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 Wheeling, 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:
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.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.Hackers Used Windows Theme Packs To Hack Passwords Sep 16, 2020
Are you a fan of customizing your Windows experience via themes? If so, you're not alone. While it's true that themes aren't used by a majority of Windows users, they're still highly popular.
If you're creating your own themes, you don't have anything to worry about. The danger lies in downloading theme packs from others, especially if you get them from a source you don't know and trust implicitly.
Clever hackers can now create "poisoned" themes that can be used to steal Windows credentials. Security researcher Jimmy Bayne discovered the new flaw when he stumbled across a poisoned theme capable of tricking unsuspecting users into accessing a remote SMB share that requires authentication.
When the user attempts to access the remote resource that requires a login, Windows responds by automatically trying to log in, using your Windows user name and their hashed password. Naturally, the hacker sets up the attack so that they control the remote resource and thus, is able to harvest the credentials and dehash the password at their leisure.
Microsoft has spent the last few years migrating away from local Windows 10 accounts and is leaning more heavily on the Cloud. This makes the theme-based attack much more likely to succeed.
Even worse, Microsoft has expressed no interest in fixing this particular flaw, because according to a spokesman for the company, it's working exactly as it is supposed to. That puts regular theme users in something of a bind.
Your first best defense against this type of attack is to make any themes you want to use yourself, or if you download a theme pack, be sure you're getting it from a trusted source.
Barring that, your only other viable option is to block or re-associate the .theme, .themepack, or .desktopthemepackfile extensions to a different program. This approach, however, will break the theme functionality, so it can only be used by those who don't need to frequently switch from one theme to another.
It's not a common attack, but it's definitely something to be on guard against.