2019 is here, and it is a special year for all concerned due to many Microsoft products going End of Life (EOL) in January of 2020. We’ve covered the whys of EOL in previous pings, so in this edition we would like to remind you of the importance of keeping your servers updated and workstations rebooted when prompted. We discussed this necessity in The Ping: Updates and Upgrades, and we encourage you to review it. Staying ahead of the game will help prevent down time from malware and slow systems or hardware crashes. This edition of “The Ping!” should answer any lingering questions about Microsoft’s EOL policy and dates.

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As the year draws to a close, we want to remind you of how important it is to stay diligent with your cybersecurity awareness training and security updates. This year, like years past, cybersecurity breaches have topped headline news and may have affected you personally. Let’s review some of the larger breaches and malware risks this year. These are security breaches that allowed someone or some group to access personal information, and they could even access some examples of how that information was used.

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 For each area of concern with sensitive data, there are published guidelines to follow in order to achieve compliance. Reading and digesting the guidelines in whole can be a difficult task. There are decision making tools, technical requirement write-ups, security policies, and security procedures to pour through. So, without getting into the nitty gritty, we want to answer some of the frequently asked questions that come our way.

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Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)

Criminal Justice Information Services, or CJIS, is a division of the FBI that provides criminal justice information needed to perform law enforcement duties. It “serve[s] as the focal point and central repository for criminal justice information services in the FBI.” – FBI. In Texas this information is disseminated via the DPS and includes details such as vehicle registration, criminal history, driver’s license, license plate, firearm, etc. Because this information is highly sensitive and needs to be protected, CJIS provides security compliance requirements and performs audits to ensure these requirements are being met. Below are just a few example requirements of the Security Policy…

  • Security Awareness Training
  • Perimeter Intrusion Detection
  • Advanced Authentication
  • Maintain Log History
  • Change Management
  • Device Encryption

Failing a single audit flags an agency as non-compliant. If compliance is not achieved, the agency can lose access to the information and tools needed to perform their duties.

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What is compliance? Some of you might be acutely aware of this term, and others might have little to no idea. In broad terms, business compliance means following the rules required to secure your business and the people that interact with it. More specifically, compliance is aimed at information security. Business Compliance means you are complying with requirements by a credible organization or government department that promotes the security and protection of sensitive information.

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Ah Budgeting… The least favorite thing we can do in both our personal and business lives.  Although it isn’t fun, it tends to make our lives much easier in the long run.  Let’s break down the basics to getting you and your organization onto a budget plan that will work for your business goals.

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Once you’ve decided to work remotely, you may find it difficult to stay in sync with the rest of your team back in the office.  Digital workforce infrastructure has been engineered for decades to provide a stable foundation for your office, but now that you’re outside of your firewall you may find yourself as frustrated as a hacker would be when trying to access your company’s documents.  While you may still be able to email back and forth with your coworkers, you can’t easily update your shared files, see who’s available to receive an incoming call, or update a customer’s order status.

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