Technology

Top Seven Reasons to Switch to Office 365

Rocket IT

We’re big fans of Office 365 in the office. It’s accessible from anywhere you can access the internet, keeps your programs automatically updated, and is infinitely better to transition to than the 8-loading-disc packages of the past. And we know others love it too!

But there are a lot of great features that others don’t really know about. Here’s a list of our top 7 features ranging from the apparent to the more advanced.

1. Exchange Online

This is obvious. It’s email hosting in the Cloud. You have the same reliable product Exchange has always been (same as the one you had on your server), but you no longer have to host it. And it’s accessible from anywhere. This is easily one of the top reasons people make the switch to Office 365.

2. Office Licensing

Move from buy once to buy forever, with perpetual upgrades. I’m pretty sure there’s an entire generation that now has no idea you used to have to buy upgrades in textbook-sized packages.

3. OneDrive

This feature is well known, but really underutilized by a lot of users. A Dropbox clone, this allows individuals or teams to share files online.

4. Advanced Remote Collaboration

Office 365 has helpful tools for your team to collaborate in real time while in separate locations. During Tropical Storm Irma, our team kept in contact using Skype for Business. This tool connects coworkers via chat and video conferencing (though its video conferencing feature is not as strong as GoToMeeting or Zoom). It’s best for impromptu, small group meetings.

Not as talked about as its chattier counterpart, Microsoft Teams is another collaborative Office 365 tool for working with others remotely. A clone of the popular system called Slack, it’s a way to organize small groups of employees and give them a private collaboration to chat, share files, and have a shared email address.

5. Microsoft Sway

This feature is a more narrative-based version of PowerPoint. It allows for more interactive and engaging presentations.

6. Real-Time Coauthoring

It’s now possible to simultaneously modify the same Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document on your desktop at the same time as other users. This is excellent if you’re under a deadline and need two or more people to edit the same part of a proposal or other document. This feature requires Office 365 Office licensing / Business Premium, and the file in question must be stored in OneDrive for Groups.

7. MS Bookings

This tool is only available for the Business Premium plans, but it provides a system for scheduling appointments. If you need to schedule meetings, consultations, or any other event with others, MS Bookings makes the process easier. This is similar to Calendly.

Want to learn how you can use Office 365 to the fullest? Join Rocket IT’s vCIO Eric Henderson for an Advanced Office 365 webinar on November 29th at 11:00 AM EST.

 


 

About the Author – 

Emily Connolly is the Project Coordinator at Rocket IT. She graduated from Auburn University and has extensive project management. Emily works directly with our vCIO and the Projects team to provide key strategic insight to our clients. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More
Best Practices, Productivity, Technology

Five Best Practices for Working Remotely During a Disaster

Rocket IT

As Irma makes its retreat and Jose makes its way through the Atlantic, disaster recovery has officially left the planning stage and become a stark reality for many organizations. With several US states under a state of emergency this weekend into this week, many companies kept their employees at home for their safety. Even once the storm has passed, it still may not be safe for your employees to return to work. Downed trees, ravaged buildings, and more could prevent your team from returning to work.

So how can you keep increasing revenue when your workforce is stuck at home? Enable your workers to stay productive as long as they can safely work from home by incorporating telecommuting in your organization’s disaster recovery plan.

Here are five ways to make sure your team can thrive while working remotely.

Invest in the right tools.

Does your team need to be available over the phone? Consider using a phone system that allows your team to use a soft phone application through their computer or smart phone so they’re reachable at their usual number.

Also, if your team needs to work remotely, make sure they have the right devices to do so. Do they need to connect if they lose wireless access? Consider equipping them with a wireless hotspot or unlimited data on their smart phone so they can stay online if needed.

Make sure the necessary software is installed in advance.

If your employees need to work remotely, at home or abroad, it’s best to have all of the software they need to do their jobs effectively already installed and tested on their devices before they need it.

Set up a virtual private network (VPN) so your team can connect securely.

Make sure your end users are connecting to your network securely. If they’re using public Wi-Fi or another insecure connection, your sensitive data could be open to people from outside your organization. Setting up a VPN for all your employees before disaster strikes and they’re forced to work remotely will allow your team to get back to work right away, increasing efficiency and decreasing risk.

Keep devices charged.

Of course, having the right software and connection won’t help much if your team’s devices aren’t charged. Make it a policy to shut down laptops when not in use so the battery doesn’t drain as quickly, and use battery-saving techniques like dimming your screen, using the native battery saving tools for your devices, and closing background programs when not in use.

