NATICK, MA (November 11, 2019) – ComputerSupport LLC, doing business as StratusPointIT, a national provider of managed IT and cloud services for small and medium businesses, today announced that it has acquired LightWire Inc., a Massachusetts based IT services provider with a strong presence in the New England area. This acquisition will further strengthen the engineering talent and provide a more robust service offering for the combined customer base.
Ian Findlay, President of LightWire, commented about the acquisition: “We’re extremely excited to join forces with StratusPointIT so we can work together to help our customers realize the potential of their technology.” Ian will be joining StratusPointIT as their Vice President of Customer Success. In that role, Ian will be focused on further advancing the technology advisory services to a diverse customer base, from technical strategy and recommendations to ROI and IT spend analysis.
“We’re thrilled for LightWire to join our team, as they have a loyal customer base and experienced engineering talent”, said Eric Correnti, CEO of StratusPointIT. Eric further stated “Both companies have close to a 15-year track record of proven customer success. Combining our talent will only deepen our commitment to servicing the growing needs of our customers. Our product is our people, and I’m excited to further expand our team and continue to provide exceptional service. We’ll be concentrating our efforts on identifying and implementing the best of both organizations, a focus we believe will ultimately prove highly advantageous to the combined customer base.”
Founded in 2006, StratusPointIT’s mission is to harness the power of technology and help business executives get the most out of their technology investment, on premises or in the cloud. The company’s ITAnyWhere Support, ITAnyWhere WorkSpace and ITAnyWhere ServiceDesk products and services, along with key security solutions and advisory services, have helped hundreds of businesses stay competitive with the innovative use of technology.
Founded in 2005, LightWire focuses on delivering exceptional IT systems, services, and support that your business needs to thrive. The company supports businesses across the broad and robust industries of the New England market, inclusive of technology, manufacturing, education and life sciences.
Security is one of those topics that you may want to ignore, but that’s a bad idea! If you’re not thinking about securing your digital assets, some forces will find your weaknesses. Criminal organizations are operating online with near impunity, so the only thing left to do is batten down the hatches.
Secure communications are the best way to combat the theft of information. Without securing a channel, anyone can (and will) attempt to eavesdrop. If they “overhear” passwords or other sensitive data, they will cause immense damage. Why take the chance when new technology renders this threat obsolete?
Most companies that are handling financial transactions are now using virtual data rooms to solve security issues. If that’s the first time you’re hearing about them, don’t be alarmed. The technology is relatively new and is gaining popularity as companies discover its benefits. For handling documents that need to remain private, it’s an ideal solution.
Document handling has traditionally been a problem for companies that want to achieve and maintain compliance. They have to follow strict procedures, that must be enforced automatically by technology. That’s basically what a VDR does and why they are indispensable tools. There’s no possible way to handle compliance issues by hand, especially when dealing with a large number of clients. It’s not scalable, and the downside is huge.
A meeting room eliminates the need to worry about compliance enforcement for each document, transaction, or communication. Instead, it’s all baked in, so that perfect performance is the result. There’s no reason to worry about something going wrong because automated enforcement never misses. That’s why all the documents remain in compliance, and a detailed audit trail is available for anyone who wants to view the pipeline.
Startups are targets for litigation, and also need to provide a lot of confidential information to vendors and partners. That’s why using a virtual data room (VDR) is a necessity. It will give them a place to maintain everything they need while avoiding the high costs of lawsuits. Their investors will love it because it makes it easy to get the information they want. Partners also can make use of the secured channel for communication.
Compliance is not fun to talk about, but it’s the most significant issue facing new enterprises. Deal with it upfront to avoid problems later.
There are no good reasons to avoid using a meeting room for a startup. The expenses are not that big, and the benefits are in line with corporate goals, especially if you think about the fact that data rooms offer the same industry-level security as major banks and financial institutions. Data is the most valuable asset startups have, especially those with brand new solutions. They have to safeguard this asset, or there will be a price to pay. Starting on the right foundation is priceless. A data room serves as the ideal jumping-off point for data security.
