Who is Really Responsible for IT Maintenance?

IT Maintenance

Who do you call when IT breaks at work? What if your IT is just making an odd noise?

Well, you may call your maintenance team. But what if it’s an emergency but they are all tied up? IT Maintenance can’t be everywhere at once.

These issues raise a few questions:

Who is really responsible for IT maintenance? Who should be spotting small issues and making improvements to your infrastructure along the way?

These issues can create stress in an office or facility. Not every company is prepared for such events and not every company has an IT department.

For some businesses, displacing internal resources for IT issues can be stressful and time-wasting, making the above concerns everyone’s issue. For companies who do not have maintenance teams, or have too few resources for their IT infrastructure, a reliable solution would be managed IT services.

Managed services can include a wide range of services and can be tailored to meet the needs of your specific IT infrastructure. One way that managed services can aid your business is with regular audits and maintenance. Having routine maintenance takes the guess work out of IT problems.

The best part about this solution is that it displaces none of your employees. An outside team of professionals will be keeping your systems up-to-date in the background of your daily operations. Managed IT services can also include security measures. It can be a great relief to any business, knowing that their security is constantly being updated to combat the ever-changing threat landscape. 

For those companies who do have a team, but still struggle to keep maintenance organized and proactive, a great answer would be remote monitoring management (RMM). 

RMM is a software that allows all maintenance management to be stored. This software allows each member to log in and reference what has been done and what needs to be done.

RMM is a great tool because it gives operators greater ownership of equipment. It allows all members to know where equipment stands in its maintenance and who is responsible. It can help monitor inspections, cleanings, and other basic upkeep. Keeping track of the status of equipment and creating to-do lists will help emergency breaks and costly repairs.

A RMM helps make maintenance a shared responsibility and can help relieve some of the stress for your maintenance department. It also allows you to capture information from all over your facility, keeping you more informed and productive.

Maintenance is a critical issue for an IT infrastructure. It is important to have an understanding of the risks it faces, and a plan for upkeep. Any company, whether you have a maintenance team or not, can benefit from a full evaluation performed by an IT company. They can help you to create a plan for fixes, upgrades, and expand-ability. Review your maintenance plan within your company and be sure that your IT is being managed properly.

CCNY Tech is an IT sales and services company. For over 25 years, CCNY Tech has been supplying IT equipment as well as providing maintenance and IT recycling services. Partnering with some of the top brands in the industry, they are experts in equipment and custom configurations. CCNY Tech IT professionals provides custom solutions to businesses of all sizes. Learn more at ccnytech.com.

The Basic Monthly Checklist to IT Maintenance

In any industry, It is important to be educated about the general threats to your IT infrastructure. If you are unfamiliar, you may want to read up on security issues that businesses like yours are facing, as well as power and cooling issues that might put your systems at risk. Having even a basic understanding will better help you recognize threats before they become problems.

CCNY Tech is Managed IT Service Company located in Upstate New York  –  Utica |   Syracuse  | Ithaca  | Albany  | Rochester

Here is a simple list to go over once per month to keep your equipment running at peak performance.

Be sure to always backup your data. This is one of the most crucial rules in the IT industry. Loss of company and customer data is a serious issue that can be easily prevented. Being proactive with backups will give you peace of mind, as well as protect your data from numerous possible threats.

  1. Regularly scheduled, automated backups is a great resource to utilize. You can schedule them daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the amount of critical data being stored. It is also strongly suggested that you store backups in a remote location in addition to the local network. Having a second secure location is beneficial in times of data corruption and hardware failure.
  2. Keep software and plugins up-to-date. Always look for new versions of any critical software and plugins. Updated versions may have patches for functionality and security. It is best to then delete the ones you do not need. Any miscellaneous and extra plugins will likely slow down your machines.
  3. Remove server clutter. It is a good idea to look at your server’s RAM, CPU, and disk storage to be sure you are keeping only the essentials. If you are nearing peak capacity, it may be time to upgrade your server.
  4. Consolidate content. While you are inspecting your resources, you may want to consolidate and archive any old content. Any databases, files, and scripts that are no longer useful or necessary are only taking up space and bogging down your server.
  5. Change passwords regularly. Anyone using your server should be changing passwords frequently. Having strong password requirements helps to protect your company network from intrusions.
  6. Keep your equipment and equipment area clean. Dust and dirt can wreak havoc on the components of IT equipment; be sure to keep areas clean. Maintaining proper temperatures and spacing is also crucial to decrease the risks of overheating and downtime.
  7. Have security measures in place. Firewall and other security measures can help to protect company and customer data, as well as prevent security threats that bog down your system.

It’s important to be proactive in the maintenance of your equipment and in the planning of your infrastructure. There are a number of ways to protect your gear once you understand the vulnerabilities. Consider contacting a professional IT company for evaluations and regular maintenance. Don’t let simple issues lead to a loss of data and productivity.

