Cyber and Cider 2023 Event Recap

The History of Cyber and Cider

In October 2022, Edge Networks kicked off its first Cyber and Cider networking event right in the heart of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It just made sense – an October cybersecurity event complemented by locally crafted cider. So, of course, we tracked down a local cider company, catered light bites, and put together a panel of cybersecurity experts for a panel discussion and networking event.  

After a successful event, we decided to plan for round two the next year. This time, we knew we wanted to mix things up and put networking front and center. 

Cyber and Cider 2023 Recap

On a crisp October evening in the heart of Portland, cybersecurity enthusiasts and professionals gathered at Portland Cider House for an event that seamlessly integrated cybersecurity, networking, and a touch of local flavor.  

Cyber & Cider provided space for the local cybersecurity community to mingle and connect with like-minded individuals. Conversations flowed freely, ideas were exchanged, and relationships were built. The energy in the room was evidence that the cybersecurity network in the Portland metro area is thriving. 

We recognize that the cybersecurity landscape is ever-changing, often daunting, and always critical. But within that landscape lies a tremendous opportunity to build connections that empower, educate, and protect our community. That’s why we are deeply committed to hosting events like this one. 

Our vision for this event stemmed from a desire to build a resilient and dynamic cyber community. The Vancouver-Portland area is overflowing with potential, marked by innovative startups, tech-savvy individuals, and companies that are at the forefront of digital transformation. Cyber & Cider is designed to be a place where these various elements come together to strengthen our collective cybersecurity posture. 

The Future of Cyber and CIder

We believe that by gathering local professionals and enthusiasts in a relaxed, approachable setting, we break down the barriers that often silo knowledge and experience. Cybersecurity is a field that thrives on shared information and collaborative problem-solving, and our event aims to facilitate these interactions. Through this, we want to create a ripple effect – one that not only elevates the cybersecurity readiness of individual attendees and their organizations but also enhances the safety and security of our wider community.   

Furthermore, Cyber & Cider serves as a platform for showcasing the incredible talent and resources available right here in our backyard. It challenges the notion that one must look to Silicon Valley or other tech meccas for innovation and expertise. We have a booming tech landscape, and by highlighting local experts and companies, we reinforce the area’s status as a cybersecurity hub. 

In hosting Cyber & Cider, we are nurturing a community where novices can learn from seasoned professionals, organizations can find their next cybersecurity solution, and where everyone can enjoy the camaraderie that comes from shared challenges and triumphs. This event is more than just an annual gathering; it’s a cornerstone in building a cybersecurity ecosystem that’s robust, inclusive, and distinctly Pacific Northwest. 


A Heartfelt Thank-You

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Sumo Logic, Gage Technologies, and the Technology Association of Oregon played pivotal roles in making Cyber & Cider a resounding success. Their dedication to the cybersecurity community is evident in the knowledge and resources they provided, contributing significantly to the event’s impact. 

Cyber & Cider was a great reminder of the thriving cybersecurity community in the Portland metro area and emphasized the importance of collaboration and continuous learning in the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity.

We’re so grateful for the unwavering dedication and tireless efforts of our exceptional team in putting this event on. From the initial brainstorming sessions to the final moments of the event, their commitment and hard work played a key role in making this event a success.

Stay Tuned for Future Events!

In the coming months, you can expect even more engaging, interactive, and informative events from us at Edge Networks that will further strengthen the cybersecurity community in the Portland-metro area. If you’re interested in getting notified about our future events, we invite you to sign up for our monthly newsletter below and follow us on LinkedIn to stay updated on upcoming events and what’s happening at Edge.

Once again, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated team for their unwavering efforts and to our attendees, sponsors, and the entire cybersecurity community for making Cyber & Cider 2023 a memorable and enriching experience. Your support fuels our determination to shape the future of cybersecurity, one event at a time. We can’t wait to see you at our upcoming events!
cider glasses doing a cheers

3 Skills You Need to Get Hired in Cybersecurity

In light of the recent wave of layoffs, we want to provide as much information as possible to help folks interested in tech/cybersecurity land their next cybersecurity job. (By the way, we’re hiring!)



1. For Cybersecurity Jobs, You Must Understand Ports and Protocols

Ports and Protocols are important concepts that relate to how networked devices communicate with each other. Understanding how these concepts work will help you to avoid sounding like Chicken Little running around yelling, “The sky is falling!” any time you see some activity. 

 A port is a virtual endpoint through which data is sent and received. Think of a port like a door or a gate that data passes through as it moves between devices on a network. Each port is assigned a unique number, which is used to identify the type of traffic allowed through that port. For example, port 80 is commonly used for HTTP traffic (i.e. web browsing), while port 22 is used for SSH traffic (i.e. secure shell connections).

