Cyber Security

A small business cyber security plan

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).  #BeCyberSmart #CyberAware

Security is everyone’s responsibility, so whether you’re a small business, medium enterprise, SaaS provider or web agency, grab a cuppa and learn some of the ways, we at Dogsbody, recommend improving your security.

You are 9 times more likely to be a victim of fraud than burglary.

With 15 years of experience behind us we feel qualified to produce our very own small business cyber security plan.

A small business cyber security plan

Security (cyber or otherwise) all boils down to risk.

The only way to keep a system 100% safe is for it to be in a sealed room, inaccessible to people, to the internet or the outside world and even then, someone could almost certainly gain access to the room if they really wanted too.

Security isn’t just about protecting from the hacks we are aware of, it’s also about attempting to protect users from the threats which haven’t yet been discovered or made widely available.

Implementing preventative or early detection systems with the right security practices for your people, processes and IT systems should mean you become more tuned to spotting attacks or hacks, giving you a better chance to protect yourself and your business.

“100% secure is just not possible”

Technology is a constantly moving beast. So are the methods used to try to gain unauthorised access to your systems.

Your staff may be reasonably savvy about emails which impersonate companies, however as an example of the speed of technology, the Dogsbody team has seen AI now being used to fake people’s voices and scam people out of £1000’s.

Scammers are coming up with new methods to extract cash or assets from companies as fast as security experts are mitigating them.

In this article, we look at each of the three principle areas of risk for your business – People, Systems and Processes; as well as some of the things you can implement immediately to reduce your exposure.

Computer security, cybersecurity or information technology security (IT security) is the protection of computer systems from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. – wikipedia.org

Risk #1- people

Image of technician working at three monitors - Educating people is a huge part of any small business cyber security plan

Humans are fallible (likely to make errors or fail). Nobody’s perfect, after all.

However there are some actions for which there are no excuses … weak passwords is one of them! Any small business cyber security plan has to put passwords at the centre of the plan.

The good news is that there are so many ways to make strong unique passwords for every single login. The video below contains a useful method for creating incredibly strong, yet memorable passwords:

Find out how easy passwords are to crack. Get scared.

Password reuse and poor passwords are unacceptable and easily preventable. We have talked before about using a password manager and 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) where available. Get to understand these tools (or talk to us!) and figure out how best to include them within your business.

Education is key

Having clear processes and good security training is another way to help make sure everyone is on the same page.  Free cyber security training courses, videos and online resources are readily available from reputable sources:

Social Media – your online life

Social media allows us to find out basic details about people and companies within seconds. Using a combination of Google and Linkedin allows everyone to know who you work for.

Whilst this is great for networking, it does mean that you and your team need to be careful about what you share and and who you share it with.

If you are reading this article and rolling your eyes and think this security advice just doesn’t matter, spend three minutes watching this (brilliant) video and you might just change your mind:

Frightening huh? And hopefully thought provoking too.

Have processes in place to check when dealing with all contacts via email and phone. Are you speaking to who you think it is?.

It is also sensible to avoid giving out personal data over the phone or via insecure methods such as Slack and email.

Risk #2 – systems, servers & devices

Image of two people breaking into a safe - Small business cyber security plan - Lock it down

There is something or someone trying to access your data every minute of every day.

Implementing preventative and early detection systems into your workflow may help mitigate a situation before it starts.

Devices, including servers, work laptops, home laptops, mobile phones, routers, printers, internet of things (IOT) devices (including that wifi connect light bulb) can all be used against you and your business.

Dogsbody’s #1 tip: keep your devices up-to-date

Updates for all of these devices are released regularly to address bugs, code improvements and security vulnerabilities.

If you’re not updating (patching) regularly, then you are putting yourself at a higher risk of being exploited by a known vulnerability.

Don’t be that person or company.

End of life

Be aware of software end of life (EOL). For example mobile phone hardware usually outlives its supported software meaning it’s open to new security vulnerabilities.

