cybersecurity Archives - SorceTek Technology Group
Get Ready for the End-of-Life Deadline for Windows Server 2012

Get Ready for the End-of-Life Deadline for Windows Server 2012

Microsoft is phasing out their Windows Server 2012 platform, which means that the end-of-life deadline is quickly approaching. After this date, the product will no longer be supported, and security updates will cease to exist.

It’s important to understand why the end-of-life deadline exists and what you need to do in order to prepare your organization for it. Let’s take a closer look at the EOL deadline and how it will affect you.

What Does End of Life Mean?

End of life (EOL) is a term used by technology companies when they are phasing out a product or service.

When a product reaches its end of life, it will no longer receive any software updates or patches, leaving it vulnerable to security threats and bugs. Additionally, any customer support services related to the product will also be discontinued.

Why Is Windows Server 2012 Being Phased Out?

Microsoft has decided to phase out Windows Server 2012 because its technology is now outdated compared with newer versions of their server operating system.

The company believes that users should transition over to more secure platforms like Windows Server 2019 in order to keep their data safe from malicious attackers and other security risks.

How Can You Prepare for The EOL Deadline?

If your business is still using Windows Server 2012, there are several steps you can take in order to prepare for its EOL deadline:

    As the end-of-life deadline approaches for Windows Server 2012, it’s important for all organizations using this platform—big and small alike—to begin preparing for the transition process before it’s too late.

    By following these steps outlined above, you can ensure that your organization stays up to date with modern technology solutions and keeps its data secure from potential cyber threats! Talk about an important reminder!

    Chat With a Professional Today

    The lifecycle of software is ongoing, so continuously modifying and updating your software is necessary for ensuring your operating systems and applications are running to the best of their ability at all times.

    Between the evolving needs of your organization and changes in technology, software must be monitored and adjusted accordingly. Software maintenance is necessary for general use, enhancing features, reworking for future needs, moving to the Cloud and more. 

    Hire SorceTek Technologies to make sure your IT security is at its absolute best.

    How to Find Out If You Are Involved in a Data Breach

    How to Find Out If You Are Involved in a Data Breach

    A data breach is when an unauthorized party gains access to your personal data. This can happen when you least expect it, which is why it’s important to know how to find out if you’ve been affected by a data breach.

    Keep reading to find out how to tell if you’re a victim of a data breach, and what you can do next.

    How to Tell if You’ve Been Breached

    There are a few tell-tale signs that you may have been the victim of a data breach.

    First, check your inbox for any suspicious emails or messages. If you see anything that looks odd, delete it immediately.

    You should also keep an eye out for unusual activity on your credit card or bank account statements. If you see any charges that you don’t recognize, chances are your information has been compromised.

    Finally, keep tabs on your personal information. If you receive any calls or emails asking for your Social Security number, date of birth, or other sensitive information, it’s likely that someone is trying to scam you.

    If your bank or other institutions call asking for your personal information, don’t give it to them. First ask them who they are and how you can reach them through a known public number for their institution.

    Remember it is fairly easy for criminals to change their caller ID and make it seem they are calling from your bank.

    What To Do Next

    If you think you may have been the victim of a data breach, the first thing you should do is reach out to your financial institutions and alert them of the situation, right away without delay. They will then be able to take steps to protect your accounts.

    You should also change all of your passwords, both on your financial accounts and on any other accounts where you may have used the same password.

    This is also a good time to institute a better password system for your personal passwords. You should never use the same password anywhere. All passwords should be highly complex and unique. We live in a new world and this type of protection is now necessary.

    And finally, make sure to keep an eye on your credit report for any irregular activity.

    A data breach can be a really scary thing. But by being proactive and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity, you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim.

    If you think you may have been breached, reach out to your financial institutions and change all of your passwords right away.

    And finally, keep an eye on your credit report for any unusual activity.

    Get Protected Today

    When it comes to cybersecurity, simultaneous offense and defense is key.

    Rapid detection of threats means better odds at preventing a major breach and safeguarding your assets from exploitation. 

    Skilled cyber criminals have been known to hide in networks for weeks or longer. As they sit in wait, changing, destroying or stealing valuable data while evading detection, no one may be none the wiser until it’s too late.

    A threat can turn into an absolute nightmare for a business if not stomped out quickly.

    National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    October isn’t just for pumpkin spice, it also means we are officially in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Yes! This is a real thing. It’s like Christmas for those of us in the industry. Okay, that might be a stretch, but it is a great time to share our passion for online security.

    Created in 2004 by a partnership between Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the month is intended to encourage both public and private sectors to demonstrate and educate the importance of staying safe online.

    Of course, SorceTek is dedicated to promoting safe online use all year round.