Going into battle without a plan will be costly for startups. That’s why it’s crucial to begin with a robust infrastructure. It’s nearly impossible to tackle scalability issues when growing. Instead, careful planning and the right server structure will ensure ideal operations. Startups always have to consider fast growth. What happens if customers start recommending the service like crazy? Will the team be able to handle it all?
That’s what a meeting room will address from the earliest stages. Starting with this crucial piece of the puzzle can separate the poor startups from the ones that beat the world. With secure data in place and a way to easily communicate with vendors, partners, and customers, there’s nothing that will stop an enthusiastic company with an action plan. A data room is the one piece of infrastructure no startup can live without for long.
One mistake that’s tough to come back from is a negligent error that results in damage to corporate reputation. That’s the result of hacks, or leaks of confidential information. With a VDR, those issues become a thing of the past. Startups that are willing to implement these solutions won’t have to worry about many common issues facing their competitors. That’s why getting one provides a direct competitive advantage.
With the rapid adoption of Office 365 in small and medium businesses, data being stored in the cloud is quickly increasing. From emails, contacts, and files via OneDrive for Business or SharePoint, small and medium businesses are relying on Office 365 more and more. Many businesses feel if their data is in the cloud, then everything is safe. In some respects, they are correct, and other respects they are not.
To help better understand the situation we need to break down the problem into two segments; protecting the Application vs. the Data. Microsoft ensures you have access to the applications within Office 365, but you’re responsible for the data within the applications.
Microsoft protects the infrastructure that your data resides on from things such as:
But who is protecting your data from the human element, or what you might want to call the “unexpected loss”? Sure Office 365 has some native retention policies, but there are scenario’s that can go beyond the basic retention policies that Microsoft provides, such as:
Many businesses have lost business-critical data simply by accidental deletion. Businesses must realize providers like Microsoft are focused on availability, usability, and accessibility of their applications. You must worry about the human factor. If it’s by mistake, or intentional, business-critical data can be lost.
Ransomware attacks, especially in the cloud, are on the rise, and we all know how prevalent phishing scams have been. To help combat these attacks businesses should implement enhanced spam filtering tools, and perform security awareness training to their employees, but what happens if something slipped through the cracks?
Implementing the proper data backup solution is the most effective solution to respond to a successful attack. Don’t wait until it’s too late, backup your Office 365 from the Human element.
According to Gartner.com, by 2020, there will be an estimated 24 billion internet-connected devices globally.
Most of the incidents and data breaches confirm that hackers use techniques that exploit vulnerabilities in both applications and users. Technology alone can’t protect your privacy.
NOTE: According to their latest Data Breach Investigations Report, published by Verizon, 43% of breach victims were small businesses which means that any size organization is a potential target. Unfortunately, nothing changed since 2015 when Symantec published a similar report revealing that 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses.
We have put together a list with what we believe to be vital to protect your digital privacy and your organization’s sensitive data.
Educate all employees on the importance and impact of protecting consumer and business data as well as the vital role they play in keeping it safe.
Today’s web browsers offer their own versions of this form of privacy protection. In Chrome, it’s called Incognito Mode. Firefox calls this setting Private Browsing allowing you to open private tabs, and Internet Explorer uses the name InPrivate Browsing for its privacy feature.
When you search with these features turned on, others won’t be able to track your browsing sessions. However, activating those features will not be enough to hide your web sessions completely. When you’re searching in incognito or private mode, your Internet Service Provider can still track your browsing activity and so the websites you access.
Incognito browsing has several benefits, but it is not the only tool available to help you maintain your privacy while online.
Anonymous search engines and virtual private networks will improve your online security.
