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Don't click that link! Hertfordshire businesses' biggest risk is cyber crime
The biggest crime facing small businesses in Herts, Beds and Bucks is cybercrime – with 5 million cases reported nationally every year.
 
An estimated one in ten local people have fallen prey to internet fraudsters, according to Darren Billinghurst, Managing Director of local outsourced I.T support services company - Konnetix
 
During 2016 alone, cyber crime nationally cost businesses £29 billion.
 
“That’s an obscene amount of money,” said Mr Billinghurst, who has just written a new guide on the subject.
 
“The really scary thing is that data theft is now relatively easy for anyone to get involved in,” he said.
 
“Gone are the days of 1980s sci fi movies, where computer hackers were dark,  mysterious and possessed high levels of intelligence. Today anyone with the inclination and £50 to spend can pick up a fairly powerful piece of software that will enable them to hack into computer systems and wreak havoc.”
 
Konnetix has revealed the four most common types of cyber scam:
 
  • Exploit kits: These are thought to be responsible for the vast majority malware infections. These kits work on web servers, looking out for weaknesses and then running malicious code, which enables the hacker to have complete control of the system
  • Crypto attacks: These prey on the uneducated by sending emails with attachments claiming to have come from a trusted source. They look like the real thing, but once you open the attachment malware will automatically be installed on your PC
  • Phishing attacks: This is when groups of cyber criminals work together to steal your data and sell it on. Often finding their way onto your network through users clicking on bad links, they’ll steal your client data and send them emails pretending to be from you
  • Malware: Specially created to cause mayhem, this is one of the nastiest forms of cyber crime out there. It’s often used by unscrupulous businesses who want to steal their competitors’ client data or simply send them spiraling into organisational chaos. They use fake advertising – AKA “malvertising” - to create interest, leading naïve users to click on dodgy links
 
 
Mr Billinghurst added: “It’s not all doom and gloom. It is entirely possible to keep your business and its people safe from cyber criminals. You have to take preventative action, and then fix problems as soon as they happen.”
Konnetix new guide on cyber crime can be downloaded free at http://www.konnetix.com/cybercrime-ebook
 
 
ENDS
 
 
Notes for editors
 
Darren Billinghurst is available for further information and interview, on 01462.417070
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Is your business ready for major data law change in 2018
An estimated 3 out of 4 businesses based in Hertfordshire are not ready for a major change in the law regarding the storage and protection of private data.
 
The General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR – starts in May 2018. And it carries huge fines for companies that break the rules.
 
“Businesses can be fined up to 4% of their turnover,” explained I.T expert Darren Billinghurst, Managing Director of local outsourced and managed IT support services provider - Konnetix.
 
“This new law starts in May 2018. The majority of businesses locally don’t even know about the change; never mind being prepared for it.”
 
GDPR will force most businesses to rethink how they treat private data.
 
There are four areas businesses must comply with:
 
  1. The definition of private data will be expanded to include anything could identify an individual, which affects marketing and advertising campaigns
 
  1. People will have the right to see all data held about them, and sometimes ask for it to be deleted
 
  1. Businesses must be more proactive in protecting data, and tell people within 72 hours if their data is lost
 
  1. Businesses that share data with other firms (i.e. suppliers) must ensure they also have appropriate safeguards.
 
 
The government has confirmed that GDPR will apply regardless of what is happening with Brexit in May 2018.
 
Mr Billinghurst added: “For most businesses, this means conducting a comprehensive data audit to see what data they have and where it’s being stored. With a majority of businesses holding financial and personal data of staff and clients – it is essential that businesses have an adequate and secure I.T system in place.”
 
KONNETIX STRATEGIC IT CONSULTANCY SUPPORT
Hertfordshire businesses can contact Konnetix for I.T consultancy services. Our I.T experts will provide you with a comprehensive review of your operational systems, data storage, disaster recovery plans and recommendations to keep your business systems optimal, relative and legal.
 
Strategic IT consultancy at Konnetix uses a combined 50 years’ of experience across multiple industries to deliver raw insights into your business. Konnetix will work to increase efficiency, reduce costs and maximise your investment.

Using state-of-the-art project management tools, Konnetix IT Consultants ensure that the right solutions are implemented properly, and then track and monitor the progress. Working with you from business conception through to delivering enterprise-level solutions.
 
With legal regulations regarding the GDPR set in place, it’s not something that business owners can be put off till May; it needs to be addressed now.
 
