1MC – June 16, 2024 – Links We Like

1MC: The general announcing system on a US Navy vessel

Cyber Insurance Claims Hit Record Highs in 2023
Healthcare leads the way followed by education, retail, and finance

The Artificial Intelligence Hype Cycle
AI has been around a long time, what’s different now is vendors figured out how to take your money for it.

Zero Trust – Building Blocks
If your business isn’t implementing zero trust — see the first link in this list and get in line to file a cyber insurance claim

NASA Releases Near Real-Time Air Quality Data
The Hollies, the 70’s, what’s not to like!

Microsoft Security Blog – Phosphorus
Anatomy of a ransomware campaign

FBI Crime Data Explorer
Don’t believe clickbait headlines, violent crime is at it’s lowest level in years

Speak to a Real Customer Service Person at Amazon
It’s possible, you just need to learn the secret handshake

Microsoft is Changing How Outlook Security Works
Significant changes coming this summer, don’t get caught unaware

Microsoft Releases June Patch Updates
51 flaws, 1 zero-day, 18 remote code vulnerabilities — update NOW!

1MC – June 09, 2024 – Links We Like

1MC: The general announcing system on a US Navy vessel

Zero Trust Networking 101
Remote Users + Remote Access = You Need To Read This

A utility to disable Windows Defender

2024 Microsoft Multi-cloud Risk Report
Six insights on the top multi-cloud security risks across Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform

Google’s Find My Device Network
Using crowdsourced Bluetooth proximity data to locate lost devices

PIN Passwords Analysis
Before reading, try to guess the most common 4 digit password

WWDC24 June 10-14
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is this week!

Rule of Three

Best practices for Data Backup

The Rule of Three for Data Backup: Ensuring Your Data’s Safety

Data loss can occur due to various reasons, from hardware failures and cyber-attacks to human error and natural disasters. One of the most effective strategies to protect your data is the “Rule of Three”, also known as the “3-2-1 backup rule.” This rule is simple yet powerful: it recommends having three copies of your data in two different formats, with one copy stored off-site. Let’s breakdown what this means and how you can implement it.

  1. Three Copies of Your Data:
  • One primary copy (the data you actively use).
  • Two backup copies.
  1. Two Different Storage Formats:
  • Use two different types of media for storing your backups (e.g., external hard drives, cloud storage, USB drives, etc.).
  1. One Off-Site Copy:
  • Store one of the backups off-site to protect against local disasters (like fires, floods, or theft).
Why Follow the Rule of Three?

Implementing the Rule of Three reduces the risk of data loss. If one copy is corrupted or compromised, you still have two more copies to rely on. By diversifying storage formats and locations, you protect against various failure scenarios.

Implementing the Rule of Three
Step 1: Create Three Copies of Your Data

Your primary data is what you use day-to-day, stored on your computer or main server. Create two additional copies. For example:

  • Primary Copy: Data on your laptop or desktop.
  • First Backup: External hard drive.
  • Second Backup: Cloud storage.
Step 2: Use Two Different Storage Formats

Diversifying storage formats mitigates the risk of failure associated with a specific type of media. Here’s how you can achieve this:

  • Local Backup: Use an external hard drive or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device.
  • Cloud Backup: Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or dedicated backup solutions like Backblaze or Carbonite.
Step 3: Store One Copy Off-Site

Storing one copy off-site ensures that your data is safe even if your local backups are destroyed. Off-site storage options include:

  • Cloud Backup: Automatically provides off-site storage.
  • Physical Storage: Keep an external hard drive at a different physical location (e.g., a friend’s house, a safety deposit box, or your office).
Visualizing the Rule of Three

Rule of Three Diagram

Tips for Effective Backups
  1. Automate Backups: Use software to schedule regular backups.
  2. Test Backups: Old IT saying: “You are only as good as your last restore, NOT your last backup!”
  3. Update Backup Strategy: As data grows or compliance requirements change, reassess and update your backup methods.

The Rule of Three is a robust and straightforward strategy for data backup that significantly reduces the risk of data loss. By maintaining three copies of your data, using two different storage formats, and ensuring one copy is off-site, you are protecting your data against a variety of threats.

Old IT saying: The best time to back up your data was yesterday. The second-best time is now.

