- Long-term MSP (Managed Services Provider) for all your IT, phone, and security needs
- "Special needs" implementer to augment the day-to-day tasks of an internal technical staff (e.g., initial setup of a new server or new phone system)
- Reliable "go to" solution provider for the occasional break-fix issue (HelpDesk and dispatchable techs)
Managed IT Services
…and your budget!
In an MSP role, Andromeda offers a range of service plans—anything from month-to-month "time & materials" based assistance to fixed service contracts that permit "no-brainer" conformance to an annual budget. We even offer V.I.P. plans which permit you to "jump the queue" for HelpDesk and remote technical support assignments! Beyond the functions you would expect from a full-service MSP:
- Reliable & Fast Hybrid System Backup / Business Continuity Solutions
- Fast Data Recovery
- Network Management including 24/7/365 monitoring
- Virtual CIO role
- Security (spam control, anti-malware, containment & cleansing)
- End-to-End Internet Access & Web Hosting
- Email Account Setups, Mobile Syncing, Hosting, Archiving, and Cloud storage/services in Riverside, IL (e.g., Microsoft Office365 setups)
- Software Application Deployment & Database Repair
- Automated Patching
...Andromeda can offer so much more: a single, expert source for a full range of physical security systems which can (and should) freely interact with your data network:
- Telephone systems—both hosted VoIP and traditional on-premises
- Building/Door Access Control
- Security Camera Systems and Video Surveillance
- Burglar Alarm System Installation & Monitoring
So, not only can we provide professional service for the full gamut of physical security needs of your growing organization, we are uniquely positioned to integrate those systems with any elements of your data and voice network. It is this integration that extracts the full power and usefulness of these systems for your organization.
- System design (for new networks or expansion of existing ones)
- Ordering/delivery/installation of network components
- In-wall & in-ceiling wiring & access boxes in new or existing structures
- Integration with your current network, security systems, alarm systems, door access…
- Computer configurations, email/network accounts, firewalls, security software…
- Complete system testing and staff training
But our job doesn't stop there. Once your network is operational, we can continue to support you with preventive maintenance packages, innovative approaches to data backup, virus and Malware control, and anti-spam solutions.
Computer Network Infrastructure – Switches, Routers and Firewalls
Having a solid network infrastructure is critical to keeping your systems running well and with minimal downtime. Truly, a $20 network switch from the retail store down the street or the guy you know that "does some wiring on the side" is not going to get you where you need to be. Neither are onsite-only or Cloud-only backup solutions!
Knowing that IT network wiring and switches are the vital backbones of your operation, Andromeda employs only experienced technicians and uses only business-class networking gear:
HP network switches • Cisco routers • Sonicwall & Netgear firewalls
WANs, VPNs – Multiple Locations and Remote Access
We specialize in extending your network beyond the four walls of your main office. This might include remote or branch offices, mobile employees or remote access from your house for voice, video, file sharing and much more!
Wireless IT networks are quite popular and are fast becoming indispensible. However, they generally cannot achieve the same level of performance as traditional wired networks where security, reliability, and bandwidth are of premium importance. Still, a wireless network is a great solution for a few roaming laptops or tablet PCs overlaying your wired office areas. To overcome the potential shortcomings of wireless, we use HP and Cisco Wireless Access Points, and we can guide you through the do’s and don’ts of implementing a wireless network to avoid the pitfalls.
Computer Network Design and Infrastructure Wiring
Whether you are adding a few offices or doing an entire build-out from the ground up, Andromeda Technology Solutions can help. We can provide infrastructure wiring for your voice, data, TV, cameras, overhead paging, etc. Having one company to handle all your wiring needs eliminates trying to coordinate vendors, minimizes labor overlap, and decreases cost.
We are also available to assist in the design of your wiring. While architects generally do a good job with this layout, we have a unique real-world approach that tends to be more in line with what is actually needed for a working office. Involving us early in the process will minimize the chance of having to run additional wires after your construction is complete…when it's much more expensive to install!
Web/Email Hosting & Web Design
"Commodity" web and email hosting seem like great solutions…until they go down OR you need to add a new account OR remove an ex-employee's access OR countless other items that need attention more regularly than you initially imagined. Ideally, your IT service that performs these functions for you should also host your web and email accounts to avoid delays, transfer issues, and any number of other potential mishaps. Andromeda is pleased to offer comprehensive hosting plans to do just that. Through our plans, you can also choose additional premium services like website hit tracking and statistics reporting.
