Join a “cloud” and cut your energy costs by up to 90%

June 21st, 2017 by TCC No comments »

Cloud computing is becoming common and is transforming the way many businesses deliver and receive their IT services. What is cloud computing, you may ask? Put simply, it is a set of server-based software and services that are delivered to customers over the internet, instead of physically on-site. This includes customer relationship management (CRM) tools, email marketing programs, and shared databases, like Microsoft SharePoint.

Providers of cloud computing connects many businesses, small and large, to shared servers containing shared programs. This allows cloud customers to reduce their costs because they no longer need to purchase the infrastructure, let alone manage and maintain it. Cloud users have the ability to pay for the resources only as they need them. They are no longer hindered by predicting server traffic; customers on the cloud are given the freedom to promote and grow their business online as strongly and as often as they want.

However, not only does cloud computing save the customer money, providers of cloud computing are actually administering a green, sustainable way to run a business. A study conducted by Microsoft found that organizations, ranging from 100 to 1000 employees, can reduce up to 90 percent of their emissions by moving their business from on-premise business applications to those within a shared cloud. While Microsoft conducted the test on only their products, it is safe to say the findings apply to other cloud computing solutions. IT administrators should take advantage of the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact and achieve sustainability goals.

Why does this matter to you?

If you run a small business, your server infrastructure can be highly expensive to operate and may run at low utilization or even be idle for a good portion of the day. On-premise applications tend to run at a lower average utilization rate. Instead of taking on expense and maintenance hassles for on-site technology, invest in cloud computing. As the number of users in a cloud increases, the user-to-server ratio increases, and demand fluctuations decrease. This means demand can be predicted and allocated appropriately without deploying “just-in-case” infrastructure. Servers can function at a stable rate, with a lower energy cost.

Join the thousands of businesses who have decreased their energy costs and reduced their carbon footprint by sharing “cloud” services with other users. The Computer Company, Inc. is ready to support both the growth and sustainability goals of your business with cloud computing options.


 

How do Cloud Computing Services save time and money?

June 15th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

The buzz word is out there and everyone is doing it.
Now it’s time for you to take the first step.

Today users can work without knowing the location and other details of the computing infrastructure. Cloud computing services and cloud storage deliver software applications, data access, data administration and storage for everyday businesses saving time and money.

Because your server will be part of the cloud you will access your data from anywhere at any time.

Please watch video.

There are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud.
So How do Cloud Computing Services save time and money?

  • Flexibility of connection options. Access to your data while you are off-site, employees can connect to their virtual office, quickly and easily.
  • Automatic updates. Latest technology, up-to-date software, servers upgrades and computer processing power.
  • Reduced costs (everyone’s favorite!). Moving to cloud computing usually will reduce your cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
  • Flexibility for sizing. Your business will have the flexibility required as your needs change for your software and storage.
  • Business continuity. You can relax knowing that you are protecting your data and systems.
  • Collaboration efficiency. Employees can communicate and share work more easily.

Please watch video.

We look forward to hearing from you!

What can VoIP do for your business?

June 8th, 2017 by TCC 1 comment »

VoIP is a revolutionary phone technology that will more than likely one day replace the traditional phone system entirely. In fact, VoIP makes easy some things that are difficult to impossible with traditional phone networks. For example: Take your VoIP phone with you on a trip, and anywhere you connect it to the Internet, you can receive your incoming calls. (pretty cool, huh?)

Eliminate your phone services, phone systems, extra charges and only use the internet with no additional charges. Call for a FREE Audit!

As part of our Networking Service, the Computer Company can set up a business VoIP phones that runs through your high-speed internet. That means you get:

  • Huge Savings Compared to Traditional Phone Systems. Studies have shown that, compared to using traditional phones, using VoIP can potentially make you save up to 40 % on local calls, and up to 90 % on international calls.
  • Unlimited Calling – no per minute calls.
  • No additional cost to Keep Your Existing Number
  • No Hardware needed
  • Make Calls Anywhere in the World to any place in the world.
  • Simplicity (no closets full of wires, no PBX, no phone systems)
  • VoIP for Voice Communication with PC or Laptop.
  • Many Useful Features including Caller ID, Contact Lists, Voicemail, Record Calls, Monitor Employee Calls, Call Center Queues, After Hours etc.

Why keep paying higher prices?

In general, VoIP costs far less than an equivalent service from traditional sources, but not all VoIP setups are equal.  The Computer Company has designed many network and support solutions for our clients and with our experience you’ll get the best solution for you. With our 24/7 customer support services, immediate response is guaranteed. The Computer Company will get you set up and saving money in no time!