 A protocol is a set of rules that dictate how data is exchanged between devices on a network. In cybersecurity, they determine how data is transmitted and secured. For example, the HTTPS protocol is used to send data securely over the web, while the SSH protocol is used to create secure connections between devices. 

Understanding different ports and protocols and how they relate to each other will enable you to determine what network activity is usual and what activity is unusual. From there, you can dive in and check for possible attacks or compromises.


#2: Read Cybersecurity News

One of the most common interview questions is, “What sources do you use to stay current with current cybersecurity news?” There are a lot of sites out there, but here are a few we recommend:

  1. Bleeping Computer – A casual source. But it can be a great way to stay engaged and interested in the content because it’s not jargon-heavy. They’re great at keeping their ear to the ground, so we recommend checking them out to keep updated with recent breaches, attacks, and exploits.
  2. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – CISA is excellent at providing specific technical details to handle new exploits and vulnerabilities as they arise.
  3. Forbes Cybersecurity – Forbes is a popular source of information, especially for less technical readers. Keeping up to date with cybersecurity news in Forbes is a great way to keep tabs on what information is being circulated that non-technical clients/staff may ask you for more information about.


#3: Be Familiar with Common Tools Used in Cybersecurity Jobs

Interviewers will likely ask you if you’re familiar with the tools they use at their company. Being able to confidently say, “Yes, I do know a bit about that tool.” will go a long way. When looking at a company’s job description, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the tools listed if you aren’t already familiar with them.

Sometimes, an interviewer may ask you what tools you’d recommend they implement at their company. To be prepared for this question, having suggestions for the following will set you up to crush this question:

  1. Antivirus
  2. Logging
  3. SIM Solution
  4. Phishing Simulations
  5. Vulnerability Scanning


You Have What it Takes When Searching for Cybersecurity Jobs

We hope these tips will help you explore cybersecurity jobs and find the one you’re looking for! If you have any questions about what to expect in the cybersecurity world, feel free to reach out to us with your questions.

Check out our Careers page to learn more about working at Edge Networks and the roles we’re currently searching to fill.

The Top 3 Cybersecurity KPIs Every Business Needs to Track

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are an excellent way to measure your team’s success. When it comes to Cybersecurity KPIs, there are a few we recommend to be at the top of your IT team’s list. 


#1: How Prepared Are You?

As the attack surface continues to expand with the introduction of new technologies, it’s crucial for teams to regularly assess their preparedness to handle a cybersecurity incident.

A deep understanding of possible threats determines how prepared your team is to respond to a breach. Tools like 
VirusTotal and Open Threat Exchange (OTX by AT&T) can provide insights into the latest trends and developments in the digital landscape, helping your team stay up-to-date and better prepared to keep your company’s data safe and secure.


#2: Unidentified Devices

Unidentified devices are any devices that are connected to your company’s network but are not properly registered or authenticated. These devices could be owned by employees, contractors, or other third parties, but they may also be owned by outsiders who have gained access to the network.

Tracking and identifying all devices connected to your company’s network is essential. This includes laptops, desktops, smartphones, and other internet-enabled devices. Having a record of all devices helps ensure that only authorized users have access and that any unidentified devices are promptly removed.

In addition to maintaining clear documentation of devices, networking monitoring tools can help with ongoing tracking of what devices are connected.


#3: How Long Does It Take To Recover?

Conducting regular tabletop exercises, where the team practices responding to a hypothetical incident, such as a ransomware attack or an unidentified device accessing the network, can help ensure that your team is ready to quickly and effectively address modern threats.

1. Assemble Your Team

Gather all relevant team members, including IT staff, cybersecurity professionals, and key stakeholders.


2. Choose a Scenario

This could be a simulated cyber attack, data breach, or any other incident that could impact your organization.


3. Walk through the scenario step-by-step

Start by setting the scene and outlining the initial incident. Then, have team members discuss and decide on their response, just as they would in a real-life situation. This might include activating your incident response plan, communicating with stakeholders, and taking necessary remediation steps.


4. Debrief and review

After the exercise is complete, take some time to debrief and review what happened. What went well? What could have been done better? Use this feedback to identify any areas for improvement and update your response plan as needed.

At a minimum, it’s recommended to conduct preparedness exercises annually to ensure that your team has the skills and resources necessary to respond to a cybersecurity incident. In addition, investing in a well-documented and rehearsed preparedness process can save time, money, and data in the event of a real incident.


Group of people discussing cybersecurity KPIs

Get Started Today

Keeping up with the trends can be tedious on your own, which is why we’re here to help. Outsourcing some or all Cybersecurity and IT is a smart business decision that can benefit businesses of all sizes.

