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How Reboot/Restore Protects Your PC When Antivirus Software Can’t

Not everyone knows how to restore a computer after it has been invaded by malware. Sometimes the process involves rebuilding the operating system, reinstalling applications, and (hopefully) restoring files from a backup source. Usually workplace computers have multiple safeguards in place to prevent viruses and ensure files are backed up properly, but people may be less vigilant with their home computers.

Computer recovery after a virus doesn’t have to be a grueling ordeal.

Unfortunately, learning how to restore a computer or hiring someone to do the job for you can be expensive and time-consuming. There are different approaches people can use to keep their home computers safe and avoid having to do an in-depth computer recovery. Two of the main techniques are whitelisting and use of antivirus software. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Whitelisting: Effective but Sometimes Overly Restricting

On the one hand, whitelisting is amazingly effective at preventing malware infestations, because it forces you to explicitly list all applications that are allowed to run on a computer, with the operating system blocking everything else. Malware may try to gain entry to “the club,” but if its name isn’t on the list, it’s not getting in.

While whitelisting is a remarkably effective way to avoid having to do a computer recovery, it can be a hassle to set up. To do so, you must implement “signatures” for the applications you want to allow. If you have multiple home computers in a network, you’ll have to distribute the whitelist to all the machines. When you upgrade software, you have to create new signatures for updated applications. Whitelisting can be overkill for the home computer.

Antivirus Software and the Virus “Arms Race”

While everyone should have antivirus software and make sure that it stays up to date, it’s important to know that antivirus software is involved in a constant game of catching up. Computer hackers and antivirus software makers are engaged in something like an arms race, where hackers develop a new way to invade and infect computers and antivirus software makers develop ways to prevent it.

Antivirus software is essential and can go a long way toward protecting your home computer, but it isn’t 100% perfect. By definition it misses zero-day exploits, which are becoming more common. Miss an antivirus software update, and you could put your computer at considerable risk.

Reboot/Restore Strikes the Perfect Balance for Home Computer Users

Reboot/restore technology offers more security than antivirus protection alone.

Reboot/restore technology can be the ideal balance between the restrictions of whitelisting and the vulnerabilities of solely relying on antivirus protection. This technology has been used for a long time by organizations like libraries and those who run computers in public kiosks. What it does is create a snapshot of a known “good” image of Windows, plus all required applications, which should be patched, up-to-date, and ready for use. When you use your computer you’re operating on the snapshot image. Changes you make are erased at the end of your use session. The approved snapshot is returned for use next time you or someone else uses the computer.

With reboot/restore technology, you can still save files to network drives or designated parts of the hard disk. These designated disk areas are not erased and rewritten after every computer session. With reboot/restore technology, you don’t have to know how to restore a computer. If there is a problem, all you do is reboot to perform a perfect computer recovery.

Conclusion

Reboot/restore technology, like that used in SmartShield Antivirus by Centurion Technologies essentially lets you “reboot to restore,” taking the machine back to a known point where everything works. If a virus makes it past your antivirus software, you can simply reboot your computer and it’s gone. SmartShield Antivirus catches all changes to a disk, which it funnels into a virtual “container” that is emptied when a use session is over. Say you’re working on a document and save it to a designated folder on the hard drive, then go online and manage to pick up a virus. All you have to do is reboot to rid your computer of the malware and you can go right back to work on your document.

SmartShield Antivirus not only allows you to reboot to restore so you don’t have to know how to restore a computer, it also has antivirus protection, so your computer is protected in two important ways. You don’t have to resort to whitelisting to protect your computer. Reboot/restore technology makes computer recovery as simple as rebooting.

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Stopping the Hackers: Cyber Edition

What’s out there? The cyber world has evolved to become a dark and petrifying place for unsuspecting users. Malware, Spyware, Viruses, Phishing, RansomWare, and the list goes on. Thus, how do you combat such vicious attempts to collect your data?

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Introduction To SmartShield® CurrentWare

Improve your computer systems with the perfect complement to our SmartShield® products. SmartShield® CurrrentWare software is ideal at preventing unauthorized access to websites and documents. There are several features which facilitate this powerful benefit and help you to maintain a quality computing infrastructure for all your users.

