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Recent blog posts

3 Ways to Prioritize Fighting Botnets

Posted by on in Security

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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b2ap3_thumbnail_workplace_efficiency_400.jpgHumans are self-serving, especially when it comes to the workplace, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In this day and age, people want more out of their workplace than just a decent salary and flexible company policies. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to get everyone to enjoy their workday.

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Alert: Critical Microsoft Office Flaw Patched

Posted by on in Security

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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b2ap3_thumbnail_dumpster_app_400.jpgAndroid smartphones are at the top of the mobile market, but they have a flaw which some people don’t even realize is there - the lack of a recycle bin. Anything deleted is unlikely to be recovered, which can be seriously inconvenient for many people. What if you accidentally delete something important? Thankfully, there is a fix to this problem in the form of an app called Dumpster.

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Tired of Email? Here are Some Alternatives

Posted by on in Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_alternatives_400.jpgEver since the world adopted the Internet, email has been a part of the picture. Initially, email seemed like a dynamic tool compared to faxes and metered mail, but now, the average worker despises their email inbox for its unreasonable demands on their time and its hindrance to productivity. Are there any options that can replace email in the workplace?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_laptop_batty_boost_400.jpgWe all know the pains of having a laptop with low battery power, but sometimes it feels like you're perpetually plugging in your computer; even when it seems like the battery should last longer. These battery problems are common, but they aren’t an endgame for your laptop. There are several ways you can jumpstart your laptop’s battery.

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Cloud Computing Value is Driving Business

Posted by on in Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_value_400.jpgProfitability is the measure of success in business, and behind it is some desperation. Business owners of all types are looking to technological innovations to give their business a chance for growth. Obviously everything someone tries to sell you won’t benefit your endeavor, but one aspect that has been gaining attention from business owners is the use of cloud computing to increase company profitability. It accomplishes this by using value.

Tagged in: Business Cloud Value
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b2ap3_thumbnail_friendly_competition_400.jpgFor American retailers, Black Friday is the biggest and most competitive day on the shopping calendar. Consumers reap the rewards of all of this competition by taking advantage of deep discounts on their favorite items. Competition like this is a win-win for both parties! Can your business benefit like this from an infusion of friendly competition?

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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_strange_chargers_for_mobile_400.jpgEvery mobile device owner has some kind of charging cord they keep nearby. Most of us don’t think twice about our charging cord and we just use what came with the device. However, when it comes to charging our phones, we’ve got several options available that make the standard charger seem rather boring. Here are five of our favorite chargers.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_employees_concerned_about_byod_400.jpgSome businesses embrace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in the workplace, while others aren’t so sure. If you think that employers are the only ones worried about BYOD policies, you might be surprised to learn that employees are just as concerned about it as their employers. Of course, their reasons are entirely different, but are still valid reasons to be on edge.

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Tip of the Week: How to Locate a Lost File

Posted by on in How To

b2ap3_thumbnail_find_a_file_400.jpgIt’s easy to get scatterbrained when things get busy. When this happens, you can forget important things like where you placed your keys, and where you saved your computer file. To help you out, here are some tips on how to locate a missing file. As far as your missing keys go, did you check underneath the couch?

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What Flu Season Can Teach Us about Cyberdefense

Posted by on in Security

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.

Tagged in: Hackers Privacy Security
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b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_cios_400.jpgBefore Microsoft officially releases Windows 10, beta versions are first given to select business leaders like CIOs. This is a standard practice for software manufacturers because it helps them to work out real-world bugs before publicly releasing their product. What do CIOs think of the Windows 10 technical preview? Inquiring business minds want to know.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_stop_wasting_time_400.jpgYears and years of doing business means years and years of applications and software getting installed on your computer. Before you know it, you don't use any of them anymore, or they are outclassed by other, more useful programs. Going through each of your systems individually is time-consuming and monotonous. So, what can you do about this?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_smartphone_productivity_400.jpgIt seems as if you can't go anywhere on the Internet without encountering some security violation, and there's a lot of discussion concerning how to keep your data safe. Undoubtedly, mobile devices will surely arise in the debate. Without a doubt, mobile devices are capable of vastly improving productivity while out of the office, but is this enough to offset the incredible amount of risk which comes with hopping from network to network?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_it_is_not_sorcery_400.jpgDoing business today is much different than it was in medieval times. Thanks to the Renaissance, modern businesses now have a technology-based economy, instead of one that's magic-based--this has been an especially difficult transition for wizards. Although, one medieval business practice that's still going strong is the idea behind guilds.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_automatically_reboot_400.jpgWhen’s the last time you rebooted your PC or mobile device? If you’re drawing a blank to this question, then you should take the minute or two it takes to reboot as soon as possible (or 15 minutes if you’re still using Windows XP). To a computer, rebooting can be likened to getting a full night’s sleep; without it, performance will suffer.

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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.

Corporate Technology Group 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.

Corporate Technology Group can apply all of these patches for your business’s systems so you don’t have to. Call us today at (817) 557-4091 to learn more.

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Are Ghosts Haunting the Halls of Your Servers?

Posted by on in Security

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.

Tagged in: Holiday Security Server
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Is Society Really Prepared For the Drastic Changes The Internet of Things Will Usher In?
Technology has changed the world. It has changed individual lives, businesses, and the way people communicate with one another. The main reason for this is that technology, and the use of it, happens everywhere. In fact, the world has seen a huge spike in th...
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