Be careful with social engineering scams that install malware

Reduce Malware Infections in 7 Steps

7 IT Solutions To Reduce the Risk Of Malware Infections

Friday, June 26 2020 The University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine paid over $1 million to regain access to data after hackers encrypted it with malware.

Situations like this happen all the time. Unfortunately, businesses and institutions across the world have failed to properly prepare for cyberattacks. In many cases it’s a matter of outdated infrastructure and insufficient funding. In other cases, it’s neglect or improper training.

Because of the fact that if your system is infected, you likely won’t be getting your files back unless you pay the ransom, you likely don’t want this to infect your work systems. One of the ways to limit the possibility of this is to educate your employees on how to minimize the chances their systems will be infected. Here are seven practical IT solutions to reduce the risk of malware infections.

1) Watch out For Vulnerabilities

Cyber attackers are using all kinds of technology to exploit networks and systems. One piece of malicious tech they use are exploit kits. Exploit kit, also exploit packs, are programs used to deliver malware to a vulnerable network.

What do I mean by vulnerable? A vulnerability in software is a mistake, or error, in the code. The hacker manipulates the user into visiting a malicious website and if any errors exist in the code of the system, the exploit can be implemented.

Furthermore, exploit kits function in the background making it difficult to determine when you’re experiencing an attack.

Update your operating system, browsers, and plugins. If there’s an update to your computer waiting on queue, don’t let it linger.  Additionally, updates to operating systems, browsers, and plugins are often released to patch any security vulnerabilities discovered.

You can protect yourself from these types of attacks by avoiding links and remembering to update your software. Many of us have the nasty habit of putting off systems updates. The little icon in the corner that reminds us of a new update is often seen as a bother. However, consider the alternative.

These systems updates fix any security vulnerabilities the developers and programmers uncover. There is actually a type of vulnerability called a Zero-Day vulnerability and it happens when hackers exploit undiscovered or unintended vulnerabilities. The malware is actually called zero-day exploits.

This applies to mobile phones as well. Software updates on your phone are meant to strengthen the software and patch any flaws the programmers missed when releasing the software. Software is constantly improving because code is constantly improving.

This explanation in many ways oversimplifies the process but it works for our purposes.

2) Remove Software and Files From your Systems You aren’t using

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning. We look through all the things we have and toss out what we don’t use. If we let things accumulate they create clutter and can create big problems. Well, the same thing applies to software on your devices.

You have to periodically look through all the software on your devices and determine which ones are outdated and which ones are worth keeping. For example, Microsoft no longer releases software updates for Windows 7 and Windows XP. Furthermore, using these applications without support or patch updates puts you in a position to get hacked.

How old are the applications you use? When did you last update them?

Do your homework and find out or someone else will.

3) Be aware of Social Engineering

Cybercriminals spread malware into your systems through social engineering tactics like phishing. There are older, less commons ways too that are worth going over. In some cases, a hacker will place an unlabeled USB in a public place or an office. The idea is that an unsuspecting victim will pick it up, consider it harmless and claim it as their own. This is also a form of social engineering because it still manipulates users into executing a certain action.

There are anti phishing tools you can use like Retruster that protect against fraudulent emails, phishing and ransomware. There are also many plug ins available for free that help users identify malicious links by creating a “safe to click” marker on them.

4) Inspect your Inbox Like Your business depended on it: Because it does.

Understand that the biggest vulnerability your business has walks on two feet. It doesn’t matter how many tools, tips and software updates you have if you fall for a social engineering scam. And it doesn’t just happen to small companies either.

Facebook and Google put together were victim to a payment scam of over $100 million. Between 2013 and 2015 a Lithuanian hacker managed to send each company fake invoices while pretending to be an Asian manufacturer they were in business with.

This is an example of Vishing, a.k.a. voice phishing. Leading to the next point:

5) Always Verify credentials with Cold Callers

Vishing is a bit more difficult to pull off on companies. However, when done correctly it can generate a huge amount of profit for the scammer like I mentioned with Facebook and Google.

Depending on the company you might get a call from someone pretending to be Microsoft. In other cases it’ll be a vendor or a bank checking in. It’s difficult to say in what form these scams will come because the scammers tailor them specifically for a business.

In the case of Facebook and Google, for example, the scammers had to know they two companies were working with that specific vendor.

For your company it will be different according to your specific circumstances. If it isn’t believable then the victim won’t fall for it.

6) Make sure You have a Secure Connection

Whether you’re working in the office or remotely, you need to ensure your connection is secure. If you’re working from home, perhaps you’ll need a VPN to protect your Wi-Fi connection. Additionally, when you’re browsing on the web make sure the website is secure.

