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4 potential security threats in 2014

 

 

Security_Jan07_AEach new year, experts like to take time and look back at the past year, and try to figure out what to expect in the coming year. It is also a good time to take a look at existing business systems and see if they are ready to handle whatever the coming year can throw at them. When it comes to security, the first step to ensuring your company is ready for the year, security wise, actually knows what to expect in 2014.

 

Here are four security threats businesses should be aware of in 2014.

 

Windows XP will become a big target

Microsoft will stop support for Windows XP and Office 2003 in April of this year. What this means is that they will no longer be offering security updates, software updates or support for these products. It is a sure thing that these programs are about to become a big target, and that new security loopholes and exploits will be found on a regular basis after the cessation of support.

 

For businesses that are using a newer version of Windows like 7 or 8, you should be secure from these exploits. If you are using XP on the other hand, you might want to upgrade as soon as possible. Contact us, we can help with that.

 

From the overall looks of things, we think this year will see a drastic increase in mobile based security threats, along with attacks on older versions of software. Now is a good time to review your strategies regarding both mobile and the software/hardware you use, to ensure that it is secure. If you would like help with this, please contact us today for a chat.

 

Increased attacks on cloud end-points

Cloud-based systems saw solid growth throughout 2013, with numerous systems being introduced and older systems reaching new levels or maturity. Small to medium businesses in particular were heavy adopters of these systems. Because of this, we expect to see an increase in attacks against cloud providers.

 

Providers know this and take steps to ensure security of systems on their end.

Hackers know this too, so will be likely going after the weaker points – end users. It is expected that hackers will begin targeting users of cloud systems with various schemes that try to gain control of computers and mobile devices. Once access is gained, they will go after their main target: Corporate or personal clouds and the data stored within.

 

This could pose a problem for many companies, especially those who access cloud systems from their mobile devices. January and February would be a good time to look into the security of all of your systems, ensuring that your cloud-based systems are secure on all devices.

 

Mobile malware will continue to gain popularity

Take a step back for a minute next time you are in public and look at how many people have smartphones or tablets in their hands. Chances are, at least 60% or higher will. It is fairly obvious that the mobile device is the most popular trend in tech at the moment, and whatever is popular is also a target.

 

We predict there will be an increase in mobile malware attacks throughout 2014. This could see either an increase in the number of apps that have malware in their code, or websites that host malware. When you visit a site with this malware, you are informed that you need to update an app, and when you agree to this the malware is downloaded and installed.

 

This could prove to be a tough for companies to manage, especially since the number of mobile users will likely grow. If you haven’t started looking into how to secure mobile devices, now would be a good time to start.

 

Growth in social engineering scams targeting mobile users

Social engineering is the act of essentially tricking people to give away confidential information. Hackers have been using this for years – for example, emailing users telling them their bank account has been compromised, and that if they click on the link in the email and enter their account info, the account will be secured. In reality, the link is to a fake site that captures information which can then be used for any number of illegal activities.

 

As we mentioned above, the number of mobile users is steadily increasing. This means that it is highly likely that hackers will begin to target these users with mobile specific social engineering. This could be tricking them into downloading an app which then steals information stored on the phone, or simply targeting those who use just their tablet.

 

In order to prevent this from happening, you need to brush up on how most social engineering schemes work. You should also encourage your employees to look where the links in emails lead to and be aware that generally, most major businesses like banks don’t email customers asking for passwords or user names.

 

4 Disaster recovery trends in 2014

 

BCP_Jan20_CThere is always the chance of a disaster striking your company. That’s why many business owners take steps to prevent negative events from affecting their company, often by implementing a disaster recovery or continuity plan. Both of these strategies and the technology that supports them are an important part of business process and planning. As 2014 is underway, many business owners are wondering that disaster recovery trends they should be aware of.

 

Certain trends relevant to small to medium size businesses are vital for company leaders to be aware of in 2014:

 

[ Read more ]

 

What to do when your Android freezes

 

While it is often hard to believe, the smartphone is simply a computer that has been shrunk down into something we can hold in our hands. Anyone who has used a computer knows that these machines will eventually freeze or stop working - it's inevitable, and the same can be said for smartphones. There will come a time when your Android device freezes. The question is, do you know what to do when this happens?

If your Android phone or an app on the phone has frozen, here are two things you can try.

 

[ Read more ]

 

5 mobile productivity apps

 

Productivity_Jan07_AIt’s a new year and with it many people, business owners included, are undoubtedly setting goals and resolutions for the year ahead. When it comes to businesses, many owners and managers set a resolution to become more productive, something which isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are numerous apps out there that can help, and with the rise of the smartphone and tablet, many of these apps have mobile versions as well.

 

Here are five great mobile productivity apps that are free, or cheap enough where they won’t break the bank.

 

Asana

 

Most small to medium businesses have team members working in different areas that often come together to work on projects. Managing who does what in these projects, and collaborating on tasks can be a chore. What Asana does is allow users to schedule and assign tasks within projects.

 

Each user’s tasks are presented in a to-do list with due dates clearly divided, so each person knows what they need to focus on, and when the work is due. Other users can also see each of the tasks so they too know what each member is doing. If you are a project or task oriented business, this could be a great tool to help you and your teams stay on track.

 

While many businesses use the Web based version, there are mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices that could help if you or team members are often out of the office. It is free for teams of up to 15 members. Check out Asana’s website for more information on pricing for teams with more than 15 users

 

 [ Read more ]

 

 

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Volume 6, Number 2

 

“Building good relationships between people and their technology 365 days a year.”

 

 

 

COMMUNITY CALENDAR

 

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February 16 & 23, 2014

 

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Stop waiting for your technology to break

When something goes wrong with your IT, everything grinds to a halt. With a standard break/fix service contract, you have to wait for something to break before your provider can fix it. That equation seems to make sense – even though it could easily result in hours of downtime. But what if you could keep your IT from breaking in the first place?

With NetManage services from INFO-TEK, you can expect:

·         Peace of mind – your systems are monitored 24/7

·         Less downtime – we identify and fix issues before they cause problems

·         Fewer disruptions –we provide most services remotely or overnight

·         Predictable budgeting – all-inclusive, all-you-can-use, flat-rate IT services that include hardware and software.

 

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If you have found this Newsletter helpful, please pass it along. 

 

Remember, if you need help in implementing any of this month’s tips, contact us — we’re here to help.

 

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Sincerely,

 

Brian Greenstreet

INFO-TEK, Enterprises, LLC

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