Ransomware…..right in your backyard

Ransomware attacks continue to make headlines therefore, being proactive is critical. Hospitals, universities, SMBs and even government offices have found themselves a victims of these attacks. You must take every precaution against Ransomware attacks, especially as they become more and more frequent. In this climate of threats, it is necessary to add as many layers of protection as possible. That’s where File Folder Sharing (FFS) comes into play.

 

FFS is the practice of sharing or offering access to digital information or resources, including documents, multimedia (audio/video), graphics, computer programs, images and e-books. It is the private or public distribution of data or resources in a network with different levels of sharing privileges.

 

FFS is convenient, and allow your team members to work on projects and collaborate no matter where they are; it also gives you the added layer of protection necessary in today’s world. Securing backups in the cloud can save files that would have been compromised. Your device may be infected, but with files backed up in the cloud, you can restore them quickly and thwart the attack.

 

At first glance, FFS products may appear to be identical. But the features they offer vary, and certain systems offer more protection than others.

 

How do you know which FFS option is right for your business? Should you make choices based on cost or are there certain “must have” features? Is a popular, well-known and widely used product best, or does it simply have the best name recognition? Is it worth spending more for a product that offers end-to-end encryption to avoid higher costs in the event of an attack?

 

To answer these questions accurately and assess which FFS product is right for you takes time, research, and expertise. Do not try to make this important decision on your own!  You need a specialist to guide your choice.

 

At Net Works —we are experts who stay knowledgeable on both current cybersecurity best practices and the tools available in the market today.

 

The right FFS product can make a critical difference for you if a Ransomware attack strikes. Differentiate yourself from your competitors who are not investing in security.  Avoid the pitfalls of Ransomware attacks by talking to Net Works to determine the best strategies and products to meet your security needs. Don’t be caught off guard if an attacker strikes.

School’s Back!!! Want us to grade your Network?

Keeping your organization running smoothly and moving forward can sometimes feel like a juggling act.  Personnel issues, supply chain snags, and long term planning; your days can just fly by.  It is tempting to just put your IT network in the back of your mind and only deal with it when problems arise.  However, unless you have performed a full Network Assessment you could be heading for trouble.

 

A Network Assessment is a complete review of all your organization’s existing IT infrastructure, security protocols, management, and performance.  Once you have a comprehensive view of the state of your IT, you will be able to identify areas of improvement and make strategic business decisions.  Don’t wait until you are contemplating a big project or until your organization has grown to the point that you aren’t quite sure of exactly what is going on throughout your network; by being proactive, problems will be caught early, solutions found, and your network’s performance can be tracked over time.

The four main areas a Network Assessment will help identify: 

Weaknesses in your cyber security protocols that need immediate attention to avoid any adverse impacts to your operations and networks.

Overused or underused technology resources. The technology needs of your teammates can differ widely and some departments may require more network resources than others.  By looking at your entire system you will be able to optimize your resources.

Bandwidth bottlenecks.  As more and more organizations move their operations into the cloud, more bandwidth is oftentimes required.  Streaming videos, running programs, and downloading files can all slow down your network.

Advantages and potential problems of rolling out new technologies.  A full Network Assessment will allow you to plan for your future technology needs by identifying how any changes will fit into your current framework.  What should the timeline for any improvement be?  What integration points do you need to keep in mind or prepare for?  With a full Network Assessment, you can employ a strategic approach to your technology plans rather than just keeping up with your organization’s needs.

 

A full Network Assessment is key to any comprehensive technology strategy.  Don’t drop the ball when it comes to your IT.  Your technology is too important for you to ignore.  Get Net Works, as your IT partner.  We will perform a Network Assessment across your entire IT environment.  Together, we will map out a course that will continue to move your organization forward.  Stop trying to juggle your IT needs!  Contact Net Works Today!

We’ll help to keep you organized and efficient so you can do what you do best!

As a business owner, you have enough on your plate keeping your organization moving forward and getting ready to face new challenges.  You need to be prepared to take advantage of new opportunities when they come your way.  Are you losing sleep over IT worries?  How can you ensure that you are moving in the right direction when most of your time is consumed with figuring out IT issues?  Even more, are you ignoring your IT and hoping for smooth sailing?  That is the surest way to end up in the middle of an IT disaster!  This 4th of July as we celebrate our nation’s independence, declare your independence from IT worry!  With Net Works, you can rest easy knowing that we have your back and are working in your best interests.

