The Gatekeeper Protecting Your Company’s IP

The name of the cybercriminal's game is profit.

Ever-increasing data breaches, ransomware proliferation . . . more and more, businesses are attacked in pursuit of money.  Whether that's holding data for ransom or selling off your customers' private information, cybercriminals will use any exploit they can to cash in.

Unfortunately, your own employees can be unwitting accomplices.  Experian's annual Data Breach Industry Forecast highlights employee negligence as a major factor in cyberattacks.

Manage your company’s security threats, both external AND internal, with PlanetMagpie Cybersecurity Consulting.  We balance Internet security best practices with your end users’ needs, and use the latest gear and security testing tools to keep your company safe.

Suspect you've been hacked? Worried about cybercriminals in your network right now? Call PlanetMagpie for a Vulnerability Assessment at 510-344-1180 (CA) or 817-806-3524 (TX).

Companies spend more on their coffee than security





IT Security Audits

When we help a new customer with their cybersecurity, we start with an IT Security Audit.

IT Security Audits provide a detailed picture of places within your network hackers could break in, and where employees could sneak data out.  We test all of the “weak spots” we’ve come across in 20+ years of cybersecurity work—common security gaps, avenues for internal data theft, email dangers, malware breakpoints, accidental data loss prevention, etc.

Once we have the picture, we build a plan to lock down your network, without impacting employee productivity in the process.

PlanetMagpie has conducted IT security audits like these for Malwarebytes, Tessera,, Unitek College, SCREEN-SPE, Davis Instruments, Linear Technology and many others.

Call us at 510-344-1200 (CA) or 817-806-3524 (TX) to start your security review!

Ransomware 2021 Dangers

Ransomware Recovery & Defense

It’s the Hacker’s Favorite Malware.  Stop it Before it Devastates Your Organization.

What is ransomware?  It's a form of malware that encrypts a computer or an entire network's data, and demands payment (a "ransom") to get the data back.

Ransomware typically travels into your organization via an infected email, called a "phishing email." A single mouse click allows it to spread like wildfire.

In 2020, ransomware cost businesses $20 billion in ransoms and lost work. Sadly, only a third of organizations who pay the ransom, actually get their data back—and even then, most of the time it's corrupted & unusable.

If you’ve had a ransomware attack, contact PlanetMagpie's Cybersecurity team immediately.  We have senior network and systems engineers available 24/7 for ransomware recovery.  One call and you have an experienced team:

  • Cleaning the ransomware out of your network
  • Restoring the affected computers
  • Recovering the encrypted data (if your data is recoverable, we will find it!)
  • Reconnecting critical IT services like email, file access, and work tools

Our team doesn't rest until you are back up and running!

What's the Best Ransomware Defense?

Whether you’ve been lucky to avoid ransomware so far, or have been hit and never want to go through that again, preparation is key. Ransomware can always come back. What should you do?

Institute cloud backups. Harden your network. Train employees to spot phishing emails. Use tools & tactics to defend your network 24/7.

Where do you get all of these defenses? You call the Cybersecurity experts at PlanetMagpie.  We'll make sure your organization has these bases covered:

  • Offsite cloud backups to two different datacenters, with encryption & regular test restores. This keeps the backups and the ransomware apart.
  • A network security review. Upgrade your network hardware, if necessary, and use our cybersecurity experts to harden your network. Schedule regular vulnerability tests of your network.
  • Replace computers older than 4 years. Keep the software you use at the latest versions. 
  • Install email filtering, to keep the majority of ransomware out of your users' inboxes.
  • Educate your team with cybersecurity awareness training. Everyone should know what ransomware is, and what they need to do if hit. In less than two hours, your team goes from potential liabilities to your top defenders!

Qualys Network Vulnerability Scanning

Essential Tool in Vulnerability Testing

How do we identify the "weak spots" in your network? Through a vulnerability test - a systematic scanning of your entire IT infrastructure. Servers, computers, and everything in between.

The Qualys Platform serves as the centerpiece for our tests. Qualys is an enterprise-grade vulnerability scanner that "sniffs out" security holes. It examines network infrastructure, cloud services, endpoints (workstations, mobile devices), and even measures how compliant your IT is with industry compliance standards.

