Technology Articles from MPA Networks

Malware is Running Rampant - Learn The 3 Moves to Stop It

April 15th, 2021 by admin

A man in a dark gray hoodie with his arms crossed and face obscured, coming out of an open laptop.

MPA Networks, Inc. Helps Customers Protect Their Precious Networks SAN MATEO, CA - MPA Networks, Inc. a leading managed technology services provider (MTSP), proactively helps businesses address the increased threat of malware affecting small to mid-sized...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Press Release

Protect Your Business with MPA Networks’ Cybersecurity Solutions

December 8th, 2020 by admin

Hacker typing on two keyboards overlaid with the words 'data breach' in orange letters

Moving to the cloud will increase your business's cybersecurity. The secure data centers utilized to host data and applications are much more secure than what would typically be found in an on-premise setup. There are many different ways that hackers...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Solutions

Be on the Lookout for Rising Number of COVID-19 Phishing Attacks

April 21st, 2020 by admin

A blue digital lock with various connected devices and a person hand pointing at the lock

Hackers will often look to exploit any weakness they can find, whether it is technological means or through human curiosity and concern. With the rapid rise of COVID-19 across the globe, hackers are ramping up their phishing attack efforts. These efforts...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Solutions

MPA Networks Protects Your Network From Security Threats

January 16th, 2020 by admin

Blue shield with keyhole providing protection from cybersecurity

Protecting your data networks is one of the most important things your company can do. At MPA Networks, our experience and expertise enable us to bring the most innovative cybersecurity solutions to the table. There are numerous types of...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Solutions

What is SOCKS, and How is it Used to Protect your Internet Security?

November 2nd, 2019 by admin

Computer with protective shield and lock.

SOCKS stands for Secure Over Credential-Based Kerberos Services, which is also known as SOCKets and is one of the earliest network protocol systems ever used. This protocol allows users to employ client-based applications and web servers transparently...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Types of Phishing Attacks: Whaling, Deceptive, Pharming

May 25th, 2019 by admin

Discrete hacker looking for vulnerable code

Phishing attacks occur when communication that appears to be reputable is fraudulent. The sorts of scams are made to extract personal and sensitive information from victims such as social security numbers, addresses, bank information and more. People...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

MPA Networks Knows Security

January 29th, 2019 by admin

Lock

Your business needs a dependable and robust cybersecurity solution, plain and simple. As technology continues to advance and new threats are coming to the forefront, it is essential to have the proper security and management behind you to ensure...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Cyber-Security Brings Peace of Mind to Business Owners and their IT Networks

January 4th, 2019 by admin

Cyber Security in text above a laptop with the image of a masked criminal, as well as a green check mark and a gold lock

San Mateo, CA – We are excited to announce the launch of an awareness campaign on recent advancements in cyber security. As technology has become even more central to business operations, hackers have grown in proficiency and are posing...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Identifying the Top 4 Network Security Risks

November 15th, 2018 by admin

Shadowy Figure Overlayed with Digital Code on Dark Background

Security for your business is crucial. Everyone knows that, but settling for any old security system won't give you the protection you need against modern-day cybercriminals stealing sensitive data and monitoring operations. MPA offers great network...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Managing Automatic Updates: Balancing Security With Convenience

July 10th, 2018 by admin

Business mobile phones and other items on a table

Running automatic updates for applications and operating systems helps protect your company's digital devices, but those updates can harm productivity if not well managed. Unpatched software is the single biggest security risk in the workplace, so it's...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

3 Steps to Getting Your Business BYOD Ready

July 3rd, 2018 by admin

If your business is considering a Bring Your Own Device environment, there's a great deal of security preparation work to do beforehand. A successful BYOD strategy and BYOD policy is all about finding the sweet spot of control, where your business is...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Making the Switch to BYOD? Pros, Cons and Security Implications to Consider First

June 26th, 2018 by admin

Sleek, slim laptop on a gray business desk

Making the switch to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) business environment extends well beyond the decision to let employees choose their devices. Your business should look at the pros and cons of the concept before deciding how to approach it and to what...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Key Strategies to Boost IT Security in the Workplace

