Is The Public Cloud Right For Your Business?

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Dropbox pioneered cloud-based sharing of consumer photos and files. Others like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) followed suit providing free storage for the consumer with the hopes of selling additional storage once your free allotment fills up.

Dropbox became increasingly popular and found its way into business networks due to his intuitive interface and ease of sharing and collaborating files between multiple computers and devices. Prior to 2014, we found that 4 out of 5 of our customer business networks had Dropbox installed somewhere.

CryptoWall - A New Virus Spreading Pain

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CryptoWall has been out for over a month, and it's been a devastating virus that will encrypt (destroy) all of your Word documents, Excel spreadsheets PDFs, etc.  The virus will first go through your personal computer destroying the above files and then it will go through your network destroying files there.  There is no ready process to un-encrypt files once they have been encrypted. The only alternative is to find the infected computer, clean it and then restore the destroyed files from a backup.

CryptoWare is from the same cyber criminals who created CryptoLocker.  The cyber thieves are classifying it as "RansomWare" demanding money to un-encrypt your files.  Paying the ransom will likely add insult to injury, leaving you out your paid ransom and with a computer/server full of worthless files.

Our Thoughts on the XP Support Expiration

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On April 8, 2014, Microsoft finally ended support on Windows XP.  That means security patches are no longer offered.  There have been numerous advisories with a countdown warning about the expiration.  Companies have been procuring new computers in the months leading up to the end of life for XP.  Some companies who refuse to migrate after all the warnings are trying to bribe Microsoft into keeping support for them.

Apple iOS 7.1 Comes At A Price

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If you have an iOS device, you may have upgraded as soon as your device prompted you to do so. iOS 7.1 has a lot of bug fixes and enhancements. For example, the iPhone no longer freezes as commonly as it used to when switching calls. The iOS is noticeably faster and more responsive than ever. There are some issues, however...

6 Ways To Improve Network Security

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Whether it's at home or in our businesses, we can probably all agree that network security is incredibly important. Government agencies and Fortune 500 companies spend millions of dollars on it every year. What you probably don't realize is that you don't need a budget like NASA or Apple to do it.  In fact, some of the tricks are absolutely free. There is a little bit of a cash investment for some proper hardware and software, but like I always tell my clients; you can't put a price tag on your data!

Give the following some consideration towards improving your network security whether at home, or at your business.

Proactive vs. Reactive: Which Is Best For Your Business?

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Businesses today rely on computer technology more than ever to run their business. It's become necessary to maintain a Chicago IT Support budget for your computer systems. Many businesses will decide to work on an as-needed basis; only calling their Chicago IT Services firm when there is a problem with their computer systems. This can be very stressful at times, especially when your vendor isn't as responsive as you'd like.

Proactive support is a key element in Magnitech's Managed IT Services. Your network will be monitored and maintained from a centralized NOC (Network Operations Center) where technicians are always ready and available to help work on reactive issues remotely. Nagging, recurring issues can be prevented early from network monitoring solutions, and often times the technical support is unlimited on a fixed fee basis. Hardware failures can happen whether you are proactive or not, but recurring issues should fade and disappear when your IT vendor works to resolve technology issues. There is still a need for on-site technical support when the computers need to be physically touched, but usually 95% of the work can be done remotely.

Managed Firewalls Positive Effect On Business

on . Posted in Information Technology Blog

The creation of the Internet was the dawn of a new era. This new era has played a vital role on how we do business. We use the Internet to have a presence by advertising, marketing, and selling our products and services. For the better, the Internet forever has changed the way we do business with cost saving technologies (Email vs. postage), video conferencing and webinars, along with smartphones, tablets, and cloud computing. New technology can open the door to new opportunities for your business. Unfortunately, embracing new technologies can introduce new threats to your business.

Before the microcomputer, the biggest threat your business was your front door. As long as you locked the doors, you felt some sense of security and peace of mind. One of the most common things our Chicago IT Consulting Firm notices when visiting prospective clients during our Free Network Assessment is a wide open door to the Internet. A wide open door to the Internet is potentially the most dangerous mistake small businesses make. We use our computer networks to transact business daily. Bank accounts, customer information, proprietary information, and trade secrets can be easily accessible to hackers with an open door. All it takes is one instance to ruin your business, and potentially the lives of others.

IT Disaster Recovery - Better Technology, More Affordable

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Computer disasters can happen to anyone. You're working late on an assignment, and poof....the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). We've all been there. There are plenty of cloud technologies today that can help us with our most critical pieces of data. Dropbox, Microsoft Skydrive, Google Drive are all free technologies for users who can sync their data in the cloud to multiple devices.

In business, we need specific technologies to protect ourselves. Our Chicago IT Consulting Firm specializes in Chicago IT Online Data Backups as well as Chicago IT Business Disaster Recovery Solutions. What are the key differences? And how can they benefit your business?

Apple iOS 5.0.1 Bug Affecting Contacts In Messages

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Apple users with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S may have experienced an issue after upgrading to iOS 5.0.1. User contacts are no longer linking up with the phone numbers! Most of the users affected were on Verizon Wireless.

Fortunately, some of our Chicago IT Consultants in our Managed Services department found the solution.

From your Verizon iPhone, follow these steps:

New Malware... Smart Fortress 2012

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Our Chicago IT Managed Services team received a call late last night from a CPA working late (it's tax season). The new malware infection was called "Smart Fortress 2012." When the computer first boots up, the Internet works, but shortly thereafter, the Internet on the infected computer disables itself, and you are not allowed to open any tasks on the computer that are executables (exe files).

Much to our dismay, the rogue virus also enables itself while in Safe Mode. What a pain! Fortunately there is a kink in the armor for this infection. NOTE: This may only be in the one case we came across. Every case can be different.

Here are some steps you can take to rid this infection from your machine. Perform these steps at your own risk.

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