Is your data safe from the Facebook data breach?

By EDITOR 

Businesses have made lots of money using social media to engage with current and potential customers for years now. But after a recent breach, some users are reevaluating Facebook’s reputation. Read on to know how this concerns you and if you must do something about it.

Last month, news broke that a firm known as Cambridge Analytica collected private data from over 50 million Facebook users. The British company supposedly used this information in 2016 to influence voter behavior during the US presidential election and UK’s Brexit campaign.

How did they harvest the data?
In 2015, a Facebook personality quiz app called “This is Your Digital Life” was created by Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan. Around 270,000 Facebook users signed up and gave information about themselves in exchange for humorous results.

What users didn’t know was that Kogan’s firm, Global Science Research, struck a deal with Cambridge Analytica to share the information that was gathered. Aside from collecting information about the Facebook users, the app also mined some data about the users’ friends.

Information collected was based on:

  • Data from other platforms that are also owned by Facebook, including Instagram and WhatsApp
  • Advertisers and other third-party partners
  • Apps and websites which use Facebook services
  • Your location
  • The devices you use for Facebook access
  • Payments handled by Facebook
  • Your Facebook connections and networks
  • Messages, photos and other content that other users send to you
  • The information you disclose to Facebook
  • Your activities on Facebook

What happened to the sourced information?
Cambridge Analytica analyzed the collected data to create psychological profiles and invent better political drives to influence whom people would vote for. Although there is still a huge debate about how effective this plans were, there’s no doubt that tens of thousands of users were manipulated into signing away their data without knowing it.

What can I do to keep my information safe?
Remove third-party apps that use your Facebook account. Visit your “Settings” menu and go to “Apps”. You should see the list of all the services that are using information about your Facebook profile. Check on each app, and if you don’t need it or use it anymore, delete it to revoke its access.

Our team works with our clients everyday on strategies that define critical data, secure it and ensure its availability. Contact us so that we can work together to protect your data.

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OneNote removed from Office 2019 and Office 365

By EDITOR 

People who use OneNote for Windows are in for a surprise. The desktop version of the app will be phased out in favor of the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app included with Office 365 and Microsoft Office 2019.

Microsoft’s OneNote desktop application is nearing the end of its journey, as the software giant will stop developing the product line past the 2016 edition. But don’t panic just yet, OneNote 2016 will share the same lifecycle as Microsoft Office 2016. The desktop app will receive security patches and updates until October 14, 2025.

Developers are directing their efforts to the Windows 10 OneNote app, where the switchover will be formal once Microsoft releases Office 2019. The current plan is to have Office 2019 in store shelves by the second half of 2018, and most of the features in OneNote 2016 have been added to the Windows 10 version.

What requested features will eventually make it to OneNote for Windows 10?

  • All of the features that can be used in OneNote 2016 add-ons will be built into the Windows 10 app to make an improved Class Notebook.
  • Edit and view files which allow users to collaborate on attached documents together. OneNote for Windows 10 will allow users to look at live previews of Microsoft Office files, and cloud files will help save space in the notebooks.
  • “Search and insert tags” which lets users search for, create and insert custom tags. The tags created in OneNote for Windows 10 will also be synced across other OneNote devices, and tags that other users made can be accessed in a shared notebook so you don’t have to make them again.

Users who are new to Microsoft Office 2019 or Office 365 can still install the OneNote 2016 application. The Windows 10 version and the 2016 version are still compatible until further notice.

Don’t hesitate to call Lanlogic today for more information on how to keep your software up to date while securing your private data at the same time!

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How Managed Services boost productivity

By EDITOR 

Have you heard of Managed Services, but are still unsure of how they can help your business? Do you often hear IT providers trying to sell them with words and phrases like “productivity” and “more profits”? If you’re looking for a clearer description of just how Managed Services can increase your productivity, today is your day. Here’s the truth about how this common IT service can take your productivity levels to heights you’ve never seen.

Managed Services essentially amounts to preventative IT maintenance. What this means for your business is that little IT problems are nipped in the bud as soon as they bubble up, and before they have a chance to compound into much bigger, more costly ones. But before we delve deeper into how this increases your business’s productivity levels, it makes sense to look at the history of this service and the role of “preventative maintenance” in our culture.

