Category: Tech News

9 Tips on How to Share Files Safely and Efficiently

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9 Tips on How to Share Files Safely and Efficiently

How to share files safely is a fundamental question for anyone whose job requires file sharing. The internet is a common source of many scams, viruses, and general spam activities. The only way to protect yourself from these threats is by sharing files with the right people and services. This can be difficult as many resources claim they can make your file sharing experience safer while protecting your privacy.

They all look pretty good at first glance, but none are 100% secure.

Let’s take a look into some file sharing risks and the safest ways to mitigate them so you will experience fewer problems in the future.

 

Risks Involved with File Sharing

The risks involved with file-sharing are many and varied. The following are some of the more common risks:

Release of Sensitive Data

The most common risk regarding file sharing is that sensitive information can be released from your network. This includes personal information, such as financial data, credit card numbers, and social security numbers, and business-sensitive information, such as sales figures and customer lists. If a user has access to this information, they can use it to commit fraud or identity theft.

Installation of Malicious Software

The file-sharing site you use may have an infected program or script on its servers, which could allow hackers to steal your personal information and infect your computer with malware.

Susceptibility to Attacks

When you share files over the internet, you open yourself up to attack by other users on the same network as you. These attacks could include viruses or worms that will infiltrate your computer and cause damage, also known as “malware.” If malware is installed on your computer, hackers can then use it to steal data from your computer or even take control of it entirely!

Hacking Into Computers Remotely

A hacker who gains access to another person’s computer through file-sharing could then use the same method to gain access to their computer, which could give him access to any passwords needed for other computers on the network or even access valuable financial information such as credit card numbers or banking details.

 

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Sharing files online may seem harmless, but it is not always safe. Someone who sees your file could steal your identity or even hack your computer. Here are some tips on how to share files safely:

1.    Keep Backups

Always keep backups of all your files and folders. You never know when they might be needed in the future. You should also ensure they’re backed up with an external drive or computer that can be accessed from multiple places.

2.    Avoid Emails

To be safe when sharing files, avoid sending sensitive files via email. Email is an insecure way to share data because there’s no way to guarantee that the recipient won’t forward your message to another person or group of people. If someone forwards your email to several other people, those people could potentially access the shared file.

3.    Double-Check Inbox Emails

When you receive an email with a file attached, double-check the sender’s email address before opening it. You should also ensure that it’s from someone you know and trust. If it’s not from someone you know, don’t open the message and delete it instead. This will prevent the person who sent you the email from accessing your computer without permission.

4.    Encrypt with Passwords

Encrypting your files with a password will make them more secure because only the person with access to that password can view or access those files. If someone steals your password (or if someone hacks into your computer and gets hold of it), they won’t be able to view any of your encrypted files unless they have access to your password!

5.    Refrain from Clicking Links

Refrain from clicking links that you are not entirely sure of. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so avoid clicking on the links of unknown websites. If you click a link that doesn’t take you to the website you were expecting, then report it immediately to the site administrator.

6.    Change Passwords Often

Always change your passwords regularly, especially if they are used for multiple accounts on different websites. It would be best if you change your passwords every few weeks or months, depending on how often you use them. This is also a good practice as a general rule of thumb because it ensures that no one else will have access to your account. Therefore, there will be no unauthorized access to any information stored within it.

7.    Update Your Security Software

If you use any software or browser, ensure that these programs are up to date before using them for anything meaningful like work or school applications. This way, the program will run faster and more efficiently, which means you will get better results in less time.

8.    Avoid USB Drivers

If someone has tried to access your computer remotely or installed malware, they can access all your files as soon as they connect the device to the computer. This is called an “evil maid attack” because it allows hackers to gain access to a computer without physical access.

9.    Use Secure Connection

When working with sensitive information such as financial or personal data, it is vital to ensure that you use a secure connection when sending emails or copying files from one computer to another. This will help prevent hackers from gaining access to your information and make it more difficult for them to steal it from your computer.

 

Final Words

One of the most crucial procedures in many workplaces is probably file sharing. However, file sharing can also result in malware and viruses that may harm a network, cause irreversible file loss, or jeopardize sensitive data.

The potential hazards involved in this system can be significantly reduced by sharing files securely.

The company is safer from outside threats by securing its data transfer from one employee to another. With a secure file transfer solution from Protected Harbor, employees can focus more on their daily tasks and less on data security. Our solution is ready for both an on-premises or cloud platform. With IP Reputation and anti-bot technology, we offer robust security against data breaches, malware, and DDoS attacks. With this solution, you can set the rules and restrictions for each employee to ensure they can only access the necessary files at the correct time. The team of experts at Protected Harbor always strive to stay updated with the current happenings in the world of cybersecurity. This enables us to provide the latest solutions to keep our clients secure.

We also scan your data, identifying sensitive information and removing it before it leaves your network to reduce the risk of a data breach. With the help of this solution, you can improve the security of your data, reduce operational costs, and avoid risks related to data loss.

Contact us today, get a free IT Audit, and share files securely and effortlessly.

The Most Common SMB Cybersecurity Threats

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The Most Common SMB Cybersecurity Threats And How to Protect Your Business

Even though cyberattacks on small and medium-sized enterprises don’t always make news, they pose a real threat to many professionals’ lives, their jobs, and the clients they represent. Because small and medium-sized businesses may lack the backup and mitigation capabilities of some of the more prominent players, SMB cyberattacks frequently impact them.