Document your telecommuting policy.

If you don’t already have a telecommuting policy in place, you should create one before it’s needed and make it easily accessible to your team. If your employees need to be accessible between certain times or if their availability can be more flexible, outline it. Make sure they know the security guidelines for connecting from off-site (like only connecting to your shared networks through a VPN, not saving secure documents directly to their personal drive, or saving all work to saved networks for access by the rest of the team later).

If you’d like an experienced Virtual CIO to help you build the right disaster recovery or business continuity plan for your organization, contact us. We’d love to help.

 


 

About the Author-

Eric Henderson is Rocket IT’s virtual Chief Information Officer. He is also the tallest person at Rocket IT (by a fraction of an inch).

 

The average cost of unplanned downtime per minute in 2016 was nearly $9,000 per incident.

Your organization doesn’t have to eat the cost of dead time. Download our free whitepaper now to learn five easy steps you can take to capture dead time.

 

 

 

 

Read More
Technology, Uncategorized

Join Rocket IT for Our “How to Build a Strategic IT Plan” Webinar

Rocket IT

When it comes to your technology, it can be difficult to get away from what’s in your rearview mirror and stay focused on the road ahead. You know where you want your organization to go, and that your technology investments should support your business goals, but building the strategic plan to get there isn’t as simple. 67% of organizations do not align their IT strategy, nor do their current IT plans support the business’ strategic initiatives.

Want to learn how to remove the unknowns and build a clear path forward to a strategic IT plan and predictable technology budget?

Join Rocket IT vCIO Eric Henderson on August 31st, 2017, at 11:00 AM EST for our How to Build a Strategic IT Plan webinar.

 

Fill out my online form.

Eric Henderson is the virtual CIO for Rocket IT, a technology company based out of Duluth, GA.  He received his B.S. in Management from Georgia Tech in 2003, and has worked in a variety of industries.  Eric serves on the National Board for 48in48, a nonprofit dedicated to creating websites for other nonprofit organizations, and on the Endowment Board for the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology. He is passionate about technology, leadership, and seeing people and their businesses thrive. Eric lives in Atlanta with his wife Heather, and their two sons, Thomas and Jonas. 

 

 

 

 

Read More
Technology

Five Gadgets for Rainy Weather

Rocket IT

It’s been a very rainy summer here in Georgia. Since rain won’t really go away for another day, we’ve found five gadgets to keep you dry, no matter the season.

 

1.       A personal weather station that connects with your smartphone and Alexa

The Netatmo Weather Station connects to your smartphone (and Alexa!) to keep you up to date on the weather in real-time. Not only can it tell you the forecast, but it can also give information about wind speeds, solar exposure, and the humidity level outside. The device itself is fully weather-proof and comes with both an indoor and outdoor unit as well as a free-with-purchase lifetime personal account for access to detailed data anywhere, anytime.

The indoor unit can even let you know your house’s CO2 concentration!

 

2.       A waterproof (and vibration-resistant, AND shock-resistant) flash drive

Instead of worrying about the flash drive you keep on your keys getting damaged in your mad sans-umbrella dash to and from your car, consider investing in a waterproof one to hold your important files.

The Corsair Flash Survivor flash drive, modeled after military-style data transport, is the tank of USB drives. It’s a 64GB USB 3.0 (though this kind of comes in capacities between 16GB and 256GB), has hard-anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing, and an EPDM water seal and shock-damping collar, making it waterproof (to 200 meters) and shock resistant/drop-tested. It comes with a 5-year warranty and has universal compatibility.

 

3.       Waterproof and sweatproof noise-cancelling earbuds

Even weather forecast buffs can end up caught unexpected in the rain. If you like to listen to music while you run, hike, or anything else you like to do outdoors, then you may want to pick up a pair of water-resistant earbuds. This particular pair has the latest IPX7 waterproof rating and has up to 8 hours runtime with a full battery charge (240 hours of standby with a single charge). And the best part? It’s also sweat-proof, for those like our team who love doing 5ks, even in the humid Atlanta summers.

 

4.       A Lightsaber umbrella (that lights up and comes in seven different colors)

Whether you support the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance, this lightsaber umbrella will keep you covered. Rainy weather won’t always be with you, but the Force should be. Since this umbrella lights up, it’s also great for providing additional visibility at night or when it’s really raining buckets.

