Business IT Support

IT Support Blog

News and info on IT Services

We provide a range of Managed IT Services, Business IT Support, and IT Consulting that can help you keep costs down.

We know its hard to make sense of all the options available when it comes to IT. We can keep you posted on the latest trends and info with our IT Support Blog.


 

 

Is Your Internet Browser Going BERserk?

Posted by on 11:20 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

BerserkAre you using Chrome or Firefox to browse the Internet? If so, IMMEDIATELY make sure you’ve got the latest updates for these Internet browsers.

Why?

A very dangerous security flaw has been identified that lets hackers and malware skip over the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of Google Chrome and Firefox. SSL is widely used security protocol designed to protect your privacy and ensure the integrity of information sent between your computer and the server you are on.

Remember Heartbleed? That little bug also let hackers skip over SSL.

BERserk is the latest security vulnerability designed to wreak havoc with computer users. BERserk was discovered by Intel’s Advanced Threat Research team and a security expert in France.

BERsek is very dangerous and it is present in all previous versions of Firefox and Google Chrome. The good news is that there is no evidence that it has been exploited for malware attacks, yet! It is a very easy problem to fix, and we stress the importance of ensuring your browser is up-to-date with the latest version. For some, you may have already fixed it without knowing it.

How do you check if your browser is up-to-date?

If you are running Google Chrome version 37.0.2062.124 or Firefox version 32.0.3, you are safe and you don’t need to do anything else. However, if you are not running these versions, follow these easy steps:

  • Firefox: Click on the three horizontal lines in the top right to access the menu. Click on the question mark at the bottom of the pop-up menu. Click “About Firefox,” and you will see your version. If your Firefox is out of date, just accessing this window will automatically kick off the update process.
  • Google Chrome: Click on the three horizontal lines in the top right of the browser. If your browser is out-of-date, these horizontal lines may be orange or red. If they are these colors, you will see a line that says “Update Google Chrome.” Click it! It’s just that easy.

Computer and network security are vital in today’s world. You need to have an IT company that understands the pending risk to any business, large or small. This is why security is the cornerstone of our managed IT services offerings. If your IT company in {city} isn’t talking to you about the importance of having a secure and locked down computer network, it is time to get a new IT company.

We invite you to try us out. Call our IT security team today and book your complimentary information technology security consultation with our experts. We will sit down with you and discuss the vital components that keep your business safe and secured. In addition, we will also show you ways you can properly back up all your information onsite and in the cloud, just in case.

Call us or send us an email today, and see how your business can be safer than ever before.

88% of Malware Targets Mobile Devices – Don’t Let Mobile Devices Pose a Threat to Your Corporate Network!

Posted by on 11:55 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

mobile computingWhile mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are becoming more popular than ever before in the workplace; is it safe to have mobile devices connecting to the corporate network? As employees continue to utilize personally owned smartphones and tablets to access business resources, it’s fundamental to consider the potential security risks associated with mobile devices accessing the corporate network.

Should you be worried about your employees using personal mobile devices to access the corporate network? The short answer: absolutely! As BYOD continues to evolve, cybercriminals are responding with more creative, sophisticated ways to exploit the trend.

How do cybercriminals exploit the trend? That’s simple, they create mobile device specific threats, which infect your employees’ mobile devices, then when they’ve connected to the corporate network, the infection transfers! So what happens when malware infects the corporate network? Here’s a few examples:

  • Workstations can become unstable: All of your employees’ workstations will quickly become unstable, possibly crashing or slowing down without any clear explanation.
  • Sensitive data can be stolen: When key logging malware infections occur, the keys pressed on your keyboards are recorded, then a log is sent to the hacker to search for sensitive data.
  • Costly business downtime can occur: Once a malware infection is on the network, it spreads to all of the workstations and often results in costly business downtime due to crashes and slow performance.

Of course, as you’re already aware, mobile devices are key business enablers, which means they’re able to increase productivity, and ultimately, improve your bottom line as a result of getting more done while enhancing communication and collaboration. So how can mobile devices be used without presenting such a threat to the corporate network?

Our Team Specializes in Isolating the Smartphone Network From the Corporate Network to Help You Maintain Productivity While Mitigating the Risks!

