Tech Tidbits

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 ...

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 ...

CSI is hiring. Come join our growing family!

CSI is growing again.  We are looking for high-quality individuals to work with our service delivery team.

For more information on the positions available ...

CSI is hiring. Come join our growing family!

CSI is growing again.  We are looking for high-quality individuals to work with our service delivery team.

For more information on the positions available ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Thank You!

As 2019 comes to a close, on behalf of everyone here at CSI, I would like to say thank you for entrusting us with your technology needs.  We appreciate ...

Are Printers The Trojan Horse In Your Network?

We have all heard the story of the Trojan Horse.  The Greeks built it and left it in front of Troy.  The Greek army left.  The Trojans went outside ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Implementing DNS Security

Most of can easily agree that our IT universe has been dominated over the past several months by cybersecurity discussions as we daily (sometimes it feels ...

CSI is hiring. Come join our growing family! Copy

CSI is growing again.  We are looking for high-quality individuals to work with our service delivery team.

For more information on the positions available ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Ransomware and Backups

We have been having a lot of discussions about how to better protect against ransomware and other threats with the recent attacks that have happened in ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Cyber Safety for Students

This week’s Tech Tidbit is shorter on my thoughts and words since the attached link below contains lots of reading on its own.

For the start of the ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Managing Switch Stacks

Over the past few years, we have been recommending the use of switch stacks in all your MDF and IDF locations.   This has been done to aid in simplifying ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Preventing Data Leaks

In my 20s I went to Tahiti and went on a sunset cruise on the famed "Liki Tiki".   It was an amazing sunset.  Hula girls, and music.   Along the ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Do you know your SA Password?

A constant frustration of ours is ensuring "clean" backups.   If you corrupt your data or have a server failure, we need to reliably get that data back.  ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Rethinking SSLs

We harp on the fact that if you have *ANY* VPN, or remote access capabilities into your district, you *MUST* use a commercial SSL certificate and not ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Thanks!

As 2018 comes to a close, on behalf of everyone at CSI I would like to say thank you for entrusting us with your technology needs.  Unlike most of our ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - The FBI Came To Visit...

The FBI came to visit us last week.  No it wasn't an investigation.  It was for CSI's 3rd annual Security Event.  I have talked about the topic of ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - 2020 Is Coming

As you go through your normal yearly planning cycles remember that in January 2020 Microsoft will be retiring Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, and Microsoft ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - FRS vs. DFS-R - Time To Convert

In an Active Directory domain, we generally rely heavily on group policies.   Microsoft best practices say that you should have at least two domain ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Air Gap Backups

When all else fails we reach for the backups.   However, increasingly the bad guys are consciously seeking out your backups and deleting them as part ...

Macs Need Advanced Endpoint Protection Too

I can't tell how many times I have heard from non-technical Mac people that, "they don't need anti-virus." The Apple person that sold them their Mac told ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Data Leaks

We have to be constantly vigilant to prevent malware, trojans, and other bad actors from taking root in our school networks to steal personally identifiable ...

CSI Fall / Winter Event Schedule

The school year has started and we're anxious to update you on what our webinar, seminar, and Tech Talk schedule for the Fall and Winter.

Wednesday, ...

CSI is hiring. Come join our growing family!

CSI is growing again.  We are looking for high-quality individuals to work with our service delivery team.

For more information on the positions available ...

Weekly Tech Tidbits - Kill the Zombies

During our May Tech Talk meetings one of my summertime recommended tasks was for everyone to find and eliminate “zombie” servers.   Zombie servers ...

Weekly Tech Tidbit - Do you need SSL certificates?

There appears to be some confusion amongst some school districts on whether or not they need SSL certificates.

If you have internet facing web servers, ...

Weekly Tech Tidbits - Baby steps to better security

We have been discussing a whole lot of security issues over this past year.  Many of you are already moving forward to address many of our recommendations.  ...

Your Weekly Tech Tidbit - Are your printers secure?

We spend huge amounts of time thinking about server and workstation patches, firewall and switch patches and software patches, but when was the last time ...

Microsoft Licensing Webinar - Wednesday April 25th

 One of the most confusing things we all encounter is Microsoft software licensing.   You hear one explanation and then another.  We are left mystified ...

Your Weekly Tech Tidbit - Spectre and Meltdown

I wanted this week to take a few minutes to share with you our latest thinking on the Intel Spectre and Meltdown fiasco. In a nutshell, ...

Your Weekly Tech Tidbit - Group Policy and Security

You will find on our web site under Webinar recordings, Hardening Active Directory Part I and also Part II. If you haven't watched those presentations, ...

Your Weekly Tech Tidbit - Proper DNS Control

In this week’s Tech Tidbit I want to talk a bit about the importance of implementing proper control of DNS as part of your malware protection program.
DNS ...

Why You Have to Eliminate Local Administrator Rights

Welcome to the second installment of, "Weekly Tech Tidbits".    This week I am going to answer a very common question, "Why do we have to remove local ...

