The Internet Is Drowning in Malware and Phishing Scams

The past few years have seen a monumental increase in cybercrime. Data from multiple cybersecurity companies and government agencies shows that millions of attacks are being launched every second of every day. In this environment, anything you touch on the internet could expose you to some kind of attack or malicious software.

Malware on The Internet- How It Affects Everyone

Let’s start the discussion by talking about malware- one of the oldest and most potent attack vectors. Malware is short for malicious software and it’s any kind of code whose intention is to attack your computer in some way.  It can be a virus meant to steal your personal information or infiltrate your devices and start tracking you through sustained access.

Data shows that nearly a million new malware threats are released every day. This is an ominous figure and one that should worry anyone who uses the internet. More worryingly, it is clear from recent attacks that malware is getting better and smarter as new tools and vulnerabilities are discovered.

How Malware Gets into Your Devices

The internet is the number one source for malware although you can also get through traditional means like portable storage devices and over the network file sharing. Accessing the internet in this environment of increased malware has been likened to wading through a flooded minefield.  

There are several ways you can be exposed to malware through normal internet activity. Here are some of them and how you can protect your devices:

1. Accessing unsecured websites

 Most browsers will either warn you or prevent access to an unsecured website. However, those using old browsers are still vulnerable meaning they can get infected by just accessing a website without any form of protection or security. An unsecured website is one without an SSL certificate as this is the first sign of a website that is run by cybercriminals or individuals who don’t care about security.

How To Protect Your Devices From Unsecured Websites

Avoid accessing websites without SSL certificates especially if you get a warning from your browser.  If you happen to inadvertently click on a link that leads you to an unsecured website, scan your devices for malware. Make sure you check anti-malware removal tool options during installation that allow scanning of websites for malware.

2. Malicious Links

Clicking on a malicious link on the internet, local file, or one sent to you on email could also expose you to malware. Hackers often disguise malware links as genuine ones through URL shorteners and other methods. Once you click on the link, malware will be downloaded in the background to your device.

How to Protect Your Devices from malicious links

Avoid clicking on links that you cannot read or tell where they will lead you. For instance, you should only click shortened URLs from trusted sources. Of course, you cannot avoid all links as they help you navigate the web so having an anti-malware tool installed on your pc and browser is important.

3. Infected Files from Illegal Sources

Hackers like using illegal file download and streaming services to spread malware. By downloading that illegal movie or streaming it for free, you are most likely allowing the hackers to install malware on your computer.

How to Protect Your Devices From infected files

Make sure you scan all files downloaded from the internet before you open them on your devices. Modern anti-malware can automatically scan a file on your local storage that was downloaded from the internet. This kind of proactive security is what you should look for in your security tools.

4. Phishing Scams

Phishing refers to when a cybercriminal sends emails to individuals pretending to be someone or creates a fake website to lure victims.  Phishing attacks are on the rise with Google reportedly discovering over 20 million phishing websites last year at the peak of the pandemic.

How to Protect Yourself from phishing scams

Be aware of fraudsters and internet criminals that are out to swindle you or gain access to your devices. Double-check that the information provided on a website is real and genuine especially addresses and contact information. Beware of criminals pretending to be someone known to you sending you emails and report such emails to your IT admin if you are in a company setup.

Protecting yourself against malware and phishing websites requires you to be proactive about your security on the internet. Have the necessary security tools and be aware of the dangers that lurk on the web. Also, make sure that your software is updated frequently.

Top 3 PC and Phone Security Apps for Small Businesses

The joy of B.Y.O device usage in the workplace – and the extensive connectivity and range of devices that accompany – is all positive… until it’s not.

Considering how the average user simply assumes data protection when adding or integrating a protocol, a cloud facility, or devices, corporate security has remained remarkably tight. Granted, there has been an increase in broad criminal activity online, but when looking at the figures, the successful strike rate is still low.

In part, this is because antivirus and other tools have evolved enough to run just ahead of the game, regardless of the enhanced connectivity and diversity of inputs globally (get ready to times that by a million for the unfolding IoT). Another factor is increasing awareness of online security-the bigger the company, the higher the awareness, by and large.  

Reputable agents like IT support outfit EC-MSP make patches and best practices – as well as important updates – available to their clients as a standard courtesy. It’s vital for your sec`curity to remain as current as possible, and larger companies have dedicated IT departments that contain someone who will do just that.

Unfortunately, most small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) don’t have that luxury, with an increasingly large proportion of SMEs falling prey to first time cyber-attacks each year. It’s not easy to make patching your business’ security your prime focus when you’re the boss and doing everything yourself.

The antivirus software community can still slap themselves on the back a little-today’s online security is dynamite in comparison to the simple days of yore-and most take the onus of updating out of (busy) users’ hands. Invariably, successful hacks come on the back of poor user behavior, not the failure of top end protection.