When you’re looking to utilize mobile devices in the workplace, our team of IT experts strongly recommends isolating the smartphone network from the corporate network, in order to help you maintain productivity while mitigating the risks. Fortunately, we specialize in creating two networks:

  1. A smartphone network: A smartphone or guest network can be created to allow smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to access the network in a secure manner.
  2. A corporate network: A corporate network can be created to allow authorized laptops and PCs to access the network for business purposes while ensuring the risk of malware is minimized.

This ensures mobile devices aren’t able to carry malware to the corporate network while allowing employees to stay productive and efficient without presenting threats to sensitive business data and uptime.

Interested in creating two separate networks? Give us a call or send us an email. We are the preferred IT support company for businesses.

Security Warning: Your Computer Systems May Be at Risk for Exploitation Due to the Dangerous “Bash” Vulnerability!

Posted by on 2:32 pm in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

BASHA major high severity vulnerability, CVE-2014-6271, has been spreading quickly and impacting a wide range of businesses! The vulnerability, also known as “bash,” involves a UNIX type command shell that’s included in most distributions of Apple OS X and Linux. So how does the vulnerability work? An attacker is able to exploit the vulnerability, then create environment variables that include malicious code.

The vulnerability is dangerous due to the ease of exploitation. What does ease of exploitation mean? Well, in the simplest terms, an attacker can:

  • Gain access to sensitive information.
  • Manipulate or steal business data.
  • Remotely execute code to disrupt operations.

In addition, the vulnerability presents a fairly unique risk to businesses. Why? There’s a lot of targets – from web servers to software that uses the bash interpreter, the vulnerability can be exploited at any moment. Over the past few days, researchers have been looking into the vulnerability to determine whether or not other interpreters, such as JSP, PHP, Perl, or Python, are affected as well.

Sometimes, an interpreter uses bash to execute specific functions, and as a result, other interpreters could also be used to exploit the vulnerability. Ultimately, the impact is high because a wide range of embedded devices, including routers, wireless access points, and home appliances, use CGI scripts.

We are working hard to learn more about this “Bash” bug and will post additional information on our blog when we learn more.

Feeling concerned about the vulnerability? To learn more, or to schedule a no-obligation security assessment, give us a call or send us an email. We are here to help you reduce the risk of an attack.

Microsoft Wants You To Be Safe! Do You Trust Them?

Posted by on 12:36 pm in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Virus MitigationComputer, IT, and Network Security is a constant battle between the software developers and the hackers out there looking for ways to manipulate or exploit the vulnerabilities in their products. Since technology continues to advance and evolve every year, the war between security and cybercrime will never end. Constant vigilance is the only way to be truly secure.

Microsoft is one company who wants to make their software solutions as secure as possible. Windows and Windows Server products have had a target on their backs for many years, and it seems to be a never-ending battle between right and wrong.

Have you heard of zero-day flaws?

A zero-day flaw is a vulnerability or lack of security in software that no one knows exists until either a hacker points them out or a company like Microsoft stumbles over them during a support issue or in their testing. Essentially, the flaw has been there since “day zero” – when the software was first introduced to the public.

A zero-day flaw can exist for months or even years before someone knows about it.

This is why security is such an important part of any information technology strategy. Part of our fully managed IT services program is to ensure our clients always have their system updates completed, so any recently discovered vulnerabilities can be immediately patched.

Third party security solutions can minimize the risks, but only to a point. Some zero-day flaws can even allow a hacker to bypass the most rigid security solutions out there.

Microsoft has a tool that can help your business reduce the risks of a zero-day flow impacting your business. Again, our clients under our technology management solution are already taken care of, but for you out there without our services, here is something you can try.

Microsoft, for years has elected convenience over security. Many of the security settings in Windows, Internet Explorer, and other applications you can change yourself. To help users make changes to these settings, Microsoft has come up with the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit. Click here to download.

EMET comes with many default settings designed to tweak common security settings for you. As long as you stick with these default settings, you should be OK. Microsoft issues an alert on any flaw identified and will include specific instructions on the settings you need to change for temporary safety.

Use the EMET with caution. This tool is really only designed for advanced users and IT support companies like us. If many of your Windows settings break or become unstable, uninstall the tool immediately.

WARNING: If you are running a business and you are concerned about your security, take a moment before using this tool and call your IT security experts first. We can help ensure not only that your settings are optimized for your security, but also remove any existing threats and offer the best third-party protection available. Contact us today. We’re here to help.

