WINDOWS 11 IS AVAILABLE

WINDOWS 11 IS AVAILABLE

AT A GLANCE

Businesses should be aware of the characteristics of the new client operating system, Windows 11.

Windows 11 is built on the same foundation as Windows 10. Windows 10 users can easily upgrade to Windows 11 without any hassle. It updates what you already know and feel at ease with. 

BENEFITS & REQUIREMENTS OF THE NEW OS

You can discover the new Windows 11 features that make accomplishing your goals more accessible, faster, and more enjoyable. Utilize simple tools to help you improve your productivity and optimize screen space on your desktop. With Windows 11, you can create, work with others, and secure your data. Play the newest games with realistic-looking visuals. Windows 11 enables you to play the game how you want. The feature update for Windows 11 is called 22H2. All features and fixes from earlier cumulative updates for Windows 11, version 21H2, the first Windows 11 release version, are all included.

Downloading Windows 11 has many advantages, like the ability to run Android apps, strong video game updates, fantastic window layout options, and prettier, more consistent designs.

At the end of 2021, Windows 11 became available to eligible Windows 10 devices. Therefore, it could currently be implemented into any device that it supports. Most devices purchased in the last 18-24 months will be compatible with Windows 11. Working with an IT professional, like PGH Networks, will help verify which devices meet or exceed Windows 11 requirements to ensure compatibility. 

PGH CAN HELP

If you are interested in upgrading your organization, contact our trusted IT Experts to unlock your full potential through technology today! Existing clients may submit a Help Ticket Request here.

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10 TYPES OF HACKERS EXPLAINED

10 TYPES OF HACKERS EXPLAINED

As you know, the threat landscape is evolving rapidly. And much like any other evolving industry, job positions and roles are growing with them to meet the demands of the culture.

It is easy to assume the role of a hacker when learning of cyber breaches or attacks. However, there are ten main types of hackers, classified on their skill level and motive of intent. Those ten types are Black Hat, White Hat, Grey Hat, Script Kiddies, Green Hat, Blue Hat, Red Hat, State/Nation Sponsored, Hacktivists, and Malicious Insider or Whistleblower. 

Black Hat

Best described as ‘the villain.’ This type of hacker you imagine sitting in their basement, wearing a black hoodie. These hackers have ill intentions and are considered dangerous. 

  • Sending phishing messages
  • Executing cyberattacks
  • Stealing and selling data
  • Carrying our financial fraud
  • Blackmailing victims with ransomware attacks. 

White Hat

The “knight in shining armor.” This type of hacker uses their skill set for good to protect individuals and organizations. 

  • Identifies and repairs vulnerabilities in a network before cybercriminals discover them.
  • Implements effective cybersecurity within a network to ward off cyber threats.
  • Created cybersecurity tools like anti-malware, antivirus, firewalls, etc., to secure a network. 

Grey Hat

Welcome to the grey area. A Grey Hat hacker falls between black and white hat for intent. They might not have malicious intentions but hack networks without the owner’s consent. 

  • Identifies and repairs vulnerabilities
  • Offers recommendations and solutions again vulnerabilities
  • Enhance defenses against cyber threats.

Script Kiddies

“The juvenile.” Script Kiddies are amateurs who do not fully understand or know the hacking process. They attempt to hack systems based on scripts from fellow hackers. They intend to prove their worth to their peers. 

Green Hat

The “intern,” if you will. This type of hacker is slightly new to the hacking world. They are driven by the desire to prove their worth to fellow hackers, much like the Script Kiddies. However, they intend to learn and become full-fledged, respected hackers. 

Blue Hat

The “Bully.” Their goal is to humiliate or embarrass their target and will not stop until they are successful, using hacking as a weapon. They are the go-to person if you want to deploy cybersecurity measures like penetration testing to secure your networks. 

Red Hat

The bad guy that you might want to be friends with, possibly. A Red Hat hacker is similar to a white hat as they have good intentions of saving people from cyberattacks but are ruthless when dealing with Black Hat hackers.

  • Breaks into a Black Hat hacker’s network to disrupt cyberattack plans
  • Launches malware against the evil hackers
  • Tightens the cybersecurity of a network against cyber threats. 

State/Nation Sponsored Hackers

Hello, 007. State and Nation Sponsored Hackers work for the government. They use their skillset to obtain sensitive information from other countries to be prepared for any danger to their own country. 

Hacktivist

The opposite of 007. These hackers work against the governments to obtain data and use it for personal political, or social gain. Hacktivists will pose themselves as well-intentioned Activist with deep-rooted, secret motives. 

Malicious Insider or Whistleblower

The “Insider.” This type of hacker is typically an individual working in an organization that can expose confidential information. The motive of exposure is either due to a personal grudge or because the illegal activity has been discovered and needs to be brought to light. 

