More on RRIT

From the desk of Tim Steinwand This month, I have a couple of items that I wanted to bring to your attention that we are very excited about here at ReadiTech. The first is a new offering we now have for our managed service customers, called ReadiRemote IT (RR IT). RR IT is an automated service that allows our ReadiTech team to monitor and fix your computer or network behind the scenes, many times before anyone would know that there is anything wrong. The technology it uses is an encrypted tunnel for communication, so there is no need to worry about anyone viewing your files or data. If RR IT discovers a problem, it immediately opens a service ticket with our ReadiTech technicians, informing them of work to do. As an example, if your business experiences a weekend power outage, and your server or workstation goes down, we know about it immediately, and will be able to get it up and running before your office reopens on Monday morning. The service also alerts us of any patches and updates that need to be installed on your equipment immediately when they are released. You may have seen in the news recently of a number of security vulnerabilities that have been exposed. Because most software is being updated constantly to stay ahead of these threats, RR IT assures you that your equipment will be as secure as it can be, by checking your systems, and alerting us if patches need to be added. Feel free to contact any of our technicians for further information about RR IT. The other thing that...

ReadiRemote IT

From the Desk of Andrew Meyer Over the past month we have been making exciting changes to boost our ability to serve our managed service customers. We are in the process of implementing ReadiRemote IT (RR IT), a remote monitoring and management software to oversee our clients’ servers and workstations. This software allows us to monitor and fix many things behind the scenes, many times without anyone’s knowledge that there was even something wrong. I’ll explain how this works and some of the scenarios. RR IT gets installed on our customer’s server or workstation and securely reports back to a server in DRN’s data center what state the machine is in. This is done inside an encrypted tunnel so there are no worries about who can see the machine statistics. If RR IT discovers a problem, it immediately opens a service ticket to inform our ReadiTech technicians there is work to do. Let’s say over the weekend there is a power outage and your server or workstation goes down. We will know about it immediately and be able to get it up and running before the office opens on Monday morning. Some of the other things ReadiRemote IT allows us to do remotely is reboot machines, monitor and install windows and software updates, install and uninstall software, and monitor backups and anti-virus. You will no longer have to worry about running out of disk space, not having security updates installed, or whether or not you’re getting the best performance out of your machine and network. Let our ReadiTech team take care of that for you, call us today about ReadiRemote...

R & D Corner

From the Desk of Josh Peldo 3 Technologies DRN customers have been asking for in 2015 Residential and Business customers have been keeping me busy with research and development.  It’s not easy to stay up to date with the fast evolving technology trends, so if you’ve been considering moving your home or business into “the 21st Century” (a real request we had recently) let our R&D dept handle your request.  Our customizable solutions can help solve any issues that you’ve been having.  Looking for a KIOSK for hotel check-ins, or considering moving to Arizona or Florida for the winter but still need to work? I get calls every day from customers looking for customized solutions to either save them money or even more valuable, their time. Here are 3 areas of technology that has been keeping me busy. Mobile access to Data – While almost everyone now-a-days is familiar with “the cloud” not all are comfortable giving their data to it. There are a lot of options that would allow you to work from anywhere using a cloud.  If this is something you’ve been thinking about either as a business or a home, here are a couple things to keep in mind.  You’ve got two real options.  Move all your data, pictures, and information to a cloud site like Microsoft, Amazon or another vendor’s storage site.  Or keep your information and data right where it’s at and build your own secure tunnel and make your own cloud that only you have access to. Security and Access Control – Whether you’re a large business or a small home, security has been a...

