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Microsoft Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Issues

Yearly, Microsoft releases an update to their current operating system, this year it is known as the Fall Creators update.

As more machines are being updated to this release (Build 1709) our support specialists have noticed a trend in calls reporting system instabilities.

Here are some of the issues that we have found during testing, or that have been reported by our users after they applied this update:

  • Update causes Remote Desktop (RDP) to stop functioning
  • AutoDesk software is unstable after the update and crashes frequently
  • Various Printer vendors are working to update drivers to support these release changes and you may find a printer that no longer functions after the 1709 release
  • Microsoft .Net Framework packages have become unstable and cause software crashes
  • Microsoft Office365 Users are reporting they are unable to install other software applications if Office suite software is running at the time

Any of our MSP customers that have their patches managed […]

By | 2017-12-09T00:25:18+00:00 December 9th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Microsoft Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Issues

3 Security Advantages of Managed IT Services

Managed IT services, or outsourced remote network management, can help your business in many ways. It’s a cost effective way of having your IT infrastructure monitored and maintained by experts instead of hiring an IT director. Or, it can free up your IT director and IT staff to work on more important projects than daily maintenance. But other than productivity and peace of mind, what are the security benefits of managed IT services?

Here are three security advantages you get with remote network management.

#1 You Stay Updated

Basic managed IT services include running software updates, patches, and upgrades for your servers and/or desktops. Any machines covered by your contract will automatically have updates run on schedule, so you never have to worry about the time it takes to check your update status and apply patches. Instead, updating happens automatically – heading off any cybersecurity attacks that target vulnerabilities between the times when a patch […]

By | 2017-12-09T00:25:47+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on 3 Security Advantages of Managed IT Services

Defending against ransomware using system design

used with permission from Microsoft Secure, by Michael Melone, Principal Cybersecurity Consultant, Enterprise Cybersecurity Group

Earlier this year, the world experienced a new and highly-destructive type of ransomware. The novel aspects of WannaCry and Petya were not skills as ransomware, but the combination of commonplace ransomware tactics paired with worm capability to improve propagation.

WannaCry achieved its saturation primarily through exploiting a discovered and patched vulnerability in a common Windows service. The vulnerability (MS17-010) impacted the Windows Server service which enables communication between computers using the SMB protocol. Machines infected by WannaCry propagate by connecting to a nearby unpatched machine, performing the exploit, and executing the malware. Execution of the exploit did not require authentication, thus enabling infection of any unpatched machine.

Petya took this worming functionality one step further and additionally introduced credential theft and impersonation as a form of worming capability. These techniques target single sign-on technologies, such as traditional domain membership. This added capability […]

By | 2017-12-09T00:25:44+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Defending against ransomware using system design

Stick with Security: Segment your network and monitor who’s trying to get in and out

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

Who’s coming in and what’s going out? Businesses that want to stick with security build commonsense monitoring into their brick-and-mortar operations. Whether it’s a key card reader at the door or a burglar alarm activated at night, careful companies keep an eye on entrances and exits.

Your computer systems deserve the same kind of watchful attention, which is why Start with Security advises you to segment your network and monitor who’s trying to get in and out. Based on FTC cases, closed investigations, and questions posed by businesses, here are examples illustrating the benefits of segmenting your network and monitoring the size and frequency of data transfers.

Segment Your Network.

Network technology gives companies the option to link every computer, laptop, smartphone, and other device together on the same network. Of course, there may be legitimate business reasons why you need some […]

By | 2017-12-09T00:25:39+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Stick with Security: Segment your network and monitor who’s trying to get in and out

When Is a Simple Data Backup Not Enough?

You know you need data backup, but when do you need a business continuity solution?

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ll know that massive global ransomware attacks are only growing in scale and frequency. These attacks and other threats and accidents that cripple, ransom, or destroy organizations’ data are a convincing argument for a solid backup solution. Restoring from a data backup is often the only reliable way to recover from these events. Even smaller organizations and businesses know that they need some sort of backup solution now. But when do you need more than a regular data backup?

Types of Data Backup

Roughly speaking, you can think of backup solutions in two flavors. The first type backs up your data (offsite, onsite, and/or in the cloud) and lets you restore it.

The second type does this too, but also provides hardware and software to recover and run your servers or infrastructure in […]

By | 2017-11-14T00:11:04+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on When Is a Simple Data Backup Not Enough?

The dark web: What your business needs to know

used with permission from FTC.gov., by John Krebs

You’ve heard about the “dark web” and wondered how it affects businesses – including small businesses. That was one of the topics addressed at an FTC conference earlier this year on identity theft. Recent headlines about high-profile data breaches have added even more urgency to the discussion. So why should the dark web matter to your company? Unfortunately, when a business suffers a breach, the dark web is often the next stop that sensitive data makes after it’s been stolen.

What is the dark web?

It’s a term that describes places on the internet not indexed by traditional search engines. While not every site on the dark web engages in criminal activity, the dark web is where sites that illegally sell consumer data and other black market goods tend to congregate. For identity thieves, the dark web is a sophisticated marketplace providing one-stop shopping to get the tools […]

By | 2017-11-14T00:25:06+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on The dark web: What your business needs to know

Businesses beware: Researchers spot bug in Wi-Fi network encryption

used with permission from FTC.gov., by Phoebe Rouge

You’ve read recent news stories about a vulnerability discovered in the WPA2 encryption standard. (Some reports refer to it as KRACK – Key Reinstallation Attack.) Should this be of concern to your business? Yes. Does it warrant further action at your company? Absolutely.

If you or anyone at your business uses a smartphone, laptop, or IoT device connected to a Wi-Fi network, the information sent over that network could be at risk. Researchers have found a bug that lets attackers “break” WPA2 – the encryption that protects most wireless networks – leaving data you send exposed.

The bad news is that this isn’t just a problem with a specific device or manufacturer. It’s a problem with the encryption standard nearly all Wi-Fi devices on the market use to scramble communications, prevent eavesdropping, and deter tampering. The chilling upshot is that if anyone at your business […]

By | 2017-11-10T00:28:19+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Businesses beware: Researchers spot bug in Wi-Fi network encryption

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