Data Security

What is the Wi-Fi hack and how does it affect Business IT Solutions?

On October 16, 2017, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team sent out an alert regarding vulnerabilities of Wi-Fi Protected Access II. This is also known as WPA2. This news will impact all businesses on perhaps every scale. However, with the right education and precautions, your Business IT Solutions will remain intact. Our IT Support Miami experts will help you stay steps ahead of your competition. Below, you can find out everything you need to know about the attack.

What is WPA2?

WPA2 is a type of technology that provides network security to Wi-Fi networks. The software, WPA2, is a shorter name for Wi-Fi Protected Access II. All hardware has had this technology since 2006 and has become the standard for fighting data encryption. In it’s creation, WPA2 became a replacement of the original WPA technology. During it’s time, the technology had the most up-to-date encryption standards. Since then, the technology has received regular updates.

On October 16, the US-CERT issued and alert that says if you have a router with WPA2 security, your devices are hackable. This means your device is in trouble if you have Wi-Fi Protected access. In addition, hackers can see your personal information and do anything they want to it.  Marty Vanhoef, a Belgian security researcher exposed the vulnerability. He will be discussing KRack attacks more in depth later this year.

What is the attack?

The vulnerability in the WPA2 Wi-Fi protocol makes your computer prone to Key Reinstallation Attacks, or KRack for short. A KRack attack disables a Wi-Fi router’s security and makes your information prone to whoever is roaming through the same network areas as you are.

You can watch a video of the process below:

If you notice in the video, a potential hacker would only need a few tools to find important login information. Furthermore, if a business owner thinks their company information is not secure, this could be potentially dangerous for vital company information. So far, there have been no major cyberattacks regarding KRack. However, you should know that if an attacker were to gain access to your router, they could manipulate the data by adding a type of ransomware or malware to the computer. In a year full of cyberattacks, it is entirely possible that a hacker would benefit from this type of attack.

Is My Business Protected?

With this information finally in the open, the most common concern is having a safe business. If your company has any vital information, you must check if it’s on any affected software. If so, you company might be prone to cyber attacks. Therefore, it is important to know the affected software so you, as a business owner, can start figuring out how to secure your business quickly.

As of October 18, the US-CERT confirmed the following affected vendors:

  • Cisco
  • Google
  • Intel Corporation
  • Samsung Mobile
  • Toshiba Memory Corporation

As of October 18, the US-CERT confirmed the following unaffected vendors:

  • Arista Networks, Inc.
  • Check Point Software Technologies
  • Internet Systems Consortium
  • Internet Systems Consortium – DHCP
  • MikroTik
  • VMware

For the full list of affected vendors, you can click here.

Even if you work with unaffected vendors, you should still update your devices. This way, you can ensure that your company may be as secure as possible. As a result, any important business information that you have will remain secure. If anyone in your company keeps information on affected software, you need make sure your data is safe. By doing this, your company will be safe and you won’t have to shut down. 

How Can I Keep My Business IT Solutions Safe?

In the past, our data backup and recovery team has always advocated for the importance of securing your passwords, installing the proper firewalls or anti-viruses and, of course, conducting regular data backups. Updating your devices to the latest software is the best way to prevent KRack attacks. However, if you are a South Florida Business who wants more security for your business, you can trust Nerds Support’s Business IT Solutions to help business owners in Miami, Doral and Ft. Lauderdale to fight against hackers to keep their information safe. Our IT Support Miami service providers work round the clock to you can take comfort in knowing that your business information will be safe from cyberattacks and other disasters. All your information will be safe from malware with Nerds Support’s secure servers. MSPmentor, The Channel Company and, most recently, The South Florida Business Journal have recognized our Business IT Solutions.  Most of all, Nerds Support has helped many small to medium-sized businesses through difficult times and during a time where cyberattacks have been consistent, our Data Recovery Miami team is ready to keep your business safe too. To schedule a consultation, please call 305-551-2009 or fill out a contact form here.

