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Here’s What We Know About WannaCry / WannaCrypt / Wcry Ransomware

Over the weekend, businesses, institutions, and individuals in 12+ countries have fallen victim to a ransomware program known as “WannaCrypt”, or a variant thereof. For those unaware, WannaCry is fast-spreading form of malware that remotely targets nearby computers running on unpatched or unsupported versions of Windows.

Once infected, computers with this malware being encrypting all the user files they can find on the network, displaying a red ransom note (below) demanding $300 for a decryption key, with the cost increasing as time goes on.

From a technical perspective, the malware spreads via SMB – that is the Server Message Block protocol – typically used by Windows machines to communicate with file systems over a network.

Microsoft released a fix for the exploits (MS17-010, used as a part of its March “Patch Tuesday” release), but unpatched Windows systems remain vulnerable. If you are certain your PCs were updated after March 28th, you should be safe – if you’re unsure and would like to schedule an assessment, please contact us today!

 

Euclid Network’s Partner Update

For current partners of Euclid Networks, our proactive monitoring and maintenance software ensures all computers on service plans have critical Microsoft patches regularly reviewed, whitelisted by our partner NOC, and deployed to our client’s machines. We strongly believe in a proactive approach to IT Support, and ensuring software is up to date on business systems is our top priority.

Due to the seriousness of this particular outbreak, we are also manually reviewing our partner’s machines to ensure Microsoft security bulletin MS17-010 has been implemented across the board.

Additionally, our Antivirus partner, Webroot, has announced they have deployed preventative measures for this ransomware – and our partners using Dell Sonicwall Firewalls with Comprehensive Gateway Security Suite licenses should rest assured they have another layer of protection, with Sonicwall having discovered this malware and its variants as of mid-April.

 

Your Mitigation Strategies for Ransomware : Backup

In today’s technology environment, having good preventative measures in place is only the first step to having a comprehensive disaster plan in place.

Ideally, you want to have a 3-2-1 backup strategy in place. This means having at least 3 total copies of your data, 2 of which are local but on different physical devices (such as external storage drives) and 1 of which is offsite – preferably cloud based, with versioning capabilities.

If you don’t have a backup strategy in place, or want to re-evaluate your current plan, please contact Euclid Networks for a consultation!

If you’re unsure of how to assess your current needs, just consider your ability to recover from the following scenarios:

  1. All your files become corrupted (or encrypted) and replicated to your backup devices before anyone realizes.
  2. You have backup on one machine or server which is protected, but envision other devices that can communicate with your machine, and how they might be affected by the spread of malware.
  3. Envision a scenario where all your physical devices have been stolen, or your home or business is subject to fire or flood.

Resilience against all of the above scenarios is not difficult, but it takes careful planning, and continually reassessing your technology environment!

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Delegate to an Expert – An IT Provider can Help Your Small Business!

If you own a legal practice, design firm, or other small business and have a decent grasp of technology, you might be tempted to “go it alone” – and handle the technical side of your business yourself. As a business owner, it’s only natural to try and do so – after all, you’re great at what you do! But, don’t think that your ability to solve problems and get things done is enough to keep your computer systems running in all cases – many technological problems can be complex and require a trained professional to solve.

At some point, a network glitch, virus or software issue will threaten to bring your entire business to a halt, costing you what you thought you’d save – or even more – by going it alone. Even a simple problem can require hours of troubleshooting and shift your focus away from other important business tasks, possibly leading to unplanned downtime and unnecessary expenses.

To keep your applications, network, servers, computers and other technology running, it’s worth considering contracting an IT provider. If you don’t have the money to hire a full time IT manager to work on staff, an outside provider can just as aptly handle the day-to-day management of your small business’ technological needs. Euclid Network’s Managed IT Support Plans do just this! A competent IT provider can offer deployment, maintenance and proactive IT management assistance, and will be there when you need solutions for simple but important questions and problems – all for a reasonable fee.

In many cases, an IT provider can help manage your technology better than you – a busy small business owner with many areas to supervise – can. The provider will minimize irksome tech issues that slow productivity and increase costs, and will look for ways to maximize your technological tools so that you can get the most for your IT spend, increase productivity, and help your business grow.

If you’re ready for a new technology partner for your Atlanta based business, give Euclid Networks a call – helping solve your tech problems is our forte!


Euclid Networks is Hiring : Part-time Desktop/Systems Support Technician

Part time Desktop/Systems Support Technician needed for small but growing Managed
Service Provider in Atlanta, GA.

The primary role will be providing technical support and research assistance for our
Senior Systems Administrator. Job expectations will include providing courteous and
professional phone and onsite support for end-users, assistance with diagnostics and
support of Windows Server networks, software/hardware troubleshooting & installation,
trouble ticket management, timely remote support, technical documentation, and
providing research assistance and expertise on technical & company projects.

The ideal candidate will be self-starting and require little supervision, be enthusiastic
about working with and learning new technologies, possess excellent verbal and written
communication skills, and have strong attention to detail.

Hours will vary, with an expected average of 20/hours per week. A flexible schedule is
required. Initial schedule will be morning shift, (M – F, 9:00 am-1:00 pm). Opportunity
for the right candidate to become full time as company continues to grow.

For complete job listing and details, please click here to download job description.

Please provide cover letter and resume by emailing
resumes@euclidnet.comno calls please
.


Windows 8.1 Update 1 released, Official MS Support for XP Ends

Today marked two important milestones for business Windows users – the release of Windows 8.1 Update 1 (KB2919355), and the official end of Microsoft support for Windows XP as of April 8th. If your company is still actively using Windows XP, contact us to learn more about what this means for your office’s computers.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 includes some relatively major changes – concessions for folks not using the operating system with a touchscreen. Most notably, the “Start Menu” has been more widely embraced – something MSFT has been reluctant to do, and an option business users have been demanding. Now, even when modern ‘metro’ style apps are in use, the taskbar remains visible. For multi-tasking business users, this feature was sorely missing.

taskbar-improvements-windows-8.1-update

As well, there are updates for the metro style interface – bringing some of the ‘hidden’ right sidebar features (such as search) out into the open. This has been, in our experience, one of the biggest confusing factors for new Windows 8.1 users.

start-screen-revised-small

For our Atlanta business IT support partners running Windows 8.1, rest assured we’ll be rolling this patch out ASAP! For those holding off on upgrading to Microsoft’s latest operating system, this is a small step in the right direction.

Finally, we’ve made some updates of our own to euclidnet.com – We’ve added a dynamic feed of our latest Facebook posts, and our latest Twitter posts, under our ‘about us‘ section. If you haven’t already, remember to Like us on facebook and Follow us on twitter to stay current on one of Atlanta’s best IT support providers, and our tech-tips blog.


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