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The Fort of Cyber Security – What is Data Encryption?

Encrypt your data before the Hackers do it for you…

What exactly is Data Encryption?

Encryption helps protect data you send, receive and store using any device. Including text messages, emails on your desktop, phone calls, banking information and most importantly, password logs.

It works in a simple manner, by scrambling the readable text so it can only be read by the person who has the secret code or decryption key. Providing data security for personal and sensitive information.

 

Why bother encrypting your data?

Aside from securing your sensitive data, here are the three main reasons to encrypt your data:

 

Internet privacy concerns are very real – Encryption is a key part of securing outgoing and inbound data, making sure the information you send out isn’t readable let alone viewable by anyone other than the intended recipient. Encrypt every single message.

Hacking is no longer a hobby, it’s a big business – Cybercrime is a professional, global enterprise. Large-scale breaches are now demonstrated with ease, purely for the financial gain.

Regulations demand protection – Depending on the industry, certain acts and regulations now enforce encryption as compliance in securing public data & information held and distributed online.

Never underestimate the importance of securing your data; whether it’s from a backup perspective, or from the very beginning. All it takes is one intercepted email and your data could be breached within hours.

 

How do you encrypt data?

Data Encryption is the method of taking plain, readable text, like a text message or email, then scrambling it into an unreadable format — called “cypher text.” Helping protect the confidentiality of online data either stored on IT systems or transmitted over a network.

When the intended recipient acquires the message, the information is translated and reverted back to its readable form, otherwise known as decryption. Usually, in order to gain access to the message, both the sender and the receiver have to use a ‘secret encryption key’, being a collection of algorithms that scramble and unscramble data back to its original form.

There are multiple types of encryption, each designed with unique requirements and security measures in mind.

 

** Get your FREE pinpoint guide on Data Encryption below **

>Download the guide here<

We’re Cloudscape.

We believe you should have the best backup solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business and determine the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost and productive with time.

If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

The Fort of Cyber Security – What is Malware?

The existence of Malware is to cause chaos, don’t invite it into your Business

What exactly is Malware?

Malware is a contraction of malicious software. The pieces of software that are specifically designed with the intent of causing damage to devices, the aim of stealing private data or to simply cause destruction and chaos.

Often designed by a group of cybercriminals or hackers, looking to make money from either selling the software over the dark web, or by spreading the malware content themselves. Regardless of where the malware started from or who spreads it, if it ends up on your PC, it’s not good news.

 

What are the different types of Malware?

Coming in all different shapes and sizes, with a variety of forms, some types are much more harmful than others:

 

Computer Viruses – Anything that’s clean, viruses attach themselves to infect files, spreading uncontrollably damaging anything and everything in its path. Usually appearing as .exe files within your system.

Trojans – Disguised as what you think is legitimate software, or hidden with software that was once legitimate. Acts discreetly and creates back-doors within your security to let malware in.

Spyware – Spyware, as you can probably guess, is malware specifically designed to spy on you, your actions and what you get up to. tracking your browsing habits, noting passwords entered and learning all your security procedures.

Ransomware – Malware that locks down your system, encrypts your files and will threaten to erase everything until you pay a hefty ransom.

Worms – Just a wriggly, if not more with your IT Network. Worms infect entire networks of devices, either locally or across the internet by using network interfaces. Using infected machines as it goes to infect others.

Adware – Not the most malicious in nature, simply aggressive advertising software that undermines your security to serve you an obscene amount of pop-ups, which can allow other malware content to sneak in.

How do you prevent Malware?

When it comes to preventing malware, it’s more advised to follow rules to block it in the first place, instead of trying to find a cure to remove it from your IT systems after. There are a few common-sense practises to follow to avert malware from entering your infrastructure.

 

Don’t trust anyone online; Hackers have and will use social engineering to specifically target you, including strange emails, sudden alerts as well as fake profile and special offers too good to be true. If you don’t know what something is, don’t click on it.

Check your downloads; From official storefronts to dark websites that lurk in the corner of the internet, wherever you plan to download a file, be cautious that it could still be infected, regardless of where you found it.

Ad-blockers are the key; With advertising so prominent on websites, not all of them are what they seem. Hackers can use infected banners to trigger downloads once clicked, be wary to click on any that seem enticing.

