Monthly Archives: October 2017

Leadership in Small Business

Sometimes we place so much emphasis on the blockbuster brick and mortars or ginormous online businesses (you know who you are!) that we forget about the strength and contribution of the smaller businesses trying to make a go of it. Those startups often have to really put up a fight to establish themselves and become successful as they maneuver rocky roads of pitfalls, disappointments, and hard knocks. But somehow, in spite of all of the many challenges—or maybe because of all of those challenges—they survive and even thrive. They make it!

Trying to be successful is hard!

According to one source, “8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months.”

Although not a cure-all for ensuring success, leadership—good leadership—plays an important role in the success of any business, especially a small business trying to elbow its way in to long-term success.

101 small business leadership

This week we will begin a five-part blog series that focuses on leadership in small business. It’s a 101 course about tactics to help you beat the odds.

Regardless of what size business you’re leading, always be sure to back up your important data. Without those files, you can’t focus on what’s most important, you can’t do the job. And who wants to worry about backing up data when there are so many other very important things to focus on?

Mozy by Dell backs up your important files to the cloud automatically. You can even choose when you back up—twice a week, every day, or multiple times a day. Knowing that, don’t you already feel like you’re going to be successful?

Be prepared to learn some rock-solid basics

Beginning Wednesday, the first part in our series will focus on hiring and retaining the best employees.

Until Wednesday, I would like to share a rock-solid quote from one of my favorite leaders, Abraham Lincoln:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

If the bad guys strike, is your data safe?

We talk a lot about ransomware on this blog. That’s because it’s a very real threat to your data. There is plenty of convincing data out there that attests to the significant increase in cybercrime and the consequences on personal and business data.

Europol, the organization that assists the European Union member states in their fight against crime and terrorism, reports that cybercrime offenses might have surpassed traditional crimes. In fact, Europol’s Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment found that ransomware continues to be the dominant concern for law enforcement. That’s not surprising. In many respects, cybercriminal activity is easier and more profitable than traditional crimes. A computer provides instant access to unlimited data and records and therefore millions of opportunities for generating revenue through nefarious activities.

Interestingly, it’s not always the easy money from ransomware that provides motive for cybercriminals; it’s the data that can be harvested.

If your system is hit by malware, then what?

What would you do if your computer system were hit by malware? Would you be able to restore your data? And if you were able to do so, how long would it take to regain access to your important files? And remember this: Just because you pay the ransom doesn’t mean you’ll get your data back.

“I have seen a massive uptick in ransomware attacks,” says Michael Jehnichen, president and senior network engineer at Computer Guy Technologies; a hardware, software, IT security services provider, and a reseller of Mozy cloud backup and restore software.

“You need to have an offsite copy of your data in the event the bad guys are successful,” Jehnichen says. He recalls a recent malware incident in which one of his clients was affected by a ransomware attack.

“Fortunately, this particular client was backed up on the MozyPro service when they needed it most,” he says. “A commercial plumbing contractor called us saying that they couldn’t access their email and that all of their files were locked. Once the security breach was located and eradicated, we began the disaster recovery process and had them back up and running in under three hours.”

A data disaster isn’t inevitable

It’s certain that malware and other cyberattacks will continue to make attempts to steal, hold for ransom, or destroy your data. But being a victim of a data disaster isn’t inevitable. Mozy by Dell acts as a second line of defense against ransomware and other types of cyberattacks.

Read more about Jehnichen’s experience battling ransomware and why he says he can count on Mozy.

Horror stories from computer crashes

Halloween approaches. There is more to scary than monsters, ghouls, goblins, and stale candy. Computer crashes are the scariest, in part because they can occur any time of the year. How scary is the thought of losing important files? Consider the following horror stories from computer crashes.

Lost photos—and lost memories

Jill L. spent years building an album of family photos, sorted by individual family members, on her computer. She moved pictures from her phone and camera, labelled them, and wrote captions for each. When lightning struck nearby, her surge protector couldn’t handle it the power bump when it came back on. He computer was literally fried. A friend tried replacing the power supply, but it didn’t revive the computer. Jill lost years of hard work—and a lot of memories.

Executive forgets to implement automatic backups

Bill F. is one of the most organized executives you’ll ever meet. He’s the kind of guy that saves and sorts his emails, and puts each into its own folder so that he can find them easily. Bill lost years of emails when his hard drive failed. He thought he would be OK since he had a portable drive attached and an automatic backup program installed. Unfortunately for Bill, he had somehow turned off the automatic backups over two years ago, and never noticed.

Forgotten laptop means lost files

When a driver that was texting and driving banged into Elizabeth W.’s friend’s car, she thought it would make a good senior project to document the accident and produce a video talking about the dangers of texting and driving. She worked on the project for months, editing interviews and clips on her laptop. Her friend created a series of graphics helping tell the story. The project was coming together nicely, until she left her laptop at a restaurant and it was never recovered.

Virus destroys files and game highlights

Ron C. was a bit surprised when his oldest son told him this would be his last season playing soccer. Ron appointed himself the team photographer to document the season and took hundreds of photos, which he dumped onto his hard drive. He never thought to back them up and it cost him in the end. With just one game left, he got hit with a virus which wiped his hard drive. Thousands of precious memories for not just Ron, but the entire team family, were gone.

In each of these cases, secure, off-site backups could have allowed for recovery. Pictures, emails, data, videos, and projects would have been saved.

Reasons to back up data are many

There are lots of reasons to back up your data, including:

   •     Viruses and ransomware attacks
   •     Computer crashes
   •     Dying hard drives
   •     Lost and stolen devices
   •     Natural disasters
   •     Lightning and power surges
   •     Accidental deletion
   •     Corrupted files

Mozy by Dell is the world’s most trusted backup service with more than six million people using its cloud-based, secure backup service. For more information, visit Mozy.com.