 

Never again will you have to waste valuable time ensuring your hardware is running properly or fixing any issues that come up.  At Net Works, our technicians hold the most up to date certifications and are there to handle any issues you have.

 

Never again will you have to worry if all your software is up to date or if you are vulnerable to malware because of a missed patch install.  At Net Works, we handle all of your updates and security protocols.  If you ever face a disaster natural or otherwise, you can rest easy knowing that your data will be safe in our data center.  Ensuring that your office can continue to function even if your physical location is compromised.

 

Never again will you have to deal with a blown IT budget because of unexpected problems.  At Net Works, we partner with all of our clients to map out a comprehensive plan for their technology infrastructure.  With a plan in place you will know that any of your future technological needs will be met without any surprise costs.

 

Never again will you have to wonder if your organization is falling behind the technological curve.  At Net Works, we have the knowledge and the resources to allow you to exploit the newest technological advances quickly.  You will always be one step ahead of your competitors’.

 

At Net Works, we are information technology experts.  We will handle all of your technology needs so you can get back to focusing on your business.  Declare your freedom from IT worries Get Net Works, on your team.  Contact us today!

 

 

 

Find Time and Outlook Add-Ons

Any SMB owner knows that time is money.  At Net Works, we are always looking for ways that you can maximize your and your team’s productivity.  In our collaborative work environments, meetings are essential to hold, but also can be a nightmare to schedule.  Team members can be working remotely, members outside your organization can be on the road based in any region of the country, or even around the world; making scheduling a meeting a challenge.   Fortunately, Microsoft has a solution to ease this burden.  Find Time is a free add-on to their nearly ubiquitous Outlook email program.  It is simple to use and very convenient.  Once the add-on is installed, you will see a button in the upper right hand bar of your Outlook dashboard.  Once you click  the button, the steps to scheduling a meeting are easy!

  • Choose the attendees you wish to invite
  • Propose a few different days and times to meet
  • Let people vote on the time that works best for them.
  • Once a consensus is reached the meeting invites are automatically sent out.

There are a couple of other great features in Find Time.  You can alert people to your preferred meeting time; allowing your invitees to see if they can make that time work.  You can see the time most people within your organization are available; allowing you to see if you can move things around to meet with people at their most convenient day and time.  With Find Time you can spend your time meeting rather than sending out numerous emails and making phone calls trying to find a time to meet.  At Net Works, we work to stay abreast of all new developments that will help you to increase your productivity.  Net Works is your IT department.  We stay current, and alert you to all recent upgrades in the tech world so you don’t have to.  When it comes to serving your business I.T. needs, we’re IT!  Contact us today.

Disaster Planning 101: A Guide to help you plan for the worst

IT disasters are devastating to the infrastructure of any organization.  In a modern office environment IT is the hub of any type of business.  Disasters can disrupt IT processes to the point that businesses are significantly impacted.  When it comes to disaster recovery many firms believe they will never need a back-up plan; convincing themselves that the likelihood of their organization being affected is minimal.  In reality, threats to your IT infrastructure are growing no matter what segment of the economy you operate within.

In each sector an IT disaster can be classified into two different categories: Natural, such as floods, tornados, or earthquakes; or man-made, primarily sabotage or cyber-attacks and more benign causes like human error or power outages.  Whatever the cause of your IT downtime, a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan is the key to getting you up-and-running in an efficient manner and with the least amount of disruption.

While every organization has its own unique structure and needs, there are a few key areas that must be considered before deploying a Disaster Recovery Plan.  According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) special Publication 800-34, Contingency Planning for Information Technology Systems, a comprehensive structure for an IT disaster recovery plan begins with the following:

  1. The plan development team should meet with the technology team to establish the scope of the plan.
  2. Gather all relevant network infrastructure documents (network diagrams, equipment configurations, databases, etc.)
  3. Obtain copies of any existing IT and network DR plans (if any) as well as any history of previous outages and how they were handled.
  4. Identify the most probable threats to the IT infrastructure, e.g. fire, power loss, human error, cyber threats.
  5. Identify the most serious vulnerabilities such as lack of backup power, out dated copies of databases.
  6. Identify what are the critical IT assets.
  7. Determine the maximum acceptable outage time.
  8. Choose your IT Disaster Recovery Technology. Choices range from onsite backups to enterprise level cloud disaster recovery. The best recovery strategy depends on the most likely threats to any given organization’s IT operations and resources.  The most robust strategy is a fully mirrored recovery site at a physically separate facility.

