Baltimore, MD had a crippling ransomware attack in 2019

Baltimore has been crippled by ransomware. Over 70% of attacks now actually target small and mid-size businesses. There are 3 simple things you can do to avoid catastrophe.

1) Assume it will happen to you, 2) plan on it happening to you, 3) test your plan.

For the last several years ransomware has been on the rise. 2018 was a huge year for ransomware, more than doubling. It also was the first year we saw small and medium businesses actively being targeted.

In the past, large enterprises and municipalities were the most likely to be targeted: big targets, big rewards. However, as these high value targets have upped the defenses hackers have begun to actually target the smaller firms, instead of merely hitting them opportunistically.

The biggest opportunity for hackers in the next year is likely to be the end of Windows 7 (free) support by Microsoft, allowing security holes to go unfixed. It’s likely that there are already hacking organizations that are aware of holes in Windows 7 that they are hanging on to in order to use on January 15th, 2020. If you don’t have an active plan to upgrade to Windows 10 by then, you should start saving up to pay the ransom for your data.

60 seconds after midnight US tariffs on thousands of Chinese products more than doubled. How is this going to affect your business?

Costs are going to go up across the board. The supply chains of virtually every industry cross through China at some point. It’s impossible to get away from it. Even if you are a low-tech company, China played a role in producing the goods and services you use or that your suppliers use.

Two simple non-tech examples: if you have employees you reimburse for mileage you are likely to see the reimbursement rise due to increased repair costs, due to increased part prices sourced from China. (Crude oil has also had upward pressure put on it from tariffs). Second, the tariffs hit on materials such as aluminum and copper increase costs for any industry that depends on them as a core component. That includes oil, manufacturing and construction for starters. The result will be increased expenses for anyone with an office building.

Finally, the tech sector depends heavily on China. From computer chips to memory, to the raw materials used to create these, mass amounts of tech manufacturing happens in China. Even low-tech companies will feel the pinch as the underlying costs for vendors they depend on (phones, email) see their costs go up and adjust prices accordingly. For organizations with larger tech initiatives, such as replacing aging Windows 7 machines, the cost will increase.

At JM Addington Technology Solutions we don’t expect to see price increases immediately but rather ramping up over the rest of the year. The threat of tariffs are not new so a lot of companies have had time to either adjust prices or deal with increased costs already. However, there has been and is broad market expectations that a deal will get reached. The longer that takes to happen, the more you will see your costs increase,

:Hand holds Windows 10 logotype printed on paper. Windows 10 is an operating system developed by Microsoft

Microsoft is re-announcing that the last major update to Windows 10 is ready for mass use.

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We know, you’re all tired of changing your passwords and hearing from IT that you’ve got to pick a new one you haven’t used before every 30 nanoseconds. The reason might not be what you think.

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Your Knoxville Managed Services Provider knows that the latest version of Windows is broken

At JM Addington Technology Solutions & Kairos Digital Dynamics we’re usually a tad bullish on Windows Updates: they’re put out for good reason(s). However, Microsoft’s latest “Feature Update” (read: a big one, the Fall Creators Update or 1809) has been plagued with issues:

This is definitely one to wait to install, maybe even until the next major update is released in the spring of 2019. If you’re a managed customer of either JM Addington Technology Solutions or Kairos Digital Dynamics we’ve you covered already. Otherwise, delay unless you’re either adventurous or ready to hire someone to come undo it for you!

Managed Services can help prevent phishing fraud

A university just paid $12m to a fraudster. Prevention would have been easy. Read more

Illustration for 2018 windows update pause, Knoxville managed services news

Following “isolated” reports of users’ files being completely erased during upgrades Microsoft announced a “pause” of the Windows 2018 Fall Update. Microsoft has gone so far as saying that if you have a copy of the upgrade already, you should delete it instead of installing it.

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Starting with the next generation of WiFi devices, WiFi will finally have a comprehensible naming scheme. In the past, different versions of wifi went by various letters, that were hard to keep track of even if you were in the industry. 802.11, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and so on up to 802.11ay. Each version works with the last version but unless you memorized all the versions it was hard to know which was which.

Now, WiFi will go by simple numbering, and the latest standards will be renamed WiFi 6.

It’s nearly the best thing since sliced bread.