Tag Archives: IT managed services cleveland

Has Malware Made a Home in Your Router?

Hackers and cybercriminals, like most people, tend to gravitate towards high-reward activities. In this case, that means that focus is turning to creating malware that attacks the router, potentially infecting the users that leverage it to connect wirelessly to the Internet. Researchers at Kaspersky Lab recently discovered an example of such a malware, so today, we will review this threat and how to best protect your network.

Slingshot
This threat, codenamed Slingshot, targets MikroTik routers and utilizes a multi-layer attack to spy on the PCs connected to the router. By replacing a library file with a malicious alternative that subsequently downloads other pieces of the malware, Slingshot is able to bypass security solutions unscathed. It then launches a two-pronged attack, one leveraging low-level kernel code to give an intruder carte blanche access to a system, the second managing the file system and preserving the malware – allowing it to continue.

If this sounds impressive, it is – not only does this attack access additional code from an encrypted virtual file system, it does so without crashing its host. This quality and complexity led the security experts at Kaspersky Lab to conclude that this attack was state-sponsored. Based on reports, this malware can collect just about any data that it wants to from its target, from keystrokes to passwords to screenshots to network traffic.

According to MicroTik, their routing firmware has received a patch for this vulnerability, but it is still unknown if routers from other manufacturers are affected. If they have, Slingshot could suddenly become a much larger issue than it already is.

Other Router Malware
Of course, Slingshot isn’t the only issue that affects router security. The fail-safes and security measures baked into routers have been historically unreliable. This can largely be attributed to manufacturers building numerous products with no comprehensive strategy concerning their security and keeping it up-to-date. However, this doesn’t mean that the user is off the hook, either. It is up to them to actually update the router’s firmware, not something that is necessarily their first, second, or even twenty-third thought. Furthermore, the updating process can often be challenging, as well as time-consuming.

Hackers will often change the DNS server setting on a router in order to attack a network. Rather than directing you to the secure website you are trying to navigate to, the altered DNS will instead send you to a phishing site. Since these sites are often convincingly created and designed to fool their targets, you may not realize you are being victimized until it has already happened.

In addition to attacks like these, hackers will also often use methods like barraging their targets with ads or infiltrating them via drive-by download. Some attacks leverage cross-site request forgery, where a hacker will develop a rogue piece of JavaScript that will attempt to load a router’s web-admin page to alter the router’s settings.

How to Mitigate Damage to You
If you suspect that you are the target of a router-based attack, your first step should be to confirm that something is wrong. While there are assorted ways to accomplish this, the most effective is to check if your DNS server has been changed. To check, you’ll need to access your router’s web-based setup page, and from there, the Internet connection screen. If your DNS setting is ‘automatic,’ you should be okay. However, if it says “manual,” with custom DNS servers entered, you may have a problem.

In order to mitigate damage in the case of compromise, you’ll need to make sure that your router matches the specifications set by the manufacturer. To do this, make sure you:

  • Promptly install firmware updates: Keeping your router’s firmware up-to-date will assist you in keeping your router secure.
  • Disable remote access: By disabling the capacity for your router to be accessed remotely, you prevent the chance of someone changing the settings without your knowledge.
  • Disable UPnP: While there is definitely some convenience to be had with the assistance of plug and play capabilities, UPnP could lead to your router becoming infected, as it is predisposed to trust any requests it receives.
  • Change your access credentials: A simple means of upping your security is to change your access credentials away from the router defaults.

If you want to know more about your cybersecurity, the professionals at Net Activity are there here to help you keep your network and infrastructure safe. Call us at 216-503-5150.

Source – http://www.netactivity.us/malware-router/

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IT Suffering from Bad Weather Conditions in Cleveland : What is the Solution

On Wednesday, the March 9th 2017, Cleveland was struck by heavy, strong winds and many businesses suffered huge downtime issues. The winds were harsh on the roads and in offices too as there was no internet connectivity. Many of the business owners faced serious network failures and had to stay off as a consequence. At some places, the power outage was so serious that it is said that there would be no power till Saturday. People are even not able to access their emails on the local exchange server. One of our clients faced an unexpected internet failure while they tried to fix somebody else’s cable.  it-managed-services-cleveland

Then and now, IT security has always been a crucial component and a key concern for every business. Business data is important and it has to be secured. However, natural calamities like the wind that hit Cleveland yesterday are things beyond control and enterprises must have a plan B. Nevertheless, businesses must have a backup solution to prevent unexpected data loss due to natural calamities.

