What Threats Should You Be Concerned About?
Author: Michael Osterman on March 25, 2015 - 9:39 PM
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What Threats Should You Be Concerned About? (Part 1)

Organizations of all sizes face a wide variety of threats, ranging from seemingly innocuous incursions like spam that create storage problems and general annoyance, to highly targeted email attacks that can create major breaches of sensitive or confidential information. Among the range of threats to consider are the following:

           Phishing emails

Phishing emails are comparatively unfocused email messages that are designed to elicit sensitive information from users, such as login credentials, credit card information, Social Security numbers and other valuable data. Phishing emails purport to be from trustworthy sources like banks, credit card companies, shipping companies and other sources with which potential victims already have established relationships. More sophisticated phishing attempts will use corporate logos and other identifiers that are designed to fool potential victims into believing that the phishing emails are genuine.

The impact of phishing emails should not be underestimated. An Osterman Research survey conducted in late 2014 found that there have been a variety of security incidents that were attributable to malicious emails, such as 41% of organizations that have lost sensitive data on an employee’s computer and 24% that have lost sensitive data from the corporate network.

           Spearphishing emails

A spearphishing email is a targeted phishing attack that is generally directed at a small group of potential victims, such as senior individuals within a company or other organization. Spearphishing emails are generally quite focused, reflecting the fact that a cybercriminal has studied his or her target and has crafted a message that is designed to have a high degree of believability and a potentially high open rate.

One of the reasons that spearphishing is becoming more effective is that potential victims provide cybercriminals with the fodder they need to craft believable messages. For example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media venues contain enormous amounts of valuable information about travel plans, personal preferences, family members, affiliations, and other personal and sensitive information that can be incorporated into spearphishing emails.nd it to you right away.

 
Google Exploring Integrating Gmail and Bill Pay Service
Author: John Duckgeischel on March 24, 2015 - 11:08 PM
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Gmail is popular for communicating all kinds of messages to friends, family and co-workers.  Now Google sees the potential to extend the capabilities of Gmail to include a bill paying service that is currently known as “Pony Express”.    It isn’t clear if “Pony Express” is just a code name or will endure to become the official product name.   Users of the news service will be asked to enter name, address and Social Security number which will be collected by a third party company.  Upon registration, the user can pay bills through Gmail or Inbox, which an overlay from Google that is integrated with Gmail.
 
After 20 Years Microsoft Says Goodbye to Internet Explorer
Author: John Duckgeischel on March 17, 2015 - 8:11 PM
During its peak in 2002, Internet Explorer (IE) had a dominant 95 percent usage share, however with its steady decline over the years it now accounts for only 8 percent of the global internet traffic. Mozilla’s Firefox was introduced in 2004, followed by Google Chrome in 2008 and they soon began taking a significant number of users, while Microsoft developed its reputation of being “the most hated web browser” in history. Although Microsoft said that Internet Explorer was in its “twilight years”, but no end date was ever announced.  
 
FCC Hits “Pause” Button On Pending Telecom Mergers
Author: John Duckgeischel on March 16, 2015 - 8:26 PM
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The U.S. Federal Communication (FCC) has been actively reviewing the proposed mergers between Comcast and Time Warner (TWC) as well the merger between AT&T and DIRECTV for almost a year, however it now says that it will pause the review process for 3 months while it considers legal reasons.  The merger participants have fought to protect the privacy of video-programming contracts with suppliers and have taken court action to prevent the FCC from publishing the contracts.  "At this time, we believe it is prudent to pause the informal 180-day transaction clocks because the Commission would be advantaged by knowing the resolution of the pending Petition for Review before the transaction clocks reach the 180-day mark," the FCC said in a statement.  It added, "In reaching this conclusion, the Commission reserves the right to restart the clock as it believes will best serve the public interest and it intends to provide further guidance as it becomes appropriate.”
 
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