ExchangeDefender Blog

March 3, 2016

How ExchangeDefender Protects You From Ransomware

Filed under: Business Tips,Consulting,ExchangeDefender — vlad @ 10:57 am

vcThere has been a lot of news coverage of the new wave of ransomware infecting businesses, encrypting hard drives and data on network shares and creating a “ransom” demand in order to unencrypt it. Initially these viruses traveled as typical viruses do – as executable attachments or inside zip files. Most popular of these was CryptoLocker which has made millions of dollars from businesses that didn’t have adequate protection, most recently from a Hollywood hospital that paid $17,000 to get it’s data back. But ransomware has taken a more evil turn – traveling not as an executable that users have been trained to avoid but as a macro inside Word and Excel documents that users often open without a second thought.

As with any threat, it’s important to layer protection and defend your business with a good firewall, good desktop security product as well as a perimeter scanning service we provide through ExchangeDefender.

ExchangeDefender Layered Protection

Before we discuss how ExchangeDefender protects you from ransomware, the most important aspect of IT security isn’t prevention – it’s education:

If you receive an attachment of any kind from a source you don’t recognize: do not open it.

If you receive an attachment from a source that you do recognize but it looks and feels suspicious: do not open it. If the email address looks wrong, if there are misspelled words, unusual formatting or unusual activity: stop.

But let’s talk about prevention. Our partners have many options of using ExchangeDefender to stop the spread of dangerous malware.

Attachment & Content Type Blocking: The following process is the most flawless, but most disruptive, way to address an epidemic. You can choose to let ExchangeDefender block attachments that are used by Microsoft Office documents. We do not recommend this route but it’s nice to know it’s there for the events in which people are getting infected and virus scanning has not been able to pick up threats faster than they are infecting systems.

OLE Virus Filtering: ExchangeDefender will block macro (.vbs) attachments outright. But with the rise of Locky ransomware we now also scan Microsoft Office documents and look for infected and dangerous malware placed in those. 

Known Threat Sources: ExchangeDefender also blocks dangerous content before it’s even an issue. Most of the threatening content is sent from the same sources that are popular with spammers, hackers and malware distributors: hacked PCs, servers, and blog sites. We maintain a realtime list of networks that spread dangerous content and routinely block their ability to infect our users.

Firewall & Site Blocking: Ultimately, the largest single source of infections isn’t the ExchangeDefender protected or hosted mailbox – it comes through Yahoo mail, Gmail and other non-business email service. If you aren’t blocking those at your work you need to be.

What else can be done?

As mentioned above, client education is the #1 way to address these. Contact our marketing department and ask them to build you a branded best practices flyer for email and Outlook (Hosted Exchange clients only). There are very simple ways to tell when a message is not from your bank or from UPS.

Establish a regularly scheduled backup system for all critical client PCs.

Layer your antivirus protection. No, one AV vendor is not enough and ExchangeDefender uses several commercial and dozens of proprietary data sources to detect and isolate dangerous content. No matter how much you love your single AV vendor and they claim they are the best – like everyone else they will have an infection evade their scan. If you only have one AV engine, consider adding something like ClamAV to your arsenal.

Establish a review of policies and security implementations. We often see that partners rarely configure ExchangeDefender or monitor it in a way that gives them actionable intelligence. The same can be said for client PCs: Are you monitoring your AV implementations? Are you checking that users aren’t turning off AV or firewalls? Are you looking at strange traffic patterns, use of private proxy or VPN networks to evade network security policies?

CryptoLocker and Locky are neither the first nor the most dangerous threats networks face. But with ExchangeDefender, education and layered security we can keep most online outbreaks from affecting business operations.


December 17, 2015

Take full advantage of our Holiday Promo before it’s too late!

Filed under: General — Anastasia @ 10:38 am

It’s time for the holidays and we want to help you end your year on a strong note. Don’t forget to take advantage of our current promotion running from Deceber 17th- December 31st! When ordering 5 mailboxes or more, just type in the code “XDHoliday and you will receive $4.00 off your order of 5 or more Hosted Exchange plus SharePoint mailboxes. Happy Holidays from all of us here at ExchangeDefender!

Holiday Promo


December 9, 2015

Billing Compliance & Reporting Changes in 2016

Filed under: Announcements — vlad @ 2:56 pm

ExchangeDefender has always been a partner-focused organization and we’ve always done everything in our power to assist partners when bill payments became difficult. Unfortunately, with 2016 our upstream vendors are implementing stricter controls which will see some of our services stop to function on accounts that are seriously past due. Here are current policies as they stand:

Payments for all services are due on the 1st of the month. Any users with active service subscriptions at this point make us liable for licensing fees.

If your credit card is declined it will be automatically attempted on 1st, 2nd and 3rd of the month (regardless of whether it’s a weekday or the weekend).

