All Posts By

SynapsysAdmin

The single pane of glass that will take your MSP business to the next level

By 2020No Comments

Nick Keene Synapsys Presales Engineer

By Nick Keene, Synapsys Presales Engineer

Writing on day 125 of the pandemic lockdown in South Africa, there can be no doubt that temporary band-aid measures are not what is going to get MSPs through this crisis to emerge on the other side with a healthy, thriving business and happy customers. Indeed, according to CRN Channelweb, in the UK the average MSP will see revenue drop by 17% (depending on the sector they work in — some are doing better than others.)

A powerful lever any company has to improve cash flow during tough times is to sell more: new products and services to existing customers, or to new customers. And the integration that is built into the DNA of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud creates the perfect storm for doing both.

Integrated cyber protection

The reality is that backup doesn’t protect you against viruses and antivirus doesn’t restore your data. And with the dramatic increase in data and number of endpoints and rising risk of data loss and downtime, MSPs need to offer their customers the ability to tackle multiple threat vectors. It is possible to do this by pulling together a basket of tools, but the overheads in terms of time, money and skills required may outweigh the benefits.

Alternatively, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud combines backup, data recovery, AM, AV, vulnerability and patch management and remote desktop support in one tool, with one agent and backend, one licence, one management console, one user interface and one set of insights. Acronis hasn’t just added a bundle of new, discrete products to a dashboard where they exist independently of each other. Instead, there are multiple levels of integration and information sharing that can make our partners’ businesses more efficient, profitable and secure, and also enable innovative data protection scenarios.

This has three immediate benefits for our MSP partners:

  1. The ability to offer complete cyber protection covering data backup and cyber security which improves customer SLAs and reduces downtime.
  2. Because these various components of cyber protection are fully integrated, they are able to offer more sophisticated capabilities than a MacGyvered together portfolio, such as being able to restore clean, uninfected backups after a malware attack.
  3. Economies of scale: the ease of use and single pane of glass mean MSPs can grow their businesses and develop additional revenue streams with their existing teams and operations.

Together, Acronis Cyber Protect is a single lever that can transform MSP businesses to survive the COVID-19 health crisis and evolve your businesses to offer a modern, fit-for-purpose response to today’s cyber security threats.

For more advice on managing your MSP business during a crisis we recommend this blog post from Acronis.

To get started offering Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud to your customers:

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is now fully deployed to all Acronis data centres around the world. Your reseller partner, or MSP, will need to activate Cyber Protect Cloud for you. From there you can easily activate it for all your customers in your management console.

If you need support, in the first instance, contact your service provider or partner and if necessary they will escalate the matter. In addition, to help service providers to support their customers, Acronis offers free tier one support training.

Please get in touch to do so: here are our contact details, and we promise we reply to the web chat very quickly during office hours.

To find an MSP that offers Acronis Cyber Protect, drop us a line here and we’ll connect you.

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 29 July 2020

IoT home network visibility

Who’s using IoT? That’s right, you are – here’s how to stay safe

By 2020No Comments

By Peter French, Synapsys Managing Director

The Internet of things (IoT) mega-trend can seem very space age and futuristic, a bit like hoverboards or Jetsons-style robo-butlers. It’s often mentioned in the context of brain-befuddling trends such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, and artificial intelligence. And when you dig into what it is – machines talking to other machines via the Internet – it seems quite distant to our daily lives.

But the reality is that most of us have some form of IoT device in our homes today, from smart TVs and speakers, security cameras and home automation devices to gaming consoles. Almost by stealth, something that seems very out there and a long way away is actually right next to us, right now. And along with the incredible usefulness and entertainment value of these devices comes a range of security concerns that you should know about, and protect yourself from if necessary.

There have already been a number of security incidents involving smart devices, from hackers accessing security cameras and harassing people, to kids’ smart watches that allow anyone to see the child’s location and personal information, to the CallStranger vulnerability that allows hackers to steal data, scan networks and launch distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks via popular home and corporate IoT devices.

