Heads Up

Heads Up Windows 10 Users

 

 

Scammers are using new tactics to steal your data. Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center announced that it had learned about new strategies to target Windows 10 users via links that lead to fraudulent tech support sites.

 

According to Microsoft, at least three million users encounter tech support scams each month. But this new technique, which introduce a different layer to the mix, embeds links in phishing emails, potentially leading to a wider pool of victims.

 

These types of scams, involving tech support, were previously done by cold-calling their victims. Now, however, a series of malicious ads will automatically redirect victims to a fake tech support page, in which Windows 10 users are presented with a display of a fake Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or other bogus Windows security alerts.

 

Sending mass emails that pretend to come from popular sites like LinkedIn or Amazon has been the standard MO of online scammers, who include links to fake bank or email login sites. But now, this tactic is being redirected to tech support sites in order to phish for your credentials.

 

These sites use various scare tactics to trick users into calling hotlines and paying for unnecessary ‘technical support services’ that supposedly fix fake problems.

 

Once users have clicked on the link that leads to the fraudulent website, they are presented with a bunch of security-alert pop-ups that aim to convince users to contact the bogus support call center.

 

In order to prevent these kinds of attacks, Microsoft’s Windows 10, Outlook.com, Edge, and Exchange Online Protection include various security features meant to block the fake tech support sites and fraudulent emails.

 

According to Microsoft, Edge users can prevent dialog loops by blocking a certain page from multiplying. And a new Edge feature gives users the ability to shut down browsers or tabs when facing a suspicious-looking popup message.

 

If you have any questions or run into this kind of event, please give David a call at 636-614-0866.

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Ransomware Info

How to:

Defend Yourself Against

Ransomware

 

 

If you haven’t heard of ransomware, you MIGHT have been living under a rock. It’s that threat that keeps attacking HUGE systems, multiple countries, and keeps making the news. But that’s not all that hackers who use ransomware target. They are just as likely to target an innocent little business like yours. And it would easily CRIPPLE your business for hours, days, maybe even weeks.

 

So how do you protect yourself from this ever-present, ever-growing threat to this business you’ve built from sleepless nights, blood, sweat,  and tears? 

 

We’ve got a few pointers for you:

 

  • Make sure ALL your software is up to date. This includes those apps and programs that you don’t use anymore. If you don’t use them – please Uninstall them! The more items you have just hanging around, the more likely you are to have an out-of-date software that isn’t getting updated anymore, creating more places that COULD be hiding a vulnerability.

 

  • Consider the Cloud. Ransomware is usually intended to lock you out of a specific computer or set of computers. With your data safely stored in the cloud (and NOT showing on your computer’s file explorer) it can decrease your risk of ransomware encrypting those files.

 

  • Have a Backup Plan. Nobody is perfect, and sometimes, as we all know… stuff happens! So, make sure you’re backing up your data that you couldn’t live or run your business without. Ransomware is EXPENSIVE, and I’m not just talking about the bitcoin here. When it gets to your files, that’s a data breach. That’ll be worse than the bitcoins… but I won’t preach on that today. We’ve had this discussion before boys and girls.

 

  • Know your enemy. There is a lot of research out there, this isn’t a new topic anymore, but it is still a very hot one. If you need some suggestions on what options are available, give us a call at 636-614-0866. We have some options a low as 25¢ per gig, and that includes the software. We would be happy to show you some affordable options or, you can check some of our previous blog posts for more information.

 

So, what are you going to do about this Ransomware thing? Are you going to make them work for it? Or, should we get you some gift wrap, so you can have it all wrapped up nice and pretty when they come after YOUR business?

 

I hope it will be the former!

 

Have a great weekend everybody, this blogger has serious businesses to protect. I hope you’re one of them.

  

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Hackers Love Small Businesses

18 Questions

for Improving

Small Business 

Cyber Security

 

 

Small businesses who want to up their cyber security game need to first identify where they are now, then, where they want to go.

 

Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of small businesses about their unique security issues and challenges.

 

What I noticed during many of my conversations is that most small businesses are only somewhat aware of the need for security. Typically they don’t want to believe they are at risk.