CCNY Tech is an IT sales and services company. For over 25 years, CCNY Tech has been supplying IT equipment as well as providing maintenance and IT recycling services. Partnering with some of the top brands in the industry, they are experts in equipment and custom configurations. CCNY Tech IT professionals provides custom solutions to businesses of all sizes. Learn more at ccnytech.com.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations

Microsoft has announced a new version of Windows 10. The Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is a high-end edition that offers support for server grade hardware. This version is designed for security against data corruption and is capable of handling large workloads and information. It also offers the fastest read/write speeds with support for additional memory.

The Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is made for your most critical workloads. This version comes with a feature called SMB direct, which supports the use of network adapters that have Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) capabilities. It offers faster file sharing and operates at full speed with low latency. It uses little CPU power which allows increased throughput for large amounts of data across high-speed networks.

This Windows version is designed to support server grade intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors. This upgrade can handle up to four physical CPUs and up to 6TB of memory. This newest edition will launch alongside the Fall Creators Update later this year.

CCNY Tech is an IT sales and services company. For over 25 years, CCNY Tech has been supplying IT equipment as well as providing maintenance and IT recycling services. Partnering with some of the top brands in the industry, they are experts in equipment and custom configurations. CCNY Tech IT professionals provides custom solutions to businesses of all sizes. Learn more at ccnytech.com.

CCNY Tech Participates in Chamber Golf Tournament

On Friday, August 18th two members of the CCNY Tech team participated in the Chamber Choo Choo Open Golf Tournament. Joe Coffay and Matt Skinner were able to enjoy golfing and networking with other community members during the work day.

CCNY Tech helps local businesses with their IT Services and Hardware needs. Meet our team today,  give us a call 315-724-2209 ext. 210!

CCNY Tech Awards Technology Scholarship to local SUNY Senior

CCNY Tech awarded Jared Wrate of New Hartford NY with a $1,000 technology scholarship. Jared is a Computer and Electrical Engineering Technology major at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica NY.

The technology scholarship was based upon his essay submission and shares on social media. The requirements for entry were enrollment in a college, with a major in a technology-related field. CCNY Tech hopes to encourage students to pursue careers in technology, as well as ease the financial burden of higher education.

“Thank you CCNY Tech for the opportunity. I think it’s great that a local student won.” said Wrate.

Jared plans to use the scholarship for books and other college expenses. He is currently interning for an IT Company in New Hartford, NY this summer and will return to as a senior to SUNY Polytechnic Institute for the 2017-18 school year.  His future plans include starting a career in the Computer Engineering Field after college.

CCNY Tech is an IT sales and services company. For over 25 years, CCNY Tech has been supplying IT equipment as well as providing maintenance and IT recycling services. Partnering with some of the top brands in the industry, they are experts in equipment and custom configurations. CCNY Tech IT professionals provides custom solutions to businesses of all sizes. Learn more contact Jerrica Paulsen at ccnytech.com.

Choosing the Right Amount of Access for Administrators

Carefully assigning the right amount of administrator access to company employees will help to prevent your datacenter from attacks. Most admins really only need moderate access. By understanding this differentiation and putting these settings in place, you reduce the risk of network intrusions.

Strict Policies for Accessibility

The horror stories have been heard many times before, the IT admin messes with settings and the whole server crashes. It is important to remember that not everyone needs administrator access and it should not be handed to just anyone that requests it. Handing out admin access should not be done to help when IT professionals are behind schedule. In order to fix this problem, remove administrative access from those that should not have it and create policies that are more strict. Administrators don’t always need to be using their admin access accounts either: It may be a good idea to create a normal account in addition to their admin account.

Access for Administrators

What exactly should admin access be for your company?

Admins should know their role within the network. Certain items that they do not ever work with/manage, they should not have access to. Stick to the role for admin access; Storage admins only need access to items relating to storage. Physical access is also a difficult topic as certain areas may need to be accessed, but raise the risk of accidental configuration changes. One person should not have all of the power with a system. In addition, one admin should also not be the only person with passwords and access to a system. Carefully use both business and security decisions to determine access levels for each individual. It is important to remember while admins do a lot for their networks, they are also the prime targets for cyber attacks.

CCNY Tech is an IT sales and services company. For over 25 years, CCNY Tech has been supplying IT equipment as well as providing maintenance and IT recycling services. Partnering with some of the top brands in the industry, they are experts in equipment and custom configurations. CCNY Tech IT professionals provides custom solutions to businesses of all sizes. Learn more at ccnytech.com.

How Financial Services Network Security Strategies Have Recently Evolved

A Great Read from Our Partner Fortinet 

by Bill Hogan  |  Aug 03, 2017  |  Filed in: Industry Trends

Network security has become increasingly complicated for financial services providers due to the popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) and consumer desire to access valuable data on various mobile devices.