By the 5th of the month you will receive an email, a support ticket and a personal phone call alerting you to the problem with the billing with an option to pay for the service with a new credit card, Paypal or check (United States only).

If the invoice is not paid by the 10th of the month, services are suspended and there is a $10 late fee.

If the invoice is further ignored by the 15th of the month, all services will be suspended with the account subject to deletion. Logging into the support portal will show you the following:

billDelinquency

While we regret the inconvenience these changes will be causing, they are not up to us. Our vendors, who control and own licensing that you may be renting on a monthly basis as a subscription, can deactivate their license if it is not paid. While we are liable for the entire license count, there are certain promotional licenses for trials, educational, non profit and special licensing and new management software (that come with new servers) give some vendors advanced control over their licensing.

But we really cannot pay because _____.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get around not paying the bill for the services rendered. The only way to maintain service is to transfer the service directly to us or one of our partners for billing.

What if we disagree with the invoice / items?

You have 30 days to contest items on an invoice. Pay for the seats you do not have an issue with to keep legitimate services free from any restrictions.


November 11, 2015

Thanksgiving Promotion

Filed under: General — Tags: — Anastasia @ 9:36 am

Starting today (November 11th) till December 11th, we will be running our Thanksgiving promotion. We are offering $3.00 off Full Hosted Exchange with an order of 5 mailboxes or more. Make sure to enter the code: XDThanks in order to get the promotion when ordering. If you have any questions please feel free emailing us at partners@exchangedefender.com

Thanksgiving Promo


November 6, 2015

ShockeyMonkey Migration Window Closing

Filed under: Shockey Monkey — vlad @ 8:37 am

From the initial release of ShockeyMonkey management platform we always hoped our partners would grow, succeed and eventually grow out of the free system we built to get them started. We’ve put in a lot of effort to create not just the migration but the co-existence system in ShockeyMonkey that would allow you to work in ShockeyMonkey while you moved your data up to a third party platform (Autotask, ConnectWise, etc).

As you have grown so has the monkey and with our upcoming updates in Shockey Monkey 2016 you’ll already be on one of the most powerful business management platforms around. On December 31st, 2015 we will cease supporting and integrating with third party PSA systems and will be removing third party proprietary APIs. Not only do we believe that we now have the best platform for our partners, but we had to make a decision about how we allocate scarce development resources and whether we invest them in you or in a third party.

You will still be able to export and back up your data and we will shortly introduce you to a third party that can help you port that data to any platform you wish. Unfortunately due to NDA and API contracts we cannot open source software that has third party API intellectual property nor would it be very helpful as those APIs tend to change frequently.

As always, thank you for trusting ShockeyMonkey to manage your business. We hope you continue to love what we are building for you.


August 21, 2015

Labor Day Promotion

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Anastasia @ 9:37 am

Come celebrate Labor Day with our promotion going on, starting September 7th and ending October 7th. We are offering $3.00 off Full Hosted Exchange and $1.00 off Compliance Archiving with an order of 5 mailboxes or more. The compliance accounts will then correspond to those 5 mailboxes. If you have any questions please feel free emailing us at partners@exchangedefender.com or calling us at (877) 546-0316.

Disclaimer: In order to receive the $1 off Compliance Archiving you must purchase Full Hosted Exchange of 5 mailboxes or more. The compliance accounts will then correspond to those 5 mailboxes.

Hosted Exchange:

Our world class Hosted Exchange offering is our most requested product due to it being all inclusive enterprise business grade solution. This product is an affordable and reliable method of communicating for your business. Included in the product

  • A free copy of Microsoft Outlook 2013, Outlook Web App 2013 which is compatible with most mobile browsers. Depending on the platform you select you will receive the corresponding outlook licence key (either 2010 or 2013). Also, Activesync for Windows Mobile, iPhone and Android, with powerful scheduling and messaging functionality.

Compliance Archiving:

ExchangeDefender’s Compliance Archiving is a secure, long-term storage recovery and eDiscovery system that ensures you are compliant with regulatory requirements established by IRS, HIPAA, SOX and SEC. Some of the highlights of this product are:

  • Flexible long-term archiving (up to 10 years beginning at the life of the mailbox), exchange journaling technology ensures full archiving of all inbound, outbound, and internal email, quick search results in emails as well as in attachments and affordable archiving with storage fees that grow with your business.

Copyright © 2015 ExchangeDefender All rights reserved.

Contact information

Toll-Free USA: (877)546-0316
International: +1 (407) 546-6800
United Kingdom: 0800 8620149
Australia: 3 9001 0641

Fax: (954) 839-8737
Email: partners@exchangedefender.com


June 30, 2015

XD Bug Fixes / Updates

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Cody Savage @ 11:21 am

Hey guys,
Over the past two weeks we’ve been fixing some of the little bugs and initiating some error trapping to improve the overall experience within Exchange Defender. We’ve been focusing on error trapping the account creation stage, making it easier to set up accounts correctly, and other stuff of that nature.