Google, Yahoo, and Bing are not your only options anymore. Privacy is one good reason people prefer to use anonymous search engines today. This type of search engine doesn’t store or share your search history. Anonymous search engines, such as DuckDuckGo (and its Android, iOS apps and browser extension) will enforce all websites you visit to use their HTTPS versions while blocking their tracking cookies. It can also block advertising, if you choose so, improving websites’ load speed and your browsing experience.
Most breaches involve spear phishing, use of stolen credentials or persistent malware, usually backdoor, which creates a connection from your device to a hacker leaving you vulnerable to further attacks.
Statistically, the email service is the most common delivery method for malware.
Ensure your whole team has MFA (multi-factor authentication) enabled on all email accounts. All employees should access their work email from secure devices, preferably not their personal devices. Also, the password for your work email should be completely unique and never reused on another site. Hackers can take passwords from other data breaches and try them on emails, and if you have used the same password on multiple websites, then you are putting all your accounts at risk.
In addition, you should install advanced phishing and spam protection. This is a comprehensive email protection and continuity product that helps defend against the latest threats, from spear phishing, ransomware, and other targeted attacks.
As you probably know, mobile apps often require your permission to access contacts or files, to use the camera, the microphone, geolocation, and so forth. Some apps cannot work without these permissions, but others use this information to profile you for marketing or even worse, but let’s stay positive. It’s quite easy to control permissions for your mobile apps. The same goes for browser extensions. So, make sure you limit their access as much as possible.
Keeping your personal data private and secure will remain a challenge in the coming years, but with the right help and by following a set of rules you will be able to keep your internet-connected devices safe and secure.
Boston, MA – September, 2019
We take pride in our clients and services. Our mission at StratusPointIT, formerly ComputerSupport.com, is to help business executives get the most out of their technology investment. Our customers understand the value of IT and the impact great technology makes on their business operations.
Clutch has recently released rankings of the top B2B service providers in each of the 50 states, segmented by location and services provided. We are proud that StratusPointIT has been named as one of the top IT & Business Service Providers in Massachusetts!
Clutch, a B2B marketplace, is headquartered in our nation’s capital—Washington D.C. Their mission is to connect businesses to the solution providers that they need when facing a business challenge. The team ranks companies based on important credentials such as market presence, minimum project size, and client experience. Clutch performs interviews with verified clients in order to produce the most unbiased ranking possible. These in-depth interviews with clients concern the quality of their interaction with the company and are incredibly important to the entirety of the review and ratings process.
Currently, our profile has 5.0 stars out of a possible 5.0 stars in one of Clutch’s most competitive categories.
All of us at StratusPointIT are grateful to our customers who have provided their feedback to Clutch and contributed to this recognition. Their input has further solidified our guiding mission and has given us reassurance that this mission shall continue to guide our business. Ready to update your technology? Contact us!
There are many benefits that can be gained by partnering with a third party for your business’ IT support needs. Here are some of them.
Senior management doesn’t want to deal with staff turnover, the cost of training and the impact the turnover has on ensuring consistent IT support to their internal customers. They rather focus on larger more impactful projects that drive business results. In addition, most businesses, large or small, have a complex IT infrastructure to support the growing need for a robust technology stack.
To be able to support such a large and complex IT infrastructure, many times it takes more than one person, or even a team of people with IT knowledge spanning workstations, networks, servers (on-premise or in the cloud), and security. Many small businesses can’t afford to hire that many resources. By partnering with a third party you can leverage their resource depth and knowledge at a affordable price that scales with your business.
If you are not IT trained, how do you assure an employee is qualified and experienced? Certifications like Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) are crucial, but so is experience. No matter how much he/she trains, an in-house employee is limited to the environment he works on, the tools and apps he/she uses on daily basis. On the other hand, an outsourced team has more combined experience and sometimes can provide better solutions to your business’ IT problems, saving time and money.
Partnering with the right IT support organization will have the necessary resources to start new projects right away. Handling the project in-house might involve weeks or months to hire the right people, train them, to provide the needed IT services.