Here are seven great choices for phone and PC security; all are packages that are highly unlikely to allow any meaningful or successful attack via mobile or office machines. All can provide top end security, so feel free to pick and choose your preferred option.

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud

A name now familiar to millions, Kaspersky is highly scalable and good for common OS options, including Android. Features that make this option stand out include cloud discovery, mobile support, and vulnerability monitoring. Frequent complaints about the price can be found in consumer reviews, but it’s still comparable. That the app is cloud-scalable reflects Kaspersky’s focus on SMEs, and it comes with mobile support and remote management, as well as a 30-day free trial period.

Some of Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud main features include:

  • comprehensive network attack defence
  • email, web, and file protection
  • a solid firewall
  • exploit and ransomware prevention, and
  • vulnerability monitoring

Just to name a few.

It also allows monitoring users’ social media networking, messaging, and file sharing. This feature is intended for security flags rather than an Orwellian desire for control, but it does help with identifying who did an honest day’s work on any given day. 

A clean and easy to use dashboard has gone a long way towards increasing Kaspersky’s current popularity, and from there you can control password rules, camera use, and even detect compromised devices.

Furthermore, you can remotely lock or entirely remove data from lost or stolen devices, alongside the usual filtering of unwelcome messages or calls-mighty handy in our mobile era. On that point, two licenses are issued per user, enabling a phone and tablet per staff member, which is often sufficient, even for larger corporates.

Overall, a great choice from a company that’s evolved into the modern cyber battleground while still remaining simple yet comprehensive for users.

Avast Business Antivirus Pro

Voted the most comprehensive antivirus by many, don’t be put off by your previous trials of their free offerings. Curiously, the free version often fails to pick up worms, trojans, and some other more ubiquitous malware files, but the pro version is a different story – and extremely potent.

Avast Business Antivirus Pro is a good choice for Mac, Windows, and Windows Server users. There is a significant difference between the performance of the free versions and this business pro package.

 For example, this pro version includes:

  • a shredder
  • a no-nonsense sandbox
  • an inbuilt rescue disk (standard with the pro version)
  • protection for Exchange and SharePoint servers, and
  • automatic updates (protection is always current and live)

Overall, Avast Business Antivirus Pro boasts super web filtering capacities, but avoid toying with the extensively customizable spam filter; otherwise, it can allow junk to land in your inbox.

Their network firewall, web shield, and phishing email protection will keep you safe online, letting you know that all endpoints are secured. A 30-day trial is usually on offer too, so that you can familiarize yourself and give it a whirl.

Critically, their support and overall company ethos is good-replies are swift-but there’s consumer complaints around constant ‘pop ups’ of payment requests and warnings that you’re not covered (when you are). Unfortunately, this is similar to McAfee-left off this list precisely because of too many negative reviews about their approach, not their products.

Avast is still on the right side of the fence, but since 2016 they’ve changed their behavior and now manifest many of the frustratingly bothersome pop-up and crossed-wire behaviors of the antivirus fraternity as a whole. Still, it features great functionality and enterprise-level protection that will serve any business well.

Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security

While a good for Windows, Mac, and Windows Server users just like Avast, Bitdefender GravityZone is also great for a host of other OS options. Additionally, you’re unlikely to have installation issues no matter what OS you’re running on.

This app is easy to use, although it’s fairly technical in approach; anyone not current on computing (at least on layman’s terms) will be intimidated by it. The company has made a pitch out of machine learning (ML) components, which is good, but that’s also where their Proprietary Process Inspector starts to overwhelm new users.

That said, this antivirus option provides exceptional malware flagging and removal, and its heuristic understanding is impressive. Their firewall, web advisor, URL filtering, and anti-malware features are automatic, but open to customizing by users.

A range of features geared specifically for a busy company is on offer with this package, notably:

  • auto-updates across all your Windows or selected OS devices (not just the device searching for updates)
  • local full disk encryption
  • broad protection against web threats
  • process monitoring and blocking suspicious activity
  • endpoint risk analytics, and
  • app and device control

There’s no free trial, but a 30-day guaranteed satisfaction refund is available.

Overall, Bitdefender is an excellent choice, although most users should ‘keep it simple’ and not attempt extensive customization of this app. Bitdefender has been around since 2001, and its current pro version is the result of decades of refinement.

Honorable Mentions

Sophos Endpoint Protection Advanced is rising in popularity on the back of its user-friendly, solid protection. Another antivirus incorporating AI, it’s a little heavy on resources but takes a visibly predictive approach to security with its Intercept X technology, rather than a reactive one.

