What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Account Coordinator(AC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
Professional IT Services that Andromeda Provides for Warrenville, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
Andromeda IT Service Offerings
Here is just a quick list demonstrating the breadth of IT services you can expect from Andromeda:
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
Importance of Segmenting Your Network in Manufacturing and Logistics Jul 17, 2020
There are likely many kinds of devices and many different elements that makeup the unique network infrastructure at your manufacturing, logistics, transportation or distribution (MLTD) business. You probably have many of the standard devices we see across most of our IT clients – firewalls, routers, access points, switches etc.
Not to mention any connected devices related to your production, staging or shipping processes.
In recent years, the MLTD industries have been heavy targets for cybercrime and cybercriminals. This has been largely attributed to the way these businesses use technology and the fact that many businesses in these industries are leaning on older systems and technologies that are specific to their business models.
Criminals have caught onto this issue and are attacking known weak points, disrupting production, and grinding businesses to a halt.
One important step you can take to defend against this is to segment your networks and add layers to protect the different networks of your business.
What does it mean to segment my network?
Essentially, all this means is separating different groups or functions at your business into different networks so that you can control them individually.
The most common network segmentation we perform and encounter in the MLTD market is between the operations network (back office) and the production network (on ‘the floor’ of your facility) and the BYOD Network (for guests and staff devices).
Why do I want to segment my network?
Segmenting your network helps to keep all of the appropriate activities in their appropriate lanes. For instance, you don’t want your employees surfing the web on their cell phones on the same network that your primary business functions on.
Imagine an employee accidentally clicked a bad link and infected/shut down the whole network – you’d likely want this to happen in an area that didn’t impact the entire business. Instead, if you segment properly, the impact would be restricted to the BYOD or Guest network and your employees couldn’t use WIFI on their personal devices until you got things cleaned up.
Now, imagine this same example hits your back office. An employee opens an email and unknowingly gets infected with ransomware. That ransomware now spreads throughout the office and all PCs are down. With proper network segmentation, you have an added layer that will help protect your production floor from being infected. With a good <<business continuity plan – Link to that other article on business continuity>> your team can work on resolving the issues in the office but the production network would not be impacted.
The post Importance of Segmenting Your Network in Manufacturing and Logistics appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Layered Network Security: 5 Components Every Layered Security Solution Should Have & Why Employee Training Is A Must Have Nov 02, 2020
Securing your data and your network is a big job. If you’re looking at trends or the news, you can probably guess that network security is only going to get more important and cumbersome in the future.
Cybersecurity is now a common household term and that’s a good thing. The page has been turned on data security and people regularly recognize that we need to protect ourselves both personally and professionally from cyber crime and related threats.
To illustrate where the cybersecurity and cyber crime industries are moving here are a few stats (full article here):
- Cyber crime damage costs are predicted to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021
- Cybersecurity spending to exceed $1 trillion by 2021
- Global ransomware incidents hit a rate of one attack every 14 seconds in 2019
The threats to data and networks are clearly going nowhere so it is important that you have a plan in place to protect your business (and yourself).
Different software applications and hardware solutions are designed to address specific security concerns. This means that while one solution may give you complete protection from one threat, it may not be suited to protect you from another.
The solution for these weak points is to ‘layer’ your security and design a solution that covers and protects your network to the best of its abilities.
What You Should Expect From A Layered Network Security Solution
A good layered security solution for your network is going to include the following components:
1. Professional Firewall Solution –
Your firewall is designed to help protect your network from external threats. It does this by blocking access to your network while allowing your users to communicate outside of the network. While a firewall is a great way to protect your network from intrusions, it can only protect your system from outside activity. A firewall cannot prevent one of your users from giving unauthorized permissions or access to programs or other users.
2. Professional Antivirus Software –
Antivirus software is a standard security solution designed to detect and block malware, viruses and other bugs from taking action against your network. An antivirus solution typically depends on a predefined catalog of known issues. The software uses this catalog to block those known issues from impacting you. The issue with this is that new viruses, malware, spyware and bugs are produced daily. If your solution is not actively updating and monitoring the internet for new incidents, it won’t be able to protect you from new threats in real time. Antivirus solutions also cannot always block a user from disregarding a warning and downloading a bad file/clicking on a bad link.
