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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:
Network Security Assessment – The Single Most Important Cyber Security Tool You Are Neglecting Every Year May 01, 2017
Why you should have a network security assessment at least once per year
Let’s face it – our digital world is under constant attack and your corporate network is one of the biggest targets out there. Why? Because it also tends to be an easy mark. Year after year we see large scale attacks against corporations, but did you know that the majority of cyber incidents occur against small business? Ask yourself, when was the last time you had a professional network security assessment? We’d like to share why assessments are an important piece of the multi-layered approach to cyber security for your business.
Let’s start by stating something that you might not expect a tech company to express. At some point, your network and computer systems WILL BE breached by some type of cyber attack. No amount of effort or software can protect you 100%. The key is to take as many steps as you can to make it less likely you will be hacked or more realistically, take as many steps to ensure that a breach can do no real or sustainable harm to your business. No approach on the market can guarantee you will never be breached and if you run into an IT firm or product that tries to make this guarantee . . . run for the hills because it just “ain’t” true.
Now, there are the obvious steps that you can take to protect yourself and make it harder on the criminals:
- good Email habits
- anti-malware software
- employee training
- a professional Disaster Recover (DR) plan/device
However, there is another tool in the arsenal that you should use regularly and that is an annual (at minimum) Network Security Assessment.
How Is A Network Security Assessment Done?
Your IT support company can do an assessment; they should then give you a risk report displaying areas that need to be tightened up. If your IT company does not perform these, it may be time to start looking into someone new. Cyber threats are more prevalent every day and it is important to partner with an IT company that recognizes this and protects your business accordingly.
We find that our assessment usually uncovers security threats and holes; even when a business has the right practices and has done their research. Cyber security is a daily battle. When we run our assessment we use the results to constantly improve the defenses of our clients. And that is why, like most things in tech, an assessment should be a regular event.
The Network Security Assessment Is Done. What’s Next?
The network security assessment itself is not the only thing to request though. It is equally important to make sure that your firm supplies you with a report of their findings. This report should be simple to understand, contain an overall score and give you a breakdown of each issue found, along with how serious those specific issues are. Ask for an action plan detailing fixes for any issues that are found. Why go through the assessment if you aren’t going to DO anything with the data?
How important and helpful are these reports? We are an IT company with a background protecting our partners from risk, we place protections in place for our partners and still find ways to improve our customer cyber safety every time we run an assessment.
Why? Because cyber security is a dynamic, ever changing landscape and you need to proactively search for issues. Don’t let yourself learn the hard way. You never want to discover there is a hole in your cyber security by way of an attack or breach.
Interested in a Network Security Assessment?
If this article has you questioning your current setup, or if you are simply interested in starting a conversation regarding the cyber security protections necessary for your business, a network security assessment with Andromeda is a great place to start. With this in mind, we will be discounting our network security assessment thru 05/31/17. Fill out the form below for access to our promotional rate and begin a discussion with one of our security experts.
Fill out the form below to receive a $500 discount on a Network Security Assessment valid for the month of May
The post Network Security Assessment – The Single Most Important Cyber Security Tool You Are Neglecting Every Year appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.To SSL or Not to SSL: What is HTTPs and Why it Matters to You Jan 12, 2018
2017 was a pretty eventful year for tech. Between the WannaCry ransomware virus, the data breach at Equifax and many other less famous incidents – one thing is for certain. 2017 was the year of cybersecurity and 2018 is expected to follow suit.
With cyber attacks on everyone’s mind and radar, businesses are starting to notice a shift in public perception when it comes to the companies they work with when it comes to data security. People want to feel safe – and they want to make sure that their information is safe, even on the web.
So while this has been a growing trend for a few years now, it is safe to say that moving forward, the trend has transformed into an expectation of security and protecting consumer data.
2018 is definitely the year of HTTPs.
What is HTTPs?
To understand what HTTPS means and how it works, you need to know a few definitions.
First – HTTP, HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. Without diving too deep into the technical lingo, this is an application layer protocol. Basically, HTTP is the protocol that involves information sent between a browser (like google chrome) and a website itself. So if you were to interrupt that connection and intercept it, you’d see in plain text what was being communicated between the website and the browser.
This can be very dangerous in certain situations. For example, if you are purchasing goods on a website with a basic HTTP (basic meaning unsecured), your personal information like your address, credit card info and whatever else you submit can be intercepted and stolen.
Nobody wants this to occur – except the thieves – so HTTPs was introduced as a secure option.
