Visit From Congressman Anthony Brindisi

Representative Anthony Brindisi visited our facility in Utica NY this morning to see what CCNY Tech offers our customers, employees and community.

These week Rep. Brindisi is touring some local businesses in the district and decided to stop in to see us at work. He was very impressed with the size of our operations and looks forward to helping us grow and add jobs in the area.

CCNY Tech continues to grow and expand our reach and services to match our clients ever evolving technology needs.

 

Is it Time? Signs You Are Ready For Managed IT Services

Managed Services can be generally defined as outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities for improving operations and cutting expenses. When it comes to technology, it’s the outsourcing of continual monitoring and day-to-day administrative duties of your IT infrastructure.

How do you know if your organization could benefit from managed network services? The best way to determine if you’ll cut costs is to know what you are currently paying for your IT management internally. You need to judge the true upkeep costs and then comparing that to an estimate from a reputable managed network services provider like CCNY Tech.

Do you have a dedicated IT professional on staff?
Many small to medium-sized businesses have IT needs that will quickly overwhelm the time and skills of the unlucky staff member who isn’t an IT professional but just happens to be the tech-savviest person around. Many business owners find themselves in a tough position trying to keep a handle on technology while also running their business.

Even if this task is delegated to someone else, it still means someone on your staff is spending a large amount of time fixing IT problems rather than being productive at their job. In most cases, they probably don’t have the time or technical knowledge to plan for the future of your IT systems. This path will doom you to a continual reactive cycle that never prepares you for future growth, challenges, or demands on your network.

If you don’t have a dedicated IT person, managed services is the perfect substitute. Rather than paying the salary and benefits for another employee, you could pay a reduced amount for managed services. A technology professional with five years of experience may be worth $70,000+ a year. That $70,000 salary only gets you one person, not a team of professionals with expertise and knowledge. When you hire your own IT staff, there are also challenges scheduling around vacation, training, and illness. Using managed IT services provides full time IT coverage and vacations, illness, and other absences don’t affect your support.

Many choose our Managed Services because their IT professional is swamped with everyday tasks—and things are falling through the cracks.
Is your IT person on top of your software licensing? Are your security updates and upgrades being run continually on all your computers, server, and other devices? Even a single seasoned professional can be overrun with work that keeps piling up, and the biggest culprit is the everyday management and monitoring tasks that get delayed and shunted to the side when a bigger or higher priority issue comes up.

You’re always bringing in outside help to fix “emergency” problems that could have been detected and handled earlier.
If you currently work with an IT company, take a look at your “brake/fix” history with them. Is your server going down repeatedly because no one detected one of its hard drives was going bad? Are you continually paying for someone to come on-site and fix little problems with your employees’ computers?

If you’ve experienced any one or more of these signs, then Managed IT Services from CCNY Tech might be right for you. Call us at 315-724-2209 and press ‘1’ for sales.

Network Edge Vs. Edge Computing

What is the network edge and how is it different from edge computing?

The network edge, also known as the WAN edge. Edge computing is a modern take on data center and cloud computing architectures to help create efficiencies.

In a nutshell, network edge is where an enterprise network connects to third-party network services.

Today, applications and data are housed in one or more data processing locations (either in private data centers or public clouds). These data centers are often geographically far from the end user. This distance between the user and the apps, data and services they interact with can create inefficiencies from a Bandwidth and Throughput.

Edge computing seeks to alleviate these inefficiencies by moving applications and data closer to the user. This is accomplished by decentralizing traditional data centers and locating them physically closer to end users, thus placing data and apps closer to the end-user edge.

What is the network edge?
The point at which the enterprise-owned network connects to a third-party network is known as the network edge.
The network edge, on the other hand, is one or more boundaries within a network that designate who controls the underlying network infrastructure equipment. For example, an enterprise network usually consists of a corporate wired LAN, a wireless LAN, and one or more private data centers. Each of these network segments is owned and managed by the corporate IT department.