Is Cloud the solution?

Yes. Cloud providers host your backups on their servers. It is as simple as connecting to the server via an internet connection and backing up the data. Interestingly, you don’t need to invest in infrastructure, IT resources or maintenance as everything is managed by the cloud providers. Moreover, the cloud backup solution is very scalable. It is very affordable and easily accessible. The cloud servers are scalable and can be easily set up in just a few hours.

How can Office365 help?

Microsoft Office 365 is an effective tool that protects sensitive information. The Office 365 features standard data loss prevention (DLP) policy which identifies, monitors, and protects your sensitive information. It prevents accidental sharing of your sensitive information and helps users to learn how to stay compliant without interrupting the workflow.

Net Activity, Inc. has been serving clients across the Ohio state since 2002. The team suggests using Cloud services and Office 365 to build a protected IT network management system that does not interrupt business workflows in spite of natural calamities or any threatening cyber-attack.

We are a Microsoft Cloud Partner and offer complete IT solution to businesses including unlimited remote and telephone support, monthly preventive maintenance, 24x7x365 server monitoring, and all what you expect from an IT Managed Provider. Our Cloud services in Cleveland are one of the most reliable and economical solutions to your data security. We can discuss further – visit or get in touch with Harry Bhatia at 888-545-5346 and we would be happy to get your business data protected. http://www.netactivity.us/contact-us

Source: http://www.netactivity.us/blog/it-suffering-from-bad-weather-conditions-in-cleveland-what-is-the-solution/

Only 10% of Hospitals & Clinics Keep Their Patients’ Data Safe

Startling Findings and Educates Healthcare Providers on Solutions

This is a startling fact that has many people questioning the data security practices of hospitals and clinics everywhere. According to privacy researchers at the Ponemon Institute, “Recent numbers show 90% of health care organizations have exposed their patients’ data — or had it stolen — in 2012 and 2013.” The implications of this research are far-reaching and unsettling for most consumers. However, unified communications and IT security providers, like Net Activity, have devised many solutions to help curtail this epidemic.

 hospitalityMost attacks are the caused by hackers who want to acquire medical records due to their extreme value. The information in medical records (name, birth date, addresses, phone numbers, medical history and social security numbers), can be easily used for identity theft, fraudulent medical billing or acquiring prescriptions to resell on the street. Hackers can use the medical information to accomplish just about anything once acquired. This flaw in IT security is not a series of isolated incidents but an incredibly widespread problem now affecting millions of people across the nation.

In August, Community Health Systems reported that Chinese hackers had allegedly stolen a staggering 4.5 million patient records in what could be the largest breach of patient data to date. The company is treating the breach as a violation of HIPPA, even though the hackers didn’t gain access to medical records (only names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers were stolen). The breach happened between April and June this year, and was discovered in July. According to cyber-security firm Mandiant, which helped investigate the breach, the group responsible for the attack is known as “APT 18,” and may have links to the Chinese government.

The majority of hospitals and health organizations are using outdated technology on a single network making the job of hacking into networks even easier for criminals. IT security is often a large oversight for healthcare organizations because their objective is to save lives. Unfortunately, lack of internal IT expertise and outdated technology plagues the healthcare industry making it an easy target.

The challenge here is that doctors are inherently more interested in saving lives, instead of upgrading their IT security. This a great thing for society and we believe that’s exactly what doctors should be focused on! The only thing is that IT security must be addressed too. Over the years, we’ve learned exactly what it takes to protect health organizations and we love being a part of the solution to this problem. It’s unfortunate when something like this happens but it brings much needed education to the issues at hand. It is Managed IT Service Provider’s duty to educate the small businesses and provide doctors with the technology tools they need to do their jobs, protect their patients and spend their time focused on saving lives, instead of firewalls.