June 20th, 2018 by admin

Businesses have more to worry about than ever when it comes to dealing with new forms of cyber-attacks. The shift to a BYOD workplace adds even more challenges to protecting your digital assets. While hardware and software solutions continue to improve...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Unique IT Challenges Financial Services Providers Face Today

June 19th, 2018 by admin

Skyscraper office buildings tinged in blue

Financial services providers find their IT challenges list is always growing because of security issues, employee needs, customer protection, regulatory laws and business requirements. Keeping up with IT concerns is important not just because failing...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Partners and Industries

What Nonprofits Should Seek in an IT Provider

May 29th, 2018 by admin

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While many of the technical needs at nonprofit and for-profit businesses overlap, there are still several key considerations for nonprofits looking for the right IT services provider. Nonprofits' motivations may be driven less by the concept of "spending...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Partners and Industries

Which Industries Are Most Likely to be Targeted with Cyber Security Threats?

May 21st, 2018 by admin

Doctor in white scrubs wearing stethoscope and with a pocket full of pens

To understand why some industries are targeted in cyber attacks more often than others, it's important to understand what drives hackers and what makes a target appealing. Of the two, hackers are easier to understand: According to a Verizon data security...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Partners and Industries

7 Ways to Keep Work Secure on Employee Personal Devices

May 14th, 2018 by admin

Blond-haired business man looking at mobile phone while leaning against a window

Technology improvements have made it easy for employees to get work done on their personal devices from anywhere. However, that freedom comes with additional security risks and requires extra diligence to keep data secure. Safeguarding information is...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Training Employees in Data Security Practices: Tips and Topics

April 3rd, 2018 by admin

Two women working together in an office, in front of an Apple monitor

While there's plenty of technology available to keep your business's data protected, the human element is still the most important piece to consider in safeguarding your company's data. Properly training employees to understand and implement data security...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

10 Cyberattacks Your Business Should Defend Against

March 29th, 2018 by admin

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Cyberattacks are a major security concern for any business that uses the Internet. Even if your company doesn't have a website, hackers can go after your email address and business service accounts. Though they represent one of the more severe risks of...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Cybersecurity and C-Level Execs: Protecting Data While On the Go

March 26th, 2018 by admin

Silhouette of a businessman standing in front of window blinds in an office

While all employees need to be mindful of security, the nature of C-level executives makes them more attractive targets for hackers. That means it's necessary for them to take greater precautions. According to TechRepublic, C-level executives are more...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Mirai Botnet Returns — and Why You Should be Concerned

March 13th, 2018 by admin

Stylized stream of meta data against a dark background

The Mirai botnet refers to a massive-scale network of Linux-running Internet of Things devices turned into remote-controlled bots through a malware infection. Hackers can use the network to run a distributed denial of service, or DDoS, by having the infected...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Managing Messaging Tools in Your Office

March 5th, 2018 by admin

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When used well, instant messaging tools can increase productivity while offering secure information exchange in your office. Messaging works in business environments because it's less involved than email, easy to queue and fast to respond. Several free...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

5 Commonly Overlooked Workplace IT Disasters

February 28th, 2018 by admin

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Because IT staff get so invested in making sure software, networking and security elements are working, they sometimes overlook the human, environmental and contingency planning factors that can invite workplace IT disasters. In many cases, preventative...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Spectre and Meltdown: Valuable Lessons for Your IT Security Team

February 12th, 2018 by admin

White lock icon on a backdrop of code snippets

At the end of 2017, the world learned about Spectre and Meltdown: two far-reaching security threats that exploit how CPUs work to expose protected information on nearly every recent PC, server and smartphone. Hackers can use these exploits to do things...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Do You Have a Crisis Management Plan for a Cyberattack?

February 8th, 2018 by admin

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A cyberattack crisis management plan is your business's best defense for minimizing cyberattack damage after technology-based preventative measures have failed. Unfortunately for most businesses, cyberattacks are not a matter of if, but a matter of when....