The point at which the enterprise-owned network connects to a third-party network is known as the network edge. Thus, you’ll often hear network administrators talk about their WAN edge or internet edge.

Security Dilemma
You’re connecting your equipment to someone else’s. In these cases, added network edge security is required to prevent malicious activity from the foreign network moving into yours.

Many tools are available to protect the network edge. The most common choice today is a traditional network-based firewall. A firewall is a great first line of defense to permit or deny traffic based on IP address and protocol or port number.

Getting more granular, you can implement an intrusion prevention system to monitor traffic to see if any known malicious signatures are matched. If a packet is found to contain a malicious signature, it is stopped and blocked from entering the secure side of your network.

Other network security tools, such as network-based malware protection, data loss prevention and cloud-based threat intelligence and sandboxing services, are also great ways to protect the network edge from more advanced threats.

Companies investigating possible edge computing applications shouldn’t assume they can simply select an option off the shelf. The wide variety of applications means no single network architecture exists for the edge. Each network must be designed to meet the specific requirements of an application.

Is Edge Computing New?
Edge computing is not new — branch office servers have been executing applications for years. But much of the recent interest in edge computing has stemmed from the growth of IoT. Hundreds of IoT device types have been developed, ranging from simple devices that periodically report temperature to sophisticated machine tools.

As IoT (Internet of Things) growth and application processing requirements influence the future of edge computing, it’s also useful to compare edge computing with cloud computing. While each option has its advantages, the ultimate decision filters down to organization requirements and customization.

Edge computing will undoubtedly continue to increase as new types of IoT devices develop. It could also prove to be a viable alternative or complement cloud computing, especially for applications that require fast response times. The technology grow and make edge computing easier and less expensive than acquiring components and assembling them at remote sites.

CCNY Tech offers small businesses in Upstate New York ways to be proactive with their security measures, while being on-call to handle technical issues that come up. Contact a specialist at 315-724-2209 and ask about the exclusive TechAgent program that has been built around helping SMBs to increase uptime, while staying within budget.

What Is a VPN Used For?

A virtual private network (VPN) is software that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. VPNs were developed initially to provide branch office employees with safe and reliable access to corporate applications and data. Today, VPNs are often used by remote workers and business travellers who require access to sites that are geographically restricted. The two most common types of VPNs are remote access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs.

Remote access VPN
Remote access VPN clients connect to a VPN gateway on the organization’s network. The gateway requires the device to authenticate its identity before granting access to internal network resources such as file servers, printers and intranets. This type of VPN usually relies on either IP Security (IPsec) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to secure the connection, although SSL VPNs are focused on supplying secure access to a single application rather than to the entire internal network. Some VPNs provide Layer 2 access to the target network; these require a tunnelling protocol like the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol or the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol running across the base IPsec connection. In addition to IPsec and SSL, other protocols used to secure VPN connectivity and encrypt data are Transport Layer Security and OpenVPN.

Site-to-site VPN
In contrast, a site-to-site VPN uses a gateway device to connect an entire network in one location to a network in another location. End-node devices in the remote location do not need VPN clients because the gateway handles the connection.

SSL Help Secure Your VPN
There are lots of SSL Certification Authorities with Browser based safety for Intra-Organizational security. As companies become more decentralized, they find themselves with employees all around the globe. This presents a challenge for network managers – how to make their networks available for their employees as well as maintain reliable security measures. Network managers put up Virtual Private networks to achieve this job.

VPN’s allow you to turn the Web into your company network. Through the use of encryption, VPN connections are protected from outside users, safeguarding data and enabling the secure, remote use of important applications. SSL Certificates help you secure your VPN connections in the most straightforward approach.

SSL Certificates Manage Data Transport
SSL Certificates are based on the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol. SSL is a protocol for managing the security of message transmission on the Internet. The SSL standard isn’t a single protocol, but rather a set of approved data transfer routines that are designed to safeguard the integrity of sent messages. SSL relies on certificates – digital identification – and secrets.

