Business Focused IT Support
Showing posts tagged with: Cybercrime

Can I lose Data on Cloud Platforms?

by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audit Reviews, Back up solutions, cybercrime, Data Loss Prevention, Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft 365, Password Security, Ransomware, Remote working, Risk management, SaaS Protection, Security Policies, Software, Uncategorised, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012

By 2022 it is estimated that 70% of organisations will have suffered a business disruption due to unrecoverable data loss in a SaaS application.

More and more businesses are using SaaS (Software as a Service) such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) it is often assumed that your data is backed up automatically and that these providers will hold all your data, BUT this is not the case. For example Microsoft state the following in their Service Level Agreement (SLA):

“Microsoft is not liable for data loss due to application outages, it is also not liable for data loss due to deprovisioned user accounts.
We recommend that you regularly backup your Content and Data that you store on the services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

MPR IT Solutions invests time and resources to research the Technology market for all of our products and services to establish the best market offerings for our customers, so that you don’t need to.

Datto Saas Protection is a solution that will fit a large proportion of businesses using cloud platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).

70% of businesses that experience a large data loss will go out of business within a year. By implementing a back up solution today, you will minimise your risk.

Contact us on 0800 030 20 30 to discuss your options today.

Read more

Bogus Email and Internet Campaigns

by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, cybercrime, General, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, Ransomware, Training, Uncategorised

The National Cyber Security Agency is reporting an increase of bogus email and internet campaigns to users. With the current global pandemic and many people now working from home the criminals are taking full advantage of more people relying on email as a form of communication.

Virus detected image

Over the years, MPR, have unfortunately dealt with a number of situations involving email and Internet campaigns and virus attachments. Now more than ever we ask that you be extra vigilant for any attachments that you receive.

If you do not know the sender – DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENT, the chances are it is a cyber crime campaign.

If you do know the sender – CHECK THIS IS AN ATTACHMENT YOU ARE EXPECTING, additionally take a close look at the email address. Often criminals will use an almost identical email address to trick people into opening files for example: support@mpr-lt.co.uk as opposed to the correct email support@mpr-it.co.uk.

If you are unsure of any attachment from a known sender please contact the sender by phone to confirm they have in fact sent you an email.

With many of our customer now working from home, on either a personal computer or one provided by their employer – it is vital that all users ensure that anti-virus software is up to date. MPR IT strongly recommends Webroot as being the best on the current market. If you would like more information on Webroot please contact our sales team on 0800 030 20 30 option 1.

Our helpdesk team are committed to answering all queries as fast as we can and we appreciate your patience at this time.  We would also like to thank each and everyone of our customers for their support during this busy time and we wish everyone well.

Read more

ANTI VIRUS PROTECTION – PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS

by Nicki Dowsett in cybercrime, IT Support, Ransomware

ANTI VIRUS PROTECTION – PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS

Ransomware! CryptoLocker! Blaster Worm!

In recent years the threat from Cyber-criminals using these and many other virus and malware has been increasing and evolving.  An attack on your network can be extremely costly, time consuming and frustrating for you, your employees and your customers.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you, until it’s too late.

Anti Virus Protection

Anti Virus Protection

MPR IT, is trusted and relied on by hundreds of businesses in the South East for many areas of IT Support and infrastructure, including network protection from such virus and malware threats?

Malicious Virus

Malicious Virus

MPR IT Solutions, continually strive to ensure that we offer the market leading services to all our clients.  Our team of experts regularly review the market leaders in all services that we offer, and work hard to ensure that we are providing the best services to our clients to meet your individual needs.  With this in mind we have recently taken the decision to use Webroot for protecting both our own and our customer networks.  We feel that this is the best option in the market.

Virus Detected

Virus Detected

Contact us today to discuss how we can protect your business 0800 030 20 30 or sales@mpr-it.co.uk

Read more

Email Security & Cybercrime

by Nicki Dowsett in cybercrime, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Password Security, Ransomware

Email security and cybercrime –  Almost daily there is a story that covers this subject in the news, whether it’s a large global corporation or an elderly retired person.  So many people are still unaware of the risks that can be faced with email security.

