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IT Professional Services and Business Continuity

Blog for IT Support and Managed Services in Tampa and Florida

Providing Business IT Support such as technical IT Helpdesk Support, Outsourced Computer Support, Technology Consulting, and Managed IT Services to small and medium-sized businesses in Tampa and Florida.

A New Perspective on Ransomware

A New Perspective on Ransomware

We are going to switch things up a bit and walk you through a retelling of a ransomware attack through the eyes of a business owner. Usually when we talk about these types of threats, we approach it from our perspective and talk about what you should do to prepare and what the threats are, but we wanted to try to show you what an event like this could feel like, for you, in your position, and in your own eyes. We hope that this will raise awareness of how crippling an event like this can be on your company, and we hope you let us know if this perspective helps you, your colleagues, and your staff get a more personal sense of what ransomware can do. Enjoy!

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Why ROBOT is a Risk After Nearly 20 Years

Why ROBOT is a Risk After Nearly 20 Years

The Internet is rife with potential threats. Some are situational, but most are deliberate actions made by malicious entities who are trying to obtain any semblance of value from you or your company. Some of these exploits have been around longer than you’d imagine possible. This has been made evident by huge Internet-based companies such as PayPal and Facebook testing positive for a 19-year-old vulnerability that once allowed hackers to decrypt encrypted data.

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Is Your Security Prepared to Stop a DDoS Attack?

Is Your Security Prepared to Stop a DDoS Attack?

If your business were to be struck by a Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack, would it be able to recover in a timely manner? Do you have measures put into place to keep them from hampering your operations? While most organizations claim to have sufficient protection against these dangerous attacks, over half of them have simply proven to be ineffective against DDoS.

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30 Schools Shut Down In Montana After Cyber Attack

30 Schools Shut Down In Montana After Cyber Attack

Students generally love it when classes are cancelled for whatever reason, but thanks to a cybercriminal group called TheDarkOverlord Solutions, a school in Flathead Valley, Montana was disrupted for an extended period of time. This downtime resulted in a disruption of operations for over 30 schools, as well as the threat to the personal information of countless teachers, students, and administrators due to a ransomware attack.

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Charity Scams Are Very Real. Here’s How To Dodge Them

Charity Scams Are Very Real. Here’s How To Dodge Them

Dealing with disasters are a part of doing business. You know how difficult it is to recover from a devastating flood or storm. While businesses tend to suffer from these situations, countless individuals suffer every time a natural disaster hits. Just take a look at the United States in recent weeks. Even though you may want to donate to people suffering from hurricanes, there are illegitimate charities out there that want to make a quick buck off of your generosity.

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Getting Greedy: Ransomware Hackers are Asking for Way More Money

Getting Greedy: Ransomware Hackers are Asking for Way More Money

If fiscal reasons have stopped you from securing your network against ransomware thus far, you may want to reconsider your strategy. Not only are attacks still becoming more and more prevalent, but the developers of ransomware have lowered the price of admission for aspiring cyber criminals. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep your business protected against a ransomware attack.

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The Most Popular Domains Make the Biggest Targets for Email Spoofing

The Most Popular Domains Make the Biggest Targets for Email Spoofing

Let’s say that you receive an email from a software vendor, say, Microsoft. When you are contacted by a major company like this, do you automatically assume that it’s secure, or are you skeptical that it’s a scam? Ordinarily, it might not seem like a big issue, but all it takes is one click on an infected attachment or malicious link to infect your business’s infrastructure.

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Scammers Use Whaling Attack Emails to Pose as Upper Management

Scammers Use Whaling Attack Emails to Pose as Upper Management

The average business owner may already be aware of what are called phishing attacks - scams that attempt to deceive and trick users into handing over sensitive credentials. However, not all phishing attacks are of the same severity, and some are only interested in hauling in the big catch. These types of attacks are called “whaling,” and are often executed in the business environment under the guise of executive authority.

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This Hacker Stole 1.17 Billion Credentials. You Won’t Believe How Much He Sold it All For

This Hacker Stole 1.17 Billion Credentials. You Won’t Believe How Much He Sold it All For

In a bizarre reminder of why security best practices are so critical to the world of IT, it has been reported that one of the largest collections of hacked and stolen login details are currently making the rounds in the Russian black market.

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Tip of the Week: Think You’ve Been Hacked? Here are 5 Ways to Check

Tip of the Week: Think You’ve Been Hacked? Here are 5 Ways to Check

Any business that deals with online technology needs to be aware of the dangers that come with the territory. Hackers are more common nowadays than ever before, and organizations that don’t take a proactive approach to keeping threats out of their systems will have to suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, some organizations won’t be aware that they’ve been hacked until it’s far too late.

