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The effects of VPNFilter on SpireTech customers

At the end of May the Cisco Talos security team released information on a new attack on consumer network infrastructure. The attack affects dozens of models of routers commonly used in home and small business networks. It is estimated that over 500,000 devices have been infected and the threat is significant enough that the FBI released a public service announcement (Read Announcement)

New information on this malware has been released indicating that it has additional functionality for persisting through a reboot, as well as for stealing user data. Disinfecting a device will require a factory reset as well as flashing the latest firmware. SpireTech is scanning the networks of our Managed Services customers (VIP Support Program) to identify any potentially vulnerable devices and perform the necessary remediation. If you are one of our Basic Support customers (which does not include our proactive services) we would be happy to work with you to create a plan to identify if you have any […]

By | 2018-06-13T23:26:17+00:00 June 7th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on The effects of VPNFilter on SpireTech customers

5 mobile threats you should shut down in 2018

used with permission from Tektonika (HP)

Mobile devices are now a staple of the workplace, as ubiquitous as open floor plans and videoconferencing. Enabling employees to work from their mobile devices can even boost satisfaction, productivity, creativity, loyalty, and engagement—that’s quite a list of benefits.

However, embracing these upsides also requires paying attention to the downside: mobile threats. Given the sheer volume and value of sensitive data on employee devices, mobile security needs to be an IT priority. Every time an employee accesses corporate data from a smartphone, they put the entire network at risk—unless proper security measures are in place.

To unlock the full potential of workplace mobility, IT pros need to understand the biggest mobile threats. Here’s an overview of the top five hazards you should look out for in 2018—and beyond.

1. Data leakage

As defined by PCMag, data leakage is “the unauthorized transfer of classified information from a computer or data center to the outside world.” There are […]

By | 2018-06-05T23:43:02+00:00 June 5th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on 5 mobile threats you should shut down in 2018

Build your security immunity with an IT infrastructure checkup

used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Joe Hewitson

As a species, humans have a natural tendency to overcomplicate things. Take coffee, for example: It’s gone from simple, “good ’til the last drop” black coffee to iced, half-caff, ristretto, venti, four-pump, sugar-free, cinnamon, skinny latte. You’d be hard-pressed to buy a car without a full-blown home theater experience built-in nowadays—and let’s not even get started on those “it’s complicated” social media relationships.

IT infrastructure and office security are no different. People tend to complicate security until they can barely keep track of all the tricks and tools meant to keep their network secure. But it doesn’t have to take Herculean brain power and energy to make sure your environment is secure. Here’s a quick rundown of some practical steps you can take right now to inject some anti-venom into your office’s immune system.

Take a comprehensive roll call

You can’t do much without a working roster […]

By | 2018-06-05T23:42:53+00:00 June 5th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Build your security immunity with an IT infrastructure checkup

Cryptojacking: What it is and how to prevent it

used with the permission of http://thenetwork.cisco.com, by Stephanie Chan

Google announced Monday a ban on all Chrome extensions in the Chrome Web Store used to cryptojack computers. This newer form of hacking uses these extensions to get into a victim’s computer and use its resources to mine cryptocurrency. A blog post from the tech giant states that around 90% of these cryptojacking extensions were ignoring Google’s policies, instead using these extensions to host crypto-mining code.

Cryptojacking is often done without the victim knowing, and can seriously slow down computer performance by draining the Central Processing Unit (CPU) power. With the increase in the popularity of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, many criminals are using cryptojacking to pull in profit. A blog by Cisco’s Harini Pasupuleti carefully outlines the way this malware works: malicious users plant JavaScript on a web browser that uses CPU to mine cryptocurrencies. The crime is deemed dangerous because […]

By | 2018-06-05T23:42:45+00:00 June 5th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Cryptojacking: What it is and how to prevent it

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Microsoft released their latest update to Windows on April 30th and will be pushing it out through windows update starting May 8th.  This is the most recent major update after the Fall Creators Update was released last October. Spire Tech strives to be proactive with our VIPsupport clients, so we will be conducting testing, before deploying this update, both for general installation problems and issues with software that was previously identified as problematic with the Fall Creators Update.

Once testing has been completed by our technicians we will determine a schedule to roll out the update to our clients.  Managed Services clients who wish to get more information about their update schedule are encouraged to contact their Technical Client Manager (TCM).