BrowseControl

Keep your staff focused and prevent guests from accessing sites you don’t want them to. This feature allows you to permanently block sites from being accessed from any on your network and enforces your internet usage policies as you define them. There are several elements to this feature including:

  • Controlling who has access to the internet and who does not.
  • Two lists for which website can be accessed and which are restricted.
  • HTTPS filtering.
  • URL Category filtering.

BrowserReport

See what your users are doing with the BrowserReport function. This allows you to check if your users are adhering to your internet usage policies. The tool tracks their activity and monitors the bandwidth being used. An auto-generated report is emailed to you directly if improper use of the internet occurs. Finally, should you require it; authorised personnel can take screenshots of what your users are doing from any computer.

AccessPatrol

In today’s world there are numerous external storage devices that can interface with your machines. Protecting your systems and the data they control is paramount. AccessPatrol gives you this power by offering a proactive solution for securing organisational endpoints to prevent unwanted transfer of sensitive data.

This feature allows you to control the access of any device, restricting it to only being able to read or write data or block the device entirely. You will also have access to usage reports which can be automatically emailed to relevant members of your organisation.

enPowerManager

Effectively manage the power usage of your computer system by seeing where energy is being used and remotely shut down, restart, hibernate or place a computer on standby. This helps your organization to conserve energy and save money.

Get the ultimate package to improve your computing systems today and see how the extra protection saves you from unwanted system changes, energy usage and costs.

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How To Know If A Website Is Safe

Browsing the internet is not always the safest activity. Some websites have software that will deviously install itself on your computer and potentially steal financial details, slow down your computer or send you unwanted advertising emails.

The majority of this software is downloaded when you visit websites that aren’t safe. How can you tell whether a site is safe to visit or not?

Common Tips

One of the best tips for your online browsing safety is to double check the url of every site you enter. Many websites hosting malicious software will closely mimic official sites in their address. For instance, sometimes they will have an extra letter or have one left off.

You could also use sites that use HTTPS instead of HTTP. However, the former of these isn’t foolproof and some websites which are legitimate will use HTTP.

There are also some handy tools for checking websites that you are visiting are safe. The first is Google Safe Browsing. To use this service, type in http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site= (ex. http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=www.centuriontech.com) followed by the website you wish to test. You can also test IP address. The results will let you know whether the site has hosted any malware software within the last three months.

HpHosts is another similar service. For this, simply enter in the site into the search box and it will check that against a database of known problematic websites.

Where You Are Visiting

Another common tip to help you protect your computers is to avoid certain industries. Gambling, adult themed and file sharing sites are normally accused of being malware hosts. Therefore, it is best to avoid these websites.

Finally another good piece of advice for knowing whether the sites you are visiting are safe and secure is to trust your browser. At times they will attempt to warn you about the security certificates being out of date or other details that raise the red flag to your browser.

Conclusion

Protecting your computer­ can be a difficult task. Keeping to high quality websites and those that do not host malicious software is sometimes a game of Russian roulette. However, by following the advice above you can reduce the risks of surfing the internet.

For further protection while browsing the internet evaluate SmartShield® CurrentWare, our web filtering software.

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Major Banks Hacked – How SmartShield Can Help

News has just been released that some major banks all of the world have been breached and large sums of monies were stolen. The culprits instead of using the front doors stole the money via hacking into the banks’ computer systems and then making money transfers to themselves.

During one of the most sophisticated hacking and bank robbery incidents of modern times, it is estimated that as much as $1 billion has been taken from over 100 banks from across the world. What happened and how could this security breach have been prevented?

The Crime

The scam worked by infecting the computer systems of bank workers with malware. This software monitored their keystrokes and by taking screenshots of the workers’ computer screens. This allowed the hackers to understand and get to know the banks’ process. Then, the hackers pretended to be employees of the system and, by exactly mimicking the bank process, transferred funds to rogue accounts.

The process happened over many months and in some cases, money was given to the criminals by telling ATMs to release cash remotely. At these locations, there would be associates of the hackers ready to pick up the cash.

The theft went unrecorded for so long for two main reasons:

  1. Relative to normal bank transaction levels, the amount stolen per transaction was relatively low.
  2. All the transactions were done as if an employee of the bank had processed the action.

