WannaCry Malware Protection
by Jason Ryals, Chief Technology Officer at Speros
Recently making global headlines, a new variant of ransomware referred to as WannaCry has been put part of a large-scale cyber attack that has infected over 200,000 computer systems and over a 150 countries. Ransomware acts by infecting a computer through opening a malicious email or website which then encrypts your data to the user, in exchange for a payment to unlock (Decrypt) these files usually in the form of digital currency called Bitcoins. Infection can also spread to other network connected resources and perform the same operation locking an entire business from accessing their own data.
At Speros we have multiple layers of defense from NOT being apart of this exploit.
1. SonicWALL firewalls are installed and up to date with latest Security definitions and at the Speros Data Center , scans all traffic incoming and outgoing blocking anything suspicious. This also performs website filtering that will help restrict access to sites known to host malware.
2. Barracuda Networks, our anti-spam email filtering solution, inspects all email messages, unusual content,infected attachments, malicious links etc. and quarantines those messages.
3. Speros Managed Services applies Windows Updates which are tested, approved and applied to each managed workstation and Managed servers.
4. Trend Micro Antivirus is installed on each workstation and server. In the event that a rogue piece of software does happen to come through the above layers of security, the antivirus software will quarantine the suspected files and alert Speros HelpDesk.
In addition to the above security measures , Speros recommends backing up your data, your servers end or workstations , to ensure critical files are safe. While backups are not a level of prevention they are a layer of protection against loss whether from accidental or malicious intent.
Jason Ryals is the Chief Technology Officer at Speros. Ryals’ certifications include VMware Data Center, ADTRAN Technical Support Professional, SonicWALL CSSA&CSSP, Microsoft Certified Enterprise Administrator, Linux & A-plus, Cisco, and IBM AIX Unix based server systems. He has in-depth knowledge on troubleshooting Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks, routing, VMware and complex software designed data centers, and SD-WAN solutions. For more information, visit speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email email@example.com.
Savannah ObGyn Launches New Website Created by Speros
Designed by Speros, a full-service technology company headquartered in Savannah, the site includes resource tabs that provide patients with educational information such as real patient stories about minimally invasive robotic surgery performed with the da Vinci Surgical System; and educational videos and handouts from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Bright and welcoming in shades of teal and green, the website also offers downloadable forms for patients and information about participating insurance carrier networks, as well as a link to Savannah ObGyn’s Facebook page.
Built on a custom WordPress platform, the website allows the office to make updates to their site and additionally features tracking services via Google Analytics.
“The previous website was built on a fixed template that was limited and offered only three pages of basic information and no way for people to send inquiries through the website,” explained Lauren Dingus, web and graphics designer for Speros. “The new website structure allows Savannah ObGyn to feature much more patient-focused information, and provides an easy way for patients to contact the office and even request a specific provider.”
Savannah ObGyn is full-service obstetrics and gynecology practice serving the needs of Southeast Georgia and South Carolina since 1995. Its physicians and nurse practitioners offer comprehensive women’s health services in a friendly and caring environment, helping patients manage their health through all stages of life, from adolescence through the reproductive years and into menopause.
MORE INFORMATION ON SPEROS
Established in 1984, Speros provides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design and branding solutions, and cloud computing. Speros team members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speros Vice President , Heather Radtke to Speak at Savannah Chamber’s May 2 SMART Luncheon on How to Prevent Hackers from Compromising Business Security
(SAVANNAH, GA) Heather Radtke, Vice President of Speros, Inc., on Tuesday, May 2, will discuss five steps small business owners can take to avoid having their data hacked.
Radtke will outline the suggested safeguards during the Savannah Chamber’s Small Business Council SMART Luncheon from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Savannah Morning News auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway.
“If you are a small business owner, there is a 50-50 chance your company will be the victim of a cyber attack,” Radtke says. “But there are several things you can do to safeguard your online data and avoid being hacked, or minimize the impact.”
Radtke will outline five ways small business owners can lessen their chances of a data breach, including how often and where they should back up data. She will also discuss firewalls, antivirus software and anti-spam systems and will dispense tips on detecting hackers and minimizing damage if an attack should occur.
“Like any emergency plan, business owners need to have a plan in place in advance so they can respond quickly if their computer system is hacked,” Radtke says. “This includes everything from physically disconnecting computers from the network to breaking the news to business partners, vendors, customers and other stakeholders.”
The event is for Savannah Chamber of Commerce members only. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m., and the cost is $12.
RSVP at SPainter@SavannahChamber.com or call 912-644-6458. Small Business Council SMART Luncheons are hosted each month with guest speakers presenting topics relevant to small business owners and employees.
MORE INFORMATION ON SPEROS
Established in 1984, Speros provides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design, branding solutions and cloud computing. Speros team members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email email@example.com.
By Lauren Dingus
The internet is literally at our fingertips day in and day out. With all of our information, from bills to banking to medical records, being available through apps on our smartphones and online portals, keeping your accounts secure should be one of our biggest concerns.
