What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Account Coordinator(AC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
Professional IT Services that Andromeda Provides for Bensenville, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
Andromeda IT Service Offerings
Here is just a quick list demonstrating the breadth of IT services you can expect from Andromeda:
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
Ransomware, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: What Every Small Business Should Know Aug 30, 2019
The last few years have seen a large increase in ransomware incidents and 2019 has surely followed suit with many industries impacted. In the last few months manufacturing, municipalities, school districts and other small business sectors have all dealt with their share of attacks. Tens of townships in Texas were attacked in August 2019 with a total ransom of over 2.5 million dollars. School districts across the US were targeted for student and faculty data.
It’s been a rough one to say the least.
The best defense against ransomware for yourself and your business is still education and Andromeda can help with that. Read on to learn more about the threat of ransomware to your business and what you can do to prepare yourself.
Ransomware is a type of malicious program that encrypts a segment or all of your data. At that point, the data can only be decrypted with a key. The criminal ransoms your data until you pay them to decrypt it.
This means that whatever they get their hands on, is no longer of use to you until you pay up. Things like accounting information, client information, HR information – anything data related at the business.
With more and more incidents on the rise, it is important that you proactively defend yourself against this threat and have a plan in place to respond in case your business faces a ransomware incident of its own.
Employee Cyber Security Training
Over 90% of cyber security incidents facing businesses today originate with some kind of human error. Your staff and teammates don’t mean to make these mistakes and an honest error can happen to anyone. Clicking on a bad link, falling for a scam online, downloading an infected file – these things happen to the best of us.
Tricking you into downloading malicious files to your PC is still a method criminals use to try and get into your computer but the primary two methods to gain access and do damage to your systems in 2019 are via third party data breaches (learn more about third party breaches here and phishing email attacks (learn more about phishing scams here .
To help your employees stay ahead of criminals and defend your business, you want to invest in regular training for the team. Professional cyber security training programs include simulated phishing email tests, individual scores, weekly quizzes, newsletters and more.
Data Backups & Disaster Recovery Planning
Employee training will do a good job at helping your staff defend the business but there is still always a chance that ransomware can happen.
When it comes to ransomware, there is little you can do to remove the damages. There is no ‘debug’ or troubleshooting technique that will make it go away. To get the encrypted data, you have to have the decryption code.
The only alternate solution available to you would be to restore from a backup. That way, you don’t need to decrypt anything. Of course, this is dependent on the quality and safety of your existing backups.
We recommend looking for a backup solution with an on premises copy as well as a secure cloud copy of your data backups.
The best data backup and recovery solutions take regular snapshots of your environment. Even better solutions can spin up a virtual ‘copy’ of your environment so you can keep working while your IT team works in the background to get systems back up and running like normal.
Make sure to ask the team or individual who handles your backups how often they test them. It’s also good to have a clear understanding of what it takes to get you back up and running in the event of an incident (what does it look like if we have an equipment failure? How do you respond if we are hit with ransomware?).
Training staff on how to avoid scams and criminal tactics online is a great way to defend against Ransomware and other incidents.
Having a good data backup and disaster recovery plan is what you want to do to make sure your business can handle this type of attack.
The final piece of the Ransomware puzzle for now is going to be your business continuity plan.
When it’s said and done, you are most likely going to experience some amount of downtime in the event of a Ransomware attack. It’ll take time to recognize what is happening, to contact the proper parties (IT staff or your outsourced team and decision makers), respond to the incident etc.
All of this time costs your business money, productivity and opportunities. This is why many vendors suggest coming up with Business Continuity plans for different types of incidents at the office.
Have a plan for equipment failure (like a server crash), a plan for a major cybersecurity incident (ransomware across the network), have a plan for minor cybersecurity incidents (single user hit with malware or a virus). You get the idea.
Some great questions for Business Continuity plans:
- How does my business or staff respond to this incident?
- Do you unplug workstations?
- Does the employee call you first or IT?
- Is there anything you should do on site while your IT team gets to work?
- How long will it take to get us back up and running? (this will differ depending on what you face)
- How do we keep the business running while designated teams respond?
- Can we make use of the cloud?
- Do we need to work from pen and paper while things resolve?
A professional team will help you work through these questions and come up with the solutions your specific business and business model needs to keep things running in the event of a disaster, accident or incident.
The key is really in the preparation.
If you have any questions about any of the topics above or want to discuss your own disaster recover, data backups or business continuity plans, please give us a call at (815) 836-0030 or contact our team via email at Contact@wenetwork.com.
