It’s with great sadness that we announce that Tim Jewell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Data Deposit Box, passed away Sunday August 18th in Toronto, Ontario.  The entire Data Deposit Box family mourns this loss.  On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to Tim’s family. Tim brought passion, experience and positive energy to Data Deposit Box.  He was loved by all.  In May of this year, the company announced a medical leave of absence for Tim. Siva Cherla was appointed as interim CEO during his leave.

More information about Tim can be found here

For those wishing to pay their respects:

Visitation at Mt Pleasant Funeral Centre, 375 Mt Pleasant Road, 4pm-8pm Tuesday August 20
Celebration of Life Wednesday August 21, at Rosehill Venue/lounge at 6 Rosehill Ave. near Yonge and St Clair at 7pm- 10pm

Donations to the Red Door Family Homeless Shelter are appreciated in lieu of flowers www.reddoorshelter.ca

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The answer will surprise you.

Data loss is a battle organizations big and small are constantly fighting. According to a recent Gartner report, global spend on Information Security and Data Protection will reach USD $124 billion in 2019.  This figure is expected to grow at 11% CAGR to USD $284.5 billion by 2025.

Companies worldwide are spending billions on infrastructure, endpoint and application security to prevent unwanted breaches/hacks/intrusions. Capital One  was one of the most recent companies to experience a breach, with the social security, bank account, and personal information of 106 million people stolen.

However, are hacks and breaches the real cause of data loss in companies?  The answer may surprise you.

In 2019 a Shred-it survey conducted by Ipsos highlighted that nearly half of all C-Suites (52%) and one in three Small Business Owners (SBOs) say human error or accidental loss/deletion by an employee/insider were the primary cause of data loss.

That’s right, the primary culprit of data loss in many cases is human error. From accidental deletion, to lack of cybersecurity training, to misdelivery of information – humans are one of the weakest links when it comes to data loss and breaches.

Let’s look at data loss and the human element in more detail.

Accidental Deletion

Accidents happen – right? Your employees create, save, update and delete files every day, so screw ups will happen. Consequently, at the business level regularly backing up all of your important data and information is critical. For employees understanding how to properly save, store, delete or move files is crucial.  In particular, with the popularity of shared sync services like Dropbox, Box and network drives, where an accidental folder deletion can wipe critical files from everyone’s computer, this has become critical.

Lack of cybersecurity training

Are your employees able to recognize a phishing attack? Do they know how to recognize suspicious email attachments? Cybersecurity training can’t be a one-time occurrence it needs to be an ongoing priority for all employees. Malware and ransomware are constantly evolving and so should your training. Additionally, the handling of confidential information requires even more training to ensure there are no breaches.

Poor user passwords practices

A 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found over 70% of employees reuse passwords at work. A “staggering 81% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords.” From weak passwords to reusing passwords to sharing passwords, it is clear better education is needed. Two factor authentication, secured connections and password encryption are additional ways to improve the security of your data and prevent loss.

Misdelivery of information

Your employees always send information to the right people – or do they? Misdelivery of information was the fourth most frequent action that resulted in data breaches, according to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Encouraging employees to double check email addresses, encrypting emails with sensitive information and limiting the ability to send sensitive information outside of the corporate network – are ways to ensure the right information is getting to the right people.

Employee Turnover

When an employee leaves an organization information frequently goes with them. Information maybe deleted or taken with the employee on a USB key or cloud drive. Regardless, organizations must ensure all employee data is kept within the walls of the organization and is accessible. Employees should regularly backup to corporate servers or the cloud and they should be discouraged from saving files on their local computer.

What can your organization do?

Transforming your company’s cybersecurity practices can take months or years. In the short term, here are a few actions you can start with:

  1. Regularly backup all of your important data at both the organizational and individual level. For instance, implement an easy to use endpoint backup and protection solution like Data Deposit Box. Try it for free here.
  2. Ensure versioning is in place for files, sync and backups. This means saving versions of documents to protect against accidental deletion and for audit purposes
  3. Train all employees on cybersecurity, proper data handling and storage, and password protection practices
  4. Secure access to digital and physical information using antivirus, infrastructure (like firewalls), endpoint encryption, and related technology

 

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To understand malware and ransomware we need to first define what each is. Let’s start with the basic definitions:

Malware is a broad term describing any malicious code or program, including viruses, worms, and trojans, that provide an attacker with control over your computer, server or network.

