Is your Orlando business wireless network secure?

Do you have a wireless network? Are you sure it’s secure? If you do and you aren’t, you should definitely keep reading and find out why you need to secure your wireless network and how you can do it.

So, why should you secure your wireless network? Unless you use some older wireless technologies, like Bluetooth (whose access is limited by physical proximity to the corporate network), you probably have one with long range connectivity that can’t be contained within an office meaning anyone within range of your network can gain access. If you happen to have this kind of network which hasn’t been secured, you could have hackers capturing the information you send back and forth. This could mean effects that range from simple to devastating for you. Some of them are:

  • Slower access: If you have additional users on your network, especially those who may be downloading and uploading content, you will have slower internet access.
  • Data usage overages: Your monthly data usage may be limited by your ISP. Unwanted users can cause your account to be in violation of those limits.
  • Breach of privacy: You could have hackers stealing info being passed back and forth which means access to passwords, financial records, customer information, private data, and much more.
  • Illegal traffic: Unwanted users may access your network for illegal Internet activity and you’ll be the one in legal trouble.

Now that you’ve come to know what the effects of leaving your network unsecure are, it’s time you learned about securing it too. And when it comes to securing a wireless network, encryption is the name of the game. The most important security measure for a wireless network, encryption scrambles the information you send to the internet or to your wireless printer making it unreadable to outsiders. Encryption means creating a difficult network password (you may also call it an encryption code or passphrase) and there are different methods of encryption. Not all of them are secure, though. Here are some of them:

  • WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy): Although not considered secure, you might have to opt for this basic level of encryption if you have an old wireless printer (which only supports WEP). This calls for lowering the level of security for your entire network to WEP and connecting your printer using an Ethernet or USB cable. However, you can always choose to upgrade your printer which lets you go for better protection.
    If you want to create a WEP password, and a strong one at that, make it a case-sensitive password using 10-58 digits (use the numbers 0-9 and the letters A-F).
  • WPA and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access): Considered safer than WEP, WPA and WPA2 are the preferred methods of encryption, which use passwords and passphrases. But wait! What’s the difference between a password and a passphrase?
    It’s simple; a password is generally one grouping of letters, numbers, and/or punctuation without spaces whereas a passphrase contains spaces too and is usually longer than a password (a passphrase is more like a sentence).
    For a strong WPA or WPA2 password, make it a case-sensitive one that uses at least 13 characters, including upper- and lowercase letters, punctuation, and numbers. Include spaces if you’re going to make it a paraphrase. Remember, by including spaces, a passphrase is much harder to break than a password. Having trouble creating a strong password? You can turn to online sites that generate random passwords for you!
Need help securing your Orlando wireless network? Contact your team of Orlando IT support specialists today to learn more about how we can help you secure your business wireless network.

Blackberry Outages Hit Orlando Business

Attention Blackberry users:

It has come to our attention that RIM, the maker of Blackberry devices, is experiencing a network outage resulting in service interruption to Blackberry users.

From the RIM website ( http://www.rim.com/newsroom/service-update.shtml ) :

Wednesday 12th October – 9:45 (GMT-5)
BlackBerry subscribers in the Americas may be experiencing intermittent service delays this morning. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available.

Thank you…

Rick Hardin and the team at ASysTech

Is Server Virtualization Right For Your Orlando Business?

For those of you that may not know exactly what server virtualization is, how are you supposed to know if it’s good for your business or not? So in order to go into the benefits, let me first go into a little bit about what it is.

Server virtualization is the separating of one physical server into multiple smaller virtual servers. The resources of the server remain invisible to the user, and the use of software is implemented to handle the division of the physical server into multiple virtual environments. Those multiple virtual environments are called virtual or private servers.

Let’s use a common illustration of server virtualization that everyone is familiar with — that of Web servers. Virtual Web servers have become very popular as a means of supplying low-cost web hosting services because you don’t need a separate computer for each server. Instead, one computer can handle dozens of virtual servers co-residing on the it.

Now that we’ve looked at what server virtualization is, why would this be a benefit to your company? There are multiple reasons that I’ll go into right now.

  • Each virtual server runs its own operating system.
  • If one virtual server crashes, you can reboot it independently of the other virtual servers.
  • You can run a wide array of applications on a smaller number of physical servers. This does away with the stress of worrying about application incompatibilities and support issues.
  • Disaster recovery — or any kind of application backup and recovery — can be done almost as easy as snapping your fingers.
  • If you have a virtualized server and need to transfer data, configurations, etc. to a different virtual server, the length of time is cut down considerably because you can basically just copy what you need.

Do you need help with your VMWare or Microsoft Hyper-V installations?

Are you still not convinced whether or not server virtualization is a good solution for your small business? Contact us today at ASysTech. We have solutions that are designed to satisfy the needs of our clients’ short-term and long-term goals of our clients.

Are you going to download iOS5 for your iPhone?

The iOS 5 mobile operating system (for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices) is finally here. Apple has, right on time, released the software update that promises 200 added features, some of which we’re going to discuss here. But before we do that, let us tell you that this is an x.0 release meaning there could be bugs in there and unless you’re sure you don’t want to go back (you won’t be able to go back to an earlier OS), we suggest that you wait for a few days and see how things turn out. Another point to keep in mind or rather, to have in mind is your password to iTunes. If the iTunes backup of your device is encrypted, it’s necessary that you have the password to recover your device after loading iOS 5. Well, that’s that.

So, all set to go? Then here we go:

Notification Center: If you’ve used iOS previously (you probably have), you must remember how annoying the modal notification system was. It just popped up a single message on your screen that you couldn’t do anything about and could not access ever again. But it looks like the folks at Apple have been hearing us complain; with iOS 5, you’ll now have a place for all those messages and it’s called Notification Center. Easily accessible with a single swipe from the top of your screen, Notification Center isn’t the only notification-related changes you’ll see in iOS 5. You’ll be able to see new notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen and view notifications from lock screen. You may also slide the notifications app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app.

iMessage: This feature, which works over mobile networks and Wi-Fi, lets you send and receive unlimited text, video and photo messages with other iOS 5 users (without a text plan!). Plus, it tracks messages with delivery and read receipts and also boasts of group messaging and secure encryption.

Newsstand: This one’s just like iBooks but it isn’t your ordinary iBooks. It automatically organizes magazines and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen, displays the cover of the latest issues and has background downloads of new issues.

Twitter integration, iCloud, WiFi Sync, PC Free, Photo Improvements and much more: Forget about a third party Twitter-client, Twitter is now directly integrated into iOS. And then there’s the iCloud integration in iOS 5 too! With iCloud, you get 5GB of storage space for free AND a backup of everything you’ve bought from iTunes store safely.

Plus, you can also sync your iOS 5 device with a PC or Mac over a WiFi connection every time it connects to a power source. And what’s more? With PC Free, you can activate new iOS devices and download new updates without having to connect to a Mac or PC. As if this weren’t enough, there are photo improvements with added crop and rotate, red-eye removal, one-tap enhance and ability to organize photos in the album. There are lots of other improvements like Main improvements, Calendar improvements, Game Center Improvements and much more.

The iOS 5 is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 3rd generation, iPod touch 4th generation, iPad and iPad 2. If you’ve got any of these, go grab the iOS 5 today!

Great Things From Your Orlando IT Support Team

ASysTech Achieves Microsoft CAP!

ASysTech has fulfilled all the eligibility requirements for being a Cloud Accelerate Partner for Microsoft 365. What does that mean for you? As a Microsoft Orlando Gold Partner, we have the opportunity to be one of the first to try out new and upcoming services related to the Cloud and then pass on customized Microsoft Online Service packets, savings and knowledge on to you — like with the Office 365 free trial invitation that we recently customized specifically for our clients that will let you take advantage of the 25 user licenses Microsoft Office 365 Trial (Plan E3).

