5 Ways to Help Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Ransomware developed a worrying new trend in 2018.

A recent study was carried out showing enterprise is the new target of malware attacks. Although statistics showed a decline in ransomware attacks on individual consumers, attacks on enterprise showed a clear increase. In fact, the research found that there was a 12% rise in targeted attacks on businesses and a steep 33% increase in mobile ransomware. With the workplace steadily becoming a fluid entity rather than a strict office-based environment, this is particularly concerning.

For those unfamiliar, ransomware trojans encrypt data stored on the device disk, blocking the user from accessing any information. A payment is then demanded and if the extortion is not satisfied, the data is gone for good. Within minutes an entire network can be brought down if the ransomware spreads. This is potentially disastrous for those with no protection or counter measures in place.

Nybble currently protect many large organisations in the UK against this threat and if you are vulnerable, please consider giving us a call. We can assess your business and offer solutions tailored individually to need. But, in the meantime here are 5 ways to protect yourself, at least on a basic level:

1. Update, update and update

If you are running an old version of Windows, you must update your system to Windows 10 or consider new computers. Believe it or not, some businesses still use XP or Vista making them extremely vulnerable to attack. If using Windows 7, ensure you have automatic updates enabled and take note that support will be withdrawn from this operating system soon. The updates are specifically designed to protect against ransomware attacks. Make sure you are using the latest version of your browser and that any plugins are current versions.

Not sure what you have and what you need? Call us, we will guide you through it.

2. Educate Your Team

Trojans are often spread by email attachments. The people behind them, the attack groups,  are getting very sophisticated and it is easy to be fooled if you don’t know what to look for. Their numbers have grown 25% over 2018. Once the file is unzipped, your files are infected and suddenly all your data is locked down. Make sure staff are made aware of the deception and that to leave unopened, anything they are unsure of or that is unknown. It is important to teach them that sender names can be spoofed, if uncertain a quick telephone call can authenticate before the file is opened. The study showed that 48% of malicious attachments were office files, an upward trend from the 5% of 2017.

3. Watch Those Links Protect Yourself

Symantec found 1 in 10 URL s posed a risk. Again, it is important that before opening anything, you know who the sender is and what they are sending. Having your company files locked and encrypted can spell disaster for a company and with the highly regulated data protection laws it is just not worth the risk to turn a blind eye. If you think it will never happen to you, you are leaving yourself open to the attack groups. Nybble will advise you on the best anti malware products in the marketplace and monitor your systems remotely for any signs of a breach. In the video below you will hear how the city of Atlanta was held to ransom.

4. Consider All Devices Including the IoTs

The internet of things, range of devices, varied routers and network set ups all need to be checked and overseen. Even then, infection can occur. Attack group numbers rose 25% in 2018 and many are now attacking via other means than downloadable malware. It is well worth the investment to get your entire system checked for vulnerabilities. Our team are experienced enough to spot where you have weaknesses and can run through a range of solutions.

5. Back Up your Data

Probably THE most important piece of advice. Nybble will work with you to ensure you have backed up data to ensure that if the worse happens you will not have to pay an extortionate fee due to blackmail because we can get you back up and running in a matter of hours. We have one of the fastest response times in the industry and treat your business like ours.

Call us on: 01254 673806 and talk to Chris or Antony

Or send us your questions to: enquiries@nybble.co.uk

Find out more about our support services

 

Virtual Reality Has Direct Effect on Mental Wellbeing

Virtual reality is rapidly becoming a tool for mental health wellbeing and stress relief in the workplace.

Gamers have long enjoyed virtual reality (VR) but are not the only sector. In addition,VR enhances cinematic experiences, transports you to stadium sports and music events and all can be viewed from the comfort of your sofa, office or personal space.

Delivered by a virtual reality headset, sound-effects, 360-degree views and razor-sharp graphics immerse the viewer in a ‘new reality’.

Notably, Marriott took the travel industry to new levels back in 2014 when they introduced ‘Vroom service’. Virtual tours of selected hotels using a ‘teleporter’ and headset. The teleporter (custom built cubicle) teased the senses with heat and fans – a clever sunlight and beach-side, breeze effect. Next, a fine water mist provided ‘sea spray’ sensations.

Since then, VR has been developed for medical purposes. When using actual diagnostic images, both surgeon and student can navigate the safest surgical path to plan procedures. Also, stroke victims and those afflicted with brain injury have recovered cognitive function at accelerated rates with the use of VR therapy. Faster responses and higher engagement were noted, compared with traditional methods.

All fantastic uses of the technology, but VR is rapidly being utilised for mental wellbeing.

What our research into wellbeing discovered

Taking part in the local hospice fundraising, as part of Nybble’s CSR, the team were touched by personal accounts. Hearing the bucket-list wishes of families was bittersweet, knowing some were unfulfilled.