Cybersecurity

Cyber Security Awareness Month: Five Takeaways from the Biggest Cyberattacks of 2017

In 2017, it is both fitting and ironic that October would mark the beginning of Cyber Security awareness month. This year has transformed into a year defined by fervent protest, natural disaster and cyberattacks. It seemed as though on a constant basis, households and business owners all alike would wake up to another cyberattack . Some of the most high profile cyberattacks could be listed below:

  • WannaCry
    • Wannacry is a strain of ransomware that was spread around the world, targeting hundreds of thousands of companies, most notably British Hospitals.
  • Equifax
    • Hackers had targeted over 140 million Americans in a security breach. The hackers were able to access credit card numbers, social security numbers, addresses and other personal information.
  • CCleaner
    • The PC cleaning tool discovered that hackers were able to infiltrate the program and transmit user data for criminal use.
  • Whole Foods
    • In some locations, cyber attackers stole credit card information.
  • Hurricane Scams
    • Fake charities were taking advantage of those who wanted to give to hurricane victims. Meanwhile, on affected territories, fake companies, or people posing as federal agents, were scamming hurricane victims.
  • Las Vegas Scams
    • Homeland security has issued an alert telling people to avoid giving money to unverified charities. There are also orders to not open any suspicious emails relating to the shooting.

Considering all that has been happening in the world lately, it’s really easy to forget about protecting your business data. But Ransomware as a service (RaaS) has transformed into a full business model. Meaning, it is more important than ever to have a disaster protection and data backup plan.

Looking forward to the rest of the year and beyond, here are some precautions that will make your business more secure for the next malware attack.

Secure Your Passwords

Our Miami IT Support experts are password security’s biggest advocates. As they may have mentioned time and time again, keeping your passwords in a safe location is a great way to prevent ransomware attacks. Be sure to keep your passwords on a secure file in your cloud and restrict access to anyone who wouldn’t need to know all of the passwords on the file.

Backup Your Data

Most experts agree that keeping a backup of your data is the best way to fighting against ransomware attacks. Backing up your data means that in the event of an emergency, the last saved copy of your data will always be handy, so you don’t lose vital company information. Experts say that it is important to back up your company’s data to an external device so that if your company becomes the victim of a ransomware attack, your data can simply be accessed from another device. Your data would be backed up on to one of our secure servers, if you were a client of Nerds Support, . That way if you have become a victim of a cyberattack, our Miami IT Support experts can take off the malware while you can resume your work on a different computer. Our 24/7 IT support experts backup client data every day. Our business IT support experts also check your files on a day-to-day basis to make sure any encryptions and malware doesn’t go into our secure servers. This ensures that your data backup and disaster recovery plan is implemented to its full potential.

Educate Your Employees

Teaching your employees on how to spot phishing emails is a great way to avoid ransomware attacks. As our Miami IT Support providers have said before, most ransomware attacks happen through email. When your employees know the difference between a company email and a malware email, you company is all the more secure. Below are some things that a business owner can tell employees not to do:

  • Do not open emails from addresses that you don’t recognize
  • Do not open emails with attachments that are labeled “.PDF.zip” or “.PDF.rar”
  • Do not give company (or personal) information to any unprotected websites

Current employees and supervisors should also beware of rouge employees. Rouge employees are employees that break company rules in serious ways. These offenses can range from hacking other employee accounts to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company. Tell-tale signs of a rouge employee include:

  • Claims that the rouge employee can hack other co-workers
  • The rouge employee knowing information that they shouldn’t know
  • Suspicious online activity detected

A company should train all of its employees to know the signs of a possible cyberattack. A cyberattack can come from a rouge employee or a suspicious email. Therefore, if an employee that believes their company is receiving suspicious emails or a victim of suspicious activity, should report it immediately. Reporting it would mean the difference between keeping your company safe or becoming a part of a statistic.

Install the Proper Antivirus

While most antivirus software cannot fight against a malware they do not know about, antivirus software is still a great thing to have when fighting cyberattacks. Many experts say that another great tactic is to whitelist software. Whitelisting Software simply means that instead of banning different types of software, you list types of software that you want on your servers and your servers allow only the software that you approve of.

