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You Can Successfully Combat Ransomware

What do you know about ransomware?

You probably know that ransomware is a form of malware that can block access to a computer system. Only after the ransom is paid—usually in the form of Bitcoin—is a decryption key handed over to the victim, at which point the victim can theoretically unlock and access his files (though there is no guarantee that this will always be the case; after all, we are dealing with criminals).

Would you like to know more?

Ransomware is prevalent. There are literally hundreds of millions of ransomware variants. Ransomware is also extremely successful (for criminals!); estimates put the cost to businesses and individuals at $1 billion in 2016. The growing sophistication of malware in general and ransomware in particular means that no cybersecurity plan should be thought of as foolproof or a guarantee that data is safe and untouchable by cybercriminals. The odds are high that if your business has not yet experienced a ransomware attack it will—and sooner rather than later.

Because ransomware is so wide spread and profitable, businesses must do all within their power to protect their data in order to avoid a ransomware disaster, which cannot only cripple a business, but even put it out of business should decryption fail and mission-critical data be lost forever.

What can be done?

As part of a business continuity plan, the FBI recommends protecting your organization from cyberattacks—including ransomware—by being proactive in following these three steps:

  1. Back up data regularly.
  2. Verify the integrity of those backups regularly.
  3. Secure your backups.

That’s where the cloud plays an important role in protecting your organization from a ransomware disaster. Where ransomware 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. Mozy by Dell keeps up to one year of file versions, meaning if you have identified the point of infection 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.

We’re here for you

We here at Mozy are serious about protecting your data and educating businesses of all sizes about threats to data. We’re putting the screws to ransomware! We know malware isn’t going away; however, we also know that there are tried and true methods to prevent a ransomware disaster that you can include in your business continuity plan.

To help you understand more about this form of malware and, more importantly, to help you know what you can do to protect your data, we’ve created a four-part blog series about ransomware. The first in our series, What is ransomware?, will be published on March 14. Look for more information about parts 2, 3, and 4 at that time.

The more you know about ransomware and other threats to your business-critical data, the more you will understand that you don’t have to be a victim. With the right tools and preventive measures in place (including Mozy cloud backup), you can successfully combat ransomware as this consultant does on a daily basis.

In the meantime, be sure to check out these important assets about protecting your business against ransomware:

   •     Ransomware: Frequently Asked Questions

   •     Preventing a Ransomware Disaster

Billy from IT has been put out to pasture

We want to call your attention to a lighthearted Mozy video we’ve just released.

In the video we catch a look at what the preliminary stage of a ransomware disaster might look like. Surprise and embarrassment are just the beginning. But that’s not the worst! Downtime, lost revenue, and lost customers are just some of the probable outcomes of a ransomware disaster. If Billy had only backed up the company’s files with Mozy, a quick restore to a point in time prior to the ransomware infection would have saved the day. Bill would be a hero!

Watch video

These days, businesses and home users are faced with two key problems: (1) keeping critical data secure and private, and (2) having it available to them anytime, anyplace. Mozy by Dell solves these problems by enabling businesses and individuals to protect, access, and keep their important files up to date across their computers, servers, and mobile devices.

And Mozy includes file sync. Mozy Sync lets users easily synchronize and securely access their files across devices. Files stored in the Sync folder are automatically updated in real time across users’ various devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Sync gives you the flexibility to work securely from any device and from any location while maintaining compliance with your organization’s information access policy.

Sync users can also maximize convenient file access by using the free Mozy mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The Mozy app allows you to access your Sync folder while on the go. You can also upload email attachments and documents from other apps to your Sync folder; those files automatically sync across all of your devices.

The lesson is clear: Be sure you’re backing up your important files with Mozy by Dell. It’s complete data protection. It’s peace of mind.

Mozy’s Most Popular Blog Posts and Infographics from 2016

As the year comes to a close, we thought it would be fun to revisit what was most popular on the Mozy blog in 2016. Check out which blog posts and infographics our readers liked most from what we published this year.

When Old Tech Becomes New Tech

We are a society that loves technology. Most of us can’t seem to get enough of the latest and greatest. The rapid advance in technology is causing a glut in tech devices such as computers, smartphones and game systems. That means outdated tech devices are ending up in the landfill. Unfortunately, a lot of that e-waste could have been recycled. Read more. (Also, be sure to check out our infographic about e-waste.)

