Some of us attack and engage in our holiday shopping with a plan that rivals the most well thought out strategies. We scour weekly fliers, online ads, and research who will have the best price and coupon code for us to use. In order to shop smart, yes, keeping track of prices is important, but being a genius means that you include cybersecurity and personal limits in your plans.
Here are a few tips that you should include on your shopping list.
- Shop secure. Look for websites that have the https in their address. While this isn’t a surefire bet that you’re on a secure and safe site, it’s a good first step in ensuring you’re at the right Especially if you’re providing your credit card.
- Deals, not steals. Rebates, coupons, and in-store specials are a great way to save money. Make sure that if you are offering up any information it’s to reputable stores, and don’t give out personal information in return for a ‘future offer’. Read the fine print on all deals. Especially if they sound too good to be true.
- Review and research. Don’t assume because a product is on a review website that it is legitimate. Many of these sites are called affiliate sites and merely put up content that redirects you to a page where they receive compensation for the sale, like a referral program. Look at more than one site, read multiple reviews, and if possible, go to the actual store to see the quality of a product.
- Stay on the NICE list. Make a budget and stick with it. You don’t need to overspend to impress. It’s only a good deal if you need it.
- Get started on next year’s list. After holiday sales are a great time to stock up for next year’s gift-giving, but again, only if it is something that you can actually gift and not just an item that you will store away because it is a great price.
*Post Courtesy of Breach Secure Now*
Our May Newsletter featured clients are Mark Powers, President, and Judy Benjamin, Controller, from Penn-Troy Manufacturing. Their business is located in Troy, PA with a focus on manufacturing valves for waste water treatment and large commercial engines and compressors. We have had the opportunity to partner with them for their IT needs since early 2014 and are excited to celebrate their five year anniversary as a Databranch Comprehensive Care Client this summer!
We were first introduced to the Penn-Troy team when they reached out to us after they were referred to us by another Databranch Featured Client of the Month, Dura-Bilt. Shortly after our initial meetings we began working together and Mark remembers, “I was most impressed when you guys brought in our list of unknown unknowns – things that had real potential to go wrong and we didn’t even know it. I was impressed with how comprehensive the analysis was.”
There is significant distance between the locations of both our offices, but this has never hindered the relationship or level of support. According to the Penn-Troy team, “It’s never been an issue. You guys get here and take care of all of our problems. The remote login sessions your team uses are also very easy to use as well for quick support.”
The biggest benefit they’ve seen to their company since becoming a Comprehensive Care client five years ago, “Peace of Mind. We know that if something fails everything’s backed up, we can call your team, and we get fast response so things are taken care of very quickly.” The main reason Judy likes working with Databranch, “It’s the response to issues and problems from Karyn (Databranch Service Coordinator). If I call and tell her, we have a major issue she gets right on it. It’s amazing how she can prioritize things.” Mark added, “Your team is very proactive. We have our Quarterly Business Reviews and you definitely bring things to our attention before problems happen. Also, everyone is very nice and easy to work with.”
Databranch President, David Prince, describes our relationship as a wonderful partnership and said, “There is real, honest, open communication between our two teams which allows us to work together effectively. Penn-Troy Manufacturing is one of our favorite clients to work with year after year and it is a pleasure to serve a company that values the role technology plays in their daily business operations.”
Final words from Mark and Judy, “It’s like having your IT person here, but not here with access to a full staff instead of just one guy. You fill the role of IT for a smaller company like us very well.”
WinRAR, a Windows data compression tool that focuses on the RAR and ZIP data compression formats for all Windows users (win-rar.com), recently announced that it had patched a 19-year-old security vulnerability that allowed cyber attackers to install malicious files on users’ hard drives. The problem many users will face is that the software does not auto-update so they will need to go through the manual update process to ensure their computer is no longer exposed to the security vulnerability.
What Should I Do?
Databranch recommends users uninstall WinRAR from their systems. WinRAR is a program that used to be needed to create zip folders and unzip folders but now this function is built into the Windows Operating System.