What you can do to protect yourself

1. Do your research

Before bringing any device into your home, do your research using independent third-party resources such as IT security organisation, AVTest’s dedicated IoT site. This means that at the very least you will be aware of the threats that exist, and at worst, you may decide to avoid that device. But, more than likely, you’ll land somewhere in between: doing what you can to manage the threat according to your specific situation.

2. Be wary of zero security incidents

Any legitimate IT company is transparent about its security incidents and rapidly tells users what it has done to repair any damage and stop the threat. Security vulnerabilities are inevitable, so it is reassuring to see that a company is serious about patching them quickly. Take a look at Cisco or Microsoft’s security advisory pages for good examples. A company that doesn’t do this either doesn’t know about its security issues and attacks, or is not being transparent about them, neither of which bode well for the safety of the IoT device you are bringing into your home.

3. Ensure the device’s firmware is up to date

Not all IoT devices allow you to update their firmware, which would allow you to patch any known vulnerabilities as they are discovered. If the device does not allow updates, you should consider whether you want it in your home and connected to your network. And if the firmware does update, you should, just as with any other IT service, keep it up to date. Advanced users might want to replace the factory-installed firmware in devices like Sonoff smart switches due to concerns about these home automation devices transferring unencrypted data back to servers in China.

4. Disable universal plug and play (UPnP)

As I mentioned in my guide to boosting your home WiFi performanceUPnP is incredibly useful, but it’s often just not viable in the real world, where you can’t be sure all the devices connecting to your network are secure and safe. For instance, the CallStranger vulnerability mentioned above operates via a UPnP callback. To add insult to injury, depending on your router, UPnP might take a while to patch, or it might even not be possible to patch. The best option is to disable UPnP on your WiFi router. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use these smart IoT devices, but you might have to spend a bit of time setting up manual exceptions, port forwards or NAT (network address translation) rules. You can Google how to do this, for instance, here and here are instructions on how to set up a static IP address for your Xbox One, and so avoid activating UPnP.

5. Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication

As ever, updated, strong passwords are your first line of defence, with multi-factor authentication adding a double-lock to your security. Also, with shared IoT devices, it’s better to set up unique profiles for every user, rather than sharing a common set of usernames and passwords.

IoT balancing act

It is not the tech itself that is scary, it’s our lack of understanding of the new that can make it dangerous. And we each need to establish our own threat tolerance based on our individual circumstances and requirements. A very practical example of this is that we might be comfortable adding more devices to our network in the shape of IP-enabled security cameras in order to boost our physical safety. But, at the same time, we should install and set up the Internet-connected cameras in a way that ensures cyber safety.

And you don’t need to become a systems administrator to do this: basic knowledge and some research can help you make an informed choice, and basic security measures can keep you safe.

Finally, these security vulnerabilities seldom start out with malicious intent by the manufacturers. Very often, it is down to something that is overlooked in the race to get a new and exciting product to market, and then criminals take advantage of that vulnerability. Of course manufacturers have an obligation to ship products that are as safe as possible, but for those of us who are early adopters of new technology, this is always something we need to consider, especially as the pace of innovation increases.

This article was first published on ITWeb on 17 July 2020

Next level document protection and compliance with Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud

By 2020No Comments

Nick Keene

By Nick Keene, Synapsys Presales Engineer

Now and again something pops up from the pre-COVID 19 world to remind us about things that were, and still are, important, despite our understandable preoccupation with the health crisis. The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is one of those. Last week the South African government announced the commencement of further sections of the act, starting today and coming into effect in a year’s time.

Of course you should be protecting your customers’ personal identification information as a matter of course. It’s the right thing to do, and trust is key to any relationship. In addition, ransomware attacks are on the rise and target personal information to use in phishing scams and other cyber crime, and increasingly simply lock companies out of their valuable data until a ransom is paid.

This got me thinking about two related features of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud that can help MSPs ensure their customers remain POPIA compliant.