    Online threats and data breaches are only becoming more commonplace, making it vital for all internet users to, at the very least, have a solid baseline of security tools in place. This is true whether you work in cybersecurity or just use the internet for entertainment. 

    In fact, this year’s theme is “See Yourself in Cyber” which is meant to encourage all internet users to up their game when it comes to online safety. Here are four simple ways to do just that:

    Update Your Software:

    If you see a software update notification, act immediately Turning on automatic updates is an even better, and very convenient, solution.

    Use Strong Passwords:

    Use passwords that are long, unique to each account and randomly generated. Password managers are able to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.

    Password managers can even  encrypt passwords, securing them for you.

    Think Before You Click: Recognize and Report Phishing:

    Do not click on suspicious looking links. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware.

    Enable Multi-Factor Authentication:

    To protect your online accounts, having more than just a password is important. Enabling MFA makes getting hacked far less likely. 

    Upgrade Your Cybersecurity With Us

    In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is of particular importance for small business owners. To protect your company, clients, employees and your reputation, make sure to consistently encourage and uphold basic security strategies all year long.

    Of course, attacks are becoming more sophisticated and continue to evolve.

    Fortunately, SorceTek stays informed of how to protect small businesses from the latest threats. From risk management to disaster recovery, and everything in between, SorceTek has your back all year round. Personally, we’d take sound cybersecurity over a pumpkin spice latte any day.

    Top 5 Cyber Security Risks for Law Firms

    Top 5 Cyber Security Risks for Law Firms

    Confidentiality is the foundation of the attorney-client relationship. As both an ethical obligation and common-law duty, law firms are trusted guardians of some of the most private and sensitive information.

    Additionally, there are usually contractual and regulatory requirements at play. With so much information and correspondence digitized, and the ever-evolving strategies of cyber crime, new and continuous approaches to securing the privileged information law firms are privy to is vital.

    The American Bar Association reports that in 2021, twenty-five percent of law firms were victims of a data breach. Further, survey results also show that too many law firms, particularly smaller firms, are behind the curve when it comes to establishing basic security measures.

    To understand what law firms are up against when it comes to cyber crime, let’s take a look at a few of the top security risks law firms face.

    1. Ransomware Attacks

    Cyber criminals know that law firms possess large amounts of financial information, private data and intellectual property, making them a tempting ransomware target. Ransomware is usually downloaded onto a computer via a malicious link or file that appears innocent to the victim. Once downloaded, attackers are enabled to access and then encrypt sensitive data and information. Utilizing threats and scare tactics the information is held hostage, until you pay up. This tactic often works against law firms because the release of confidential information can result in even further financial damage, loss of reputation and malpractice suits from clients. To avoid the potential loss of critical files due to ransomware, it is imperative that law firms invest in disaster recovery that includes backing up all crucial information through an external hard drive or at a secure out of network location.

    2. Phishing Scams

    Phishing scams are one of the most common attacks on law firms. Criminals use social engineering tactics to try to gain access to sensitive data and/or obtain monetary benefit. Often this is done through a fraudulent email that appears to come from a legitimate source such as a colleague, client or superior. The email tricks the target into sharing financial or personal information, or clicking on a link that installs malware.

    3. Malware

    A malware attack is when malicious code is used to infiltrate networks and databases in order to steal or destroy sensitive data. Often this is done through viruses or trojans that are accidentally downloaded through spam emails, malicious links or from an infected computer in the same network. These attacks are only increasing due to so much work being done by employees remotely on a variety of devices. To ward off malware, it is important that all employees take advantage of software updates in a timely manner as they often include security upgrades and patches.

    4. Access Control & Authentication

    Relying on weak and easily guessed passwords is an issue with many users, and law firms are no exception. This means making sure employees are creating passwords that appropriately protect the network. Additionally, too often too many users have access to more than necessary on a network, so it’s important to control which users have access to what data along with tracking logins to ensure credentials are being used appropriately. Tools like password manager and multi-factor authentication can prevent bad actors from getting into your network.

    5. Lack of Training

    Most data breaches involve some sort of human error, and attorneys are experts of the law, not cyber security. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the technology users at your firm are familiar with at least the basics of cyber security. Educating all users about phishing, social engineering, the importance of strong passwords, necessity of updating software and overall remaining vigilant is imperative. This gives users more confidence, and clients a greater sense of trust.

    Improve Your Cybersecurity Today

    Law firms are well-known stewards of private and sensitive information, making them frequent targets of cyber attacks. Small firms too often fall victim since many have not invested in the defenses and procedures necessary to head off a breach.

    Fortunately, the financial stability and reputation of a firm can be protected with some simple security measures to ward off the above top risks. To ensure that the cornerstone of confidentiality between you and your clients is protected, don’t allow a lack of basic cyber security to wreak havoc on your firm.