A new report from the National Small Business Association (NSBA) finds that small businesses are the most likely to be targeted by cybercriminals. The study, which was conducted in partnership with Norton by Symantec, found that small businesses make up 99% of all companies and are responsible for nearly half of all jobs in the United States.

 

Common SMB Cybersecurity Threats and Their Prevention

The research revealed that the most common SMB cybersecurity threats include social engineering, physical access to networks and data, malware (DDOS), phishing, ransomware, etc. Let’s discuss this in detail!

 

DDOS

A distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack overwhelms your network’s capacity. The United States targeted about 35% of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in 2021. With slightly under 20% of attacks, the United Kingdom came in second and China third. The most common target is the computer and internet sector.

Using numerous compromised computer systems as sources of attack traffic, DDoS attacks are practical. Computers and other networked resources, like IoT devices, can be exploited by machines.

When viewed from a distance, a DDoS assault resembles unexpected traffic congestion that blocks the roadway and keeps ordinary traffic from reaching its destination.

How to Prevent DDOS

It is not enough to choose a good hosting provider; you also need to ensure that your website is configured correctly so that it will not be susceptible to a DDoS attack. You should use an effective Content Delivery Network (CDN) if possible because CDNs can help reduce the load on servers operated by your website and thus reduce the stress placed on them during an attack.

 

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks can also come through social engineering because they use spam messages that look authentic but contain links or attachments that look like something else. Financial institutions targeted 23.6% of all phishing attacks during the first quarter of 2022.

These attacks can be hazardous for small businesses because their employees may not know how to recognize fake emails from their bosses or co-workers.

How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?

The simplest way to protect yourself from phishing attacks is to educate your people on how to respond if they encounter one. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t click on links in emails that aren’t from someone you know.
  • Never enter personal information into forms in emails
  • Don’t open attachments unless they come from someone you know and trust.

Malware

Malware is malicious software that can infiltrate a network, damage files, steal sensitive information, and encrypt data. It can spread through email attachments or links in social media posts. The professional sector was the first worldwide industry affected by malware assaults between November 2020 and October 2021. There were 1,234 malware incidences in the industry throughout the measurement period. With 775 such events, the information sector was in second place.

How to Prevent Malware?

  • The good news is that there are several ways to protect yourself against malware attacks.
  • Use antivirus software
  • Keep your operating system up-to-date
  • Use antivirus software with real-time protection
  • Perform regular backups

 

Ransomware

In ransomware, data on a victim’s computer or mobile device is encrypted, and the victim is demanded to pay to have it decrypted. Ransomware affected 68.5% of businesses in 2021. This was the highest figure reported thus far and increased from the prior three years. Each year, more than half of all survey respondents said their employer had fallen victim to ransomware.

To release the data, cybercriminals demand ransom money from their victims. A vigilant eye and security software are advised to guard against ransomware infection. Following an illness, malware victims have three options: either they can pay the ransom, attempt to delete the software, or restart the device. Extortion Trojans use the Remote Desktop Protocol, phishing emails, and software flaws as attack vectors.

How to Prevent Ransomware?

A ransomware infection can’t be removed by turning off one computer and switching to another due to encryption. Getting your data back requires either recovering from a backup or paying the attackers. A malware infection can take anywhere from days (if it’s relatively simple) to weeks (if it’s more complicated).

 

Viruses

A security breach or loophole allows viruses to enter the equipment. Viruses come in various forms and are designed to damage your electronics. Computer viruses can impede computer performance, destroy or eliminate files, and impair programs. A virus can be acquired in several ways, including file sharing, corrupt emails, visiting malicious websites, and downloading destructive software. An increase in pop-up windows, unauthorized password changes to your account, destroyed files, and a slowdown in your network speed indicates that you have a virus on your computer.

How to Prevent Common Viruses?

There are many ways to protect from viruses attacks, but here are some of the most important ones:

  • Don’t open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Use antivirus software regularly. Antivirus software protects computers from viruses.

The Most Common SMB Cybersecurity Threats And How to Protect Your Business middleSQL injection

Relational databases can be accessed using the standard language known as SQL or Structured Query Language. Databases are used to store user information like usernames and passwords in apps and other forms of programming. Additionally, databases are frequently the most efficient and safe way to store various types of data, such as private bank account information and public blog postings and comments.

SQL queries frequently employ parameters to send data from users into a secure database or the other way around. Attackers can leverage the points where your app talks with a database using a SQL argument to access private data and other secured locations if the values in those user-supplied SQL arguments aren’t protected by sanitizing or prepared statements.

How to Prevent SQL Injection?

To prevent SQL injections, Use parameterized queries. Parameterized queries allow you to specify what parameters will be used in the question and what values will be permitted for each parameter. This prevents hackers from entering malicious data into your application.

 

Conclusion

Unfortunately, you can’t avoid cyber threats. But you can protect your business from them by investing in cybersecurity solutions.

Even though small businesses don’t have the same resources as larger enterprises, they can still protect themselves from cyber threats. You can start with basic security measures, such as installing antivirus software, updating your computer’s operating system, and using strong passwords. Additionally, you should consider investing in a cybersecurity solution.

Choosing the right cybersecurity service provider is just as important as the other steps your company takes to protect its data.

Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t have the resources to hire a full-time staff to manage their cybersecurity. That’s where a managed service provider like Protected Harbor comes in. Protected Harbor protects your data against cyber threats, including malware, ransomware, and data leaks. In addition, you have a team of experts at your side.

Our main focus is on risk reduction and breach prevention, so you can expect a lot of attention to detail regarding accounting monitoring and protection against malware, viruses, phishing scams, and other threats. The service also strongly focuses on data privacy, a highly sought-after feature among customers who work with sensitive data.

Get a free cybersecurity assessment, network penetration testing and secure your business today. Contact us today.

How Remote Patient Monitoring Creates Security Threats

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How Remote Patient Monitoring Creates Security Threats

Securing data flow is essential for new technologies in a world of cybercrime and security. The potential value of patient data to criminals is significant in today’s healthcare industries.

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, remote patient monitoring was widespread. As clinicians increasingly use technology to support patients’ health and wellness and changes to Medicare CPT codes in 2020, RPM has grown into one of the most lucrative Medicare care management programs.

Between 2015 and 2022, the remote patient monitoring market’s CAGR is anticipated to increase by 13%. However, the quick adoption of telehealth is not without security threats. Security issues must be carefully evaluated, even though they may not outweigh telehealth’s enormous advantages to patients and clinicians.

 

What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?

Patient monitoring is placing a device on an individual’s body to monitor their vital signs and diagnose or treat medical conditions.

Remote patient monitoring enables patients to be monitored in a remote location away from the hospital, clinic, or another healthcare facility. This can be done using various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Remote patient monitoring is becoming more popular as it provides the following:

  • Increased convenience for the patient
  • Reduced stress on the healthcare team by allowing them to focus on other aspects of treatment rather than dealing with monitoring equipment
  • Improved patient outcomes with fewer visits to the hospital emergency room

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Examples of Remote Patient Monitoring Technology

RPM technology can include everything from mobile medical equipment to websites that let users enter their data. Several instances include:

  • People living with Diabetes can use glucose meters.
  • Blood pressure or heart rate monitoring.
  • Remote monitoring and treatment for infertility
  • Drug abuse patients may benefit from at-home exams to help them stay accountable and on track with their objectives.
  • Programs for tracking diet or calorie intake.

Security Threats to Remote Patient Monitoring

Here are major security threats to remote patient monitoring:

Credential Escalation

Credential escalation is one of the most common threats to remote patient monitoring. This is because it allows attackers to access devices and systems they would not otherwise have access to, like networked printers and medical devices. It also allows attackers to steal data or turn off your monitoring system.

Insecure Ecosystem Interfaces

Many systems that support remote patient monitoring have an interface that allows patients and doctors to control them. These interfaces often use web technology to interact with their users. Still, they also have access to other systems connected via different protocols like UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) or RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). These protocols are designed for local networks; they cannot be used on a public network without some proxy.

Phishing attacks

Phishing is a social engineering method involving sending an email or text message to an unsuspecting user, pretending to be from the bank or other company they frequent.

Many remote patient monitoring systems have a single point of failure. The system administrator is responsible for ensuring that the backup system is functioning correctly and that it’s up to date with any security patches.

If the system fails, an attacker can take over your RPM system. This can be done by sending out phony emails or fake phone calls, tricking you into clicking on malicious links in those emails or calls. Once inside the network, an attacker could access sensitive information about patients and their medical records.

Malicious Software

All the patient monitoring devices used in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities have been susceptible to malicious software attacks. The most common cause for this is outdated software versions that do not provide adequate protection from hackers or cybercriminals.

These devices are still vulnerable because they do not have enough security measures to protect them from hackers and cybercriminals. Some hospitals have decided to upgrade their systems to prevent these attacks.

Ransomware

The ransomware attack on Remote Patient Monitoring is a new trend in the digital world. This attack will most likely occur in small and medium-sized businesses focusing primarily on their services and products.

The primary purpose of this attack is to steal vital information or resources from companies or individuals so they can use them later for their benefit.

Ransomware attacks usually target companies with confidential files on their computers and servers because they are easy to access. People who want to get these files will pay money for them, either directly or indirectly.

 

How to Protect Remote Patient Monitoring?

The remote patient monitoring industry is proliferating, and so are the attacks on it. Here are some steps to protect your business from potential threats.

Keeping Technology Updated

Remote patient monitoring systems contain many components, including cameras, sensors, and software. These systems must be kept up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. This is especially important if you use a third-party vendor to provide your network security solution.

Protecting the Cloud Environment

The cloud environment can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially regarding HIPAA-compliant healthcare information, usually stored in the cloud. To protect your data from being stolen by hackers or other malicious actors, consider using a cloud storage provider specifically designed for healthcare applications – such as a cloud storage provider built for healthcare settings like yours.

Embracing a Zero-Trust Approach

A zero-trust approach means that all interactions between an organization’s devices and its users should be trusted automatically without requiring any permissions or confirmation from human users. This helps minimize the possible points of failure in organizations’ networks and reduces the risk for employees who unknowingly share sensitive information.

 

Conclusion

While monitoring a patient’s health remotely does seem like a great idea, especially for the chronically ill who may have trouble leaving their homes, remote monitoring also introduces new security threats into the healthcare industry. No system is perfect without precautions and security measures. Healthcare organizations must be aware of these new vulnerabilities, from patients’ privacy to the dangers of cyber hacking and compromising patient information.