 

The conundrum for small businesses is that what they do they know is that they have limited resources. They don’t think they need security, and they don’t want to pay for it!

 

If they do start thinking about security, they don’t know who to contact, and how much it will cost. So, they often just go to the nearest big box store, office supply store, or electronics store and buy whatever the salesperson recommends.

 

I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I have a LOT more experience with computer security than anybody they know, (especially that salesperson they just met) and I can point them in the right direction with a series of 18 questions to ask themselves, without any expense at all. Their answers will determine how to assess where they are, identify gaps that need to be filled, and optimize their existing resources.

 

Ask yourself these questions…

 

1.   Do we have a relationship with someone who actually works in cyber security who will help us for free?

 

2.   Do we understand the risks and threats that will impact our business?

 

3.   Do we understand the specific risks and threats targeting our industry and/or region?

 

4.   Do we understand what our customers, partners, and others are concerned about, and what would cause us to lose their trust?

 

5.   Do we understand what “custodianship” means regarding our client database?

 

6.   Do we understand what data under our “custodianship” is vulnerable and where it resides?

 

7.   Do we know how much our vulnerable data could cost us if we get hacked?

 

8.   Do we understand the different vulnerabilities that exist within our environment and how those vulnerabilities introduce new or exacerbate existing risks and threats?

 

9.   Have we taken time to prioritize the risks and threats facing us from these different perspectives?

 

10.  Have we broken those risks and threats down into goals and priorities and developed a plan to address them?

 

11.  Do we understand how to assess our current security situation and identify gaps that may keep us from meeting our security goals and priorities?

 

12.  Do we have the budget we need to improve our security in accordance with our goals & priorities? Do we have someone we trust who can help us?

 

13.  Do we know how and where to invest our security budget to achieve the biggest bang for our bucks?

 

14  Do we have the staff or partners we need to rise to the occasion to combat new and evolving threats?

 

15  Do we know what policies and procedures we need to put in place to manage our environment properly?

 

16.  Do we have the right staff, or are we working with the right partners and vendors, to achieve our desired results?

 

17.  After the initial assessment, strategic planning, and plan implementation, do we have a plan to run our security on a continual basis to ensure that the environment is monitored and protected at all times?

 

18.  Are we prepared in the event of a serious incident, and do we know what we should do and how we should handle it?

 

 

The time for small businesses to improve their security came long ago. If you answered no to more than one of those questions you are at serious risk of a cyber-attack. Would you even be able to tell if your business has been hacked?

 

Most small businesses have simply buried their head in the sand and are sitting ducks for hackers. Hackers understand that it is easier to hack into hundreds of thousands of small businesses. These businesses are low hanging fruit for their automated attacks, it’s much more difficult to work for months to break into an enterprise business.

 

Most security industry leaders I know would not argue with that statement. At the same time, those same people aren’t quite sure how to help small businesses, which is likely why they have never addressed security for the small business market.   

 

Of course, there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why you, as a small business owner, can’t go to Walmart, OfficeMax or Best Buy and just install a residential grade anti-malware product on your computer and be safe.

 

To be safe today, you need a multi layered approach. Click Here to learn about MCS’ multi-tiered, enterprise grade cyber security solution designed specifically for small business.

 

Our solution has been running on nearly 200 computers, for 3 years+ and no computer has been infected by any malware, yet!

 

Wouldn’t you like to have that kind of peace of mind for your business?

 

If so, set up a free consultation where you can ask whatever questions you have. Call us at 636-614-0866, and get your business protected by the best security available for small businesses!

 

 How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Data Breaches

Data Breaches Up

 

Nearly 30% Over 2016 Already

 

Data breaches are running 29 percent above last year, per a report released by the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout. Hacking was the leading cause of data breaches nationwide, more than 790 so far this year.

 

KnowBe4 has released its Top 10 Global Phishing Email Subject Line report for Q2 2017. The results show that users click most frequently on business-related subject lines (“Security Alert” leads at a whopping 21%), but they still click on subject lines not related to work topics, too.

 

Data Breaches Up 29% over 2016

 

Let’s not forget that according to  Osterman Research, email has been the No. 1 network infection vector since 2014.

