How to Recognize Malware

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How to Recognize Malware?

Due to rapid advancement in technology and the use of digital devices, the risks of cyber attacks on individuals, organizations, government, and private sectors are increasing. A cyber attack attempts to access a computer system, a group of computers, or a network infrastructure to cause harm. Electrical blackouts, military equipment failures, and national security secrets leaks are possible outcomes of cyber strikes. They can lead to the theft of valuable and sensitive information, such as medical records. They can paralyze or interrupt phone and computer networks.

Cyber risks include computer viruses, data breaches, and DoS attacks. Malware is an example of an escalating cyber threat. Malware has been used to cause disruptions, make money, conduct cyber warfare methods and much more since the early 1970s.

  • Last year, 34% of firms had malware-related security issues.
  • Following March 2020, Google found roughly 600-800 malware-infected sites weekly, compared to around 3000 infected sites between January and March.

People have a habit of using loose security terms. However, it’s critical to understand your malware categories. Understanding how different types of malware spread is essential to containing and eradicating them. This article will help you know how to recognize malware.

 

What is Malware?

Malware or malicious software is software used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or access private computer systems. Malicious software, or malware, is designed to damage or disrupt computers and computer networks.

Malware comes in various forms and often varies in sophistication, but some things are common to most types of malware. They’re usually small programs trick people into installing them on their computers. Once the computer has been infected with malware, it may be slowed down, destroyed, or made vulnerable to malicious attacks from other sources.

 Malware includes computer viruses, keyloggers, and other malicious programs that damage or disrupt computers and networks. Malware attacks can range from simple annoyances such as pop-up messages to extremely damaging programs that cause financial loss or identity theft.

 

How-to-Recognize-Malware-middleWays to Tell if You’re Infected with Malware

The best way to tell if your computer has been infected with malware is to look for specific symptoms. Here are some tips on how you can tell if your device has been affected by malicious software:

  • Slow performance: If you notice that your device is performing slower than usual, there might be a problem with malware. When malicious programs run on your PC, they can affect its performance and make everything take longer than usual. For example, opening files or programs might take longer, and web pages may not load properly.
  • Unexpected behavior changes: If anything that generally happens on your PC starts happening when it shouldn’t — or doesn’t happen when it should — then this could be a sign of malware infection. For example, if your browser opens new tabs without permission or downloads files without asking permission, these could be malware infection signs.

If you have malware on your computer, it can lead to various problems. Some malware displays pop-ups and advertisements, some steal personal information stored on your computer, and some even try to access your bank account. If you believe your system contains malware, you must use an effective anti-malware program to remove the threat.

If you experience these symptoms, you may have malware on your computer. You are in danger when the virus starts to harm your system. You need to know how to know if you have malware or if malware will keep affecting your system.

 

How Malware Gets on Your Device

Malware can get onto your device in many ways. Here are some of them.

 

1.    Malicious Websites

Hackers often create malicious websites that trick you into downloading software onto your device by appearing as legitimate sites. For example, they may create fake social media pages for popular websites like Facebook or LinkedIn, containing malware links embedded in the website code.

2.    Email Attachments

Malware is delivered by email in 94% of cases. Phishing assaults are becoming more common. To steal personally identifiable information, cyber hackers imitate trustworthy institutions. These attachments often appear as files you need to open to view their contents (such as an invoice or document). A typical example of this type of attachment is a PDF document containing an executable file hidden inside it. It automatically downloads and installs malware on your computer without knowing when you open it.

3.    Downloading Apps from Unknown Sources

If you’re downloading a file from the Internet, you must be careful where you get it from and what kind of content it contains. Ensure you only download files from reputable sources — such as official developer websites or other trusted sources — and avoid peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

4.    Not Updating Your Apps Regularly

While updating your apps on Android isn’t easy — you need to ensure that every app is compatible with the latest version of Android before doing so. It’s still important to keep up with updates to protect against new malware threats. Suppose you’re unwilling or unable to update your apps regularly. In that case, the best thing you can do is scan your device for malware once in a while using anti-virus software.

 

Effects Of Malware

Malware has become an increasingly serious threat in today’s business landscape. The bad guys are getting more innovative and creative as they develop new ways of getting into your systems. Malware can cause many problems that affect your company’s daily operation and long-term security. They could steal passwords and credit card numbers or make your computer inoperable by deleting files. In addition to these apparent problems, malware can cause company data to be lost or corrupted.

The following are some common symptoms of a malware infection:

  • Unexpected pop-ups in your browser or other applications. These are usually advertisements but can also be attempted by malicious software to trick you into installing more malware.
  • The presence of suspicious files on your computer. These may include executable files (.exe), dynamic link libraries (.dll), or scripts (.vbs). If you find any of these on your computer, it’s good to delete them immediately.
  • There are frequent crashes, program freezes, blue screens (BSODs), or other system errors. In some cases, these issues might be caused by a hardware problem, but they could also result from malware that has taken over part or all of the operating system (OS).

Conclusion

In this digital era, corporate device and network malware attacks are rising. Cybercriminals are spreading advanced variants of robust malware to infect endpoints. Not only have these attacks increased, but the level of sophistication has also improved.

Protected Harbor offers extensive protection from viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other malicious software. It also includes a firewall to prevent outside threats from compromising your computer. One of the most helpful features of this program is its real-time cloud scanning which keeps your computer safe even if you download a malicious program. In addition, you can schedule scans to make sure that your computer is always protected. With Protected Harbor, you get access to helpful 24/7 support as well. An ideal solution for such scenarios with complete protection against malware attacks. What are you waiting for? Get protected from malware today with a free IT audit.

