COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

Cloud disaster planning Education News

UPDATED: 3/19/2020

DISINFECTING DEVICES

What can I disinfect my computer and laptop with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used on all non-screen surfaces. Avoid sprays. Turn off power to your computer or laptop before wiping down. It is recommended to unplug laptops before disinfecting.

What can I disinfect my computer screen with?
Do not use standard cleaning sprays such as Windex. The best way is to use products made specifically to clean screens (spay on cloth first, then wipe screen). Consult your manufacture's website before using disinfecting wipes. You may also use a combination of 70% isopropyl alcohol and water.

What can I disinfect my mobile phone with?
Unless you share your mobile phone it is probably not necessary to disinfect it. If you do want to we recommend visiting the manufacture's website. Mobile phone screens have special coating so you want to make sure you are using the recommended technique. Otherwise dedicate screen wipes may be used.

[UPDATE: New tests  show most phones / tablets can be cleaned with household disinfectant wipes with no damage to the screen coating.]

What can I disinfect my office phone with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used. Try to avoid any screens.

WORKING FROM HOME

What products / services are available to gain access to my desktop remotely?
Assuming your IT department (if you have one) does not have a standard method of accessing your work environment there are many companies that offer remote desktop access. Prices are for their business services.

My organization uses Microsoft Office 365 / G Suite / Dropbox / Sharefile / Box. Can I work from home?
If your business uses a cloud storage / email solution there is a good chance at least some of your work information can be accessed remotely.. You will need to contact your IT department for details.

How can my employees / co-workers collaborate when not in the office?
There are three top services to use to have employees work together from different locations. These services act as a type of Facebook for business with the ability to chat, video conference, share files, etc.

PREPARING YOUR IT INFRASTRUCTURE

Prepare your IT department to support personal devices
Your IT department may have to provide support for employees home machines which may increase workload and decrease the ability to provide support. We recommend the following:

  • Ensure remote workers have both a phone # and email address for contacting IT support.
  • Setting expectations for remote workers of what IT can and cannot support (e.g., will not come to your home to fix a printer).
  • If your IT provider/department has the technology to install management agents on personal computers for remote desktop access / anti-malware software this should be discussed before implementing.
    • What will it cost for the additional software agents?
    • What happens if installing the software breaks a personal computer?
    • What are the privacy concerns?

What should I do with office phones?
Many business phone systems allow you to forward extensions to mobile phones. If so, this option may be the easiest. Voicemail to email will also allow messages to be listened to outside the office. Some hosted VoIP phone may even be able to be plugged in at home and work seamlessly. Please contact your telco provider and / or IT Department. We also recommend adding employee home/cell phone numbers to internal departmental directories.

What should I do with office computers?
A few things that should be considered if you will be working from outside the office for an extended period but need access to your physical desktop. Some of these items may be managed by your IT department.

What about my Internet connection?
If a large amount of your employees will switch from office to home, and you are not using cloud services for file or desktop access, you may want to increase your bandwidth to the increased inbound connections.

  • Verizon FiOS:  800-837-4966
  • Comcast Business: 800-391-3000

Security Concerns
If the office will be closed for an extended period of time please consider the following:

  • Are cameras able to be monitored remotely?
  • Can individual offices be locked (HR, Finance, CEO/President)? Who has the keys / passcodes to the building if access is needed?
  • Are laptops locked up?
  • Are screens locked?
  • Before closing the office, a walk around should be done to make sure any passwords posted in works paces are taken down and locked away if offices cannot be locked. Make sure to look under keyboards.
  • Have the backups been tested and can they be monitored remotely?
CONTACT WIREGUIDED

If you have any questions or require IT assistance please reach out to our support team at:

PHONE: 781-679-0660

EMAIL: support@wireguided.com


Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Official Website - https://www.cdc.gov/

Thank you and stay safe.

-Tim

Remote Workforce Preparation

Remote Workforce Preparation

Cloud disaster planning Education mobile Office 365

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has started to spread throughout the country and health officials are starting to announce recommendations that in certain areas employees stay home for two weeks. Is your organization ready to have a remote workforce?

Scenario 1 –  Local File Server / Local Applications

If your business has a local file server (e.g., network drive ) or you use desktop based applications then you will need a way to access your company computer remotely. Options include services such as Teamviewer ($50/month or free for individual), Logmein ($30/month), or GoToMyPC ($35).

Your company may offer other remote access methods such as a VPN so please consult with your IT department first.

Scenario 2:  Cloud based file service + Web based Apps

If your business has its files stored in SharePoint, Google Docs, Dropbox, ShareFile, Box.com, or other cloud service AND your business applications are web based (e.g., you run everything from inside a web browser) then you are ready for a remote workforce. With Microsoft Office 365 you may access everything via a web interface at https://office.com. Other services may require a locally installed software agent.