Why preventative maintenance matters

Managed Services have been around for decades. But despite this, many businesses have been slow to catch on. And really, is it all that surprising? Preventative maintenance is not exactly a priority in mass culture. Whether you hire a mechanic to replace a catalytic converter, a plumber to repair a leaky pipe or doctor to correct your coronary heart disease, many of these oftentimes preventable problems have been culturally accepted as commonplace. Yet people are so used to the mindset of thinking “everything is okay until it’s not”, which is really where the true problem lies.

Additionally, when preventable problems are ignored long enough to the point they explode into emergency repairs, your wallet almost always suffers. This is just as true for a network crash to your business’s IT infrastructure as it is for a trip to the emergency room for a neglected health problem.

Because Managed Services prevent catastrophic IT repairs that surprise you out of nowhere, your bottom line will enjoy long-term savings. Along with this, you’ll also get a significant bump in your productivity levels.

How does Managed Services boost productivity?

To answer this question, it makes sense to look at a fundamental principle of productivity – focus. Imagine if you’re trying to complete a new marketing strategy for the next quarter. You’re doing some research, compiling a list upcoming networking events and trade shows to attend, when suddenly you’re disrupted by an urgent phone call. After you’re off the phone, you return to your research, and then your secretary bursts in with an handful of vendor invoices you need to sign off on. As these disruptions continue to pile up, what happens if your IT breaks down and you’re unable to use your computer? Basically, you don’t get anything done during the day. You become stuck.

When it comes to IT, Managed Services take preventative measures to ensure your IT is always running at its optimal level, so that you don’t suffer technology breakdowns or distractions that blow your focus – preventing you and your staff from getting any work done. Smooth running IT won’t resolve all your productivity problems, such as your staff focusing more on Facebook or their phone rather than their work, but it will resolve all of those that relate directly to technology. No longer will your business be held down by daily computer disruptions and associated repairs, and instead you and your staff can move forward and focus on growing your business. That is the beauty of Managed Services. More productivity, focus and growth for your entire organization.

Whether you need just a bit of support, management and strategic direction Lanlogic can support you. Give us a call today. We’re happy to provide you the information you need.

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Addressable Networks, Inc. Acquires Lanlogic, Inc.

April 16, 2018 06:00 ET

SOURCE:  Addressable Networks, Inc.

Addressable Networks, Inc. Acquires Lanlogic, Inc.

SANTA CLARA, CA–(Marketwire – April 16, 2018) – Addressable Networks, Inc., a leading solutions integrator, announced today the acquisition of Lanlogic, Inc., a leading IT solutions consulting company.  Lanlogic, Inc. will continue its long history of designing and delivering best-of-breed solutions for its customers and doing business as Lanlogic. Effective immediately, Dan Ferguson will assume the role of President & CEO of Lanlogic, previously held by Art Closson, founder of Lanlogic.

“Dan has years of experience running a high-tech solutions provider in the voice and data industry here in Silicon Valley.  His focus has always been placing customer needs as his number one priority,” said Mr. Closson.  “Dan is a great match with our company’s customer-centric culture and I am excited to have him take over my role here at Lanlogic.”  Mr. Closson will continue his employment at Lanlogic for the foreseeable future as a technical consultant.

“Lanlogic has an excellent reputation in the market of treating its customers, employees and suppliers the right way,” said Ferguson. “I am very excited Mr. Closson has handed me the stewardship of maintaining the core values of the company he founded in 1996.”

Ferguson brings over 29 years of sales, finance and overall industry experience to his new role at Lanlogic.  He grew up in Sunnyvale, CA and graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Finance in 1987.

About Addressable Networks, Inc.

Addressable Networks is a solutions integrator based in Santa Clara, CA focused on designing, implementing and maintaining powerful converged communication networks for customers worldwide.  Dan Ferguson founded Addressable Networks in 2016 and then incorporated the company in March 2018.

About Lanlogic, Inc.

Lanlogic is an IT services, support and consulting company located in Livermore, CA, celebrating over 21 years of experience.  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. Lanlogic offers corporate-level support with an unmatched passion for service.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Press Contact:
Lyle Fullmer
Sales and Marketing Admin
925-273-2313

 

 

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Office 365: Tools and tips for business

By EDITOR 

Office 365 is the office productivity tool of choice because it has everything business users could possibly need. That said, most of them aren’t maximizing their Office 365 investment. That’s why we’re recommending some of the lesser-known and underused tools to help you work more efficiently.

