Riptide Managed Services http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:16:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Easily Reduce Costs With Remote Management http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/easily-reduce-costs-with-remote-management/ http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/easily-reduce-costs-with-remote-management/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:42:40 +0000 http://dev2.riptidesoftware.com/?p=36 Riptide Managed Services offers full remote support with custom software developed and configured for customers’ networks. Depending on the level of access, technicians can access servers at any time without the need for customer interaction, while desktop interaction typically requires the end user to grant a technician temporary access. Riptide Managed Service technicians will often access customer networks after hours when their businesses are closed. This allows for uninterrupted work for both the technician and the customer.

Immediate Cost Reduction
It is customary for Managed Services companies to charge a “dispatch fee” or “call fee” when a customer requests a technician to come to their location. With Remote Management, these costs are often completely eliminated. For customer tickets, technicians will first attempt to resolve the issue remotely without setting foot on the customers property. For routine maintenance, technicians will often access customers locations after hours. For emergencies, it’s quite often much faster for a technician to remotely access the network for an initial over view of the situation that would determine if an on-site visit was even required.

Other expense areas directly effected by the use of remote management are

  • System, Device, and Network Monitoring
  • Network Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Support
  • User Training
  • Software Installation and Configuration
  • Software and Computer Updates
  • Spyware and Malware Scanning and Removal

System, Device, and Network Monitoring

Riptide’s custom network agent continually monitors devices and components on our customers networks. In the event of a machine or device interruption event such as power or signal loss, Riptide Technicians will recieve an notification alert. Often times, customer issues are resolved without the custmoer even being aware that there was an issue.

Software and Computer Updates

In practically every scenario involving a work place and a computer, it’s safe to say computer updates are needed. Software updates, regardless if they are for the core operating system or just for software installed, can be time consuming. If ignored, computer systems are left exposed to patched vunerabilites, are at risk for spyware and malware, and generally will begin to run slower. Performing these routine updates is indeed a necissity.

Network Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Support

Routers, switches, firewalls, and other network devices often need software and firmware upgrades. Whenever possible, Riptide Managed Services performs these operations remotely and after business hours with minimal impact on our custmers business. There are, however, still times when it is prudent to be on site for firmware upgrades. Your Riptide Technician will advise you on a case-by-case basis.

User Training

Sending employees to training sessions, while good in the long run, can be a costly and tedious expense. Riptide Managed Services can have a one to one, or one to many instructor led training session with customers employees’ without them ever leaving their desks. This level of training is 100% customized for our customers, addressing their specific needs.

Software Installation and Configuration

In the practical world, a computer does everything we want it to do. In reality, users often recieve files without the associated software to view or edit said files. Without remote managed services, this would mean a service call, followed by a technicial walking around to every computer on the network and installing the required software. Riptide Managed Services is able to remotely install software on a single computer, or push that software out to all computers, or even a select group of computers – complete with any specific configurations needed. You can easily see how this approach saves time and money.

Spyware and Malware Scanning and Removal

Spyware, arguably the thorn in every computer users side, is a prime example of something to be cleaned over night simply because of the time required for software to complete a deep scan. Riptide takes a reactive approach to spyware – when named processes are identified, our agent software contiunually scans customers networks for those files. Once found, Riptide’s agent software locks the file, and sends a notification to technicians. Damage is mitigated, and Riptide technicians quickly sweep up the mess.

Using Riptide’s Remote Managed Services saves time and money, increases potential computer uptime, and maximizes resource availability for our customers.

About Riptide Managed Services

Riptide Managed Services is a division of Riptide Software, Inc. and provides technical services to small and medium sized businesses in the greater Orlando area.

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Answers To The Top 5 Questions About Windows XP Discontinued Support http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/answers-to-the-top-5-questions-about-windows-xp-discontinued-support/ http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/answers-to-the-top-5-questions-about-windows-xp-discontinued-support/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:41:35 +0000 http://dev2.riptidesoftware.com/?p=34 As of April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP are no longer available. Don’t let your PC go unprotected.

