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Avoid This Top IT Mistake: The “Wait and See” Approach



cartoon of ransomware breach with hand taking bag of money out of computer screen

Dealing with Ransomware’s Aftermath

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5 Red Flags Of Phishing Emails: Think Before You Click

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A single click can be the difference between maintaining data security and suffering massive financial losses. From the moment just one employee takes the bait in a phishing email, your business is vulnerable to data breaches and extensive downtime.

Quickly spot the red flags and put phishing emails where they belong!

Discuss securing your business against costly phishing attacks at (651) 686-0515 or fill out our contact form!

1. Poor Spelling & Grammar

While occasional typos happen to even the best of us, an email filled with errors is a clear warning sign. Most companies push their campaigns through multiple review stages where errors are blitzed and language is refined. Unlikely errors throughout the entire message indicate that the same level of care was not taken, and therefore the message is likely fraudulent.

2. An Offer Too Good To Be True

Free items or a lottery win sure sound great, but when the offer comes out of nowhere and with no catch? There’s definitely cause for concern. Take care not to get carried away and click without investigating deeper.

3. Random Sender Who Knows Too Much

Phishing has advanced in recent years to include ‘spear phishing’, which is an email or offer designed especially for your business. Culprits take details from your public channels, such as a recent function or award, and then use it against you. The only clues? The sender is unknown – they weren’t at the event or involved in any way. Take a moment to see if their story checks out.

4. The URL or Email Address Isn’t Quite Right

One of the most effective techniques used in phishing emails is to use domains which sound almost right. For example, [microsoft.info.com] or [pay-pal.com].

Hover over the link with your mouse and review where it will take you. If it doesn’t look right, or is completely different from the link text, send that email to the bin.

5. It Asks For Personal, Financial or Business Details

Alarm bells should ring when a message contains a request for personal, business or financial information. If you believe there may be a genuine issue, you can initiate a check using established, trusted channels.

While education is the best way to ensure phishing emails are unsuccessful, a robust spam filter and solid anti-virus system provide peace of mind that your business has the best protection available.

Discuss securing your business against costly phishing attacks at (651) 686-0515 or fill out our contact form!
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Could Your Backups Survive A Ransomware Attack?

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More and more businesses and organizations are getting stung by ransomware demands. Hospitals, schools, social networks . . some days it seems like an epidemic that leaps around arbitrarily, and hackers are raking in millions.

Tallied across the world . . . billions.

Ransomware attacks are devious in their simplicity. A user in the target business is tricked into opening a file, usually through a phishing email or download. The file contains malware which instantly encrypts your data and demands money in exchange for the password.

No Payment = No Password = No Data

All of the target businesses should have backups, which they could simply revert to without paying any money, but the FBI reports more than $209 million was sent to hackers in the first quarter of this year alone. Keep in mind, this was just payments within the US, and only counts those who came forward.

Last year it was only $25 million.

Aren’t Backups Helping?

Sometimes the backup solution fails and the data can’t be retrieved. This is particularly true in cases where the solution has been in use for years and something failed along the way.

In other instances, the target business has a backup that can be restored, but it doesn’t include everything they need for full recovery.

Finally, and the most common reason so many businesses are forced to pay the ransom: the ransomware attack affects the entire system – including attached and synchronized backups. If the backup is also caught in the ransomware encryption, it becomes useless as a recovery method and the only options are to pay or lose the data forever.

Each day spent trying to recover the data is a drain on valuable business resources and in many cases, results in massive revenue loss.

The only defense is to block the malware before it can infect the first workstation, and then continue the protection with a comprehensive backup strategy for all workstations and servers.

Discuss securing your business against ransomware at (651) 686-0515 or fill out our contact form!

Graphic of desk with computer screen showing Microsoft 365 logo

10 Reasons To Upgrade To Microsoft 365 Today

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With an upgrade to Microsoft 365, businesses are finally getting the changes they actually want! It’s still Office, and your staff will still know exactly how to use it, but they’ll get so much more done.

1. The Mac / Windows Drama Is Over

Microsoft 365 brings with it a stack of benefits, but perhaps the most relieving is the built-in file compatibility across all platforms. No more converting (or corrupting) files back and forth, and productivity black holes have essentially been eliminated.

2. Always Ready To Go

Microsoft is so confident in its cloud-based software and data storage that they’re giving a 99.9% uptime guarantee. You can even call a real-life human for support (like the team at Sovran). Work online, offline or mobile – the choice is yours.

3. Built-In Security

A large part of Microsoft’s uptime certainty comes from their extremely robust security protocols. Microsoft 365 offers enterprise-grade admin controls at your end, as well as government-grade security at their end.

4. Generous Data Allowances

Each user gets 1 TB of cloud space for file storage, which can be shared at the folder or file level. For some perspective, 1 TB can hold approximately 85 million pages of Word documents.

5. Work Anywhere, Anytime

Previously, staff needed to establish a VPN or manage security concerns to do their tasks while offsite, which made working difficult and cumbersome. Microsoft 365 has solved that problem, and working from anywhere is now easy!

6. Integrated Organization

Calendar, email, and contacts are all synced and updated across multiple devices: laptop, desktop, and mobile.

7. Huge Mailbox Storage

Forget the days of ‘user mailbox is full’ – each user is given a whopping 50 or 100 GB in a gorgeous, easy-to-use mailbox.

8. Built-In Malware & Spam Protection

Data security doesn’t stop at file storage: each email is scanned for malware and spam, protecting your organization from all manner of attacks before they happen.

9. Collaboration Tools & Virtual Meeting

Cancel your third-party services and bring all your collaborations into one platform – meeting schedule, calendar, malware protection, video conferences, planning, and more.

10. Integrated Team Planning

Schedule tasks, meetings and track allocations from a top-down level to know exactly how projects are progressing.

Upgrade To Microsoft 365 Today

Talk to us about your Microsoft 365 migration and setup today at (651) 686-0515 or fill out our contact form!