Posts by msachs


Written by:

Megan Pollice
Marketing Manager
NET Xperts LLC

 


Maybe you’re a NET X Alert! Managed Services customer and you know all about how we can help you because we are currently doing so!
Maybe you’re a customer that utilizes our services fairly regularly, but you could learn a little more.
Or maybe, just maybe, you’re not a current NET Xperts LLC customer and you’re in need of our help!
No matter your relationship with us, we have a lot of useful information and tools to share with you.

The most time-sensitive matter we need to remind you about is the end of end of life, and end of all support, for Microsoft Exchange 2007. If you’re still utilizing Microsoft Exchange 2007, please reach out to us immediately at 412.244.NETX (6389) so that we can help your business make the very important transition!

The best way to help protect your business and your network is by becoming a NET X Alert! Managed Services customer. This will ensure that our team is watching over your network 24/7/365. We have many plans that can be customized to suit any size business or any business model, starting as low as $195*! Be sure to inquire about our special rates for new non-profit customers.

Another great way to safeguard your business is by utilizing our NET X SIEM program. SIEM stands for Security Information & Event Management. NET X SIEM is our fully managed security and compliance cybersecurity solution that provides real-time monitoring and correlation of events and real-time analysis of security alerts.

Thinking about the cloud? Isn’t everyone? NET Xperts LLC can help you move all, or just some, of your existing on-prem infrastructure to the cloud with NET X Cloud Nine. Why are you still using box copies of Microsoft Office? You could be using NET X Office Essentials+. NET X Office Essentials+ is our secure productivity suite that gives you the familiarity and power of Office along with the flexibility and security of the cloud. Call us to learn about our ground-to-cloud solutions for any size business.

Not sure which one of these awesome offerings is for you? Maybe you need a NET X Network Assessment. Let us complete an in-depth evaluation of your anti-virus and firewall protection, backup procedures, cloud services, hardware/software, virtualization, VPN/remote access, any necessary upgrades, along with your company’s future technology needs.

From hardware to Managed Services to Cloud Services to Cybersecurity, NET Xperts LLC is here to help keep your business and your employees safe and up-and-running! If you’re currently a customer and have questions about any of the above-mentioned, please reach out to your Technology Business Consultant at 412.244.NETX (6389) to get more details. If you’re not a current customer…what are you waiting for? Give us a call so that we can help you make the best decisions moving forward to ensure your business is safe and efficient!

*$195 is for NET X Alert! Gold Lite, which monitors your network from 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.


 

NET Xperts LLC

 


We would like to thank our customers for your continued patronage over the years. With your help, we have achieved several accomplishments, including moving up the on the MSP Mentor Top 501 Managed Service Providers, attaining the Microsoft Gold Competency, as well as reaching Preferred Partner with Barracuda Networks and becoming a WatchGuard One Gold Partner. We work hard to maintain our partnerships with our vendor organizations every year to ensure we are providing you with the most knowledgeable service available.

As NET Xperts grows, we appreciate the fantastic testimonials and feedback you have sent us regarding the outstanding quality and support we strive to consistently provide. To obtain and retain the top quality professionals that serve you every day, we have continued to make significant investments through increasing our support staff and technologies necessary to comply with our internal NET X Alert! Managed Services initiatives. We practice what we ask of our clients, so as we continue to expand our office, we continue to expand and update our infrastructure to provide you with the most up-to-date and safe solutions.

For many years, we have prided ourselves on avoiding rate changes, while watching our competitors raise their rates year after year. However, in order to continue to provide you with our top notch service and support, and to stay competitive in today’s technology industry, we are constrained to institute a modest rate increase for some of our services beginning January 1, 2017. NET X Alert! Managed Services customers will have NO changes in pricing during your current subscription; only charges outside of your normal subscription will be changed. For our non-Managed Services customers, this will be only the 3rd rate change in NET Xperts LLC’s 15-year history. Our overall value remains very competitive with our local peers whose fees typically increase annually and many times without notice.

These modest rate changes will allow NET Xperts LLC to continue providing the highest level of personalized, professional service and continue meeting future needs with innovative new products and services that protect you and your business while saving time and money.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Technology Business Consultant for more information on how this affects you. Additionally, if you are not a NET X Alert! Managed Services customer and would like to lower your rates, call today and sign up!


