VisiCom Services Blog

VisiCom Services has been serving the Rochester Hills area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Addressing 2 Primary Objections to Cloud Computing that Businesses May Have

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_computing_objections_400.jpgDespite cloud computing being commonplace, there are still some businesses holding out when it comes to migrating their data to the cloud. In most scenarios like this, a company has objections to the cloud that are preventing them from taking advantage of its many benefits. Are these objections valid? Let’s find out by addressing two of the most common objections to the cloud.

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Tip of the Week: How to Lock Your Android Device

b2ap3_thumbnail_got_that_andoid_on_lock_400.jpgYou’ve got a lot of sensitive information stored on your mobile device. If it were to fall into the wrong hands, you wouldn’t want the new user to have easy access to it. This is why every mobile device should be locked. Here’s how to lock your Android device, as well as how to pick out a lock screen setting that’s right for you.

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911: “What is Your Emergency?” You: “I’ve Been Hacked!”

b2ap3_thumbnail_rescue_911_from_hackers_400.jpgBelieve it or not, there are horror stories told of innocent people being abandoned by 911 dispatchers when they need help the most. This mainly isn’t due to incompetence on the dispatchers’ part, but because there are malicious forces that aren’t taken into consideration. Often, victims of 911 mishaps are misled by the odd hacker.

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3 Security Factors to Look for In Your Business’s Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_three_security_factors_400.jpgA business is always at risk of being destroyed, be it online or offline. According to a study by 1&1, 67 percent of people confirmed that someone they know has had information stolen from them while online. In order to prevent your business from joining this statistic, there are several features you should look for when considering your network’s security.

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It Seems Sony Can’t Get a Break from IT Issues

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_your_identity_400.jpgIt’s the holiday season… for everyone but Sony, at least. The tech/entertainment supergiant has been experiencing a ton of security issues lately. Last month, someone hacked into Sony’s databases and stole a lot of information (including unreleased movies, which were later released to the world). This December, it was revealed that Sony stored their passwords in a folder on their server titled “Passwords.”

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3 Ways to Prioritize Fighting Botnets

b2ap3_thumbnail_fight_off_a_botnet_400.jpgThe Internet is infested with threats of all kinds, some of the most annoying are bots. These consist of systems which potentially gather information from a variety of sources. While primarily used by search engines to gather data from websites (these are the good kinds), there are others who may have fallen into the hands of hackers which steal information or send spam.

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Alert: Critical Microsoft Office Flaw Patched

b2ap3_thumbnail_Microsoft-Office-icon_400.jpg‘Tis the season for technology vulnerabilities and exploits. In addition to Sandworm and Cryptowall 2.0, another flaw has been found in Microsoft Office. This particular threat allows a hacker to gain control of a computer system, making it a dangerous and potentially threatening gamble for your business to ignore it. Thankfully, the issue has been patched, and the fix is now available to the public.

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Tip of the Week: How to Protect Your Business from 3 Common Disasters

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_your_business_400.jpgIt doesn’t take much to disrupt your company’s network and cause downtime. Whether it’s from something major like a natural disaster, or something minor like forgetting your network login credentials, you need to have a plan in place that gets your network up and running as soon as possible. Here are three common scenarios that you need to plan for.

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What Flu Season Can Teach Us about Cyberdefense

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_yourself_against_viruses_400.jpgIt’s flu season, and just like office workers around the country are taking preventive health measures like stocking up on tissues and vitamin C, so too are IT technicians doing everything they can to stop the spread of computer viruses on their company’s network. Although, unlike the flu, computer viruses are more than a seasonal threat.

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Microsoft Fixes Dangerous POODLE SSL Vulnerability

b2ap3_thumbnail_Poodles_400.jpgA while back we discussed the POODLE vulnerability found in SSL 3.0 SSL encryption technology. This vulnerability is found in all operating systems, as it is found within the web browser’s abilities to process SSL encryption. Thankfully, major companies are stepping up to tackle the issue, and Microsoft has released a basic solution to fix the vulnerability in Internet Explorer.

The POODLE vulnerability itself is used to obtain information encrypted with SSL technology by analyzing web traffic. This technique is used to steal information such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or other private information. In non-tech speak, SSL (Secure Socket Layers) is an encryption protocol used to keep data safe on the web through security certificates. This method of encryption has long since been replaced by the more secure protocol TLS (Transport Layer Security), but several systems will revert back to their old SSL certificates in the event something has gone wrong with their TLS. TLS isn’t vulnerable to this issue, so in theory, a hacker could force their way into a network, exploiting the traffic coming in and out of the network for any worthwhile information.

According to the Microsoft security advisory, hackers exploit a man-in-the-middle attack to take advantage of this vulnerability:

In a man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attack, an attacker could downgrade an encrypted TLS session forcing clients to use SSL 3.0 and then force the browser to execute malicious code. This code sends several requests to a target HTTPS website, where cookies are sent automatically if a previous authenticated session exists. This is a required condition in order to exploit this vulnerability. The attacker could then intercept this HTTPS traffic, and by exploiting a weakness in the CBC block cipher in SSL 3.0, could decrypt portions of the encrypted traffic (e.g. authentication cookies).

Due to the nature of POODLE as a design flaw, it’s not something that can easily be patched. Therefore, most experts are saying that you’re better off disabling SSL 3.0 for their web browsers. Most servers don’t rely on SSL 3.0 anymore, which makes it obsolete. In fact, most major browsers are looking to disable SSL 3.0 completely within the next few months. Firefox is fixing the issue with the November upgrade, while Google is working to disable SSL 3.0 on all of its products. This makes the vulnerability obsolete for two of the biggest browsers, but what about Internet Explorer?

