Mike Foster's IT Security & Best Practices Blog

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Hacker Convention Starts Later This Week

Expect to see an increase in interesting news stories about what can be hacked this week. The big hacker convention DEFCON starts this week and lots of new announcements will be made as part of the program. Continue reading ‘Hacker Convention Starts Later This Week’


Fix A Computer in Minutes and It Works Almost Every Time

I was stranded in the Portland airport last night because of a mechanical failure on the first flight. You’ve had similar situations for sure. What would your travel experience be like if the airlines could immediately reset a plane to be brand new if it breaks? Continue reading ‘Fix A Computer in Minutes and It Works Almost Every Time’


Recover Quickly if Ransomware Attacks at Remote Worker and Home Computers

Ransomware is a common problem. If an attacker encrypts all your files and demands that you pay ransom to unlock your files, you will want to be able to recover quickly. Regular backups are not enough. Continue reading ‘Recover Quickly if Ransomware Attacks at Remote Worker and Home Computers’


The UK Is Preparing to Attack Hackers with Army, Navy and Air Force.

The UK is preparing to attack hackers with Army, Navy and Air Force. Continue reading ‘The UK Is Preparing to Attack Hackers with Army, Navy and Air Force.’


Protect Yourself and Your Organization – New Ransomware Outbreak with Added Poison

A new strain of Ransomware, dubbed P e t y a, is gaining momentum infecting companies and home users. Worst of all, in addition to holding files ransom until you pay up, it appears to be infiltrating corporate networks to steal usernames and passwords too. Be sure that you: Continue reading ‘Protect Yourself and Your Organization – New Ransomware Outbreak with Added Poison’


Protect Yourself: Do Not Connect a New Computer to the Internet

Some people turn on a brand new computer, connect to the Internet, and download anti-virus to the their new computer. When you think about it… Continue reading ‘Protect Yourself: Do Not Connect a New Computer to the Internet’


Straw, Sticks, or Brick: How to Tell Which Your Network Is, and How to Improve It

Just yesterday, someone told me they think they are secure because they have anti-virus, strong passwords and a firewall.

Last weekend, I asked my daughter to tell me a fairy tale. She chose The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. As she told the story, it became so clear that organizations use straw, sticks, or brick to build their cyber-security protection. See which you are, and how to improve: Continue reading ‘Straw, Sticks, or Brick: How to Tell Which Your Network Is, and How to Improve It’


Get Apple’s Urgent Patches that Fix Dozens of Security Holes

For those of you with Apple products, Apple just released some important updates.

Knowing that updates might cause a problem, please back up your computer first. You are backing up all the time already, right? Time Machine is a wonderful tool and is built in. If you want to supplement Time Machine with an additional backup, Carbon Copy Cloner from Bombich dot com is very popular and clients experience great results. You’ll need a couple of external USB drives, but the investment is worth it.

In case you are not familiar with how to apply patches, here are instructions:

On your Apple computer, even if your computer is set for automatic updates, it is good to verify that you have the most recent patches. Click on the image of the apple in the top left corner, and choose App Store. If not already selected, choose Updates inside the title bar that already contains the words: Featured, Top Charts, Categories, Purchased, and Updates. You may see many updates for your applications, and those are fine to apply, but the urgent one is the update called macOS Sierra Update and the version is 10.12.5. If you’ve not updated in a while, you may see other macOS updates too.

iPhone and iPad users, press on the Settings icon that looks like a gear. In the left-hand column, select General, and you’ll see Software Update on the right-hand column near the top. The most recent patch is for iOS 10.3.2.

If you want to configure automatic updates for your Apple computers, find instructions by searching for this phrase in Google: Automatic security updates os x site:apple.com

If you want to configure automatic updates for the iPhone and iPad, find instructions by searching for this phrase in Google: Automatic security downloads iOS site:apple.com

Please forward this to everyone you know who uses Apple devices and you want to help be more secure…


Patching – 10 Steps to Seal the Holes in Your Armor

You’ve likely heard of the massive ransomware attack that has taken down so many organizations, including hospitals, around the world. The ransomware appears to have exploited a bug for which Microsoft released a fix a little over a month ago. Follow these 10 steps to help protect your organization from this, and from future attacks: Continue reading ‘Patching – 10 Steps to Seal the Holes in Your Armor’