Blog

Cloud vs On-Premise Infrastructure

July 5, 2017
Everyone is talking about migrating their computing environment to the cloud.
 
The biggest question for most businesses is “Do I want the Capital Expenditure (CapEx) or the Operational Expenditure (OpEx)?”
 
On premise servers cost money (CapEx). Money that usually needs to be spend every 3 – 5 years to keep your environment up to date and stable. Cloud based servers are a monthly fee (OpEx) ...

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Ransomware – Are you prepared?

June 23, 2017
Everyone is talking about ransomware, but are you prepared or protected?
 
Ransomware is a malicious software that blocks access or encrypts your data until you pay the ransom.
 
There are two areas to focus on. Protection and preparedness. How do you protect against ransomware? Nothing is 100%, but there are now antiviruses and antimalware available that can help protect against ransomware. Sophos has a solution ...

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Phishing Attack Simulation & Training

May 23, 2017
The threat of Phishing is growing daily. All the controls and fancy technologies are still susceptible to the unintended consequences to users being tricked into clicking on a link or providing personally identifiable information.
 
So what can you do about it? Ultimately your last line of defense is training. The best way to train users is to safely simulate a phishing threat and if they fall for it gently provide ...

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Security Risk Assessment (When is it time?)

May 10, 2017
What is risk? We risk our lives every day just by crossing the street. We determine the risk of crossing, decreasing the probability of getting hurt by making sure we check both directions before we cross.
What is the risk that applies to your computing environment? Can you afford to be compromised? Are you as protected as you think you are?
 
Have you determined the severity of a a breach or data loss and the probability ...

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We are at the WiFi Tipping Point!

April 17, 2017
The wireless age is upon us. There are now more wireless devices in the World than people. Wireless is more versatile than wired because you are not tethered to a location. Wireless can be as fast or faster than the wired connections and most wireless systems now can manage the network traffic at the edge, instead of allowing it to traverse the network to be managed by the firewall.
 
Most locations have wireless. ...

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Why do we need Two Factor Authentication (2FA)?

April 14, 2017
Everyone has heard about Yahoo email being hacked. There are many other cases of email and other systems that have been hacked that have not been made public.
 
A User name and password has been great in the past to connect to email and other systems; but the issue is that the passwords and user names must be stored in a database to be accessible by the users.
Many solutions are now offering Two Factor Authentication ...

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What is Email Spoofing?

April 7, 2017
The term “spoof” means to imitate or trick someone into thinking they are something they are not. This is also true with Email Spoofing. It is an email that looks real, but is a fake or imitation of the real thing.
 
In most cases, these are caught by the spam filter if there is one in place; but some get through and in some cases, they look real.
Always assume an email is fraudulent until proven otherwise.
 
Example: ...

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Top Managed Service Considerations

April 5, 2017
Managed Services used to mean all-or-nothing. Most clients and most providers have wised up, understanding that in many cases, it is more beneficial to selectively leverage outside services.
 
Managed IT Services specifically help to push highly specific support and management functions to an expert third party.
 
So what aspects of your environment make sense to leverage in your environment? Answer: It depends?
 
Begin ...

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Traditional Firewall vs Next Gen Firewall

April 3, 2017
 
Traditional firewalls can monitor and manage traffic utilizing stateful or stateless inspection. It utilizes ports and protocols between layer 2 and layer 4 of the OSI model. They can do Network Address Translation (NAT), Port Address Translation (PAT) and manage Virtual Private Networks (VPN). It can only monitor and manage traffic based on this information.
 
 
Next Generation firewalls can monitor ...

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Plan to Fail or Fail to Plan

March 30, 2017
There are many forms of disaster in business today. From server failure & data loss, to security breaches, to Viruses & Ransomware; you need 24 x 7 x 365 protection.
 
If you do not have a Disaster Recovery solution, then you plan to fail. It’s that simple. The probability of a disaster is extremely high if you have not analyzed your environment and designed a solution to protect against failure.
 
Understanding...

