You’d be hard-pressed to miss last week’s biggest headline, the WannaCry cyber-attack sent shockwaves around the globe. Businesses of all sizes and even police departments found themselves crippled without warning.
Among the most prominent victims were many NHS hospitals in the UK, affecting up to 70,000 individual devices such as essential MRI scanners and blood-storage refrigerators. But by the time it hit the news, it was too late – either your system was protected, or it was infected. Here’s how it all went so wrong.
What is WannaCry?
The WannaCry cyber-attack was a type of malware (the collective name for computer viruses & bad juju) called ‘ransomware’. Just like the name suggests, it’s actually a demand for money. Like all ransomware attacks, WannaCry encrypts your files and holds them hostage until you pay. In this case, the price was set at $300, payable with internet currency Bitcoin, and you had 3 days to pay before it doubled. If you didn’t pay, the ransomware threatened to delete your files permanently. It’s yet unknown how much money the WannaCry hackers have earned with their latest attack, but you can be sure plenty of people have paid the ransom. Even the FBI recommends paying the ransom, especially if the ransomed files are of a sensitive nature or weren’t backed up.
How It Spread So Fast
It seems WannaCry may be a ‘computer worm’ that self-replicates and spreads, rather than a phishing attack that needs to be activated with a click. So far, no common trigger has been identified, as is normally the case with phishing links. WannaCry moved rapidly from system to system, spreading out through the entire network, including all connected backups and storage devices. At the same time, it spread out to infect other networks, who then spread it further, and so on. Given the nature of the internet, it was everywhere within hours.
Why Some Businesses Were Safe
WannaCry could ONLY infect systems that have fallen 2 months behind in their Windows updates. This is because it was created to take advantage of a specific vulnerability in Windows, one which Microsoft patched months ago. Without that patch, the ransomware could waltz right past the firewall, past the anti-virus and directly into the system (the NHS were reportedly running Windows XP – no longer supported). Those running Windows 10 or a fully patched, recent version of Windows were completely unaffected – the virus literally had no way in
It just goes to show the importance of staying up to date. We haven’t seen a second spike in WannaCry attacks yet, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one. A quick update could protect your business from weeks of downtime and lost revenue, making attacks like this a non-issue.
With our managed services, we can make sure you stay up to date – and protected. Give us a call today at 402-650-8407
5 Ways Managed Services Can Grow Your Business
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) help businesses take a proactive approach to managing their technology without the expensive step of hiring an in-house team. Your MSP is essentially a collection of niche technology experts working behind the scenes to keep your data safe, generate solutions to IT problems and keep your software updated. Even larger businesses who already have an IT person will often call in an MSP when daily support becomes overwhelming or a specific certification is required.
Let’s explore 5 specific business breakthroughs an MSP can give you:
1. It’s extremely cost-effective: There’s only so much in the budget for IT and responding to events on a break/fix basis will quickly exhaust your accounts.
An MSP works by getting ahead of problems before they occur – making equipment last longer, defending against costly security breaches and keeping the business up and running. Instead of calling for a repair at a high hourly rate, you get a wide array of expert services for one predictable monthly fee.
2. You have access to multiple experts: Businesses usually end up adding extra tasks to an unqualified but enthusiastic employee’s workload, resulting in costly problems. With MSPs, you have access to many people who are experts in very specific areas, and your existing staff can focus on tasks within their job description.
3. Speedy problem resolution: Downtime and business don’t mix, so your MSP will provide a reliable expert on call (usually with 24/7 options) to troubleshoot and resolve any problems. Much of the time, you can also skip the delay of an on-site repair with rapid remote support available in just moments.
4. Fewer problems: A large part of your MSPs service is fixing problems before they happen. While fixing things as they break isn’t the worst approach to IT management, it generally means you’re also suffering productivity losses, downtime and losing money by the second.
Your MSPs primary goal is to ensure these problems are avoided completely, through system monitoring and robust security measures. They’ll also make sure every important software update and security patch is applied immediately, closing breach points and keeping your business safe.