While financial institutions are transitioning their network security strategies to keep up with these current consumer demands and give greater individual access to their networks, they must also be cognizant of the evolving threat landscape. Cyberattacks are constantly becoming more sophisticated in order to bypass traditional network security measures. At the same time, increased access to the network by IoT devices also means increased attack vectors. The need for evolved network security is further emphasized by the attention it has garnered from government regulators, who are shining a spotlight on compliance and security at financial institutions of all sizes.

Network Security

The Challenges Facing Network Security

Strong network security has to operate around two key factors: speed and service. The ideal network experience is judged around how quickly bits of information get from point A to point B, and how quickly applications respond to queries. In finance especially, rapid communication and security are vital, and neither can come at the expense of the other. In addition to fast communication within the network, consumers now expect to able to access and edit information stored within the network through the web. This ability is integral to staying competitive, with more than 60 percent of financial institutions currently developing cloud strategies as a result.

This increased demand for real-time, on-demand services is part of the reason why network security strategies are changing and becoming more complex. Data must be more secure, travel faster, and be more readily available across devices, in spite of being constantly under attack from sophisticated threats.

Moving forward, financial services firms will have to respond to new attack vectors that threaten core functions. As these trends persist, robust network security strategies are evolving to include the following tactics:

Intrusion Detection

Adapting to meet these new challenges means moving away from the traditional tactic of simply placing protection at the edge to implementing something more comprehensive. Network security has traditionally been focused on intrusion protection. This strategy relies on placing defenses at the perimeter of the network to detect and stop malware from entering. However, today’s perimeters are dynamic and increasingly temporary, making edge-based protection less and less effective. Additionally, security professionals have come to understand that it’s impossible to stop every attack. The reality is, there will be successful breaches. Security needs to be designed with this reality in mind.

This is why effective security strategies have advanced from simply relying on intrusion protection to include intrusion detection as well. Intrusion detection systems operate on the assumption that an attack will breach network perimeter defenses. They scan the network for abnormal behavior to detect live attacks that have circumvented the perimeter in order to reduce dwell time, because the longer an intruder or malware can reside undetected inside the network, the more likely it is that they will find and steal valuable information. Today’s sophisticated malware probes the network to find and accumulate valuable data, and then exfiltrates it. The goal is to detect and mitigate the threat before data loss occurs.

This expansion from strictly perimeter-based protection to include security measures at network segmentation demarcation points, deep in the core of the network marks, and out to the cloud are an important strategy shift in network security as financial services firms navigate combining security with the digital evolution.

Incident Response

With intrusion detection systems in place, incident response is the next step in ensuring attacks are mitigated quickly once detected. With today’s new threats, incident response has to go beyond having a list of procedures to follow in the event of an attack. It needs to include integrated tools that provide full visibility into the security posture of the network, automated solutions that identify and respond to abnormal activity, and forensic tools for analysis to ensure similar threats are not successful. Once malware is detected, it’s important to have an integrated security structure in place across your entire extended network to mitigate its impact before it can further compromise your network.

Threat Intelligence

Once the incident response team has mitigated a threat, it needs to then be assessed by a threat research team, either an internal group or one provided via a third-party, to ensure that protocols are updated to keep similar threats from being successful in the future. Threat research is integral to both intrusion prevention and incident response. Threat research teams study such critical areas as malware, botnets, and zero-day attacks to identify device or network vulnerabilities, uncover weak threat vectors, and create mitigation signatures. The broader network security is then appropriately hardened, updated with abnormalities to look for, and enhanced with the tools needed to stop them from causing damage. Solid threat intelligence keeps your network steps ahead of attackers by setting up protocols for both known and unknown vulnerabilities.

Final Thoughts

Four key changes have made it necessary for financial institutions to reevaluate how they approach network security: cloud-based infrastructure and services, IoT, increased sophistication of cyberattacks, and stricter government regulations. As the internal network interacts more often with the web and cloud, and attacks become more sophisticated, it is inevitable that an attack will successfully breach the network. Which is why it is critical that an organization’s security focus shift to ensure that once malware has made it into the network, it can be detected and mitigated quickly to ensure the least possible damage and reduce the chance of recurrence. To do this successfully, organizations need to select and deploy interconnected intrusion detection, threat intelligence and analytics, and incident response tools across the entire distributed network.

Let’s get a conversation going on Twitter! What security strategies should financial organizations be implementing as mobile and the IoT become more.

 

CCNY Tech is an IT sales and services company. For over 25 years, CCNY Tech has been supplying IT equipment as well as providing maintenance and IT recycling services. Partnering with some of the top brands in the industry, they are experts in equipment and custom configurations. CCNY Tech IT professionals provides custom solutions to businesses of all sizes. Learn more at ccnytech.com.

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