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RansomwareRansomware is software that infects a computer and locks the user out of their own information until they pay a ransom. It’s one of the biggest security threats your customers face, no matter the size of their organization. It’s such a huge problem that the U.S. and Canada just issued a cyber alert warning people, businesses and government agencies about the worsening flood of attacks from software like Locky or Cerber.

The effects of ransomware can be devastating. Users can permanently lose access to their operating systems. Sensitive data may be completely inaccessible. Work grinds to a standstill.

 

Here are five things you can do to help protect your customers’ systems from ransomware:

  • Install Antivirus Software with Behavioral Capabilities: Your best bet for protection against ransomware is behavioral-detection antivirus software. This type of application watches a system for infections or suspicious events and warns users if it detects an abnormality or a threat. A quick reminder: when you install your AV software make sure the behavioral analysis component is turned on! This type of module is often off, or set passively by default.
  • Get Users Involved: It’s mostly user action that spreads ransomware. People click on unknown email attachments or interact with non-reputable websites and suddenly an infection is spreading through the entire company’s system. Avoid these accidents by teaching users a simple concept: “Don’t open links you don’t know anything about.” Ransomware typically relies on “social engineering” to successfully attack a system. Attachments to email regarding fake logistics statements for example are commonly used; what looks like a purchase order from an unknown source could carry the malicious code. Once you have opened it, it’s often too late. End users MUST be educated regarding these common approaches so that they know a malicious attachment or link when they see one, and know what to do if they accidentally click something they shouldn’t have.
  • Get Offsite Backup: You can safeguard your clients’ critical information by storing it offsite. Look for a backup solution that stores data in the cloud so files are safe if there’s a ransomware attack on an internal network. Be sure to set these products to perform regular backups to make recovery quick and thorough. A USB hard drive connected to your server is not sufficient and will often be encrypted along with everything else hosted in the same network.
  • Be Restrictive: One of the easiest ways to protect your clients is to restrict user permissions. Well-meaning employees can inadvertently open something containing malware triggers, but if users can’t run downloads, updates and installations, it’ll be harder for them to accidentally let an infection in.
  • Patch, Patch, Patch: Keep your users’ software current. Out of date applications and operating systems are attractive bait for hungry attackers. Use a product that covers patching for Microsoft and third-party updates to eliminate weak points. This is a good preventative defense against all attacks, not just ransomware.

Source: SolarWinds N-able blog

Read full article here

 

Check this presentation by Solarwinds N-able with further information:

 

 

Etherworks can provide assistance to your business in terms of Network Security. Contact us if you have any questions about business network security.

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Office 365 is a subscription service that includes the most recent version of Office, which currently is Office 2016. It comes with the applications you’re familiar with; Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, plus extra online storage, ongoing tech support at no extra cost, and more.  You can choose to pay for an Office 365 subscription on a monthly or yearly basis, and the Office 365 Home plan lets you share your subscription with up to four members of your household. Different Office 365 plans are available for home and personal use, as well as for small and midsized businesses, enterprises, schools, and not for profits.

 

Office 2016 is also sold as a one-time purchase, which means you pay a single, up-front cost to get Office applications for one computer. One-time purchases are available for both PCs (such as Office Home & Student 2016) and Macs (such as Office Home & Student 2016 for Mac). One-time purchases don’t have an upgrade option, which means if you plan to upgrade to the next major release, you'll have to buy it at full price.

 

Etherworks is experienced in the implementation of Office 365 (or Office 2016) so if you have any questions about upgrading from earlier Microsoft Office versions please let us know.

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Here’s what’s new in Windows Server 2016 to make sure that Deduplication is highly performant and can run at scale:

 

1.Support for Volume Sizes Up to 64 TB

 

In Windows Server 2012 R2, Dedup optimises data using a single-threaded job and I/O queue for each volume. While this works well for a lot of scenarios, you have to consider the workload type and the volume size to ensure that the Dedup Processing Pipeline can keep up with the rate of data changes, or “churn”. Typically this means that Dedup doesn’t work well for volumes greater than 10 TB in size (or less for workloads with a high rate of data changes). In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft  went back to the drawing board and fully redesigned the Dedup Processing Pipeline. They now run multiple threads in parallel using multiple I/O queues on a single volume, resulting in performance that was only possible before by dividing up data into multiple, smaller volumes.  The result is that the volume guidance changes to a very simple statement: Use the volume size you need, up to 64TB.

 

2.Support for File Sizes up to 1 TB

 

While Windows Server 2012 R2 supports the use of file sizes up to 1TB, files “approaching” this size are noted as “not good candidates” for Data Deduplication. In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft made use of new stream map structures and improved their partial file optimisation, to support Dedup for file sizes up to 1 TB. These changes also improve overall Deduplication performance.

 

3.Simplified Dedup Deployment for Virtualized Backup Applications

 

While running Dedup for virtualized backup applications, such as DPM, is a supported scenario in Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft have radically simplified the deployment steps for this scenario in 2016. They have combined all the relevant Dedup configuration settings needed to support virtualized backup applications into a new preset configuration type called, as you might expect, “Virtualized Backup Server” (“Backup” in PowerShell).

