Optimus Tech announced as Partner of the Month

We are pleased to announce that we have been named Partner of the Month by e-ternity, our business continuity service provider. e-ternity has been our offsite backup provider for 2 years and continues to support us with excellent products and services. We look forward to continuing this relationship. For more information on e-ternity, please visit their website at http://www.e-ternity.ca.

What is BYOD?

Bring Your Own Device is a new policy being implemented by some employers, allowing for the use of personally-owned devices in the workplace, for business use. The purpose of this policy is to increase productivity and decrease cost by allowing employees to access company resources on the same device that they currently use as a personal device.

BYOD is an attractive policy for many reasons. Firstly, it eliminates the doubling-up of technologies – no longer does someone have to carry both a personal and work cellphone. Next, since all resources are located on the same device, employees can access whatever they need, no matter where they are – making a totally mobile workforce. BYOD increases flexibility and boosts moral in the workplace by allowing employees to use their device of choice, instead of one imposed upon them by their employer.

There are some cautionary points of BYOD. For starters, giving employees the freedom to choose and bring their own device means leaving important technology and device decisions to them. As a business owner your data is the most important part of your business - in the wrong hands your business can become very vulnerable. Different smartphone providers have various hardware and software short comings; you do not want your data to be stored on a vulnerable device. As well, supporting many various devices could make it difficult for troubleshooting in an IT department, who needs to be familiar with all operating systems.

If an employer leaves a BYOD product unmanaged, security breaches can occur. Losing a company-sensitive data device, leaving sensitive data unprotected or even using devices on open networks can result in a malicious third party gaining access to your confidential materials.

It is important to highlight that all employees who are on a BYOD policy program should protect their devices with passwords. As well, employers who have enacted a BYOD program should have procedures in place to remotely wipe phones in case of data breaches. Another precautionary suggestion is to store all data in the Cloud to prevent the permanent loss of crucial data. Finally, regardless whether the phone is provided by the employee or an employer, an Acceptable Use Policy is always a good idea to enact.

Be Aware of Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware which aims to maliciously restrict access to an infected computer by locking the computer, encrypting data or by posing as an authority demanding payment. What makes Ransomware different than other forms of Malware is that the infector demands a ransom to be paid to the creator in order for the restrictions to be lifted.

While some lock users out of their computers or programs, Ransomware is also known to encrypt files on a system’s hard drive – only when the creator of the malicious virus is paid their demands is access granted back to the victim. Scareware is a tactic used in Ransomware to coax victims into giving into the “ransom” demands, by posting false claims about illegal web activity, or re-activation of programs.

The urge is strong to pay the fee to retrieve your valuable data, but do not panic. “These scams are designed to create shock and anxiety so that victims respond by sending money quickly,” says the Government of Canada, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

A Ransomware virus could make its way into an innocent system through many ways, though the most common is through downloading files thought to be protected.

All the malicious acts of Ransomware and Scareware are all enacted to attempt to extort money from the system’s user, by forcing them to purchase a program to unlock the computer, or decrypt files.

Optimus Tech Solutions performs complete security scans and implements threat management appliances that monitor every component of our client’s networks to prevent this type of action and malicious software from ever gaining access to a secured network. Call us today for a better understanding of the options that we can provide to minimize your exposure to risk and keep your data protected.