Happy Holidays 2016
It has been an amazing year. With the year-end rush of projects and hectic family commitments, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. We at Tritek Networks, Inc. wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year’s success and show our appreciation for your continued support.
Tritek Networks has had an amazing year of growth, all thanks to our excellent customers. Thanks to our customers’ unwavering support, our business has expanded dramatically over the past year. We are nothing without our customers’ loyalty and it has been our pleasure to serve you.
As Tritek Networks has grown, we have worked to maintain our focus on exemplary customer service. Our addition of helpdesk representative Mike Dionis will ensure that we can maintain the same level of responsiveness and quality help that our customers have come to expect from us.
Please accept our sincerest thanks for your business.
Happy holidays, from the Tritek Networks Inc. family!
Is It Time for Your Checkup?
Think about your company’s IT system. Is it up-to-date? Secure? Functioning at the very best level it can? Prepared for change or growth in the business? If you are unsure about any of the answers to those questions, it may be time for a network assessment. A network assessment is an evaluation of a company’s IT system. It can be a challenge to know every detail, find every flaw, and see every opportunity in a network, even for the best administrator. A network assessment provides the information you need to answer any of these questions about your network.
A network assessment is a review of your organization’s existing IT hardware, software, security, processes, and performance. This information can be used to identify opportunities for improvement and get a comprehensive view of the state of a business’s IT network. During the assessment, an IT professional may complete an on-site inspection, run security and/or performance tests, or make certain devices (routers, switches, modems, workstations, etc.) are updated and working properly. The end goal is a report on which IT decisions can be based. Network assessments can confirm if a company is protecting itself from outside threats, identify weaknesses or opportunities, and determine if a network is operating at peak performance.
Should You Get a Network Assessment?
A network assessment can be a useful tool, and should be seriously considered, if:
- you have grown, and your network was “patchworked together” as you expanded
- you are looking to update, improve, or expand
- you want to confirm that your network is secure, and that you are getting the best performance possible
- you want to better understand the capabilities and limitations of your current network
What Can You Expect From A Network Assessment?
To some extent, network assessments are guided by you, the client. If you have a specific concern or need, such as HIPAA compliance, security breaches, or potentially obsolete devices. In general, though, these evaluations involve the following factors.
- A thorough investigation of devices running on the network, including their performance statuses, interaction with other devices, and if they are up-to-date.
- A performance evaluation, determining if the network is running smoothly. Any bandwidth bottlenecks can be identified.
- Security assessments of network devices including security compliant configurations, vulnerabilities, performance, etc.
- A report of the findings, a list of issues, and recommendations for improvements.
If your network is due for a checkup, call 877-Tritek1 or email email@example.com to ask the experts at Tritek Networks Inc. about your free network assessment. Feel free to visit their web site at www.triteknetworks.com for more information.
How Long Should a Computer Last?
When weighing an investment in technology, a logical question to ask is “How long will these devices last?” Both technology and business advance at a rapid pace, which can seem overwhelming if you are unprepared for the changes. Planning your hardware upgrades before an emergency strikes will help you manage costs and keep your company running smoothly.
While light-use home PCs may last up to five years, computers dedicated to resource-heavy or graphics-intensive software or games should be upgraded every one to two years. Computers used in business settings typically have a lifespan somewhere in the middle. The workstations that run your business should be replaced every two to four years to avoid the negative impact of out-of-date technology.
“Two to four years” may seem like a wide window of time. How can you predict when your machines will need to be replaced? An important factor determining the lifespan of a computer is the quality of the machine at its original time of purchase. Low cost machines will use hardware that is two to three generations behind the hardware used in higher-quality machines. As a result, the cheaper machine will be incompatible with newer versions of software and will “age out” of usefulness more quickly. A machine with higher-quality components will start at a higher functioning level, and hold its value much longer. Even the best machines, however, will eventually be outpaced by the steady advances made in technology every year.
Keeping computers current helps to keep your employees working at peak productivity. Computers slow down over time, due to accumulations of updates, programs, adware, etc. Older hardware may also struggle to keep up with the demands of newer versions of software. Slower computers mean less work being done. The time benefits of up-to-date technology must be weighed against the cost.
In addition to the time lost to slow machines, replacing devices once they are out of warranty is a smart move for budget control. A set expenditure on workstations can be planned, rather than facing emergency repair and replacement costs that hit without warning. In addition, parts that are compatible with older machines may no longer be produced, leaving you searching for expensive used replacement parts.
Keeping your business’ technology current helps to keep productivity up and down-time minimized. Unsure if it is time to upgrade your workstations? Call 877-Tritek1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask the experts at Tritek Networks Inc. about your free network consultation. Tritek Networks offers a full range of support, from desktops and servers to cloud hosting and beyond. Feel free to visit their web site at www.triteknetworks.com for more information.
Meet Our Newest Team Member
Tritek Networks is thrilled to introduce the newest member of our team: Mike Dionis. With over 25 years of professional IT experience, Mike brings in-depth knowledge of a wide range of hardware and software solutions. We asked him to answer a few questions about himself, to give you all a chance to get to know him better and to see why we believe he will be an invaluable member of the Tritek family.