The first is the new data protection map capability of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud (you’ll find it on the dashboard). The data protection map feature scans the customer’s environment and lets you know which files are not backed up or protected. This allows you to pre-emptively alert customers about these gaps and to work with them to ensure everything is protected so that they remain compliant, and don’t get a nasty surprise in the event of a recovery. (see image below left)

A related functionality, the real-time protection of important documents through continuous data protection capabilities (found in the data protection plan tab on the dashboard) means that changes to critical applications (including custom applications), files or folders are saved immediately even between backups. A nice nuance here is that you can set continuous data protection to apply to specific applications (for instance, all .xls and .xlsx documents).

As well as ensuring zero RTO, this means that machine-wide backups can be run less frequently, using less bandwidth and with fewer performance impacts. It also means that the backup can be a true single repository of all personal identification information, irrespective of its origin. It’s the best of all worlds, and peace of mind that critical documents and information are immediately backed up and protected. (see image below right)

These are two quite granular examples of how Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud can support POPIA (and other legislation) compliance by improving the backup, storage and recovery of data.

To get started offering Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud to your customers:

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is now fully deployed to all Acronis data centres around the world. Your reseller partner, or MSP, will need to activate Cyber Protect Cloud for you. From there you can easily activate it for all your customers in your management console.

If you need support, in the first instance, contact your service provider or partner and if necessary they will escalate the matter. In addition, to help service providers to support their customers, Acronis offers free tier one support training.

Remember that Acronis is offering zero-rated usage on the new product until the end of July 2020, so now is a good time to sign up.  Please get in touch to do so: here are our contact details, and we promise we reply to the web chat very quickly during office hours.

To find an MSP that offers Acronis Cyber Protect, drop us a line here and we’ll connect you.

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 1 July 2020

Infographic – Acronis Cyber Protect’s benefits for service providers

By 2020No Comments

Earlier this quarter our Presales Engineer Nick Keene compiled some insights from his Introduction to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud webinar series, first highlighting his top six technical questions, followed by his top security features.

We thought this infographic would be a useful complement, offering a summary of the benefits for service providers of the only solution to offer integrated backup, disaster recovery, next-generation anti-malware, anti-virus, cybersecurity and management tools in a single console.

Remember that Acronis is offering zero-rated usage on this new product until the end of July 2020, so now is a good time to sign up.  Please get in touch to do so: here are our contact details.

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 24 June 2020

Bootstrapping your home network

By 2020No Comments

By Peter French, Synapsys Managing Director

Home WiFi networks aren’t corporate networks. I think we’ve all realised that, after 12 weeks of working from home during lockdown. Overnight, we expected our home networks to cope with a massively increased load thanks to things like video conferencing and file sharing for work and school, and streaming and gaming for entertainment, all at the same time. And our neighbours are probably doing the same. Is it any wonder our WiFi connections are more than a little choppy right now?

I remember running into a similar problem when I first joined Synapsys in 2012, doubling its headcount. The pair of us were working out of home offices at the time, and since I’ve been messing about with computers since my mom’s first 386 computer when I was six, using trial and error to figure stuff out, I set out to improve my home network. In getting it to do a few more things, like give me the ability to securely access our systems remotely, I learnt how best to optimise a home network for business use.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do relatively easily and cost-effectively, bumping up the performance of your home network and increasing its security.

1. Optimise your WiFi

WiFi is great. It’s convenient, saves us running cables around our homes, and makes it easy to add devices to our network. But it’s also not a one-size-fits-all technology and is probably the number one reason why your Internet connection is so choppy right now, even though your ISP has kindly increased your fibre bandwidth during lockdown.

