Bad Rabbit Cyber Attack Targeting Windows Machines

Bad Rabbit Cyber Attack Targeting Windows Machines

On October 24th, a new cyber threat was released. It is called Bad Rabbit. Bad Rabbit targets Windows machines, impersonating as an Adobe Flash update. After initial infection, it attempts to spread itself through your network. Once it has spread, it begins to encrypt commonly used Microsoft Office files, pictures, video, and emails on the infected workstations. These files can only be unlocked after the user pays a fee in Bitcoin to the rasomware’s authors.

The imitation Adobe Flash Update screen (almost an exact copy of the real Flash update) can be seen below:

The following is an example of Bad Rabbit’s lock screen and ransom note:

 

We at ITOnDemand are monitoring the situation. We have taken the necessary steps to make sure that our partners are protected. Please contact us immediately if you feel that your computers or network have been compromised.

For more information about Bad Rabbit, please see the following link.

ITonDemand Team Hurricane Irma Update

ITonDemand Team Hurricane Irma Update

We wanted to provide you, our valuable client, with a quick update on the status of our team and our rebuilding efforts. First, everyone on the team is grateful for the patience our partners have displayed as we work to get back to full capacity. We still have staff members in our Florida location that are without power, internet and gas to move around.

Our office in Ocala does have partial power restored and we are looking to be fully back in business within the next day or so, according to the local utility. We were able to get a few of the team members online today to bring our capacity up to higher levels and are starting to see a decrease in the backlog of requests. We are continuing to work on getting to all of our partners. Many of our partners in the Florida area are starting to have power restored to their offices. We are focusing heavily on getting them back up and running.

We truly appreciate your help in determining priorities, you have been wonderful in helping us sort through and get to the items that are most pressing. Thank you very much for continuing to provide this additional piece of information when requests are made, it has proven invaluable in the last couple of days.

We want to thank you again for your business and look forward to getting back to full strength by the end of the week.

As always, thank you for your business and support during this devastating weather event.

Unspeak the Geek – DaaS, Haas, SaaS, and IaaS

Unspeak the Geek – DaaS, Haas, SaaS, and IaaS

We get questions from our clients all the time about the “Cloud.” This discussion is between Nate Breitbach our VP of IT Services and his Director of Engineering, Chance Ellis, around the Cloud.  What it is, some pointers as a business owner on how to think about the cloud, what it can be used for, and breaking down some of those Techie “As A Service” concepts like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), IT as a Service (ITaaS).  We simplify the understanding of these things, so you can make better decisions for your business.

Hardware: To upgrade or not to upgrade…that is the question

Hardware: To upgrade or not to upgrade…that is the question

Knowing what and when to upgrade your computer is always a nagging question for any business owner. Slow or outdated systems can kill a company’s efficiency and ultimate can chip away at your bottom line. At the same time, not every employee needs to have cutting edge technology or hardware powering his or her computer. The key is to striking a balance between power and need.

ITonDemand has created a service to take the guessing work out of hardware upgrades. With our Harware As A Service we know each users needs and work for you to create an upgrade plan that fits with your budget and with your individualized needs.

Here are 4 quick things we use to help decide if a hardware upgrade is right for you or your employee:

1.  Age
It seems simple but computers, like any equipment, will deteriorate over time. Just like your tire loses tread with usage, so too can a computer lose speed due to daily tasks. Simply put, sometimes parts need to be replaced and it is much cheaper to replace that harddrive before it fails on you and you have lost a month of work.

So how often do you replace your technology? Well there is no hard and fast rule but you can generally expect to replace a computer every 2-3 years. Items like servers or netowkring equipment typically can see a longer shelf life of 5-7 years.

2.  Speed
Technology makes things faster and outdated equipment slows down response time. If you notice your computer feeling sluggish, you should check with your ITonDemand representative to see if it is an issue caused by slow hardware.

3.  Loss Of Support
If you have ever clicked the upgrade button or install a new version of MS word and received the message, “hardware not supported”, it is time. Outdated hardware that is no longer supported by the latest software leaves you and your company vulnerable and is a clear sign that it is time to upgrade.

4.  Vulnerability
Are you systems constantly under attack? This is a sign that your hardware may not be up-to-date. Outdated networking hardware or personal computers are regularly targeted by hackers. Even recent Ransomware attacks were found to be a non-issue to users who had updated hardware and software.