Understanding Cyber Attacks in The Cloud

Understanding Cyber Attacks in The Cloud

In today’s world of rapidly advancing technology, the need for understanding cyber-attacks in the cloud is paramount. Cloud computing has revolutionized how we store and access data, allowing faster and more efficient workflows and collaborations. However, it has also created a new avenue for cybercriminals, who can target cloud-based systems with sophisticated attacks. As such, organizations need to understand the various types of cyber-attacks that can occur in the cloud and develop strategies to protect against them.

Welcome to another episode of Uptime with Richard Luna! We are thrilled to have you with us. We explain best practices, highlight critical issues in the current threat landscape, and provide guidance on how to keep safe and secure online. This blog will overview the different types of cyber-attacks in the cloud and discuss what organizations can do to safeguard their data and systems.

 

Types of Cyber Attacks in the Cloud

There are several types of cyber-attacks in the cloud, including Denial of Service (DoS), Data breaches, Digital extortion, Viral infections, Theft of data, and Access control attacks. Let’s take a closer look at each attack to understand better the risks involved.

  • DoS attacks occur when a hacker floods a website with so many requests that the site cannot keep up with the load and goes offline. A hacker who wants to take down a website may use a DoS attack. This type of attack can be launched against websites that are hosted in the cloud, as well as on-premise systems.
  • Data breaches occur when a hacker is able to gain access to sensitive data stored on cloud systems. A data breach can occur through various attack vectors, such as malicious code, malicious insiders, and improperly configured security systems.
  • Digital extortion involves hackers obtaining access to sensitive data and threatening to publish it on the internet or sell it to others if a ransom is not paid. While this type of attack can occur on-premise and in the cloud, it is more common in cloud environments due to the lower barriers to entry.
  • Viral infections occur when a hacker uploads malicious code to a cloud service, such as a file storage system, and others unknowingly download and distribute the code. This attack can spread quickly as others download and upload the infected files, creating a viral infection.
  • Thieves can steal data from a cloud system by hacking into the system or by tricking users into downloading malicious code or applications that steal data.
  • Access control attacks often work around or bypass access control measures to steal data or user credentials. Malicious actors can easily bypass access control by logging in as authorized users and using their resources after obtaining the latter.

 

Strategies for Protecting Against Cyber Attacks in the Cloud

Given the different types of cyber-attacks in the cloud outlined above, it is clear that organizations must employ a comprehensive security strategy when using cloud-based systems. It is important to note that no single security strategy will completely protect against cyber-attacks. It is necessary to employ a multi-layered approach that includes a combination of security tools and processes, such as the following.

  • Strong passwords are essential to any security strategy, particularly in cloud environments where accounts are shared across different organizations and individuals. Follow these password best practices to create strong, secure passwords for all cloud accounts.
  • Two-factor authentication is another critical part of any security strategy. This feature requires users to enter a password and perform an additional verification step, such as entering a PIN or scanning a unique barcode with a smartphone. Two-factor authentication provides a significant additional layer of security against cyber-attacks by requiring two forms of authentication.
  • Firewalls provide an important layer of security between an organization’s network and the internet. This centralized system can be configured to block or allow specific data packets based on their destinations and types.
  • Encryption – Organizations should use encryption for all sensitive data to prevent hackers from accessing it and can breach a system. SSL/TLS certificates are a common form of encryption used by cloud computing providers to secure data between a user’s computer and a website.
  • Data audits are essential to any security strategy, particularly in cloud environments where users’ data is stored and shared across different organizations and individuals. Make sure to conduct regular data audits to identify potential security risks and find ways to mitigate them.

 

Final Words

In conclusion, cyber-attacks in the cloud are a significant threat that organizations must be prepared to defend against. By following the above best practices, organizations can better protect against cyber-attacks in the cloud and keep sensitive data safe.

Protected Harbor offers enterprise-grade hosting, 24/7 monitoring, and high availability to keep your business online. Our data centers are U.S.-based SOC 2 certified to meet the strictest data security requirements. Our expert engineers work around the clock to keep your data safe. Our private clouds are designed to provide secure, reliable hosting of virtualized corporate data and applications. Private cloud hosting is scalable and offers high availability. It also enables data backup and recovery, as well as system redundancy.

Protected Harbor’s mission is to make hosting your business online as simple and secure as possible. Sign up now to try our services risk-free.

Third-party Vulnerabilities: Stay Protected from Software Supply Chain Security

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Third-party Vulnerabilities: Stay Protected from Software Supply Chain Security

The global economy is becoming more interconnected, making it easier for hostile actors to carry out these assaults, which take advantage of the trust businesses and their partners have in one another. Supply chain cyber-attacks are on the rise.

In the past 12 months, 45% of respondents to the 2021 Global Security Attitude Survey by cybersecurity company CrowdStrike experienced a supply chain assault. This increased from 32% of respondents in 2018, indicating that hackers are becoming more comfortable using this sophisticated cyberattack.

Attacks on the supply chain increased by 42% in the first quarter of 2021. Surprisingly, 97% of businesses have had a supply chain breach, with 93% experiencing a direct violation due to a supply chain security weakness.

If you are well-prepared, you could be positively affected by a software breach you use or have an essential service or supplier of goods fall offline for several days due to a cyberattack.

Let’s take a closer look at software supply chain security.

 

What is a Supply Chain Attack?

A supply chain attack is a type of cyberattack in which malicious actors attack a company’s supply chain, which can be as simple as stealing money from an e-commerce site or as complex as stealing intellectual property.

In some cases, hackers wait for a company to make a purchase and then try to steal information about that transaction. In other cases, hackers might try to steal money directly from the company’s bank account.

The goal of a supply chain attack is to disrupt the flow of goods from the factory to the store shelf. This can allow attackers to take advantage of the lack of visibility into their supply chains and move more quickly than companies would otherwise be able to do on their own.

 

How Do Supply Chain Attacks Work?

Supply chain attacks are not just about stealing intellectual property like trade secrets or confidential data; they also involve stealing physical assets such as manufacturing equipment or companies.