ASysTech Now Able to Perform Security Penetration Scanning

Penetration scanning is going to allow us to evaluate the security of your computer system or network. How? We can simulate an attack coming in from a malicious outsider (someone that has no business trying to access your network) and even from a malicious insider. Also known as a pentest, the scanning will conduct an active examination of the system to check for any vulnerabilities that could come about from poor or improper system configuration that can include both known and unknown hardware or software defects. It will also ferret out operational weaknesses that may be in process. Talk with us about all your Orlando computer security requirements.

MBA Backup Basics

For those of you that have executive notebooks or small servers, our Managed by ASysTech (MBA) managed service plan is tailored to fit Central Florida businesses. Now you can experience the same managed backup features that the big corporations have, at a fraction of the cost. With heightened security like military-level protection, storage and in-transit encryption, and duo-facility storage, you have the best of the best from ASysTech. Other features like fast restoration, Microsoft Exchange Support, and a system that operates as a compliance-ready digital archiving solution, provide you with the assurance that your data will be protected to the utmost. No longer do you have to worry when you’re on the go.

ASysTech is here to help you with all of your Orlando IT Support. Talk with us today.

Over 10 Years Since 9/11…Cyber Attacks Are A National Risk

Attacking a country without physically crossing its borders, conflicts between countries being fought in cyberspace; sounds like a sci-fi drama, doesn’t it? Well, it’s time to wake up because security experts believe that this is going to happen for real. (And we can’t say this is going to be out of the blue because over the past few years, numerous attacks have been made targeting government and military networks and most of these attacks are believed to be the work of highly organized, well-funded, state-sponsored groups.)

It’s been a decade since the country first experienced the wave of the dreadful 9/11 attacks. Fast forward to 2011, the country faces a critical threat to its security from cyber attacks, says a new report by Bipartisan Policy Center.

The report, which was released last month by the bipartisan think tank’s National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG), explains the progress made by the public sector in implementing the security recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Nine security recommendations that have yet to be implemented were discussed and the comments about cybersecurity were part of the discussion.

Highlighting concerns expressed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. intelligence community about terrorists using cyberspace to attack the country, the report warns that “the cyber threat to critical infrastructure systems — to electrical, financial, water, energy, food supply, military, and telecommunications networks — is grave.”

Should the terrorists hack into any one of these critical infrastructure systems, say the U.S. electric grid, it’s going to be – as the DHS officials put it – a “nightmare scenario” resulting in power being shut down across large sections of the country for several weeks. This clearly spells devastating effects on the society. We’re sure you’re aware of the crisis being faced in Japan owing to the disruption of power grids.

Established in 2007 by former Senate Majority leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a Washington-based think tank that gave rise to NSPG, a group that monitors the implementation of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for beefing up national security following the terrorist attacks. According to NSPG, the government has made much progress in implementing most of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. However, not all 41 recommendations have been implemented.

One such area that has seen little progress is the recommendation to increase the availability of radio spectrum for public safety purposes. Since incompatible and inadequate communications led to needless loss of life on 9/11, more radio spectrum for first responders had been suggested. This plan, however, has been gathering dust, thanks to a political fight over whether to allocate 10MHz of radio spectrum to first responders or to a commercial wireless bidder.

Likewise, the civil rights and privacy fronts have also seen little progress, said the report. Following the 9/11 attacks, surveillance activities and the use of tools such as National Security Letters to search for terrorists have greatly expanded. However, a recommendation for setting up a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board with the executive branch of the federal government has yet to be fully implemented. No wonder the NSPG has given the implementation of this recommendation a failing mark!

As far as this report is concerned, it is undoubtedly going to trigger doubts in the security industry about the critical infrastructure targets’ preparedness for dealing with cyber attacks. However, as some believe, these threats aren’t being taken seriously enough within the government. Many government officials had shown similar skepticism toward the alarms that had sounded prior to the Sept. 11, 2001. The only thing to see now is if they are going to let history repeat itself yet again.

ASysTech provides robust Orlando IT Security services. Give us a call today to learn more.