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 Flossmoor, 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:
Our favorite 7 Collaboration Tools to Help Your Remote Team Stay Engaged, Productive and Motivated from Anywhere Mar 30, 2020
For many businesses, the flexibility to work-from-home (WFH) is a great perk for employees. Studies even show that employees that have the option to work remote show higher productivity and job satisfaction.
There are many benefits to remote workforce but there can also be struggles/challenges for leaders and managers trying to maintain culture, productivity and a team environment.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite tools to help us get the job done in house or from home.
Our favorite 7 Collaboration Tools to Help Your Remote Team Stay Engaged, Productive and Motivated from Anywhere
1 Microsoft Office 365 for Business
This stack of Software as a Service (SaaS) products allows your team to utilize classic programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more in new ways.
Office 365 also opens the doors for your team to utilize cloud storage/collab tools like OneDrive and SharePoint. Files saved to this software can be accessed at home, on the go, in the office or anywhere with an internet connection.
2 Microsoft Teams
This product is included with Office 365 but deserves its own section because of all the different things it sets your team up to do including:
- Individual and team-based IMs
- Live collaboration with Microsoft documents inside of the Teams tool
- Audio & Video calls
- Screen share
- Add on apps for even more productivity boosts
3 Zoom Video & Web Conferencing
Zoom is one of the leading web/video conferencing tools on the market. With free and multiple paid options, it is likely you can find a solution to fit the needs of your organization and your business.
Some of our favorite features in Zoom include:
- Personal meeting room to start a meeting any time
- Outlook integrations for easy schedule
- Webinar capabilities with panel, hosts, Q&A, chat etc.
- Video and/or Audio calls
- Mobile App
Slack is one of the leading direct communication tools for business. You can message teammates directly; create group chats and you can also communicate in channels. With seemingly endless add-ons and extensions, Slack is a leader when it comes to connecting teams.
Andromeda Technology Solutions recently transitioned from Slack to Microsoft Teams for our own internal communications but some of the features we loved in Slack include:
- Direct messaging
- Audio/Video calling
- Channels for group needs
- Easy integration of apps
- Custom emojis for fun
Trello is a neat tool that helps with project management and tracking. You can use it for personal projects or teams to manage workflows, status and many things in between. This is also another tool you can use with a free version to test out and see what works for your team.
Our favorite Trello features:
- Easy to user interface with drag & drop ‘cards’
- Easy upload multiple types of media – docs, links, photos etc.
- Individual/Group task assignment
- Mobile application
- Labels and tags for organization
Basecamp is a project and team management tool used by all kinds of organizations and teams globally. This one tool can help you organize, communicate and collaborate on multiple projects while keeping all the info you need in one space. You can even give clients access to Basecamp so that they can communicate and keep up to date on status of your team.
Our Web Design team uses Basecamp daily to move projects along.
Some of their favorite features include:
- To-do Lists
- Message Boards
- Scheduling tool
- Document & File storage
- Group chat
Zapier is one of the industry leaders in connecting web apps for automation. And since you’re team is getting tons done on-the-go, you’ll want to check out all the ways this tool can simplify your workflows and help your team work more efficiently. Zapier connects the apps you use every day and helps cut down busy work.
Additionally, Zapier knows what it means to work remote, they boast a 100% remote workforce with over 200 teammates working all over the globe.
A connection from one software to another via Zapier is called a Zap. You can check out 2000+ zaps and the tool here
Finding the right mix of tools is as individualized as the job. We hope these suggestions help you to create an environment that is productive and satisfying. If you would like to discuss your unique situation, give us a call at (815) 836-0030 or email our team.
The post Our favorite 7 Collaboration Tools to Help Your Remote Team Stay Engaged, Productive and Motivated from Anywhere appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.5 Ways Your Information Gets On The Dark Web May 03, 2019
In our last IT article we discussed the Dark Web. Specifically what the Dark Web is and why it is something that matters to just about everyone. If you missed the article make sure to give it a read here.
There are many ways your information can be compromised and inevitably end up in the hands of wrong doers on the dark web. On top of that, there are numerous ways that hackers and criminals can steal your data that are completely out of your control.
It is important that you put defense in place where you can but it is also important that you manage your risk by educating yourself on some of the top vulnerabilities out there.
With that in mind we’ve gathered 5 of the top ways hackers and criminals get around you to steal your data for the Dark Web.
5 Ways Your Information Gets On The Dark Web
1. Visiting & Using Unsecure Websites
If a website isn’t secure, information passed between you and the site can easily be compromised. In a nutshell, websites pass information to your browser (google chrome, firefox etc.) and your browser displays that information for you to look at/use. Without proper security protocols like an SSL or HTTPs, sites don’t secure that information transfer. So, if you enter personal data into a form, make a purchase or put any data on the site that isn’t secured, it is easy enough for a hacker or cyber-criminal to intercept that data and sell it on the Dark Web.