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

5 Specific IT Considerations for Remote Employees

February 5th, 2018 by admin

White-bloused businesswoman using a slim laptop on a birch colored desk

Businesses have a lot to gain by hiring remote employees, including the ability to recruit from a larger talent pool and the potential for less expensive workplace accommodations. However, remote employees introduce new challenges in IT security because...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Solutions

Does Fintech Pose a Threat to Cybersecurity at Financial Services Companies?

January 29th, 2018 by admin

Sample portfolio summary being displayed on an iPad

Financial services companies should embrace a healthy dose of caution when implementing new fintech in their business. Fintech, or any technological innovation in the financial sector, is not inherently more or less secure than any other new technology,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Partners and Industries

Four Security Threats Your Company Could Face in 2018

January 16th, 2018 by admin

Close up view of network ethernet cables plugged into ports on a switch/router

Hot off the tail of the massive 2017 Equifax breach that exposed personal information of 143 million customers, businesses are on high alert concerning IT security in 2018. While the IT security industry has been successful in mitigating and cracking...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

HTTPS: Securely Sending Personal And Private Information

December 28th, 2017 by admin

Stylized graphic with a white lock, blue 1s and 0s in a sphere, and 2 computer monitors

Avoid costly data security breaches by training your staff to check for secure connections when handling private information on the Internet. Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, or HTTPS, is a technology legal, healthcare, and financial businesses use...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

New Phishing Technique Hijacks Legitimate Conversations

October 24th, 2017 by admin

Hand holding up a clip-art style yellow lock, against a blue field of 1s and 0s

A new spear phishing technique, being used in a hacking campaign called FreeMilk, takes advantage of a Microsoft Office vulnerability in order to hijack existing email conversations to spread malware to high-profile targets. This new technique phishing...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Alternative Employee Device Security: Fingerprints, Facial Recognition, and Iris Scans, Oh My!

October 17th, 2017 by admin

Stylized magnifying glass resting on three oversized fingerprints

So far, 2017 has been an eventful year for increasing access to password-alternative smartphone and laptop unlocking techniques. Notably, Samsung added Face unlocking to the Galaxy S8 line and Apple introduced Face ID on the iPhone X. Of particular note,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Equifax Breach: What does it teach us about IT security?

October 3rd, 2017 by admin

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The 2017 Equifax hack is teaching a painful lesson about the necessity of businesses keeping up with software patches for IT security and to avoid catastrophic damage. The hack, which resulted in potentially exposing the financial information necessary...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Flash Drives: A Productivity and Security Guide

September 26th, 2017 by admin

Wireless dongle, USB drive, micro SD chip, and 2 SD chips on a field of black

With proper planning, your business can take advantage of USB flash drive technology to increase productivity, while eliminating most of the medium's inherent risk. The USB flash drives likely lying around your business offer excellent opportunities to...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

When Windows 10 Support Stops

August 22nd, 2017 by admin

Dark wood desk with a Mac desktop, a gray MacBook Pro, and a white table resting on it

In July of 2017, some Windows 10 users received an error message when trying to install the Creators Update, stating, "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC." This first-of-its-kind problem stems from an incompatibility with a handful of Intel's...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

The Internal SMB IT Security Threat: Overconfidence In Cyber Security Preparedness

August 15th, 2017 by admin

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According to a 2017 published study by Advisen and Experian, one of the biggest threats facing small businesses comes from within, such as overconfidence in the organization's ability to protect itself and recover from cyber security attacks. While businesses...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Addressing the Unique Ransomware IT Security Issues in Healthcare

August 8th, 2017 by admin

Stethscope, glasses, and pills resting on a paper ECG readout

Ransomware, a type of malware that holds a computer hostage and tries to force the victim to pay money to recover access, is a nightmare for any business, but the healthcare industry faces the more severe side of a ransomware attack. The healthcare industry...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Partners and Industries

Looking at USB/NFC Keys for Extra Account Security

August 1st, 2017 by admin

White security icon spotlighted on a dark field of colorized programming code

Hijacked accounts are an IT security nightmare, so it makes sense for your company to look at new technology for better ways to keep your digital assets safe. While security professionals are working out new ways to look at what account credentials are,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Is Your Office Router Secure?

