You’ll need a driver’s license for another 10 years - Self-driving cars are all about information technology, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. In fact, they utilize some of the most complex, and still unperfected hardware and software in the lab. When the remaining issues in autonomous vehicles are solved, however, we will not only experience (promised) carefree driving but also advances in robotics [...]
When Your Company Is In The cloud, Nail Your Contract To The Ground - Chances are, you and your business are engaged with the cloud. Services like Dropbox are cloud-based, for instance, and easy to use. Your business, however, likely needs access to greater storage and technology than you can receive from a simple download. Moving to the cloud means you don’t have to maintain your own servers and [...]
Success In Quantum Computing Is Difficult But Tantalizing - Modern computers and systems seem almost miraculous in their abilities and contributions to humanity. But proponents of quantum computers say the machines we are using today will be remembered as something like a horse-drawn buggy when the next leap in computing occurs. There are a few rudimentary prototypes, but quantum computers exist essentially only in [...]
5G Will Change How You Do Business – Someday. Maybe Soon. - Ultra-fast 5G mobile and data communication is coming – perhaps as early as this year to some parts of the country. What it will mean to business owners and consumers remains somewhat unclear until we answer the question: What do we want to do with it? We know that our kids will start asking for [...]
The Hits Keep on Coming – Drupal And Juniper Are The Latest - Widely used software from Drupal and Jupiter Networks – two companies known for helping businesses create web pages and improve connectivity – were hacked in the past month, causing potentially serious damage to their client companies and, just as important, demonstrating that you can never let down your guard. Drupal offers content management software. Many [...]
Generative Adversarial Networks Promise to Change Computing, and Us - You have heard of machine learning, in which a computer gains “knowledge” and expertise as it tries and fails at a human-designed task until it learns the correct approach. That type of machine learning is still being used, but it could soon become very old-school. Some day, generative adversarial networks will take over, as two [...]
A Good Day of Phishing Could Mean a Bad Day for You - Here’s a scary fact if you are responsible for your company’s security: Some phishing emails encourage a nearly 100 percent open rate. Apparently, emails are irresistible when they pretend to inform recipients of a new evacuation plan for their workplace. The same is true for fake password update alerts. According to Wombat Security’s annual “State [...]
What Went Wrong With Facebook? An Explanation. - Everyone knows Facebook has a problem. The headlines are relentless and appear day after day. If you only read the headlines, though, you might have an uneasy feeling, without knowing exactly why. Here is a primer on what’s been happening recently, what’s gone wrong, and how it might be addressed. To begin: Facebook collects a [...]
How to Protect Yourself from CyberMonday Scams - As if the internet weren’t already a scary enough place, with cybercriminals lurking everywhere and unleashing malware at the rate of hundreds of thousands a day, the holiday season can be the stuff of nightmares. Cybercriminals really ramp up their wicked game on CyberMonday and during the holiday season – knowing full well more people [...]
Protect Against a KRACK Attack - A new cyber threat emerged recently, and it puts any person using a wireless network, even one with a secure password, at risk of being hacked. The bug, called KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack), is essentially a fundamental flaw in the WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) encryption that is used on all modern Wi-Fi routers. This [...]
Blockchain: The Foundation of Trust for Cryptocurrency - You may have noticed that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have taken off this year. Their market capitalization went from about $18B in January 2017 to more than $110B in June. The foundation of such digital currency is built on a technology called ‘blockchain.’ This is the foundation that enables users of the digital assets to trust [...]
Cryptocurrency: A Primer - Cryptocurrencies – aka ‘digital assets’ – have been growing in popularity since Bitcoin was created in 2009. Its creation was based on a white paper that described a currency immune to manipulation by using mathematical algorithms as a method of regulation. Since then, thousands of cryptocurrencies have popped up; some survive, others have died. Today [...]
2017 IT Data Trends and What They Mean to You - How Data Solutions Are Changing in 2017   Like every year, 2017 is bringing a whirlwind of changes to the software industry. When it comes to listing the biggest 2017 IT data trends, the same categories seem to make an appearance year after year. While it’s true that artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things [...]
IT Security & Backup Data The Latest Backup & Recovery Data Solutions - How the World of Data Recovery Is Changing in 2017   As the world of big data continues to explode across the IT/software industry, so does the world of recovery data solutions. Backing up and securing sensitive data has become the name of the game. Some of the world’s largest companies are pouring millions of [...]
Trump Administration Shaking Up IT How the Trump Administration Is Shaking Up the IT/Software Industry - What Can IT Professionals Expect from President Trump?   There’s been a lot of commotion coming out of Washington since President Trump took office on January 17th. While the new president has yet to pass a major new piece of legislation through Congress, the Trump administration has been signaling towards some major changes when it [...]
Devices at Risk for Cyber Crime The Threat in Your Pocket: Devices Are Also at Risk of Cyber Crime - Virtually everyone walking around in the civilized world today holds in their hand a device that cybercriminals can use to make their lives miserable. It’s not only computers and laptops that users have to be concerned about; mobile devices are equally as vulnerable to attacks, especially since most people now use their smartphones and tablets [...]
A Cautionary Tale: Why Recommendations Matter - It’s no secret that businesses face numerous vulnerabilities these days, including threats from cybercriminal that can cost them dearly – in lost time, resources, data, revenue, and, maybe worst of all, damaged reputation. Companies such as The Network Support Company exist to help other businesses mitigate or minimize those risks. As a pro-active managed service [...]