5. Shared responsibilities: As your business grows, so will your IT systems. A good MSP is on top of what your future needs will look like and knows which products and infrastructure are suitable to help you get there. Your MSP doesn’t just monitor your system and repair as required; they share responsibility for your system. This means measuring, reporting, analyzing and optimizing, working with you to introduce new technologies and processes.
Depending on your level of contracted services, your MSP can actually become a catalyst for growth.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? With managed services, your business always has the maximum security against threats, downtime and productivity drops. But for the savvy business owner, it’s also a way you can afford to leverage cutting-edge technologies, with complete peace of mind and ongoing support.
Boost your business with managed services. Call us now at 402-650-8407
How to Stay Safe While Being Social
Whether its children accidentally straying into the dark parts of the internet or adults willingly giving away their information online, this month is all about staying safe online.
People happily share their private information online, building robust libraries that can easily become a one-stop goldmine for fraudsters.
It’s not exactly the intention everyone has when they sign up, as the whole point of Facebook is to share your life with your friends. It hooks us into a global community and the experience does depend on us making certain privacy sacrifices.
So how do you balance being social with staying safe?
On Facebook alone, the average person shares 13 pieces of personal information ranging from a fairly innocent name/email combo, all the way to mothers maiden name and home address.
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but those 13 pieces have the power to unravel your life within minutes.
Even checking in at home has become the norm, helping to create a multi-dimensional online identity. The details are available to anyone who cares to look, whether they’re a friend keeping in the loop, or a someone with a much darker agenda.
The problem is, you just don’t know who’s looking at your profile or why.
For example, someone could try accessing your email account by clicking the ‘Forgot password’ link. The email service follows its security rules and asks identifying questions like ‘which high school did you go to? What is your pet’s name?’ Unfortunately, the most common identifying checks and answers are probably available on Facebook.
Once your email address is has been breached, hackers can use that to break into other services and go through, clicking ‘Reset Password’ on site after site, account after account – they have full access to your email, so there’s nothing stopping them from emptying your bank accounts – or worse.
7 Ways To Secure Your Facebook Without Missing Out on the Fun
6 Quick Security Tips To Keep Your Business Safe
Every employee shares one inescapable flaw that is putting your business at risk.
59% of data breaches can be traced back to something an employee did (or didn’t do), which invited a cyber-attack.
To lock hackers out, build security awareness and respect into your company culture, so that maintaining digital security becomes as routine as making coffee.
1. Use complex passwords: Every employee, including management, needs to use an alphanumeric password that they haven’t used before. Password managers can assist with making sure they’re never forgotten.
2. Verify unknown identities: Not familiar with ‘Jenny from Accounting’ who has called to ask for sensitive information? Double check caller identity and access permissions before releasing any information. Hackers love to play on our desire to be helpful.
3. Encrypt by default: People regularly transfer data to a laptop or smartphone so they can work more efficiently. Unfortunately, this equipment can be easily stolen. Set operating systems to encrypt data by default, so that it becomes useless in the wrong hands.
4. Protect portable devices: Laptops and mobile phones should always require a password and be set to auto-lock after a short period of time. Never leave them unattended in cars, buses, restrooms etc, and take them as carry-on luggage.
5. Set personal usage rules: While you may have blocked productivity-vacuums such as Facebook, what are the rules regarding games, video streaming or shopping? Can they install their own software? When business computers are used for personal usage, security vigilance tends to slide, resulting in unintentional malware installation.
6. Educate often: Digital security threats change regularly, and people become comfortable with a certain level of danger, thinking ‘it will never happen to me’. A 5-minute discussion once a month may be the barrier that keeps hackers out.
Why Managed Services Will Save You More Than Money
“Downtime costs money.”
That’s no secret, but it doesn’t quite capture the whole experience…you arrive to work in the morning, grab your coffee knowing you’ve got a hectic day ahead, and are ready to dive in.
