All posts by Jennifer Bomarito

Network Security Associates Named a Gold Partner by Untangle for 2nd Year

Untangle Gold partners represent the company’s top resellers who bring the highest level of training and service to end-users

Las Vegas, NV September 1st, 2019— Network Security Associates (NSA) has been named an Untangle Gold Partner by Untangle, a leader in advanced network security solutions, for the 2nd year in a row.  Untangle’s Gold level represents those partners who have made the commitment to the highest level of security expertise and service to Untangle’s end customers.

 

NSA’s achievement demonstrates not only its commitment to technical expertise but its pursuit to provide industry-leading

customer service and support,” said Brian Thomas, director of strategic accounts and channels programs at Untangle. “Getting network security right is critical for every organization, and simply put, well-trained and well-educated resellers have happier customers and end-users, with safer networks.”

“Network Security Associates, Inc. is a full service IT consultancy, serving customers in the Nevada area since 2003.  We renewed our Gold status with Untangle as it’s important for our team to be up to date with the latest security technologies.  Our team of certified technicians, engineers, and sales representatives work closely with the Untangle team to offer industry best practices for security.   Being a Gold partner gives us top-level support which in turn allows us to get answers faster and the ability to provide a high level of support to our managed customers.  Protecting our customer’s data is very important to us and Untangle is one of the best products to accomplish this goal,” explains Robert Davis, CEO of NSA.

About Network Security Associates

NSA is a nationally marketed technology consulting company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Formed in 2003, the company has become one of the most complete technology service providers in the country, with core competencies ranging from Cloud, Security, Managed IT and technical staffing.  As a premier provider of total information technology solutions, NSA is one of 2 firms in Nevada that is licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

 

NSA has earned a reputation as a financially stable, growing, and highly experienced consulting firm with best of breed service. Visit www.NSA-NV.com for more info

About Untangle

Untangle is the most trusted name in solutions specifically designed to help small-to-medium businesses and distributed enterprises optimize their networks while safeguarding their data and devices. Untangle’s Network Security Framework provides cloud-managed security and connectivity options that work together seamlessly to ensure protection, monitoring, and control across the entire digital attack surface from headquarters to the network edge. Untangle’s award-winning products are trusted by over 40,000 customers and protect millions of people and their devices. Untangle is committed to bringing open, innovative and interoperable solutions to its customers through its rapidly growing ecosystem of technology, managed services, and distribution partners worldwide. Untangle is headquartered in San Jose, California. For more information, visit www.untangle.com

How To Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks Webinar Oct. 16th at 10 am PST.

Cyberattacks on SMBs will continue, but businesses can take the steps to proactively secure their network today and prevent these attacks from causing large-scale havoc on their business.

Join Chad NcNaughton from Ungangle and NSA’s Jeff Wagner on Oct 16th at 10 am PST.

Four things you will learn during this educational webinar:

  1. How to Choose a Unified Threat Management solution to provide protection at the gateway, blocking malware, spyware, phishing, and hackers before they reach the network.
  2. Insist on VPN connectivity for remote and branch offices, extending the network security policies already in place at the headquarter location.
  3. Provide consistent employee training to increase cyber threat awareness [among] employees to [help them] identify suspicious emails, attachments, and other malicious communications that may infect the network.
  4. Establishing and defining User Access policies will allow businesses to manage network privileges based on group, department, or protocol—securing only those with authorized permissions have access to business-critical information.

 Click HERE  to register.

 

 

Take the Fear Out of Encrypted Email

When some people think of encrypted email, their minds conjure up images of secret codes, espionage, and a scene right out of Mission Impossible, where the message will self-destruct. Also, they may think that it’s just too difficult to send an encrypted email, as the recipient won’t open it, or their email simply doesn’t need to be encrypted. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are 3 facts that you may not know about email encryption.

Tales of the Encryption

  • Email is like a postcard: it has no privacy.
    Many people believe an email is just sent from one computer to another, the reality is an email can travel along an intricate path from the time it’s sent to the time it’s received. Without proper encryption, there may be multiple opportunities for the email to be intercepted.
  • Avoid data leaks caused by human error.
    Email can be set to automatically be encrypted if sensitive and confidential information such as credit card numbers, bank account information, and social security numbers are detected in an email. Medical facilities must use encrypted email when sending PHI to be HIPAA compliant.
  • Emailing a large document can be cumbersome. Some email platforms limit the size of an attachment. A side perk of some email encryption services is that email file size limits can be circumvented (shh… don’t tell IT).

