Cyberattacks to worsen in 2017, McAfee Report predicts

6th September 2016

McAfee released its annual “McAfee Labs Threat Report,” which makes predictions in relation to the key cyber threats over the upcoming year. Highlights of the predication made in the report include:
• growth in cyber espionage, with a focus on stealthier information gathering;
• growth in attacks on the synchronised systems and devices;
• growth in frequency and intensity of attacks on mobile devices;
• increased push by governments to undermine privacy of personal information and data;
• evolution and expansion of ransomware attacks (hacker taking over a computer and demanding a ransom to allow access to the system), with greater number of attacks on mobile devices;
• significant increase in point of sale (online payment) attacks; and
• significant increase in malware attacks on non-windows systems.

Why cloud may not be the best solution for your business

22nd August 2016

While cloud solutions have skyrocketed in their popularity, there are some risks, including:

1. Security of data – as the icloud incident has highlighted, data stored on cloud is vulnerable to a security breach, which could end in significant costs for your company.

2. Privacy – as a flow on effect of the vulnerability of security of data, there are concerns about storing sensitive personal information (including financial information) online.

3. Ongoing costs – while cloud providers market themselves as being cost effective, the cloud business model includes two reoccurring charges: the amount of space consumed, and the downloading/uploading that is undertaken. This should be compared with the one-off costs associated with an on-premises solution.

4. Vulnerability of the cloud provider – if the cloud provider suffers a security breach, and your entire business platform is on the cloud, this will mean the downtime of your entire (or significant portion) of your business, which could be disastrous.

Arming yourself against Cryptolocker attacks

12th August 2016

Cryptolocker attacks against small and medium businesses are becoming increasingly common.
The Cryptocker virus is a ransomware program which is released when opening an email attachment (.exe file) or when undertaking a file transfer. Often the email attachment will be labeled as urgent/critical, and purport to contain invoices or voicemail messages from important senders.
The virus acts by encrypting key business files, which then requires a special decryption key held by the hacker in order to be usable. The hacker demands money (usually in the form of either Moneypak or Bitcoin payment in the amount of around $300) in exchange for decrypting the file/ Small and medium businesses are particular vulnerable to such attacks as (1) they are less likely to have adequate security to ward off such an attack; and (2) they are more likely to pay the ransom in exchange for a promise by the hacker to decrypt the file/s. Unfortunately, reports place the number of hackers who decrypt the file after payment of the ransom at less than 50%.

How can SMB’s protect themselves?

Step 1: Keep antivirus and anti-malware applications current

It is essential that SMBs ensure that their antivirus and anti-malware applications are up-to-date and current, which includes ensuring that any updates or patches are installed.

Step 2: awareness – be alert but not alarmed

It is important that staff are made aware of Cryptlocker. Staff should be warned to be vigilant when opening any file which is an .exe file, and should be wary of opening files from unknown sources.

For more information, go to: http://searchitchannel.techtarget.com/tip/Cryptolocker-ransomware-protection-A-new-reason-for-old-advice

Mythbusters: Cloud edition

9th June 2016

While there is no doubt that ‘the cloud’ is the new buzzword, it is important to be objective when considering the pros and cons of the cloud before jumping on the cloud-bandwagon. In particular, be wary of the following misconceptions dominating the way businesses perceive the cloud.

Myth 1: Cloud = cost saving

While on-premise solutions may involve an initial big cash injection, it normally involves a lower continual spend in comparison to cloud services, which involve a constant monthly injection.

Myth 2: Get cloud or get left behind

Investing in cloud technology is something that should be carefully considered as part of an overall I.T. strategy, rather than being embraced out of a fear of being left behind.

Myth 3: Cloud works for everything

Cloud solutions cannot be applicable to every business need, and should only be used if they actually assist in achieving a particular functionality.

Myth 4: We are getting cloud because the CEO said so

Switching to cloud services is a decision that should be made based on a considered business analysis, rather on the mere whims of the CEO (who may be swayed by the “get cloud or get left behind” myth).

Myth 5: We can only have one cloud strategy or vendor

There is no reason why a business can only have one cloud strategy or vendor. Businesses should not shy away from customizing their services by integrating a number of vendor products, provided such a strategy achieves their business objectives.

Myth 6: Cloud is less secure than on-premise solutions

Despite recent media coverage suggesting that cloud is less secure than on-premise solutions, it is important to remember that both on-premise and cloud solutions have the potential to have security breaches.

Myth 7: Cloud cannot be used for core business processes

This comes back to the trust issue many people have with cloud services. You should not assume that the cloud cannot be used for core business process. Rather, you should carefully consider how best to integrate your systems to ensure minimum downtime.

Myth 8: A cloud solution means the end of data centres

A data centre strategy is not the same as a cloud strategy. In fact, a cloud strategy requires a secure and carefully considered data centre strategy.

Myth 9: Cloud applications are the same as Cloud services

It is important to distinguish between migrating your entire system to the cloud, and using cloud applications.

Myth 10: Virtualisation is the same as private cloud

Virtualization, being the creation of a virtual version of a computer hardware platform, operating system or computer storage device, is not the same as private cloud. They are two different concepts, which may or may not suit your business needs.

See this article from Divina Paredes on http://agiledatacentre.cio.com.au/2014/10/09/4th-cio-post/ for more information.

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Latest News

Cyberattacks to worsen in 2017, McAfee Report predicts

6th September 2016

McAfee released its annual “McAfee Labs Threat Report,” which makes pr ... More »

Why cloud may not be the best solution for your business

22nd August 2016

While cloud solutions have skyrocketed in their popularity, there are ... More »

Arming yourself against Cryptolocker attacks

12th August 2016

Cryptolocker attacks against small and medium businesses are becoming ... More »

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