While your computer running XP will still run, the support Microsoft provided for your system – including updates, security patches, and malware protection – has ended. The chances of your computer becoming vulnerable to security risks will rise exponentially as new exploits for Windows XP are discovered, and left unpatched.

This article will address the top five questions Riptide Managed Services is asked about upgrading from Windows XP now that support has officially ended.

What will happen if I don’t upgrade my XP computers?
First and foremost, they’ll continue to operate as normal. While Microsoft has ended their support for Windows XP, you can still log in and do your work. However, Microsoft is no longer updating Security Essentials or IE 8, meaning the chances of your computer becoming infected with spyware, malware, or viruses increases on a daily basis. Additionally, new software and new hardware being released on the market will simply not work with your computer running Windows XP. Your computer will no longer receive automatic updates from Microsoft, meaning that as threats increase, there’s nothing you’ll be able to do to protect yourself.

How much will upgrading from XP cost me?
A typical business class new computer will cost between $300 and $600, depending on your actual business needs. Multiply the cost of the computer by the amount of computers you have, and then add about two hours of labor per computer for the data transfer, and setup and configuration of the new machines. You’ll be on the high end of the price range for your upgrade, but at least you’ll have an idea of what the price will be.

How long will it take me to upgrade all my computers from XP to new computers running the latest version of Windows?
Once onsite, expect each workstation to take roughly two hours. While the systems can be upgraded at the same time, individual attention will still be needed per system. Additionally, user training will most likely be required after the new operating system has been installed.

What if I have programs that will only run under Windows XP?
There are a couple of options for this scenario. Firstly, new versions of Windows have what is called “XP Compatibility Mode” which attempts to run the program in question the same way Windows XP did. If that doesn’t work, it is possible to run a Windows XP Virtual Machine just for that particular software, however, it’s not something we’d highly recommend.

What can I do to avoid something like this in the future?
Upgrades and OS Replacements will always be part of our computer lives. Damage mitigation through proper planning is the best way to avoid the expense associated with a large computer refresh. Additionally, using different operating systems such as Linux (with Long Term Support) as file servers, moving some operations to Cloud based computing, and seeking OS independent applications will provide additional assurance

 

Riptide Managed Services Is Here To Help You

Riptide Managed Services can help you develop a strategic migration plan to move away from Windows XP, and work with your company to ensure the smoothest transition possible. Furthermore, your dedicated technician will provide a recommended plan of action for you and your business to grow in confidence over the next five to ten years while avoiding the heavy cost of OS Migration in the future.

Call Riptide Managed Services today and mention this article for your free Migration Evaluation.

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How To Get Rid Of Spyware and Malware http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/how-to-get-rid-of-spyware-and-malware/ http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/how-to-get-rid-of-spyware-and-malware/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:40:17 +0000 http://dev2.riptidesoftware.com/?p=31 Spyware, Malware, Adware, Ransomware… the annoying family of software we all hate has a variety of flavors, but they all essentially do the same thing. They get installed on computers, make our days miserable, and slow us down. “How did it get there?” is a question best left to answer once the spyware is gone.

We see spyware infections on computers multiple times a week. Some are trivial to get rid of, while others require some pretty advanced registry editing.

If you’ve gotten infected with spyware, here are some steps you can take to get your system back to health:

  1. Run rkill
    RKill is a program that was developed at BleepingComputer.com that attempts to terminate known malware processes so that your normal security software can then run and clean your computer of infections. When RKill runs it will kill malware processes and then removes incorrect executable associations and fixes policies that stop us from using certain tools. When finished it will display a log file that shows the processes that were terminated while the program was running.Why: Things don’t clean/uninstall well when they’re running. Instead of rebooting the computer and taking it off the network, this program kills the processes, checks the firewall, combs the registry, and some other nifty things. Saves time.Download latest: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/rkill/dl/10/
  2. Run Adwcleaner
    AdwCleaner is a program that searches for and deletes Adware, Toolbars, Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP), and browser Hijackers from your computer. By using AdwCleaner you can easily remove many of these types of programs for a better user experience on your computer and while browsing the web.Why: Fast, reliable, works. No nonsense.Download latest: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/dl/125/
  3. Run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
    Malwarebytes is a light-weight anti-malware program that is excellent at removing the latest detections. This program is recommended as a support product for your normal anti-virus program.*Note: I do not enable the trial unless the user plans on purchasing, or it’s highly likely I’ll need to scan again (NSI, for example) If they do want to purchase, it’s $25 for 3 computers for 1 year.**Next Note: As soon as you install, it will ask you to update the detection database. Do this. Now, aren’t you glad you ran rkill? (you did run rkill, right?)
    ***Last Note: Sometimes the DB update will require a new install of MBAM (bleepingcomputer.com is not always up-to-date).