One of the biggest challenges of life-limiting illness is not only the effect on the person coping with the terrible news, but also for family and loved ones. It profoundly affects the wellbeing of all concerned.

Sadly, depression and decreasing mental wellbeing is a common problem in the UK. Male depression and workplace mental health problems are on the rise. Conventional treatments are not having the desired impact. Waiting lists are too long.

woman enjoying virtual reality wellbeing session

Could VR compliment traditional GP treatment and perhaps be a preventative force in the workplace?

How VR may increase wellbeing in the workplace & in healthcare

It is difficult to put into words the effect virtual reality can have, how it can lift someone from a dark place and fill them with wonder and a new perspective. We found out the impact when we donated a kit to the East Lancashire hospice.

None of us can pretend to know how it feels to be confined to a bed or know that time with loved ones may be short. Unless you have suffered burn-out in a professional role, it’s hard to empathise. Likewise, if you have never suffered a complete confidence melt-down due to work pressures, you won’t feel moved by the sufferer’s plight. In reality, these situations are many and families across the UK are dealing with depression daily, often in silence and secrecy.

 

VR: expanding horizons of the seriously ill

"They're right in front of me! Oh m goodness!"Patients with life-limiting illnesses will now be able to travel wherever they want from the comfort of their hospice bed…all thanks to Virtual Reality.

Posted by Granada Reports on Monday, 5 November 2018

 

VR  provides a unique personal, user experience. Namely, would-be divers can discover the treasures of the coral reef. Nature lovers can go on safari under the burnt skies of Africa. Adventurers can scale the highest peaks, ski off piste or experience the thrill of a skydive. Music lovers can lie back and watch a philharmonic orchestra perform their favourite concerto, or rock lovers can throw up the horns and relish the riffs.

For a brief time, they can escape the debilitating feelings which overwhelm them.

No drugs required and no extra staff. Just feelings of exhilaration, motivation and being alive.

As the saying goes, “Stop the world I want to get off.” VR can’t stop the world, but with the right software, the world can share her beautiful secrets with you, showcase all the talented performing arts, amazing architecture and exploration of different cultures, creatures and adventures.

With this in mind, the kits are suitable for company wellbeing, hospices, hospitals and counselling sessions. In fact, anywhere endeavouring to help people cope with the pressures of life. As Michelle Bondesio states, “Thriving at work is a KPI.”

Feedback from the hospice

The reaction at the hospice was truly humbling.

Transformative moments were all it took to demonstrate how life-changing this equipment can be.

I can’t believe it, I was there!

Some had tears in their eyes, the experience so immersive and real that a dream had come true.

This is why technology exists. This makes it worthwhile for me to remain in IT. I walked away from people who had felt real joy, at a totally unexpected time in their lives. Ram Gupta – Owner & Director, Nybble.co.uk

Virtual Reality is here to stay and will play an increasing role in our lives. It’s up to us to ensure that we remain innovative and creative, guiding technology to be of the best benefit to all.

 

Jill Wells

If you would like to know more about purchasing a kit for your local hospice, company or hospital please email enquiries@nybble.co.uk.

Nybble Wins Corporate Challenge

Nybble wins the Corporate Challenge 2018

In truth, East Lancashire Hospice was the real winner. At last, we can announce that they raised £45,000.  This was due to the generosity of 25 Lancashire businesses and all the people who donated.

The event, sponsored by Organic Insurance, closed with a night to celebrate all the individual achievements. We felt completely at home at the Blackburn Rovers Football Club venue, having become their digital partner and the night finished on a high note for us personally. Named overall winners of the challenge and walking away with the caring and sharing award.

Thank you very much to everyone who donated – you truly have changed lives for the better.

To celebrate, Nybble Owner, Ram and Jennifer Quinn of the East Lancashire Hospice, joined Sally Nayden on BBC Radio Lancashire. Firstly, to discuss the successful annual Corporate Challenge but also to express gratitude to all involved.

Ready for the BBC Radio Lancashire Interview

Notably, Ram announced that Nybble IT would be donating Virtual Reality Equipment to the hospice.

The beauty of this gift, is that it will enable people to visit places around the world. Using the technology, it will enable sights that they would otherwise never get to see. Ram explained:

You can wear the headset and instantly be able to visit the Sistine Chapel, be able to walk around with a 360 degree view as if truly standing there, I hope this goes some way to making dreams come true.

 

Interview at Radio Lancashire

Calling the community

Thank you to Sally Naden at BBC Radio Lancashire for highlighting that the hospice is reliant on donations and for giving Nybble IT a great ‘shout out’.