 

KnowBe4 notes, “It’s an effective method because it gives attackers more control than merely placing traps on the web and hoping that people will stumble over them.”   “This method gives the cyber-criminals greater control in selecting potential victims and leveraging multiple psychological triggers.”

 

If you’re a phisher, time is money, and you want to trick as many victims as possible to click on your links as quickly as possible, because it’s all a volume game.

 

Three of the “lures” have time elements: No. 7 is “Change of Password Required Immediately” (clicked 8% of the time); No. 8 is “Password Check Required Immediately” (7% effectiveness) and No. 10 is “Urgent Action Required” (6%). Remember: Banks, the IRS and other institutions that hold the keys to our livelihoods in their grubby digital hands don’t ask for account info in emails. Ever.

 

“Unusual sign-in activity” is No. 9 at 6%. Two of them imply to be from HR (and would likely be easy to debunk just by, oh I don’t know, maybe looking at the sender’s address??). For instance, the second most-effective lure in all the US is “Revised Vacation & Sick Time Policy,” with a 14% effectiveness rate. And, “All Employees: Update your Healthcare Info”, coming in at No. 6 with a 9% effectiveness rate.

 

“UPS Label Delivery 1ZBE312TNY00015011” and “A Delivery Attempt was made” both have a 10% effectiveness rate, placing them midfield.

 

At No. 4,  “BREAKING: United Airlines Passenger Dies from Brain Hemorrhage – VIDEO” claims a 10% effectiveness rate. People apparently have a morbid fascination with such things.

 

“We are in a security arms race, and a multi-layered defense is critical because each layer has different points of effectiveness and ineffectiveness” said Perry Carpenter, chief evangelist and strategy officer at KnowBe4. “Ultimately this means that a company’s ‘human firewall’ is an essential element of organizational security because people truly are the last line of defense.”

 

Data breaches are occurring more often. Stay safe out there everybody, and have a great week!

 

Resources:

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/slackspace/here-phishy-phishy-top-10-most/

  

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Dark Web

Dark Web

 

The Dangers of Discussing
the “Dark Web” With the Public

 

Every movie has that “Dangerous Place”, right? Be it the graveyard, the haunted house… the family home? The ex-boyfriend?

 

There’s always a lair for the antagonist or villain. The dark web is basically the online version of all of those combined.

 

So why not warn people about it and tell people when something big happens to stop it?

 

HUMAN NATURE

 

People are curious, inquisitive…

and seem to do a LOT of stupid stuff.

 

Warning labels have been put on products for a reason, right?

 

Consider this your
Dark Web Warning Label:

 

DO NOT ENTER:
ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU WILL FIND
IS DANGEROUS HERE

 

Honestly… I’m not exaggerating. And with how the news is showing off these dark web sites and how to spot one… do you really think no one is going to get the bright idea (or lack thereof) to go check out the dark web for themselves?

 

Too many will.

 

It’s great that things are happening to shut down the “dark” side of the network… but how about we pay some attention to the teenagers that will want to check it out too. They might just go do a Google search and end up deeper than you would ever imagine. The Dark Web contains all kind of weird and creepy sites, from Child Pornographers, Human Traffickers, Scammers, Thieves, Drug Dealers, and Hackers (just to name a few) … how safe are you going to feel about your kids talking to them?

 

And with the kids home for summer break, and mom & dad at work, what’s to stop them?

 

I know I wouldn’t want any teen of mine in that scenario. No matter how good at computers they are, just sayin’.

 

WHY is the media bringing this to the public’s attention – especially at this time of year. VERY poor judgement if you ask me!

 

MCS can help you protect your kids by showing you how a router can be used to setup content filtering, so your kids can’t access sites on the Dark Web. 

 

Call us at 636-614-0866 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Be careful, and don’t be the reason for a new kind of warning label! 

 

Have a great weekend everybody – stay safe!!!

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Hardware Unsupported

Hardware Lifespan

 

Windows 10 Is Cracking Down

 

 

We’ve often emphasized that you MUST keep your computer hardware and software updates current for your systems to stay protected from threats… but some of you seem to be having issues with this… and not just from failing to understanding the risks. 

