June 2017 Newsletter

If you’re a small business owner, the 2017 Federal Budget has one very useful inclusion for you: the continuation of a $20,000 instant asset write-off for equipment expenses.

Ticking a box that was forecast back in January, the scheme that was originally planned to run from 2015 to 2017 will be continued in the 2017-18 financial year.

If you’re running a business with an annual turnover of less than $10 million, you can claim individual expenses of up to $20,000 worth of depreciating assets in each single instant write-off each financial year. That $10 million threshold has been raised from the previous $2 million, and the government also says it will lower taxes on small businesses.

Medium businesses aren’t happy they miss out on the instant write-off, though. Mid-market accountancy firm Pitcher Partners’ managing director John Brazzale: “We are disappointed that more has not been done to lower taxes and extend the instant asset write off to mid-sized businesses. Our clients sought greater simplification of the business environment, including lower taxes, and little has been done in this area to build on last year’s cuts.”

Take Advantage of it today: Call us now for your IT needs. We Sell all major Desktop, Laptop, Printer, Hard Drive, Software brands 

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How do ransomware infections happen?

Though the infection phase is slightly different for each ransomware version, the key stages are the following:

Why ransomware often goes undetected by antivirus

Ransomware uses several evasion tactics that keep it hidden and allow it to:

  • Not get picked up by antivirus products
  • Not get discovered by cyber security researchers
  • Not get observed by law enforcement agencies and their own malware researchers.

The rationale is simple: the longer a malware infection can persist on a compromised PC, the more data it can extract and the more damage it can do.

15 Items to take ransomware protection to the next level

This is a promise that everyone should make to yourself: that you will take the threat of ransomware seriously and do something about it before it hits your data.

I’ve seen too many cries for help and too many people confused and panicking when their files get encrypted.

How I wish I could say that ransomware protection is not a life and death kind of situation! But if you work in a hospital and you trigger a crypto-ransomware infection, it could actually endanger lives. Learning how to prevent ransomware attacks is a need-to-have set of knowledge and you can do it both at home and at work.

So here’s what I want you to promise me: 

Locally, on the PC

  1. Don’t store important data only on PC.
  2. Have 2 backups of data: on an external hard drive and in the cloud – Carbonite/Dropbox/Google Drive/etc.
  3. The Dropbox/Google Drive/OneDrive/etc. application on the computer is not turned on by default. Open them once a day, to sync the data, and close them once this is done.
  4. Operating system and the software should be up to date, including the latest security updates.
  5. For daily use, Don’t use an administrator account on the computer. use a guest account with limited privileges.
  6. Turn off macros in the Microsoft Office suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
    In the browser
  7. Remove the following plugins from browsers: Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java and Silverlight. If you absolutely have to use them, set the browser to ask if you want to activate these plugins when needed.
  8. Adjust browsers’ security and privacy settings for increased protection.
  9. Remove outdated plugins and add-ons from browsers. Keep the ones you use on a daily basis and keep them updated to the latest version.
  10. Use an ad-blocker to avoid the threat of potentially malicious ads.

Online behaviour

  1. Never open spam emails or emails from unknown senders.
  2. Never download attachments from spam emails or suspicious emails.
  3. Never click links in spam emails or suspicious emails.

Anti-ransomware security tools

  1. Use a reliable, paid antivirus product that includes an automatic update module and a real-time scanner.
  2. Understand the importance of having a traffic-filtering solution that can provide proactive anti-ransomware protection.

I want you to be prepared, so you’ll never have to deal with the dreaded question of: “should I pay the ransom or not?”

My answer will always be a big, fat NO.

Paying the ransom gives you no guarantee that the online criminals at the other end of the Bitcoin transfer will give you the decryption key. And even if they do, you’d be further funding their greedy attacks and fueling the never-ending malicious cycle of cyber crime.

To put things into perspective, 1 out of every 4 users who paid the ransom didn’t get their data back. They lost both the information and their money.

Protect your important data today: Call us now for your IT needs. We Sell it all external Hard Drives, NAS, Antivirus, Backup software, etc. 

source 1: https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/05/small-business-wins-in-budget-2017-with-20000-instant-asset-write-offs/

source 2: https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/what-is-ransomware-protection/