If you’re in business, chances are you need to meet some compliance standard with a bunch of letters or numbers in it. Think HIPAA, PCI, NIST 171 etc. We could discuss each in depth, but you wouldn’t make it to the end of this article without getting sleeeeepy . . ....
It’s our fault. Me, you, the people to our left and right. Let’s accept that most (or all?!?) of the I.T. breaches you hear about are caused by us. We clicked the wrong thing in the wrong email and installed ransomware. We wired money from our business checking...
Have you ever had that sick feeling in your stomach because you weren’t sure if you locked the front door before you went on vacation? Or maybe you weren’t sure if you left the stove on? I bet you never got sick to your stomach wondering if there were open ports on...
Hospitals have been shut down.
The ones actively operating on sick people.
How does this happen?
Because those hospitals LET IT HAPPEN.
We could engage in a discussion about the people doing this, but that doesn’t help.
Let’s instead look at how the heck hospitals LET THIS HAPPEN.
We recently worked with a customer that had an efficiency issue with how their wireless network was setup.
The customer was an east coast marine company and had over 100+ Access Points (APs) at 17 ports. The issue was with the previous installation of the wireless network; they had to manually configure APs individually every time they made a change. This might be feasible if there are 2 or 3 different locations, but not 100 APs over 17 ports!
Customer had 1 physical server running 3 virtual servers. Those 3 virtual servers contained all their company data. Since they are housed on 1 physical server, an issue with that 1 piece of physical hardware could take down all 3 virtual servers.
Downtime for this company was estimated to cost them $4,500/Hour.
Customer asked us to improve their chances of avoiding future server downtime.
Security patches, Antivirus, Firewall, VPN . . .
All nice feel-good terms, right – but do they matter?
OK, yes, they matter.
You know what really matters though?
Your relationship with your IT staff. Your involvement with your IT staff. Your knowledge about what your IT staff does all day.
THAT’S what matters.
Technology Seed Featured in Business Solutions Magazine
We are excited to share that we (and by “we” we mean our fearless, tireless and hairless IT Director, Kyle Scofield) are featured in the October Edition of Business Solutions Magazine!
We are happy to announce that for the second year in a row we have made Business NH Magazine’s Top Family Owned Companies List!!
We also placed 14th on the list of the Top 20 fastest growing family-owned companies. We are honored to have made the list and are excited for the future.
Technology Seed vs. 36creative
Technology Seed and 36creative got together last week for an EPIC Corn Hole Tournament! Technology Seed and 36 had tournaments within their own companies, and the winners of both companies played a double-elimination head-to-head finale. Congrats to the finalists: Mark/Cam and Trent/Steve!
This hospital/healthcare problem where patient records are being held for ransom (ransomware!) and hospitals are paying criminals to
return their data is embarrassing.
Read that again: Hospitals are paying criminals!
How is this happening?
Where are the people in charge?
Some Lessons I Learned In Business
Dress better than your job requires. Business casual? Good – wear a tie.
Invest in yourself, not a new TV. Career training is a better investment.
You are going to make mistakes. Own them. Fix them. Don’t repeat them.
Provide Customer Service well beyond what is expected.
Enjoy your work by being good at it.
We got a frantic call from one of our healthcare customers on Monday:
“Doctor K’s laptop was stolen over the weekend. What do we need to do? Are we at risk of a data breach?
The doctor believes there were patient x-rays saved on the drive!”
Our answer: “Do nothing.”
Last weekend the Technology Seed team got together to bring out their inner child (didn’t take much effort!) to play some Capture the Flag (Link) up in Thornton, NH.
Everyone brought their A-game as they ran through the woods and created a tactical plan to capture their opponents flag. There was lots of ducking, dodging, scheming, hiding, running (followed by bouts heavy breathing!)
The problem: Apple’s video-viewing program, QuickTime, has some potentially nasty vulnerabilities and Apple is no longer supporting the product on Microsoft Windows. If you use QuickTime on Windows, there’s no way to protect yourself.
The solution: Uninstall QuickTime from your PC.