Written by:

Eric Wolfe
Managed Services Administrator
NET Xperts LLC

 


Cyber security is a moving target. So what can be done to proactively protect data and systems? Adopting a solid defense-in-depth strategy can help minimize the risk an organization is exposed to. Defense-in-depth involves a layered approach to security mitigation. More specifically, defense-in-depth involves all aspects of the technology infrastructure, including hardware, software, policies, procedures, training, awareness, and accountability. The primary goal is to minimize the probability of a successful attack by establishing multiple barriers of access. A well-designed defense-in-depth strategy can help identify attempted compromises to an organizations computing environment. If unauthorized access to a system occurs, established defense-in-depth measures help to minimize any adverse impact and provide sufficient time to deploy new or updated countermeasures to prevent future attacks. While there are some obvious strategies to be utilized (for example: installing a firewall to protect the environment from outside entry), there are some basic elements that are generally overlooked. Such items include:

  • Ensure all workstations and servers have anti-virus protection installed. More importantly, make sure policies and procedures are in place to ensure that these systems remain current with definitions, patches, etc. NET XAlert! Managed Services can handle this for you under one of our monthly Managed Services plans
  • Utilize Windows Firewall (or other similar software) to minimize access to workstations and servers. Turn off any unnecessary services and limit the access to approved services based on user and group profiles.
  • Establish policies and procedures to ensure timely installation of operating system security patches. Hackers tend to exploit systems that have not been patched against known bugs. Handling patches is another great benefit of the NET X Alert! Managed Services programs.
  • Utilize standard switching/routing protocols to limit network access to resources. For example, if you are only utilizing a connection for voice traffic, open just those ports/services necessary for voice communication. All other ports/services should be disabled.
  • Inspect log files. While this can seem like a monumental task, the risk of not identifying potential threats early can lead to disastrous results in the future. Since most companies do not want to handle this on their own, or even know what to look for, NET X Alert! Managed Services is now offering the new NET X SIEM! NET X SIEM is an add-on to your Managed Services plan, or can be a stand-alone monthly service, that inspects log files for you and reports back with anomalies that can help protect you from a cyber attack.
  • Password strength and revolution. Strong passwords, changed often, can assist in minimizing unauthorized access to systems.
  • Ongoing employee security awareness training. Each individual has a responsibility to follow established security processes and procedures. Ongoing training helps enforce the importance of and adherence to defined security measures.

While the points above are in no way comprehensive, they do illustrate some areas often ignored. Remember, the goal of a good defense-in-depth strategy is to sway the “effort vs. reward” pendulum so that the effort necessary is not worth the reward obtained. By “locking and monitoring multiple doors” to our infrastructure, we can make it unpleasing for the hacker wanting to knock!

NET Xperts LLC and our NET X Alert! Managed Services can help add to your layers of security to protect your business and your vital information. Call us at 412.244.NETX (6389) today to learn more about protecting your network!


Written by:

Joel Caskey
Sr. Technology Business Engineer
NET Xperts LLC

 


Data security has been a hot topic in the technology industry recently. Credit card compromising, data leakage, and other stolen confidential or proprietary information can all be very costly to a business as well as your customers. Systems administrators and IT providers can put a lot of protection strategies in place to help prevent these types of breaches, but you, as the end user or systems administrator, play a key role in keeping this information safe!

Now, you may be thinking, “Gee Joel, what can I do?” Well, I’m going to tell you! There are some commonly missed holes that are pretty simple, but often overlooked because they are so basic. Here are some of the Security 101 Basic items to look at:

Passwords

You know how your systems admin or provider keeps making you change your password all the time? Guess what! This is the first line of defense in keeping information secure! Here are some things to consider:

  • Change your password on a regular basis. You should be changing your passwords for any system dealing with confidential or proprietary information every 90-120 days.

  • Your password should always have some complexity to it. Using your first name or middle name for a password probably isn’t the best choice. You should also consider a passphrase rather than a password. These are typically longer because they may be a few words rather than one word. That makes them more difficult to crack!

  • Systems Admins: When’s the last time you changed your Administrator password? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time to consider doing it.

  •  Never share your password with ANYONE, even your coworkers! This keeps your integrity in-tact and keeps someone from using your password or security credentials to perform operations that may be hazardous to the security of your data.