Small Businesses, Data Security, What a Security Breach Actually Costs Your Business - When a Security Breach Leads to Business Closure When a company suffers a data breach, the costs can be exorbitant. But protecting sensitive information is about more than just dollars and cents; it’s about brand loyalty, name recognition, and a company’s reputation. Having a vulnerable security system can be fatal for some companies. Small business [...]
The Wild West of IoT - The Internet of Things (IoT) is exploding, and it’s become the new Wild West of the Internet world. What, exactly, is the IoT? It’s the collective term used to refer to all the new smart devices that are being connected to the internet. It started with smart phones, and now has morphed into any device [...]
Cybercrime and the Hospitality Industry - Cybercrime is on the rise all over the world, and the costs of cybercrime and data breaches are staggering. According to the latest annual Cost of Data Breach Study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the average consolidated total cost of a data breach grew from $3.8 million to $4 million last year, and that upward [...]
Massive Data Security Breaches A Problem Now More than Ever - With 177,339 worldwide data security threats every day, breaches are more serious than ever before. Even Yahoo and the IRS have been breached, so what is a small business to do? From individuals putting personal information in the cloud to massive attacks, a secure defense is the best strategy. The Network Support Company CEO Jim [...]
IT Security & Backup Data Why Your Business Needs Cyber Liability Insurance - Business owners know there will always be liabilities connected to running that business. But now there’s another “liability” to add to the list: data that must be protected. There are ways to safeguard your business against the liability of data loss, not the least of which is cyber liability insurance, which is a very specific [...]
There Goes The Neighborhood; Cyber-Crime is Rampant - When I was growing up we never locked our house, even when we went away for a weekend. We weren’t afraid of going out at night and we didn’t have to worry about venturing into certain areas of town. We lived in the country, in a good neighborhood with good neighbors. Contrast that with any [...]
13 Tech Hacks to Make Your Life Easier - If there’s one thing that never changes, it’s that we’re constantly on the prowl for ways to do things better…faster…more easily…more efficiently. Putting it plainly, we want life hacks – little tips and tricks that help us squeeze the most out of our lives. Technology gives us nearly endless possibilities for such hacks. They’re often little-known [...]
What It’s Like to Work for a Top Workplace - For four years running, The Network Support Company has been named a Top Workplace in Connecticut by Hearst Media). We always think this award is one of the best, because it’s awarded following employee nominations and then surveying. In a company like TNSC, where our company culture is intentionally designed to support, encourage, grow, challenge [...]
Seven Technology Hacks and Tips to Up Your Security Quotient - When it comes to technology, the hottest issue on the planet right now is cybersecurity. You simply cannot be over-protected when it comes to safeguarding against a data breach or a cyberattack. Whether you’re concerned about an entire network of computers, or simply your own PC or Mac, making sure you’re operating as safely as [...]
How to Create A Flexible Work Schedule Five Ways to Please Managers While Working a Flexible Schedule - Many companies today offer employees the option of working a more flexible work schedule, eschewing the traditional nine-to-five grind in favor of hours that more accurately reflect the 24-7 world we live in today. Different companies have different reasons for offering that flexibility. Here at The Network Support Company, while we do serve customers 24-7 [...]
what-is-malware-infographic-featured What Is Malware? [Infographic] - What is malware & what threats does it pose to you? Malware is software designed with malicious purpose. It may be designed to disable your phone or computer, remotely control your device, or steal valuable information like credit card information or passwords. To learn more about what malware is, different types of malware, and how [...]
Tech Primer: What is a Switch? - In today’s world, people rely heavily on technology for communication; computers and cells phones are everywhere. Behind the scenes, though, complex equipment and technologies are in place that allow for communication to occur. One such important piece of equipment is known as a switch. A switch is a device that enables networked devices to talk to one [...]
How Well Are Patient Records Being Protected on Your Smart Phone? - The enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – HIPAA – is about to reach its 20th anniversary, yet there are still serious issues circling around the accessibility of private patient data. A nurse may not realize it, but innocently feeding data into a mobile device, or storing it in a cloud, could [...]
Don’t Want Google Tracking Your Every Move? - If your cell phone isn’t in your hand this second, it’s almost certainly within reach. If you’re like most people, it rarely leaves your possession; you carry it everywhere you go. And that is precisely how Google knows where you are at all times. Far above their proficiency at making phone calls (who even uses [...]
Why Documentation is Crucial - People who watch our technicians work, or those who know something about our operating procedures at The Network Support Company might be inclined to wonder, “why are they taking so many notes?” It’s because we believe that documentation – and creating a shared knowledge base for everyone on our team – is crucial. Although no [...]
Ongoing Security Training is Key to Preventing a Breach - Some things in life are “set-it-and-forget-it.” Things like a Crock-Pot slow-cooker, or your DVR. IT security, however, does not fall into that category. Instead, especially for businesses – typical targets of cybercrime and data breaches – it’s imperative that employees stay as informed and as equipped as possible about constantly changing threats. And that means [...]
Social Engineering in a Digital World - Cyber security is a growing concern for any business. At least it should be. Most companies correctly invest a great deal in securing their IT systems. They inspect data on the perimeter of their networks, servers and workstations, filter websites that may contain malicious software, and institutionalize policies assuring proper password protection. The list of [...]
Little Data or Big Data? | Network-Support “Little Data” is Key to Better Decision-Making & Productivity - By now, you’ve likely heard the term “big data,” referring to the ability to manipulate, analyze and report on massive amounts of data. Companies use big data to gain marketing insights, identify key trends, do scientific research, and assist in strategic plan development. But for most small and mid-size businesses, their real competitive advantage does [...]
