Cyber Security Chicago is an important part of business strategy! Making sure you and your company are protected from data theft, data destruction or data breech consider an IT Security partner that can give you the plans the tools and resources to never be in a situation where you wake up one day and find out your data has been compromised or stolen. A good Cyber Security Company in Chicago will have the right answers to make sure your data is not breached.

Your data is valuable and is the foundation of your business. That’s why annual IT Audits and IT Security Assessments are key to any successful business plan. But don’t mistake an audit for security its simply a tool to help understand where weaknesses can be exploited and open your company data up to theft and destruction!

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11 Jun 2018

Is someone in your Business IT Network that shouldn’t be?

IT Data is Valuable

Treat your data like money and assume people want it!

Tell-Tale Signs Someone is Accessing Your Data through your IT Network That Shouldn’t Be and What You Can Do About It

Do you know how to tell if a hacker is accessing your business IT network? Do you know how to keep data secure from hackers in your business network? Maybe you have a vague idea, but don’t really have a clear grasp on it. Or maybe you haven’t got a clue. Then this is the article for you.

It’s very rare that a hacker can access a business IT network without leaving any clues. Usually the biggest tip they’re going to leave results in the amount of bandwidth they use, because they are either downloading confidential data or uploading some form of malware. So the first step in deciphering if someone is accessing your data that shouldn’t be is by staying aware of your bandwidth usage.

Keep Data Secure From Hackers In Your Business IT Network: Monitoring Your IT Network

This can be done by using bandwidth usage monitoring software. Most operating systems have this built right into their connection information. Most firewalls are capable of giving you more in depth information about which programs are using up bandwidth, as well as blocking any programs you don’t want to allow accessing the internet.

It is also vital to know which users are accessing the data on your network. This too is something you can find out via your operating system. There is usually a utility located somewhere in the administrative tools that allows you to grant or take away administrative access to various users. You also can grant or take away individual file access to various users via that file’s properties, as long as you are the owner of that file.

Another tell-tale sign that someone is accessing your data through your IT Network that shouldn’t be may possibly be in the way your operating system is behaving. Sometimes a hacker may use remote desktop software to screen share with your desktop. This may result in some very odd behavior like your mouse pointer moving on its own or your keyboard typing by itself without you having done anything.

If this happens to you, check in your system properties to see if remote desktop sharing is enabled, and disable it immediately if it is. See if this does not resolve the issue. If it does not stop, take your computer into us so we can do more in depth troubleshooting as to why the problem is persisting.

Keep Data Secure From Hackers In Your Business IT Network: Protecting Your Network

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You certainly do not want anyone gaining access to your data that you have not given authority to do so. Make sure that you are using a fully up to date operating system with the latest security patches, as well as updated security software. This will go a long way towards keeping hackers away from your confidential data.

You may also want to consider encrypting any files that are extremely confidential in nature. This is so that if a hacker does manage to gain access to your system, they will not be in a position to read any files they gain access to. Encryption scrambles the contents of a file using a special algorithm combined with your password so no one can read the contents of the file.

If you have any trouble figuring out if someone has gained access to your data, or need help to figure out how to keep data secure from hackers in your business network, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to assist you with any questions you have and help you get your network setup in a way that keeps it secure from hackers and allows you to easily monitor it for intrusions.

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05 Jun 2018

What Are The Biggest CYBER SECURITY THREATS To A Business?

IT Security threats
Internal Threats need to be considered when evaluating Cyber Security needs

Top Cyber Security Threats

Remember movies like Hackers where the biggest cyber security threats to a business were pimple faced, lone ranger type teenagers cleverly social engineered their way past the employees? Those days are long gone. Now, the biggest cyber security threats to a business come from its own employees. How can this be?

Cybercrime Syndicates

It all starts with money. Corporate cybercrime syndicates are the modern-day versions of the old time mafia mob. They can easily get their hooks into even the most loyal employees through bribery and even blackmail. These syndicates may even be part of a company’s biggest competitors. Think full-time employees, HR departments, project management teams, and team leaders. They may even operate out in the open and have their own Wikipedia pages. You may think this can never happen at your business, but it can internal employees are where most Cyber Security threats come from.