With the right partner, you can feel confident that your data stays protected. Our team is dedicated to keeping your data safe and secure, so you can focus on providing the best care possible.

With the Protected Harbor team’s vast experience and proven track record, you can trust that your data is in good hands. With years of experience delivering secure IT, and Cloud solutions in line with industry standards and best practices, Protected Harbor professionals pay close attention to the vulnerability of remote monitoring solutions.

We work with all types of providers, from small to large, to protect your data, reduce risk, and keep your organization secure. Our team of experts will work with you to create a customized solution that meets your company’s requirements. Our cybersecurity solutions are reliable and scalable to fit your organization’s needs.

Feel free to contact our experts if you wish to begin developing a hack-proof medical device or if you wish to schedule an IT audit.

How Social Media Angler Phishing Attacks Target Businesses

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How Social Media Angler Phishing Attacks Target Businesses

Cybercriminals develop new methods every day for committing online fraud. This also applies to Angler Phishing, a recent type of cybercrime. This threat targets its victims via social media. The criminal gathers private information by posting false messages on a bogus social network account.

Social media is an effective tool for phishing attacks. The key to social media phishing is using personal information, such as a username and password, to trick users into revealing sensitive information about themselves. Most attacks are carried out via fake email messages, but there has also been an increase in phishing websites and malicious links.

In this blog, we’ll explain how Angler Phishing operates, how to spot it, and how to safeguard yourself against the potential loss of your data and possibly even your money.

 

What is Angler Phishing?

Angler phishing is a form of email fraud that uses fake websites to trick you into clicking on a link. This scam aims to steal your login credentials and use them to gain access to your bank account or other personal information.

The act of pretending to be a customer care account on social media to contact an irate customer is known as angler phishing. In these attacks, victims were lured into providing access to their personal information or account credentials in almost 55% of cases last year that targeted clients of financial institutions.

These scams are often spread by emails that appear to be from banks, authorities, or other reliable companies. The emails contain links or embedded images that can direct you to fake websites that appear legitimate. Once there, you’ll be asked to enter your account information — including login credentials for your bank accounts and email addresses for various social media platforms.

The goal is to steal your login credentials and use them to gain access to your bank account or other personal information.

 

How do Angler Phishing Attacks work?

Angler phishing attacks are simple but effective because they exploit a vulnerability in business-related social media accounts. In most cases, the attacker will create a web page with an identical URL address as the legitimate page they are trying to access.

When a BEC attack targets a business through social media, companies must take precautions against these cyberattacks.

 

How-Social-Media-Angler-Phishing-Attacks-Target-Businesses-middle-imageImpact Of Angler Phishing Attacks on Business

If you run a company or have a presence on social media, you should be aware of the impact of an angler phishing attack on your brand’s reputation:

 

1.   Business Disruption

A business may suffer a substantial loss due to a cyberattack, mainly if malware infestation is involved. A complete reversal of operations may be necessary to address the hack. The virus may require the company to operate on a skeleton crew or suspend operation altogether until the malware has been removed.

An interruption of business services can cause significant economic disruptions if the economy is already fragile. A cyberattack could also increase crime rates, making the situation worse.

Business disruption can result from both natural disasters and manufactured events like cyberattacks. The latter category includes everything from information theft to destructive viruses that target specific industries or sectors of society.

 

2.   Revenue Loss

Loss of revenue can have a huge impact, especially for businesses that rely on the internet and e-commerce. The costs of fraud, cyber security breaches, and other types of attacks can be very high, so it is essential to prevent them from happening in the first place.

The first step is creating an active cyber security policy that clearly outlines what the organization expects from its employees, what it will do if a breach happens and how it will respond to such an event.

Secondly, training employees about the importance of validating incoming data before acting on it is essential. Employees should also be made aware that no information should be shared with anyone outside their team without prior authorization.

 

3.   Intellectual Property Loss

Even if businesses are not protected under a ransomware attack, they risk losing user data, trade secrets, research, and blueprints. Regulatory companies, tech companies, pharmaceutical and defense providers are often hit the hardest. A company losing a patented invention for millions of dollars would no longer be able to afford to undertake the kinds of research and development that precede it.

Attempting to struggle directly with financial setbacks is simpler than you might think, but it’s far more challenging to do well without handling sensitive company info appropriately.

Trade Secrets Theft also has severe implications for manufacturers and suppliers who rely on customer relationship management (CRM) systems to track sales trends and contact lists. Suppose a hacker could access these systems and steal trade secret information such as product formulas or pricing strategies. In that case, this could seriously impair their ability to compete against other companies that have not been victimized by cybercrime.

 

4.   Reputation Effect

While the damage to reputation is the most significant consequence of a data breach, it’s not the only one. The costs involved in mitigating a breach can be substantial.

Although many companies have experienced data breaches, few have suffered the consequences. However, even though there are many benefits to having your own data breach preparedness plans, you still need to consider some risks before implementing one.

 

Conclusion

While many types of attacks from botnets or DDoS attacks use malvertising to gain access to sensitive business data, Angler phishing can potentially allow for the same. As a result, businesses need to be aware that such attacks exist and how they work to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Another tip is to be wary of links in emails. Most email links don’t go anywhere and are just there for decoration.

