What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Account Coordinator(AC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
Professional IT Services that Andromeda Provides for Aurora, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
Andromeda IT Service Offerings
Here is just a quick list demonstrating the breadth of IT services you can expect from Andromeda:
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
3 Ways Data Encryption Can Save You From Unnecessary Stress, Spending & Headaches Jul 03, 2020
When you think of data encryption, you might imagine top-secret files and espionage. Historically, militaries and governments protected messages and sensitive information using encryption. These days encryption has many more uses. With hackers and cyber criminals constantly after your data, it is important that you make use of this security measure.
Encryption is defined as scrambling data or text to make it unreadable. This protects stored data and personal information from displaying to those without a proper clearance or key to decode that information. There are all kinds of pieces of information you have on file that a disgruntled employee or criminal could make use of:
- Home addresses
- Email Addresses
- Drivers Licenses
- Credit Card information
- Social Security Numbers
- Date of birth
- Medical history or records
- Financial information – routing numbers, account numbers etc.
Depending on your industry, this information may be subject to state and federal regulation, hefty fines and, in cases of negligence, even jail time (we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars). Businesses close their doors over this stuff.
While employee training and proper cyber protocols are great at protecting you and your business from user error and data breach – encryption is an added layer of security every business benefits from.
3 Ways Data Encryption Can Save You From Unnecessary Stress, Spending & Headaches
- Encryption Saves Your Reputation – More and more employees are working on the go. With employees working from home, sales staff in the field and the hustle and bustle of every day, you don’t want to hold your employees back or decrease productivity by preventing devices from leaving the office.But imagine your employee runs into the neighborhood Starbucks and leaves their company laptop in their front seat. While they are ordering their venti latte, a criminal breaks into their car and steals their belongings – your laptop included. Now you’re out the hardware but more importantly, you have a criminal at large with sensitive data. If this data has any sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) on it, you are required to report the incident.Do you want your customers losing valuable trust in your company? In fact, this fear of reputation damage is the reason that three out of every four victims to ransomware, data breach or cyber-attack do not report the incident.Think back to 2013 when 41 million people found out Target compromised their sensitive data. You’d probably think twice about shopping there again if you were one of them. If the stolen laptop had been encrypted, you wouldn’t have to report an incident. The criminal would have no way of deciphering any data on the equipment.
- Encryption Keeps Designated Information Private – Let’s bring this example back into your office for a moment. Even if you don’t keep sensitive customer information on file or process credit cards. You have personal information for employees on file: Performance reviews, social security numbers, salary information and more. You don’t need a hacker or even a disgruntled employee gaining access to these records.With encryption you can ensure that even if an employee accidentally or intentionally stumbles into an area they shouldn’t be, they can’t make sense of any of that information.
- Encryption Can Save You From The Unexpected – Whether a device goes missing from the office, you can’t risk having sensitive information at large. Your reputation aside, as mentioned earlier, these types of breaches can result in very large fines, prosecution and years in prison. Nobody needs that on their mind every night. With encryption, you can rest easy that even in the wrong hands your data can’t be manipulated or exposed.To take this a step further, certain encryption management tools have the ability to remotely disable and even wipe devices. This comes in handy in all of the examples we have described. Then, not only is the information on your device useless, but after your IT company takes necessary steps, the device shows nothing but the “blue screen of death”.
Encryption is a powerful tool. It is an incredibly useful piece of your cyber security and data protection plan. It is important that you protect sensitive information. Even if you don’t want to believe it, there are criminals out there that would wreak havoc with the data if given the chance.
For more information on our encryption software and other cyber security training, protocols and plans, give us a call at (815) 836-0030.
And be sure to explore our Security Training Program. Over 80% of data breaches are a result of human error and the first step to prevention is education.
The post 3 Ways Data Encryption Can Save You From Unnecessary Stress, Spending & Headaches appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Layered Network Security: 5 Components Every Layered Security Solution Should Have & Why Employee Training Is A Must Have Nov 02, 2020
Securing your data and your network is a big job. If you’re looking at trends or the news, you can probably guess that network security is only going to get more important and cumbersome in the future.
Cybersecurity is now a common household term and that’s a good thing. The page has been turned on data security and people regularly recognize that we need to protect ourselves both personally and professionally from cyber crime and related threats.
To illustrate where the cybersecurity and cyber crime industries are moving here are a few stats (full article here):
- Cyber crime damage costs are predicted to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021
- Cybersecurity spending to exceed $1 trillion by 2021
- Global ransomware incidents hit a rate of one attack every 14 seconds in 2019
The threats to data and networks are clearly going nowhere so it is important that you have a plan in place to protect your business (and yourself).
Different software applications and hardware solutions are designed to address specific security concerns. This means that while one solution may give you complete protection from one threat, it may not be suited to protect you from another.