A quick glance at the news will tell you that you cannot afford to hope for the best when it comes to disaster recovery planning, but where do you even begin?  An incomplete plan will not serve you well in the case of a disaster.  At Net Works we will partner with you to craft your unique Disaster Recovery Plan.  Business continuity is too important to ignore!  Don’t risk your organization with poor preparation.  Get Net Works in your corner.

Disaster Planning for 2017

We’re here to help you plan for a great 2017!  This includes evaluating your Disaster Recovery Planning.  At Net Works we take your backup data seriously with daily audits to ensure your backup data is secure and that if anything happens that we can recover your data with minimal downtime or disruption.

 

Ask yourself “what would happen if someone came and took your server out of the office?”  Can you say how long it would take to bring you back up and running again?  With our Disaster Recovery we can provide predictable up-time for you and your business.

 

Schedule a no cost review to be sure that your data and information are secure and backups are properly maintained!

 

 

Cyber-attacks right under the Christmas Tree!!!!

2016 has been filled with news of cyber-attacks and hacking.

  • In February the Central Bank of Bangladesh was the victim of a cyber heist that resulted in $81 million in losses and another $850 million in halted transactions.
  • In July, the Democratic National Committee’s email servers were breached. The resulting leaked emails caused much embarrassment and lead to the resignations of some of the organizations key officials.
  • In September, Yahoo announced that half a billion of its users’ accounts were hacked back in 2014 thus gaining access to names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of births, and in some cases, even security questions and answers. This event alone exposed 500 million people to potential identity theft.
  • In October, major websites went down due to a massive attack on one of the backbones of the internet; thus leaving Twitter, PayPal, Spotify and many businesses hosted by Amazon Web Services unable to function.
  • Over Thanksgiving weekend, the San Francisco rail system was hacked allowing riders to ride for free while a hacker held the system hostage with the use of Ransomware.
  • Most recently, Google announced that upwards of 1 million user accounts were compromised with the use of “Googlian” malware on Android powered smart The company warns that 13,000 additional devices are being infected every day.     christmas-bulb

The news is continuously flooded with reports of cyber-attacks and it is clear at this point that no one and no business is immune to the dangers of the hacker community.  With the onslaught of cyber-crimes, what is a SMB owner to do?  You have taken what you feel are the necessary steps to keep yourself safe; installing firewalls and communicating to employees the importance of strong passwords.  Even though you have taken these steps, you could still be victim of a hackers.  Here are five clues that you and your network might have become victims:

Clue 1) Slow internet connection. When hackers gain access to your network they begin to use your bandwidth for their own purposes.

Clue 2) Unauthorized programs have been installed on your network.  If you notice an unfamiliar program that was not authorized, documented or installed by anyone within your organization, that’s a sure sign that a hacker has invaded your network.

Clue 3) Spam emails are being sent from your company computers and email accounts.  Spam emails look legitimate because they are coming from your trusted email address.  Many of your customers may open them, annoying your subscribers and possibly leaving them open to security threats of their own.

Clue 4) Unfamiliar programs are requesting access to your network; or your Firewalls or other security programs have been uninstalled.  If your security systems are dismantled, unfettered access to your systems may be allowed to wreak havoc in your network.

Clue 5) Visitors to your home page are redirected to another site or antivirus solutions are flagging your site.  An internet search for your site results in error messages that warn the searcher that malware has been detected on your site.  This warning means that hackers have certainly uploaded some sort of malicious software to your system.

If you have noticed ANY of these signs, do not wait any longer.  Contact Net Works.  We are cyber-security experts and will perform a full security audit on your entire system.  We live in a complex connected world; you cannot afford to face downtime or data loss due to hackers.  Threats are everywhere, don’t try to take on the hacker community on your own.  Contact Net Works today!