Economic strain has made it very difficult for many businesses in New Jersey to refresh their aging IT networks. Don’t put off needed updates any longer–we’ve got the solution.
Nowadays, when networks reach six or seven years old, they reach a point where they begin to slow down from old age. Unfortunately, due to recent economic strains, many business owners have had to decide whether to deal with the decreased productivity of their outdated network or to stretch their budgets and reinvest in an updated network.
AMRCON is ready to bring some relief to your business by offering you a much needed network hardware and workstation upgrades and virtualization of your server equipment into our private cloud environment for a price you can afford.
We avoid the costly replacement of servers and workstations as well as the professional services those upgrades require. We remove spinning hard drives from the PC and use a lite version of LINUX to connect you to your virtual desktop from the cloud that will look just the same as it did yesterday. But your servers will be gone.
Now with the removal of the servers you can figure 20-30% savings on power and cooling. Plus, for the removal of hard drives, you can figure a savings of 30-40% on desktop power consumption if not more since you can now shut these devices off at night since there is nothing to maintain.
Does this sound like something you could use? Give us a buzz at 732-705-5057 and get back to handling your business and not the worries of your IT.
If the recent Twitter hoax at the Associated Press has taught us anything, it’s that social media security is a serious issue that every organization needs to address.
In response to the AP debacle, Twitter is working on a new two-step authentication process, which they are planning to rollout to users soon. But you don’t have to wait for Twitter to make your social media account more secure. Here are a few simple steps you and other employees can take to keep your Twitter stream clean.
Use a stronger password!
This advice is obvious but, nonetheless, is ignored by a lot of people who still use their building number or birthdate as a password. That’s not enough! Having a strong password is the number one thing you can do to protect your Twitter account from a hijacking. For help, check out this post about creating a strong password that you can remember.
Review your permissions regularly.
There are a ton of applications that can gain access to your Twitter account. We often download these apps to make social media sharing easier but then end up not using them more than few times. Review your apps and add-ons regularly and delete any you no longer use or that you don’t remember downloading.
Don’t click on weird links.
Have you ever received a direct message from one of your Twitter followers like this, “Did You See This Pic Of You lol: http://phishingscam.com/”? Do not click on that link! If you receive a weird message from a follower, check with them on another platform like email or text message. If they didn’t send it, they’ve been hacked and should change their password stat.
It takes months–even years–for a business to build a devout social media following, but a Twitter takeover can kill your credibility overnight. Use these tips to keep your account secure and your followers happy.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are becoming a threat across a growing number of verticals. How can you defend your business from attack?
Over the last few years, DDoS attacks have been on the rise. In fact, just in the last two months, United Federal Credit Union (UFCU) and Patelco Credit Union have experienced significant downtime twice due to denial-of-service attacks on their servers.
As some of you may already know, a DoS attack or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack involves a concerted attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by flooding a target with an enormous amount of traffic.
What are the symptoms of a DDoS attack?
According to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), the symptoms of a DDoS attack include:
- Unusually slow network performance
- Unavailability of a particular website
- Inability to access any website
- Dramatic increase in the number of spam emails received
- Disconnection of a wireless or wired internet connection
What can be done to mitigate DDoS attacks?
In many cases, DDoS attacks can be mitigated effectively by introducing specific pieces of code to a business’s ASA (Firewall) configurations. These pieces of code, if properly implemented, can significantly reduce the chances of a DDoS attack being successful.
AMRCONs current firewall configurations are the result of years of experience and testing. Therefore, many of the countries that generally conduct DoS attacks have been addressed in our current configurations.
If you’re concerned your business may be at risk of a DoS attack, we would recommend filling out this form for a free network audit. Our highly trained technicians will review the firewalls you have in place and make any suggestions that would improve your security.
Thank you to St. Catherine’s Pre-School in Holmdel, NJ for this heartfelt letter. We’re glad we could lend a hand.
Find out what AMRCON’s latest offering, ODScloud, can do for your business.
We all know the benefits of cloud computing—how it can reduce IT costs, increase productivity in the workplace, and scale easily as needs change.
Unfortunately, many cloud computing solutions are too limited for the needs of larger businesses, especially when security and compliance matter.
For this and many other reasons, AMRCON has partnered with IO Data Centers, the leading provider of next-generation modular data center technology and services, to bring you ODScloud. As part of the agreement, AMRCON maintains its own private cloud within IO’s state-of-the-art data center in Edison, New Jersey.
Our unique cloud hosting service allows small to medium sized businesses, who would otherwise be unable to utilize the advanced hardware in IO’s Tier III facility, to purchase enterprise-quality rack space. ODScloud also gives businesses the ability to:
- Host existing hardware on our private cloud
- Virtualize new or existing hardware
- Virtualize desktops
- Virtualize and utilize VoIP for Disaster Recovery
- And much more
To learn more about ODScloud and what it can do for your business, contact AMRCON. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this outstanding new service to our new and existing clients.
In preparation for the blizzard scheduled to hit the Northeastern United States today, you should take precautionary steps, especially if your business has experienced past flooding.
These steps include powering down your equipment and placing computer devices on top of your desk, for example.
For more preparedness steps, if you need help with your server room, or if you would simply like to discuss your individual preparation requirements, please feel free to call us. Our staff will be available for consultation.
If you are in the AMRCON ODScloud the following precautionary steps have been taken for that environment:
- Gen Set Testing – Generators were tested 2/5/13
- Fuel levels are sufficient
- Procedures reviewed for emergency transfer to generator
- Support vendors on standby
Our staff will be operating before, during, and after the storm and may be reached by calling 732-705-5057 (option 9 if you are calling outside business hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. M-F).
