Mac Security : Why You Should Protect Mac’s from Viruses

“I use a Mac, so I don’t need to worry about malware, phishing, or viruses.”

Many Mac users turn a blind eye to cybersecurity threats, often noting that most scams and attacks occur on PCs.

However, within the last few years, there has been a noted uptick in spyware (a type of software that gathers information about a person or organization without their knowledge), adware (software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material), and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) on Macs and iOS devices.

While Macs are known to have strong security features, they are by no means bullet proof. Webroot Vice President of Engineering David Dufour noted, “Many of these incidents are occurring through exploits in third-party solutions from Adobe, Oracle’s Java and others, providing a mechanism for delivering malicious software and malware.” Even the most internet-savvy users should be sure to install antivirus software on their Mac products.

Security tips for safe browsing on a Mac

Traditionally, because the Android operating system is more widely used around the world, it is also more highly targeted by cybercriminals. However, mobile devices running iOS are still vulnerable to security threats, and protecting them should be a priority for anyone who owns them. While it’s true that files and apps on mobile devices running iOS cannot be scanned in the same way that laptop devices can be, Webroot nonetheless recommends using mobile security as well as following these security recommendations to ensure safe browsing:

  1. Try using a VPN
    VPN stands for “virtual private network” and is a technology that adds an extra level of privacy and security while online, particularly when using public WiFi networks, which are often less secure. This recent Refinery29 article illustrates the benefits of VPNs for your work and personal life.
  2. Secure your browser
    You may be tempted to ignore messages about updating your browsers, but the minute an update is available, you should download and install it. This is good advice for all software being run on any devices—desktop, laptop, or mobile.
  3. Secure backup
    Be sure to regularly backup your computer and iOS devices so you can easily retrieve your data in case you get locked out of your device.
  4. Use strong passwords
    Instead of using a four-digit code on your iOS devices, use a combination of numbers and letters.

This article was provided by our service partner : Webroot


Overcoming the MSP Stereotype in 5 Steps

Some of the best clients on any technology solution provider’s radar might already have an in-house IT resource, and while you’re busy building relationships with the right people to get that contract signed, that in-house IT person may not know you exist until the deal is done. The uphill battle to finding success with that first in-house IT client? The MSP Stereotype.

What IS the MSP Stereotype?

As crazy as it seems, there’s an unofficial caste system in IT that revolves around career paths and specialization. Most IT professionals start out in desktop support to learn basic concepts, then move on to application support for a deeper understanding of business-critical applications. Their time in troubleshooting opens new doors to managing the systems or networks those applications rely on.

What About MSPs?

This general path leaves out the traditional MSP, who some IT pros see as a failed desktop support specialist. Every time an MSP says they’re “concentrated on making money, not learning some new technology” it reinforces the stereotype that MSPs are peddling half-baked fixes, useless hardware, and needless up-selling. It’s a mentality that gives the entire community a bad name, and overcoming it is the key to building a healthy, long-term relationship with your clients’ in-house IT.

So how do you overcome the bias / bad press? How do you avoid being undermined and build a mutually beneficial relationship?

5 Steps to Overcome the Stereotype

1. Find Their Passion

Make time to meet with in-house IT staff. Take them out to lunch or drinks, and assure them you want to help. Find out what part of IT excites them. If they’re passionate about troubleshooting and the instant gratification it brings, give them first refusal on break/fix issues with an agreed upon SLA. If strategic planning lights them up, give them a voice in those meetings. In other words, give in-house IT a chance to redefine their roles and responsibilities.

2. Build Credibility

Provide in-house IT with credentials for their assigned technicians/engineers. If your team has a slew of certifications and/or years of experience, let your client’s in-house staff see for themselves. Be prepared to handle objections. Some IT pros believe in certifications, while others think certifications are useless. Address objections calmly and professionally. At the end of the day, it’s about winning trust. It won’t happen overnight, but making efforts early help you both better understand what you’re walking into.

