Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Saskatoon IT Pro's at Burnt Orange Provide Tips on How to Create Secure Passwords

Gareth McKee and his Trusted Saskatoon IT team at Burnt Orange Solutions promise to have a one-hour response time for all your IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to them. They pride themselves on ensuring their clients understand IT concerns by providing a straightforward and reliable solution with exceptional service. Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts. In their latest Saskatoon IT expert tip, Gareth shares how to create secure passwords to protect yourself online. 

HOW TO CREATE SECURE PASSWORDS


Data breaches and identity theft are on the rise. Therefore, using strong passwords is necessary to protect your accounts against cyber attacks. Here are some tips to create secure passwords and help keep your accounts unbreakable. 

To help keep your accounts unbreakable, follow these password guidelines: 

  • All passwords must be at least 16 characters or more. Longer passwords are more secure than shorter ones. 
  • All passwords must involve a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. 
  • Different passwords must be used for each account. 
  • Passwords must never include personl information or any information that can be accessed through social media such as the names of children or pets. 
  • Passwords should never contain any consecutive letters or numbers. 

Why Password Security Is Important

Without strong passwords, hackers are able to gain access to accounts and sensitive information. Hackers use personal information such as names, addresses, and bank account information to steal money or the identity of the user. Identity theft is extremely concerning. It results in financial loss and makes it difficult for the user to get a loan or a job.

Password security is also very important for businesses. Whenever hackers gain access to sensitive information, they consequently share the data with the business’ competitors or store it for ransom.  

Other Ways To Protect Yourself Online

Besides utilizing strong passwords, there are other ways to protect yourself online including: 

  • Using a VPN – Internet Service Providers are able to track the online activity of users and can access private IP addresses. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is the alternative to connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. Using a VPN ensures web activity and IP addresses are not accessible to your internet provider. 
  • Identity Theft Protection – Using identity theft protection software will help protect personal information from identity theft. Identity theft protection software will flag criminal behaviour to help protect personal information. 

  • Using Antivirus Software – Antivirus software helps protect users from viruses, ransomware, and other cyber threats. Antivirus software scans for known viruses and alerts the user that their computer or phone has been compromised.

  • Using a Password Manager – Password managers encrypt usernames and passwords and require biometrics to log in. Password managers keep passwords safe and secure. 

These tips will help keep your accounts unbreakable, therefore protecting you and your business. If you have any questions regarding strong passwords to keep your accounts secure, contact the IT experts at Burnt Orange IT Solutions. We can help your business mitigate risk, and be prepared for any IT-related emergency.

We hope this article gave you some insight. If you want to ensure your business’s IT security, contact the Trusted Saskatoon IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and we can take IT worries off your plate.


Trusted Saskatoon IT Pro's at Burnt Orange Explain Antivirus Mechanisms and Attacks

Gareth McKee and his Trusted Saskatoon IT team at Burnt Orange Solutions promise to have a one-hour response time for all your IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to them. They pride themselves on ensuring their clients understand IT concerns by providing a straightforward and reliable solution with exceptional service. 

Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts.  In their latest Saskatoon IT expert tip, Gareth shares why antivirus is useless against modern attacks. Antivirus software identifies malware and detects threats. However, now that attacks have evolved, today’s threats are able to get around Antivirus mechanisms.

WHY ANTIVIRUS IS USELESS AGAINST MODERN ATTACKS

Antivirus Software (AV): Signature-Based Approach

Antivirus software identifies malware based on signatures. These signatures are like fingerprints, and each malware has a unique pattern. Antivirus software contains the memory of each signature that it uses to identify malicious threats. Each time antivirus software recognizes new malware, antivirus companies add the signature to their blacklist. These blacklists contain the signatures that are denied access to your system. Thus, Antivirus protects your system by blocking these specific signatures from attacking.

Why Antivirus Software is Not Sufficient

This signature-based approach worked for detecting older malware that had already been identified and labelled. In the past, provided the malware was known, and your antivirus company’s signatures were up to date, you were protected. Unfortunately, threats have evolved and malware is not the only concern. Specifically, today’s threats include targeted attacks using unknown malware variants, file-less malware attacks, and exploits that leverage unknown software vulnerabilities. As a result, these persistent threats and ransomware attacks can all bypass antivirus detection. 