As a courtesy, we will be suspending the after-hours surcharge for telephone consultation should you need to call us this weekend.
Most importantly, we hope you and your families remain safe during the storm.
Another mass power outage hits the east coast. Was your business ready?
After more than 31,000 homes and businesses in Long Island, New York lost power yesterday to a freak windstorm, we thought it an opportune time to remind business owners how important a backup and disaster recovery plan is for your business.
These days, disastrous weather conditions seem to be on the rise and are becoming increasingly difficult to predict, which is why it is so important for businesses to always be at the ready.
You’ve probably heard these backup and disaster recovery tips before, from AMRCON or from another managed services provider. But you may have not taken the time yet to implement them. Take our advice: don’t wait another minute.
Tip #1: Implement a Disaster Recovery Plan
If you don’t have a plan, now’s the time to talk with your managed IT services provider. They will be your best resource for designing a plan that helps preserve business continuity after disaster strikes. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at our IT Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist and give us a call at 732-705-5057.
Tip #2: Consider Switching to Cloud Hosting
If you’re not already on the cloud, you may want to consider making the switch, depending on your industry. Managed cloud hosting is safe and secure, offers reliable backup and disaster recovery options, and has a much more predictable cost structure than company-owned hardware and infrastructure.
Tip #3: Review Your Recovery Plan Regularly
A disaster recovery plan is only effective if you take the time to test and review it regularly. Technology is constantly evolving; you’re disaster recovery plan needs to evolve with it.
Need help designing and implementing an IT disaster recovery plan for your business? Fill out our Free Network Audit request form- we’d be happy to assist you.
Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 is officially ending in April 2014. Are you prepared for the transition?
As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer be providing any public support for Windows XP SP3 or Office 2003. This means no more security patches, non-security hotfixes, or incident support.
Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 after Microsoft’s end of support date exposes your business to a number of potential security and compliance risks. Unsupported environments are more vulnerable to security attacks, which could lead to an officially recognized control failure, a suspension of certificates, and a public notification of your business’s inability to maintain its customer information.
What are my options?
- Your best option, with the highest return on investment, is to upgrade to a modern PC with Windows 7 Enterprise and Office 2010. This move will allow for higher productivity and enhanced PC security and management. The IT consultants at AMRCON can help you with the migration and deployment process to ensure the transition is smooth and successful. Contact us to learn more.
- If, for any reason, you decide to stay with Windows XP SP3 or Office 2003, you will have an option to purchase a Custom Support package. However, the cost of a Custom Support package is significantly higher than regular support, and costs will most likely rise annually.
AMRCON can work with you to upgrade your PCs and software to compete in today’s increasingly technology-dependent business environment. Request a Free Network Audit or contact AMRCON directly to learn more about transitioning your business away from Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 before the April 2014 cutoff date.
Did your business experience significant downtime in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter? AMRCON has the solution your business needs.
Beginning December 1st, AMRCON will offer a brand new product line to its clients—ODScloud.
ODScloud is a robust cloud-based solution living on the IO backbone, the leading provider of next-generation modular data center technology and services.
We have implemented a variety of products to help our clients take advantage of what the cloud has to offer, including:
- Private cloud living space for all of your cloud-based solutions
- Hosted virtual desktop replacement
- Hosted applications
- Hosted virtual servers
ODScloud combined with a personalized Disaster Recovery Plan will ensure that your business is prepared for any future interruptions. Clients that followed our recommendations or who have had AMRCON design a Disaster Recovery Plan for their business did not experience downtime during Hurricane Sandy.
From redundancy and scalability to worry free outsourcing of your business infrastructure, AMRCON will make sure you’ll never need to buy another server again. Fill out our Free Network Audit request form or contact AMRCON directly to learn more about this exciting new offering.
A slow computer undermines productivity in the workplace. But what’s causing it to be so sluggish?
We’ve all been there. One day your PC seems fine and the next you’re struggling to open applications and save files on your hard drive. What was once a finely-tuned instrument of productivity is now an endless source of frustration.
Unfortunately, pinpointing the exact reason your computer is running slow is difficult, but there are a few steps you can take to help you remedy the situation before calling in the experts.
- Try rebooting your computer. A lot of people leave their computers running 24/7, which can lead to reduced performance. Save all open files, quite all applications, and simply restart your computer. If it’s not responding, try pressing Control, ALT, Delete to reboot a PC. This could be all it needs.
- Update your operating system and virus scanner. If you haven’t checked for updates to your operating system or virus scanner for awhile, this could be what’s slowing you down. Most operating systems and virus scanners have an auto-updater, but it doesn’t hurt to check if you’re missing any critical updates.
- Check your hard disk for adequate space. Your computer could be running slow because it doesn’t have resources for the task at hand. Now would be a good time to clean out temporary files, defragment your hard drive, and uninstall unused programs.
- Deselect unnecessary startup programs. Many programs are, by default, set to launch when you start your computer, which can drain your computer’s performance. Deselect any unnecessary programs that launch on startup and then reboot your computer to see if your computer is running faster.
If you’ve made it this far and your computer is still running slow, you may need to call in an expert to identify the problem. A qualified IT specialist will be able to diagnose the issue and provide solutions to help your computer get back up to speed.
For help with your computer, or any other IT issue, contact AMRCON. We help businesses and organizations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania find solutions to their technology problems.