Onward Technologies Blog

Onward Technologies has been serving the Chicago area since 1985, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Three Key Steps to Stop Malware

The Three Key Steps to Stop Malware

Malware is a bad thing. It’s right there in the name, as the prefix mal- comes from the Latin malus, which literally translates to “bad.” So, it only makes sense to try to keep it out of your business. Let’s discuss a few basics to form the foundation of your greater cybersecurity strategy.

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Windows 7 Has Nearly Ticked Its Last Tock

Windows 7 Has Nearly Ticked Its Last Tock

It won’t be long before Microsoft retires two of its most popular operating systems - but hopefully, you already knew that. Microsoft has made a point of reminding Windows 7 users that they need to upgrade before January 14 - and yet, many users haven’t done so.

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Recent Data Breaches You Should Know

Recent Data Breaches You Should Know

Imagine for a second what would happen if your business’ data was exposed and stolen. You’d have a really difficult time going forward as your client-base dwindled and you opportunities for growth dried up. The amazing part is that some very successful companies have this type of thing happens all the time. Today, we will look at some of the largest data breaches since September 1.

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Protect Smartphones Like Any Other Computer

Protect Smartphones Like Any Other Computer

We go into great depth on how to protect your desktop and laptop computers from malware and other malicious threats. In fact, one of the first steps you take anytime you are setting up a new computer is to install antivirus and other security programs. You do this because an unprotected device presents substantial risk. With the way people are using their smartphones today, it’s a solid practice to outfit your mobile device with the security software needed to maintain the security of your data.

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Software Patching in the Cloud

Software Patching in the Cloud

A lot of computing is done today using cloud computing - basically, making use of the computing power, space, and applications that a provider has on their infrastructure as if they were your own. Doing so can provide a very specific benefit to your security, but, have you ever wondered how the cloud itself is protected? 

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Microsoft Releases Rare Bug Fix Off of Regular Patch Schedule

Microsoft Releases Rare Bug Fix Off of Regular Patch Schedule

Most of us like to take matters into our own hands, almost to a point where we might refer to ourselves as control freaks. So, when it comes to letting other people or even our own devices update themselves, we tend to click “remind me later” or “don’t ask me again”. Patches however, are a crucial task in the computing era. Keeping everything up-to-date aids your business in staying one step ahead of lurking threats. Recently, Microsoft announced that it had two major security updates which required emergency patches. 

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How is Artificial Intelligence Changing the Face of Cybersecurity?

How is Artificial Intelligence Changing the Face of Cybersecurity?

If you are concerned about your business’ ability to keep its network secure and data protected, you're not alone. More businesses than ever are utilizing modern strategies to ensure that their networks are safe, their hardware is stable, and that their data stays secure. With the continual shifts we are seeing in the threat landscape it is essential that cybersecurity continues to evolve. Today, we take a look at some of the innovations being made in cybersecurity, and what to expect out of future cybersecurity tools.

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Cybersecurity: An Origin Story

Cybersecurity: An Origin Story

The way a business handles network security is directly related to what problems will arise from their use of information systems. Cybersecurity has become a major part of all businesses, of all geographic locations, and all sizes. Because the better your cybersecurity is, the less problems your business will have to overcome, cybersecurity has grown into a multi-hundred-billion dollar a year industry. Cybersecurity hasn’t always been a concern for businesses. After all, the internet hasn’t been around for THAT long. However, the history of cybersecurity has a fascinating story behind it, and today we’d like to share it with you. 

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Biggest Data Breaches Since May

Biggest Data Breaches Since May

Has your business’ network been breached? If not, you will need to continue to prioritize network security to keep hackers at bay. With 446 million records compromised in 2018 alone, businesses need to understand what threats they are currently under. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest data breaches that have happened since the beginning of May. 

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Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is Finally Losing Support

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is Finally Losing Support

Microsoft Windows has been a staple of modern computing, with each title in the series offering more innovative features. When it becomes time to retire one of their OSs, it can be troublesome for businesses. This coming January, two of the most utilized versions of the Windows OS--Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be losing support, effectively ending their viability. Businesses that still use these titles will have to come up with a plan about how they are going to proceed once Microsoft retires that software. 

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The Time Has Come for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2

The Time Has Come for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2

Software solutions don’t last forever. While patches and security updates can stave off the inevitable for quite some time, it’s impossible to maintain a specific solution forever. Support is eventually cut off, and businesses are left exposed if they haven’t taken the time to prepare. In the case of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, you are running out of time.

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Staff Education Goes a Long Way in Preventing Security Issues

Staff Education Goes a Long Way in Preventing Security Issues

In a perfect world, keeping your antivirus updated and having a good firewall in place would be enough to protect your business from cybersecurity threats.

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Getting to Know About Phishing Attacks Can Keep Your Business Safe

Getting to Know About Phishing Attacks Can Keep Your Business Safe

There’s a big reason why phishing is a primary threat to businesses, and it’s because this method gives hackers a relatively risk-free way of gaining access to a network or other resources. Even being aware of the issue is often not enough to prevent it, as hackers are known to get quite aggressive and crafty with their phishing campaigns. If only a fraction of the 57 billion phishing emails that go out every year are taken seriously, hackers make quite a bit of profit off of users.

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What is Encryption, Anyways?

What is Encryption, Anyways?

You hear about encryption being used all the time, almost to the point of it being synonymous with security, but what does it really mean to have encryption on your business’ data and devices? We’ll walk you through how encryption can help you in your day-to-day struggle to secure the integrity of your organization’s communication and infrastructure.

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Tip of the Week: Make Your Password Rhyme Every Time

b2ap3_thumbnail_security_for_your_passwords_400.jpgPassword security is quite the conundrum. We want our passwords to be easy to remember, but the problem is that passwords that are easy to remember are often simple and insecure. Therefore, it becomes a best practice to use complicated passwords with both upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols to compensate. The “passpoem” might resolve this issue in the most obvious way.

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Pay a Hacker Ransom Money and Risk Getting Bamboozled Twice

b2ap3_thumbnail_distributed_denial_of_service_400.jpgRequesting a ransom from victims is an unfortunate trend gaining momentum in the hacking world. This is typically done using ransomware (where hackers encrypt data and request money for the key) and distributed denial of service attacks (where hackers threaten to overwhelm a system with traffic, thus knocking it offline). In both scenarios, hackers are looking for the victim to pay up, or else. Should they?

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How a Nearby Hacker Can Access Your Phone Through Google Now and Siri

b2ap3_thumbnail_cell_phone_hack_400.jpgThese days, mobile exploits aren’t anything to be surprised about. Most people consider their smartphones to be more secure than their desktops or laptops, but the fact remains that there are just as many exploits, if not more, for mobile devices as there are for PCs. One of the latest mobile threats that can infiltrate your iPhone or Android device takes advantage of Siri and Google Now.

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If a Teenager Can Hack the CIA, You Can Be Hacked Too!

b2ap3_thumbnail_cia_hacked_400.jpgWith new threats emerging all of the time, it’s no wonder that cybersecurity is such a major part of any technological endeavor. Your should be using the most powerful security solutions on the market in order to avoid intensive hacks. Despite the emphasis that our society places on security, it takes a high-notoriety hack to truly shake the public into action; for example, what if the Central Intelligence Agency were hacked by a teenager?

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