 

Microsoft® has now said that any “Unsupported Hardware Device” (Any device that the manufacturer has stopped supporting) could mean that you as the consumer are now UNABLE to get any updates, including security updates, for your operating system.

 

Now, for small businesses who typically have at least one or two 5-7 year old computers just hanging around on your network… this should raise several red flag. Windows 10 isn’t going away anytime soon, and who can afford to just out of the blue, either update your computer hardware, or leave yourself vulnerable to attacks that could cripple your business?

 

Not any small business I know!

 

This new policy from Microsoft® could mean that ANY piece of your hardware, not just the motherboard or processor, but all the way down to your network card or the card that powers your Wi-Fi, (even if you don’t USE Wi-Fi) could cause you to be at risk if not kept current.

 

Here’s what Microsoft said:

 

“If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update.”

 

 

Why this matters: (From PCWorld)

 

For years, the rule of thumb was that you could run virtually any operating system on top of any Intel, AMD (or even Cyrix) hardware. Chances are that it would run, if slowly. Over time, though, things changed. As malware became more potent, running a supported Windows operating system became more important.

 

Now there’s Windows as a Service: If Windows 10 never really goes away, what limits PC builders is supported hardware, apparently. Now we have to worry about how long all of our PC hardware components are supported, lest we lose access to upcoming versions of Windows 10.

 

 

I know many people start budget planning in the fall, and it’s going to be here before you know it. Find out how old your hardware is, how long it will be supported, and make sure you’re not about to be in a world of hurt with your computers come next year.

 

If you don’t know how to find this information, call our office at 636-614-0866, we are happy to help!

 

Have a great week ya’ll, and start checking your hardware before your next budget meeting!

 

Want to read the whole article? Copy and Past the link below into your browser…

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3209705/windows/confirmed-windows-10-will-cut-off-devices-with-older-cpus.html

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Backup - 101

Backup 101

 

A Brief History of Computer Backup Systems

 

We’ve talked Backup before, but what do you know about how it all started, and how far it has come? Here’s your chance to shine, history buffs! A good Maya Angelou quote fits into today’s topic: “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

 

So where exactly HAVE we been? Lets dive into the past and find out! Buckle your seat belts and lets TIME TRAVEL!

 

Univac_I

Univac I

 

Its 1951, The UNIVAC I (The first computer EVER) by Mauchly and Eckert has just been released, and punch cards told the computer all the data that needed stored internally or externally. There were extra copies made of these punch cards, in case they  were damaged, lost, or stolen… this, technically, was the first form of a computer ‘Backup’.  Same logic, old format. Not valid for today’s systems, so it has been retired.

 

Magnetic Tape Backups

Magnetic Tape Backups

 

Fast Forward to the 60’s, and punch cards are taking up TONS of space, because there’s all this data to store and only so many safe places to put it. So into the market rolls Magnetic Tapes and Tape Backups. Tape backups caught on quickly, since one roll of tape, convenient to store, could hold the same as 10,000 punch cards.  But here’s their biggest fault, We know now that these have been GUARANTEED TO FAIL. They are old tech, and while they had a good run, their time is quickly coming to an end, though some people have yet to make the switch.

 

Old HDD Backup

An early Hard Drive

 

Around the same time as these Tape Backups came out, Hard Drives started appearing in computers. The problem is, that this early in the game (60’s and 70’s), they are big, heavy, and EXPENSIVE. No one could afford a ‘backup’ hard drive until much later.

 

Floppy Disk Backup

8″, 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks

 

Floppy Discs came in not long after those Hard Drives and Magnetic Tapes. They started off in 1969, as a read only 8” version with 80KB of data, but some still preferred their Magnetic Tapes. Then came 1973 and the Rewritable floppy at 256KB, and then it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that you could store 250MB on a 3” Floppy Disc.  Some used floppy discs, some kept with their tapes. Small business and residential users found floppy discs more their style than these big reels of magnetic tape, since they were cheaper and handier than the other options at the time.