 

5.       A waterproof laptop bag

If you bike or walk to work, keeping your devices dry en route can prove a challenge in heavy downpours, especially if you arrive at your destination to find your handy umbrella wasn’t covering your bag fully or even if you’ve had an unfortunate spill, resulting in a soaked laptop case. Investing in a waterproof laptop bag can make your travels less stressful and protect all of your devices and important papers.

Since these come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, you can find the right one for you. Just be sure to check the dimensions and the reviews before purchasing to avoid buyers’ remorse upon delivery.

 

We hope these gadgets help you and your devices stay dry and focused on what’s mission critical.


 

cg-libraryAbout the Author – 

Caitlin Purcell is a rescue advocate, and she resides in Gwinnett County with her husband and their rescue baby, a pitbull named Hammer. Caitlin is the Sales Coordinator at Rocket IT. 

 

Inefficiency is the enemy of a profitable, thriving business. What would a 2.5% increase in utilization mean to your organization? Download our FREE whitepaper for five easy steps to increase employee productivity at no additional payroll cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More
Technology

Ten Articles You Shouldn’t Miss about Security

Rocket IT

Security has been the hottest tech topic this year, and it isn’t about to die down any time soon with all the evolving threats emerging to target businesses of all sizes. We’ve created articles over the years designed to keep you informed about the latest threats and how you can protect your organization.

To make things a little easier on you (working to keep your organization safe is no easy task, we know!), here are our Top Ten Security Articles.

What is Ransomware?

This is everything you need to know about ransomware. From what it is to how to avoid it and what to do if you’re already infected. Check out this article to get started with Ransomware 101.

Don’t Take the Bait

Social engineering is one of the most common ways individuals and companies become infected with malware or end up losing money to phishers. Here are some key things to watch out for in your inbox.

Protecting Yourself from Phishing Attacks

Architects of phishing scams are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts. Here are processes you can enact at your organization to prevent becoming a victim.

How to Tell if an Email is Valid

Not sure if that unexpected email with a PDF attachment in your inbox is really from your printer? Here are the red flags you should be aware of when validating the legitimacy of an email.

WannaCry Ransomware: The Biggest Ransomware Outbreak in History

WannaCry swept the globe on a scale never before seen in the history ransomware. Here’s how it affected users.

NotPetya Ransomware Variant Targets Human Resources

Following soon after the WannaCry onslaught, NotPetya infiltrated multiple organizations through their HR departments. This article details how it gets in and what it does once it’s installed on a system.

Security in an Increasingly BYOD Culture

How do you control data information security in an office where employees use their personal devices for work purposes? Check out these best practices.

Staying Secure While Shopping Online

Let’s face it. Online shopping is way more convenient (sometimes addictive!) than driving across town to traipse all over the mall. And with the rise in Cyber Monday and other online deals days’ popularity, the stories of those who received something entirely different from what the pictures online, or never received their order at all, are rising. Here’s how to stay secure when shopping on the web.

Why Turning It Off and On Again Actually Helps

Okay, so this doesn’t really sound like a security article. But your devices need to run important security patches regularly, and not restarting them every 10 days can leave them vulnerable to known threats.

Don’t Install on Autopilot

Paying attention to what you’re installing and (just as important) from where is crucial to the security of your devices.

Over 77% of small businesses think they’re safe from cyber attacks, yet more than 40% have already been victims. Don’t become another security statistic.

 


 

 

About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. While a large portion of her job focuses on the more traditional side of marketing, she is also responsible for finding great new employees. Jacque is originally from Indiana. 

 

The average cost of unplanned downtime per minute in 2016 was nearly $9,000 per incident.

Your organization doesn’t have to eat the cost of dead time. Download our free whitepaper now to learn five easy steps you can take to capture dead time.

 

 

 

Read More
Technology

What is Cybersecurity Insurance?

Rocket IT

Cybersecurity insurance is a type of standalone coverage that helps organizations recover after a major data loss due to a security breach, ransomware, or other cyber incident. Much like general liability insurance, cybersecurity insurance protects you in the event of a virtual calamity.

These cyber liability policies tend to cover any variety of the following:

  • Liability for privacy breaches, including the theft of confidential information through unauthorized access to computer systems
  • Extra expenses due to unplanned downtime and other costs incurred by a security breach
  • The costs of restoring, updating, or replacing lost data, as well as consumer notification, client support, and the provision of credit-monitoring service to affected customers
  • Expenses related to cyber extortion, such as paying ransom for data recovery
  • Coverage of costs related to regulatory compliance

This insurance coverage exists to protect small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from what can be the bankrupting costs of a cybersecurity breach. After all, few SMBs can afford to lose the over $700k in average downtime costs in 2017.[i]

But there are more benefits to an organization from purchasing cybersecurity insurance than just liability coverage.

