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Upgrading to Windows 10: Keeping Business Computers Secure and Compliant

Posted By Carrie Braaten, Gordian Networks, 20 hours ago

Still using the Windows 7 operating system on your computer? Although Windows 10 has been around since its release in 2015, many small businesses are still using Windows 7. It is time to start upgrading to Windows 10 since Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 in 2020.

How Do Business Owners Know if their Computers are on Windows 7?

The simplest way to tell if a computer is on Windows 7 is to look at the bottom left of the screen at the start button. If the Windows button is rainbow colored and enclosed in a circle, it is on Windows 7.Windows 7 Start Button If the Windows symbol is white without a circle, it is on Windows 10.Windows 10 Start Button To find out for certain, click start-control panel-system. At the top of the system information page, it will list the version of Windows.

 

 

Why Upgrade?

There are many new additions to Windows 10 that make everyday use easier, faster and more convenient. Even more important reasons to upgrade though are security, compliance, compatibility and its free.

SECURITY
Windows Support states, “An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These updates include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—such as new drivers for your hardware.” So although your computer will still run, it will be more susceptible to potentially dangerous viruses. One of the best defenses against viruses, malware and ransomware is keeping the computer updated.

COMPLIANCE
Healthcare providers or any business that processes, stores or transmits credit card information are required to be HIPAA and PCI compliant. In order to be compliant, each business must utilize a supported operating system. Supported operating systems are continually updated with patches to keep threats to the computer’s security at bay. If businesses do not start upgrading to Windows 10, holes in the security shield will be left open. Consequently, there is a potential for others to access private patient and credit card information. Upgrading to Windows 10, will keep computers more secure and, along with other security measures, will help with compliance.

COMPATIBILITY
Newer software and hardware will require Windows 10 to work. Therefore, upgrading to Windows 10 allows businesses to use required software now and in the future.

NO COST
Microsoft has offered free upgrades to Windows 10 in the past and then discontinued it. It is now available again at no cost. It is unknown when Microsoft will start charging for the upgrade again. So it is a great time to take advantage of the free upgrade to cut potential costs.

Special considerations

TIME
Upgrading to Windows 10 can take each computer about 3 hours to complete depending on processor speed and memory. It is a simple process but does take someone to monitor it. Creating a plan for how to free up a business computer for this amount of time can be helpful to avoid downtime.

MEMORY
In order to complete the upgrade, the computer must have at least 10 GB of free space on the hard drive. Checking the memory ahead of time will prevent any time lost since the upgrade to Windows 10 will fail without available memory.

SPECIALTY SOFTWARE
Healthcare providers and other businesses use many different types of software and equipment that is compatible with different operating systems. Checking the compatibility first will save the company a headache afterwards if the software is not compatible with Windows 10.

BACKING UP DATA
It is important to always back up data on a regular basis and this is good idea before upgrading any software or operating system. While upgrading to Windows 10, all files stay on the computer by making the appropriate selections during the process. Backing up is still a good precaution since it is better to be safe than sorry.

OLDER COMPUTERS
Windows 10 was released in 2015 so many computers that have Windows 7 operating systems are now 4-6 years old. As computers age, they do not work as well and may not take the upgrade successfully. Depending on the situation, it may be worthwhile to buy a new computer with Windows 10 already installed.

Ready to Start Upgrading to Windows 10?

After checking the special considerations and creating a plan for upgrading to Windows 10, follow these easy steps to upgrade.
1. Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s website.
2. Follow the prompts to download and then install. Make sure to select keep personal files and apps.
3. Wait for the computer to restart several times and then sign back in on the logon page. The page will look different now that it’s on Windows 10. Then the computer will finish loading the new operating system.
4. Congratulations! The computer will now continue to be secure and compliant with Windows 10.

Project Planning and Troubleshooting

Computers with different software installed and in various environments upgrade differently. Sometimes a computer will need additional assistance to overcome barriers to the upgrade. Gordian Networks works with many healthcare providers and small to medium sized businesses to plan out, implement and overcome barriers to upgrading to Windows 10. These upgrade implementations keep businesses more secure and compliant so businesses can concentrate on their missions versus worrying about the security of their networks.

Still worried about Windows 10? Gordian Networks can save the day! We set up each company’s technology with the right balance of security and open communication while keeping your business running smoothly even if disaster strikes. Because Computers Need Heroes Too! http://gordiannetworks.com

Tags:  cyber  Security  small business  Technology 

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Cyber Criminals- Holding Small Business Data Hostage For Money

Posted By Matt Maggiora, TeamLogicIT, Friday, April 15, 2016

Attend our Free April 27th Event on cyber security for small businesses and learn how to protect yourself.

Event Time- April 27th, 20016  from 11:30 to 1:00pm

Where: 2730 W. Augua Fria Freeway ( the café downstairs)

Who Should Attend: Businesses with 6 or more employees

Contact: Matt Maggiora at 480-436-7747 or email him at mmaggiora@teamlogicit.com

 

Criminals are targeting small businesses 

Extortionists have again stepped up their global assaults, this time unleashing an especially elusive and destructive bug called Locky. It didn’t take long for February’s large-scale attack to claim victims, including medical facilities in California and Kentucky.

Seasoned IT pros will recognize Locky’s malicious attack-mode, which mimics the poisoned document macro-attack of Dridex, a notorious bank-industry Trojan.

In Dridex fashion, a Locky-laced document arrives in the inbox as an invoice or other “urgent” correspondence. If users click, and macros (usually disabled by default) are turned on, Locky quickly spreads to all connected drives. A single infected text-document can hijack your entire system, paralyzing operations until a ransom is paid.

Locky also does something that makes its smarter and scarier than other programs.

“It gathers detailed statistics about each victim, which is highly unusual for ransomware,” reports security company Kaspersky. Crooks apparently use this information to determine the value of encrypted files so they can set the ransom amount for maximum profit.

Interestingly, the California and Kentucky hospitals reportedly paid less than $2,000 each to liberate ransomed data, perhaps signaling something of a “volume” strategy. Instead of demanding large amounts from just a few victims, attackers could have been going for smaller payments from more companies. Even if only a quarter of those extorted paid up, at two-grand each, the crooks’ take would still be a cool two-hundred-mil. That’s a lot of Bitcoin in anybody’s book.

Keeping Locky Outside

Regardless of their MO, Locky and thousands of its ugly cousins are clearly getting smarter and more destructive since we began reporting on the ransomware plague, which means that businesses should also be getting smarter in response.

Security experts, such as TeamLogicIT Managed Services providers, recommend that any organization that relies heavily on data–especially those in the healthcare, financial, legal, education and professional-service sectors–be more vigilant and proactive in two key areas: regular complete, system backups, and ongoing email-security training. These two precautions, (plus these others), can significantly reduce your risk of infection, and keep Locky and its cohorts outside your networks, where they belong.

Does your team need a hand updating company security policies, practices or cybercrime training curriculum?  Come to the free event and learn. Contact Team Logic IT today

Tags:  broadcasting  estate planning  events  hackers  small business  tech 

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#TechBlab Ep 41 - Conversation on Tech. Find out!

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Tuesday, January 19, 2016
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