Feb 18, 2019

5 Cybersecurity Risks Most Companies Have

The main cyber security risks in businesses 

1. Employees

The individuals that are involved in an organization are the major weak link in cyber security.

Employees fall for phishing emails. They click links or download stuff which turns out to be malware thus costing the organization a lot of money.

Educating the employees about cybersecurity and ai is the best approach to avoid this. 


2. Passwords

Every account which is associated with the cybersecurity firms or any other business must be secured using a strong password. If possible, 2-factor authentication should be applied too. Make it clear to everyone working in the company that they should never reuse a password that they are using in other web platforms.

In fact, employers should make it a company policy that every worker should change his/her password each month, even though the efficacy of this is being debated.

Additionally, tell your workers that they should never share their passwords with other people.

3. Patch Management

After the Petya and WannaCry attacks, the advantages of updating software were made clear. Those two attacks spread through exploiting a critical weakness within the Windows OS called Eternal Blue. Eternal Blue is what permitted the spreading of malware around business networks.

4. Other Weak Links

Some problems that organizations encounter are not brought about by their cyber security measures. They are brought about by the cyber security measures of some other organizations which they are working with.

You can implement the best cloud cybersecurity protocols however if the 3rd party which your organization is working with gets compromised, the attacker can gain access to your organization.

There are dedicated servers or network segmentation which can be used so that different organizations cannot connect directly to your organization. That will protect your company from the 3rd parties’ weak cyber security links.


5. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD is a common practice that most companies embrace. When workers come to work with their gadgets, they will also go outside with them or use them to work whenever they are away from their workplace.

The workers’ personal devices do not have the best kind of security are the office gadgets. They may easily be compromised by hackers. 

If you allow BYOD, then ensure you have a good cybersecurity and data protection policy in place. Steps, like permitting access to office networks via a virtual private network and ensuring that the workers implement 2-factor authentication, are recommended.

Conclusion

From those cybersecurity threats described above, it is obvious that educating employees is very important. Your employees must know the best cyber security measures and the danger they may be putting their employer in if they do not adhere to all cyber security measures.

About the author: Kaya Johnson is a professional interpreter from Great Britain with over 2 years of experience. Her hobby is writing however and she puts her mind into pieces she composes in order to get the best feedback from various audiences. 

Feb 11, 2019

Azure: State of virtual disks on VM is 'detached' after an ASR test failover

At my day job that shall not be named, we ran into a very interesting issue over the last month and a half or so. You see, we run our production environment in Microsoft Azure, and the way we've configured our Microsoft SQL database cluster is by following this Always On Setup in Azure.

On top of that, for performance in Azure, we are using Microsoft Storage Spaces. If you aren't familiar with Storage Spaces, you basically take a number of physical disks (They are actually virtual disks in Azure) and pool them together so you are striping data across them. This increases your IO, and thus increases your performance. It's pretty slick!

Typical Storage Spaces/Storage Pool Setup


I digress...

Anyway, we wanted to add a new pool to both of our servers, so naturally we added the virtual disks in the VM, then created our pool in Microsoft Storage Spaces, and created our virtual drives on top. Simple right?

Well it was simple until we used Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to replicate these new disks to our DR zone in the East US region. When we did our test failover, and powered up our servers in the East US region, we noticed that the servers showed our virtual disks as being detached. WTF is that all about?!?!

Well after going back and forth with Azure tech support for weeks, my Systems Engineer finally figured out a fix by running a PowerShell command.

The command he ran was:

 Get-VirtualDisk | Where-Object -FilterScript {$_.IsManualAttach -eq "True"} | Set-VirtualDisk -IsManualAttach $False  

After running this on the production nodes from an elevated PowerShell, we no longer had the issue of the virtual disks replicating in a detached state when we initiated ASR test failovers!

Now why did Windows mark these new virtual disks to be manually attached in the first place? We still don't know that, but if you run into this issue yourselves at least you know how to fix it.

Feb 5, 2019

Using Cloud Archiving for Information Storage

Do you have particular information you would like to keep forever, if possible? Information that you really do not need to open frequently but you need to save it? This information could range from a company’s vital information to a year worth of research information or even treasured moments from a special family’s vacation.

