Lanit Updates 6/2020
Data transfer is the topic this month.
Back in the day in order to get data from your computer to someone else outside of your organization had a few hurdles to overcome. Email was the transfer of choice and still is for some but you run into size limitations, security issues, and became a copy of a copy and who had what copy started to get a little murky not to mention filling up your mailbox with sent item attachments.
Now we have access to all sorts of wonderful tools to overcome those hurdles. Two of my favorites are Citrix ShareFile and Microsoft One Drive. Yes, there are now tons of similar options available and each with their own quirks but I would like to just focus on the aforementioned. These two give you the ability to share large files to anyone, anywhere, in a secure fashion. It removes the restrictions email places on file transfers for size and the sometimes complicated security that also has to be in place making it confusing not only for the sender but the recipient too. Using these types of tools you can simply send a link through your email opposed to the entire file. ShareFile can take it a step further with the ability to securely link a file that's on your network without making a copy of said file, keeping the file versions much easier to manage. One Drive can also step up its game when you integrate it with SharePoint giving the ability to create an external facing web portal that contains said files so they don't ever have to be downloaded, making these options great for short term and sometimes long term projects with external collaboration.
Both options gives you the ability to control who has access to it and what access they have, whether it be read only, edit, etc. and can transfer said files in a secure fashion if need be. Both are much better options than not only email transfer, but also miles above external USB storage type devices. They also contain their own version controls and backups for those stomach sinking moments when you realized you hit the delete key opposed to the backslash.
Neither of these options are a replacement for a well organized file structure system on your network but makes sharing information with people outside of your organization a little easier without losing controls or security. There are a ton of configuration options with both of these choices that i'm not including in this newsletter but the point is to start a conversation about the possibilities of how you could possibly overcome existing hurdles when it comes to collaborating with sources outside of your organization and as always please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.
| || |
Regular IT Meetings
This is to invite you to invite us to regular IT planning meetings. It's good to have a regular planning meeting or even just an question answer session. We learn a lot about our customers during these meetings and sometimes we can bring ideas to the table that you may not have known about or considered. Everyone usually walks away with a little more knowledge on both sides and may push us to things we haven't considered either such as additional services or conveniences we may be able to offer.
Onsite or over the phone feel free to reach out to us if this is something you may be interested in, even if it's just once a year.
Going to give you a reason to not use the same password across websites and application. The following are large organizations that you may have had dealings with over the past few years that have had their data breached. This list is only for the past six months and is only a shortlist of the big name companies that may not have been very publicized;
VT San Antonio Aerospace
US Department of Commerce
Equifax (technically 2019 but still ongoing)
University of California
Michigan State University
San Francisco Airport
Communications & Power Industries (CPI)
This is the shortlist and I omitted about 75% of organizations that have also been attacked but were mostly irrelevant to our customers. Please keep your passwords separate between applications and websites. A password manager is very handy and makes doing this much simpler.
Securing Your Mobile Devices
Your mobile devices are an amazing and easy way to communicate with friends, shop or bank online, watch movies, play games, and perform a myriad of other activities. Since your devices are such an important part of your life, here are some simple steps to keep you and your devices safe and secure.
It may surprise you to know that the biggest risk to your mobile device is not hackers, but most likely you. You are far more likely to lose or forget a mobile device then have someone hack into it. The number one thing you should do to protect your devices is enable automatic locking of the screen, often called a screen lock. This means every time you want to use your device you first have to unlock the screen, such as with a strong passcode or your fingerprint. This helps ensure that no one can access your device if it is lost or stolen. Here are several more tips to help protect your devices:
Enable automatic updating on your devices so they are always running the latest version of the operating system and apps. Attackers are always looking for new weaknesses in software, and vendors are constantly releasing new updates and patches to them. By always running the latest operating system and mobile apps, you make it much harder for anyone to hack into your devices.
Install or enable software to remotely track your mobile device over the Internet. This way, if your device is lost or stolen, you can connect to it over the Internet and find its location, or in a worst-case situation, remotely wipe all of your information on it.
- Only download apps you need and from trusted sources. For iPads or iPhones, that means download apps from the Apple App Store. For Android, download apps from Google Play; for Amazon tablets, stick with the Amazon App Store. While you may be able to download apps from other sites, these are not vetted and are far more likely to be infected. Also, before downloading an app, check to make sure it has lots of positive reviews and is actively updated by the vendor. Stay away from brand new apps, apps with few reviews, or ones that are rarely updated. Finally, regardless of where you got your app, once you no longer need or actively use the app, we recommend you delete it from your device.
- When installing a new app, make sure you review the privacy options. For example, does the app you just downloaded really need to have access to all your friends’ and contacts’ information? We also recommend you disable location tracking for everything, then enable location for only the apps you feel need it. If you are uncomfortable with the permission requirements of an app, find a different one that meets your needs. In addition, periodically check the permissions to ensure they have not changed.
- Always back up your data. For mobile devices, a great deal of your information is often backed up automatically, such as your photos or messages. However, backups also store your configurations, apps, and other device information, making it much easier to recover from a lost device or transition to a new one.
- When at work, be extra careful and never take any pictures or video that may accidentally include sensitive information, such as pictures of whiteboards or computer screens.
Your mobile devices are a powerful tool, one that we want you to enjoy and use. Just following these few simple steps can go a long way to keeping you and your devices secure.