Preparing your computer Systems for a Hurricane

By : Bob Maccini |September 05, 2017 |Welcome to CFL Technology Source Company and Services News Blog. |Comments Off on Preparing your computer Systems for a Hurricane



When preparing for a hurricane it is important to take some precautionary steps beforehand to help prevent damage to equipment, and ensure that your business can be up and running again as soon as power, and other services are restored.


Here is a basic checklist of things to do to prepare your network for a storm:


1) BACKUP: Ensure that you have a backup of your most important data. Think about what information you would need to operate if your server/computers/network were completely destroyed. You will want to take this backup OFF SITE, and treat it as if it were the only copy. If possible make 2 copies to take off site.


2) UNPLUG: Turning off equipment and having them plugged into surge protectors is not enough. To protect against direct lightning strikes and strange line activity that can occur during extended power outages, it is important to UNPLUG power cables, and network/phone lines. If possible locate and unplug internet equipment, such as cable and DSL modems and routers. Electrical surges can come in on those lines as well.


3) GENERATOR POWER & BATTERY BACKUPS: If power is not restored in a timely manner, and you are forced to run off of a generator, please take some precautions. You will want let the generator run for some time to let it even out the power that it generates. Even after that, you do not want to run sophisticated equipment, such as computers, directly off of that generated power, as it tends to have voltage spike and dips that can damage it. Use a UPS, or battery backup unit, as this will regulate the power (you actually run off of the battery, and the battery is charged by the “dirty” power”. A surge protector is not enough.


4) BACKUP: This is such an important step I have included it twice. Equipment can be replaced, data cannot.


If you or your business need any help with preparations, or getting back up and running, please give CFL Technology Source a call.


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Recent malware outbreaks could affect your business data

By : Bob Maccini |August 01, 2017 |Welcome to CFL Technology Source Company and Services News Blog. |Comments Off on Recent malware outbreaks could affect your business data

Due to the recent outbreaks of malware and the ever-increasing sophistication of the attacks, we are recommending that all clients enroll in our our offsite backup program.  If you are already a CFL client then your current CFL supplied Onsite Backup solution is a quality and robust system, however there are still weaknesses with any local only backup systems.


We are seeing reports that malware is automatically spreading from machine to machine on the local network with no additional user interaction beyond the initial infection.  We feel that there is a possibility that malware might someday find a way to spread to the onsite backup system, damaging it as well as your main data.  If that happens and your company does not have an additional off-sight backup, it is possible that you might lose all your data as both the primary data and the backups are both compromised.  This could be disastrous for your company.


There are other additional benefits of offsite backup such as a fire or flood in your building that damages both the server and the backup system.


The cost is calculated based on the amount of data to be stored offsite.  It is billed monthly and added to your existing CFL Care monthly invoice.  The majority of our client’s average expense is around $200 per month (This is based on an average offsite data amount of 600GB).  Your Account manager can estimate your data and give you a firm price quote.


As your IT partner, we feel it is prudent to advise you of any potential threat to your data and recommend you consider signing up for our CFL offsite backup program.  If you are not currently a CFL client, then please reach out to us, we would be happy to talk data protection with you!!

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Top Scams to Look Out for in 2017!

By : Bob Maccini |May 31, 2017 |Welcome to CFL Technology Source Company and Services News Blog. |Comments Off on Top Scams to Look Out for in 2017!

Top Scams to Look Out for in 2017!

2016 was a quite a year, there were many E-Mail scams, nasty malware, and other phishing attacks. We believe that computer based phishing scams accounted for over 70% of all socially based scams. (Phone scams were popular as well!!)
If 2017 is anything like 2016 was, then we all need to be on the lookout for hackers and their tricks!! Here are a few of the latest scams that we at CFL Technology Source feel you should be watching for:

1. Ransomware
If you are unaware of exactly what ransomware is, here is an example:

Perhaps one day you’re on your computer browsing the internet and a warning pops up, claiming to be from the FBI.


When you click anywhere on the warning, it downloads the malware encryption program onto your computer. This program will encrypt all of your files, making them inaccessible. The hacker then offers to unencrypt the files for a hefty fee.
Another variation is the fake UPS/Fedex tracking E-mail. You receive a package tracking number for a delivery you are not expecting. When you click on the tracking number, it downloads the malware encryption program onto your computer. If you are in any way unsure of the validity of the E-Mail, do NOT click the link included in the E-Mail, instead manually open the web browser and enter the web address of the site directly into the browser and click on tracking.
These are just a few examples, there are many different ways you can be infected with ransomware. Often It is contained in an email link appearing to be coupons, a free offering of some sort, etc. But when you open it, it installs software that takes over your computer and encrypts the hard drive.

3. Account locked e-mail.
A legitimate looking email arrived from a bank, Paypal, or other service, warning you that that your account is locked, and you need to re-set your password. By entering your password, you have just given your credentials to the hacker. If you are in any way unsure of the validity of the e-mail, do NOT click the link included in the E-Mail, instead manually open the web browser and enter the web address of the site directly into the browser and test your password.
Always be wary of any unsolicited E-Mail requesting (or sometimes even demanding) personal info such as passwords or social security numbers as these are often hackers trying to steal your account access credentials and gain unauthorized access to your accounts.