Note: For you Enterprise IT folks, yes I understand…Geo-Redundancy, 4-2-2, Replication, blah, blah, blah. This post isn’t for you.

Managed Service Providers

Are your tech issues overwhelming your in-house IT staff? Do you not have IT staff but need periodic knowledgeable, reliable, professional IT support? Did the guy/gal who ‘knows computers’ at your company suddenly leave and you have no idea what’s happening with your computer systems? If you answer yes to any of the above, it might be time to consider a Managed Service Provider (MSP)!

Why Use an MSP?

Think of an MSP as your on-demand tech support team handling your IT needs, and allowing you to focus on what you do best—running your business! Here’s why you should consider partnering with an MSP:

  1. 24/7 Support: Because tech problems don’t stick to 9-5 schedules.
  2. Proactive Maintenance: MSPs prevent issues before they become catastrophic.
  3. Expertise on Tap: Access to a team of IT experts without the hefty salary costs.

What Does an MSP Do?

MSPs are like Swiss Army knives for your business. They offer a range of services including:

  • Network Management: Keeping your systems running smoothly.
  • Data Backup and Recovery: Because losing data is a nightmare we can all live without.
  • Cybersecurity: Protecting your business from the bad guys (hackers, not your competitors).

Financial Benefits

Who doesn’t love saving money? Here’s how MSPs help you do just that:

  • Cost Efficiency: Pay for what you need, when you need it. No more, no less.
  • Predictable Budgeting: Flat-rate pricing makes financial planning a breeze.
  • Reduced Downtime: Less downtime means more productivity and higher revenue.

What Qualities Should You Look For in an MSP?

Choosing the right MSP is like picking the right partner for a dance—one misstep, and it’s chaos! Here are some qualities to look for:

  1. Experience and Expertise: They should know their stuff inside out.
  2. Reliability: Look for a provider with a proven track record of keeping systems up and running.
  3. Scalability: Your MSP should grow with you, not slow you down.
  4. Great Communication: They should speak fluent ‘non-tech’ and keep you in the loop.
  5. Reputation: Let’s be real, Florida is a magnet for grifters and shady deals. Like any other reputable profession, an MSP should have a proven track record, be involved in the community it serves, be a ‘real’ company, and carry liability insurance.

Make tech headaches a thing of the past. For professional, affordable, reliable IT and computer services, contact CBC Technologies.

Security Best Practices

8 Essential Cybersecurity Tips to Stay Safe Online

In today’s increasingly digital world, safeguarding your online information is critical. From social media accounts to financial data, we expose sensitive, personal information on the internet. By adopting a few key cybersecurity habits, you can significantly increase the odds to keep your data safe.

  • Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Ditch predictable passwords. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to create strong passwords. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires a second verification step beyond your password, (often your phone), significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Stay Vigilant Against Phishing Attacks: Be aware of suspicious emails, messages, or websites. Phishing attempts lure users into clicking malicious links or attachments that steal personal information. If something seems off, it probably is – avoid clicking and delete the email.
  • Keep Anti-Virus Software Up-to-Date: Anti-virus software is your digital shield, constantly evolving to combat emerging threats. Regularly updating your anti-virus ensures it has the latest defenses to protect you from the newest malware and cyberattacks.
  • Apply Operating System and Application Patches Regularly: Software updates (patches) often address critical security vulnerabilities that malicious actors exploit. Don’t postpone these updates! Set your system to update and restart automatically to streamline the process.
  • Encrypt Sensitive Data: Encryption scrambles your data, rendering it unreadable in the event of a security breach. Encrypting sensitive information like financial documents or personal records adds an extra layer of protection. Bitlocker, (Windows), and FileVault, (Mac), are free built-in tools that can encrypt your hard drive(s).
  • Secure Public Wi-Fi Connections with a VPN: Public Wi-Fi networks are breeding grounds for cyberattacks. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic and safeguard your data.
  • Simplify Password Management with a Password Manager: Remembering complex, unique passwords can be a challenge. Password managers help you generate, store, and manage strong passwords for all your online accounts, simplifying security without sacrificing strength.

By incorporating these simple yet effective cybersecurity, you will significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.