Fix Errors on Your PC | Network-Support When Your Windows Computer Locks Up - You’re working on a document or are almost done with a form, and suddenly you see the dreaded “(Not Responding)” on the left corner of your screen. Nothing you type or click is being recognized. Worse yet, your computer isn’t responding at all. You’re experiencing a Windows lock-up or freeze and you’re concerned! Before you [...]
Virtue in the Workplace Revisited - I recently had an opportunity to address a group of about 40 up-and-coming leaders at a Chamber of Commerce event in Danbury. I talked about the difference between leadership and management and some of the components of good leadership. Peter Drucker very succinctly makes this distinction: “Management is doing things right and leadership is doing [...]
Google Chrome for Education: A Primer - Google Chrome for Education – tools designed to engage with students, anytime and anywhere, on any device – is establishing itself as the next big thing in the evolving marriage of education and technology. One might argue that the union was inevitable; developers were engaged as soon as they witnessed the first generation of children [...]
The Cost of a Security Breach Could Be Closure - Security breaches stink. At best, a malware or virus attack is a nuisance and a time-sucker, because – if it hits your business – your employees will be forced to spend their time dealing with endless pop-up ads, slowed-down systems and probably computer crashes. At worst, a company can lose precious data or experience outages [...]
Spear Phishing: a New, Targeted Twist on Phishing - You’re probably familiar with the cyberattack known as “phishing.” The hackers and crooks who engage in this send out automated mass emails, which appear to be from well-known institutions, such as banks, or ecommerce leaders, like Amazon. They hope to catch as many unsuspecting people as possible, who become victims by falling for a ploy [...]
How to Extend the Life of Your Computer - While computers no longer cost an arm and a leg, and can easily be upgraded to maintain and extend its usefulness, most people still want to get the most use as possible out of their machines. Lots of factors (battery life, quality of components installed, the way it’s used, etc.) play into determining the lifespan [...]
Some considerations for using Public Wireless - Let’s face it, we desire to stay connected to the internet at all times. So when we see a sign for free public Wi-Fi, our pulse quickens. While the convenience is great, there are some dangers to joining these public networks that should make us think twice. When you join a network – any network, [...]
Ransomware: The New Class of Malware Is our Energy Grid Safe? - Ukraine, December 23, 2015: a worker at one of Western Ukraine’s power distribution centers watched helplessly as his computer was taken over by a hacker, who – with click after click of his now remotely controlled mouse – proceeded to take about 30 substations offline. Two other power distribution centers were hit at the same [...]
Internet Slang: Thank the Internet for YOLO, Selfie - It would be difficult to argue that the internet hasn’t changed the way we talk. After all, without social media platforms and chat rooms, would anyone be exclaiming “YOLO!” when they’re about the attempt the world’s highest bungee jump? Would “trend” be a verb instead of a noun? Would “crowdfunding” be a thing? And let’s [...]
Overcoming the Challenges of Working from Home - When the nature of a job allows it, today’s technology removes virtually any obstacle to working from home. As long as an employee has internet access and can link to company servers, he or she may never need to go to the office. For me, the notion to propose a mostly work-from-home scenario (four days [...]
Tech Slang & Jargon: A Fun Little Primer - We get it. Information Technology is broad and often confusing, with seemingly endless facts to absorb just to grasp what happens inside all those wires and up in that cloud. But besides all the facts – which require years of continuing education (just ask our techs) – complicating matters even further is that IT has [...]
Five Ways to Delight Customers with Excellent Service - Something we value highly here at The Network Support Company is delivering excellent customer service. From our business development managers to our technicians to our account managers, we aim to delight and surprise our clients with our attentiveness and level of engagement. The quarterly customer service surveys we deploy – in which we score 4+ [...]
Jim Hull, Senior Systems Engineer How to Create a Solid “Bring-Your-Own-Device” Policy - With technology evolving rapidly, most employers simply can’t keep up with the pace of change as easily and quickly as their workforce can, so more and more companies are allowing employees to use their own devices on the job. From laptops to cell phones to tablets, today’s businesses are often powered with equipment not provided [...]
Cloud Computing Specialists Options for Lone Users Who Must Back Up their Data - The saying goes, “There are two kinds of computer users; those who’ve lost their data and those who haven’t lost their data yet.” The truth of the matter is that, eventually, something will happen that will result in data loss: a virus, a lightning strike, a cyberattack, a stolen laptop, a server failure, a hard [...]
The Value of Humor in the Workplace - It’s a practically a daily occurrence: one of my coworkers – it could be any number of them, actually – walks by my office and pauses to hurl a well-thought-out insult. Of course, I’ll then lob one back, because that’s usually what leads to some uproarious laughter. Laughter. Fun. Humor. They’re as much a part [...]
Three Ways the Internet of Things Saves You Things - The Internet of Things (IoT), the network of physical objects embedded with technology that allows them to collect and exchange data, unquestionably makes us a “smarter” society, but, aside from its inherent geeky coolness, the way the IoT enables us to improve our lives is what is catapulting it into mainstream usage. On a larger, [...]
Will Desktop Mini Computers Catch on in Business? - A popular trend amongst desktop manufacturers is making business class desktops that are much smaller, but just as powerful as their space-hogging cousins. These computers, which mount to the back of a monitor and are known as mini’s, are a welcome innovation for many users, but one, in our experience, that has yet to infiltrate the [...]
Small Businesses, Data Security, Layered Approach is Best Defense Against Ransomware - Recent news that a hospital in Los Angeles forked over $17,000 in ransom to hackers who infiltrated its record-keeping system, and held the data hostage, renews fears about the safety of our most sensitive information. If hackers can capture records and hold them for ransom – which most companies pay with rapidity, by the way [...]