Businesses have limited resources (budget, employees etc.) and every c-level employee has limited time and attention. Partnering could help your business by keeping its managers focused on growing the business basically removing the burden of analyzing and reporting to make informed IT decisions.
Partnering basically allows you to convert fixed IT costs into variable costs because other than the contract that covers a set of recurring IT services, you basically pay for on-demand services.
Organizations that try to do all IT support services internally can have much higher research, development, and implementation time, all these increase costs and are eventually passed on to customers.
There is risk in any business – markets, competition, security, regulations, financial conditions, technologies etc., all change very quickly. IT outsourcing providers can manage much of this risk for you, with specific industry knowledge. Generally, they are much better at deciding how to minimize risk in their areas of expertise.
From the business it support perspective, most small companies don’t have the internal resources to compete with larger companies. Partnering can help small businesses act “big” by giving them access to high-end technologies, and expertise that large organizations benefit from. Getting “it support as a service” (third-party IT support) can ensure the competitive advantage your company needs.
Is your business software up to date? Do you monitor and audit your workstations and servers? Do you run simulated phishing attacks? Do you need help migrating from your Exchange server to Office 365?Do you have a cyber security plan? Do you provide cyber security awareness training for your employees?
Instead of wasting valuable time and money trying to learn all the technical details that a skilled IT support team already knows or trying to figure out what went wrong, it is much more cost-effective to outsource these services. Doing so allows business executives to focus on what they do best: business management.
Getting spam emails is quite usual these days, and this is because there are many ways for spammers to exploit emails online. If you have at least one email address, you are more than likely to have received emails that contain irrelevant and unwanted advertising of a product/service or emails trying to sell you something that you never thought of buying.
How do these organizations find out your email address and what can you do to stop these messages from consuming your email storage space? Not to mention that you need to waste some of your time to remove those unsolicited emails.
When you have a business, getting rid of spam is crucial because these can eat up a lot of your inbox storage space, but most importantly because they can carry malware and viruses that can compromise company security along with other sensitive information.
NOTE: There are companies that buy email addresses from obscure organizations that sell stolen lists, while others use software that scan web pages for email addresses.
Q: What can you do to stop these from overwhelming your work email, and compromising your company’s security?
A: You could use spam filters.
Spam filtering is an extremely important tool that your business should use to keep these unsolicited messages from entering your inboxes, but also to keep employees from clicking on potentially harmful links or downloading suspicious attachments within emails.
There are studies revealing that almost half of the emails that you get are classified as junk or spam. Unfortunately, there is a large potential for security issues due to these messages, not to mention the productivity drops because of the time people will spend on removing such emails from their inbox.
If you believe spam filtering to be a business necessity, you should know that there are several types of spam filters that can be applied. Some of them analyze the content of emails to determine if these are relevant to your business or not, while there are some that filter emails out by checking the headers of the messages that are sent your way.
Some filters can be set to ignore all emails from specific addresses, while others allow you to enumerate relevant parameters to define what kinds of emails are irrelevant to their recipients.
From the business perspective, what you use to help keep spam out of your organization’s emails is related to what you want it to do. So, if you are looking for some extra protection and a higher security for your business, you should consider getting a permissions-based spam filter. If you just want to restrict the inrush of newsletters, sales emails, and irrelevant ads that employees receive through their email service, you can opt for something elementary like content-based filters or header filters.
ComputerSupport LLC provides a complex email protection and continuity product that helps defend against the latest threats like spear-phishing, ransomware, impersonation and other targeted attacks.
It will be the end for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 / R2 and Small Business Server (SBS 2011) in January 2020. This means that Microsoft will put an end to security updates, bug fixes, and support for all these operating systems.
Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was launched on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that they can focus their investment on supporting newer technologies. This is standard practice for each product/service they launch.
