Windows Explorer

Today again I had the top section of my windows explorer just disappeared and I was not able to close the program using the x at the top right section of the header.

I was able to recover it by resetting the screen resolution and magnification, then later I found this trick that seems to force a screen reset. I was able to move it to my second screen an there is was just fine, so as long as I did not move it back to the surface primary screen it was just dandy.

The Ctrl+Shift+Win+B key sequence will restart your graphics driver.

Microsoft VTS

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Microsoft Edge Cache

How to Hard Refresh and Reload a Page in Edge Under Windows 10?

Many time this happens when you are customizing a page and will not refresh and continues to use the cached page. In this case, the best thing to do is to refresh and reload the Page in the Edge Browser Cache.

The normal way to reload a page is to click on the page refresh icon at the top left of the browser next to the address bar. However if a page has a long “Time To Live” (TTL) the browser will reload the cached page and not fetch a new copy of the modified page.

To force Edge to clear the page from cache you must do a hard refresh by pressing the “Ctrl” key on the keyboard and then click on the refresh icon on the left side of the search bar.

How secure is your data

How Secure is your Data?

Data encryption security

USA has never allowed high tech encryption technologies to be exported unless approved by the US government.

Your question has to be! Why?

Could it be that, unless they can hack the product that it would/could cause a threat?

France does not allow encrypted emails, what more do we need to know about security, or the lack of it.

So how secure is your encrypted data?

Not at all secure, secure from the average hacker, but not secure from a professional, they have all of the secondary keys to decrypt the data.

We have Data and we have Encryption.

As a company, we have Data and it is always recommended that we use encryption to secure our data, but how secure is our data?

Hacking a broken padlock security issue.

My mind always reverts to the question, who invented the new encryption algorithm? Was it really an average person or does it originate at the DoD or one of the other 3 letter agencies, that are showing people a new highly secure environment, one that has backdoors to the plain text data.

Our life in IT security is an illusion, all it means is, that we have to teach awareness of the issues to our staff and prevent the small fry from tricking our users into parting out too much information, or clicking on links that could lead our company into a real security breach.

Finance attacks

Varciti IT Solutions

Cyber attackers pare victim list but target finance firms

The number of ransomware victims declined by 40% quarter-over-quarter in the first quarter 2022 to 698, although attacks against the finance industry grew, cybersecurity firm KELA reported. Some hackers changed tactics by listing a victim on a leak site as an unspecific “new company” before revealing its name.

Full Story: ZDNet (6/6) 

4 step

A 4-Step Process to Achieve True Cybersecurity Success

Varciti IT Solutions

CompTIA 4 phases to cyber security

June 02, 2022 | By Wayne Selk

Cybersecurity phases blog

Where are you in your security journey? As a cybersecurity practitioner for the past quarter century, this is a question asked of many in the managed services provider community. The answer to the question varies. Some believe they have reached cybersecurity nirvana—that they are experts taking a leadership role; others don’t know how to get started. Some have started and are stalled. Wherever you are in your own cyber journey—or wherever you think you are—you might need help getting to the next step.   If that’s the case, view and download the infographic below to help you continue on your way.

The four phases outlined in the infographic were adopted from a ConnectWise whitepaper and video. The goal was to help managed services providers better understand the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and how they could mature their organizations in cybersecurity. The NIST framework is a risk-based framework, not maturity-based. This distinction is very important since most MSPs understand maturity yet lack the understanding around risk.

Download the Four Phases of Cybersecurity Infographic:
Vertical (mobile friendly)  / Horizontal (desktop friendly) 

1. Learn to Walk Before You Can Run

As you review the infographic the maturity model becomes very evident. Phase 1 is about getting started on your security journey. This is the most important phase and one many MSPs overlook. By skipping items in this phase, or the entire phase, MSPs could find themselves very unprepared for the subsequent phases and exposed to a cybersecurity incident.

It is important for all organizations, regardless of size, to have policies documented that are aligned to both business objectives and to the risk tolerance of the organization. Most MSPs feel they are too small for documented policies. Yet they also say they want to grow their business. Having policies documented when the organization is small allows leadership to focus attention on growing the business.

Another important item in this phase is understanding where sensitive and business-critical data are stored, processed and transmitted—both in and out of the company. This requires a complete inventory of all systems and devices, the software and applications, and who has the ability to access the data on each of those components. Once the inventory is complete, assign a risk severity to each of the data items identified. Your critical and high-risk items are the elements in need of the most protection and security controls.

