What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Account Coordinator(AC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
Professional IT Services that Andromeda Provides for Aurora, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
Andromeda IT Service Offerings
Here is just a quick list demonstrating the breadth of IT services you can expect from Andromeda:
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
HTTPs Encryption: Why You Should Use SSL Certificates Jan 20, 2019
2018 was an eventful year for technology and it’s only going to increase in 2019. Between the Facebook security breach, the Google+ API vulnerability, and many other less famous incidents – one thing is for certain. Cybersecurity dominated 2018 and 2019 is expected to be no different.
With cyber attacks being so prevalent, businesses are starting to notice a shift in public perception when it comes to the companies they work with when it comes to data security. Feeling safe is priority: people don’t want to have to worry about their information being breached on or off the web.
While this has been a growing trend for a several years now, it has also transitioned cyber security from being a feature, to a necessity.
2019 is the year of HTTPs.
What Exactly is HTTPs?
To understand what HTTPs means and how it works, you need to know a few definitions.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol): In simple terms, this is an application layer protocol. Essentially, HTTP is the protocol that involves information sent between a browser (ex: Google Chrome or Firefox) and a website itself. If you were to interrupt that connection and intercept it, you’d see in plain text what was being communicated between the website and the browser.
This can create extremely vulnerable conditions in certain situations. For example, if you are purchasing products on a website with a basic HTTP, your personal information like your address, credit card info and whatever else you submit can be intercepted and stolen.
The thieves are the only ones who want this to happen – so HTTPs encryption was introduced as a secure option.
HTTPs (HyperText Transfer Protocol Security): Adding additional security components, the language being transmitted between website and browser is encrypted and kept from being read cyber criminals.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer): This is a certificate that enhances your security protocol. This is just another way of saying that your site has the technology in place to securely encrypt transactions between the website and browsers etc.
The types of SSL Certificates may vary, but their basic coding provides security and encryption.
You can always tell if a website is secure by looking for certain factors:
- https:// shows before the URL destination (ex: https://www.google.com)
- A lock (sometimes green) icon may appear in the left corner of your navigation bar
Today, many users look for these key signals to see if they are using a secured website.
When this was first being used, its primary purpose was a security feature for websites that utilized ecommerce and to transfer personal information (ex: financial, medical, legal). However, it has transitioned into having an HTTPs encryption as a standard.
After going through the basics of this HTTPs encryption, you may still have some additional questions about which feature would best suit your business. Here are a few of the most common topics and questions below:
I Don’t Have A Large Business – Do I Still Need HTTPs?
Providing An SSL Tells Your Customers That You Care About Their Security
By utilizing an SSL certificate and transforming it from HTTP to HTTPs, you are providing an extra layer of security for your consumers. They know right away that your website is secure. Nothing they are viewing or how they are interacting on your website is being monitored or watched by a malicious user. It shows that you care about your customer’s user experience – and that reflects highly for company brand.
It Provides Additional Security Against Hackers
Having an SSL certificate installed on your website also helps protect your website from potential breaches or hacking attempts. The extra layer of HTTPs encryption provides an external wall that is difficult for hackers to break and infect. While you might not exactly need one for the style of your business’ website, it still helps protect against possible attacks and saves you capital on potential cleanup and patches once a website does get infected or breached.
HTTPs Improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Having this HTTPs encryption applied on your website shows popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing! that you take your user’s experience and security seriously. They are able to recognize this and return with increased rankings on their engines.
We all know that higher rankings lead to more traffic – this leads to more clients and customers.
Google has been favoring websites with HTTPs for awhile now. However, after recent technology-related world events, they have doubled-down.
Starting July 2018, websites that do not use HTTPs will be labeled “Not Secure”. The last thing you want your prospective clients to see when visiting your site is a message about poor security.
More than 70% of websites are utilizing HTTPs and Google is really trying to make it the norm across the board.
Failure to increase security on your site risks lower search rankings and even increases bounce rates. It is also proven that HTTP sites load slower, causing Google to penalize them for site speed. Overall, the industry is punishing sites that do not value security because they are striving to give the best user experience possible.
So, what should you take away from all of this?
An SSL does incur minimal extra costs, but failure to secure your website can cost you a lot more: potential customers, reduced website traffic and impact overall user experience.
Your IT partner or web hosting provider should have the necessary tools to help you with your website security. It should be simple and affordable enough to keep from breaking your budget.
Want to take the next step and convert to HTTPs, but not sure how?
Andromeda has trained technicians and developers that are more than happy to help you with the conversion. Just give us a call to get started today!
The post HTTPs Encryption: Why You Should Use SSL Certificates appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.4 Reasons Office 365 is the Right Choice for Your Business Aug 03, 2018
By the end of 2017, Microsoft’s Office 365 Suite of applications had over 120 million active business and commercial users. Microsoft projects that in fiscal 2019, approximately two-thirds of all Microsoft Office users will be subscribed to Office 365 instead of the traditional licensing model.*
Cloud applications have made a great impact on business, connectivity, accessibility, and productivity. From the looks of it, more and more applications and even hardware solutions are moving to the cloud.
This is exciting for business and the technology sector because there are many real benefits to business owners and employees built into cloud applications.
