The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

Biggest Security Threats Facing Employees Today

Caroline McKee

Posted by Caroline McKee
Wed, Dec 28, 2016

In today’s workplace, you can never be too safe. With threats such as helpdesk support scams, CEO imposter scams, phishing, social engineering, malware built into ads and hijacked websites, its hard to know what can — and, more importantly, what can not — be trusted.

Luckily, by knowing what to look for and being able to quickly identify the telltale signs of threats like these, you will be better enabled to navigate securely through your workdays.

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What the Healthcare Industry MUST Know About Ransomware Attack

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Wed, Jun 01, 2016

The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) has deemed 2016 as the “year ransomware holds America hostage” and states that attacks will “wreak havoc on America’s critical infrastructure community." As several healthcare facilities and providers have already fallen victim to ransomware, healthcare data security has become a top security issue and a regular headline in the news.

Pushed into a corner and faced with two options — to pay, or not to pay — facilities are scrambling to create an environment free from data breach. Sadly, there seems to be no end in sight for healthcare ransomware attacks. No organization, regardless of size, structure, function or status can assume they are safe from attacks, and simply ignoring the problem can invite even more chaos. Therefore, you must take all of the necessary steps to stop ransomware attacks in its tracks.

You may have questions — What is ransomware? What happens if my healthcare facility is a victim of data breach? How can it be prevented? 

Read on for answers to these questions, as well as other vital information regarding healthcare data security.

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Five Mobile Security Myths Busted

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Wed, Jul 01, 2015

One of the fastest-growing new trends in the last decade, Mobility has taken hold in both enterprises and SMBs — and it's not hard to understand why.

Combined mobile device use recently surpassed personal computer (PC) use, and this rapid adoption of mobile technology has led to a number of misconceptions and downright myths about their place in the office, as many businesses still lack a comprehensive mobile strategy. In an effort to dispel some of the fallacies about mobility in the enterprise, here is a brief look at several of the more common mobile myths.

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What DC SMBs Need to Know About Encrypting Ransomware and Malware

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Jun 23, 2015

That insidious ransomware CryptoLocker that we blogged about a year ago is still here, and it is mutating into variants with names like Crowti, Cryptowall, CryptoLocker 2.0, and many others.

Ransomware — in case you’ve forgotten — is a nasty piece of malware that seizes your computer, encrypts all the data on it, and demands a payment to release it. New versions of this malicious virus are even attacking online gamers as they play popular games like Call of Duty, Minecraft, Assassin’s Creed and others. This attack on gamers may not directly affect SMBs, but it demonstrates the persistence and evolution of ransomware as cybercriminals look for new victims, and many are SMBs.

Keep reading to learn more about:

  1. Common targets
  2. Tactics
  3. Security
  4. And more
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Best Practices to Help DC SMBs Fight Phishing and Next-Generation Malware

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Tue, Jun 09, 2015

On Sundays, I try to relax and not think about IT security, but an interesting story on the front page of theWashington Post got my attention. In 1969, the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency pioneered a computer network linking about 100 universities and military sites. It was called ARPANET, and it was the beginning of what later became the Internet. Fast forward, and the Internet permeates the business world, which would look very different without that Pentagon military project over 46 years ago.

From the beginning, some computer scientists warned that the Internet and its data transmission standard — Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) — was vulnerable to hackers if it did not incorporate encryption. For this reason, the military created its own encrypted network, still using TCP/IP, but the civilian Internet kept its fundamentally open nature. Encryption, and the hardware needed to support it in the early days of the Internet, would have been very costly, perhaps even preventing the nascent Internet from succeeding.

RELATED: Why and When Email Encryption is Important for SMB Security

Of course the Internet did succeed, and the first worm appeared in 1988, created by a Cornell University graduate student. Today, over 10,000 new malware threats are discovered every hour, a quarter million a day.

Billions of dollars are spent each year on anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-spam and other security solutions, yet threats still find their way into many small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs). What can be done? What is the antidote to this epidemic of phishing, next-generation malware and other threats? Unfortunately, there is no magic solution, but enterprises can take some recommended steps. SMBs without an IT department can consult with a managed service provider (MSP) for help in implementing these security best practices:

  1. effective training for users to detect phishing attempts

  2. detailed and thorough company policies that encourage acceptable user behavior

  3. enterprise-grade alternatives to less secure consumer-focused tools

  4. layered security solutions that better thwart malware, phishing attempts and other threats.

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Top 5 Office Technology Blogs of May 2015

Claudia Alvarez

Posted by Claudia Alvarez
Tue, Jun 02, 2015

From common cyber attack techniques, to which output device is best for your office, check out our 5 top office technology blogs of May. Enjoy as we prepare even more useful content this month. 

 

MFP vs Desktop Printer: Which is better for your office printing needs?

Posted by Robert Bruce on Wed, May 20, 2015 

The multifunction printer (MFP) has greatly improved document management, workflow and office efficiencies, but desktop printers can still be found at some workstations. In fact, despite the many technological advantages of the MFP, the desktop printer hasn't completely disappeared from the modern office environment. Document management is complex, and there is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution. Print strategy often involves a hybrid approach that may well include not only desktop printers and strategically placed fps, but an in-house print room or copy center, as well as the occasional outsourced print job.

RELATED: The Benefits of In-house Production Printing vs Outsourced Printing

In this blog post, I'll focus on the decision regarding whether to have only desktop printers, just use multi-functioning devices, or employ a mix of both device types. There are pros and cons for each strategy. Read on to learn about the pros and cons as they relate to each of these 5 key factors:

  1. Features
  2. Initial costs vs recurring costs
  3. Available space and device footprint
  4. Digitizing and networking
  5. Security

Read on to learn more!

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Is Antivirus Software Really Dead?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Thu, Apr 09, 2015

For a while now, some experts in the cybersecurity industry have been saying that antivirus software is ineffective, even dead. But, like Mark Twain once said in response to an erroneous newspaper article claiming that the great American author had died, “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Antivirus software (AV) is still alive and kicking, and remains an important component of best practices for network security, especially for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs).

What is dead and gone is relying solely on AV for network protection. Today, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for IT security, but AV software still plays an important role in defending an SMB’s network. An assessment from a managed services provider (MSP) can help determine what type of AV software is best for your organization.

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DC Cyber Security Alert: "BadUSB" Malware Concerns for USB Storage Drive Users

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Feb 03, 2015

Information security requires constant vigilance. The latest evidence of this was recently emphasized at the Black Hat Hackers conference in Las Vegas when researchers demonstrated how USB (universal serial bus) devices can be reprogrammed to deliver malware to unsuspecting networks. Yes, something as innocuous as that thumb drive on your key chain can now be turned into a cyber-weapon. But there's no need to panic. As long as you're aware of the dangers and take certain common sense precautions, the chances — as of now — of infecting your system with a bad USB device are small.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Before I go into the very interesting story of how this flaw in USB devices, now called “BadUSB,” was discovered, and how it was revealed to the general public, here is some good, common sense advice from the security experts at Symantec on how best to avoid a bad USB infection:

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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