 

The biggest problem for many with the floppy discs was its limited capacity… and since we all know how supply and demand works, a new generation of disks was born… CDs both R (Recordable) & RW (Re-writeable) were released as the newest form of storage, taking storage to a new level, but they didn’t catch on until the 1990’s since they were less cost effective than a floppy disc.

 

CD & DVD Ba ckup

CDs & DVDs

 

What changed in the 90’s that caused almost everything to become more available to the average person? Computers standardized, becoming cheaper, and even started coming with CD-RW Drives pre-installed into them, which lowered the cost of the discs considerably as well.

 

USB Backup Drives

USB Backup Drives

 

It’s now 1998, and Flash(USB) Drives are being introduced into the market, and they caught on almost instantly. The smaller ones still hold more than your 3” floppy disc. I’ve recently seen Costco displaying (2) 64GB flash drives for less than $30! Why did they catch on so fast? They were compact, powerful, cost-effective, and they were also easier to transport when you needed to move your data. I would venture a guess that you’ve probably used these more than once in your life for something or other in the recent past.

Blue-Ray Backup

Blue-Ray Drives

 

The next generation we saw since the Flash Drive is the Blue-ray or HD-DVD disc. Most people encounter this drive when they buy their movies, because it can store more data, ranging between 23 GB and 54 GB, which allows better quality of movies, but they can also be used to store higher amounts of data in a disc backup. These started in 2006 and have been thriving.

 

Cloud backup

Cloud Backup

 

Now we are getting back to present technologies, with Local Network backups and Cloud based backups. We have multiple blogs on these topics, but the internet’s  growth and how computers are connecting to each other closely relates to this, so I’ll try to keep this pretty simple and concise.

 

LAN (Local Area Network)s were created in the late 1970s and were created to provide high-speed connections between a few computes in one place or building at the same time.

           

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) started in 1985 and was made to connect two computers over the internet so that they can share files with each other.

 

NAS Backup

NAS Backup

 

NAS (Network Attached Storage) systems were designed in 1992 to attach to traditional data networks and it caught on quickly. A NAS device may have multiple multi-Terabyte hard drives in one box so a whole network can be backed up.  Many manufacturers added it to their service line.

 

SAN Backup

                       

SAN (Storage Area Network) is made to attach computer storage devices such as disk array controllers and tape libraries to servers, allowing backups to take place even without a hardwired connection.

 

Online Backup Services did not come into play until the 90’s, when the modern Internet started to take shape, allowing your backups to be stored elsewhere, making them safe from damage to your office. It is, however, sometimes not the most cost-effective way to house the data for your business.

 

If you stuck with us for this bout of time warp, Congratulations!

 

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Hacker 102 - Psychology of a Hacker

Hacker 102

 

Psychology of a Hacker

 

In “Hacker 101” we talked about what the hacker does, what they want… but WHY do they “hack” in the first place? While there are always exceptions to every rule, there are times where narrowing down the facets of what a TYPICAL group does is necessary and/or helpful, such as suspects in a criminal case or a specific type of buyer… or hackers.

 

The psychology of a hacker may seem quite eccentric and simple-minded… all about themselves, no care for anyone else, sociopath… but that isn’t really true. They are highly complex, just like you and me.

 

Disclaimer: There will always be an exception to a rule, but these are observations that some very knowledgeable people have found, and this list is compiled from those observations.

 

Hackers have a ‘Code of Honor’ of sorts, and if one hacker is found to have broken that Code, other Hackers may turn against that specified Hacker. This code goes along the lines of “Take only Memories”, which is from a part of a quote by Chief Seattle, from the book “Brother Eagle, Sister Sky”. The book was asking for preservation of nature, and in the case of hackers, they may hold your computer for ransom, or keylog it so that they can access your password, but their goal is not to destroy your computer, they only want copies of your data.

 

Of course, that’s not really comforting.

 

These people are very smart, and have studied how to do the tasks they take on. Hackers don’t just come up with this stuff. They learn it, and typically mastered it.

 

They tend to feel out of their element in certain social environments, but tend to have normal lives like the rest of us, not some grungy mastermind wringing his hands in a dim basement and laughing maniacally. Save that for the movies.

