Bluetek IT Solutions Blog

Entrepreneur and IT Professional

How Data Literate Is Your Company?

We have all read stories of facial recognition software that fails to recognize dark-skinned faces, or robo-loan officers that deny mortgages to certain groups. As a growing body of research has made clear, algorithms created by non-representative groups have resulted in AI that perpetuates the inequities already prevalent in our society. As more companies rely more heavily on data and AI, these problems of algorithmic discrimination may only become worse.

Most companies know this by now. What they’re trying to figure out is: how can they avoid becoming yet another bad example?

The short answer is, thinking critically about the data you’re collecting and how you’re using it needs to be everyone’s job. Expanding the circle of who is in the room helping to question, build, and monitor algorithms is the only way that we will develop responsible AI. Doing that work requires data literacy — the ability to parse and organize complex data, interpret and summarize information, develop predictions, or appreciate the ethical implications of algorithms. Like math, it can be learned in beginner and advanced modes, spans multiple disciplines, and is often more practical than academic.

Continue reading

9 Rules for Strong Passwords: How to Create and Remember Your Login Credentials

The key to your online security is to have strong passwords, but the challenge is to create distinct passwords that you can actually remember -- or else you may fall into the bad habit of using the same login credentials for multiple accounts. According to LogMeIn, the company behind the LastPass password manager, you could very easily have 85 passwords for all your accounts once you count all of your social media, streaming, bank accounts and apps.

If your data is compromised, weak passwords can have serious consequences, like identity theft. Companies reported a staggering 5,183 data breaches in 2019 that exposed personal information such as home addresses and login credentials that could easily be used to steal your identify or commit fraud. And that pales in comparison with the more than 555 million stolen passwords that hackers on the dark web have published since 2017.

The identity protection of a post-password world isn't here for most of us. So in the meantime, try these best practices that can help minimize the risk of your data being exposed. Read on to learn how to create and manage the best passwords, how to be alerted if they're breached, and one crucial tip to make your logins even more secure. And here are three old password rules that wound up being dumb today.

Continue reading

Warning Your PC Is at Risk of Virus & Malware Attack

It's ironic when you can put yourself at risk by responding to a message in your browser that warns you that you are at risk. If you ever see a message telling you about a potential malware threat while visiting a Web page, that message may be an attempt to get you to install a rogue security program that that can harm your home or business computer.

Scareware

You might know the terms malware and spyware, but scareware may be a new one. Modern cybercriminals now attack victims by scaring them using a variety of methods. One reason that attackers succeed is that many tech-savvy computer users understand how important it is to respond to security warning messages. Microsoft's Window Defender program, for example, issues an alert when malevolent software attempts to infiltrate your system. Similarly -- but fraudulently -- scareware issues a fake warning message that alerts you to a threat that does not exist.

Continue reading

How To Develop A Disaster Data Recovery Plan

Data is one of the most important assets for many organizations. A significant level of care should be given to prevent data security incidents. However, despite the best plans and intentions, both man-made and natural disasters can occur at any time. The best course of action is to prepare in advance, ensuring that your enterprise has a well-developed disaster recovery plan in place to deal with potential occurrences.

The best disaster recovery plans are prepared with a logical knowledge of your environment. An organization that thoroughly evaluates possible threats, vulnerabilities and probabilities of a disaster can help ensure a more cohesive and cost-effective recovery plan. 

To get started, you should identify the critical assets that you'll need to protect in the case of a disaster. The corresponding vulnerabilities and potential threats should be assessed and preferably quantified. Based on the probability of a disaster occurring, the risk can be quantified as well. Then, your organization can build a recovery plan that prioritizes assets that meet a calculated risk threshold. Note that data recovery is the primary asset for most information security disaster planning, so make it a priority. 

Continue reading

Keeping Company Data Secure In A World Of Remote Work

Data security is an especially important topic in today’s remote environment. With employees working from home or on the road and connecting via a variety of devices, keeping tabs on data security is more important than ever.

What Is It, And Why Is It Important?

The definition of data security is very broad, but essentially, it means protecting data from destructive forces throughout the life cycle of its use.

Remote work increasing has been an ongoing trend. According to cloud security firm Netskope almost 6 in 10 American knowledge workers are working remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that number is likely to increase.

