Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.

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About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.

Computer Memory Problems: Helpful Advice You Don’t Want To Forget

You know how frustrating it is when you try and download a new computer program, and a warning sign appears informing you that you are low on memory. Your computer is also prone to crashing and slowing down at a snail’s pace when you overload the hard drive with too many files, from family photographs to the latest software packages. However, it is possible to expand your memory with physical and virtual options, and some simple technical know-how can save you a lot of trouble.

In this article, we will help you with your storage problems. By following this handy guide, you need never run out of memory again.

Use the cloud

The next time somebody tells you to get your head out of the cloud, ignore them!

Cloud technology is great for business and personal users and offers a near infinite solution to storing your data. Furthermore, using the cloud will also keep your files safe. Computers are prone to crashing, and most of us have lost personal information at the click of a button. However, the cloud offers a virtual storage option, so you don’t need to worry about losing or damaging your computer hardware. Your files can be accessed from all your mobile devices, so you don’t need to be near your computer to see them.

Physical storage

Many people buy an external hard-drive that can plug straight into the USB port. They are small and portable, and can easily be carried around when you need to use other devices. However, the data storage is quite small, and you will continually need to delete old files to make way for new ones. They are better used as a backup option, so store your most important files onto a memory stick, to reduce your headache when your computer hardware fails.

For larger storage, you should buy a new internal hard-drive for your computer. Most people opt for a hard-disk drive, but another viable option is an industrial SlimSata solid state drive that is more robust and uses less power consumption.

Free up storage space

Quite often, you can add more storage to your computer by freeing up your storage space. There are bound to be files on your computer that you don’t need anymore, so get rid of them to free up memory. We all need to declutter our lives occasionally, and regularly having a clean-up on our computer should be something we make a habit of doing.

Many computer programs run in the background, and chances are, you won’t be using them very often. Go to task manager, find out what is using your computer processing power, and disable them.

Some files are split into fragments, so to ensure you get rid of everything, you should also take the time to defrag your computer. Most modern computers do this automatically, though it’s still worth doing it manually occasionally. This will help with slowdown problems, too.

And finally

We hope the above helped. Remember to follow our advice, and your memory problems will become a thing of the past!

How Your Tech Can Enhance Your Travels

If you’re planning a big adventure this summer and heading off to far flung destinations in the search of awe and wonder, then you may want to consider how you can enhance your travels by utilizing your tech to the best of its ability. Traveling has become a rite of passage for many young people who embark on a quest to find themselves. Those of an older generation are keen to explore new environments, immerse themselves in a different culture and meet interesting new people. Whatever your motive is for traveling, be sure to invest in the appropriate technology to get the most out of your trip.

Smartphone

The most ubiquitous piece of essential travel kit is the smartphone. Everyone has got either an Apple or a Sony or a Samsung or a Huawei. Companies offering the latest high-resolution camera upgrade and largest HD screen has made competition rife amongst cell phone manufacturers.

Whatever smartphone you have, be sure to carry out some simple maintenance checks before your travels. If your battery runs low quickly or your screen is cracked it’s a good idea to get your cell phone repaired. By investing a little bit of money before your trip of a lifetime, you’ll be ensuring that these issues don’t escalate leaving your smartphone useless.

Headphones

If you’re heading out of the country on an excruciatingly long flight, you’ll need some noise reduction headphones to block out the sound of crying babies and the snoring gentleman beside you. For around $200 you can pick up a sturdy pair of headphones that can be your trusty travel companion. This bit of tech can provide a soundtrack to each stunning vista that you lay your eyes upon.

Camera

While your smartphone may have a Carl Zeiss lens and a great ISO setting, it will never be able to compete with the latest Panasonic and Canon offerings in the travel camera market. The super zooms allow you to photograph detail far away while not forfeiting the quality of the shot. Image stabilization and advanced aperture setting make travel cameras a perfect choice for those who want visual records of their journey.

You can select from mirrored cameras, SLRs and specialist travel point and shoots. Ensure that you choose a camera to fit your requirements. If you’re scuba diving, pick up a rugged waterproof gizmo. If you’re heading out on safari, ensure you have that all important zoom to get up close and personal to the elephants.

Bluetooth Speaker

You don’t want to be wearing your headphones on the beach, so if you’re heading for a spot of relaxation by the sea, it might be wise to invest in a compact speaker. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can listen to your travel playlist anywhere. Many Bluetooth speakers are now waterproof and at the very least splash proof so there less need to worry about lying too close to the ocean or the pool.

Foot Warmers

For those travelers venturing off to a cold destination, a pair of thermal foot warmers may be the most useful bit of kit they purchase. Slipping discreetly into shoes or boots like an insole, these waterproof foot warmers use thermal cell technology to keep your toes nice and toasty. Controlled via a remote you will be able to adjust the temperature accordingly ensuring that having feet like blocks of ice doesn’t ruin your ascent up a glacier or your snowshoeing adventure.