How does it do all this? Qualys runs as a cloud service, controlled by our consultants. It runs in the background of every system, with zero intrusion into any users' workflow. No one in the office will even know it's working.

Advantages of Using Qualys for Vulnerability Testing:

  • No hardware to buy or maintain
  • Able to scan all types of network infrastructures out-of-box
  • Gives real-time alerts, in case we discover a serious problem (e.g. malware inside the network)
  • Highest-rated vulnerability scanner in the world
  • Receives daily updates on new vulnerabilities & exploits (software used to conduct cyberattacks)

When it's completed its network scan, Qualys produces a series of reports to show you how secure your IT is. Reports display in your Web browser, and receive real-time updates whenever the service detects a new vulnerability.

74% of the Forbes Global 50 rely on Qualys:

  • 9 of the top 10 in Technology, Retail, and Biotech
  • 8 of the top 10 in Banking

PlanetMagpie recommends quarterly network vulnerability scans. With Qualys, scans are easy to run, non-intrusive, and help you keep your network locked down.

Learn more about Vulnerability Testing's ins and outs with this WOOF newsletter article.

Brochure on the Qualys Testing Platform (PDF)



510-344-1200 (CA) OR 817-806-3524 (TX)






Application Delivery & Security

In today’s world, securing applications is every bit as important as delivering them.  Malware, ransomware, legions of hackers . . . the Web is a battleground.  Any software application that connects to it needs protection, or it could become a gateway to your data.

To secure your applications in-transit and during operation, PlanetMagpie has partnered with F5, a leading company in application delivery services.  Using F5’s products and services, PlanetMagpie helps our clients optimize delivery of their secured network-based applications.

Contact PlanetMagpie today to speak with a Cybersecurity Engineer about the F5 suite of products and services!

F5 products provide:

  • High Availability—applications are delivered to any device, anytime, anywhere
  • Performance Optimization—applications load quickly and perform flawlessly
  • Application Security—work securely from anywhere
  • Data Center Security—protects Internet-facing data center applications wherever they reside
  • Identity and Access Management—enables single-sign on and federation of application access across the data center and into the cloud
Juniper Network Security Equipment

Network Hardware: Juniper

Setting up a secure network requires several types of equipment—firewalls, routers, switches, VPN devices, and so on.  Bought & configured separately, these can take up a lot of rack space, time and expense.

Thanks to Juniper Networks’ innovation, what we recommend and install most often now are Juniper Service Gateways.  These are all-in-one devices, built to keep networks simple and safe.

PlanetMagpie uses and recommends the Juniper SRX series of service gateways.  Juniper has supplied high-performance networking products since 2001.  The SRX series' ease of configuration, reliability, and price point make it one of the top networking solutions available.

Juniper's Service Gateways combine routing, firewalls, site-to-site VPNs, and switching into one device.  Our Cybersecurity Engineers install & configure these service gateways, achieving that delicate balance between security and accessibility.

PlanetMagpie is a longtime Juniper partner with many years of experience working with their hardware (and many happy clients who are currently protected by it).

Already have security equipment in place?  Is it up-to-date?  Are you monitoring your network?  If not, you could have a security leak and not even know it.  PlanetMagpie can setup real-time monitoring for your network hardware and update each device's firmware as needed.

With proper configuration, your network equipment will:

  • Keep hackers out and malware from getting in
  • Stop malware brought in via BYOD from sending data out
  • Provide remote access to employees without multiple logins
  • Route traffic based on accessibility rules you set
  • Plug security holes that may arise between all of these elements!

Ready for a simpler, safer network? Request a Cybersecurity Equipment quote by using the Contact Us form on the right.


Network Hardware: Extreme Networks

Are your users reporting slow Internet connections?  Trouble getting on the wireless?  Your network may need more capacity:  faster switching functionality, perhaps additional wireless access points.

For high-performance network expansion, we recommend Extreme Networks.

Extreme switches fit well at the edge of the most demanding business networks.  They switch between Voice over IP (VoIP), wireless, video, and data traffic constantly.

Security?  Extreme switches are easy to set at maximum security.  We use them in our Cloud Datacenter and office as well as at customer sites, so we know the settings needed to maintain a secure perimeter.

