Weekly Tech Tidbit – Singing the RDP blues again……   

Hopefully for most of you, this is old news, but I know how busy everyone gets, especially this time of year with the end of school coming upon us.   So, in case you missed it Microsoft RDP has been back in the news again as the source in yet another serious vulnerability – dubbed BlueKeep - that could cripple our networks.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Patch 3rd Party Applications

I was recently reading a security study that said that 25% of applications are unpatched for an entire year!  As you approach the summer remember that you need to patch not only the operating system but also all your applications.

Many of our biggest threats are application based:

Adobe Flash
Oracle Java
Adobe Reader (PDFs)

But there are literally hundreds of security patches for various applications.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Network Time Matters – Fix It!

One of the most important principles of a good network design is accurate time.   Windows time is a whole lot like the 1960s car clock - always drifting away from true time.  However, very weird things start to happen if time on your network and servers and workstations is left to fend for itself.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Doing Public/BYOD Wireless The Right Way

Bob and I have discussed over and over the need for improved public wireless configuration.   Some of you have gotten the message.  Sadly many have not.  As we approach the summer, let's get this fixed once and for all.

Here are a few design changes many of you need to implement:

If your endpoints in the district under your control must be considered the "wild west" in terms of patching and remote access, then your public/BYOD must be treated as a true war zone where nothing can be trusted.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – External Vulnerability Scans

Do you know how secure you are from the outside world?  Maybe you're new and inherited a network, or there has been so much churn over the years with servers being added and retired and software previously available in-house now being hosted?   Maybe you have just lost track of patching?

Regardless of the reason, a service we offer is to do an external vulnerability scan of the district's external IP addresses.

Weekly Tech Tidbit -Reboot before Updates

Another short and sweet tidbit.

When you are installing software, updates, patches, etc., reboot your server.   I can't tell you the number of times that my "updates" fail because there is a "pending restart" from a previous update.

If your update fails after the reboot, it is the update that is the issue.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Vendor Support Contracts

This one is short and sweet.

Once in a while we encounter equipment or software that you have purchased elsewhere, but you want CSI to actively support you with it moving forward.   The reality with some of these vendors is that we are not allowed to call for technical assistance or even to place a service call on your behalf unless we are explicitly named on the equipment or software's support contract.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – 4 Hour On-Site?

Often we all don't get true clarity on the importance of certain issues until you are living them.  That is why for instance Dutchess County BOCES attempts to do a yearly, live, full DR test.  It is amazing what you find out when you actually force yourself to go production on plan B.  Documentation is missing, people have changed roles, the software has been updated.

Weekly Tech Tidbit – Secure your DNS

Keeping up with my theme on DNS related posts, this week I will again reprise a post from over a year ago on the importance of implementing proper control of DNS as part of your malware protection program.   It remains as valuable part of your overall all network and security management policies.

CSI Tech Talk Webinar – China Hacking Update – Recording Availabile

The US-CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) recently gave a presentation on what China has been doing to hack anything they can hack with the goal of stealing intellectual property, money and personally identifiable information. While most public sector schools and government agencies are generally not vast repositories of intellectual property, they do manage and transfer large sums of money and contain lots of student and staff personal information.

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.

Tweak your mindset to achieve success on the cloud

The cloud is not like some magic beans that’ll sprout sky-high stalks overnight and lead you to a castle full of riches. Don’t be misled by shiny words such as “increased productivity” and “collaboration” — your organization won’t realize these benefits unless everyone actually puts in the work to make the cloud work. If you want to use the cloud successfully, you might have to change your mind about a thing or two before you migrate to the cloud.

Smartphone browsers now support biometrics

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Lite support web-based biometric authentication. The leading mobile browsers now allow users to sign in to online profiles through fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, and the like. What’s more, online biometric authentication through these browsers requires no additional software. Authenticate your profile on your mobile device Chrome OS, Windows, MacOS, Linux, […]

Why dashboards are vital to your business

People are visual creatures, which means we interpret visual data better than written words. That’s why most businesses turn to dashboards as an intelligence tool to present data in a way that’s easy to understand. Dashboards have become a critical part of the analytics process. Here are some common uses of dashboards across various business […]

Is your Windows 10 update slow? Here’s what to do

All Windows 10 updates come with security fixes, exciting new features, and other assorted improvements, so it’s critical that you install them as soon as they become available. Unfortunately, downloading the necessary files can take ages if you don’t know how to optimize everything. Why do updates take so long to install? Windows 10 updates […]

Keeping Facebook and Twitter safe from hackers

Keep your guard up! Pranksters, malicious attackers, and hackers come in different forms, but they are all after your online privacy and security — especially on social media. There are several things you can do to protect your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Lock screens exist for a reason Lock all your computing devices as soon […]

4 easy ways to wipe data from your phone

The smartphone has become an important part of our lives and is one gadget that many of us carry most of the time. We not only use it to communicate with others, but to store personal information like email, photos, and contacts, as well. So if you plan to sell your phone or give it […]

3 Potential issues to watch out for during virtualization

Virtualization can boost operational efficiencies like never before, but you have to understand that the benefits aren’t always immediate. As valuable as it is, it does come with flaws to those who don’t know how to properly adopt it. Here are a few concerns that can become an issue in virtualization adoption. Backing up data […]

The risks of jailbreaking your iPad

While the iPad and other Apple devices allow you to download and install literally millions of apps, they don’t exactly leave much room for customization. Jailbreaking lets you fully customize your iPad by enabling you to install third-party apps on your device. But it’s not without risks. Here’s why you should think twice before jailbreaking your […]

A buyer’s guide to business projectors

A typical projector bulb lasts 2,000 hours (and newer ones, like LED lamps, can go up to 20,000 hours). But there are other factors that affect a projector’s lifetime before it needs replacement. If you’re unsure about what to look for in your next projector purchase, this list will help you choose the best product. […]

Successful cloud migration for unified communications

There are several benefits to migrating your unified communications (UC) to the cloud. These include better business agility, disaster recovery, greater mobility, increased efficiency and reliability, and better customization, just to name a few. To ensure that cloud migration is successful, your organization needs to do the following. Opt for a gradual transition Migrating unified […]