Systech | Managed Services https://systechinfo.com We are a Managed Service Provider and our plans help eliminate technology frustrations so that your workforce is more productive, collaborative, and satisfied while ensuring the security of your valuable data. Mon, 14 Jan 2019 18:36:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 AT&T Ending Sales of User Data https://systechinfo.com/att-ending-sales-of-user-data/ https://systechinfo.com/att-ending-sales-of-user-data/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 17:22:24 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14627 If you are shocked to find out that AT&T is going to stop selling their users’ data, you aren’t alone. AT&T just announced that it will stop the sale of user data to third-party location services entirely, even if it might be beneficial for their consumers.

AT&T had the following to say in an emailed statement,

“Last year we stopped most location aggregation services while maintaining some that protect our customers, such as roadside assistance and fraud prevention. In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have decided to eliminate all location aggregation services – even those with clear consumer benefits.”

AT&T Emailed Statement

This follows a recent scandal exposed by MotherBoard, a popular technology news company that found the data was being re-sold by these third-parties on the black market, allowing just about anyone to get the location of people’s phones. Glad to hear the major providers are making an actual effort to secure our data, now that they got taken to task.

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Government Shutdown Causes Websites to Break https://systechinfo.com/government-shutdown-causes-websites-to-break/ https://systechinfo.com/government-shutdown-causes-websites-to-break/#respond Wed, 09 Jan 2019 18:25:04 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14636 Amid the on-going government shutdown, up to 80 different federal websites are broken due to expires SSL Certificates. For those unaware, SSL certificates allow traffic to and from your computer and the website to be encrypted. As of January 10th, over 80 government websites were affected by the issue, according to an analysis by Netcraft (an Internet Security and Data Mining company).

Normally, when an SSL breaks or expires, the website will still allow insecure traffic but in the case of the DOJ sites in particular, they are prevented from being browsed when the SSL is expired, in essence, taking these websites down.

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We’ve Been in Business 25 Years!!! https://systechinfo.com/weve-been-in-business-25-years/ https://systechinfo.com/weve-been-in-business-25-years/#respond Tue, 01 Jan 2019 13:00:08 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14633 Since our incorporation 1992 and Jack’s eventual buyout of his partner in 1994, the Systech we’ve come to know and love has been in business for 25 years.

We wanted to take this time to thank all our customers and vendors who helped make this possible – we would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for all of you.

Thanks for being with us and we look forward to another prosperous 25 years.

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Intel Still Can’t Find a CEO https://systechinfo.com/intel-still-cant-find-a-ceo/ https://systechinfo.com/intel-still-cant-find-a-ceo/#respond Sat, 22 Dec 2018 17:26:27 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14630 The $400 Billion chip company still hasn’t found a replacement CEO after the announcement that, then CEO, Brian Krzanich has resigned from the company last June. This was spurred on by an internal investigation amid reports of a consensual relationship with an Intel employee. According to Intel, Krzanich’s immediate resignation was accepted to show,

“that all employees will respect Intel’s values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct”

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/21/17488070/intel-ceo-brian-krzanich-resigns-employee-relationship

In the interim, Intel appointed CFO Robert Swan who is still acting CEO. While there is no replacement yet, chairman Andy Bryant told some employees recently that the chipmaker may go with a “non-traditional” candidate.

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99.9% of Hacks Prevents With MFA https://systechinfo.com/99-9-of-hacks-prevents-with-mfa/ https://systechinfo.com/99-9-of-hacks-prevents-with-mfa/#respond Mon, 17 Dec 2018 20:57:43 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14429 If you haven’t enabled multifactor authentication (MFA) for your company’s Office 365 you should. According to an article by Microsoft their, 

“numbers show that 99.9% of identity attacks have been thwarted by turning on MFA” 

Source Article

MFA (or sometimes called 2fa) is exactly what it sounds like; it’s another layer of authentication when you want to login to your account. There are many variations but the most common involves installing an application on your mobile phone and setting it up with your account. Once setup, it will generate random 6-digit codes that expire on an interval. The app or the webpage that you are trying to login to will then ask you for this 6-digit code to prove your identity. This is great because even if some bad actor has your username and password they still will not be able to login to your account. 

In Office 365, MFA can be enabled on a per user basis so you can test it out. There is no additional licensing requirements to enable this functionality, just make sure you don’t forget your phone!