 

Conclusion
Let’s face it, hardware upgrades can be tricky but staying up to date is more about efficiency than it is about having the latest new tech toy. If you have questions, give us a call and one of our experts will help you find a hardware upgrade plan that works for you.

How to manage your vendors without losing your mind

How to manage your vendors without losing your mind

At one point or another many businesses that contract with vendors have had a problem of one kind or another. Hours on the phone. The time and effort into researching the best products. Then there is the complicated language involved with trying to understand each vendor’s vernacular and keeping each of them straight. The list goes on. Those failures can be incredibly frustrating and have the potential to cost a large chunk of revenue.

There’s so much more to the concept of vendor management than just entering into a contract for goods and services though. There’s also the research that goes into selecting vendors, ensuring payments are made, monitoring performance, evaluating performance, meeting goals and, of course, managing those relationships. For us at ITonDemand, that word relationship is key to how we conduct ourselves, for a relationship is what we establish with our clients. We point to the word relationship time and time again, but that’s where we stand apart from others. We develop a strategic relationship with our client partners and use our expertise to ensure your success – and that includes vendor management.

When a client enters into a relationship with ITonDemand, one thing the client will quickly learn is they no longer have to deal with vendors. That’s now our job. Not only will we make all the calls necessary to get our clients back to business, but we also put in the research, resources and man-hours to find our clients not just the most affordable solutions, but the most well-balanced and efficient solutions they require.

When our clients outsource their vendor management to ITonDemand, they will get more time and money back in the long run. Why? It’s simple. Clients will not be constantly be on the telephone or at a store trying to understand what IT-related purchase is best-suited for the needs of their business. That can be frustrating, especially since someone from that business tasked with making such a decision may not be qualified to astutely interpret what is best to fit their needs. That’s where ITonDemand comes in. Let the experts decide. That’s what we’re here for.

With an ITonDemand partnership, our clients can avoid the hassles of dealing with vendors. While ITonDemand offers numerous services, our Core service provides 24/7 monitoring of a client’s IT infrastructure. That service also comes with remote and onsite support, antivirus software, maintenance and patching, backup and disaster recovery, network security, wireless, network switching, vendor management, spam services and more. With the Core service or, really any of our other offerings that deal with vendors, our client partners have our management and expertise at their disposal.

What if this email link leads me to a virus?

What if this email link leads me to a virus?

So, before you go clicking on any unknown links and have to call ITonDemand to resolve any virus or malware issues, use these tips best-safety practices to protect your computer and system.

You open an email and embedded in the text is a link to an unknown website. At this point our instinct should be to ignore the link and move on. But, what if that link is sent from someone you know, a friend or family member who unknowingly forwards a link to the funniest joke ever, an outrageous news story or a link promising “real weight loss results.”

On some occasions, it’s almost tempting to click the link – maybe it’s a joke that promises to be the funniest one you’ve ever heard. Is clicking the link worth the risk of infecting your computer with a virus or compromising your personal data? One way is to hover over the link with your cursor – don’t click—and see if the full URL appears in the bottom left corner of a browser page. If the link appears to take you to some site you don’t want to go, don’t click on it.

In addition to the hover method, there are web-based tools and add-ons that can be used as well. One tool type you might want to use is a link scanner, a plug-in that allows you to enter the URL of a questionable link and check to see if it’s safe to click. In a review of link scanners, PC Worldrecommends URLVoid, a free service. However, PC World noted that a service like URLVoid cannot “properly handle” shortened URLs from web services like bitly or TinyURL. For those shortened URLs, PC Mag recommended the service Sucuri Site Check, which automatically expands shortlinks and determines if they are safe to click. While Sucuri can be used to check the longer URLs, PC World said a service like URLVoid checks more sources, so is more effective. For Android-based mobile phones and tablets a security app like Web of Trust (WoT). The app provides warnings against viruses, spyware and malware attacks.

Or… You could make the even better decision of going with ITonDemand’s Core service offering and let us worry about your Anti-virus protection. Not only does that include access to the expertise of the technicians on the helpdesk, but you are getting the security of knowing you have a team of professionals standing by, waiting to catch the next virus spotted in your system and eradicate it on the spot. Just think of the hassle you avoided by going with the Core service and getting security solutions set on all end points.

And of course, if you are unsure about a link, or just have a question for our team regarding a suspicious email, we’re here to help you. We’re your partner in this and we would rather you ask, than risk it.