All posts by adtack

5 Password Best Practices for Maximum Network Security

It seems like password requirements are constantly changing, requiring more unique characters and distinct combinations. Your password is an important part of your network security. When creating a password, follow these best practices to keep your data secure.

1. Steer Clear of Personal Details

You might think you are safe using personal details in your password, like your maiden name, birthday, social security number, or pet’s name. However, most personal details are accessible. A quick examination of your social media pages will likely reveal your hobbies, pets and favorite things in life. More private details, like your social security number, are accessible via your work file. 

2. Avoid Numeric or Keyboard Sequences

So many people use numeric or keyboard sequences that these are often among the first things hackers try when cracking passwords. This applies even if you reverse the sequence (654321 instead 123456) or repeat the sequence (123123 or 11111). Here are the top 3 worst passwords:

Ensure Your Network Is Always Secure With the Help of Network Security Associates

  • 123456789
  • password
  • 12345

Keyboard sequences, like “qwerty” and “!@#$%^&,” should also be avoided.

3. Use as Many Unique Characters as Possible

When crafting a password, you may have some limitations, depending on the company or service provider. However, when you can, implement as many unique characters as possible. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use capital and lowercase letters
  • Incorporate special characters (!, $,*)
  • Utilize numbers in place of letters (1 instead of L)

The longer your password, the lower the chances someone will successfully guess it.

4. Use a Password Manager

In order to maintain a unique password that is difficult to memorize, a trusted and secure password manager is required. LastPass, Roboform, OnePassword, and SplashID Safe are good options for this. Using one of these systems will eliminate the need for written passwords and further safeguard your devices and information.

5. Never Use Common Words or Phrases

Common words and popular phrases are too easy for hackers to guess, even if you swap some of the letters for numbers (1l0vey0u instead of iloveyou). Instead, consider using the first letter of each word in a song, movie title or phrase, in addition to special characters.

Contact the Professionals at Network Security Associates

The experts at Network Security Associates will monitor your network and data continually. Contact us at 702-547-9800 to discuss how we can ensure maximum network security for your company.

Network Security Solutions: Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan – Pt. 1

An efficient disaster recovery plan is an essential component of any business’s operations. Not only does it protect your company against man-made and natural disasters, but it also bolsters confidence among your shareholders that your business is adequately prepared for the unexpected. 

Ensure Your Company Has the Proper Network Security Solutions in Place

A weak, ineffectual recovery plan makes it difficult for your business to quickly recover from a disaster. As you develop a business continuity plan and network security solutions, you should consider your company’s recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). 

RTO refers to the maximum length of time your company can afford to be inactive, while RPO is the amount of data you can lose without being debilitated. When determining your business’s RTO and RPO, you must decide how much downtime and data loss your company can absorb. Though you want your downtime and data loss to be minimal, you must decide how much money you’re able to pay to quickly restore your operations and minimize data loss. Shorter RTO and RPO periods come with higher costs.

Perhaps your company currently uses a hard drive to back up its files; if so, it’s important to understand a hard drive is not a sufficient option for backing up sensitive information.

Hard drives are susceptible to a variety of virtual and physical threats. Here are a few of the dangers your hard drive might face:

  • Data Corruption
  • Viruses
  • Liquids/Humidity
  • Theft

You can help your company maintain continuous operations at a reasonable cost by implementing a multi-layer strategy for your network security solutions. Multiple layers provide extra protection for your data and additional backups of your information if one layer fails.

One option for multi-layer security is to utilize a multi-cloud deployment strategy. A multi-cloud deployment strategy utilizes two or more cloud computing services. By backing your data up to multiple cloud services, you add a layer of protection against virtual threats. It’s also easier for your growing business to adapt or expand its cloud services.

Get the Best Network Security Solutions for Your Company

It is common to procrastinate when developing a disaster recovery plan. Instead of crafting a plan on your own, contact a company that specializes in network security solutions, like Network Security Associates. Our team of experienced professionals is adept in network security solutions. We also offer a guaranteed two-hour response time when your company experiences an emergency. Contact us today at 702-547-9800.

How to Address and Prevent a Ransomware Attack With the Right Network Security

Ransomware is a form of malicious software used by cybercriminals to extort money from companies or individuals. The software locks digital files or entire computers, and a ransom is demanded to restore access to the information or machine. In most cases, the victims have a limited amount of time to come up with the ransom, and paying it doesn’t guarantee access. That’s why it’s important to have strong systems and protocols in place to protect your network security.