Hire a Team That is Will Prevent Cyberattacks

Nerds Support’s Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Plans are some of the best in Miami. Our IT Support providers agree that having a business protection plan is one of the best things a business owner can do for their company. With recognition by MSPmentor and other high profile companies, we don’t settle for anything less than the best technology to combat hackers, malware and any type of disaster that a business can encounter. When you hire our Miami IT Support experts, you get more than just an IT team. You get a dedicated group of individuals who become part of your company and who want to keep your company safe as much as you want to.

To find out more about Nerds Support’s Data Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions, call us today at 305-551-2009 or fill out a contact form here.

Colocation Services

Hurricane Irma vs. Miami IT Support

When Hurricane Irma finally left South Florida, over 2 million people were left without power. The structural damage, fallen trees and broken power lines left absolute shock and despair across South Florida.  But for Companies managed by Nerds Support, there were many things to be thankful for. During Hurricane Irma, Nerds Support’s cloud maintained a 100% working status. This meant that none of our clients lost important company information. Most importantly, if companies needed to run their business from the cloud, they were able to. At Nerds Support, we believe being able to access your business from anywhere is a right, not a privilege. Hurricane season doesn’t end until November and with more hurricanes bound to appear over the Atlantic, our Miami IT Support experts outline why Nerds Support is one of the best IT Consulting Companies in Miami to work with. Their Disaster protection and data security plans are also some of the best in South Florida.

Disaster Protection Basics

To avoid any possible setback, you must do the following to protect your business:

  • Secure Your Passwords
  • Move Your Most Important information to the cloud
  • Secure your equipment on high ground
  • Conduct regular data backups

No matter what event, following these steps are essential to keeping your business safe. Securing your passwords will make sure that the right people are in control of your business applications. Moving your equipment to higher ground will protect your equipment from possible water damage and conducting regular data backups will keep your latest company information safe. However, the most important of these steps is moving your information to the cloud. Doing that will mean that valuable company information will not be lost if there is a flood or a theft. Business owners will always know that their information cannot get lost when their company information is on the cloud.

Your Business on the Cloud

When you move your business from a server to the cloud, you do a lot more than just put your business online. You use cloud services to access your business from any place, at any location, on any device. When the power goes out in our business location, this can be incredibly useful. If a business owner would want to resume their business operations, but find themselves unable to return to their location due to flooding, damage or no electricity, that business owner can easily instruct employees to work on any device from a remote area. Throughout the entire hurricane, from preparation to landfall, Nerds Support’s cloud servers maintained 100% availability. This meant that even during the storm, companies managed by Nerds Support could have resumed company operations during the storm. Companies were also able to resume business operations from a remote location immediately.

IT_Services_Miami_Cloud_Solutions

Disaster Protection is Everything

When we say “disaster protection”, Our IT Support Miami experts understand that business owners might only think compromised passwords and rouge employees. Shockingly enough, disaster protection is so much more than that. Disaster protection helps us from anything like a hurricane to a simple power outage. Nerds Support’s disaster protection plans keep your business running 24/7. At Nerds Support, our award winning Miami IT Support experts believe that being able to access your business is more than a privilege, it’s a necessity. From a hurricane to a simple power outage, there is no reason why a business owner should have to shut down their business. It is simply a loss of time and revenue. Nerds Support’s mission is to keep South Florida businesses open. When employees evacuate or a business location is unfit for work, business owners can allow employees to work from home.

More Hurricanes are on the way

Our IT support Miami team believes that we will have more hurricanes to worry about. South Florida is currently monitoring Hurricane Maria and Tropical Depression Lee. During this time, our Miami IT Support team wants you to know that Nerds Support is at the forefront of IT Support and Cloud Solutions in Miami. Our Business Recovery and Disaster Protection plans are some of the best in the region. Finally, we would like to reaffirm that all of our clients were able to resume their business operations during any point in the storm. Today, 55,000 homes and businesses across South Florida are still without electricity. With the possibility of two more storms on the way, we understand that business owners may become concerned or frustrated.

During the rest of the month, Nerds Support is offering to waive the startup fees of businesses that are still without power. This Miami IT Consulting Company is also willing to take 20% off startup fees for businesses that are looking for the best IT Support in Miami. To schedule a consultation, you can call (305)-551-2009 or you can fill out a contact form here.

IT-Support-Irma

Prepare for Hurricane Irma with IT Support in Miami

Hurricane Irma is one of the most dangerous hurricanes to hit Florida in over a decade. As people are lining up for supplies, we understand that the Miami-based business owner is concerned about their company. As of September 8th, the National Hurricane Center has reported that Hurricane Irma will be in Florida as late as 2 am on Sunday morning. Our Miami IT support experts predict that given the conditions are safe, Miami Business owners may re-open businesses by Tuesday. But to keep your business safe, our support team recommends that you take the following precautions to protect your business.

Remember Your Data Backups

Data backups are an essential part of every business. In the most basic sense, data backups take all the information that keeps your company running. On a regular day, our IT Support team recommends conducting a data backup for your business at least once a day. However, while preparing for a hurricane, our team recommends monitoring your data a little more closely. Before landfall, be sure to keep an eye on your systems and make sure that backups are available. It is best to back up your data a second time to affirm that your data is safe.

Keep All Your Passwords in a Secure Location

It is common knowledge that cyber attacks thrive off of natural disasters like Hurricane Irma. That is why the best way to stop a cyber attack is to prevent it from happening. Our IT Support experts strongly suggest that if you choose to concern yourself with only one thing, it should be your company passwords. Before you close your business, be sure that your company passwords are in a secure location and are safe from potential cyber attacks. Our Miami IT Support team recommends that you keep your company passwords in a locked file on your company’s cloud.

Check Your Servers

The most important thing to do is to keep your server in a secure location. You must move your servers to high ground immediately. Many news sources have confirmed that Hurricane Irma will result in flooding. You will lose all your company’s information if your server touches the water. It is known that 80% of companies that lose their information, never recover.  To keep your servers safe, put them on a rack at least 6 feet off the ground. Secure any loose wires to ensure maximum security. Keep a backup of your server’s information, because if your server breaks down, at least you will have a copy of your company’s information.

If you can, Move Your Most Important Files to a Cloud Storage

Hurricane Irma is poised to hit South Florida as a strong Category 4 hurricane. A hurricane this powerful almost guarantees that power will go out. At that point, residents and business owners will have no choice but to wait for FPL to restore South Florida’s electricity. If your business has generators and backup internet, be sure to keep your most important files safe by moving them into the cloud. Back in 2004, Nerds Support was established as one of the first IT Support companies to embrace cloud solutions and 13 years later, the company is still a leader in cloud solutions in Miami. Once your files are in the cloud, your employees will be able to access their work from any place, anytime on any device.

Take Care of Your Equipment

Keeping all your files in a secure location is more useful if you have devices to access your information from. Before closing your business, you must make sure all your equipment is accounted for. Be sure to turn off your computers and all your monitors before you leave your office on Friday. After you turn them off, store them in a safe place. Our IT support experts agree that your equipment needs to be stored in a secure area. A secure area will make sure your equipment will not get lost in flood or winds. In fact, they suggest a closet with high and sturdy shelves.