Scott's Tech Tidbits - November Edition

The October Tech Talk meeting was jammed packed with information.   There was more information than time allowed us to present.

Therefore, Scott ...

CSI Tech Talk Dates for the 2017-2018 School Year

We wanted to let you know the CSI Tech Talk meeting and webinar dates for the 2017-2018 school year.

Our Tech Talk free knowledge transfer sessions ...

Apple Releases Security Updates

Apple has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in multiple products. A remote attacker may exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take ...

Lessons Learned from Worldwide Hack

"Ninety-nine countries are hit by 75,000 attacks using NSA superweapon dubbed the 'atom bomb of malware' stolen by mysterious hacking collective called ...

Microsoft's Education Presentation

Today Microsoft made some announcements regarding education.  At the core of the announcements was the announcement of Windows 10 S on $189 laptops that ...

CSI Tech Talk meeting Tuesday May 9th - Sign Up Now!

**NOTE: Due to ALL THE WINTER SNOW cancellations we pushed this final tech talk of the school year back one week**

Our Tech Talk quarterly, free knowledge ...

CSI is now an authorized Nimble Storage partner

CSI is pleased to announce we are now a Nimble storage partner.  There is a critical need for low cost, high speed, expandable, reliable storage.  Nimble ...

CSI is now an authorized Veeam partner

CSI is pleased to announce that we are a Veeam authorized partner.   CSI believes that Veeam Backup and Replication is the ideal way to backup and restore ...

Cisco HyperFlex Systems Roadshow - Tuesday May 24th

You are probably saying to yourself, "I have no idea what Cisco Hyperflex is?".  You are not alone.

At the same time may be wondering "what's next" ...

CSI Tech Talk Webinar - Tuesday April 19th 10:30am

CSI is pleased to announce the second of our Tech Talk webinar series on Tuesday April 19th at 10:30m.  This is in addition to our quarterly Tech Talk ...

Cisco Next Generation Cloud Networking Seminar

CSI cordially invites you to join us for a Cisco Next Generation Cloud Networking Seminar.  If you're considering an upgrade of your wireless infrastructure, ...

Small Business Saturday November 29th

For the third consecutive year, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with American Express to bring Small Business ...

CSI is hiring. Come join our growing family!

CSI is growing again.  We are looking for high quality individuals to work with our service delivery team.   For more information please click here.

 

 

  ...

Tech Talk Quick Hits Presentation Now On-line

Tech Talk is a quarterly, free knowledge transfer session that CSI offers four times a year.  This session is designed for technical staff responsible ...

CSI and internal IT departments - perfect together

One of the questions we often get from in-house IT staff is, "aren't you trying to replace me?".    The answer to that question is NO.  While CSI's ...

Leveraging technology to balance work and family

If you have a family with children in sports,  you probably occasionally struggle balance your personal and business responsibilities.  In my case my ...

Why CSI is different

At CSI we are constantly reading, learning, evaluating, and training on the latest technologies and best practices.  I personally read at least 1,000 ...

Small Business Saturday

For the second consecutive year, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with American Express to bring Small Business Saturday ...

Web & Video 101 Seminar - Tuesday May 14th 8:30am

The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce IT Committee is presenting a seminar entitled "IT Security 101" on Tuesday May 14th from 8:30am-12pm ...

IT Security 101 Seminar - Tuesday May 7th 8:30am

The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce IT Committee is presenting a seminar entitled "IT Security 101" on Tuesday May 7th from 8:30am-12pm at ...

CSI is hiring. Come join our growing family!

CSI is growing again.  We are looking for high quality individuals to work on our sales team.   For more information please visit: http://bit.ly/10yH9ux

 

 

  ...

Great Tech Talk Meeting Today

Thankfully the re-scheduled CSI Tech Talk meeting happened on probably the nicest day of the Spring.   The weather was great and the turn out was great ...

Dropbox for Teams

http://bit.ly/13M66YE

 

Exchange Server 2010 SP3

Exchange 2010 SP3:

Co-exists with Exchange 2013 CU1
Exchange 2010 can now be installed on Windows Server 2012
Exchange 2010 now supports Internet ...

IPv6

http://bit.ly/WArmOw

 

vSphere Alarms

http://bit.ly/XQpLC2

 

One to One Laptop Academic Pilot

In 1978 I brought the first Apple II computer into John Jay High School in the Wappingers Central School District.   It was the first PC ever in school. ...

Security updates available for Adobe Flash Player

It seems like it has been just days since the last critical Adobe patches.  Here's the latest Adobe Flash Security Update Advisory: http://adobe.ly/WjMclm

 

  ...

March 2013 Tech Talk - Save The Date March 19th

 

It is three weeks until CSI's March 2013 Tech Talk quarterly, free knowledge transfer session on Tuesday, March 19th at 8:00AM.  This ...

