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.

The Top 6 Reasons Why You Need to Back Up Your Data

No matter how careful you are, there are so many ways you can lose your valuable data—whether it’s the assignment you’ve been working on for weeks or those precious family photos you’ve saved on your computer.

Here are the top six ways data loss happens:

1. Human error

Malware and ransomware get the headlines, but human mistakes take the top prize when it comes to data loss. You edit and delete things just about any time you’re on the computer. It just takes a second to delete something or overwrite it.

2. Hardware failure

Stuff breaks. Hard drives wear out. Computers crash. Without a backup system in place, it’s easy to lose important files. Recovering data from a failed hard drive is difficult and expensive. As many as 13% of hard drives may fail, according to a study done by Carnegie Mellon University. How old is your computer? The study shows the failure rate increases with each year of age and showed marked increases after years 3 and 5.

3. Corrupted software or files

A simple power outage can cause corrupted files. Hardware failure can also lead to corrupted files and make them unrecoverable.

4. Natural disasters

Fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and flooding can lead to catastrophic loss. Even the most robust computer equipment won’t stand up to disasters. Even if your company provides on-site backup, it won’t be safe in a natural disaster.

5. Virus, malware, hackers, ransomware

With more portable devices being used at home and at work, there are more opportunities for malware and viruses to find you. Open the wrong email and you may get infected. Reports of hackers taking control of your computer and holding it for ransom are increasing. The FBI estimates that ransomware payments are estimated to hit a billion dollars annually.

6. Theft

It’s way too easy to leave your laptop behind when you leave the local coffee shop or library, or have someone passing through your business grab it and go. In addition to your physical device, signing on to public Wi-Fi hotspots can open you up to mischief by troublemakers looking to dig through your computer without your knowledge.

Time is money

When it’s work related, losing important data amounts to lost productivity. Whether you need to re-create the work you’ve already done—if that’s even possible—or you need to start from scratch, it takes time. And as they say, time is money.

When it’s your personal data, you can’t afford to lose your precious memories. Just as important is your financial and personal data that can allow thieves to steal your identity.

The best way to protect yourself is through secure, off-site, automatic backups. Mozy by Dell can help. Mozy is the world’s most trusted cloud backup service for consumers and businesses.

Mozy Reseller Bites Ransomware with Mozy Backup and Restore

This is a story about a pet store in Portland, Oregon, and how Mickler & Associates, Inc.—a Mozy Reseller—saved the day using Mozy by Dell backup and restore.

The pet store runs a Windows 2008 R2 server to host their point of sale and remote management site database. This is a Windows Domain configuration, which means the store’s end users have limited access to the server but full access to their computers. In other words, all employees who are using a PC at the pet store have elevated administrator access to their computers. Although that’s probably best practice, it’s required for the store’s database.

Don’t click on that suspicious-looking attachment!

Recently, a store employee received numerous emails from one of their vendors. That’s not unusual. Unfortunately, this particular vendor’s system had been infected by the Wannacry ransomware outbreak a few months ago. One of the emails the employee received was suspicious-looking; however, because the email looked similar to other emails from the vendor, the employee clicked on the questionable email and soon afterward opened the infected attachment.

Too late!

Once the employee had clicked on the attachment, the file executed. Because the employee has full rights to her computer, the files on her computer quickly became encrypted. The ransomware virus attempted to access the server; when it did, it encrypted the files that the employee’s user account could see. Although the virus wasn’t able to infect the entire server, it did infect the end-user shares that were vulnerable to the role of Buyer. All of those files were encrypted.

What now?

It is 2 p.m. on a Thursday. The pet store’s computer system is now down and out of commission. That’s bad news, especially with the approach of a busy weekend. What now? Mozy Reseller Mickler & Associates comes to the rescue! In fact, Russell Mickler is on site within the hour. Mickler quickly isolates the Windows computer and subsequently takes it offline. Next, Mickler begins a Mozy restore on the server to bring back the affected shares. Within one hour, Mickler restored all of the pet store’s encrypted files from the night prior back on the server.

Meanwhile, Mickler had to wipe the employee’s computer and rebuild it. Because the employee’s local profile is cached to the server and Mickler restored the files using Mozy’s restore feature, the employee’s desktop and files were back up and running immediately after the rebuild.

Mickler and Mozy are fast at restoring files!

Within 2.5 hours, Mickler had 80 percent of the pet store’s server restored and the infected PC rebuilt. The employee’s desktop and restored files were as good as new, just as they had been before the ransomware infection. All thanks to Mozy and a Mozy Reseller! Hey, did that doggy in the pet store window just smile?

Don’t let ransomware wreak havoc on your system. No business can afford downtime! Back up with Mozy by Dell and rest easy knowing you can restore your data back to its original state should your business-critical files become infected with ransomware.