Edge Networks can help you save money, improve your cybersecurity posture, optimize your systems, free up your time, and give you peace of mind. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to manage and maintain your technology infrastructure, Managed IT is the right choice for you.

Contact us
 today to learn more.

Cybersecurity Trends To Follow Beyond 2022

As the digital world continues to grow, so does the cyber threat landscape. Therefore, IT departments must stay updated with cybersecurity trends to stay one step ahead of hackers.

Are you curious about what to focus on? Here are a few key trends to watch:


Attack Surface Expansion

In the past, IT was managed within the borders of an IT environment company’s network.

Now with remote work and work-from-home staying mainstream, everything’s borderless. As a result, the 
attack surface, or the number of all possible points an unauthorized user can access your system, has expanded.

This can happen in many ways, but it is most often caused by introducing new systems or devices into an organization’s network.

Attackers can use these new devices to get into your IT infrastructure and run malicious programs. For example, if you are running a business with remote employees and you introduce a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection for them, this may open up an attack point for hackers to get into your network.

Working with a well-trained Cybersecurity and Managed IT team, either internally or externally, can help protect the flow of your company’s data, ensuring the safety of your network.


The Human Element

A solid onboarding and continuous learning program will set your team up for success. Technology is evolving rapidly, making regular training sessions an essential part of Cybersecurity health. 

At Edge Networks, our team goes through weekly training via 
Ninjio to stay updated with the latest trends and best practices to ensure our clients are provided the best possible cybersecurity and IT services.


cybersecurity trends

The Misconception of the Cloud

Cloud services are a boon in the remote work environment. However, cloud service providers are not responsible for the data stored on your company’s servers. They are only responsible for the infrastructure that runs the systems. 

There is a
 shared responsibility matrix to consider when using cloud services to store and share company data. The service provider promises to keep the infrastructure running, while your company promises to maintain the best cybersecurity practices to ensure the security of the company’s data.

Below is a diagram illustrating how Microsoft manages the division of responsibility.


A common pitfall is not keeping up to date with server patching. Cloud service providers will roll out updates to their servers to ensure the security and integrity of the cloud. If a company doesn’t stay updated with these patches, it can expand its attack surface points and put the cloud data at risk.


Get Started Today

Keeping up with the trends can be tedious on your own, which is why we’re here to help. Outsourcing some or all Cybersecurity and IT is a smart business decision that can benefit businesses of all sizes.

Edge Networks can help you save money, improve your cybersecurity posture, optimize your systems, free up your time, and give you peace of mind. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to manage and maintain your technology infrastructure, Managed IT is the right choice for you.

Contact us
 today to learn more.

Cyber and Cider 2022 Event Recap: A Happy Hour for Local Professionals

Image of Edge Networks CEO at a event.

The Event

In November, Edge Networks held a happy hour for local professionals, generously sponsored by 1Password. We had the exciting opportunity to network with IT and Cybersecurity professionals, enjoy delicious bites and beverages, hear from a conversational panel of industry experts, and come away with tips, tricks, new connections, and a few freebies!

Say Ciao! catered some incredible light bites and beverages. Say Ciao! is a local catering company in Vancouver, WA, and one of our team’s favorite places to order our weekly lunch from. Mela Brewing Co, another great, local company here in Vancouver, provided delicious hard cider for our attendees.



The Panel

Our cybersecurity panel consisted of industry professionals from Edge Networks, Intel, and Realwear, and they covered important topics like phishing, security patches, password hygiene, MFA, and more. Missed out or interested in a refresher? Check out the full Cyber and Cider Panel Recap.  We also got to hear some great personal stories, recommendations, and advice from our panel.

We want to say a big thank you to our incredible panel for taking the time to share your insight, tips, and advice. There is so much we can learn from experts like you!


Image of Dan

Dan Pritzlaff

Director of Cybersecurity, 

Edge Networks

Image of Shola

Shola Adegboye

Security Researcher (FIPS Program Manager), Intel

Image of Mark

Mark Needham

NetSuite Administrator,


Image of Alexis

Alexis Cozart, Moderator

Cybersecurity Analyst,

Edge Networks

Full Panel Recap

If you missed the event or just want a refresher, here’s the full video of our conversational panel. Check out our YouTube channel for more event highlights.


Special Thanks

We want to say a great, big thank you to all of our partners. From offering useful tools and resources, opening up your event space, providing excellent catering, sponsoring our event, and more, you have all contributed a great amount and without you this event would not have been as successful.



Let’s Stay in Touch!

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with future Edge Networks events and webinars, fill out the form below! We’d love to have you. 