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection is light on resources and provides quiet but highly effective protection, its soft footprint belying its potency. With plenty of advanced features available – including a truly synchronous outbound firewall that compliments the Windows firewall without compromise of any kind – this option will protect against fileless or file-based script attacks, while also preventing malicious behaviors in PowerShell or Java.

No antivirus software list would be complete without mentioning Norton and F-Secure SAFE, as well-another two great options for any company’s needs.

The enterprise-level antivirus fraternity plays a competitive and impressive game, and any one of the options listed here will provide cutting-edge protection for small to very large companies.

Antivirus options are worth trialing whenever you can get a 30-day free trial, as it truly comes down to personal preference when all available options provide almost the same level of security for connected devices.

Protecting Your Business PCs and Phones

All of the choices listed above are sophisticated and can competently cope with the modern online business environment. Special circumstances may require higher levels of vulnerability monitoring. However, how they impart their sophistication – how technically or simply they present to users – makes all the difference, along with support levels.

Innovative Networking Solutions That Will Greatly Help Startup Businesses

As we forge ahead into 2021, it is clear that startups need effective networking solutions. They need to pay special attention to network architecture where speed is of paramount importance. In fact, as per reports compiled by networking experts, business organizations of all sizes are set to spend at least 4% of their annual financial spending on solving networking challenges. Another critical area for especially south African startups that requires their investment is upgrading their existing networking equipment.

There are plenty of new and innovative networking solutions that might help startups better achieve their business goals. Such solutions include:

SD-WAN Solutions

While startups continue to focus on using the latest tech tools to overcome business hurdles, the growth of demand for new tech outpaces IT budget allocations and headcount. In this scenario, managed solutions emerge as a boon that lets startups automate key business areas and streamlining management. As the pioneer of SD-WAN solution in South Africa points out, one critical development in networking is the emergence of managed SD-WAN solutions. Such software-defined networking solutions let startups work their networks remotely from all locations by using a simple piece of software.

Through SD-WAN tech, network administrators can create and implement rules to automate traffic flow while prioritizing particular applications. Additionally, you can also increase or decrease bandwidth as available to various locations. Further, the technology would let startup businesses enhance their security. Startups can implement this SD-WAN technology in the form of co-managed, self-managed, or fully managed SD-WAN solutions. The levels of support you need should play the deciding factor in choosing self-managed, co-managed, or fully managed options.

5G Will Transform Mobile Networks Radically

Back in 2019, 5G mobile networks were first scaled and adopted. As per the organization Statista, the number of 5G subscriptions will stand at 220 million by the end of the current year. The growth experienced by 5G is tremendous, and so is the variety of advantages 5G offers that you can enjoy. As businesses reexamine the fleet of mobile plans they provide to their end-users, 5G will go from strength to strength. More workers now rely on mobile devices and online access more than ever. 

A suitably modern workspace’s essential characteristics are its preference for mobile access, collaboration tools that work in real-time, video streaming, and various mobile apps. All of these ask for a significant amount of bandwidth.

In all such cases, adopting 5G networks is one of the best options open to you. 5G gives mobile connectivity a tremendous boost in terms of speed. Such speeds are comparable to wired broadband networks and will be an excellent asset for startup businesses. It will give them the option of allowing robots, machines, and automated vehicles to transfer after collecting more data than ever before.

AI Security And Security Management

The cybersecurity situation startups face is becoming more and more complex. Naturally, cutting-edge tech tools are being used to manage emerging cybersecurity threats. As per reports compiled by CNBC, small businesses bear the brunt of a significant 43% of all cyberattacks, and the average cost of a single breach amounts to almost $200,000. The sum is enough to put many startups in peril besides causing significant damage to their profits. Businesses face new emerging security threats these days, making cybersecurity automation and sophisticated intelligence a necessity.

There are several solutions to startup businesses’ cybersecurity woes that include solutions implementing several cybersecurity intelligence layers right into your network architecture. Managed cybersecurity services are one such solution the provides 24*7 protection, oversight, and visibility. Other advanced solutions offer the following security checks to ensure that user experience remains seamless in the face of cybersecurity threats:

  • Threat detection
  • Malware detection
  • Device and application scans

In short, they provide a comprehensive set of services to maintain security vigilance and ensure that threats are detected and isolated at the earliest.

AI is another technology that is revolutionizing the world of cybersecurity. AI security tools use machine learning to adapt to changing security situations and continuously monitor the same. The use of such tools will let your startup business adopt targeted and customized defense mechanisms against relevant cybersecurity threats.

The need for bandwidth for startups is continuously on the rise. Thanks to the new era in networking tech, it is very much possible to meet such needs without compromising speed, reliability, and affordability. The networking solutions mentioned here will help startups better anticipate growth opportunities, give priority to future investments. They will sustain as your networking backbone for the foreseeable future. We hope this has been helpful!

