Macs Are Here to Stay. How Well Are You Managing Them?

December 16th, 2015 by admin

Before you take your teenage kids to see the new Steve Jobs biopic, ask them what Jobs' first successful product was. Don't be surprised if they answer "the iPod"! For most of their generation, the original Macintosh is ancient history. Today's Mac computers don't command prime Apple Store floor space...
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Blurring the Lines: Hybrid Devices in the Workplace

December 10th, 2015 by admin

Apple announced the iPad Pro in September of 2015. Microsoft announced the Surface Book just a month later. Both devices are blurring the lines between tablets and laptops, offering interesting new opportunities for technology use in the workplace and resolving many of the issues present in the current...
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Busting Dust: The Overlooked Cause of Crashes

December 2nd, 2015 by admin

Your business can take a productivity hit and incur unnecessary expenses because of a very common, often overlooked problem: dust buildup in computers. Dust inside computers can decrease their efficiency and even their operational lifespans. These microscopic particles are everywhere—and unless your...
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The Future of Fingerprint Authentication… Is There One?

November 24th, 2015 by admin

Earlier this year, the U.S. government revealed a massive cyber security breach which may well bump the infamous Target and Sony attacks down to "small potatoes." The database of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)—essentially a central HR department for most federal agencies—was hacked multiple...
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Mobile Security Exploits: Surviving the BYOD Environment

November 19th, 2015 by admin

IT professionals are more concerned than ever about malicious software infections since smart mobile devices hit the mainstream. Many businesses have been relatively open to the idea of integrating smart devices into their workflow as a way to increase productivity. But news headlines have been quick...
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Email Encryption: The Basics

November 12th, 2015 by admin

Chances are you probably have a few USPS "forever" stamps that have been sitting in your desk drawer for a while. When was the last time you actually used them to "snail mail" something—a bill payment or an important letter? Most bills are paid online these days, and most of our day-to-day correspondence...
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Treat Your Network As If It’s ALREADY Been Hacked

November 5th, 2015 by admin

Weak IT security generally revolves around the following theory: "We'll keep hackers out of our network—everything's okay until something bad happens." But strong security operates from an assume breach mindset: The hackers have already infiltrated our network, probably for a while now—where and...
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Playing It Safe with Windows 10: Upgrading or Maintaining Your OS with Minimal Pain

October 27th, 2015 by admin

Now that the dust has settled around the release of Windows 10, your SMB may be looking to increase productivity by upgrading your OS. Still, you should proceed with caution. The latest version of the operating system offers a more secure computing environment, better disaster recovery options, and...
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Lessons of Ashley Madison: How “Crackable” Are Your Passwords?

October 20th, 2015 by admin

The well-publicized recent hack of the Ashley Madison website will probably earn a spot in a "Hacking Hall of Shame"—alongside the infamous Sony and Target breaches—for the sheer amount of grief it may cause millions of marriages. Most of the blame lies with the Ashley Madison administrators for leaving...
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3 Incredible Benefits of Protecting Your Cloud Data with Two-Step Verification

October 16th, 2015 by admin

Online security breaches can be expensive and productivity-killing events. When a nefarious third party acquires an employee password, it’s no party at all. Many online businesses have begun using Two-Step Verification, also known as Two-Factor Authentication, to introduce an extra layer of protection...
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The “Redirect to SMB” Bug: New Windows, Same Danger

October 6th, 2015 by admin

The big news out of Microsoft over the past couple of months is the much-ballyhooed release of Windows 10. While “Win10” finally addresses those annoying shortcomings of its predecessor Windows 8 (as we've discussed), it still hasn't corrected a dangerous security flaw known in cybersecurity circles...
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What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You: The Dangers of Shadow IT

September 18th, 2015 by admin

Last spring, Hillary Clinton received a barrage of criticism after it was revealed that she used a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State—seemingly at odds with government security protocols, if not federal laws. Clinton would go on to publicly dismiss the controversy, saying...
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BYOD Is Here: Where’s Your Company Policy?

September 11th, 2015 by admin

Once upon a time, IT administrators offered company-issued hardware to employees based upon something akin to Henry Ford's "Model T" approach: "You can have any equipment you want, as long as it's whatever we have for you." In light of the mobile/Wi-Fi revolution over the past few years, times have...
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IPv6: Heard of it? You Will...

