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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.

Hacking Doesn’t Take a Computer Science Degree

Hacking Doesn’t Take a Computer Science Degree

There’s a reason that cybercrime is so popular: it is no longer reserved for those with extensive programming knowledge to profit from. Now, according to a report by Deloitte entitled Black Market Ecosystem: Estimating the Cost of “Pwnership”, there is a complete economy built around easily accessible hacking tools that don’t require specialized knowledge to leverage.

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3 Ways Email Encryption Keeps Your Messages Safe

3 Ways Email Encryption Keeps Your Messages Safe

Encryption is a very important tool in today’s business environment, especially if you are trying to protect your email communications. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of using encryption for your business’ communications solutions, but without an understanding of what encryption actually is, the conversation might be a little harder to understand.

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The Internet of Things Continues to Expand

The Internet of Things Continues to Expand

The Internet of Things is now made up of over 15 billion devices. 15 billion. This number includes both consumer devices in a home environment as well as business devices that are typically used in an office setting. As such, you cannot risk ignoring this phenomenon, whether it’s from a security standpoint or one of practicality. We’ll discuss the many ways the IoT is shaping business practices in today’s modern office.

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Would You Fall for this Adult Scam if You Saw an Old Password?

Would You Fall for this Adult Scam if You Saw an Old Password?

As you may expect, the average Internet scammer isn’t above resorting to dirty tricks to claim their ill-gotten prize from their victims. A recent scam demonstrates just how dirty these tricks can truly be, and unfortunately, how ill-prepared many are to handle them.

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Save Money, Be Spied On?

Save Money, Be Spied On?

Although we’re in the habit of discussing ways to keep your business more secure, we unfortunately have to discuss how to keep yourself more secure against a business. Walmart recently filed a patent that could potentially be used to undermine the security of everyone there, from shoppers to employees. We took the time and dug into the jargon in the patent to give you a better look at the situation.

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The Blockchain May Soon Protect Your Entire Identity

The Blockchain May Soon Protect Your Entire Identity

Blockchain is one of the latest and greatest developments to come in computing. The spotlight is on Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and several other cryptocurrencies that take advantage of the blockchain, but it’s important to remember that it’s not exclusive to cryptocurrencies. In fact, it has several great uses, with some of the most important being cyber security, transparency, and privacy.

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How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Public Wi-Fi

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Public Wi-Fi

Someday, you’re going to encounter a situation where you absolutely need Wi-Fi and the only option will be a public connection. This becomes rather problematic, as a public Wi-Fi connection is far from secure for business purposes. A method to maximize productivity without compromising security is needed for every business that has employees working out of the office, but what’s the best way to do it?

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At What Point Does a Service Become Spyware?

At What Point Does a Service Become Spyware?

Spyware, like other malware, is a problem for any organization. Since your business generates, collects, and uses considerable amounts of data, there are plenty of organizations that want to get their hands on it. You spend so much time and money protecting your data against threats on the Internet, but what if the spyware were to just come standard on the computer you just bought?

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Links Discovered Between WannaCry and North Korea

Links Discovered Between WannaCry and North Korea

In a statement given by Tom Bossert, the homeland security adviser to the White House, blame for the WannaCry attacks leveraged from May 12th to the 15th in 2017 was attributed to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This assertion is in line with the conclusions that New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Japan have come to, according to Bossert.

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Credit Card Theft and Identity Theft are Not the Same Thing

Credit Card Theft and Identity Theft are Not the Same Thing

While many might see having a credit card stolen as identity theft, this is an oversimplification that can prove dangerous. While credit card theft can be an element of identity theft, equating the two means that other forms of identity theft are overlooked. In today’s blog, we’ll go over why identity theft and credit card theft aren’t exactly the same thing, and what you can do to help keep your business safe from damage.

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Google Is Becoming More Secure for Certain Users

Google Is Becoming More Secure for Certain Users

Google is taking steps to protect the data of a small group of its users who run the highest risk of experiencing a data breach or hack. This new service, the Advance Protection Program, shows promise in protecting the information that these select few can access.

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Hackers May Meet Their Match With AI

Hackers May Meet Their Match With AI

There are many organizations in the world that simply can’t have cybercriminals and hackers interfering with their data. One of these organizations, CERN (whose acronym translates to the European Laboratory for Particle Physics) has far too powerful of a computer grid to allow hackers to access it. To keep it safe, CERN has deployed what may be the future of cybersecurity: artificial intelligence.

