Cybersecurity starts first, and foremost, with people. Even with a secure perimeter, the people using the network can introduce risks to the environment. Teaching your employees what to look out for and where their responsibilities lie are the first steps to closing the security gaps and lessen the chances of your business falling victim to a vicious attack.

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Working remotely may seem rather quick and easy. You head on over to your local coffee shop, order your triple-shot, half-caff, no foam, extra hot latte and sit at your favorite table in the corner.  You double check to make sure no one is looking over your shoulder, pop open your laptop and get to work. Right? Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. Staying secure in a non-secure work place comes with some much needed extra steps to keep your company data away from prying eyes.

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Most of us look at that update notification from our devices and think, “I’ll do that later.” When we finally get around to it, there are multiple updates that have been sitting there for weeks. We continue with this behavior because nothing has happened to me yet. In order to change those behaviors, let’s begin to think of updates like you would your car insurance. If you waited to cover yourself, that fender-bender might have cost you a LOT more in the long run.

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Almost every day we hear of a new way hackers are stealing personal information from the public. They are creating so many new ways to exploit us that it’s almost impossible for the security vendors to keep up. This underlines the fact that the best way to try and remain malware free is, and probably always will be, to practice safe computing habits.

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How nice is it to come home to a well-lit house and the cool A/C on a hot summer day? Smart devices seem to be the easy fix for the little things in life with all of our busy schedules taking up so much of our time. While some of these devices are being put into place to help keep our homes secure, we might be inviting more danger in without even knowing it.

Recent studies have found that almost any Tom, Dick or Harry can hack a smart device within 30 minutes. All they need is access to the internet and the make and model of the device in question. “Using these devices in our lab, we were able to play loud music through a baby monitor, turn off a thermostat and turn on a camera remotely, much to the concern of our researchers who themselves use these products.” – Dr. Yossi Oren

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You’ve probably heard about Spectre and Meltdown, and we’re not talking about James Bond. These are new exploits that have recently been discovered in just about every processor on every phone or computer currently in use.

All the major computer and phone manufacturers are aware of these exploits and have either patched their operating systems, or are in the process of issuing a patch.

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How do I avoid a getting infected by a virus?

Good question! Even though you diligently keep your Windows or Mac operating system and your antivirus program updated with all the latest patches and updates you still get viruses.
Updates and patches are reactive to existing viruses or security holes so unfortunately you will always be at risk. To reduce your risk you should always practice safe computing.

What is safe computing?

Safe Computing is composed of a few elements:
– Responsible Surfing: Stay away from shady websites. Also, like your mom said, “Stay away from porn!” Many links to images, particularly the ones with naked people in them, will infect your PC.
– Security: Make sure that the Windows or Mac login you do your day to day surfing under does NOT have admin access to your PC. This will help prevent the spread of a virus if you do happen to stumble across anything malicious.
-Updates: Keep your Operating System, Antivirus Program, and all your web plug-ins updated. If you have an agreement with Univista that includes Limited or Comprehensive Desktop Support then we do most of this for you already.
-Responsible Email: If you get an email that you weren’t expecting that includes a really interesting sounding link to a web page or attachment STAY AWAY! If it’s from a friend call them and ask if they meant to send it to you. If it’s from a stranger then delete it.

What if I do all these things and I still get a popup that looks like a virus?

– DO NOT CLICK ON ANYTHING IN THE POPUP! Clicking in or on the popup may give the virus permission to install on your PC and then you’re in for a potentially expensive recovery.
Instead please bring up your Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DELETE keys and then select Task Manager) in Windows or your Task Manager (APPLE-OPTION-ESC) on your Mac and then end your web browser processes until you see the popup disappear.

Unfortunatly that there are no absolute solutions to the virus dilemma. You can only do the best that you can and even then you may still get a virus but I promise that if you do these few simple things your risk will go way down.

As always, please do not hesitate to call us at 866-832-6209. We’re here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

According to Fox News, A hacker stole the source code behind Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Symantec Antivirus 10.2.  To read more about this breach please goto: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/06/symantec-source-code-theft-likely-no-threat-to-average-user-analyst-says/

If you need own and need assistance upgrading to the latest Symantec Enterprise client, or if you would like to reevaluate your desktop security, please give us a call at 866-832-6209.