Mozy Sales Team Raises Funds for Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Members of the Mozy Sales team, from left to right: Hagen Reinink, Kelly Holmes, Karie Ford, Jeff Davis, Tresca Jakins, James Cotter, Justin Thomas, and Joe Moffett.

As Houston residents and others affected by Hurricane Harvey strive to get back to their routines in the aftermath of one of the most devastating hurricanes in recent years, Mozy employees and others at Dell continue to do what we can to show our support.

Recently, the Mozy Sales team combined their skills with those of their Dell co-workers in Oklahoma City to help Houston residents who were impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Every lead or opportunity generated by Mozy Inside Sales was sponsored by Dell management with a contribution of $5 USD.

We are pleased to announce that more than $600 USD was raised. All funds will be donated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

A great big shout out to Mark Hodapp, VP Cloud Native Data Protection; Eric Stein, Managing Director Mozy Global Sales; Hasan Usmani, Director Product Marketing; and Hagen Reinink, Senior Manager Mozy Inside Sales; and team for their Power of One efforts!

Read about other efforts by Mozy to assist our customers who were affected by Hurricane Harvey here.

What Happens to Businesses that Don’t Back Up Their Data

Statistics can be startling. But perhaps even more important, statistics can help us to reconsider how we do things and then motivate us to make changes. Consider the following:

More than 90% of companies that lose their data storage for more than 10 days during a disaster are forced to file for bankruptcy within one year, according to the National Archives, Records Administration. 

Want more to consider?

More than 90% of business computers aren’t being backed up, per the Contingency Planning and Strategic Research Corporation, and you can see the potential for catastrophic problems.

Is your data protected? Are you backing it up on a scheduled basis? If your business loses its data for whatever reason, you are putting it in significant danger.

Losing data is nothing to trifle with

If you’ve never lost your data, you might be wondering about causes and costs. Consider these ominous statistics:
   •     95% of companies reported a data outage within the last year. (Poneman Institute)
   •     The global average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million dollars. (IBM Security)
   •     The average cost for each lost or stolen record is $158 dollars. (IBM Security)
   •     About half of the data breaches are caused by hackers and crooks. The other half are user mistakes, glitches, or          disasters. (Fortune.com)
   •     2 in 5 businesses will be the victim of a major disaster that causes critical data loss within 5 years. (Richmond House          Group)

Data loss—or data theft—can happen in so many ways these day. It could be an attack from hackers trying to hold your data for ransom or just trolling through your records to find banking information or identities to steal. If you think attacks only happen to the largest companies and government agencies, consider that about 4,000 cyberattacks occur daily and the clear majority of them (62%) are aimed a small and mid-sized business, according to IBM.

What could possibly happen to your data?

How would your business respond if the following occurred:

   •     Human error or accident: It could be a simple human error where someone accidentally deletes a single file or wipes out          a large batch of important records.
   •     Failure: Power failures, hardware failures, and corrupted files are common. Twenty-five percent of computers will fail at          some point this year, according to a study done by Gartner.
   •     Disaster: You already heard about Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Natural disasters can be catastrophic not just          for the physical damage it can do, but for the business records it can destroy.
   •     Theft: Theft, whether by crooks or employees, can also cause lost data.

Searching online can tell you all sorts of horror stories about data loss and its impact on your business. Even if you take the most conservative numbers you can find, though, it still adds up to bad news. More than half the companies that have a massive data loss because of some calamity eventually close—and that’s the most optimistic number you’ll find.

Protect your data, protect your business

The best way to protect your business-critical data—the files you depend on to remain competitive, profitable, and relevant—is to use a secure, off-site backup service. Consider Mozy by Dell; it’s the world’s most trusted cloud backup service for consumers and business.

Viruses, Ransomware Can Wipe Out Precious Memories

You store your precious photos on your computer, but what happens if a virus—or a hacker—wipes out your family photos or even holds them for ransom? It sounds like the start to a bad movie, but it happens more often than you think.

Sixteen million homes had a serious problem with a virus in the last couple of years. The conflicker virus infected nearly nine million computers. Even auto tech systems have been hacked.

Then, there’s ransomware. Hackers gain access to your computer and lock it up until you pay them a ransom. Just days before the U.S. Presidential inauguration, more than 130 of Washington D.C.’s police cameras got hit with ransomware—when security was at its highest. Hackers hit the Presbyterian Medical Center and demanded $17,000 to let the hospital gain access back to its own medical records. The library system in St. Louis had a ransomware attack on its 700 computers.

In May, some 200,000 computers spread more than 150 programs were hit with the WannaCry ransom outbreak, including the British healthcare system. The Petya virus took control of banks, power plant, and public transportation systems in the Ukraine.

One million new threats every day

How big is the threat? CNN reports that more than one million new malware threats are released every day. In the past two years, ransomware has increased by a factor of 15! Experts predict costs to deal with ransomware will exceed $5 billion this year.

