IT departments are always under constant constraints to do
more with less when it comes to the budget allotted to them. When it comes to server
upgrades, businesses often side with keeping their servers running as long as
they can. Sometimes even risk keeping an outdated server going for longer than
it should. The older a server is, the
more likely it is to fail resulting in loss of productivity.
With new technology and new advancement new servers are more
reliable, help increase productivity, reduce running costs and are more admin
friendly. New servers might be more cost
friendly than keeping an old server going over the long run.
When should a business consider upgrading their servers? Here
are some reasons to consider when upgrading the server.
1. Speed of the
server: If the server is running very slow, and downloads are painfully slow,
opening files takes what seems to be forever to open. When the server slows
down to a crawl this can become time consuming for the business and as a result
the server now affects the productivity. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the
processor and disk usage if it exceeds 75% it is time to consider an upgrade.
2. An attention
seeking server: There is nothing worse than a needy server which requires you
to continuously put out fires and troubleshoot issues all in an effort to just
keep the server going. If time that should be spent elsewhere is being spent on
the server all in the sake of keep the server running than it might be a good
time to upgrade the server.
3. Server is making excessive
noise: A noisy server is a good indicator of impending failure. Usually noise is attributed to the wear and
tear of the moving parts of the server.
If the noise has increased over time it may be a good idea to start
looking for replacement parts or think about replacing the server.
4. Server is running
out of space: When you start running low on free disk space or RAM, there is
only one solution to this and that is when you will need to upgrade the server.
Taking on more staff, installing more applications or a software upgrade will
all require more storage and memory capacity. Depending on your server’s
specifications, you may be able to simply upgrade the server’s existing RAM and
hard drives. If this isn’t an option or if it would only be an interim
solution, it might be wiser to upgrade to a server that can provide the
capacity you need to accommodate future growth instead.
5. The warrant has
expired on the server: You no longer have the protection of the original
manufacturer warranty which means that someone else needs to step in and help
should a problem arise with the server’s hardware or software. If you don’t
have qualified support staff in-house, there’s the expense of calling someone
in to troubleshoot server problems. Even if you do, chances are you’ll
need to replace or upgrade failed parts. Either that or you might consider
upgrading the server’s warranty if they still offer that option for the server.
6. Server end of life: There is a good chance the option of extending the warranty may not be an option if the server is at the end of life. End of life means updates, services and extended warranty for that particular server will no longer be available as it will be deemed obsolete by the manufacturer. Without the necessary updates if you continue to use the server will leave the server susceptible to possible security issues. Without services you will have to find a tech to service the server and that can get costly and there is no warranty either for your protection.
7. Cost of keeping
the server running: With new technology and advancements servers are become
more efficient to run. Keeping an older
server running may not feasible. The old servers tend to use more electricity
to power it. Keeping the room cooler to
prevent overheating uses more energy, and maintenance cost to keep the server
working increase as well. If the server
is using up man power and constantly requiring parts to keep it going then it
may be time to consider upgrading.
8. How critical is
the server for your operation: This might be the most important reason to
upgrade your server. If your business relies on the server to host critical
functions, then there is no way you can afford to let the server go down.
Business continuity is important and it might be a good idea to look to upgrade
the server every three to four years because server failure is not an option
afforded to the business at hand.
Upgrading a Server can be costly but it has its benefits as well. If you are in the market for an upgrade or want an assessment of the current server or servers that you have contact Customized Computer Services, Inc (CCSI) at (817) 459-4000. CCSI has been providing services to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over 30 years.
Cybersecurity is a vital aspect
of business. Cyberattacks happen in many
different ways it can be some hacker forcing their way through a security wall
or exploiting a piece of software, many cybersecurity breaches occur when
employees inadvertently allow an attacker in. In most cases, the employee is oblivious
of their part in the attack. Employees can be a company’s weakest link in cyber
security and yet can also be the biggest asset.
The best way to keep your company’s data safe is to teach your staff to
avoid potentially risky behaviors and to know what to do in case of an attack.
