Recent Remote Access Security Concerns

Remote Access Security image

Is your remote access security up to par? Many of you use Microsoft VPN and/or Microsoft Remote Desktop products to connect directly with your PCs or servers.

We have seen a dramatic increase in hacking attempts targeting both styles of connection. In light of these events, we are recommending that you take certain steps to safeguard against these attacks. This will thereby increase your network’s security.

The Client For You

One of the best solutions available is Sonicwall’s SSL VPN client. The Sonicwall appliance handles the VPN authentication tasks, instead of your server. Your PC, laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android, Apple computer, etc. connects using a small, locally installed software client.

Fundamentally, you benefit from a more secure version of VPN encryption. Plus, you also take advantage of multi-factor authentication by means of a separate user account and password for the VPN connection. SSL VPN credentials are separately maintained on the Sonicwall appliance. We encourage the use of unique passwords for a higher level of security.

The Sonicwall router also allow us to restrict certain inbound traffic to commonly used business ports. This is done by identifying a source address or source network. A good example of this is an on-premise Exchange server. We disallow all traffic inbound on port 25, unless the source of the traffic is coming from our SPAM and virus filtering solution.

Is There Another Way?

Alternatively, you can address this issue by moving away from Microsoft VPN / Remote Desktop. You can move to a 3rd party service like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn. Experience has shown that most individuals prefer Remote Desktop over these products for a variety of reasons. Some of these are the speed of access to their business network.

Ultimately, our goal is to increase security while maintaining functional access to business technologies that you currently use. If you do not own a Sonicwall, we can work with you to replace the existing firewall/router in your office to achieve these goals.

We’d encourage you to reach out to your account lead to discuss the particulars of your setup. That way, we can accurately advise on the best way to handle your unique situation. Remote access security should be a priority!

Ransomware – Stricken Client is Back in Business in Less Than 24 Hours

Ransomware – Stricken Client is Back in Business in Less Than 24 Hours

Ransomware is a possible danger to any individual or small business. Are you properly protected?

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A small customer with a peer-to-peer server called in on Wednesday 12/27. The customer said that he opened a virus and all of his data is encrypted and inaccessible. This could be detrimental to any business. Ultimately, this could put a hold on all of your data and information.

What is the solution to this ransomware attack?

Our IT Edge team connected remotely into the machine immediately. We determined that he had not been checking his onsite backup, and the last backup is from October 2015. On the same day, we got the server & backup drive back to our shop and installed a new hard drive. Was this the solution?

Then, we restored the system from the old 2015 full image backup. Hence, this made the system look like it did in 2015. Luckily, the customer had done a backup of their accounting software recently. So, we were able to restore from the previous week.

Afterwards, while carefully examining the infected drive, we discovered that the Outlook data file somehow did not get encrypted. Our team arrived at the customer’s location first thing Thursday morning to deliver the good news. We had him fully operational by 9 AM.

It’s important that your IT provider can get you back up and running quickly when disaster strikes. We have the experience to support you quickly when needed most. Connect with our team to learn how you can get some peace of mind today.

QuickBooks Enterprise: Staying in Tip-Top Shape

by Nick Volpe

QuickBooks Enterprise: Staying in Tip-Top Shape

QuickBooks Enterprise West Chester, PA

Do you use QuickBooks Enterprise software? If so, we suggest taking these steps on a regular basis. Ultimately, these will assist in an effort to avoid data corruption issues.

Fundamentally, our team at IT Edge has found that, over time, QuickBooks data can become corrupt. Yet, by running the ‘Rebuild’ function, you are having QuickBooks Enterprise repair itself. Hence, the preferred steps are as follows:

  1. Get all other users out of QB
  2. Switch to Single User Mode
  3. Go to File > Utilities > Rebuild
  4. It will force you to make a backup, so please do so.
  5. When it’s done, go to File > Utilities > Verify Data

If that comes back with no errors, you are done. However, if you get errors, repeat the Rebuild and Verify functions. We have seen it take 2 rebuilds in some instances to fix things completely. We recommend running this weekly or worst case, monthly.

Data means success. When it comes to QuickBooks, your money is on the line, too. To ensure that your QuickBooks Enterprise data is healthy, consider reaching out to the experts. Prevent that all-important data from becoming corrupted!

If you would like assistance, or have any questions, let us know and we’ll get it scheduled.

Set Up for REMAX Software in Newtown

by Bob Kwiatkowski

Set Up for REMAX Software in Newtown

Remax Software image

REMAX software is vital, too! IT Edge just finished the installation of a new file server and Active Directory domain controller for REMAX Properties, LTD. in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

We’ve been supporting this office since 1998. This is when we met Doug and Chris Terry for the first time. They are a terrific group to work with, both for REMAX software and hardware.

Today, many of the software programs used by the company are cloud-based solutions. However, there is a new SQL-based application. This requires a significantly faster server than the office previously employed.

Chris and I worked together to purpose-build a new Dell server. This new server would fulfill the needs of the company over the next 5-6 years. In addition to the new program, QuickOffice, the new server took the place of the old one. It took over as the networks Active Directory domain controller, Quickbooks server, and file server.

This increased overall speed, for sure. Yet another example of a business that could improve efficiency.

During the installation close-out, we installed a 48 port gigabit Netgear switch and 2TB Buffalo NAS. This was able to improve the overall speed of the network and provide in-house backup solutions, respectively.

Your business could improve from industry-specific software, too. Connect with our team to learn how.

Contractor Software Set Up for Brandywine Valley Concrete

by Walt Ball

Contractor Software Set Up for Brandywine Valley Concrete

Contractor software image

Fundamentally, contractor software is key to any contracting business. Hence, the team at IT Edge just assisted Brandywine Valley Concrete. They are a concrete contractor based out of Downingtown, PA. As many long-standing companies are aware, a working office can be the difference between efficiency and a frustrating experience. Hence, we took steps to ensure that a client could have the most productive workday possible. How did we do this?

First, BVC was a 10 user office, basically running standalone on each computer. Then, We successfully upgraded the workstations to the Pro version of Windows. Plus, we installed a new server to run their Sage Accounting and Estimating software. This waved in a new age of efficiency and productivity for the workplace.

Software Setup with Wiring Included

In addition, we added to the existing wiring. Our team was able to get all users and printers to wired connections. Now, nearly all of their daily computer issues are gone. We were grateful for the latitude we were given to do the job right. Afterwards, they can perform their daily functions without daily issues. Plus, they could rest assured that their wiring was taking care of – all new and ready to go.

They know that they have a reliable company for support as needed in the future. Next, our team will assist with purchasing a domain name and having consistent email for all their users. Realistically, every company has a need for proper IT support. Contractor software and hardware increases effectiveness in the workplace. Plus, it reduces frustrations! Ultimately, there is little substitution for making the work environment a better place to be, especially when it comes to small businesses. You want all of your employees to know exactly what they’re walking into on a day-to-day basis, especially when it comes to something as essential as their computer or other tech.

Honestly, making the choice on the best IT solutions can be a tough decision. Figuring out how to upgrade your systems can be difficult! That’s why you should reach out to an experienced team. At IT Edge, we have done this time and time again. Each time, the businesses come out the other side on top.

Are you interested in learning how your company could benefit from contractor software or hardware solutions? Reach out to our team today.