What is your role at Tritek?
Helpdesk. I provide the first line of support for our clients. Ideally, I resolve the problem on a first-call basis. If I cannot, I provide assistance by notifying the technicians and working with them to resolve the issue.
How did you come to work at Tritek?
I worked with Todd, Jeff, and Anthony at another IT consulting firm. During that time, we established a professional and personal relationship. I know each of them and their drive for IT professionalism. We are all strong individually within our skillsets and as a team we stand stronger to cover a broader IT scope. So when I was asked if I wanted to be part of that again and offered the opportunity to work with them it was a very easy decision for me.
What is your favorite part of working in IT?
I enjoy the daily challenges and the accomplishments that are provided. At the end of the day, I gained more experience, learned something new, and helped a business get their job done.
What is your background (previous roles, education, training, certifications, and/or specialties)?
I have been working in Information Technology since the early 90’s. I served 4 years in the United States Army as a Programmer/Analyst. During that time, I developed many skills including helpdesk support, teaching IT classes, database management etc. Over the years, I developed my skills into broad understanding of IT.
What are some of the most common IT complaints/issues/problems that you have encountered on the job?
Most often, the time it took to resolve an issue. Within the growing and changing IT industry, sometimes resolutions cannot occur within a set time frame, without assistance from a strong standing team. This is where I feel Tritek stands strong and will do whatever it takes; from repair, software resolution, to replacement and new product opportunities. With our vast knowledge, we will do what it takes to address any and all issues promptly and to the satisfaction of our clients.
What is a new technology or service that you find exciting?
Tough question… It’s so hard, in an era of constant technology change and development, to pinpoint one specific. I am personally driven to all technology, but one that stands out the most is home automation (being able to have control of virtually anything in your home via connected cell phones, computers etc.). It is amazing how this technology will help the disabled and medically challenged to be able to do things that were not possible before. Or for people who care for the elderly, as this opens up a new opportunity to go beyond the things we though were possible.
What is your favorite movie/tv/video game/etc., and why?
I really don’t have a favorite movie; as a movie buff I enjoy all movies. As a veteran, I enjoy a lot of history and find myself watching the history channel a lot (especially old military documentaries etc.). I do play video games. Once again, as a veteran I find myself playing Call of Duty games the most, as these involve teamwork and provide the most challenges.
What is one thing that you wish people knew about IT and/or technology?
Technology has a tendency to go wrong, to go bad, to turn on you at a moment’s notice. It will stop working, or slow down, or become so frustrating you want to give up on it.
It’s a fact of life that technology goes bad, and it’s just a matter of time before that gadget you once adored develops a problem of some kind. If you’re lucky, it’ll work for years before falling into this unavoidable fate. And if you’re unlucky, it’ll start annoying you within days of purchase. Always remember, technology can streamline schedules, simplify work and home businesses, coordinate activities, and much more. It helps us to improve our lives every day.
What are some of your hobbies or interesting facts about you?
Being an outdoor type, I enjoy a lot of outside activities. One that bring me the most fun and relaxation is whitewater rafting and kayaking. Being out on the river is so beautiful and peaceful to me.
I also enjoy helping my fiancé with her photography adventures. We are both new to it, so it’s a constant learning experience for us both.
The Enemy Within
The Greatest Threat to Your Company’s Security May Be Your Own Employees
The security breaches that make headlines are typically attacks by outsiders. Scammers find ways to steal credit card data, hackers access personal information, companies steal competitor’s secrets. These stories grab reader’s attention, but do not reflect the reality of the security threats faced by businesses. As many, if not more, security breaches come from internal sources. News stories rarely mention these internal threats. Few stories are written about employees who forget to lock computers, use simple passwords, send classified information incorrectly, or open malicious emails. Yet, these occurrences happen every day, and can compromise a business’ interests as much as any outside threat. Security problems can result in lost productivity, legal trouble, bad publicity, and a loss of customers’ trust. How
Employees should be trained on IT safety and security measures. Along with training on best practices, employees should receive regular updates about new viruses and email scams. The more employees know about threats, the more they can do to combat them.
Guidelines for password complexity should be enforced, company-wide. For example, it is much more difficult for password-cracking programs to be effective when companies require that every password includes a capital letter, number, and special character. Employees should also be prompted to change their password at regular intervals.
Find a way to set up role-specific information access. Taking a cue from healthcare privacy measures, employees should have access to only the information that they need for their jobs. Even if the employee is trustworthy, limiting access to information will limit damage if his or her account is compromised.
Incoming email should be scanned thoroughly for threats, using a system that automatically updates at frequent intervals. A majority of malware reaches businesses’ systems through malicious emails. As these attacks become more sophisticated, email security must adapt and grow as needed. In these cases, antivirus protection, automatic patching, and spam filtering can significantly reduce the threats reaching end users.
The most secure companies realize that a strong IT security plan requires teamwork between management, employees, and their IT Company, combined with the right choices of software and security devices.
