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 Crest Hill, 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.3 Critical Steps You MUST Take To Avoid Ransomware Feb 28, 2020
Ransomware usually takes advantage of outdated patches and software licenses. Infected computers and business owners risked losing critical data if they didn’t pay the ransom.
While the specifics of future cyber security attacks are uncertain, we know some things for sure. Proper protocol is CRITICAL for data security and the safety of your business.
Ransomware: The Numbers **
- Almost 50% of Small Businesses have experienced some form of cyber attack
- MORE than 70% of attacks target Small Business
- As many as 60% of small businesses that experience a data breach go out of business within 6 months.
These numbers are scary. Cyber security demands the attention of business owners globally and the efforts of hackers/cyber criminals are only increasing. These criminals want your money and they don’t care about the damage left behind.
That being said, there is hope and there are measures you can take to prevent your business from becoming a victim of ransomware.
3 Security Protocols You MUST Implement Immediately For The Safety Of Your Data, Your Business AND Your Wallet . . .
- Update ALL Microsoft Licenses & Maintain Up To Date Security Patching –Cyber criminals are no dummies. WannaCry and other viruses like it take advantage of out of date licenses. Too often, business owners sacrifice the security of their network because they don’t want to go through the grief of updating to the latest Microsoft License. Andromeda recommends updating ALL PC’s to Windows 10 and, more importantly, make sure you perform regular patch and security updates.
- Test & Verify ALL Data Backups – When is the last time you tested and verified your backups? Are you backing up your data at all? How long would it take your current IT provider to get you back up in running in the event of a disaster (virtualization time)? It is a FACT . . . you will be hit by some form of ransomware, malware or virus. The real question becomes, do you have the protocols in place to defend and beat the attack? One of the most important things you can do to safeguard yourself is perform regular backups. (We recommend daily at a minimum). A cybercriminal can’t hold your data hostage if you follow this simple practice. AND – don’t accept a verbal confirmation your data continuously remains backed up as proof. Your IT partner should provide you regular, real time, proof that your data is backed up securely and that it can be visualized in an agreed upon length of time. If your IT provider can’t give these stats and proofs to you, time to find a new partner.
- Educate Your Team On How These Attacks Work And Where They Come From – Every office has that one employee that will click on ANYTHING (hopefully it isn’t you). Continued education is one of the first lines of defense against these attacks. Employees should know:
- What to look out for
- What phishing scams look like
- What to do when they suspect an email or link is suspect
- NEVER to check personal email at work
Proper spam filters set by your IT group should prevent the majority of these emails from getting to your inbox. However, it only takes ONE CLICK and an entire network is infected before you know what happened.
Ransomware Prevention constantly changing, be sure to stay on top of newest trends
When all is said and done, cyber security is an everyday battle. Hackers and criminals will keep attacking until you don’t have something they want. These 3 Security protocols are only the tip of the iceberg and should be part of a multiphase approach implemented by your internal staff and your IT partner. If you have any questions, please reach out to a representative at Andromeda today.
**Statistics sourced from the National Cyber Security Alliance
The post 3 Critical Steps You MUST Take To Avoid Ransomware appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Hackers Used Windows Theme Packs To Hack Passwords Sep 16, 2020
Are you a fan of customizing your Windows experience via themes? If so, you're not alone. While it's true that themes aren't used by a majority of Windows users, they're still highly popular.
If you're creating your own themes, you don't have anything to worry about. The danger lies in downloading theme packs from others, especially if you get them from a source you don't know and trust implicitly.
Clever hackers can now create "poisoned" themes that can be used to steal Windows credentials. Security researcher Jimmy Bayne discovered the new flaw when he stumbled across a poisoned theme capable of tricking unsuspecting users into accessing a remote SMB share that requires authentication.
When the user attempts to access the remote resource that requires a login, Windows responds by automatically trying to log in, using your Windows user name and their hashed password. Naturally, the hacker sets up the attack so that they control the remote resource and thus, is able to harvest the credentials and dehash the password at their leisure.
Microsoft has spent the last few years migrating away from local Windows 10 accounts and is leaning more heavily on the Cloud. This makes the theme-based attack much more likely to succeed.
Even worse, Microsoft has expressed no interest in fixing this particular flaw, because according to a spokesman for the company, it's working exactly as it is supposed to. That puts regular theme users in something of a bind.
Your first best defense against this type of attack is to make any themes you want to use yourself, or if you download a theme pack, be sure you're getting it from a trusted source.
Barring that, your only other viable option is to block or re-associate the .theme, .themepack, or .desktopthemepackfile extensions to a different program. This approach, however, will break the theme functionality, so it can only be used by those who don't need to frequently switch from one theme to another.
It's not a common attack, but it's definitely something to be on guard against.