Stay up to date on the latest in business technology, IT services, and AV solutions.
Stay up to date on the latest in business technology, IT services, and AV solutions.
Originally posted on Fortinet Blog
Written by Anthony Giandomenico | June 27, 2018
Summer means vacations and down time. People are booking hotels, arranging travel or settling in at the beach with the digital version of a summer novel. For many families, the kids are home from school and permanently wired in to an array of connected devices. So, along with the sunscreen and bug spray, you need to take precautions to ensure you and your family are cybersafe this season as well.
That’s because cyber criminals want your money, your financial information, and your identity. If they can’t steal your money directly, they will steal your other information and sell it on the dark web. And they are really, really good at this. It’s why the global cost of cybercrime reached over $600 billion last year.
Here are seven things to remember to help keep you and your family safe while vacationing online this summer:
1. Practice safe wi-fi
As you travel to visit family or hit the beaches you will want to stay connected. Which means you will be logging into public wi-fi access points. While many of these are perfectly safe, that’s not always the case. People looking to steal your data have a number of tricks up their sleeves. They can connect to a public access point and then broadcast themselves as that access point. Which means you connect to them, they connect you to the Internet, but they can intercept all data between you and your online shopping site, bank, home security system, or wherever ese you browse to.
If you will be traveling internationally, you may also want to turn off wi-fi when entering a new country. We have seen incidents where travelers arriving at the airport connect to fake wi-fis and are hit with a man-in-the-middle attack. So it’s a good practice to turn wi-fi off until you can verify the SSID of a legit establishment with wi-fi. The same goes for Bluetooth—only turn it on when you need it when traveling.
For those backyard BBQs or gatherings of the neighborhood kids for a video game marathon, setup your home wi-fi with a separate network for guests. They can still browse the Internet while keeping them separate from your internal home network. They will also automatically reconnect to that guest portal the next time they are in the vicinity of your router.
Many smart devices also automatically search for known connection points, like your home wi-fi. New attacks can sense this, and simply ask you device what SSID they are looking for. When your phone tells them it is looking for your ‘home’ router, it replies with, ‘you’re in luck! I’m your home router.’ And your phone, not being nearly as smart as it thinks it is, goes ahead and connects.
The tricky part is that you can’t always tell a good access point from a bad one – which is exactly the point for cybercriminals. So there are a few things you can do. The first is simply ask an establishment for the name of their wi-fi SSID before you connect. You should also consider installing VPN software on your device so you can make a secure, encrypted connection to a known service. There are a number of low cost/no cost services that will ensure that your connections are always protected.
2. Upgrade your passwords
One of the biggest mistakes people make is using the exact same password on all their online accounts. Of course, we tend to use a LOT of different websites, so remembering a unique password for each site may be impossible to keep track of.
There are two approaches. The first is to use a password vault that stores the username and password for each account, so all you have to remember is the single password for that application and it takes care of the rest. The other is to create a tier of applications and then create more complex passwords remember for each group. One set for sites like social media, another for places you pay your bills, and another for your bank.
Creating strong passwords you can remember isn’t as hard as it seems. For example, use the first letters of a sentence or song lyric that you are familiar with, add some capitalization and replace some of the letters with numbers or special characters and you’ve got a pretty secure password. Just set a reminder on your calendar to change those passwords every few weeks.
Many online social sites also now support two-factor authentication. It’s an extra step in the login process as you have to enter a password and then validate that login using some other form of authentication, such as entering a code sent to your mobile device. But it significantly increases the security of your account and data.
3. Recognize scams in email and on the web
Don’t click on links in advertisements sent to your email or posted on web sites unless you check them first. As tempting as it might be, never open an email or click on an attachment from someone you don’t know – especially when it includes an enticing subject line, such as a cash reward or a bill for something you didn’t purchase (no matter how much you might want to see that receipt for the diamond ring you don’t remember buying.) And take a minute to look at those emails from people you know as well. Compromised accounts are regularly used to send malware to individuals in their contact list because recipients are far more likely to open those emails and attachments. So if an email message from someone you know seems strange or out of character, check with them first before you open it.
For websites, does the website look professional? Are the links accurate and fast? Are there lots of popups? Is there bad grammar, unclear descriptions, or misspelled words? If you hover your mouse over a link you should be able to see the real URL. Does it replace letters with numbers, such as amaz0n.com, or is it unusually long? If so, don’t click on it. It’s a phishing attack, and all you are going to get is a stolen identity. These are all bad signs.