SharePoint

SharePoint is the “communication sites” platform for building an intranet where you can upload and manage content. It’s customizable, feature-rich, and ideal for organizations that need an online library of information.

It’s a relatively new feature that allows you to add vibrant templates and visually appealing layouts to your company’s intranet, turning it into a highly dynamic and interactive page that staff will enjoy accessing for company announcements, to share updates, and more.

Teams

Microsoft Teams is an interactive workspace that lets users chat about specific projects. It’s a collaboration tool integrated with Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so it’s an ideal alternative to SharePoint for employees who don’t need the latter’s more robust capabilities.

Yammer

Yammer is an easy-to-use social networking platform for companies where users can post status updates, create polls, and make announcements.

It’s also useful for sharing and co-authoring documents and discussing content from SharePoint and Skype for Business. Much like Facebook, it allows users to join interest groups where they can interact with members similar to how Facebook Groups works.

Planner

Planner is Office 365’s work management application that lets you create, organize, and assign tasks, share files, and chat about ongoing projects. While its functions seem similar to Teams’, Planner’s main purpose is to organize tasks and provide users with a visible and transparent platform for coordinating work. It’s primarily a business tool whereas Teams is more of a communication tool.

PowerApps

PowerApps lets you build custom applications with a minimum amount of coding involved. Although there are similar app-building tools on the market, PowerApps is especially useful for Office 365 users because it seamlessly integrates with O365 apps, including SharePoint, for easy access to your data already stored in the Office environment.

Flow

Flow is an intuitive tool that has built-in templates you can use to automate various tasks. Things like tracking hours worked, saving files from one SharePoint account to another, and creating calendar events are streamlined by Flow. And like all the aforementioned apps, Flow allows you to create workflows using files from OneDrive or SharePoint.

Whether you’re a new or a long-time Office 365 user, these programs and features are hiding in plain sight, and Lanlogic is here to help you explore and maximize them for your business. Call Lanlogic today if you need expert recommendations for office productivity.

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Quick recoveries with external IT support

By EDITOR 

Small-business owners with limited financial resources have to manage their office IT on their own. Although this might work for a while, it can grow into a massive problem when the business starts expanding. At that point, you’ll want to focus on that expansion, not repairing tech problems. This is where external IT support comes into play.

Access to new technologies and industry experts

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) are equipped with resources most small businesses can’t afford. They employ teams of experts in fields ranging from cybersecurity to data management to networking — all available for you on an outsourced basis. For example, an MSP provides advanced security software and applications that can help your business avoid the risks of cyberthreat.

They also work with industry tech leaders who provide insights into upcoming hardware and software products in the market. This ensures you receive updated recommendations on the latest technologies so you can use them in your business, and they often come with deals and discounts that you wouldn’t normally have access to.

Knowledge from past breaches

External IT support providers have been helping businesses recover from all kinds of tech disasters since the dawn of hackers. They now have enough knowledge to prepare Data Backup and Disaster Recovery plans for you. This way, you and your team would still be up and running after suffering from an IT emergency without disrupting much of your business operations.

External support providers’ experience with data protection will ensure your systems are monitored around the clock so your security systems are always functioning properly to keep cybercriminals at bay.

Run your business with ease

You don’t specialize in technology, so you don’t have the skill or the experience in dealing with digital felons. You also know how vulnerable your business is online and won’t dare do anything to jeopardize it. That’s why external support is such a great asset — you’ll be able to manage your business without any worries because your external IT provider will keep it protected.

In the end, you also have to be cautious in your search for an external support provider. Conduct your research thoroughly, read through all their testimonial pages, and verify whether their business objectives coincide with yours. To put your mind at ease and to make sure that your business’s technology is in good hands, you can always send Lanlogic a message and we’ll provide you all the references you need.

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More healthcare firms migrate to the cloud

By EDITOR 

Healthcare providers have a lot on their plate: Caring for patients is first and meeting compliance regulations comes at a close second. Hospitals and smaller practices truly benefit from technology experts coming on-site, installing all the right IT systems, and leaving clearly outlined instructions, amounting to a swift and inexpensive process. Of course, they still have to maintain a small and functional IT team that can look after minor issues.