Browse carefully; Sticking to trustworthy sites is always the best way forward. Malware can be found anywhere, but mostly in small, locally hosted websites with poor security standards in place, don’t run the risks.

 

Even if you follow all the steps, there’s, unfortunately, no guarantee that you’ll remain malware-free. Given the fact that worms have evolved from the depths of the ground to travel across your IT network infecting machines as it goes, no one is deemed safe.

** Get your FREE pinpoint guide on Malware below **

>Download the guide here<

We’re Cloudscape.

We believe you should have the best backup solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business and determine the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost and productive with time.

If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

The Fort of Cyber Security – What is good Password Security?

A password is a drawbridge to your entire digital world… don’t make it weak

What exactly is good Password Security?

Passwords are the digital keys to your online network of almost everything; friends, family, work and your financial accounts. If you take the risk and disregard the strength & integrity of your passwords, you’ll probably find that many other people also know what it is.

The aim is to form a memorable, yet strong password that won’t be easily broken. The two most important passwords are those for your email and social network accounts, if someone has access to your email, they can ‘forget password’ their way into all of your other accounts. Enabling them to scam your friends with dangerous links, fraudulent messages asking for money… Passwords are important, it may be the last line between you and a cybercriminal.

 

How do they attack our passwords?

There are various methods that can be used to crack passwords, below is a list forming of the multiple techniques that cybercriminals will use to break into your personal accounts:

 

Dictionary attacks – Using simple files that contain words found in the dictionary, you now understand why you shouldn’t use normal words in your passwords…

Brute force attacks – Similar style to the dictionary attacks, brute force also lets the hacker detect non-dictionary words by working through all possible alpha-numeric combinations, (e.g. aaa1 to zzz9). It’s not a fast process, but it will uncover your password eventually.
Rainbow table attacks – If rainbows were actually hashes of all possible password combinations for any given hashing algorithm, I don’t think we’d appreciate them as much. Opposed to the name, rainbow tables are huge, unwieldy things that require a lot of computer power.

Phishing – The simplest method, get the user to do it for you… just by simply asking for it. (Check out Phishing here).

Social Engineering – As the name suggests, the art of phishing, but gathering the information yourself.

Malware – Such as keyloggers, screen scrapers… pieces of malware that are hidden on your system, recording and scanning your passwords.

Guessing – You’d be surprised how easy it is to guess passwords, a high percentage of people don’t take passwords seriously and will often make passwords from pets names, foods, surnames… it doesn’t take a specialist to figure out ‘Jake1234’.

Never underestimate the importance of securing your data, having multiple, unique passwords for every account you access is vital in protecting your business.

 

How do you make a strong, secure password?

Beginning with the obvious, no dictionary words, names or facts about you, pet names or locations; a strong password is a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols and ambiguous characters. for Example, ‘D56@h]!$vVcs09yH‘. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack.

 

There are various practises that you should stick by in order to maximise security:

 

– Use Two-Factor-Authentication whenever possible

– Use a combination of Capital letters, lowercase, numbers and symbols alike the example above

– Don’t use simple, common passwords… qwerty… or Dog123456

– Make sure your passwords are at least 10 characters long

– Don’t use any speaking words, as seen by the dictionary attack, it’s too easy to crack

– Change your passwords regularly, you never know if you’ve been hacked

 

Choosing a password is entirely up to the user. The best password is one that doesn’t make any sense.

 

** Get your FREE pinpoint guide on Password Security below **

>Download the guide here<

We’re Cloudscape.

We believe you should have the best backup solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business and determine the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost and productive with time.

If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

The Fort of Cyber Security – What is Ransomware?

How to protect your business against Ransomware

What exactly is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malicious software. Which locks and encrypts your computer or device data, then demands a ransom to restore your access.

The cybercriminal uses your own information against you, the files are still on your computer, however, they’re all encrypted and completely out of your control. They give you a set period of time and threaten to wipe the system if you don’t pay, causing many businesses to pay the ransom almost immediately.

Nevertheless, they’re not as kind as you may think… if you pay up and demand access back to your system, it doesn’t mean they will. You’re then out of pocket, still without all your data. Worst-case, if you pay up and they do return your files, they now know you’re able to pay up, don’t be surprised if they lock you out of your data again.

