Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Is IT Outsourcing Right For Your Business?



For years, a lot of small businesses with 100 to 500 users have depended on in-house IT support to remain operational. When a user has a problem with an application or a device, they asked their IT staff to stop whatever they’re doing and fix the problem. Although inefficient, this method gave users a go-to option for their IT needs. But did you know that there’s a more effective option that’s beneficial to both the company and their users, it’s IT outsourcing?

The conventional shoulder tapping model used by IT support has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. When companies shut down and moved to remote work, the in-house IT professional was nowhere in sight. Apart from that, user questions, incidents, and problems increased, and several employees were not used to home based work. The in-house teams which are working remotely could not keep up with the rise in demand, because they lacked the process discipline and monitoring tools. They also depended on ad hoc fixes.

 

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It also disrupted anti-virus updates, application lifecycle servicing, as well as routine hardware refreshes. Problems and incidents snowballed. Even though Zoom existed, collaboration tools were unable to reach their full potential, because user training programs were moved back to the back burner. Not only that, the risk profiles were heightened because of the neglect of the protocols involving cybersecurity. Cybercriminals have also upped their game during the coronavirus pandemic, which placed employees who handle sensitive data from their home offices at an increased risk.

IT Outsourcing Is The New Normal

These days, many companies are understanding that in-house IT support is no longer enough for the new normal where remote work takes on a more prominent role. While third-party outsourcing is a good option, looking for a model that will fit remains a challenge. Conventional enterprise outsourcing arrangements that are built on economies on the scale, as well as negotiated service agreements and T&Cs, are too costly for small clients and unprofitable for the providers. Meanwhile, the nerd-for-hire option lacked the resources, flexibility, and scalability required to deal with the complex technology needs of several small businesses.

An appropriate and effective IT outsourcing approach combines scalability, enterprise-level capabilities, and cost-effectiveness. It allows the maximizing of resource utilization while making sure that an IT team will respond to the requirements of a user. IT outsourcing strikes a balance by assigning an IT support team for a defined group of clients. It also offers you access to top-notch IT experts at affordable rates and provides the extra benefits of scalability and flexibility.

Effective IT outsourcing offered by companies like SpartanTec, Inc. for smaller companies will deliver on the basics of service governance and execution. They can get, configure, install, as well as service laptops, notebooks, and mobile devices. They will monitor your network security round the clock and deal with IT issues right away.

 

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you’re interested in outsourcing your IT tasks. Our team of IT experts is always ready to help.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence

Monday, July 19, 2021

This Malware Could Be Using Your PC To Make Money



If you haven't heard of a malware strain called Crackonosh, be aware that it might be abusing your system, and specifically, Windows Safe Mode, to make money for its controllers.

In fact, since it was first discovered, researchers at Avast estimate that Crackonosh has quietly generated millions by enslaving PCs around the world and using them to mine cryptocurrency.

Crackonosh is only a few years old, having first been spotted in the wild back in June of 2018. It has spread like wildfire, leveraging the popularity of file sharing (torrent) websites where it piggybacks inside compressed files containing music, movies and cracked versions of in-demand software.

The malware's design is fairly clever, and before it tries to install itself on a target system, it will scan for the presence of antivirus software running on the target machine, then attempting to disable it and delete Windows Defender. Once that's done, Crackonosh takes the additional step of deleting the log file, essentially destroying the evidence of its misdeeds.

 

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Finally, it deploys a cryptocurrency mining software called XMRig, utilizing your PC's resources to mine Monero (XMR), and modifies the registry so that the machine reboots in Safe Mode. That is incredibly clever, because by design, when a computer boots up in Safe Mode, (which is used primarily for diagnostic purposes) only a minimal tool set loads, which doesn't include antivirus software.

Based on Avast's research, Crackonosh is infecting around a thousand machines each day, and so far, nearly a quarter of a million machines have been bent to the will of the group controlling Crackonosh. That amounts to a lot of Monero mining power. Estimates are that it has enabled them to mine more than 9000 XMR, which, based on current prices, amounts to more than two million dollars.