Even though there was a spike due to Covid-19, remote work increasing has been an ongoing trend. According to FlexJobs, "A special analysis done by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics found that there has been a major upward trend in the amount of people working remotely in the U.S. In the span of one year, from 2016 to 2017, remote work grew 7.9%. Over the last five years it grew 44%, and over the previous 10 years it grew 91%."

Continue reading

Predictive Cybersecurity Is The Need Of The Moment

istock 1203522802 100888544 large

The exponential development of computing devices has expanded access capabilities for cybercriminals to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in innovative ways. With a medium-grade smartphone now more powerful than the most advanced computers were only a few years ago, for example, cybercriminals can launch powerful and sophisticated attacks at a relatively low cost from a mobile unit while also working from home.

That ease of access goes some way to explain why there is a cyberattack every 39 seconds. As industrial organizations embrace digitalization, inadequate security protection can open up their systems to malicious actors. Criminals today use a wide variety of methods, from commonly used techniques such as phishing and computerized password hacking to more sophisticated operations such as watering hole attacks that deliver malware to visitors.

Increasingly, the same innovative technology that is being used to deliver innovative solutions for common benefit is being deployed in destructive ways to inflict catastrophic damage to infrastructure, business systems, and, ultimately, the citizenry.

Continue reading

The Passwordless Future is Here for Your Microsoft Account

Nobody likes passwords. They’re inconvenient. They’re a prime target for attacks. Yet for years they’ve been the most important layer of security for everything in our digital lives—from email to bank accounts, shopping carts to video games.

We are expected to create complex and unique passwords, remember them, and change them frequently, but nobody likes doing that either. In a recent Microsoft Twitter poll, one in five people reported they would rather accidentally “reply all”—which can be monumentally embarrassing—than reset a password.

But what alternative do we have?

For the past couple of years, we’ve been saying that the future is passwordless, and today I am excited to announce the next step in that vision. In March 2021, we announced that passwordless sign in was generally available for commercial users, bringing the feature to enterprise organizations around the world.

Beginning today, you can now completely remove the password from your Microsoft account. Use the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code sent to your phone or email to sign in to your favorite apps and services, such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Family Safety, and more.

Continue reading

What Happens if You Turn Off Computer During Update?

We’ve all seen that little warning “Don’t turn off your PC” during updates. But, what if we did it accidentally? What will be the consequences? Well, your computer will not explode or be useless. But the problem can lead to concerning scenarios.

What Happens If You turn off Pc During Update?

Before we learn what happens if you turn off computer during update, we must be familiar with its stages. The first is the Download stage and the next is the Installation stage

  1. If you shut down your PC while it’s downloading the new software update files, expect little to no harm. Either all the new data will be backed up, or your download progress will continue after restarting the PC. In some cases, the data can get corrupted and the update will restart. 
  1. If you shut down your PC during the installation stage, your Windows process might get shut down. Your installation process might restart. You might experience some glitches, but nothing too extreme. 
    Normally, people tend to restart their computer when the update is stuck, hoping the process will be smoother. Although this isn’t advised, it won’t affect your PC to a huge extent. The update may not be complete after restarting, but your PC will be normal shortly.
  2. In scenarios where the update is under progress but the PC gets shut down forcibly, your PC might experience a malfunction. Your PC’s Operating System can get corrupted, you might notice strange crashes and some data might get lost.
Continue reading

Database-As-A-Service – Are You In The Cloud?

To cloud or not to cloud" sounds kind of Shakespearean in tone and is a legitimate question every IT organization faces when looking to simplify operations and deliver services. But really, this is an old argument. Everything in the datacenter is being cloudified. The real question is whether to keep services and functions on-prem. Everything is moving to an "as-a-Service" (XaaS) model thanks to the simplicity and cost savings companies have seen through the public cloud. 

I think the way this XaaS evolution happens is pretty logical. The "killer apps" or low-hanging fruit is first to transition, and everything follows. And as the title of this article would imply, I think database services are a prime candidate for cloudification.

First, the setup - It’s a data(base) driven world

Data is the fuel that drives modern business. While this is a played-out statement, it's more accurate than ever. Statista estimates that 2021 will see 74 zettabytes of data generated. And that number will grow to over 180 zettabytes by 2025.  

