29 Aug There is no need to WannaCry… Block Ransomware before it reaches your data

 

What would the impact be if you lost all of your business data? And how much would you be willing to pay to get it back? There is a rapidly growing form of cybercrime that hinges on the answers to these two questions.

 

Ransomware is a type of malware used for datanapping and lockscreen attacks. It encrypts your data, limiting or preventing access and then demands payment in exchange for its safe return. If payment is not made within the specified period of time, your data will be released or destroyed. Are your POPI alarm bells ringing yet?

 

Like a worm virus, ransomware spreads from machine to machine, firstly by luring an unsuspecting user to click on a link or open an attachment. It can be spread through malicious email attachments, infected software applications and external storage devices as well as compromised websites. Not only can ransomware affect computers but also servers and cloud-based file-sharing systems, allowing it to delve deep into a business’s core.

 

Although ransomware has been around for over two decades, it was initially limited to Russia. Its popularity and profitable business model soon found its way to other countries. In 2012, several key technological advances aligned allowing it to evolve and spread across Europe and North America.

 

Ransom prices may vary depending on the ransomware variant and the price or exchange rates of digital currencies. Bitcoin is decentralised, unregulated and nearly impossible to trace, making it a popular choice amongst cybercriminals. Victims are advised to never pay the ransom as it only exasperates the problem and does not guarantee that the decryption key or tool required to regain access to the infected system or encrypted files will be given.

 

Just how lucrative is ransomware? Extremely. According to IBM, in 2016 ransomware spiked 6,000% compared to 2015 and most victims paid the hackers. It was found in almost 40% of all spam messages. 70% of business victims paid the hackers and of those who paid, 50% paid more than $10,000 and 20% paid more than $40,000. The study found that the cost of ransomware attacks amounted to $1 billion last year alone.

 

How can you protect yourself?

  • Ensure your security software is always up-to-date.
  • Ensure your operating system is always up-to-date.
  • Don’t open email attachments from unknown sources.
  • Do daily remote backups of your data.
  • Mitigate risk through cloud services.
 

How can CipherWave help you?

 

Talk to us about any one of the below services, which could help protect your company against ransomware:

  • SpamExperts – Email Anti-spam and Antivirus protection software. Enterprise level spam filtering on incoming and outgoing email. High-quality protection against spam, virus, phishing, ransomware and malware attacks.
  • Email Archive – Unlimited tamper proof email storage in our secure data centre environment for up to 10 years. Never lose an email again.
  • ESET – Provides Antivirus, Antispyware and Data Access Protection for your company’s servers.
  • CipherArchive – Provides a highly dependable means of real-time, continuous data protection for servers, desktops and laptops effortlessly and transparently.
  • Veeam Cloud Connect – Using reliable secure SSL connection, Veeam Cloud Connect enables companies to send backups offsite to a cloud repository hosted by CipherWave.
 

CipherWave is a South African Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides growing businesses a range of solutions to help them connect, communicate and collaborate with their customers, employees and suppliers. We own and manage our own network infrastructure, which enables us to provide efficient, speedy service and support that our customers can count on 24/7.

29 Aug Special Olympics athlete dares to dream



February presented a unique opportunity for CipherWave to give back. The (then) 947 Breakfast Xpress team was on a mission to raise enough money to send 25 Special Olympics athletes to Austria. Darren and the team had a mammoth task ahead of them with a target of over R1 million. CipherWave, along with other corporates (and individuals), answered their call.

Founded in 1991, Special Olympics South Africa is home to more than 45 000 talented athletes trained in 18 competitive sports. The global mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. They provide continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Their vision is to transform how people view individuals with intellectual disabilities. They want to encourage and inspire South African communities to broaden their minds, to accept and to include people with intellectual disabilities. It’s about celebrating our similarities, not our differences.

CipherWave had the honour of sponsoring a young man named Ipfi Mungwangwe (18). Ipfi was born in Vhembe, Limpopo. He got involved with Special Olympics South Africa in 2010, where his interest in floor hockey grew. The organisation means a great deal to him because it changes lives through education around intellectual disabilities and helps him reach his full potential.

He is most proud of his involvement in the program and his progress in sports. His family and coach are his support structure. They’re a constant source of encouragement and motivation, and want nothing more than for him to be successful.