Turns out Microsoft has a way to fix that one, too. Microsoft has released a Fix It tool, which can help users disable SSL 3.0 without navigating through their Control Panel. Just click here for the tool on their official website. Otherwise, you must disable SSL 3.0 and enable TLS 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2. Follow these steps to do so:

poodle in blog 1

In the Internet Explorer Tools menu (or your PC’s Control Panel), click Internet Options.

poodle in blog 2

In the Internet Options window, click the Advanced tab.

poodle in blog 3

Scroll down to the Security section. Notice there are checkboxes next to the available SSL and TLS options. Uncheck Use SSL 3.0, and check the following: TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, and TLS 1.2. Be sure to check all of the TLS versions. Failing to do so could result in connection errors.

Finally, click OK, exit, and restart Internet Explorer. This allows Internet Explorer to refuse a connection with any servers which only support SSL, which ensures that the web traffic isn’t vulnerable to the POODLE vulnerability.

VisiCom Services believes that quality security is key to a minimal-risk online environment. This fix isn’t a viable replacement for the latest security updates and patches, so you will want to ensure that you are always running the most up-to-date versions of your software, applications, and especially your operating system.

VisiCom Services can apply all of these patches for your business’s systems so you don’t have to. Call us today at 248.299.0300 to learn more.

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Are Ghosts Haunting the Halls of Your Servers?

b2ap3_thumbnail_haunted_pc_400.jpgThough not everyone believes them, we all know about the horror stories of the spirits of the dead that linger in this world, haunting locations where no one dares to tread. Every culture, though their beliefs vary, contains them to some degree. Their purpose is unknown, and they are thought to be caused by unfulfilled desires or regrets. But regardless of whether or not you believe in them, you better believe that your business can very well be haunted by ghost servers.

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Warning: Updated Cryptowall Ransomware Strikes Again

b2ap3_thumbnail_ransomware_attack_400.jpgAs a business owner, you want to take every precaution against the latest threats that can affect your way of life. An updated threat called Cryptowall 2.0 (previously known as Cryptolocker) has been cut loose by malware developers, and it's capable of dealing irreparable damage to your business's network and data. This spear-phishing variant has the power to grind your network's files to dust, and in turn, your productivity.

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Tip of the Week: How to Protect Yourself from IT Equipment Theft

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_equipment_theft_400.jpgHow often do you deal with your company-owned IT equipment? Some businesses keep detailed records of their equipment and use security measures and policies to prevent theft; but if your business doesn't protect its equipment, you could be digging a hole into your budget without realizing it.

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Caution: New Bash Bug Vulnerability Might Leave You with Shellshock

b2ap3_thumbnail_bash_bug_vulnerability_400.jpgFor users of Unix-based operating systems, there's a new threat on the loose. The vulnerability, promptly called the Bash bug, or "shellshock," is targeting systems equipped with Linux and Mac OS X. The bug allows remote users to execute arbitrary code within the operating system.

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Half of Your Employees Would Steal from You if Fired

b2ap3_thumbnail_former_employee_theft_400.jpgIn a survey by Cyber-Ark, close to half of employees interviewed admitted that if they were fired tomorrow, they would take with them their former company's proprietary data. This is a shocking revelation considering how much you trust your current staff, maybe even to the point of referring to them as "family." What can you do to protect your business from a former employee with ill intentions?

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In Light of Major Retail Hacks, Protect Your Credit Card Numbers

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_your_credit_card_400.jpgThe Target data breach seems but a distant memory now, yet the same malware strikes again, this time at Home Depot. The hacking attack targeted the millions of credit and debit cards used at these large retailers, but these attacks could have been mitigated with proper precaution.

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4½ Million Medical Records Compromised. Are Your Health Secrets Safe?

b2ap3_thumbnail_healthcare_hacker_400.jpgWe've got yet another major data breach to report that affects millions of users, this one of a very personal nature. This week, it was revealed that Chinese hackers compromised 4.5 million medical records from Community Health Systems, a hospital network with 206 facilities in the United States. Ask your doctor today if identity theft prevention is right for you.

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Are You Being Hacked by Your Neighbor’s Cat?

b2ap3_thumbnail_hacked_by_neighbors_cat_400.jpgYes, you read that title right. If your WiFi isn't protected, you can be hacked by the furry little creature that wanders around your backyard when you're not home. Coco, a Siamese cat from Washington, D.C., was able to discover dozens of weak or unprotected WiFi networks in his neighborhood with his high-tech collar.

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Malware BadUSB Challenges Our Dependency on USB Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_usb_malware_400.jpgYour office is likely full-to-bursting with devices utilizing USB technology. It's been a popular way to connect external devices to PCs since the 1.1 version was released in 1998. However, it may be the technology's popularity that will cause its downfall as hackers develop ways to use the device to their advantage.

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Is Antivirus on Its Last Leg?

b2ap3_thumbnail_does_antivirus_still_protect_you_400.jpgAll of the recent vulnerabilities and bugs over the past few months, such as Heartbleed, GameOver Zeus, and the zero-day Internet Explorer vulnerability have many people thinking - just how strong is antivirus in the face of such threats? Symantec told The Wall Street Journal their opinion on the subject: Antivirus is "dead."

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