There are many lessons to be learned form the recent Sony hack. Though Sony is a large corporation, small businesses can implement IT practices to prevent a Sony-sized disaster.
The Home Depot and Target breaches reportedly could have been avoided by upgrading to Windows 7 for Embedded Systems. Read here.
XP End of Support: What does this mean?
- Microsoft no longer invests any resources to maintain or update XP.
What will you experience if you do not upgrade?
- Security Vulnerabilities:
o Each week, Microsoft releases security patches for each of their current operating systems. Since April 8th 2014, these patches have not been made for XP. PCs with XP are more vulnerable to viruses, spyware and other malicious software.
- Compliance Issues :
o Laws require certain industries to comply with security regulations, such as HIPPA. If using XP, industries regulated by HIPPA, and others, are no longer compliant with the law because of the lack of security with XP.
- Lack of Software Support:
o You will no longer receive free, or paid, support from Microsoft for XP.
o Newly released software will not run on XP.
- Hardware Compatibility:
o Drivers, or programs that machines run on, for new devices such as printers, scanners, routers, etc., are not available for XP machines. For instance, if you purchase a brand new printer and you are still running Windows XP, that printer will not print anything sent from the XP machine.
Plan for eventual migration:
If your organization remains on XP, and upgrades over time, here are some suggestions:
- When I upgrade, should I choose Windows 7 or Windows 8?
o Windows 7: The migration will be quicker and lower risk when moving to Windows 7. It is stable and well supported by applications; Windows 8 is not widely supported by third part apps.
o Windows 8: Businesses with a high need for tablet PCs, or those wanting to future-proof their organizations should opt for Windows 8.
- Upgrade the machines that use email and the internet first:
o Computers that access the internet are more prone to security compromises. If on XP, your computer is less protected from malware. If replacing all your machines at once is a budget-buster, prioritize by upgrading machines that use the internet and email. Keeping XP machines off the internet when possible will allow you to safely use them.
- If you use 3rd party apps and software….
o Call your provider to see what operating systems they will support and if running XP is an issue.
- Until you upgrade, use Chrome or Firefox
o Chrome and Firefox will be more secure because they will continue to support XP. Internet Explorer 8, which is already several generations old, it is the most recent version available for Windows XP. Internet Explorer will no longer receive security patches.
Here is a more detailed article about the things that you can do to enhance your security if you remain on XP :
KKCO 11 news spoke with Networks Unlimited about how to prevent mobile viruses and how they are becoming a growing target for hackers and malware. Our own Chris Riggs and Lauren Bell spoke about the growing problem. See the news story here. Colorado woman, Rebecca McClelland tells her account with a mobile virus:
"A number with a 876 area code continued to call me and one time I answered. When I answered the phone the male on the other end had a foreign accent. I told him to please stop calling my phone and he continued to say I called him. I hung the phone up and they continued to call and I did not answer. Throughout the day my phone was acting funny and I was not receiving phone calls or text messages. Around 3pm my phone was shut off and I could not make any outgoing calls.When I called my provider they said there was a fraud on my account and my service had been shut off. Needless to say I was not happy, the criminal had cloned my phone and phone number and used all of my minutes and made international calls. My provider is able to reimburse me but they continue to call."
Many facebook users received an email about a lawsuit that would have the company pay out as much as $10 to some users for using their name and photos in the company's sponsored ads. I personally received the email and initially thought it was spam. After looking into it, users may actually be able to collect as much as $10 from Facebook. The email provides a 1-800 number and instructions about how to move forward with collecting the money. Though it would pay for a few Starbucks lattes, I don't think that I will be moving forward in the lawsuit.