Educate Employees on Data
If employees know how to recognize data threats, scams and other malicious cyber menaces, they are better employees. Ongoing cyber education helps to build a more responsible organization and gives employees the insight to know how to avoid potential security threats.
Consistent Training is Key
Cybersecurity training and information should be shared on a consistent basis. Monthly emails or videos are a great way to keep the training going. Occasional training, including informal trainings before shifts, can keep the awareness up without requiring you to subject your employees to long, tedious seminars about cyber security.
Additionally, keeping a line of
communication open is important. Having a phone number that people can call
with questions or if there’s an incident can reduce problems and improve
Cyber Security is Everybody’s
Making sure that everyone who has
access to the company network is in on the cyber security training will help to
ensure that each employee recognizes their responsibility. Everyone in the
company is vulnerable, but everyone is also capable of improving cyber security
as well, simply by being trained and vigilant.
With new cyber threats occurring on
daily basis it is easy to lose sight of cyber security as a company goal. It is
important that management reinforce consistently the message of data security
and keep the employees vigil to threats. Employees should know and be made
aware of the following.
Breach fatigue is the slow
cultural acceptance and normalization of data breaches. This isn’t surprising,
given the almost daily news reports of new data breaches. Data breach fatigue
is a real and dangerous problem because it could lead to your employees being
less inclined to follow the right protocols. Luckily, there are steps you can
take to fight breach fatigue. Work to change workplace attitudes
around data security by frequently reminding employees about the potential
Passwords best practices:
Although having strong passwords
is a relatively low-tech method of security, it is one of the most fundamental
and practical ways to enhance cybersecurity. Unfortunately, this is also one of
the least practiced security measures according to the Center for Internet
The good news is that creating good passwords isn’t
difficult and they can go a long way in securing your system. With a few quick
guidelines, your employees can make sure their passwords are good enough to
protect your business from the risk of a data breach.
Phishing is a malicious attack that tries to trick individuals into providing sensitive information like passwords or account details. These attacks usually come via email enticing you to click external links which contain malware. They can also occur via social media, text messaging and even through phone calls.
What makes phishing so dangerous
is that most people don’t realize they’re being attacked. The large volume of
messages sent usually leads to somebody getting caught.
Spear phishing is a more dangerous form of regular phishing because it targets a specific user. These emails use private information to pose as someone in your email list or as an organization you may be familiar with. This way they seem more trustworthy. To avoid these attacks, train your employees to always be suspicious of emails that ask you to click a link or provide specific information. Be aware of emails that have poor spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Ransomware is a form of malware that blocks access to your computer or data until a ransom is paid. These types of attacks tend to make headlines for extracting billions of dollars from businesses. Department of Homeland Security reports an increase in ransomware attacks and notes that data recovery isn’t always guaranteed. The best ways to reduce your risk of ransomware attacks is to train your employees to recognize the signs of a ransomware attack such as files that won’t open, missing file extensions or lock screens.
Training employees on cybersecurity is essential in todays business world, according to The State of IT Security for 2019, found that email security training and employee training were heart of the problems faced by IT security professionals. Over 30% of the employees were not aware of what phishing or malware was according to survey done by Wombat Securities Technologies. According to the FBI June 14, 2016, Business Email Compromise has accounted for over $3 billion of loss.
Take the first step in protecting your business against cyber threats contact Customized Computer Services Inc. (CCSI), we work with our clients to develop protocols for best practice and educate their employees on possible cyber threats. CCSI has been serving the DFW area for 30 years.
There has been a recent phishing scam that is out there that is geared to compromise Administrators. Usually when we think of phishing scams, we think it is to get employees to enter or divulge information that sets the system to be infiltrated by scammers. The recent Microsoft 365 phishing scam targets at the administrator level. Phishers targeting admins are becoming more popular due to the greater range of attacks that can be conducted through an admin account. With admin credentials, attackers can potentially create new accounts under an organization’s domain, send mail as other users, and read others user’s email.
How does the Office 365 phishing scam work? To gain access to an administrator’s account,
phishers have started creating campaigns that are disguised as Office 365 admin
alerts. These alerts will typically be about a time-sensitive issues that
requires an admins immediate attention such as an issue with the mail service
or unauthorized access being discovered.
