Tech news moves at such a rapid pace that in the busyness of today’s world it can be easily missed. With this in mind, we compile and analyse trending tech stories of the month and how they relate to Managed IT Services. This month we’re focusing on the Microsoft 10 end of life announcement and what that means for your business. We’ll also discuss recent high profile data breaches and ransomware cases.
Windows 10 End of Life announcement
Microsoft has announced that they will be retiring Windows 10 starting from the 14th of October 2025 as the end of life date. This means that from that date, Windows 10 will no longer receive support or patch updates. In turn, this could leave your device exposed to viruses and other issues. This announcement has come as a surprise as Microsoft have firmly stated in the past that Windows 10 would be the “last version of Windows” (source: CRN). However, Microsoft are expected to reveal the next generation of windows at an upcoming event tomorrow.
What is ‘End of Life’?
End of life/support is a date set by Microsoft that, after which, a certain product will no longer receive support. This may be in the form of software patches or security updates. Once these software patches and updates stop, your device becomes susceptible to viruses and other security issues. For example, recently both Windows 7 and Windows 8 have respectively reached end of life status. You can read more about the end of life for Windows 7. The Emotet and BlueKeep attacks of 2019 specifically targeted pre-Windows 8 operating systems. This served as an important reminder of the dangers that come with not updating end of life software.
What’s next for Windows?
All will be unveiled at the upcoming Microsoft event, however, speculation around Windows 11 has been bubbling for some time. Microsoft itself has been capitalising on the wide-spread interest surrounding the new operating system teasing tech fans with a series of cryptic tweets and videos such as an 11 minute video featuring every start up sound from Windows 95 slowed by 4000%. Microsoft exec Yusuf Mehdi said he hasn’t “been this excited for a new version of Windows since Windows 95!” (source: The Verge). All will seemingly be revealed in a few short weeks.
JBS SA ransomware attack halts North American and Australian production
The North American and Australian division of JBS meat packers were hit by a ransomware attack earlier this month causing operations and production to halt. Ransomware is a form of malware designed to restrict user’s access to files and information on their PC through encryption. These hackers then demand a ransom payment in order to decrypt your files. It is estimated that JBS paid approximately $14.1 million to retrieve stolen data and files.
Why you shouldn’t pay the ransom
Paying the ransom in the event of a ransomware attack seems like the most straightforward solution. However, this is not the case, here are a condensed list of reasons why paying the ransom does not work:
- Paying the ransom doesn’t necessarily fix everything. In a lot of cases hackers will leave malware behind once they’ve compromised your network. Thereby leaving a window of opportunity to re-infect your pc at another point in time.
- Despite paying the ransom, the hacker may not be able to decrypt your files. In some cases, the ransomware may be poorly coded or deployed and it is possible the hackers themselves may not be able to decrypt your files even if you pay the ransom.
- There is no guarantee you will actually get your files back if you pay the ransom. Cybercriminals exist to disrupt business, whilst the allure of cybercrime is to extort money, some also do it purely to wreak havoc upon businesses.According to a report by CyberEdge Group, 80% of victims who paid the ransom didn’t get their files back.
- Paying the ransom incentivises these ransomware attacks. By paying the ransom you are proving that the attack is successful in its end goal: getting money. This money will be funneled back into the scam to hit as many businesses as possible.
Australians lost $851 million to scammers in 2020
According to a report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australians lost $851 million to tech scammers in 2020. The report found that the most prevalent scam categories were investment schemes, dating and romance scams, payment redirection scams and shopping scams. In a year characterised by confusion, loss and uncertainty, scammers readily took advantage of the global pandemic in order to scam businesses and people with apparent success. Last year, we extensively covered the trend of coronavirus themed phishing scams.
What does this report mean?
Despite a plethora of information and knowledge surrounding scams these days, people still fall for them. Scams are always evolving and sophisticating which makes them hard to tie down, similarly, they inevitably rely on human error which will always be existent in some form.
Ransomware and other types of cybercrime attacks
The JBS ransomware attack and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report shows us that anyone from ginormous corporations to regular people can fall victim to tech scams. However, this can be circumvented when you partner with a Managed Service Provider with a focus on Cyber Security such as Milnsbridge IT. At Milnsbridge, we take cyber security seriously and provide our customers with the best-in-business security software such as SentinelOne and work within policies such as our Secure Operating Environment (SOE) standards and protocols.
That’s a wrap of the latest tech stories for June, if you are interested in discussing the benefits of Cyber Security and Managed Services solutions, call Milnsbridge today on 1300 300 293 to talk to one of our dedicated engineers.