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Archive for the ‘encryption’ tag

What is Ransomware?   no comments

Posted at May 16, 2017 @ 10:12am internet security

What is Ransomware?

Over the past few years malware infections have seen an exponential growth. They are becoming more sophisticated, using newer methods that are not only harder to detect, but also require less user interaction. One of the more prominent forms of malware, especially in recent days, is called Ransomware.

 

Ransomware is form of malware, or malicious software, that carries out its attack by encrypting the data on a computer or server, then blocking access to that data until a ransom is paid.

 

Security researchers report attackers are not only upgrading their ransomware to make it more unbreakable, they are also using unique methods of distribution. In some cases, these methods require no user interaction at all. In the past, most ransomware infections occurred via phishing attacks, which required a user to click on a malicious website or email link. But these newer attacks are less dependent on user interaction and more dependent on unpatched software or Operating System vulnerabilities or poor security practices.

 

Ransomware is spreading faster and is self-replicating within organizations and businesses before coordinating ransom demands. It is critical that companies take the needed steps to prepare and protect their network as well as their local and cloud-based servers. The damage of ransomware encrypting and disabling all of your corporate data within seconds or minutes is real and has lead to some high profile cases including hospitals being locked out of all their data due to ransomware.

 

There are some easy yet vital best practices you should follow to protect yourself and your company from becoming victims of ransomware. First and by far the most important, backup your data. Second, consistently keep your software and systems up-to-date. Third, make sure you are utilizing some form of antivirus and malware protection software on your PC’s and servers. Finally, BACKUP YOUR DATA! Yes, I know I said that already, but this step is so critical it’s worth mentioning twice. If you don’t currently have a backup solution, there are many cloud-based disaster recovery and backup options to choose from, such as TurnKey Vault.

 

Your primary goal is to protect your users, not just your network. Whether they are on a laptop, tablet or smartphone, your users need to be protected everywhere.  However, it is unreasonable to assume that you will be 100% protected from every threat that exists. New more advanced methods to attack computers and encrypt their files are popping up everyday. This is why your number one priority should be to backup your data regularly.

 

Make sure whatever backup solution you deploy offers data encryption, supports both desktop PC’s and Macs, as well as Linux and Windows based servers. A backup solution like TurnKey Vault offers live cloud replication which will get you back on your feet in minutes in case of a true disaster by creating a live cloud-based copy of any PC workstation or Server accessible from anywhere over the Internet to get you access to your data and applications quickly.

 

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Written by David Maurer on May 16th, 2017

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Simple Steps to Secure Your Website   no comments

Posted at Feb 21, 2017 @ 9:53am Web hosting

Secure Website

If you run a personal or business website then it’s vital you take steps to secure your website and protect it from hackers. Criminals have many reasons for wanting to gain unauthorized access to your content, and all of them will impact you and your business in a negative way. By following the steps below, you will not only keep your website and data safe, but also your business.

 

Renaming Directories

When hackers want to take control of your website and to cause damage, they will search for your administration directories. If they can locate them, then the hackers can steal your login details or give themselves access. Many programs are available that will scan websites to find administrative credentials, and you can protect yourself by renaming your directories.

Although this step might seem small, don’t get tempted to overlook it because you must do everything that you can to stay safe. The name that you give your directories is not important as long as you know how to access them when you need to make changes.

 

Complex Passwords

Hackers will sometimes use brute force software to access your administration panel, and they can do anything they want from there. The brute force software works by repeatedly entering different numbers and letters into the username and password fields until it finds the correct combination. You can protect yourself from such attacks by using strong passwords that contain letters, numbers and special characters.

Although it’s still possible for hackers to use brute force software to break into your website, they are not likely to succeed. A complex password can resist a brute force attack for several thousand years before the correct combination is discovered. Unless your website contains extremely sensitive data, the hackers will likely move on to an easier target.

 

Encrypt Your Important Files

Many people store files on their website as plain text, and that makes it easy for hackers to steal and read the information. The problem becomes that much worse when the data contains the credit card numbers of your customers. You can add an extra layer of safety by encrypting your files so that they become all but impossible to read.

An encryption program works by scrambling a file until it’s unreadable, and only the person with the correct decryption key can reverse the process. If your important files are encrypted, hackers will not be able to see them even if they gain access to your website.

 

Update

One of the ways that hackers gain access to a website is by looking for software vulnerabilities. They will reverse engineer software and scripts to find methods to take control of your content and to view your files. To combat that problem, software developers consistently release updates for their programs, which address known weaknesses.

But some webmasters are still reluctant to update their sites because they don’t want to experience any downtime. When you choose not to install recent updates, you are inviting criminals to exploit you and your users. Ensure that you are always using the latest scripts when your goal is to safeguard your website.

 

Backup

When protecting your website data is your No. 1 goal, utilizing a backup solution is a must. However, If all of your files and backups are stored on the same server, you risk losing everything if that server gets destroyed or compromised. The good news is that you can combat this problem by utilizing a Cloud Backup solution. This option involves uploading the data that you want to protect to ‘The Cloud’ – a cluster of servers located in a remote, secure datacenter.

 

Running a business can be very demanding and it may not leave you with enough spare time to regularly maintain your website’s security. If this scenario sounds familiar, your best bet may be to switch to a Managed web hosting solution. TurnKey Internet offers a complete all-inclusive fully managed service that lets you focus on your customers while running your business – leave the infrastructure, software updates, security, backups, and uptime to us. We provide a turnkey solution that employs a unique combination of Application and Network Engineers, deep-level performance monitoring and on-going guidance to maintain and optimize your cloud-based hosted infrastructure. You get all-access to our Support and network Engineers – far more cost-efficient than hiring, onboarding, and building your own team of tech gurus. As technology changes daily, we’ll keep your systems secure and up-to-date, while you focus on your business

 

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Written by David Maurer on February 21st, 2017

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