 

What are the different types of Ransomware?

Coming in all different shapes and sizes, with a variety of forms, some types are much more harmful than others:

 

Crypto Malware – The most harmful form of ransomware, the ability to encrypt everything on your system, once it’s started, you no longer have any control over your files, until you pay the ransom of course.

Screen Lockers – Infects your operating system to completely lock you out of your computer or device, making it impossible to access any of your files.

Scareware – As its name states, it’s used to scare you. Fake software claiming to be an antivirus and demands money for ‘finding issues with your computer’.  Some types lock you out but others mostly flood your screen with pop-ups and persistent alerts.

Doxware – Otherwise known has leakware, hackers will gain access to and will threaten to leak all your private documents, pictures and information, most victims will pay once their files have been hijacked.

 

How do you prevent being targeted by Ransomware attacks?

Ransomware is a popular money-making market for hackers and can be hard to stop. Prevention is the most important aspect of securing sensitive data. To block cybercriminals and help safeguard yourself from a ransomware attack, keep these points in mind:

  • Use security software with Advanced Threat Protection; Install trusted security suites to protect your data, you need more than just anti-virus.
  • Keep your Security software as well as your Operating System up to date, on the latest version at all times.
  • Never open email attachments or embedded links without analysing them first, you never know what it might be. similar to Phishing, you can be easily caught out into installing malicious content without you even knowing.
  • Be cautious of emails with attachments that require you to enable macros to view its content, once you enable macros, the malware inside is activated and will enter your system.
  • Use cloud services, they’re fantastic for mitigating ransomware infections
  • Don’t pay the ransom, yes you have a time limit and they’re threatening you with your won files, but a cybercriminal can ask you to pay over and over again and still never release you files, they locked you out, they won’t be kind and let you back in.

 

** Get your FREE pinpoint guide on Ransomware below **

>Download the guide here<

We’re Cloudscape.

We believe you should have the best backup solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business and determine the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost and productive with time.

If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

Communication is Key

Communication is Key.

 

For any business owner or manager, there is always the worry that employees aren’t as productive working from home as they would be if they were in the office.

With internal communication being such a critical aspect to any business; if you don’t know what’s going on things can start to get rather messy very quickly.

 

Introducing, Microsoft Teams.

With the ocean of tools available to us on our workstations, it’s particularly problematic to figure out what’s the best to use. Microsoft Teams can and will solve all of your internal communicational challenges.

Teams is Microsoft’s answer to a single-pane-of-glass application casing a full range of our day to day communication & collaboration requirements.

 

Introducing; Instant Messaging.

Instead of having over 200 emails floating in your mailbox, Teams allows you to chat instantly with your workforce within its single platform environment, across any device that you use. Whether you need to send a message, a file attachment or just a reminder. By uniting the conversation, Teams provides a seamless way to converse individually or as a group without the confusion of numerous emails and countless attachment versions.

 

Introducing; Real-time document editing.

With Teams you’ll no longer have to worry about misplacing or losing track of files; files won’t get lost and rewritten in the email wormhole.

To maximise your collaboration, Microsoft Office Web Apps are all supported within Teams, so you can have several team members working on the same document at the same time.

 

Introducing; Voice/video calls.

You may be thinking: ‘I haven’t got time for all this messaging, can I just make a phone call?’ The answer quite simply is yes.  The Teams app features voice and video conferencing.  It is built from the foundations of Skype and allows you to host calls between 2 or more users.

 

This could be a great opportunity to look at your current processes, with a view to improving them regardless of the Coronavirus emergency. If you are already part of the Office365 ecosystem there are plenty of other apps that you have at your disposal and could use to increase the efficiency of your business.

 

WE’RE CLOUDSCAPE.

 

It’s our belief that you should have the best solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business so that solutions can be tailored around your operation.   We are commercially savvy, so we will always aim to find the most cost-effective, time-efficient solutions that meet your technical/performance requirements.  If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

Making sure your team can work safely & efficiently

Let us guide your business to Remote Working!

 

Protect your business at all times.

Protecting your business from cyber-crime should always be your biggest priority. You’ve probably got security covered in your office already – all of your computers have anti-virus software; you use a secure VPN and your data is stored away safely.

 

But what exactly is a VPN?