How to Keep Your Computer Safe and Secure at Home

Your personal computer at home is one of the safest devices you own. The fact that it doesn’t get connected to other WiFi other than the one you have at home means that there are fewer risks of it being compromised by hackers and other serious digital security threats. However, that doesn’t mean you should be careless with regard to security.

You need to be just as careful with your personal computer as you are with your other devices. The risks are all the same as hackers don’t really discriminate. Here are some tips on how you can up your safety and security.

Install An Antivirus And Run Your Firewall

The foundations of any digital security are anti-virus and a firewall. These two essential programs can help decrease the chances of your computer being hacked or infiltrated by malware significantly. Before you download anything else on the internet, make sure that these two programs are running.

Simply put, a firewall and an anti-virus blocks viruses and notify you of any possible problems you can encounter online. Antivirus for Windows and MacOS come with many other features such as optimization tools which can help boost the performance of your computer as well.

Browse With A VPN

A virtual private network or a VPN is often recommended when you are using a public connection when outside. However, as these solutions completely mask your identity, they can also be used for your computers at home while browsing using your own connection.

There’s no such thing as overkill with regards to browsing and surfing at home. A VPN not only keeps you and your computer private, but it also helps you browse the web without any worries.

Always Keep Your Software Updated

You might notice that your computer always gets notifications about updates. While annoying, these updates are more than necessary. With these updates come bug fixes and possible solutions to security flaws that hackers have found over time. As such, it’s vital that every software you have stays updated.

Stay Away From Pirated Software

The price of games and other software online can be expensive. As such, you might be tempted to pirate the stuff you use. However, what’s your privacy and security worth anyway? Is it worth putting yourself at risk just to use pirated software? 

Downloading pirated software puts you at great risk online. Some hackers hide viruses or other malware inside the torrent packages you see online. Another thing worth noting is that the link you’re downloading from could actually be a virus in and of itself. It’s more costly trying to recover your data after a security breach so it’s much better to buy authentic software instead.

Even if it’s at your home, your computer is not entirely safe from data breaches and other digital security problems. It’s always much better to stay safe than be sorry later on. As the number of data breaches stays the same, it only means that people aren’t doing enough to keep their devices safe.

Why Cybersecurity Is Essential for Your Small Business

Cybersecurity attacks can cause irreversible, long-term damage to your business, and no business is entirely safe from them. Even big companies such as Nintendo and Twitter have fallen victim to cyber-attacks. However, small businesses are uniquely at risk and will very rarely make it to the media outlets. Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that a whopping 43% of breaches happened to small businesses. Cybersecurity is essential for any business, however, it is especially important for small businesses, and here’s why. 

1. Small Business Cyber Attacks Are Common

It is easy to fall into the mindset of thinking, ‘Oh, it will never happen to me’ or ‘What are the chances it would actually happen to my business?’. Thinking like this is very dangerous because the chances of a cyberattack on your small business are actually very high. In 2019 the Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute conducted a study that found that the number of small and medium businesses enduring data breaches had increased to 63%. This is a significant increase, as the percentage was 58% in 2018. 

By the look of these statistics, cyberattacks are on the rise, and their interest is becoming more and more focused on the smaller to medium-sized businesses. 

2. Small Businesses Are Vulnerable 

Small businesses are very vulnerable to cyberattacks, and the risk of an attack is increasing significantly. Ultimately, small businesses are more vulnerable to cyberattacks for several reasons. Partly because there’s less training on cybersecurity and partly because they have less money to invest in IT support and services that can help to protect them; having good IT support and services available to your small business are so important in preventing a cybersecurity attack. They can provide consultation, information and implement software to make your business more secure. 

3. Damage Is Harder To Undo

A cyberattack has the potential to cause fatal damages to small businesses. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency found that 60% of companies that experienced a cyberattack had to close down within six months following the attack. These statistics are extremely alarming for small business owners. Cyberattacks will not only cost your money, but they can cost you your reputation and the trust of your customers. 

A high percentage of cyberattacks take the form of a phishing scam, which makes the hacker send legitimate-looking emails and texts directly to their victims, a link that allows the hacker to steal vital information such as company passwords. Once the hacker is in, it is very difficult to secure your system without having to spend extortionate amounts. 

4. Cyberattacks Can Be Very Costly

Cyberattacks can be extremely costly for a small business, and a Hiscox survey has confirmed this in a survey that found cyberattacks on small businesses cost up to $188,000. A lot of small businesses simply do not have this kind of money, and so it is quite common for small businesses to go bankrupt after an attack. Even if you do not go bankrupt and manage to survive your attack, you will have a long road ahead of you trying to revive your business. If you look to investors for funding to help you, you are going to have a hard time convincing the investors that your company is secure and not a data-breaching risk. 