10 Great But Inaccurate Quotes From Technology (infographic)

We’ve all said something at one time or another that we regret saying. Even the brightest minds have said things they wish they hadn’t said. That’s especially true when the statement was bold and sure…except that it never came to pass. Check out these great but inaccurate quotes from brilliant technologists from the 20th and 21st centuries. View infographic.

Dell + Mozy Have a Lot in Common with Greatness!

How could you have missed the news about the greatest tech deal of this century—perhaps of any century? The merger of Dell and EMC—owner of Mozy—brought together two tech giants. It was the best joining the best. As our writer described it, it’s like Batman and Robin. Han and Chewy. Milk and cookies (preferably chocolate chip). You just can’t have one without the other. Read more.

Most Prolific Hackers (infographic)

Make no mistake about it: 2016 was one of the biggest years for hackers. Ransomware in particular was rampant (2+ billion files were leaked this year). This infographic describes some of the most infamous hacks from years past. Some of these unsavory characters may look harmless, but their unauthorized access to information caused serious headaches for consumers, government agencies and businesses. View infographic.

Make Digital Backups of Your Precious Family Photos

Photos bring back so many wonderful memories from the past. The truth is, some of our best moments in our personal history are captured through photography. And today’s smartphones make it so easy to capture those moments. Are you backing them up and protecting them? You should be because you’re capturing moments for future generations to enjoy. Read more.

50 Things We Don’t Do Anymore Due to Technology (infographic)

Unlike everything else in our list of posts and infographics published in 2016, this infographic was published three years ago but continues to be one of our most popular. We thought it would be fun to once again consider many of the things we no longer do anymore because of technological advancements. By the way, when was the last time you called the theatre to get movie times? View infographic.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our revisit to our most popular blog posts and infographics. We also hope that you have a wonderful holiday and a very happy New Year. Thank you for backing up with Mozy! We appreciate your business.

Don’t Fear Ransomware!

Did you hear about the Bay Area light-rail system that was hit by ransomware a couple of weeks ago? You can read about it on The Core, Mozy’s parent company’s blog.

Some ransomware facts

Although it’s true that ransomware sounds scary, you shouldn’t fear it. There are a few things we know about this type of malware. Ransomware:
   •     Is prevalent (there were more than 431 million malware          variants added in 2015)
   •     Continues to grow more sophisticated (some ransomware          uses unbreakable encryption)
   •     Usually gains access through a network’s weakest link (for          example, a user’s email or social networking site)
   •     Has cost businesses millions of dollars this year (US$209          million just in Q1 2016)

Knowing these facts helps us to understand the very real nature of the threat of ransomware to today’s businesses.

It can’t happen to my business…right?

According to the Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), data protection—which includes data backup—is critical for a number of reasons. Of the organizations surveyed by the GDPI:
   •     52% suffered unplanned system downtime in the last 12 months
   •     29% suffered data loss
   •     36% reported internal or external security breaches (including ransomware)
   •     Hardware failure is still the number one cause of data loss and/or system downtime

Clearly, a ransomware disaster is more common than most people think. It can happen to your business!

Ransomware isn’t going away

As already mentioned, businesses have already forked over more than US$200 million just in the first quarter of this year. According to the FBI, ransomware is on course to become a US$1+ billion industry by the end of 2016. There have been 2+ billion records leaked in 2016 as a result of cybercrimes.

Although ransomware isn’t going away, it’s important to remember this: a ransomware disaster is preventable!

So, what can you do?

Like most criminals, cybercriminals are opportunists who are looking for the easiest targets. One of the best things a business can do is no be an easy target! For starters, be sure you can answer “yes” to the following questions:
   •     Are your employees aware of the risks of unsolicited emails?
   •     Are your firewalls and mail filters always up to date?
   •     Are you using expired antivirus software?
   •     Are you syncing data from endpoints up to cloud-based file sync share systems?

But there’s more to be done in order to prevent a ransomware disaster.

Backup and restore

The most reliable form of protection organizations can leverage to safeguard their data is backup. But simple backup is not enough to ensure that your files are protected from ransomware. It’s important to note that common backup solutions such as a USB drive or network-attached storage device (NAS) are not reliable methods for backing up and safeguarding your data. Ransomware typically spreads throughout an organization’s entire file system, including an attached drive or network share, encrypting both production data and backup data.

