Netcotech Blog

Upcoming Cyber Security Threats of the Future

Upcoming Cyber Security Threats of the Future

In the last few years, we’ve seen workers connect to the office from home, creating a rise in security breaches for many industries. If you are a business owner looking to ensure your business is secure, you likely want to stay ahead of the curve and discover how cyber-attacks are set to evolve in the coming years. Maybe you’re just curious. In any case, here are the significant upcoming changes to the world of cyber security in the years to come.   Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence poses a massive threat to all users of the internet. Simply put, artificial intelligence enables hackers to invade your network and get better at it as they do so. Instead of trying to figure out your passwords, AI bots can simply brute force their way into many people’s private data; by trying millions of known-passwords, they can get into many accounts. A recent study by Scientists using 43 million LinkedIn accounts found that AI programs could guess a quarter of the passwords. Using unique and often arduously long and complex passwords will be necessary if this threat becomes as dangerous as experts are predicting. You should use two-factor authentication when possible as well. Biometric...

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What is a Firewall?

What is firewall

Have you ever wondered what a firewall is? Before sitting down to read this you’d be forgiven for only hearing about them in espionage thrillers. Don’t be fooled, firewalls are a vital part of keeping you and your network secure from malicious attacks. Simply put, firewalls are software or hardware dedicated to monitoring entry points on a computer (ports) from external devices, like other computers on the network. Based on rules and filters, the firewall either allows or denies access depending on the information collected by their IP address. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll go over a basic understanding of each type of firewall, and the pros and cons of each. Types of firewalls 1. Packet Filtering firewall Packet Filtering firewalls monitor junction points on your network such as the router. The firewall monitors packets of information and decides whether or not a message is dangerous. The advantage of this type of firewall is it can scan packets fast, it’s less taxing on your network and it’s generally less expensive to set up. 2. Circuit level gateway  Circuit level gateways monitor TCP handshakes and other network messages as sessions between the network and an outside source are created. Based on...

What is firewall
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3 Reasons You Need a VPN

3 Reasons You Need a VPN

A VPN or virtual private network is something you might not think you need if you're not in the tech industry. But every individual and business that works on the internet could benefit from a VPN. If you’re an avid traveller, enjoy working in your local café, or just watching Netflix at home, a VPN can help secure your sensitive information and make your online browsing safer. A VPN masks your IP address, encrypts data, and reroutes it through secure networks, protecting your anonymity and security. But beyond the general safety concerns, what are some tangible reasons you should invest in a VPN? 1.      VPNs Offer Extra Security on Public Wi-Fi Networks   The fact that public Wi-Fi is less secure is not a secret, but it’s a part of everyday life. Whether you’re in a waiting room, at a Starbucks, in a hotel, or any public Wi-Fi, chances are you’re connecting to their network – but they’re more vulnerable to security breaches, phishing, and malware attacks. VPNs protect your passwords when you sign in to your accounts, hide your browsing history, and shield your banking information from malicious spying. So you can enjoy your online shopping from anywhere without worrying...

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What to Do If Your Email Gets Hacked

What to Do If Your Email Gets Hacked

 Your email account is a wealth of personal information. Work emails, personal emails, account information, and sensitive data can all be targets of hackers with malicious intent. Whether you know, or just suspect, someone hacked your email account, you have to act quickly with these steps to secure your data and regain control. What Should You Do If Your Email Gets Hacked? There are several steps you should take to be extra safe in re-securing your accounts – you can never be too careful. 1.      Conduct a Deep Antivirus Scan Your email can act as a gateway for hackers to access your computer. Malware like Trojans, keyloggers, and spyware can track every move you make on your device that hackers can exploit. They can potentially get access to your banking information and make money transfers that you haven’t authorized. Running a thorough antivirus scan as soon as you suspect a hack can wipe away malware before it causes too much damage. 2.      Change Your Passwords and Security Questions Following your scan, you should change all your passwords to be safe – not only your email password, but you should change any account that's connected to payments. Secure your bank accounts, online...

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Top 3 Security Measures to Take for Your E-Commerce Store

Top 3 Security Measures to Take for Your E-Commerce Store

In the past two years, consumers switched to rely more and more on e-commerce stores to fulfill everyday shopping needs. But people are picky and are willing to change to other sellers if they are concerned for their privacy or security.  Online stores are just as susceptible to data breaches as other small businesses, and when you're dealing with customers' personal information, your consumers will notice. But there are ways to fortify your e-commerce security to protect all its data.  1. Stay Up to Date with Firewalls and Safety Plug-Ins E-commerce stores have a lot of incoming traffic, so firewalls are essential to keep the threats out while allowing customers to seamlessly navigate your shop. You can also couple your firewall with security plug-ins to see a breakdown of your store's traffic – plug-ins can help tell you when you're under threat of hacking attempts. 2. Use HTTPS You’re likely familiar with this acronym, hypertext transfer protocol secure, that sends information between your website and your customer's web browser. It's the gold standard of security, and the default HTTP is not enough to protect data in the modern landscape of cybersecurity. Not only will HTTPS protect your customers throughout the payment...