Time to Cut the Cord?
How to Tell When Your IT Company is Proactively Taking Your Money, but Reactively Addressing Your Issues.
You know the feeling: your day is flying by. Customers, emails, or orders are flooding in. Suddenly, something goes wrong and your work comes to a screeching halt. A password doesn’t work, your printer isn’t recognized, or you get an error message when trying to save…
The issue doesn’t seem serious, but it interferes with your productivity. You call your tech company…and sit on hold for ten minutes. When you finally reach someone, you are told that the issue will be “escalated” to someone else. A month (and ten phone calls) later, you are still locked out of a program, emailing documents to a coworker to have them printed, or having trouble saving. You realize that many people in your office are having similar problems, and you can’t remember the last time you saw a technician or engineer. Yet, every month, the IT company expects prompt payment. Sometimes, they even call before the due date to remind you that a payment is due. The account representative stops by to recommend upgraded equipment or software, but can’t give you a timeframe for when your current problems will be fixed. The company is responsive, attentive, and proactive…but only when it comes to being paid.
How can you tell if your IT managed services provider is the right company for you, or if it’s time to cut the cord?
Does your IT Managed Services Provider Monitor Your Systems and Complete Preventative Maintenance?
Your managed services company should be alerted to issues the minute they happen. Your managed services company should be monitoring your system twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to address problems before they interfere with your business. When choosing an IT company, look for one that uses the latest tools to proactively monitor, fix, and update your system.
Many companies offer monitoring services, but make no other preventative maintenance efforts. The difference between managed services companies lies in their complete preventative maintenance plans. Some companies lack the staffing to provide regular IT checkup visits. Skilled IT professionals can often spot problems that would not be obvious from a phone call. A few hours of on-site effort toward preventative maintenance can head of days of frustration and lost productivity.
Are Your Issues Addressed Quickly?
Business disruptions happen, no matter how proactive your IT company is. The speed at which these issues are resolved is what separates the good from the bad in the world of managed service providers. When evaluating your current IT provider, consider the amount of effort it takes to get someone to visit your site. Do you need to call multiple times, talk to a manager, or make threats to arrange a visit? You should not have to threaten to pull your business to get an engineer to your site!
Most Importantly: Are Your Priorities Their Priorities?
When an IT issue stalls your work, your IT company should be there to get you moving again. Your business is their business. Ask yourself whether or not your IT company shares your priorities. Too often, IT companies operate on the bare minimum staffing, or prioritize profits over service, leaving their customers waiting for help, sitting on hold, and losing productivity. If this sounds all too familiar to you, it may be time to cut the cord. Give Tritek Networks Inc. a call at 877-Tritek1 or email them at email@example.com for your free network consult. Tritek Networks Inc. takes a proactive approach by monitoring your company’s IT systems 24/7, keeping them running smoothly with regularly scheduled behind-the-scenes and onsite maintenance visits. Tritek Networks offers a full range of support, from desktops and servers to cloud hosting and beyond. Feel free to visit their web site at www.triteknetworks.com for more information.
Cyber Attacks: Stay Ahead of the Game
With cyber attacks escalating and here to stay, many organizations are struggling to keep up with the changing landscape in cyber security. As the security industry gets better at preventing attacks, cyber criminals become more sophisticated in carrying them out. The way we do business is changing more rapidly than ever before. Attackers aren’t just after bank and personal information; they are after any information that can be monetized.
What is your critical information? Where is it? Who has access to it? The answers to these questions can be difficult but are critical. Anything that is valuable to you is valuable to them and is most likely your intellectual property.
Compromises happen in seconds. Breaches start within minutes and can continue undetected for months.
Firewalls and antivirus stop many attacks, but the rate at which cyber attackers become more complex and redefine themselves, is what allows some to go undetected for so long.
Without visibility of where attacks are staged, breach activity appears unique and different from compromise activity. Firewalls know whether the IP of a network connection matches a blacklist or reputation feed. Yet they must wait until an attack is launched before collecting and analyzing a copy of the traffic. Antivirus solutions know whether the hash of the payload matches a signature database. Yet they must wait until a system is exploited before collecting and analyzing a sample of the code.
Tritek Networks does not wait until after attacks launch, malware install, or infected systems callback to learn how to defend against an attack. With Tritek Total Care, we continuously observe new relationships forming between domain names, IP addresses, and autonomous system numbers (ASNs). This visibility enables us to discover, and often predict, where attacks are staged and will emerge before they even launch.
While these existing defenses (firewalls and antivirus) cannot stop every attack, they are still a very critical component in defending against multi-step attacks. A big reason is that threats never expire—every piece of malware ever created is still circulating online or offline. They are still effective at preventing most known threats from infecting your systems. The key in keeping up is to learn to re-balance your investment of existing versus new defenses.
“The reality is that no one security technology is enough. Hackers are always working to defeat the latest defense. So you have to invest in defenses for the latest threat as well as every threat experienced in the past.” — Lawrence Pingree (Gartner analyst), New York Times, “Tech Security Upstarts Enter Fray”