We often talk about ‘end of life’ software in our newsletter. Last month, we confirmed Python 2.7 and PHP 7.1 are going to be end of life soon. Once software is no longer supported, there are no guarantees about the security holes this software could lead too.

Restrict access

Only give access to the areas people need to do their job whether that is physical (rooms, offices), Documents (read only and write only) or devices/servers, it will make it easier to spot an intruder. Separate users means you can see who made a change giving you an audit trail should anything go amiss. Remember to remove old users.

Proactive monitoring

Monitor everything: cpu, memory, disk io, disk space, ports etc. We monitor all of these metrics (and more) on behalf of 100’s of customers.

Use our free tool to monitor some of your external resources too – StatusPile allows you to build a status page of status pages.

A spike or alert across any of these metrics could mean a server is being attacked. If you respond quickly, attackers can be blocked before they cause too much damage.

Back up

We’ve written about backup strategies before. This is such a fundamental part of business.

Don’t be that company that can’t recover from an event like this:

Image of burnt out server rack - Off site backups are essential

If you lost everything where do you go?

Off site backups – simply have them, know where they are and keep them up to date.

Make sure you check them regularly. Is everything being backed up correctly? Are they actually working when you perform a restore? Is the retention policy set correctly?

It’s not good enough to set and forget – new infrastructure gets added, access codes change. Be diligent and don’t lose your business when something goes wrong.

Standardised builds

Have (documented) standard builds for servers, workstations, laptops and other network infrastructure.

Insecure configurations can allow malicious users to obtain unauthorised access, so it is important to ensure the secure configuration of all systems is set up and maintained.

If you need help, talk to us – we do this every day!

Know what you don’t know

That may sound like a crazy heading – but we really mean it. If you don’t test your infrastructure regularly, you don’t know what’s really going on. Involve a third party, get an expert to ethically hack into your systems. This process is of course known as penetration testing.

Penetration tests take many different forms. Testing once a year is a step in the right direction, however infrastructure changes regularly and rightly so, patches must be applied and users added and removed, its a constantly moving beast, so it makes sense to have regular penetration tests. Whilst they give you peace of mind – they will also give your customers peace of mind too.

Protect your email

Make it harder for impersonators to send spam which looks like it comes from your business by setting up your email correctly.

Public wifi is a notorious place for hackers to lurk

Know the risks of public wifi.

Usually it’s free and often, it’s not secure. Avoid visiting sensitive sites such as banks, accounts packages, work ticketing systems when connected.

Company VPN’s can be used if you need to do this regularly. Personal VPN application are good too for personal browsing.

Risk #3 – processes

Image of white lever arch files

Processes have been intertwined within the previous two sections. We’ve discussed standardised builds, communications. device and social media policies.

It’s now time to mop up some of the areas we’ve not yet mentioned.

How would you respond to an emergency if your digital channels were down?

If and when something does go wrong have you considered how you would communicate with your customers?

Host your status page on a completely separate hosting provider to all your other business activities and remember, to make the password accessible for when you are offline.

Status pages are for facts. Do not speculate or discuss issues that have not been confirmed.

Image of Dogsbody Technology Status Page

Crisis communications is a consideration for all businesses.

Documentation

You rarely hear people talking about the joys of documentation, however it’s a necessary evil of business and absolutely could be your saviour one day.

Here at Dogsbody, we do it as a matter of course. Without shared documentation, IT systems are left exposed. employees leave, employees get sick. It’s essential others can understand how your IT infrastructure works.

Server build documentation is the recipe for your servers. If a server was down and the only way to recover it was to rebuild it – would you know how to? Is it clear how it was set up … who had access … and how the operating system was configured?

Having a build guide document in place means anyone can pick it up and get it back online quickly.

Subscribe for service updates

Subscribe to your providers service updates, notifications, emails and/or RSS feeds, monitor Status pages, hang out on tech forums – as a Linux managed server provider, our team are always reading blogs, security updates and notices – its just part of the day job.

