Ransomware Strikes Again

As you may already know, on Friday May 12th there was a massive ransomware attack that at last count has affected over 150 countries and more than 350,000 computers. It is taking advantage of a security hole in Windows that Microsoft fixed in March.

Make sure your system has the latest updates installed, and that your anti-virus has the latest updates as well. Also, be vigilant when checking your emails as that has been the number one avenue for this attack.

Our clients didn’t need to worry about this attack because our services proactively install updates every weekend. In addition, our multiple security layers would block infections like this before they could do any damage.

Small Businesses at Risk

50% of all small businesses in the US have been hacked. That’s a scary statistic. Even more alarming is that a survey published by Manta in February shows that 87% of small business owners don’t think they’re at risk of a cybersecurity attack.

This information comes from a recent article published on CNBC’s website, which discusses a bill in Congress that would update the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 to include small business guidelines for cybersecurity. The article is worth a read: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/05/congress-addresses-cyberwar-on-small-business-14-million-hacked.html.

What can business owners like you do to protect themselves?

The most common tools you need to have in order to prevent attacks are firewalls, anti-virus software, spam filters, and data-encryption tools.

The most overlooked step is to keep your software up to date. Take our quiz to see if you’re at risk: http://bit.ly/2pFA1Ak.

Basic Security Tips for Home

Our company focus is on business computers but we often get asked about home computers. It’s just as important to protect your home computers as it is to protect your business computers. Here are a few tips to help secure your home computers:

Use antivirus software – here is a good comparison of several different products in varying price ranges: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372364,00.asp.

Add an additional layer of security to protect against malware, and help protect devices like tablets and phones – Cisco Umbrella protects networks by examining DNS traffic (basically the address book of the internet) and blocking anything attempting to get to a compromised destination. It’s a bit more complex to implement than installing antivirus software, but it has the additional benefit of offering content filtering (block websites based on category such as adult content, nudity, or gambling). https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/

Don’t open emails you don’t recognize – you’ve heard it at work, but the same applies at home: don’t open emails you’re not expecting, don’t click on links in emails (especially purporting to be from your financial institutions), and don’t open attachments you’re not expecting. Having a good antivirus program, and adding OpenDNS, will help protect you in the event you accidentally open something malicious but it’s better to avoid it in the first place.

Don’t illegally download software/music/videos – everyone likes watching the latest movies, having the latest music, getting software for free, but it comes at a steep price: your machine will most likely become part of a botnet, meaning it is controlled by someone else and can be used to carry out attacks on other internet-connected entities.

 

For more tips like these, sign up for our Timely Tech Tips: https://www.cbtech.support/timelytechtips.html

Cyber Security

We’ve attended multiple security webinars over the past several weeks. It is unbelievable how the numbers of attacks have increased over the past 6 months relating to malware/ransomware attempts, attacks, and their profits. We would like to share that the most common way the attacks are happening is via email. There are ~300 million hits of emails which are attacks, or attempted attacks, each day. These emails are in the form of “Help me with this info I need”, “Here’s an unpaid invoice”, and even in the form of an attached Word or Excel document. The take away from this is simply don’t open an email or attachment that you aren’t expecting. Reach out to the sender via phone or text to verify anything that seems odd.