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Here are the most frequently asked questions we have gathered from our clients. Please send us a message if you have more questions or don’t find your answer.
Does Active Cypher require adding infrastructure or learning special skills?
No. Active Cypher does not require dedicated hardware or third-party, non-Microsoft platforms. It simply extends the effectiveness of the Microsoft Active Directory architecture and administrative skills your organization has today.
What are the minimum software requirements to install and run Active Cypher?
In order to run Active Cypher, you need:
- Microsoft Server 2008 R2 or newer
- Windows 7 or newer client (Windows 10 preferred)
- A Microsoft Azure or Office 365 subscription
How can I be assured that I’m ready to run Active Cypher?
You can download and run our Active Cypher Scouting Agent to confirm that your Active Directory, Networking, and File Server requirements are proper to run Active Cypher File Security in your environment.
Tell me more about Active Cypher Scout.
Active Cypher Scout is a single-use utility that you download and run from your server. An analysis is performed of the local File Server, Shared Folders, Active Directory – Users & Security Groups, and your Azure Active Directory synchronization status. Any area not properly aligned with Active Cypher deployment needs can (most times) be interactively rectified from within the Scout utility. Information gathered by the Active Cypher Scout is stored privately within the executed folder.
How is Active Cypher installed? How long will it take?
Active Cypher is deployed to your File Server, local Active Directory, and Azure Subscription. Users can continue work uninterrupted during deployment. The install process typically completes in an afternoon.
Does Active Cypher encrypt the entire file system on my File Server?
No. You configure Active Cypher to monitor and protect files in standard Microsoft Shared Networked Folders by assigning the Active Cypher Protection – Security Group to the network share (such as Accounting).
Can I limit access to decrypted information for certain Security Groups?
Yes. For example, you can allow one or more Security Groups to have decrypted access to the files and their protected contents, while also limiting other Security Groups so they can only access the files in encrypted form. These organizational decisions are retained solely by you as the client.
This flexibility allows groups, such as process operators and system admins, to perform such file-level functions as backup, without ever having access to the underlying protected file contents.
What happens if a file is accessed by an unauthorized person?
The simple answer is: Nothing. All files protected by Active Cypher can only be opened by someone with the proper access permission and authority. If a protected file is accidentally or intentionally sent to an unauthorized person; or if a file is lost, stolen or sent to the cloud, the data in that file remains protected – indefinitely.
Are there user workstation requirements?
Yes, there is a workstation component of Active Cypher. It is delivered as a Windows MSI file designed for automated deployment methods.
Once installed, do current security procedures and Active Directory activities change?
No. Active Cypher has been designed to operate in the background without need for external administration. All operating parameters are derived from your Active Directory information.
Do users need training to use Active Cypher?
No. Users and employees use their network system just as they always have in the past. Once again, Active Cypher is transparent to the user/employee.
Are there restrictions or limitations on the types or size of file protected by Active Cypher?
No. Active Cypher is file agnostic. It protects files of any type and size.
Who controls or has access to the keys that protect the files?
The owner of Azure subscription. All key access and management is governed within your Azure Tenant. No third party has access to your keys, not even us. During deployment, Active Cypher creates a secured Private Cloud. We only track the number of keys licensed to the client. Once the installation completes, we have no other access or connection to the client’s cloud.
But what if the keys are stolen by a rogue actor or malicious employee?
Simply put, the keys cannot be “stolen”. More specifically, Active Cypher decryption requires several verifications and validation processes to be performed prior to the usage of the keys.
Is there a limit to the number of users or files that Active Cypher can cover?
No. Active Cypher is infinitely scalable. The structure and capability of Active Cypher to expand alongside a client’s need are as limitless as Microsoft Azure. As a company expands, Active Cypher expands right alongside.
How do I prevent ransomware?
Phishing attacks, in which a victim receives a legitimate-looking email that tricks them to click a malicious link or open an infected attachment, are often used with disastrous success in spreading ransomware.
While many corporations and organizations have instituted countless hours of cybersecurity training, cybercriminals are often devising new manners to inject ransomware into networks. Training unfortunately only goes so far. In fact, a test of 1000 CIOs revealed, 32% clicked on a potentially malicious link. The lapse of a single user can put an entire company at risk.
Conventional anti-virus software which looks for previously classified types of ransomware cannot keep up with today’s ever-evolving threats. Data Guard’s AI stands ahead of the pack, detecting ransomware attacks based on suspicious activities, preventing the malware from taking any malicious action, and automatically deleting it.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware (trojan or other virus) utilized by malicious actors to extort money from individuals, businesses, and governments. While many types of ransomware exist, a typical attack encrypts a victim’s data and displays instructions on how to pay a ransom payment – usually in the form of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Ransomware is not cheap and there is no guarantee for success in decryption.
In fact, while cybercriminals promise to provide a decryption key upon payment of the ransom – 40% of victims who pay unfortunately never regain access to their data.