Browsing Posts tagged Security

Despite the explosive growth of cloud services in recent years there remain those individuals and companies with deep skepticism around the safety and security of their data when it doesn’t’ reside in their own physical data center. With all the headlines about security breaches at Target, Home Depot and, yes, even the NSA, that mistrust is understandable. And when we talk to clients about cloud services like Microsoft’s Office 365, this is a prime concern that is frequently raised.

Trust is defined by Merriam-Webster as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something” and interestingly it ranks as the 77th most searched term on their website (at least it did today when I looked it up!). So it’s no surprise that companies like Microsoft have a significant challenge when it comes to earning and keeping their clients’ trust. But a recent Office Blog goes a long way in showing the steps they take to accomplish exactly that goal.

To view the entire article go to What Does It Mean To Own Your Data In Office 365? How We Aim To Raise The Bar On Visibility And Control Of Your Organization Data With Office 365.

Alternately, you can simply view the five short embedded videos in the article that will explain:

How Microsoft protects your data at rest
Who has access to your data within Office 365
How Office 365 does continuous compliance
Why trust Office 365? and
What does it mean to own your data in Office 365?

Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. That fact remains. Stuff happens. But I think you’ll agree after viewing these clips that Microsoft has done its homework. And they continue to work hard to earn your trust. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to reconsider how Office 365 can benefit your organization.

Bob here.  I’ve had several speaking engagements in the past couple of months, and the topic of security is consistently at the top of the list, especially in light of the combination of:

  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
  • The proliferation of business applications on mobile devices
  • The lack of security on most mobile devices
  • The “convenience of impulse” most users show with mobile devices.

One of the other issues is “We’re too small to be at serious risk.”  And that certainly isn’t the case (notice the Verizon report sited below).

Here’s some additional useful info:

This article excerpt, by Tab Wilkins, originally appeared here:
Is cybersecurity something you need to worry about as a small manufacturer? In 2011, 50 percent of small businesses thought they were too small to be a hacker target, while the Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 62 percent of breaches impacted smaller organizations. In 2011, the average cost to a small or medium-sized business from a cyber-attack was over $188,000.
What can be done to try and limit such attacks?
Jim Watson, President of California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, Inc., (CMTC), the MEP Center serving southern California suggests several tips:
•Limit use and distribution of personal credit cards as payment method for company expenditures
•Train employees on security principles and practices and limit employee access to data and information
•Find and Install the most recent security software and make sure it is updated and current
•Secure wi-fi networks, password protect access to routers and change ALL passwords quarterly
•Install security apps on business cell phones
There are several web resources available that can help small businesses understand the cybersecurity environment and develop risk-management strategies.  Five of those include:
The FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0 helps companies develop a custom cybersecurity plan via an on-line guidance. The custom guide, while not a substitute for consulting with trained security professionals, can help benchmark current practices.
Another valuable website by the FCC includes additional tips for a small business dealing with cybersecurity as well as references to select articles and other websites with important information. Of particular note are 10 Cyber Security Tips for Small Businesses along with potential solution providers to consider. by the National Cyber Security Alliance has current information on trending topics and how to stay safe on-line.  It offers opportunities to get involved in the cybersecurity community and has tips on teaching online safety.
Finally NIST has several tools and workshops to help companies better understand and respond to cybersecurity issues such as the Cybersecurity Framework within the Computer Security Division Computer Security Resource Center.  Planning is underway for a series of small business workshops to help owners and managers understand better risk management strategies.
While the Internet provides significant business advantages and opportunities to all companies of all sizes, every business should think about incorporating practices and tools to guard against cyber-attacks and significant losses.

A recent survey at “Somaini’s Cyber Security Blog” ( has produced a list of the top IT Security vendors and Simplex-IT is proud to be associated with the company that came out the clear winner.

OpenDNS came out way ahead of all other vendors.  While they have been around for some time, since 2005, their core value of threat and policy management via DNS is a strong value with 43% of people saying they provide “High Value”.  It’s also interesting to note that the root of the company was in consumer security and only recently, in the past couple of years, made the move into the Enterprise.  With this the value is resonating significantly amongst CISO’s.  We should see much more of them in the future as they make their push farther.  Competitively, it looks like they have a solid ownership as I struggle to see anyone competing with them in their space.”

Simplex-IT employs OpenDNS Enterprise protection with all our clients to help minimize the possibility of security breaches on their networks. We’ve always been pleased with the performance and protection OpenDNS provides but it’s especially reassuring to see they are so widely acknowledged by their peers in the industry.

Our congratulations go out to the folks at OpenDNS. At Simplex-IT we’re proud to have you as one of our premiere Partners!

Today’s mobile work force has an increasing need for on-demand document sharing and collaboration. And they’ll find the tools, with or without the help of your IT department. Are you willing to let the consumerization of IT dictate the security (or lack thereof) of your company’s documents?

File-Sharing services like DropBox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and SharePoint are becoming increasingly ubiquitous today because of the need workers have for access to their files anywhere, anytime and on any device. The reward can be great. But what is the risk?

