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Network Solutions Unlimited Blog

Network Solutions Unlimited has been serving the Decatur area since 2013, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

SMBs Are Never Too Small for Hackers

SMBs Are Never Too Small for Hackers

Small businesses often fall into the trap of thinking that they are too small to be attacked. This misconception could ultimately cost your business too much. The fact of the matter is that all businesses have data that is worth something to hackers, and we’re here to prove it to you and offer a solution to this dilemma.

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Mobile Malware Is Becoming a Bigger Problem

Mobile Malware Is Becoming a Bigger Problem

There was a time when people didn’t have to worry about getting computer viruses on their cell phones. Nowadays, with the exponential growth of mobile technologies, including application development options, mobile malware has become a problem, and it can be a big problem for your business. Today, we’ll take a look at the growing mobile malware market, from the threats to what you can do to keep it from being a problem for you.

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Poking at Spear Phishing

Poking at Spear Phishing

Hopefully, you’ve heard of phishing at this point: the method cybercriminals use to scam their targets by impersonating someone that their targets would trust, requesting access credentials or other sensitive information. Did you know that there are specific kinds of phishing? Here, we’ll review one of the biggest risks to your business... spear phishing.

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USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

Network security is a priority for modern organizations of all kinds… after all, threats don’t often discriminate between the computer networks that they try to access. One kind of organization that should be especially diligent is the modern college or university. There are many different kinds of sensitive data stored there, including the personal, medical, and financial trifecta, along with intellectual property.

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Down and Out in Cyberspace

Down and Out in Cyberspace

There has been a lot made in the media about the effect that movies and television has had on society. More often than not, the media that is produced is a result of the ebbs and flows that happen in society, which ironically makes the whole notion that television and movies affect society an interesting paradox. The ludicrous portrayal of criminality in media is one issue that is resoundingly debated by lawmakers and sociologists, alike.

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This Scammer Raid Proves Just How Useful Monitoring Can Be

This Scammer Raid Proves Just How Useful Monitoring Can Be

It can be easy to underestimate the importance of monitoring your solutions, to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. However, the benefits of persistent monitoring were recently thrust into the spotlight, when 24 spammers were arrested in October by the Delhi Police’s cyber cell for impersonating Microsoft support staff and duping American citizens.

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Here Is a List of this Year’s Most Devastating Hacks

Here Is a List of this Year’s Most Devastating Hacks

Every business owner needs to consider how to approach network security. This is especially true with the litany of threats that face their organization’s network from simply being connected to the Internet. It may sound like an overstatement at first, but when you consider what some huge corporations--that have some very deep pockets--have dealt with very recently, it becomes evident that figuring out how to approach cybersecurity is one of the most important considerations any business owner has to make.

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Getting to Know Technology: Hackers

Getting to Know Technology: Hackers

It doesn’t matter how much of a technology novice someone is, chances are, they’ve heard the term “hacker” before. A favorite character trope of Hollywood films and television dramas, these cybercriminals have appeared in productions like Die Hard and Mr. Robot with varying degrees of accuracy. Below, we explore what makes a hacker, and the kinds that exist in reality.

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Despite Blockchain Security, Cryptocurrency Has Thieves Too

Despite Blockchain Security, Cryptocurrency Has Thieves Too

Cryptocurrencies are still one of the better known uses of blockchain technology, and though their values seem to have leveled off since the explosive growth they experienced a few months ago, that has not stopped people from seeking them out. Of course, where there’s money to be had, you’re sure to find cybercriminals.

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Can You Spot the Bait in a Phishing Attack?

Can You Spot the Bait in a Phishing Attack?

Hackers are always trying to find creative and new ways to steal data and information from businesses. While spam (unwanted messages in your email inbox) has been around for a very long time, phishing emails have risen in popularity because they are more effective at achieving the desired endgame. How can you make sure that phishing scams don’t harm your business in the future?

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It’s Decided: You’re More Likely to be Phished than Breached

It’s Decided: You’re More Likely to be Phished than Breached

Few security problems are more dangerous than a network breach. Considering how much you could lose from an unexpected bout with a hacker, it’s no surprise that businesses are concerned. Yet, even some of the most troublesome threats like phishing attacks are often ignored. A new study introduces the groundbreaking thought that phishing attacks should be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind regarding network security.

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Virginia To Upgrade Voting Machines. Hopefully Other States Follow Suit

Virginia To Upgrade Voting Machines. Hopefully Other States Follow Suit

The 2016 United States presidential election was an ugly one for multiple reasons--chief among them the accusation that hacked voting machines could have altered the outcome of the election significantly. Thankfully, there are steps being taken to alleviate the worries that third parties might alter the outcome of such important events.

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Social Media: The Most Effective Tool for Phishing Scams

Social Media: The Most Effective Tool for Phishing Scams

One thing that both fishing and phishing have in common is the use of lures. With the right lure, the chance of successfully catching the target improves. When it comes to the digital lures seen in phishing scams, research shows that social media is the most effective.

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9 Types of Hackers You Need to Know About

9 Types of Hackers You Need to Know About

When you hear the term “hacker,” what do you imagine? You likely see what many see, a lone user hunched over a computer, creating chaos for chaos’ sake. However, this is a dangerously narrow view of those who qualify as “hackers.”

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How a Single Data Breach Can Cost You Millions of Dollars

How a Single Data Breach Can Cost You Millions of Dollars

With all of the major data breaches making the news these days, it’s not very surprising when you hear about a new one. However, what is surprising is just how much the average cost per breach has skyrocketed in recent years. The cost of data breaches is up 29 percent since 2013, which equates to roughly $4 million per data breach.


