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Data Security! Is your firm safe?

The world we live in today can obviously be a scary one on many levels. One topic we discuss with our customers on a regular basis is data security. That term can mean so many things and effect you and your company in countless area’s of technology.

To discuss this topic and to give it justice I would need to right a five hundred page book, since I am not a professional writer I will highlight the key area’s you need to focus on.

#1 POLICY – Your firm should have a data acceptable use policy. This would include who can see, touch and have access to your data. This should cover office workers as well as the mobile workforce that will also include mobile devices that have access to sensitive company data. All company employees should read, sign and recognize this policy and follow the directives set by the corporate officers.

#2 SECURITY – The data that is stored on company servers should have security access controls in place that protects data from being accessed by outside hackers. This usually means having firewalls, up to date security patches and software and to regularly test the security of your devices in place that protects your network.

#3 PASSWORDS – This topic is usually the one that causes the most internal discussions and blow back from employees. This however is the most important topic of them all. You need to have complex passwords that are changed every 90 days and stick to it. Most data breaches from outside sources are due to weak passwords.

#4 MOBILE USES – Mobile users should have a secure method on how to access data along with having the laptops they use encrypted with a program like bit locker or secure doc. Either way end users should not be allowed to run around with data on their laptops without encryption.

#5 MOBILE DEVICES – All mobile devices should have policies that allow the IT department to manage the phone remotely and wipe all data if the device is stolen or is in the hands of a terminated employee.

Obviously these are all standard practices that should be followed however this is just the tip of the iceberg but a good place to start.

Technology Business Solutions

TBS & HSF Afilliates Contract

TBS is excited to announce we have just signed an agreement with Home services of America. We will be a fully integrated onsite and helpdesk technical support firm for HSF in the Irvine and Houston offices providing crucial onsite support as well as 24/7 helpdesk from our call center in NJ.

Link to HSF http://www.homeservices.com/hs/index.asp

HomeServices of America, Inc. is the second largest independent residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States and an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, but we are also a distinctly local company. Our family of brands is comprised of market leaders with deep roots in their communities. Although while we operate on a national scale, we like to say that we are our companies—local brands helping people in the communities which they serve.

Has technology changed us?

I was watching a movie a day or so ago. It was an old movie from around the time before I was born. In those days technology was not what it was like today. Yes, I am sure you are all thinking in your heads “No kidding”

I also remember watching movies that were from around the dawn of cinemavision. From the time when television was not even invented. The telephone either for that matter. Those times were about as technology free as I would ever want to experience.

However one thing always seemed constant. That is how the people in those movies acted. The problems they experienced and the general way they lived. As it is now the only way we can have any idea of the way people lived in those times is via the movies that were made during those times.

Sure the stories may be fanciful and not a direct representation of real life however, there are indicators of the life those people lived woven into the very fabric of the movie. Such things as how they communicated with each other, how they managed to travel and a very telling basic interaction between the different sexes and races.

Watching those movies brought me to wondering how those people would have lived, I mean really lived in those times. I came to the conclusion that they would not have lived a lot differently from how we live now, in the present. Well at least the present at the time I am writing this posting

We all still have the same troubles, the same attitudes and the same types of social interactions. We have the same way of communication with each other even though the medium and speed of communication has changed.

In fact the only thing I think has really changed in us as a human race within this huge technological revolution is the speed at which we live our lives. Nothing else, that really matters, appears to have changed at all. In other words, technology has not significantly changed the human race at all.

Most important Business tool?

A decade ago the telephone was the most important business communication tool. Today however email communications is vital to most companies and having extended downtime can cause massive loss of potential business.

This is why we recommend implementing email continuity plans that will greatly diminish the possibility of any downtime. We utilize continuity services from global relay. GR focuses on email continuity which provides live real time email continuation if your main email host goes offline or encounters an extended outage. Receive and send emails as normal without interruption which allows you to continue working as normal while the hosting company fixes the issue. In fact you may not even realize that the backup system is activated, this is how seamless the continuity service looks and feels.

For more information on email continuity please contact our helpdesk and we would be happy to assist you.

How to Protect Your Router and Other Embedded Devices from Attacks

You conscientiously encrypt the important files you store online. You have also taken steps to encrypt your data transfer each time you upload, backup, and sync your files to the cloud. But businesses may be overlooking users that work from home offices and the vulnerable entry points–gateways, plug-and-play devices, routers, and wireless access points. Routers, in particular, are the likeliest targets for attack because many other local devices go through them to access the internet.

More and more software developers are making strides with their security-conscious coding–complete with automatic security patching and updating. The same cannot be said for manufacturers of routers and other embedded devices. Thus, attackers are now shifting their attention from software to the more vulnerable entry points for intercepting data–the always-on installed devices whose firmware are most likely not regularly updated.