Andromeda is also pleased to provide web design services—anything from simple informational sites to complete new site designs featuring animation/video, multi-tiered navigation, database-backed forms and social media interaction. We also have proven expertise in the art of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)—a "must" for any company that needs to generate new business leads from its on-line presence!
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
Holy Big Brother! Google Location History: An All Knowing Function You Probably Didn’t Know You’ve Enabled Jul 31, 2017
Technology has changed our world forever. What’s the first thing you do before you get out of bed in the morning? Chances are it has something to do with your smartphone. These items open up worlds of possibilities but they can also bring issues and privacy conflicts with them. For this month’s IT article we bring you an article from our President and CEO Jeff Borello on the intersection of instant access (google) and user privacy (location sharing) – focusing on something called: Google Location History. Without further ado . . .
Holy Big Brother
Have you ever heard of Google Location History?
Yeah, me neither.
Let me start by saying I am not a guy that cares about intrusions on my privacy. I don’t care if the government is listening to my phone calls or reading my Emails. I figure I am not doing anything wrong – so if they are interested in my boring life – so be it. Especially if it helps them catch some bad guys.
Now, with that said, even I was a little freaked out when I discovered how much Google and my Google App know about my daily movements.
These days, almost everyone has a Google login and is quite often signed into their account – especially from a mobile device.
So, let’s play a little game. Where were you on January 17th at 4pm? You probably don’t remember, but if you have location services enabled on your device . . . Google does.
Google Location History is a comprehensive (and by that I mean every detail imaginable) history of places you have visited as tracked and logged by your smartphone’s GPS function. Besides being comprehensive, it also has a very long memory – like years.
Give this a try to see if Google Location History is enabled on your phone.
- From a desktop browser, go to Maps.google.com (from your phone you need to open the Google Maps App)
- Sign in to your Google account (if you aren’t already). Top right-hand corner will either show a Letter (first letter of your login) or a Sign In button.
- Click the 3-bar menu in the top left corner and select “Your Timeline”
- If you see some bar graph data there, click the bar for a given day shown from the last month.
- How long did it take you to get to work that day?
- Where did you have lunch?
- Did you walk anywhere during the day?
- Did you take any pictures? (Yes, those might be logged in there as well)
See a screenshot below of my recent trip to Nashville. Yep, lunch at Monell’s (great place BTW) from 12:25 to 2:06 and dinner at 9:14 at the Peg Leg Porker BBQ
Walking, driving, flying. It knows and records those differently.
So, the obvious question is why on earth would you want something this invasive turned on? The answer is convenience. As often is the case, to gain some convenience you need to give up some privacy.
It is this information that Google uses to help you throughout your day. It will inform you of traffic issues based on your travel habits and places you may visit often. The more information the system has on you, the more helpful an AI-powered app (Google Assistant) can be.
Okay, I have Google Location History turned on. Now what?
The good news is you do have control over this. If you aren’t comfortable being tracked, you can turn this feature off. From the Timeline there is an option to Pause that feature, which in effect disables it until you turn it back on. You can also delete your entire location history as well, or just delete individual entries if you wish.
Of course, as long as the GPS is enabled on your phone, there are still plenty of apps out there that could be tracking you. Only truly private solution is to disable the GPS completely (which probably causes you more issues than you think) or just leave your phone at home (yeah, right).
Is Google Location History too much an invasion on your privacy? That is for you to decide but at least now you’re aware you are under the microscope.
The post Holy Big Brother! Google Location History: An All Knowing Function You Probably Didn’t Know You’ve Enabled appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.5 Cyber Security Features/Protocols Your Business Needs To Protect Against Scammers, Hackers & Cyber Criminals Oct 30, 2017
Sometimes it sounds like the news and cyber experts are on loop or a broken record. Every day there is a new report about cyber security, threats and the like. But while these stories and warnings may start to seem like white noise in the background, the threats are still here and they are very real.
The upside of all of this coverage and conversation is that business owners are wising up and with the topic of cyber security taking center stage, users and business owners alike are being more proactive when it comes to protecting and educating themselves.