Business in Lancashire is thriving, this challenge helped us see not only how diverse the skill set is, but how hard-working, generous and talented we all are and how when we come together as a region few can beat us. Let’s continue to work together!

East Lancashire Hospice Wins the Heart of Nybble

“Put this date in your diary.”
“Where and why?” I asked, looking at my busy schedule.
And that is how this whole story begins.
In that moment.

East Lancashire Hospice was then the subject of my research for the next few days. We were to take part in a fundraising initiative called the ‘Corporate Challenge’ and would compete against other local businesses to raise funds. The added incentive being the kudos of raising the most. Well, that’s what I thought at the time.

The day of the meet up and introduction arrived.         East Lancashire Hospice wins Nybble's Heart

I was surprised by how lovely and welcoming
the hospice was, nestled in such a beautiful
setting and by the number of people in
attendance, obviously from all different kinds
of businesses and all different ages.

The purpose of the challenge was laid out, I mentally took notice of what needed to be done and how much of it would land on my desk (yes, I was thinking me, me and me some more). Ram – my managing director – was grinning at me, “are you on board yet?” he asked me. I nodded (of course…).

Then, the room became quiet and a lady stepped forward.

With a halting voice and immense bravery, she told us about the day she said goodbye to her best friend, her husband. We learned about a grandson who flew in from Australia desperately trying to make it in time. How she was gently and lovingly prepared for what was to come.

But most importantly…

…how the entire family was supported not only up to that terribly sad moment, but afterwards. So much so, that now, the memories are precious not traumatic.
Even more importantly, how she is now an integral part of the Hospice team, a role that obviously helped to partially fill the huge void she may have fallen into with no clear way back. Instead, she is beautiful, inside and out, strong and able to cope. Channelling her energy into helping others.

I felt humbled, selfish and a little bit heartbroken for her and for me, I’d lost my dad and wished I could have had the luxury of those precious final moments to carry with me. Suddenly my busy schedule didn’t matter anymore.

A go fund me page was launched. Ram overcame his terror of heights and leapt like a gazelle out of a plane like superman (put a fiver in the kitty for that one Ram).

I was so proud of him. Lisa, my one-time Nybble partner-in-crime who had gone on to start her own business at the start of the challenge held an event in her beautiful Lilac Tree Shop with her partner Sarah Lucas.

The Lilac Tree

 

 

Thank you to all the ladies who took part and donated, and huge thanks to Lisa and Sarah. You can find their details here: https://www.facebook.com/lilactreevintage/

So many people donated, we thank you all from our hearts.

My heart has been taken, and so you will now see lots of news about the hospice interspersed with my blog posts. Please support them if you are from the region. They are totally reliant on our help, yours and mine. I think sometimes we get immune to the hardships of life but need to remember the things that really matter.

My thought as I end this piece is this…

After losing my dad, my priest said to me that there are only two questions that are important at the end:

“Was I loved?”
“Did I love?”

We come into this world, for the most part, loved and surrounded by family. Surely, as we say our goodbyes it should be the same?

Jill Wells

If you would like to donate to the East Lancashire Hospice please visit: https://eastlancshospice.org.uk/community-awareness-campaign

East Lancashire Hospice Christmas Fayre

 

Nybble Supports Corporate Challenge

Nybble Supports Corporate Challenge

Life is all about learning, loving and filing away those memories.

After my dad passed away, my priest said something to me. There are only two questions that are really important at the end:

“Was I loved?”
“Did I love?”

We come into this world, for the most part, loved and surrounded by family. Surely, as we say our goodbyes it should be the same?

I didn’t want to go to The East Lancashire Hospice when we signed up for the Corporate Challenge – companies pledging to raise funds to support them, which Nybble is proud to do this year – I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to think about my dad.

On arrival, the atmosphere was very upbeat. Attending were representatives of 25 local businesses. Next, we listened to the challenge instructions. Following this, good-natured, competitive banter erupted, whilst we enjoyed tasty bacon sandwiches and hot drinks. Finally some jostling, as we organised positions for a group photo. Enjoyable though it was, I was starting to think about how much work I was returning to.

Then, a lady quietly stepped forward.

With a halting voice and immense bravery, she told us about the day she said goodbye to her best friend, her husband. We learned about a grandson who flew in from Australia desperately trying to make it in time. And during this time, most importantly, she was gently prepared for what was to come by the hospice team.

Moreover, the entire family was supported. Not only up to that terribly sad moment, but afterwards. So much so, that the memories are precious not traumatic.

I walked out determined that we would help this wonderful team. My Managing Director looked and me and said, “Are you in?”

So, someone at Nybble is going to do a skydive (despite being terrified of heights) and lots of other smaller fund raising events which sponsors will be invited to commit what they can.

Please help us – It is so worthwhile.

Do you love?
Are you loved?

J Wells