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 Service Coordinator(SC)—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 Woodridge, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
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:
3 Critical Steps You MUST Take To Avoid WannaCry And Ransomware Like It Jun 05, 2017
Last month the world was hit by one of the largest cyber security attacks in history- affecting more than 200,000 organizations in 150 countries. WannaCry ransomware, the perpetrator of this attack, took advantage of outdated patches and software licenses. Infected computers and business owners risked losing critical data if they didn’t pay the ransom.
As cyber security & prevention experts, we are happy to report that not a single client of Andromeda Technology Solutions was affected by this attack because of our security protocols and procedures. The same can’t be said for Cook County.
Industry experts predict that this ransomware attack will hit again. Tech experts remain unsure how the new approach might be deployed – in a similar fashion or with a new “2.0” virus. While the specifics of future cyber security attacks are uncertain, we know some things for sure. Proper protocol is CRITICAL for data security and the safety of your business.
Ransomware: The Numbers **
- Almost 50% of Small Businesses have experienced some form of cyber attack
- MORE than 70% of attacks target Small Business
- As many as 60% of small businesses that experience a data breach go out of business within 6 months.
These numbers are scary. Cyber security demands the attention of business owners globally and the efforts of hackers/cyber criminals are only increasing. These criminals want your money and they don’t care about the damage left behind.
That being said, there is hope and there are measures you can take to prevent your business from becoming a victim of ransomware.
3 Security Protocols You MUST Implement Immediately For The Safety Of Your Data, Your Business AND Your Wallet . . .
- Update ALL Microsoft Licenses to Windows 7 At A Minimum & Maintain Up To Date Security Patching – Cyber criminals are no dummies. WannaCry and other viruses like it take advantage of out of date licenses. Too often, business owners sacrifice the security of their network because they don’t want to go through the grief of updating to the latest Microsoft License. Andromeda recommends updating ALL PC’s to Windows 7 at a minimum and, more importantly, make sure you perform regular patch and security updates.
- Test & Verify ALL Data Backups – When is the last time you tested and verified your backups? Are you backing up your data at all? How long would it take your current IT provider to get you back up in running in the event of a disaster (virtualization time)? It is a FACT . . . you will be hit by some form of ransomware, malware or virus. The real question becomes, do you have the protocols in place to defend and beat the attack? One of the most important things you can do to safeguard yourself is perform regular backups. (We recommend daily at a minimum). A cybercriminal can’t hold your data hostage if you follow this simple practice. AND – don’t accept a verbal confirmation your data continuously remains backed up as proof. Your IT partner should provide you regular, real time, proof that your data is backed up securely and that it can be visualized in an agreed upon length of time. If your IT provider can’t give these stats and proofs to you, time to find a new partner.
- Educate Your Team On How These Attacks Work And Where They Come From – Every office has that one employee that will click on ANYTHING (hopefully it isn’t you). Continued education is one of the first lines of defense against these attacks. Employees should know:
- What to look out for
- What phishing scams look like
- What to do when they suspect an email or link is suspect
- NEVER to check personal email at work
Proper spam filters set by your IT group should prevent the majority of these emails from getting to your inbox. However, it only takes ONE CLICK and an entire network is infected before you know what happened.
Ransomware Prevention constantly changing, be sure to stay on top of newest trends
When all is said and done, cyber security is an everyday battle. Hackers and criminals will keep attacking until you don’t have something they want. These 3 Security protocols are only the tip of the iceberg and should be part of a multiphase approach implemented by your internal staff and your IT partner. If you have any questions, please reach out to a representative at Andromeda today.
If you’ve found this article on ransomware prevention interesting, you might also want to consider attending our upcoming Executive Lunch & Learn Seminar.
**Statistics sourced from the National Cyber Security Alliance
The post 3 Critical Steps You MUST Take To Avoid WannaCry And Ransomware Like It 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.Watch Out For New Ransomware Called Phobos Feb 09, 2019
There's a new strain of ransomware making the rounds, and it's a nasty piece of work. Called Phobos by its creators, the latest threat on the ransomware scene first made an appearance in December of 2018.
While details are sketchy, what we know so far about it is grim indeed.
Researchers at CoveWare have been dissecting and sifting through the code, and they're finding a number of similarities with the Dharma strain of ransomware, which has plagued businesses around the world in recent years.
It would be a mistake, however, to call it a Dharma clone.� Phobos also contains elements of the CrySiS ransomware.� While CrySiS is itself a relative of Dharma, Phobos deserves recognition as its own variant, as it combines features and functionality in a new way.
At the end of the day though, it still spells bad news for business owners.� Anyone unfortunate enough to have their system infected by the malware will find all their files encrypted, their extensions changed to .phobos, and will receive a popup message demanding payment in Bitcoin to get their files back.
Dharma has the distinction of having been named one of the most damaging families of ransomware in 2018, so the Phobos strain is something that needs to be taken seriously.
As ever, vigilance is the best defense against these types of attacks, which generally find their way into corporate systems due to a momentary lack of awareness on the part of an employee.� In addition to education and awareness, IT managers can also take the step of securing their RDP ports and ensuring that all business-critical files are backed up on a regular basis.
Last but not least, it's essential that your IT staff tests those backups at regular intervals to ensure they can get your system back up and running fast.� While none of the above will outright prevent an attack, taken together, they will serve to minimize the impact of a successful attack against your company.