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A Look Inside the Email Encryption Conundrum

Posted on Tue, May 28, 2013

The practice of email encryption (turning a message into code before sending it beyond the network) has become standard protocol for the majority of email transactions today. This practice can be seen in both the private and public sectors, but it is especially prevalent within public organizations - where 83% of federal agencies have policies allowing employees to encrypt emails.

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Tags: Security, Encryption, Email Encryption, Anti-Virus, Email

Defend Against DoS and DDoS Attacks with IT Consulting

Posted on Fri, Mar 15, 2013

Virtually all business managers are aware of malware and how it can devastate your business's operations, but relatively few are familiar with DoS and DDoS attacks.  These system intrusions can cost a business heavily in terms of both money and time if they are not prevented.

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Tags: Cyber Security, IT Security, Anti-Virus, managed security

Federal government is concerned about Email Encryption - Should You be too?

Posted on Thu, Nov 1, 2012

Encryption -- turning a message into code before sending for security reasons -- has become standard protocol for sending the majority of email transmissions today. This trend can be seen in both the private and public sectors, but it is especially the case in the public sector, where 83% of federal agencies have policies allowing employees to encrypt emails.

While this sounds like a positive development, unfortunately, encryption is a double-edged sword. Encrypting messages does add a significant level of security, as encrypted messages have to be unencrypted, which takes time and makes them much less valuable to hackers. But emails that users encrypt at their desktop before sending cannot be subjected to any kind of content verification by network security, which makes it almost impossible to trace unauthorized data transmissions. In practice, the encryption that is used to guarantee the security of data actually becomes a method to send unauthorized data undetected through the email gateway.

The Encryption Conundrum

This encryption conundrum puts IT managers between a rock and a hard place. Nobody wants to give up the high level of security provided by encrypting employee emails, but IT security experts almost all say that significantly more unauthorized data is lost from networks by email than flash drive, disc or any other method.

The problem is just going to grow as more businesses and agencies move to encrypting most or all of their email traffic. A recent study suggested that over 80% of IT security managers were concerned about loss of sensitive data through encrypted email.

Advanced Email Security Technology

The only way to effectively solve this encryption conundrum is with advanced email security technology. Thorough training of employees on encryption protocols and other software analytics methods will help control the loss of sensitive data through encrypted emails, but these measures will not thwart a smart and resourceful individual.

To be sure that no one is sending out unauthorized data in encrypted emails, IT managers must have the ability to unencrypt files before they are routed to your Exchange server for outbound transmission. This is obviously a more laborious and time consuming process, but protocols can be set up so that only certain messages or a certain percentage of messages are unencrypted before outbound transmission.

This kind of advanced email security takes some significant expertise to set up properly. Federal agencies will likely staff up their IT departments and take on the task in-house. But that idea can be a little daunting for small and medium-sized businesses. Small and medium businesses should consider working with a high-end local IT services provider to get the results they want. Learn more about how to secure your email from a data leak.

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Tags: Security, Encryption, Email Encryption, Anti-Virus, Email

Hacker News: Inside the Barnes & Noble Data Breach

Posted on Thu, Oct 25, 2012

Hackers have stolen credit card information from 63 Barnes & Noble stores across the US, reported the New York Times yesterday.

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Tags: Security, Compliance, Disaster Recovery, Anti-Virus

Managed Security and the Fight against Advanced Systems Threats

Posted on Tue, Oct 23, 2012

The Internet is the "Wild West" of the 21st century, and maintaining the network security of businesses in this environment is a 24/7 job. Attempted network intrusions can occur at any hour of the day or night, and the "black hat" hackers are working around the clock to figure out loops holes in even the latest and most sophisticated security software. It is simply not possible to rest on your laurels when it comes to IT security, as the nature of the threats businesses are facing changes daily.

The advanced threats to computer systems today are more aggressive and sophisticated than ever. Worse, they are constantly being improved and updated with new versions of malware including various kinds of bots, viruses, worms, phishing schemes and even Trojan horse approaches. The consequence of network intrusions are also becoming more detrimental, and can result in disasters such as hackers getting access to client personal or financial data.

