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ShadowProtect to the Rescue!

A while ago we got a call from someone with a non booting computer. The poor bloke was concerned because, of course, they didn’t have a recent backup of the main application they use to run their business! Since we knew there was critical data, the team's first process before troubleshooting the issue was to pull the drive and hook it up to a computer at the AchieveIT office and attempt data access. Fortuantely we were able to access the drive without issue and quickly backed up the application data. Once we had that, we used our preferred backup tool, Storagecraft's ShadowProtect, to create a full image backup of the drive.

We still had a few issues to work through but finally Windows booted to the login screen. We couldn’t log in though because of activation issues (Thanks Microsoft). But based on that successful boot up we grabbed an old hard drive and performed a restoration of the image to that drive. Once completed, it was hooked up to the computer and Windows booted up AND allowed us to log in. The customer verfied that everything worked. He was thrilled when he saw all his data in the app.

Give us a call on 1300 22 48 48 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss your backup concerns. We can even manage your backups for you! And don't forget the golden rule: If your data doesn't exist in three different places, preferably in three different forms, then you can't claim to be protected.

 
7 Identity Theft Tricks

This article was originally published on Deluxe.com.

More than 11 million people fall victim each year to identity theft, and Javelin Strategy & Research reports that it causes an estimated $54 billion in annual damages. What makes identity theft especially destructive, however, is how long it takes to recover from it. Javelin says it typically takes 165 hours of work for the victim to assess and repair the damage.

If you are unfamiliar with the crime, identity theft occurs when someone uses the name of your business, address, relevant Social Security numbers, bank account, credit card or other sensitive information without your permission. They buy goods and services with this information or commit other types of fraud in your name, leaving you with the bill.

To protect your business from identity theft, it is important to understand the methods by which these crimes are committed. Here are some of the most popular schemes.

Phishing

This is a fairly common technique that involves a fraudulent email or message requesting your response with sensitive information that is supposedly needed to either solve an urgent problem or reward you with a tremendous opportunity.

 

Vishing

Voice phishing is a variation of the previous scam, but this is done over the phone. Victims will receive a call and hear an automated recording explain that their bank or credit accounts have been targeted by fraudulent activity. They are given a phone number to call to resolve the issue where another recording will ask them to furnish their account numbers.

 

Change of address

By filling out a change of address form to forward your mail to another location, thieves are able to sort through your bills and other items of interest for information they can exploit. If you receive bank or credit card statements through the mail, take note if they stop arriving and contact the appropriate company to learn why.

 

Keystroke logging

By tracking the computer keys struck on a keyboard, thieves are able to steal information such as usernames, passwords and PIN numbers that can be used to access sensitive data. Take care to shield your actions if you are in public, as others may be watching when you input this type of information.

 

Dumpster diving

Identity thieves will go through the trash to find statements and other documents that have the information they need to commit their crimes. When the time comes to get rid of records your business no longer wants to keep, shredding them is safest way to make sure none of that information is stolen.

 

Man-in-the-Browser

This is a more sophisticated attack than many and is therefore less common. It requires the perpetrator to install a malicious program on a victim’s computer that modifies real-time Web transactions as they occur. Victims will believe they are accessing bank account information to pay bills online, for example, but the thief intercepts these transactions and substitutes bogus data, stealing money or information without the knowledge of the victim or the bank.

 

Skimming

There are a couple of different methods used to “skim” a victim’s sensitive information. A small device can be secretly inserted into a card reader to scan and store the data on the magnetic strip, or a handheld device can be used to do the same thing when a card is given at a bar, restaurant or anywhere the holder would expect someone to take the card out of sight and then return it.

The tricks and tools ID thieves use to steal information – it may be obvious and it’s certainly not new, but stealing credit and debit cards, or robbing a mailbox for bills that have sensitive information, is still an effective way for ID thieves to get what they need.

Don't forget that we are an authorised AVG CloudCare Partner. For more information about the products and services that we offer please jump over to our CloudCare page - or call us on 1300 22 48 48 to arrange a free consultation.

 
Small Business IT Security Health Check

Small businesses can’t afford to ignore the danger of hacking.

 

All the research points to hackers targeting businesses they see as an easy target for stealing customer or employee data and bank details. Our IT Security Health Check is a starting point for small businesses to gauge how prepared they are.

 

Our partners over at AVG have prepared a Small Business IT Security Health Check that will give you a pretty good idea of your vulnerability to attack. The guys also let you download a PDF that gives you some more information. If you get a score that's less than 16 be sure to give us a call on 1300 22 48 48. One of our technical experts will be able to give you some more advice about protecting your business - perhaps by installing a security product or by developing and implementing stronger policies and procedures.

 

Jump on the Health Check now - an investment of 5 minutes could help prevent an expensive attack on your organisation. 

 

Don't forget that we are an authorised AVG CloudCare Partner. For more information about the products and services that we offer please jump over to our CloudCare page - or call us on 1300 22 48 48 to arrange a free consultation.

 
5 ways to protect yourself from malware

Malware is a broad term that covers viruses, trojans and other nasties that can find a home on your PCs and systems. Anti-virus tools can only do so much to protect you because often malware masquerades as legitimate software and the unsuspecting user unwittingly installs it. Quite different to a virus that sneaks around the backdoors of your system!

Here's some tips to help you protect yourself:
  1. Never open unknown links or suspicious attachments and make sure your operating system/ internet browsers are up-to-date
  2. Set up a central Cloud-based drive where master copies of all important documents must be stored
  3. Use a spam- and virus-filtered email service
  4. Get reputable anti-virus software and ensure you update it frequently
  5. Always back up your files locally and use an online back-up service to be perfectly safe

Don't forget that we are an authorised AVG CloudCare Partner. For more information about the products and services that we offer please jump over to our CloudCare page - or call us on 1300 22 48 48 to arrange a free trial.

 
CryptoLocker Update
Written by Craig Dennis   

In early July we blogged about CryptoLocker - a particularly nasty piece of "ransomware" that badly impacted one of our clients.

Fortunately there has been some good news about this in recent days. A Cryptolocker decryption tool has been developed. So, if your PC was affected by Cryptlocker, or you know someone whose machine was, head to https://www.decryptcryptolocker.com/  and upload one of your encrypted files.  This will allow the site to determine the code for unlocking all of the files on the affected PC.  Full details are on the site.

Please bear in mind that we are only reporting on this - and we can't provide any guarantees. Also, the CryptoLocker and it's variants may evolve so this solution might not work indefinitely.

The best solution is the maintain perfect PC hygene. And please don't use a system administrator login for normal workday access to your machine. That's just like opening the front door for the bad guys!  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:46
 
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