Advantages to Using Extreme Switches

  • Scale up your network performance and wireless fast
  • Extreme hardware works natively with Juniper, Cisco, and many other network hardware brands
  • Grant users the access they need to work, securely, all day long

Time to expand your existing network?  Request an Extreme switches/wireless quote with the Contact Us form on the right.

Wireless Security Extreme

Wireless Network Access

Every wireless access point improves office Internet speeds, and thus productivity.  Every access point is also a potential backdoor for cyberattacks, or a way for employees & contractors to leak (or sneak) data out.

PlanetMagpie IT consultants set your Wi-Fi to the highest possible security standard by default.  When we’re done configuring, your Wi-Fi is as secure—if not more so—than the internal Ethernet connections.

You can secure your wireless networks in several ways.  These are the most common:

  1. Use Microsoft Active Directory, limiting users' wireless access at the account level (safer), or
  2. Use an SSID and password (common, but less safe)

We only recommend wireless access point hardware that can integrate with Microsoft’s Active Directory, which gives you a more robust security layer.

Which is why we use and recommend the Extreme line of wireless access points.  These access points are enterprise-grade wireless.  Formerly made by Motorola, they have the best signal across office buildings we've come across.

Extreme access points allow more sessions per device, which means you need fewer access points in your network.  Fewer to secure, while everyone can still get on the Wi-Fi (safely).

Characteristics you'll find in every access point PlanetMagpie uses:

  • High-capacity antennas for a high-density environment, like business campuses
  • Enterprise-grade construction for supporting multiple high-bandwidth connections
  • 802.11ac speeds (minimum)
  • Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
  • Guest Network/VLAN function (offering a “guest network” to visitors or patrons is convenient, and protects you from cyberattacks sneaking into your internal network)

Ready to secure your Wi-Fi (and the rest of your network)?  Call PlanetMagpie at 510-344-1180 (CA) or 817-806-3524 (TX) and ask for the Cybersecurity Team.

Pulse Secure Hardware VPN

Network Hardware: Pulse Secure VPN

Intelligent Hardware-Based VPN to Protect Customer Access

No one should ask, "Do you use a VPN?" anymore. VPNs are now a basic requirement for securing a user's access to servers. Including the servers in the PlanetMagpie datacenter.

Sometimes our customers need secure remote access to their on-premise or hosted servers.  To protect their company data (and their servers) while they do so, we run a Pulse Secure hardware VPN.

The Pulse Secure PSA3000 is a top-tier VPN appliance, meant to protect your network’s data, wherever it resides.  It's a highly configurable device with industry-recognized security. Users log into the VPN first, and then they can access their servers. This protects the user, the datacenter, and the server data.

By using a VPN, we add another line of defense around our customers' data, without getting in the way of accessing it.


Run a VPN in your company network to protect employee access, from anywhere

One Pulse Secure hardware VPN can manage 200 simultaneous connections. Each & every one giving your users secure access to critical data, without endless hoops. The entire Pulse Secure series adapts over time as well, learning about new threats so it can block them if they show up.

Already own a VPN appliance?  Ask us how to increase your security using Multi-Factor Authentication.

If your company uses any form of networking, you need a VPN.  Request a VPN Installation quote from PlanetMagpie's IT Consulting team to put one in today.




N-able EDR

N-able EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)

Real-Time, Next-Generation Ransomware Defense

Ransomware never stops evolving. It can now transform itself over & over, to avoid traditional antivirus/anti-malware apps.

For advanced protection that evolves its defenses in real-time, deploy N-able EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), powered by SentinelOne.

Powered by AI, EDR grants protections you won't find with any other cybersecurity tool:

  • Protection from adapting threats, including malware disguised as normal apps
  • The same protections inside & outside the company network
  • Reduce downtime by keeping even advanced cyberattacks out
  • Recover from cyberattacks fast, with a "Rollback" feature

How does EDR do this?

Our EDR system's AI algorithms run in the background on your computers. Your users won't even know it, but the AI's monitoring every process that runs on their computer.

SentinelOne's AI uses "behavior targeting" to assess what's a normal computer process and what's not. For example, a user clicks a link, and a webpage starts to open. Malware on the webpage tries to access the computer's memory.

EDR sees this as unusual activity, and reacts to the potential threat. It blocks the memory access immediately, shuts down the processes the malware uses, and cleans any infected files. All automatic.