Smart Home Breaches: How to Prevent Them and What to Do If They Happen

It’s no secret that smart homes are becoming more and more popular. For many, a smart home helps make life a little easier and even feel more luxurious, whether it’s a Google Home being used as a speaker to stream your favorite songs across the house, a Ring doorbell keeping track of who’s on your doorstep, or an Amazon Alexa automating tasks around your home. Consumers have access to a growing range of IoT appliances, including smart refrigerators, lightbulbs, coffee makers, and even washing machines, proving that there is something for everyone in the smart home device realm.

While this technology offers many benefits, it also comes with a risk: cybersecurity threats. Because the smart device market is expanding quickly, it has become a fast-growing target for hackers. In the first half of 2021 alone, there were more than 1.5 billion attacks on smart devices, with attackers generally looking to steal data or use compromised devices for future breaches and cryptocurrency mining. If proper precautions aren’t taken, your smart home devices can be vulnerable to data breaches too.

In this blog post, we will discuss what smart home breaches are, what to do if your device is compromised, how businesses can be affected, and how to prevent these breaches.


What is a Smart Home?

A smart home is a home that uses internet-connected devices to automate tasks like lighting, security, temperature control, and more. These devices are often controlled by a mobile app or voice assistant such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. While smart homes offer many conveniences, they also create new opportunities for cybercriminals to creep into your home.


smart home breach

What is a Smart Home Breach?

A smart home breach is when an unauthorized user gains access to your smart home devices or network. This can happen in a number of ways; here are a few of them.


Unsecured Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections leave your home vulnerable to attack. If a hacker gains access to your smart home, they can steal your personal data, spy on you, or even control your devices remotely.

By exploiting vulnerabilities in smart home devices, hackers can gain access to your network and steal your data. This type of attack is especially concerning because it can happen without the homeowner ever knowing that their security has been compromised


Malicious Apps

These breaches can often occur through malicious apps. There are many smart devices that can be controlled by mobile apps. However, there are also many malicious apps that masquerade as legitimate smart home apps. These malicious apps can give attackers access to your smart home devices and data.


Phishing Attacks

Attackers will send you an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate company, such as your smart home manufacturer or service provider. The message will likely contain a link that takes you to a fake website where you are prompted to enter your personal information, such as your username and password. Once the attacker has this information, they can gain access to your smart home devices and data.


What Should You Do if a Smart Home Breach Occurs?

Change Passwords

Change the passwords for all of your online accounts, especially any that are linked to your smart home devices. This includes your email, social media, and any other accounts that might be connected to your smart home in some way. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your credit report and bank statements for any suspicious activity.If you notice anything out of the ordinary, be sure to report it to the proper authorities.


Factory Reset Your Devices

 If you’re really worried about someone gaining access to your smart home devices, you can always factory reset them and start from scratch. While this may be a hassle in the short-term, it’s worth it if it means protecting your data and keeping your family safe.


Report the Incident

Reach out to your smart home’s customer support line and let them know what happened. They may be able to help you troubleshoot the issue and prevent it from happening again in the future. They may also have additional steps for you to take or may be able to help you remotely disable any malicious functionality that has been added to your devices.


How to Prevent Smart Home Breaches?

Reach out to your smart home’s customer support line and let them know what happened. They may be able to help you troubleshoot the issue and prevent it from happening again in the future. They may also have additional steps for you to take or may be able to help you remotely disable any malicious functionality that has been added to your devices.


Create Strong Passwords for Your Smart Devices

Setting a strong password for your smart device and your network can help keep your data safe and secure.


Use a Private Wi-Fi Network to Connect to Your Smart Home

You should also avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to connect to your smart home as these are often unsecure. Public wifi networks are often unencrypted, which means that anyone can listen in on the data being sent back and forth. This includes passwords, credit card information, and more. Ideally, you would use a private Wi-Fi network with a strong password. If you must use public Wi-Fi, make sure to use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt your data.


Update Your Device’s Software Regularly

To help combat breaches, it’s important to keep your smart devices’ software up-to-date. Manufacturers often release updates that patch security vulnerabilities, so by keeping your software updated, you’re helping to protect yourself from potential breaches and closing any potential security holes that could be exploited by malicious actors.


How Can Smart Home Breaches Affect My Business?

If you’re a business owner, it’s important to be aware that smart home breaches can affect you as well. For example, if an employee’s smart home is breached, the attacker could gain access to sensitive company data. To prevent this from happening, businesses should have strict cybersecurity policies in place, and employees should be trained on how to keep their smart devices secure.