It’s also important to note that backup off site (away from your primary site) is critical. Mozy by Dell backs up your important endpoint files and server data to the Dell EMC cloud to ensure that it cannot be compromised by ransomware. 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. With Mozy cloud backup, once you have identified the point of infection and the time the malware was introduced to the machine, the Mozy solution lets you restore all of the files for the given user from the point in time just before the malware was introduced.

For more information on how you can prevent a ransomware disaster with endpoint data protection, visit Mozy by Dell.

Championship Data Protection Year after Year after Year

Because it was so exciting to watch, it seems like only yesterday that after more than a century the Cubs finally won the World Series. Game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians was a battle—one requiring an extra inning!—to the end. On November 2 the Cubs finally ended a 108-year World Series championship drought.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. The obvious one might be “Never give up”; however, there is something more important to remember when it comes to protecting your data. It’s this: Just because your data has always been safe and you’ve never had a data breach or lost your data as a result of hardware or software failure doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Data loss is going to happen, it’s just a matter of when.

Consider that the Cubs played in the 1906, 1907 and 1908 World Series, becoming the first major league team play in three consecutive World Series. The Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first team to win it twice (they lost the Series in 1906 to the Chicago White Sox). If you were alive back then, you might have expected the Cubs to play in the 1909 World Series. And even if they didn’t, you certainly would have expected them to play in a World Series before 2016! But it didn’t happen that way; their lucky streak didn’t last. The Cubs never played in another World Series—not until 1945, and they lost.

Again, just because your data protection strategy has never been challenged, consider yourself lucky. The streak won’t last. Eventually, your organization will lose critical business data. The Global Data Protection Index found that of those organizations surveyed, 29% suffered data loss. There is no comfort in that percentage, not when you count on critical business data to keep your business up and running and profitable. Here’s another percentage that even a streak of good luck won’t change: a whopping 36% of organizations reported internal or external security breaches (think ransomware) or hardware failure. If you think your hardware is fail-proof, think again. The number one cause of data loss and/or system downtime is hardware failure, according to the GDPI.

So what can you do to protect your data? Key to your data protection strategy should be a solid backup plan. Mozy by Dell offers complete data protection for SMBs and next-generation endpoint protection for the enterprise. MozyPro lets you schedule backups to run daily, weekly or monthly. It’s automatic and affordable backup that includes file sync and mobile access. With Mozy Sync, you simply place a file in your local Mozy Sync folder, and it’s immediately available from any computer, smartphone and tablet that you regularly use. The Mozy mobile app for iOS and Android devices gives your smartphone or tablet access to your Mozy Sync folder wherever you are, and whenever you need it. It works hand in hand with Mozy cloud backup, making all of your files safe and available.

MozyEnterprise seamlessly protects endpoints and remote offices, helps increase workforce productivity with file sync and mobile access, and keeps IT in control of corporate data. This cloud backup solution for desktops, laptops and small servers gives you more complete data protection for users on any network, and the powerful administrative console lets you manage it all from anywhere. And should your organization be hit by malware or other cyberthreat—including ransomware—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.

To be sure, no data protection solution can cause your favorite team to win a World Series, but it will ensure that you can champion a winning data protection strategy year after year after year. Don’t let your business wait a century to discover that.

I can hardly wait for the 2017 World Series!

Mozy Frightful Computer Haiku Contest Winners 2016

Two-thousand sixteen marked the sixth consecutive year of the Mozy Frightful Computer Haiku Contest. This year’s haiku poets claimed $200, $50 and $25 gift cards for their evocative efforts. As in years past, it was a challenge to select the winners from all of your most excellent submissions. Here are our winners:

3rd place and a $25 gift card to Denisha Parker Moore:
Virus goblins in
the night came to cause big fright.
Mozy make it right!

2nd place and a $50 gift card to spaceJASE:
Poor souls lost or burned
Mozy works the graveyard shift
Undead files return

1st place and a $200 gift card to Joel Hiller:
In the darkened lab
Mozy brings the dead files back
“It’s alive!” I shriek

Congratulations to our winners (though if you back up with Mozy, you already know that you’re a winner)! Winning poets, please email us at stories@mozy.com to claim your gift card. Be sure to include your name and snail mail address.

If you didn’t win, there is always next year. In the meantime, limit your sugar intake and be sure that you are always safeguarding your files with the latest Mozy backup software.

