2018 … And The Beat Goes On

Unless you’ve been living under a “digital rock” lately, you’ve undoubtedly heard about this year’s major security flaws called “Meltdown” and “Spectre”. They’ve been all over the blogs and news and put at risk just about every PC, server and smartphone because they affect all operating systems (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS, FreeBSD and others).

The vulnerabilities were found in Intel, ARM and AMD processors that power most devices today and could allow hackers to steal passwords, encryption keys and other data.

It’s only a few days into the new year and we now have a major crisis at hand…but wait, that’s not all!

Microsoft recently released patches to fix 16 critical flaws including a Zero-Day exploit. So, while most people are concentrating on the big story of the day, cyber-criminals are quietly poking more holes in our systems. It is a never ending cyber-war.

Remember, most exploits happen when an attacker tricks an unwary user into opening an infected email attachment or visiting a compromised web page. So, it is very important to keep your cyber-defenses up:

  • Be wary of email attachments from people you don’t know or are not expecting messages from.
  • The same goes for links in emails. If clicked, many will force you to go to an infected website where malware will automatically download to your system.
  • Always make sure your PCs, servers and third-party applications are updated and patched.
  • Make sure your anti-virus is updated and never operate your device without one. Also, run scans frequently.
  • Don’t allow anyone to operate their workstation with administrative privileges.
  • ALWAYS back up your systems and check to make sure they are viable. Nothing is worse than to find out that your backup system failed when you need it the most.

People are the weakest link in security and that’s why cyber-criminals rely heavily on social engineering tactics (i.e. phish emails, spear phishing, etc.) to get users to click infected links or download compromised attachments. Therefore, it is very important that you educate employees on how to keep your company safe.

Remember: No matter how much you spend on cybersecurity or how good your computer defenses are, one single click by you or one of your employees can compromise your whole network in an instant.


XSolutions is an Elite Partner of Datto, the world leader in Hybrid-Cloud Business Continuity solutions whose systems protect 300+ Petabytes of data with over 800 employees and 9 offices around the globe. Call (845) 362-9675 and let us introduce you to the ultimate defense against data loss—whatever the cause.