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World Backup Day is March 31. Make sure you’re protecting what matters this year to keep your most important information safe and secure no matter what accidents and threats arise in the year ahead.

Office 365 Outages Are Out of Your Control - But Your Data Doesn’t Have to Be

Microsoft Office 365 has more than 155 million monthly active users, which means Microsoft’s uptime is critical to millions of businesses worldwide. Yet during the last several months, Microsoft has been struggling to ensure that users don’t experience interruption. The latest outage occurred this past Monday, February 18, crippling Microsoft Teams users for several hours.

While it’s easy to expect technology to “just work,” the truth is that for myriad reasons it doesn’t always. That’s true whether you’re leveraging cloud solutions like Office 365 or local storage options. The difference in the cloud is that you’re “renting” a solution that operates remotely. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to maintain control of your data.

Let’s consider three common instances when using Office 365 can prove costly for the unaware.

Back up before your company updates Windows 10

It’s been 34 years since Microsoft released the first version of Windows and changed the way business computing is done. Today, the tech giant’s flagship software remains the leading operating system for businesses of all sizes, owning 75 to 86 percent of the total operating system market.

One reason for this success is the way Microsoft approaches operating system updates, making it easy for businesses to get regular improvements that fix reported bugs, close security vulnerabilities, enhance performance, and ensure data protection compliance – without straining in-house IT teams.

But Windows 10 updates have a history of problems. Backing up before you start the process ensures you won’t lose time or money if your company's Windows 10 update fails.

Hard Lessons from the Catastrophic Attack on VFEmail.com

Imagine yourself as a service provider who wakes up one day, pours a cup of coffee, and checks email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – only to discover a flurry of panicky messages from customers about your service being unavailable. You rush to your management console to find that nothing is working; your entire operating environment is an unresponsive black hole. Racing to your data center, you discover a faceless attacker has wiped out every bit of data you own and maintain on behalf of your customers, erasing every hard drive on the premises.

What’s worse is they have also managed to destroy your backup servers. You have no recovery options.

That’s not an imaginary worst-case scenario. That’s what happened earlier this week to VFEmail.net, a US-based provider of secure email services.

Cyber Insurance, Cyber Warfare, and Modern IT Needs

Insurance company cites act-of-war to deny ransomware damages claim

You purchased cyber insurance to protect your business, just like you bought health insurance to protect yourself and your family. However, in the same way that health insurance can deny a procedure or medication, cyber insurers may deny your claims for business disruption arising from cyberattacks. 

Security professionals talk about cybercrime as though it’s a war, an ongoing battle against malicious actors. Apparently, insurance companies now agree.

Surveying the Malware Landscape for 2019

Looking back at 2018, the fight against malware showed glimmers of promise, as new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) were successfully deployed in some quarters to fight high-priority threats like ransomware.

The outlook for 2019 is less rosy, though, as malicious state actors and cybercriminals prepare for battle with a new array of tools and techniques designed to create mayhem and reap profits at the expense of everyone else.

Buckle up, IT security pros: the following trends indicate the anti-malware ride in 2019 is going to be a bumpy one.

Sobering Lessons from the KraussMaffei Ransomware Attack

The recent cyberattack on KraussMaffei, a German manufacturer of molding machinery for plastics and rubber, provides another reminder of the growth, persistence and destructiveness of ransomware. For those unfamiliar with it, ransomware is a type of malware that targets and infects servers, workstations and mobile devices, encrypts all the data it finds, and then presents a note demanding an online payment for the key necessary to unlock the files.

Both businesses and consumers are vulnerable to ransomware attacks: cyber criminals have used it to extort billions of dollars from victims in recent years, and are projected to net another $11.5 billion from them in 2019.  

Peer Insights Customers' Choice for Backup

When Gartner announced the 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice awards for Data Center Backup and Recovery products last week, the foresight and vision displayed by Acronis generated a surprise appearance. That’s because unlike the other six vendors recognized as a Customers’ Choice, Acronis was not covered in Gartner’s previous Magic Quadrants for Backup and Recovery.

Instead, Acronis earned the recognition as Peer Insights Customers’ Choice because actual product users submitted enough high-quality testimonials and scores to get the company added to the awards list.

The 7 Worst Nightmares of a Sysadmin

7 Worst Nightmares of a SysadminIt doesn’t need to be a dark and stormy night for a ghoulish incident to destroy the data that keeps yo ur company alive. Every day the stability and security of your system faces nightmares from cybercriminals, system errors, human errors, and more. If you can’t recover quickly, your data doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

Fear not! To defend your business’ IT systems we’re going to shine a light on the seven most sinister terrors that haunt sysadmins. That way you can be sure there’s nothing in your stack waiting to go bump in the night.

Port of San Diego Hit by Ransomware

The bustling Port of San Diego is recovering from a ransomware attack that hit on Tuesday, September 25, striking the administrative computer systems. The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are currently on-site investigating the ransomware further. And while the Port remains open to the public and shipping traffic is unaffected, certain systems are being shut down as a precaution while Port officials develop and implement their recovery plan.

The incident marks the second cyberattack on an international port this week, as the Port of Barcelona was forced to fall back on contingency plans in response to an attack on their servers. Yet these are just two of the latest examples in a troubling epidemic of cybercrimes that target transportation, municipal, and governmental infrastructure.