If you are interested in how to secure your website or tell if the sites you visit are secure, we have an easy to understand article here.
2. Consumer Database Breach
While hackers and criminals will go after your personal data on a small scale, a larger customer breach is what their dreams are made of. Just think back to the Target, Home Depot and Experian breaches of recent years. Even social media databases are full of rich information that hackers can make use of. If a hacker gets ahold of your Facebook password they might have also gotten ahold of your date of birth, where you live and other personal information that they can use to access financial accounts or other personal accounts.
While you can’t keep hackers out of Target’s database, you can practice your own security protocols to decrease the likelihood of criminals using compromised data to ruin you financially:
- Use different passwords for different sites
- Change passwords often (every 90 days is recommended at minimum)
- Use strong passwords
- Look into a monitoring service that alerts you of suspicious activity on financial accounts
3. Firewall Issues
You don’t necessarily have control over whether someone else secures their website and you definitely don’t have control of the security procedures at your local grocery store, but you do have control over the firewalls you use at your business.
First . . . make sure you are using a professional or business grade solution for your firewall. Consumer grade solutions are meant for home use and will not have adequate protections in place to keep your company’s private data secure.
Additionally, make sure that you have regular updates and software patches scheduled. These devices are only as good as the software they utilize. If your firewall is out of date or your software is out of date, chances are they cannot defend against the latest hacker strategies and viruses.
You will also benefit from a regular system audit to ensure all ports are secure and no user changes are impacting your network security. It is pretty common for businesses to forget these updates and checks and this is an incredibly vulnerable access point into your network if not properly configured.
4. Outdated Systems/Devices On Your Network
While your firewall controls much of the inbound and outbound traffic on your network, there are countless other devices that can create vulnerabilities. For instance, if you consider the Target breach of 2013, it is rumored that the criminals gained access to Target’s network via an HVAC company that monitored temperatures in stores. This brings up the fact that it is not just your own network but anything connected to it and the security of those ancillary devices/networks that you must be aware of.
If you have smart devices in the office, if you subscribe to any type of service that needs access to your network, all of these items and programs open you up to vulnerabilities. Even the smart devices you use at home can cause you trouble on a personal level. Imagine if a smart device on your home network was compromised and used by hackers to get into your work files on your home computer. This stuff happens and your information ends up on the dark web because of it.
5. Downloading untrusted applications/Opening Malicious Email
Email is essential to running your business but it is one of the best ways for hackers and criminals to gain access to your network. All they have to get you to do is click a link or download a file and BAM! your data might be compromised.
Email isn’t the only culprit though. Downloading files off the web can also give hackers access to your network and in turn your data. There are tools that can help you avoid this as well as training that helps you spot malicious links/sites.
How Can I Prevent My Info From Getting Onto Dark Web
With proper firewall configuration, professional anti-virus software that is updated regularly and employee training, you will dramatically decrease your vulnerability and incident rate.
There are so many ways hackers access your data. They can get to you through stores, websites, your email, the smart devices at your office/home and those are just a few examples. The scary part is that no matter how secure you make things, they will come up with a new approach that no one expects.
All hope isn’t lost though, with certain protections like professional cyber security consulting, monitoring software (both professional and personal), and specific security devices, you can protect yourself from cybercriminals.
If you’d like to discuss your options and make sure you are truly covered, reach out to our team and schedule a network security assessment.
The post 5 Ways Your Information Gets On The Dark Web appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Another Week Another New Ransomware To Be Concerned About Mar 27, 2020
There's a new strain of ransomware to put on your radar.
This latest one was discovered by researchers working from SentinelLabs and it has been dubbed Nefilim.
Based on the initial research, it seems to share significant portions of its code base with an older strain, Nemty 2.5.
The two key differences between the two strains are as follows:
- Nefilim's code does not contain the Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) found in Nemty 2.5
- Nefilim relies on email communication to arrange ransom payment, rather than routing those through the TOR browser.
The researchers spotted Nefilim in the wild at the end of February of this year (2020). At this point, it's unclear exactly how the malware is being distributed. The best guess at this point is that the malware is being spread via exposed Remote Desktop Services. However, the malware winds up on a target system.
When it does its work and infects the files on the compromised computer, the victim will see the following note:
"A large amount of your private files have been extracted and is kept in a secure location. If you do not contact us in seven working days of the breach we will start leaking the data. After you contact us we will provide you proof that your files have been extracted."
This tactic is becoming increasingly common, and as we've seen in recent months, it's not an idle threat. Worse is that based on the analysis of the code to this point, Nefilim is secure. That means that at present, there's no free way to recover your files once they have been encrypted.
While this strain isn't especially widespread at this point, it's a legitimate threat. It would be a grave mistake to ignore it.