Cyber Security

ransomware hackers

What Florida Organizations Should Know About Ransomware

As Florida has had economic growth, its businesses and organizations have suffered as victims of ransomware cyberattacks. In the last year and a half, ransomware attacks on Florida organizations have been on the rise. This has caused huge losses to those affected.

The global information security industry, which responds to cyberattacks, is expected to reach a value of over $170 billion by the year 2022. One of the fastest-growing methods of cybercrime is ransomware attacks. Between 2015-2017, the costs of ransomware increased by a factor of 15.

This alarming statistic forces organizations to tighten up their cybersecurity or risk the consequences. With this in mind, here are some key pieces of information that Florida organizations should know about ransomware.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of cyberattack. It is malware that encrypts a person or organization’s private files. After encrypting the victim’s data, the cybercriminal demands their target pay a ransom to regain access to their files. 

The cybercriminal generally instructs the victim on how to pay the ransom. Upon payment, they promise to grant access back to the victim. There are constant hacking attempts on organizations and businesses of all sizes. Most often, they usually only find out when a cyberattack is successful.

Recent Attacks on Florida Organizations

There have been some significant attacks in Florida within the last few years. City governments of Riviera Beach and Lake City Florida High were victims of high profile ransomware attacks in 2019. They were forced to pay a combined $1 million to ransomware attackers to regain their intel. 

The ransomware attack on Riviera Beach city government occurred through a phishing email which an employee opened. This mistake provided hacker access to all of the government online systems. Hackers then held their systems hostage until the ransom was paid.

Analysis indicates that more than one-third of all government organizations have outdated cybersecurity technology. This puts them at risk of facing similar payouts. 

Negative Impacts of a Ransomware Attack

Victims’ options after a cyberattack offer a lose-lose situation. Victims who choose to refuse the hacker demands lose a significant amount of confidential data. Not only does this have legal ramifications, but it can also severely damage trust levels and an organization’s reputation. 

On the other hand, victims who pay the ransom to recover the information suffer financial consequences. And they don’t have a guarantee that their stolen data will be returned. No matter the outcome, a ransomware attack can paralyze an organization.

What Are the Preventative Measures?

Some of the most effective ways to prevent an attack are as follows:

  • Keep all software and technology updated. These updates may include essential security patches to repair any recognized breaches.
  • Establish a security protocol. Train staff on safe practices at work. Ensure that they can recognize phishing attacks and that they utilize safe password habits.
  • Hire third-party IT security. Cybersecurity IT services can make sure your organization is prepped and protected from an attack. They can provide a risk assessment, identify security weaknesses, update and strengthen systems, and work with employees to help them utilize better security practices. 

Cybercrime attacks will continue as a major threat to businesses and organizations. By equipping yourself and your organization with the right knowledge and resources, you can minimize your risk of a devastating attack. At TheCompuLab, our expert technicians are ready to offer your Florida organization the IT support you need to have round the clock security.

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social media cyber attacks

Is Your Social Media Use Making You Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

Social media is a major way that billions of people across the world connect with family and friends. It has also become a tool for cybercriminals, who can use information posted publicly online against you. In 2019, 27% of social media scams in the US took place on Facebook. If you’re not vigilant, you could become a victim of a cyber attack just from using social media.

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Microsoft Teams Basic Intro Under 10 min

 

Why use Microsoft Teams? We go over some of the benefits of using MS Teams and a basic overview of how a small business could use it to streamline communication and collaboration.

Microsoft Teams is a great communication and collaboration platform that combines instant messaging, video meetings, file storage, screen sharing, basically one platform that integrates many of the different Office 365 platforms such as SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, etc. We believe that is one of the biggest benefits of Microsoft Teams vs Zoom or GoToMeeting. Second benefit is that if you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you may be already paying for it, it’s just a matter of understating how it works, so you can start using it!

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mfa password protection

Multi-Factor Authentication: The Best Password Protection

In today’s technology-driven world, businesses need to continually improve digital security systems to protect their important data. It’s essential to have the right tools available for password protection to make sure your business doesn’t become a victim of cyber attacks. 

Multi-factor authentication is one of the best ways to provide more security for your business right now. Here are some of the key things you need to know about this security method.