Here at MPR IT, we have sadly gained a considerable amount of experience in dealing with these threats.  We would therefore like to remind our customers of some simple guidelines that you should ensure your staff follow for email security.  These include recommendations from the Government Cyber Essentials Scheme.  We also strongly advise if you or any employee is concerned they have an affected PC/Laptop – call us asap

  • Email Attachments – Never open an email or attachment if you don’t know the sender.  If you are not expecting an attachment from a known sender – call them and check they did send you something
  • Check email addresses – criminals will set up accounts with very similar email addresses making it easy to trick you into thinking you know the sender  joe@bloggs.com or joe@bloggs.co
  • Malware Protection – do you have a robust malware in place? This will stop viruses and ransomware from getting through to your emails and employees
  • Access Control – encourage your staff to choose passwords that would be hard to guess and not simply change the number on the end each time it needs to be Password or 123456 are not ever going to be good choices.  Also ensure that admin passwords are only given out to members of staff that should have access to these.
  • Firewalls – investing in a high end firewall can prevent hackers from gaining access to your systems and to make certain there are no leaks.
  • Secure configuration – Is your system configured to ensure security for your organisation. Are all laptops, PC’s and phones password protected? Do files need to be password protected?
  • Patch Management – the likes of Microsoft and other operating systems regularly release new updates to their software. Ensure you are fully up to date as these updates will often include patches to ensure your systems are more secure.  As hackers become more clever the software providers work hard to identify areas to increase security.

We also recommend you view the following websites

Whilst the majority of news stories cover ransomware and data being lost or damaged, we have known criminals to spend months watching systems, gathering information and general daily routines.  Then with a simple email, that looks to have come from a sender you know they have managed to gain access to your bank accounts and emptied them before anyone has realised.   Either way it is extremely costly to your business.  Please ensure your staff are fully briefed on email security and the types of scams and crimes that can & have happened.  If any doubt or you would like more information please contact us to discuss.

 

Read more

Cyberscams & how to stay cybersafe

by Nicki Dowsett in cybercrime, Industry News, IT Support, Password Security, Ransomware

Cyberscams affect people in many walks of life.  We have all seen the stories in the news of large corporations that have been hacked such as the recent NHS attack or Talk Talk in recent years.  Companies of all sizes are at risk to being hacked or cyberscams,  SME’s are targeted just as often, we just dont see it reported as much.  Even in your personal life you can be at risk for cyberscams, through social media or email.  The cyber criminals are getting sharper and also now send text messages as well as emails to trick people.  Everyone no matter their age can be at risk.

Cyberscams can be devastating, with criminals asking you to click on a link to confirm your details and taking you to a dummy site that looks very real.  They can also access your systems and monitor your activity, create ghost accounts that make you think you are dealing with a supplier you deal with all the time when in fact they are scammers looking to steal your data and money.

Whilst as a company MPR IT, often given advice and have written a number of blogs on this subject, we have recently come across these two books written by Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police.  We feel these are extremely useful and would strongly suggest that you take the time to read and digest.  Obviously if you have any questions or require any additional support regarding this subject our team will be pleased to help.

big book of scams

The Little Book of Big Scams

Read more

Wanna Cry Cyber attack

by Nicki Dowsett in cybercrime, Disaster Planning, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Password Security, Ransomware, Uncategorised, Windows 10

Wanna Cry Cyber Attack – Over the last couple of years, I have spent several hours if not days reading articles on cyber crime and hacking as part of my role here at MPR IT.  If you follow us on social media you will also see how this is a hot topic for us and we quite often post news stories of hacks and how you can protect yourselves, I have also written a few blogs on the subject (all of which can be found on our website).  So, the breaking news on Friday and all over the weekend of the hack affecting over 150 countries around the world, with some 200,000 machines affected this wasn’t entirely a shock for me.  All too often I see stories of both large corporations and small one person business being hit by hacking or ransomware.

