"Ransomware has severely disrupted an entire North Carolina county, forcing a return to pen and paper for tax payments, jail services, child support and more."
In a sign of the continued threat to operations that ransomware poses, news emerged this week that 48 out of Mecklenburg County’s 500 servers were infected and forced into quarantine. Reassuringly, county manager Dena Diorio said at a press conference that the local authority wouldn’t be paying the $23,000 ransom, but instead would begin the long and arduous process of restoring from back-ups.
Reported on Infosecurity-Magazine
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@TylerM, who has recently been talking about the rise of cryptocurrencies on the community here and here, had this to say about the NiceHash hack:
“This is devastating news for those in the mining community. NiceHash is a fantastic way for those who use just their personal computers or small mining farms to still get consistent payments by pooling together their hashing power. This hack is a lesson for the community to ensure that when mining for a pool, to always have payouts trigger at the smallest amount. Even though there are fees associated with using the minimum payout, having the amount sit in the mining pools wallet is risky. It doesn’t take much for mining pool operators to keep these types of wallets secure. If you don’t, this is what can happen. It will be a huge uphill battle for NiceHash to overcome this breach as it's very damaging to its brand.”
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Being a small-business owner means you have to wear many hats. It may require you to be an expert accountant, skilled salesperson, and an IT guru. But when you started your business, you may not have predicted that you’d need to be a security expert as well.
But as a small business, you likely collect sensitive customer information, and you’re responsible for ensuring that it’s protected from those who want to steal it. Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission put together a few steps small businesses can take to make sure their data (and thus, their liability) is safe.
Take Stock. Evaluate what personal information you’re collecting and storing both in your files and on your computers.
Scale Down. Only collect the information that’s absolutely necessary to conduct your business. You’re liable for every piece of personally identifiable information you collect, so collecting less can reduce your risk.
Lock it. Be sure your Webroot SecureAnywhere Small Business AntiVirus software is installed on every device, and be sure you have physical security measures in place to protection any paper files and network devices.
Pitch it. Don’t keep information you don’t need. Be sure to shred any physical information, and enlist the help of software that can help you securely wipe any digital files.
Plan ahead. Every small business needs to know exactly how they’ll react if a data breach occurs. Webroot has some tips on the first 5 steps you should take following a data breach, and the FTC has more information as well.
Clearly, each of these steps require diligence, research, and proactivity to ensure files are secure, but securing your data is worth the time and energy it requires. For more details on each of the steps above, you can visit the FTC website.
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Let’s say the worst has happened, and your business has experienced a data breach. Do you know how to react? What steps do you need to take to ensure your business and client data is recovered and secured?
The Federal Trade Commission has a few recommendations you should know about.
Take all affected equipment offline. Immediately take any machines that may potentially have been infected off your network. If possible, replace them with clean, uninfected machines.
Consult a security expert. Consider hiring a data forensics team to help you investigate the cause of your infection and assist you in remediating the attack. It’s a good idea to have a security expert in mind that you can contact quickly.
Instruct all users to change their login credentials. If your users’ login credentials were compromised in an attack, your systems and networks will remain vulnerable until the credentials are changed.
Check your website. Ensure that no malicious code was installed on your website, check to ensure all hyperlinks are still headed to the proper destination, and review all of your site content to ensure no personal information was posted on it.
Consult legal counsel and law enforcement. Your legal counsel can help you determine whether you need to notify affected customers or regulatory agencies of the breach, and your local police department should be aware of the potential risk of identity theft. If they aren’t familiar with how to handle cybersecurity situations, consult the FBI.
These are just the first steps you should take following a data breach, but you’ve already taken the most important step—ensuring that your business, customer data, and devices are protected with industry-leading cybersecurity software.
If you need more security tips, you can connect with fellow small businesses in our peer group. And don’t forget, Webroot’s world-class support is standing by to help with any security concerns you may face.
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Building a small business is a monumental task, and it’s only made more complex by having to manage your own IT matters. Unfortunately, cyber criminals don’t care about the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your business. So whether you have ten workstations, or you’re an army of one, it’s extremely important for small businesses to arm themselves with a basic knowledge of cybersecurity.
That’s why the Federal Trade Commission recommends that small businesses take these 5 steps to secure their devices and their data.
Update your software Recent ransomware attacks like WannaCry were made possible by businesses who didn’t update their operating systems. Software updates often contain security patches for known exploits, so whether you use a Mac or PC, update your software and apps whenever you’re prompted.
Improve your passwords Make your passwords as long and as complex as possible. Incorporate special characters, capital letters, and numerals throughout, not just at the beginning or the end. For instance, SnugglesIsMyCat1 isn’t as effective as u""2PH8`SXZ)T?zf. Clearly, complex passwords are a struggle to memorize—that’s why Webroot SecureAnywhere® Small Business AntiVirus includes a Password Manager feature. This way, you just need to remember one master password to log into any of your important online accounts.
Use two-factor authentication Though not all services offer this additional security option, you should take advantage of it whenever possible. It requires that you enter a secondary piece of information after your password, often only available to you through email or text message. This way, even if your password is hacked, the hacker won’t gain access to your account.
Secure your WiFi network If you’re using a wireless network from a cable or DSL provider, you may need to change some factory settings on your router to ensure you’re secure. They often come with preset network names and passwords, which make them easy for hackers to breach. Change the factory name and password, check proactively for router software updates (pro tip: set a calendar reminder to double check your software is up to date). If you’re not sure how to change these settings, your internet service provider should be able to help.
Stay safe on the go Running a small business often requires connecting from just about anywhere; coffee shops, airports, hotels, and more. If you’re connecting to an unsecure WiFi network, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). There are many affordable apps that will encrypt your data on unsecured connections, ensuring that digital eavesdroppers aren’t listening in on your data.
Of course, you’ve already taken the first step toward securing your business with Webroot. If you need more security tips, why not pick the brains of other small business owners in our peer group? And don’t forget, Webroot’s world-class support is standing by to help with any security concerns you may face.
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Welcome to the Webroot Small Business AntiVirus discussion forum! This forum has been created especially for our small business customers to discuss the Webroot Small Business AntiVirus product, small business cybersecurity tips and tricks, and just small business discussions in general. Please introduce yourself and let us know a little bit about who you are. Also, here are some helpful links to get you started in the Webroot Community:
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In addition, you can always ask one of our friendly community members and moderators for assistance at any time, as we are always happy to help!
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