Physical Security

This one commonly gets overlooked because it’s the unknown danger. A password is not enough to protect a server from someone who has physical access to the device. What’s stopping someone from picking that server up and carrying it off into the sunset? What’s stopping someone from plugging in a USB Stick to that server and booting to it in order to gain unauthorized access to the data on it? Here are some items to keep in mind:

  • If you have a laptop, always keep it in a secure place. Leaving your laptop bag at a table in the coffee shop while you go up for a refill out of sight is a great way for your laptop to get swiped.

  • When you walk away from your computer and/or desk, always make sure you secure your workstation by locking your screen with a password. This prevents someone from coming up after you walk away, sitting down at your computer, and potentially compromising your data or your customers’ sensitive information.

  • Servers and network equipment should ALWAYS be in a secure location. These are the vital components to your system. These items should always be in a secure place that has access restricted to only the people that need to have access to them (for example, only your IT team). Some compliance rules also state that this access needs to be auditable (badge readers, for example). Having this equipment out in the open is inviting someone to plug an unauthorized device into your network or attempt a break-in to the server.

Viruses and Phishing Attempts

Hackers absolutely love these because they typically play on someone’s trust. You may go to a seemingly-legitimate website that may be infected, or you may get an E-mail that looks like it’s coming from a trusted source asking you for your personal information or password. Here are some things that you can do to protect yourself:

    • Never send passwords or other confidential information by E-mail. E-mail by default is not secured.

    • If you receive an E-mail with a link in it, be cautious of clicking on the link. If the link is coming from someone that you don’t know, don’t click the link.

    • If someone is asking you for sensitive information, be sure to verify the identity of the person or group that is asking for the information prior to providing the information.

  • For example, one of the most common viruses going around right now will attempt to lock you out of your computer and pop up a message claiming to be from Microsoft, stating that if you call a phone number and pay a certain amount of money on your credit card, Microsoft will clean your computer for you. This is a hoax and an easy way for someone to compromise your credit card – you’re giving them your information!
  • Always make sure you have virus protection on your computers and servers. Virus protection is a key item in keeping your network secure.

  • Be cautious of where you browse on the internet. Just because a site comes up in a Google search does not necessarily mean that it’s a legitimate, safe, clean site. Take a moment and look before you click!

The items that I’m talking about here are the basic of the basic, but often these get overlooked because of being so basic. Because of this, these are prime targets for hackers to obtain your information and your customers’ information. Keep in mind that these are just the basics. We can provide you with an evaluation of your network to identify and bridge those gaps. Contact your NET Xperts LLC Technology Business Consultant and we can arrange a discussion about best practices and get you and your business on the path to a more data-secure future!


Written by:

Mike Copen
Technology Business Engineer
NET Xperts LLC

 


I am sure that many of you have heard about the latest operating system released by Microsoft. It is called Windows 10 and was released to the public on July 29th. Upgrading to this new system can be both exciting and scary. The following information should provide a brief overview of Windows 10.

Is it time?

Now that Windows 10 has been released, the question beckons: “should I upgrade”? Early adoption of a new operating system can be a blessing and a curse for most people. You should always weigh the pros and cons before upgrading your computer and see if you will benefit from this upgrade or if it will slow you down.

Below are the pros and cons to each scenario:

Pros

Productivity. Most operating systems try and fix things that the public has had issues with in the previous versions. Windows 10 is no exception. It streamlines your everyday routine on a computer with new ways to access your programs. This allows business activities to become much faster and more secure.

Security. Internet browsing will be more secure. A newer operating system will adhere to stricter safety measures and comply with the security that websites utilize to keep your data safe.

Support. With a newer operating system, you are guaranteed to receive updates from Microsoft and the computer manufacturers when they are released. When the older operating systems retire, no new updates are released and this will cause a security issue with your data and your network.

Cons

Updating Drivers. It is inevitable that when you upgrade a computer, you will also need to upgrade the drivers that run your hardware on your pc, printers, scanners, etc. Many updated drivers may not be available immediately. Please look over your current setup and evaluate what may be questionable. Your manufacturer website is usually the best place to check on this.

Old Software. The longer you use software, the less you think about a need for it to be upgraded. You just rely on it and expect it to work. Because software companies aren’t on the same release schedules as an operating system manufacturer, your software may or may not work with the OS. The best way to check on this is to contact the software manufacturer and ask them if their software is compatible with Windows 10. If it is not, ask them if there is a time frame for a release and this will help you plan your upgrade around this.

So, is it time to upgrade?

Call your Technology Business Consultant at 412.244.NETX (6389) to have NET Xperts LLC help you decide if and when to upgrade!

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