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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

What does your business stand to lose in a cyber attack?

used with permission from Microsoft US Small and Midsize Business Blog

Not long ago, I blogged here about a new type of cybercrime called ransomware. But when it comes to cyber crooks, apparently they’re also using some old-fashioned methods to breach businesses’ systems. The 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report from Cisco shows cybercrime is growing. Here’s what could be at risk for your business.

How are cyber crooks getting in?

While highly complex cyber attacks are increasing, the Cisco report notes that “classic” attacks are on the rise as well. For example, adware that gathers information about a user’s computer without telling them and malicious spam emails are common attack methods. In fact, spam is flying at levels not seen since 2010. According to the report, almost two-thirds (65 percent) of all email is spam, and 8 percent to 10 percent of spam is malicious.

Another risk for businesses is when employees select and […]

By | 2017-08-02T22:50:20+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on What does your business stand to lose in a cyber attack?

Lead generation: When the “product” is personal data

used with permission from FTC.gov., Lesley Fair

There’s been a lot of talk about “ping trees” and other activities associated with the lead generation industry. The FTC’s concern is that consumers don’t get ponged in the process. A proposed settlement gives a glimpse into how one lead generation company operated and offers insights for businesses about compliance considerations when the “product” in question is consumers’ personal data.

Arizona-based Blue Global operated at least 38 internet domains with names like 247loan.com, clickloans.net, onehourloan.com, and netloanusa.com. The sites offered services to consumers looking for anything from small payday loans to installment loans of as much as $35,000. Consumers completed online loan applications that required scads of personal information — the usual stuff, of course, but also bank routing numbers, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.

So Blue Global lent money to consumers? No, that’s not what was going on.

The company […]

By | 2017-08-02T22:50:05+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Lead generation: When the “product” is personal data

Google Docs phishing attack

As some of you may already be aware of, there has been a large scale email phishing attack that impersonates a Google Docs request. Although it may appear that the email requests are coming from a known sender or domain, they are using techniques to spoof those addresses. These emails contain hyperlinks or files that contain Trojans, worms, or other malicious executable files that can hijack your system and potentially your network if gone unnoticed. Please take extra effort to watch for any emails you receive that might have a subject line “You have received a new document from support@yourcompany.com” with a sender of “Google Documents”, or unknown sender. If you do receive any emails that match this description, do not open any attachments or follow any links. If you have any concerns, or questions please reach out to our support team.

 

 

By | 2017-08-02T22:50:14+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Google Docs phishing attack

Fire Outside SpireTech’s Office Building

Dumpster Fire Outside SpireTech’s Office Building

Fire in a trash dumpster located in the parking lot caused damage to the electrical system which controls our generators.  Core electrical and network connectivity remained up during the fire. Repairs needed to address all damage are underway. We will post additional information on our blog as it becomes available. If you have any questions or issues with regard to Wednesday night’s outage please get in touch.  A big thanks to the Portland Fire Department for their fast, professional and efficient work to keep our people and property safe.  Also a big thanks to our electrical contractors who immediately came out to make repairs.  And, of course, thanks very much to all of our customers as well for their understanding and support.

By | 2017-07-21T21:55:45+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Fire Outside SpireTech’s Office Building

SpireTech has made the 2017 MSP Mentor MSP501 List

10th Annual MSP 501 Ranking and Study Identifies World’s Most Progressive MSPs in Information Technology

SpireTech ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier.

The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at MSPmentor.net. In addition to honoring SpireTech, this year’s MSP 501 list and study showcases the top ranked MSPs worldwide.

Scott Cook, SpireTech President said: “Making the MSPMentor 501 list is an achievement similar to a growing small business making the Inc 500 list, except in the Managed IT Services space. We’re proud to have made it, and thankful to our employees and clients for making it happen.”

“On behalf of […]

By | 2017-07-21T15:25:03+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on SpireTech has made the 2017 MSP Mentor MSP501 List

See what SpireTech has been doing!

Within the last month SpireTech has hit several major milestones in providing superior solutions to our customers. We have earned our Microsoft Silver CSP status, and earned our SMB Cloud Competency. What does this mean for our customers? Read about each of these below:

Microsoft Silver CSP

Microsoft Partner Signature Support provides partners with support to help keep their customers’ services operating smoothly. Signature Support handles technical support scenarios for Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Azure. This means that if you ever need help with your office products, such as a Hybrid Exchange server, or Sharepoint Online site we have Microsoft Partner Signature Support backing us up.

Microsoft SMB Cloud Competency

IDC forecasts that worldwide public IT cloud services revenue (i.e. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) will reach $141.2B USD by 2019, a 19.4% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR): almost six […]

By | 2017-07-21T15:25:25+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on See what SpireTech has been doing!

Warning: New Petya ransomware outbreak similar to WannaCry is spreading worldwide

A new ransomware attack called Petya, PetyaWrap, or GoldenEye began spreading worldwide on June 27th, and it looks similar to the WannaCry outbreak in May. It targets Microsoft Windows operating systems and so far reports show that all systems from XP to Windows 10 are susceptible.

Petya looks to be more sophisticated than WannaCry and doesn’t have the same flaws that allowed a “killswitch” to slow down WannaCry’s progress. This means Petya may be a more virulent attack and harder to slow down and stop, although experts are saying they hope the patching of the known exploits it uses after the WannaCry outbreak may limit its impact.

Petya delivers two nasty payloads: ransomware which targets a computer’s entire file system and an information stealer which extracts usernames and passwords from other machines in the network.

So far, this outbreak takes advantage of the same EternalBlue exploit as last month’s WannaCry attack. It also targets another […]

By | 2017-07-20T00:06:39+00:00 July 17th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Warning: New Petya ransomware outbreak similar to WannaCry is spreading worldwide

10 easy-to-use online collaboration tools

used with permission from HP Technology at Work

Is your team having a communications breakdown? Or maybe just leaning too heavily on endless email threads? From workflow management apps to all-in-one collaboration tools, here are some of the many services available to help your colleagues cut down on email (yay!), get work done more efficiently, and—here’s the best part—have more fun.

Group messaging

  • Slack: is so popular that there’s a good chance your office is already using it. If not, this cloud-based tool should be the first one you look into. Its themed channels for teams, customizable alert settings, archiving, and search capabilities make it a robust tool for both real-time messaging and storing old conversations for easy reference. Many people are also using Slack channels for personal use outside of work, so your team will probably adapt to it easily.
  • Workplace by Facebook: Speaking of systems that are popular outside of work, 
By | 2017-07-20T00:06:48+00:00 July 17th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on 10 easy-to-use online collaboration tools