If your business uses smart devices around the office, it’s important to take the right precautions to avoid a smart device breach. Make sure that all smart devices are password-protected and that only authorized employees have access to them. You should also have a cybersecurity plan in place in case of a breach. This plan should include steps for how to identify and fix the issue, as well as how to prevent future breaches from happening. You should also prioritize educating your employees on smart device security and best practices, as well as how to respond if a breach does occur.


How a Managed IT Service Provider Can Help

If you’re not sure where to start, a managed IT service provider can help you create and implement a cybersecurity plan. They can also provide guidance on smart device security and help you troubleshoot any issues that arise.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help keep your business and home safe from breaches.

Human Error in Cybersecurity Breaches

Running a business is difficult work. There are so many factors you need to consider. One area of business that’s become increasingly more important is cybersecurity. Cyber-attacks are on the rise, so you’ll need to do everything you can to protect your company.

Cybercriminals are always looking for ways they can exploit organizations. One of the main ways they like to manipulate people is by taking advantage of human error. So, what exactly is human error in cybersecurity, and how can you protect your company?

This article explains some of the different kinds of human error that affect cybersecurity and offers security tips to help keep your company safe.


Physical Security Errors

Many people don’t consider physical security a part of cybersecurity. However, cybercriminals often resort to “real-world tactics” as companies are increasingly paying attention to things like firewalls, antivirus software, and data backups. If a criminal can physically get into your company property, they can damage your digital infrastructure. For example, they could install new keyboards that log keystrokes, insert malicious USB sticks into workstations, or simply walk out with sensitive hardware.

Letting unauthorized people into your company offices is a significant human error that can compromise your organization’s security. Given that this type of error could lead to a significant security breach, you’ll need to take measures to minimize this threat. For example, you might require employee swipe cards or use specific keys or access codes to enter the premises. You also need to ensure your employees know that letting unauthorized people into the offices poses a risk to the organization.

Another physical security error is when employees don’t properly secure the site. For example, they might go home without locking doors properly. This could allow unauthorized people to get in and access the computer systems. You can mitigate these kinds of problems by having clear expectations and responsibilities laid out. Everyone should know basic security rules and know who is responsible for locking up the property at the end of the workday.


Skill-Based Errors

In small-to-medium-sized businesses, people often make skill-based errors. This is when someone performs a task incorrectly, potentially causing a security risk. For example, a worker might fail to correctly set up antivirus software on their workstation. Or they might turn off the antivirus protection entirely. You can minimize these skill-based errors by reducing the control workers have over their workstations. You should have clear administrator privileges set up. This means people won’t be able to tamper with the antivirus software unless they work for the IT department.

Skill-based errors don’t necessarily happen because an employee is incompetent. These errors often occur because an employee is tired or distracted. This means you can reduce skill-based mistakes by making sure your workers are not fatigued or overworked.

This type of error can also occur when employees don’t have the correct training or if they’ve been dishonest about their level of experience. As an employer, you must always ensure your workers have the skills they need to do the job. If your employees’ IT skills are lacking, you should consider training seminars or training courses. Not only will this help protect your company against cyber-attacks, but it will also help your workers develop their skills and become better professionals.


Decision-Based Errors

Decision-based errors are another kind of error that could impact business protection. This is when an employee makes a decision that leads to a security issue. For example, someone might open a file that installs ransomware on the company network. Someone could also plug in a USB stick that was infected with a virus.

If you want to reduce decision-based errors in your workplace, you need to prevent people from making poor security decisions. This means your staff will need to understand security risks well. You can do this by having security seminars and a clear security policy in your employee handbook.

Another solution is to have systems in place that prevent risky behavior. For example, you might prevent people from being able to plug in USB sticks or open EXE files.



Misdelivery is a form of human error where someone sends files, documents, or information to the wrong person. This can be a significant problem if your company deals with confidential data.  If misdelivery occurs, you’ll need to disclose the data breach to your customers, which could impact your company’s reputation and lead to less business in the future.


You can combat this by ensuring there are clear procedures for working with confidential information and ensuring you are compliant with security standards.


Password Problems

Another form of human error relates to passwords. Everyone knows that you need to have unique, strong passwords, but few people put this into practice. In fact, around 56% of people reuse the same password across multiple services.

When people do this with their work account, it introduces a problem. You can’t control what your workers do in their personal lives. If someone is using the same password at home and on their personal accounts, it’s a significant risk. If hackers get into their personal account using their password, it’s possible they will try the password across other services. This will enable hackers to breach your systems.

One of the best ways to deal with this is by having a good password policy. Having mandatory password changes every few months makes it much less likely that people will use the same passwords they use in their personal life.

Another potential solution is using multi-factor authentication. This is when you need both your password and a verification code to log on. When you input your password, a verification code is sent to a second device or service. For example, you might receive the code as a cell phone text message.

This is a great policy as it eliminates a lot of the risk of human error. Even if hackers have an employee’s password, they still can’t break in without the code.


Social Engineering

Another way hackers use human error to their advantage is through social engineering. Social engineering is when hackers use clever psychological tricks to manipulate people into compromising their security.

For example, someone might call an employee pretending to be the CEO. If the employee falls for this technique, it’s a serious human error. Social engineering is very prevalent because it exploits well-known weaknesses in human psychology. These attacks often convey a sense of critical urgency. If a situation feels urgent, people are much more likely to make a mistake and compromise on security.

In the last decade, most companies have stepped up their game in terms of cybersecurity. Most companies run robust firewalls and antivirus software, but none of this matters if a hacker uses social engineering techniques. Social engineering techniques are so prevalent in cybercrime that some statistics suggest hackers use social engineering in around 98% of attacks. The only way to protect your company is to make sure your employees understand how these attacks work.

The only real solution here is to have frequent security training. Your employees need to recognize social engineering and have someone they can report suspicious behavior to.

Human error is much more likely if people feel their reports won’t be taken seriously or if they’ll get in trouble for reporting a false positive. Creating a strong security culture in your organization is the best way to reduce human errors.


Take the Necessary Steps to Reduce Human Error

To conclude, you need to understand that some level of human error is inevitable. With that said, this article has shown there are many measures you can take to reduce the risk. You can have strong security policies, set up permissions systems, and create a strong security culture.


Of course, setting up strong cyber defenses is a very complex task. The world of cybersecurity is constantly changing, and it’s a full-time job in itself to monitor emerging threats.

With this in mind, working with a managed IT services company makes a lot of sense to help safeguard your company. If you want to work with such a company, contact us today and take the first steps in protecting against human error and securing your business.

AUGUST 2022: Major Vulnerabilities Found on Apple Devices, Users Urged to Update Software

On Wednesday, August 17th, 2022, Apple released two security reports revealing significant vulnerabilities that give hackers complete access to certain devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

We highly recommend you update your devices regularly to ensure the safety of your data and devices, and prioritize your organization’s cybersecurity.

“It’s important that companies have a patch management program to help them when zero days such as these come out,” shares Dan Pritzlaff, Director of Cybersecurity at Edge Networks.  “Apple did state that these vulnerabilities were being actively exploited, which makes them higher priority than your typical patch.”


What are the vulnerabilities?

The security reports highlight the two vulnerabilities found: WebKit, the browser engine that powers Safari, Mail, App Store, and other apps, and Kernel, which is the core of the device’s operating system. In short, these vulnerabilities give hackers the ability to execute any code and run any software as if they are you – the owner of the device.


Which devices are at risk?

Affected devices include:

  • iPhone 6S and later models
  • iPad including 5th generation and later
  • All iPad Pro models
  • iPad Air 2
  • Mac computers running macOS Monterey
  • Some iPod models (such as iPod Touch 7th Generation)

However, some models not listed may be at risk as well. 


Has anyone been affected by the vulnerabilities?

So far, there have been no confirmed reports where these vulnerabilities have been used against people or devices, and Apple has made no additional statements on the issue apart from the initial security reports.


How to Update Your Apple Devices after the August 2022 Security Reports

To update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, go to “Settings”, “General”, “Software Update”, where it should show you the latest version (iOS 15.6.1) to download and install.

To update your Mac computer, go to “System Preferences” then “Software Update” to download and install the latest version (macOS Monterey 12.5.1).

If your Mac is running on an older operating system such as macOS Catalina or Big Sur, your device is not at risk. However, updating your devices regularly are still highly recommended.


Remember to Update Your Software Regularly

To ensure you always have the latest security updates, turn on Automatic Updates in your device’s General Settings. Learn more about how software updates can increase your cybersecurity below.

We highly recommend you update your devices regularly to ensure the safety of your data and devices.

Software updates are just one of the many facets of keeping your company safe from cyber-attacks. To learn more about the health of your business’s cybersecurity, take our free, self-guided IT security risk assessment today, or contact us for a free 30-minute consultation.

4 Ways Penetration Testing Can Improve Your IT

You’ve probably heard of penetration testing, but you may not be entirely sure what it is or why your business needs it. Penetration testing is a type of security assessment that simulates a real-world attack on your systems to identify vulnerabilities. It’s one of the best ways to identify potential weaknesses in your system.

This may apply to a local service, a cloud database, or any other type of technology you use. Your system needs to be able to reveal vulnerabilities to be as secure as it can be. You risk intrusion if you haven’t examined your system design for any weak spots. Therefore, the first key advantage of a penetration test is that it makes your system more secure against hackers.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a brief overview of penetration testing and explain why it’s so important for businesses of all sizes. 