For some reason your computer can’t access the database and neither can anyone else’s. You restart the server while fielding calls left, right and center, but are unable to answer any client queries. Your hands are completely tied…and now the server is beeping furiously…what’s going on??!
You’re not just in crisis mode, you’re on damage control as you call every tech you can think of, trying to find one who can come NOW.
Not exactly the day you had planned.
The Break/Fix Days Are Gone
Previously, businesses only addressed their IT needs when something broke. A few hours down meant little in the scope of things. In today’s fast world, businesses rely heavily on IT and downtime just isn’t an option. Even the legalities of simply restoring financial, legal or medical files after a breach raises issues.
The cost of break/fix is now too high, both financially and emotionally.
Simply put, your IT services are remotely monitored and proactively managed by a professional, external business. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) runs regular diagnostics on equipment to identify impending failure and resolves problems before they happen.
Benefits of Managed Services
Small to medium businesses in particular benefit from managed services, because they don’t usually have an on-site technician to oversee the multiple systems in use. By subscribing to a managed service provider, businesses can have reduced labor costs, access to a knowledge base, future-pacing, better data security and reduced downtime. Businesses can also know exactly what their upcoming costs are and plan accordingly.
Some of the managed services we can provide are:
Remote support – This allows us to help you quickly without needing to be on-site.
Hardware monitoring – We monitor your servers and workstations to catch hardware failures before they happen.
Managed anti-virus – We make sure your anti-virus is up to date and take immediate action if an infection occurs.
Patch management – We make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date, closing access to known vulnerabilities as soon as possible
How much down time can your business afford? Give us a call. 402-650-8407
DATA BACKUP SERVICES FOR BUSINESS OMAHA NE
BACKUPS ARE IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESS
Data can disappear. It’s a tough truth, but an honest one nonetheless. Data can completely disappear with no chance of restoration if your business doesn’t have a backup — an even tougher truth. Critical data that keeps your business running day-to-day such as financial documents or anything else that relies on hard-to-replace records can suddenly be gone.
Essentially, there are three risks that threaten the data your business needs to function:
While it’s impossible to predict when these events will happen, it’s possible to anticipate them with a backup ready to go for data recovery. Your best defense is the 3-2-1 Rule.
HAVE AT LEAST 3 COPIES OF IMPORTANT DATA
Maintaining at least three copies — one primary and two backups — is a safe bet for your data. One backup simply isn’t enough. Think of it this way — let’s pretend that you have your data
saved locally on a server. If that server has a known failure rate of 1/100, then that means ever day you go to work you have have a 1/100 chance of that server not working and losing your data. In that case, you definitely want that data backed elsewhere.
Let’s say you have that same data saved on a different server that’s not local, and this also has a 1/100 chance of failing. Now, you have a 1/10,000 chance of losing your data entirely. Add another copy that’s stored on a different server that shares the same probability of failure, and your risk of losing data multiplies to a 1/1,000,000 chance — much better odds.
STORE THE COPIES ON 2 DIFFERENT MEDIA TYPES
Varied media types for storage safeguards your data even further. Storing your data on different media types varies the risk of failure. Think about your how far back you’d need to go to recover your data and how quickly you’d need to recover that data when choosing the types. If your building burned down at 5 p.m. today, then how far back would your data recovery need to go and how quickly would you need to have it restored?
Whether it’s an internal hard disk drive or removable storage media such as USB drives, SD cards, CDs, DVDs, or perhaps floppy disks, consider what makes the most sense for your business.
SAVE 1 BACKUP COPY OFFSITE
Location has a plays a great role in keeping your data accessible as well. Keeping at least one backup copy in an entirely separate physical location lowers the risk in having a disaster destroy all of your data. If another physical location isn’t an option for your business, then consider cloud storage.
DME Computer Services for IT support,It consulting and IT services for companies throughout the greater Omaha and Lincoln NE.
