Good Advice: “Avoid smothering it with a pillow.”

Windows is updating… And the next thing it says is to not turn off your computer. So here you are putting your life on hold while your computer appears to be doing nothing for quite some time. Maybe you really need to get to work and have deadlines to meet. There isn’t an easy out when the computer is updating the operating system and some of the Windows 10 updates are pretty hefty. It is true that we could install Windows 10 on a new hard drive more quickly than some of these cumulative updates take to install and we have had many calls about this in the last few months. The quickest way to see your friendly Eagle Technician at your desk is to shut it off or unplug it. It will usually damage the operating system and require a reinstall. Yes, we know how it happened. Here at Eagle headquarters, we refer to it as “smothering it with a pillow.” Letting the update run the course might take some time, but it almost always completes eventually. We have seen some updates take up to 2 hours depending on the age and speed of the computer, which is a good reason to refresh your hardware on a regular basis. Time is money, and slow computers cost more and more in the long run. Another scenario is that it’s the end of the day and you want to leave as soon as possible. You click Start and the only option is to “Update and shut down.” How frustrating! If you have a desktop you don’t plan on taking home,...

Are Firewall Subscriptions Really Important or Necessary?

Have you updated your firewall subscription lately? There was a time this was not an option, such as when you bought your first router (right after you canceled your dial-up connection for internet access). There were not as many online threats back then. A virus was more of a nuisance, but now an errant click has the potential to lock your company files and stop your business in its tracks while your files are restored from a backup…if you have one. Backup is the final defense in a disaster recovery or ransomware situation, unless you want to give hard earned bitcoins to a criminal and hope they are honest. Antivirus is another method, but it is more reactive and is not always up to date because antivirus companies have to make an antidote to a threat when it is discovered. Internet threats are in abundance and it’s not very likely that a hacker is singling your company out. Hackers have automated the process by creating harmful apps or attachments that just find their way to you. They compromise a resource, such as a server that someone left vulnerable because they didn’t have a professional IT firm to protect it, and it silently pushes out viruses and ransomware to it covers the tracks of the bad guy. If “Virus A” goes into the wild and causes harm, you can be assured that the original variant of the virus will not look the same a day or two later. I recently watched a presentation put on by SonicWall that showed how a SonicWall firewall with Advanced Threat Protection could identify a...

The “Check Engine” Light of Your Business Network….

You know that you should change your oil in your car when a warning light comes on. The light is an improvement from years ago when you had to keep track of maintenance and mileage yourself. IT systems are no different. They need maintenance too, but there isn’t always a warning light. Maintenance comes in the way of an employee tasked with keeping everything up to date and running smoothly, while also engaging in the more visible busy work of assisting other employees. Some companies outsource their IT to an IT firm like Eagle Network Solutions or a consultant. As companies grow, many still use MSP services such as patching, monitoring and automation so they don’t have to increase IT staff. We can cater a plan to do it all, or just some of your IT tasks to compliment the staff you already have in place. With the fast growing economy, competent IT people may be harder to attract and we can scale with your business depending on your needs. So how do you know that maintenance is being done? At Eagle Network Solutions, we invest in systems that monitor your PC’s, servers and network hardware to look for trends and get ahead of problems before they interrupt your business and stop your associates (and customers) in their tracks. No one knows more than business owners that downtime is costly. Our managed services assure you that someone is “on it” and your systems are patched and up to date which helps prevent failures. If you take advantage of our managed services, you don’t have to worry about your network...

The IoT and How it Can Affect Your Business

Several weeks ago, I attended the Cyber Security Summit in Boston for a long and tight agenda on many aspects of cyber security. There were many great sessions, but I wanted to focus on one because it is living with us every day. It’s the IoT, or “Internet of Things.” IoT refers to gadgets that are in our home or businesses, which usually connect to our WIFI. These gizmos make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Thermostats, mysterious boxes we can ask questions of, refrigerators, smartphones and so many more things require internet access. But are they safe to connect? Remember that the vulnerabilities of each device on your network dictates the overall safety of everything on the network. Just like having one Windows XP machine compromises the entire network, many of these “things” have their own operating systems and they all have a default username and password that is freely available on the internet. Do you remember a year ago last month when the internet went down in the northeast? For some of us, it only slowed down. The cause of it was precisely the IoT, millions of them, that at a certain date and time were programmed to send out so many information packets that it shut the internet down for a few hours. This is called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack where certain sites are barraged with information to the point that it is overloaded and can’t handle any request. Here’s one of the news stories about it: http://nhpr.org/post/granite-geek-ddos-attack-dyn-and-internet-things#stream/0 This could have been avoided if a few precautions were taken when the device was...

Ransomware in the News! Explained here in easy terms…

How did you fare with what is known as the biggest ransomware attack in history? The good news is that none of our clients have reported any infections. FedEx, government entities, hospitals, cloud environments that affect thousands of users right down to home users had their files locked up recently with a ransom note on them. Some articles say it was an XP vulnerability, an email attachment, an infected website, unpatched computers and servers, or a port used for Windows servers to communicate to network computers. For clarification, this virus does not just affect XP. And, if you are on XP, you should phase it out quickly because it’s an electronic petri dish waiting to attract a bug to infect everything else on your network. The common theme seems to be that once it infects a computer on a network that it goes from computer to computer if it is able to. This is what classifies this virus as a worm which is pretty serious. It tries to manifest though networks from an infected computer or server, but also tries to do the same thing on the internet by scanning IP addresses and looking for a way in. The vulnerability has been around for quite some time and was known by the NSA before it was leaked into the wild. Once that occurred a few weeks ago, Microsoft released a patch to fix the problem so that any attempts to exploit it would be benign. If you update your Windows patches regularly, then there was no need to worry. I know it’s hard to believe, but some people prefer...