What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing, also known as pen-testing or white-hat hacking, is a type of security assessment in which auditors attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in a system. The goal of penetration testing is to identify weaknesses that could be exploited by malicious attackers. 

A penetration test helps improve your organization’s cybersecurity posture by performing real attacks to simulate what an attacker could do. These attacks will assess the risk of a potential security breach and see how far an attacker could go within your environment.

Good penetration testing should do the following: perform real attacks to test cybersecurity posture, exploit vulnerabilities, report and present findings, and offer guidance and prioritization on items that need to be addressed.

Finding a reputable company to perform these tests is extremely critical. Learn more about how Edge Networks can get you started.


How Can Penetration Testing Improve Your IT?

1. Making Vulnerabilities Visible

A penetration test is one of the best ways to identify potential weaknesses in your system.

This may apply to a local service, a cloud database, or any other type of technology you use. Your system needs to be able to reveal vulnerabilities to be as secure as it can be.


You risk intrusion if you haven’t examined your system design for any weak spots. Therefore, the first key advantage of a penetration test is that it makes your system more secure against hackers.


2. A Genuine Simulation

A penetration test mimics the steps a real hacker might take to access your system.

As a result, it becomes a very realistic test in its construction. Penetration tests have this important advantage because it’s a real way to gauge how secure your system is.


The parameters are the same as what a real hacker would use to try to break into your system.


3. Improve Compliance and Protect Your Data

Data protection is one of the most crucial security components for modern businesses. You risk future serious breaches if your company and customer data are not secure. This is a vital step in your cybersecurity strategy.

An expert hacker shouldn’t be able to access any of your data, according to a penetration test!

Penetration tests can also help your business with data compliance and regulation.

You can use a pen-test to ensure your system’s design complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Penetration testers will highlight these issues if it isn’t.

Then, you’re able to address these issues to guarantee that your company continues to operate in full compliance with all applicable laws.


4. Fortifies Trust In Your Business

Customers will feel more comfortable doing business with you when you demonstrate your integrity in this manner. They’ll think you’re acting more professionally because of your penetration tests. 


As a result, customers are likelier to stick with your business or brand because they will feel your processes and systems are rigid and secure.

This is where penetration tests come in handy, as they can help you get more clients. All you need to do is show your customers that you’re working hard to fix any problems and provide the best service possible.


Success With Penetration Testing

Penetration tests can benefit your business and your IT department or team. Whether you use an internal resource or managed IT solutions externally, both need to be made aware of the results of your penetration test. This way, you can ensure that your IT improves as a result of anything your vulnerability tests show. 

We hope this blog post has given you a better understanding of what penetration testing is and why it’s so important for businesses. If you have any questions about penetration testing or would like to schedule a test for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How to Choose the Right VPN Service For Your Business

Your location, IP address, browsing history, and device type are some of the things you leave while browsing the world wide web. A VPN can help encrypt your internet connection, preventing anyone from eavesdropping on the data you share online or which website you visit every day. VPNs are an invaluable tool for everyone, especially business owners. You can securely access sensitive business information even when connected to public Wi-Fi—no need to worry about cyber criminals when connected to the VPN service.

In this article, we’ll talk about what a VPN is, how to use it, what the benefits are, and how to choose the right VPN service for you. Feel free to reach out to us anytime if you have questions or clarifications.


What is a VPN?

Virtual private networks or VPNs are a service that protects your privacy and internet connection. It protects your data by hiding your IP address, allowing you to access hotspots and public Wi-Fi safely. When browsing through a VPN service, no one can see which website you visited or what else you are doing online.

You need a VPN when you regularly use public Wi-Fi or when you view sensitive business information. When connected to the VPN service, you can browse in full privacy without worrying about cybercriminals. 

No one wants to be tracked or watched online. With a VPN, you get full security. There’s no need to worry about data breaches because your traffic is encrypted. 


How Does a VPN Service Work?

When you visit a website, the internet service provider receives this request and takes you to your website destination. With a VPN service, instead of being taken directly to the website, it redirects your traffic to the VPN server first and secures your connection before sending you to your destination. 

With a client-based VPN, you only need to log in and connect. Connecting to the service authenticates your computer or mobile device, and the server applies an encryption protocol to protect all data you send and receive.

The VPN service will create an encrypted tunnel to fully secure the data traveling in this “tunnel”. It secures your data by wrapping it in an outer container, which is encrypted through encapsulation. The outer container is removed through the decryption process when the data arrives. 