What’s Behind the Cloud’s Silver Lining? - Up to now, IT decision-makers have learned how to understand, choose, and implement IT infrastructure that resides and runs in their company’s own server room.  They knew, for instance, if they needed a new email server, that HP and Dell are good brands. They knew that they needed to purchase Windows and Exchange licenses.  They [...]
TNSC: Celebrating 20 Years of Integrity, Service and Inspiration - When I started The Network Support Company in my home in 1996, I didn’t set out to build the most technically sophisticated tech company, or the biggest tech company, or even the most profitable tech company. I started this company – 20 years ago this month – because I wanted to experiment with the concept [...]
An Employee Weighs In: Five Ways Management Can Increase Morale and Productivity - Several years ago in corporate America, the wave of the future was to set up expansive open spaces and plant employees in giant cubicle farms, allowing them easy access to their coworkers and even upper management. It also saved money on real estate. While that model probably facilitated conversation (and ramped up the distraction level, [...]
In FBI vs Apple, it’s National Security vs Privacy - One of the things we take for granted in our modern tech-centric life is that, when we enable our iPhone’s security passcode, Apple will deliver on its claim that our data is secure and there is no way for cyber-criminals, Apple employees or even government officials to access the private information encrypted and stored there. [...]
IT Can Help Us… But It Has Changed Us Too - Information Technology is NOT always good. What? An IT support company saying that IT isn’t good?  Are they trying to put themselves out of business?  I’d better explain. IT certainly can help companies operate more efficiently by being able to find and process information quicker than with manual methods plavix tablet.  IT can help companies [...]
Why Your Company Needs a Business Continuity Plan - What if – due to a natural disaster or a crippling cyber-security breach – your company couldn’t function for a day? Or a week? Or a month or more? Could your business survive? If you have a Business Continuity Plan your chance of success is immeasurably improved. A Business Continuity Plan is a well-thought-out plan [...]
Your Technician’s Personality Dictates How They ‘Git ‘Er Done’ - Information Technology can be “done” in many ways.  By “done,” I mean the latitude that we, as IT professionals, have in deciding how IT is implemented and supported.  Since IT is implemented by people, how it’s done can often reflect the personality of the person who’s doing it.  And, of course, as with every industry, [...]
Technology from CES 2016 that Will Blow Your Mind - Every year, technology enthusiasts get the chance to totally geek out – and have our minds blown – when the Consumer Electronics Show offers us a first glimpse at the newest gizmos, gadgets and apps that will make our world more and more like George Jetson’s. A few of the new products unveiled January 6-9 [...]
Drones Now Under Federal Regulatory Requirements - Drones were at the top of the gift list this holiday, with an estimated 700,000 showing up under the tree. The thought of having this many new Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) in our air space forced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to get a registration system in place – and fast. But because the United [...]
Windows 10: A New Wave of Software as a Service - No matter how you feel about Microsoft and their latest offerings, Windows 10 represents the beginning of a new paradigm in Operating System utilization and delivery for the business world. To cling to older operating systems, resisting the new, would be akin to watching VHS tapes while the rest of the world is streaming Netflix. [...]
Does Anybody Have Privacy Anymore? - Privacy – at least privacy as we once knew it – is a thing of the past. A shadow of its former self, thanks to the fact that, in one way or another, we’re all being shadowed. And technology, of course, is why. We already know that people can hack into our phones, computers or [...]
User Education: Things Every Worker with a Computer Should Know - With the world of technology changing at an always increasing pace, there’s little question that companies need qualified engineers overseeing the security of their computer network. But, these days, it’s not enough for only a company’s IT support function, either insourced or outsourced, to know the dangers that lurk and ways to prevent a breach. [...]
Time to Pay the Cryptolocker Ransom: All in a Day’s Work? - The day started out like any other, with coffee and a calendar full of the usual tasks. However, it soon became evident that the next 24 hours – which would culminate in a ransom payment – would be anything but routine. Yes, contrary to the stereotype of the computer geek staring at a screen all [...]
That’s a Wrap! Giving Back to the Community That’s a Wrap! Giving Back to the Community - At the core of any good corporate citizen is the desire to serve the community in which it operates. To give, freely. To help, joyfully. At The Network Support Company, we’re delighted to do this in a number of ways. We donate many hundreds of hours of technical-service to many local nonprofit agencies in the [...]
Jim Hull, Senior Systems Engineer Bring Your Own Device? Or Not? - How many people do you know that do not carry a mobile device? Probably none. With the ever-connected, always-on world we live in today, the lines between work and personal time is often blurred and the need to be connected is ever-present. Several years ago, when this trend began, both employees and employers saw benefits [...]
The Deep Web A Plunge into the Deep Web - Come with me now on an expedition deep, deep, deep into murky depths of the … well, the internet. So far as we can see, the internet is immeasurably vast and seemingly endless. But did you know that there is an even more incomprehensively immense portion of the internet that you and I will never, [...]
Be mindful of scams Hello, Microsoft Tech Support Calling - So, what do you do when the fine folks from Microsoft take the time to call you about an issue with your PC? Hang up! It’s a scam. Microsoft never calls end users directly. But that’s not what people might be led to believe because, recently, there has been an increase in what I’m calling [...]
Tech Support A Day in the Life of a Network Technician Part II: The Calm Within the Storm - We’ve all experienced, to one degree or another, the feeling of despair that can set in when something breaks and there’s seemingly no way to fix it. For business owners or managers, a network failure or firewall breach can trigger a sinking feeling of “uh-oh, now what do we do?!?” But, fortunately for most companies [...]