July 25th, 2017 by admin

Netgear ProSafe GS108T router with 4 ethernet cables plugged into it

In June 2017, WikiLeaks released secret documents that exposed the tools the CIA uses to infiltrate public and private networks through routers. These documents have shined a light on how easy it is for someone to hack a router. This begs the question,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Flaws in 2-Factor Authentication Methods Could Leave You Vulnerable

July 11th, 2017 by admin

Close up of a businessman holding a Microsoft smartphone in his hands

If your business is using 2-factor authentication, or 2FA, methods to secure your important accounts, you may need to investigate better ways to implement the practice. Security experts widely recommend using 2FA, a system which utilizes a second security...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

79% of Businesses Were Hacked in 2016. Was Yours One of Them?

June 27th, 2017 by admin

Stylized graphic of a computer monitor with a pane of glass shattering in front of the screen

Getting caught off-guard in a cyber security attack is a disaster for any business, large or small—and the frequency of attacks is only getting worse. According to the CyberEdge 2017 Cyberthreat Defense Report, hackers successfully compromised...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Top 5 Security Tips for Email and Social Media Accounts

April 26th, 2017 by admin

White email envelope icon with several red, pink, and gray circles behind it

Email and social media accounts provide a wealth of cyber security challenges for businesses. Hackers often look for exploits in account operations to steal information and seize control—both of which can be extremely damaging and difficult to combat....

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Partners and Industries

Mac- and Linux-Based Malware Targets Biomedical Industry

March 14th, 2017 by admin

Skull and crossbones symbol drawn with 1s and 0s

The malware infection, discovered in late January, that's been hiding out on Mac and Linux devices for more than two years doesn't mean the security floodgates are open, but it is a reminder that these devices aren't invincible. Apple is calling this...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Digital Sticky Notes: A Time-Saver for Your Entire Team

February 15th, 2017 by admin

Stylized depiction of nine sticky notes in various colors

It's a familiar sighting in the workplace: the employee with half a dozen sticky notes attached to their computer monitor. While not the most confidential or elegant solution, these employees are on to something. Fortunately, technology has stepped in...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

An Expert's Guide to Avoiding Phishing Scams

January 24th, 2017 by admin

White security lock icon spotlighted on a dark field with a background of programming code

Unlike most IT security threats, phishing scams attack the human element instead of the machine element. Phishing scams try to bait a person into exposing confidential information by posing as a legitimate, reputable source, typically by email or phone....

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

A Primer on Phishing Attacks

December 21st, 2016 by admin

Credit cards with a lock resting on top of them

Phishing attacks are a dangerous and devastating method hackers use to steal personal information and accounts—primarily by striking the user instead of the machine. According to the APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report, the first quarter of 2016 saw...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Hack of 500 Million Yahoo Accounts Reminds Industry to Increase Security Measures

November 23rd, 2016 by admin

User name and password dialog box

In September 2016, half a billion Yahoo account users received the bad news that their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and security questions were potentially stolen in a 2014 hack. According to CNET, the Yahoo hack is the largest data breach...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Benefits of Backups

November 16th, 2016 by admin

Three keys with circuit board graphics applied to them

Even seasoned IT pros have made the mistake of not backing up a device—and panicked after losing countless important files because the device failed. We may know better, yes, but that doesn’t mean we’re perfect. On the flip side, we’ve all...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Massive IoT DDoS Attack Causes Widespread Internet Outages. Are Your Devices Secured?

