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2009 has proven to be another interesting year and the IT Department has been kept very busy. The biggest challenge has been due to the fact that a large number of our operations are now off site. As more of Coulson operations are working from remote sites, more often than not in remote countries, the challenge is for our employees and contractors to have access to our systems without sacrificing security. We are currently in the process of upgrading our firewalls and installing a new vpn appliance which will enable us to accomplish this in a manner that will give users access to more of the required documentation and applications than they do currently, in a secure and user friendly format. We are planning to go live with the new system in Jan of 2010.
Always remember however that you, the end user, also play a large part in keeping our systems secure, so don’t forget the golden rule. NEVER give out your password!
Not every Christmas card wishes you well!
By the time you read this it will be less than a week until Christmas and most of us have prepared Christmas postcards for family, friends and business partners. Some of us send them in the classical way, and some use electronic ways to send them. So it is no surprise that in December you see a lot of emails in you inbox announcing you that you received an electronic postcard from someone you may know. Always remember that even if you know the sender of such emails you should pay attention where you click. Many of the emails you receive contain links to malicious files or websites. Once executed the malicious files install Trojans or other malware on your computer which may cause you a lot of trouble.
Fortunately, most of the email clients (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) have a basic detection built in and are able to warn the user that there is something wrong with the email. Unfortunately, this detection is very primitive and has a lot of false positives. But, even so, it is a simple warning which should draw attention to the link pointed in the file.
IMPORTANT: if you see that the link points to a file (no matter with which file extension, for example .jpg or .scr), DO NOT click on it as this is a clear sign that the file is malicious.
Aaron and I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmasand a Happy New Year!