The rising popularity of healthcare software

When cost-effective, not to mention convenient, services and applications such as subscription-based Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) services for healthcare are readily available, is it still practical to carry the weight of your own business’s technology? Apparently, not so much.

A study by a market research firm indicates the rising popularity of SaaS among healthcare companies. According to their forecast, ‘the global healthcare cloud computing market is anticipated to grow rapidly and will post a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of more than 21% during the forecast period.’

From assisting healthcare professionals in performing administrative tasks with basic computing tools, healthcare software developers have introduced products that are now used in major medical procedures. While software developers are still very much in the business of developing healthcare software for administrative tasks, many have shifted their focus to specific medical fields.

Why healthcare providers are shifting to the cloud

The reason for the shift is simple: a greater need for efficient healthcare systems. Per the study, one of the many fields in which cloud-based healthcare software has crucial presence is cardiology, a branch of medicine that certainly benefits from efficient data storage and retrieval systems, particularly in tasks such as accessing current and historical patient data.

Also contributing to the increased popularity are the facts that much less support is needed for maintenance, and much less investment is needed for medical software licensing and related expenses.

Is cloud computing good for the healthcare industry?

Without a doubt. Rules coming from HIPAA and the United States Office of Inspector General, and others have strict technology requirements for healthcare providers. Compliance regulations change so fast and, often, these amendments serve to benefit the welfare of the public and to some extent, the healthcare providers themselves.

Healthcare providers in the Americas are predicted to take a huge chunk of the growing healthcare cloud computing market, and given their influence on the progressive healthcare industry, the rest of the world will soon adapt.

As innovations in the field of medicine continue to emerge, so will the technology that complements them. Doctors, healthcare administrators, nursing, and medical technology staff need reliable healthcare IT, and this slow and steady ascent to cloud computing can only benefit the healthcare industry as a whole.

For compliance concerns in which technology plays a key role, healthcare — and any regulated industry, really — need dynamic and inexpensive technology. Need recommendations for the right SaaS solutions for your business to ensure you remain in compliance? Contact Lanlogic today.

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Ready for tax season phishing scams?

By EDITOR 

As tax season looms, so do phishing scams. For cybercriminals, this is the ideal time of year to deceive unsuspecting individuals into releasing sensitive private or company information. Businesses must therefore take extra precautions between now and April 17th to avoid hackers from selling your confidential data in the dark web.

Phishing baits to watch out for

Phishing attacks often consist of fabricated or compromised emails sent to finance/payroll or human resources employees that are made to look like they’re from an executive in your company. The message might contain a request to forward employee records, including their W-2 forms, but that’s not all…

Another common scheme, which doesn’t only happen during tax season, involves getting a call from a person declaring to be an IRS employee. And no, caller IDs won’t save you because they can forge that, too. The phisher will inform you that you owe them cash from back taxes and they will threaten legal action if you don’t pay via credit card at that instant.

Always remember, the IRS will never contact you on the phone to let you know that you owe them money. And they certainly won’t threaten you or demand payment over the phone. If they really need to notify you of such matters, they’ll use the postal service and will give you a chance to discuss payment terms.

Standard protection protocols

Don’t worry, the usual security measures against these phishing scams are pretty easy to integrate into your business. Begin by developing a policy that bans the request of private details through email. If an employee ever requires such info, they should get in touch with the person directly, follow your established protocols for the transfer of sensitive information, and minimize the number of people involved in the transaction.

Taking security a step further

Data loss prevention (DLP) systems are also valuable weapons against these types of phishing attacks. They evaluate traffic going in and out of your company, such as web usage, emails and instant messages, and virtually anything sent on your network. DLP systems can filter out private details, including Social Security numbers, and stop them from being sent out.

But beware, DLP systems come with a minor drawback, as they can also block legitimate traffic, like when your accounting department sends tax info to your CPA. Fortunately, an MSP like us can properly segregate the good and the bad traffic to avoid confusing and/or frustrating your employees.

Phishing schemes may be a normal occurrence during tax season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Don’t let the vulnerabilities in your business, particularly the human element, fall prey to cybercriminals. Send Lanlogic a message right away and we’ll conduct an assessment of the security of your business, as well as design a risk management plan to help counter future complications.

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What’s set for hybrid cloud this year?

