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North Korea Among Suspects in Recent Sony Hack

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

network security systems

The new James Franco and Seth Rogen film “The Interview” is set to hit theaters later this month, but not everyone was happy about it.

Because the movie centers around Franco and Rogen’s characters setting up an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in order to carry out a CIA plot to assassinate him, the government of North Korea spoke out against the film’s release. The government in Pyongyang decried the movie as an “act of war,” and threatened to take military action if the movie was released.

That’s why many thought it was only logical that when Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind “The Interview,” revealed that its network security systems were hacked on November 24, North Korea was the culprit.

According to the <i “>New York Times, the still-un-identified hackers leaked five full feature films, including Sony’s upcoming remake of “Annie,” onto illegal Internet file-sharing sites, as well as confidential internal information including executive salaries.

After learning of the attack, Sony Pictures shut down its computers and network security systems and required employees to do their work with pen and paper. The hack was especially crippling to Sony, as leaked documents revealed that 17 Sony executives earned pre-bonus salaries exceeding $1 million, The New York Times reports.

However, North Korea has denied being behind the cyber attack. According to the Washington Post, Pyongyang’s government didn’t take responsibility for the hack, but called it a “righteous deed” that was likely carried out by “supporters and sympathizers” on the country’s behalf.

The Sony hack is still under investigation by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, Reuters reports. Despite the cyber attack, Sony is still going through with the theatrical release of “The Interview” on December 25.

What are your thoughts on the recent breach at Sony? Have any other questions for us regarding computer support, advanced computer services, laptop repair services or other IT-related issues? Share your thoughts and ask whatever questions you have in the comments below.

Integrated Technology Services Inc. Becomes Corporate Sponsor for Community Outreach Program HALOS

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

 

Integrated Technology Services Inc. Becomes Corporate Sponsor for Community Outreach Program HALOS

Charleston-based information technology and computer repair company continues its work with the surrounding community by sponsoring HALOS, a program that assists abused and neglected children and their guardians

 

On Friday, Nov. 14, Integrated Technology Services Inc. (ITS) announced its corporate sponsorship of HALOS (Helping and Lending Outreach Support), a community outreach program that works with abused, neglected and at-risk children in Charleston County.

Tiffiny Hladczuk, President, says the choice to become a sponsor of HALOS was an obvious one, because she and husband Michael Hladczuk have already been working to help children in the community for a long time.

“Michael and I are foster parents; we volunteer as mentors at Eagle Harbor Ranch, and have served as volunteers in the child care, foster care and adoption arena together for more than 17 years,” Hladczuk says. “ITS is built on giving. We give to our customers, team members and to our community.”

Hladczuk says Integrated Technology Services Inc. will help HALOS in a number of ways as its new corporate sponsor.

“We are monthly financial contributors and will be providing free IT support and maintenance,” she says. “We will also be sponsoring 10 kids for their Christmas campaign and are looking forward to sending several kids to camp through the HALOS summer camp program and partnering with HALOS to support special needs.”

This isn’t the first time Integrated Technology Services Inc. has sponsored an organization to help the surrounding community. The company also sponsors Eagle Harbor, The A21 Campaign, World Vision, Water Missions International and Changed Lives Ministry, according to Hladczuk.

Integrated Technology Services Inc.’s sponsorship of so many programs stems from its fundamental belief that its success should help to strengthen the community.

“We believe organizations like HALOS are so important. We want our success to contribute to their success so that our community can be strengthened,” Hladczuk says.

About Integrated Technology Services Inc.

Integrated Technology Services Inc. is focused on providing exceptional IT services, providing IT networking, computer services, telephony and specializes in IT security and IT project management. The Integrated Technology Services team is experienced, and holds several recognized industry certifications. To learn more, visit itscares.com

New Study Finds Men Overcompensate…When Describing Their Computer Repair Skills

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

computer repair technicians A new survey reveals that the men in your life who say they are skilled computer repair technicians might not be as good as they think they are at fixing computers.

According to a November 17 CNet article, a Crucial.com study that examined 1,001 men and women between the ages of 35 and 70 found that approximately 46% of men say they are confident or very confident about their knowledge of computer repair tips and tricks. In contrast, only 27% of the women surveyed were equally sure of themselves.

