Eye Care Institute Success Stories

Are you looking for an IT partner? Are you a healthcare institution that needs assistance with medical records? The Eye Care Institute explored an IT partnership for medical records, and Advanced Business Solutions delivered! Check out these success stories from CEO Mark Prussian from The Eye Care Institute. Read more

Survey Says

 

It is projected that global IT spending will reach $3.7 trillion with Enterprise software and IT services as the main leader in the growth for 2018. This is the largest predicted amount since 2007. John-David Lovelock at Gartner stated in a late release, “spending on IT around the world is growing at expected levels and is in line with expected global economic growth.” To give you a better understanding of how organizations around the world are viewing their IT budgets, a recent survey was taken amongst technology professional organizations in an attempt to determine the funding and spending priorities of all departments within the organization. The following questions were asked: Read more

DATTO SIRIS 3

SIRIS 3 is the newest data protection platform DATTO has to offer and it is also the data protection ABS chooses to use for our clients.With this newly structured version DATTO has created, we are able to offer protection to any physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure on Windows, Mac or Linux. Clients and users not only have the luxury of backing up data on their own devices on their own schedules, but they have the luxury of creating exact copies to store in the DATTO Cloud. With zero hardware investment, SIRIS 3 provides faster backups and restore/recovery times.

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Email Spamming

 

Email spamming has become increasingly relevant as well as extremely convincing. Before opening those emails that flood your email inbox, consider the source and take an extra minute or two to examine the email closely. Email spammers are disguising themselves as familiar companies such as ADP. This tactic tricks us into thinking these are valuable sources and anything they are asking makes sense when it comes to giving away personal information. It is important to know the signs and the differences between the “real” emails and the “fake” emails to avoid exposure to phishing. Below is an example provided by Appriver- an anti-spam service protecting you from harmful emails. Read more

ABS Enterprise

At Advanced Business Solutions we offer many services in which bring years of experience, excellence and comfort to many clients ranging from Project Management to Strategic Planning Services. Below you will see an outline and summary of each item we offer and why we are the best at what we do. If there are any questions regarding any one of these items or if more information is desired, please reach out to us today!

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Who Is Your IT Company Actually Working For?

Have you ever wondered who your IT company actually is? There are many organizations that have wondered the same. Here are several relevant and important questions to ask your company’s decision makers about the company you are trusting with important and sensitive information:                     

  1. Is your current IT company meeting THEIR objectives and YOUR goals?
  2. How quickly is your IT company available in a critical situation?
  3. Are you being told what you should do?
  4. Do you fully understand your IT contract?
  5. Is your IT company keeping up with the latest knowledge required for your industry?
  6. Do you know if your IT company has “tiered pricing” or hidden fees that weren’t mentioned in your initial agreement?
  7. Is your IT company’s technical ability up to what you need for your organization?
  8. Is your IT company ready to “pick up the ball” before discussing price?
  9. How many resources does your IT company have available?
  10. Is your outsourcing being outsourced?
  11. Do you know exactly who you will talk to if you call your IT company?
  12. Does your IT company know what they are doing or do they rely on someone else for the tough questions?
  13. Does your IT company anticipate and prepare for your industry’s compliance changes?
  14. Does your IT company only operate during normal business hours or is there flexibility?
  15. Is your IT company an actual partner with you and your organization as well as your specific IT needs?

If you are not confident in ANY question you’ve answered, then it may be time to reconsider who you are receiving your IT services from. At ABS, we are devoted to helping organizations find and meet all of their objectives and goals to reach their full potential. If you need help deciding what those objectives and goals are, reach out to us TODAY and we will be happy to discuss and/or develop ways that can be catered to your organization’s needs.

iOS Source Code Leak to GitHub

February 7, 2018, Apple fought hard to remove a portion of iOS source code that was released and then posted on GitHub. The iOS source code was for a process called “iBoot,” originally reported by Motherboard. This process allows for the system to ensure that the code that is run when an iPhone is turned on, is indeed valid and from Apple. The source code leaked could enable hackers to easily access iOS vulnerabilities, despite the tight securities Apple is known for. After Apple filed a claim notice to GitHub, the source code was removed, but it may have been too little too late.

Though the source code has been taken down, there are still copies that are circulating throughout the web. According to Jonathan Levin, who spoke to Motherboard and who has knowledge of iOS and macOS system programming, this may be the biggest leak in history and is surprising since Apple is exceptional at safeguarding its users against such leaks.

Apple’s lawyers reluctantly conceded that the leak is valid. However, they tried to downplay the significance by stating that is was a “reproduction of Apple’s ‘iBoot’ source code,” the code, they reported “is responsible for ensuring trusted boot operation of Apple’s iOS software.” Although the code was allegedly the iOS 9 iBoot code, parts of it are likely still in use in iOS 11. Apple’s official request to have Github remove the code stated, “The ‘iBoot’ source code is proprietary and it includes Apple’s copyright notice. It is not open-source.”

Although, Apple confirmed that the leaked source code does contain admissible code information, they are not recognizing any security implications that may be impacted. Apple made a statement which may put users at ease. However, there are still some concerns, “Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked, but by design the security of our products doesn’t depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products.”  Though Apple has attempted to brush off the leak, there are still concerns with it as the source code was able to make its way to the public, causing great concern for Apple. The source code leak, this time, may have been small, but what is stopping hackers or other harmful materials in the future?