 

Certificates include the name of the certification authority which issued the certificate, the title of the thing to which the certification was issued, the entity’s public key, and time stamps that indicate the certificate’s expiration date. SSL Certificates on your Virtual Private Networks or Intranets Serves the identical function as Internet SSL – that they create the communication between a host and a browser safe and secure.

Thus, if you’ve got a large employee base that’s spread across, you should consider SSL Certificates as a great way to secure your internal communications. The SSL VPN can be a fantastic selection for schools, libraries and public kiosks where hope may be a problem, but easy access is also essential.

CCNY Tech offers small businesses in Upstate New York ways to be proactive with their security measures, while being on-call to handle technical issues that come up. Contact a specialist at 315-724-2209 and ask about the exclusive TechAgent program that has been built around helping SMBs to increase uptime, while staying within budget.

Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services

Break/Fix is a reactive approach of providing IT support to customers. Break/Fix services are generally fee-based and rely on a customer contacting the IT services company when repairs or upgrades are needed.

 

While break/fix usually works where the IT Services Company charges an hourly rate plus the cost of parts (also known as time-and-materials), there are some exceptions. For example, a Break/Fix IT company might offer discrete services, such as virus removal or data migration, at a flat rate instead of an hourly rate, usually because the contractor has a clear scope of the time and deliverable involved.

 

Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services
Break/Fix is distinguished from Managed IT Services. Managed IT Services is an approach in which an IT services company will take responsibility for customers’ IT systems and provide remote monitoring and management. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) will determine what is covered and not covered in a Managed Services contract. Sometimes an SLA will cover a limited scope, or only perform operations remotely, for instance.

 

Whereas Break/Fix services resolve their customers’ IT issues only when support is requested, managed services providers (MSPs) take a proactive approach to prevent potential IT issues from disrupting uptime and employee efficiencies.

 

The Break/Fix model is inherently “Broken”

In the IT services industry, the Break/Fix service model has received criticism for taking a reactive approach to maintaining IT systems for clients. The controversy of the Break/Fix service model is multifaceted. Some IT services companies that focus on Break/Fix will end up “billing the customer” more cost per year than if a proactive approach was chosen. This direction is where taking a proactive approach is gaining more influence with small to medium-sized businesses.

 

Some IT managed service contracts are inclusive of both proactive and reactive care plans. This encourages businesses to fix problems before they become catastrophic for their business. Unmonitored and non-maintained systems are ripe for massive issues such as data loss, malware/spyware infection, or ransomware attacks.

 

Infected and poorly maintained systems can also cost money in losses in efficiencies for employees. Well maintained systems and computers not only keeps employees happier, but it also allows them to do their jobs with fewer issues and conflicts.

The Ancillary Benefits of Managed Services

The value of MSPs proactive approach is starting to be more understood by the business world due to the ancillary benefits with employee efficiencies, happier work experiences and increased uptime at a relatively fixed monthly cost. It generally works better for a companies for budgeting to know how much IT maintenance costs are involved before the year begins. By securing a prepaid MSP plan, companies and organization can have piece of mind that they have an IT partner that will be available when they need them, while monitoring potential issues 24/7.

Transitioning to Managed Services

While Break/Fix was a prevalent model for providing IT support a decade ago, many IT services companies have transitioned to the managed services model. However, many IT companies continue to offer Break/Fix services for customers that still see it as a fit.

If you are looking to transition to a managed services model, engaging a company like CCNY Tech can be an extremely viable option, as CCNY Tech offers a “hybrid approach” to managed services. Our CCNY TechAgent service allow for quick reactive response via ticket while we can monitor, patch and remotely assist when issues arise.

 

Contact a representative at CCNY Tech (315-724-2209) to learn more how the TechAgent program can help your business or organization, maintain a quality IT experience.

