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 Blue Island, 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:
5 Critical Components Any Professional Disaster Recovery Plan Must Have May 29, 2020
We hear a whole lot about ransomware and cyber criminals these days. Andromeda helps our clients combat most data breaches with multi-tiered security solutions and employee training. But, every business is still vulnerable to incident. That is why a full proof and dependable Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity plan is an essential. Before you hit the world wide web searching for DR solutions and backup plans, take a look at these 5 critical components any professional disaster recovery plan must have.
Your disaster recovery plan should consider appropriate business continuity variables.
Disasters happen; they come in many shapes and sizes. Server crashes, accidental file deletion, physical disasters such as fire or flood and the increasingly common ransomware or malware infection are all scenarios.
You must ask two important questions yourself in regards to business continuity:
- How much time can pass between recovery points, ie: how much data can you afford to lose; this is commonly known in Business Continuity as RPO – Recovery Point Objective
- How much time can pass between the disaster and recovery, ie: how much time can you afford to lose; this is commonly known in Business Continuity as RTO – Recovery Time Objective
Ideally, your RPO and RTO are as low as possible.
A good Disaster Recovery Plan will consider these factors and have various options for restoring files, folders or even whole servers. On top of that, it is important that these options take into account minimalizing data loss and interruption.
Data should be stored both locally and offsite.
Many people have an easy time seeing the value in the offsite backup. Whether that’s tape drives taken offsite daily, external USB drives treated the same, or data sent to the cloud for storage, it carries with it a feeling of great comfort knowing that “if the building burns down” the data is still safe.
What few realize is what we mean when we speak about downtime, for incidents that are not quite as catastrophic as a burning building. In those cases, it can take an unacceptable amount of time to get your hands on that offsite backup or to download an entire server from the cloud.
With a Disaster Recovery Plan option that offers backups both locally and offsite (cloud based), you are able to restore large quantities of files and entire server images quickly. Your onsite device should also have the capability to virtualize as a temporary server in the event your main server crashes.
Find a disaster recovery plan option that provides multiple restore options
When you think about restoring from a disaster, you may believe that so long as you have a version of your data somewhere, you are secure. In reality though, your recovery time objective can be greatly impacted by the different options available to you after a disaster. A disaster recovery plan with multiple options for virtualization, restoration and data access is an absolute must.
You may have heard the term “virtualization” before. Being able to virtualize your server either on a physical device at your location or in the cloud simply means that you have a temporary solution that will keep your business up and running while you resolve whatever issue corrupted your data, server or situation in the first place.
A catastrophic hardware failure can put your business down for hours, sometimes days. Rushing that process up can incur huge costs as well: rush delivery, emergency dispatch etc. In the event of a hardware failure, a virtual copy of your last backup can be spun up. Once completed, you can resume working swiftly. This quick recovery allows you to deal with hardware replacements, scheduling and budgets in an organized fashion.
A top tier solution will provide you with onsite virtualization and an option to virtualize in the cloud. Cloud virtualization is not as quick and can produce some lag time. Nonetheless, in the event your backups are stolen or disaster strikes your building (fire, flood etc.) – the ability to spin up and virtualize data from the cloud means that your business is not at a standstill.
Find out what type of support a vendor provides for disaster recovery plans.
Your company does not want to struggle to get their files restored. You can’t wait hours and hours to restore a file you accidentally deleted. Don’t wait for hours to hear back on the status of a data restore. Your IT partner should understand the solution they are providing and be able to work with you directly. Cut out the intermediary. Ensure your vendor monitors all the warranties, all the software support calls, and all monitoring; ensuring your backups are humming all day every day – as they should be.
Don’t trust just any business continuity or disaster recovery plan solution.
There are literally hundreds of options out there for Disaster Recovery. A quick Google search will give you pages of results. Comparing them is mind numbing, and if we are being honest . . . who takes the time to do all that? Your first step is to find an IT partner that you trust. Check their references. See if they have case studies to show how a disaster recovery functions with the product. Ask for a demonstration of the product. This is serious stuff and you need to trust the hands maintaining and protecting your data.
