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What are you doing for backups when working from home?

If you have ever been hit with ransomware, you'll know how critical backups can be.

Since most office workers are now based in a home environment, an essential piece of the IT security stack might be missing from your business's technology infrastructure.

In this article, we are going to cover a quick fix that you can deploy to make sure your files are being backed up and outline a permanent fix.

Many small businesses have a backup solution which is based on the premise that most office workers are in the office.  This might be a cloud backup which offers the ability to transfer the data offsite, so if anything should happen in the office, your data will be protected.

However, many of these systems rely on workers being in the office for the backup to take place.

The first question I highly recommend you ask your current IT supplier is if your desktop, documents and files that you save locally to your laptop/computer are being backed up when working from home.

A quick fix you can use if you find you are not sure on the answer of your files are not being backed up is to use Microsoft's OneDrive or the Google alternative known as Google Drive.

Both these systems act very similar to Dropbox.  Save your files to the local folder, and your data will automatically be backed up to the cloud.

Our main recommendation is that if you've got a lot of data you want to move to one of these folders make sure you do it last thing at night as your internet bandwidth will be fully utilised as the files upload to the cloud.

Both OneDrive and Google Drive come as part of the subscription to Office365/Gsuite.  Other benefits to using this solution include the ability to access your files from any device with the relevant app installed. 

There is also version history as standard on most Office & Google documents which means if you make a mistake or want to review changes version history can help you manage these edits.

However, a word of warning, this is not a real backup solution.  You have to manually save the files to the appropriate location on your system.

Not all files will be covered by backed up if your systems should fail due to hardware or security issues. Then you may lose important data. That's where your IT provider should be able to advise.

If you have questions relating to how secure your company data is when working from home, get in touch with us today.

5 of the biggest Ransomware groups of 2021 and how they are targeting local businesses.

As a business owner, I'm sure you are aware of the constant cybersecurity threats we face in this modern world.

Every other day we see headlines about large firms being targeted by Ransomware.

Even the world economic forum has recently stated that Covid pails in comparison to what we could face in our heavily reliant technology world from a cyber attack.

As a local IT provider, it's our mission to protect our clients from these types of attacks, but we have also got a duty of care to the broader business community.

Awareness about the threats can help you make the right decisions about technology solutions and what is worth investing in.

In this article, I'm going to disclose with you the five most dangerous ransomware groups of 2021.

Maze aka ChaCha

Maze ransomware was first found in 2019 and is the number one culprit of over 1/3rd of all attacks.

The Maze group demanded millions of dollars from a state bank in Latin America - the question you have to ask yourself - if a bank can get hacked, what are the odds that your business could?

Conti Ransomware

Conti again appeared in 2019, accounting for 13% of all ransomware attacks.

The strange thing about conti is that when they hold the company to ransom, they will also offer security advice on how to plug the holes from future breaches - almost like they have a guilty conscious.

Revil Ransomware

This is Asian Ransomware and accounted for 11% of all attacks. Businesses affected included engineering and manufacturing, who were hit the hardest—followed by finance and professional services. This Ransomware attacks a few high profiles IT service providers and devastated their client base.

Question- how secure is your IT provider? Would you be protected if they were attacked? Ask this question of them.

Netwalker Ransomware

The group behind this Ransomware have made over $25million by targeting a large volume of business users. Police managed to seize and arrested a Canadian national on the grounds of extorting over $27 million.

DoppelPaymer Ransomware

This group frequently targets healthcare, emergency services, and education services. The group made headlines by targeting Delaware County and receiving over $500,000.

What do all of these groups have in common? They lock and encrypt files on business networks.

If you are worried about Ransomware and the potential risk, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk.

These include having regular patching of all your Microsoft Windows devices - make sure they are patched and up to date. We have software that can help manage patching on your network.

Other risk mitigation includes regularly checking your backup solution and testing to make sure it is 100% restorable. There's nothing worse than receiving a phone call from someone hit by Ransomware that does not have a working backup of their data.

If you would like assistance or advice in how you can reduce your businesses risk of being targeted by Ransomware, get in touch with us today for some friendly advice.

Why IT teams are partnering IT providers in the post pandemic recovery.

Ask any IT manager, and they'll tell you since the pandemic, they've been stretched to the limit.

Supporting both a the migration to work from home, implementing digital safety checks at the office reception area and now supporting a hybrid work from home/work in the office, most IT manager and their teams resources are stretched thinly.

Smart IT managers are now looking at the option of partnering with local IT service firms to outsource certain elements of the IT function in a business.

Here are some of the benefits we've seen since working with internal IT teams.

1) Depth of knowledge

Many internal IT employees work with one business IT system - previous experience has taught them well, and they tend to know the current IT system inside out.

However, when there's a problem they can't fix or a new system, they have little experience. This is when having a fallback solution and a go-to IT provider that has an experienced team of IT professionals can help.

Most IT providers like ourselves work with many different IT systems and technology - because we have a diverse set of clients, this gives us a depth of knowledge that can help your internal IT team.

2) Out of hours and holiday cover

Lifes never predictable and supporting technology can be more than a full-time job. Migrations and upgrades usually mean weekend work which can eat into employee time off. Combine that with out of hours IT support, and the internal IT team can feel like their working 2 full-time jobs with very little free time to themselves.

Having an out of hours partner that can cover the helpdesk and support the smooth running of IT systems is one of the biggest benefits of partnering with an MSP.

3) Third Eye on your Security

A fresh perspective on things is always welcoming, and that's what co-managed IT services can offer.

Having a partner that can look at your I network from an external point of view will help you spot potential security vulnerabilities on your network and where business improvements can be made.

A co-managed strategy helps you to have a greater influence over the different aspects of your IT management. Instead of trusting everything to a third party, you are taking care of the most important things in-house. You establish two "layers" of protection by doing this, each of which poses several obstacles to unauthorised entry. More layers can, as a general rule, make data intrusion even less probable.  

Conclusion

You might be thinking - what's the cost of a co-managed solution? Would it be cheaper just to hire an additional set of hands? Or are co-managed IT services something that can help strategically with the future growth of our firm? Let's discuss the answer to this by contacting us.

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