How to Configure a VPN Connection in Windows 8.1

 

Windows 8.1 VPN Set Up

 

 

A VPN is one common method of extending a private network across the Internet and gain access to network resources from a remote location in a secure manner.  A virtual private network (VPN) is a private network that uses public telecommunications infrastructure, usually the Internet, to connect to a private network, such as a company’s internal network infrastructure. A VPN remains private by using a secure tunneling protocol and other security mechanisms including encryption. This ensures that only authorized users can access the private network and that the data cannot be intercepted by anyone else.    

 

 

 

A virtual private network makes it possible to have the same privacy and protection when sharing network resources across WANs.  Many companies often use VPNs to communicate across multiple locations for both extranets and wide-area intranets.  Individuals may use a VPN to remotely connect to their office computer or server from another location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lenovo Laptops Pre-installed with Superfish Security Breach

 

Lenovo Superfish Adware Detection

Lenovo Laptops Come with Superfish Security Breach Pre-Installed

 

Any Lenovo laptop purchased since August may have come with a prepackaged adware bundle that includes malicious software. One specific adware included in the bundle is known as VisualDiscovery by Superfish, it monitors web traffic while the user is shopping, this data is then used to serve up similar ads to the images that were being browsed in the form of pop up ads. Experts have determined that the VisualDiscovery adware acts as a man in the middle attack, by placing a certification authority (CA) root certificate into the Windows list of trusted root certification authorities.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harnessing the Benefits of A Hybrid IT Network

 

Hybrid Cloud Integration Services

In today’s rapidly changing technology environment, cloud computing has proven to be especially valuable for small to medium sized businesses. Small businesses can now capitalize on the benefits of cloud services by avoiding deployment of expensive, physical network infrastructure. Traditionally, IT services such as data and communication management, as well as software installation and upgrades were implemented by onsite file and e-mail servers, and data storage systems, which were maintained internally, by IT personnel.

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Windows 10 Pre-Release Announcements

Windows 10 Logo

The much anticipated release of Windows 10 is right around the corner. Microsoft will be unveiling its latest software product upgrade in the upcoming weeks as reported by numerous tech news authorities.

 

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Yosemite Fixes For Distorted Video in Adobe, Safari Performance Issues and More

Yosemite Software Update

 

The have been a rash of problems with Apple’s new Yosemite upgrade. These will eventually get ironed out with software updates or with recommended workarounds. We will be going over the most common problems that some Mac users who have recently upgraded to Yosemite are experiencing. Additionally we will go over some fixes to these Mac OS problems.

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Problems with the OS X Yosemite Update and How to Fix Them

Problems With The Yosemite Update

 

Apple’s new operating system, Yosemite, offers Mac users many benefits and new features. However this recent, new OS upgrade has been causing strange bugs and quirks in the software. We will discuss some of the most common problems as well as some simple tricks you can try to fix them.

 

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Tis the Season for Heightened Cyber Criminal Activity: Tips on How You Can Protect Your Data

Cyber Threat Increase During Holidays

 

The holidays are key times for cyber-criminals to exploit the risky behaviors of unaware Internet users. According to an annual survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting, more people than ever before are planning to buy their Christmas presents from an online source this year.  As such a growing number of services for online shopping are offered on these platforms and IBM anticipates a significant increase of cyber-crime related to computer scams and identity theft.  Doing your shopping online with just a click of your mouse is often the simplest way to shop for many people, but it can also be dangerous.

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Data back-up storage

Data Back Up Lifesaver

The importance of backing up can not be stressed enough and lot of people don’t realize this until its too late. Considering how often hard drives fail, data back-up is crucially important for anything that can’t be afford to be lost. Sometimes failing hard drives are recoverable, but often data is completely lost.

 

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What Happens When A Hard Drive Fails?

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Mavericks and Security

Apple’s Yosemite is expected to be released in mid- to late October, and with all the hype, is looking to be quite the upgrade from Mavericks. The weeks following the release of new software or operating systems is always a bit rocky, however. Even though new software is thoroughly tested, it is unlikely to find each and every bug or incompatibility can be found before the release. Regardless, a lot of Mac users are very eager to upgrade, but should we just yet?

Taking a look at the hiccups and timeline of the Mavericks release can provide a context of what could go wrong. This is by no means a predictor of what will go wrong, just a guideline of the risks with jumping on the bandwagon the second the software is released. The risks range from slight nuances to major security issues.

10.9.0
In the first weeks that Mavericks was released, one major issue caused a lot of headache for users; the new Mavericks and Western Digital (WD) external hard drives had some compatibility issues. The problem was very specific, occurred most often when the external hard drive was used with WD’s proprietary software, that is the back-up data software that was provided when the drive was purchased. The results, however, were countless drives whose data had been lost and corrupted. A month later, WD released software that addressed the issue, although a number drives were unfortunately permanently corrupted1.

10.9.1
The first major update for Mavericks was released in mid-December of 2013. This fixed a lot of little nuances from the “dot zero” release. The most anticipated being the fix for Gmail and iMail2, making the two work together more streamlined. With this release, some code was overlooked that created a significant security risk for users. A security check in server authenticity while connecting to the server was missing. This allowed a man-in-the-middle attack to happen. This means that information sent from the computer through the network is intercepted and viewable by an attacker, who is looking for sensitive information like bank accounts and passwords. The patch, found in the 10.9.2 update, was not released until February of 2014 3.

10.9.2
Man-in-the-middle vulnerabilities are very serious, and the patch addressing it, among other things, was released in February 2014. With it, a few security holes again. The most serious having been the logging of Apple credentials via iBooks, which wasn’t patched until 10.9.44.

10.9.3
This patch for Mavericks addressed small code inconsistencies (which essentially all patches do) and thankfully left no major bugs–except the credentials access through iBooks was still not addressed5.

10.9.4
This update did not see any major security bugs and finally fixed the credentials access through iBooks.

10.9.5
The supposed last non-security update for Mavericks was released on the 17th of September of this year, around the same time the Shellshock bug was gaining media attention (even though the shellshock vulnerability has been accessible for years). The Shellshock bug allows unauthorized users to remotely issue commands on the exposed computer. Although Apple was aware of the bug in mid September, the patch for specifically this vulnerability wasn’t released until two weeks later, which received a lot of criticism from security experts; even now only two components of Shellshock have been addressed5.

What does this mean for Yosemite? It would be wise to hold out a week or two before downloading the initial dot zero release. This same bugs as Mavericks won’t happen exactly, but because Apple can’t test for each and every thing before release, other variants are expected. It is worth noting, however, that Apple allowed a public beta of Yosemite, which will certainly minimize the amount of things that will come up. Regardless if you decide to wait or dive in right away, always make a back-up.