Small Time Cons

The biggest cyber security threat to a business may not be a major organized criminal ring. It could just be a small business that’s hungry for money. A malicious mom-and-pop business is just as capable as a major crime ring of doing big time cybercrime. Their focus is usually on money laundering schemes such as fraudulent credit card and bank transactions. They often advertise too good to be true services for their company’s size like 24/7 technical support and 100% money back guarantees. They also tell people they operate some form of internet marketing business. The trick they use is to get access to your systems through your users.

Intellectual Property Theft

Another major internal cyber security threat to a business is intellectual property theft. An employee may steal gigabytes of confidential information like patents, new product ideas, company secrets, financial information, business plans, and so on. They may sell this information to outside customers. They will then stay hidden within the company for as long as possible. In order to gain this information, they may eavesdrop on phone calls and important emails, raid the garbage and databases, and even develop their own malicious search tools.


You’ve probably heard of this one before. Phishing is a major hot button topic these days. It’s no wonder with how common it is for employees to make personal use of their computers at work. Phishing has become a widespread epidemic because it is so successful. Phishers often use a combination of deceptive websites and emails with social engineering. They use this to convince employees they are entering their personal information or logins into a legitimate website. In reality the phisher is stealing these details from them. They can then use this information to commit bigger cyber security crimes.

Bot Networks

Bot network operators often target businesses because they are likely to have a large number of devices with a lot of bandwidth. In fact, an employee may actually be persuaded to participate in uploading bot network malware to a business network. Bot networks are often rented out for financial gain. These networks are used for a variety of purposes such as spam, DDoS attacks, malware attacks, phishing, and other malicious activities that can’t be traced back to the originator.

Protecting Your Business From The Biggest Internal Security Threats

Of course, if you want to protect your business from the biggest cyber security threats, you need a team of IT security experts on your side that are experienced and knowledgeable in how to deal with a wide range of threats from all angles. We have been dealing with all forms of IT security threats for many years. We are fully certified to equip your business with the tools and knowledge you need to stay safe. Don’t wait for your business to fall victim to one of these or one of the many other internal security threats that can create a financial disaster! Contact us today to make sure your business stays safe from all types of cyber criminals.

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11 May 2018

Ransomware Attack Recovery for your Chicago Business

Protect your Company from Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware Attacks are targeting Chicago Businesses

Chances are if you’re reading this article it’s because you’ve gotten hit with a ransomware attack. Recovery is probably pretty vital to your business and you stand to lose a lot if your data is not recovered. We are first going to discuss what your options are, and then discuss what you can do to prevent getting into this situation in the future.

Ransomware Attack Recovery: Check Your Backups

First and foremost, check your backups. It’s easy to forget that you even have backups in such situation, but backups are a vital part of ransomware attack recovery. In this day and age of automatic cloud backups, you may even have your data backed up without realizing it. Windows 10 is set up to automatically backup user files to OneDrive, Android phones and ChromeBooks automatically backup their data to Google Drive, and Apple products automatically backup to iCloud.

Of course, you don’t want these backups to become corrupted by the ransomware attack. If you haven’t already, immediately stop the syncing process so that you don’t end up overwriting your cloud backup with the ransomware’s encrypted version of your data. With backups of your data, it’s easy to simply reinstall your operating system and restore your data from backup.

Ransomware Attack Recovery: What to Do if You Don’t Have Backups

If you don’t have backups of your data, though, it gets trickier. You may need to pay the ransom to get your data restored. If you can’t pay the ransom, you can try decryption software designed to restore your data from ransomware attacks. This software is very hit or miss, though, and there is a 50/50 chance of it working to restore your data.

As a last resort, you can try contacting us to restore your data. We can use more advanced decryption methods to attempt to restore your data. Please be aware though that this, too, may fail.

Ransomware Attack Recovery: Prevention

Ransomware attack recovery starts with being prepared before a ransomware attack occurs. If you are prepared ahead of time, then ransomware doesn’t stand a chance against harming your business. As you may have guessed, this starts with having backups of your data.

Keep your own encrypted backups both stored in the cloud and stored offline. This way even if ransomware manages to infect your online backups, you still have offline backups it can’t touch. Encrypting your backups also prevents anyone from gaining access to sensitive business data.

Of course, the best case scenario is one in which ransomware doesn’t have a chance to infect your business network at all. So make sure you are using the latest security software that is equipped to prevent ransomware from ever getting its hooks into your system. Keep this software updated as well.

