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Hackers-2, Equifax-0

After the recent announcement that Equifax had been the victim of a hacking, there has been scrutiny towards the company. Millions of people had their SSN breached and other personal information stolen.

From an on looking perspective it seemed like things couldn’t get worse for Equifax, but it seems that was wrong.

Once again Equifax has found itself a victim of security breach. This breach involved the loss of thousands of customers national identity numbers. The difference in this breach is that it took part in Argentina, and the means by which they were hacked, are rather ridiculous.

As it seems, Equifax had their username and password of the Argentina branch, the same one word, Admin. This is a well known setup username and password across the world. Something new gets set up in a network and the default username and password is admin.

The important matter to take away from this event would be the lack of security that their password offered. As mentioned in a past post, passwords are a vital importance in our cyber defense, and the format of passwords is important. It used to be the norm that a password would be strongest as a jumble of letters, numbers and special characters, however its been recently studied that passwords that consist of four word phrases have a much stronger defense, being a much bigger hassle to crack.

A good example of a strong password could be as follows:

“Penguin Passage Blockus Printer”

This password format has a higher entropy count that increases the difficulty for password cracking programs exponentially.

Dont wait until your in the same position as Equifax, ensure your password strength is up to par and protect that which is important to you and your customers!

Dont forget to give us a call if you need any help with your cyber-security or other forms of technology! We make I.T. happen!

Safe surfing everyone!

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If you use google drive/photos, be ready to switch your files around!

Recently announced by google, their application used by many for businesses and private use, Google Drive and Google Photos, will be shut out.

Google Drive/Photos is being replaced with a new application called Google Backup and Sync. This new application is essentially the same as Google Drive/Photos, however it consolidates the applications into one single application and offers the extra functionality of on demand file access (File stream version only, which is the paid version released Sept 26th).

Google has been planning to consolidate their applications for a while now. Starting December 11th the Google Drive/Photos will lose official support. Be sure to transfer over your files/photos before this occurs to ensure the security of your documents! If your worried about missing the deadline, don’t fear! Google is sending out mass reminders starting in October as desktop reminders!

As an I.T. business, we at Re2tech make sure to stay up to date with relevant information on technology and services that our customers use. This helps them stay efficient and us to be able to better understand the inner workings of our customers, and what they may or may not need in terms of technology/ security services!

Give us a call today and inquire about our services for technology and network security! 

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Switch Port Protection

There are multiple ways to secure your network, but one of the easiest is with a secured access switchport.

What is a switchport?

A switchport, or network switch, is a networking device that allows the connection of devices to computer networks. This is accomplished through packet switching that grants the ability to receive, process, and forward data to the designated device.

So how can securing a switchport help secure your network?

A secured access switch restricts access to users and devices, thus preventing some random people/hackers to run through your network. By default, access switch ports are in a dynamic-desirable mode, which means it basically follows the orders of any device connected to it.

 

Ways that we at Re2tech can help you secure your access switch:

  • Enabling BPDU guard, which will protect against unauthorized network devices.
  • Restrict input to an Ethernet switchport, by statically assigning the MAC address of an end device to a specific switchport.
  • Set the switchport into “Sticky” mode which allows the remembering of a devices MAC address as soon as it first connects, which can then be treated as the static address.
  • Configuring the access switch to shut down or restrict access when an attempt of an unauthorized device is detected. This in turn can also send out an SNMP trap message to the administrator, alerting them of the violation.
  • Create a black hole VLAN which guarantees isolation for any unauthorized devices connected to the switch.

There is a long list of possible ways you can secure a switchport. Securing a switchport is simple and easily changed, while also giving an essential base security to a network.

Give us a call at Re2tech today and let us secure your switchports and network! while your at it, inquire about our other I.T. services! Because we make I.T. happen! 

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What is DNS hacking?

Hacking comes in a variety of forms, and most are accomplished through connecting to your network directly in some way. However DNS hacking is a form of hijacking that is indirect but can have huge direct consequences.

DNS stands for Domain Name System. The DNS is your known name, this is something that would show up when you google a word or phrase that would involve this name. Its basically your public listing on the internet.