4. Protect yourself from viruses and malware
Install reputable and well-reviewed anti-malware software, keep it updated, and run it regularly. And because no software is 100% effective, set up a schedule where you load and run a second or third security solution to scan your device or network. (Many solutions provide a free online version or let you run a free demo for a brief period of time.)
For more advanced users using a laptop or desktop, also consider maintaining a clean virtual machine on your device that you can switch to for your more security-sensitive browsing or to perform online transactions where security is paramount.
5. Keep your devices updated
One of the most successful attack vectors hackers use is targeting vulnerabilities that are already well known, but which are not being protected against. The developers of your devices, as well as the apps you run on them, all issue regular security updates designed to protect you from known threats. Download and run these updates as soon as they become available.
6. Control your social media
Many times, hackers will use information about you to make it more likely that you will click on a link. And the most common place for them to get that personal information is social media sites. The easiest way to prevent that is to simply set up strict privacy controls that only allow pre-selected people to see your page.
When traveling, limit your vacation messages on social sites. While it can be fun to tell everyone where you are going or what you are doing, that information also lets folks know that you are gone, which can put your home at risk of robbery.
For those with a more open social media profile, remember that cybercriminals often set up fake pages or accounts and then request that you add them as a friend. There are two quick things you can do to protect yourself from criminals using fake credentials hoping to steal data or trick you into linking to an infected site:
First, always look at the home page of the person making the request. If you don’t know them, and anything on their site seems odd, dismiss their request. And second, if the person making the request is someone you know, check to see if he or she is already a friend of yours. If so, there’s a significant possibility that their account has been hijacked or duplicated.
7. Educate your family and friends
Be a good net neighbor and share this information with your kids, your partner, your parents and siblings, and your friends. That’s because not only do you not want bad things to happen to them, but because they are also connected to you and you trust them. So if they get compromised, the chance that their information can be used to trick you into doing something you shouldn’t, like clicking on an link or downloading an infected file, is much higher.
We live in a digital world, and cybercrime is part of it. We lock our cars, deadbolt our doors, look both ways before crossing the street, and avoid dark alleyways. We need to develop the same cautions as we navigate our digital environment. You and your kids all may be safe inside your home or hotel room, but just as with the physical world, you are never 100% safe online. Risk comes with the territory. But if we all just exercise a bit more caution, impose just a little more scrutiny on the tools and applications we use, and develop just a little more online common sense, the digital world we live in would quickly become a whole lot safer.
When you first hear about backing up SaaS (Software as a Service) applications, it may not seem like it’s something you need to do. The reality is, SaaS data loss happens…and not for the reasons you’d think. In Office 365’s case, you may think, “oh, Microsoft isn’t going to lose my data.” While it’s extremely rare, it is possible. But Microsoft isn’t what you should be worried about. The three most common causes of data loss with Office 365 are:
When deploying a SaaS application, it is important to consider a robust Data Protection strategy as you would for an on-premise application. If you’d like to learn more about Datto SaaS Protection (formerly Backupify), your NetAssist Team would be more than happy to talk about it.
Written by: John Dyer, NetAssist Coordinator
John has been our NetAssist Coordinator for almost 3 years where he helps with onboarding, billing, and procuring the department’s services and solutions. He is also the administrator and lead implementor for our ConnectWise PSA software. John is originally from Green Bay and graduated from NWTC with his Associates Degree in Supply Chain Management/Logistics after serving 4 years in the Navy.
Digital signage is becoming a common sight these days. It’s utilization spreads between a variety of markets and applications. If you’re looking to add digital signage to your workplace or business, it’s important to determine a few items first.
The most important thing with digital signage is asking one simple question: what is its purpose? Will the digital signage provide internal communication or external communication? Here are a few examples of each to get your vision started:
Picking either your employees or customers to concentrate on will help focus your content.
Once you determine your target audience, your next consideration should be placement. If internal communication is what you’re after, an employee breakroom, lounge or employee entrance are viable options. Keep in mind, if you’re going to display sensitive information like company goals and metrics, it may need to be kept out of publicly-accessible areas.
If it’s external communication, finding a reception desk, waiting area or public entrance could catch the targeted individual’s attention. Many people pass the time on their phone while in a lobby or waiting room. Finding the right location paired with engaging content can shift eyes from their screen to yours.
The sky is the limit with digital signage. It’s possible to display 3D graphics, 4K video, custom weather information and so much more. However, you need access to individuals with the ability to create this content for you. Be realistic in your expectations. Does an internal team member have both the time and talent to create the type of content you’re looking for? If not, are you willing to bring in external talent to produce creative for you?