    Why: MBAM is relatively bloatless, and does a great job at weeding out spyware. It does a pretty deep intense scan that can take some time.

    Download latest: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/malwarebytes-anti-malware/dl/7/

  4. Remove Malwarebyte Anti-Malware (unless user purchased or wants to do trial)
    The Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Cleanup Tool allows you to completely uninstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in the event that you are unable to uninstall it properly from the Windows control panel. When this tool runs it will search your computer for installations of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and remove it from your computer.Why: Faster/cleaner than running the uninstall. The non trial version doesn’t include real time protection, and with the updates being so frequent, might as well just reinstall.Download latest: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/malwarebytes-anti-malware-cleanup-tool/

The Best Defense Is Always A Good Offense

Protecting your computers is always the best thing to do. Windows Defender (which replaces Microsoft Security Essentials in Windows 8) is a good place to start. For Riptide’s Managed Services customers, we deploy agents on computers that actively scan systems looking for particular malware. Once found, the file is locked, and we’re notified. Often times the end user isn’t even aware of the spyware attempt on their computer.

For more information about how Riptide Managed Services can help you and your company, Contact Us today.

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Messy Server Room? We Can Help! http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/messy-server-room-we-can-help/ http://managedservices.riptidesoftware.com/2014/06/19/messy-server-room-we-can-help/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:38:33 +0000 http://dev2.riptidesoftware.com/?p=28 There are only two reasons to have a messy server room. Either you personally have no idea what any of that stuff in there does, or the person you hired to handle that mess has no idea what any of that stuff does. Either way, both reasons are horrible ones, but luckily, ones we can easily fix.

Aside from the obvious safety risks associated with having cables thrown every which way, there are some important factors to consider about a messy server room or wiring closet:

  1. Lost Productivity
    I’m not referring to the users on the network, I’m referring to whomever is the person going into the mess to try to fix something. If they have to spend any more than 30 seconds determining who is connected to what, there’s an issue. Lost time that you’ve paid for and will never get back.
  2. Security
    If your wiring closet or server room is a mess like the ones I’ve pictured here, how certain are you that nobody has planted a rouge device on your network? I’m not here to fill you with fear, uncertainty, or doubt – just the truth. A mess like that just invites someone to eavesdrop on your network.
  3. Misconfigurations and Down Time
    OK, the time has come for someone to get their hands in that mess. What plugs into where? No idea? Open spot? Plug it in! Network speed plummets as packets are sent colliding into one another, and now nobody is getting anything done. Your network is down. Which one did you plug in, by the way? No idea.
  4. Sheer Profesionalism
    Granted, this point may be a bit biased, but when I step foot into an organization that hasn’t paid any attention to their networking, my first question is always, “I wonder how they run their business if their network looks this way”.

 

We Can Help Clean Up Your Networking

Yes, it’s a major undertaking. Yes, there will be down time. Yes, we’ll want to be there after-hours with nobody around to hear us wallow in our misery. The fact is, your network needs cleaned up, and we’re the ones than can make it happen.

The Time To Act Is Now!

A fellow coworker at Riptide once told me, “Problems like these don’t fix themselves, they only make themselves worse”. And it’s true. The longer a clean up job is put off, the longer it’s going to take to get it back to a functional state.

Riptide Managed Services is here to help you. We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure your success.

Contact us today for more information.

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