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Keyloggers found on HP laptops

ECL blog 41Recently we wrote about the dangers of keyloggers, a dangerous piece of software that can track everything you type in to your keyboard.

The seriousness of the threat posted by keyloggers has been highlighted today in a report by security researcher Michael Myng. The report, which can be viewed here, found that hidden keylogger software was pre-installed on the systems of hundreds of HP laptop models.

According to the report, as many as 460 models of HP laptops had been found to contain keyloggers including EliteBook, ProBook, Pavillion and Envy ranges dating back to 2012.

Is it time for you to outsource your IT support?

ECL blog 40Every business will at some point encounter IT problems. Not only do businesses need to maintain systems that work swiftly and accurately, but they also need to make sure that they are safe and secure from cyber threats.

To keep things moving, it is important to have someone on hand to help. Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should work with a trusted IT support company.

The cost factor
While in the early stages of your business it can be realistic to manage some aspects of IT yourself, there comes a point when it is no longer profitable to do so. If you want your business to grow then you need to have your attention focused on, well, your business. If you’re spending too much time on working out problems with emails, updating software or guarding against security issues then you should consider asking for help to bring back some balance to your day.

KRACK Attack: How safe is your WiFi connection?

KRACK attack how safe is your internet connectionA disturbing flaw in Wi-Fi networks has allowed for hackers to eavesdrop on data being passed through most modern Wi-Fi networks. This means that any device, from laptops and mobile phones to games consoles and tablets, could all be vulnerable to hacking with credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages and emails all potentially under threat.

Known as a key reinstallation attack or KRACK for short, this newly discovered flaw was unearthed by Marty Vanhoef, a Belgian researcher. What’s more, the researcher claims that the problem is not limited to any one device or operating system and instead is an issue with Wi-Fi as a whole.

This hidden programme could be capturing everything you type

ECL blog 38You might not realise it, but your computer could be infected with a form of malware which collects everything you type into your keyboard. Throughout the day it could harvest passwords for your banking, social media accounts and other personal information –which could lead to identity fraud, blackmail and more.

What is a key logger?

The programme in question is called a keystroke logger – or a key logger for short. While these programmes can sometimes be used for honest purposes, they are often also used by cyber criminals as a way of mining important personal information from individuals or businesses. This information could then be used to hijack your accounts, steal customer or client information, exploit your bank account or blackmail your business.

How prepared are you for a massive data loss?

clip_image002The ability of a business to recover quickly from an IT disaster cannot be underestimated. Getting back on your feet in a speedy manner can help avert financial loss, harm to reputation and other negative impacts. While we all hope that our own businesses will never be affected by disruptive incidents like cyber attacks, theft, fire or flooding, they can happen and failing to prepare is preparing to fail!

A good place to start when considering how prepared you are for a data loss is to look at some of the potential scenarios that could enable one, as while you may think you have plans in place you might not have covered every angle.

Ransomware here to stay says Google

binary damage codeBusinesses are being warned to protect themselves after tech giant Google released research claiming that cyber thieves have extorted a total of £19m from ransomware since 2015.

At a talk at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, Elie Bursztein from Google revealed the results of research conducted with Chainalysis, the University of California and New York University which looked at bitcoin transactions over the period. It concluded that ransomware has become a “very profitable market and is here to stay”.

Interestingly, Google highlighted the fact that less than 40% of computer users currently back up their data – a move which could protect you in the event of a ransomware attack. It also predicted that more varied strains of ransomware are being developed to compete with the already popular Locky and Cerber strains, which according to the report generated £5.9m and £5.2m from victims respectively.

Windows 10 update to make Ransomware attacks more difficult

code-1839406_640Controlled Folder Access – that’s the name of a new feature coming to Windows which could add extra protection against dangerous Ransomware like WannaCry and Petya.

News coming from technology website The Verge says that Microsoft will include a special tool in their next major update expected in September.

The ‘Controlled Folder Access’ option which will be found in the Windows Defender Security Centre will offer users an option to ‘protect their files and folders from unauthorized changes by unfriendly applications’ thereby preventing a user being ‘locked out’ of their files by a Ransomware attack.

How to lock down your Wi-Fi

Have you noticed that your Wi-Fi connection at work is slow and lagging? Are you struggling to upload documents and download files? It could be that someone is piggybacking off your Wi-Fi to surf the internet, reducing the amount of service available to you and your colleagues.

While you want your broadband signal to be strong and wide reaching so that everyone working in your offices can get adequate internet access, it’s important to have limitations in place. If you work in a busy urban area with lots of surrounding houses, shops and other businesses then chances are that your Wi-Fi signal is in reach of an unauthorised surfer.  Not only is it unfair for someone to access an internet service that you are paying for, but it can also slow down your speeds which can make it difficult for you to do your work.

How safe is Google Docs?

Launched in 2012, Google’s trio of services - Google Drive, Google Docs & Google Sheets - are a popular way for businesses to carry out their work online.

Google Drive acts a cloud storage service, Google Docs as an alternative to Microsoft Word and Google Sheets as an alternative to Microsoft Excel.

Among the perks of these services is the ability for multiple users to edit their work in real time. This means that from a business perspective you can have various different people working on a document and making changes that will be reflected instantly.  Because of the easy to use nature of Google’s apps, more and more businesses are becoming reliant on their services, storing lots of important and sometimes sensitive information along the way. But, exactly how safe is it to rely to on these services?

Microsoft fixes a record number of security flaws this month

Microsoft has released its biggest patch update ever including 18 patches, with 9 classed as ‘critical’ and a further 9 classed as ‘important’.

Microsoft’s latest bumper package of patches comes after a quiet start to the year in terms of updates, with no patches released in February at all. However, this latest update includes fixes for a reported 135 different vulnerabilities across Windows operating systems from Vista to Windows 10.

3 password mistakes that make it easy for hackers

In terms of defending your business online, your password is one of your first lines of defence. Whether it’s for encrypted files on your computer, access to your company’s social media networks or for your online banking credentials, it’s incredibly important that you make your passwords as difficult and off-putting to hackers as possible.

#1 - You’re password is too easy to guess
This is the first and most common mistake that people tend to make with their passwords. While using the name of your dog or your favourite football team might have been an acceptable password in the past, it’s now far too easy to guess. A hacker simply needs to look at your Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts to gain an idea of who you are, what interests you have and which people are important to you.  Even if your social media profiles aren’t directly associated with your business they are usually simple enough to track down.

Why an offline backup could save your business from ruin

Ransomware attacks were a huge talking point in 2016 with many businesses and individuals forced to pay up after hackers compromised their data and locked them out of their computers with a digital ransom note.

The advice from the majority of IT professionals encourages victims of Ransomware attacks to never pay up to hackers in the event of an attack. But it can be a very difficult decision to make to refuse payment when your entire business is on the line, which is why many Ransomware victims decide to pay their ransom. However, there are no guarantees that you will be given your data back and the hacker may simply destroy your data, ask you for more money, or both!