Tech Tip Tuesday:

RAM If the speed (or lack thereof) of your computer is leaving you cold, it could be a sign that your computer RAM isn’t up to snuff with your needs. If your computer is between two and four years old, it might mean your processor is too slow to handle the demands of today’s more powerful applications.

3 Reasons to Choose an MSP for Managed IT Services

A well laid out Managed IT Services plan can enable your business to focus on what’s important to you besides running IT functions. Managed IT, a pro-active approach to IT infrastructure management, which focuses on improved service, better uptime, and rarer fixes. This blog explains why you should choose an MSP for Managed IT Services rather than […]

via 3 Reasons to Choose an MSP for Managed IT Services — IT by Design – ITBD

Computer security are you really safe?

The cybercriminal landscape constantly evolves. Staying ahead of the bad guys requires constant vigilance.

A new year means a fresh start, but it doesn’t mean that old threats will go away. In fact, in the world of cybersecurity things could get far worse before they get better. Cybercrime continues to increase, as it allows nefarious actors to operate at a safe distance from victims — and more importantly, law enforcement.

Because it rarely is violent in nature, cybercrime often doesn’t get the same response from international law enforcement as other types of crimes. It is far from victimless, however. It is a threat of enormous magnitude, with the potential to affect nearly every company in the world. It even ranks as one of the biggest problems plaguing mankind.

On a global basis, cybercrime will cost US$6 trillion annually by 2021, double the toll of 2015, according to the Official 2019 Annual Cybercrime Report from Cybersecurity Ventures.

This is the largest amount of money generated by illicit means, and it could represent the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history. Cybercrime soon will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined!

Cybercrime is not one thing. It is many — and fighting it requires understanding the various shapes it comes in. Following is a look at the various types of cybercrime, and things that can be done to fight it.

Phishers Continue to Cast Their Lines

One of the original cybersecurity threats hardly has evolved, but it is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

“Phishing will always continue as long as it works,” warned Satya Gupta, CTO of Virsec, a developer of data security software.

In 2019 we can “expect it to become more targeted and specific to organizations,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“Phishing is here to stay because it’s simple, it’s cheap, and it will work as long as people continue to read their emails,” noted Matan Or-El, CEO of Panorays, a provider of third-party security management.

“Users should be on guard against downloading applications from untrusted sources,” warned Will LaSala, director of security solutions at OneSpan.

“Phishing remains an easy mechanism to harvest logins and email addresses and potentially passwords, and users should continue to adopt multifactor authentication for all their accounts to help protect against phishing attacks,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

This is among the biggest cybersecurity threats, but it also could be one of the easiest to stop, as it relies on human error to work. It is typically just social engineering, rather than complex coding.

“Companies should train their employees on the risks of phishing attacks and how to avoid them,” said Mike Bittner, digital security and operations manager for The Media Trust, a firm that provides real-time security for digital properties.

“This type of training should be part of creating a culture that makes cybersecurity a strategic imperative across the organization,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Ransomware on the Rise

Tied closely to phishing scams is the growing threat of ransomware, which can lock a user, or even an organization, out of a computer or network. Even more concerning, it may not be just computer systems or networks that are at risk.

“Ransomware isn’t going away; in fact, we will probably see even more of it targeting consumers in 2019,” said Hank Thomas, CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures.

“This will be ransomware at scale, targeting a wider swath of middle class Americans that are equally eager to make the problem go away with a quick payment as corporate America was,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Corporate targets likely will remain in the crosshairs of those who find this an effective illicit business strategy, and due diligence may not be enough to stop all the threats.

“Healthcare remains, by far, the No. 1 target for ransomware, with more than half of all attacks targeting healthcare directly,” warned Pravin Kothari, CEO of cloud security software company CipherCloud.

“Ransomware will also continue as long as there are underprotected systems with data that hasn’t been adequately backed up,” said Virsec’s Gupta.

“However,ransomware threats are increasingly being used as red herrings to distract from other types of attacks on critical infrastructure,” he added.

The greatest danger of ransomware, once again, isn’t that it will block user access to data, but that it could make the leap to any connected device — from automobiles to smart homes. The Internet of Things has opened a brave new world for hackers to lock users out of!

“Businesses need to begin to secure their IoT mobile and Web applications with the same controls that are being deployed for other markets, like multifactor user authentication, and application shielding and secure user onboarding,” said OneSpan’s LaSala.

So far that hasn’t happened, and many users may not expect that their cars, thermostats and doorbells need the same level of security as their PCs.

“People have already been affected by IoT and automobile exploits, but so far there isn’t big money to be had from it, so the scale of this activity remains small,” noted Jim Purtilo, associate professor in the computer science department at the University of Maryland.

“We’ll see just how weak are IoT protections, just as soon as it is in the interests of an aggressor to trigger chaos,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Here is where healthcare could face a one-two punch.

“In the case of healthcare, many medical devices are also IoT devices,” CipherCloud’s Kothari told the E-Commerce Times.

“They have closed operating systems, proprietary code, and wireless connectivity,” he added. “These devices are essential to healthcare operation and are likely to be targeted as the cyberwar on hospitals escalates.” To aviod this issue in your life please call Tampa PC consultants @ 813.756.4171 or visit www.tampapcconsultants.com