PCnet Celebrates 30 Years in Business!

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October 28th marked PCnet’s 30 Year Anniversary!

We’re proud to be a part of Springfield’s amazing community, made up of friends, partners, clients and team members.

As we honor our past and celebrate all the many blessings and people that have gotten us here, we now look forward and will work to uphold all the values that we as a company hold so dear.
Thank you to everyone that has been a part of our family business.

As technologies change, there’s one thing that doesn’t, the team you rely on to help you navigate that change.

We look forward to helping your business recognize its full IT potential by taking IT off your plate and giving you the time to focus on what you do best.

Thank you for trusting us as your IT partner, we look forward to growing with you!

Marty Roach
President, PCnet & 85under

WPA2 Wi-Fi Security Vulnerability

shutterstock_247356091It was announced yesterday that a vulnerability was discovered in the vastly used WPA2 Wi-Fi protocol. This vulnerability leaves the potential for compromise if an attacker is physically within range of your Wi-Fi network. If compromised, the attacker would be able to attain sensitive information, passwords, credit card numbers, emails, manipulate data, and more.

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The End of Life for Office 2007

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What does it mean for your company?

Ten years ago, Microsoft presented Office 2007, a software suite which helped popularize the Ribbon interface toolbar and several other software enhancements. Businesses still use this decade-old software suite, despite mainstream support ending in October 2012. Most companies have upgraded to newer versions of Office, but many still rely on the 2007 Office suite. With extended support for the software end date of October 10th, 2017 quickly approaching, it is time for businesses to seriously consider upgrading to a newer version. (more…)

DRaaS: A step above Offsite Backups

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The concept of Offsite Backups seems to be understood by most – PCnet backs up your data to our “Cloud” (offsite), where it can be retrieved when needed most.  However, “Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)” is still foreign to many business owners.

“Disaster Recovery” does suggest a more robust approach to an unforeseen data emergency.  But is DRaaS necessary for your business?  Let’s find out… (more…)

Why Your Second “In-House” IT Hire Should Be “Outsourced IT”

Outsourced IT is cheaper than hiring more IT personnel.

Your first step into the world of IT came with an in-house hire, and your business responded by growing…a lot. So much so, in fact, that your in-house tech cannot keep up. Now projects are piling up, IT security is falling behind, and the auditor’s reports aren’t looking good.

Sound familiar? It might be time to expand your IT department. And when you make that decision, it may be much more advantageous to consider an outsourced IT solution. More and more, outsourced IT is becoming the definitive solution for companies either just entering the world of IT, or those learning one lone employee isn’t enough. (more…)

Has Cloud Computing Replaced the “Black Box”?

Will cloud computing make computer brands obsolete?

“Black box” refers to a term coined by IBM’s PC. This PC was first introduced August 12, 1981. It used an 8088 processor and could access up to 1 megabyte of RAM. More than 50 new businesses came on the market prior to the release of the IBM PC in 1981. Over the years, as many companies have replicated IBM’s PC, only a handful have survived. Companies like Dell, HP and Lenovo are now market leaders in the server and PC space. This has been directly related to the power of the name brand that these companies have created.

While name brand is still important in some respects, it’s not as meaningful as it once was. Cloud computing is now taking hold and these name brands will be increasingly insignificant as businesses move to the cloud. Cloud computing is expected to more than double during the next six years, from 37 percent to nearly 80 percent (more…)

The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi can be a security risk to your personal information.

The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

It’s all too convenient. In many shopping and public spaces, your mobile device tempts you with fast and free internet. You may be thinking that it’s probably safe because it’s being provided by a major retailer or hotel chain. As you consider the risks, you might assume or hope for safe access, but the reality is often quite different. According to security firm, Kaspersky, “The biggest threat to free Wi-Fi security is the ability for the hacker to position himself between you and the connection point. So instead of talking directly to the hotspot, you’re sending your information to the hacker, who then relays it on.” It is impossible to know for certain that you are connecting to a safe and properly identified host. So, what can we do to protect ourselves?

Virtual Private Network (VPN):
With some advance planning, you can encrypt your mobile device data signal so that your information is unreadable by hackers in transit. It’s a little like riding a subway from your house to the police station every time you go to town. (more…)

Top Ten Cybersecurity Tips

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  1. 1. Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code
    Make sure each of your business’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically.

2. Secure your networks
Safeguard your Internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information. If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, (more…)

Why Move to the cloud? 10 Benefits of cloud computing

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Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. Where in the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, cloud computing allows people access to the same kinds of applications through the internet.

When you update your Facebook status, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again. Chances are you rely on cloud computing to solve the challenges faced by small businesses, whether you’re firing off emails on the move or using a bunch of apps to help you manage your workload.

In short, cloud is fast becoming the new normal. By the end of 2015 it’s estimated that 90% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service.

Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud? It’s because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits…Here’s ten of the best.

1. Flexibility

Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. (more…)

The evolution of Ransomware

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Ransomware has been dominating the news for several weeks, and is likely to stay in the news for most of the year.  Ransomware is a distinct type of cyber attack, in that it extorts payment from the victim in exchange for allowing access to something that was encrypted in the attack.  The most prevalent type of malware used in this kind of crime is ‘crypto-ransomware’, which normally encrypts the files on the compromised system, and then demands a ransom in return for the ability to decrypt and recover the files.  The latest iteration of crypto-ransomware is called Locky, and is the most advanced version of ransomware we have seen in the wild.

Ransomware isn’t new; the first piece of ransomware was distributed via 5 1/4 floppy drives through snail mail back in 1989 (pdf).  It wasn’t very successful, but criminals obviously recognized the potential of generating revenue through extortion.  (more…)