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Update Your Software and Patches for Continued Computer and Network Security

t is common for busy employees to snooze their computers’ reminders regarding software updates and patches. “Patch fatigue” is a common occurrence at many companies. Employees don’t want to sacrifice their time to install important updates that maintain an optimal level of computer and network security.

Dangers of Patch Fatigue

Unfortunately, patch fatigue can have significant consequences for your business. By forgoing essential software updates, you leave your network and software vulnerable to security threats. Software vulnerabilities are weak portions of a program hackers can target to infect your computer with malware. Once it is on your computer, hackers use the malware to steal sensitive information or even gain complete access to your computer.

Snoozing your software updates for a few days may seem harmless. However, if the patch fixes a known software vulnerability, it is critical to install updates as soon as they are available. In 2017, a data breach at Equifax exposed confidential information for 143 million individuals. Hackers manipulated a vulnerable spot in Equifax’s web application to access the company’s sensitive data. What many individuals don’t know is an update was available to patch this vulnerability, but Equifax neglected to keep its software updated.

Benefits of Keeping Up with Your Computer and Network Security

In addition to fixing known security risks, computer and network security updates also add new software features that improve the efficiency and functionality of your programs. These patches make it easier for employees to do their jobs in the long run. Upgrades also remove old or outdated features that slow down your software and repair known software bugs. 

Implementing the following procedures will help to combat patch fatigue:

  • When possible, opt for automatic installation of software updates.
  • Incorporate time into your employees’ workdays to install patches.
  • Educate employees on company rules and procedures regarding software updates.
  • Implement and follow a schedule to regularly check all computers and mobile devices for updates.

If you need help fighting patch fatigue in your company, contact Network Security Associates today at 702-547-9800 for recommendations concerning your organization’s computer and network security.

The Benefits of Hiring NSA as Your Managed IT Provider

Managing a business is no easy task, especially when the technology you rely on is on the fritz. Here is why NSA’s managed IT program is right for your company.

Break Fix Doesn’t Work for Most Companies Anymore

When malware hits and your workstations break down, or you can’t open your email, these are problems that keep your staff from being efficient. If you only have break-fix IT service, meaning you only pay when you have a problem, you may try to fix the problem yourself or hire an external IT contractor to help you. You’ll end up waiting for a technician to come out on their schedule. Then they will need learn your IT system, and likely, only patch the system and not fix the underlining problem, which will can cost you time and money because your business could be down for hours or even days.

Advantages in Having a Fixed Monthly Rate

With a fixed monthly managed IT program from Network Security Associates, your staff benefits from a local, dedicated help desk that is available 24/7 with an emergency 2-hour response time. Our experts take a proactive approach to tackling IT problems by monitoring your network constantly, keeping an eye out for impending issues so we can resolve them before they impact your business.

Included with your managed IT program are:

  • Wireless Network Security Management
  • Firewall and VPN Management
  • Server & Desktop Computer Management
  • Multi-Server Network Management
  • Fast Disaster Recovery
  • Data Backup Management

At Network Security Associates, our primary focus is providing outstanding customer service. There are many benefits and advantages of our managed IT program, and it is our job to ensure our clients are protected 24/7 from impending risks. By better understanding what it is our clients are looking for and how their businesses can be best supported, we are able to tailor our offerings to better meet those needs.

 

NSA Open House and Ribbon Cutting- A Big Success

 

On Friday, October 12, 2018 Network Security Associates celebrated their 15th business anniversary with an open house and ribbon cutting hosted by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Vice President of Membership   Lisa Chao spirited the ribbon cutting by presenting a Certificate of Congratulations signed by the Mayor of Henderson, Debra March.

Lisa Chao with Robert Davis

Also, Jermareon Williams from Congresswoman Jacky Rosen’s office presented a Certificate of Special Recognition to Robert Davis, owner  of Network Security Associates, congratulating him for his accomplishment of  15 years in business.

Jermareon Williams with Robert Davis

“I am very grateful to everyone who has been a part of  our journey over the past 15 year” says Robert Davis. “I am very proud of my team and we all are looking forward to the future.” “Thank you all for being a part of the NSA Family.”

