Gillware Data Recovery reported that one of their clients changed the email address used for one of the Windows logins on one of their PCs on which they had enabled encryption in order to protect confidentiality. What they did not know, and probably could not have known, was that this change deleted the Microsoft BitLocker Recovery Key for that user’s data on that PC. When the user rebooted the PC, all their data became unencryptable! Gillware engineers reached out to Microsoft and, as of this date, have been unable to find any successful way to retrieve the lost key and to unencrypt the user’s files.
Windows versions 7, 8.1 and 10 have different tools for backing-up files or your entire hard disk. The best backup strategy includes multiple tools backing up to at least two additional hard disks. Add an off-site backup and you’re virtually guaranteed to never lose data.
Add consulting, monitoring and alerting for peace of mind.
However this can get unmanageable quickly! When backups don’t complete successfully, something needs fixing. Old backups need to be deleted periodically.
Whether you use Windows backup tools, software from another provider, or a combination of both, let us help keep your invaluable work product completely restorable.
Internet Explorer has a serious security flaw that can compromise your PC
U.S. Government recommends that users stop using Internet Explorer until they install Microsoft’s updates. According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), IE versions 6 through 11 are affected and “could lead to the complete compromise of an affected system.”
- Microsoft has issued a Security Bulletin, but the patches must be installed.
- Other steps you can take:
“Heartbleed” has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Yahoo, Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years.
URGENT ACTION REQUIRED!
- Change your passwords now, including Yahoo Mail, Google/Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Intuit/TurboTax, your PCs, etc..
- Antivirus software will not protect you! Servers are the target, however PCs with outdated apps and passwords are vulnerable. We’ve verified that servers maintained by Proactive-IT are not running OpenSSL or have been upgraded to safer versions.
- We are working with Proactive-IT clients to upgrade apps and replace passwords.
STATUS OF INDIVIDUAL APPS AND SERVICES:
- Logmein: upgrade to version 188.8.131.5244 or higher; change Logmein and PC passwords
NEAR-TERM ACTION RECOMMENDED:
After April 8, 2014 Microsoft will stop providing security updates and technical support for Windows XP and Office 2003. If you do not upgrade to newer versions, your systems could be exploited by malware. Proactive-IT is ready and prefer to help you upgrade or replace these systems, rather than trying to resolve avoidable problems later. What are your risks by staying with Windows XP?
Windows XP (2001) is thirteen years old!
- Security: Without security updates, your PC is vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware & other malicious software. Anti-virus software will not be able to fully protect you after 4/8/2014.
- Compliance: Anti-virus software will not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP is unsupported. More information can be found at HHS HIPAA FAQ – Security Rule
- Hardware Manfacturer Support: Most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on their PCs. Drivers required to run Windows XP may not be available
Is it Really That Serious? YES!!! Read more about the threat of unsupported software. Please contact us soon as possible for more information on how to update your systems so they don’t become at risk.
According to Logmein, users of their free version, software that allows you to remote into a PC located elsewhere, have seven days to upgrade to a premium account beginning the next time they log in. Proactive-IT has good news for you! We can offer you LogMeIn free of charge, and provide you and selected staff members with the ability to access your workplace PCs from outside the office. If you are interested in having us install the free version of Logmein, please contact us so we can obtain the necessary information to get you set up and make this transition as seamless as possible.
As always, please contact us with any IT concerns!
While few small businesses or not-for-profit agencies are the planned targets of cyber attacks, too many have fallen victim to attacks aimed at any vulnerable systems that can be reached. StaySafeOnline.org is a valuable resource for information on steps you can take to reduce the vulnerability of the systems that your organization depends on. One step we recommend is reviewing the management of antivirus and related malware protection.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month - 10th Anniversary
Who in your organization is accountable for making sure that all malware alerts are reviewed and resolved thoroughly and in good time? It may be advantageous, if not critical, to oursource this to an organization that is accountable to you. Let us know if we can help!
If you don’t have the patience to battle the new Windows 8 Metro user interface, and especially if you don’t have a touch screen monitor, run don’t walk to classicshell.net to download and install Classic Shell. Once installed, you can select a Windows 7, Vista or even XP style start button. Stop fighting Microsoft’s arrogance and get back to work. Like all apps from sourceforge.net, its open source (free) and safe.
Backup software that works on older versions of Windows doesn’t always work as well, if at all, on newer versions such as Windows 7 and 8. These newer Windows versions include backup software that is certainly good, however there are alternatives that are at least as effective and often easier to use. FBackup in an example very good backup software. If you are in any way dissatisfied with Windows Backup, or are not backing up your PC daily due to software issues, then by all means download, install and see for yourself how easy it is to get peace of mind about the safety of your files!