Our customized IT solutions and IT Support can help your business compete in today's evolving and global market, at a fraction of the cost of employing an in-house IT Support team. With flexible Computer Services and IT Support, you can focus on your business instead of the technology you need to keep it running.
Omaha IT Consulting and IT Support Omaha NE
We deliver expert IT Consulting and offer everything possible to eliminate the IT problems from your business.
With DME as your reliable partner in IT Support and IT Consulting, you can:
Enjoy greater productivity -- with less downtime due to broken technology
Capitalize on more opportunities -- while we handle all of your technology needs
Get more out of your IT investment -- with scalable, flexible IT infrastructure
Safeguard all you've worked for -- with world-class security for your network and data
Attain peace of mind -- never worry about technology again
DME Computer Repair Services provides a strategic approach to Computer Support and IT Consulting that improves performance of your business technology in the most cost-effective way possible. Offering services to businesses in the greater Omaha area, we select the precise computer support that meets your budget and business requirements.
If you're going to invest time and money in business technology, give us a chance to take the worry out of your IT decisions.
DME Computer Services & IT Support Omaha and Lincoln NE
We provide computer technology services to all businesses who either cannot afford or do not need a full time IT presence at their workplace but who require that their technology assets be available and productive at all times. http://www.dmeomaha.com
Some of the services that we provide in Omaha and Lincoln NE:
*A managed service provider (MSP),we are your IT department.
* Hardware installation and configuration
* Computer network setup and configuration / troubleshooting
* Data Backup Services and Solutions
* Wireless networking
* LAN setup
* 24 hour emergency service
* Internet setup / Email configuration
* Investigate new technologies and how you may leverage them for greater productivity
∙ Support ALL Microsoft Windows and MAC OS X
∙ IT Services, Backup Support, Firewall, Internet Security
Omaha and Lincoln NE.
We are available for weekly preventive maintenance and troubleshooting. We also offer discounts for charitable organizations. We can devise an arrangement that will prove to be equitable and profitable for both of us. We would be happy to stop by your place of business and see what it is that you do and to discuss how we can help your network users to be more productive and help to streamline your business processes by leveraging technology and automation.
IT Support for Business
Data Backup Services and Solutions
for Omaha and Lincoln NE.
MACBOOK PRO AND APPLE LAPTOPS LIQUID DAMAGE INFO:
In many occasion when liquid damage occurs on a mac, the liquid makes its way through the keyboard. If your mac happens to be turnend on at that monet, more than likely it could create a short and your mac will abruptly shut down. The liquid could also make it's way through the bottom back plate. This is one of the worst possible scenarios as the logicboard sits right under the vents. If liquid get's on any of the logicboard components, the liquid immediately begins to eat away at the transistors, components and the logicboard fiberglass. At this point time is of an essence!
Don't Follow Friends advice, The big No No!
IS MY DATA LOST?
In most liquid spills your personal files are not affected. The hard drive is a separate component from the rest of the computer and it is rarely affected by any liquid damage. In any case of data loss, we do offer data recovery services.
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Call us(402-650-8407) now DME Computer Repair Services and set up an appointment so you can meet with our technician at our place. If you don’t live near our location, we offer FREE shipping to our service center with Fedex. After we receive the Mac, we will do a Free diagnostics before we proceed with anything. If we conclude that the Mac is repairable we will contact you to arrange payment for the cost of the repairs. All of our in-house diagnostics are same day, in many cases we can have an initial answer in as short as an couple hours. Once it has been determined that your MacBook Pro is a good candidate for our process we will begin service. On rare occasions the Macbook liquid damage repair may not be successful, if this is the case we will make you an offer to buy the unit for parts and there will be no charge for the service.
With time, your machine seems to be slower, no?
Here is 5 easy way to improve performances and speed up the whole thing.(iMac,Mac,Macbook)
Foreword and warning:
-You could be tempted to use an app called MacKeeper. Me, myself and I, DO NOT recommend at all the use of this... well, this thing.
