Bay City Blog

New Service

By: Trevor Moon

Economical PC / Server Repairs.

PC / Server running slow? Network issues?

We now have a new service that may be of interest to you.

Remote Computer / Server / Nework Service for only $50.00 *

If you are having issues with your PC, Server or Network we can remotely access your computer using TeamViewer.

All you need to do is download TeamViewer from our website to your desktop and run the app. then advise us of the ID and password.

*Cost is $50.00 if we need to attend site then a total of $120.00

** This charge applies to each PC or Server but is not limited to one machine.

*** TeamViewer is a secure connection controlled by you.

 

 

We have seen a substantial increase in attacks on any connection to the Internet.

These days criminals use robots to attack your network. They run programs on PC's that scan the internet to try and access your network. Once they have found an opening in your network they will exploit it and compromise your data. This can mean data corruption, virus injection, malware, or the Ransomware virus.

Anyone who uses the internet (which is practically everyone) need to feel that they have a secure connection. This is what a firewall can do for you. These days firewalls have what is known as UTM (Unified Threat Management). This is an amalgam of Firewall, Anti-Virus software, Web access and limiting ports to your network.

By having a firewall at your front door of your network it provides security for your network. Providing packet inspection giving you the greatest protection for your network.

This does not suggest that you will no longer need ant-virus software. It provides extra protection and can offer things like sandbagging and deep packet inspection in real time.

Yes a firewall is necessary today. But you do need the right firewall and we can help you with this selection.

Well here we are again. The past couple of weeks we have heard about WannaCry Ransomware.

We have now have a tally of businesses and private data being locked down and that you are required to pay a sum of money to release your data. If you try to negotiate they will increase the cost to release your data.

Currently worldwide there has been 350,000 victims'. These are the ones who have notified authorities. There will many more not notifying authorities. Some companies under the law will be required to protect the data against misuse of personal information. There are penalties for not taking appropriate action.

Action points:

1. Ensure you have a between Firewall your data and the internet.

2. Ensure that you have a good anti-virus program and it is up to date. Email washing is also a good practice

3. Ensure that all your Computers and Servers are up to date.

4. Ensure that you take backups regularly at a time frame of what you can afford to lose.

5. Ensure that your backups are off the network as the ransomware virus will attack shared drives.

6. If you receive an email that you do not know the sender be aware it could be ransomware. Police, Government, Law Courts do not email infringements or fines. Do not open them. Check them out before opening them and hover your mouse over the link and see it it aligns with who is sending it.

7. If you find a USB stick, do not just plug in a USB stick to see what is on it. It may have the ransomware virus and you will then get infected. Check with your IT Company or qualified staff to check the USB stick CD or other memory transfer devices.

These are measures you can take to help protect your data. At a glance these action points may seem intrusive but it will go a long way to protect your data.

Now in 2017 we are seeing more and more companies and even the public being caught by this virus.

You need to setup protection against this virus. One simple thing to do is make backups of what data you belive is critical to you or yor business.

This includes photos reciepts taht are sent via email etc., emails (your PST files), invoicing databases etc., on a regular basis. Again the regularity depends on how much data you can afford to loose.

I have stated the minimalist. Ideally you would proctect yoiur data by a good anti-virus software such as TrendMicro Worry-Free Business services and implement a firewall in your data network.

Just keep in mind should you get the Ransomware virus there is no retreaving of your data that has been infected. It can cost from $2,000 to $500,000 and possibly more.

Remember backups are critical at a minimum and that the data doesn't reside on your network.

How they are obtaining your personal information without trying hard.

We are now seeing the increase of jobs being offered to just about everyone via email. These on the surface seem genuine.

Seems genuine. There not. You may receive many of these emails for account managers to invoice processes or just to email people. Most want to pay around $800 per week ranging up to $3200 per month depending on the level of expertise required.

Seems plausible? It's not. Sorry to provide the bad news but these sites want your bank details together with your name and address age etc. giving them all the information they need to access your account details and your money.

The other method is to pose as an account manager of your bank. Asking you to verify your name and date of birth address etc. NEVER GIVE OUT THIS INFORMATION. If you need to talk to your bank phone them back and speak to the department concerned. Look the number up do not use the number provided as they will give you a number that does not relate to the bank.

Nasty Emails

By: Trevor Moon

The Heading says it all.

Currently there are a number of emails doing the rounds either posting a job application, parcel pick-up, infringement notice etc. These should all be treated as suspicious. Unfortunately the person receiving these emails may click before reading and identifying what the attachment is.

One method that can reduce these actions is to have the operating system ask whether you want to run this application.

I know this can be tedious but it will limit the chance of infection or the spread of the virus either on your PC or the network.

Now let's talk about the Ransomware Virus.