 
Notes for editors
 
  • Darren Billinghurst is available for further information and interview, on 01462.417070
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10 Steps to Data Safety
When taking your managed IT services & support from Konnetix we believe there is no excuse for unnecessary or lengthy system downtime, and even less when it comes to data loss. This is why we implemented our 10 steps to data safety process to ensure you have maximum system uptime and 100% data safety when taking our services to protect your business.

1. UPS - Protection against hardware damage and data corruption from power failure, and instabilities in your local power network; a priority when it comes to data & business protection.

2. Firewall implementation - Preventing unauthorized access to your private network from hackers and cybercriminals.

3. On-site or Cloud Server Virtualisation - Allows virtual servers or workstations to be backed-up and restored fast, with minimal downtime compared to traditional physical hardware installations of the past!

4. Shadow copies or VSS - This technology allows us to take a manual or automatic backup, copies or snapshots of computer files or volumes, even when they are in use. (ideal for fast deleted file recovery)

5. Network-attached storage (NAS) or Storage area network (SAN) - Internal backup solutions to enable fast recovery of server VM's, System data and user workstations when configured.

6. Offsite Cloud backup - Covering total disaster scenario’s: fire, theft, flood and internal espionage.

7. Managed antivirus and malware protection for your system, files and outbound/inbound emails - Ensures your business systems are protected against the latest threats; a must when carrying out online activities on any business network which has your data on it.

8. 24/7 Email protection - Designed for on-premise mail servers and Office365, protecting your data in the event of server or internet failure ensuring your emails are safe, available and accessible 24/7.

9. Proactive system monitoring and management - Managed Servers and Workstations are less prone to system failure through preventative system maintenance. Using the latest automation tools for patch management and remote connectivity, backed up with a dedicated UK support helpdesk to make sure your business runs efficiently at all times.

10. User training - 95% of security breaches are caused by user error so it’s critical to educate your staff on what to look out for when it comes to opening email attachments, clicking on fake web links or awareness of other practices that hackers use to cause havoc to your data and business, such as the use of Ransomware like WannaCry & CryptoLocker.

Speak with the experts at Konnetix today to ensure your I.T. infrastructure and services are secure. Call us on 0800-999-3-365 or email us at hello@konnetix.com and we will be happy to help.
Visit us online for more information about our services
 
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WannaCry & Petya ransomware targeted at Local businesses
Unfortunately, more businesses are contacting us after experiencing a cyber-attack. With most accountancy and financial firms plus legal service providers are specifically being targeted by international hackers who are holding their data ransom.

The hackers are using the WannaCry and Petya ransomware software as recently featured in national news reports.

That’s according to Darren Billinghurst owner of local IT support services company Konnetix.

Mr Billinghurst said: “People have heard about this ransomware when it has affected organisations like the NHS. However, these attacks are more common across SME’s in the business world and Konnetix certainly has seen a rise in the number of new enquiries from local Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire business owners and operational staff reporting concern.

With a significant 67% increase of new enquiries other the past three months, Mr Billinghurst believes local businesses gladly call the UK Helpdesk that is manned 24/7, 365 days a year. 

“With a majority of our business built on reputation and word of mouth, the recent cybercrime attacks have businesses concerned and rightly so. The hackers are becoming increasingly ruthless, not caring who is affected. Konnetix are I.T experts who provide outsourced managed solutions, the team will ensure preventative measures are in place to protect and business, as well as a disaster recovery system and backup. Our I.T Services and Support are considered business essentials to protect your business data, files and hardware.”

WannaCry, Petya and other ransomware takes over a computer system and encrypts the data.

The hackers demand that you send a few hundred dollars using a virtual currency such as Bitcoin before they will decrypt your data.

Mr Billinghurst said: “The problem is that most local businesses are utterly reliant on their data, and when it is taken away from them they are unable to operate. Every small business needs to take preventative action now, to protect themselves against this kind of attack”.

Konnetix recommends a three-step process to protect against ransomware. The three steps are:

1.    Make sure all operating systems and applications are always 100% up-to-date: This is because ransomware will often exploit vulnerabilities found in older versions of software

2.    Use up-to-date antivirus software 

3.    Continuously backup business data to the cloud: So, you have an unaffected copy of your data to restore, in the event you are affected

To discuss any concerns, you may have or your business I.T needs please do not hesitate to contact Konnetix on 0800 3 999 365

Notes for editors

•    Darren Billinghurst, MD, Konnetix is available for further information and interview, on 01462 417071
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