Save Your Business Frustration, Money, and Time With Information Technology Standards

Posted by on 12:47 pm in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

information technology standardsYou can buy any number of IT products for your business off the shelves of the major stores, and all of them are more than capable of providing the service you’re looking for. But you may end up purchasing technology that is unfamiliar to your IT support provider, which can lead to increased costs and downtime when IT problems arise.

That’s why our emphasizes the importance of IT standardization to our clients. We advise you on which of the standard products we’re familiar with will be the best fit for your business. It isn’t about marketing our products to you: it’s about ensuring that you’re getting the best of our expertise so you can reap the benefits. Call us or email us to learn more.

When your business takes advantage of the standardized IT solutions recommended by us, you’re ensuring that you’re using technology that we have tested and proved over our years of experience. While we are always able to help you with IT issues on a system you bought yourself, you run the risk of increased costs and downtime as we investigate the problems and create the solutions.

Meanwhile, there are a large number of benefits to using technology that is standard, including:

  • Ease of setup & installation – ensuring that you’re able to take advantage of your technology immediately and without fear of complication.
  • Effective & efficient maintenance – ensuring that any IT issues that may arise are quickly and easily dealt with thanks to our years of experience with the product.
  • Familiarity of product capabilities – letting us advise you on the best ways to use your technology so you get maximum value for your investment.
  • Documented experience – letting you take advantage of all the solutions we’ve applied for this product with our other clients, and knowing that those solutions work.
  • Increased security – we know the best ways to secure our standardized technology, so we can safeguard your business from cybercrime and disaster with confidence.
  • Vendor contacts – we can leverage our contacts at the companies that supply our standardized technology in order to expedite support, either for unique questions or for replacement of products.

When you use the standardized IT we recommend, you are able to take advantage of the vast collection of IT solutions we’ve developed with all the other clients we serve. When we fix one problem for a company, we’re able to pass along the benefit to everyone immediately. This lets our team of experts provide you with the best quality support possible while you save time and money.

Take advantage of our vast wealth of experience: use the standardized IT we recommend to save your business frustration, time, and money. Contact us today to learn more about the many services we offer businesses like your own, or to schedule a free no-obligation review of your IT. 

Does Your Business Use Dropbox? Are You Aware Of The Potential Security Risks?

Posted by on 6:35 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Dropbox BusinessMany businesses have started to use services like Dropbox or Google Docs to share files among their staff, and it’s easy to see why. Using cloud services to share files online is an easy way to make your project files available to your team members at any time from any place they can access the Internet, so you can increase productivity and collaboration among your team.

But services like Dropbox are mostly designed for personal use, and they weren’t created with the rigorous security in mind that businesses with confidential data need. Dropbox isn’t the only villain here; many of the file sync services and online cloud consumer-level file storage services are equally vulnerable to theft, data loss, compromise, and even loss of ownership.

Why leave your important business open to any of these potential breaches? Three simple words: Because It’s Easy. These services are quick and easy to install, and they’re also incredibly inexpensive. So many businesses still continue to risk the livelihood of their employees, their business reputation, and the financial stability of the entire organization. Sure, Dropbox may be a very affordable solution, but at what price?

In 2012, Dropbox reported a security breach where hackers broke into user accounts and could view and steal information. Then, in 2013, Dropbox users were victims of a phishing attempt where hackers attempted to have users disclose their passwords and security settings by going to a copy website that contained a Trojan virus.

Forget about Dropbox for a second. Are you using Google’s Gmail application or their Google Drive service? Just a few days ago, Google became a victim of a security breach where approximately 5 million Gmail accounts were listed on a Russian bitcoin forum.

Consumer file synchronization services and file storage services have a huge target painted on their backs. Cybercriminals know that more and more businesses are storing vulnerable and lucrative data in the cloud, and are developing trickier ways to get at it. Why risk your business just to save a couple of bucks? It’s not worth it.

Book Your Complimentary Cloud Services Review Today With The Team Of Cloud Experts!

Our cloud services review will help you understand how your business can take advantage of the same collaborative and time-saving solutions of services like Dropbox, but without the potential security risks. We are experts in finding the right cloud services that meet the needs of your business but fit within your budget, and we’ll make sure you’re fully prepared and protected from any potential pitfalls that might await.