Office 365 offers different subscriptions and packages built to suit the specific needs of your business, but across their offering, there are many shared benefits.
Let’s take a look at the top 4 reasons Office 365 is the right choice for your business, and why Andromeda Technology Solutions recommends it.
1. Say Goodbye to Expensive Microsoft Licenses
Licensing for the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) can be very costly. Depending on which version of Office you are purchasing, each license can set you back hundreds of dollars. Even for the average small or mid-sized business, this adds up to thousands of dollars very quickly.
Microsoft also phases out legacy software over time, which means that your current professional Microsoft Office license will no longer be supported, maintained, or updated at some point. For example – Microsoft Office 2010 will reach end of life in 2020, and businesses with these licenses will need to purchase new ones for all machines or migrate to Office 365.
With Office 365, your software is always up to date and there are no licenses to worry about. Whenever a new version of the product becomes available, it is automatically pushed out across the cloud applications and your employees keep working without issue. Any documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or other items you’ve created within Office 365 will automatically update to the latest version of Office.
2. Office 365 is Budget-Friendly
Office 365 is a subscription-based cloud application. As mentioned before, there are several different subscription levels with multiple applications. This offers flexibility to suit most any business needs and budget. You can easily calculate and anticipate your annual budget with Office 365 and build it into your regular expenses.
The solution is billed per user. It should be mentioned as well that each user can install the application on multiple devices. This means that you only pay for one subscription per user – even if they access Office 365 on multiple computers, a tablet, and even their smart phone.
3. Work from Anywhere
While you’ll need an internet connection to collaborate with your coworkers in real time, or use certain applications, Office 365 lets you work from just about anywhere. You need an internet connection for the initial setup, migration, and sign up. After that, you have the option to install the latest Microsoft Office Suite directly on your computer. You can save your files directly onto your PC and host them in the cloud for accessibility on the go.
The real productivity magic with Office 365 lives in your ability to access and work on things from anywhere with an internet connection.
Whether you are in the airport, at home, drinking coffee on the go, or in your car before a big meeting, you can login to Office 365 to review your files or make last minute changes at any time: you can even do it from your smartphone.
You can also work with multiple teammates in the same documents from multiple locations. For example – teammates in 2 different locations can work together to complete presentations, spreadsheets, and other deliverables in real time without locking one another out of documents.
4. Increased Storage & Security
Microsoft knows that to make Office 365 attractive to businesses like yours, they have to make sure that the cloud environment and application is secure and trustworthy. There are many features and add-on security settings available to you like encrypted email, spam filters, data loss prevention services, mobile device management, and more (some may require additional fees).
On top of built-in security features, Office 365 subscribers benefit from increased storage capacity in Outlook and OneDrive. The Office 365 Enterprise E3 license offers 100GB mailbox storage and unlimited personal cloud storage as a standard. If that isn’t enough for your environment, or you outgrow any of your storage over time, Office 365 is built to scale and grow with you. This is possible by offering additional storage, security, and application options specific to your needs.
When it comes to accessibility, ease of use, budgeting, and ongoing support, Office 365 is the leading option for business. We anticipate it will continue to dominate the market for both small to mid-size businesses and enterprise.
If you are interested in Office 365 for your business, a great first step is a consultation with one of Andromeda’s local account managers. There are many different subscription levels, applications, and migration details that you will want to go over before making the switch. Additionally, you will want to make sure you are working with an IT Services Professional to make your project and migration as seamless as possible.
Simply reach our team by phone (815) 836-0030 or email: Contact@WeNetwork.com to schedule a conversation. You’ll be glad you did!
*For more on Office 365 users and statistics, check out this article from zdnet.com.
The post 4 Reasons Office 365 is the Right Choice for Your Business appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Browser Update Warnings May Actually Be Malicious Hackers Oct 10, 2019
Researchers at FireEye have recently unearthed a particularly nasty new campaign that is both multi-faceted and dangerous.�At the heart of the attack are hacked websites which display seemingly innocuous popup message informing the site visitor that their browser is out of date. It will helpfully provide a one-touch solution to the non-existen21t problem via a button that promises to download the latest version of the browser in question.
The server then responds to the findings reported by the initial script by uploading the initial payload.� This varies based on the details gleaned, but generally includes some type of banking trojan malware and a backdoor such as Dridex, NetSupport Manager RAT, or similar.� If the initial scan reveals that the target computer is part of a corporate network, then an additional payload is also injected onto the target machine, but we'll get to that in a moment.
The first part of the payload will busily ferret out login credentials and other sensitive information, exfiltrating any files of value back to the command and control server.
Only when this operation has been completed and if the computer is part of a corporate network will the second stage we referenced earlier trigger, which is a strain of ransomware, normally BitPaymer or DoppelPaymer. The ransomware spreads through the network as far as it is able, encrypting files network wide.
These two ransomware strains are known for their hefty ransom demands, which often run into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars.
This multi-stage approach is dreadfully effective.� It not only allows the hackers to squeeze a wide range of sensitive data from infected systems, but then, locks them down hard and demands a hefty payment.� Be sure your staff is aware.� This one's about as dangerous as they come.