 

The life of hacking seems to be opening up to women more and more. It’s not all guys like many seem to believe. And it’s not just for those that are less than flawless on the outside, plenty of hackers are fairly attractive, according to typical social standards.

 

THE POINT IS…  you will never be able to see someone walk into your office and just KNOW they are a hacker. So, you have to be prepared for ANYONE to be a hacker, and protect yourself (and your business) accordingly.

 

DO NOT allow someone you don’t know to walk into your business and start working on your computers and networks without showing you their credentials and the work order.

 

Hackers may share some qualities, but come on people, they aren’t robots. Usually.

 

Enjoy your week everybody! Watch out for Cyborgs!

 

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Computer Security 101

Thanks to Intego for the great Infographic. While this graphic speaks specifically to Mac users, the same information applies to Windows user too!

Computer Security 101

 

Why IT Companies

are doing it WRONG

 

According to StrongArm,  Spiceworks, BizTech Magazine, Cisco and lots more: Network (firewall) and endpoint (antivirus) defenses are not enough to protect your business, because they react to malicious communications and code after attacks have launched. To simplify, that means they are REACTIVE solutions.

 

Do you really want to wait
until your computer is infected
before you try to stop the attack?

 

This may work for large businesses, who can spend hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars every year for specifically trained security teams and high-end software, and who can have dozens of computers pre-configured for quick placement, should a malware attack a few computers here and there.

 

The Industry Norm…

Waiting to be infected before going to Work

 

We already know how attacks work, so why are we waiting until the computer is infected?  Surely, we’ve come out of the “Dark Ages” of installing a firewall on the network (which is often poorly configured) and some cheap (mostly ineffective) antivirus on the computer(s).

 

In reality, the answer is NO, in the vast majority of businesses, both large and small, the IT industry is still using the same old fashion techniques.

 

So what are small businesses supposed to do?

 

Layered Security to the Rescue…

And Why It’s Better

 

In our opinion, layered security is the only way for small businesses to be truly protected from cyber attacks.

 

Since there is a solution for small businesses, why aren’t big businesses implementing a similar solution.

 

IT security is NOT a simple matter of a firewall and antivirus! It requires a layered approach. Each step of the attacker’s operation provides an opportunity for security providers to observe its presence and defend its intrusion.

 

So how is this accomplished? By analyzing how the attack process flows and how attackers get into your network and computers.

 

The following is a high-level view

of the attack process.

 

Step 1. Research

  1. The hacker decides to use an automated attack.
  2. The hacker decides to target a specific business or person.

 

Step 2. Creation

  1. The hacker decides to buy an existing attack software (exploit kit) from the black market.
  2. The hacker creates custom code (or redesigns) to design a new malware. every 4-5 seconds a new malware strain is found

 

Step 3. Delivery

  1. Malware is delivered to your PC, by infected links, phishing attacks or malicious ads or by other means.

 

Step 4. Exploit

  1. Malware attacks the vulnerabilities in your network and computers.

 

Removing VULNERABILITIES
in your network and computers
is the key to stopping malware attacks!

 

Step 5. Install

  1. Malware is installed on your PC.
    1. Malware today is designed to install and hide from malware scanning tools. You may have malware on your computer for months and never know.
    2. The initial malware may do nothing but provide a back door into your computer(s) that the attacker can use later to download other malware such as:
      1. Key Loggers
      2. Other Viruses, Worms or other threats
      3. Ransomware

 

Step 6. Activate

  1. The malware calls home for instructions from the attacker. This is when the malware’s mission is activated.

 

Step 7. Infected

  1. The malware has infected your computer(s). The attacker can now steal your data and or cause damage to your computer, and possibly spread to other computers and devices on your network AND cloud storage services.

 

See diagram below

 

Computer Security 101

 

So, the question remains; if we know all of this why isn’t somebody offering a solution that stops malware before it gets into your computers?

 

I’m glad you asked!

 

This is exactly the layered security solution that Managed Computer Services (MCS) has developed, and has been installing on small business computers for the last 3 years. This solution has been on 200 computers for nearly 3 years, and not one of those computers has been infected by any kind of malware

 

While we will never tell you ‘we guarantee you will never get hacked, or never get a malware’ (nobody can guarantee that), our track record speaks for itself.

