Questions CEOs Should Ask About Cyber Risks

As technology continues to evolve, cyber threats continue to grow in sophistication and complexity.

CEOs should ask the following questions about potential cyber security threats:

  • How could cyber security threats affect the different functions of my business?
  • What type of critical information could be lost?
  • How can my business create long-term resiliency to minimize our cyber security risks?
  • What kind of cyber threat information sharing does my business participate in? With whom does my business exchange this information?
  • What type of information sharing practices could my business adopt that would help foster community among the different cyber security groups where my business is a member?

For an in depth look at this article

ETV Software, Inc., provides network security and risk assessments to your business. Call or visit us for more information.

Windows 7 Support Ends Today

Today is the last day Microsoft plans to provide security updates and bug fixes for its 10+ year old Windows 7. It's seems a bit crazy, but Windows 7 is a product of 2009. That Microsoft has supported it this long is pretty impressive, especially in this day and age where most smartphones are lucky to see two years of support.

The ending of Windows 7 support is actually a pretty serious issue for home and business users alike. Windows is one of the most prolific pieces of software on the planet, and, since it runs your computer, one of the most powerful. That means it is one of the most highly targeted by virus writers and hackers. With the rise of remote support scams, where someone calls you pretending to be from "Microsoft" only to steal your files or install a virus on your computer, and with the increasing prevalence of ransomware locking down everything from hospitals to entire cities, it's more important than ever to be as up to date as possible.

Fortunately, it's not too late to upgrade your PC to Microsoft's latest version of Windows, Windows 10. For the last year or more, Microsoft had been offering free upgrades to almost everyone, but even now there can still be options to upgrade at a reduced price or even free depending on a number of factors. To keep you secure as possible, give us a call today and we can help you find the most cost effective way to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Your Technology Team

June 2019 Deal of the Month

For the month of June, ETV Software is offering local East Texas businesses free technology and network assessments.

The first thing we'll help you assess is your business technology's overall health and reliability. Computer hardware can last a long time if properly maintained, but as businesses grow and as customer expectations shift to more digitally focused instant access, it can happen that systems that worked well for years simply reach the point where they are no longer up to the task. Computer software, too, has a lifecycle. Over time, the programs that you rely on can stop being supported by the companies that make them. As much as we’d all like technology to be a buy once and done sort of thing, it is an ongoing process to make sure things run smoothly. We can help your business make smart decisions on what need to be updated and when.

The second thing we can help your business with is making sure you have a comprehensive backup plan in place. Right now, could your business recover from a water leak or a fire, or would all your data be lost? A good backup plan see your business automate on-site and off-site backups, and makes sure you keep enough backups to recover from a catastrophe even if it happens over a holiday or long weekend.  Every business is different, but we can help you tailor a backup solution that protects the files you need and doesn’t waste time and resources making backups of things you can just as easily redownload or reinstall.

Finally, we can help your business make sure it stays on top on of data and network security. There are so many threats on the Internet these days that you cannot simply ignore them anymore. There are hackers that want to steal you business’ or your customers’ financial info. Other bad actors try to get “Ransomware” viruses onto your network so they can lock you out of your systems and demand thousands of dollars for the key to get back in. We can help you choose an antivirus product to fight back against viruses and help you make sure your network is set up to limit access to those that don’t need it.

Making sure that your business technology is up to par starts with a free assessment from ETV Software. Give us a call today at 903-531-0377, or stop by our office at 1331 S. Beckham Tyler TX, 75701. We’re near the hospitals between the gas station and the Big Lots.

Ransomware Worst Case Scenario

Ransomeware attacks are growing in strength and severity each year. When a ransomware virus hits your business, it encrypts all your files locking them behind a password that only the ransomware's creators know. Modern ransomware will try and shut off your anti-virus programs and will even try and encrypt any files and backups you might have on your company's network. What does a ransomware attack look like in practice? Look no further than the city of Baltimore for a worse case scenario.

On May 7th, Baltimore city computers picked up a ransomware virus which jumped from computer to computer and city department to city department. The first indication of trouble came when the city's email went down unexpectedly. As the virus locked down more and more computers, additional city systems such as payment gateways, water billing, and the city government's internet connected phones went down one after another. Baltimore's Information Technology department was all but powerless to quickly fix the compromised systems. Their only option was to take most of the city's unaffected networks offline to prevent the ransomware from spreading.

Ten days later, with most of Baltimore's government departments shutdown or doing what business they can without the use of their computer systems, there is still no end in sight. In one of his latest statements on the ransomware attack, Baltimore's mayor noted that they hoped to have some government functions back to normal "within a matter of weeks" while some city departments might take months to restore normal. Imagine if your business wasn't going to be able to function for weeks or months.

Fortunately, while large city governments are usually slow to react and take months or years to respond to new threats, you can make sure your business is well protected by taking a few relatively low cost steps:

  1. Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus on all your computers. Some ransomware will try to disable your anti-virus, but by staying up-to-date, you increase the chances that a ransomware attack is stopped before it ever begins.
  2. Keep your computers and your applications updated. Ransomware, like most viruses, tends to prey on computers and servers running out-of-date software. Both Microsoft and Apple constantly release security updates, as do most serious software companies. Keeping up with security updates can sometimes be even more important than running a good anti-virus program.
  3. Most importantly, make sure that your business is keeping at least a week's worth of off-site, offline backups. By copying your data to a safe location outside of your office space and by keeping those backups separate from your normal network, you greatly increase the chances that you can quickly restore your files even if your office does get hit by a ransomware attack. Off-site backups are also an excellent way to protect your company from physical disasters like fires, water leaks, or damage caused by storms.
  4. If you do get hit by ransomware, call a qualified internet technology company immediately. Some forms of ransomware are easier to recover from than others. Depending on which exact virus found your network, it can even be possible to roll back the attack if you act quickly enough.

If you have questions about ransomware attacks or protecting your business with an automated backup plan, ETV Software can help.