Author Archives: Web Admin

Linuxmint 19

LinuxMint 19 – Beta

June 26, 2018
Web Admin
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LinuxMint 19 beta Review

Fast interface, boots quickly, and is overall pretty incredible.

I have been running linuxmint 19 beta since it was released in the first week of June 2018 and love the new system.  I have it running on a old HP Pavillion with a quad core 2.0 mhz 6 gigs of ram machine.  I have it installed on a 1 tb solid state drive which obviously helps the performance.  However, while the performance far exceeds that of a previous Windows 10 install, the Linuxmint 19 install also exceeds that of LinuxMint 18.

Couple quick thoughts:

Interface:  Fabulous, fast, smooth, and very slick graphics and great performance.

Boot Time:  Seems to have greatly improved over the previous version 18

Updates:  The new update system is fast, very slick and refined.

Timeshift:  While a new feature and I haven’t used it extensively, it is a welcome addition and will easily compete with windows restore points.

Hot Corners:  Installed by default (might be on 18, not sure) and is very useful and smooth.  Easy to setup and it makes switching between virtual desktops extremely useful.

My overall experience with LinuxMint 19 has been fabulous and would easily recommend it to all windows to users with both new machines and older machine.  True, there are more native applications available for windows machines, but for 75 percent of the users in the world (my estimate) LinuxMint 19 has everything you need the the performance is absolutely worth it.

Top 6 Ransomware Defense Strategies

June 5, 2018
Web Admin
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  1. Train your Users and Test their Knowledge
    Since ransomware infections often come through links and attachments inside emails, or from a website
    or web application, train your users how to recognize phishing attacks and suspicious links and
    attachments. Training is only part of the story. Admins must also make sure to regularly test their users
    with simulated phishing attacks to ensure that your users have been properly conditioned to resist these
  2. Monitor your Network
    Diligently monitor your network by analyzing your logs, clearing out alerts, and processing potential
    threat feeds. If the infection is detected quickly and the workstation is disabled immediately, you can
    recover the data within 24 hours, and often in as quickly as five minutes. Organizations should constantly
    update the operating system and other software on their systems with the latest patches. Unpatched
    vulnerabilities in operating systems and software are a common entry point for malware.
  3. Maintain Robust Backup and Disaster Recovery
    The ultimate safety net for ransomware defense is a robust data protection and disaster recovery
    solution. Implement a backup strategy that fully supports organizations with multiple types of data, files,
    and systems to protect. Not all solutions are created equal, but enterprise-grade backup and disaster
    recovery solutions preserve a complete version history, which is crucial to being able to recover from any
  4. Commercial Grade Anti-Virus Protection
    The best way to steer clear of viruses and malware is to use an industry-leading anti-virus software
    solution. There are many types out there, and they don’t have to break the bank, but having a superior
    level of defense will go a long way. On your anti-virus software, enable the auto update, auto-protect, and
    personal firewall features to ensure you always have protection in the background that is continually
  5. Lock Down Suspicious Email Attachments
    Organizations may also want to install advanced email spam filtering which will block email messages
    with attachments from suspicious sources. Admins can filter executable attachments in emails based on
    the file extensions (e.g., block emails sent with “.EXE” attachments). Admins should also disable macros
    embedded within attachments and re-enable the display to full file extensions which makes it way easier
    to spot suspicious files
  6. Have an Incident Response Plan
    How you’ve prepared will determine how quickly you are able to restore your company’s data and get
    systems functioning again. This starts with a well-designed plan that is understood by the entire team.
    Practice executing the plan to ensure you are able to get systems back online in the expected timeframe.
    The practice will also give your team the confidence to perform flawlessly when the need arises.

We have seen many examples of companies that have been infected by Ransomware and some that have lost all of their data, and a few that have been able to recover.  Those that recovered were lucky enough to have had a unattached backup copy somewhere.  It was a stale backup and 6 months old, but it was something.  A better answer to it would have been to adhered to the 6 defense strategies.

If you are in need of help getting your strategies in line, please give us a call at 702.430.1849.  You can also contact us by clicking here!

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VLC 3.0 Now Available

February 12, 2018
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Video Lan VLC 3.0 now available

The video lan VLC 3.0 is now available after a long 2 year developing and creation of improvements.  The famously free and extremely capable player that we have all come to love is now ready.  The new player now supports chromecast, activates hardware decoding by default and renders 4K&8K playback.

We have installed and tested the new features of VLC on some of our LinuxMint 18.3 laptops and must say we are pleased with the results.  The playback of Friday the 13th was flawless when we cast it to one of our Chromecast devices.

For a full list of the added features and the VLC page click here.

