1) In 2013, 37 critical updates were released for Windows 2003. As of July 14, 2015, no new updates will be released for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Small Business Server 2003.
2) Unsupported products are more likely to be attacked by malicious parties, which may increase the cyber security risk to your business.
3) Payment processors may not do business with you if your payments are going through an unsupported server. Your business may not pass a business audit if you do not transition from unsupported software
4) An average security breach costs an SMB $50,000. Running unsupported software and old hardware can be more expensive than upgrading to a modern technology platform
5) Improved performance, simplified management, and more affordable storage choices.
Our July Client of the Month is Jackie Gregg, Controller at Control Chief, a manufacturer of industrial crane remote control and locomotive remote control solutions. We have had the pleasure of working with Jackie since the early days of Databranch and have enjoyed partnering with Control Chief for their IT needs since 2009. Our mission is to help our clients succeed through effective planning, implementation and management of their technology and as Jackie says in the video below, “What do I have? I have peace of mind. I can go on vacation for a week and know that my servers are going to run and my people are going to keep working. If there’s a problem all I have to do is pick up the phone and I’m going to have someone here onsite with the problem fixed and that’s well worth the price we pay you every month. Would I recommend Databranch? Highly.”
Recently, a few of our Office 365 Exchange Online clients have been receiving correspondence from Microsoft concerning the version of Outlook they are using. The message is Outlook 2007 and 2010 are out of mainstream support and their users might start experiencing reduced functionality. In this post, I’ll answer the two biggest questions we have been receiving from our clients, “What does this mean for me? and What do you recommend I do?”
What does the end of mainstream support for Outlook 2010 mean for my organization?
In general, there are two levels of end of support Microsoft products move into: End of Mainstream Support and End of Extended Support. When a product enters into the end of mainstream support it means Microsoft will no longer be releasing any non-security updates or new software design changes. The program will still function and is not a security risk to your network since Microsoft keeps releasing security fixes until the End of Extended Support date but because new features will not be added the software may not be as compatible with newer programs like Office 365 Exchange Online which is constantly being updated and improved to provide the highest level of service to subscription customers. This is why Microsoft is urging clients using their hosted email platform to upgrade their Outlook clients. Even though you will still be able to use Office 365 and connect to the platform for email, your experience will diminish over time and Microsoft won’t provide code fixes to resolve non-security related problems.
What does Databranch recommend our clients to do?
We recommend that organizations start upgrading their Outlook to a client that is still in Mainstream Support like Outlook 2013 or 2016 or start budgeting for Office upgrades. Like Windows 7, Outlook 2010 will be in Extended Support until 2020 and all users will want to be upgraded prior to the end of support date in October of that year.
Is your organization looking to migrate your email platform to Office 365? Databranch is a Microsoft Certified Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Provider and is ready to assist with your migration. A Databranch Cloud Solutions specialist can be reached at 716-373-4467 ext. 15, firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to get started.
Our June Client of the Month is Mary Comstock, Treasurer at Dura-Bilt Products, Inc., a manufacturer of aluminum products including awnings, sun rooms, screen rooms, storm windows, and doors. Dura-Bilt has been in business since 1958 and Databranch has had the pleasure of partnering with them for their IT needs since 2004 and their DSL days. The key to our longstanding relationship according to Mary, “You guys treat us very well. It’s the service that we’ve gotten that keeps us here with you and loyal. If you see an issue you’re reaching out to us immediately to get it resolved. You’re more of a proactive than reactive provider and I feel like family in the sense that we know about each other’s personal lives outside of business relationships. Can you go someplace else and find IT cheaper, probably, but will they give you the same service probably not.”
Since becoming a Databranch Comprehensive Care client Dura-Bilt has seen many benefits including speed of reaction time, employee productivity, and peace of mind. From Mary’s perspective, “When we have an issue it’s addressed very quickly which really makes a big difference. I can call and talk to someone immediately and I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than an hour for a response. Employee productivity has gone up because we have less downtime from computer issues and everything seems to run smoothly. Just knowing I have people out there who are very knowledgeable and take care of our needs very quickly gives me peace of mind that we can get back into business processes very quickly”
One memorable service challenge our businesses worked through together occurred in 2011 when the Dura-Bilt office flooded. During our interview Mary recalled, “We needed to setup a makeshift office and you guided us through what steps we should take to make sure that we kept any damage to a minimum and it worked. We were back up and running the next day. We had computers in the break room, walls were torn down, and we were working at coffee tables but I give a lot of credit to your team for being there for us and walking us through all the steps we needed to take to make it through that.”
Databranch makes it a priority to stay up-to-date with the latest technology especially in the area of business continuity and Mary emphasized how valuable this is to her and Dura-Bilt. “Your team is always looking at what the next step is before I would even think of it. For example with the Datto, our latest device for backups. We always had an in-house backup and we’d have to take the drive out and off-premises and now we don’t need to worry about that since we have the cloud backup and the Datto machine itself. You guys are always one step ahead of us which says a lot.”
