Category: Best Practices

2021 the end of Adobe Flash Player

Jan 3, 2021 by Patrick

If you have been using the Internet for a long time you will remember websites having flashy pictures and videos, this occurred because of Adobe Flash Player. Flash Player was used on a lot of sites, so many that Google included it in Chrome, but soon it will be a distant memory much like AOL’s dial-up service.

The company Adobe has set a firm date of January 12th 2021 as the official end of life (EOL).

If you recently updated Flash Player, you will have a version that will provide warnings to uninstall the application. Like all software updates to security are released, but this will be the last version/security update being released. Over the past few years Flash Player has been vulnerable to attacks on holes found in the code.

Adobe will be making every effort to warn users to remove the software.

What will most likely happen. If you go to a website and they have an ad created using Flash Player, the ad will detect your browser will view a Flash video. What you do not realize is embedded in the ad could be malicious software to attack your computer. Home users, be sure to remove Flash Player.

Businesses, if one computer on your network is running Flash Player after January 12, you risk your entire network and data to be potentially compromised. Be sure your IT consultant or IT staff remove Flash Player before this date.

With our Managed Service plans for home and businesses, we have the ability to remove outdated software as well as ensure computers and servers are update to date.

P.S. Also, if you’ve not received my eBook on a few important IT Security Basics, request it here for free.

Do You Know Your Top 5 Security Threats?

Aug 31, 2020 by Patrick

Half the battle for privacy and data security can be won simply by knowing what the enemy is up to…

Hackers target the most vulnerable…

Companies have discovered the cost efficiency of the work-from-home model, while data thieves have busied themselves by stealing from naive employees!

Here are the TOP 5 SECURITY THREATS you need to be aware of…

  1. PHISHING (Sending you emails designed to take over your computer).

    I agree, this is a major threat. Even the trained security professional can’t always tell what’s real, and what’s an attack.

    The good news…when destructive software hits your computer we can usually see it with the right detection technology in place.
  2. RANSOMWARE – taking your computer hostage.

    Again, I agree this is a major threat. The media has made us somewhat numb to it… however, don’t be fooled.

    Hackers can easily hit you with a ransom request if you’re not well protected against them.
  3. CLOUD VULNERABILITIES…well, cloud isn’t an attack or threat.

    Most of the attacks (over 50%) over the past 12 months involved the cloud.

    The fact is, people falsely believe they don’t need greater protection because they are in the cloud. Your phone, laptop, or desktop (when using the cloud) is the place hackers will attack.

    Remember, your data is not encrypted when working on it – the end node is a key part of your network and must be protected.
  4. GDPR – again this isn’t an attack or threat either – it’s a new law from our friends in Europe… 


Compliance in general has changed the way we look at security – in many cases its lulled small business owners into a false sense of security.

Being PCI, HIPAA, or GDPR compliant, in no way says, your data is safe. Check the boxes, then assess risk, finally, secure the data.

CRYPTO-MINING. This one is an attack…having your computer taken over to process cryptocurrency illegally.

Crypto-mining will eat up your bandwidth, computing power…even point to you as the perp!

Crypto-miners take over systems and use them for their crime…make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Some simple tests can tell us if your system is being used for this type of crime.

P.S. To sign up for our news and tips sign up here.

Did You Know, Deleting Files Does not Actually Destroy The Data?

Jul 17, 2020 by Patrick

You can use a hammer, soak your computer in water (or gasoline), etc. 

But deleting data often leaves the data intact, meaning your buyer on eBay, or your local dumpster diver now has your data. 

Especially now in a work-from-home world, employees are dealing with high quantities of sensitive data sent to their personal devices for temporary use…

Of course, they are instructed to delete after use…or securely store.

Unfortunately, most do not know how to do this.

Many are sharing a server with their gaming teenager…

Suddenly, company data is available via an unsecured server to every gamer their teen is chatting with…

Whether you are replacing your device or simply using it at home on a personal network, it’s critical to understand secure methods for wiping data from your devices. 

There is no telling how long employees will continue working from home, unsupervised, with sensitive data coming and going from their mobile devices and computers.

Educate now – prevent disaster down the road.

Read more HERE about how to securely dispose of data on personal devices.

P.S. To sign up for our news and tips sign up here.

Cyber security 101 – Work from home

May 31, 2020 by Patrick

In March 2020 the world of working changed, COVID-19 forced many people and businesses began working from home. Employees and businesses were not the only the ones to adjust the way the worked. Hackers have gone into high gear launching new scams and attacks.

Cyber security has become very important and a lot of people, including businesses have not taken precautionary measures to protect from these new tactics. Some people are using their home computers to work, do you have adequate protection, is your company network safe?

Cyber Security Basics 101:

Encryption: Should your computer be stolen, encryption ensures the thief cannot view the content of your hard drive.

Virus protection: One trick hackers are doing is sending a lot more spam. Malware and viruses are often used interchangeably, you do not want either to infect your computer. Does your computer detect malware and viruses?