I actually use LastPass with their athenticator app so that if I have to change devices, all my MFA codes come with me otherwise you will likely have to setup MFA again for your account if you lose your phone. 

Additional Reading:

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The Cost of Using Old Desktop Computers https://systechinfo.com/the-cost-of-using-old-desktop-computers/ https://systechinfo.com/the-cost-of-using-old-desktop-computers/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 20:54:04 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14411 As a business, you are concerned about the true cost of ownership of equipment along with the productivity that technology can bring to your organization. One of the things I notice, being in an MSP, is that many business owners and CFO’s do not really think about the less-tangible costs that businesses often encounter. These include things like the cost of lost revenue due to inefficiency, the impact of company reputation during downtime, and the cost of keeping aging equipment. There are many others but today I wanted to focus on quantifying the true cost of keeping old equipment. 

Take, for example, the following 2 desktop computers. The HP ProDesk 400 G1 which was released in February of 2015 and the HP ProDesk 400 G5 which was released in July of 2018. These are the same exact make and model aside from the generation. Below is a breakdown of the specifications:

  1. ProDesk 400 G1
    1. CPU: Intel Core i5-4690
    2. Storage: 500Gb, 7200RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ HDD
    3. Memory: DDR3 non-ecc 1600MT/s
  2. ProDesk 400 G5
    1. CPU: Intel Core i5-8600
    2. Storage: 256Gb, SATA Three Layer Cell 2.5″ SSD
    3. Memory: DDR4-2666

CPU Performance

If we look at the benchmark scores we can see that the newer CPU performed about 66% better than the older CPU. 

Source: PassMark 

Storage Performance

If we look at performance comparisons of traditional rotary HDDs vs that of Solid State Drives (SSDs) we can see an overwhelming performance difference that some pegged as up to 5x faster. Below is a chart showing the performance differences between a Seagate HDD and a Samsung SSD:

Source: PCWorld

The result was a dramatic increase in boot times and read/write operations. This article states that the time it took the machine to start-up went from 63 seconds to 23 seconds or 63% faster. One independent blogger noted a 5x performance increase after installing an SSD (and also noted a staggering 25x performance increase in using the new M.2 SSD drives)

Memory Performance

Finally, when looking at memory performance we can compare the older DDR3 to the newer DDR4. While the actual memory platform is not as important as the amount of memory it is worth discussing here as well. Right off the bat DDR4 has transfer rates up to 2666MT/s compared to DDR3’s 1600MT/s data rate. 

Source: BeeBom.com

Again, these differences equate to about 66% more performance from the newer DDR4 memory vs the DDR3. The really crazy part is that many of these components have inner-workings which allow for greater performance capabilities. A good example of this is memory and CPU working together – the faster the memory can provide the data to the CPU the faster your computer will complete the process. 

Quantifying the Inefficiency of Old Computers

Based on this data we can safely say that a 3 year old desktop computer runs about 65% slower than a desktop purchased today with comparable specifications (ie. nothing customized, off-the-shelf specs). 

What does this cost a business? 

Efficiency is calculated by dividing the output by the input.

E = (Output / Input)

If Jane can process (roughly) $80,000 in orders per day on her old PC how much more revenue is the company losing due to inefficiency (assuming her order processing is directly related to the performance of her PC). 

E = ($80,000 / 8 Hours) = $10,000/hour or about $166.67 per minute. 

If Jane had a new machine which we have shown is about 65% faster, Jane would be able to process more orders and bring in more revenue for the company in the same amount of time. 65% of $80,000 is $52,000 so Jane would be processing $16,500/hour or about $275 per minute. This means that the company has a potential to make $52,000 more per workday. This is an example of the cost of inefficiency and one of the many less-tangible business costs that MSPs try to help fix.

That said, there is also a cumulative effect that these various areas have on a business that further drive revenue and increase employee efficiency. 

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Microsoft Scammers Get a Taste of Justice https://systechinfo.com/microsoft-scammers-get-a-taste-of-justice/ https://systechinfo.com/microsoft-scammers-get-a-taste-of-justice/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2018 21:06:46 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14421 In a startling turn of events New Dehli police have arrested 63 suspects across 26 call centers that were engaging in illegal technical support scams.

Microsoft commented on the situation stating,

“The raids resulted in the seizure of substantial evidence including call scripts, live chats, voice recordings and customer records from tech support fraud operations.”