In the path of Hurricane Matthew?

With the approach of Hurricane Matthew, we here at Mozy hope that you and your loved ones are safe. As you do whatever you can to protect your home, business and belongings, don’t neglect to protect other important assets, ones that are often neglected in the ensuing panic of an impending natural disaster—your data.

Whether it’s important tax documents or irreplaceable digital photographs on your home computer, or business-critical files on desktops and laptops that you rely on to conduct your business, be sure your data is backed up so that in the event that your files are lost or damaged they can be quickly recovered.

For important tips about protecting your data, visit the Mozy Community blog.

From all of us at Mozy, be safe!

It’s time for Mozy’s Frightful Computer Haiku Contest!

What might be the real fright of this announcement is that it’s already October! Nevertheless, it’s time once again for our Frightful Computer Haiku Contest, version 6.0. Last year’s contest was such a success that we had to do this again. All you have to do to enter is to write a scary computer haiku (according to the rules), submit it, and you could win a $200 gift card (1st place), a $50 gift card (2nd place), or a $25 gift card (3rd place). This is one of our most popular contests.

The rules are simple:

   •     Your haiku must be original. In other words, plagiarizing a          haiku will get you disqualified faster than you can werewolf          down a piece of your favorite pumpkin pie.

   •     Your haiku must be awesome. You know, like “Green Bay just          won the Super Bowl!”

   •     One haiku per person. That means one (“1”), not two (“2”). Two          or more will get you disqualified (and it might even affect what          you get for Christmas).

   •     Submit your haiku by October 31, 11:59 p.m. MDT in the Comments section below.

The winners will be announced in our November newsletter and in a November blog.

If you don’t remember how to create a haiku, the following should help. Haikus are composed of three lines. Line one is five syllables, line two is seven syllables, and line three is five syllables. M. Neal’s winning submission from last year is a good example of what we’re looking for:

Data left for dead,
Noose around its neck? …Mozy
Won’t leave you hangin’!

Add your haiku to the Comments section before it’s too late! In the meantime, continue to back up your files with Mozy. Anything less would keep us up at night! Be safe!

Like our contest? Click here to tweet it!

The small print: Dell employees (including Mozy, etc.) are not eligible to win—even if your haiku is really good. Void where prohibited.

Robotic Revolution: Technology’s Role in Redundancy

When we think of robots, we often think of famous ones from the movies, including C-3PO and R2-D2 from “Star Wars,” Johnny 5 from “Short Circuit,” and Wall-E from “Wall-E.” Those were fun robots with personalities that entertained us. But the robotic revolution is introducing us to the real deal, modern robots that require us to adjust to “the future.” These robots will play a role in everyday life and accepting some of them may be uncomfortable at first (especially if they take our job away!), but the robotic revolution is sure to simplify and make our lives easier, safer, and more efficient. But no need to worry about robots taking over the world! New technology means that more and more new jobs will continue to be created, jobs that only humans can perform! Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo…domo.

