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All Mod Cons is your IT system robust?

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Posted on 04 May 2018 in Help & advice

Out of date technology can be likened to the state of an old car ready for the scrap heap, heavily used, a gas guzzler and environmentally risky!

The average life expectancy of Microsoft Windows technology is about 5 years with extended support lasting another 5 years and for Apple users this can often be much less.

If you’re still running Windows XP consider the fact that Microsoft ended support for this in April 2014 after 12 years of service. In IT this is a lifetime rendering such systems redundant, almost unusable and highly susceptible to attack from cyber criminals, the likes of which we have seen with the recent high profile NHS and other organisations ransomware attack.

What is ransomware and what does it do?

It’s an unwanted piece of malware software that gets into your system through means such as; emails, external discs, hard-drives, USB devices to name a few. The difference with ransomware is it isn’t always immediately apparent that you have downloaded it as the attachment you’ve just opened is blank however it can ‘hide out’ in your system quietly encrypting your documents, photo’s and other data. Sometimes the effects can be catastrophic to your business as it works its way around connected devices encrypting data as it goes. Unfortunately Ransomware is hugely successful with many new variants being released each day.

Decryption of your data normally demands a fee for each device encrypted so you have to choose between funding further criminal activity by paying the ransom or finding another solution, often resorting restoring data from backups. You are effectively being held to ransom as if you don’t pay the fee in a certain time the data will be deleted. Even if you do pay a ransom you should keep in mind that these people aren’t going to be exactly ‘trustworthy’ and may choose to extort more money from you. You payment is made using BitCoin the Internet currency that is fast becoming the currency of criminals as it is very hard to trace.

Simply put, being proactive is the key to protect against such attacks;

  • Use an email filter to help prevent malicious email reaching an end users users mailbox
  • Undertake regular updates and system back ups
  • Ensure your antivirus software is up to date and consider using EndPoint Protection
  • Use common sense, if you are not expecting an email from someone then take time to check before you open, think twice about using external keys or drives in your computer
  • Consider a Disaster Recovery Plan

If you have any concerns over your IT systems and security, do not hesitate to contact our IT Team on 01892 664155 to discuss how we can be of assistance.
 

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