How Flash Vulnerabilities Impact Enterprise IT Environments

Flash Vulnerabilities

IT administrators must be well informed and constantly aware about newly uncovered zero-day threats. These vicious cyberthreats exploit vulnerabilities in the underlying scripts of applications. The worst part is that they’re virtually impossible to defend against, as they’re often discovered only after hackers have dug their claws in. This means that IT staff must be quick on the draw; as soon as vulnerabilities are announced, organizations must be ready to apply the remediation patches.

Flash-based applications are the most susceptible to such threats. The associated security risks, if nothing else, serve as a reminder of the importance of streamlined computer management, especially in case of enterprise IT environments – which could be spread across multiple locations.

Recurring Exploits

Engadget​’s Edgar Alvarez reported, that a critical Flash vulnerability was patched with version 19.0.0.207 in late 2015. Users were implored to immediately apply the update, or otherwise face the risk of having their machines remotely overtaken by hackers. In March 2016, a very similar vulnerability was announced. Flash once again released a new version intended to patch a total of 23 security holes “that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” according to BGR’s Zach Epstein.

In yet another episode of deja vu, a new emergency patch was announced following the Cerber ransomware incidents in April. According to ZDNet contributor Charlie Osborne, certain versions of the software were more at risk than others this time around, but the situation was by and large typical. The vulnerability would cause crashes on some

Easy Ways to Improve Classroom Cybersecurity

Classroom Cybersecurity

The convergence of computer technology and the classroom has never been more apparent. At grades K through 12 and beyond, students are relying on software and applications for tasks ranging from simple word processing to advanced Web design and more. Staff and faculty, meanwhile, use computer systems for administrative purposes such as grading and record keeping.

In a perfect world, we might assume that no person could find good reason for targeting these educational systems. Unfortunately, educational institutions get hacked all the time and are in dire need of better cybersecurity.

Fighting Insider Threats

The assumption tied to cybersecurity is that there are good guys (the users) and bad guys (the nefarious hackers). But it’s not always so cut and dry. Sometimes the average user is the biggest threat to the system. Students in a shared computer lab, for instance, or careless faculty members might accidentally download malicious files or open links in spam emails that lead to malware-laced webpages. The results can be a serious headache for school computer admins.

To address the issue, school administration at all levels should consider classroom management software. This lets authorized staff monitor student activity on computing devices on the network, and block certain webpages and software. In conjunction with anti-executable software, IT admins can be sure that neither student nor teacher accidentally runs malicious software by blocking unknown applications from launching on school computers. A simple firewall and anti-spam tool just won’t cut it any more.

Mitigating Damage with Computer Management

3 Ways Restaurants Benefit from Computer Management Software

Computer Management Restaurants

There’s a lot more tech going into modern food service than meets the eye, and a whole lot more to come just around the bend. As restaurants continue to become more reliant on computers, owners will need a bit of help in the form of computer management software.

 

 

 

Here are three ways a solution such as Faronics Deep Freeze can supply this help:

1. Insights, Monitoring and Control

One of the big trends in the food-service industry is the deployment of self-service kiosks that let customers place an order digitally. This can speed up lines and give businesses a chance to cut down on labor costs. A recent example is fast-food chain McDonalds, which started using these self-service tools in many locations last year, according to Business Insider.

The only downside of kiosks is the maintenance that goes into having them. Deep Freeze addresses this problem in several ways. With insights and monitoring, admins can know exactly how these kiosks are being used, so as to make sure that no questionable activity is occurring. This is especially important for restaurants that repurpose computers as customer service kiosks. To this end, Deep Freeze makes it easy to transform any computer system into a kiosk by only allowing specific applications to run.

2. Updates Made Easy

Point-of-sale systems, computers in the office and customer-facing kiosks must all be regularly updated to defend against the most recent cyberthreats. This can be time-consuming when handled manually. But shirking this responsibility can

Macro Malware Is on the Rise: Here’s How to Fight It

Macro_Malware

Once thought to have gone the way of the floppy disk, macro malware appears to have returned in full force. According to Softpedia, there has recently been an influx in the number of cyber criminals targeting organizations by getting insiders to run infected macros.

What are macros?

For a quick refresher, a macro is a convenient way to automate certain functions within programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. However, when enabled, they can also be used to automatically execute malicious code. Hackers typically accomplish this by sending out spam emails to organizations with seemingly relevant subject lines and body text. If the recipient opens the attached document and allows the macro within to run, the infection can take hold, and even spread throughout the network.

The results of running an infected macro can be damaging. In Kentucky, one hospital was held hostage as a result of ransomware that may have gotten on the system via a macro, according to NBC. Here’s how you can prevent this from happening to your organization:

Update and Maintain System Settings

Recently, Microsoft Office 2016 was updated to be able to block macro malware attacks. This is good news for users of the productivity suite. For enterprise admins, it means a whole lot of updating to improve defenses against macro malware. While this may be time-consuming, it’s entirely necessary to avoid being preyed upon by this cyberthreat: In many cases, a malicious macro will lead to the installation of crypto malware that can lock down

How Automating IT Tasks Saves Time and Money

Automate_IT

Regardless of the size of a business, a hiccup in the underlying technology that lets workflows run smoothly risks productivity lapses. Often, ensuring that everything stays up and running falls on the shoulders of a small in-house IT staff. Even the most talented tech gurus may find themselves overwhelmed with having to address unforeseen glitches.

One way IT staff can better balance the mix of scheduled projects and unscheduled problems is by automating as many tasks as possible.

Let’s look at how an automation tool like Faronics Deep Freeze can save time and money while enhancing the integrity of a computing environment:

Software Management Made Easy

Ensuring that all operating systems and software is up to date can be a harrowing task if handled manually. IT staff would actually have to walk to each computer in the office, and then find, download and install the necessary updates. In an organization with many hundreds of workstations, this task can take hours. Considering zero-day threats can crop up at any time, and will need to be patched as soon as they’re caught, IT teams may regularly have to stop what they’re doing and get busy updating systems.

Faronics Deep Freeze addresses this problem by letting admins automatically manage an entire office of computers from a single Web-based dashboard. With the Automatic Software Updater, OSes and applications can be patched on command, or according to a schedule – no web surfing, downloading and “next” clicking necessary.

To learn more about the importance of automating