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Avast Antivirus

It is unsafe to operate business computers without the protection of anti-virus software. You cannot rely on the built-in Windows Defender program or free anti-virus solutions in a commercial environment. Many of the “free” antivirus software packages have strict licence conditions that restrict their use on business PCs, so you are not permitted to use them in a business – and are effectively unprotected. Free software is not professionally monitored, and staff can easily turn off the virus protection. This puts your business at risk of contracting malware such as viruses and ransomware.

Avast AntivirusAvast Anti-virus from Digitalquill

The solution is to invest in a proper business cloud antivirus solution. Digitalquill is an authorised reseller of Avast Cloudcare (formerly AVG), which is one of the best-rated anti-virus programs on the market. It has a very low impact on your system, so it does not slow down your PCs. Its “always-on” protection and deep scans help to keep your computer free from viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, Trojans, and almost all other kinds of malware. It is constantly updated with new virus definitions in the background to keep your business PCs safe. When you choose to be protected by our fully managed cloud business antivirus service, you will have a team of professionals monitoring your computers 24/7 for potential threats.

 

When you sign up for the Avast Cloud-based antivirus service, we proactively monitor:

  • That the Avast Cloud Virus guard is installed properly and is working
  • That all the latest virus definitions have been updated
  • That scheduled scans have been completed as required
  • If any viruses are found we are alerted immediately
  • We can remotely update the virus definitions and virus guard software
  • We can initiate full virus scans on specific PCs, or all computers on the network

Avast Business Virus Protection from £0.95 per month

It is not costly to protect your business with Avast virus protection from Digitalquill. The Avast cloud antivirus service for business users costs as little as 95p per month per user (if you buy at least 50 two-year contracts). You can benefit from the expertise of a team monitoring your system for virus threats without breaking the bank.

Call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email us at support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit our website www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information on Avast Cloud Antivirus for business.

 

invoice virus

Reports in the media are saying that Action Fraud has found a recent increase in invoice virus emails – whereby businesses are tricked out of money or are targeted with viruses through emails claiming to include an invoice.

invoice virusWhat is an Invoice Virus?

Both Public and Private sector organisations have been the target of the bogus invoice scam. Fraudsters pretend to be genuine service or product providers and send an email purported to contain an invoice. Sometimes false instructions are included in the email asking the user to change their account details for future payments on ongoing contracts.

The most common Public and Private sector organisations that are targeted by this fraud type are:

  • Pharmaceuticals Industry
  • Airports
  • Travel related Industry
  • Universities, Schools and Colleges
  • Health Care Providers
  • Financial Services Industry
  • Food and Drink Industry
  • Councils

But invoice virus emails have arrived at all kinds of business so do not assume you are safe.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau state that losses can vary but often run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Several of the biggest frauds have exceeded £1 million. The funds are quickly transferred outside of the UK, so recovery of the money by the police is often impossible.

Countless other businesses have been infected with malware such as viruses and malware as a result of opening links in scam invoice emails.

What does Invoice Virus Fraud look like?

The bogus invoice fraud sometimes involves a genuine invoice being intercepted. How this is done is unknown, but is possible a virus within the email system from a prior email. The account details given for payment on the invoice are then altered to make the payment go to an account that is under the Fraudster’s control.

Often the fraud will only be discovered months later when the legitimate company that sent the invoice chases up payment. Some incidents have involved emails with completely counterfeit invoices being sent as attachments or within infected file attachments.

What are the signs of an invoice virus?

Completely counterfeit invoices will usually not stand up to scrutiny. The invoices may contain logos scraped from the internet or scanned copies of an original document. The company logo may, therefore, appear to be slightly blurred.

Digitalquill – Experts in Computer Security for East Yorkshire Businesses

If you have received an email from an unfamiliar email address or think you may have been infected with an invoice virus, then we can help. For details of our Hull, IT support service and IT support for East Yorkshire businesses, call us on 01482 574402 or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk

ransomware

This is the third and final part our blogs about the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)’s tips on keeping safe from ransomware.

What is the impact of ransomware?

ransomwareRansomware prevents you from accessing your systems, your data, or both until you find a solution. If those systems are delivering business critical services, this can have a serious impact on your reputation, finances and your customers. Even if you took a recent backup of your system, it may still take some considerable time to restore it and you may even restore a backup that has formant ransomware on it. This is why we help organisations to write Business Continuity plans and install backup solutions.

Limiting the impact of a ransomware attack

The following measures will help to limit the impact of an attack by ransomware.

Access control: Don’t use the administrator account for day to day business, and never share passwords.  The encryption may only apply to the data owned by a single affected user, but if you share logins then everyone is affected.

