Archive for August, 2015

How Competing in an Olympic-Level Event Helps Jeff Gaura Run a Managed IT Services Firm

Posted on: August 20th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

-By: Jessica Diehl
Marketing Director

Let’s play a little visualization exercise.  What responsibilities come to mind with the term “small business owner?” A quick scan of the Internet brought up articles detailing small business owners responsibilities with:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Legal
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Customer Service
  • Resident technology expert
  • Market and Business Research
  • Travel arrangements

Ok, next term: International athlete.  You’re probably thinking responsibilities include intense training for hours each day, a restructuring of his or her diet and sleep habits.  In order to compete internationally, it’s pretty much a full time commitment.

Finally:  Founder and active member of an international ministry.  This includes regular trips to Nepal, which the ministry supports, along with various fundraising and planning tasks.

Just one of those roles could be a more than full time job.

TNT president Jeff Gaura does all three. He runs an Managed IT Services company, and on August 19, 2015, He’s leaving to compete in his second ITU World Championship…with a stop first for a ‘fun’ ride in the Pyrenees mountains (Home to one of the most challenging stages in the Tour de France.)

With all of the challenges associated with just one of those roles, many wonder why Jeff is attempting them all at once.

Jeff’s answer?

“If I don’t do these things now, when will I ever do them?  The answer is I won’t.    I don’t want to wait to learn that I have cancer to begin living life as if the end is near.  I want to live it to its fullest while I am healthy, not wait to hear that soon I will not be healthy.  At that point, I have missed the point.”

It is a precarious task, scheduling the required training along with business needs.  More than once, Jeff Jeff has gone on a 20+ bike ride or run, and come back into the office dripping with sweat to sit through a phone call or online meeting.  Business trips include research into the area to know where the best running locations are.  And the intense workouts mean fueling up… often needing to eat every 2 hours.

That leads to another question Jeff is asked regularly.  How is he able to run a successful business, ministry and compete as an international athlete?  Here’s his answer:

The Network Team wishes Jeff the best of luck in his competition.  We’re praying for strength safety, and that he doesn’t run into a cow while speeding down the Pyrenees.  You can read more about Jeff’s training at his personal blog.

Business Continuity Shines Where Backups Fail

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

 

by: Jessica Diehl

9:08AM: The Network Team receives a frantic call from a client, a non-profit with 30+ users, who was experiencing a major milestone of failure.  The only host server containing all of the non-profit’s virtual machines, back office and file storage infrastructure suffered a complete hardware failure.

9:46AM: TNT Resource Manager Michael Heath hung up the phone with the customer with the core servers back online, employees back to full functionality and no lost data.

It was a near perfect picture of the incredible benefits of a Business Continuity solution.

Business continuity is the ability to keep business and data systems operational, even in the event of a technical or natural disaster. Backup alone is not enough to save your systems and keep your business running.

The Network Team recently entered into a partnership with Datto to provide Business Continuity for small and medium businesses.   This event is exactly why we are so excited about the solutions we can now offer our clients.

To put it in perspective, the client had another system crash several months ago. At the time, they were using a back-up only solution from another vendor.  That solution does not auto test like the Datto Siris II Business Continuity solution does.  Therefore, they had 3 days of downtime, lost weeks of data, and the IT Manager had to spend 2 days at the office with no sleep to find and restore what he could piece together.

The IT Manager fired that vendor, and hired TNT. Because of that experience, he wanted to ensure frequent backups.  TNT was able to establish backups so that when the host server broke, we were able to restore to 6PM the night before. So, they only experienced 38 minutes of downtime and lost no data.

The solution is set up to make copies of all the data to Datto’s host server. Then, in the event of a system down, it can boot from the Datto server while repairs are made to the affected device.  Days after the crash, they were still waiting for new hardware, and still running off of Datto.

Do you have a Business Continuity Strategy? If not, here are a couple questions to consider:

  • How often do you test your client’s backups? How long does this process take? Is it automated or manual?
  • Are you protected from a corrupt or non-working backup point? Would you be informed if corruption occurred?
  • Is your client’s data in a safe, secure data center that has the ability to restore quickly after a disaster?
  • Are you able to virtualize locally and offsite at any time in an efficient and time sensitive manner?

Still have questions about Business Continuity for small and medium businesses?  This video has more information.

 

 

Android Phone Flaw Could Allow Hackers to Look Like You

Posted on: August 5th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

If you thought online Identity Theft was bad, imagine if the criminals could look like you and wear your clothes as well.

That’s essentially the ability hackers could have thanks to what’s being called the biggest smartphone flaw ever discovered.  The bug named “Stagefright” has been found in Android phones with Android versions 2.2 and on.

While most attacks require the end user to click a link, this attack is particularly dangerous because the hackers can get it simply by knowing your cell phone number.  The hacker sends a video that’s infected with malware to your phone.  As soon as the message gets to your phone, the phone processes it and the malicious code takes over.  The hacker then has access to your entire phone. They can delete the message before you even realize what has happened. They now have the ability to take over your microphone, camera, monitoring and recording you, as well as the ability to copy data, delete it and much more.

For enterprises, one of the biggest concerns is that they would have access to all the contacts in the phone.  With access to your email address, and the email addresses of clients, partners and prospects, hackers can spoof an email from you, thus spreading their attack.  They can send phishing emails to your contacts and install malware on their systems as well.  They can even collect data, and use machine learning to better target victims.

There is a fix for the bug, which Google has sent to its partners (those are the phone carrier services and phone manufacturers).  The phone carriers and manufacturers are the ones who issue the software updates.

The Network Team also offers Managed IT services for small and medium businesses that will monitor all end points on your network, including the phones.  Our mobile device management solution is the fastest, most comprehensive way to get devices configured for company access and to ensure that your organization’s data is secure on smartphones and tablets.

Contact us to find out how we can secure your network, and your customers data with Managed IT services for small and medium businesses.

The Network Team