Category Archives: Ransomware

INET Dynamics

The Aftermath of WannaCry: Now What?

 

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For i-Net Dynamics by Paris

Patch Management and Cyber Security

It is difficult to overcome the pain of being hit by Ransomware – WannaCry, knowing that there was a way to avoid the whole incident altogether. The breach occurred because of a convenient exploitation of a Windows OS vulnerability by the cyber robber, which was updated by Microsoft two months ago. However, out of this tragic event that affected hundred thousands of devices all over the world, it did one good thing – increase the awareness of Patch Management.

There are many reasons why companies find it challenging to keep operating systems and applications up to date with one of it being time consuming. For more traditional companies, the IT person usually attends to each of the company’s many devices to carry out patching. More sizable companies usually have a bigger IT department, but with a large company, their roles and responsibilities multiply as well.  Considering all the tasks included in the job role of a IT Security personnel, patch management is probably not a priority in their daily operations.

Knowing the public’s challenge in keeping software current, IT companies have long been releasing patching tools to assist clients in completing this crucial business process. Having being awarded a 5-star rating in The Channel Company’s CRN seven years in a row, SolarWinds N-central provides a comprehensive and flexible patching tool that is suitable for all organizations.

A Powerful Patching Tool 

Patch Management and IT Managed Services

N-central is a monitoring software that enables a preventative as well as proactive approach to IT Managed Services and one of the many features of N-central is the Patch Manager.

N-Central’s Patch Manager is designed to provide full control and access when updating multiple (a few thousands) of endpoints and servers. The tool allows companies to preschedule patch deployments, which assists to reduce interruptions to employees. For example, a new OS update could be scheduled to be first installed for finance department and followed by marketing department to prevent business disruptions. By using this Patch Manager, companies can proactively keep their systems network secured and healthy, regardless of the number of IT devices. 

Patch Manager can patch all of the devices with the press of a single button” – N-central

I-Net Dynamics has been a trusted partner of N-central for several years now, ever since we discovered how powerful the N- Central’s Patch Manager tool can be in running an efficient IT environment. By bundling N-central’s smart features with our top-notch IT managed services, we have entered a new age of Patch Management:

  • Automated system patching to automate the process for certain class of patches for selected groups of servers, workstation and network devices
  • Advanced Scheduling of patching to minimize downtime
  • Third-party support patches deployment inclusive of third-party applications
  • Reporting to keep companies up to date of multiple patch status
  • 24/7 monitoring to ensure all the critical patching are successful
  • Unlimited remote and onsite support from our team of friendly experienced professionals

While N-central provides a powerful patching tool, it is but a small portion of a complete monitoring solutions that can assists in increasing your business productivity. To understand more about this award winning software and how it can benefit your organization, please contact us here.

To understand more about other I-Net Dynamics services that can support you in Cyber Security, please download our brochure here.

Read our previous blog here to find out how you can take a stance against ransom-ware.

All Photo Credits to SolarWinds

INET Dynamics

Taking a Stance against Ransomware: Want Fight WannaCry?

 

Categories: General, Ransomware
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Global Cyber Attack

Affecting organisations in over 150 countries, causing up to 4 billion dollars of financial damage, the Global Cyber Attack that took over 300,000 devices over the course of a single weekend – WannaCry caused great panic on May 12.

A devastating type of Trojan virus – the term Ransomware, was made famous in a blink of an eye after bringing down the Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) and many other organizations. Last year in 2016, a similar ransomware virus in 2016 causing 1.6 billion dollars worldwide in 2016 also hit organisations by holding hostage of important personal or sensitive business files and demands for an amount of money (an average of $300) within a short period of time to regain the access to encrypted files.

Why Me?

The attack is believed to aim at a mass audience rather than a targeted group of victims. However, ransomware – WannaCry have thought of all types of files to encrypt, they are inclusive of the most important and common filetypes – .zip, .avi, .doc, .docx, .mp3, .mp4, .png, .ppt, .xls, .wmv. etc.  You can accidentally put yourself, or your company at risk by clicking unreliable links, or downloading files from phishing emails.

Are We Safe Now?

It depends.

The good news is antivirus companies and cybersecurity professionals all over the world are working hard to find a way to decrypt the affected devices without paying any bitcoins to attackers. However, there has been no confirmation on a solution for WannaCry yet.

