More than 4 Billion Records Stolen in First Half of 2019

1. 20 Texas cities attacked by ransomware

The City of Borger, along with 20 other Texas municipalities, recently suffered a ransomware attack that disabled the city’s ability to conduct business. The attack was part of a targeted effort, and it cut off access to basic city services like public records, bill payments and communications systems. The city has been able to restore several functions without paying the ransom, but several services remain unavailable.

Many public entities such as cities and counties struggle to implement adequate cyber security solutions. DiamondIT works closely with municipalities to manage their networks within restrained budgets and long planning cycles.

Do You Know the True Cost of Cyberattacks?

Cities, enterprises, nonprofits, small businesses and your organization are all united by one commonality: the threat cybercriminals pose. A successful attack harms more than your finances and will impact every facet of your business. 60% of small businesses will close after being hit with a cyberattack. The right IT investments prevent attacks and limit downtime and damage during a worst-case scenario. Below are 4 costs to consider and the solutions you can use to protect your business.

Ransomware & Fines – Consequences of Ignoring Microsoft End-of-Support

If history is any guide, we could be seeing more news articles about ransomware attacks in early 2020. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 will enter end-of-support. Microsoft will stop offering security patches, leaving any organization running these systems exposed to cyberthreats. An infamous example of what can go wrong is the May 2017 WannaCry attack.

WannaCry: A Microsoft End-of-Support Worst-Case Scenario

On May 12, 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom was paralyzed by a ransomware attack when cybercriminals exploited a flaw in WindowsXP. Support for WindowsXP had ended in April 2014, but the NHS continued relying on the system.

3 Ways Technology Facilitates Your Growth

Most strategic business plans include a growth goal. Whether your goal is to increase sales by 10 percent this year or to land two new accounts every month, technology is your go-to resource to achieving your goals.

Because technology is always evolving, it provides new relevant tools to apply toward innovative processes to save your business time and money. Using technology to do more and propel your business toward growth takes strategic planning and vision to ensure you stay on track without over- or underbuilding your IT.

Your Journey to the Cloud Doesn’t Have to be Stormy

Just because your business is small doesn’t mean you’re immune from computer viruses, malware and other cyber-attacks. Although it sounds logical for hackers to target larger businesses because of their larger amounts of data, research shows small and medium businesses are just as likely to be attacked as larger enterprise businesses, according to the 2018 Symantec Internet Security Report. In fact, small and medium businesses may be even more vulnerable than their larger counterparts because of the tendency of smaller companies to spend less on security.

 

Many smaller businesses have not increased their cybersecurity even though they often have poorly secured servers, unprotected endpoint devices and vulnerable storage and back-up processes. With the increased usage of mobile devices to accommodate today’s mobile workforce, the door to your data is opened wide if a laptop or smart phone is lost or stolen.

 

Hackers aren’t about who they attack – they’re happy to steal from any business. They typically take a shotgun approach, aiming at as many businesses possible to make small amounts of money per breach. This spray-and-pray approach increases cyber risks exponentially for smaller businesses.

Hey, You! Get Off of My Cloud

  In conversations about cloud computing, people tend to refer to the tool as “The Cloud” which implies that somewhere out there in the virtual world is a single place where all data and online apps live. Actually, there are many cloud services available. In fact, the virtual world can be downright overcast with the number of cloud choices.

Cloud computing gives businesses access to data, apps, services and files anywhere, anytime. The problem is – what if it also allows access to anyone?

The Cloud especially improves team collaboration when a business has multiple locations or even numerous employees working on the same project in the same location but on individual devices. Teams that use social technologies like cloud collaboration tools have raised their productivity over 20 percent.

CyberSecurity Trends – A Year in Review

Now that we are a few months into 2018, security analysts are able to look back on 2017 and analyze leading cybersecurity trends. Not surprisingly, according to the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity report, there was an elevenfold increase in malware last year.

“Adversaries are becoming more adept at evasion— and weaponizing cloud services and other technology used for legitimate purposes,” the report declares.

The following are some of the major cybersecurity trends of 2017:

Ransomware Families Up 32%, Total Ransomware Threats Down 41%
According to Dark Reading, the growth in ransomware attacks hit a plateau, while the number of ransomware families rose considerably. As cybercriminals become more adept in targeting individuals and organizations, the variety of ransomware attacks are evolving. Not surprisingly, the WannaCry variant dominated the landscape – making up 57% of all ransomware detected last year.

Welcome WPA3 – WiFi Gets an Upgrade

It’s been nearly 14 years since WiFi (or WPA2) as we know it got a security upgrade.  But now the WiFi Alliance, a standards organization that includes Broadcom, Intel, Microsoft and others, is recommending a badly-needed make-over that will be dubbed WPA3, according to reports.  The new upgrades to WiFi were announced at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) the week of January 7, 2018.

4 Ways the Cloud Can Help Budget for Growth

Cloud BudgetToday’s businesses are expected to forecast the future almost regularly. You may have a company that is growing rapidly and need to determine how much infrastructure you should implement today to last the next three years. Conditions can change, you can over buy or under purchase, and budget deadlines are quickly approaching.

Do you have a reliable methodology to determine what your headcount and resource needs will be 3 or 5 years from now? How much downtime do you really have and what is it costing you?

Product lifecycles are changing and organizations are at a crossroads on whether to move to the Cloud. With its inherent scalability, predicting your resource needs adequately is easier and can help you remain competitive in the market. An experienced managed Cloud provider brings a proactive viewpoint that looks at your growth goals and recommends adjustments to scale up or down accordingly.

Below are four ways the Cloud can help you budget for growth:

Top 10 IT Budgeting Tips for SoCal Businesses in 2018

As we head towards the fourth quarter, budgets are top of mind, especially in the tech forward state of California. Technology innovation continues to evolve, and as you set growth goals for 2018, it’s imperative to adjust your IT budget accordingly.

IT budgets are expected to grow 4.5% this year, Morgan Stanley said in its report, “CIO Survey: 2017 IT Budgets Improve on US Strength.” The top spending priorities include cloud computing, security software, analytics tools, networking equipment and ERP and CRM applications.

How can you accurately forecast without overestimating? What percentage should go towards maintenance versus innovation? If you’re feeling overwhelmed as budget deadlines approach, you’re not alone.

Here are 10 IT budgeting tips to help simplify the process: