Category

Security

LeadershipSecurity

2019 State of the IT Industry Landscape, Part 3: Cybersecurity

In this portion of our 2019 update on the state of the IT industry, we review many of the pertinent and pressing statistics of the need for cybersecurity. It’s easy to paint an overwhelmingly complex and urgent picture of cybersecurity. However, we aim to balance the flood of data with digestible overview of the situation. Industry Trends: Cybersecurity Bottomline: Our cybersecurity risks and cost associated with them will never be lower than they are today. OXEN’s 2017 summary of cybersecurity for small businesses concluded that SMB IT security is viewed as a necessary but unwelcome cost, rather than as an…
OTWAdmin
July 29, 2019
LeadershipSecurity

The Shared CIO Role: Evolving IT Leadership to Serve You Better

I hope it’s OK to write about something other than the newest cloud feature or the latest tech gadget, because I’m not going to talk about new technologies in this article. Rather, I would like to talk about the necessary leadership in today’s businesses. Not so long ago, the only IT goal of any business was to find someone who could do the work of implementing, upgrading, and maintaining technology. It was a hard-to-find skill set, and it was even difficult to find someone able to set up a basic network. That is not the case today. There are IT…
Ryan Pieken
July 8, 2019
Security

Spring Cleaning Your Spam Filter Whitelist

It's time to add your spam filter whitelist to your spring cleaning routine. For some of us who have been using the same spam filter for years, we may have a long list of allowed addresses or domains. Because phishing email is involved in 91% of breaches, I can't stress enough how important it is to manage your whitelist. As security has evolved, I continually find things that I did months or years ago that I would do differently today. So, I am learning to go back and review the things that are on autopilot to make sure they meet…
Ryan Pieken
May 20, 2019
Security

Security Awareness Training: Time to Jump on the Bandwagon

Human error. We talk about it all the time, but what exactly do we mean? Human error occurs when an individual does something with an unintended outcome. In cybersecurity, it’s easy to point the finger at employees as being an organization’s weakest link. An IBM study found that human error accounts for 95% of security incidents, yet security awareness training for employees often ends up on the back burner. But without appropriate security awareness training provided by the employer, how can employees truly know what to watch out for? Is security awareness training a priority? In a recent survey by…
OTWAdmin
May 13, 2019
Security

What’s the difference between consumer and business-grade firewalls?

Why isn’t it a good idea to go out to your local Best Buy and get a consumer-grade firewall for your business? Can’t you save a few bucks this way, rather than getting a business-grade firewall? Well…you can. But there is a huge difference between a firewall meant for personal home use versus a business-grade firewall that’s equipped with the tools that a business needs for protection. A consumer-grade firewall won’t be the best solution for your business. Here’s why. What is a firewall? In networking, a firewall is a tool that “monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic”…
OTWAdmin
April 15, 2019
Security

Moving away from Internet Explorer

Is Internet Explorer a “modern web browser”? Is it a web browser at all? Should you be using it? Due to a recent blog post from Microsoft on “the perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser”, these puzzling questions have been getting a lot of attention. The gist is this: Microsoft is now on record as saying that Internet Explorer – Microsoft’s long-time web browser – is in fact not really a browser anymore. They don’t want you to use it like one. Microsoft’s Chris Jackson refers to it as a “compatibility solution”, implying that it is legacy…
OTWAdmin
February 18, 2019
Security

Why do you still need anti-spam and anti-virus protection?

It’s 2019. Do you really need to pay for anti-spam and anti-virus software for your company? Is there still a pressing need for these? And can you make do with free versions? We’ll cut to the chase with the answers: Yes, anti-spam and anti-virus solutions are still mandatory as basic security for any organization or business. And while you may go with free security products, you will get much better results with professional paid versions that receive timely updates to protect you from new and emerging threats. Professional, business-grade anti-spam and anti-virus software is still a worthy investment. It’s a…
OTWAdmin
February 11, 2019
Security

Confessions of an IT Professional – Part 2 – Data Backups

This week's article is the second in a series by OXEN's own Terry Allen, one of our technical engineers based in Joplin, MO. Part 1 is here. This post originally appeared on Bloggin' IT with Terry Allen and is reprinted with permission. I’ll admit that I bang the security drum a lot. Those of you that know me will admit that I avoid risk. I look for it and work to manage and reduce it as much as reasonably possible. I don’t like risk. Life has taught me that our world is full of it. Often risks are ignored until…
OTWAdmin
December 10, 2018
SecurityTech Tip

Check email header information for signs of spoofing

Think about this scenario: A friend tells you that they received a message from your email address that wasn’t really sent from you. They think you’ve been hacked and your account is sending malicious emails to friends. How do you know if your email address account has been compromised, or if this malicious attempt is just spoofing your email address? Email “spoofing” means that an attacker is impersonating you by pretending to send an email from your account. The recipient of the email will see your email… but if you dig deeper into the email message’s contents, you can often…
OTWAdmin
December 3, 2018
Security

Confessions of an IT Professional – Part 1

This week's article is the first in a series by OXEN's own Terry Allen, one of our technical engineers based in Joplin, MO. This post originally appeared on Bloggin' IT with Terry Allen and is reprinted with permission. This post is rated E for everyone. These aren’t deep, dark secrets–but they are confessions in two senses:  1) admission and acknowledgement and 2) a statement of one’s principles.  I have to confess that most of what we’re doing today to protect ourselves from modern Internet threats is insufficient.  Before you bail on me banging the ‘security drum’ again, stick with me a little…
Terry Allen
November 5, 2018