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6 Things Managed Services Can Do for Your SMB

There’s an old fable, often attributed to Aesop.

A small community of mice lived in the same home where there was also a cat. The cat was a skilled hunter, and the mice were afraid for their lives. But a clever, young mouse had a solution.

“We should tie a bell around the cat’s neck,” the young mouse said. “Then we’ll hear her coming and we can hide before she finds us.”

The other mice readily agreed that this was a good plan, until the oldest mouse in their community raised a weary paw.

“That is a fine plan,” the old mouse said. “I see only one problem. Who will bell the cat?”

Belling the cat.

All too often, the problem with good ideas isn’t finding them. It’s implementing them.

Like belling the cat, the best IT strategies in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to make them a reality. That’s why you need managed services.

Stuff that works.

Legendary author Douglas Adams once said, “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

Running an SMB is fraught with tough choices. What do you tackle on your own? When do you turn to experts for outside help? What’s the ROI of keeping things in-house versus outsourcing?

When it comes to the things you truly rely on, like your technology, you can’t afford to take chances. Even short periods of downtime cut into your productivity, hamper customer relations, and sap the enthusiasm from your employees.

You need the best possible performance from your network. But . . . who’s going to bell that cat?

6 ways managed services help.

We have a solution. Instead of handling all of your IT solutions yourself, call on the support of a managed services provider. There are several reasons why that’s a smart move for any SMB leader.

We even made a list.

1. The beauty of a proactive approach.

Why wait for something to break to fix it? A managed services provider can proactively keep an eye on your network 24/7. If there are early warning signs of an issue, they can deal with it then instead of waiting until it slows you down.

2. Support when you need it.

Of course, some issues pop up without warning. When they do, who do you call? A managed services provider is there at all hours, ready and willing to step in with the solutions you need when you need them.

3. Security, security, security.

There’s no shortage of cyber crime. Recent headlines about ransomware attacks and data breaches don’t just spell trouble for huge companies. Small businesses are at risk, too. A managed services provider can help you take steps to mitigate those risks.

4. Just in case.

Even well-protected networks experience disasters – big things like successful cyber attacks and acts of God, as well as less spectacular interruptions like power outages and human error. A managed services provider can give you a plan for bouncing back from any incident.

5. The best possible IT solutions.

Technology is constantly changing. The solutions that work today will be outdated next year. Or next week. A managed services provider can help you keep pace with the best IT options for your business, making sure you always have a cohesive, smart technology strategy.

6. Sharpen your focus.

With your network in good hands, you’re free to focus your attention elsewhere. Grow your business, or cultivate better work/life balance. Your managed services provider will help with any IT hiccups so you can concentrate on what matters to you.

Managed Services with Intelligent IT

The experts at Intelligent IT take managed services seriously. We know what it takes to support SMBs. We’ve been doing it successfully for years.

Plus, we see the full picture. Running a business isn’t the only thing you do, and keeping your network online isn’t your only priority. We want to help make you a success in every way we can. Perhaps that’s why working with us is a unique experience.

We truly care.

If you’d like to learn more about managed services with Intelligent IT, feel free to give us a call. We’ll be happy to explore how our IT support can help you meet your goals.

Russia, Yahoo, Hacking and Your Business: Protecting Your Company in the Wake of Increasing Threats

With local news agencies warning businesses in their area to beef up digital security due to the Russian hacking of Yahoo!, there is more attention than ever on the danger of simply thinking you can do business without an appropriate measure of protection. Hackers today are no longer the unsophisticated individuals in their parents’ basement – today’s malicious digital breaches are perpetrated by massive, interconnected networks of automated computers who ceaselessly attack targets – no human administration is even necessary.

One of the most powerful and resourceful Internet companies in the world, Yahoo!, was targeted and successfully hacked in 2014 by Russian agents tied into domestic black hat hackers. The aftermath is stretching far into 2017. What is the takeaway? Even if you catch the perpetrators, the information that you lose may shatter the reputation of your company for years to come. Yahoo!’s breach completely stopped an acquisition by Verizon, causing massive upheaval in the Yahoo! C-suite and causing investor confidence to dwindle substantially.

