Envision IT - Louisville Computer Support

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// Louisville Computer Support
JUN
15
2015

Why is Software Patching Important?

For many businesses, especially those in the small to mid-size sector without Managed Servcies Support, basic network maintenance and IT security strategies can have a serious impact on the overall success of the company. The outcome of gaps in these areas are not only directly time consuming and costly to rectify, but could also lead to more serious threats to your company’s confidential data. One of the most basic principles of system maintenance and IT security is to implement regular software patching.

Microsoft, Adobe and Java products are operating in our technology components everywhere. Devices such as servers, desktops, laptops, and smartphones to name a few have all incorporated these products for various commonly used functions, and this ubiquitous nature is part of what makes these products attractive targets to hackers around the world. Mitigating your risks in this area through diligently managing and installing software patches (or updates) in a timely manner is not only a key activity but is also one of the most basic and easy actions for your IT department or managed IT provider to implement. Check with your IT support provider. If they do not currently manage this basic maintenance level activity, you should be asking them why.

Impact of Neglect
While patching servers is of moderate importance (malware infections are largely mitigated by a general lack of web browsing or the opening of potentially poisoned PDFs ), patching of workstations is critical. Without the proper safe guards such as up to date software and antivirus programs, malicious software such as malware, spyware, and viruses can be unknowingly injected into a PC through avenues like infected website advertisements and easily trick users into unwittingly installing something that can annoy the them at best or completely corrupt a Windows installation, steal confidential company data or financial documents, or ransom the user’s data at worst.

The direct costs of infections and/or breaches due to an unmaintained network can increase overall costs of network support and strain what are often tight technology budgets. For example, malware removal could take up to 2 hours per PC, and if the infection cannot be removed in that time, it often becomes more effective to either rebuild or scrap and replace the PC. The direct cost in the technician’s time to troubleshoot and/or the cost of new equipment coupled with the user’s downtime add up to a high price tag that could possibly have been avoided by proactively keeping up on software updates.

Simple Solutions
The second Tuesday of every month is what is known in the IT world as “Patch Tuesday” – the day Microsoft releases its latest batch of software updates for the products it sells and supports. These updates typically correct known issues with software programming, to improve system performance or application integration with Microsoft operating systems, and to address security vulnerabilities that have been found and/or exploited (also known as zero-day vulnerabilities). Microsoft will also, on occasion, release “out-of-band” patches if a zero-day vulnerability is actively and pervasively being exploited by malicious software. Microsoft does provide update management software free of charge (called Microsoft Windows Server Update Services, or WSUS) that can facilitate patch management and delivery to workstations in a managed domain environment. In smaller, workgroup environments, automatic updates can be set to download & install patches and reboot the PC at a specific time when it will minimize the impact on the end user’s productivity. Adobe and Java release their software patches with somewhat less regularity.

Although it is near impossible to completely prevent infections or breaches in a network that is attached to the Internet in any way, by not taking at least the basic preventative measures to protect your information technology investments and sensitive data, you may be inviting trouble right through your door.

Be sure to contact Envision IT today if you don’t have a monitored, software patching plan in place.

MAY
30
2014
Louisville Microsoft Tech Suppot

How Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Fix Reinforces the Need for Proactive IT Management

On Thursday, May 2nd, Microsoft issued an out-of-cycle security update to address the Internet Explorer security flaw publicly disclosed last week. The remote code execution vulnerability lured IE users, who make up over half of the Internet browser share, to click on malicious links, which potentially could have then granted hackers full control of individual PCs.

Microsoft reported that only a limited number of targeted attacks had been identified, but still urged users of Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 to immediately install the patch. They even showed a little mercy on Windows XP users by pushing the update to that outdated OS, too. “When we saw the first reports about this vulnerability, we decided to fix it, fix it fast, and fix it for all of our customers,” said Adrienne Hall, general manger of Microsoft’s security unit.

This all-encompassing patch should resolve any Internet Explorer issues. However, don’t let the fix keep you from always following these rules of the road for smart, secure Internet usage:

DO NOT click ANY embedded links in email messages or on public web pages unless you know the sender or source DO NOT browse public web pages from PCs that access confidential data like credit card, protected health, or personally identifiable information Call a trusted IT provider BEFORE clicking on anything that appears suspicious, or if you think your computer has been affected

 

So how will this fix be implemented?

Microsoft said that, for customers who have automatic updates turned on, the security patch would install automatically. But many computers are wary of such programmed updates — and many don’t know how to verify they’re enabled.

Which is where proactive IT maintenance and monitoring comes in. Envision IT’s around-the-clock service began deploying the Internet Explorer patch less than 12 hours after Microsoft issued it, and many of our clients had it installed on their machines when they showed up to work on Friday. All without stressing over whether to click “Yes” when prompted for an unfamiliar update or waiting for an internal IT resource to come by their desk and manually install it.

Beyond keeping your computer safe from the hackers behind this recent Internet Explorer bug, how else can proactive IT services benefit your business?

  • By keeping your employees productive and efficient, which saves you money
  • By keeping your data and network secure, which gives you peace of mind
  • By keeping your systems running 24/7, which allows you to better serve your customers
  • By keeping your IT goals in focus, which helps you strategize for the future
  • By keeping human intelligence — high-level consultants, help desk technicians, and on-site support — in charge of your technology, which provides a valuable competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace

 

Want to stop worrying about the security of your systems? Ready to stop spending hours trying to fix issues yourself? Contact Envision IT today to find out how we combine superior customer service with complete, proactive IT support.

APR
19
2014
Louisville Managed Services

Focus on managing your business. We’ll focus on managing your IT.

When someone asks, what your business does, you wouldn’t say “managing information technology”, would you? For an easy and fixed monthly fee – a mere fraction of the cost of hiring a full time employee – we’ll take away the worry, frustration, and considerable cost of managing your IT services in Louisville. No more hiring, managing, sick time, training or firing.

With Envision IT as your business outsourcing partner in Louisville, you can take back control of your network. Our IT managed services watch over your systems 24/7, and we step in the moment something goes wrong. This proactive approach to Louisville network support solves small problems before they become big disasters, not to mention expensive. Your employees will have a full team of IT professionals at their fingertips to answer and solve their computer and network issues in Louisville.

We also offer Consulting Services and Cloud Services like:

  • Office365
  • Hosted Exchange
  • Remote Data Backup
  • Remote Monitoring
  •  

So, if your Louisville business has between 5 and 200 employees, call us today and find out how we can lower your operating costs, provide a higher level of service, and get you back to what you do best…running and managing your business.

Call us now! 502-694-9446