At the open house clients and business associates were treated to a  scrumptious lunch, and were entered into a drawing to win an Amazon Echo Show. Teresa Sakowski, of Assured Partners Consulting  was delighted to be the winner.

Maria Leon & Teresa Sakowski

 

 

3 Advantages In Using Managed IT Service

For organization that are wondering how a Managed IT Service, like Network Security Associates, would be beneficial to them, here are three great advantages.

1)Keeping Pace with Demands for IT Expertise- Today, no business can really afford the risk and uncertainty of relying on a “Break-fix maintenance model” because your business is too dependent on having a reliable IT system. Furthermore, having separate departments/suppliers responsible for different parts of the system puts you in the difficult position of trying to decide who should be delivering the service you require.
Managed Services puts the IT Support Company on the same page as the business they are
serving. Up-time equates to profit for the IT services provider and the business being served. With traditional break-fix services, the only way for an IT Support company to make money is if something goes wrong.

2) 24/7 Availability – The managed service provider assumes an ongoing responsibility for 24-hour monitoring, managing, and/or problem resolution for the IT systems within
a business. A well maintained, proactively serviced computer network will always run better than the alternative. With proactive network monitoring, patch management, and desktop optimization performed on a regular basis, you will notice a tremendous difference in operations… and you will reap the benefits of preventing fires, rather than fighting them.

3) Predictable Monthly Cost-Businesses are also able to control and reduce their overall operating costs with the flat-fee billing model and cost effective access to enterprise-level support is a reality.  By outsourcing initiatives to a managed service provider, organizations can break down their costs into fixed monthly payments, as opposed to the large capital expenditures that come with managing systems in-house.

 

 

Celebrate with Network Security Associates!

On October 12th 2018, Network Security Associates will be celebrating there 15th Anniversary with an Open House and Ribbon Cutting hosted by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce.

“I am so proud of my team”, says owner Robert Davis.  “We have work extremely hard and I want to celebrate our 15th Anniversary with my team,  all of our great clients and business associates”.

The ribbon cutting will be a at 1:00 pm, at, 4775 W. Teco Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89118.  Food and beverages  will be served from 1-4 pm.  You can RSVP to jbomarito@nsa-nv.com

Network security associates awarded information technology service provider gaming license

Las Vegas, NV, September 20, 2018: Network Security Associates (NSA), a leading provider of technology consulting services empowering the way businesses devise and conduct business in Nevada since 2003, this week was awarded an Information Technology Service Provider Gaming License by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

With this new licensing, NSA will be permitted to manage and support critical IT infrastructure of gaming entities. Accessing their product suite of comprehensive solutions, including Cloud, Security, and Managed IT services, NSA is partnering up with the growing gaming industry pivotal in the state of Nevada.

“Due to our hard work, dedication to our clients, and passion for moving forward, our team is incredibly encouraged by this new licensing announcement,” said Robert Davis, Owner of NSA. “Our technicians are highly credentialed and ready to work with any kind of gaming operation, including casinos and gaming software providers, which rely on 24-7 network operations for a smooth and sound operation.”

“With a better uptime for gaming applications, that means happier customers/guests, which is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Davis. “There’s no better feeling than receiving word that our team has gone above and beyond a client’s expectation.

That’s exactly what we’re prepared to do with our local casinos and gaming software providers. We look forward to the future collaborations.”

NSA has been in business for 15-years and supports a growing clientele saddled with impressive compliance and security requirements.

For more information about their IT services, visit: https://www.nsa-nv.com/.

About Network Security Associates

Network Security Associates [NSA] is a leading provider of technology consulting services empowering the way that companies do business in Southern Nevada since 2003. Our product suite of comprehensive solutions includes Cloud, Security and Managed IT Services.

NSA works as a hand-in-hand dedicated technology partner helping to make informed decisions in response to fast-changing technologies that challenge today’s business environment. With an expert team of agile, forward-thinking technology strategists, NSA brings a customized, and whole systems approach planning, design, and integration of the right IT solutions for your business.

3 Microsoft Excel tips to master

3 Microsoft Excel tips to master

Every computer user must be well-versed in various office programs, including Microsoft Excel. If you only know a few basic commands, you haven’t fully mastered Excel. Here are a few features that can make your life easier.

