Latest News

FortiGate Cookbook - User/Device Scheduling (5.2)

Fortinet videos - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 09:17
FortiGate Cookbook - User/Device Scheduling (5.2)
In this video, you will learn how to create schedules that restrict internet access based on time and user account info, allowing you more control over what content users can access and how... From: Fortinet Views: 43 0 ratings Time: 05:26 More in Education

Oxford Economics Cloud Migration Study: Insight and Impact

Windstream (Allworx) blog - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 04:46
The Path to Value in the Cloud research study by Oxford Economics and Windstream shows that the cloud already is central to strategic vision and operations and its influence is growing rapidly. The report offers insight into cloud migration strategy and planning, application and business function migration strategies, cloud success metrics and cloud decision-making ownership. -- Read More »
Categories: Allworx news, Latest News

How to Choose the Right Managed IT Services Provider

Clare Computer blog - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 08:37

Maybe things were simpler in the old days.  If a company needed their computers worked on, they just found a company that was certified by the vendors of their equipment.  It was a transactional arrangement: Hire the company to do the work, based upon their certifications.  If they did a good job, call them the next time.  If not, find another company with similar certifications.

Things have changed a great deal. The new technology support paradigm is to have a mutually beneficial relationship with a Managed Services Provider (MSP for short).  What’s the difference?

It’s a very fundamental difference and it makes a huge difference in the value being delivered.  The transaction-based “breakfix” paradigm has the client and provider working at cross purposes: The provider needs the client to have problems in order to have work to do.  All the risk for the network’s health and performance is on the client’s side.  In Managed Services, the MSP assumes some of the risk by charging a fee to keep the network running smoothly, and is motivated to avoid having to fix things.

So how does a company choose their MSP?  The vendor certifications alone don’t tell enough – effective network management has a lot to do with process and procedures.  How can this be verified?   Here are some things to check for when evaluating an MSP.

Capacity

Modern tools may enable a very small organization to become a Managed Services Provider.  Many things that used to require site visits can now be done by remote means.  Actuarially speaking, though, at any given time, some percentage of an MSP’s client base is going to require some “hands on” service.  Make sure the MSP you choose has enough people to effectively service their client base. What’s the size of their field force?  Helpdesk team? 

Procedure

Managing multiple networks takes a very organized operation, with state-of-the-art procedures and tools.  There should be a definable, and repeatable process for receiving service requests (whether generated by clients or monitoring tools), evaluating them, prioritizing them and assigning resources to resolve each one.  Any good MSP should be able to describe this process clearly and concisely and provide metrics as to how they meet their service level goals.

Experience

Managed Services may be the “new” paradigm, but it’s really been around for a number of years.  An MSP that’s only now getting into the game is unlikely to be as effective as one that’s been through the growth pains and has deep experience with the procedures and tools that constitute the best practices in this field.  Similarly, ask about the MSPs staff – do they have enough experience to be considered experts in Managed Services, too?

Communication

If a company decides to rely on an MSP to manage all or part of their Information Technology infrastructure, it doesn’t mean they should be “out of the loop”.  The MSP/Client relationship is a partnership, and that means information about the health of the IT infrastructure needs to flow back to the client company on a regular basis, in the form of monthly reports and regular meetings.  Similarly, to get the maximum value out of the relationship, the client company should seek to get the MSP involved in strategic planning, to ensure the network will continue to meet the company’s needs as it grows.

All of this takes a lot more effort than picking a technology repair service out of the Yellow Pages.  But technology is such an important part of business – it really makes sense to find an MSP that can partner with your company to take on the responsibility of keeping that technology up-to-date and working at optimum levels.

Clare Computer Solutions has been in business since 1990, and been providing Managed Services since 2003.  Their employees average 8.8 years with the company, and over 20 in the industry.  Learn more at www.clarecomputer.com/ccs-news-CCS-employee-retention

The post How to Choose the Right Managed IT Services Provider appeared first on IT Consulting & Planning Blog | San Ramon, All East Bay.

