Tag Archives: anti-virus

What Should You Do If You Think You Have Been Hacked?

Small business owner upset over being hacked in the workplace. Leaning head on crossed arms over a laptop

Being a small business and being hacked can put you out of business if your not prepared

There are a couple of questions many business owners ask when it comes to hacking, and those two questions are:

  • How can I tell if I have been hacked?
  • What steps do I take if someone has hacked my business?

Unfortunately, many small business owners do not know they have been hacked. Apart from ransomware, there are many cybersecurity events that go unnoticed. Can you believe that many small businesses and medium-sized businesses can have data breaches that go unnoticed for a significant period of time, including several years? The breaches that are noticed are eventually noticed by someone outside the business, including law enforcement officials.

Can you imagine being breached and not knowing this has occurred until a third-party notifies you? If you data breach occurs and it goes undetected for a substantial period of time, you may never identify what actually caused the breach to occur in the first place. When you do not know how, why, or where the data breach took place, you may start questioning if all of your company’s data has been compromised.

How Do You Know If You Have Been Hacked?

When you have a full understanding of the different types of hackers and what their intentions are, you will be able to understand how anyone can be hacked. There are different businesses, small, medium, and large, that can all become a target for hacking. Hackers look for sensitive data that has not been carefully protected.

What Type Of Hacks Are More Common?

It does not matter if a hack is basic or advanced because even a basic hack can cause severe damage to a business. A small or basic hack can result in your computers or any devices doing things that they should not be doing. Some of the common hacker techniques include the following,

  • viruses
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) or Denial-Of-Service attack (DoS attack)
  • fake Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
  • phishing attacks
  • in-house attacks

What Should You Do After A Hack Takes Place?

Do you have a plan in place if a hack does take place in your workplace? Your employees need to be trained well enough so they will be able to identify an attack on the business. When your employees are trained, they will be able to help your business get back to operating at its normal pace. Your business needs to get back to business as soon as possible after an attack has been identified.

If you have noticed that your system is behaving unusually and if you notice suspicious files that seem to be harmful, an attack has likely taken place. Professional and experienced hackers know how to carefully cover all their tracks. We suggest that you look carefully at your systems’ log files.The hackers also know how to delete those log files as well.

After you have identified you have been hacked, you should make sure the attack has been confirmed. Once there has been confirmation of the attack, you should check your computers, devices, and your networks to determine if anything else has been compromised. You will need to identify how much information the hackers have obtained.

When security breaches occur, critical data and information can be lost when your systems are down, include your network connections and content that is stored in your RAM. You will need to consult a professional so you can fully understand the options you have at this point.

It is extremely critical that you have the proper backups in place. It is also important that you have the right Managed Service Provider (MSP) that will provide you with the tools and resources you need to conduct business as usual after an attack has taken place. Contact us today for more information on how you can protect your business from hackers.

Recent Virus Release Starts In Ukraine And Spreads Across The Globe

obal Hacking Attack

Cyber security is a critical component in preventing downtime in your network

An international cyber attack, known as “Petya”, struck computer systems across the globe, starting in Ukraine. Tens of thousands of machines in Ukraine and the United States were impacted. Automated teller machines stopped working in the capital of Ukraine. Workers all across the globe had to quickly scramble to make the necessary adjustments.

It has not been determined who is responsible for the cyber attack. No details have been released at how impactful the cyber attack was. The attack started on the Ukrainian government. This is not the first cyber attack that has taken place as of late. The difference between this cyber attack is that it seems to be one of the most advanced attacks that have taken place since the National Security Agency had some of its hacking tools stolen.

This global hacking attack took control of all the computers. Since the hackers obtained control of the computers, the attackers demanded ransom in order for them to release access to the owners of the computers. This recent attack used the hacking tool, Eternal Blue. Eternal Blue was also used in the WannaCry attacks. Not only did the attacks use Eternal Blue, but there were also other methods that were used to carry out the cyber attacks.

There has not been any acknowledgment on the National Security Agency’s behalf regarding the use of their hacking tools. However, there have been many computer security professionals who have requested that the National Security Agency to help everyone across the globe protect itself against tools that they created.

