Resources

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Remote Risks and Compliance Part II – Secure and Reliable Communications

Last week I talked about the importance of Cloud Backup in our new remote teaching and learning and back-office school environments.

This week I am going to talk about secure and reliable communications.

The reality is that the number one threat to your network is your users clicking on attachments or web links that lead to bad places that can potentially launch an attack against the user and ultimately your physical and cloud network resources.

Tech Tidbit – Closing Time. Protocols and Processes that have to go!

For the last few years Microsoft has been talking about "Modern" this or "Modern" that.  In the quest for improved security they are agressively trying to move everyone to more modern protocols.  The impending LDAPS changes are an example of this.   However, there are more processes and protocols that they are urging you to retire.

Tech Tidbit – Solving the present building access issue – Co-Managed IT

Every day I am talking to a school district remotely and the conversation goes something like this, "We can't get into our buildings" or "We have very limited access to our buildings".

One thing to keep in mind is that with our Paladin Sentinel Monitoring service we are monitoring your equipment 24x7x365.   In addition, subscribing to that service lays the foundation to allow us to provide remote support.

Tech Tidbit – Your Battle – Deny Lateral Movement vs. Momentum

I constantly harp on denying the bad guys access to your network, and if they are inside already, denying lateral movement.  At the last Tech Talk, I mentioned that I am watching many of the Paladin Sentinel Monitoring sites just RDP into all the servers with the true Domain Admin Administrator ID - just like we did 15 years ago.

Cisco Pandemic Assistance for K-12 – Free Security Options For Your Endpoints

Cisco is trying to do their part during the Pandemic.

If you are a Cisco AMP, Cisco DUO, Cisco Umbrella, or Cisco AnyConnect client, Cisco is allowing you to increase your license counts - without cost to the district - until July 1, 2020.  This allows you to truly do the right thing for all your endpoints to keep your district as secure as possible to finish out this school year.

Tech Tidbit – Two ways to sanely maintain remote endpoints

The reality of many K-12 school districts is that you either have handed out or are handing out laptops to teachers and critical staff to get through this quarantine.   All those great tools you had been using: WSUS, SCCM, and KACE are now functionally useless for those remote users.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Secure Remote Access

As I write this on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, I do hope that this message finds you well and staying safe as we all adapt to our new normal under the COVID-19 regulations. We all hope this lasts as short a time as possible. Rest assured that the team at CSI seamlessly transitioned into our remote work environment, and we continue to monitor your networks and respond to your service requests as usual.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – NIST Significantly Changes Password Recommendations

Earlier this month, on March 2, NIST formalized a significant number of changes to its password recommendations as part of the final release of its updated Digital Identify Guidelines document or NIST publication SP 800-63-3.  The full document which includes three additional sister documents (800-63A, 800-63B & 800-63C) is here:

https://csrc.

Weekly Tech Tidbit Extra – VPN Best Practices

As part of our client school district's response for Corona virus preparedness, we see an uptick in requests for VPN access into the school district's networks.  With the potential increase in VPN users and remote connections into your district's systems, we thought now would be a good time to remind you of a few best practices around VPN use:

 

 

Each user should have a unique VPN account, no sharing of ID’s between users or departments.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – How to take the first steps to protect your school district

We have all had at a flood of information come at us in the last nine months regarding ransomware, malware, and cyber security options from all different quarters (cyber-seminars, vendors, various government agencies, and from even yours truly). It is easy to see how one could get a bit lost as to how to decide what the right first step is to improve the security posture of your school district.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Remote Risks and Compliance Part I – Cloud Backup

Now that we have shifted to predominantly remote workers and remote teaching and learning, we have a number of new challenges as well as increased threats.

Challenge #1 - Remote File Access.   The solution is moving files from traditional home directories and traditional common drives to cloud-based shared folders and home directories.

CSI is pleased to announce that we are an approved reseller under the NCPA Cooperative Purchasing Alliance

Through our partnership with Synnex Corporation CSI is an approved vendor on the NCPA national purchasing contract which is a legal alternative for our public sector and K-12 clients to either the NYS OGS or Federal GSA IT Schedule 70 contracts.NCPA (National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance)

NCPA  is a leading national government purchasing cooperative working to reduce the cost of goods and services by leveraging the purchasing power of public agencies in all 50 states.

How to protect company mobile devices

Cybersecurity has long been paramount for businesses that utilize digital solutions, but it’s even more necessary for today’s distributed workforces. As cloud and mobile technologies continue to prove their value amid a public health crisis, it’s important that you take proactive steps to manage and protect company mobile devices. Here’s what you should do. Ensure […]

Open-source or proprietary VoIP: Which one is for you?

Your managed services provider may have your business communications covered, but knowing a thing or two about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will help you understand what VoIP solution best fits your business. What are your choices? Which one is better? Read on to learn more about VoIP. What are proprietary systems? When most companies […]

7 Easy ways to prevent data loss in Microsoft 365

Microsoft understands the value of business data and the costly repercussions of losing it. That’s why they’ve released a slew of security and compliance tools for Microsoft 365 subscribers. But given the increasing sophistication and frequency of data breaches, these cloud security solutions aren’t enough to protect your files. You’ll need to follow these seven […]

Does private browsing secure your data?

If you’re getting targeted with surprisingly relevant ads, there’s a chance your internet activity is being tracked and analyzed by market researchers. While this doesn’t bother most people, private browsing mode can offer you some protection against online marketers and data thieves. What is private browsing? Your web browser — whether it be Chrome, Edge, […]

Top tips for making your website look awesome

Like people, websites also need to be dressed for success. Here’s how you can make yours look impressive and have visitors eager to do business with you. Make a statement with professional photographs Before site visitors read what’s on your website, they assess it by checking out your images. A picture is indeed worth a […]

Turn off invasive Windows 10 settings in four steps

Windows 10 has become the operating system (OS) of choice among business and personal users. Despite the many improvements to the OS that Microsoft has rolled out, Windows 10 isn’t perfect. In fact, many users have complained about its intrusive default privacy settings. Luckily, you can easily turn these settings off to ensure your privacy. […]

Should you monitor your employees’ online activities?

To monitor or not to monitor — that is the question. Employee monitoring is a touchy subject. If you’ve ever considered it, then you may ask yourself if it is a good idea for an employer to check on their staff’s online activities. Below are the pros and cons of employee monitoring, and some helpful […]

Cutting IT hardware costs with thin and zero clients

If you want to cut costs on IT hardware, don’t settle for cheap but old or low-quality machines. They’ll likely offer subpar performance, which will hurt your team’s productivity. What’s worse, they’ll likely break down often, too, which means the money you initially saved will go to repairs and upgrades. Instead of buying low-end machines, […]

Why your business should record calls

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provides small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with the convenience of making and receiving calls from anywhere with an active internet connection. VoIP enables your staff to meet the demands of your clients, which boosts customer satisfaction. VoIP also has another feature that can take your customer service to the next […]

Microsoft 365 signals a new era of productivity for SMBs

In April 2020, Microsoft launched Microsoft 365, the successor to its popular Office 365. But it’s not a mere name change. The tech giant is also introducing improvements to its productivity software that will enhance how your business deals with cyberthreats every day. Name change Microsoft has time and again shown that they are willing […]