Passwords Written on Sticky Notes Password Fatigue? Consider a Password Manager - Without getting into specifics about my “level of maturity,” let’s just say I’m wondering if others have ever experienced “Forgotmypassworditis?” It’s happening to me with alarming regularity, so the other day – after wracking my brain for my password to a retail site I had used just last month – I set about to find [...]
Human foosball table Building a Human-sized Foosball Table - Imagine a foosball table come to life, with human-sized players “attached” to crossbars – able to move only side to side and face only in one direction – with the sole mission of putting a ball in the opposing team’s goal – while feet kick wildly in all directions and everyone argues over perceived rule [...]
Is your password secure? Is Your P@ssw0rd Secure? - Today’s cybercriminals are finding new ways to make your lives miserable, and one of the ways they’re doing it is by successfully guessing the passwords to your email, social media profiles, and online banking and retail sites, essentially providing them the keys to your kingdom. They’re employing sophisticated software that allows them to target online [...]
TNSC Culture: A learning culture TNSC Culture: A Learning Culture (Part One of Three) - If you’ve read any of the blogs about The Network Support Company’s corporate culture, you know that our people are valued greatly. Our leaders genuinely care how everyone here is treated, that we’re given opportunities to grow as human beings, and that our office is an enjoyable place to spend at least eight hours every [...]
Work life balance Seeking Work-Life Balance: Kids and Diapers and Breakfast, Oh My! - That’s the alarm, isn’t it? But wasn’t it just five minutes ago when I put my head on the pillow? It’s still pitch dark … what is happening? Oh yes, it’s time to get ready for work. I get out of bed as quietly as possible, as not to wake the newborn, and tip-toe to [...]
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDOS) DDoS Attacks are Disruptive; often a Smokescreen for Something Worse - When it comes to cybersecurity, one constant is that the “attack du jour” will always be changing. Right now, one of the greatest threats worldwide is an attack known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), which is designed to cripple a company or organization by artificially crashing its website, and therefore denying service to its [...]
How much connected is too connected? How Much Connection is Too Much Connection? - By now, we’re used to the seeing the techno-geek slumber party that breaks out on city streets whenever a company like Apple releases a new device. It’s attended by people who, evidently, would perish if they weren’t among the first to experience the newest bells and whistles. If that behavior typifies the only most fanatical [...]
Rated one of CT's top workplaces for 2015 Top Workplace Award Spurs Us on to Greater Success - It’s been said that “the most successful companies are the ones that employees believe in.” Here at The Network Support Company, we have found this to be true. And now we have more actual proof that our employees believe in our company, having just been named – for the third year in a row – [...]
Do You Need Us? Internal vs. External IT Support Do You Need Us? Internal vs. External IT Support - At some point in the life of every company or small business, someone has to ponder this question: Do we outsource our Information Technology support? Or should we just have someone from our team keep things running? Well, it really isn’t a question of should a company have one or the other – only internal [...]
The Path to Excellence: Trust and Transparency are Vital The Path to Excellence: Trust and Transparency are Vital - For three years running, The Network Support Company has been selected by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers as a Top Place to Work in Connecticut. This is a pretty special award, because it’s based solely on survey responses from employees. There are many reasons the people who work here think it’s a great place, but one of [...]
An Introduction to Technology Monitoring An Introduction to Technology Monitoring - In the continuing quest to make IT support as proactive as it can be – working to stave off disaster before it strikes instead of just reacting to a crisis – one vital component is technology monitoring. To be effective, an information technology system must provide information to users when they need it and how [...]
The Path to Excellence: Asking Clients “How’re We Doing?” The Path to Excellence: Asking Clients “How’re We Doing?” - As the leadership team of an Information Technology company, my managers and I could endeavor to get a fix on how our business is doing by looking at the usual metrics. Are we profitable? Is everyone busy and clocking billable hours? Are we innovating new products? Do we measure those things? Sure. But, when it [...]
Growth Award is a TNSC Team Award Growth Award is a TNSC Team Award - The Network Support Company family is celebrating a significant “win” this month, having just been named by the Connecticut Technology Council and Marcum LLP to the 2015 Marcum Tech Top 40 list of the fastest growing technology companies across the state. Finalists are private and public companies across six industry sectors with at least $3 [...]
Looking Through the Johari Window Looking Through the Johari Window - Imagine a workplace where employees are encouraged to approach their fellow team members and tell them about some of the good, and the not so good things that they do, and perhaps things that they don’t even realize they are doing. Someone might learn that her body language broadcasts the disdain she’s likely feeling. Someone [...]
A Decade of Tech Evolution Brings Challenges and Opportunities A Decade of Tech Evolution Brings Challenges and Opportunities - Back about a decade ago, I often found myself relating to the Wizard of Oz when it came to resolving issues that plagued the operating system of the day, Windows XP and Server 2003. Even though technology had come a long way from the good old days of DOS and Windows 3.1, it was still [...]
So Long File Cabinets So Long File Cabinets - Most businesses wage a constant battle against both time and space. There’s never enough time to DO everything and there’s never enough places to PUT everything. Especially when it comes to the forest of paperwork in any accounting department. At The Network Support Company, we’ve transitioned from 40 file cabinets to a grand total of [...]
Why Yes, We ARE Taking Lots of Notes Why Yes, We ARE Taking Lots of Notes - When it comes to the way we service our Managed Service customers, The Network Support Company talks a lot about documentation. So we wanted to explore that a little more deeply and talk about why it is so important. If everyone used the same model computer with the same applications and the same versions of [...]