While this is an impressive number, there is a substantial downstream impact on IT organizations and, more precisely, database professionals that go unnoticed. These teams are being pushed beyond their limits. For a few reasons:

1.    The sheer proliferation of database and database instances being stood up across the average enterprise.  While exact quantification is difficult, it is fair to estimate the average number of active databases in the enterprise is in the hundreds. 

Continue reading

5 Ways To Close Cybersecurity Gaps Created By The Pandemic

it secret square

With today's "new normal" ratcheting up the threat level, bolstering cybersecurity has become even more critical than before the pandemic. Here are five defensive measures that can help IT teams minimize the risk of cyberattacks and associated damage to the business. While you may think your business once had these areas under control, the reality is that may no longer be true thanks to the changing dynamics of our new landscape. Consequently, every organization should reevaluate its approach by taking these steps:

1. Conduct A Risk Assessment

Knowing where to focus your remediation efforts requires identifying the biggest weaknesses in your security fabric. This can be achieved by performing a risk assessment, either internally or with the help of an outside consultant. The process is essentially a security health check covering hardware devices, applications, network connections, user authentication systems, data classification and storage and other IT components and policies. Any vulnerabilities detected by this analysis can be prioritized based on the risk level and used to create a roadmap for strengthening your security posture.

2. Evaluate Your Network Architecture

Most corporate networks have what is essentially an open floor plan. Employees can reach whatever they need without going through different doors (technically speaking, routers or firewalls). This "flat" network enables an adversary who gains access to a user's computer to roam freely on a search for valuable data, then stage an attack against the relevant servers to steal it.

Continue reading

Comcast Xfinity Internet Outage Hits Customers Across The US

If your Tuesday morning started out with internet connectivity problems, it's not just you.

Comcast customers in various areas across the United States, including parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois, reported outages early Tuesday with their Xfinity internet service. Outage tracking service Downdetector recorded more than 52,000 outage reports around 9 a.m. ET, with most complaining of a "total blackout" of service.
 
In response to one tweet Tuesday morning, the company's verified Xfinity Support Twitter account acknowledged "widespread interruptions to the XFINITY Services," which it said was "due to unforeseen circumstances." In response to another tweet, the account said: "We are currently having connection concerns around the nation, our network team is working hard toward a resolution."
Continue reading

Five Cybersecurity Misconceptions Putting Organizations At Risk

Abstract padlock texture

Do you underestimate security threats?

Today, the world is flooded with cybersecurity news. Whether it’s a headline splashed across the media about your favorite retailer being hit by hackers or your local council falling victim to ransomware, there is no escaping the “cybercrime pandemic.”

Even despite this recent surge in cyberattacks, there are still a worrying number of organizations that don’t see themselves as a target. These organizations have a false sense of security that they are of no value or interest to cybercriminals — they are too small, too unknown or even too secure to be hit.

However, this misconception just makes them easier to hit. Overconfidence in security or not seeing yourself as a target leads to companies letting their guard down, which in turn creates opportunities for hackers. So, what are other most common security misconceptions we hear about from organizations, how do they put them in danger and, most importantly, how can they be resolved?

1. We are not a target for cybercriminals.

First and foremost, everyone is a target for cybercriminals. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are or how much or how little data you hold; cybercriminals will still see you as a target. This is an issue we hear about a lot when approaching new customers. However, once we have carried out an open-source background check, they are often surprised by the results.

We find fake social media accounts where CEOs and brands are being impersonated, often sending out malicious links in their posts. We also find a lot of other content online that shows the company has already been hit by attackers. 

Continue reading

Facebook is Rebranding as Meta

The app you know will still be called Facebook

Facebook's new corporate name is Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday, in an apparent effort to recast the company's public image from battered social network to tech innovator focused on building the next generation of online interaction, known as the "metaverse."

The Facebook app used by almost 3 billion people around the world every month will keep its name. But speaking at the company's Connect virtual reality conference, Zuckerberg said it's time to overhaul the corporation's identity to reflect its broader ambitions.

"It is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do," he said. "From now on, we're going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first."

Seventeen years after Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room, the company's brand has been badly dented by a succession of crises, from Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, which became public in 2018, to last month's damaging revelations from former Facebook employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen.

Continue reading

Would you pay to subscribe to Twitter?

photo 1611605698335 8b1569810432 

Twitter rolls out paid subscription ‘Super Follows’ to let you cash in on your tweets

After opening applications in June, Twitter rolled out Super Follows, its premium subscription option on September 1st.

