Archive | Kansas City IT
In every business there is always the “Oh Crap”! moment when a PC get’s infected with something. And some more often than others. What to do?
Well, using a quality set of firewall/filters/anti-virus is part of the solution. And more than likely the only parts of the solution you’ve heard about. But, there’s a whole other area of expertise afoot. Who, Where, and What…. in RealTime. There are tools that enable individual networ
ks to monitor such things (really expensive tools) but sometimes it’s better to back up and get the 50,000ft overview. That’s where Realtime Threat Monitoring comes into play.
We use several realtime tools like this (and they’re so private I’m not even allowed to put up a pic of them). But there is a public realtime threat monitor out there that will give you the high level overview of what’s being targeted, by who, and where they are that has been released by Deutche Telkom (T-Mobile for my US customers). If you click on the picture of the tool in action it will pop up a window and you can see what’s happening in the world of cyber threats in realtime from monitoring stations spanning the globe.
And you’ll see why you don’t want your own tool, and will want to just have OPENRSM “handle it” when it comes to cyber security.
Microsoft is having a difficult time with Windows8 and WindowsRT… Companies and People arn’t buying it. And, from the testing we’ve done so far, for good reason.
But Microsoft is taking a decidedly interesting approach to slow sales of a product EVERYBODY has said they don’t need, don’t want, and they can’t really see any improvements over previous versions (including Windows XP). Their answer to the problems with their latest OS version are to raise prices, dramatically.
Microsoft has increased pricing on the following (non-complete) list of products:
- Lync Server 2013 400%
- Project 2013 Server CAL 21%
- SharePoint 2013 38%
- Windows8 License CALs 15%
So now, new PCs (which you have no choice which operating system is loaded on them) could start costing more under Enterprise Licensing policies from Microsoft. All because people don’t want their products. Pretty arrogant approach instead of giving customers what they truly want and need.
(information gleaned from an article located HERE)
It seems that AT&T is playing games with it’s new “Usage Billing” forumlas. And it’s not pretty.
We spotted this article on Slashdot today. One that our customers that utilize AT&T services should be very concerned with. You see, AT&T is now billing for how much data you consume. Which, on it’s face, sounds reasonable. But in reality it has no basis in reality. Slashdot user STOX‘ received his first AT&T bill that included usage billing and being a “high tech” guy, he went to check it out. So, he measured exactly how much data (transmit and receive) he used with a reputable tool that looked at his router’s statistics to tell him the true numbers. Comparing it to what AT&T was claiming he used there was a very large disparity. A 20-30% disparity.
So, he called AT&T and was informed that the way that AT&T computes data usage was “Proprietary”. Which is a not so subtle way of telling us that they just plug in whatever number they want, tell us that we’ve used a certain amount of data, and bill for it. With no way to tell if the billing is in error, accurate, or totally bogus.
Businesses and individuals that utilize AT&T need to be very conscious about how they are being billed for data rate services. If the ability to double check what your being billed for is hidden, how would you ever be able to know if your being billed accurately, fairly, honestly?
It takes both technical experience and a deep understanding of what just is and is not allowed to properly interpret telcom billing. If your on AT&T it’s time to get ahold of OPENRSM to do a thorough review of the services you receive, and how your being billed for them so that you can know just what your getting and what the true costs are.
or Coca Cola, Ford, and Samsung have signed up (among others) that will show up in applications (like Finaance, Weather, News, etc.).
With a “normal” operating system and applications (that you pay for) you wouldn’t expect to have ads. Free apps, sure. Paid apps, no way.
And there are no notices or warnings, opt-in/out boxes, etc. The ads are there and you can’t remove them.
I wonder how many people would pay for a Windows8 App that kills the onboard advertising? It seems that Microsoft may have either created something to raise the ire of every business customer, or, created an opportunity for a clever programmer to join the millionaire ranks.
It has come to our attention that there are serious flaws that have been identified in Sophos Anti-Virus by security researchers at Google.
OPENRSM has never used, nor provided, Sophos Anti-Virus. And it seems that our own internal evaluation to not provide or support Sophos has been sustained (for additional reasons) by Google.
You can read the 30 page report by Google HERE:
You can read more about the findings that Sophos is insecure HERE.
Ever wonder why there seems to always be a PC that’s slow, infected, issuing pop-ups, redirecting your Google searches, etc?
It’s because they’re infected! “But we have anti-virus installed on all our machines” is the usual self-denial cycle that sets in. Usually followed with “why can’t you keep this from happening? Your the expert here?”. Which is a valid question. And now, what we’ve been telling our customers for years has been documented.
An article in Forbes (click HERE) tells the tale. The people who publish software are often unaware of their own security weaknesses for months on end. Ten months is the average. This means that your anti-virus/malware software won’t even know about the threat from a “Zero Day” exploit when you click that dubious link that causes your system to become infected.
Or, as the article in Forbes put it… “…the value of the benevolent hackers who find and report bugs in software before they’re exploited. Without someone to dig them up and demand they be fixed, those hackable flaws are far more common, and remain secret far longer, than anyone may have realized.”