One Bad Experience Inspires Customer Service Gut-Check One Bad Experience Inspires Customer Service Gut-Check - All it takes is one grouchy employee to inject bad mojo into your otherwise good day. And provide a stunning lesson in how NOT to serve your customers. It was a gorgeous sunny morning when I dropped my car off, like many times before, to get the oil changed and tires rotated. The service technician [...]
What They Don’t Teach You in Tech School What They Don’t Teach You in Tech School - Like many people who end up working in the technology field, I haven’t learned everything I know from a textbook. There’s a lot to be said for real world experience, and that’s especially true in the current world of Information Technology. These days, technology is in a constant state of flux, with new software releases [...]
What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)? What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)? - I joined The Network Support Company shortly after graduating from high school in 1996. I was only 18, but having grown up with computers, I’d already developed some skills in this area. Fortunately for me, knowing ones way around a computer was a skill that was coming into demand. At the time, TNSC was a [...]
Patch Released for Microsoft Security Flaw Patch Released for Microsoft Security Flaw - Another chink in the internet’s armor was uncovered this week, prompting Microsoft to release a critical patch to protect as many as one billion Windows users from hackers, who potentially have the capability to take complete control of a user’s computer. While it’s not out of the ordinary for software companies to release patches to [...]
The Power of Love, Dignity & Respect The Power of Love, Dignity & Respect - Today I want to share another example of the transformation that can happen when a business leader swims against the tide and employs the “soft values” of love, compassion and kindness in the workplace. Let’s go back to 1972, to the Pittron Steel mill in Glassport PA, a massive foundry that covered seven blocks along [...]
Breaking News in the Cyber World Breaking News in the Cyber World - It’s not news that technology – reliable technology, I might add – has become the very foundation on which we operate virtually every business on the planet these days, regardless of its size and function. It becomes news, though, when the normally dependable technology fails us, AND affects not one but three icons of American [...]
What is this 'Cloud' and Are You Using the Best One? What is this ‘Cloud’ and Are You Using the Best One? - The Cloud – Public Cloud, Private Cloud, My Cloud, Your Cloud. Why is computing so cloudy lately? The Term “cloud” is a loosely defined term used to describe any internet-enabled computing technology. When you snap a picture or listen to music on your smart phone, chances are pretty good that file is stored in a [...]
Walking the Talk as a Good Corporate Citizen Walking the Talk as a Good Corporate Citizen - I start to anticipate my “Head Start day” even before it arrives each Wednesday. I really look forward to getting to the classroom full of 3 to 5 year-olds, sitting them down in front of me, and filling their little minds with wonderful stories. Whether it’s Dr. Seuss, Fancy Nancy or Good Night, Moon, reading [...]
Are you Using the Best Firewall? Are you Using the Best Firewall? - We’ve all heard the term “firewall.” In fact, it’s the firewall that’s often blamed when a user can’t do something he wants to do (like stream Pandora at the office). “It’s that darn firewall… it needs to be changed.” But what, really, is a firewall and what is it designed to do? A firewall sits [...]
Value of Promoting from Within Value of Promoting from Within - Promoting from within is, perhaps, the ultimate win-win scenario for value creation in any organization. It is, after all, the ultimate form of proactive recruiting. At The Network Support Company, bringing bright, talented individuals into our organization is never viewed as simply filling a vacancy. Talent acquisition is always done with an eye towards the [...]
Ransomware: The New Class of Malware Ransomware: The New Class of Malware - Computer viruses have been around for almost as long as computers themselves. They get the name “viruses” because of their ability to self-replicate, spread, and change the behavior of their host systems – a behavior eerily similar to a virus in a living organism. The first documented virus was called the “Creeper system” and was [...]
A Day in the Life of a Technician A Day in the Life of a Technician - (Part 1 of 3) Sometime last year, the number of personal computers in the world passed the two billion mark. That’s about one for every three people. Each of those computers has several thousand individual components, which come in various brands, models, and types. In addition to that, depending on your operating system (and there [...]
Life Lessons from Dad Life Lessons from Dad - With Father’s Day this weekend, I’ve been thinking about the things I learned from my Dad. He passed away 13 years ago and, honestly, I can remember only two lessons he taught me verbally: “Turn the lights off when you leave a room,” and “When you borrow something, return it in better shape than when [...]
a-personal-reflection-on-flex-time A Personal Reflection on Flex Time - Corporate America generally operates in a climate where people tend to bounce from company to company in search of the elusive “perfect fit.” So I often raise a few eyebrows when I tell people I’ve worked for The Network Support Company and CEO Jim Kennedy for more than 30 years. “Really?” they say. “Why would [...]
The Benefits of Virtualization The Benefits of Virtualization - You’ve probably heard the term “virtualization,” but might not be fully versed in what it is and what it can mean for your business. When it comes down to it, virtualization is not all that hard to understand; you just need to know some basics about how it works. In this blog we’ll walk through [...]
Customer Service Makes the Brand Customer Service Makes the Brand - There’s a common misconception out there when it comes to a company’s identity – also known as its “brand.” And it’s this: companies often believe that they determine how their company is branded. They write a mission statement, come up with a slogan and – boom – there’s the beginning of their brand. They flesh [...]
There’s Room for Compassion in the Workplace There’s Room for Compassion in the Workplace - Over the last few months, I’ve asked a lot of business owners, managers, and employees whether they think there is a place for compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love in the workplace. Employees, as you might expect, are quicker to say yes. Managers and owners take longer to respond but ultimately agree that [...]
The value of business intelligence The Value of Business Intelligence – “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” - Business guru Peter Drucker doesn’t mince words with that statement, which succinctly sums up the need for a company to employ some level of business intelligence (BI). Not sure what BI is? First and foremost, it addresses the integration of people, businesses processes and technology within any organization. At the next level, it is any [...]