CipherWave’s Managing Director, Wayne D’sa, had the privilege of attending the send-off function for the athletes on Monday, 13 March at the Midrand Conference Centre. It was a wonderful opportunity for him to meet the team and wish them well ahead of their trip.

Ipfi and the rest of the athletes represented South Africa on the global stage at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The multi-sports event was held in Austria from 14-25 March and had 113 nations participate.

The National Team exceeded expectations and won 16 gold, 4 unified gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals.

All the way from Vhembe in Limpopo to the top of the world. Ipfi and the team were triumphant and brought home gold! They were up against Canada-West, who were a much larger team and the tournament favourites, in the final. After facing a narrow defeat to them two days prior, the team emerged victorious with a 3-0 win! Ipfi’s highlight was beating Canada-West in the final round and flying on an aeroplane for the first time.

Ipfi is an inspiration. Not only did he dare to dream, he had the courage and commitment to make his dreams come true in spite of the challenges he faced.

To find out how you can get involved with Special Olympics South Africa or to donate, please visit their website.

CipherWave is a South African Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides growing businesses a range of solutions to help them connect, communicate and collaborate with their customers, employees and suppliers. We own and manage our own network infrastructure, which enables us to provide efficient, speedy service and support that our customers can count on 24/7.

29 Aug A Cloud with many silver linings



The 2017 MyBroadband Cloud, Hosting and Security Conference took place on 10 May at the Gallagher Convention Centre.

The event attracted a record number of delegates, with over 1 900 IT executives, managers and decision makers in attendance.

The conference provided a platform for IT professionals to interact and do business with South Africa’s top cloud and hosting providers.

The delegates were treated to insightful presentations from industry experts, and were able to visit stands and exhibitions from numerous IT companies.

CipherWave, a proud sponsor at this year’s conference, showcased their premium Cloud offering including Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and Business Continuity- a must for every business.

Business Continuity has gained momentum and is no longer viewed a nice-to-have but rather a necessity. It comprises of two components, Backup and Disaster Recovery. CipherWave’s Managing Director, Wayne D’sa, views them as long-term and short-term insurance, respectively. Where Backup ensures that your business remains compliant and your files are securely stored for a minimum period of 5 years. And Disaster Recovery ensures that you are able to minimize the impact on customers should disaster strike.

Disaster Recovery as a Service
Off-site disaster recovery services that enable the virtualisation and startup of applications quickly and seamlessly.

Reasons to choose it
  • Minimised downtime and interruption when the unexpected happens.
  • Locally owned and managed cloud means we have better control to give you the best service.
  • Customized monitoring, alerting and reporting as per customer needs.
  • 2 scheduled DR tests included per year.
  • Seamless failover.
  • No-impact Disaster Recovery Testing.
  • Customisable recovery plans.
  • Exceptional benefits over traditional DR – see table below:
Traditional DRCloud-based DR
Increased hardware storage required.Cloud eliminates need for hardware.
Backup intervals of 24 hours or longer.Variable backup intervals – as frequent as hourly with application level consistency.
Lengthy manual restoration from backups.Quick restoration by CipherWave.
Difficult, time-consuming testing processes.Ability to view and test servers on easy-to-use production cloud equipment
Specialised in-house expertise required.Specialised expertise and 24/7 support provided by CipherWave.
Onsite recovery environment and management required.Secure, managed offsite recovery environment provided.

Backup as a Service
A highly dependable means of real-time, continuous data protection for servers, desktops, and laptops, without any human intervention.

Reasons to choose it
  • A range of premium features for 100% guaranteed protection and restorability of backed up data.
  • End-to-end data encryption.
  • Multiple data centre options to store your backups and data.
  • Scalable solutions that grow with your business needs.
  • Fully customisable backup solution.
  • Advanced backup architecture.

CipherWave together with Home-Connect, their FTTH division, will be at the MyBroadband Conference taking place on 26 October at the Gallagher Convention Centre, where they will be showcasing their wide range of products.

CipherWave is a South African Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides growing businesses a range of solutions to help them connect, communicate and collaborate with their customers, employees and suppliers. We own and manage our own network infrastructure, which enables us to provide efficient, speedy service and support that our customers can count on 24/7.