Supply chain attacks work by taking advantage of vulnerabilities within the supply chain itself. These vulnerabilities could be in the form of human error or poor security practices for the companies involved in making and shipping products.

 

Different Forms of Supply Chain AttackThird-party Vulnerabilities & Software Supply Chain Security middle

Supply chain attacks can take many forms, including firmware, hardware, and software attacks.

 

Supply Chain Attack on Software

One compromised application or piece of software is all needed for a software supply chain assault to spread malware throughout the whole network. Attackers frequently aim for the source code of an application to introduce malicious code into a reliable program or computer system.

Supply Chain Attack on Hardware

Similar to the USB keylogger we previously stated, hardware attacks rely on actual physical objects. To maximize their impact and harm, attackers will aim for a device that travels through the entire supply chain.

Supply Chain Attack on Firmware

An attack that introduces malware into a computer’s booting code can be launched instantly. The malware starts to run as soon as a computer starts up, endangering the entire system. Attacks on firmware are swift, frequently unnoticed if you’re not looking for them, and very destructive.

 

Best Practices to Counter Supply Chain Attacks

Companies can implement various strategies to combat supply chain assaults, from fixing problems with their overall cybersecurity infrastructure to ensuring endpoints are protected against intrusion.

Attacks on the supply chain can be challenging to identify and prevent because they take advantage of organizations’ confidence in their suppliers. Fortunately, there are still methods companies may take to prevent or lessen the effects of a supply chain attack.

 

Install Backup Vendors

You run a considerably more significant chance of downtime if you sell widgets and only have one supplier for a particular component needed for that widget than if you had two vendors.

For instance, most businesses would view themselves as inoperable and unable to function without their internet. If your primary ISP goes down, having a backup provider will help prevent extended downtime.

Use a Model of Zero Trust

Businesses should request that their IT department use a zero-trust approach whenever possible. This restricts the kinds of activities carried out within a network because it presumes that no user or application should be trusted by default.

Implement Security Tools

Firewalls and antivirus software are security solutions that can only sometimes stop supply chain attacks. They might be able to let you know if an attack is happening. For instance, firewalls may be able to identify and halt significant volumes of data from leaving a network, which would indicate a breach. Still, antivirus software can identify malware, such as ransomware.

Include Third-party Threats in Your Threat Intelligence Program

Vendors, suppliers, service providers, resellers, agents, channels, joint venture partners, and intermediaries like payment processors, utilities, nonprofits, subscription services, contractors, affiliates, rating agencies, governmental organizations, and trade associations are all your supply chain.

In the supply chain, businesses and applications work together to deliver products. Security measures in software or physical form could be used to achieve this. On the other hand, more high-risk endpoints result from each additional link. Make careful to double-check all integrations and risks. After all, you cannot defend that which you do not comprehend.

Impose Stringent Shadow IT Regulations

All IT equipment that a company’s security staff has not vetted is called “shadow IT.” As a result of the recent widespread acceptance of a remote-working paradigm, many employees are setting up their home offices with their own personal IT equipment.

All IT equipment should be registered, and there should be clear rules regarding what can and cannot be linked, according to IT security agencies. To identify DDoS assaults conducted through the supply chain, all authorized devices (particularly IoT devices) should be monitored.

 

Conclusion

Although attacks on the software supply chain have increased recently, they have been around for almost a decade. Software developers must follow the best practices to safeguard their build, deployment, and delivery systems.

When protecting the software supply chain, you need to be proactive. For most organizations, security isn’t something they do but rather something they have. They’re likely not setting up or implementing the right solutions and need to address security concerns in their software supply chain. And when the issues arise and are exploited, they’re forced to deal with them later.

You require a well-organized and experienced third-party risk management staff like Protected Harbor to handle supply chain vulnerabilities. The team should frequently and early involve essential suppliers. And to secure the entire supply chain, your technology team should consider blockchain and hyper ledger technologies.

To ensure that your developers and vendors always provide certain products, the best defense is one you build yourself. To delve further into this topic or for more information about software security, contact us today!

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service Provider by Design Rush

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service Provider

 

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service Provider by Design Rush

 

Today Protected Harbor was recognized as one of the Top Managed Service Providers by DesignRush, a B2B (Business to Business) marketplace for agencies. This accreditation is only given to companies that have been thoroughly researched and analyzed based on their history, vision, business model, products or services, company executives, and advisors.

“At Protected Harbor, we aim to set the standard for excellence in managed services and technology. We want to help businesses and individuals get the best-managed services, from designing their infrastructure to cybersecurity. We want to simplify the technology adoption process and allow companies to quickly make informed decisions about the future of their business technology.” – Richard Luna.

Previously, Protected Harbor was also recognized as a top cloud computing company in the US by Goodfirms.

Protected Harbor was chosen by DesignRush for demonstrating a commitment to technical excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction while serving small to mid-size businesses. DesignRush helps in assisting companies with selecting the ideal firm that can best represent their brand, comprehend their objectives and collaborate successfully with them. Protected Harbor’s 90+ Net Promoter Score for their Managed IT Services, Network and Infrastructure Services, IT Help Desk, and IT Support made the company a perfect fit.

Protected Harbor helps local, and national businesses use technology to solve their business problems and are committed to driving digital transformation for small and midsize businesses.

The company has more than 30 years of experience deploying advanced engineering solutions centered on collaboration, cloud migration, networking, cyber security, and Managed Services. With Protected Harbor, businesses and organizations can feel confident that their data is secure and protected in the cloud.

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service ProviderThe award of Top Managed Service Provider by DesignRush recognizes Protected Harbor as a top IT Company and technology consultant whose forward-thinking approach to providing managed services is changing the landscape of the business technology. With digital and technological techniques that support your company’s objectives, Protected Harbor’s IT specialists will help reduce stressful day-to-day tech issues, minimize costly downtime, and improve operational maturity.