How Do I Uninstall WinRAR?
- Find the Control Panel in your Windows Explorer.
- Click on Programs & Features
- Select WinRAR and Press Uninstall Program
How Do I Find Out About Vulnerabilities Like This Sooner and Protect My Business From Being Affected By Cybercrime?
Databranch offers managed service plans to proactively monitor, detect, and remediate identified security vulnerabilities like this. We were able to remove this program from our managed client’s machines as soon as it became a known issue and our clients were able to continue working without interruption.
To learn more about becoming a Databranch Managed Services client, call 716-373-4467, email email@example.com, or fill out the form below to get started!
The holiday shopping season officially starts this Friday – Check out these tips to stay safe while shopping online!
1. Careful with the Clicks
We all receive more email promotions than usual around this time of year, and we must all use a little extra caution before clicking those links to promotions! You’ll also be tracking all the incoming shipping notifications for your time-saving online orders, and though you may have dodged the crowds, try to stay vigilant as you sort through those shipment and delay notifications for your orders. Look for typos in emails or website links, which may indicate a phishing scam or fake links. Some potential problems to look for (from a report by DomainTools):
- Extra added letters in a domain, like samsclubb.com
- ‘rn’ disguised as ‘m’ such as in potterybam.com
- 1’s disguised as l’s, as in Koh1s.com
- Added affixes such as target.com-dresses.us
Also, there are tons of fake shopping apps out there, so if you want to download a shopping app from your favorite store, best to get it directly from that store’s website to be sure it’s legitimate.
2. Only Shop if There’s a Lock
Websites that have security enabled using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encrypt data during transmission, making it safe to use a credit card on that site. Look for that little lock in the address bar and a URL with “https” instead of “http” at the beginning.
3. Don’t Shop on Hotspots
Just avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi networks, like in airports or coffee shops. While this may seem like the perfect time to knock out that shopping list, open hotspots are extremely dangerous. Hackers have been known to intercept communications between you and the connection point so that instead of talking directly with the hotspot, you end up sending your information to the hacker. In this case, the hacker has access to all the information you send out—emails, phone numbers, credit card information… And once a hacker has that information, you’ve basically given them the keys to your front door. Be sure to keep software up to date on any device you connect to the internet, to help reduce the risk of infection from malware.
Wherever you do find yourself, it’s important to use a VPN (virtual private network) Service which creates a private tunnel from your device to your service. VPN Servers will encrypt your traffic passing through the public Wi-Fi hotspots.
4. Use Strong and Unique Passwords
Consider making your passwords sentences, like “CountryMusicIsTheBest!” and make them unique to every site. Don’t ever use your work email or any variation of your work password on any third-party websites and monitor for exposure!
Consider finishing out the year strong by using a password manager to assist in dealing with the ever-increasing volume of complex and unique passwords and as always, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) if it’s available.
We wish everyone a happy and safe shopping this season!
There was an article that came out this week written by the previous CIO of the New York City Law Department (which is also the world’s largest public sector law firm, fun fact), discussing the best ways to avoid ransomware. In the article he discussed 3 key points:
- Cyber Hygiene: This is an obvious one but cannot be underrated! Passwords must be changed regularly, and everyone must remain diligent while browsing their inbox.
- Best practices: Best practices in this context covers updating existing tech, using preventative technologies, and communication. To have the best practice for updating existing tech, put a priority on pushing out patches, use cloud web application firewalls and credential monitoring to stay a step ahead with preventative tech, and communicate with your security team and employees about what they should be doing as individuals and as a team.
- Testing disaster recovery plans: This point is self-explanatory, you need a test to see if your backup plans work. You wouldn’t leave the fire alarms untested!
With ransomware being seen all over the world from Atlanta to Moscow to Sydney, it is something every business should take into account.