The post 5 Critical Components Any Professional Disaster Recovery Plan Must Have appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Guidelines & Tips for Employees Working Remotely Mar 30, 2020
Working remotely, whether short-term or permanent comes with many perks, but it also poses many new risks for the security of your organization’s data. For example, if an employee-owned device (laptop, PC, etc.) is infected, that could compromise your business network as well.
We’ve developed a list of guidelines and tips to assist you as you prepare to work from home in a safe, functional work environment. Note, this list is intended for guidance and information purposes only. If you have any questions regarding these tips, please reach out to your supervisor or IT provider for additional information.
Guidelines & Tips
- Ensure that you have the ability to lock your devices (laptop, PC, etc.) and any business relevant information when not in use. Cable locks for laptops should be used when necessary. Laptops and devices should be locked out of sight and/or in the trunk if it must be left in a vehicle unattended
- Avoid using your personal devices for work-related business
- Safely perform conversations without visitors eavesdropping or shoulder surfing, especially while working in a mobile setting, such as a coffee shop
- Protect the data you are accessing by using a VPN to log into the company network, and ensure you are protecting data visible on your screen with a screen protector. This is especially critical for employees who are required to be HIPAA compliant, PCI compliant, etc.
- Restrict the use of devices containing business-relevant information. Do not let family members, friends, or anyone but yourself use company-owned devices or personal devices used for business purposes
- Use strong on all your devices and accounts to prevent unauthorized access
- Change default Wi-Fi Router passwords
- Enable WPA-2 or higher encryption
- Ensure your local router firmware is up to date
- Limit the use of public Wi-Fi. Always use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Never use public Wi-Fi to send sensitive information without a VPN
- Ensure all personal devices are secure with company-provided or personally owned antivirus and anti-malware software company
- Updated IoT device firmware (smart thermostats, surveillance cameras, etc.)
- Ensure default passwords are changed
- Ensure the software on all devices within your home network are kept up to date (corporate laptop, IOT devices such as cameras and smart thermostats, personal laptops/tablets, etc.)
- Review and follow corporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and other relevant policies and procedures
- Remote Work Employee Awareness
- Be extremely cautious of email phishing scams
- Limit social media use
- Don’t reveal business itineraries, corporate info, daily routines, etc.
We provide this list of guidelines to assist you as you work from home. These tips are meant to facilitate a safe, functional work environment.
Note, this list is intended for guidance and information purposes only. If you have any questions regarding these tips, please reach out to your supervisor or IT provider for additional information. We are always here to assist in your transition in any way possible. Give us a call to pick up this conversation today (815) 836-0030 or email us.
The post Guidelines & Tips for Employees Working Remotely appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Toy Company Mattel Was Latest Victim Of Ransomware Attack Nov 14, 2020
When you were growing up, your parents probably bought you all sorts of toys made by Mattel. From Hotwheels to Barbie to the full line of Toy Story toys and more, Mattel is a global force in the world of toys.
In fact, they are the second largest toy maker in the world, with more than 24,000 employees and gross revenue of nearly six billion dollars in 2019.
On July 28th, 2020, the company's network was successfully breached and a strain of ransomware deployed against them, which encrypted some of the company's files and caused disruptions in the firm's ongoing operations.
The company released an official disclosure about the incident which reads in part, as follows:
"On July 28, 2020, Mattel discovered that it was the victim of a ransomware attack on its information technology systems that caused data on a number of systems to be encrypted. Promptly upon detection of the attack, Mattel began enacting its response protocols and taking a series of measures to stop the attack and restore impacted systems. Mattel believes it has contained the attack and, although some business functions were temporarily impacted, Mattel was able to restore its critical operations."
Part of the company's response was to launch a forensic investigation in cooperation with law enforcement. That process has been completed, and based on its conclusion, Mattel updated their initial disclosure. It now says that it does not appear that any customer, supplier, consumer or employee data was exfiltrated by the hackers.
Of interest, neither the initial disclosure or the update gave any indication of the specific ransomware strain used, or the exact scale of the impact. Although there's circumstantial evidence that suggests the strain in question was Trickbot.
Whatever the strain, the bottom line is that no customer data appears to have been stolen. So if you have an account on Mattel's website, there's nothing you need to do, except be aware that the attack occurred.