What are the Benefits of Using a VPN Service?

Secures Your Network

Without a VPN, a website or an application can track your online activity and target you with ads using the data they collect from your activities. You may notice several ads popping up when you don’t use a VPN. The most effective way to hide your online activities and secure your network is through a VPN. 

A VPN can stop a software or a website from accessing online information and using this to their advantage. It keeps the online information you send and receive anonymous and secure. 


Prevents Data and Bandwidth Throttling

Because using a VPN secures your network, internet service providers cannot track how much data you are using when browsing or downloading applications on the internet. This comes in handy if your data is limited each month. You don’t have to worry about slow internet services when you consume a specific amount of data.

With a VPN, you can avoid a data cap, helping you work faster and save money. This tool is especially useful to small business owners on the road that use smart devices to access business-related activities online.

When you’re using Wi-Fi, the internet service providers can’t track the data used by your device, preventing them from slowing down your connection when you reach the cap.


Hides Private Information

The last thing you want is to have your private information exposed online. Without protection, hackers can gain access to this sensitive information and use them to gain access to your bank accounts or credit card information. Some hackers may attempt to impersonate you. 

It’s possible to hide your private information online with a VPN. This encrypts all your online communication, making them unreadable to cyber criminals. 


Allows Access to Restricted Websites

Some websites don’t allow visitors from certain countries or let them use all of their services. It’s usually common to streaming devices that only serve specific locations. They can block your access with your IP address that indicates your location. With a VPN, you will have another IP address, allowing you to access any website. 

If some of your employees need full access to websites with restrictions, it’s entirely possible with VPN. 


Saves You Money on Long-Distance Phone Fees

If you make several phone calls overseas, having a VPN can help you save money. There is no need to connect to the remote access servers when you have the VPN. Simply connect it to your local ISP access point to save more money. 



Compared to the cost of expanding your cybersecurity department, using a VPN service is more cost-effective. If you’re a business owner, you can significantly reduce your cost by using a VPN. On average, they can cost you $50 – $100 per year. The exact amount depends on what is offered by the VPN service. 

To maximize the benefits of having a VPN, consider investing in a good VPN router. With the router installed, your employees can easily use the VPN service. If you’re looking for the cheapest option for expanding your IT department, we suggest buying a VPN service. 


Low Maintenance

One of the good things about having a VPN service is that it’s not difficult to set up, and no high maintenance costs are involved. All you need is a VPN subscription, and you can use the service immediately. 


Are There Disadvantages to Using a VPN Service?

Nothing is perfect, not even the VPN. While they are extremely beneficial to businesses, especially when privacy is concerned, it does have their cons. 

Reduced Internet Speed

The encryption process in securing your data may take time and could affect your online experience. It’s important to choose the right VPN service, to ensure that it doesn’t slow down your internet connection. 


It Can Be Complex

Depending on who is providing the VPN service, it can be difficult to understand, especially for those who haven’t used the service in the past. Look for a VPN service that offers easy to use tool for connecting to the network. 


How to Choose the Right VPN Service


When choosing a VPN service, look for one that offers the most private VPN. One feature you need to look out for is the encryption protocol. Remember, every protocol defines how the app and server connect with the devices when encrypting data. Choose a service that offers the best privacy.



If you use a computer, a tablet, and your mobile phone with the VPN, make sure that the service supports all of your devices. Also, make sure that it offers a good connection as that can affect your online experience. Before choosing a VPN, check all of its features first before purchasing. Make sure that it’s suitable to what your business needs. 

When you’re a small business owner without experience choosing a VPN service, we suggest hiring a professional to help you make an informed decision. One thing to keep in mind: always prioritize your privacy first.


Customer Support

Not all business owners have an IT department that can help resolve technical issues. So it would help to have a VPN service provider that offers 24/7 support. Check their websites for FAQs or live chat sections, as these indicate how dedicated they are to providing exceptional service to their clients. 


Ease of Use

The last thing you want in a VPN service is complex configurations. You can avoid this by choosing a provider that offers an easy-to-use tool for encrypting your sensitive business data. Look for a user-friendly VPN service, especially when you are not tech-savvy. 


Accessibility and Speed

A slow connection is frustrating. While a VPN usually slows down your connection, some providers have a resolution to help you enjoy faster and more reliable internet connectivity. 

In addition to speed, make sure that you can access your VPN service from anywhere. Check which country the VPN is based and how the regulation might impact privacy.


Do You Need More Help?

Edge Networks is an IT company dedicated to helping your business with cybersecurity. Let us know if your business needs help with Cloud Management, Data Recovery, IT Risk Assessment, or Server and Network Management. We are more than happy to help. Get in touch with us today!