What You Can Do

Cyberattacks are very daunting to any business owner, but there are several things you can do to try and protect yourself from malicious hackers. Firstly, you should provide cybersecurity training for all your employees. This way, they know what to look for, and if an employee detects any kind of suspicious behavior, your business will be able to act fast and be able to stamp it out before the hacker gets in. Secondly, make sure you implement strong firewalls as a firewall can stop hackers from accessing important data on a network. 

Thirdly, make sure you use strong passwords! This is such an easy preventative method, yet people fall victim to using easy passwords time and time again. A shocking 83% of people use the same password for multiple platforms, and this is a hacker’s dream. 

If small businesses wish to succeed and stand out among their competition, then they should allocate some investment to cybersecurity. This doesn’t mean forking out tonnes of money, but more taking the time to implement easy measures that can have a big impact. As previously mentioned, a simple task such as using strong passwords can go a long way! Making sure your business is using cybersecurity best practices will make you far less vulnerable to what could be a fatal attack.

Can you run a Background Check on Your Neighbor

Sometimes, we know precious little about the people living right next door. In fact, we know only what our neighbors have told us about themselves. For decades, it’s been commonplace to share a building with virtual strangers. We often don’t even know our neighbors’ names.

Needless to say, there are certain risks that go with this. You don’t have to take them because the majority of background check sites are quite easy to use. Providers like can help you find the information you need to put your mind at ease.  

When to Check Criminal History

You might choose to delve into the possibility of your neighbor’s having a criminal background in certain situations. We outline some of these below. 

  • Their behavior is erratic, indicating the possibility of addiction
  • You feel like they’re watching you come and go
  • They avoid other neighbors, including you
  • They have a lot of visitors at night, even if there’s little noise
  • They make your child or spouse feel anxious
  • You’ll need them to babysit or do odd jobs for you around the house

How to Run a Criminal Background Check

As criminal records are public, it’s not hard to obtain them at all. Doing research is a great way to stop feeling uneasy about a neighbor’s questionable behavior. Hopefully, you’ll unearth a clean record and feel safer in your home and in the neighborhood. But will research violate their privacy? You obviously don’t want problems with the law. 

To put your mind at ease: getting a neighbor’s criminal records is perfectly legal because they’re not considered private data. They’re not like ID and credit information, which you need the subject’s consent to check.

Getting Your Questions Answered

Online background checks reveal information from a large variety of sources, including town census data, records within sex offender registries, property ownership records, court records, professional license details, and more. Typically, background checks yield information about past addresses, business information, former names, names and addresses of next of kin, workplace and occupation, age, and registered or owned boats or other recreational vehicles. You will also find social network information or even news if your neighbor has received coverage for whatever reason.

How Much Information do You Need to Run a Check?

You don’t need more than their address and last name. People are often able to do criminal background checks and arrive at comprehensive, in-depth results just using a person’s address. If you have their number, you can do a reverse phone number search to find out more about them. Your best bet, however, is obtaining their full name, social security number, and birthdate.

Apart from their personal details, you might find information about their landlord, and their workplace, which will be very helpful should an issue arise, especially one that must be attended to urgently.

What Will You Find Out?

A rudimentary background check will yield enough information to get a general idea of what your neighbor is like. Filling in the gaps is your right and responsibility. You might find out that your neighbor is a lawyer with a lot of assets, but that doesn’t give you an insight into his character. That’s not even enough to know if he owns the cars parked out front.

The information might indicate certain patterns. You might unearth a history of financial problems, a series of failed marriages, or a lot of short-term past addresses. Links to social media accounts could provide additional information and clues, such as schools he went to, photos of activities, or people he associates with.

How to Protect Yourself

There are ways you can protect yourself if you find they have a criminal record. You could call the police if you believe or are sure they’re doing something illegal. Your family and home’s safety is most important in this situation, so you need to do what you need to do to protect them. Unless your rental agreement or homeowner bylaws stipulate it, you cannot force your neighbor to move.

Today, our neighbors’ identities are shrouded in mist. That lack of familiarity can lead to false assumptions and apprehension with regard to common issues like landscaping, noise, parking, and personal appearance. Instead of trying to stifle your unease, do what you can to get more information about your neighbor. You have every right to do so.

Tips on how Businesses Can Prepare for Cyberattacks and Data Breaches

Cybersecurity has evolved into an essential aspect for companies, as the data they collect, store, and manage has become one of the most valuable and vulnerable assets in today’s digital economy. Businesses collecting an increasing volume of data need to be prepared, as the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches increases at an alarming pace.