Hopefully, you are not surprised to find sensitive or business critical information not under your direct control. If this is the case, focus your attention on resolving this issue quickly. The last thing you want is a severe negative incident that puts you in danger of losing your business. As you move into Phase 2, please keep an eye on the items from Phase 1. As you grow or as change happens within the organization, you may need to review your policies to ensure they are keeping pace with your business objectives. The same is true for your inventory.

2. Investments, Training Will Pay Off

Phase 2 is all about investing in your people, making your processes better, and solving for gaps with technology when appropriate. This is the opportunity to strengthen the security in your organization and really start developing your cybersecurity practice and culture. With your security skills and solutions inventory complete and keeping it up to date, you have set the business up for success. Instead of wasting precious dollars and time wondering if you have everything protected, you have created the ability to quickly find and assess whether or not the controls you have are able to best protect your business

If you find the controls are not adequate or a gap exists that has the potential for exposing your business data, then determine if a change in personnel or a process may solve or reduce the impact before investing in a technology solution. According to the latest Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, the human element accounted for 82 percent of data breaches in 2021. Also, 42 percent of data breaches were accomplished using stolen credentials, according to the report.

Technology is not going to solve for the human element and training alone is not enough either. Organizations need to take a very hard look at the security culture within the business. This is one of those top-down items and “do as I say, since I am doing it too” necessities all businesses need to work on regardless of size. Creating a security culture takes time and patience. The reward for doing so will pay dividends every day.

To that end, documented policies can have a direct impact on creating a security-first culture in the organization. Find new ways to increase awareness and understanding for the entire company. Perhaps engage your people to read about a topic or gap in the organization and write a paper or give a brief presentation during a staff meeting. Discuss the topic or gap and uncover ways to solve or mitigate any risk which may exist. Encourage your people to embrace security rather than have them find ways to avoid the controls in place. Reward positive behavior and encourage those who slip to try harder.

3. It’s Time to Start the Conversation

Reaching Phase 3, you are ready to start taking your security show on the road to customers and prospects. Armed with knowledge on how policies help a business and putting your best foot forward around security culture, you’re now prepared to help customers start on their security journey. You may find having conversations around security are easier and less stressful, since you can speak from experience; practice wheat you preach, as it were. Understanding your customer’s needs and helping them align their business objectives raises their awareness and understanding around cybersecurity. Showing clients and prospects that you understand their business helps gain trust, which is the cornerstone for any business relationship.

4. It’s Never the End of the Road

As you move into Phase 4, you begin to realize your journey is all about continuous improvement and helping others succeed. The feeling comes naturally as word of your success spreads across the industry and your client base. It is at this moment you realize the entire organization is hitting on all cylinders; business is booming, and questions are being asked like ‘How did you do this?’ At this point, you’re capable of giving back to the community and your peers. Your community includes your vendor partners and your customers too. Please remember that this is a journey, not a destination. The threat landscape is always changing and evolving, each and every day.

CompTIA is here to help you achieve your goals and objectives as a service provider regardless of where you are in your security journey. We have content to help your people better understand cybersecurity, as well as membership in the CompTIA ISAO to keep you up to date. The CompTIA ISAO is your one-stop shop for threat information and intelligence. Wherever you are on your security journey, the goal should always be for continuous improvement.

Wayne Selk is vice president of cybersecurity programs at CompTIA.

Political leaning

Varciti IT Solutions

Commentary: How political leanings skew privacy views

Having an opinion on government surveillance that changes depending on the party in power “will only serve to increase the privacy-infringing powers of current and future governments,” argue researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and the University of Maryland. Fears about “what the opposing party might do with our data is driving us to change our opinions, which doesn’t make sense given the structure of the government,” the researchers write.

Full Story: Scientific American (6/3) 


Cyber Security Risk Management

See How Qualys is Revolutionizing Cybersecurity Risk Management .

Thank you and enjoy the webcast!

You do not want to miss this year’s event, as we will be announcing some exciting news!  Stop by to hear discussion from Qualys executives and customers on:

  • CEO Keynote: “Bringing the Unified Power of Qualys Cloud Platform to Address Today’s Security Challenges”

  • Our Big Announcement! Hint: It’s all about risk.
  • Case studies from First American and others

  • And more

Manage email messages by using rules

Outlook Using Rules

Outlook for Microsoft 365 Outlook 2021

Rules allow you to move, flag, and respond to email messages automatically. You can also use rules to play sounds, move messages to folders, or display new item alerts.

