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Technology Training

Harden Employees Against Ransomware With KnowBe4

Are you curious to see who in your company is most likely to download a virus on your network? Well now you can find out and the best part is, its free. With KnowBe4 you can administer a range of free tools that will allow you to see which of your users is most likely fall for phishing emails.

The sad truth is that some people will click on anything that comes across their email inbox. This is how most network infections start. Till more recently, there hasn’t been a lot anyone could do to prevent this. KnowBe4 allows you to find those trouble users and train them so that this major hole in your network can be filled.

From a compliance standpoint, KnowBe4 offers actionable data that will allow you to show your HIPAA or PCI compliance officer that you are taking actions toward due diligence.

As an IT company, we do our best to prevent major disasters with layered security involving anti-virus, managed firewalls, Office 365 spam filtering, security permissions and most important, great backups. Even with all of these security measures in place, there isn’t a foolproof method to ensuring that a few phishing emails won’t slip by unnoticed. We rely on backups to get our clients up an running quickly but even under the best of conditions, it is still better for the virus to have never been clicked on to begin with.

For a small investment in time, you can’t afford to not use these great free tools from KnowBe4. Take a few minutes to watch our new video on how to get started with KnowBe4 and harder you users against malicious emails.

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Technology

How to prepare for ransomware

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about ransomware: a type of computer virus that encrypts your files and holds them for ransom. Worse yet, there is no guarantee that your data will be released if you pay the ransom fee. In light of the most recent ransomware attack called “WannaCry” that infected a substantial number of businesses in Europe, it is important that you are taking measures to ensure that your business is safe.

Antivirus and firewall concept with businessman protected with umbrella

If you are not familiar with the statistics, ransomware was a billion dollar industry in 2016, and every cyber criminal knows it. There is exceptional financial motivation for these scams to be produced indefinitely, and they become increasingly sophisticated every day. As a business owner, ransomware is a constant threat that cannot be ignored.

Playing defense in the ransomware game is a layered approach, with several security methods to prevent ransomware from getting to your network. The first line of defense includes anti-virus, a good firewall, and effective spam filtering. The next important step in any security plan is user training. Ransomware is generally not a problem until someone within your network clicks on the wrong email or web link. The final layer of defense are things like an insurance policy or data backups.

Preferably, investing in each one of these layers is best practice. However, if you have to choose one component over another, backups are the most important investment that you can make. With a good backup system, you may lose some time and a nominal amount of data after an attack, but you will be able to restore your data without the ransomware affecting your business.

In addition to having the data backups in place, it is also essential to ensure that your backups are up-to-date and running properly. Backups have a tendency to face errors that can disrupt a backup schedule. With proper backup monitoring, you may find that your backups were not operating as expected, thus leaving your data vulnerable.

Talk to your IT professional to ensure that you have both preventative security measures and contingencies in place to protect your data in the event of a ransomware attack.

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Technology

Popcorn Time Ransomware

While everyone is in the spirit of giving this holiday season, there is something to say about giving for the wrong reason. A new strand of ransomware is a good example of this. It’s called Popcorn Time. This new strand of ransomware will allow you two options if your computer is infected. You can choose to pay the ransom or you can choose to forward the ransomeware email on to other people in your contacts. If your efforts successfully infect two other computers, you will receive a decryption code for your computer.


Image result for popcorn time ransomware


Up to this point, this method had been unheard of and it pushes the boundary of social engineering scams to a new level. This method is likely to make the infection rate significantly higher as the ransomeware is coming from a trusted and legitimate source. Another nasty feature of Popcorn Time is that if you enter a false decryption code four times, it will start deleting files.
It can’t be stressed enough that unless you are expecting an email, you should not open any attachments unless you have confirmed the legitimacy of the email through another source of communication. Like with any other ransomeware, if your computer is infected, your best hope is to rely on your data backup system.
As an IT New Years resolutions it may be a worthy pursuit to be sure that your backups are running smoothly and if you haven’t made the investment into a backup solution yet, there has never been a better time. These social engineering scams are real and are becoming more and more clever by the day. Protect your investments and your company by putting up measures to insure against attacks like these. For more information, contact eTop for a free consultation.

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Technology Training

How To Block Web Browser Ads

If you are tired of ads constantly cluttering your internet browser then there is a solutions. Maybe you own a business and you are looking to add an extra layer of protection to keep your employees from clicking on links that they shouldn’t. AdBlock Plus is a great free tool that allows you to keep your browser clean and free from distractions. Hint, this trick also works for your free Pandora account if you don’t feel like paying their monthly subscription.