Companies need to take measures against external threats like malware or phishing attacks as well as against internal threats such as employees intentionally or unintentionally sharing data with unauthorized persons. Data is a key input for growth, differentiation, and maintaining your company’s competitive advantage. Thus, protecting it is necessary not only for legal or ethical reasons but also for safeguarding the reputation of your business and issues related to personal privacy. 

The sudden shift to work from home (WFH) due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has left many doors for cyberattacks and data breaches. In the absence of a controlled office environment, remote work can make your company data more vulnerable. Malicious outsiders can easily exploit the chaos, targeting sensitive infrastructures amid the pandemic. Employees, freed from the restrictive policies of company networks, might take security practices less seriously and endanger the data they take home with them. 

As cyberattacks and security breaches make headlines way too often, you need to ensure that sensitive information is protected adequately. Security measures should include policies, strategies, and tools in order to efficiently prevent data loss, data leakage, and data theft. Sensitive data that must be protected includes personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, credit card numbers, and email addresses of both customers and employees, as well as intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets of your company.

Let’s see the most efficient tips that can help to prevent cyberattacks and data breaches.

Train Employees on Security Awareness

Without security awareness, your employees present a major vulnerability and can be the weak link in the data security chain. In the age of WFH, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), employees can put sensitive data at risk easier than ever. They need to be trained on security best practices and the right behaviors in cybersecurity and data privacy, specific to your industry and company. They need to be aware of the importance of data security and the repercussions that a data breach can cause. Your employees should also have the know-how to detect different threats, avoid leakages, and be empowered to report potential incidents.

Access to sensitive information needs to be limited on a “need to know” basis and employees should be aware of their responsibilities and accountabilities when using a computer on a business network. As cyberattacks are continuously changing and evolving, you should update security policies regularly.

Invest in Security Technology

Besides traditional perimeter and network security such as firewalls and antivirus systems, companies need to include technology to identify and monitor internal security threats too. Encryption standards and a backup policy are crucial, as well as ensuring that security software is updated and patched regularly. Investing in cyber insurance can protect you and your business from unexpected data loss and hacking.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions such as Endpoint Protector can help your company to mitigate insider threats, reach compliance with data protection regulations and safeguard sensitive data such as PII and IP directly. In this way, the risk of a data breach is considerably reduced. With a DLP solution, you can restrict employees from sharing or transferring confidential information and control or block the use of unauthorized devices. 

Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

Vulnerability assessment is the process of identifying, classifying, and prioritizing security threats as well as determining the risks they pose to your organization. When performing one, you should take into account all aspects of data, including data storage, BYOD strategy, remote access, and ensure that policies and procedures are appropriate.

By detecting vulnerabilities on a regular basis and prioritizing their remediation, companies can provide a level of data protection that is required by many different regulations. 

Create a Data Breach Response Plan

A data breach response plan helps your business to better deal with cybersecurity incidents, limit damages and restore public and employee trust. The main aim when creating one is to establish roles and responsibilities for employees tasked with managing the breach. Besides, it is important to include a draft notification and to outline the process of investigation.

Response plans are highlighted by data protection regulation too. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, requires companies to respond to data breaches within 72 hours after detection, including gathering information, reporting the breach to the relevant authorities, and informing impacted individuals.

Ensure Compliance with Regulations

The number of data protection laws is increasing year by year, some of them impacting specific countries or territories, like the GDPR or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA),  while others like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) focusing on specific industries. Each of these is an indication that companies are accountable for how they manage data privacy.

If your organization prioritizes data protection to meet compliance requirements, it has a better chance of preventing data leakage, avoiding fines and reputational issues. Compliance can be easier reached by creating a security strategy that aims to keep data safe from both insider and outsider threats.

By Beata Berecki, Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys

10 Ways To Secure Your Computer

Information on our computer is crucial to all of us. Media, data or files, we cannot risk any of it. While there are few things your computer already has that make it secure, there are quite a few additional steps that you can take as well to make your computer bug-proof. And if you are looking for these effective ways to secure your computer, you have come to the right place.

In this article we are highlighting 10 different steps you need to take in order to make your computer more secure and sleep peacefully at night.

1. Have the Latest Antivirus

An antivirus will protect your PC from unidentified bugs and malware. Antiviruses software not only blocks the penetration of viruses, but also scan your PC from time to time to ensure there is no suspicious content. An antivirus is a must for every computer.

Antivirus software usually comes at an annual cost. The prices are different for different providers. For example, Norton antivirus has packages that range from $5 to $20. But discounts on the packs make it more economical for you to buy the antivirus. Right now, you can get a 66% discount on the antivirus package that you choose. You are also likely to bag extended warranty or other benefits when you shop during festivals or sales. 

