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LeeShanok IT News: Manage Privacy Settings

Manage Privacy Settings


Most device and software app manufacturers provide default privacy settings that are wide open, allowing any app to turn on your camera and microphone without even asking for permission or notifying you of the change. This can be easily resolved by managing your privacy settings in computers, laptops, tablets and phones. In addition, many legitimate apps from the Apple Store, Google Play Store, and the Microsoft Store require various permissions that make no sense. After granting all those permissions which enable app installation, you can then manage the permissions they are granted as you see fit.

Windows:

In the Privacy menu, look for “App permissions” on the left, and click [Location].

Under “Allow access to location on this device”, turn it OFF if you want to block Windows and all Apps from accessing your device’s location as shown below.

Or leave it ON if you want to allow some Apps and block other Apps from accessing your device’s location.

To select which Apps can access your device’s location, leave the previous setting ON and slide down the window as shown below.

In the example above, the only App allowed to access the device’s location is Maps, which makes sense. You can select App by App what you allow access.

Next click [Camera] under “App permissions” and repeat the same exercise.

Repeat for [Microphone] and work your way down the list.

By doing this, you take back management of which Apps can access various subsystems and private information.

Contact us for help understanding your exposure, available upgrade paths, and pricing.

Your technology Partner,
The LeeShanok Team

Tucson:   520.888.9122
Phoenix:  602.277.5757

New Internet Explorer Zero Day Remains Unpatched

New Internet Explorer Zero Day Remains Unpatched

Description

The zero-day, which is tracked as CVE-2020-0674, is a memory corruption issue in the browser’s scripting engine. Its exploitation could enable remote attackers to run code of their choice on the compromised system. Microsoft has released a security advisory alerting users to an as-yet unpatched vulnerability in its Internet Explorer (IE) web browser that is being exploited in limited targeted attacks.

What You Can Do

This can be mitigated by restricting access to the JavaScript component JScript.dll. Also, Microsoft noted that the risk of exploitation is lower on Windows Server, where Internet Explorer is, by default, locked down to protect against browser-based attacks. This restricted mode, called Enhanced Security Configuration, “can reduce the likelihood of a user or administrator downloading and running specially crafted web content on a server”, said Microsoft.

Other than that, we guide you to ensure strong firewalls, password policies and data encryption are in place. Educate your employees about browser-based attacks and urge them to be cautious. Upgrade to SSL if you haven’t already done so. Consult with a trusted MSP to learn more about how you can keep your data safe.

Article Source

LeeShanok Network Solutions

3877 N 7th Street | Suite 320 | Phoenix | Arizona | 85014
BRatia@leeshanok.com

LeeShanok IT News: End of Support – Next Week

This is the last week before Microsoft transitions Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Exchange Server 2010 to un-supported status. If you are still running any of these, it’s a good idea to get an upgrade project into your short term budget, as these software products will grow unpredictable and vulnerable as time passes.

Next Tuesday (January 14, 2020) is Microsoft’s “Patch Tuesday”, when the final patches will be released by the manufacturer.  January 15, 2020 marks the first day of non-support.

The chart below lists products and their approaching End of Support (EOS) dates.

 

Legend:

Orange – Already un-supported, some are quite vulnerable by now

Yellow – Approaching end of support

 

Business Applications

  • MS Office 2003 – April 8, 2014
  • MS Office 2007 – October 10, 2017
  • MS Office 2010 – October 13, 2020

Desktop Operating Systems

  • Windows 7 – January 14, 2020
  • Windows 8 – January 12, 2016
  • Windows 8.1 will reach end of support January 10, 2023

Servers

  • MS Exchange Server 2007 – April 11, 2017
  • MS Exchange Server 2010 – January 14, 2020
  • Windows Server 2003 – July 1, 2015
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 – Jan 14, 2020
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – July 9, 2010
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP4 – July 9, 2019
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2(SP3) – July 9, 2019</span

Virtualization

  • VMware ESXi 5.5 – September 19, 2018
  • VMware ESXi 6.0 – March 12, 2020

Contact us for help understanding your exposure, available upgrade paths, and pricing.