 

4.Nano Server Support

 

Nano Server is a new headless deployment option in Windows Server 2016 that has a far smaller system resource footprint, starts up significantly faster, and requires fewer updates and restarts than the Windows Server Core deployment option. Data deduplication is fully supported on Nano Server!

 

Please let us know if you have any questions about Dedup in Microsoft Windows Server 2016, or upgrade paths to Windows Server 2016, particularly if your current server version is 2008 r2 or earlier!

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Now is a great time to consider upgrading your legacy wireless networks to 802.11ac Wave 2.  As a Cisco Premier Partner we are able to offer best-in-class technology at a reasonable cost.

 

Why Upgrade to 802.11ac Wave-2?

 

Today’s wireless workplaces require a robust network to handle client density and application demands.   The Cisco Aironet 2800 and 3800 Series Access Points, and the Cisco Meraki MR42, MR52, and MR53 access points come equipped with:

- multiple 5 GHz radios allowing for greater capacity and performance

- Flexible Radio Assignment technology that automatically adapts to changing end-user demands

- 802.11ac Wave 2

 

So this means increased wireless speeds of any other access point on the market, with increased the numbers of channels supported, so your environment can support more devices in your office.

 

If you require more information on 802.11ac Wave-2 or other advanced technologies that will enhance the mobility and flexibility of your business please contact us.

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Ransomware has been labelled the biggest threat to IT security today. There are many variants and it seems like there is a new attack every day.

Did you know that:

-               Over 18 million dollars were paid to ransomware thieves between April 2014 and June 2015.

-               More than 6 million detected ransomware attack attempts in Q4 2015.

-               50% of all malware are now ransomware attacks.

Industry experts agree that a staggering 93% of phishing emails now contain encryption ransomware and many are opened by end users who don’t understand they are the targets of carefully crafted social engineering. 

As our valued customers please download this infographic <<link to PDF>> so you know what precautions to take to stop ransomware in its tracks and keep your business safe and secure.

 

We can offer a wide range of security solutions designed to solve complex IT problems quickly and cost-effectively for businesses of all sizes to ensure the technology will fit right in.

 

We are receiving great feedback from recent implementations of Spam, Firewall, and Web Security, leveraging our partnerships with Barracuda and Cisco.
Furthermore clients using our security manager have not reported any incidents or issues with outbreaks or ransomware.

 

If you have any concerns about your business information security or integrity we would be pleased to discuss these with you.


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Etherworks is pleased to offer Double Rebate on TradeUPS until 30 June 2016 in conjunction with APC by Schneider Electric.  Trade-UPS is a program where new and existing customers can trade in their ageing UPS for a brand new APC unit and we will ecologically dispose and recycle your old units. Not only will you help the environment but you will receive a rebate on your new purchase.

  It’s easy: Have a copy of your Purchase Invoice and we’ll arrange and pay for your old unit/s up to 250kg, to be picked up and returned to us for recycling and ecologically-responsible disposal.

  Protect the environment: We ensure that old products are disposed of safely and without harming the environment.

  Beat downtime: We measure downtime in dollars, and power interruptions are one of the leading causes of downtime, data loss and hardware damage.

  Save money: Purchase the world’s most reliable power protection, with more awards from the IT press than all other vendors combined, at one of the lowest prices on the market.

Please contact us if you require further information or would like to take advantage of this before 30 June 2016.


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EtherWorks purchased a table at the 2016 RBWH Ball and had a blast.

RBWH Foundation Ball - 11th June 2016

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Young ICT Explorers is a non-profit competition, which has been created by SAP to encourage school students to create their best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related projects.

The competition’s alignment with the school curriculum enables students to apply what they learn in their ICT classroom to develop a technology related project of their choice. At the judging event, students have the opportunity to present their project to a judging panel of academia, industry partners and ICT professionals. Each project is assessed on the criteria of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation.

Peter Yeates represented EtherWorks as a judge at the Young ICT Explorers Presentation Day held on Saturday, 8 August 2015 at the UQ Centre, The University of Queensland.

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Available from December 1 2015.

All-new enterprise value, combined with the just-released Office 2016 apps—there’s never been a better time to take the work out of working together.
 
Built for Teams and Networks
Now with Skype for Business you can simplify your infrastructure with one platform for calling, conferencing, video, and sharing. Connect your teams with the experience they love, in the Office applications they use every day.
 
Personalized and Organizational Insights
Easy-to-use live data monitoring and in-depth analysis tools let you discover new stories in your data with even more interactive reports, simpler dashboards and compelling data visualizations.
 
People-Centric Security        
Microsoft handles your security so you don’t have to. Now you have even more control with increased privacy, transparency and refined user controls - it’s easy to see why this is the most secure Office ever.
 
Read more or call us for assistance with matching your requirements to the appropriate offering from Microsoft.
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