Like many other local IT companies, Protected Harbor helps with everything from IT support, remote workforce solutions, and IT infrastructure to cloud migration, VoIP phone systems, and data center hosting. But unlike traditional MSPs, we pride ourselves on our customer’s happiness. That’s why we ensure our 24/7/365 customer service is second to none. Whenever you need us, we’re always here. Got a problem at 2:00 am? A live person will be there to answer your call and resolve the issue before sun-up.

Protected Harbor’s approach to customer service goes beyond just solving problems and closing tickets. We aim to connect on a human level, getting to know you and your business so we can function like an extension of your team. That is why over 90% of our business comes from client referrals, and we have a 98% customer retention rate. Protected Harbor is the last I.T. company you will ever have to hire. Contact our team today to experience what a true partnership, and excellence in customer service is like.[/vc_column_text]

How Does the Dobbs Ruling Affect Healthcare IT and Patient Record Security

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How Does the Dobbs Ruling Affect Healthcare IT and Patient Record Security?

The apex court of the US recently overturned Roe v. Wade(1973) and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey(1992) in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org (2022). The court returned the responsibility for controlling abortion to the individual states after concluding that the US Constitution does not provide a right to abortion.

For healthcare organizations countrywide, the seismic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision by the Supreme Court has caused upheaval and confusion regarding patient privacy issues and providers’ obligations for data protection.

If you are a healthcare provider, the Dobbs ruling will not impact your ability to use electronic health records or to communicate and share that information with other providers. This ruling only applies to patient information, not in an “active clinical setting,” Any documents transmitted outside of these settings must still be protected health information under HIPAA.

 

Question of Vulnerability of Reproductive Health after the Decision

In addition to the decision’s clear systemic ramifications, Dobbs has presented several difficulties for pharmacies and prompted concerns about adhering to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulations.

Many reproductive health proponents of HHC have expressed concerns about protecting reproductive health information after last month’s decision. This includes information saved in period tracking apps, text messages, web search history, and other places.

Modern Healthcare fears using the information to prosecute those who seek an abortion or even medical attention after a miscarriage and those who help them. Right now, HIPAA only protects the privacy of health information gathered by covered entities, such as health plans, clearinghouses for health information, and healthcare providers. Data collected by electronic devices and outside apps or organizations are not covered.

How Does the Dobbs Ruling Affect Healthcare IT middleResponse of Organizations

In the wake of the decision, several companies have taken steps to preserve and prevent using their users’ health data, particularly those about reproductive care. For example, Google announced that it would remove the location information if its search engine determined that a user visited an abortion clinic or another medical facility.

According to Planned Parenthood, a breach of protected health information has not occurred. It deleted marketing trackers from its search sites for abortions that shared data with third-party companies out of caution. It also mentioned that it offers a different appointment scheduling and confirmation tool that is, according to it, HIPAA-compliant.

Similarly, Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties organization, advised users to pay attention to privacy settings on their services, switch off location services on apps that don’t need them, and utilize encrypted messaging services to protect their electronic health data.

Some applications for tracking periods have also made efforts to reassure their users that their health information is safe and secure. As an illustration, Flo said it is creating an “anonymous mode” that will let users delete their names, email addresses, and other unique identifiers from their profiles.

 

Response of the Government

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published guidance on June 29, 2022, outlining how HIPAA constricts disclosures by covered entities and business associates to law enforcement agencies without a court order or other legal mandate.

In light of new state laws forbidding abortion, the guideline offers valuable insight into how OCR may employ HIPAA enforcement to prevent illegal disclosures of protected health information (PHI) to law enforcement personnel.

OCR makes it plain that it wants to protect the privacy of people getting abortions and other reproductive health care. According to OCR, regulations that forbid specific conduct do not authorize the sharing of Personal Health Information(PHI) concerning an individual and such prohibited behavior. Instead, all other requirements in the HIPAA Privacy Rule must be followed, and the law must expressly require such disclosure or disclosure following a legally recognized process. The guidance states that disclosure is only allowed without causing a HIPAA breach.

However, depending on the state, laws that permit criminal or civil action against

  • Someone who seeks an abortion
  • Someone who performs an abortion,
  • Someone who provides the means for an abortion may be used as the justification for revealing PHI for law enforcement purposes, and in states where relevant laws are in force, disclosures may be allowed.

Therefore, HIPAA may not offer the amount of protection against disclosure of PHI that may be inferred based on OCR’s recommendations in light of new state laws that forbid particular conduct by third parties.

To avoid unauthorized disclosure of PHI and HIPAA violations, healthcare organizations should caution their employees and providers not to conflate mandatory reporting laws with state laws that forbid abortion. They should also remind them that legal counsel should review any mandatory reporting. Otherwise, there is a chance of breaking federal or state laws requiring secrecy.

In a nutshell, OCR’s guidance reminds consumers that HIPAA protections do not apply to apps used on personal devices like smartphones that are not directly offered by a Covered Entity or its Business Associate. This covers the numerous applications that provide healthcare-related services but are not offered by Covered Entities, such as period trackers.

However, disclosures needed by law or for law enforcement purposes may apply to Covered Entities and their Business Associates. Additionally, HIPAA does not apply to cell phone service providers, and HIPAA generally does not protect communications made using a mobile device, including calls, messages, and emails. Due to these factors, it will be crucial for people to decide whether and how to communicate with providers electronically for tasks like scheduling appointments.

If privacy is an issue, people should also limit the amount of personal information shared through mobile devices, including apps that might offer health-related services but are not provided through Covered Entities.

 

Final Words

Regulations concerning data privacy will continue to change in the wake of the Dobbs ruling. Legal counsel should be consulted before pharmaceutical shops or businesses disclose PHI to stay current on the legal climate and guidelines. Reproductive health information will remain a significant concern for patients and application users.