Which is exactly why you have PCs in your business that get “infected” with malware, adware, etc. And it’s exactly why every business needs to have a company like OPENRSM taking care of your critical business network and systems. Having people that understand the cold hard realities of protecting networks and pc’s and more importantly, being able to get rid of malware and viruses without your anti-virus protection even knowing that something is wrong.
Many of our Friends and Customers know that OPENRSM is a proud supporter of Scouting and Scouts. And on this Independence Day we’d like to pause and think not only of our own Freedom’s and Liberty. But also how it is also celebrated by the “Good Turn” done daily by Scouts. A case in point…. The many replica Statue of Liberty installations across America.
The Boy Scouts of America celebrated their fortieth anniversary in 1950 with the theme of “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty”. Between 1949 and 1952, approximately two hundred 100-inch replicas of the statue, made of stamped copper, were purchased by Boy Scout troops and donated in 39 states in the U.S. and several of its possessions and territories. The project was the brainchild of Kansas City businessman J.P. Whitaker, who was then Scout Commissioner of the Kansas City Area Council (now known as the Heart of America Council).
Over the years many cities and towns have benefitted from the gift from their local Scout Troops. Some of which have been expanded into a mini-pavillion celebrating America’s Freedom, and the sacrifices made to preserve our freedom. One of note is located in Cape Girardeau, MO. The local VFW and American Legion have generously added to the monument with a listing of those from the area that have sacrificed all for their country.
With the same local Scouts, Scout Troops, and others pitching in to both maintain and improve a local symbol of the Liberties and Freedom’s we enjoy. The Scouts continuing to “Do a Good Turn Daily” for all of us.
Happy 4th of July!
And you didn’t even realize you had a @facebook.com email address.. did you?
Oh, but you do! And it was changed to be your primary email address contact on your timeline by Facebook.
And no, they didn’t tell anybody… Until the press decided to start calling Facebook on it. And (in a change for Facebook), they said they did it. And there are more changes coming too.
Far be it for the humble data engineers at OPENRSM to tell Facebook what to do… But actually informing your customers that you are changing fundamental things in your platform AHEAD OF TIME would seem to be the thing to do.
More information (and how to change your email contact back to your own email address) is on “The Talking Points Memo“…
Jefferson County Alabama is finding out what happens when you fire 40% of your IT Staff and cancel routine hardware maintenance and upgrades.
A total meltdown of their key accounting system, likely to cost many times over what simple preventative maintenance and having a properly trained staff would have cost.
Details are at the All Alabama website.
I can imagine the sales call OPENRSM would have made on such an operation. In reality, I don’t know if I would have shown them how bad things were, and how much OPENRSM could save them in both daily operations and future costs, or told them that their commitment to taking care of “their own house” was so lacking that I wouldn’t want to do business with them without their making a serious commitment to bringing their systems back into the realm of reliability.
Many organizations and companies are scrimping on their IT budgets these days. And who can blame them? Times are tough for everyone. But, when you don’t commit to keeping your IT Infrastructure reliable, flexible, and scalable… Your simply planning to fail. And that doesn’t mean throwing wads of money at your problems either. What it does mean is that an organized professional look at your systems, methods, practices, and how your IT could work for you needs to be done.
At OPENRSM we specialize in becoming the IT Department for small and mid-sized businesses. Helping our customers squeeze every penny while keeping their critical systems up to the challenges of todays business needs.
Call us.. 816-200-2220, email us email@example.com, let OPENRSM show you how you can save money and not end up like Jefferson County Alabama.
Have you endured the “FUD” salespitch? Signed a maintenance agreement for your computer systems only to later discover then not much has changed except that your costs have increased? Well, it turns out your not alone. In an article published in Data Center Knowledge a study has shown that the more maintenance you do, the more downtime your likely to have.
From the article… â€œThereâ€™s this mantra that more maintenance equals more reliability,â€ said Steve Fairfax, the President of MTechnology. â€œWe get the perception that lots of testing improves component reliability. It does not. The most common threat to reliability is excessive maintenance.â€
Many Kansas City IT departments are often locked into rigid over maintenance. The same goes for many Kansas City Computer service companies. Selling ‘real time monitoring’, solidifying their pitch with a free network assessment, etc. all designed around ‘FUD’… Fear Uncertainty, and Doubt. But now, (way too long in our opinion) there are some facts that blows the over hyped maintenance plan sales pitch out of the water.
Which helps us all bring a little more reality and a lot more awareness of the bottom line into the picture. Proper maintenance doesn’t have to cost a fortune. More maintenance than what is necessary can actually hurt your IT infrastructure.
You happen to have a high cost maintenance plan your afraid to cancel? An IT company pitching a plan to you? Do yourself a favor… Call OPENRSM today and ask for a second opinion. We won’t sell you a thing, just provide a qualified assessment of what your business really needs to do for the best ROI for your data infrastructure dollar.