A ‘Virtual Private Network’ gives you online privacy & anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection.

VPNs hide your IP address so your online actions are untraceable. Most importantly, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.

 

Why do you need to use a VPN you ask?

Browsing the web or transacting on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means you could potentially be exposing your personal information and browsing activities. Which is why a virtual private network, more commonly known as a VPN, should be a must for anyone concerned about their online security and privacy. Especially from a business point of view.

 

When preparing for a potential office shut down, you may need to provide your employees with equipment and infrastructure in order for them to complete their duties from home. When doing this, it’s best to take this approach: If it’s not secure, there’s no point in having it.

 

In addition to a virtual private network, you should also consider a range of other security precautions such as: multi-factor authentication for all accounts and business accounts to protect information;  ensuring that all employees are using approved devices; ensuring that strict rules are enforced relating to anti-virus software and downloading obscure files if they are using work devices.

 

WE’RE CLOUDSCAPE.

 

It’s our belief that you should have the best solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business so that solutions can be tailored around your operation.   We are commercially savvy, so we will always aim to find the most cost-effective, time-efficient solutions that meet your technical/performance requirements.  If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

The Fort of Cyber Security – What is a good Data Backup?

Having a Data Backup is one thing, but a good one…

What exactly is a good Data Backup?

In this day and age, it’s essential to have backups of your entire IT system & infrastructure. With endless possibilities just around the corner, it’s only a matter of time before you lose everything.

The key to backing up your data is simple, just follow the 3-2-1 backup rule.

In other words, just make sure you’ve got more than 3 copies all in unique, separate locations.

You really want to make backing up data a part of your daily life cycle. If you happen to lose your data due to a hardware defect or ransomware attack, having a backup could save your business.

 

Where do you even start with a Data Backup?

There are lots of ways to back up your data. Each way has its own procedure. Still, here are some general guidelines when it comes to making a good backup:

 

Storage is cheap, so it makes the most sense to just back up everything.

Cloud storage offers some advantages over local storage.

The more places your data is backed up, the better.

Don’t underestimate the value of having physical copies of things

Identify what you need to back up.

Backing up isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition.

 

Never underestimate the importance of securing your data, having multiple, unique versions of your infrastructure or lastly, losing all your data to a malicious hacker.

 

What options of backup are available?

There are plenty of options to back up your data. It’s smart to understand the types of backup and get one that suits your requirements:

– External Hard Drives

– Cloud Backup

– Flash Drives

– Online Backup Services

 

A lot depends on the kind of data you’re protecting. Cybercriminals can use seemingly unimportant data and patch it together to commit identity theft. A strong backup strategy can make a big difference in your digital life and give you peace of mind.

 

** Get your FREE pinpoint guide on Data Backups below **

>Download the guide here<

We’re Cloudscape.

We believe you should have the best backup solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business and determine the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost and productive with time.

If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

The Fort of Cyber Security – What is Smishing?

Pull up the drawbridge and protect your business from Smishing

But what exactly is Smishing?

The word ‘Smishing’ originates from both ‘SMS’ and ‘phishing’ combined. Phishing is the trickery of using imitation to get you to reveal personal, sensitive, or private information.

However, instead of using email, normal phone calls, hoax websites or VoIP, Smishing is carried out through text or SMS messages.

In similarity to both Phishing & Vishing, Smishing also uses a vast selection of scare tactics and emotional manipulation to trick you into giving up your information. The goal of is simple and exactly the same: To steal your money, your identity, or both.

 

Why is Smishing so perilous to my business?

Your private information needs to stay private, with a simple text message, that could all go up in flames.

Build a moat around your data and learn how to protect it, here are a few key tactics of Smishing:

 

The use of Social engineering – Leveraging your trust in order to obtain your private information

The threatening approach – “If you ignore this message you will be charged daily until you accept the terms”

Links & attachments (malicious) – Simple but effective, send 1000 texts with a single link, someone’s bound to click it

 

Along with various amounts of siege tools available, cybercriminals have an endless number of tricks to get your information.

 

How do you prevent Smishing attacks?

Everyone receives texts on a daily basis, most of the time they are from your friends, family or a legitimate source. But, every once in a while, you’ll be targeted by an anonymous number. To help you remain vigilant, below are some specific steps to prevent Smishing:

– Never reply to unknown numbers unless you are 100% confident it’s trustworthy

– Don’t reply to text messages riddled with errors & mistakes.