This is the first place to start to get better Internet connectivity at home:

  • Don’t simply install a repeater; rather, consider a two- or three-node mesh WiFi system. Or even better would be to wire in additional access points. This creates separate wireless access points across your property, rather than only retransmitting the router’s signal, which ultimately just stretches it thin and doesn’t improve performance.
  • A quicker fix that doesn’t require you to buy additional equipment is to download a WiFi channel analyser app and choose a WiFi channel that is least congested and not shared by all your neighbours. This is especially useful if you live in an apartment block where multiple WiFi signals overlap. You can change the channel in your WiFi router’s dashboard. If you leave the channel selection to automatic, you may need to restart your WiFi router every so often for this to reset to the least busy channel.
  • Don’t be tempted to set your WiFi router’s transmit power to maximum. Quality will degrade at the edges of your WiFi signal’s reach, you’ll get more dropped packets and you’ll end up hogging even more bandwidth.
  • Take a look at how many devices you have connected to the router. You’ll probably be surprised when you start factoring in smart devices from TVs to security cameras and appliances. Apart from the bandwidth these consume, each contributes to the noise on your home network, causing packets to drop and your important video conference to stall. Here again, a meshed or wired system would be helpful.
  • If you have a lot of people using your network for voice calls, you could investigate the quality of service (QOS) features on your current router and use these to prioritise important traffic such as voice.

2. Secure your home network

Cyber security attacks are on the increase at the moment. Criminals are cynically taking advantage of both the uncertainty around the current health crisis and also the fact that so many corporate networks are being accessed remotely as people work from home. Therefore, as well as being concerned about Internet speed, you should ensure that all devices have the latest updates and firmware installed, and that all endpoints, including mobile phones, laptops, desktops and servers, connected to your home network have cyber protection software installed. But anti-malware software, such as Acronis Cyber Protect, on all your devices is just the start; you need to take additional measures just off your endpoint devices on your Internet access point. In other words, on the WiFi router we met above.

Here, again, you have several options:

  • Replace the basic router you received with your fibre installation with a premium router that gives you fine-grained control over what comes in and out of your network. Even your ISP doesn’t have access to this router.
  • One step down from this, but still worth doing, is optimising your current router for security:
  • Ensure the firmware is up to date on your ISP-supplied router. If it’s so old that it can’t be updated, contact your ISP and motivate for a replacement router on security grounds.
  • Change your WiFi login password and the password you use to access the router’s dashboard from the default passwords. While you are there, you might as well update your WiFi network name to something a bit more user-friendly. (This last point is less about security and more about WiFi being easy and convenient to use.)
  • In the advanced settings on the router, deactivate remote access and ensure the built-in firewall is switched on. This won’t affect what you have access to but does control incoming connections to your WiFi router.
  • Turn off UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). This is a handy feature, but it’s designed to be used on networks where you know all devices are secured and safe. This is just not the case in the real world, so it’s really a bad idea to have it enabled.

Top tip: Don’t be scared to make these changes. Experimenting is the best way to optimise your network for your specific circumstances. But, take a screenshot of the original settings before making any changes, just in case you need to roll back!

These tips should hopefully improve your home WiFi performance, and keep your personal information safe, giving you more time for that important video conference, or the Netflix binge you’ve got planned when the call is done.

Next month I’ll look at additional ways you can use your WiFi router to protect yourself and your household from undesirable and dangerous content, and after that, take a look at the Internet of things (IOT) devices we are bringing into our homes, and the related security implications.

This article was first published on ITWeb on 17 June 2020

IoT balancing act

The big difference between cyber immunity and human immunity

By 2020No Comments

Comparisons between cyber security and human health are inevitable, especially given that we’re in the middle of a global health crisis. And Acronis has produced a particularly compelling white paper: Five Phases of Cyber Immunity: Acronis Cyber Protect that compares digital and human health from the point of view of prevention, detection, response, recovery and forensics.

It’s a fascinating read and the similarities are remarkable, so we’d urge you to read the white paper itself.

But there was one significant difference between digital and biological systems, and their response to attacks, that caught our attention: recovery. We all know that even if we are in the best of health, eating well, practicing good hygiene and up-to-date with our vaccinations, even a bout of the common cold can mean a few days of recuperation before we are back to normal again.

And yes, the same can be said for a cyber security threat: the attack itself can disable systems, but even once cyber defence mechanisms have stopped the attack, recovering data and getting systems up and running again can take hours, days or even weeks. And in the case of irretrievable data loss, you may never fully recover.

