IT Services Blog

Heartbleed Bug: Don’t Go Breaking My….

Written by BlackPoint Team on . Posted in IT Services Blog

There’s a lot of information flying around the internet these days about the Heartbleed Bug which potentially exposed millions of internet users to vulnerabilities when they thought they were accessing secure sites.  Some estimate that it has compromised at least 66% of active websites (techmadeeasy.co.uk estimates there are around 861,379,000 registered host names as of January 2014).

Most high profile sites have already responded to the threat (read: Which popular sites have been patched) and consumers have been instructed to change their passwords.

What Do I Need To Know As A Business Owner?

This bug predominantly affects firewalls and websites.  Most security & firewall companies (including the vendors we use like Cisco, WatchGuard, and others) issued patches immediately.   As a business owner, you should be vigilant and check with your technology providers to ensure the products they are using are safe and supported for updates, patches, and fixes-especially for hosted websites and cloud services.  If you host your own website, you may need to take the necessary steps to make sure your site is secure.  One popular tool you can use to check whether a site has been secured:

The Heartbleed Bug URL tester

McAfee also released their own URL tester.

If you or your employees use Android phones or tablets, you may want to keep an eye out for updates to the Android Operating System (OS).  PC Magazine reported that users of Android 4.1.1 may still be vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug.  Other Google products (such as Gmail, YouTube, AdWords, Maps, etc.) should be safe as the company has applied the appropriate patches. 

Password InfographicCreate A Strong Password Policy

One of the best things you can do is create a password policy for all the applications you use.  It is best to change your passwords at least every 3 months.  We also have some tips for creating strong passwords.  Click on the infographic to the left for tips and examples. 

If you have any questions or need our assistance with reviewing your network for best security practices, please do not hesitate to call!

Contact Us

 

Send to Kindle

R.I.P. XP

Written by BlackPoint Team on . Posted in IT Services Blog, Microsoft Office, Security, Windows

XP-Gravestone-bannerIt’s the end of an era. As of April 8th, Microsoft says it will no longer provide security updates, issue fixes to non-security related problems or offer online technical content updates. The company is discontinuing XP to focus on maintaining its newer operating systems, the core programs that run personal computers.

It’s estimated that nearly 30% of computers are still running XP and are now more vulnerable to attacks than ever.  Part of the problem is a lack of education.  Not every business person reads tech blogs and may not be entirely aware of the consequences of continuing to run this OS.  But the bigger problem is that for most, especially small business owners, there is a lack of time.  They may have applications that don’t work on other operating systems (OS) and don’t have the time to research or implement new processes.  They may not be aware of what new technologies are available or be able to afford to outfit their company with new hardware.  

It’s time to take action…

We cannot recommend enough making time to sit down with a technology professional to find out what can be done.  Get the information on what is available, what steps you can take in the meantime, and find a solution that will meet your needs.  Our Account Managers and Engineers work closely with Microsoft and have completed training to help businesses in any scenario.  They also work closely with many types of small businesses and can recommend a solution they’ve seen work for other businesses like yours.

In the meantime, we recommend disconnecting all XP machines from the internet to minimize threats.  New exploits for Windows XP will likely be added to cybersecurity exploit kits sold/leased to attackers which make it easy to build malicious websites that try to install malware on XP systems that visit those sites.

If you limit internet use & sites visited with XP systems, you can limit the risk.  Changing browsers will not mitigate these risks.

You can also:

  • Run a free virus checker like Microsoft Safety Scanner
  • Install antivirus (AV) and antispyware from a trusted source
  • Consider upgrading your OS.  Windows 7 has a “Run in XP mode” which may help you continue to run XP-reliant applications but still offer protection from the Windows 7 OS which is still supported.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We are here to help.

Contact Us

 

 

Send to Kindle

In Their Words….Portland Edition!

Written by lbezezekoff on . Posted in IT Services Blog, Real Business

Invite Photo

Our Portland staff just moved into their new office (just upstairs from their old one!) and are ready to grow!  One way they will do that is through word of mouth referalls from clients who are excited about the IT solutions we provide them.  Along those lines, we are happy to debut TWO new testimonials from Portland area clients in the special PDX edition of In Their Words….

 

Send to Kindle

Windows 8.1 – Get Connected!!

Written by BlackPoint Team on . Posted in Events & Sponsorships, IT Services Blog, Microsoft Office, Real Business, Windows

Last month we offered a series of hands-on demo sessions for our clients interested in learning Windows 8.1. Attendees learned the basics like how to customize your desktop and what Charms are to setting up a Lync meeting with video and instant messaging.

Each session is customized to needs of the attendees but all the basics will be covered. We’ve borrowed top-of-the-line hybrid (combination lap top + tablet) equipment from Microsoft’s Experience Center to demonstrate the power of Windows 8.1. Whether you use a mouse or your finger tip, we’ll show you how to run the programs you’re familiar with as well as peeking at all the ways Windows 8.1 can improve collaboration and connection.

Last month we offered a series of hands-on demo sessions for our clients interested in learning Windows 8.1. Attendees learned the basics like how to customize your desktop and what Charms are to setting up a Lync meeting with video and instant messaging.

Each session is customized to needs of the attendees but all the basics will be covered. We’ve borrowed top-of-the-line hybrid (combination lap top + tablet) equipment from Microsoft’s Experience Center to demonstrate the power of Windows 8.1. Whether you use a mouse or your finger tip, we’ll show you how to run the programs you’re familiar with as well as peeking at all the ways Windows 8.1 can improve collaboration and connection.

Last month we offered a series of hands-on demo sessions for our clients interested in learning Windows 8.1.  Attendees learned the basics like how to customize your desktop and what Charms are to setting up a Lync meeting with video and instant messaging. 

lenovo-laptop-convertible-yoga-2-pro-orange-front-1Each session is customized to needs of the attendees but all the basics will be covered.  We’ve borrowed top-of-the-line hybrid (combination lap top + tablet) equipment from Microsoft’s Experience Center to demonstrate the power of Windows 8.1.  Whether you use a mouse or your finger tip, we’ll show you how to run the programs you’re familiar with as well as peeking at all the ways Windows 8.1 can improve collaboration and connection. 

Register Now

If you liked this post, you might like:  “XP”elliarmus: 5 Handy Charms, Be the Wolf of Wall Street, May the Force Be With YouWindows 8: Future or Failure?, Windows 8: Ushering in the End of An Era and Preventing Missile Testing in North Korea?, Weather Proofing Your Business with Cloud Technology

Send to Kindle