This sobering statistic is from a recent study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM Data. In it, 283 international companies that experienced a major data breach were examined. Here are some more findings from the study:

  • The United States leads in terms of sheer overall cost of breaches by record value. The value per record is $223 on average. In total, the average cost of a data breach in the United States was roughly $7.01 million.
  • Particular industries, like healthcare, education, and finance, have a higher value per record at $355, $246, and $221 respectively.
  • 48 percent of all data breaches were the result of malicious intent, like hacking attacks and network infiltrations.
  • Encryption and other security protocol decrease the costs of data breaches by up to $16/record.
  • How quickly a company responded to the security breach had a positive impact on the overall cost of the breach.
  • There’s a 26 percent chance that an enterprise will be hit by one or more data breaches of over 10,000 records within the next two years.

It’s important to keep in mind that this study doesn’t track the reputation fallout that a business experiences after news of their data breach goes public. This includes future customers choosing another business, as well as losing clientele. It’s difficult to put a number to factors like these, but one thing’s for sure; it will certainly be a major loss for any business that experiences a data breach. Reasons like these are why the average business that fails to recover their lost data after a breach will go out of business within one year of the incident.

Do you think that you’ve got what it takes to bounce back from a costly data breach? If you’re unprepared and you don’t have a proper data backup solution or your business continuity plan is inadequate, then you’re in for a world of hurt.

Therefore, how much should you invest in a quality data backup solution? Before you make your decision, consider three more relevant points of interest from the study.

Cost per record from data theft due to malicious intent: $236. This is data that’s considered lost or stolen due to hacking attacks like ransomware or viruses. This category is virtually limitless with thousands of new strains of malware released on the Internet every single day.
Cost per record from data loss due to hardware failure: $213. This is data that’s lost due to system malfunction or hardware failure, like a server or workstation crashing unexpectedly. The good news; hardware failure is relatively easy to safeguard yourself against if you follow best practices and perform routine maintenances on all of your equipment.
Cost per record from data loss due to human error: $197. This is data that’s lost due to the actions of the user. It could be from intentional actions like sabotage by a disgruntled employee, but it’s often accidental, like moving a file to the wrong place or deleting something important. The best way to protect yourself from human error is by educating everybody who accesses your company’s data; a tall task if your staff consists of computer novices.

The takeaway from all of this is that your data is perhaps worth more than what you realized. Therefore, you need to protect your company with solutions that can minimize the risk of threats and help you bounce back quickly, should a breach ever occur. Network Solutions Unlimited has the enterprise-level security solutions that you need, like firewall, antivirus, spam-blocking, content filtering, backup and disaster recovery, and more, to ensure your business won’t be derailed by an unforeseen data breach. To learn how we can best protect you, call us today at 217-428-6449.

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Threat Spotlight: How to Stop Brute Force Attacks

Threat Spotlight: How to Stop Brute Force Attacks

Hackers of all shapes and sizes use brute force attacks to gain access into accounts and infrastructures, but do you know how they work and what your business can do to protect against them? Failing to understand brute force attacks could put sensitive information in the crosshairs of hackers, and leave it vulnerable to ongoing attacks.


What Are Brute Force Attacks?
A brute force attack consists of a hacker repeatedly assaulting a login form with credentials at an incredible rate, hoping to crack the code and gain access without knowing the password to the account or system login. Most brute force attacks are performed by an algorithm that’s designed to rapidly input thousands upon thousands of credentials every second, hence the term “brute force.” Since it takes a more deliberate and frontal assault, rather than using a discrete or intellectual path, it’s considered more straightforward and forceful. Though there are many types of brute force attacks, one of the most common is called a dictionary attack, where password attempts are systematically generated with popular words pulled from the dictionary in order to access the system.

Why They’re a Problem
McAfee Security reports that in 2015, brute force attacks accounted for about 25 percent of all online hacks, second only to Denial of Service attacks. Perhaps this is due to how straightforward these attacks are, since they are deliberate attacks that don’t require skirting around security measures. Those behind brute force attacks know that they will be caught, which makes them particularly dangerous, since all caution is thrown to the wind and forgotten. These types of attacks are used to access accounts or system infrastructures in order to steal credentials like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other data.

Plus, brute force attacks can be used to install a rootkit on a device, or turn a PC into a zombie bot. It’s not uncommon for brute force attacks to be used as a jumping-off point for other major threats.

What to Do
A security solution that can lock out users based on IP location or failed login attempts is one way to protect your business from brute force attacks, but if the attacker is executing the campaign with a botnet, these measures will be limited in their ability to protect you. Botnets consist of several infected computers with various IP addresses, acting as individual users, thus rendering your security measures useless.

One other technology that can be effective at eliminating brute force attacks is two-factor authentication. In addition to your password, two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security. Basically, if hackers don’t have access to your physical device or a secondary email account, they won’t be able to get the second code required to access your account or infrastructure. Two-factor authentication is a great asset in general, so it’s worth taking into consideration regardless of what type of business you’re running.

Your business should be equipped to handle all types of online threats, particularly those which are dangerous and present a significant threat. Network Solutions Unlimited can help your business integrate solutions designed to maximize your organization’s security and continuity. To learn more, give us a call at 217-428-6449.

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Alert: New Petya Ransomware Spreads via Fake Online Resumes

Alert: New Petya Ransomware Spreads via Fake Online Resumes

Next time you see an unsolicited resume in your email, it’s worth scrutinizing before you just click on it. It could be a nasty new ransomware called Petya.

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Prevent Being Taken By Familiarizing Yourself With These 4 Social Engineering Tips

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_risks_of_doing_business_400.jpgDid you know that some of the most successful hackers actually know very little about computer coding? In many cases, a hacker simply tricking someone into handing over their personal information works out even better for them. This is a tactic known as social engineering, and the only way to defend against it is to stay one step ahead of the hacker’s devious plans.

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