The Government National Cyber security centre release weekly threat reports as well as advice on all security topics.

___________

That wraps up our small business cyber security plan. We hope it makes you think about how your business approaches online security.

If we can help answer any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Python 2 will go end of life on 01 Jan 2020

Quick Public Safety Announcement, Python 2.7 goes end of life 01 Jan 2020.  This is the end of the road for Python 2.x – there won’t be a version 2.8.

This means any Python code that’s still on 2.x needs updating to Python 3.  Any code that isn’t moved over won’t receive security updates so will inevitably become insecure.

Identify your code

If you’ve got a lot of code it’s worth taking the time to check what’s where and which version of Python it’s using.

Python 3 was released at the end of 2008.  Adoption has been slow, a factor has been that all of your dependencies need to support Python 3 before you can.  Now that we’re over 10 years down the road this is much less likely to be an issue.

You can start off by checking code that has been written more recently.  Hopefully this will have been written for Python 3.  A survey by JetBrains shows that between 2017 and 2018 the number of developers that mostly used Python 2 fell from 25% to just 16%.  It’s also interesting to note the divide between use cases.  Data science having better adoption than both web and dev-ops.

Don’t forget old code

Unfortunately the numbers above are for code that developers are writing now.  We’re also concerned with code that was written many years ago and hasn’t recently had any major changes.  Looking at the number of packages downloaded instead of what developers are mostly using gives a different picture.  The numbers are closer to 50/50 with the trend between data science and dev-ops still clear.  TensorFlow is most often downloaded for Python 3 whilst botocore is heavily Python 2.  Boto is heavily used in API access to cloud providers such as AWS.

If all of your recent code is Python 3 it’s worth having a good dig around for places old code might be hiding.

What are the steps to update to Python 3?

  • The first step to update code is to make sure any packages you’re using support Python 3.  A tool such as caniusepython3 should show you where the issues are.
  • After that depending on the complexity of your code you can update it by hand or use a tool such as Futurize to help with the conversion .

A key part of smoothly updating is to have a good testing process so you can quickly find and fix the bits that unexpectedly break.  See the porting guide for more info.

 

Feature image by See1,Do1,Teach1 licensed CC BY 2.0.

PHP 7.1 will go end of life on 1 Dec 2019

PHP 7.1 goes end of life (EOL) on the 1st December 2019 meaning known security flaws will no longer be fixed and sites are exposed to significant security vulnerabilities.

It is important to update them to a newer version. We would recommend updating to either:

  • 7.2 supported until 30 November 2020
  • 7.3 supported until 6 December 2021

As with any upgrade you will want to test your site on the new version before migrating. You may need to get your developers to update some code, check plugins and app versions for the new PHP supportability.

If you love a pie chart, Jordi Boggiano has provided this great overview of the PHP versions out there.

PHP VersionsUpgrade from PHP 7.1 before the 1st December 2019.

Want a hand? Get in touch!

 

Password Managers: What, How & Why?

So its 2019 and the new years resolution are on hold; Veganuary is over and Marie Kondo is helping us declutter our servers lifes. We expect a few new website and apps have caught your attention and you’ve created an account using a unique strong 12+ character password. Right?

Unfortunately data breaches are as prevalent now as they ever were. If you are still trying to memorise all your passwords, or writing them down, or the big no no, reusing them then make 2019 the year you improve your relationship with passwords.

Today we are talking about Password Managers as a method of creating and storing your passwords.

What is a password manager?

A password manager is an app, device, or cloud service that stores your passwords in an encrypted vault that can only be unlocked with a single master password. This means you only have to remember one ultra secure password not 100’s.

How does a Password manager work?

The video below (from 2017) clearly explains why you should stop memorising your passwords and why a password manager maybe a great first step to managing and securing them.