The post Ransomware, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: What Every Small Business Should Know appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Start 2019 Out Right – Have a Network Security Assessment Completed Jan 04, 2019
Why have a Network Security Assessment at least once per year:
Our digital world is being attacked constantly and your corporate network is one of the biggest targets on the market. Why? Because it also tends to be an easy mark. Year after year we see large scale attacks against corporations, but did you know that the majority of cyber incidents occur against small to mid-size businesses? Ask yourself: When was the last time I had a professional network security assessment? We’ve listed out some of the top reasons why Network Security Assessments are a vital piece of a multi-layered approach to cyber security for your business.
Let’s start by stating something that you might not expect a tech company to express. Being a victim of a cyber attack is inevitable. No amount of effort or software can protect you 100% of the time. The solution is to implement as many precautionary steps as you can to lessen the likelihood of becoming a victim. No approach on the market can guarantee you will never be breached. If you ever run into an IT firm or product that tries to make this a “guarantee” . . . run and don’t look back because this is 100% false.
Now, there are the obvious steps that you can take to protect yourself and make it harder on the criminals:
- Proactive Email habits
- Anti-malware software
- Proper Employee training
- Professional Disaster Recover (DR) plan/device
However, there is another tool in the arsenal that you should use regularly and that is an annual (at minimum) Network Security Assessment.
What Does A Network Security Assessment Involve?
Your IT support company should perform an initial assessment; after, they should give you a detailed risk report displaying areas that need to be optimized or adjusted. If your IT company does not perform these, it may be time to start looking somewhere new. Cyber threats are more prevalent every day and it is important to partner with an IT company that recognizes this and protects your business accordingly.
We find that our assessment usually uncovers security threats and holes; even when a business has the right practices and has done their research. Cyber security is a daily battle for businesses of every type. When we run our assessment we use the results to constantly improve the defenses of our clients. And that is why, like most things in tech, an assessment should be a regular event.
The Network Security Assessment Is Done. What’s the Next Step?
The network security assessment itself is not the only thing to request though. It is equally important to make sure that your firm supplies you with a report of their findings. This report should be simple to understand, contain an overall score and give you a breakdown of each issue found, along with how serious those specific issues are. Ask for an action plan that goes over any adjustments in detail for any issues that are found. Why go through the assessment process if you aren’t going to apply any changes with the data?
How important and helpful are these reports? We are an IT company with a background protecting our partners from risk. We also put protections in place for our partners and still find ways to improve our customer cyber safety every time we run an assessment.
Why? Because cyber security is a dynamic, ever changing landscape and you need to proactively search for issues. Don’t let yourself learn the hard way. You never want to discover there is a hole in your cyber security when it’s too late from an attack or breach.
Interested in a Network Security Assessment?
If this article has you questioning your current setup, or peaked your interest in starting a conversation regarding the cyber security protections necessary for your business, a network security assessment with Andromeda is a great place to start. With this in mind, we will be discounting our network security assessment thru 1/31/19. Fill out the form below for access to our promotional rate and begin a discussion with one of our security experts.
Fill out the form below to receive a $500 discount on a Network Security Assessment valid for the month of January:
The post Start 2019 Out Right – Have a Network Security Assessment Completed appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Hackers Now Can Access Data In Secure PDF Files Oct 10, 2019
A team of six researchers from Ruhr-University Bouchum and Munster University, in Germany have discovered a critical flaw in the way that popular PDF viewers display data.
This makes it possible for an attacker to exfiltrate data from encrypted PDF files.
The researchers tested twenty-seven different desktop and web-based PDF viewer apps ranging from the ubiquitous Adobe Reader, to Foxit, and even the viewers built into both Chrome and Firefox. They found that every single one of them were vulnerable to the new attacks they engineered. The researchers developed two major lines of attacks with a few variants based on each type.
They had this to say about their findings:
"Our attacks allow the recovery of the entire plaintext of encrypted documents by using exfiltration channels, which are based on standard-compliant PDF properties...our evaluation shows that among 27 widely used PDF viewers, all of them are vulnerable to at least one of these attacks. These alarming results naturally raise the question of the root causes for practical decryption exfiltration attacks.� We identified two of them.
First, many data formats allow to encrypt only parts of the content.� This encryption flexibility is difficult to handle and allows an attacker to include their own content, which can lead to exfiltration channels.
Second, when it comes to encryption, AES-CBC--or encryption without integrity protection in general--is still widely supported.� Even the latest PDF 2.0 specification released in 2017 still relies on it.� This must be fixed in future PDF specifications."
This is an alarming discovery although these attacks have not yet been seen in the wild. Now that the word is out, it's just a matter of time.� Worse, there's no fix on the horizon, which means that the PDFs you may be relying on to help keep your data secure, simply aren't.