ZERO PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT

Ethical hacking jobs are in demand due to the rise of cyber threats and data breaches. Businesses are eager to protect their assets, and insurance companies are increasing the cybersecurity requirements of organizations. A few examples of ethical hacking careers are:

  • Penetration Tester
  • Vulnerability Assessor
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Security Analyst
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Ethical Hacker
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Engineer/Architect
  • Information Security Manager

There is no difference in the high demand for illicit hackers as well. Comparitech provides a breakdown of the most common dark web hacking requests, illustrating that the need for bad actors is not declining either. 


STRENGTHEN YOUR DEFENSES

Connect with our team today to set up a free network assessment to locate areas of vulnerabilities within your network. Our team of experts can provide insight and recommendations to strengthen your defenses today!

PROPERLY HANDLING OLD DEVICES

PROPERLY HANDLING OLD DEVICES

WHY PROPER DESTRUCTION IS NECESSARY

Technology is deeply embedded in our lives today, which arguably has pros and cons. Our devices store a lot of information, making going about our daily routines easy. However, some of that information is sensitive and personal. It is crucial to protect your sensitive information when disposing of, donating, reselling, or recycling old electronics, so that it does not get into the hands of a criminal.

PREPPING OF DEVICE

Whether you donate, resell, recycle, or destroy your device, proper preparation steps must be completed beforehand. CISA offers information on how to remove data from specific types of devices. 

1. Backup your data so you do not lose any critical information. This may be a physical hardcopy, digital backup to the cloud, or another external drive. 

2. Delete, Delete, Delete. Be sure to delete all information and files from the device. Clear your browser history and cache.

3. Performing a factory reset, overwriting, or wiping the device is extremely important. Deleting all data properly may take several hours or days, so consider this when planning.

TIP: If using any form of two-factor authentication, be sure to first review the application regarding how to transfer to a new device or remove.

DONATE, RESELL, RECYCLE, OR DESTROY

Depending on your device’s quality and state, you can donate, resell, recycle or destroy it.

Below are local options, but please keep in mind that a computer or smart device has many environmentally toxic components like getting rid of an old refrigerator or air conditioning unit. Utilizing a licensed organization to handle the destruction of the device is beneficial to the environment. It provides peace of mind to you, knowing your information has been securely destroyed.

LOCAL OPTIONS

The Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA) was passed in 2010 by The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which excludes televisions, computers, and other electronic devices to be sent to landfills or set out for trash pickup. 

Pittsburgh offers a multitude of disposal options throughout the city for e-waste. Here are a few: 


PGH DISPOSES SECURELY

PGH Networks also offers proper and secure disposal of electronics to our clients. We participate with two local e-cycling programs and destroy the hard drives from computers. We can also provide a Certificate of Destruction for a small fee. 

Contact us today if you are interested in our disposal services.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR

THE IMPORTANCE OF SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR

Friday, July 29th is National System Administrators Day and we would like to spotlight our System Administrators and their importance.

If you have ever spoken with our Help Desk Team, then you have first-hand experience with a System Administrator. They are to help determine solutions to technical issues you may be experiencing. But what does their day-to-day job really look like?

The roles of a System Administrator are board and extremely beneficial to have an organization run successfully. Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing Windows, Linux, or Mac systems
  • Upgrading, installing and configuring application software and computer hardware
  • Troubleshooting and providing technical support to employees
  • Creating and managing system permissions and user accounts
  • Performing regular security tests and security monitoring
  • Maintaining networks and network file systems

The main goal of a Sysadmins is to ensure that the uptime, performance, resources, and security of the computers they manage meet the user needs, and industry standards. 

ERROR: An Error Has Occured, Please Contact Your System Administrator

Be sure to show appreciation the next time you speak with a System Administrator! Not everyone can do their job successfully, and we here at PGH Networks greatly appreciate our service team and the hard work they put forth daily! Thank you!


NEED TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT?

At this point, you can tell that we greatly appreciate our support team and value their expertise. If your organization requires continued technical support, please contact us immediately!

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UNDERSTANDING THE MANAGEMENT OF COOKIES

UNDERSTANDING THE MANAGEMENT OF COOKIES

WHAT ARE COOKIES ANYWAY? 

Have you ever gone to a website that remembered the items you had left in your cart from the last time you visited? Or remember where you left off reading? You can thank Cookies for that.  

Cookies are tiny pieces of code that are collected and saved each time you visit a site. Cookies are what allow your experience with a website to be more personalized to you. However, tiny pieces of code can be used and sold in many different manners. 

It is crucial to understand how to manage your Cookie Permissions before selecting “Accept All Cookies” the next time a site prompts you. 

TYPES OF COOKIES

There are many digital cookies, much like the wide varieties of cookies at a bakery. Although, Chocolate Chip cookies are always the fan favorite! Wired provides a terrific, simple breakdown of each type of cookie and what it does. 

