Internet of Things Will Change your Business, and You, in 2018

Internet of Things Will Change your Business, and You, in 2018

Written by SOS Tech Group on . Posted in IT News

fiber optic cables

Everyone in Tech has been touting the Internet of Things (IoT) for years, and it seems with the surge of connected devices in homes, it’s only a matter time before IoT begins impacting small and medium businesses as well.

Current estimates state that there will be 40 billion ‘connected’ or ‘smart’ devices by 2020 – almost 7 devices for every human on our planet. Even if your business doesn’t deal directly with technology, the connectivity of these devices is going to impact how you do your business every day.

Smart devices can track behavior of consumers, employees, vendors, and more. Potentially, these devices can also learn, making intelligent decisions and optimizing responses and, ultimately, predicting future behaviors as well.

IoT will also impact the basics of inventory tracking and manufacturing. Amazon is already on top, leading that charge for many years. But as technology becomes cheaper and easier to implement, even small businesses can integrate the same technologies to become increasingly more efficient, leaner, and more profitable.

Employee productivity and morale can also be influenced by the IoT. Remote work becomes easier, by bringing large scale data analytics to anyone, anywhere. It’s no secret that employees can increase job satisfaction, and productivity along with it, by working remote in many cases.

And it’s not all about our material world – cutting edge IoT developments can allow your workforce to have greater precision and accuracy in the very same data analysis and management that started with it. In other words, the more it’s used, the better it gets.

With these IoT trends, scalability is easier than ever when connected devices are integrated properly in your business, leading to more profits, and long-term growth.

SOS Technology Group can help you keep up with this emerging trend and incorporate it into your existing business…

Are your IP Cameras Secure?

Written by SOS Tech Group on . Posted in Security

risk of theft

Is your surveillance camera network safe?

Not all IP cameras are created equal, and price is only one determining factor in quality and security. How do we make sure that the system you trust to security isn’t a wide open threat in of itself?

Back in May 2017, the Department of Homeland Security’s ICS-CERT issued an advisory about an exploit in a large manufacturer’s cameras; these were not flaws that required an elite hacker, as it took a “low skill level to exploit.”  ICS-CERT warned, “Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could lead to a malicious attacker escalating his or her privileges or assuming the identity of an authenticated user and obtaining sensitive data.”

 

What steps can you take?

SECURE YOUR INTERNET NETWORK

Ensure firewalls are up to date with current intrusion definitions and penetration methods. If on a home network, secure your routers and change passwords frequently.

 

PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR CAMERAS

Most IP cameras come with same default username and password, to make installation of the camera and software easier on the end user. The problem comes when these credentials are not changed at installation, and the defaults are well known on both the darknet and open internet. This leaves cameras accessible to anyone via the internet, especially when your network is unsecured.

AVOID PORT FORWARDING

Port forwarding is a way to view your cameras directly outside of the network they reside on. An analogy: when you stay in a hotel, a visitor can get your room number by telling the desk clerk your name. This is a kind of port forwarding, and it’s clear why this is a bad idea: anyone that knows what camera to look for can get information on it if they ask in a certain way. The need for port forwarding is eliminated by investing in a sound and secure video management system, which centralizes and encrypts camera streams for viewing outside their network.

UPDATE YOUR CAMERAS

Camera manufacturers are constantly upgrading firmware to camera models not just to add new features and fix maintenance issues, but to stay on top of intrusion threats and vulnerabilities as hackers get more creative by the day. Make sure your cameras’ firmware is updated regularly.

Cameras are great physical security tools, and when deployed and maintained properly, can be as secure as any other networked device. But as creative threats rise, and attacks become broader, IP cameras are not to be overlooked as potential weak points into any network.

CyberWar has many Civilian Casualties…

Written by SOS Tech Group on . Posted in Security

CyberWar has many Civilian Casualties…

Have you been the victim of cybercrime?  If asked that question in 2012, you might have said, “I’m not sure.”  But in 2017, the answer most likely is, “Yes, I’ve been victimized many times.”  That’s bad news.

