Archive for July, 2015

Best Features of Microsoft Windows 10

Posted on: July 31st, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

Microsoft released Windows 10 this week. As users start updating their systems, TNT wanted to go over a list of a few of the most interesting features of Windows 10.
1. The Start Menu

It’s back but adjusted. Microsoft took the familiar Start menu and added the tiles that include quick access to recently used apps. After requests from users, Microsoft also changed Windows 10 so that it boots up in Desktop Mode.

2. Cortana

Cortana is Microsoft’s built-in virtual assistant. Windows 10 is the first time she is being offered on a desktop operating system. Cortana is built into Windows 10 native search. That means she will retrieve data from your local device as well as the Internet when performing a search. Cortana is also able to update you on calendar events, travel information, news and weather. Another feature of Cortana is that she can be voice-controlled. You can set a command like “Hey Cortana,” and tell Cortana to send emails, set reminders, add meeting to your calendar and more with your voice.

Here is a great preview of Cortana.

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3. Continuum

The Continuum feature is new in Windows 10. If you have a 2 in one device, you can switch between tablet and PC mode seamlessly.

4. Edge

Edge is Microsoft’s new, overhauled browser. Edge integrates with Cortana, allows you to draw on webpages and then share that with others.

5. Hello

 One of the most interesting features to see, for me at least, was “Hello.” If you have a device (laptop or Desktop computer) with supported hardware, all you need to log into your computer is your face. Sit in front of your camera, Windows 10 will recognize you, and log you in. I saw this demoed, and the demonstrator had printed a picture of himself, held it up to the camera, but it wouldn’t let him in because the picture was 2 dimensional.

Internet of Things: Even Cows have Pedometers Now

Posted on: July 22nd, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

by: Jeff Gaura

IoT.  What does that mean to you?

Soon, it will mean Internet of Things to us all.  It has been around for a while, and there are some ideas that have been introduced that were dumb.  For example, the toilet paper dispenser that sent a message when it was running out of paper, or the drink tumbler that could sense what its contents were and would display product information on the back of the tumbler were out there as novelties.  However, they weren’t cheap, and they soon ended up near pet rocks and Beanie Babies.

Other industries use IoT but don’t mine the information that they gather.  For example, an oil well has 30,000 sensors, yet less than 1% are used.

That said, At the Microsoft World Partner Conference, I got introduced to an IoT idea that I will introduce in my home community:  the Connected Cow!

Cows are an asset on a farm.  Assets need to be managed.  The folks at Fujitzu pondered what might be the best way to remotely monitor the cow and what kinds of useful information could be gathered from it that would result in more $$$ for the farmer.

Farmers often have to guess or use unreliable methods about the whereabouts of their cows and what the state of the cows might be.  For example, a cow may be in estrus and ready to breed, but farmers currently lack tools to measure the state of estrus nor the exact right time to inseminate the cow to create the greatest likelihood of pregnancy.  Today, nearly half of all attempts to get a cow pregnant fail.  Each time that a farmer fails, he must wait another 21 days before having an opportunity to try again.

In addition, a cow is only administered medicine after it contracts a disease and shows outward signs of illness.

Fujitzu has made an ankle “Fitbit,” for lack of a better phrase, that tracks a cow’s state, hormone levels, temperature and location, so a farmer no longer has to guess how a cow is doing, where it is at or if it is ready for insemination.  The current farmers who use the product like the lack of fancy equipment needed.  They LOVE that their return on investment in one year, and the product has an average life span of 5 years.

The Internet of Things holds the potential to increase efficiency in creative ways.  What would you like to see Iot do?

Microsoft CIO shares biggest security threat to US Economy

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

Written by: Jeff Gaura

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, I sat in a session led by Bret Arsenault, Microsoft’s Chief Security Officer.  The vast number of retail institutions and government agencies that have been compromised in the past few years very much lead the discussion.  Yet, his first question left me shaking my head.

“What is the biggest threat to our economy’s security?”  I thought it would have to do with terrorists, regimes, hackers or military one-off nuclear weaponry.  I was so far off.

Our biggest security threat is apathy.

Real business leaders don’t connect that their company’s reputation and worth are defined by their management knowing what they are doing to protect, detect and respond to threats.

Security Threat

Sony.

Target.

Anthem.

Look at the names listed above.  All of them had a multiplicity of people who were focused on security.  Yet, they all went down.  Public trust in their business has not returned.  Answers that they give to our economy’s problems aren’t respected.

They lost relationships.

These companies focused on things that really don’t impact security as much as cyber security does.  They worry about keys to the building, contents of safe deposit boxes and driver’s license records.  They missed the real boat.

Take Sony, for example.  They lost five not-yet-released videos, 100 TB of email and 6000 salary schedules.  Their stock tanked.  The revenue forecasts were impacted.

Security Threat

The speaker introduced a catch phrase….Security Hygiene.  Just like you wash your hands before you cook, you should do 5 easy things as part of protecting your info that are in line with washing your hands.  All are cheap and somewhat easy.

  • Use modern operating systems.
  • Patch your operating systems regularly
  • Use Anti-virus software. It is borderline embarrassing to listen to our customers share with us their AV strategy during a first meeting.
  • Have procedures in place to manage your users’ identity. Password, 2 factor authentication, facial recognition…..all of this is easy and very inexpensive compared to what it used to be.
  • Monitor your logs and devices.

This last item was the downfall of Sony, Target and others.  Each user creates around 10 security events a day, and there is no way any organization has the ability to have adequate staff present to look at logs from servers, firewalls and network devices to see what patterns of concern exist.  Had Sony done this, they might have seen all their email leaving the building, before it left the building.

Hire TNT to monitor your logs.  You may be a small business, thinking, “so what…we don’t have anything worth stealing.”

Yes you do.  An outsider can break in and set up scams to take money. An irate employee can take your intellectual property off site without you knowing it.  Or, you may do something that makes someone mad.  A mad person can hire a “firm” to break into your network and do damage, just because they can.  Google it.

For those of you that don’t trust the cloud, take some time to learn how the cloud is attacking you and what you can do to stop it.

I will personally help you implement the five best practices of basic security.  Just ask.

Cloud Migrations: Security Thoughts to Consider

Posted on: July 9th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

90% of IT workers questioned in a recent Bitglass survey say they are very or moderately concerned about public cloud security.

At the same time, 72% of organizations say they are either moving to the cloud, or planning to in the near future.

Cloud migrations are happening at a slower rate than many other shifts in IT precisely because of those security concerns.  However, taking a thoughtful, well-planned approach can help ease many of those concerns.

  1. Security reviews are vital when considering a cloud migration. Ensure that you understand the implications of what you may be moving to the cloud.  Pay special attention to the sensitivity of data. For example, if you are moving regulated data, you need to be sure you know the details of the regulation, and ensure the migration does not affect regulatory compliance.
  2. You can close the security gap by thoroughly reviewing your current security procedures. Make adjustments as necessary, and enforce the policies.  Mapping security controls for internal applications to the cloud will also increase security.
  3. 34% of organizations interviewed in that Bitglass study say they plan to partner with a Managed Services company to migrate to the cloud. As a Managed Services provider, The Network Team has resources and connections to leading edge technology partners to give enterprise-grade support to small and medium businesses.
  4. When the time comes to move to the cloud, best practices include sorting through your data store. Clean it up by finding the largest and smallest files, and separate them by importance. Determine what truly needs to move to the cloud, and does not.

The Network Team Engineers have over 50 combined years of experience in IT. And we make staying current on education a priority.  Give us a call and talk to one of our Engineers to help us understand your current environment, and map the best route for you to the cloud.