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SpireTech expands Sophos partnership

As you may be aware, the software company Kaspersky has recently been a heated topic of discussion in the media and amongst the IT security community.   Last month U.S. government agencies were told to use other security solutions.  SpireTech, as are most IT providers, is continuing to offer and support Kaspersky products.  However, we want to make sure all our customers are aware of additional security software alternatives we offer and support. Sophos is one that SpireTech has offered for the past several years, as many of our small to mid-size clients use Sophos as their primary Firewall solution.  Sophos Endpoint Advanced Security with Intercept X offers a more advanced feature set typically found only in enterprise level security suites at affordable prices.  As a Sophos partner, SpireTech can provide any of our clients with their full range of security solutions.

Contact your SpireTech representative today to learn more about the advantages Sophos products […]

By | 2017-10-03T22:22:45+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on SpireTech expands Sophos partnership

Are social logins safe to use?

used with permission from Norton by Symantec

By now you’ve noticed you typically have two options to log in to an online account. One is the traditional username and password combination. The other is the social login, which uses your credentials for a social networking account, such as Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

Until recently the login method you prefer might have hinged on convenience. However, you may want to consider security and privacy before you click that “Log in with Facebook” button again.

Benefits of social logins

One of the biggest reasons people leave a website is because they are asked to create an account in order to proceed. With the number of online accounts people have, it’s no wonder the thought of creating another username and password combo makes people consider getting off the grid. That’s where social logins come into play.

Most people, especially Millennials, are comfortable living their lives online. And since many people […]

By | 2017-10-03T21:49:02+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Are social logins safe to use?

A Short Guide to Data Security Practices for Your Business

Technology.

Much has been said about data security practices and cybersecurity measures that businesses should follow. All the information and recommendations out there can be confusing and overwhelming. Large data breaches and multiple scary ransomware attacks have dominated the news for years now. Each time businesses have to ask, “Should we be worried? Are we a target? What can we do to defend ourselves?” So here’s a short beginner’s guide on keeping your data safe and your risks low.

#1 Don’t ask for information you don’t need

Don’t ask for and don’t hold confidential information “just because”. If you don’t store Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or collect other sensitive, confidential data, you don’t have to worry so much about protecting it. Do you really need to ask for Social Security numbers? Do you need a customer’s full birth date? Ask yourself what is truly appropriate and necessary for each situation. By reducing the amount […]

By | 2017-10-03T21:48:56+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on A Short Guide to Data Security Practices for Your Business

SpireTech Has Moved Temporarily

SpireTech Has Moved Temporarily – but just to the other side the street!

Following the dumpster fire in July, which damaged the lower levels of the building where SpireTech occupies the top floor, we have relocated our “people space” to another building in the same office park.

We are now located at 2130 SW Jefferson Street, Suite 300, which is just on the other side of the parking lot from 2140.   However, other than our physical address, all our contact information remains the same – with all of our telephone and technology contact information staying unchanged.

We expect to be in our temporary offices until the building repairs and renovations are completed, hopefully before the end of December.  If you’re in the area, you’re welcome to stop by and check out our temporary home.

By | 2017-09-15T21:52:58+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on SpireTech Has Moved Temporarily

Kaspersky AntiVirus Notice

Kaspersky AntiVirus Notice

SpireTech has been monitoring developments relative to security questions being raised about Kaspersky Anti-Virus software, including the US federal government’s restrictions for federal agencies announced on September 13, 2017.  SpireTech is currently investigating the best alternative options in consultation with both our peers and software suppliers.

While respecting the geopolitical issues impacting this product, from a technical standpoint Kaspersky Anti-Virus has been continuing to provide security updates and patches. Once we have determined available alternatives we will inform all clients to inquire whether their organization wishes to change antivirus vendors.

Please contact us with any questions you might have in the meantime.