An example of a fake alert found by BleepingComputer is one that states an organization’s Office 365 licenses have expired. The mail then proceeds to tell the user to login to the Office 365 Admin Center in order to check their payment information.
How to avoid this type of phishing scams: Most Administrators are wise to any Phishing scams and usually the Administrators that are well aware won’t fall for this scam so easily. If the administrator is a novice or if there is an unqualified administrator the chances of the phishing scam working are increased. Some Businesses have an administrator who knows a little bit about computers taking care of their IT and that can be a dangerous scenario for the business. Her are some ways to avoid Office 365 phishing scams according to Help Net Security;
Enable multi factor authentication on all accounts.
Disable the IMAP protocol on all mailboxes in your environment.
Provide administrators two different Office365 accounts, one for daily use associated with their user account that does NOT have administrator privileges and one specifically for performing administrator functions.
Do not have a mailbox associated with any administrator accounts.
Be aware that the actual Office365 portal domain is microsoftonline.com not windows.net.
If you purchase or have a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. It comes with a wireless USB receiver which allows the keyboard and mouse to connect to your computer.
We rarely if ever give our wireless mouse and keyboard much thought, but what if I were to tell you that there are updates to the Logitech USB receiver. What would be the reason to update the dongle? The reason for the update is that the wireless USB is susceptible to a hack which was reported as early as 2016 and it was referred to as “MouseJack”. Since then Logitech has issued a patch to fix the vulnerability. Even though Logitech has a patch to fix the issue to this date Logitech continues to ship the dongle without the updated patch. Logitech never recalled any products after the original hack.
Many other products that perform the same function as the Logitech USB, they are also susceptible to be hacked, Logitech is not the only one that is affected by a security vulnerability. Products that use the same chipset and firmware Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft are susceptible to be hacked. Logitech allows users to update the firmware on the Logitech website.
You get an alert “Software update is available” while working on your computer or scanning through your phone. You are in the middle of something very important that can’t wait. You put the alert off only to be forgotten. Believe it or not it has happened to the best of us, not just the average home PC user, but to Fortune 500 companies. Just what are these updates, why do we even need them. The computer is running fine, why do I want to update and make the computer possibly run worse. If you are put off by updates and the time it consumes to install, just think of what the worst possible outcome might be. Some of you might remember Equifax which is known for credit reporting. Equifax suffered a massive preventable data breach affecting over 143 Million people. The company had failed to update its software, the update which had the patches that would have prevent the massive data hack was available almost 2 months prior to the data breach. Now that you know the importance of the updates lets look at other reason why updates are necessary and important to keep up to date.
Protecting your information from Security threats: The main reason anyone does software updates is making sure you are protected against the latest cyber threat. Cyber criminals are always looking for new ways to infiltrate software programming and once they do they can get to any information available to them. Updates are usually in response to the latest threats out there and it’s a good idea to be up to date.
Updates can help protect you documents: Without updates you leave yourself vulnerable to Malware. Some types of Malware can clean out your documents and transmit the documents to a remote location. Ransomware has accounted for huge loss of data, this is when a cyber criminal gets access to your data and basically locks you out from accessing the data. The data is held hostage until payment is made for its release.
New features are added through updates: Updates are not just to protect you from the doom and gloom of data breach or security threats. There are other aspects to updates positive ones that help you make the end user experience much better. Updates are created at time to get glitches that might occur with the current software and remedy it, other improvements can be functionality. Updates can improve the stability of the software.
It is a very good idea to make sure you have updates on
auto, cyber criminals are known to disable automatic updates, it is good practice
to make sure your auto update is enabled or if you do not have auto update on
your device make it a habit to check when new updates are available and update.
The importance of updating your software cannot be stressed enough. Updates can take up time but updates can be scheduled and run when you are not using your computer or phone. This will ensure that you are protected as well as have a better user experience. Customized Computer Services, Inc. (CCSI) has been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over 29 years providing computer, printer and Managed IT services. Contact us and find out how we can help your business.