Losing such data could be the worst nightmare ever! It could happen to anyone at any time and with any information. Results of such could be quite devastating. It is therefore important to be prepared for such possible time by having extra backup sources of that data.

Before determining the type of backup that is best suitable for your use, you should first recognize the particular type of data that you need to backup. Some data do not need to be backed up as they are readily available in cases of loss, important documents are mostly always needed to be backed up, pictures and created videos could also be important for backup. Also, these data should be properly organized so that in a retrieval case, it doesn’t get too clumsy to retrieve your files. Determining the best storage for you would also require you to be cost-effective in making your decision.



Ways in which you could back up your data

There are various ways in which data can be kept safe for future purposes. Newer ways also keep developing. Such ways include;

  • The use of flash drives; these are small devices that can be used to move files. Additionally, they come with a small storage capacity for data and can only be used for temporary storage of data. Using the flash drive is not a secure mode of storage as anything could happen to it, it could get missing, stolen or even infected with viruses. This translates to the fact that security options with a flash drive are not made for data permanent storage.
  • The use of external hard drives; these devices come with slightly larger storage capacity than the flash drives. As the name implies, the external hard drives are devices that can be connected to your computer externally through a cable or wire. It is also prone to be stolen, missing or getting infected.
  • Online backup service is a method of data backup and storage in which a service provider handles the stored data. Back up services through cloud archiving; this is very effective in backing up data that are not necessarily needed often. It is easy to manage and your data is encrypted to ensure security.

Why you should backup your data with cloud archiving

You could lose your laptop, flash drives or external drive. In other cases, it could get infected where you have no hope of recovering information on it. It is, therefore, important to save your information on platforms where it cannot be affected by these. 

The survey held in 2018, reports that about 66% of the people say that they will use a private or public cloud for archiving in 2018.

Cloud archive is a cost-effective mode of storing your data and also time effective. It relieves you of having to buy devices each time a prior device gets filled up. Backing up your data with cloud archiving would make ensure the availability of your data anytime you need it. Cloud archiving is mostly in a public cloud. Data are encrypted to ensure the security of the data. 

Data kept on the cloud can be searched out easily, this makes it less burdensome to find your hidden files.  Chances of losing your data on the cloud archive are very entirely null as it is not stored on a particular device but on the internet storage.

Lost data could mean starting from scratch for some people, or loss of valuables for others. Either way, using the cloud archive is a way to prevent such occurrences. With cloud archiving, you are assured of getting your data anytime you need it.


Feb 4, 2019

How to Convert #Bitcoin to Dollars

Exchanging bitcoins to an useful currency.

Bitcoins seem to have been heralded by most as the currency of tomorrow, but there are only a handful of sites that agree to accept them. Luckily for us, transforming bitcoins to a workable currency like dollars is simple and plain. If you desire to be aware of just how much bitcoin is worth, run a simple net search. If you want to essentially convert bitcoin to dollars, transfer them in an internet market and sell them to an interested consumer. The online marketplace might promptly and easily convert your bitcoins to dollars and transmit them to a debit card, bank account, or digital wallet of your determination.

Selecting a Conversion Service.

1) Compare the rates made available by diverse conversion services and determine the top one.

Equally when the general bitcoin conversion rate improves, several conversion services provide you with diverse conversion rates. For example, think one service gives to convert your bitcoins at a rate of 1 to $5000 USD and one other offers to turn 1 bitcoin in to $5250 USD. All additional things getting equivalent, you should go along with the second service to acquire the most of your bitcoins.

2) Convert your bitcoin adding a service with low fees.

Conversion services often ask for a fee. Usually there is a flat fee if how highly you exchange, and often the conversion service charges a segment of the sum you exchange. Evaluate the costs associated with the numerous conversion services and choice one that offers you the ideal deal. Service fees modify over time, so make sure to verify the services terms and fee routinely.

3) Confirm that the service you're utilizing is safe.