Another concern is that malware development has shifted. Attackers now test their malware against antivirus programs to ensure it can bypass them. In addition, attackers invent new malware at a faster rate. Thus, antivirus companies are unable to keep up with blacklisting all the signatures. Also, new types of malware can now go undetected by signature. New malware is hard to detect because it is polymorphic, meaning it changes as it spreads. Overall, as threats grow, Antivirus is no longer sufficient. 

Why Keep Using Antivirus If It Is Useless Against Modern Attacks?

The bottom line is antivirus software is necessary for legal and compliance purposes. For example, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires up-to-date antivirus software for organizations that store, process, or send credit card information. Not to mention, a lack of antivirus protection makes companies appear irresponsible. This jeopardizes a company’s ability to collect insurance if a breach or lawsuit should occur. 

Though antivirus cannot detect modern threats, it does provide a certain degree of protection. As long as your current antivirus program can identify and block even half of the malware signatures, it is worth using. However, it must not be the only line of defence. 

Overall, as threats grow more advanced, an antivirus alone is not enough to protect your company. A more comprehensive IT strategy is a necessity. Contact the IT experts at Burnt Orange IT Solutions. We can help your business mitigate risk, and be prepared for any IT-related emergency. 

We hope this article gave you some insight. If you want to ensure your business’s IT security, contact the Trusted Saskatoon IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and we can take IT worries off your plate.


10 IT Management Predictions From Trusted Saskatoon IT Pro’s at Burnt Orange Solutions

Gareth McKee and his Trusted Saskatoon IT team at Burnt Orange Solutions promise to have a one-hour response time for all your IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to them. They pride themselves on ensuring their clients understand IT concerns by providing a straightforward and reliable solution with exceptional service. 

Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts and in their latest Saskatoon IT expert tip, Gareth shares 10 predictions for the future of IT Management.  

10 PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF IT MANAGEMENT

With today’s emerging digital business opportunities, IT management needs to be aligned with business strategy in order to be responsive and adaptable. In order to compete, businesses will need IT to provide strategic value to deliver innovative products and services.

Here are ten predictions for the future of IT management from Gareth, owner of Burnt Orange Solutions  :

1. Businesses will be reliant on cloud technology to remain viable.

In the future, 98 percent of business data will be stored in the cloud rather than traditional company data centers.

2. Everything-as-a-Service dynamic will take over. 

Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) dynamic is superior because IT is managed as an ever-changing product that is highly conducive to innovation. Cloud computing models such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) models will become less popular.




 3.Risk management, cybersecurity, and remote work will be prioritized for businesses.

As a result of these priorities, IT networks will need to be optimized for resilience in order to support businesses with regard to these priorities.

4. China will likely be in the process of building the first 6G networks. 

Therefore, 5G wireless networks will have evolved to deliver high-bandwidth, low-latency connections to power advanced industrial internet of things (IoT).

5. Advanced edge computing will be prevalent. 

This will provide real-time local data processing which will enhance IoT systems and reduce traffic in the cloud network. Machines will be communicating and making decisions without human intervention, and mechanisms will exist that will fix problems on their own.

6. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will be common.

VR and AR will exist in many business environments including warehouses, as well as in employee training programs of various types.

7. Sources for analytics will diversify.

Having diverse sources to obtain analytics data will improve machine learning algorithms and make for stronger predictions to form better decision making.

8. Roles such as data entry, customer service, and manufacturing will become obsolete.

Advances in AI, robotics, and automation, improve productivity and efficiency for businesses. Jobs that do not even exist yet will fill any voids.

9. Network visibility and cybersecurity will be exponentially improved.

All network endpoints will be monitored from a single interface through unified endpoint management platforms.

10. GDPR-inspired federal data privacy laws will be enacted.

These laws will exist in most industrialized nations, and compliance with these laws will make data security management a top priority for every business.

As services become increasingly automated, the primary role of IT will shift in order to support business strategies. IT’s focus will be to integrate business systems, accelerate product development, and ultimately improve customer experience for businesses. Employees will have the ability to implement their own technology solutions through low-and no-code development platforms, so IT will need to be consultants in supporting businesses navigating their own IT functions.

We hope this article gave you some insight. If you want to ensure your business’s IT security, contact the Trusted Saskatoon IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and we can take IT worries off your plate.

