5 Tips for protecting corporate data

By EDITOR 

A data breach can happen to anyone, even to the most secure businesses or financial institutions — and cybercriminals could even attack your company’s network. How can you be sure your network is completely hacker-safe? As a business owner, you can’t afford a data breach, as it could cost you your clients and reputation. Employing strict security measures can make any cybercriminal think twice about trying to break into your network. Here are some tips to protect your corporate data.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Using a complicated password to secure your system is no longer an effective way to solve the issue of cybersecurity. We tend to use that same complex password in our email accounts or bank accounts, and if one of your logins is compromised, this can result in grave consequences.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security for your systems and accounts. It can be biometric verification for devices that you own, or a time-sensitive auto-generated code that is sent to your mobile phone. This security feature works in the same way websites would require you to confirm your email address. They want to make sure that you’re not a bot or anything else.

Encrypt all data

Encryption is a great obstruction to hackers, since it scrambles and descrambles data every time someone tries to read it. Encryption also causes compatibility issues if the data is not being accessed via the company’s own network systems. While applying encryption can be costly, it is certainly well worth the money if it can protect your business data from falling into the wrong hands.

Keep systems up to date

Technology is moving at a fast pace. Hackers are always upgrading their tools to take advantage of outdated security systems, so companies should do likewise to protect their valuable resources. Yet many companies don’t install software updates immediately. If the update closes existing security loopholes, delaying an update exposes you to external attacks. So install software updates as soon as they are released.

Back up frequently

Although you’ve implemented several layers to your security, sometimes hackers can still find their way in. This is why you need to back up data frequently, whether it’s on-site, off-site, or by way of cloud backups. In the worst-case scenario where your systems do get infiltrated, you can restore lost data from those backups.

Monitor connectivity

Many businesses have no idea how many computers they have, so it’s very hard to keep track of which computers are online. Sometimes a company’s computers and servers are online when they don’t need to be, making them tempting targets for attackers. It’s advisable to configure business servers properly, ensuring that only necessary machines are online and that they’re well-protected.

It’s much more expensive to recover from a data breach than to prevent one. If you’re looking to protect your business IT systems for potential threats, contact Lanlogic today so we can help.

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Lanlogic, Inc. Acquires Teleset, Inc.

LIVERMORE, CA–(Marketwire – July 2, 2019) – Lanlogic, Inc., a leading IT solutions consulting and managed services company, announced today the acquisition of Teleset, Inc., a long-standing unified communications solutions integrator headquartered in Walnut Creek, California.

Founded in 1984, Teleset delivers critical collaboration solutions and services, such as unified communications, contact centers, security, data centers, storage and virtualization, cloud solutions and managed services, to businesses throughout Northern California.  Teleset will become an integral part of Lanlogic’s goal of providing best-of-breed technology solutions for its customers.  As a result of the acquisition, Teleset is now Teleset, a Lanlogic Company.

“With the acquisition of Teleset, Lanlogic enhances its technical ability as a leading provider of integrated collaboration and productivity technologies, support and services,” said Dan Ferguson, President and CEO of Lanlogic.

“Teleset has always placed the needs of our customers as our highest priority,” said Peter Andersen, founder of Teleset.  “Lanlogic has an unmatched reputation for being a very customer-centric service company and I am confident they will embrace the customers of Teleset with the same level of commitment.”

About Lanlogic, Inc.

Lanlogic is an IT services, support and consulting company located in Livermore, CA, celebrating almost 25 years of delivering excellent customer service.  The company is the trusted advisor for a vast number of small, mid-market and enterprise companies, local government agencies, and educational organizations.  Its network management and support services provide peace of mind to organizations that are looking for a comprehensive approach to IT service management.

About Teleset, Inc.

Teleset is a telecommunications solutions integrator located in Walnut Creek, CA, showcasing over 35 years of experience.  We are experts at implementing and supporting both on-premise and cloud solutions.  Thus we are not biased when it comes to recommending the best solution.  Teleset guides its customers toward the optimum configuration resulting in a smooth implementation.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Press Contact:
Salena Ferguson
Marketing Manager
925-273-2328

 

 

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What goes into a business continuity plan?

By EDITOR 

Events out of your control can disrupt your business operations. While you can’t necessarily control the unexpected, you can take some precautions to prevent most business disruptions. Here are some things to consider when developing a business continuity plan (BCP).