Ransomware is a type of malware which takes full control of your system and requires a ransom payment to regain access.

Taking a closer look at Malware

Symantec breaks down the different ways malware infects targeted computers:

  • A worm is a malicious program that replicates itself and spreads from one computer to another without a host file. Worms are frequently found in files, however in this case the entire host file is considered the worm.
  •  A virus is a small program or piece of computer code that alters the way a computer operates without the knowledge or permission of the user. A computer virus executes and replicates itself.
  •  A trojan horse is an imposter, a program or files that appear to be something you need but in reality is malicious. Unlike a virus a trojan does not replicate itself. Rather, you invite it onto your computer, most commonly by opening an email attachment.

Where does ransomware fit in?

As noted above ransomware is a type of malware which takes full control of your system and requires a ransom payment to regain access. In some cases, ransomware threatens to publish confidential data unless a ransom is paid.

Norton breaks down the different types of ransomware:

  • Crypto malware – This type of ransomware encrypts files to extort money. The WannaCry ransomware is likely one of the most recognizable examples of crypto malware. It targeted thousands of computers around the world and spread quickly through corporate networks across the globe.
  • Lockers –  This type of ransomware infects your operating system and completely locks you out of your computer.
  • Scareware – A fake software that represents itself like an antivirus or a cleaning tool. It typically claims to have found issues on your computer and demands money to resolve the issue.
  • Doxware – This type of ransomware is often referred to as leakware and it threatens to publish your stolen information online unless a ransom is paid.
  • RaaS – “Ransomware as a Service” is malware hosted anonymously by a hacker. The distribution, payment collection, and file decryption are all handled by a hacker in exchange for a portion of the ransom.

How do you protect yourself?

Malware and ransomware continue to have significant impact on individuals and organizations around the globe. Here are a few key things you can do to help protect yourself:

  • Backup your data
  • Use security software
  • Regularly update your software and systems
  • Be wary of email attachments
  • Educate your employees

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The news headlines suggest it isn’t.

This infographic provides an easy to read overview of the warnings in 2019 relating to computer vulnerabilities and data security. If you have a Dell PC, iPad, iPhone or use Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and mobile apps; make sure you update your software and systems to ensure your data is secure.

(View infographic as a pdf)

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The difference between sync and back up

Many people think that syncing and backing up files are the same thing – but they are not.  There are many major differences, that are both unknown and misunderstood.

Let’s start with some basic definitions.

Sync – sync ensures that files and data on one or more devices are the same on all devices (that are part of the sync). Sync is typically used to provide anywhere, anytime access to files, and for sharing files across groups of users. Users will also sometimes sync files across devices – their phone with their computer.  Syncing is typically real time, and if used by groups of users, can pose challenges related to file conflicts (when two users access and update a file simultaneously). The most popular sync products are Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud and Dropbox.

Backup – backing up your files is one way copying – a snapshot of a version of a file or data, from one location to another (computer drive to hard drive, computer drive to file server or NAS, computer drive to cloud drive), at a specific point in time. Backing up is used to protect a file, in case of loss or corruption. If a user wants access to a backed up file, they will often have to restore that file to their computer, from their backup.  The most popular backup products are Data Deposit Box, iDrive, Carbonite, Acronis, AWS Backup, Azure, Google Drive and iCloud.

Sync

Backup

Definition

Ensures the files and data on one or more devices are the same on all devices.

A snapshot of files and data taken at a specific point of time and saved to another device (hard drive, NAS, cloud drive).

Usage

Provides anywhere, anytime access to files for an individual or group of users.

Protects files in case of loss or corruption, by providing a backup file that can be restored to computer.