Updates:

• Account creation will now check for aliases before submitting, if an alias for the email address you are trying to create already exists and is tied to another account it will notify you of an issue. We’ve also configured it to check Distribution Groups, External Contacts and everything else to avoid having problems such as those pop up on account creation.

• All columns in the Service Manager are sort-able by their names, email addresses, domains.

• The Distribution Group tab now alphabetizes the list of users to make it easier to search through and search for users that are added or need to be added. The list is divided, the top of the list is email addresses added to the user group and the bottom of the list has External Contacts that have been added to the Distribution Group (each one is organized alphabetically).

• We fixed a bug with the CC Expiration Date for card holders using the year 2020. It would revert the CC Expiration date to show 2018.

• The Spam Quarantine for users now has a few options to make checking, deleting, or approving spam easier. It also has had some visibility tweaks / improvements to the message description format.

• We’ve gone through and fixed some of the errant CSS Style errors that were prevalent on some of our lesser used webpages and fixed some of the branding issues that existed on some of the pages in the admin portal.


March 10, 2015

New Marketing Initiatives

Filed under: Events and Conferences — vlad @ 12:17 pm

As I’ve been saying for several years now, the face of modern IT Solution Provider is changing. For over a decade Own Web Now and ExchangeDefender have been regular sponsors of IT events including Microsoft Big Day, Microsoft Technet, Microsoft Developers Conference, Autotask, ConnectWise, TigerPaw, SMB Nation, ASCII, HTG, Datto, nAble as well as many vertical specialty shows, product user groups and so on.

Around this time last year I wrote a post explaining that we are changing the way we help our partners grow and manage their clients. In the past it was enough to merely present the product and the partner would literally do everything else. But as the industry, partners (channel) matured the responsibilities have shifted in a way that makes ExchangeDefender far more than just an isolated vendor – today we provide billing, support, onboarding, troubleshooting, backoffice, direct sales and support as well as integration and audit services. We have some new people here to help us push our partners in the new direction.

As a result, our marketing budget has been reallocated to help serve your needs better. In the survey sent to our partner base only 3% of you indicated that you will personally attend one of the shows we planned to sponsor in 2015. But given the option to present an event, run a joint marketing campaign, assist with RFP and presale process, attend and sponsor lunch & learns… well, let’s just say nearly the entire marketing budget got moved to it.

I’m sure you want to know what I will do with my collection of white suits? Where will we get updated ExchangeDefender tshirts and Shockey Monkey USB chargers? Rest assured the answers are coming soon, but if you would like to get involved please get in touch with us.

Sincerely,

Vlad Mazek, CEO


February 13, 2015

LocalCloud – Update

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,General,Software — Tags: , — vlad @ 10:53 am

Today I’ve published an update for LocalCloud, which addresses a few issues that would result in a failure to upload a file. This issue would only occur under certain conditions and was only prevalent in large files It’s turns out this was a result of a known bug inside the .NET framework and how it handles event notifications for the filing system. In addition to resolving this bug, I’ve also implemented a few performance enhancements that should make the application run smoother.

Download: http://www.exchangedefender.com/software/XDStorage.exe

If you’re running a previous version make sure to uninstall it first. However, we’ve upgraded to a new installation platform and all future updates will be patched automatically.

lc_androidlc_iphone

Several months ago we added the LocalCloud feature set into our ExchangeDefender mobile application for both the iPhone and Android. Now you have the ability to access your files from your desktop, mobile workstation and practically any mobile device!

 

 

If you have never heard of LocalCloud, it’s a cloud based storage solution for documents. It recognizes multiple file types and is 100% compatible with office applications. You can share documents between computers and even allow other individuals access to your files. With multiple access points comes great responsibility, for this we have access control. This feature allows you or another individual to “check-out” files to prevent accidental overwrites while the data is exchanged in the cloud.

lc_desktop


February 11, 2015

Valentine’s Day Promotion

Filed under: General — Carlos @ 4:24 pm

LoveReturned

This year we’ll be focusing on our existing partner base even more. We’ll be cutting back on some of the road shows a bit and refocusing those resources to more efforts to reach out and help our current partners. We’re still offering migrations to our platform free of charge, if you aren’t aware of what we’re able to do, please give us a call at (877)546-0316.

Another step we will be taking is adding more promotions to help your growth. This month we’ll be showing you some “Love” for Valentine’s Day. Please be sure to keep an eye out in your physical mailbox. We sent out a “little something” for you guys to help you save some cash.

If you haven’t received a postcard from us by the end of next week reach out to to us we can get it to you electronically. If you need help with anything or have any questions about our free migration service please give us a call or email me and we can get the ball rolling.


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