Posts Tagged ‘web security’

Tools for Browsing Safely

Posted on: March 29th, 2019 by jiml | No Comments

One of the more common ways that computer users pick up malware and viruses is through web browsing.  Often times, users are not trying to be malicious, they are trying to accomplish something constructive.  Perhaps they are searching for the latest update for Adobe Reader and click on the first link they see without checking to make sure the site is really Adobe.  If it is not a legitimate site, users can easily download viruses or malware unwittingly.  This malware can cause the business a loss of productivity and real dollars to combat and clean up. This scenario is repeated across businesses everywhere every day.

The good news is there are tools to help prevent this type of problem from occurring at your business.  We will focus on two in this post.  The first is our web protection tool. Web protection is a program that runs behind the scenes on your computers and compares Internet sites against a list of known bad sites or sites your company has chosen to block.  In the example above, the user would receive a message that the site they clicked on has been blocked for their protection. Web protection offers a lot of flexibility for a business.  Management can create different policies for different users.  For example, if a company wanted to block social media sites but allow it for their marketing team so company sites can be kept up to date, that is possible.  Not every user should have the same policies and web protection offers that flexibility.

There is another tool available as well for safer browsing called Application Guard. If you have Windows 10 and the appropriate hardware behind it, Application Guard can be activated within Microsoft’s Edge browser.  Application Guard will essentially open web pages in the Edge browser in a contained virtual environment. Anything that happens in the session stays within the session and dies with the session.  This means any malware infections would corrupt the virtual browser and not infect the computer itself.  Simply closing the Application Guard browser kills the virtual machine and any infections along with it.  In technical circles, Application Guard is referred to as a sandbox.  You can play in the sandbox and what happens there stays there. (Sounds like a catch phrase for a certain city in Nevada doesn’t it?)  Application Guard is not turned on by default and there is some thought that should be put behind it before deployment.

Interested in learning more? Please contact us at (888) 600-4560.

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The Holiday Season is Approaching. Is Your Web Site Ready?

Posted on: October 31st, 2015 by jiml | No Comments

As the holidays near there is invariable a focus on online shopping and how buyers can best protect themselves. In this months’ blog posting, we will be focusing on the ecommerce business and how they can best be prepared for the holiday online shopping season.

Make sure your website can be found

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a science but is an important component to making sure your web site is visible to the people your site is marketing to. There are many marketing organizations that will promise you that your site will be on the first page of Google searches if you contract them. Be wary. Google uses a number of metrics to determine placement and results are often accrued over time. If you want to immediately be visible, consider using Google AdWords. These are the sponsored links that you see when searching Google. We could dedicate an entire years’ worth of blog postings to Google AdWords, but the short take away is not to implement if you have not done your homework. The result could be a lot of wasted money. Know what your strategy will be before implementing, including where and when to advertise your site.

Also be sure to use accurate page descriptions when designing your web pages. This will help your site be found as Google uses this information in determining which sites to move up the list and which ones to move down. Many web developers do not take the time to fill this information out and it will affect your sites visibility. If you use a lot of product pictures, make sure they are tagged properly and have good descriptions as well.

Make your site eye-catching

There is a lot of competition out there on the Internet. Depending on which source you use, there are anywhere between half a billion and four billion web sites out there on the Internet. Customers have options for shopping. It is important to make your web site shopping experience eye-catching so that users stay and shop. Most users look at a site for a split second before deciding to stay and look around or move on. Using quality graphics is a must, use bullet points to make your text clear and readable.

Make your site easy to navigate and use

Customers want a positive experience on the web sites they use. Are your policies clear for things like returns or shipping policies? If possible have an easy to find “Chat” or “Help” button so users can get assistance if they need it. If your site does not have this, a hesitant customer will go to another website.

Use metrics

Capture as much information as you can from your customers shopping experiences. Use opt-in email for future marketing and be sure you have the ability to capture metrics for what sells and what does not, what verbiage is successful in capturing customers and what is not.

Make sure your site is secure

Security is often an afterthought for ecommerce companies. It needs to be a primary consideration. Are you using WordPress like 48% of the web sites out there? Are you aware of the vulnerabilities and do you keep your site patched? Are your plugins up to date? What do you know about the servers hosting your web site? Are you relying on someone else to understand and provide security? If so, you should realize that you are ultimately responsible for the security of your web site and the safety of your customers’ information.

Have questions? Call us at (888) 600-4560, email us, or see us on Facebook or Twitter and let our experts help your business.






Security on the Web

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by jiml | No Comments

Where does a majority of spam originate? My guess is most readers would put China or Russia at the top of your list. Here is a ranking compiled by Proofpoint, one of the largest security firms in the US that provides spam filtering for many of the Fortune 500 companies as well as Colden Company customers.

Spam Countries List

Who had Argentina on their list ahead of China and Russia? I, for one, did not. Proofpoint goes on to break down the spam senders by percentage and as you can see from the graph below, The European Union is – by a wide margin – the leading spammer.

Spam2

The full article from Proofpoint can be read at http://www.proofpoint.com/threatinsight/pdf/threat-report/Proofpoint-Threat-Report-May2014.pdf.

The point of the above statistics is not to diminish the threat from countries like China and Russia. On the contrary, it is to point out that the threats can come from anywhere and there are far more threats out there than you may realize.

There have been many recent high profile cases of exposure, such as eBay and Target being compromised, and of course the dreaded Crytpolocker virus which comes via spam email. This virus is still a serious threat and we recommend taking a proactive approach to educating users to the threats that exist.

Another recent threat exposed by Proofpoint was something called an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack that utilized a vulnerability in Internet Explorer (even up to the most current version, version 11). Phishing emails, designed to get the receiver to click on links to malicious sites to infect computers were sent out in bulk. This threat purportedly came from China.

While educating users is a necessary step in combating these attacks, what else can be done? Often anti-virus software is not enough to stop advanced viruses like Cryptolocker. Remember that anti-virus runs on your computer and searches for threats that are already there! Colden Company is offering two new services that can help protect your business from security threats like the ones listed above. The first is Web Protection which will be the subject of this post. The second is our Security Service offering which is a comprehensive security program for your business. More to come on that topic in subsequent posts.

Web Protection is essentially content filtering which allows your business to set guidelines for what is acceptable web content for your users to visit with some added security benefits. Our Web Protection package allows for the blocking of groups of sites like gambling sites or social media, while allowing for exceptions if you want to be able to update the company LinkedIn page, for example. Web Protection also allows for schedule setting so that you can, for example, block social media sites during working hours but allow them during lunch hour, giving you the flexibility to protect against productivity drain while allowing some leniency for employee satisfaction.

From a security standpoint, Web Protection does something else to safeguard your business. It has a continuously updated list of known bad sites that harbor malware and viruses and prevents your users from accidentally or purposefully accessing those bad sites. Often times, users contract malware innocently while attempting to perform very valid work. In those accidental cases or in the case of the phishing email in the example mentioned above, Web Protection steps in and prevent your user from going to the malicious site and contracting the virus or malware. Web Protection saves your business from those mistakes!

Ask us more about this service and we believe you will be shocked at how inexpensive it is to deploy and provide your business with an additional layer of much needed security protection. We can be reached at (888) 600-4560, at info@coldencompany.com, or see us on Facebook or Twitter (@coldenco) as well.