If simplicity is what you’re after, creating content for digital signage can be as simple as exporting a PowerPoint presentation. Training your own staff to create simple yet elegant, single-zone presentation, is a realistic goal for almost any type of business. It’s not always necessary to overcomplicate digital signage content. For many applications, a well thought out single-zone template can be used for months at a time. With a template created in PowerPoint, almost anyone can go into a project, update the text for the current week and save the slides into a compatible file type.
One of our most common digital signage solutions is a player from BrightSign. BrightSign offers a wide range of digital signage players that include free content management software. The players themselves are affordably priced and more importantly, offer some of the highest reliability on the market. With a BrightSign player you can dive into HTML5 programming or enjoy the convenience of easily edited templates* right from BrightSign. With that kind of flexibility, organizing and implementing a digital signage strategy is within reach of any business or organization.
If you’re interested in learning more about what digital signage can offer, please reach out to us at (920) 435-5353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Requires BrightPlates subscription
Written by: Justin Wetzel, AV Systems Engineer
Justin is a born-and-raised Green Bay native. He went to Green Bay West High School then followed his education there with a degree from NWTC in electrical power distribution and digital media. He was with HP for 3.5 years as a printer technician after graduating from NWTC. Justin has always enjoyed tinkering with electronics, and has worked in the IT industry for several years. He got married in September 2017, and did a honeymoon at Harry Potter World in Orlando, FL. He lives in an old Victorian-style house with his wife. In his spare time, Justin likes to dabble in photography and videography, and also likes biking on the Fox River Trail.
I’m an unashamed Apple fan, and I spend a lot of my time with my iPhone in hand. Smartphones are fantastic tools, but also huge distractors. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let a big chunk of my day go by just because I got sucked into the infinite abyss that my phone has access to (that fact I actually AM ashamed about). A quick check on a Facebook notification turns into an hour of newsfeed scrolling, a quick Google search leads me on a trail of 20 other articles with more information than I’d ever need to know on the topic, or one quick instructional YouTube video auto-plays a rabbit trail of not-so-related videos. Admittedly, I’m usually not aware of how much time I’m wasting until the time is already gone. Fortunately for me and anyone else that resonates with these feelings, Apple is about to release some iPhone features that can raise our awareness of how much our phones control our time.
Every June, Apple holds their WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) to introduce the next wave of products, operating systems, and features. This year’s conference was held from June 4-8, and was more software focused than usual. The company’s big push was iOS 12, which will be released this fall and will come packed with new features to help you manage how you interact with your phone throughout the day. Three in particular will help you decide how much of a distraction you want to allow your phone to be.
This is already a feature that many of us use every night while we’re sleeping, but Apple is giving it some extra bells and whistles that will make it more appealing to use during the day. Two new uses for it that can help us stay productive in meetings or during important events are setting Do Not Disturb for “Until I leave this location” or “Until the end of this [Calendar] event.” When turned on for “Until I leave this location,” Do Not Disturb will automatically turn off once it detects that you’ve left the location you were at when you turned it on. Similarly, “Until the end of this event” will turn Do Not Disturb off once the meeting you’re in is scheduled to be over. Both of these settings will help us not forget to turn Do Not Disturb off after our important event so we can get calls and notifications again, making it a less stressful option than manual operation.
Every time a notification pops up on our lock screen and lights up the screen, we’re inclined to look at it. This might be nice for important texts or emails, but a sports score or celebrity tweet might not be worth the distraction while you’re trying to be otherwise productive. However, with Notification Tuning, you can choose which apps show up on your lock screen, which ones “deliver quietly” right to the Notification Center for viewing later, or which ones to turn off altogether. Notification Tuning makes notification settings more accessible and easier to change on the fly.
This feature is the most robust – it has both an insight and control component. The insight shows up in the Weekly Activity Summary. You can see exactly how much time you’ve spent on each application and how many times you pick up your phone per hour or per day. Based on your increased awareness, you can then set some controls to help remind you to change your habits, like Downtime and App Limits. When Downtime is turned on, only phone calls and apps that you’ve pre-selected will be available. You can also set App Limits for application categories (social networking, games, etc.). Once the time limit you’ve set for the day is approaching, you’ll get a notification telling you that you’re nearing your daily time limit.
These new features all sound like they can dramatically change our phone usage – we just have to choose to take advantage of the tools Apple is providing, which is often the hardest part!
Questions on your Apple products? We are an Apple Authorized Reseller as well as Repair Center. Whether you need one-on-one training, question or repairs we are here to help. Contact us at (920) 435-5353 or email@example.com!