– Don’t click on any links or attachments within a text message.

– Never install applications that come through a text message, verify things first but always stick to the app store.

– If the preview looks dodgy, don’t even open it, just delete it.

 

Also, in order to maximise security for your mobile phone, we recommend a VPN. A Virtual Private Network will secure and encrypt any communication taking place between your mobile and the Internet on the other end. Therefore, giving you an extra layer of protection.

 

** Get your FREE pinpoint guide on Smishing below **

>Download the guide here<

We’re Cloudscape.

We believe you should have the best backup solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business and determine the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost and productive with time.

If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

The Fort of Cyber Security – What is Vishing?

Protect your business from the realms of Vishing

But what exactly is Vishing?

The word ‘Vishing’ is a mixture of ‘voice’ and ‘phishing.’ In which Phishing is the method of using imitation to get you to reveal personal, sensitive, or private information.

However, instead of using email, normal phone calls, or hoax websites, Vishers use an internet telephone service (VoIP).

Using a vast selection of scare tactics and emotional manipulation, the aim is to trick you into giving up your information. These Vishers even create fake Caller ID profiles which make the phone numbers seem trustworthy & legit. The goal of Vishing is simple: steal your money, your identity, or both.

 

Why do I need to know about Vishing?

Alike anyone else, your identity is everything. Vishing can come in a variety of forms, you need to be ready to catch out what’s real & trustworthy, compared to what’s fraud and will steal everything from you.

The most common form arrives in the voice of your Bank or your Credit card company.

 

“Your personal account has been breached. Please call this number to reset your account.”

 

The method of approach here is to inflict anxiety and panic, the fear of losing everything you’ve worked so hard for.

You might also see Vishing in the form of excitement and freebies.

 

“Congratulations! You’ve just won our grand prize of a 2-week holiday to the Maldives.”

 

From this point of view that seems fantastic, however, you’ll soon be asked to pay a ‘returnable fee’ to claim the prize, you won’t get that back.

As you can tell, there are hundreds of different methods to trick you into paying money or sharing your details.

 

How do you prevent Vishing attacks?

Everyone receives phone calls on a daily basis, 100% of the time they are completely legitimate, however you’ll always get an unknown number pop up when you least expect it. To help you remain vigilant, below are some specific steps to prevent Vishing:

 

– Be aware

– Don’t give into pressure

– Ignore phone calls from unknown numbers (If they’re important they’ll leave a message that’ll give you an idea if they’re trustworthy)

– Stay calm, if you’re unsure just hang up

– Always be cautious, certain people can be very convincing

 

** Get your FREE pinpoint guide on Vishing below **

>Download the guide here<

We’re Cloudscape.

We believe you should have the best backup solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business and determine the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost and productive with time.

If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.

Let us guide your business to Remote Working

Let us guide your business to Remote Working!

 

If your employees have to work from home because of the Coronavirus emergency, the obvious question to ask is: Does your team have the equipment they need to work remotely?

 

With the majority of office devices being desktop, it’s important to consider sooner rather than later whether you need to buy laptops, should they need to access shared networks and if your business uses a Virtual private network.  It is advisable to provide your employees with safe and secure work laptops.

 

Due to increased demand, supply restrictions and shipping constraints, the availability of the required devices may be affected.  It is therefore essential that decisions are made with a degree of urgency.

 

You should also consider Telephony systems.  Could you utilise Office 365 to minimise costs (particularly if you are already using it)?  Or, should you instead consider other systems and online work phones such as VoIP?

 

Some of your employees may find working from home difficult. This is why every effort should be made to ensure your employees have an appropriate workspace at home. We do not suggest that you go out and buy everyone a desk and a chair. But we do advise that you clarify with your employees what their home working environment is, and offer support where it is possible and appropriate.

 

WE’RE CLOUDSCAPE.

 

It’s our belief that you should have the best solutions for your business.

We’ll get to know your business so that solutions can be tailored around your operation.   We are commercially savvy, so we will always aim to find the most cost-effective, time-efficient solutions that meet your technical/performance requirements.  If you feel that your data isn’t being backed up correctly, please get in touch.