LANConnect Systems, Inc. Blog

LANConnect Systems, Inc. has been serving the Massachusetts area since 2003, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How to Shop Securely This Holiday Season

How to Shop Securely This Holiday Season

While the major holiday shopping days have passed us by, many people are still looking for that perfect gift often using the Internet to find it. While online shopping is certainly more convenient, it can also be dangerous. To help keep you safe this season and beyond, we’re reviewing a few practices to protect your identity while shopping online.

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A Recent Data Theft Shows Us What to Watch Out For

A Recent Data Theft Shows Us What to Watch Out For

Trend Micro, the developer of the popular antivirus program, has attracted some unwanted attention after a former employee managed to steal customer data and sell it to scammers. These scammers then use this data to call Trend Micro customers. If you use Trend Micro’s antivirus solutions, you’re going to want to pay close attention to any calls you get.

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Start Using Two-Factor Authentication Everywhere, Today

Start Using Two-Factor Authentication Everywhere, Today

It can be easy to slack off when it comes to good password practices. Many users still use the same password across multiple sites and often don’t use secure passwords. Password managers make this a lot easier, but it’s really two-factor authentication (2FA) that can make all the difference. Strong, unique passwords are still important (not all accounts offer two-factor authentication) but let’s talk about why you should always enable two-factor or multifactor on all of your accounts when possible.

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Who Can You Trust to Keep Your Data Safe?

Who Can You Trust to Keep Your Data Safe?

I want to start by saying that I think we (as in, all local business owners) need to never put complete blind faith in something that our business relies on.

What Do I Mean by This?

Let’s start with an analogy. When you buy a car, you expect that the car will operate pretty well during its life expectancy. According to Consumer Reports, the average life expectancy of a modern vehicle is around 8 years or 150,000 miles. You expect that your new car, with proper maintenance, will last you at least that long, if not longer.

You might think, well as long as I don’t have a collision or have a deer jump out in front of me, this car is going to get me everywhere I need to be for the next several years.

Let’s look at cybersecurity for your business. You invest in a backup, in a firewall, in a security suite, and you perform audits with your IT company to get everything locked down. You are patching all of your software, your end-users are using 2FA for everything, and you are spending a good amount of money on protecting your data.

You might think, well as long as I have all this security infrastructure and keep it maintained, I’m good for a few years until this version of Windows Server hits end of life, or until it’s time to swap out old hardware and upgrade it with something new. Either way, you probably feel like you at least purchased some peace of mind.

The Problem; We are All Fighting an Uphill Battle Against Cybercriminals

I’m not trying to sound bleak. In fact, I have a lot of confidence in my techs, the solutions we use (both for us and our clients) and in the security of my data. When we work with a client and set them up with all of our security solutions and our business continuity device, I have confidence that these tools will operate as expected and when they don’t, my technicians will be made aware quickly and resolve the issue. We’ve done this time and time again.

Why am I worried that we are putting too much stock in trusting that, say, a firewall is infallible?

The Solutions That Exist to Protect Us are Being Targeted

More and more often I’m seeing news about different software providers disclosing attacks and breaches that they experience. Most recently, a popular antivirus company Avast and virtual private network service NordVPN were targets of data breaches. In either breach, it sounds like no end users were harmed, but these attacks are complicated. 

Another security firm, Comodo, was recently attacked by hackers who exploited a vulnerability on its user forums. The breach resulted in the theft of 245 thousand users’ personal data.

Back in August, Imperva, who provides high-end cybersecurity protection solutions, informed customers that it recently discovered a “security incident” that exposed the sensitive information of users utilizing one of their products over the past 11 months.

These cybersecurity businesses are doing the right things. They are disclosing the breaches and taking proper action to protect their customers and prevent further issues. The problem is that we are seeing more and more businesses like this getting targeted, and the threats then trickle down.

IT Companies are Now Center Stage for Hackers Too

Sure, it’s scary that these cybersecurity giants are being targeted by cybercriminals, but it’s much more relatable (especially for me) that managed service providers are in the crosshairs.

Last October, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an alert regarding cybercriminals attacking MSPs directly, and over the last year we’ve been seeing more and more cases where an MSP was the target of a data breach. 

I’m not saying that our clients are at risk simply because we are a managed IT provider. Again, I’m trying to avoid being bleak, but I do feel that a little paranoia is healthy when it comes to your data. We are extremely adamant about our own cybersecurity. We believe it is our responsibility to raise the bar when it comes to protecting data, especially the data of our clients.

The point is, it’s good to question your investments and not place total confidence in something.

Don’t Put Blind Faith in Your Security

No matter how comprehensive it is, you should always be auditing your cybersecurity. As a business owner, even though I want to fully entrust everything I’ve invested in to protect my network and my data, I know I NEED to run regular audits and penetration testing to make sure what I’ve bought and set up is actually doing its job.

If you aren’t having your network regularly tested and audited, it is time to start. If you are already working with an IT company and they are telling you with full confidence that your network is safe, get a second opinion.

We’re happy to be that second opinion, and we’re happy to be discreet. If you want to get started with a network audit, give us a call at (888) 907-6080.

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4 Key Steps to Better Cybersecurity

4 Key Steps to Better Cybersecurity

In many ways, explaining why sufficient cybersecurity is important for your business has become redundant - especially when it is much more important to understand how this cybersecurity needs to protect you. The threats to data and privacy are known, but no less potent. In order to counter them, you need to make sure you have what you need to protect your business - starting with a few key considerations.

