This week, a doozy of a security risk was revealed concerning the way data is encrypted between computers and web servers on the Internet.
It's called Heartbleed and you may have heard of it by now.
If you are a client of mine - and as it is my obligation as your technical administrator - I wanted to take a minute to address my services and your exposure to this vulnerability.
Microsoft Windows Terminal Services
If you receive terminal service/remote desktop solutions from me, your services are ran on Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 servers. Inasmuch, Microsoft has confirmed that their platforms are not affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability so your site and its data and your communications between them are not subject to this risk.
If I manage your Google Apps environment, as of Thursday April 10, 2014, Google confirmed that they've patched all of their servers for their major services, so your mail, contacts, calendars, and so on - stuff I manage for you under Google Apps - are also secure:
If you receive an online backup product from me, I've received a verbal confirmation from the vendor that their solutions are not subject to this vulnerability.
VOIP Phone Solutions
If you receive your VOIP solutions from me, I've received verbal confirmation from the vendor that their solutions are not subject to this vulnerability.
Third Party Website Hosts and Operators
You need only be concerned about this vulnerability if your website conducts any form of secure transaction, such as logins, taking payments, or processing orders.
If your website just serves-up webpages with information, you are not affected by Heartbleed. If your website takes in any information securely, it is likely subject to this vulnerability.
If your website or email service or backup service is hosted by a third party, it is their responsibility to patch their servers and advise you of their status. I recommend you contact them immediately for a status.
Third Party Cloud-Based Services
Nearly all websites are affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability including popular brands like Netflix, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, large banking institutions, and the like. The situation right now is rather fluid and broad but I'd recommend the following approach:
1. Take an inventory of the 3rd party websites that are related to your business and that you frequent; ie, your financial institution, online business software, file sharing software, and so on.
2. Visit their websites or blogs for the latest update/information about their vulnerability to Heartbleed.
3. Following their confirmation that their vulnerability has been addressed, you would want to change your password with that service at the earliest opportunity.
Finally, Google has confirmed that some versions of the Android (Droid) operating system are exposed to this vulnerability. The models and versions vary. Those who run Android/Droid operating systems on their phones will want to apply updates throughout the weekend or discuss this matter with their cell phone carrier/provider. To test whether or not your Android phone is vulnerable, you may wish to try this solution.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.