How to find out if your computer is protected against ransomware

Ransomware is on the hunt for your precious photos and important documents. Is your computer protected? Are you sure that your protection actually works? There is an easy way to check. Find out how!

A Series of Unfortunate Backup Events

A Series of Unfortunate Backup Events is a very popular Software as Service (SaaS) platform for software developers. Recently, they suffered a series of unfortunate events due to incomplete backup practices that resulted in customer data loss and service down time. They are back up and running now (minus some essential client data) and there are a few important lessons we can learn from their backup approach and resulting experience.

Osiris Ransomware:  New Addition to the Locky Family

Locky ransomware has undergone another facelift, as cyber criminals roll out updates to one of the most common and damaging families of file-encrypting malware. The new ransomware is named Osiris, after the Egyptian god of the afterlife, and comes with improved features designed to attack backups and avoid being detected. It appends the .orisis extension to the end of the encrypted files and follows the standard pattern of ransomware infection: Invade, Encrypt, Extort. Riding on the back of Locky’s success, Osiris is one of the most serious cyber security treats computer users are facing today.

Weekly Tech Roundup: January 30

Weekly Tech Roundup: January 30

In a world of increasing cyber attacks and data vulnerability, it’s our responsibility to take action and protect ourselves—even though, at times, it seems ever more difficult. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are flooding the market, becoming a major part of our daily lives; ransomware is preying upon innocent individuals and institutions in the hopes of making a quick buck; and dormant threats are coming out of the cracks, striking fear into those looking towards the future. But even with all of these threats, we continue to innovate, finding new and imaginative ways to protect ourselves and our devices.

This week in tech saw new ways of thinking about security to combat old yet increasingly devious threats. What did you miss?

Shadow IT: Healthcare Industry Scourge or Opportunity for Growth?

In May this year, two New York City hospitals — New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center — were slammed with a whopping $4.8 million fine from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the biggest HIPAA fine in U.S. history. The hospitals were fined for failing to protect patient information under HIPAA privacy laws due to an incident in 2010 when the electronic health data of 6,800 patients were made public on the Internet. According to the HHS investigation, the incident unfolded because a Columbia faculty member attempted to deactivate a personally owned service that was connected to the hospital's network where the patient data resided. 

High-Profile Data Breaches Spur Debate on Consumer Notification

The fallout continues from last year's major data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus. The U.S. Congress, state agencies, retailers and consumer advocacy groups are now locked in a larger debate about data security and consumers' right to know when their data may be at risk — and if a national notification standard makes sense, according to the Associated Press. 

The larger of the breaches, Target, exposed an estimated 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts to hackers, but the retail giant kept customers in the dark for several days. Why the delay? Lacking national regulations for how (and how quickly) consumers must be notified, retailers are left to sort though a puzzling patchwork of state regulations. 

Bridging the BYOD Trust Gap: Show Employees Their Data Is Safe with You

The BYOD trend is growing fast — and there's no sign that it'll slow any time soon. Consider the projected growth: The BYOD market was $67 billion in 2011 and will reach $181 billion by 2017, according to MarketsandMarkets. In response, companies are playing offense with remote wiping and other measures to protect company data on those personal devices. The problem? Employees are often left in the dark about what information their bosses have access to, and what could happen when they leave the company. 

Bad news this week for the healthcare industry: According to new research, data breaches and loss cost the industry billions every year. With companies and consumers alike creating more data than ever before, backup and data protection is a must. But those aren't the only topics on IT pros' minds these days. Here's a look at a few of the IT do's and don'ts on the web this week: 

How Much Can Data Loss Cost?

The Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Data Safe

Every year we create more data than the year before. If you can believe it, 90 percent of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone. IBM has estimated that our current daily creation rate is 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. IDC projects that the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020, which is 50 times larger than the digital universe at the beginning of 2010.

4 Steps to Secure the Devices Your Employees Get for Christmas

During the holidays, many people receive tech gifts like laptops, tablets and smartphones. And many of them will want to bring these devices along with them to work in the new year.

BYOD has been a huge trend for 2013, and we expect it to increase in 2014 and beyond. It makes sense from a lot of perspectives. For one, letting employees bring their own devices cuts the cost of purchasing new hardware. It also means that employees are generally familiar and happy with the tech that they’re using. They wind up being more productive and more satisfied with their jobs in general.