Avalon and DIGITS Successfully Complete an Extensive Information Audit

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Buffalo, NY (October 4, 2016)— Avalon Document Services and DIGITS LLC (a division of Avalon) have successfully completed the Shared Assessments Program Standardized Information Gathering and Agreed Upon Procedures (SIG AUP). The SIG AUP is an audit used by organizations to evaluate their information security program, which is inclusive of data protection, privacy, and business resiliency from IT failure. Avalon/DIGITS retained and independent CPA firm to complete the audit, which consisted of the evaluation of policies, procedures, and controls for the purpose of alignment with current regulations, industry standards, guidelines, and information security best practices.

To read more about this audit, continue to the Avalon blog…

Common Causes of a Network Breach

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Nothing illustrates root causes of data breaches (among other things) quite like a nice pie chart. The Ponemon Institute’s 2016 study showed that malicious or criminal attacks still contribute to half of the pie, while negligent employees and system glitches share the other half.

The three top ways the 50% get to your sensitive data is insecure passwords, outdated software, and careless downloading.

Read more about the most common network breach vulnerabilities over on the Avalon blog…

E-mail Security: A Growing Concern

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If my inbox had a bouncer, I would make sure it kept out the “work from home”s and the “financial freedom”s that continue to find their way into my e-mail — and my heart. I’d like to think I’m not the only one still falling for these e-mail subject buzzwords, but I know you’re all smarter than that.

The recent major security breach that caused e-mail leaks from top Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials is increasing concerns associated with e-mail security. WikiLeaks released almost 20,000 confidential e-mails of the DNC’s staff members. Following this revelation, businesses need to ask “are we the the next target?”

To continue reading this article, please continue to the Avalon blog here…

Dropbox Dropped the Ball

You probably have enough managers in your life—your boss, your boss’s boss, your kids, your spouse, your dog—but we suggest you seriously consider getting just one more: a password manager.

password-866979_1920The good news is you don’t have to fetch coffee for or even talk to this manager. A password manager is a software application that stores and organizes your passwords, typically in an encrypted state. You create a complex, creative master password and use it to unlock and gain access to your entire password database. And if you get lazy, most password managers have the ability to generate, and subsequently store, unique complex passwords as needed.

Continue reading the full article on Avalon’s website: Dropbox Dropped the Ball 

Life’s a Breach

Written By: Mike McCartney, President of DIGITS, LLC – A Division of Avalon

stockvault-cyber-security-concept-open-and-closed-locks176755-768x540Typically, we consider ourselves pretty serious nerds when it comes to computers. But, we have to admit, cyber attackers are a challenge even for us. They hack into other people’s secure information, and they’re good at it. So it’s important to protect yourself and your company from these cyber assailants.

Many large, internationally known corporations—Target, eBay, Stubhub, and many others—have become victim to such attacks. But small, unknown companies are suffering as well. No one is immune to this alarmingly increasing trend.

Continue reading the full article on Avalon’s website: Life’s a Breach

The Cloud for Dummies Like Me

Written by: Ashley Hazlett, Director of Marketing – Avalon & DIGITS LLC – A Division of Avalon

Cloud-Data-Thumb-DriveWe all know someone who takes photos with their digital camera, uploads those photos to Facebook or a photo-sharing site, and then never deletes the images from the memory card.

I’m looking at you, Aunt Christine.
And for what? For fear of never having access to them again? With the increasing popularity of the cloud, those fears can now go away.

Aside from the previous sentence, you have no doubt heard the term “the cloud” upwards of 27 times just this week. You might have even used it yourself. But do you know what this trendy buzzword really means?

Continue reading the full article on Avalon’s website: The Cloud for Dummies Like Me

Law Firms & CPA Firms are Targets of Organized Hackers

Written By: Michael McCartney, President of DIGITS, LLC – A Division of Avalon

I think we can all agree that the FBI is badass. So when they say something is threatening us, it’s for real. In November 2009, the FBI issued their first official warnings concerning spear phishing attacks targeting U.S. firms.

stockvault-hacking-concept-transparent-hands-over-computer-keyboard180407-768x505A spear phishing attack is when an e-mail is sent to a high-level executive of a firm that appears to originate from another high-level executive within the firm. The e-mail from the attacker has the same e-mail convention that the firm uses (e.g., john.smith@lawfirm.com) and the content of the e-mail can be as simple as, “After our conversation last week, I found this interesting article that I thought was very much on point for your matter.” The e-mail has an embedded link that, if clicked, takes the recipient to a website that downloads the referenced article as well as a payload allowing remote access to that computer system. This is an entry point into the corporate network and, depending upon the level of access the victim has, the hacker can laterally access other resources and data as well.

Continue reading the full article on Avalon’s website: Law Firms & CPA Firms are Targets of Organized Hackers

DIGITS Responds to the DNC Security Breach

Written by: Stu Babson, Senior Forensic Examiner, DIGITS LLC – A Division of Avalon

DNCDespite Donald Trump’s best efforts to monopolize the media with his policies and facial expressions, the Democratic party is sparking all sorts of chatter lately. First, Bradley Cooper apparently set off some Republican fans of his by attending the Democratic National Convention and daring to show his face in the crowd. Second, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) suffered a security breach that added to concerns associated with e-mail security.

Although Bradley showed off a pretty serious beard at the convention, most would say the second hot topic is more newsworthy.

See how we would have handled the security breach in the full article DIGITS Responds to DNC Security Breach on Avalon’s website.