Other Considerations

  • Does your phone system support forwarding calls outside of the office to employee home or mobile phones?
  • If your employees will be using their personal computers there are security issues to consider such as ensuring laptops are encrypted, devices are password protected, and anti-malware is installed.
  • Will your IT department be able to provide support on personal devices? If so, what are the parameters?
  • Update your website to reflect changes in hours or modifications of services.
  • Employee contact information contains home or mobile numbers (for internal use only).
  • Paperwork normally filled out onsite (e.g., intake forms, new member information, etc.) should be made available remotely.
    • Convert documents to PDF before making public. Do not share Word documents.
    • Items converted to forms on websites should be tested to make sure they are secure.
  • If using a self hosted remote access service, or utilizing VPNs, can your current Internet bandwidth support the additional inbound usage?

Conclusion

As they say. hope for the best but prepare for the worst. If you are interested in our managed remote desktop service or moving your office to the cloud please contact Wireguided at support@wireguided.com.

For more information about the Coronavirus visit the official CDC website

Is Your Email Hacked?

Is Your Email Hacked?

Cloud Office 365 Security

Office 365 has become a big target for hackers due to it being used by thousands of businesses. We have seen an increase over the past few years of Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack attempts on our clients. In these types of security breaches the bad guys monitor hacked accounts (sometimes for months) looking for an opportunity to impersonate the real account user. Examples of the devastating outcomes of such attacks can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE

If you have Office 365 you can use the below steps to do a quick check to see if you have any of the common signs of a MitM attack. Other email services will have similar menu options.

Remember, it is always good practice to change your password at regular intervals throughout the year. Just make sure your password is secure.


Check Your Account

Go to http://outlook.office.com and sign in with your Office 365 credentials.

Step 1 – Click on the gear icon in upper right.

Step 2 – Click on the gear icon in upper right and then View all Outlook settings.

Step 3 – Select Mail

Step 4 – Select Rules. If you see any rules that you did not set up notify your IT department. A common rule that hackers use are moving items from your inbox to other folders such as Archive, Trash, and Junk. If you make any changes make sure to save them.

Step 5 – Select Forwarding. If you see mail going to an unknown email address that is a good sign your account has been compromised. If you make any changes make sure to save them.


Every attack profile is different and even if your account looks good always assume the treat is there. Your IT department can help minimize the risk through a combination of user training, Office 365 settings, and standard security software. Wireguided is always here to assist your organization in all matters of security. Our services include anti-phishing training, incident response, disaster recovery, and security infrastructure design.

-Tim

Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Budget Savings Cloud disaster planning News

The good thing about technology is that the price of things usually drops over time. With the competition in the cloud space at an all time high our backup provider just dramatically lowered our pricing. So we did what any good IT partner would do and lowered our prices to match.

Lower Pricing and More Services

Not only did prices drop an amazing 60% but we can now offer additional services. All our plans now include at no additional charge the following:

  • Live database backups (Microsoft SQL & Microsoft Exchange)
  • Virtual Machine Backups (VMware & Hyper-V)
  • Option to backup your data locally
  • Self-Managing Portal

New Unlimited Plan

We are very excited that we can now offer an unlimited backup option. For one low rate you can back up as much data as you want. No limits mean no more worries about missing items or overage charges.

[button url=”http://wireguided.com/managed-cloud-backup/” size=”Large”]Click Here to View our New Plans & Pricing[/button]

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Wireguided 2.0 is Here!

Wireguided 2.0 is Here!

Cloud News

[slogan]After 12 years in business it was time for an upgrade. We have put into place improvements in every area of our business to make sure we continue to provide the best IT services for our partners.[/slogan]

Billing Improvements

    Invoices will now be sent monthly – You spoke, we listened. Invoices for managed services will be switched from quarterly to monthly starting with your next invoice.

    We now accept credit cards You can now pay for anything via credit card. There is no difference in price and a portion of the fees we pay go to support the Disabled American Veterans. Optional auto-payment is available to make remittance even easier for our managed service clients.

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►    Online invoices We recently switched to a much improved accounting system so you may now view the status of all your invoices online.

Cloud Upgrades  

►    New cloud services We are now able to offer industry leading cloud based anti-virus from Symantec and phone service from Nextiva.

SEP_Cloud_Sample
Symantec Cloud Antivirus Console

    No more long term contracts for cloud services – We successfully renegotiated new terms with our cloud partners (e.g. online backups). After the end of your current cloud service contract it will automatically be switched to month-to-month. Auto payment by credit card will be required.

    We are in the cloud– All our internal services are now cloud based to improve our ability to communicate with you no matter what. We no longer fear Nor’easters.

Management Enhancements

    Improved executive report – Our newly designed executive report (which will be arriving shortly) now includes updated recommendations based on the latest version of our 150 point best practices infrastructure audit.

IR Sample
New Executive Report Sample

►    Upgraded Desktop Support We have migrated to a greatly enhanced remote desktop support system. Improvements include support for Macs, fully encrypted connections, chat function, whiteboard, user notification, faster response times and the ability to access any Internet connected system.  We can even turn on computers (if supported).

    Faster Proactive Maintenance With our improved system tools we are rolling out faster software updates then ever before with less user interruption. In fact, we just upgraded three critical applications for all our clients in just two days and nobody noticed a thing.

►    Enhanced System Management – With our upgraded software we can better manage your infrastructure. Improvements include faster software updates, better cloud service integration and the ability to monitor the health of systems outside the office (laptops & home based systems).

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Management Console Sample
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