Nonetheless, there are still ways to keep you and your business safe. And one of them is to practice frequent or daily backups. Daily data backups are crucial to ensuring you always have a copy of data to fall back on in case of any attacks, that is unless you have the IT expertise of Marcus Hutchins, the 22-year-old security researcher who slowed down the spread of the virus by being a curious person. (Refer to his story of “How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks”)

However, if you are amongst those who has not been “wannacri-ed” yet and do not have a IT security expert working for you, we have developed a checklist for you to check against to protect you and your business against ransomware.

 

FIRST – Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Do I have a most updated version of Windows?
  • Do I have an antivirus software and is it the latest version?
  • Is this link trustworthy?
  • Is this email from the right person that I think it is? (some phishing emails use the names or source you are familiar with – eg. your client’s name, Microsoft)
  • Do I have 3 copies of data backup that is stored outside of the original device?

SECOND – Update Your Software

A few months before the historical May 12, Microsoft released a Windows patch that can protect windows devices from being affected by Ransomware. Thanks to #teamGates, a huge number of devices who had installed the latest security updates, stayed safe from the attack.

Don’t stop at Windows, please extend your prompt action to iOS and Linux devices because Ransomware is evolving every day and your IT environment should always stay a few steps ahead. Same goes to other softwares, such as Antivirus.

THIRD – Backup and Test Your Data Backup 

The importance of doing and testing data backups to ensure they work well can never be stressed enough. Recently we released a post on this matter (Refer to link here) and we will continue to discuss in the near future as it is crucial that you understand the importance of the act of data backups.

While most individuals and organisations have a data backup solution running by now, that is not all. The next question to ask is, when was the last time you did a test on your data backup solution?  In a survey conducted by Storage Magazine showed that even at least 66% of companies surveyed tests heir backups, 77% found their tape backups failed to restore. This shows that though your data backup might be successful, the data being backed up might not work when needed the most, hence, you should never take the risk of waiting to find out and test it on the spot after backup.  

As discussed above, there are IT experts spending a lot of effort in controlling the damage of WannaCry and more importantly, preventing such reoccurrences of ransomware. Besides releasing Windows updates, Microsoft is currently also promoting an Office 365 add-on – Advanced Thread Protection (ATP), which helps to run files and links on a separate virtual machine before opening the access to your device.

If you or your company #WannaFight against this cyber-attack, please consider the three steps above, and reach out for support when required.

For more information about Backup Solutions please click here.

If you want to know more about Microsoft Updates and Office 365 Advanced Thread Protection mentioned above, please contact us here.

INET Dynamics

Disaster Recovery Checklist

 

Categories: General, Ransomware

 

Disaster Recovery Planning
A checklist to make sure you are prepared before disaster strikes.

 

Most companies nowadays have data backup and disaster recovery solutions in place. But a question that organizations sometimes fail to ask themselves that is “does my backup work?” or “is it enough?”

On many occasions, companies have to face the unwanted fact that their business data is LOST, even though backups were conducted, successfully, according to notifications by the system. A study shows that 77% of of those who tested their backup, found that tape backups failed to restore (Source: Storage Magazine).

To better prepare yourself for events when disaster may strike, ask yourself the following and review your disaster plan where necessary.

  • Do you trust your existing disaster recovery solution?
  • How often is your backup?
  • Do you test your backup, and when was the last time?
  • Is your backup located in a different location from your servers?
  • Can your business tolerate downtime, if any, caused by data loss or disasters?
  • What is the financial cost of downtime to your business?
  • How quickly can your disaster recovery solution get your business back up and running after a disaster?

If you answer ‘Do Not Know’ to more than three of the above questions, we can help you.

Contact us today to assess and implement your disaster recovery solution.

INET Dynamics

Don’t Become A Victim of Ransomware!

 

For the past 10 years, we have encountered many painful stories from clients regarding data loss. It can be due to hardware failure, unexpected disasters or careless employees.

Ransomware is one of the latest threats, well-known for its effective destruction of your business.

Ransomware locks the victim’s computers and files, holding them as a “hostage” until the victim pays a “ransom” to unlock access to their precious business assets.

In 2015, ransomware caused roughly $325 million in damages worldwide. In a one-month study by Norton*, 68,000 computers were infected, amounting to 5,700 a day.

Don’t become a victim of ransomware.

Contact us and find out how you can protect your business from being held hostage by cyber criminals.