As an IT company we have found that some employees will click on whatever they see. With adds becoming more and more personalized, it is easy to find yourself getting distracted. The best way to deal with ads is to keep them from popping up at all. You can’t click on what you can’t see. This simple program could save your computer or your company network from a lot of trouble. At the very least it will make your employees more efficient.

To begin, download AdBlock Plus. Once downloaded you will need to open the program and set up your filters. AdBlock Plus has already created a comprehensive filter, however, if you would like certain sites to server you adds then you are free to set up white lists. Once you have your filters set you will be able to surf the web free from distractions.

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Technology

Train Employees What To Click On

October is cyber security month – a month dedicated to ensuring that you and your business are as safe from online threats as possible.
Cyber security threats are real, and they are more common than you may think. Whether it is a phishing scam coming through your e-mail or targeted malware, cyber criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to target your business.
Unfortunately, no matter how effective your network security is, there’s one factor that you can’t account for – and that’s the human users on your system. Unfortunately, many phishing scams are becoming so good that it’s easy for intelligent, aware people to be sucked into their trap.
Thankfully, with all of the constantly evolving threats out there, a new industry is emerging. Companies are now being created that focus solely on identifying and preventing threats to cyber security.
One example of these companies is knowbe4.com, a site that offers security awareness training to employees who may not be aware of the best strategies for avoiding phishing attacks. The site also offers simulated phishing attacks for practical testing, and statistics to demonstrate how effective the training efforts have been.  Other similar education programs include Secureworks and Rapid7.
When it comes to avoiding cyber security threats, the best offense is a good defense. Training your employees to recognize phishing scams and avoid falling prey to their schemes is one of the best investments you can make for your business’ network security system.
These companies are experts at targeting specific cyber threats and in-depth training. However, there are several general guidelines for cyber security that you and your employees can be begin implementing immediately.
Firstly, phishers can imitate internal e-mail addresses, so attachments in e-mails should never be opened unless they are expected. For the same reason, it’s best to avoid sending sensitive information over e-mail – confirm through another method of communication to make sure that it is necessary before doing so. Lastly, use extreme caution when clicking on links or images online or on e-mail – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Extreme caution should always be used online in order to ensure that your network remains as secure as possible.
Even though cyber security threats are highlighted in October, they are a constant threat to businesses of all kinds and sizes. If you have any concerns about your business’ current level of network security, want security education for your employees, or are interested in learning more about the education programs mentioned above, call eTop Technology. We will be able to help you tailor your approach to cyber security for your industry and business needs.

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Technology Training

Use Windows Defender in Windows 10 to Keep Your Computer Safe

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s security and threat detection software that is built into Windows 10. Windows Defender is a great tool that is rarely utilized and is completely free with the Windows 10 operating system. To use this tool you will need to go into your settings and make sure that Windows Defender is on and up to date.
Begin by navigating to the start menu on your desktop screen. Click on the settings button on the start menu and select “Update and Security” from the list of options under Windows Settings. Here you will find Windows Defender. Open Windows Defender and you will be able to see the status of your computer, your security history and you will be able to scan your computer for any infections. You will need to make sure that Windows Defender is turned on and all of the definitions are up to date. Once that is done, simply select “Full Scan” form the list of options and press the “Scan Now” button. This scan could take some time to finish so make sure that you start this scan when you do not need your computer for anything important.
Once this scan is done you will see a list of all malware that is hidden on your computer and you can make sure to delete it. If you find that you are having a problem with malware and Windows Defender is not able to resolve the issue then give eTop Technology a call! We’re here to help!

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Technology Training

HitmanPro! Remove Though Malware

Antivirus does not always catch every little detail and for this reason it is a good idea to run a backup scan on your computer in addition to your antivirus so that you can be sure that your computer is in top running condition. HitmanPro is a program that runs independently from your antivirus to help you clean up some really difficult infections. In some cases you can even use HitmanPro to help you remove various forms of ransomeware that will not let you boot your computer form the Windows screen.
One of the many nice features of HitmanPro is that it allows you to run scans from the web or from an application that you can download to your computer. Downloading this application to your computer allows you to run scans without having to connect to the internet. If you are looking for a quick fix, HitmanPro gives you a free seven day trial that you can use to access a full licence of their software.
Once downloaded, HitmanPro will preform a scan on your computer that can take some time. This is due to the fact that this program is vary thorough and will search every file on your computer. Once finished, HitmanPro will give you a list of suspicious programs that you can review, delete if necessary or ignore if you deem them nonthreatening.
At eTop Technology, we use this program frequently when helping our clients with malware issues. If you think your computer is at risk of an infection, try running this program first. It may save you from having to take your computer into the repair shop.