The healthcare industry and application developers should consider updating their online privacy policies to address potential patient and user privacy concerns. Law enforcement agencies should not overstate the protections provided under HIPAA and other state privacy laws against disclosing health information.

With a vision to make the world a healthier place, Protected Harbor’s products are designed to secure and protect the health information of patients and providers in the hospital and clinical environments.

We offer tailored solutions to protect healthcare organizations against current and future cyber threats. Our offerings include network security, endpoint protection, remote monitoring and management, and other cybersecurity services. We have a team of certified engineers who are experts in their fields. A continuous learning and improvement culture helps us stay updated with evolving technological trends and best practices. We are focused on improving the health and wellness of our customers and their customers, which we accomplish by building trust, reliability, and transparency in every aspect of our service.

We are working to protect millions of Americans’ health information and critical data. Contact us today for a free security risk assessment.

How can Schools Increase Security to Protect Private Student Records

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How can Schools Increase Security to Protect Private Student Records?

Schools handle numerous sensitive pieces of information about students and their families. Administrators must actively secure the data from unlawful disclosure by following laws, regulations, and ethical commitments.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which gives kids control over their educational data, is one of the statutes that the U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to upholding to protect students’ privacy. Schools, faculty, and employees must follow regulations governing internet safety and the protection of student data.

Data on students can easily be accessed thanks to technology. All student data must be strictly confidential to safeguard students’ rights, security, and dignity. Federal and state laws and regulations may have requirements governing the kinds of security measures that must be implemented concerning this data, but they might not list specific actions.

Unluckily, not all school districts might offer a more thorough analysis of those rules and regulations. As a result, particular precautions must be taken when protecting student data.

 

What is Student Data Privacy?

Student Data Privacy is a term used to describe the protection of student data, which can be anything from academic records to health information.

It aims to ensure that only authorized parties have access to student data and that it is used for the purpose for which it was collected.

State and federal governments enforce Student Data Privacy laws. The U.S. Department of Education has policies regarding student data privacy, and each state has its regulations.

 

Why is Student Privacy Important for Schools?

A school’s policy on student privacy should include information about what can and cannot be recorded, how often cameras will be used, and how long data will be stored. Schools should also provide students with clear information about exercising their rights under the law when school officials or third parties violate their privacy.

Students who feel their privacy has been violated should have an avenue for recourse available to them through their school’s disciplinary process.

Because there are ethical and legal limitations on the acquisition, use, distribution, and treatment of student data, protecting student privacy is crucial. Press the Tab to write more…

  • Make tailored adverts or email scam contact lists.
  • Find the emails and other contact details of your family members.
  • Grade adjustment for a student
  • View private information that should be kept confidential, including prescription medicines and learning and physical problems

Therefore, protecting student privacy is essential to averting issues like these.

 

Security Practices to Protect Private Student Records Middle7 Security Practices to Protect Private Student Records

Let’s look at some strategies schools can do to safeguard students’ privacy better.

 

1.    Purge Unnecessary Student Records

Purge unnecessary student records from your system so hackers cannot access these accounts. This is important because if hackers manage to break into your network and steal data from student accounts, there is no way for you to know who accessed it or for what purpose.

 

2.    Establish Transparency with Laws and Guidelines

Another thing that schools can do is establish transparency with laws and guidelines. These rules vary from state to state but often include policies for how long students’ records can be kept and what they can be used for after graduating high school or moving away from their home state.

This type of transparency will help ensure that students’ rights are being protected and help clarify terminology when discussing matters with parents or teachers.

 

3.    Choose Who can Access the Data

Yes, in daily life, your data must be protected, but what would happen if you had an electrical problem, perhaps in the thick of an emergency? Do you have access to the files and registers of every student?

You can purchase an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit, allowing you to continue working or accessing your files while on the premises. Alternatively, you might want to think about how to go outside the building to access your records.

 

4.    Encrypt Data

Likely, schools will still need to keep some sensitive information about children and their parents after completing minimization and cleansing efforts. Careful security should be maintained for those records using a combination of technical and administrative safeguards.

Adopting robust encryption technology to safeguard the information that is either at rest saved on a server or device or in transit, being transferred over a network, is the most significant technical control schools can apply to information. Schools should recognize equipment that houses sensitive data and implement encryption at the file and disc levels.

 

5.    Train Your Staff

Accessing student data comes with much responsibility. A school system cannot rely on the fact that staff workers always know how to handle this information in specific ways. Employees must understand how to access information safely, how to use a breach reporting system, and what to do in the event of a breach.

 

6.    Carefully Manage Data

You ought to be aware of the information that each individual or company has access to. If you handle the data correctly, you can ensure that it is treated correctly. Publishers of textbooks, for instance, do not require student addresses or phone numbers.

The precise forms of data that are required must be synchronized. Automated bi-directional data sharing is necessary for many contemporary learning management systems and can give you finer control over the data you send.

 

7.    Create a Student Data Policy

Make a plan to regularly assess the organization’s data privacy requirements since data privacy is a never-ending process. Make sure the schedule is consistently updated. Learn the fundamentals of the data gathering, storage, and sharing procedures used by your company first.

Create procedures for handling any data produced by the Internet of Things gadgets. There are more gadgets, which means there are more online targets. Preventive actions can be helpful, such as limiting bandwidth access and ensuring that devices are correctly patched and segmented.

 

Conclusion

Schools must use discretion and prudence to prevent inappropriate use of student and family information. Several basic security procedures can help educational institutions maintain public trust.

As such, a college or university must follow specific federal and state laws when handling student information. However, these laws can be tricky, especially when sensitively handling student information. For instance, a school may be required to follow specific privacy laws like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when handling student information. However, there are particular ways you can work with a school to help ensure that their student information is dealt with in a manner that complies with FERPA laws. One way to do this is to work with a cybersecurity provider expert to protect student records.

