10 Things You Need to Know About Ransomware

Some cyber security experts call ransomware attacks an epidemic.

In 2016, the FBI estimated that ransomware attacks resulted in over $1 billion in income for cybercriminals*. Experts attribute the ransomware epidemic to people’s carelessness in clicking on phishing emails and infected advertisements.

Here are 10 things organisations should know about ransomware:

  1. Ransomware was first reported in 1989
  2. Ransomware doesn’t discriminate when it comes to platforms and devices
  3. Ransomware can be distributed through various channels
  4. Ransomware often goes undetected
  5. Organisations should change their mindset from a reactive-based model to a prevention-oriented one
  6. Organisations should develop a prevention and response plan
  7. Organisations should identify a prevention and response team
  8. Organisations should perform a compromise assessment
  9. Organisations should complete a security tools assessment
  10. Organisations should respond and future-proof

Download the full infographic here – Infographic courtesy of Cylance Consulting

As threatening as ransomware sounds, damage can be avoided with increased user awareness coupled with the right security practices. Businesses need to be aware of the risks and take adequate precautions to minimize the impact in the event of an attack.

See Cylance in action for yourself? Register here to join our workshop at The Metal Box Factory in London on the 25th May and see the capabilities for yourself.

*Source: CNN


Network Utilities and EfficientIP partner to help customers become GDPR compliant

In July 2016 Network Utilities and EfficientIP announced their partnership agreement to provide UK based customers with EfficientIP DDI solutions and draw on Network Utilities’ recognised expertise in the market and expand EfficientIP’s existing partner network in the UK region. Both company’s solutions will help organisations in a variety of public and private industries – particularly telecom – to protect their critical applications from growing threats, as well as integrate advanced network infrastructure.

With new legislation coming into effect in May 2018, this is a critical time for all organisations to focus on the strength, resiliency, and intelligence of their networks to avoid data breaches and ensure GDPR compliance. Now is the time to start building a GDPR-compliant infrastructure and providing sufficient security at the DNS level can save companies huge amounts of money and help avoid unnecessary GDPR proceedings.

David Silsby, Network Utilities Sales Director, believes this continued partnership will be beneficial to prospects and customers: “This new GDPR legislation puts the responsibility on companies to make sure their networks are as secure as possible, which will mean much more than just protecting the companies data it means protecting the whole infrastructure. No one can afford to ignore GDPR and working together with EfficientIP, Network Utilities will be able to offer customers a more enhanced security offering.”

David Williamson, EfficientIP CEO, is also looking forward to a continued partnership: “The addition of Network Utilities to our partner group is key to bringing new adaptive security solutions to their customers. The past two years have seen a dramatic increase in cyber security attacks, and DNS has been confirmed as being a weak point of the network infrastructure. We have the solution for this in our 360° DNS Security, and Network Utilities has the expertise to apply it as part of their offering.”

Network Utilities will be hosting a webinar with Martin Wellsted from EfficientIP on the 3rd May.  Register here and find out more about DNS exfiltration and how to prevent the unauthorised transfer of data from your organization.

EfficientIP webinar Twitter v2


Securing Your Network & Keeping You Compliant in 2017

Happy New YearWishing you a very Happy New Year and a warm welcome back to the office after the Christmas break.

We’ve been working hard to continue to make sure that we offer you the best IT networking & security solutions the industry has to offer. This short update will give you links to valuable resources you may find useful at the start of this year to help you keep your networks secure, fast & compliant. So please take a look and sign up for (and share!) the webinars & events coming up over the next few weeks some of the topics include; cloud security, AI and machine learning, endpoint security, threat prevention and the GDPR.

Cato Networks logo

Security in the Cloud – Are you ready to join the revolution?
Webinar – 25th January

We are delighted to announce our partnership with Cato Networks. Cato Networks is rethinking network security from the ground up and bringing it into the Cloud. Cato connects your branch locations, mobile users, physical and Cloud infrastructure into a secure and optimised global network in the Cloud. Intrigued? Join our webinar on the 25th January to find out more.

Register here for the Cato Networks webinar.

Blackfoot UK logo

GDPR – What you need to do NOW to make sure you are compliant in 2018
Webinar – 22nd February

One of our best attended webinars at the end of last year was around GDPR, so here’s another chance for you to get up to speed. Your customers are more and more aware of their entitlements around data protection; they want privacy rights and strong protections. But are you confident in how to process your customer information in the light of GDPR? Join our webinar for invaluable hints and tips on how to get GDPR compliant NOW.