At Network Security Associates your data security is our Number One Priority. Adding email encryption to your email is easy and affordable. Contact Network Security Associates today for information by filling out the form below or call us at 702-547-9800.

Does VoIP Offer Better Network Security Solutions than Traditional Telephony?

The advantages of VoIP grow every year for businesses, but it’s important for practices with HIPAA security concerns to carefully vet this and other technologies before adopting them — or, barring that, carefully assess the technology they’ve already adopted to close loopholes and maintain stringent compliance. Here’s a look at how VoIP compares to traditional telephony for network security solutions, what VoIP security looks like and how to ensure your system is as safe as possible.

VoIP Vs. Traditional Telephony

Traditional telephone services operate using what’s known as the public switched telephone network (PSTN), but did you know even traditional PSTN connections now travel, in part, over the internet? This means, any vulnerabilities which exist in a VoIP system can exist in a PSTN system — with the added concern that it’s relatively simple for a determined attacker to physically hack into your analog telephone lines and record anything and everything that comes through. 

Exposure on PSTN only grows when you add various modern amenities, such as PBX used for business lines; in these cases, and many others, a well-encrypted VoIP system is far more secure and reliable. Add in PBX component failures, dated security protocols as PSTN and PBX fall out of favor, and VoIP offers a consistency that’s difficult to argue with — and far safer for your patient, vendor and employee data to travel on. 

Maximizing Security

Get the Best Network Security Solutions from Network Security Associates

Of course, all VoIP is not created equal. There are a few factors you’ll want to consider:

  • HIPAA-compliant service providers are a particular subsection of VoIP providers, so don’t assume just any business telephone service will be adequate. Certain VoIP features are wholly non-compliant and must be disabled, while other aspects of HIPAA compliance involve the technologies used by the company; encryption, handling of data between endpoints, etc. 
  • Otherwise, user error will be the biggest risk with VoIP security (and most other network security solutions). Make sure you educate yourself on digital best practices, then disseminate this information to everyone who will be using your networks — for their sakes and the sake of your practice. 

Logging and Proactive Protection

VoIP also allows for easy and effective logging of all inbound and outbound traffic, be it calls or other media. This makes it simple to identify problems when they arise, or catch them via monitoring if you pay for in-house or third-party network security solutions. 

Modern telephony, even traditional solutions, must have some level of exposure to hacks, accidental breaches and more. VoIP, by comparison, offers a wealth of protective measures that overlap with and integrate with existing network security solutions.

Get Better Network Security Solutions with VoIP

To put it simply, if you’re worried about secure phone lines, VoIP can be the stronger option for a modern practice. Make sure you take the proper measures to secure your lines, ensure safe end-user behaviors and track what’s happening in your system, and you’ll never be taken by surprise. To find out more, contact Network Security Associates today and inquire about our VoIP, HIPAA compliance checks and other network security solutions.  

Cloud Security and Remote Computing for Medical Practices

Increase Your Cloud Security with NSA’s Cloud Services

Cloud-based computing has been around for some time now, although it didn’t become heavily utilized until a few years ago. Cloud-based computing makes it possible to store any kind of data to an internet-based drive, and in return, access it anywhere in the world (as long as you are connected to the internet). As the owner of a medical practice, you may wonder if this is suitable for your day-to-day operations or have questions about cloud security. Here are some major benefits of cloud computing for medical facilities: 

Eliminate Local Storage
As your medical practice grows, you will need to expand the data storage available on-site. This forces you to invest in internal data servers. These servers are not only expensive to purchase and update, but as your internal server grows, more and more energy will be used (both to keep the hardware running and to keep it cool). With cloud-based computing, you can eliminate this internal bulk. You will no longer need to constantly purchase new server blades or update the hardware and software associated with it. 

Thanks to cloud-based computing you’ll free up space in your office, cut down on energy consumption and have 24/7 access to storage options you do not need to maintain or update yourself. By removing the local server, you create more space and save money in the long run.