Two keys points:

  • The password manager creates the random passwords for you – A password manager isn’t a place to store your own made up passwords, its a place to create random computer generated ones. I don’t even know my own passwords, I just know one master password.
  • A password manager can store other information too – for example – the security questions some websites ask you for, mothers maiden name, first pet, first school, where you meet your husband/wife, provided these aren’t being used to prove your identity, can be completely fictitious and different for every account you set up.

Adding a further level of security

Our other blog on Multi -Factor Authentication explains about a further level of security you can use if offered.

A poll in 2018 saw more than three quarters of 2,000 UK adults do not see the point of ‘unnecessary’, ‘overly complicated’ internet security measures, ironically 46% had been victims of banking fraud. I’ll let you draw your own conclusion!

Don’t let this be you, even if a password manager doesn’t appeal at least use unique strong 12+ character passwords. With a password manager you can have easily have a 64 character password and it will 4 untrigintillion years to crack.  If its easy to create and “remember” why wouldn’t you.

And finally why 12+ characters?

A 12 character unique random password would take a computer about 3 thousand years to crack, however this true story from 2017 proves to us that it could take a whole lot longer. Always be aware that a 3 thousand year password may well be a 300 year password in 10 years time so the more characters the better.

 

 

How will the Ubuntu 14.04 EOL affect me?

On April 2019, Ubuntu 14.04 reaches end of life (EOL).
We recommend that you update to Ubuntu 18.04.

Over time technology and security evolves, new bugs are fixed and new threats prevented, so in order to maintain a secure infrastructure it is important to keep all software and systems up to date.

Operating systems are key to security, providing the libraries and technologies behind NGINX, Apache and anything else running your application. Old operating systems don’t support the latest technologies which new releases of software depend on, leading to compatibility issues.

Leaving old Ubuntu 14.04 systems past April 2019 leaves you at risk to:

  • Security vulnerabilities of the system in question
  • Making your network more vulnerable as a whole
  • Software incompatibility
  • Compliance issues (PCI)
  • Poor performance and reliability

Ubuntu End of life dates:

Ubuntu LTS (long term support) operating systems come with a 5 year End Of Life policy. This means that after 5 years it receives no maintenance updates including security updates.

  • Ubuntu 14.04 : April 2019
  • Ubuntu 16.04 : April 2021
  • Ubuntu 18.04 : April 2023

Faster:

Just picking up your files and moving them from Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 18.04 will speed up your site due to the new software.

  • Apache 2.4.7 -> Apache 2.4.29
  • NGINX 1.4.6 -> NGINX 1.14.0
  • MySQL 5.5 -> MySQL 5.7
  • PHP 5.5 -> PHP 7.2

Are you still using an old operating system?

Want to upgrade?

Not sure if this effects you?

Drop us a line and see what we can do for you!

 

Feature image by See1,Do1,Teach1 licensed CC BY 2.0.

PHP 5.6 will go end of life on 31 Dec 2018

Quick Public Safety Announcement, PHP 5.6 goes end of life (EOL) on the 31 December 2018.  This means that known security flaws will no longer be being fixed so any sites you have running on it will become vulnerable, hence it is important you update them to a newer version.

We recommend updating to the latest stable version (at the time of writing this is PHP 7.2).  As this is a major upgrade you will want to test your site on the new version and may need to get your developers to update some code before moving over.

If you’re unsure if you are affected or want a hand upgrading? Get in touch!

Everyone loves a good graph and Jordi Boggiano has provided this great overview of the PHP versions out there in the wild!

Feature image by See1,Do1,Teach1 licensed CC BY 2.0.

How will Debian 7 end of life affect me?

On 31st May 2018, Debian 7 “Wheezy” reaches end of life (EOL).
We recommend that you update to Debian 9 “Stretch”.

Over time technology and security evolves, new bugs are fixed and new threats prevented, so in order to maintain a secure infrastructure it is important to keep all software and systems up to date.  Once an operating system reaches end of life it no longer receives updates so will end up left with known security holes.