Backup your data, applications, and servers

Today, companies are more dependent than ever on IT and data. If these critical components suddenly become inaccessible, there’s little chance your business will survive. Regularly backing up these elements ensures they can be restored quickly in the event of a disaster, security breach, or damage to IT equipment.

In the past, most businesses would create backups on-site and with tape backups, but today more and more businesses are using the cloud, and here are several reasons why:

  • Cloud backups are affordable and cost much less than onsite backups
    Backups can be automated, therefore saving you time
  • Cloud providers usually back up your data to multiple locations (so if one of their facilities goes down, your backups are still safe at another site).
  • Backups can be accessed from anywhere, whether it’s at an employee’s home or at an alternate office.
  • If you need to access them, backups can be restored quickly

Virtualize servers and desktops

When you virtualize your servers or desktops, they can be used at any location – be it at your workplace, home, or a coffee shop in the Bahamas. In terms of business continuity, this is useful in case your main office suddenly becomes unusable due to hostile weather conditions.

Have a backup power supply

No electricity means zero productivity and money down the drain. Having a backup power supply will ensure that when the electricity goes down, your employees can continue working.

A good solution is an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), which gives employees a fair amount of time to finish their work as if nothing ever happened. Also, if you have a server room, a UPS will ensure your vital servers stay cool.

Utilize social media

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, most people are on at least one social network these days. And if there is any kind of outage or disaster, social media is usually one of the first places customers, colleagues, staff, and vendors will check the status of your business. So when it comes to business continuity, keep at least one social media account active to keep your customers and followers informed.

Implement unified communications

Unified communication (UC) creates a virtualized communication infrastructure. That means instead of your communication tools – like phones, instant messaging, and video calls – all being stored locally at your workplace, you can access them anywhere. So if your office is inaccessible, employees can still use your phones and other communication tools from their homes. What’s more, UC tools can route business calls to your employees’ smartphones. That means they’ll never miss an important call, even if they’re not in the office.

Keep in mind that these are only the first few items you have to address in your business continuity plan. You’ll also need to consider things like training employees and having a communications plan for informing stakeholders. If you want more advice on these areas or need top-class business continuity tools, contact Lanlogic today.

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Things to consider when virtualizing

By EDITOR 

Powering your IT equipment costs money, but how much will you actually spend? If you have no idea, you’re in for a treat. Here are four questions you need to ask yourself before considering virtualization.

Studies have shown that over 70% of IT budgets go to “keeping the lights on.” If that sounds like a lot of money, it is. You could be spending thousands of dollars powering your IT equipment and paying your staff to manage it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Virtualization can reduce your expenses without keeping you awake at night.

If you’re ready to learn how, here are four questions you need to ask:

1. What’s the cost of your data center?

We’re talking about the whole kit and caboodle: your servers, backup power supplies, air conditioning, security devices, and the overhead costs for the space to store everything.

2. How much do you spend cooling your servers?

Keeping your servers cool is a fact of life. Have you ever considered how much this is costing you?

3. What is your budget for cabling and adapters?

Don’t forget these. Aside from purchasing physical cables and adaptors, what’s the cost of maintaining them?

4. How much does your IT staff spend to manage these resources?

It takes time for your staff to manage your IT, and time is money.

How does virtualization eliminate these costs? With virtualization, you can kiss the data center, servers, cables, and adapters goodbye (hello, new office space). Instead, equipment is stored off-site and delivered via the internet. Your computers and network continue to function normally. The only difference is they’re out of sight. This equals lower maintenance costs, fewer overheads, less equipment, and fewer headaches.

And let’s not forget the time it takes to manage all of your IT equipment. Virtualization frees up your IT staff, allowing them to focus on more important things, like your business’s IT strategy and market. You may even have the option to completely eliminate your in-house IT staff. How’s that for cost savings?

Ready to make the switch to virtualization? Need more questions answered? Let’s talk. Call Lanlogic today.

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How can I update Windows 10 faster?

By EDITOR 

Updating your Windows 10 is an essential security measure for protecting your business from threats such as malware or ransomware. It’s free! And you don’t have to do much, all you have to do is wait. However, for some, that’s the downside. Can’t stand waiting? One of these will speed up your Windows 10 update.

Why do updates take so long to install?

Windows 10 updates take a while to complete because Microsoft is constantly adding larger files and features. What’s more, internet speed can significantly affect installation times, especially if your network is overburdened by multiple people downloading the update at the same time.

