What is it? It is a
form of malware that attacks your computer(s)
Why should I care? If you get it, it will either cost you
money to get your data back or cost you money to restore your computer(s) to
its original state.
Where does it occur? It occurs in your computer of course,
usually one that is connected to the Internet. It can also occur by someone
finding a Thumb Drive and plugging it into your computer.
When does it happen? It usually happens when people are
careless and/or when the IT department does not keep the software and hardware
up to date.
Why does it happen? It happens because, my conjecture, there
are thieves in this world who are trying to make an easy living.
How does it happen? A virus enters and controls your computer
and then the thieves request money to unlock your computer until you pay them
(usually in Bit Coin) money before they will unlock your computer and release
How bad can it be?
Most ransoms start at $300-$500 with a deadline to pay, and
once the deadline has passed (say a week) the value will most likely increase
to over $1,000.00
Ransomware called WannaCry shut down 65 hospitals in the
United Kingdom, and affected not just computers but storage refrigerators and
MRI machines (May 2017).
How can you avoid such an occurrence? Update software and hardware; educate your people on what to do on their computers and more so what NOT to do on their computers. The first line of defense is an educated employee. There are technologies that can help reduce the expense that ransomware can cause. One, is to store your data using SAN technology and two, to virtualize all your servers.
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol refers to a digital,
cloud-based phone service. Using VoIP technology will allow your business to
make and receive phone calls over the Internet. Why is VoIP so popular? Because
not only does it provide flexibility and scalability, adding and removing phone
lines as needed, but it can also save your business money.
With VoIP, you will have the same messaging features that you
are familiar with, such as voicemail, conference calls and call forwarding. In
addition, if your business is spread out over multiple locations, using VoIP
you only need to dial an extension to reach a co-worker at any office.
To utilize VoIP, all your business requires is a reliable high-speed Internet connection and a digital phone. Interesting in learning more about VoIP? CTI offers a variety of different purchasing options including contracts with no upfront costs or you can purchase the digital phones outright from CTI. We’re here to find the best solution for your specific business needs. Contact CTI at 315-733-0854 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Did you know that the Red Cross
estimates that 40% of businesses shut down by a natural disaster never reopen?
The top two reasons are (1) the company has no disaster plan to guide their
actions under extreme duress after the disaster; and (2) there’s no effective
So what is a disaster plan? A disaster
recovery plan is a documented, structured approach with instructions for
responding to unplanned incidents. This step-by-step plan consists of the
precautions to minimize the effects of a disaster so the organization can
continue to operate or quickly resume necessary functions. CTI can provide a
risk assessment specific to your industry as well as develop policies and
procedures to meet your industry’s specific requirements ensuring you are
prepared in the event of a disaster.
When it comes to data backup, protect your data in CTI’s state-of-the-art data center, with backup generators and fault tolerant servers, providing a high probability of data availability. Storage Area Networks (SAN) and System Replications will backup your data to CTI’s data center on a scheduled basis, depending on your business needs. This is a cost-effective solution for your business as long as you have an Internet connection. Also should your facility become unusable, with disaster recovery, CTI can get you up and running with minimal downtime, should that be in a secondary location(s) or in CTI’s office.
Whether you’re looking for a new
disaster recovery plan or strengthen the one you already have, CTI can help you
improve your ability to respond and recover from disruptive events and refine
your strategy for IT recovery. Also while data loss can have a debilitating effect on a business, good continuity
and recovery planning can ensure that the impact from the most severe failure,
can result in minimal disruption.
Call us at 315-733-0854 for more information on how we can develop a disaster recovery plan for your company, so that you won’t be part of the 40% of your reckless competitors.
In 2017, IBM’s chairman, president, and CEO, Ginni Rometty, said: “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” And she is right. To avoid your company becoming a victim, it is imperative to adopt a security-driven culture. Below are a few guidelines to do just that.
The first firewall, is the human
firewall. Training your employees on how to be smart when online is very
important. Develop a security policy, emphasizing the importance of cyber
security. Advise your employees never to download anything that is suspect.
They should also know what to do if they receive an unsolicited email and they
should NEVER click a link or open an attachment if they don’t know the sender.
Two of the most common passwords used are “123456” and
“password.” Easy to remember but just as easy for a hacker to access your
computer. Review with your employees password guidelines to help secure their
account credentials and protect your company’s information.
Passwords should be a minimum of 12 characters.
The more characters, the more secure the password.
Never use names, places, dictionary words or a
combination of these.
Use a mixture of numbers, symbols, upper and
lower case letters.
Each application or system should have their own
Change your password every 3 to 6 months.
Never write your passwords down or save them to
a shared computer.
Be sure that your firewall is programmed
properly. A firewall is a network device which blocks unauthorized incoming
traffic from accessing internal networks and bars outgoing traffic from
accessing unauthorized external networks (such as social media sites). This
procedure isolates your computers from external threats. Your network
administrator can customize your firewall specifically to your company’s
Keep antivirus and operating system
software up to date. When you receive a security or software update
notification for your computer, it’s critical that you take the time to perform
the update. Many updates are sent to
protect your system(s) from malicious attacks.
Backup & Disaster Recovery:
The Red Cross estimates that 40% of business shut down by a natural disaster never reopen. Why? The top two reasons are (1) the company has no disaster plan in place and (2) there is no data backup plan. It is important to prepare your company for the worse case scenario and to ensure that the impact from the most severe failure, can result in minimal disruption.
Whether you already have a cyber
security policy and are looking for training for your staff or you need
assistance with developing your cyber security plans, CTI can help. CTI’s
engineers can also provide disaster recovery planning specific to your industry
and needs. Call CTI today at 315-733-0854 for more information.
The dreaded “BLUE SCREEN” of death! It
always seems to get me when I desperately need my computer to send an urgent
email to my boss or attend a video conference. Regardless of when the blue
screen of death descends on your computer, panic tends to follow.
So when this does happen to you, be sure
to do some simple troubleshooting before jumping the gun (as I have) and
assuming that your computer is a lost cause.
Check the connections – a computer that doesn’t
detect a monitor isn’t going to display anything on the screen. So if you have
a desktop computer, make sure that the cord that connects your monitor to your
PC hasn’t come loose.
If you have a laptop, is your battery charged? I
have been guilty in the past of putting my laptop on sleep mode and just
forgetting about it until the battery is depleted and the computer shuts down.
So if you have a laptop, make sure it’s plugged in and make sure it’s powered
If your system is on, plugged in and the cables
are hooked up, try restarting your system. A lot of times, if you have a system
that you leave on all the time, it just needs to be refreshed.
If after all of this, you still have the
blue screen of death, it’s time to consider that the issue might be a bit more
serious. In this case, it may be a good idea to consult a professional. If you
are a business and have a managed service contract with CTI, then give us a
call. We will solve the problem.
What exactly is a managed service contract you may ask, well that is a good question! A managed service contract is a contract that allows you and your staff unlimited IT support on all of your existing devices for a fixed monthly rate. With a managed service contract CTI can be your onsite IT provider or support your IT staff.
The other option is break/fix. This is
where you don’t have a contract with CTI, but are in need of our services and
would pay per the hour to resolve your issue. Depending on the severity of your
issue this might be a cost effective way to go.
Either way, our IT staff takes a
proactive approach to all your IT needs such as hardware infrastructure
management, continuous network monitoring, firewall upgrades and more for a
fixed monthly cost. Our support services are designed to meet your specific
business needs. Call CTI today at 315-733-0854 to learn more and avoid the blue
screen of death.