Source: http://www.netactivity.us/blog/only-10-of-hospitals-clinics-keep-their-patients-data-safe/

3 Easy Techniques for Migrating to Managed IT Services

All the roads lead to managed IT services. Yes, whether you agree or not, whatever is the size of your business, hiring IT support services is the final destination. The benefits of outsourcing your network management services are widely known. Resellers, traditional solution providers, integrators, and product oriented solution providers – all have been migrating to the managed services model from at least a decade. The reasons for moving over are clear – higher growth rate, cost efficiency, proactive solutions, 24×7 assistance, and many more. Research and Markets predicts that the global managed services market will grow at a 12.4 percent clip through 2018. Managed services, especially the managed security services offer a great potential to generate higher margins.  managed-it-service

A planned and thoughtful approach can help your migration to hiring an MSP. Here is a glimpse of what can ease the process:

Conducting a Gap Analysis: Performing a gap analysis can help you with a roadmap to reach to the managed services space. It will help you understand whether you need to retain personnel or hire new sales and technical employees. At this stage, companies can decide whether to manage its own infrastructure or hire the services of a third-party hosting or cloud service provider.

Revising Business Approaches: This is undoubtedly a great transition and businesses will need to develop service level agreements (SLAs) and manage them. Companies will require new way of delivering services and measuring results.

Automating Service Deliveries: MSPs perform many customer support duties remotely instead of dispatching technicians for on-site support. For making this efficiency a reality, MSPs need to automate deliveries. As a client, you should check to see whether your MSP provides automatic service deliveries.

Why search elsewhere if you get cost efficient managed IT services at Net Activity, Inc.? We have expert solutions for managing your IT network services. Please call Harry Bhatia at 2165035150 X 206 to discuss further details or visit:http://www.netactivity.us/it-managed-services.html to know more about our service offerings.

Source: http://www.netactivity.us/blog/3-easy-techniques-for-migrating-to-managed-it-services/

Know Your IT Help Desk Better

IT help-desks represent the busiest and most important of the business operations as they are in direct communication with the customers. They are responsible for making a business competitive and efficient. ITSS (IT support services) have expanded in a major way as companies expand their operations, ways of handling hardware and software issues, troubleshooting networks, and accomplishing other complex tasks. With a fully functional department, offering well managed IT services organizations are taking it as a challenge to present a distinguished customer service to its customers.   managed-it-service

Let’s understand the segregated tasks of the IT helps-desks:

Level 1: support helps to filter calls and provide prompt troubleshooting. The resources at this basic level deal with password resets, PC configurations, etc.

Level 2: caters to issues that include laptop or user device support. Here, resources resolve customer queries by troubleshooting on one hand and hardware installations as well as in-house repairs on the other.

Level 3: support goes even higher to aspects such as server repairs, database administration, data centers, etc.

Level 4: concerns with people outside your organization. This is typically an external part of the IT support services and includes hardware and software vendors.

An evolved help desk should have these properties to ensure productivity and achieve an adequate return on investments.

Well groomed face of the organization should be a prerequisite: Apart from the technical competencies, the IT service providers need to be backed by soft skills as their responsibility is to display a well-groomed face of the organization to the consumers.
Proactive participation: This is another key feature that adds up to the skill sets of a matured ITSS system. It helps companies anticipate issues and solve them with minimum downtime.

Flexibility and adaptability: This 4-level structure may not be applicable to all the organizations. The help desk must retain a flexible style of working to respond to any kind of problem that comes up abruptly.

Help desk analytics: An analysis of the performance, issues, challenges, and achievements of the help-desk would map out a better road to a problem free and planned growth.

Teamwork rewards: An effective Help Desk demands teamwork. While it requires personnel of various technical levels, it is important that they gel as a team.

Net Activity, Inc. is a leading provider of IT support services since 2002. We have teamed up with the right people and the right technology to support your IT infrastructure. Our help desk support system is well staffed with trained experts to provide you excellent and satisfactory service. You can be assured of a hassle-free service after an agreement with us. Allow us to manage your IT services and we would never let you down. Contact Harry Bhatia over the phone at 2165035150 X 206 or visit us at http://www.netactivity.us/contact.html to know our service options.
Source: http://www.netactivity.us/blog/know-your-it-help-desk-better/

5 False Impressions About Managed IT Service Providers

I like to do it myself”, says a traditional businessperson. Do you think the same way? If not, you have progressed into a modern approach. Businesses have transformed processes and they no longer survive alone. They require assistance to stabilize their operations and multiply results. One such aid is – IT Managed Services. Many turn to the Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for maintaining a 24×7 monitoring of servers and managing a constant network uptime. However, some still fear the negative consequences of hiring MSPs’ services.

 managed-it-service

Let us clarify the details:
The costs of hiring an MSP will surpass that of hiring an internal IT resource:
Yes. The initial cost is quite a bit. However, there are packages you can choose from. On the other hand, having an internal resource would cost you salary plus overhead expenses (insurance, taxes, vacation, sick days, etc.)