Employing a professional IT solution, such as Protected Harbor, is the best way to handle your data digitally, monitor it, and safeguard student privacy. Rated by Goodfirms as the top cybersecurity and cloud service providers in the US, we have been protecting data for all industries, including schools, for the last two decades.

From anti-malware protection, ransomware protection, and identity and access management to threat detection and response, we have you covered. Our 24×7 tech team and proactive monitoring redefine security. Contact us today to get a free cybersecurity audit.

Why do Cyber-attacks Occur?

Why do Cyber-attacks Occur?

As the digital world continues to grow, so do cyber threats. Cyber-attack is on the rise, and businesses of all sizes are becoming increasingly aware of the risk of a cyber-attack. Whether operating in a small business or managing enterprise IT systems, it’s essential to understand why cyber-attacks occur and how you can protect your organization from them. To achieve optimal cybersecurity and reduce risk from cyber-attack, businesses need to understand their threat level and know how attackers might infiltrate their systems. This article will explain why cyber-attack occur and what you can do as an individual or business owner to prevent them from happening again.

We are excited to welcome you to another video in the series Uptime with Richard Luna. We focus on important topics in today’s threat landscape, discuss best practices, and offer advice on staying safe and secure online. Today’s video will discuss cybersecurity, how cyber-attacks occur, and how to protect yourself against these attacks. Stay tuned.

 

What is a Cyber-attack?

A cyber-attack is any attempt to breach the defenses of a computer system. It’s a broad term describing malicious activity toward an organization’s network and data. A cyber-attack can be a denial-of-service attack, ransomware attack, phishing attack, or any other malicious activity. These types of attacks can cause damage to data and systems and can disrupt or shut down a business entirely. To protect your organization, it’s important to understand why cyber-attack occur and how to prevent them from happening again.

 

Why do Cyber-attacks Occur?

There are multiple reasons why cyber-attack occur. They can be carried out by curious teenagers, state-sponsored hackers, or cybercriminals. All of these scenarios pose serious threats to businesses of all sizes. Cyber-attacks occur in three ways:

  1. Theft of Information – Cybercriminals may want to steal your valuable information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or other sensitive data.
  2. Damage to Systems – Hackers might want to damage your systems by deleting information, corrupting files, or shutting down your systems.
  3. Extortion – If hackers have taken your systems hostage, they might demand ransom in exchange for releasing them.

 

Why Are Cyber-attacks So Successful?

There are a few reasons why cyber-attacks are so successful. First, it’s hard to identify an attack in real time. It’s difficult to know if your systems are under attack because it happens outside your network.  Another reason why cyber-attacks are so successful is that it’s hard to predict who will be targeted next. Economies of scale have made developing and executing large-scale cyber-attack more economically viable.

 

How to Protect Your Organization from Cyber-attacks?

Implementing a solid cybersecurity plan is the best way to protect your organization from cyber-attack. This includes conducting thorough risk assessments, identifying vulnerabilities in your systems, and implementing best practices for your employees.

Conduct a Risk Assessment – Before implementing a cybersecurity plan, you must perform a thorough risk assessment. This involves identifying your organization’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Identify Vulnerabilities- After identifying your organization’s weaknesses, you can determine where you’re most vulnerable. Common vulnerabilities include being attacked online, having unsecured devices on your network, or being hacked through a mobile app.

Implement Best Practices – Once you’ve identified your vulnerabilities, you can implement best practices. For example, you can use two-factor authentication on your online accounts or install antivirus software on your computers.

 

Final Words

Whether you’re operating in a small business or managing enterprise IT systems, it’s important to understand why cyber-attacks occur and how you can protect your organization from them.

With a partner like Protected Harbor on your side, you can rest assured that your business is protected against any threat. Our solid cybersecurity plans are flexible enough to accommodate changes in the risk environment and ever-evolving threats. Therefore, partnering with a company that offers a customized cybersecurity solution is important.

Contact our expert today to receive a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that keeps your company safe.

Can I Recover Lost Data from an Android

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Can I Recover Lost Data from an Android?

We all typically have important data stored on our computers and smartphones. Most of us store that data locally, meaning you could lose everything if something were to happen to your computer or phone.

So, have you ever considered what would happen if all of your data was lost and you didn’t have a backup? What would you do?

Data loss is a big annoyance that wreaks havoc on the day-to-day operations of any information-based company. When essential data and documents go missing, your company will have to spend time and resources recreating or retrieving these files to fill the gaps left by the loss. While hard copies of information may be found, they may not be as up-to-date as their lost digital counterparts.

If you want to know how to recover lost data from your Android device without any backup, you’ve come to the right place.

 

Reasons for Data Loss

Data loss is a common issue when it comes to Android devices. Nothing can ensure the safety of your digital assets, no matter how diligent you are. Data loss can happen in various ways.

Data loss can be minor or catastrophic, depending on what was lost. Even in the best-case scenario, you’ll have to devote time and money to recover it during forensic data analysis.

The main reason behind the data loss is that people are not backing up their important files. Many reasons can cause data loss from Android devices. Some of them are listed below:

  • Accidental deletion: Your files may get deleted accidentally when you press the delete button on your keyboard or by pressing the delete button on your device.
  • Virus attack: If you have an infected device, it may result in data loss. It also includes damage to files due to a virus attack.
  • Hard Reset: If you want to reset or clear all data from your android phone, you will lose all the app data and settings. So, in this case, there is no other way to recover deleted files from an external source like a computer or cloud storage.
  • SD card malfunctioning: If your SD card gets damaged or corrupted, it can cause data loss from your device and laptops or PCs that use SD cards for storage purposes.
  • Corruption of software: Data can be lost due to software crashes that request data. If the software fails while updating several files, some files may fail to save or update, resulting in their destruction.
  • Power Failures: Sudden power outages may result in data loss by damaging hardware and causing the operating system to malfunction. Sometimes, computers cannot reboot, so they can’t access data. Suddenly increasing voltage (usually) can lead to data loss and damage to computer hardware.
  • Damaged Device: If your android device gets damaged due to water damage or any other reason, all the data on it will be lost because of hardware failures.