Portable battery

You may have all these amazing bits of technical wizardry to enhance your travels but what are you going to do if they are made redundant because they have no battery? You can wait until you hit your next hostel or hotel room, but that might be a day of travel without any kit. The solution? Pick up a portable battery that can charge your tech on the go. If you keep your lightweight, compact battery charged at all times, you will never have to be without your smartphone or camera when traveling through the depths of the jungle or scaling the side of a mountain.

Traveling across the globe is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have in your life. From selecting your destinations to planning your itinerary, your travels will be a feast for the senses and leave you with a newfound contentment. When you are packing for your next far flung adventure, don’t neglect the importance of your tech to ensure that your travels are as fulfilling as possible.

BSides Asheville – 2nd Place CTF

I attended BSides Asheville today, the “other” hacker conference for IT security folks. This was Asheville’s fourth such conference (they happen in cities all over the world), and it was my first chance to go to one.

I wasn’t disappointed. I ended up spending most of my time in the “Lockpick Village” and working on the Capture The Flag competition.

The Lockpick Village was a challenge, even for someone who used to be a professional locksmith. It turns out that working under the pressure of an 8-minute timer, with people surrounding you to jeer and cheer you on does not make it easy to operate.

I was able to get out of the handcuffs rather quickly (about 1 minute), and then I picked the first lock relatively soon therafter (2 minute mark). However, my crucial mistake was that I picked it in the wrong direction, so I had to start over, and it took me much longer.

By the time I made it to the second lock, I only had about 2 minutes left, and it proved to be too much for me to conquer. It didn’t help that I’m used to using rake picks on pin tumbler locks, and they didn’t have any for me to use.

I ventured into the Capture The Flag contest after that, where I was able to put into practice all of the penetration testing skills I’ve been working diligently on since January. The Penetration Testing with Kali Linux course I’m enrolled in helped too.

I was the first person to root a Windows 2008 server and gain enough points on other servers to get into the top-three.

This turned out to be a positive affirmation that my hard work has paid off, as I took home the Second Place prize, a brand new Raspberry Pi 3 with the Canakit add-ons.

Granted, the first place winner forfeited and the team ahead of me was three professionals working together. Still, I took 2nd place after all that, and it was my first CTF.

The BSides team and volunteers put on a great day of fun. I am already looking forward to next year’s conference.

My Slides from Drupal Camp Asheville 2017

Thanks to all for coming to my talk! Here are my slides. Drupal Security #devsecops #dcavl @drupalasheville
DevSecOps – Slides

I enjoyed being at Drupal Camp, and it was good talking with the many new folks I met (as well as the ones I already know). If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post here or contact me directly.

Update:

Video is Now Available Too!

How Tech Is Improving Recruitment and Training

Soldiers with the Royal Netherlands Army conduct training in Dismounted Soldier Training Systems at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, Grafenwoehr, Germany, June 5, 2013. The DSTS is the first fully-immersive virtual simulation for infantry. (U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach/released)

Recruiting and training new employees is faster and cheaper than ever before thanks to today’s technological innovations. Here are just a few ways that tech is transforming these areas of HR for the better.

Efficient job posting

Whilst employers previously had to rely on newspaper ads and posters, internet advertising has allowed employers to reach out to a much larger market. The likes of Indeed are great job listing sites that can be viewed by people across the world. Apps such as Switch meanwhile are finding new ways of pairing employers and jobseekers using analytics.

Employees can also be more effectively vetted before taking them to the interview stage. You can create online quizzes to gage a better idea of the personality and know-how of each applicant.

Cyber CVs

Digital technology has also made things much easier for the applicant. By sending off CVs digitally, more information can be packed into a resume. Links can be inserted to examples of work which may be useful if applying to a journalism job and trying to show proof of published written work. There are also sites that can allow you to create a digital portfolio in a stylish manner. This could be useful for applying to a design or photography job in which media needs to be shared.

Virtual interviews

Video communication software has transformed the way in which interviews can be conducted. Applicants no longer need to spend money travelling to a job that they may not get. Similarly, the employer can benefit from being able to interview from any location, allowing the opportunity to interview someone out of the office. Video conferences can be set up in case other people need to be involved. By doing an interview via Skype on one’s phone, it’s also possible to give a virtual tour of the office.

Skype interviewing is becoming very common for these reasons and it’s been found that applicants are less likely to suffer from nerves as they can talk from a comfortable location without the whole stress of getting to the interview on time.