If multiple downloads aren’t being attempted and you still experience slowness, then either some broken software components are preventing the installation from running smoothly, or apps and drivers that run upon startup are likely to blame.

When you experience any of these issues, try the following:

Free up storage space and defragment your hard drive

Because many Windows 10 updates take up a lot of space on your hard drive, you need to leave enough room for them. First, try deleting files and uninstalling software you no longer need.

Then, you’ll also need to defragment your hard drive, a process that organizes data on your hard drive so it can read and write files faster. It’s quite an easy process. Press the Windows button and type “defragment and optimize drives”. Select the hard drive, click Analyze, and if the drive is more than 10% fragmented, select Optimize.

Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Software components may also cause installation problems. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter and it might just be the solution to the issue, and decrease download and install times.

Disable startup software

Before your update begins, disable third-party applications. They can potentially cause disruptions. To do this, press the Windows button again and type “msconfig”. In the System Configuration Window, go to Services, click Hide all Microsoft services, then click Disable all. Afterwards, access Task Manager (press Ctrl + Alt + Delete) and disable any startup program that might interfere with updates like an Adobe app or printer software.

Optimize your network

Sometimes a faster connection is all you need. Consider switching to fiber optic cables or purchasing more bandwidth from your internet service provider. It’s also a good idea to use bandwidth management tools to make sure enough network resources are reserved for things like Windows 10 updates, not bandwidth hogs like Skype or YouTube.

Schedule updates for low-traffic periods

In some cases, however, you may have to accept that certain updates do take a substantial amount of time. So schedule them for after hours when you’re not using your computers. Simply go to the Windows 10 update settings and specify when you prefer updates to be installed.

If you need help with any of the tips above, Lanlogic is always here to help. Call us today to meet with our Windows specialists!

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What are 2-step and 2-factor authentication?

By EDITOR 

In the digital age, cybersecurity should be one of the top priorities for anyone who goes online. One way is to vet those who are trying to access your systems. But when it comes to verifying users’ identity, many are unaware of the two kinds of authentication measures available. Read on to know the differences between two-step authentication and two-factor authentication.

If you want to improve your business’s cybersecurity for you and your customers, you should look at your authentication process. Two-step and two-factor authentication are two of the most commonly used options in cybersecurity. Many businesses use the terms two-step and two-factor authentication interchangeably. There are, however, subtle differences between the two.

Two-step authentication

A two-step authentication process requires a single-factor login (such as a password or biometric reading) as well as another similar type of login that is essentially sent to the user. For example, you may have a password for your first step and then receive a one-time-use code on your cell phone as the second step.

Two-step authentication adds an extra step in the verification process, making it more secure than single-step authentication (i.e., just the password). However, if a person or business is hacked, it won’t be enough to stop hackers from getting a hold of whatever they are looking for.

Two-factor authentication

On the other hand, there is two-factor authentication (sometimes referred to as multifactor authentication), which is significantly more secure. This type of authentication requires two different types of information to authenticate a user’s identity. For example, it could be a combination of a fingerprint or retinal scan as well as a password or passcode. Because the types of information are different, it would require a hacker a great deal more effort to obtain both forms of authentication.

The difference between the two

In essence, every two-factor authentication is a two-step authentication process, but the opposite is not true. With this information in mind, make sure that you are using the right type of authentication in your business to keep your company and customer information as secure as possible.

Your network needs the best security technology has to offer. The type of authentication you should use is just one of hundreds of choices that must be made to achieve that end. To take the stress out of securing and protecting your network, call Lanlogic today for all the help you could ever ask for.

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New keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 users

By EDITOR 

Since its release back in 2015, Windows 10 continues to receive updates and new features. This time, users are greeted with some new keyboard shortcuts that will make life easier. Here are our top picks that can be extremely helpful to your daily operations.

Windows Snapping

If you’ve never used Windows Snapping, you’re missing out on one of Windows 10’s key features. Known as Aero Snap on Windows 7, the snapping feature allows you to snap windows vertically on top of each other. You can even snap windows to a 2×2 grid for better multitasking. Simply use these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows Key + Left – Snap current window to the left side of the screen
  • Windows Key + Right – Snap current window to the right side of the screen
  • Windows Key + Up – Snap current window to the top of the screen
  • Windows Key + Down – Snap current window to the bottom of the screen

You can also combine these shortcuts to snap your current window into a corner like top left, top right, and more.