By | 2017-09-15T21:53:31+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Kaspersky AntiVirus Notice

7 tips to prevent ransomware

used with permission from Norton by Symantec

Malicious software that uses encryption to hold data for ransom has become wildly successful over the last few years. The purpose of this software is to extort money from the victims with promises of restoring encrypted data. Like other computer viruses, it usually finds its way onto a device by exploiting a security hole in vulnerable software or by tricking somebody into installing it. Ransomware, as it is known, scores high profile victims like hospitals, public schools and police departments. Now it has found its way into home computers.

The nefarious ransomware business model has turned out to be a lucrative industry for criminals. Over the years its ill repute has made law enforcement team up with international agencies to identify and bring down scam operators.

Most of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the past have been linked to poor protection practices by employees.

There are […]

By | 2017-09-15T21:53:42+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on 7 tips to prevent ransomware

Why bother with updates and upgrades?

Software hardware update and upgrade words made of wooden cubes

When was the last time you thought about software updates and hardware upgraes? For many, updating software and hardware is not a priority because “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. However, it’s clear that today’s cyber attacks prey on vulnerabilities present in old software and hardware. (This holds especially true for operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.)

It may not be “broke”, but it’s still old. “Working” does not mean “secure”. Old software and hardware simply do not have the latest defenses like security patches and advances in firmware to keep you safe from new and ever-evolving threats.

Update your software

It’s not uncommon to see people working on outdated, unpatched Windows operating systems or other software that is sometimes 6 or more years old. You’ve probably heard this before, but it always bears repeating: Keep your software updated and patched regularly and automatically, […]

By | 2017-09-15T21:54:05+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Why bother with updates and upgrades?

Start with security – and stick with it

used with permission from SBA.gov, by Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

When it comes to data security, what’s reasonable will depend on the size and nature of your business and the kind of data you deal with. But certain principles apply across the board: Don’t collect sensitive information you don’t need. Protect the information you maintain. And train your staff to carry out your policies.

The FTC’s Start with Security initiative was built on those fundamentals. As we mentioned in last week’s introductory post, we’re calling this series Stick with Security because each blog post will offer a deeper dive into one of the ten principles discussed in Start with Security. Although the principles remain unchanged, we’ll use these posts – one every Friday for the next several months – to explore the lessons of law enforcement actions announced since Start with Security, to reflect on what businesses can […]

By | 2017-09-15T21:54:16+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Start with security – and stick with it

Update on the dumpster fire and repairs to our generator system

After the recent dumpster fire, our electricians have been hard at work to get everything back to normal. New permanent conduits, transfer switch, and wire have been installed, and repairs to one of our two generators are under way. While our generator is being repaired, a rental CAT generator has been installed and tested, an important step because the summer heat sometimes threatens brownouts. The more critical and difficult repairs have been completed, and we’re on to simpler items now.

The first and second floors of the building received smoke damage, which is being remediated.  We are on the 3rd floor, and only received minimal smoke.  The datacenter is closed off and recirculates air, and did not draw in any smoke from outside. They will be replacing carpet, ceiling tiles, and cleaning and painting the entire building to get rid of any lingering smells.  As our office is remodeled we will be moving our office to the building directly above ours, and […]

By | 2017-08-03T22:28:08+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Update on the dumpster fire and repairs to our generator system

4 ways to help your remote employees collaborate better

used with permission from Microsoft US Small and Midsize Business Blog

Remote employees have come a long way since the days when trying to work while away from the workplace was like a sentence in solitary confinement. Thanks to the Cloud, they no longer have to use cumbersome methods to access office computer files or receive access codes from special devices just to make a phone call. But, do your remote employees really feel like they are part of the team?

There’s a lot to be said for the sense of community formed by team members who are all in the same physical location. Here are four pitfalls of working remotely and how Microsoft* tools can help employees from San Francisco to South Beach collaborate as if they are all sitting around the same table.

#1. Access to files and software

When attending meetings, the people in the office conference room have an advantage over remote […]

By | 2017-08-02T22:50:25+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on 4 ways to help your remote employees collaborate better