Our cloud experts will help you to understand:

  • The risks of data loss from consumer-level cloud services
  • How to protect against data corruption using consumer cloud services
  • Identifying potential security risks using consumer cloud technologies
  • Retaining data ownership in the cloud
  • Protecting against loss of file ownership
  • Ensuring you remain compliant with industry and regulatory standards

Dropbox and all the other consumer cloud services may be attractive simply because of the low price-tag. Our goal is to help businesses like yours understand that sometimes the savings of a few dollars can lead to huge security and confidentiality issues down the road, and that the seeming convenience just isn’t worth it.

We are here to protect you.

Book your complimentary cloud services assessment today. We will sit down with you and help you understand how your company can use the right cloud solutions in a safe and secured environment. Call our team today on the phone or email us.

Ordering Take Out From Google? Really? Yes You Can!

Posted by on 12:28 pm in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Google TakeoutOK, it’s not like pizza takeout or an order from your favorite Chinese restaurant. Sorry if we got your hopes up or made you hungry. But don’t click away just yet! Google Takeout is something you need to be aware of as a business professional.

What exactly is Google Takeout?

Google Takeout is a service that lets you know how much information Google knows about you or your business. It is a very fast way to see your entire “Google Footprint” across many of their services. We believe there are currently 17 services with more being added each day.

What is included in your Google Footprint?

  • Browsing history
  • Emails in Gmail
  • Contact details
  • Google Plus information
  • Google Drive account
  • YouTube account information

Basically, any service that you have on Google can be accessed through the Google Takeout service.

So how do you use it?

Google Takeout allows you to access your Google accounts in one place and then download a backup copy. So this service addressed the age-old question we get from Google users: How do I backup my Google drive account or export my email from Gmail? Simple: use Google Takeout.

  1. Login to your Google account (if it doesn’t happen automatically).
  2. Navigate to https://www.google.com/settings/takeout/
  3. Select the Google products you want to archive
  4. Click on create archive
  5. Sit back and relax. Google will email you when it’s complete

This process can take hours depending on the size of your archive and the amount of information you have stored across all the Google services. You should only do this on a secure computer, and you might as well start getting something else done while it works away in the background. Once you’re done, though, you’ll have that complete backup of all your Google services that you’ve been looking for.

Want to close out some of your Google accounts or any other online account? Here is a great app that does it for you. Check out AccountKiller at http://www.accountkiller.com/en/

Do you have questions about your online accounts? Concerned about security on Google or any other online service? We invite you to give our team a call right away. We are here to help your business with anything IT related. Call our office or drop us an email. We are here to help you.

Using Facebook? Here Are 5 Settings You Must Change Today!

Posted by on 8:04 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Facebook SettingsFacebook continues to add new features and services at an alarming rate, many times without even telling you what they are or what they do. Have you been jaded by a new Facebook feature that exposed your personal life to the Internet? Many of us have been without our knowledge – that’s the way Facebook rolls. But there are ways to protect yourself and still enjoy Facebook.

Remember: Facebook is all about the money. They are a publicly traded corporation, and they must show revenues to please their shareholders and Wall Street. How does Facebook accomplish this as a free service? Selling ads to you and selling your information to advertisers.

Here are five basic steps you can do right now to protect yourself:

  • Turn Off the Autoplay of Videos: Everyone hates videos that autoplay – they interrupt your flow, eat up your bandwidth, and just are generally annoying. Luckily, turning off videos from autoplaying isn’t hard at all. Click the arrow on the far right of the screen and choose settings. Click the videos option on the left side of the screen and turn off autoplay. Done!
  • Delete Your Recent Searches: Search history is retained in Facebook. Does Facebook use this information to show ads to you? We don’t know, but they could. Let’s just flush this once and for all. Go back into your settings and select privacy. Under “who can see my stuff,” click on VIEW ACTIVITY LOG. Now, now on the left side, look for photos. Click on photos and then click on MORE. Find searches, click on it, and then clear all searches. Do you see how hidden some of these items are in Facebook?
  • Privacy Settings: Repeat the steps from above to get into your privacy settings. There are a number of settings that you may want to set here so that your Facebook world isn’t exposed to everyone. If you have been on Facebook prior to 2010, this is all open by default. Lock your privacy settings down right away.
  • Stop Unwanted Notifications: Notifications can suck the energy out of your Facebook time. Who cares about your high school buddy’s record on Farmville? Turn this stuff off. Click on settings once again and go to notifications. Set to your desired comfort level.
  • Social Advertising: Remember what we said about Facebook’s need to please their shareholders and Wall Street? This is where it starts: advertising. You can turn off two settings for how ads are displayed and opt-out of advertising. This may vary from location to location depending on local laws. Set to your desired comfort level.