 

CCNY Tech delivers IT Services across Upstate New York
Utica |   Syracuse  | Ithaca  | Albany  | Rochester

 

CCNY Tech offers small businesses in Upstate New York ways to be proactive with their security measures, while being on-call to handle technical issues that come up. Contact a specialist at 315-724-2209 and ask about the exclusive TechAgent program that has been built around helping SMBs to increase uptime, while staying within budget.

Stop Playing The Odds

IT departments looking to save time and money shouldn’t be doing this at the expense of their data protection. A study from the University of Texas showed that 43% of companies suffering from catastrophic data breaches were forced to close and never reopen, and 51% closed within two years.

Although all breaches are not the same, many of the causes are human-related and carry similar themes.

Trusting Co-workers to Follow Policies
The reality is that employees aren’t always great at following company policies, and even when they do, mistakes still occur. Automation enables some solutions. This, along with, strict enforcement of created policies and procedures, and retention enables data retrieval are key steps businesses need to consider.

Underestimating Cybercriminals
Most companies have at least basic security solutions (firewalls and anti-virus applications) in place to defend against malware. But cybercriminals are becoming very adept at breaking through traditional cyberdefenses. IT professionals should evaluate their IT Infrastructure, identify areas of vulnerability and implement better security solutions to overcome them. These solutions include web-monitoring software for safe Internet usage, end-point protection for bring-your-own-device management and a sandbox to fight targeted attacks. From a backup perspective, the ideal approach is to operate backup and disaster-recovery solutions on a non-Windows operating system. Windows has long been one of cybercriminals’ favorite targets, and running protection software on an operating system which is relentlessly under attack just does not make sense.

Playing the Odds
Despite data-loss horror stories, many companies still don’t have disaster-recovery plans in place to protect data (customers, company & employee data) from natural and man-made disasters. Many companies that do have set policies have just one general set of guidelines that apply to all disaster situations. A strong plan focuses on people, infrastructure and processes, and clearly outlines how each is affected in different disaster scenarios.

Failing to Test Disaster-Recovery Plans
Failure to test disaster-recovery plans, or testing them infrequently, can greatly increase the risk of data loss in the event of a disaster. Since IT infrastructure evolves daily, thorough testing must be done on a consistent schedule as a standard business practice.

Transparency is key today. No matter whether the information loss is noticed right away or weeks afterwards, notifying the public and those affected is key to mitigating against negative outcomes for a business. Often companies will recover if they are candid with their customers and helpful with providing solutions to prevent identity thief or further breaches. Taking responsibility of the breach and disclosing exactly what information was breached can help tremendously against further damage.

CCNY Tech delivers IT Services across Upstate New York
Utica |   Syracuse  | Ithaca  | Albany  | Rochester

CCNY Tech offers small businesses in Upstate New York ways to be proactive with their security measures, while being on-call to handle technical issues that come up. Contact a specialist at 315-724-2209 and ask about the exclusive TechAgent program that has been built around helping SMBs to increase uptime, while staying within budget.

 

 

Small Business Owners: It’s Time…

There are two main reasons why business owners aren’t taking appropriate actions to safeguard their networks; yet another motive is known as”security fatigue,” and the other explanation is essentially denial. Security fatigue occurs when cybersecurity gets so overwhelming that business owners abandon practices entirely. Safety is constantly changing and attacks are becoming more complex, so some believe that their efforts are futile.

According to a survey, about 87% of small business owners don’t feel this is a legitimate threat. That same poll says that just 69% have steps in place to prevent attacks. These statistics leave an alarming variety of small companies without any intrusion detection/ avoidance in any way. Now let us be clear here, info breaches are a real chance for many companies, in all industries.

CCNY Tech’s Central New York MSP offering understand that securing company networks, data, applications, and sensitive information can be terribly overwhelming. It may be even more stressful when customer information is on the line. As technology grows more and more concentrated in our companies, our need for safety becomes much greater. But, network security doesn’t need to be as complicated as you may think. Although it’s critical, it can be readily implemented and maintained.

