Security News Weekly Roundup

MeltdownPrime and SpectrePrime: New Versions of Meltdown and Spectre: Cornell University Library Link

  • New variant of Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities which allow unauthorized access to all memory through cpu hardware vulnerabilities.
  • We will continue to see additional variants of Meltdown and Spectre as researchers dig deeper.

What You can do:

  • Patch frequently and often, and continue to patch as advised by vendors.
  • Have a patch management program, use it, and make someone responsible for managing the process.
  • Consider new CPU architectures Intel is planning on releasing by the end of 2018.

Winter Olympics Cyberattack Potentially Traced back to IT Vendor: Cyberscoop Link

  • Malware samples uploaded to suggest the origin of the attack was IT Vendor, Atos
  • Atos is investigating a potential breach of their systems with Partner McAfee.
  • Supply Chain attacks compromising vendors provide a method for gaining access to heavily guarded targets.

What You can do:

  • Ask your IT provider(s) how secure is their environment and what policies and procedures they have in place to protect you, especially if they have direct access to your environment.
  • It is okay to ask cloud, (fill-in-the-blank)-as-a-service providers, and outside vendors how they are securing their operations. Ultimately it is your decision who to trust.
  • Understand and document risk when transferring it to an outside party.

Stalking via Citymapper and OSINT(Open Source Intelligence)Darkport Link

  • Interesting article along the lines of the recent Strava news regarding publicly available user information.
  • Citymapper a popular GPS and directions app was vulnerable to collection of user info.
  • Citymapper has since fixed the issue.

What You can do:

  • Consider the applications you use and how they are collecting your private information.
  • Knowing that it is impossible for any application and vendor to be 100% secure, ask yourself if the convenience of the app outweigh your privacy?

iOS Device Character BugOpen Radar Bug ReportApple Security Update

  • An Indian symbol caused iOS devices to crash when rendering it on screen.
  • Apple has released an updated which patches the bug.

What You can do:

  • Update your Apple and iOS devices.
  • Sell your Apple and iOS devices and get an Android device, but then again it will eventually have a vulnerability or bug, so consider regressing and getting a flip phone.

uTorrent Remote Code Execution – Google Project Zero Report

  • Default settings of uTorrent allow any website to access downloaded torrents and copy downloaded files from the exposed machine.
  • Bittorrent has failed to fix this issue with a recent patch and vulnerability is now public.

What You can do:

  • Use an alternative application until the vulnerability is properly patched.
  • Public Service Announcement: Remember that torrents are totally legal but torrenting copyrighted content is illegal.

How to Speed Up Your Slow Computer

Woman laying her head on keyboard waiting for slow computer

Sick of a computer that takes forever to do simple operations? There are many things you can do to make it work faster. Learn a few tricks below that can help improve your computer’s speed.


Check Your Internet Connection

If your Internet browser is the only thing that’s running slow and the rest of your computer is performing just fine, you may need to check your internet connection. If your computer shows a strong connection, try disconnecting and reconnecting. You may need to reconnect to the router and the modem. Sometimes restarting the router is the easiest fix to your problem.


Remove Inessential Files

Perhaps the slow performance is a storage problem. You can clear out some space by regularly doing the following:

  • Delete your default browser’s cache.
  • Delete files you don’t use and won’t need in the future.
  • Empty your Trash folder.
  • Delete files from your Downloads folder.

If you find that doing the above doesn’t solve your storage problem, consider switching over to cloud storage.


Disable Applications from Automatically Launching at Startup

It’s possible that too many open programs are bogging down your computer. If you have Windows, you can easily use the Microsoft System Configuration tool to disable select programs from launching when you start your computer up. Make sure that you only disable programs with names that you recognize, as some systems are necessary to run in the background.


Run an Antivirus Scan

It’s important to regularly run scans on your computer and make sure that your antivirus protection is active. If you don’t currently have an antivirus program, download one immediately. A computer that’s running slow is a major indication that you may have a virus. If you’ve already tried doing all the above, it’s likely that a virus may be the culprit that’s slowing your computer down.

If you’re worried that your computer has a virus, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Pop-up ads appearing when your browser is closed
  • Regularly being redirected to other sites
  • Programs you didn’t install giving pop-up warnings about computer performance
  • Irregular activity in your email and social media sites (i.e., emails you didn’t send, posts you didn’t write, etc.)
  • Common system tools being disabled

If your computer has been infected with a virus, you may need help from a professional to remove the problem and get your computer running great again.


Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. is a trusted IT consulting firm that can help you with everything from IT business planning to managing your IT needs. Learn how we can help you by visiting our website.

Transitioning to Cloud


In today’s day and age, business just isn’t what it used to be. And for the most part, that’s a good thing! With the many continued advancements in technology and the numerous affordable solutions that are out there, running is business is easier, smoother, and more convenient than ever.


Why Switch to Cloud


One of the best innovations for businesses has been cloud storage and cloud business solutions. If you’ve haven’t made the transition yet, here are a few reasons you should start today.


  1. Affordability. Because cloud solutions don’t require a full IT department to run smoothly, businesses can save money, allowing them to allocated resources to other needed areas.
  2. Availability. Because cloud solutions store data…well…in the cloud, you can access files, documents, reports, etc. anywhere at any time.
  3. Scalability. Whether you’re going through a rough patch and need to scale back or have just gotten going and are the next big thing, you can scale cloud solutions to fit your company’s needs.
  4. Usability. Cloud business solutions are easy to use and allow for a collaborative environment. Working within the cloud saves time and energy and eliminates the need to print out documents for another to review, contributing to the well-being of the environment as well.
  5. Reliability. If you’ve ever had a hard drive fail or a system crash, you know the trouble it can cause. Cloud solutions can significantly lessen the risk of losing or having corrupted data.
  6. Updatability. It can be time-consuming to make sure that software stays up-to-date, especially with how quickly things change in this day and age. Cloud solutions are updated frequently so you rarely have to worry about keeping up with it manually.


Cloud Readiness Assessment

Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. offers IT project consulting, IT managed services, cloud services and more. You can asses your cloud readiness at and by considering the following.


  • How will the cloud contribute to your business goals?
  • Are your processes streamlined and ready to support cloud computing?
  • Is your in-house IT staff trained in cloud adoption techniques?


Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. can help you with your IT solution needs. Visit to learn more about us, our services and contact us for a free consultation. You can reach us through our website, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or by calling us at 773-205-0200 or emailing with any questions you may have.

Why Your Small Business Should Consider Managed IT Solutions

Server with Cable Management

When you run a small business, you rely on technology at least as much as the big guys. But since you don’t have the staff or the budget of the big guys, it’s easy for your IT needs to outpace your ability to address them adequately in-house. When that happens (or better yet, before it happens), you should think about turning to a managed IT solution to keep your business’s technology platforms running smoothly.

Avoid Dreaded Downtime

The biggest thing that a small business is trying to avoid when they choose to go with a managed IT services provider is downtime. When your internal systems are down, productivity suffers. When your website or other consumer interface is down, sales and/or customer satisfaction suffers. Either way, you’re losing money.

Take Care of Routine Upkeep

Expanding your IT department to ensure that all the necessary precautions are taken to avoid downtime isn’t necessarily feasible in a small business. Nor is allocating all your IT resources to the routine maintenance that is required to keep your technology up and running. You want the server backups, software patches, security protocols, and real-time monitoring to happen seamlessly in the background so that your on-site IT staff is free for more valuable projects—things that will build revenue, rather than just maintain a status quo.

Supplement Your In-House IT Team

Instead, the solution is to integrate managed IT services with your in-house IT department. Rarely, if ever, will a managed IT solution entirely replace a company’s IT department; a managed IT service provider is there to support a company’s internal team. At Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. we’re there to provide any support you need, from 24x7 systems monitoring to our flat-rate all-inclusive managed IT services. We’re also there to help you plan your IT strategy and offer risk assessment and management. The most important thing is providing the services that you require.

Protect Your Data, Protect Your Customers’ Data

A common concern for businesses considering managed IT services is the security of valuable information in the hands of another company. However, managed IT service providers like Equilibrium IT Solutions are there to help you keep that data secure. We are up-to-date on all privacy legislation, including HIPAA. We can help you become compliant the PCI Data Security Standard regulations and will help protect your organization from security breaches. The security of your proprietary information and your customers’ personal data is a top priority.

Visit Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. at and request a free consultation for managed IT services today.

4 Practices for Managers to Work With AI


shutterstock 181640888

In the tail end of Summer 2015, the Accenture Institute for High Performance conducted a survey of 1770 managers from 14 countries and 17 different industries to find out their thoughts on artificial intelligence’s impact on their jobs. The fact of the matter is that this element of information technology is imminent and will be able to take on managerial duties cheaper, faster, and better. So how can managers of tomorrow adapt? Here are four practices that can help them do so.

