Shane Chambers No Comments

Tech Guard Tips: How to Work from Home Securely

Just a few months ago, it would be unimaginable that so many of us would be working from home. While more and more companies had been allowing some users to work remotely to some degree, the situation that we now find ourselves in is that a significant chunk of the workforce is now working from their homes, on very short notice.

As the Covid19 pandemic grips the world, cyber criminals have seen this increased online activity and confusion as an opportunity for them to take advantage of, and have stepped up phishing and scam attacks. We’ve already covered some of the main threats to look out for in another article, but now we’d like to share some of our tips on making sure you protect your company and your family’s data while working from home.

Many users are working from home for the first time, without the advanced safety features of their corporate networks to protect them.

Here at Tech Guard, we’ve come up with a handy list of our top security tips for those who find themselves suddenly working from home.

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Shane Chambers No Comments

Mid-Size Businesses at Increased Risk of Cyber Attacks & Data Breaches

Cyber crime has cost mid-size businesses more than €33 million in the UK in 2018, according to a recently-released report by financial services firm Grant Thornton. More than 500 UK businesses were surveyed as part of the study, Cyber Security: the board report.

Reputation loss was the most commonly reported impact of a cyber attack, according to 58% of respondents.
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Shane Chambers 1 Comment

Equifax Replaces CEO After Poor Response to Data Breach

Equifax, one of the “big three” credit bureaus in the US, is in hot water at the moment after suffering a data breach which has exposed personal data for 143 million people. Social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and even some driver’s license numbers are believed to have been compromised, making this one of the largest data breaches to date. While most of the data exposed to “unauthorised access” belonged to US citizens, Equifax stated that that “limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents” had also been compromised.


Equifax made a series of mistakes following the data breach, culminating in replacement of the CEO, Richard F. Smith

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Shane Chambers No Comments

Irish National Teachers Organisation Hit by Cyber Attack, Exposing up to 30,000 Teachers’ Data

INTO, the Irish National Teachers Organisation, has reported that it was the target of a cyber attack in recent days, notifying up to 30,000 teachers and retired staff who may have had their personal data compromised. The organisation has stated that any user who has completed online courses on their website (intolearning.ie) may be affected, which includes not only current teaching staff but also past staff who had booked retirement planning courses.


INTO, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, does not believe any financial data was accessed during the attack

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Gerry Morley - Cyber Security & Disaster Recovery Consultant No Comments

Worldwide disruption of Internet services due to Amazon Web Services Outage

If your favourite website or internet related service wasn’t accessible or working right yesterday it may not have been just you.

Amazon Web Services

Yesterday, Amazon Web Services S3 system which hosts well over a hundred thousand websites experienced a major outage for between 4 and 5 hours yesterday. Many popular websites (Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, Pinterest, Slack, Trello, Buzzfeed, Reddit, IFTTT, Quora, Splitwise and Medium to name a few) use Amazon’s S3 system and users of these popular sites may have experienced slowness in accessing such services.

Unbeknownst to users familiar with Amazon’s online shopping website, Amazon Web Services is a giant provider of the back-end of the Internet. It provides cloud-based storage and web services for companies so they don’t have to build their own server farms, allowing them to rapidly deploy computing power without having to invest in infrastructure.

While not all AWS customers were affected by the outage at one of AWS’s main storage systems, many experienced slowdowns in website reaction times, after a big portion of its S3 system went offline. Amazon wasn’t able to update its own service health dashboard for the first two hours of the outage because the dashboard itself was hosted on AWS.

“We’ve identified the issue as high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1,” Amazon explains on its services tracking page, adding that the issue “is also impacting applications and services dependent on S3.

The issue appears to have been resolved but these instances are always a great reminder of how much of the internet relies on just a handful of huge companies to keep it up and running and even massive companies like Amazon can have unforeseen issues which cause downtime.  Unfortunately, there will always be “ghosts” in the machine, and just like cyber-attacks, downtime at some stage is inevitable for nearly every business. It’s a case of “when” not “if” it will happen to you. That’s why it’s so important to have a backup, disaster recovery and business continuity plan for your own business so you can be best prepared to continue to maintain operations and service your customers even when issues happen.

Sources: USA Today, Engadget, Verge, BGR