Trusted Saskatoon IT Pro’s at Burnt Orange Solutions Owner Shares 5 Tips To Secure Data

Gareth McKee and his Trusted Saskatoon IT team at Burnt Orange, promise to have a one-hour response time for all your IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to them. They pride themselves on ensuring their clients understand IT concerns by providing a straightforward and reliable solution with exceptional service. Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts and in their latest Saskatoon IT tip, Gareth provides 5 tips on how to safely secure data at your company. 


GARETH'S 5 TIPS TO SECURE DATA AT YOUR COMPANY

Secure Data with Gareth’s 5 Tips for Your Company

Owner of Burnt Orange IT Solutions, Gareth McKee, provides his top 5 tips on how to secure data safely and improve the security of your data at your company. Watch the video below or read on.

1. Secure Data with the Use of Strong Passwords

According to Forbes, in the last 6 months of 2019 over 4 billion records were exposed by data breaches. Included in these records were over 1 billion passwords retrieved.

The top 5 easiest passwords to hack are:

#1 – 12345

#2 – 123456

#3 – 123456789

#4 – Test1

#5 – Password

But they are not always the easy ones to crack by hackers, as shown here:

#21 – princess

#30 – monkey

#48 – chocolate

#97 – babygirl

So, what do we learn from this? There are ‘bots’ and phishing scams active every day on the internet, looking to gain access to your network, steal your data or encrypt it to extort money from you.

What Does a Strong Password Look Like?

Strong passwords need 2 things: length and complexity. Both are really easy to achieve with a little imagination. Let’s firstly achieve the length. Rather than think of a passWORD, think of passwords (plural) or a passPHRASE.

One solution is to think of 4 unrelated words such as:

#Potato plastiC either strong!

The above is 30 characters and notice I have added the # and ! to make it a little more complex.

Or, you can use a phrase such as:

!Theres a m00se 0n the 100se#

The above is 29 characters. Replacing letters with numbers can be a good way to achieve complexity (for example, changing O’s to zero’s).

The best solution is to use a password manager, which is a secure app that remembers all your complex and long passwords for you so all you have to remember is the 1 password to the manager.

2. Secure Data by Locking Your Computer

How easy would it be for someone to walk past an office, walk-in and steal data from an unlocked PC? This happens more often than you think, and whether it is a disgruntled employee or a stranger who has walked into your building, it is so easy to steal data in this way.

The solution is to have your PC lock itself after a certain amount of inactivity. This is easy to achieve, simply decide the length of inactivity before allowing your PC to lock. I recommend 5 minutes.

Looking after a network properly can be a difficult and time-consuming job so to make your life easy, engage with a local, professional IT Security company such as Burnt Orange IT Solutions. You will find that the money spent on network security is easily recovered by staff efficiencies.

3. Receive a Suspicious Email? Call the Sender Before You Click

Email spoofing costs businesses millions of dollars every year. I am sure you can remember Saskatoon City Council being duped in 2019 to the price of $1 million.

If even a known client emails you asking to transfer money, providing you with new banking details, large orders, or asking you to click anywhere, call the client to ensure the information has come from them directly. A quick phone call can save a lot of money, embarrassment, and is a way to secure data. This should be a standard practice in your office. If you don’t have an Acceptable Use Policy or User Best Practice Policy in your organization, contact your best local IT company. They can help you achieve the best practices in your business.

4. Take a Breath

We all have 10 hours of work to complete in an 8 hour day, but just by taking 1 second to look at an email can save a lot of heartache. Hovering over an email address or a web link can show you where it is actually directing the click. Just because the link reads www.rbc.com, this does not mean it will direct you there.

Also, hackers often send a link which looks real, but is slightly misspelt, for example:

https://www.saskatoononliinetrucks.com/saskatoon/cheapestdeals/buytoday

if you look closely there are two ‘i’s in online. In a busy day that may be easy to miss, you navigate to a website with a virus, allowing it to download, the virus waits a day and ultimately encrypts all the data on your server. Not a good day for you or your company.

The accepted solution here is to put DNS protection in place. This service scours the internet all day, looking for dangerous websites, whether they are legit or not, and if a dangerous website is found, the service will stop you from accessing the website. If you can’t access the website, you cannot download the virus. Simple as that! Professional IT companies offer this service for a fraction of the cost of the downtime experienced should a virus be download by accident. Contact your local IT company for help.

