The occurrence of malware attacks, particularly those involving ransomware, continued to plague American businesses at an alarming rate in 2016, with more than 50% of all businesses suffering at least one attack during the year. In tandem with that chilling statistic is a revelation from a survey conducted by Osterman Research, which showed that only about 4% of all executives felt their companies were secure against the threat of cyber attack.
Growing maturity of cyber attacks
In the worst statistical month of 2016 (March), there were more than 56,000 ransomware attacks alone, and the level of malware maturity and sophistication is increasingly alarming. Ransomware criminals have become so fiercely competitive among themselves that they have begun to hack each other, and release decryption keys so as to undermine competing groups. Additionally, ransomware developers are making their software available to criminal newcomers for profit (Ransomware as a Service [RaaS]), which increases the value of their own creations, and simultaneously proliferates the number of overall attackers in business.
From these survey findings, it would be easy to conclude that in the war against cyber crime, the bad guys are winning. But there is hope. The maturity and technological advancement of security strategies developed by some firms has also taken a quantum leap forward, and when coupled with a company-wide awareness of security threats, it is still possible to avoid the predations of criminal-minded Internet opportunists. One of the best of these solutions is the managed malware and endpoint protection offered by VPLS Solutions, a company headquartered in California, but also having a powerful presence around the globe.
Managed malware and endpoint protection
VPLS’ comprehensive package called Managed Security Solutions, incorporates the best security practices for all of the following:
- end point protection powered by Cylance
- network architecture
- internal Incident Response workflows
- attack prevention
- vulnerability and patch management
- assessment of internal hosts
- assessment of externally-facing services, commonly used by cyber-attackers to secure entry
As you might expect, the only good answer to cyber attack is preparedness and prevention of the invasion – once your security umbrella has been breached, the cost can quickly skyrocket, and your company may have little or no recourse but to pay the ransom demanded, or throw the towel in and admit defeat. This is even more true today than ever, because cyber criminals now make it a point to delete archives and backups immediately upon entry, so a company is left with no data to fall back on while ransom demands are being made.
Recognizing the critical importance of preparedness and prevention, VPLS’ endpoint protection solution emphasizes these strategies:
- utilizes the enormous power of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to predict and automatically implement prevention tactics prior to the execution of an attack
- reduction of the impact employees can have on security by making strategic use of advanced endpoint security products and shields
- education of company employees about the greatest points of vulnerability and best practices for avoidance of penetration
- prevention of malware execution at the point of attack, before it has a chance to access interior databases and infrastructure
What VPLS can do for your company
As a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) for the Cylance security system, VPLS can arrange for licensing of the Cylance product and provide all consulting required by your company in setting up your barrier against attack. This will include a baseline assessment of your company’s current security profile and readiness against intrusions. Points of vulnerability will be identified and given specific attention during the implementation of CylancePROTECT, and employees will be instructed about how to do their part in maintaining company security.
VPLS is a respected global leader in hosted services, managing more than 10,000 servers which support in excess of 5,000,000 websites across multiple countries of the world. With a highly ranked and well-recognized hosting brand, the company has earned the trust and confidence of companies both large and small throughout the entire world. With a rock-solid hosting company, and a comprehensive security solution like Cylance’s malware and endpoint protection, you can rest easy about your company’s preparedness against cyber intrusions.
Protect your data assets
The old saying about ‘time is money’ has never been more true than today, and it has never been more aptly applied than to the business world of modern times. The prolonged downtime that your company might experience due to a cyber attack can be crippling to your business, and the cost of recovering from such an attack could even threaten your company’s existence. To find out about a managed security solution that will reduce or eliminate that kind of threat, call VPLS today and protect the valuable data assets which are the foundation of your business.
For businesses that make use of Veeam software on the premises, these are good times indeed, because the product just keeps getting better, and for service companies such as VPLS Inc., that also means service to Veeam clients keeps getting better and better. Organizations across the country have discovered that modern business requirements have necessitated a serious upgrade from legacy backup systems, which simply cannot guarantee availability in the same way that Veeam backups can.
In fact, more than 82% of U.S. CIO’s have asserted that there is a significant gap between the availability needed by internal customers, and what the I.T. department can actually provide. This being the case, a completely reliable Veeam Cloud Connect service such as from VPLS Inc. represents the best way to take the leap into the modern ‘Always On’ level of service for Veeam offsite backups and Veeam offsite replication.
The newest product release is called Veeam Availability Suite 9.5, and it is so loaded with new features and extra functionality, that it’s hard to believe it’s designated a ‘.5 release’ rather than a full new release on its own.
Veeam Availability Suite 9.5
Many of the enhancements originally introduced in version 9.0 have been extended and refined in 9.5 to provide even greater service levels for organizations, with even faster Veeam cloud backup and replication than was previously possible. There are also features included in 9.5 which smooth the pathway for business growth by providing built-in scalability, without losing the up-time demanded by internal customers. Here are some of the key features included in this new release:
- Increased scalability – Scalability enhancements include faster Veeam backup to cloud performance, quicker restores of large-size virtual machines, and load reduction on both primary and backup storage.
- Advanced ReFS integration – This improves capacity efficiencies for large-scale data sets, and ensures the protection of your most critical applications through the rapid cloning of VM backups. Backup Windows are shortened, while backup storage loads and backup storage capacity consumption are both lowered. Background data corruption is constantly monitored to ensure the integrity of your company’s data.
- Integration with Microsoft 2016 – This new release provides full support for Microsoft 2016 Data Center Technologies, including the latest versions of Active Directory, Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, Hyper-V 2016, and Windows Server 2016.