There you have it. Some very simple but effective ways to lock down your Facebook page and enjoy what Facebook is all about – sharing information and keeping up with friends.

Have questions about Facebook? Give your team of IT experts a call today. We are here to help you. Call us on the phone or drop us an email. We look forward to helping you.

4 Amazing Productivity Apps to Enhance Your Everyday Activities In Your Law Office

Posted by on 6:31 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

law office productivityProductivity apps are on the rise, with many being launched in the past few weeks. These apps are essential to businesses in the “bring your own device” era as they raise the overall personal productivity of everyone and efficiency of practice in serving the needs of your clients.

Here’s a look at a few of the best apps available to law offices right now:

  1. Hours Time Tracking

‘Hours Time Tracking’ was created by Tapity, Inc, and it assists in time tracking and making tedious tasks less agonizing. The app is currently $9.99 and its features include:

  • Visual timeline
  • Smart reminders
  • Detailed reporting capabilities
  • Slick, intuitive interface
  1. PlaceUs

‘PlaceUs’ was created by Alohar Mobile Inc, and is currently free in the App Store. This app allows users to share important location information with trusted colleagues, friends, and/or family.    Features of this app include:

  • On-the-Go provides real-time location updates whenever a connected colleague is in transit
  • Privacy mode settings allow you to control who sees your activity
  • Automatically ranks Top 10 places you visit most
  • Supports push notifications
  1. PackPoint

The creators ‘Wawwo’ introduced this app to act as a packing list travel companion for frequent travelers. The app informs users on what types of items they should pack when they’re traveling based on the:

  • Journey length
  • Weather
  • Planned activities
  1. Tinker

Tinker is an app that aims to boost productivity through the creation of duration-based goals. Tinker was created by the company Leef and is currently, $0.99 at the App Store. Tinker’s features include:

  • Create goals with start dates and durations
  • Visualize the progress of your current and future goals
  • Tap a goal or cover the screen to pause a goal’s time
  • Receive notifications when a goal is complete/when it’s time to start a new one

If any of these applications sound like they might be useful to you, download them and start living a more productive life today.

For more information on productivity applications that will help your business, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We are determined to ensure the productivity and efficiency of your day-to-day tasks and activities. 

Looking for the Best IT Consulting Services Around? We Offer IT Consultants Businesses Need to Stay Ahead of the Competition!

Posted by on 7:24 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

IT ConsultantDoes your business leverage information technology to the fullest extent? As technology continues to evolve, your business has a wide range of opportunities available – from remotely accessing computers at the office to storing data and applications securely in the cloud, however, it can be difficult to select and implement the right technologies for your unique needs. Fortunately, we offer the IT Consulting businesses need to thrive! 

When you’re looking to leverage information technology to the fullest extent, it can be difficult and time-consuming to select and implement the right business IT systems and applications for your unique needs. But there’s no need to worry! Our team of IT consultants can help you:

  • Determine vulnerabilities in your business IT systems to eliminate risks of performance issues, disruption, and downtime.
  • Assess IT needs to implement the right hardware and software to meet your short and long term business objectives.
  • Create a long term IT plan to make sure your information technology is scalable and flexible to meet your current and future needs.

Ultimately, this allows you to rest assured knowing your business IT systems are secure, reliable, and ready for future organizational growth and success. And when you choose to work with the best IT consultants has to offer, you’re able to have peace of mind knowing we’ll help you:

  • Decrease downtime & risks: We offer managed anti-virus software, firewalls, and various IT security solutions to decrease potential downtime and risks.
  • Increase continuity: We offer data backup and disaster recovery to keep your business IT systems and data available, no matter what comes your way.
  • Improve productivity: We offer various solutions; such as secure remote access solutions and 24/7 monitoring and maintenance, to keep your staff productive.
  • Eliminate unnecessary IT costs: We offer managed IT services to handle all of your technology needs at an affordable flat rate monthly fee.

What are you waiting for? Contact the best IT consultants has to offer businesses like yours! Give us a call or send us an email to learn more or to schedule a complimentary technology assessment. We are the preferred IT support company for businesses across the region, give us a call.