Among the familiar companies that have been breached over those five years are Target, Home Depot, eBay, PayPal, LinkedIn, Anthem, Yahoo, iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, and Equifax.  If you use any of these, then you have been an indirect victim of cybercrime and undoubtedly, most of your personal information is somewhere on the Dark Web.

According to http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/ the last five years has seen an escalation of cybercrime on the scale of a world-wide cyberwar. The weapons of this cyberwar are simple and inexpensive to make and deliver compared to conventional weapons. This is due to the ubiquity and connectedness of the Internet that is at once its strength and its weakness. The ubiquity of the internet is a strength in that it enables a free exchange of information and commerce by connecting individuals, businesses, and governments. Yet, this connectedness is a weakness in that it enables criminal, espionage, and terrorist organizations to directly victimize the public, enterprises, and nations on a global scale.

Should you resign yourself to being a casualty in the cyberwar? Go off the grid and forgo connected technologies?  Neither of these options is acceptable for those who desire the convenience that comes with technical innovations such as Alexa and Nest. Then should you hack back? We don’t recommend it since that would be like a civilian joining a conventional war with a pellet gun – you’d have little to gain and much to lose.

In the cyberwar, you are more secure as a non-combatant, but that does not mean you need to be a passive participant. Instead, make sure you have a good defense. If hackers are climbing a ladder to get to you, then build a wall that is higher than their ladder. Windows and MacOS Firewall are defensive tactics, but they are dated architectures that are easy to penetrate. Firewalls in antivirus and wireless routers are marginally better than Windows and MacOS, but they are still not enough to thwart hackers in today’s cyberthreat environment.

To be safe in the cyberwar of 2017, use a next-generation firewall (NGFW) running a full suite of security services.  Unlike less sophisticated firewalls, NGFWs are not static; they learn and grow higher over time, staying higher than the ladders that the hackers are building. The SonicWall Capture Threat Network updates signatures globally around the clock to keep your firewall “higher than the hacker’s ladders.” And if they happen to put a ladder where you didn’t expect one (with a zero-day or unknown malware), you can use Capture ATP to “push away that ladder” before the threat can enter your network.

Tomorrow will bring news of another organization that has been hacked, but you can securely protect the data and devices on your network and avoid being a casualty of the cyberwar. 

 

Contributor: Wilson Lee (Sonicwall Corp)

Top Reasons you need a Managed Services Provider

Written by SOS Tech Group on . Posted in Infrastructure Management, Technology

IT Security With a Managed Services Provider

Although you probably already have standard security measures in place – firewalls and passwords, for instance, proper IT security requires a sophisticated, multi-layered approach.

A managed services provider ensures that you have all of the safeguards in place that you require to protect your data, and remains on the cutting edge of security services because that is our primary focus.

Proactive approach to IT issues.

Rather than reacting to issues as they arise – an IT management style that can lead to data loss, a managed services provider catches a crisis before it begins. Systems monitoring, patch management and a robust help desk means that you’re always out in front of trouble. We see it coming and protect your data.

Superior uptime

Without constant system monitoring, you could experience outages and downtime on your systems, costing you productivity and, in retail services, clients. Our guaranteed SLAs (service level agreements) mean that you can always count on access to your systems. Our helpdesk is available 24/7 when required, which means your technology is too.

Gain access to new technologies

In an ideal world, you’d spend some time each week learning about the innovations that could make your business stronger, but in the real world, you don’t have time for that. This is all we do, and we do it best. Our technicians not only work in IT, they’re interested in it, they’re “tech people” and they know about tech things. When we have a product that will make your business more efficient, we’ll let you know about it.

 

The Difference between a Firewall and Antivirus Solution

Written by SOS Tech Group on . Posted in Computer Security

computer vs security

While you may have heard of both of these programs, it can be confusing to determine the difference between the two, and why you would need both of them to protect your computer.

For enhanced computer security, you’re going to need a firewall and an antivirus downloaded onto your machine; this goes for laptops as well as PCs, across all operating systems.  While you may have heard of both of these programs, it can be confusing to determine the difference between the two, and why you would need both of them to protect your computer.  Both an antivirus and a firewall are vitally important, now that the internet is wrought with such terrible viruses and malware.  Read on to determine the difference.

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