Leave Administration to AI

Managers spend much of their time performing administrative tasks when their time should be focused on other responsibilities. Functions such as juggling work schedules can easily be automated by an AI system and many managers that took the survey expect to see artificial intelligence affect these responsibilities by automation.

Whereas 54% of managers’ time are spent on administrative coordination and control, 30% is spent on problem solving and collaborating, 10% on strategy and innovation, and 7% interacting with stakeholders. Managers can focus on these tasks and develop skills listed below to become better managers.

Focus on Judgment Work 

AIs have the algorithmic capabilities to create readable data and make certain decisions using that data. However, it cannot replace human decision making which is backed by personal experience, knowledge of organizational history and culture, empathy, and ethical reflection. The data it generates take most of the work off their hands leaving them more time to commit to developing decision making skills and making judgment calls.

Think Like a Designer

Because artificial intelligence will automate administrative tasks, it will become even more important that managers can utilize their own creativity and that of others. Managers who think like designers can put several great ideas together to create integrated and superior solutions.

Develop Social Skills

If there is one human aspect that an AI cannot replicate, it’s human interaction. While artificial intelligence can automate mundane tasks and gather data together to help managers make decisions, it cannot socialize with human beings nor would they want to talk to a “machine”. Managers who took the survey undervalued the social skills needed to network, coach, and collaborate with others. Socializing will undoubtedly become more prominent as artificial intelligence begin to be integrated, which is why it will be even more important that managers develop this skill.

If you are a manager and are preparing for the latest in information technology to improve your business in Chicago, come to Equilibrium for our IT project consulting services. You can schedule a consultation here.



Equilibrium IT Solutions: Chicago’s Choice in Security Consulting


Security Consulting in Chicago

With all the data hacks happening, your business’ important information has never been more vulnerable. That is why security consulting is such a vital aspect of any organization nowadays. Equilibrium IT Solutions should be your first choice, when searching for a security consulting in the Chicago area.

At Equilibrium IT Solutions, we fully understand that keeping your information secure is harder than ever. Not protecting your organization in times like these, where headlines are constantly about a data breach or successful attempt at hacking of some kind, can leave your organization exposed.

Our security firm has over 100 years of combined information security experience, which we utilize to offer our clients a methodical approach to protecting your organization’s information. We not only have the ability to develop security programs to safeguard your organization from data attacks and security breaches, we are experts at doing so. Our process is to blend the business and technical experience we possess, in a way that should maximize the benefit to our clients.

Click here to contact Equilibrium for a free consultation about your organization’s security needs.

Equilibrium’s Security Practice Methodology

The security practice methodologies that we employ are designed with a combination of the industry standard frameworks from industries such as: Healthcare, Manufacturing, Finance, and Federal. Our security program is a never-ending cycle, consisting of 4 different phases. The 4 phases of Equilibrium’s security methodology are security assessment, architect, implement and manage.

Phase 1 – Security Assessment - Since we work closely with our client, we are able to provide them reliable insight about their organization’s security status and vulnerability. This is where Equilibrium’s security team analyzes an organization’s security with a vulnerability scan. We do this in order to devise a high-level road map for what your organization needs to do to ensure its safety, including recommendations on how to carry that out.

Phase 2 – Architect – This is the phase where Equilibrium and our client decide on a strategy together on how to minimize the organization’s vulnerabilities. We will craft policies and procedures, create a control framework and designed specific solutions for your organization. We can do this only after we have fully accessed your organization’s needs and risk tolerance, as a result of our security assessment.

Phase 3 – Implement – In this phase, we put the policies and procedures from Phase 2 into effect. Any upgrading of infrastructure or controls is completed during this phase. Every client is assigned a PMO or Project Management Office, whose job is to oversee that projects are completed according to schedule, are being completed within the budget, and to assure that his or her projects are high quality.

Phase 4 – Manage – After discovering our client’s specific requirements, a management and security support plan is enacted for our client. Equilibrium’s SOC or Security Operations Center, is vigilantly watching over our client’s alerts with their incident response plan in mind.  This phase utilizes Network Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning, to assist our clients in validating their controls and maintaining compliance.

PCI Compliance in Chicago


Our security firm is here to help lessen the expense of hiring a QSA (Qualified Security Advisor) by providing an expert security team to help organizations comply with the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) regulations.


HIPAA Compliance in Chicago

As more health organizations are becoming targets of data attacks, the US government responded by instituting the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPPA. Equilibrium’s specialized security team can guide your healthcare organization by highlighting and then managing its risk.

The bottom line is, if you’re in Chicago then we can help your organization reduce the risk of a security breach.