Register here to attend our GDPR webinar.

Palo Alto Networks logo

Threat Prevention & Advanced Endpoint Protection
Workshop – 8th March

We continue our strong partnership with Palo Alto Networks in 2017 and are pleased to announce our first Ultimate Test Drive workshops for 2017 will be taking place on Wednesday 8th March at Palo Alto Networks, 140 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 4Q.

We will be running 2 free sessions on this day, you are welcome to register for one or both sessions.

Session 1: 09.30 – 13:30
Threat Prevention, Ultimate Test Drive

Session 2: 14:00 – 16:00
Advanced Endpoint Protection, Ultimate Test Drive

Register here to attend one or both Ultimate Test Drive sessions.

Cylance logo

Know the Truth
Workshop – 23rd March

Another partnership we are keen to announce is with Cylance. Cylance protects your endpoints against advanced malware with the world’s first antivirus built on artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s AI and machine learning-based tools prevent threat execution, before the damage is done. It doesn’t simply protect against known threats, it identifies and defuses never-before-seen attacks.  Join our ‘Know the Truth’ workshop on Thursday 23rd March 2017 in central London to find out more.

Register here to join our Cylance endpoint protection workshop.

That’s it for now. If you would like further information on any of the above – and you just can’t WAIT until the dates listed – please get in touch. We’ll be on the case.

Happy January,
Network Utilities Team

Network Utilities to launch Monitoring-as-a-Service at IP EXPO

ip-expo-linkedin-imageAs you may or may not know we have recently launched our Monitoring-as-a-Service offering over the summer to help you plan for your IT holiday cover, as we all know networks, application and storage just keep on running.

We are pleased to announce that our expert team will be at IP EXPO on the 5th and 6th October to talk to you about our new Monitoring-as-a-Service offering. The service, delivered by a 24/7 UK based operations centre and technical team monitors network, server and storage architectures for both security and availability with optional pay-as-you go incident packs for rapid remediation of any issues.

“In the past, SMEs have sometimes overlooked managed services due to the perceived high cost and limited flexibility,” explains David Silsby, Enterprise Sales Director for Network Utilities, “With our new monitoring as a service offering, we have looked at what SME’s really require and created a product that is extremely cost effective and allows the customer to pay for what they need and scale up as they grow – without skimping on crucial elements such as skilled support staff or customer service.”

The service includes flexible notification and escalation that can be setup for contact via phone or email, with a tailored dashboard to allow clients to view all monitored devices in real time, supported by monthly reports detailing the overall health of the network and attached IT infrastructure. Every client also gains a dedicated account manager that helps manage the service while providing guidance on wider networking and security challenges.

Come on down to stand A9 and you could be the winner of an Amazon voucher or an awesome Apple watch.

Register to attend IP EXPO here

We look forward to seeing you there.

Webinar Recording: Secure Access has Never Been More Vital – Find Out Why With Pulse Secure

In this webinar recording you will learn:

• Why enforcing traditional IT rules on a tech savvy workforce is no longer necessary
• How transforming traditional IT into Hybrid IT can enable the workforce and maximise their productivity
• How IT can offer flexibility while ensuring compliance and full corporate policy adoption
• How IT can offer continuous secure access seamlessly to their workforce
• How Secure Access for the Next Generation is solving mobile productivity challenges for organisations today

Protect Your Profits – Fight Voice Fraud with Big Data Analytics

The Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA) estimates global telecom fraud losses at $38.1 billion in 2015. Tackling fraud in a service provider business will lead directly to increased profitability. Carriers must take a proactive approach to fight against fraud and find ways to prevent and mitigate continually changing threats. View our recent webinar with Cataleya and find out how Orchid One offers a new level of network visibility capable of identifying fraudulent activity and increasing the ability to prevent fraud.

ISPs, are you ready for your next customer?

By Oliver Reynolds, Service Provider Account Manager, Netutils.

Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Oliver Reynolds, Service Provider Account Manager, Netutils. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company.

It may seem like a very strange question, but have you ever asked yourself if your business is really ready for the next big win? Now, this isn’t a question to ask in order to provoke a long winded response about the work you’ve done to understand your customer’s requirements, but simply: “do YOU believe your current infrastructure can handle the additional load that next customer your sales guys are so eagerly fighting for will bring?”