The feature, first revealed in February, will allow users to subscribe to accounts they like for a monthly subscription fee in exchange for exclusive content. For creators, Super Follows are another useful tool in the emerging patchwork of monetization options across social platforms.

Eligible accounts can set the price for Super Follow subscriptions, with the option of charging $2.99, $4.99 or $9.99 per month, prices fairly comparable to a paid newsletter. They can then choose to mark some tweets for subscribers only, while continuing to reach their unpaid follower base in regular tweets.

Paid subscribers will be marked with a special Super Follower badge, differentiating them from unpaid followers in the sea of tweets. The badge shows up in replies, elevating a follower’s ability to interact directly with accounts they opt to support. For accounts that have Super Follows turned on, the option will show up with a distinct button on the profile page.

Super Follows aren’t turned on for everyone. For now, the process remains application only, with a waitlist. The option lives in the Monetization options in the app’s sidebar, though users will need to be U.S.-based with 10K followers and at least 25 tweets within the last month to be eligible.

Continue reading

GPUs Could Become Trojan Horses for Future Cyber Attacks

Trojan Horse for Malware

The graphics card inside your computer is a powerful tool for gaming and creative work, but it can also potentially serve as a Trojan horse for malware. Cybercriminals are finding ways to exploit graphics cards and their VRAM to inject malicious code into your system. The approach is claimed to have worked during a proof-of-concept hack on both discrete and integrated GPUs from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia.

Because antivirus software today cannot scan the graphics card’s own video RAM, known as VRAM, hackers are now targeting GPUs to carry out their dirty work. On the other hand, conventional methods used today that target the system’s main memory would trigger the antivirus software.

According to Bleeping Computer, a brief description of the hack was posted on a hacker forum, where one seller was trying to sell his proof-of-concept method to exploit the VRAM on GPUs. The seller stated that the method worked on Intel’s integrated UHD 620 and 630 graphics, as well as discrete solutions including the AMD Radeon RX 5700 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. It’s unclear if the attack would also work on other GPUs, like the recent Radeom RX 6000 series from AMD and theGeforce RTX 3000 series from Nvidia, both of which have seen high demand and short supply.

Continue reading

How to Change your Wi-Fi Router's Password

Make sure your router and devices are secure

If you want to add a bit more security to your device or simply make it easier to remember what you need to put in, you should look into changing your Wi-Fi router's password. Routers come with default passwords that are easy for anyone to guess or look up. Instead, you should change it to something more secure so that nobody can mess with your settings. Here's how to change your Wi-Fi router's password.

netgear router back 1

How to log into your router

1. First, you need to log into your router's web-based interface.

2. Connect to your router with your PC or mobile device.

3. Visit 192.168.0.1 or www.routerlogin.net.

4. A prompt will show up for login info.

5. Enter the username and password that's on the bottom of your router or what it says in the manual.

Continue reading

91 Percent of Industrial Companies at Risk of Cyber Attacks

Industrial businesses were the second most targeted sector in 2020 and new research from Positive Technologies shows that an external attacker could penetrate the corporate network at 91 percent of them.

In addition, Positive Technologies penetration testers gained access to the industrial control system (ICS) networks at 75 percent of these companies. Once criminals have obtained access to ICS components, they can shutdown entire production lines, cause equipment to fail, or incidents that could cause serious harm.

Olga Zinenko, senior analyst at Positive Technologies, says, "Today, the level of cybersecurity at most industrial companies is too low for comfort. In most cases, Internet-accessible external network perimeters contain weak protection, device configurations contain flaws, and we find a low level of ICS network security and the use of dictionary passwords and outdated software versions present risks."

Continue reading

SharePoint Is the Industry Leading Intranet Solution

SharePoint Is the Industry Leading Intranet Solution

Over three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies utilize Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint is the leading project management, document management, Intranet, and collaboration software developed by Microsoft. Most businesses can use a tool to enhance their employees’ ability to work cooperatively, and there is no better tool available than Microsoft SharePoint.

SharePoint is essentially a central hub that a project team can use to share files, data, news, and resources. It also securely fuels collaboration, standardizes access to the tools that people need, and even gives team and project leaders a way to disseminate a collective knowledge base that is important in productivity settings. 