How to Avoid a Ransomware Attack

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To protect yourself and your business from an attack, keep these points in mind:

  • Use Security Software

Use a trusted suite of software that goes beyond basic antivirus protection and specifically protects against ransomware. It is critical to keep all software up to date, including your operating system, apps and security software, as these are released when new threats are identified and solved. 

  • Don’t Open Attachments

Email is one of the primary means of delivering ransomware. Never open an attachment unless you know what it is and who it is from. Be particularly cautious with unexpected attachments from people you know, as ransomware can use your contacts’ information to send you messages that look legitimate. Never enable macros when prompted. 

  • Back Up Regularly

The main leverage attackers use is your files. If you have backups, they have no power. Make sure you are constantly backing up your devices and all files stored on them, and maintain all cloud services.

What to Do After a Ransomware Attack

Almost all experts agree you should not pay the ransom if your data is locked by ransomware. Doing so only encourages scammers to continue, as they have no obligation to give you your files after you’ve paid. Instead, search online or hire an expert to see if a decryption tool has been built to combat the malware.

Taking proactive measures is the best way to avoid this situation altogether. The professionals at Network Security Associates will help you put systems in place to continually monitor your data, keep your software up to date and increase your network security. Contact us at 702-547-9800 to learn more.

Wi-Fi Security Best Practices: How to Create and Maintain a Secure Network

Wi-Fi networks are convenient for businesses to install and for the users who need flexible connections throughout the company. Without being tethered to a desk and a network cable, your workers can turn any area in your office into a productive space. However, it is important to take precautions to prevent security breaches. Here’s what you need to know to maintain a secure network with plenty of flexibility.

3 Steps to Ensuring a Secure Network

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1. Smart SSID

SSID stands for Service Set Identifier, but most of us think of it as the name of the Wi-Fi network. It might seem logical to choose your company’s name for an SSID or another name that’s related to the company or business type. However, this only helps people outside your organization identify which Wi-Fi network is yours. It is best to name your network something general and not specifically identifiable with your business. This will help keep you from being targeted by hackers.

2. Use a Guest Network

Your private corporate network is for your workers. Guests should not be given access to this; instead, create a separate network for one-time and occasional users. Be sure to change the password frequently. Ultimately, a system that generates unique passphrases for individual guests is ideal.

3. Unique Connections

Wired networks make use of individually authenticating each user as he or she connects to the network, and for ideal security, your Wi-Fi network should do the same. However, this requires specialized equipment and software, so many business owners skip this step. Although this preventative measure may be expensive initially, it can save you the time and money a security breach would cost.

Consult the Experts in Network Security

Network Security Associates provides expert network security solutions for businesses throughout Las Vegas. With over 15 years of experience, our team is well equipped to help you ensure you have a secure network. Our remote support technicians are always online to help answer any questions you may have. Contact us at 702-547-9800 today to get started.

Network Security Solutions for the Gaming Industry

Keep Your Data Safe With Our Network Security Solutions

A data breach is one of the most significant and potentially expensive threats companies face each day. Casinos and gaming establishments are particularly susceptible due to the large amount of sensitive customer information they must retain and transfer.

2018 study conducted by IBM estimates the breach of a single record costs a company $148; if a breach results in the digital theft of 1 million records, this can cost your organization about $40 million. To mitigate this risk, gaming establishments must use an IT company licensed in Nevada to provide all their information security services. Network Security Associates is licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to offer network security solutions for all of your IT needs. 

This license means we have the knowledge, experience, labor, and resources to correctly and efficiently handle the distinct requirements of companies in the gaming industry. Our IT experts provide network security solutions to combat a variety of digital threats to your cloud services, such hacking attempts or the intentional use of malicious software. 

What’s Included With Our Network Security Solutions

Keep Your Data Safe With Our Network Security Solutions

In addition to offering network security solutions, you can expect our team of experienced IT professionals to:

  • Maintain your wireless networks
  • Set up remote network access for your employees
  • Establish cloud-based servers for sensitive data
  • Implement a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
  • Optimize inter-office connectivity

We offer 24/7 emergency service to ensure our gaming clients receive the security solutions they need to keep their valuable data safe. 

Contact Network Security Associates Today

Don’t put your company at risk of a data breach. Our network security solutions and cloud services will ensure you worry less about the safety of your network or losing data. Contact us today at 702-547-9800 to request a consultation.