Microsoft introduced Windows 7 in July 2009. Several enterprise customers deployed Windows 7 months before Windows 10 was launched in July 2015. Microsoft officials said as of last October that more than half of all Windows devices in the enterprise area were running on Windows 10, with the rest running Windows 7 and other older versions of Windows. Yet the support clock has ticked on.
Microsoft officials have announced that Windows 7 users can continue to get security updates beyond the January 14, 2020 date.
NOTE: There are two ways, and both are designed for business customers, not consumers.
Microsoft has announced that will sell paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) on a per-device basis with the price increasing each year until January 2023. These updates will be available to all Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users with volume-licensing programs. On top of that, all customers who use Windows Software Assurance and/or Windows 10 Enterprise or Education subscriptions will get discounts.
Microsoft has agreed to provide ESUs for no additional costs to customers who utilize Windows Virtual Desktop service (WVD) which allows users to virtualize Windows 7 and 10, Office 365 ProPlus apps and third-party apps, running them remotely from Azure virtual machines.
Customers who want to virtualize Windows 7 after Microsoft support ends in January 2020 will be able to do so for three years with WVD.
Microsoft will stop providing support and updates for Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 7 starting with January 15, 2020. Nevertheless, all customers paying for Extended Security Updates will continue to get support for three more years. In addition to Office 365 ProPlus, there are several more products that Microsoft will end support on January 2020, for example Exchange Server 2010, Windows Server 2008 / R2, and Windows 7 for Embedded Systems (except for Windows Embedded Standard 7).
NOTE: Windows 8.1 customers will continue to get security updates from Microsoft for free until January 10, 2023. Windows 10 users will get free support based on the date when their version of Windows 10 was released. Check Windows lifecycle support page from Microsoft for more details.
Although there’s nothing to keep your business from utilizing these retired operating systems even after their End of Life (EOL) in January 2020, it would be best to keep them up to date to reduce the risk of a successful cyber-attack. We expect Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 / R2 and Small Business Server (SBS 2011) will be specifically targeted by hackers due to the known vulnerabilities post January 2020.
With Windows 10 most recent update (May 2019), Microsoft has worked hard to enhance the security of its operating system. Windows 10 now has more built-in security features than ever before to help its users safeguard against viruses, phishing, and malware attacks.
Unfortunately, if you are just relying on an antivirus app to protect you from all possible threats, you are putting yourself and your business in danger. Your business should not only have antivirus, but advanced spam filtering, back-up and training solutions implemented as well. However, we have put together a list with several tips to improve Windows 10 security and protect your data.
UAC is a native feature of Windows that helps prevent viruses or malicious programs from changing your system without your permission. So, you can choose to allow a program to run or not.
NOTE: Microsoft firstly integrated User Account Control in Windows Vista, but an improved version was implemented on Windows 10.
You can manage UAC from Control Panel > User Accounts > User Accounts > Change user account control settings.
Many users wonder what data is being gathered about them as they browse the Internet. That information usually creates a profile of a person’s interests that is used by a variety of organizations for advertising. Windows 10 does this with the use of an advertising ID. It doesn’t just gather information about the user’s web sessions, but also about the Windows 10 apps he/she uses. You can turn the advertising ID off if you want to keep your web sessions private.
To turn off Ad tracking go to Privacy > General. Right under the title “Change privacy options” is the slider that controls the advertising ID. Click and turn it off. You’ll still receive ads, but they will be generic rather than targeted, and your interests won’t be tracked anymore.
With location tracking feature activated, Windows 10 will know where you are. Some users will keep location tracking on because it helps the operating system give them accurate information about nearby restaurants and hotels, local weather etc. But this feature can be exploited by certain applications once they get access to your location which can be dangerous because it makes you vulnerable. Location tracking is turned on by default on Windows 10 computers.
To turn it off, open Settings and go to Privacy > Location. Click “Change” and then move the slider from On to Off. By doing that you will turn off location tracking for all users.
