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 Service Coordinator(SC)—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
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:
4 Cybersecurity Tips For Business Owners & Managers Nov 05, 2018
New cybersecurity stories hit the news every day. You’ve surely heard about large companies getting hacked or ‘breached’, passwords stolen, identities compromised and more.
The topic of cybersecurity gets brought up so much, it’s no surprise that it has become a kind of background noise in the business world. Warnings about security protocols, new viruses and ransomware scams are just the tip of the iceberg when you look into what is happening in the IT security world.
While the news stories keep coming and businesses continue falling victim, there is at least one thing that remains the same . . . the need for cybersecurity training and awareness is here to stay. If you are in business, you have data that cybercriminals want to steal. Simple as that.
Cybersecurity conversations and solutions don’t have to be daunting though. In fact, there are some quick, common-sense tips you can put into place that will make you and your business a harder target for those looking to do you harm.
Top 4 Cybersecurity Tips For Professionals
1. Use Unique and Strong Passwords For All Online Accounts
This tip is one you’ve surely heard many times before but over 85% of all adults reuse their passwords online. On top of that, most people don’t know how to create a truly strong password. Some characteristics of a strong password are:
- Minimum of 8 characters
- A mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters
- At least one number
- At least one special character (!@#$%^&)
- No personal details (pet names, family member names, birth dates, address info etc.)
The average adult has over 100 different accounts online (bank accounts, credit cards, social media, email, apps etc.). It’s understandably difficult to create and remember a different password for everything you do though.
What to do about it? Look into a password manager tool for yourself and your staff. A password manager will store and organize all of your unique passwords securely. Here at Andromeda, we recommend LastPass. It has some great features and is a trustworthy password management tool. If you have questions about that, feel free to reach our team.
2. Run A Network Security Audit At Least Once A Year
You can’t address things if you don’t know they are broken. An annual network security audit done by a third party IT support partner will give you visibility into the small cracks hiding in your.
This type of audit should check things like open ports on your firewall, password protocols, your backups, your disaster recovery plan, the status of your warranties, your antivirus and spam protocols and more.
You can engage your current IT services provider for this audit or look for a third party vendor to come in and take a fresh look at your setup.
It never hurts to get a new set of eyes on your setup. Andromeda provides these types of assessments to our clients with our professional 35 point network security assessment. If you’d like to speak with our team about this service, give us a call at (815) 836-0030 or send an email to Contact@WeNetwork.com
3. Regularly Test Your Backups and Disaster Recovery Plan
One of the top methods a cybercriminal uses to make money is ransomware. Ransomware is classified as a cyberattack where a criminal gains access to your network (through brute force or stolen employee email/passwords). After accessing the network, the criminal then encrypts all or a portion of your business data and locks you out of it. The only way to recover the data is to pay a ransom (often in the form of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency). If you don’t pay up – they destroy your data.
These types of attacks cause serious damage. Businesses lose big money due to down time, reputational damage and in some cases, even government fines (in worst cases where evidence that a business intentionally ignored or neglected their data security, victims of ransomware/cybercrime can even face jail time).
Imagine that, you’re the victim of a cyberattack and you have to pay the government fines on top of it all?!
Ransomware and cyberattacks happen, there is almost no way to avoid them 100% of the time. But, with a proper disaster recovery plan including regular data backups (on site, in the cloud and off site) you can quickly and calmly restore your business data and win against cybercrime.
Don’t just accept anyone’s word when it comes to verifying your backups though. You should be sure that whoever is maintaining your backups and disaster recovery is running regular tests and providing you proof of valid backups. You should also run a demo scenario at least twice a year to test how long it would take you to be back up and running in the event of a breach or equipment failure.
4. Employee Cybersecurity Training Is Key To Your Defense
Cyber security is constantly changing and new attack strategies show up regularly. The one thing that shouldn’t change for you though, is your commitment to ongoing employee training.
After all, the #1 threat to your office network security is actually your employees! The staff are the people who will accidentally visit an infected site, click a bad link, download a file with a virus etc. and the only way to help stop those behaviors/accidents is through education and proper training.
A good employee training program will offer ongoing training and support. It may also score and rank your employees/office based on performance etc.
At Andromeda, we offer our clients an employee cyber security training in an online program. This allows employees to go at their own pace and complete training in the office or on the go. This solution provides weekly tech tips, training videos, micro quizzes, individual employee risk scores and more.
Make sure to look into training if your organization isn’t already offering this to employees. This really is a must have solution to protect your office.
These are only 4 tips you can use to improve security at the office. There are many more but if you cover these bases you have a great start.
If you have any questions related to cybersecurity or IT at the office, give our team a call at (815) 836-0030 or send a message to Contact@WeNetwork.com. We are always here to help you!