Update the big three (JAM): The following vendors should be update: Java, Adobe, and Microsoft. The biggest problems occur when one of these three is not up to date. Is there a computer still running Windows 7, Windows should be running at least Windows 10.

Device protection: It is just good practice to keep track of your devices, know where they are at all times.

Passwords: Make a practice of changing your passwords on the following devices: computer, router, and WiFi. If you live close to your neighbors the WiFi password is verify critical. Do not let others share your internet, you are responsible for the actions, especially the bad actions!

Router/Firewall: How old is your device? Have you updated the software on the device?

Virtual Private Network (VPN): This will create a tunnel between your location and your office. The communication is secured by encrypting it so even if you are sharing WiFi (coffee shop or hotel) no one can see it.

If you have any questions on how to achieve any of these or anything else feel free to reach out to DK Systems at 414-764-4465 today.

Work From Home

Mar 19, 2020 by Patrick

Recently America had a major event happen. As a result of this many large employers are requiring employees to work from home. I will be adding to this article as my time permits.

If you are not a large company you maybe asking what options do I have. This blog will go over what you need so your employees and yourself can work from home.

Phone:

Many businesses have moved to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Instead of using the traditional phone that has a PBX or landlines in a business they take advantage of the Internet. The pros out way the cons. Probably the biggest con with VoIP phones if the Internet goes down, you have no access phones. The pro side has many more benefits including: you can add a cell phone as a fail over (internet goes down calls go to a cell phone), you can take your phone anywhere, just plug it into an Internet port on your router, and international calls can be much cheaper.

Now the question you are probably thinking about more than phones.

How do I access all of my applications and data?

This answer will take a little more explaining because there are different options available. Ask three different IT consultant you may get three different answers. So this will hopefully provide you a little more knowledge.

Cloud apps, a lot has been talked about moving your data to the Cloud. It does make life easier because you can access your data from anywhere. A couple of downsides, security your information sits on someone else’s server that you have no access to, if you want to get your information back the vendor makes it difficult for you to switch back, and if the Internet goes down you cannot access your data.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) this provides a secure connection either between two offices or an end user and the main office. This option may require a different router/firewall. If you are using AT&T they make things a little more difficult to set up VPNs. Another important aspect is your Internet speed, AT&T DSL may work fine for one user, but after that it things might get slower. Spectrum and fiber optic Internet speed is much better.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), is a protocol that allows you to access your computer remotely, with this you now have all of your resources, applications, printers, data, etc. RDP provides a faster connection because it is only sending screen updates back and forth, your PC in your office is doing all the work. In the past consultants would do a port forward so when you typed in your public IP address it would forward to the computer you wanted. Today this is very dangerous as there is a vulnerability and there are bots just trying to exploit this. Today DK Systems will not open up your port to the Internet, instead we integrate VPN and RDP for a secure connection. If your IT consultant offers to open your router/firewall to allow RDP through you need to look for a new consultant.

Cloud based remote access. This is a nice option and there are many to choose from. You install an agent on the computer you would like access to, go home sign into a website and you have access to your computer similar to RDP. Some examples: Splashtop, TeamViewer, LogMeIn, etc. When looking at these options watch for concurrent connections, some may allow you to install this on several PCs, but only access one at a time.

Here at DK Systems we are available to help you set up your work from home solution. Call today to speak to someone: 414-764-4465

Ransomware, how to recover

Mar 13, 2018 by Patrick

For your business to be successful, you rely on the data to succeed, which lends itself to the fact that your organization needs to have some sort of security measures put into place to guarantee its safety. According to research 2018 is thought to be the year of ransomware, so is your business should prepare to deal with it. One of the best ways to deal with ransomware is to ensure that your company has a plan to restore data affected by ransomware.

Explaining Ransomware
It is one of the most brutal developing threats, ransomware is a type of malware that can encrypt the files found on a device so that they’re inaccessible by the user.  Files impacted can be spreadsheets, Word documents, QuickBook files, and photos, this malware can also infect system files making your system inoperable. The instigator of the attack will then demand payment for the files to be decrypted, paying this in no way guarantees your files will be returned. There have been several recent successful ransomware campaigns like WannaCry, Cryptolocker, and Petya, because of their success, these types of attack continue to rise.

The Future
Ransomware will continue to increase in popularity throughout the rest of 2018 and beyond. One of the key focal points for ransomware-using cybercriminals is efficiency, as well as creating initiatives and campaigns that will work throughout the year. In 2017 we saw the rise of readily available ransomware kits that allowed anyone to implement ransomware without knowing the technical details behind it. For a little more money services such as a  ransomware-for-hire were available for those who wanted to use it without going all-in on the campaign themselves. The end result was to make ransomware more accessible for those who wanted to take advantage of it. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that ransomware will use more advanced technologies in the future, as well. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning could potentially allow for more effective means of ransomware distribution, which could become a bigger problem down the line.

But Ransomware is not the only Issue
Ransomware is just the tip and there is much more. The most dangerous threats are often the ones found within your own office. Your business’ data will always be at risk due to its users, the ones who rely on it most. Some examples of what can happen: accidentally delete a file, click on an email attachment, or even save a file incorrectly.  These are the unmalicious intended issues that can happen.  If you have never lost data, consider yourself lucky.