You can also turn it off on a user-by-user basis. If there are several people with different accounts using the same computer, each of them can turn location tracking on and off. To do that for any single account, sign into the account, go to Location Privacy Settings and instead of clicking Change, go to the slider below the word “Location service” and adjust it as you want.
Even if you set a password to your Windows account, hackers can still get access to your private documents. They can easily do it by booting into their own operating system Linux. For example, from a special disc or USB flash drive. To prevent a data breach, you can either use the Windows 10 Bit Locker feature or a dedicated, more complex solution to protect your data.
Microsoft allows users to choose between Privacy options. Keeping all settings enabled can become an issue when you are connected to the Internet because certain information about you and your computer will be shared with Microsoft. So, it’s best to review and disable those options in case you don’t feel like sharing information with Microsoft. To do this type Settings on the Search bar, click Privacy and turn off Windows 10 privacy settings.
Finally, be careful when downloading suspicious programs because a lot of viruses and malicious applications are integrated into free software.
Nowadays, 1 in 3 companies using SaaS applications have lost confidential business information, and according to Datto accidental deletion is the most basic cause of cloud data loss, but it is also the most common.
Organizations face a significant liability if users delete or overwrite files, emails, or a record unintentionally, or if some employees leave the company and take sensitive files with them.
As businesses increasingly move data into cloud-based applications, many think that Microsoft or Google’s native security options are enough to keep their sensitive data secure.
Well, not really.
While a SaaS application is always available and accessible from anywhere, it doesn’t offer advanced protection against unexpected data loss and have limited capabilities for recovery. SaaS providers protect you from hardware and software failures, natural disasters, and power outages. They don’t protect you from human error or malicious acts. Unfortunately, that could escalate into something serious.
Therefore, you need…
Our SaaS Protection backup and recovery solution for Office 365 and GSuite separates your critical data from the environment and the user who created it, allowing you to take control of your business once again.
Our data protection solution delivers reliable and easy backups, speedy recovery, and secured data for your compliance and regulatory needs.
Organizations that don’t enforce data encryption will be more exposed to data-confidentiality issues. For instance, cyber attackers might steal data from compromised accounts or gain unauthorized access to data if it is saved in Clear Format.
If an employee deletes a very important document from OneDrive or an entire folder of important emails by accident, and the retention period in the Recycle Bin has expired, Microsoft or Google will not be able to recover that data. Even if those files are within your retention period, locating and restoring certain data can cost you a lot of time.
ComputerSupport will keep your data regardless of your retention plan and allows you to easily recover your files. Our reliable backups and efficient restore/export features will keep your data safe, so you never have to worry about losing your SaaS data anymore.
NOTE: In 2017, ransomware attacks were unprecedented – WannaCry in May, ExPetr in June, and BadRabbit in late October. Mobile ransomware has risen by over 250% in 2017 and maintained the trend in 2018.
Statistically, ransomware attacks, especially in the cloud, are on the rise. Unfortunately, the question is no longer if an attack will happen, but when. However, businesses can prevent such attacks from causing massive damage relatively easily.
By backing up data, in a granular way, at regular time intervals, you can roll back your data to a point in time before the infection occurred to recover un-encrypted emails and files.
NOTE: We back up your data in compliance with Service Organization Control (SOC1/ SSAE 16 and SOC2).
As you probably know, organizations must prove that they are diligent and using correct security controls to improve data security in order to comply with industry regulations.
We enable a plain transition for employees as they cycle in and out of your organization and keep the data they created. Our solution allows admins to get access and replace departed employee data to a new account, download files directly, or simply archive a user’s dataset until the company hires a replacement.
We always go the extra mile to make sure your SaaS data is secure, easily recoverable, and protected. Therefore, we provide a wide range of security services that focus on people, process, and technology. These services include security awareness training, advanced phishing and spam protection, Office 365 back-up and recovery, and network security services.