Changes in the Asprox Botnet

Fortinet blog - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 07:13
Asprox, a.k.a. Zortob, is an old botnet that was uncovered in 2007. It is known to spread by arriving as an attachment in spam emails that purport to be from well-known companies. The attachment itself is disguised as a legitimate document file by using icons such as those of a .doc or .pdf file. Figure 1. Asprox malware posing as a Microsoft Word document. This blog post will give an overview on Asprox’s functionality with a focus on the changes in its communication with the comman...

Security Digest: July 26th

Fortinet blog - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 23:00

Scenes from the 2014 Fast 50 event - Tampa Bay Business Journal

Spectrio in the news - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 13:02

Scenes from the 2014 Fast 50 event
Tampa Bay Business Journal
The team from HH Staffing Services at the event. HH Staffing ranked No. 45 on the List. Nola Laleye. 2014Fast50Event DSC 9771 copy. Attendees network before the luncheon. Nola Laleye. 2014Fast50Event DSC 9799 copy. The team from Spectrio at the ...

Categories: Latest News, Spectrio

Want Everybody to Know You're Flirting? This App is For You!

Fortinet blog - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 17:04
Once again, SherlockDroid/Alligator spotted a potentially unwanted application for us. The application is a Chinese flirting social networking application whose security level is distressingly low. We detect it as Riskware/Blued!Android. Figure 1. It is probably okay members of the social network get information on you. But is it okay for you that everybody - mom, dad, neighbours, boss… - does? The application is leaking no less than user name, email, height, weight, birthdate, city a...

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold - WPRO

Spectrio in the news - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 07:30

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold
WPRO
Kleinhandler is a founder and CEO of Spectrio, a Florida-based company that produces more than 4,000 custom hold messages for companies each month, making him an on-hold guru of sorts for companies looking to keep customers engaged for as long as ...

Categories: Latest News, Spectrio

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold - WPRO

Spectrio in the news - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 04:57

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold
WPRO
Kleinhandler is a founder and CEO of Spectrio, a Florida-based company that produces more than 4,000 custom hold messages for companies each month, making him an on-hold guru of sorts for companies looking to keep customers engaged for as long as ...

and more »
Categories: Latest News, Spectrio

The First 1 Terabit Per Second Firewall Has Arrived

Fortinet blog - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 00:25
Today we announced the availability of the first firewall to cross the 1 Terabit per second threshold. That’s 1 trillion bits, or 1 with 12 zero’s after it (1,000,000,000,000). But why is it needed now and why is it important? The way we do business has changed, and the threat landscape along with it. Mobile computing, public and private cloud services, social media, everything-as-a-Service, and Big Data. These trends mean the firewall cannot become a bottleneck, and the bar has...

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold - WPRO

Spectrio in the news - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 22:57

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold
WPRO
Kleinhandler is a founder and CEO of Spectrio, a Florida-based company that produces more than 4,000 custom hold messages for companies each month, making him an on-hold guru of sorts for companies looking to keep customers engaged for as long as ...

Categories: Latest News, Spectrio

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold - ABC News

Spectrio in the news - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 08:19

ABC News

Meet the Man Whose Job Is to Put You on Hold
ABC News
Kleinhandler is a founder and CEO of Spectrio, a Florida-based company that produces more than 4,000 custom hold messages for companies each month, making him an on-hold guru of sorts for companies looking to keep customers engaged for as long as ...

and more »
Categories: Latest News, Spectrio

Fast and Reliable Internet Access Vital for Cloud Services

Clare Computer blog - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:46

We hear a lot of about Cloud Computing these days, and that technology looks to be a big part of the future of technology.  Not that it’s a good fit for every company, or that it’s delivered on all the anticipated benefits, but increasingly, the cloud is a viable solution for a variety of applications.

How a business GETS to its data and applications on the cloud is not as a hot a topic, but it is a vital part of the equation. What’s in the cloud is of no use if a company can’t access it.

With cloud computing, a company’s demands on the internet connection is very different.  Two very important factors to consider are bandwidth and redundancy.

Bandwidth

Barely a decade ago, a T1 line (1.544 Mbps) cost over $1000 per month. But the extensive buildout of fiber connections in metro areas has brought those costs down considerably. Even home internet connections get multi-megabit connections for about $100/month.