November 1st, 2016 by admin

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As you probably know already, the United States experienced its largest Internet blackout in history on October 21, 2016, when Dyn—a service that handles website domain name routing—got hit with a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Password Managers and Recovery Strategies

August 16th, 2016 by admin

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Secure passwords and recovery strategies are an essential part of doing business in the digital age—and password manager programs can help streamline the process. Password managers store and, often, automate login credentials for individuals across...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Don’t Forget About Printer Security

August 9th, 2016 by admin

Array of 6 white printer icons against backgrounds of various color

There was a time when printers—in your office or home—were considered relatively "simple" office equipment: plug it in, connect it to the local network, and keep the ink fresh, and there wasn't much else to worry about. But times have changed. Today's...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Defend Your Network Against Advanced Persistent Threats

July 12th, 2016 by admin

You Have Been Hacked - cartoon of a robber climbing out of a black laptop

If you've looked over our previous posts since we've started our blog, you know how serious we are about protecting your company from everyday cyber-threats—mainly phishing, ransomware, and various other malware. Today we'd like to discuss a different...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The “Seven Deadly Sins” of Ransomware

June 29th, 2016 by admin

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Readers of our blog over the past few years know we were among the first in the Bay Area to warn our customers about the growing threats of ransomware—from the emergence of CryptoLocker and CryptoWall to our federal government's startling admission...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Where's Your Company's WISP? Why You Need One NOW

June 14th, 2016 by admin

Businessman reviewing 3 papers while poised to write on one with a fancy pen

A WISP is one of the most important documents for any company doing business over the Internet—which, in this day and age, is pretty much everybody. Who's responsible for drafting and maintaining your company's WISP? Or are you even sure what a WISP...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Data Sanitization: Are You Erasing Your Old PCs COMPLETELY?

June 7th, 2016 by admin

Sepia-tinted close up of an eraser on the back of a pencil

One of our pet peeves with some of our new customers is that once we come in to upgrade their IT network, they're careless about disposing their old hardware—specifically, their PC hard drives. They think that by simply deleting their existing files—email,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Data Breaches: Dark Times in the Golden State?

June 1st, 2016 by admin

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Being the cyber-security geeks we are, we took great interest in combing through this year's California Data Breach Report, released by the Attorney General's office this past February. The report tabulates data collected from breach incidents which...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Are Your Smartphones Properly “Containerized”?

April 26th, 2016 by admin

Cartoon of a brown picket fence with green grass in front and shrubs on the other side

Earlier today the cashier at the local drive-thru miskeyed the amount of cash I gave him into his register. Somewhat sheepishly, he asked if I had a smartphone so I could verify the correct amount of change. Fortunately, I never leave home without it....

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Cybercrime Begins Over the Phone, Too - Don't Let Your Employees Forget

April 19th, 2016 by admin

Clip art of a red rotary telephone

If you've been a regular reader of our blog, you know we've spent plenty of time discussing phishing, malware, and other cybercrime. It's all part of our modern online world, and we know it will never really go away. We've talked about the tricks scammers...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Best Way to Check Your PCs for Malware - Fast and FREE

April 12th, 2016 by admin

Clip art of two badges, one red with an 'X' and the other green with a check mark

A couple months back, we touched on the story of our normally tech-savvy friend who got tricked into allowing his desktop PC to be infected with obvious malware. At first, he had the sickening feeling that comes with a virus-infected computer—but thanks...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Prepare Now or Pay Later: More Ransomware Attacks in the News

April 7th, 2016 by admin

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We're only a few months into 2016, but we've already seen two high-profile ransomware attacks—where cyber-crooks heavily encrypt a victim's computer files before demanding payment for a decryption key only they can provide. Two notable incidents grabbed...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Latest Big Cyber-Threat: Are Your Servers “DROWN-proof”?

March 30th, 2016 by admin

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If you think there's a new cyber-threat to worry about every week, you're probably right. The latest vulnerability to send shockwaves through the enterprise security community has been given a rather ominous acronym: DROWN, short for Decrypting RSA...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Are Macs “Ransomware-Proof”? Not Anymore

March 23rd, 2016 by admin

Clip art of a hacker in a purple shirt using a blue computer

Since Apple famously introduced the Macintosh over three decades ago, Mac users have been confident that their computers are virtually immune to ransomware and other malware threats which plague their Windows counterparts. But those days are over. ...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

IoT Devices: Security Holes?