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Your State Dictates Data Security Notifications… Will You Be Notified?

Your State Dictates Data Security Notifications… Will You Be Notified?

In the last few months, there have been several high-profile data security breaches that resulted in the theft of millions upon millions of non-public information records. Though much of the focus in the aftermath of the breaches was on personal identity theft and prevention, it’s important to keep in mind that not all the stolen data records target individuals. Business entities are also at risk. Vendors and partners that you do business with regularly will probably have record of your company’s non-public information, payment information, or tax ID number.

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Is Combining Mobile Apps and ATMs a Good Idea?

Is Combining Mobile Apps and ATMs a Good Idea?

ATMs are, surprisingly enough, not the most secure pieces of technology out there, though there are efforts to improve security by taking advantage of mobile devices. Granted, this won’t be enough to protect against the considerable vulnerabilities in ATMs. In order to maximize security and minimize the amount of damage done by vulnerabilities, the user needs to understand how to protect themselves while using ATMs.

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Don’t Be the Last to Learn of this LastPass Vulnerability

Don’t Be the Last to Learn of this LastPass Vulnerability

One of the major password managers out there, LastPass, has become the victim of a major vulnerability. Google researchers from the Zero Day Project discovered this, along with other flaws within LastPass.

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Do You Know Who Handles Regulatory Compliance for Your Business? You Should

Do You Know Who Handles Regulatory Compliance for Your Business? You Should

There will always be standards that must be upheld in regard to compliance and regulations, regardless of which industry your organization falls into. Still, considering the results of the 2016 State of Compliance survey, you’ll be shocked to hear that there are countless businesses out there that don’t understand what’s required of them.


Issued by Liaison Technologies, the survey analyzed 479 executives of medium-to-large-sized organizations in the United States. Out of those surveyed, 47 percent had no clue what the data compliance standards of their given industry were.

Naturally, this leads to some rather large problems for any organization. It’s crucial that you are both aware and understanding of the data compliance standards expected of your industry. If you were to experience a data breach or mishandle data, you would have some difficulty justifying why this is. You might even be gambling your organization’s future, especially considering the fact that a data breach made public can cause customers to shy away from your business in the future. After all, if clients thought you didn’t care enough to understand how to protect their data, why should they invest their time and capital in your organization?

It helps to think of it from the user’s perspective. If a company lost your data during a data breach or had it stolen by hackers, would you still want to do business with them? Only expect from others what you expect for yourself.

Still, this survey reveals that the aforementioned scenario isn’t just a coincidence, but is also something that happens all the time. For instance, take a look at the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This particular protocol was reported as “applicable” for only three percent of client responses, even though there are countless businesses that take advantage of cardholder data storage, processing, or transmission. There is clearly some sort of misunderstanding in regard to what exactly compliance is.

As if this wasn’t enough cause for concern, a quarter of the survey respondents admit to being “unsure” of who within their organization is responsible for security. This means that it’s likely these companies probably aren’t prepared to handle major security problems, and that they’re unprepared for worst-case scenarios. Even worse, 85 percent of respondents still felt secure, regardless of the state of their organization’s compliance standards.

We find this situation completely unacceptable, which is why we offer managed IT services--including data security and compliance--to SMBs. If you can’t tell us who is in charge of your network security and privacy, we can tell you who should be: Network Solutions Unlimited. To get started, give us a call at 217-428-6449.

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2 Problems that Come From Having Too Much New Technology

2 Problems that Come From Having Too Much New Technology

If your business is using the latest technology solutions, then you know how advantageous they are. Yet, a step in the right direction can often feel like two steps backward. This sometimes happens when businesses implement new technology solutions without considering the ramifications that they may cause for their other technology. Here are two ways that your new technology might be holding your organization back, or even putting your network at risk.


More Endpoints Means More Open Doors
Adding new devices to your business’s computing infrastructure, regardless of what they are (workstations, server units, mobile devices), can provide new outlets that hackers can take advantage of to access your network. Thus, you need to secure any and all devices on your network, regardless of whether or not they may be seen as a security issue. As seen by the attack on Dyn earlier this year, any device (even seemingly benign Internet of Things devices) can be used to initiate attacks, so you must plan accordingly.

This is an especially important thing to consider when considering mobile devices for your organization. Since hackers can take advantage of workstations and server units to break into your infrastructure, mobile devices are also a cinch for them. Therefore, you need to consider security a priority for your mobile devices, and apply the necessary patches and security updates. A mobile device management solution makes it easy for your business to control which devices and apps can access sensitive data. You can whitelist and blacklist applications, as well as remotely wipe devices that have been lost or stolen.