Operating systems are key to security, providing the libraries and technologies behind NGINX, Apache and anything else running your application. Old operating systems don’t support the latest technologies which new releases of software depend on, leading to compatibility issues.

Leaving old Debian 7 systems past May 2018 leaves you at risk to:

  • Security vulnerabilities of the system in question
  • Making your network more vulnerable as a whole
  • Software incompatibility
  • Compliance issues (PCI)
  • Poor performance and reliability

Debian End of life dates:

  • Debian 7 : 31st May 2018
  • Debian 8 : April 2020
  • Debian 9: June 2022

Faster:

Just picking up your files and moving them from Debian 7 to Debian 9 will speed up your site due to the newer software.

  • Apache 2.2.22 -> Apache 2.4.25
  • PHP 5.4 -> PHP 7.0
  • MySQL 5.5 -> MariaDB 10.1

Are you still using an old operating system?

Want to upgrade?

Not sure if this effects you?

Drop us a line and see what we can do for you!

Feature image by See1,Do1,Teach1 licensed CC BY 2.0.

Google Chrome to Distrust Symantec SSL Certificates

From 15 Mar 2018 Google Chrome will start distrusting Symantec SSL Certificates.

What is happening and why?

Over the past few years various concerns have been raised regarding Symantec’s process for issuing and revoking SSL certificates.  As a result Google Chrome have announced that they will be distrusting SSL certificates issued by Symantec. It is important to note that since Symantec’s root certs are used by other certificate authorities the following will also be affected: Equifax, GeoTrust, RapidSSL, Thawte, and VeriSign.

In order to restore trust in future Symantec issued SSL certificates DigiCert have acquired Symantec SSL.  Certificates issued after 1 Dec 2017 will be signed by DigiCert’s managed partner scheme and as such will remain trusted by Google Chrome.

Google are currently planning to distrust Symantec SSL Certificates in two main phases – the release of Chrome 66 and the release of Chrome 70.

How could this affect me?

If your site is using an invalid SSL certificate your users will receive a security warning.  Since Google Chrome currently makes up over half of the browser market (you can check your analytics as exact percentages vary depending on your industry) it is likely a large proportion of your users will receive errors when visiting your site.  Mozilla have announced they will be following suit.

How to check if your site is using an affected cert?

The easiest way to check this is to use Google Chrome developer tools:

  • Press F12 to open the developer tools
  • In the “Console” tab you will see the a warning if your certificate will be distrusted by a future Chrome release.

 

What should I do if I am using an affected cert?

  • Affected Certificates purchased before 1 Jun 2016 will need to be re-issued before Chrome 66 beta which is planned to be 15 Mar 2018 or Chrome 66 stable which release is planned for 17 Apr 2018
  • Affected Certificates purchased before 1 Dec 2017 will be need to be re-issued before Chrome 70 beta which will be roughly 13 Sep 2018 or Chrome 70 stable release which will be roughly 23 Oct 2018.

Your certificate may be going to expire before it is distrusted in Chrome in which case you don’t have anything to worry about since any certificates issued now will remain trusted.

If your certificate will be distrusted by Chrome before you would normally renew it then you will need to have it re-issued luckily this won’t cost you anything except the time it takes you.

In order to check when your SSL certificate was purchased and when it is valid until you can use the Google Chrome developer tools:

  • Press F12 to open the developer tools
  • Navigate to the “Security” tab
  • Click “View certificate” from here you should be able to see the “Issued On” and “Expires On” dates

If you are one of our customers then you don’t need to worry as we will be contacting you if any of your servers are affected.

If anyone else would like us to check if they are affected or help with the re-issuance process contact us.

Feature image – “Security Broken” by DennisM2 is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

Intel vulnerabilities (Meltdown & Spectre)

On 3rd January 2018 engineers around the world scrambled to respond to the announcement that most CPUs on the planet had a vulnerability that would allow attackers to steal data from affected computers.  Almost two weeks later and we do know a lot more however the outlook is still bleak.

