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 Northbrook, 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:
3 ways cloud computing helps the environment Apr 08, 2020
Celebrating Earth Day serves as a reminder of how fragile our planet is and how important it is to protect it. With a few simple changes to the way we use technology solutions at work, we can help make a big impact.
Did you know that just switching to cloud computing can help the environment? It’s true!
3 ways cloud computing helps the environment…
1. Energy Conservation.
No onsite servers can save businesses on energy usage. This is important because when you consume less power, you reduce the number of toxic fumes released by power plants, conserve the earth’s natural resources, and protect ecosystems from destruction.
Ask your technology providers about their cloud environments to learn more about different techniques these businesses take to ensure green practices in cloud computing.
2. Work Anywhere, Anytime.
When you place your work, projects, and data on the cloud it allows you and your staff to be able to work from anywhere at anytime* without driving back to the office. This saves on travel to and from the office which decreases emissions, and increases productivity.
3. Allows For A Paperless Workspace.
The cloud empowers your team to print fewer documents and collaborate using SaaS (Software as a Service) tools – meaning less paper wasted by staff. Additionally, less printing means you will use less ink and most offices won’t be upset about double cost savings here!
Have a great Earth Day and smile because you just helped save the environment.
*Some cloud solutions require an active internet connection to work
The post 3 ways cloud computing helps the environment appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.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.New Powerful Malware Is Targeting Windows-Based Machines Jul 07, 2020
Researchers have discovered a devilishly clever new stain of malware currently in use by hackers around the world. The new strain is appropriately called "Lucifer," and has been making life quite difficult for IT professionals managing Windows environments.
The malware exploits critical vulnerabilities in Windows-based systems to launch DDoS attacks and install cryptojacking code.
The latest version (2.0) of the code was discovered by researchers Durgesh Sangvikar, Zhibin Zhang, Chris Navarrete, and Ken Hsu, on May 29, 2020. They discovered it while investigating the exploit of CVE-2019-9081, which is a deserialization bug in Laravel Framework that can be used to conduct RCE (Remote Code Execution) attacks.
Their research revealed that CVE-2019-9081 is just one of many critical security flaws Lucifer exploits, including:
Few malware strains incorporate code designed to exploit so many different security flaws, which makes Lucifer a serious threat indeed.
If there's a silver lining to be found, it is in the fact that all of these flaws have already been addressed via patches. So it comes down to making sure your software is up to date and running the latest and greatest security patches. The researchers who discovered it say that there are ongoing campaigns that are currently wreaking havoc on un-patched systems and urge all system admins to make sure the software they're running is patched as soon as possible.
In practice, Lucifer 2.0 works by scanning for open TCP ports 135 (RPC) and 1433 (MSSQL). When it finds a potential target, it will use credential-stuffing attacks to gain access to the targeted system. Once it gains a foothold, it installs XMRig, which is a program used to covertly mine Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency. Additionally, the malware connects to a command and control server where it can receive additional instructions.
As we said, it's a serious piece of work and not to be taken lightly.