cyber protection

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.

Outdated software is the weak link in your data protection

New computers and software can be expensive. If you're using your laptop for your child's homework assignments or keeping your fledgling small business going, you might be tempted to not update your device or software that often. After all, it’s getting the job done, and as the saying goes, “If it’s ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

A lot of people think this way. A recent report found that most people in 2018 are using computers that are on average six years old. Only 2.54 percent of users have a machine purchased in 2017, and nearly 75 percent of users who own a device bought it in 2011 or earlier.

The problem with relying on an older computer is that updating to newer software – from apps to operating systems – can become more difficult. More importantly, relying on outdated operating systems, file- and print-sharing utilities, and applications can expose your computer and all the data you keep on it to tremendous risks.

We recently asked our cloud partners what was on their 2019 wish list for support – what they needed most to realize new success. The overwhelming reply: Help in knowing how to better market their services. 

As a result, we created a comprehensive Acronis MSP Marketing Guide to help service providers boost their business with greater ease. Here’s a quick preview of what it covers.

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.

Acronis-Microsoft Cloud Partnership Helps Supersize Service Provider Profitability

It’s never been easier for businesses to take advantage of the data security and other benefits the cloud delivers. Indeed, today the security, cost-effectiveness and easy scalability of the cloud compels companies to seek out and leverage solutions – which is driving tremendous growth in data center usage. In fact, the seventh annual Cisco Global Cloud Index report projects that by 2021, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers and 73 percent of those instances will be in public cloud data centers.

When it comes to cloud storage, the landscape is nuanced. Companies have different requirements – from how much businesses need, to where data is stored, and beyond – which makes a one-size-fits-all option quite challenging. To meet varying needs, business growth requires data-storage choice. The good news is that delivering such choice means business opportunities for IT service providers, provided they have the right partnership in place.

Acronis Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The season of giving is upon us again! Across the country, people are making their annual trek through a winter wonderland to the slightly-less wonderful shopping malls of America. With your friends and family spending more time than ever interacting with digital media, now's the time to give some gadgets and software that will make their digital world better, faster, and safer in the year to come.

Here are 10 tech gifts to help you spread holiday cheer and cyber protection.

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.  

It’s never been easier for businesses to take advantage of the data security and other benefits the cloud delivers. Indeed, today the security, cost-effectiveness and easy scalability of the cloud compels companies to seek out and leverage solutions – which is driving tremendous growth in data center usage. In fact, the seventh annual Cisco Global Cloud Index report projects that by 2021, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers and 73 percent of those instances will be in public cloud data centers. 

When it comes to cloud storage, the landscape is nuanced. Companies have different requirements – from how much businesses need, to where data is stored, and beyond – which makes a one-size-fits-all option quite challenging. To meet varying needs, business growth requires data-storage choice. The good news is that delivering such choice means business opportunities for IT service providers, provided they have the right partnership in place.
 

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.

Protecting New Devices from Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday has come and gone, and once today’s Cyber Monday 2018 is over, we will have survived the annual marketing onslaught of retailers once again. It’s interesting to see how the sales event has evolved during the past 15 years or so – what was once a one-day, post-Thanksgiving promotion has turn into a weeklong campaign that is the biggest driver of holiday sales -- especially for electronics and home tech.

No matter what day you got your new device, however, you’ll want to take a few steps to keep that device – and your data – protected.