We love to help our community – especially through our schools. We work career days and STEM fairs, we’re on curriculum committees and school tech committees. We truly enjoy working with younger students – perhaps it brings us back a few years, which is a great feeling. : )
We’re often asked what we look for in the people we hire; what skills should technology teachers give their students to help them succeed; what are the skills that are most important to us.
Cryptowall and Cryptolocker are nasty viruses that encrypt your files and demand you pay a hefty ransom to unlock them. This virus strain is costing businesses and countries dearly (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3).
Technology Seed got tired of virus-writing miscreants having the upper hand.
What did we do? We created a means of prevention that goes above and beyond antivirus.
It’s OK that you don’t know how many servers you have.
All you really need to know is, when BIGFOOT attacks, CAN YOU RECOVER?
Running a business is complicated and keeping up with I.T. is a monumental task.
Let’s assume that your IT works correctly right now. Security is good. You have servers. Your business software functions correctly. You can access your business files.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cute way of grouping all of the connected devices in our lives.
Doorbells and Locks
Refrigerators, Appliances and TVs
Lights and Thermostats
And almost anything else that uses electricity
Verifying that you closed your garage door from 100 miles away is really cool (it is!). You could’ve called your neighbor to check, but that’s so 1986!
We resolve a Service Request every 6 minutes.
We resolve 90 Service Requests per day.
We resolve 450 Service Requests per week.
It’s very rewarding to reach milestones and consider where you were just a few years ago.
Much like car companies stop producing replacement parts for older vehicles, software companies discontinue support for older versions of their software. And for good reason! To stay in business, resources need to be devoted to developing newer, faster, better products.
In the case of this article, Microsoft is discontinuing support for Internet Explorer (IE) 7, 8, 9, 10. The most current version is IE11. Internet Explorer is being replaced by Microsoft Edge, which is included with Windows 10.
Did you come up with your New Year’s I.T. Resolution for 2016 yet?
Yah, me either.
Let’s make one. Let’s come up with a single, easy-to-implement change that would have a significant impact on the success of our businesses.
Malware and Viruses
Is it time to hold OURSELVES responsible for malware, viruses, ransomware and hacks?
If I was “duped” into wiring $10,000 out of my company’s bank account to a malicious recipient am I at fault?
Tough questions, but perhaps those are the questions we should be asking.
Your company takes precautions to combat malware. Those measures cost time and money. It’s a game of cat and mouse and the “bad guys” are always one-step ahead.
Helping Our Schools
Technology Seed believes in education. We work very hard at what we do and we believe that those with a great educational foundation are better equipped to succeed in life.
However instead of just talking (or blogging!) about education, we decided to get involved!
About a year ago, in an effort to put our money where our mouth was, we rolled out a new program to smaller schools where we offered the schools discounted I.T. service as well as an equipment donation. Our goal was to donate equipment worth 25% of the value of the past year of I.T. labor.
Basic Security Reminders
Cybersecurity and I.T. security are all over the news, easy to discuss, and even easier to dismiss. We all agree that I.T. security is important; many of us have been victims of data hacks and data breaches. Yet, we’re so quick to break basic security policies to secure our most important data.
Technology Seed wouldn’t be Technology Seed without some daily fun! So, we started our Cornhole Tournament last night!
Game 1 Winners! Cam Lagasse and Jennifer Forbes AKA “The Buttery Kernels”
We have 9 teams (18 people) competing for top honors. The double-elimination tournament is played after work so the competition will take a few weeks to finish.
Point To Point Wireless
Kurt and Mark worked on a cool Point to Point (P2P) wireless project this week.
We had a situation where two buildings needed to be networked. Building A housed the network, servers and internet. Building B housed 6 computers that needed to talk to the servers in Building A. Typically, we would create the necessary link (called a WAN) via an internet connection and firewall in Building B. In this case, however, we were looking to avoid the cost of the second internet connection ($120/Month) and the second firewall ($900).
What is security awareness?
Security awareness is the knowledge and attitude that members of an organization possess regarding the protection of the physical and informational assets of that organization.
Why does it matter? What would happen to your company if your biggest competitor got your list of customers, procedures, or policies? What if a malicious person gathered personal information about your employees or customers? All companies should have a security policy in place (with a yearly review) and awareness training scheduled regularly.