Pros

Great for collaboration and sharing information with others.

Reliable way to automate the protection of data and ensure business continuity.

Cons

Can be confusing and files often get misplaced. Security is a concern as anything infecting your computer can sync to the cloud.

Many methods of backing up, which leads to confusion. If not backing up to the cloud additional infrastructure and hardware are required.

Syncing in detail

Syncing is a great way to collaborate and share information with others. Popular services like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive enable users to store their information in a cloud based data repository that can be accessed remotely, with permission of course, from a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

While there are many pros to syncing there are also downsides. When syncing files between machines it can get confusing and files often get misplaced. Depending on the service the search functionality is often less than stellar when a user has a large number of files. Security is also a concern when syncing with services like Dropbox. Whether it is the security of your data itself or the fact you are still susceptible to viruses, malware and ransomware. In these situations, anything infecting your computer can sync to the cloud and infect those files as well. Restoring your data can be difficult and very time consuming unless you have backed up your files.

Backing up in detail

As noted above, backing up refers to the one way copying of data and files from location to another. Most users and small businesses generally backup files to external hard drives, servers, or the cloud. Backing up is the most reliable way to protect your data and ensure business continuity when you experience major problems such as hardware failures, viruses, or natural disasters.  Various software and services automate the process of backing up and enable you to feel assured your valuable data is being backed up at the schedule you determine. Cloud based backup services eliminate the need for you to have the necessary infrastructure in your business.

Data Deposit Box provides cloud backup protection and peace of mind – guaranteed. With Data Deposit Box you can backup and manage everything with one app. You can backup an unlimited number of devices to your account, including Windows and Mac OS servers and computers, iOS and Android mobile phones, Synology and QNAP NAS devices.

Which is right for you – backup or sync?

Don’t feel like you need to choose between syncing and backing up. A combination of backing up and syncing will provide you with the access you need to your files and the confidence that your important data is safe from hardware failures, viruses and natural disasters.

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Your PC’s hard drive could fail at any time or a software bug could erase your files, so backups are critical. However, you don’t need to back up all the files on your PC. That would waste space and make your backups take longer to complete.

Below is our list of the top 5 folders you should backup up on Microsoft Windows.

AppData and ProgramData

In the AppData folder (C:/Users/{Username}/AppData) you will find both Roaming (moves with user to another system) and Local (specific to a system) data. Prioritize the Roaming data and backup apps that require user specific configurations. The ProgramData folder (C:/ProgramData) stores app settings and data that are not tied to individual users. Backup files that you might need in the future.

Documents

Your documents folder (C:/Users/{Username}/Documents) is generally where all of your personal files and documents are saved. Some software developers also use this folder to store app-related data. Regardless this folder should be top of your list to backup.

Downloads

The majority of web browsers and media default to the downloads folder (C:/Users/{Username}/Downloads) for downloading files. Backup this folder or the individual files if you don’t want to download again.

Email

There are a number of email clients out there and they all store data differently. In general, if you use IMAP you don’t need to worry about backing up your emails. However, if you use POP3 you may need to back them up. Further investigation will be required to see if you need to backup your emails.

Music, Pictures, Videos

Similar to the documents folder, Windows provides special folders for storing personal media files.

Music (C:/Users/{Username}/Music)

Pictures (C:/Users/{Username}/Pictures)

Videos (C:/Users/{Username}/Videos)

Some apps use these folders for storing local files. If you have media files not saved elsewhere or don’t want to download the files again backup this folder.

Now that you have gotten through the top folders and files you need to backup you are probably wondering which you can ignore. Drivers and program files (C:/Program Files and C:/Program Files (x86)) are specific to your machine and don’t make sense to backup. Temp files are exactly what they say they are – temporary – and no backup is required.

Backup to the cloud today with Data Deposit Box!