In early February 2014, it was reported that the DNS settings of thousands of home routers in Poland were taken over by cybercriminals trying to intercept connections for online banking. Then in March 2014, Team Cymru, an internet security research agency, reported an extensive global attack that ended up compromising 300,000 home and small-office routers. In the latter case, the attackers exploited the known vulnerabilities inherent in certain router models.

Your router can also expose your hard drive’s sensitive contents to the internet, like what happened to thousands of routers made by Asus. If your home networking equipment has been standardized by your ISP–which is almost always the case–then it means your home networking configuration and settings are the same as all the other subscribers of your ISP. If there is a vulnerability that can be exploited in such a widely known home-networking configuration, then a large-scale attack would have been easier to carry out.

The least you can do is to perform these actions. One, change the admin password on your home networking system. If a technician simply came over to install your home networking equipment and you did not enter the configuration settings, then your ISP may have set it to the default password. Two, consider disabling the feature that makes your information and data transfer susceptible to attack. There is a feature that allows access from the internet to your admin interface. That’s a viable entry point you might want to disable. And three, check for firmware updates regularly.

If you are a non-technical user, a quick call to your ISP’s customer support can help you update and configure your router so that its settings become more secure. The technical support agent can also educate you regarding the installation of updates. Hopefully, manufacturers of embedded devices would soon make it easy for non-technical users to help keep their data away from cybercriminals and to make automatic security updates available for downloading and installation regularly.

Cloud Based Virus protection

The marketplace has many choices for Businesses to protect themselves from virus/malware intrusions. At Technology Business Solutions we have tested many of these products over the years and have found a cloud based product from Sophos to be very effective as well as centralizes the management of protecting a firm from the many variants that seem to come out daily.

TBS has implemented this product into many companies large and small which has produced great results for the end users with significant drop off in downtime and an increase in productivity. If you would like to find out more about this product please contact our helpdesk for more information.

Proven Protection Technology

We’ve based Sophos Cloud on the same proven technology that protects over 100 million devices worldwide. And, your security policies will follow each user across devices, platforms and locations.

  • Stop malware with multiple layers of protection: web exploit detection, HIPS, buffer overflow protection and more
  • Reduce your attack surface by monitoring or restricting access to removable devices
  • Keep your protection current with automatic updates and real-time lookups of suspicious files over any Internet connection

Xrite & TBS agree Two year Helpdesk Contract

TBS Signs Global helpdesk agreement- X-Rite is the world leader in color science and technology. The Company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, Inc., develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite’s expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical.

TBS will provide level I & II support globally. This latest addition complements our onsite technical support staff in Hong Kong as well as Regensdorf Switzerland. We are very pleased how our relationship with X-rite has continued to grow around the globe.

SRBI &TBS Sign one year deal!

TBS & ABT/SRBI agree to a one year helpdesk support contract. TBS will manage level 1 & 2 helpdesk requests from the workforce at the firm. TBS has been a partner for several years which has lead to the extension of our contract.

Abt SRBI is a recognized leader in utilizing survey, opinion, and public policy research to build bridges between decision-makers and the publics they serve. Known for its rigorous and innovative methodologies, Abt SRBI is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms. Abt SRBI is a subsidiary of Abt Associates, a mission-driven global leader in research and program implementation.

TBS To Move Dicerna Pharma

TBS and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals have been partners for the past six years. The Pharmaceutical company has seen some significant growth over the past few years as well as going public at the start of 2014.

TBS has been the sole management IT company since the inception of the firm and now will be managing the move into a brand new facility in a few months. Our onsite technicians along with our backend support staff have been planning the move for months to ensure a smooth transition.

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative treatments for rare inherited diseases involving the liver and for cancers that are genetically defined. Dicerna is using a proprietary RNA interference (RNAi) technology platform, which the Company believes improves upon existing RNAi technologies, to build a broad pipeline in these therapeutic areas.

Password complexity important?

Far too often we see clients trying to use passwords that are simple because it makes life easier for them and their employees. Some customers feel that if they have On- Pemise servers that password complexity is not important. The facts are that any machine which has internet access of any kind could potentially be compromised and have data stolen.

Best Practice states that making passwords as complex as possible make it more difficult for hackers to break in. A password with at least 8 characters with a combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers and at least one other character such as ! or * will help keep systems safer. Also ensure to change passwords at least once per quarter.

We all need to be aware that the internet can be a dangerous place that hackers are always looking for ways to exploit systems.

For more information on this topic please contact our helpdesk @ helpdesk@tbsnetworks.net

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