In any case, if you're a fan of torrent sites, beware of Crackonosh. While not overtly harmful, it will allow hackers to steal your processing power and profit from it.

 

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now and let our IT support professionals help protect your computers and network from cybercriminals who are looking to get access to your system and steal your confidental information.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Some US Mercedes Customers Likely Hit With Data Breach



Do you own, or have you recently test-driven a Mercedes? If so, or if you've created an account on their website for some other purpose, be advised that the company recently disclosed that they had been hacked. They say that the cybersecurity attackers made off with personal and financial information belonging to more than 1.6 million account holders.

Based on the results of the investigation thus far, the company has confirmed that the stolen data included:

  • Customer Name (full names)
  • Physical address
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Credit/Payment card number
  • Customer phone number
  • Email addresses
  • And specific information relating to the vehicle that each person purchased

 

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Additionally, the hackers made off with a small number (less than a thousand) driver's license numbers belonging to prospective buyers. That's bad, as the compromised data is more than enough for the attackers to steal the identities of those people whose data they now possess.

As is the case in a growing number of data breaches, the issue wasn't the Mercedes Benz network itself. Instead, the attackers gained access via a third party vendor vulnerability. A spokesman for Mercedes Benz said that the vendor in question had isolated the weak spot in their security and made changes so that it won't happen again.

That's small comfort, however, for the 1.6 million+ customers who now have to watch their credit reports like a hawk.

In any event, the company is in the process of contacting all those who were impacted by the breach, and as is common in these types of cases, Mercedes Benz is offering two years of free credit monitoring if your data was compromised. If you haven't heard from the company by the time you read these words, odds are excellent that you weren't impacted, but if you want to be sure, check the website "Have I Been Pwnd" just to be safe.

 

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you want to make sure that your business and client data with the help of our IT support team.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Finding The Best Managed IT Services Company



As you search for managed IT services for your company, there are steps you need to take to make sure that you’re getting the best managed IT services that will meet your business objective. You will eventually reach the final steps of the process that’s involved in looking for a reliable managed IT services company in your area.

Sure, you may come across several potential companies. But how can you be sure that they can meet your business needs? How can you weed out the bad from the good ones?

There are questions you need to ask before you start your search.

  • Why do you need managed IT services? Do you need it to grow your business?
  • Do you need help in managing your IT department?
  • Is your current in house IT team or IT services company slacking off?
  • Are you having the same IT problems all the time?
  • Is your business missing out on new apps, updates, and features that could make your daily IT tasks easier?

These are the questions that you need to be asking your IT provider. That’s why it’s important for you to find one that will serve you, your staff, and your overall business objectives.

 

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What to look for in a Managed IT Services Company?

Many managed IT services concentrate in various solutions, which makes it more difficult to decide which features and services you need most. Keep in mind that just because a firm specializes in a certain solution doesn’t mean that they’re offering the best services. It also doesn’t mean that their offerings will benefit your company. So, here are a few factors you need to consider.

Responsiveness

One of the most essential things that you have to invest in is a daily help desk support. The main point of outsourcing IT Services is so that somebody who is knowledgeable and qualified could help you with your network problems as soon as the issues arise. They can fix the problems remotely and can identify and resolve the issue even before you know it.

Certainty

If you want to enjoy some peace of mind, data recovery and backup should be among the things you have to consider. What will happen to your business if you suddenly lose access to your employee and client information, business intelligence records, financial data, project details and plans, as well as corporate communications.

If you’re like other companies these days, your business will depend on email communications, network infrastructure, as well as digital documents. That is a lot of data and you need to make sure that they’re backed up regularly. You must also have a plan in place in case a disaster happens.

Security

Email security and network security are always changing since the techniques used to hack devices and networks evolve constantly. Companies that do not have enough resources for network security will be more at risk of data breaches. Working with a managed IT services company will give you that peace of mind knowing that a system is in place to check all your company’s data and to keep your network secure at all times.

