Last year in 2017, Ransomware attacks were used by cyber-criminals to compromise many businesses, with success.
Ransomware A type of malicious soft
ware. It is designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.
This was, in the past, aimed at individuals at home, however is now more than ever being targeted at businesses & larger organisations. Because of the success, cyber-criminals are now looking at other ways to secure their pay-outs.
Phishing emails are from criminals pretending to be from reputable companies. In order to gain personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers or to place orders causing great loss to the company, they send out attachments and links.
Nowadays, it doesn’t even matter if you know who its from. Cyber-criminals are impersonating banks, reputable organisations and even your friends. If the attachment looks unusual or the link looks funny…it probably is!
Back in 2016 there was a piece of Malware called Mirai. This basically bypassed devices with security by using ones instead that have default username and passwords. (Think standard home routers, baby monitors, IP Cameras, TV’s, home appliances etc.) Once infected, the device is “available” for remote access & control by hackers.
So this year & next, businesses must ensure that the basics are covered. Data management, protection and patching are good places to start. (E.g. Create alerts for anonymous new users, changes in device performance, and regularly auditing passwords)
Its not all doom & gloom…
Businesses must exploit the advantage that they have in knowing what their data network looks like, and use security analytics to spot any anomalies fast.
It’s also vital not to allow internet of things (IoT) devices to simply connect to your network without proper security – Vehicles, wearable’s, health appliances, heating & cooling systems etc.
Protect your business with multiple levels & make cure colleagues and friends are aware of the impact once click can cause. Contact your IT company to find out how you are protected.
Have you thought about switching before the big switch off?
BT are due to switch off PSTN & ISDN in 2025, we are here to help you switch now in plenty of time… before time runs out.
As of early 2017 there were over 2 million businesses still with an ISDN connection in the UK, this stat came from OFCOM directly. A 2017 survey has also shown that a quarter of the UK’s businesses are still unaware that the switch off is taking place.
What is PSTN and ISDN?
- PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is the landline telephone system that we all know & love. It was originally set up for analogue voice only, and became the most reliable method of making calls and the main carrier for internet activity. Remember those times when you couldn’t use the phone when you wanted to go online?
- ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) then came along, allowing the digital transmission of voice, video and other services simultaneously, using the traditional PSTN network.
Why are they being phased out?
Unfortunately these systems are now rapidly becoming out of date, as are the associated maintenance and running costs. Despite having been updated over the years, these lines are still essentially the same in setup and design as the original phone lines of the 1880s – yes, I had to read that twice too! There is a really good article about the history of the telephone here. With all other fields of technology advancing at light speed around us, it makes sense that our telecoms systems are also updated.
What is SIP and VoIP?
- SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a protocol used in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and allows people to make voice and video calls on a global scale using computer and mobile devices with an Internet connection.
- The biggest and most noticeable difference between traditional ISDN and SIP networks for business owners is the cost, These VoIP voice communication systems are also often referred to as cloud-based telephony systems.
Existing Businesses: Next Steps
If you’re among the 2 million businesses that still have an ISDN connection, you should start thinking about switching to cloud-based telephony sooner rather than later;
- Don’t renew your contracts without proper research just for an easy life. Go to your supplier and get your contract end dates. This gives you your own deadline to work towards and get into the cloud mind set. 2025 may seem like a long way off but do you remember Captain America, The Help, Thor, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? These were all released 7 years ago…
- As soon as you are released from your current contracts, get fully switching to the cloud based telephone systems – This will save you a great deal of money and time in the long run
- Think about upping your internet speed & quality, you cant go cloud unless you have a strong internet access. Think about this if you are renting offices in rural areas where development is low. Maybe change is on the horizon.
- Don’t keep buying outdated hardware, can you manage setting up new requirements on cloud based systems while running this alongside the old system for a time until contracts are up?
We offer a range of services to help make the transition as pain free as possible & we would be more than happy to come to your business and walk you through changes you can make now.