By EDITOR 

Cloud technology has seen continuous adoption in 2017. In fact, business owners are starting to embrace hybrid cloud so much that 2020 is expected to be the year when combined private and public cloud spending will exceed traditional data centers. But until then, here are five hybrid cloud predictions for 2018.

Clearer strategies

Many infrastructure as a service (IaaS) public cloud vendors have spent 2017 refining their hybrid cloud strategy. Giants like Microsoft, released Azure Stack in conjunction with Amazon Web Services, who released VMware on AWS’ hybrid cloud offering. Oracle and IBM have also entered the market.

So what do these new offerings mean for 2018? This year will determine how much traction they’ll gain and will present business owners like yourself with plenty of options. This means you need a managed services provider now more than ever if you intend to migrate to a hybrid cloud environment this year.

Private cloud war

Private cloud, which was once viewed as an expensive investment, is now the key to ensuring security and control. As such, more companies will find ways to leverage private and hybrid cloud with competition expected to be more intense than ever.

The rise of Containers and platform as a service

We’ve realized how crucial it is to let app / software developers create new business opportunities in the cloud. However, to ensure those applications can run in any environment requires engagement with both private and public clouds. PaaS and Containers provide the resources and flexibility necessary to optimize the app-dev pipeline. As such, they’re expected to be integrated across various hybrid cloud solutions this year.

Optimized connections

More companies are now offering managed and colocation services with direct connections to the public cloud. This is no accident as more companies are now using private and public cloud to handle in-house workloads, which is why an optimized network connection is critical to provide better usability and efficiency from two separate platforms.

With hybrid cloud set to become the norm in the future, optimizing these connections can make or break your business.

More on-premises services

In 2015, Amazon introduced Lambda, a serverless platform that uses function as a service (FaaS) to deliver public cloud resources into on-premises data centers. What’s more, Microsoft, Red Hat, and other companies are trying to do something similar by creating serverless functionalities on hybrid cloud environments.

The connection here is that tech giants will utilize public cloud to create serverless platforms which will provide organizations with much needed resources on-premises without sacrificing convenience, usability, and costs.

Keeping up with the cloud can be quite a headache, which is why we round up every useful IT news and tips in our blog. And if you have any questions about the cloud, just give Lanlogic a call and we’ll be happy to advise.

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3 Reasons why security is better in the cloud

By EDITOR 

If small- and medium-sized businesses think cyber security is impossible to manage now, just think about what it was like before the internet provided a way to receive IT support remotely. In today’s business landscape, enterprise-level solutions and security can be delivered from almost anywhere in the world. Read on to find out why that’s even safer than you realize.

Hands-on management

Unless you have an overinflated budget, relying on local copies of data and software means IT staff are forced to spread themselves across a bevy of different technologies. For example, one or two in-house tech support employees can’t become experts in one service or solution without sacrificing others. If they focus on just cybersecurity, the quality of hardware maintenance and helpdesk service are going to take a nosedive.

However, Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) benefit from economies of scale. CSPs maintain tens, sometimes thousands, of servers and can hire technicians who specialize in every subset of cloud technology.

Fewer vulnerabilities

Cloud security isn’t superior just because more technicians are watching over servers. When all the facets of your business’s IT are in one place, the vulnerabilities associated with each technology get mixed together to drastically increase your risk exposure.

For example, a server sitting on the same network as workstations could be compromised by an employee downloading malware. And this exposure extends to physical security as well. The more employees you have who aren’t trained in cyber security, the more likely it is that one of them will leave a server room unlocked or unsecured.

CSPs exist solely to provide their clients with cloud services. There are no untrained employees and there are significantly fewer access points to the network.

Business continuity

The same technology that allows you to access data from anywhere in the world also allows you to erect a wall between your local network and your data backups. Most modern iterations of malware are programmed to aggressively replicate themselves, and the best way to combat this is by quarantining your backups in the cloud. This is commonly referred to as data redundancy in the cybersecurity world, and nowhere is it as easy to achieve as in the cloud.

The cloud doesn’t only keep your data safe from the spread of malware, it also keeps data safe from natural and manmade disasters. When data is stored in the cloud, employees will still have access to it in the event that your local workstations or servers go down.

The cloud has come a long way over the years. It’s not just the security that has gotten better; customized software, platforms and half a dozen other services can be delivered via the cloud. Lanlogic can help with end-to-end cloud solutions for all your needs. Call us today.

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