    5 Ways to Beef Up Your Team’s Cybersecurity Game

    5 Ways to Beef Up Your Team’s Cybersecurity Game

    Staying ahead of cyber criminals through sound cybersecurity measures is imperative for today’s small business owners.

    If you’re operating without proper safeguards on your technology systems, you may as well just leave your company’s door wide open and yell, “Come and get it!” You would never leave your physical assets so vulnerable to attack, nor should you do so with your digital assets.

    Your applications and digitized files contain vast amounts of sensitive information and must be protected from the wrong people gaining access. Cyber attacks are usually motivated by financial gain, but so much more is at stake.

    Data loss, work disruption, compromised private information, compliance issues and your reputation are all on the line. Furthermore, cyber criminals love targeting small businesses.

    Experience has shown them to expect small businesses to lack the time, money and resources when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, and only 14% are prepared to defend themselves

    Be Unexpected

    Be part of the 14%.

    Fortunately, there are many simple and effective tactics that you and your employees can utilize, from actions you can take on your own, to measures that can be applied by professionals.

    Here Are a Few Cybersecurity Tips To Consider:

    1. Keep software up-to-date, as updates often include security upgrades
    2. Use two or multi-factor authentication whenever you and your employees access applications
    3. Avoid public Wi-Fi, and consider a portable 4G hotspot
    4. Invest in a risk assessment to evaluate and analyze your company’s vulnerabilities in order to put in the best preventative measures
    5. Employ detection and retaliation through active threat response

    Beef Up Your Cybersecurity Game Today

    To learn more ways to protect your small business, download our Fifteen-Point Cybersecurity Checklist for Texas Small Businesses. Implementing even the most basic measures can be the difference between saving and losing the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

    Security matters for everyone – and your data can be compromised at any time. Can your business bounce back?

    Reach out today for a complimentary cyber security analysis. Our team will identify weak spots and make recommendations to protect your business.

    The Most Common Cyber Security Gaps in Small Businesses

    The Most Common Cyber Security Gaps in Small Businesses

    What are Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities?

    Whatever size your business, cyber criminals love to find flaws in your systems to exploit.

    In fact, small businesses are usually more at risk because they generally don’t have the time, staff and resources of a larger company. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are well aware of this susceptibility.

    Your network, operating system, processes and even (especially!) you and your employees all have potential vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of and used, often for monetary gain, at the expense of your small business.

    Being aware of potential vulnerabilities is key to thwarting an attack. To be clear, these are weaknesses that potentially exist within your own system that could be used against you. The bright side? This means you have the power to seek out and fix these flaws before someone else finds them first.

    Let’s take a look at the four main areas for potential vulnerabilities.

    Network Vulnerabilities

    Network Vulnerabilities are issues with hardware or software that could attract an intruder. Examples include outdated or unpatched software applications, insecure Wi-fi access points and poorly configured firewalls. 

    Operating System (OS) Vulnerabilities

    Operating System (OS) Vulnerabilities are exposures within an OS that criminals can use to create havoc or cause damage. Examples include default superuser accounts and hidden backdoor programs.

    Process Vulnerabilities

    Process Vulnerabilities are when procedures are supposed to act as security, but in reality are insufficient. Common ones are weak passwords and utilizing only single factor authentication.

    Human Vulnerabilities

    Human Vulnerabilities are our own missteps, which are incredibly common. User errors often involve opening infected links and not installing software updates on mobile devices in a timely manner.

    Left unchecked, any of these vulnerabilities can be discovered and exploited by cyber criminals, resulting in an actual attack. Today, this usually means malware attacks (ransomware, viruses, spyware, etc.), social engineering attacks (phishing, pharming, spam, etc} and password hacking.

    While attacks are usually for monetary gain, they often not only result in loss of assets, but can weaken an organization’s reputation, damage the trust of your clients, and ultimately lead to loss of customers or even your entire business. 

    There is no way to have a completely vulnerable-free system as our technology landscape is ever growing, changing and connecting, but there are certainly ways to lessen risk.

    Luckily some of the vulnerabilities above can certainly be addressed easily within your own organization (stronger passwords, people!).

    That being said, a risk assessment performed by cyber security experts is still your best bet for finding and removing vulnerabilities, before someone else finds them first.

    Get Started With a Risk Assessment Today

    Cyber risks are the potential threats to your organization that exist within the entirety of your technological landscape.

    Most attacks are financially motivated, and can result in huge costs, work disruption, data loss, compliance issues and damage to a company’s reputation.

    Any size organization in any industry has vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of by those wishing to do harm. In fact, almost half of small businesses experience an attack, and the majority don’t survive. Risk management is imperative to avoiding attacks, mitigating the fallout and keeping your business intact.