Like with other insurance coverage, providers analyze the insured’s risk and create (and price) the policies accordingly. To receive a lower price for the insurance, companies have to match industry standards of best practices for security. When organizations do that, their security risk is reduced significantly.

Not only do companies receive a price break for keeping systems secure, backed up, and up to date on all the latest software, but they can also receive a discount for providing cybersecurity training to their employees. This is a critical piece of security that is often overlooked by employers.

The majority of ransomware and other phishing attacks are successful because of social engineering. By training your people how to spot suspicious emails and links, you’re greatly reducing your risk of becoming infected through a rogue click. By incentivizing this training, cybersecurity insurance providers are helping you enable your people to become security stewards for your organization.

Is it right for your company?

That depends! It’s certainly very important to adhere to industry standards for compliance and security, to keep your systems and devices updated and backed up, and to train your employees on cybersecurity, but these are all things you can do before (and without) purchasing a cyber liability policy.

Just like any other insurance policy, buying coverage for cybersecurity is buying into a pot with the insurance company where they’re betting something terrible won’t happen and you’re betting you might. If you aren’t as concerned about the cost of a potential security breach because you’re confident in your organizations’ security policies and protections, then paying a recurring cost for insurance you may never use might not be worth it to you. For some industries, you may soon be required to purchase cyber liability coverage to remain compliant. For others, you may just want the peace of mind.

No matter what your choice, you should always work to keep your organization secure on multiple levels with the right tools, backups, and training. If you have any questions on what you can do to make that happen, join us for our next security webinar.

 

 


[i] http://files.server-rack-online.com/2016-Cost-of-Data-Center-Outages.pdf

 

About the Author – 

Jeremy Butler is one of the Support Professionals at Rocket IT. He is obsessed with cars and loves working on them. Jeremy also served in the Marine Corps and is a huge college football fan.

 

 

Inefficiency is the enemy of a profitable, thriving business. What would a 2.5% increase in utilization mean to your organization? Download our FREE whitepaper for five easy steps to increase employee productivity at no additional payroll cost.

 

 

 

 

Read More
Best Practices, Entrepreneurship, Technology

Security in the Age of Ransomware Webinar

Rocket IT

Nearly 77% of small businesses think they’re safe from cyber attacks, yet more than 40% have already been victims. Where is this disconnect, and how can you protect your organization?

In the new age of ransomware, security has to be a top priority for every level at your organization. Find out what you can do to decrease the risk of costly downtime and data loss due to a security breach.

Join Rocket IT vCIO Eric Henderson on October 19th, 2017, at 1:00 PM EST for our Security in the Age of Ransomware webinar.

Eric Henderson is the virtual CIO for Rocket IT, a technology company based out of Duluth, GA.  He received his B.S. in Management from Georgia Tech in 2003, and has worked in a variety of industries.  Eric serves on the National Board for 48in48, a nonprofit dedicated to creating websites for other nonprofit organizations, and on the Endowment Board for the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology. He is passionate about technology, leadership, and seeing people and their businesses thrive. 

Eric lives in Atlanta with his wife Heather, and their two sons, Thomas and Jonas. 

 

 

 

 

Read More
Technology

NotPetya Ransomware Variant Targets Human Resources

Rocket IT

Another in a long string of recent cryptovirus attacks, a variant of the Petya ransomware known currently as “NotPetya” is striking HR departments around the globe. Currently disguised as an employee candidate email, malicious links in emails disguised as a Dropbox link to resumes and CVs are infecting computers and locking their files.

Instead of encrypting your files one-by-one like other cryptoviruses such as WannaCry, Petya and its variant operates by first encrypting your PC’s Master Boot Record which also contains your boot loader – special code that always runs before your operating system (OS). Once infected, your boot loader will load the ransomware instead of your OS.

What does it look like when you click on one of these corrupted links?

Users see a Stop Error screen (popularly known as the “Blue Screen of Death”), and their computer reboots into what appears to be the Check Disk screen. This is when the virus encrypts your PC’s Master File Table, which acts as the map to your stored files. Once this is encrypted, it makes it virtually impossible for your computer to locate a specific file.

After the ransomware is done with these processes, the ransom message appears. Unfortunately, NotPetya disables your ability to access the internet through this computer since at this point it has effectively placed itself between you and your OS. In order to pay the bitcoin ransom, you have to use another computer to do so in order to get the decryption key and save your files.