Microsoft releases patches for its software and operating systems, but this does not always mean that the patch will be installed quickly and correctly. Since the ransomware used more than one method to spread across the computers, even some computers that were actually patched correctly and patched quickly were not excluded from the attack.

One of the most well-known computer attackers is viruses. Viruses can do a great deal of damage to computers, and an entire organization. There are various types of viruses that each have the ability to compromise a computer in multiple ways.

While many people think they will never download a file that is corrupt or that they will never click a website that is a scam, it is important that everyone remembers that a hacker is very intelligent. A hacker can create any type of virus and anyone can easily be tricked. Some viruses can even lead people to believe that they are software that will protect you from a virus.

Once your computer has been infected with a virus, your entire computer can be damaged beyond the point of repair. Your computer’s performance can be slowed down, critical files, photos, and videos can be damaged, lost, spread across other computers, etc. Viruses can cause you to spend up to thousands of dollars in computer repairs, replacements, etc.

Fortunately, there are tools you can use to help you protect yourself. One of those tools is Webroot Antivirus. The internet is not as safe as we would like it to be. Even if you are a computer whiz or extremely tech-savvy, you may still accidentally download malware, viruses, or you may even be a victim of identity theft.

When you are aware of the consequences of not having the proper anti-virus protection, you will be able to spread the word to others. Hackers are savvy, and they can easily trick anyone into clicking a link or downloading a file. We want you to protect your files, your computer, and your business. Contact us today for additional information on the latest virus releases and the best protection for your servers and workstations.

3 Tips to Keep Viruses Away from Your Small Business Network

Following a few basic principles and keeping up on the latest scams should generally keep you save from viruses.

Following a few basic principles and keeping up on the latest scams should generally keep you safe from viruses.

The problem with viruses is that the nature of the threat and the tactics of those who employ them change from year-to-year. Small business owners already have more on their plate than they can handle, so keeping up with the latest antivirus trends isn’t easy.

However, even if you’re not combing the Internet three hours a day to stay up-to-date on the latest virus tech news, if you follow a few basic principles, you can avoid many of the worst virus traps.

These three quick tips will help you adopt essential cybersecurity habits for your small business:

Tip #1: You Are Your Own Worst Enemy

Employees are typically the biggest threat to a business network. Most viruses gain entry because of an unwise action among your staff. Macros malware has had a come-back recently (see this Microsoft report, if you don’t believe me) because hackers now try to trick users into enabling macros.

Or employees open email attachments from unknown senders or click on links in emails that seem legitimate.

Most of it is common sense:

  1. Don’t enable macros unless your IT team is instructing you to do so.
  2. Never open attachments from a stranger. If someone you know sends you an attachment, but the email seems a little off — if you have even the slightest suspicion that maybe the person’s email was hacked — communicate with the person first and confirm it before opening the attachment.
  3. Never click on links in an email claiming to be from a company that is asking you to provide account information (log-in info, personal data, etc.) by clicking on that link.

For example, if you get an email claiming to be from Wells Fargo telling you to click on a link to reset your password because of an alleged security breach, don’t click on the link. If you’re truly concerned about it, follow these steps:

  • go to the bank’s website through your browser (not through any link in the email)
  • log into your account through the normal channels
  • check your account messages to see if there really is an issue

Apply this routine to any email telling you to click on a link. If it appears to be with a company you know — even if it looks legitimate — always log into your account the normal way and avoid the email link.

Another essential habit: keep your software up-to-date. The latest versions of software often have patches that fix holes in security. Neglecting to keep our systems up-to-date is yet another way we become our worst enemies.

Yes, these are basic principles, but sometimes the madness or exhaustion of work short-circuits our common sense. It’s good to be reminded of essential security habits.

Tip #2: Get Some Quick Training Under Your Belt

In a recent news story from May 2015, it was observed that small businesses often bear the brunt of hacker attacks: “According to Symantic’s Internet Threat Report examining trends for 2013, 30 percent of targeted cyber-attacks (called “spear-phishing”) were aimed at businesses with 250 or fewer employees. And one in five small businesses received at least one spear-phishing email during the year.”

If you’d like to get some thorough cybersecurity training tailored for small businesses but you don’t have much time, consider the U.S. Small Business Administration’s free online training course, which only takes 30 minutes to complete.