 

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Is My Data Protected — Free Assessment

Virtually every individual and business will be impacted in some way by cyber crime, ransomware and hardware failures. The stories are all different but the end result is the same – data loss. Putting a cost on data loss is difficult. For an individual measuring the loss of years of photos is a loss impossible. On the other hand for a business, the impact of things like ransomware are quantifiable. There will be an estimated $11.5 Billion in losses due to ransomware in 2019. Not surprising considering 92% of organizations have seen malware/ransomware in email attachments over the last 12 months.

Check out the infographic below to see the real cost data loss has on your business.

Start taking measures today to protect your business.

A team of backup and security experts has created a simple assessment tool to help identify and quantify your security risks, and suggest how to better protect yourself. The assessment takes < 3 minutes and provides a comprehensive report outlining your specific risks, deficiencies and suggested improvements.

Threats won’t wait! Is your data protected? – find out now!

(View infographic as a pdf)

Malware Ransomware Infographic 2019 Data Deposit Box

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On June 4th the National Security Agency (NSA) published an advisory warning Microsoft Windows administrators and users to “ensure they are using a patched and updated system in the face of growing threats.” Dubbed “BlueKeep”, the threat has also been the focus of many “Update Now” warnings from Microsoft. The threat could spread without user interaction across the internet and potentially impact millions of machines that are still vulnerable. A recent Forbes article highlights a “straw poll of some 255 IT security professionals attending the Infosecurity Europe show earlier this week found 79% were unaware of the BlueKeep vulnerability.”

Are you asking yourself – Is my data protected? A team of backup and security experts has created an assessment that will help identify and quantify risks you may be facing, and how to better protect yourself. Spend less than 5 minutes answering questions assessing backup policies, data protection, cost of downtime, cost of data breach and receive a free comprehensive report outlining deficiencies and providing suggested policy improvements.

Threats won’t wait! Is my data protected – find out now!

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What is ransomware

You may have heard of ransomware or even experienced its devastating effects, but what exactly is it and how does it work? At its core, ransomware is a type of software that is designed to steal your digitally stored data and hold it hostage until a sum of money is paid to the captor. These sophisticated pieces of software can seriously compromise your cybersecurity and end up costing you thousands to regain or replace stolen data. Here is some more information about ransomware and how to keep your information protected from the cybersecurity professionals at Data Deposit Box:

Ransomware Stats

Some people don’t believe the devastation of ransomware, which is why statistics are helpful to illustrate their real-life effects. Here are some shocking facts and figures about ransomware:

  • 97% of phishing emails deliver ransomware.
  • 70% of companies infected by ransomware end up paying the ransom to their attackers.
  • More than 50% of attackers demand between $10,000 and $40,000.
  • 1 in 4 who paid their attackers never recovered their stolen data.

Types of Ransomware Programs

There are two different forms of ransomware:

  • Encryption Ransomware: This type of ransomware program uses complex encryption algorithms to encrypt stolen files. The digital thieves then demand payment for the decryption code. CryptoLocker, Locky, and CrytpoWall are three such software programs to be aware of.
  • Locker Ransomware: This type of ransomware locks you out of your central operating system, which means the program blocks access to your desktop and any apps or files on your computer. The difference from encryption software is that individual files aren’t encrypted, but the hackers can still demand a ransom to unlock the infected system.

What Makes a Company Vulnerable to a Ransomware Attack?

There are a few mistakes that companies make which make them vulnerable to ransomware attacks and other breaches of cybersecurity, including the following:

  • Not backing up their data
  • Lacking even the most basic cyber protection
  • Not keeping cyber security software up-to-date
  • Not investing in cybersecurity solutions

At Data Deposit Box, we’re committed to providing you with the latest in digital backup and cybersecurity services. We’ve been providing small to mid-sized businesses with affordable and secure cloud backup technology and services since 2002, making us one of the most trusted names in the industry. Protect your company from ransomware and other similar cyber attacks with Data Deposit Box. For more information about our cybersecurity and digital storage products, contact us today.

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How to take your IT career to next level

In Part I, we discussed on how to improve one’s IT career by getting certified and creating something new and practical project, which can help you take your career to the next level. Continuing in Part II, we will further consider other career advancing points. Read more

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