This is not the first time Petya has hit organizations; only now it’s using the EternalBlue Exploit recently patched in the latest Microsoft updates to spread from one PC to the rest of the network. There may be additional methods being used by this virus to infect whole networks that have not been determined yet.

Phishing attacks like NotPetya, WannaCry, and Locky have been so successful because of the social engineering aspect of the hackers’ strategy. Human Resources and recruiters receive unsolicited resumes on a regular basis, so an email like the ones that have been distributing the NotPetya malware don’t look innately suspicious.

Be cautious of unexpected emails with links or attachments. As long as it continues to pay, phishers will continue finding new ways to deliver this ransomware to end users.

Interested in more information on ransomware and how to protect your organization? Check out these additional articles below.

What is Ransomware?
How to Tell If an Email is Valid
Upsurge in Phishing Activities: Don’t Take the Bait!
Protecting Yourself from Phishing Attacks

 


 

About the Author-

Jason Hand loves making music, serving his church and getting people excited about technology tools. He currently lives in Georgia with wife and two adopted sons.  Jason is the Systems Administrator at Rocket IT.

 

Inefficiency is the enemy of a profitable, thriving business. What would a 2.5% increase in utilization mean to your organization? Download our FREE whitepaper for five easy steps to increase employee productivity at no additional payroll cost.

 

 

 

 

Read More
Technology

How to Tell If an Email is Valid

Rocket IT

With most business transactions taking place at least in part over email, phishers have gotten very sophisticated at mimicking typical emails users receive and tricking innocent end users into clicking on malicious links or opening corrupted files. So how do you tell if the email you just received is valid… Or a Trojan horse in disguise?

You’ve received an email, and something about it just seems phishy, but you’re not sure. And you don’t want to miss out on an important business opportunity.

The first thing you can do is check the email address of the sender. If the email says it’s from LinkedIn Customer Support, but the return address says bclyde@linkin.com, then it’s a safe bet you should send that email straight to your junk folder. Scammers like to use email addresses that appear similar to the original domain they’re impersonating, and they’re counting on you to skim and look over those details.

Next, check the validity of all the URLs they’ve included in the email WITHOUT clicking on them. If you hover your mouse over a URL, a preview link will appear above it. Does this link lead to a different site than the one they’ve presented in their text? Check each link individually since some hackers will use legitimate links mixed in with their phishing URLs to lure you into a false sense of security.

Is there an attachment included in the email? Without opening it, check the following: were you expecting this attachment? Is it from a trusted sender? Is it in a usual format you expect from that sender? It’s very common for phishers to spoof an actual email address from a trusted person (even within your own organization) and make it appear as if the email is really coming from that person, as well as enable the phisher to receive replies to that email as if they had access to the account they spoofed.

Best practices for email attachments are to follow up with the sender in a new email (okay), over the phone (better), or in person (best) to make sure the attachment is really from them. You should ideally never open an unexpected email attachment. If you absolutely must open an attachment against all advice (again, please don’t!), be sure that Macros are automatically disabled through all of your programs (Adobe Acrobat, Word, Excel, etc.). If an attachment prompts you to connect to outside links or run Macros, DO NOT GIVE IT PERMISSION TO DO SO. Enabling this in a file will allow it to connect to an outside server and run processes on your computer without your permission.

If you want to really get into the technical nitty gritty, you can check the header of an email to see if the message is being sent from someone on the same domain server as the sender. If a hacker is spoofing the email address, a clue could be hidden in the header information.

To check the header in Outlook 2016, 2013, or 2010, open the individual message in its own window and click on the File tab. From there, select Properties in the Info tab. The header information will appear in the Internet Headers box. Here’s how to open the same in Gmail.

The information in your header box is ordered by most recent action and later. So the information at the top will be from when you received it. To see where the email originated from, you’ll have to look at the earlier actions.

In the header information, scroll through to find Return-Path. This section should reveal the real reply email address of the sender. If an email is being spoofed, this address will be different from the original sender. Another clue to watch out for in your information can be found in the sending server’s domain name. If an email hops around multiple servers (which is common with legitimate emails as well), look at each Received: from function. The further into your header information you go, the more likely you are to catch the real domain address of the original sender. Seeing one email hop that matches, especially in the beginning, is not a good indicator that the email is valid, as spoofers can trick that function later on. You need to make sure each server hop resolves the sending server back to the purported sender’s domain.

For example, the email below appears to be coming from our Marketing Specialist, but when we go into the header, we can see that the email is really from our friends over at KnowBe4.

