work. Improves 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!

Not moved to the cloud yet?

It’s no secret that businesses are rushing to move their operations to the cloud. The cloud offers a number of benefits, including cost savings, flexibility and agility. But it’s not just businesses that are benefiting from the cloud; consumers are too.

Call The Computer Company at 800.418.2358 

We are happy to answer any question you may have.

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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Are You Keeping Your Data Safe?

August 30th, 2017

How would you answer that question? How can you keep your business information safe?

Sadly, what has happened in the city of Houston this week from the hurricane is an example of what can happen any where and to any business. If businesses have their business data backed up and secure off-site, they will be in a better position to resume business when the time comes. This is where the Cloud Storage Solution come in for most businesses. Why? To have Information Security you need to insure your business data is safe and confidential. It also needs to be quickly available when you need it.

So…. What are the risks to your business data?

No doubt you have seen the news, computers and the information more then ever are vulnerable to wide variety of threats.

Environmental threats. Severe weather can cause outages or knock servers’ offline. Downed lines from a freak autumn snow storm last year left millions in the Northeast without power for several days.

Malicious software. All computers, especially those connected to the internet, are vulnerable to attacks, viruses, worms, Trojans and other malware that can exploit weaknesses and damage data.

  • Cyber crimes from hackers that attack and try to access your computer for malicious reasons.
  • Viruses, Spyware, Ransom-ware are other obvious ones.
  • Unexpected events like old server cables can also take down a business overnight.
  • Human error. Even an employee can accidentally delete critical files.

Unauthorized users. Firewalls and intrusion-detection systems can protect outside users from changing your data or accessing confidential information like human resources and payroll, but the largest risks often come from an organization’s own employees.

Technical failures. Damage to the equipment that stores, processes and transmits information can range from someone tripping over and disconnecting a cable to a catastrophic server crash.

Easy Solution: Keep Your Data Safe in the Cloud with the Computer Company

The Computer Company will provide far better security than most businesses would likely to have in-house. Why? Because the main key to keeping your business data secure is to make sure timely protections are in place. And that’s what we do!

  • Our servers offer robust performance, security, reliability and scalability for all applications.
  • Our flexible configurations allow you to choose the right options and hardware upgrades to optimize performance.
  • Choose from multiple CPU cores, maximum memory and flexible storage.

More organizations are realizing the benefits of co-locating their mission-critical equipment within a data center.

  1. Co-location saves you thousands of dollars each year, not to mention the bother of spending time and energy towards ensuring the optimum performance of your server and your network.
  2. Server co-location leaves you free to concentrate on your core business and better utilize the resources you would have spent on your in-house data center.

The Computer Company’s reliable and secure co-location will grow with you to fit your ever changing needs. We serve clients from coast to coast, using only the highest quality equipment and Internet bandwidth available.

Not only does The Computer Company provide co-location in Connecticut, we offer dedicated servers, data backup, migration and managed hosting services.

Contact The Computer Company at 800 418 2358 for more information.