Microsoft Releases Updates Changing the Way Nonprofits use Office 365

As technology continues to accelerate, it is easy to get lost and overwhelmed with intimidating information. ABS is making an effort to provide you with the latest IT news that could affect you and your organization.

As changes are underway to the Microsoft Software Donation Program, many nonprofits will see the difference in the coming months. Many nonprofits receive discounted Microsoft products through organizations like TechSoup. This will change in the near future and may impact many of our nonprofit partners.

TechSoup, along with Microsoft and other providers, is dedicated to expanding on current and new ways to support technology services and solutions for nonprofits and libraries. As technology advances, Microsoft and other providers wish to ensure that your organization is ready for the future and will be able to continue to deliver on your promises to serve.

The numerous changes to the Microsoft Donation Program will take effect on April 1, 2018. The first thing to note is that these new discounted offers will be referred to as Office 365 Volunteer SKU. This is an extension of the original Office 365. Secondly, product selection will be made easier. Microsoft is developing product donations to better serve small business organizations. This means that the standard versions of Office products that were offered before will continue to be offered to eligible nonprofits and libraries through TechSoup. However, premium versions of Microsoft products will only be available to eligible nonprofits and libraries at a discounted price and some of the larger nonprofits may see a price increase.

Unlike before, nonprofits and libraries will not have the limitation of only 10 title groups. Nonprofits and libraries will now have the option to choose from any Microsoft donated products, making it a bit easier to complete business operations.

Not everything will change. The program rules and eligibility will remain the same. Therefore, all eligibility rules will be carried out across all Microsoft nonprofit discounts.

Microsoft and ABS are dedicated to helping you decide which option is best for you and your organization. Changes can be scary and overwhelming, but ABS is here to help keep you informed as new information is released.

New Developments in Intel Spectre Meltdown Vulnerability

Do you remember Meltdown and Spectre, the Intel processor vulnerabilities we mentioned a few weeks ago? Well, Intel has recently rolled out a patch for the bugs – but be careful, it doesn’t come without issues.

To recap, the Meltdown and Spectre bugs are design flaws that result in a weakened separation in the secure kernel memory of most Intel processors. This causes secure data to become available to anyone who can exploit the vulnerability. This flaw was discovered recently, and is causing havoc in the IT industry due to the sheer number of potentially affected devices. Although it’s mostly Intel processors that are affected, it can be a potential threat to AMD systems as well, although the biggest hit for AMD has been the rollout of “fixes.” (more on that in a bit.) The overall impact of this flaw potentially opens users up to serious data vulnerabilities. These design flaws affect not only desktop and laptop computers, but also smartphones, tablets, and any other devices that use one of the affected processors.

Unfortunately, the patch itself is causing some major issues. Microsoft has found that the patch is causing particularly severe issues with some computers containing AMD processors. The patching of this vulnerability is widely known to cause a slowdown of the affected computers. It is even causing some AMD computers to lock up completely. According to The Verge, tests have shown a slowdown of up to 25 percent on some systems. Along with deteriorating performance, some computers with the patch are rebooting randomly, causing frustration for users. Microsoft has even had to roll back their patch due to the issues it has caused in some environments.

There are different variants of the Spectre and Meltdown bugs. So far, Intel has been able to create a patch that prevents the reboot issue for HP and Dell computers. However, Spectre Variant 2 and other variations of the exploits are still up in the air. Meanwhile, Google has rolled out an update called Retpoline that has successfully combatted the Spectre Variant 2 in the some Intel processors, but not all. So far, no one has found an overall fix.

Microsoft, Dell, and HP are currently advising against deploying most of the recently rolled out updates until they are sure they will fix all variations of the bugs while incurring the least possible side effects.

Although this has caused a huge stir in the IT industry, no exploits of these vulnerabilities have been found “in the wild” so far, so the race is on to develop a workable fix before hackers learn to fully exploit these vulnerabilities.  We will continue to keep you updated on the latest news regarding the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, as well as the recommended fixes as they are released.

Major Vulnerability in Intel Processors Slows Down All Systems

In a stunning turn of events, researchers discovered a significant vulnerability in virtually ALL Intel processors. The vulnerability is similar to the Heartbleed bug of 2012. The bug allows normal programs to access the secured memory in the system’s kernel. A kernel is the core of an operating system—and just so happens to be responsible for handling the MOST sensitive tasks carried out by your operating system. Needless to say, this is bad.

What does this mean for you? Another major security patch will be rolled out in the coming days, and it will need to be installed on every PC that has an Intel CPU, including Apple and Linux systems. However, don’t completely panic. Many OS’s will patch this issue automatically, as long as you say yes to those pesky little updates.

This security flaw was first noticed after the introduction of a new kernel page table isolation (KPTI) in Linux operating systems. Yet, Intel has said that this affects every Intel CPU made in the last 10 years. AMD chips are thought to be unaffected by this vulnerability.

In order to combat this, a technique is being employed by several OS manufacturers that works to separate the user and kernel space memory, therefore preventing the hardware security vulnerability. Kernel space can contain sensitive, private information posing a real issue if compromised. The down side—this fix will have adverse effects on your processor’s performance.

Researchers have estimated that the fix (or rather workaround) for this issue will cause a significant slowdown of the affected systems, anywhere from 0.28 to 35 percent. It is a hardware-based vulnerability. Therefore, software security patches can only go so far to correct it.

More vulnerability details are expected to be available on January 9. Until then, check out the full article HERE and bring yourself up to speed.