Avoid Data Crashes
There’s nothing worse than a hard drive crash. If an internal server or hard drive crashes at your office, you’ll be forced to find ways to transfer the information to a new drive. Hopefully, you backed everything up prior to the crash. If you didn’t, you’ll need to find a professional service capable of extracting files from a damaged drive. If the files have been corrupted, it may be impossible to recover the information. 

With cloud-based computing you never again have to worry about this. Your information is continually backed up and stored off-site. In addition, the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, which makes it easier to work remotely.

Boosted Security
Data security is critical to protecting both your business and the personal information of your patients. Secure storage of information via the cloud reduces the risk of others getting access to your data. This can help keep your practice compliant to HIPAA regulations.

Get Ongoing Cloud Security You Can Trust

Network Security Associates offers an array of services to bolster your cloud security and safeguard the files you have stored on it. We continually monitor your systems to safeguard your information against fire, theft and natural disasters. Your servers and software will be updated on a regular basis, and you will have access to important files from virtually anywhere. For more information on our cloud services, contact us at 702-547-9800 today.

Your businesses’ network may be easier to hack than you think, due to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Their are a myriad of apps that allow us to control the thermostat, turn on the lights and even to see what the dog is up to at home. But, for businesses, are these conveniences putting them at risk for a data breach? The answer is yes! The Internet of things (IoT) is all around us.

The term Internet of Things (IoT) is mainly used for devices that wouldn’t usually expect to have an internet connection, like a thermostat, video doorbell, and refrigerator, and then, communicate with your network independently of human action. This independence can be a valuable access point for hackers.

For example, a North American casino experienced a data breach from hackers that used the sensors in a fish tank. The fish tank sensors were connected to a PC that regulated the temperature, food, and cleanliness of the tank. Someone was able to hack into the sensor, and once he was on the network, he stole the casino’s sensitive data.

So, what can you do to secure your business network? Here are 4 simple suggestions:

  • Start with your router – Your router is the “front door” to your business network. Invest in a router that offers a high degree of security.
  • Create a “guest network” – You can establish multiple networks on your Wi-Fi router. Having a guest network with limited permissions and a strong password on your business network will protect your data.
  • Enable Two-factor authentication – Two-factor Authentication is an additional security layer on top of a device’s password that requires secondary authentication via email or SMS. When used properly, two-factor authentication can stop the bad guys from gaining access to your accounts and taking control of your IoT devices.
  • Most security breaches are caused internally. Training your employees is a vital process in network security. NSA offers Free Security Training. Schedule one of our expert solutions consultants to come out and present a workshop on Network Security to your employees.

Keeping your business’ network safe is an ongoing process. As the Internet of Things keeps growing, hackers are finding new and ingenious ways of getting ahold of your data. Let Network Security Associates’ Managed IT and Managed Cloud Services keep your network safe and give you peace of mind. Contact us today at www.nsa-nv.com or 702-547-9800.

Employee Independence: A Look Into the Benefits of Working from Home

Giving employees the option to work from home is the wave of the future. More and more companies are putting work-from-home protocol in place to help not only keep employees happy with a flexible work schedule, but also to help benefit the company as a whole in the long run. Recent studies have supported the idea that working from home—for the right people—can increase productivity and decrease stress. Research also suggests companies that encourage and support a work-from-home protocol actually save money in the long run. Here are a few highlights of this increasingly popular business model:

  • Employees are more productive. A  Stanford Business study found employees who work from home are 13% more productive compared to their in-office counterparts.
  • Employee retention is higher.Happier employees are more likely to stay in their current job than looking for another one. According to the Wall St. Journal, a high employee turnover rate can cost a business  “twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement.”
  • Absenteeism is reduced.Colds and flues can spread like wildfire throughout an office. With a work-from-home environment, employees are healthier and less likely to call in sick.

A work-from-home environment doesn’t have to be an all or nothing. It can be structured as you see fit. Start off with just a few days a month. Then, try a few days a week – whatever benefits you, your company and your employees.