Generally there are a handful of ways to authenticate that a bitcoin conversion web page is harmless. One is to check review sites for testimonials. One other method is to ensure the website uses https (as opposed to the less comfy http) in their URL. At last, implement a conversion service that permits two-factor identification, making certain that simply you will likely be able to confirm bitcoin conversions.

4) Choose a service that has low transfer time period.

A bit of web sites transfer bitcoins to your account just after 2 days, but quicker services may convert your bitcoins to dollars in 2 hours or even less.

Enrolling and Uploading Your Bitcoin.

1) Register for an account.

Enrolling for an account comes to providing your name, date of birth, address, email address, telephone number, and other personal data. You'll also need to provide bank account information, an online payment service like PayPal, or similarly (depending on in what way you want to convert and transfer your bitcoins).

2) Decide on the most effective security options every time you sign up.

Each time you obtain an account on a bitcoin marketplace, you'll have the probability to let two-factor authentication, which will results in you would enter a password and a randomly built code sent to your cellphone. You may also wish to let a multi-signature option, which in turn requires innumerable independent approvals in advance of producing a bitcoin conversion or withdrawal. Both of these kinds of security settings can safeguard you from theft and hackers.

3) Deposit your bitcoins in the markets.

The specific mechanism by which usually you deposit your bitcoins should differ subject to how your bitcoins are really today stored. Primarily, depositing your bitcoins is as easy as clicking deposit bitcoins, on the top of the marketplace's web site. No matter your bitcoin encryption key factor is printed out, you'll be advised to enter into it. Regardless whether your bitcoins are in a wallet (an encrypted file or code), you could be asked to upload the file. Don't be afraid to contact customer support in the event you're having problem depositing your bitcoins.

Exchange Rates.

Convert your bitcoins in the event that the exchange rate is very good. Across time frame, exchange rates climb and fall down. As a representation, one day the exchange rate may well allow you to trade 1 bitcoin for $4900. A week later, the exchange rate may perhaps provide $5150 meant for 1 bitcoin. Hold out to exchange your bitcoins right up until the according dollar worth increases. Presently there is no fixed segment or worth that specifies a helpful exchange rate. Some people may possibly experience that if the worth of a bitcoin springs up by $100, it is an OK instance to convert their currency. Some people may delay until the value they'd get springs up by 5 percent. Confirm the exchange rate constantly online or sign up intended for a service that updates you on the bitcoin-to-dollar exchange rate so you can understand when it improves.

Sell off your bitcoins in the market place.

Offer your bitcoins in the current market. Several marketplaces permit you to sell your bitcoins to another person. Individuals enable you to sell them instantly to the market place, which usually will after that resell them to interested buyers later on. In either case, the certain manner you implement to sell off your bitcoins will differ slightly according to the market place you make use of. Most of the times, you can merely click on Sell your bitcoins or some equivalent choice to get the process initiated. The bitcoins will the be turned to dollars and moved to the bank account you offered.

Save your bitcoins on a debit card.

Place your bitcoins on a debit card. A handful of marketplaces let you to load your bitcoins on to a debit card that conveniently converts them to dollars. You may be able to acquire an online digital debit card, which usually only supplies you with a string of figures you can adopt for online purchases that need to have dollars, or you can generate a basic debit card in the mail. Similarly these kind of debit cards cost money, but they present an added benefit, exclusively if you pretty much never make use of cash.

Transfer your bitcoins to another digital wallet.

Switch your bitcoins to one different online wallet. Several bitcoin conversion services make it easy for you to convert your bitcoins to dollars by switching them to PayPal, Apple Pay, or similar services. If this is the approach you want to convert your bitcoins to dollars, put your payout method to the online digital wallet you want to use. Then simply, basically sell off or transfer your bitcoins to the service of your determination by using the marketplace menus. Transforming bitcoins to dollars by transferring them to an online wallet sometimes has bigger fees and reduce limits than transferring them to your bank account. This alternative may perhaps, nonetheless, be much better intended for users who do online acquisitions repeatedly and don't wish the inconvenience of relocating their money from a bank to an online wallet.



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