SharePoint Provides Endless Possibilities

A Must-Have Tool to Get the Most Out of Your Business

If you are looking for a tool that can do it all, look no further than Microsoft SharePoint. It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365, giving a whole cache of tools that any team with specific targets can use to be more efficient and productive. If your organization already uses Microsoft productivity tools, having our knowledgeable technicians implement SharePoint as a central hub to any number of your initiatives can improve several aspects of your operational effectiveness. 

SharePoint can be used to:

  • Securely store company emails
  • Improve workflow
  • Organize projects and other events
  • Manage projects
  • Manage team schedules
  • Manage documents and other resources
  • Improve and centralize team communications
  • Support multiple project teams
  • Disseminate company and project-specific information
  • Improve employee training

...and much more.

Continue reading

Keep Your Technology Working for You

Get Your Business’ Technology the Oversight It Needs to Be a Powerful Asset

For today’s business, technology plays an important role. Unfortunately, this crucial part of your business is prone to malfunction. Malfunction means downtime. At Bluetek IT Solutions, we know that the more you can ward against downtime, the more successful your endeavor will be. To that end we offer comprehensive monitoring and management services that keep your technology functioning properly, helping your business meet its goals. 

With cutting-edge technology of our own, we are able to remotely monitor all of your hardware and your network around the clock. The goal of this service is to help your business reduce downtime. You see, malfunctioning or failing technology is a nuisance, sure, but the cost to a business pales in comparison to the cost of downtime. The better your business’ technology functions, the greater the opportunity for your entire business to be productive.

Hardware Support

Fix Hardware Issues Before they Become Operational Problems

Unfortunately, all technology eventually fails. They are complex machines that aren’t designed to last forever. With proactive maintenance that’s made possible by constantly monitoring hardware, however, issues that could impede production or the efficient delivery of service can be remediated prior to any total breakdown of the technology. More than that, if a piece of crucial technology were about to fail, replacing that technology before it causes unexpected downtime puts your business in a position to maintain profitability rather than sacrificing it. 

The remote management of your business’ technology ensures that you aren’t just fixing an issue, it ensures that knowledgeable IT professionals have the oversight over your entire IT infrastructure including network switches, modems, routers, workstations, and servers. A single instance of technology failure can cost your business dearly, the more you can avoid those circumstances, the better. 

Continue reading

Why Is Spam Such a Problem?

Why Is Spam Such a Problem?

Spam Can Be the Root Cause of Many Business Problems 

The average worker in 2020 received a whopping 121 emails per day. More than four-of-every-five of those emails were spam. Email spam has long since been a problem for the small and medium-sized business. For years spam protection meant turning on your filter inside your email program.

Today’s email-based threats demand more attention.

If spam is a major problem for your business—and if you don’t have protection already, it likely is—now is the time to do something about it. The professional IT experts at Bluetek IT Solutions have an answer to help you reduce the strain that spam puts on your business: our comprehensive Spam Protection service.

Spam Doesn’t Just Deliver Malware

The phishing attack is the number one scam carried out on businesses today. What if the company that gets hit with ransomware or other malware could go back and keep that email from getting through to the person who fell for the scam? Today, Bluetek IT Solutions offers spam protection that can keep those attacks out of your employees’ inboxes. This not only eliminates the threat of a malware attack but also saves time. Here are the main benefits of deploying spam protection:

  • It saves the time of your IT staff, who probably spends too much time on email security and maintenance as it is. 
  • It saves the time of your employees. Spam plies up in their inboxes, which in turn stymies their productivity as they have to spend more time ascertaining what emails are actionable and which are disposable. 
  • It keeps threats at bay. 
  • It keeps your email server from being overloaded with emails that are either nefarious or at the least, a waste of time. 

Spam protection serves as a critical part of any threat protection strategy.

Stop Phishing in Its Tracks

Spam Protection Significantly Reduces Exposure to Phishing 

Phishing is the number one method for stealing credentials, disseminating malware, and gaining unauthorized access to your business’ network. If you combine a strong training regime with a comprehensive Spam Protection service from Bluetek IT Solutions, you can put a major dent into your business’ potential exposure to email-based threats. More than that, our Spam Protection service provides decision-makers the peace of mind that their staff isn’t being constantly exposed to situations where one wrong move could mean major problems for your business.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Blog Archive

2022
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2021
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
2020
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2019
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2018
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
December