12 09, 2020

Stories in the Spotlight – September 2020

2020-09-24T20:40:08-05:00September 12th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

Contact tracing apps are finally coming Contact tracing is a popular method to track who's been exposed to Covid-19. It's been done manually, up to this point; however, several months ago Google and Apple announced that they were joining forces to create technology that automates the process. Netform is one company that creates exposure notification technology that uses Bluetooth to track who you've come across and whether or not they've tested corona-positive. Netform's app has been successful in the UK and is coming to America next month. The Oracle of Tiktok Tiktok chose Oracle as it's "technology partner" in an attempt to avoid being banned by the Trump administration. Why Oracle?  It could be because Oracle already has a large database infrastructure and a deep pedigree in software applications. It could also be because Oracle executives are ultra buddy-buddy with Trump. Either way, Tiktok sees an Oracle partnership as the best chance to not be deported (virtually speaking). The deal still has to be approved by federal regulators so we'll see what happens. Biden/Trump auto-complete controversy Google has removed autocomplete functionality for Biden and Trump. Google's auto-complete feature attempts to predict what you're going to search for based on the popularity of searches that start with similar words. They've removed this feature, exclusively for Biden and Trump, to avoid being seen as attempting to influence the election. Users can still search for whatever they want...Google just isn't going to make any suggestions through auto-complete. Portland bans facial recognition Portland became the strictest US city to ban the use of facial recognition. Facial recognition [...]

19 07, 2020

Stories in the Spotlight – July 2020

2020-09-24T20:40:47-05:00July 19th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

Twitter hacks Twitter was hacked by a group with the intention of running a bitcoin scam. We're assuming they were Nigerian princes, but that hasn't been proven....yet. They targeted 130 accounts of high profile people such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Kanye West and sent bogus messages that encouraged people to send them Bitcoin. All told, they gained about $120,000 in currency. It happened from the inside The investigation is showing that the group gained access to the accounts by targeting mid-level employees at Twitter. Two scenarios: 1. The employees were victims of complex phishing schemes (social engineering attacks designed to get people to give away sensitive information like user names, passwords, etc.) 2. An employee was in on it. Neither situation is good for Twitter as it reveals significant security vulnerabilities. Twitter released a statement saying that they have "taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems," but that's easier said than done. This type of mess isn't easy to clean up and often creates additional vulnerabilities. Word of advice to all: Don't click a link (any link) unless you know exactly what it is, who it's from, and where it's taking you. Clicking on mystery links is a great way to get your information stolen. 5G: What should we expect?  Let's start with a quick overview of 5G. There are three aspects to it: Low-Band: Transmits on the 600mhz frequency and has a very long range. Useful for covering rural areas where towers and antennas are sparse. Speeds can be around 300 Mbps if you're close to [...]

14 07, 2020

Edge Computing in 60 seconds

2020-07-23T22:11:11-05:00July 14th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

Get Smart: Edge Computing Let's face it, we only use apps that function well. We like smooth, well-functioning apps that get and send our information quickly. We don't like buffering and we don't like delays. The reason why some applications and websites function better than others is because of how much money they're willing to spend on edge computing. Edge computing is all about how to bring the data closer to the end-user (you). Think about it as if a Costco opened up down the street. Now you don't have to drive an hour away to get your supersized bag of chips. The information sits in data servers at physical locations (the cloud). When you click on a link, that request has to go through multiple processes to get to the cloud, which then has to transmit the information back to you. As the amount of data grows and more requests are generated, this can result in a delay or latency. This is when your video takes more than 2 seconds to load. Edge computing is more important than ever because it figures out how to bring the data as close to the user as possible to make the experience better. By conducting operations on the edge, systems and networks can perform more reliably, swiftly, and efficiently without compromising functionality. Companies like Cloudflareand Fastlyare hired by Big Tech to use their technology to bring the data as close to the edge (end-user) as possible. Edge computing is currently a $20 Billion industry that is [...]