Map of Wanna Cry affected countries

Extent of countries affected by Wanna Cry in Red

As a company that takes pride in providing the best support and advice to our customers, our priority is prevention rather than cure, although we do unfortunately have experience on the cure as well.  Our key guidelines for protecting your systems are pretty simple:

  • Ensure you Operating System is the most current and up to date – Microsoft release patches and updates regularly. This particularly virus is targeted towards out of date, older systems.  Please ensure your system is fully up to date.  If you have any concerns please contact us and we can check this for you.
  • Many virus’s are spread through email attachments – NEVER open anything from someone you don’t know or aren’t expecting. If you are unsure about an email or attachment, call MPR IT or the company where the attachment has come from and enquire as to whether it is legitimate.
  • Ensure you permanently delete any emails with attachments that you do not need, or where you don’t know the sender.
  • Make sure that you have an up to date Anti Virus – MPR IT can check this for you if you are unsure how up to date this is or if you don’t have anti-virus we can provide anti virus software to your company.
  • NEVER share passwords with anyone and make sure that passwords you do have are always different. PASSWORD1 is surprisingly still a popular choice – it’s not a good idea as very easy to guess.
  • Back up your data daily and store a copy off site securely as well on site. The worst that can happen if data is backed up is that you lose one days’ work, and not everything.

The virus ‘Wanna Cry’ that hit the world on Friday, and spread over the weekend is mainly targeted at Government departments.  Where systems are older and the networks are very large, this allows it to spread so quickly, we are therefore not expecting for this to affect many of our customers, however please be assured that our team are prepared and ready to deal with any issues that you may experience.

To our customers with a contract that includes workstation monitoring, we have already rolled out emergency patches to any potentially affected machines.   If you do not have a contract that includes workstation monitoring please contact us and we can look to update any patches or we can review your contract to include workstation monitoring should you wish.

Please take this simple advice and pass to your colleagues and get the message out on how to avoid potential cybecrime hacks and viruses.  Hopefully one day soon I won’t be spending so much of my time reading articles on cybercrime.

Read more

Ransomware will the battle ever be won?

by Nicki Dowsett in cybercrime, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, Password Security, Ransomware

Ransomware, cryptolocker and cybercrime seem to be the most popular topics in the news this year.  I look after the social media here at MPR IT and a large chunk of my role is to review numerous websites looking for news that may be of interest to not only our customers but also to our team.  By keeping on top of the news means we can be one step ahead of new technology coming out, and also what to watch out for.

Most of the news seems to be about cybercrime and hackers lately.  Companies are attacked daily, from small websites through to the American government.  Utility companies, dating sites, children’s toys they have all been in the news and not for the best reasons.  Just this week it was reported that train companies in the UK had been hacked.  With more and more companies relying on technology to run it, I sadly fear it won’t be long till some unscrupulous organisation will try a major attack to infrastructure.

Example of a ransomware screen alert

Ransomware & Cryptolocker

Whilst reviewing news sites this week, I was extremely pleased to see a report on a University in Florida.  They are one small step closer to helping the world combat cybercrime, by designing a technique called Crypto Drop. The report showed that by monitoring activity on targeted files, it was possible to block ransomware when only a tiny percentage had been encrypted. Whilst it is not fail safe, it is a new approach against hackers.  The technique includes countermeasures which are triggered once ransomware infiltrates the network.  This technique relies on three indicators of ransomware activity:

  • Bulk modification of file types
  • Dissimilarity – plain text looks nothing like encrypted file
  • Entropy – encryption produces high entropy

Whilst running the demonstration it was proven that Crypto Drop can contain the action of malware.  Only 0.2% of files were encrypted. In essence this is an early warning system as opposed to a fail safe solution.  Ransomware will still be on your network, and action should still be taken to clean the network, however only a small percentage of files will be lost as opposed to the network.  This will not be an automated piece of software and will require your network administrator to run the software to help distinguish between expected and unexpected activity.

