443-992-7394

Ransomware: A Disturbing New Trend in Cybersecurity

A recent rash of ransomware attacks on hospitals has shown the need for strong cybersecurity measures even at places not normally considered a high-value target for hackers. While ransomware isn’t new technology, its use as a tool for extortion is on the rise.

Photo: Ransomware locks you out of your data

Ransomware locks you out of your data unless you agree to a hacker’s demands. Working Nets can help protect your business and customers.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to vital software or data, requiring a key or piece of code to unlock. It’s commonly used by hackers to extort their target — if you pay the hacker’s ransom, they’ll give you the key and you’ll be able to access your software or data. It’s been used recently in high-profile attacks against hospitals, banks and individuals. [Read more…]

Free versus Paid Antivirus Programs

Free versus Paid Antivirus

Choosing between paid and free antiviruses is never easy, but we’re here to help!

The saying “you get what you pay for” has always circulated the antivirus program market. But what exactly do you pay for when you choose a free antivirus program over a paid program? Let’s take a look! [Read more…]

Trust in Google, Not in Scam Artists

google, scam artists

Keep yourself safe while browsing the internet by only giving your personal information to trusted, reliable websites, and doing your research before agreeing to anything.

Companies that make the effort to be reliable and user-friendly are well-respected and trusted. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people will sometimes try to use the names of those companies to scam unsuspecting consumers. Google, the world’s most ubiquitous search engine and one of the world’s most popular web presences, is no exception to this issue. [Read more…]

Signs That Your Computer Has a Virus

Computer VirusComputer viruses seem to be lurking behind every link these days. We have heard the horror stories of finding viruses on trusted websites. We’ve heard terrible things about losing all of your data to one of these awful creatures. Viruses are pretty commonplace depending on how you surf the net and what sorts of websites you frequent, but none of us are ever really completely safe. Now, don’t worry, there are ways of telling whether or not your machine has been infected and there is plenty you can do to protect yourself. Let’s check out some ways to see if you need some virus removal help. [Read more…]

Making a Plan for Data Backup

Don't give yourself a headache, have a plan for data backup and recovery.The recent cyber attack at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which stole data and then wiped software and data from company computers, is just the most recent reminder of the importance of having a data backup plan. Although Sony is a large company, it didn’t have sufficient backups for its data. It will take a lot of time and money to put everything back together, if even it can be. Don’t let this happen to you. Be prepared with Working Nets guide to making a plan for data backup.

Determining What Needs To Be Backed Up

Begin by prioritizing the importance of your data. Some data, might not even warrant being backed up. Other information, like databases of critical data, should have multiple redundant backup systems, that go back for multiple backup periods. Determining the importance of your data, and what needs backing up and what does not, is entirely up to you.

Part of Sony’s current problem is with restoring its data. They aren’t sure how far back the data backups might be corrupted, so newer corrupted backups are dangerous to use. This is an extreme example, as most businesses aren’t likely to be the targets of such extensive cyber attacks, but does prove a point. Depending on the importance of the data, you might want to keep older back ups- just in case you are hacked and you can determine that newer backups might be compromised as well.

How Often, and When, Should it be Backed Up?

How often and when you should backup your data is largely dependent on how important it is, and how often it is edited.

Your most important data should be backed up every time a significant edit is made. Lower priority data can probably be backed up weekly or monthly, depending on the frequency and importance of edits. If they’re data bases that might change entirely over the course of the day should be updated daily. Others might need their updates over the course of the day, or a month.

You should also consider entire system back ups weekly. If your system’s run on the weekend, this can be set to be done automatically at odd hours, so it doesn’t affect business too much.

What type of Backup will You Use?

Another important consideration of your plan for data backup is what type of backup you will use. The type of backup media you will use depends on several factors, the capacity, reliability, speed, and cost. The capacity is how much the back up medium can store. The reliability is how consistent and effective the medium is at meeting its own specifications. The speed is how fast the medium can backup and recover data. And finally the cost you need to consider is how much money your business will have to spend to buy and maintain this backup solution. You will need to make the choice of what backup system you want to use based on a balance of those four factors.

Get your Data Backed up With Working Nets

Need help figuring out a plan for data backup and recovery? Working Nets assures that we can keep your vital business data is kept secure if disaster strikes. We have knowledgeable experts on staff who can make sure that your IT needs are covered and that all of your information is safe. To talk to someone about data backup and recovery for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Cost of Sony Hack Has Reached $15 Million

Cost of Sony HackThe Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, a recent and large scale information security breaches, was given an estimated price tag as of February 4th 2015. The chaos resulting from the hack has caused Sony to file for an extension to report on its third quarter earnings, but was still required to present what information they had as an estimate to investors. In a company press conference, Sony announced that the hack, the investigation, and remediation cost the company an estimated $15 Million. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the forecast loss of 1.4 billion for the whole of the fiscal year.

Cost of Sony Hack Still Climbing

Let us be clear, the cost of approximately $15 million is just the estimate made and reported to investors for the purposes of the third quarter earnings release.  As the investigation is not complete, the cost is only related to the costs in the third quarter of the fiscal year, and does not include potential future costs incurred relating to the hack. It will likely be more when the full accounting has been completed.

