Windows 10 to Uninstall Buggy Updates

For those of you who have been following the challenges with Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates, there is help on the horizon. For those of you who weren’t following the issues, simply put, some of the updates broke hardware drivers. The hardware driver issues only affected certain accessories in the computer. The range of problems created are from sound cards not working to computers not booting (fully turning on).

While the Microsoft updates created the issues, the problems were not entirely Microsoft’s fault. Microsoft was supplied with updated drivers from major vendors, and it was these drivers that created the incompatibility issues.

With Microsoft’s next update (1903), which should be released in the next few months, they have included a roll-back feature. At this point, the roll-back feature is limited to systems that won’t complete their boot cycle. If the operating system determines that there is an issue and the boot cycle terminates, it will automatically roll back the last update making the computer usable again. This new feature will also stop the automated update process for 30 days to protect itself from re-downloading the same update.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Jack Gerbs in Recent Posts

Windows 7, Windows Server 2008R2 and Office 2010 are Reaching End of Extended Support

The time is quickly approaching when Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2 will no longer be supported. Technically these products are reaching the end of their extended support. Microsoft gradually ends support on their products. There is an official date for end of main stream support and another date for end of extended support. Extended support ends on January 13th, 2020 for Windows 7 and Server 2008. Extended support will end on October 13th, 2020 for Office 2010.

End of main stream support means that there will be no feature enhancements added to the product. Microsoft will continue to release patches that fix stability and vulnerability issues as they are found. End of extended support is defined as Microsoft will not issue stability or vulnerability updates.

Running software that is no longer supported represents a great risk to organizations and the end user. When criminals know that security patches will no longer be developed, they begin to work very hard at finding new vulnerabilities and will continue to do so. The new exploits that are discovered, near the end of support date, won’t likely be released immediately. The criminals will release them after the end of support date, because the vendor will no longer be supporting the product. These new exploits will be used to target Windows 7 systems, fully knowing that the systems are vulnerable.

Businesses, if you must run Windows 7 or Server 2008 after the end of extended support, there are a few things you can do to keep these older systems protected.  If you already have a good security stack installed, like our Q-Stack, the likelihood of a successful attack is reduced, but that is still not good enough. An additional firewall will need to be installed to separate the Windows 7 and Server 2008 devices. This firewall will require very tight rules that limit the device’s access to the internal network and the Internet. Depending on the type of firewall you have, it may be possible to create a virtual firewall on your existing device to create this additional layer of protection.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Jack Gerbs in Recent Posts

The Benefits of Migrating to Office 365

Prior to Microsoft launching Office 365, updating to the newest version of a program was often costly and time consuming; Office 365 has vastly improved the process by offering a variety of benefits.

If you are thinking about migrating to Office 365 we have put together a short list of some of the major benefits of switching.

  1. Work anytime, anywhere. Office 365 provides web-enabled access to email, documents, and calendars and more on almost any device. Have the flexibility to work where and when you need to.
  2. Predictable monthly costs. Rather than spending a hefty, up-front amount for the latest version of a program, Office 365 utilizes a monthly fee structure that keeps you working on the most up-to-date programs at an affordable monthly fee.
  3. Built in security and compliance. For small businesses, staying secure and in compliance can take a large chunk of their resources, Office 365 has built-in features that can take care of this for you. All of your data can be stored securely on the cloud and available for you wherever you need it.
  4. Stay organized. Everything synchronizes for you; if you update a contact on your phone, or save a document on a PC, it will automatically update across all of your devices, including Macs, iPhones and Android devices.
  5. Licensing simplified. Rather than keeping track of who is using what version of a program with which license, you will now have the ease of having all users accessing the same version of each program and receiving updates at the same time.

Office 365 has plenty of bells and whistles but determining the right plan for your organization can take time. We have taken each of the options and broken them down into as easy to understand chart which we would be happy to go over with you.

Related: Office 365: Too Many Options

When deciding to migrate many companies consider working with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and is as cost effective as possible.

There are many different options to consider and questions to answer if you are considering moving to Microsoft Office 365, we have several, experienced technicians on hand who can assist you.

Related: Managed IT Services in Dayton

Are you thinking about migrating? Would you like more information on how to get started? Contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Jack Gerbs in Recent Posts

Office 365: Too Many Options

Have you thought about migrating to Office 365? Confused and overwhelmed by the options and information available? You aren’t alone.

Every day I have to explain what Office 365 is.

Microsoft has done a wonderful job of confusing everyone about the Office 365 platform.

In the old days (a few years ago), when we thought about Office, we thought about the desktop suite- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Today, Office 365 is an ecosystem including the desktop suite and online services that used to reside on servers, such as Exchange (mail server), SharePoint (collaboration tool), Teams, Skype and more.

To make things more confusing they have three product tiers- Home, Business and Enterprise. The features and user licenses vary among the three tiers. If you go to Microsoft’s web site, there are three separate pages you would need to look at to understand the different platforms, and at best, it is very confusing. We have developed a matrix to help take the confusion out the various products and tiers.

For most of our clients, the best platform is Office 365 Business Premium. This platform includes the Office desktop suite including: Outlook, Hosted Exchange (mail server), SharePoint and OneDrive (like DropBox). As an add-on to the Office 365 Business platform, we offer Barracuda’s Office 365 Essentials package. This backs up the Office 365 ecosystem to Barracuda’s network.

Related: Are your credentials being compromised? 

Two key features of the Barracuda platform are data archiving and discovery. The archiving feature backs up your data in a form that does not allow users to delete information. The discovery feature lets you search the archive for key words, phrases, names etc. These two features are becoming a regulatory requirement for many of our clients.

The Enterprise platform includes legal-hold and e-discovery. It also offers greater compliance controls based on Microsoft Information Protection technology. Information Protection allows you to classify your data, and based on how files are labeled, users will have restricted access on what they can do with the files.

Some examples of this are:
• Users may only be able to read a document. When the document is open, they won’t have the ability to copy and paste from it.
• Limited ability to email a file to someone else.
• Ability to retract/recall files that have been shared with someone else.
• Monitor the activity of someone trying to email a protected file to someone who should not receive the file.

Other enhanced security features include monitoring for accounts that may be at risk. If all your users are US based, you can prevent anyone from logging into the network that is not physically in the US. It will also show attempted logins from outside the US, which could indicate a user’s credentials may have been compromised.

Related: Microsoft Networking and Support

If you need help in understanding the different platforms and which one is right for your organization, our team is ready to help.

If you would like more information contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Jack Gerbs in Recent Posts