However, most of us have become complacent when it comes to the passwords we use to protect our personal information. This leaves us vulnerable to identity theft. With large scale hacks from celebrity iPhones to Yahoo, it’s time to rethink our passwords.
- Always Use a Unique Password
Using the same password for all of your accounts is a big no-no. This leaves you vulnerable to having all of your information out there for the taking. The average person has more than 20 different logins spread across a wide variety of websites, but they probably don’t use 20 unique passwords. To make sure all of your information is secure, you need to have a unique password for each of your online accounts.
- Avoid Being Predictable
Steer clear of the obvious, such as using your birthdate the names of your kids, street address or anything else that can be easily tied to you. Also, try not to use any of the most common passwords, including “password”, “123456”, “baseball” and “football”. All of these were in Splashdata’s top 10 worst passwords list for 2015, and should definitely not be used to secure your personal information.
If your password is predictable, consists of one word or is on the list of worst passwords, then it’s time to rethink your account security.
- Follow a Strong Password Formula
While there is no standard for creating a password that will guarantee your account won’t be hacked, there are formulas you can follow to increase the strength of the passwords you use. Generally, the higher the quantity, and wider the variety of characters you use, the stronger your password will be. According to Microsoft’s website, you should choose a password that uses at least 6 characters and mixes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
- Use a Password Manager
A password manager is essentially a digital address book for all of your online accounts. You can use this to keep all of your usernames and passwords stored in a secure database. This frees you from having to remember every single password for every single account and also prevents you from having to do multiple password recoveries when you inevitably forget a password. Instead, you have one, hopefully very strong, password to remember so you can access your online accounts database.
- Use 2-Step Verification when Available
Two-Step Verification, or Two-Factor Authorization, gives your account a second layer of protection. First, you enter your password to sign on, then a verification code is texted to your phone that you have to enter in order to complete the login. By enabling this feature, you are ensuring that no one will be able to access your account without your knowledge. You will receive a verification code if someone attempts to access your account.
Following these steps will have you well on your way to keeping your personal information safe. You will be able to significantly decrease the likelihood of your personal information becoming compromised by creating strong, discreet passwords and avoiding untrusted sources when online.
Lauren Dingus is the web and graphics designer at Speros, responsible for the website development division, including graphic design and branding, content writing, and consulting on digital marketing strategies. For information, contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912.354.8900
(SAVANNAH, GA) Speros, a Savannah-based full-service technology company, has expanded its audiovisual systems services to include interactive projection technology and displays, distance-learning systems and audio- and video-equipped conference and telepresence rooms.
Rik LaSpisa, who specializes in integrated IT and audiovisual systems, is heading up this new division. LaSpisa, a Buffalo, N.Y., native and graduate of Houghton College with a B.S. in Business Management, has more than thirteen years of experience in integrated IT and audiovisual systems design and integration.
An analysis reported by Forrester Research indicates the U.S. telecommuting ranks have swelled from 34 million people in 2009 to 63 million in 2016. This telecommuting trend continues to grow as businesses and organizations see the value of collaborating in real time with key contacts across the world.
In a survey of 178 U.S. businesses with between 20 and 99 employees, the ‘Yankee Group’ found that 79 percent had mobile workers, with an average of 11 ‘mobile workers’ per company, and 54 percent had telecommuters, with an average of eight telecommuters per company.
“Businesses need a place where everyone can talk, share and collaborate, regardless of their physical location,” said LaSpisa. “This ‘shared space’ could be a cloud-based chat room, a project-management tool or a teleconferencing system. We expanded our services to ensure that we are offering all of the best tools available on the market.”
Speros audio systems feature voice reinforcement for digital media and computer content, as well as audio amplification for live presentations in a variety of spaces, such as lecture halls, classrooms and government facilities.
Visual systems include multiple devices that can display simultaneously, HD video projectors and interactive video touch monitors as well as digital signage solutions.
Speros provides complete design, engineering, installation and maintenance services to add or integrate technologies including interactive projection technology and displays, distance-learning systems and audio- and video-equipped conference and telepresence rooms.
For more information, visit http://www.speros.com/.
MORE INFORMATION ON SPEROS
Established in 1984, Speros provides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design and branding solutions and cloud computing. Speros team members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit http://www.speros.com/, call (912) 354-8900 or email email@example.com. Find Speros on Twitter at @sperostech.
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
(SAVANNAH, GA) Business Solutions, a monthly publication dedicated to helping IT solutions providers grow their businesses, featured Keith Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer of Speros, a full-service technology company headquartered in Savannah.
According to the article, “The Real Secret To Creating A Managed Services Differentiator,“ written by Jay McCall, Speros has solved a common pain point for a majority of its customers and increased the company’s monthly recurring revenue. McCall is the publication’s editor of networking, managed services and storage.
Susan Speros brought Keith Fletcher onboard 3 years ago as Chief Operating Officer, making him the newest member of the management team to facilitate growth and expand the company.
Over the last 3 years, Speros has evolved from a telecom consultant with an IT division to the largest technology services company in the region and in doing so has more than doubled business over a three-year period. The growth was fueled by focusing on monthly reoccurring revenue, and one major component has been a unique Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) program which started with Speros’ firewall manufacturer, SonicWALL, but the article also credits him with an even bigger win.