While checking into the header is definitely very cool, it’s mostly unnecessary since the other flags should let you know if the email is suspicious. When in doubt, ask your IT team!

 

 


 

About the Author – 

Steve Hopkins is a Support Professional and Team Lead at Rocket IT. Steve and his wife are growing their family through adoption. They have already adopted two sons. 

 

1200x627- vCIOHave you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More
Technology

What is Ransomware?

Rocket IT

Ransomware is a specific type of malware or virus that locks users out of their own data by encrypting it… And then holding the decryption key hostage in exchange for a large sum of money, usually delivered via bitcoin because of its difficulty to track online.

These cryptoviruses (Locky, CryptoLocker, WannaCry, etc.) spread in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to) spam emails, malvertisements, and downloaders. But most ransomware attacks depend heavily on social engineering.

The human element is the easiest to exploit. Given time and resources, hackers can (and do) trick computers and spam filters. Some attacks take advantage of known vulnerabilities, like this one from Intel, to infect computer and networks, but many still rely on just one misguided click from an end user. And the strategies these criminals employ to trick you into being that user continue growing in sophistication, making them harder to spot.

Phishing attacks have significantly evolved from messages sent by foreign royalty in distress, and while you’ll still encounter the occasional blatant scam message rife with grammar mistakes and misspellings, the more recent ones could very easily appear to be someone in your contact book, sending an email they might normally send.

We’ve gone in-depth before once or twice about how you avoid falling for these phishing scams and becoming another victim, but here’s what happens when you do take the bait:

 

You’ve just opened an attachment you weren’t expecting from the accounting department at one of your vendor companies.

And nothing unusual happens… Or so it seems. Once a cryptovirus begins downloading itself, your computer might start running a little slower if you have limited bandwidth, but this is typically relatively imperceptible to your average person.

But the malware has already started its work on your computer.

Behind the scenes, the virus on your computer has started getting busy. It’s already contacted its home server and generated the cryptographic key that will hold your data.

Before you’re even aware it’s there, the ransomware has encrypted your files.

Once the virus has communicated with its base, it begins locking every file it can find with common file extensions like .doc, .xml, .jpg, and more. What’s worse? The encryption is so difficult to break, that it’s highly unlikely a third party will be able to unlock it anytime within the next, oh, hundred years or so. You’d have to know the exact method and algorithm the hackers used in order to crack it.

Now that your files are locked, you receive the ransom.

Anyone who’s watched a few episodes of Criminal Minds has an idea in mind of what a hostage situation is like. The phishers who have locked your files let you know exactly what they’ve done, and they name their price… Along with a deadline.

Typically, the hackers will give you a short deadline that will end with an increase in the cost of the ransom if you don’t pay it in time (and sometimes an increase in ransom even if you do). After a certain amount of time, they’ll say they don’t want to play ball anymore, and your files will stay locked.

At this point, you’re faced with a difficult choice.

If you aren’t running regular backups, you now have to choose between losing your data and paying the ransom. It’s easy to say you won’t negotiate with terrorists holding your company’s information hostage… Until you’re actually facing that data loss.

On top of that, every minute of unproductive downtime is costing your company even more in revenue (nearly $9,000 per minute, in fact).

Facing one of the newer viruses, like WannaCry? Then it gets worse.

Ransomware like WannaCry are virtual worms, and they can spread from one computer across an entire network in seconds. This is why it’s important to keep all of your important data and backups offsite and separate from the general network.

 

As experts work on disabling and blocking these threats, new ones are sure to roll out. Hackers will continue using ransomware as long as it pays… And boy, does it pay.

Be sure to think before you click. When you receive an email with an unexpected attachment or a suspicious link, be cautious. Follow up offline with the original sender. Make sure macros are disabled. Hover over a hyperlink without clicking to see if it’ll lead you where it says it will.

For business leaders, the best protection you can have against cryptoviruses and other malware is to educate your employees and make sure you have good backups running on a separate network. Not sure where to get started? We can help.

 

 


 

About the Author – 

Tyler Priest is the Junior Systems Administrator at Rocket IT. His first hobby turned into his career, and so now he’s looking for the next!. He likes to collect all kinds of music from vinyl to tapes and CDs. Tyler lives in Barrow County with his fiance and a menagerie of pets.

 

 

Inefficiency is the enemy of a profitable, thriving business. What would a 2.5% increase in utilization mean to your organization? Download our FREE whitepaper for five easy steps to increase employee productivity at no additional payroll cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More