Many companies are likely unaware of such attacks against their networks, trying to mitigate them once they occur. The best way to avoid these attacks is to be skeptical of any links or offers you see on social media. Protected Harbor is your partner in safeguarding your business against cyber threats. With our risk-based approach to security and our experience with thousands of customers, we can create a solution that works for you. Our team of experts will assess your organization’s security posture and recommend how to improve it. We will also develop a detailed action plan to help you stay secure from phishing emails, ransomware, and threat detection and response.

We offer a free cybersecurity audit to all businesses, regardless of size or industry. Contact one of our cybersecurity experts today.

The Power of Multi-factor Authentication

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The Power of Multi-factor Authentication

Today’s cyber threat landscape is more complex than ever before. New threats are discovered practically every day, and hackers are finding new ways to exploit those threats on an almost daily basis. This means businesses need to be more vigilant about the security of their networks, devices, and user accounts. Every organization should implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) as a strong and consistent security policy.

MFA strengthens your user account security by requiring users to verify their identity in addition to simply providing a username and password. There are many types of multi-factor authentication, but most involve something you know (like a username and password), something you have (such as an access code sent via text message), or something you are (such as a biometric identifier such as a fingerprint or facial recognition).

Download our infographic Security: The Power of Multi-factor Authentication to understand MFA in detail.

 

What is Multi-factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is an access control method used to verify a person’s identity attempting to log on to a computer system or website by combining two or more authentication factors. For example, logging in with a username and password is a single-factor authentication because only one piece of information is verified to be accurate. In contrast, logging in with a username, password, and a code sent to a smartphone via an app is multi-factor authentication because multiple verification methods are used. Multi-factor authentication is a security method that requires users to provide two or more pieces of proof that they are whom they say they are before being granted access to a secured system or resource.

 

Types of Multi-factor AuthenticationThe-Power-of-Multi-factor-Authentication-middle-image

One of three additional forms of information serves as the foundation for most MFA authentication methods:

  1. Things you know (knowledge)- A passphrase, PIN, or password.
  2. Things you have (possession)- A timely, individual verification code. Typically, a mobile app or security token will produce these authentication tokens and send them to you through text message.
  3. Things you are (inherence)- These are biometrically a part of you, such as a speech pattern, iris scan, or fingerprint.

MFA Examples

Using a combination of these components to authenticate is an example of multi-factor authentication.

1. Knowledge

  • Personal security questions and answers
  • Password
  • OTPs (Can be both Knowledge and Possession – You know the OTP, and you have to have something in your Possession to get it, like your phone)

2. Possession

  • OTPs created by mobile apps
  • OTPs transmitted by text or email
  • Smart Cards, USB devices, key fobs, and access badges
  • Software certificates and tokens

3. Inherence

  • Voice, voice recognition, eye or retina scanning, or other biometrics such as fingerprints
  • Behavior analysis

 

Conclusion

MFA is an essential part of any security strategy. While protecting online accounts, your computer, or other devices, utilizing MFA is a great way to protect against hackers and malicious threats. With MFA in place, hackers will have a more challenging time accessing your accounts and will have to employ more sophisticated methods to crack your passwords. Implementing MFA isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Protected Harbor experts say MFA is a must. The company has been in the business for over a decade and is among the top cybersecurity providers in the US. It has been keeping pace with the latest technological advancements to provide top-notch cybersecurity solutions to its clients. With our cybersecurity month discussing safety measures against

It is easy to implement and can be activated for an account. You can keep your data safer and much more secure with just a few clicks. Download our infographic to learn how to implement MFA and secure your data. Contact us today for a free cybersecurity audit.

Microsoft Data Breach Exposed Sensitive Data of 65,000+ Entities in 111 Countries

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Microsoft Data Breach Exposed Sensitive Data

According to the security research company SOCRadar, a breach of Microsoft servers may have affected over 65,000 organizations in 111 countries.

 

In response to a security failure that left an endpoint publicly accessible via the internet without any authentication, Microsoft admitted that it unintentionally exposed the information of thousands of customers.

According to an alert from Microsoft, “this misconfiguration resulted in the possibility for unauthenticated access to some business transaction data corresponding to interactions between Microsoft and potential customers, such as the planning or potential implementation and provisioning of Microsoft services.”

Microsoft highlighted that there was no security flaw to blame for the B2Bleak, which was “triggered by an unintended misconfiguration on an endpoint that is not in use across the Microsoft ecosystem.”

 

Microsoft Data Breach Exposed Sensitive Data middleWhat Happened?

2.4 TB of confidential data, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, company names, and attached files containing confidential company information, such as proof-of-concept documents, sales data, and product orders, may have been exposed due to a compromised Azure Blob Storage, according to SOCRadar.

SOCRadar termed the leak a Bluebleed. According to them, “The exposed data includes files dated from 2017 to August 2022.”

On September 24, 2022, Microsoft received notifications of the breach. On September 25, 2022, they issued a statement confirming that they had secured the compromised endpoint, which is “now only accessible with required authentication,” and that an investigation had “found no indication that customer accounts or systems were compromised.”

 

Why This Matters?

According to the threat intelligence firm’s analysis, the stolen information “includes Proof-of-Execution (PoE) and Statement of Work (SoW) documents, user information, product orders/offers, project details, PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data, and documents that may reveal intellectual property,” they added.

Microsoft stated that it believes “the figures” and “the magnitude of this issue” were grossly exaggerated by SOCRadar.

