IT Support Blog for Small Business Owners

Beware of New COVID-19 Phishing Attacks

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 7/14/20 5:12 PM

We’re seeing a surge in phishing scams over the past few months as we continue to deal with the current worldwide pandemic.

Events that cause mass hysteria and urgency are breeding grounds for sophisticated phishing scams. So as you can imagine at the onset of COVID-19 -- with the increase in online communication for things such as filing for unemployment, increase in online shopping, and the general shift to a remote workforce – there have been several opportunities for scammers to work their way into your inbox and do what they do best.

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Topics: managed cybersecurity services, phishing scams, COVID-19 scams, cybersecurity awareness

Stay Productive at Home with Microsoft Teams

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 6/3/20 6:40 PM

If you’re new to Teams, or looking for work from home productivity tools, here’s a quick rundown of how it works and how to navigate your way through the platform.

Teams

In the Teams application, you can create as many Teams as you’d like under this tab. I’ve heard the analogy that you can think of each Team as a house. Many companies create teams for various departments or for specific projects. For example, you can create a marketing team, HR team, executive team, finance team and so forth. You can assign specific members to each Team and provide access rights to each member. If you’re not on Team you won’t see it in your Teams list. You can even invite external members to join your Team with proper permissions.

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Topics: Microsoft 365, Microsoft Collaboration Tools, work from home, Microsoft 365 collaboration, microsoft 365 assessment, remote workforce

Reflecting on COVID-19: Is Your Business Prepared for a Second Wave?

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 6/3/20 6:15 PM

COVID-19 has flipped our daily lives upside down over the past few months with government ordered social distancing including restrictions on seeing loved ones, to schoolsrestaurants, parks and stores shutting downThese orders have prevented us from celebrating holidays and important milestones events such as graduationsbirthdays, and sadly enough, even funerals

In these unprecedented times, you are fortunate if you can work from the safety of your home to support your family. And the reality is, these people face their own set of challenges – finding a quiet place to conduct an important business meeting, or finding the balance between staying productive at work while helping their children navigate online learning for the first, or caring for a sick family memberthe list goes on.   

Building a foundation for the future.  

Whether your company’s work from home experience has been a great success, utter failure, or somewhere in between, we can all agree that COVID-19 has demonstrated just how important modern technology is to every business.  

 It’s important to reflect on both the good and the bad, the could-haves and should-haves during this crisis to learn and grow from it.  

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Topics: Microsoft Collaboration Tools, work from home, Microsoft 365 collaboration, COVID-19 Business Lessons

How Microsoft 365 Saved Our Business During COVID-19

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 5/28/20 10:01 AM

Two days before the Pennsylvania Governor closed most businesses in Pennsylvania, in response to controlling COVID-19, I asked our employees if they would prefer to work from home and almost everyone responded with a yes. I was happy to learn that ANP was considered an essential business because we supply IT services and the Governor likely knew once businesses were closed down IT support would be required to support employees working from home.

Fortunately ANP was ready, we had a new Cisco Next Gen Firewall with the latest VPN software, and we had multi-factor authentication deployed to ensure secure encrypted access. Plus every employee has a new Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop and two 27” HD monitors and a docking station with a Microsoft 365 subscription.

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Topics: Microsoft 365, work from home, Microsoft 365 collaboration

Two Years of Microsoft Teams Adoption in Two Months

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 5/28/20 9:23 AM

During Microsoft’s quarterly earnings report to Wall Street—(the first earnings report since COVID-19 lock down began), Microsoft stated they saw more than 200 million Microsoft Teams meeting participants in a single day. Teams now has more than 75 million daily active users, and two-thirds of them have shared, collaborated, or interacted with files on Teams as well.

