Is the "Big One" Coming?
Ransomware roared back on the radar this month when Norsk Hydro, a major aluminum producer, was hit company-wide, affecting 25,000 employees and shutting down operations to the point it impacted the global aluminum market. Since the NotPetya and WannaCry attacks, things had been quite in this sphere, and companies became lax in their defensive posture. So, it is unfortunate that such an attack at this must bring ransomware back into focus. We discuss how experts believe that such an attack could have world-wide impact on productivity and cost billions for remediation. Also in March we look at the continuing rise and fall of Windows 10 vs. Windows 7, and Chrome against Firefox and Edge. The underdogs (Edge and Windows 7) staged comebacks last month to regain some market share, and we have details. We also look at how secure messaging services are, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, and how Facebook intends to provide encryption across these different platforms. Finally, we cover the puzzling fact that none of the data from the 2017 Equifax data breach has appeared on the black market, leading security experts to believe that a nation-state obtained this information and are using it for espionage or blackmail, rather than selling it for financial fraud purposes as is usually the case with stolen personal identification. Plus we have other news like the possibility you may be spamming yourself if you whitelist your own e-mail address.
Cellphone Spam exploding
In our November SIMformation we look at the explosion of robo-calling to cellphones, and what the industry is doing to combat this problem. And, unless you like to hear from "Rachel at Card Services" we have some tips you can use to help ward off unwanted calls. A new security warning from the National Security Agency covers "smart desks" connected to the Internet that might be spying on you, and we have the dossier on this. The October Windows 10 update caused some pain for users as it deleted their Documents folder, so that update was recalled by Microsoft. Our SIM2K Critical Updates plan helps protect you from buggy updates. New statistics are out on the cost to protect data in the US Cybercrime Survey – and yes, the costs have risen again this year. Finally, with new Artificial Intelligence products and Two-Factor Authentication tools, do you still need a traditional signature-based Anti-Virus program? Experts say yes, and we explain why.
A Refresher Course
Our September issue begins with a "refresher course" in Malware. We throw this term around frequently, and it covers many threats that can impact your PC and data. So, we present a recap of what is lumped under the term "malware" and steps you can take to harden your defenses against possible infections. We also debut a new desk phone from Zultys, our Unified Communications partner, featuring a 7" screen for those using Skype or other video conferencing tools. Plus we discuss new tools from Zultys to improve business collaboration. Microsoft is working on DaaS - Desktop as a Service. This is really nothing new if you were into computers in the 60s - a centralized source for your programs and such - only now it is positioned as a Cloud-based service. We explain what Microsoft is up to in our coverage. Google also makes news with the G Suite, trying to take Microsoft Office head-on for dominance in the workplace. And, speaking of workspace, Facebook Workspace brings social media into the office to promote team knowledge exchange and group collaboration, and we have details.
Google's browser dominates market
In our August SIMformation, we look at how Google's Chrome Internet browser is far outpacing Microsoft's Edge and Internet Explorer and Mosaic's Firefox in total users. Is this good or bad? Plus, we look at five areas the IT security experts say are the targets for the "bad guys" and why cybersecurity must be of utmost importance to any individual and company. If "123456" is your password, you better thing about changing it, as that is #1 on the list of 50 most exposed passwords. We have the full list of 50 just so you can check to see if you made the list or if your password is more secure than these. As an alternative to passwords alone, we look at a USB security key as an additional two-factor authentication check and how that has proven to benefit companies. And, as the march to the Cloud continues, we look at security issues for hosted software in the Cloud and what you can do to protect your data in these situations.
Finally, we take a moment to introduce our newest product offering. SIM2K is now an Epson Brighter Futures partner, so we can offer educational discounts on Epson products like their innovative interactive projectors for use in classrooms. Schools, school districts and other educational agencies can qualify for the Brighter Futures program, so please contact us for more information on Epson products and Brighter Futures.
IT safety while on the road
Our July issue of SIMformation offers some tips for your computing safety if you are traveling this Summer – from being sure your anti-virus is updated before you leave to running a virus scan when you get home before re-connecting to a network, and other tips inbetween. We discuss the pros and cons of "the old (device) is still working.." and why sometimes updates and replacements make more sense for the long haul on expenses rather than keeping old, out-of-date equipment. Windows 7 continues to hold market share over Windows 10, so the IT industry sees Microsoft attempting to push users away from Windows 7 even though the out-of-support date isn't until 2020. We look at why storing sensitive passwords in a web browser is not a good practice, and finally, we discuss how you can sync all your files between Chromebooks and Android devices through Google Cloud.