As we all know the people behind cybercrime are equally as clever and constantly coming up with new ways to infiltrate our systems and come up with new scams, once a program such as this is developed fully and launched they will no doubt be looking at ways to break through Crypto Drop.

So there is a little light at the end of the tunnel in the war against cybercrime.  In the meantime please ensure you review your network security and business practises to ensure you do not become a victim to cybercrime.  We have blogged before about the best ways to stay ahead of hackers and this technique will be no excuse to not continue ensuring your systems are secure and backed up regularly.  If you require any assistance on making sure your network is secure at all times please contact us at MPR IT Solutions.

Read more

April Newsletter

by Nicki Dowsett in B2B, cybercrime, Exhibitions, General, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Monthly Newsletter, MPR

Welcome to our April newsletter, the main stories in the last month have all been about cybercrime and the Apple V FBI argument continues to roll on.  These are both subjects that are going to continue for many months to come.  Both will in many ways be important to us different ways.  See our social media pages for the many stories that we have been posting over the last few weeks.

It’s not long now till our first major event of the year.  MPR IT will be exhibiting at Kent Vision Live on stand 231.  Kent Vision Live is the South East’s premier B2B event, with over 3,000 visitors. This is the event to attend this year, and why not come along to see us. We will have 2 of our partners with us as well, Rainbow Global and Purdicom. Members of the technical team will be on hand to answer any questions you have about existing or new services and packages we offer.  You might even walk away with a little treat.  It is free to register and come along.

Blogs this month have been about cybercrime and hacking, this has been such a key subject we cannot reiterate enough how important it is for you to review your current security procedures in terms of networks and passwords.  It is not only business practices but also your own personal security you should be conscious, so many scams are taking place on social media and emails.  Please read our blogs for full details on recent news regarding attacks and how you can protect yourself. As an IT support business we are experiencing more and more customers that are affected by ransomware, cryptolocker and hacking.  We cannot reiterate enough how important it is to be aware of keeping your data secure.

Cyber Crime

Cyber Crime

In addition to security we have also blogged about how MPR IT can support your business through office moves or refurbishment for cabling and new server cabinets.  Are you considering re-locating your office?  Or has it been quite some time since your existing cabling has been replaced.  With increased productivity and technology moving forward have you considered if the cabling needs to be replaced.  As with anything cabling only has a certain life span.  Or if your server cabinets look  untidy, have you considered the additional time that could be involved in rectifying any problem that may occur.  MPR IT with all their skills and knowledge can only fix a problem once they can find the issue and if your cabling is messy this will mean more time needs to be spent before they can get to the bottom of the problem.   See our blog for more information or our website for examples of work we have previously carried out.

Floor-Channeling

MPR Helpdesk team have been extremely busy over the last month with over 800 tickets completed and achieving an average survey score of 4.8 out of 5.  Well done to the team and keep up the hard work.  The team have been experiencing an increase in calls regarding security issues so please read our blogs on our tips on how to keep ahead of the cyber criminals or if you have any concerns please contact the team and they will be happy to talk through with you how you can stay cyber safe.

The sales team have also been working hard and have secured a number of new customers over the last month, we would like to welcome all our new customers to MPR and we look forward to working with you.  The team are also planning for the event at Kent 20/20 in early May.  If you are going along to the event please make sure you come along to stand 231 and say hi to the team.

As you know we post many stories on our social media and we suggest you follow us on Facebook, Linkedin or twitter to keep up to date with the latest stories.  We also have a status update page on our website that is checked daily or sometime more often.  This page will tell you if we are aware of any known issues before you contact us, it will also be updated to social media.  Checking these resources will help you find out if there is a general issue on Email filtering, Office 365, DNS/Web hosting, AVG Cloudcare, Hosted wireless or connectivity/ ISP.