When planning a foray into cloud computing, some careful consideration needs to go into determining the bandwidth required to deliver an optimal user experience.  Not so long ago, a company’s internet bandwidth was used primarily for email and web browsing.  When even a small office is using their internet connection for applications, email, phones (VoIP) and web browsing, it’s a whole different story.

Therefore, the costs of the necessary bandwidth will need to be factored into the business’ cloud strategy.

Redundancy

No matter how much bandwidth your internet connection has, if it’s down, you have NO bandwidth.  Some internet connections are more reliable than others, but even a 99.999% (Five 9s!) uptime means 8.76 hours of downtime in a year.  Can your business be prepared to have NO access to your cloud-based resources for a full workday?

If a business is going to go to a cloud-dependent model, then it would be wise to have an alternate route to the cloud.  This could be 100% redundancy – an equivalent circuit from another provider (ideally, coming into the building via a different cable vault), or it can be a circuit designed to be just adequate to keep the business running until the main circuit is restored.

Don’t forget to factor in the costs for the extra circuit, and don’t forget to test the failover mechanism!

Private Circuits

Depending on where in the cloud your computing assets are, you may not need to go through the Internet at all.  Your bandwidth may be more reliable if the data and voice traffic go over a dedicated circuit.  The prices on these have dropped considerably, too, so it bears looking into.

The bottom line is, the cloud holds a lot of promise, but before implementing any new technology, all the pros and cons and costs must be weighed to ensure the results will be favorable for the business.  Clare Computer Solutions can provide a Cloud Readiness Assessment for your business and help you consider all the options when planning a cloud strategy.

The post Fast and Reliable Internet Access Vital for Cloud Services appeared first on IT Consulting & Planning Blog | San Ramon, All East Bay.

Security Digest: July 19

Fortinet blog - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 00:00

FortiGate Cookbook - Certificate Warnings (5.2)

Fortinet videos - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:52
FortiGate Cookbook - Certificate Warnings (5.2)
In this video, you will learn how to prevent your users from getting security certificate errors when you have full SSL inspection (also known as deep inspec... From: Fortinet Views: 497 8 ratings Time: 03:25 More in Education

Pay-as-You-Go Security With AWS

Fortinet blog - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:00
Just a few short months ago, Fortinet had a major milestone for public cloud computing with the release of our flagship FortiGate security solution on Amazon Web Services environments. Security and privacy continue to be a top issues, if not the #1 concern, for enterprises looking to move servers and workloads to efficient public cloud infrastructure. Today we have yet another exciting security announcement for Amazon Web Services customers with the immediate availability of utility-based pri...

Is use-after-free exploitation dead? The new IE memory protector will tell you

Fortinet blog - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:00
The Isolated Heap for DOM objects included in the Microsoft Patch Tuesday for June 2014 was just a fire drill aimed at making the exploitation of use-after-free (UAF) vulnerabilities more difficult. The patch for July 2014, however, has been quite a shock to exploit developers! In this release, Microsoft showed some determination in fighting back against UAF bugs with this improvement - the introduction of a new memory protector in Microsoft Internet Explorer, which would make exploitation of...

Get Your E Commerce Site Ready for Peak Holiday Traffic

Windstream (Allworx) videos - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 08:32
Get Your E Commerce Site Ready for Peak Holiday Traffic
The National Retail Federation estimates that 41% of the sales during Thanksgiving weekend take place online. In fact, online holiday sales generate $78.7 bi... From: Windstream Business Views: 7 0 ratings Time: 53:55 More in Science & Technology
Categories: Allworx news, Latest News

Hungry, Hungry Botnets: A look at Torpig

Fortinet blog - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 23:00
Every 60 seconds 47,000 applications are downloaded off the internet! Evidently, most of us don’t think twice about downloading a song, widget, app, image or even malware. Downloading is so second nature to us that a popular phishing scheme thrives on our carefree downloading reflex. Say hello to Torpig. A “drive-by download” is when a website suddenly prompts you to do something, such as a “click here to close this ad.” Many unsuspecting web surfers simply hi...

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