Robotic Revolution: Technology’s Role in Redundancy
The ATM was just the start; automation is eating up more and more of the jobs we take for granted. Five million jobs in the world’s leading economies could disappear over the next five years because of advances in technology—the fourth industrial revolution. So which careers will technology feast on in the future? And what does the future look like?
Accounting, finance, data analysis
These jobs are threatened by new technology that converts receipts into machine-readable formats, encrypts them, and then allocates them to accounts. The platform gradually also self-learns, tracks invoices, counts sales and costs, and records liquidity.
Truck drivers
The industry has an incentive to automate: There are currently 5.7 million truck drivers in the USA. The Trucking industry is 30,000 truckers short—(figure to grow to) 250,000 by 2022. Caterpillar plans to debut a fleet of Self-driving, 240-ton mining trucks in coming years. The “driver” of the future might be a technician sitting at a desk somewhere, guiding several trucks at once (as with fighter pilots being replaced by remote-control drones).
Sales and service
Kiosks and self-service tech are the arch enemy of cashiers, sales representatives in manufacturing, retail salespeople, and real estate brokers.
The U.S. Postal Service
One of the hardest-hit industries, USPS will experience a loss of more than 54,500 jobs between 2008 and 2018. 30% of current positions (179,000) are expected to vanish by 2018.
Print media
Increased computer-processing capacity and the widespread availability of more elaborate desktop publishing software make it easier and more affordable for non-printing professionals to use. The future of desktop publishing looks bleak. There will be a decline of 23% jobs by 2008. Current employment: 26,400.
Robotic road ahead
According to The Economic Report of the President (2016), there’s an 83% chance that workers who earn $20 an hour or less could be replaced by robots. Those in the $40 an hour pay range face a 31% chance of having their jobs taken over by machines.
Momentum Machines’ multi-tasker bot makes (and flips) a gourmet hamburger in 10 seconds and could feasibly replace an entire McDonald’s crew. Universal Robots’ manufacturing robot solders, paints, screws, glues, grasps, and builds new parts for itself on the fly when they break. Google won a patent to build worker robots with personalities. And Oxford University researchers estimate that 47% of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next two decades.
The safe zone
There is only so much automation and machines can currently do. Which jobs seem safe from rampant technology? Here are a few doctors and nurses, home health aides, massage therapists, athletes, and creative occupations involving art, design and entertainment.
What does the future look like?
Look on the bright side! Types of jobs have been coming and going for centuries. For example, textile workers in England were replaced by mechanized looms in the 19th century. New jobs are created all the time. Ten years ago, we had not heard of app developers, market research data miners, educational or admissions consultants, millennial generational experts, social media managers, chief listening officers, cloud computing services, elder care service providers, sustainability experts, and user experience designers. Around 65% of children starting primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. New technology means the world’s their oyster. It’s an exciting digital age to be alive.
For more information, visit http://mozy.com/
Sources:
http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/18/news/economy/job-losses-technology-five-million/
https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/28/goodbye-accountants-startup-builds-ai-to-automate-all-your-accounting/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2013/11/20/what-will-happen-to-truck-drivers-when-self-driving-vehicles-take-over/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/05/11/10-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago/2/#5bfd3f2249b5
http://www.wired.com/brandlab/2015/04/rise-machines-future-lots-robots-jobs-humans/

Captain Sully saved his life. Mozy saved his files.

You’ve probably heard about the new movie, Sully, the story that recounts US Airways Flight 1549 and Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who “landed” the Airbus A320 in New York’s Hudson River on January 15, 2009. Just after taking off from LaGuardia Airport, both of the aircraft’s engines were disabled after striking a flock of Canada geese. Realizing there wasn’t time to return to the airport, Captain Sully and his co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles made the decision to ditch the plane in the river. Miraculously, all aboard survived.

Although the “Miracle on the Hudson” is a story that’s known worldwide, there is a smaller, related story that’s not so well known. Businessman Paul Jorgensen was one of the passengers aboard Flight 1549 that day, and EMC was a small part of Jorgensen’s story. That day Jorgensen, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, was on his way home from New York to spend the weekend with his family. “January 15, 2009, started as a normal day for me,” Jorgensen remembers. A few minutes after takeoff, things changed. “I thought for sure we were going to die,” Jorgensen says. “I was convinced. I didn’t think we any chance at all to survive.”

Fortunately, Captain Sully’s quick thinking saved all aboard. The 150 passengers and 5 crew members were rescued that day, but personal property was all left behind in the damaged, sinking plane. “It never even occurred to me to grab my laptop or cell phone…or wallet…or keys before I got off the plane,” Jorgensen says.

Once safely back on solid ground, Jorgensen called his company’s IT department. “I’m without a laptop; you have to get me something,” he recalls. The next morning IT provided Jorgensen with a replacement laptop and all of his files as they had been backed up by Mozy from EMC. “I was shocked,” Jorgensen remembers, who says it would have taken him months to replace everything that was on his hard drive.

“Having the laptop delivered with my entire hard drive replicated exactly as I left it saved me literally months of time and hassle,” he says.

Jorgensen says that his experience on Flight 1549 is a reminder that we have very valuable files and “we just simply can’t afford to not back them up on a daily basis.” Today when Jorgensen tells people his story, “I like to say that Captain Sullenberger saved my life. MozyPro from EMC saved my laptop files.”

Tom Hanks plays the lead in “Sully.” It’s quite a performance, but he’s only acting. When it comes to data loss, that’s real. Jorgensen says that backing up valuable data is not a precautionary step to take lightly. “And it doesn’t have to be a plane crash to remind us of that,” he says. Fortunately, you can protect your valuable data with Mozy backup—without landing on the Hudson.

You can hear Paul Jorgensen share his dramatic story here.