While standard commercial anti-virus software will protect you from 95% of the malware circulating on the Web, even regularly updated IT security systems offer you almost no protection from advanced system threats, especially advanced persistent threats guided by sophisticated hackers.

Advanced persistent threats are malware designed to exploit the vulnerabilities of specific targets, and once the malware is in the system, it is extremely difficult to completely remove. Some of the latest targeted system threats are incredibly sophisticated, and many are created to hide in multiple places deep in a network. You might find two, three or four corrupted files, but you can never be 100% sure you got them all. The only way to adequately protect your networks from advanced threats is a carefully designed layered defense.

A layered network defense is composed of several different types and layers of IT security measures, including but not limited to:
  • complete endpoint protection and top-to-bottom solutions
  • multi-factorial authentication
  • strong encryption
  • firewalls
  • intrusion detection systems and content filtering
  • virtual private networks
  • packet filtering
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Tags: Managed Services, Security, IT Security, Anti-Virus

3 Things You Should Have Known About Shamoon

Posted on Sat, Oct 6, 2012

Shamoon is a computer malware which mainly attacks computers that run on Microsoft Windows OS. Also known as "Disttrack," this vicious invader is threatening IT security by stealing data from computers then wiping them clean. The computer owner not only suffers from having his personal data stolen from the pc, he/she has to contend further with the fact that the computer is now useless. Below are the 3 main facts everyone should know about Shamoon:

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Tags: shamoon, Network Security, IT Security, Anti-Virus

Watch Out for These Latest Internet Threats

Posted on Wed, Aug 15, 2012

The threat of malware is one that is increasing year after year, and has been doing so steadily. Scams of one sort or another are increasingly being seen on social networking sites and mobile application markets. As ever, you can reduce the risks to yourself by deploying anti-virus programs and keeping them up to date. Their ability to detect suspicious activity has been getting better and better as heuristics improve.

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Tags: Security, Anti-Virus, Malware

Are Anti-Virus Programs Really Keeping You Safe Online?

Posted on Thu, Jul 26, 2012

As any organization knows, you need to protect your networks, computers, email, and any confidential information – which is virtually everything you produce – safe from corruption or intrusion. There are many ways that a company can implement IT security, and one of those ways can be to install anti-virus software on every device you have.

Anti-virus software is a measure of IT security, but is it worth installing on – or removing from - mobile devices and cloud computing networks for mid-size companies? Below are eight points to consider about whether your anti-virus software is keeping your data safe and whether such programs are worth it: 
  1. In the know: Anti-virus software can seem like a catch-all phrase. What is anti-virus software and what can it do? It is code that can recognize any sort of intrusion into any system that has the anti-virus software on it. Not just viruses, it can protect against Trojans, spyware, malware, key loggers – the attacks you want to prevent. 
  2. Everyone has a weak moment: You would think that your employees know enough to open up an attachment from an unknown source, but everyone has a down moment. Sometimes that email looks genuine. Of course, your organization will be threatened by more than the typical lurking email attachment, but you need to protect against all possibilities.
  3. They won’t catch everything: No, one anti-virus software program won’t protect against every type of attack. Does that mean your devices shouldn’t have anti-virus software installed? Definitely not. You can choose the anti-virus software that is appropriate for each type of device that exists in your organization to ensure that best protection possible. Adjust for the situation and potential threat and you have reduced your risk. 
  4. Affordability: Anti-virus software is an affordable solution to protect data – some are even free. Regardless of your company’s size or budget, there is a solution that fits your needs. 
  5. Part of the plan: Should anti-virus software be your only measure of security? Certainly not. But it is one of the valid solutions that your company should incorporate into your overall IT security managed services to reduce any types of threats that exist. 
  6. Awareness: The great thing about anti-virus software is that it keeps you and your IT department informed about the latest threats that have occurred, not necessarily to you, but to others. It also provides a forum for listing any threats that your organization may have encountered. Awareness is one of the keys to prevention even when your anti-virus software cannot. 
  7. IT compliance: As any mid-size company knows, you need to stay current with IT best practices and policies. By documenting that anti-virus software has been installed and is kept current with the latest upgrades, any potential client will realize that your organization is not only serious about confidentiality and security, but that you are willing to back up that claim. 
  8. Productivity: One final aspect about anti-virus software is that it allows your employees to be more productive – your main staff can focus on their work without issues arising, and your IT staff can minimize the amount of time dealing with the consequences of a cyber attack and therefore maintain your business continuity.