September 4th, 2015 by admin

In our ever-expanding universe of high-tech acronyms, perhaps one you've recently heard is IPv6. What exactly is it? Why do some IT people embrace it as the foundation of a "new Internet," while the mere mention of it gives others an instant headache? First, think back to the "good old days" decades...
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Desktop-as-a-Service: Start with the Right Roadmap

August 27th, 2015 by admin

In this third installment of our blog series on Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Cloud-hosted virtual workspaces, we'd like to pass along a few pointers about when and how to plan a successful structured deployment within your organization. Everything starts with a plan. When is it time to think about...
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Hidden Costs of DaaS Service? Know What to Look For

August 19th, 2015 by admin

Back in July, we talked about the emergence of Cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). From overall cost to scalability, mobility, and security, more IT decision-makers are recognizing DaaS as simply a better alternative to traditional networks of standalone computers. As with any other new technology,...
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The Importance of Being Proactive: Why You Need A Breach Response Plan

August 6th, 2015 by admin

Each month, Microsoft releases a new security bulletin. In May of 2015, forty-six vulnerabilities had been identified and fixed, spanning products such as Windows, Internet Explorer, and Office. In June, it was even more. While some of these vulnerabilities were low-threat, others were more critical,...
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DaaS and the Virtual Workspace: The Next Big Thing?

July 30th, 2015 by admin

We've recently received quite a few questions regarding "virtual workspaces." Particularly in light of the imminent release of the next version of Windows (which, as we've discussed, won't come cheaply for enterprise users), will virtual workspaces be a cost-effective alternative to full computers...
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Is Your Server Room Too Noisy? Take Steps to Fix It

July 22nd, 2015 by admin

When we conduct our complimentary IT assessment for a prospective customer, one question we're frequently asked is "Can we do anything to cut down on the noise in our server room?" Most older office facilities in the Bay Area simply weren't designed to accommodate heavy computer equipment operating...
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Malvertising: The Next Big Cyber Threat

July 16th, 2015 by admin

We've spent plenty of time here talking about safeguarding your company against phishing and other forms of cyber-attack. As we've discussed, the first line of defense against phishing is to make sure your employees remain vigilant by avoiding email links and shady websites. But there's a bigger threat...
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Small Business Disaster Recovery Solutions

July 10th, 2015 by admin

“Disaster”: the word itself is synonymous with trauma. Of course, even after a traumatic event, there is an opportunity to rebuild. Restoring your data is a critical part of rebuilding your infrastructure and your business after a physical or virtual disaster. For businesses, especially small- to medium-sized...
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Time To Think About Your Company's Next Tech Refresh?

June 24th, 2015 by admin

As the Bay Area moves into the warmest months of the year, you can enjoy the summer knowing your annual home spring cleaning is behind you—when you tackled all those chores in (literally) one clean sweep over a weekend. With that taken care of, now’s a good time to review your company's tech refresh...
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The Cloud: An Eco-Friendly Alternative?

June 11th, 2015 by admin

April 22 marked the annual worldwide observance of Earth Day. This made us think about the role small businesses play in the "Go Green" movement. Many companies have a genuine concern for preserving our planet's natural resources—even if many hotels use going green as a convenient excuse not to provide...
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It's Nice to Be Important, But It's More Important to Be Nice

June 4th, 2015 by admin

Let's face it—the humor on Saturday Night Live is pretty much hit-or-miss these days. But one classic SNL sketch from the late '90s remains our favorite: Nick Burns, Your Company's Computer Guy. Why are Nick's condescending remarks toward his fellow employees so darned funny? Because so many of us can...
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Is Tape Storage (Completely) Dead?

May 28th, 2015 by admin

If you're over 40, you probably remember the original Sony Walkman—the freedom of listening to a single cassette tape in portable stereo. Even if you still have a few favorite cassette tapes packed away somewhere, where could you listen to them today? Tape is just so… ancient. Ask your kids. Magnetic...
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Cyber Insurance: Good for my Company?

May 20th, 2015 by admin

We've spent a lot of time on this blog talking about cyber-attacks—from nuisance hacking to data theft to virtual electronic terrorism—and the steps your company can take to defend itself. But what if, despite all your best efforts, you one day discover you've still been hacked? An insurance policy...
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Changes Ahead for Windows: A First Look

May 13th, 2015 by admin

It was about a year ago that Microsoft officially ended support (most importantly, automatic security patches) for Windows XP. Particularly for business users, running a computer on XP after April 8, 2014, became about as wise as leaving keys dangling from the front door. Many XP die-hards stuck it...
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Apple TV for Presentations in the Workplace

May 1st, 2015 by admin

Apple TV, typically used as a video content streaming device for Netflix, YouTube, and iTunes, is fairly common in homes across the U.S. However, this crafty little device that can fit in your palm also has some impressive applications in an office setting through its AirPlay screen mirroring features....
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Know Your Enemy: These New Phishing Schemes are Hard to Spot

April 16th, 2015 by admin

A friend called me recently to gripe about his personal email account. His ISP has done a pretty good job of virtually eliminating the annoying spam he used to receive (remember your inbox way back when?), but now he's the target of two particularly relentless phishing schemes I'd like to share with...
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Uncle Sam Won't Stop Cyber-Crime—It's Up To You

April 1st, 2015 by admin

You probably know President Obama recently hosted a high-profile cyber-security summit at Stanford. The basic idea was to discuss how to expand the federal government's role in combating cybercrime against American businesses—from simple theft to outright corporate terrorism. As you'd expect, most of...
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The $100,000 Phone Bill: Is Your Office VoIP Phone System the Next Target?

March 20th, 2015 by admin

How would you react if your company's next phone bill revealed a major cost spike—to the tune of over $100,000? It's actually happening now to small businesses across the U.S., thanks to international VoIP toll fraud—perhaps the fastest growing cyber-threat today. While many small companies have adopted...
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Welcome to the IoT: Will Your TV Be Watching YOU?

March 12th, 2015 by admin

We've talked recently about the potential dangers of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, or IoT. As we discussed, the IoT consists of embedded sensors collecting data from dozens of devices in your daily life—your car, your health and fitness equipment, and even your home thermostat. All that...
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Is Your Law Firm HIPAA Compliant? Should It Be? Are You Sure?

March 4th, 2015 by admin

When the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) took effect in 1996, a number of legal "gray areas" existed in that original law. At the top of the list: to what extent was a law firm obligated to protect the confidentiality of Protected Health Information (PHI) stored in their...
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Do Surveillance Cameras Always Keep Your Company Safer? You'll Be Surprised

February 20th, 2015 by admin

You probably remember the 2001 blockbuster remake of Ocean's Eleven starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. While George and Brad's grand scheme—robbing a secret multi-casino vault underneath the Las Vegas Strip—may have been pure Hollywood, a key element of the plot is actually quite realistic, if not...
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Surprising New Study: Email an Essential Cross-Generational Business Asset

February 12th, 2015 by admin

What was cutting-edge in the 1990s is still relevant today — at least, when it comes to Email technology. According to a new PewResearch report, 61 percent of office workers say Email is “very important” to their work productivity. That same study placed the Internet and landline phones at 54 and 35...
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Disaster Recovery: Smart Ways to Work Around a Broken System

February 4th, 2015 by admin

Computers have a knack for breaking at the most inconvenient time. Murphy’s Law is alive and well. But you don’t need to wait for IT repairs in order to get an employee back to work: smart techniques and planning can minimize your downtime so you can maintain productivity and take back otherwise lost...
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Watch Out! Protect Your Home and Office against the Internet of Things

January 28th, 2015 by admin

Internet of Things (IoT) devices provide a powerful way to utilize technology to enhance everyday machines in your home or office, from wrist fitness bands to refrigerators to thermostats. The ability to monitor your home security cameras while you’re on vacation, or tell your coffee machine to skip...
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The Cloud: A Better IT Choice for Law Firms… or Not?

January 21st, 2015 by admin

Several years since you probably first heard about it, "the Cloud" remains among the trendiest buzzwords in the tech world—particularly here around Silicon Valley. Several of our Bay Area law firm clients have approached us asking if migrating their IT into the Cloud is the right choice for them, especially...
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Stay Productive with IT Managed Services

January 14th, 2015 by admin

It doesn’t take a psychic to know that one of your business goals is improving efficiency and productivity. You can do both with an IT managed service provider. MSPs specialize in finding technical solutions to streamline your work environment and preemptively stop work interruptions. The end goal of...
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'Tis the Season—for Small Business Cybercrime. Here’s How to Protect Your Company

January 7th, 2015 by admin

The holiday season means more than shopping and gift giving. It also now marks prime season for cybercriminals and hackers around the world — and they're coming after small businesses in the U.S. "Targeting" Target—via Small Businesses You may have seen a segment on the November 30 broadcast of 60...
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