The best way to transition your company to a work-from-home environment is by utilizing the cloud. A cloud-based service can offer an invaluable benefit, giving your employees the flexibility to access company data remotely and securely. Network Security Associates’ cloud-based services have many benefits. They are:

  • Reliable
  • Secure
  • Accessible anywhere
  • Scalable to your business
  • Affordable

For more information about our cloud-based services, visit www.nsa-nv.com or contact us at (702) 547-9800 today!

 

Password Protection Is Easier Than You Think

On June 10, 2019, Network Security Associate’s, Jeff Wagner, spoke at the Henderson Chamber Members breakfast, his presentation on network security focused on Password Protection.

Below is a short summary on how to create a strong password.

  • The longer the better
  • A mix of letters (upper and lower case)
  • Numbers & Symbols
  • No ties to personal information (tough one)
  • No dictionary words
  • The secret is to make passwords memorable but hard to guess

Using a password manager such as LastPass is a great tool for securing all the different password you need to keep track of. LastPass simplifies your online life by remembering your passwords for you. Using a password manager will make it easy to have a strong, unique password for every online account and improve your online security.

Check to see if you have a  strong password by going to  haveibeenpwned.com this site will check to see if your password has been compromised.

To learn more about network security and  password protection check out our blog article on Password Best Practices.

Microsoft Extended Support Ending Soon! Better Start Thinking about Upgrading Now

Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 end of life means that Microsoft will no longer improve the product, accept warranty claims, or provide non-security hotfixes.

Don’t wait until the last minute to update your Microsoft operating system, we highly recommend leaving 6 months of leeway between your projected finish date and January 14, 2020. Your data and security are too important to put at that kind of risk.

Contact us today for a FREE MIGRATION ASSESSMENT to see what is the best upgrade option for you and your business

What To Do Before the Microsoft Extended Support Ends in 2020

Contact Network Security Associates for a Free Migration Assessment of your Entire Computer Environment.

Network Security Associates will:

  • Identify computers that need to be upgraded or replaced
  • Identify and consider replacing legacy systems that  use an older operating systems and/or software with updated technology
  • Develop a timeline and budget for upgrades and replacements

Why do some companies fail their disaster recovery plan (DPR) audit?

Why do some companies fail their disaster recovery plan (DPR) audit? Perhaps because they did not get the right information for it. They say experience is the best teacher; thus, nothing beats what you can learn from real-world case studies. See what you can learn from the following case.

Hosting certain types of data and managing a government network legally bind you to maintain DRPs. After an audit of the Michigan Department of Technology and Budget, several failures led to a trove of helpful tips for small- and medium-sized businesses attempting to create a bulletproof disaster recovery plan.

  1. Update and test your plan frequently.
    What was one of the first and most obvious failures of the department’s DRP? It didn’t include plans to restore an essential piece of their infrastructure — the department’s intranet. Without it, the employees are unable to complete even the most basic of tasks.

The reason for the oversight? The last time the plan was updated was in 2011, leaving out more than six years of IT advancements. If annual revisions sound like too much work, just consider all of the IT upgrades and improvements you’ve made in this year alone. If they’re not accounted for in your plan, you’re destined to fail.

  1. Keep your DRP in an easy-to-find location
    It may seem a bit ironic that the best way to store your top-of-the-line business continuity solution is in a binder, but the Michigan Department of Technology and Budget learned the hard way that the alternatives don’t work. Auditors found the DRP stored on the same network it was meant to restore. Which means if something had happened to the network, the plan would be totally inaccessible.

Your company would do well to store electronic copies on more than one network in addition to physical copies around the office and off-site.

  1. Always prepare for a doomsday scenario
    The government office made suitable plans for restoring the local area network (LAN), but beyond that, there was no way for employees to get back to work within the 24-hour recovery time objective.

Your organization needs to be prepared for the possibility that there may not be a LAN to go back to. Cloud backups and software are the best way to keep everything up and running when your office is flooded or crushed beneath a pile of rubble. For more information on the benefits of the cloud go to www.nsa-nv.com/cloudservice.

 

Your DRP is more than just a pesky legal requirement. It’s the insurance plan that will keep you in business when disaster strikes. Network Security Associates professionals know the importance of combining both academic and real-world resources to make your plan airtight when either auditors or blizzards strike. Contact us today at www.nsa-com or 702-547-9800.