Archive for 2020

Ransomware – What is it, protect against attacks

Ransomware attacks are on the rise in Australia. Learn how to protect yourself against it and secure your devices.

iT and Beyond is an Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Partner. The ACSC Partnership Program enables Australian organisations and individuals to engage with the ACSC and fellow partners, drawing on collective understanding, experience, skills and capability to lift cyber resilience across the Australian economy.

This content has been replicated from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) website

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware). When it gets into your device, it makes your computer or its files unusable.

Cybercriminals use ransomware to deny you access to your files or devices. They then demand you pay them to get back your access.

How does it work?

Ransomware works by locking up or encrypting your files so that you can no longer use or access them. Sometimes it can even stop your devices from working.

Watch this video to learn about ransomware and how to prevent it from infecting your devices:

The effects of Ransomware

Ransomware is a common and dangerous type of malware. It can affect both individuals and organisations.

Ransomware can cause severe damage. It can hurt your reputation, and cost you money.

What to look for

Ransomware can infect your devices in the same way as other malware or a virus. For example:

  • visiting unsafe or suspicious websites
  • opening emails or files from unknown sources
  • clicking on malicious links in email or on social media.

Common signs you may be a victim of ransomware include:

  • pop-up messages requesting funds or payment to unlock files.
  • you cannot access your devices, or your login doesn’t work for unknown reasons.
  • files request a password or a code to open or access them.
  • files have moved or are not in their usual folders or locations.
  • files have unusual file extensions, or their names or icons have changed to something strange.

If any of these things happen to you, check with your friends and colleagues first to see if they made any changes.

Our advice if you have fallen victim to an attack

We and the ACSC recommend that if you do experience a Ransomware attack, that you should not pay the ransom. There is no guarantee paying the ransom will fix your devices. It can also make you vulnerable to future attacks. Instead, restore your files from backup and seek advice.

It is vital to back up your data and implement effective cyber security practices.

Act now, stay secure.

Case Studies

Case Studies of Ransomware attacks

Our Practical Guides

Protect yourself against Ransomware attacks What do do if you fall victim to a ransomware attack

Our Proactive Managed IT Support Services and Network Security Services cost-effectively update your systems with latest security updates, protect and maintain the security of your computers and data against external attack, providing you peace of mind. Our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Services enable the expedient recovery if disaster strikes.

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How can I make my Website Secure?

Why you should migrate your website to HTTPS.

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and as
the name suggests, provides security to your web traffic/users.

It is especially
important when those users are giving you any kind of personal information as
it provides multiple levels of protection to that information.

All web traffic is transmitted by either HTTP or HTTPS.
These stand for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Secure respectively. As the names suggests, these protocols are very similar,
but have one major difference. HTTPS wraps an encrypted layer around regular
HTTP traffic, providing a much greater level of security.

This encrypted layer is called Transport Layer Security
(TLS, sometimes called SSL).

HTTP websites can be modified by third parties, ISPs or
Hotels/restaurants/other managers of free WIFI. These third parties can add advertisements
or other unwanted content (including malware) to websites that don’t use HTTPS.
While using HTTPS you and your visitors can be certain that no-one has modified
the content of your website, and no one else has access to information being
transmitted between user and web server.

HTTPS, and the synonymous padlock, are signs of
trustworthiness and authenticity.

Chrome is by far the most widely used browser. Compared to
its closest competitor Safari, Chrome accounts for more than four times as much
web traffic. Chrome averages around the 60% mark of total web traffic.

Google was the first major company to
mark all HTTP websites as insecure and for the last couple of years and they
have strongly advocated that all HTTP websites migrate to HTTPS. Chrome
will eventually mark all http sites as affirmatively non-secure with a red
triangle and an exclamation mark unless and SSL certificate is supplied.

An SSL certificate ensures all data passed between browsers and web server are kept private. The certificate can include a Serial number and expiration date, digital signature, name of the holder and a copy of the holder’s public key. In the past SSL certificates have been expensive although today they are more moderately priced. Paid certificates will usually have a more rigorous screening process and may come with insurance.

Some technologies, such as AMP (accelerated mobile pages,
which makes certain pages load almost instantaneously on mobile) require SSL.
AMP-ready pages also receive better rankings on Google. (there are other
requirements that must be satisfied before a site is amp-ready.)

Additionally, HTTPS sites receive an SEO boost from google
in search rankings.

There are many reasons why HTTPS is the preferred protocol
and is used by almost all major websites on the internet. From keeping your
visitor’s information safe, ensuring that your website is not modified by third
parties and a ranking boost from Google, migrating to HTTPS is an easy choice.

Should you choose to migrate to HTTPS iT and Beyond offer this service. Please
contact us if you need
any assistance with your choice.

Use one of the evaluation websites listed below to evaluate the
security of your own website.

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