Tag Archives: servers

Is Cryptovirus back as a worm?

03 Sep 15
lverbik
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19798163_s (2)Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does—it seems likely there is a new variant to the Cryptolocker virus—that insidious virus known to encrypt all your files and hold them ransom for $300. This new strain may or may not be Crypt, but it was reported recently to have been able to replicate to other workstations and begin encrypting user folders, though many IT peers do not believe that capability exists as yet.

Whether it is possible or not, it’s something to watch out for. The affected business not only was infected across multiple workstations, but also its server by way of mapped drives. The victim in this case saw a web page open at the workstation with a threatening hijack message and links to download the solution that unlocks the user’s data.

Its evil authors no doubt immediately began working on this new poison once researchers from FireEye and Fox-IT were able to reverse-engineer the virus and provide a solution to Cryptolocker’s victims in May of this year. Of course, half a million people had already been affected and 1.3 percent had paid cash to free their files from the criminals—to the tune of $3 million.

Following the forum discussion about this new case reveals that the most likely source of this virus may actually be a flash-based ad on a compromised site that many people in the office could have accessed. It is possible that someone shared a link containing the virus, or perhaps everyone had a program installed already that popped up an embedded ad that was clicked on.

No matter whether the new strain is able to actually replicate to other stations or not, this is a good reminder to take every measure available to safeguard your files. Number one, add this virus’s file names to your file screens: *.aaa and restore_. Two, backup always! Three, get legit anti-virus and monitoring software. Four, patch your workstations. Five, contact the team at Techno Advantage for help selecting the right cloud-based or on-premise backup and storage solutions.

Need more help deciding how to protect your business from a malware attack? Contact a Techno Pro today! And watch this blog for updates on any new malware. We want to keep you informed.

Service & Support – They Do Exist!

21 May 15
lverbik
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Do you ever tire of picking up the phone for customer service or tech support and reaching any number of auto attendants and prompts?   You wait patiently for that friendly and knowledgeable voice, but instead the call leaves you with unanswered questions and piles of stress and frustration?

You called because you need help with something…but it seems that no one’s home.   Wish you could just talk to a person? Like the good ol’ days….when people used to answer the phone.

Maybe you need to replace some equipment but you’re not sure what’s out there, perhaps the server is down, you might suspect malware or viruses on your computer. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a problem or question and there was a real, live IT expert just a phone call away? Of course it would!

Well, there’s good news. It does exist and it’s on display everyday at the Techno Advantage offices.

Recently, I spent some extra time with Jay and Matt and it really opened my eyes to the value of the monitoring packages and service plans they offer. On a given day, many calls come and go from the Techno Advantage offices, and each one is handled efficiently, honestly and with the client’s best interests in mind. Questions range from, “Can you help me find my file?” to “What steps should I take to migrate to a new operating system?”

Having a monitoring plan with Techno Advantage means that there really is a qualified professional standing at the ready to support your business IT needs. The team at Techno Advantage can monitor your system daily for storage issues, error messages, updates and all those things that you don’t have time to worry with.   If need be, a friendly technician can log-in using the Techno Advantage support portal to see what you’re seeing and walk you through a solution. Now that’s targeted help, when and where you need it!

The GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE packages cover servers, networks, devices and applications, as well as disaster recovery. Click here to see our monitoring plan packages. Techno Advantage has just the right monitoring and service plans to fit your unique tech support needs.

 

Are You Ready to Migrate Away from Windows Server 2003?

21 Apr 15
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Last fall we wrote a post about planning for Windows Server 2003 end of life.  In that post, we recommended migrating to new server hardware and upgrading to the current version of Windows Server which is Server 2012 R2.  Well, now just a few months remain until Windows Server 2003 reaches the end and we thought it was worth another mention.  As of July 14th, 2015, security updates will no longer be released, new applications and programs will no longer support the OS, and systems will fall out of compliance.

You may be asking…”What steps can I take to prepare?”  Well, you can start with these 3 actions:

Step 1: Make an Applications List

The first thing you’ll want to do is assess the installed applications. For instance, do you have programs that currently run on a 32-bit Windows Server 2003 installation? Some of those programs may have issues when moving to a 64-bit environment such as Server 2012.  Identify items that will be affected and document them. Now is the time to think about updating legacy applications and solutions.  It may also be useful to create a list of users for each application.  Finding applications that no longer have active users potentially simplifies the migration plan.

Some applications such as an exchange server may be easily moved to a cloud solution such as Office 365.

Step 2: Determine Risks

Many things can go wrong during a server migration.  Consider the costs if a critical system would become unavailable.  During this phase of planning, get to know your backups and determine what could go wrong.  You don’t want to find out that one key application no longer works post-migration and have no backup in place.

Step 3: Make a Rollback Plan

As its name implies, a rollback plan lets you roll back or revert any changes you made so everything goes back to the original state—before you made any changes. It is important to have a rollback plan just in case something does go wrong. If downtime during the migration becomes unacceptably long, you should have a plan to revert back to Server 2003 and get everything back to normal.

An execution plan is the final step in the process and you need a strong team of IT professionals by your side to make sure your plan is solid.   Techno Advantage stands ready to guide you through the whole migration process from purchasing the equipment to implementation.  Don’t wait!  If you haven’t started thinking about this…you need a plan.

Read more about Windows Server 2003 End of Life on our blog.  CLICK HERE

The Cloud Explained – A Blog Series

08 Sep 14
lverbik
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Have you ever wondered….just what is cloud computing anyway?

According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet). Clouds can be classified as public, private or hybrid.

Cloud computing, or in simpler shorthand just “the cloud”, focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of shared resources.  Cloud resources are usually not only shared by multiple users but are also dynamically reallocated based on demand.  This approach should maximize the use of computing power thus reducing environmental damage as well since less power, air conditioning, rackspace, etc. are required for a variety of functions. With cloud computing, multiple users can access a single server to retrieve and update their data without purchasing licenses for different applications.

Fans of cloud computing claim that it allows companies to avoid upfront infrastructure costs, and focus on projects that differentiate their businesses instead of on infrastructure.  Cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance.

 

Is a move to the cloud right for you?  The term “moving to cloud” refers to an organization moving away from a traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) model in which you buy the dedicated hardware and depreciate it over a period of time to the operational expenditure (OPEX) model which uses a shared cloud infrastructure and you pay as you use it.  Follow this link to learn more about the differences between CAPEX vs OPEX. http://www.diffen.com/difference/Capex_vs_Opex

The cloud can also help to protect your data as a back-up solution.  Each day, we create vast amounts of digital content—photos, videos, music, and documents—all of which is just a hard drive crash away from obliteration. Other data-ending events threaten, as well: You could be the victim of a fire or flood, or you may just delete data unintentionally.  But a cloud based backup service offers the advantage of securely storing your files at off-site server locations. This way, your data stays intact and available even if your local disks are stolen or your premises are hit by damage.

Did you know that Techno Advantage offers cloud back-up solutions?  Contact a Techno Pro today for more information.  Keep watching the blog for more great information on cloud computing.

 

Share your thoughts on cloud computing with us.  Love it, not sure, scared to death…we want to hear from you!