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 Oak Forest, 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:
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.Guidelines & Tips for Employees Working Remotely Mar 30, 2020
Working remotely, whether short-term or permanent comes with many perks, but it also poses many new risks for the security of your organization’s data. For example, if an employee-owned device (laptop, PC, etc.) is infected, that could compromise your business network as well.
We’ve developed a list of guidelines and tips to assist you as you prepare to work from home in a safe, functional work environment. Note, this list is intended for guidance and information purposes only. If you have any questions regarding these tips, please reach out to your supervisor or IT provider for additional information.
Guidelines & Tips
- Ensure that you have the ability to lock your devices (laptop, PC, etc.) and any business relevant information when not in use. Cable locks for laptops should be used when necessary. Laptops and devices should be locked out of sight and/or in the trunk if it must be left in a vehicle unattended
- Avoid using your personal devices for work-related business
- Safely perform conversations without visitors eavesdropping or shoulder surfing, especially while working in a mobile setting, such as a coffee shop
- Protect the data you are accessing by using a VPN to log into the company network, and ensure you are protecting data visible on your screen with a screen protector. This is especially critical for employees who are required to be HIPAA compliant, PCI compliant, etc.
- Restrict the use of devices containing business-relevant information. Do not let family members, friends, or anyone but yourself use company-owned devices or personal devices used for business purposes
- Use strong on all your devices and accounts to prevent unauthorized access
- Change default Wi-Fi Router passwords
- Enable WPA-2 or higher encryption
- Ensure your local router firmware is up to date
- Limit the use of public Wi-Fi. Always use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Never use public Wi-Fi to send sensitive information without a VPN
- Ensure all personal devices are secure with company-provided or personally owned antivirus and anti-malware software company
- Updated IoT device firmware (smart thermostats, surveillance cameras, etc.)
- Ensure default passwords are changed
- Ensure the software on all devices within your home network are kept up to date (corporate laptop, IOT devices such as cameras and smart thermostats, personal laptops/tablets, etc.)
- Review and follow corporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and other relevant policies and procedures
- Remote Work Employee Awareness
- Be extremely cautious of email phishing scams
- Limit social media use
- Don’t reveal business itineraries, corporate info, daily routines, etc.
We provide this list of guidelines to assist you as you work from home. These tips are meant to facilitate a safe, functional work environment.
Note, this list is intended for guidance and information purposes only. If you have any questions regarding these tips, please reach out to your supervisor or IT provider for additional information. We are always here to assist in your transition in any way possible. Give us a call to pick up this conversation today (815) 836-0030 or email us.
The post Guidelines & Tips for Employees Working Remotely appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Ecommerce Platform X-Cart Hit By Ransomware Caused Outage Nov 18, 2020
Do you sell goods and services directly from your company's website? Do you use X-Cart to do it?
If you answered yes to both of those questions, you may have had some issues with your sales platform.
Thankfully, the issues now seem to have been resolved, but according to the software vendor that makes X-Cart, the issue stemmed from a ransomware attack the company recently suffered. It brought down customer stores that were hosted on the company's platform.
While few details are known at this point, the issue seems to have arisen when attackers exploited a vulnerability in some third-party software that allowed them to gain access to X-Cart's store hosting system. Jeff Cohen is the VP of Marketing for Seller Labs, which is the company that produced X-Cart.
Cohen had this to say about the matter:
"We have identified what we believed to have been the vulnerability but do not wish to disclose the name until its confirmed by our security firm."
Reading between the lines of this statement, it appears that the investigation into the matter is still ongoing. However, apparently the attackers encrypted a small number of X-Cart's servers, which was enough to grind the system to a halt. Of interest, the hackers did not demand a ransom, nor provide any way for Seller Labs to communicate with them, so the company restored their servers from recent backups.
Not all stores were impacted evenly. Some went offline completely, while others simply reported issues with sending email alerts. In any case, Seller Labs moved quickly to restore service and the outage lasted only a few days. Unfortunately, a few days is a very long time, and some of X-Cart's customers are not happy, nor are they satisfied with the rather limited information the company has provided to this point. This prompted them to band together and serve Seller Labs with a Class Action lawsuit.
Everything seems to be back to normal at this point, but if your company was impacted, it pays to be aware of the pending lawsuit and consider how you might wish to proceed.