If you would like to learn more about your Free Consultation and how to get started today, please call (733) 205-0200.

Equilibrium IT Solutions Partner: Microsoft

The goal at Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. is to help businesses, small or large, by providing them with comprehensive IT (Information Technology) solutions. To help solve our client’s IT problems, Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. must be vendor neutral, so that we are not limiting the solution options available to our clients.

At Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. we work closely with our clients, formulating specific time and budgetary expectations. For each client we assist, we utilize our unique IT solution methodology and offer specific technical project management.

Our staff, which consists of highly trained consultants, architects, technical project managers and system engineers) provides our clients with end-to-end integrated business solutions.

To achieve these solutions Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. utilizes various partners to provide specific products or services to solve their problem(s). One of our partners is Microsoft, a staple in IT software and products.

Why choose Microsoft Products?

As one of the most well-known IT companies, Microsoft has been creating products and software that have been widely used in small or large businesses alike, like Microsoft Office. As an industry leader, Microsoft is constantly updating their software for their customers.

Microsoft Products and Services:

Windows Products – Microsoft has many programs that can assist your business. Whether it’s a more basic program such as Windows Media Player, or if you want to upgrade your system(s) to Windows 10, Microsoft has what you need.

Microsoft Office – One of Microsoft’s most valuable and useful tools for a business of any size. Microsoft Office may include these applications:

  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Sway
  • Microsoft Word

Microsoft Office has different versions to fit your needs, as it is available in a Home Version, Office Version, Mac Version, Mobile Version, and more.

Microsoft Devices – Microsoft has many handheld devices, phones, and other hardware that can greatly benefit a business.

Partnering Services – Outlook, Skype and Bing are all powered by Microsoft. Businesses can utilize these tools to help them run more efficiently.

Tools – Microsoft created the SQL Server that is a high preforming server with in-memory technologies and creates quick insights from any data collected from any user in applications like Excel. Other tools Microsoft can offer your business are Azure, Intune, SharePoint and countless other useful IT tools.

Connections – Microsoft can connect your business to find the appropriate training necessary, register for your IT certification, and provides customers access to Microsoft Developer Network where has tools and code samples to assist those trying to develop new applications.

To learn more about our specialized IT business solutions and what Microsoft products or services can assist your business please call Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc. in Chicago at 1-(773)-205-0200 or email to request a FREE consultation.

Is Your Business Ready to Move to the Cloud?

Equilibrium IT Solutions Can Help

Cloud computing refers to a network of remote servers hosted on the internet that allow a business or individual to save, oversee, and manage data. The alternative would be to save all this information on a local server or a PC.

The main benefit of switching to cloud computing would be that all your information can be accessed anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
Here are some additional benefits of using cloud computing:

  • Flexibility – Work anywhere, anytime. Additionally, allows your teams to work together and exchange information more efficiently than before.
  • Disaster Recovery – Should anything happen to your data, cloud computing makes it easier to recover your data than if it was saved on a local server or PC.
  • Updates – Are automatically taken care of, which means less time your business spends on maintaining your data.  
  • Security – Cloud gives you the capability to remotely erase data, should a laptop get lost or stolen.
  • Environmentally friendly – Cloud computing increases efficiency which reduces the energy output of your business.

Now that the benefits of switching to cloud computing have been laid out, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • How could the cloud help your business move towards your business goal?
  • Are your processes as efficient as possible? Could they support cloud computing?
  • Do you have your own IT staff? If so, are they trained in cloud adoption techniques?
  • How long will it take to totally convert from a local server or personal computer, to the cloud?

Asking yourself these questions will help you understand your own plan and readiness to make the transformation.

Here at Equilibruim IT Solutions, Inc. we know exactly what it takes to switch to cloud computing and we are here to guide you through the process so that it is quick and painless.

Taking a look at our Cloud Readiness Assessment to ensure that your business is ready to switch over, or to find out what steps need to be taken moving forward.

Our IT professionals hold a variety of certifications and are ready to walk you through the process of switching over, so your business can get back to business.

To request a FREE consultation click here! For any more information give us a call in Chicago at (773) 205-0200, email us at or visit us at Equilibruim IT Solutions, Inc.



Top Benefits To Outsourcing IT

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

If you run a small business or large corporation, there are many aspects of your business that may be overlooked. Smaller issues are easy to hand off to other managers and new hires, but others are too important for that.

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Easy Steps to Protect Yourself from Hackers

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

In this new age of getting your identity stolen through the internet, you may be thinking “what can I do to prevent this from happening to me?” Simple mistakes can give hackers access to your information and leave you vulnerable. If you follow these few tips, your chances are much less likely to get hacked.