DNS hijacking takes your DNS functions and interrupts the flow, so instead of a possible customer traveling to your site, they may get routed to a different site/page that doesn’t actually serve your purpose. This form of hacking can completely disrupt an online service. The hacker intercepts the route to your site and inserts a new path to follow. This could mean no one who wants your services can get the information they need, and bring a business to an abrupt halt.

Persons who are transferred to a false site could actually become at risk as well, for their information could become identified.

So how do you help protect yourself from this form of attack? We at Re2tech could ensure the domain registrar is a multi-factor authentication domain.  This would require anyone attempting to change a site’s DNS settings to have access to a form of authenticator, which they wouldn’t have unless they are actually authorized to have that level of access. Another precaution could be to ‘lock’ your DNS, which would make it so no one could change the DNS unless the registrar called a sites administration directly to get approval.

DNS hijacking can be a huge inconvenience and possible threat to customers, so take the time to implement precautions and ensure a stronger online security! Give Re2tech a call today and let us help you with your technology needs and online security! We may be a small business but that allows us to have flexibility to support our top class services and knowledge of a large enterprise!

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Network Segmentation Security

As we all know, cyber attacks are becoming more and more commonly talked about. Defending yourself against a cyber attack can be difficult, there are so many forms of cyber attacks and multiple ways you can try to anticipate them. However, network segmentation is effective for anyone and everyone in helping to slow down the damage a cyber attack can do!

How does segmenting a network help defend or slow down the spread of a cyber attack?

By splitting up your network into smaller subnetworks you are able to micro manage different forms of cyber security. For example you can have one subnetwork with a form of security that looks specifically for one type of cyber attack, while having a different subnetwork with a different form of cyber defense. This multi segmented network gives a stronger control to role and functionality and if you were to be hacked in some way, this would not allow the breach to infest everything all at once. There would be time to discover the location of the problem and fix it before it spreads to a different segment of your network!

This form of security is especially useful for small businesses who manage everything on one network and rely on websites, smartphones and connected devices.

Firewalls are the corner stone for segmented networks, they ensure agility and security by managing traffic to and from network devices, as well as eliminate the threat of excess access to your network.

Give us a call at re2tech today and let us help spread your network into a more defensive state to mitigate any damage if you were to be the victim of an online attack! While were at it, let us increase your security through measures like VPN (virtual private network) to ensure your at your strongest to begin with and help avoid any attacks all together! 

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Layered email security

We all have loads of emails coming in on a daily, especially if your a business. However we all also receive a bunch of spam, and some that have very bad intent for your security! Phishing attacks are becoming some of the most prominent forms of security breaches.

Phishing attacks: Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, all through the guise of a trustworthy entity over electronic communication.

As a solution to email spam and the ever malicious phishing attacks, a layered email security set-up is ideal. Layered security can be hosted locally or on the cloud. Layered security combines multiple mitigating controls to protect resources and data.

Here’s the breakdown for each layer and their involvement in adding to your security measures!

Layer 0 or 6: SIEM, spam control and monitoring

This layer focuses on the generating data about quantities of emails that can be cataloged as spam. This can be the initial or final step in the layers. Using this information we can improve the process of our current antispam protection system.

Spam control through SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) allows the generation of statistics to determine the number of attacks stopped by the other layers of protection, validating our security system.

 

Layer 1: Mail scanning via external services

Not all businesses start out with antispam protection technology, so its important to incorporate some platform that holds a continuously updated source of threat intelligence data. Detection systems, sensors and other information gathering mechanisms that summarize the data of potential new attackers or existing actors/suspects.

 

Layer 2: Perimeter protection

Ensure the computers have a form of firewall and spam detection system. Firewalls generally provide perimeter protection to internal networks, however its important to test these security measures to make sure they are configured correctly and catch the correct forms of spam/emails.

 

Layer 3: Internal network, mail servers and antispam solutions

Many next-gen email platforms have local spam protection, but need to be configured correctly for your specific business needs and pointing to internal antispam servers.

 

Layer 4: Final devices

Each host should have protection mechanisms connected to the mail client. This mechanism must be able to identify threats, email spam, and spear phishing attack. These systems can be connected to Outlook, Notes, and Thunderbird.