Software Licensing 101

From the desk of Richard Reis – Software Lead/ Developer Network Analyst Software licensing, what’s that? You mean that fine print I scrolled over so I could get my software application (app) installed? Chances are software licensing is one of the furthest thoughts from your mind. Sure you use software daily, either in your personal life or at work, but how often do you stop and think about your legal rights to use that software. In the United States and other parts of the world software apps are available on our Android, iOS, and Windows devic es from phones to tablets to laptops to desktops. Each app has a software license associated with it which legally governs its usage or redistribution rights to you,the end user. Apple, Google and Microsoft each created online app retail marketplaces (App Store, Play Store,and Microsoft Store), allowing us to shop for apps in a limited number of storefronts. These online stores effectively streamline app purchases and simplify licensing terms for end users.Unfortunately government, corporate, and academic software sales can rarely make use of these online marketplaces, however it does not mean that software is not available for them. So what is different you ask? Some differences exist in software licensing options, costs, distribution, specialization, and product type. DRN’s ReadiTech team has knowledge of various software licensing options from a multitude of vendors and can help answer any questions you may have regarding software licensing.DRN has relationships and experience working with many of the major software vendors including Adobe, Autodesk, Cisco, HP, IBM, Juniper, Microsoft, Sonicwall, Symantec, VMware, etc. We offer products such as...

Security Safety

From the desk of Josh Peldo – Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) & Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) We are constantly bombarded with news from around the world of security breaches, stolen data, and network hacking. Many people feel “it won’t happen to me,” but that isn’t true. It can be the local Dairy Queen, ND State College of Science in Wahpeton, or maybe one of the many local DRN customers that call in saying their accounts have been compromised. I can’t stress enough how likely it is that your data may be in jeopardy and to not take your security information lightly. If you were unaware, local Dairy Queens in Eastern North Dakota have recently been attacked by hackers. Malware called Backoff, accessed systems and hacked files that held customer names, payment card numbers, and expiration dates. NDSCS in Wahpeton discovered malware activity on computers that contained current and former students and employee’s personal information, Social Security numbers and mailing addresses. So much damage can be done now, with so little personal information, that it is worth going above and beyond to protect yourself. With a Social Security number and date of birth, hackers can use your information to forge an IRS Tax Return. The refund can be put on a gift card and then those hackers will use ATM’s to withdraw the cash from the forged tax return and make it nearly impossible to track them down. So what can you do to protect your network and your personal information? DRN Network/Server Analyst, Scott Young, discussed in the April ReadiTech Newsletter how a strong firewall can...

Network Assessment

From the desk of Kari Nishek – Certified Associate in Project Management Is your company’s network up to speed? DRN’s IT experts, the ReadiTech team, can provide your company with a FREE Network Assessment! So what is a network assessment? A Network Assessment gives our IT Analysts a clear look into your network infrastructure. It allows our analysts to identify equipment or software that needs to be upgraded and reviews performance issues. If network issues are identified, our IT analysts can provide solutions to resolve these issues and will ultimately optimize your network’s performance. DRN’s Network Assessment will help your organization to understand your network by: providing a network inventory analysis, identify network issues or concerns, create a network diagram and compile data to provide expert insight into your network’s performance. Our analysts will also help your company understand how your IT hardware and software work together. By having a network assessment performed, this exercise can assist your company with the information needed to  plan for network upgrades and future improvements. It can also save your company time and money by improving the performance and work-flow of your networks end user. Also, the outcome of a network assessment can be  beneficial in preparing upcoming budgets and planning for next year and future years to come. The ReadiTech team has experience with networks in the fields of education, healthcare, financial, retail,  manufacturing, agricultural, and more. For more information or for your FREE Network Assessment, please call the DRN ReadiTech team...

Cellular Repairs

From the desk of Tim Steinwand – Microsoft Certified IT Professional – Enterprise Desktop Administrator Here at DRN are always trying to keep as up to date as we can with the technology needs of our members. We had been getting quite a few inquiries to our computer repair department, requesting repairs on mobile devices, like tablets and cell phones. Since it became apparent that this was a need for our customers, we now have these services available. Two of our technicians, Brent Grueneich and Mike Ost, have recently completed cell phone and tablet training at the renowned Cellular Repair School in Phoenix, Arizona. While there, they learned all the latest techniques and  procedures in order to repair nearly any phone or tablet. They have been trained in screen and digitizer replacement, repair of the charge port and on/off button, headphone jack replacement, liquid damage repair, along with other repairs. We are conducting these repairs at our headquarters in Ellendale. One of the main repairs that people are requesting is cracked screen replacement. Since there are so many different devices on the market today, it is impossible for us to have screens on hand for all devices, but we are doing our best to have replacements for the most popular phones of today, including almost all iPhones and Samsung Galaxy’s. If you have a cracked screen and know the brand and model of your phone, you can call our Technical Assistance Group, at 344-5000, to find out if we have a replacement on hand for your phone. If we have the screen on hand, we can replace the screen usually...

