IT News
December 2016

In This Issue




All 2016 recycling proceeds are donated to Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia.  Read more about their mission here!

Connect With Us
The 2016 Best of Gwinnett is underway!  Would you give us your vote?  Click here and then click on the Vote for Us! Icon.

CryptoLocker update - I know I sound like a broken record, but the latest CryptoType malware is vicious.  We are reaching out to all clients to review backup and protection over the next few weeks.  If you have an immediate need or question, please feel free to contact me.

As we celebrate the holidays, we wish you and yours the most joyous celebration for the season.


Thanks from all of us at LAN Systems, 


Microsoft Announces Azure Credits for Nonprofits
If you are a nonprofit organization or board member or know of an organization that would benefit from the Microsoft Azure program, please reach out to us!

Microsoft has announced its nonprofit program that provides $5000 in annual Cloud credits to qualifying organizations. This generous donation will allow organizations to implement the most modern of Cloud solutions often with no additional subscription cost to their mission.

Use credits for data backup, disaster recovery, mobile options or a server upgrade.

For more information, click here.
CryptoLocker Malware - An evergrowing threat
Last week, a CryptoType of malware infected the San Francisco transit system demanding $73,000 in bitcoin ransom. The hacker used a email address to correspond with the victim in what is considered a novice method.  Novice or not, the latest Crypto infections have evolved by using new attack methods and infecting many more types of files, including encrypted backups.

The only real remedy is a complete and offline backup so that encrypted files can be
restored. Of course, you should still utilize early prevention and notification with anti-virus, anti-malware, heuristics and intrusion prevention, but preventative measures are less effective with a quickly evolving threat.

Recently, many experts have discussed how alarmingly sophisticated the threats have become.  They have evolved to encrypt most file types and they specifically attack backup files. The use of servers outside of legal jurisdiction that distribute and secure the encryption key, the use of very strong encryption and use of skilled, untraceable payment methods led all to believe that this was the work of experts. But the latest rash of infections seem so amateur that they are most likely from script kiddies.

Script kiddies use prepackaged programs created by others to launch their attacks. They create their own email or other exploit to execute the program and extort a ransom. Crypto and other packages can be bought on the Dark Web for as little as $39. There is also a subscription program called Ransomware-as-a-Service or RaaS for short.

If you want to read more about some recent threats, here is a good article from Bleeping Computer.

Click here if you want to know more about script kiddies.

Atlanta Ballet Case Study

"Taking on a project of this size and scope would not have been possible without the help of a technology partner like LAN Systems. LAN Systems has found new technology to help update our current systems allowing for flexibility as we continue to evaluate our technology needs. - Mary French, Operations Director
Executive Summary
Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker is the largest production in the Southeast and is so because of the beautiful scenes, opulent costumes and beloved dancers.  They are devoted to making the Nutcracker and all their productions classical and modern. So it is not surprising that they take the same approach with their technology. 
Atlanta Ballet implements technology life cycle management to review their infrastructure and modernize through planned phases. Their technology review process was the perfect time to look at the latest innovations available to improve security, update the computer network and enhance disaster recovery.
As an early adopter of Office 365, their progression into the Cloud through Microsoft Azure workloads was a natural next step.  Using the Microsoft Donation Program, they were able to offset some of the cost by using their credits to implement the most modern Cloud technology.  In developing their next generation technology life cycle program, they will be prepared to use Cloud resources that provide anywhere-anytime access, improved security and on-demand expansion.
For the full case study click here.