Seamless Cybersecurity & Two Emerging Threats

For most businesses, the pandemic has been a rush of implementing new policies and procedures while at the same time, trying to keep end-user cybersecurity fortifications intact. Organizations that acted early following the shelter-in-place safety procedures are still focusing on maintaining or improving their cybersecurity needs.

Most users can work from home and many have implemented tools to allow for a remote workforce. Many firms are adding collaboration tools to their remote strategy, with the hope of improving teamwork and collaboration more efficiently. However, this new workflow and new tools can expose your business to additional risks.

At Clare Computer Solutions we have uncovered at least two troubling new trends to keep an eye on:

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Four Risks to Consider with VPN Deployments

With the sudden and rushed deployment of Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to further support new remote workers, many companies are discovering firsthand, the struggles of implementing a VPN into their network. Without the needed experience, the configuration can leave your network, endpoints, and data vulnerable to attack.

Proper implementation, ongoing management and monitoring of this device is the key to success. Clare has been assisting clients with implementing new solutions for over 30-years. Our approach is to assure your business objectives are addressed while highlighting potential risks and vulnerabilities. We will review the overall network architecture to identify and address potential access control concerns, issues of scaling and load challenges, authentication concerns, and, finally, endpoint protection as part of our design discussions. A thorough implementation will ensure a successful and secure VPN solution. Read more

Keeping Your IT Infrastructure Fresh, Reliable and Aligned with Business Needs 

As the network evolves with a company, over time (configuration changes are made, new devices are added, some are completely forgotten) older devices become unstable and unsupported. This is a natural consequence due to competing priorities, staff turnover, and daily distractions. This ‘aging’ of the network can contribute to an unstable network and excessive time required to resolve issues if not properly maintained.

Left unchecked, the network can become convoluted due to server sprawl and ad hoc changes. This is a common situation for many companies and creates unnecessary IT support overhead, and inflates operating costs.

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New to Working From Anywhere? Tips to Keep You Productive and Efficient

With so many businesses now encouraging, or even mandating employees to begin working from home amid the heath concerns of Coronavirus. Millions have already changed their daily routines, in turn changing the way many of us work today.

Not everyone has been made accustomed to working from home or getting work done can be an adjustment. The good news about working from home is the commute time has gone down. Many spending more time with family, and maybe you will get a few things done around the home. Some challenges can include loneliness, staying connected, heightened levels of distraction can significantly affect your productivity – so we are here to help!

Regardless of you working from a spare bedroom, or the lobby of your building, we have compiled some tips to help you set up, and limit the distractions while maintaining confidentiality and professionalism.

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Can You Spot a Scam When You See One?

Can You Spot a Scam When You See One? – Learn How to Recognize Suspicious Texts and Emails!

As we are all getting used to the new normal, people continuing to work from home or staff returning to work, there continues to be a lot of change and unrest. Users are frustrated, concerned, overwhelmed, hurried and uncomfortable. As such they may forget to follow due diligence recommendations. Additionally, our hackers just keep getting more creative and continue to hunt for opportunities.

Keeping your business and information safe is critically important to us. Whether these attacks are directed at the business or the home, your users are exposed. Therefore, we continue to identify new threats and help you stay in front of the latest business scams and hacking attempts.

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6 Important OS Hardening Steps to Protect Your Data and End Users

Are your systems protected? Is your IT Team overwhelmed or your current IT Partner leaving your business vulnerable? According to the Duo Trusted Access Report, only 53% of Mac OS users are running either the fully patched, latest version of OS X, or the previous version, compared to 35% of Windows users on Windows 10 and 8.1. That means most of these operating systems are outdated, unpatched or unsecured – leaving your business vulnerable to compromises and extended downtime.

While proper patch management is critical to protecting business data and employee up-time, it is only one of many security considerations. Ransomware-as-a-Service continues to grow, it’s just as important, we are seeing a rise in popularity of Operating System (OS) Exploit Kits.
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Returning to the Office: A Checklist for Your Businesses

As many counties ease lockdown restrictions, businesses around the Bay Area will slowly begin to reopen their doors. As some look forward to getting back into the office, other will continue to feel wary. One thing is for certain – the workplace is going to look very different for many of us.

How can you best prepare your team for the ‘new normal’? What should you take into consideration to ensure a successful return to the workplace, especially when it comes to employees, office space, and technology? While it is not an exhaustive list, our Returning to the Office: A Checklist for Your Businesses covers the items to consider as your office begins to reopen. Read more

Generating Your Security Mindset During These Times

Here we are, months later, still dealing with the changes this pandemic has created. Most changes haven’t been fun, but it’s made for very interesting times. Many businesses are focused on balancing between more or (for some) less work, figuring out how to maintain staff, motivate existing staff remotely, determining how to keep staff busy and preparing for what tomorrow will bring as we slowly start to come out of the COVID-19 quarantine. Now, more than ever, is the time to re-evaluate your businesses Security Posture and implement solutions you may have been hesitant to consider previously. It’s predicted that by 2021, cyber crime will cost the world $6 trillion annually. Even more frightening is the fact that on average, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds Read more

Insider Threats, What’s the True Cost to Your Organization

Insider threats cost companies millions. According to the Ponemon Institute’s recently released study ”2020 Cost of Internal Threats.”  In the last two years we have seen a 31% increase in threats emerging from inside an organization. Costs range from $756K to $871K per incident, depending on the type of breach.

There are three types of Insider Threats:
  • Careless, Negligent Employee or Contractor– These are well-intentioned employees or other users who accidentally harm the enterprise. These incidents happen all the time, but  a lot of people don’t think about this threat. Employees constantly make mistakes that put company data at risk — whether that’s because they’re careless, taking shortcuts, or simply uneducated in security. These mistakes add to the challenges faced by IT Teams daily. Ransomware, for example, is often put on a computer because of an employee’s careless browsing or download habits. Phishing attacks are another great example.

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Average Ransomware Payment Rises Again

COVID-19 continues to create opportunities for the “bad actors” to wreak havoc. In this week’s blog we discuss the latest security concerns created by the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically around Ransomware. This quarter saw a 33% increase in ransom from Q1 2020, with average payment requirement of $111K! It’s the seventh straight quarter that system hijackers have reaped more money and shows that this security breach continues to grow. Compare this to the previous numbers we shared in which the average ransom in Q4 2019 had increased from $84,116 reflecting a staggering increase from $41,198 in Q4 2018. Read more