Tip #3: Be Aware of Unusual Scams

The fake IT phone call is the perfect example of an unusual scam. In a May 12, 2015 report, an ABC News station alerted the public to a scam in which an imposter claiming to be an IT person called individuals and asked for personal log-in information so that he or she could remotely remove a virus on their computer. Of course, the imposter described the alleged virus in apocalyptic terms to stir the person into a state of panic.

In the news report, Kathy Birr, the Director of Dispute Resolution for the Better Business Bureau, said this: “They gain your trust and scare you and convince you that there is a problem and they need to fix it fast.”

At SystemsNet, even our basic service package Vita comes with our top-notch anti-malware assistance and virus monitoring. Contact us for more helpful information about anti-virus practices for small businesses.

Protect Your Small Business-Top 7 Anti-Virus Programs

Choosing the right anti-virus package for your business can be confusing, but there are some top contenders you should definitely

Choosing the right anti-virus package for your business can be confusing, but there are some top contenders you should definitely

Small business owners work very hard to make their company well-known and successful. The amount of work required to successfully run your own business is phenomenal, and you want to protect that work from anything that could damage it. Some people might consider just using the free antivirus software that comes with your machines-why not? After all, it’s free, and being a small business owner also means cutting costs… Some of these free options might provide you with adequate protection, but the hassle of installing it separately on each machine and then trusting users not to fiddle with any of the settings-well, that’s where it becomes a real headache. Most top-notch antivirus programs offer easy installation across your entire network, restrict users from being able to change any settings, and give you enhanced management options. Choosing an anti-virus package can be confusing, but consider the following top contenders during your research:

  1. Bitdefender. Bitdefender continuously tops the list of antivirus software for small businesses. The Small Office Security software boasts fast and easy installation, and can be used to protect multiple devices. Features include protection from  malware, rootkits, viruses, phishing, and data loss, as well as a centralized management dashboard. Bitdefender is always on and automatically updates-for added security, users do not have the option to change the settings or deactivate protection. Bitdefender uses Windows Network Discovery to find all network devices through remote, link, or email deployment options.
  2. Kaspersky. Kaspersky is another top name in network security, receiving very high scores in independent testing. Kaspersky Small Office Security is a less expensive choice than Bitdefender, but it does provide excellent protection for up to 25 on Windows-based machines and Android devices. Features include antivirus protection, secure online banking, backup tools, and mobile device protection.
  3. AVG. AVG Antivirus Business Edition is a highly effective choice for safeguarding your business and customer information. Features include AVG’s award-winning firewall, Smart scanner, network antivirus, file server security, and remote management. AVG’s antivirus package offers greater control by allowing you to remotely manage your protection from a single console. Smart scanner only scans PCs while they are not being used, ensuring efficient operation during work time.
  4. Symantec. Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition is simple to use, and can be installed on a single machine or across the whole network. Symantec has both cloud-management and on-premise management options, and offers the typical protection against viruses, worms, trojans, and spyware without slowing down performance. In addition, Symantec Insight and SONAR technologies are able to detect new and mutating malware, including unknown threats.
  5. Panda. Panda Cloud Office Protection is one of the more expensive options out there, although independent tests rated it as only fair for network protection.  The package does offer many unique features in addition to antivirus and firewall-features such as device control, which allows you to restrict how different devices are used. The top-notch web-based management system offers many installation options and gives constant reports on security status. The package offers more hands-on management options than other security programs, but isn’t top of the line for core antivirus protection.
  6. Avast!. Avast! Endpoint Protection is a good choice for very small business owners who may not be able to afford all the bells and whistles available in more comprehensive antivirus programs. Avast! is akin to ordering food a la carte-you pick and choose and then pay only for options you want. You can choose the most basic antivirus protection and have a very simple product that offers core antivirus, browsing protection, and remote management.  Upgrading to Endpoint Plus will add a firewall and spam filtering and still be less expensive than most competitors.
  7. VIPRE. VIPRE Antivirus Small Office offers small and home-based business owners an integrated patch management that protects against infections from out-of-date software. VIPRE also offers top notch features such as protection from viruses, spyware, trojans, worms, and adware without slowing down your systems, business-class support, and network defense against bad links.

These are some of the top-rated antivirus packages on the market right now, but if you are still unsure of what your business really needs, please feel free to contact us.