Update Your Software and Patches for Continued Computer and Network Security

t is common for busy employees to snooze their computers’ reminders regarding software updates and patches. “Patch fatigue” is a common occurrence at many companies. Employees don’t want to sacrifice their time to install important updates that maintain an optimal level of computer and network security.

Dangers of Patch Fatigue

Unfortunately, patch fatigue can have significant consequences for your business. By forgoing essential software updates, you leave your network and software vulnerable to security threats. Software vulnerabilities are weak portions of a program hackers can target to infect your computer with malware. Once it is on your computer, hackers use the malware to steal sensitive information or even gain complete access to your computer.

Snoozing your software updates for a few days may seem harmless. However, if the patch fixes a known software vulnerability, it is critical to install updates as soon as they are available. In 2017, a data breach at Equifax exposed confidential information for 143 million individuals. Hackers manipulated a vulnerable spot in Equifax’s web application to access the company’s sensitive data. What many individuals don’t know is an update was available to patch this vulnerability, but Equifax neglected to keep its software updated.

Benefits of Keeping Up with Your Computer and Network Security

In addition to fixing known security risks, computer and network security updates also add new software features that improve the efficiency and functionality of your programs. These patches make it easier for employees to do their jobs in the long run. Upgrades also remove old or outdated features that slow down your software and repair known software bugs. 

Implementing the following procedures will help to combat patch fatigue:

  • When possible, opt for automatic installation of software updates.
  • Incorporate time into your employees’ workdays to install patches.
  • Educate employees on company rules and procedures regarding software updates.
  • Implement and follow a schedule to regularly check all computers and mobile devices for updates.

If you need help fighting patch fatigue in your company, contact Network Security Associates today at 702-547-9800 for recommendations concerning your organization’s computer and network security.

How to Set Your Remote Workers Up for Success With Cloud Desktop Service

A 2018 study indicated, 70 percent of global workers work remotely at least one day a week. Telecommuting has benefits for both the workers and the employer. Employers can reduce the expenses associated with maintaining permanent office spaces and work stations, while workers can boost their productivity and achieve a healthier work-life balance.

Giving your employees the ability to work remotely may pose some challenges for your company, especially when it comes to keeping your sensitive data secure. If you want to give employees the option to work remotely, here are a few things to do to ensure their success:

Establish Your Expectations

Clearly communicate your expectations to your remote workers, so they understand what steps are necessary to keep you informed of their daily projects and to maintain optimal security levels for company information. You may need to offer clarification regarding the following areas:

  • Device usage (can employees use their personal devices to work or should they stick with company-issued equipment?)
  • System security guidelines (password specifications and requirements for two-factor authentication)
  • Physical device security
  • Data storage rules

Set Up a Cloud Desktop Service

You can bolster the security of your business’s data with a cloud desktop service. A cloud desktop service permits your remote employees to send, receive and store data using a virtual cloud. They can access and use the cloud anywhere they have a secure connection.

The cloud desktop service makes it simple to grant employees access to the programs and software they need to telecommute. Instead of having to install software on each individual device, you can just add it to the cloud.

Another option to help keep your business’s data secure is to set up a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN makes it possible for you to extend your company’s private network to remote workers. You won’t have to worry your workers might conduct sensitive transactions or send private information using a connection that is not safe. Make it clear to your workers they are to always use the VPN for work-related matters. You can even set some systems up, so they will only work with a VPN.

Not only does a cloud desktop service provide secure backups of your employees’ work, but it also allows for easy data restoration in case of a natural disaster or device accident. Contact Network Security Associates at 702-547-9800 to set up cloud desktop service today.

HIPAA-compliant Cloud Hosting Solutions for Greater HIPAA Network Security

When you set up cloud hosting for your business, you want to ensure your provider can help you follow HIPAA regulations regarding the security and exchange of sensitive information. Due to the complexity of HIPAA regulations, it is important for healthcare entities to work with a hosting provider who has experience adhering to these guidelines.

Utilizing a company well-versed in HIPAA network security makes it easier for your business to remain compliant and prevents consequences associated with HIPAA violations. Here’s what you need to know about HIPAA-compliant cloud hosting solutions:

Qualified Service Providers Have Distinguishing Characteristics

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Hosting providers proficient at adhering to HIPAA rules have a few traits that set them apart from their counterparts. They conduct at a minimum annual audits to verify they follow HIPAA guidelines. You can also expect these hosting providers to use infrastructures qualified for use in HIPAA-compliant environments. Qualified providers know what steps your business must implement to protect and secure information covered by HIPAA. When initially setting up your hosting, a provider experienced with HIPAA network security can help you identify and remedy problematic areas.