What’s the best way to defend against ransomware?

Ransomware outbreaks are at an all-time high (check out our blog from last week for some real-life examples).

How can you protect your mission-critical data from ransomware? After all, not only is your data in jeopardy, so is your hard-earned money. The average ransomware demand is now more than $1,000, according to the latest Internet Security Threat Report. That’s a significant jump from the average $294 ransomware demand from the previous year.

To put that increase in perspective, consider that ransomware spiked a whopping 6,000% last year, according to a recent survey. And more than 70% who have experienced ransomware have paid to get their data back. How much have they paid? Check out the figures:

   •     11% paid at least $10,000 and as much as $20,000
   •     25% paid at least $20,000 and as much as $40,000
   •     20% paid more than $40,00011% paid at least $10,000 and as          much as $20,000

What can you do to combat ransomware?

Here are four actions you can take to help avoid a ransomware disaster:

        1. When it comes to email, always be on alert. Don’t open a suspicious-looking email. And just as important, don’t open a             suspicious-looking email attachment!
        2. Take advantage of antivirus software.
        3. Operating system updates and patches must be kept up to date.

Be aware that you can do everything above and still be exposed to a ransomware outbreak. For example, someone might inadvertently open an attachment that contains a ransomware virus. That’s where the fourth action comes into play:

        4. Mozy cloud backup and restore.

Why use Mozy cloud backup?

If any of the three actions above fail for whatever reason, Mozy can help you avoid losing your data. But you have to have Mozy installed on your computer before ransomware has infected your files!

Mozy provides you and your business with a second line of defense against ransomware attacks. What do we mean by a second line of defense? When the Mozy software is installed on your endpoints, Mozy begins to keep file versions of your important data. So if you do get hit by ransomware, say for example, because you or an employee opens an infected attachment, Mozy lets your restore your data from a particular backup prior to the ransomware infection. First-line defensive actions such as antivirus software are important, but they offer no guarantee that you won’t be exposed to ransomware.

Ransomware threat is off the scale

Advanced Computer Systems (ACS) relies on Mozy cloud backup to protect the data that resides on their clients’ endpoints. “The best way to prepare for a ransomware disaster is to have a backed up copy of the data,” says Mark Sticht, president and owner of ACS. “Mozy gives us the option to roll back to a specific point in time prior to the attack.”

Sticht deals with ransomware frequently and emphasizes that these days the danger from this form of malware is off the scale. Read Advanced Computer Systems’ testimonial about Mozy.

Ransomware: Frequently asked questions

For more information about protecting your data from ransomware with Mozy by Dell, download our free FAQ about ransomware.

Ransomware Causes Major Financial Damage

It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)

Note: The purpose of NCSAM is to raise awareness about the ongoing threat of cybercrime and preventing it with cybersecurity tools. NCSAM is just one more way to stay focused on protecting data. Today’s blog highlights recent ransomware activity and how you can avoid a ransomware disaster.

Ransomware predictions become reality

Some predictions do come true. For example, a year ago Forrester declared that “Targeted espionage, ransomware, denial of service, privacy breaches, and more will escalate in 2017.” In its 2017 Predictions: Dynamics That Will Shape The Future In The Age Of The Consumer report, Forrester predicted that a “Fortune 1000 company will fail because of a cyberbreach.”

Consider the following related bad news regarding the recent NotPetya ransomware outbreak:

   •     A multinational courier delivery services company has attributed $300 million in lost earnings to the NotPetya attack on its          subsidiary in Europe.

   •     A container shipping company released a statement revealing that the NotPetya cyberattack led to a predominant loss of          business earlier in the year—as much as $200 million to $300 million in lost revenue.

   •     A multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company estimated that the NotPetya malware outbreak will cost it          more than $150 million in lost sales.

Simple backup is not enough

Ransomware and other forms of malware outbreaks will continue to harm businesses, regardless of their size. Mozy by Dell provides you and your business a second line of defense against ransomware attacks. Mozy cloud backup ensures that your important endpoint files and server data cannot be compromised by ransomware. Due to its unique backend technology, Mozy prevents any execution of code within the files that have been backed up. But simple backup in and of itself is not enough to ensure that your files are protected from ransomware.

Backup from a specific point in time

When a malware infection is involved, restoration of an endpoint or server from a backup works best when you can easily select a moment in time from where to restore. By default, Mozy keeps up to one year of file versions. If you have identified the point of infection (user and file) and the time the malware was introduced to the machine, Mozy can restore all of the files for the given user from the point in time just before the malware was introduced. For example, if the malware was introduced on October 2, you can restore files from the October 1 backup.

By keeping up to one year of file versions, Mozy allows you to restore files from any point in time prior to the attack, meaning your files are accessible when you need them most.

Healthcare data, HIPAA, and ransomware

The Forrester report also predicted that “Healthcare breaches will be as common as retail breaches.” Mozy by Dell protects your electronic protected health information (ePHI) from cyberattacks and helps businesses comply with HIPAA security and privacy rules. In fact, the Mozy service successfully completed an independent HIPAA-HITECH SSAE 16 Type 1 audit, which resulted in a SSAE 16 Type 1 report. To learn more, visit Mozy and HIPAA Security.

Avoiding a ransomware data loss disaster

To learn more about protecting your business-critical data and to access the FAQ, Ransomware and Mozy, and the white paper, Preventing a Rasomware Disaster, visit Mozy by Dell.