Internal IT person is not required:
Hiring an MSP doesn’t mean that you will have to fire your internal IT resource. For trivial or day-to-day matters, your internal resource is quickly reachable. Outsourcing operational support to a Managed IT Service Provider assists internal IT departments to fill the gaps in their day-to-day responsibilities.

Outsourcing IT is a preferable option only for large corporations:
This stereotype has existed until recently. Now, businesses of all sizes are able to outsource their IT functions. Small and medium sized businesses also have started utilizing the managed services as they can save time for other important things.

They will not understand our business:
There is an ever-existing fear. Will they take it very lightly? Managed Service Providers are third parties who are responsible for a consistently managed IT functioning at your office and managing it rightly. Many organizations just cannot trust anyone when it comes to operating a part of their responsibilities. Managed Service Providers are experts in doing their job and in some cases better trained than your existing internal IT resource. So, you can trust them and their job.

All of the IT jobs have to be outsourced:
Just because you have decided to outsource, it doesn’t imply that you have to hand-over 100% of the IT services to the MSPs. Businesses can choose to have the MSPs work on a customized service sheet highlighting on specific business areas.

IT Managed Service Providers are a group of well trained, experienced and professional IT resources who dedicatedly serve customers manage their IT infrastructure. Net Activity, Inc. is one such provider of IT support services in Ohio. Their monitoring solutions at a fixed price take the worry and anxiety out of knowing that your systems are up and running. If you wish to try their result-oriented services, please contact http://www.netactivity.us/contact.html Harry Bhatia at 2165035150 X 206 or read the details by visiting IT Managed Services.

Source: http://www.netactivity.us/blog/5-false-impressions-about-managed-it-service-providers/

How Empowering the IT Help Desks Will Help Your Business

IT help desks occupy an important position of your business, especially the software companies. They chair representatives who directly communicate with the customers and have a huge responsibility. It is important to have an automated process in placefor enhancing the efficiency of the help desk staff. Empower your help desk professionals with access to real-time data to deliver hassle-free internal support. it-managed-services

When you empower the IT service department, you are progressively preparing for a massive clientele. A help desk can help your customers and helps to ensure that your company satisfies their requirements.

Here are a few ways to enhance the power of your IT help desk:

Define your objectives clearly – Set pre-defined goals and explain them to your IT service employees so that they understand and implement them well. For example, delivering resolutions in customers’ first call would help building repute in the industry.

Equip the latest technology – You can expect the systems up & running only when you care for them. Likewise, you can expect the IT services to function uninterruptedly when you equip them with the latest technological set-up.

Create a catalogue of services online – Make your service catalogue available online so that customers can easily access the necessary details at their convenience without having to make calls. This will also save time for your resources at the help desk in attending to the most basic questions.
Train your executives – Properly trained help desk executives deliver satisfactory service with fewer escalations. Training also boosts their morale and encourages them to deliver quality at its best.

Collect open-ended feedback – It is essential to gather feedback from the users and customers. This would assist you in improving performance of your team. Also, do not forget to share the feedback with the individuals, as they will learn from the negatives and feel motivated from the positives.
Implement a justifiable rewards & recognition plan – Employees always appreciate rewards. Reward the help desk officials and executives when they achieve a target and they will go out of the boundaries to serve you better.

Software companies in Cleveland are struggling to win a tough competition and one of the best ways to be among the best is to have a professional and properly functioning IT help desk, where most companies lack. Customers appreciate if the business people listen to them and answer them quickly.
Net Activity, Inc. has comprehensive support plans that include a 24×7 server monitoring and help desk service. You can gather details from Mr. Harry Bhatia at 2165035150 X 206 or visit http://www.netactivity.us/contact.html for a quick view. We will be happy to help you.

Source: http://www.netactivity.us/blog/how-empowering-the-it-help-desks-will-help-your-business/