Blog Archives

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.

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.

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.

Mozy backup is for solopreneurs

Are you a solopreneur?

If you are a one-person business—or “solopreneur”—then Mozy online backup is for you. (And for anyone else who wants to protect their files with the least amount of hassle.)

A recent article in Inc. emphasizes that solopreneurs enjoy the flexibility of working for themselves. For example, they can ply their trade just about anywhere and at any time. It’s their show. However, because they work for themselves, they are usually under pressure to be productive all the time. In a one-person business the show does not go on unless the solopreneur is making it happen.

When you work for yourself, you need to make the most of your time and take advantage of tools to help you do that. Here’s what author Minda Zetlin says about Mozy online backup:

“What would happen if the ceiling caved in on your desktop computer? Would you lose valuable data, setting your business back? If you want to stop being vulnerable, you need an off-site backup system, and an automatic cloud-based one is by far the easiest,” Zetlin says.

“I’ve used Mozy for years, and though I’ve never had a computer disaster, I’ve used it many times to grab files I needed when I was away from home—another handy feature,” she says.

Mozy lets solopreneurs schedule backups to run daily, weekly, or monthly—it’s your choice. In fact, Mozy is the perfect data protection tool for solopreneurs because it offers automatic backup protection with the option to schedule backups continuously throughout the day. When you’re a solopreneur, you have plenty of things to worry about; protecting your business-critical files shouldn’t be one of them.

Read the Inc. article 7 Business Tools that Are Perfect for Solopreneurs for more tips on how to make the most of your time and make running your business easier.

Whether you’re a solopreneur or an enterprise with 100,000 employees, your files are important. And because they’re important to you, they’re important to Mozy by Dell. Be sure to check out how Mozy lets you access your files not just from your computer, but your smartphone or tablet as well.

It’s the downtime in ransomware that might do the most damage


Ransomware continues to make headlines. Unfortunately, notwithstanding all the news, there are businesses that are still not adequately protecting their data and, as a result, fall victim to ransomware. But even if a business does regain access to its data after paying that Bitcoin ransom, it has no doubt suffered downtime. Perhaps not surprisingly, downtime from ransomware can be more damaging to small businesses than the ransom itself, as reported by in a recent online article.

50 percent of organizations have been hit by ransomware

One of the misleading aspects of ransomware is the small amount of ransom that’s demanded by cybercriminals. The average ransom demand is less than $700. Yes, we read about how cybercriminals collected $1 billion last year via ransomware exploits, but that’s the result of many thousands of successful ransomware outbreaks. When you consider that 50 percent of organizations have been hit by ransomware, it’s easy to understand how thousands and thousands of collected ransoms add up for cybercriminals.

Much of that is the result of spam, in particular through malicious attachments in email that are opened by the unwary. In these cases, a user is directed to open an email attachment or visit a website where the ransomware is presented, masquerading as a legitimate attachment or download. From there the virus spreads, ultimately gaining control of systems—and valuable files.

Ransomware doesn’t have to be perfect

Who knows whether ransomware will ever be perfected? Probably not. But it doesn’t have to be. The goal of the cybercrimninal is a blanket approach: target as many would-be victims as possible and hope that even a small percentage open that malicious attachment.

As we’ve already learned, thousands of small successes can quickly add up to $1 billion.

The ransom isn’t necessarily the most damaging

“Ransomware wasn’t necessarily the most expensive aspect of a ransomware attack: downtime, revenue loss, and fallout were more expensive and far more damaging, especially when you’re talking about small businesses,” says Adam Kujawa, head of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes, as reported by Kelly Jackson Higgins in Dark Reading.

One report found that downtime costs small businesses $55,000 in income every year; that doesn’t even account for the cost of paying employees who can’t work without access to systems or paying them overtime to catch up when systems come back online.

Here’s what you can do

Today, ransomware is one of the primary concerns for organizations—small, medium, or large.

So, what can you do? There are number of things you can do, like don’t open suspicious-looking emails or suspicious-looking attachments. And be sure your data is properly protected. Do not take data protection for granted!

Check out how Mozy by Dell can help you avoid a ransomware disaster.

NotPetya: Yet Another Ransomware Outbreak

The WannaCry ransomware virus has become a distant memory for many. For some WannaCry and its variants came and went without doing damage. Others weren’t so lucky. What we are learning (once again) is how critical it is to be prepared against a ransomware outbreak. The fact that the ransomware threat is ongoing and not leaving the scene of the cybercrime anytime soon is underscored by the latest malware to hit the unprotected computer environment and make headlines: NotPetya.

The NotPetya ransomware breakout appears to have started in Eastern Europe and is spreading west. From what we know at this time, a Ukrainian accounting software application is the suspected source; NotPetya was apparently hidden in a software update. As you might expect, NotPetya was named after the Petya ransomware because it masquerades as that ransomware.

What about that ransom?

The NotPetya ransom payment mechanism has been disabled; that is, the email ID associated with cybercriminal’s Bitcoin account was blocked by the email ID’s provider, according to a source. In other words, there is no way to pay even if you want to. At this point of the outbreak, the purpose of this malicious virus is to attack systems quickly and cause as much damage as possible.

