The ONE Thing You And Your Employees Should NEVER Do When On Vacation

’Tis the season when you and your team will be taking a little time off to head to the beach or your favorite vacation spot, and while we know we should completely disconnect from work, most of us will still check e-mail and do a little work while away — and that could end up causing some issues if you’re not careful while working remote.

So before you head off to have a little fun with your laptop tucked under your arm, keep this in mind: never automatically connect to “any available network.” Not all Internet connections are secure, so if you’re going to log in to the company’s network, e-mail or other critical cloud apps that are hosting sensitive information, ONLY do so on a trusted, secured WiFi and NEVER a public one. We recommend investing in a personal MiFi device that acts as a mobile WiFi hotspot IF you’re going to be traveling a lot and accessing company info.

Second, turn off the ability to automatically connect for all of your mobile devices and laptops. You will still be able to connect manually, but it will prevent your laptop or device from connecting to a questionable network without your consent or knowledge.

Finally, disable all printer and file-sharing options on your mobile devices. This is another way hackers can gain access to your network. In an ideal world, you and your employees would take a true break from work, but if they aren’t able to completely detach themselves, then at least require them to stay safe using the above tips.

Urgent Security Alert!

Urgent Security Alert – CryptoWall 3

What is it?

CryptoWall 3 (with a new MD5 hash) is the newest variant of the CryptoLocker/CryptoWall family. It was released earlier this year and has surged within the past few days. It works by encrypting the data on your computers and servers. Without paying a ransom (beginning at $500), you may not be able to recover your data. Even paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee the decryption of your important files.

How does it spread?

The newest spike in infections is caused by a spam campaign. In other words, we’re seeing an increase in spam (much of the spam is coming from Yahoo, but we’re seeing other email providers as well) with attachments that appear to have resumes, FedEx delivery notices, or other similar emails.

How to protect against it?

Simply relying on antivirus software is not enough to stop CryptoWall. The best antivirus programs block 99% of viruses/malware, but with over 2,000,000 new viruses released each year, that still leaves you vulnerable to 20,000 viruses.

A layered approach is best. We recommend:

  • An updated antivirus program for your computers and servers
  • A managed firewall running an antivirus program
  • A security solution that redirects Internet traffic to catch threats before they enter the network (similar to WAMS Internet Security)
  • A solid, reliable onsite and offsite, image-based backup solution in place so that if/when you are attacked, you are able to recover quickly with the most recent, uninfected backup.

The last and most important layer to your protection is education. Take a minute and forward this to your office to make sure everyone knows what to look for.

  1. Never open email from users you do not know. If you open an email and realize you don’t know the user or the email doesn’t look legitimate, DO NOT click on any attachments. Delete it!
  2. If you aren’t expecting an email (e.g. for a FedEx delivery), don’t open it and DO NOT click on any attachments.
  3. Don’t click on links in email (even if you know the user) unless you’re expecting them. Their computer may be infected and sending spam/malware. If you receive a link that appears to be legitimate, open a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer) and type the address (especially PayPal or bank links).
  4. Don’t download “free” software regardless of the vendor. We’ve seen a huge increase in malware from previously legitimate sources (like downloads.com).
  5. Use corporate/company email while at work. Our clients have managed firewalls and anti-spam software which scans company email. Some of the security features may not be available over free/personal email services such as Yahoo or AOL.
  6. Don’t bring any computers into the office network (including home laptops) unless they have updated antivirus software (approved by IT).
  7. Avoid clicking on banner ad that link to information or sites when using your web browser.  Go directly to the site by typing in the address or use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo and don’t click on links marked as “Ads or Sponsored Links.” Scroll down to the link that is directly associated with the search.
  8. If you think you’ve already clicked a link, you could be infected. You will not typically see any pop-ups or other suspicious activity until it’s too late. Call us immediately! New versions of CryptoWall start a countdown clock. Every second that passes could increase the damage to your data.

It is important to remember that these types of malware are constantly evolving and changing. The method they use to attack could vary in the future, which is why it is important to protect yourself by having the right technologies in place AND to keep everyone educated.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or would like more information on any of the security solutions mentioned above.

Microsoft Server 2003 is Almost Dead

Microsoft End of Life is July 15 and is approaching FAST! Anybody who is still using Server 2003 needs to make a plan to migrate off of it IMMEDIATELY.

What does “End of Life” mean?

End of life for Server 2003 means that Microsoft will no longer be putting out ANY security updates, leaving your network wide open to hackers and online threats. Some are even calling the death of Server 2003 the “biggest security threat of 2015*.” Microsoft explains the looming end of life in this quick video.

Are you still on Server 2003? If so, contact us TODAY to learn how to migrate off of the old and dangerous Microsoft product.

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*http://www.techradar.com/us/news/computing/servers/windows-server-2003-end-of-life-is-the-biggest-security-threat-of-2015-1289390

6 Reasons To Move To Cloud Connect

Have you ever considered Cloud Computing for your firm or business? I’m here to tell you six reasons why you should move your firm’s IT network to WAMS Cloud Connect.

First of all, WAMS Cloud Connect is a turnkey solution built specifically for law firms that delivers your entire network securely, reliably and cost effectively. WAMS Cloud Connect takes all the pieces of your on-site network and moves them to the Cloud so that your firm’s entire network (e-mail, data, applications, backups, etc.) can be accessed on virtually any device, anywhere, and at anytime.

So, the top six reasons why you should go to Cloud Connect:

1. Anytime Access on Any Device

WAMS Cloud Connect can be accessed from anywhere on your Internet connected device. All of your data and applications are accessed from a Windows 7 themed desktop and from either a Mac, PC, tablet, smart phone, or thin client. Gain the freedom to work where, when and how you want to work.

2. Integrate Your Firm’s Application

One of the biggest differentiators between WAMS Cloud Connect and all other Cloud Providers is that we build a customized Cloud platform specifically for your firm that has ALL of your firm’s applications/software, macro packages, data, etc. completely integrated together in a seamless environment.

3. Scalable, Flexible & Predictable Costs

Think of WAMS Cloud Connect similar to electricity as a utility in that you only pay for what you need. Your costs are scalable and increase/decrease in line with your business needs. Since it is a predictable monthly cost, IT is now trans­formed from a capital expense into an operating expense.

4. Security Built In

WAMS Cloud Connect was built with security as one of the major influencers on the overall design of the platform. It is configured with enterprise-level security measures in place that guarantee the security of your data. And with backups built into the solution, you never have to worry about the safety of your network ever again.

5. No More Upgrades

Imagine never having to buy another server ever again! With WAMS Cloud Connect, all of the computing power is done in the Cloud, so you never have to invest in a costly network upgrade ever again.

6. Turnkey Solution You’ll Love

WAMS Cloud Connect is a solution that quite simply just works, which is why our clients love it. It takes the burden of IT off of your shoulders and enables the firm to focus instead on the business of law, instead of on technology. All you have to do is log in, and your entire network is available wherever you are and whenever you need it.

If this all sounds interesting to you, we offer complimentary Cloud Readiness Assessments, which basically gives you an overall look at what it would look like for your firm to go to the cloud, including your specific costs. It’s all customized information just for your firm. You can request yours at www.wamsinc.com/cloud-assessment