Eliminate your phone services, phone systems, extra charges and only use the internet with no additional charges. Call for a FREE Audit!

Corporate Headquarters Hartford
15 Commerce Drive,
Cromwell, CT 06416
Phone: 860-635-0500
Toll Free: 800.418.2358

It’s one of the most talked about fears…

June 1st, 2017 by TCC No comments »

If Your System Fails, Could You Recover?

Disasters do happen.  The question is, when something fails, will it be a temporary inconvenience or a business-shaking crisis?  When a hard drive crashes, can you be back in business in hours? If a natural disaster shuts your network down, can you recover every business critical application that day?

Data loss is one of the most talked about fears in business today. 
Since the information on your computer is practically your lifeline, let us help you take the necessary precautions. Simple steps to avoid data loss for your business can save you time, money and most importantly, the livelihood of your business.

At The Computer Company Inc., the protective measures we “lock-in”, (literally), will put you at ease. For example, backing up your data, especially when upgrading your system, is the first step we take. We also make sure your most critical data files are kept safely off-site, whether at our data center or yours.

The Computer Company prevents natural and man-made disasters from becoming computer and business disasters. How?

  • Replication
  • Off-site Back ups
  • Data Center
  • Business Continuity
  • Remote Office Space

We offer a full range of disaster recovery consulting services, practices, and solutions for your business to prevent many events, minimize any damage, and return your system to its full capabilities as soon as possible.  We do disaster recovery right.

To help you protect your data, here are some tips you can use right away. » Read more: It’s one of the most talked about fears…

Email Encryption – Protect your Business

May 25th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

Often businesses gather customer information and exchange emails with private information with customers, including details such as names, address, phone numbers, bank account details and credit card numbers.

The problem is that many companies conduct business through unsecured email.

What does this mean to you?

It means if someone intercepts your email they can steal your personal and financial data. Big problem! Because the stolen data can be used by the criminals for online purchasing or total identity theft.

For example, a few years back…

Target customers were hit in major credit card security breach (imagine if that was YOUR business!?)

Payment card information was stolen from an unknown number of Target Corp. customers starting on the busy Black Friday weekend. The Secret Service is investigating, according to a spokesman for the agency, which safeguards the nation’s payment systems. Target officials did not respond to requests for comment.

  • The breach involved nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores in the United States.
  • The report said that at least 1 million payment cards were thought to have been stolen before Target uncovered the operation, but that the number could be significantly higher.

When all is said, and done, this one will put its mark up there with some of the largest retail breaches to date. As noted this has already happened to larger companies such as Target, Citibank and Sony, and should cause small business owners to think seriously about email security.

So, what can you do?

One of the easiest options is email encryption, did we mention it is easy? Yes, real easy.

Why do it? Email encryption offers you an extra layer of security, as the data inside the email is secured and cannot be opened or read by anyone who is not authorized to do so.

The software is available today from The Computer Company and it is a good investment as it offers the necessary protection.

  1. Host-based encryption software is where you set up an email domain on the server of the data encryption company to provide your business the needed security.
  2. This method can also be used to guard your system against spam, viruses and phishing attacks which is also a welcome added option.
  3. This is a good way of keeping virus attachments away from your system and it also prevents hackers getting into your system and then sending out spam from your system.
  4. It can also help to stop the hackers sending phishing emails from your company for financial gain.
  5. Encryption software is definitely worth considering for your business as it can keep your emails secure and also save you money by preventing the theft of your data.

For a free evaluation of your circumstances or a demonstration of our email encryption solution please contact us today.

Call the Direct Help Line :: 800.418.2358

WannaCry – How can I protect my business against the next attack?

May 18th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

Consider these facts:

  • Ransomware attacks doubled in 2015.
  • The FBI estimated that ransomware would net criminals $1 billion in 2016.
  • And it may be worse in 2017.

The latest Ransomware is called WannaCry, and more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries have been affected, locking people out of their data and demanding they pay a ransom or lose everything. Victims include hospitals, banks, telecommunications companies, and warehouses.

How do I protect my machine?

If you’re running a Windows PC, make sure all your software is up-to-date. Also, don’t open suspicious emails, click on links or open any files you weren’t expecting.

How can I protect my business against the next attack?

  1. Apply Windows Patches when they come out. For example, in March, Microsoft released a security update which addressed the vulnerability from
  2. Make sure your business uses a good Antivirus that is kept up-to-date.
  3. Those who have Windows Update enabled are usually protected against most attacks.
  4. Update your Windows Operating System to the latest Windows 10
  5. Have backups for all your business files. (off-site backups are even better)
  6. Secure your business by moving to a Data Center with a plan to get updates and backups automatically done for you.