Some call it MacKrapper, and I concur 100%.
- Backup your stuff. Always. Always backup your stuff.
For that, there is Time Machine, or even better a Time Capsule. I can not praise enough Time Machine, and when coupled with a Time Capsule, it's nothing short of orgasmic. See under External HDD, I'll show you a fantastic way to backup your stuff and bullet proof your life.
Start Up Items
Yes, it's cool to have 5 apps opening at boot, but you are draining your system right from the start.
If you can avoid it, it's better. Furthermore, you are unlikely to use 3 or 5 apps right from the start.
Also, take a look at your Menu bar: having 10 items up there does no good for you: You most likely will only use a few.
Go to System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items
Uncheck at will. I roughly uncheck everything but the critical.
A quick and very easy way to purge your RAM: Open Terminal and just type "purge" , without the quotes you silly! Don't forget to press enter! (#justsayin')
You need 10.7 + for purge
Ditto, get rid of what you don't use. Furthermore, if you really miss them, you can always re-install them in a click.
Add More RAM (memory)
Yes, it costs, but there is no secret! Adding more RAM will greatly increase the performances of your machine, it's by far the most efficient fix.
You do not need to buy your RAM from Apple, as they charge way too much!
This 16GB DDR3 1600 MHz module cost less than $125, compared to the $300 - $400 charged by Apple.
When your memory start to run low, your OS will "swap" electronic memory to "virtual" memory. Virtual memory is nothing less than Hard Drive space used as memory. The issue is that the speed (Read/Write) of an Hard Drive compared to pure electronic memory is much slower... hence it simply takes more time and make your computer appears to be sluggish.
- If you do not know what type of memory you need, check under "About this Mac" > More Info > Memory
- If you do not know how to change the memory, follow this link
- Be aware that some iMac, i.e 21.5 inches cannot have a memory upgrade
- Pairing the memory:
☞ If you have only 2 slots, (i.e Mac Mini, most of Macbook, Macbook pro, Macbook air) you will have to change the memory completely: It is NOT recommended to add just one memory: You cannot have one 2 GB and one 4 GB. Mixing memory modules only works if you have 4 memory slots.
If you have 2 memory slot, you'll have to change both and get the same size, i.e 2x4GB or 2x8GB
☞ If you have 4 memory slots, i.e iMac 27inches, you can add more memory by pairing it correctly, hence you do NOT have to change all the memory modules
Example: You already have 4GB, and want to upgrade to 24 GB by adding 16GB as 2x8 GB
(iMac is upright)
Slot 1 --> 4GB (Top)
Slot 2 --> 8 GB
Slot 3 --> 4GB
Slot 4 --> 8 GB (Bottom)
Easier said than done, but you probably have more junk on your hard drive than you would admit. I know, it's a tedious job that nobody wants to do, but it works ...
So here is an easy way to de-cluster:
Get yourself a copy of:
- Trial version of the "Classic" Clean My Mac, not the new "Clean My Mac 2"
- Free copy of App Cleaner
Run the trial version of Clean My Mac, there is a limit of ~500MB
Be careful and read the preference pane.
As you can see, just Google Earth and Garmin account for 6GB of space.
Once you have reached the limit, close the app and run App Cleaner on Clean My Mac and select ONLY the plist, delete the Plist, and re-start Clean My Mac
Automagically, you'll restart with a brand new trial version.
You can do the same by manually deleting the plist file located at: ~/Library/Preferences/com.macpaw.CleanMyMac.plist
Remove Un-used and obsolete Apps
Now that you have App Cleaner, use it. You can trash those apps that you have not used for the past 2 years.
I have seen Macs with 60 days+ without a reboot
From time to time, it's a good idea to reboot: it takes 20 sec and will give your machine a breather, clears the swap and RAM
DME Computer Services.
iMac,Macbook Pro, Mac Pro computer repair Omaha, NE.