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3 Questions to Ask Any Managed Service Provider


Managed service providers can be an essential part of your business – outsourcing your technology needs to them can relieve a strain on the daily operations of any business. But researching a managed service provider that aligns with your needs is an essential step to take before committing to a provider.  How do you know which managed service provider will be a good fit? Here are some basic questions to ask them to learn their services and processes.  Can We Add or Remove Managed Service Offerings as My Business Needs Change?   Finding a managed service provider who is open to flexibility is important to any growing business. As you develop your systems and processes, you’ll find your needs may change, so anticipate these alterations in advance and make plans for any future adjustments.  Who Will Have Access to My Data?   No matter how sensitive your data is, its protection is vital for your business – that's partly why you're seeking a managed service provider. But it's crucial for your peace of mind to know who can access your data. Building a rapport with that person will put a face to the company managing your data. ...

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Email Security Best Practices to Protect Your Business


  We have been using email for decades, and it’s easy to take its vulnerability for granted. We send and receive dozens of emails a day – messages with confidential information are at particular risk for data breaches.    Technology is getting smarter, but so are the malicious hackers that want to intercept your information. From phishing scams to spam messages and beyond, emails are a lot more exposed than we think.   What Are the Best Ways to Protect Your Emails?   While having firewall and malware software is a good idea, the specific steps you take to protect your emails don’t have to be overly complicated. Implementing some habits every day, week, or month can go a long way in adding a layer of security to your account.   Keep Your Email Accounts Separate   It seems like everyone has at least two email accounts – a personal account, a work account, and sometimes more. Keeping your accounts and emails separate is a good practice to adopt.    Only sending work emails from your work account, not your personal account and vice versa can reduce security risks. If one account is compromised, you can more easily...

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Does Covering Your Webcam Really Do Anything?


In conversations about cybersecurity, experts constantly stress the importance of covering webcams. From computers to tablets to phones, we have cameras on almost every device we use, and they're as vulnerable to cyberattacks as anything else. In the age of telecommuting and online lectures, programs like Zoom are gaining more users. You have to worry not just about your own business' security but also the safety of software that uses our webcams. Why Would You Cover Up Your Webcam? Cybercriminals are after information, but that doesn't mean they're only targeting your files – webcams are also a gateway into information mining. Whether you're in the privacy of your home or workspace, if software or a virus infiltrates your webcam, malicious hackers can see everything your webcam sees. If you have a wireless webcam, it will likely have its own IP address and password. If a cybercriminal finds the IP address and can crack the password, they will access all the webcam's functions. Built-in webcams are incredibly convenient, but if your whole device gets a virus, a hacker can quickly take control of your webcam. When using your camera, your computer will turn on a light to notify you that it's on,...

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Why is IT Support So Important for Your Business?


Chances are, your small business doesn't have a team of in-house technology professionals whose job it is to catch and fix all tech problems. Small companies have less staff, and IT support can fall to the bottom of the priorities pile. But unlike large corporations, small businesses have fewer in-house resources to protect themselves from data breaches, server crashes, and general technological disasters. That's why outsourcing the technical aspects of your business to a fully managed service provider is the answer. Here are a few reasons why letting someone else manage your technology is better for you, your business, and your employees. 1. Improved Productivity Think back to the last time you had even a minor tech emergency. You have to stop what you were doing, attempt to diagnose the problem, and try to tinker with your machines hoping that you can fix it and get back into your workflow. You and your employees already have full days doing your jobs and growing the business. Being bogged down by IT problems can only flame frustration. Getting IT professionals to take care of these tasks for you lets your staff get back to doing their jobs uninterrupted. 2. Ensured Security As much...

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Data Protection in the Work-From-Home Era


With more and more companies switching to a work-from-home model, employees need to be more careful with work data. Many employees lack the knowledge about how to best keep data safe and secure, and those preying on them know that this gap in understanding exists. Are Remote Workers More at Risk of Hacking? Since remote working has changed the way we use our devices, they are at risk of data breaches in different ways. Home devices may be targeted by cybercriminals looking to use a home network to access business devices. Third-party applications, messaging, and emails will be more at risk of phishing messages as a result. Remote workers are most at risk of data breaches, and it's a trend that will continue as remote working becomes the new normal. Businesses are becoming increasingly vulnerable in their device security, as well as their data security. Why are Remote Workers More Vulnerable to Security Breaches? As we get comfortable working from home, we naturally let our guard down. We feel safe in our house at the best of times, so we think our devices are safe too. But the reality is that outside the firewall protections offered with company servers, we are...