Connecticut Sees Few Data Centers

May 10th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

As the digital age gives way to more and more users demanding fast, powerful and reliable computing, the business of commercial data centers is benefiting from that surge.

The facilities are the backbone of data-driven industries like finance, technology and government. More recently, they have become known for being the underlying apparatuses behind high-frequency trading, the focus of the latest book by journalist Michael Lewis and the talk of Wall Street last week. By strategically placing their servers in the same data centers used by exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange, high-frequency traders receive market information milliseconds faster than average investors. Known as co-location, the practice more broadly (and benignly) refers to businesses renting space under a shared roof for servers and other hardware.

All told, there are 2,651 colocation centers in the United States, according to Datacenters.com, a website that tracks the growth of data centers across the globe. About 20 percent, or 555, can be found in the Northeast. Within the region, New York leads the way with 188 data centers, followed by New Jersey with 100. Further north, Massachusetts has 96.

Connecticut trails behind with only 17 colocation data centers, a surprisingly small number given Fairfield County’s position in the financial services industry, and the number of mid-sized companies that would rather co-locate than build their own data centers.

The Computer Company’s Data Center is unique.

The Computer Company’s data center with a SSAE16 Type II, stands out from other data centers. (Formerly called SAS 70 Type II Certification)

SSAE16 Type II, (formerly SAS 70 Type II Certification) is a widely recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  By obtaining a SSAE16 Type II, (formerly SAS 70 Type II Certification) an auditor is attesting that an organization underwent a thorough examination process which audited their control objectives (the IT functions that protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data).

How can you be sure the data center that is storing your critical information is providing the necessary controls to safeguard that data? We live in a global economy with fierce competition. A SSAE16 Type II, (formerly SAS 70 Type II Certification) is one method of ensuring best practices are implemented to comply with industry standards.

A consistent supply of power is critical to Data Center operations. We provide this power to independently control uninterruptible power supplies that provide conditioned power to individual racks. The main power is backed up by a natural gas generator fed from a multi-million gallon storage facility located within 1 mile of our facility. In essence, the generator can provide power to the Data Center indefinitely.

  • The Computer Company’s Data Center is protected by video surveillance which provides 24×7 monitoring of both the interior and exterior of the facility.
  • Includes a security-vestibule (man-trap) prevents unauthorized access to the Data Center floor, and card-key and biometrics provide authorization and authentication.
  • The facility also employs modern environmental controls and FM 200 fire suppression system.
  • The Computer Company’s top-of-the-line Data Center facility guarantees the power infrastructure that will keep your business up and running with high speed internet access that can handle any bandwidth.

Our Data Center customers consistently cite our hosting reliability, flexibility and responsiveness, and staff expertise as the reasons they prefer The Computer Company’s Data Center services.

Call us to find out more about how this service can benefit your business.

800.418.2358

Cromwell Location
15 Commerce Drive
Cromwell, CT 06416
860.635.0500

http://www.computercompany.net/DataCenter.htm

Email Attack Hits Google: What to Do if You Clicked

May 4th, 2017 by TCC No comments »
Re-posted: This article is in the New York Times today.
By Nicole Perlroth, MAY 3, 2017

Google said it was investigating an email scam winding its way through inboxes across the country and had disabled the accounts responsible for the spam.

The scheme emerged Wednesday afternoon, when spammers dispatched malicious email, appearing to come from people the recipients knew, beckoning them to click on what appeared to be a shared Google document.

Recipients who clicked on the links were prompted to give the sender access to their Google contact lists and Google Drive. In the process, victims allowed spammers to raid their contact lists and send even more email.

“We are investigating a phishing email that appears as Google Docs,” Google said statement posted on Twitter. “We encourage you to not click through and report as phishing within Gmail.”

It is not clear who created the spam email or how many people it has affected.

In a second statement, on Wednesday evening, Google said that it had disabled the accounts responsible for the spam, updated its systems to block it and was working on ways to prevent such an attack from recurring.

A screen shot of an email received by a New York Times reporter on Wednesday that included a link that appeared to be for a Google document. (Identifying information has been redacted.)

If you receive suspicious email, here are some tips:

1. Do not click, even when the email is from your mother.

Even when you receive links from trusted contacts, be careful what you click. Spammers, cybercriminals and, increasingly, nation-state spies are resorting to basic email attacks, known as spear phishing, which bait victims into clicking on links that download malicious software, or lure them into turning over their user names and passwords.

A quarter of phishing attacks studied last year by Verizon were found to be nation-state spies trying to gain entry into their target’s inboxes, up from the 9 percent of attacks reported in 2016.