HIPAA-compliant Cloud Hosting is Necessary to Avoid HIPAA Violations

Though penalties for inadvertent HIPAA violations are typically less severe than intentional breaches, they can still affect your business. Your company may have to pay a fee that varies from $100 to $50,000 for each violation. Extreme HIPAA violations can even warrant criminal charges or civil suits against your company. 

Consumers and other businesses may view a company with known HIPAA violations in a negative light, potentially causing your company to lose clients, putting your business’s financial health at risk. 

Avoid Penalties and Fines With a Company Well-versed in HIPAA Network Security

When it comes to HIPAA network security, you can rest assured your data is safe with Network Security Associates. Our technicians possess the knowledge and experience to keep your network secure while adhering to the strictest of HIPAA regulations. Contact us at 702-547-9800 today!

Advantages of Virtual Cloud Desktop Service

Advantages of Virtual Cloud Desktop Service

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), sometimes called a cloud desktop service, is a way to host a desktop operating system on a centralized server typically located offsite in a data center. The user simply logs in using a PC, tablet or even a smartphone. If you’re wondering whether VDI* is right for you, there are several benefits to consider.

Benefits of Using a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

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1. Lower Cost
Because the processing power happens at the remote server, each user does not need to have an ultra-modern computer with all the latest upgrades to have an excellent experience. Older devices will work just fine.

2. Greater Security
With a cloud desktop service, all data resides on a server in a data center, not on a laptop or computer, which can be stolen or damaged. When it’s time to update security software or implement new protocols, there’s no need for an IT employee to travel from desk to desk – it can all be implemented at the server. Additionally, you’ll never have to worry about natural disasters wiping out your data; it’s all secure in the cloud.

3. Full Desktop Experience
Your users will not have to deal with the hassle of a frustrating transition. Cloud desktop service users will be presented with a regular desktop with all data and applications ready to use – just like they’re used to. That makes the switch to VDI seamless for all users.

4. Flexibility
Remote users, telecommuters, frequent travelers, and anyone who bounces between them will have complete access to everything needed to get the job done from anywhere with an internet connection. From shared files to company apps, your employees are free to work in a way that is convenient for everyone.

Get More With Cloud Desktop Service

When you need reliable, secure access to your data and applications, VDI provides a solution that won’t get in the way of productivity, while also making it easier to support your company’s technology. To learn more about cloud desktop service, or for a free assessment, contact us at 702-547-9800 today.

*VDI provided by terminal services

Gaming License

What It Means to Be Awarded a Service Provider Gaming License

When perusing potential IT services for your gaming-based business, you may come across IT providers with a service provider gaming license. Network Security Associates (NSA) was recently awarded this valuable designation. Read on to learn the details regarding this license and how it can benefit your gaming business.

What Is a Service Provider Gaming License?

In the gambling industry, it is imperative for casinos to have 24/7 access to IT services to ensure their businesses operate efficiently. Nevada requires companies that offer certain IT services in the gaming industry to have a gaming license. The Nevada Gaming Commission awards the service provider gaming license to companies that have the necessary infrastructure, knowledge and experience to provide IT services to businesses in the casino and gaming industry. Possession of the license means the IT company is equipped to properly support the casino.

Why Select IT Companies With Service Provider Gaming Licenses?

When you hire an IT company with the service provider gaming license, you have the assurance your network and gaming operations will be handled by a team of credentialed, experienced IT professionals. Casinos and gaming businesses possess a large amount of sensitive data, including customer information and info regarding financial transactions. It is imperative networks always remain secure and up-to-date. 

Gaming-based companies also want to maximize the satisfaction of their customers. Customers prefer businesses with reliable, easy-to-use gaming interfaces that don’t glitch or award false payouts. By working with experts who thoroughly understand these gaming systems, you can keep your customers happy and prevent negative feedback due to malfunctioning software. 

Get Quality IT Services from a Company You Can Trust

Network Security Associates is dedicated to providing the best IT services in Las Vegas. We’re available 24/7 to ensure you receive the support you need, when you need it. Contact our team at 702-547-9800 to schedule your free assessment today.