Human Cost of Sony Hack

With the hack, and release of company e-mails to the public, there came a subsequent shake up in company leadership.  Amy Pascal, cochairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, stepped down from her role after a career with the company of twenty years. Under her leadership Sony Pictures helmed commercial and critical hits like “The Social Network”, “Skyfall”, and “American Hustle” that boosted Sony Pictures Entertainment’s profile as a quality movie production company. Her departure leaves a gap in their senior management, and an uncertain future for the company

Avoid the Cost to Your Company

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Government Plans Bank Hack for Security Test

Virus and hacking conceptHaving your website hacked can give you a panicked feeling: you want to make sure your customers’ information is safe and that your products are still able to ship. Until a breach is fixed, it can cost you money. But what do you do about the worst kind of hack, the one that gives you a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? A bank hack.

The United States and the U.K. are attempting to test bank security by planning a deliberate hack. The internet is calling it the “war games,” which makes us think it’s a comical spin-off of the popular movie “The Hunger Games.” Though nothing to do with the film, the purpose of the hacks is to test the cyber defenses of each country. The Bank of England and the U.S. Federal Reserve are among those to be breached. The test will be led by the National Security Agency and GCHQ (the U.K.’s intelligence agency).

Why would the United States plan a deliberate hack on its own banks?

Some of the largest security breaches in history happened this past year. JPMorgan was a victim as well as Sony Pictures Entertainment. Credit cards all over the United States were compromised when using them at popular retail stores such as Target and The Home Depot. These attacks have been projected to increase this year, so the financial market segment should be on the defense. The President and security agency have weighed in on this and formulated a plan to hack major banks to develop a defense against it.

In the U.K., cyberattacks are considered a terrorism-level offense. Banks have great cyber security systems in place and are difficult to breach. Only professionals would be able to hack into a bank system, so this would be a highly criminal offense. The penetration testing that is going to be happening is necessary to keep these criminals out of the system and keep your money safe. Gaps that have been created before will be patched and any weak part will be tested and strengthened. There is a risk of taking a system down for a short period of time, but it is better to fix the problem before it turns into a serious threat.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Sony Pictures Hack Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity

cybersecurityIn today’s fast paced and increasingly digital world, stories on companies being hacked are, unfortunately, not unusual. However, as revelations pile up, it appears that a hack perpetrated on Sony Pictures on 11/24 is anything but usual. Attacks like these highlight the importance of maintaining top-notch cybersecurity and Working Nets is here with the details.

What Happened?

Around 11am, Monday, November 24th, emails began to circulate around Sony Pictures employees instructing them to stop using their computers, corporate email accounts, and cell phone wifi access. As the news traveled it became clear that hackers had seized an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of data that may have included personal passwords, financial information, passport and visa info of cast and crew along with info regarding Sony’s IT systems. As Sony began to look for possible perpetrators, even more information was found floating around on the web, including the movies AnnieMr. Turner, and Still Alice, which have not yet been released in theatres. Further investigation into the leaked files turned up employee criminal background checks, salary negotiations, and medical information as well as the script for an unreleased pilot written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. All this information makes the Sony Pictures hack easily the worst corporate hack in recorded history.

How Can I Protect My Business?

Well, you can start by not angering North Korea. Sony has publicly speculated that the attack may be a form of retaliation against the upcoming release of The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogan wherein they play characters who attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Of course, the likelihood that your business has threatened the DPRK is very low, but that doesn’t mean these kinds of attacks couldn’t happen to you. If your cybersecurity isn’t being professionally monitored and updated, your business could have serious vulnerabilities you might not even know about.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

What’s That Strange Charge On My Phone Bill? The Missed Call Scam

Scammers are always coming up with new ways to trick you out of your money. Their latest plan involves the missed call function on your cell phone. In short, a scammer will call your phone and then hang up immediately. On your phone, you will see a missed call and because you are curious you will call back. Then the scammer charges you for the call for every minute you’re on the line. This scam is called the “One Ring Scam.”missed and incoming call on smartphone

The trick here is when the scammer calls you, your phone only rings once. So you still have the missed call notification but they don’t have to pay for long distance charges.

When you call the number back, you get charged once to connect to the call, and then additional charges incur for every minute you’re still on the phone.

This one is fairly easy to avoid getting sucked into, but below are a list of tips so you can avoid getting scammed

  • If you don’t know the number, don’t call it back
  • Google the number before calling it back, if it’s a scam someone will identify the number as a scam and save you the fees.
  • Check your phone bill for charges that you believe are fraudulent.

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source:

http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/02/missed-call-scam/?ncid=tcdaily

Is There An Unexplained Charge on your Credit Card? You May Be a Victim of Fraud!

Unfortunately, credit card fraud has become increasingly more common recently. Target was hacked and so are countless other websites and apps. Last week, the Better Business Bureau issued a fraud alert for people to check their bank statement for unexplained charges of $9.84. When scammers steal your credit card information, they test your account by charging a relatively small amount and see if you detect it. If the charge goes undetected by you, the scammers now have access to your card and will begin racking up other charges as time goes on.

So How Do I Fix This?

Fortunately for you, if you noticed this charge then you are in good shape. Simply call your bank and report the fraud. If your bank does not offer you a new card, simply request one to prevent this from happening to you again.

It is important to be diligent in checking over your bank statements and make sure that all charges that appear are ones you have personally authorized. Unfortunately, scammers are not a thing of the past and your credit card information will always be at risk but as long as you know how to search your bank statements, you should be in good shape from a potentially disastrous financial scam.

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/984-charge-credit-debit-card-fraud_n_4675054.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009