The portion of men who felt confident in their computer and laptop repair abilities doesn’t quite stack up to the fact that an astonishing more than 90% of the men surveyed didn’t recognize that increasing their computer’s memory or RAM would likely solve their computer problems. Insufficient memory is one of the leading causes of lagging, slow computers.

“While nearly half of all men feel confident when it comes to fixing their computers, a large majority can’t identify the best way to fix the problem,” Crucial.com said of the study. “Even though insufficient memory is one of the most common reasons a computer runs slowly, only 8% of men attributed it as such.”

A similar amount of women, about 90%, were also unable to identify that memory deficiency was the likely reason for a slow-running computer — but at least they knew they didn’t know how to fix the problem.

So the next time any of the men in your life tell you they know just as much about computers as any computer repair technicians, take their boasts with a grain of salt. It may just be better to keep your computer running in top condition with advanced computer services from a computer support company.

Do you agree with this study’s findings? Do you know anyone who boasts about their non-existent computer repair skills? Share with us by leaving a comment below.

Why the Biggest Threat to Your Company’s Network Security Could Be Coming From Within

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

network security systemsDespite all the network security systems and IT consulting services your company invests in, there might not be much to stand in the way of the latest threat to network security management.

Because according to the Department of Homeland Security, your biggest network security threat won’t be coming from an external source — it will likely be from angered, disgruntled current and former employees.

According to VentureBeat, both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are warning companies against potential hacks from these employees, especially former workers who still have the login information needed to access their former employer’s networks and servers.

These workers are able to access their employers’ networks and server information with the increasing availability of cloud computing resources, which lets them hack into a server from a remote location. Companies hacked by their current and former employees have had losses ranging from $5,000 to more than $3 million, Bloomberg reports.

“There has been an increase in computer network exploitation and disruption by disgruntled former employees,” the FBI’s public service announcement reads. “The FBI and DHS assess that disgruntled and former employees pose a significant cyber threat to US businesses due to their authorized access to sensitive information and the networks businesses rely on.”

Studies confirm the major threat that these employees, both current and former, have to any business’ network security systems. Approximately 57% of all small businesses have reported an internal, staff-related cyber breach within the last few years.

How can businesses protect themselves against their own employees? The answer lies in being more vigilant of one’s own network security systems, and staffing network security specialists to monitor any possible cyber breaches. With the assistance of an IT compliance firm, it’s possible to help keep a business’ network safe from being breached from an internal source.

What do you think about the FBI and Department of Homeland Security’s warning? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

How to Establish and Maintain a Successful Partnership Between Your Business and its IT Consulting Firm

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

onsite computer servicesInvesting in an IT consulting or IT compliance service for your business is a great way to ensure your onsite technology is running as efficiently and effectively as it should be.

But how can you tell if the onsite computer services your IT firm is providing are streamlining and improving your business’ technology like they should be?

Experts typically advise businesses to choose an IT or onsite computer services provider according to both the current and future needs of your business.

“IT buyers should be looking for a solution provider that can do everything,” Beau Perna, senior manager for configuration services at CDW, explained in a recent BizTech article. “Enterprises shouldn’t have to go to one vendor for telecom and another vendor for onsite implementation and design and another vendor for configuration. Instead, they should look for somebody that can provide a turnkey, all-inclusive solution.”

Another important thing to consider when working with your business’ IT consulting firm is the level of security they can add to your network.

Advanced computer services such as enhancing your business’ network security systems with security auditing and penetration testing is a necessity these days. This is especially true when data breaches are increasingly common and 75% to 80% of these breaches stem from an internal source.

Lastly, you should choose an IT service provider based on its ability to be productive and time-efficient with the services it delivers to your business. According to BizTech, an ideal IT firm should be able to provide almost 4,000 configurations to your technology and network each day.

Ultimately, your choice of an IT service provider will determine how well your business’ technology runs on a day to day basis. And when you work with your IT servicer in a partnership, you can benefit from a streamlined, highly-effective relationship.

How did your business choose its onsite computer services provider? Share with us in the comments.