Task Views

This window management feature allows you to see all your opened windows so you can quickly return to a specific program or document. This is particularly useful if you have multiple windows open at once. In addition to clicking the Task View button on the taskbar to open it, these keyboard shortcuts will do the trick:

  • Windows Key + Tab – Open a new Task View interface with windows from your current virtual desktop appearing in the Task View list. To switch between virtual desktops, simply use the virtual desktop switcher at the bottom of the screen.
  • Alt + Tab – While not a new keyboard shortcut per se, it allows you to switch between open windows on all virtual desktops.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Tab – This is similar to Alt + Tab but the thumbnails stay on the screen even after you release all the keys.

Virtual Desktop

A great way to stay organized, this nifty feature lets you use an unlimited number of virtual desktops so you can dedicate each of them for certain functions. For instance, one could be used solely for work with all your business software and the other for entertainment. Some keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly manage your virtual desktops include:

  • Windows Key + Ctrl + D – Create a new virtual desktop and switch to it
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + F4 – Close current virtual desktop
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + Left/Right – Switch to the virtual desktop on the left or right

If you’re looking for ways to boost productivity, or have any questions about how Microsoft Windows can help streamline your operations, just give Lanlogic a call. Our IT experts are more than happy to help.

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Warning signs your computer has malware

By EDITOR 

With the rise of eCommerce and online banking, cybercrime has evolved. Like criminals who pull smash-and-grab jobs, they go where the money is. However, unlike bank robbers, cybercriminals do their best to avoid detection by letting malware do the work for them. Viruses and ransomware sneak into PCs to quietly steal passwords, financial credentials, and other personal information to be sold on the black market for profit. Not all malware is stealthy though. Here are some telltale signs.

Slow computer

Are your operating systems and programs taking a while to start up? Is your data bandwidth suspiciously slow? If so, your computer may potentially have a virus.

However, just because your PC is running slower than usual doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s infected, as there could be other causes to your computer slowing down. First, check if you’re running out of RAM. For Windows, open task manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and go to the Performance tab and check how many gigabytes of RAM are used up under the Memory section. For Mac OS users, you can open the Activity Monitor app and, under System Memory, you should be able to find out your RAM usage.

Other causes could include lack of space on your hard drive or even damaged hardware. Once you’ve ruled out other possible causes, then malware may have infected your device.

Blue screen of death (BSOD)

If your PC crashes regularly, it’s usually either a technical problem with your system or a malware infection. You might not have installed the latest drivers for your device or the programs you’re running could possibly be incompatible with your hardware. If none of these problems are apparent in your PC, then a virus could be clashing with other programs and causing your crashes.

To check what caused your last BSOD, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer and select Windows Logs. Those marked with “error” are your recorded crashes. For troubleshooting solutions, consult forums or your IT department to figure out what to do next.

Lack of storage space

There are several types of malware that can manipulate and corrupt the files saved on your computer. Most tend to fill up your hard drive with suspicious files. Ransomware, for example, is a notorious type of malware that denies you access to your data until you pay a so-called ransom. There are more aggressive forms of ransomware, like NotPetya, known for exploiting security holes to infect computers without needing to trick users.

If you find any unknown programs that you have never installed before, notify IT personnel in person immediately (do not email them) and have them handle the situation for you. Your device might not be the only one in your network that is infected with suspicious programs.

Suspicious modem and hard drive activity

Combined with the other warning signs, if your hard disk is working excessively while no programs are currently running or if you notice that your external modem is always lit, then you should scan your computer for viruses.

Pop-ups, websites, toolbars, and other unwanted programs

Pop-ups come from clicking on suspicious pages, such as those where users are asked to answer survey questions to access a website’s service or install free applications. While they’re inherently harmless, they could be downright annoying. Refrain from clicking pop-up pages and just close them instead. Run malware scans and update your browsers.

You might think that downloading free applications is harmless, but the installation process can inject malware into your device. When you’re installing a program from the internet or even app stores, it’s easy to just skim over the terms and conditions page and repeatedly press next. This is where they get you. In the process of skipping over certain installation steps, you might have agreed to accepting a new default browser and opening unwanted websites and other programs filled with viruses. Be cautious when downloading something for free.

You’re sending out spam

If your friends are telling you that you’ve been sending them suspicious messages and links over social media or email, you might be a victim of spyware. Warn your friends not to open anything that appears to be spam and make sure to reset your passwords across all your devices and enable multifactor authentication.