Join Simplex-IT’s Bob Coppedge for this eye-opening presentation as he explores the often overlooked requirements of Enterprise-grade file-sharing services: Security – Version Control – File/Folder Management – Cross-Platform Access – Local Sync Capabilities and Administrative Controls.

You don’t want to miss it!

Where:  Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Drive, Stow (off Rt. 8 at Steels Corners Road exit)
When:   Wednesday, February 19, 2014 from 11:30am-1:00pm

As an extra bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of Microsoft software. Free food AND free software – how awesome is that!

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours, go to, email or call 234.380.1277.

Come join the fun!

You know those “Critical Updates” that pop up occasionally on your computer? The FBI says you should be very, very cautious about them, especially when using hotel Internet connections – or any public WiFi hotspots for that matter. It turns out these public networks, particularly ones with Open Access, aren’t secure, making them perfect for setting up these kind of attacks.

A recent article on TechRepublic reveals the scary truth about how cyber criminals are hijacking your computer by pretending to be legitimate updates, but actually install malware on your system instead.

Don’t get burned! To be safe when travelling, never update your software from an automatic prompt. Either wait till you are on a secure network or check to see if the update being offered is legitimate by checking for updates directly from the software itself.

And don’t skimp on the sun tan lotion!!

Don't PanicBob here. In Douglas Adams’ classic book “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” Earth-born hero Arthur Dent learns that his friend Ford Prefect was going to update the Guide’s entry from “harmless” to “mostly harmless.” Considering the Earth had been recently destroyed in order to make a Pan-Dimensional bypass (What? You didn’t know??), the point seemed rather moot.

Only a slight change, but significant by a certain perspective.

Something similar recently happened, up on the web. CRN recently pointed out that Apple, long known for not worrying about viruses and the like, has toned down its superiority claims against the PC. Their web site as recent as June 9th said:

“It doesn’t get PC Viruses”


“It’s built to be safe”

Those two sentences, to me, represent a huge swing in terms of presentation to the audience. In the first you’ve got a “cross this concern off your list,” whereas the second statement is “We’re going to try really hard to protect you.”

Welcome to our world, Apple. The good news is, your market penetration of IOS devices is remarkable (as is your stock price). The bad news is that is seems that the bad guys are finally noticing you.

The CRN article is actually pretty good, so if you’re interested in details and theories as to why Apple’s shift, I strongly suggest you check it out.

As to “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” I strongly suggest you read the book. Listen to the original radio show. Watch the BBC series.

The movie? Not so much.

As a 411 and service to our followers, we just learned a supposed Russian hacker has leaked 6.5 million users and passwords from LinkedIn. Of course, there are over 150 million users on LinkedIn. But now would be the wise time to change your LinkedIn Password.

To change your password:
Log into LinkedIn. Up at the top right, locate your name. Hover over your name. Click on Settings. In the left column will be “Password change”. Click on Password change. Follow the instructions to secure a new password.

Here are some of the sites reporting the leak:

CNet News

I just changed mine. What are you waiting for?

Here’s updated information from the LinkedIn blog and about password changes.

You know what a phishing website is, right? In brief, it’s an attempt to obtain confidential information from you – like usernames, passwords, bank account and credit card numbers. You can read all about phishing here.

But can you spot a phishing website? Can you tell if you are giving away your confidential information to a cyber criminal? If you think you can, I challenge you to take this Phishing Quiz from our partners at OpenDNS. We regularly recommend their service to our clients because it is so highly effective at blocking these types of sites from ever reaching your organization.

I scored 14 out of 14 and officially earned the title of Phish-Spotting Ninja. See how well you do and post your score in our comment section. Then contact me and I’ll tell you how easy and inexpensive it is to protect your company from these types of attacks. Ready? Good luck!!

Founder and President of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc. Tim is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities in high-risk workplace and human resource issues, security, vulnerability assessments and crime (see for Mr. Dimoff’s full bio). Simplex-IT is pleased to announce that Tim will be our guest speaker at our next Lunchinar on the topic of Social Networks: Policies, Procedures and Pitfalls this coming Wednesday, September 21, 2011 from 11:30am-1:00pm at Hattie’s Café, 164 N. Main Street in Hudson.

The explosive growth of online social networks has altered the way people communicate, share ideas, and disseminate information, but with it comes certain risks. The lines between professional and private lives continue to blur, and while these communication tools create great opportunities, they also create ethical dilemmas and challenges for businesses.

Every company needs to examine the risks this new medium brings to their business and what they can do to protect their company, their employees and their customers. This presentation covers the fundamental elements needed to establish good decision making, policies and protocols to protect the business and mitigate the risks.

Join Simplex-IT and Tim Dimoff for a stimulating discussion of importance to every business while you enjoy a free lunch and great networking. Seats are limited so please RSVP to or call 234.380.1277. You won’t want to miss this highly informative presentation!