More Software Means More Upgrades
You may implement a new software solution with the intention of improving operations, but this addition also comes with some shortcomings. Your new software solution will require patches and security updates, which is both fine and expected. However, what happens to your old solutions? Do they accumulate on your network? Are they still getting the patches and security updates that are needed? Furthermore, every single new software solution you implement needs these patches and security updates, which can quickly create a lot of work that you may or may not have time to handle yourself. It’s simply not acceptable to miss out on these important updates.

One way you can make this responsibility more manageable is by considering a remote monitoring and maintenance solution. Network Solutions Unlimited can remotely monitor and maintain your software, which includes the deployment of patches and security updates, as well as monitoring for critical deficiencies that could cause problems down the road. This proactive approach to IT maintenance will resolve many of the issues corresponding with your technology, and can prevent costly downtime from dragging your organization down.

To learn more, reach out to us at 217-428-6449.

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How to Make Sure That Your Business is HIPAA Compliant

How to Make Sure That Your Business is HIPAA Compliant

While the explosion of technological advancement has been great for business, it’s become more challenging than ever before to keep sensitive information safe--even if all you use is an Internet connection. Even small healthcare offices are feeling the effects of this proliferation of threats and malware as they struggle to keep their organizations secure and compliant with government agencies.


Since their inception, traditional filing storage systems have been at constant threat of user error, document destruction, and theft. In recent years, the filing systems put into place by healthcare organizations have become more streamlined than the traditional file cabinet, and due to their nature of being connected digital systems, the increase in security concerns is problematic. Hackers are aware the type of data that healthcare organizations store, and are even more aware that they can make a ton of cash with it.

In particular, hospitals are major targets of hacking attacks. Ransomware is a huge threat to all organizations, but to a hospital it could be a death knell. Hospitals require data in order to care for their patients, and if that data isn’t available, lives are put at risk. This makes hospitals most likely to pay for the safe return of their files, as they have little choice in the matter when their patients and their data are targeted. The same can be said for large enterprises, which might see paying for the safe return of their data as the more viable solution compared to their other choices.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your business HIPAA compliant.

  • Use data backup and disaster recovery: You need to make sure that your organization has tools that can back up your data and restore it at a later date. This means that you need to have a recovery point objective and a recovery time objective. You should make sure that your data is stored both on-site and off-site, just in case you need a last-minute restore.
  • Implement enterprise-level security solutions: Chances are that regardless of what industry your business falls into, you collect some sensitive information that needs to be protected at all costs. Firewalls, antivirus, spam blocking, and content filtering cannot be afterthoughts--they are practically crucial if you want to optimize your network’s chances against threats. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution is a great way to take advantage of these preventative security solutions.
  • Use encryption: There are times when organizations won’t see the need to encrypt their data, simply because they may already have security measures put into place that seem to be perfectly fine. While HIPAA doesn’t necessarily require that your organization use encryption, it’s still highly recommended. Encryption makes it so that any stolen data is practically impossible to decipher.
  • Consult IT professionals: Your organization focuses on a specific craft, one that may not have anything to do with IT security. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to outsource this responsibility to IT professionals whose sole responsibility is the security of your IT infrastructure. Any technician worth your time will be able to tell you a thing or two about HIPAA compliance.

If your business is finding HIPAA compliance difficult, Network Solutions Unlimited would be happy to assist you. We’ll find ways that your organization can optimize your infrastructure for HIPAA compliance. To learn more, reach out to us at 217-428-6449.

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A Law From 1986 Shouldn’t Govern Email Privacy in 2016

A Law From 1986 Shouldn’t Govern Email Privacy in 2016

Are you familiar with the protections in place that ensure that your digital communications remain private? What’s keeping an entity like the government from going through your emails? In the United States, the government uses a loophole in an outdated law to access the digital information they want from its citizens. If you’re concerned about privacy, you need to be informed about such laws and loopholes.

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The Super-Creepy Reason Why You’ll Want to Secure Your Surveillance Camera

b2ap3_thumbnail_dvr_iot_issues_400.jpgWith approximately 5.5 million new devices being connected to the Internet everyday, the Internet of Things presents the biggest security challenge to date for IT professionals. Essentially, an IoT device that’s not secured can easily fall prey to hackers, and with so many different devices being connected, it’s easy to overlook a device or two, like your security cameras.

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