Even if you try to ban them in the office, it’s inevitable that your employees will bring their mobile devices to the workplace anyway. Instead of worrying about them wasting away the day, why not try to turn the devices to your advantage? There are more tools out there than ever before to not only add smartphones to your workflows, but to make them profitable and valuable for your organization.
The difference in today’s mobile devices and those that came years before used to be staggering, but in recent years, the differences in power and functionality have started to wane. Manufacturers have begun to roll out devices with only minor changes in power, but with exorbitant increases in cost. For the first time, in 4Q of 2017, the smartphone saw stagnation, and we’ll try to get to the root of it.
Microsoft OneNote is an extremely useful application in the professional setting, with plenty of features and capabilities to assist in keeping you and your employees organized. These features are actually comprehensive enough that OneNote could feasibly serve as your project management tool. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how.
Certain threats out there are dangerous enough to cause major entities to warn against them. In particular, a recent malware by the name of VPNFilter has been deemed dangerous and prevalent enough that the FBI has addressed it. Since the malware targets routers (probably not your first guess in terms of possible vulnerabilities), it has considerable potential to become a nuisance for your organization.
VPNFilter is a malware that hides in your router and remains even if you restart the device. VPNFilter is known for prioritizing devices in Ukraine, but you should never count on the trend to protect you from known threats. It’s thought that the VPNFilter malware has its roots in a group called Sofacy, and the malware operates in three basic steps.
The first step for this malware is that it installs itself on the device and remains there even in the event that the router is rebooted or turned off. Second, the malware will install certain permissions on the router that allows it to change settings, manage files, and execute commands. The router can then proceed to brick itself, making it much more difficult for your organization to keep operations moving along. In its final stages, this malware lets a hacker see the data packets that are being sent to and from your organization’s device, meaning that they can then also issue commands and communicate with the device via a Tor web browser.
This threat was specifically mentioned by the FBI because of its persistence. While resetting the device will disable the second and third steps, the first will remain, creating an endless cycle if you don’t do anything about it.
Is Your Router Affected?
Even though not all routers are affected, the number is still quite considerable. Here is a list of affected brands:
If you would like a more comprehensive list of all affected devices, Symantec has a list on their website: https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/vpnfilter-iot-malware
How You Fix It
There is an easy fix to VPNFilter, and it’s to perform a factory reset on your router. This eliminates anything that’s currently installed from the first stage of VPNFilter’s attack. Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that the manufacturer of the router may have also administered a patch or security update resolving the vulnerability, so be sure to check for that as well so that it will never be an issue again.
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Businesses of all sizes use varying degrees of technology to improve organizational productivity, efficiency, and security. The more a business depends on its data, the more crucial it is for them to manage and maintain the systems in which this data is dependent. For organizations that have a lack of financial resources to support these systems, it is often left to unqualified employees, putting your business at risk. What do you do when you need expertise that you lack and can’t afford to hire in-house staff?
You call White Mountain IT Services.
We offer our brand of managed IT services that go far beyond typical IT support. We ensure that your network and infrastructure is outfitted with the security solutions required to keep today’s most critical threats out. Additionally, we continuously monitor your network for threats, ensuring that anything that could become a problem is eliminated. Using monitoring solutions with state-of-the-art automation, our technicians can remediate any threat, reducing downtime and all the negative situations that happen due to it.
At White Mountain IT Services, we look for any way we can to provide value. Since the success of our business is contingent on our clients’ continued success, it positions us in a place where we want our clients to get the most value out of every dollar they spend on technology; and, the maintenance of that technology.
We understand that making the correct technology decisions is sometimes difficult. We have relationships with some of the largest and most respected vendors in the industry that can help any organization get the hardware and software they need in order to more proficiently meet the demands placed on them by their customers. Not only can we find the technology you need at a competitive price, our technicians are experts in designing and implementing technology to fit into your workplace. Since we work with technology every day, our staff has the knowledge to know what you need, why it’s right for you, and how to get it. This includes solutions for the security of your business, it’s back-office operations, and everything in between.
In our commitment to battle downtime-causing problems, we regularly patch software with the latest threat definitions to ensure that all of the applications you depend on aren’t overrun by malware and other malicious entities. The peace of mind that you have an IT infrastructure and network that is free from threats frees you to focus on your business instead of the litany of threats that are stamped out by our dedicated technicians.
For more information about our comprehensive managed IT services, or to talk to one of our consultants about having an assessment done on your company’s technology, call us today at 603-889-0800.