7) Use strong passwords with Multi-layer authentication

A large percentage of people reuse the same passwords for the personal and professional logins. It’s time to change that habit. Companies like Google and Apple created password generators that create strong, complex passwords. However, don’t leave it up to google.

If your business doesn’t use multi-layer authentication for access to important documents, files or websites, you’re living in the past. Nerds Support uses multi factor password authentication to ensure whoever is logging in can only do so if they are the right person.

Our systems require a mobile phone confirmation, email confirmation and password confirmation in order to provide access to our systems. That way, if a device gets stolen or a hacker gains access to a password, neither will be enough to access files alone.

Conclusion

Malware attacks are growing. Now that businesses are moving towards remote work, protecting against these types of attacks are more important than ever. Cyber security is not just about the technologies that protect your important data. It’s also about what you are doing to protect your business. It is the first and the last line of defense.

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Miami Cloud Solutions Assessment For Business Owners

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Before Migrating Your IT to the Cloud, Be Sure to Read These Five Important Facts First!

With so many cloud computing solutions out there, how do you know which one is right for your business, and when the right time to make the switch is? This absolutely free report will give you the insight and information you need to make the right decision about migrating your business technology to the cloud, so you don’t end up spending time and money on a solution that’s not right for your unique needs.

Find out the answers to these common questions and more:

  • What exactly is cloud computing, and how can it save my business money over my current server-based network?
  • What are my choices when it comes to cloud computing, and which solution is right for me?
  • How much money can I expect to save by switching to the cloud?
  • What are the most important questions I should ask my computer technician before getting started?
  • What are the critical facts I should know about data hosting and the security of sensitive information?
  • What’s in the fine print when it comes to migrating my technology to the cloud?

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testimonial“Working with Nerds Support and Scott has been fantastic! With their proactive approach to IT we rarely have network or PC problems. Any little problem is fixed immediately and this keeps productivity high. Any organization, no matter how many work stations, will benefit greatly from Nerds Support services.”

Is your data safe today ?

Prepare Your Miami Business for World Backup Day

One of the most important days for every Business in South Florida is World Backup Day. World Backup Day occurs every year on March 31st and it is a time to reflect on business safety and the importance of backing up company data. Considering that 2017 gave us a year of plenty cyber attacks, there is a lot to reflect on for this year’s World Backup Day. Every single day you have spent millions of hours, as a workforce, on the computer and internet. There were times when files were lost, hard drives crashed or even cases of viruses infecting your system. World Backup Day was created to remind every tech user to backup the data stored in their system. So that when disaster strikes, you are prepared.

What is the World Backup Day and Does it Affect Miami?

The phrase “Save early and save often” holds true when it comes to Miami data recovery. In the most basic form, backup is simply copying your existing files to a secondary location, using either an automated process or a manual one. This process will allow you to save drive storage space.

If these things don’t interest you, then definitely the fear of losing the most important documents stored on your laptop or computer surely will. Everyone might have heard a story about friend’s tragic hard drive crash, a night before assignment submission. As per statistics, more than 70% of organizations have experienced data loss at the workspace and small businesses reported that a single loss of data significantly affected their business.

Actually, data is SO valuable, that data records are lost, or stolen, every minute and 93% of businesses file for bankruptcy within 12 months if their data has been lost for more than 10 days

You might not think these kinds of attacks would happen in your business, but they are more common than you know. As of right now, the city of Atlanta has been working non-stop for the past six days to recover City government information from a ransomware attack. If an entire American city can become the victim of a ransomware attack, then what is stopping a hacker from accessing your business information?

Do I Need to Backup my Data on the Smartphone too?

If you do not want to lose your irreplaceable digital memories, then go ahead and do the data backup. The data loss can happen anytime and anywhere, it usually occurs when least expected. Therefore, yes backing up data on the smartphone is also essential; backup it either on your computer or on any other application, which can be easily accessible.

How to Do Data Backup?

One can create a secure data recovery according to the 3-2-1 rule. The rule creates triple redundancy for your files, which means if your one backup fails, you still have two left. Follow the below-mentioned process to do the data backup.

1. Download and install the backup software.
2. Select the files you want to back as some online services just backup all available files.
3. Schedule your data backup at least on a daily basis.
4. The downloaded software will upload your files to the server and data Centre.

Your Data is Valuable than Your Device

Make sure while doing the backup, your business technology solutions provider should offer local encryptions with a private encryption key that you only own. This feature will ensure complete safety on the server. In addition, the business IT support provider should use SSL encryption technology when duplicating the files onto the server. Once the upload is done, your provider should offer another security layer with an AES- 256-bit encryption technology to safeguard all the uploaded documents.

