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Grassroots foundations, and why maintaining your network is critical

October 3, 2018
Lets be honest. With the technology of the 21st century growing at a rate faster than that of the industrial revolution in the early 1900's, knowing where to start in today's data jungle can get confusing at times to say the least. Sure we can all see the potential benefits of such an inter-networked society and all the advantages (not to mention profits) that it brings, but how do each of us get a piece of that 'data pie'? Even more so, how does a company or individual even begin to look at upgrading or maintaining their data presence? On the other hand, you could already be taking advantage pf the prosperous rewards of a post millennium era, but are you really getting the most out of it? Is your network really ready to change and adapt at a moments notice for the tech of tomorrow? More so, is your data safe from online thieves and hackers who use advanced computing knowledge to exploit everything you worked so hard to build?      The most disturbing and bone chilling thing I see most often, is a company or individual with a 'set it and forget it' mindset. They installed their OS 5 years ago, turned off updates and patches because they were a nuisance, and figured "that will never happen to me, I'm not big enough or important enough". WRONG! A data survey recently released a report stating that 87% of successfully exploited businesses in the U.S alone, were small to medium sized infrastructures. Even more so, a whopping 41% of those exploited were small independent doctors and dentists offices. This means that not only are attackers able to steal your credit card and back information...they now are targeting personal medical records, altering medical history, insurance fraud, etc. I don't think I need to tell you that the consequences from such exploits could prove to be not only financially detrimental, but potentially DEADLY!      Luckily there are simple measures you can take to help protect yourself from being a vulnerable target. Surprisingly, most of the protection starts with the individual user. For starters, create strong passwords and tell them to now one.  A password should be a minimum of 8 characters long, with both upper case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Also avoid using common words found in the dictionary or phrases relevant to you personally. For instance your childs name and birthdate, or your cats name. Use different passwords for different sites. Also look into a password manager such as LastPass or Pass Keeper to help keep up with all of your logins. Train your end users on Phishing and Social Engineering! The number one thing you can do for your company to keep it safe is end user training and I cannot stress this enough. Being the fastest most productive employee gets you nowhere when your network is taking a dive into the data abyss. And last but not least, keep up to date with security patches and antivirus software. That annoying Windows reminder that you have an update ready is there to help you. Yes its inconvenient at times, but it may provide patches to a security risk or 0-day exploit that could cripple your business. These are just a few friendly reminders from your friends here at ALPHA-1 NetSec, and for those looking for more info, head over to our 'Contact Us' page and let ALPHA-1 help keep you and your business profiting for the long haul.