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Ransomware Still an Issue in 2018

Plus, are you prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse?

  • 19 February 2018
  • Author: SIM2K
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In our February issue of SIMformation we look at the continuing threat from ransomware and other malware.  Statistics show 81% of businesses have suffered some form of a cyberattack, so we want everyone to be vigilant and know the most prevalent malware vectors and how to defend against attacks.  We have covered this before, but a refresher is helpful as we kick off this year. We follow up on last month's news of the Intel chip flaw – Meltdown and Spectre – and what are the latest steps from the hardware makers to counter this flaw.  The early rush to "fix" this resulted in a "whoa" moment as the fix was called back by several companies, so here is the latest news on actions taken and still to come.

 

Speaking of malware, we look at how YouTube videos were infected with malware that permitted PCs to mine digital currency on the sly.  Your PC's processor, memory and your electricity was consumed generating a digital coin, Monero, if infected.  We present some basic information on what data Windows 10 collects.  When first released, there was major privacy concerns about what data this operating system was collecting and returning to Microsoft.  A new app helps shed light on what diagnostic data is collected – no personal data is ever shared.  Finally, we hope you are prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse – or any disaster, fire, theft or flood that could disrupt your work.  Every company should have a Business continuity and recovery plan and we offer tips of what your plan should encompass.

Security Flaw in Intel Chips

Any device - PC, Mac, tablet, server – with Intel chips at risk

  • 10 January 2018
  • Author: SIM2K
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In our January 2018 issue of SIMformation we look at a serious security flaw found in Intel chips that can affect any type of device – Windows or Mac, PC, tablet or server –with an Intel chip. Two vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre, pose the possibility of a hacker obtaining data, such as passwords, saved in web browsers.  We issued a preliminary alert on this on our Facebook page earlier this week when first disclosed, and here is more complete information.  We are working on installing the updates from the various vendors as they are released.

 

We also introduce the new Zip 47G phone from Zultys, our VOIP unified communications partner.  This new desktop phone has a hi-resolution, 4.3" display and supports wired and wireless headsets.  It will work on any Zultys system, premise, Cloud or server-based running MX 12 release and later.  

 

We present some basic information on Blockchain as this digital currency has been in the news recently, so here is the scoop on this.  We also cover the rumors that Google is looking to dump Android and Chrome in favor of one unified platform operating system, dubbed "Fuchsia."  Finally we have statistics on using E-mail for file sharing and why this presents a security risk, as e-mail is not a secure medium for transmitting data.

Season's Greetings from SIM2K

2017 Tech Trends set Stage for 2018

  • 20 December 2017
  • Author: SIM2K
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We close 2017 with a look at several trends this past year in technology that the experts believe will have even more impact in 2018, such as Artificial Intelligence and Virtual/Augmented Reality. For those of you who use Uber we look at the recently-disclosed hack on their database.  Have you seen an uptick in notifications you get on your smartphone?  We discuss how notifications are exploding and how you can keep them under control.  Net Neutrality is back in the news and we weigh in on that, and also discuss the costs of a data breach for affected companies and how it is more than just IT costs, but also impacts on reputation, loss of customers and more. Plus we look at what industry groups are more affected by a breach, and then what steps you can take to defend your network against hackers.  And, we have our traditional holiday message with our thanks to all our clients we serve.

IP-Based Video Systems

Video over same network as PCs

  • 15 November 2017
  • Author: SIM2K
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In our November issue, we look at Internet-Protocol (IP) based video systems.  The convergence of video over the same networks as PCs means companies no longer have to string coax cable for video as the video signal can now piggy-back on the same network as computers.  Companies are installing video for security, safety and as a crime deterrent, and SIM2K can specify, install, configure and support these video systems.  We also take a look at two of the popular note-taking programs, Microsoft's OneNote and Evernote, and compare the pros and cons of both.  Users of Google Chrome browsers will see some improvements with the new update that also fixes lots of security issues.  Microsoft is rolling out a new authorization policy for Windows 10 Enterprise which may foreshadow where the company will go with all Windows licensing in the future. And, we re-cap Cybersecurity Month with a look at the "Bad Rabbit" ransomware released at the end of October and cover our tips for securing your network from malware.

KRACK Attack breaks Wi-Fi Security

National Cybersecurity Month

  • 24 October 2017
  • Author: SIM2K
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In our October SIMformation we start with breaking news of a vulnerability in the WPA Wi-Fi security protocol.  The "KRACK Attack" is a potential chink in protected Wi-Fi traffic, so this is an important update with steps to take for your PCs and router firmware.  We also look at "Simming" – creating a synthetic identity from various "real" elements like names, addresses and social security numbers.  This is why the Equifax data breach last month is a concern, as it gives the bad guys the way to construct a new identity – but if they happen to pick your SSN or name, your credit profile is at risk.  And, since this was Cybersecurity Month, we follow up on the WannaCry ransomware attack this past summer, and what IT experts believe was behind this attack.  We discuss how Windows 10 users can pick a different Internet browser as their default rather than using Edge, and also how Microsoft plans to release Office 2019 for those companies that do not wish to subscribe to Office 365.  Finally, in an "oops" moment, a major accounting firm that markets cyber risk protection, found their Cloud-based e-mail system was hacked, exposing financial information and tax returns for clients.

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