IT Consultants' Insight on Business Technology | NSK Inc.

Pentagon Discloses Cyber Intrusion by Russian Hackers

Posted by Philip Tang Fri, Apr 24, 2015

Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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Topics: Data Security

Tape Backup or Cloud Backup... Which One To Choose?

Posted by Cathie Briggette Thu, Apr 23, 2015

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Disaster Recovery

All the different kinds of viruses and the antivirus protection against them

Posted by Cathie Briggette Wed, Apr 22, 2015

People often consider the only threat against their computers to be a virus. This is a common misconception that often leads to detrimental system damage. A virus, in fact, is a specific threat that falls into the broad category of malicious software, or malware. Malware is used to disrupt computer operations, gather privileged information, and gain unauthorized access by hackers and frauds. Here are a few items that you might not know, but should learn to differentiate when it comes to malware.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

WikiLeaks Archives 2014 Sony Data Breach Contents

Posted by Philip Tang Fri, Apr 17, 2015

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have decided to publish an archive of 200,000 confidential Sony emails and documents leaked by a data breach at the end of 2014.

Last November, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) suffered a massive data breach at the hands of a hacker group calling themselves "Guardians of Peace." U.S. intelligence officials suspected the group to be linked to the North Korean government, but North Korea denied responsibility.  

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Topics: Data Security

New Technology: Amazon Dash Buttons Usher in New Era of Convenience

Posted by Philip Tang Fri, Apr 03, 2015

Laziness and convenience go hand in hand, but Amazon's latest creation has taken the former to extraordinary new heights. That in itself is an astonishing feat, considering how easy it is to order almost anything through a few mouse clicks - a sofa, TV, food, you name it. 

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Topics: New Technology

Windows Server 2003 Microsoft support ends soon

Posted by Cathie Briggette Tue, Mar 31, 2015

Windows Server 2003 Operating System Support Ends July 14, 2015

As of July 2014, there were 12 million physical servers worldwide still running Windows Server 2003.  According to Redmond Magazine.  And 9.4 million of those instances are in North America. 

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Topics: Microsoft, Managed Services, Data Security

Security Assessment vs. Security Audit

Posted by Michael Lupacchino Tue, Mar 31, 2015

What is a Security Assessment? What is a Security Audit? Are they the same thing?

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, Data Security

Enhancing Password Security in Light of Data Breaches

Posted by Philip Tang Fri, Mar 27, 2015


Severe data breaches suffered by Sony, Anthem and other companies over the last year further solidify the importance of data security.

Large companies continue to endure targeted attacks.  Earlier this week, publicly announced they had fallen victim to a data breach that possibly endangered users' personal account information.

So what makes this breach a big deal?  If you haven't heard of Twitch before, here's what they're about: "Twitch is the largest live video platform and community for gamers with more than 100 million visitors per month. We want to connect gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play."

A year ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article analyzing U.S. Internet traffic with data from  They found to account for 1.8% of American peak traffic, ranking fourth overall and impressingly beating out companies such as Amazon and even Facebook.  Only three titans saw more traffic than Twitch: Netflix, Google and Apple.

At the time, Twitch's Vice President of Marketing Matthew DiPietro said the site "is the central hub for the entire video game industry to share their passion for games."

And hackers have breached this massive hub.  A hub that has undoubtedly grown even larger in the past year.

Fortunately, Twitch responded to the attack by providing disclosure to its users.  It dispatched emails detailing the information that hackers may have obtained:

Well, at least credit card information isn't on there.  Consolation prize acquired!

In addition to the email, Twitch took action.  For the sake of protecting people's personal data, every Twitch account was forced to undergo a password reset henceforth.  Not only would everyone have to make a new password, but that password would have to be actually strong, determined by their revamped algorithmic rating system.  Otherwise, it would not be accepted.

Essentially, Twitch offered some basic, but eternally useful guidelines on enhancing password security. They used a range of ranked examples to illustrate their point.

The more random a password is, the more effective it becomes.  However, it's a little painful to use symbols and non-letters (!, @, $, etc.) in a password, isn't it?  Passwords are something you often type out manually, and perhaps even from memory.  Symbols don't quite lend to making that process convenient.

But as Twitch recommends, the most secure form of password security may lie within a password manager and random password generator, although they don't recommend any.

Effective password managers tend to be gated by a paywall.  However, LastPass sports a beginner-friendly free version with enough features to help you feel safe, including two factor authentifcation and security alerts (but mobile access comes with a fee).  KeePass is completely free and is even open source, but lacks some features and demands user customization to be truly effective.

Lifehacker produced a helpful chart that can help you determine which manager would suit you best:

Ultimately, the wisest course of action is to swiftly change your password to a site when it reveals it has been breached.  Change your passwords used on other sites, too, if they are similar to the one from the compromised site. Password managers will help to facilitate this process.

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Topics: Data Security

Identifying and Responding to Social Engineering Hackers

Posted by Philip Tang Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Spreading malware such as CryptoLocker is the cowardly, distant method for breaching a victim's data security and extorting money out of them.  By comparison, social engineering is the method a bold-faced, audacious hacker will employ.  It often involves the hacker directly tricking the victim via a manipulative phone call conversation.  

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Topics: Data Security

Information Technology Buzzwords You Need to Know

Posted by Cathie Briggette Fri, Mar 20, 2015

 1. Software Designed Networking (SDN) – “Software Defined Networking (SDN) is enabling organizations to accelerate application deployment and delivery, dramatically reducing IT costs through policy-enabled workflow automation. SDN technology enables cloud architectures by delivering automated, on-demand application delivery and mobility at scale. SDN enhances the benefits of data center virtualization, increasing resource flexibility and utilization and reducing infrastructure costs and overhead.

SDN accomplishes these business objectives by converging the management of network and application services into centralized, extensible orchestration platforms that can automate the provisioning and configuration of the entire infrastructure. Common centralized IT policies bring together disparate IT groups and workflows. The result is a modern infrastructure that can deliver new applications and services in minutes, rather than days or weeks required in the past.

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Topics: New Technology

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