Technology Articles from MPA Networks

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

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

What Nonprofits Should Seek in an IT Provider

May 29th, 2018 by admin

Group of 5 business professionals looking at a laptop

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

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

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

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

Putting Unused Computers Back to Work

December 28th, 2017 by admin

Black MSI laptop with red highlight coloring, opened and facing the viewer

There are many ways to reuse an old computer. Replacing an old computer that still works is a good feeling.   The device survived the replacement cycle. However, some desktops and laptops have the potential to lead second lives in the workplace. Re-assigning...

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Posted in: Solutions

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

October 3rd, 2017 by admin

Highly zoomed icon of a hand-shaped cursor clicking on a link labeled 'Security'

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

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

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

Intranets and Small-To-Medium Business Productivity

June 13th, 2017 by admin

Finger touching an array of icons laid out on a pale blue background

Many small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) have taken to hosting their own intranet to increase productivity in the workplace. For those unfamiliar with the term, "intranet" is not a typo, but rather an internal network that behaves like a private Internet....

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Posted in: Solutions

Scheduling Security: Take Control of Your OS Updates

May 10th, 2017 by admin

The word 'update' written in chalk on a blackboard, with a red analog clock between the 'p' and 'd' letters

It happens to everyone: You turn your computer back on after you intended to leave the office, or come in early to get a head start on a new project, only to be greeted by a 20-minute operating system (OS) update session. This common workplace frustration...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

This Is the End: Microsoft Takes a Hard Stance on Phasing Out Older Windows Versions

April 11th, 2017 by admin

Stylized depiction of Windows 10's start menu on a desktop monitor

If your business hasn't already made the switch from Windows 10's predecessors to a new operating system, it's time to make the initiative a priority. While your IT staff doesn't need to upgrade every computer in your office, it's necessary to make sure...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

8 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Office Computers

March 1st, 2017 by admin

Stylized green bucket, with a blue squeegee and a gray dust buster vacuum

When it comes to your office computers, a little bit of spring cleaning goes a long way. Sure, cleaning office computers can seem tedious. But think of it like preventative maintenance on a vehicle: In the best-case scenario, you'll never know all the...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

Troubleshooting Step 1: Reboot

October 12th, 2016 by admin

Stylized graphic of two power buttons side-by-side, the one on the right one lit up in blue

While modern computers are much more stable than their ancestors, trying to get work done on a slow, malfunctioning computer is still a business world rite of passage. Troubleshooting bad behavior on your work computer can, of course, be a tedious...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

Are “Bandwidth Hogs” Slowing Your Network?

July 26th, 2016 by admin

Dials on a modern car showing a speedometer, tachometer, and other information

Last time, we talked about several handy do-it-yourself online tools to measure your office broadband speed. If your online connections aren't quite as fast as you expected from your service provider, don't be afraid to show them the "hard numbers"...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Window Comes to an End

May 24th, 2016 by admin

Stylized depiction of the modern Windows start menu with a blue '10' overlaid

Those “Upgrade to Windows 10” notifications seem to be showing up everywhere, even in the middle of a weather forecast on Iowa television. What would’ve otherwise been an embarrassing interruption turned into a watercooler moment that anyone who used...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

New Threat Targets Older Android Devices

May 11th, 2016 by admin

Three smartphones with happy, neutral, and sad faces on them

Smartphone users can be broken down into two camps: those who can't live without lining up to buy the latest and greatest model the day it hits the stores, and those who hold on to their tried-and-true phone until it suddenly dies one morning. There's...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

URGENT: Uninstall QuickTime for Windows NOW

May 3rd, 2016 by admin

Red and yellow depiction of a ringing alarm clock with hands at 12:15

Today we'd like to pass along a critical security advisory to all our customers: If any of your company's Windows systems still retain Apple's QuickTime for Windows software, uninstall it immediately—as soon as you finish reading this post (if not...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

April 7th, 2016 by admin

Silhouette of a running man carrying a giant 1 Euro coin, against a blue digital cityscape

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

IoT Devices: Security Holes?

March 15th, 2016 by admin

Cloud of icons connecting to other icons on a blue background

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

Internet Explorer: Upgrade Your Relationship or Break Up?

February 25th, 2016 by admin

A compass surrounded by the logos for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome

The end is here for all versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer outside of the most recent version. If your business is still using older versions of the browser, it’s important to switch to a different browser—or upgrade to maintain the latest in...

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Posted in: 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

Upgrading to Windows 10: Why You Should (Still) Wait

February 11th, 2016 by admin

Red sign depicting in white lettering 'Do Not Enter'

We were as optimistic as anyone about Microsoft's long-awaited release of the Windows 10 operating system. As we discussed last May, we looked forward to real improvements—chiefly a better desktop interface—over its widely unloved predecessor, Windows...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

Transitioning to the Cloud? “Know Before You Go”

January 26th, 2016 by admin

Stylized cloud with an open door in the center of it

The Cloud is here to stay—and growing before our eyes. Even the customer segment that the marketing world terms late adopters—the last people to "get on the boat" of tech trends—are finally taking a hard look at migrating at least some of their IT to...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

Macs Are Here to Stay. How Well Are You Managing Them?

December 16th, 2015 by admin

Apple monitor, keyboard, mouse, and iPhone resting on a wooden desk

Before you take your teenage kids to see the new Steve Jobs biopic, ask them what Jobs' first successful product was. Don't be surprised if they answer "the iPod"! For most of their generation, the original Macintosh is ancient history. Today's Mac...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

Playing It Safe with Windows 10: Upgrading or Maintaining Your OS with Minimal Pain

October 27th, 2015 by admin

Windows(tm) logo in blue

Now that the dust has settled around the release of Windows 10, your SMB may be looking to increase productivity by upgrading your OS. Still, you should proceed with caution. The latest version of the operating system offers a more secure computing...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

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

August 6th, 2015 by admin

Yellow, triangular shaped sign with a black exclamation point on it

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

Changes Ahead for Windows: A First Look

May 13th, 2015 by admin

Graphic of an old-style, black CRT monitor with 'Microsoft Windows XP' prominently displayed

It was about a year ago that Microsoft officially ended support (most importantly, automatic security patches) for Windows XP. Particularly for business users, running a computer on XP after April 8, 2014, became about as wise as leaving keys dangling...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

Do Surveillance Cameras Always Keep Your Company Safer? You'll Be Surprised

February 20th, 2015 by admin

Triangular sign with silhouette of a security camera on a field of yellow

You probably remember the 2001 blockbuster remake of Ocean's Eleven starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. While George and Brad's grand scheme—robbing a secret multi-casino vault underneath the Las Vegas Strip—may have been pure Hollywood, a key element...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software

'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

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

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

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