March 15th, 2016 by admin

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Hackers can take advantage of a newer technology prevalent throughout your business to break into your network and compromise security: Internet of Things devices. Your business may have never considered that the handy new Smart Thermostats throughout...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

iPhone “Backdoor”? It Already Exists! Why Your Company Needs It

March 8th, 2016 by admin

Close up of a woman with pink fingernails using an iPhone while carrying a black bag

February's big story in the tech world was the conflict between Apple and the FBI over the creation of a "backdoor" to retrieve encrypted data on iPhones. The government is looking for any clue as to what—or, more specifically, who—motivated Syed Farook,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

New Ransomware Good Reminder to Practice Thorough Data Backup

February 17th, 2016 by admin

A lock with a black and yellow hazard stripe, with a key inserted into it

A new combination of a sophisticated password-stealing Trojan, powerful exploit kit, and content-encrypting ransomware is making its way around the Internet infecting Windows users. If it hits your business, you’re looking at a considerable loss of...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Dangers of Free Public Wi-Fi: How To Protect Your Network

February 2nd, 2016 by admin

Light blue depiction of a wireless symbol

How dependent have you and your employees become on public Wi-Fi outside the office? Mobile hotspots are almost everywhere now—from coffee houses and fast-food restaurants to hotels and airports (and even aboard most planes). Without Wi-Fi access,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Ransomware Is Getting Even Worse... and The Feds Can't Stop It

January 21st, 2016 by admin

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As chaos reigns across much of the Middle East, our government steadfastly insists that "the United States does not negotiate with terrorists—because it will only encourage them in the future." Meanwhile, visitors to our National Parks are warned...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Fake Phishing: The Ultimate Security Training?

January 5th, 2016 by admin

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What is the current state of your company's IT security training program—if you have one? Many companies settle for an annual group training session to broadly review the major types of cyber-threats—viruses, malware, and phishing. The problem with...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Future of Fingerprint Authentication… Is There One?

November 24th, 2015 by admin

Stylized close-up of a fingerprint

Earlier this year, the U.S. government revealed a massive cyber security breach which may well bump the infamous Target and Sony attacks down to "small potatoes." The database of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)—essentially a central HR...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Email Encryption: The Basics

November 12th, 2015 by admin

Stylized depiction of a blue postcard stamped 'PRIORITY'

Chances are you probably have a few USPS "forever" stamps that have been sitting in your desk drawer for a while. When was the last time you actually used them to "snail mail" something—a bill payment or an important letter? Most bills are paid online...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Treat Your Network As If It’s ALREADY Been Hacked

November 5th, 2015 by admin

Silhouette of Sherlock Holmes smoking a pipe and looking through a magnifying glass

Weak IT security generally revolves around the following theory: "We'll keep hackers out of our network—everything's okay until something bad happens." But strong security operates from an assume breach mindset: The hackers have already infiltrated...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Lessons of Ashley Madison: How “Crackable” Are Your Passwords?

October 20th, 2015 by admin

Close up of a keyboard with one key labeled 'safe' in red and blue

The well-publicized recent hack of the Ashley Madison website will probably earn a spot in a "Hacking Hall of Shame"—alongside the infamous Sony and Target breaches—for the sheer amount of grief it may cause millions of marriages. Most of the...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

3 Incredible Benefits of Protecting Your Cloud Data with Two-Step Verification

October 16th, 2015 by admin

Cartoon graphic of a yellow padlock with a white number '2' overlaid

Online security breaches can be expensive and productivity-killing events. When a nefarious third party acquires an employee password, it’s no party at all. Many online businesses have begun using Two-Step Verification, also known as Two-Factor Authentication,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The “Redirect to SMB” Bug: New Windows, Same Danger

October 6th, 2015 by admin

Icon of a bug with the red, green, blue, yellow Windows logo on its carapace

The big news out of Microsoft over the past couple of months is the much-ballyhooed release of Windows 10. While “Win10” finally addresses those annoying shortcomings of its predecessor Windows 8 (as we've discussed), it still hasn't corrected a dangerous...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You: The Dangers of Shadow IT

