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Internet Explorer Zero-Day Security Flaw Post by: Lynne Rooney May 16, 2014 | 3:22 PM

For many businesses, a web browser is one of the most important tools you use on a daily basis. Being in marketing, I use it every day because of the number of web based tools I use. Most Windows users use Internet Explorer (IE) since it’s automatically installed on all Windows computers. If you are using this browser you need to be aware of a recent security flaw.

What is it?

A zero-day flaw is a security vulnerability that is taken advantage of by hackers on the day it is discovered. In other words, there are zero days between the discovery of the vulnerability and people taking advantage of it.

The way most software programs work is if a user finds a security flaw, they will usually inform the developer who will then develop a fix and release it in a patch that users download. The problem is, sometimes it is a hacker who discovers this vulnerability. Instead of reporting it, they start to take advantage of the flaw, using it to attack other users before the developer becomes aware of it and has a chance to fix it.

The IE zero-day flaw

In late April, news broke that a zero-day flaw had been discovered in...

Processes Managed Outside of ERP can Put Your Business at Risk Post by: Pat Lacouture May 8, 2014 | 1:34 PM

Most businesses using an entry level accounting system or legacy ERP application manage many of their processes outside of the system, usually with spreadsheets. These workarounds as their called may even keep the business running pretty smoothly. They are easier than replacing the system and less expensive than a custom application.

The risk of spreadsheets

Workarounds may have become a comfortable way of doing business in your organization. Excel spreadsheets that hold customer and inventory information are stored in shared folders and carefully managed. But there are risks associated with those spreadsheets that put company assets in jeopardy.

Questions to consider include:

Are all the folders housing spreadsheets backed up regularly?

If a salesperson was hired by a competitor, could he make a copy of the customer spreadsheet and take it with him?

Can you pass an audit by your industry regulatory agency based on your spreadsheets?

Are you sure that the equations in your calculated...

Microsoft Issues Advisory on Targeted Attacks Exploiting Internet Explorer Vulnerability Post by: Lynne Rooney May 5, 2014 | 3:48 PM

UPDATE: May 1, 2014 - Microsoft Issues Update for Internet Explorer, Includes Windows XP

A vulnerability has been detected in Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6,7,8,9,10, and 11.  The vulnerability, detected by security firm FireEye, could be exploited by an attacker to gain user rights and take over your PC. 

 The attacker takes advantage of this vulnerability by getting users to visit a website and click on a link which installs malware on the user’s system.  Once the malware is on the computer, the attacker can take over the whole system.  They could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

That’s the tip of the iceberg.  The attacker could also get a hold of any personal information stored on the computer such as financial information, passwords, and email addresses.  And, there are ATMs and point of sale systems that are run on Windows of which Internet Explorer is the default browser.   

Microsoft is...