Despite the overwhelming odds stacked against you, it is just as likely that your organization could suffer from a hardware failure as a hacking attack, perhaps even more likely. If a natural disaster strikes, for example, there’s little you could do to actually stop a tornado, flooding, lighting strikes, or a power surge.

Solving the Problem
The best way to prevent unexpected troubles like a natural disaster, data breach, or hardware failure is to implement a data backup and disaster recovery solution from DK Systems. We can provide you with a solution that can regularly update backups and make changes to them as often as every fifteen minutes. This minimizes data loss and allows you to restore backups within a moment’s notice.

To learn more, reach out to us at 414-764-4465 option 1.

Tip of the Week: Crucial Pieces of HIPAA Compliance

Mar 7, 2018 by Patrick

If your business requires you to store medical data, you should be aware of how important your data security is, as a problem could potentially put your business at risk of closing up shop permanently. Security has to be a priority with so many regulations setting compliance standards that must be followed. How can you balance the effectiveness of your business without undermining its security?

Regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) cause your business to have to work to remain compliant. However, this work becomes easier if you formulate your storage of sensitive materials–including medical records, to meet these regulations. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some steps you can take to optimize your basic business security.

Encrypt your Data
Surprisingly, HIPAA doesn’t dictate that your business data be encrypted. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect to implement encryption, as it may just save your bacon if you are the target of an attempted data breach. When data is encrypted, it is scrambled so that it can only be properly viewed with an encryption key. A solid, military-grade encryption should be enough to discourage the average hacker.

Protect Your Data with Comprehensive Security Measures
Would you rather stop an attack before it affects you, or wait until your infrastructure has been compromised? If you’re like most people, you’d select the first option, which means that you want to make sure that you have a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution in place. This solution leverages a firewall, content filter, antivirus and spam protection to protect your company and its assets. While this doesn’t render your company impervious to threats, they greatly reduce the number of them that you have to worry about.

Restrict User Access Based on Roles
It stands to reason that the more people who have access to something, the likelier it is for threats to get in, too. However, limiting a user’s access to the resources they need to complete their work helps to cut down on your potential exposure. This is especially important in an industry that is as data-heavy as healthcare, with records as extensive as medical ones are.

If your business handles sensitive information like medical records, you may not be compliant to industry regulations, and become subject to fines. DK Systems is here to help by ensuring that your data is secure and you meet all compliances that may apply to you. Give us a call at 414-764-4465 option 1 to learn more.

Overburdened Business Owners Should Consider Managed IT

Mar 5, 2018 by Patrick

It is no secret that a business owner has more than enough to deal with, regardless of that business’ size.  I know I am the owner of DK Systems and no what you are going through.

Whether the business has 10 employees or 100, the business owner has to deal with the stress of managing the day-to-day operations, along with any other issues that may pop up. I am sure I am not alone dealing with financial concerns it can contribute considerably to that stress.

For instance, an owner needs to keep their finger on their organization’s budgetary pulse so they can be sure that cash is flowing as it should be, not just in, through invoices and bills, but also out, through payroll and operative costs. These matters must all be tracked to ensure that the business’ finances are all in order. It would not be very helpful if a business’ power was shut off, which is precisely what would happen if the electric bill went unpaid.

There is more to managing a business than just the financial aspects of it, a business is made up of employees who will seek out leadership from their employer, the business owner. An owner needs to walk the fine line where they are seen as a resource for employees to turn to, but also as a motivator for these same employees to remain focused on the task at hand. There also needs to be an effort on the part of the owner to keep their employees happy, comfortable, and engaged, as this will help benefit the staff’s collective productivity.

Those employees who seek to excel will need to be provided with the opportunity to grow professionally, while underperforming employees will need to have their behavior analyzed so that the issue can be identified and resolved so that company time and resources are not being wasted. These matters commonly travel up the chain of command to reach the owner, especially if an employee’s poor performance becomes a Human Resources issue.

Of course, a business cannot function without its clients, and so that is another area that an owner must devote their attention to. A business exists to provide goods and/or services to their clientele and customer base, and in order for the business to do so, there should be a culture of respect and professionalism when dealing with clients. It is a business owner’s job to encourage that kind of environment, observing that business processes are followed and promises are fulfilled post haste.

Additionally, a modern business will need technology in order to properly function, which in turn needs to be maintained so it remains in secure operation. To keep these maintained, an owner needs to make sure that their resources are all up to date and accounted for, all patches and security updates applied, and that their backup solution is tested.

Lastly, a business owner has a life outside of the business to attend to as well. Familial responsibilities and private matters come in and create friction that will often seep into the workplace, and vice versa. Totaled up, that is some considerable pressure that the manager has to contend with.

DK Systems can help to relieve some of that pressure by managing your organization’s IT on your behalf. That way, you can go about business, secure in the knowledge that your IT will be ready to enable your success, with the support you will need if things don’t work out. For more information, give us a call at 414-764-4465 option 1.