KKCO 11 News spoke with our own Robert Benjamin about the issue in their special report: http://www.nbc11news.com/localnews/headlines/Class-action-lawsuit-filed-against-Facebook-188939031.htmlClass Action Lawsuit filed Against Facebook
However, you can research this yourself and see if you may have been used in a sponsored ad. Find out more by going to this CNN article: http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/28/technology/social/facebook-class-action/index.html
Here is the email that users recieved:
|NOTICE OF PENDING CLASS ACTION AND NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT|
|ANGEL FRALEY V. FACEBOOK, INC.|
|You are receiving this e-mail because you may have been featured in a "Sponsored Story" on Facebook prior to December 3, 2012.|
|A federal court authorized this Notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.|
|Why did I get this notice? This Notice relates to a proposed settlement ("Settlement") of a class action lawsuit ("Action") filed against Facebook relating to a particular Facebook feature called "Sponsored Stories." According to available records, you may be a "Class Member."|
|What is the Action about? The Action claims that Facebook unlawfully used the names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities of Facebook users in the United States to advertise or sell products and services through Sponsored Stories without obtaining those users' consent. Facebook denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever. No court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability.|
|What is a Sponsored Story? Sponsored Stories are a form of advertising that typically contains posts which appeared on facebook.com about or from a Facebook user or entity that a business, organization, or individual has paid to promote so there is a better chance that the posts will be seen by the user or entity's chosen audience. Sponsored Stories may be displayed, for example, when a Facebook user interacts with the Facebook service (including sub-domains, international versions, widgets, plug-ins, platform applications or games, and mobile applications) in certain ways, such as by clicking on the Facebook "Like" button on a business's, organization's, or individual's Facebook page. Sponsored Stories typically include a display of a Facebook user's Facebook name (i.e., the name the user has associated with his or her Facebook account) and/or profile picture (if the user has uploaded one) with a statement describing the user's interaction with the Facebook service, such as "John Smith likes UNICEF," "John Smith played Farmville," or "John Smith shared a link."|
|What relief does the Settlement provide? Facebook will pay $20 million into a fund that can be used, in part, to pay claims of Class Members (including Minor Class Members) who appeared in a Sponsored Story. Each participating Class Member who submits a valid and timely claim form may be eligible to receive up to $10. The amount, if any, paid to each claimant depends upon the number of claims made and other factors detailed in the Settlement. No one knows in advance how much each claimant will receive, or whether any money will be paid directly to claimants. If the number of claims made renders it economically infeasible to pay money to persons who make a timely and valid claim, payment will be made to the not-for-profit organizations identified on the Settlement website at www.fraleyfacebooksettlement.com (if clicking on the link does not work, copy and paste the website address into a web browser). These organizations are involved in educational outreach that teaches adults and children how to use social media technologies safely, or are involved in research of social media, with a focus on critical thinking around advertising and commercialization, and particularly with protecting the interests of children.|
|In addition to monetary relief, Facebook will (a) revise its terms of service (known as the "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" or "SRR") to more fully explain the instances in which users agree to the display of their names and profile pictures in connection with Sponsored Stories; (b) create an easily accessible mechanism that enables users to view, on a going-forward basis, the subset of their interactions and other content on Facebook that have been displayed in Sponsored Stories (if any); (c) develop settings that will allow users to prevent particular items or categories of content or information related to them from being displayed in future Sponsored Stories; (d) revise its SRR to confirm that minors represent that their parent or legal guardian consents to the use of the minor's name and profile picture in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content; (e) provide parents and legal guardians with additional information about how advertising works on Facebook in its Family Safety Center and provide parents and legal guardians with additional tools to control whether their children's names and profile pictures are displayed in connection with Sponsored Stories; and (f) add a control in minor users' profiles that enables each minor user to indicate that his or her parents are not Facebook users and, where a minor user indicates that his or her parents are not on Facebook, Facebook will make the minor ineligible to appear in Sponsored Stories until he or she reaches the age of 18, until the minor changes his or her setting to indicate that his or her parents are on Facebook, or until a confirmed parental relationship with the minor user is established.|
|Your Class Member Number: 395673746|
|To Parents and Guardians of Children on Facebook: The Settlement also involves the claims of minors featured in Sponsored Stories on Facebook. Please see the Settlement website for more information.|
|More information? For more information about the Settlement and how to take the actions described above, please visit www.fraleyfacebooksettlement.com (if clicking on the link does not work, copy and paste the website address into a web browser) or write to the Settlement Administrator at Fraley v. Facebook, Inc., Settlement, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 35009, Seattle, WA 98124-1009, or GCG@fraleyfacebooksettlement.com. You may also contact Class Counsel, Robert S. Arns of the Arns Law Firm, by calling 1-888-214-5125 or by emailing email@example.com.|
** Post from a Client** Recently I drove into work, there were a line of firetrucks, which i didn't think anything of since we tend to have frequent false alarms, so much that none of us leave the building when the alarm goes off. But this time was different! I went to park behind the building and there must have been a dozen fire fighters, a couple with a sledge hammer making what looked like swiss cheese out of the side of our building, bricks tumbling and smoke billowing out of the wall.
Oh Sh**, my first thought was, "Was everything backed up–we were in the middle of a couple big projects?" Yes we were protected, thank goodness...but, what if we hadn't been?
So my question to you is? If you got a call tonight that your building had flooded or burnt to the ground, would you have the data you need? Could you pick up work as normal in a day or two, once the adrenalin of the whole thing blew over?
Call Networks Unlimited, let them create a plan for you, don't wait til natural disaster hits you. It will let you sleep better at night, I know it does us.
Nattana Johnson, Monument Graphics & Communications
(Thankfully the guy in the restaurant who discovered the fire at 6 am called 911, caught it early and saved our building, so no damage was done to our space, but a great lesson learned.)
Now is the time to update equipment, it is costly to try and rescue old machines with old software that is no longer supported.