1. Designed Wifi Access Points – Having a WiFi range that extends further than your instant building leaves your network more exposed to hackers. Perhaps it doesn’t seem like a probable issue, but it is more common than you may know.

2. Install a Firewall – A firewall is a very straightforward and manageable way to protect your network. Using a dedicated firewall permits for more in-depth review of programs entering your system.

They provide an array of safety enforcement technologies and fight against complex threats.

3. Physical Security – It can be quite useful to keep your system infrastructure behind locked doors. Studies have found that the majority of breaches are performed by workers — both unintentionally and intentionally. It can be best to maintain network infrastructure off limits to anybody that doesn’t require direct contact with it.

4. Educate Your Employees – Since inside accidents are so common, it might be beneficial to spend 1 day per year teaching best practices. This includes teaching employees about opening particular emails, where to conserve company and client information, spam filters, and clean desk policies, amongst others.

A clean desk policy implies all workers keep company and customer data from their desks when it isn’t being used. Any visitor, or even employees from different departments shouldn’t have the opportunity to view sensitive information.

Password training may also be valuable to your organization. Not only is it important not to write passwords down, it’s also helpful to use complicated combinations and to change them regularly. Today the best bet is to have “two-factor authentication” which typically requires a second step of approval on a mobile device via text message or native application.

5. SSL and Encryption – Most businesses these days have a website. If financial information passes through a website, it is up to the business to perform their due diligence and safeguard that information to the best of the ability. A very simple way to kick off this is to allow SSL through your hosting provider. This will help to protect against loss of information through packet sniffing.

6. Keep Log Files – A centralized accounting server keeps logs from all devices on the system and may be used to determine the point of entry for an individual, in addition to their information (in case the system is not compromised). These files are essential for damage control and future preparation.

7. Captive Portal on accessibility Points – Implementing captive portal for guest users on your network is a simple method to alleviate some possible responsibility. This is accomplished by ensuring guest customers read and consent to an AUP (acceptable use policy) which clarifies acceptable use in your network. If a guest then utilizes your network to perpetrate a crime in some way, your business is no longer accountable for their actions.

8. Avoid BYOD – All employees and management should avoid using their private devices for work. When office workers use personal phones, tablet computers, laptops, etc. at the job site, they start the network to several dangers. When connecting outside devices to the business network, it’s subsequently subjected to some viruses and threats that they may have been carrying. Likewise, once an employee brings work home on personal computers and phones, they undermine the job into the low amount of security in their home system. Worker devices shouldn’t be connected to the company network and company work should not be brought home. This can leave a network quite vulnerable.

9. Anti-virus and Automated Software Updates – Researching and installing proper antivirus is an excellent way to shield your network. Attacks can be hiding in all kinds of places and antivirus makes it only that much safer to see sites and emails that are open.

Automated software upgrades are another very helpful networking practice because it ensures that you are running the latest versions. Software updates often include patches to some issues in prior versions. This may consist of security holes and leaks. These upgrades operate in the background, and while you don’t observe they are happening, they can be protecting your information.

CCNY Tech delivers Managed IT Services across Upstate New York
Utica |   Syracuse  | Ithaca  | Albany  | Rochester

CCNY Tech offers small businesses in Upstate New York ways to be proactive with their security measures, while being on-call to handle technical issues that come up. Contact a specialist at 315-724-2209 and ask about the exclusive TechAgent program that has been built around helping SMBs to increase uptime, while staying within budget.

IT Asset Disposition in 2019

ITAD or IT Asset Disposition has evolved over the years and now many companies have improved their apprach to offer a balanced alternative to simple e-waste recycling.

Modern ITAD comes with a number of different strategies to keep data secure while getting a return on the company’s hardware investment. It is a fact that companies, especially those who want to stay competitive, must invest a huge amount of money in new IT Hardware to stay efficient and profitable. New equipment is a great thing, but properly disposing of the older assets can cause some serious environmental damage and possible fines. There is no doubt that IT asset disposition is beneficial for every company and even for individuals, but there are few things that need to be taken into consideration before using IT Asset Disposition.

