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6 ways to protect your business from ransomware attacks

6 ways to protect your business from ransomware attacksA recent report from cyber security company Sophos has uncovered some disturbing trends in the advancement of online crime. The report found that teams of online criminals are now turning to targeted ransomware attacks as a means of earning millions of dollars from businesses and high-value individuals.

The report by SophosLabs also suggested that cyber criminals are manipulating flaws in Windows systems admin tools as a means of stealing sensitive information and of delivering ransomware. Once activated, the ransomware will cut off access either to the entire system or specific files until the user delivers a ransom payment – usually paid for in untraceable currency such as BitCoin. However, there are no guarantees that a payment will mean your data will be restored.

Following a string of worrying malware strains released last year such as Meltdown, Spectre, Foreshadow, Petya, NotPetya, X-bash and WannaCry, it is important that businesses have protocols in place to defend against and minimise damage carried out by a ransomware attack. Here are just a few things that you can do.

What are the benefits of VDI for businesses?

what are the benefits of vdi for businessesVirtual desktop infrastructure. Even the name itself can sound confusing. But the benefits of VDI are well worth the small amount of time it takes to understand what it is and how it works. Read on to find out more.

What is VDI?

VDI can be simply described as a type of technology that detaches the application processing from the physical computer in front of you. Rather than running applications on the computer under your desk, you will instead run them from a server that mirrors them on to your PC.

What is X-bash? A look at the all-in-one malware threat

nearly half of all global login attempts are made by hackersFollowing on from headline claiming malware like Petya, NotPetya and WannaCry, a new threat to computer users has emerged in the form of an all-in-one malware called X-bash.

What is X-Bash?

Researchers at Palo Alto Networks have named this new form of malware X-bash. They claim it combines bot net, cryptocurrency mining software and ransomware in one singular worm that specifically targets users of Linux and Windows.

Who created it?

The researchers, named ‘Unit 42’, have claimed that the malware can be tied to a collective known as the Iron Group (aka Rocke), who are known to be behind numerous other ransomware attacks.

How to protect you PC from the Foreshadow Intel flaw

how to protect your pc from the foreshadow intel flawAlong with threats like Meltdown and Spectre, Foreshadow has been in the news recently, described as a worrying threat for PC’s with intel processors.

Meltdown and Spectre, which were first publicly disclosed in January, were a widespread problem and some of the aftermath is still being cleaned up. However, the discovery prompted researchers to do further studies into possible weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and in doing so discovered a weakness similar to Spectre in Intel processors.

Fake News Virus Warnings

fake news virus warningsBusinesses are encouraging staff to be extra-vigilant after an increase in malicious content distributed through social media.

Social media websites are documenting a rise in falsified articles that use notable fake news stories to encourage people to click. Once they land on the website however, they can be susceptible to a whole range of malicious content like malware and viruses.

Two recent examples of these hoax-type stories include an article purporting the death of popular Mr. Bean actor Rowan Atkinson and an article reporting US President Trump had suffered a stroke. The news articles are spread through social media and encourage visitors to click through to their websites. Once there, visitors can inadvertently download malware, ransomware and other dangerous viruses.

How to transform your workforce in one easy step

how to transform your workforce in one easy stepTechnology is rapidly changing the way that we work. From industry giants to young and hungry start-ups, modern devices, programs, tools, systems and support is enabling businesses to thrive in an ever-changing market place.

One of the biggest changes has come in the form of not only how we work but also the way we work. While many businesses have traditionally operated out of office-style set ups, following the usual 9-5, Monday to Friday shift patterns, over the past decade a radical shift has begun to take place.

4 reasons for start-ups to outsource IT support

4 reasons for start-ups to outsource it supportOutsourcing is common place in the business world. Take a look at some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies like IBM and Siemens, both of whom benefit from the knowledge and expertise of other businesses to help them maintain their high standards of operation. However, outsourcing isn’t and shouldn’t be restricted to only those businesses who have already established themselves. Here are a few reasons why start-ups should also consider outsourcing certain duties such as IT support.

Cost
One of the key reasons for start-ups to outsource specific tasks such as IT support is their size. Start ups are typically keen to maintain a small and lean workforce in order to grow. This means that bringing on board their own IT specialist and paying their annual salary can needlessly bloat costs. It often makes more sense to rely on a support company who can provide assistance as and when they are needed.

Microsoft releases enhanced protections for ransomware aimed at small businesses

blog 45 - microsoft releases enhanced protections for ransomware aimed at small businessesIn the face of growing danger from cyber threats such as ransomware and phishing, Microsoft have released an upgraded set of features for their Microsoft 365 business edition in the hopes of safeguarding small businesses.

Microsoft has said that Microsoft 365 Business will now include sophisticated scanning of attachments and AI-powered analysis to uncover and destroy malicious messages. The updates also include automatic checking of links in emails and full device protection to prevent devices from accessing ransomware and other suspicious web locations.

British businesses warned to stay vigilant in the face of Ransomware attacks

british businesses warned to stay vigilant in the face of ransomware attacksA new report from security watchdog SonicWall has confirmed that the threat of Ransomware is greater than ever in the UK and that British businesses in particular should sit up and take note, with over 38 attacks every day on UK based companies and organisations.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malware which locks away a victim’s files and then requests payment to have them returned. Ransoms are paid through a digital currency such as Bitcoin, which allows for highly encrypted and anonymous transactions. While a ransomware attack can be a nuisance for individual computer users, for businesses the repercussions can be far greater. A loss of sensitive data, particularly that of clients and customers can lead to serious damage to reputation and financial losses. In order to protect themselves from Ransomware, businesses should work closely with IT security specialists to ensure that systems are updated with the latest software, patches and firewalls and that they have access to offline backups of their data should the worst happen, and they fall victim to a ransomware attack.

Nearly half of all global login attempts are made by hackers

nearly half of all global login attempts are made by hackersThe content delivery network Akamai has claimed that 43% of all online login attempts are performed by cyber criminals attempting to compromise accounts of businesses and corporations.

A recent report from Akamai has revealed that almost half of all online log in attempts are “malicious”. In its report ‘Q4 2017 State of the Internet/Security report’ the company provided research that claims an overwhelming number of log in requests are “attempts to log in to an account using password guessing software or account details gathered from elsewhere on the internet. However, other sources such as The Register have suggested the real figure could be even higher.

Apple confirms security flaw in almost all its products

ecl blog 42Tech giant Apple has confirmed two major bugs found across almost all of it’s devices including iPhones, Macbook Pro’s, iMac Pro’s, Macbook’s, iMacs and iPad devices.

Apple has said the two issues known as “spectre” and “meltdown” are believed to affect “nearly all computing devices and operating systems” with only the Apple watches believed to be immune.

Meltdown is said to affect Intel processors, which are commonly found in Macs. It could in theory allow malicious software or hackers to overcome the system’s security protection to send or see specific application data. Spectre, on the other hand, is a bug that affects not only Intel but also ARM and AMD systems and processors found in iOS devices. This could make devices vulnerable by making it easier to access highly valuable information such as passwords, data and communications previously protected by encryption.