In this case, the malicious emails all appeared to come from a contact, but were actually from the address “hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com” with recipients BCCed.

2. Turn on multifactor authentication.

Google and most other email, social media and banking services offer customers the ability to turn on multifactor authentication. Use it. When you log in from an unrecognized computer, the service will prompt you to enter a one-time code texted to your phone. It is the most basic way to prevent hackers from breaking into your accounts with a stolen password.

3. Shut it down.

If you accidentally clicked on the Google phishing attack and gave spammers third-party access to your Google account, you can revoke their access by following these steps:

Go to https://myaccount.google.com/permissions

Revoke access to “Google Docs” (the app will have access to contacts and drive).

4. Change your passwords … again.

If you’ve been phished, change your passwords to something you have never used before. Ideally, your passwords should be long and should not be words that could be found in a dictionary. The first things hackers do when breaking into a site is use computer programs that will try every word in the dictionary. Your email account is a ripe target for hackers because your inbox is the key to resetting the passwords of, and potentially breaking into, dozens of other accounts.

Make your password long and distinctive. Security specialists advise creating anagrams based on song lyrics, movie quotations or sayings. For example, “The Godfather” movie quotation “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli,” becomes LtG,tTcannol1.

5. Report it.

Report any phishing attacks to Google by clicking the downward arrow at the top right of your inbox and selecting “Report Phishing.” Companies count on those reports to investigate such scams and stop them.

If you need help or think you may have this Google Attack, call us immediately.

 

Must Read: 5 likely cyber attacks

April 26th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

The 5 cyber attacks you’re most likely to face.

We found this great story, and wanted to repost it for you.

Don’t be distracted by the exploit of the week. Invest your time and money defending against the threats you’re apt to confront.

The threats companies think they face are often vastly different than the threats that pose the greatest risk. The fact is most companies face the same threats — and should be doing their utmost to counteract those risks. Here are the five most common successful cyber attacks.

Cyber attack No. 1: Socially engineered Trojans

Socially engineered Trojans provide the No. 1 method of attack (not an exploit or a misconfiguration or a buffer overflow). An end-user browses to a website usually trusted — which prompts him or her to run a Trojan. Most of the time the website is a legitimate, innocent victim that has been temporarily compromised by hackers. Usually, the website tells users they are infected by viruses and need to run fake antivirus software. Also, they’re nearly out of free disk space and need a fake disk defragger. Finally, they must install an otherwise unnecessary program, often a fake Adobe Reader or an equally well-known program. The user executes the malware, clicking past browser warnings that the program could possibly be harmful. Voilà, exploit accomplished! Socially engineered Trojans are responsible for hundreds of millions of successful hacks each year. Against those numbers, all other hacking types are just noise.

Countermeasure: Social engineered Trojans are best handled through end-user education that’s informed by today’s threats (such as trusted websites prompting users to run Trojans). Enterprises can further protect themselves by not allowing elevated users to surf the Web or answer email. An up-to-date anti-malware program can’t hurt, but strong end-user education provides better bang for the buck.

Cyber attack No. 2: Unpatched software

Coming in a distant second is software with known, but unpatched exploits. The most common unpatched and exploited programs are Java, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Flash. It’s been this way for a few years now. But strangely, not a single company I’ve ever audited has ever had these three programs perfectly patched. I just don’t get it.

Countermeasure: Stop what you’re doing right now and make sure your patching is perfect. If you can’t, make sure it’s perfect around the top most exploited products, including Java, Adobe, browser admins, OS patches, and more. Everyone knows that better patching is a great way to decrease risk. Become one of the few organizations that actually does it.

Cyber attack No. 3: Phishing attacks

Approximately 70 percent of email is spam. Fortunately, anti-spam vendors have made great strides, so most of us have reasonably clean inboxes. Nonetheless, I get several spam emails each day, and a least a few of them each week are darned good phishing replicas of legitimate emails.

I think of an effective phishing email as a corrupted work of art: Everything looks great; it even warns the reader not to fall for fraudulent emails. The only thing that gives them away is the rogue link asking for confidential information.

Countermeasure: Decreasing risk from phishing attacks is mostly accomplished through better end-user education — and with better anti-phishing tools. Make sure your browser has anti-phishing capabilities. I also love browsers that highlight the domain name of a host in a URL string. That way windowsupdate.microsoft.com.malware.com, for example, is more obvious.

Cyber attack No. 4: Network-traveling worms

Computer viruses aren’t much of a threat anymore, but their network-traveling worm cousins are. Most organizations have had to fight worms like Conficker and Zeus. We don’t see the massive outbreaks of the past with email attachment worms, but the network-traveling variety is able to hide far better than its email relatives.