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Topics: Unified collaboration, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Collaboration Tools, microsoft teams, video conferencing tools, virtual meetings

How to Get the Most from Microsoft Office 365 Collaboration Tools with ANP

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 4/30/20 10:05 AM

You have heard the expression “it takes a village” to get something accomplished. Likewise, it takes a team to run an efficient project, department or business. Yet many of us have been forced to quickly adapt to a new normal of working from home causing a number of challenges for employees. This abrupt physical separation can lead to miscommunication, poor execution and before you know it, your project can take a turn for the worse.

Microsoft understands this and has launched Microsoft Office 365 communication and collaboration solution that brings together people, information and content in a way that makes working online easier than ever before.

Let’s review some of the Microsoft 365 collaboration tools and how you can get the most from your Microsoft 365 subscription.

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Topics: Microsoft 365, Microsoft Collaboration Tools

Think like a Hacker: How would you break into your company’s IT?

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 12/30/16 4:38 PM

Do You Have Weak Domain Passwords?

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Topics: IT security, IT Cyber Security Issues, IT Password Security, Hacker

The new Internet Neutrality Rule: Has the FCC Overstepped?

Posted by David Mulvey on 3/17/15 9:30 AM

This February 26, 2015 the FCC in a 3 to 2 vote (along party lines) has approved new Internet Service Provider rules.  The FCC has tried unsuccessfully to regulate the Internet two earlier times.  In their last foray Verizon brought the FCC to court and the 2010 Open Internet law was struck down.  So what has the FCC done this time? Well they have included wireless cellular broadband access into the new law.

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Topics: Internet Service Provider, Broadband, WAN, LAN, Internet Neutrality

It’s Not Okay to Ignore these Recent IT Cyber Security Issues

Posted by David Mulvey on 3/4/15 1:30 PM

February showers bring May flowers. Well that’s exactly how things are not going in Philadelphia nor is that what is happening with IT cyber security! February 2015 brought three important IT security issues to every IT department to contend with. If you had outsourced your IT security to ANP these would not be your concern, ANP would have handled them for you. However, if you are doing your own IT here are three big issues you should be proactively addressing:
  1. If you user use Firefox, update it now. Open Firefox, click on the little square icon near the top-right of your screen that is composed of three horizontal bars. Then click the question mark for “help”. Third, select “About Firefox.” Firefox will automatically download the latest version. The latest version, just released, includes important security patches that you need. Want to learn more, Click HERE.

  2. If you company uses Lenovo laptops, uninstall Superfish now. Starting in as early as 2010, Lenovo has pre-installed Superfish on some of their laptops. This junk-ware software is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. This means websites, such as banking and email, can be spoofed without a warning from the browser. Remove the application immediately. Want to learn more, Click HERE.

  3. Install Microsoft's Critical Security Update Now. Microsoft has released a critical security update to address multiple vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. Exploitation of one of these vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system if the user views a specially crafted webpage. This security update is rated critical for Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, and Internet Explorer 11. Want to learn more, Click HERE.

As an IT Professional you simply cannot become lackadaisical regarding the patching of your IT environment. As an IT manager I often find that my IT professionals are so busy with their day-to-day responsibilities that it’s almost impossible to expect them to remain up to date with the latest IT Cyber security issues. I often visit the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team website which is run by the Department of Homeland Security. The website is an excellent resource for all things cyber-security! Check out the US-CERT website by Click HERE.

 

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Topics: IT security, IT Cyber Security, IT Cyber Security Issues

Windows Server 2003 End of Support -- Trouble in Your Server Room

Posted by David Mulvey on 2/5/15 7:00 PM

Here at ANP we have been beating the drum for upgrading your old Microsoft Server 2003 Operating Systems since Microsoft announced that Windows XP and Office 2003 were being retired. Microsoft officially ends support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This deadline is much like the Windows XP deadline. Microsoft has stated they will no longer patch Windows Server 2003 for new security vulnerabilities. New vulnerabilities keep cropping up for the aging OS, and Microsoft will not be writing patches for the new vulnerabilities. To put that statement into context, during 2014 Microsoft released 37 critical updates for Windows Server 2003.

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Topics: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 End Of Life, Windows Server 2003 End Of Support

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