Hackers hit both business and home computers. Anti-virus programs can help, but with so many new viruses being developed every day, they can’t protect against everything.

Paying the ransom may not work

Even if the ransom is paid, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your data back. “Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee an organization that it will get its data back,” said FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James Trainor. “We’ve seen cases where organizations never got a decryption key after having paid the ransom.”

In fact, the FBI recommends you don’t pay the ransom. Doing so encourages the crooks to keep going and the money paid is sometimes used for other illicit activities, including terrorism.

FBI recommends two steps to protect your data

The FBI suggests two steps to best secure your data and keep it safe from hackers and ransomware:
   •     Back up your data regularly
   •     Secure your backups by making sure it isn’t connected to a physical device the hackers can access.

It’s not as simple just syncing your computer to a hard drive or an online service. Syncing can move the virus or ransomware onto your backup.

The best way to protect your data is with isolated, offsite data storage for secure backup. Mozy by Dell is the world’s most trusted cloud backup service. More than 6 million people and 100,000 businesses use it worldwide.

See how Mozy by Dell can protect your important files from ransomware. Mozy provides services for home users, SMBs, and enterprises.

A Message to Our Customers Affected by Hurricane Harvey

All of us at Mozy by Dell extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of our customers who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and secure. We also hope that you are able to recover quickly and get back on your feet as soon as possible.

Dell Technologies, which is based in Round Rock, Texas, has pledged $500,000 to the American Red Cross efforts to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Dell Technologies has also set up a relief page on an internal company website where employees can donate. Dell will match every dollar donated up to $10,000 per team member. One hundred percent of the donations and 100 percent of the match will go to those who need it most. We will do all that we can to help!

As a Mozy customer, we want you to know that your data is protected. In that regard, should you need to restore your important data, here are a few quick recovery tips:
   •     Web Restore: Use a Web Restore to get immediate access to your backups from any PC with Internet access. You can          recover individual documents, social security details, and other important information that you need to access in a hurry.
   •     Restore Manager: Use Restore Manager to pull down from the cloud larger compressed backup sets over Internet.
   •     Media Restore: If you have no Internet connection or are experiencing poor bandwidth, you can use a Media Restore          and have Mozy ship you your backup via a thumb drive.

Mozy is offering free Media Restores for its online backup customers and partners affected by Hurricane Harvey. To take advantage of our free Media Restore offer, please note the following:
   •     This offer applies to Mozy customers affected by Hurricane Harvey in the United States of America.
   •     Mozy will pay the full cost of the media restore, including costs of the thumb drive, labor, and shipping.
   •     This offer is good for restores of up to 100 GB of data.
   •     This offer is good through October 31, 2017.
   •     Mozy by Dell reserves the right to decide whether applicants meet the above requirements.

Mozy’s award-winning support team is available to help you recover 24/7. Please feel free to call, chat, or email us for help. For more information, contact Mozy Support or call 1-877-669-9776.

You can find more information about restoring your files here.

CrashPlan Home Customers: Mozy by Dell Wants to Back Up Your Files!

Attention CrashPlan Home customers, have you heard the good news?

MozyHome would like to be your backup service. Trust us with your most important files—millions of users and over 100,000 businesses already do. There are good reasons why we believe we can take care of you—and your important files. Oh, and save you some dollars.

Do you have years of family photos on your computer? A digital music collection? Important financial documents? With MozyHome, you can protect all of the important data that resides on your desktop or laptop in the cloud. MozyHome is an easy-to-use, automated, cloud-based back up service backed by Dell EMC, a company you can trust. Take advantage of the promotional codes listed below!

MozyHome provides you with 90-days retention for your data. Why is this important? Let’s say your computer locks up tomorrow and as a result you can’t access your files. What are you going to do (after your initial panic attack)? If your files are backed up by Mozy, no problem. You simply restore your files from the backup that happened (automatically and on schedule!) the previous morning. Here’s another scenario: Your hard drive fails on your new laptop. Where do you turn? MozyHome! Once the new hard drive has been installed, simply restore your data from the Mozy cloud on to your new hard drive. Easy!

MozyHome also allows for anytime, anywhere mobile access to your data with Mozy Sync. Simply drag and drop your pictures (or any of the files you regularly access) into the Mozy Sync folder for access to your recent vacation photos on your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.

In addition to our existing discounts, (1 month free with an annual subscription or 3 months with biennial subscriptions), for a limited time only, Mozy is going to offer the first 7,500 CrashPlan Home customers an additional incremental discount on your initial subscription (see table below). To take advantage of this great offer, please sign up immediately and enter one of the coupon codes into the “promotional code” field to claim your additional discount.

Want even more? Purchase our 125 GB plan, which entitles you to 3 licenses!

To learn more about our award-winning service, visit MozyHome.