Wireless access point being obtrusively accessed.

Who Has Access to Your Wireless Access Point?

With today’s consistent use of wireless technology, there is a higher demand for wireless access points. Wireless networking products are so inexpensive and tangible that almost anyone and everyone can obtrusively gain access to a wireless point. Although routers and access points have an administrative password that is required before logging in the device, the security is usually very weak. Most devices default to a weak password like the manufacturer’s name or have no password at all. Which brings the question to mind, who has access to your wireless access point?

Any Wireless Systems

Wireless access points automatically broadcast the network’s name. Although this makes setting up wireless access points incredibly convenient, it also makes them highly vulnerable.  Your wireless access network will appear to any wireless systems within range of it. This increases exposure to not only your fellow neighbors but passersby as well.

Open For All

Unsecured wireless access points are potential risks that could affect not only your business but also your personal life. It is an open invitation to anyone who wants to retrieve secure data and files on your system. This means that bandwidth thieves, snoopers, and spammers can easily access your home or office network and snoop through all the devices that are connected.

Hackers

There are “wardrivers” who specifically search for open wireless access points with the intention to either spam or commit identity theft. This exposure will leave any of your private records public and accessible for malicious use. Any hacker that takes the time to examine your access point will identify its make and model and unlock the default user ID and password.

If you have a growing concern about intruders might be able to access your wireless access point, give Preferred Technology Solutions a call. We will be glad to give you a free consultation.

Security Breach

What a Security Breach Will Cost Your Company

More and more often we see stories in the news regarding data breaches at major companies, from the Sony hack that put the data of millions of gamers onto the open marketplace to the Home Depot breach that put the credit card information of thousands of their customers onto the Web. The Ponemon Institute, which tracks such incidents, estimates that the average cost of a security breach is $3.5 million, with the lowest that they have knowledge of at $750,000 and the highest at nearly $31 million.

 

The volume of these attacks is on the rise, with credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions leading the list of companies that have to deal with hackers on a regular basis. Other companies aren’t safe either, though, as all information, of any kind, will command some kind of price on the black market. Hackers will go after any storage that they find is easy to breach in the hope of finding some sort of paydata.

 

This means that your company isn’t safe either – any data is a commodity, and its loss may hurt you more than it lines the criminals’ pockets. Having all of your client information deleted, for example, can spell the bankruptcy of your firm, and in more ways than you realize. Not only will you no longer be able to have their history and such, but you’ll have to go to them, hat in hand, and explain that their data is no longer secure. This is not only embarrassing, but it’s also a bad blow to your company’s reputation.

 

Reputation is important, especially if you have a bad one. You don’t want to be known as the company that lost data. Customers expect companies to realize all these threats and have security in place to prevent it, making it your responsibility to guard against them even if they are a lot more sophisticated than conventional means can handle. Sony is a good example: it took a public apology by the CEO and the board for a horde of angry gamers to stay on as customers, and even then many left and took their wallets elsewhere. The consequences for Home Depot are still a little unclear, but their stock took a tumble as shareholders started selling in anticipation of disappointing profit figures.

 

Security is no small matter. It can decide the future of your business. Unlike an individual, as an entrepreneur you can’t rely on free options or on downloadable programs; you’re going to have to enlist the services of IT security professionals who can set up a suite of protection for you and who will monitor your security situation at all times. It may not be cheap, but the alternative can cost you a lot more.

The New Smartwatch From Pebble: Pebble Time

Pebble is known for the smartwatch and the Kickstarter fund raising site for creative projects. The new Pebble Time smartwatch has set a new Kickstarter record, raising $1 million in only 49 minutes, the fastest in Kickstarter history. Backers on the site can buy the Time for only $179, while the first 10,000 got it for only $159. Here’s what all the fuss is about.

 

About Pebble Time

The watch is named “Time” because time is the central guiding force. It doesn’t favor individual apps, but instead has adopted a timeline display of your most urgent notifications. The notifications are organized by what you need to know currently and then in the near future. Apps will still be there, and Time can work with the already existing software for Pebble. However, developers are focusing on moving in a direction that focuses on building software that is extension-style and provides information to a central shared interface. The goal is to steer away from a model that is app-centric, which is more appropriate for smartphones than a smartwatch accessed on your wrist.

 

Pebble Time Features

The Time is 20% thinner than the previous Pebble smartwatch model, and it now has a new color e-paper screen, where the past model was only available in black and white. Brilliant animations work at 30 fps on the e-ink display. Voice-activated controls can be performed via the Time’s built-in microphone, made with quick text responses in mind.

The straps are now 22mm, which means you can change them out easily with others in your collection. Plus, they come off without a problem because they are designed with quick-release pins, so you don’t need specialized tools to swap straps. The Time is much more customizable than its predecessor.

The Time is water-resistant like the original model, and it uses strong Gorilla Glass for the face and has three available colors for the steel bezel. Connect to devices via Bluetooth, with the aim being to see how the Time works with BLE accessories separate from any phone. Its physical buttons are still a part of the watch, as opposed to a touchscreen interface. The goal in mind with this design is so the user knows for sure that their information has been registered. Designers find this to be a perfect setup for situations where you’re setting a timer for running, dismissing an alarm or swimming.

 

Pebble Time OS

The Operating System for the Time has been completely rebuilt to support new software.

Information that will be displayed chronologically include weather, stocks and email notices to name a few. This Timeline interface will be accessed by the press of a button, allowing users to scroll to the next event in order, no matter what the app source is. If you need to go back to see what notifications you missed, simply scroll back and catch up on items like yesterday’s activity summary or the score of the game you missed. The new operating system will be able to store over 8 apps, which was the previous model’s maximum capacity.