Written by: Emily Buffington
Emily graduated from St. Norbert College, where she studied computer programming. While working for Thrivent Financial, Emily volunteered at the Green Bay Community Church, during which time she worked mostly with Camera Corner A/V equipment. It was at the Green Bay Community Church where she met Scott Tomashek, who encouraged her to join the Camera Corner Connecting Point team.
Emily was born in Marinette, WI, and moved to the Green Bay area for college. Her brother recently started college in Eau Claire. She met her husband, a UW-Green Bay graduate, in Green Bay and they married in 2016. While they do not currently have any pets, they look forward to getting a dog once they have a place with a fenced-in yard.
While in college, Emily also studied music, and enjoys playing a variety of instruments–especially the oboe. She also enjoys working with graphic design and video production.
In the last couple years we’ve seen a huge change in the amount of network capable devices popping up. Our refrigerators can now have touch screens pushing shopping lists to our phones. It seems every device has a network port or is Wi-Fi capable. Our audio and video equipment is no different.
The talk in the industry has been that sometime in the future AV and IT will converge. It’s not a future dream anymore, it’s here today. I’ve just returned from the InfoComm show sponsored by AVIXA, the main audio visual industry organization. The main product we saw everywhere at the show was video over IP integration. While audio has used the network since the early 90s, this is the first time where large-scale deployment of video is now possible across the network.
The challenge has always been video data sizes. You’ve probably seen 4K high resolutions displays being advertised for some time now. A 4K signal is nearly 20x larger than a standard 1G network connection. Advances in video compression now allow us to transmit 4K video over standard 1G networks as “visually lossless” images. To our eye, we can’t tell the difference between the compressed image and the original image.
What does this mean in everyday use? In a business application, you could have one or two digital signage players sending content to virtually unlimited displays, each with a network video receiver. Classrooms can receive content from any other classroom provided both have a transmitter and receiver. These systems are often more cost effective than traditional matrix-based video systems. Instead of having to purchase a 32×32 video matrix for a bar or restaurant, we can put in the exact number of transmitters and receivers needed. If you want to add a display in the future, just add another receiver.
It’s an exciting time for AV with this full shift to audio and video across the network. As Camera Corner has both AV and Networking teams, you can trust us to build a converged IT and AV infrastructure for your company.
Written by: Scott, Director of AV Design Engineering
His certifications include: CTS; CTS-D; DMC-D; and Certified London Architect.
Scott began at CCCP in January 2007 as an AV Systems Consultant, focusing on Houses of Worship. During Scott’s tenure, his skillset continued to grow and evolve and as a result, he was chosen to be a member of InfoComm’s Standards Committee. He was also chosen to be an Instructor at the 2016 InfoComm Technology Expo. Tomashek
has been instrumental in many projects, and was promoted to Director of AV Design Engineering in 2016. Fun Fact: Scott was formerly a High School Band Director.
May 9, 2018
Camera Corner Connecting Point (CCCP) was announced as a Milestone Platinum Partner, becoming only the second integrator in the state of Wisconsin, and the only integrator solely based in Wisconsin, with Platinum status.
“We are excited to announce this to our customers,” said Security Systems Engineer Scott Wittman. “There are several benefits to becoming a Platinum partner, both to CCCP and to our customers, which makes this a huge win.”
Platinum Partners are defined as having “received the highest level of training and certification in working with Milestone products and are able to offer the full range of Milestone’s product portfolio. They have the experience and skills to handle all projects, regardless of complexity.”
To earn Platinum status, the Physical Security team had to spend numerous hours in classes and studying to test and get certified as Design Engineers, Integration Technicians and Integration Engineers.
“We are proud to confirm Camera Corner Connecting Point as a Milestone Platinum Partner, meaning they have received the highest level of training and certification in design, installation and configuration of a Milestone solution,” said Alex Knapik, Milestone Channel Business Manager. “The technology of surveillance and security is evolving rapidly, and we’re honored for CCCP to work with Milestone and the Open Platform Community to keep their customers ahead of the curve.”
Founded in 1998, Milestone Systems is a world-leading provider of open platform IP video management software (VMS), dedicated to deliver high-quality business video platform software, in which its community of hardware and software partners can integrate its video solutions for security and beyond security purposes. Its objective is to improve its community customers’ organizational processes and safety level through the management, integration and distribution of digital video data.
CCCP is a third-generation IT, AV, Physical Security and VoIP value-added reseller and specialty electronics retailer, serving customers since 1953 throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. CCCP’s mission is to provide the latest in technology, backed by best-in-class customer service and support. With a full staff of engineers, designers, technicians and installers, CCCP expertly serves virtually every area of IT, AV, Physical Security and VoIP. For more information, visit www.cccp.com.