The post 4 Cybersecurity Tips For Business Owners & Managers appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use Mar 30, 2018
In our business and personal lives, we’re all racing to fit 26 hours into a 24 hour day.
Any tip or trick that shaves off time and saves a few seconds can pay off big time in the long run.
We recently did a poll around the Andromeda office to grab some of our favorite tricks and tips that save time, keep us organized and help with overall productivity.
We kept this list specific to Windows 10 but many of these tricks and features will work on older versions of Windows as well.
So – without further ado –
Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use:
The snip tool is very useful when you want to grab a photo or screen shot of a specific element on your screen but don’t want to capture your entire screen.
This is a pre-installed app you can find in your start menu.
For more information on exactly how to use this function check out this helpful article.
Built In Search with Windows Key
There are a lot of different commands that begin with the ‘Windows Key’ (See above for photo example). We will dive into a few of those later but our staff thought that the built in search tool deserved its own mention.
Simply hit the Windows Key and start typing out what you are looking for. This helps avoid searching and clicking around through files.
For example hit your Windows Key and start typing any program you have installed. For our example, type in iTunes then press the Enter key.
iTunes will start automatically.
Mark Up Feature in Windows Edge
There are many different web browsers out there and most people have their favorite. Windows 10 has their own web browser called Windows Edge (an update to the classic Internet Explorer).
Once you open up a web browser with Windows Edge, locate the Mark Up Feature in the top right hand corner (highlighted below):
Once you click this feature you will notice a purple navigation bar at the top of your screen. You can now markup web pages for whatever purposes you like on any tablet or device with writing capabilities.
Pin Popular Apps to Taskbar
Windows 10 tries to make it as easy as possible to access your favorite applications and software. You can create desktop shortcuts but another accessibility option is pinning commonly used apps to your Taskbar.
Simply locate the app you are looking for and right click on it. You’ll see an option for “Add to Taskbar”. Select that and you are good to go.
This is a great way to make that Snip Tool we mentioned above more accessible.
Start Menu Organization
Some users dislike the Windows 10 start menu – but it has some great organization capabilities.
Similar to pinning apps to your Taskbar as described above, you can pin programs to your start menu. Additionally, you can group applications and software together for quick navigation.
This is all done via drag and drop. Simply click on the program you want, drag it to the right and drop it where you want.
For heavy computer users, brightness settings can cause eye strain and can even contribute to difficulty falling asleep at night.
This is because our computer screens (tablets and smartphones included) emit ‘blue light’. This blue light can be harsh on the eyes over time and messes with your natural sleep rhythms in some cases.
If you’re interested in turning on the Night Light function you can find it in the display settings menu.
“Hot Keys” are just another form of shortcut you can use to perform different functions quickly with only your keyboard.
Depending on your job and needs, you may use some, many, none or all of them (there are a ton).
Here are a few of our favorites for you to try.
Windows + L – Lock your screen
Windows + D – Show Desktop
Windows + Tab – Open Windows between Virtual Desktops
Alt + Tab – Cycle through open apps/windows
Ctrl + Z – Undo
Ctrl + X – Cut
Ctrl + V – Paste
Ctrl + C – Copy
Ctrl + A – Select All
For a more extensive list of Hot Keys check out this article from Windows Central.
We hope you found this article helpful and if you have a favorite shortcut that wasn’t listed, please let us know!
The post Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Hackers Are Hiding Code In Images To Fool Mac Users Feb 16, 2019
In the world of hacking, steganography ranks as one of the most difficult methodologies to detect.
If you're not familiar with the term, it is the practice of embedding executable code inside images, which makes it virtually impossible to detect.
The reason is simple:� Virus scanners are built around the idea of searching for text strings with identifiable malicious characteristics and markers, but images aren't that at all.� However, if carefully crafted, they can deliver the same poisoned payloads.
Recently, Apple users have been experiencing this firsthand, courtesy of a group calling themselves 'VeryMal,' which has been targeting Apple users in exactly this way. They've been using code embedded in ad images to redirect users browsing the web away from legitimate sites and onto malicious ones, which serve as hosts for a variety of malware.
Here's a quick rundown of how it works:
- Hackers purchase ad space on a legitimate website
- The ad image they load contains code embedded in the image itself
- If the result of that query is positive, the script extracts the rest of the code from the image, which forces the user's browser to navigate to a new URL as defined by the command code
- The user arrives at a page displaying popup ads, most commonly urging the installation of an update for software, in most cases Adobe Flash Player
Of course, it's not a Flash update at all, but whatever malware the hackers have seen fit to put in its place. It's a nasty bit of trickery that so far, has managed to hijack more than five million web sessions, siphoning them away from legitimate sites. This is based on the latest research into the group's activities, and worse, there's no good way to guard against it except to be vigilant and watch the behavior of your web browser closely.
If your company uses Apple equipment, make sure your people are aware.� VeryMal has been stepping up their activities in recent weeks.