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Stopping Botnets and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

The following measures will help to mitigate the risks of a DDoS attack.

  1. Over-provision bandwith to absorb DDoS  bandwith  peaks.  This is one of the most common yet probably the most expensive technique, particularly because most DDoS attacks can be ten times or even one hundred times greater than standard internet traffic levels.
  2. Lock down application and servers.  Most overflow attacks can be prevented by application development teams that follow coding best practices.
  3. Install a network firewall to block known network DDoS attacks.  Most firewalls can stop network DDoS attacks like TCP floods, SYN-floods and fragmentation attacks.  Large scale network DDoS attacks can overwhelm Internet connections, preventing traffic from even reaching an on-premise firewall.  Businesses must ensure that their internet bandwith is great enough to withstand a volumetric attack.
  4. Apply application-level controls to stop application DDoS attacks.    An increasing number of DDoS attacks are not simply network onslaughts, but more advanced application attacks.  Application attacks can be difficult to stop through application coding measures alone.  Detecting and blocking excessive requests by users can help eliminate attack traffic.  CAPTCHA’s, for instance, can help differentiate humans from malicious bots.

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Backup and Recovery Bolsters Managed Services Offerings

Like it or not, data loss is a cost of doing business.  Whether as a result of unintentional or malicious action, the typical business at some point loses data.  The question then becomes whether a business can recover lost data.  With the advent of cloud computing, data backup and disaster recovery (DR) has become more accessible and affordable for companies large and small.  And no one is better equipped than the MSP (Managed Services Provider) to deliver the services as an integral part of an overall package to remotely monitor and maintain the IT environments of their clients.

Although the break-fix model still exists today, many businesses cannot afford the loss of productivity during these downtimes.   Thus the advantage of remote monitoring in recent years as we have become more and more dependent on technology.  While remote monitoring prevents most downtime, backup and DR solutions minimize downtime and accelerate recovery.

For more information, speak to your IT provider or contact Wilson Technology Group at:  cs@wilsontechgroup.com; or  wilsontechgroup.com.

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Cybercrime: Steps to Protect Your Business

In the current threat landscape, no business is safe.  Every business is a prime target for cybercrime.  You can protect your business by following these tips and best practices:

  1. STAY VIGILANT.  Ensure that you and every one of your employees (technical or not) stay abreast of the latest in cybercrime.  Be educated about the newest fraud schemes and apply best practices such as not responding to unsolicited email messages or opening attachments and clicking suspicious links embedded in them.
  2. ENFORCE INTERNAL SECURITY POLICIES.  It is also wise to enhance your network security and banking protocols.
  3. PLAN AHEAD.  Always be on the lookout for suspicious online activities and prepare contingency plans for any instance of actual compromise.
  4. SECURE YOUR DEVICES.  Make sure your devices or endpoints are secure.   Products are on the market that provide protection anywhere and anytime for your business data.

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Is Your Smartphone a Target for Hackers?

The simple answer is yes.  As opposed to your computer, your smartphone is always on, connected to the Internet, logged into your email and social media, and likely has at least a username stored for your bank account.  Your smartphone contains as much sensitive information as your wallet does – more, ifyo count the contact information for your family and friends.

Text messaging, for instance, are easily exploitable, especially since a an average test messaging application takes no security precautions.  They open automatically and load as soon as your phone connects to a network; in effect, they cannot be blocked.

In order to keep your mobile information private and safe, keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off unless your need them and install a mobile security suite on your phone.   It is also recommended that you disable or uninstall social media applications – the HTML versions of Facebook and Twitter are more secure and much easier on a phone’s battery life.

Looking for more information?  Check our website at:  wilsontechgroup.com

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Lock Your Computer

If you do not want your ‘friends’ going onto your computer at work or home and posting things on your Facebook/Twitter page on your behalf you need to lock your computer. Windows + L will lock your system right away, requiring a password (if you have set one) to log in again.

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The Second Biggest HIPAA Breach Ever Reported.

In the second biggest HIPAA breach ever reported, one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems is notifying more than four million patients that their protected health information and Social Security numbers have been compromised after the theft of four unencrypted company computers.  Advocate Health System announced that the theft occurred at one of its Advocate Medical Group administrative buildings in Park Ridge, Illinois on July 15th.  Patient names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and clinical information- including physician, medical diagnoses, medical record numbers, and health insurance data – were all contained on the computers, official say.  This breach stands as the second biggest HIPAA breach ever reported according to HHS data – just behind the TRICARE Management Activity breach which impacted more than 4.9 million patients back in 2011.

 

Taken from:  Lorna Waggoner/EC First

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