The intervention by the Delhi police force come after legal complaints were filed by Microsoft earlier this year. It’s a nice turn of events to see justice being served to scammers who routinely target the less-technical technology users to exploit a profit. 

If you think you might be the target of a scammer purporting themselves to be Microsoft you can submit it to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/concern/scam 

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New Study Suggests Future Labor Shortfalls in Manufacturing https://systechinfo.com/new-study-suggests-future-labor-shortfalls-in-manufacturing/ https://systechinfo.com/new-study-suggests-future-labor-shortfalls-in-manufacturing/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:35:51 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14404 A recent study released by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute suggests that there may be a shortage in the amount of available skilled workers to fill all the available positions in the near future. According to the study jobs in the US manufacturing industry have increased due to technological advances. These advances have outpaced the amount of people skilled enough to fulfill these positions and it’s only getting worse. As skill-sets continue to shift with the introduction of newer tech and manufacturing automation we will see a further rise in the labor shortages.

 

Currently, it takes about 17 weeks to fill positions for skilled workers such as engineers, researchers, and scientists. As manufacturing continues adopting newer technology and automation the labor requirements will likely shift towards the higher-skilled workers. This compounds the existing labor shortages. According to an article by CNBC, “one of the most important economic stories of 2018: the difficulty employers are having in finding qualified employees to fill a record 6.7 million job openings.”. The construction industry is also among those impacted by the increasing need to fill skilled labor positions as the economy gets closer to full-employment.

 

 

So how can manufacturers overcome these obstacles?

  • Outsourcing specific functions (like IT, call us) to free up your existing personnel. This would allow you to get employees without these specific skill-sets.
  • Develop training programs internally to bring low-skilled workers to higher levels.
  • Bolstering apprenticeship programs to bring in and train lower-skilled workers.

 

Read the full study:

https://documents.deloitte.com/insights/2018DeloitteSkillsGapFoWManufacturing

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/manufacturing/articles/future-of-manufacturing-skills-gap-study.html

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BlackBerry in Acquisition Talks With Popular AV Provider, Cylance https://systechinfo.com/blackberry-in-acquisition-talks-with-popular-av-provider-cylance/ https://systechinfo.com/blackberry-in-acquisition-talks-with-popular-av-provider-cylance/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:00:30 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14400 BlackBerry, as part of their strategy to position themselves in the market as an enterprise security provider after they lost in the mobile device market is in talks with Cylance to acquire the popular AV software provider for around $1.5B.  This comes amid industry rumblings of a possible IPO announcement for Cylance which develops AI-based products to help prevent cyberattacks. This proves to be a fairly large deal for the firm especially after accusations that Cylance used fake malware in their AV software tests that only their software could detect. While there is no decision at this point, we could see a large change in Cylance and their available offerings.

 

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4221516-blackberrys-acquisition-cylance-will-dovetail-nicely-unified-endpoint-management 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cylance-m-a-blackberry/blackberry-in-talks-to-buy-cybersecurity-company-cylance-business-insider-idUSKCN1NE2GW

https://www.scmagazine.com/home/security-news/cylance-denies-providing-fake-malware-samples/ 

 

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What’s New in Exchange 2019 https://systechinfo.com/whats-new-in-exchange-2019/ https://systechinfo.com/whats-new-in-exchange-2019/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:17:44 +0000 https://systechinfo.com/?p=14395 Now that Exchange 2019 is generally available, it’s worth noting the major changes in the new version.

  • Exchange 2019 must be installed on Windows Server 2019, and Microsoft recommends the Windows Server 2019 Server Core version of the OS.
  • Exchange 2019 only uses TLS 1.2
  • Exchange Server can now utilize it’s available resources more efficiently and can take advantage of larger cores and higher memory. Up to 48 processor cores and up to 256Gb of memory is supported by Exchange 2019.
  • It’s database operations are much faster – caching, active database copies, database failovers, etc. are much faster to provide a better experience.
  • Ability to restrict the forwarding of meeting requests and better Out of office settings

And much more! Given the speed at which new versions are being released, it would likely be a good time to start planning your organization’s next move.

Below are some resources you can use to learn more about Microsoft’s newest Exchange release.

 

https://products.office.com/en-us/exchange/microsoft-exchange-server

https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65632?source=sessions#ignite-html-anchor

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/office/blogs/tasks-oof-settings-and-more-improvements-to-the-rest-apis/

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2018/10/22/exchange-server-2019-now-available/

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