 

Layer 5: Training end users to avoid phishing attacks

Users are one of the most important layers of protection. Its important to teach the basics to your employees about security awareness, because ultimately when it comes to phishing attacks through email, each individual user has to know what to look for and avoid!

Give us a call at Re2tech today and let us ensure your security is in place and ensure all forms of protection are in place to prevent any susceptibility to phishing attacks among the other online dangers!

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Can you hear me? Of course you can, your using VoIP!

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and its pretty cool! VoIP is an alternate way of making phone calls. For VoIP you don’t even need a telephone to use its services! An internet connection and computer is all you’ll need!

VoIP is generally used for businesses as a convenient alternative to help enhance functionality as well as efficiency!

So what are the details? As follows!

  • VoIP turns a standard internet connection into a way to place phone calls, allowing you to bypass the difficulties that always follow the phone companies.
  • Added features to enhance communication and interactions between employees and with customers.
  • The system’s efficiency allows greater management possibilities with clients and employees, increasing productivity, which can only help a business!
  • Consolidated voice services into a single broadband connection, depending on the number of users.
  • Can forward all calls to any compatible device. Say you get an urgent call to your office that needs to be addressed while your out on the job, what then? well you messages can be transferred at the same time they are recorded to your cellphone allowing you to receive the message in a timely manner as well as keep your personal phone number private.
  • Non-VoIP users aren’t penalized for contacting VoIP users or vice versa. Since VoIP uses standard telephone numbers and integrates easily with existing set-ups, you can be contacted by anyone anytime through normal means.
  • VoIP offers remote working as well. Leaving the desk/office wont cause you to miss any business opportunities. You and your staff can still connect via mobile device or from home, enabling flexibility!

The merits of VoIP cannot be disputed, it offers a wide range of possibilities and flexibility to ensure you and your staff can keep productivity and efficiency high, whilst also keeping costs low for the service.

Call us at Re2tech today and ask us to install VoIP in your workplace today to start saving time and enhance business performance! We make I.T. happen!

While your at it, inquire about our other services that involve your tech and online security!

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Firmware updates aren’t always the best

We at Re2tech make sure to keep our eyes on the radar for any possible security or reliability issues that can arise with technology on a daily basis that may affect you and your business. Recently we had a ping that was unexpected.

August 8th was the release of a bunk over-the-air firmware update for smart locks manufacturer’s LockState RemoteLock 6i (also known as 6000i).

This firmware update for the 6000i would cause hundreds of people to be locked out of their homes/businesses/Airbnb. The update ended up bricking the device’s smart code access mode, due to losing connection to the vendors servers. While physical keys continued to work, Airbnb hosts had multiple calls from incoming home goers who cant get in. The estimated time for fix’s would be announced at 14-18 days, and that was for replacements. All the locks affected by the update had to be sent back and replaced.

Its important to keep up to date on your technology and their operating status to be able to react as fast as possible and minimize possible reputation/business damage.

If you have a problem, we have a solution.We at Re2tech look out for our customers cyber security but also technology. Re2tech is here to ensure your business runs as smooth as possible from the inside out. Give us a call today and find out what we can do for you, while were at it, we will show you what real reliability is all about! We make I.T. happen!

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Windows Server 2016: Why it could be great for your business!

Thanks to cloud technology, the rate of change is faster than ever before, putting more pressure on IT. Organizations demand increased security, efficiency, and innovation, and Windows Server 2016 delivers. Windows Server 2016 is the cloud ready operating system that supports your current workloads while introducing new technologies that make it easy to transition to cloud computing when you are ready.

 

If you have a business and are looking for the best Windows Server option to suit your needs, give us a call today! We have the experience and the knowledge to find the best product for you! We will gladly answer any questions you may have.

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IoT devices: Be Productive and Innovative!

Internet of things

More and more people are using Internet of things devices to help them with their work and every day life. Tablets are becoming more and more popular in the business world. You can access practically any app that you would access on your PC but at your finger tips. With the perfect IoT device you can be innovative and save time. You would be surprised how much IoT devices could help you every day.

Re2Tech can help you acquire, setup and use these devices. Contact us today for inquiries!
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