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 Bensenville, 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:
Ransomware, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: What Every Small Business Should Know Aug 30, 2019
The last few years have seen a large increase in ransomware incidents and 2019 has surely followed suit with many industries impacted. In the last few months manufacturing, municipalities, school districts and other small business sectors have all dealt with their share of attacks. Tens of townships in Texas were attacked in August 2019 with a total ransom of over 2.5 million dollars. School districts across the US were targeted for student and faculty data.
It’s been a rough one to say the least.
The best defense against ransomware for yourself and your business is still education and Andromeda can help with that. Read on to learn more about the threat of ransomware to your business and what you can do to prepare yourself.
Ransomware is a type of malicious program that encrypts a segment or all of your data. At that point, the data can only be decrypted with a key. The criminal ransoms your data until you pay them to decrypt it.
This means that whatever they get their hands on, is no longer of use to you until you pay up. Things like accounting information, client information, HR information – anything data related at the business.
With more and more incidents on the rise, it is important that you proactively defend yourself against this threat and have a plan in place to respond in case your business faces a ransomware incident of its own.
Employee Cyber Security Training
Over 90% of cyber security incidents facing businesses today originate with some kind of human error. Your staff and teammates don’t mean to make these mistakes and an honest error can happen to anyone. Clicking on a bad link, falling for a scam online, downloading an infected file – these things happen to the best of us.
Tricking you into downloading malicious files to your PC is still a method criminals use to try and get into your computer but the primary two methods to gain access and do damage to your systems in 2019 are via third party data breaches (learn more about third party breaches here and phishing email attacks (learn more about phishing scams here .
To help your employees stay ahead of criminals and defend your business, you want to invest in regular training for the team. Professional cyber security training programs include simulated phishing email tests, individual scores, weekly quizzes, newsletters and more.
Data Backups & Disaster Recovery Planning
Employee training will do a good job at helping your staff defend the business but there is still always a chance that ransomware can happen.
When it comes to ransomware, there is little you can do to remove the damages. There is no ‘debug’ or troubleshooting technique that will make it go away. To get the encrypted data, you have to have the decryption code.
The only alternate solution available to you would be to restore from a backup. That way, you don’t need to decrypt anything. Of course, this is dependent on the quality and safety of your existing backups.
We recommend looking for a backup solution with an on premises copy as well as a secure cloud copy of your data backups.
The best data backup and recovery solutions take regular snapshots of your environment. Even better solutions can spin up a virtual ‘copy’ of your environment so you can keep working while your IT team works in the background to get systems back up and running like normal.
Make sure to ask the team or individual who handles your backups how often they test them. It’s also good to have a clear understanding of what it takes to get you back up and running in the event of an incident (what does it look like if we have an equipment failure? How do you respond if we are hit with ransomware?).
Training staff on how to avoid scams and criminal tactics online is a great way to defend against Ransomware and other incidents.
Having a good data backup and disaster recovery plan is what you want to do to make sure your business can handle this type of attack.
The final piece of the Ransomware puzzle for now is going to be your business continuity plan.
When it’s said and done, you are most likely going to experience some amount of downtime in the event of a Ransomware attack. It’ll take time to recognize what is happening, to contact the proper parties (IT staff or your outsourced team and decision makers), respond to the incident etc.
All of this time costs your business money, productivity and opportunities. This is why many vendors suggest coming up with Business Continuity plans for different types of incidents at the office.
Have a plan for equipment failure (like a server crash), a plan for a major cybersecurity incident (ransomware across the network), have a plan for minor cybersecurity incidents (single user hit with malware or a virus). You get the idea.
Some great questions for Business Continuity plans:
- How does my business or staff respond to this incident?
- Do you unplug workstations?
- Does the employee call you first or IT?
- Is there anything you should do on site while your IT team gets to work?
- How long will it take to get us back up and running? (this will differ depending on what you face)
- How do we keep the business running while designated teams respond?
- Can we make use of the cloud?
- Do we need to work from pen and paper while things resolve?
A professional team will help you work through these questions and come up with the solutions your specific business and business model needs to keep things running in the event of a disaster, accident or incident.
The key is really in the preparation.
If you have any questions about any of the topics above or want to discuss your own disaster recover, data backups or business continuity plans, please give us a call at (815) 836-0030 or contact our team via email at Contact@wenetwork.com.
The post Ransomware, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: What Every Small Business Should Know appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.9 FAQs About Office 365 Nov 04, 2019
When you are trying to decide which programs to purchase for your business, it is important to understand all the benefits of each. Office 365 has so many built in conveniences it is hard to picture any other option coming close.
