Friday, April 14, 2017


Shadow IT: How Your Company’s Data
Is Silently Being Leaked Online



          Here’s a growing trend creeping into organizations of all industries and sizes: Shadow IT. Shadow IT are unauthorized cloud applications employees are using and downloading to perform work-related activities with company data. This can be file-sharing services like Dropbox or surveys such as Zoomerang. The list goes on and on.

     So what’s the problem? For starters, if you’re in a highly regulated industry like medical or financial services, you’re almost guaranteed to be flagrantly violating data privacy laws or at least flirting with them; and if you’re audited, you could end up facing BIG fines, not to mention legal fees and bad PR. Second, the barrier to entry is LOW. Anyone with a browser and a credit card can purchase or enroll themselves into applications that integrate with your organization’s critical applications and/or store company data such as client lists, e-mails, files, etc.

     Of course, not all cloud apps are bad, and most employees subscribe to these apps with the most honest of intentions, but you as the owner and your IT person or company need to at least be AWARE of these applications to determine if they’re a threat to security or a violation of data privacy laws, and simply to keep your confidential information, well, confidential!

     Your IT Company or person should be constantly monitoring your network for new and unknown software or devices. This can (and should!) be incorporated into routine vulnerability testing. If you’re not sure this is being done now, find out. As Intel founder Andy Grove once said, “Only the paranoid survive.” Once you know what applications are being used, you can set your company firewall to block applications you DON’T want employees to access with company data and devices, and allow those that are company-approved.

     Also, make sure you catalogue these sites somewhere by user with the login information for that person. If an employee leaves your organization or is fired, they may remember what the username and password are to these cloud applications and could use them to harm your organization or steal data to sell or give to a competitor. Don’t put yourself at risk!

If you find out your current Technical Service Firm does not catalog and monitor your network for the presence of new applications, or just need to learn how to evaluate your current firm  please visit our site and request a free report “What every business owner must know about hiring an honest, competent,responsive and fairly prices technical service firm

Monday, April 4, 2016

How to spot a dangerous e-mail


Dissecting a dangerous e-mail.   AKA  How to spot a phishing attempt

I received this e-mail this morning.  Rather than simply smirk and delete the obvious phishing attempt, I decided it would make a good reminder for anyone who, like me, who has a bunch of e-mail to weed through each morning.

I’ve generated a screen shot and notated in red, the indicators of danger.

Please feel free to print and share with your staff.   I'm more than happy to send you the snapshot file should you want a copy to distribute or place in your employee handbook.   Just ask.

Bill Billand
973-808-2882

***



Note the actual sending address looks like “Chase.com” but it’s a clever address designed to satisfy the casual glance.

Non- specific name.  Any notification from a business doing business with you should address you by name or account name.

A hover-over the link reveals   “Http://staging.canex.ca/JP-Chase.htm. 

First – Any link to anything secure should start with Https (note the “s”)

Second – The domain name is staging.canex.ca – not JP-Chase, that is simply a cleverly named web page designed to deceive.

Note the urgency with one, and only one, means of resolution.  A BIG RED FLAG.

Again no alternate means of contact or resolving this “Important” issue.  The victim of this scam believes he or she has one option.  Click the link or suffer the consequences.

NEVER NEVER click the link.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Is e-mail the pending storm on your horizon?





I may be dating myself but… I remember a day when most businesses didn’t have e-mail.  Those that did usually had one or two e-mail boxes that were used like an office fax machine, with someone responsible for getting and distributing the received messages several times per day.  Fast forward a decade or two and look where we are now, everyone has at least one e-mail box.  Most businesses consider e-mail as, or more, important than their phone system.  What will the next 10 years bring?


What do you do with all the email you receive?  Do you keep it in your mailbox where it’s readily accessible?  Do you pay to store it somewhere for multiple years “in case you need it”?  We’ve all done it; told ourselves, “maybe I shouldn’t delete this, I might need it”. Sometimes we’re right and other times we never go back to it. And then there’s the situation where we keep it, discover we need it, and then can’t find it. (At least not without killing far too much time, all the while telling yourself “If I find it now, it’s still faster than re-creating it”)  It’s a growing problem that won’t get better on its own.