September 18th, 2015 by admin

Partially opened, gray MacBook against a black background

Last spring, Hillary Clinton received a barrage of criticism after it was revealed that she used a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State—seemingly at odds with government security protocols, if not federal laws. Clinton would...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Importance of Being Proactive: Why You Need A Breach Response Plan

August 6th, 2015 by admin

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Each month, Microsoft releases a new security bulletin. In May of 2015, forty-six vulnerabilities had been identified and fixed, spanning products such as Windows, Internet Explorer, and Office. In June, it was even more. While some of these vulnerabilities...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Malvertising: The Next Big Cyber Threat

July 16th, 2015 by admin

Two signs: 'Safety First' and 'www', against an ominous looking black web/network effect

We've spent plenty of time here talking about safeguarding your company against phishing and other forms of cyber-attack. As we've discussed, the first line of defense against phishing is to make sure your employees remain vigilant by avoiding email...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Small Business Disaster Recovery Solutions

July 10th, 2015 by admin

Three keys, each with a different graphic of a circuit board on it

“Disaster”: the word itself is synonymous with trauma. Of course, even after a traumatic event, there is an opportunity to rebuild. Restoring your data is a critical part of rebuilding your infrastructure and your business after a physical or virtual...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Is Tape Storage (Completely) Dead?

May 28th, 2015 by admin

Stylized graphic of an arrow pointing into a cassette tape

If you're over 40, you probably remember the original Sony Walkman—the freedom of listening to a single cassette tape in portable stereo. Even if you still have a few favorite cassette tapes packed away somewhere, where could you listen to them today?...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Cyber Insurance: Good for my Company?

May 20th, 2015 by admin

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We've spent a lot of time on this blog talking about cyber-attacks—from nuisance hacking to data theft to virtual electronic terrorism—and the steps your company can take to defend itself. But what if, despite all your best efforts, you one day discover...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Solutions

Know Your Enemy: These New Phishing Schemes are Hard to Spot

April 16th, 2015 by admin

Depiction of a computer monitor and a mouse, with the screen showing the @ sign and the icon of an envelope

A friend called me recently to gripe about his personal email account. His ISP has done a pretty good job of virtually eliminating the annoying spam he used to receive (remember your inbox way back when?), but now he's the target of two particularly...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Uncle Sam Won't Stop Cyber-Crime - It's Up To You

April 1st, 2015 by admin

Gold-colored, unlocked circular padlock with a key inserted

You probably know President Obama recently hosted a high-profile cyber-security summit at Stanford. The basic idea was to discuss how to expand the federal government's role in combating cybercrime against American businesses—from simple theft to outright...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The $100,000 Phone Bill: Is Your Office VoIP Phone System the Next Target?

March 20th, 2015 by admin

Wireframe graphic of a desktop business phone

How would you react if your company's next phone bill revealed a major cost spike—to the tune of over $100,000? It's actually happening now to small businesses across the U.S., thanks to international VoIP toll fraud—perhaps the fastest growing cyber-threat...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Watch Out! Protect Your Home and Office against the Internet of Things

January 28th, 2015 by admin

Symbol of a wireless radio antenna with red/orange radio waves emanating from it

Internet of Things (IoT) devices provide a powerful way to utilize technology to enhance everyday machines in your home or office, from wrist fitness bands to refrigerators to thermostats. The ability to monitor your home security cameras while you’re...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

'Tis the Season—for Small Business Cybercrime. Here’s How to Protect Your Company

January 7th, 2015 by admin

Hand cursor touching a 'Do Not Enter' sign against a field of red '@' symbols

The holiday season means more than shopping and gift giving. It also now marks prime season for cybercriminals and hackers around the world — and they're coming after small businesses in the U.S. "Targeting" Target—via Small Businesses You may have...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Disaster Recovery: Is Your Data Protected From the Next Catastrophe?