Here are the 9 most frequently asked questions and answers about Microsoft Office 365 to help you make the best decision for your business:
1. What is the difference between Office 2019 and Office 365?
In Office 365 Business Premium, you get both the cloud and desktop versions of classic Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access which will work on various devices (PC, Mac, iOS and Android to name a few). Additional programs/features from applications like OneNote, OneDrive and SharePoint are also included.
Along with new applications, Office 365 allows users to receive the most up to date features and software in “real time”. This means that your cloud applications are updated automatically as Microsoft rolls out updates.
It should be mentioned though, that desktop versions of the O365 suite are updated alongside regular Windows updates. So, those updates occur as your IT team updates your workstations. For Andromeda Managed IT Services clients, this happens weekly.
2. How does live collaboration work in Office 365?
A great productivity boost comes with live collaboration in Office 365. Multiple teammates can open the same document at the same time to work together.
Additionally, you can chat with teammates during editing to keep teammates on the same page. This can be done directly in the documents themselves or using Microsoft’s application Microsoft Teams.
3. Do I need an internet connection to run Office 365?
For Office 365 Business Premium and Enterprise licenses, internet access is required to install and activate all the latest releases of the applications. Once completed, you can download desktop versions of your Office Applications to use both on and offline.
NOTE: The Office 365 Business Essentials subscription includes ONLY cloud–based versions of the Microsoft Office Suite. This subscription does require internet access to use.
4. What security features does Office 365 include?
Office 365 has more than 1,000 security and privacy features available for use. Office 365 offers Advanced Threat Protection to guard your business against some of the sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks designed to harm your business. Office 365 also includes compliance options/features to help ensure your business meets industry compliance. For more information on specific compliance and security features straight from Microsoft, you can go here.
5. How much OneDrive storage space do I get with my subscription?
By default, 1TB of storage is included with OneDrive. Added storage is available for purchase.
6. Do I have control of my documents with an Office 365 subscription?
Yes. You own and manage all your own documents. You can choose to store them online in OneDrive or locally to your computer or even direct to other Office 365 applications.
If you ever chose to cancel your Office 365 Subscription, make sure to have all staff save any documents in their OneDrive or other applications to a physical drive. You can also purchase OneDrive storage separately, but it is best to consult your IT team on the best solution for your business.
7. Are my documents stored in OneDrive available offline?
Yes. You can access OneDrive files both online and offline. The local offline files will take up some space on your machine but an internet connection is not required. You can also have what is called “on demand” settings enabled that will save certain files locally and others in the cloud as you choose.
If you are working offline, save your changes before exiting your program and OneDrive will update your files in the cloud once you reconnect to the internet.
8. Do the applications work the same on the computer as on my mobile phone?
The answer to this is really a yes and no. Office 365 has desktop, cloud and mobile versions of applications available. They all function the same. Meaning word is still going to create word documents and you will have most functions/features available across all devices.
The difference in functionality comes out in the way you use the applications on different devices. For instance, Word on your mobile device looks slightly different than on desktop, but this is to help with usability.
9. If I need help with my Office 365 set-up, who can I call?
Andromeda Technology Solutions has an entire team of experts in Installing and managing your Office 365 applications and permissions. Give us a call to help with any questions, and we will answer your questions or send out someone to solve your computer issues.
The post 9 FAQs About Office 365 appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Wawa Data Breach Includes Information On 30 Million Customers Feb 04, 2020
Another week, another high-profile data breach. This time, it's a big one.
In December 2019, the convenience store chain Wawa disclosed that they had discovered malware on their point of sale system and that tens of millions of customer records were at risk. Those at risk were potentially anyone who had paid for their gas and other sundries with a debit or credit card.
Further, they admitted that the breach impacted all 860 of its locations. Worse, the company discovered that the malware had been in place for at least four months, which makes it a positively massive breach.
A recently published Gemini Security Advisory described it this way:
"Since the breach may have affected over 850 stores and potentially exposed 30 million sets of payment records, it ranks among the largest payment card breaches of 2019, and of all time. It is comparable to Home Depot's 2014 breach exposing 50 million customers' data or to Target's 2013 breach exposing 40 million sets of payment card data."
It was only a matter of time before a haul that large showed up on the Dark Web, and that has now happened. Recently, security researchers have spotted a file called "BigBadaBoom-III." The payment card data it contains traces back to Wawa.
At present, the records are being sold for an average of $17 each. Given the size of the breach, that represents a breathtaking payday for the hackers.
If you've been to a Wawa convenience store in the last six months, the safe bet is to assume that your payment card has been compromised and proceed accordingly. Doing nothing is a recipe for disaster, especially given that the database containing the card data is already up for sale. It's only a matter of time until someone gets their hands on your payment data and starts making illicit use of it.