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Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

Whether you are still in school, starting your career, or 15 years into your dream job, you will always experience stress. Stress in the workplace is common and hard to kick. Instead of worrying about a deadline or presentation, follow a few of these steps to help you de-stress during the day.

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Webinar Tips

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

Webinars are becoming a tool of the future. You can lead an audience through a thought process in real time; they won’t zone out and stop reading your article.

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Career Opportunities for Cybersecurity

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

October is Cybersecurity awareness month. The Department of Homeland Security is currently recruiting new talent in the cybersecurity field to fill their department. This field is on the rise, and there are not nearly enough graduates to fill the open positions. Many different levels of cybersecurity exist based on your skill set, and opportunities are available in the following departments.

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Overview of Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall for Chicago SMBs

Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

Cisco’s ASA 5506-X is a Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) that is designed for SMBs. It leverages the same software and security protection as the larger enterprise ASAs on right-sized hardware. It also includes Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) as part of their FirePOWER feature set.

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Ultimate Guide to the HIPAA Security Rule

HIPAA Compliance | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

The HIPAA Security Rule protects a subset of information covered by the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which is all individually identifiable health information a covered entity creates, receives, maintains or transmits in electronic form. The Security Rule calls this information “electronic protected health information” (ePHI). The Security Rule does not apply to PHI transmitted orally or in writing.

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4 Firewall Myths You Should Leave Behind

Firewalls | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

Firewalls protect your business network from harmful traffic, but threats can still bypass the firewall if you do not manage it correctly. Misconceptions about firewall management can leave your business vulnerable to security threats. Here are four firewall management myths that you should leave in your rear-view mirror to ensure adequate protection.

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Upgrade your HIPAA Risk Assessment in Chicago

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

If you are a health care organization, a vendor to a health care organization or even a sub-contractor of a contractor to a health care organization, ensuring the security of Protected Health Information (PHI) is a legislative requirement of your business using "reasonable and appropriate" measures.

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Migrate your SMB to Office 365 Next Weekend

Migrate to Office 365 Next Weekend | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

Want to experience Office 365 without making any changes to your production environment? Signing up for a full featured trial of Microsoft's Office 365 environment is easy. If you like it, you an keep the same settings and mailboxes. If not, well, you have nothing to lose.

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Trust your Cloud with the Azure Trust Center

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

Many cloud providers supporting Chicago came out of the wood work in the era of the cloud computing hype of 2012 until the present. Amazon Web Services started out strong, but Microsoft is now added as a strong player with its Azure platform.

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Top Benefits of Vulnerability Scanning in Chicago

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

If you have ever had a security breach in your company's network you may already realize the importance of vulnerability testing, vulnerability assessments, network scans and security scans. No matter the name you call it, these testing procedures are necessary to ensure your critical information and processes remain secure.

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4 Tips to Land your Dream Job in IT

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

IT is one of the fastest growing fields, so it is a smart bet you will find a job if you specialize in that profession. Below are some tips on how to perfect your approach to land a great job in IT.

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Learn about HITRUST for Healthcare in Chicago

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

Equilibrium is always working on new methods and angles to help our healthcare customers with compliance. In addition to helping with HIPAA compliance, we also help guide our customers to certify with HITRUST and their Common Security Framework.

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3 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

3 Interview Mistakes to Avoid | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

When you are looking to re-enter the job market or change industries, you will come across dozens of companies looking for the right candidate. The search seems endless, and you are stuck in a rut of not hearing back after the first interview.

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Streamlined Managed Services in Chicago

Streamlined Managed Services in Chicago | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

The major trend for IT departments is Managed Services. For SMBs this new trend can be the strategic step you have been hoping for. For decades, large enterprises have been benefiting from Managed IT Services in Chicago and all over the globe. As technology shrinks and the cloud grows, now SMBs have the opportunity to reap the same rewards.

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Supercharge your Penetration Testing in Chicago

Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT |

When you think about your network security, endpoint security or perimeter defenses, conducting consistent assessments and reviews are simply not enough. Penetration testing is the only way to ensure that your network is as secure as it possibly can be. A cliché that works very well in this case is "the best defense is a good offense." Simply put, you need to actively test your network security on an ongoing basis.

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The 8 Best Tips for Staying Safe Online

The 8 Best Tips for Staying Safe Online | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT | EQInc.comEquilibrium is now a "National Cyber Security Awareness Month" Champion. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is every October. This theme is sponsored by which is a cyber security awareness website sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

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