But, Acronis Cyber Protect has the ability to restore a system to a previously known “good state” without any data loss. This is thanks to Acronis’s two decades’ of experience in protecting against data loss, and it has now brought these abilities into the cyber protection space with the integration of a full-stack antivirus solution that can scan backups; vulnerability assessment capabilities with patch management; and Acronis’s award-winning AI-powered anti-ransomware and anti-malware.

One of the new features in Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud that keeps data from being lost is Continuous Data Protection which solves the challenge of how to protect data between backups. This capability defines the critical apps that users work with most often on every device. The Acronis agent then monitors every change made in these listed applications and backs up the changes immediately. This creates a zero recovery point objective (RPO) and, in case of a malware infection, the client can restore without losing data.

Acronis Cyber Protect also applies missing patches and removes any embedded threats from the backup, allowing digital systems to recover fully to their best health, far more quickly than humans recover from illness.

Read the Acronis whitepaper to find out more, and let us know if you would like an introduction to one of our MSP partners offering Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud.

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 10 June 2020

My top Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud security features

By 2020No Comments

Nick Keene

By Nick Keene, Synapsys Presales Engineer

Two weeks ago I answered some of the technical questions about Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud that arose during an MSP webinar series. As promised, I’m back and this time will highlight my favourite cyber protect features as well as provide some direction on getting started with offering Acronis Cyber Protect to your customers.

As a reminder, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud launched globally last month and is a single solution that integrates backup, disaster recovery, AI-based protection against malware and ransomware, remote desktop, and security tools in a single agent. You can read about the launch here.

As part of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, Acronis has introduced 22 new cyber security features, with more on the way. Here are my top five from the launch:

1.Auto-discovery of new machines 

As long as you have at least a single cyber protect agent installed, you can remotely identify new machines that have entered your environment, and then remotely install the agent on that machine. This makes onboarding and installation simpler and faster, enhancing the overall protection of your environment and its devices.

2. Hard disk drive health monitoring and AI-based failure prediction

This helps you predict when a hard drive will fail, ensuring you have less downtime and also can plan your hardware inventory in time for your customers’ requirements.

3. Anti-malware scanning of backups

With Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud you can offload malware scanning from production machines and to backups located in the cloud. This helps to reduce complaints about machines slowing down during scheduled scans. It also increases overall protection as this prevents malware from being backed up and ensures scans take place even if devices are switched off during the scheduled scan window. Meanwhile real-time threat detection continues to protect the endpoint devices.

4. Recommended actions by Acronis Cyber Protection Operations Centers (CPOC)

These cyber security updates and remediation recommendations ensure you are fully informed and protected against new threats that you might not yet be aware of, including natural disasters. The updates, via the dashboard, include recommendations for optimising protection plans in response to current threat landscapes. This feature amounts to built-in security operations services.

5. Fail-safe patching: backup endpoint before installing patches 

This saves the day in cases where a patch or update results in a failure to the machine, for instance it won’t boot. Simply roll back to just before you applied the patch and start again.

For more insight into protecting endpoints during remote work, read this article by Synapsys MD, Peter French.

These are just five of the 22 features at launch, and this list will grow as the product matures. Already Acronis has launched voice control and a video conferencing security feature to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To get started offering Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud to your customers:

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is now fully deployed to all Acronis data centres around the world. Your reseller partner, or MSP, will need to activate Cyber Protect Cloud for you. From there you can easily activate it for all your customers in your management console.

If you need support, in the first instance, contact your service provider or partner and if necessary they will escalate the matter. In addition, to help service providers to support their customers, Acronis offers free tier one support training.

Remember that Acronis is offering zero-rated usage on the new product until the end of July 2020, so now is a good time to sign up.  Please get in touch to do so: here are our contact details, and we promise we reply to the web chat very quickly during office hours.

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 3 June 2020

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud now available: ‘Vaccine’ option for cyber threats

By 2020No Comments

Following Acronis’s early May launch of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, Synapsys, the leading distributor of Acronis cyber protection in Africa, has seen its first managed service provider (MSP) partners go live with the service. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is the first cyber protection solution that integrates backup, disaster recovery, next-generation anti-malware, anti-virus, cybersecurity and management tools into a single console. This groundbreaking product is the culmination of intensive R&D by over 500 researchers and analysts at Acronis.