First of all, companies are free to choose whether this whole process will be carried by their own IT professionals or they will use an evolved IT Asset Disposition company like CCNY Tech. Both options have their advantages or disadvantages. Auditing of equipment and the elements of this equipment like serial numbers, barcodes and similar ID numbers are part of every serious IT Asset Disposition strategy. In this way, the company can get a precise report on the effects of this IT strategy implementation.

CCNY Tech – ITAD Services

An advanced IT Asset Disposition Company like CCNY Tech can help a company replenish it’s budget by remarketing some of the systems or parts of the systems that still have value to secondary or international markets. They can safely dismantle the device on small components and use these components for new devices.

Some companies simply outgrow the equipment they have and although they are perfectly fine these units are useless for them. IT asset disposition experts can help remove the secure data stored on these servers and devices in general. In case the equipment is non-functional, it is the best idea to send it to a specialized e-waste recycling company like CCNY Tech.

Thanks to the increased Eco-awareness, more and more companies will use ITAD strategies as part of their e-waste strategies. In this way they can expect to get the most from their investments in technology. By using IT asset disposition techniques, companies will not only avoid legal problems and protect the environment, but they can also return some of their original investments. This is certainly a trend that is becoming a standard.

CCNY Tech has mastered the process to separating the value, remarketing systems, and recycling the rest in an efficient manner.

ITAD Services from CCNY Tech

Reasons for Outsourcing Your IT Support Services

Reasons for Outsourcing Your IT Support Services

A professional IT support provider helps manage the network, users, services, and devices that are integral to a company’s operations. It helps guarantee that the organization’s network is current and that its technology provides seamless operations across all departments, hierarchies, and roles within the company.

The immediate and long-term benefits of outsourcing your IT Support Service.

Reduce labor costs
Tech support specialists are expensive. An IT professional earns between $40,000.00 to $90,000.00 per year. By outsourcing your IT needs you will spend a fraction of the annual salary.

Lessen IT Costs
IT projects can be budgeted more efficiently. A company’s expense is for the talent needed for the project. The level expertise for a specific project usually is not the level of talent needed for day to day operations. Hiring a firm allows a company to scale

Provide an uninterrupted flow of service
Professional IT network service providers ensure end-to-end networking and a continuous flow of functionality for internet, intranet, and extranet.

Increase in Productivity
When disaster management and recovery are tackled with competence, employees tend to be less anxious. Less anxious employees can devote more energy to day-to-day operations

Remain focused on core business
Having confidence in a skilled IT Service provider allows management to focus on their core business instead of Network security, disaster recovery, crashes, etc.

Enjoy expanded resources
By bringing in outside resources you are gaining the insight of professionals who have IT experiences outside of your IT environment. A company gains access to cutting-edge technology that they would not normally encounter.

Recovery from disaster
When a cyber-attack or other disaster hits a company, how a company’s data is protected becomes vital in the future of the business. Without a recovery plan already in place data can be lost and in some cases, businesses close.

Why CCNY Tech? One word “Proven”

  • 30 plus years in IT Industry
  • On-staff engineers
  • 100 plus years combined technical experience
  • Apple certified
  • Cisco certified
  • Fortinet certified
  • Dell certified

As a prospective client of CCNY Tech we request 15 minutes of your time.

What you get from CCNY Tech for your 15 minutes of time:

A qualified IT professional will walk thru your entire IT infrastructure, give suggestions and recommendations on what is needed immediately and concerns that can be addressed in the future.

After evaluating your IT Network, we will submit a customized proposal for IT services. In most cases, we can save your organization money with our remote access TechAgent solution.

CCNY Tech is an experienced Managed Service Provider in New York State
Utica |   Syracuse  | Ithaca  | Albany  | Rochester

Tricia Shauger is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer with CCNY Tech. Her expertise is in helping clients get the best IT partnership. CCNY Tech has 30 years experience dealing with the lifecycle needs of companies across the US.

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