Be assured - computer viruses will attempt to infiltrate and attack your networks, so it' best to be prepared. Assessing your risk of attack and determining the solutions that match your organizational needs is the first step. Contact iCorps Technologies, a leader in developing layered security that minimizes the risk of a successful attack, who will help you determine the anti-virus and IT security solutions that are right for you and your organization.

IT Consultation
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Tags: Security, Network Security, Anti-Virus

What's Scareware? IT Support Pros Give You the Answer

Posted on Wed, Jun 20, 2012

Most individuals even tangentially connected to computer usage in the workplace have heard the term malware to refer to malicious programs such as Trojan horses and viruses.  Far fewer, however, may be familiar with the phenomenon of ‘scareware’.  From an IT support standpoint, however, scareware can be every bit as hazardous to systems at small and medium-sized business as its better-known cousins.

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Tags: Network Security, Cyber Security, Anti-Virus, Malware

Social Media Can Compromise Your IT Security

Posted on Fri, Jun 8, 2012

The continuously evolving threat environment means that any business or other organization with systems connected to the online world must be diligent about defense.  For businesses located in the Northeast, IT support firms are an excellent choice as they are close enough to assist businesses in a variety of modalities. 

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Tags: Security, Network Security, Risk Management, Cyber Security, IT Security, Anti-Virus

IT Services Alert: Avira Anti-Virus Upgrade Termed ‘Catastrophic’

Posted on Tue, Jun 5, 2012

The German anti-virus firm Avira recently issued a new service pack for its main program.  Unfortunately, the upgrade to the software caused serious complications on a large number of computers running versions of the Windows Microsoft operating system.  The worst cases, some of the computers were rendered almost completely inoperable as they attempted , in seeking to block malicious executable files. Instead, they ended up banning nearly all executable files.  After the upgrade was deployed, some machines were not even able to boot up into a normal operating mode.

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Tags: Security, Software, Anti-Virus

Beware of Hacktivist Group 'Anonymous'

Posted on Tue, Jun 5, 2012

The hacker group referred to as 'Anonymous' has recently launched a cyber attack, this time targeting a pair of trade associations in the area of technology.  The attacks took the form of a distributed denial of service, a technique that can make web sites inaccessible.  The group, which is considered a ‘hacktivist’ organization because its attacks generally relate to policy aims rather than the theft of personal information, was protesting legislation currently before Congress.  The legislation would serve to encourage businesses to share information about the threat environment with government officials.

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Tags: Managed Services, Security, Network Security, Cyber Security, IT Security, Anti-Virus, Malware, Passwords

New Cyber Threat 'Flame' Suggests Need for Improved IT Security

Posted on Mon, Jun 4, 2012

The cyber threat detection company Kaspersky Lab, maker of an anti-virus program used on millions of Windows PC computers, has uncovered a new form of malware that has been termed both advanced and massive in scope.  This new cyber threat has been officially designated as Worm.Win32.Flame but is being referred to in casual parlance simply as "Flame".  The purpose of Flame appears to be cyber espionage and has mainly been deployed in the Middle East region, with its targets being networks and systems under the control of the national governments there.  To date, targets appear to include nations such as Iran, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. 

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Tags: Security, Network Security, Cyber Security, IT Security, Anti-Virus, Malware

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