5G Networks (ASX:5GN) conducts first AGM and highlights significant growth through acquisitions.

5G Networks (5GN) on Friday 23rd  November, conducted its first Annual General Meeting since listing in November 2017, where the chairman and board received strong affirmations from shareholders that the acquisition strategy is paying off.

Managing Director Mr Joseph Demase, highlighted the exceptional growth achievement of the company, from listing revenue of $2m to annualised revenue of circa $50m. 5GN’s footprint now boasts a national presence of 12 office locations around the country, with a range of business solutions soon to be augmented with a nationwide data network (MPLS) launching early 2019.

The growth has been accelerated by the recent acquisitions of both Anittel and Hostworks which are being integrated into the broader 5G Networks organisation as well as new organic business via cross selling of products and services.

“We are uncovering many high value assets within these businesses; they have been under-indexed in terms of resource focus and support for some time.” Mr Demase stated.

Mr Demase also highlighted that the 5GN acquisition strategy has rewarded the company and its shareholders with strong growth in positive cashflows.

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“Our first year of quarter on quarter cashflow performance (140% CAGR) has been underpinned by the effective management of costs and the ongoing integration of both Anittel and Hostworks. The integration program is a core part of our DNA and the project remains ahead of schedule which is delivering benefits faster than expected. “

He also stated that the acquisition strategy will continue to be executed to ensure the growth of the business extends long into the future. This includes a growing interest in those infrastructure businesses which present under-indexed business performance and can be brought to life through ongoing integration of the 5GN assets.

 

View full AGM Presentation here

What is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack?

Businesses at risk of cyber-attacks has remained a hot topic. Cybercriminals continue to remain one step ahead of the authorities, which has led to companies becoming increasingly vulnerable. With over 4 billion active Internet users across the globe, it makes sense that any business, big or small, has an active website to attract customers. Therefore, it’s imperative that companies have a functioning website and secondly, the website is secure enough to deter cyber attackers, keeping client and company information secure. With many cyber threats circulating, businesses must remain aware of how they can be impacted. A common attack where company websites are exploited is a Distributed Denial of Service attacked (DDoS).

 

What is a Distributed Denial of Service?

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), is a cyberattack where a cybercriminal undertakes malicious action against a target, by sending an overwhelming amount of traffic to a single website or machine, causing it to become unavailable to its intended users. A DDoS attack can disrupt the availability of essential services we use as part of our everyday life. Typically, a DDoS attack is conducted by a single attacker utilising an array of infected or vulnerable machines (known as zombies) to easily ramp up the power of the attack.

 

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Types of DDoS

There are many types of DDoS attacks, the more common are classified as:

·      Volumetric Attack: where the goal is to generate enough bandwidth to saturate the bandwidth of the targeted site, with its magnitude being measured in bits per second (bps)

·      Protocol Attack: targeted at consuming remote server resources or firewalls and load balancers. These are measured in Packets per second (pps).

·      Application Layer Attacks: floods which target known web application vulnerabilities such as an unpatched website. These are measured in requests per second (rps).

How to mitigate a DDoS attack?

The key concern with mitigating a DDoS attack is differentiating between traffic driven by an attack and regular traffic driven by intended users. For example, a company is running an online promotion which will drive a surge in traffic to their website. Therefore, traffic will not be cut off during this period as it is legitimate traffic from an intended audience. So how is the traffic differentiated?

 

 

5G Networks have firm policies and procedures in place to effectively mitigate a DDoS attack. Experienced service managers maintain strong relationships with clients that use our web hosting services. A core part of the relationship between service managers and clients, is not only understanding the requirements of our clients however, remaining up to date with the trends and behaviours of their clients. This enables our team to understand how and when clients will have increased traffic visiting their websites. Some of our clients operate in the retail sector. Service managers frequently meet with key stakeholders of these clients to remain up to date with marketing campaigns and understand the key periods where clients have more website visitors than usual.

 

 

However, for genuine attacks, our team have developed SADCATS – Super Awesome DDoS Collector And Traffic Steerer. SADCATS is a collection of tools that monitors Netflow traffic generated by our border routers, which makes decisions and network changes based upon its customisable configuration. By default, SADCATS will alert our team when it believes a DDoS attack is imminent, indicated by a breach of one of our warning thresholds. This will then flag a DDoS attack and begin implementing notifications to make routing changes within our network, black holing the networks and taking the website offline for anywhere between 3-8 minutes. Being offline will allow the website to have a clean network feed, removing the black hole on the network and become available to its intended users.

 

Typically, for a DDoS attack that is not mitigated, a website may be offline for hours, if not days. Beyond that, companies may experience financial consequences, the risk of data being compromised and damage to a company’s brand and reputation.

 

 

How do you manage your passwords?

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Most people have poor password management habits. Maybe not you, but somebody in your organisation does and it deems a serious risk. 

The average individual has 10-25 different online accounts. This demonstrates why so many people use the same password over and over again. It’s unrealistic to expect users to remember dozens of unique passwords, hence the re-use of the same password across multiple online accounts.

As our previous article suggests that network security is everybody’s responsibility, password management falls into this category, with 63% of breaches involving weak, default or stolen passwords. This poses a constant threat for organisations and its IT managers, with the task of ensuring employee passwords remain strong, updated regularly and managed effectively to mitigate the risk of any breach. 

Cyber criminals are always going to take the easy route, especially when user credentials are easy to come by. This is no surprise when research suggests that some of the most popular passwords consist of 12345, 123456, 12345678, Password and qwerty. Do you fall into this category?

When creating a password, ensure it is as strong as possible. In other words, make your password random and complex, making it more difficult to be cracked. As simple as it sounds, longer and complex passwords are stronger and harder to crack than shorter passwords. A professional hacker can crack an 8-single case character password in minutes. Add a number to that password and it can take hours.

 

Have you ever heard of the term password entropy?

Password entropy is a guide on how much effort is required to crack your password measured in bits. To calculate a bit, it is the log base 2 of the number of characters in the character set used, multiplied by the number of characters in the passwords itself.  Therefore, a password with 20 bits of entropy will require 2^20 (1,048,576) attempts to exhaust all possibilities during an attack. This means adding one bit of entropy to a password doubles the number of guesses required, making an attacker’s task twice as difficult.

 

With multiple online accounts and passwords, how can you protect and remember all of them?

Password managers are software tools designed to store individual passwords, protected by one master password as the key. This gives users the luxury of only having to remember one password, whilst creating high entropy passwords for their multiple online accounts to prevent any attacks. However, like any software, password managers may have bugs and security vulnerabilities. Therefore, we encourage users to take further research on selected password managers and read reviews on security history.

At 5G Networks, we provide our employees and clients with access to My Glue, giving users secure access to Wi-Fi, email and company application passwords anytime, anywhere. My Glue is a secure and easy to use password vault, providing users with transparency and collaboration, whilst removing the risk of poor password management.