Monthly Archives: June 2011

Office 365 or Google Apps?

With your small business starting, or growing to a point you need better email alternatives than Yahoo or Hotmail, where can you turn? There are plenty of avenues to go down; buy a server and host all your functionality at your office; go with a virtual server and run everything on it; move to the cloud and run services on there that you need. However, if the answer is to move to the "cloud" for your business, is Office 365 from Microsoft or Google Apps better for you? The review link below, I believe, gives both a fair shake, and ultimately it is dependent on your needs for cost, overhead, and ease of use for both IT and for end users. 

Renascence IT Consulting has been working with small businesses on the best solutions for each company. We have done migrations to the cloud on both Microsoft and Google's environments. We have built in house server to host email and file sharing services. We have used virtual servers to be the backbone for businesses. Each company is like a fingerprint in that what works for one may not be the best for another. While we partner with various businesses, we value our partnership with the small companies the most. If you need to get a neutral perspective on what is best for you, contact us.

Review of Office 365 and Google Apps:

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Its 5 AM, do you know where your old data is?

A scathing report emerged today, accusing Staples of reselling old customer machines that still had sensitive customer information on it. Over 1/3rd of systems independently checked still had data that included social security numbers, tax records, and banking information. 17 out of 20 laptops that were wiped still had information on them that would be labelled sensitive on them. 

You protect your company's data behind a secure network with protection on desktops and users knowing how to use their machines in a safe manner. However, when those machines are dead, do you just dump them or thoroughly wipe them? By simply throwing your machines away, you may be dumping your company's proprietary, financial, and other private data out for anyone to grab. If you are concerned, contact us and we can assist with proper methods of wiping old machines so that your business stays behind its network and not out for anyone to see.

More on the Staples report:

Critical Internet Explorer exploit – Update NOW!

Three days after patching 3 known vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8 has already been exploited. Microsoft and security professionals agree that if you have not run the latest round of updates for your systems running Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8, do so now or upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 immediately. The exploit in question abuses a hole found in IE that simply by browsing to a compromised site, automatically downloads malicious software to a user's local machine. This software then connects to a remote server to await instructions on how to exploit the user's system.

With hackers breaking into more and more companies every day, and phishing attacks on the rise, how is a small business as yours able to cope with so many security issues? At Renascence IT Consulting, we can help you lock down your company and teach your employees how to use business computers safely, without needing a Fortune 500 IT budget. Contact us for more information!

More on the Exploit:

Spear Phishing on the increase

A way to get users to install crimeware on their computers, hackers are using spear phishing tactics to commit illegal acts on the internet. Spear phishing is targeting individuals inside companies as opposed to regular phishing that sends thousands of emails out in a scatter shot method. People respond better to an email from a "friend" that emails them by name to download an 'important' piece of software that, when done, allows the phisher to control that machine. Malware, once installed, can be used to gather passwords, steal company information, and even be used to commit attacks against other targeted systems on the same network or on the internet. 

At Renascence IT Consulting, we are aware of the new methods of social engineered attacks on companies. It is not simply downloading a virus or clicking a link that can get someone at your business involved with malicious software any longer. We are aware of the many facets that can lead to your company information being leaked out of your protected network. Contact us if you have questions or concerns about your company.

More on Spear Phishing: