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.

Hurricane Mathew

Hurricane Matthew : A Wake up Call !

natural-disasters-image

After a long night, Hurricane Matthew finally passed our way.Thankfully, it could have been worst .

When  talking to other Business owners this morning, we all came up to the same conclusion :

The worst issue you can have as a business owner is procrastination. With a storm the size of Hurricane Matthew, there is absolutely no reason for any business owner to wait until the last minute to discuss what their disaster recovery options are.

This is a wake up call to always have a contingency plan in place for such events. The fact remains that the human race will never beat Mother Nature and that is a fact you can always rely on.

If your business is not prepared for a disaster or any other force of nature that can cripple your business’ operations, you are under a huge risk, schedule to speak with us!

At Nerds Support Inc, we  deliver Disaster recovery and Business Continuity solutions that are :

  • Deployed quickly and remotely – installs remotely in hours without requiring any changes to your environment
  • Tested and validated anytime – recovers your applications in your cloud with one click of a button
  • Granular – allows you to pick specific applications to protect, regardless of their physical server or storage location
  • Comprehensive – provides robust replication and offsite backup in one simple product
  • Consistent and reliable
  • Software only – no capital expenditures, no changes to environment
  • All disaster recovery servers are stored on our Private Data Center .

Nerds Support Inc , is  committed to our community concerns and engaged to help other businesses in this hard moments.

If, your business has experienced any damages, you need any kind of Disaster Recovery and Data Back up assistance or have further questions please  reach out to usWe are here to help !

For more information on how to keep your Business running after a major Natural Disaster check out our Free eBook .

Be smart and Keep Safe.

Incremental Backup

How Incremental Backup Software Works

Incremental backup software is growing in popularity like crazy. Each day, more and more businesses are using it for its many, many benefits and the typically low cost of utilizing it. However, some people have never even heard of it, or just don’t know how it works. So, here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect when you ultimately decide to put incremental backup software in place in your business.

First, Your Data is Uploaded to an Off-site Data Center.

When your incremental backup software is activated, the big backup upload begins. All your indicated data begins copying through the Internet to an off-site data center, where it will be kept and secured to ensure your data cannot be compromised. In essence, your entire database is sort of being “cloned,” so if anything irreparable were to happen to your existing database, the healthy off-site “clone” could always replace it.

Next, Every New or Changed File is Uploaded Incrementally.

Once the complete backup transfer is complete, any file you change or create after that backup will also be backed-up on an incremental basis of your choosing. That means much less backup time and data transfer for you. If you decide you want all new or altered files backed-up once a week, once a day, even once an hour, it’s up to you.

Finally, You Can Access or Restore Data from Anywhere.

Remember our “clone” comparison? If your network suddenly – inexplicably – experiences a data loss, that “clone” is here to save the day. Just download some (or all) of the backed-up files, and you’re back to work. Another unique benefit of incremental backup software is that it can also act as a sort of basic cloud computing: if you’re on a business trip, and one night, you really need to work on a file from your office desktop, you can sign into the backup program, download the backed-up file, and you’re off!

Nerds Support Can Totally Set You Up with Incremental Backup Software.

It’s great. It’s awesome. It’s helpful, it’s stress-reducing, it’s life-saving. Well, okay – maybe the last one was more metaphorically speaking, but you get the drift. Incremental backup software can totally benefit your business, and Nerds Support is totally the company to call to set you up with it. Let’s do this.

Business Backup

Why Technology Has Shifted from Differential to Incremental Backup Software

Backing up data. It’s not a lot of fun. It takes time, hardware, software, planning, executing, and maintenance. It can be a pain. In fact, the only time you’re really happy about it is whenever you happen to experience data loss, as you can then restore the lost data fairly quickly.  The good news is, data backup has evolved since its genesis, and the old-style differential backup software is quickly being replaced by incremental backup software. Here’s why:

 

Differential Backup Software Takes Incrementally Longer.

Yes, it’s confusing: differential backup software takes incrementally longer than incremental backup software. But it does. Let’s say you do a full differential backup on Monday. On Tuesday, your differential software will only backup files that changed since Monday. Then, on Wednesday, your differential software will then backup all files that have changed since that full backup on Monday. (Yes, even the stuff it backed up yesterday.) By the end of the month, your differential backup software is backing up around 30 days worth of data, and it will continue to do so until your next full backup. Sound time-consuming? That’s because it is.

 

Incremental Backup Software Significantly Cuts Backup Time.

Now let’s look at how incremental backup software handles things: let’s go back to that full backup you did on Monday. On Tuesday, your incremental software will also only backup files that changed since Monday. Then, on Wednesday, your incremental software will only backup files that have changed yesterday. And so on and so forth. This dramatically shortens the amount of daily data transfer and backup time. Plus, when you need to grab a file from your backup system, it’s available for you at your leisure.

 

It’s Time to Step into Modern Data Protection with Incremental Backup Software.

If you’re still using differential backup software, you’re using outdated technology. Let Nerds Support show you how much better, faster, and easier your backup system can be with incremental backup software. Give us a call and let’s discuss.

 

 

Business Continuity Plan

How to Create Your Own Business Continuity Plan

When was the last time a disaster struck your town or business? Did you have much warning? When it comes to predicting large scale events, technology has admittedly improved over the last several decades. Modern day tornado warnings give approximately 13 minutes’ lead-time before a tornado hits. We’re able to predict where a hurricane will make landfall and where an earthquake is most likely to occur. However, we’re still a long way off when it comes to pinpointing exactly where and when a catastrophic event will hit. Unfortunately for your business, without a business continuity plan in place – you’re a sitting duck.

 

Business Continuity is NOT a Disaster Recovery Plan.

Many people confuse business continuity and disaster recovery. Business continuity refers to the ability to maintain or quickly recover the main functions of your business in the event of a major disruptive event. It’s a plan that outlines specific procedures for your businesses to follow and covers important parts of the company such as assets, business partners, HR, and business processes. Disaster recovery only focuses on the organizations IT infrastructure and operations after the event has passed. Now, you may already have a disaster recovery plan in place for a disaster, and that’s good. Restoring your IT as quickly as possible is important to remaining competitive. However, what thought have you given to your people and processes? Having a business continuity plan in place is vital in improving your market value, reputation, and increasing your customer’s confidence in you.

 

Creating a Plan

When creating your plan, you must first look at your business’ processes, finding the vulnerabilities, and what those can cost your company if it were to go down for an extended period of time. When you start to develop your plan, you’d do well to keep these things in mind:

  1. Identify your plans scope
  2. Identify your key business areas
  3. Identify your critical functions
  4. Identify the dependencies between your different business areas and their functions
  5. Determine what the acceptable amount of down time is for each function
  6. Create a plan outlining how you plan on maintaining your operations

 

It’s best to keep in mind who does what in your organization when you are formulating your plan. Interview key players who you know have survived major events previously and learn how they were able to get through a difficult time.

 

Test Your Plan Once, Then Test It Again and Again

Once you have your plan in place, it’s important to test it as frequently as possible. Don’t think that having a successful run through one time is going to be adequate. Repeatedly testing your plan ensures that it fills it’s intended purpose. How often you test your plan is really up to you and your business. Most businesses test their business continuity plan anywhere from two to four times a year. You may want to test yours more or less depending on your employee turnover rate, type of your organization, or how many processes and IT changes have occurred since the plans last test. There are several different ways you can test your business continuity plan. You can schedule table-top exercises, walk-throughs, or stimulations to make sure everyone is trained properly on what to do in case of a real event. A table-top exercise consists of everyone involved looking over the plan together to identify gaps and weaknesses. When you schedule a walk-through test, your team members should get together and practice drills to identify weak links to actively improve upon. A stimulation should be done at least once a year. During this drill, management should be able to stimulate a disaster. This helps to reinforce that the test is done right.

 

Improve and Create Awareness

After each round of testing, make sure you are looking at what went right and what went wrong during the drill and make improvements to the plan. Management should always be maintaining employee awareness, ensuring everyone is on the same page. If you aren’t sure how to go about starting your business continuity plan or what weaknesses you need to be aware of, give Nerds Support a call. We can help you get your business continuity plan in place and tested to provide the optimal chance of success when a disaster does happen to strike.