Can you afford this level of scrutiny without the deep pockets and connections that Yahoo! has? Most companies smaller than Yahoo! need to prioritize their spending on marketing and R&D, not PR and legal fees. No, it is best to stop a breach before it starts by having the right security in place form the start.

Security compliance measures are in place for a reason. Are you paying attention to the measures that apply to your industry? If not, then you could be in immediate danger of a breach.

If you are looking for protection from an ever growing network of cyberthreats, Intelligent iT is your one stop shop for full scale resistance. Specialists in security audits, compliance and preventive measures, Intelligent iT gives you the fortress that you need to keep your proprietary ideas and information private. Give us a call or an email today – the bad guys are definitely not waiting on you.
Source:

http://www.11alive.com/news/local/atlanta-companies-should-increase-security-in-wake-of-yahoo-breach/423754691

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/03/15/hackers-to-be-charged-in-yahoo-security-breach.html

 

Four Basic Steps to Obtain Network Security

Every small business’ computer network is vulnerable to any threat of viruses and malwares. It can cause destruction, theft and loss of data, and even malfunctioning of your company’s website. Not only do security software updates anticipate such threats, iT services also update their approach and do regular maintenance to ensure your network security.

There are lots of possible causes of network security threats but the main culprit is the unauthorized access of network, either through firewall, external gateway or SSL VPN appliance, or through a web server. This can also caused by unauthorized access on wireless networks and infected devices that connect directly to the LAN.

In order to protect your business from network security threats, here are some of the security measurements that iT experts (like us) can provide.

Network Security

To maximize your network security, iT services creates firewall rules. They can also create strict Wi-Fi security by limiting access to a particular MAC address.

Devices

Unwanted or unauthorized devices can also pose a great threat to your network. You can minimize this threat by scanning removable and new devices or data transfers. To protect your company, there is antivirus software available that are free or paid for extra features which we will not only set up to maximize efficiency but will keep updated to fight unwanted threats.

Outside Scanning

Included in iT services’ network security is the scanning of external IP address. This eliminates the threat of malicious links or websites that can harm your network.

Software

Using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Security) will add security to your password-control website. It prevents unwanted packet sniffing or picking up sensitive information from your website or users by an internet provider. It is best for Wi-Fi internet connections.

We all want and need network security and many times can’t do it all on our own. Intelligent iT is always available to perform the above tasks and further advanced security measures.

Intelligent iT NYC is an iT company that provides iT support and security for businesses in NY City.

5 Security Improvements in Windows 8

Windows Defender 2.0 – Post-Boot Security

Along with the update of the Windows 8, its Windows Defender also improved. Unlike the old Windows Defender which only protects you from spywares and adware, the updated Windows Defender will also protect you from malware and it now offers real-time protection.

While it may seem to compete with their own partners, Sunil Gottumukkala of Microsoft explained that 95 percent of the systems come with antimalware software. But the AV solution expires within 6 months which makes 25 percent of the systems vulnerable.

To continue business with their partners, Microsoft made the Defender not readily available in the taskbar upon the Windows 8’s installation. It functions as a background service and can only be found through manual search. This way, they do not compete with their partners while still protecting their users.

Early Launch Anti-Malware – Pre Boot Security

Most of us are still not aware that there are viruses that load even before Antivirus software and Windows starts up. This is the job of Windows 8’s Early Launch Anti Malware (ELAM); to start in advance before Windows boot loader becomes active and prevents any malicious code to take over. And to prove their support for their partner’s products, the ELAM driver will simply launch the currently installed and compatible anti-malware software. Chris Hallum said that Microsoft has collaborated with antivirus sellers to develop their own ELAM component.

Measured Boot

Microsoft is introducing a foundation in Windows 8 which is called “Measured Boot”. The whole booting process will be stored and signed in the TPM chip to prevent malware from infecting the system.  This information can be validated remotely to determine the client’s security state. Microsoft offers a 1.8 MB whitepaper that explains the entire Measure Boot.