With the breach of Reddit being disclosed this week, it’s key to remember the importance of robust cybersecurity, given that the hacker of the site was able to bypass 2FA. The actor was able to do this by using a method called ‘SMS intercept’ which is when the hacker is able to receive the text that contains the code for authentication. One way this is done is by SIM-swap, which is when the attacker convinces the phone provider that he is the target and applies their service to a new SIM card. Another method of attack is when bad actor impersonates the target and tricks the phone provider into transferring the target’s number to a new provider where the attacker is then able to access any 2FA codes coming into the phone.
A more secure alternative to SMS 2FA is app-based authentication through organizations such as Duo, which is not subject to the same vectors of attack. Stay vigilant out there, because SMS-intercept attacks are going to become more and more prevalent as they have been shown to be successful, and publicly too considering Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the internet.
Databranch has recently started offering a new Cyber Security offering. We will monitor your credentials in real-time on the Dark Web and notify you immediately when these critical assets are compromised, before they can be used for identity theft, data breaches, or other crime. Please call 716-373-4467 x 15, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to get started!
Databranch Offers Monitoring and Alerting of Stolen Digital Credentials, Increasingly Valuable Asset on Dark Web
Olean, NY –8/1/2018 – Databranch announced its new Dark Web monitoring services provided through its partnership with ID Agent, provider of Dark Web monitoring and identity theft protection solutions. With Dark Web ID, Databranch offers around the clock monitoring and alerting for increasingly compromised digital credentials, scouring millions of sources, including botnets, criminal chat rooms, peer-to-peer networks, malicious websites, bulletin boards and illegal black-market sites.
“Databranch views Dark Web ID monitoring services as a critical component of our managed security suite. Through the detection of compromised credentials, we are able to offer another security layer for our clients and respond to threats against their networks in an efficient, proactive manner.” said David Prince, President at Databranch.
The Dark Web is made up of various digital communities, and while there are legitimate purposes for the Dark Web, it is estimated that over 50 percent of all sites on the Dark Web today are used for criminal activities, including the disclosure and sale of digital credentials.
“Digital credentials such as usernames and passwords are widely used to connect to critical business applications – the reason these credentials are among the most valuable assets found on the Dark Web,” said Kevin Lancaster, CEO of ID Agent. “Unfortunately, the unaffordability of cyber offerings has played into the cyber poverty line experienced by small businesses. Dark Web ID, however, delivers an affordable model that provides small businesses with the same advanced credential monitoring capabilities used by Fortune 500 companies to organizations in the SMB and mid-market space.”
Dark Web ID is the industry’s only commercial solution available to detect customers’ compromised credentials in real-time on the Dark Web. It vigilantly searches the most secretive corners of the Internet to find compromised data associated with your customers’ employees, contractors and other personnel, and notifies them immediately when these critical assets are compromised. There are a few competitors in the market but none completely focused on the Dark Web as ID Agent’s solution.
About ID Agent
ID Agent provides a comprehensive set of threat intelligence and identity monitoring solutions to private and public sector organizations and to millions of individuals impacted by cyber incidents. The company’s flagship product, Dark Web ID, combines human and sophisticated Dark Web intelligence with capabilities to identify, analyze and monitor for compromised or stolen employee and customer data, mitigating exposure to clients’ most valuable assets – their digital identity. From monitoring your organization’s domain for compromised credentials to deploying identity and credit management programs in order to protect the employees and customers you serve – ID Agent has the solution. For more information, visit: http://www.idagent.com or go to LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
Databranch, Inc., is an IT consulting and outsourcing provider serving local, national and international businesses in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania since 1985. We help our clients use information technology to cut costs, increase efficiencies and enhance customer service across four main areas: managed technical services, networking, security, and data protection.
The Databranch staff is made up of highly skilled, experienced and certified professionals. Our clients look to us to provide technology solutions that work. We offer consulting services that provide organizations with the best possible solutions for the most affordable price that are executed with a personal touch.
Key Benefits of working with Databranch:
• Reduce complexity of managing your technology infrastructure.
• Gain confidence that your technology is aligned with your business goals.
• Have a team of skilled and certified technology professionals backing you at every step.
• Maintain flexibility, choice and control over your business.
For more information, visit: http://www.databranch.com or go to LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
716-373-4467 x 15