With the new update comes new features that Microsoft believes enhances the Windows 10 experience. To hopefully keep from overwhelming you, here is a selection of 3 new significant changes. A full list of […]

By | 2018-05-04T21:17:38+00:00 May 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Behind the curtain: The “TCM” role at SpireTech

The Technical Client Manager (TCM) is a new, enhanced role available to SpireTech’s VIP support clients.  The TCM meets regularly with clients to collaboratively discuss ways to achieve their current and future technology needs and goals.  The TCM holds a senior-level technical role and is responsible for understanding and connecting your IT processes with business results.

TCM’s meet with clients to discuss and undertake this work through periodic business reviews, or PBR’s.  In a client PBR with the TCM, possible topics include improvements to existing systems, 1-3 year capital and operating budget planning, evaluation of current or future projects, and updates about new technologies that might benefit a client’s business.

Additionally, TCM’s manage projects and all major issues with clients, coordinate service delivery deadlines, and interface between SpireTech staff to select the most appropriate staff to perform specific technical work for our clients.

We’re in the process of reaching out to all VIP support clients to […]

By | 2018-05-04T19:36:49+00:00 May 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Behind the curtain: The “TCM” role at SpireTech

FileCloud- Enterprise File Sync & Share

SpireTech is continually seeking innovative solutions to keep our clients up to date with current options. One of the products we’ve been offering is called FileCloud, which can serve as a file server replacement (when only cloud is needed), or as a hybrid that combines both cloud and on-premises file access that is compatible with Windows servers, workstations, and also Macs. It enables employees to work anywhere, anytime, without the need for VPN software that can sometimes be slow and/or clunky.

Why Might You Choose to Use FileCloud?

FileCloud brings Enterprise level features and capabilities without complex or costly software licensing requirements. The FileCloud price is competitive with other major file sharing platforms, and at the same time allows you to meet data security or compliance requirements in a variety of ways.

FileCloud Sync

The FileCloud Sync app provides the same features you see in some of the major […]

By | 2018-04-23T20:26:36+00:00 April 10th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on FileCloud- Enterprise File Sync & Share

Spire Turns 25 years old

Spire reaches another milestone –  our 25th anniversary! 

SpireTech turned 25 years old on Feb 25th, 2018.  In the technology business, that’s a few lifetimes.  While our services continue to evolve with new technologies many of our clients have been with us since day one!  We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our valued clients — we appreciate your business!

Our birthday is a good time to reflect on why we founded SpireTech, and how we chose our name.  For a trip down memory lane read on.

Why SpireTech was founded

Spire’s founders, who worked in the IT department of a large Civil Engineering firm, noticed that there were no IT firms in PDX supporting the specialized needs of Architects and Engineers who required both networking and CAD expertise.

A lot of our work focused on end-user productivity – if you save all your employees 10 minutes a day, it can […]

By | 2018-03-08T22:24:22+00:00 March 8th, 2018|Newsletter, Spiretech|Comments Off on Spire Turns 25 years old

Hiring a web host? FTC has security tips for small businesses

used with permission from FTC.gov, by Lesley Fair

Engage, connect, protect was the theme of a series of Small Business Security Roundtables the FTC sponsored last summer. We listened to businesses talk about the challenges they face in securing sensitive information and fending off cyber threats. We also heard that they want concrete advice from the FTC. For example, how can a small company – especially one that may not have the in-house expertise to host its own website – get down to business while also addressing these concerns?

In search of a solution, many businesses turn to web hosting firms to set up their website and email systems. In a just-published Staff Perspective, Do Web Hosts Protect Their Small Business Customers with Secure Hosting and Anti-Phishing Technologies?, the FTC’s Office of Technology Research & Investigation (OTech) looked at 11 web hosts that market their services to small businesses. (The Staff Perspective […]

By | 2018-03-08T00:11:17+00:00 March 6th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Hiring a web host? FTC has security tips for small businesses

Are passwords passé?

used with permission from HP Tech@Work

Is my password still enough, or do I need more?

Without question, security is critical these days. Whether it’s device, online, or mobile security, the need for protection is obvious, and the risk can’t be ignored. For years, that protection has centered on a login…and a password. But has that changed?

Oh, that password. We’ve been reminded us for years not to write it down. Not to keep it anywhere that someone could find it. Which has made more than a few people prone to forgetting it. Show of hands, anyone?

Then there’s the issue of using a unique password for every account. Considering we have an ever-increasing number of password-protected accounts, for everything from banking to gaming – and the apps that go with them – this can be exhausting.

Add to that the known problems with public networks, and the risks you and your mobile workers face daily when […]

By | 2018-03-08T22:23:01+00:00 March 6th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Are passwords passé?