We’re all in this together.

A phrase we’ve heard on repeat in 2020, “We’re all in this together!”. All in with an increased virtual workforce. All in trying to create and adapt to new and best practices. And all in assuring our information, systems, and clients are safe and secure in these changing and evolving times. 

Some of our clients have recently experienced network/computer security issues and they’ve reached out to us for advice about how to better protect themselves, their customers, and the data on their computers and servers. We want to ensure that we are providing the very best advice and supporting you in this critical area of your business. 

In many cases, our clients set up access for the DataVast Technologies support team years ago, and those credentials have not been updated – this is a concern. As you know, the threats online have become more and more extensive and passwords should be changed on a regular basis. This is the first thing we want to recommend that you do. 

Diana Simonson, our in-house security expert, gives this advice and the following recommendations below. 

“The most problematic area I’ve seen is people getting viruses

through email or by surfing the web and winding up on a site

that has been compromised. That can happen regardless of

whether or not you’re on a private network. A public network

can offer an additional listening in type compromise but I

don’t think that’s as common as people catching things just

surfing around or through spam. I would also say to avoid

downloading or running any unnecessary software on work

related devices, and avoid unnecessary surfing on work devices.”

Network/Data Security – Best Practices 

  • For Windows users, we recommend installing Windows Defender as well as Microsoft’s SysMon to record activity. 
  • Keep regular backups of your systems and data – preferably offsite. 
  • Keep the operating systems on your PCs and Mac workstations and laptops up to date. 
  • Keep all software applications up to date. 
  • Store all of your passwords in a secure, encrypted place. Don’t use the same password for everything. Update your passwords regularly. 
  • Don’t download any apps or plugins by unknown creators. 
  • Don’t open unexpected attachments or click on links in emails, even if it appears to be from someone you know. 
  • Don’t log in to any of your personal accounts while using public networks. • If you think you’ve been compromised, it’s important that you stop logging in or using full access passwords immediately and get assistance – this will limit the damage that can be done. 
  • If data on your mobile phone is a concern, restart it every day. Malware on phones usually just lives in memory and as soon as you reboot, it’s gone (does not apply to computers/servers). 
  • Be very careful in allowing shared drives or thumb drives (from external sources) to be attached to your office or home network. They can introduce viruses and programs that can record your screen, keyboard strokes, and malicious code that can live in memory. In some cases, even if you delete the bad file (and all the copies it’s made), it can still rewrite itself.

You may already be aware of these things and have security measures in place. For those who do not, we are here to help you be proactive and avoid breaches that can be harmful to your business. We appreciate your business and we’re here to support you! Let us know how we can help.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a Q&A call, please use our scheduling tool to select a date and time that is convenient. We would be happy to work with you or your IT staff to update the outdated and vulnerable credentials I mentioned above. During that initial call, we can also schedule a more in-depth security consult with Diana if you have specific concerns and would like more targeted, one-on-one assistance and advice.