This has now developed (Mutated) to a new level. It has the ability to attack shared folders where Company data is stored. In most cases where a good backup is kept, the data may be recoverable and only a day's Data may be lost depending on the frequency and when the backup is carried out. This data we are refering to may be your accounting system data, company information, strategy or other critical information that may be compiled as a group, individual or by consultants whose data may no longer be available.

This may sound over the top but one of our clients recently found this to be true

The ideal backup scenario is to backup onsite, off-site and possible cloud. This may sound like an over kill but if you were infected it is nice to be able to recover your data.

It is important to have both a firewall, well respected antivirus software, and a good backup strategy to try to limit this attack on your data.

 

What Is Ransomware

By: Trevor Moon

Once again there are people via the internet trying to extort money from you and/or your business.

It is in the form of a virus and it will encode your hard drive making the data unreadable.

This will then be followed up with a message setting out terms to unlock your drive.

It generally takes the form of a payment in Bit Coins and once paid they will give you a code to unlock your drive.

There has been instances where people have paid this ransom and not backed up their data and the drive has been relocked, hence another payment has had to be made. It can range from $500 to $2000.

Government agencies have tried to crack the code but have not been successful. Hence the need to protect your data.

Currently, as of this week, these attackers are targeting websites where they have infected Java Scripts. Should you visit one of these sites then you may have the ransomware virus downloaded on your computer and then be required to pay for your hard drive to be unlocked.

We at BayCity Computers recommend backups be carried out on a regular basis, such as hourly or daily basis depending on the frequency in which your data changes and your companies ability to recreate the data to minimise data loss.

A good firewall and antivirus software which can monitor web and email traffic to minimise this happening.

We recommend WatchGuard Firewalls and TrendMicro Worry-Free Services advanced software. Our backup solution is Veritas  together with your own onsite server.

At BayCity Computers we offer solutions, call us and we will help protect your network. Tel: (03) 9775 4424.

 

 

Heading Into 2016

By: Trevor Moon

We are now heading into 2016. Another year has passed, but we are still facing threats from the internet.

So we do need to ensure that our networks, PC's and servers are protected. This should include a good anti-virus software with online spam and virus filtering together with a firewall, thus helping to ensuring secure data and company information.

The other issue can be staff. Should they plug in an infected USB then the next stage information can be transmitted to a remote destination.

Once this data is available to the source you may find they will either demand a ransom or sell to your competitors or just display this information on the internet. It may seem insignificant but remember that your customers or suppliers may not be happy with this.

We can help with a free security audit providing recommendations on how to maximize your security.   

 

 

Data Security

By: Trevor Moon

If your sensitive information was to wind up on the internet what would you do?

The data that you have stored within your network may seem insignificant at this stage to you, but to your opposition it may be highly desirable.

Out in the Internet just about everyone has access to computers and the internet. This means that the bad boys or just students fooling around may gain access to your data publish it or sell it to your competition or something that may seen as just for fun, modify your data.

In the end it doesn't matter what they do but it will affect your business directly and immediately.

Just remember there can be ramifications such as suppliers or customers who do not want to deal with you because their data/information is also compromised. Banks start to worry that your business may go downhill and hence provides a flag in their system.

Security does matter although you may be ambivalent to it, remember there is a lot more at stake when your data is compromised.

At BayCity Computers we can help you too secure your data.

These days there is hardly a computer or smartphone that isn't connected via the internet.  This provides incredible advantages for instant access to emails, information, communicating via social networking, and accessing and interacting with information on line. This facility is provided via the internet, which is a public global network that connects almost any computer enabled device to any other device. This means you can communicate with almost anyone anytime, but it also has other, negative consequences. 


Firstly, the global nature of the internet means that while you can connect to any one, it also means that anyone  can potentially gain access to information stored on computers, servers and web sites that are connected to the internet.  That is why it is critically important to protect your information by using safe internet practices, including having up to date antivirus and antispyware, installing firewalls, keeping your software up to date and having complex passwords.  A great site produced by the Australian Government has useful and up to date advice on the best methods to protect a Small Business in the on line world:  http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/  Protection for Small Business

Keeping internal customer records and financial information secure from prying eyes is an absolute must in business.  In addition, businesses also need to take care with other less secure information such as emails and comments posted in Social Media.  Since emails are transmitted across networks and stored on other people's computers, they need to be regarded as almost public information.  Jeff Kennett recently said on 3AW radio (10/11/2011) that you shouldn't write anything in an email that you wouldn't want to appear on the front page of The Age.  This is sound advice. Even more care needs to be made posting on Facebook and other social media sites such as LinkedIn , as this information is intended for publication even if the privacy settings are meant to restrict the availability of this information.    Also, any comments posted on twitter are completely public so definitely don't post any information you don't want the world to know about.