When asked about Databranch’s relationship with Dura-Bilt, Databranch President David Prince had the following to say, “We are grateful for our long standing partnership with Mary and Dura-Bilt Products. They are truly one of our favorite clients and a pleasure to work with. If a measure of success is the quality and strength of the relationships you develop along the way, we have a very successful relationship with Dura-Bilt and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”
Small businesses are under attack. Right now, extremely dangerous and well-funded cybercrime rings in China, Russia and the Ukraine are using sophisticated software systems to hack into thousands of small businesses to steal credit cards, client information, and swindle money directly out of your bank account. Some are even being funded by their own government to attack small, virtually defenseless businesses.
Don’t think you’re in danger because you’re “small” and not a big target like a Target or Home Depot? Think again. 82,000 NEW malware threats are being released every single day and HALF of the cyber-attacks occurring are aimed at small businesses; you just don’t hear about it because it’s kept quiet for fear of attracting bad PR, lawsuits, data-breach fines and out of sheer embarrassment.
In fact, the National Cyber Security Alliance reports that one in five small businesses have been victims of cybercrime in the last year – and that number is growing rapidly as more businesses utilized cloud computing, mobile devices and store more information online. Quite simply, most small businesses are low-hanging fruit to hackers due to their lack of adequate security systems.
As a local IT support company, we work day and night to protect our clients from these attacks – and unfortunately we see, on a regular basis, hardworking entrepreneurs being financially devastated by these lawless scumbags – We are determined to WARN as many businesses as possible of the VERY REAL threats facing their organization so they have a chance to protect themselves and everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Free Report Reveals The Critical Protections Small Businesses Need Today
We want to do everything that we can to stop cybercrime, so we have put together a FREE Executive Report titled “7 Urgent Security Protections Every Business Should Have In Place Now” that we have made available at no charge here on our website at www.databranch.com/sittingduck.
During this time of year the threat of fire, flood, severe storms, water damage from office sprinklers, and even theft is very real.
One of the most valuable assets for any company is its data. Hardware and software can easily be replaced, but a company’s data cannot!
As a reminder to all of our clients and friends, here are some simple things you should do to make sure your company is ready for any natural disaster.
Back Up Your Data Remotely! Everyone knows that data should be backed up on a daily basis, but many people still use in-house backup systems that will get damaged in a natural disaster or fire, and can easily be stolen. We recommend backing up all data to an off-site location, and we offer this as a service to our clients.
Use a Quality Surge Protector With Uninterruptible Power Supply Battery. A high quality surge protector combined with an uninterruptible power supply battery backup will go a long way in protecting sensitive electronic equipment from surges and other electronic irregularities that can destroy your computer’s circuitry.
Make Sure Your Servers Are Off The Floor Or In The Cloud. If your office gets flooded, having your equipment off the floor will prevent it from being completely destroyed. Server racks can be purchased and installed very inexpensively. Or consider moving your critical server equipment to the cloud and be protected no matter the weather!
Have A Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan. Every business should have some type of plan in place for continued operation after a disaster. Would people know where to go? Who to call? How to log in and access data remotely? Hopefully you’ll never need it, but having a simple plan will make you sleep a lot easier at night knowing you have a way to continue to operate when disaster strikes.
FREE Report: The 10 Disaster Planning Essentials For Any Small Business
Don’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve in an instant! This report will reveal important planning strategies you should have in place now to protect yourself from common data-erasing disasters including natural hazards, human error, cyber criminals, hardware failure, software corruption and other IT failures.
When it comes to avoiding downtime, Databranch, Inc. is among the best of the best. The IT consulting/outsourcing provider and Datto partner has been operating out of western New York for over 30 years, delivering managed services, networking and security.
David Prince, President of Databranch, is a big fan of the Datto business continuity solution. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, so we have a good idea of what does and doesn’t work. Tape backup has proven to be unreliable and can add days to the recovery process. For years, I was on a quest to find something better, and Datto has been that and more ever since we’ve partnered with them,” according to Prince.
He cites the ability to extend support to clients remotely as one of the biggest features that help his business thrive. According to Prince, Datto has helped grow his business, and differentiate Databranch from other MSPs.
“Datto has been a lifesaver for us ever since we adopted the solution. It’s given me peace of mind knowing we can recover in any situation. Since we cover such a large geographical region, being able to get a client back up and running remotely has saved valuable time and money for our clients; especially when dealing with inclement weather or urgent issues,” said Prince.
Working in such a large and diverse region, Databranch serves a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing. One of those clients is Clarion Sintered Metals, a powdered-metal manufacturer located in Pennsylvania. Clarion runs a 24/7/365 operation, so downtime is never an option.
When Clarion’s servers crashed, Databranch was there to save the day and keep operations running as normal. Thanks to a proactive MSP and their Datto solution, Clarion didn’t suffer any downtime.
To learn how Databranch and Datto protected Clarion, download the full success story here.
To receive more information about how Databranch and Datto can help your organization fill out the form below to be contacted by a Databranch business continuity expert!
You Already Take Security Seriously… Why Not Take Security to the Next Level with Strong, Easy-to-Manage Passwords?