 

Recovering Lost Data Without Any Backup

Here are some options for recovering data from your Android device, regardless of how or why it was deleted.

 

Can-I-Recover-Lost-Data-from-an-Android middleRecovering Lost Data Using CMD

When you lose your data, the first thing you should do is try to find it on your device again. If you have not synced the device with Google Drive or another cloud service, you can use the CMD to locate it and lock it remotely.

Command Prompt (CMD) is a command-line interpreter built into Windows. It’s a powerful tool for troubleshooting and system administration, but it can also be used to recover lost files.

This method can only work if the battery has not been completely discharged or the phone has not been reset after losing the data. If these conditions are met, it’s worth trying this method before going ahead with other options.’

 

Get Back Data Directly from the Recycle Bin

If you have deleted a video or image file, it will be saved in the Recycle Bin. You can quickly get back such files using this method.

Steps:

1) Go to Settings> Storage & USB.

2) Tap on Internal Storage or SD Card, depending on where you want to look for your Recycle Bin.

3) You will see two options: ‘ Recycle Bin’ and ‘Clear Data. Tap on Clear Data to delete all data from that folder.

4) Go back to the previous page by tapping the Home button and then tap on the Recycle Bin option again. When you open the folder, all deleted files will be displayed there, along with other files that were not deleted earlier.

 

Deep Scan

It would help if you first tried to connect your phone to a computer and open its storage location through a file explorer. If you find the deleted data there, it’s easy to restore it by copying or moving the files to your computer. If not, try performing a deep scan on your phone using third-party software.

 

Use Recovery Software

To recover your lost data, you can use the Android Data Recovery tool, which can help you easily recover all types of data from your Android quickly.

Data recovery software is designed to recover lost files from storage devices like hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, etc. The main advantage of this software is that it can recover files from formatted drives. This means that if you have accidentally formatted your hard drive or memory card, then it will still be able to retrieve all the lost files from them.

There are many options available in the market. Still, before buying, anyone makes sure that it supports all the latest versions of android devices and has a sound customer support system.

 

Final Verdict

Every user has experienced data loss in a variety of ways. When you accidentally delete pictures or videos from your device’s storage or your essential company data gets lost, you feel like it’s the end of the world. But there’s no need to worry because you can get all your data back if you follow our best practices.

Data safety and security have become a top priority for every company within the fast-paced business world where everything is done digitally. With data storage, recovery, and backup solutions from Protected Harbor, you can be assured your data is secure. Our mobile security keeps your employees connected and productive while protecting sensitive data and company assets. Network security ensures reliable, high-speed connections for your employees and guests while safeguarding your network from outside threats. Data security and isolated backups protect your organization’s most critical asset — its data — from internal and external threats and fast recovery to keep your business up and running.

With the right approach, you can retrieve your lost data.

Contact our data experts today to learn about data safety and security procedures and how we keep your data backed up and always accessible in an emergency.

Advantages of Partnering with Managed Services Providers

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Advantages of Partnering with Managed Services Providers

In today’s digital world, it is almost impossible for big enterprises to small and medium-sized businesses to function without technology. With so many different products and service offerings available, most companies have difficulty keeping up with the demand. As a result, many business owners are partnering with managed services providers to take some of the load off their shoulders.

These professionals will handle all technology-related administrative tasks and help you avoid costly IT repairs or system failures.

The Protected Harbor Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Advantage program is now available. It is designed to assist your company’s growth by accelerating the time to market, expanding your clientele, and increasing profitability.

This blog post will share some advice on partnering with MSPs for your company and what to watch out for when signing contracts or service-level agreements.

 

What is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that offers a wide range of IT services. There are many different types of managed services. Still, they all have a few things in common: – Service Level Agreement (SLA): This contract outlines the services provided, response times, and any penalties if the company fails to meet those goals.

Customized Plans: Some MSPs will have standardized plans, but most will work with you to create a customized plan that fits your needs and budget.

24/7 Support: All MSPs will provide 24/7 support for their clients. This means you can call them whenever you have a problem, even at 2 AM.

Backup and Disaster Recovery: It’s crucial to have a backup system in place, so you don’t lose any data if your system fails. A managed service provider will have a backup plan with regular tests.

Cybersecurity: With the rise in cyber-attacks, getting day-to-day management services or standard information technology services is not enough. Therefore, you must partner with MSP, which provides all services including cybersecurity.

 

How Can MSPs Help Your Company?

The goal of an MSP is to help you reduce IT costs, improve productivity and reliability, and increase uptime. To achieve those goals, the managed service provider will need to look at your current technology infrastructure and offer suggestions for improving it.

Most MSPs will offer a wide variety of services including networking, infrastructure managementdata security, cloud computing, voice and communications, disaster recovery and business continuity, endpoint management, remote monitoring and management, data management, and application management.

 

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Important Questions to Ask Before Signing Any Contract

Before signing any contract, you must ensure that the MSP is a good fit for your company. Here are a few questions when vetting managed services providers: – Is the MSP a good fit for my company? – What is the MSP’s track record? – How does the MSP protect my data? – What are the MSP’s rates and terms? – How will the MSP and my team work together? – Are there any hidden costs associated with the MSP? – How does the MSP handle customer service? – What are the MSP’s cancellation procedures?

 

Reasons to Partner With Us

Extending Your Services Portfolio

 

Multi-tenant, cloud-based solutions that are simple to scale and deploy can be used to improve current services and develop new ones.

