Chances are you've heard the term Ransomware recently as it's made national headlines several times over the last couple years, and for good reason:  Incidents of Ransomware has increased from a relatively few instances in the late 90s though 2010, to 2,315,931 users encountering some form of Ransonmware between April 2014 to March 2015.  That's not a typo...over 2.3 million users, home and enterprise.

Trojans, worms, bots, rootkits, backdoors

So what can you do, and how can CTS help you minimize your risk of infection?  CTS is a certified ThreatTrack Partner.  Through our years of experience, we have found that ThreatTrack's Vipre Internet Security offers the best protection while not sacrificing computer performance.  Vipre's aggresive and customizable Firewall stops attackers from hijacking your system and network.  Vipre's regularly updated threat list prevents the most current threats from getting on your PC and it's website blocker prevents you from unknowingly navigating to unsafe webpages.  Our customer's instances of attacks have reduced dramatically since we moved to Vipre Internet Security.  Check out our Partner Program and contact us today to clean and protect all of your systems!

It's estimated that every single day, over 30,000 websites are hacked.

In 2014, computer viruses, spyware and other malware were estimated to cost US households over 4.55 Billion....yes Billion...dollars.

The first step is to have regular, up to date local and remote backups of your data, including a system image.  For a minimal investment, you can safeguard all of your data and minimize your downtime in the event of encryption.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation where we will evaluate your backup strategies and we can implement Carbonite's award winning cloud backup service to ensure your data's security.

So what exactly are we talking about?  And how can CTS help safeguard your network, workstations and data?  Let's take a look at some of the most prominent threats and what CTS can do for you.

mALWARE, VIRUSES, RANSOMWARE, HIJACKERS

CTS is an official partner and affiliate with the world's leading anti-malware and anti-exploit company; Malwarebytes.  For over 20 years Malwarebytes has been the industry leader in preventing and removing Malware as they believe "Everyone has a fundamental right to a malware-free existence".  Malwarebytes is currently protecting over 10,000 businesses and 28 million endpoints, blocking over 605,000 threats per hour and saving an estimated 750 million IT hours. 

In 2010, Russia and neighboring countries experienced the first widespread Ransomware epidemic affecting thousands of home users with cryptic windows that covered all other windows on their desktop.  These windows contained messages instructing the victims to send money to the criminals in order to unlock their browser or PC.  Law enforcement was eventually able to track down the perpetrators, reduce profitability and increase risk for future criminals employing the same strategies. This created a lull in the number of attacks for a few years, but as predicted, criminals would just find other ways to receive payments for "unblocking" their victims' computers.

applications that don't work at all.  Usually at this point the virus is embedded in the system and will take a lot of extra work to remove and recover any lost or damaged data.  With the rise in popularity of open-source programs and operating systems (Android), it is becoming easier for attackers to target user's computers and mobile devices. 

There are approximately 30 million strains of malware created every year.

Although this sounds like the criminals have free-will over any system they attack, their are processes that CTS can put in place in your company or home that can dramatically reduce your risk of contracting Ransomware, or mitigating it's damage if it makes it's way on to your computer or network.

computer viruses

Let CTS provide you with a demo of how Malwarebytes Active Protection can safeguard your technology at an affordable price.  To learn more about Malwarebytes and how CTS can help your company, please follow the link below to our Partner Program Page where you can request a free consultation and demo of the software, or if you are purchasing for home devices you can buy Malwarebytes directly from our affiliate program.  

adware, spyware, bots, bugs, rootkits, trojans, viruses, worms

The next step is to implement modern AntiVirus and AntiMalware software.  CTS is an official partner with ThreatTrack Vipre Internet Security and Malwarebytes providing you with affordable, proven protection.  Contact CTS today to schedule a demo of these services and receive a free quote on protecting your computers, network and data from criminals.

Just like human viruses, computer viruses are not always immediately visible.  Often times they are hiding, unknown to the user, silently causing damage and spreading throughout a system.  A user may experience sluggish PC performance, programs that aren't functioning correctly, the need to restart their machine often or even 

Malware is the broad term for malicious software.  Computer Viruses, as we previously discussed, are actually a specific type of malware and even though they get the most coverage, some of the other, lesser-known types are just as damaging.  One of the issues we are seeing a rise in, is computers that are running the latest Internet Security software are still allowing types of malware through their barriers.  Over 80% of security budgets go to AntiVirus yet systems are still being compromised.  This is because there are so many types and instances of malware and they are delivered in so many different ways, that it is very difficult to prevent all attacks.  AntiVirus Software is important, however it is reactionary.  Unless there is a reported instance of a threat, often times it cannot block or remove malware especially Zero-Day threats.  

The third measure would be regularly updating all software and applications that you use, from your Operating System, word and email programs to browsers and everything in between.  CTS can put you on a schedule where we will monitor all of your software for security patches and upgrades so you don't have to worry about it.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and a quote on one of our thorough service plans.

With the rise in digital currency and payment methods, especially Bitcoin, coupled with encryption methods, Ransomware is now a favorite tool for criminals to extract money from their victims.  Encryption renders files inaccessible without a specific "key" to "unlock" the files.  Encryption is so sophisticated that it is virtually impossible to decrypt, and even the FBI recommends paying the ransom if you want to recover your data.  Initially targeting home users, with the rise in encryption, they have started targeting companies as well:  13.13% of all Ransomware attacks from 2015-2016 have been on companies, more than double the amount from 2014-2015.

INTERNET & EMAIL SECURITY

Blockers, cryptors, cryptowall, teslacrypt

ransomware

According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report and Consumer Reports, 40% of US households are affected by computer viruses

A final step you can take, and a very important one, is to implement an Internet and Email Best Practices Policy in your company.  We can present a seminar outlining what your employees should and should not do while on the company network.  The best method of avoiding malware, viruses and ransomware is to not give the attacker the opportunity to access your computer or network.  Simple, basic Best Practices can dramatically reduce your chances of exposure saving you time and money.  Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and Internet and Email Best Practices Seminar.

Malware

Threats to Computers, Networks, Mobile Devices and Data are at an all time high.  Millions of users worldwide will experience some type of attack by the end of the year, and even more next year and beyond.  Affected users aren't limited to personal/home PCs and laptops either.  Enterprises worldwide have been breached in epic proportions, making headlines across the globe.  Although instances of malware and viruses will continue to rise, there are processes that can be put in place that dramatically reduce your risk of being breached.  These processes coupled with a smart and safe Internet and Best Practices policy will minimize your risk exponentially.

Enterprises worldwide have invested billions of dollars in cyber security but are still experiencing breaches in their networks and systems.  Major companies such as Sony, Target, Home Depot, Zappos, JP Morgan Chase, Adobe and Apple have all experienced breaches in the last several years affecting millions of users and customers.  The number of enterprises that have experienced breaches has more than doubled in the last 10 years, from 321 known breaches in 2006 to 781 breaches in 2015.  With an average discovery time of 205 days, it is critical to prevent malware before it gets on your machines.

A computer virus is a type of malware that usually needs to be executed, and is a self-replicating computer program that typically installs itself without user consent.  It can reproduce itself and infect other computer programs by modifying them, often the actual operating system rendering a computer almost useless until the virus is removed.  Viruses generally acquire hard disk space, computer processor time, access and corrupt data or even display unwanted images on the screen that cannot be hidden.

"Computers aren't the thing.  They're the thing that gets us to the thing." - Joe MacMillan, Halt & Catch Fire

 Charlotte area Premier Technology Service provider

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