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SharePoint Explained Under 10 min.

 

SharePoint Explained under 10 min. Follow up on our previous video about OneDrive. SharePoint and OneDrive have lots of similarities but are used for different purposes. SharePoint can get very confusing, in this video we go over SharePoint Document libraries and how they work, how to synchronize them with your Windows 10 computer and some of the benefits of using SharePoint vs other platforms like G-Drive or DropBox.

Small businesses can use SharePoint as a collaborative storage where multiple people can store, access, modify and collaborate in a central secure location. One of the biggest benefits we see when using SharePoint is that it integrates very well with other business applications like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. It also has a nice integration with Microsoft Teams which we will explain in another video.

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Technician becoming stressed over servers in data center of IT provider

5 Ways COVID-19 Has Been an IT Wake-Up Call

COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of daily life, and the business world is no exception.

Although some organizations were more prepared for the virus than others, all businesses had to make adjustments to adapt to new business conditions. The rapid changes made necessary by the pandemic were an IT wake-up call to many businesses as they realized what was lacking in their infrastructures and capabilities.

These are five areas that have been affected by the pandemic where business owners have recognized the need to update and improve their IT:

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To Zoom or not to Zoom?

With COVID-19, videoconferencing has become a daily routine for most businesses. Anyone who has had to work from home lately understands and appreciates the importance of  communication through videoconferencing with their clients or teams, some companies even take it a step further to host social gatherings. After this pandemic, video conferencing has become a way of life for most businesses. Zoom is easy to set up, easy to operate, and provides free access to up to 100 users at a time. But there are several downsides regarding its security. The ease of use of Zoom makes “bomb” an opening in Zoom conferences, easy for troublemakers. Information-security experts say that the protection of Zoom has had several security holes.

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Man logging in VPN on laptop

Cybersecurity Practices Your Remote Team Should Be Following

In the first weeks and months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a dramatic fivefold increase in the number of cyber attacks directed at its staff. It also warned the public to beware of the rampant cyber attacks and phishing scams that attempt to take advantage of pandemic panic.

Many other businesses and organizations are facing the barrage of these increased attacks, but because of the necessity of remote work, they are confronting these cyber threats with weakened out-of-office cybersecurity measures.

So, as many businesses look to make remote work a more permanent solution, one of the most important things they need to do is to protect their digital systems, assets, and communications.

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5 Ways SMBs Can Save Money on Security

5 Ways SMBs Can Save Money on Security

Small-to-medium sized businesses and large enterprises may seem worlds apart, but they face many of the same cyber-security threats. In fact, in recent years, cyber-criminals have increasingly targeted SMBs. This is because it’s widely known that SMBs have a smaller budget, and less in-house expertise, to devote to protection. Thankfully, there are several things SMBs can do today to get more from even the most limited security budget. And, no, we aren’t talking about cutting corners. Far too often, SMBs cut the wrong corners and it ends up costing them more money in the long run. It’s a matter of taking a smarter approach to security. Here are five smart approaches to take

  • Prioritize – Every business has specific areas or assets critical to its core operations. Seek the input of valued staff and team members to determine what these are. Is there certain data that would be catastrophic if it was lost or stolen? If hackers compromise a network, or prevent access to certain applications, how disruptive would it be to daily business operations? What kind of potential threats or vulnerabilities pose the greatest risk to the company or your customers/clients? Focus on the most likely risks, not theoretical risks that “could happen.” Asking such questions gives you a clearer more complete perspective as to where to focus available security resources.
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Four Key Components of a Robust Security Plan Every SMB Must Know

5 Things SMBs Can Do Right Now to Preserve Their Network and Systems

Four Key Components of a Robust Security Plan Every SMB Must Know

Most businesses are now technology dependent. This means security concerns aren’t just worrisome to large corporate enterprises anymore, but also the neighborhood sandwich shop, the main street tax advisor, and the local non-profit. Regardless of size or type, practically any organization has valuable digital assets and data that should not be breached under any circumstances.

This makes it the responsibility of every business, especially those collecting and storing customer/client information, to implement a multipronged approach to safeguard such information.

Yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Pizza Shop Owner who has our names, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card information stored to make future ordering easier and hassle free.

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