DNS Root Servers

http://bit.ly/Us7kDU

 

 

 

More on the Apple iOS 6.1 Exchange Calendar Issue

The issue between Apple iPhones and iPads running IOS 6.1 and Microsoft Exchange 2010 has been narrowed down even further.  It apparently specifically ...

Microsoft Group Policy Reference Site

This is an awesome Microsoft site which allows you to examine what Group Policies: http://bit.ly/UkY7M4

 

 

IBM kills Lotus brand

VisiCalc was the "killer app" that launched Apple.   It was strategically huge for IBM to get it converted to the original IBM PC.   Long ago on a Saturday ...

Twitter Cuts Off LinkedIn

I hate this sort of thing when vendors make their systems closed.   Google + is an example where you have to post manually to their site what you can ...

Windows 8 Is Great!

One opinion on the new operation system from Microsoft: http://bit.ly/10Mjck5

 

 

Hands on with the Microsoft Surface Tablet

This is a pretty good, brief video showing what the new Microsoft Surface tablet looks and feels like: http://bit.ly/VRG43b

 

You Can Be A Free Optimum WiFi Hotspot

On Wednesday I was a guest panelist at the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Expo 2012 in their "Ask a Geek" forum.   One of the ...

My strange iPad incident

I had a very strange iPad incident today.  I was using my iPad to take notes while building some servers.   I have the magnetic cover for my iPad2. ...

Exchange ActiveSync Logo Compatibility

I find it interesting that not a single Google Droid based device is on the ActiveSync list.  I guess that is why we see Corporate Sync instead of ActiveSync ...

How Real People Will Use Windows 8

This is a  first user experience with Windows 8 for a non-technical user.   Was the "Start" button a bad thing?   It seemed pretty obvious to me.  Here's ...

The new iPad has CIOs quaking in their cubicles

A well designed wireless infrastructure is vital as the number of mobile workers and mobile devices increase in your environment.  CSIwill help you design ...

The new iPad has CIOs quaking in their cubicles

A well designed wireless infrastructure is vital as the number of mobile workers and mobile devices increase in your environment.  CSIwill help you design ...

CalCheck - The Outlook Calendar Checking Tool

The Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook (CalCheck) is a command-line program that checks Microsoft Outlook Calendars for problems. The tool opens an Outlook ...

Free Microsoft Office Apps on Your iPad

There is an on-line version of Microsoft Office with your iPad.  Read about it here: http://bit.ly/AgBGwC

 

 

What is really your IP address on the internet?

I would venture to guess that most folks don’t know their external, public “hide” IP address.  The way the internet works for every site you visit ...

Free, Basic Web Security with OpenDNS

If you are a parent, you probably want to implement some basic web controls at home.   OpenDNS is my first stop for this basic functionality.  The basic ...

Should You Leave Your Computers on at Night?

Should you leave your computers on at night or shut them off when you go home?

The answer is "it depends".

There are many factors that go into this ...

Yousendit.com

One of the questions I get a lot is how to send large files around.  Previously I posted an article called "Share Files Via Dropbox Public Folder" that ...

SQL Databases, Backup, and Free Space

Microsoft SQL databases have two components: Transaction Logs (.LDF) and Databases (.MDF).    Transaction Logs are designed to keep track of each transaction ...

AdminSDHolder, Protected Groups and SDPROP

Active Directory Domain Services uses AdminSDHolder, protected groups and Security Descriptor propagator (SD propagator or SDPROP for short) to secure ...

Share Files Via Dropbox Public Folder

I love Dropbox.  I use this cloud service to connect my iPad2, iPhone, laptop, desktop, netbook, another desktop, Windows Home server, and my family's ...

Blogging Tips

http://bit.ly/uFYP0i

 

 

5MB HARD DISK DRIVE, 1956

Looking at this photo from 1956 I am reminded of the first Davong hard drive I saw for the IBM PC which was also 5MB and the size of a shoebox.   Now ...

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 increases the free SQL Server Express database size from 4GB to 10GB.  This means that theoretically the free version of ...

Cloud Backup Bandwidth Requirements

Cloud data backup is a growing option for many users.   The question that often comes up is how much bandwidth is considered adequate for cloud backup ...

Data Center Rack Design Best Practice

A well designed rack environment would include cold aisles (in front of the equipment with the AC vents) and hot aisles (behind the equipment with the ...

Shadow Copy issue

http://tiny.cc/hneje

 

iDisplay for iPad

I was reading a Windows Secrets article talking about their favorite iPad apps. They listed iDisplay. It is $4.99. It makes the iPad into an external ...

Introducing Outlook Templates

If you are a Microsoft Outlook user and are sending the same emails out with the same information over and over again, then you need to learn about Microsoft ...

DNS Islanding

DNS Islanding - I have been reading a series of technical threads on Microsoft DNS best practices. While we do follow DNS best practices for clients with ...