Redmond added “that it was not in the best interest of safeguarding customer privacy or security and perhaps exposing them to undue risk” for SOCRadar to gather and make the data searchable through a dedicated search engine.

Customers who contacted Microsoft’s support staff were reportedly informed that the company would not be notifying data regulators since “no other notifications are required under GDPR” in addition to those given to the affected customers.


In addition, Kevin Beaumont, a security researcher, said, “the Microsoft bucket “has been publicly indexed for months,” and “it’s even in search engines.”

Although there is no proof that threat actors inappropriately accessed the data before its disclosure, such breaches could still be used for bad intentions like extortion, social engineering attacks, or a quick buck.

Erich Kron, a security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, wrote to The Hacker News in an email, “While some of the data that may have been accessed seem trivial if SOCRadar is correct in what was exposed, it could include some sensitive information about the infrastructure and network configuration of potential customers.”

“Potential attackers could use this information to find vulnerabilities in the networks of these organizations.”

 

Protected Harbor’s Take on the Matter

It’s a sad fact of life that every major software company will eventually experience security breaches at some point in time. Unfortunately, it has become far more common in this ever-changing digital world. However, when it comes to these big, well-known companies that are responsible for keeping your business data safe, there needs to be an intense form of trust which comes with them taking proper action and solutions.

In the past, we’ve seen issues with Google, Facebook, and even the U.S. government’s websites. It’s important to note that these are all vast organizations with dedicated teams of engineers and experts working around the clock to ensure their customers’ security. Microsoft is no different, having some of the best security engineers in the world.

Protected Harbor has always emphasized the importance of network configuration on endpoint protection. An exemplary network configuration can reduce the risk of your network being exploited by malware and other threats.

Protected Harbor provides complete endpoint protection, configuration, and monitoring that protects your computers from malware, ransomware, data breaches, viruses, and other cyber threats. Our engineers also monitor and audit your network to ensure all your systems have the latest firmware, are set up correctly, and are protected against evolving threats.

“It’s happened before, and it will happen again. It’s just the cyclical nature of things. Microsoft will recover, and a new company will go through the process of becoming the next big thing. What’s important to understand here is that the cycle will keep turning as long as people keep investing in technology.”- Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor.
Don’t be the next victim of a data breach. It’s time to invest in a good cybersecurity plan. Contact us today for a cybersecurity audit.

Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked If You Notice These Signs

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Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked If You Notice These Signs

Your smartphone is your constant companion. It’s your source of information, entertainment, and social interaction, all in one small device. Most people check their phones at least 20 times a day, which makes them an attractive target for hackers and cybercriminals.

However, security features on most smartphones have made it pretty tricky for hackers to break through and take control of the device without you knowing about it. That doesn’t mean you can let your guard down or give hackers any opportunity to breach your phone’s security measures.

It will help if you remain diligent in keeping from being hacked. If you see any signs indicating that you have been hacked, take action quickly before it has a chance to do further damage to your data and access more personal information.

 

What causes this to happen in the first place?

To hack into your phone, a person doesn’t necessarily need to be a hacker. While you’re sleeping, someone may bring your phone up to your face and unlock it. With only this one action, they can look through your smartphone secretly.

There is also software that accomplishes the task. Stalkerware is intended to follow you using your location, call logs, messages, photos, browsing history, and other methods. Behind another app that appears to be unimportant, this malware may be disguised.

Your phone may become infected by malicious links and files without your knowledge. Even seemingly innocent PDF files can contain dangerous information. Because of this, it’s crucial to click with caution.

How about apps? Unreliable downloads may mimic well-known applications or attempt to con you into downloading and using them. When you do this, malware is installed on your phone.

There is also a much more focused technique known as SIM swapping. The criminal disconnects your previous connection and transfers everything to the criminal’s device by calling your phone company, pretending to be you, and asking for a new SIM card.

 

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Signs to Look Out For

How can you tell if your phone has been compromised? Here are some warning signs:

  • Your phone is being slowed down by too many processes operating at once, or it can just be malware using up many resources as the sole offender. Your phone may become heated as a result of this.
  • Your battery is depleting significantly more quickly than usual.
  • Significant increases in data usage may be a symptom of malware like adware that operates covertly.
  • Spammy pop-ups clearly indicate that a malicious program has been installed on your phone.
  • Malware can cause your internet to slow down by diverting your traffic to risky servers or simply using up all of your capacity to steal more data from you or target other people.
  • Off your phone, there may be some indications, such as emails you don’t recall sending or odd social media posts.

Tap or click here for Top 5 Email Scams You Need to Look Out for This Month.

 

How to stop hackers from getting onto your Smartphone?

A little work can go a long way in preventing malware and hackers from accessing your phone.

  • To start, always maintain your phone’s security patches and updates. 
  • Turn on two-factor authentication for each account that supports it. Read our comprehensive 2FA guide.
  • Avoid clicking on shady or uninvited links. This includes emails, internet adverts, and messages from friends.
  • Keep in mind that your home or business network is neither secure. For advice on how to secure it to keep snoops and bad guys out, tap or click here.

Conclusion

Take action right away if you discover any of these indicators that you’ve been hacked so the hacker can’t access more of your data or cause more damage. Your first step should be to power off your device and change your passwords, especially for social media accounts. Next, report the breach to your phone carrier and contact customer support to see what they can do to help. Finally, clean up your phone and make sure to keep your device protected in the future to avoid being hacked in the future.