- Direct Restore to Azure – In the Availability Suite 9.5, backups can be restored directly to the cloud using Microsoft Azure as a cloud data center for the direct restore, thus making optimum use of the flexibility and scalability provided by Azure’s cloud resources.
- Storage snapshot – Recoveries are made even faster by the new VM Explorer for Nimble Storage. Functionality for chargeback and billing helps calculate the real costs of storage resources, and VMware vCloud Director support provides you with self-service backup and restore functionality.
Time to upgrade
Enterprises seeking to upgrade their service level to customers and to maintain maximum availability of the computing network, have all of that within their grasp with a Cloud Connect Veeam backup system in place. To help get you where you want to go, all that’s necessary is partnering with one of the best Veeam Cloud Backup Providers, so you can be assured of the reliability and functionality you should be receiving from such a system. Before you contact anyone else, call the experts at VPLS Inc. to help get you started on the road to ‘Always On’.
Year after year, malware attacks have been increasingly on the rise in frequency and intensity targeting those in the banking, financial services, healthcare, legal and governmental sectors. In fact, according to Kaspersky Laboratory, a source specializing in tracking malware of all types, the first quarter of 2016 had an increase of 30 percent of attempted ransomware attacks from the previous quarter with 14% of it coming from about 29,000 new ransomware modifications. On top of that, “93 percent of phishing attacks come loaded with ransomware payloads.”
Sadly, once your law firm or business has been afflicted with ransomware, there is nothing you can really do about it except to repair the damages. Decrypting your files has proven not to be effective since the malware infection cannot be completely removed.
Additionally, the FBI does not recommend paying the ransom in ransomware attacks. This is due to the fact that there is no guarantee of the data being rightfully returned to the owner even after the ransom is paid. Also, this may cause cyber criminals to continue to victimize organizations since they are benefiting the most from this illegal activity by obtaining their victim’s money along with their banking information too.
Unfortunately, there is no sure way to prevent malware attacks, but you can stop this malware from succeeding by furthering yours and your employees’ knowledge on security education by acknowledging the following:
- Password policies should include a provision that forces a password change every few months.
- Spoofing Users mean that any conversation you may have about personal information over the internet can be fair game to cyber hackers.
- Advanced Persistent Threats can come in different forms to attempt to compromise data. Some of these viruses can sit on your computer or server silently collecting your data for months.
Zerto has announced the release of ZVR 5.0 today with some new and exciting features that enhances the product and solidifies their position as the leader in Cloud replication. Some new and exciting features include:
- This feature allows you to replicate to multiple onsite or Cloud targets by placing VM’s into multiple Virtual Protection Groups (VPGs)
- Each VPG can have it’s own SLA and journal retention policy. For example you can increase retention to a Cloud target like VPLS and reduce storage footprint on-premise
- Protect individual VM’s from remote site back to HQ
- This is an Android and iOS application that allows you to monitor your Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) and VPGs with alerts of tasks that are currently running from anywhere in real time
- All traffic is encrypted utilizing Zerto’s cloud service
30 Day Journal History
- The existing 14-day journal setting has been extended to 30 days
- Compression can be enabled on a per-VPG basis
- ZVR 5.0 includes improvements to the replication engine for parallel synchronization operations within each disk
- up to 50% faster synchronization times for initial syncs
It was a huge victory for many service providers when Veeam Backup and Replication included support for VMware vCloud Director back at the release of the v7. This was due to the fact that providers could finally properly protect native vCloud components such as Organizations and vApps as opposed to only utilizing underlying vSphere level operations that could not save or restore any information concerning vCloud constructs. Additionally, service providers with in-house developments were now able to input these capabilities into their own automated procedures and portals thanks to its complete support for RESTful API.
Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. improves upon the drawbacks experienced by service providers and customers with the current version. As of now, the only method to be authenticated into the portal is by using Windows credentials. Adding onto this setback, only restore operations are supported resulting in customers having to depend on their service providers to either having to configure and maintain backups for them or develop custom procedures as a way to leverage Veeam Powershell or RESTful API.
Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. promises to offer solutions to these issues. First, Veeam customers will now be authorized to log into Enterprise Manager by Veeam leveraging the native vCloud Director authentication technology. Also with Veeam’s capability to identify the vCloud resources and its automatic filtering, regulating the visibility of components will be made possible . This feature will also ensure that the vCloud Director will have the ability to see and manage all aspects of the suite. This major improvement towards user operations will make it so that it will only have to be configured once by the customer in vCloud Director and any change such as a new password or a disabled operation will immediately be reflected in Veeam Enterprise Manager.
Next, Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. will automatically populate all advanced job parameters from the assigned template so that customers will not have to learn every single backup mode and or advanced job setting. Customers will also be able to create new backup jobs by specifying which VMs to backup along with being able to set up necessary parameters like retention and notifications. This feature will make it much more manageable for service providers as well. Service providers will be able to limit or restrict their customer’s ability to schedule jobs to run manually or by using a script. Service providers will also still have control over the backup destination (all customer’s quota).
Finally, Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. has upped the security factor by allowing customers to input the guest OS credentials required for application-aware processing directly into the Veeam job they create. Customers will no longer have to go through their service provider as was required before the self-service portal was available. Both Veeam service providers and customers can have peace of mind knowing that no credential can be misused by the service provider staff. Additionally, restores will be streamlined much further thanks to the security properties of native vCloud authentication combined with the security of guest credentials. Customers will have access to a list of protected VMs which will then enable them to quickly restore the entire VM. This includes having the capability of restoring only the damaged blocks of the virtual disk as well.
All in all, Veaam Availability Suite 9.5. will be an excellent asset to any service provider and or customer with its improved capabilities that will inevitably result in increased productivity and efficiency all the while maintaining its integrity.