3. Collaborate Often

With a solid understanding of what the in-house IT staff is passionate about, take the time to collaborate with them on the direction of their account. In-house IT will understand why you have standards to uphold for supportability and consistency –give them a chance to voice preferences before options are finalized. Involving them as much as possible will do wonders for your long-term relationship.

4. Communicate Decisions

As an MSP, you bring recommendations and options for clients to decide on. Which means you likely have more access to your client’s decision makers than their own staff, including In-house IT. Decisions get made multiple times a day, but top-down communication is often a problem. Treat In-house IT the way you’d want them to treat you. If you get out of a meeting where a decision is made that could impact In-house IT, let them know the decision and, if possible, the logic behind it. Face-to-face will go a long way, but a simple phone call works too.

5. Maintain Trust

The problem with stereotypes is that you need to constantly prove you’re different. Doing the 4 steps above get the ball rolling, but you can’t slack off. Stay actively engaged with your client’s In-house IT to remind them you’re constantly looking out for their best interests.

Many MSPs already understand the benefit of clients with in-house IT. You get an extra set of hands without any of the overhead. You get an advocate when you’re not in the room, and a champion for your team and business…if you simply overcome the MSP stereotype. Invest the time to nurture your in-house IT relationships and they’ll help you build a stellar reputation.

This article was provided by our service partner : Connectwise

Managed Security Services

Ransomware Spares No One: How to Avoid the Next Big Attack

With global ransomware attacks, such as WannaCry and not-Petya, making big headlines this year, it seems the unwelcomed scourge of ransomware isn’t going away any time soon. While large-scale attacks like these are most known for their ability to devastate companies and even whole countries, the often under-reported victim is the average home user.

We sat down with Tyler Moffit, senior threat research analyst at Webroot, to talk ransomware in plain terms to help you better understand how to stop modern cybercriminals from hijacking your most valuable data.

 To put it simply, your files are stolen. Basically, any files that you would need on the computer, whether those are pictures, office documents, movies, even save files for video games, will be encrypted with a password that you need to get them back. If you pay the ransom, you get the password (at least, in theory. There’s no guarantee.)

How does the average home user get infected with ransomware?

Malspam” campaigns are definitely the most popular. You get an email that looks like it’s from the local post office, saying you missed a package and need to open the attachment for tracking. This attachment contains malware that delivers the ransomware, infecting your computer. It is also possible to become infected with ransomware without clicking anything when you visit malicious websites. Advertisements on legitimate websites are the biggest target. Remote desktop protocol (RDP) is another huge attack vector that is gaining traction as well. While controlling desktops remotely is very convenient, it’s important to make sure your passwords are secure.

How is the data ? Is the ransomed data actually taken or transmitted?

When you mistakenly download and execute the ransomware, it encrypts your files with a password, then sends that password securely back to the attacker’s server. You will then receive a ransom demand telling you how to pay to get the password to unlock your files. This is a really efficient way to prevent you from accessing your files without having to send gigabytes of information back to their servers. In very simple terms, the files are scrambled using a complex algorithm so that they are unreadable by any human or computer unless the encryption key is provided.

What types of files do ransomware attacks usually target?

Most ransomware is specifically engineered to go after any type of file that is valuable or useful to people. Around 200 file extensions have been known to be targeted. Essentially, any file that you’ve saved or open regularly would be at risk.

How does the attacker release the encrypted files?

The attacker provides a decryption utility via the webpage where you make the payment. Once you receive the decryption key, all you have to do is input that key into the tool and it will decrypt and release the files allowing you to access them again. Keep in mind, however, that the criminal who encrypted your files is under no obligation to give them back to you. Even if you pay up, you may not get your files back.

Tips for protecting your devices:
  • Use reliable antivirus software.
  • Keep all your computers up-to-date. Having antivirus on your computer is a great step towards staying safe online; however, it doesn’t stop there. Keeping your Windows PCs and/or Mac operating systems up-to-date is equally important.
  • Backup your data. Being proactive with your backup can help save your favorite vacation photos, videos of your kid’s first piano recital, not to mention sensitive information that could cost you thousands by itself.

This article was provided by our service partner Webroot.