 

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you are looking for a reputable and experienced managed IT services company in Myrtle Beach.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

How Can Co-Managed IT Service Help Your Business?



Business owners often believe that they only have two options when it comes to IT management. The external IT managed service provider and the internal IT team or staff. In most cases, these are the two most common scenarios. Recently, there’s a rise of businesses that opt for an IT staff and an external IT expert, too. This mix offers business owners the best of these two worlds. Having an internal IT expert means you will have an integrated team member who knows the business strategy, industry, short and long-term objectives. Hiring an outside IT expert offers a strategic partnership. This is referred to as co-managed  IT services Myrtle Beach. It’s a win-win solution for businesses, whether big or small.

Why Consider Co-Managed IT Services Myrtle Beach

Comprehensive IT management cannot be handled by only one person. The management of complex IT networks, industry regulations, system requirements, cybersecurity, cloud computing, application updates, VOIP, hardware replacements, software licenses, and more, is too much to expect from just one employee.

 

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Co-managed IT services feature an IT model that will mix the strategic framework and convenience of an internal IT manager with the comprehensive knowledge and support of a managed service provider. With this combination, your co-managed IT service provider and your IT staff can improve the IT roles to develop reactive and proactive IT management. They can develop efficiencies by making sure that your back office IT functions are streamlined. They can cut back on the redundancies across the systems and speed up the system updates, boosting network performance as well as its security. They could also provide 24/7 monitoring and guarantee that the appropriate professionals are on the job whenever problems arise. Co-managed services would also let you’re your IT person accomplish more tasks than only a few staff members can deal with at a price that’s below the regular managed service contracts.

Co-managed IT services could help you in building a better employee culture. It is crucial to retain valued staff and that includes an IT manager. Provide them with the right resources and tools to do their job and you’ll have a higher retention rate. Co-managed services is a powerful resource and tool for an IT manager, who wishes to grow beyond the daily error alerts. With the common daily tasks out of the way, your company’s IT manager could be more effective at their job.

It’s difficult to prepare for what’s to come especially if you don’t have a map. That’s what IT managers have to deal with especially those who have no idea what your business strategy is. Almost all business methods require a supporting IT plan. Consider this, you don’t want to plan an expansion without talking to your COO or CFO. That expansion would require network support. You have to consult with your company’s IT manager. However, if your IT manager is busy with the daily alerts, undelivered emails, and offline errors, they can’t become the partner that you need. If you want your IT manager to move your business towards the future, then you have to get rid of the daily IT problems out of the way. And that’s where co-managed IT services come into the picture. They can clear the path for you.

 

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you’re looking for an experienced and reliable co-managed IT service provider in Myrtle Beach.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence

Friday, July 9, 2021

Kaseya Ransomware Attack: What We Know



An international ransomware attack that started with Florida-based IT firm Kaseya will not fetch the entire $70 million that its Russia-linked hackers are demanding, Huntress CEO Kyle Hanslovan told CNBC on Tuesday.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if someone was to pay the ransom for it to be closer to the $40 [million] to $50 million ballpark,” said Hanslovan, whose cybersecurity company has been helping Kaseya with its incident response and disaster recovery since Friday’s breach.

“With that said, I haven’t seen anything that’s suggesting that Kaseya will pay for the universal decryptor, meaning the one that decrypts both their customers and their customers’ customers,” Hanslovan added in a “Squawk Box” interview.

The REvil hacker gang is publicly demanding $70 million in cryptocurrency to unlock data from the attack, which spread to hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses across a dozen countries.

 

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Jack Cable of cybersecurity-focused Krebs Stamos Group told Reuters that one of the group’s affiliates, in a private conversation, already expressed a willingness to lower the asking price for a “universal decryptor” to $50 million. While it can be difficult to determine who speaks on behalf of the hackers, Cable said that his conversations suggested they are “definitely not attached” to their $70 million demand.

