OMNI Solutions Group Blog

OMNI Solutions Group has been serving the Washington D.C. metropolitan area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical help-desk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Protect Your Business with Strong Network Security Practices

Protect Your Business with Strong Network Security Practices

With the surge in the number of small and medium businesses that have fallen prey to malware and cyber criminals, there is a lot of focus of what an organization can do to prevent being a victim and how the company should handle themselves after an attack. There is another key factor to preventing cyber criminals from penetrating into your network: your employees.

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Your Employees are Your Most Important Security Feature, and Biggest Risk

Your Employees are Your Most Important Security Feature, and Biggest Risk

Here’s a question: on a scale of one to ten, how confident are you that your employees are acting in the best interests of your organization’s network security? How confident are you that you’re setting a good example when it comes to handling your business’ security? Unfortunately, any confidence you have on this matter may be misplaced.

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Ransomware: Coming to a Mobile Device Near You

Ransomware: Coming to a Mobile Device Near You

Ransomware, the unpleasant form of malware dedicated to denying users access to their own device, has become more prominent with mobile technology. While ransomware is typically associated with desktop computers, it’s fully capable of infecting mobile devices. Therefore, it should be no surprise that cases Mobile-based ransomware have increased nearly four-fold in the past year.


According to software security group Kaspersky Lab, their customers in Germany were victimized by mobile ransomware at the highest rate worldwide, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Furthermore, Kaspersky cited that it protected 35,412 mobile users from ransomware between April of 2014 and March of 2015. During the next year, that total surged upwards to a total of 136,532 users protected. Mind you, these totals aren’t factoring in the number of users who fell victim to their attacks, meaning the actual totals of mobile ransomware victims are likely much, much higher.

Much like the ransomware that attacks desktop and laptop systems, mobile ransomware infects the victim’s phone--however, rather than encrypting the data contained on the phone, which many users have backed up, ransomware on a mobile device will simply block access to apps and display a note explaining how to pay the demanded ransom.

What’s more, many of these mobile ransomwares fight dirty, even by their hacking standards. One particular ransomware originating in Ukraine locks the keys and replaces the home screen with a fraudulent FBI warning and a MoneyPak voucher code. The recipient of such ransomware is someone who (according to the warning) has broken the law by visiting illegal adult-themed websites. The ransomware shows screenshots from said websites included from the user’s browser history, and demands a $500 fine.

Besides the repulsive nature of the screenshots, the most terrifying thing is how indiscriminate these attacks are in selecting their victims. All one needs to do is click on the wrong link on their smartphone to be infected. This was proven in 2014, when a 12-year-old girl unintentionally installed some malware that locked her phone. The malware downloaded some very illegal videos, and threatened to contact the FBI if she didn’t pay $500.

So, how can you defend yourself from mobile ransomware?

  • Update software on a regular basis: Malware and software updates are in a constant race to improve upon themselves, which means that outdated software simply won’t stand up to the more advanced malware. However, if regularly updated, your software stands a much better chance in fighting off an attack.
  • Utilize a cloud-based backup: While not the ideal circumstance, if your cell phone turns out to be beyond saving (without a complete and comprehensive wipe, at least) you will be very happy that your contacts and documents are safe in the cloud.
  • Avoid questionable downloads: Simply put, if you don’t trust the source of a download, don’t download it. Otherwise, you are inviting an attack into your phone.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to contact the authorities: For this we return to the 12-year-old girl from before, who ultimately contacted her local authorities to report the malware incident. Even if there is illegal material on your phone, law enforcement members will be able to tell that it’s a plant from ransomware.

For more tips on how to avoid threats on all of your devices, contact us at 301-869-6890.

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The Average Cost Per Data Breach Hits $4 Million

The Average Cost Per Data Breach Hits $4 Million

If you ever question why your business needs to take advantage of network security and all of its components, consider this fact: the average cost of data breaches, worldwide, has increased by 29 percent since 2013. Believe it or not, the average cost per data breach is now an astounding $4 million! Now, we’ll ask you again; can your business afford to deal with a data breach or data loss disaster?


These numbers come from a study performed by the Poneman Institute and IBM Data, where 283 companies from all over the world were examined. The results may be quite shocking, especially for a small business that may never have experienced a data breach. Here are some of the highlights of the study:

  • The United States leads in terms of sheer overall cost of breaches by record value. The value per record is $223 on average. In total, the average cost of a data breach in the United States was roughly $7.01 million.
  • Particular industries, like healthcare, education, and finance, have a higher value per record at $355, $246, and $221 respectively.
  • 48 percent of all data breaches were the result of malicious intent, like hacking attacks and network infiltrations.
  • Encryption and other security protocol decrease the costs of data breaches by up to $16/record.
  • How quickly a company responded to the security breach had a positive impact on the overall cost of the breach.
  • There’s a 26 percent chance that an enterprise will be hit by one or more data breaches of over 10,000 records within the next two years.