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Ransomware - now available on Mac OS X

March 18, 2016
On March 4th, Palo Alto Networks discovered the first fully functional ransomware for OS X. This is important to note for several reasons:
 
1.     This shows the proliferation of ransomware in general.
2.     Demonstrates the success of ransomware and the expanding threat.
3.     Mac users tend to think their systems are inherently secure ...

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Windows 2003 EOS (End of Support) July 25th, 2015

April 27, 2015

Lombard, IL - It's been a good run; 12 years for a server platform is not bad, but it's time to put Windows 2003 to pasture. Seriously it's time to upgrade! Windows 2012 R2 is a sustainably improved product that better utilizes hardware, cloud integration, and simplified management capabilities.
 
Going beyond the support date will expose you to risks associated with security, availability, and overall functionality. 
&nbs...

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Evolution of Managed Services

April 17, 2015
Nothing has changed IT Support Service delivery over the past few years more than the advent of Managed Services Agreements (MSA for short). “Flat Fee” services have become all the rage as businesses seek opportunities to obtain meaningful and reliable IT services at a fixed monthly cost.
But how did we get to this point?
 
Evolution of Managed Services
 
The following is a synopsis of the ...

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IT Security Assessment Must-Haves

January 12, 2015
 
IT Security is a hot topic, with literally daily announcements of new security vulnerabilities. Businesses everywhere are demanding that their internal IT group prevent future corporate break-ins, theft of credit card information, and proprietary data. It is essential that organizations everywhere take a proactive approach to IT security. Understanding your IT security vulnerabilities is key to mitigating ...

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Not Another Cloud Based Backup Solution!

November 18, 2014
Another day and another cloud-based backup solution option. Why after so many years are we still struggling with backups? In a very crowded marketplace, what do you really need in a backup solution? Thankfully, there has been a fair amount of innovation in this space the past few years and things are starting to look like organizations may finally be able to achieve a comprehensive backup, recovery, and business continuity ...

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Office Move Checklist

November 4, 2014
Lombard, IL - Change is inevitable. Today is election day and with election day several politicans will need to start planning their own office moves. We thought it would be a good reminder for everyone to think about your own upcoming office moves or expansion plans. 
 
Office moves can be be a stressful period for everyone in the organization. Make sure yours goes smoothly by considering all the technology ...

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Microsoft System Center Configuration Management (SCCM)

October 31, 2014
Technology plays a vital role in all organizations. More and more devices and applications are entering our lives every day. Microsoft System Center Configuration Management (SCCM), formerly known as Systems Management Server (SMS), is a great way to maintain large groups of computers running a variety of operating systems including, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android, just to name a few.
 
SCCM can provide a ...

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Google Apps for Education - Now with Unlimited Storage!

September 30, 2014
In a little more than two short years Google Drive has nearly 190 million people worldwide who regularly use the service. That's more than half the population of United States and the equivilent user base of 63 cities the size of Chicago!
 
Well, get ready for more because Google just announced that it is introducing Unlimited Storage for Google Apps! Google Apps for Education will provide support for individual ...

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E-rate 2.0 - Top 10 E-rate Modernization Changes

September 17, 2014
The FCC launched a new E-rate 2.0 program July 2014 to provide funds to accelerate the transformation of education in the United States. These funds are available for eligible public school districts and independent private / charter schools who meet the defined criteria. The FCC has funded $1B/year for 2015 and 2016 with the intent and plan to continue this level of funding for the next 5+ years.
 
E-rate Modernization ...

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One-to-One Initiatives – Don’t forget the infrastructure!

August 26, 2014
Schools of all shapes and sizes from elementary schools to high schools to higher education are rapidly seeking to put technology in the hands of students. One-to-One Initiatives in schools are meant to help put technology in the hands of the students. Technology varies as it could be the laptop, Google Chromebook, Apple iPad or Windows based tablet devices there are many infrastructure, IT support and funding considerations ...

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EBay Breached & Password Security

May 21, 2014
Lombard, IL - Another week and another major security breach. Hackers appear to once again stolen a large number of passwords from a major US company. EBay is urging users to change your passwords and if you use the password on other sites you should change those as well.
 
Passwords are an important aspect of computer security. A poorly chosen password may result in unauthorized access and/or exploitation of of ...

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