Protected Harbor provides mobile security, data security, and identity protection. These services protect your company’s data, sensitive information, and valuable assets from cyber threats. In addition, we provide you with email and web security that blocks malicious content and stops data leaks. Our advanced threat protection gives you real-time protection against malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats. We also provide an integrated security operations center to monitor your network and devices, giving you complete peace of mind.

You can also contact our support team with questions or issues, and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible. With Protected Harbor, you can be sure that your company’s data is safe. So what are you waiting for? Secure your devices and network today! Contact us now.

High Availability and Your Data: What You Need to Know

High Availability and Your Data: What You Need to Know

Welcome to another blog from the video series Uptime with Richard Luna discussing High Availability and Your Data and What You Need to Know. This blog will discuss data replication, high availability, and how it can impact your organization.

 

What is High Availability?

High availability is a phrase used by data professionals to describe systems or services that are available and resilient in the face of failures. High availability can be a challenging practice to implement, as it often requires significant infrastructure changes.

HA provides continuous access to critical resources by ensuring services remain up and running even if part of the network, devices, or services fail. It’s an IT strategy for making computer services continue to operate without interruption in response to brief interruptions, planned maintenance, unplanned outages, and other events that might prevent them from running efficiently and effectively.

 

Why is High Availability Important for Data?

For data to be useful, it must be accessible. When systems go down, data can be temporarily unavailable or completely inaccessible. Even if a system only experiences a momentary outage, it can take minutes or hours for it to be brought back online.

If a system is experiencing frequent outages, it can become tough to rely on the data it provides. Depending on the type of data, continuous unavailability can be highly harmful. Data that is used to make decisions (if, when, and how much to produce, where to sell, etc.) can be significantly impacted by only a few minutes of downtime.

It can become almost impossible to rely on if a data system is experiencing frequent outages. Additionally, data systems may be required to maintain regulatory compliance. For example, some industries must keep certain records for varying amounts.

 

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Benefits of High Availability in a Data Environment

Increased Efficiency – Employees will be more efficient when data systems are available and do not experience frequent outages. The more you deal with system and data outages, the slower your employees will work. When you implement a high availability strategy, efficiency will increase.

Improved Revenue and Profit – Increased efficiency will also significantly impact revenue and profit. If your data systems are offline for a significant amount of time, it can be difficult to forecast revenue accurately and meet sales goals.

Helpful for Compliance – When you implement a high availability strategy and data systems are available and reliable, it is easier to ensure regulatory compliance. It is difficult to prove compliance if you are missing data or documents.

Reduced Risk – An unplanned outage is one of the most common causes of significant data loss. A high availability strategy makes data more resilient and reduces your risk of experiencing data loss.

 

Key Takeaway

A high availability strategy can help keep your data systems running continuously, even in the face of failures, so your organization can be as productive as possible. This can significantly impact efficiency, revenue and profit, and risk reduction.

It is important to remember that when you set up your highly available systems, you want to make sure that you are using a system that can replicate your data in a way that makes it available for retrieval. The last thing you want is for your company to experience a data outage. What you want to make sure of is that your data is always available and safe.

Protected Harbor is your trusted advisor for architecting and designing a cloud-ready infrastructure for your business to ensure a smooth transition to the public cloud in case that’s your plan. We provide a range of services from server setup to high availability systems, from small businesses to enterprises.

We are passionate about our work and always strive to exceed our customers’ expectations. Get a free high-availability system demo and a free IT Audit today, contact us now.

Major Security Flaw Exposes Twitter Accounts        

Major Security Flaw Exposes Twitter Accounts

 

Twitter has acknowledged that a bug in its code allowed for malicious actors to link accounts with email addresses registered to them, possibly disclosing the identity of their users.

The company late last week revealed the flaw and apologized for the inconvenience stating the issue was remedied immediately.

The vulnerability in Twitter’s handling of unsuccessful log-in attempts was exploited. When a user entered the incorrect password, Twitter used to do one of two things when they attempted to log in using an email address or phone number:

  • Inform the user that they entered the wrong password
  • Display the Twitter account linked to the specified email or phone number (if any exist)

This implied that users of fictitious accounts might have had their identities revealed.

In this post, we will be discussing what exactly happened with Twitter and how you can protect yourself from cyber-criminal.

Also, check out our blog from last week where we talk about Malware hitting millions of android users and the Top 5 Apps You Need to Uninstall Right Now.

 

What Happened?

Countless apps are exposing Twitter’s API keys, giving hackers access to fully take control of those accounts and use them for identity theft or other forms of online fraud.

The information was discovered by cybersecurity experts CloudSEK, who found 3,207 mobile apps leaking both legitimate Consumer Keys and Consumer Secrets for the Twitter API.

Numerous mobile applications have interacted with Twitter, which enables those applications to carry out specific tasks on behalf of users. Consumer Keys and Secrets are combined with the Twitter API to complete the integration. The apps may enable threat actors to tweet things, write and read direct conversations, or do something similar by leaking this kind of data.

A threat actor could theoretically gather an “army” of Twitter endpoints and use them to tweet, retweet, direct message, as well as participate in other methods to spread a fraud or malware campaign.