Password Management as a Service
Your business has always taken security seriously and been mindful of protecting your data. You’ve invested in firewalls, anti-virus programs, spam filtering, and backup/disaster recovery tools. But when is the last time you considered the first line of defense beyond all these security measures? Passwords are used to protect your systems, data, and online accounts; however, the difficulty of remembering strong passwords often puts people off creating them. Interested in learning more about Databranch’s new password management service? Reach out to a Databranch Account Manager at 716-373-4467, email@example.com, or click here to get started.
Our Password Management as a Service offering makes it simple for you to use strong passwords while delivering the following benefits:
Ease of Use
Your staff members can easily reset their own Windows login passwords without needing to call the help-desk and wait for a response.
Your staff members will no longer waste time hunting for or trying to remember passwords, and through one-click login tools…
Improved Operational Efficiency
Your staff members will be able to consolidate website favorites/ bookmarks across all computers using one click login tools…
Your staff members will use more complex passwords as opposed to easily remembered passwords – and each password will be unique.
Unless you’ve been living in a tomb, you know you should be backing up your computers and server. But here’s something you probably DON’T know that will come back and “bite” you: simply having a backup of your data is NOT ENOUGH to guarantee you could be back up and running fast in the event of a disaster.
Having a data backup merely means that you have a copy of your company’s data stored somewhere; it does NOT mean you have a way to instantly restore your network back to normal – a shocking dose of truth most business owners discover after they’ve experienced a major network crash or data-erasing disaster.
For example, if your network dies because of a hardware failure, your entire company is down, period. No e-mail, no printing, no accessing your database, customer records, and more. Until whatever caused the problem can be fixed (which might involve ordering replacement parts), your business is deader than a doornail.
So You Reach For Your Backup Only To Discover…
Your information is there, but without a server, you have nowhere to load that information, and no way to access it. On top of that, a backup only holds your data, not your operating system, settings, or software applications. So even if you can load the data, you can’t actually use it without re-loading all the software applications—no small feat. Even IF you have all the software disks and key codes (most people don’t), it could still take days — possibly weeks— to rebuild, and the costs can run into the thousands.
That’s Not The Half Of It
The three most common causes of server downtime are hardware failure, software corruption and human error. But nearly 20% of businesses suffer damaging downtime from fire, flood, theft, or other natural disasters, and 44% of them neverrecover—and that’s mostly because they didn’t have a disaster recovery plan in place.
A disaster recovery plan covers more than just backup. It maps out how to get your business restored and running again in every possible scenario.
For example, if another company in your office building has a fire, the police may quarantine your building preventing you from even entering your office. Or if a major storm knocks out power, Internet or the phone lines, you need a plan “B” for servicing customers, taking orders and keeping things rolling.
3 Crucial Components To A Disaster Recovery Plan
Have One! As the old adage goes, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” When it comes to disaster recovery, nothing could be more accurate. If something happens to your office, will your employees be able to work from home? Do you have an alternate plan for your phones? Where would you temporarily set up shop? How quickly could you get technology equipment you need to function like computers, scanners, or printers? How will you access the Internet? Make a point to document the answers to these questions.
Onsite Server “Virtualization.” In a downtime situation, virtualization is basically a business owner’s lifeline to his business. Once only available to big businesses with deep pockets, this now affordable technology can literally get you back up and running just as you were before the disaster… in as little as 24 hours. If the disaster doesn’t take out your whole office, virtualization can have you back in business the same day. Here’s how it works. A second server makes exact copies of everything on your server—operating system, software applications and data—every 15-60 minutes. This server replica, also known as an “image,” can take over if your main server fails or gets corrupted. No need to re-load software, reconfigure your network, or re-load your data. In as little as 30 minutes, everyone in your company can get back to work, just as they were before the downtime. Compare this to the days or WEEKS it could take without virtualization; the productivity and money savings is staggering. Side Note: If you are still using old tape backups, you NEED to throw them away and virtualize your server with an offsite backup!
Offsite Image of Your Server. Fire, flood, theft, natural disasters, or even faulty office sprinkler systems can physically damage your office equipment, including your server and your backup system.
Head this off by having an exact copy (an image) of your server’s operating system, settings, programs, and data sent daily to an offsite location. Also, make sure this image can be quickly loaded on to a server and shipped to you. With this in your plan, a tornado could rip open your office and destroy everything, yet you could be back up and running within a few days.
Want To Make SURE Your Business Can “Stay Open”
After A Disaster? FREE Disaster Recovery Assessment Shows You How
Because it’s Halloween, we’re giving away a FREE disaster recovery assessment to any of our clients who want to upgrade to our new DataGuard Intelligent Business Continuity Solution. This service will make sure:
Your files are automatically backed up multiple times per day right over the Internet. No more rotating and storing tapes or running the risk of tape failures!
Your data is safe from fire, floods, storms, viruses, hackers, hardware malfunctions, and human error!
You can back up ALL of your data and not be limited to the size of your tape drive.
Should a disaster occur, you can be back up and running the very next day…we GUARANTEE it.
We normally charge $500 for a Disaster Recovery Assessment but it’s yours FREE if you schedule an appointment before Halloween, October 31st! To get started, call us at 716-373-4467 or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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