  • Session Cookies are temporary. These are not saved when you quit your browser.
  • Persistent Cookies will stay on your hard drive until you delete them, or your browser does. These have an expiration date written into their code. That expiration date varies depending on the site or service that issued them and is chosen by the website that places them on your browser.
  • First-Party Cookies are placed directly onto your device by the website you are visiting.
  • Third-Party Cookies are placed on your device but not by your website, aka the first party. Instead, they are put onto your device by advertisers, data partners, or any analytics tools that track visitors (usually at the request of that first party).
  • Strictly Necessary Cookies allow you to view a website’s content and use its features.
  • Preference Cookies, aka Functionality Cookies, allow a website to remember data you typed; for example, your user ID, password, delivery address, email, phone, and preferred method of payment.
  • Statistics Cookies, aka Performance Cookies, record how you used a website. Although these can see links clicked and pages visited, your identity is not attached to these stats. These can include cookies from a third party. So, if a website uses an analytics system from a third party to track what visitors do on that first-party website, it only divulges that tracking info to the website that hired the third party for analytics.

HOW TO MANAGE PERMISSION 

Since cookies depend on which browser or type of device you are using, you should understand how you can manage your cookie settings. Check out the below links dependent on your browser/device preference.

THE CAUSE OF THE COOKIE RISE

With the creation of GDPR and other legislation following suit, consumers are being prompted more often about managing their Cookies. The collected data is a driving force behind business decisions because of its insight into user activity. However, with the push of legislation to protect consumers like GDPR and CCPA, consumers are given the right to choose how their information is collected and shared.  

A business can face significant fines if they are not compliant with data sharing regulations. The cookie consent banner is annoying, but it is there to protect you as a consumer and the business.  

Cookie Inventor, Lou Montulli, hopes that in the future, there will be a universal browser setting similar to “Do Not Track,” where you can have the same cookie setting for your browser and be honored by every website visited. Until then, be sure to take a minute to adjust your cookie settings.


SECURITY & COMPLIANCE

Cookies can be captured on our personal and work devices. If you are concerned if your organization is meeting security or compliance standards, then please contact our team today to discuss a network assessment!

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GRC IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT

GRC IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT

WHAT IS GRC GRC stands for Governance, Risk, and Compliance. It’s best to understand each branch of the tripod before explaining why GRC is such a popular topic for organizations. Governance. According to the international standard of Information Security Management (ISO/IEC 27001), Governance is defined as the system by which an organization directs and controls security, specifies the accountability framework, and provides oversight to ensure that risks are adequately mitigated, while management ensures that controls are implemented to reduce risks. 

Governance is the heart of an organization’s culture.

Risk. The National Institute of Standards &Technology (NIST) explains Risk as a measure of the extent to which a potential circumstance or event threatens an entity and typically is a function of (i) the adverse impact or magnitude of the harm that would arise if the circumstance or event occurs; and (ii) the likelihood of occurrence. Risk is uncertainty at its finest and will lead to positive or negative results, or potentially both.   

Compliance. Our local Risk Advisory partner, Schneider Down, defines Compliance as the process of monitoring and assessing systems, devices, and networks to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements and industry and local cybersecurity standards. Organizations need to practice implementing adequate security controls to protect their assets continually.

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WHY GRC IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT

As your IT Experts, we have previously said this and are sure you have read it many times over, but today’s threat landscape is continually evolving. It is more crowded and uncertain than ever before, so ensuring your organization is protected is crucial. 

GRC is a driving force behind reaching that protection goal. 
 
Industry-related regulations like GDPR legislation quickly spread to the US and affect nearly every industry in some form or another. Almost all industries are faced with rules to meet and adhere to, and the consequences of not doing so are also on the rise. An organization can feel the expensive wrath of the consequence if they have not met industry standard regulations.

Compliance is being taken more seriously. Thus, IT risk and security have become part of the problem being solved by compliance. We can thank the hacking industry for this, too, as it has become more organized and profitable over the recent years, with cyber-attacks becoming more dynamic. The digital risk that an organization faces is high due to this. 

Lastly, as regulations and controls have been developed, organizations have been able to gain more data about themselves. Data brings more insights to drive data-based decisions, which we as techies feel is a positive for any organization!

LIVE WEBINAR TODAY, “WHY IT COMPLIANCE STRENGTHENS & PROTECTS YOUR BUSINESS” 

Join us today at 2 PM as we dive deeper into IT Compliance with Timothy Wolfgang, Manager of Risk Advisory Services of Schneider Downs. 

Tim will walk us through IT Compliance, why it is important for your business, and how you can use it to mature and grow your organization. Additionally, we will review the standard IT Compliance frameworks, how preparing for and conducting a compliance audit works, and how to respond to customer security and information requests. He may even share some juicy stories of exciting audits he has experienced!

REGISTER NOW


HOW WE CAN HELP

We know many different industry regulations from healthcare to supply chain and have trusted risk partners when additional testing and assessment are needed. Contact our team today to find out if your organization is fully compliant and what may need to be completed to avoid hefty fines. 

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