Mike Foster's IT Security & Best Practices Blog

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Stop Drive-By-Downloads

It is time to review your anti-spam filters and your web-filters to ensure you are adequately protected against targeted email attacks as well as drive-by-download attacks. The latter attacks happen when one of your users visits an infected site. The settings your IT department configured in 2011 probably need to be reconfigured to repel new […]

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Quickly Identify an Attack Email Message–Know thy Enemy

Many attacks come from the outside world. Those attacks are directed at your users. There are two ways, and teach these to your workers, to identify almost all of these dangerous email messages before the user clicks on them.

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Make Security Awareness Training mandatory

These days one of the best defenses against criminal IT hacks is to have users who are “on the lookout” for malicious temptations. For example, anytime a user receives an e-mail message that indicates some kind of urgency.

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Old-school anti-virus is no longer the best protection

Anti-virus sounds like a great feature, right? But anti-virus can be ineffective in fighting newer threats.

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Should executives buy a second computer for banking?

Has anyone every recommended that you buy a second computer for your home to use strictly for online banking and financial transactions?

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A virus possibly contributed to a fatal passenger jet crash

On August 20, 2008, 154 people died when Spanair Flight 5022 crashed right after takeoff in Spain. A preliminary report, discussed in an article in the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais indicates that a diagnostic computer should have detected problems with multiple systems on the aircraft. Had the problems been detected, the takeoff would have […]

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Is anti-virus obsolete?

The problem with anti-virus programs these days is that so many viruses come out every hour that anti-virus programs can hardly keep their list of virus signatures up to date. If your anti-virus program doesn’t know a virus is “bad” until hours after the virus arrived, you are still infected and it may be too […]

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Are vulnerability scans of your network helpful?

As part of the Foster Institute IT Security Assessments, we always offer to perform vulnerability assessments and they are indeed very helpful.  Executives can help IT professionals overcome the negative effect to the results of a vulnerability scan…

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For real–beware attachments in e-mail

Everyone should know better, but executives seem to think they are special. Organized cyber-gangs are sending an e-mail message directly to small and midsized company’s CFO with an attachment that installs a tool to steal banking passwords. Then the criminals transfer money out of the company’s accounts.

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Does it help not to open e-mail from strangers?

An executive recently wrote me, “I got a virus that infected our network because I opened an e-mail message from someone I didn’t recognize – I’ll never do that again!” While that strategy may help some, it is far from being a reliable way to protect your network. First of all, without performing some technical […]

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