Several months ago he approached Speros’ routing and switching manufacturing partner, ADTRAN, got them on board with HaaS and, in doing so, found new opportunities to further strengthen the company’s partnerships as well as its bottom line.
“When I approached ADTRAN about the possibility of starting a HaaS program, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they liked the idea,” Fletcher said. “After all, switches are a key component of the network infrastructure and even wireless access points have to connect to switches, which can slow down a network as they age. But when ADTRAN said they also wanted to bundle their management suite with the hardware, I knew we were on to something that would allow our technicians to see and do much more in managing their network’s performance, health and data usage.”
Since the ADTRAN HaaS program kicked off in June 2016, Fletcher said, “there has been a fantastic reaction by our customers, being able to have a truly state of the art infrastructure for a small monthly fee is very attractive to everyone.”
The difference between the Speros/Adtran/Blue Socket/SonicWALL program is that this is a true manufacturer’s program. All of these enterprise class technology companies have developed programs that Speros administers to provide the highest caliber technology to the business community.
This is very different from programs from other technology companies where the technology company purchases the equipment and then “rents” it to their customers.
“An average company with 100 employees and the usual office IT infrastructure might spend about $15,000 on switches and firewalls, compared to $500 a month to rent,” Fletcher said. “When you add additional costs for PCs, printers, telephones and paying someone to run your IT department, the capital outlay would be huge compared to pennies on the dollar to rent all of it. Also, instead of having to buy equipment that depreciates every five years, HaaS allows entrepreneurs to stay current across the board.”
To read the full article, visit http://www.bsminfo.com/doc/the-real-secret-to-creating-a-managed-services-differentiator-0001.
Speros, which was founded 1984, has reported a 2015 sales growth rate of 40 percent and a 2016 projected sales growth rate of 25 percent. The company has 27 employees. For more information, visit speros.com, call (912) 354-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE INFORMATION ON SPEROS
Established in 1984, Speros provides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design and branding solutions and cloud computing. Speros team members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit http://www.speros.com, call (912) 354-8900 or email email@example.com. Find Speros on Twitter at @sperostech.
Chief Operations Officer
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
by Jason Ryals, Chief Technology Officer at Speros
In the wake of another hospital falling victim to a ransomware attack, it is more important than ever to be vigilant when online. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your company’s data so you can’t access it, and holds it hostage.
The encryption process doesn’t happen instantly, so you may not know your system is infected for a week or more. Once your system has been taken over, you will get a notice when you try to access your data that demands you pay a ransom in order to get it back.
Prevent Data Compromises
Ransoms can be anywhere from a couple hundred, to tens of thousands of dollars. The Cyber Threat Alliance estimates a total of $18 million in damages from CryptoWall Version 4. By paying the ransom, you are in no way guaranteed to get your data back. We’re talking about cybercriminals after all. The good news is there are measures you can take to protect your company data from being held hostage.
Back up Your Data
Regularly backing up your data is an important security measure to take in general. In the event ransomware takes over your system, a backup is the only way to recover your data without paying the ransom. In this day and age there is no excuse for not backing up your data. Programs exist to help back up your personal data to the internet, and a good IT company has the capability to create regular backups of your entire server, and store them in a secure, offsite location.
Keep Your Software Current
Avoid Phishing Scams
Phishing is a malicious attempt to get access to your personal information or company data by appearing to be a reputable source. Emails can be sent under the guise of a person or business you are familiar with. These emails will ask you to click on a link and input personal information, or download a file onto your computer. Red flags that the email is not legitimate are attachments or links that end in ‘.exe’, ‘.vbs’, and ‘.src’, or receiving an encrypted fax in an email.
Follow Safe Browsing Practices
Keep your browser up-to-date. Whether you use Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, if you receive a prompt to update, do so. Browsers are updated to protect you against security vulnerabilities. Also, enable the built-in security features in your browser settings to warn you about websites or images that appear to be malicious in nature.
Do Not Use Unknown Devices
Believe it, or not, people have infected their systems with malware by plugging devices, such as USB drives, they have found into their computers. USB drives are pretty common place, and provide an easy way to share documents with colleagues. But, as we were taught as kids not to take candy from a stranger, if you don’t know where the drive came from, do not plug it into your computer.
Ransomware attacks are becoming more common, with more variants of this type of malware cropping up all the time. By staying informed, setting best practice guidelines for web and email usage in your business, and working closely with your IT company, you can prevent your data from becoming compromised.
Jason Ryals is the Chief Technology Officer at Speros. Ryals’ certifications include VMware Data Center, ADTRAN Technical Support Professional, SonicWALL CSSA&CSSP, Microsoft Certified Enterprise Administrator, Linux & A-plus, Cisco, and IBM AIX Unix based server systems. He has in-depth knowledge on troubleshooting Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks, routing, VMware and complex software designed data centers, and SD-WAN solutions. For more information, visit http://www.speros.com, call 912-354-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.