Like HTTP, HTTPs stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol but it has an additional Security component; hence the “S”.
By adding additional security components, the language being transmitted between website and browser is encrypted and kept from being read by evil doers and criminals.
Another term you might hear thrown around regarding this security protocol is an SSL or Secure Socket Layer Certificate. Again, this is just another way of saying that your site has the technology in place to securely encrypt transactions between the website and browsers etc.
The types of SSL Certificates may vary, but their basic coding provides security and encryption.
You can always tell if a website is secure in a few different ways.
- https:// precedes the URL destination i.e. https://www.google.com
- A lock shows up in the leftmost corner of your navigation bar
- A green lock shows up in the leftmost corner of your navigation bar
Sounds pretty good, right?
There was a time when this added security feature was mainly used on websites that transfer personal information such as ecommerce, financial, medical, legal etc. but these days the added security of an SSL or HTTPs on your site is more of a standard.
It is something that savvy consumers look for to avoid vulnerability.
Now that we’ve gone through what this feature is and how it operates in respect to your website you might have some additional questions about whether this feature would benefit you. We’ve touched on a few of the most common topics below.
I’m Just A Small Business Website,
Why Should HTTPs Matter to Me?
An SSL Shows Your Customer Base You Care About Their Security
By adding an SSL certificate to your website, and turning it from HTTP to HTTPs, you are providing an extra level of security for your users. They know right away that your website is secure- that nothing they are viewing or how they are interacting on your website is being monitored or watched by a malicious entity. It shows that you care about your customer’s user experience – and that reflects highly upon your company brand.
It Actually Provides Additional Security Against Hackers
Having an SSL certificate installed on your website also helps protect your website from a possible breach or hacking attempt. The extra level of encryption provides an external wall that is harder for hackers to break and infect. So while you might not necessarily need one for the type of website your business uses – it does help you protect yourself against would-be attackers and saves you money on potential cleanup and patches once a website does get infected or breached.
HTTPs Help Improve Website Search Engine Rankings and Traffic
Having this added security installed on your website shows popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing! that you take your user’s experience and security seriously. So seriously that they award your website with increased rankings.
And we all know higher rankings lead to more traffic which you hope leads to more clients/customers.
Google has been favoring websites with HTTPs for a few years now; however, after recent technology-related world events, they have doubled-down.
Starting this past October, websites that use a form or search tool on their website will not have a Not Secure warning when viewed on Google Chrome browser. The last thing you want your prospective clients to see when visiting your site is a message about poor security.
Google also has been blatantly favoring websites with HTTPs over HTTP. About have of all 1st page results on Google are websites with HTTPs, up over 30% since the end of 2016.
Failure to increase security on your site risks lower search rankings and even increases bounce rates. It is also proven that HTTP sites load slower, causing Google to penalize them for site speed as well. Overall, the industry is punishing sites that do not value security.
So, what should you take away from all of this?
An SSL does incur extra costs (but they are minimal) but failure to secure your website can cost you potential new customers, reduce website traffic and impact overall user experience.
Your IT partner or web hosting provider should have the necessary tools to help you with your website security. It should be fairly simple and won’t break your budget either.
Want to take the next step and convert to HTTPs but not sure how?
Andromeda has trained technicians and developers that are more than happy to help you with the conversion. Just give us a call to get started today!
The post To SSL or Not to SSL: What is HTTPs and Why it Matters to You appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Malware Makers Testing Vulnerability Of Meltdown And Spectre Feb 13, 2018
Security researchers from around the web are reporting finding an increasing number of instances of proof of concept (PoC) code that incorporates the recently discovered Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.
If you somehow missed those earlier reports, Spectre and Meltdown are a pair of critical security flaws recently discovered in literally every Intel chip set made over the last decade.� Exploiting these vulnerabilities would give a hacker root-level access to the impacted system.
Since the discovery, the chip giant has been scrambling to fix the issue. However, their first attempt to do so caused so many system problems for people who installed the patch that the company is now recommending that users avoid it until they can come up with a better solution.
Unfortunately, that leaves you between the proverbial rock and a hard place.� Installing the patch will protect you, but cause you to experience system reboots several times a day and seriously degraded performance.� Not installing it leaves you at the mercy of the hackers.
So far, at least, it appears that most of the proof of concept code found is the result of security researchers playing with the exploits.� This includes testing them, seeing how they work, and how to prevent them.� That said, the researchers point out that it's all but certain that some of the PoC examples were created by teams of hackers who plan to use them in their next round of attacks.