Beyond the obvious user experience issues, excessive e-mail causes many server-side issues. 


  • Slowness when connecting to your email service
  • Increased maintenance times
  • Wasted storage on the server
  • Increased backup and off-site storage fees


It’s a problem that’s been around long enough to get some serious attention.  While there are several good solutions, many come with significant compromises.  Few address the growing e-mail storage and retrieval issue without some tradeoff for the end-user or significant hit to the IT budget.   Only one that we’ve found, so far, brings everything to the table.


  • Un-compromising user experience, Enhanced in fact.


  • Budget Friendly sizing options
  • Smart, REALLY SMART, storage and retrieval technology


Barracuda Networks, Inc. has developed the Barracuda Message Archiver (BMA).  Without getting too technical, the Barracuda Message Archiver takes a totally fresh approach to e-mail storage and retrieval. It, quite literally, removes the bulk of a user’s e-mail from their mail box without separating them from that same e-mail.


By moving the bulk of a company’s e-mail to a device that’s purpose-built for handling it, Barracuda is able to effectively address issues that have been plaguing businesses for some time.


Speed: By moving the majority of a company’s e-mail off the primary server, that server runs more efficiently and services its users quicker.




Efficiencies: Barracuda uses a proprietary ”De-Duplication” technology, which simply means any given e-mail or attachment is stored only one time, regardless of how many users receive, store, or forward that e-mail. Compare that to the scenario where an e-mail sent to ten employees exists in 10 separate e-mail boxes, and you can quickly start to see the benefits.   Additionally e-mail threads are stored as a Single-Instance.  One thread with all its individual pieces, not the first e-mail, attached to the first e-mail with its response, attached to the first, with its response, attached to the 2nd response... and so on.



Storage: Disk compression technology further reduces the footprint of the e-mail storage requirements.  By off-loading all but the newest e-mail to a Message Archiver, employing the De-Duplication, Single-Instance thread and disk compression technologies, some businesses have seen a reduction in e-mail storage requirements of more than 60% which equates to lower off-site storage costs.


Compliance: Initially touted as an e-mail archive compliance solution, the Barracuda Message Archiver has grown far beyond a device used just to adhere to governmental regulations.  Today we’re deploying the message archiver into many businesses who are not required to archive e-mail, but simply need to deal with the ever growing burden of massive e-mail boxes. 


All the technology deployed in the Barracuda Message Archiver is certainly impressive, but it’s all worth nothing if you can’t quickly find what you’re looking for.  To quote Barracuda “The Message Archiver automatically stores and indexes all e-mail messages and attachments in real-time, making them immediately available for rapid searching and retrieval by authorized users”. 


In layman’s terms, the Barracuda not only solves the many problems of dealing with massive amounts of e-mail, but they reward their clients with easy to use and very effective search and retrieval features not found in most e-mail solutions.  It’s easier to locate e-mail using the message archiver than it is to use the Microsoft Outlook features.  


If I went on about this device, I’d certainly have to get into more technical details than this Blog was intended.  With that said, email is not going to become a smaller part of our lives and will need to be maintained and kept in control.  Since that’s the case, tools like the Barracuda Message Archiver are needed and should be given serious consideration as a remedy to the underlying issue of What do you do with all that e-mail.


Have questions?  Just ask, were always happy to explore your options with you.  You can reach us by phone at 973-808-2882 or VIA the MTS web site, (http://www.mtsnj.com) .  We’re always happy to help.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Alt+Tab Perhaps the most simple and most useful Windows Shortcut.


The most useful windows shortcut ever.

If you’re like me, you constantly have several windows open on your PC at any given time. Email, web browsers, music player, etc. It can be confusing with trying to get back to the window you want quickly. I present to you, ALT + TAB – arguably my favorite windows shortcut, and the most helpful. ALT+Tab brings up all open windows, and you can repeatedly hit “tab” to change to a different window.

(Note: Yours may look different as this is a screenshot from a Windows 10 computer)

Hopefully this tip helps you navigate your Windows PC faster! Tune in next week for a very special blog post, Designated Drivers; The Lifesaving Nerds.