New “Bash” Security Threat Surfaces – Preferred Technology can help ensure that you are protected with our “Effective IT” Solutions

Do you remember the catastrophic “Heartbleed” security bug that started wreaking havoc on people and businesses in April?

Well, a new security bug has surfaced, and it is being referred to as “Bash.” It has been widely stated that this bug will be even more disastrous than Heartbleed was.

If your system falls victim to Bash, an unauthorized user could gain control of your entire system! That could be completely devastating for your company.

To learn more about the severity of Bash, click here.

In the midst of this harrowing announcement, there IS good news – Preferred Technology can help ensure that you are protected with our “Effective IT” Solutions.

Remember, here at Preferred Technology, we are the security and data recovery experts! Contact us today, and let’s work together to keep your assets safe.

How Network Security Services Can Make Your Life Easier

As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Chances are, it’s hard to for you to truly relax when you’re worrying about all of the different things that could go wrong and put you out of business in an instant.

And, if there’s one thing that can completely destroy the company you’ve worked so hard to maintain, it’s a security breach. But there’s good news – you can easily prevent a security breach from happening. All you need to do is take advantage of the right network security services.

First of all, network security services give you peace of mind because they decrease your risk. When you’ve got the proper security in place, you no longer need to worry about hacker attacks, malware infections, and other disasters that could put you out of business. You can sleep well at night knowing that your valuable company information is being kept safe.

You also need to take downtime into account and think about how network security services can help you keep downtime to a minimum. When a security issue arises, everyone can no longer work at 100% productivity – employees to become distracted from their job duties, and that can ultimately cost you money. When you take preventative measures instead of simply reacting to security issues, you can keep your efficiency high and your stress low.

Speaking of stress, network security services can actually decrease stress for both you and your employees. Obviously, it will help you because you won’t have to worry anymore about losing your business – but it will also help your employees by reducing their need to worry about managing your network. Think about it – if you’ve got your current employees trying to manage your network, they are put under a huge amount of unnecessary pressure to keep it safe!

With network security services, you and your employees can focus on the bigger picture – your vision of success for your company. And that’s what’s really important, right?

Here at Preferred, we offer network security services designed to give you all of these benefits and more. We take the time to get to know you, recognize your company’s specific needs, and then build a solution that has been specifically tailored to fit those needs.

Don’t deal with the unnecessary stress of putting your company at risk anymore. Contact Preferred today, and let’s work together to keep your company safe. 

4 Easy Ways to Create a More Secure Password

Imagine. You’re logging into an online account that you use regularly. You’ve typed your username and password like always, and you’re waiting patiently for the page to load.

 

But then… You receive some bad news.

 

“Your password has expired.”

 

Oh no. You’ve had the same password forever. How are you possibly going to come up with a new one that you can easily remember?

 

We’ve all been through it. It’s not always easy to come up with a password that is both simple enough for you to recall and complex enough to keep your data safe.

 

Here are 5 tips to help you next time you’ve got to come up with a new password.

 

#1) Use an Acronym

 

Remember when you were in grade school and you were learning about the color spectrum? Your teacher didn’t simply teach you the order of the colors – you learned the acronym ROY G BIV: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

 

The acronym makes it a lot easier to remember, right?

 

You can do the something similar to create a secure password. Think of a sentence that is easy to remember. Then, take the first letter of each word in that sentence and use it as your password. For example, you could use the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Then, your password would be TQBFJOTLD.

 

To anyone else, that would just look like a bunch of random letters. But you would be able to remember it easily by memorizing one simple sentence.

 

#2) Capitalization Variation

 

When you’re creating a password, you should try to vary the capitalization as much as possible. That’ll make your password a lot more secure.

 

So, from the previous example using the acronym, you could capitalize every other letter and use TqBfJoTlD instead of TQBFJOTLD.

 

#3) Numbers

 

There are several creative ways you can use numbers to make your passwords stronger.

 

One option is to stick some numbers right in the middle of your password. It’s pretty common for people to put numbers at the end of their passwords, so putting them in the middle gives you extra security. So, we could take the example password, TqBfJoTlD, and change it to TqBf1234JoTlD.

 

Did you notice that I put the number between the subject and the verb in the sentence? That’s another way to make it easier to remember.

 

And you don’t have to use “1234.” In fact, it’s a good idea to come up with your own number. The more digits, the better.

 

#4) Use Special Characters

 

Most websites will allow and even encourage the usage of special characters in passwords. Some even require that you use at least one of them.

 

My favorite is the exclamation point, because it is logically easier to remember. Especially when you use a sentence acronym, like in the example. It’s easy to remember to add an exclamation point at the end, because that’s where it would normally fall – at the end of a sentence.

 

So the new password, using the acronym, the capitalization, and the numbers, would be:

 

TqBf1234JoTlD!

 

Looks complicated, right? But it makes perfect sense to you.

 

This kind of password would make it tough for someone to hack into your account, yet it’s easy for you to remember.

 

You’ll be amazed by how much this method can amp up your account security and simplify the process of logging in to your accounts.. So, go ahead. Try out these tips and see what you can come up with!

 

Fortinet Security Research Leads Expertise on Mobile Malware

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sep 22, 2011 – Fortinet® – a leading network security provider and the worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions, today announced that in just five years, the number of mobile malware has grown from 52 to over 2,500*. With more than 15 years of experience in cryptology, security protocols and operating systems, Axelle Apvrille has conducted in-depth research on mobile malware such as the Symbian Yxes worm, the Zitmo Trojan and more recently Spitmo, the latest Android malware which intercepts SMS from financial institutions and is the first to spread without the help of Google’s Market or any other third-party markets. The threat of mobile malware is now reality for Android users: records showed that a single malicious sample was downloaded more than 200,000 times**.