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Recent blog posts

twofactorWe’ve obviously chatted about passwords and passphrases and tips for managing too many passwords. Obviously, strong passwords are very important in protecting your online accounts, but there is an additional way you can protect many of your accounts: two-factor authentication. What is it and why should you use it? Read on for all the details.

Simple Calculations in OneNote

Posted by on in How To

OneNoteLogoOneNote is a great tool for note-taking, especially collaborative note-taking (see this handy Microsoft eBook for a load of great tips). But did you know that OneNote can actually do basic calculations and math problems for you in your notes, saving you the trouble of getting out a calculator? Read on for how to accomplish this trick and the math that is supported.

HDD vs SSDIf you’re shopping for a computer (be sure to follow our computer shopping tips), you may have seen the term “Solid-State-Drive” or “SSD” on the computer’s specification sheet. What is a SSD and why should you get one in your computer instead of a hard-disk-drive (HDD) for your data storage needs?

Tagged in: Hardware Tips

WannaCry Ransomware Outbreak

Posted by on in Alerts

You may have heard about the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected computer users worldwide (see this BBC story for the full details along with some technical details at Bleeping Computer). If Weston patches your Windows systems as part of our CompleteCare or other managed patching services, we applied a Microsoft patch to your covered machines back in mid-March that will help protect your computer from this particular ransomware (we also forced the install of the patch recently for machines that hadn’t been online for a while). However, this is yet another reminder to be extremely vigilant about what links you click on and what emails you open. Backups and business continuity planning are also critical if you are infected (read our recent whitepaper for more information on the Business Guide to Ransomware).

Even if you get an email and attachment from someone that you know, if you were not expecting it, contact that person and make sure it was sent by them. Many of these attacks utilize software that will attempt to impersonate an email user and send an email to everyone in their contact list.

If you are a HIPAA-regulated environment (or even if you're not), we recommend reading our blog article on ransomware and HIPAA and the various ways you can help protect yourself

Backups are still the best way to protect yourself. If you do manage to get encrypted with early variants of WannaCry, don’t reboot your computer as the recently-released Wannakey tool might be able to get the encryption keys. The early versions of the malware were poorly written and had a kill switch that slowed things down from becoming a lot worse than it was (new variants have since fixed those flaws).

It's a brave new world out there, stay vigilant.

-- Your Weston Support Team

seccompRansomware, a type of malware that encrypts data on infected systems, has become a lucrative option for cyber extortionists. When the malware is run, it locks victim’s files and allows criminals to demand payment to release them.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably well aware that ransomware is a hot topic in the news these days. Organizations of all types and sizes have been impacted, but small businesses can be particularly vulnerable to attacks. And ransomware is on the rise. In a recent study conducted by security software vendor McAfee Labs, researchers identified more than 4 million samples of ransomware in Q2 of 2015, including 1.2 million new samples. That compares with fewer than 1.5 million total samples in Q3 of 2013 (400,000 new). Ransomware is distributed in a variety of ways and is difficult to protect against because, just like the flu virus, it is constantly evolving.

There are ways to protect your business against ransomware attacks. In this e-book you’ll learn how the malware is spread, the different types of ransomware proliferating today, and what you can do to avoid or recover from an attack. Hiding your head in the sand won’t work, because today’s ransom seekers play dirty. Make sure your organization is prepared with our ransomware guide for your business.