Am I vulnerable?

Almost definitely.  While only Intel CPUs are affected by the Meltdown vulnerability (CVE-2017-5754) CPUs made by AMD, ARM, Nvidia and other manufactures are all affected by the Spectre vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-5753 &  CVE-2017-5715).

Additionally, Spectre is a collection of vulnerabilities.  Only two of the easiest to implement attacks are currently being patched for.  There are literally hundreds of ways to exploit Spectre and many do not have an easy fix. The Spectre collection of vulnerabilities are responsible for the slowdown of CPUs in your computer as they target a major part of the CPU responsible for the speed (speculative execution).

There are a few exceptions for CPUs not affected by these vulnerabilities however so far these have all been low powered ARM devices such as the Raspberry Pi.

It is worth pointing out that while most computers, servers & mobile phones are vulnerable, an attacker would still have to be able to run code on the same CPU you are using in order for you the be affected. For cloud computing providers this is a big issue as the same CPU is being used by many guest systems. For desktop systems this is a problem as most websites nowadays require that browsers run untrusted Javascript.  For dedicated servers being used by one company however, the only code that should be running on the system is trusted code. While this doesn’t make dedicated servers any less vulnerable, it does severely reduce the attack surface.

How does it work?

Better people than us have already covered this.  We recommend these two blog posts…

How do I fix this?

You replace your CPU.  Seriously! This is currently the only 100% guaranteed method to be free of these vulnerabilities.  However, that there currently aren’t actually any replacement CPUs that aren’t vulnerable! This issue may speed up some providers depreciation of old technology.

Patches for the Meltdown vulnerability have been made available for all major operating systems now.  Make sure you have installed and rebooted to ensure that the patch is loaded in.

If you are using any sort of virtualisation or cloud infrastructure then make sure that your host is patched too. Most cloud providers are announcing reboots at very short notice.

Patches for the Spectre vulnerabilities are still dribbling out and new patches will likely be required for years to come as new fixes are developed.  The current two Spectre patches include a microcode patch for the actual CPU firmware.  This firmware update should still be shipped out via the standard operating system updates.  These patches will also require systems to be rebooted (again).

But I’m a customer!

Don’t worry, we got you.  We are actively working with all our customers to patch systems and mitigate issues.

Timeline

In tracking these vulnerabilities and writing this blog post we built up a comprehensive timeline of events linking to sources of more information that maybe useful…

  • Between Aug 2016 & Jun 2017 – Multiple vulnerabilities are discovered and published by multiple researchers, mostly building on each others work.
  • 01 Feb 2017 – CVE numbers 2017-5715, 2017-5753 and 2017-5754 are assigned to/reserved by Intel to cover these vulnerabilities.
  • 01 Jun 2017 – The two attack vectors are independently found by Google’s Project Zero researchers and researchers from the academic world which are shared with Intel, AMD and ARM.
  • Sep 2017 – Google deploys fixes in their Linux based infrastructure to protect their customers.  Google proposes to pass the patches upstream to the Linux kernel after the public disclosure of Spectre/Meltdown.
  • 09 Nov 2017 – Intel informs partners and other interested parties under Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
  • 20 Nov 2017 – The CRD (Coordinated Release Date) is agreed upon to be 09 Jan 2018 by the parties involved.
  • 13 Dec 2017 – Apple releases iOS 11.2, MacOS 10.13.2 and TVos 11.2. These update contain fixes for Meltdown but that is not mentioned in the release notes.
  • 15 Dec 2017 – Amazon starts sending emails to AWS customers, informing them of a scheduled reboot of EC2 instances on or around the 06 Jan 2018. People that reboot following that email notice degraded performance and start discussing this.
  • 20 Dec 2017 – Jonathan Corbet publishes an article and remarks that the KPTI patches have “all the markings of a security patch being readied under pressure from a deadline”.
  • 01 Jan 2018 – A pythonsweetness post appears, speculating about what’s behind the KPTI patches for the Linux kernel.
  • 02 Jan 2018 – The Register publishes an article that puts enough of the information together.
  • 02 Jan 2018 – Andres Freund posts to the PostgreSQL mailing list showing a 17-23% slowdown in PostgreSQL when using the KPTI patch.
  • 03 Jan 2018 – Google breaks the agreed CRD and makes everything public.
  • 03 Jan 2018Two websites are launched to explain the findings.  The vulnerabilities are “officially” named Meltdown and Spectre.
  • 03 Jan 2018 – Microsoft rushes out a series of fixes, including security updates and patches for its cloud services, which were originally planned for a January 9 release.
  • 03 Jan 2018 – Amazon says it has secured almost all of its affected servers.
  • 03 Jan 2018 – Google details its efforts to safeguard its systems and user data.
  • 03 Jan 2018 – Intel acknowledges the existence of the vulnerability, but refutes reports implying it is the only chipmaker affected.
  • 04 Jan 2018 – Media organisations such as the BBC pick up the story.
  • 04 Jan 2018 – Apple confirms its iPhones, iPads, and Macs are affected by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.
  • 09 Jan 2018 – Microsoft confirms that patches rolled out to close Meltdown and Spectre security loops have caused PC and server performance slowdowns.