If your sales team bring in that big business win they’ve been shouting about and if your current infrastructure is ready then maybe the rest of this blog isn’t for you. On the other hand, the initial question may have made you think and maybe even highlighted some concerns about your ability to facilitate their requirements, either way, I challenge you to read on and question if you are truly ready.

With the industry ever-evolving , ISP’s are constantly under pressure to provide bandwidth against new services that, at point of conception, are not necessarily developed to be efficient in their bandwidth use, but to enable new value add services to increase revenue. Video and data are key examples. Both are services that have required specific compression codec development to decrease their bandwidth and improve quality of service.

So, has this started to make you think if you’re ready yet?

What if that new customer you bring on-board is the next Google or Facebook wannabe? Will they be looking to move forward with niche and unique services that haven’t had the efficiencies considered? Will your network be able to support the increased strain this new customer is going to bring? Again, your answer may well be yes as this was a consideration when purchasing your latest datacenter switches, routers etc. Brilliant! But what if it’s still not enough? How easy is it for you to increase that capacity and how much is it going to cost you? Will it still be stable running at 80% utilisation? Will that imply a reduction in the quality of service the rest of your customers have experienced for so long? You can answer these questions by engaging an experienced technology partner to review your existing infrastructure and provide competitive analysis on how you can move forward.

The question of whether you are ready for that next customer simply asks how much that customer is going to cost you at the point of overloading your network. Just considering that fact and reviewing the potential future risks to your network expansion with the right partner, will ensure that you align yourself to a solution that enables easy scaling when your business requires it, without pain to either your pocket or your customer’s quality of service.

I’m going to close with a statement by Colt’s Nicolas Fischbach, taken from a case study illustrating a deployment of Juniper MX Routers:

The future of networking is more simplification, more automation, and more elasticity,” says Fischbach.

We need architectures and technology components that enable us to achieve that. We can create a new virtual machine for a customer in minutes, so why should it take weeks to deliver a new service over an existing infrastructure? The network has to evolve to be very elastic, highly integrated, and fully automated to provide the flexible services that our customers demand today.

Juniper is one of our key partners enabling us to realize our vision, says Fischbach.

The MX series router effectively supports our IP routing and switching requirements as well as future carrier Ethernet demands. Juniper collaborated closely with us to develop our Virtual CPE capabilities, which will take us to the next step of our high- performance, cost-effective, cloud-based vCPE solution.

Ensure you are planning not just for your business’ future, but also for that of your customers, both in resourcing and in the right technology partner. Otherwise that next deal may be the one to cause more pain than happiness!

Webinar Recording: Your BYOD Policy Part 2: Performance and Scalability

[vimeo vimeo.com/55005658]

Are you concerned with any of the following?

  • Latency & Interference on your network as a result of increased user activity
  • Seamlessly managing the performance of applications that require real time communications – like Microsoft Lync
  • The ability to cost effectively scale and maintain network performance as user demands for access increase

If you are an IT manager or decision maker and identify with one or more of these issues, then please take a look at the recording of our recent webinar. ‘Your BYOD Policy Part 2: Performance & Scalability’. This is the 2nd in our series of webinars covering the Juniper Network’s Simply Connected story. Part 3 will over Reliability & Management and will be held at 11am on Wednesday 16th January 2013. Please register here.

CLOUD – The Changed Face of the Network

By Malcolm Orekoya, Network & Security Specialist, Netutils

Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Malcolm Orekoya, Network & Security Specialist, Netutils. These views are his own

So everyone has been talking cloud this and cloud that for what seems like forever now and you can be forgiven for being completely confused at times as to what exactly cloud computing is and why all the fuss. The definition of “cloud computing” on Wikipedia probably sums it up best; “Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet)”+.

The reason for all the confusion is that cloud computing nowadays refers to several services such as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), Software as a service (SaaS), Desktop as a service (DaaS), Storage as a service (STaaS), Security as a service (SECaaS) and many more variables. To make matters even more confusing, once you have got your head around the concept of cloud, you then have to deal with the options of “private cloud”, “public cloud” or “hybrid cloud”. So why are there so many services moving to some form of cloud?