Stopping a potential ransomware outbreak before it starts. Without damaging the computer.

N-able EDR runs as a cloud service. The service runs on Windows and Mac devices. It self-updates, so you never have to worry about definition updates or deploying patches.

SentinelOne is so good, it’s making PlanetMagpie's techs feel like the Maytag Repairman!

To upgrade to next-generation ransomware defense with N-able EDR powered by SentinelOne, contact PlanetMagpie for a no-obligation quote.


Security Manager AV Defender

Bulletproof Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware Protection for Windows Devices

AV Defender provides more than just a malware shield. It actively guards against a multitude of threats lurking throughout the Web. Always on guard, always learning what new tricks cybercriminals try.

Built by BitDefender Software, AV Defender comes complete with:

  • An industry-leading fully-featured two-way firewall
  • Intrusion detection
  • Anti-phishing measures
  • Ransomware protection
  • Website filtering
  • User controls

This comprehensive functionality keeps online threats from infecting your systems. Workstations, servers, and mobile devices alike. It's the strongest gatekeeper you can place on guard.

Concerned your users might accidentally click a phishing link, or unknowingly let malware into the office network?

Use AV Defender to restrict users' Internet access, either universally or based on a schedule. You can also restrict access to specific applications, certain websites, risky search terms, and even pre-defined website categories. What kinds of categories? Choose from over 30:  gambling, mature content, social media, file sharing sites, online gaming platforms, and more.

Block an ever-growing number of threats before they get in the door. Deploy advanced protection with Security Manager AV Defender. Contact us via the box on the right to start your deployment.


Malwarebytes Endpoint Security

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Business is all of the industry-leading protection and remediation technologies you need, compacted into one powerful solution.  What does it do?  What doesn’t it do?

  • Proactive anti-malware scanning engine, stopping malware before you see it
  • Small system footprint
  • Malicious website blocking
  • Three scan modes
  • Includes anti-ransomware features
  • Compatible with legacy security solutions

The Corporate Edition of Malwarebytes also includes Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit.  This tool shields vulnerable apps (like your Web browser) from harmful code on the Web.

  • Gives your computer 4 different layers of protection across stages of an attack
  • Extremely light footprint (3MB of space), with no signature database
  • Compatible with all anti-malware and antivirus products
  • Customizable protection for third-party or custom app

On a Mac?  Despite what most people think, Macs are vulnerable to malware and ransomware.  That’s why Malwarebytes made a Mac Remediation Client too.

  • Separate remediation-only client for Mac
  • Works on all hardware running Mac OSX 10.8 or later
  • Protects the Mac against corrupted apps in the App Store

The people behind Malwarebytes spend all day, every day defending against malware & ransomware.  To see just how seriously they take their work, read our interviews with two Malwarebytes Directors:

The Malware War: Expert Advice from the Front Lines (March 2016)
The Malware War: The State of Malware on Mac (April 2016)


Email Filtering

Business email systems such as Exchange Server, Office 365, and Google Workspace incorporate basic filters to block spam and malware. They don’t always work. Spam or phishing emails can still make it through, into your employee’s mailboxes.

The solution? Real, business-grade email filtering. Enter modusCloud and Mail Assure.

Developed by Vircom, modusCloud’s enterprise-grade protection looks for (and blocks) ransomware, viruses, phishing attempts, and even DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. modusCloud even provides email encryption when you need to send sensitive emails. An Outlook plugin is also available, giving users the ability to block and report any spam that does make it through modusCloud’s filters.

N-able's Mail Assure is another business-class email filtration solution.  For organizations needing a more no-frills, dependable email filtration solution, Mail Assure is the one.  N-able is known for providing best-in-class security solutions that can be pushed out and managed through the N-central network monitoring platform used by top MSPs.

To learn more about Vircom's modusGate and N-able's Mail Assure, please visit our Email Security page.



Web Filtering & Security

Malware infections and data breaches can happen after an employee innocently downloads the wrong app, clicks on the link in a suspicious email, or checks their personal email at work.  While you can make rules governing time employees spend online, enforcing said rules is difficult.

Unless you install Web filtering with Forcepoint.  The Forcepoint solution makes it easy to roll out protections against time-wasting (or malware-infected) websites.  Protections employees cannot ignore.