Along with using up to date security software, use up to date operating system software. Older operating systems are full of security holes that ransomware loves to exploit. The first ransomware in fact was trained to take advantage of businesses that were still using Windows XP, because Microsoft was no longer releasing security updates for it. If you are using an older operating system, now is definitely the time to update it.

Along with using an up to date operating system, make sure you are regularly applying updates and security patches. Just like ransomware loves to exploit older operating systems, it also likes to take advantage of operating systems that haven’t been updated and patched.

Another great step you can take towards ransomware prevention is getting us to do a full audit of your network to patch up any security holes. While security software and up to date software provides good basic protection, there still may possibly be holes in your network that could let an attacker slip through and install ransomware. A security audit will let you know what those holes are and help you seal up your network completely, preventing that from being an issue.

Ransomware Attack Recovery: Success!

If you follow all of these steps, you will be a ransomware attack recovery pro. Ransomware will not stand a chance against harming your business! Make sure that your security software and operating system are fully up to date, keep plenty of both online and offline encrypted backups, and get a security audit done so that your network can be completely secured. You will never have to worry about ransomware – or any malware – ever again.

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08 May 2018

What Kind of Data Do Hackers Want to Steal?

Making sure you protect the right data is key to a good Cyber Security and Network Security Plan

Cyber Security Plans and your Data

As you build your cyber security defenses and determine your network security priorities you need to start by knowing what data hackers want to steal. With a better idea of what data hackers want to steal, you can be more careful with this data.  You can also design your cyber security plan to protect this data. Hackers want to steal almost every kind of sensitive data imaginable, but there is also a lot of data they want that you wouldn’t commonly think of.

Here is a list of the kinds of data hackers are after:

Personal Information

This is probably the first kind of data you think of when you think of what kind of data hackers want to steal. And if you collect other people’s personal information it is extremely important your cyber security plan and cyber security strategy be designed to protect this data. The most common forms of personal information include passwords, credit card numbers, account information, social security information, trading information, and intellectual property. However, this also includes less common information such as your favorite sports team, your pet’s name, where you were born, your parent’s full names, and what schools you attended. Random information like this can also be used to gain access to your accounts, so be just as careful with this kind of information as you are with the rest.

Once hackers gain access to this data, it can be used in a vast multitude of ways. Of course, social security numbers can be used for identity theft, and credit card and banking info can be used for financial theft. Account information can be used for phishing, spam, and scams, and social media information can be used for dirty data mining for yet more phishing, spam, and scams.

Trade Secrets

This is also another kind of data you probably think of when you think of what kind of data hackers want to steal. Your business methods, business plans, business forecasts, market analysis, marketing plans, and other details about how you do business could possibly be useful information to sell to one of your competitors. However, the biggest threat may not come from the outside but from the inside – an employee may turn out to be the one who steals this sensitive information. Make sure you are taking necessary precautions to keep this information from leaving your building in the hands of any employees as well as hackers. Good cyber security plans and strategies consider threats from both the inside of your company and outside attackers.

Healthcare Information

This isn’t commonly thought as data hackers may want to steal, but it is just as valuable to them as trade secrets or other personal information. Healthcare information is commonly used in identity theft involving healthcare insurance fraud and abuse, which is more lucrative than simply selling social security numbers. The FBI said recently criminals can sell healthcare information for as much as $50 a record. So, if you have any healthcare information on employees and/or clients, make sure you are keeping that information secure with the latest state-of-the-art security protocols. You may also need to follow HIPAA guidelines when developing your network security and cyber security plans.

Hackers May Want to Steal ALL Your Data

This also isn’t commonly thought of as data hackers may want to steal, but ransomware is a common threat to business in which ALL your data is held ransom for an exorbitant fee via encryption. The best way to keep your data safe from this is to keep your own regularly encrypted backups both online and offline. And one of the most important pieces to a successful cyber security strategy is having the ability to recover in the event of an attack. Off-site back-ups are critical in being able to recover from a cyber-attack.

Standing Your Ground is Tricky Business

Staying safe from all these sensitive data theft threats is a tricky business and can harm your business. that isn’t recommended you try to do yourself or trust just anyone to do for you. You need to trust a professional IT Cyber Security firm that is fully certified and has a proven track record in setting businesses up to successfully stay protected against all these Cyber Security threats to their data. The first thing to consider is having the right cyber security and network security plan put in place, with experts that know what data hackers want and how to protect it.


Go here to see 8 ways your employees enable hackers!


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