The solution for these weak points is to ‘layer’ your security and design a solution that covers and protects your network to the best of its abilities.
What You Should Expect From A Layered Network Security Solution
A good layered security solution for your network is going to include the following components:
1. Professional Firewall Solution –
Your firewall is designed to help protect your network from external threats. It does this by blocking access to your network while allowing your users to communicate outside of the network. While a firewall is a great way to protect your network from intrusions, it can only protect your system from outside activity. A firewall cannot prevent one of your users from giving unauthorized permissions or access to programs or other users.
2. Professional Antivirus Software –
Antivirus software is a standard security solution designed to detect and block malware, viruses and other bugs from taking action against your network. An antivirus solution typically depends on a predefined catalog of known issues. The software uses this catalog to block those known issues from impacting you. The issue with this is that new viruses, malware, spyware and bugs are produced daily. If your solution is not actively updating and monitoring the internet for new incidents, it won’t be able to protect you from new threats in real time. Antivirus solutions also cannot always block a user from disregarding a warning and downloading a bad file/clicking on a bad link.
3. Email Spam Prevention/Filters –
Spam is more than just an annoying thing filling up your inbox. A majority of viruses and bugs that get through your firewall/antivirus do so by hiding in email messages. Cyber criminals know that if they send enough emails, somebody is going to click a bad link or download a compromised attachment. By filtering out spam, you dramatically decrease the opportunity for someone to accidentally introduce a virus to the network. Again though, spam filters don’t catch everything so they cannot prevent a user from making a mistake.
4. DNS Filtering/Protection –
DNS stands for Domain Name System. This piece of your network controls email delivery and is the component that allows you to browse websites. When configured, a DNS filter can prevent your employees from accessing specific types of sites. For example, a DNS filter can be set up to prevent employees from accessing social media or other blacklisted sites. This security also helps keep malware or other viruses from spreading throughout your network by masking your devices and server. This is one element of your network security that isn’t heavily impacted by regular users but if it is not set up properly and managed properly it can’t protect you from much.
5. Employee Training & Education –
You may have noticed that almost any of the security layers mentioned above have specific strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, each component had a weakness related to human or user error. The fact is that users and honest mistakes are the root cause of the majority of data breaches, viruses, downtime and incidents on your network. That doesn’t mean your employees and coworkers are intentionally breaking protocol or doing things wrong. Most of the time these are honest mistakes like clicking a link in an email, downloading a file with a hidden virus or visiting an infected/malicious site and unknowingly giving cyber criminals usernames & password information.
And That’s Just The Beginning…
These are just five common pieces of a layered network security setup. They all work together to help cover different vulnerabilities and behaviors. There are many other software and hardware solutions that can increase your layered network security and reduce vulnerability. Some of those include:
- Dark Web Monitoring Services
- Dual Authentication
- Password Management
- Data Backups
- Disaster Recovery Planning
- Scheduled & Regular Patches/Updates
- Security Protocols for Remote Devices
- Network Security Assessments (at least once a year)
The goal should be to protect your environment to the best of anyone’s ability and to educate/train your staff adequately to mitigate risk.
You will also want to make sure and take any specific compliance requirements or regulations for your industry into account. Most any business that has data needs to maintain certain standards for data protection.
To discuss any of the layers for a layered network security solution listed above or your environment please reach out to our team.
For more information on employee data security training go here.
The post Layered Network Security: 5 Components Every Layered Security Solution Should Have & Why Employee Training Is A Must Have appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Hackers Stole User Information From Popular Gold Dealer Nov 17, 2020
Do you own gold? If so, and if you purchased it online, then odds are good that you bought it from JM Bullion, which is one of the largest precious metal retailers on the web.
If so, be aware that the company recently announced that their network was breached, and as a result, some customer credit card information was stolen.
It turns out that this issue dates back to February of this year (2020) although the company only became aware of the problem on July 6th, when they were alerted to suspicious activity on their website. By July 17th, they had identified a malicious script that had been injected into their site, which, according to the company's disclosure notification "had the ability to capture customer information entered into the website in limited scenarios while making a purchase."
The notification goes on to stress that the limited scenarios represented a small fraction of the total transactions processed by JM Bullion during the period, but the company has so far declined to give any information regarding the exact scope and scale of the incident.
By now, all impacted customers will have received an official notification by mail from the company, which includes next steps. If you haven't gotten such a notification, then odds are excellent that your payment card information wasn't compromised and there's nothing for you to do.
Either way, it pays to be mindful of the event and keep a sharp eye on the payment card you used to make your purchases on JM Bullion's site, just in case.
Needless to say, the offending script has been removed, and at present, there are no known issues with the site. Still, this serves as yet another reminder that no matter where you go on the web and no matter what you do, you are not safe. Stay vigilant.