The Difference Between Viruses and Malware The Difference Between Viruses and Malware - You’ve no doubt seen them on your computer: the popups telling you to buy their Anti-virus product because your computer is “infected”; the strange ads and search bars that appear when you google something; ominous popups alerting you that your files are encrypted. These dastardly interrupters are what you probably know as “viruses” or “malware” [...]
Are you protected from viruses and malware? Managing Antivirus Threats - Successfully managing virus threats essentially boils down to managing two things: technology and people. Sure, it’s easier said than done… but certainly doable. Let’s start with the technical side. You’re probably aware that there is no single or foolproof solution to completely protect your network. However, by deploying multiple solutions with a layered approach, you [...]
Creating a Culture of Work-Life Balance Creating a Culture of Work-Life Balance - Two things in life are fairly universal: Work is Hard, and Life is Messy. Our lives, both personal and professional, are complicated, constantly in motion, and – no surprise here – not always in sync. Newton’s Third Law of Physics tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That means [...]
Bitcoin Bitcoin and Paying Ransom to Cyber Criminals - Imagine coming into the office one day to find all of your business data completely unreadable or unusable, and in order to get it back, someone is politely asking for payment of one or two bitcoins. Your first thought may be “wow, these cyber-thugs are very nice.” Your second might likely be, “what on earth [...]
The Simplest Way to be More Secure by Buddy Pitt, MSP Department Manager The Simplest Way to be More Secure - Most people are enamored with the internet, and the ability we have to connect to limitless data and each other. The benefit is so great, in fact, that most people are also willing to accept the risk that comes with joining a network of five billion devices (expected to reach 20 billion by 2020). Each [...]
Reduce Junk Mail in your Mailbox in 5 Minutes Reduce Junk Mail in your Mailbox in 5 Minutes - How often do you end up deleting unwanted subscription-based e-mails? Sometimes you may find value in these messages, but often times it becomes a nuisance and you end up simply deleting the message. Real spam will get caught by spam filters such as our Barracuda spam filter, but oftentimes we may receive other unwanted e-mails [...]
Trimming the Fat with Technology Trimming the Fat with Technology - Did you know that street vendors now accept credit cards? It used to be that hawking your wares out in the open air precluded you from incorporating telephones or internet into your business. Then Apple introduced the iPad, and Square introduced the mobile card swiper. As a result, tools that were previously only available to [...]
CryptoLocker Alert New Crypto Malware - We are posting this notice because of a new variant of encrypting malware that we became aware of today. It has many similarities to Cryptolocker and Cryptowall (although is not seemingly from the same source) and overall the response plan stays very similar, however there are some notable differences that I wanted to make everyone [...]
Top workplaces 2014 award TNSC Selected as one of the Top Workplaces in CT by Hearst Media for 2014 - Hearst Media recently released their annual list of Top Workplaces in CT for 2014. The Network Support Company was selected as one of the top 10 workplaces in CT. Read on for the full article as published by Hearst Media and written by Michael King on the award. You can also read the issue in [...]
The Hidden Cost of Saving Money The Hidden Cost of Saving Money - For financial controllers and CEOs, it can be a daily occurrence to have a quote for new equipment come across the desk. Perhaps it’s two quotes, one of which is notably lower. In the world of Information Technology, this scenario plays out regularly. It makes perfect sense to avoid spending unnecessary money on equipment that [...]
CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Service Notification CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Update - We wanted to provide another update since our last communication regarding the CryptoLocker and CryptoWall malware infection. This strand of malware is constantly evolving and although the servers have been shut down that handled the encryption for CryptoLocker and the encryption keys released, the latest variants are still causing extensive damage. Internally, we have developed [...]
CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Service Notification CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Service Notification - We wanted to give you an update since our last communication regarding the CryptoLocker and CryptoWall malware infection. First, it appears that some security researchers were able to break into the main CryptoLocker database and have retrieved the keys to decrypt the files. They have released this information to the public, so people can decrypt [...]
CryptoLocker Updated Information CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Service Notification - We recently reached out to you with a service notification updated about a type of malware called CryptoLocker and a new variant, CryptoWall. This is a crippling infection and has the potential of encrypting all of your files. Over the last 2 weeks, 4 of our customers have been infected with this malware, so we [...]
CryptoLocker Updates CryptoLocker Update - We wanted to take this opportunity to give an update in regards to the CryptoLocker malware that we first notified you of last October. Since our original communications, there have been some concerning evolutions in this genus of malware including variations in its aggressiveness and infection path. The latest variant of this infection goes by [...]
United Way Day of Caring The United Way Day of Caring 2014 - More than a dozen TNSC employees were given the day off from work to volunteer on June 4 for the United Way’s annual Day of Action. Our team worked hard at weeding, mulching, planting, and weed-wacking at several nonprofit agencies in the Danbury area as well as cleaning and building cots at a men’s homeless [...]
The modern telecommuter The Modern Telecommuter – By Nathanael Blevins, TNSC Network Technician - Just before the Industrial Revolution, the manufacture of goods took place in the homes of workers all over the United States. Workers were paid per unit, and goods were transported every few days to be distributed. Eventually someone realized that they could reduce the per unit cost by having all of those workers commute to [...]
Jim Kennedy Entrepreneur of the Year - DANBURY, CONN. — Jim Kennedy, founder and chief executive officer of The Network Support Company in Danbury, will receive the 2013 Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Western Connecticut State University at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Amber Room Colonnade, 1 Stacey Road in Danbury. Kennedy, whose pioneering [...]