Countermeasure: Network-traveling worms can be defeated by blocking executables in email, better patching, disabling auto-run capabilities, and strong password policies. Many network worms, like Conficker, will try to exploit network shares by logging on using a list of built-in, bad passwords: 12345, password2, qwerty, and the like. If any of your passwords are listed in the password manifest inside of a worm, you do not have a strong password policy.

Cyber attack No. 5: Advanced persistent threats

Lastly, I only know of one major corporation that has not suffered a major compromise due to an APT (advanced persistent threat) stealing intellectual property. APTs usually gain a foothold using socially engineered Trojans or phishing attacks. A very popular method is for APT attackers to send a very specific phishing campaign — known as spear-phishing — to multiple employee email addresses. The phishing email contains a Trojan attachment, which at least one employee is tricked into running. After the initial execution and first computer takeover, APT attackers can compromise an entire enterprise in a matter of hours. It’s easy to accomplish, but a royal pain to clean up.

Countermeasure: Detecting and preventing an APT can be difficult, especially in the face of a determined adversary. All the previous advice applies, but you must also learn to understand the legitimate network traffic patterns in your network and alert on unexpected flows. An APT doesn’t understand which computers normally talk to which other computers, but you do. Take the time now to start tracking your network flows and get a good handle of what traffic should going from where to where. An APT will mess up and attempt to copy large amounts of data from a server to some other computer where that server does not normally communicate.When they do, you can catch them. There are other popular attack types, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, pass-the-hash, and password guessing, but they aren’t seen nearly at the same high levels as the five listed here. Protect yourself against the top five threats and you’ll go a long way to decreasing risk in your environment.

More than anything, I strongly encourage every enterprise to make sure its defenses and mitigations are aligned with the top threats.
Don’t be one of those companies that spends money on high-dollar, high-visibility projects while the bad guys continue to sneak in using routes that could have easily been blocked.

This story, “The 5 cyber attacks you’re most likely to face,” was originally published at InfoWorld.com By Roger A. Grimes


Moving Your Company to the Cloud

April 20th, 2017 by TCC No comments »

The buzz word is out there and everyone is doing it.
Now it’s time for you to take the first step.

Today users can work without knowing the location and other details of the computing infrastructure. Cloud computing services and cloud storage deliver software applications, data access, data administration and storage for everyday businesses saving time and money. Because your server will be part of the cloud you will access your data from anywhere at any time.

Do you require a hosting company that is flexible enough to meet your unique environment? The Computer Company will work with you to architect a design that provides the necessary bandwidth, processing power and storage so your business can seamlessly operate in the cloud.

There are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud:
  • Flexibility of connection options. Access to your data while you are off-site, employees can connect to their virtual office, quickly and easily.
  • Automatic updates. Latest technology, up-to-date software, servers upgrades and computer processing power.
  • Reduced costs (everyone’s favorite!). Moving to cloud computing usually will reduce your cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
  • Flexibility for sizing. Your business will have the flexibility required as your needs change for your software and storage.
  • Business continuity. You can relax knowing that you are protecting your data and systems.
  • Collaboration efficiency. Employees can communicate and share work more easily.
The points below are from an article written by James A. Martin, PCWorld contributing editor

Cloud Computing.

For some, the term is wildly nebulous. For others, cloud computing instantly raises concerns about security and reliability. After all, Gmail, a popular cloud-based e-mail service has endured some high-profile outages.

Before you dismiss the cloud as a lot of vapor, though, listen to what small-business people told us about their experiences with it:

  • “We saved over $4000 in up-front costs by moving to an entirely cloud-based solution [for e-mail, Web hosting, virus protection, and more]. We were also able to substantially reduce our power bill and the costs needed to maintain and upgrade hardware.”
  • “As a non-IT person, I find cloud-based applications easier to set up and use than many computer applications, and I don’t need to rely on internal IT support as much for assistance.”
  • “A power surge nearly destroyed our in-house e-mail server. Had we not recovered it, a great deal of historical knowledge and valuable information would have been lost forever, not to mention the lost productivity for days or weeks. Now we have a secure, redundant, cloud e-mail system we can access anywhere, anytime, with a consistent interface, and it’s made our business stronger.”

Small businesses looking to cut computing costs and improve efficiency are finding the many benefits of Internet-based software and services increasingly attractive. Cloud computing evolved as a term to describe free or subscription-based services delivered in real time over the Internet.

Cloud Computing can refer to software as a service, to file storage, synchronization, backup, other utility computing, and to infrastructure as a service.