New Technologies

From the desk of Josh Peldo – Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) & Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) A large part of my job is to research and develop new technologies. Technologies that sometimes have nothing to do with the plain old telephone systems which most people associate with DRN. With the increasing speeds and capabilities of the Internet, part of my role here at DRN is to find new ways to maximize those capabilities. Our Fiber Optic Internet connections, along with new technologies, will make their lives easier and better! One project that is gaining interest is in home automation or “smart home” applications. Schools, businesses, and homes are all good candidates for devices that add automation and increased functionality to their doors, locks, and lighting. We’ve installed a lot of automated locks that can be unlocked with a proximity card, a code, or even your phone. If you’re tired of carrying or losing your keys, or if you’d like to automate your locks to automatically lock or unlock depending on a schedule, we have different options that can work with almost any scenario. Something else that’s right around the corner is adding GPS tracking to your fleet, cars, or kids. It’s an easy install and an affordable way to track pretty much anything. It gives you up to date feeds on where your item is at, and it allows you to set up alerts to let you know things like when speed limits have been exceeded, or if a driver has gone too far away. Perfect for that crazy teenager that wants to go for a...

“Non-Support” of Windows XP by Microsoft

From the desk of Tim Steinwand – Microsoft Certified IT Professional – Enterprise Desktop Administrator We are now a month into the “Non-Support” of Windows XP by Microsoft. If you are still using XP for your business, you may be saying to yourself, “I haven’t had any problems yet. Why should I even think about upgrading to a new OS (Operating System)?” Well, here are a few reasons to consider a change sooner, rather than later. 1. Security – Microsoft is not working on any further security improvements to XP. Hackers are salivating over the prospect of millions of unprotected, outdated XP machines. If you are connected to the internet with your XP machines, there will be more malware and threats than ever, making it much more dangerous to surf. Newer OS’s like Windows 7 or 8 are much more prepared for the modern world of malware and viruses. You need to be thinking about the data your company holds, and how secure it needs to be. Don’t let yours fall prey to the hacker nation. 2. Speed, Reliability, and Costs – The average XP machine after a life span of 5 years in a business environment will be running at approximately 40% less productive than when it was first purchased. The older it is, the less powerful it is, and therefore the slower it runs. When taking account time needed to manage XP systems relating to items such as downtime, malware, and other maintenance, Windows 7 or 8 increases productivity by up to 7.8 additional hours per year per worker, with 83% less downtime and 86% less reboots. Over...

SonicWall™ – Network Security

From the desk of Scott Young – VMware Certified Professional 5 Network security can be a very broad subject. It can be as simple as changing your network password to as complicated as installing the latest network security appliances. Some ways we have been helping secure our managed services customers is by deploying Comprehensive Gateway Security Suite through SonicWall™ for monitoring and stopping unwanted access to local home and business networks. Wireless access points using security encryption keys and passphrases instead of open networks. Firewalls that are capable of web filtering to limit or stop users going to fraudulent web sites and limit exposure to corrupt downloads and spyware. Recently one of our ReadiTech customers with a SonicWall™ used the web filtering to discover unauthorized web site usage on his network during business hours. The Heartbleed vulnerability was recently in the news as it allowed would-be attackers to access data from SSL secured websites leaving no trace of the attack. Our ReadiTech customers running Microsoft servers were not affected by the Heartbleed flaw as they do not use the OpenSSL library. Do your part in protecting personal information by changing your online passwords regularly, not using the same password for multiple websites, and keep logon information in a secure...