ID verification

For strengthening security within the recruitment stage, digital technology has also added benefits. Applicants can be more easily researched on the internet before inviting them for an interview, ensuring that they are who they say they are. For further security vetting, there are now trusted identity services allowing you to scan someone’s face against their ID. In high-risk security jobs such procedures can be very important and would have previously required expensive technology. Now such technology is available as an affordable app, allowing all kinds of employers to take advantage of this security procedure.

Digital training

Once staff are hired, technology can also be used to make the training process more efficient. Many businesses are now developing custom software and apps to train their new employees with. This may involve watching videos and partaking in interactive quizzes. This can take some of the pressure of having to manually train staff (although shouldn’t be used wholly as a replacement).

Digital technology can also be used to train up new staff in more effective ways than would be possible in real life. When hiring staff remotely, video communication software such as Skype can allow an employee to train a new employee without the two having to physically be in the same office. This can be used in conjunction with cloud software, allowing files to be shared and easily edited.

There’s also the new prospect of VR training that is already being used in some industries. Virtual reality can be used to train new recruits in potentially risky or dangerous scenarios that cannot be effectively simulated in real life. These may include military training or training for surgery. Airline pilots have used such technology for years already and technological advancements are allowing them to prepare for more and more diverse scenarios before actually taking control in a real cockpit.

It’s an uncertainty as to how far VR training will go – will we one day be training staff in retail and accountancy jobs with virtual reality. For now, however there are still many mediums such as videos and interactive quizzes never previously available that many employers could be making use of.

6 Ways Your Business Practices Can Change With Technology

Technology has been a revolution for many years now, and the continued development of different technological techniques is changing the way we do business and who we are as humans – big time. The attitudes of the people in the workplace also change due to the advances in technology. Some of these changes are irreversible and some are for the better! Most people hear the word technology and assume you’re talking about the latest pieces of kit used for working, but it’s so much more than that.

Mobile, virtual reality, cloud computing, data intelligence, AI and all number of technological revolutions that are being devised and pushed through are all things that can help your business to soar. This, of course, depends on how you want to advance your business. There are six specific ways that our business practices have been changed and it’s all because of technology. We’ve listed for you the best; most key ways these changes affect the processes you use in your day to day business activities. Check them out and see if any of these make a difference to your business life.

  1. Productivity. Computers have been moved into businesses more and more in the last twenty years, with the assumption that they will bring about increased productivity among employees. This is 100% correct. IO Zoom Windows VPS hosting is just one of the many ways that computers and technology are helping businesses to progress, with better website support. This type of support from outside companies does make employees and businesses processes more productive and efficient, because there is very little ‘slow down’ time in practice. Increasing processing power for businesses as well as the huge range of software now available has boosted productivity exponentially.
  2. Collaboration. Technology has transformed small, local businesses by giving them the power to go global. Having access to an online cloud has allowed business employees to work from wherever they are, meaning that you don’t necessarily need to have people in the office to have an effective business pow-wow. Facilitating a continued dialogue between work teams, even if some are around the world, can make a huge difference to your company profit line.
  3. Resourcing. Almost everyone in business will now be familiar with cloud computing and outsourcing, which are two of the biggest resources that technology has given businesses. Cloud computing allows a huge range of software and resources to be accessed from anywhere, giving businesses more flexibility with their people. Outsourcing allows the smaller companies to delegate important business process outside of their office but still stay connected. We need resources that are solid to survive in business and technology has given us that.
  4. Interaction. Without technology, we wouldn’t have social media sites like these, and social media has transformed the way businesses market their products. Reaching people – customers – on an hour-by-hour basis means that you can gain public opinion and give your target market a voice. This kind of voice allows you to improve as a company and gain more insight into what you could be doing better for the people you are providing a service to.
  5. Cost Management. Streamlining operations and managing costs are just two of the things that are more in demand with the increasing competition in front of you. You have to find the best solutions for your business issues and technology is providing this in spades, with programs that can support employee productivity, and solutions in-house that improve the overall organisational efficiency.
  6. Efficiency. Talking of efficiency of the company, all of these components together are there to create a more streamlined and efficient way of working for businesses. Technology has facilitated this more streamlined way of working and companies are producing more hard-working, better employees because of it.

Advances in cloud computing and the mobile revolution are allowing people to work harder and feel more freedom and autonomy within their jobs. This then creates a workforce who are more motivated and who work more diligently. The time for sitting behind a desk for nine hours a day is still here, however, with the flexibility that technology brings, companies are becoming more efficient. Embracing the technological advances available to you is so important for the future of your business. Paying bills on time and automatically, outsourcing work to external third parties and allowing people in your organisation to work from home are all ways your company will have evolved from the stagnant flow of business in years gone by. It’s a technology revolution and we should all be on board.