3. Email Spam Prevention/Filters –
Spam is more than just an annoying thing filling up your inbox. A majority of viruses and bugs that get through your firewall/antivirus do so by hiding in email messages. Cyber criminals know that if they send enough emails, somebody is going to click a bad link or download a compromised attachment. By filtering out spam, you dramatically decrease the opportunity for someone to accidentally introduce a virus to the network. Again though, spam filters don’t catch everything so they cannot prevent a user from making a mistake.
4. DNS Filtering/Protection –
DNS stands for Domain Name System. This piece of your network controls email delivery and is the component that allows you to browse websites. When configured, a DNS filter can prevent your employees from accessing specific types of sites. For example, a DNS filter can be set up to prevent employees from accessing social media or other blacklisted sites. This security also helps keep malware or other viruses from spreading throughout your network by masking your devices and server. This is one element of your network security that isn’t heavily impacted by regular users but if it is not set up properly and managed properly it can’t protect you from much.
5. Employee Training & Education –
You may have noticed that almost any of the security layers mentioned above have specific strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, each component had a weakness related to human or user error. The fact is that users and honest mistakes are the root cause of the majority of data breaches, viruses, downtime and incidents on your network. That doesn’t mean your employees and coworkers are intentionally breaking protocol or doing things wrong. Most of the time these are honest mistakes like clicking a link in an email, downloading a file with a hidden virus or visiting an infected/malicious site and unknowingly giving cyber criminals usernames & password information.
And That’s Just The Beginning…
These are just five common pieces of a layered network security setup. They all work together to help cover different vulnerabilities and behaviors. There are many other software and hardware solutions that can increase your layered network security and reduce vulnerability. Some of those include:
- Dark Web Monitoring Services
- Dual Authentication
- Password Management
- Data Backups
- Disaster Recovery Planning
- Scheduled & Regular Patches/Updates
- Security Protocols for Remote Devices
- Network Security Assessments (at least once a year)
The goal should be to protect your environment to the best of anyone’s ability and to educate/train your staff adequately to mitigate risk.
You will also want to make sure and take any specific compliance requirements or regulations for your industry into account. Most any business that has data needs to maintain certain standards for data protection.
To discuss any of the layers for a layered network security solution listed above or your environment please reach out to our team.
For more information on employee data security training go here.
The post Layered Network Security: 5 Components Every Layered Security Solution Should Have & Why Employee Training Is A Must Have appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Data Breach Victims Get More Spam And Phishing Emails Feb 19, 2021
Do you feel as though you get a lot of spam mail? If so, you should know that you actually get almost a hundred times more than what you think you're getting.
However, most modern email systems (including Google's G-mail) do a spectacular job of filtering, which keeps the vast majority of it from ever reaching your inbox in the first place.
Even so, you probably get an annoying amount of spam, and one of the natural questions that arises from that is some variation of 'why am I getting so much of this junk?' Believe it or not, researchers now have an answer to that very question!
A research team from Stanford University recently partnered with Google to study more than a billion emails filtered by Gmail between April and August of 2020. They found one striking common thread: You are much more likely to receive spam emails if your email address was captured as part of a data breach. In fact, that fact alone makes you five times more likely to be targeted by spam email.
In some ways, that fact isn't terribly surprising. After all, spammers and scammers operate mostly from email lists and those lists have to be generated and compiled from somewhere. It turns out that the 'somewhere' is almost always a database captured during a data breach.
This, though, points to a simple defense. If you change your email address at about the same frequency you buy a new pair of shoes, you'll periodically give yourself a chance to start fresh.
Sure, there are some challenges involved with that, not the least of which is updating your contacts with your latest email address. Also, of course, if you have hundreds of contacts that might be impractical, but if you keep a relatively low profile on the web anyway, then occasional shedding one email skin for another is a very good way to keep spam to a minimum. At the very least, it's something to consider.