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Cybersecurity is a Shortcoming for the DHS

Cybersecurity is a Shortcoming for the DHS

Every IT administrator today needs to be concerned about cybersecurity, as does every private business when it comes to its network. However, the same can’t really be said for the computing resources of the government and other public entities… simply due to the lack of talent available.

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Tip of the Week: Mobile Data Management

Tip of the Week: Mobile Data Management

There are hundreds of things that a business owner has to do, so managing the security of the data coming in and going out from mobile devices might not make the hierarchy of considerations that need to be immediately addressed. Today, we will take a look at why paying attention to the mobile end of your business is so important, how Mobile Information Management (MIM) helps with that, and how MIM fits in with the rest of your mobile strategy. 

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How Google is Trying to Make Passwords Easier and Better

How Google is Trying to Make Passwords Easier and Better

Common opinion more or less states that passwords aren’t so much “necessary,” as they are a “necessary evil.” The best practices that are recommended to maintain the efficacy of passwords today can certainly feel excessive - which tempts many users into ignoring these practices, to the detriment of their security. Fortunately, many large companies - like Google - are trying to make passwords easier to manage.

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Data Privacy Issues You Need to Confront

Data Privacy Issues You Need to Confront

Data privacy is the kind of issue that people don’t ever want to deal with. In fact, many of the organizations that we come in contact with have a lot of personal data on file, and some of them (even some of the most reputable) are at risk to have that data stolen from them. This month, we’ll go over what constitutes personal information, why it is constantly being targeted for thefts, and what you need to do to keep your personal information as secure as possible. 

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Add Cybersecurity Best Practices to Your Next Hire’s Training

Add Cybersecurity Best Practices to Your Next Hire’s Training

Growth can be very exciting for a business. It generally means that all the hard work that has gone into getting the business to that point has paid off. For some in your organization however, it can be a very stressful time. This is because once you commit to pay new employees, there’s some pressure to get them up to speed quickly. After all, what are you paying them for?

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Stop Trusting Hackers With Your Smartphone!

Stop Trusting Hackers With Your Smartphone!

Do you have a smartphone? Do you feel as though your data is secure on it? Users are relying on smartphones more and more to accomplish daily tasks. This means there is a massive amount of data traffic each day transferred to and from your device, and potentially transferred into the hands of a cybercriminal. 

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Taking a Look at the History of Cybersecurity

Taking a Look at the History of Cybersecurity

Let’s face it, cybersecurity now has to be a major point of emphasis for the modern business. With the immense amount of threats out there, cybersecurity it has grown into a multi-billion dollar a year industry, with no limit in sight. Just a few decades ago, there was no fileless malware, no ransomware, no botnet army lying in wait to DDoS corporate data centers into oblivion. Today, we take a look at the brief (albeit rapidly growing) history of cybersecurity. 

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Cybersecurity Awareness in Retail

Cybersecurity Awareness in Retail

Cybercrime is at a record high and today’s businesses are the ones that take the brunt of the issues. For the retail business, cybersecurity has a couple of different faces. For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we thought we’d talk a little bit about the retail space and how businesses are securing their customers’ information. 

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No Free Wi-Fi For You!

No Free Wi-Fi For You!

As the quantity of Wi-Fi compatible devices increases, the demand for wirelessly-transmitted networks follow. While wired connections might seem inferior, Wi-Fi’s accessibility brings a new challenge -- security.

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Is It Fair to Be Fired for Falling for a Phishing… Test?

Is It Fair to Be Fired for Falling for a Phishing… Test?

Let’s run through a quick scenario: your company’s computing infrastructure is infected with ransomware. Fortunately, you have an offsite backup, so you are able to restore your systems without too much trouble, other than the time you’ve lost. As you investigate the root cause, you discover that one of your employees allowed the ransomware in by falling for a phishing email. So, do you fire them?

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Your Guide to the Malware You Could Encounter

Your Guide to the Malware You Could Encounter

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone nowadays who hasn’t heard of malware, although they may have difficulty identifying different threats as they encounter them. Does this sound like the people that you work with? We’re here with a simple solution to assist you and your team in spotting the different kinds of threats - a malware guide to distribute among your staff so they can better spot the usual suspects.

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Two-Factor Authentication Works to Remove Security Risks

Two-Factor Authentication Works to Remove Security Risks

Imagine a scenario where your password has been stolen by a hacker. Now your accounts are completely at the mercy of them. What do you do? Obviously you want to change the password, but are you going to learn from this mistake or let it happen again in the future? Thankfully, two-factor authentication offers a solution to this dilemma, and it’s one that you might not have considered in the past.

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Use Any Internet Connection with a VPN

Use Any Internet Connection with a VPN

How often does your business have employees traveling to conferences or working remotely due to circumstances or physical location? With technology improving at a rapid pace, these opportunities are more possible now than they ever were in the past, and depending on the solution implemented, they are far more efficient, too. Of course, one thing that will never change is the need to keep company data secure, no matter what type of Internet connection is being utilized.

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How to Handle All the IoT Brought into Your Business

How to Handle All the IoT Brought into Your Business

The Internet of Things has forced businesses to think about the threats that countless mobile devices pose when they access a network, and it’s not something that is going away anytime soon. How can your business be as prepared as possible for the Internet of Things? We’ll give you some ideas for how you can address Internet of Things devices on your company’s network infrastructure.

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Passwords Hold Everything Together

Passwords Hold Everything Together

Passwords are often all that stands between hackers and account information; this is true for both personal and business data. However, passwords are often not enough to protect data from the clutches of hackers. We’ll walk you through how to ensure your organization implements only the most powerful of passwords, as well as additional security measures to guarantee maximum protection.

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