Need to know: limit the access to your data and file systems to those who have a business need to use them.

Keep backups of your data. Organisations should always have a fully tested backup solution in place. Backup files must never be directly accessible by any machines that could be infected by ransomware – or it could spread to your backups too.

What to do if your organisation is infected by ransomware

Unplug any affected machines from the network, and switch them off at the mains. Then call an expert for advice. We can help businesses prevent ransomware and we may be able to help you recover if you have been attacked.

Digitalquill – Experts in Cyber Security

Digitalquill are experts in removing and preventing malware and ransomware. For more information, call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk.

 

 

 

Hull IT Security

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently published some guidance for businesses on keeping safe from ransomware. We are translating them into plain English and giving practical advice on staying safe online. We are experts in Hull IT security and can help your business to stay safe online.

How does ransomware infect your system?

Hull IT Security
online hacker attack

Computers become infected with ransomware in a number of ways. Often, users get tricked into running programs that appear legitimate, but which actually contain ransomware. These can arrive in emails, through authentic-looking attachments or links to websites that resemble real ones (also known as phishing). Recent ransomware infections have relied on vulnerabilities in Windows or other software. If this is the case, then simply visiting a malicious website may be enough. File transfers between computers (using external drives or USB memory sticks) can also cause malware to spread.

Preventing ransomware with enterprise security

Ransomware is one of the many different types of malicous software. You can minimise the risk of your business computers being infected by ransomware by using the same precautions as malware in general.

Vulnerability management and patching

A lot of ransomware exploits software vulnerabilities in your operating system, web browser, plug-ins and other applications. When such loopholes are discovered, software providers make patches available to close them. Keeping software updated is the most effective way to stop your system being compromised. Find out how to update your Windows operating system here.

Controlling code execution

Only your administrator should be able to install software on business PCS, and you should only be logged in as the administrator if that is your intention. All other business activity should be conducted through “normal” user accounts. Your Hull IT Support company will be able to check this for you.

Block certain internet traffic

It is recommended to using a security service to proxy outgoing internet traffic. You can filter out attempted connections based on categories or the reputation of the sites your users attempt to visit. If staff attempt to access a malicious site it can be blocked as “not for business use” and keep your files safe.

Digitalquill – Experts in Hull IT Security

Digitalquill can help you with all of your Hull IT support, East Yorkshire IT security and Lincolnshire ransomware prevention needs. We don’t just act proactively, we help you put systems and policies in place to make an attack less likely. The best approach is with a combination of antivirus software, backup and policy.

Don’t let your business be put at risk, act today. Call Digitalquill on 01482 424402, email suppor@digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

 

Hull Virus

Hull Virus Alert! The Hull Daily Mail is reporting that a virus has hit some GP surgeries in the Hull area.

Patients in Hull could be affected by the virus which has attacked the IT systems in some GP surgeries in the area. It sends out spam emails which appear to come from the GP.  Surgeries have been sent out to patients, asking them to pay money into their accounts.

According to NHS Hull, their IT technicians have been trying to remove the virus for the past week. Although the problem has mainly affected their internal IT systems, at least one GP practice has reported that spam emails have been sent to some of their patients.

Hull Virus Protection

Hull VirusThe spam message received by patients says they have to pay an invoice and provides a link to follow. It goes without saying that you should never click a suspicious link in an email.

Our advice to business users is:

  • don’t click links in emails – open a browser and go to the site yourself
  • never open attachments that you are not expecting
  • stick to known websites and avoid downloading files from unknown sources

Digitalquill: Hull IT Support Services

At Digitalquill, our Computer Services division can provide IT support for any computer issues you may have – including viruses and ransomware. From a backup regime to monitored IT support; from building and maintaining a website through to acting as your virtual IT director, we can help with it all. We can assist your existing internal IT team or add IT support to a business that has none. Perhaps there is a large IT project which you need additional hands to complete, or you have problems that your team cannot get a handle on. Our team can give you advice over the telephone or on-site with hands-on help.

Call Digitalquill on 01482 424402, email suppor@digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

 

10 Top Tips to avoid Ransomware 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have published some tips on keeping safe from ransomware. We would like to translate them into plain English and help you understand what you need to do to stay safe from Cyber Crime.

How to prevent a ransomware incident, and what to do if your organisation is infected.

10 Top Tips to avoid Ransomware Ransomware is a growing threat to global cyber security and one which may affect any organisation, however large or small if it does not have appropriate defences. In the first half of 2016, there was a threefold increase in ransomware types, compared to the previous year.  Ransomware has been a threat to Windows operating systems for many years, but attacks against Mac and Linux systems are also increasingly being seen.