How does it work?  Forcepoint runs within your business’ network, controlling what employees can and cannot access on it, and saving company bandwidth.

Are your employees browsing or streaming when they should be working?  Forcepoint will keep them on task (and help you keep dangerous URLs from infecting the network).

By running Forcepoint, you both increase employee productivity and guard against malware-infected websites.

  • Increase Productivity – Forcepoint puts policy controls into place network-wide, including time quotas, bandwidth limits, and specific URL blocking.  If employees can’t get to YouTube or Facebook, they can’t waste hours there. 
  • Block Dangerous/Non-Work URLs – Forcepoint’s Threatseeker blocks Web threats to prevent malware infections and data breaches.  Forcepoint stays ahead of threats by collecting and analyzing 5 billion global incidents every day. Once analysis completes, each Forcepoint installation receives threat analytics . . . at up to 3.2 updates per second. 

To find out how Forcepoint can help you, click the Contact Us box on the right.


Mobile Device Management

The more we rely on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the faster security for these devices must evolve.  If your company allows BYOD, then you’ll need a way to protect the company data on those devices.  Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the solution.

Using an MDM platform, you can keep company data separate from personal data on any mobile device, and safeguard it, even if a theft occurs.

A lost device is a problem, but company data on that device falling into the wrong hands can be catastrophic!  MDM mitigates the dangers of lost or stolen devices.  Sometimes it can even help track down the thief & reclaim the device.

These are two MDM solutions PlanetMagpie supports and recommends.

  1. MaaS360 – Created by IBM, MaaS360 handles mobile device management and updates.  It includes functions like pushing software updates, inventory control, remote wipe, and support for managing laptops on the go—something critical for those employees travelling
  2. AirWatch – Highly configurable for keeping track of mobile devices, monitoring their activity, encrypting data, and protecting them against malware.  Works well on iOS and Windows devices.

If your office uses mobile devices, or allows employees to use their own devices, Mobile Device Management is a necessity to protect your data.  Request a quote for Mobile Device Management setup by clicking the Contact Us box on the right.




Employee Cybersecurity Training

Employee Cybersecurity Training

With all this technology, what’s left to secure? Believe it or not, your employees.

Your employees are actually the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. Employees carry out over 60% of all cyberattacks, according to IBM research.

How do you guard against this type of threat? By training your employees to follow good cybersecurity practices.

PlanetMagpie offers Employee Cybersecurity Training, on-site at your business. Training sessions last only 60 minutes and will leave your team with 8 essential security techniques to protect your network.

We call it “Cybersecurity Kung Fu.” Interested? Visit our landing page:

Cybersecurity Kung Fu for Today’s Computer User – Employee Cybersecurity Training

Security Awareness Training

Security Awareness Training and Simulated Phishing

How vulnerable is your office to phishing attacks? Find out with simulated phishing.

PlanetMagpie has partnered with KnowBe4 to bring you Enterprise Security Awareness testing and training, using KnowBe4's extensive library of cybersecurity resources.

How it Works

  1. You select a group of users in your company and a simulated phishing template.
  2. The KnowBe4 system sends your users emails designed to mimic a phishing email.
  3. If they click the link, the system automatically signs them up for a training course. Courses run in the user's Web browser—Videos, training modules, infographics, and even security mini-games.
  4. You receive reports on your users' progress.
  5. Repeat the process as many times, for as many users, as you want.

Your Users Train Themselves to Recognize & Prevent Phishing Attacks

This approach helps you combat the biggest cybersecurity risk you have:  social engineering. Tricking users into opening the door for cyberattacks.

KnowBe4 is the world's largest integrated platform for awareness training, combined with simulated phishing attacks. In 2018, their program reduced the number of phishing-vulnerable users from 27% of 6 million analyzed, to 2.1%!

Please note:  We offer this training in addition to PlanetMagpie’s Employee Cybersecurity Training (“CyberFu”), which we perform onsite.  Use one or both, depending on your cybersecurity needs.

Ready for phishing-savvy users? Contact PlanetMagpie to start up Security Awareness Training today, at 510-344-1200 (CA) or 817-806-3524 (TX).

Download the KnowBe4 Security Awareness Training Datasheet