Congrats to the team at VideoLan for all of their hardwork.  All of us at Covered Data greatly appreciate your efforts.

Scott Barbour
Managing Partner

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Malwarebytes Gartner Visionary

February 12, 2018
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Malwarebytes recognized by Gartner as Visionary

Congrats to our Partner and friend Malwarebytes for being recognized by Gartner as a visionary in the world of antivirus and malware protection.  We of course, have known about the vision for many many years and really appreciate the protection that that vision provides our clients.  We work hand and hand on a daily basis to bring the very best of antivirus and malware protection to our client.  Malwarebytes is a major part of our arsenal.



40 percent

Traditional Antivirus Fails 40%

October 26, 2017
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New Research

Research provided to us by our partner and leading next-gen cybersecurity expert Malwarebytes, tells us that traditional AV vendors are missing the 40 percent of the time.  The detection’s seen on 10 million PCs, servers, and other devices, had one of the 4 top AV vendors software installed.  These statistic should be alarming to all of us.

The statistics from the study show us that relying solely on traditional vendors and methods of protecting your company’s network environment are not enough.  Malwarebytes endpoint protection is a premier expert at identifying, detecting, and re-mediating network devices from corporate networks.  It uses the latest in advanced heuristic and signature-less techniques to prevent damage before it occurs.

Partnering with the leading experts and consultants in the world is what Covered Data brings to the table when you talk with us about your solution needs.  In the world of cyber-security, our hands down choice is Malwarebytes.  Contact us to have a free no commitment discussion about this post or other security and networking requirements.

We look forward to hearing from you.

CEO, Managing Partner

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End Point vs. Cloud Firewall

August 4, 2017
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Why Choose a Endpoint Server based Firewall

As users of the WordPress platform for running your web server, you are fully aware that your choice’s are numerous, with some better than others.  This is also the case when trying to decide what type of firewall to protect our assets with.  For the most part, your choices fall into two categories; 1.  Server Based (endpoint) (Wordfence, All In One WP Security&Firewall) 2. Cloud based (Cloud Fare)

Both have some attractive features, but the Covered Data recommendation is that you seriously consider the use of a server based endpoint firewall such as Wordfence.  This version runs directly on your server and is directly protecting your website.  So, whether or not the Bad Guy is attacking the IP address or the domain name, you have protection.  With a cloud based system your attacker doesn’t have to attack the name (, but can just attack the actual IP address that this name is assigned to or your server address on the internet.  This is an inherent flaw in the cloud based systems.

There are many other features of the wordfence firewall, such as deep integration with user level permissions, integration with .htaccess files, etc.  The interface is easy, and in its default install does a wonderful job of providing protection of your websites.  The more advanced features can get confusing, but in some cases are a huge benefit.  Using the advanced features is something that you can contact Covered Data about.  We can setup, monitor, and manage that part of the firewall for you at incredibly low monthly rates (no contract).

We have been involved in installing wordpress sites, wordpress firewalls, and recovering websites, for many years and would love to work for you.  Give us a call.


Malwarebytes Partnership Announcement

July 28, 2017
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Malwarebytes Partnership Silver Partner logo


Covered Data is proud to announce that we are officially partnered with Malwarebytes, the leader in endpoint security protection.  We have used the Malwarebytes software for many years and are ecstatic at the opportunity to work with the experts at in a larger way.  Our engineers and trained sales staff are at your disposable to help you design and implement the Malwarebytes multi-layer approach to security.  With the new release of Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection, you can finally within one install and one management console, cover 7 critical layers to security.
Contact us for a free trial.


For more in depth description of the End Point Protection watch this video.

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Fireball Adware – How to protect yourself

June 2, 2017
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Malware Protection

The latest adware and malware on the market is what looks like a Chinese product called “Fireball” and has infected about 250 million browsers or 20 percent of the corporate networks around the world.  Several computer security companies have classified the infection as malware, but according to a Chinese digital marketing firm it is a research tool.

The danger is that it is exposing a great deal of your privacy information along with installing other unwanted plugins to your browsers.  It is all in an effort to boost advertising payments for the companies involved in releasing it.  For you, it is a dangerous software and allows others to gather information about you without you knowing.

From an overall security aspect, it is really dangerous and you or your IT department should find a way to protect you from it.  One very strong and prominent, but easy tool is from a company called Malwarebytes.  They have been around a long time and cleared millions of infected computers of malware.  We use them exclusively here at Covered Data.  If you are interested in a free trial of the latest release, please let us know.  We will send you a download link and the 30 day keys, with only a follow email from us about your thoughts on it.

Stay safe.


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