The methods that ransomware uses to infect systems are similar to those used by other malicious software. The steps organisations should take in order to protect themselves are also well-known. Ransomware infection can cause a minor irritation or a wide-scale disruption – depending on the measures your business has taken. Ransomware attacks are not usually targeted at specific individuals, so infections are possible in any organisation.

What is Ransomware?

There are two different types of ransomware; the first will encrypt the files on a computer or your network. The second type will lock the computer’s screen. Both types of ransomware tell users that they must make a payment (a ‘ransom’) if they are to use their computer again. The ransom is usually demanded in an untraceable cryptocurrency, most often Bitcoin.

In many cases, the amount of ransom requested is relatively modest. This is deliberate – the criminals want to make paying the ransom the quickest and cheapest way to restore the computer, so people pay up. However, you should be cautious, as there is absolutely no guarantee that payment of the ransom will actually unlock the computer. The criminals may make further demands after unlocking only some files – and if the software is still on the PC, they can easily strike again.

Digitalquill – Experts in Ransomware

Even if you have not been unlucky and suffered an attack from ransomware, you must still take steps to stay safe. We can check that your malware prevention tools are up to date and effective – and we can provide business grade AVG virus protection. We also conduct system security audits and make sure you have the safety measures you need. Call us on 01482 424402 for advice.

 

Ransomware CYber-Attack

Ransomware Cyber-AttackCompanies across the globe reported last week that they were struck by a major ransomware cyber-attack. The virus froze the user’s computers and demanded the payment of a ransom in the untraceable digital currency, Bitcoin. Experts have suggested that the malware was exploiting the same weaknesses as the WannaCry attack last month.

Experts suggest the malware is taking advantage of the same weaknesses used by the WannaCry attack last month.

Ukraine was hit particularly hard, with firms including the state power company, Kiev’s main airport, and even the Chernobyl nuclear power plant being affected. The anti-virus firm Kaspersky said there had been around 2,000 attacks – mostly concentrated in Ukraine, Poland and Russia.

Problems also affected companies including:

  • Aircraft manufacturer Antonov,
  • Russia’s oil producer, Rosneft
  • Danish shipping company Maersk
  • Shipping company TNT

How Can I Keep My Business Safe from a Ransomware Cyber-Attack?

  • The first and most important rule is to keep your systems updated. We have covered how to upgrade Windows 7, 8 and 10 in an earlier post. Click here to find out how to update Windows.
  • Always run a paid virus protection program and never skip its updates or ignore warnings. We can supply your business with a 24/7 monitored enterprise version of AVG antivirus. Click here to find out more about our antivirus software.
  • If you think you may be infected with ransomware or see a warning screen, unplug all internet cables, switch off your router and call us on 01482 424402 for advice. Do not pay any ransoms; there is no guarantee that your files will be recovered by the criminals behind the attack.

Digitalquill: Cyber Security Experts

When it comes to ransomware, prevention is better than cure. We can help you design a more secure system and conduct an audit of your IT security to make sure you have the policies and procedures as well as the software and hardware you need to protect against cyber-attack. If you run a small business and do not have board-level IT representation, then you might want to consider our Virtual IT Director service.

To find out more, call us today on 01482 424402, visit our website www.digitaquill.co.uk or email us at office@digitalquill.co.uk.

ransomware cyberattack

ransomware cyberattackUniversity College London, one of the UK’s leading universities, has been hit by a major ransomware cyber-attack. It follows last month’s attack when the National Health Service was subjected to a ransomware cyber-attack.

The university’s staff and students risk data loss, and the attack has caused substantial disruption. Ironically, University College London (UCL) is a “centre of excellence in cyber-security research”, having been awarded that status by GCHQ.

The attack is believed to probably originate from a “compromised” website, where clicking a pop-up page might have spread a malware infection.

Ransomware Attack? Here’s What To Do

It is terrifying to be presented with a demand for money. Your first instinct might be to make the payment – particularly when the malicious software alleges you have visited websites or downloaded files that could be embarrassing or illegal. Some ransomware even imitates Police services, showing an official looking logo. Don’t pay: No law enforcement agency operates in this way, and you should never enter your credit card details on a ransomware screen.

Probably the best way to stop ransomware is to prevent it by:

  • avoiding clicking links in emails,
  • never open attachments you are not expecting,
  • stick to known websites

If you see a ransomware prompt, what you must do is:

  • Stop using the computer immediately
  • Disconnect network cables and unplug your router to stop the infection spreading
  • Call an expert

Digitalquill Experts in Ransomware Prevention

Digitalquill are here to help you prevent and recover from ransomware attacks. We also help you to put systems in place to make an attack less likely. The best approach is a combination of antivirus software, backups and security policies because there is not a one-shot solution.