Nerds Support is Your Number One Resource to Contacting IT Support via Chat, Email or Phone

Most people don’t know, but when a local disaster struck Aventura, over 50 businesses were shut down for nearly three weeks! Only one business, out of 50, was able to stay open. The reason why that business stayed open was because Nerds Support had the resources needed to keep Miami businesses open. This weekend, however, a small disaster will not mildly inconvenience Miami. The Magic City will go silent. People will lock themselves in their homes and brace for one of the biggest disasters in over 10 years. Nerds Support is a 24/7 IT Support Company that will be there to help with operating systems and disaster recovery. Our thirteen years of experience has given us the insight to know how to prepare for Hurricane Irma. So, when you walk into your business on Tuesday morning and find that your need immediate IT support, call Nerds Support immediately at 305-551-2009, or fill out a contact form right here.

hurricane-harvey

Donating Responsibly With Data Protection in Miami

From Houston to Corpus Christi, the effects of Hurricane Harvey were felt over the weekend. Hurricane Harvey has become the first major hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Houston recorded record levels of rain as a result of the storm. Homeless shelters are expecting an estimated 30,000 people. Needless to say, the pictures of the damage are heartbreaking. Like every disaster, people feel the need to unite and take action. It’s incredibly understandable if you would like to donate to the victims of the hurricane, or help in any sort of way. Many sources has said that the best way to help, for those outside of Texas, is to give cash. While giving money is an effective way of lending aid to those in need, there are always a group of people who are willing to take advantage of a person’s compassion.

At Nerds Support, we have recently learned that there are fraudulent emails going around from hackers looking to capitalize off hurricane Harvey. Because it is common knowledge that most cyberattacks happen through email, our IT support experts would like to remind you to keep data protection in mind as you read your inboxes in these next few weeks.

Signs of a Potential Cyberattack

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement regarding awareness of Hurricane Harvey cyberattacks. You are allowed to view the link here, but our Miami IT support experts have left a list of the most important ways to keep your data protected from email cyberattacks.

  •  Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
    • You should do a web search to make sure the links in your email are real.
  • Use caution when opening email attachments.
  • Keep antivirus and other computer software up-to- date.
  • Review the Federal Trade Commission information on Charity Scams.
  • Verify the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. You can find trusted contact information for many charities on the BBB National Charity Report Index.

Finally, if you believe you may become the victim of a cyberattack, you are urged to seek out a data protection plan right away.

How to REALLY Help

Despite those out there looking to donate to their own “charities”, there are still a lot of great, verified organizations that will need your help in the next few weeks.

  • Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the US Catholic Church, is taking donations to provide support for Harvey victims. They are accepting donations through text and through a webpage they created. You can access the page and find more information here.
  • Feeding Texas, the Texas chapter for Feeding America, a network of the state’s food banks, is accepting donations here. Like its parent foundation, Feeding Texas uses their network of food banks to feed the hungry. You can also find a list of food bank locations that might need help here.
  • The Texas Diaper Bank is seeking donations to provide diapers to families that have been displaced due to Hurricane Harvey. The bank has set up an Amazon wishlist for donors who would like to buy diapers for the diaper bank. The bank has also set up an FAQ highlighting the many ways you can donate . You can find both of these on the organization’s facebook page.
  • The Houston Coalition for the Homeless, which helps coordinate shelters and outreach for the city’s vulnerable homeless population, has a paged dedicated to shelters in heavily affected areas. To find out how you can help, click here.
  • Portlight is a local organization that offers relief to the disabled and older adults, has released an announcement asking for support.
  • GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding site, has launched a hurricane relief fund aimed at gathering funds for local nonprofits in the storm-stricken region. You can visit the page, and donate, right here.
  • Heart To Heart International is currently giving out hygiene kits to displaced families and need more donations in order to get more kits. The organization is also giving out water and minor medical care. To donate, click here.
  • Austin Pets Alive! has many stray pets that have lost their owners, to find out how you can help click here.

Give Responsibly

There are many great verified charities out there that are motivated to give to victims of Hurricane Harvey. At Nerds Support, our Miami IT consulting team would like to remind you to do the following before you donate to any type of charity.

  • Verify the charity – Conduct an online research on the charity that is reaching out to you. Make sure they have a website and are active on social media.
  • Stay away from suspicious links –  before you click a link, run an online search on the link name. (i.e. A link like saveharveyvictims.com/donate would require an online search).
  • Make Sure Your Data is Safe – 37% of cyberattacks can be avoided if the computer user stays careful. Only open emails from people you know and immediately delete emails from strangers.