November 6th, 2014 by admin

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Last month, the Bay Area commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Those of us who lived through that experience remember the sudden, unexpected jolt — and how the event disrupted our lives for several weeks afterward. Of course,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Solutions

Homeland Security Issues Warning Over Serious Internet Explorer Bug

April 30th, 2014 by admin

Cartoon of the blue Internet Explorer icon with 3 insect legs extending from either side of it

Serious Security Flaw Found in IE A security flaw or bug has been discovered in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), which affects all versions of IE from 6 to 11. This flaw allows a hacker to potentially gain access to your computer and hard drive when...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Critical Action Points to Protect Yourself from Heartbleed Bug Vulnerability

April 11th, 2014 by admin

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We don't want to inundate you with more background information about the Heartbleed bug (you've been bombarded with it across the internet and daily news since it was announced Tuesday!), but rather outline the critical takeaways and action points you...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

R.I.P. Windows XP. Current Users Now at Greater Cyber Risk

April 8th, 2014 by admin

The words 'Microsoft Windows XP', with logo floating above them

Microsoft Corporation has just announced it will stop supporting Windows XP, one of the world's most popular and successful operating systems. Though Microsoft XP will not magically disappear from the desktops of anyone currently using it (which is...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Beware Email Spoofing! Protect Yourself Now!

April 4th, 2014 by admin

Cartoon of a man at a keyboard holding four masks, against a yellow background

We have recently seen a rise in a disturbing phishing scam called email spoofing. Email Spoofing A spoof email is an email that looks as if it came from a trusted friend or acquaintance, but is actually malicious in nature. These emails are particularly...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Important IT Security Message for MPA Networks’ Clients

December 19th, 2013 by admin

Cartoon of a red haired woman using a chained up computer while a man extends his hand for payment

One Malicious Email Could Cost you Thousands of Dollars and Take Down your Entire Network – Don’t be a Victim; Learn the Facts! Ransomware viruses are on the rise and their explosive growth in the past few months has been startling.  We want to help our...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Quiz Answers - Can you Find the Malicious Email?

December 18th, 2013 by admin

Silhouette of a man throwing a fishing line and hook towards the screen, in front of a laptop on an eBay page

Ready for the answers to our quiz? Drumroll please... Every single email is malicious EXCEPT for this one: “eFax message from “4082459385″. 1 page(s). Caller-ID: 408-245-9385″  -  eFax Yep, that eFax message is 100% legitimate! Now let's discuss why...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Quiz - Can you Find the Malicious Email?

December 12th, 2013 by admin

Envelope graphic with numerous web related concerns coming out of it

Can you Spot the Malicious Emails/s?! After reading through our Cryptolocker and Ransomware blog series and learning how to identify a malicious email, it's time to put your new virus sleuthing skills to the test. Read through the list of email...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

How to Identify a Malicious Email

December 4th, 2013 by admin

Fishing hook snagging a red '@' symbol

Continuing our blog series about Cryptolocker and Ransomware virus attacks, it is necessary we explain the basic fundamentals of identifying a malicious email or attachment. Only through education and proper awareness can we effectively avoid Ransomware...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

The Single Most Reliable Method for Preventing a Ransomware Attack

December 3rd, 2013 by admin

Desktop computer monitor with locked chains draped around it

Last week, we wrote about the rise of Cryptolocker and Ransomware viruses, the new breed of malware virus infecting host computers through malicious email attachments, and spreading rapidly through its use of commercial-grade RSA encryption and Bitcoin,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Protect your Business from Cyber Threats with this 5 Point Checklist

November 21st, 2013 by admin

In bold uppercase: 'Practice Cyber Safety' with the last word in red

About half of all small business owners believe their business is too small to be a potential victim for virtual thieves and hacking. The facts, however, say something quite different. The majority of cyber attacks are actually perpetrated against...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security

Cryptolocker & Ransomware - What You Need to Know

November 15th, 2013 by admin

Example screenshot of having been victim to CryptoLocker

CryptoLocker CryptoLocker is a new, and particularly malicious, breed of ransomware discovered only a couple months ago. CryptoLocker is a Trojan horse malware that encrypts and restricts access to the infected computer while demanding payment for...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security