Be Ransomware Aware

Educate your users - Don’t let them be tricked into downloading malware

 Everyone should follow this advice:

  1. Be very cautious when opening an attachment or clicking a link in an email, instant message, or post on social networks (like Facebook)—even if you know the sender. If you are suspicious, call to ask the sender if they sent it.  If not, delete it.
  2. The attack can look like it is from an official sources like banks, UPS, FedEx, USPS, eFax, etc. This has been the most common attack method to date.
  3. If an e-mail gets blocked and quarantined by your spam filter...

Be Ransomware Aware 2016-02-29T22:28:51+00:00

I Am a Non-Technical Executive… What Seven Things Should I Be Asking My IT Guys About IT Security?

Irvine, CA - Overseeing IT and security is a daunting task, even if you are an IT professional. If you are an executive to whom IT reports, then the task becomes near impossible. The list of following questions is designed to empower you to have a meaningful discussion with your IT team so you can be an informed and responsible manager pursuing your due diligence role in protecting the assets of your firm. If you are an IT professional, these are questions you should be prepared to answer.

1.       Q. When did we last do a risk assessment? Please share that document with me. I would particularly like to see the Risk Assessment Table.

A.      Make sure your IT team is periodically assessing the risks to your IT systems.  They should be recommending upgrades and new solutions for you from time-to-time, and you should be listening.  They need to be able to express the threat in operational and economic terms in order to justify the expenditure.  If your team can’t give you a clear and coherent answer on when and how they last did this, send them off with a task and a deadline.

2.       Q. When did we last do a Vulnerability Scan? What were the results of that scan? I would like to see the report.  Who did the remediation? When is our next scan planned?...

I Am a Non-Technical Executive… What Seven Things Should I Be Asking My IT Guys About IT Security? 2017-11-13T07:21:50+00:00

New Virulent, Wide-Spread and Expensive Ransomware Outbreak Coming to You Soon

Orange County, CA - We have seen a surge in ransomware attacks in the past week.  While only two Alvaka clients have gotten hit, they are a tale of different system administration acumen. 

1.  A multi-state firm got hit with the latest breed of ransomware on Friday.  Where an otherwise non-event for the most part went wrong was that a key user insisted on having elevated administrative rights for their IT infrastructure.  Instead of using a regular user account, with very limited user rights for day-to-day activities, this more powerful account, when struck by the ransomware, infected all the important file shares of the firm, including the branch location file stores.  Fortunately they had good backups, but because of poor folder naming conventions and structures it took the guys in our Alvaka Networks’ Network Operations Center about 28 hours straight to get all the user permissions back in order for client to get back to work.  The lack of least-permissions as used by this client goes in direct opposition to what we recommend at Alvaka.  Least-permissions is the practice of using accounts that grant the user to only the locations on the network for which they have a business need to access.

2.  In another example, that struck today, a $200m manufacturer/distributor got hit by the same ransomware.  This time it was a Jr executive.  He saw some problems with his system, but did not report the problem not knowing what it was and went home.  The problem was detected after he left, but the outcome was very different than the prior scenario.  Why?  Because this user only...

New Virulent, Wide-Spread and Expensive Ransomware Outbreak Coming to You Soon 2016-02-16T02:24:49+00:00

Where’s the Beef?

Irvine - I want to let everyone know that we are embarking on some new messaging at Alvaka Networks.  Our new home page (www.alvaka.net) features some new messaging and calls-to-action centered on statements that are common amongst our new clientele followed-up with the phrase “What do I do now?”

This new marketing effort has its genesis in our new marketing consultant, John Pietro.  You won’t recognize Pietro’s name, but you will recognize his work.  He is most famous for his Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign.  His work is not limited to that one campaign, but is likely his most famous and arguably the most famous, memorable and successful campaign in fast food history.  How is coaching will serve us in the tech services business remains to be seen, but I like where he is taking us....

Where’s the Beef? 2016-02-10T01:03:52+00:00