In a nutshell, backing your data won’t only save your time and effort but will also reduce future cost and World Backup Day is a summary of the future. Contact Nerds Support if you’ve any query regarding our data recovery plan.

A man looking closely at his emails to avoid phishing scams

Miami Phishing Emails and How Not to Get Ripped Off

There are many phishing email schemes in Miami that seem too good to be true. You might get an email or pop up as an advertisement, promising money or other luxuries. Then, as they expect, you go opening these without even thinking. Sooner than later, you might find that something horrible has happened to you, as a result of a scam.

You may have your identity stolen or money taken out of your bank account. But you also will experience an invasion of a malware that infects your computers. The truth is, you can never be too careful by having the proper programs installed.

Having your computer activity tracked is not unusual. It’s most likely to happen when you are using the internet. As a result, you could find more strange emails, bizarre ads or even worse.

The malware may also be starting back doors on your company. A hacker stealing company information is very common. So imagine if a hacker stole your company secrets and sold them to your competitors? What would happen in the event that they destroyed your backups?

One terrible instance of Phishing is when you click a link in an e-mail and your whole laptop goes black. Next, you get a message demanding a stressful fee before your files get deleted forever. This is a Ransomware attack and in 2017, attacks like these exploded into a full scale business model.

How to Avoid Miami Email Phishing Scams?

Nerds Support’s Email Protection team knows how important protecting your business can be. So it is important to know the common signs of phishing emails. Here are a few signs of phishing emails:

  • You do not recognize the sender’s email address
  • There are grammar and spelling mistakes
  • The email claims to be from a corporation
  • The email says you won a prize
  • You are required to give personal information
  • You are being asked to send money
  • There is a time frame in which you have to send your information

Using these tips will keep your company information safe, regardless of the email program you use. However, the best way to keep your information safe is by having a strong data protection plan. Nerds Support’s data protection plans are some of the best in South Florida. Our IT Support Miami specialists are always prepared to keep your business secure.

Clients who use our cloud are some of the most secure companies in South Florida. Our email servers filter through all the emails your company gets and throws away all the bad emails. That way, you only get emails that you need to make your business more efficient.

Nerds Support’s data protection team is also in compliance with the latest rules and regulations. With this, you don’t have to ever worry about company compliance. Nerds Support IT support Miami team will handle all that for you. That means, the only thing you have to do is keep your business profitable.

Looking for reliable IT security solutions in Miami? Contact Nerds Support!

Tips for a safe cyber monday

Practical Tips For Miami Cybersecurity This Cyber Monday

It’s that time of year again. A chill is in the air, pumpkin-spice-everything is on the menu, and your online newsfeed is peppered with Cyber Monday headlines.

Cyber Monday has become so embedded in our online shopping culture that many may not remember a time without it – yet it’s quite a contemporary holiday tradition.

As ubiquitous as its current presence, so too are its security warnings. For most of us, these warnings are mainstays of the modern online era. As a quick refresher:

  1. Use a unique password for each website, especially sensitive accounts.
  2. Enable two-step verification for sensitive websites and services.
  3. Check out as a guest whenever possible.
  4. Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
  5. Monitor your bank and credit card statements.
  6. Monitor your credit report – identities are more valuable than credit cards, and have no expiration date.

But this year, we want you to pay increased attention to security concerns that extend beyond the cyber shopping cart payment, and instead look at the risks you take from shopping online and how a good Miami business IT support team like Nerds Support can help you build a more secure business.

Hackers Will Benefit From Christmas

However, as connectivity grows, so do our risks. Every year, we are warned that our addresses, credit card information and more are vulnerable to hackers than any day of the year. In a world that has seen cyber attacks from Equifax to Whole Foods to even a popular black Friday retailer, 2017’s Hoiday shopping season is no exception. Having such personal information can pose a physical threat, as well as facilitate identity theft (and with children, identity theft may not be discovered for years).

Employees Are Shopping More Than They are Working:

Cyber Monday is known as one of the three busiest shopping days for the retail industry. It is said that for every 20 people, 1 person will call in sick to work so that they may shop for Cyber Monday. In fact, in 2017, 64% of workers will shop on their lunch break and 43% of workers will shop if they find themselves with nothing to do. While some companies agree that efforts to keep employees from shopping online would be pointless, it should concern business owners that 55% of employees do not know emergency technology procedures. If a hacker were to break into your files, having access to employee’s personal credit card info would pose as a big cybersecurity problem for not only the individual, but also the company. With Nerds Support, our IT support Miami team believes having a good business protection plan is essential to any business. So whether your employees fight or give into the temptation to shop, you can bet the Nerds Support will always have your most important data available and keep your company safe from hackers.

Contact us to learn more about our Miami Cybersecurity services and how to stay Cyber Safe online.