NotPetya is considered more dangerous than the WannaCry virus, which was so devastating because it paralyzed infected computers and then caused application failures for systems that had a dependency on Windows operating systems. Hundreds of victims paid various amounts of ransom in Bitcoin in exchange for a decryption key. If there was anything good about WannaCry, it was that it warned IT admins and others to keep their Windows operating systems up to date with the latest patches.

So, what’s the point?

It’s important to remember that cybercriminals who seek to infect systems with ransomware or spread any other form of malware are criminals; cybercriminals to be sure, but criminals just the same who might have no other purpose than to simply cause damage. In the case of NotPetya, this ransomware spreads more effectively than WannaCry and not only encrypts data but also extracts credentials to other machines and systems.

Similar to the WannaCry virus, the purpose of NotPetya is to infect Windows 10 computers. Fortunately, the Windows 10 Credential Guard spots NotPetya’s password extraction from memory. Ransomware running in the Windows 10 operating system with administrative privileges cannot extract credentials. Read more about Windows 10 Credential Guard.

Mozy can help you defend against ransomware

Mozy by Dell can help you protect your environment from the NotPetya ransomware. Here’s how:

   •     Immutable copy: Mozy uses a proprietary encryption and encoding mechanisms to store backups which prevents any          execution of code within files that have been backed up. Mozy backups are entirely separate from your computer.
   •     Point-in-time backup and restore: Mozy uses file versioning, allowing the end user or administrator to restore the entire          backed up data set or individual files and folders from any point in time; up to seven years for MozyPro and          MozyEnterprise, and 90 days for MozyHome. This allows you to easily go back to a healthy version of your files.
   •     Automatic backups: Mozy provides automatic backup as frequent as every two hours, providing highly granular point in          time backup to recover from.
   •     Self-service restore: Mozy provides the ability to the end user to perform their own restore from the Mozy agent or the          Web Access interface.

Avoid a ransomware disaster

To learn how you can use Mozy as a second line of defense for your data and to prevent a ransomware disaster, visit Mozy by Dell.

Other Mozy blogs about ransomware

For more information about ransomware and what you can do to increase your defenses:

   •     Educate your users and yourself
   •     Take a multi-layered approach to protection
   •     WannaCry? You will if you don’t back up

Mozy Employee Receives Deloitte UCC Executive Graduate of the Year Award

It’s always good to hear about team members who have achieved something beyond the ordinary.

Recently, Kris Meulemans, a Mozy senior sales engineer based in Cork, Ireland, and servicing our EMEA customers, received an MBA from the University College Cork and was presented with the Deloitte UCC Executive Graduate of the Year award for finishing at the top of the class.

From left to right: Thomas Healy, Mozy Business Operations Director, Dell EMC; Honor Moore, Partner, Deloitte; Kris Meulemans, award recipient and Mozy Senior Sales Engineer, Dell EMC; Patrick O’Shea, President, University College Cork; and Joan Buckley, Academic Director UCC Executive MBA. Photo by Tomas Tyner, UCC.

The Deloitte UCC Executive Graduate of the Year award is presented to the outstanding student of each graduating class to acknowledge their academic achievement and overall contribution to the MBA program. This is the first instance of a Dell EMC employee receiving this prestigious award.

As part of the celebrations, Kris, his partner Katelijne, and Thomas Healy, a representative from the Dell EMC management team, met with UCC’s president, Professor Patrick O’Shea; Honor Moore, partner at Deloitte; and Joan Buckley, the academic director 2015/2016 of the Executive MBA.

Presenting the award, Moore said, “Deloitte is honored to be associated with this prize, which recognizes excellence in business leadership education.” She complimented Kris’ achievement on getting the highest marks in the class.

Dr. Buckley congratulated Kris for his academic achievements and overall contribution to the class. “With this prize we recognize an executive who has shown exceptional ability,” she said.

Asked about his experience working toward his MBA, Kris said, “The MBA taught me the frameworks and tools to tackle very diverse and complex situations and have proved immediately applicable within my role. But equally, if not more important, the MBA continually challenges you to think on a higher level and broaden your horizon through the interaction with a wonderful team of lecturers and co-students. And perhaps the most important, it makes you realize the value of your family and friends as a support network, without which this achievement wouldn’t have been possible.”

The senior sales engineer role includes consulting with customers on their SaaS strategy together with the sales team, interfacing with Product Management and Engineering functions on the future products as well as training new Sales and Pre-Sales team members. When asked about Kris’ accomplishments, Steven Wood, Mozy’s senior Pre-Sales manager, said, “Kris has an insightful appreciation of customer needs and the challenges they face with modern IT and cloud computing. His attention to detail and dedication to every goal is exemplified by this award.”

Congratulations, Kris, from all of us on the Mozy by Dell team!

Kris is one of the many professionals working at Mozy—and working for you!—to make Mozy online backup the most trusted name in cloud data protection.