In the spirit of education we’d like to dive a little deeper into 5 features/protocols you can set up at your office to beef up your IT Security.
Top 5 Cyber Security Features/Protocols
Multi Factor Authentication
This feature is nothing new but it is becoming more and more common across all kinds of accounts. Financial services, email, social media and other applications/accounts are making use of multi or dual factor authentication. Essentially you have a password and second form of identification to prove your identity. Sometimes this is a randomly generated code – think Facebook’s code generator.
Another type of multi or dual factor authentication uses biometric data for identity verification. Things like a fingerprint or a retina scan are examples of this type of security measure. In fact, last month we took a look at biometrics, integrated security and banking applications – read more about that here.
An Employee Training Program
Statistically over 80% of all breaches and intrusions occur after an employee error. Clicking a link in an email, downloading a malicious file, visiting an infected website . . . there are so many ways this can happen and most of the time it isn’t intentional either. The best way to prevent this from happening is an ongoing security program for yourself and employees. A good program will have a varied focus: compliance standards for personal and customer info (commonly known as pii or personally identifiable information), strategies for recognizing and avoiding email scams, proper security protocols for best practices at the office and more. In 2017 Andromeda recognized this need and released our PII Protection/Cyber Security Training Program. See full details here.
Business Grade Firewall
A good firewall is your first defense against intrusion. With proper intrusion detection and intrusion prevention settings you arm yourself against cyber criminals and hackers. On top of that, a business grade firewall solution is an important piece of hardware when you want to set up public and private networks. You definitely don’t want guests at your building or passersby accessing company documents or networks because of low cyber security protocols.
Regularly Scheduled Updates/Patching
New viruses and threats hit the market every day. On top of that, hackers and criminals discover new vulnerabilities almost as fast as developers can protect against them. This is why keeping up to date and on top of patching and updates is so important. For instance, the WannaCry virus everyone heard so much about this year took advantage of a vulnerability that had already been addressed by a Windows patch. If companies had proactively updated and maintained their updates/patches, they wouldn’t have been as vulnerable to an attack.
This ties into both firewall protocols and employee training but of course, the fewer random emails that make it into your employee inboxes, the fewer links and files you need to worry about employee’s (or even yourself) clicking on. A professional spam tool can be configured to your liking and can do a whole lot to prevent content from making it to those that might accidentally infect your network. See the photos below for a few examples of emails we protect customers from on a daily basis.
As always, Andromeda is here to help you protect yourself and your business from these ongoing threats. Take the first step today and sign up for a cyber security audit with our team of experts.
The post 5 Cyber Security Features/Protocols Your Business Needs To Protect Against Scammers, Hackers & Cyber Criminals appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Report Shows Small Percentage Of Employees Know About Ransomware Nov 11, 2017
The statistics are alarming. Ransomware is fast becoming the favored hobby horse of hackers worldwide. Barely a week goes by that a new strain isn't introduced into the wild, with expensive, and often tragic consequences. Right now, the average amount paid by office workers impacted by a ransomware attack is $1400, a figure that continues to creep higher.
What's perhaps even more alarming, however, is the fact that although companies the world over have made a concerted effort to sound the alarm on the danger this type of software represents, no more than 30 percent of knowledge workers have any real understanding of the dangers that ransomware poses, according to Intermedia's 2017 Data Vulnerability Report.
One of the most curious findings of the report was the fact that employees more often shoulder the costs of ransomware payments than employers do, with fully 59 percent of impacted employees paying the ransom out of their own pockets.
Unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable to this large and growing threat. Jonathan Levine, Intermedia's CTO, had this to say on the topic:
"As ransomware continues to evolve and become more advanced, organizations of all sizes and types must acknowledge it as a very real threat. This is especially true for SMBs that may not have the resources, tools or training that larger organizations use to recognize, prevent and protect themselves from such attacks. Ransomware can infiltrate and shut down an entire business through just one infected computer. More often than not, SMBs feel they are forced to pay a ransom they can't, but must afford, and hackers realize this."
Perhaps worst and most distressing of all is the fact that 19 percent of the time, even when a ransom is paid, the files are never unlocked, making it a bad gamble. If you run a company of any size, make sure your employees from top to bottom fully appreciate the threat this attack vector poses.