Internet Explorer 10

IE 10 features tabs that are completely isolated from each other. Meaning, one tab doesn’t affect another tab such as interfering or capturing data. Another feature is IE 10’s improved Address Space Layout Randomization or ASLR.

Application Security

This security protects you starting from the Windows Store to running apps.

Windows Store – Every apps in Windows Store has passed Microsoft’s screening to provide users malware-free products.

Installation – All the available apps are verified by Windows Store and by clients including Defender, Smart Screen, etc.

App Container – Microsoft extensively limits their apps’ privileges and access to resources. They provide “Contracts” to access data and other apps. It can be seen in Windows 8’s charms bar.

Need more information? We are here. Ask us questions via our helpdesk or when we stop in to update you (or your system) on Windows 8.

15 Social Media Scams That You Should Know

There are always bad characters that are looking for opportunities to trick people. To give you tips on how to avoid them, here are 15 scams that are used in social media.

419 Scam

The hacker will access someone’s Facebook account and pretend to be the owner of the account. It will contact someone in the owner’s network and ask for help. The scammer will claim that he’s been robbed or something similar that caused them to lose their money. They will request for the contacted person to transfer them money through wire to buy return ticket and promise to pay them when they return.

See who viewed your profile!

This scam is famous because it feeds the ego and curiosity of the user who viewed their Facebook profile.

The same with usual scams, it uses application to access your profile. For the user’s curiosity, he will ‘sacrifice’ his ‘basic’ information just to be able to see who’s viewing their profile. But you will only be left with an unfair trade; you let the scammer access your information while waiting forever to see your viewers.

‘Dislike’ button

Do you sometimes wish that Facebook had a ‘dislike’ button so that you can dislike a post without revealing your identity? Seeing this offering seems like an answer to your wish. But guess what… its another scam or spam that will either access your information or take you to a survey by letting you to ‘enable’ the dislike button.

Video Scandals

Another hard to resist scam is… watch this [insert controversial video here]. The scam promises you that you can watch the video after you share it but it will take you to another site after clicking it. This is also used by spammers to get you to take their survey, which will allow them to earn their commission, and leaves you with nothing.

Gift Cards

Who can resist free items? With this scam, it will cost you a lot. By posting free offerings, you will be convinced to willingly reveal your information just to avail freebies.

Celebrity controversies

Have you seen posts with titles like “Justin Bieber stabbed!” or a video that promises to show the death of Osama Bin Laden? These fake celebrity news are also taking advantage of users’ curiosity. Again, clicking the link will infect your computer with malware.

Work from Home

These offerings usually appear on Twitter. When you click the link, it will take you to a site that offers initial payment or products to purchase before you could start to work. This will entice you to work on the comfort of your home and earn big bucks. If it’s too good to be true, there’s a big probability that it’s a scam. If you were asked to pay first to be given a job, it is most likely a fraud.

Twitter mentions

This is the same with the “Who’s viewing your profile”. It will capitalize on your curiosity to know who mentioned you on Twitter. Of course, the mention is a real thing, but the tweet that mentions you comes with a link that will take you to a dangerous site.

“Is this you in this video?”

This is one of the hardest to resist because it directly involves you. You will curiously check it if it is really you on the video but it will send you to a site where it will automatically download a malware to your computer.

Stock scam on LinkedIn

Scammers post about a promising company that is worth investing in. It includes a link to a video that will further explain why it is good to invest in this company. The scammer will display a high price stock and will sell his own share, and the stock decreases again.

Your account has been cancelled

This could be frightening to some users. It will start panic and will cause a user to carelessly enter their username and password to a fake website that the link brought them to. If you were asked to verify information on your account, do it directly on the site, not through the link that is given to you on your email.

Confirm email

This is the same with cancellation scams where scammers will make you reveal your information by confirming your email and entering username and password.

Diablo 3 scam on Pinterest

The recent release of Diablo 3 has taken advantage by scammers. Websites, especially Pinterest, were flooded with links that offers the free version and allows you to claim when you ‘repin’ the image. But instead, the link will take you to a fraudulent website.

Dating game on Tumblr

Tumblr members will receive spam messages that say that other members or followers joined the tumblrdatinggame.com. But the link will take you to unrelated websites such as the Adult Friend Finder service.

