Security & Data Protection Notice

Updated By Andrey Sherman|24 June 2019

Security & Data Protection Notice

We would like to take a few minutes of your time to discuss the biggest cybersecurity threat for small businesses, ransomware. Additionally, we are sharing best security practices deployed by Xvand to protect data from ransomware attacks and other security vulnerabilities as well as basic tips for users to help guard you from an attack.

You can watch the videos linked below or continue reading the text below to consume the educational material we are sharing.

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks typically originate from an external source like a link in an email, on a website or received in a messaging app. Once clicked or otherwise activated, a malicious mechanism steals any data accessible on the targeted machine and encrypts or otherwise manipulates it. These attacks are designed to affect data accessible on local workstations and the network, so everybody on the same local network is potentially at risk. Ransomware changes individual file structure, so that it is unreadable to the user affected and holds it hostage until a ransom is paid. Even though paying the required amount of Bitcoin (digital currency) may grant immediate access to infected data, it does not remove the underlying virus. Therefore, the payment of a ransom may still not unlock your data, and if it does, that data’s integrity is now suspect and at risk for future attacks.

  • Average cost of a cyberattack in 2018 was $1.1 million, and up 52% from 2017. 54% of the losses were operational in nature with the remaining 46% of the losses attributed to negative customer experiences and a loss of branding or reputation.
  • 47%of small businesses have been attacked by ransomware in the last 12 months. 44% of those attacked experienced multiple attacks. (source 2018 Hiscox Small Business Cyber Security Report)
  • There has been a 105% increase in ransomware attacks in Q1 of 2019 compared to Q1 of 2018, and the average ransomware demand has also spiked up 93% to $224,871 in Q1 of 2019 compared to the 2018 average of $116,324. (Source: Beazley Breach Insights Report)

Best Security & Data Protection Practices

What Xvand does to protect your data:

  • Adhere to Microsoft’s development life-cycles and retire older systems when official support has ended.
  • Receive consultation from an IT Professional/Consultant regarding the potential replacement of local devices as necessary.
  • Your Network environment should be secured by several layers of protection:
    • a sophisticated 2-step email filtering system that consists of:
      Cloud Protection & Spam Firewall
      MS Exchange Anti-Virus
    • Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) with Anti-Virus and comprehensive network traffic analysis
  • A complete denial of software execution within your IT Services system to stop anything that could attempt to get through.
  • Use most up to date Anti-Virus Software.
  • An ideal and highly secure environment would isolate your local machines from your shared file repositories to prevent an attack from spreading across your network.
  • Local workstation management:
    This service adjusts local workstation settings to mitigate potential attacks and take care of routine maintenance items such as updates on a predefined schedule.

Common Sense Tips & Guidelines to Help Protect Your Data:

  1. Always call or email your IT Consultant, if you need help telling a legitimate email, link, software, etc. apart from a fake one AND before you open it
  2. If you already have ransomware of any type or suspect your PC is infected, shut it down, then call your IT Consultant to schedule a technician to investigate the issue.
  3. Be careful not to click on harmful links in your emails.
  4. Be wary of visiting unsafe or unreliable sites.
  5. Never click on a link that you do not trust on a web page or give access to Facebook or messaging applications such as WhatsApp.
  6. If you receive a message from your friend with a link, ask him before opening the link to confirm he sent it since infected machines send random messages with links.
  7. Keep your files backed up periodically.
  8. Be aware of fraudulent e-mail messages that use names similar to popular services such as PayePal instead of PayPal.
  9. Use antivirus software and always make sure you have the latest, most up to date version.
  10. Make sure your Windows OS has the latest update.

If you would like to inquire further about anything we have covered here,
please contact (832) 204-4844 or sales@xvand.com