End of Life for New Relic ‘Servers’ – What are your options?

Today (14 Nov 2017) New Relic are making their ‘Alerts’ and ‘Server’ services end of life (EOL). This will impact anyone who used this service to monitor server resources such as CPU, Memory, Disk Space and Disk IO. All existing alert policies will cease from today.

If you rely on these alerts to monitor your servers then hopefully you have a contingency plan in place already but if not below are your options….

If you do nothing

New Relic Servers will go EOL TODAY (14 Nov 2017) and data will stop being collected.  You would no longer be able to monitor your system resources meaning outages that could have otherwise been prevented could sneak up on you. We do not recommend this option.  See below on how to remove the `newrelic-sysmond` daemon.

Upgrade to New Relic Infrastructure

“Infrastructure” is their new paid server monitoring offering. Infrastructure pricing is based on your servers CPU so prices vary and offers added functionality over the legacy New Relic Servers offering.  The maximum price per server per month is $7.20 however the minimum monthly charge is $9.90 so it’s not effective if you’re only looking to monitor your main production system. Most of the new functionality is integration into other products (including their own) so it’s up to you if this additional functionality is useful and worth the cost for your requirements.

Dogsbody Technology Minder

Over the last year we have been developing our own replacement for New Relic Servers using open source solutions. This product has old New Relic Server customers in mind giving all the information needed to run and maintain a Linux server. It also has the monitoring and hooks required to alert the relevant people of issues allowing us to prevent issues before they happen.  This is a paid service but it is included as standard with all our maintenance packages so any customers using New Relic Servers are being upgraded automatically. If you would like further information please do contact us.

Another alternative monitoring solution

There are plenty of other monitoring providers and solutions out there from in-house build your own open source solutions to paid services.  Monitoring your system resources is essential in helping to prevent major outages of your systems. Pick the best one for you and let the service take the hard work out of monitoring your servers.  We have experience with a number of implementations including the TICK stack (Telegraf, InfluxDB, Chronograf, Kapacitor) and Prometheus.

Removing the `newrelic-sysmond` daemon

If you were using New Relic Servers then you are running the `newrelic-sysmond` daemon on your systems.  While New Relic have turned the service off we have confirmed with them that the daemon will keep running using valuable system resources.

We highly recommend that you uninstall the daemon (tidy server tidy mind) following New Relic uninstallation guide.  That way it won’t take much of your system’s resources, and minimal impact is to be expected.

 

Happy Server Monitoring

If you need help, further advise or to discuss our monitoring solutions please do contact us.