2. Block Pop-ups

Many times additional pop-ups appear while you are on a website. These dialogue boxes take you to different pages on the web which may not always be good for your computer’s health. Limiting access to these pop ups can save you from accidentally clicking on one and putting the safety of your computer at risk.

3. Limit Shared Folders

Many times your colleague or friend cannot access data which you own due to which you might think of sharing the network access with them. However, sharing folder access increases possibilities of new security threats. Making network folders accessible to everyone is never the solution. This can also threaten the security of everyone’s PC who now has access to the shared folder. Instead, figure out another way to share information through drive or cloud sharing options or share it for time only as much as needed. 

4. Filter your Content

Certain keywords can inject malware in your computer. These words can be accessed anytime while browsing the internet, receiving emails or any interaction with the outside server. Filtering these words from your settings can prevent the intrusion of malicious content. Do a simple keyword research for healthy keywords to get started.

5. Restrict Self-software Downloads

We all need different software for different purposes. Installing a software from malicious websites can pose security risks. Instead of allowing everyone to be able to download the apps as and when they need, having an IT expert do it for them will make all the difference. It is absolutely less time consuming as well.

6. Check your Network Security

The router is the first device that gets the information from the internet. Although network connection devices like routers and modems can provide basic security, it is crucial to recheck them and make them as secure as you can to eradicate any bug entries from these sources.

7. Computer Cleanup

Many times we do not use all the programs although we have them installed. If the app is not in use, remove it from the computer. Many times these apps may get upgrades in the background but because you are not using it, you may also miss upgrading it. Upgrades make programs stronger to beat newer viruses. But older programs that exist makes the computer vulnerable to newer bugs.

8. Leverage Plugins

Plugins can help you with your computer’s security or even hamper with it. Here is what you should remember while installing plugins.

  • Plugins can help you scan your devices and also fix bugs. You must install the security plugins at least in their free version if not paid.
  • Some plugins can put your computer at risk. Policies of the plugins change with time. If you agree to the policy without knowing what it is, you are putting your computer’s health at risk.
  • At the same time, opt in for alerts and notifications whenever an upgrade happens to a plugin. In this way you are in full control of the updates.

9. Monitor your Upgrades

Keeping your OS up-to-date with the latest version will help you with security. Software upgrades fixes malware issues and minor bugs making your software more secure. Many OSs will offer periodic upgrades. Enabling automatic upgrades for the future will also help you with it.

10. Firewall Configuration

A firewall monitors the flow of information between the computer and the web. Firewall blocks all malicious data from entering into your computer. Operating systems can have an automatic firewall built in. At the same time, many routers and modems also have their individual firewalls. You must ensure that the firewalls are in place. A weak firewall setting is not good for your computer.


Security is not a thing to take less seriously. With hackers getting creative, you need to make your computer ecosystem stronger and resilient to malware. Breaches can cause loss of data which could translate into monetary losses as well. So, follow the steps mentioned in this blog to make sure you have a secure computer environment.

About the Author

Aamer Hussain is a Content writer, blogger and research ninja.

Did the Big Sur Update Affect All VPN Clients?

Big Sur had a pretty rocky start. Once installed, it actually allowed up to 56 Mac apps to bypass third-party security solutions – like VPNs and firewalls.

Basically, even though you were using a VPN while running an app like iCloud or Siri, a lot of data would leak out of the VPN tunnel. That means Apple would see your IP address and what country you’re using their apps from.

Not to mention hackers would just need to find a vulnerability in one of Apple’s apps, and they’d be able to take over your device since they’d bypass your firewall. Or they could take advantage of the fact that your VPN is leaking data, and spy on your traffic to steal sensitive information.

Want to learn exactly what happened? We’ll tell you all you need to know in this article.

What Exactly Caused That Issue?

Apparently the Big Sur update came with a special key called “ContentFilterExclusionList.” That key is a part of the NetworkExtension API which a lot of security tools like VPNs and firewalls now use.

Essentially, here’s how the ContentFilterExclusionList key affects firewalls and VPNs:

  • It lets Apple’s apps bypass the encrypted VPN tunnel.
  • It allows Apple’s apps to communicate with the Internet even if the firewall says they can’t.

Did the Big Sur Update Affect All VPNs?

Time for some good news – this update doesn’t impact all VPN services! It only affects VPNs that use the NetworkExtension API. Luckily, it’s not mandatory for them to do so. As a result, many VPN providers avoided it, and used different methods (utun devices or PFCTL, just to name a few examples).

Those services are not susceptible to Big Sur’s forced traffic leaks. You can safely use Mac apps with them without having to worry about your data being compromised. Also, it looks like Apple’s built-in VPN wasn’t susceptible to traffic leaks either.