 

Millions of Downloads

Twitter accounts exposedAccording to the researchers, the questioned apps include radio tuners, e-banking, city transportation, and similar sites, each receiving between fifty-thousand and five-million downloads.

In other words, there’s a good chance that millions of Twitter accounts are in danger as we speak.

All app owners/creators have been informed, but the majority have done nothing to fix the problem—nor even admit to the public that they have been informed of the issue. According to reports, Ford Motors was one of the businesses that quickly addressed the error with its Ford Events app.

The list of suspected apps won’t be made public until other apps address their problems.

Researchers also noted that mistakes made during the development of apps frequently lead to API leaks. Developers occasionally forget to remove authentication keys after embedding them in the Twitter API.

Protected Harbor advises developers to employ API key rotation, which would eventually make exposed keys invalid, to stop these leaks.

 

Final Words

In today’s technological landscape, you must take the proper steps to protect yourself and your family. Keep track of the latest scams and what you can do to keep yourself safe from cyber-criminals. If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, report it immediately.

Experts from Protected Harbor recommend that you:

  • Stay informed about the latest threats and vulnerabilities and keep your software up to date.
  • Don’t click on links from suspicious emails,
  • Don’t download apps from untrusted websites.
  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.
  • Uninstall any and all harmful apps immediately.
  • Think before you allow any app permission or access to your files.
  • Enable 2FA (2-Factor Authentication).
  • Use trusted anti-virus software.

Stay vigilant, keep your privacy settings high, and you can keep your accounts secure.

We are giving away a free IT Audit for a limited time, contact us today for one. Stay updated with the latest news with our blogs and other resources, and keep a keen eye on your social media accounts. Stay Safe!

Cyberattacks Against Law Firms:

Cyberattacks Against Law Firms:

What You Need to Know and How to Prevent Them

As the intensity of cyberattacks against businesses continues to rise, law firms have become one of cyber criminals prime targets. Since law firms manage some of the most confidential data for their clients and have access to an extensive network of potential new clients, they have become far more vulnerable than other businesses.

In response to the increasing frequency and scope of cyberattacks against law firms, cybersecurity and managed services provider Protected Harbor has launched a new security awareness program titled, “Cyberattacks Against Law Firms and How to Prevent Them.

The program consists of two resources: an e-book featuring the top law firm hacks throughout history as well as a whitepaper detailing the cyberattacks against law firms’ and what their trends and threats are. Both versions are free to download!

Now, we will discuss a little bit of background on cyberattacks against law firms and a few quick, various ways you can reduce your organization’s risk to getting attacked.

 

Background on Law Firms and Why They Are Such a Target

Poor cybersecurity is now one of the most significant hazards a legal business can encounter and is no longer only a concern for technology. Major law companies in the US have recently suffered catastrophic cybersecurity breaches that has cost them millions of dollars. Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of the IT department, it’s instead something that must be covered within the company’s overall policies for utilizing technology within the business or in its services.

A lot goes into cybersecurity, and some businesses are too small to get the complete expertise of IT professionals. Due to the expenditures, medium and big businesses may put off planning for cyber-attacks or assume they won’t be affected which in turn is a huge mistake.

Until recently, law companies were seen as primarily analog in nature. The risk of a cyber breach was typically minimized by attorneys and staff manually tracking client and firm information. But, as businesses embrace innovation and clients want more technologically sophisticated communications and strategies, law firms have made the switch to a more technologically advanced environment and are now more vulnerable to cyberattacks than they were previously.

Law firms, in particular, are viewed as attractive targets for hackers, with numerous high-profile attacks being covered in the media. According to a recent study by the American Bar Association, more than 20% of law businesses reported being the target of a cyber-attack. This percentage was 35% among legal companies with roughly 10 to 49 attorneys. This means that more than a third of small law firms had experienced hacking in some shape or form.

These data breaches are concerning for reasons other than the victims’ embarrassment or the possibility of identity theft. A 2017 study found that the average cost of a data breach outside the US is around $3.6 million, or $141 per record. The amount is considerably larger in the United States at $7.3 million, not to be surpassed.

The consequences of a data breach go beyond the loss of individual details. Trust in the compromised institution can be destroyed by a single breach, a fate which many practices cannot recover. In reality, “almost 60% of [small businesses] forced to cease operations after a cyber assault never reopen for business,” according to a Forbes article.

 

Cyberattacks Against Law Firms small6 Tips to Protect Your Law Firm Against Cyberattacks

  1. Improve Your Security Culture
  2. Implement Basic Cybersecurity Measures
  3. Encrypting Sensitive Data
  4. Proactive Security
  5. Securing Network with Firewalls
  6. Keeping Antivirus Updated is a Must

Download our e-book for free to read in detail the tips on how to protect your law firm and best practices.

 

Conclusion

You must have a plan before cyber criminals attack your law firm. After dealing with a data breach at your legal company, you want to be sure to take immediate action. Consider communications in particular when creating your plan. The best way to prevent your law firm from becoming the next cyberattack victim is to implement a cybersecurity program that includes preventative measures, detection, and response strategies. Instead of having a client accidentally learn the terrible news, the law firm must be the one to deliver it.

Download our e-book Cyberattacks Against Law Firms and How to Prevent Them, which we have created specifically for legal companies. Within this e-book, you will learn about the most common cyberattacks against law firms and how you can prevent them from happening to your company. We also give you access to our e-book library with our most requested titles.

Get started and download today!