“This is truly a golden opportunity for our partners: the benefit of offering an integrated, easy-to-use, cost-effective cyber protection solution enables the early adopters to disrupt the endpoint security and data protection market. What’s more, our existing partners can quickly and easily upgrade their existing backup clients to Acronis Cyber Protect with a literal click of a button,” says Peter French, Managing Director of Synapsys.

Backup is Dead

“Traditional backup is dead because it is not secure enough, and traditional anti-viruses do not protect data from modern cyberthreats. Legacy solutions are no longer able to counteract the dangers businesses face,” said Acronis Founder and CEO Serguei “SB” Beloussov.

How is Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud helpful against cyber threats?

Cyber Protect Cloud delivers AI-powered data protection and cybersecurity, and empowers users to address modern cyber threats. It allows organisations to share highly sensitive data, and to protect conference call applications – a critical resource for most organisations worldwide these days. Demonstrating simplicity and ease of management, it offers:

  1. one unified licensing model;
  2. one agent and backend;
  3. one management console;
  4. one user interface;
  5. and a high level of integration among services – sharing data and automating actions to greatly improve the security for endpoint and edge devices.

 

“We are excited for the launch of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud,” said Nick Keene, Presales Engineer, Synapsys. “It’s a great product, and having a unified product with a single agent and interface will make a big difference in our market. It should be a game changer.” (Read more feedback from the beta case studies here.)

The benefits for MSPs

The tool eliminates complexity and enables them to efficiently make security a focal point of their portfolios, and meet their clients’ expectations. It brings vendor consolidation and frees up time to focus on other business operations.

The benefits for enterprises and individuals

With remote working now firmly established, ensuring endpoint security is critical – Cyber Protect Cloud allows individuals to monitor devices and automatically stop threats.  Attaining a perfect score in independent lab tests, Cyber Protect Cloud has also been hailed by the IDC as “one of the most comprehensive attempts to provide data protection and cybersecurity”.

In the build up to the launch, Synapsys hosted a webinar series to introduce the new product to its MSP partners and the feedback was enormously positive. Highlights include:

  • Protection of videoconferencing (e.g.: WebEx, Zoom): The system runs an automatic check, and notifies the user that the call is secured.
  • URL filtering / phishing protection: The system notifies of the danger and stops the malicious site from accessing the device.
  • Native VPN capability: Customers can easily and securely connect to their corporate network.
  • Remote Desktop connection: IT administrators can access devices remotely via the web-based management console.
  • Patch Management: Software patches can be applied remotely from the web-based management console.

Let us know if you would like an introduction to one of our MSP partners offering Acronis Cyber Protect and to find out more about Cyber Protection for remote work.

This article was first published on ITWeb on 27 May 2020

Top tips for safe working from home, from our friends at Acronis

By 2020No Comments

Even as many countries around the world start relaxing their COVID-19 lockdown rules allowing more people to return to their workplace, working from home and remote working is here to stay. For instance, in South Africa, most banks are choosing to keep many of their people at home, even after 1 June when we switch to alert level 3. We’ve been doing the same at Synapsys: even though as an essential service we have been able to return to our offices, we’ve continued working from home and are planning a phased return over the next few months where we alternate between going to the office and working from home.

Of course, as a country we’ve been warned to expect the restrictions to ebb and flow as the disease flares up in hotspots, so it is not unlikely that people who return to the office next month, might find themselves working from home again.

All this is to say that any adjustments in how you and your people work from home or remotely are for the long haul. Companies are reporting a 40% increase in cyberattacks since they started working remotely, and so our partner Acronis has been sharing some invaluable advice, especially around cyber protection, for remote workers. We’ve collected a selection of their tips here.