 

Why is MCS different?

 

We provide several layers of protection, working together, to keep you safe.

 

We still believe in firewalls and antivirus software, but they are just two pieces of a larger puzzle.

 

So, here’s what you need to include!

 

If you are serious about protecting your business (large or small) from cyber threats, the following list will stop 99% of attacks from reaching your computer(s) and network.

 

  1. DNS Management
  2. Patch Management
  3. User Access Control
  4. Signature based scans
  5. Behavioral based scans
  6. A solid backup solution
  7. Password management
  8. Procedures and best practices established and enforced
  9. Cyber security awareness training for all employees.
  10. Network Management

 

If your business does not have the time or experienced personnel to handle these processes please call us at (636) 614-0866. We would be happy to answer your questions and either help you or manage your security for you.

 

For just one of our clients in 2016, who operated several servers and nearly 100 computers, our DNS solution by itself, stopped 303,000 malware attacks.

 

Not every small business needs all of these processes which is why we offer free consultations.

 

To see what vulnerabilities are hiding in your computers, we offer a Vulnerabilities Risk Assessment for just $20 per computer. To see a sample of what this report will show you type this address into your browser…  https://bit.ly/VRA_Sample 

 

 

To learn more about how these layers work together to provide a superior security solution call MCS today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Hacker 101

Hacker 101

 

Think Like a Hacker,

Defend Like the Pros

 

So, we’ve talked hackers, hacking, and how to protect yourself… now let’s do some studying about our adversaries. In our “10 Point Hacker Watch List”, we did a sort of ‘Intro to Hackers’…feel free to check that out if you haven’t yet, but for this blog, let’s get right into the useful stuff!

 

THINK LIKE A HACKER

 

Many people seem to believe that hackers are just some kid playing war games without a care in the world, but in reality, most hackers don’t sit around just ‘playing’ hacker.

 

They are trained professionals.

The assassins of the cyber world.

 

Now, imagine everyone has a target on their back… because you do.

Would you rather have all the information that the assassin who is coming after you has, more information than they do, or less?

 

If your answer isn’t more information than your trained foe, maybe you should think this through again.

 

The biggest difference between hackers and others in similar fields, is their lack of following any kind of code of ethics. Here is an example if you would like to read through it.

 

There are three main types of hackers,

but just like anything else, there will always be exceptions.

 

Cyber Espionage: These operatives are HIGHLY trained, likely working for either a governmental or corporate entity. They have specific targets, and their intents range from information gathering of corporate trade secrets, to disabling enemy missiles. Serious stuff.

 

Hacktivists: These hackers are looking to show how THEY feel about something, usually a controversial issue, and it’s typically a bullying tactic to stop something such a website from being able to function.

 

Hackers-For-Hire: Have low morals and want to make your competitors look like absolute fools so that people will shop with you instead, but don’t have the money to keep a hacker on staff yet? HAVE NO FEAR! Hackers-For-Hire are here! But seriously, these people are sort of like the mercenary. Or freelance artists. Depending on which end of the code you’re on.

 

If you’re a pretty normal type of business, you may not have to worry about hacktivists… but your big competitors may have a Cyber espionage team and can use it to get your client data and steal them from you. Or maybe a smaller competitor hires a hacker to make you look bad to your clients with a major data breach, leaving them an opening to take in those clients and surpass you. This isn’t as far fetched as you might think!

 

Your opponent, that hacker coming after you, may know information about you, may even be able to guess how you think… but what they DON’T know is what you know.

 

If you know what to look for, how hackers think, what they do, and what they are gunning for, YOU hold the most information. You are fighting from the high ground on the battlefield of cyber security.

 

USE IT

 

Hide that target on your back out of sight and out of reach, and you’ll stay safer.

 

Enjoy the high ground, everyone. Don’t give the enemy eyes on the target.

 

How much data do you have

that is exposed?

 

If you don’t know you better find out before you get hacked.

 

MCS can scan your computers for just $20 per computer.  These scans just might save you thousands of dollars. Just fill out the form below and we will call you to setup a free consultation.

 

 

 

 How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.