Pie and Sunburst Charts

Everyone knows that bombarding stakeholders with endless numbers and decimal points is the wrong approach. You need to compile data and develop comprehensive pie or sunburst charts to make life easier for clients and investors.

Here’s how to create a pie chart:

  1. Select your data.
  2. Click on the Recommended Charts tool to see different style chart suggestions for your data.
  3. Click on the Chart Styles, Chart Filters, or Chart Elements button in the upper-right corner of the chart to personalize its overall look or add chart elements, such as data labels or axis titles.

Steps to create a sunburst chart:

  1. Select all your data.
  2. Click Insert > Insert Hierarchy Chart > Sunburst.
  3. Go to the Design and Format tabs to tailor its overall look.

Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables might be one of the most powerful yet intimidating data analysis tools in Excel’s arsenal. It allows you to summarize huge chunks of data in lists or tables without using a formula. All you need to do is to:

  1. Select the data, which must only have a single-row heading without empty columns or rows.
  2. Click Insert > PivotTable.
  3. Under Choose the data that you want to analyze, click Select a table or range.
  4. In the Table/Range box, validate the cell range.
  5. Under Choose where you want the PivotTable report to be placed, click New worksheet, or Existing worksheet and enter the location where you want to place the PivotTable.

Conditional Formatting

This tool highlights essential information within your dataset. For instance, you’re presenting the latest numbers on project efficiency and you use Conditional Formatting to highlight any number lower than 80%. The highlighted data will capture the audience’s attention, allowing them to identify the bottlenecks in your projects. To customize how the data is displayed, simply:

  1. Select the cell.
  2. Click Home > Conditional Formatting.
  3. Click Format.
  4. Change your formatting preference in the Color or Font style box.

Excel is one of the most commonly used business software on the market, yet not everyone knows how to fully utilize it. If you want to learn more about other handy Excel features, give us a call today and we’ll elevate your user status from beginner to pro.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

5 Cybersecurity measures anyone can master

5 Cybersecurity measures anyone can master

Avoiding malware and online scams takes a lot of work. You have to treat every email with suspicion, manage a long list of convoluted passwords, and avoid public WiFi networks. Ideally, you follow several other cybersecurity best practices, but many users don’t believe they’re worth the time. If you’re one of those people, here are five ways to stay safe that won’t eat up all your time.

1. Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

This tool earns the number one spot on our list because it can keep you safe even after a hacker has stolen one of your passwords. That’s because MFA requires more than one form of identification to grant access to an account.

The most common example is a temporary code that is sent to your mobile device. Only someone with both the password and access to your smartphone will be able to log in. Almost any online account provider offers this service, and some let you require additional types of verification, such as a fingerprint or facial scan.

2. Password managers

Every online account linked to your name should have a unique password with at least 12 characters that doesn’t contain facts about you (avoid anniversary dates, pet names, etc.). Hackers have tools to guess thousands of passwords per second based on your personal details, and the first thing they do after cracking a password is to try it on other accounts.

Password manager apps create random strings of characters and let you save them in an encrypted list. You only need one complex password to log into the manager, and you’ll have easy access to all your credentials. No more memorizing long phrases, or reusing passwords!

3. Software updates

Software developers and hackers are constantly searching for vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Sometimes, a developer will find one before hackers and release a proactive update to fix it. Other times, hackers find the vulnerability first and release malware to exploit it, forcing the developer to issue a reactive update as quickly as possible.

Either way, you must update all your applications as often as possible. If you are too busy, check the software settings for an automatic update option. The inconvenience of updating when you aren’t prepared to is nothing compared to the pain of a data breach.

4. Disable flash player

Adobe Flash Player is one of the most popular ways to stream media on the web, but it has such a poor security record that most experts recommend that users block the plugin on all their devices. Flash Player has been hacked thousands of times, and products from companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google regularly display reminders to turn it off. Open your web browser’s settings and look for the Plugins or Content Settings menu, then disable Adobe Flash Player.

5. HTTPS Everywhere

Just a few years ago, most websites used unencrypted connections, which meant anything you typed into a form on that site would be sent in plain text and could be intercepted with little effort. HTTPS was created to facilitate safer connections, but many sites were slow to adopt it or didn’t make it the default option.

HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension that ensures you use an encrypted connection whenever possible and are alerted when one isn’t available on a page that requests sensitive information. It takes less than one minute and a few clicks to install it.

If you run a business with 10 or more employees, these simple tips won’t be enough to keep you safe. You’ll need a team of certified professionals that can install and manage several security solutions that work in unison. If you don’t have access to that level of expertise, our team is available to help. Give us a call today to learn more.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Hybrid clouds make SMBs more flexible

Hybrid clouds make SMBs more flexible

Cloud computing has become an indispensable component in business IT because it’s cost-effective, flexible, and secure. Thanks to hybrid cloud solutions, organizations have access to even more agile computing resources.

Hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. In the former, data and applications that require tighter controls are hosted either internally or privately in an offsite facility. Public clouds are managed externally by third-party providers with the express purpose of reducing a company’s IT infrastructure.

A recent study indicates that 75% of companies have adopted hybrid cloud solutions, mainly because of their numerous benefits. Here are the four most significant advantages of moving to a hybrid cloud environment.

Adaptability

Having the ability to choose between on-site/privately-hosted cloud servers and public ones let you pair the right IT solution with the right job. For example, you can use the private cloud to store sensitive files, while utilizing more robust computing resources from the public cloud to run resource-intensive applications.

Scalability

The hybrid cloud allows you to “scale up” or “scale down” computing resources on an as-needed basis. So if there are last-minute computing demands that your hardware can’t support, or if you’re planning for future expansion, hybrid cloud solutions allow for on-demand increases or decreases in capacity.

Cost efficiency

Does your business struggle to meet seasonal demands? With a hybrid cloud solution, you’ll be able to easily handle spikes in demand by migrating data from insufficient on-premise servers to scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud servers whenever needed, without incurring extra hardware and maintenance costs.

Security

Last but not least are the security advantages of a hybrid cloud solution. You can host sensitive data such as an e-commerce details or an HR platform within the private cloud, where it will be protected by your security systems and kept under close watch. Meanwhile, routine forms and documents can be stored in the public cloud and protected by a trusted third-party.

Here’s how SMBs can set up a hybrid cloud model based on their requirements and the providers available to them:

  1. By employing one specialized cloud provider who offers comprehensive hybrid solutions
  2. By integrating the services of a private cloud provider with those of a separate public cloud provider
  3. By hosting a private cloud themselves and then incorporating a public cloud service into their infrastructure

Our experts can help you transition to a hybrid cloud solution without interruption and without the huge costs. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits that a hybrid cloud can bring to your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

3 ways AI is revolutionizing healthcare

3 ways AI is revolutionizing healthcare

Technological advancements have brought us much closer to artificial intelligence (AI), such as cars that drive themselves and robots that interpret and summarize the news. AI is helping humankind in various industries, and healthcare is close to the top of that list.

Virtual personal health assistants

At the helm of the AI revolution are virtual personal health assistants. Many people already use these apps so often that they’ve forgotten how revolutionary they are. We call them by their names — Siri, Cortana, Alexa, etc. — and address them via our phones, TVs, and computers.
When applied to the healthcare industry, virtual assistants help users in various ways. You can ask medical questions or document your symptoms for upcoming appointments. You can also set reminders for health-related tasks, like a doctor’s appointment or an alarm for taking medicine.

Health coaching

Virtual health coaches are a great help to people with chronic illnesses. For example, patients struggling with obesity, diabetes, and other long-term health conditions can find encouragement and comfort in an AI coach that regularly monitors and analyzes their vital statistics. Virtual health coaches can also provide accurate dietary and medical advice based on the patients’ collected health data.

Healthcare bots

Healthcare bots are also making waves in the healthcare industry because they provide quick answers when healthcare providers are not immediately available. Bots are accessible via the internet or over the phone 24/7, and can provide immediate, affordable, and legitimate medical advice to those who need it.

Moreover, bots help healthcare providers minimize administrative and billing tasks, so they can focus more time on medical care. Bots can ask patients about their medical history, allergies, and what medical concerns they have.
With all the technological advances discussed in this article, it is apparent that AI brings innumerable benefits to patients and healthcare providers. Our team specializes in IT support for the healthcare industry. Whether you need help achieving regulatory compliance or taking advantage of the latest technology, we can help. Give us a call today to get started.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.