A Track Record With Merit

 

Protected Harbor is recognized by industry analysts like Goodfirms and other top companies for its data resilience and performance.

The Best Collaborations

 

The tech platforms used by clients and service providers, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, SAP, and Google, are supported by us.

 

 

 

Simplifying Advanced Data Systems

 

Our selection of Intelligent Data Services allows you to design data protection procedures for your clients that significantly impact outcomes. You can be confident in delivering services powered by Protected Harbor, from guaranteeing data and application availability to preventing cyber risks and ensuring effective business continuity.

Customize Your Customer Data

 

You can determine how to manage client data with choices like innovative deployment and contactless capabilities.

Adaptable Consumption Models For A Range Of Business Requirements

The architecture of Protected Harbor Services makes it simple to use and lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO). Options for utility subscription contracts increase flexibility and savings.

 

As you can see, partnering with a managed services provider can save your company a lot of money and headaches. The best MSPs, like Protected Harbor, will help you manage your technology infrastructure, reduce your costs, and improve the uptime of your systems. At the same time, you will have the flexibility to handle projects outside the managed services scope.

Protected Harbor engineers are highly skilled specialists capable of application migration, development, and continuing maintenance services. If you’d like to partner with us for your managed services and cybersecurity needs, this is the right time. Contact us today for a free IT Audit and learn how our partner advantage benefits you.

Should I Hire an IT Guy? Should I Hire an MSP?

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Should I Hire an IT Guy? Should I Hire an MSP?

IT guys and MSPs are popping up everywhere these days. From your local hardware store to the big box retailers, there’s no shortage of places you can find a helpful tech or an experienced service provider (or both!). Even so, that doesn’t mean they’re all equally dependable. With that in mind, here are some pros and cons to hiring IT guys and MSPs regarding your company’s IT needs.

 

Why Hire a Managed IT Service Provider?

Many companies don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to managing their IT needs. They often don’t have a dedicated team working on their technology and flounder in an overwhelmed and unproductive environment.

A managed IT service provider can help you get a handle on your technology and avoid these pitfalls. They may be able to provide solutions that are tailored to your specific needs. With an MSP, you can be sure you’re getting a full-service approach that includes expert advice, total control over all aspects of your technology, and a consistent level of service.

The managed IT service provider can handle more complicated IT tasks like backup and disaster recovery methods, network administration, cybersecurity procedures, data management services, and server management, to mention a few. In other words, think of your internal IT department as your daily IT support provider.

 

Pros and Cons When Hiring an IT Guy or MSP

Like any other business decision, there are pros and cons to hiring an IT guy or an MSP.

Hiring an IT Guy

Pros:

•       An IT guy can assist you with hardware configuration and setup.

•       An IT guy will be available to your business during peak business hours.

·        A good IT person should be able to assist your business and staff members with desktop repair, virus removal, and software issues.

Cons:

• Hiring a single IT specialist with a salary, health insurance, and other perks may be expensive depending on experience and specialty.

• It can be too much work for one individual to be the network manager, infrastructure planner, and IT support person for your IT department.

• The talents of your in-house IT specialist might only be dependent on the work they perform daily; they might not be as quick to adopt new technology.

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Hiring an MSP

Pros:

•       Managed service providers have access to cutting-edge equipment. Your MSP should be able to support you with workstations, networks, servers, software, and hardware, regardless of the industry you’re in.

•       The most crucial aspect of any organization, continuity, should be protected by your managed IT service provider. MSPs should be able to guarantee that your system is up and operating as much as possible by reducing the risk of downtime.

•       You have access to a group of committed IT experts who work on what they do for at least eight to nine hours daily.

•       Some remote IT support services are accessible around-the-clock.

•       Managed services are available with various services and expertise to pick from, whether in NYC or any other major city.

•       You should receive an SLA (Service Level Agreement) from your managed service provider that outlines the results you anticipate from your collaboration.

•       Managed service consultants bill firms with set monthly fees to help them better control their spending.

Cons:

•       Location is a crucial factor to consider when picking an MSP. We advise businesses to employ MSPs in the region or, at the very least, in the same city. When anything goes wrong on-site and companies have to wait for the MSP to send an IT specialist to assist fix it, the waiting game is a major drawback of joining a managed IT services provider.

•       Service level agreements (SLAs) allow MSPs to function based on the signed contracts. Expect to pay extra fees if your contract doesn’t cover something.

 

Why do you Need a Dedicated IT Team?

You’ll likely need to bring on a dedicated IT team if hiring an IT guy or an MSP. This is because most managed IT service providers will only hire entry-level IT staff. You may consider bringing a CIO or a senior IT executive who can manage other employees.

As an IT department takes shape, you may consider hiring experienced IT executives to oversee specific aspects of your technology. For instance, if your company has a significant revenue stream that relies on technology, you may want to hire someone to manage the revenue stream.

 

Conclusion

Managed IT services are here to stay. But remember that while they are cost-effective and can help your business, they are not a silver bullet. In other words, they’re a great choice to supplement your in-house IT team if you have one.

The best course of action is to understand your business thoroughly. How invested you are in your money’s capabilities, demands, and functions will determine how much you can get out of it. Whether it’s a single IT professional or a team of managed service providers, what counts is that your needs are appropriately handled.

While most MSPs focus on outsourcing technical tasks, Protected Harbor is different. It provides managed security services (MSS) to businesses, offering proactive monitoring of physical and cyber assets. Protected Harbor is the right choice if you are looking for a managed service provider that can grow with your company as it scales.

We work with businesses at all stages, from startups to enterprises. If you need ongoing assistance with managing your IT infrastructure or if you want to outsource a specific task like software development, we can help. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop for all your technology needs.

Contact us today for a more hands-off approach to your IT and security needs. Get a free IT Audit here.