login Issues

There are over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts to the Microsoft cloud services every day. Cyberattacks aren’t slowing down any time in the near future, and it’s worth noting that most attacks have been successful simple means. It only takes is one compromised set of credentials (user name/password), a legacy or an unpatched application to cause a data breach. This shows how critical it is to ensure password security and a strong authentication process.

Learning about common vulnerabilities and the single most important action that you can take to protect your accounts from attacks is MFA.

Common vulnerabilities

  • Business email compromise, an attacker can gain access to a corporate email account, through phishing or spoofing, and can use it to exploit a system for many reasons. Accounts protected with only a user account and password are the easiest to compromise.
  • Legacy protocols can create a major vulnerability because applications that use basic protocols, such as SMTP, were not designed to manage Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). So even if you require MFA for most use cases, attackers will search for opportunities to use outdated browsers or email applications to force the use of less secure protocols.
  • Password Usage, Considering that up to 73 percent of passwords are duplicates, this has been the most successful strategy for many attackers and it’s easy to do. The process of password spray and credential stuffing attacks make it easy to compromise a system. Common passwords and credentials compromised by attackers in public breaches, social media share and tell sessions are used against corporate accounts to try to gain access.

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

What you can do to protect your organization

You can help prevent some of these attacks by banning the use of bad passwords through group policies and enabling a stricter password policy, blocking legacy authentication, and training employees on phishing attacks. However, one of the simplest and most effective things you can do is to just turn on MFA. By providing an extra barrier and layer of security that makes it incredibly difficult for attackers to get past, MFA can block over 99.9 percent of account compromise attacks. With MFA enabled, knowing or cracking the password won’t be enough to gain access.

According to the SANS Software Security Institute there are two primary obstacles to companies adopting MFA implementations today:

  1. A misconception that MFA requires external hardware devices.
  2. Concerns about potential user disruption or concern over what may break.

Matt Bromiley, a SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response instructor, says, “It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. There are different approaches your organization could use to limit the disruption while moving to a more advanced state of authentication.” These include a role-based or by application approach—starting with a small group and expanding from there. Bret Arsenault shares his advice on transitioning to a passwordless model in Preparing your enterprise to eliminate passwords.

Passwordless authentication technologies are not only more convenient for end users but are extremely difficult and costly for hackers to compromise. Learn more about Microsoft passwordless authentication solutions in a variety of form factors to meet user needs.

Server Technician

What Is a Server Support Technician?

A server support technician manages, repairs and analyzes an organization’s servers, making sure everything is running, up to date and secure.

Other duties of a server support technician may include the following:

  • Running routine security and vulnerability scans
  • Assemble and install physical hardware as and when required
  • Maintain an accurate inventory of equipment and connections
  • Oversee the disposal of obsolete and sensitive equipment
  • Install and support software packages
  • Operate and monitor complex computer systems, and network infrastructure
  • Know the different server types; Authentication, database, mail, web, file and print, virtual and host servers

A server technician needs to analyze the performance of an organization’s servers and resolves any issues that may arise. Someone in this role should have great problem-solving skills and be highly knowledgeable in Windows and other Server Operating systems. They are also responsible for installing hardware, racks and operating systems.

Many technical staff may work remotely and on a contractual basis, working where the problems occur. Strong verbal and written communication skills are an essential requirement for this position. People in this role must be able to work independently, with minimal to no supervision. Some of these people may very well end up as server or network design architects.

IT Career

Changing Career

Mainly (but not only) for my students in the Edmonton area, attending the ITC program at MCG Career group. You are attending a course that will propel you into a new career, an IT career, and one that you should be excited to be part of. The following tips may help you move forward and enjoy the ride.

1. Don’t just step, but jump out of your comfort zone.

2. Don’t worry too much about the first test, “IT Fundamentals”. Just focus on the content being covered each day and keep moving forward.

3. You are in a class that has various levels of IT competence, but don’t compare yourself to these. The only person you have to compete with is yourself. Attend classes at all costs and concentrate on learning something new each day.

4. One thing, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your instructor / mentor or teammates. Peer learning is always an essential skill builder for today’s technology workforce.

5. Know your 30-second “About Me” by heart and be able to give it at a moment’s notice. This statement requires that you know exactly where you want to be and what it takes to get there. I will post more about this next week.

6. Have a short term career plan ready to discuss during interviews, and consider how potential managers and other company leaders might serve as mentors and role models to get to your goals.

7. Connect and build relationships with co-students from the current class and if possible past classes to. Building a professional network should begin on the first day of class or as soon as possible thereafter.

8. Technical skills are essential to a good IT career but mastery of soft skills like communication and active listening are just as important. The critical soft skills for any IT professional are communication, collaboration, critical observation, problem solving and leadership. Possessing any or all these will set you up ahead of the crowd.

9. Great interviews begin with research, so start with the companies website and document their strong points and vision statement and work around them. The interviewer wants to know that you will fit in with the current employees and not disrupt the status quo.

10. Professional organizations and networking events are a great way to network and meet potential employers. This informal environment will be less pressure to discuss potential opportunities than a formal interview.

11. Great interviews are a conversation that is the result of planning and questions prepared ahead of time.

12. You are in the ITC program for a reason, so as soon as possible set goals for yourself, both short and longer term. This will help give you direction, and help you ask the right questions ahead of time.

13. LinkedIn is a great career tool while climbing the IT ladder. Get a head start on establishing an online presence by setting up an account. Do remember that past achievement will be an asset no matter what industry it comes from. Recruiters are always scouring here to find new clients. Connect with others and professional groups. Be there when the recruiters or companies post or search for professionals in your area.
Reflecting on the above, you have to start somewhere, so keep calm set yourself a goal and a task list, work through it one step at a time and you will be amazed how soon your actions will get you to where you want to be. You have to remember the golden rule! you control your own destiny, if you wait on others for direction, you will never be able to really go out and have fun in your new career.

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Welcome to the new Varciti IT Solutions website.

We have moved our public facing page away from Office 365 SharePoint infrastructure to a WordPress site due to the fact that Microsoft has discontinued supporting the public site collection infrastructure in Office 365 and have partnered with some major providers to give special rates to the affected customers. Office 365 Customers public sites will now be available in either a WordPress of WIX site or even a standard HTML based Website.