Knowing how malicious software affects your computer can help you take the necessary precautions and steps to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Regardless of whether or not your system has experienced these symptoms, it’s always smart to perform regular malware scans to ensure your business is safe. To find out more about malware and IT security, contact Lanlogic today.

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Understanding HTTPS

By EDITOR 

Are you an avid online shopper? Have you noticed if each payment page has HTTPS in its URL lead-up? If you’re not absolutely sure, you might be a prime target for identity theft. Here’s why you should make sure that the websites you browse for shopping have a little padlock icon on them in the URL bar.

HTTPS Encryption

When you visit a website that doesn’t use HTTPS, which is common with older websites that have been left on its domain with minimal intervention, everything you type or click on that website is sent across the network in plain text. So, if your bank’s website doesn’t use the latest protocols, your login information can be decrypted by anyone with even the most basic tools.

HTTPS Certificates

The other thing outdated web browsing lacks is publisher certificates. When you enter a web address into your browser, your computer uses an online directory to translate that text into numerical addresses then saves that information on your computer so it doesn’t need to check the online directory every time you visit a known website.

The problem is that if your computer is hacked, it could be tricked into directing www.google.com to the address 8.8.8.255, for example, even if that’s a malicious website. Oftentimes, this strategy is implemented to send users to sites that look exactly like what they expected, but are actually false-front sites designed to trick you into providing your credentials.

HTTPS creates a new ecosystem of certificates that are issued by the online directories mentioned earlier. These certificates make it impossible for you to be redirected to a fraudulent website.

What this means for daily browsing

Most people hop from site to site too quickly to check each one for padlocks and certificates. Unfortunately, HTTPS is way too important to ignore. Here are a few things to consider when browsing:

If your browser marks a website as “unsafe”, it is always best to err on the side of caution; do not click “proceed anyway” unless you are absolutely certain nothing private will be transmitted.
There are web browser extensions that create encrypted connections to unencrypted websites (HTTPS Everywhere is a reliable Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with websites).
HTTPS certificates don’t mean anything if you don’t recognize the company’s name. For example, goog1e.com (with the “l” replaced with a one) could have a certificate, but that doesn’t mean it’s a trustworthy site. Many unscrupulous cybercriminals utilize similar spellings of legitimate websites to fool people into thinking that they are in a secure site. Always be vigilant.
Avoid sites that don’t use the HTTPS protocol — it can be as simple as that.

When you’re ready for IT support that handles the finer points of cybersecurity like safe web browsing, give Lanlogic a call.

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Why you need managed services in healthcare

By EDITOR 

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the healthcare industry for its perceived vulnerability. Nowadays, more and more hospitals are realizing that overall patient care not only involves medical attention, but also entails securing patient data. For many healthcare organizations, it’s crucial to work with the right managed services provider (MSP) to ensure transactions are seamless and patient data is constantly protected.

They guarantee response times

When it comes to providing healthcare services, talking about fast response times is not the only thing that matters. You should always make sure that your provider guarantees response times, and that you’re able to contact them 24/7. Consider this: in a scenario where something breaks or you come across technical issues in the dead of the night, your best bet would be to contact your MSP, not to try fixing things on your own. Therefore, you need a provider who is able to give assistance whenever you need it most.

They support a business continuity plan

You risk putting your organization in jeopardy if your MSP can’t assist in your recovery from major outages or natural disasters. A business continuity plan is absolutely necessary in your healthcare organization — you simply can’t afford to lose all your valuable medical data in the event of a disaster. You need all the help you can get from your IT provider to maintain redundant systems, as well as help manage automatic failovers.

They provide proactive security

In the world of healthcare data security, aligning your practice with HIPAA compliance mandates is essential. Failing to meet regulations may result in huge fines, serious penalties, and even the withdrawal of your license to operate. The ideal MSP should offer core security services that include identity-based security and encryption, authorized privileges and access control, and data accountability and integrity.

They offer staffing services

Healthcare staffing shouldn’t be a hassle, but thanks to the changing dynamics of healthcare IT, that’s exactly what it can become. You need an MSP that assumes full responsibility for your clinical labor while providing you with a single point of contact for all your staffing operations, including account management, customer support, order placement, and more.

Choosing the right MSP can be tedious, but when you do make the switch, they can streamline your operations, reduce operational costs, and enhance workforce transparency.

If you want to learn how great technology and support can benefit your healthcare practice, get in touch with Lanlogic today. We provide the perfect set of healthcare IT solutions and outstanding support to drive your organization forward.

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