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 Manhattan, 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:
Layered Network Security: 5 Components Every Layered Security Solution Should Have & Why Employee Training Is A Must Have Jul 06, 2018
Securing your data and your network is a bigger job in 2018 than it has been in years past – and if you’re looking at trends or the news, you can probably guess that network security is only going to get more important and cumbersome in the future.
Cybersecurity is now a common household term and that’s a good thing. The page has been turned on data security and people regularly recognize that we need to protect ourselves both personally and professionally from cyber crime and related threats.
To illustrate where the cybersecurity and cyber crime industries are moving here are a few stats (full article here):
- Cyber crime damage costs are predicted to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021
- Cybersecurity spending to exceed $1 trillion by 2021
- Global ransomware incidents are predicted to hit a rate of one attack every 14 seconds by 2019
The threats to data and networks are clearly going nowhere so it is important that you have a plan in place to protect your business (and yourself).
Different software applications and hardware solutions are designed to address specific security concerns. This means that while one solution may give you complete protection from one threat, it may not be suited to protect you from another.
The solution for these weak points is to ‘layer’ your security and design a solution that covers and protects your network to the best of its abilities.
What You Should Expect From A Layered Network Security Solution
A good layered security solution for your network is going to include the following components:
1. Professional Firewall Solution –
Your firewall is designed to help protect your network from external threats. It does this by blocking access to your network while allowing your users to communicate outside of the network. While a firewall is a great way to protect your network from intrusions, it can only protect your system from outside activity. A firewall cannot prevent one of your users from giving unauthorized permissions or access to programs or other users.
2. Professional Antivirus Software –
Antivirus software is a standard security solution designed to detect and block malware, viruses and other bugs from taking action against your network. An antivirus solution typically depends on a predefined catalog of known issues. The software uses this catalog to block those known issues from impacting you. The issue with this is that new viruses, malware, spyware and bugs are produced daily. If your solution is not actively updating and monitoring the internet for new incidents, it won’t be able to protect you from new threats in real time. Antivirus solutions also cannot always block a user from disregarding a warning and downloading a bad file/clicking on a bad link.
3. Email Spam Prevention/Filters –
Spam is more than just an annoying thing filling up your inbox. A majority of viruses and bugs that get through your firewall/antivirus do so by hiding in email messages. Cyber criminals know that if they send enough emails, somebody is going to click a bad link or download a compromised attachment. By filtering out spam, you dramatically decrease the opportunity for someone to accidentally introduce a virus to the network. Again though, spam filters don’t catch everything so they cannot prevent a user from making a mistake.
4. DNS Filtering/Protection –
DNS stands for Domain Name System. This piece of your network controls email delivery and is the component that allows you to browse websites. When configured, a DNS filter can prevent your employees from accessing specific types of sites. For example, a DNS filter can be set up to prevent employees from accessing social media or other blacklisted sites. This security also helps keep malware or other viruses from spreading throughout your network by masking your devices and server. This is one element of your network security that isn’t heavily impacted by regular users but if it is not set up properly and managed properly it can’t protect you from much.
5. Employee Training & Education –
You may have noticed that almost any of the security layers mentioned above have specific strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, each component had a weakness related to human or user error. The fact is that users and honest mistakes are the root cause of the majority of data breaches, viruses, downtime and incidents on your network. That doesn’t mean your employees and coworkers are intentionally breaking protocol or doing things wrong. Most of the time these are honest mistakes like clicking a link in an email, downloading a file with a hidden virus or visiting an infected/malicious site and unknowingly giving cyber criminals usernames & password information.
And That’s Just The Beginning…
These are just five common pieces of a layered network security setup. They all work together to help cover different vulnerabilities and behaviors. There are many other software and hardware solutions that can increase your layered network security and reduce vulnerability. Some of those include:
- Dark Web Monitoring Services
- Dual Authentication
- Password Management
- Data Backups
- Disaster Recovery Planning
- Scheduled & Regular Patches/Updates
- Security Protocols for Remote Devices
- Network Security Assessments (at least once a year)
The most important part to a successful layered network security setup is to take your individual needs and environment into account. There is no ‘One Size Fits All’ solution and there is no one solution that is going to guarantee 360 protection for your network. Be wary of any vendor who tries to sell you something like that.
The goal should be to protect your environment to the best of anyone’s ability and to educate/train your staff adequately to mitigate risk.
You will also want to make sure and take any specific compliance requirements or regulations for your industry into account. Most any business that has data needs to maintain certain standards for data protection.
To discuss any of the layers for a layered network security solution listed above or your environment please reach out to our team.
For more information on employee data security training go here.
The post Layered Network Security: 5 Components Every Layered Security Solution Should Have & Why Employee Training Is A Must Have 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.Ransomware Now�Sends Malicious Texts Through Mobile Device Aug 13, 2019
If you own an Android device, there's a new threat to be at least moderately concerned about.� It takes the form of a new ransomware family that spreads from one victim to the next with text messages that contain poisoned links to every contact on an infected device.
The ESET research team that found the software had this to say about it:
"Due to narrow targeting and flaws in both execution of the campaign and implementation of its encryption, the impact of this new ransomware is limited.
If your system is infected, the first thing it will do is raid your contacts list and send SMS text messages to everyone on it.� Anybody who clicks on the link in the SMS message will also be infected.
After sending a flurry of messages, the malware will turn its attention to your device itself. It will then set about the task of encrypting most of the files on your device.� Fortunately, the people behind this new threat prove themselves to be new to the game."
"After the ransomware sends out this batch of malicious SMSes, it encrypts most user files on the device and requests a ransom.� Due to flawed encryption, it is possible to decrypt the affected files without any assistance from the attacker."
All in all, this issue is only of minor concern.� It's annoying, and certainly time consuming to restore your files. However, it's not an especially dangerous malware strain - yet, and that's the problem.
Whomever is behind this new threat certainly has the right idea, even if they lack the technical chops to pull it off.� Skills, however, can be learned and honed.� As a first try, this effort is disturbing because it's clever.� The moment the people who wrote the code get the technical skills to pair with that cleverness, they're going to be genuinely dangerous.