Don’t put your business at risk. Do not risk losing your sensitive or important data: act today. Call Digitalquill on 01482 424402, email suppor@digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

 

password best practice

Security plays a big part in our business, and we regularly blog about security breaches. One of the most common ways people put their IT security at risk is through insecure passwords.

password best practiceResearchers SplashData looked at over 2 million passwords that had been leaked and made publicly available to come up with a “Worst Passwords List”. This list highlights the insecure passwords of people are using and which are easy to both guess or crack.

Is Your Password on the List?

Here are the most common 25 passwords people use. If yours is on the list, change it immediately and remember to never reuse the same password in multiple places.

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. football
  8. 1234
  9. 1234567
  10. baseball
  11. welcome
  12. 1234567890
  13. abc123
  14. 111111
  15. 1qaz2wsx
  16. dragon
  17. master
  18. monkey
  19. letmein
  20. login
  21. princess
  22. qwertyuiop
  23. solo
  24. passw0rd
  25. starwars

How to Choose a Secure Password

Password security is simple to implement when you follow some basic advice:

  • Make passwords a minimum of 8-characters in length.
  • Don’t use a single word (like “princess”) or a commonly-used phrase (“letmein”).
  • Make your password hard to guess even if people know a lot about you. People can work out your date of birth, favourite band, favourite actor, dog’s name, from social media. If you use any of these for a password, then change it.
  • Make sure you hide personal information on social media.
  • Don’t use the same password on multiple websites. One password breach can then make dozens of accounts insecure.
  • Use two-step verification wherever it is available (e.g. where a text is set to your phone and must be entered to log in.)
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and software up to date.
  • Be wary of suspicious emails and websites – if in doubt, don’t click.
  • Install an antivirus program on your computer or use a managed service.

Digitalquill – Experts in Cybersecurity

For more information on password or IT security, call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk. We can provide you with a managed AVG antivirus solution for business.

Ransomware

Yesterday we covered how NHS services in England and Scotland have been hit by a large-scale ransomware cyber-attack that disrupted hospital appointments. The malware, known as  “Wanna Decryptor” or “WannaCry”, demanded users pay £300 (£230) to unlock their files.

How to Update Windows to avoid Ransomware

Early indications are that this attack relates to a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. Microsoft has released a patch for this vulnerability, but many users do not have this patch. It is tempting to ignore system requests to update your computer – but these updates are intended to keep you safe and should never, ever be ignored.

Here are instructions on how to update your Windows system to make sure you have all the latest security patches:

How to Update Windows 7

1: Click Start and then select control panel, select system and security

Ransomware

 

2: Click on Windows Update

Ransomware

 

3: The update status will be shown. Clicking “Check Updates” in the left-hand pane will force a check for the latest patches.

Ransomware

 

4: You can select the updates to install by putting a tick into the boxes by each line.

Ransomware

 

5: Finally, click “Install Updates” and follow the Wizard through to the end.

Ransomware

How to Update Windows 8

1: Make sure your PC is plugged in and connected to the Internet

2: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
(If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

Ransomware

 

3: Tap or click “Update and recovery”, and then tap or click “Windows Update”. You can type a “w” to bring it to the top.

Ransomware

 

4: Tap or click “Check Now”.

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5: If updates are found, tap or click “View Details”.

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6: Don’t disconnect, unplug, or turn off your PC while the update is being installed.

How to Update Windows 10

1: Click Start (Windows Logo) and type “updates”.

Ransomware

2: Press the Enter key, and the updates window will open: in there it tells you when your machine was last updated.

Ransomware

 

3: Press “Check for Updates” to see if there are any new patches. If there are, you will be prompted to download them.

4: Leave the machine turned on and connected to power and the internet while it downloads the updates. When you next restart the machine, you will be asked if you want just to restart or to install updates and then restart. Select “Install updates and restart.”

Avoiding Ransomware

Remember some basic rules:

  • Do not open email attachments originating from people you don’t know or from people you do know, but are not expecting
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date virus guard (we can supply AVG for businesses)
  • Make sure your operating system is up-to-date with the latest security patches.

Digitalquill – Ransomware Protection for Hull, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

If you do not have paid virus protection on your business systems, contact us for a subscription price for AVG for business to keep your data safe from hackers.

If you are worried that you may have been affected by ransomware, remove your network cable and turn off your wifi to prevent it spreading to other computers on your network, then call us on 01482 424402 and we will help.