The easiest and most common rule to create is one that allows you to move an item from a certain sender or with certain words in the subject line to another folder. You can create this rule directly from a message you’ve already received.

  1. Right-click a message in your inbox or another email folder and select Rules.Right-click a message you received to create a rule.
  2. Select one of the options. Outlook automatically suggests creating a rule based on the sender and the recipients. To view more options, select Create Rule.
  3. In the Create Rule dialog box, select one or more of the
  4. first three checkboxes.Select Create Rule to create a new rule.
  5. In the Do the following section, if you want the rule to move a message to a folder, check the Move item to folder box, then select the folder from the Select Folder dialog that pops up, and then click OK.You can move items to an existing or new folder.
  6. Click OK to save your rule. Note: If you want to run the rule on messages you’ve already received, check the box on the confirmation dialog that pops up and then click OK.

Create a rule using the Rules Wizard

There are three types of rules you can create with the Rules Wizard.

  • Stay organized: These rules help you filter, file, and follow-up with messages.
  • Stay up to date: These rules notify you when you receive a message that fits a specific set of criteria.
  • Custom rules: These are rules you create without a template.

Rules are almost infinitely customizable. There are a variety of options you can set for each type of rule you create. Use the following steps to learn how to create a rule using the Rules Wizard.Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5

  1. Select File > Manage Rules & Alerts to open the Rules and Alerts dialog box.
  2. On the Email Rules tab, select New Rule.
  3. Select one of the templates from Step 1. To start from a blank rule, select Apply rule on messages I receive or Apply rule on messages I send.
  4. In the Step 2: Edit the rule description box, click on any underlined options to set them. For example, if you selected Flag messages from someone for follow-up in Step 1, click people or public group to select which senders’ messages you want to flag, then click follow up at this time to select a flag and a follow up date.
  5. Click Next.

Out of Office Replies

Out of Office Replies

Outlook for Microsoft 365 Outlook 2021

There are two ways to send automatic out-of-office replies. The way you use depends on the type of email account you have.

Click File, then select the image below that matches your version of Outlook.

If you see the Automatic Replies button, follow the steps to set up an automatic reply below.

If you don’t see the Automatic Replies button, follow the steps to use rules to send an out of office message.

Set up an automatic reply

  1. Select File > Automatic Replies. Automatic repliesNote: For Outlook 2007 choose Tools > Out of Office Assistant.
  2. In the Automatic Replies box, select Send automatic replies. Optionally, set a date range for your automatic replies. This will turn off automatic replies at the date and time you enter for the end time. Otherwise, you’ll need to turn off automatic replies manually. Note: If you don’t see Automatic Replies, use Rules and Alerts to set up your out-of-office message.
  3. On the Inside My Organization tab, type the response that you want to send to teammates or colleagues while you are out of the office. Enter your automatic reply message
  4. Note: Sending automatic replies to anyone outside my organization will send your automatic reply to every email, including newsletters, advertisements, and potentially, junk email. If you want to send automatic replies to those outside your organization, we recommend choosing My contacts only.
  5. Select OK to save your settings.

Turn off automatic out-of-office replies

When Outlook is setup to send automatic replies, you’ll see a message under the ribbon with this information. Select Turn off to disable automatic out-of-office replies. If you want to modify the dates for your automatic reply or the message sent, use the steps above to modify your settings.

Note: For Outlook 2007, to turn off out-of-office replies, select Tools > Out of Office Assistant and uncheck the Send Out of Office auto-replies checkbox.

Turn off automatic replies

Update your Automatic Replies on the Outlook mobile app

You can update your Automatic Replies from Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android. Click here to get the app and manage your Automatic Replies on the go.

Troubleshooting: I don’t see Automatic Replies

If you don’t see Automatic Replies after selecting File, you’re probably using a Gmail, Yahoo, or other POP or IMAP account that doesn’t support the Outlook Automatic Replies feature. This feature requires an Exchange server or an Office 365 account.

You can setup a rule that will reply to incoming messages, but only if you leave Outlook running. For more information, see use rules to send an out of office message.