4. The IRS Phone scam
From now to the end of tax season, hackers will call their targets from a phone with a fake number showing on the caller id. The fake number will most likely be from the Washington, D.C. area, and the caller will claim that they are calling from the IRS. The hacker will have already gathered a lot of information about their target; most likely the information was purchased on the Dark Web from another hacker who got the information from a data breach.
Usually, they’ll claim that an old tax return has accrued late debt, usually in the amount of $2,000-$5,000. They won’t ask for large amounts of money, instead, they prefer to ask for a reasonable amount that their victim will be more likely to pay. If the target takes the bait, the hacker will say that bank transfers and credit card payments aren’t accepted and that the only form of payment possible is a money transfer through a service similar to Western Union (though it will most likely not be Western Union itself) that is nonrefundable and non-traceable.
It is important to note the following excerpts from the IRS Website:
“Note that the IRS will never:
• Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
• Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
• Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.”

“REMEMBER: The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. Being able to recognize these telltale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.”

5. Business Email Compromise scams
The hacker aims to access an email account and obtain financial data stored there. They’re looking for bank statements, login info and other financial data like verifications of wire transfers or payments in and out of accounts.
Occasionally they’ll attempt to gain access to an email account by sending the victim a document containing malware. If opened, the malware infects the computer which allows the attacker to browse remotely.
In another variation of the scam, a CEO or other higher-up’s email is compromised. The hacker then impersonates him or her and sends an email to the head of finance, saying something along the lines of , “I’ll be out of the country for the next week, but we need to make a wire transfer ASAP to this account #XXX-XXXX”. This practice is very common in large companies where a lot of traveling takes place and employees are not very familiar with their employers. It takes advantage of authority under the assumption that an employee won’t disobey orders.
“Social engineering in general isn’t about how smart technically you are,” says Michele Fincher, chief operating officer of Social Engineer, “It’s about what connects you to others, what makes you curious and angry and what might make you act without thinking”.

In conclusion, we all need to be smart when conducting our everyday activities on our devices. No matter how complex your password may be, or how legitimate an email may seem, there is always the chance that is a scam! We at CFL Technology Source can assist with network security and comprehensive data backup solutions that can help to reduce the threat to data security caused by hacking and malware.
Please contact us today for more information

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Computer Security Starts with End Users

By : Roberto Damianik |May 04, 2017 |Welcome to CFL Technology Source Company and Services News Blog. |Comments Off on Computer Security Starts with End Users

Computer Security Starts with End Users

Regardless of size or industry, most companies are vulnerable to security breaches. It is imperative that your business has the proper IT systems in place to protect your data from hackers. Often overlooked is one of the best first lines of defense available; having a well-educated staff. End user Internet security training should be an important part of your overall computer security strategy. We at CFL have few tips for educating your staff and protecting company data:

Teach staff members what suspicious links and scam E-Mails look like:
Every user in your organization should understand how to spot common themes in scam E-Mails, instant messages, and links on the internet. They should not click on links in E-Mails unless they know the sender. Many websites have malicious links, too. Make sure your employees are visiting trusted sites at work and at home. Establishing a list of untrustworthy sites is also helpful. Often times the scam in an E-Mail is easy to spot, the link address shown is different than the actual link shown when you hover over the link:
Suspicious Link Example:

Have clear company policies on the use of company owned equipment:
Your users with mobile devices and laptops might carry them all the time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should allow personal usage. The same goes with your in-office employees. We recommend you come up with a clear corporate usage policy and decide what is and isn’t okay for internet and personal use on company-owned computers – then enforce it.
Teach your staff about effective passwords:
We know everyone hates having to go through and change all of their passwords periodically, and it can be a pain to come up with and remember a password that is strong every time. As annoying as this can be, using strong passwords and keeping them secure is a no-brainer when it comes to protecting your business. There are plenty of tutorials on formulating passwords, so pass along this information to your employees. We also have a password manager program that we can recommend to help keep all those passwords reconciled and safe.
Offer your staff basic security tips:
It may seem like common sense; however, many people do not know that they shouldn’t leave devices unattended, or use the same weak password for many different accounts. By having a corporate policy accessible to new hires and current employees that lays out a few common-sense actions they can take will help protect themselves and your business from a possible security breach.
Cultivate an open environment for reporting potential issues:
Everyone is afraid of clicking on a bad link or accidentally downloading a virus, and nobody wants to admit they may have infected the company’s servers. However, your employees might be more willing to report accidents and issues at their workstations if you are understanding and refrain from shaming users. Accidents do happen, so if your corporate culture is to handle these issues with patience and understanding, your users will be open and honest when they see something amiss, allowing you to immediately counteract security threats.
Having corporate policies and strategies in place for protecting your company’s data may seem like a simple task, but it takes a lot of time and proactive effort. If you are unsure whether or not you have the right measures in place to protect your organization, give us a call. We at CFL Technology Source can help secure your environment, hopefully reducing the risk of a security disaster.

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