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Are Vigilante Hackers a Threat?

b2ap3_thumbnail_do_vigilante_hackers_present_problems_400.jpg2015 was a brutal year for major corporations, as one by one they fell victim to hacking attacks. Major organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem, and even the United States Office of Personnel became victims of major hacking campaigns. A fact that’s often lost amongst these details is that not all hackers use their skill for evil actions, even if they are still illegal.

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Tip of the Week: How to Spot and Avoid Email Spoofing

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_spoofing_400.jpgLet’s say you get an email from a close friend. It looks like it’s legitimate, until you check the contents of the message. It’s an advertisement, or it’s trying to get you to click on a link to see something “important.” Regardless of what the content of the message is, you should probably slap that bad boy in the Spam section of your email inbox. You’ve just been the target of email spoofing, and it’s more common than you might think.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Clues that an Email is Really a Phishing Scam

b2ap3_thumbnail_do_not_go_phishing_400.jpgOne of the most masterful arts of deception that hackers use is the phishing attack, which attempts steal sensitive credentials from unwary victims. The anonymity afforded to criminals on the Internet is what makes this possible. Using phishing attacks, hackers attempt to steal credentials or personal records by forging their identities. What’s the best way to protect your business from these attacks?

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The Coding For Your ATM Shouldn’t Be as Dirty as Its Cash

b2ap3_thumbnail_atm_malware_threats_400.jpgMalware that targets ATMs isn’t a new concept. After all, ATMs use internal computers that can be hacked just the same as any old workstation. The prime difference is that hacking into an ATM allows for a direct dispensing of cash, rather than some crafty behind-the-scenes action. A new type of ATM malware, titled GreenDispenser, is a cause for concern in Mexico, and could spread to other countries if left unchecked.

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What Would it Take to Disable the World’s Technology Infrastructure?

b2ap3_thumbnail_threat_of_cyberwar_400.jpgFor argument’s sake, do you think society today relies too much on technology? In the Information Age, both businesses and governments have to be more careful than ever about how they approach cybersecurity. However, what would happen if a massive cyber war were to render any and all computing systems in the United States inert? Granted, such a powerful, in-depth attack is unlikely, but it’s sometimes fun (and frightening) to examine the worst-case scenario.

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Things Get Ugly When Hackers Turn on Each Other [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_hacker_vs_hacker_400.jpgNormally in cybersecurity, we hear about hacking attacks and immediately sympathize with the victim. It’s usually an individual or a business that suffers the most; yet, a recent trend is showing that hackers are lashing out at one another in response to certain threats. In response to a hack from the cyberespionage group Naikon, another group, Hellsing, retaliated with their own attack.

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Personal and Private Data Continues to Leak from Sony

b2ap3_thumbnail_password_protection_400_20141222-204815_1.jpgThis holiday season might leave technology and entertainment supergiant Sony with nothing but a big lump of coal in its stocking. In a high-profile hack, hackers continue to leak Sony’s employees’ sensitive information like Social Security numbers, passports, and even personal emails. This is obviously an issue for the company, but so is its lack of IT security, as shown by their passwords being stored in a folder named “Passwords.”

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Alert: Cryptowall 2.0 Ransomware On the Loose

b2ap3_thumbnail_alert_cryptwall_400.jpgThe latest threats can put a damper on your business plan and put your company at risk. Therefore, it's only natural to protect yourself from them. This new threat in particular, Cryptowall 2.0, has the potential to do plenty of heavy-duty damage to your business's network, if given the opportunity.

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IT Risk Management: To Understand the Hacker, You Must Become the Hacker

IT Risk Management: To Understand the Hacker, You Must Become the Hacker

Avoid hackers with IT Risk Management and Business ApplicationsHackers are mysterious. Not much is known about them - until they get caught, at least. But until the divine hammer of justice is brought down upon them, they will continue to stalk the shadows and wait for us to unknowingly hand over our personal information. What they don't want you to know is that they generally act according to a few particular variables, and that it is possible to avoid their pitfalls.

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Is Your Antivirus Software Up to Snuff?

Is Your Antivirus Software Up to Snuff?

b2ap3_thumbnail_is_your_antivirus_working_for_you_400.jpgAll of the security breaches and vulnerabilities of 2014 sure have made for an interesting year; first Heartbleed, then the Internet Explorer vulnerability, GameOver Zeus, and the Russian password-stealing gang. In light of these events, you really have to ask the question, "how can we fight these threats?" Symantec has told The Wall Street Journal that they feel antivirus technology is "dead."

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One of the primary goals of technology development has long been to make technology as small as possible, while simultaneously improving its performance. The result of these efforts is the field of nanotechnology, which is now applied in a variety of uses.

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Symmetric Engineering Group was awarded the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Small Business of the Year Award for their understanding technical service and support throughout the Tampa Bay area

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