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What’s Worse, an Insider or Outsider Threat?

When IT pros think of hackers, images of young men sitting around a smoky room in Eastern Europe staring at monitors may come to mind. And yes, many hacks, especially large scale incursions, do come from organized groups of outsiders and often foreign entities. This outside threat is why firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention systems are so common.

But these perimeter defenses do little to fend off what may be the biggest threat – an attack from inside!

Insiders not only have network access, sometimes at a high level, they also know much of what is on the network, and where exactly that data resides. Continue Reading…

Petya May be the Worst Ransomware Ever

Ransomware has been wreaking havoc for years, locking up data and decrypting and releasing it only when money is paid, usually through Bitcoin.

Like any successful malware, new variants are based on the old ones, making it a snap for even amateur-hour hackers to tweak an old exploit and unleash it as new.

So now we have Petya, whose victims already include banks, airports, the metro in Kiev, and even Chernobyl radiation detectors. And this is only the beginning, as the malware is still very much in the wild. Continue Reading…

Kaseya Offers Answer to MSP and Client Credential Cracking Woes

Security has always been paramount for MSPs. But now that hackers are going out of their way to compromise service providers and use that foothold to attack clients, the need for protection has multiplied

That’s why Kaseya today announced AuthAnvil MSP Protect, a service that protects MSP networks from password cracking incursions and forms the basis of new MSP Security as a Service (SCaaS) offerings. The new MSP Protect is a complete solution to password security, and includes two-factor authentication (2FA), single sign-on (SSO), and a password server for rich password management. Continue Reading…

MSPs: Protect Yourself and Customer Endpoints Through Layered Security

PC consumers tend to feel to safe so long as they have antivirus protection in place. Some neophytes are comfortable even without having this modicum of protection.

As experienced IT pros, MSPs know better. Antivirus and anti-malware protection is important, but it is only one aspect of keeping MSP and client endpoints safe. Keeping both the provider and customer sides safe is essential. Customers need to be safe because that is what they pay you for – and your reputation is on the line. Continue Reading…

How IT Automation Can Benefit Your School: Build Efficiency While Staying in Budget

IT departments in elementary and secondary schools have many challenges unique to their environments. One fundamental issue is that these districts are locally funded, and budgets rarely increase by more than a meager percentage point or two.

Despite that, changes in educational approaches and the demands of parents and tech-savvy students mean that schools are constantly pressed to adopt cutting-edge technologies.

Technology has transformed learning, and nowhere is this more evident than in the work that students produce. Even primary school students create papers in Word, craft PowerPoint presentations, Photoshop pictures, and edit videos using Final Cut. Continue Reading…

MSPs Beware: US Department of Homeland Security Warns Cybercriminals Are Attacking IT Providers

Hackers go where the money, the control and the ability to inflict damage lie. An individual enterprise or SMB is a pretty good score. But a service provider that controls the IT of multiple clients is far more enticing.

That’s why service providers such as MSPs must take special care. If your systems are cracked, criminals can gain control of all your clients. Your reputation and business could be gone in an instant. And your clients could fare just as badly. Continue Reading…

WannaCry Ransomware Exposes Crisis of Unpatched Systems, Failure to Back up

 

Would it surprise you to learn that one of the most successful computer exploits in history happened against a vulnerability for which a patch already exists?

That’s just what happened with the WannaCry (also called WannaCrypt) ransomware attack that crippled hundreds of thousands of computers last Friday and continues to wreak havoc this week. Continue Reading…

MSP Tightens Passwords, Boosts Revenue with AuthAnvil Multi-Factor Authentication

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Most managed service providers (MSPs) base their core business on managing remote systems through a remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution.

But smart service providers are adding complimentary services on top of this, and multi- and two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the more fertile areas.

New Zealand MSP Computer Concepts Limited (CCL) knew its clients were worried about security after hearing about the massive breaches experienced by Target, Anthem, Home Depot, and others. Continue Reading…

Massive iCloud Hack Shows Criticality of Strong Authentication

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Apple has a reputation for building secure systems. The Mac is still far more hack proof than PCs, and the iPhone being a closed system has not been hit with a plethora of malware.

The iCloud had much the same reputation – until this week.

Hackers reportedly successfully compromised millions of iCloud logins. The hackers, dubbed the Turkish Crime Family (but ironically based in London), then demanded Apple given them $100,000 in iTunes cards. This is a takeoff on ransomware. Instead of locking up data and demanding money, the bad guys steal data and want cash for its return. The group has been trying to extort money in return for the log ins from other companies as well. Continue Reading…

CompTIA Predicts Strong IT Growth, Cloud Getting Stronger and Security Not Getting Better

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Channel advocacy group CompTIA tracks the MSP market as well as the overall IT space. News for the latter is good, though the growth is not exactly stunning. One item the group tracks in their annual IT Trends Analysis survey is what they call “Business Confidence”. According to the execs surveyed, the economy is in good shape and IT pros have a positive outlook.

Meanwhile growth is healthy, but nowhere the double digits that characterized the 1980’s and 1990’s. In fact, CompTIA expects 4.1 percent growth globally this year, creating a $3.5 trillion market. Continue Reading…

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