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What Are Phishing Scams to Recognize and Avoid


Phishing emails and texts have evolved over time from the basic ploy to get your personal information to very sophisticated schemes that leave you questioning. Passwords, bank account information and other account information are vulnerable to these scams, so it's increasingly important to recognize the tactics and avoid them. How Do I Recognize Phishing? Scammers have the tools and cunning to make their messages seem legitimate. But there are some messages to look out for and question. They may look like a legitimate communication from companies you trust. Whether it's from your bank, Netflix, or even a government agency, scammers are doing their best to make their scams seem as authentic as possible. They may claim that there is a problem with your existing password.It could ask you to click on a link to make a payment.They could say that they’ve seen suspicious activity on your account.They may even include a fake invoice or coupon. The end goal of these scams is for you to click on the link that they’ve attached with their message, which can then give them access to your personal information. How Do I Protect Myself from Phishing Scams? Automatic Software Updates A simple way to ensure...

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Everything You Need to Know About Windows 8.1 End of Life


With Microsoft announcing that the Windows 11 release is right around the corner, most users will be looking to upgrade to hardware that supports it. This is a topic for another day. As we approach the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is gearing up to retire one of its most controversial (and ultimately innovative) operating systems to date, Windows 8.1. Today, we thought we’d talk a little bit about the mixed bag Windows 8.1 is and how it will be important to move off of the software by January 2023.

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What You Need to Know About the Internet of Things


In today’s ever-connected world, many devices are capable of utilizing an Internet connection to share and access information, including some rather unorthodox ones. All of these devices contribute to the greater collective which is referred to as the Internet of Things. While this type of unprecedented connectivity can be a great boon for businesses, it also represents great risks for business owners who do not take it seriously.

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3 Tips for Successful Cloud Migration


The cloud has been instrumental in driving the digital shift in the business world. Cloud computing is a critical enabler for innovation, customer experience, and cost reduction.  While the adoption of the cloud is accelerating, many businesses don’t understand the requirements and limitations of cloud consumption.  Cloud offers many advantages, such as: Mobile and remote access to informationBusiness resiliencyCost savings on hardwareTime savings for your IT departmentScalabilityBuilt-in security and compliance tools   Moving your data and applications onto the cloud is a multi-step process. This means you need to plan effectively and ahead of time for a successful migration. Three ways to ensure successful cloud migration: Hire an Efficient and Capable IT Team   Cloud services are in high demand, which has created a shortage of qualified people to do the work. Cloud projects succeed when you and your cloud provider bring their A team to the grid. If you’re not getting the right people, you risk an inferior outcome. Choose What Belongs on The Cloud   Not all apps are cloud friendly. Some apps may need minor tweaking while others need in-depth code changes. A full analysis of complexity and implementation is easier to do before the migration...

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Mobile Management Is More Crucial than Ever


Make no mistake, the impact that your mobile device strategy has on your business is an important one. It can make or break your organization’s security, as well as stymie or encourage your organization’s productivity. Therefore, you should do everything in your power to make sure that your mobile device management platform is working to your company’s advantage. Let’s take a look at some of the features that all good MDM platforms should enable.

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Is Your PC Ready for Windows 11?


Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 11, the latest in its line of PC operating systems, as well as detailed its system requirements. Will your business be upgrading to Windows 11 when the time comes? We think a lot of it will depend on its current IT infrastructure and whether or not you meet the minimum requirements right out the gate. Let’s dive into the details and what you need to know about Windows 11.

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3 Variables You Need to Consider for an Effective Digital Transformation


For decades, technology has been the driving force behind some of the biggest and most radical shifts in business. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that the keys to your organization pushing past its limits and becoming truly exceptional lies in the implementation of new technologies that change operations in a profound way. The process of digital transformation does not have to be difficult, but it is important in a business environment so that you can stay competitive.

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Phishing Training is a Critical Component of Any Security Strategy


Phishing attacks are some of the most common threats out there. Hackers will craft messages or web pages designed to harvest information from your employees, be it through suspicious requests for credentials via email or through false websites that look so much like the real thing that it’s no wonder they were tricked. How can you make sure that your employees don’t fall for these dirty tricks? It all starts with comprehensive phishing training.

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Here Are 3 Keys to Building a Thorough IT Support Strategy


IT support is a major pain point for small businesses. While they understand that technology is not something to be trifled with, they often have to pass on getting the most comprehensive service out there in favor of saving capital for other parts of business. 

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Mobile Device Management is Challenging in Today’s Remote Work Environment


As you might expect, the remote circumstances that many business professionals have found themselves in as of late have created challenges that must be overcome, especially in regards to the access and dissemination of data to mobile devices. Let’s examine the mobile device’s role in the modern business and how you can ensure these great tools are being used properly for your organization.

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