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 Chicago, 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:
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 unique passwords 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 is 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.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.Computers Might Be Able To Smell In The Near Future Apr 02, 2020
Word has recently leaked out about an interesting project that's ongoing at Intel's research labs. The company has apparently built an algorithm that mirrors the brain's activity to detect and identify smells. The company developed a computer chip for the project. Called a "neuromorphic" chip, it was designed to allow a computer to process information the same way that a biological brain does.
The project is being pursued in partnership with researchers at Cornell University. It began when the Intel research team began investigating what happens inside the brain of mammals when they smell something.
As you might expect, there's actually a lot that goes on inside a mammalian brain when a scent is detected. In fact, there are more than 450 different kinds of olfactory receptors in our noses that send signals to the brain. From there, electrical impulses within a group of neurons generate the sense of particular odors.
Then, of course, there's the fact that our brains act as biological databases. They're capable of storing not only memories of previous scents, but can cross-reference known scents and accept new information that allows us to track and differentiate hundreds of thousands of different scents.
Intel's current goals are significantly more modest than developing a chip that can differentiate that many different smells. They're starting with a goal of ten. They've recorded the responses of a total of 72 different chemical sensors sitting in a wind tunnel as a small number of different scents (including acetone, ammonia and methane) were circulated.
The data gleaned from the sensors was then fed into the Neuromorphic chip, which was able to draw neural representations of each smell.
Ultimately, the point behind the research is to better understand how the brain's neural circuitry solves complex problems and use that understanding to design the next generation of machine intelligence. The future just got another step closer.