Your technology Partner,

The LeeShanok Team

Tucson:   520.888.9122
Phoenix:  602.277.5757

IT Budgeting Tips

LeeShanok IT News

IT Budgeting Tips

Budgeting for Information Technology continues to be important, and may be more important than ever as penalties increase for violations of compliancy and network breaches that result in loss of personally identifiable information. It can be argued that budgeting for cyber security and subsequently funding that protection shows evidence of “due diligence”.  With IT being a known enabler of business operations, it’s hard to find a more effective way to risk operations than by neglecting your IT budget or failing to fund budgetary line items when they come due. So how do you increase IT budgeting effectiveness without breaking the bank?

First, don’t delay your IT budgeting exercise, nor delay funding your budgeted line items. Imagine delaying your vehicle’s oil changes until the end of year.  Sure you’ll only need to fund one service, until the mechanic announces you need a new engine.

We recommend you meet with your service provider annually and request advice on software and operating systems approaching End of Support (EOS), as well as core infrastructure upgrade schedule.

When budgeting, start with known monthly income and expenses, and consider last year’s expenses as this year’s starting points. It’s good to periodically review these expenses and their providers to make sure you’re getting the lowest price available for what you need.

Each infrastructure device should periodically be evaluated for available firmware updates and patches, and your IT budget should include these updates. Backups and BDR solutions should be regularly evaluated to ensure that files and file systems restore successfully and there’s available space for future backup sets.

Next, host a budgetary planning meeting that includes your IT service provider and a representative from each department.  Ask your staff what they hope to accomplish with technology over the next few years, and capture this information so it can be mapped on a budget timeline.  This can be looked at as a “brainstorming” session, where criticism of ideas is kept at a minimum to encourage thinking outside the box. Another useful question is “what’s working and what’s not?”.

Following this meeting, research is required to identify and quantify requirements for the brainstormed ideas. You’ll want to involve your IT department or provider who can generate quotes with pricing.

Look over the quotes, then ask your provider to justify any line items you don’t understand, to explain labor entries and scopes of work, and to compare each solution against less expensive alternatives. Don’t forget to evaluate expected benefits and fulfilled compliancy requirements in addition to costs.

Dependencies need identifying, where one change requires another to occur in advance. Multi-stage dependency requirements can expand a project’s budget significantly.

Now how do you pay for these budgeted items?  With positive cash flow, available short-term assets, and by tapping equity and borrowing sources. Increase your positive cash flow by collecting payments quickly after you deliver your products or services, setting up your customers to pre-order from you, negotiating with vendors for longer payment terms, reducing your inventory to just in time, and continually re-visiting your budget to confirm spending and verify expected results. Many IT Manufacturers and Distributors offer attractive financing, sometimes annuitizing without interest and offering $1 equipment buyout at final payment.

Budgeting can increase stress.  By creating a budget in advance, involving all departments, and by making sure technology upgrade projects are planned for and don’t blind-side you, you can ensure the “going concern” nature of your organization and reduce everyone’s stress. This isn’t an illusion, but a very real result of your budgeting timeliness coupled with a reduction in frequency of invoicing surprises. You’ll look and feel like a hero.

Useful Resources

For a confidential discussion of your situation or concerns, give your Technology Partner a call.

The LeeShanok Team

(602) 277-5757  Phoenix,   (520) 888-9122  Tucson

Cox Voice Service Outage Sept 2019

LeeShanok IT News:
Cox Voice Service Outage

Cox Communications is experiencing an outage of voice service across the soutwest region today. Please see https://www.mysuncoast.com/2019/09/03/cox-communications-customers-report-outages-across-us/ for more information. Cox is aware of the issue and is working to resolve it.

For residential service troubleshooting, see https://www.cox.com/residential/support/outages.html

For business service troubleshooting, see https://www.cox.com/business/support/voice.html

For a confidential discussion of your situation or to get some help, give your Technology Partner a call.

The LeeShanok Team

Tucson: (520) 888-9122
Phoenix: (602) 277-5757