For it to be a productive conversation only one person should talk at a time. If I interrupted you while you were talking it not only would be rude, it would disrupt the conversation we were having and you would have to repeat what you were saying.
It disrupts the conversation in two ways. When I interrupt you, you probably will stop talking once you hear me. Also, while I am talking (interrupting), I’m not listening to you. Wi-Fi is exactly the same. You need to know how to have a proper conversation if you want to be able to give each other information without constant disruptions. One person talks at a time, and everyone else is listening. When that person is done talking, the next person can talk, and everyone listens. The good thing about Mesh Wi-Fi in particular is it communicates like this rapidly and efficiently.
Mesh knows how to have a productive conversation. There are three mesh routers that come with the TP Link Deco. Think of them as your perfect children who always communicate properly and never argue.
These three kids share their devices with each other (phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) and can talk on their own special channel and volume so no one else can hear or interrupt their conversation (technical term: Auto-Channeling).
Each one of your perfect and genetically engineered kids also has three ears and three mouths, all talking and listening in pure harmony with their siblings, making sure to listen, speak and control their volume (technical term: Tri-Band MU-MIMO: Three Radios, Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output).
Your perfect children also have telepathic powers. They can sense where each other are in the house, and they find out where all the devices are through all the walls and obstacles in your house, just so everyone can communicate more efficiently (technical term: Multi-Hop Mesh).
Your children are very courteous as well. When they know where each other are, they know to speak in the direction of their sibling instead of just yelling and hoping they hear you (technical term: Beamforming).
I see you are standing in front of me, I could turn around and just say it louder so you, and everyone else in the store, can hear it, but that would be awkward and unnecessary. Unfortunately, that is what a regular Wi-Fi router does. It talks everywhere because it’s not smart enough to figure out where everyone is. Your current router is playing Marco Polo, it says Marco, but doesn’t move when someone says Polo, it just says Marco again. Mesh is really good at Marco Polo.
Why should you get a mesh network:
Sam is originally from Oconomowoc. Previous to being hired at CCCP, Sam was the IT director at Manawa Schools. In this role he was a jack of all trades, and really desired to be in a position that focused on his interest in IT. He has a degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice. When he graduated and was hired onto a police department, he was their IT person. Discovering his passion, he got certifications and continued to pursue his career in IT. Sam is excited about working at CCCP to be able to focus on IT, and learn more from our team. He also looks forward to working with both the IT and AV teams. Outside of work, Sam loves sports and of course the Green Bay Packers. He also likes to be outside.
Source: UC Today, click here for the original article
Mitel, a global leader in the world of business communications responsible for more than 2 billion connections worldwide, recently announced the arrival of its rebranded portfolio of onsite and cloud solutions for North America. The updated portfolio comes only a few months after Mitel purchased ShoreTel to help it deliver the broadest range of communication and collaboration strategies to consumers moving forward.
The ShoreTel acquisition allowed Mitel to offer its customers a broader range of choices when it comes to selecting the best path to the cloud.
The integrated and rebranded portfolio for the North American market has been designed to provide simplicity, efficiency and reliability to enterprises and companies across the nation. The flagship solutions delivered to North America include:
For UCaaS customers, Mitel will now be offering “MiCloud Connect”, which is the rebranded form of the ShoreTel Connect CLOUD product, combined with Teamwork and contact centre. What’s more, there’s also “MiCloud Flex,” which is the rebranded MiCloud Enterprise product, with MiCloud Contact Center and MiCollab.
Alongside the flagship products Mitel is bringing to market, the company will also offer a range of onsite and cloud solutions and applications that have helped it to earn its position as a leader in the UC marketplace.
Mitel is already recognized as a UC market leader by the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the number two market share holder for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Today, thanks to the recent ShoreTel acquisition and the decision to rebrand a powerful range of exciting UC products, Mitel’s portfolio has never been more competitive.
According to experts, Mitel can now offer its customers a broader range of onsite and cloud strategies designed to help them choose their own path to the cloud depending on the unique needs of their end-users and customers. This means that you can select the flexibility package that suits you, at a time that makes sense for your business.
Today’s businesses in North America are making the move to the cloud more rapidly than ever before to keep pace with other brands in the process of digital transformation. However, it’s important to acknowledge that different companies embrace the cloud environment at different rates. The customers that Mitel is working with today need plenty of choices available to them if they’re going to make confident decisions about their future communication portfolio, and the recent update allows Mitel to offer this versatility on a deeper level.