Read more

MPR IT’s March Newsletter

by Nicki Dowsett in Audit Reviews, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, Monthly Newsletter, Password Security

 Welcome to MPR

Our newsletter brings you the latest information on the Tech world, this is in addition to our regular posts on Social Media and Blogs that can be found on our website.  Please make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram to keep up to date fully.

Cyber Crime Seminar

David Keohane (Sales Manager) attended a seminar on Cyber Crime, organised by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with NatWest and Wilkins Kennedy.  This was extremely popular with over 50 attendees.  The general consensus of the day is that many businesses are becoming increasingly concerned at the threat from cybercrime.    Topics covered by speakers Sophie Urquhart and Louise Brittan included, Social Engineering, Malware, Ransomware, fraud and processes that should be in place to protect your business.

 

A Youtube video shared on the day highlighted just how scary this situation can be.   Please check out David the Mind Reader and though this can appear light hearted – it really isn’t.

We covered this issue last month in our blog and newsletter, however since then there have been many more stories in the news of companies and even countries at government levels being hacked.  Please take some time out to read our blog on how best to protect your business and home hardware and data.  We cannot reiterate enough how important it is to ensure you are aware of how easy it is to lose valuable data and even in some instances money.  These criminals are constantly looking at new ways to work around the system.  Please speak to our helpdesk team if you have any concerns on your network security.

IT Audit Reviews

IT Audit Reviews by MPR

IT Audit Reviews by MPR

The year is moving on fast and it’s getting to that time when many companies are planning the new financial year.  Do you have an IT budget in place yet for the forthcoming year?  Please read our blog on IT audit reviews to see how we can help you plan for the new financial year.  Or you may be lucky enough to have budget left over that needs to be allocated.  Many companies don’t plan for the unexpected need to replace new equipment of for support required during the year.  MPR IT can offer support packages to meet your business needs and that sit comfortably in your budget.  We can also assist in identifying areas that will require upgrade over the next year so you can be prepared in advance.

SQL Server 2005 support ending

Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Microsoft announced some time ago that support would be ending for the SQL Server 2005, we have a short blog on what this is and what it could mean for you. There are many different variables in choosing the best SQL server for your business and our team at MPR can help you through the decision process and migration required.  If you are unsure of the SQL Server you are operating please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Fundraising News

The team at MPR like to support many charities and the next fundraising event on the horizon is going to be a team event.  Following on from last year’s successful 5 Peak Challenge in The Lakes by Richard & Tom, this year they are at it again.  This year they have enlisted other members of the team to join them on a 26 mile hike from Brighton race course to Eastbourne Pier on Saturday 11th June.

They will be hiking across the South Downs and through Alfriston Forest.  Before heading out to the coast and Birling Gap and along the White Cliffs of Beachy Head and along the front in Eastbourne. Whilst Richard & Tom are seasoned walkers, the same cannot be said for the rest of the team.  They each need to raise £250 in aid of MacMillan Cancer, this is approximately £10 per mile each.  This is an amazing charity that works so hard to support those sadly affected by this awful disease.  Please support them and give generously – if nothing else just to see them suffer the pain of having to spend the day together out of the office.

Other Team News

Our office refurbishment continues and it’s been a little hectic to say the least, however the end is in sight and we now have more space for the growing team.  Our new apprentice Ben will soon no longer need to desk-hop and have his own space to call home. Ben joined the MPR family at the beginning of February and is quickly settling and learning the role.  Please join us in welcoming Ben to the team.

The help desk team have been really busy last month with over 800 closed tickets.  This is approximately double the amount of last February.  Well done to the team for working so hard to answer all the queries and issues from our customers.  As well handling incoming calls from existing customers, the engineers have also been busy bees with site visits and installations for a number of new customers.  Good job guys – the success is shown in our survey results.  We are achieving an average score of 4.9/5.0 on customer satisfaction. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and if you know of any colleagues that don’t receive our newsletter and would find this of interest please forward their details to us so we can add them to our database. If any of the news stories we have on our site may affect you please let us know or if you wish to discuss the services we currently provide to your business please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help

 

Read more