Maréva Koulamallah, Acronis’s Head of PR & Communication for EMEA recommends:

  1. Plan ahead but also be ready for last minute changes. 
  2. Prioritise. Keep tight deadlines in mind first. 
  3. Accept that some things might take longer but do not give up. Focus, in the meantime, where you have the strongest impact. 
  4. Communicate a lot and do not fear mistakes, that is how we learn. Correct them quickly.
  5. Do not blindly trust the technology and implement the right cyber protection.

 

It’s astonishing how fast criminals are to take advantage of a situation. These are just a few examples from around the world. And in South Africa we’ve seen our own variations: notably PerSwaysion, which targets corporate email accounts exploiting Microsoft logins, and is very sophisticated and detail oriented. Other scams include messages claiming to be from banks about cashflow relief, fake purchase orders or payment notifications, and to students and staff of academic institutions that are suddenly all remote.

More tips from Maréva.

Speaking on an April webinar around staying cyberfit during the COVID-19 outbreak, Candid Wüest, VP of cyber protect research at Acronis shared a number of recommendations. Here are some highlights.

  1. Update default passwords on WiFi connections and routers.
  2. Log out or lock your laptop when you’re not using it.
  3. Update and patch your software.
  4. Use sophisticated security software on all the devices on the same network.
  5. Use strong and unique passwords — a password manager can help with this.
  6. Use two factor authentication where available.
  7. Separate your home and work accounts on your laptop — this can help with productivity too.
  8. Don’t overshare on social media — that picture of your cat joining your video conference is cute but be careful about what other information you could be inadvertently sharing.
  9. Only use approved data sharing platforms.
  10. Backup all your data daily and encrypt your device or enable remote wipe.

 

Let us know if you would like an introduction to one of our MSP partners offering Acronis Cyber Protect and to find out more about Cyber Protection for remote work.

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 27 May 2020

Top six technical questions about Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud

By 20202 Comments

Nick Keene

By Nick Keene, Synapsys Presales Engineer

In late March and early April we ran a series of webinars introducing our partners across Africa to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud in advance of its launch earlier this month. As well as giving an overview of the new cyber protect features and doing a quick demo of the updated dashboard, there was a chance for attendees to ask me questions. I thought these would be useful to share here as well, as they are questions other managed service providers (MSPs) might have.

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is a single solution that integrates backup, disaster recovery, AI-based protection against malware and ransomware, remote desktop, and security tools in a single agent. Read about the launch here.

In this post, I’ll cover the top six technical questions attendees asked us during the webinars, and then in two weeks’ time I’ll tackle questions around getting started with offering Acronis Cyber Protect to your customers.

1.Can a tenant be upgraded to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud without having to reconfigure backups and agents?

Yes, it’s a simple process to upgrade your customers to the new editions. You just toggle a switch in your customers’ settings to upgrade their service.

2.If I run integration services such as WHMCS and I switch to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, will I have to reintegrate everything from scratch?

Typically no. You may have to wait for the developer of your integration service to update with the new offerings, however Acronis is dedicated to ensuring seamless and complete integration with its platform.

3.Will the Acronis Cyber Infrastructure scan backups if you use your own storage?

Not immediately on release. But it is an important feature that Acronis wants to roll out as soon as possible. We currently have no information on when this feature is being released.

4.Does the remote desktop protocol (RDP) run on port 3389 and is this a solution for companies that don’t have a VPN?

The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud RDP connection is tunneled over HTTPS and doesn’t require a VPN or port-forwarding on the customer’s side.

5.Will the Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud RDP log out a current user or mirror the screen?

It will log the user out. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud RDP connection uses standard RDP protocols so works similarly to how other RDPs you may have used work.

6.If you only backup a single file, will Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud still protect the system from vulnerabilities, malware and ransomware?

Yes, while the anti-malware protection and vulnerability scanning forms part of the protection plan, they are configured individually and do apply to the entire machine regardless of what is backed up.

I hope that was helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions or would find a follow-up webinar useful.

Remember that Acronis is offering zero-rated usage on the new product until the end of July 2020, so now is a good time to sign up.  Please get in touch to do so: here are our contact details, and we promise we reply to the web chat very quickly during office hours.

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 20 May 2020