Keep a free Facebook account

There are posts that roam around Facebook that call for members to take action against a plan to charge its members to keep their accounts. The message usually goes something like, “post this so you will not be charged. Your account will continue to be free for you.” Facebook already denied the gossip so no need to take action. This is just a chain letter; harmless but a nuisance.

 

Beware of Seasonal Crimes

Are you aware that there are high-peak season for crimes… including cybercrimes? Not only do they take advantage of the people’s weakness to temptation and curiosity, they also take advantage of season and current situations. To equip you against crimes, we will reveal the four seasonal security crimes that you could encounter.

Grand International Events

One of the best examples of this is the current Olympics. Criminals take advantage of these events. These kinds of events are familiar to all and many are excited especially sports people. Criminals will send emails telling the receiver that they won cash from the Olympic lottery or an all-expense paid trip to watch the Olympics but the truth is that the email contains a virus or the link will take you to a suspicious website.

Summer Vacations

Summer is the season where statistics of lost items are high. This is due to travel and vacations. Some items are lost by getting left behind, others are intentionally stolen by thieves. Some stealing is done in hotels and some are done in homes or business establishments. The usual items lost are electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, game consoles, laptops, etc. because they are expensive and easy to carry. Thieves are also monitoring Facebook and scanning status of users announcing their vacation.

Holiday Hackers

Hackers attack on long weekends, holidays and summer breaks when IT staff are on vacation too. They can easily sneak into company or governments’ unguarded computers. Companies like Sony and HB Gary got hacked over Easter and Christmas.
Hackers Conferences

Yes, hackers have conferences too. They disclose new vulnerabilities and apply them to computers that are prone to hackers.
To fight hackers and to avoid seasonal crimes, sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter. We will keep you updated on latest hacks and provide advice and services to keep you off of hackers’ radar.

5 Simple Ways to Expose Your Secrets through your Smartphone

Smartphones provide us convenience. It enables us to access almost everything we need in one small device. Through your smartphone, you can access and update your business, office work, and communication; do your leisure such as games and entertainment; and do your transactions. The scary part is that you bring that usable, handy gadget anywhere you go and there is a good chance it could get lost. This makes your smartphone more likely to reveal your secrets than your desktop.

Here are 5 common and easy ways to expose your secrets through your Smartphone.

Download apps from anywhere

Just like your desktop, your Smartphone can also be hacked by downloading stuff, especially applications. Applications are the famous downloads in Smartphone and this is an easy gateway for hackers to penetrate your Smartphone. I could say that no app is one hundred percent safe. But lessen the risk by downloading apps from reliable sources such Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Modify your Smartphone to accommodate incompatible downloads aka jailbreak

There’s a feeling of freedom if you were able to modify or ‘personalize’ your smartphone to accommodate incompatible downloads or programs. If you think you’re better than your smartphone’s OS creators and like to ‘improve’ their programs and remove its security that you think that is not needed, you’re opening your front door to hackers.

Disabling passcode

You may think that you don’t need to enable passcodes on your smartphones because it is a personal device and no one’s using it but you… and you’re too lazy to punch codes to open your smartphone anyway. While it makes easy for you to access your smartphone, it will do the same to the person who will find your smartphone if ever you lose it. Even if the person who found your smartphone has no intention of invading your privacy, they will be tempted to open them and browse your information and pictures.

You think your smartphone is invulnerable

After enabling passcodes and security codes in your smartphone and avoiding downloading apps from unknown sources, you store all your information in your smartphone including your personal pictures. While you may prevent an average person from accessing your smartphone, a person with the intention to hack, will take an hour to break the code. The saying, “Don’t put your eggs in one basket” can also be applied in your smartphone. Never ever trust anything so much that you will store all your information there.

Taking OS updates for granted

OS updates not only improves appearance and makes it easier to use, it also updates security. Hackers always find ways to break security codes to access your device. OS updates patch up those discovered loop-holes and provide you more protection. If you have an outdated OS and programs, hackers can easily access it.

Need more information? Intelligent iT is always available to discuss tips and tricks.