5. Back Up Your Data

Even in a small office where there is no ‘real’ server, it is always a good idea to treat one of the PCs as a file server. Have all the data held there, back up that PC, and only that PC. This makes the backup and recovery activity simple and easy. Impose a rule that all data must be held on that PC. Configure each PC to share to that PC. Complete this task and you have just saved yourself days of non-productivity in a recovery situation.

The best backup solutions today backup to the cloud. They will:

Encrypt your data before it leaves your PC,

Be password protected,

Be automated,

and YOU will test it, at least once per month to ensure the data can be recovered.


A backup that does not work when you need it is as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Test it before you need it. As with all the problems discussed, your local professional IT security firm can help you with all these tasks, and for much less than you think.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Burnt Orange IT Solutions.

We hope this article gave you some insight. If you want to ensure your business’s IT security, contact the Trusted Saskatoon IT professionals at Burnt Orange Solutions and we can take IT worries off your plate.

Burnt Orange IT Solutions Products & Services:

  1. Managed Networks

  2. Backup and Recovery

  3. Data and Network Security

  4. Hosted Services

  5. Telephone Systems

  6. Secure WiFi Networks

"IT Support You Can Trust and Understand"

Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts

Trusted Saskatoon IT Pro’s at Burnt Orange Solutions Owner Shares His Top 2020 IT Recommendations

Gareth McKee and his Trusted Saskatoon IT team at Burnt Orange, promise to have a one-hour response time for all your IT support needs. Honesty and respect are important to them. They pride themselves on ensuring their clients understand IT concerns by providing a straightforward and reliable solution with exceptional service.  Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts and in their latest Saskatoon IT tip Gareth shares his Top 4 IT tips for 2020. 

BURNT ORANGE SOLUTIONS TOP 4 IT RECOMMENDATIONS IN 2020



Gareth has worked in the IT and Telecoms industry in a variety of guises since 1993. Initially in the UK military Gareth had to master a variety of technologies from Morse Code to Computer and Network Security. Gareth has spoken at national level at IT conferences and is well known in the industry throughout North America and the UK. He has a passion for customer service and IT security and compliance. 

#1 Microsoft Office 365/MS Teams

Microsoft Office 365 allows you to download apps like Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint to your computer or mobile device. You can also use this suite of tools completely online where you can manage, share, store, and edit documents in folders, giving access to all of your team.

Aside from the more specific apps, Microsoft Teams also allows you to communicate with your teammates via video calls, email, and through an internal discussion platform where your colleagues can create posts or ask questions.

 

 #2 Managed IT Security

Now, thanks to the Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020, most of us are all working from home, the need for a thorough look at your IT security is a must. The best way for any business to secure their computers, and more importantly their valuable business data, is to hand this job task over to a professional IT security firm.

The specially trained and tooled security firms use state of the art hard and software to ensure the client’s company is as safe as can be, this is whether the data is all in an office and being accessed from other offices, homes, or even Mars. This is not as expensive as it sounds and should be number 1 on any business owners list of things to do.


#3 Access To Business Data

There are many ways in which your staff can access your business data, keeping your business running, from home safely.

  1. Virtual Private Network (VPN) – A VPN allows you to logically lay a network cable from your computer at home directly into the network at the office. The VPN traffic should be encrypted to ensure it is transmitted from your office to home securely.
  2. File Sharing Software – DropBox or OneDrive can be used to easily share your data around your staff. Two thoughts on these solutions: 1. Do not use these as a backup, they are not a backup solution; 2. Your staff will now have your business data at home on their PCs, how do you plan to remove this once you are back in the office or a staff member leaves the business?
  3. Remote Data Access – This style of access data at the office is newer than the 2 options above and is set to be a disrupter in this area. Using zero trust as a starting point of access to your data from any device, never actually moving the data offsite and yet still providing access to all your data. It is difficult to describe how this works in a short article, so I found this video from FileFlex which explains beautifully. 

Back up

#4 Backup For Everyone

With more staff now working from home, whether they are on a work laptop or their home computer, the need for a managed backup is paramount. As data gets slowly moved away from your central office server it would be beneficial if all your home computers backed up to a central point where it can be easily recovered.


And, while I am talking backup, a backup that is not tested is not a backup. You should test recover some of your data at least once per month, nothing sets of a panic like a backup which is thought to have worked, but in fact fails when the day comes that you need to recover. – Thanks Gareth

Burnt Orange IT Solutions Services:

'IT Support You Can Trust and Understand'

Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts

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