Was There Anything That Could Be Done?

The critical aspect of the bank robbery was the malware was installed on the local devices of bank employees. The software called ‘Carbanak’ was all that was needed for the thieves to monitor the regular activities of their targets. Then, it helped them gain access to the network via other machines and pretend to be employees.

The Solution

Right now the banks that were targeted are actively taking steps to stop further attacks from happening. These banks should look no further than: SmartShield® Suite. This security protection software would have stopped the malware from getting access to the system in the first place by keeping it on a virtual hard drive after it was first downloaded. This virtual hard drive prevents the program from making any permanent changes to the computer system.

When the computer is restarted, the malware would have simply been wiped off with the rest of the data that was on the virtual server with Centurion Technologies, Next Generation Security Protect Software. This simple security protection can be supported with other products such as CurrentWare and SmartShield® Anti-virus. Although, SmartShield® Suite, by itself, would have provided the necessary security software to alleviate this breach.

What are you doing to protect your computer systems from hackers? Have you had a major incident?

Let us know in the comments below.

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SmartShield is in Processor

SmartShield is in the Processor magazine! That’s right Centurion Technologies’ product can now be found in the print and online versions of the magazine. Processor writes:

“Not only does the advanced antivirus keep up with changing attack strategies, SmartShield erases malware with fail- safe protection on every restart. The suite has two layers of protection—hard drive protection and antivirus—which separates this product from all the competition.”

To read more of the article click on the link:

http://www.processor.com/article/16819/next-generation-computer-protection

Processor Article

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Introduction to SmartShield Suite

Get the very best protection for your organization’s computer systems with the SmartShield® Suite. Our enterprise level product is the perfect solution for your organization, whether a large corporate organisation or small independent library, to protect and manage your valuable software systems.

The SmartShield® Suite comes with several unique benefits to defend your systems from unwanted attacks, while providing you with unparalleled control. SmartShield® Suite includes several features:

Hard Drive Protection

The system will automatically wipe away unwanted changes from your hard drive every time you reboot the system. This stops your hard drive from becoming corrupted by malware, viruses, malicious activity or accidental user error.

USB Blocking And Filtering

Keep your data and computer systems clean by blocking the downloading of content from any external storage devices. You can also prevent users from uploading sensitive information to external storage devices through this function; keeping your documents secure.

Make Changes Remotely

Make maintaining your entire IT infrastructure easier by utilizing the file transfer and remote execute features. Both of these allow your technical team to install and share documents, perform updates and install patches on any local machine from their terminal.

Schedule In Maintenance

Ensure your computer systems have the latest updates from Microsoft and other applications by automating the process. At the same time, you can schedule in an auto-shut down of all terminals from one location.

Easy To Troubleshoot

Need to aid your staff and teach them how to use a program? Then use the screenshare feature through SmartShield® to teach them remotely. During the process you can see and share the user’s desktop to help them learn new systems or solve technical problems.

Be Green

Want to be environmentally friendly and save money? Use the Energy Saver feature to generate accurate energy saver reports based on computer profiles and local energy costs.

Antivirus

Gain extra protection from the internet with our Antivirus software; a plug-in available that will defend your computer system from rogue programs that can hide in websites, emails and attachments.

Purchase the SmartShield® Suite now and protect and manage your organisation’s computer systems better than ever before.

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SmartShield Optional Modules Overview

SmartShield is the Next Generation Computer Protection that has many optional modules, such as: Screenview, V-Control, Optional Directory Protection (ODP), Energy Saver, & Antivirus. Watch the video to learn more about each one.

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SmartShield® Suite Best Practices Webinar

Centurion Technologies would like to offer you the chance to better understand our SmartShield® Suite product. This webinar will cover the features and functions of SmartShield® Suite software.

Learn the Basics of SmartShield® Suite:

  • Scheduling Windows Updates
  • SmartControl Basic Management
  • Using Optional Directory Protection

SmartShield® endpoint protection creates a virtual space where all unwanted changes are wiped away upon reboot, freeing the user to perform daily tasks without compromising the integrity of the system. Whether managing lab computers in a school, library, corporate or government environment, SmartShield® will provide the ultimate control over user workstations.