If you need help finding the best VPNs for Mac computers, just follow that link. It’s a guide from ProPrivacy (a leading VPN review site) that showcases VPNs that work extremely well on Mac devices. ProPrivacy even interviewed most of the providers on that list to confirm that their services can’t be compromised by Big Sur.

Did Apple Fix the Big Sur Issue?

Yes – Apple got rid of this problem when they launched the Big Sur 11.2 update. To make Mac apps fully compatible with firewalls and VPNs, Apple simply deactivated the ContentFilterExclusionList key.

Besides that security issue, Apple also fixed numerous other bugs – like System Preferences not unblocking when you enter your admin password, or iCloud Drive turning off because you disabled the iCloud Drive Desktop & Documents Folders option.

Apple also fixed other security flaws – like a user being able to rejoin an iMessage group even though they were removed from it. To read about all the improvements, check out this support article from Apple.

To update to Big Sur 11.2, just do this:

  1. In the upper-left corner of macOS Big Sur, click the Apple logo.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Next, pick Software Update.
  4. Click Install Now.

Now just wait for the update to finish downloading and installing. Depending on your speeds, it could take a bit since it’s around 3.66GB.


While Big Sur brought a lot of improvements, it also endangered user data by allowing Mac apps to bypass firewalls and VPNs. Luckily, not all VPN clients were affected, and Apple solved this problem with the Big Sur 11.2 update (so be sure to download and install it ASAP).

If we forgot to mention anything about the Big Sur security issue, please let us know in the comments.

How Your Small Business Can Benefit From Using the Best VPN

VPN or the Virtual Private Network provides its users a secure connection to another server then to the world wide web. It gives its users a sense of anonymity on the seemingly safe but hostile world wide web and secures their data and browsing activity. But how can small businesses benefit from this service? Let’s find out.

What makes a VPN service the best?

The best VPN services are those that can do so much more than absolute anonymity, mask your location, secure your data, and safeguard your internet browsing activities. As per, here is a list of the best VPN services, which are handpicked for their speed, iron-clad security, and surfing capabilities. Search online and read reviews so you will know if the VPN service is reliable in protecting you or your small business.

How can small businesses benefit from the best VPN services?

The capabilities of a VPN service are varied but they all have a universal goal, to protect its users from unscrupulous individuals who just want to wreak havoc or take advantage of the weakness of the internet framework. Small businesses can benefit from this protection. But how? Here are some ways where the choosing a VPN service can help you with managing your growing business.

Enhanced Online Security

Poor IT infrastructure is what makes an individual vulnerable to hackers, malware, and viruses on the world wide web. However, building a robust internet framework would need not only financial capability but a handful of IT experts. And this cannot be afforded yet by small businesses. By subscribing to a monthly VPN service for your online transactions, you can better protect your data and your consumers’.

Every hack starts with knowing the details of your IP address. And VPN secures your computer by masking or changing your IP which makes it impossible to harm or harvest data from your device. The same VPN IP address is being used by other users as well who avail of the service. So your device cannot be traced. It is in this scheme that you get some kind of anonymity when doing transactions online.

Access Public Networks Safely

Public wifis are what in the IT world is known as an unsecured connection. This is because everybody can use it and there are no protections afforded to the individual. When you are on a business trip, it would be inevitable to use the hotel or cafe’s wireless internet. The best VPNs can safeguard your data and transactions without having to log on to your device at home. 

Most public Wi-Fis are home to hackers that are after your sensitive data such as your name, address, birthday, and passwords for your email and others. This happens because when you log in to the public network, they get to snoop and see what you’re doing remotely. They may not be seeing your face but they can read through the jumble of codes and protocols. 

Remote Access

Another cool feature of the best VPN services is that it can give you remote access to your data and files in the office when you’re traveling. This is possible because your IT guy can store all your company’s software, files, and other data on one data center where everybody that has been given authorization can use all the programs and files on that data center. If you have a personal VPN service, then your IT personnel need not spend a hefty amount on your networking gear. And you can work anywhere, anytime with enough internet security for your device and your data.

No-Fuss Set Up

VPN services don’t need cables and what-nots to operate and give you internet security and safeguard your information. It only needs a stable internet connection. When using a VPN service the first time, it can be mind-boggling because of the almost alien terms and protocols. But fear not. Most VPN services nowadays offer a virtual setup, where you just log in your details and it does all the work for you. What you only need to do is wait and press “Enter”, “Enter”, “I agree”, and “Okay” and you’re all set. 

Since VPN has been launched to the public for quite some time now, its interfaces have gotten better. Letting anyone who is not really well-versed in internet network setup use the service in a breeze.

These are just the three benefits that the best VPN service can give you. Others include giving you access to websites that are otherwise censored in countries like China and mask your current location. All these can help in making sure that you are well protected when on the world wide web with less money to spend.