Top Workplaces 2013 - Growing up in Putnam County, N.Y., James Kennedy lived in a house built in 1719 that seemed to be in a constant state of falling apart. “My dad worked at IBM, but he was always a do-ityourselfer,” he says. “Every weekend was a project. We would work on the bathroom, for example, to change the [...]
virus-alert-cryptolocker-malware-infection Virus Alert – CryptoLocker malware infection - TNSC was made aware of a potentially damaging Malware threat called CryptoLocker that is spread primarily through e-mail attachments. CryptoLocker has started targeting businesses actively. Note: A CryptoLocker Malware infection requires a member of your staff to actively click on an e-mail attachment. The infection will not activate just by opening an e-mail.
Jim Kennedy Jim Kennedy, recipient of the Constantine S. Macricostos Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013 - DANBURY — For local businessman Jim Kennedy the spirit of entrepreneurship means perseverance, faith, a dash of humor and the passion to create something beautiful. Kennedy, founder of the Network Support Co., was honored Thursday by Western Connecticut State University as the Constantine S. Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year. Kennedy started the information technology company [...]
Microsoft Security Issue with IE8 and 9 - On Tuesday, September 17, Microsoft released a security bulletin (#2887505) detailing a vulnerability in the Internet Explorer browser versions 8 and 9 that could potentially allow an attacker to remotely execute code on an affected machine. The vulnerability would require your personnel to actively click on a specially crafted link on a website in one [...]
TNSC listed one of The Hearst Connecticut Top Workplaces - Growing up in Putnam County, N.Y., James Kennedy lived in a house built in 1719 that seemed to be in a constant state of falling apart. “My dad worked at IBM, but he was always a do-it-yourselfer,” he says. “Every weekend was a project. We would work on the bathroom, for example, to change the [...]
Top Connecticut IT Firm Announces Major Acquisition Top Connecticut IT Firm Announces Major Acquisition - Danbury, CT – The Network Support Company (TNSC), Fairfield County’s largest provider of IT services to small and mid-sized businesses, is proud to announce their acquisition of the Connecticut operations of Florida-based IT provider SLPowers. As of February 1, 2013 TNSC, based in Danbury, CT took over SLPower’s operation at 64 Wall St in Norwalk, [...]
social-networking-in-the-small-business-space Social Networking in the Small Business Space: By Nathanael Blevins, Network Technician - Just a few years ago, the landscape of doing business in North America experienced a radical shift with the arrival and explosive growth of the internet. Major corporations scrambled to establish a presence on the web, a trend which filtered down through the economy until every establishment, both large and small, had registered their very [...]
PCI Compliance- By Kevin Rhodes, Senior Enterprise Engineer - What is PCI compliance? PCI stands for the Payment Card Industry which relates to what most of us refer to as “credit cards”. All issuers of credit cards (e.g. MasterCard, Visa, etc. or the banks that issue them) require all businesses that handle credit card data to a set of PCI Data Security Standards. These [...]
Virus Protection by Doug Macomber, Systems Engineer at TNSC - It’s very important to protect your computer from viruses and malware. Viruses are malicious programs that are capable of gathering sensitive information from a computer and can even grant someone unauthorized remote control. Like a virus that affects humans, computer viruses can spread from computer to computer. Malware is similar to a virus, but cannot [...]
42: The Answer To Life, The Universe And Everything - Douglas Adams said it was the answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. He meant it as a joke, but a new book shows how the number 42 has played a significant role in history. When Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he added a central joke which has [...]
managed-services-how-they-impact-you Managed Services, How they Impact You - By Angelo Spaziani – TNSC MSP Administrator This blog will address managed services and their effect on the health of a network consisting of multiple workstations and servers. Managed Services is essentially a method of keeping a network running at peak performance by reducing the amount of problems related to the performance of the machines [...]
Business Continuity in the New Millennium - By Buddy Pitt, TNSC Product Development Manager When I first entered into the technology field, the adoption of business continuity in the small business world was extremely different than it is today. I was an onsite field technician that drove around from client to client solving problems on small computer networks. Most of these businesses [...]
Protecting Your Network Protecting Your Network by Chris Holl, TNSC Network Technician - This blog post addresses malware, viruses, protection, and what you can do to minimize the impact that malicious software has on your business. First, a bit of background; there are several categories of malicious activity on corporate and business networks. Viruses and Malware are software that installs on workstations within a network and either will [...]
Google Reports Claims That Users’ Internet May Shut Down on July 9th - The FBI has identified a serious piece of malware software which could affect a large number of PC’s worldwide. TNSC has confirmed that this malware is real. To help protect you, we are providing the following information about this malware and what you can do to detect whether you will be affected. Google Reports Claims [...]
TNSC Featured in The News-Times Inside Business Edition - For anyone with a computer, having reliable, trustworthy advisors with cultivated expertise, comprehensive resources, and uncompromising service is imperative. “In this technologically enabled world we live in, every business needs someone like us. We’ve learned over time that we work best with businesses that value IT,” said Jim Kennedy, Founder and CEO of The Network [...]
What’s new at TNSC? - TNSC is frequently involved in local and national events as well as industry innovation through key partners. We are dedicated to keeping our current and future customers and employees informed. Danbury, CT November 2011 TNSC participated in the Danbury Chamber of Commerce Business to Business showcase where we were able to get out and mingle with [...]
TNSC – A community-minded organization - We are a very community-minded organization, and giving back is an integral part of what we stand for as a company. Serving the community is in the DNA of the company. It is modeled after the founder of the company, Jim Kennedy, who donates countless hours of service on various not-for-profit boards, including Danbury Hospital, [...]