Well, there are several reasons behind the proliferation of cloud services, but amongst them all the following will almost always fall within the top 5:

Security – This is a major issue for all organisations, from small to large and can be a headache for many IT business decision-makers. The amount of data that is being consumed by today’s users, across data centres around the world is outstanding and the requirement to make sure this data is securely accessed and secured from malicious activity is just as great; whether this is for regulatory/compliance requirements or not. Getting the secure infrastructure (hardware, software, data centre etc.) and expertise needed for today’s networks can be prohibitively expensive and time consuming for organisations, therefore offloading this responsibility to cloud providers makes sense. These providers spend their time and money to provide you with the secure and compliant network that you need, without you having to worry about anything other than your internet connections to the cloud.

Access – People want remote access to as much content as they can possibly get their hands on. Whether it is being able to work from home, an internet café or a pub, users expect to be able to access their personal and corporate data via the internet. In conjunction with this, the other big buzz in the industry “BYOD” (bring you own device) and the overabundance of mobile devices that support this trend, makes providing mobile access to your users at the top the agenda for most IT business decision-makers.

A Forrester Research on Mobility, Cloud and Big Data written in October 2012 reports that “In the last 18 months, 47% of businesses have seen increased demand from end users to bring their own devices to work”++. In order to meet these access demands alongside maintaining security, a lot of organisations find it much easier and cost effective to have part of their network accessible in the cloud and relieve them of the hassle of providing and maintaining the necessary platform to feed this ever growing access need.

Costs – Keeping an eye on the IT budget always plays a major part in any organisations decision making process for any project and being able to reduce costs over time is key. The fact is with the two reasons already mentioned above; any organisation that keeps its entire infrastructure hosted internally will continually have to spend on hardware, software, training and staff in order to keep up with the industry. Cloud services have become increasingly more cost effective and in many cases can provide a more efficient Return-on-Investment (ROI) for many services.

So now that we know what all the cloud fuss is about, why should we jump on the band wagon; for all we know this is all a ‘phase’ and things will soon return back to normal (some hope)? Well I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that is not going to happen, cloud is here to stay for good and is a trend that is not likely to change direction any time soon.

In October 2012 Forrester Research also found that “44% of businesses have seen increased use of cloud services – from software and infrastructure to business processes as-a-service offerings”++ and Cisco’s second annual Global Cloud Index (GCI) has predicted that “within four years, two-thirds of all data centre traffic across the world – as well as workloads – will be cloud based”^.

Whether it’s for personal or business use the cloud has already changed the face of your network, in some cases without users having to do anything; I recently found out that by simply combining the free cloud storage space I get from my Hotmail, Gmail, Amazon, iCloud and Dropbox accounts, I’ve got nearly 30GB of free Storage as a service (STaaS) that I wasn’t even aware of.

The facts are internet bandwidth is cheaper than ever before; home users can now easily boast of 50MB internet connections at home. Internet content and ‘apps’ for work and play are richer and more widely available now than at any other time in history and the means of accessing this rich content via the plethora of fancy mobile devices is so accessible now, even six year olds have smartphones (as I recently found out at a birthday party I attended). The new way of working and playing involves the cloud and there’s no going back now.

Join us on stand 691 at Cloud Expo Europe 29th – 20th January 2013, National Hall Olympia. Find out about Cloudutils* – Cloud Solutions without Compromise. Solutions include Secure RADIUS and Managed Guest Access.

*Cloudutils is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Network (Utilities) Systems Ltd.

+ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

++ Source: Forrester Research http://www.juniper.net/us/en/dm/enterprise-data-center/pdf/Building_For_The_Next_Billion_What_The_New_World_Of_Business_Means_For_The_Network_FINAL.pdf

^ Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2012/10/28/two-thirds-of-the-worlds-data-centers-going-to-cloud-cisco/

Webinar Recording: Your BYOD Policy Part 1: Provisioning and Security

[vimeo vimeo.com/53462172]

Are you concerned with any of the following?

  • Securely authenticating guest & employee owned mobile devices on your wireless network
  • Managing the admin overhead when providing network access to your users & guests
  • Providing mobile network users seamless access to corporate resources
  • Leakage of corporate data, network contamination and lost devices.

Then please take a look at our recent webinar above. This webinar is the 1st in our series of 4 webinars covering the Juniper ‘Simply Connected Story, please keep an eye out for details of parts 2 ,3 & 4 which cover, Performance, Reliability & Management.

You can register for ‘Your BYOD Policy & The Simply Connected Story Part 2: – Performance & Scalability’ by visiting our registration page here.