Think about it; a data breach has far more repercussions than just the strain on your budget. It can lead to a damaged reputation, as well as lost clients and revenue. Can you afford to lose clients and revenue, and more importantly, can you recover data that’s lost or stolen due to your negligence? It’s estimated that businesses that fail to recover their data following a breach, will go out of business within one year following the incident.

Another point of interest is the cost associated with data breaches and loss associated with these three leading factors:

Data theft due to malicious intent
$236 per record. This is data that’s considered lost or stolen due to a hacking attack, like ransomware or a network virus. Really, the sky’s the limit for data theft in this category; there are so many threats out there that it’s basically impossible to specifically prepare for each one.

Data loss due to hardware failure
$213 per record. This is data that’s lost due to system malfunctions or hardware failure, like a server or workstation crashing unexpectedly. Unlike hacking attacks, this is something that you can prepare for, by taking proper care of your technology and keeping an eye out for warning signs.

Data loss due to human error
$197 per record. This is data that’s lost when your users do something on accident, like move a file or expose credentials to hackers, that puts your data in harm’s way. This is a bit more difficult to protect from, as you’re relying on your end users knowing what they’re doing. Be sure to educate them on best practices, and ensure that they only have access to data that they absolutely need for their position.

Is your business prepared to handle the many situations that could lead to expensive and costly data breaches? If you’re not sure, reach out to OMNI Solutions Group. We offer several solutions that are designed to protect your business from all manners of threats, including proactive security solutions (firewall, antivirus, spam-blocking, content-filtering), backup and disaster recovery, and user access control. To get started, all you need to do is call 301-869-6890.

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72% of Organizations Believe BYOD is the Way to Go

72% of Organizations Believe BYOD is the Way to Go

Mobile devices continue to be an important part of doing business, and organizations are ready and willing to accept them into the workplace environment with open arms. Yet, the fact remains that doing so can be of significant risk. Believe it or not, the majority of businesses overwhelmingly support mobile devices, but don’t put measures into place that can protect them in the event of a hacking attack or data leak.


Data leakage is a primary concern for any business using employee-owned mobile devices in the workplace. Every business has sensitive information that cannot be exposed under any circumstances, and it’s the business owner’s responsibility to make sure that policies are put into place to protect this data.

A study by Bitglass reveals that 72 percent of many different types of organizations, including financial, technology, healthcare, government, and education, believe that BYOD should be supported for at least some of their employees. In terms of mobile device management, however, only a meager 14 percent of these organizations use some way of protecting corporate data with device encryption. This is a significant disparity, and one that should be considered when your organization implements a BYOD strategy.

You can’t allow your business to be the next to fall victim to mobile security threats. With a mobile device management solution from OMNI Solutions Group, your business can have full control over the devices that your employees want to use for their work roles, as well as the flow of data that’s stored on them. Below are some of the many features available for a mobile device management solution:

  • Whitelisting and blacklisting apps: Some applications will request access to information stored on a mobile device, but some won’t have any real reason to have access it. For example, a flashlight app has no business accessing your phone’s contacts or geographical location. By whitelisting and blacklisting apps, you can minimize your data’s exposure to threats.
  • Role-based user access: One of the easiest ways to minimize danger to your organization’s data is to limit who has access to it. By integrating role-based user access, you can allow your team to access data that they need to do their jobs properly, and keep them accessing that which they don’t.
  • Remote wiping: Sometimes the best way to prevent a data breach is by remotely wiping data from a lost or stolen device. You shouldn’t rely on the device showing up, especially if it were left in a public place like a bus or subway station. You should always be prepared for a worst-case scenario like this.

For more information about BYOD and our mobile device management solution, reach out to OMNI Solutions Group at 301-869-6890.

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Complacent IT Technicians Can Be a Company’s Worst Nightmare

b2ap3_thumbnail_be_safe_on_network_400.jpgThe modern business is inundated with all types of threats, from people outside the organization phishing around for information, to employees that are aloof to their role in your network’s security. If your network’s security is like a levee, it is indisputably an IT department’s job to fill in the gaps to ensure a deluge of misfortune doesn’t swamp your company’s IT. So what happens when your company’s IT department is the biggest offender of perilous activity?

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4 Ways To Protect Your Network from Hacking Attacks

b2ap3_thumbnail_secure_your_business_it_400.jpgAnyone who uses the Internet has to be aware of the dangers involved. Beyond the safety of your network’s security solution, there lies a horde of malicious entities just waiting for you to let your guard down. All it takes is one moment to release the floodgate and allow dangerous viruses, malware, or even ransomware, into your network infrastructure. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

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