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said Monday that between 800 and 1,500 businesses were affected by the attack, with the fallout expected to continue Tuesday as people return to the office after the Fourth of July weekend.

“My guess would be [that the] total number of companies, and from everything we’ve seen, the hackers don’t have a feedback loop into just how many people were compromised,” Hanslovan said, adding that hacker claims of infecting 1 million systems are just “bragging.”

Network security experts said the gang targeted software supplier Kaseya using its network-management package to spread the ransomware through cloud-service providers. The breach temporarily shut down hundreds of Sweden’s Coop grocery stores after cash registers were locked up. It also affected more than 10 schools and several kindergartens in New Zealand.

The company is headquartered in Miami and has offices all over the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

“Everybody was awakened to a synchronized attack. What that means is they target managed service providers, and it’s kind of a one-to-many attack that impacts many industries,” Hanslovan said, pointing out that health-care companies, legal firms and even federal entities have faced similar attacks.

The White House said Sunday it’s reaching out to victims of the attack “to provide assistance based upon an assessment of national risk.”

This article originally appeared on CNBC.

 

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now and let our team of IT experts assess your network and determine if you're safe from data breach.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Myrtle Beach – What Are The Biggest Data Breaches of 21st Century?



In the past, a data breach affecting a few million individuals would have made the headlines. Now, data breaches that affect billions of consumers have become a common incident. Here’s a list of the biggest data breaches of the 21st century.

This is a list of the biggest data breaches according to the number of consumers whose information was compromised. Don't be one of these companies. Secure the help of an IT expert so you can develop a disaster recovery and data backup plan.

Biggest Data Breaches

Adobe

Back in October 2013, Brian Krebs, a security blogger reported a data breach involving almost 3 million credit card records and the login information of an unspecified number of user accounts. One month after, Adobe increased that estimate to 38 million active users whose IDs and encrypted passwords have been compromised.

 

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Adult Friend Finder

In October 2016, about 412.2 million Adult Friend Finder accounts were compromised. The stolen information spanned 20 years on six databases and they included data such as names, passwords, and email addresses.

Canva

In May 2019, 137 million user accounts have been compromised when the Australian graphic design tool website suffered a cyberattack. The names, usernames, residence, and hashed and salted with bcrypt passwords were compromised. According to Canva, the cybercriminals were able to view but not steal the files of the clients which included payment data and partial credit card information.

eBay

eBay also suffered an attack back in May 2014 and about 145 million users including addresses, dates of birth, names, and encrypted passwords. The hackers used the data of three employees to access the company’s network and had access for about 229 days.

Equifax

Equifax is one of the biggest US credit bureaus. In Sept 2017, an application flaw in one of their websites resulted into a data breach, which involved around 147.9 million clients. The personal information such as addresses, birth dates, as well as the social security numbers of 143 million clients were compromised.

Dubsmash

In December 2018, Dubsmash, which is a New York-based video messaging service, suffered an attack that compromised the usernames, email addresses, and other personal information of 162 million users. The stolen information were sold as a part of a collective dump which also included the likes of MyHeritage, Armor Games, MyFitnessPal, and ShareThis.

Heartland Payment Systems

In March 2008, about 134 million credit cards were exposed. At that time, Heartland was processing about 100 million credit card payment transactions every month for 175,000 small to medium sized retailers. The cyberattack was discovered in January 2009 when MasterCard and Visa notified Heartland of unauthorized transactions from accounts that it managed to process. The cybercriminals exploited a flaw that allowed them to carry out an SQL injection attack.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become a great option for cyberattackers who are looking to carry out social engineering attacks. In 2012, 6.5 million passwords were stolen and was posted on a Russian hacker forum. But it was only until 2016, when the full extent of the data breach was revealed.

 

You don’t have to be a huge organization to be at risk of a cyberattack. Hackers also target small and medium sized companies. Call SpartanTec, Inc. now and let our IT security professionals help protect your business against cybersecurity breach.

 

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

Serving: Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachColumbiaWilmingtonFayettevilleFlorence