13 05, 2019

Communicating after a Cyber Attack

2021-02-19T16:55:22-06:00May 13th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Organizations of all sizes are at risk for cyber attacks that can cripple operations and cause lasting damage. Businesses must have a plan in place for communicating with customers in the event of an attack so as to minimize losses. We are happy to share some information from our partners at Pronto Recovery about planning your communication and response after a cyber attack. The costs of a cyber crime The price tag of a security breach is staggering, with an average cost of $1.2 million. Cyber crime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021 and financial costs are not the only consequences. Ransomware attacks are the #1 cyber threat to businesses and are growing at a yearly rate of 350%. These often start with a simple phishing email and can lead to the complete shutdown of business operations. One-third of companies surveyed claimed their company lost intellectual property due to a cyber-attack and 36% of them believe the attack reduced their competitive advantage. In today’s globalized business environment, organizations of all sizes face the prospect of falling victim to a cyber-attack or IT outage that could cause serious damage to its infrastructure and ability to operate. Despite the improvement of cybersecurity techniques, criminals continue to develop sophisticated ways to disrupt systems and steal data. The need to prepare for cyber-attacks is more important than ever. According to Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report more than one third of the organizations that experienced a cyber breach in 2016 reported a loss of customers, business opportunities and [...]

10 01, 2019

Cybersecurity Trends – BEC Phishing

2019-05-16T17:55:45-05:00January 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Ransomware may be the number one cyber threat but there is another, newer cyber attack that is not being talked about enough. This threat can result in the loss of millions of dollars for companies who are affected by it and lead to the complete shutdown of their email systems – Business Email Compromise. We are happy to share some information from our partners at Pronto Recovery about BEC attacks and how you can protect your business. Business Email Compromise or BEC is an exploit in which the attacker gains access to a corporate email account and spoofs the owner’s identity to defraud the company or its employees, customers or partners of money. Unlike the typical phishing attacks that target everyone, BEC specifically targets high level business executives such as the CFO or corporate attorney to initiate a wire transfer. BEC scams have three main versions: The Bogus Invoice Scheme: this scheme involves a business that has an established relationship with a supplier. The attacker then requests a wire transfer for invoice payment to an fraudulent account via spoofed email, telephone, or fax. CEO Fraud: in this scheme, the attacker pretends to be a high-level executive or attorney who requests a wire transfer to be initiated with instructions to urgently send funds to their bank. Account Compromise: in this version, an employee’s email account is hacked and then used to make requests for invoice payments. And though not as common as the typical phishing email, an FBI announcement in 2017 confirmed that between October [...]

7 09, 2018

Facebook Building $1B Data Center

2019-07-05T17:19:27-05:00September 7th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

On September 5 Facebook’s VP of Engineering Jay Parikh announced plans to build a new $1 billion data center in Singapore. This will be the first data center engineered by the company in Asia and will run on 100% of renewable energy. The planned 1.8 million square foot facility will employ evaporative cooling technology to minimize water and power consumption while maintaining the required temperatures without supplemental cooling, reducing water usage by 20%. Singapore’s location and more relaxed stance on the storage and transfer of data than surrounding countries has led many tech companies to build there including Google, who has 2 centers there already and is planning a third. Singapore currently has over 80 active data centers and the Singapore government is encouraging growth in the market. The data center is expected to begin operations in 2022, although the construction will continue past that date. ImagIT Solutions is a network engineering company that provides comprehensive IT services for channel partners, managed service providers and enterprise businesses with multiple locations. ImagIT was founded with the goal of providing comprehensive, IT services for multi-site organizations. Built on providing exceptional customer service with the most trusted technicians in the field, we continue to grow with our clients and expand internationally. Our team of 400 expert engineers and full PMO are ready to take on any type of networking engagement!  Whether its proactive support, an emergency call, long-term projects or ongoing break-fix services, ImagIT will deliver a solution that is customized to best fit your organization. [...]

15 12, 2017

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

2019-07-16T21:11:14-05:00December 15th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

As cyber threats increase and with so many natural disasters happening every month, it has never been more important for companies to be prepared for the unexpected. We are happy to share some information from our partners at Pronto Recovery about being prepared for disaster, because the only thing harder than planning for an emergency is explaining why you didn't. Is your business at risk? Natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the Mexico City earthquake (just to name a few) have caused billions of dollars in damages just in the past year. Meanwhile, cyber-attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware attack have affected computers, IT systems, and networks worldwide. Disasters happen every day and the extent of the damage they leave behind may vary, but with thorough and tested plans you can reduce the impact they have on your organization. A disaster doesn’t have to be a large-scale event like a natural disaster or cyberattack to compromise your premises, they can be any small-scale, man-made or accidental, internal or external events that affect your employee’s ability to continue operations. Companies should prepare for all possible disaster scenarios, which is where business continuity and disaster recovery come into play. While there are many similarities between business continuity and disaster recovery - and on many occasions the same team will be involved in both within an organization - BC and DR are two separate plans with similar yet different goals and objectives. Disaster recovery vs. business continuity Disaster Recovery is more reactive and focuses [...]